Moon Princess Seam Conversion!

I finally got around to converting my basic sloper to princess seams.

Drafting the OG darted sloper proved a much more daunting task. Converting it to princess seams was…well…

In the interest of science, I read several tutes before choosing one to reference while I work. I like to find the commonalities to weed out any poor advice.

The front is where all the action is, so all the tutes focus on the front, for busty reasons.

You are basically removing the dart by placing the new seams on the outer edges of the old dart. It must go through the bust point and end on the outer edge of the waist dart. Thems the rules.

Beyond that, there is a fair amount of freedom in creating the curve.

I used the version of my sloper without a bust dart, since I knew where the bust point was and you fold out the bust dart anyway.

Draft #1 had too blunt of a curve coming down from the armscye. There was also too much curve to the adjoining side piece, creating a bump just below the bust point.

One thing I learned is: if it’s a bit of a struggle getting the side and front pieces to align, your drawn curves are too robust.

I marked these on my muslin with a sharpie. I raised the curve where it meets the armscye by an inch and made it more gradual, trimming some excess curve from the side piece to complete the alteration.

The back was so quick once I got the hang of the fundamentals, I actually did it right the first time.

The above white and pink cotton fabric I’ve been using to muslin is very old and made my hands feeling weirdly dry, so I threw it out and used this black muslin fabric going forward.

It’s the first time I’ve muslined with actual muslin! Apologies that it’s so hard to see any deets and so easy to see the lint.

My side pieces (heehee) need to be trued at the waist before I can start designing garments, but otherwise I’m ready to rock and roll!

Visions of blouses, vests, and a whole slew of jackets dance through my head. I also want to make my own version of the Deer&Doe Bleuet dress but with proper sleeves.

These seams lend themselves to easy color blocking as well…the possibilities are endless!

My main goal is a custom, fitted blazer. I have so many ideas, from plain to weird. Mostly I’m excited to draft jackets that fit both my shoulders and waist.

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You’re so square

Scraps purge part deux.

I cut a heckin’ lot of 5″ squares cleaning out my scraps.

They became some cute fabric bowls, “magic” bags, and a patchwork pillow case. The rest are destined to become a quilt and/or more cute, small things.

Magic Bags

I loved making these little bags. They are super easy, a perfect activity for a chilly afternoon. They look like something you’d use to carry your Gysahl Greens. And, in the literal sense, I may keep my Magic (yes, The Gathering) dice and tokens in one of these.

I used what I assume is the standard protocol of pouch assembly:

  • sew the shell and linings at the top and under stitch
  • lay it all open flat
  • stitch around the perimeter leaving a hole
  • turn
  • voila!

The button holes get put on before the bag is sewn together. I placed them 3/4″ down from the top of the bag.

I used a ladder stitch to close the opening. At first I was inclined to leave the opening in the lining. I chose to leave it in the shell instead as the fabric was sturdier and the lining takes all the weight.

Another note: I cut the lining’s bottom 1/4 inch shorter than the shell to reduce bulk at the bottom of the pouch.

Finally, I sewed two lines of stitching through both layers, creating a tunnel for the drawstring.

They are super cute and have the runchy paperbag top I wanted.

For the drawstring, I made bias tape and top stitched it. I tied a double knot at the ends of the drawstrings.

Fabric Bowls

I used more squares for a few fabric bowls, another chill project.

The shell for each bowl has lightweight interfacing for stability.

What transforms it from flat coaster to bowl is the tip stitching. Where the stitching is placed dictates how deep the bowl will be. Closer to the edge means more shallow. I made two 6″ bowls and two 5″ bowls.

I have used them while sewing, to hold feet and nippers. Sadly, they’re not cat proof. She loves to push items out of them.

An aside: The cat photo-bombed every single picture! For each one I got without a TeeTee in it, there are several with blurry cat.

She loves sewing because I play with strings and bits of paper AND she can lay on my ironing board/fabric/projects/tools, swatting at me when I try to work.

I also have one on my desk at work for paperclips.

Pillow Case

A patchwork pillowcase with an envelope opening. I misjudged how big I needed this to be and it turned out way too small for the pillow I intended to encase. It’s a weird size, so I think I might just make a custom pillow to go inside.

img_20180207_1747507729186138818252655.jpgHooray!

Scraps? Scraps!

