After Christmas I am going to finally get myself a new sewing machine, my poor basic Kenmore has been with be since for 10 years but it hasn’t wanted to really cooperate for a large chunk that time. I am looking forward to spending more time sewing rather that yelling at my machine. Thankfully my grandmother’s singer has helped me survive to this point but it is only a straight stitch and need a little bit of versatility.
I am looking for any and all suggestions from you other sewer’s out there. What do you like or not like? I really stick to sewing clothing, accessories and some home dec. I have no need for embroidery and quilting features. I use industrial machines at work so I am use to something that has speed and power.
I have always heard wonderful things about Bernina however my only experiences with them have not been great at all…
Brother of course in another brand that everyone raves about but I have not used them. I have really enjoyed a couple of Janome’s.
help! Are you missing anything on your machine that you would really like or were surprised by something you thought you would never use?
I have been on a skirt kick and have lately been oogling some quilted variations.
I think during these chilly winter months a nice thicker skirt with some great tights and boots is so much fun.
I am hoping after Christmas to get to work sewing my own. Luckily I have found a treasure trove of quilted and matelasse fabrics that I think will work just fine although they are technically labeled as home dec fabrics.
What do you think of these?
I was hoping that as a sewist I would be able to escape such terrible fate… but knew it would catch up to me some day. Today, Friday the 13th it did. An industrial Singer straightstitch complete with OSHA required finger guard managed to stab right through my nail and out the pad of my finger.
OOOOOOOOUUUUCHHHHH. I always heard the stories of you my fellow sewing enthusiasts and have always felt lucky that I had yet to sew through my own finger. I like to think that I am fully initiated into this awesome sewing club now. But still ow, ow, owwww.
Anywho, I would love some tips on speeding the healing.
It has been a couple of weeks since our big move and we are getting settled in to our new apartment.
Here is a sneak peak at me new sewing room!
I still have some cleaning and organizing but it is getting there. I now have a large closet to house my fabrics, however that little pup-pup keeps climbing right in and helping himself.
Most of this was just transplanted from my last apartment but I want to share the older posts on the curtains and cutting/pressing table.
I also wanted to share this fantastic print called “Alice’s Sewing Basket” from artist Jillian Nickell. I bought the print at the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly last spring but finally found a frame and got a mat cut for it. Looking back at her etsy page now I remember how much I enjoy all of her work, hmmm I may need to purchase some more of her prints.
The moving process has been quite successful and I may be able to share the new living room with you soon but I still need to pick up a few more pieces (great craigslist coffee table coming today!) So check back soon.
I have been in the midst of packing to move so I have been quite busy and probably won’t have too many frequent posts for a while until we get settled in to our new place in upstate NY.
Anyway while thinking about the unavoidable cold winter I decided that I would like a new coat. A purple coat that is! While I have been sorting and packing I uncovered a pattern that I already have – Simplicity 2311. Thankfully I have a nice heavier fabric to do a mock up so I am sure I will be updating when I get there.
Ideally, I wanted this project to be fairly low cost and thankfully found some wool in my stash. It was actually a heavy woven drapery wool that the designer gave to me from work. I love when the remnants are too small for most home dec projects but just right for clothing!
The only problem was the natural creaminess of the fabric:
Now I figured alright – free wool I can try to dye this right? Well I figured something like this I should do a little research since my extensive dyeing knowledge involves throwing a box of RIT in the wash…
Most people recommend acid dyes for wools and I found Dharma Trading offered quite a selection of colors. Frankly when push came to shove I didn’t feel like ordered the dye and after consulting my dear friend Robin from Sew Loud I just went with the Rit anyway.
The person who wrang me out at Joann’s even tried to talk me out of using the Rit on the wool but I I read the instructions carefully and was determined with enough heat and vinegar I would make this work!
Now THAT is purple!
I am in love with the color it turned out to be – I used 2 bottles of the purple with a half bottle of wine. I used the washing machine as a large tub and let it fill with hot water while I use a broom handle to carefully agitate the dye bath to help the color stay even. I did not want to accidently felt the wool so I had to carefully choose my settings to let it rinse and drain. Thankfully due to a very wet basement and washer issues in the past we have a manual washer where you can turn the dial and have much more control over the machine versus one of those fancy HE machines. Warning to anyone with a moist basement… don’t get a washer that is automated because the sensors will short out in a year or two…
Alrighty that is it for today and I will keep you posted on WINTER COAT PROJECT 2013.
Seriously I have been trying to update but WordPress just does not agree with me all of the time. Is it firefox maybe?
Anyway, last time we chatted I had made my pseudo victorian corset for the upcoming festivities… which happened to be today!
So in a few short weeks I had to make my bustle cage plus the actual outfit… I went sans petticoat (this is a judgement free zone so please don’t be shocked.)
bustle cage check! Super easy and took half an hour! pretty much just made a large trapezoid and sewed channels – popped in more cable ties and added ribbon to tie the edges together (making rounded shape.) Added a ruffle and a waist band and called it a day.
pretty sure a proper victorian lady would also wear gym shorts…
I looked at a lot of fashion plates pictures trying to come up with a design for my outfit. I love the more tailored look of the late bustle period so I aimed for something like that.
I am much shorter than my dress form so the proportions are off but you get the idea. It was a new idea for me to flat-line rather than bag-line the jacket. The fabric was stretchy so flat-lining would give it more of the body I wanted, thankfully I thought of the easiest/quickest way to flat-line while giving me the look I wanted – thank you fusible black woven interfacing.
My facings were just quickly cut from scraps and I slap-dashed the rest of the jacket together. Historically it should have been boned in a few places but I just added boning on the side seams (whipped under the seam allowance.)
I also love playing with the subtle stripes!
In conclusion – I had a super fabulous time playing dress up and making this outfit. I did kind of a slap-dash job near the end but I didn’t have to go naked to the party and it was my first shot a historic costume. I did do a lot of research for inspiration and trying to plan out seam lines but obviously this was also loosely based on history, we will just call it my interpretation.
Woohoo, I am well on my way to building the proper foundation for my bustle dress.
In my last post I showed my mock-up but now I actually have a lacing corset ready.
I am getting terrible light right now so apologies for the crappy pic!
I used cotton duck and faced the corset with a white sateen and added ivory sateen boning channels.
This was a fun project that just shows what boning really does to a garment.
This pic was taken before the grommets were in (just used knit fabric in the back.) The right side of the picture (my left) has cheapy cable ties as bones whiles the left side is unboned for the moment. The job of the boning is to keep the fabric from collapsing and wrinkling, you can see quite the difference between the two sides.
For my binding I wanted to add a little lace trim on top. I cut 1.5″ bias strips and sewed my lace on with using the edge of my presser foot as a guide.
Once the lace was sewn on I pressed the seam allowance back to the edge of seam (1/4″) and then pressed the remaining side in to meet raw edges.
Fold and pressed at the edge joint and voila!
Trim that can be topstitched on in one step! The folding method leaves a large enough lip on the wrong side that you won’t have to worry about catching it with your topstitching.
Of course after sewing the binding on I realized that I had initially put a bone in my placket hiding my zipper… and it fell out. Soo my placket isn’t quite as lovely and wrinkle free as I had hoped but I may go back quickly pop it back in, we’ll see. I am still pretty pleased with my end result.