Thursday, March 26, 2015

On the surface......

Over the years when I cut out my patterns, I have used various surfaces to do so.  From a dining room table, my bed, to the very floor, it was wherever I could find the space.

Many die hard sewers have a hobby table such as the one Joann's sales:

However this table has gotten mixed reviews, the one I noted most mentioned that it was not 'stable'. Not to mention on my budget even when its is half off at $75, its still more then I wanted to spend.

Then there is the kind of table my mother has, far more sturdy:

However, the weight of the table makes unfolding and setting it up a choir, especially when you are dealing with arthritic hands. 

Not to be out done, I came up with I think will be a cool alternative.

Seeing that I have been cutting on my bed as of late, it is almost waist high off the ground, making it easier for my stiff bones to get out of in the morning. Anyway...

I thought why not get a nice large piece of plywood to place over the bed. Taking a trip to Lowe's, I came across this nice 49x49 inch piece (roughly 1 1/2 yards for us sewers) here:

Taking the time to look over the endless options they had available I decided on this piece because it was a good size and light weight.  The weight being important, in that I wanted something that would not be difficult for me to lift and move when necessary.

The down side to the piece is that, although sanded, still has small splinters: 

Needless to say this would not work when it comes to my fabric, can you imagine the snags?

Yet don't despair we have a solution:

Peel and Stick lamanite paper, It's cost effective and easy to apply!

Now it's time to put everything together..... 

Until then, remember, one stitch at a time.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Changing of the guard.......

She's here!

I would like to introduce the new addition to my sewing family:

I had been thinking about a new machine for awhile now, especially with many of the new features availible such as:

* Start stop button
* Easy stitch selection
* One step button hole
* Drop bobbin
* Smooth operation

Still I had to consider my finamcial limits and in all honesty could not afford to spend hundreds of dollars. So off to eBay I go!

I saw many nice machines availible from the more prestigious Bernina's and Viking's to the more humble White's. Being that I have had a Janome for some time now I wanted to stay in that same standard.

Ah, my Janome:

She has been my tried and true for the last 6 years,  helping me to make over 30 outfits in that period of time.

Sigh, but after two weeks of looking, I came accross the Juki for a 1/4 of its original retail cost and  couldn't pass up the chance to make an upgrade.

I will not go much into the features of the machine,  that will come in a full review once I sewen a complete dress. However, I wanted to make a formal introduction, and to express my excitemenet!

Until next time, keep it together one stitch at a time.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Why just one, why not two? McCall's sew-a-long

The last time we spoke I was telling you about the new McCalls sew-a-long, and I had not decided between which fabrics I wished to use.

After mulling it over I decide on.........................................


I will use this navy blue polyester/spandex stretch with a crepe weave with Butterick 6054:

I found this fabric at Joann's in their Red Tag section, the nice part is it was during a 50% off weekend making this most excellent fabric only $6 a yard.

A closer look

The fabric is a light to medium weight with an excellent drape, not to mention it is a two way stretch fabric that B6054 calls for as well.

Two way stretch?

It means the fabric not only stretches width wise, but length wise as well.

So what did I decide to do with the light Pink/Coral fabric? Why not use it to make one of my favorite wrap dress Butterick 5030:

Here's a closer look:

As you can see I've already started to cut out B5030.

 The nice thing about working with knits is that often times I don't have to make the same adjustments I do with woven fabric such as cotton, linen and the like. The spandex is very forgiving and I tend to like my knit dress with a negative ease.

Negative ease?

An example, your normal size is a 35, the finished garment size is a 34.

In my case simply using my normal size without alterations, and taking advantage of the stretch, does the trick.

Well that's it for now, I will update again when I begin to sew B5030, and hopefully I would have started to cut out  B6054 as well.

Until then, take it one stitch at a time.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Wrap Dress Sew-a-long

The McCall's Pattern Company has decided to do a Wrap Dress sew a long and I thought it was an excellent opportunity to get back into posting.

If you are interest in joining the sew-a-long, The McCall Pattern Company has several designs to choose from and you can find the pattern selections here on their Pinterest page:

McCall Pattern's The Wrap Dress

I have decided to make my entry  Butterick 6054:

I have two stretch crepe fabrics to choose from, one being a beautiful light coral and another a pretty deep blue/purple color.

I continue to go back and forward on which, I have just two yards of the blue fabric, which is the right amount I needed for the dress.  The coral fabric, however, I have three yards and am thinking maybe I should use this fabric with a pattern that will use all three yards. Waist not want not as they say :-)

Actually I was hesitant to make Butterick 6054 because it has a simular waist design to McCalls 6884 which I have already sewn:

The blog post of this project you can find here:

However, a girl can never go wrong with a dress that fits and flatters, am also hoping the shoulder design of Butterick 6054 is enough to make it stand on it's own.

Of course both of these patterns are made for knits but if working with knits makes you hesitate in joining the sew-a-long, know that there are other options to choose from. One of my favorites is Butterick's 5030:

It has various collar and sleeve options to choose from and is beginner friendly. 

Now if you are a more advanced sewer then maybe you would like to pick the Ralph Rucci dress Vogue number 1239:

Which ever you choose have fun with the project and if you like your work take a pic and post it here on McCall Pattern Company Fan Gallery Board on Pinterest:

You can also tag your work on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag:  #wrapdresssewalong.

Well that's it for now, next post I will up date you on which fabric I choose, until then, just remember to always to keep yourself together one stitch at a time.