Thursday, March 21, 2013

ASG meeting

Last Thursday during our monthly American Sewing Guild meeting.  Anita told us about Superior University and the threads and lessons she received for her "classes".   Superior Threads are more expensive than the threads that you normally find in JoAnns and Hancocks but they are supposed to be a higher quality thread supplier.   One of the strong points for Superior Thread is the education they provide in regards to how their threads are made, and how you should sew with it for best results.  Anita feels that she is getting a good value for her monthly class costs.

One of the community service projects  the Indianapolis chapter is involved in again this year is making Christmas stockings for our troops. Last year we make over 3150 stockings that other organizations then fill and distribute.   Our Chapter goal for this year is 4000 stockings. 

Rather than wait and make a lot of stockings in October our neighborhood group has decided that we each will make 1 or more stockings every month   so far we have made 80.  Below is a sampling of this months stockings.  You will notice that even though the stockings are all the same size we can use any fabric we wish.  It doesn't even have to be Christmas fabric.  The stockings can be made quickly are are great for stash busting.

I am also lucky enough to belong to a group that has a couple of very prolific sewers in it.

Renate made 15 of these cute  little fabric boxes,  enough for each of us.  These little boxes are perfect for holding a spool of thread, needle, thimble and small scissors, just the right size to use while  sewing in front of the television.  Thank you Renate!

I enjoy our meetings, it is good to talk with others who not only understand my fabric and pattern obsessions but have those same obsessions them selves.   I always come away with more ideas and techniques to try.

Monday, March 18, 2013

McCalls M6603

I made McCalls M6603 view A with long sleeves and pocket of view C  as a lightweight jacket.  The back of the pattern description is "Oversized pullover tops" and that is correct.  I used a medium weight  stretch cotton blend  that I purchased a few years ago at a Sewing Guild Annual meeting.  I purchased about 5 yards for $17.00 and since I used about 2-1/8 yards for this jacket I have plenty left over for a skirt.

 I had originally cut out the hood but since the fabric back was much lighter  than the front  I didn't want to have such a large contrast and I could either double the hood or make the cowl neck version.  I chose the cowl neck. I also made the front pocket but rather than just sewing a hem on either end I cut 2 pockets, stitched them right sides together, turned them, top stitched  and sewed the pocket on the front of the shirt.  This way the underside of the fabric will not show at all and I think this is a nicer finish.
This jacket worked up very quickly and needs no fitting because it is very large and has lots of ease.   The instructions tell you to sew the side seams and sleeve and then insert the sleeve breaking stitching at the underarm seam.  I feel it is much simpler and faster to sew the sleeve in flat so I did.

 The only issue I had was that my machine and I disagreed on what the top stitching on the hem should look like.  I had to take part of the hem out  twice before I was happy with it. 

I wore this shopping with my husband and was quite comfortable going in and out the stores and car all day.  I might make this again in a lighter weight fabric but if so, I  but I would go down at least one size.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Lovebird named Esther


Late last week, our Peach Faced Lovebird Esther died.  She was a sweet pet, we often said she was the best pet in the house.  She was about 11 or 12 years old.  Sometimes we called her our love to bite bird but unlike some lovebirds she didn't even nip at you  unless she was protecting her cage  and then she meant business  She was an incredible flier and had the agility to land anywhere with ease and grace unlike her fried Elizabeth who is a very clumsy flier.  We miss her and so does Elizabeth .

If you are looking for a pet bird a Lovebird makes a good choice.  It will readily bond to humans if you only have one bird.  If you have a pair they will probably bond more to each other than to you. Just remember that birds are flock animals and require lots of attention so make sure you do your research before buying any bird or other pet for that matter

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Silhouettes #550


This Silhouettes pattern was easy to make with only 3 pattern pieces, front, back and sleeves.  I was looking for something  quick and easy and this happened to fit the bill perfectly.

I made a size 4, cup size C but ended up taking about an inch out of the side seams.  I probably wouldn't have had to do that if I had made the optional back darts (will do next time).  I did however take away about the same amount in the sleeves.  Peggy has a button and button hole sleeve treatment that I think would have worked very well but I was in the quick and easy mode so I serged, turned up the bottom and sleeve hems and topstiched.  My fabric, a polyester blend was  drapey but I wanted to add little weight to help the cowl front drape so I bound the entire neckline in self fabric rather than double fold and topstitch per the instructions.  The back came out lower that I wanted and and actually had a slight V shape, the binding helped correct that problem and kept the back from ending up even lower.  I think I must have moved the pattern around and cut the fabric incorrectly?  I'll watch for that next time and may even raise the back some just for good measure.    In order to turn  this mistake into a design opportunity,   I made a tube, pressed it flat, top stitched,  then sewed it to the inside from shoulder to shoulder on the upper back.  You can barley see it in the picture below and no my skin is not really that color it is just a weird lighting thing.  I may make that strip a bit wider  but since I was looking for fast and easy and the top is done, fits and is comfortable, I think I will just leave it as it is.