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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Experimenting: Singleton Button Making - Learning Precision

Most of my recreation time right now is going into my Moulage/French Pattern Drafting class. I don't have a lot to blog about in that regards this week, because there's a lot of repetition in my homework. I'm working on creating a sloper this week, but it looks an awful lot like the moulage!
~ ~ ~
For a little fun between muslin sewing and pattern drafting, I've been playing around, learning to create Singleton Buttons.

These are my attempts at Singleton Buttons to date.
Since I'm not yet there when it comes to getting a clean, precise edge, I'm not yet concerning myself with creating the thread shanks with which I would fasten them to a garment.

Clockwise from top left
The button with more yellow flowers has a piece of thin fused quilt batting, cut the same size as the full pattern
The pink flower has no interfacing
The purple flower has a piece of paper, cut about the same dimensions as the metal ring
I've mentioned many times that I'm working on learning to be more precise.Playing with creating my own Singleton Buttons, looks like a good way to get some practice in. There's something about the way I need to learn to hold things and work with the needle when it comes to getting that precise edge I'm after.

My favorite so far, is the top left button. I used a thin piece of quilt batting in that one.

Next, I'll experiment with rings of a slightly larger diameter. I think that might make those tight, precise, edges more achievable.

~ Basic Techniques~
- I made a pattern circle, 2 and a half times the diameter of the metal ring.  I scored some welded metal rings at my local hardware store. I'm sure you could buy something at a fabric store that's actually intended for this purpose.
I've tried different kinds of inside bits.
In this attempt, I simply used a piece of paper.
That wouldn't actually wash well ,but I wanted to see how the edge worked.

 - Then I ran a basting stitch about 1/8 inch away from the edge of my circle, tightened it up, and stitched back and forth to cover the edges.


- The 'X' on the front of this button was basting stitches, to hold that piece of interfacing paper in place

- After I stitched the back closed, I stitched around the inside edge of the metal ring.

- At this point, in the future,  I'll stitch up a thread shank -  I'll be doing that once I'm happier with the way the buttons are starting to look.

Friday, February 20, 2015

French Pattern Drafting/Moulage: First Muslin Test of Back and Front Blocks

I detailed what I'm learning about  in my Moulage/French Pattern Drafting class with Lynda, in this post http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/02/drafting-my-back-block-learning-pattern.html
I added a sort of modesty skirt below the full hip line
Other ladies wore leggings or just winged it in their
intimate garments

This week....I zipped myself carefully into the muslin test I created from my back and front blocks, for Moulage class. Uh oh, I sewed the zipper inside out! I thought Lynda Maynard wanted our seams and darts on the outside.
Guess who wasn't listening properly in class last time?

A buddy in class managed to get the zipper tab up for me.
Not too many changes, but I still need to make those few, and make a new muslin for next week. I'm in good company though. I think there were only one or two people who didn't need Lynda to tweak theirs.

How about those lips?
I had the goofiest look on my face
I kind of like these lips I borrowed!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ench By Sew-029: The Importance of Scrap

This show is created, produced and brought to you by Laurel Shimer.
Izzie the Teenage Tabby Says ....
There's no doubt about the value and importance of scrap!

Forget about analyzing scraps, Laurel
Let's just play!


A cada quien su gustoTo each her own

As well as being useful and cost effective, using up the Scrap from our garment sewing, opens up a world of personal creativity, as well 
Coming up with different ideas for utilizing my scraps, keeps me . . .  Enchanted by Sewing.





Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web (while sewing perhaps?:-) by 
clicking on this link

Listen to the Audio right on the web (no need to download) http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/0/a/4/0a434cb127a32469/castdraft5c64KBFINALScrap.mp3?c_id=8392386&expiration=1424335944&hwt=830d2bcade44bea6cbc704a4ae4b8ce0

*****
~ OR ~
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

The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser,  (http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com) 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.

This month’s show  is  

Please *Rate* the Enchanted by Sewing Podcast on itunes, to help other sewists find it.

Email me at EnchantedBySewing@gmail.com


* * *
Clearly, scrap is important to the newest member of our household, Izzie the teenaged tabby cat.

Scraps are just as important to me as they are to any cat. Working with scrap, gets my mental processes humming,in ways not so different than they do for Izzie. I have a habit of going to my scrap bins when I feel the need to get a little jolt of playfulness. That’s something I think our young cat can relate to.

