Monday, January 7, 2013

"Free" eSkirt and update on the chinchilla boys

eSkirt front
eSkirt back
"Free" because it's from fabric leftover from the Stella and Ann's Tank tops.   It appeared that there was only enough left for a band on a eSkirt from The Sewing Workshop eDress pattern.  After I couldn't find anything in the stash that worked well with this fabric I took a closer look at what was left and, voila, I had enough for a shorter skirt and a band with no changes.   This is my first eSkirt from the eDress pattern, and I like it.  I used a 4 thread serged seam with a slight differential feed to control puckering on all seams, seamed two pieces for the back band and then put the fold edge of the pattern on the seam.     It's a nice "just below knee" length and I didn't hem the band at all.   I'll be making more of these.

Chinchilla Update

Since the young one went psycho and bit Woodley all over (ref the Chinchilla Shaming post), the boys have been living in separate cages, Woodley the Gray in the big cage, and Snowball the Brat, in Woodley's old cage.   Snowball would look forlornly at the big cage and his old "friend".   I didn't want to chance him attacking the old guy again, but two cages were a pain.    So, we decided to create two separate apartments in the big cage by inserting a slatted wooden divider.  Woodley lives in the top apartment (where he likes anyway) and Snowball gets the first floor.    Yesterday they moved in and checked out their space and inventoried their stuff.    They are both happy for now.   More photos on the Chinchilla Flickr set.

Friday, January 4, 2013

TSW Stella and Ann's Tank - A Little Sparkle

TSW coordinates - knits not washed yet
I read Linda Lee's blog on The Sewing Workshop site.   Her mid-Dec post inspired me to pull out this interesting crinkle cotton knit with a fine gold metallic stripe running through it for some tops.    OK it's not sequins, but close enough for me.   I bought it from Casual Elegance a few years ago to coordinate with cocoa brown fabrics and garments.   The color works beautifully with the 8th Avenue Skirt I sewed about five years ago.   So I sewed these up and waited to wash them the first time before wearing/taking photos of me in them because sewing/pressing removed the crinkle in the fabric that makes it so interesting.    When I sew another Ann's Tank top I will used the neckline binding treatment from the eDress pattern.   I just turned under 3/8" and think the neckline needs taking in, which the binding cut on the crossgrain will accomplish.   Knits don't ravel so I left the seams on both, the sleeve edges and bottom edges of the Tank unfinished so the knit could curl.      The Stella tops all have the double cowl (cut on the fold)  and the hems finished.

So here are photos of both tops on me.   I wore the metallic stripe knit Stella Cowl and 8th Ave skirt today.    Love this skirt shape and need to sew up another.     I have just enough of the knit stripe left to use for the bottom of an eDress or eSkirt.    We'll see what it works with.

Before sewing those two, I sewed up another Stella top in a warmer fleecy knit also from CE.   Not sure if any of you remember the original TSW Cowl Neck top pattern, but this one is greatly improved with lots of shape, and the cowl is nice for fall/winter to cover and warm your neck, but with lots of ease and drape.  I love it with the TSW camel hair Now Shirt jacket and the camel lambskin skirt and the black 4-ply silk One Seams.    It was actually sleeting while the sun was shining the day these photos were taken.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vogue 1247 - Major Failure on me

I like to get a jump start on spring by sewing after the new year.   So after reading so many glowing reviews of this pattern I decided to try it out.   The top has been made by several fashionable ladies whose sewing I admire, and there are a bazillion reviews of it on PR.    So here is my muslin out of "free fabric" leftover from the dress I made using Louise Cutting's Ebb Blouse pattern.    I bought the small sizes since everyone said this was oversized, cut and sewed size 12 with no alterations to check it out.

I sewed all the french seams, but as others did, tired out and was having a difficult time matching that intersection of the lower points with the center front bodice seam on the horizontal lower front seam, so just sewed a standard seam and serge finished it, pressing it up.   I did the same for the side/sleeve seams.   But the 12 looks sloppy and hangs on me like I'm wearing a RTW XL.    I do not like how the front dips and I'm not sure who they designed those front darts to fit.   Yikes!

I was considering making the next one using an Abraham striped silk charmeuse.  But after seeing this,  that seems to be a waste of a fine fabric.   Not sure what to do with this one - maybe it would be good for a very hot summer day.     The top looks fine on the hanger (hem was a royal pain in the a$$) but on is another story.    Judge for yourself.     Not sure if alterations will save this pattern for me.    I may try out the 17" skirt lengthened several inches.  Who decides to put out a pattern with a 17" skirt?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Sewing and Hope

Hi readers.    I am here, well and sewing.    I am stronger now than I was even in October when I drove myself to Louise Cutting and Linda Lee's October Sewing Retreat in Winter Park Florida.   There's a shadow of the past couple years every time I realize that I am doing something that I could not do.   More good news - in mid-December my doctor at Johns Hopkins decided that due to my continued progress and stability I could begin to taper down the immune suppressant I take.   This will take 18 months to taper off and we are hopeful that this is over and it won't recur.    

I've been busy since Florida and then SC in October before coming back to Asheville.  I had a great time at the retreat/workshop, met some talented and very nice sewing friends,  and was inspired to create and sew when I returned.   I have been sewing since but have been too tired or complacent at the end of the day to blog about it.    I'm not a competitive sewer - I just sew to please myself.    I'm not into how fast or how many I can turn out.  I spend a lot more time planning than sewing.  I enjoy the journey and the results, so I take my time and finish what I start before starting another project.   I am not an impulse buyer of fabrics or clothes or anything else.   It has to be interesting/unique and fit or work with something else I already have.  I don't buy something because it's a great sale or because somebody else has one and I've just got to have one too.    

I know you like to see the finished garments, how I style them, and how they look on a real person.   So from time to time I posted photos of various things I've sewn and worn with existing garments/coordinates on the Flickr photostream.  I hope you've enjoyed my photos even though I didn't blog about them.  I'll pull together some outfits of more of the new pieces and post soon.

Thanks to each of you who checked in on me from time to time and/or commented here.   I wish you all good health and productive sewing experiences throughout this new year.   I look forward to spring and the sewing expos when I get to see and visit with friends and teachers again.