Friday, July 29, 2011

 

Here's a little peak at the Table Cloth Dress, really too close to appreciate. It is very  near done. Today was one of those loaded with all the trivia required to hit the road for a week long trip, pay bills, get groceries, etc.; just lots of non sewing "stuff". So the little dress is not quite done but I will finish the minute I get back. 

I am going to visit with DD#2 for a week in New Hampshire. She moved today into her dream home. She and hubby have worked long and hard for this and I am so excited for them. It's a rambling  Royal Barry Wills cape with a beautifully designed interior. She wants Mom to help with the move in and getting fabrics picked out, windows measured, etc. I am really looking forward to it. Of course I will be visiting with DD#1 and family as well but this trips focus is the move in. 

I will be back in a week. Hope you are all well and safe and happily stitching away in my absence. Till then....Bunny

Thursday, July 28, 2011

" The Sparsely Wired"

                                                (photo courtesy of Popular Mechanics)
That quote comes from an article in the New York Times.  I moved to this area 6 years in October. I had a gut feeling they had no broadband out here. I was right. I clearly remember asking the realtor as we stood in this home before making an offer, "do you have broadband or DSL?" His reply was, "what is that?" After a couple of extremely frustrating, barely worth it years on dial up, a brave entrepreneur brought satellite to our area. That's how I have been hooked up for a while. It is much better than dial up, thank heavens, but still no fast broadband. I am limited to the amount I can down load and if I go over I get shut down. I get nasty grams all the time from the ISP telling me I am reaching my limit and that I deserve a good slap on the hand. Since I have some killer speakers and get most of our music direct off the computer this has been a big issue. You tube? Fugetabotit. I have to hold the button down for the equivalent of half of the time duration of the video. That way I am looking at the video and not catching the lapses in connectivity. This is only bearable on videos of less than three minutes. All those sewing videos? I watch them when I visit my children who live in the rat race.

Today is a big day in our little village of 350 hearty souls, at least big for me. We are all getting connected, one by one, (free installation, mind you) to the high speed internet. It was our turn today. This has not been a clean cut installation. We live a 1/4 mile back from the road and have  underground wiring. It required digging a trench from the pole on the road, going around the septic system, and then to the house. When I asked the "fiber guy" what that would cost he explained to me it would cost nothing. Seems Obama's Stimulus Package denoted our little village as one of the most  technologically backward in the country, one of twelve particularly desparate places.  Because of that all installations are free even if they involve a construction crew of 7, heavy equipment, and hours of labor to go underground to our way back home.

So today I am winging to you across the fibers with speed and light. This is not new to us as we had broadband from its inception back in NH. But it is with great delight that I am now able to visit your videos, hear your voices, and continue to blog from up here in the Dacks. I may even make a video of my own now and then! I now have a new email addy and all your email addies in a spreadsheet for the moment. So if you need to get a hold of me it is now            bunnypep at gmail  dot com. I have to go check out Skype now and put on my music. No hand slapping, wahoooey!!!......Bunny


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TC Dress Units

If you have been reading for a while you know that I am a "unit" sewist, one who makes all the smaller units before putting them together in the garment. I don't make the collar, put it on; don't make the pockets, put them on, all in order as the pattern specifies. Instead, I make all the individual units, straps, pockets, sleeves, etc. and then put them together. Usually the first thing I make is the piping. I think that is just because I love to make piping. This all  serves me well when I am also doing a hand worked insert at the same time.  When the insert is complete, and it will be shortly, I can just put it all together.
 Here you can see the back skirt, the back bodice which will have elastic run through, (to early to do that yet), and the ruffly straps. I really wanted a total retro look to this, not just the fabric. I did some research and those ruffly straps were seen on pinafores very frequently back in the 50's. It was a way to pull a little bit of the blue to the top of the garment for a better color balance. All units are now done and I am just waiting to complete the insert. I could have done it last night but of course ran out of floss at the very last group of stitches, ugh. So today will be a run into town to buy floss. No, I am not independently wealthy and runing a 30 mile trip for 50 cents worth of floss. I will tie this in to other errands which I schedule to all do at the same time. DH and I have gotten very thrifty with our gas consumption. It just makes sense.

