Monday, May 25, 2015

A Few Small Projects

It's been a cool and rainy month here in Albuquerque, so I haven't had much of an opportunity to take pictures of my most recent projects. Still, "happy for the rain," as you will hear almost every New Mexican say. Warmer and sunnier weather is inevitable, so hopefully I will be modeling some garments soon.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few smaller projects that I've been making. This weekend was the biannual Fiber Arts Fiesta, at which I volunteered, bought a few things from the vendors, and also made some items to sell to benefit the Fiesta's charitable cause. Enlace Communitario was this year's beneficiary. Its mission is to work to eliminate domestic violence in the Latino immigrant communities of Central New Mexico and promote healthy families through comprehensive domestic violence intervention services, preventative community education, policy advocacy and leadership development. I made some bibs that the booth could sell for this fundraiser.




They're made from scraps left over from some other projects, not particularly childlike prints, but I figured that they might appeal for that reason. Sure enough, none were left by the time I went to the Fiesta on Saturday. I'll be making some more of these for baby gifts in the future.

You may have seen these on Facebook or Instagram already, but I also made some more rolled-edge napkins for the house. These were made of leftovers from some of the pillow case projects I made in the past. What's different about this set is that they are double layers of fabric. DH likes them better than the original ones because they have more heft. We've had time to run them through the washer and dryer and they're holding their shape pretty well!


This weekend I made another nightgown from Simplicity 9505. You've seen these before (here and here). I needed another one and it's a fast sew that I was able to make in a couple of hours. The fabric is from Santa Fe Fabrics.


Yes, it's a dress form print!


I'll have another project to show you once the intended recipient has gotten it. But that's a post for another day.

And it's raining. Again.







Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Visit to Portland OR

Last weekend, I headed up to Portland for a meet up with several delightful ladies for a weekend of fashion, food, and fun! I really needed a break and this getaway really hit the spot for me

First up, some shopping. Georgene and I headed off to the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store, the one with actual fabrics, located at 8500 SE McLoughlin Blvd. We both did a lot of damage to our wallets there! Following are some of the goodies I picked up.

Silk prints,


cotton shirting,


a remnant of Pendleton's signature wool,


and notions. Clockwise are felt binding, faux suede binding, and denim piping.


The fabrics were precut and discounted from the prices on the labels. In addition, I picked up a scarf that you'll see later. Definitely worth the taxi fare.

After Pendleton, we met with the rest of the group as they were finishing lunch at Habibi, a Lebanese place. I shared a few bites and it was fabulous, yum!

After, some of us headed to saysay, a nearby boutique. I picked up a pair of tights (which I forgot to photograph--trust me, they're cute!). I also got a wonderful handbag that can be worn two ways. Here's the bag all together.


The inner bag can also be worn by itself with a shoulder strap.


The scarf in the above pictures is the cotton scarf I got at Pendleton. I love the Pacific Northwest Native American design of hummingbirds.


But we weren't done yet! Off to Nordstrom Rack, where we had to look at (and buy) shoes. These are the ones I got. This pair was marked "Brookline" on the tag, a brand I'm not familiar with, but I did like the Fluvog/Tsubo look. They are also surprisingly comfortable.


The other pair is Bernie Mev, which I've liked since seeing Shams' pair last year in Santa Fe. Very light and comfortable. All those strips are elastic. 


After a brief respite at our home away from home, Hotel DeLuxe, we headed out for an Italian dinner at Piattino in the Pearl District. I think we overwhelmed the place, but we had a great time as you can see. Mardel, Liana, Jan, me, Rosie, Ann, Margy, Patti, Shams, and Georgene.


Saturday and breakfast at Cheryl's on 12th.  A hearty, delicicious breakfast and lots of coffee prepared us for our journey into fashion at ...


the Portland Art Museum! We arrived before it opened and had some time to explore the sculpture garden. Margy and Shams with a sculpture that matched their ensembles.






And then the doors opened for the show,


The exhibit was a very comprehensive review of Italian fashion, with several galleries over 2 floors. Alas, no photos allowed inside, but the catalog arrived Saturday (yay!).

