Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sewing Spoilers Part 2

Here is the second part of the sewing spoilers. The first post is here. I am sure if we looked at all the things that could spoil a project we may never sew again. LOL! Anyway, lets continue with number five!

5. Pattern size- If you are struggling with the bodice shoulder area being too big, you may want to rethink your pattern size. I realized last year that I was buying too large of a pattern. Since then, I have been using my high bust measure and have had pretty good results. Check out the tutorial I did on this subject. There are many ways to buy a pattern, find what works best for you, if it's not working, think about changing it.

6. Changing a pattern too drastically-  We have all done it, decided that we wanted to remove a dart, change a seam, redo the sleeve style.   Although simple changes certainly can be made with success, sometimes too many changes to one pattern can distort a garment. I have found there is wisdom is knowing what I can do and what is better left alone.  Only you know your own skills. As my skills have increased by trail and error, I know now, what I can safely change and what quickly can become a disaster. hehe There is a fine balance in pattern reconstruction and it's best done on a muslin. Which bring me to seven.
By making up this muslin, I discovered that I didn't really like the construction of the belt on this dress, it was so hard to sew into the garment and now I am thinking of a different way to make it work. 
7. Not basting or making a muslin-  It's so easy to be in a hurry with a project. It looks so pretty and the temptation to dive in and get to the "real garment" can overtake anyone. Sometimes it works out, other times not. I have gotten into a habit of making a muslin every time I sew a new pattern. Why? Because I want it to fit and I baste the whole thing first and then make adjustments. The basting helps so much when it comes time to unpick a project for adjustments.

Remember these are only tips that work pretty well for me, some folks are really great at sewing a pattern without making a muslin. If you are new to sewing it's a great place to start for sure. I hope these tips have encouraged you to find what works for YOU! Here's too great sewing!

Have a wonderful vintage Day!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Recap of Me-Made May 2012

I need a restart button with Me-Made MAY 2012! I have been horrible with taking pictures. Please forgive me for not posting more. I have totally enjoyed the process this year. Because May is the end of our homeschool year, I have been super busy with the boys. Anyway enough excuses! Here are a few selected outfits that I managed to get pictures of. It's truly been fun wearing something handmade everyday. Although I need some elastic in my waistbands due to vacation goodies, it time once again to watch the calories! Anyway, as I look at my pictures I am thinking my skirts could be a bit shorter. It's funny how a picture can tell you so much about your sewing projects. I'll be back soon with another creation.

Have a wonderful Vintage Day!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sewing Spoilers Part 1

Did you ever feel you just didn't get the sewing memo?  Somehow the bus stopped, but you neglected to get off?  I have, so today I'll share with you the first part of a two part post on 7 sewing tips that have helped me personally to accomplish better results. My hope is that these tips will be helpful for you.
Here I am measuring this pattern piece from the matching selvages 
1. Selvages, yes those little woven edges of the fabric, they seem innocent enough right? But if the selvages aren't lined up, then any pattern pieces cut from the fabric will be slightly off grain. Here's how to make sure your pattern is cut on grain.

1. Unfold and prepare your fabric, giving it a good ironing. Don't be deceived by the "natural" fold line, it's most likely not lined up exactly!

2. Next, lay out your fabric, folding it down the middle. Lining up the selvages as you go, keep working using your hands to smooth out any wrinkles as you line up the fabric.

3. When the edges are lined up together and the fold is smooth and flat, pin the raw edges (selvages) together so they don't shift on you. 

4. Lay your pattern pieces out, measure pieces until even and cut them out. Your garment should hang correctly with the grain.

2. Sewing Machine Maintenance and Tension- Is it time to take your machine in for a tune up and a cleaning? I knew it was time when the tension dial on my machine wouldn't adjusting the tension correctly. No amount of ironing will take out those horizontal lines and puckers that form from stitches being stitched too tightly. Having a tune up or using your sewing manual to tune it yourself, can help produce perfect stitches. Stitches should look smooth and lay flat. Don't let a machine tune up stand in the way of sewing great garments.

3. Darts- Dart aren't the most complicated sewing technique, but a good method goes a long way in making a professional garment. The tie off method is preferred by many sewers, I really like this video for sewing darts.

4. Underwear-  This is a bit personal, but I am going to share because it has helped me so much. I realized that I've been wearing the wrong underwear for my vintage fashions.  I am talking about panties, knickers, underwear.  After sewing a skirt, I had lines around my high hip area, thinking it was too tight I made it bigger but it wasn't too tight. This is where I got off the train, and realized it was time to change the underwear style I was wearing. Enough said, the devil is definitely in the details. Take a good look in a mirror, it maybe time for a change. Don't assume it's your sewing project in question, sometimes it's the foundation garments we are wearing under the sewing project that needs our attention.

Remember these are just tips I have found that have helped me. I only want to encourage you today to find the spoilers in your own sewing journey. If something isn't working, step back from it and ask yourself, what is the spoiler in this situation? What isn't working? Sewing often times is like finding clues. It's speaking loud and clear. The garment is pointing to the problems, asking you to solve it.  Anybody else solved any sewing spoilers in your projects? I would love to hear about them.

