Monthly Archives: November 2010

Thread

image from singertexas.com



Simple title, simple question.

How do you buy thread?  That’s the question on my mind today.  Do you buy it for each project as you go?  Do you stock up on common colors when a sale comes your way?  Or do you buy a bunch of them in a whole range of colors just in case?

As I mentioned recently when working on my wadder, the problem with having a stash of patterns, fabric, notions, etc., you just assume you have all the makings to make a dress or a skirt at a moment’s notice without needing to run to the fabric store for a zipper or matching thread.  I did. 

As I gather all the stuff I need for my super secret surprise (haha, still can’t resist to torment you guys), I am considering just buying a whole rainbow of thread just so I have it on hand. 

What do you think?  What is the best method for having a thread stash for life’s little spur of the moment sewing needs?

Advertisements

Whoa!

I was nonchalantly walking into my office today when out of nowhere one of the new Butterick pattern dresses walked right by me.  I couldn’t believe it.  I took a tour of the new patterns on-line yesterday and then this morning, it just walks past me without a care in the world.

Butterick 5559

How cool is that?!

I have been buying up some double knits for the last couple of months and they would be perfect for this dress.  Now if only my pilates classes would hurry up and sculpt my body to look like hers.

*sigh*

I have some news I am dying to share with you, but I am still setting things up, so it’s not ready for prime time yet.  Apologies for teasing you, but I am just not a good surprise keeper.  And no, it’s not a book deal.  Sheesh!  I’m only famous in my own mind.

😉

Crying uncle

Well, my friends, I think I have to give up the ghost on my tweed jumper.  I just can’t get it to fit around the girls right and now the fabric is looking a little forlorn.  Remember, this is how it looked last time:

  1. I tried shortening the fisheye darts — only helped a little.
  2. Then I tried letting out the side seams — no change.

At this point, the fabric doesn’t look good any more, so I didn’t have the heart to take pictures of what it looks like now though.  Trying to take out teensy tiny stitches out of a tweed just about did me in and definitely ruined the tweed.  And for some strange reason, the dress keeps hiking up in front so that the shoulder seams go behind my shoulders a bit.  I think that’s why the darts look so high.  But I can’t figure out why it’s doing that. 

I also can’t figure out why this iteration of a TNT is so drastically different from my other two.  The tweed is actually pretty lightweight and not all that different in thickness from the brocade I used for my fancy dress, so I can’t imagine that it’s a turn of the cloth issue as some of you have suggested.  So strange.

Anyway, I am just going to call it a wadder and move on.  I am pretty disappointed though.  As for the next project?  I have so many end of year projects on the docket that I am a little at a loss as to what to start on next. 

We’ll see what I feel like starting tonight. 

Wishing you a sewing day without wadders.

Yes and no

Yes, I finished Jack’s sweater.  But no, I did not finish my dress.  Social engagements got into the way.  And there’s good and bad news.  First the bad news:  Jack has a really bad cold and is absolutely miserable today, so we cancelled the photo session.  The good news is that means I can finish my dress for next weekend’s photo appointment.  Yeah!

Jack’s sweater fits just ok.  Even though I added 1.5 inches to the length, it’s still a little short.  And it’s a little wide in the shoulders.  But I am so over knitting this sweater that it will have to do.  I will show you a picture of him in it later.  The poor little guy is not up to any glamour shots today.

I am planning to fix the bust problem by releasing the fisheye dart and lowering it.  If that works, then I will just finish the hem, vent and hand sew the lining to the zipper tape.  If not, then I will undo the side seams and lower the bust dart, but I think the fisheye dart alteration will do the trick.

Thank you for all your suggestions.  I did try all my different bras with the dress, even my pushy-uppiest bra and nothing did the trick.  Not sure why the fit on this dress is so different from my other dresses.  Oh well…

I hope you all get a chance to sew or knit today.

WTH!!!

People, can you see what’s wrong with the above picture (other than the crappy iPhone quality)?

Two nights ago, I tried on my tweed jumper (aka B5147) and was faced with double trouble.  Let’s just say the girls are not happy.  Now do you see what’s wrong?  There is major boob smooshing going on and not the good kind.

How did this happen?  This is my TNT folks.  Not some random pattern I picked up at a bar.  B5147 and I are going steady.  I thought there might even be a ring in the near future.  I feel betrayed!  Suddenly, B5147 doesn’t return my calls and now this!  Ok, my metaphor is losing steam here.  Seriously though…  My bust dart is about 1 inch too high (looks like I have low hanging fruit, hah!) and the fisheye dart looks too high too. 

What do I do in this situation???  Is it a simple matter of sacrificing the side seam allowances and then the dress will fall to the right level with some room for the girls?  Or do I have to actually release and lower the darts?  FYI, the dress fits everywhere else.  Just the bust is the problem.  Please let me know your suggestions.

I guess all the bad food choices and little exercise are catching up to my meager metabolism, not to mention the too little sleep I’ve been getting of late.  *sigh*  Gravity and aging are not my friends.

In disgust, I turned to knitting Jack’s sweater last night and was hit with another disaster.  My gauge swatch had lied to me and my knitting was 3.5 inches too narrow.  (Is there no loyalty with yarns and fabrics any longer?  They’re just like men!)  I had to frog the entire back and start over.   However, now I am confident I am on the right track with Jack’s sweater, although I am not entirely confident I will get either project done by Sunday when our photo shoot is scheduled.  😦  

Hope your yarn and fabrics are treating you nicer than I have been treated this week.

