Sunday, September 16, 2012

Indie Craft Parade

Last weekend, the Indie Craft Parade showed up in my town.  This is it's third year.  It gets better every year, from what I hear, though this was my first year checking it out.


It was pretty awesome, I have to say.  Lots of vendors set up tables to sell their handmade wares.  There was a lot of variety, which was nice.  It was held in a neat setting.  Some downtown lofts that are part of the Peace Center.

And it was crowded.  We went on Sunday afternoon near the time everyone would be closing up shop and it was packed.  They must have had a great turnout over the weekend.

There were all sorts of artists. Potters, painters, knitters, felters, screen printers, jewelry makers, spinners, sewists, soap makers, chocolatiers... (is that the right word for a chocolate maker?)

I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I enjoyed seeing others who have a passion for making things and have turned it in to a business, whether full time or on the side.

I was quite taken with these funny little creatures by Finkelstein's Center.  I walked by several times before I finally stopped and decided to take one home.

I like to think of it as a reminder of my dream job.  What!?  I haven't told you about my dream job?  That's where I make softies and clothing inspired by kid's drawings.  And I get to quit my day job and do it full time because I make billions of dollars in the process.  A girl can dream.

Quite frankly, I just really liked this pig.  He's going to live on top of my bookshelf at school next to my lion.

Thanks for bringing all the awesomeness to town, Indie Craft Parade!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Swiss Dot and Triple Stitches

My sew-jo has disappeared, friends.  I lost it somewhere on vacation, I believe.  I think I may have left it where I left my fancy, ergonomic seam ripper (yes, I really did leave my seam ripper in St. John- sigh).  Since I've been back, life has been crazy.  As I'm sure it is for everyone, so I won't complain.  Only I haven't been feeling the urge to sew like I was before vacation.  Maybe I burned myself out.   I don't know.  I think I'm just going to take it easy for a while and let it come back on it's own.  My new job is fantastic and I've been dedicating most of my time to work.  Which is probably what I should be doing anyway.  You know, instead of bemoaning how work is getting in the way of my sewing time ;)

I finally finished this blouse that I began almost three weeks ago.  I sewed in tiny increments.  A half an hour here, a few spare minutes there.  It was slow going.  But I'm pleased with it in the end.  It seems especially groovy to me.  And art teacher-y.  The shape is not the most flattering.  Looking at the pictures, I think I should shorten it a bit.  The hem hits at my widest part.  The top is a little maternity-ish.  But I knew it was going to be smock-like from the beginning.  I'll definitely wear it to work.  I do love a kimono sleeve.

I used Simplicity 2254.  I've been trying to bust through some of my old pattern stash lately.  This was one I purchased a while ago and never got around to making.  I used a pretty carrot colored swiss dot I found at Hancock.  The mannequin photos are the truer color.  I'm not sure why the others are so saturated.  I really liked the top stitching on view A and wanted to do something fun with a contrasting color.  I used my triple stitch for extra fat top stitching.  I used three different shades of turquoise thread.  I quite like the bit of color, but I kind of feel like the top stitching just screams homemade.   Which is okay.   I kept my stitching as straight and even as possible but there are some wobbly places. I'm not too fussed about it.  It is what it is.  I unpicked one row of triple stitching to fix and decided that was enough.

It's a nice pattern.  This is a good pattern for a beginner who has a few projects under her belt.  I struggled a bit with sewing the back neck band to the back bodice.  I would recommend not stay stitching the back neckline.  I had to do a fair amount of clipping to make the curve fit.  The back bodice/skirt seam line has elastic inserted in to the seam allowances.  I think that helps with the fit a bit but it sure does make for a wrinkly back.  I probably could have made a small instead of a medium.  Also, if I make this again I'll cut the back bodice on the fold.  No need for that seam there.

And that's all on the sewing horizon for me for a while.  I'm working on another blouse, but I think it will be slow going like this one.  Just little bits at a time.  What about you?  What do you do to get your sew-jo back?  Any particular project you like to work on when you're feeling uninspired?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Simplicity 1881

I'm fresh out of creative titles.  This will have to do.  This dress is my last me made item from vacation.  And it's probably my least favorite of the tropical things I made.  I had major issues while sewing this dress and I'm not exactly sure the cut is flattering on me.  But you better believe I made sure to wear it at least once after all the frantic late night sewing I did right before we left.  I actually brought my seam ripper on vacation with me and took out all the gathering stitches and some sloppily placed elastic I put in to try and fix the floppy waist at the last minute.  I ended up making a tie belt with the one lone piece of fabric I had left.  The one positive of making this dress was that I used every scrap of fabric I had.  No scraps leftover on this one, which is always a good feeling. 


I used Simplicity 1881.  Holy cow, this is a time consuming pattern!  I thought I'd be able to whip it out in plenty of time before our trip, but I was sewing down to the wire to finish before we left.  There was so much gathering and matching of seams.  It was a never ending project.  It was definitely more involved than I imagined.  I made the version with the high neck but just used the shorter skirt.  I initially wanted to do the maxi but didn't have enough fabric.  This pattern was... interesting.  I feel like the version I made is more suited for a woven, yet the pattern calls for knits.  I used an extremely cheap printed jersey which probably had to do with some of my dissatisfaction with the pattern.  It was very wiggly and thin.  I battled with all those gathering stitches and curved seams.  And all the gathering stitches left little white holes after they were removed.  The zig zag stitch was my friend on this project.

The pattern calls for a side seam zipper but I left it out.  I think zippers in knit dresses are strange, unless it's a stable knit.  I used a fusible tricot for the neck band and midriff.  It was the only way I was going to get those curved seams to turn out.  I was disappointed with how much ease the midriff ended up with.  I can see that the curved midriff would be extremely flattering if it were fitted just right.  But it sort of made me feel floppy and wide when it ended up too big.  I discovered this just mere hours before we left so I attempted to fix it in slapdash fashion.  I first tried zig zag stitching elastic along the back midriff seam lines.  It looked horrendous.  Then I went for a belt, which does the job but I don't love it.

My other qualms with this dress involve the cut of the bodice.  I think it looks just like the pattern intends it to, I just don't like it on me.  It hits right at the widest part of my back.  Maybe if the armholes were raised slightly I'd like it better.  Also, after watching Project Runway the other week, I keep thinking souffle boobs. (I hope typing that doesn't come back to haunt me, Google search!)  That's not a good thought.  I do like the back closure with the two buttons. That's fun.  All in all, it's a comfy jersey dress.  It was perfect for the hot temperature in St. John.  I wore it out to dinner one night.  I think now it will go in the magic closet for a while.  Maybe I'll decide I love it next summer.

Now back to real world sewing, friends!  No more tropical vacation photos.  I'll be visiting these posts in the dead of winter, I'm sure :)