Thursday, May 28, 2009

Betty's Dress, Part 2


I have received quite a few e-mails and PMs from sewists who are sewing along with Betty's Dress. Seems they have been admiring the dress for a while and now feel motivated. Can't say that I blame them. It is just so darling.

Now I still haven't done any real construction. The sash, the way I do it, will be inserted in the side seam. I have decided to do my signature sash but with Betty's recommendations. She suggests that each sash match the side it is coming from. So with Betty's design you have one print sash and one solid sash. I love that idea. Once you tie them they will contrast with the side they are "laying" on.

Today I made my piping out of the bright yellow fabric. I always make my details first. Then I applied it to the sash as I did for Sophie's Halter Dress. Since I have made Sophie's dress I have had some questions about the measurements of the sashes. This all depends on the size of the child. Sophie is five and her sash was a finished width of 2 3/4 inches. Carly is 18 months old and I cut the width of the sash back to 2 1/4 inches. These measurements are for the finished width. Add to them whatever seam allowance you are comfortable using. Personally I like a 3/8 SA on the sashes. Bottom line is it will be trimmed back before turning. If you are following along, make your sashes next as they will be inserted into the side seams. Some attach them after the bodice is constructed but I like a clean insertion. Just my preference.

After dealing with the piping the skirt has to be dealt with. You cannot proceed until the skirts are measured and cut and attached to the bodices. After that happens you can insert the invisible zipper or placket and also the piping. Betty's instructions have you measure your bodice pieces that use a print at the waist and multiply that measurement by 2. This is the width of the fabric that will be cut by the length you want. I always factor in a deep 3 to 4 inch hem, as you see in Betty's design. Then measure your solid bodice pieces at the waist and double that measurement for the skirt measurement for the solid fabric. Once these skirt pieces are cut out you will have all your pieces ready to go.

This is where my construction stands at the moment. I have an intense week coming up with work and visitors but will continue. For those following along, keep checking. At this point, all the preliminaries are done and the actual construction should go quickly..........Bunny

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Betty's Dress


I would like to introduce you all to Betty D. She is a sewing mentor to many. Her years of knowledge and skill impress me. With Betty I have learned to do Madeira applique hems, how to make French seams on a sleeve, and more. She has a way of taking complicated tasks and making them easier and professional. I am honored to know her and so respect her abilities. Betty is also down to earth and assertive, two qualities I admire a lot in women. We all have a lot we could learn from knowing Betty!

In early Spring the Everything Sewing Forum ran a contest for a summer outfit with basically no requirements other than the garment had to evoke summer. There were some great entries. Betty entered a dress that a I, and many others, fell for hook, line, and sinker. It was unique and darling at the same time. She graciously posted the directions of her original design. I have been dieing to make it ever since. I asked Betty if I could show it on the blog as well as the process and she kindly agreed. I hope I do her design justice.

This dress is one shouldered and the other shoulder has spaghetti straps. The two dominant fabrics are used disproportionately which adds great interest. Between the two contrasting fabrics is a corded piping. This division happens on the back as well but still has a center back opening. In Betty's version there is a placket at center back, the traditional "heirloom" way. In my version I hope to match the print and use an invisible zipper. Cross those fingers! I just think this dress is as cute as the dickens.

When did Betty design her darling dress? Over 50 years ago! She made numerous versions back in the day for her sisters. And you thought this was so contemporary! This latest version is for her great grandchild Chloe if my memory serves me correctly. Betty's memory is far better than mine so I apologize if I am incorrect, Betty!

I will go thru the process with you all. I used two highly contrasting fabrics and a bright lemon yellow for the piping in between.
The two colored fabrics are 100 % cotton and the white is a poly cotton blend. White cotton is just so nasty to iron so I decided to go with the blend.

If you are looking for something really fun to draft, this is the design. It took a lot more thinking, futzing, and double checking than you would suspect but I had Betty check it out and it seems good to go.


I started by tracing off my pattern using the bodice from Butterick 4718. I traced on the fold in order to facilitate changing the neckline. You can see how I left the CB seam allowance for now. This will be folded out when I change the shape.
Next I added the seam allowances. I have found this necessary due to the many times I have changed a line and it was the cutting line, not the stitching line. So for me this is necessary.

This looked too large for Carly so I added equidistant horizontal and vertical lines front and back (in blue) and decreased the width a total of one half inch. I did this by cutting on that vertical line and then overlapping an 1/8th of an inch. I decided not to futz with the bodice length at this point.




