Monday, July 26, 2010

Vintage Machine Enabled

After reading about all the vintage machines that people love I took the plunge. Good things have been said about the old buttonholers making  great buttonholes.   My  first thought was that I wanted a machine that could use the vintage Singer buttonholer.  My Viking 750 makes very nice buttonholes, when it's in the mood.  It doesn't like to repeat them reliably though which leads to a great deal of aggravation.  I wanted to start making blouses that required lots of buttonholes that are actually the same size so I bought a Singer Touch and Sew 648 for $15 in a cabinet.   It required picking  up in New Jersey which became a day out with my dh and a great Korean lunch.   Have I used it for buttonholes yet? No.  It does handle topstitching thread a whole lot better than my Viking though and when I saw Debbie Cook's post about buying a 6010 Viking that would take my myriad of snap on feet and that it too handles topstitching thread like a champ,  I thought one of those would be a good addition to my collection of machines.  I could set it up as a topstitching station,especially for the jeans I intend to make.(when I get a pattern that fits of course)  I vacillated back and forth, should I or shouldn't I.  With some good advice from Debbie I bought one on Ebay yesterday.   It should be here in a few days.  That's it. No more vintage machines.  Fortunately my sewing counter is deep so I can store it behind my coverstitch machine and pull it forward when I need it.  Debbie is willing to guide me through cleaning it too. if I need help. 

With all the heat we've been having and no central ac, little sewing. actually none at all,  has been going on here.  I have a great sewing room, but it's in the loft that surrounds my living/dining room.  Heat rises and it is  hotter upstairs than down and it has been pretty hot down.  Not terribly conducive to sewing.  Today is a whole lot cooler, but I have paying work to do, so not much sewing will be going on.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Burda Style, or Why Do We Have to See the Previews on the Russian Site?

August Burda Style Magazine formerly known as Burda World of Fashion, affectionately referred to by the  initials,  BWOF should be arriving in our mailboxes before too long.  But long before it arrives we look to the internet for previews.  We used to be able to go to the English site for our previews in English.  As most of you know that's no longer possible.  Instead, the first to post is usually the Russian site.  With the other language sites you can at least read the words even if you don't understand them.  Not so with the Cyrillic alphabet.  They have it up even before the German site has it up.  Finally the French site has their previews up.  With my high school French I can at least understand  some of what's written.  I finally read the note that the English editor wrote and posted on the old English site.  She seemed rather stunned not to be doing it anymore.  I'm still puzzled by all that's happened.  How many English readers do you think are out there?  Certainly more than German I'd think.  Anyway, enough of that and on to patterns.  Lots of people loved the July issue with it's girly, drapey  clothing  Meh.  I am looking for fresh takes on sportswear.  That's what I sew and wear.   What's in the August issue that I like?
I love this leather skirt.  Maybe not the best length for me, but that's easy to fix.  I love the details including the exposed zipper.  This vest is a definite favorite of mine.  I've been looking for a vest with lapels and this fits the bill.  It's not too fitted which makes it work over a sweater in the fall.

It's easier to see it in the technical drawing.   I love most of the Plus Collection.
Very elegant and mostly flattering like this lovely camisole.

I've been looking for a good trench pattern with a single breasted lapel.  I can easily add the details I want to this basic  coat.

But now we get to the iffy garments. These pants are certainly trendy and on Burda's version of a plus sized model, even look good.  But on any of us with a stomach?  I don't think so.  
This skirt is not much better.  In fact the whole looks is kind of sloppy.  Not a good look if you have extra pounds. 

 It doesn't hurt that the whole plus group is in my currently favorite gray palette.   With my white hair I find that  grays are really flattering.  I also like the shoulders of this collection.  They work for my narrow shoulders and full bust much better than most other styles. 
What do you think?  Is there anything you just have to make in this issue?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We Are Back

It was definitely too short a vacation.  We are back from our long weekend in Asheville, NC. for my MIL's 90th birthday.  She threw herself a very nice party at a new gluten free restaurant in Pack Square.  We got to see all the relatives we like and avoided the ones we don't.    I had forgotten how fabulous Asheville is in the summer, or maybe it's actually better.  There are a lot of people  downtown on a Saturday night; it's a big street party including street musicians and performers. During the summer they have music, Shindig on the Square, that always had a makeshift stage, now there is a gorgeous park that is  terraced down the center of town from Pack Square ending  at the new, permanent stage.  There are fountains and lush plantings and  grass. It's beautiful, but seems like they had more than one designer as it misses a feeling of cohesion, but it is still a lovely place and great addition to a tourist town.  They did however, as my mil pointed out, run out of money and neglected to  add any public bathrooms.

