Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finally, some sewing to show you!

I finished my leather skirt and my gray knit top in time to wear them to our sewing bloggers  dinner in NYC last weekend, but I didn't get any good shots of them  until today.  The top is Burda 113 12/08 in a very nice wool jersey from Emmaonesock.  The skirt is lambskin from Leather Suede and Skins in NYC. It's Burda 134 9/09.  It's one of their take one pattern and make 4, and they show them on dressforms.  It's really not the best way to see how a garment looks in real life. They describe this as a mini skirt.  I didn't add any length and I am 5'6" tall, the height they draft for.  Does this look like a mini to you?

I love  them with my motorcycle jacket as it was planned in my ill fated 2009 PR Wardrobe.  It's fun to wear and Cindy from PR day describe my outfit as 'Rock and Roll' .  I do feel chic wearing it. I have already gotten a lot of use out of it.  It looks great with my Tom and Linda Platt dress too and with the mild weather we've been having it works as  light weight outerwear.
I realize that I never posted a picture of my denim trousers.  They are in the wash and need a picture taken, so that will be later in the week.   I am still working on my McCalls jeans, 5894.  They are ill fated I think.  I ran the tab of the zipper off the top and had to rip it out.  This is why you should never sew a zipper in like Burda tells you to, at the end, with your garment already in the round.  If I hadn't already put so much time into them I might be tempted to chuck them, but they are flattering and the fit is good, if not perfect.  Of course, do I ever think I have perfect fit?  Not in pants anyway.  That flat rear end of mine is a pita  to fit.
Here are the links to my reviews on PR.

Friday, November 27, 2009


We had a lovely Thanksgiving on Alex's last day here.  She was off to the airport at 8 am with her Dad.  I had to take 2 guests to the train, so we said our goodbyes here.  She was teary saying goodbye to our very old, 17 years, dog.  Us she can talk to and video chat with, but not so the dog of course

Here we are dressed  in our Thanksgiving finery.  You'll notice my Tom and Linda Platt dress and my Hot Patterns cardigan.  Both have turned out to be favorite pieces.  I didn't think that I'd make the jacket again, but I love it, so I may make it with some red wool double knit from the stash.

Here's Alex with Mr. Nicky. 

On the sewing front:  I am finishing up my jeans.  Let me say how much I hate stretch denim with more than 2% spandex.  Note to self, never buy denim again with more than minimal stretch for comfort. It's a paint to topstitch across the grain.  .  I did  cut the waistband with  the straight grain going around the body, which helps, but below that I really had to take in a lot. 
When they get too irritating I have my green twist front Burda top on the cutting table.
After I finish my wardrobe plan I am going to make this knock off tunic from Tory Burch.  I already have the nailheads.

I'll probably make it from my tnt t shirt pattern. V8151.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meeting Bloggers in Real Life!

                              Carolyn, Robin, Marji,Mardel, Claudine, Lindsay T, NancyK
What a great night we had!  It was such a thrill to meet the people I know online in real life. Earlier in the afternoon I ran into Marji and Mardel in Pacific Trimming, which was serendipitous.  NYC may be large, but the garment district isn't all that big anymore.  They went back to class and I went on to B & J where I ran into Claudine.  I was standing next to her and recognized her by her jacket.  She rarely posts herself on her blog, but she'd just done a post showing herself wearing her clothes, so it was fresh in my mind.  A small world.  We went back to Mood where she bought some fabric she'd seen earlier, and I ran into Tom, from Pattern Review Day. I really look forward to meeting other sewers as they make their pilgrimage to the garment district.  There isn't anyplace else like it anymore.  It may not be the place I shopped in 25 years ago, but it's still fabulous.  The choices and the prices are better than anywhere else I've been. 

 Sewing:  I've decided that I will not be able to finish my PR Wardrobe in time to enter the contest.  I am planning on finishing the plan, so you'll see it here when I do finish it all.  I've got a top and the leather skirt to post.  Probably not till after Alex goes back to Korea.  Yes, she is leaving us Friday.  We have enjoyed having her home for so long but she took a great job in Busan, a big city the south coast of Korea.  She wanted a change and a place with less pollution.  I have to say that we have a wonderful relationship and that I am going to miss her enormously. 

I am hosting Thanksgiving and I always look forward to it.  It's my favorite holiday,   I hope that all of you have a great day. 
Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Search for Patrones

Through Pattern Review and various blogs I was introduced to pattern magazines other than Burda, Patrones and Knipmode in particular.  I generally buy single copies on Ebay from Stoff-Art.  Their speed is less than stellar and  I waited and waited for September Patrones to be offered for sale.  Finally, it was up and I bought it.  I am still waiting for it to come along with the October issue of Knipmode.  In the meantime I noticed that Ebay had the October issue of Patrones up.  It was from a Dutch company they were a few dollars cheaper even.  I have my October issue and I am still waiting for September.  I'm glad I bought it right away, as they only had 3 copies, but if you want the September issue it's still up.  One of the attractions of Patrones was that all the garments were from various European designers including such luminaries as Prada on occasion.  This October issue is the first one I've bought in a few months.  The titles, white blouse for instance, just don't have the cache the designers names had.  There are some lovely designs, but the allure of being able to make a Prada is gone.  When did this change happen?  

