Sewing Every Day

Lots of sewing going on around here.  The decorator fabric store is going out of business (!!!) and I will miss it a lot.  I bought up a lot of fabric to make tablecloths, so for a break in the shirt making, I have been hemming tablecloths.  In the last two weeks I think I’ve hemmed 8 or more, but that includes some seat throws for the car.  My husband asked me where I was going to put them since the linen closet was pretty full.  I spent the morning reorganizing the tablecloth shelf and look what happens when you fold them neatly!  I may have room for half a dozen more…


The brown shirt/jacket is done but needs a pressing before it gets its picture taken.  After that project was done, the goal was to use up some fabric so I got out the 7 yards or so of a knit fabric (fairly thin) with a Hawaiian print on a blue background.  This got turned into three pairs of lounge or pajama pants for M.

In the last few months, a great bonanza of fabric has found its way to my door.  First, my-sister-the-nurse decided to de-stash her sewing area, loaded her fabric up in seven giant black trash bags and drove it down to me.  We had a nice visit and after she left I sorted through the bags to separate the stuff I wanted to keep from the stuff I was going to donate to the craft thrift store.  She had some really nice fabric including lots of lengths she was going to make scrubs out of before the hospital changed the rules and required all the people in each department to wear the same color.  I had to go out and buy two more storage tubs to store all that fabric.  I usually go up to the neighboring county to visit the craft thrift store once a month, and this last time I was telling myself that I already had so much fabric that I wouldn’t buy any.  I failed, but it was a happy fail.  I’ve never seen so much great quality fabric there before (at $1/pound), and I bought lots and lots.  Now there is plenty to make as many shirts as I want, including some wonderful linens and knits.  I have to go out and buy another storage tub.

One of the fabrics was a red linen, and if there is time, it will be turned into a shirt for me for Christmas.

Home Stretch

The brown jacket is nearly done.

DSC01626The facing for this kind of jacket goes from one neckline down the front, across the side and back, across the other side and up the other front to the neckline.  It is pretty easy to apply unless you sew the neckline first and when sewing the long facing around the rest of the jacket you discover that you have totally twisted the facing into a Mobius strip that nothing but a seam ripper can cure.  In situations like this it is a bad idea to set the item aside to fix later because chances are you won’t.  I grabbed the ripper right away (new behavior for me) and fixed it in about 10 minutes.  Now for some trimming and clipping and then some buttonholes and buttons.

Finally the brown shirt is moving along.  Early rising and sewing from about 7 am to 9 am seems to fit my schedule better, and I quit when I’m tired of bending over the machine.  This type of shirt/jacket has lots of fiddly pieces, so instead of looking at the big picture, I just pick one or two units and try to finish them in one morning.  For example, the first day I sewed the bodice seams and the back yoke, then the next day did the collar and put the cuffs on the sleeves, yesterday did the princess seams, pressed the seam lines on the pockets and sewed the pocket flaps, and today topstitched the flaps and sewed the pockets.

DSC01612I don’t think I’ve ever sewn a pocket flap before.  Something new all the time in the sewing world.

DSC01613I actually already had the right color of buttons in the stash.  I also think this color is growing on me a little.

Sales Flyer

Every Sunday the newspaper carries a sales flyer for the local JoAnn store.  Even though there is enough fabric in this house to clothe a battalion, sometimes to sale is too good to pass up.  Last week, some cotton prints were on sale for only $1.99/yard so I picked up three lengths for tops for M.  She likes polka dots and has been wanting a navy top with white dots, and the price was right.

DSC01601Today I was up with the dawn and started sewing right away while listening to a good book-on-tape.  Shirt No. 7 is going slowly, probably because I’m not that thrilled with the color (a chocolate brown), but the fabric weight was perfect to try out this new version of the shirt pattern.  Today the back was constructed and topstitched, the pockets were sewn but not attached yet, and the seams on the front were sewn.  When I got tired of sewing, I set up my cutting table and cut out one garment and then, since I was using an older pattern, I traced off some of the pieces that were looking a little worn out.

We may still be mired in drought and watching our yards dry up, but at least the sunsets are sometimes pretty:

Cutting Out

Didn’t feel much like sewing today so I set up the cutting table in front of the TV and so I can cut out while I watch movies.  Cutting out shirts means cutting out lots of pieces, so today, as a change of pace, I’m cutting out some New Look 6871 tops for M.  The pattern only has 4 pieces plus some bias.  And nothing that requires interfacing.

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The idea is to use up some of the fabrics I bought by the pound at the craft thrift store.  Fabric #1:

When the garment is all cut out and the bias is cut, I store the pieces in a ziplock bag which prevents random pieces from going walkabout.


Next fabric on the cutting table is the same blue that was used for my recent shirt and the shirt for A.  There was certainly a lot of yardage in this wide fabric, and there might be enough left for one or two more shirts.


Here is a remnant I also got at the craft thrift store, and I am wondering how to use it.  The motifs are very large, from about 10″ to 15″ high.  They might make fun baby bibs or a baby quilt.


Birthday Presents

My birthday was this month and as usual, the husband and kids wanted a list from me of things that I would like as a present.  My fabric stash is enormous and I already have just about every sewing gadget I need, not to mention my hundreds of patterns, so I needed to think of something that didn’t take up much or any room.  I finally thought of something I am going to really enjoy:  Craftsy classes.  They offer so many I am interested in, but here are the ones I got:

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Fullscreen capture 10112015 124659 PM-002It will be fun to learn a lot of new things without ever having to leave the house or to heft my sewing machine to a class.  This is so much easier.  I’ve started watching the Garment Industry Secrets class and it seems to be excellent.

Next Shirt

Shirt No. 7 is already cut out and the sewing machine is threaded with with right color, but the sewjo seems to be weak this week.  This next shirt will include some features from the classic jean jacket, something I have never owned but am presently interested in.   The shirt pattern was given a back yoke and a front yoke, a curved back seam, front princess seams, curved front hems, and pockets.  I’m using a brown denimy fabric to test out the pattern.

DSC01568I have seen some pictures of ready-to-wear shirts that have the facing stitched down on the edge which adds an interesting line to the design, so I am going to try that.  If this shirt works out, I will try a version without the pockets  to use on fabrics with a busy print:

DSC01572This version can have either a collar and stand or a plain collar (which I am trying on the first version).  Since I am all ready to start sewing I should just go sit at the sewing machine and sew.


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