Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Class Reunion Dress, Part III

1. The instructions in Power Sewing for inserting an invisible zip might be great if you're got slinky or slippery fabric. But I don't! This linen/cotton isn't the least bit slippery and therefore I got lost on the instructions. So, I just did it myself. It came our great (no bragging here, honest). I was very happy with the way it turned out. Can't tell where the bottom of the zipper ends and the dress back seam begins! AND you can't see the zipper in the back seam. Isn't that the point???

Ok, here's a bad self-portrait.
2. I've discovered in the many times I've tried the garment on, that I don't need the zipper!!! AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Ok, I feel better now.

3. I ended up taking in the side seams so that they are 1 inch each side. AND, I ended up taking in the back princess seam from the waist to the armhole so that they are 1 inch, too.

Now I am liking the fit!!!

I need to do the facings and....help here!! I'm thinking about either fussy cutting them so that there is no embroidery on the side of the dress OR cutting them out of quilter's cotton that I have that's solid black. What do you all say???

If I use the quilters cotton, I've got to prewash it. It's going to be slightly less weighty than this linen/cotton, but I think it would work for facings. AND I'm going to attach the lining to the facings like Erica B did.

I've got the neck facing and the armhole facings. I think I'm going to make this the original boat neck style neckline and not the notched "v" neckline. I will save that for another dress because I can tell already that when I'm done tweaking this one, (which I think I am) I'll be making more.

I can still buy that to-die-for pique from Sawyer Brothers. Did you all click on that link in the other post? It's takes you directly to the fabric I want to buy and not the home page of SB.

Ok, I'm going to put the dress aside for now and begin another 15x15x3 inch bag for the quilt shop. Oh yeah, I've got to remember to post pictures of the other one I did in the 70's retro fabric. DH will be home soon from his "shop" (read: playhouse) and he wants to go golfing!!

I need to golf because sewing is not an aerobic activity!

The Class Reunion Dress, Part II

So, yesterday I cut out the lining and sewed it up sans facings, hems and zipper. Since my high bust is 40, I cut an 18. But in looking at the front pattern pieces, it says a size 18 means the front will actually measure 46. I thought 6 inches was a lot of ease. But I cut that size anyway. I can always take it in.

Here it is on Annie. Not spectacular. Problem: I have no sewing buddy (cats don't count, right?) and since it zips up the back, I can't close the back up. Therefore, I can't feel the fit properly. And remember, I haven't sewn a dress ever. So I can't really tell how it's suppose to fit. If you enlarge the picture a bit, you'll see a small bust dart on the princess seam. Cool.

I'm thinking that I can always take the seams in. It won't be alot, but some. I just couldn't tell without someone helping me.

So, I proceeded to cut the fashion fabric. Remember, it's linen/cotton and a nice weight. Now the first piece I cut was the front on the fold. I was amazed when I was done, that I seemed to have fussy cut a spray of embroidered flowers right down the center. This has happened before with quilting, but gosh!! I cut the two center back pieces at this same time.

After the look of the front, I was more careful cutting the side fronts. I actually cut them seperately. I was able (because I bought extra fabric anticipating shrinkage) to get a nice spray of smaller flowers flowing down the side fronts. I also made sure (tried to, at least) that I didn't have any embroidery where I wouldn't want it. Like the nipple-zone and the front armhole where my arms would rub wearing it, etc.


I sewed side fronts to center front. I sewed side backs to each back piece. Then I thought I would NOT sew the side seams and shoulder seams until after I had inserted the invisible zipper. I thought it would be easier maniuplating the fabric if I just had two back pieces and not the front to mangle around like a gorilla trying to unzip it's suit off!


I remember reading many posts on Pattern Review where the seamstress would consult Power Sewing - Step By Step by Sandra Betzina to insert the invisible zipper and they all had great results. So, that's what I did, too. At least, I hope that's the reference book!

Now to go and sew it in. *gulp*...stayed tuned for Part III.

