Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weinachts Kleidung - Kapitel Zwei

I mentioned in previous posts that I had corduroy enough for overalls for Brody. Ta da!!

Brody, like his father, James loves all things with wheels, so naturally I embroidered a little car on them. Of course, when I say "I embroidered" I really mean that I engaged my Elna Embroidery machine (which I got for Christmas last year) to do it.

I had some leftovers of velour that I wanted to use, but there wasn't enough for leggings like his girls cousins (which is just as well, as I doubt his father would have encouraged his dressing to match girls), or a T-shirt as I had hoped, so I went scrounging in my stash. Voila! I found remnants of a wonderfully soft, super-fuzzy white sweatshirt fleece. I have no clue what was the original garment from whence this came. I haven't bought any sweatshirt fleece since we moved to Texas 16 years ago. I brought with me a considerable collection that I had purchased in Tacoma, WA, and have been using it on the rare occaisions that I feel the need to make something that warm in this hot, humid climate. So, I've had this piece for a while. It was just enough to get the body and sleeves of a shirt for Brody, and I cut the neck and sleeve bands and pocket out of the leftover velour.

Naturally, the shirt's pocket needed a little red car, too.

What do you think??? Fergus likes it!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weinachts Kleidung

A month or so ago I won a raffle bag at our local quilt club meeting (you may read our monthly newsletters, and get info regarding meetings at: -- all are welcome) that contained 1-yd cuts of 5 coordinating fabrics. {and, may I just say: "Yippeeeee!!!!!} One of the fabrics, however, didn't look as good with the other 4 as they did with each other. When I pulled it out of the stack, and scrutinized it by itself, I immediately thought: little girl's dress!

Since I hadn't yet sewn clothes for Emma Rose, I decide to make an outfit for her. The print reminded me of the one's worn on the show Little House on the Prairie, so I set about making a dress in that style. I thought that a pinafore over it would just be the thing to finish off the look, and yet, I didn't stop there. It's cold in Pennsylvania where Emma Rose lives (see: for commentary), so I made a jumper out of corduroy, and added matching velour leggings. As a bonus - the velour is so wide that I had enough fabric to get Myra leggings, too. Also: the corduroy was on sale for such a great price, I bought enough to make Brody David overalls. I cut them out this morning, and am hoping (fingers crossed!) to get them finished and wrapped by Christmas.

Here is the whole outfit together. The dress is McCall's 4641, altered only by lining the bodice of self fabric. The jumper is Butterick 4009, altered only by lining the bodice of matching Ambience leftover from a skirt of mine. The leggings are from the Ottobre magazine issue #04/2004-2.

What do you think???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It doesn't fit -- how can this be?????

Sewing has always fascinated me, from the artistic aspect -- which buttons with which fabric? --- to the mathematical -- manipulating a plane, a 2-dimensional object, to fit a body, a 3-dimensional object -- what's not to love?? Sometimes it frustrates me, but that can be fascinating, too. This is one of those times.

Whilst attaching the facing of this blouse to the front panels, I was horrified (NOT too strong a word, considering the price of the fabric, and its local unavailability) to discover that the pieces didn't fit by several inches. How can this be??? They were cut at the same time, using the same pattern pieces. They were certainly the same size when I cut them out 6 weeks ago!

Two explanations, which are both applicable: 1) the facing piece must have shrunk somewhat when I steam-fused the interfacing to it, and, 2) the front panel must have stretched somewhat when I ironed it flat, post-application. [remember my virgin post of "pressing vs. ironing"]

Okay. Now what? I see 2 options, here:
1) Cut off the longer piece to fit the shorter one. I immediately reject this one, as it requires that I cut the entire hem by 3 inches, causing the blouse to land at a very unflattering spot on my prodigious, now completely useless, child-bearing hips. This could be, however, a great option for other projects.
2) Stretch to fit. This worked for me. Since the edge had a decided curve to it (read: bias), it stretched nicely without any risk of tearing. The interfacing I used was a weft-knit, and had some stretch to it, as well. This did, however, leave me with another conundrum: puckers on the larger piece - the one that shows. S * I * G * H There really is only one solution to this:

Lie. Lie, until your pants actually burst into flames. If the puckers' location is symmetrical, and not-unflattering, you may pretend that they are a design element. (" I meant to do that.")
Said with enough bravado, this method could fool Chanel herself. Add a note of incredulity to your voice, and a look of disdain to your countenance, and the questioner will regret having raised the question. Practice with me now: "This? Why ---- it's a design element!"

Well, there is another option. One that I attempted with mixed results: press the little buggers out.
The trick here is to relax the fibers as much as possible, manipulate their shape to the one desired, and fix that shape permanently. Saturating the fabric with water will relax the fibers nicely, and your iron will seal the deal. I keep a mister bottle full of distilled water nearby for just this purpose. Why distilled water, instead of tap? I want no risk of mineral deposits marring the finish of a fine fabric.

Here are the results. Not bad, eh? I retain the option of lying, as I have that 'look of disdain' down pretty well.

Now --- on to the collar!