Monday, November 9, 2015

Ziggi and me! The Ziggi Biker jacket!

To answer this question up front – no, I don’t have a motorcycle. But I couldn’t resist making the Style Arc Ziggi Biker Jacket. Kind of an odd choice for my first Style Arc pattern but I’ve been fascinated with this jacket. The draft on these patterns are legendary so I thought I would give it a try. I’m definitely a convert! Just made the Issy knit top and love that too!

This is what it looks like zipped up:

The back is pretty interesting. It has a peplum on it to give it some shaping and ease:

My wonderful Mother in Law gave me a very generous birthday present and it was enough for the leather of this jacket. Actually I have a whole lot left as I ordered an entire cow hide! I spoke with a very helpful sales person at Hide House and she guided me to the correct leather. It’s called Moto so you can guess it’s pretty thick. I did say I wanted something suitable for winter – this sure is!

I have to say Style Arc is not really great on directions. But there were lots of tutorials out there to assist me on this. This pattern is not for the faint of heart!

As shown in the illustration I quilted the shoulder and sleeve top. I thought that gave it an extra designer touch. The zippers came from Wawak and the lining was a Bemberg Rayon Twill from Gorgeous Fabrics. It’s a heavier coat weight lining. 

There were a few tricks I learned about working with leather. If you get unintended sewing holes of course they don’t just go away with an iron like with a woven. As a matter of fact you can’t iron the stuff anyway! I used Leather Weld to fill the holes and a leather conditioner to blend them in. Worked quite well.

To get the seams to be easier to get through the machine I used a skiving tool to shave the leather down in bulky places and a rubber mallet to sort of pound seams down. My Bernina B790 got through the jacket with little complaint.

Also adding the lining was a bit different. I couldn’t bag it through the sleeve seam as I would just about any other jacket so I left the opening at the hem and tacked it there.

This jacket has a total of five zippers on it. One for the front, two for the pockets and two for the sleeves. That’s quite a bit of hardware. 

Well, it was cold enough to wear it today and one of my coworkers asked me if I road my bike in or drove a car! Of course I had to answer “what bike”?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A clock for the lake house sewing room!

I wanted a nice clock for my Pocono sewing room. This design came from Emblibrary and I did it one hooping with the maxi hoop on my Bernina B790. The quilt background was done on my Bernina B580 using some quilt scraps. I found the frame, plexiglass and clock kit on Amazon. This room is really coming together!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let's hear it for the wrap dress! 40 years and counting.....

For those who don't know this the wrap dress is now celebrating it's 40th year. It's a style that looks great on everyone it's obviously a classic.

I am in possession of a book called "Sew Many Dresses, sew little time". I saw it and thought that's well worth getting! It has some great pattern blocks as well as a lot of ways to work them.  There is a variation of a mock wrap I thought would be great for the summer. I decided I wanted mine to be short sleeved as I'm not a fan of sleeveless as a rule. There was a pattern block for capped, short, mid and long sleeves.

The fabric came from Elliot Berman Fabrics in NY. They had a great sale on 4th of July and I got some really wonderful fabrics from them as well as a special gift of a yard and half of Nanette Lepore cotton. That project is yet to come.

This is the front of the dress:

I opted to go with a straight skirt with a slit in the back. A bit more modern take.

Lining was a bit of challenge. They showed it with facings. I attached the lining to the front pieces, then added the lower skirt. After that I created the back and attached it. The sleeve lining is bagged and the bottom hem is tacked.

I'm really please with this dress. It can be used for all kinds of occasions as well as worn to work and good for a night on the town after!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

G Street Fabrics and demise of clothing fabric stores

Well, I guess it had to happen. G Street Fabrics is closing both of it's stores in Virginia. The only remaining one will be Rockville. Honestly, three interstate highways to get there will probably make it too tough to attempt on a regular basis. Centerville was on my way home from work with a minor detour.

For those of us who love to sew clothes this will be a bit of a problem. We have an amazing amount of quilt shops around here but the clothing fabric stores are on the downslide. We lost Fabrics Unlimited in Arlington, Couture Fabrics in Alexandria, Curran Square Fabrics in McLean and now this. Exquisite Fabrics, formerly in DC is now in Culpepper, VA.

Guess it's time to go check out A Fabric Place in Baltimore and take a trip to Culpepper to check Exquisite Fabrics new digs. And there's Sew Smart Fabrics in Scranton, when I'm up there, to check out. After boating season that is. And Manhattan is only two hours from the lake house so there is the Fashion District there.

