Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hooray for Birthdays!

It was my birthday this week and I wanted to share some of my cute presents with you!

I'm a very lucky girl and I got this brand new serger from my parents. Its a Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger. SO excited to finally have one. I'm looking forward to finishing the edges of my pattern pieces before i sew them together. It will make everything neat and crisp. This serger has some good reviews on amazon. I've never really used a serger so I would love to hear some feedback!

Look at what else I got, a juicy couture PINK SEWING MACHINE CHARM! I can't even handle it, I always love the juicy charms but now it's as if they are making them personally for me. Or stalking me and reading my mind. I own a pink sewing machine. Here is the story about my custom brother sewing machine. I was looking for a machine to learn to sew with and Costco had some on the website, and they had a pink one, or at least it looked pink. So when it came in the mail it was white! I was very sad and contacted costco and they said the picture looked pink and it was a mistake on their part. Many people bought it because it was pink and were equally as sad when they opened it.

 I kept the WHITE machine, (it was a good deal) and just kept dreaming of my pink sewing machine. A couple years after that I was in the hospital so some reason or another and asked my dad to paint my sewing machine for me. (He's pretty pro at painting and I looked so pathetic laying there I could have gotten him to paint anything. haha) He used krylon plastic spray paint in princess pink, I love it so much.

My mom is also an excellent cake decorator and whipped up this sewing cake for me. Spools of thread and rick rack! I feel so loved.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Button Makeover

I made this sweater last winter, and it was cute but the buttons did not work. The sweater is 28thirty by Zephyr, they make really cute patterns and the yarn is a yummy manos de uruguay. The problem I had with this sweater was the buttons. I had a hard time picking them out to begin with and now they are just not working for me.  They are metal, with a shank and they were too heavy and loud (they clanged together) for this sweater. I think they would have worked better on something with more structure, not a knit. I have barely worn the sweater because these buttons were making me so nervous. So I finally found the perfect buttons.

They are the perfect color and I didn't even have the sweater with me when I found them! They are from Mood (that's where they shop on Project Runway). I was so happy to find them.  THANK YOU MOOD!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knitting Book Review: Stitch and Bitch Superstar Knitting

It's here! It's here! Stitch N' Bitch Superstar Knitting is AMAZING. I don't know why I even have it. I pre-ordered it from amazon and it come out until November 1, that's in more than 2 weeks. I want to make so many things in here. This book has 41 new patterns and not a tea cozy in sight!

The first half of the book is full of beyond basic techniques that even a knitting snob like me can learn something from. I will be studying the part about steeking and concurring my fear. Section II is devoted entirely to designing your own sweaters; raglan sweaters, drop shoulder and set in sleeve. This is very detailed and gives you formulas and everything from start to finishing your own design.

On to the patterns, they are wonderful. So many lovely sweaters to make, there are a lot of spring sweaters which is nice. There are things to make for babies and little kids, if you have any, but I am selfish and only care about the glorious sweaters. I took some pictures with my crappy camera and my shaky hands to give you an idea. (please don't sue me)

How old is too old for a fish sweater? I think 25 might be but it is too cute to care

NEED THIS. Sequins, yes please.
I'm also pretty sure most of these pictures are taken at the Jersey shore. It's beautiful. Anyway, this be a Superstar and buy this book. Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lady Grey Progress

My coat is really coming along! I think the hardest part is over. I'm learning so many different things. One of the reasons I did the Lady Grey sew along was to learn all the mysterious tailoring techniques that go along with sewing a coat. This is what I have been doing, padstitching the collar. Now the collar lays in place, and has a nice fold at the lapel. It is very time consuming, but not difficult. It makes a cool chevron pattern. I'm glad I spent extra time searching for matching silk thread because I was really hard to make the stitches not show on the other side. I'm using a very lightweight wool. Some of the stitches ended up showing, but it blends in with the fabric.

I also decided to baste hair canvas to the entire back, it took extra time, but I think it will pay off. I'm also doing the topstitching that the pattern calls for, which is making a beautiful detail. (You can see it in the first picture.) I've also attached the pockets, sleeves are next, and I'm right on schedule. Pin It Now!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chantilly Dress

Another Colette pattern, this is the Chantilly dress. There are two versions to this dress, I made the first version with lightweight fabric and then a visible lining. I bought the fabric from Joann's, they are both polyester. The outer was on the clearance rack and is some type of chiffon like fabric, the inside is a soft pink poly charmeuse. My reasoning for buying synthetic materials at the time was that I had never worked with a light silk-esque fabric before and was afraid to completely ruin material that was expensive. I think in the long run that the poly fabrics are harder to work with. I have since worked with a silk crepe and did not experience any of the problems I had with this dress fabric. I don't know exactly what it was, but it would just not do what it was supposed to do. I had a lot of problems with the top half, I wrote about this in a previous post.

The gathered portion in the front was crooked, I remember being careful to make it even when I was sewing it, but somehow the fabric wiggled its way into being a mess. I also did not notice this untill the seams were finished and cut, so it was difficult to undo. I somehow managed to fix it, and the end result is ok, but not perfect like I want things to be!

Chantilly is another great one from Colette patterns. I'm so obsessed with Sarai's patterns, she makes everything clear. The patterns have actual measurements and sizes that are close to normal. Sewing is not as scary with her patterns. This dress is so fun to wear, and twirl in. It's swishy, I can't remember the last time I had a swishy dress. I'm sorry for the excessive amounts of Erika pictures, but I really like the pictures my friend Lindsay takes. I was fun to twirl and take pictures.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lady Grey Progress

Newsflash: a coat is a lot of work! There is all sorts of things that go on inside a coat that I never even knew about. This is exactly why the little envelope says ADVANCED. I could make the coat very easily, but all the extra stuff is time consuming and stressful. I've used way more hair canvas than I expected. When I bought the coat fabric the lady helping me said i would need 2 yards but i had to run back and get 3+ more yards. Btw hair canvas is not very wide, but it is doing wonderful things to my coat.

I'm so glad I'm tackling it all with Gertie, her posts have been wonderful, and informative. I am learning so much. Almost everything she is posting about is something that is new to me. I followed her bound buttonhole tutorial step by step and she made it look really easy. There are 17 steps to a bound buttonhole. 17! I'll never take a buttonhole for granted again.

Bound Buttonhole!

The chaotic back, silk organza, iron on interfacing and 15other steps!

The hair canvas is basted with silk thread. I had to be very careful so it doesn't show

It's coming together, should be finished by Halloween.


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Monday, October 4, 2010

Rick- Rack Sweater

Hooray! My Rick- Rack sweater is finally done, I am knitourious. I've been lugging this thing around for months just staring at it, not knitting it, staring at it, beginning to hate it. But nothing feels better than finishing something! The pattern is from a classic elite booklet, Sunday Brunch. I used Debbie Stoller's new Stitch Nation Yarn Bamboo Ewe, in a Eucalyptus color. This is an excellent economic yarn, I think I used seven balls at $3.50 each (Joann's always has a sale).

I added an elastic under the bust for a better fit. II was determined to make it with a hood as it is pictured, but I realized that I don't ever wear hoodies, so why am I going to knit one. I went with a flattering cowl neck and was done way faster. The sleeves also turned out too long, so I tucked them under and slip stitched.The only problem I had was with the sleeves the caps were too big and I had to gather it and make a puff sleeve. It turned out to be a nice cozy sweater.

Many thanks to the wonderful Verbena for taking the beautiful pictures!

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