Oh, and thank you for all the comments on my last post. Remember, I'm all ears!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Class Reunion Dress, Part I

Ok, *gulp*, this is what I'm going to be working on in the next few hours. Realistically, it will be a week! It's not that I'm slow. I just don't own a single dress and have never sewed one! I've read all the reviews on this beauty on Pattern Review and other ladies' blogs. So here it is.

The reason for this dress is two-fold.
1. I want to sew a dress. Especially one I can wear to work sometimes.
2. I need something to wear for my 30 Year High School Class Reunion coming up on September 22. I thought to myself...."hey, you sew....sew something for the reunion". Some thoughts are better left alone, but this one wouldn't lie still.

I'm going to make View A. The one on the upper right part of the picture. BUT, I may make a sleeveless version of view D which is the tall pic on the left. I like the "V" neckline of that view, but want it sleeveless. And someone else who sewed it up said the short version (B) is too short. So that leaves that out!

Here is the fabric. It's 55% linen, 45% cotton. I've washed it and dried it twice. It should be totally preshunk, right? "More Fabric Savvy" by Sandra Betzina says to minimize wrinkles, iron the heck out of it (my translation) BEFORE washing it the first time. Apparently, it helps "set" the formaldehyde. EWWW... I had no idea linen was made with formaldehyde! TMI :)

I'm lining it in a black (soft) broadcloth. The embroidery on this linen will be too itchy, and it's a tad see through. Double click on the picture to enlarge it and then tell me what you think!

I think it's going to be nice enough for an evening (read: semi casual) dress. This reunion is being held at a casino. Yuk. But, the lights will be soft and it will be darker than I expect. All the more better to hide any sewing ooops, huh?

AND to top off all the stress, I'm installing a 20 inch invisible zipper! I've only ever done one and it was for the quilt shop on a baby's pillow ring. It came out ok. Just ok.


So, today DH is at the property and I'm in my sewing room. Gosh, I can't remember where I read this but I'm not going to make a muslin of this garment, per se. Someone (and I think it might have been Ann aka Gorgeous Things in an article for BeSewStylish) said to use your lining as a muslin garment! What a fabulous idea. After all, this pattern has the fronts for B, C & D cups, so that eliminates most of the work, right? Yeah, we'll see.

I've read Erica B's blog (see June 19, 2007) on this dress about twenty times. I want mine to come out like hers. I tried to find pique, but couldn't. Well, I did actually, but it's at Sawyer Brook and they want $14.95 a yard. It's drop dead gorgeous (pique) fabric and if this dress works out to fit great, I'm splurging and buying that fabric. I need 3 yds of it, though! I guess $45 is not a LOT to spend on a dress, right? I'll just wait and see.

OK, off to the sewing room! Hope you all have a great weekend. God Bless!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fabric Gift Bags

Ok, when I first started on these gift bags, my local quilt shop wanted me to do Christmas bags. They handed me some fat quarters and the pattern and off I went. I bought the rick-rack and pom poms. I had a button stash that I used. I think these turned out pretty good. This is just the Christmas bag.
Here is the lining. I was so excited because I got to pick it out and I loved this Peppermint Candy fabric. And it goes really well with the entire bag.


And this bag has a closure tab, so for the quilt shop, I sewed it up, too.


So, to keep things straight, this Christmas bag was the first one I did. Then I did one just like in retro 70's earth toned fabrics (not shown). These two bags are about 12"x18"x3". Quite tall, really.

Then for the reunion, I worked on two more bags. One shown earlier in the bright pink and blue fabric and the other not shown yet. Those bags are more 15"x15"x3".

The quilt shop loved them and they sold out of the pattern immediately. They have an order placed for a dozen more because they have come up with more gift bag ideas for me. The next one they're working on cutting the fabric for is a Teacher's Bag! I can imagine little apple buttons and pencil appliques, etc. The mind boggles!

So, that is it for today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reunion Sewing

I already told you I took my Singer Featherweight along for the family reunion. Mostly because I love to sew, it was going to rain all weekend and my almost 90 year old mother was with us and she loves to watch the Seattle Mariners play (baseball).

So, after we arrived at the condo, DM turned on the game. DH took a nap (he drove the 6 + hours) and I immediately dug out my sewing.