And I guess online will be the other option. I like when I know there's a brick and mortar attached although I know that's not always the case.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

And idea for Jeans and how it went

I entered these into a jeans contest and of course I didn't win. I'm never optimistic about winning because the group of people who enter are extremely creative. The fun thing is looking at what they do and stealing ideas for the future!

The base pattern I used was one I self drafted. I took several classes in drafting and decided I needed to give it a shot. I did use my Bernina My Label jeans pattern for things like pockets, yokes and other details. I looked a Jalie 2908 for reference for the cut of the legs.

For fabric I used this really nice denim from G Street Fabrics. It was 97% Cotton and 3% Lycra so not a whole lot of stretch. I did buy some stretchier denim from Mood but I'll be I'll be using it to try out the Jalie pattern in the future. I was suspicious it wouldn't meet the 95 Cotton 5 Lycra requirement.

This is the front:

This is the back:

I had this fairly nice soft black leather blazer with a torn arm. So far I've cannibalized it to make details in a hounds tooth skirt and for the yoke and pocket trim on these pants. 

I recently bought this snap press from KamSnaps as well as pliers to remove snaps that don't work out.
Wow is this thing heavy! Of course I got it in powder blue! I find the bottom of snaps work quite well as rivets.  I used the leather as trim for the pockets:

I interfaced the leather with a medium weft interfacing and lined it with the same fabric I used for the pockets:

My embroidery for the back pocket and front and back leg was Dressed in Damask from Emblibrary. I've used it before and I just love how elegant it is. My Bernina B780 embroidered this denim very easily.

My topstitch thread was from Wawak. It's a huge spool and I'm sure I'll eventually have to figure out who to will it to! It's enough for several generations!

My setting for the picture was the dock of my Mother in Law's house in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I love water as a backdrop! And this was a nice break from Winter. These were taken in March and WOW that was a wild month in Pennsylvania! However, when I got back to Virginia Spring has seemed to arrive.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lake Wallenpaupack clock for lake house

Wow, have things gotten busy! Well, I'm back...

Anyone who was at this house when my parents owned it probably remember the cuckoo-cuckoo clock that was once there. People either loved it or hated it. It was a cute clock but some found the sound annoying. It's down at my Virginia house now and needs to be repaired. We figured when it's up and running it will be another sound for Elvis the African Grey Parrot to imitate.

We needed a clock for it's place. I was at a Bernina Club meeting at G Street and they showed how to make an embroidered clock. Why not! I ordered the kit and started work on it.

I used the stitch regulator for the background of the clock. It was fun using it to stipple. Using the Bernina Designer 7 software I used the wreath tool in the software for the creating the numbers. As far as the embroidered map went I scanned a map off of PP&L's web site of the lake and digitized it. There is a small heat set crystal where Paradise Point is.

I didn't like the exposed front sides of the two pieces of plexiglass so I bought a frame to put around it.

When I was finished I realized I could but a piece of plexiglass and a frame just drill a hole in it for another clock. I want to make a sewing themed one for the lake house sewing room so once I clear a few more things off my plate I'll be making one for there.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A little more sewing room luxury cover for my Coverstitch Machine

The only thing that I didn't like about my Babylock cover stitch machine was the extremely cheesy cover that came with it. Same with my Enlighten serger. They are made out of flimsy plastic and not at all esthetically pleasing to look at.

The Enlighten lives in my Rockler cabinet so there is no need for to have a cover but the cover stitch sits on the Gristmill cabinet when not in use. Anything that visible needs a nice cover!

I made one for my Sashiko, who sits on the antique sewing cabinet that belonged to my Grandmother and one for the Bernina serger living at the lake house. So time for the cover stitch to get one.

I used jelly roll fabric to make the front, top and back. I used the cheesy plastic cover as a pattern. This was done on Bernina B580 and it was fun using the decorative 9mm stitches the machine. The piecing went perfectly using the 97 foot and guide. Best 1/4" seems ever! The logo was done through the Bernina Designer Plus 7 software.

I used a close font to their log and they added the oval around to emulate it. I've got the Bernina one, which I have on my serger cover in Pennsylvania as I like the label them with who made them.

This is how the front and back look:
The sides were done with my Saskiko machine:
This is the one I did for the Sashiko machine. It was one of the first ones I made so it's not quite as nice as the cover stitch cover. But it does nicely serve the purpose of keeping dust off the machines!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Okay, so now up.....