Next I folded out the center back seam so I could have a smooth flow to the design line. Using my curve, I drew in the new front bodice upper edge and redrew the seam allowances. I matched the shoulder seams and then drew the back bodice edge. Here is where it starts getting tricky. You need to mark your pieces at this point as to whether they are right or wrong side, very important because by the time all the pieces are cut this can get confusing. Marking the pieces is critical here. You can see the big "WRONG"on the back bodice as it will be flipped to be cut.

After getting the bodices cut out with their new shape and new seam lines it was time to trace the pieces for a lining pattern. For the lining I simply traced the front bodice . This has not been divided for the two contrasting fabrics yet. For the back bodice lining piece I traced each side of the bodice also before dividing. Now I have three lining pieces, a full front, and the two different backs. Once again, mark the right and wrong side as well if you are using a print for the lining. Put the lining pieces aside to avoid confusion.
Now to divide. I placed the pieces so both of the right sides were up, meaning that the seams of the spaghetti strap side were facing each other. I measured over two inches from the center front on the spaghetti strap side and cut. I did the same to the spaghetti strap side on the back. This will be where the piping will be inserted.
Slice up the center back and front now. Seam allowances need to be added to all the seams other than center back as that one is already included. Here is a closeup of the front bodice sliced:

I marked each piece as to whether it was a print or a solid, very important.
And here you can see the lining pieces lined up in the top row and the bodice pieces in the bottom row:
















I think at this point you can really appreciate Betty's feat of engineering and her great original design. Betty is one year younger than my Mom and you can see that this 50 plus year old design has stood the test of time. I can't wait to sink my hands into the fabric cutting! Thanks, Betty, for all you input and inspiration.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Our new young sewing friend, Emily, has gifted me with the " Blogger Buddy" award. Thank you so much, Emily. I love to encourage younger people to sew and Emily is one of them. I am living in a place where I do not have any sewing buddies, maybe some deer and herons, but no sewing buddies. Sewing buddies are precious, few and far between. This is why the sewing blogosphere is just so wonderful. Thank you, Emily for my award.



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Two new projects are in the works. One is a darling dress for my little Carly that has a great story to go with it. More to come after the weekend. The other is a blouse I have been designing in my head for a couple of months. Of course I was inspired by something very costly with a similar technique/line. I love the challenge of mixing prints. For this project I have chosen two print sheers, both very soft. In hemming my wedding skirt I tried a new for me technique to hem the chiffon and that segwayed into the embellishment on this blouse.

Right now DH and I are straight out working. So I it will be a day or two before I have pics and more. We are working six days a week, long days, till mid October! But in this economy one has to make hay while the sun shines and will take next winter off again. Hopefully we will makes gobs of moola but the sad part is we took this contract and will now miss the wedding. So my wedding skirt is all hemmed, dressing my dressform, and waiting for a place to be worn. It will come. In the meantime I have moved on. I have definitely put the trench aside and will focus for the moment on some less intense sewing. But I have said it before, my work has a way of becoming a production, a very enjoyable production.

It is amazing how we always find a way to do what we love, isn't it? It's a good thing, otherwise I would be blogging from the local nuthouse. Wouldn't that be a great name for a TV game show - Sewing for Sanity! It would have Cidell has the genial host, Somerset would be twirling in her gorgeous outfits pointing to the prizes a la Vanna, and the contestants would be answering questions on sewing trivia. Winners would get incredibly expensive sewing machines as well as cash good only in high end fabric shops. I think we've got something here, don't you?..................Bunny

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jalie 2794 and some Q & A


Thanks for all your feedback on Sophie's Halter Dress. It is in the mail, along with some cupcake flavored "Magic Shell" for her ice cream and some treats for brother Jack. The package should arrive today. DH and I will not be able to visit for some time which breaks my heart but I will keep sewing and sending out these care packages.

Now for the Q & A as well as some comments:

Thanks, Diana, of djStoreRoom and We Love to Sew, for adding me to your blog roll. Diana is trying to put together all the sewing blogs she can find and have them roll by most recent, neat concept. If you want to be added to her list give her a click.

Many of you commented on the sweater clips. Yes, they are gorgeous. At one time they had the back clips and I actually used them once clipped on to some plain black satin heels. Somehow in moving over the years the clips have disappeared. A few years back I needed a swank holiday dress and made a simple royal blue velvet sheath with a deep V back. I stitched one of the clips on at the bottom of the V. That one knocked it out of the park.

