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Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Super Fussy Piped Matching Pocket

Tunic #2 is done and I like it a lot. The weather has not been cooperating with my photography needs so pics may just end up on the dress form. But for now I have moved on to a pair of Jammies for my Zackie. He asked me for them with no solicitation. What could I say? Of course Bunbun will make you some winter jammies. I bought the wonderful flannel from the North Woods collection on

This is my go to jammie pattern, simp 2771. Included are sizes from a 2 year old to Big Daddy, all the family. I have traced off  half of the sizes at this point and of course not the one Zackie needed. My slow brain has since decided the next time Joanns has a Simplicity sale I will just buy one for  each size, duh. No brainer. In the meantime I traced away.

This is a simple pattern, one of the reasons I love it. I've reviewed it here numerous times. This time, however, I am using a very strong print fabric. If I put a pocket on that did not match it would scream tacky and incompetent and I wanted that pocket. I needed to make a pocket with a band and piping in between that perfectly matched the bodice. It took a bit of effort that I will share with you.
I marked the pocket location with a horizontal line on the bodice. I matched the fold line of the band to that location line. Then I drew an outline of the big wolf on to the pattern piece. I matched to a scrap of fabric and cut out the band. I did the same for the pocket. Then I folded them on the seam allowance to see if they would match once stitched together.
I actually cut the pieces larger than needed to make sure I had a bit of fudge factor for matching. I didn't trim them to the proper size until the piping was installed.

I made my piping with a "moon colored" flannel, the cheap stuff so I washed it several times. I attached it to the lower pocket section. I am using half inch SAs here.

There was going to be a lot of bulk and 4 SAs of flannel so grading was inportant. I opened up the piping and cut the inner SA waaaayyyy back. Now it was time to attach the pocket band. I made sure my wolves matched up and stitched on the same seam line. There is a tute on the right sidebar all about how I do my piping if you are interested.
The band SA was graded back as well. Then I pinked what remained.
Success so far!

Now it was time to trim the pocket to the correct size and once again being careful to match to the bodice. I pressed the band on the fold line and trimmed the edge with the pinkers in an effort to keep the bulk down. I folded back the band, pinned it, and topstitched two rows above the piping.
Then I folded back the SAs, mitering and trimming the bottom corners. Too much bulk to do that at the top!

Now here comes the most important information I can give you today. DO NOT TOPSTITCH OVER YOUR PIPING. You will topstitch the bottom pocket first and as a separate process topstitch the band after. At no time will you cross the piping. Also, if you haven't already, take the cording out of the SAs, again, gotta get that bulk down!

I like to stitch a triangle at the tops of my pockets on just about everything. Then I usually follow with a zigzag at the very top but that would have been too bulky so I didn't. I used 1/4 inch masking tape to line up my triangles and stitched starting and ending at the piping.

All of this fiddliness took about an hour but I think it was time well spent. 

 It would have driven me to madness if it didn't and I would be howling at the moon along with these wolves!.....Bunny

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's official. Threads has announced the winner of the Fall Jacket Challenge for Sew Stylish magazine. I made it to the finish line and came up a winner. I really really want to thank each and every one of you who voted for me. I also want to say I understand if you voted for one of the other entrants as that was some damn stiff competition! Not sure who I would have voted for if I weren't an entrant. All of the jackets were unique and beautifully made. They really make the case for the art of sewing and how it allows your creative expression to be shown to the world. So satisfying!

Contests like this show the possibilities. We can't all be Van Gogh but we can all paint if we so desire and love doing so. That's what it's really about, knowing the capabilities and working through the challenges to come out with our own artistic expression. You all amaze me every day with your works of art and with your challenges met. Thank you again for your support and encouragement and continue with striving to sew better with each garment. You are the next winner!....Bunny

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tunic Time, Vogue 8924

Love this design. Generally most tunic proportions are really bad on me as I am so short. They seem to end at my exact middle, not a good look. But this one I made just a bit above knee length so a little better proportions. My hubby LOVES this outfit. He's always looking out for what I call "cute comfort".  He likes it when I am his idea of cute and my idea of comfortable. Works for me, too!  Here's all the deets;

Pattern: Vogue 8924, a Very Easy  Very Vogue and it is. The design went together really quickly and the way I made it used three pieces: a front, a back, and a pocket. Simple, simple, simple. I did view B.

 Fabric: This is some sort of jacquard from the local JAs that I picked up on clearance last year. It appears to be a cotton/poly blend and is a suiting weight, nothing particularly special but with this pattern it's day in the light had finally arrived. It is a bit "springy" but that's OK. I like that this will be worn with a turtleneck or crisp white shirt and leggings or tights.It is PERFECT for my work. I plan to make another really soon.  It is a definite positive/negative coloration between the front and back side. I used the more gray side for the tunic and the more black side for the pockets.

