Sunday, August 22, 2010

Button, Button .... WHICH button???????

Another garment for the style show almost finished -- but I can't decide which buttons to use ....

On one hand I like the scale, color match, and feminity of this one

Click photo to enlarge

On the other hand, my original thought was to use taupe to coordinate with the rolled hem that I put on the edge of the collar ...

Click photo to enlarge

Sometimes decisions are the most difficult part of sewing!  

Please leave a comment to voice your opinion ... otherwise I'll have to flip a coin.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

the Good, the Bad, and the .....

FINISHED!  Another outfit for the style show!

  • 3 more garments are checked off as DONE!  (actually 4 since I made a half slip to go under the skirt)
  • challis -- beautiful drape, lovely ruffles
  • chiffon -- beautiful drape, great as a wrap
  • colors -- luv em!
  • a rotary cutter, a ruffler, and a serger -- lifesavers
  •  challis -- lovely to wear but not as much fun to cut --garment pieces weren't too bad, but for stability I pinned the fabric to tissue paper before cutting strips for the ruffles
  • chiffon -- lovely to wear but NO fun to cut -- again, more tissue paper used to stabilize the fabric even after I had given it a hefty dose of heavy duty spray starch and pressing (tip: cover the ironing board cover first with an old towel)
  • 222" of ruffle -- need I say more? (that's 18.5 feet or 6.167 yards)
  • print -- a one-way print so had to make sure the tulips were used so they are supported by their stems and not hanging from them
  • fabrics that look "almost" the same on the right/wrong, fashion/reverse sides ... close enough to get them mixed up, different enough that every seam was checked twice before stitching
  • 45" fabric -- could only get one cardiwrap front out at one cutting so more work to stabilize and keep it all from dragging off the cutting table
 The FINISHED  (one of the most "beautiful" words in the language)

A sleeveless shell, a gathered skirt with a shaped hemline and 5" ruffle at a 3:1 ratio and rolled hemline (both top and bottom of the ruffle), and a cardiwrap with a shell edging.

There are a couple options for wearing this cardiwrap, I think our model will probably tie the front.

I should have pressed this again before taking the pictures but promise to do so before the style show.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Remember the tune to "Age of Aquarius"?

Oh flash back to the late 60s!  I was in the grocery this morning, buying some goodies for a gourmet breakfast for my son who is 21 today.  I decided to adapt an asparagus-Gruyere cheese quiche that I had at the BonBonerie the other day as scrambled eggs instead.

As I was walking through the produce section thinking -- asparagus -- asparagus -- I realized that the piped-in music was playing the Age of Aquarius ... how timely ... start humming now ... so of course, in my head it became

This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus
The Age of Asparagus
A-spar-a-gus! A-spar-a-gus!

 Oh yes, I know it -- I am such a dork!  But it made me smile ....

Click here if you don't know the tune  (not sure if it will play enough -- you get to listen once)

The eggs were great along with a little rosemary focaccia and a side of goetta (a Cincinnati treat, pronounced, getta) which is a sausage-like meat that has pin oats as part of the mix.

Pluse we have enough extra to have roasted asparagus later today, his favorite veggie.

The end of an era for me -- the last of my babies to turn 21!  Next milestone is when he finishes that college degree ...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Finally -- something for ME!

Today I took a break from my style show sewing and decided to make a pair of capris that have been on the "to do" list since early June.  I figure that I'll still have time to get plenty of wear from these before I have to put on socks and real shoes instead of my preferred bare feet or sandals.

Last week I went to a wonderful lunch at a great little tearoom and noticed a woman wearing a pair of capris with an interesting back hem treatment.  So today I am now wearing a pair with that same detail!  The center back had a vent and it looked like it was two flaps that had been sewn to the pant leg above.

So this morning I took my capri pattern and arbitrarily decided how long my flap would be.  Not too scientific -- my TCC pattern had printed so that I had a page break just shy of 4" -- so that became my flap.  I cut some new seam lines and added seam allowance with some tissue saved from Christmas gifts. 

I prefer 3/8" seams because that is just the width of my standard presser foot.

