Sewing Cafe

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month - May

I am all caught up with my Craftsy blocks of the month now...Hurray!
I can't believe I have 10 completed blocks and they are all very bright and colorful.  Its been fun working with these colors and exploring some new techniques. 
 I really recommend this class if you would like to expand your sewing skills, learn to quilt, or play with color. 

This block is called "Modern Log Cabin"  Sewn in the traditional manner of a log cabin block but adding the background fabric between the color strips as well as changing the width as you move around the block.
Reminds me of the Polariod blocks that Rachel did over at Stitched in Color....which I really like and hope to get to do one day.

This 2nd block is called "Wonky Log cabin" which uses the same techniques as crazy quilting but you do not use a foundation fabric, you simply sew strips around a center medallion until you have a piece of fabric that is larger than your required block size and than true her up.

Looking forward to seeing what June has to offer 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

1912 Project Blouse #1000 Muslin Complete

I took a half day off of work, which is to say cape sewing, to finish the muslin for blouse #1000.
The last time we looked at the muslin it still needed its sleeves, front waistband and collar.

Now it has all of its appropriate parts.....attached even - lol
You can just see a bit of the front waistband.  I cut 2 pieces 1-3/4" x 12-3/4" to create the waistband and waistband facing.  This creates a finished waist measurement of 24".
Take one of your waistband strips and press to the wrong side along one long edge and both short edges 3/8".  This will become your waistband facing.
Sew the waistband onto the shirt front gathering between dots. 
Repeat with the facing piece, sandwiching the blouse between the two and being careful to leave the facing free from the seam allowance edge on both short ends.
Press your seam allowance towards the waistband.
You can now sew your side seams.
Once you have attached the peplum you can finish the waistband by hand stitching the facing in place to cover the seam allowance.

I love how in this angle you can really see the appropriate silhouette for the time period. A little more bust and you would have less drooping at the front waist. Remember my dress form is 2" smaller at the bust than the pattern measures.
  Notice though how this right(seen on the left) sleeve drags a bit to the back of the blouse?

This sleeve hangs correctly because the peak of the shoulder is siting in the correct place and the gathering is distributed correctly.  
You can replicate this by:
 Placing a notch on the front bodice 3/4" forward of the shoulder seam, that will mark the actual shoulder.  Remember how the shoulder seam favors the back of the blouse?
Now place a corresponding notch on the sleeve cap in the center of the tuck lines.  Doing this will make setting in the sleeve much easier and prettier.

The cuff does not quite meet at the center to expose the tuck detail, but some gathering is required to make the sleeve fit the cuff.  
The total amount of gathering is 1-1/2"  I placed dots (to gather between) on my sleeve pattern 1-1/2" on either side of center for a total of 3".  Stitch a gathering line between these dots and adjust to fit your cuff.

The pattern allows for a 1/2" finished placket and you might want to add a little more to this depending on the size of your buttons. 
The peplum allows for a little more fullness over the seat than my dress form has, but should accommodate a "real" seat quite nicely, maybe even a bit of a bustle.

I finished the collar by using a narrow piece of self bias as a facing strip.  
From the looks of my collar though it appears as if I may have one side on back to front.....I thought I double checked that, but that extra bit of lift there on the left side lets me know something is not quite right.

Boy you can really see it in this shot.  
The collar fits in beautifully though if you leave a 1/2" space at the center front.

Now its time to adapt a muslin for contemporary wear....But before I can do that I  need to rig a roman shade, alter a bridesmaids dress and cut out another Bat Cape.

What will you be sewing today?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

To the Beach Quilt Stat!

My goal for many years now has been to have seasonal bedding.  In Wisconsin that means winter and summer, and summer is really more like an extended spring, which is why we still need quilts on our beds. 

The first quilt I made for our bed was definitely for winter, but I have yearned to lighten the palette for the spring and summer months, make something that felt resort like. Chuck is from Florida and the thing he misses the most about his home state....the beaches

Now I understand why. 
 This looks warm and inviting whereas in my home state of California we have.....

Rocky beaches with cold dark water and vicious currents.
Feel free to scroll back up to that Floridian beach to help you get over the chill that has just set in before you continue to the actual quilt project.

Charlotte Angotti
This is the pattern I am using as my launching point.  It is called "The Natural" by Charlotte Angotti.
The pattern is for a 60 x 72" quilt but I need it for a queen bed with a very deep mattress.
This change in size required adding a pattern repeat horizontally and vertically.
If  I did my math correctly the quilt will require 265 half square triangle units and 144 four patch units!

It took 2 sessions to get all my strips and squares cut from my batik scraps but don't these colors remind you of the sea?

My set up at the machine for sewing the half square triangle units.  After I have sewn a dozen or so, I cut press and square.

My first batch!  Does this say beach to you?  This is the exciting part about quilting, when you see your color choices come together.  Now I am anxious to do more, but for now it's back to capes, cowls and alterations
My plan is to do 30 minutes a day of piecing, which should get me a quilt top in no time:) time at all - lol

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Craftsy BOM - April

This is me playing blogging catch bad:)
Don't be surprised if you see a flurry of posts, all things I wanted to share with you in April but just couldn't get my blogging mojo going. 
This post features my Block of the Month for April....yes April...and here we are mid May!!
and no I have not even started my May blocks.....but I have started my beach quilt...:D but more on that a little later.

This first block for April is called " Hexi Stripe Block" and it used paper templates.
After printing the template up I made copies out of freezer paper which I than ironed onto my fabric scraps.
I enjoy doing this kind of hand work in the evening don't you?
It's so relaxing.