The back of this little dress is simply gathered with elastic in the tiny bodice. It is really bothering me to not have that more finished. I think I will make a button on belt in the back from what little is left of the fabric, or maybe a sash, not sure. This is all I have left......Bunny

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The TC Dress - Template Smocking

With this dress I am trying out "Template Smocking" . More information on this technique can be found in the "A to Z Book of Smocking" from Country Bumpkin. Love their publications! Anyhoo, a template is made of the desired design. It is then traced around with a marker on the pleated fabric. Then the outline of the template is stitched with a very tiny chain stitch using one thread of  floss. This then gets filled in with stacked cables. You can see my start here. I have templates for the surrounding leaves but I didn't want their distracting markings while smocking the flower. I am trying to stitch out the flower in the tablecloth that floats across the field. This insert is also backsmocked to keep the pleats nice and straight. I did some backsmocking here and will do the rest once the smocking is done. I am actually quite far along with the stitching enjoying sitting out in the sunshine on this beautiful day. I haven't done template smocking before so if this doesn't shape up the way I would like, into the wadder pile it will go and we will move on to plan B.
Here you can see my templates as well as a sketch to indicate where the piping will go. I knew I wanted the piping to be in the sort of odd cherry red shade of the TC flower centers. I had no fabric to match. The color is quite different. I went into my bias binding stash from Ima which is like a vintage store and found the perfect match. Can you see the price on the package of tape? Its a poly cotton blend so that tells us a little bit too. I am thinking circa 1970, maybe earlier at that price. So I am using vintage bias tape with the vintage TC. I love that. The color is spot on. It is much more of a cherry than the computer shows. This was single fold bias tape. I ironed it flat and open. I then used the bias strip to cover the cording. It worked like a charm. Four yards later I am ready to install. You can see that my old trusty Kenmore has the traditional zipper foot, really very good for making piping, so that is a relief.
As I have worked on this tablecloth fabric it has bugged me that I can't describe the texture. It is not a flat, printed cotton. The fabric has texture, but not as heavy as the bark cloth of the time. I definitely knew the texture well but had a hard time remembering the name. Then the ah hah moment hit. This sure looks like a birds eye cotton to me. That fabric was used back  in the day to make  cloth diapers. It doesn't wrinkle and has a wonderful drape and softness, the better for baby's bum. I could be wrong here but it sure looks like birdseye to me. Is there anyone else out there who knows what birdseye is?

It is time to keep smocking. As soon as the little insert is done I will start putting things together. I will use a faced hem and the bodice is lined. For those I will use a cotton batiste. This dress is a bit of a risk. Hopefully my thinking outside of the box will pay off. It doesn't always but that is what seam rippers are for......Bunny

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Tablecloth Dress Begins


The third times the charm! It took three attempts to finally get my fabric pleated. Oh, it pleated like butter. The problem was the "pleator", moi! The first try was off  off grain as you can see in the picture.  I decided to redo the pleating. I was pleased with how smooth it went through the needles. Second try had me with stitches missing, who knows why? The third attempt it all came out right with the stripe very even. Now I am happy.

I am going to attempt something called template smocking which is an artistically  realistic version done in  picture smocking. I copied part of one of the floral sprays but clearly it needs to be simplified. So a little more tweaking is in order while my pleats set up in the sunshine. I soaked them with spray starch and rather than just wait overnight I set them out in the hot sun. I figure it will dry in no time in this weather. Hope you are all staying cool!
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I am a HUGE fan of  Amy Winehouse. I often thought, as I heard of her struggles with substance abuse, of the comparison with Judy Garland. They were both tremendous talents whose voices belied such a vulnerability that it seductively pulled you in to listen closer. I always had the feeling she would not last long. She is gone way before her time and way before her potential was ever fully tapped. Let this please, please be one more reminder of the scourge of substance abuse that plagues society. But do we ever learn?

My condolences to her family. It is always much more tragic to lose someone of such a young age....Bunny

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lots Going On!

And the WINNER of the set of pewter clasps is, tah dah,,,,,,,,,,,,(tension building).....Joyce in NC!!!
Email me, Joyce, at bunnypep at wildblue dot net with your snail mail address. I am changing my ISP next week and will have a new email next Thursday so get in right away on the old addie. Our little village is going BROADBAND, YAHOOOOOOO!!!! More on that next week.
 
