Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gimme Zippers - Gimme Buttons!

I've sewn quite a bit in my life beginning when I was a teenager on a vintage Singer sewing machine. Well, it wasn't vintage at the time but you get the idea. I so badly wanted a Touch and Sew so that I could make buttonholes! I even tried hand sewn buttonholes and my Mom - bless her heart - said they were perfect but I wasn't satisfied.

Today while I was sewing my granddaughters headbands, they were so interested in my sewing machine and the stitches. They stood beside me - and I mean close beside me - and watched the whole process. Kids after my own heart! They are only five and six years old and proceeded to put in their orders for blue and purple dresses! So cute!

Getting back to the zipper and button issue - I avoided buttonholes like the plague. Lapped zippers too and refused to make anything with either. You know how that limited my choices, right?

This time around, I've made up my mind to not only master lapped zippers but fly front's too and I'm going to become a buttonhole master. I'm going to practice on fabric = knits, woven's and stretch woven's and I'm going to do a darn good job - at least, I'm going to practice until I can. No more avoidance for me!

There's no excuse for either. I have a variety of machines with different types of buttonholes - from 4-step to fully automatic. If I can't master it now, I never will!

The best tutorial I've found for buttonholes is at youcanmakethis.com and it's called buttonholing basics. Regarding the fly front zippers, everyone kept mentioning Sandra Betzina's directions in Power Sewing so I ordered the book off Amazon. She also has a video but in case I didn't have internet access - I wanted written instructions.

I've just read Fashion Incubator and her Core Skills post. Before I can be a sewist (almost wrote sewer) who produces fine quality garments, I'll need to practice a few things. Zipper installation and buttonholes are two of those. The rest I'll get by garment construction, hopefully not producing too many wadders in the process. I've purchased most of the notions I need to start, God knows I have the machines now and also have just received fabric. On to sewing I think!

I'll be moving soon and I'm packing and am determined to become a minimalist. It might take me a while but soon I'll have tutorials here for zippers and buttonholes. After all - they say if you want to learn it, teach it - right?

Have a great day!

I love my Viking Platinum Plus - it just purrs!

Now I understand what people mean when they talk about their sewing machines "purring". I love my Viking Platinum Plus! I was making headbands for my granddaughters today and it runs so smooth and quiet.

I've sewn on Singer's all my life and presently have a few vintage machines and also a Stylist 7258. I like the Singer, don't get me wrong but I can tell when I sew on my Viking that it's a good machine. It's substantial and the stitches are beautiful.

I've received the linen/rayon blend that I ordered off eBay. The coral I am very happy with but I was expecting a lighter white but instead, I received an almost natural color linen. Still very nice, mind you but it's a little different from the picture. Isn't that to be expected?

I'm waiting until I get all I've ordered before I prepare it or cut into it, then into the washer it will go. I've read that if you wash it a few times, the wrinkles will be less after sewing it into a garment. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm also hoping to soften it a bit - it has a nice drape now but there is a skirt I want to sew it out of and I'm reluctant right now.

Isn't this the cutest skirt? I'm inspired by it and have considered making something similar out of the creamy white/natural linen with wood buttons going down the front. I'd make a coral jacket also with the wood buttons and a shell out of the print. Might work, huh?

By the way, the picture is from the Collette website and is their Beignet pattern. If I hadn't already chosen patterns, I would buy this one but hey! - it's on my list!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Links to Ruffle Skirt Tutorials

I found the cutest things for my grand daughters and they will love them! I didn't want to lose the links - so here they are! The first ones I make is going to be out of repurposed t-shirt fabric and elastic I have on hand. The next will be out of the ruffle fabric - love it!

Ruffle fabric 

Amazon.com white ruffle fabric

Ombre Ruffle Fabric from Vogue Fabrics

 Ruffle Skirt Tutorials

Knit ruffle skirt tutorial with many tips - adult sized but good info for kids.