Design Dreamer asked about my use of Wonder Tape for the hem and thought surely I meant Wonder Thread. No, is is definitely Wonder Tape. The tape is a two sided sticky that is wonderful for lining up piping and you can get an idea of it in the piping tute. There was so much hemline that it would have been v. costly to Wonder Tape all that piping to the hem band so I did not used it on the hem band. The shape of the hem band was so ever slightly curved that it was easy to stitch in along the edge. That edge had been achieved with a Madeira applique technique.
Wonder Tape is one of my absolutely favorite notions and with all the piping I do, I would be lost without it.

Also to Design Dreamer, DH and I are semi-retired and have a seasonal business that will keep us straight out until mid October. I do still manage to get some stitching in, particularly hand work as we have occasional down time where I can pick up my ziploc full of smocking and get a few stitches in.

I would also like to welcome new blogger and passionate sewist, Emily. Emily loves to sew, loves to blog about her creations, and is 8, yes, 8 years old. She makes some really cute things and her blog is a delight to read. I would love to do everything we can to inspire Emily along her sewing journey. If you have a moment, stop by her blog and give her some words of encouragement. Emily, I am going to put you on my blog roll so all can access you from here with just a click. There is a wonderful camaraderie in the sewing blogosphere that you will enjoy and welcome aboard!

On to Jalie 2794 - I started stitching this at 9:00 last night and worked on it one hour. I woke up this AM and by 7:00 was back in the cave. Within the hour it was completely done. I was so excited I just put it on and started shooting. No makeup and hair so no face! Had the comfy old "house bra" on, not the perky one I would wear with this in public, but dang, I was done this top in no time and it's cute as the dickens.

The fabric is from the bowels of Joann's clearance. It was the last 1 1/4 yards, just enough. The board said 100% poly, no way. This was lycra and it sure felt like swimsuit fabric to me. The print was great and I had been looking for something like this for the top. This is the first "snug" top I have ever felt comfortable in. I usually run from such tops but I really like the fit on this one. I cannot wait to make this over and over and over. The sweetheart neckline is flattering on everyone. I did have one screw up. I tops stitched the band on the seam edge all around the neckline, which does make it lie better. But the pattern did not instruct you to do that. It says to topstitch the "free" side of the band only from the underarm seam to the start of the neckline. I misunderstood and had this flap now sticking out. So I went back and topstitched that area as directed. Now it lay nicely but I did seam to have a lot of unnecessary stitching with all that topstitching. I will do the next one differently. I love this. Did I say this already? This has been reviewed a skillion times on PR but I think I will do a quick review there so I can get it to show up in my widget.

I needed this quickie project mentally. With our business started, I am not sure I will have the time to dedicate to my trench. It is not cut out yet. I may just keep with some small children's projects. Although, you know how those have a way of turning into major productions! LOL...Bunny

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Simp 2912 Sophie's Halter Dress



A few things to add to the Piping Curves and Corners tute - I mentioned that I used the Madeira method to shape the hem band. I did not use another piece of the fashion fabric to do that. Instead I used scrap muslin to cut to the shape of the band and then sew with the Wash Away thread. This technique needed a waste fabric that would be pulled off and chucked, leaving the nice curve. Just thought I would clear that up. If you check out the Madeira hem tute, you'll see what I mean a little more clearly.

This was VERY difficult to photograph. I ended up stuffing it with a roll of fabric and propping it on a bench. I tried everything else imaginable. A hanger wouldn't work with this halter style.

There is a lot of twirl in this skirt. I can't wait to see Sophie do a little princess prancing in it. I think this style will be darling on her olive skin.
The halter straps are pleated and stitched directly to the lining and the button on top to camoflage. This is what the pattern suggested. If I do this again, the straps will be tucked in between the lining and the bodice.

I didn't think the smocking would ever end on this one, lots of baby waves. The facing is covering up more smocking, :(

Once again, I love this belt treatment and it may become my signature. It is just so simple but not the big bow effect.

DH and I will be working 6 and 7 days a week starting next week till October but I fully intend to sew a lot and post a lot. Last summer I managed to get a lot of smocking and handwork done on the road and expect the same this year.
My plan is to get some pieces pleated so I can have them at the ready to smock and also get going on my trench.


