Friday, August 14, 2015

Bow-Tie Block - A Baby Quilt

Not just another baby quilt. This one is for a BOY,  and I'm not related to him. 
He belongs to a couple from church and when they told me they were expecting 
of course I jumped at another chance to make a baby-sized quilt.

This quilt is also special because I didn't use quilting cottons. 
The fabrics for this quilt are entirely 100% cotton shirts that I thrifted and washed and sliced up. 
There are lots of progress pics on my instagram so I'm just posting the finished photos on the blog.


I also designed this quilt myself. Winging it means I designed it right?
I got the idea after seeing this Quilty; This Is My Quilt episode on Youtube a long time ago and have been waiting for an opportunity to co-opt the idea of using recycled cotton shirts. Baby quilts are the perfect size to experiment with new ideas. Instead of copying the inspiration quilt's design, I used a basic bow-tie block and arranged them in an "X's and O's" design. I had enough fabric left over to piece a patchwork backing (and plenty more fabric for another scrappier quilt!)


I hand quilted this one using the big stitch quilting technique and DMC perl cotton thread.


I love it! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Flying Geese - Cotton and Steel - A Friendship Quilt

This quilt was made for a friend this past winter/spring. 
She was furnishing a new apartment and I know a good excuse when I see one.  

Sofa sized.
The fabric is from a kit I bought on craftsy, although the pattern can be acquired for free on the Cotton and Steel website. 

The original layout
I changed the design a lot because with the limited palette I thought the design was a bit boring.
I'm starting to see that I like the limitations of a kit but like to change up the design.


I am very proud of my points. 


The obligatory wrap myself in awesomeness 

Quilted as usual by the lovely Linda Lovett. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Wee Wander Disappearing Nine Patch - A Baby Quilt

Another one of my cousins had a baby! Last fall. Oops. Bad blogger.
In my defense, I sent this quilt to them right about exactly the time the lovely Lena made her entrance into the world. I just haven't had the blogging mojo to brag about it.
Anyhoo. This is the quilt.

Hubs makes an adorable model. 

The Back

I had to give up on the idea of there being a "right side up", although this is technically sideways.

Focus! The label says "stitched with love" and was given to me by my friend who eventually got her own quilt

These are the details:

Pattern: Disappearing Nine Patch; some variation I made up after a bit of googling. I'm sure I got the idea from one of the Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube videos.

Fabric: Wee Wanderer Twilight Palette by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. It was a fat quarter bundle and I got some extra yardage from City Quilter. I also used some scraps from Ali's quilt on the back. 

Quilting: I love this pantograph! It's called Spiral Braid and was quilted by the lovely and wonderful Linda Lovett who has more photos on her blog of the quilting process. Linda is fantastic to work with; I highly recommend her. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Donna Karen ponte pant construction pics

I love #bpNovember so much. Can we have it all year round? It's like sewing party all month on instagram.

Even though I've been busy with school and work lately I've managed to finish a few things this fall that are totally wearable. Like, a chambray Lisette dress and a gorgeous teal green Sutton Blouse. I'm also chugging along on my knit cardigan project for my knitwear class which I am fancying up with a lining (a-la Chanel) and I'm about one more evening of TV watching away from finishing the binding on my latest baby quilt.  No fancy ponte pants yet but I did sew up my own draft for class a few weeks ago (it's a winner, but a rather relaxed fit) and...AND I just came across a real Donna Karan pant sample and I was able to take some very detailed photos of the construction. You wanna see the photos?? Of course you do!

It had fewer style lines than Vogue 1378, but it does have the same curved hip style lines and it also has side slits.
The waistband is straight stitched to the elastic on the inside. Clean on the outside. There are black satin 1/4" ribbon hanger loops at the side seam.
The waistband is then catch-stitched to each vertical seam allowance. I believe this is done by hand.
ETA: Notice how the front side panel seams are angled in at the waist... this adds a little subliminal waist shaping. The back legs have angled darts at the waist, shown below.

