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, February 8, 2016

Sleeves are Troublesome Part 1: Discussion with Susan

Dear Susan,

Here's that princess-seamed shirt muslin (M6076) we talked about. I'm noticing....

* Two sets of diagonal wrinkles across bodice

* Bicep stretches across tight -  but I know for sure sleeve cap should be 3/4 inch longer than curve of armscye. It's not now.

*  I cut back the armhole on this side , so I lost the extra in the sleeve cap 
*  I think the  front pull up means I dropped under arm too much?
* Is the tight bicep maybe because I'm missing 3/4" ease, or because armscye is too low ?
* Hmmm why does back stretch across now? Torso fit fine in the sleeveless version and in this muslin before I added sleeve

Friday, January 29, 2016

Ench By Sew-40: Year of Monkey Inspires Sewing

Click on this link in iTunes  to download the 40th episode of the Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast,  recorded in January of 2016. Or listen directly on the web by clicking on this link.

Kunghei fatchoy!*

The Celebration of the Year of the Monkey begins  just a little over a week from now. This month’s  “Enchanted by Sewing” show celebrates sewing inspired by the Chinese Lunar New Year

This episode:
Primero /First  - A brief introduction to the Chinese Lunar New Year



Entonces/Then: My audio notes from the show “China through the Looking Glass” a very popular textile and fashion show that ran  last summer 2015, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

Y Tambien/And Also:  I include reflections on my own experiences with Chinese inspired patterns, textiles and fashions.


. . .

The American mid 20’th century musical “The Flower Drum Song” is a great way to get a sense of Euro-American people’s awareness of Chinese –descent communities in their midst. 

Chinese fabrics and styles, whether from history, stories, films or  a growing awareness of Chinese culture, have inspired elements in my sewing, since before I first put a needle into a piece of material.

Remembering where my inspiration to create and sew comes from, is just one more thing that keeps me…

Enchanted by Sewing

*In Cantonese “Happy New Year” is “Kunghei fatchoy “ (/gong-hey faa-chwhy/)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Samplers - Early Blogs

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, Textiles: Samplers
Seems a new idea
"Look at me, I was here."
Samplers were blogs too!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I gotta remember to Stay-Stitch those sleeves! Muslin: M6076 - Princess Seamed Shirt - Pattern Work

I cut out the muslin for this princess-seamed shirt a while back. It's the same pattern, M6076, I first started using to create my sleeveless Western Winds shirt back in the early fall. Now I'm continuing to create a sleeved version. This pattern has multiple princess-seamed options (a princess-seam can end up in different spots on the garment) and lots and lots of instruction sheet ideas for getting a good fit. A really good basic pattern.

I'm not instruction sheet oriented - so I have a tendency to forget about stay-stiching! And then I wonder why the sleeve stretches out of shape when I go to set it in! Same deal with other curved seam areas. And it's particularly important when I'm creating a muslin/toile - because this is the time for getting the seams to come together right .

Set in Sleeve test - the outer line is stay-stitching (regular stitch line).
The inner line is a basting stitch for easing or setting the sleeve cap into the
armscye (the curved opening in the bodice)
I added two tucks in the front of the sleeve cap, because after I measured the alterations to the bodice (the armscye line), 
I found that there was too much sleeve cap. I want only about 3/4" more in the sleeve cap, than in the armscye. Also I took note
as to the center of the sleeve - so I only altered the front, the back looks like it has about the right amount of extra.

I must admit, this is not exciting sewing. In the past I always just went ahead and sewed up a pattern and hoped for the best. But I've learned the value of a well fitting pattern. It means I'll get this one pattern working for me - and then I can just zip through future versions, knowing they'll look and fit great and I'll reach into the armoire for them again and again.

I added a one inch seam allowance for fitting a muslin/toile.
Learned this from Lynda Maynard.
I used a double Clover tracing wheel for this - it has two heads.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Embellishment Inspiration: Personable Lions - Antique Printed Fabric

 These charming lions were block printed on cotton fabric, in Iran,  sometimes between the 10'th and 11th centuries. Eventually traders imported block printed fabric on to other lands and  Europeans were inspired by the use of wooden or metal blocks, to print on fabric of their own. 