Here is something else I came across the other day while digging thru some of my "inheritance" from my great aunt. I have been told these are sweater clips and originally had some sort of chain between them to keep the sweater elegantly closed. They are rhinestones and gorgeous.They are about and inch and a half long and almost as wide......Bunny

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Piping Corners and Curves

My design decisions on Simplicity 2912 required piping on inside corners and curves. I handled both with a Madeira hem treatment which I go into on this tute. Thanks to my sewing friend Lainey, and a great discussion on mitering piping on the Everythingsewing board, I was able to do a better job than I did on Sophie's Toile Dress. On that dress the neckline had inside corners and outer curves. I used one length of piping. This is not an uncommon way to do this but I have since found a better way, thanks to Lainey. Also, the hem band was shaped and I wanted a really smooth treatment on that curve.
On this dress the facing is stitched right side to wrong side of bodice then turned, giving the dress a nice edge finish and no facings inside, gottaluvit.
I did the Madeira treatment which gave me a really smooth curve and turn to the facing. Per Lainey, I installed the piping in segments. Wonder tape was placed on the piping strip and the piping was then placed on the facing sides.






The folded under facing edge is then flipped open and placed under the middle slot of the pintuck foot. On my Pfaff, this aligns the right hand side of the tunnel with the needle postion. I run that stitching line down the pressed and folded line and sew.










Next is the curved top piece of the facing. The piping is cut and steamed at the ironing board. It is then placed on the facing with the Wonder Tape as you did the previous side pieces. Remove any excess piping cord from the seam allowance areas on all the segments. Flip open the edge and stitch like you did the the side pieces. Once this segment is stitched in, turn the facing and stitch diagonally across the juncture of the two pipings and trim back to eliminate bulk in the corner.



All done!








Next is the hem band. This skirt is circular and the hemband is a facing turned to the front just like the bodice facing. I did the Madeira treatment on the hem to achieve that nice shaped upper edge. However this was far too much yardage to use my prescious Wonder Tape on.


What I did was place the piping down on the machine bed with the cording to the left. Then I opened up the folded edge and lined it up with the stitching line on the piping. Again it was placed under the 5 space pin tuck foot as previously with the right side of the tunnel laying in the crease. Again, check your machine for proper alignment as it could differ from mine. Stitch away.






Sorry about the camera strap. Sometimes I don't see the forest for the trees!

Now at this point I could have hand stitched all 94 inches of the hem band but chose not do do so for speeds sake on this dress. As we say in the heirloom world, if you can't see it on a galloping horse........ and I know Sophie will wear this in birthday party, play situations, so I chose to machine finish the hem band. Change to your edge stitching foot. I like this because the blade runs right down the ditch between the piping and the band. I chose not to ditch stitch as I found it would still show stitching to some extent . I felt a well done topstitch would look better. I ran the blade down the piping and quickly topstitched the hem with a 2.0 stitch. My opinion is the smaller the garment, the smaller the topstitching. A traditionally large topstitch would not have looked right IMO.
And now the hem is completely attached with the piping in a smooth shape. I love how the piping adds some stiffness and therefore increases the twirl factor, critical to the enjoyment of the garment by any little girl.
















A parting shot here, as I was looking for a belt buckle for my trench, no luck......
These were part of that wonderful inheritance from my packrat great aunt who passed away 30 years ago in her mid 90's.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Piping Basics



I thought at some point I did a piping tute on the blog, but evidently I haven't. Because I have decided on so much piping on my latest project it made sense to share my methods. I will do this in two parts. The first will be the basics and the second tute will be on inside and outside corners.

You will need strips of bias that you can cut and put together as shown in this tutorial. There are many ways to cut bias (another tute another day) but I find that method is quick for the shorter strips usually needed in garment making. You will also need a filler cord. There are lots of personal preferences here, but I like something NOT 100% cotton due to shrinkage issues. What I use is something that is no longer available that was recommended to me by a smocking teacher about 5 years ago. I am still working off the same ball of yarn. It is not too firm, not too soft. I don't like rat tail as it is usually rayon and also does not turn corners tightly enough in my opinion. I put a pin in the photo so you can judge the diameter of the cord. Since 95% of my piping is mini piping on children's garments, this small diameter works best. Drapery cord comes in lots of diameters and can work well too.
I cut my strips using a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler with a 45º marking. The straight of grain is lined up with a vertical line on the cutting mat. The 45º line is then lined of with a horizontal line on the cutting mat. This will give you the true bias. Once you cut the first strip just use your ruler to continue cutting 1 1/2 inch strips on the bias. Once cut stitch them together in the length needed as per this tute.
