I had decided to completely self face the flaps.  They were sewn together with a seam at the center back and the hemline.  I finished the top edge and side seams with the serger.

I understitched the seam at center back so that it will remain (said hopefully) nice and crisp through many washings and wearings.
Once I stitched them to the bottom of the pants leg, I added some top stitching for reinforcement and visual interest.Funny how the flash so totally changed the color of the fabric in the one shot.  

I think it took as long to finish the hem, sew on the waistband hook, take the pictures, and write this post as it did to sew the pants! 

And now for the best part -- the fit ... they are sooo comfortable when they fit well.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's NOT the pits ... it's the air!

When I'm not sewing or working on the computer, I'm usually cooking.  I just have to share this great discovery ....

Yesterday I made some guacamole out of an avocado that was at just the perfect degree of ripeness ... and the guacamole was soooo good ..l but I couldn't eat it all.  I've always heard that if you put the avocado pit in the guac it will keep it from turning brown.  I also used freshly squeezed lime juice from half a lime so the citrus will help with that too (not to mention the flavor!)

Based on something I had discovered (or read somewhere, been doing it so long I don't remember) that I do to keep ice cream fresh (ie no ice crystals or turning gummy), I decided to put some plastic wrap over the guacamole and put it into the refrigerator to try to save it to eat today.

When I opened the refrigerator this morning to make breakfast, here's what my bowl of guacamole looked like (about 12 hours after I first made it) --

Nice and green ... not brown at all!  You see the secret is not the plastic wrap itself, but to put it directly on the guacamole and not across the top of the bowl.  It kept out all the air.  It may be a little messy when I take it off but that's better than wasting all that good yummyness (or is it yumminess?)  If you notice, I purposely left out the pit to test my method.

Bon appetit!  I guess it would be more appropriate to say ¡buen provecho

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What not to wear ...

... when sewing eyelash sparkle knit? 

.... duh ... black pants .... ask me how I know?

It's fun sewing a cardiwrap for a little girl -- especially if it can be cut from only a half yard of fabric (she's 4).

Here is the little cardiwrap that I stabilized the shoulders and back neckline with fusible bias stay tape (I used Design Plus) and then the shell stitch to finish the edges and hemlines.  The edging really gets lost with the eyelash so it was more a matter of just having a stable finish.

I don't know which is more challenging -- sewing the small garments or trying to figure out how to photograph them.  They don't fit on the dress form so we'll just have to be content with hanger and use our imaginations to put them on a little cutie pie.

Now, where is my lint brush?

Oooh la la

Yesterday was a double-edged sword ... working on an editing project that took all day and then some ... 11.5 hours at the computer but that will help this month's invoicing.  So today it felt so good to be able to stitch up a couple of quick garments for the TCC style show at Novi .  Two more off my To Do list as Done!

I worked on the little girl's sleeveless shell and her wool skirt.  Doesn't everyone else work with wool on a 90-degree August day?  Makes you have empathy for the sheep.

The skirt design wasn't my idea and I was given the task of putting a 2:1 ruffle on the bottom.  No big deal but I wasn't so sure how that would work with the wool--it came out just fine. First I serge finished the top of the ruffle that would be sewn to the skirt and then I did a serger rolled hem (3 thread) with just plain old serger thread on the bottom of the ruffle.  Next I went back to the sewing machine to play with my new ruffler and used the pleating setting.

Lucky for me that the width of the fabric worked out to be "almost" perfect for the size of the skirt to do the ruffle with no seaming.  Fortunately I left enough thread at both ends of the ruffle so I could work it out just a little bit (about 2") so that it matched the skirt perfectly.

Now I don't know about you, but I can't wear wool.  Even blends.  So I decided this skirt should have a lining (I actually put in an underlining which I thought was quicker).  Every girl needs a few secrets that make her smile -- and the lining of this skirt is one of those.  I hope the little girl who is getting this skirt will smile whenever she gets dressed.  I just hope her mom doesn't have to convince her she can't wear it inside out!

I serged the underlining to the wool at the bottom seamline and then added the pleated ruffle.  It was just too much for me to try to do all that in only one step.

The outfit has one more piece coming -- a fun little cardiwrap -- so something to look forward to!