Friday, August 6, 2010

Sew what's new?

Yeah, that's a cheesy title. And yet there's so much that is new in the way of sewing at my house that I had to go there. Mea culpa.

Anyway, first in the list of what's new is a NEW MACHINE!!!! Yes, the Kenmore was giving me way to many problems - skipping stitches, buttonhole issues, snarling the thread every 10th stitch, etc. It was a hot mess - literally. So after listening to me moan and complain about how difficult it was to just sew a darn seam, Scott told me to go get a new machine and gave me a budget of $500. Now, $500 is a good chunk of change but it won't get you the top of the line in a machine, so my dream machine was out of the question. However, it can get you a very nice little machine and the Janome dealership in Gaithersburg easily helped me find something within my budget. It's electronic, so it's a bit different for me, but it sews really nicely and makes a fantastic automatic buttonhole. Another nice plus is that it has tons of decorative stitches that I can use for a faux coverstitch look. Very cool, indeed.

Next, all of the things I've been sewing with this gorgeous new machine.

First up are a pair of pants and a shirt for T-bird. The shirt was actually sewn on the old Kenmore, except for the sleeve hems. This is the "Little Mr." shirt from the Spring 2009 issue of Ottobre, sewn from a super cute Liberty of London lawn. I couldn't resist the car print and since I got a full meter I'll have plenty left for another project some other time. I also bought this in the blue colorway, with all of the cars in shades of blue.

To go with the shirt are the "Kaarna" pants from the Winter 2009 Ottobre. The pattern calls for them to be lined, but I really liked the knit waistband, since it's so similar to the 'baggies' pants that Mini Boden sells. I've made them before in corduroy with the lining and I could see that they could just as easily be made without the lining by simply finishing all the pieces with my serger.

So here they are, in a green and black cross-woven chambray that I got from I thought about going with a lighter color for the knit waist but ended up with black. I used a black twill tape for the drawstring at the waist rather than make one from the chambray, but I may change that, since it's really kind of flimsier than I want. Another change I made is that I added tabs and buttons so that I can roll them up. I was inspired by a pair of linen pants my sister in law had given me for T-bird when he was born. Since he wears cloth diapers he was able to fit them in the waist before he was long enough in the legs so being able to roll up the pant legs was great. I know from experience that this pattern runs long, so I added the tabs, using the RTW pants as a model. I should have made the tabs longer so I could roll them up more, but they work.

Next up is a skirt I made for Miss Maeve. She was feeling upset that I'd not been able to make her the Manhattan dress from Sewing Clothes Kids Love to match Gwyn's Rachel dress (I needed more of a certain fabric to cut out the last piece and had to scour ebay for it). To console her I made the Insa skirt from SCKL. I'd been planning this skirt for a while, had the Michael Miller Carnival Bloom fabric in the purple colorway already and the kid check in purple (also MM fabric). I'd gotten them both on ebay and ended up having to buy more of the Carnival Bloom in order to make this in Maeve's size. I have a hard time thinking of her as a size 12/146 and some of my fabrics in my stash are too small now.

Anyway, I was successful in scoring more of the fabric and started making the upper layer of the skirt. Then I decided to cut the lower layer and, after much contemplation decided that I needed a different fabric than the check I'd already chosen. It was simply too much purple! Hard to imagine but true. I looked online and decided to buy the green Busilis dot from Banberry Place, along with the pink farbenmix mandala ribbon and some other trims. When they arrived, I discovered that the ribbon was really more of a purple and that the shapes echoed the shapes in the fabric of the top layer, so I decided to add it to the skirt on the bottom layer. To the top layer I've added a ruffle of the purple check and also a purple grosgrain ribbon with aqua polka dots and the bottom layer has 2 additional flower appliqu├ęs I found in my stash of goodies.

I always add a Farbenmix tag to the things I make from their patterns and the new ones are blue and red, which Maeve felt didn't go with the skirt colors, so I used the one that comes with the women's patterns now. This one is on the outside of the skirt at the center back (her choice of location).

Apparently it's good for twirling in, too. I have another one on my to-do list - this time for Gwyn and made from an Oilily fabric snagged on ebay. I hope to get to that in the next week or so.

Also on the to-do list: finish 2 new dresses for the girls - the new Destina pattern by Farbenmix, using the Delft and floral prints I got from Yvonne at Bunte Fabrics. Oh, and a pair of capris for me from the 2/2007 issue of Ottobre Woman. Right now the dresses are about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way constructed and the pants are already cut out so that bodes well for finishing them in a week.

I've finished a pair of pajamas for Maeve, too, in the past month but the top needs a little tweaking for fit and then I can photograph them.


  1. still working hard on the delft dresses... having some minor disasters here in the home.