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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ench By Sew-34:Sewing with the Flow - Fairy Inspired

This month’s show is Fairy Inspired… Fairy Gardens that is– where my sewing (like my gardening)  knows,  It’s the Story that makes it.

Listening Option 1: Download from iTunes
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

Listening Option 2: Direct Download/Listen on the Web
 LISTEN RIGHT ON THE WEB (while sewing perhaps?)   by Clicking on this Link 
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Enchanted by Sewing IS, An  EXTENSION OF my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 

My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live
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 I was feeling pretty serious about my sewing when I got back into town last month. I was thinking that any day I’d get on with some serious pattern drafting work.

Well, I haven’t! As a matter of fact whenever I thought about doing intense pattern work – either drafting or pattern alteration – I just found something else to do. And, as this has been an unusually busy summer for me, both professionally and personally, it was easy to put sewing off.

Finally I just quit worry about what I’d planned to do, and responded to materials and projects that were singing out to me from the bins over my machine. And I was, once more, reminded of Lori Van Monnans’s advice to ‘sew forth now’.

Sometimes you just gotta sew. By just responding to what I had on hand, I was working on getting in some summer garment essentials. They were essential because there items I really use at this time of year, and also essential to my happiness. It doesn’ t always matter whether I’m carrying through on garments I blue sky about. What matters is that I respond to my essential need to sew because, sewing enchants me.

In this month’s show

1) Recent summer essential sewing – Journaling about what’s useful additions I’ve sewn for my summer armoire.

Lucy Locket's Mobile Pocket Bag - http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/lucky-lockets-mobile-device-pocket-bag.html

A new Tapestry Cap - http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/replacing-my-tapestry-cap.html

Enchanted by Sewing(Aug 2014) Capping Off Summer - Creating a simple pattern for, and sewing a cap http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/08/ench-by-sew-023-capping-off-summer.html

-Singing the Blues Tee - Pattern drafted from my moulage http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/07/sewing-summer-essentials-singing-blues.html

- Rose Embellished Straight Skirt - Pattern drafted from my sloper http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/terminado-rose-embellished-straight.html

2) Technicos: Techniques I used to complete My Rose Embellished Denim Straight Skirt – Sloper to Pattern, and embellishment techniques

Enchanted By Sewing Show (May 2015) Parlez Vous French Pattern Drafting ?http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/05/ench-by-sew-32-parlez-vous-french.html

3) Fairy Gardens Inspire My Sewing
Whether gardening or sewing – it’s the story that makes the creation

Postcard from California - How to Invite Fairies to Live in your Garden - A Fairy Garden Tutorial http://postcardfromcalifornia.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-to-invite-fairies-to-live-in-your.html

Postcard from California - There are Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden - CA patio garden that is

Both these Disney Garden books inspire my theme gardening style. I like the tabbed-cookbook style of DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY when I want to quickly review the steps for creating a hanging basket or well illustrated how-tos for small topiaries. (There's lots of good info for larger topiaries and garden sculpting as well - I just haven't tried it out) In addition, there is good gardening (yard or pots) basic techniques as well as many recommendations for plants that work well for specific themes and temperatures. I highly recommend it, because I have used it a lot over a period of several years.

I also turn regularly to my Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens book. It has a lot of similar techniques and information as DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY and it also has lovely, lovely photos that inspire me. So when I want to sit down and just get ideas for themes or gardening styles, I pour through the photos in this book.

Wegman's Nursery in Redwood City has regular Fairy Garden Classes! http://www.wegmansnursery.com

Fairy magic is definitely adding a little more enchantment to my life, when it comes to gardening.
And ….It’s also given me a better understanding of how to keep my sewing enchanting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Applique inspiration - Summer at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (Blue Sky Sewing)

Nothing says summer like a ride at the historical Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
What makes me want to create an applique inspired by this design from the Santa Cruz Beach Bordwalk?
-  Orange says summer like no other color
-  Charm of the school's-out scene, that little girl is so obviously happy
-  Seahorse Beach motif also speaks to summer

Where might I applique a design like this?