My stash hurts like a warehouse, it has no room to spare. I had to cram so many scraps to store, everything in there…

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a stash full of remainders. Some are over a yard, others are teensy scraps squirrled way for pockets or bag linings. They comprise maybe half of my stash, stored in and around a liquor cabinet.

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Well, it’s meant to be a liquor cabinet, anyway. I inherited it from a friend of a friend; it was barely used. It has drawers, shelves, and cubbies ideal for liquor bottles and glasses…or sewing stuff.

The funny thing is, when I opened the velvet-lined drawers I found…spools of thread and dress pins. Great minds, eh?

Anyway, to make way for new fabrics and paraphernalia, I’m using up those leftovers.

I’ve been itching to make a nicey-nice roll-up for my cutting and pinking shears. Until now, they have floated aimlessly in my sewing case. Not only can this damage them, it makes them very hard to find on the fly.

10th kingdom trolls (best mini series evah!)

For this project, I used scraps from my Bruyere shirt. It’s a great fabric, because one side is a lovely southwestern pattern, while the other is totally solid.

I measured on the fly and marked where to cut on the fabric with tailor’s chalk.

The pinking shears are marked with a zig zag line.

I feared using this roll-up would be annoying, since I have to untie and unroll it to access my scissors, but it’s faster than hunting around for them and far less frustrating. I enjoy the thoughtful process of neatly folding it back up, too.

Next I made a roll up for bobbins and needles.

These have lived in a small tupperware container with presser feet and tools. But bobbins are wily and always manage to come unwound, entangling all the feet.

Bobbin roll sketch

The roll up has a row for needle packs and a row for bobbins. They all stay neatly in their little pockets.

To make the pocket bays, I pressed the bottom and top of each, top stitching the pocket opening. Next I carefully aligned them and marked each stitching line in chalk.

I sewed those next, saving the bottom stitch for last. I stitched as closely to the edge as possible; I’m rather proud of how straight everything is (although it’s hard to tell when the pockets are full).

Included in the needle row is a patch of felt for hand sewing needles.

Hooray! I’m looking for more things to put in roll ups. I’ll have more scrap projects to show you next week!

Garbage Cuffs

When being tidy goes too far…

20180201_133010.jpgI am a messy sewist, a fact which I mean to rectify. Leaving little piles of scraps on the floor after cutting a project, I’d push them off to the side or under the coffee table, to wait for re-use or rubbish.

In the spirit of change, after cutting out all the pieces for a long-sleeved shirt, I gathered my pile of scraps and put them haughtily in the kitchen trash.

The fabric was a flannel remnant and the scraps remaining were few – there was no point saving them.

I set to constructing the shirt over the next 2 week nights.

Night 3 rolls around and all I have left to do is attach the sleeve cuffs. Gleefully applying interfacing to the cuffs, I’m increasingly excited to have a flannel shirt of my own. 1 cuff piece…2 cuff pieces…..

wait…

where’s the-

SHIT.

I only cut 1 set of cuffs. And my irreplaceable scraps were in the kitchen trash- UNDER kitchen trash.

For a few moments, I sat horrified. There was no more fabric, there was no saving this. I had a shirt with only 1 sleeve cuff.

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I rush to the trash can, swallowing my pride. Open the wooden trash cabinet and I can see the scraps. They’re somehow, luckily, magically, not filthy.

After staring at them for a long moment, I snatched them from the trash like a sneaking raccoon, offering them up before my iron.

I crank the heat and steam settings and cut the cuffs out of the scraps, trying not to touch them too much. There’s barely enough left, the cuffs crookedly cut.

The steam rushes from my iron, hissing on full blast. I steam them over and over, then one last time to fuse the interfacing.

Cautiously I sniff the cuffs. They don’t smell; they’re not even dirty.

Success! I finish the shirt and give it a little extra washing before letting it live in the closet.

It’s one of my coziest shirts. 2 Winters of wear and going strong. I think of it as my Garbage Shirt.

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I don’t pitch my scraps until a project is done. Instead, I neatly fold them up and keep them in my sewing case until I’m finished.

It’s a Hannah Montana compromise, best of both worlds. The scraps are off the floor but not in the trash.

And I don’t have to resort to garbage rescues.

Thanks for reading!

Bruyere Shirt

My first make of 2018 is a Bruyere shirt – it’s a great shirt/pattern!

