Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sewin' is Goin' on in Florida

To answer your question, Gwen, there's a lot of sewing going on down in Florida. Debbie, from Tampa on the Florida West Coast, has been sewing up a storm. She's made some cute tops and is working on fitting jean capris. Gigi, from South Florida, recently has made a couple of tops (one was originally a dress with a too tight skirt - guess it happens to all of us!) and a quilt. All of these were made from fabrics that certainly brightened my day. As for Rose (me!) from the Florida East Coast, I've been mostly playing. I've spent a lot of time seeing plays, eating out (opps-diet time!), and generally spending time with family and friends. Saturday, I watched my oldest grandson perform hip hop and acro in 4 recital programs starting at 1:00 and ending 9:30. Oh, the things that grandmas do! I enjoyed a lot of the performances from some talented students and the younger ones were so cute. Of course, my grandson, who is a real ham, did an awesome job!! I did watch the costumes closely but didn't get any ideas although some of the embellishments might work on regular garments. After sitting all that time (30 minutes is usually my limit), I was exhausted on Sunday. I wanted to sleep as long as I sat on Saturday. I didn't do that but I was moving slowly all day. I did work on clearing out my closet. Actually, I needed hangers for my current projects. It was silly to buy new ones when those unwearable clothes are taking up space in the closet. I actually threw away a bathrobe that was spot worn and so stained that it wasn't even usuable for a rag. I have a new, perfectly good robe that is so long that I trip on it. I got that hemmed - finally. I hate to mend, but don't want to make a robe right now. Silly, that I was putting off such a simple task! I discovered that I really need a couple of pairs of shorts and some more knit tops. I must get to those before too long. Also, it was clear that I need a "little white dress" (Tim Gunn's little black dress: Florida Style). Every summer I try to make one really challenging garment. Last summer it was a coat that didn't get past the muslin stage. This year I was thinking of trying V1087. There are two problems with that: (1) I need to do a dress that I know I can finish and (2) I don't have any white knit fabric. I have some ivory linen that would be perfect for a different dress.
Finally, yesterday I got down to some serious sewing. The Kwik Sew 3620 blouse is hemmed and buttonholes marked. I thought I had some red buttons but they seem to be hiding somewhere or I never bought them. I do have some white buttons that would work. I just have to decide whether to use them or go buy buttons. Here's the blouse on Dolly:
That strip down the front is masking tape to mark the buttonhole placement. I'm not sure how well that is going to work, but I'll try it this time.
Until I make the "big button decision", I'm working on BWOF 2/09 #118. Silly me, I believed that I understood the Burda instructions. I thought that it was a simple top until I got to the sleeves. I did a big "duh" and went to PatternReview to see if anyone else had made this pattern. Bless you, PR! Everyone else who reviewed it had some confusion. Fortunately, Dawn did a tutorial review. I had to read her review and the instructions side by side several times until I thought (lol) that I understood them. Here's my progress:

The sleeves start at the gathered section and, then, are sewed to a bottom section of the bodice. At first, I thought it was silly to gather a knit sleeve. Then, I pinned it on and realized that there was no way I could ease in all that fabric. Actually, I pretty proud of the gathering. I use gathering a lot and have tried multiple ways to get it smooth and even. I even bought a gathering foot for my machine. I never could get that right. I'm using Shannon Gifford's method of sewing 3 rows of basting stitches. One row is at the 5/8" seam line and two rows 1/4" on either side. That means removing basting as one row shows but it seems to hold the fabric in place.
Here's a picture of my neck edge:

I'm continuing to work on perfecting this task. This time I adapted Sarah Veblen's method to the way I attached the binding in a previous post. Instead of leaving one shoulder opened and pinning the binding on, I sewing both shoulders. I walked the binding around, stretching it a lot at the "gap places" in the back and around the lower front. I cut off quite a bit from the length recommended in the pattern. Then, I quartered the binding and blouse and sewed it on - stretching a bit more at the back where I tend to gap a lot. It worked very well. This method saves the aggravation of trying to sew that second shoulder seam even and went much faster. For the first time, I used my coverstitch machine to sew down the binding. I'm finally learning to control the stitching with my coverstitch machine! I think it turned out pretty well. Now, I have to continue on with the top and hope that I really do understand what I'm doing. You'll see the results soon!


gwensews said...

Wow--I guess there IS sewing going on in Florida! Sounds like you've been busy sewing, and otherwise. Aren't grandchildren the best? Nothing like being a gramma!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Great post :) You have some great projects on the go! I love Sarah Veblen's neck binding method and point her method to anyone who will listen :) It is just so easy and it works.

Do you have the little video?

(in case you don't ;)