Planning the non sewing times

Well, my life has changed a little bit lately and so it’s been much harder to sew with the dedicated amounts of time I had earlier.

I have also had some more unusual seasonal events which have mixed up some of my work compared to my standard project cycle.

For November, I have almost lived in San Fransisco so I’ve been far away from my machine. I was not there for approximately only 5 working days. I have had my hand sewing project with me, but I also finished reading all of the One Punch Man internet comic so my down time has not been as dedicated. I’ve also really focused on meeting friends and coworkers for dinner. I think being a little more soc-ial vs sew-cial is worth it – a healthy balance is always good.

Either way! I have been buying some fabric over these trips and it’s time to do a quick check in on my plans of items I want to work through.

Ironically, this is all being written in the plane to Chicago for Thanksgiving!

Here’s my game plan:

– I have a green cotton fabric I planned to turn into a pencil skirt. I would like to do that unless I can think of a cooler project.

– I want to finish my muslin jacket and move on to the official Chanel fabric. I will need to buy a cool trim for the jacket too. That part is still TBD. Question though: Should I try to incorporate some feathers? I think I will not…. but I kind of want to.

– Flapper dress: this has started with a silk charmuse black slip that I’ll drape under a sheer black silk georgette. I will sew the fringe onto the georgette in sweeping diagonal drapes so that it hangs nicely from the hip. Then if I turn around or spin, there will be the sheer outer layer with fringe and then a dark thinner inner dress. I think it will be cool.

– I then have a few summer fabrics in the collection that need to be converted. A pink linen flamingo dress, and red striped and white striped dress shirts.

– I also have a fabric I bought for my dad but I haven’t made yet. This is getting old! I need his measurements.

– Then! Something new! A pair of grey wool slacks for D! These will be interesting. A new fabric and moving into a more intense tailoring and menswear space. I am excited and I will go slow.

– I also want to upcycle an old lace skirt my Nana gave to me. She was SO Skinny (hi Nana haha) I will shorten it so that my waist can fit where her hip bones & bum used to be.

– Finally, a staff memeber at Britex gave me a great idea for my leftover chanel scraps – I could turn them into a little purse. Thinking on this more, this seems like a great way to work through some of my cooler and small scraps. I can also make some pencil cases or whatever. I have enjoyed making purses in the past and so I think this could be a really fun next step. I think I may do this with the extra fabric from my Nana’s skirt too.

Alright! Flight update! This is a bit of a bumpy one! I am glad science works such that differences in air pressure lift up airplane wings. Is that how it works? I dont remember what the slower air over the upper curve of the wing actually does. Right now I can mostly just focus on hitting the right buttons with my thumbs as we move side to side lol. My mom will not like reading this. I will schedule it to publish once she is already in the air. Haha.

Also! Since we’re on the subject: my favorite tip for riding out turbulance – take a moment to think about if you’re actually in physical pain during the bumps. Not really right? The jostling is weird and unexpected – but it’s not the same as stubbing your toe or even hitting your funny bone in your elbow. That always helps me focus in and push away some of my concerns.

Anyway! Lots of sewing fun and an amazing surprise coming in the future!!! I won’t talk about that yet -that will happen in December or the new year 🙂

I am super appreciative of all of you reading this and all the comments and encouragement!!! I am really looking forward to working through these projects and picking out something even harder when they’re complete!

Ps: we landed!

Tangentical Circle shirt part 3 – little bits of progress

Sometimes unexpected events come up and things take longer than expected. In these times, it can be hard to make time for sewing while balancing everything else. This is when it’s important to focus on little things. Last night I tackled this placket! These are tough and include a few tricky details. I had about 30 min before bedtime and it was really nice to do just a little bit. I forgot to play music this time. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear the hum of the machine.

Here you can see the original pattern piece and the final placket on the left.
Here is an intermediary step where you flip these pieces through the arm slot and then sew them down

Yay!

Navy Shirt Dress with Stripes – sewing slowly through tough projects

Here was the game plan! I was so excited to whip through this dress and make a really nice classic look… but… it’s only been going “sew sew” (is that a pun? It’s supposed to be)

The first challenge was that once I was home, I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked this fabric after all…

It felt very classic and sort of like a polo/golf vibe. It’s a cotton men’s shirting fabric. I thought it would be neat to have a striped shirtdress in my wardrobe, but then I started to question if I actually liked it.

At first, I gathered the skirt but it had too much volume. It was not very flattering 😦 there is no picture of this, but beleive me, it happened and wasn’t good.

I tore it off and really thought about a way to achieve a less busy look. After some time, I decided that pleats could be the answer! I hoped the pleats will be flatter yet still break up the stripes and make a nice A line silhouette. It started to get better! I used an inverted box pleat.

Last but not least! I visited F&S fabric store to pick up some unique buttons and made a sash on the bias to finish it up. I also actually hand pick stitched the collar too as inspired by my sewing friend George who showed me a jacket he was working on that used this technique!

Ta Da!

Also I think I’m going to make this a little less anonymous. I dont think it really matters…

With the pleats, it was much easier to align the stripes between the collar, bodice, and skirt! This also makes the sash pop a little bit more since those stripes go diagonally.

Overall, I feel like I achieved the look I set out to create, but I will be a little more discerning with my in-store fabric choices so that I hopefully feel more confident throughout the project.

Last but not least, I’ve learned that the two daughters of my husband’s coworker have visited the blog and are going to be taking sewing classes! Just wanted to say HI! They are about 10 and I really can’t wait to hear about if they like their class!!! They have a very cool Mom for encouraging them too!