Sewing: I have been busy with my wardrobe.  I only have 3 pieces done and unless I up my speed, it won't get finished.  I am still optimistic  because the jeans are my last time consuming piece, well only time consuming because I've ripped the topstitching out too many times to count.  My machine does not like to make nice, even topstitches.  It doesn't like to hold it's tension either.   I'll take it in again after I finish my wardrobe.  They fit reasonably well  and I may actually make another pair if I can get my machine to do a better job on topstitching. I finished the denim trouser and a gray wool jersey top, both of which I wore with my jacket to PR day. I  may photograph a few pieces this week if I get a chance.

Monday, November 9, 2009

PR Day in NYC

Johanna, me, and Cindy at Metro Textile. Thank you Peter for the pictures. I copied this from his posting, here of pictures of the day. Cindy and Tom organized the day and they did a great job, so a big thanks.
What a great day I had. It was so much fun to meet other sewers and people who read my blog! That was really a wonderful addition to the day. By the time I got to Metro Textiles at 10:30 it was jammed with people, but fun. Too much distraction for me to buy fabric there, but I can get in anytime so I was more interested in meeting everyone. After Metro we went down the street to Mood as Greenberg and Hammer was already committed to hosting the ASG group from Baltimore so we were scheduled for 12:15. They are the loveliest people and had drinks and cookies and goodie bags for all of us. Back to Mood, Eric, one of the owners, gave us a 10% discount because Rosie asked. I did buy a piece of fabric here, a gorgeous wool knit, I think that there is maybe some silk in it too because it has a really gorgeous shimmer on one side, in a deep green. It's better to hit Mood in the morning on a Saturday. Have you been there on a Saturday afternoon! The crowds are unbelievable. I do think that they've raised their prices. Emmaonesock buys some things here and in the past I've recognized distinctive pieces and the prices were always a few dollars cheaper. Saturday they were more money by a few dollars than Linda is charging. I don't need fabric, but I am always on the lookout for something that 'speaks' to me. Everyone was on the lookout for animal prints for me. There weren't many; either heinous, and suitable jokes were made about these, or polyester and I've sworn off polyester knits. They feel clammy to me in the winter and rip them off hot in the summer. I'll wear it in a blend, but not straight.
Next we headed off to Greenberg and Hammer and then lunch at a deli up the street that had tables upstairs. We put together about 6 tables for all of us. It was great. I sat near Terry and Liz and Peter, as well as several lovely people whose names I can't remember! I met a a lot of people whose names I can't remember! Maybe name tags wouldn't be a bad idea. It is really fun to talk to people about sewing and not have their eyes glaze over.
We went on to Paron, where I bought a piece of shirting and Lucy, who I have known for years, gave me a nice discount. I think that next time we should contact our favorite places and ask them if they will give a discount to PR that day. After that we went over to Rosen and Chaddick but nothing spoke to me there. We also went over to Pacific Trimming so that I could get another Riri zipper for my leather skirt. It was late by this time and Terry wanted to got to the Japanese bookstore opposite Bryant park. I had never been so I went along. They carry all those amazing Japanese pattern books. I am being good, so I didn't buy any, but I was tempted. Even in Japanese the illustrations are amazing. Twisted tops with the best pictures illustrating how to do it so that no words are necessary, even for twist challenge people like me. They do use the western alphabet for matching letters which makes it a little easier to navigate. They have those Bunka College design books that Cidell showed on her blog. Attention men who sew or women who sew for them! They have mens pattern books with very cool and stylish stuff. A whole book on coats and jackets with great illustrations. Of course you kind of have to be a small man or you'll have to grade them up a lot. Asian men tend to be smaller, not just in height but bone structure.
All in all, it was a great day and even the weather co-operated.
After that I was pooped and walked down to Penn to get the train home.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wadder, ah well

I am glad I didn't cut my Three Graces crossover t in my good fabric. Mind you, it wasn't cheap fabric, but it was a bit thin for my taste. The crossover, which I finally got right, was lovely. I finally got it when I watched the direction that Trudy twisted seam D. After I sewed in the sleeves, I pinned the sides together and tried it on. The twist looked great, but I should have cut the shoulders and armscyes 2 sizes smaller at least, it was that big. It looked terrible. The fabric didn't like being ripped and so it's a wadder, my first in quite a while. I'll go back to this after the PR wardrobe contest is over, but not now. I made some drawings of my tops with my skirt pattern, and I went back to my BWOF 113 from 12/08 top that was in my plan, with the pleated front, but not in the silver rayon. It made me cold looking at it. I chose a gorgeous darker gray wool and lycra light weight jersey from Emmaonesock that had been in contention, and in my stash, from the beginning. Maybe I'll bind the neck in black velvet. Hmm.

I need some advice. I cut out my leather skirt and decided that I didn't want to use an invisible zipper. Why not an exposed zipper so I looked in my stash, and realized, fortunately sooner than later, that I need a longer zipper because the skirt has a raised waistband. Since I was going to have to order a zipper, why not a matching gold tone Riri zipper. I ordered a 9 inch one from Pacific Trimming. The question I have is how to install it. I looked in my Sewing With Leather and Suede book by Sandy Scrivano and she has a lovely method for facing a light weight leather, mine, in a spot without a seam. But I want to put mine in the side seam. I've been thinking about this, and I could just fold back the seam allowances to expose the zipper, but how do I handle the bottom of the zipper at the top of the sewn side seam? If I face it, do I cut off the sas and, but them and hold then in place with tape from the wrong side and then just sew a facing on on and follow the directions for a faced opening? Suggestions please.