October 21, 2017

FALL'S SWEET 16 (Garment 3)...

...how does one make a 16 piece wardrobe capsule? - One garment at a time.  I reached way back in my pattern collection and fabric stash for my third piece of the capsule.  This time I retrieved OOP Vogue 8323 and a deep chocolate ITY knit - both of which have been in my stash collections for eons.

I made View C in this same chocolate ITY knit long ago when I was just starting to sew again.  That was back when I was very unsure of pattern sizing and still having problems accepting the fact that my RTW size and pattern size quite often did not correlate.  On the flip side, that was when I was (and sometimes still am) unsure of sizing - so I would often cut a larger size just to make sure.  That top ended up being way too large through the neck and bust area, not to mention really too low cut for my taste. That top has long been discarded.

This time I raised the neckline 1 1/2", cut size 16 through the neckline and bust area and graded to size 18 through the waist and high hip area.  I also increased the princess seam - seam allowance in the bust area for a much better fit.  This top has princess seaming on both the front and back that I stitched down afterwards.  Rather than add bias tape to finish the neckline, I used a 1 3/8" wide self fabric strip for finishing.  I cannot stand bias tape around my neck.  I also used a twin needle on the neckline and bottom and sleeve hems.  I'm glad to finally get around to replacing my Chocolate ITY knit top.  The princess seaming adds  great fit detail.

Now to decide on garment #4.  Happy weekend sewing ya'll...

October 15, 2017


...I did mention in the original Fall's Sweet 16 post that I was inspired by the Project Runway Season title.  Not that I think I'm a designer, but the title motivated me to attempt a simple 16 piece capsule would give my wardrobe a great boost.  I'm still going along with that thought process, although it's going a bit slower than anticipated.  I had actually wanted to complete one garment per week to coincide with the PR season.  Project Runway started on August 17th - nine weeks ago (where did time go?), and now they are down to only 6 contestants.  Guess I should be on garment 9 by now - I am so glad I didn't put a time frame on this project...

Garment 2 is the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen's Closet - it's hot on the Indie Pattern circuit right now, and I was attracted to it - OF COURSE!  I tried to talk myself out of it, really I did!  Telling myself that it was just a simple cardigan pattern and I already had so many similar patterns in my stash.   I was really attracted to the sculpted shape, the cuff and the banded hem so when the pattern went on sale a few weeks ago I caved in and went for the PDF pattern.

I used a variegated mustard sweater knit.  It's light weight and I thought it would really do well for this pattern.  Originally I went for the longer version but the length really wasn't me, or maybe it was that I didn't like the drape of it in the sweater knit.  The front band was wavy because I did not interface because it made the band too heavy.  This was not going to work for me.

So I unpicked the bottom and front bands and cut the cardigan off to the shorter length.  Sewn and serged seams - talk about a trying job!  But I knew I wouldn't ever wear it in the longer version - cutting it off would give it a much better chance of being worn.  So yesterday was spent unpicking, shortening and re-attaching the bands.
The band is much less wavy and this stands a much better chance of getting worn.  I think I will make this pattern again (the shorter version) next time in a beefier knit, maybe in ponte.
Simplicity 1916                   Blackwood Cardigan
2 down and 14 to go.

I'm interested in your Fall Sewing Plans too!  Tell me a little about them in the comments!!!

October 5, 2017


...it seems that I have neglected my blog.  But you know me better than that - it wasn't neglect at all but rather - circumstances.  We had the aftermath of Hurricane Irma that not only knocked out my power for three days, but also the data disk that held 2 years worth of saved documents and pictures.  Then the stressful busyness of work played it's part.  And finally the fact that my sewing motivation just up and flew away with Irma.

Finally after much coxing just a little bit of the motivation has returned, and now it's time for me to get back to my Fall Sweet 16 sewing plans that I talked about here at the end of August.  My plans were not rigid or stressful, just a simple 16 piece capsule that would define my personal style for the upcoming Fall/Winter Season:

  • 4 Coat/Jacket/Vest or Cardigan
  • 4 Tops/Tunics/Blouses or Tees
  • 4 Pants
  • 4 Dresses and/or Skirts
Back in August when the plans were made I didn't even want to commit myself to patterns and fabrics that I'd use for the capsule. I just wanted to pull patterns and fabrics that struck my fancy along the way.

My first  project:

Bell Sleeved Hem
 I made a Modified version of View D with this TNT pattern. I added a choker tie to the surplice bodice; and changed the 3/4 length sleeve to an over exaggerated full length with a bell shape at the hem.  I remember buying this purple and white jersey knit from JoAnn's.  The printed selvage edge noted April Johnson 2010.  Do you remember April of Savannah from Project Runway Season 8 in 2010.  Do you think 7 years was long enough to let this fabric marinate?

