Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Februarys progress

I am constantly inspired and encouraged by my students. Their skills just keep on growing.

This week Liz brought her completed jumpers in. She started these jumpers in class learning about proper size selection, and after making some minor alterations she got them both cut out and starting sewing them up. These jumpers are for her fortunate granddaughter'ss whose names she monogrammed across the front using her Bernina Embroidery machine. Aren't they adorable?

Paula brought in her completed Winter white wool coat to share with us! Fantastic, we all just loved the collar on this vogue pattern. This coat almost makes winter worthwhile, don't you think?

During class she installed a fly front zipper in her wool slacks, and then completed everything but the hem and handwork. She was going home to check with her husband to insure that she had successfully recreated the fit from his favorite pair of pants. I am confident he will be most pleased.

She also started work on a sporty Loden denim jacket from another Vogue pattern. 24 pattern pieces and all of them top stitched its going to make for a well fitted and sharp looking jacket.

Elizabeth started a new dress which she is currently referring to as "Pink Nightmare" due to her premonition of her girlfriends response to it. I feel this is quite unfair and potentially damaging to her whole sewing experience so I am calling it "Cherry Ambrosia".
She made her usual pattern alterations along with goring the skirt to add more fullness to the hemline. Then she cut out her pieces, got them marked, and sewed up the bodice for the first fitting.
During the fitting we decided the neckline was a little low, so we are planning on adding a modesty panel, and making a note on the pattern for possible future changes.
During all of this, discussion was on going about the next dress....a western inspired dream.

Its always nice to know that I am not the only one who does this, always thinking about the next project before the current project is complete.

Hurray! Judy was back with us! She brought a Thimbleberries quilt to complete. The original quilt had printed blocks as the central focus which represented different seasons of the year. Her mother an accomplished embroiderer apparently, embroidered over the printing in a black outline stitch. This really added a nice personal touch to the quilt along with some punch.
Judy purchased some coordinating fabric and worked on sashing the blocks together. Once again looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.

We had a new student with us on Saturday. Welcome Debbie. Debbie has a new machine she has not used much, so she worked on learning her machine by doing alterations and mending for her and her family. Class time is wonderful for these kind of tasks because you stay on task. Hope to see more of Debbie, we all enjoyed her company.

Marilyn learned about pattern alteration and began transferring some favorite styles to sew up. She demonstrated incredible focus among all the chatting.

Kathy D. sewed up a "mock frock" to make sure that her pattern alterations for a simple jacket will suit her. She moved her darts up from their original position, and decided to raise her armhole a touch as well. Mock frock always pay off! Kathy has really grasped pattern alteration concepts well, and is really quite independent now, but I think she still likes the company which certainly works for us.

Now for Thea! Here she is in her almost completed western flair shirt! She drafted her own collar pattern for this, and showed a great deal of patience with the amount of gathering. Sew Cute!! she just needs to add the snaps...and of course is thinking of adding some appliques. For her next project a skirt which she is planning on draping. This will be a wonderful exposure to draping for everyone and I think will launch us all into making some paper tape dress forms!! A special class I suspect.

And then we have Lotus. Lotus is a lovely girl, so sweet and fiendishly creative as it turns out. She pretty much completed her grey jersey dress, some little bit of handwork to finish, but she promises to model it for us next week so I can take pictures. She shared a wonderful piece of printed cotton lawn that she purchased at a retail shop which will be the launching of her next project. At the end of the day she showed me some sketches she had done for some future projects...most promising.

Sew that is all for this week. We miss all of you who could not join us this month and hope to see you in March.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Fridays Progress

Here we are already half way thru our February Friday session and the progress is amazing! Elizabeth has completed her red silk bolero jacket after having successfully set in her first pair of sleeves! And a lovely job she did! I promise to post pictures soon.

Liz completed her zippered tote, where she learned all about the wonders of "wonder tape" by Dritz. Wonder tape allows you to tape, instead of pin your zipper in. Much easier! I really like the decorative stitching she used on the front of the tote to jazz it up a bit.

Our new member Lotus is in the process of assembling a heathered grey jersey dress. A very cute pattern I will be sure to post the info. soon.On the first Friday she learned how to select the correct pattern size by using her above bust measurement and comparing that to the bust measurement on the pattern. After comparing the ease amounts we decided she could proceed without any pattern alterations( its good to be young)She got her dress all cut out and marked and began sewing her dress bodice this week. I suspect she will have it done this month, and look forward to seeing what her next project will be.

Thea began work on a "Western" shirt with a twist. Everything Thea does has a bit of a twist to it. Which is what I love about her. She took a very basic shirt pattern and made her own yoke design, we then altered the sleeve pattern a bit to make it have some gathers, by using a technique called "slash and spread" Her pattern had a shawl collar on it, which we are modifying to a very high flared collar and as her final touch she is adding ruffles along the hemlines. Stay posted for the final pictures.

Another new member Marilyn a long time seamstress is wanting to get back into garment sewing, A endeavor I always applaud. She brought a few different projects along, not being sure where she wanted to begin, but decided on some waterproof gaiters for snowshoeing. We welcome you to our growing group of enthusiasts Marilyn.

And last but certainly not least Paula is working on a pair of slacks. On the first Friday she learned how to take a pattern off of an existing pair of pants using "true grid" and some patience. Then she was onto what Elizabeth lovingly refers to as a "mock frock" a first sample to make sure we got our pattern right. At the end of her second Friday she had made some minor alterations to her pattern based on her mock frock and had cut out and marked her slacks from a gorgeous piece of wool pinstriped she picked up in Hollywood Calif. This week she will begin her sewing with a simple technique to achieve a perfect zippered fly front. We are all looking forward to it, as we learn sew much from each other.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Glamour Girl

In a Herculean attempt to deny the realities of winter I made a dress for spring, an excercise I can recommend to all.

This dress was made from FolkWear pattern #233 "Glamour Girl Dress" which states it is "a stunning example of early 1940's styling, designed to emphasize feminine curves, drape elegantly, and give the wearer an aura of discreet sexiness."

I am very pleased with the results and even received a standing ovation from my husband!

The fabric came from Sawyer Brook and was really lovely to work with, a beautiful weight and hand for a viscose rayon. I did not need to modify the pattern at all, as it has a very easy fit due to the front cinch at the waist. The pattern calls for the front yoke detail to tie at the waist but I found a vintage buckle in my stash and thought it complimented the dress perfectly. Notice the ruching detail on the sleeve.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jonah is here

This isn't really sewing news, but I wanted you all to know that my new grandchild is here. Jonah was born Monday, 2/2/09 at 9:07, weighing in at 9 lbs. 3.9 oz. and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are doing well and GrammiChelle is tired and happy.
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