Monthly Archives: March 2010

“Quick” gift for Nanny

So my son’s nanny’s birthday was this weekend.  Stupid Yahoo calendar did not remind me in time and I had to think of a quick gift for her.  She is the most amazing nanny.  She is loving to my son and my son just adores her.  I get stopped on the street by complete strangers all the time who have seen her with my son during the week and who tell me how awesome she is.  Really!

Last year, I made her this scarf. 

Anne's Scarf


Scarf, end detail

This year I wanted to do something a little different and this silk charmeuse remnant from Kashi remnant bin at Metro Textile was just the thing.   This remnant was just a little over 1 yd at about 45 inches wide, a perfect scarf size, and it feels so luxurious.

The only problem was…  I do not own a rolled hem foot.  How to do a rolled hem without a rolled hem foot?  Hmmm…   Well, that’s where Pattern Review comes in.  I posted a question on the message board at 4:30pm today and received answers right away.  Both respondents told me to stay stitch 1/2 inch in from the edge of the scarf, press a crease at the stitching line on the inner side, cut close to the stitching line and roll the hem in.  Then stitch the hem closed, rolling as you go. 

So I was all set tonight to work on the scarf after Jack went to bed.

The only other problem was…  I did not have any scraps on which to practice this new to me technique.  What to do?  Thankfully, my remnant had a rather wide selvedge, so I practiced a couple of times on the selvedge and thought to myself, “no time like the present.”  And I just started my rolled hem.

I changed only one thing to the method described above: I pressed the rolled hem so that it would be easier to sew.  I pressed one side at a time and then sewed that side.  I used silk thread and can I just take a moment to say that working with silk thread was just divine?  My sewing machine loved it.  She just purred along the entire time.  Lovely!

So here are some pictures…  Nothing too exciting, but I am quite pleased with an evening’s research and work.  Now I just need to get her a pin to go with it!

finished scarf for the nanny

rolled hem detail


Happy sewing!


And a fabulous time was had by all

So I finished my dress at 2am Thursday evening/Friday morning and was so excited about it that I couldn’t get to sleep until 3am.  I manically sewed from 8:20pm until 2am.  There were no breaks.  There was no TV or computer.  (ok, maybe I checked my email a couple of times, but honestly I was a slave to this dress)

I wore it to work and everyone there loved it. 

And then I wore it out to lunch with fellow sewist Trena and her entourage, Peter, Mikhaela, and Clio.  It was a cold and blustery day, but I was determined to wear my trench coat and dress.  I froze my assets off but it was worth it.  Fashion is always worth it.   😉

Then we attacked the garment district with a vengeance.  Everywhere we went, people snapped our pictures.  Ok, it was really Peter, but we felt special nonetheless.  We started out at Paron’s.  As I had just been there a couple of weekends ago with Karen, I did not purchase anything there.  Next we strolled over to SIL Thread.  Boy do they have a lot of thread and lots of other notions.  I snared myself some snaps and paint for Thor’s camp shirt.

Then we ambled over to Spandex House.  As usual I was blinded by the dayglo selection of the performance fabrics.  But I did walk out of there with this cute brown print.  I loves me some prints, I sure do.

Next on the agenda was the fabric extravaganza known as Kashi of Metro Textiles.  I raided Kashi’s remnant bin and snagged some choice fabrics.  The silk charmeuse will be a new scarf for Jack’s nanny.  Her birthday is this weekend.  The pink pique seems perfect for a little girl, as does the floral cotton voile.  The fuschia print will be another addition to the work wardrobe. 

silk charmeuse remnant

pink cotton pique

floral cotton voile

fuchsia print knit

My main purchase at Kashi’s were 3 yds of the black with pink/gray floral knit.  This will finally be the fabric for the DVF wrap dress I’ve been dying to make, V8379

After I had already paid for my loot, I fell for one of Trena’s purchases, a cherry red stretch twill.  Every woman needs a red pencil skirt in her wardrobe, right?

It was a fun day of shopping and walking around in my fabulous new dress.  Trena and I finished off the day with a great dinner at a super delicious Indian restaurant in my hood.  I was stuffed.  We forgot to take pictures, but I think there are enough pictures out in the blogosphere documenting the day already.

