Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Spirit Begins

Every year my friend, Jane, gives a Christmas party in the first or second week of December. She starts decorating before Thanksgiving and does an amazing job. There is a decorated tree in every room and a big one in the living room. About ten years ago, I saw the tree in Rockefeller Center. It was incredible. While her living room tree may not be quite as awesome as the one in New York City, it comes pretty close for a smaller version! There were so many people at the party that I couldn't get a full shot - unless I asked people to move which would have embarrassed me and my hostess. Instead, I took pictures of the top and bottom.
Do you see those boots sticking out? They are so cute!

I didn't finish the blouse that I planned to wear to the party until a week ago. So, what else is new? I did finish it, though. At least, I'll have a new top to wear for our family Christmas. To the party, I wore a red top, Silhouette 115, that I made last March. I was making the rounds of taking pictures of friends when hubbie took the camera and snapped a picture of me.

I love this top. It's quick and easy!! Next time I make make it, I'll take a bit off the collar. It's a little to big for my small frame.

This post was delayed by the events in Conn. It didn't seem right to write a happy post at the time. Besides, I have 3 grandchildren in Elementary School. Two of them are in Kindergarden. I had the shivers and the weather was warm here. These events reminded how precious life is. By the time I recaptured my Christmas spirit, I had to go into manic mode to get things done. I still have to sew pockets on shirts for DH and wrap a few presents. I may still be wrapping on Monday, but it will be done without too much stress.

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

SWAP this year

This year I'm going to do it. At least I'm going to try my best to stay focused on 2013 SWAP. I've rediscovered my bloging mojo while I was planning the wardrobes. I'll probably change a garment or two, but the basic plan WILL stay the same. Hopefully, I won't experience a lot of ADD! I won't repeat the 2013 SWAP rules here. They are available at at the Stitcher's Guild section.

Wardrobe 1: Squarely Chic
3 tops, 2 bottoms

Silhouette 550  tan, gold, and brown sleeveless top - This one is cut out, as the rules allow ahead of time.
V8772  brown, tan, and orange silk blouse
Silhouette 300 brown, tan, and ivory blouse
S5914 brown flannel skirt
Silhouette 3200 wool crepe pants. This is my one garment that can be done ahead. It is finished, but needs to be lined. I wish that I realized this before I added the waistband.

Wardrobe 2: Spring Dreams
2 tops, 1 bottom, 1 dress

Silhouette 300 pink teal multi silk jersey blouse with cap sleeves
Silhouette 500 ivory tank top
Silhouette 3200 tan wool crepe pants
V8824 teal wool crepe dress

 Extra Garment to go with Both Wardrobes
Collette Anise  tan wool crepe jacket

Actually, the entire 10 pieces are mix and match although the themes are different. Here are the fabrics from the two collection shown together:

Addional Spare time (LOL) Project

Self Drafted Skirt with Marina at FrabjousCouture

Additonal Commitment

Pictures of my 2012 sewing projects
Plenty of sewing, just no blogging

Happy Sewing!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Directions/Jacket Update

Thanks for your concern about my blogging absence. I've been fine. DH is getting better everyday and is returning to his usual active life. Actually, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my sewing skills. I was making some things that I liked, but making many garments that looked pretty bad to me. I particularly had difficulty as I moved into more fitted, tailored garments. I was working very hard and making only small improvements. At the rate that I was going, it would be fifty years before I felt like an accomplised seamstress. If I am lucky enough to live that much longer, I doubt seriously if I would even care. I was working very hard. I was guilty of doing the same thing and expecting different results. It was time to do something different. I pondered that issue for a while. My solutions seem to be working (at least for now). Here's what I did:

1. I added mirrors to my sewing room so I could see the front and back of my garments at the same time. After watching Peggy Sager's webcast on fitting, I asked for the 3 mirrors from Ikea for my birthday. Unfortunately, they no longer make them. When my sweet husband asked about alternatives, they were not very helpful (according to him, anyway). So, he went on a mission to find mirrors that he could put on hinges. Yes, he found them, but they were very heavy. I wanted to be able to move them out of the way. My sewing room is large, but not that large. I think that his solution was creative and continues to work for me. I have glass mirror doors on my sliding closet doors that hide my sewing stuff. He had mirrors cut to fit the wall next to the closet doors and the back of the entrance door to the room. When the door is half opened, I can see my front and back without twisting. It's a bit hard to see in the pictures because the mirrors reflect each other. I hope that you get the idea.

2. I bought a new iron which has made a big difference. One of my irons spit at me and one was so old that it didn't generate much steam. I did a lot of research and bought a Rowenta Expert. It was expensive, but worth every penny. I love it!!

3. I went to a fitting workshop. Trying to fit through the internet was killing my love of sewing. I don't fault the teachers. It was the process of repeatedly making changes and taking pictures. I learned a lot, but I still wasn't satisfied. It works for a lot of people, but not for me. I wanted to go to a recognized teacher and was saving my money (easy to do when I don't buy fabric!). Then, I saw that Peggy Sager was offering a 4 day workshop in Atlanta. The hotel was reasonable and I could drive! So...I was off to Atlanta for 4 intense, wonderful, memorable days. It took her 5 minutes to fit a jacket shell and another minute to fit the sleeve. The pants and jeans went just as fast. Wow! When I think of the frustrating hours that I spent, I get sad. My fitting skills still aren't perfect. A new pattern often takes some time, but it's much, much faster. I feel like I know what I'm doing (for the most part, anyway).

Here are the last jackets I made. I haven't finished my fitted, tailored jacket from the workshop because I needed to do some faster projects. My wardrobe was in bad shape!

Silhouette 211 is a loose fitting cardigan. It still has some shape. I also like the way the front slopes upward - great for my short figure. The fabric is from Coldwater Creek and was sold by Silhouette Patterns.

Silhouette 1850 has a kimono sleeve. It's not droopy like most kimono sleeves. The trim is added to the middle which gives it a more fitted look. Peggy wore hers at the workshop. I had to have it so here is my copy.Silhouette 1750 is a pre-workshop jacket. It fits, but the sleeve caps need improving. The jacket looks better when I'm wearing it. The workmanship is marginal but it's still a jacket that I will enjoy wearing.

LH 5201 cardigan is a wadder. It doesn't fit well. I think that I needed to add interfacing to the neck edge and front. I love LH designs. I've had trouble fitting them in the past. Don't ask me why I tried one of her patterns again. I don't know the answer. I will have to be a lot better at pattern work before I try one of her patterns again!
I'll post the other garments that I've finished in the next few weeks. Now, I'm off to work on my next sewing adventure - a cowl neck tee.

Happy Easter!