Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back from vacation!

Just a quick update in case you were wondering where I was. First was the wedding we went to in Burlingame, CA at the Kohl Mansion, which was beautiful, gorgeous, and amazing. I was even able to snap some photos of my husband wearing his wool trousers I made for him. The cleaners did a fantastic job on my dress, the water stain came out and the pressing was amazing. However, I managed to get another stain on it at this wedding, so it's back at the cleaners now, hopefully they can work their magic again.

Kwik Sew 3267, in lightweight wool fully underlined in silk charmeuse. He hates back pockets, so I made single welts then sewed them shut and left off the pocket bags, and sewed on some buttons.

Then we left for a week long camping trip in northern Idaho with my husband's family. We camped in a tent trailer, rode quads, went tubing down the river, and just relaxed for a week. Minus the 30 or so mosquito bites, it was fantastic. Bonnie, our german shepherd, thoroughly enjoyed herself.

And finally, Vogue put a bunch of patterns on clearance for $5, including this pants pattern. Look familiar?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Remember this dress?

Well guess what, I have another wedding to go to this weekend. And I am embarrassed to say this dress has hung in my closet, dirty, since the wedding we went to last summer. With a crappy hem (the fabric, lining, and underlining were all double-folded up together, yikes!) and not quite perfect darts in the back. I meant to fix it so I could take it to the cleaners, but it just never happened.

Anyways, I pulled it out over the weekend and extended the darts in back, they stopped too high and there was a bubble right above the full part of my butt. I guess my ass hangs lower than I thought. Then I chopped a couple inches off the bottom, it was too long the first time, and hemmed it properly. I handstitched the fabric to the underlining, and used my rolled hem foot for the charmeuse lining. I slipstitched the lining down at the back vent and that was it.

It still fits! I think I've lost a few pounds from last summer but I'm happy with it.

The hem could do with a professional pressing, and you can't really see it but I hope those water spots on the skirt come out at the cleaners! Cross your fingers.

Darts are much better now. I'll need a smoother bra but overall the fit in the back is really nice.

Thank you all for the very nice comments about my last wrap dress! Several of you mentioned taking a horizontal dart out of the lower back that would be hidden by the belt, and that's a great idea that I may do. But right now it's July and I'm afraid that wool dress will sit in my closet until I need to pull it out again. :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dinner at Cindy's

I've been discussing industrial machines for weeks with my friend Cindy (who I met at pattern review weekends in LA and Portland), and finally invited myself over to her house last night for dinner, machines, and sewing chat. We've been scouring craiglist for used deals, and while I decided on a Juki DDL, she wanted something that was made for heavier duty sewing. She found this Consew walking foot/needle feed combo a couple weeks ago and I think just picked it up last weekend. I got to see it in action last night through no less than 8 layers of denim, and we were both a little scared of the 'beast' after polishing off a bottle of wine.

The walking foot is what you would imagine, a 2-piece presser foot that feeds from the top as well as using the feed dogs on the bottom. But if you've never seen a needle feed before, it's pretty cool. The entire needle bar stabs through the fabric and moves front to back, taking the fabric with it, then raises after forming the stitch, and stabs the fabric again. If there was any chance at all of fabric layer slippage, this machine would eliminate it. The previous owner had made upholstry with it, and the needles it came with were HUGE. It was hard to believe the machine could punch that monster through that much fabric but it had no trouble.

Consew walking foot/needle feed

Cindy's other new toy is this Tacsew T-500 blindstitcher, which she's had for a few weeks now and has had more time to play with. I'd never used one before so she pressed a hem into some scrap woven for me to try and it worked great! But then we both tried to figure out what the problem was when using knits, and neither of us could get it to work. The knit gets sucked up into the area where the stitch forms after a few stitches, and then doesn't want to feed out the back and gets caught between the feed dogs. We couldn't find any adjustment for foot pressure or feed dog height, so we're stumped as to why the knits won't feed properly.

Tacsew T-500

Cindy preparing to enjoy crock pot pasta and some excellent Merlot her husband picked out. Isn't her top cute? It's a BWOF pattern she altered to look like a current J.Crew top.

Thank you Cindy for a fabulous evening and I hope we get to do it again soon!!!