Hi, my name is Carolyn and I've been sewing since I was 11 years old. I love to sew and have made everything from my wedding outfit, to coats, my daughter's and grandchildren's clothing as well a couple of home dec items. If I had to use some words to describe myself they would be sewist, dressmaker, fabricaholic and creative fiber artist would all be featured.
I know it's been quiet here on the blog but I have been sewing. The latest Dover Jacket is finished but no pictures have been taken yet...maybe this weekend. Just haven't been in the mood.
First ~ I was honored when Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This asked me for a few words to share with Beginner Sewists. So head on over to the blog to read all the wonderful sewing advice shared by some amazing sewists like Sandra Betzina, Joi Mahon and some well-known sewing bloggers.
Second ~ I started working on out-of-print (OOP) Vogue 8208. I made this jacket before ~ years ago. I'm using a blue linen I got from Fabric Mart's brick 'n mortar store during Sew Camp with some blue/white gingham scraps.
This is where I was last weekend...but I've since removed one breast pocket. They just weren't laying right. I did the same thing when I made the jacket the first time so maybe these breast pockets don't play well with my body...or I'm just not skilled enough to get two pockets to lay right on a jacket...whatever! Three works, LOL!
Third ~ In my last post I talked about buying all the fabric. Well I haven't. I've purchased this piece from Harts Fabric.
I've been wanting to try them out because of their Instagram feed. I thought it would match The Hurrying Spring Along Shirt but the background is slightly tan. It would have been used to make sleeves for the shirt but since they don't match I'm back to thinking about donating the shirt unless I come up with another plan.
Fourth ~ My family is attending a Black Tie Event the first weekend in June and I volunteered to make the granddaughters dresses. I wanted them to have something spectacular so this is the fabric I bought this week from Chic Fabrics to make their dresses.
My vacation starts this Thursday (Memorial Day weekend) and I have a week to make their dresses and my own. 10 days should be enough time to get everything done.
Fifth ~ I know there is a contingency of sewists that hate Hobby Lobby and what they stand for and I respect their opinions. However, since I've been out and out discriminated against in JoAnn's because of my skin color and when I wrote to their corporate offices they did nothing...so no shopping there for me. This puts me between a rock and a hard place to buy patterns. Especially since Simplicity's website SUCKS! So Hobby Lobby for cheap patterns. These are the Simplicity ones I bought in the recent sale...
Now if you're still here and didn't pull out after Hobby Lobby let me say that while I'm a Christian, I'm totally horrified by the Heartbeat Abortion laws that some of the southern states are passing. I honestly believe that Roe v. Wade is going to go away because of that "Making America Great Again" contingency presently running things in America.
Also, I'm absolutely sure that Affirmative Action is next on the agenda because keeping down women, minorities and poor people is what the 50s in America was all about. Don't at me. This is a conversation I just don't want to have because we've long passed the ability to have civil discourse in this country. I WILL remove comments that are derogatory, negative or come for me. My blog, my thoughts.
Oh one more thing, I know people are having troubles leaving comments here if you don't have a google account. Hey, I can't even leave a comment from my iPad anymore. So I changed the settings to let anyone leave a comment but the amount of Anonymous comments in my moderated section, made me change the settings back. I've looked into Disqus as a comment moderation but when I tried to install it, it didn't work, so know I'm trying to work something out. Cause if you're still following along and want to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.
That's it for today. If I get pictures taken of the Dover Jacket this weekend, there will be one more blog post. If I don't, there probably won't be anymore until after the black tie event.
Hey everyone! I'm in the mood to fabric shop and it's all due to the fact that my birthday is this month and all of the birthday discounts are falling into my mailbox. Let me stop here and say I don't usually make a big deal about my birthday online. My family and friends know when it is and celebrate me and that's enough. All that to say, I'm not telling when it is so don't ask! *LOL*
Back to the point of this post - I'm looking at a variety of online fabric shops scoping out what I want to use my discount(s) and birthday money on. I was looking at a new to me online site and realized they were selling one of my favorite fabric brands ~ Telio. While the price they're charging per yard isn't exorbitant, I thought I wonder what sewandsew is selling it for. So I moseyed on over and found it's a few dollars cheaper on their website.
