Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No Sewing Here, But Some Somethings

Sigh. Unfortunately there has been no sewing going on here. For some reason my sewing mojo has just totally fled me. Everyday I trolled all my favorite blogs and see people make some beautiful things and I think to myself "You need to get to your machine." So this weekend I decided to get off my butt and work on my tuxedo blazer that's been hibernating in my UFO pile all summer. After doing another muslin fitting and pulling out the fabric I chose for my jacket I realize that I'm not all that enthusiastic about it anymore. I went through my fabric stash to see if I could be inpired to make something else and had one of those I don't like any of this fabric moment. After pulling fabric after fabric and not being inspired I just walked away disgusted (I refuse to purchase anymore fabric until I get my stash down). Despite that let down I have been doing some crafty things. First, I'm knitting. I'm currently working on Hetty by Andi Satterlund.

It's a pretty quick and easy knit. Right now I'm up one sleeve. I'm using Valley Yarns Northampton which has been in my stash for years (I also refuse to buy any new yarn until I bring down my stash). I hope to have the sweater finished by the end of the week maybe early next week. What I like most about the design of this sweater is instead knitting sleeves seperately and seaming it to the body of the sweater you pick up stitches along the armhole and shape your sleeve using short rows. That's a technique I've never really done that before. Well actually done right. lololol.   I really do want to hurry up and finsih this sweater so that I can start on Gemini from Knitty.

Also, after two years of sitting in its bag I pulled out my spinning wheel. I blame it on Craftsy. lololol I decided to purchase my first class which was Spinning in Color and it had me itching to get back to my wheel. I'm no where near ready to tackle the color mixing technique the instructor showed in her video but it inspired me to work on getting better at spinning so that one day I can. I figure with the weather getting cooloer and me going out less on the weekend this would be a good time to practice. So I've rewatched my how to DVD's, I've been treadling on the peddles while watching Season 7 of Dexter, and messing with some inexpensive roving that I order from Knit Picks. It's funny but for some reason after watching these dvd again after two years it seems like everything has finally clicked. In one of the video the instructor talks about how different adjustment of the tension will help you get the singles I want without changing the way I treadle or moving the wheel band. I also practiced my plying. I had two bobbins full of singles that I spun up two years ago that I decided ply and I have to say I'm quite proud of how it came out.

I don't know how many yards are here nor the weight I was just happy to see my plied yarn looking more even and more like, well, yarn. Right now I'm spinning up some undyed roving into singles which I hope to ply and dye. Maybe I'll spin up enough to make something substantial, like a sweater. We'll see. Until Later, Happy Sewing

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In Progress: Tuxedo Blazer

I know I've been MIA again, but this pleasant NYC weather has been calling my name.  I just want to pop in quickly with an update on my going on's.  I have been working on something.  I took a day off, giving myself a three day weekend, a few weeks ago and got started on my Tuxedo blazer. It's currently in the muslin phase since I want it to be as perfect as I can get it.  Here's what I've done so far:

I'm recreating this blazer by modifying the pattern I used to make this jacket which was made using New Look 6610.  I plan on using this medium weight cotton as the main body of the garment and using a solid fabric, either in black or brown, for the collar.

I've already altered the pattern and plan on making another muslin to check the overall fit and see if I need to make anymore changes.  It's suppose to rain this weekend so it will be a perfect day to make a dent in my project.

Until Later, Happy Sewing!!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Getting Ready For Summer

Sorry I've been MIA for awhile.  I'm currently in the midst of a body overhaul.  I'm in my final stretch of Insanity by Shaun T, a 60 day workout program, I only have two weeks to go. YAY  I need to get my body tight with Summer around the corner.  So far my results have been fabulous.  I've toned up and lost inches in all the place I wanted and needed to lose them and this is without a defined diet.  I don't believe in diets.  I just try to eat a balanced meal, but I haven't given up the things I like. Cough "cake"cough. lolol  I eat like a normal person is suppose to eat, everything in moderation. I did Insanity last year for about two months but never had the courage to get past Level 1. But even just doing Level 1 I saw great results, 13 lbs and a dress size.

Side Note: Funny story, last year around the time I started Insanity I was standing outside with my sister during one of our lunch time meets and as I was talking to her about how I felt about the workout who happens to walk by us.  Shaun T himself.  My sister kept saying that it was him, but I was sceptical.  So as he walks by she goes "Hi Shaun T" and he says hi back and gives her a smile.  I later learned that he comes through the Gramercy Park area a lot.  He pretty much looks the same as he does in his videos.

