Thursday, February 18, 2010

About the Power Sewing Web TV Shows

Have any of you subscribed to Sandra Betzina and Ron Collins Web TV shows?

I was really hesitant about signing on because I was afraid that they would be designed more for the beginner rather than one who has been sewing for almost 50 years.(Yikes! 50 years! When did that happen?).

Well I've been pleasantly surprised! If you subscribe for a year you get access to the archives and I've watched quite a few episodes and I've got to say that I've learned something in almost each and everyone.

Yesterday, I was making an apron as a gift and I needed to make a lot of bias tape. Well I had been told about continuous bias by a customer at Fabricville and she had even made me a paper model of the technique.That was a few weeks ago and I really couldn't figure out how that went. I had noticed Continuous Bias was the name of one of the Power Sewing lessons,so I clicked on it and learned this remarkable shortcut to make yards and yards of bias tape.I'm putting a tutorial on making continuous bias on my other blog if you are interested. And no, it's not plagiarism because I got it from that customer first,remember?

Today I learned (and I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know this) that you can use Steam-a-Seam for a permanent hem! I thought it was only for temporary seams.Now I have to admit that I'm not a reader of directions so.....Need I say more?

Anyway,I'd love to hear from you if you subscribe and what your opinion of the shows is.

Hope you have time to sew this weekend!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tamara's Mini Winter Wardrobe -Part 2

Two more pieces are finished and I'll send off the four pieces to Tamara early in the week. The hounds tooth check spring coat will not be ready for another couple of weeks so I don't want to wait till then to send the other pieces.I want DD to be able to wear them now.

The white blouse ( S2501 ), was changed quite a bit. The tie became longer and the sleeves were made narrower with a wider cuff..(I just cut them from another shirt pattern.)I used the body of View A and the collar of View D.[This is one of Simplicity's patterns which have separate pieces for B,C,& D cups so I want to make one for myself].

The fabric is a white pincord cotton shirting which I really love but it's been in my stash for quite some time so my loss is Tamara's gain.As usual with natural fibers,this fabric was a joy to sew.It looks great on Antoinette and I'm sure will look great on DD.And I think it complements the plaid bias skirt quite well too.

Has anyone else out there made this dress S2473?,It's a great pattern!I think it's very Audrey Hepburn don't you?

This should be a nice addition to a work wardrobe for a young woman. I had originally intended to pair this dress with a Chanel-type jacket out of the black and white houndstooth check , but DD asked if I'd mind making her a coat instead. Well, I can't say no to any of my children, so of course I agreed. But then, the sleeveless dress didn't make as much sense anymore. I didn't have enough of this wool flannel to add sleeves so I got the idea that Tamara could wear it as a jumper with the white blouse or a black turtle neck sweater or a black cardigan,even.Hopefully she'll see it that way too.

The fabric again is wool flannel and of course was great to sew . I made the sleeveless and straight skirt variation. The only changes I made was to lower the neckline to accomodate the tie on the blouse.This photo shows how I lowered it.

And I lined the dress although the pattern didn't call for it but a piece like this must be lined.Since I didn't have any red lining on hand and had promised DD I'd use my stash as much as possible,I lined it in charcoal grey Bemberg but made fabric facings to make sure the lining wouldn't peak out. This is how I worked it out.

I sewed the lining and dress together with wrong sides facing each other.

Then I sewed the facings to the outside of the dress in the regular way.

I clean-finished the facings by sewing fusible interfacing to the right sides and turning them to the wrong side and pressing and fusing the two.

That might be too much information so I'll stop there except to say that I hand stitched the edges of the facings to the lining .I put a tutorial on understitching the facings and why it's important to do so here for sewers who are beginners.

This is what the inside of the dress looks like.

I attached the lining to the kick pleat and at each seam and not all around the hem of the dress.I had used a pretty lace hem binding and didn't want to hide it.

I had wanted to do hand picking for the top stitching but it would have taken too long and I have sore thumbs so instead ,I used this decorative stitch in regular black thread and I like the results.

So here it is and I truly hope it fits.

More pics here.

Happy Sewing from Diana

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tamara's Mini Winter Wardrobe -Part 1

This week ,I managed to almost finish three of the five pieces I'm planning for my daughter. Of course I started with relatively easy pieces. Tonight I'm posting on a self-drafted (sort of) bias skirt and a sweater top made from V8597 View C. See my sidebar for the whole plan.

The skirt is the result of my pointing out that this certain skirt she often wore was beyond wearing. (She bought it at an Ann Taylor shop when she lived in Florida in 2001!) I forgot to take a pic before I cut it apart but oh my! It was way past it's prime.She asked if I could make an exact,exact replica for her. And I tried.

When I took the skirt apart, I saw that it was stretched out of shape so I looked through my patterns and found this Butterick pattern that ended up being almost identical in length and width so I used it to draft my new pattern.

I cut it to include 1&1/2" seams on the sides to make sewing the bias seams easier.

The technique I used to make this skirt ,I learned from Sandra Betzina. She used my fabric to cut out and sew this skirt to illustrate her method.

I'm putting a tutorial here if anyone wants to know the details.
So here it is and I hope DD likes it and that it fits.

As for the pullover top,The fabric is a lovely polyester sweater knit in a heathered purple. I don't know if DD likes purple but if she doesn't, she should.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern. For good or bad ,I decided not to double the cowl collar fearing it would be too thick. But the single layer wanted to roll upward so I decided to zigzag it to the neckline as you see here.

I sewed the collar from the inside of the neck with the right side of the collar against the wrong side of the sweater . That way the right side of the collar showed on the outside. Then,I folded the collar in two and zigzagged it to the neckline. It really doesn't show as much as the photo indicates.

The other change I made was to join the two parts of the sleeves together as I didn't want a seam on the front of the sleeves.At the top where they didn't join, I added a dart and this formed the shoulder and you wouldn't know that the sleeves weren't drafted that way.

For more pics ,look here.

I also made a white shirt but I haven't sewn on the buttons yet so I'll keep it for another time.

I hope you found time to sew this week or weekend.

Happy Sewing from Diana !