I think this design would make a charming modern fabric. A quilt for a child? Definitely! But also I can imagine borrowing this pattern for patch pockets, tote bags, or miniaturized for a border print on a skirt hem or shirt cuffs.

Web Resources: Fashion and Virtue

Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Plaid Tidings: My Husbands New Nightshirt (M8379)

In my November and December podcasts, the theme was plaids and tartans. 
I'm in the mood to sew more than one this winter season. Hope I can make that happen

My husband's nightshirts were wearing out - he usually needs one or two new ones about every two years. Since the last ones I made him, I've misplaced the pattern. I found McCalls 8379 on the web. It seems to be out of print, but there are probably still many available the same way I found this one. I liked the front tuck and simple neckline. 

I got the side seam plaids matched, but since I quilted the pocket, the flannel in the pocket tightened up quite a lot more than the flannel in the front of the garment. So the plaids didn't match up when I laid the pocket down. My husband doesn't care! He's glad to have a place to put his iPod or reading glasses when he's hanging out on a Sunday morning reading the paper.

He likes it!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ench By Sew-39: Plaid tidings’ to you and all of your kin! Part 2 of Tartans and Plaids (Winter Holidays Mini-Cast)

Newly togged out Katie Rose is an Engel-Puppen doll
Click on this link in iTunes  to download the 39th episode of the Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast,  recorded in December of 2015. Or listen directly on the web by clicking on this link.

Plaid tidings’ to you and all of your kin! During the winter holidays, plaids and tartans look so festive. Dolls are the perfect plaid-sewing partners, because sewing for a doll, gives me the motivation to engage in some sample sewing. And at this time of year they remind me of  dollies, and doll clothes that were sewn for me, at this special time of year – like the mini wardrobe of Barbie clothes my aunt gracie sewed and sent me one winter holiday, as well as the red courderoy jumpers and dotted slip dresses, Mama made for our Chatty Kathy dolls, as well as for me and my sister Trisha in the winter I was 4 (with matching girl jumpers).

K.R's green plaid jumper is based on an
 American Girl free doll clothes pattern in "Mollie's Pretty Clothes"

The doll featured in this sewing project is Katie Rose. K.Rose is an Engel-Puppen doll. (Engel-Puppen doll link - has history of these dolls)

Sample sewing may not sound very exciting, but sewing an 18” (think American Girl sized) plaid doll’s dress gave me a chance to – in a very limited amount of time - practice my pattern cutting out skills for plaid fabric, as well as experiment with a new-to-me technique for improved  plaid matching

This  show is all about technicos/techniques.

My goals with this doll’s dress were to work on:
Primero/First)Careful layout of multiple princess-seamed bodice pieces - definitely less nerve racking for a doll, and gives me confidence to work on the red plaid princess-seamed shirt I’m muslin’ing - as well as the plaid nightshirt I’ll plan to be making soon for my husband.
Entonces/Then)I tried Fusible Thread to decrease slippage during sewing (a new-to-me technique for enhanced/ improved  plaid matching).  Also useful /good idea for sewing on patch pockets  

I used crafster to look for help regarding my challenges with fusible thread.
Response from ~T Read more: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=442125.0#ixzz3ufLODkuJ

She calls for low heat, so I am guessing you just had the iron too hot.

She also describes another technique for using it with aluminum foil as your pressing cloth..letting that cool and peeling it off, to create a design on fabric. Like a dimensional paint overlay technique?

You Craftsters always inspire me to hunt for new ideas   

I Goggled 'Fusible Thread Instruction' for this one. There are more on there as well.

I love using succulents all over the house during the festive season.
This simple arrangement provides the perfect place for Katie Rose to hang out.

American Girl Doll Clothes Patterns - Free http://www.agplaythings.com/AG%20Patterns/DollDressPatterns.html

More Plaid Web Resources