Sunday, March 18, 2018

Millinery 2018 my journey

As I infrequently post about my hat-making I decided to do it this year as I am heavy into making new hats for my upcoming shows. The first show is May 5&6. I like to start the season by un-trimming hats from the prior year that did not sell. I try to figure out how to re trim or re block them to improve their appearance or just fix something that was "off" to my eye.
Here are some of my my 1920's themed cloche hats. They always are popular. I wanted to develop some machine embroidered trims so I could combine my hobbies of sewing and using my embroidery machine with my millinery.

The next type of hat I like to make are in the tea hat category

The final category are Percher hats here are two new ones I made.

Percher hats are a big trend in Australia and England. I hope they catch on here soon. They are great for the gals that complain about 'hat-hair', there is no head size so they truly fit all, and they are not hot to wear like hats can be in the summer humidity. Hope you like them.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Winter Retreat and Sewing continued

This blouse is Simplicity 1779 I really liked this pattern. The directions were great and it gives you many options. I had to do a full bust adjustment on this one as well.

The final photograph is the Sew Simple which are manufactured by Simplicity. The pattern had only 3 pieces front, back, and hip band. Since this is a very loose fitting top I didn't do any pattern adjustments and it came out just fine.
Hopefully you are enjoying my sewing projects. what have you been making lately?

Winter retreat and sewing





I attended a Sewing Winter Retreat at the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, VA this past January. What fun to see all of my Northern Virginia sewing friends. It was sponsored by the American Sewing Guild a national organization.
The tops and jacket that I made in the three days I was there were all fitted and cut out prior to the event. I am not a wizard fitting always takes me time as I have many fitting issues.

I like to make jackets. I made one out of upholstery material a while back and it came out really nice. The body of the fabric really suited the patter that was designed to be used in this way. I am talking about McCalls M7288. I made view A this time with the squared off collar.
McCalls M7288

back view





The next project was to make a simple knit T-shirt. I had this Connie Crawford pattern B5215 for a while and I decided to try it. I had to alter the pattern for room in the bust area. I did not have enough fabric for sleeves so I just used a complimentary neutral knit for the sleeves and neckline trim.












 The next knit top used a combination of different fabrics. I bought a "bundle" at a Sewing event from a well know sewer, Rae Cumbie. She often sells off-cuts of projects she has made. I really liked the fabrics so I added the plain purple knit and Viola I had a top. There is a very splashy print fabric that is under the purple section of the top. I didn't get a good picture of it here.

McCalls M7247 back  

         

Monday, March 27, 2017

new hats new techniques

Millinery is my passion! I have been doing it since 2000. Every couple of years I try to take courses from other more experienced milliners. For the past two years I have taken courses from west coast milliners and ones all the way from England and Australian. Some of newer pieces reflect some of the techniques I have learned. Below is a photograph of one of my new styles.
This is a percher pill box with a buckram frame covered in a tweed fabric. A custom made leather butterfly accented with curled quills completes the look.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A pain in the pants... making your own pants

     I have been teaching myself fitting techniques since I started sewing for myself five years ago. I took a class and made a "dummy" out of duct tape. That has worked well for the upper torso fitting projects. In the first three years I made 4 jackets and maybe 6 or 7 tops. I feel that most of my tops look like they fit me. I had to analyze my shoulder line and master the large bust adjustments.
     Last year I decided that I wanted to make some pants for myself. I had my husband take pictures of me in all of my pants. I soon realized that they all had the same problem and were all pulling in the same spot. I bought Kenneth Kings fitting CD's Smart Fitting with Kenneth King and I could follow his explanation on that CD but when it came to reading my own "wrinkles" I was clueless. The second thing I did was take a fitting class from Sarah Veblen and bought her book: The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting. I understood better what my fitting problem was from her book and what I needed to do. The problem with the pants I made from that pattern was that she gave me way more easy than I like in my clothing. I thought they looked too baggy. (Some people feel that if you are a plus size you want your clothing baggy, I do not.) I do recommend her book as it is really informative and the design ease is such a person thing.
     The third system I used was taught to me by my friend in the American Sewing Guild. We used a book: (How to make sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunn) and built our pattern by using our own body measurements. I did this kicking and screaming because I feel I am too lousy with math.
     She put up with my shenanigans and walked me through it. The pants fit with enough room to move and drape nicely over my curves. Now I have a template that I can use to compare commercial patterns.
     I used Vogue 9131 for my pants. They compared to my self made pants pattern very nicely. I didn't have to change much except for the crotch curve.
     I saw a pair of pants on the Nordstrom web site in August.
I decided I wanted to make pants that had this length and tapered leg. So I happened to be shopping at our going out of business Hancock store and found similar fabric.These are what I made.

