Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pieces of Eight

Well actually 4.  I was able to piece the waistband together with 4 pieces.  No pictures because it really is not that attractive.  I was able to find one piece of fabric that could go the length of the waistband but not the width.  I pieced together the width of the waistband from various pieces.  It worked, but as I mentioned not really pretty.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lining a Pleated Skirt

Do you know how to do this?

I did not.  Having found the elusive brown lining fabric, I  now needed to figure this out.  I know that after trying to get the pleats in the fashion fabric, there was no way I was cutting the required fabric and pleating the lining in the same way.  It would give me another headache requiring a nap besides just being too bulky for a lining.

So, I pulled out my lining reference book.  I love this book so much.  I recommend it for anyone who needs help with linings.

Alas, the instructions for creating a lining for a pleated skirt seemed very complicated to me and did not make a lot of sense.  I got out my pattern pieces and started folding parts, trying to spread other parts to follow the very limited instructions.

Then a light bulb went off.  I checked my RTW pleated skirts and the linings looked very simple.  Surely, I thought there has to be a simpler way to do this.  My OCD kicked in and I headed to the computer to do some research. 

Easy, quick lining.  Not
really pretty but functional
Sure enough, there on the Threads site was a super simple, easy to understand quick, down and dirty lining for a pleated skirt.  Righty-oh, this one is for me!  I can measure my hips add a couple of inches and divide by 2.  I added a couple of darts front and back to make the waist fit and I was done without the need for a nap this time!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Please Pleat Me

Wow, apparently I do not understand pleats.  Or maybe I just don’t understand English.  It is one of the two.  I spent hours trying to figure out the pleats on this skirt.  When I followed the directions, they way they read to me, I came out with a skirt that looked nothing even the most remotely like the pattern picture. 

I think something is missing
from these instructions
I have a degree …hell I even have an advanced degree….still the instructions made no sense!  I tried it another way…nope that wasn’t it either.  At this point, it just seemed like the pattern picture and the instructions were mocking me. I eventually had to throw away the instructions and just try to recreate the pattern picture.  After some trial and error and a couple of hours….I figured it out….miracle of miracles!

I was then exhausted and had to take a nap!

Friday, January 21, 2011


McCall 8086 is cut out and read to be sewn.  I thought there was plenty of fabric.  It looked that way when I eye-balled it.  However, I have a bad habit which gets you into trouble: I don’t trace the waistband or lay out a pattern piece.  Really, all you are talking about is a 4 inch wide rectangle….why use a pattern piece?

How do I get a waistband out of this mess?
Up until now, this has not been a problem, there was always sufficient left over fabric for the waistband. I prefer not to have a lot of fabric left over from a project because I tend to hold on to the fabric thinking it may come in handy for something….so I like it when I estimate just right.  Not so this time….take a look at what is left.  Bits and bobs really.

It looks like a lot of fabric but it isn’t.  I am going to have to piece together a waistband.  I am not sure how.   On the positive side, there certainly will not be left over fabric from this project!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011 – My Year of the Skirt

I have decided that I want to make one skirt for every month this year.  As I am currently unemployed, I can get a jump start on this skirt making.  I am enjoying how quickly skirts come together, even if you line them.  I have added a little counter to keep track of the number of skirts completed.

Without further ado……drumroll……the next skirt for 2011 is: McCall 8086 copyrighted in 1950.  I had traced this pattern in December so it is ready to roll.

This is going to be a first for me: a skirt with pleats.  I have made knife pleat trim for a Victorian ball gown but never a pleated skirt.

Material will be a heavy chocolate brown cotton blend.  It has a little stretch to it.  I hope it is not too heavy for the pleats!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Yes, my dressform
is smaller than I am

Side view

All done on the navy skirt, and yes it is hemmed!  I plan to wear it tomorrow for lunch with a friend!  I do like how it turned out though the fabric is a lint magnet!  Is there any trick to stop a fabric from picking up lint?  The skirt has a nice swish when you walk

Here is how I plan to style the skirt.
I have some navy shoes which
will be perfect with this  outfit.

Isn’t this top fabulous?  It is a vintage top that an old secretary of mine gave me.  It used to be her grandmother’s top from Bullock’s Wilshire.  I think it is perfect with this skirt!  I am excited to wear it.

Why karmariffic you might ask.  Well, as I mentioned, a little over a week ago I was summarily dismissed from my job because they wanted a younger person doing my job.  That younger person with no experience lasted 4 days.  Ha…karmariffic in my book.  Will I ask for my old job back now that I know they are looking to fill it again – no way!  Its like going back to someone who broke up with you … not a good idea in the long run

Friday, January 14, 2011

What Happens When the Light Bulb Does Not Go Off?

