January 25, 2016

TNT: Kimono Tshirt

This is my latest version of the Maria Denmark Kimono Tee, which has become a tried and true for me, although I'm not sure I should still call it by its original name. At what point does a pattern go from original to "just a kimono tee I make"? Because seriously, the number of changes I made to this pattern to get here is just insane and it doesn't really resemble to original except that it has cut on sleeves. I changed the height and shape of the neckline, narrowed the shoulders, lengthened the sleeves, changed the shape of the side seams, added a back seam for a sway back adjustment and big bum adjustment, changed and lengthened the shape of the hem, and did a rounded back adjustment. I think that covers it. So yeah, maybe I should just say "this is my tnt kimono tee".
Center back seam... no pattern matching.


Anyhow. Latest version - nicely textured blue and white abstract rayon jersey from Mood. (has an almost linen like texture... not slippery).

 

January 9, 2016

Links and Mending

  • I really like Budget Bytes. Not complicated but very appealing recipes made with real food. Many meals in my Plan To Eat meal planner are from this blog these days. (I loooove plan to
    Mending the wool jammie pants with colorful wool thread
    eat as well)
  • I seriously love this. (Free Tea Party)
  • Dry shampoo, where have you been all my life? This one is working well and doesn't have artificial fragrances or weird chemicals in it. 

August 5, 2015

Fabric!

the beloved fabric
You know that multi colored floral cotton voile from Mood which was obviously a Liberty Lawn print and I got some and then I made a hacked Sorbetto which I thought was fine but when I wore it all day I realized it wasn't comfortable because I was (am?) a novice at fitting?

THEY HAVE MORE!!!

I am excited.

I also ordered the Italian black stretch striped wool on sale today, black wool challis, a thin green wool jersey, and some brown silk habotai to line a top I'm going to make with that brown dotted silk I bought a while back. 

I heart wool, yall.

So excited!

I hacked a Sorbetto into something that I'm pretty sure works for me so between that and the Aurora and the Kimono Tee I'm feeling successful with fitting these days (although, would you believe I forgot to add back length AGAIN when I did my most recent sway back adjustment? WTF? I apparently have a giant blind spot when it comes to back length). Still working mostly on making tops because that's the big gap in my wardrobe at the moment. My RTW bottoms are not awesome but they're ok for now. 

Small went with us to the fabric store to pick out some fabric for pajamas. We ended up with 2 flannel and 2 quilting cottons. He did not pick out the train flannel, much to our surprise, but then proceeded to tell EVERYONE that mommy was making him train pajamas. Sigh. 

I also got some fun rainbow abstract flower quilting cotton he rejected just because I love it and some gorgeous yellow dandelion and butterfly fabric that I was intending to use for my niece. Henry studied those fabrics on my shelf and said "Mommy, is that fabric for Emmie?" and I said yes and then he said "but I love butterflies and flowers too. I think you should make me something out of that fabric and use something else for Emmie".  

Preschoolers be crazy.

I still have plans to order some washer linen and some art gallery knits from fabric.com and more rayon challis and double gauze from Imagine Gnats (particularly this nani IRO and this one by Kokka) but I'll put that off a little longer since I have a lot to sew right now. 

July 27, 2015

Kimono Tee


I did another muslin out of a brown cotton-poly for the kimono tee. Deciding it was good enough (except for lengthening the sleeves again and curving the hem) I moved onto the fashion fabric and completely forgot to take into account how much less stretchy it is than the muslin. It turned out slightly tight in the hips (not uncomfortable, just didn't look the best). Fortunately I fixed that with some side vents. Otherwise I really like the way this turned out! The fabric is much nicer so I think the whole thing hangs better. For some reason my curved hems are turning out not so curved when on my body. I suppose my own curves straighten out the hem curve so I'll just need to draft it more dramatically next time. Also, I matched those stripes like a boss! So proud of myself (first time sewing with stripes). Going to move on to wovens for a while then the next tee is going to be Hey June's raglan or Union St. I hear great things about those patterns and I think the cut on sleeve is just not as flattering on me as set in or raglan. Also there is some kiddo sewing coming up (finally! deadlines are arriving so I've got to get it together). My plan right now for my own clothing is to turn that black double gauze from
Imagine Gnats into Made By Rae's Washi blouse (sleeveless version) and the purple rayon challis in to True Bias's Sutton blouse (if I can squeeze it out of my short yardage. A woven tank if not).






The Wearable Aurora Muslins

This is one of my (kind of) wearable Aurora muslins. The first is from an adorable fabric with no recovery. Why do they even sell these fabrics? Sigh.
This one is sewn straight from the pattern. I just graded between three different sizes for the bust, waist, and hips. I ended up taking out a LOT of width in the hem. Then after I wore it I took out even more and when I re-hemmed it that time the sewing machine revolted and ate the fabric 3 times (!)
once with tragic results so I'll have a small darn in the back. It is tight at the armholes, the shoulder straps are too wide set, and it's out of a fabric that doesn't wear well so it's going to be a pajama top.