Tonight at Eight O'Clock I will post the winner of the  pewter clasps! I will stick the announcement right at the top of this post. 
 Above you can see a mint condition 1950s card table cloth. I picked this up in a yard sale down in No. Andover, Mass. What you can't see here is the lovely texture and heft of the fabric. This is not thin cotton but more like a huck cloth.  The minute I saw it I knew it would be perfect for a dress for Carly, my granddaughter with the big blue eyes and platinum blond hair, just perfect. The challenge has been to figure out what to make and how to get what I need out of a 54 inch square with serious borders. It's a bit of a puzzle but today I figured it all out. 

The X'd out areas will not  be used in the dress but every other rectangle is a particular part of the design. So I have enough! I will be using  just a small part of Butterick 5020, the tiny bodice.  I wanted smocking on this and it will fit right into that center bodice section. Now I have my handwork project and will try to get it pleated tomorrow. I will be trying a new sort of smocking here, at least new for me, so we will see how that goes.
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My BFF has 5 weddings to attend this summer, pretty much among the same crowd. I fixed a hem issue on this bias skirt of the dress and did a refashion on the top she will wear with it as it will be a nightime wedding for this garment. Here is the original cardigan. It is an olive green rachel knit and has the tiniest olive green sequins in it, lovely fabric hard to appreciate on camera.

The dress is cut on the bias with an asymmetrical layered hem. The fabric is silk chiffon print with a few sequins here and there on the motifs. The bodice is a very low cowl and the sheer dress has a lovely higher necked black lace slip underneath, very pretty. She is small like me. We both decided the cardigan had great fabric but would look a lot better if cut to the shape of a shrug. Here is the result. I like it and she is very happy.
This appears much dressier when you see it in person and it is really pretty on her with her green eyes and blondish hair.

See you at eight o'clock!...Bunny


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Stripes continue! Simp 2593

I have stripes on the brain. If I had my Pfaff I would do another striped knit after this top. They are just such fun to work with.

Pattern:  This is Simplicity 2593, a Cynthia Rowley design. It really is just a simple little tank with a bias tube collar.  No darts. The bust dart is rotated to a gathered neckline hiding under the bias tube.

Fabric: Fabric, I think is from Ima's legacy. It is a really fine cotton shirting, very menswear. It is so soft and appears to have a nice thread count. The stripe is woven in and it is exactly the same from both sides. That is important in making the collar on this pattern.

Construction:  Another sign of  quality is the fact that the grain and stripe line up beautifully in a perfect 45ยบ angle. Its harder and harder to find fabric on grain and this one is.
This is such a simple little top. I used French seams for the shoulders and sides. I also used the Baby Hem method for the hem but added another row of stitching an 1/8th of an inch away.The hem out of the enveloped is straight across. I chose to shape it at the side seam curving up an inch and a half and then tapering back down.
The method for making the tube is very simple. You cut two bias pieces and seam together leaving the first and last 3 inches unsewn. Turn right side out and press. Then twist the tube 4 times. Now stitch the ends together and then closeup with hand stitching. Put the blouse on your dress form and pin the collar in place. Hand tack down to the shirt. Bingo! Do the hem and shirt done! I think its a lot of bang for way small effort. I love the back neckline but you can twist the tube any way you prefer.
Too much fun and too easy!
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I can't wait to start on this pattern for a lovely soft blue knit I have. I will wait till my machine returns however. In the meantime it will be wovens only!

At dinner last night we thouroughly enjoyed this batch of fresh peas from our Amish neighbors. They were so sweet. I think shelling peas  beats a cocktail at happy hour.......Bunny

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vogue 1109, Sandra Betzina Knit Top

I had myself all dolled up and in my new nautical garb and could not get my remote to work on my camera. Since my devastatingly handsome photographer was not available today, you get the dress form version. Hope this doesn't sound weird but it looks better on a live human than a stiff dress form. Now that all the disclaimers have been filed, here is the good stuff.

Pattern:  Vogue 1109, a Sandra Betzina Today's Fit pattern. It is described as a multi pieced pullover top with pleated sleeves and sleeve bands. The pattern shows it using a stripe or color blocked. I think fabricating this in anything else would be sort of pointless. It is all about playing with those pieces here.