Then summer came and I stopped.  I hadn't reached my weight loss goal by then, but I was happy with what I'd accomplished and promised myself that I would start up again in the Fall.  Well, almost a year later I decided now was the time to reach my goal, which is a size 6.  At the start of this program I was an 8 which is now getting loose.  I don't have a weight loss number I want to achieve since I really don't pay attention to the numbers on the scale. I've seen proof from doing this workout that muscle really does weigh more than fat and that a measuring tape and the way your clothes fit will really let you know if you've accomplishing anything.  Over the past year I never gained back the weight I lost, but I did lose a lot of the muscle tone I gained which kind of made me feel a little dumpy.  This time I decided to stop being a scaredy cat and do the whole program.  With the results I've seen since I restarted, toned legs and abs, leaner frame, I've decided that I'm going to make working out a part of my lifestyle.  I have no plans on joining a gym, I really don't care for them.  I really enjoy the whole workout at home thing and I have quite a few fitness vids, pilates, sculpting, cardio, so I will just pop those in according to the kind of day I've had and create my own regimen.  I'm also looking into getting some more vids so I won't get bored, Turbo Fire looks like a lot fun.

So on the sewing front making clothes right now seems like a waste, which I learned the hard way. The Clover pants I made a year ago no longer fit after I did Insanity last year.  Actually, I never even got an opportunity to wear them outside. :(   I'm currently working on cloning my favorite trench coat.  Outerwear is pretty forgiving when it come to weight loss so I feel safe making those.  I hope to have something to show soon since the cold weather has decided to come back to NYC after a few days of beautiful weather.

Until Later, Happy Sewing!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Made but Not Shown

I finally broke out of my rut of laziness and decided to show off all the items I've made that I've been too lazy to take pics of myself in.  First up.  Attack of my clones.

Using the book, Patternmaking for the Perfect Fit, I recreated these skinny jeans and this blouse.

I made both pieces using fabric from my stash, I'm on a quest to use up as much of my stash as possible.  The jeans are a clone of a pair of JCP for JC Penney's cords that I love the fit of.  They are made from some crinkle denim that I've had for awhile.  I made some mods to the pattern which made the fit not as great as I wanted, but better than any fitted pant I've tried to make from a purchased pattern, the manufacturer already did all the work for me.   I'm going to remove the mods from the pattern and try again to see if I can get the fit I want.  All in all I'm pretty happy with them.

The top is made from a poly crepe, at least I think it's poly, that was sent to me by accident.  I've never used this type of fabric before, but let me tell you, I'm in love. I will definitely be using this type of fabric again.  It cut and sewed up like a dream and I love the drape. I am so happy with the way this blouse came out.  It's a clone of a Liz Claiborne for JC Penney's top that I like the style of.   It came out and fit exactly like I wanted.  This is also the first time I've drafted and sewn a hidden button placket, thank you Patternmaking for Fashion Design.  I plan on making more of these.  Even though both pieces were made to be wearable muslin I see myself wearing both pieces quite often.

Next up, a jacket that I actually finished in October.  

I wanted a sporty blazer and this is what I envisioned.  I made this blazer using NL6610.  It was pretty simple to modify and I was really happy with the finished results.

Once again I used fabric from my stash and a zipper with metal teeth.  When I came across this fabric I knew it would be perfect.  It has this real pretty faux basket weave effect that gives the jacket nice texture.

I lined it with some pretty polka dot satin charmeuse fabric, once again from my stash.  I'm not really happy with the way I set in the lining and have every intention on fixing it.  I've worn this blazer several times since I made this.  This jacket will take me right into spring.

Last but not least, a plaid blouse I made over the Thanksgiving holiday using Burda 5/2007.  

I made a few mods to the pattern like adding bust darts and long sleeves. This was a gaggle of first for me.  The first time I've ever done a collar with collar stand and a placket sleeve.  The thing I'm most proud of with this top is how well I matched up my plaids.

My next project is a self drafted blouse using my bodice pattern blocks and cloning my favorite trench coat.

Until Later, Happy Sewing!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Follow My Blog With Bloglovin

Even though I've seen the tag many times on peoples blogs I never actually knew what it was.  The topless lady with the plus sign on her breast is kind of misleading.  Finally, one day I clicked on the link and saw it was a space to keep track of all the blogs I love.  Wait, what?  Does this mean that I don't have to keep saving my fave blogs to my favorites tab.  Sorry to say I knew nothing about Google Reader.  lolol SMH  I now follow over a hundred blogs and adding more newly discovered ones everyday.  I just learned that in order to be followed on this site you need to "claim" your blog.  So here I am claiming it.  Thanks to all of you who decide to follow me.  I'll try to be a little more consistent with the postings.  lolol

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spring Trends I'm Looking Forward to