For the second version (picture coming soon) I scooped out some of the armhole at the bottom and the front (too binding in the first version) and moved the straps in so they're closer to my neck. I think I could go even closer to get them exactly where I like them. Also, it needs a sway back adjustment but it's good enough that I cut it out in a few inexpensive pieces of jersey I had. Obviously I need more upper back width but I didn't notice until I took a picture of the rear. Doh! I will do a third version with closer straps and a sway back and see if I can get it perfect but after sewing it so many times (there was a totally failed muslin in between 1 and 2) I'm kind of bored and want to move on. The second one is from the cotton-poly heart knit I got last month. It's ok fabric but not great. Cute but a doesn't breath that well and it's recovery is not bad but not great.

Next on the sewing machine is Maria Denmark's free t shirt with cut on sleeves (or kimono sleeves as they say these days). The first version was totally wrong for me so I changed the shape and size of the neckline, lengthened the sleeves slightly and did a sway back adjustment (and I think I took in the side seams at the bust and sleeves because it didn't have negative ease like it was supposed to). The neck was way too small after that but I was able to cut it down and make what I thought was a wearable muslin. However, I forgot to add back the length when I did the sway back adjustment so it was way short in the back. In order to make it an actual wearable muslin I decided to put a slit in the back so the shortness serves a purpose and with one thing and another that did not work out. The neckband is wonky (partly because I just got sloppy with my work and partly because I'm bad at v-necks but they're my favorite to wear so I keep trying). Also I need to lengthen the sleeves on the next version because I like the length before they are hemmed. And then there is my machine which hates all stretch stitches. I can not make them work for love nor money. Especially the twin needle hem. I've tried adjusting everything in all combos but I can't get the bobbin thread to do the zigzag that makes it a stretchy stitch. Can I just get a cover stitch machine?! The most reliable thing to do is just sew a zigzag but I don't like the way that looks. Once I do another muslin for this shirt I'm going to sew it in final fabric and then move on...

...to Holyburn in this crazy crane fabric (quilting cotton) I've had for years. I never mind taping together digital patterns but this is such a large one it's making me rethink that. It's taking forever!


July 26, 2015

There was a sale...

... at Imagine Gnats. A really good sale. And there was some purple rayon challis. In spite of my aversion to synthetics I decided to give rayon challis a try because I keep reading, from all the sewing bloggers I follow, that it is awesome. They say it has great drape, sews well, and breaths well. I'm 
purple rayon challis and black double gauze
skeptical about the breathing (these bloggers are not in coastal Texas in the summer) but Imagine Gnats had an offer I couldn't refuse so I bought out the last 1.5 yards of purple (it was the last but now the website says there is more) and I'm going to give it a try. It's not a super expensive experiment and it might end up adding to my options and that is a plus. If I love it then I am immediately buying this rayon challis from Indie Sew. I am in love with that print!

Anyhow, I also got some black double gauze. I've been wanting to try double gauze for a while.  Some pin dot indigo chambray for a pair of shorts (and I am equally in love with the wrong side of this fabric!) and charcoal jersey with thin gold stripes (for a t-shirt).
pin dot indigo chambray

the "wrong side"
So, I keep not blogging my makes because I can't seem to find toddler free time to take pictures and also I take bad photographs. Not because I'm not beautiful :-) but because I freeze up in what my husband calls "the rictus" (defined as a fixed grimace or grin, so very apt) and somehow I turn out looking like a chipmunk every time. This is not what I see in the mirror. I've been thinking about ways to eliminate my face from the equation since that is where the problem is. I considered masks, which could be fun, or a large floppy hat rakishly tilted with giant sunglasses. I'll probably just crop the photo. There are a few good pictures of me out there but they tend to be un-posed with my son (so maybe I should have the toddler with me in pictures?).

And, I'm considering ditching blogger and going with something else. Not imminent but watch this space. 

June 27, 2015

Fermented Pickles

A little more detail about those pickles in Monday's post...


I prefer fermented pickles to vinegar pickles any day of the week. This summer I have a really great batch going. It's pretty simple to do. I learned from Sandor Katz, both in person and from his book Wild Fermentation (I really recommend it). I make my pickles in a half gallon mason jar with a jam jar inserted in the top to hold down the vegetables. You can also buy various kinds of ceramic pickle weights but for my set up the mason jars work great. 

I start with a salt water brine (use filtered water if you can), freshly picked cucumbers (blossom ends trimmed off) and green beans from the garden, garlic from the store, and a few grape leaves from the wild vines out back (helps keep things crisp). I clean all that, put it in the crock with the brine, cover it and let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days. It usually takes about 4 days to get going at which point I put it in the fridge to slow down fermentation. Now that my brine is filled with microorganisms a fresh batch of cucumbers only takes a day and a half to 2 days (my kitchen is at about 80 degrees) to ferment before I put it away. Soooo good. I make sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled carrots in the fall the same way.

Read Sandor's book and give fermentation a try. I bet you'll be addicted too.