I like to work on my scrap habit. It’s good for the planet, and it reminds me that I don’t always have to purchase a new product, 
to make something useful, fun or really beautiful. To top it all off,  focusing on playing, oh I mean experimenting!, with my scrap,
gives me a chance to build more neural pathways - It sparks my creative juices, just like it does for Izzie the Teenaged Tabby Cat. 

 A cada quien su gusto! Or, maybe you say To each her own!

Izzie says, Just get out the scrap, let’s play!


Here’s what I talk about, in this month’s show, “The importance of scrap”, recorded in February of 2015

1) Pensamientos Primeros
Scrap – Rags, Patches and Snips.  How useful a sewists leftovers can be!

Scraps are sewing leftovers. I call some of my  larger scraps, remnants, These are scraps, from which, I might still make another tee shirt, a camisole or  maybe a tote bag or little purse .  

Entonces/Then there are the smaller remnents odds and ends– not big enough for a whole garment, but quite useful for a variety 
of projects and make -do challenges. 

Finally there are my snips – tiny bits and pieces, and strips that are just too pretty to toss. These bits and pieces are what really bring my creativity to life.
 * * *

I'm sorry I lost the link to this site.
I remember it was a public site in Australia

 Yup that’s me singing that old hit, "Ragg Mopp" , once sung by the Tenriers and the Aames Bros. Rags might be considered kind of  lowly to some folks, but in fact these leftovers have been important for a lot more than wiping up spills and polishing cars throughout history. Rag mops and rag rugs are just a few of those very utilitarian, and sometimes beautiful ways to repurpose strips of old or new fabric.

1. Ragg Mopps and Raggggg Rugggggs
iii. Nice link to Little House Living a woman who makes her own rag rugs for her own home.
http://www.littlehouseliving.com/how-to-make-rag-rugs.html

According to this link, rag mops are the best mop in the world, and the author says the that professionial cleaners in many countries swear by them.
http://www.instructables.com/id/HOW-TO-MAKE-%22THE-BEST-MOP-IN-THE-WORLD%22/

 I’d love to hear from listeners who’ve made either of these raggy kind of projects. How patient do you have to be? I’m thinking of trying out something more basic along these lines like coasters. Could you maybe braid and curl up hot pads from repurposed scrap or old clothes?

Follow the Drinking Gourd - The Spiritual 

http://www.followthedrinkinggourd.org/What_The_Lyrics_Mean.htm

http://www.contemplator.com/america/gourd.html

SewRuth, who I think hails from Ireland, had several ideas I hadn’t thought of. She had some very nice photos and how-to for belts, covered jewlery - bracelets, watch straps  and embellishment for handbags.. I’m going to revisit the tutorial part of that posting when I think about making a belt from scrap I also really liked her idea about making an obi .That posting is definitely worth a visit if you’re into using up your scrap in an artistic way. 

Sew Ruth Wee Scraps - https://corecouture.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/wee-scraps/comment-page-1/

Me Encanta Coser - Using Up Scraps http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/02/using-up-scraps-green-sewing.html

A couple of postings about the buttercup purse pattern, including a free pattern link
Embellishing a buttercup purse with tatting http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2012/09/tit-fortatting-embellishing-my.html

Do you love butter? In Praise of the Buttercup Purse. http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2012/09/do-you-love-butter-in-praise-of.html

Pinterest - Sewing Fabric Flowers http://www.pinterest.com/lrshimer/0-sewingfabricflowers/

2) Entonces/Then - Technicos – How I sew appliqué
I have my own way of doing a somewhat deconstructed appliqué

AngelLea has her own ideas  
http://angelleadesigns.com/tutorials/how-to-make-and-apply-appliques

3) Pensamientos Finales/Final Thoughts – A Story of Scrap 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Black Cloche Straw - My New Everyday Downton Abbey Hat

Inspiration for my new black straw cloche
came from several of  the Downton Abbey hats I've pinned on my
Hats and Other Millinery board
This is one of three hats I made in a fantastic 3-day hat blocking workshop in Wayne Wichern's Burlingame studio. earlier in the month. I've got a tiny bit more sewing to finish off the trim on one other, and will be posting about that, and the other I made, soon in this blog (when I score some cute photos - which is always such a challenge!)

When I pin different hats on my " Hats and Other Millinery" board on Pinterest, I often notice people saying that they wished they had reasons to wear hats, or that hats looked right with the clothes they actually wear as modern folks. I like making hats that actually do fit in with my life style. This black straw cloche has already gone on a number of walks with me and I loved wearing it. Yup, I still put on my SPF 50 sunscreen too!

