Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sewing--Hot New Hobby

The first of February 2007, the New York Times featured an article on Sewing in the Fashion and Style section, On Pins and Needles, but Not Missing a Stitch .

The reporter of the article stated that she had "taken it up" referring to sewing. Now she is obsessed and trolls the internet for notions and fabrics.

I can relate. I started a fashion sewing class at my local community college, Saddleback, this semester. I am hooked on sewing all over again. I have been sewing up a storm. This week I am working on my sewing samples completing samples of French seams, Mock French seams, curved seams, pointed seams and many hand sewing selections.

I was a little disappointed in the article from the Times reporter, however. She references several web sites. The Home Sewing Association web site was a good reference given the nature of the article. She also referenced supply sites like Clotild and Junetailor. I was hoping these sites would be the ultimate source of sewing supplies. They had no more in the supply side than the local Joanne Fabrics in my town. She also found a great site for reproduction fabrics from the various decades.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fast, Fun & Easy Fabric Postcards: Keepsakes You Can Make & Mail

Fast, Fun & Easy Fabric Postcards: Keepsakes You Can Make & Mail is a very cool idea a friend from my sewing class shared with me. I want to try this after I finish my next sewing project.
My friend and I both agreed, however, that even though you CAN mail this fabric postcard as is, we would be inclined to place inside an envelope so the hard work would not be destroyed by the machines in the post office.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Trip to the Fashion District in LA

Monday was my first trip to the Los Angeles Fashion District. I was amazed by the number of stores and the thousands of bolts of fabric, millions of buttons, hundreds of tiaras and reels of trim. We focused on Maple and Ninth Streets. Most store fronts are only twelve feet across with the store depth twenty-five to thirty feet long. The fabric is neatly organized in some stores as you can see in the photo. However, other stores have wall displays which are behind bolts and bolts of fabric which sit on the floor blocking the path.
Some prices are very good. I found a fabric I had been thinking about buying priced at $7.99/yard at one store and then $6.99yard at the store where I made my purchase. Locally, the fabric is priced at $14.00 a yard.
Most of the stores seemed to carry mountains of fleece and very alarming shiny fabrics. I think there was enough shiny, glittery, sparkly fabric to make a ballgown for every female (adult and child) in America.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Vintage Jacket Project Completed

I was very surprised about the number of hours this jacket took to complete. I ended up serging all the seams even though the jacket is completely lined. I found the fabric frayed very easily.

My favorite feature of the jacket are the articulated sleeves.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Vintage Jacket--the project continues

The first sewing project you work on in three years is a lot like the first waffle you make on Saturday morning. You know how the first waffle isn't quite right--oh the waffle iron might have been too hot or too cold, you may not have put in enough batter or perhaps the batter was too thick or too runny. Anyway, you toss it to the dog and go on to make many perfectly delicious waffles.

Well, this jacket feels just like the waffle scenario. I have been working like a dog. First, because the pattern is vintage, many sewing practices have changed. For example, at the time the pattern was created, fusible interfacing didn't exist. Additionally, the way the instructions are written are sometimes less than clear. But I am working hard to recall all my sewing skills acquired over my lifetime to create my jacket.

This photo shows me fusing my interfacing as opposed to sewing it in my hand.

(I hope Casey the dog will enjoy wearing it when I complete the project! Maybe she'll wear it while eating the first waffle.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Laying Out The Pattern Pieces

It's been a while since I laid out pattern pieces and this project had me standing on my head. I love the advise on the pattern directions. Circling the actual version you are laying out saves you the effort of constantly making sure you are laying out your pattern for your version and on the correct fabric width.

After the pattern was finally laid out, I cut out the pattern. I took a sewing class about three years ago and the instructor loved using the rotary cutter for dress patterns. My current instructor likes using high quality (Ghinger)pair of scissors.

After cutting out this project and starting to sew, I think I am going to use both methods in the future. The rotary cutter gives you undistorted fabric piece to work with. However, the intricacies of some pattern pieces require more dexterity than the rotary cutter allows. So the verdict for me: Combo-rotary/scissors.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My Project--Vintage Jacket

This is a project I am sewing. I am making version 3 out of a retro green linen-like fabric. I would have loved to have made it with a striped fabric, but my fabric store carried nothing in this style.

I love that all the women in the three versions are wearing wrist-legnth gloves.