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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Terminado! A Quick Tapestry Cap


In this months (end of JulyEnchanted by Sewing audio podcast, I've  mentioned this cap as one of the "sooner" sewing projects I plan to get to. Here I am not having published the podcast, but already having the cap done! That's a nice feeling, even at a time when I'm praising myself for slow sewing (more about that in the upcoming podcast). I'm glad to say this cap project was a much quicker one than my Amaryllis blouse. I cut it out in one session, and took two more sessions to sew it up. I used a tapestry style remnant and lined it with some black cotton scrap I had on hand. I cut the lining on the bias and simply cut it the width of the two strips that make up the outside of the cap (plus a little extra so that I could cover up the raw edge of the crown.

I have a bigger than normal women's head size, so standard caps always look squished on me. I can get away with an adjustable baseball cap, but I don't like them nearly as well as the pretty ones I can make myself. Also this cap pattern fits low on the head and protects my skin and eyes from the elements better than a regular baseball cap.

This is the third cap I've made from the first of the One Yard Wonders books. I wear the other two caps everyday, every time I work in the yard or go anywhere. They make me feel much more confident that I'm protecting my skin from sun damage. Yes, I also use moisturizer with SPF 50!  

My other two caps are really showing their age. You bet that before I retire them I'll be making more. 

Being able to sew caps that fit my actual head size, and having them provide better sun protection too, is the kind of thing that keeps me...
Enchanted by Sewing!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Amaryllis - My New Semi-Fitted Blouse (Pink and White Striped Seersucker)

Here's the kind of amaryllis that inspired me to name my
new blouse. These bulbs show up in our stores around
 the winter holidays, are inexpensive,  and  are 

pretty easy to grow.
I'll be talking about the techniques I used to create my new Amaryllis blouse in this month's Enchanted by Sewing audio podcast, which will be published before the end of July. 

Yes, I love my new Amaryllis blouse!
And I'm so happy I bought this wide red belt this summer.
It also sets off my CA Summer Skies Shirt - both of
which I've been wearing a ton with my new summer denim skirt.
I’ve begun to enjoy naming the garments I craft. It reminds me each one is a work of art! That’s what the designers do. I’m designing for myself, and it’s fun to think like those fashion designers who give name to their creations, just like I do :-)

As I did with last month's CA Summer Skies seersucker Shirt,
I interfaced and lined my blouse facings with silk organza. This also gave me a
 neat completely concealed outside edge to  hand 
stitch down
I named my new pink and white seersucker blouse Amaryllis, after the musical “The Music Man” Are you a fan of  that play? You may recall it’s set in the American town of River City, Iowa in 1912 in. Below is a snippet from a blog posting I wrote a few years back, in my first blog, “The Simple Romantic” When I began that blog it represented a lot of my different interests including: hiking, sewing, and time travel! The Simple Romantic blog is still out on the web – and nowadays I keep it current by adding in postings from my different, more specifically themed blogs. I’ve included a link below, to the full time travel posting relating to the Music Man. Here’s that excerpt…

Suddenly I find myself there in the middle of the train station, a looker-on to the arrival in town of The Music Man himself. Is it the huge striped-candy blossom that makes me think about the barbershop quartet rehearsing in their shirtsleeves ? Perhaps it's the memory of Winthrop's heartbreaking lisp when he is forced to greet his elder sister, Marion's, piano student - she's named after the belladona lily, that sent me tumbling back in time.

Amaryllis, of course, was that piano student, and now she has become the inspiration for my new semi-fitted summer blouse.




I'll be talking about the pattern alterations I made
in my Enchanted by Sewing audio podcast, which I'll publish
 before the end of this month

Putting the partially completed blouse on my
dress form Conchita, helped me to notice that the top
end of my darts needed some realignment!

I used stitch and pink seam finishing techniques for Amaryllis

Completed Stitch and Pink

~ ~ ~
Web Resources

Put a Little Muslin Into It - Altering a tried-and-true shirt pattern to create my Amaryllis Blouse http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/07/put-little-muslin-into-it-sleeveless.html


The Music Man - A Time Travel Trip

Basics on last month's blue and white checked seersucker CA Summer Skies Shirt http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/06/terminado-my-ca-summer-skies-seersucker.html. Find out more about techniques I used, in the June Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/06/ench-by-sew-021-ca-summer-skies-sewing.html
Sign up for email reminders, so you'll know when new editions of the Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast are published http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com


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!


~ ~ ~
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!


~ ~ ~
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. 

http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/product/Liberty//Rosa-H-Tana-Lawn/59043

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
~ ~ ~ 
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