This cloche, and one of the other hats I made at Wayne's, are definitely inspired by ones I saw on Downton Abbey. I brought photos from my pinterest board into class with me and Wayne helped me pick out hat blocks from his collection of nearly 1,000 vintage hat forms, to find similarly styled blocks. For my third hat I chose a combination of two blocks to create a classic fedora. All three hats are absolutely practical for my modern day life, and will be heading out on many walks with me, just like the ones that Sybil, Mary and Edith wore daily at Downton Abbey.

This is the second class I've taken with Wayne. I blogged about the first one which I took at Cañada College last year, in my post, Matters Millinery. Am I planning more visits with Wayne? Oh yes! He has open labs for folks who've taken these three day labs, and I already have hopes of making a 30's inspired visor in a colorful wool.

Wayne Wichern''s studio is in Burlingame is in the San Francisco Bay Area - on the Penninsula near the San Francisco Airport. Classes like Wayne's aren't a typical activity in most areas. If I lived outside the area, I'd consider setting aside funds to take a mini vacation for one of these workshops. He usually teaches them once a month. You can email him to discuss integrating one of his classes into your schedule. And let me know if you're coming!
~ ~ ~
Web Resources

Matters Millinery http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/09/matters-millinery-making-my-own-hats.html

My "Hats and Other Millinery" board on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lrshimer/hats-and-other-millinary/

Wayne's Workshop Schedule - Burlingame CA (San Mateo County, San Francisco Bay Area) http://www.waynewichernmillinery.com

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Drafting my Back Block - Learning Pattern Work with Moulage/French Pattern Drafting

Version 1 of my Back Pattern Block Draft
I'm taking Lynda Maynard's Moulage class at Cañada College. Moulage is the traditional style of pattern drafting used in France. Lynda studied pattern drafting, among other things, with Kenneth King. We're using a printed version of Kenneth King's Moulage book. 

On the web I can only find Kenneth King's Moulage Book on CD http://www.kennethdking.com/book/#moulage

We'll be creating a skin-tight, fitted moulage and then a sloper - a moulage that includes minimal wearing ease. We'll also be drafting sleeve patterns/slopers to work with these. My sewing buddy Susan and I, are very excited about those sleeves! Susan was featured in last month's Enchanted By Sewing Audio/Podcast - A Very Fitting Sewing Day With Susan

We've begun by drafting our back pattern blocks.

To get to this point, we followed Kenneth King's/Lynda's directions. Those included:

1) Taking careful measurements of, and recording, many dimensions of our bodies - front and back. I think there are about 20 measurements between our neck to the floor, with most of them centering around the torso. This is not something you can do for yourself. You need at least one buddy. It reminded me of the measurements we took when we made our dress form kits. (I produced a podcast about creating Dress Forms)

2) Using these measurements in a number of formulas, to create a sheet of calculations. Again we made a careful record. It was definitely worth my time to triple-check that I had
a) transferred the right measurement into the formula
b) done the math correctly
We rounded up all of our math to the nearest 1/8'th of an inch. 1/8'th of an inch is the smallest measurement on most rulers.
The book includes metric directions as well.
3) Next we followed  Kenneth King's/Lynda's directions to draft the back block you see here, using the calculations. Once more I'm went back and triple-checked, to be sure I was using the correct calculations in my draft.

Lynda reviewed our work not only for correctness, but also to make adjustments for various figure types. She adjusted the line in many of our shoulder drafts down at an angle. I'd guess that you might see the need for this later on in the process, if you're doing this work on your own.

Next we'll be drafting our front block.

After that, we'll work up a version in muslin.

This is one of those processes that takes a lot more time than I'd expect, but it's going to be well worth it for me.

My goals for the class are:

A) To make a new fit garment for my dress form, Conchita. I'll also be removing some of Conchita's padding and batting, to fill out that fit garment correctly. Gosh, wouldn't it be great if it were that straightforward for people to lose weight?

B) To create clear plastic transparencies I can use when altering commercial patterns. Lynda says the material she uses for this is from Tap PlasticsTap  Plastics:
24 1/2"  by  45"  by  .020  smooth/matte  polypropylene  sheet  SKU#20346)

C) Down the road... I might use these block in some way, in conjunction with draping my own patterns

Learning more about what makes patterns come together is the kind of thing that keeps me . . .
Enchanted by Sewing!
~ ~ ~
My Buddy Susan and I share what we've each learned about getting a good fit with our sewing patterns. In Last month's Enchanted By Sewing Audio/Podcast  Susan described key things she learned from sewing fit classes (Also we had a lot of fun chatting) A Very Fitting Sewing Day With Susan (Download or just listen on Line) http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2015/01/ench-by-sew-028-very-fitting-sewing-day.html

Enchanted By Sewing Audio/Podcast - Dress Forms (Download or just listen on Line) 
http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2013/09/ench-by-sew-12-dress-forms.html


Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Few Tools for Pattern Work



I'm learning to use a French Curve when I grade a curved seam.
At first I was unclear on how to use it, but I finally realized it's just like using a straight edge,
I need to go from here to there in a gradual way, just not in a straight line.