Construction:  This was so easy to make and would have been done long ago save my handwork on the back. All the edges were serged prior to construction, definitely worth the effort. This was quite ravel-y. I also chose to line the pockets. I just liked line pockets but once topstitched a teeny bit of the lining showed despite favoring the fashion fabric to the lining side. I think next one will just be turned and stitched, no lining. This has no zippers, no facings, and no set in sleeves, wahoo!

Once completed I thought it was likeable but rather dour. It also gave off a Japanese apron type of vibe to me so I decided to embellish the upper pleat area in the back with some pickstitching and a bullion and french knot motif. Rising sun? Aster? Mum? you decide but it took it from being too serious and I love the embellishment. Up until that point it was just another VEVVogue simple pattern.

 Bottom line: I highly recommend this pattern. It is a nearly instant gratification project with no fit issues. I used the size 4-6, extra small. The bust and hips on this pattern are about 50 inches in that size so keep that in mind particularly if you are smaller than me. I will cut the above fabric, for another much more drapey version. It is a poly blouse weight. I will also use the version with the sleeves and collar, I think. Back to the studio.

The voting closes tomorrow at midnight for the Sew Stylish jacket contest. Whether I win or not I would just like to thank all of you who voted for me. I so appreciate your kindness and effort...........Bunny

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Need your help!!!

 My Plea:

I have had the good fortune to be chosen as one of five finalists in the Sew Stylish/Threads Fall Jacket Challenge. Whew! Now I am asking for your vote. Here is a link to the voting site:

Sew Stylish Fall Jacket Challenge

My jacket is the Crinkled Taffeta Jacket which is shown inside out. I'm hoping it's because they were impressed with the workmanship.

Each candidate had to put up photos and some text regarding her/his project and there is a link next to each photo to see more. After you click on those, please click back  to vote for me. You don't know how much I appreciate all of you doing this. My fingers are crossed. I sure could use that new Juki serger.

Thanks again to my  many cyber friends. You don't know how much you make my day special. Double crossing those fingers now!.....Bunny

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A little bit of Windows in My Life...

I love the Outcasts so I hope you picked up on that bit of musicality in the title

Busy weekend but I did manage to complete a project. I've wanted something soft and simple for my sewing room window for a long time. I only recently got the blinds and they emphasized that need. I was inspired by a window I saw on Pinterest and this weekend was spent replicating. The Pinterest version had a stenciled monogram which I thought was really cool but with the monogram on my chair I thought that would be a bit much. I decided to complete the treatment and decide after if I wanted the stencil or not. Don't want it.
You can see the imposing underbelly of my back porch and I was hoping to hide that a bit but still maintain the lovely view of the garden and wandering wildlife. Here's the window after:

The treatment is basically two big long tabs. A piece of fabric is railroaded across with a box pleat underneath each strap that you see. I did use a couple of tricks to get to this point.

First is the broken wooden spoon trick. This poor spoon had just stirred too many pots and almost got chucked. It occured to me it would make a great pressing tool. I hate it when making straps and you are trying to press them flat and the seams need major fiddling to lay flat on their edge, usually a finger burning moment. With the spoon I just pushed the right side out strap all onto the handle. Then I pull out a few inches at a time to the end of the handle. I can iron the seams of the strap flat with the iron. Keep pulling and keep ironing till the whole strap has had its seams pressed flat on the right side. Now when I go to line up the strap's edges  to press they come out beautifully sharp with minimal fuss.

This is the curtain getting a clean finish on the giant tabs. I did this exactly as I did the yoke on the Crinkle jacket. The curtain is sewn to the tabs. The curtain is then rolled up and the unsewn side of the big tabs is wrapped around and sewn to the other tab/curtain seam, that "burrito" thing again. Then the curtain is pulled through after stitching and it is a clean finish inside and from the outside of the window as well. This window gets  foot traffic going by so it needs to look finished on the outside of the house as well. Do you think about how your window treatments look from the outside of the house? I always do. I think it's a New England thing. Window layouts on homes in New England are so symmetrical and they often sport all the same treatment which looks really lovely. Grow up with things like that and they stick in your subconscious forever. I so remember pulling all the shades so they were exactly even all over the house. Everyone did that where I lived.

 Today I also cut out and nearly finished a Vogue Easy pattern. It's a longish tunic that I plan to wear with leggings and a turtleneck or crisp white shirt. Pics coming. Just have to do the hems and button.....Bunny


Who owned this pattern?

Recently I've had the opportunity to charge ahead on a long anticipated project, searching down some great thrift shops. This has not be...