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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scraps: Scrunchies or Chou Chous? Green Sewing for the New Year

Two Completed Chou Chous
(along with a fabric covered book) I made for gifts
~ ~ ~ 
Web Resources 
Enchanted by Sewing Show Notes and Links to Shows http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/12/ench-by-sew-027-festive-holiday-tees.html

Audio-Only Link http://ec.libsyn.com/p/7/1/3/713e354889f7b167/FINALcastFestiveTeaAndTeesdec2014.mp3?d13a76d516d9dec20c3d276ce028ed5089ab1ce3dae902ea1d06c98e3ed7cf5d5260&c_id=8063812

What is a Chou-Chou or a Scrunchie? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrunchie

Although I made chou-chous for holiday gifts, they are a perfect cleanup-for-the-New-Year or anytime, sewing cleanup/recycling project. You can't get more green than using up scraps of fabric that are too pretty to toss. You can also use the ends of stained or recycled clothing. You can even repurpose old worn elastic!

Here's the idea in picture form, to help you follow along with the Technicos segment of that show.

I can never toss really pretty scraps
But at some point, I need to use them!

I measure out 10 inches of 1/4 inch elastic

I fold a 20 (or slightly longer) tube of scrap fabric
This one isn't perfectly straight and it has one edge hemmed  as a result
of a long-ago project trim. No problem

I pieced on one extra scrap, to make the tube about the
right width
An extra seam at an odd place isn't a problem
when you are scrunching up the fabric anyway

 I cut a piece of string longer than the length of the tube

And lay it inside the tube, along the fold line

Stitch down one side of the tube and across just ONE open end
Make sure not to catch the string when you sew the long side
But DO catch it when you sew across the open end

At this point, I chose not to trim along the seam line,
to give a sausage-like look to the finished chou-chou

Push the sewn across end down into the tube

Pull the string end through the tube, so the outside pulls through
Note that this is a very thick, fabric like chou-chou
That's because I chose not to trim the seam after I sewed it,
to give that sausage-like appearance.
Remember, the chou-chou fabric tube should be about twice as long as the elastic,
so that the fabric scrunches up
You also want enough elastic to be able to double the band around the hair
Otherwise, it will slide off.

Open the sewn-across end, by snipping off the string
Now you have two open ends
Add a safety pin to your 10" of elastic
Pull the elastic through your tube
I set the zig-zab stitch on my machine
I caught up/secured my elastic end on both ends
with a zig-zag stitch.
Be careful not to lose the elastic ends  down either end of the tube, at this point!
Then I sewed the two secured ends together
When I doubled the finishing off seam back to get a neater finish
I broke my needle
So after that, I wrapped my second, neatening seam with a hand stitch
That takes less time than changing my machine needle!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fitted Red Tee in Time for Christmas, Valentines, and Any Day I want to feel cheerful (Vogue 8323)

I'm loving my "Princess Laurel" tee from Katherine Tilton's, Vogue 8323 so much that right after I made it up in floral velour, I repeated the deal in this Christmas'y/Valentine'ish light weight, red, interlock knit. This Katherine Tilton pattern, Vogue 8323, is a princess-seamed, very fitted, tee shirt.

There's more about my experiences sewing this tee in this month's December audio/podcast, Enchanted by Sewing - Festive Holiday Tees and Tea (#27)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Terminado! My Princess Laurel Tee

There's more about my experiences sewing this tee in this month's December audio/podcast, Enchanted by Sewing - Festive Holiday Tees and Tea (#27)
Hoping to get another photo where the center of the shirt 
doesn't pull up on me! It isn't really THAT fitted.
I've been wearing this princess seam tee 
quite a lot for a week (layered)
I call this my "Princess Laurel" tee because

1) It's named after myself
2) It has princess seams
3) When I was little, my older sister Trisha kept me entertained with stories about her flights to Treasure Land. Apparently she went there every night after I went to sleep. She had a magic plastic comb with genuine diamels that she used to transport herself! One day she brought me a pair of shoes decorated with sequins, that looked, oddly enough, like my old slippers that had gone missing! In Treasure Land, amazingly, there were two princess that looked exactly like us - Princess Laurel and Princess Trisha!

I was a true believer in Treasure Land, and begged her to take me along one night. She promised she would when I was a little older, but I think the comb was lost when we moved and I never got to go.

