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Archive for October, 2008

Dark Green Top Finished

I finished the new top, made from a rayon crinkle crepe.  This pattern, Simplicity 2933, may not look too great on a hanger, but drapes very nicely on the body.  I traced the embroidery design onto the Tear Easy and then attached the Tear Easy to the back of the fabric.  I used free motion embroidery to trace the lines of the design which fastened the stabilizer to the fabric and gave me lines on the front side for the embroidery.

From the front side, I restitched the design using a narrow zigzag as shown in the photo below.

The next time I sew this pattern, it will probably be easier because it was difficult to handle this slippery fabric, especially for setting in the sleeves next to the yoke.

I did get the pillow case made, but it is in the laundry today.  I discovered that when you don’t really feel like sewing, a pillowcase is easy to sew and really gives you a sense of accomplishment, jumpstarting the sewing mojo.

Next up is a handbag for the daughter who is going to Disneyland soon and needs a zippered purse.

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I’ve already started on the next top.  I found an embroidery pattern that had a continuous line, like a quilting pattern, and adapted it to the shape of the yoke on Simplicity 2933.  M likes the dress on the right, but for a first try, we are shortening it to top length.  I wanted to try out some stabilizer that I just got, Tear Easy by Sulky.  I traced out the embroidery design onto the stabilizer and stitched the line of the design in free-motion embroidery.  Now I am going over the stitched line with zigzag stitch.

Here’s the wrong side of the yoke piece showing the stabilizer.  I think it is working very well so far.

I am using the yellow thread because it matches a pair of M’s shoes.

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Another Peasant Top

I found the small stash of some Indian gauzes that I bought years ago for tops for the girls, so I decided to try out McCalls 5627 on the two yards of yellow.  There was hardly any left at all after cutting out the top, so I am pleased for stashbusting purposes.  This fabric is so light that it is wonderful to wear, but not so light that it is hard to sew.  I had only about 6 inches of the border pattern left, so I was able to trim the yoke a little.  Unfortunately, the bottom border was printed very unevenly, so the hem was a challenge.  I decided to put matching the border on the side seams as the biggest priority and let the hem take care of itself.  Luckily, the hem pattern is pretty even in the front where it counts.

The yoke is completely lined and topstitched.

Next project will be to make a pillowcase for a long, body pillow.  I have the fabric prewashed and am going to go press it now.

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I like this pattern, McCall’s 5627.  It seems to be well drafted and was easy to sew.  I raised the neckline 5/8″ and changed it from a square neckline to a rounded neckline.  I don’t remember where I got this fabric, off some sale table or other, but it drapes well and was cooperative during the sewing process.  I also really liked doing the free-motion embroidery.  My daughter, being an artist, could draw some designs which I could translate into embroidery on another blouse.  Think how good a white top would look with black or red embroidery designs!

Here’s the completed front of the top which shows the embroidery and the lining used in the yoke pieces.

This picture shows the back yoke with the machine-made buttonhole stitch.  I had fun using this stitch which I have never tried before.  I’m going to have to try it with topstitching thread sometime.

M should be here pretty soon on the way home from work to try it on, so I should go give it its final pressing.

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Embroidery Practice

I am using this McCalls pattern to make the next Mexican Peasant Blouse.  This will be a practice blouse, a wearable muslin, to see if the pattern fits and to practice the free-motion embroidery.  After making about 3 colorful tops, this one will be more subdued in tone.

Here are the pieces with the machine embroidery, done on my old Elna (an SU) with the feeddogs covered and the fabric in a separate hoop.  I am ready to start the assembly.

These are the motifs on the back yoke.

I am not very good at the machine free-motion stitching yet, but am getting better all the time, I hope.  The embroidery for this top only took a day and a half .

I am loving the new cutting table the spouse got for me, the height is just right.  It makes everything go so much faster when you aren’t bending over a low surface all the time.

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Torte Thursday!

Here’s a recipe that Grandma G got from her friend Irene G.  Grandma G would attend her club meetings and sample the goodies brought by her friends.  The ladies seem to have been very generous with their recipes, not keeping their recipes secret from each other.

Butterscotch Frosting for Brownies

l cup light brown sugar (packed)

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

Cook together the brown sugar, butter, and milk about 5 minutes.  Cool slightly, then beat until creamy.  Stir in the vanilla.  Use to frost brownies.

If you need a brownie recipe to put this on, here is an old favorite given to me by my sister-in-law many years ago:

Susan’s Saucepan Brownies

Melt 1/2 cup butter and 2 oz. baking chocolate (or 5 1/2 Tablespoons of cocoa) in a saucepan.  Add 1 cup sugar.  Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time.  Add 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder, a dash of salt and 1 tsp of vanilla.  Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts if desired.  Stir well.

Bake in greased pan (8″ square probably) at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.

These are the spouse’s favorite brownies, though it would be hard to find a brownie he didn’t like.

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Finally finished this one today and M is stopping by on the way home from work to pick it up.  I love the way the colors came out, though M would prefer to have the extra designs on the body of the blouse (the middle and side designs).  I was too tired of applique to do any additional work though.

I put two motifs on the back yoke for visual interest and used blanket stitch instead of crochet around the neckline and bottoms of the yokes.

For the next one, I think I am going to try a commercial pattern.  I am also going to try machine ‘thread painting’ to learn a new embroidery technique.  I looked in the manual for my old machine, and there is a plate to put over the feed dogs to make the embroidery possible.  I checked to see if I had the plate, and I do.

I haven’t chosen the embroidery design yet, but first I have to find my fabric, packed away during the window replacement.

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