- Beach or Shopping Bag
- Back of a bathrobe
- Pillow Cover

Where would you put an appliqué inspired by summer at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk?

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sewing Summer Essentials - Singing the Blues Tee

My newly created Singing the Blues Tee Creation

I'll work for you.
I'll slave for you.
I'll be a begger, or a knave for you.
If that isn't love, it will have to do.
Until the real thing comes along!
Billie Holiday knew how to sing the blues! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Holiday

 I'm continuing to work with the tee shirt pattern I drafted from the moulage I created in my French Pattern Drafting class. Who can't use another comfortable, pretty, feel good tee over the summer?

Sewing summer essentials keeps me from 
feeling blue,
 even when I find myself singing them.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Border Terrier Hand Embroidery - How Shalll I use it?

My Border Terrier - one of my practice mini-projects on my trip
What do you think I should use this little embroidery motif for? I haven't decided yet. A pocket maybe? It could go on the outside of a tote bag or be added to an existing shirt. I could even stitch it, as a patch, onto a pair of jeans - like we used to back in the 60's and 70's. Do you have any other ideas?

In my June Enchanted by Sewing podcast, I mentioned that while on vacation in the United Kingdom for two and a half weeks,  I kept my sewing hand in by practicing hand embroidery stitches, using the smallest hoop I could find. It didn't take much room in my luggage and I took a great guide book -Embroidered & Embellished: 85 Stitches Using Thread, Floss, Ribbon, Beads & More • Step-by-Step Visual Guidealong as a Kindle iBook on my iPad.

(You can also buy  Embroidered & Embellished: 85 Stitches Using Thread, Floss, Ribbon, Beads & More Step-by-Step Visual Guide in regular book format)

In my June Enchanted by Sewing podcast  I mentioned that dogs are a big travel theme for me. I pet every dog I get the chance to visit with. Not only do both pooch and I get a lot of pleasure from the interaction, it's a great way to chat casually with people around me. No tourist pressure - people can either talk or not. I had several quite long talks with dog owners on the trip.

I took along this piece of recycled linen (it used to be a pair of pants I got a lot of wear out of) for practicing my stitches. Here I was practicing a split stitch. What better design could I choose than a dog?  I bought a soft lead pencil for less than a pound in a stationary store, then drew the design by looking at a photo on my iPhone. I tested my drawing out on a piece of scratch paper a couple of times to build my confidence, then started trying it on the linen. I did a little redrawing around the nose, but it wasn't really that all hard to look at the lines in the photo and get what I wanted. The pencil washed out fine after I got home. I just ran it under a little cold water in the sink and rubbed in some hand soap.

The photo was of a  darling Border Terrier I encountered in one of many parks we visited. I saw a number of Border Terriers in the Lake District, where we walked. You may know that the Lake District is close to the border between the Lake District and Scotland, so it's the origin of this darling breed. I'm not really a breed person - frankly I'm happy with whatever mixture of pooch comes to live with me, but it's fun learning about where different breeds come from. Like me, many pups have ancestors that come from different places.

Practicing hand embroidery, something I hadn't done in years - since I got a machine capable of emboridery - is just the kind of travel activity that keeps me . . .
Enchanted By Sewing!
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Enchanted By Sewing Audio Podcast: Back In Town- A combination of a field trip report and sewing reflections http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2015/06/ench-by-sew-33back-in-town.html

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Terminado! Rose Embellished Straight Skirt - My Own Pattern Work

Man alive, I can't believe I finally finished sewing this skirt! Hey my hair isn't really this red! I was cleaning up the light in the photo and my hair color changed!
Seems like I've had the embellishment inspiration for this skirt skirt, pinned to my Sewing Inspiration board  forever. Of course, I have one or two other items on that board as well -  ok, I think over 600 garments-  and I might just not make all of them!

