Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More sewing for me :: Part 2

A free, downloadable pattern and purchased fabric does not make for a finished garment, but a little cutting and sewing do.
And by little, I mean this pattern is super-quick to put together and sew up.
I did make a few modifications such as stitching the front pleat down completely rather than just at the top and bottom. Also, though I used homemade bias binding, I elected to turn it completely to the wrong side and stitch it in place, so technically I have facings. Other than that though, I was true to the pattern and instructions. 
As for options for second or third versions, I can definitely see lengthening the pattern to make this into a great summer dress, belted or not. In fact, don't be surprised if that shows up here in the next few days because, folks, this is Texas, and Spring is very brief.

Monday, March 26, 2012

More sewing

Before I get into my newest sewing project, I wanted to answer a question several folks posed about the skirts I featured in the last post. I made them from a pattern, New Look 6843, but I modified the pattern to remove most of the hip ease and shorten the length. It's a very cute skirt as is, but the smallest pattern size is a wee bit big for me, so I needed to make an alteration.

On to today's pattern. Have y'all seen this? It's a free, downloadable pattern offered by the lovely and talented Sarai Mitnick of Colette patterns. I've seen both the versions that she crafted for her pattern and another version which turns the tank into a dress(definitely trying that in the future).
Anyway, I was at Stitch Lab today to teach a class and started thinking about buying fabric to make the tank. It was pretty much constantly in the back of my mind while I was teaching. I can instruct and fantasize about my next sewing project. it's like walking and chewing gum.
 So, per instructions, I printed out the pattern paper and taped the pieces together.
Then I cut out the pattern pieces to my size
and selected fabric. Actually, the dotted print I purchased today at Stitch Lab and the plaid is from my a stitch in color line for Moda.
Now I'm ready to cut the pattern out from the fabric and sew myself a tank or two. I was planning on going to the movies tomorrow night, so maybe one of these will make its debut there. I'll let you know.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sprung into Spring

With this:
and this:
The first image is obviously newly blooming poppies in my garden and the second? Newly sewn spring skirts on my line. Both the poppies and the skirts have definitely benefited from this not being their first go around in my little world.
The poppies have returned for probably the fourth year and this year, the plants are especially tall and lush and as verdant as grey leafed plants can be. They've definitely benefited from the copious amount of rain we've had this winter.
The skirts too have seen a previous season. Not these specifically, but the pattern has been on my cutting table before.
With this version I modified the pattern to take out some of the ease in the hip. I'm a little person and I don't need or frankly want over 4" of ease around my hips. I also shortened the length a bit. Again, refer to that little person comment. And I crafted an invisible waistband. I like the sleekness of that versus a waistband that is visible beyond the top edge of the skirt. Add in darts and you've got a super-cute close, fitting skirt.
I made the one on the right out of Lotta Jansdotter's Echo fabric and the one on the left(which I'm wearing as I type this) out of a line of fabric that Denyse Schmidt designs for Joann's fabric. Who knew that Denyse had a line at Joann's? Is this a really well kept secret or should I move out from under that rock I've obviously been living under? The quality of the fabric seems very nice and the prints, not surprisingly, feel simultaneously contemporary and vintagey, just like Denyse's other lines for Free Spirit.
Even with sewing in darts and an invisible zipper, this skirt comes together very quickly, so I'm thinking I have to make at least one in my own, a stitch in color, fabric.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fish Baby Log Cabin Class

I spent the morning teaching the first half of my Fish Baby Log Cabin class. The design was originally created as a baby gift for my swim coach, Andrea Fischer, also known as Fish and eventually made it's way to Sew, Mama, Sew as a PDF pattern. I currently have even grander plans for this pattern, but am also enjoying teaching it to my super-enthusiastic students at Stitch Lab.
Here are a few images from today's session.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design

Yoohoo! Remember me? I haven't been in this space for a couple weeks, but I thought I'd pop beck here today to tell you about a fabulous new book by an amazingly talented and local gal, Laurie Wisbrun. If you've been in a fabric store or online in the past few years you've seen and fallen in love with Laurie's designs for Robert Kaufman. The colorful and whimsical and very unique. Well now Laurie has written a book all about fabric printing and design, aptly titled, Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design.
This book is full, I mean chock full, of techniques and instruction, and inspiration.
 Laurie has written extensively about planning and executing a host of techniques with a special emphasis on digital printing, but she's also gathered an array of crafters and designers to write tutorials on everything from screen printing to block printing to shibori and wax resist.
 Full disclosure: I might have written the last two segments mentioned, but, even if I hadn't, I couldn't help but be impressed by the scope of techniques covered in this book.
If you're looking for a reference book about fabric patterning, this is a book for you. If you're curious about what today's contemporary artisan fabric designers are creating, this book is for you. If you want to marvel at the variety of design techniques possible, this book is for you. If you just want to be inspired, this book is for you.
Who's this book not for? I don't know. I haven't met them yet.