Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Sew-A-Long Roundup

Welcome to 2014! Well almost anyway, you still have a few hours to do those last minute 2013 things. 

I don’t think I have ever been so excited for the new year and have soooo much sewing planned.  

One thing I plan on doing is documenting my completed projects better. The other day someone ask me what I had sewn and aside from a few recent items I could hardly think of anything! Craziness.  So, I plan on documenting my stitching endeavors much better this year. I have already gotten started with this free sewing journal available from SewMammaSew. To get things started I am putting my last few 2013 items in the journal.

In between my sewing time I have been browsing around the internet researching 2014 sew –a-longs (SAL) in the hopes of finding something interesting! Well there is plenty of interesting THAT IS FOR SURE. The harder part of this search has been deciding what I am going to attempt to tackle.

FACT. There are many quilting SALs out there for 2014 and from previous years. So if you LOVE to quilt you will be very happy with a simple google search of Quilt Sew-a-Longs!

FACT. There are many garment SALs from prior years still available and they ALL look awesome.

FACT. This post is about early 2014 SALS and these are the ones I plan on participating.  All the SAL's that I am going to mention have buttons on the right that will take you to those pages. Here goes:

First off….the Garment of the Month hosted by Sarah Liz. This really was the thing that got my garment sewing jump started and I joined up in October right after taking a Craftsy workshop to sew a knit dress. The challenge of making a garment for myself once a month was really intriguing and what I truly wanted to do so I joined! If you contact Sarah Liz, she can get you signed up. There are some very friendly folks associated with this group and a lot of sewing knowledge.

2. A Challenging Sew free Marfy pattern SAL. For ages now, I have been wanting to sew a Marfy pattern but have had serious “Marfy fear”.  But recently Marfy posted three free patterns on their website and Leisa is hosting a three month SAL to sew up those patterns. The patterns are for a blouse, skirt and jacket. My girl is a debater so this is for her!

3. Amity at Lolita Patterns is hosting two back to back SALS, one for the Gunmetal dress to begin Jan. 6th and one for the Spearmint Coat that starts up in Feb. I am pretty excited about these especially the coat because I purchased an amazing stretch twill from EmmaOneSock to sew up a spring coat for my daughter.

4. Sewing with Squeaks is hosting a 12 month SAL based on Sara Lawson’s new book Big City Bags.  There are 12 bags in the book. Didn’t that work out perfectly?

5. Craftytwinmommy is also hosting a 12 month SAL except participates can use any crafting/sewing book they have languishing in their sewing room. I particularly am enthralled with this SAL because A.) I am going to use it get all my Christmas “shopping” done for 2014 and B.) I hate hate hate having books laying around with super doper good information and projects in them and NEVER picking them up and using them.  Oh and C.) I have gone on a fabric buying fast and want to sew through my stash. This fits very nicely!

6.  LAST BUT NOT LEAST. I have been wanting  to sew a quilt for a particular friend from long ago. The thing is this friend and I are polar opposites now that we are adults and there has been much tension between us mainly over politics. Ugh. Hate that. I am hoping the quilt will be therapy for me (haha) and a balm between us. I found Terry from Terry’s Treasures in Ohio who is hosting a Goodnight Irene SAL.  Terry is so sweet. Love her already and I know this is weird but I thought this Quilt SAL is the one because my friend also lives in Ohio. Terry is starting things up Jan. 1st or so.

Whew…I am getting tired just thinking about all this. There is no doubt some good organization is in order here. I have been working on that as well. Maybe a post in the future!

For now, Sew on Friends, Sew on!


P.S. There are also a bunch of contest at Pattern Review.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December GAM just under the wire! The Classic Tailored Skirt from the book entitled "Dressmaking" by Alison Smith.

The skirt was actually finished late late last night (or early this morning...depending on how one looks at it)! It was an easy sew; just matching up the plaid took some time when cutting out and I had to rip out one of the side seams a couple of times.

The fabric is from my stash. SSSShhhh....don't tell anyone but this is actually made with upholstery fabric and is my wearable muslin for the pattern! I can't decide, does it look like it??? It is a pretty heavy wool on the outside and is self lined so I didn't have to line it!! Yipee!!

Really happy with the way the skirt turned out! Everything all matched up. :) Found the blouse at the local resale shop for $4. It pains me so to buy ready to wear but this is not a color I have in my closet. Ugh.

Great pics, very easy to follow. BUT, did not do a good job of explaining the finished kick pleat!
So I had to turn to my old standby...old issues of Threads magazine to see the proper way to get them done. 
Love, Love, Love everything about Threads!
Kick pleat is not quite right but since this is a wearable muslin I am not going to worry about it.
Invisible zipper! 
Contrast waistband made with some scrap Kona cotton.
Yes, another photo bomb by Citrus!

Whew...feel like the last few days have been a whirlwind. I will be posting a list of some great 2014 sew-a-longs that I have found tonight or tomorrow. Also, will be putting up a tutorial on making the Boston Common table runner in the next couple of days!

Happy Sewing Everyone!


Friday, December 27, 2013

"Flannel" Shirt is Finished!

Hope you all had a simply marvelous Christmas season. It was a great time of joy and fellowship for our family with many blessings given and received by all!

I am very excited about 2014 and sewing. In the next couple of days I will be posting a list of some Sew A Longs that I have found. I just love these as an avenue to boost one's sewing skills and knowledge. It is so much fun to do these and get to know other sewers and see their work. It was exciting to see my Cooper Bag made the final round of voting over at coletterie.com. Wowsa....the bags those ladies made blew my socks off. There are some really talented folks at there.

