Monthly Archives: September 2010

Housekeeping

 Hoo boy!  Lots to talk about today.  I hope you don’t mind, but I might have to do a pseudo power point prez here because to write all that prose is overwhelming me and I will end up just not writing anything.

  • Thank you to Robin and Karen who nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger award!  I will address this award and it’s attendant responsibilities in a later post.  But for now, a heartfelt thank you to both for their compliments and for the award.
  • I’ve been playing with my “new” Singer Featherweight 221 and it’s been fun and frustrating at the same time.  I love how fast it sews, how evenly the feed dogs feed (compared to my Emerald 183), and how good the stitches are (when the tension’s right), BUT, I am having serious problems with the bobbin and needle thread tensions.  I have to fiddle with it for about an hour each time I use it.    My current theory is that I need a new bobbin case because the one that came with the machine might not have the ability to maintain tension.  Anyone with some ideas, please give me a shout in the comments.  Here are some pretty pictures of what I’ve been doing with my FW:

Testing thread tension settings

Playing with the binding foot

I made a new tote bag!!!

close up of fabric and topstitching

My lining fabric -- recognize it?

 

  • I wanted to do a simple project on my FW to test run it.  I needed a new tote bag, so that’s what I made last night.  It’s a really simple bag, based on the one I made from the PURL class I took a lifetime ago.  The most complicated thing about it is that it’s lined.  No fancy interior pockets or nuthin’!  But it really fits the bill and I love it so.  🙂  
  • I think I am going to use the FW to make my fall coat.  How exciting is that?!?!
  • Confession: In order to actually sew the bag last night, I had to clean off my dining room table, I mean my sewing table.  Folks, it was do or die.  You couldn’t see the table.  It was piled at least 1 foot high with sewing detritus, months of mail, and random stuff.  I was ruthless with throwing out UFO’s (pregnant clown shirt muslin anyone?).  I put all of my patterns away, cleaned up all my notions, etc.  It took me 4 hours, but I can see my table again and I know where everything is.  Phew!!!  I wish I had taken some before pictures, but trust me when I say it was not pretty.  Here’s how it looks now…

  • Now, isn’t that sewing nirvana?  Hey, I could actually eat there too now.  😉   Oh and did you notice anything?  Do you see my Emerald 183 on the table at all?  No?  Well that’s because my Singer FW is taking precedence right now.  I put the Viking under the table.  We’ll see what happens to it after I play with my FW for a while longer.  If I get the tension issues worked out, I might have to “make arrangements.”
  • Oh, and I can’t forget to tell you of an impromptu coffee I had with Marji this morning before work.  Her boat is docked across the river which she posted on FB last night.  I told her I was a ferry ride away and we made plans to have coffee.  I have to say it was minor miracle that I got out of the house before 8:30am much less arrive at a destination by 8:10am WITH TODDLER IN TOW, I might add.  I am impressed with myself.  We talked for what seemed like 5 minutes, but 40 minutes later, I had to go to work sadly.  I could have talked with Marji for hours!  I hope we meet again.

Marjorie and me!

  • I hope to start my coat muslin tonight.  I bought heavy muslin so I would have a more accurate idea re: fitting issues.  Wish me luck!

Happy sewing everyone!

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Lots to Show and Tell

I’m back from the wilds of the Midwest and have lots to report.  I met my new niece Chloe who’s cute as a button.  Jack fell in love with her and was so sweet with her.  He loved caressing her little head.  So cute to see him be so tender.  🙂 

As for those of you asking for pictures of the dress in action at the wedding (ahem, Karen), sorry but no actions shots were taken.  I just was not in a dancing mood I guess, and I felt shy about asking anyone to take a picture.  Here’s my take on how the dress “wore” though.  I’m stealing the interview idea from Tasia

How did the dress look?  It looked pretty good standing still and as I was running. 

What do you mean by “standing still” and “running”?  Well, when I stood talking to people it looked great.  It was also fine as I was running to the wedding after the taxi driver dropped me off at the opposite end of the pier.  I had to sprint about two football lengths in 7 minutes with another wedding attendee.  Both of us looked mahvelous!  😉  

So how did it look sitting?  Funny you should ask actually, as that was the part with which I was most dissatisfied.  When I sat down at the wedding ceremony, my dress rode up so high pooling at my waist and thighs, almost 3 inches of my lining was left exposed for all to see.