I'm deliberately leaving names off because this post isn't to shame or disparage any online fabric stores. The point of this post is to ask if you shop around online and compare prices? I do this constantly...but then I love to shop for fabric online and I know a bunch of sewists don't. I'm always amazed at sewists who only have "the fleece craft store" near them that don't shop online. Yes, I've heard all the arguments about the need to touch it. I just think you're limiting yourself by not being willing to see what the interwebs hold for you.
Aside from that, the Question of the Day is, "Do you shop around for fabrics" and one more "Do you comparison shop for sewing tools and sewing machines online, too?" I'm really curious so leave a comment below whether you do or don't.
BTW, I am buying fabric from both places...just one is getting a larger order because their price per yard is quite a bit cheaper!
April is such an in-between month. It's not cold like January/February but it's not warm yet either. I mean you may have a day or two of warmth but it's not that settled in your bones warmth of late June or July. So my sewing always suffers during transition periods.
I've finished two garments this month. Both were cut out in late January/early February and I've just completed them.
I also cut off the Roscoe Dress Grace gave me and made it into a top. Just need a warm day to wear it out and about.
Monthly Fabric Update ~ My fabric buying tendencies were soooooo good this month. I only purchased 6 yards of fabric. Wow! After three months of serious fabric buying I guess I was fabric satisfied.
I also have a very small cut out pile this month - 3.5 yards for the Dover Jacket (which I'm presently working on) and 3 yds of a blue ltwt linen for a safari jacket (Vogue 8208).
Due to a fabric donation, okay Dibs took 84 yards which means a total of 90.5 yards came out of the fabric collection. Finally some evening off - LOL! I'm putting together my yearly donation for the high school so next month I hope to have another large donation out of the collection.
I'm sure some of you reading are wondering why I do this. Some of it's because there are portions of my collection that I'm not using and I don't want it to sit here waiting to be used. Some of it's because I want the space to add more fabrics. And some of it's because I remember those donation piles in high school and the couple of times I used them to sew from. I want those new sewists to experience sewing with great fabric choices without having to worry about where they were getting fabric.
FINALLY this is leveling off. Now to get ahead of this with more fabric out than in.
In May I'm working on a formal gown for myself and for the granddaughters for a black tie event our family is attending the first weekend in June. So my sewing is going to be all about that with some in-progress posts which in all honesty will be more for me than you. However, I hope you don't mind following along on this sewing journey.
June will be back to sewing pieces for my summer wardrobe. I have an idea of some things I want to add, some pieces I want to move out and donate, and I've already purchased a bunch of patterns to use.
One of my goals this year was to add more toppers to my wardrobe. I love wearing vests and wanted more of them in my wardrobe. The ones featured in the post above are worn quite frequently during the spring, fall and winter (except for the brown herringbone which was purged during the great donation). They are a great multi-season garment.
I bought Simplicity 8265 strictly for the vest pattern. I loved the dart detail on the front though I'm not so happy about no closures on the front. I'm starting this journey with the largest size available in this pattern, a size 24. The finished hip measurements are 58" so I will need to do some slashing and spreading to get the garment to work.
We're heading into spring and warmer weather here on the East Coast in the USA and I was going to put this away until fall. Then I saw Marica's version and realized that this would still work on the cooler spring days. So I went ahead and finished mine. This was cut out in February like the Pink Bow Tie Blouse so it's great finally getting both projects done.
Materials Used ~ - 3 yards gray ponte knit from Fabric Mart so collection fabric!!! (purchased before 2015 because that's the last invoice on file at their site and this invoice number is lower)
Pattern Alterations ~ The front, back and facing piece were shortened to 37" because I wanted a knee length vest.
I increased the front piece to 31" around at the hipline by adding 1/2" to the side. Then slashing and spreading the pattern adding 1/2" in the center front.
The same alterations were done to the back. I did NOT add to the center back seam because I was concerned it would throw off the way the vest hung but ended up added a 1/4" for just a little more space. Hoping that won't greatly alter the way the vest hangs.
Using 1/2" seam allowances, this gives me a finished measurement of 61" which is 3" wider than my sitting hip measurements.
Construction Info. ~ This is an easy to construct garment and I made no significant changes to the construction. I lightly glanced at the instruction sheet because easy garment.
- I added some topstitching to the pocket openings on the vest fronts. - The facings were serge finished and then stitched flat - I omitted the armhole facings because why? - And the facings aren't interfaced. Maybe if my fabric was lighter but I saw no need with the medium weight ponte.
