Sunday, April 30, 2017

Saturday(s) Continues to be for Sewing

So the vest is nearing completion—It still needs buttonholes and buttons. My machine makes them automatically (don't you just love a feature like that?) All I have to do check/correct the size before I start. The matching skirt? The raw edges have been zigzagged to finish, and the pieces joined together (the Barrel is done!) Next the top and bottom edges—first the waistband, then the hem, and finally the hook and eye for the waist band. It won't get done today, and will likely be done in 2 separate mini sessions. 

Skirt & vest progress.
 My dress form, (a recycled one) is a small (6) sized Junior one—so the skirt and vest are pinned back to look smaller. But it is still a nice looking set already. You can see progress has been made.

Then, a pause for clean up—stacking up the bits and pieces of fabric that will become Iron on appliques for T shirts, and making some Bias tape to form into flowers (to make pin-on flowers to decorate baseball type hats, or even to pin onto sneakers) Not too many—anything too matchy-matchy is not the look I am going for! But sometimes a small touch is nice.

After that? Well the skirt length cuts have been washed and pre-shrunk—But before I worked on the solid colored skirts, there is the print skirt with the solid blue yoke/yelow/blue/shite print, to be done.. And there maybe another shirt dress or two—in solic colors for a change. The mental queue goes on then the pretty multicolored vest—And somewhere, soon in the next few weeks, 2 small dresses for the granddaughter—before I get started with the solid skirts... The pink will likely be the first one—It will be full summer by then—the other colors are season spanning.. but bubble gum pink is most definitely a summery color!

The dresses for the girls are going to done in stripes—white/grey/pink for one girl, white/grey/blue for the other....(there will be plenty left for me to make something for me, too. ) The blue stripe will be a good match for the blue vest—and the pink stripes will be a good match to the bubble gum pink solid –so some of that will be used to trim what ever I make from the blue stripes.

Did I mention I have 2 other pieces of grey (besides the length of dark grey for the skirt? One piece of very light grey, (enough for for a shirtdress), and another of medium grey.. One advantage of having favorite colors, is long term, it makes it easier to make mix and match separated.

I have been doing bits and pieces of sewing on days besides Saturday—and some bits and pieces of spring cleaning too—It's been a wet spring (which is a good thing) but yesterday, was sunny—and the sunshine made it very clear—Windows need Washing! And so do the window sills, and frames (I leave several windows open a crack all winter for some fresh air—the fresh air drags in lots of dirt, too!) and the curtains, and …. The list goes on, doesn't it? There is always more cleaning to do! And for me, more clutter to clear up--

But cleaning is always better when there is some creativity mixed in!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Best Laid Plans

Last week, I expected to have the blue linen skirt and vest finished—Wouldn't that be nice?

I worked a bit Saturday morning (the afternoon was spent at Flushing SOUP—a communal meal sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce-that supports and encourages local non profits groups.)

It was a wonderful meal—and a wonderful day (if a bit damp) . Had a great day—even won a raffle prize—too bad it was local home brews (I don't like or drink beer.)  My daughter does--and made out well.

Home by eight pm.  I was feeling sick by nine, and in-bed, fevered (shivering!)by 10—Had a bad night, and wasn't much better on Sunday.

Monday I felt better, but I needed two naps to get through the day. Worked on the vest—and made a major mistake with set in pocket... Plus I was having major problems with skipped stitches and broken thread.

Tuesday I was out all day at the DMV—another day lost.

Yesterday—I spend hours undoing the mistake I made on Monday—and--making a second mistake. (much smaller and easily able to resolve)--but still had problems—again and again.

Every crafter has had the experience of “doing things right” and having them come out wrong—and every time, we blame ourselves... We knit and tink, and knit again and tink again and spend hours blaming ourselves for things not working out—Until we finally stop asking “what am I doing wrong?--and start asking what is wrong.

In my case, I had changed the sewing machine needle before I started the vest (and skirt) –as well as making up 2 bobbins.

(I always make an extra bobbin up—then I don't have to stop mid seam to make up a bobbin—but can just switch bobbins (and then at some point –just (if needed) make up another to have on hand. The blue skirt will have all of the seam edges zig zagged over to finish—so I am sure to need a 3rd bobbin.)

Normally I would blame skipped stitches and broken threads on a old, dull needle—but I took the needle out of sealed package (so it was a new needle!) and I just didn't expect it to fail. But finally, I realized, it wasn't what I was doing wrong—it was the needle.

It is not flared, (it is not flat)
By that point I was exhausted—So I gave up for the night...
A bit more sewing today, and the end is in sight—The out side is done, the lining is done, and the two have been sew together, and now it is down to finishing.. a final press, the side seams to sew, and then the buttonholes and buttons... Some of this will be done this evening—Nothing will be done tomorrow (which should, finally, be sun-shiny!) Since Friday is my day with the girls--

I got a little tidying done yesterday, and will get more done today (Laundry for one, including some pre-washing some of the cottons planned for the next group of sewing projects!) The print vest and 4 simple solid color skirts fabrics. I have 2 more pieces of grey—very light (already prewashed) and medium—that will also go with the vest,) And while I have not been doing much knitting, I do have 5 50g skeins of silk sock wool—2 will become grey socks, 3 will become a scarf of some sort.

