Sewing Vloggers

Saturday, May 30, 2020

I'm doing co-ordinates! Who knew?


Being home combined with a brand new 4k ultra HD TV with what seems like 3000 channels has me watching a lot of sewing on Youtube and Prime. I have barely made a dent in what is available. There is so much I like on there and some I have seen that is downright awful but most is pretty great. One of my favorites is the work of Peggy Sagers. I love how she shops the big designers, picks one of their garments and in some cases even buys the garment and then shows how to easily sew that lovely designer look yourself. Recently I chanced upon a program for something she made knocking off an Eileen Fisher "cropped poncho". It was part of a three part casual summer look. I loved it and it was right up my alley. The three piece look fit right into the clothing I am making right now, basics from classic summer fabrics.  Now let's be real here. Have you ever seen me make co-ordinates? Uh, no. I am an inspired creative, get an idea and hit it. Wear it with some basic from my closet and go!  This was a 3 part gig here and I loved every part. There were straight, full pants and I have just found my Sure Fit Sloper after being lost for 2 years. There was a tank top, sort of fitted, and that was on my very to do list. And, then, there was the "cropped poncho" on top. It was a great look and I wanted to make the whole shebang. I never want to make the whole shebang. 

Now came shopping my resources for the three fabrics. I knew I needed a good white linen for the poncho. Check! I had plenty of that. Linen's my thing.  Next,  two more pieces. I decided on a lighter weight linen with a bigger stripe and darker gray background for the pants. The tank would be a gray and white seersucker, that classic summer fabric known for it's comfort, crisp look, and easy care. But a quick check on the yardage showed that the new tank top I developed, longer and more fitted, was not quite enough, so I found another piece of seersucker with a slightly larger stripe in the exact same colors. They worked great together and once again, necessity fueled my  creativity and I think you will like the results. 

I got right into the pants. They fit quite well despite the sloper being a couple years old. The style is straight down from the hips and a pull on but really not too gathered. I think this  is a new Covid milestone, my first pair of pull on pants. Let's not even go there.  I was looking for quick to make and the top of the pant would not show, period. I got that. It took me one morning to put these zipperless babies together. 

Then came the tank. That took some fanagling and I developed the pattern from my last one but it fits very differently, more coverage and more fitted. I liked it.  I think I got the two different seersuckers to work pretty well. 

Now it is time to make the cropped poncho. I am excited about this and can't wait to show you all. The poncho will have some machine heirloom stitching on it if all goes well. I'll sample things first. It will be the first time I get to model a co-ordinated outfit for you. I may be on to something here! ............Stay safe and stay healthy...........Bunny

Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Tale of Two Tops, and a Shelf Bra

Lots to talk about! I am going to show you pics from a room in our home that has been a long time coming. I normally don't discuss such things on my sewing blog but this room was a nightmare to pull off. It was an addition to the home by the previous owners and made with hemlocks from the property. I'd give you a full tour but will let it just serve as a backdrop. It has cathedral ceilings and very wide hemlock floors and is a large room with wood everywhere. This is usually not my style but we loved it's warmth and the way it took to our antiques. Why is it such a big deal? It was built around a monster of a hot tub, a hot tub that could not be sold to anyone anywhere. a hot tub that could not be given away, a hot tub that my husband and I no more wanted than the man in the moon. The hot tub went in first and the room was built around it. We were ready to take a sawsall to it and call it a day. We had a vision for this room and it did not include a hot tub. One night we met a lovely young woman and the subject came up. Long story short, the very next morning her electrician brother and her other carpenter brother came in at 8:30 AM and got to work. It was a big deal. An entire wall of fixed glass and slider had to be taken down. The room has three walls of glass. By 5:30 the tub was out the door with ONE QUARTER INCH TO SPARE IN THE MOVE and on its way to a new home. Nobody died. We were thrilled and so were the new owners. Yay. So now we have this lovely room  to see the beautiful lake and woods and it's on to sewing! Yay!

I just finished two more tank tops from that pattern I developed. It is a comfortable trapeze shape with a low back. My challenge here has been to use some small pieces of favorite fabrics I found in my recent reorganization/purge of my resources which brings me to a little sidebar here.

What exactly is Covid Sewing? Well, it has its phases and this is how I've experienced it. 

* First was the initial thrill to be out of work and move my way through a queue of projects I had been dieing to get my hands on. I did that pretty quickly and am sure you all experienced that initial high as I did. 

* Just as that pile dissipated, the call came for mask making. I read many posts, watched videos but didn't quite catch the bug. The next thing I knew my family needed these masks and I started to sew them. I think I sewed every style and tie type out there. I probably made about fifty before everybody had their masks, and my sewing passion had been sucked into some black hole of despair. It seemed each masked made, as I sat at the machine, was a reminder of the isolation we were in and the horrid politics being affiliated with something just so human and non political. 

