Thursday, July 30, 2020

Successes in Anti-Racism Activities

Sewing supply vendors:
With the boycott of JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s and the big four pattern companies, a message is being sent to sewing supply sources that do not actively support diversity. The best result of this, for me, is awareness of other sources for fabric purchase.

A vendor list of diversity supporters  is available on Jacinta's instagram feed which offers  a wide range shopping opportunities. My caftan is Seamwork Micah#seamworkmicah made from gorgeous fabric from a new-to-me-fabric store, chizzyafrique which offers good service, quality fabric, fair prices and just happens to be black owned – an added bonus! I’ve browsed through many other stores on the list that offer exciting shopping opportunities.

Awareness of black pattern makers:  One good one is the goddess gown by Iviye.   I have the pattern and look forward to sewing it.

Increased anti-racism instagram acitivity : Black Makers Matter provides a resource for black sewists and an opportunity to discover new talent for the rest of us. Thanks to Meg and Loni, our Saturday evening happy hour has provided many resources and inspiration. These include resources for contributions to fight racism. I and many others have donated.

One of the future instagram live videos  is a discussion of the book  “Pageants,” Parlors and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the 20th century” on Jacinta's instagram grid on Saturday, August 29 at 11:00 PST.

Discovering black authors – a few of these are:
“Piecing Me Together” by Renee Watsen. She is an excellent writer who tells about a black girl’s experience in an all white school. The book is fiction, but could be non-fiction.
“Liberated Threads” by Tanisha Ford. This is a detailed book about the how and why black women from New York City to Johannesburg integrated style and beauty into their activism. Although I’ve studied a lot of history, I still leaned a lot from this well written and organized book.
Any book written by Ibram X Kendi. He has an excellent video onTed Talks.

Increased awareness of police brutality and racist actions. Locally, our police department has started a training program and is establishing a citizen’s advisory board. How is this working? We’ll have to see, but it’s the right direction.

Diversity in the schools: Although required by law, our local schools dp have a non-discrimination policy. The equity office is monitoring current plans for students returning to school.

Some candidates for city council and school board in our local August primary are including the importance of diversity in their campaigns. They have my vote!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

"Tops That Pop" Sew-Along

Faye Lewis at Faye's Sewing Adventure organized a top sew-along-long for the last 2 weeks in April. She got my sewing mojo going so I made 3 tops and started a 4th one. I enjoyed the sewing, sharing, and seeing the impressive tops that others made.  Although my tops are simple to sew, I already have worn them a lot and received many treasured compliments. You know the ones -"Where did you buy that?" and "I can't believe that you sewed that".

First up is the Closet Case Ebony Tee. This pattern definitely is included in my small stash of favorite tees.The only change that I made in the pattern was to add 2.5" to the cropped version. I cut this cotton jersey on the cross grain and was afraid that it would stretch. After several wearings, it's still good.

This last picture is my "How does this remote work?" picture. It's been a while since I took pictures of myself.

The second top is the Named Inari Crop Tee made in a knit. I added a little over 5 inches in length. I liked the style, but didn't want such a cropped look. I didn't make any other adjustments, but will raise the armholes slightly next time. Also, I'll topstitch the top of the cuffs down. They tend to flop down, in a knit anyway, which you can see in the picture if you look closely. My serging is fairly neat so it doesn't look bad - just could look better, I may fix this top when I have black thread on my machine or maybe just leave it. The only challenging part was cutting out the fabric for design placement and matching the seams the best that I could.

The third top is the Grainline Willow Tee Dress, made in a cropped tank. I've made this top twice before in wovens (not blogged) and love it. There are no adjustments other than I tried it in a stable knit. I was happy that it worked fine.

I'm working on a 4th top but this is it for now.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Toddler Backpack For ME

I fell in love with Lauren's backpack as soon as I saw it on her blog. It is the perfect size for running errands around town and keeping everything secure. Plus, there are so many pockets that I can keep everything organized to avoid digging through my purse. I've gotten more compliments and questions about where I "bought" it than any item I have ever made. I guess I shouldn't be so concerned about my sewing skills since no one seems to notice it's handmade.

To start, I searched the web to see if I could find something similar that I liked.  Finally, I just called Craft South and ordered the fabric and most of the other goodies. I actually got to talk to Lauren who collected everything for me. Talk about easy! Then, the easy part stopped. I should have known if Ladybird said this bag was a lot of work, it would take me forever. Well, it took 4 months off and on between other projects. The backpack is not difficult, but the fabric is thick and a lot of pockets were added. I am proud that I figured out how to make and install all those pockets.

