Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wrapping Up Jeans

My jeans are coming! The entire process was so much easier than I expected. Why did I wait so long? I guess I just needed the encouragement of Shannon's Gifford's course on Pattern Review. I wouldn't call jeans quick and easy, but I found that taking it step by step works well. The most time consuming part of the project was finding my embroidery equipment and remembering how to embroider on my machine. I used to embroider a lot, but haven't for about two years. It's like riding a bicycle. The process comes back even though it's been a while. I have a house full of company coming for Thanksgiving so there's been a lot to get ready. Mostly, I keep the house pretty orderly (closets don't count), but I don't do the "shine and polish" thing unless company is coming. Sometimes, I don't even do it then but, after all, the holidays are coming fast. Most the time, I'd much rather stay in my sewing room, look out the window, and sew. I'm still hoping to get these jeans done to wear on Thanksgiving. It may even happen pending the number of dailey mini crises that occur. Here are pictures of the jeans so far:

Before the class started, I finished The S2603 DKNY Cozy Knockoff. I saw Heidi Klum wearing a wrap blouse in a fabric similar to the one I used. That makes this a DKNY Cozy Klum Knockoff. I will make the tank in coordinating fabric to wear with it. I bought both fabrics last year, had lots of ideas of using it, but nothing that I got excited about. The only thing I don't like about the wrap is the blank wrong side of the fabric. It doesn't show if I wear it as shown in my picture, but all the other options for wearing the wrap look goofy. I will definitely make it again in the future with more reversible fabric.

You can see that the windows are cracked in my sewing room. It's finally cool enough to turn off the air conditioner and open windows. Yea! The temperature is a wonderful, sunny 75 degrees as I write this post.
I'm not sure now how this wrap will look with my jeans. We'll see. I do have my eye on a nice black and white knit in my stash. That will go well with the jeans and is screaming to be made. I have a RTW pair of black pants that will go great with the wrap - just have to finish the top. Meanwhile, I have some purple denim from Gorgeous Fabric in the washer right now. There will be another pair of jeans in the near future. First I gotta finish the black jeans. That may happen after Thanksgiving but it will happen soon!

Monday, November 9, 2009

October Review: Muslin Month

Yikes! November is well underway. I think that it is about time to finish with October. I had another two garment month. I've already worn both tops numerous times though. I completed KS 3338 knit top (definitely a TNT). The other top was S2922. This one was planned as a wearable muslin for some nice fabric sewing in the future.

If I included muslins in my totals I would have had a very productive October. Actually, I did a lot of focused sewing. I made 4 versions of the pencil skirt muslin before I got one that fit well enough for me. Yippee!! I finally can make a pencil skirt!!! The strange thing is I love making skirts and can fit most styles with a bit of tweaking. Now I have a poster board sloper which makes pattern adjusting for any skirt go so much faster. Well, at least it was faster with the one skirt pattern I've used so far. (Actually, I'm trying not to think a lot about that skirt because I have several projects that I want to finish first. I'm actually showing a bit of discipline!) I made a muslin of the J Stern Tee which will be wearable with some finishing touches. I need purple thread to do topstitching and hemming. Of course, I thought I had some but apparently not. I'm pretty good at keeping thread organized. I must have 200 spools of thread but not a one that's purple! I also made a muslin of the Jalie Jeans. With the waist and hips fitted with the skirt sloper, I only had to do some minor tweaking for my skinny legs. I made the muslin with denim that was cheap because it had some flaws. Fortunately, I was able to cut around the flaws. I love it when that happens!!! The denim looks great and the muslin had large seam allowances. That muslin will be taken apart and made into a wearable pair of jeans in the near future. Let's see. Counting the muslins, I have 8 garments for the month. I have been working!

I have been thinking of things that help my turtle sewing pace pick up a bit. These are some things that I'm finding helpful for me. They may not be new or particularly helpful for everyone.
1. Using a clapper more often on seams, not just the bulky ones. In other words, I press less and clap more. It seems like garments are going together more easily.

2. Checking the fit as I go along. This is one of the things that takes time to save time. Even with a TNT pattern, the fabrics seem to fit a little differently. If I do something wrong, the sooner that I find the mistake, the less time it takes overall.

3. I sew at my most productive time which is early morning. I can seldom just sew all day (love it when I can!!!). I've been in the habit of doing the stuff I have to do first to get them out of the way (errands, laundry, dishes, basically any chore that is not sewing). I just have to force myself to stop sewing and do the adult responsible things.

4. When cutting, I need to remember to check the second layer of fabric to be sure that I clipped the notches. I had a tendancy to not cut the bottom layer and it's a pain to have to go back and check for notches later.

5. I now measure the geometric pieces like straight waistbands and belt loops and cut them with a ruler and rotary cutter. (tip from Shannon Gifford). Burda usually does this anyway in their patterns. For some unknown reason, the big 4 even give a pattern for elastic rather than giving measurements. I don't know why I never thought about this big time saver.

Well, I'm off the audition pocket sizes for my jeans! They are beginning to look like actual jeans. I can hardly wait to finish them.