I’m taking a blogging vacation! I’ll be back in two weeks, recharged and ready to complete my winter wardrobe. For those of you in the states, I’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for all of the new friends I’ve met through my blog this year!
After almost a year of dedicated sewing, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of fabric scraps which are too small or too awkward to fold; I’m at a loss as to what to do with them. I’ve tried very hard to not buy more fabric than I can use immediately – I have a small square box that I store my yardage in and I’m determined to not allow my stash to grow beyond it. However, these little scraps are throwing a serious wrench into this plan.
I’m afraid I’m not the type who would weave baskets…
And my scraps aren’t nearly this interesting (although I’ll certainly be making push pins and buttons from the ones that are!)
Are my scraps destined for the recycling? What do you do with your scraps?
I’ve been holding out on posting all week until I get pictures of the three (3!) new garments that I’ve made up but I just haven’t been able to get any taken. Instead of being silent the whole week, I’m going to leave you with a few sewing patterns that have caught my eye.
This print-at-home pattern from Salme is just divine. My biggest complaint is the sizing – a 37″ bust is surely not an XL.
I’ve been in love with the Miz Mozelle Dress from Jamie Christina for a few months. The sash, the keyhole neckline…. even the peter pan collar – the details are just perfect.
I’m such a fan of Megan Nielsen clothing line and I was thrilled to see this little number for sale as a sewing pattern. I love that the dress would work in both solids and prints and you can be assured that I’ll be sewing this up!
Have you used any of these patterns? I’d love to hear about your experience if you have!
Recently, Gail, of Today’s Agenda, held a giveaway for a set of handmade stitch markers and I won! My picture cannot do these gorgeous bits justice – they are amazing in person. I was not expecting them to be so lightweight either. If you aren’t familiar with Gail and here blog, I highly recommend paying her a visit. She’s recently finished a good deal of projects and each one is inspiring. She’s managed to convince me that I need to start making both clutches and Jasmines and I doubt her influence will end there. Also, she does a mean manicure! Can you tell I love this woman?
Thank you so much, Gail! I will treasure your stitch markers and I can’t wait to start a project so that I can use them!
This is the bodice lining of a dress I’m working on. I’m probably the only person who chooses silk habotai for their first serger project but thankfully the hard part (princess seams) is over. I love seeing a project slowly come together and this one is no different.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a summary of my Fall 2011 Wardrobe Challenge (I can’t believe the deadline is here). I’ve learned a surprising amount and I look forward to sharing it with you.
I finished the second skirt I had planned. I used a similar pattern to yesterday’s but changed up the details a bit. Instead of two layers I chose to make a small ruffle and hide the stitching with the ric rac.
Now that Kelley is back on his feet, I’ve found time to sew! Last week I made a list of projects I wanted to complete and first up were my nieces skirts.
Pattern: loosely based on this
Fabric: unknown fiber content – both purchased at Fabrix
Time to Complete: about 2 hours
Cost: less than $5 with plenty of fabric leftover
My niece received her skirt in the mail last week and we confirmed that the waist and the length were just right for her and her sister. So with the same general measurements, I went to work this morning on a skirt made from a medium weight pink plaid with a sheer overlay. The skirt body is a simple rectangle with side seams (french, of course) that I gathered into a waistband casing. I then thread elastic into the waistband for more gathering. Nothing fancy but very fun to make. I love it because it’s girly with an edge (in a kindergarten-rock-star sort of way).
If you are visiting A Good Wardrobe from the Coletterie, welcome! I was so flattered to be a Featured Seamstress this week. One thing I love about blogging is being part of an extraordinary community of talented seamstresses on the web. I’d love to get to know you so don’t be shy and drop me a line!
If you are a regular of this blog, here’s the post featuring one of my Sorbettos!
You’ll have to excuse my absence lately. My husband had surgery on Tuesday. I’ve been both preparing for it and caring for him afterward so there has been little time for sewing or blogging. Thankfully, the surgery went very well but he’ll be bedridden for another few days. I’ll be back next week with more sewing and my thoughts on the fall project.
My dress is done and I am over the moon! It is my favorite project to date! The fabric was a dream to work with and the finished garment couldn’t be more beautiful on.
