I love to use Pinterest as my virtual bulletin board. As you might guess many of my pins are sewing related. Click here to see what fun stuff I've found and pinned to different sewing boards.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Put a little Muslin Into It - Sleeveless Blouse from Shirt Pattern (B5526 Pattern Alteration)

If English isn't your first language.... I based the title for this posting on the English phrase/idiomatic expression "Put a little muscle into it", which is an encouragement to work hard.

As I mentioned in a recent blog posting, I've been working on altering my tried-and-true B5526 from a shirt to a sleeveless   somewhat fitted, summer blouse. Here's the muslin I created to help me decide how I want that blouse to fit. As you can see, I tried out the dart on one side to see if I wanted to just have that bit of fabric be loose and blouse or add fit. After trying the muslin on my own-self, I went in favor of the dart.

My dress form, Conchita, has been of immeasurable help to me in this endeavor as I 
a) Dropped the shoulder seam slightly forward
b) Decreased the torso girth
c) Added a waist to apex-of-bust dart.

Practicing my draping skills to make pattern alterations is the kind of thing that keeps me...
Enchanted by Sewing!

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Web Resources

Planning for Rosa: My Summer Dream Blouse (Liberty of London Tana Lawn)

My Experiences Creating Two Different Dress Forms (Audio Podcast with show notes links to various blog postings)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Conchita's New Dress (Dress Form Fun)

As I mentioned in a recent blog posting, I've been working on altering my tried-and-true B5526 from a shirt to a short-sleeved, somewhat fitted, summer blouse. My dress form, Conchita, has been of immeasurable help to me in this endeavor as I 
a) Dropped the shoulder seam slightly forward
b) Decreased the torso girth
c) Added a waist to apex-of-bust dart.

Don't you think Conchita deserves this new lace frock to celebrate all the help she gives me? It's actually a piece of lace salvaged from a long-ago frock I had taken apart and then tucked into my fabric inventory. 

I simply draped the lace over Conchita's foamy body, but I think it suits her style.

Having fun with my dress form buddy is the kind of thing that keeps me...
Enchanted by Sewing!

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Web Resources

Planning for Rosa: My Summer Dream Blouse (Liberty of London Tana Lawn)

My Experiences Creating Two Different Dress Forms (Audio Podcast with show notes links to various blog postings)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Clean As A Whistle Bobbin Zone (Sewing Machine Maintenance)

Cleaning out the lint
Puts less pressure on the works
Keeps it all going!

I absolutely wore out the engine on the first machine I bought - a Viking the salesman swore would last me a lifetime. If I took good care of it! After about twenty years it's motor was shot, even though I got it serviced regularly. The gentleman I took it to for it's final maintenance told me that motor had given up the ghost, because I let the lint build up around the bobbin case too many times. 

You can bet that these days  I'm very virtuous about cleaning out the lint. I clean it at least every time I change projects, when I also change the needle. And if I'm using a fabric that makes a lot of lint - like denim or fleece- I clean it out several times. It's reminds me of flossing my teeth, if I want my gums to hold up for the long haul, I need to get those little bits and pieces out.

Knowing how to care for my machine, and helping it to a long life, is just part of being....
Enchanted by Sewing

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fabric for Rosa - The Summer Dreams Blouse

A few weeks back I purchased two yards of Rosa, a Liberty Art Fabric Tana Lawn, at Brittex in San Francisco. Like my other Tana Lawns, the hand of this material is incredible, like a wonderful silk - kind of - but with something else I haven't figured out how to describe. 

Why is this print different from any other basic flower print? I can't say, but for me, it is.

In preparation for cutting and sewing a short sleeved blouse from this wonderful fabric, I altered my favorite shirt pattern, (B5526) into a short sleeved blouse pattern. My alterations involved moving the shoulder lines forward, decreasing the bodice girth and adding waistline to bust apex darts.

I'm currently working on sewing my first test version in pink and white striped seersucker. When I say "test version" I don't mean a muslin - I've created a muslin already and fitted it on my dress form and on me. The test version is one that I'll be wearing to see how I like the alterations. I plan to make at least one more test version before I snip into Rosa. That's partly because I adore Rosa and partly because Tana Lawn is quite pricy - a real investment! - whether I buy it in San Francisco or London. 


Designed for Liberty by Allan Thomas in 1997 and has been on Classic Tana since 2002. 100% cotton with a texture and sheen to beat the band! Product ID: 59043

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Let's bring back Pettipants ! (History, Bloomers, Skimmers)

Typical Pettipants - Late 70's I'd guess
Very 70's Look on the Models
Back in the day - ladies wore bloomers. And when the skirt length revolution began in the 1920's and into the 1930's those bloomers sometimes peaked out below the hem. I recall reading about a relaxing moment for golden age mystery author Dorothy L. Sayers - her legs on somebody's desk, with her bloomers showing. Didn't gals used to tuck their bus money under the elastic at the knees of their bloomers as well? 

 Apparently these days, women who want a shorts-like slip, wear a popular garment called "skimmers". 