Pictures of the finished vest ~
Conclusion ~ This was a quick and easy sew. Even though I originally planned to add a closing on the front, I finished this without one. And now here's the twist, I don't like it. I don't like the way it hangs. I don't like the fact that it doesn't close in the front and that the opening is really wide. It's not how I thought it would be. If you look in the picture above, the pocket is gaping. Without moving in the right way, pulling and tugging on the vest, it just fits horribly.
I'm getting ready to put together a donation pile soon because I'll be changing my winter wardrobe over to my spring one. This is going into the donation pile. It doesn't work the way I want it to and I'm not holding onto it hoping for the best.
I know it seems like bloggers only share the winners or the amazing garments, this is a dud FOR ME! It has nothing to do with the pattern and all to do with it not being the right style for ME. This is supposed to be a loose-fitting type vest. Mine is closer fitting and so not the silhouette I wanted. Okay hopefully I've stressed that enough so y'all won't leave comments about how I should keep it. Ain't gonna happen.
So what's up next...I'm working on another Dover Jacket. I bought the fabric from Metro Textiles and was totally enthralled with it so it didn't even make it to the shelves.
...or my first shirt of the season. I started with my TNT shirt pattern and added the bow tie from Vogue 8772.
Y'all know that I love shirts and added quite a few of them to my wardrobe last year. I've bought loads of fabric to make more and now that it's spring, I've been doing so.
This one was made to go with a couple of gray vests in my wardrobe.
Supplies ~ Pink Linen from Fabric Mart (this was purchased last year so I'm counting it as a new fabric purchase) 11 - 5/8" buttons from the notions collection (they have been in the collection for at least 18 years, from when I worked at the button company) A 1/4 yd of pink gingham bias binding from Home Sew
Construction ~ There are no new construction techniques for the body of the shirt. Though to add the bow tie to the shirt neckline, I used the pattern pieces to cut it out and instructions from V8772 pattern to attach it.
However, I missed a step in the construction of the neckline and had to improvise. To right this wrong, I added some bias binding to the neckline and then had that caught up into the bow tie.
I also added topstitching to all the body seams. I did this in my sleeveless white shirt and liked the effect so thought it would work well for this one too. That's it for construction information on this one. Just another shirt to add to the rotation.
A few photos ~
Even though it's starting to warm up and I'm thinking about dresses, there will still be a few chillier days and this will work great then. Also fall will be here before you know it as much as I hate to think about it. Anyway this is finally off the dress form...
and into my closet. Next up on the blog is the vest from Simplicity 8265.
This post has a backstory but let's start with a picture first.
So what happened was...I did not make or sew this Roscoe. Grace (@wzrdreams) made it. She made it last year before her breast cancer diagnosis and while she likes the style, it was a little too nightgownish on her. After several discussions, I told her I would take it. So I traded her some selvedge denim for the dress.
I'm sure you're wondering why I would take a dress that someone else has sewn. Well I've loved this dress pattern since Kelly designed it BUT I thought I was larger than her pattern sizing AND it was a PDF pattern only. Then two things happened, I lost weight and Kelly started selling paper patterns. I snatched one up in a sale but stalled on it because I wasn't sure how I would look in the dress.
So having an already well-made dress (Y'all Grace can sew and her dress had her "Restless Grace" tag in the back too!) to try on and decide if the pattern would work for me was worth the trade. Now you're going well Grace was diagnosed a year ago and you would be correct. When I got the dress home, tried it on, I wasn't quite sure it worked for me as a dress either...so it sat for a minute.
(Grace made this in a size 16)
(Ugghhhh that face!)
Spring came and the trees started to bloom. Every year I want to photograph a make under those blooming trees. Especially since I'm blessed enough to live in a townhouse community that's well landscaped and everything blooms in waves.
Then I found a pair of white denim jeans I really like and it seemed like the perfect time to cut the dress off and make it into a top. I'm so grateful to my daughter who took these pictures and even scoped out the spots the day before so I could have the pictures I wanted.
May I stop here to say I KNOW this is frivolous...caring about the trees in the background of the pictures. I also know I'm very blessed to live in this community. Because once it gets green, we just walk out the front door and take pictures with an amazing background without any effort. Now that I've gone through that long-ass introduction...