Little seam gauges are really handy for adding a precise change in seam allowance

A double Clover Wheel (white tool on the right),
is nice for adding (or decreasing) seam allowances to patterns
Also you can pull out the wheels and make that new seam allowance different widths.

I put tracing/sewing carbon paper underneath my pattern piece,
facing up. Then I run the double Clover Wheel over whatever line.
In this example I was making a new line to make the pattern smaller.
I like the waxed sewing carbon paper.
You can also transfer the carbon to tissue (or other) pattern paper by marking on the tissue with a regular pencil. That makes less holes in the pattern paper. Different things work in different situations.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Ench By Sew-028: A Very Fitting Sewing Day With Susan

This show is created, produced and brought to you by Laurel Shimer.

A Tule Fog in California's Sacramento/San Joquin Delta
Susan's Living in the Historic Land of Tules These Days!
Hey! 
The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!

Socializing over sewing never gets old. It's that’s the kind of thing that keeps me . . .  enchanted by sewing.

Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web (while sewing perhaps?:-) by clicking on this link 

*****
~ OR ~
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

The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser,  (http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com) 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.

Bruce - "Scored Mom's Boho Bed!"
This month’s show  is  *A Very Fitting Sewing Day with Susan*
Recently I went to visit with my buddy, Susan, and her household’s two dogs, Bruce and Bain. You’ll hear Bain’s comments at various times during the show, just the way you occasionally hear some of the audio from things in my house like the train that runs just behind our yard. I’m partial to including a little locally occurring audio ,because it adds another sense to the personal journal style of the show.

Don’t you feel like you know Susan by now?  I’m always mentioning her and the time we’ve spent together in this show. This month I got a chance to share a sewing day at Susan’s house with you. It started out as an interview, but it became a duologue – even when I cut out several of the places where I interrupted!



Bain - "Aren't I a Good Dog?"
Pensamientos Primeros/First Thoughts . . . we talked  about our sewing relationship and some of the non-sewing things that give you a sense of who Susan is and what drew us together.



Entonces/Then . . . we talked about some of the things that she learned about fitting patterns, that I’ve benefitted from over the past couple years.



This month's Pensamientos Finales/Final Thoughts . . .  are scattered throughout the show as we each share with you a little something about where Susan is living. The area she’s recently moved to has a very long-term historic role in agriculture and pre-agriculture, within California, that has provided people with both food, fabric,  and more, for over 4,000 years. 





I wrote a posting showing some of the gorgeous tapestry purses Susan made for holiday presents. As you can tell, not all the bags were completed when I took the photo. back in early December. http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/01/tapestry-pursestotesbags-sewing-day.html

Susan designed and sewed these San Francisco Giants take-it-to-the-game cold drinks bags for a number of lucky relatives for Christmas presents.

Blue Ice fits inside

After the interview Susan and I talked more about our sewing plans
We both liked Vogue V1412 for her
Recently she texted me to say that she has started working on it
~ ~ ~
Web Resources


Remember when Susan Sang Backup for Neil Young?
Neil Young Interactive Greendale http://www.nygreendale.com

Neil Young - Greendale Album http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greendale_(album)

Tutorial - Full Bust Adjustment and Small Bust Adjustment http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/07/how-to-make-a-full-bust-adjustment/

A Threads Article about the book Susan talked about in this interview, Fitting and Pattern Alteration by Elizabeth Leichty, Judith Rasband and Della Pottberg-Steineckert

Discovery Bay: Geography and Agriculture Interest




Tule Fog

Invasive water hyacinth threatens the Delta http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_27358407/delta-water-weed-problems-called-worst-years 
I was reading up on Discovery Bay, which is in the Sacramento/San Joquin delta, cause my buddy  lives there. You read a lot of CA history about the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate in relation to first nations people, European explorers and Gold Rush, but less about the agricultural and natural harvesting food value of the Delta region to people over the last 4,000 plus years - which continues today. Looks like these creepy little weeds have a big impact on the value of this region. Unclear how they arrived, but invasive plants have a way of doing that and the drought has made the situation worse...