The pattern fits well. I started with a C at the top and moved out to a D as I got to the hips. I found this pattern took me quite a bit of time, at least 8 hours. Part of that was dealing with an ancient machine, no IDT on the machine, and not the greatest zigzag options either. A lot of care needs to be paid to the notches and other marks. I found missing notches and missing directions. Odd, that no one else noticed this on PR.
Direction number 4 tells you to attach the middle front to the upper front, number 2. It never says to connect anything to the front bottom, number 3. I guess you are supposed figure it out from the photo but a beginner who is concentrating on all these stripes and pieces really needs that missing information. I also found that notches were missing. Look at these sleeve pieces. The middle notch is missing and of course I didn't pick that up until I was looking for it on the fabric. Also at the sleeve top back the top is marked with squares. On the sleeve front the top of the sleeve is marked with circles, more confusion. I think if you know this before doing this pattern you will be fine, but this could be a  fwadder for the less experienced.  What's a "fwadder"? A wadder that gets tossed in the corner because you are too frustrated to continue. It happens to all of us!

Fabric: This was listed as a poly/lycra knit. It is from the clearance area in Joann's in Middleton, Mass. I tell you they had quite the knit selection in this store. It's a biggie. It is very stretchy, four way, which the pattern recommends. I did find this much like sewing charmeuse, being very slippery and needing a lot of control. I know the IDT on my Pfaff would have helped a lot here. I used the Crayola markers and washed the top in the sink quickly to remove them before hemming. Worked like a charm.

Construction:  This pattern requires care in matching corners and seams. I would not sew any seam to the end, ending instead 5/8 inch from the edge. This will make match all those corners together easier. I did do the following fit adjustments before starting:
  •  Removed a half inch across the upper bodice in back and front between shoulder and chest.
  •  Added a seam to the center back to facilitate a swayback adjustment. 
  •  For the  swayback adjustment I cut a line across the back bodice at the cb  waist, leaving it hinged at the side. I then overlapped this to take out an inch at CB going out to nothing at the side seam. 
  •  On the sleeves I folded out a 1/2 inch across the cap to match what was taken out of the bodice. I am very short and the sleeves ended right where they should have. If you have long arms you may want to lengthen the sleeve. 
  •  I extended from size C to size D starting at 2 inches below the armhole, Betzina's suggestion. 
The top is not completely hemmed in the pictures above. I merely fused the steam a seam. I am going to wait until my Pfaff returns and double needle the hem. 
    All in all I think the pattern is a winner. It's a great design. The instructions that are there are very clear and more than you usually get. Just be aware of the marking issues if you make this.

    And now to answer some questions from yesterday's post:
    Susan asked:
    "I also sew with a Pfaff machine, love the built-in integrated feed. Do you ever have issues with your thread shredding while embroidering using the Pfaff?"
    Susan, I also am crazy fro the intergrated feed, or IDT. I do not have an embroidery machine. Not sure I ever will as I have never quite felt the need. I enjoy handwork so much so that is how I do my embellishments.

    Sharon asked:
    "When you are matching stripe or plaid do you ever slip baste?"
    I usually do but not being a very experienced knit sewist, I was afraid I might snag the fabric. So instead I chose to use silk pins. They are very fine and sharp. That worked great. 

    Not sure what my next project will be . It may be another top, a simple one or some white pants, or a muslin for my next Chanel. I am also on the prow for some handwork as well. I am trying to think of how to incorporate some handwork into my first attempt at a frame bag. The frame bag should be fun and you will all be learning right along with me. Frame bags are a new experience for me. I just have to find the right glue that is necessary..............Bunny

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Vogue 1109, Striped Knit Top

    I really thought I would be done today but no way. I had to pay lots of attention to the stripes and this old Kenmore, who is serving me without complaint while my Pfaff gets fixed, is not up to great knit sewing. However, if I go slow and pay lots of attention I can pull of something fairly reasonable. This project has really made me appreciate my Pfaff and how much more professional it has made my work appear. 
    Here you can see the back bodice. This piece should have been cut on the fold. Because I am totally swayback I added seam allowances and cut the back up the middle along the fold. To deal with the pattern piece, I did a wedge of nearly an inch at center back tapering to nothing at the sides, right at the point where you see the bodice get narrow. If you look at the lower edge of the piece above you can see how the edge indents and the lower right edge moves outward, the better to accomodate my swayback waist and fanny. There is a pin in each stripe to help the sewing along. The bottom of the bodice does a very slight chevron due to the wedge that was folded out. That's OK with me.
    Whew!...The stripes matched. There are so many angles on these pattern pieces that you can only match so much. On this center back bodice seam I added the matching was critical.