Why on earth did it ride up so high???  Well, I suspect the underlining was the culprit.  I used silk organza because I was being all fancy.  The last time I underlined (the Christian LaCroix skirt), all I had on hand was cotton batiste, which worked, but this time I was prepared with yards and yards of silk organza.  As most of you know, silk organza has a stiff hand, which helps enormously with preventing SBS (Saggy Bottom Syndrome otherwise known as bagging out) and wrinkling.  It also has the added effect of giving the fashion fabric more body.  In the case of my Vera Wang fabric, too much body, as the brocade had body already, just needed the protection against SBS.  I should have used cotton batiste in retrospect.  *sigh*   Live and learn I guess…

Any other things you liked or disliked about this version of B5147?  I’m so glad you asked.  Dislikes: If you’ll recall, I altered the armscye to cut in towards the chest.  Boy was that a big oops and I will be putting that back in.  Now everyone has the viewing pleasure of the fleshy area between my arm and chest.  Isn’t that a great visual?  Bet you didn’t know that area could even be fat.  Likes: Love the scoop neck.  Not too deep but just deep enough.  I also pegged the skirt near the knees and really like that silhouette.  And I loved the sheathier look of widening the fisheye darts in the front of the dress; they were much more figure flattering.  I will definitely keep those changes for future iterations if there are any.

Will you make any more B5147’s?  Hmmm… Not sure.  My teacher Thea thinks that I can get a much more flattering fit with less fiddling around with a princess seamed sheath dress, so I am going to try another dress soon.  I’m considering the Simplicity Amazing Fit sheath dress, S2648.

What’s next in your project queue?  I am finally getting to my Fall coat for the Trench Sew Along.  I am making another Simplicity pattern, S5380.  I already have my purple wool, bought the purple charmeuse at the PR Shopping day a couple of weeks ago, and today I ran out to buy cotton flannel with which to interline the coat.  Not sure how much tailoring I am going to end up doing.  We’ll see how in depth I’m willing to go later.

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Ok, enough with the pseudo interview.  Do you want to see pictures of my new baby up close and personal like?  I’m talking about the Singer Featherweight 221 from 1938 that received this past weekend.  Oh boy am I excited and yet a little intimidated.  The directions on how to just thread the machine don’t make any sense to me.  It came with a bunch of feet, most of which I have no idea what they are for.  Can any of you deduce their purposes?

Original manual!!!

My very own buttonholer!!!

Slightly broken zigzagger with inscrutable manual

Here are the feet for which I have no idea of their purposes:

I think this might be a quilting guide but a slightly bent one

a ruffler perchance?

some kind of binder? if so, what kind?

Let me know if you know what feet I actually have.  Can’t wait to start playing with them all.  I am super excited about the Singer Buttonholer!!!

Happy sewing everyone!

Quick post with pictures

I am jammed for time here.  I would love to wax poetic about the PR Shopping day this past weekend.  To tell you how awesome it was to meet Robin IRL.  How great it was to see old friends.  But let me get straight to the goodies, because time is short here at Chez Elizabeth.

Our group was so large, we had to split into two groups for the first two stores which opened specially for us, Metro Textiles and Elliott Berman.  I spent most of my fabric budget at these stores. 

At Elliott Berman I bought a Missoni sweater knit which will become a fall tunic (pattern TBD) and a beautiful silk (TNT sheath dress anyone?).

Elliott Berman

Then I really went wild at Metro Textiles.  Kashi had so many great fabrics.  I bought this gorgeous, I mean gorgeous wool silk boucle in gun metal grays and he had a matching silk charmeuse.  I also bought a metallic gray knit for a date night top. 

Metro Textiles

Closeup of boucle

Then I couldn’t pass up this wool knit in purple, my favorite color.  And who could leave there without the ubiquitous border knit?!

Metro Textiles

Let’s not forget the silk charmeuse (on the right in the picture below) to line my fall coat and my first double knit for a, wait for it, sheath dress. I have a feeling one never forgets their first double knit.  *sigh*  On the left, is my only fabric from Parons, a mauve tweed.  I heart tweed. 

Parons and Metro Textile

By the time we reached Parons I think we were all fabric fatigued.  But it was a fun day.  Again, so glad that so many people came to shop from locales far and wide. 

And, now I know you were all wondering if I finished my dress for my cousin’s wedding which is this weekend.  Well….

I did.  I’ll do a full review of all the alterations I made when I am back from the Midwest, but for now…  Here are some pictures to tide you over.

Hope you all have a great week and Labor Day weekend!