Basics -
1) I drafted the pattern as a straight skirt, using my sloper. Here's how I did the pattern work.

2) I got together with my buddy Susan and had a lot of discussion about whether or not to put the two layers of ruffle on both front and back or just front - we agreed front only. It's a heavy embellishment.

3) I was using a slight-stretch denim from my fabric inventory. Hummmm while the no-waistband look is flattering  - that is a challenge. Don't want the waist slipping over time, especially with the heavy embellishment. So...I did two things

  a) I cut a partial lining out of heavy utility twill fabric. I both sewed it in and also tacked it down along the waistline to help the skirt hold it's shape. 
  b) Also.... I stayed the waist, by running a grosgrain (or was it a petersham?) ribbon along the inside of the waistline, tightened it so it's a touch shorter than the waist circumfernce, then sewed that in place along the waistline as well.

Hopefully that waist is not going anywhere it isn't supposed to now. We'll see over time how the fit works. I got the ribbon stay idea from my Bustier claass.

I really like the fit of this skirt
My Skirt's Rose Embellishment

4) The Embellishment took a while to work out. A lot of laying, pinning (safety pins as well as straight pins)  and hummmming went on. Good to have Susan around while I did that. I turned up the denim ruffle edges only once and used a faux-serger stitch (I don't have a serger but I have decorative stitches that mimic some of the concepts), Too much bulk for a twice turned hem on the ruffles.

The rose was just challenging. I also spent a lot of time with the original photo of the rose on the embellishment garment (*), thinking about how what percentage of the height of my skirt, that rose, and the ruffle trim,  should cover. Too big and we're talking Carmen Miranda - which is fine if that is what you going for. Also getting the folds within the rose center was tricky. If I were to recreate this skirt, I might use a mid-weight denim. I used a heavy weight here.

* Inspired By (a different style of denim skirt I was only interested in the embellishment) - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/565624034426847818/

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ench By Sew-33:Back in Town

Back in Town - A Summer State of Sewing 

Victoria and Albert had their own ideas about what made for a happy couples vacation in the U.K., Just like we do

Listening Option 1: Download from iTunes
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

Listening Option 2: Direct Download/Listen on the Web
 LISTEN RIGHT ON THE WEB (while sewing perhaps? http://traffic.libsyn.com/enchantedbysewing/CastFINALBackInTownSummerJune2015.mp3

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Hey!  If you could sew only one garment this summer season, what would it be? 

- Answer the Poll here 
- Post your thoughts below
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After three weeks vacation in England and Scotland, I'm not yet caught up and engaged in my sewing projects. I am, however, reflecting on historical and travel sewing inspiration from my trip, putting some good hard thought into planning sewing projects, and continuing to learn about working on my sewing pattern skills, using my sloper and moulage patterns.

Quick Fashion: When it comes to a summer state of sewing sometimes I just want to zip zap up 3 tees in a tried and true pattern and never mind about careful seam finishes or hems – maybe a deconstructed neckline or too. Other times I want to focus on slow careful pattern work, practice my sewing techniques and create a garment that I expect to see me through a number of seasons.

Slow Fashion: I also like to put time into developing patterns with personally crafted fit, carefully finished seams and well-thought techniques.

Planned Sewing: Other times I need to step back from sewing and give my fabric and pattern inventory and choice of sewing projects a good solid overhaul.

This Month:
1) Field trip to England and Scotland 
(7 days London, 5 days in Lake District (2 travel/3 self-guided walking holiday, 2+ days Edinburgh)

In and amongst our activities,  I encountered textile and sewing information and inspiration.

For travel to use with audio books and in flight movies, and tired evenings, I took along hand embroidery, and practiced stitches on a piece of natural linen scrap. I took this lovely little book,
Embroidered & Embellished: 85 Stitches Using Thread, Floss, Ribbon, Beads & More • Step-by-Step Visual Guide along on my iPad.