Part 4: Sewing Jam Investigation & Solution! Blue Square Shirt continues!

After all of the research last night to try and fix my machine, I woke up with some new knowledge but still uncertain of what was going wrong.

Of course this is the project I’m trying to time too lol

9:35am start – I watched this very interesting video about fixing the timing of the inside of the machine.

Inspired, I went to look at my machine and play around…

Dun dun duhh!!!!

O.M.G. this little guy at the top had lost it’s thread!

Here it is fixed:

I think this means that there wasn’t enough tension on the top string to pull the string on the bottom off the shuttle. This may have been causing the double-loop-underneath situation.

Next time, I will rethread the top of this machine sooner in the investigation process.

It’s interesting to know how everything works now!

9:57am – it’s sewing time!!

Yay! This collar is going to look so nice!

11:20am: time to take a break for tennis, lunch, grocery shopping, unfortunately dishes, & some baking ahead of visiting friends.

Hanging out with friend was awesome! I may actually have a future sewing buddy! Stay tuned for possible updates there in the future.

Sewing time today 1.5 hrs

Total project time: 4 hrs 40 min

Blue Squares Shirt – Part 3 & a Surprise Challenge

First off – thanks for all the laundry tips and comiserating with me! It seems like we have all been there in terms of destroying things in the laundry 🙂

Today is a great day because it’s time to start sewing this project. I can’t wait to see it come together!

Starting off… I took a nap and woke up feeling so so…

Feeling better at 8pm start

Making the plackets and sewing some stay stitching to strengthen the neckline. Turns out this fabric has stretch O.o maybe the fabric name evil squares was accurate after all…

Then it was pocket time

Then it was back panel time

Time is 9:00 and I need to take a small break. It’s weird to write online but frankly my stomach feels so so 😦 I am going to lie down on the couch briefly.

10:00pm Now I finished talking to my parents on the phone and it’s time to start sewing again!

I attached the front panels to the back shoulder and it’s looking pretty good for line alignment. This is definitely a more unusual fabric for a dress shirt and the stretch is making it a little different and I have to be extra careful not to pull on the fabric otherwise I’ll get wavy seams.

From here… something started to go wrong. The strings started catching within the machine. I would go about 2 stitches forward while I was trying to make the collar and suddenly everything would lock up! The needle string would be too tight for the machine to pull anymore.

I opened up the bottom part and tried to double check the bottom thread and it still had issues… it was time to go deeper.

I unscrewed the floor of the machine and it was obvious I hadn’t cleaned this before.

I then realized I could take out the bobbin holder and there was more dust and thread fluff to clean there too.

After passing the string around a few times it seemed like things were maybe working again so I put everything back in place…

(Metal part added back too)

SNAG! It happened again!

End time 10:50

Research time starts 10:55

Trying to Google and learn what is going on. This video has the scariest intro and most “outside the norm” of any sewing YouTube video I’ve ever seen. Shout out to for. This is the most technical video I’ve ever seen.

This video was helpful but does not describe my issue.

I think I basically have an issue with the bobbin not releasing the thread.

This random shopping website has some details about the timing and at least a good explanation of the issue.

Time for bed 11:37pm

Total sewing time today: 2 hrs

Research time: 40 min

Total sewing time: 3hr 10 min (I will not count research time into this project because I really want to understand how much time the pattern takes)

New Project! New Shirt for D (the first replacement)

I know I said I’d do the small circle print first but instead I threw the big squares in the wash again – checked for bleading – no more – and decided it was time to take this fabric to task!

Liesl+Co All Day Shirt – here we go!

Also, I’ve been asked how long these take to make, so I’m going to try and really time this one.

Today: started 9:30pm

– Laid out pattern pieces, took this pic, wrote snappy words above

– 9:59 finish pinning pattern pieces down.

Assess if I should start cutting them… probably not since it’s a work night and bedtime.

Let the timer show 30 min 🙂 ‘Till next time!

New projects – Laundry Issues continue!

So I visited Mood to get new fabrics to replace the poor little red ink disaster shirts and I was pretty excited with my picks – a white woven cotton, some small tangential circles, and a pretty interesting geometric square print.

I put them all in the washer and dryer together and… they ran! (To be completely fair, I left them wet overnight in the washing machine. I think this is totally my fault and where I messed up)

So much for the white shirt. X_X it’s a light tyedye in about 1.5 yards. Maybe that’s cool enough that it will become a shirt for myself? The problem is that it’s quite faint so I dont think it looks intentional. Calling it tyedye is really being generous and it looks more like blotchy ink…

I think the culprit was the cool squares.

So cool… but maybe evil…

What do I do now?

I am going to start with sewing the small circle shirt and maybe wash the blue squares again by themselves.

Wish me luck! Or give me advice lol I’ll take that too!

Laundry Disaster RIP Green Pants and Best Shirt

Well, right before I left for vacation I had a clothing massacre in which I sent a red pen though the wash and dried everything before discovering it. I took out my new favorite shirt for D and the green pants. I additionally killed 3 Banana Republic shirts. Yikes! I was sad but it was too late already. Lessons learned.

The green pants had gotten lots of wear already. The dress shirt was really nice… I had sewn all the seams as french seams and really put a lot of effort into aligning the stripes. The buttons were nice too. Hmmm. I will go to Mood and see if I can get the same or similar fabric for a repeat.

I casually tried to do some mending techniques to cover the spots up but so far it does not look as good as pinterest (visible on the left collar edge). Looks like I made my first smock.