Or that is a rather long way of saying that I still cannot figure out those lapped zippers.  Seriously, I feel dense given the research I have done.  I have now read instructions on how to put in lapped zippers both on the web and in my sewing books with the intent to put one in my skirt. 

So this afternoon I sat down to put a lapped zipper in my skirt. 

I pinned, and ironed and placed the zipper.  All for nought.  It just didn’t make any sense.  After spending much too trying to get a lapped zipper,  I made an executive decision to just do a centered zipper.  It turned out great!  All hand sewn because I do not do well putting in zippers by machine.

But perhaps that will change – while hunting through the house for a prescription (not found anywhere) I cam across an adjustable zipper foot and an invisible zipper foot both of which were purchased oh about 2 years ago.  Perhaps the next invisible zipper I put in I will try the machine again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Am I Blue?

Not really; I did lose my job last Friday but I have to believe it was for the best.  I thought this would mean more sewing and posting but I guess not!

So here is Butterick 5882 all most done!  

It came together so very quickly and I love the insets.  They look like box pleats when you walk.  I can think of making this skirt with coordinating fabric for the inset.  Oh the possiblities.  I lined the skirt and the lining is in and hemmed!!  Look at me actually hemming something.  It is a light navy cotton blend.  Love this.

All that is left is putting in a zipper, adding a waistband and hemming the skirt.  I should be able to handle this tomorrow provided I don’t take another 3 hour nap.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

First Project for 2011

After some thought, review of the pattern stash and fabric stash, I have decided on this pattern to start out the new year:  Butterick 5882, View B

Not too hard so that I will get frustrated but somewhat challenging with 4 insets. 

The fabric is cut out and ready to sew.  I think I will only line the skirt up to the insets.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Pressing Matter

I had ironed the skirt numerous
times at this point - YUCK
I think everyone knows that one should press while sewing.  However, what I tend to do is iron rather than press.

With my Vogue 6329 skirt that I do love, I have not shared pictures of the final product because every single picture showed a terribly wrinkled skirt.  As the skirt hung on the dress form it didn’t look so bad.  But boy, looking at the photos what a wrinkled mess!

So off I went to iron it …again…and again….and again with steam….but I was ironing NOT pressing.   

Finally, I made a pressing a pressing cloth and went to town with a water/vinegar solution.  And the skirt started to look better.  

Better but not perfect

Albeit the skirt smelled a little vinegary for a while…phew but it was worth it.  I am still not 100% happy but I am definitely happier and no longer embarrassed.  I tend to be very tentative with an iron.  That must stop!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

What Do You Consider A Fail?

I know that my December list became an epic fail in my mind.  Not because I did not have sufficient time?  Oh no, it was simply because I did not plan and check what I was doing. 

A quick recap:

1. Under no circumstances am I permitted to purchase fabric. Notions such as thread and zippers are permitted. SUCCESS!!
2. Finish a minimum of 2 UFOs.  FAIL  1 completed except for the hem.
3. Fix the lining on the vintage coat. FAIL – I thought this would be just sewing up the seams.  Oh my NO!  I had not really examined the lining.  I will have to replace the entire thing.  UGH.
4. Sew 2 hems: FAIL – only did one.
5. 1 new skirt out of existing fabric.  FAIL.  I took the fabric with me and I didn’t notice that it had shrunk in the pre-wash so it no longer fit the selected pattern.
6. Trace off 3 patterns:   SUCCESS!!  I traced 5 patterns.  Yup, got carried away with the soil separator.

I know that this is not an unmitigated failure of a to do list.  I did get a lot accomplished.  But this is why I try to be very careful when making lists.  I don’t know  how you react to lists but let me tell you this one started to really stress me out.  When December 30th rolled around, I started scrambling to try and finish more on my list.  Geez…that sucked.  I hate doing that to myself …it gives me flash backs of my former career…..shudder. 

What I learned is no more lists for a little while.  I apparently am a wimp and just cant take the pressure!   Thus, you will see no resolutions, sewing or non-sewing happening here.  I want to enjoy sewing so I guess I just have to putter along at my own speed for a while.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011

Here's hoping 2011 is a fantastic year for everyone!!!

I also hope that everyone had a great New Year's Eve.  Me, I spent 5 hours in an Apple Store at the Genius  Bar.  II would like to thank Chris at Northridge for his assistance and patience in getting my lap top up and running again!!!