Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Great Leather Jacket Project

Oh my goodness, it's been over 3 months!!     The only explanation I can offer is that I haven't done anything worth showing.  Honestly, the bulk of my work is mending and alterations.  I call that 'my bread and butter work'.  It's just fine by me, but there's nothing to blog about.

However, I have something to show you today!  I took on a project a couple of months ago that I had never done before.  Unfortunately, I never could resist a challenge, so I agreed to put a new lining, and new ribbing, on a leather jacket.  Boy was I scared, but it was finished this afternoon and looks just marvelous!

Here are the before pictures.  Note the shredded lining and worn-out ribbing. 

Here's some of the pieces after I've taken the out of the jacket.  This was a *fun* process.

And here's the jacket, with no lining or ribbing.  Well, except for the ribbing on the bottom. That was removed later.

And finally, here's the finished product of weeks of hard work!!

I got the heavy-duty ribbing from Seattle Fabrics online, and the new lining is a flannel-backed satin from Online Fabrics.  The color is called Oyster, but it turned out to be a lovely buttery-color that went very well with the current leather.  The new ribbing is a very dark brown (the only brown they had), but it also went very well with the jacket.  All in all, I'm very pleased with this particular project.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Battenburg Lace

Yesterday I took a class at G Street Fabrics (Rockville, MD) about how to make Batternburg Lace.   It was fantastic!!  I managed to make two small pieces in the 2 hour class, but I learned so much, and I will be seriously thinking about doing this again.    Here's the picture of what I did:

I hope you are enjoying these pictures as much as I am.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fashion Patterns by Connie

Connie Crawford makes the most wonderful patterns.  Here's her original website:
She knows how to make patterns that actually fit extraordinary woman, like me.  A couple of years ago, Butterick finally got wise and started offering her patterns, so now whenever I see them on sale, I pick up a couple more.  There is a nice collection in my sewing room.   Here is one of those patterns, B5654, made in a rainbow t-shirt knit that I picked up a long while ago.  View B.  I'm not going to say which size, but I am in the 3X-6X range.   The neckline looks awfully wide, but I assure you, my bra straps were still covered, and actually, it looked pretty good on me!  I'm wearing this to church tomorrow, with a black skirt.
Someday I might get pictures of me actually wearing the clothes, but I have to teach my cat how to work a camera first.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Story of the Bears

First of all, here are two more bears, made from the same fur as the last one.  These are for two more new little girls.

Now for the story:  A couple of years ago, I noticed that I had a whole tub full of fake fur pieces, leftover from making stuff for my nieces.  I was actively trying to reduce my fabric collection, so I wanted to get rid of a bunch, but I didn't want to throw it away (wasteful) or give it away.  So I bought a Carol's Zoo pattern, which was the simplest (yet cute) teddy bear pattern I'd ever sewn.  I chose the 9" bear, the smallest one.

Then I found safety eyes and noses on a couple of websites (Oddly enough, I couldn't find ANY locally!), and ordered a bunch.  Somehow something got crossed and I ended up buying HUNDREDS of these things, so now I have a gallon-size ziploc baggy full.  Oh well, I won't have to buy more eyes and noses for pretty much the rest of my life.

So, having everything assembled, I started making bears.  I never counted, and got very few pictures, but over time I must have made a hundred.  I gave a couple to friends, to friends of friends, but the bulk of them went to my sister, who was working as an ER nurse in the area.  She took them into the ER and gave them out to scared little children. She says that they were very much appreciated.

 The problem was solved.  I used up the fur, and helped a bunch of scared, unhappy children.  Win-win.  Every so often, when I catch fake fur on sale, I pick up another piece with that thought in mind. My sister no longer works in the area, but I'm sure any ER will still love them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Love that New Baby Smell

My co-worker's wife had a baby recently.  Naturally I had to make a bear for the new little darling.  This is my favorite Carol's Zoo pattern.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Busy times

Well, it's been awhile since I posted, and of course I have a good excuse.  I have taken on a second job!  Part-time.  I'm still sewing a little, but not nearly as much.  However, I did get permission from one of my friends to post this picture of her.

Two years ago, she came to me with an idea for a Halloween costume.  She wanted an ice dancer outfit that matched her boyfriend's hockey jersey.  Naturally, I can't resist a challenge, so here's what I whipped up one afternoon.