Here are the pictures ~
(This is my favorite tree - you've seen it before
and you'll see it again this summer)
(Different tree & a back shot)
I will be making a Roscoe top of my own using a blue sandwashed silk from the collection. In the meantime, Imma wear the heck out of this one. So tell me, have you used this pattern?
Oh and we photographed two more pieces so more new garments are coming to the blog! Alright that's it. Drop a comment if you like my new Roscoe that I didn't make! LOL!
Earlier today I got the news that Linda Faye Lewis passed away. I had another blog post written to share today but I really wanted to honor Faye because she was a wonderful woman & sewist and someone I greatly admired in the sewing community.
**Here is Faye's obituary and information on the wake. I don't know how long the obituary and memory wall will be live (if you want to leave a memory) so I would check it out right away!**
Faye blogged at Fayes Sewing Adventure and had an IG account @fayedoll. I don't have many details. I just know that she passed on Thursday but I needed to say a few things in tribute to her.
I met Faye when she left some comments on my blog about a decade ago. Over the years we've talked back and forth. She's featured me on her blog and we've shared fabric. I loved her curiosity regarding sewing and how she was tenacious on learning how to make her clothing fit. That she loved the process of sewing and the sewing community. One of the things I remember most is her sewing challenges on her blog. If you get a chance go back and read some of her blog posts because there is so much information there.
She was very active with the periscope sewing community, her blog and on Instagram. I've included her interview on the Sewing Blab below so you can hear Faye's thoughts in her own words about her sewing history. The interview starts at 7:25, if you want to skip the intro and just hear what Faye has to say.
That Sewing Blab Ep. 25: Interview with Faye of Faye's Sewing Adventure - YouTube
I'm truly missing her purity of spirit and her light now...she will be missed in the sewing community! My prayers are for her family now because this seems so tragic and sudden.
Hug your family and friends closer cause we never know when our time here on earth is done.
The season is starting to turn but we're still getting those colder days. Days when it starts out pretty chilly, warms up around lunch time, and then gets chillier for the trip home. While it seems I should be giving up these Pembrokes, they actually still work now for the unpredictable weather.
This beige rayon knit is very lightweight so it will work for the beginning of the spring season. The turtleneck is drapey and loose that will provide necessary coverage in the mornings when it's cooler but isn't tight when it warms up in the afternoons. It's also a lightweight fabrication that works well alone or as a layering piece.
Since this is my sixth version ~ can you tell I really like this piece ~ I have no new construction or design features because it just works. This one is made from #deepstash. While the fabric didn't have a tag on it, I know I've had it as long as the embroidered fabric I used to make the cardigan, so about 12 years of marinating.
Construction ~ Again no construction details but a comment about this fabric. I had to be really careful with it because it caught and pulled on everything. So I will be cautious what I pair it with to avoid ruining it. One more thing about fabric choices, since this is my sixth version, I've noticed that fabric choice definitely affects how the turtleneck part works. A sturdier fabric makes the turtleneck stand up higher and closer to my neck. The more lightweight fabrics have a looser turtleneck which hang more loosely around my neck.
While this is a TNT pattern, the fabric choice definitely affected how the sleeves hung off my shoulders. I constructed this version exactly the same as the last five but there is a difference. I didn't notice this when I put the top on. However, the pictures clearly show how it hangs. I could go in and make a change but I'm not going to...I'm wearing it as is.
Also Jenny wrote a great blog post on negative ease and how to use it in her patterns. Some of my versions are made the way the pattern suggests and some are made using thicker fabrics which needed a little more space which I added to the bottom width.
This will be my last Pembroke Turtleneck Tunic for the season. I will probably try the Pembroke Dress with the banded neckline and a shorter sleeve in cotton knits for spring/summer. I like this silhouette even better than the Concord Tee and y'all know how much I love the Concord Tee.
I've gained a lot of the weight back I lost four years ago. So several of those Concord Tees no longer fit the way I like and will be donated. Its a continual process of upgrading and making my home sewn wardrobe work for my lifestyle now.
I've made this cardigan several times over the last couple of years and it's become my go to pattern.
It was made to go with the latest Pembroke tunic recently completed. An early spring outfit to wear with leggings and/or white jeans.
