Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa Pants!

I tried out a new pattern recently by Sew Sensible, their "Skort" and here is what I came up with! These are all vintage looking Xmas prints in red, several shades of green, pink and cream. Isn't it cute?! I wish that I had had a pattern like this when my daughter was little ~ with pantaloons built in! I thought that  this pattern was on our site, but noticed that it is not yet. I'll take care of this as soon as I can. 
While I was at my local Target, I found the cutest little cardigan in cream with a tie at the waist. Naturally, I cut the tie out and replaced it with a green organza ribbon to match the little skirt. Then I spied some cream lace edged leggings that were just perfect! Don't you think that "Santa Pants" is precious! Well, maybe not the name!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In honor of Pink Fig Patterns

I am back from our final sewing RETREAT of the year~ it was another smashing success! Boy, did we all have fun. Someone said in their retreat review that "20 hours a day of sewing was just not enough!"  In reality not ALL of us sewed that many hours, but there were a few . . . . I will post pictures and more details later this week.
              As I was making up this NEW kit (above)  I wondered ~ as usual ~ what its name would be . . .   The colors for this little kit are most unusual. I would describe the combination as "funky sophisticate"! All of the fabrics are from a new collection called "Basic Grey" by Moda Fabrics. The sleeves and the skirt are done in the richest deep plum while being set off by a bright pastel pink and a very different green. The green is  the color of the center of an avocado,  not lime. I finished all of the edges with a rolled hem which really speeds up the construction. Once it was done,  jeans and even a ribbon rose corsage, the first name that came to me was Chelsea! How appropriate since the pattern, "Mia",  was designed by Chelsea Anderson of PINK FIG patterns. I hope that she likes it too!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mod Kid's New JULIA Skirt pattern

I have been wanting to make up this new little skirt pattern from Mod Kid patterns and finally did .  .  .   It is so cute that I want to wear it!
      I choose a slightly "older" girl look for the fabrics. I wanted it to be festive for the holidays, but not your typical red and green Christmas outfit. So, the green is more of a soft imperial jade with mums in crimson and gold. The leaves are a very dark rich forest green. For the under skirt, I could dare to be dark! So, I choose a coordinating black "Asian" print. The yoke is a "pieced and quilted"-look print that compliments nicely.

The pattern calls for the outter skirt to be "shirred with fabric strips from the inside. I chose to sew my casings on the outside and, instead of self-made fabric strips for the "ribbons", I opted for real ribbons. Of course, they had to be special and they are. Each of the two French ribbons is edged in gold!  Even the fabrics have golden highlights which makes the outfit so elegant!

To complete the outfit, I picked out a red tee shirt ~ actually because it was what in my sewing room. It thought  originally that a soft pink would be the ticket, but actually the red is so much better. Now, with the tee, the ensemble begged for more!  An elegant "corsages" seemed appropriate, so I was on to the next stage of the design. Patty Young's pattern has a flower pattern piece (actually three) that was the perfect size. I cut one out and sewed it on the tee shirt. The pattern also includes a center flower circle, so I cut one of those out too. Well, when I laid it on top of the flower it "disappeared".  So, I cut out another one in a different color. And, what do you know, it disappeared to. So, I cut out one more. Same problem. Okay, I could have looked for a different fabric, but I had three circles ready to go. So I held them all together like petals of a flower, stared at them and then decided to hand stitched them together. Then I hand sewed this in the center of the flower. The "corsage" still needed a little something. After a lot of digging, I found a small satin ribbon rose that was perfect! I added this to the center of my "petals" and pronounced it done!

The outfit was a joy to design and sew, so I have chosen to call her JOY! Naturally this little ensemble is one of my new kits and we have put it on our website just this evening.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Making the Chemisette Bag

Linda sews beautifully and is so creative! She recently made up one of our new patterns and wanted to share with everyone her sewing experience. . . . She has included some marvelous photos.

I am making the Chemisette Handbag from Craftapple. I am using a silk/cotton blend for the top part and a heavy cotton for the base. My fabrics are more autumn colors and I think they will make a classy bag for fall.

The pattern directions are in the form of a booklet. I like this because there are no loose pages to get mixed up. This pattern has no cutting layouts and you need to watch how you fold the fabric since you need to cut on the fold and then cut a second one of many of the pieces.

I have cut out the pattern and the yardages seem to be very generous. It calls for 1/2 yard of fusible fleece but you could get by with 1/3 yard. The fleece interlining piece is actually smaller than the lining piece it is fused to so that none of the fleece is in the seam allowance - pretty nifty.

It calls for medium weight fusible interfacing. I don't always know what the definition of "medium" is so I have to find where it is used and then make a judgment call. I looked through my stash and found a lightweight to mid weight interfacing and I used that.

Fusing interfacing is not one of my favorite things - it takes sooo long. I have learned a few tricks over the years but nothing that takes away the time element. I use lots of steam and a damp press cloth. Then I count 1 pink elephant, 2 pink elephant until I can't stand it anymore. Then let the piece cool before handling it too much. I have found the fusible fleece to be harder to get a good fuse so it is a good time to practice patience. Luckily this pattern does not call for too much of that stuff.

The sewing directions are good and the diagrams are helpful.  The author also defines any terms - like topstitching - that may not be common knowledge to everyone. The only confusion is that the pieces are named chemisette and corset instead of bag bottom and top so I had to think a little bit.  When I had gathered the chemise piece I pinned it to a pressing board to get it ready for steaming, then I could see  it  looks like a bra top.

The next step was to attach the "corset" or bag bottom.  I marked the center of both pieces and pinned to make sure everything lined up.

Be sure and follow the instructions on construction order, I had to do a little bit of unsewing because I jumped the gun a bit. At one point it tells you to sew to the dot, I figured I could just sew all the way to the end but it turns out that you do need that 1/2" open, so pay attention to the instructions.

I used 2 layers of peltex for the bag bottom and followed the instructions for attaching it

This is how the boxed corners look
After attaching the pockets and sewing the lining together you put the whole thing together.  This was the hardest sewing of the whole project and that was only because you sew around the whole top that is pinned very well and it is a little bulky so it is somewhat awkward but just take it slow and you will be fine.  Turn it right side out through the opening left in the lining and then steam the top edge and insert the handles, topstitch and you are done.

What a cute bag! It is smaller (10"x7") than the picture led me to believe but I really like the size and it is different and easy to make.

Linda works at the shop on Thursdays, so if you are ever in the area on that day, stop by and meet her!