Aren't they beautiful together?  As you can see, her boyfriend loved the outfit, and I was rather pleased as well.  It's one of those 'I can't believe I DID that!' moments.   I used a bathing suit pattern as the base, and added the contrast pieces and skirt later.  Then I made the wristlets and booties.
It was a lot of fun.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sewing on a Rainy Day

I've been busy today.   Naturally, there's a story behind this little item.  A good friend of mine needs to keep her cell phone close at hand, and she doesn't always have pockets.  So I thought I'd design a little padded purse for her, with a long strap, primarily to carry the cell phone, but I also put little pockets on the front and back, for credit cards or whatever.  I made it big enough for my Android phone or a standard Blackberry.  She LOVES it.  So today I dug through my fabric collection to make a few more, and here's what I did.
The straps are 60" inches long so they can go over the head and one shoulder for safety. To shorten, just tie a knot in it.    For what it's worth, I actually made up this pattern by myself, so they can be sold if necessary.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sewing for Tiny Relatives

I tell everyone that my sewing 'specializes in large women and very tiny relatives'.  Those  relatives are usually my nieces, but they aren't all that tiny anymore!  I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the clothes I made for them when they were very small, but I mostly took Polaroid pictures back then, and I don't have a scanner.  I also won't post pictures of them yet (I need to ask their mother if it's okay).  However, I do have pictures of some of their clothes.  For the most part, I've been making Easter and Christmas dresses, with the occasional coat or jacket once in awhile.  They seem to like them a lot.   It's even more fun now, because they can pick out their own fabrics, and that makes for some beautiful dresses.
So....bring on the dresses!
Here are two sets of Easter dresses, from two different years.

This is a blouse and skirt set that they wanted for Christmas one year.  I aim to please.

 But this particular year, I got to play with sparkly chiffon and satin.  It was glorious and they looked spectacular.  On the other hand, they are my beloved nieces and I think they would look fantastic in a burlap sack.  Especially if I sewed it for them.  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Doll clothes and toys

Today, let's try some of the non-clothes stuff that I've made. 
One day, a friend on my sewing list gave us a link to a website that had free patterns for different types of dragons.  I had to try it out, and this is what came out.  Isn't he adorable?  They're a pain to make because of the small size, but oh, so worth it in the end. 

Here are a bunch of teddy bears that I made out of leftover fake fur that I had tons of, after making stuff for my nieces.  I didn't want to throw it away, and I didn't want to give it away, so I got a very nice Carol's Zoo pattern and made as many of the 9" teddy bears as I could.  I think in the end I made about 40 of them.  Some I gave away to friends, but a lot of them went to my sister, who gave them away in the emergency room where she worked.  The kids loved them, she said.  Here are a couple of them.

Let me introduce two of my models, Charlotte and Isabelle.  Isabelle is the blond.  My sister gave me these 18" dolls so I would have models for making clothes for the dolls that my nieces have.  Some of their clothes are models of the dresses that I made for The Girls, but these are just the clothes I made for a present.  For what it's worth, the two top dresses took as much time to make as a full-size adult dress!  Wow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brand new stuff

Well, this is my first blog.  Possibly my only blog, as I have no inspiration to be a writer.   However, over the years it has dawned on me that it would be a good idea to have a place to post pictures of stuff that I've sewed, so people can see them. 
First, a little history.
I've been sewing for a long, long time.  My mother started teaching me to hand-sew when I was 4 years old.  I remember that we made matching navy blue gingham mother-daughter aprons.   She chose the gingham so that I would be able to space my stitches evenly.  My mother was rather clever that way.  My sister and I had quite a few mom-made clothes, because she loved sewing for girls, and she was very talented, too.
I used a sewing machine for the first time at 8 years old, when I was in 4-H.  After that, the sky was the limit.  My mother helped me when needed, and encouraged me a lot to keep up with it.   So that's how it all started. 

In no particular order, here are some of the things that I've sewn.
This is my chili pepper purse.  I love this purse. It's just the right size for all of my crap, and has pockets inside and out, for organization purposes.   This is LazyGirl Designs, the City Bag.
 My friend loved my chili pepper purse so much that I made her a doggy one for a present.

I call this my Wild Thing Coat.  There's ruffles down the front and on each cuff.  It's very pretty, but being polar fleece, kind of cold when the wind blows.  

The polar fleece blanky on my bed.  It's wonderfully warm when the weather is cold.  This is just two panels sewn together, with a 3rd pattern on the sides to make it wider.  Simple, yet very effective, and looks really nice!

I think this is enough for one day.  There will be more later on.