Sunday, April 28, 2013

She Won!



My congratulations to the fabulous and wonderful Ann Rowley on her win on the Great British Sewing Bee. They were all wonderful sewists, each in their own special way, but Ann's experience and knowledge could not be overcome. Her reward is well deserved. Go Ann!!!

(If you want to see the Great British Sewing Bee just go to youtube and search. There are four programs and make sure you watch them in sequence. A big thank you to those who put up the videos.)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Upcycle a la "Antipast"


"Antipast" is one of several designers carried  by shop in Charleston, S. Carolina that also has a website. It is called Worthwhile.  I saw this top and fell in love with it. I can't seem to find a price for it but haven't found anything in their store under 395.00. We're talking 695-895.00 for skirts. I originally saw this on Pinterest and thought, "what a great recycle." While I still think it is nothing more than a recycle it is not being marketed as such.


   This top is basically a tee made from voile with a sweater cut apart and appliqued to the top. As I said I love the concept but the execution of a garment selling for over four hundred dollars is horrible. Check out the side vent:

 

So duly inspired I am attempting to make my own interpretation of this garment. I have a white crochet top that shrunk horrendously but I don't throw out anything handmade. It seems to have sort of felted because cutting it is like cutting iron and it doesn't seem to fall apart despite being cut. I was taking all sorts of precautions when I cut the first slice but quickly realized  I could just slice into it then stitch away. Here is how I started. 

First I picked my pattern. I decided to use my now TNT top pattern that I just made the pintucked damask top with, Simp 2192, a Cynthia Rowley design.  Once that was decided it was time to cut the crocheted top.  It was easy . This is a rough cut. It will be fine tuned later.

Here is the fabric I am using for the tee. I wanted a lot of texture in this. I also wanted something with the sheer factor fairly obvious. I decided on this 100% cotton batiste with some flowers on it.

I added center front and center back seams to my pattern. I liked seeing the seams between the sweater parts. The CB and CF seams and also the shoulder seams were put together with french seams. This fabric has been really nice to work with. Aren't all totally natural fibers?  The next thing to do before adding the sweater parts was to finish the neckline. At first I thought I might do the Kenneth King tiny hem and then over wrap it with perle cotton for more texture. Then I remembered I had a mess of entredeaux. So I finished the neckline with a simple traditional application of the entredeaux. I love entredeaux.




 I trimmed 3/8s of an inch off of the neckline seam, leaving me a 1/4 inch seam. I cut the entredeaux edges back to a quarter inch as well. Then I just placed right sides together, raw edges matching, and stitched right up to the entredeaux with my edge stitching foot. You can see the blade running right next to it. This was then pressed to the wrong side of the neckline and once again using the ES foot and 3 clicks to the left I topstitched the entredeaux on the right side.Then I removed the remaining batiste from the entredeaux.


Once this seaming and neckline were done I had a pallet to work with. I put the top on my dress form and played with placement of the sweater parts. I decided the best look would be to cut around some of the circular shapes of the sweater parts. I also wanted a good amount of batiste showing at the hemline. I started snipping and pinning till it fulfilled my vision. Right now I am in the process of hand sewing the sweater fronts to the fabric with size 80 cotton thread. It literally is invisible. So in this top so far I have french seams, entredeaux, and appliqueing with heirloom very fine size 80 thread. It will be different looking than the inspiration but I think will make a fun light summer top.
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Blogging and sewing have been sporadic. White shirt number two has been in a lump on my couch with a pile of buttons sitting on top. I just haven't gotten to it, but I will soon. My darling hubby is not doing well and his situation is worsening. He is not in a life threatening situation but is in extreme pain and other nasty things like total bed rest. We will leave northern NY this week for Beth Israel/Deaconess hospital in Boston and hopefully resolution and recovery. I am not sure when the next blogpost will be but will try my hardest to make it as soon as possible. Sewing and blogging connect me to the most wonderful people and give me the most satisfying feeling. It would be hard to give up anything that special. So, I will be back hopefully soon but probably not too predictably....Bunny


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Overdressed?

Well not in that I wore pearls and heels to weed the garden type of overdressed. No. But these pants are straight out of the book "Overdressed" by Elizabeth Cline.


For those of you who may be curvey, hour-glassey petites, Gloria Vanderbuilt makes the "Amanda" jean. It actually clings to the lower back and gives you a brief moment where you say, "am I just imagining that swayback issue I have?" They also have this actually yummy elastic used in the waist construction that would suck any smallish sewist right up to the cash register. It appears to be a design that started out as a great idea but now look what has happened.

 
View of the side seam as it lovingly caresses my ankle. Now that hangs straight down form my side waist doesn't it?

