Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pick a Knit chart

Awesome texts from my sewing buddy Holly when I checked my phone this morning! We're tackling Beast 2.0, and she spotted a great sale on knits from! Order together to combine shipping? Heck yeah!

Yes, deep texts by Holly and Stacie.

So check it out. See that blue line on the bottom of the envelope with the arrows? It reads, "Stretch (crosswise or lengthwise) 4" (10cm) of Folded Knit From Here ----------> to Here."

What you do is compare your knit at a store or in your stash to see if it works. When shopping online you do math. If you have 4" of fabric and need it to stretch 2" more to reach 6". Two inches is 50% of four inches. So when you are ordering fabric it needs to have 50% stretch. If it has less stretch it will be too tight. If it had more stretch it will be big. Either way you will have to adjust your fit accordingly. I generally just try to find a fabric with the right amount of stretch. 

By the way I was LOLing and ROFLing with Holly, not at her. :-) I learned the hard way on this one myself!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day updates

First off I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend and remember the people that have served. 
I believe it is an American holiday, but I think all countries appreciate their troops one way or another.

This is a picture I took on the Seawall on Galveston Island this morning. Mr. Thinks He Can and I took a spontaneous road trip to the beach. I mean we woke up. I took my assistant for a walk at the park. We were in the car by 8:30 a.m. headed for the beach! It was a beautiful way to end a couple of stressful weeks. If you hate on sewing blogs not talking about sewing, you have been warned.

Remember how I sold my house? Well, we never found a place to live. We considered renting a beach house in Galveston, but it was too late in the season to find anything more than a 450 square foot apartment. I like the Mister and all, but it would have turned into a Mad Max kind of "two men enter, one man leaves" situation. Plus I couldn't fit my sewing stuff. On the other hand we couldn't find anything anywhere. By the end of last week I was going up to random people asking them if they knew anyone anywhere that would lend us a place to live. It finally paid off. We are moving two buildings over in the same condo complex and renting from a super nice neighbor I wish we had known sooner for a good price. Thank goodness!

Now I can get back to sewing instead of wondering around trying to find a good bridge to live under and scratching my own skin off. Yes, that is how stress shows up in my life. My hands begin to itch, peel, then bubble. I was in full on bubble mode. Thank goodness for neighbors who know neighbors!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Backseat Car Cover with tutorial

You may know I got a new car a few weeks ago. I'm trying to keep it nice, but my number one assistant tends to get paw prints and other stuff on everything. I figured I would make car seat covers for the car starting with the back, so I don't have to be worried about my little buddy messing up the car. She doesn't mean to. She just likes to ride!

I used about a 60" x 44" piece of main fabric, batting and backing fabric. I draped it on my seat with pins and cut around it. I did this with my muslin, which I used to back the cover. I also made double notches on both sides of each headrests to help me with webbing placement later.

I cut my back, batting and main fabric in the same shape. I placed my batting on the bottom, my main fabric right side up, and my backing fabric right side down.

I got these parachute buckles at Joann's. The package tells you what size webbing to get as well as how to assemble it all together. I used these to hook around the head rests. I thought about making buckle holes and things like that, but I figured quick release was just as good so humans would not have to ride on a dog blanket. I bet I have someone in my backseat besides the pup like once a year anyway.

I used safety pins to secure the webbing between the main fabric and backing fabric before sewing.

I sewed a 5/8" seam all the way around, leaving about an 8" opening on one side.

Turn it inside out. It's looking great!

I top stitched around the whole cover which helped secure the webbing and closed up the opening.

The headrest placement was great! The parachute clips connect right behind them to hold everything in place.

Here is how to clips look from the back.

I just tucked the edges around to make it look cute and was good to go. Now my riding buddy can run errands with me again.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Darling Ranges Debut

After the upside down sleeve mistake the rest of the dress went together easily.

This is how I wore it to work today. I got several compliments, and it was very comfortable.

This is how it looks with no belt. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate it, but I would change a few things. Actually I did change a few things. Read on.

Here is the back. It kind of feels like a 90's era baby doll dress. I had Doll Parts in my head all day. I also had to resist the urge to over pluck my eyebrows and line my lips in maroon.

I love the rayon challis I used. It is a bit stretchy, but not much. I also really love the mother of pearl buttons I found on Etsy.

I also love the bias binding neck finish. It looks like nothing from the outside.

Here is the neckline from the front.

I know you have been is the dress inside out! Does anyone else get excited about the inside out shot? I love the bias binding finishing. It looks so clean.

So the good:

  • The sew along on Megan's blog told me how to raise the neckline, which I did.
  • I love the neck finishing.
  • This dress was pretty darn easy!
  • I like the elastic sleeve finish.