Supplies ~ *Cotton Eyelet w/o stretch purchased from Fashionista Fabrics in 2007 (12 years old) so it's deep stash from the collection (I blogged about the fabric here - and Fashionista Fabrics no longer exists) *Silk Organza *Ltwt fusible interfacing *1" curtain matte gold grommets from Amazon *1.5 yds beige ribbon from Joyce Trimmings from NYC Garment District
Design Decisions ~ I've made this cardigan a bunch of times, what makes this version interesting is the closure on the cardi front. I was inspired by this design I saw online.
The second decision was to cut the eyelet off the selvedge and add it to the cardigan hemline, as well as make it part of the ribbon tie that holds the cardigan together.
Construction Information ~ To make the grommets work without tearing the eyelet, I had to put some thought into making them work.
First I decided to beef up the front and facing because this eyelet is quite holey. To give the facing some strength I cut the facings from the fashion fabric, silk organza, and a fusible interfacing. The fusible interfacing was adherred to the silk organza which was then sewn to the facing on the edges. This not only beefed up the facing but it clean finished the facings.
After I attached the facing, I made a sample of the grommet before placing it on my cardigan.
Then I held my breathe, followed the video instructions, cut a 1" hole in my garment, then placed the grommet in...and it worked! Y'all I seriously did the joy joy dance in the Sewing Cave and I may have shed a tear or two of relief!
The second design challenge was adding the selvedge to the hemline. In an unusual move I decided to add it only to the body and not the facing bands.
The last thing was making the ribbon to close the cardigan fronts. It's made from a purchased beige ribbon with a piece of the selvedge lace sewn to it. I purchased a bunch of ribbons hoping one would work with the cardigan but none did. So I made my own.
I wrapped one piece of the selvedge edge around the ribbon and stitched it down. One row on each edge and then two down the center to insure that the ribbon and fabric wouldn't pull apart. Even though I really wanted a contrast ribbon for the cardigan, I'm happy with this solution.
A few pictures of the cardigan ~
Conclusion ~ This was a fun piece to make. I liked the challenge of adding the grommets to the cardigan and figuring out how to use the selvedge as lace. It was a great detail to add to my TNT pattern.
The sleeves weren't hemmed in these pictures because I couldn't decide how to hem them. After seeing these pictures, I'm going to add a hem to them before wearing it out. Otherwise, I really love this new version.
Parting Shot ~
Walking with the grandbabies to take pictures
That was the last piece from my Sew Camp weekend finished at home. I had planned to sew something for the granddaughters but that got cancelled so I have no idea what's up next. I'm floundering a little on what to sew because the weather is changing so do I sew for now or do I sew for summer?
Originally when I purchased this fabric I wanted to make a dress for work from it. At that time I lived in corporate workwear and while it was a little bright for that world, I bought the fabric anyway because I loved it.
This is another one of those #deepstash makes that I'm thrilled to have used the fabric in a different way. When I was shuffling through the shelf and picked it up, it said it wanted to be a shirt. I decided to feature the fabric and went with my gathered back TNT shirt.
Supplies ~ - Printed floral silk twill from the garment district years ago - this is deepstash fabric - Buttons from the button stash - again aged well since they're from when I worked at the button company and that's almost 20 years ago now - Fusible interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller
I made this one exactly like my white shirt so there are no new design or construction changes in this version. I loved the fabric and wanted to emphasize it. I've been wearing my other shirts with the gathered backs alot this winter and love the ease of wear. That's why I chose that silhouette for this shirt.
Photos of the shirt ~
I started the shirt at Sew Camp and everyone loved the texture of the fabric. Silk twill is not a popular fabric now but at the time I bought it there were quite a few pieces in stores. I do buy this fabrication whenever I find it especially if it doesn't have an exhorbitant price tag. Lately I've found it in solids rather than prints, so if you find a print silk twill grab it! Okay fabric enabling public service announcement done! *LOL*
A couple of the photos shows it with some tan knit pants. I thought they would match/coordinate with the shirt when I was sewing it. However, I'm liking the darker ponte jeans match better. BTW, this is pretty much my outfit these days with and without a cardigan at least until the weather gets warmer.
This was the first piece I made at Sew Camp and the one I spent the most time on. It's also the garment that everyone stroked because that silk is EVERYTHING!
The weekend weather is supposed to be lousy meaning there might be more fireplace photos in my future. I guess April showers really do bring May flowers. The Pembrokes and the Cardigan will be on the blog shortly.