I’ve said before – Deer and Doe is my favorite pattern house. Eleanor really knows how to draft a pattern.

Bruyere is fitted through the waist; the fit is perfect, with about 2″ of ease in the bodice. I didn’t even have to make my broad shoulder adjustment!

While this pattern is fun, it does mean business. Darts, pleats, yokes, facings, button placket, gathering, sleeve placket and cuff…there are so many details to get right.

It felt like it took forever to finish, but in reality took about 2 weeks of sewing time. It’s so worth it!

I really took my time with everything and did all French seams. I highly recommend that (or another clean, pretty finish) because the waistband seam is so prominent.

Gutty works and multicolored bobbin thread

I wanted a match across the bodice front; I did not want the patterns on the waistband to match the adjacent parts of the bodice.

I think it was quite successful.

Bruyere Front

I’ve also discovered how much I love rolling up my sleeves. Generally, I dislike long sleeves, but roll those puppies up and apparently I’m in heaven!

Rolled up sleeves XD

I definitely want to make another, although I will need to buy fabric especially for it. Long sleeves take up sooooo much fabric! When I buy for the stash, I only get 2 yards. I need a whole ‘nother yard for sleeves.

Until next time…

Trio of Sweaters

O boi I’m excited to show you this one! It’s another Jasper sweater dress + 2 bonus sweaters made with some wonderful fabric I’m lucky to have.

This is locally made organic soy French Terry fabric from Pittsburgh designer Kelly Lane. Her garments are so cool; I really really dig her aesthetic and designs. So inspiring!

This fabric is likewise inspiring with its geometic pattern of different magenta pyramids and cubes. The brown and white background is reminiscent of a sock monkey. It’s soft and stretchy with medium body.

The complimenting solid magenta is lush, soft, luxurious, and warm. It is also stretchy and made by the same person.

I feel….exclusive. so ‘sclusy. A little posh and a dash swanky. I’m just grateful she decided to share her marvelous fabrics with us plebs.

This pattern calls for fabric with no stretch. I’ve made one like that and it’s nice. However, the 15-20% stretch of this fabric makes the dress even more comfortable and wearable.

I made a couple of other sweaters with the remainders. I had to stop myself from buying all the magenta and cocooning myself in it until Spring- that’s how nice it is.

Here is a basic sweater made with the magenta. I dropped the shoulder of my usual sweater pattern by 1 inch. I didn’t have enough fabric left for full length sleeves so it has bracelet sleeves. I also tapered the cuffs so they are smaller at the wrists.

The other bonus sweater is a lil cropped one.

Noodlehead Bag

A groovy messenger bag made with special fabrics…

(Note: I wrote a good deal of posts last year that never got published because I didn’t take any pictures to go with them. Now that I have a better camera, I’m gonna try to be a better blogger too. This one is from last July!!)

I don’t usually “plug” things in my posts, but I really need to give a big shout out to Firecracker Fabrics for the look of this bag.

I bought the pattern and all the fabric for this bag at Firecracker. They are a wonderful boutique fabric shop in the East End of Pittsburgh. They carry a wide array of apparel fabric, all sorts of notions, hand stitching projects, and specialty fabrics! And the ladies that run it are super duper sweet and not in the least bit snooty.

Anyhoo, their fine shop equipped me with these loverly fabrics:

Magenta & Black African Wax Print

Hand-dyed locally made cotton print

Cotton + Steel Teal and Gold Canvas

I bought these fabrics separately and purchased the C+S canvas last. The canvas was the base fabric and I matched the others to it.

I can’t lie, I was mega paranoid about these colors looking horrible together. I looked at them under sunlight, lamplight, fluorescent light, and a flashlight while night sewing to check the colors. In the end, I trusted myself and just went for it. It has a sort of “Malibu” vibe.

All the hardware came from my stash or was harvested from an older bag. The button on the front is Abalone Shell, the strap bar is also shell.

I added pockets and pen-holders to the inside of the bag and installed a key-finder thing.

This bag was a fun project and relatively easy to make. I use it everyday. The only bummer is that my giant coffee thermos doesn’t fit in the bag and I have to carry it in the crook of my arm like a bouquet of flowers or a small doggo.

Epilogue: I still use this bag every day! It could stand to be washed but it’s held up very well in my reckless custody.

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