But first I need to finish the Vest, and the matching solid skirt, and then, a mostly print skirt—trimmed with the solid blue—And that is a lot of sewing planned! It shouldn't take long if things go as planned.. but so far, nothing has!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Been Sewing and Will Do More—from Last WEEK!

I couldn't find my camera—so I never posted this...Got the car washed yesterday—and found my camera—which had slipped under the seat. So, with photo's—it's time to post!
The newest shirtdess

The first thing to know is while I do have some favorite colors, I love every color. I especially love purple (from the deepest darkest, to the palest shades, from blue violet to red violet, and the purest shades—I love them all.)

But purple isn't loved by everybody—and it comes and goes in popularity when it comes to fabric. There are years when you can't find anything in purple—and then a brief flowering, and then back to nothing. In non purple years I wear every color in the rainbow—Blues from pale to navy can always be found, and turquoise, too. Browns, too, and there is no shortage of the other 2 staples in every modern woman wardrobe—Black and denim! There are fair amount of neutrals (grey taupe/kahki, and brown) and there are always some wild and wacky colorful prints and knits. Orange is the least common color (it really doesn't go well with my pale skin) but there are some splashed of it—at least in some prints.
An other (new too) collarles version

The second thing to know is I practically wear uniforms. For more than 40 years, my wardrobe has always been made of a few staple styles. First—the shirt dress. Some times waisted, sometimes not (and sometimes with a front only waist feature or back only waist feature)-Shirt dresses are a perennial favorite. The details change –simple collars, or tailored ones, Yokes (front or back or shoulder) come and go, and buttons are replaces with pearl snaps, or even on occations, zippers. Most often they have sleeves (short) but some are sleeveless (and summery) and some are shortish, and sleeveless (and worn as tunics  with leggings and turtle neck shirts!)--All--all the time, have pockets... Usually side seam pockets, but some times patch pockets (especially chest pockets!). At least 2 (the side seam ones) sometimes more.
This version is a few years old.

Part 2 of "uniform"  are  A line skirts with VESTS. Sewn ones, or knitted-- I like the finished look a vest gives to an simple skirt. I have a nice selection of blazers and jackets—but these are often too formal—a vest finishes of a simple skirt and top with out being too much –Besides, I have a problem with sleeves--(I am very picky about the length, and thickness, and fit) but of course, vests never present problems!) This problem with sleeves makes if very difficult for me to find outwear (jackets and coats) that I like—but that is a whole 'nother topic!

I like jumpers, too. Simpler than shirt dresses, with scooped necks and easy arm holes—Just pop them on and you are dressed! (My grandchildren call them “Apron”dresses (or more correctly “cooking clothes”-the word apron isn't cemented into their vocabulary)

I go a few years wearing print skirts with solid tops—and they I flip flop and only wear solid skirts and print tops...and the same goes for the shirt dresses—a few years of only prints used, followed by a few years of solid fabric ones...(I am about to switch from print dresses to solid ones.) 

60% of my clothes (outer wear vs. underwear) are home made—either hand sewn or hand knit—at times in my life, the percentage was higher, and other times lower...but I have never really stop sewing.

I try to make one or two new things a year—clothes do wear out, and get damaged.   A few(5?)  years ago I was very busy and sewed up a lot of new things—and now the time has come again to add some new stuff--some of my older (20 years +) has worn out, and I need a new influx.

So first—a new shirt dress in a bright summery print--done.   Coming soon (already pinned out) a skirt and vest in a coordinating blue solid. There is enough blue for left over for a half skirt—and I will make one—a hip yoke of the blue, and lower tier of the print. Left over scraps of both fabrics will be come small appliques on T shirts- So I will have a shirt dress—to wear as is, or with the blue vest (I also have a solid yellow vest, too!) the blue skirt can be worn on its own, or with the blue vest, same with the 2 toned skirt. The solid skirt & vest combo can be dresses up with a nice shirt—or be more casual with T shirt (lots of different color T's go with blue) or a store bought print knit shirt—I have a few of those too.

Since I started this posts, (last week) the skirt and vest have been cut--and the linings and the interfaces, too.  I have thread and buttons, and have made 2 bobbins set up too--Today I will overstitch the edgings, and iron on the interfacings.. 

A print(a vest to be) and some solids that will be skirts
My second big set will be based on a vest of this printed fabric(center) I love it!  The solids, (all cotton twills) will become skirts that are great go-withs—Reddish plum, a dark purple, dark grey and not too common color for me, a bubble gum pink—Add a few T shirts that  will get some trimming with the print—and everything will go together—I have a lot of purple accessories—so out fits can be dresses up (a dark purple skirt with a pale lilac linen shirt and hand knit silk lace scarf made from ombre yarn—will make a nice, some what dressy outfit. But the same dark purple skirt with a white T that has a purple dragon fly decal—and its a simple every day out fit.

I still have a large store of fabric—But you can never have too much, can you? There are 2 lengths of blue (one indigo, one prussian blue) that will likely become solid shirt dresses (I think I have enough print ones!) and there is always a stock of denim—some heavy stiff ones, some soft and drapy ones—that will turn into vests, and skirts and jumpers—The denims range from black, to dark indigo, to medium blue—one print remnants will become vest--(I already have 3 denim vest—but the great thing is, I can always use another!) I even stocked up on needles and thread—A few weeks of sewing, and I will be bored and will put my sewing machine away—but by then my wardrobe will have healthy injection of color!