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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ench By Sew-017 Gettin' Shirty (Previously Ench By Sew-007)

Listeners have requested that I re-publish this show, last published in
April 2013 (and removed for not-very-exciting technical challenges)

SEW now.... the February 2014 ReRun....
"Enchanted By Sewing" Podcast is, once more,
available in the pod-o-sphere!

This month we're getting' Shirty.

You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link. Or, download this podcast free from iTunes, to play on your favorite mobile device/mp3 player (like an iPhone or an Android), by clicking on this link to iTunes.
Is that garment you're sewing a shirt or a blouse? Is it the collar stand, or lack thereof that makes you decide one way or another? How about set-in sleeves versus dropped? Maybe it's your choice of fabric.... This month Laurel talks about her experiences creating her No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Shirt, with a Butterick pattern that sometimes says shirt and other times blouse. She also discusses sewing techniques that say shirt, and chats a little about the history of shirts and shirty language (with special attention to a scene from a Harry Potter book ).

 This podcast is an extension of  my on-web sewing life journal Me Encanta Coser, a blog that tells the story of an arty-romantic plain sewist in CA. My blog is written in English. The blogs name, and occasional references, pays tribute to the beautiful Spanish language which is a part of both the history and modern culture of the San Francisco Bay area, where I live.

Check out a free excerpt from
My Heart Beats Faster in Past Times
By clicking here
The show is created, produced, and brought to you by Laurel Shimer author of the Time Travel e-book My Heart Beats Faster in Past Times. This historical romance, ebook-novella is available exclusively on amazon.com for your iPad, nook or kindle ebook reader, for only 99 cents (Only 99 cents? That's less than a cup of coffee!) 



• Shirt or Blouse - Pattern Plays a Big Role

Please post other links and other pertinent information that you would like to see included in these show notes.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Perfect Machine - Dreaming

Sewing and Quilt Expo: My Land of Dreams!
I went to the Sewing and Quilt Expo in San Mateo, to get some new scissors. I went straight to a really good vendor I've gone to in the past. (http://www.scissorsales.com). I found my scissors - a pair of Stag shears, a pair of Gingher shears, a new pair of pinking shears, and OK :-)  some of those really darling tiny embroidery snips with the cool animal designs.... 

Then I went to the Brother dealer's booth. This particular vendor, AAA Vacuum and Sewing,  had been recommended by a classmate, who's been a customer for several years. (Also a lot of their satisfied customers dropped by the booth.) There I fell in love with a new machine. It's a Brother Quattro 3 . I want a more up-to-date machine for both garment and machine embroidery* Of course, it's not actually in the budget now...... I just wanted to get an idea of what I'd like to have someday. 

But it's like shopping for a car when you're not ready to buy one (I'm not actually into cars, but I get why people are tempted). I felt absolutely drunk reveling in all of the things this machine could do embroidery 'wise. It does a number of things I never imagined being able to do (like - for one thing- scanning a piece of printed fabric and digitizing it's own designs from the fabric - which you can then embroider over the fabric design, or recreate on another piece of fabric. And don't get me started on using the little monitor to re-place embroidery objects.)  That's in addition to all the newer basic stuff - like downloading designs from the web, magically threading your needle, offering multiple sizes of different decorative stitches - I can't do with my now quite old, bottom of the line Viking (It still uses cards and can't download designs - but works well, and yes I always keep it serviced). In addition to the embroidery coolness, the Quattro handled my heavy weight denim like a dream. I hardly even played with the garment construction features, except for using the 'hump jumper' and going over old Levi seams. But there's a lot more to checkout when I get serious.

The challenge is, it's just not our family budget.  It's about a third of the cost of the car we need to buy to replace one that's getting on in years.... Also for me sewing is a hobby. This is not a business expense..... I'll just have to wait for the day when a newer and even more imaginative machine comes out, and  people start trading this gorgeous, capable machine in for that newer model!