The 2nd block for this month, was a bit of a free for all using the hexagon.
I did not care for the pattern that our instructor Amy had chosen, so after playing with the templates for a bit I settled on this.  I think it will work better with the rest of the blocks, but time will tell.  In fact it just may be time to attempt a picture of the completed blocks together.  

For those of you taking this free class, are  you keeping up each month, or have you become sidetracked with some other fabulous project? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

1912 Project - Blouse #1000 - Muslin

I have made some small progress on my first 1912 project blouse..

This is the illustration that accompanied my pdf pattern.  There were no instructions but the templates for the embroidery work on the peplum cuffs and collar are included.

The pattern is labeled for a 36" bust
The measurments on the blouse are:
Bust: 37-1/2"        
Waist: 23"            
   Hip/peplum width at hem: 43"
Sleeve length: 15-5/8"    
   Bicep: 14-5/8"

My size 6 dress form measures:  Bust 35-1/2", Waist 24", Hip  34".

While taping my pattern together I noticed a few grain lines that did not match up....which makes me question my taping, but if  you follow the stitch lines you can't be to crazy off, right?....

Once the pattern was taped I began trueing it up.  The first thing you notice is that the back side seam measures 1" longer than the front.

The collar pattern has one of those mismatched grain lines and is not the same size as the template.  The center back seam is not indicated on the back pattern piece so at this point I am unsure which pattern is correct. 
There is no pattern piece for the waistband...hmmm

Additionally the tucks indicated on the pattern are in three different sizes:

5/8" on the fold, on the center front pattern piece
3/8" on the fold, on the back pattern piece
1-1/2" on the fold, on the sleeve

This is confusing to me and I am not sure if its a digitizing over sight or what.....
I chose to make them all the same size (5/8") because they look to be all the same in the illustration.  But the reality of the situation is it doesn't really matter what size you make because you need to stitch them up on your fabric prior to cutting the pattern pieces out.  
If you are unfamiliar with this process, no worries I will show you more about this when I make up the actual blouse.
For the muslin the tucks are not required, so you could skip this step for your muslin process if you like.

Here is my muslin without its sleeves or collar.  Fortunately I have a size 6 dress form, very helpful for this process, as it takes some of the guesswork out of it. 

The 3/4 view shows you how cleverly the fullness is kept to the front, while the rest of the garment hugs the body...and I mean hugs.

In this shot you can see how the side seam favors the back as it approaches the armseye.
You might be asking yourself at this point what happened to that 1" difference along the side seam..

I decided at this stage to baste the peplum on 1' higher across the back of the bodice. 
Once it was all together it occurred to me the difference in the side seam length might explain the missing waistband piece...Could the waistband sew to the front only making up the 1' difference needed to match up to the back?  Will try that next so stay tuned.

The shoulder seam favors the back as well, not at all unusual in garments from this period. 

And finally we have the back, which will fit better once that peplum gets moved down an 1"

I am looking forward to sewing the sleeves, collar and adding that waistband so don't forget to check back to see how that effects things.

This is my kind of mystery I tell you what:)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dangerous Artists & Peter does Coco

My sister recently sent me this poster image from the Cold War....
I had never seen it before, but of course it gave us a good laugh here in the studio where it is true we "mix it up" frequently.  I had no idea we were so subversive.
Speaking of Dangerous Artists .....
How fantastic is this print I just purchased of Coco Channel?
It was created by Peter Emmerich an artist my husband worked with at Disney
Isn't she fabulous!!  
Peter has other wonderful and affordable prints at his Etsy store.  
check out the fashion note cards...

Enough procrastinating for me really I just thought you all would appreciate the art and subject matter. 
Its time for me to make a bat cape, a robin mask and sew some ears on a cowl.  
If I am positively productive I just might get to catch you all up on the 1912 project progress when I am done.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vintage Fashion - A Spectator by Guildford

I feel I must begin this post by apologizing a tad for my lack of enthusiasm for blogging...following blogs...posting....commenting ....etc.  
I have been working on some fun projects though and when my enthusiasm returned I could not find my camera!!'s not like me to panic about these matter how organized I am, I misplace things on a fairly regular basis.... usually they reappear eventually.  
My camera made it's appearance last night when my mother handed it back to me -lol

So first thing this morning I captured these pics of  a vintage dress of my mothers.

She purchased this dress in the early 50's when she was a girl of 15 to wear to a school dance.
She used multiple crinolines under it and wore it with a black patent leather belt and black pumps.
The belts chains on the dress are in black and would accommodate a 1 inch belt. I used a piece of velvet ribbon I had about.

The skirt is made in 8 gores and the hem circumference  measures 260 inches!
In these pictures I have 2 crinolines under the skirt and it could easily be double that.
Makes you want to dance doesn't it?

The cotton on this dress had a glazed finish on it, which has worn away due to multiple washing's.
My bad....I wore this dress frequently in the 80's and machine washed it roughly as young people will.
It zips up the side with a metal zipper and has one pocket in the skirt opposite the zip.

Love the details on this dress - These little appliqued roses are all tacked into place with a single rhinestone.
Additional rhinestones are scattered over the bodice.

The neckline and armholes are piped and faced.
I just love the elegant square neckline on the back

The hem is done with rayon seam tape and all of the seams are simple

The inside label reads " A Spectator by Guildford" and is the only tag in the garment.
Does anyone have any information on this company?
There is a town by the name of Guildford in the UK...but I did not round up any info for this company.
So for those of you who like a good mystery....

I promise to catch you up on the 1912 project, my gardening overalls, my bra making adventures, the craftsy block of the month project, and Chucks latest endeavor an original scultpture of Adam West
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