Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Big Skirt Project, Part 7: The Most Expensive Fabric I Own

The pillar makes me look taller, right?

The wrap skirt I just made from a sheet was in preparation for using this fabric. It is the iconic Merrimekko Unikko printed cotton. This design is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary; you can get some yourself for only 53 dollars a yard, plus shipping. I did not pay quite that much. I got it from the clearance section at Haberman Fabrics. I was actually one of the pieces that used to hang in their front window.





I drafted the pattern so I could do the least cutting-up of the print; there are no side seams and the facings is cut on as one piece well. I left the printed selvage on the inside in case an archaeologist finds this skirt some day.




I apologize for the wrinkles. It was really hot day & I was in the car with  "leather" seats all day. Thanks to my daughter for standing in for my broken tripod!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Big Skirt Project, Parts 4,5 and 6

4. Puffy, Pastel, Polyester Perfection
I'm pretty sure this was previously a prom dress. It was a maxi length, halter topped, sized zero thrift store oddity I bought because the fabric is just that fascinating. Its been hanging around my sewing room at least five years waiting to hatch into a beautiful new butterfly. I reused both the original lining and zipper.





5. Wrap skirt
I used the same pattern (McCalls 3830) to create a wrap skirt variation. I lapped the side seams and converted the top of the side seam to a dart, added an overlap and rounded the corners. I cut a test out of an old sheet and liked it so much I went ahead and finished it. I used bias I made from the leftovers of a shirt from a few years ago. I love wrap shirts, but not with ties (I'm not a shirt tucker-inner) so used buttons. I have a really special piece of fabric that will be perfect for this.







6. Pink with Mysterious Spots
The only variation on this one was putting a lining in it.. That, and I must have stretched the petersham a bit because it's a little tight in the waist. I was contemplating fixing that until I got it out of the dryer and saw the mysterious spots on it. I'll wash it again and if they don't come out, out it goes. Just because I made it doesn't mean I'm married to it!

More to come!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Big Skirt Project Parts 2 and 3

In a recent post, I mentioned the skirt I was wearing was part of The Big Skirt Project. Let me tell you about it.
I wear skirts ninety-five per cent of the time. I made a drawer full of knit skirts last summer. They are all solids though. I wanted some prints too. And I wanted them to be as easy to make as the knit ones. Also, I wanted to use up a bunch of half yard pieces of wovens I had in my hoard. (Yes, I am short!) So, I ordered 10 yards of petersham ribbon from Vogue. I am using the same pattern for all of them: McCalls 3830 with variations.

1. Mid-Century Modern. The first one is the pattern right out of the envelope (except for fitting changes). It has a faced waistband, center back seam and centered back zipper.





2. Floral Linen. This is a lovely heavy linen home dec sample. For this version I changed the zipper from center back to a lapped side zipper, used the petersham ribbon in place of the facing and added slits at the sides seams. I'm pretty straight up and down so a lapped zipper at the side is really easy for me. I don't really need to shape the petersham much either.



3. Bright White Denim.  This is white bull denim from JoAnn's. I was surprised how soft it was after I washed it. It has an old thrifted metal zipper inserted in a welt opening at the center back. (No center back seam)





Stay tuned...there's more to come!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Watch Japanese Zoo Animals Distress Denim for Designer Jeans Fundraiser

Here's one way to distress denim

140707_EYE_1

Scroll down to the bottom of the article for a video of the animals at work.

I wonder how much those jeans are going to go for!

Friday, July 4, 2014

I am City Girl


And I love my city.

James Mason and I decided it would be a nice day for a more special photo shoot than my normal driveway shots so we headed downtown to a beautiful parkway resurected from an abandoned railway bed.


How did she get up there in those shoes?



I got a little dirt on the coat scampering up onto a dirty ledge.


An extension of the parkway still under construction.



A beautiful day, only slightly too hot for a jacket.





The fabric collage on this coat is an homage to both the architecture here and the abundant, beautiful art on it. Graffiti is an art!!!

Do you recognize the locale of the photos? Or the buildings represented on the coat?

I used one of my TNT patterns for the coat: Burda 7638. It looks like a real dog on the envelope, but I see it as a blank canvas. The collage fabrics are the ones I showed in the post. I laid this out in adobe illustrator using a jpeg of the fabric as a fill to kind of get and idea of what I wanted. I then created a black and white line drawing of the file and used it to trace out the shapes on wonder under.



The design evolved a bit as I worked on it. I ended up not using all the fabrics. After I fused everything down, I stitched all over it with gold thread using my cover stitch machine. I hated how it looked, so I picked it all out. Only took me 6 hours or so!!

I then decided to do free motion stitching on it with black thread. I am a newbie to that art. It was not easy. Somehow, I wasn't getting the free motion part of free motion. I consulted with  DIII and you tube. A pair of gardening gloves and some silicon spray got everything moving along smoothly! The stitching was a lot of fun and only took one evening.



I finished it with these excellent welts for the pockets.

Sorry for the dirt!
I lied, its not finished. No closure yet. I'm leaning toward snaps, but I have until fall to figure that out.

I really, really, really enjoyed the whole process of making this jacket!



(The top I'm wearing is the Textile Studio Monaco shell and the skirt....well, the skirt is part of The Big Skirt Project. I'll tell you about it later.)

Finally, a big fireworks and loud explosions welcome to all my new followers, and to Rhonda. I am so flattered by all your lovely comments.



Friday, June 13, 2014

A big fabric haul

I needed new fabric for a project I'm about to start. I've been pretty strict about my fabric diet lately, but I needed a type of material I don't really use much: quilting cotton. So I headed to Speed Bump JoAnn's. I hope that it's not just me who thinks that having speed bumps in front of a JoAnns is funny! I usually shop at Pepper Spray JoAnn's because its closer (actually within walking distance) but Speed Bumps is bigger.

I really don't know how quilters can stand all the selection. I knew if it took more than 5 minutes to make a selection it would end up taking more than an hour. Kind of like cooking calamari! I spent at least an hour awash is a sea of indecision and second guessing!

This is what I got. I think it's cohesive enough, with just the right amount of outliers. I won't have the whole weekend to work on it, but do hope to get started.  


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mid-Century Modern



Whenever I have a sewing failure, I like to follow it up with something easy just to prove I can still sew. There is nothing about this skirt that I could not have done in junior high school!!

My Sister bought me this fabric for my birthday last year. It's "Mid-Century Modern" just like we are. 

The pattern is an old one, but this is the first time I've used it. I liked the pattern (McCalls 3830) because it has a facing instead of a waist band. Its suits my short waist. I had a do quite a bit of paring down to get the hips right. I put a lapped zipper at the center back (the pattern instructions are for a centered zip). I got the zipper for 10 cents at a thrift store.

I really like the fit. This might become my new go-to skirt. I plan on using Petersham in place of the facing next time I make it though.