Saturday, July 5, 2008

Some current stitching

Boy have I fallen short of my goal to post a couple times a week -- I didn't even make twice in the month of June!

Here is a pic of a current project-- a simple little empire top that I made as a test muslin from my The Complete Clothier (TCC) - Custom Closet software. This is the newest kid on the block of pattern-drafting software. So new, it hasn't been released to the general public yet!

I am a member of the SEAM Team and we put the patterns through lots of testing. Since I'm pretty pleased with the fit of this muslin (or should I say calico) version, I'll get more creative with fabric choice and collar and/or embellishment on the next one. But this is just fine for running out on errands around town. Perfect for heading to the grocery store or the library to check out more sewing books!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another vintage top!

Thanks for all the kind comments and well wishes for my blog. I'm having a heck of a time today with getting the pictures aligned with the text. All is fine in the preview window and then things go wild after I "publish."

Today's entry is in keeping with the 70s theme, and this is a blouse where I did the embroidery. It was so easy and as I remember, fairly quick, to add the blanket stitch with contrasting thread to the yoke of this little blouse. It was one of my favorites to wear with jeans (bell bottoms, of course!).

Notice how nicely the top hangs and doesn't swing out at the sides? There is a center front and center back seam and the pieces are cut on the bias.

Somewhere in this post is a closeup of the hand work. (It's supposed to be at the right of this comment.)

The cut combined with the soft cotton made this a very comfortable top. Oh, to have those 20-y.o. arms again to wear this style! I have been having the urge lately to do some hand embellishment, but maybe something with sleeves.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Getting Started in Blog Land

This is something I've been wanting to do for many months but have never take the time to actually do it.

I would like to share aspects of my sewing (the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly) while also sharing some of my mother's beautiful handiwork with those who will appreciate it. My children (her only grandchildren) appreciate it to the extent that it is pretty to look at -- but only other stitchers will really appreciate the craftsmanship and skill. I have a collection of items that incorporates all types of handwork -- knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting, and sewing.

It's a challenge to decide what to show first! I've decided to start at the beginning with a pic of my mom in her single glamour days (she could have been a WWII pinup girl!) and a pic of me ... you can figure out which is which ...

This is the machine that she used to create all the clothes I wore growing up--from baby layette, to little farm-girl feedsack dresses, to high school prom dresses-- well, you get the idea! And this is also the machine that I used when I started sewing in the late '60s.

Even when she bought one of those "fancy zig-zag" machines with about 3 stitches, she still swore by her trusty White (White "Rotary Electric Sewing Machine" Series 77) ... a straight-stitch only machine that delivered (and I suppose still does) one of the best stitch qualities of any machine. The "rest of the story" for this machine is that dreaded knee/leg lever that powers the motor. At the time, I was learning to sew with both this machine and the zig-zag that had the foot pedal. You can guess what's coming -- I was so intent on concentrating on where I was placing the fabric under the presser foot, that I forgot where my leg was.... OUCH! The first (and hopefully last) time that I put a needle through my fingernail.

This is one of my favorite garments, circa mid-1970s. I wish it still fit, as these shirts are back in style! I can't say for certain but I think it was created one weekend when I was home from college. By the time I headed back to campus on Sunday afternoon, I had a brand new hand-embroidered shirt .... I wonder if she slept?

I know you want to see a close-up and I'm trying to figure that part out ... I may have to take a different picture and edit this post.

I'm still learning how to work with the layout capabilities here and hope to get better at this.

Ok, ok ... I can hear you now ... after all, what does any stitcher worth her mettle do when presented with someone else's work?????

Welllllll, turn it inside out ... duh! That was something that was paramount to her standard of quality ... the inside/wrong side/back side all had to match the quality of the outside/right side/front side! While I hated that when she was the mentor and I was the ... mentee? or demented? ... uh, one frustrated daughter .... I can certainly appreciate now the quality of the work and the work ethic that she instilled in me.

So I guess that is enough for today ...

I promise, more to come in the days to come ...