Sunday, March 30, 2008

Handpicked zipper

I took an 'easy 2 hour' New Look top and turned it into a three day extravaganza, and I'm still not finished with it. I decided the silk twill I purchased in LA during the Pattern Review weekend would be perfect for a knockoff of this J.Crew top, however it was on the sheer side so I thought it would be a good candidate to try a technique called flat-lining. This involves sewing the lining pieces to the garment pieces before the seams are sewn. Here is a good description of the process.

So after 2 muslins, drafting sleeves and a new neckline and facings, I started on the top. The silk was so shifty it was nearly impossible to keep on grain. Despite all my basting, by the time I got to the hem the silk was hanging lower than the cotton batiste I used for the underlining, so I had to hang it and repin.

Sorry it's pretty wrinkly, I still need to hem and press.

I had originally planned to do an invisible zipper, but yet again I thought 'why not?' and put in a handpicked. I had recently taken a handsewing class with Susan Khalje while in LA, and it was fresh in my mind. I don't think it turned out too bad, but it looks kind of puckery, not sure if its my fabric or my zipper technique. You're not supposed to have to baste handpicked zippers (just pin), but I used my trusty wondertape anyways, that stuff is like my safety blanket for zippers and I wasn't completely confident in my handstitching skills.

While I was at it, I also used a hong-kong finish on all the other raw edges, the armholes, edges of the facings, and all of the hems. Oh and this also happened to be the first time I've set eased sleeves, all my other projects have involved raglan sleeves or putting the sleeves in flat. Obviously I enjoy a challenge. :-)

I don't think I have the energy to do the hand-hemming yet, it's still just pressed up. I plan on hemming to the underlining only, so it will be completely invisible from the right side. Anyone have tips on how not to catch the fabric while doing this??

Friday, March 28, 2008

My sewing and improved

Hi, I'm Leslie, I like to sew. On with the blog.*

I've been getting by with an ancient Black and Decker iron DH bought before I was even a thought. Poor thing has been taking a beating since last summer when I really started sewing regularly, and it was time to put it down. Hearing
Cidell rave about her Consew Silver Star CES-300 gravity feed iron made it easy to purchase from for $99.

And then what is a new iron without a new ironing board? The old one was equally feeble, it was so wobbly our hardwood floor has a chunk out of it where the Black & Decker took a spill off the end. DH was NOT pleased about that. Made it easy to sell him on the new board though. I got this european-size Rowenta from Bed Bath and Beyond with one of their 20% off coupons.

So the iron was delivered during the week when I am away from home for work, and DH happily opened the box and set it up for me. He went through several arrangements for hanging the water tank, and finally bent some pipe at work and along with some extra fittings and bolts created this masterpiece you see here:
Notice how the tubing is held up at just the right height so it dangles perfectly above the board no matter where you put the iron? DH is so smart. I may have to keep him. He even sacrificed our corner hutch (that he made!) by drilling screws through the top to hold down the rod.

I am psyched, we'll see if this translates into a marathon sewing weekend.

*I tortured myself for weeks trying to come up with the 'perfect first post', I am a sewist after all and perfectionism seems to be one of the side effects. I finally gave up and dove in, please bear with me while I learn the intricacies of blogging.