Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fashionable Embroidery Jonathan Saunders

Here's something we don't see everyday.  If I saw this fabric on a roll, I would walk right past it, thinking it was high end home dec fabric.  The red dress is a show stopper, and the skirt is growing on me.  So has he changed your mind?  Are we all going to run out and buy embroidered fabric?  Or will you be whipping up some yardage on your new Pfaff Creative Performance?

Embroidered wool
Jonathan saunders embroidered dress

Embroidered organza
Jonathan saunders embroidered skirt

Jonathan Saunders Fall 2012
Jonathan saunders embroidered fall 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Singer 500 Rocketeer monogrammer small letters Satin stitch

The Singer Rocketeer came with a monogrammer and cams.  I had tested these before and made some very cute little letters about 3/8" high.  I had misplaced the manual this time around and since I only use it for buttonholes it took me some time to figure out how to set the machine.

These are notes for myself in case I lose the manual and it takes me 2 hours to set the Rocketeer correctly.
You are welcome to them, if it will save you time, as this machine's settings are not as straight forward as the newer machines.

Set the machine to zig zag (selection BL), and the stitch width to 2 1/2

Monogrammer settings BL stitch width 2 1/2

Set the machine stitch length to FINE
Monogrammer settings BL stitch

Unlock the stitch density and push the lever all the way towards the back and lock.
If the fabric does not advance, unlock and pull the lever forward a smidge and lock.
Stitch density - All the way to the back

Voila the satin stitch monogram
Satin stitch monogram


Monday, September 17, 2012

Evaluating September Sewing Versatility - Silhouette first

Happy to have found the mojo and at just over the two week mark for September I've made a few wearable pieces.  Now, before I make more separate pieces, let's look at what we have so far, and how many combinations of sewn garments and existing pieces I can make from these.


boatneck creme



McCalls 6571 bateau neckline

7 pieces - to be worn as follows

The skirt needs a fitted top to be worn tucked in, otherwise it's too bulky for me, so the pairing of the boatneck with the skirt is not going to happen in real life, no matter how cute it looked on the dressform.
The shirt can be worn with jeans and other pants in the closet, so it's the most versatile, however, I'll be saving the shirt to wear with the skirt.  They are made out of the same fabric, and I want them to wear evenly and not find out that through washing they no longer resemble each other.

Even though I think the skirt is limited,  this is how I'd like to dress everyday.  I like the silhouette, and the french cuffs are rolled up here, which is how I normally wear my shirts. This combination doesn't need anything else like a slip or cami to wear it.  I don't have to be careful about which undergarments I have on, so it's really simple to pull out of the closet and slip on.

Butterick 5657 skirt paired with Vogue 2813 DK OOP

The pants are really distinctive, so it has limited versatility.  The tops can be worn with jeans so they are more versatile.... however, now that I see how the navy top works with the pants, I'll be pairing it with the bottoms more often, and saving it for this combination.
Pant combination

The dress will be worn alone, but I would like to have another piece to wear over it, like a sheer knit shrug.

This skirt has been the most worn so far, and I can wear it with both boatneck t-shirts.  I know another impossibly dark photo of this skirt, trust me it's cute :)


So even though I've added to my wardrobe, I've actually limited my choices.  The sweater will now only be worn with the striped pants, the black shirt only with the black skirt.  At the end of the day, in practice, of the 7 pieces, we have 3 combinations (pants & sweater, dress, skirt & shirt), leaving 2 boatnecks and 1 navy skirt for combinations- so a total of 5 in this mini wardrobe.  Creating a wardrobe that works well together requires planning, and a strict adherence to silhouette. That's why when you plan a wardrobe you start with silhouette first.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The CL treadle

About two years ago I got an itch to buy a treadle machine.  The last time I was on one it was during a shoe making course in Spain, and it was an experience, you really need to relearn sewing when you are operating one of these, it's all about the hand, eye, foot coordination, and I'm sure to lose some weight until I can get it to run properly.  It was listed as a Singer, but it is not.  The cabinet is a Singer cabinet, but what was inside the cabinet is a Clone.





So here are the inconsistencies on CL, they said it was from the early 1900's (the cabinet might be, but not the machine, the machine is dated to around the 1950's), it is a Singer (not the machine), they said it worked (the leather belt was rotted).  When I asked when the last time they used it was, they said they had never used it.  When I tried to test it, the needle made contact with the bobbin, and the leather belt broke.  It was covered in dust and she said they had bought it 30 years ago as conversation piece but they had never used it.  There was a fully loaded bobbin and the machine was threaded.  It's always interesting on CL.  They were none the less a really nice couple, and they helped me load it in the car.  While it's not one of the sexier Japaned finish Singer machines, it does have a bobbin mechanism I'm familiar with and it's in pristine condition.  I am anxiously awaiting the parts ordered to get it running as originally intended.  Of course if it doesn't work I can always look for another machine head (maybe even the red eye I've always wanted).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hiding.... err.... storing fabric scraps.

I have decided this is the year to tackle the fabric scraps I can't seem to part with.  I found this pattern for a Moroccan pouf and I have just the tapestry fabric for it.  This will also give the furry one a new place to perch.

Pouf layout

Pouf inside out

Inspector No. 1
the investigation

Whew!  It seems to have passed....

Inside out

I knew it wouldn't stay empty long.


This holds a lot of stuff, about 3 shopping bags full and it still isn't finished.  It will take me some time to get it filled completely, but at least now there is a place to put all of those pesky fabric scraps.  This is the large version of the pouf on the examiner website.

Pouf for scale

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

D&G Red Velvet dress... What do you think?

I find that markedly exaggerated silhouettes are a sign of things to come.  When I saw this Dolce and Gabbana velvet dress on net-a-porter, I didn't think it was real.

DG Velvet dress

Look there's even a model in it!!  Why does this look so familiar?
Dolce Gabbana

I've seen this silhouette before...
Bols Ballerina bottle

I remember as a child, my parent's friends had a bar in the basement.  They would take this Bols liquor bottle out and wind it up for me so I could watch the ballerina dance.

Would you wear this silhouette? or is it simply too over the top for our modern day practical sensibilities?