I then place the cording ball in my lap with lots of cord unwound freely. I then run the end of the cord around my neck . Now I start to place it inside the folded bias strip. I use a 5 space pintuck foot. The corded side is placed into the center slot. I then reposition my needle to the right, using number #3 if you have a Pfaff. I start stitching with needle down. Every six inches I lift the presser foot and let the fabric relax. Failure to do this can give you ripples. I use a 3.0 stitch length. As I do each pass on the bias the stitch length gets narrower. Two reasons: first, often in placing the piping strip, a marriage needs to happen between a starting and ending part of the strip. The larger stitch length allows you to easily rip out the stitching , stitch the two ends together, and then replace the the needed length of cord. It also makes for easily undoing the stitching to remove the cording from any seam allowances. Cording should not ever cross a seam allowance. Always pull it out and remove it. The second reason for the larger stitch length is to reduce bulk in the stitching line. You will be using three passes of stitching before you are done so by making each pass a smaller stitch you will get the needed strength and reduce some bulk in the stitching line.
Once the piping is all stitched take your fingers and run them down the length of the piping removing any ripples or stretch that can happen while stitching.

One of my most favorite notions it the Darr Piping Ruler. It has various slots underneath where you fit your corded side and then proceed to cut with a rotary cutter for a perfect seam allowance. In this case I am using a 3/8th inch SA. The ruler just keeps sliding up the piping as you cut. I LOVE THIS TOOL!


Here you can see where the piping will be installed around the curve of the sash. For any piping installation, Wonder Tape is invaluable. It is a sticky, narrow, double sided tape. For this curve I notched all around the curved area. Then the Wonder Tape was applied to the piping. The piping is then flipped over and placed with the edges matching. This is a 3/8th inch seam.






Back to the five space pintuck foot on the machine. Stitch the piping down with a 2.5 stitch length, center slot, 3 mils for needle position on a Pfaff. Try to get your stitch a hair in from the first stitching.

Place the other pattern piece on top of the one you just attached your piping to, piping sandwiched in between.
Back to the machine. Set up your needle position to the center now and the piping cord in the center as well.

Now, FLIP THE PIECES OVER so the piping stitching line is ON TOP. This is your guide. I visually line up the previous stitching with the right side of the center pintuck tunnel and stitch a hair within with a 2.0 stitch length. A 1.5 stitch length is good for maneuvering tight curves and corners. But do a test to see what needle placement works best for your machine.
If you click on this image you will see how the stitching is extremely close but not directly on top of each other and seams are graded.







Turn, press, and voila!

Next post will deal with inside and outside corners as well as a Madeira application. ...Bunny

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

I have been gifted with the Attitude of Gratitude award from Laurie Anderson of Sewandso. Laurie is a computer whiz extraordinaire, entrepreneur, and one of the fabulous designers for Sew Beautiful magazine. What really sets Laurie apart, however, is her 'Threads of Love". She and her group make exquisite, tiny heirloom garments for infants who never make it home from the hospital. Their parents get to see them dressed in probably the only beautiful garment they will ever get to wear. They are bequeathed that lovely precious memory of their angel thanks to Laurie's efforts. I applaud her and thank her for thinking of me in granting this award.

The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude.

3. Link to your nominees within your post.

4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award.

5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award.



Martha is an incredibly skilled heirloom sewer and her perfection just inspirational. You can find her at http://southernmatriarch.blogspot.com/

Nonie at http://everythingsewingnet.blogspot.com/ Nonie has a huge heart and shares her wonderful forum, Everything Sewing to so many, new and experienced alike.

Sherrill at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com/ I never cease to be inspired by Sherrill's persistance and determination to get a perfectly fitting garment. She is brave and generous.

Sivje at http://goosegirlsews.blogspot.com/ who is a mom dealing with life with a teen and a 5 yr old all while sewing for her family beautifully.


There are so many more but these are three of my favorites. I could go on and on. Just know that I AM THANKFUL FOR ALL OF YOU!

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ETA: Had an interruption previously!

I would also like to thank all of you for your great comments on my hemline, shoes, et al. They were greatly appreciated. I am going with the medium hem and think I might get something gold and strappy for a shoe. We shall see. I really value all of your opinions........Bunny

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Need Your Opinion, Got Mine!