    As per Betzina's instruction, a miniscule zigzag is used to stitch the seams and then they are serged off. I really missed my Pfaff here as the stitch quality for this type of stitch is much better on the Pfaff. I know this top would have come out better with the other machine but ya got what ya got. At least I got and I am thankful for that!

    All that remains is to complete the collar band which runs from one end of the sleeve to the end of the opposite sleeve. That and the cuffs will put me in modeling mode!
    The first thing I do most mornings is throw a load of wash in. That usually happens about 6:00am. Then I get to go out and in the early morning have a somewhat meditational moment as each piece gets picked out and pinned to the line. As I try to pull out and pin like things together and slide the line out towards the tree some sort of crazy calm comes over me. I look around at the fields and birds, maybe a bit of haze, maybe a few turkeys, maybe some new blooms in the garden, and I feel all is right with the world and another glorious day awaits me....Bunny

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Sandra Betzina Knit Top

    I have started work on Vogue 1109, a Sandra Betzina pattern. It is for a knit top and I will be making it in a blue and white stripe knit. I have always loved stripes and the magical things they can do to a garment. Remember those old movies with the Adrienne suits? Love that stuff! This fabric is a wicked four way stretch that I picked up at Joanns in Massachusetts. They had quite a knit selection there.


    I spent quite a bit of time yesterday making all my usual adjustments. I "petited" the pattern first. At the top of the pattern I cut a C and moved out to a D at the hips. I don't like knits that fit snugly so the C and D will give me some wanted ease. I can always take it in if it is too much. I have not had good luck in the past fitting SB's patterns. I tried to go by  the book this time following the recommendations in the pattern. We will see how it fits. I would love to try more of SB's patterns and will if I can get this one to work. My previous attempts were awful failures.

     One thing SB stresses is accurate marking.
    I decided to try something I have read about recently and have to say I am very pleased. This pattern required all sorts of markings and having different colored water erasable markers really helped. I used Crayola washable markers. I did a sample first and they all washed out easily and beautifully. You can see a bit of my striped knit, all clean, with no markings. I also ironed the heck out of the sample to see if this affected anything as it can with other markers. Ironing was uneventful.  Then I made a legend in my journal and proceeded to mark the different circles, squares, etc on the pattern.

    At this point the entire front bodice is complete, including sleeves. Once this was altered and marked it went together very quickly. I should have this complete by tomorrow morning. Hope to get it modeled for you with some white jeans.
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    I splurged. I needed lining for my next Chanel jacket. I mentioned that I purchased an acrylic boucle from Joanns for very small money. I love it  but I was afraid how the fabric would hold up. I cut a 7 inch square, serged the edges and put thru a  few wash and dryer loads, something I will never do with the jacket. It has held up beautifully so I am having no problem spending on this beautiful silk charmeuse for the lining. I have been searching and searching and finally found this lovely watercolor print from Thai silks. They got it here in four days and now  I am ready to get going on this project. This time I will use the more contemporary methods from Threads, I think issue #128. If that is the wrong issue I will let you know. Tomorrow I will prep the fabrics. First I need to make a new muslin, however. I have decided on a different pattern this time, one that meets at CF. This will eliminate the bound buttonholes. There are also no sleeve vents. I am on the fence on that one and may just add them.

    I am currently without a hand project. I am thinking something for Carly but also have a few babies coming up in the fall. I just need to know the gender and then I can get going on those projects. 
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    Click on the post for 07/15/11 if you are interested in the giveaway. You will need to leave a comment. I ask that you let me know what you particularly enjoy about the blog. I wanted to get a vibe for what my readers were searching out and enjoying. Handbags and heirloom sewing are running neck and neck for first place. I will try to keep more of what you like coming. My question was really just one of curiosity that I thought would be fun to attach to the giveaway. Instead is seems like I am being showered with lovely comments and thoughts. Thank you all so much. The drawing will be next Friday at 8:00pm eastern....Bunny

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Giveaway!!!

    In my absence we passed the 350 follower mark! Thank you to all who follow. Your readership and comments are VERY appreciated. I would like to celebrate this milestone as well as thank you all with a small, but I think nice, giveaway.

    Above you see part of a set of six pair of pewter closures. These would be lovely on a sweater, a boiled wool jacket, or any wool item. Some time ago I was gifted quite a few of these by a button store owner going out of business. How generous! I would like to share with you enough for your sweater or jacket. They really are lovely and I have used several sets over the years.