Many Wonderful Large London Museums are free: Victoria and Albert (free) (Fee for special Alexander McQueen exhibit – Savage Beauty) 

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Laurel Loves London  (2013) http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2013/06/ench-by-sew-009-laurel-loves-london.html
A Tour of the Victoria and Albert Fashion Gallery with Laurel (2013)  http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2013/07/ench-by-sew-010-v-fashion-gallery-tour.html
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Imperial War Museum (free) – Fashion on the Ration 1940s Street Style exhibit http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/fashion-on-the-ration

Museum of London (free)

The Queens Gallery (Moderate Cost - worth it) – painting paradise became scavenger hunt for pooches (get your ticket stamped for free return for a year)

Conversation Starters - Greeting friendly pooches and their people.
On our treks between museums and scenic places, we enjoyed greenery, statuary and ornamental waters, not to mention horses, dogs, people and kids, in the big parks Holland Park, Kensington Gardens,  Regents Park, St James Park.

Mid Week break for More Green with Country Feel, easy access from London
Osterly Park (free estate/park area and/or paid access
to Neoclassical Robert Adam (Regency Era Architect/Designer) historic house and formal gardens) A good mid-week break - 30 minutes from Kensington by train -
Robert Adam ‘one of the most fashionable architects in Eng’ also designed furniture to match the rooms at Osterly, which they still have!

A Place Like Home - Agency we've used repeatedly to rent flats in London

Mickeldore - Self-guided walking holidays in England. They setup up the B&B, schlep your luggage and give you maps and directions. Well worth it. We have used for two or our three walking trips in the U.K. (They don't have a Cornwall trip or we would have used them for all 3!) http://www.mickledore.co.uk/

Wool  - Lake District - We stayed at Askhill Farm B&B (http://www.loweswatercam.co.uk/Askhill_Farm_Stay.htm ) There, I learned a little something about current challenges in English wool market chatting with my hosts

Tartan Weaving Mill: Edinburgh On the Royal Mile, just down from The Castle Tartans /Plaids Weaving ( http://www.royal-mile.com/interest/tartanweavingmill.html) Sure, it's primarily a gift store, but there are tidbits for the fabric savy on more than one floor. Working looms.

Jaquard Loom and other Looms are on Display - National Museum of Scotland (Wonderful Museum) Extensive Exhibit area on textiles

2) Technicos: Fitted Tee Shirt – Sloper/Moulage to Pattern, Nibbled that Tee

Damson Plumm Private Eye Tee Shirt - Creating Pattern from Moulage

3) Purging – Pains and Pleasures - Please post your own thoughts

Is it worth it? You tell me

Purging - Fabric/Patterns/Sewing Books - Worth It?

You tell me. Is it worth it?
I've been purging my wardrobe, fabric inventory, pattern collection, and book shelves (including my sewing books). Is it worth it? 
Email me and give me your opinion EnchantedBySewing@gmail.com

The Pains

1)    I have a tendency to land on a piece of fabric and feel I should come up with a creative way to  use it up, even if it’s not a garment or accessory I will get a lot of use or pleasure out of. Even more so when it takes more storage room!
2)    But I’ve hung onto this for so long, and I might use it soon!
3)    I hold onto things for sentimental reasons or associations with an occasion I made the item for
4)    I hold onto fabric I meant to make up for my daughter when she was little. She’s 25 now. And she’s not planning to have children herself in the near future!
5)    It’s really a lot of work! I’m using my sewing recreation time, and probably will be at it for a couple of months over the summer

The Pleasures

1)    More room for my fabric I want to keep,  so I can find what I want from what I already have
2)    More room for fabric I buy – even though I’m trying hard to limit buying right now!
3)    More chance to find patterns I use regularly when I get rid of those I don’t use and/or better organize my patterns
4)    Less clothes in the closet helps me find the elusive garment I want, and enjoy my successful sewing projects more
5)    Act of purging from my wardrobe, reminds me  of what I really wear, and helps me best decide where to allocate my recreational sewing time