Sunday, June 8, 2014

Red hot denim- thanks to the Coco Fires!

I am still trying to decide if I want a skirt or shorts made from the yard of red fabric I bought several weeks ago. I found this lucious red denim during the week we had fires in my neighborhood. If your were following the news it was called the Coco Fires! Coco like Coco Chanel- a foreshadow ing of my future(hehe)! Why stress out about something you have no control over? So, my husband and I hi-tailed it up to Santa Barbara in my little blue convertable BMW125i, and I found this little fabric store on State Street called Fine Fabrics. 

You know you are in an expensive shop when they don't display prices! My first selection of fabric was 179.00 dollars per yard. No. Not happening. Not yet anyway. Then, I nonshalantly mosied over to the yard ends basket feeling a little defeated over the $179.00 fabric find. In that little basket, I found some Italian shirting and this red denim with hints of gray fibers running through it. It was silky smooth to the touch. Bingo! A shirt and a skirt! Yes! 

After four days at the stress free Fess Parker Hotel across the street from the beach, the fire department finally lifted the mandatory evacuation for my neighborhood. My husband and I got back into my car and hi-tailed back home. I do mean hi-tailed, too! My husband drives like Mario! 

The Coco fires proved to be inspirational in many ways. First, be thankful for what you have and the people around you. I have great neighbors. We supported one another throughout the duration of the fires sharing our thoughts about what we had no control over on Facebook. We were all in the same boat. Secondly, out of a potentailly stressful situation it is possible to find a way to relax. For me it was fabric shopping; while shopping, I am always imagining and hoping. That day I was hoping that I would be able to go home eventually to my sewing machine that my husband calls the "Cadillac" and make something amazing with this fabric I found. 

Now sitting at the "Cadillac," I am preparing to cut into this gorgeous red denim. I think I have decided to do a skirt. I love shorts, but I am in the mood for a skirt. Less seaming and I'll have a better chance of getting it done in the next few weeks. I'll save the fancy sewing for the Italian gray shirting! 

Out of a stressful event, something peacful emerged! As I think back, I didn't intentionally set out to make something red like the fires buring in a dark sky, or gray like the ash that fell and left a blanket of it all over the place. The Coco Fire inspired a week of creativity and hope. Now, time to make it work!

Friday, September 27, 2013

If you want a basic, straight forward pattern, this is it! This is a super easy maxi dress that doesn't take long to sew. I finished it in a day. The marriage of fabulous fabric and pattern is what made this dress turn out nicely. The sizing for this dress runs true to the measurements. I did not make any adjustments to it at all. This dress looks like the picture of the pattern. It doesn't sag either. Sometimes wrap dress open too much in the front. I don't have this problem with this design. This dress is great for a beginner or an advanced seamstress. It is always nice to sew up a dress that looks fab and feels fab too! The instructions were extremely easy to follow, and it went together quickly. Best thing about this pattern is that it is well written, and a guarantee that will look great on many types of figures. I always hit a home run when I buy fabric from Emmaonesock. com. I love vibrant colors, and I don't always have time to get to a fabric store because of work. That makes Emmaonesock convenient for a working seamstress like myself. The only pattern change I made is lining the dress. I used the short version of this dress for the lining. You can see the bright yellow in the pictures. I have found that you cannot see the lining unless I pose silly. I didn't want to do a full length lining because I wanted to make it light and airy. The lining is a mesh fabric. Full length lining would make the dress heavy, and in the sunlight, you can see the silhouette of my legs! My hubby enjoys that special effect! If you're looking for an easy dress to sew up, this is it! It is a basic design that I think most women would look fabulous in. Also, light , airy fabric helps the dress hang nicely, and keeps it comfortable to walk in.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fast and fabulous fiesta top! eHP1142