Daydreaming about a new machine is definitely keeping me....
Enchanted By Sewing
 * I used to be into quilting but for me I had to chose between garment and quilting - garment won

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Using up Scraps (Green Sewing)

In response to Ruth Ann's "Wee Scraps" posting
Once a small stained vintage linen napkin
Saved for a useful life as a button on my jacket
Things I do with scraps
1) I use selvage edges for seam stabilizers. Particularly to strengthen pants side seams just above, through and below in-seam pockets, where I like to use drill selvage edges for this particular garment. I use the drill fabric itself to create strong pants pockets bags.

Drill is often sold in mainstream fabric stores as a "utility fabric". You may need to ask where it is.

2) When I have leftover long strips of fabric, I hang them over a hook by my machine and use them - raw edges and all - as  a) impromptu hair ties b) twist them in twos or braid them in threes- for deconstructed trimmings for tee shirt necklines. c) plain or twisted together, they make nice gift ties in place of ribbon

3) I use them for sample sewing. That's too obvious, right? Often I plan my sample sewing so that it can become an 18" doll's garment. Then the dollie can pose as a model in this blog!

For example, when I was practicing pintucking, Doll'ing Kaity Rose benefitted - acquiring a new Victorian 'esque nightie. http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-new-nightgown-for-winter-holidays.html

4) I'm starting to use them for scrapbooking - tiny dresses for paper dolls, backgrounds for pictures. I also cover spiral notebook covers, gluing them down. If there isn't enough of one scrap to cover the whole notebook, I collage them. I'm not sure this counts - it's not sewing.

5) I make spare patch pockets out of them when they are particularly pretty. A pocket doesn't have to be made out of the same fabric as the garment (or purse) it's used on.

6) I cover buttons with small scraps. Those kind of buttons that come in a little kit and are designed to be covered. (Also I use pieces of antique/vintage embroidered napkins that are partly spoiled but have a little embroidery left)

7) I make small purses that are almost like hanging pockets, for my cell phone and keys. Especially nice for walking and biking. I like the free buttercup purse pattern out on the way by Made-By-Rae. (I also upsize it for bigger purses)

A couple of postings about the buttercup purse pattern, including the free pattern link

8) Fabric flowers
Ideas and patterns, from books at my public library and also many I've pinned at http://www.pinterest.com/lrshimer/0-sewingfabricflowers/

9) Appliqué

10) Buttonhole facing squares. How do you describe that? Sew it down and pull it through to the back. It has to be the right kind of heavy duty/no fray material. I also use grosgrain ribbon for that. Those are often called Spanish Snap buttonholes.

11) As a diamond or square around a buttonhole. Like an embellishment.

Reusing snips and scraps is the kind of thing that keeps me....
Enchanted by Sewing!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Vintage Threads: 70's Leotard Can Be Modern Active Wear

From the style, and the wardrobe styling hints on the envelope, I would guess this is a mid-seventies pattern. My mother sewed several of this style of garment for me when I was in high school. I wore them with my hip-hugger pants and mini-wrap skirts that buttoned up the front.  They made my very short skirts a little more modest :-) BTW The body suits snapped at the crotch, to make dressing and undressing easy.

I'm thinking this would be a great pattern to try out for some modern active-wear. I'd like to experiment with fabrics I haven't tried before, and a simple leotard (would work well with simple shorts for the gym) would be a great pattern with which to try out that type of material. 

But, as I wrote in my last imaginary bathing suit journal entry..... no new projects until this bustier is done!


Enchanted By Sewing Podcast Show Notes (and iTunes link) http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com

Sewing My Bustier : http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/02/bustiers-excuse-me-arent-those-your.html

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Vintage Threads: 60's Bathing Suit Plans, Don't Keep Me From Sticking to my Bustier Project

No reason a bathing suit like the one on the left
couldn't work as well today as in the early 60's!
flattering for many figure types too.
My best guess is that this vintage bathing suit pattern is early - mid sixties era, because you don't see this waistline much after that on a suit. The 25 cent price tag is another clue. By the late sixties, most patterns were, at least, 35 - 50 cents. The model's hairband is another clue. Those wide bands say 1963 and before to me!