Since the success with my bodice sloper and my rub off jeans I've been feeling more confident in my skill. It has me tackling projects a little more fearlessly (jeans) and that makes me feel so good. With the groundhog predicting an early Spring here in the Northeast I'm so looking forward to making garments to greet the warmer weather. Below are some of the Spring/Summer trends I'm chomping at the bit to add to my wardrobe:
What I'm loving for Spring
  1. Ethnic print romper - This hits two trends I'm really loving.  I've been wanting a romper since last summer and I'm really loving the ethnic print garments hitting stores.  I have the perfect fabric for the romper above.
  2. Peplum top - I've been meaning to jump on this bandwagon for awhile.  This past Summer I even traced out the popular Simplicity top making its rounds in the sewing world.  I'm glad I waited because I think piping will really make my top pop.  I plan on making a top similar to this.
  3. Tuxedo Blazer - I think I may have been ahead of the trend on this one.  I've been wanting a Tuxedo blazer ever since I bought a beautiful piece of painted cotton sateen last summer but unable to to find just the right pattern.  Maybe if I practice enough I'll be able to draft my own similar to this one.  We'll see.
  4. Pencil Skirt - What can I say.  You can never have too many.  I want to make few in lighter more Spring/Summer colors.  Especially now that I have a TNT pencil skirt pattern.
  5. Floral Jeans - I have a beautiful piece of floral twill in my stash that is begging to be a pair of jeans.  I'm going to use the pattern I created using the rub off method to make a pair.
  6. Feminine Blouses - I think feminine blouses in luxuriously drapey fabric are the perfect compliment to the floral denim trend.  I'm actually in the processing of doing a rub off on a blouse that I own.  If it's a success it will definitely be a TNT for a multitude of other blouses.
  7. Printed Trench - I think these come into fashion every season, but I've never owned a printed one.  I have a red trench that I purchased years ago that I love and wear to death in Spring and Fall.  The cut, the fit, the style is just really flattering on me.  I have a pretty cotton sateen in my stash that's dying to be that jacket.  Another rub off in making. lololol
What Spring trends are you planning to add to your wardrobe?

OMG, you really need to check out this guy.  Chris White.  I discovered him a few days ago while surfing Youtube.  He does time lapse fashion tutorials where he shows you the design process.  The sketching, the draping, the pattermking from your drape, cutting and putting it all together.  All from his home.  The first video I saw was his interpretation of a boyfriend blazer.  Stunned.

Until Later, Happy Sewing!

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Goal # 2: Cloning RTW

I know that quite a few home sewers and even professional sewer first learned to create clothing by cloning or taking apart garments they already owned when they were younger.  I have to admit something, as a teen I never owned a sewing machine and never had drive to take apart my clothes.  I just liked to draw.  I learned sewing professionally, attending The HS of Fashion Industries, here in NY where I was taught to sew, drape basic blocks, create my own patterns, and sew up a garment for our annual fashion show (designed by someone else).  So now I find myself doing something that many people just starting out may have done and that is too finally clone a garment in my wardrobe.  The idea came back to me after Sunni did a post on it a few months back when she cloned one of her cardigans.  So off I went to purchase the exact book she did, Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit: Using the Rub-off Technique to Re-create and Redesign Your Favorite Fashions by Steffani Lincecum, and went to cloning.  Of course, I never do anything the easy way.  I decided to clone a pair of skinny jeans, pants are not discussed in the book.  I had a pair of skinny cords (the blue) that I purchased from JC Penney that I loved the fit of. 

I followed the rules in the book as well as some Internet research and a very small chapter in my Patternmaking book.  I have to say I'm quite happy with the way the jeans came out.

The waistband stretch out a little bit but I'm hoping it will reshrink in the wash.  I used a pair of cream colored textured denim I've had in my stash for awhile and some quilting cotton for the waistband facing, I ran out of denim.  I also finally got use my denim needle as well as my topstitching thread. 

I did a four pocket style instead of five.  Since I didn't have any rivets or jean button I eliminated that and just used a regular metal button I had in my stash. There are a few tweaks I have to do to the pattern but overall I'm happy with the fit.  Even after trying them on several times in the construction process the denim managed to hold it shape well.  I plan to wear these jeans quite a bit come spring.  I already see the different outfits in my head.  I really like this cloning thing.  Below is a glimpse of another clone.

Another thing I'm trying to do for 2013 is go on a fabric diet.  I really need to use up a lot f the fabric I have in my stash.  So other than necessities like, lining fabric, zippers, buttons, and thread, I will try my best not to buy anymore fabric.  Wish me luck.

Until later, Happy Sewing!


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