I finally made a quick top last week. It sat in my closet all this past week and I finally wore it yesterday! It seems like every project I have been doing lately takes forever. I love to sew something that I can complete in an afternoon, like it, and wear it soon afterwards. It doesn't happen often, but when it does-Yahoo! So a little info about the construction of this top: This top was easy to make. I did not follow directions because I almost never do! I did read several reviews about this pattern company before on which I found extremely helpful. Most of the pattern reviews say that the patterns run big-yes this particular one did as well. I have made a top before a few years ago from this company- I like the edgey styles, but the construction of the pattern peices don't always go together very well. After I started this top, I remember that I had to do some major adjustments to a top I made a few years ago. It was made of a fabulous, expensive sweater fabric, however, it was not comfortable. I liked the idea- it needed a lot of tweaking. I don't have time to tweak. I am a 2-4 in commercial sizes. Because I knew this top probably ran big, I took off an inch all the way around. I downloaded this top from Hot Pattern's website, and I didn't see the pattern piece for the neck. The directions had you cut two more pieces neccessary for the armbands. So, I made my own pieces for both the armband, and neck. I actually used the banded v-neck technique from the book The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques written by Lynda Maynard. It recommends that you use this technique on wovens, but I interfaced the silk jersey with a great stabilizer and it worked just fine. Other changes I made to this top were-I eliminated the back seam and cut it on the fold. I don't see the need for a seam down the back anyways. I had a beautiful silk jersey that I purchased from, and I didn't want to interrupt the design. I used my serger mostly for seaming, and then used my sewing machine to do the details on top. My Artista 180 is in the shop getting a new faceboard(ouch!), so I have been using my mechanical Bernina 55 that I got to teach sewing lessons to my little ones on. So far, I have liked how the machine has sewed. It has handled the jersey very well. Overall, I like the style of this top, and I think it goes well with skinny jeans. I don't always like tight tops, and loose fitting tops during the summer feel better to me. I caution you to piece the pattern together first, and check to see if you have all the pattern peices, too, if you use a pattern from this company. I will probably make this top one more time because there is a style change idea I have-ruching. Happy sewing, Timi

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inspiration and the result!

Dolce and Gabanna- the inspiration and the result!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished- at least for now. This dress took so much time. The first one always seems to anyway. I have learned much on this great adventure. First, that I have every conceivable answer to sewing issues in my own personal library- now if I just had the time to read them all. I was in the just- do- it- mode for a while. Then, things started getting tricky.

Sewing is just one big problem to be solved. That is, if you aren't using a pattern! I realized after the fact that I should have used fusible lining for the interlining. That would of helped with the fraying. Tweed unravels so quickly. It can become a mess. I secured the edges as much as possible. Next time, I will try the fusible lining. However, just for the bodice. I ended up liking the body the silk gave the dress in the skirt. Plus, then it is easy to make the fringe at the end. This would not be possible with fusible lining.

The dress turned out to be very pretty. I thought that it would be much easier. I used a lot of hand stitching. Lining the dress, trimming, and pressing took so much time. It is hard to factor that in. The dress only had 5 pattern pieces which I drafted myself. I made a muslin afterward. The whole process took about two weeks total. When I looked at the original picture with Jennifer Aniston, I though the dress would be a piece of cake.

It was no cake. I enjoyed the process though. I left the fringe long on my dress for now. I may cut it. I need to have a fresh pair off hands when I do it though. My husband likes the fringe long. Proportionally, I am not sure. It may get tangled longer too. What do you think? Long or short fringe? I like the pink tweed for the summer. I also did not make the skirt as tight as Jennifer's. Maybe that might look good for the black one I make next time. I want to wear this dress to a wedding and a military ceremony for a new museum. My butt doesn't need to be the highlight either. The fringe is sassy enough!

SO, this is the second dress I have designed myself. This one was fun. It is encouraging when something turns out right. It makes you want to do it again! Thanks for reading and happy sewing to you!

tick tock...

Okay, here goes the zipper. I have the lining in. First, I decided to put seam binding around the armholes because the tweed unravels and I feel it needed more support. Now, I need to put int he zipper. I would have liked to do an invisible zipper however, I did not find the right color. I suppose I could have used white. But, I am picky about things like that! So, in by hand it goes!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking shape...

So, it has been a few hours since I last posted. Ugh! Ironing and picking out stitches-not fun. I don't mind ironing actually. I could iron all day. Picking out little stitches-not!

The dress is really beginning to take shape. I am really liking it. I am not sure how I am going to handle the neck and armholes. I haven't used facing and may not choose to. When I took the LBD class on Pattern Review it was suggested to leave out hte facings and go directly to lining. However, with tweed, I am concerned about the stretching. I may do a little research before the lining goes in.