    All you need to do is leave a comment about what you like best about the blog. Is it heirloom sewing, handbags, adult sewing, fitting, or even a particular post or tute you have enjoyed? Let me know in your comment and there will be a random drawing next Friday night at 8:00PM, July 22.

    The past few days I have been stabbing myself with needles every time I pick up my pin cushion. I decided to sit down and push out all the hidden needles I could from the innards. It was stabbing work, but when done I came up with 25 needles that were lost in the sawdust deep within the pin cushion. 25!!! How many are hiding inside your pincushion?....Bunny
     

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    The Glorified Pillowcase Dress and a Summer Blouse

       
    Pattern:  This is a Daisy Kingdom pattern from Simplicity, 2433 and I did a size 5. This is what many call a Pillowcase Dress where the top of the pillowcase is slit, armholes bound, and a tie put thru a casing at the top, a darling idea if you have some vintage PCs handy. Here, Daisy Kingdom has glorified it further with the ruffle at the top making the casing and a ruffle added at the bottom. I kicked it up another notch, I hope, with the addition of a 6 inch bias ruffle underneath the DK ruffle, piping around the bound armholes, and piping between the hem edge and the ruffles.  
    ETA: I wanted to add that I also added 8 inches of width to the skirt width. I felt the given pattern did not have enough width for a good "twirl factor". I did this by simply placing the CB and CF two inches in from the fold.  I am really glad I did this. Also, the piping at the hem edge helps the hem stand out and twirl better as well. We all know how important the twirlability factor is!

    Sophie had a great deal of input on this. I pulled out all my children's patterns and this is what she picked to work on with Grandma. We then went to Joanns where, with a great deal of psychology, I was able to steer her away from the pink knit sparklies that you see on every little girl. I showed her what colors flattered her dark skin, she agreed, at 6 years old, and picked out the two needed fabrics. Once home I showed her how it would be much prettier and show off  her print choice better if there was a bit of contrast. I pulled some fabrics and she picked the purple ombre one. Grandma was in total agreement. She cut out pattern tissues, held the piping ball as it fed into the piping foot, and was just generally enthralled with the entire process. Every morning and afternoon I'd ask her if she wanted to this or that and the answer was always "no, let's go down to your room to sew."  In a heartbeat! I offered to have her sit at the machine and try stitching herself but the answer  was always "No." I am sure she will let me know when she is ready.

    Halfway thru making the dress she picked up a silk flower from the kitchen floor that blew in off of my door wreath. She said, "Bunbun, this would be really pretty on my dress." I completed the dress after she left and felt it was just lacking something. I put the little silk flower on it and lo and behold, it was just the ticket. I went and yanked about 6 more off of the wreath and embroidered them onto the dress flowers with big orange French knots. It made a big difference.  At this point, I would say Sophie has a pretty good design sense. We are both looking forward to sewing together again.I can't wait. 

    Fabric: We purchased two coordinating quilting cottons from JAs. The ombre purple/orange was from the stash and also 100% cotton. No other notions were necessary. 
    Pattern:  Simplicity 2501, a TNT blouse pattern. This is one of the patterns that comes in various cup sizes which I love. I usually use a size 6 with the C cup front and some width added in the hips. 

    Fabric: 100% handkerchief linen, really lovely fabric to sew. The sheerness of hanky linen needed to be dealt with, however. 

    Construction: The fabric is quite sheer. The bodice was done with two layers, wrong sides facing each other as in any lining situation. This made for a pretty inside. The peplum is finished with a baby hem as shown in the tute on the right. This pattern has facings which I did not want or need. Instead I bound the armholes, CF, and neckline with white bias tape. The edges were then topstiched and on the inside hand stitched to the lining. If I were to make this again and there is a big possibility of that, I would change the bias ruffle. I don't think it is big enough. The width is fine but I think the circle needed to be cut so there was more length in the outside edge. This would help the ruffle drape a little better, IMO. To me it  just looks like it doesn't have enough fabric in the drape. Other than that I am pleased. I am sure it will be a wrinkly, very comfortable mess within 5 minutes of putting it on but that's OK and what I love about linen. It is the ultimate summer fabric, so comfortable. 
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    Have you ever had a time in your life when everything has broken, or at least so it seems? In the past month we have had to do major repair work on our car, my camera has been on the fritz and is going to the camera doctor Saturday. Last week our computer crashed and was just plain old enough to be replaced. We lost a lot of data but at this point most of the software has been reloaded and we are back in business.  Sophie's dress required two different thread  colors and I placed the unused thread color on top of my machine. DON'T DO THIS.  While concentrating on my presser foot edge I didn't see the dangling thread of that other spool get sucked into the machine by way of the bobbin winder and get pulled in and tangled around the motor. The machine went into a horrid spasm and I think one more stitch would have killed it for sure. Luckily DD was visiting and took it back to NH to be fixed. I will pick it up when I go down to help her move at the end of the month. There is no one, I say NO ONE, that I can find in Northern NY who can fix a computerized machine. Thanks heavens for my trusty Kenmore back up. When I went to serge the edges of the ruffles on Sophie's dress the serger crapped out as well. Why not join the party?!? I swear if my washer or dryer goes I will jump off a bridge. 

