Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Finish Skirt!

I have to say that pin tucks aren't as easy as they look. Using a twin needle and special foot may require a bit more practice. Maybe I missed something? There was certainly a lack of information online about sewing pin tucks. The lady at the sewing store did give me the tip about adjusting the bobbin tension. It worked somewhat, but I really really hate to mess with the tension on my machine.
Regardless of my troubles, the skirt is finally done and I plan on wearing it in public.

Tomorrow we leave for Panama. (Bocas Del Toro, Panama) We have some friends that are currently living there and they invited us down for a visit. We couldn't say no could we? This past weekend we spent some time preparing for our trip which included lots of laundry and a trip to Borders where I picked up two fun books. 99% of the time I am a non-fiction reader, but I needed some imagination and ended up purchasing Water for Elephants and The Friday Night Knitting Club (BOGO 1/2 off!) Jeff proceeded to tell me by just holding the Knitting Club book he was growing a set of ovaries. So I suppose I made a good plane ride reading choice. :)

48 hours before departure I decided that I needed a new bag to hold my new books. It took me over 8 days to finish the skirt. How would I finish a new bag? This is what it looked like this morning. I made it up as I went. Just measuring, cutting, interfacing, and sewing. No looking back.
It was finished a 7pm this evening. I got to use some new Amy Butler fabric. It's your standard over-sized tote with a pocket on each side of the exterior and 2 slip pocket, a zipper pocket and pen holder on the interior. 4'' finished gusset/ fully interfaced. Maybe you'll get an action shot of the finished bag and skirt in Panama!

See you all in about a week or so.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Almost Invisible Zipper

Boy, did I have a time with this zipper! Emily's comment about having to make things twice to get it right is so true. Since I drafted my own A-line skirt pattern using the Sew What! Skirts book there were a few learning experiences. One experience of course is this zipper. Thank goodness the vintage zipper I used is a perfect color match to the base color of the skirt. I tried to sew that zipper in twice with disastrous results. In the end I just hand basted the zipper in, used a hidden stitch to lay the seam flush with zipper and used a regular zipper foot to secure everything together. It looks neat so I guess that's all I can ask for!However, there was a slip of the seam ripper (on the second zipper removal session) that lead to a tear in the garment itself. I know heart attack right! So my new skirt already has a patch.
And to make matters a little worse the patch was on the front of the skirt. But I switched things around and now my zipper located on the right side of my body instead of the traditional left side. If I can't see it, it doesn't exist!

And I also learned all about darts. I just made a two dimensional object 3-dimensional! I did have to pull out some old sewing books to figure out how long the darts should be. Never found a straight answer about that but I did discover all darts (on bottom garments) should be pressed to the center of the garment. I suppose I never really noticed that before. There were more tips detailing the seamstress to shorten your stitches as you sew towards the point of the dart and to box knot the thread ends and leave a 1'' tail of thread so the dart point will be crisp and defined and the thread won't unravel with years of use.

All that's left is to add some pin tuck detailing at the bottom of the skirt and hem it up!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I got a date tonight

So I finally put my Sew What! Skirts book to use last night. Drafted a simple A-line skirt with zipper closure. After all I am going to Panama in a few week. Wait, I think I forgot to mention that on here before. So yeah, we are heading to the equator soon! So last night probably around 10 pm I thought to myself, well this would be a good time to attempt your first ever invisible zipper. 10 pm is never a good time to decide to try anything new. The book does not give instructions for invisible zippers so I followed the vintage instructions on the zipper packaging. Used my brand new invisible zipper foot. Thought I was awesome. Then I turned it over and zipped up the zipper....

So my date tonight is with my trusty standby: the seam ripper. But before I start that I am driving 20 minutes south to walk around a quaint downtown area that's hosting a late night crafting fair! And best of all I hope to meet some other local etsians, because apparently there is a local street team in these parts.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thanks for your honesty...

Last week I stopped by a local Mennonite fabric store to pick up some cheap zippers and they had this basket of patterns for sale all marked $.25. This little girls dress pattern is copyrighted 1965. I have been seeing so many great projects using these old pattern envelopes that I have started to pick them up when I see them.

Just yesterday morning I finally took it out of its bag for a closer look. I laughed out loud when I noticed the fine print warning under the pattern number....
I almost wish they had the same kind of warnings for adult patterns now-a-days. It could save a lot of frustration. What do you think? :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Container Garden

This year I have a green container garden. Mainly herbs and plants carried over from last year. These photo's were taken almost 3 weeks ago and I am amazed how much growth has happened since then. Here's the grand tour.... Basil with a small amount of parsley. I keep pinching back the basil and it keeps growing thicker and thicker. I have attemped to start two more plantings from seed, but some invisible bug keeps eating the little seedlings. I'll give it another go when I get back from this weekend.

Rosemary is the large plant. I have been grilling potatoes and steak with fresh springs off this plant and its all been delicious. This week I made my first ever lavender/rosemary hair rinse. It made my hair so shiny and I didn't even have to use conditioner to detangle. Amazing stuff. You can make out a few cilantro seedlings in the pot to the left.

This gerber daisy plant/ sweet potato vine is 3 years old. I have this pot when I lived in MI and my Mom was the first one to bring it inside before a frost and it keeps on surviving.

Oregano and thyme.

I charge by the minute to hang out next to this pot. Dwarf lavender (which is so fragrant even as foliage) and lambsears. It's so relaxing to sit and pet the lambsears and smell the lavender. All your troubles fade away! If you have a keen eye, you'll also notice a random sage plant in the pot too. When I bought the oregano and thyme the checkout lady gave me the sage plant for free. And I didn't have an extra pot so it landed there.

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!