Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My First Swap Contest

I have entered a "SWAP"contest,sponsored by Pattern Review.You can check it out here.

"SWAP" means "sewing with a plan".A certain amount of garments are created to mix and matchable wardrobe.This contest requires 11 garments by July 31.I've been wanting to try this for a long time and always chickened out.This time I signed my name on the list and began digging through my fabric stash for summer fabric that matched.I came up with this bundle for my swap.

The colors are orange,tan,creme and 3 prints of the same color scheme.I hope to avoid buying more fabric.I can see a nice dent in my stash.

Friday, I cleaned up my sewing room,changed the serger thread and planned my cutting time.Saturday and Sunday,I cut,marked and interfaced 5 garments,2 top and 3 bottoms.Here are the cut fabrics and pattern choices for the first five.The tan will be walking shorts and a matching safari top.The orange will be a skirt and top.The cream,orange and tan stripe will be pants.
I spent a lot of time sewing the pants and shorts Monday.I had everything I needed on hand.It really pays to plan everything in advance.No emergency trips to the fabric store or wasted time,waiting till morning because I didn't have a zipper,interfacing,ect.
I took my time and enjoyed the process.I'm resisting the urge to rush through,with the deadline in mind.I've got plenty of time and I'll end up with a cool mix and match wardrobe.I really need that.
All of these pattern are "TNT".I know they fit and are kind to my figure.I don't want to spend time fitting and adjusting patterns.I'm almost finished with the both pants and shorts.I did not get any sewing time in today.I'll make up for that tomorrow.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Slinky Dress Photos at Last

Please forgive me for not posting anything last week.I've had some crazy problems with my computer.Everything is OK...I think.Here are the pictures of the slinky knit dresses I promised.I finally got my DD to play photographer for me.

I made the flowered one first,then the sleeveless one.I haven't worn either out and about yet.I have some reservation about showing my upper arms.However,it is getting really hot as the season moves toward summer.I think I may need to "get over it".

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Another "Threads Magazine"Adventure

This adventure features the March 2007 issue of Threads magazine.The article I choose to test this time is found on page 53-55.It called,"It's a Wrap:Custom-covered Belts".This article teaches covering belts and buckles.
I decided to do this one because I needed something to give my new handbag a little zing.I wanted something fast and I did'nt want to buy any new supplies.The supplies listed for this project were all on hand already.It needed to be fast because,I foolishly decided to challenge my Mom to a race in handbag making.I have challenge my Mom in craft making,before and she CREAMED me.However it is fun and I love to see what she comes up with.

Anyway,back to the project.I grabbed one of my DD old belts and went to work.I follow the instrutions to the letter,changing only one thing.I did not do the handstitching underneath the buckle as suggested.Instead I used a zipper foot and sewed close to the buckle and then frayed the edges.(I thought it would be artsy)

The only thing I found dis-pleasing about the article is that there were no phote of eyelets and the method to make them professional looking.
Here's is the one sentence concerning this matter"To make an eyelet,punch a hole in the belt using an awl,then hand sew around the hole using a buttonhole stitch."After testing this on another scrap of the newly created fabric covered belt,I found my stitches were extremly hideous.I ended up using the circle stitch on my machine.I only punched a hole in the eyelet I'd be using to connect the buckle.The other two are decorative(even if they are slightly crooked).
This is the completed bag.I plan to carry my knitting,I made special inside pocket for knitting needles,Ipod,phone and cash.It is very roomy.Perfect for my creative adventures.On to the next adventure.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Thread's Adventure

This is the way I start my day.Depending on how much sleep I get the night before,this cup is usaully filled with coffee,orange juice or water.

For my latest sewing adventure,I've decided to test drive some of the information found in various Threads magazine articles and give you the scoop on what works and,what doesn't.

I 've started with January 2007 -issue 128,page 54-59.This article is called ,"The Secret to Slinky Knits".I have selected this fabric and pattern.It is slinky knit.I choose this pattern after viewing Melody's beautiful example .You can see it here. http://crazedsewer.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html

The article list basic tools-rotary cutter,cutting mat,walking foot,stretch needle,polyester thread,pressing cloth,and fusible stabilizer tape.(the brand I choose was Steam-A-Seam)

The article suggests using a rotary cutter and cutting mat.I did not use those ,because my cutting mat is to small.I used very sharp scissors and stayed close to the cutting surface without lifting the fabric too much.This worked fine.I also used weights instead if pins.I would suggest using as few pins as possible to avoid snags from pins that may not be sharp enough.The information for cutting was,right on the money.Everything went well.

And sew on...

I don't have a walking foot,which was one of the tools listed.I will be getting one.I was able to control most of the fabric shifting,but with a walking foot,I know this project would have went along a lot faster.All information for sewing and pressing was perfect.The Steam-A-Seam is something I plan to stock up on.It gave a smooth neckline and hem with no rippled edges,while adding a hint of stabilization.The stitch lenght,2-2.5(I used 2) and width 0.5-1(I used 1) was a traditional zigzag.The article advised that a serger was not necessary,so I didn't use one.This is my first slinky knit dress,It went together so fast,that I went out and bought more slinky knit and made a second version the very next day.

And sew on...

The verdict is in. This Threads,article is a winner and has helped me conquer my fear of knits.I'll post pictures as soon as I can get DD or DH to take them.Sew on to the next article.