OK, some disclaimers here: the skirt has the back zipper open and is hiked up with a piece of elastic around my waist. This explains the awful fall of the fabric. You will see this gets worse as we go along. Next, this is the first pair of nylons I have put on in a year and they are some disgusting color I found in the bottom of the drawer. In real life I will wear my favorite Donna Karan nude stockings, highly recommend. I probably will wear these peep toes. Also, the lining really shines thru the chiffon with the flash of the camera. IRL, it doesn't do that at all and looks totally matte.

Now that the preliminaries are done, I need your help. I have three pictures here. This skirt will be worn to an evening wedding, formal, and I need an opinion of the proper length. I will have a blouse with a portrait neckline to wear with it and the peplum of the blouse is maybe 3-4 inches below the waistband. I am five feet tall and proportion is everything on me.
These long skirts look generally look good on me but that opinion is a holdover from my "crunchy" days, as they say in NH. But, long is more formal.
The medium skirt looks much better in my opinion and may be my choice. My legs can take a shorter skirt but my bod gets divided in half under those conditions and that's not what a five foot tall person wants to happen.






Here is the short version. Of course it would look better with the correct hose or better yet none at all. So waddya think? Long, medium, or short? I am leaning toward the medium. I really appreciate your comments so be honest. I can take it and TIA.....
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I hemmed 4 pairs of pants for DSIL this week, one with cuffs. I don't do these chores lightly but he is a wonderful dad and treats our daughter like the princess she is. When doing the final pressing I noticed this neat little treatment on the Perry Ellis Portfolio pants. The welt pocket has a dense narrow zigzag the full length of each opening on each side. I thought this was a really neat treatment for an area that will get a wallet stuffed into itself often. I am definitely going to use this one.

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Here is the original insert that inspired my current project for Sophie. I did this appx 3 years ago. I decided to stitch it up into a little wristlet for her which I know she will love. The smocking is far from great but she will beat the heck out of this thing so I am OK using up the insert this way. For those not familiar with smocking, the bag will open right up as the smocking is elastic. It will match my current dress project wonderfully. The smocking on the dress is coming along and I now have enough free time to get this finished. This past week, life has edged it's way into my sewing time. But I feel like I am getting back on track now.

So please let me know which skirt you like. I don't want to look like a frump, particularly an aging frump. Thanks so much.




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So on this boring note, the note that shows off my hemming skills, I leave you.................Bunny

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Now, these are HATS!

You all know that I love hats. If you are of that ilk you also know that today, Kentucky Derby Day, is the stuff our dreams are made of. Courtesy of the LA Times, here are a few fabulous hats to ponder. You will soon see that cleavage is just as mandatory as hat wearing at the Derby. No, I would not need three mint juleps to wear either. Life is to short! I'm giving you a link to see more incredible chapeau.





And from the Examiner: This woman is beyond exquisite. DH and I have been perusing the ladies in hats on the internet and as he says, "they look like incredibly beautiful birds." Enjoy....Bunny


















Friday, May 1, 2009

Do You Keep Track?


Do you journal, scrapbook, or otherwise keep track of your sewing accomplishments? I do, up to a point. While I don't have a photo album of everything I have made, I do have one for my heirloom garments. I would like to have one for accessories but haven't started that quite yet.


I use a small photo album that I picked up at Michael's. It measures 7 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches. They also sell the small sheet protectors to go with it at Michael's. I like this size at it travels easily. My book is stuffed and I think I need to start a new one. I usually put in a front and back picture and if details warrant it, two closeup shots. That way the pictures that face each other relate. I hop into Word and print out in bold just tiny descriptions of the item. Sometimes, if it is obvious, I may not print any, or may just print the date completed. Somehow I just have this strong need to document what I do. Whether that effort is appreciated is kind of besides the point. Does anyone else has this urge? It seems primordial and uncontrollable for me. It is something that I can look at personally long after the garment is gone, and they do all go, from my hands not to be seen again. You can see I have some photos to add, that is if I can squeeze them in. This book goes back to March, 2005.

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This is an unblocked, still rough, peek at the smocking for Sophie's Halter Dress. Nearly all of the negative space will filled with smocking stitches. It has been slow going but maybe by next week it can go in the garment. I think I will cut and sew all that I can without the insert and then just wait for handwork to be completed. Slow but sure on this one.

The trench is all traced and it's muslin awaits conception. I must say, I have bookmarked Tany's Lavender Trench and it has been invaluable in helping me sort thru this BWOF jacket. Thanks, Tany...........Bunny