The not so good:
  • I resemble Hole. I need to lengthen the waistline some. How to do that is also on her sew along, but that is unheard of for me. I always raise the waistline on patterns. I made this as directed.
  • I made this as directed and would change a few things:
    • I would not back stitch on the darts. I know this already, but I wanted to do this pattern as directed.
    • I would go ahead and stitch the shoulder seams when I do the side seams.
    • I would attach the sleeves before I sew on the skirt just to not deal with so much bulk.
What I changed:
  • I skipped the waist ties.
  • I shortened the sleeves.
  • I raised the neckline by 1".
I will sew this again with the few tweaks. I do like the dress and it is very comfortable. Plus, the customer service was to die for!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sewing rules

I have few rules when it comes to sewing. That helps me keep sewing as a fun hobby I enjoy. I am fortunate that I was able to blog for a local company, but the constant ideas and projects for their blog took a lot out of me. I am happy to say I am rogue again! Here are the rules I follow:

1. Sewing is fun, sew things that make you happy.
2. Edit in your head your projects and decide if they will really get worn.
3. Three strikes you are out. If I make three mistakes during a sewing session I stop what I am doing and walk away. I tend to do well thinking about projects and coming back to them rather than trudging through something I haven't quite figured out.
4. Dummy Clause: If a mistake is made that was so simple a monkey would have done it right, it is time to walk away for a bit.

Case in point. On my Darling Ranges dress I set both sleeves in perfectly and serged the edges then hemmed and inserted the elastic. I tried it on to check the fit and realized I had sewn the sleeve on the right on upside down. That activated the Dummy Clause. Otherwise it is looking pretty good!

Do you have self made sewing rules?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Fantastic Dress surprise!

I will be frank. I still get mixed results when sewing with knits. I figured practice makes perfect, so I picked out McCall's 6559 for an easy two piece pattern to make a simple dress. I made it out of the cheetah print jersey I picked out that I was unsure of. I figured worst case it would wind up a nightgown.

I freaking love it! I made it up in about an hour and a half too! It actually feels like I am not even wearing clothes. You may wonder where the value is in that, but as temperatures and humidity reach 100 in the next couple weeks wearing very little clothing is the way to go.

While I love the dress with the belt, I think you should see it by itself as well. I had to take in the top by 2 inches on each side, and I think next time I will just make a smaller size over all. I also raised the neckline an inch when cutting it out. It doesn't look very low cut here, but it could get scandalous. I feel like with this print on its own I walk the line of winding up on the local news talking about how a tornado blew my trailer 50 feet in the air. I think I would need curlers in my hair though.

Hehe, I had to include this picture. Mr. Thinks He Can said stand back against the fence and put your hand up. This is what that translated to me.

This is what he meant for me to do. :-) This dress is a winner. I'm going to make it smaller next time, but it is cuter than I could have imagined. I think I would like to make it in the maxi length as well. I shared some tips while working on this dress here.

So dress and I went out on the town last night. It was Cinco de Mayo, the day Mexico celebrates the battle of Puebla in which they defeated the French in 1862. Houston is 44% Hispanic according to Wikipedia, with about 400,000 unaccounted for illegal immigrants, which most are Mexican. With those stats, we as a city embrace this Mexican holiday by eating Mexican food and drinking Margaritas. We celebrated at La Tapatia.

Here is the dress and me with the Mariachi band. They were very nice. 

In other news we got an offer on the house. All that home decor sewing I did basically staged the house. I have never lived outside a five mile area in Houston. Here I am looking from a balcony at downtown. My house is about a mile from here. I always thought if I moved from this part of Houston I would be moving out of Houston to another city or state. Since I moved here 10 years (geez!) ago this part of town has boomed. Prices have sky rocketed and we need space. We can get more for our money if we head out of the city. So Mr. Thinks He Can and I thought it would be a good night to go check out a couple places we wanted to see before we go while the crowds are at the Mexican restaurants. This place, Sawyer Park, was OK. 

This place, called Hughes Hangar is a really pretty ice house next to the cemetery where Howard Hughes is buried. I know kind of weird, but cool place. It was still Cinco de Mayo, so the music was super loud salsa type music with The Aviator playing in the background. I wonder if Mr. Hughes likes that going on next to his eternal resting place...

Me and the dress checking out places we never got around to exploring all the years we lived here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pajama Pattern winner!

True Random Number Generator  2Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Congratulations Renee! You won the pajama pattern! I will e-mail you to get your address.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Megan Nielsen Rocks!

Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges dress sew along

I just wanted to give a shout out for great customer service.

I ordered a Darling Ranges dress pattern by Megan Nielsen during a sale one afternoon. Overnight I thought to myself, "It's my best sewing buddy Holly's birthday soon, I should get her one too!" Especially because of the great sew along.

So the next morning I e-mailed the company and asked if I could add a second copy to combine shipping costs. Within minutes Megan herself had e-mailed me apologizing because my order had already shipped (we're talking within 18 hours) and sent me a code for free shipping for the pattern for Holly.

Holy Cow! I e-mailed her back thanking her and telling her to never apologize for such great service and quick turnaround.

I haven't started the pattern yet with all my personal business going on, but if you are looking for a good next project check out the Darling Ranges pattern, sew along, and all the amazing reviews so far.

Thanks Megan!

***Don't forget my pajama pattern giveaway ends on May 5, 2012!