I made my backpack exactly like Lauren's except for the colors of the zippers (used what I had on hand) and the addition of a coin purse that was simple to make. Locating coins for purchases quickly is a major nuisance for me. Now, I don't have any problem! The coin purse is removable so I can use it with other purses. I won't go into the details because Lauren explains everything so well on her blog. I will show you pictures of my beloved backpack.

Now, I'm working on my first pair of Ginger Jeans and trying to decide what bra to make next. There are so many choices! I'm developing a rather large bra supply section of Rose's at-home "fabric Store".

Happy Sewing!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Adventures with Marlborough Bras

I'm in love with the Marlborough Bra Pattern! I've wanted to make a bra for what seems like forever.
My first completed project for 2017 was my second Marlborough bra.

I used stretch lace from my stash and a turquoise findings kit from Bra Makers Supply. This bra went together A LOT faster than the first one. As you can see in the back view, I goofed with my measurements for the back band or, more likely, didn't insert the strap elastic properly. Because I am so slow blogging, I have had several opportunities to wear the bra. My mistake does not effect the fit and does not show through my clothes. I'd rather make a new bra than do some finicky ripping and resewing. I'll remember to check carefully next time. This lace has a bit more stretch than my first one and is even more comfortable.

Number 1 bra was in process when I started reading some negative blog comments about the Marborough. I did spend a lot of time with the muslins. After all the fitting, I made a size 36 DD although my measurements, according to the pattern, stated a size 34C. The first muslin was a joke! I have a unique body. Yes, everyone has a unique body but mine is REALLY unique as you can see from the recommended size compared to the one that I used. I cannot buy a bra that comes close to the the comfort and fit of the ones that I made. Once I got the right size, the cups and bridge fit perfectly. I did use a smaller size 38 underwire as the larger ones for my size were too big. I'm glad that I bought a variety of underwire sizes and tested those before making the final  bra.I almost gave up on this fitting process and just wait until I could go to a bra fitting pro. I'm glad that I continued because I'm so happy with the results. I will say that the bras fit better on my body than my self-made dress form. I know that I need to make some adjustments, especially around the arms/shoulder and the girls are too low on the form. That generally does not cause a problem fitting garments, but it does with bras. Maybe, I'll fix it one day. I'd just rather spend my precious sewing time making other things.

One thing about the comfort did cause me problems. If I am active working in the house or the garden, the underwires bother me. If I'm doing minor activity or sitting/standing, I can wear these bras all day without noticing I have a bra on.

There are some helpful tips from Lauren that I used along with great instructions with the pattern. Overall, the sewing was slow with the first one, but I didn't have any problems. I probably should not have used lace for my first bra, but I want what I want regardless of the challenge. I did use a kit from Taylor Made Supply which helped me collect  the supplies that I needed for the first time around.

Here are pictures of my first bra that I made in November/December last year.

I definitely will make more Marborough bras, but I'd like to try some other patterns also. What will I make next? I may try the Boyston since it is drafted without an underwire.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Charity Sewing, Garment Labels, and Vacation

I don't have my new camera in operation yet. Partly, that's because we had major house construction and vacation as soon as tax season was finished. Mostly, I have put off dealing with it. That's sad because the camera was expensive and the backlog of finished projects is increasing steadily. My quest for better pictures has, so far, resulted in no pictures. I'd just prefer to sew. :)

Anyhow, one finished project  was photographed on my dress form. My hubbie belongs to a charity group and asked me to make 3 aprons for women who were going to sell raffle tickets at a fund raising dinner. Sure, I say. Really, aprons can't be difficult. So, I go off to spend some time with Mr. Google and found a beautiful apron that appeared easy to sew. Then, I asked him what size I should use for the aprons. Naturally, he didn't know. He had only met one of the women and never met the other 2. He just said that the one woman was "bigger than" me. That's great. I'm 5'1" and weigh 115 lbs. There are a lot of sizes "bigger than" me. Also, he didn't want anything as "complicated" as the apron I picked. In addition, he wanted 3 pockets - one for raffle tickets, one for sold raffle tickets, and one for money. I finally decided to just create my own one size fits all sort of apron. He wanted to buy the fabric to make sure the fabric was something that showed up in the room. So, he went off to JoAnne's armed with 50% off coupon. He came home saying that he couldn't believe how much he saved with the coupon. The best part of this project is his understanding of how I am a sucker for discount coupons The fabric is gorgeous - just ravels when you look at it. Yes, it was a beast to sew. I'm grateful that I have a serger that hung in there with me for three of these gems.

