Monday, January 26, 2015

A different copy

This is a copy of another thrift store cardigan. It's a close copy but not quite perfect yet. I do plan on making this one again with some good fabric from my hoard.

This is the original. It had a tie on it which I left off. The sleeves were a bit big so I made them a bit tighter. Look close and you can also see how pilly the fabric is.

I know its a bit hard to see, but it has princess seams in front and princess darts in back. The front drape is a bit off on the pattern-- it needs a wedge taken out to shorten the front/neck edge. Other than that its a pretty good copy.

Since this is just a muslin, I made it out of some frighteningly combustible plastic knit with a horizontal ridges in it. It is black though so it does go with almost everything I own:

including, yes, yet another Santa Monica tee.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A copy of me!

This is my daughter, Jane, in the copy she made of the copy of the cardigan I copied last week. I think she did a great job and I'm happy that she is so happy with the results. I like hers even more than mine. I will be borrowing it!

Can you believe she decreased her stash 25% just by sewing up just one piece of fabric!

The hardest parts for her was squeezing it out of the fabric available (we eliminated the waist seam) and threading the serger and cover stitch (I helped a bit).  


I am very proud of her (in all ways, not just sewing). Love you, Man!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Better than the original

I love drapey cardigans. I have quite a few from the thrift store and even more that I made myself. Jalie 2919 is in my Hall of Fame. I had this bright pink one from thrift store I like a lot, so I decided to copy it. I like copying things. If you haven't done it before, I want you to know its easier than you might think. Especially with a knit: as we already know know forgiving knits are!

I start by laying Carol's exam table paper over the original and tracing the pieces with chalk and marking the grain lines. Then you just have to check and make sure all the adjacent seams that should be the same length are the same length. At this point I will also put the original on the dress form and double check that its' measurements agree with the flat pattern. Then you add your seam allowances. The only tricky part on this one is the shawl collar, but I've sewn enough of them to know what the pattern should look like and how its fits together.

This is the back of the original. Just look at how crooked it is!!

My copy is straight!

When I started this, I only intended the fabric to be a muslin. It had been in my stash a really long time (but not since '74 when it looks like it was made!) Its cotton interlock from the free table. I didn't think it would be stretchy enough but it turned out just fine.

I also made an orange long sleeve t-shirt to go with it from the Textile Studio Santa Monica Tee (a Hall of Fame pattern). I wore it the other day with my groovy orange coat, white cords and brown boots & a chick at Whole Foods complimented me!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mr. Pike

This is the big project I've been working on for the past few months, Mr. Pike. The challenge (from the Designer III Group) was to use a Marimekko fabric or design as an inspiration for a sewing project.  I  love Marimekko, mid-century and Scandinavian design. Some of you may even recall that I made a skirt last summer with some Marimekko fabric.

I knew in an instant which fabric I wanted to use as inspiration: Hauki. My husband and I used to go pike fishing when we first met and one of the first things he ever gave me was a wire leader. (It prevents the pike's sharp teeth from biting through the line.) We were never very successful. Over the years we have come to realize he's not that good a fisherman and I was mostly pretending to like fishing just to be with him!

I sketched out Mr. Pike at the coffee shop before I even got home that day. My Mr. Pike has a goofy smile instead of sharp teeth. Back home and made a larger scale drawing and printed it out. When I was ready to buy the fabric, I went to Joann's thinking they were open until 7 but they were only open 'til 6, so I had to choose the fabric in only 15 minutes!

He sparkles at night!

A whole lot of wonder under came into play at this point. I did a satin stitch around the edges of Mr. Pike and the seaweed. Then the whole thing got moved up to the bead room. All those layers made beading a bit difficult. My little fingers were sore! I put bugle beads on the seaweed and sequins on Mr. Pike. I put a button on his eye which enables him to see you from all angles.

Finally, I bound the edges. As you can see, I'm no quilter! I think all the ripples add to the underwater theme!

Mr. Pike hangs above our bed and he makes both of us happy every time we see him!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

Wow! Another year. A lot more sewing. More sewing than I've even shared here. Its so hard to get good pictures this time of year in my part of the universe.
Looking back over 2014, what I've made is mostly things I wear everyday-- skirt and t-shirts. I don't purchase a lot of clothing and what I do is usually thrifted, but now I can say my wardrobe is probably 75 percent made by me. I wear at least one handmade garment everyday. I'm proud of that.

I'm also proud that I have used my sewing talents to enhance my home. This is something I have never done much before this year. I even did a little bit of sewing for other people. (I still miss the Selfish Seamstress!)

I also worked on "One Big Project" until my little fingers hurt! More about that soon.

So now the obligatory tally, more or less:

14 Tops
11 Skirts
7 Jackets/Cardigans
1 Dress
7 Pairs of Drapes
14 Dishtowels
2 Crib sheets
2 Pillows
One Big Project

So how did I do with last years resolution (to focus on detail)? I give myself an B+. I did do two projects that took over a month to complete but for the most part, feel like I'm sewing volume not quantity. Maybe what I need to do is lighten my hoard so I don't feel so much like I have to conquer it.

And this brings me to my 2015 Resolution: to only make garments that coordinate with each other and with what's already in my closet & to not waste time and mental energy on things I don't love.