I can haz two colors?

 As I mentioned in my last post, I am making some new design choices with my latest B5147 dress.  I am using a lightweight plum tweed from Paron’s as the fashion fabric, some unknown type of lining (purchased from P&S fabrics).  My thinking was that since this was tweed, I would make a more casual dress, really more of a jumper, as I know I will wear it with a shirt or turtleneck underneath it since the pattern is sleeveless.  As I was sewing the lining to the fabric at the neck, I was inspired to add topstitching to the neckline and armscye.  I thought it would punch up the sporty look of the tweed.  The topstitching combined with my exposed zipper in the back would make this dress look completely different from my silk twill version or the dressier one I made for my cousin’s wedding.

Anyhoo, getting on with it.  I had changed the thread in my machine from the yummy plummy thread to the one that matched my lining.  So when I went to topstitch, I changed it again to the yummy plummy one.  I started to merrily topstitch away when I remembered that I had read somewhere that I could use two different color threads when sewing (one color for the needle and a different one for the bobbin).  What?!?!  You don’t have to use the same color for both the bobbin and needle?  Sacrilege!  Heresy!

Cue in the gratuitous LOLcats and the muse for my post title…

image from icanhazcheezburger.com

Well, it was too late to change my bobbin thread for the neckline topstitching, but I did change it for the armscye topstitching and I love it!  I know no one will ever see it but me and my dry cleaner, but I know that it’s there and it makes me happy.  Going forward, I will make sure that drapery matches the top fabric and that the carpet matches the lining if you catch my drift.  😉 

neckline stitching on left and armscye stitching on right

In exposed zipper news, it took me a good hour and a half to two hours to insert that sucker!  But insert it I did!  I have more to discuss on the exposed zipper front, but that will have to wait until next time.  All I have to do now on this dress is hand sew the lining to the zipper tape and sew the vent/hem.  Then this puppy will be done and ready for prime time!  I hope to wear it to work this week and on Sunday when Jack and I take our annual pictures.  🙂  

Happy sewing everyone.

Feeling exposed

Saturday night I was happily sewing along on my latest rendition of B5147 in plummy tweed.  I had just finished all my darts (all six of them on the shell) around 10:30pm.  I thought for a moment about starting the darts on the lining when I realized that I didn’t have matching thread for the lining.  Quelle horreur!  Not only that, but I didn’t have a matching zipper! 

That’s the problem with having a notion stash my friends.  You just assume you have all the supplies for every project under the sun.  Well, guess what?  Sometimes you don’t.  So that was my deciding factor to pack it up for the night. 

On Sunday, Jack and I headed over to Purl in Soho to peruse the yarn selection for his annual sweater vest.  I know I said that I probably wasn’t going to make his sweater this year, but I booked the appointment for our yearly pictures and I just can’t stand the thought of not having Jack in one of my sweaters.  Call it narcissism if you must!  After last year’s debacle, I made sure to get a color fast yarn that’s easily washable.  I chose Cascade Superwash 128 in a yummy forest green and an equally yummy ivory.  I still haven’t decided how to use the ivory yet, but will kind of “feel” it as I go I think.  

Jumping into the future:  Since I am an instant gratification person, I had to cast on Sunday night to see how the yarn looked.  I’m using Ann Budd’s book for the sweater vest pattern with a few modifications.  Me likey…

in progress: back of sweater

 

Back to the past:  Unfortunately, Purl didn’t have a large selection of thread and zippers for my new dress, so Jack and I had to walk over to P&S Fabrics to get those items.  P&S is my go to neighborhood fabric/notions store.  While their fabrics aren’t necessarily the best, you can find some bargains there occasionally and they have a decent selection of notions, buttons and yarn.  I started to panic, however, when they didn’t have an invisible zipper to match my plummy tweed.  What’s a girl to do without an invisible zipper in this modern age???  (Read: I have no idea how to insert any other kind of zipper.)  Near the zipper section, P&S has a few grubby bins filled with one-off zippers, some of them regular zippers that you could use as an exposed zipper.  Since I was already envisioning this dress as more of a jumper than an elegant sheath dress, an exposed zipper might be just the ticket!  There were two that I liked in two different lengths, 18 in and 20 in.  The pattern calls for a 20 in zipper, but an emergency call to Carolyn confirmed that an 18 in zipper would do just as well; I’m not an amazon being only 5 foot 4 inches tall.  And as it so happens, the 18 inch zipper (the one at the top of the picture with the deeper purple tape) is the one I like best with my fabric. 

Of course I have no idea how to insert an exposed zipper.  And of course, I went searching on the internet for a tutorial on how to insert one.  The tutorial I like best so far of all that I found was on the Husqvarna site (click on the exposed zipper tutorial).  That’s the one I will use tonight.

I sewed the darts in the lining last night and started to attach the lining to the dress at the neck.  I had a huge moment of inspiration at that point and am adding more detail to this simple sheath dress pattern to make it my own.  But that’s a post for another day…

I know.  I’m such a tease.  😉  

Happy sewing everyone!