Crafterhours tutorials - many skirts for kids.

Scrap fabric layered ruffle skirt tutorial - well, you get the idea!

Kids ladylike skirt tutorial

I'll be posting pics as soon as they visit and I can get their measurements!

Button, button! Who's got the button?

I went on quite a shopping spree the last few days. I'm determined to have what I need here to sew and my bank account could testify to that fact!

I bought vintage buttons off eBay - pounds of them to be exact! I'll have over 5 pounds when they arrive. Then I made the mistake of going to Sawyer Brooks. What lovely fabric they have! Wish I would have paid them a visit before I went shopping because even through the monitor, the quality of their fabrics is evident. Take a trip to their website and while you're there - read the "Finding Closures" blog.

And Buttons? I'm crazy for them. I recently read that closures can make or break a garment. I think it was in Nancy Nix Rice's newsletter that I read the suggestion of vintage buttons on eBay but my, oh my! Those Sawyer Brooks buttons are beautiful.

Strange that I can admire something so trivial, isn't it? Still, they are beautiful. And look at these shawl pins:

Spirale Metal Kilt Style Shawl Pin

Friday, May 4, 2012

Summer 2012 Wardrobe 6pac

I've never planned a wardrobe before and I have to tell you - it's work! Not only is it difficult but I'm now second guessing my choices. Oh well - the majority will work it's just that the coral is a little brighter than I'm use to wearing. Everyone tells me I'm a Spring and should be wearing brighter colors - we'll see! I hope I'm comfortable in them rather than my usual stand by of black and beige. Quite dreary, isn't it?

The coral and white are a linen/rayon blend, the cocoa is a poly/cotton sheeting, the prints are a knit blend - modal and something else, and there is also a white rayon tissue jersey in the mix. All I know is that I have to wash on cold and hang to dry.

Choosing fabrics isn't easy online. I spent hours pouring over sites and I hope when the fabrics arrive that they are compatible. I have white lining fabric just in case the linen isn't opaque and I plan to wear a white camisole with the tissue jersey shrug in the hottest weather.

Elizabeth from Stitcher's Guild reminds me to keep the pieces to six. I'm going to have a difficult time with that concept. As much as I'd like to simplify my wardrobe, I'm not sure it will give me enough choices. I am going to start and finish six to begin with however. If this weather we're having now is any indication of what the summer is going to be like - I'd better bet a move on.

More Prep for Sewing or ~ I Went Shopping!

Funny how expensive sewing is especially when you have to purchase notions, thread, attachments and machines.

Okay, I guess I didn't have to buy so many machines. I'll give ya that!

I just changed my plan for the Summer 6pac 2012 at Stitcher's Guild. Disregard the last post regarding the fabric - I decided not to go with those colors. What is consistent besides change?

I've bought Metrosene thread in a variety of colors, buttons - and have more that I'm bidding on, zippers at ZipperStop, vintage sewing scissors and a walking foot so I can finish my quilt.

I also bought fabric:

You won't find this pattern at Hot Patterns - it's from the free projects at Fabric.com.
In addition, I've also bought white jersey knit for a top. The printed fabrics are knit also and I plan to make a shrug or two from a free pattern by Hot Patterns on Fabric.com. The beige fabric is a knit chiffon. The cocoa brown fabric is made out of poly/cotton, the coral and white solids are linen/rayon. I bought 3 yards of each fabric and now I'm trying to figure out what pattern I want to use. I am making capri's and skirts for the bottoms but since I've changed my fabric, I have to change the style of skirt. It will be straight and just above the knee.

The plan is to make shrugs and tops out of the print fabric, inner columns out of the solids and capri's and skirt out of the brown. I'm trying to follow Nancy Nix Rice's wardrobe plan in addition to sewing for the 6pac. All plans are subject to change, however! 

This is quite a change for me because I usually wear black and beige or taupe. My family has told me that I need some color and I guess I've got it now, don't I?