Of course, more shopping around after the museum. We all wound up at the Button Emporium, since pretty much all of us sew. It's a very well stocked place, but it made me realize that I already have a lot of buttons. I really couldn't choose and left without buying, although I did like browsing.


Jan and I broke off from the group when we noticed a "boutique" Goodwill nearby (838 10th Avenue). I bought an Eileen Fisher cardigan and a dupioni top from Chico's. I liked the concept and hope Albuquerque will open one of these soon. Yes, the items are a bit more expensive, but worth not having to hunt through racks and racks of clothes to find one nice thing.

After changing for dinner, we headed to Josephine's. It's a re-boot of the the venerable Portland fabric store that closed in 2013. The new store is in D Street Village and has a well-curated selection of fabrics. Below are Liana and Margy checking out the goods.


I bought a yard of Liberty Tana Lawn cotton that I fell in love with. Now I know why people go nuts for it. This print is called "Anna's Garden."


Next up, dinner at PokPok, a Thai restaurant. It's very popular but somehow Shams managed to get reservations for us! Here's Jan, me, Georgene, Ann, Patti, Mardel, and Liana.


Mardel and Liana again, Rosie, Shams, and Margy's(?) hand.


Interesting food and delicious drinks.

Since Ann, Georgene, Shams, and Rosie were leaving on Sunday, we did a show and tell after dinner with all our goodies. The front part of this pile is mine (yikes).


We had a farewell breakfast Sunday morning at the hotel's restaurant, Gracie's. Mardel, Liana, Jan and I went to Knit Purl. I didn't get anything since I'm "World's Slowest Knitter" and had already bought so much stuff, but it was a lovely store. Afterwards, we had dessert at Petunia's. I admit that I didn't have high hopes for a vegan and gluten free bakery, but the food was remarkably good! I had pie, a sliver of Mardel's cake, and a spoonful of Jan's mac and cheese.

We took in a movie since Dior and I was showing locally. It's a documentary of Raf Simon's first collection for the House of Dior, and quite good. We all appreciated that so much attention was given to the staff who make those beautiful couture garments.

One last meal, back at the hotel since we were all pretty tired at this point. Thanks Driftwood Lounge for having wonderful burgers and other items that we could make a meal of. And here we are: me, Margy, Mardel, Liana, Jan, and Patti!


Thanks to Patti and Shams for "herding cats" and putting this weekend together! And thanks to all who attended--Ann, Georgene, Jan, Liana, Rosie, Mardel, Margy, and Patti! I loved being with each and every one of you.

Other posts about our Portland weekend--Shams (here), Margy (here), and Mardel (here and here).



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Butterick 5218 Tunic View B


It's been a busy month, but I've been getting in little dribs and drabs of sewing. I feel like I've been working on this relatively simple project forever! I originally cut out the fabric last fall in Material Girls but didn't get around to sewing it before the weather changed. Even though it's long sleeved, it's made of a light weight linen (from Jo-Ann's!) that wouldn't have worked in cooler weather.

This is another OOP pattern from the stash, although I noticed it's still available on the Butterick patterns web site. They do have a new one on the site that's somewhat similar in front (Butterick 6099), but the back has a yoke and pleat instead of gathers at the back neck.


I pretty much made it from the pattern, although the illustration is slightly wrong. View B actually uses the same collar as View A instead of the notched collar shown in Views C and D, but that's was fine with me. What wasn't so fine was those voluminous gathered sleeves, so I shortened and tapered them. I took about 6" off the width and about 2" off the length, and they're still full length sleeves. I also shortened the tunic by 4", so unless you're tall, you might end up with a dress instead of a tunic. I used the extra length to add a real hem instead of the narrow one directed by the guide sheet.

I do like the pattern though, in spite of those things and a few other wonky aspects of the guide sheet. I don't know that I'll make another tunic, but I do like View A, the shorter version with the sash. And View C, for that matter.