*I lost my sewjo. I'll admit it. I had big anxiety setting in and not much was helping me sleep better as I desperately missed my children's and grandchildren's hugs, laughs and visits and vice versa. Our world was changing. Planned celebrations never happened and that was grieved. My BFF mourned the loss of her big 70th birthday celebration. I totally got it. We lost the joy of making it through 50 years of marriage and sharing that joy with family and friends. But we found a new way to celebrate and moved on. I mention this because it was all part of the funk and anxiety that contributed to my not sewing at all for several weeks. Big funk. But I made decisions to turn it around and did. 

* Next phase of Covid Sewing was a massive cleanout and reorg of my sewing space. That and some personal changes really got me back into wanting to sew. But what to sew? No weddings, no parties, no trips............I found in my resources some great pieces for great dresses for such events but also found some small pieces of lovely fabrics and thought I could use those to make smaller more day to day garments or accessories. These would not be earthshaking garments  but I would give them my best shot. This is the phase I am in now. It's working for me. I've also been watching lots of videos. particularly Peggy Sagers and really enjoy her and find her very inspirational. I am now at what I hope is the final stage of the Covid sewing experience. I am now thrilled again to be sewing. 

*Oh, one more part of the Covid experience that has to do with sewing sort of: modeling one's garments for the blog. This means sporting Covid hair. OMG, I just can't take my hair and am ready to either just shave it off or wear a scarf of interest. I've been watching scarf wrapping videos, I think I am liking this idea! Now for those tops!
This top originally had this sort of trapeze shape which I like a lot for comfort. I do think on the next one I will try something with more curves for a change. It has the low back which I like. I brought the facings to the front. with some leftover Irish linen. The body of the garment is Kaufman "washer linen" which I think is a rayon linen blend if I remember right. It's comfy and doesn't wrinkle much. This little number was a PITA to make and fought me every bit of the way. I measured and remeasured before sewing on those facings and the neckline facing came up over an inch short at center front.  Ackkk! I slept on it and fixed with a little arrow thingy that looks like the facing is intentionally running underneath. 

This is an outside shot with lots of shadow.
I also did slits at the side seams. 
This was a lot of fuss. I can see wearing this around day to day with jeans and such, a simple summer top, no biggie and used up that 1/2 yard of linen blend. 
This next one I really like.

Is this label fun or what?  I just love them and could not resist. They are made by a company in New Zealand and when I left them in my cart after duely fainting from the shipping costs, they contacted me via email to refer me to US sources so I would not pay the outrageous shipping. Great service! They have many clever labels and I have no affiliation. You can find them here: Kylie and the Machine.  at Stylemaker. 

Here is another big surprise with  this top. It has a built in shelf bra. This is the first time I did this and will definitely do it again. It was so easy to do but it is a learning curve. I do have questions. 

There are lots of videos and directions online for making shelf bras. Basically you cut a lining or even the same fabric in the same pattern as your top but about a third of the top section. It needs to include enough to go under the bust and have a bra band that can  be sewn on and then turned once. There are no measurements so it takes some futzing to figure it all out. You sew in the cups which I stole from a sports bra I had and stitch them down. Then you cut away the lining from the cups. Why? I am not sure. Then you attach elastic on the bottom edge, turn and stitch again. Drop this into your top and then bind the neck and armhole. Done. I've simplified here but that's because I really don't know much about this and will pose a few questions here and perhaps some can help. I saw lots online that was different. 

I used swimsuit lining for my bra. It was one of the suggestions I found. Because it had four way stretch, I found my boobs wanted to drop a bit and if I hiked it up, the whole thing wanted to pull down the outer garment. Would a two way stretch on the horizontal be better? Would a woven work for more lift? 

The directions had me turn things in a way that seemed wrong. I read them over and over to make sure I got them right. When we line a garment, we want that lining to look all finished and smooth with no construction showing. When we put on a bra, next to our skin is all the inner workings of the bra. This was sort of weird combo of both. When I put on this top, would it be ok to make the shelf bra so it is all pretty and the construction is all between the garment and the lining? Or should I be looking at the guts, like a regular bra? Is it like a swimsuit? 

Is there a particular reason why you cut away the lining from the cups? My lining was super stretchy so it didn't seem to make much difference.

If anyone can help me with this I'd appreciate it. I have to say that they hold me up just as well as a standard bra. I would definitely like to do this again with other sleeveless tops. It is just so very comfortable to wear. I wear a C cup for what that's worth. 

I mentioned watching Peggy Sagers and love how she just slashed those patterns and it so inspires me. I am going to make a three part outfit, casual summer pants, tank and odd little cover up next. I love how she shows us how to knock off these very expensive outfits and also explains why they are expensive. Thanks for making it through to the end here. I hope your Isewlation is going well. We are all doing OK here, and staying safe and occupied. I officially apply for Covid unemployment next week so that should be fun. Take care all and stay safe!..............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...