I asked my sister to snap a couple more pictures of my dress today.  I hope you won’t mind indulging me.  This is my third rendition of Simplicity 3678.  You might recall I was going to use view B’s three quarter length sleeves.  Yeah, well, I remembered that after I cut out the short sleeves.  Instead of gathering, I used pleats on the front of the dress.  And apparently I did not use the modified back skirt pattern as I needed to add an inverted pleat on the back too in order to match the length of the back empire waist band.  But despite these glitches (and nearly serging off a piece of the midriff band), I really like my dress.  I love the print and color palette.  Of course, as I am wont to do, I am second guessing my pattern placement with the border print, but what’s done is done.  I still can’t believe I sewed it all in one night.

Anyway, I had a great time seeing Trena again and meeting up with her entourage.  Very fun day!

Happy sewing everyone!

I picked the red border print

But not just because my mom chose it.    😉

I thought the pattern of the border print fit my dress style better and was more user-friendly.  I cut it out last night and am ready to sew all night tonight.  I may be tired tomorrow, but it will be worth it.  I had to laugh when Carolyn asked if I had a date tomorrow.  I do have one, but not the kind she was asking about.  Although if we’re all being honest here, I think I may be ready to dip my toe into those waters yet once again.  Maybe in a month or two. 

I’ll tell you all about Friday sometime this weekend.  Patience is a virtue my friends.

And more from the honesty corner…  I was happily cutting out my dress last night and contemplating how I placed the border print and making sure there were no “bull’s-eyes” and all when I decided that I wanted a different motif on my sleeves.  I thought what the heck, I have enough fabric, I’ll cut a second set out to highlight the border part of the border print.  I was all proud of myself for my design genius when I realized that I used the short sleeve pattern pieces and had completely forgotten about using the view B 3/4 length sleeve pattern pieces.  Doh!  Well, guess I am making the same exact dress as the last two after all. 

Although I think it will look completely different using a border print, so I don’t think anyone will notice it’s the same pattern.  At least I hope so.  I am also going to make one teeny tiny change to the pattern, courtesy of the genius of Patti: I am going to change the gathering on the front (underneath the empire band) to pleats to reduce the maternity look of the dress. 

I can’t wait to sew tonight!!!  I set up my serger and my sewing machine last night with the right threads and needles so I can just start sewing right away.  I’m going to stay away from the computer and the tv and just get to work.  And hopefully, momma will have a new dress for Friday!

Happy sewing everyone!

Still here, but…

I had a minor catastrophe with Thor’s shirt and my serger.  It stopped me in my tracks for a while, but I think it’s pretty minor and will not be noticed in the end. 

However, momma needs a new dress for Friday (I’ll tell you why afterwards — don’t want to spoil the surprise) so I am going to revisit Simplicity 3678 again.  But this time with a killer border print and using view B’s (top right) sleeves.  I will again take out the back gathers and I am going to try to take out some of the maternity look inducing front gathers.  As Karen and Carolyn know, I have been racking my brains and my pattern stash for a new knit dress pattern.  However, I kept coming back to the sleeves on this pattern and because I have made it 2.5 times before, I hope it will be a quick and fast project.  *fingers crossed*

Simplicity 3678

this one?

or this one???

Keep me in your thoughts tonight and tomorrow night.  Happy sewing everyone!

Lots of progress!

Wow, either I am getting better at this sewing thing or this is just a speedy project.  After all it is a teeny tiny little shirt.  Did I mention that it was small too?  Tonight I assembled the collar and stand.

Then I attached it.

Then I attached the sleeves and sewed up the side seams.

Thank you for all your kind comments and suggestions on my last post about the matching.  I actually feel a lot better about my matching today.  Sometimes you just need some time to get some perspective.  Right?

I changed the order of construction a little bit.  (Aren’t I all grown up now?)  The instructions said to sew the shirt hem before sewing up the side seams and I thought that was silly.  Of course, now that I am typing this, I am worrying that I got too cocky and maybe should have followed the letter of the law.  Oh well, I can’t worry about it now.   😉

I still have to have to serge the side seam SA’s, make the buttonholes, attach the buttons, and hem the sleeves and bottom of the shirt.  I actually feel pretty confident that I can do all that Friday night.  Am I nuts???

Some more pics just because I can…

check out that pattern matching with the pocket!

my FIRST collar with stand!

I do have an idea to add an embellishment to the shirt, but it’s a secret as I think my sister reads my blog sometimes.  If she doesn’t she’s in big trouble.  Hahahaha!