Collar detail:


Placket detail (aren't those buttons great? Like jewelry):


Back neck detail, with gathers:


It's cold and rainy today, so no photos on me right now. I hope to be wearing this very soon, so I'll be adding a post with styled photos when the weather is more agreeable!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Latest Loes Hinse Tango Skirt




It's obvious that this skirt is a favorite because it's appeared so many time on this blog. Easy to sew, beautiful in both lengths--what's not to love?

This latest one is made out of a gorgeous vintage rayon challis that my friend Sue Ellen gave me. There are 10 panels, all cut from the same pattern piece. Honestly, cutting out all the panels is probably the most time consuming part of making this pattern. I made this using mostly the new Bernina to sew it together, using its dual feed feature. It's like having a built-in walking foot, and there are several feet compatible with this feature. Love it! The seam edges were serged to finish. The casing was made in the traditional fold over, sew, and pull elastic through manner instead of the technique described in the guide sheet. I'd like to be able to alter this skirt later if needed and while Loes Hinse's elastic waist technique is great, it's a pain in the neck to rip out due to multiple layers of stitching at the edge. The hem was also serged then just turned up and machine sewn.

I made the top from Kwik Sew 2565 a number of months ago, and it was previously posted here.

The shoes are the "Sable" from Sole Society, in gray suede, and very comfortable even with a 2 3/4" heel. I bought them at the end of the season last year and there are still a few pair in stock.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Latest Kwik Sew 2565

Yes, another one! This pattern is definitely a TNT; it's my first choice whenever I make a knit top.



Kwik Sew often offers similar versions of this T shirt it its line, so even though this particular pattern is out of print, you might be able to locate something like it. Other than the fact that I've tweaked it to suit me, I like this pattern because the sleeve is actually designed to fit at the shoulder instead of being dropped.

This version is made of "onion skin" knit that I bought from Emma One Sock years and years ago, so this project is also a stash buster!


I don't have a lot to say about construction. I've made this so many times that it almost comes together on its own. This time, I used my conventional machine for assembly throughout. My serger was only used for coverstitching the hems. No particular reason because I've used the serger quite often on previous versions.

The jeans are Not Your Daughter's Jeans and the clogs are Sofft. 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

The SewWest Closet

I'm trying to catch up with some garment pictures on me for a change. I'd like you to have some idea of my style and how I put things together, as well as the latest items hot of the machine. Until I come up with something better, I'm labeling those posts as "The SewWest Closet." Not very original but it is what it is

DH got me a new tripod round Christmas, which I accessorized with a camera phone mount and a bluetooth remote shutter. So yes, now I'm taking blog photos with my iPhone. I play around with my photos after the fact on my laptop or in Instagram. But until I break down and get a "good" camera, that's what I'm doing.

I still have my point and shoot but I got it just before bluetooth became common. So it's not so good for selfies, even with a tripod. It has its place because it still does a good job with still shots and macros.

The first of the series will be up soon, so keep an eye out for it. I may also go back and label some of my older posts as well--no promises but that's the plan.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Second Loes Hinse Sweater Set

I was almost able to finish another Loes Hinse Sweater Set before the trip, but didn't quite get it done.


This one is made from a Missoni-ish knit fabric that I've had in the stash for a long while. There are are two yarns, a chenille and a thin rayon. It came from JoAnn's, back when they had quite a bit of good "jobber" fabrics. I still have some green and some black left in this fabric.

Since I'm lounging about with no makeup and pajamas, I'm showing it on Ms. Acme this time.



My serger did not like this fabric at all, so I used a conventional machine throughout, a narrow zig zag for construction, then a wider zig zag for finishing. The new machine did a great job making all the buttonholes.

Coco recently asked about my dress form. It's an Acme adjustable form that a friend gave to me when she moved to Oregon several years ago. Based on the label (which fell off and is lost), I think it's probably from the 1950's-early 1960's. It has metal bars on inside to allow for adjustment. It a bit smaller than I am, so I use it for display vs. fitting. It comes in handy during construction as a tool for working out how the garment should look.