All the seam allowances are 3/8" finished width, 3 thread over-locked (serged/merrowed), pressed OPEN. The picture below is of one of the vertical seams and the bottom of the waistband... I'm viewing the garment upside-down.
Fabric: 85/11/5 Rayon/Nylon/Spandex Ponte.It feels very nice.
The hems are hand blind-stitched. 007

The Fronts are much narrower than the back at the hem, something my knitwear instructor at FIT taught us to do when drafting our knit pants.

I sooooooo need to get to work on V1378 ASAP.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ponte Pant Update & Fall Sewing

This weekend I sewed up my first pair of ponte pants (V8962). They were cut shortly after my last post and I was trying to clear it from my to-sew pile sine my knitwear class has progressed to the point of pull on pants (hello, ponte pants #2) and I was looking forward to having a commercial pattern tested and fit to compare to my own pant draft. I was thinking about how easy wardrobe staples can be a little liberating because the idea of filling holes in ones wardrobe with a tried-n-true pattern makes allows for tweaks and improvements with each attempt. As long as this first one went well (fit wise) I was ready and willing to tackle more of the pull on pants from my list.

Some notes for posterity on V8962.

I've now made all 3 items in this pattern and can say that I am quite pleased overall by the style, level of difficulty and fit. I made all three pieces in a size 20, although my measurements are that of a 22 and all three items feel a smidge big, especially the shirt. So, I think as far as knits go, I'm should be cutting 2 sizes smaller than my measurements dictate on the envelope.

The pants are now finished (wearing them now) and went together very quickly/easily. I lock-stitched each seam before serging it finished in this order: inseams, crotch, out-seams. This meant I could test the fit and make any adjustment at the out-seam.

One thing I have learned in school and at the company I work for is that most knitwear seams that are not simply serged  actually sewn with a lock-stitch, not a stretch stitch. In production all the seams are merrowed (over-locked/serged) only, but when making samples or one-offs a straight lock-stitch is fine (with a ballpoint/jersey/stretch needle).
I used one of the stretch overlock stitches on my Bernina to attached the elastic and then stitched in the ditch at the center and side seams. I've been debating about weather or not to enclose the elastic entirely but I kind of like the clean, plain look of these pants even if it does look terribly unfinished.
I blind stitched the hem, which was tricky over the serged side seams, but I managed with a leveler at the back of the foot.

The fit is pretty good... I cut a size smaller than the envelope recommends for my measurements and I could almost go down another size (I did use the elastic guide for the next smaller size). The silhouette is spot on compared to the envelope sketch; a slim, but not tight boot cut pant with no details. Next time I would add 1" to the top of the rise at the center back waist... it feels lower than the front. There isn't much pitch to the waist, but I like the height of the front rise which is at my belly button, however the back dips down when I sit. I don't have much of a rear end to speak of so I think these are drafted for a very flat dress form.
I added 2" at the leg length adjustment line and 1" at the hem and my hem is 1". I would add another inch if next time to hem for wearing with heels. The current hem is a too long to wear with flats but feels a little short over my booties. I obviously need to determine the optimim inseam for flats vs heels.

Fall Sewing

So, I have some modest fall sewing plans, which will in all likelihood change by the time winter hits, but I thought I should post the plans here, and then see how well I'm able to make good on those plans. Whether or not I post the results in picture form is anyone's guess. I seem to be doing better with instagram these days. I am not tracking school projects because the weekly deadlines keep me pretty accountable.


Bra - I impulse bought the craftsy class Sewing Braws; Construction & Fit with Beverly Johnson on Saturday. I've had a pattern traced out and a fabric kit for who knows how long. I listened to the class while I finished up my ponte pants and then cut out the pieces needed. I am a bit horrified by the color of this fabric. At least I won't feel to precious about it while sewing. I do need to get some green thread though. I bought a cream colored findings kit and it came with some ivory lace but I don't think they look good together. I may try to find some black replacement findings, elastics and galoon lace.
Kelly Green. What was I thinking?