Happy sewing everyone!

P.S.  Carolyn pointed out to me that I neglected to mention the store that was having a great sale in NYC.  It’s P&S Fabrics on Broadway below Canal and above Worth.  I’m a dork.  What can I say?

Progress on Kwik Sew 3146

I may have mentioned this already, but I had jury duty this week.  My first time ever, and I wasn’t even asked to serve.  I only sat there and read sewing/crafting books.  Poor me, right?  😉 

One of the books I read was David Page Coffin’s Shirtmaking.  It’s a great resource and you should definitely own this book if you ever consider making shirts.  It was highly read-able.  I have a tendency to fall asleep with technical books and I didn’t fall asleep once with this book.  I took some notes while I was reading of things I was surprised to find out among other things: 

  • Iron your shirting fabric, don’t just press it.  Stretch it out in the same direction as the selvedges.
  • Use sew in interfacing not fusible since you wash shirts often.
  • Use a flat fell foot for superior flat fell seams.
  • Insert arms flat and then sew side seams.
  • Match the lightest thread color present in your shirting for your thread.

The first point is something Thea had already mentioned to me when I had problems with my Alhambra clover print fabric.  The sewing the arms flat first thing was a surprise to me as well as the match the lightest thread color.  And actually I disagreed with that last point for my specific fabric print.  I, unfortunately, do not own a flat fell foot as it did not come with my machine, but will consider getting one for the future.  But fortunately, my little boy’s shirt pattern does not require flat felled seams as the seam allowances are only a 1/4 inch, much too small for a flat fell seam finish.  

I had my sewing lesson with Thea last night and we started work on the shirt.  When I cut out the fabric, I cut in a single layer so as to match the print as much as possible.  I am using a check fabric, or is it gingham?  I can’t see what the difference is between the two.  But despite my careful cutting, I still did not get a perfect match.  I’m kind of bummed about that.  The feed dogs just didn’t want me to match I guess.  Not sure what else I can do to counteract this, except to whip out the walking foot.  Any suggestions?   I pinned the heck out of it.  

Matching fronts, left and right, with button placket


back yoke seam, almost matching


As for thread choice, I went with a navy thread even though David Coffin suggests white when white is present.  I just thought it blended better.  Here’s my test swatch. 


So far I have interfaced the parts that needed interfacing, the collar and stand, and the button hole placket.  I used Pam Erny’s interfacing.  I really like her interfacing but can’t speak to competitor stuff as hers is the only kind I have ever used.  For the placket, I probably should have cut the interfacing in half because you double the placket over itself, thereby doubling the interfacing and it became too stiff.  Live and learn. 

I opted not to interface the pocket and am pretty proud of my placement.  It’s perfectly matching on one side, and just a little off on the other.  The topstitching isn’t too bad either, but again, not perfect. 

pocket placement


That’s where I left off last night.  I have to attach the yoke to the fronts now.  Working on that tonight.  Wish me luck! 

Happy sewing everyone.

Didn’t mean to disappear…

Life has been busy with jury duty, lack of time, being rained on incessantly, etc.  You know… LIFE.  I have managed to cut out the camp shirt for Thor, but that is all.  I hope to start sewing it Tuesday night. 

In other sewing news, I did sneak in some fabric shopping lately.  As Karen already mentioned, we met up during the “hurricane” and shopped at Paron’s.  I bought only three things, but I love them.  Have no idea what I am making with the striped fabric, but I loved the colors and the hand of the knit.  The tissue weight knit jersey in lilac/lavender will most likely be a cardigan cozy (which will most likely go with nothing else in my closet, but oh well).  And the purple plaid will be a pencil skirt (if I ever get back to my tnt’s again). 

Then today, I had my first day of jury duty and what do you know, but it’s two blocks away from my neighborhood fabric store.  Shucky darn!  They are moving to a bigger space across the street in a week and are having a major sale.  Look what I scored for under $30!!!!  Most of it is for kid sewing, knits for jammies and the like.  There’s a cordoruy for little boy pants too and a grey chambray for a little boy’s shirt.

mustard yellow and teal blue knit

olive and turquoise knit

blue cordoruy and gray chambray


So if you live in NYC, you should check out their sale before they get all high falutin’ and raise their prices to pay the new rent.

Happy stashing!