  This is a picture of me in my Saturday night finery in the  redone Pack Square.   It's Burda 143 6/10.  Yes, I actually made something from June's Burda during June.  Must be a record.  I did finish it in July, but still I started it in June.  The pants are Vogue 2948 from Sandra Betzina in a cotton lycra from Gorgeous Fabrics that was in my stash from last summers good intentions.  The top is a silk jersey from Emmaonsock from Cynthia Steffe I think, and was a nice buy as a roll end.  I cut this as a single lay, as I prefer doing with a big print like this.  It also lets you use a lot less fabric than called for.  It's a plus size that I redrafted from a 44 in the shoulders to a 40.  I blended it out to a 46 plus in the hips and used up some of my incase sas, so the hips are bigger than a 46.  I also did a sloping shoulder adjustment and took it up a bit more just at my shoulder point.  The left shoulder is the draped piece and hey, Burda actually tells you how to sew it and adjust the length.  I shortened it about a 3/4".  This is the pattern I asked about using facings.  It was fine and you really need them to hide the end of the gathered piece, but while they stay put when worn, you have to adjust them to get them inside after putting it on. The specified  zipper was not needed, even on this not very stretchy knit, it goes over the head easily.  I did have to take it in at the underarm a bit even though  I did not make an fba on this, but fudged by making the underarm wider.  There was plenty of room.  
I recommend silk jersey to anyone new to knits.  This had no lycra, didn't roll and was stable in the length. Easy to sew and luxurious to wear. 

 A few pictures of downtown Asheville.
This is another version of the Tom and Linda Platt dress from Vogue.1091
I've already made this twice before, so not much to say. The fabric is a lovely cotton lycra knit from Just Cavalli that I bought at Mood this spring.  I wore it on Friday night. 

Oh and you'll notice the white hair?  Got lots of compliments and one of my favorite cousins looked right past me when I walked into synagogue with Seth.  She saw my dh and said where's Nancy?  She is not alone. I was meeting my best friend for lunch and she looked right past me when she walked in.  I'll still need about 3 haircuts before all the color is gone, but it's a great transition. 

I have a pants post waiting to be posted, but I still don't have photos.  Next time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

So, it's Sunday; it's the Fourth and what did we do?  Ran errands and I sewed.  Yep, there is real sewing going  on here even in the heat!   We are going away for a few days on Thursday; it's my mil's 90th birthday and we are traveling down to Asheville by way of Roanoke, where our gorgeous grandson lives.  His parents are there too of course, so we'll spend the night and  all leave the following morning.  From there Asheville is only 4 hours.  Why am I mentioning this?  New wardrobe of course.  How can I go away without new clothes?  I have two pairs of pants, a dress and a tunic to show you all.  But, not today they need to be photographed. In the meantime you can look at  Jakob the wonder boy as his Dad refers to him.  He got the tiger suit at the Detroit Zoo during his trip to meet his great grandfather, my Dad.  It even has a tail.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Do You Know What's In Your Stash?

A pretty piece of animal print knit appeared in my hands today.  Well it didn't magically appear, but I'd forgotten I had it.  I hadn't even bought it that long ago!  I think that I am so organized with  my fabric on a spreadsheet, everything in labeled bins stacked neatly on shelves in my fabric closet.  But, honestly I have a lot of fabric so it' easy to  forget what's in there.  At last count I had about 365 yards of fabric not including interfacing or lining.  I have been much more selective about my fabric buying lately, but sometimes that fabric just calls out to me.  Or I get an idea for a new outfit and I don't have anything in my fabric store with which to make it.  Some of the fabric I have just doesn't work with my lifestyle, so it stays on the shelf.  Where, after all am I going to wear 2 yards of crystal pleated burgundy  polyester from the workroom of Mary McFaddon?  I bought it on a whim from Mood.  Try as I might I can't figure out how it won't add 10 lbs to my hips or bust. This one is hard to forget I have because it's on a roll that stares me in the face every time I open the closet.  Or how about the 3 meters of lavender and tan silk brocade I bought in India? Can't you just see me in that out measuring a property?   I made a pair of silk and wool trousers awhile back.  They fit well, the fabric is gorgeous, but really the sheen makes them a tad dressy for every day wear.  That and they have to be dry cleaned.  Periodically I open all the bins for the season I want to sew for and play with them to see what I want to make and invariably, like today I find something that I forgot I have. If I am lucky I might even still like it.