Below is a gift bag made from fabric. I had two to make. This one made out of really nice bright fabric and another made from earth toned 70's mod-type fabric. (I'll have to finish it and post pictures later).

I had to finish it today when I got home because I didn't have any grommets to attach the handles with. My local StuffMart didn't have any in the sewing section, but the gal who owns my local quilt shop found them in the camping section. They had this wonderful pack of 20 grommets and the attaching tools. They were real cheap and were in the camping section because they are used to repair tents. Who woulda thunk it to look there? Not me!

The one side is done in turquoise and the other in bright pink. Now you have to realize I'm not really a crafty type person. I sew, true, and I quilt, but I don't usually embellish. Well I got my feet wet this weekend (no pun intended). I had a blast embellishing these bags.

Notice the varigated rick-rack, the different odd-sized buttons, the pom-poms, the grosgrain ribbon AND I fussy cut two huge flowers and appliqued them on the large tone-on-tone pieces. One on each side.

Here's a picture of the lining and the grommets and handles (which I thought was a great idea).


Oh, and here's the pattern. It's called Gift Bags for Christmas #266 by Cotton Way.

Again, I'll post pics of the other one. I'm going to finish it tonight.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Family Reunion..The Pacific Ocean


My father's family has gotten together for family reunions every Summer since about 1965. For the past 6-7 years, we've gathered at Moclips, Washington.


We typically arrive Friday afternoon and leave Sunday noonish. It's a 6 hour drive from home. Saturday afternoon we have a huge barbeque. Tons of food! And Saturday night we gather for a campfire and pass out the song books and sing the old songs our parents and grandparents loved. There are some great family classics like "The Burglar Boy Song" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad".


Here is a picture I took early Saturday morning with the ocean to my back. There are three buildings, two facing the ocean and one perpendicular to the ocean. The condo that DH, my mother and I shared is in the middle building. It's a one bedroom with a kitchen and deck. They are very nice and between our family and one other family (who we don't know), we take up all three buildings for the weekend. And we reserve one year in advance, so we're set for Reunion 2008.


It rained all weekend long. Literally, all weekend long. We are die hards, so we had our BBQ in the rain under canopies that were brought for shade from the sun! And our campfire singing this year was in a condo, gathered in close. By close, I mean there are 50 of us. Not everyone sings, but most join in.
Since it rained all weekend and we knew this before leaving home, DH let me graciously take my Singer Featherweight sewing machine and work on two projects I'm doing for my quilt shop.
Sunday morning we took a break after checking out and got together for our annual family pictures. The first one below is just the guys. They consist of my male cousins and my female cousin's husbands and all the male children. If you're interested, DH is third from the left! (Remember, clicking on the photo will enlarge it greatly). You can see my mom sitting in the chair on the right (white hair).



This photo below is of the ladies. DH took it from the side. He was also filming and there were alot of men lined up to take their pictures, too.


Someday I'll post a photo of the entire group. We knocked on a condo door and got a nice lady to come out and take our picture so we can all be in it. I can't wait to see it.


I am in the top row on the left wearing the two tone blue jacket. My mother is sitting in the chair on the far right, second one in. Wearing a tan coat. She will be 90 in November and we all sang Happy Birthday to her early!

Another great year, another opportunity to be with family. These cousins of mine are more like my brothers and sisters. Each one is special and it's so nice to get along with everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Christmas in July

In my hometown, it's Christmas in July. Up this week for my local quilt shop called Fabric Patch, they gave me the below strip quilt to make for them as a sample to hang in their shop. Here it is on my design wall. (double clicking on the pic will enlarge it greatly) It was very simple to make. It ended up being quite small...42x48 inches. Just the right size to "throw" over a sofa or loveseat at Christmastime to decorate.

Here is a close up of the cute snowmen carrying a tree. It's part of a panel of fabric that was cut for this quilt. The row of trees at the top of this shot is also a part of the same panel.


For this shot below, I used a strip of the striped fabric and then fussy cut the snowmen off of a panel and then backed them in white (cause the blue showed through) and then I stitched them down onto the blue stripes and frayed the edges with a toothbrush. It made a nice effect and easier than using "steam a seam" to iron them down. They won't come up at all either.