    Between company, which we love, enjoying our garden and the fabulous summer weather the Adirondacks are known for, and getting everything repaired around here, it's a miracle I got anything sewn. At this point most of the software has been reloaded into the new computer. I am taking few pictures but having to majorly manipulate them in Photoscape. Things have settled down a bit. I hope to get going on a few knit tops soon, not my field of expertise. I thank you all for your patience while I have been absent. I also ask for more of it, shameless that I am, in regards to my photos. You don't know what I had to go through to get just these few photos up. Hopefully that will all be fixed soon. 
    I know many bloggers are on a bit of a sabbatical right now. One by one we will trickle back in, I am sure. I can't wait to see what other have purchased and are sewing for Fall. Did I really say that? Fall? I will leave you with a picture of my lilies.








    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    If I Could.....

        I would show you lots of pictures regarding the past two weeks I have been missing. Unfortunately, my seven (!) year old battery died on my Cannon G6 and another is being shipped to me as we speak. Thank you, Radio Shack! That camera would be showing you the following: 
    •  The great royal blue and white 4 way stretch I picked up on the cheapo at Joann's in Middleton, Mass. That is one huge store!
    •  The bag feet and purse frame also purchased there. Our little JAs doesn't have this big selection of purse goodies and it was a treat to shop them in the big store. I am really anxious to try making a bag with a frame so that is in the queue now.
    •  The gorgeous brown and stark white viscose suit/dress weight I purchased at The Fix. I also got some interfacings there  which they are now carrying, the nice 60 inch wide ones.
    •  The mint condition vintage tablecloth of grey blue with its dogwood blossoms and white border that would make a darling dress for Carly.How to use it to its advantage is running around in my mind a lot.
    •   I would be plying you with pics of my granddaughter, totally enthralled with sewing with her Grandma Bunbun. She is so in to it I can't believe it. She just seems to consume everything that I tell her. Like her grandma at that age, she needs constant challenge and also like grandma, sewing gives her that. She has cut out pattern pieces and helped hold the string while we made piping, etc. It is such a delight.
    •  Pics of the fabric she picked out on her own, well, with a bit of psychology from Bunbun. It was not easy steering her away from the pink sparkle butterfly fabric to the orange blue print that will compliment her dark skin so nicely. I am soooooo sick of little girls in pink sparkly knit. I know they like it but can't moms find other fashion inspiration? 
    • I might even slip in a pic of one bushed Grandma after taking care of twin 3 year olds and their 8 yr old big brother while Mom and Dad are away on family business the other side of the country for almost a week. 
     I can show you the two patterns I picked up this morning at JAs with the Vogue sale. First Vogue 1109.

    and Vogue 8649.
     I have been accumulating knits and really need to get going on some. My concern with the first pattern is that it is a Betzina pattern and the two times I have used a Betzina pattern the fit has been horrendous despite flat measuring, etc. Any hints from anybody out there would be greatly appreciated. I do have a couple of great stripes I could use for this pattern.

    The last pattern  I love, so far, anyway. The back has a CB seam and a waistline seam, all the better to accommodate my swayback. I also like the 3/4 length sleeves as well.

    I have another wave of company arriving Tuesday and staying till the end of the week. It will fill our home with the laughter and joy of 3 grandchildren building forts, running through the meadows, fishing with their Grandpa, and being spoiled rotten. Till my cam returns to business and my house is once again quiet.....Have a happy Fourth!....Bunny