Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stitching and Sewing

Today was the first day of open sewing at the West Seattle Stitch & Sew Studio.  There was one member there sewing while I was learning the basic operations this morning.  After countless hours of sewing alone at my dining room table, words cannot express how incredible it is to be part of a creative, stitching community.  The studio is a beautiful, stress-free, craft home away from home.  

Here are some pics...

Monday, October 15, 2012


Today I finally started working on the pink 'Baby' dress.  (Halloween is just a couple weeks away.)  We decided to use the pattern that came with 'The Couture Dress' class (Vogue 8648).

There are lots of pieces and many of them are cut on the bias; but it went together smoothly--maybe because I've spent hours watching Susan Khalje working on in the Craftsy videos.  I basted the top together so that I can do a fitting before adding the lining.  And I added pockets, because all dresses should have pockets.

It's so pink!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mixing it Up

I love to start new projects much more than I love to finish old ones.  What eventually happens is I get bogged down in too many ambitious, long-term projects.  (Embroidering state flowers, making Dresden plates, sewing dresses...)  I feel like I'm barely treading water, working hard but with little finished product to show for it.  That why it's so great to find quick, finish in less than a day projects that give a rush of creative energy.  The journal I made last Friday was just that.  It went together in just a couple hours (while watching TV) and I'm really happy with the result.  I followed this tutorial that I discovered on Pinterest: http://jamesdarrow.deviantart.com/art/Bookbinding-Tutorial-292237490

I used 60lb drawing paper.  The sheets were 9x12-in. and I folded them in half to make a 9x6-in. book. I found a couple sheets of vintage-y scrap paper, a sheet of "artist craft paper" (I couldn't find chipboard), embroidery floss, and some fun fall fabric from West Seattle Fabric Co.

The tutorial claims that sewing the signatures together is the most difficult part.  But I found that the hardest part was waiting for the glue to dry so that I could enjoy my book.


P.S.  Just for you mom :-) -- the progress on the gray dress...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Gray Dress, Episode 2: Cutting & Basting

Yesterday I mustered up the strength to tear apart the muslin and start working on the gray dress again.  After all the work put into sewing the muslin and making it fit, it was bittersweet having to rip it apart.  But sometimes to move two steps forward, we have to take one step back.

I'm using a light cotton as my underlining.  It's more structured but also much lighter than the gray suiting, so I think it will work out.

Transferring seam lines again.

Then onto the gray.  I gave it a good steaming and laid it out on the living room floor.  (After sweeping, of course.)  I carefully measured the distance between the grain lines and selvages, making sure they were parallel.

Finally cutting out the gray suiting.

The next task is basting.  I'm hand basting the underlining to the gray along the seam lines using a yellow silk thread.  (The somewhat slippery silk thread will be easier to remove later.)  This combines the two fabrics into a hybrid fabric, while also transferring the seam line marks to the other side and allowing for tactile matching of seams.

After this is done, I will hand baste the entire dress together.  All of this may sound like tedious work, but as a crocheter/knitter/embroiderer, I actually find the hand sewing very relaxing.  (Quite frankly, sewing machines stress me out.)