Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer Top









McCalls 6704

For the last few months I have been feeling slow, tired and very grumpy.  I have not felt creative, happy or energetic.  I put it down to stress but really life is always stressful.  Last week we made a family decision to return to our low carb diet.  No sugar, bread, pasta, or processed foods allowed.  Guess what?  I feel so much better.  I started to think about fashion sewing again.  I started to design again.  
The stressful factors of my life are still here and but I feel better.  

First up, a quick summer top, McCalls 6704.  It is rated EASY, but as Mrs Mole says, easy for the designer.   


Back View





The design is simple enough but I fear that the easy rating would encourage a beginner to embark on this pattern.  It is not hard but it is not for a beginner.  The tank underneath is made from a knit.  I used a cotton and spandex combo.  I twin-needle hemmed the bottom using wooly nylon thread in the bobbin.  A beginner might not know how to handle that.  I also serged the tank top with wooly nylon to prevent popped stitches.




The overblouse is chiffon.  Not a fabric for a beginner.  I cut it single layer with paper on top and underneath.  I finished the hem with a rolled hem on my serger.  Even with the differential feed it was hard not to get some "lettuceing".  Hemming a bias cut chiffon is not EASY!  

The neckline requires joining the knit fabric and the chiffon with a self made bias strip.  Again, not really easy. Joining a knit with a woven requires some patience.


I love this top and wear it with capris and leggings.

Thanks for dropping by,

Janlynn
















Sunday, August 18, 2013

Awesome and Not





Life has been stressful this summer.  I seem to be spending way too much time in hospitals and not enough time in the backyard.  Summer is short and it is almost over.  

I thought I would take a break from everything a have some embroidery fun.  

There is more to machine embroidery than pushing a button.  Downloading, placement, and stabilizing are big factors in the success of your project. 

Because I chose to work on a towel, I used a heat dissolving stabilizer on the top and the bottom.  
One thing I can't control is the quality of the digitizing.  Some designs look great in the picture but don't stitch out the same.
I am really happy with this design from Urban Threads.  It was free last weekend.



I cleaned and polished the barbeque just to take this picture!




This is design I am not pleased with.  The proportions are wrong and it looks like a cartoon.

This design was also free from Smart Needle.  The stitch out times were about the same, but the end results are not.  

The shark wins!  Maybe it's just because we are Shark Week fans.  My family even watched that horrible movie, Sharknado.   The shark should have won and saved us from all that bad acting.



Thanks for dropping by,
















Janlynn




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Monday, August 5, 2013

A Couple of Cowboys





A Couple of Cowboys Walk into a Tack Shop

I was approached by a local tack shop to sew three western shirts suitable for reigning competitions.
After doing some research, I agreed to make them at an agreed price.
My intent was to make them quickly but life got in the way.  Since that meeting, my daughter has had two medical emergencies ( appendix and concussion -see her blog for details), my husband had surgery, and after accompanying my MIL to many tests and visits, she has been diagnosed with cancer.  
I have kept in contact with the shop and was assured that the shirts were still wanted.  They were to be decorated with a little embroidery and crystals.
I finally had two made so I rushed to deliver them.  These photos were taken before the final steaming.
Sorry they are so wrinkled. I didn't see the photos until after I delivered the shirts.

Both shirts were made from Islander patterns.




I love the shaping from the princess seams.  It makes this shirt very fitted and flattering.



The embroidery on the back yoke is from Embroidery Library.  I added some Hot Fix Crystals.  And yes I know that I am a little off centre.  I decided to finish the shirt anyway.





Back view of the shirt 


Front Yoke - embroidery, crystals, and double topstitching.




Close up of the cuff with double top-stitching and pearl snaps from Snap Source.  



Mens shirt from Islanders Men's City Western Shirt featuring yokes, bias flap pockets, double topstitching and pearl snaps.
Both patterns were very good and easy to follow.  My only complaint is that there are no directions for the pointed sleeve placket.  I was on my own for that.























Back of a very wrinkled shirt.    Yoke embroidery is from Urban Threads.


When I delivered the shirts to the shop, the owner pointed out some used shirts that she was selling on consignment.  They were cheap plaid shirts from cheap polyester with no details and made in Vietnam.  
I cannot compete with them nor do I want to.  I realized that although I had kept  a record of all our discussions and agreements on these shirts we had really not achieved"a meeting of the minds".  I knew that although I had proof of our agreement it was not going to happen.  I left the shirts there on consignment.  But if the owner does not understand the difference between my shirts and the disposable clothing made overseas, I don't think her customers will either.  
Lessons learned.
  1. I thought by keeping a record of the messages I had some safety in a contract.  
  2. I realize that I took way too long to deliver the shirts
  3. Because I have been burnt before ,here, I made the shirts from fabric I already had and in sizes that will fit myself and my husband.   If they don't sell, we have new shirts!


Thanks for dropping by.  I would really like to hear what you have to say.  


Janlynn





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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Finally Some Clothes








Believe it or not I do sew clothes.  I love fashion sewing.  I just never seem to get around to taking pictures and posting.  But I am trying to do better.




 Back in April, Fashion daughter need a killer top for a fashion event at school.  She wanted a peplum top and of course all the patterns available were not what she liked.  I found a Burda pattern she liked but the size was off.  It never is easy.  She is a terrible customer, picky, critical, and never shows up for fittings!  Oh and she never pays!!!





Anyway, seeing as she is my daughter, she is my best customer.  I downloaded Burda #113 even though I had the magazine from 8/2012.  Piecing the pattern together is much easier than tracing from the magazine.

I had to grade up the pattern three sizes.  It was easier than usual due to the absence of seam allowances and the excellent and detailed measurement chart that Burda provides.

I made two muslins to teak the fit.  My biggest challenge was the placement of the darts.  I worried about the sleeves being tight so I decided to cut them on the bias.

To find the perfect fabric we drove to Ottawa Street in downtown Hamilton, a nearby city.  In my favourite store they sell end of the rolls for $3.00 a metre.  The bright pink duchess satin was there.  Two and a half meters for $7.50.  Score.  I had a pink invisible zipper from our Mood shop two years ago, and tons of pink lining left from her sister's grade school graduation.  Yes I am a fabric hoarder.

Since I had already made the muslins, the top went together smoothly and quickly.  I lined the entire top despite the pattern directions.  I don't like topstitching satin.




Since that was a success, I decided to keep going.   I made her another top from black stretch denim and faux leather.  The back features a large industrial exposed zipper.   I wanted to add studs to the sleeves but she thought it might be too much.




I am saving this pattern because I am sure I will use it again.  Next time as a dress.





Lessons from this activity ---  1)  Sewing is the easy part.  Fitting is H###.
                                               2)  The big four are not always your best option.


Thanks for dropping bye.


Janlynn