Archive for December 2008

Jalie City Coat in Progress

Front of city coat Back of city coat

This fabric didn’t look so plastic-y when I bought it.

Despite its appearance, needles and pins don’t leave holes.  Even though it’s not plastic, it *is* polyester and feels melty if you hit it with a hot iron.

I haven’t (yet) managed to melt any part of it, but I’m being very careful!

Wednesday Words–nophoto, nophoto, nophoto :-\

This week’s not so busy, thank goodness.  No parties to attend–we were invited to one, but declined due to Mr H’s schedule–and finally an opportunity to work on my Jalie City Coat.  I’ve constructed the collar–which needs a little ripping as I didn’t read far enough to realize that the stand isn’t applied the same way as on a shirt–and the back. The back looks good, but I had no time to get a photo for this morning’s post.  Perhaps tomorrow.

I’ve been noticing a lot of year end analysis on sewing blogs.  That really appeals to my inner geek, but I think I’ll save mine until December 31.

(Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow–or for a couple of weeks.)

Did you happen to see the free pattern at the Lazy Girl Designs blog for the Noriko Handbag?  I love the shape of it.  I can remember wanting the pattern when it was published in a magazine–a quilting magazine, I believe.  The magazine wasn’t available when I went looking for it., so I figured I was out of luck.  I’m really happy to see it on the blog.  Now maybe I’ll make one for myself. Lazy Girl patterns are fun to make and I *always* learn a new tip or two to add to my sewing arsenal.

Green velveteen

Green velveteen 12-gore skirt
Green velveteen 12-gore skirt
Green velveteen 12-gore skirt lining

Whew!  I just managed to finish my new 12-gore skirt in time for the party on Saturday.  I did rush out the door with a safety pin closing the waistband, but everything else was finished.

As usual when I’m in a hurry, this project turned into a much bigger one than I had originally intended.

The flocked faille fabric (say that 3 times fast!) left from my Franzi vest didn’t want to be a 12-gore skirt.  It said, in the nicest British accent you’ve ever heard, “Please, ma’am, I’d like to be a jacket.”  Its polite request, along with the fact that there would have been 1/2 yard left over from cutting the skirt, convinced me to put it back in the stash closet and head to Hancock Fabrics for something else…

on Friday afternoon

when I needed the skirt for Saturday.

Though I was actually looking for a Christmas-y green suedecloth, they didn’t have anything like that.  I came home with 3 yards of hunter green cotton velveteen and some cling free lining for which they overcharged me, but that’s another story.  The care label on the end of the bolt says “CM 7″ and the clerk said that meant “Dry clean only.”

I almost put it back, as I don’t believe in dry cleaning cotton yardage.  Not only that, I sure didn’t have time to get it cleaned before I sewed it, and I don’t sew unwashed fabric.  I’m not fond of handling garments from the dry cleaners either.

What to do?

I consulted Sandra Betzina’s More Fabric Savvy on the subject of cotton velveteen and followed her recommendation of washing on the gentle cycle.  I even put it through the dryer for maximum shrinkage.  Mr H has already washed the finished skirt, too, and it came out fine.

The yardage *did* shrink, however.  So much so that I had to shorten my pattern by an inch to cut all 12 gores.  A 33-inch skirt is plenty long on me, so that was fine.

Since I wanted a lining, I really made two skirts.  To my way of thinking, a lining for a skirt like this is absolutely necessary.  I’ve made long cotton skirts without lining, and I’ve hated the way they clung to my hosiery.  Slips are an option, but I seldom have one the correct length or fullness, and I knew I’d never be happy with the skirt if I didn’t make a lining.

I *can* learn some lessons.

Apparently I do still have trouble with one particular lesson–trusting my ability to measure myself.  I’m always worried about my clothes being tight, so I end up making them too loose.  This skirt is a case in point.  It has much more than two inches ease at the hip.  I didn’t trust my measuring and sewed each seam a little narrower at the hip.

Mistake.

Any little bit of excess multiplied by 12 is a lot of ease.  I don’t know if I’ll go back and fix it or not.  I certainly didn’t have the time before the party, and I don’t know if I can work up the desire now that the thing’s been pressed and worn.

Sandra’s book helped me on the pressing, too, which was something of a worrisome issue.  She said to press on a needle board, self fabric, or a fluffy towel.  We have towels that are fluffy, and my pressing on one of them turned out fine.  The photograph of the back shows the seamline pressing, but I can’t see it.  I’ve looked at them in flourescent, incandescent and daylight and can see no press marks at all.

Of the 11 ladies at the party, 8 of us were wearing a 12-gore skirt.  Some of the skirts had only 10 or 11 gores, but they were all nice and everyone was pleased with their results.  Many of us lined our skirt, too.  One lady, whose skirt ended just under her knee  and was flippy at the hemline, called hers a “Sassy Skirt.”  We all agreed with her–it was really cute!

Another lady made her flares very short, which yielded points at each seamline.  That version was very interesting and not something I would have thought of.  That technique could be used to decorative effect.  I’m considering a version like that with the seams on the outside of the skirt.

If you want to make a 12-gore skirt of your own, I’ve posted the instructions here.  Enjoy!

Round robin project

My first party on Saturday was my ASG neighborhood group’s Christmas party.  We had a lot of fun, and one of the highlights was the return of our round robin project for this year.

If you are not familiar with round robins, it is a project where one person brings in the raw materials which are then passed to others to complete.  The original owner does not see her own item until the end and no one knows whose fabrics they are working with.  In the past, our group has made round robin dolls and placemats–both great fun.  This particular round robin involved the making of quilt squares.

Each of us brought in a half yard of two different fabrics and the fun began!

My fabrics were Christmas themed:

Fabrics for round robin

For four months, the fabrics were passed around and other members of the group each made a 9 1/2″ square using them.  The others could add fabrics as desired, as long as they used both my fabrics in the block they made.

I was delighted to see my new blocks:

Finished blocks

I have no idea what I’ll do with them, but they sure are pretty!

Wanna see some more knitting?

Things are so busy around here that I barely have time to post anything, and I certainly am not sewing enough to report.

  • Monday night:  Party
  • Tuesday night:  Mr H took me shopping for my present
  • Wednesday night:  Church followed by more shopping for other people’s presents
  • Thursday night:  Dinner party
  • Friday night:  Free???  Oh please!
  • Saturday:  Afternoon party followed by Evening party
  • Sunday:  Church followed by blessed solitude.

When I’m not working, worshiping or partying, I tend to be riding to one or the other, so I’ve got another knitting project going.  This pretty thing is a two-pattern combo–both very easy.

A Scarf For Beatrix

First, the ruffle is from Blowsey Ruffles.  I added two extra rows before I started the decreases so that my ruffle would be a little longer.  There’s a better photo of my ruffle here, if you want to see it.  When I get to the other end, I plan to knit the ruffle separately and graft it on.

The lacy main body is from A Scarf for Beatrix,  I just left off the end border.  This is a very easy lace pattern, although I did make one mistake while riding to a Christmas luncheon yesterday.  I was talking to my friend and not paying much attention to my knitting.  Oops.  It wasn’t hard to correct, however, and I was soon back on track.

I’m still hoping to get my 12-gore skirt done in time for the parties on Saturday.  I took Friday afternoon off to work on it.  If I don’t finish the new skirt, well, I’ve got 4 more to choose from and maybe the ladies in my sewing group will forgive me.