I did acceptably well with the Bargainista Fashionista contest. If I figured this right I was fifth out of fifty two. It was a pretty amazing group of designs so that feels good to me.

So once again something I want to do is on at the right time. I've been wanting to make some more jeans for a while and I have some leather scraps left from my destructed leather coat - it had a torn sleeve so I decided it should be put to good use as trim. Also want to embroider on it.

I have some nice stretch denim from Mood but I think I'll got to G Street tonight to get some non-stretch. I think my pattern (the 5 pocket jeans from Bernina My Label) will work better with the non-stretch version than the stretch version. I'm thinking of picking up the Jalie 2908 Jeans pattern for the stretch fabric when I get to that.

It would be nice to have a few more pairs of nice jeans. I can actually wear the to work on certain days.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Embroidered tissue boxes - when I couldn't find ones that matched well enough

I'm kind of a stickler for personalization and coordination. Between the two houses that means six bathrooms between them. I'm fine with two in the Virginia house but I never found one I liked for the master bath when we redid it a few years ago. Same with the lake house.

I wanted to match one for the master bath in Virginia with the shower curtain and matching towels I embroidered when we completed that renovation:

Using the same type face and a little more detail this was the box I made to match:

All four sides are the same on this one. I used some linen I found from a project I never got off the ground. It worked quite well.
The other four, three for the PA bathrooms and one for the PA sewing room were done with embroidery from Emblibrary. The ones for the white and green bathroom match the hand towels I embroidered and the one for the gold bathroom I found at Emblibrary.
These have four different faces so here are the four sides of each box:

I used quilt cotton for the three bathrooms and some of the linen I found for the sewing room one.
The boxes came from Sew For Less. They are acrylic and anything can be added to them - pictures, embroidery, anything flat. This was a fun project and a bit of a break from clothing which I will be returning to after this. I did wanted to make sure I had these ready for my next trip north.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

My take on the Burberry Kensington Trench

Well I did enter the Bargainista Fashionista contest. I've had this trench coat fabric around for a few years and decided this was a good excuse to get it sewn. We were to take an expensive garment as inspiration and make our own version of it for a lot less. Challenge on!

This is my inspiration:

My pattern was my venerable Bernina My Label pattern but I did see a Burda and Sewaholic pattern that could be used instead. The good thing about my pattern was I already made it once (a way less complicated version) so I knew it fit quite well.

I did some snoop shopping at Bloomingdale's and frankly I think my fabric was even nicer that the original. It came from Michael's Fabrics so no surprise about that. I, of course, couldn't get the Burberry cotton lining but I got some really nice 100% wool from Mood and it turned out to be perfect for this. Once again, I prefer it to the original lining.

I did have to figure out how the collar worked. It has a collar stand that has a clasp on it so it can be closed for bad weather. I found some very nice brass hardware from Ebay which worked quite well as the D rings and tongues on the buckles were brass. Speaking of the buckles the only ones I could find didn't have tongues but Potomac Cobbler  could add them for me. Well worth it! I added the D rings to the belt in the back a-la-Burberry. The buttons and D rings came from Wawak.  I did promise the lady at Potomac Cobbler I would wear the coat in sometime. Apparently there aren't a lot of people that make this request.

I did welt pockets as opposes to the inseam pockets on the pattern. One thing I realized while working on this coat is the fabric was a bear to work with! Nothing turned out to be easy! But I'm very pleased with the outcome.

I also added epilates to the shoulders. I had to draft the back shield as there wasn't one. I also added the straps on the sleeves if it is needed to tighten the sleeves in a storm. Also I noticed they lined the undercollar in the lining fabric so I did the same. Kind of a nice touch.

So here is my version:

And, without further ado, this is the lining:

Okay, so here is the the breakdown of the cost:

$1.90 for D rings
$3.57 small leather buckles
$1.65 for the larger leather buckle
$15 for the tongues for the buckles (they didn't come with theme but a local cobbler shop could put them in. A shout out to Potomac Cobbler in Woodbridge VA!
$1.99 for thread - put it in here because of all the topstiching
$45.00 for the wool plade lining from Mood
$45 for the Coat Fabric from Michael's Fabrics
$2.70 for the brass neck closure fond on Ebay
Total cost: $125.13
Burberry Kensington coat: $1798.00

93% saved!

So that project complete and we'll see what happens next!