This floral velour tee shirt is named in honor of the royal garments that Princess Laurel once wore, 

I really like wearing this Katherine Tilton  Vogue 8323, princess-seamed, very fitted, tee shirt. I made this first version in a floral velour (I think that's what it is - the fabric was a freebie from donations made at school), that I think is probably mostly polyester with some spandex. I've been wearing the shirt over a pale pink turtleneck or a black turtleneck, as it's not very warm. It looks pretty without them though, and I look forward to getting a photo of those.

I embellished the shoulder seams with
pale rose glass beads and twists of fabric

I added some pink glass buttons and twists of fabric on the shoulder seams, for fun embellishments. Isn't it great sewing your own clothes and doing stuff like that? Impromptu embellishments like that are just one of many things that keeps me, enchanted by sewing!

The pattern work was harder than I thought - getting the fit lines to mirror my body. I've found that my dress form Conchita is pretty good for getting basic fit areas, but when it comes to absolutely fitted, nothing beats putting the garment on my own body and checking it out in the bathroom mirror (or with a buddy like the day Susan H came and she marked all over the inside for me). One thing I learned was, not to make the adjustments to the princess seams permanent before I added the sleeves! The sleeves pull the fabric back, over and all which ways. Baste, Baste, Baste!  Oh, I had some fun with Auntie Seamah Rippah and all the seams I thought were ready for regular stitching but really weren't!

I employing my lesson about basting while making another plain red version of this tee, which I look forward to blogging about. It's almost done. Of course being a different piece of knit - a kind of fluid interlock, the red knit had to be taken in a little more. And of course the self-fabric neckband had/has to be fit differently.

Getting the neckband on this floral version in right such that it didn't gap and wasn't too tight was a real challenge. I basted a lot with pins and by hand. I also laid it over my duct tape dummy (remember Helen?) to get a sense of how the neckline would fall on my actual body. Boy, no neckband is the same.

Also I think since this neckline mostly curves at the center, then shoots up almost straight, I think the trick is a slight stretch on the curvy center part, then less stretch as it goes up. 
Great tee. I have fabric for a few others that I hope to make soon, while the alterations and fit challenges are fresh in mind. Also I just love the way it looks on, so I want more!

~ ~ ~
Web Resources
My Early Pattern Work on V8323 http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/princess-seamed-tee-shirt-pattern-work.html


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ench By Sew-027: Festive Holiday Tees and Teas - Our best holiday episode ever!

Crafternoon at Marilyn's House
We promised not to clean house when we get together, but we never agreed not to get out the pretty dishes!
The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!

Socializing at this time of year, sharing a cup of tea and a light meal, admiring something a friend has made, engaging together with a sewing project, and getting advice on it, that’s the kind of thing that keeps me . . . enchanted by sewing.

Our best holiday episode ever!
Of course, every year it's better than the last :-)

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. 

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

This month’s show  is  *Festive Holiday Tees and Tea*

1) Holiday Tees and More 

* Crafternoon - Finishing my beaded cap, started in Vancouver

* Three Tees - Tee Shirts 
i. Rumpelstiltskin Cowl Neck Top (M6078 - tried and true pattern) http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/12/spinning-straw-into-gold-my.html
ii. Two versions of the Princess Laurel Tee V8323
FUTURE LINKS UNDER CONTSTRUCTION - When I blog them, I'll add them:-)

1. Floral velour (Test Garment - but I'm wearing it all the time!) http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/princess-seamed-tee-shirt-pattern-work.html
2. A plain Red version - still a little work to do finishing up the neckband. Perfect for Christmas and Valentines day, but it will see plenty of other use.

* Ivy –A new shirtdress from my tried-and-true M3623 pattern, Inspired by Mrs. Obama!

- Fabric from a favorite local and online store – Exotic Silks/Thai Silks http://www.exoticsilks.com
- Wrap-up posting about my first shirt dress project, "Peaches and Cream" http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/09/terminado-completing-peaches-and.html
* Julia Morgan – Arts and Crafts movement architect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Morgan
YWCA Hostess House in Palo Alto, built in 1918 and later to become the site of the MacArthur Park Restaurant[17]
*Technicos – Green Sewing Gifts* Covered books and chou chous
Use up those beautiful remnants and scraps
FUTURE LINKS UNDER CONSTRUCTION - When I blog them, I'll add them:-)

I created a pattern for my fabric book cover from a paper bag first. 13 step tutorial http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Paper-Bag-Book-Cover

*Come on over for holiday tea and sewing* In the show, I share lighter holiday offerings, inspired by three sewing and tea parties I've gone to or been hostess at recently. I wish you could have come too!

