27 August 2010

As If I Don't Already Have Enough To Do...

I have two skirts in the works, a cardi wrap, and two muslins for a knit and woven top. To add to that, I have now decided to join the Lady Grey Pattern Sew Along after reading Faye's latest post. I've had this pattern for a couple of months and just adore everything about it. The vintage vibe missed me, but this coat beckons me to make it. If I am able to finish the coat during the sew along, then that's great. Otherwise, it will be good to see everyone's progress and creations.

Are you participating in any sew alongs and if so, which ones?


20 August 2010

Hand Update

Thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes! *hug*

My hand is doing much better. The swelling has gone down and there are no blisters! There are still a couple of tender spots, but I'm not in pain. I have enough dressing and ointment to last a few days, so I'll continue to treat and wrap it. The good thing is I can type well and perhaps sew a bit.

Many thanks again to everyone!


19 August 2010

No Sewing or Typing...

What do you get when you mix scolding hot liquid and human skin?

...and a string of words that would make Richard Pryor blush.

I was preparing this yummy lentil and pan-fry vegetable mix for lunch earlier today. Since the recipe calls for vegetable stock, I decide to make my own. I've done this a number of times for soups and other meals, so it was no big deal. My intention was to make a couple of quarts of stock today and freeze what's left for another meal. When I went to pour the stock into another dish, I lost my grip on the pot of fresh-off-the-burner liquid and...SPLASH! There is vegetable juice everywhere including my left hand. Sigh. A trip to the urgent care revealed that I may have a 1st or 2nd degree burn. If my hand doesn't start to blister, then I likely have a 1st degree burn and it should heal normally. In the meantime, I have to apply an ointment 3 times per day and keep my hand wrapped in gauze. So...um...yeah...no sewing going on for now.

I will finish the dish later today...maybe. =)


18 August 2010

Another New Skirt: M5523

I've had this pattern in my stash for quite some time. It's been worked in and out of the sewing queue for a while and I finally decided to sit down and make it. I made it for my second entry to the Natural Fibers Contest on PR.

I made an unlined version of view B (the one with the pleated inset) out of a 100% wool gabardine. This was a really nice fabric. The weight of this piece was perfect for pants, a structured jacket, or skirt. But, there is a disadvantage of which I was not aware. This stuff does NOT press well at all. After I had fussed with it for a couple of days, I read in Betzina's More Fabric Savvy that wool gabardine is a great wrinkle resister. No shit, lady. It's also a great iron resister! I had to use a lot of steam, mist, and a clapper at least twice per seam and the pleats just to get a decent press.

Its still got some wrinkly areas that need addressing. I'll take it to my dry cleaners and let them have at it. I am so over pressing this darn thing. =)

Fitting and Alterations:
For the first time in a long time, I did not make a muslin. I just went for it! When I say I am the muslin queen, I really mean it. I make a muslin for everything. Not this time. Having considered the finished garment measurements (43.5"), I cut a size 16.

I made two alterations. First, I shortened the pattern by 2". The finished length is 23" and on the model, it looks like the hem comes to her knees. In comparing other skirts that I have, I found that 2o - 21" is a good length for my height.

Next, I made the trunk-junk alteration. Since the back princess seams, I had to alter each piece separately. The alteration is similar to that of inserting a wedge at the center back seam. I spread the center back panel 1.25" across the entire piece. Then, I spread the side back panel 1.25", tapering to nothing at the side seam. This alteration is an absolute must for me to keep the hem level.

I basted the side seams to check fit. I found that the skirt fit well in the waist, but was a bit wide from mid thigh to the hem. So, I increased the seam allowance to 0.75" from that point down. I like this much better.


Instead of using a lapped zipper, I inserted an invisible zipper. I love invisible zippers, but my last two insertions have not been as good as previous ones. Hmf. What's up with that?

I sewed and then serged the seam allowances together. I tried to finish the seam allowances separately, but my serger did not enjoy working on a single layer of gabardine. I had a mess of skipped stitches and loopers not covering the edge. It was a hot mess. I began to think the repair shop did some bad to my serger. Nope. It was definitely the fabric. I had no problem serging the seam allowances together or serging the edge of the interfaced facing. Everything else was an epic fail! To finish the hem, I used an overcast stitch on my sewing machine and topstitched in place.

In all, I am quite satisfied with this skirt. I am sure this skirt will get a lot of wear this fall and winter. I will definitely try other versions of the pattern as well.


15 August 2010

A Woven Top? Oh, word?!

I am really digging the multi-cup Simplicity patterns right now. I had success with S2648 when making this dress. I just finished S2599 and love it!

The fabric is a silk charmeuse that I purchased from Vogue Fabrics last year. I bought this fabric with the intention of making a skirt, but I just couldn't find a pattern that I liked. I chose to make this top last weekend in an effort to make the Natural Fibers Contest deadline on Tuesday, 10 Aug.

Since I am the Muslin Queen, I stayed true to form and made a muslin. I cut a size 14 in the neckline and shoulders and a 16 in the armhole. I used the D cup pattern and a size 18 on the sides. I was thrilled that the top fit pretty well without any alteration. Initially, I was concerned about the ruffles emphasizing my bust. Fortunately, the ruffles do not call extra attention up top. In fact, I think they add a nice detail to the neckline.

I finished the side and shoulder seams using french seams. I bound the neckline and armholes using satin bias tape. The pattern includes facings, but I just wasn't in the mood.

I will definitely sew more versions of this pattern. I am also inclined to try out other multi-cup Simplicity patterns. Simplicity, you have made the good list...for now. =)

08 August 2010


5:12pm today marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of my hatching. Woo-hoo!


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