Here's the other leg. It wants to kiss my toes with it's side seam.


Then there is  trying to iron the dang things. Yes, I iron my jeans. We are allowed to wear them to work as long as we look put together, no sloppy jean look, so I iron them. Well, leaving them laying in the dryer for a couple days on end also inspires my ironing. Ironing these pants is a twist and shout dance routine. 

OK, Gloria V., we know you are extremely proud of your boy Anderson, but can we show a little pride in the cutting of your jeans? please? You've got the fit Ok. Don't spoil it with trash cutting. I really want to buy more. And that trick you do that shows a perfectly straight on grain pair of jeans when I try them on in the dressing room? I'm on to you. With each wash they twist more and more. I think they are trying to twist their way back to China. Should I write A.C. about this issue? He's always "just keeping them honest." Maybe he'll make an honest woman out of you?...............
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My next project is in the hopper. The seersucker shirt is spinning in the dryer hopefully regaining is blistery little seersuckers after having the bejeepers ironed out of them. Crossing my fingers for the moment I open the dryer looking for those tiny bubbles.  A good thing:


The buttonholes were perfection. Do you think I need a new BH attachment?  You can see where I have literally worn down the template. Duct tape holds it together as it has a crack across. There must be a place I can find after a night of googling that will mail me a new one. Got to check that out. Love this machine even if it weighs two tons and is half as old as I am. It makes the best BHs I have ever seen.
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Here is the next project. the fabric is a "quilting cotton". Ackkkk, I hear you gasp.I am still doing a bit of gasping myself but I wanted to sew a batik something for the summer and this one appealed to me. It has a nice soft hand, even after washing and drying so I think it will be fine. It will also be lined with a cotton batiste. I couldn't face a poly lining for anything outside of February, just too hot and sweaty. I think the batiste will be just right. The dress will be ANOTHER Marcy Tilton. Hey, stop throwing those tomatoes at me. I know I am a glutton for punishment but don't add to it, please. I just really love her designs. Since the big issue seems to always be the neckline upper chest area I think this one will be alright with it's mucho seams and draw string collar. I am still in the air over whether it will be sleeveless or cap sleeves. Maybe we'll mock up both ways and see what looks best. The pattern is Vogue, Marcy's home base, and number
8876. 
This just looks like a really comfy summer dress that will be great for work. Can't wait to get started...

Thanks, everyone, for all the kind wishes and congratulations about our anniversary. It was spent quietly and lovingly and your warm thoughts were taken to heart......Bunny

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Forty Three Years Today!



Happy Anniversary, Baby!
 
 
( Yes, I did make my gown and veil, Dior knock-off. My, were we covered up in those days!)

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee


You've got to see this! It is a one hour program that just started airing in Britain. Seven contestants vie for not sure what at this point other than bragging rights to be the best sewist in the British Isles. One of the stars is Master Stitcher, Ann Rowley, a yoga practicing septuagenarian who sews haute couture and frequents The Stitcher's Guild sewing forum at Artisan's Square. She is highly skilled, delightful, and a font of sewing wisdom and knowledge. Other contestants are a couple of very newbies, a mechanic, a hospital cleaner, and more. It makes for great TV and of course fabulous TV for any sewist to watch. It seems to be well produced as well.

This show aired Tuesday night. Let's hope the poster on Youtube  gets each weekly program on line. Shall we all write/email our local PBS stations to air a US version? I think so! Who would you pick to emcee, to judge, to be a contestant? Thought provoking fun!...Bunny

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vintage Gifts

 

Is this piece of bark cloth from the fifties not spectacular? A friend was cleaning out his deceased Mom's attic and she was an avid sewist. He brought me quite a few fabrics and offered to bring any I didn't want to the dump. I could have taken the whole pile but made a conscious decision which I shared with him  that I would only take what I would actually sew. I would sew this bark cloth into something in a heartbeat! I am thinking two large pillows for the living room couch or a big slouchy bag or a bag with some brown leather mixed in. What are your suggestions? I have always been crazy about bark cloth and in our last home did custom drapes in the living/dining areas out of a black bark cloth with giant white and lavender hydrangeas. Walls were soft yellow, white trim! 

This next one is a thin, but not too thin, missoni-ish knit. It is really nice and took the wash well. Maybe a sarong for the beach to hide that cottage cheese fermenting beneath my bum? OK, a bit too graphic so let's move on.....


 This one is so sweet. The dark areas you see are little tufts of fabric, sort of a dotted Swiss on steroids, very third dimensional. I think it could make a cute little summer top for Sophie or Carly.

They will sit out in the sun for the day just to make sure all attic odors that could be hiding are gone. Then on to the shelf. I just love me that barkcloth.....Bunny