Willow the Corgi
Vogue 9131


Do you have a pants story? Tell me about it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Spring Components


M7094


M7094

I made two spring tops to go with the pants I talked about in my previous post. The tops came out more successfully than the pants did. I did not have anything in my wardrobe that was this pale lilac color. My pants were made with a linen type fabric with this lavender/ lilac color. I used lace on the pants pocket. The lace on the top is the same lace.
The Tye-dye fabric I just saw at my local Hancock's Fabric store that is going out of business. I had been wanting to try that McCall's 7094 pattern. It is too big but wearable. I loved the shoulder tucks. I am wearing the lilac pants with it in the pictures below. Do you like my sidekick, Willow the Corgi?

McCalls 7191 Is another top that I recently made. I also made a knit jacket to throw over it.
I love the cut out back in this pattern. The pattern was true to size and I just needed to do a simple Full Bust pattern adjustment. I used Sarah Veblens book to do this with and it came out perfectly. My new dog walking outfit. I used the left over fabric to trim my hat. I just rolled edge the fabric and draped it on the crown and pinned it with a matching flower trim. the knit jacket was a Simplicity jacket. I used some knit fabric I had from my mothers stash. I top stitched it with some variegated Superior thread. It came out beautifully.






Pants update I am a "deep" person

I took a pants fitting workshop with http://www.sarahveblen.com/ Sarah Veblen. During the workshop I tried on ready made pants samples of the Fit for Art Eureka pants that Fit. I had a choice of one front pattern and three back pattern pieces.
I learned that most people are evaluated by their width side to side measurement from the front view. Length from waist to center crotch and the depth of their bodies as viewed from the side. I have way more depth to my body when viewed from the side than I do width when viewed from the front. When wearing pants that means I need more depth so that I can "sit" comfortably in my pants.
I made the mock up muslin and it fit very nicely in the muslin toile.
At the workshop there was a person who could mark your purchased pattern pieces so that I can replicate the sample I tried on.
So I am making my first pair of pants. I bought a jeans pattern from Butterick 6327 and adapted that pattern back so that it matched my muslin pattern. I wanted a jeans look to my pants even though I am making them out of a linen blend.I think the fit in the front is overall good but they are just too big in the legs. the front hits exactly on my waist and on my side seams are where they should be. The pant legs look twisted but they are not just getting caught up on my sandal straps. The fit in the back is good across my buttocks. The pocket placement I like. The excess fabric that should curve around my butt indicates they are too big there. There is no gripping and pulling under my butt cheek which means my crotch seam is long enough. I don't carry the bulk of my weight on my lower hips but on a high hip area. These issues I will tweak in my next pair of pants. The fabric also was a much looser weave then the toile and has stretched a bit too.
 


 The top is just a white sweatshirt revamped. I just cut off the knit cuffs hem and neckline tucked it under and sewed. The closeup is the reverse applique that I added and used the lace again on the underside. I used complimentary thread colors in the bean stitching. Hope you like the colors I used these are new to me. I never wore this shade of lilac before. All the fabrics were purchased at a local Hancocks fabric store that has gone out of business.....