As you can perhaps tell, from perusing this sewing journal, I'm hard at work on a class project sewing a bustier. It's a big project for me, and I really wanted to divert myself several times to some fun sample sewing. Before Valentine's Day hit I was sorely tempted to stop and experiment with a simple example of reverse appliqué. Wouldn't an appliquéd heart coming through a pocket square be perfect? I justified this mini-project by thinking that I could devote my February Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast (which I typically publish just before the end of each month) to talking about appliqué in general and then describe the reverse appliqué techniques that I would have slipped off to practice.

But I kept myself on track and continued steadily on with my bustier. I still have quite a lot of work to put into it. Stick-to-itness is one of those skills I've resolved to work on this year, whether it's sewing or regular work projects. I'm proud of myself for sticking to this and other projects.

I'm also proud of myself for not purchasing any of the potentially swim-able fabric I might use to create a similar combination for myself. Yes, I do have a fabric inventory. But adding to it when I'm in the middle of my currently challenging project wouldn't give me the confidence I need to keep at it.

That doesn't mean I can't do a little blue-sky sewing!

Blue-skying means.... I can journal about creating an imaginary bathing suit, as I'm doing now. I can imagine whether or not I would try to find a print or plain colored fabric. And question what kind of material would work best. I can also think about how best to create the pattern. The overskirt is a flared skirt. I know how to drape those now, and I have Conchita, my foam core dress form to help me. The tanks, as the bathing-suit bottoms liner is referred to on the pattern back, could be created from an underwear pattern I've previously created that I know fits well. I'd probably work on draping the bodice on my duct tape dummy, not my Uniquely You foam-core dress form, because the duct tape model is a more exact replica of my torso. I can simply have the fun of imaginary sewing, and the eventual project will be that much better.

BTW, I've also began work on my February Enchanted by Sewing podcast. That show will reflect the pleasures of a little imaginary fabric shopping without actually adding to my fabric inventory. I hope you come along for the trip :-) You can subscribe to the show notes if you want to be notified when podcast episodes are added.

Blue-Skying is just one more activity that keeps me.... 
Enchanted by Sewing!
~ ~ ~

Enchanted By Sewing Podcast Show Notes (and iTunes link) http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com

Sewing My Bustier : http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/02/bustiers-excuse-me-arent-those-your.html

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bustiers: Excuse Me Aren't Those Your Underpinnings?

Though I turned under the neckline to envision the end result,
Lynda still felt it was too high when I put it on.
The new neckline is less round and lower.
Yes, as pretty as my vintage Tanna Lawn fabric is on this bustier....
It's really the lining.
This garment is inside-out.
The great thing is that I'll always see this Liberty print when I put this garment on!
And I'm really happy with the way it's fitting.

After this photo teacher Lynda Maynard decreased the round in the neckline some more and had me work on the hem, which will be much higher on the sides and in the back. To make sure it's not too long, I sat down with my back very straight. The goal is not to have spiral steel boning jabbing me in the groin. Which is a pretty durn good idea. Also the goal is to have a flattering hem.

I have two full pages of checklist I created to get to the point where I begin to work on the outside layer - the actual layer people will see. What you are seeing here is lining fabric applied to a sturdy layer of cutil. That cutil is where all the support of boning channels and bones will be happening. And that's what I'll be working on over the next two weeks.

~ ~ ~


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bustier: Classic Underpinnings - Silk Organza

Silk organza is a very stable fabric that minimizes bulk in a project. A year ago I bought six yards of this fabric. I have been using it as an invisible layer for different aspects of sewing projects as I learn new ideas. 

Back in December I used it as sew-in interfacing for my Lilacs and Liberty shirt. Tonight I cut strips of silk organza on the straight-of-the-grain that I'll be using to stay the top of the inner shell of my  bustier bodice. The strips are intended to be 1 and 1/4 inches wide (mine are a little wider at this point in time). They'll be folded lengthwise (resulting in 5/8 inch wide strips). Then I'll cut them about 1/4 inch shorter than the width of each bodice piece, which I'll be easing to the strips with hand stitches. I'll stay each piece of the bodice individually.

Using silk organza makes me feel a little glamorous.  It doesn't actually cost much more than other interfacing and stabilizers,  and makes me feel like a real seamstress!

Silk organza keeps the enchantment in my sewing!