Here's to great sewing projects!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

White Floral 50's blouse

Before shooting these photos, I cut in some bangs, not sure if I love them yet, growing on me. 

What do you think of this belt? 

Over the winter, I made a ton of clothing, but I haven't really posted everything yet. Me-Made-May 2012 is gently pushing me into wearing and posting the stuff I have hidden in my sewing room.  So today I wanted to wear this blouse, but realized you haven't seen it yet.  I found this fabric at Joann's last year and really liked the print. Anyone remember seeing it there? Well, I bought only 1 1/2 yards, not sure what I was thinking. Then, I discovered a hole right in the middle of the yardage. I wasn't sure how to get around it, with so little fabric to work with. It's times like these, I wish I would have bought a little more. In the end, after moving around a few pattern pieces, I was able to get it together! I have matched this blouse with the peach colored skirt I made earlier this year. I like the combo. This pinkish vintage bracelet works well too! The little green buttons aren't vintage, but I think they add a nice touch to the blouse.

Blouse fabric: 100% cotton, skirt is linen
Pattern: Simplicity 4530 from the 50's
Make again? Yes, I like the blouse very comfortable

Have a wonderful Vintage Day!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And then there were two more Gingers

This little flower fabric and vintage buttons seem to work with both skirts.
Yes, I am obsessed with the Ginger pattern by Colette. I should be over it, I know, but I am not! Nor shall I ever be, by the looks of my sewing room and closet, hehe. Here are two more Gingers, dare I say they have no matches yet. They are single, but soon I 'll be making another blouse to go with them. This is just a sneak peek, a short, little post.  These two skirts have been waiting on me for a little while now. I'll be getting back to them soon, sporting the whole look. I am still trying to decide on a blouse style. Any suggestions?

What are you making today?

Happy Spring!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Belted 50's skirt

I love this little skirt! It definitely has a casual, vintage flair that you see me sporting so much. The belt loops attached to the pockets with a button. They are so cute and functional. I love that I can switch out the belt easily and go with another belt color to make yet another outfit. The 50's pattern just has 2481 marked on it with no company name.   Does this fabric look familiar? It was a leftover piece from this dress. Anyway, I am wearing this skirt today for Zoe's Me-Made-May 2012 and I realized I have't even posted on it yet. Yes, I have made a ton of clothing and am really behind on posting. Although some projects, namely dresses are giving me the fits! I can't seem to figure out a good weighty fabric to make a standard shirt dress I've been making. So back to the drawing board.

Should I wear these shoes today? Still looking for the right shoe.

That's better for now, a little vintage sweater, some flat comfortable shoes, today I am teaching a classroom of busy kids this will work!
Sometimes, I wish I made more elaborate, dressier garments, with high end fabrics and notions, but I live on a farm and a silk dress most likely would be something that hangs in my closet collecting dust. Although I would love to make a few for fun. My life is so causal with raising two young men and I just can't be too fussy right now. So for now this skirt really reflects me so much, it's cotton, vintage and carefree.

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Totally Unrelated Beauty Review!

Every once in a while I get the urge to post on a product that I like, but I really try hard to keep my blog a sewing blog only. So forgive me for straying away for a moment, but I just tried gel nail polish with the UV lamp for home use.  It's totally AMAZING! I have horrible, thin nails and keep them pretty short because of sewing. Years have gone by where my fingernails have been unpolished because I hate spending an hour or so on my nails only to have them chip the next day. I have tried some good top coats and wore gloves while cleaning, but not much maintains my manicure. I bought Sensationail at Walmart for 49.95, it's a at home gel nail kit.  My polish has stayed put, no chips for two weeks! This is a big deal for me, as I have never been able to wear nail polish for more than 2 days without chips. The cost of the product is mostly upfront for the UV lamp. For me, this is a great alternative to salon nails because I live so far from any nail places in town. Honestly, I am not one for getting my nails done, mostly because of the recurring time and money spent. I love D.I.Y.  Right now I am feel giddy looking at my polished hands, knowing they will look good for two or so weeks without much time or money on my part. I have been doing some homework and there are other home gel kits out there. Gelish and Red Carpet are the ones that keep popping up. The one thing I like about the Sensationnail is the lamp cures in 30 second to 1 minute verses 2-3 minutes from the other brands. It's also the cheapest I have found. The first time I did my nails, I was walking around the house being careful not to bang them into anything. They were completely dry, so it took some time for me to get the concept that my nail were totally cured and I didn't need to be concerned with messing them up. LOL  I did buy some Gelish nail polish because I like the colors from their gel line, they work great with the Sensationail kit. I am a nail biter, although if my nails are polished I don't bite them, so they are short right now, but hopefully they will grow out. My nails feel stronger with this product on them for sure. I'll keep you posted on this if you found it helpful.  Let me know if you have any questions.

What are your favorite cosmetic products? I am always on the hunt for my beauty bag.

Have a wonderful vintage day!