Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hello & Welcome

This is the debut of my sewing blog. A place to share my sewing escapades with the sewing community. My goal is to inspire, teach and engage in all this wonderful craft of sewing as to offer.

Though I have been sewing since I was a little girl, I am just recently back in the swing of sewing on a regular basis. Up until now, I have been a career girl, so much of my sewing was relegated to just alterations, Halloween costumes for my daughter or odds and ends for the house. Now retired, I sew all the time in my newly created sewing studio. I also teach sewing both privately and around town to anyone who's interested. I am amazed at how I love doing it and sharing what I know with new sewists.

So, to inaugurate my first posting I would like to share with you a few recent projects I have made. The first and most important project is the completion of my new sewing studio. It's a dedicated space in my basement that my husband and I remodeled (fixed up is probably more accurate) that is very efficient and unbelievably comfortable. Everything in the space is new - cutting table, sewing chair, dress forms, freshly painted walls, new carpet, lighting and decor. I made a curtain to separate the sewing space from the rest of the room. The pincushion and scissor covers featured here are also new. Just some fun projects that are both useful, pretty and personalize the space

One project I just completed is this stylish blouse from Burda pattern #8806. I don't know about you, but finding patterns that I both like and are suitable for my figure has become a rather daunting task these days. I liked the styles featured on the front cover of this pattern, but knew I would have to make several adjustments and style modifications to fit my figure challenges. 

My pattern searches usually start with an image I have picked up from either a magazine or catalog, or from someone (or something) I have seen on TV or the internet, that I just have to make. With that image firmly fixed in my mind, I am amazed how seldom I can locate a commercial pattern that resembles that image. As a result, I either purchase patterns (or use one I already have) to fit the basic silhouette and then adjust it with the design features I want; or, as in the case of this blouse, I liked the pattern style, but adjusted it to fit my more mature, rounder figure.

Most of the garments I make these day require both pattern alterations and style modifications. So making a muslin draft first has become a standard practice. It's just too risky to do otherwise given the cost of good fabric.

And boy was I glad I made that muslin for this project!  The pattern size I cut was too tight around my hips and sleeves, and the front darts needed to be repositioned. I also lengthened the body of the blouse, eliminated the back darts, and raised the neckline a bit.  While this certainly adds both time and some cost to any project, I find the finished garment can be constructed in half the time it took to make the muslin, and is significantly better constructed overall. 

I'm quite please with the way it turned out. The fabric is a linen like material that frays quite a lot so I used french seams at the sides and shoulders. The ruffle was a bit tricky. I used a rolled hem presser foot to help achieve a finished looking ruffle. And, instead of the prescribed metal hooks and eyes, I fashioned a narrow placket behind the ruffle using buttons and buttonholes to join the front sections.