But back in the late sixties and into the seventies, we wore "pettipants" under our cute short dresses. My Mama sewed them for me, but lingerie departments had them too. I'm thinking about making some today as a slip alternative. 

Pettipants are basically like fitted elastic waist pants, but made in lingerie fabric (and usually with a cute bow at the waist). Also they often had lace along the bottom edge. It would be fun to sew a camisole that matched, as my mother often did for me.
This is the style of camisole and pettipants Mama sewed for me
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Web Resources
Should have guessed the square dancing' gals would have a free pattern! Takes some drafting, ok? http://www.squaredancesewing.com/under_it_all/pettipants.html

Sounds like certain ladies physiques have major issues with chafing that would make pettipants quite useful. Here are lots of options and links for ready made commercial alternatives, including "skimmers" http://www.hobomama.com/2012/09/no-chafing-options-for-skirts.html

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Terminado! My CA Summer Skies Seersucker Shirt

I talked about the techniques I used, and what I learned about working with seersucker in the June Enchanted by Sewing Podcast.

You know the joys of completing another project, don't you?
Love my new blue and white checked seersucker shirt. It's just made for summer. Well in fact it is! That's what I made it for :-)
And it's perfect with that new denim, elastic waist skirt I finished a few weeks back and have been wearing all the time. No, I don't think of myself as a skirt person but this garment has changed my mind. It's both comfortable and flattering. Nothing beats being able to design for my own figure.

I drafted the skirt myself but the shirt is an altered version of B5526, that infamous pattern I've made four times now and talk about all the time in my podcast. Yup, it's the one my buddy Susan originally altered. It started out life as my No. 1 Ladys' Detective Agency shirt. It's so great having a pattern that fits well, and lets me move on creatively from there.

Alterations on B5526 this time, in addition to Susan's original alterations to fit me

- No collar band. Oh I like that!
- Cut ends of my 3/4 length sleeves straight. Then rolled them up and hand sewed them into a permanent just-above-the-elbow roll. I'm the kind of person who always rolls up a sleeve, so why not make it permanent?
- Added pockets on either side. I varied the original pocket on the pattern, taking out the tuck. Lined the inside of the pockets with silk organza. I also used silk organza for the interfacing on the front facing (not included on the pattern), and the collar.
-Less topstitching this time because of the seersucker. I just did one row on all the edges - the hem, collar, and front facing. On crisper fabrics I do 2 or 3 for more of an edge. One row on the seersucker gave it enough definition. I continued to use commercial bias tape on the inside hem, to define the hem edge. Gee that works great.

More about sewing this shirt in my June Enchanted by Sewing podcast.

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Web Resources

The Enchanted By Sewing Podcast http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ench By Sew-021- CA Summer Skies Sewing Summer Vacation Is a State of Mind

The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!

Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link 
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Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes

Did I miss any links mentioned in the show? If so, please post here and share them with everybody
Email- EnchantedBySewing@gmail.com
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I know your June weather may not be the same as mine. Here in CA it’s time for summer skies, a little more heat, and a vacation feeling whether or not we’re able to leave town. (Hey,  feel free to post about what kind of sewing your climate inspires below!)

Sometimes I’m able to take an actual summer vacation and other years I focus on treating the summer like a vacation, even when I don’t leave the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. This summer I was able to take a mini vacation weekend trip to Disneyland. As a matter of fact I just got back☺  I went with my beautiful, kind and funny, young adult daughter. Getting to bond with her at this age is really fun!  I took along a newly finished garment from my summer wardrobe on the trip and I’ll talk about sewing that in the show. I’m going to continue to focus on treating the rest of the summer like a vacation, no matter what I get to do. And I’m going to continue to sew for my summer vacation, no matter how far afield of home I manage to go.

Here’s what I’m talking about in this month’s show

* Primero: Planning My Summer Vacation Sewing

I may be a casual dresser, but I'm not into Normcore, anti-fashion. No, I go for an arty-romantic look, creating summer vacation outfits that make me feel special– whether I wear them on a trip across an ocean, a local museum visit, or just special tea with a buddy on my patio, is the kind of thing that keeps me Enchanted by Sewing

I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas for summer sewing, either for a vacation away from home or making a includes patterns for relaxed and beautiful garments that vacation right where I live, from this new-to-me book

* Entonces/Then Key pieces I’ve created so far for my summer vacation sewists wardrobe

Love my new denim skirt - It flatters my figure type!
And how about that CA Summer Skies Shirt?
You bet I'm happy with my latest rendition of B5526
Of course I had to get some new red sandals to enhance my blue and white summer wardrobe theme :-)
a. Straight denim skirt
b. Summer Skies shirt
c. I refurbished two pair of shorts and and a pair of pants by adding thread belt loops. Guess who feels like she got three new garments? This posting from my regular blog includes a how-to link for those belt loops http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/06/wardrobe-refurbish-sewist-loves-to.html

d. Closet Shopping turned up a couple of pretty, arty shirts I’ve made in past that work well with my refurbished pants

These garments together give a slightly dressy edge to my summer vacation and make me stand up a little straighter and really feel good about myself. -

* I followup with Technicos: Focusing on seersucker sewing  with my CA Summer skies shirt