September 15, 2017


...it took me 4ever (years) to decide on a custom design label for my much loved hand crafted garments.  I could never seem to come up with anything that quite satisfied.  I also thought custom labels would be outside of my budget.  I even told myself that I really didn't need labels for the clothing I made for myself - who would ever see them anyway?  But in the back of my mind I still yearned for a classy little custom label to punctuate my work.

I finally took the plunge back in June when a fellow sewing blogger offered 15% off orders from Dutch Label Shop.  One of my sewing mentors had suggested that I have a design with lettering like this, so that is what I went with
I was not only happy with my new labels, but also the "whole design your own label" process, AND the price.  Finally, I had that classy little custom label I had wanted for so long.  The design process was so easy.  It guided me through step by step allowing me to see how the label would look as I made changes to arrive at my final design. It was amazingly easy!

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago when I was contacted by Abby from Dutch Label Shop asking if I would like to participate in one of their promotions.  Of course, my answer was an resounding YESSSS!

Having already gone through the design process once made this time a breeze.  I chose the same black label but with sparkly gold lettering and border.  There were so many options to choose from, (size, lettering, color, sew on or iron on and even symbols).  Designing my "Hello Beautiful" labels was so much fun, but it will be even more fun as I actually sew them into one garment after the next!

I'm celebrating National Sewing Month by offering all my readers a 15% discount from               Dutch Label Shop. The discount will be available for the next 30 days, using this discount code:  "fayesewingadventure15" (all lower case).  You can just enter the discount code when  prompted during the purchasing process,

 so you too can add a little sparkle to your sewing life!

September 14, 2017


(Maybe you've heard this, but just in case you haven't) 

Tired of pinning patterns to fabric?  Make your own pretty pattern weights using low cost hardware store washers of all sizes, pretty ribbons or trims, and a glue gun.  Mine are made using just a single washer.  To make heavier weights, wrap two or three washers together.

September 13, 2017


(Maybe you've heard this, but just in case you haven't)

Before starting to sew a rolled hem serge or zigzag  the edge of the hem.  This will reduce fraying and give you a sturdy edge and more control over your narrow/rolled hem. 

September 12, 2017


(Maybe you've heard this, but just in case you haven't) 

It would have been so nice of me if I had mentioned Craftsy.com's Free For All on Labor Day for the benefit of those who did not know about it.  Truth be told, I only thought about doing that just today.  Please forgive me!  Hopefully they will have that offer again sometime in the very near future.

But in the meantime, it started me thinking about ALL of the Craftsy classes I have:
One Pattern Many Looks:  Pants - Kathy Ruddy
Patternmaking + Design:  Pants - Suzy Furrer
Patternmaking Basics:  The Bodice Sloper - Suzy Furrer (mmmm, forgot I bought that one)
Create any Size:  Pattern Grading for Sewers - Kathleen Cheetham
Essential Guide to Tailoring - Alison Smith
Jacket Fitting Techniques - Pam Howard
40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know - Gail Yellen
I've even picked up a few free classes along the way:
 Machine Savy: Tips for Creative Sewing - Linda McGhee
Sew Real:  Machine Basics - Amy Alan
Sewing Machine Feet A to Z - Steffani Lincecum
Mastering Zippers - Suni Standing
Know Your Wool - Deborah Robson
Complete Knife Skills - Brendan McDermott (for the Sewing Gourmet that I am)

So I was wondering if you'd share your Craftsy list???

September 11, 2017



(Maybe you've heard this, but just in case you haven't) 

You just never know who might be harboring a secret, (a sewing secret that is)!  Recently one of my readers informed me that Canada's Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell of the Province of Ontario has just such a secret.  I found this fact absolutely inspiring, especially since I, myself been experiencing a "sewing Lull" of sorts.  You can learn more about her secret here:

Sheryll's had more fabulous sewing tips for the month of August at patterns.scissors.cloth

September 10, 2017


(Maybe you've heard this, but just in case you haven't) 

Use shelf or drawer liners to create a no-slip surface for your sewing machine’s pedal. Cut in a square shape, slightly larger than the machine foot pedal, and this textured foam will help keep the pedal in place as you stitch.

September 9, 2017


(Maybe you've heard this, but just in case you haven't) 

Metal hem guides get too hot for fingers when pressing up a hem. To eliminate this problem, purchase a silicone pot holder and cut in per-measured strips (1/2", 1", 1 1/2", 2" and so on) to use as hem guides.  One pot holder is usually large enough to yield all the standard hem sizes we use.
The iron will not harm the silicone, and they always remain cool to the touch.