Lisette princess seam dress – chambray
Topstitch the side and shoulder seams. Hem. Neckline facing or binding. This is the last of my summer projects and although it is a transitional piece it's teetering in UFO territory. It' sooo close to being done. Need more discipline!

Baby Quilt
Piece the back and ship to longarmer for quilting. Trim the sandwich. Make and apply the binding by hand. 

Hikaru – military green felted wool (UFO from last year)
Topstitching of all exterior seams. Install sleeves (sleeve heads, shoulder pads etc) and lining, buttons

Angela Kane Jeans – black stretch denim   (UFO from the year before last)


Ponte Knit Tube skirt(s) – emerald ponte. Need more skirts.
Floral Silk Crepe de Chine pants - Need some luxury fashion in my closet.
Tiny Pocket Tank (blue silk w/ black hearts) – double dart modified size 18. Lengthen back shirt-tail.
Cotton burn out nightie - kwik sew. Because I love the pattern and my last one is in regular rotation - husband likes it too.
Equilateral Triangle quilt - quilt along with a high school buddy


Ponte pants
Knit Striped Long Sleeve top
Knit Princess Seamed Dress – For Knitwear class
Drop shoulder top – for Knitwear class
TNT striped Knit Top.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Sewing - Must Make Vol. 1 - Ponte Pants

I'm taking another class this semester at FIT. Originally, the plan was to take Fit Analysis as the last requirement for the pattern-making certificate program. However, the first thing that the teacher (who is also the chair of the technical dept) said on the first day was that if there were any of the students were already working technical designers than we did NOT need to take the class. Huh. So, she waived the class requirement and said I could swap it for one of the other pattern-making courses. That's when I started ticking off the classes I've already taken and realized that not only do I already have enough classes under my belt for the certificate already, but knitwear is about the only class I haven't taken yet. I could have just dropped Fit Analysis and applied for the certificate, but I decided I wanted to take Knitwear anyway. My current job is in cut & sew knits so the class will be very useful to me professionally and my sewing buddy Sara already took this class with the same instructor (who is a great teacher, btw) over at the New School a few years ago, and I LOVED her projects which she got to draft for herself. It's going to be a very interesting semester!

This is all a very long winded way of explaining why I am now setting aside my summer sewing and diving headlong into my fall sewing plans. The first item on the list is a pair (or two or three) of ponte pants. I hate wearing pants in general because RTW pants are always to short in the rise and leg for me. I know that the obvious solution is the make my own (duh) but extensive pant fitting does not excite me. But pull on ponte pants can't be too hard, right? They stretch and usually don't have more than the most basic of zippers plus some interesting seams.  Since last winter I've stashed several pieces of ponte and collected a bunch of potential patterns (listed below) and I'm resolved to get to it!

 McCalls - M6173. 
These basic leggings from aren't high on my list, but 
I feel like I should have a pair of these eventually. 

Vogue 8859 by Marcy Tilton, 

The knee seams and the "jegging " details on the back give me pause, but I hear it's a nice fitting pant, though not very slim. I'm uncertain about sizing up or down to accommodate this fact.


Donna Karan Vogue 1378

OMG, the style lines are amazing. I can't even. These will be mine as soon as I get over my fear of  screwing up the fit. The wrap top is pretty fabulous too. If you spend any time stalking Donna Karan (or even DKNY) online you know how much I intend to $ave by making these myself. 
I even made note of the fiber content, marched over to Mood and demanded some "Donna Karan" ponte in that precise blend. 


 My current favorite: Vogue 1411, by Sandra Betzina. 
This one has really good fitting tips in the written instructions. Sandra, you are awesome.

 And the one I'm actually going to make first, Vogue 8962 
is as basic as it gets and I can try to get the basic fit of a ponte pants settled 
so that I can tackle the other lovely patterns on this list with confidence.


How do you feel about pull on, elastic waist, ponte pants? Yay or nay? 
Have you ever made any? Do you own any? 
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