To make the aprons, I cut 2 yards for each apron and cut a hole in the center that was big enough for 2 of my heads (My head is small- I buy hats in the tween shop.) Then, I serged around the hole and the outside of the fabric.  For the pockets, I serged around a rectangle, sewed it on when I thought hands could reach, and sewed 2 straight lines to make the 3 pockets. It worked out just fine. In fact, everyone had a good time buying raffle tickets from the "golden girls". The group made a lot of money!!

Yea!! I finally have garment labels from The Dutch Label Shop . That's thanks to Lori  who had a discount code for the shop. Y'all know how I can't resist those discounts codes.

The top is Grainline's Willow that I will blog about one of these days. It's a great pattern.

Finally, here's one of the photos from our May vacation. It was taken from our hotel room in Ormond Beach, FL. I love the beach and can't resist sharing this relaxing view!!

I'm off to cut batting for a back pack. The fabric is due to arrive next week. Then, I will print that camera manuel and, maybe, even look at it.

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Seamwork Oslo

Well, it's been almost 4 months since my last post. I do have pictures from my Oslo that I sewed during the Christmas holidays. My aim was to work on my editing skills with the photos. The result was no editing and no posts. Instead of waiting any longer, I'm showing the pictures without any editing. I haven't given up on improving my photography and editing skills. I've just decided that I'll wait until I have more time for a concentrated effort. I got through a challenging tax season, took off for a wonderful vacation week at the beach, and went straight into renovating a number of rooms in my house. The renovations are still going on, but my part has slowed down a little. I did manage to sew a cardigan and 3 tops. During stressful times, it helps me to do a little bit of sewing. I'm amazed at how much I got finished just sewing a little here and there.I have a new camera and want to get that working before I take photos. The plan is to work with the camera next week.  I miss blogging!

I wore my Oslo so much this winter that I've almost worn it out. I'm glad that I did take pictures in January. The cardigan is a copycat from Lori at Girls in the Garden. The fabric is a plush sweater knit from StyleMaker Fabrics, one of my favorite fabric sources. The fabric was a breeze to sew and the pattern is fast and easy to sew. I finished it in a couple of hours and I am a slow sewer. I made size large without any alterations needed. It is a tad too big, but perfect to wear over a variety of garments.

The sleeves can be pushed up which is the way I usually wear the cardigan. The last picture shows the way I wore it during the cold weeks we had in Florida, It is not hard to hold it closed. I haven't gotten around to sewing my long-planned coat so the Oslo came to the rescue! The fabric is super soft, cuddly, and warm.

I plan to be back soon. Until then, happy sewing!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Grainline Lark Tee: Christmas/Valentine's Day

I made this version of the Grainline Lark Tee before Christmas. I'm just posting now in time for Valentine's Day. Opps! I've been busy but not THAT busy. So, what happened? The delay in posting occurred because I decided to do indoor pictures with some serious editing. It's pretty sad when I read through Photoshop Elements for Dummies and still couldn't get it. Then, I started a  Adobe Lightroom 30 day trial. I opened Photoshop once and haven't been able to open it since. I cleaned my computer  C drive- that didn't help. Adobe technical support just sends me download information. I did the update for the program- that didn't help. So many people love lightroom despite the $8.99 a month charge. I'm not paying for something when I can't even open one of the programs. Talk about technical/editing challenged!!  After tax season, I'll give may editing skills another chance. I will get it even if I have to ask my grandson for help.  Of course, that remote wire has to go since editing it out probably is impossible. I do have a new camera that uses a lens and wireless remote. That will help with the need for editing (I hope!!). Meanwhile, I have a backlog of posts to do. You can see my poor editing attempts and unedited photos.

Now, let's look at my Lark Tee, V necked version.

I wore this top a lot during the Christmas holiday season.  I probably will wear it for Valentine's Day unless a dress makes more sense for what we do.

At the same time, there are some fitting issues for future Larks. I'll get out my tape measure and consider using a smaller size at the top. If I keep the same size, I'll raise the shoulder 1/2" and reduce the side seam a bit just under the armhole. The armscye is too big! Definite changes are 1" sway back adjustment and 1" shorter in length. The long sleeve needs to shortened 2 and a half inches. When I have red thread on my machine, I'll make the adjustments that I can on this version. Meanwhile, I just enjoy wearing it! It's such a comfortable top.

The tee shirt is a simple make. I continue to look for a pattern that fits like I want. I definitely will give the Lark another try. I need a TNT Tee pattern. I wear tee shirts a lot. They are a quick make. Once I get the fit, I'll make a bunch of them.

Happy Sewing!