Here is the pattern sheet the quilt shop gave me. As you can see, very simple strips of fabric sewn together. The yellow stars are appliqued and stitched down. The light blue snowflakes are also appliqued, but not sewn down. To sew all around those curvy edges would have been a PITN.



So, it's been delivered to the quilt shop and they've given me my next projects. Fabric gift bags. I've already made one out of Christmas fabric (I told you it was Christmas in July here) and one out of some mod 70's type fabric. More later...

I'm off this weekend to a family reunion at the ocean. We do this every 3rd weekend in July. Been going on since the 60's. We're not like some families. We ALL get along great. My cousins are more like my brothers and sisters. I'll post pictures when I get back.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Lamb of God...

Today, I thought I'd blog about my collections. First up is my collection of lambs. I collected them because Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That's you and me. We need Jesus.

I've been collecting them for a few years now and here they are on display on my dresser. I haven't officially counted them yet.

The three below are some of my favorites. They are Christmas lambs. From left to right they are Eli, Zeb and Jake. Eli even has his own little lamb. I normally cut all tags off my lambs, but these three I didn't because they have such cute Biblical names. I love their garb, too.


And the lamb below is one I sewed myself. He's a Rumpled Quiltskin. That's the name of the pattern. This company has several animals you can sew. Farm animals and zoo animals, I think, are the classifications. I saw this lamb pattern and had to sew it up.


Ok, I counted 17 in the first picture. I know there is one at my office I got last Easter. That seems to be the time of year to buy them. And a co-worker bought me a statue of a lady holding a lamb. So that's 19 altogether.


Next up will be my collection of Queen Elizabeth II coronation souvenirs. Exciting, huh? Well, I gotta collect something!

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Seminole Table Runner, Part II

Ok, here is the finished tablerunner. I've had it done, just haven't blogged on it yet.
It measures 18x54. A nice long size. I quilted it on my Bernina 150QE using varigated green-to-red 100% cotton thread. The below picture shows it on my design wall with the last borders on it.


Here it is (both sides) on my kitchen table. I just love that green batik with the trees. Remember, click on the picture for a close up.

And here is a close up of the top showing the "meandering" that I did with the varigated thread.

Not a great job, but it's fine. The quilt shop was happy.

The matching placemats are done except for the binding. I didn't have enough green batik (actually saving it for another project), so I bought a nice snowflake red on red for it.

Nice to get another UFO done!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Uniquely You...or is it Uniquely Me??

Ok, on a website a visit (alot) called Pattern Review, a "thread" started on Uniquely You dressforms. Since I have one, I tried posting photos from Photobucket, but had trouble. It's so much easier to blog here about it and post the pics here and then put this link into PR.

But before I shock you with a naked picture of my "Annie", here is our little Gadget kitty. She's 8 months old today!!

And here is a close up of Annie. Yes, people really do name their dressforms. This is a close up. You can see the sports bra I've put on her and then covered her with a tricot short sleeved shirt to make the test garments slide right on. I've always heard that you're suppose to put a bra on that you normally wear, but she's so "perky" that the sports bra smooshes her just right; Well at least to mimic me.



Here's a side view. As I told the gals on PR, my tummy is not that flat, but Annie's and my waist measurements are exactly the same. So, she must be wider than I am, huh?

And here's a full front shot. Click on the photo to enlarge it. As you can see, the cover is stretched down, but it doesn't go ALL the way to the bottom of the form. But close enough for me. I'm not fitting pants on Annie.


And...hold your breath...here she is naked! OMGosh...now you see why I had to put a sports bra on her. Dissection was a possibility, too! But I couldn't take the knife to Annie, so I went with the alternative.

Yowser! Good thing she's all covered now. I could barely stand to look at her. (blushing)

But she's great! She's my size from the shoulders down to the waist. She's very lightweight (I move her from sewing room to guest room) and I do use her neck as a pin cushion. She's fully pinnable. And she's been a great sewing buddy.