A few updates: The "Flannel" Shirt for my husband is finished! The day before Christmas Eve I was sewing on the buttons. He absolutely loved it. Now this is real joy, friends. To make something for a loved one and they don't ever want to take it off! Love.

The funny thing about the fabric used for his shirt is he chose it simply by feel. I had 4 or 5 choices and he hardly even looked at the design of the fabric. He just started touching and ultimately chose this linen blend from Robert Kaufman which is currently selling for $6.48 per yard at Fabric.com. I actually thought it was not that great of a choice but he thought it would sew up to be the softest and most comfortable! It sewed up so easily and beautifully. In the end, I was glad he picked it!

Perfect fit! 
This was THE best Sew A Long (SAL). Put simply, I learned a ton and Kelly is just great! She is knowledgeable and very willing to help and answer questions. She has kept all the links and information up on her SAL so anyone can hop over there anytime and take advantage of her wealth of knowledge. I highly recommend you do so if you are wanting to sew tailored shirts.

Very proud of how well the collar turned out. Please excuse the tailor tacks!

Back yoke and collar. Although it wasn't necessary with this fabric, I went ahead and cut my outside yoke and collar on the bias  for experience and to see the effect. 
French Side Seams

Kelly is now offering to help those who are enrolled in Kenneth Cole's  fly front coat class on Craftsy. If you have been thinking of taking this class, now would be a great time to do so and to have Kelly help you if you need it.

And finally I just have to share this wonderful gift I received... my very sweet Christmas present from a very sweet family. A used Viking Designer SE!! Oh my gosh, I have been sewing the dickens out of this beauty. I have never had a machine so nice and that does so much. Sooooo grateful.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cooper Bag is Finished!

Cooper Bag Version 3, The Satchel

The Cooper Bag is finished!! I should have finished the bag last night. It's just that when I went into my sewing room, which also happens to be the room where our TV is, the whole family was piled together on the sofa watching an episode of Season 1 of Grimm. So it was only natural to jump on the sofa with them and spend the next hour with my eyes covered while "watching" one of the freakiest prime time shows I have ever seen. Confession: I am a scaredy cat so I spend most of my family Grimm watching time with my eyes shut. But I digress.

As of last night all that was left of the Cooper Bag was the flap and lining. That went together pretty quick this morning. There are a few variations from the pattern such as these pockets on both sides of the lining. The lining is nylon ripstop. Very slippery but sewed up easily with lots of pins. I especially liked the directions for sewing up the pockets. Simple.

Lining. Pockets on both sides. Next time I would probably put in a zippered pocket.
Another variation was this contrast band at the top edge. The bag looked good with out it as well. Another option I just thought of is a biased tape finished edge. Might try that next time.

Love the front pockets!
Here is the back of the bag. Another easy variation that could be added is one long continuous strap that actually goes under the bag bottom. The pattern called for the accent fabric as the bottom gusset but I thought that would be too flimsy so I used vinyl and added bag feet. This greatly added to the stability of the bag.

The bag finishes very generous in size!
Overall this is a good beginners project except I would not recommend a beginner try the bag with leather or vinyl. I never could get a good press on the vinyl seams which I had to work around when sewing on the bottom vinyl gusset. Other than that and with the help of the Cooper Companion Book anyone should be able to complete the bag.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A New Sew-A-Long to go with the Old Sew-A-Long

Well, I am a glutton for punishment. Or something like that.

Just after finishing up my November GOM

It is not too late to join us!
and whilst in the midst of the Cooper Bag SAL, I joined another SAL today.

BUT, I do have an excuse. Or something like that.

This SAL is NOT for me because it is horrid (hehe) how I have been selfish sewing these days. This SAL is for my dear husband who, aside from the occasional pillowcase, I really don't sew for....ever. He has been asking me for ages to make him a padded laptop bag so I decided to make him a flannel shirt!

Confession: I am not being entirely SELFLESS here. There is the most outstanding pattern languishing in my sewing patterns for a women's classic tailored shirt. But, I fear it. It looks hard and there is not as much fudging with woven's like you can with knits. It pretty much has to be perfect or it looks, well you know, "homemade" in the bad sense. Plus my recent passion with bepoke garments and a propensity for perfection means I want to get it right.

Kelly, the hostess of the Flannel Shirt SAL appears to have what I call SSSS or the 4 s's. Some Serious Sewing Skill. And she has graciously made herself available for helping those who get themselves in a jam. 

In preparation all the cotton or wool flannel fabric in my stash was hauled out. The problem though, I never really bought any of that fabric for a guy shirt so my husband wasn't all that excited about it. Besides that he told me, he finds flannel shirts to be pretty warm unless he is outside working or hiking and this shirt is for the inside. So, back to the stash I went a few times resisting the urge to purchase shirting from somewhere. Then I happened upon this old post from SewMamaSew discussing possible fabric sources for a man's shirt and Eureka! I remembered a nice neutral linen I purchased earlier this year.

This passed Hubby inspection! Yay!!!
So, today we are off to our "flannel" shirt SAL! It is a quick one so at the end of 2 short weeks or so, I hope to have a nice gift for my husband to put under the tree...or something like that. Wish me luck!

BTW...Art Gallery Fabrics is giving away a fat quarter bundle. Check it out!