Before beginning, I contacted Sunni, from A Fashionable Stitch, to ask for her advice on handling 4 ply silk. You might recall her beautiful silk skirt that she made during the Ginger Sew Along that she hosted. Armed with Sunni’s advice, the research I found in my library, and my personal experience I’ve compiled a run down of working with 4 ply silk.
What is 4 ply silk? Ply refers to the number of threads used in the weft of the fabric. Naturally, this means that 4 threads are used for the weft in a 4 ply silk. However, with modern technology it is possible to breed silk worms that produce a thicker silk strand that is equivalent to 4 plies. Fabric made with this thicker strand is still called 4 ply. It’s pretty easy to tell by looking at a cut edge (parallel to the selvedge) which category your fabric falls into. I don’t have a particular allegiance to one manufacturing method but take note that it’s the multiple plies that give 4 ply silk its texture.
4 ply silk is really versatile lending itself to both day and evening wear. Not only does it look amazing in drapey garments but it can be used in tailored patterns as well. The fabric is substantial with amazing drape. It breathes well and doesn’t wrinkle easily which would make it a wonderful fabric for traveling. Its construction produces a heavy fabric that (surprisingly) isn’t terribly thick.
Purchasing: Since you’re spending a pretty penny on 4 ply silk, I would not purchase it on a bolt. Bolted fabric has a tendency to have permanent creases and fading where the fabric was folded.
I purchased my 4 ply silk at Satin Moon Fabrics in San Francisco. Susan, one of the owners, told me that it was the nicest quality she had ever seen in a 4 ply silk and she knows her fabric! If you can’t make it to San Francisco you can also find it online. A quick search turns up these options:
New York Fashion Center Fabrics: 4 ply silk crepe, available in over 100 solid colors – $51.99 a yard (swatches available)
Prep: 4 ply silk on a roll has a tendency to stretch and will shrink after washing. I’ve been told that 4 ply can be handwashed or dry cleaned but take the time to test a swatch before sacrificing your yardage.
Cutting: If your 4 ply fabric has substantial texture you might want to consider a directional layout. I didn’t, however, and it doesn’t seem to have mattered. It’s not an overly difficult fabric to cut. I used pins but found that they created too much bulk and affected my accuracy. If I’m lucky enough to work with 4 ply again, I’ll use pattern weights (my normal method) instead. While not as squirrely as charmeuse or chiffon, I did find that the fabric moved around during cutting. I cut on a glass surface which could be part of the problem. If you’re worried about this or experience too much movement, try laying the 4 ply on top of cotton flannel and cut through all layers.
Needle: 70/10 Sharp
Thread: A good quality cotton thread should do the trick. I used a mercerized cotton from Mettler.
Stitch Length: 2.2-2.6mm. I used 2.6mm throughout except 2.5mm for the hem.
Pressing: I used a dry iron on the silk setting on the backside of the garment and then steamed while holding the iron away from the fabric on the right side. Sunni, from A Fashionable Stitch, told me that even with a pressing cloth she had a terrible time with the iron leaving a shine on her 4 ply silk. The method described was the only way Sunni found to get a good pressing without shine on the right side. My particular fabric didn’t seam to shine with pressing but I didn’t want to chance it and used Sunni’s method. I would recommend testing the fabric before you begin.
Interfacing: I would recommend a sew on interfacing like silk organza (crisp but lightweight), silk georgette (adds body without affecting the drape), or a good quality muslin (adds body and weight). I used silk organza on both the arm and neck facings.
Seam Finishes: overcast (hand or machine) is ideal but for the right garment a fell seam could also look nice. You’ll want to avoid adding bulk so a french or even a turn-and-stitch seam would be out. Although 4 ply silk is fairly stable, I would recommend finishing the edges because the 4 plied weft looks pretty messy if left alone. For my garment I hand overcast (using a blanket stitch) all exposed seams.
Hems: blind hem (hand or machine) or twin needle hem. Like seam finishes, you’ll want a hem that doesn’t add bulk. I don’t think the fabric would work well with a rolled hem but I’d be happy to be proven wrong.
I’m still learning about this amazing fabric so if I’ve left out a technique that you use or have my information wrong, please let me know! I’d be happy to update my findings.
I’ll be back tomorrow wearing the finished garment! I can’t wait to share it with you.