a. To drink I'd offer Roibos tea with milk and  Easy Microwave No-Sugar Cocoa (you can have sugar if you want!) made with soy milk or non-fat milk 
  I like these cocoa powders (non-sweetened varieties) Cadbury, Schafen Bergen, Ghirardhelli, Trader Joes, Droste
b. Laurel's Holiday Lights Pumpkin Gingerbread 
c. Blueberry muffins (Whoops! Not the Mayo Clinic it's from the Harvard School of Public Health - chock full of blueberries!) 
I substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. Love the texture of the almond meal and the flavors of the orange zest and blueberry. Made them twice in short order. Very popular with my family.  

d. Persimmon oatmeal cookies - I didn't have the psyllium husks and substituted some applesauce for the persimmon when I ran short. They were great anyway!

e. Laurel's London Loaf - A very light schoosh-of-oatmeal and lemon peel bread http://simpleromantic.blogspot.com/2010/08/for-anna-london-loaf.html

f. Harry Potter's Bath Buns, like Hagrid never made
I have the The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook  this Bath Bun recipe came from  (someone else has typed up on this page) and I made these buns for supper one night, along with a nice meaty beef stew. I used golden raisins. Many recipes in the book are heavy on the butter, but this much less so. Delicious, very holiday tasting with the caraway seeds.

g. Laurel's Dried fruit truffles
Quick Recipe Recap, For more description, listen in to the later part of this month's podcast
Food processor -  Take out all pits! 
- 12 dried apricots, 6 medjdool dates, 6 dried plums/prunes
- 2 full graham crackers, 2 t almond meal (optional)
- zest of one orange or lemon 
Pulse the food processor till all broken up
- drizzle in enough honey to get mixture to hold together (maybe 1 teaspoon?)

- Press plain cocoa powder (no sugar or fat added) through a sieve so that it's all a fine powder
- Roll mixture into a lot of little balls
- Roll balls in cocoa
- Store in your cutest tin!

A local very tasty cocoa
Cadbury Cocoa is sold in London
Haven't found it closer to home

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Crafternoon Tea - Finished my Beaded Cap (Terminado!)

First Marilyn made us a lovely festive tea! Doesn't she set a lovely table? And then we watched "Miracle on 34'th Street" (the original with Natalie Woods and Maureen O'Hara of course!), and worked on our craft projects together. OK, we also talked non-stop.

 I finished beading my faux-tapestry cap. You remember it? That's the project I started in Vancouver. I talked about sights, sounds and sewing inspiration in Vancouver in my (Episode 26) November, Enchanted By Sewing audio/podcast. You can find out more about that episode and listen right on the web, or download it to your mobile device, by clicking on the show notes at http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/11/ench-by-sew-026-embellishment-via.html.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Spinning Straw Into Gold - My Rumpelstiltskin Cowl Neck Knit Top (McCalls 6078)

My  Rumpelstiltskin Straw-Into-Gold Top looks best tucked in!

Oh I love wearing this straw-into-gold wool jersey top! Yes, you're right. The longer hem that worked for my polka dot cowl, is too long for this fluid wool jersey. I may hem it shorter, but I've ended up tucking it in most of the time anyway. What a difference the hand of a fabric makes, eh?

Do you recall a few weeks back, when I finished my reworked Retro Polka Dot cowl-neck knit top? I'm just starting to buildup my pattern wardrobe of tried-and-true patterns, and I love having a pattern I can turn to late one night, and finish off before breakfast.

I pulled out my version of M6078 (the version I traced, altered and know fits me) and a light weight, gauzy , golden wool jersey knit from my fabric inventory one night last week, and the next day I had a great new top to wear. I didn't stay up late making it either:-)

I can spin straw into gold.  I know just how that German gal  in the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale felt. You remember her? She was the one-time commoner who found a husband by practicing her domestic skills with her spindle and a hunk of straw.*   

This is already proving to be a great top for our not too cold, California cool season. It's good under a long sleeved top, or on it's own. I can wear it with jeans, a denim skirt or my brown stretch-velvet jeans. And yes, I'm tucking it in :-)

I'm so ready to make more. Sewing tried-and-true is the kind of thing that keeps me . . . 

Enchanted by Sewing!

* Honey, I highly recommend a degree in Computer Science as a better option.

Web Resources
My Retro Polka Dot Knit Top  (also blogged about as "Why I don't love Lucy") http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/11/terminado-retro-polka-cowl-neck-knit.html
Who's Rumpelstiltskin? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumpelstiltskin