Thanks again folks for being so patient with me as I update and migrate all my great sewing project information into my blog.  I know I have been behind on writing these updates.  I am currently trying to work out a good system of organizing all my fun updates and material to keep you posted on all the wonderful projects happing with me.  With that, I have decided to do regular “Project Chronicles” and “Video Logs” via my periscope.tv and youtube channel for you stay up-to-date.   Unfortunately, some of the information may seem “dated” and behind schedule.  Namely, I have yet to complete the video editing and migration for all of the September Wardrobe Challenge and the October Halloween CosPlay costumes I did for my family.

VLOG #1- Sewing for Mom, Pants & Cape Jacket, and Studio Update 11/4/2016
Click on picture to go to youtube

Hello all…I’m back for another part of the Cape Jacket fitting for Mom.  In this video I am walking through the step-by-step fitting process which I take in order to make sure she is happy with the Cape Jacket before I cut the fabric and move on to the pants.  When I do a test fitting, I use a very bright colored sharpie marker and write all my notes directly onto the muslin or test garment.  This is why I only use a light color fabric for my test garments.

I know some people use whatever is available, but I consider my test garment my “notepad” for my comments on the body.  I like to take note of the hipline, waist, shoulders, neckline, etc., as they may prove useful when I look at the paper pattern later on before cutting and making adjustments. Sometimes, I use the test as my pattern and just remove the stitches and lay those onto the fabric itself.

The pants and the jacket have been cut and are waiting for interfacing at the point of typing this post.  Those will be up later when I do the video….I tend to do better when the camcorder is running while I am working.  Then I can just speed up the film.  I love watching time-lapsed videos.  Don’t you?
Iconic Patterns Cape Jacket being cut out.
The fabric for the suit is a Stretch Wool Double Cloth from SMFabric here.  
More details will be posted when I write up a proper review post of the Iconic Patterns Jacket.  Mom really loves that jacket!  Who knew?  Especially, since it did not look good on me.  Oh well.  

I recorded this a very long time ago to show my friend how I trace patterns when I don’t want to cut them. Sorry it was kind of dark, I was actually on vacation when I filmed this. You will need sharpie markers to make this work best and semitransparent tracing paper from the art supply store.mine is the Canary Yellow art paper. http://amzn.to/2et2nqn Please don’t forget to like this video.

http://youtu.be/BRd9LaNFbg8

I have been noticing a slight difference in the way my clothes fit in the back lately. I’ve noticed that the back of my makes do not fit as well. It almost seems like my back is a little bit longer from my shoulder blade to my shoulder point. I thought about it for a while now, and realized that I may be slumping over more now than before or is it my body changing with age?

Than I decided to take a look at it a little bit closer when I realized that I have not been doing my back exercises the way I used to about a year ago. I used to always do special back supporting exercises that strengthened my posture. I haven’t been doing my wing back exercises, I haven’t been using my weights either. Now I’m noticing a slight curvature of my upper back. I normally do a small broad back adjustment on my patterns of no more than 3/8″ or 1/2″. Even though I do a swayback adjustment for my hip and my waistline, I never have to worry about it at the top of my center back. What is this? Is this old age, is this the meaning of getting older? Is this the beginning of osteoporosis or dowagers hump.

I will need to read more about this bad posture in the sewing room and make up exercises to strengthen my back. Lest I need more pattern alterations for the back.

In this video I explain the sewing machine presser feet that I have and use the most with my Juki DDL-8300N industrial sewing machine.  I also use my BERNINA home machine in tandem with this one.

The Feet listed here are:

Topstitching Feet http://amzn.to/2f54LZU

Edgestitching http://amzn.to/2eDBAsT

Piping http://amzn.to/2eOngN4

Zipper Feet both left and right. http://amzn.to/2eOjCTM

Invisible  zipper foot http://amzn.to/2dGtWfm

Teflon foot for leathers and vinyls http://amzn.to/2e832xT

Rolled hem http://amzn.to/2dTIewp

Gathering foot system http://amzn.to/2dTIrzH

Binder for bias trim (http://amzn.to/2dGu3rl)

And the Quick release to make changing the Feet faster and easy.

I hope this helps.

Did I ever tell you how my child waits until the last minute to ask me to sew something for Mini-Me? I do seriously believe that when ideas come to her mind, she believes there are no limits to my abilities. Also, I believe, that I don’t have any sense of bounds where my granddaughter’s needs are concerned, no matter how little time I have. It’s a no-brainier, when my child has an idea for an outfit for my granddaughter, I just cannot say no, and whatever it is, has to be top notch. This tulle skirt came about because Jennifer dreamt up an idea for a pearls and tulle Christmas Photoshoot. Each year she does a different theme, this years theme required a skirt that gave all the fluff I could give for a child yet not make it look like a toddler tutu.

 Well you know what I did….I did what any Mimi would do.  I took care of my business and made a gorgeous, beautiful tulle skirt for my Mini-Me.  Doesn’t she look absolutely magnificent in this 25 yards of tulle fabric!!!

The skirt is made up of 10 yards of double layered lightweight tulle on top and 10 yards of doubled netting on the under-layer sewn onto the satin base circle skirt at the halfway point closed by a zipper and the waist is 2 layers of 1.5″ elastic encasing the top edges of the tulle.

For the gathering, I used my gathering foot on my machine to knock this puppy out in less than 40 minutes.  I’m very happy with the photoshoot my daughter lined up, this is one lovely picture.
Here is a simple project that took a little thought to finalize.  In my design process, most often I draw up a design before I sew it up, in order to help me visualize the look before I use my fabrics in the final design.  If I come across a pattern that has a basic design, it becomes my canvas for designing what I want.  But let’s be clear, the design doesn’t take shape until I’ve had time to doodle around the line drawing while giving my creative juices a chance to birth something wonderful.  When I sew with a print, the print speaks to me and directs my thoughts to a design.  In the case of a wonderful solid, I am free to do whatever, or maybe even embellish. In the case of this dress pattern…it was ripe for any design I could imagine.  And this is what I imagined….
Newlook 6482, Simplicity 3503

The moment I laid eyes on this reversible fabric,  I bought from SM Fabric.com, it was destined that I would make something which would take full advantage and display both sides of the beauty it has to offer.  I just love these two sided knits.  My Mom got the red/black and I got this one and several others.  More on those later…sorry, you will have to just wait on that blog post.  But first, I had to test my design ideas.  That way if it didn’t work out, it was me who had to wear it and not disappoint her.

I love how the inset on the side is at a slight angle giving it a slight asymmetric look at the hem. As you may already realize, this is not the original pattern. It was the diving board for this design, my design process began with this pattern.  The plain front was not what got my attention for this pattern, it was the side inset.  At first I thought the inset was mirrored on the back, both being on the right side, but this one has the inset opposite on the back, with the matching inset being on the left side of the back.

how to catch stitch,
Construction Details:
Pattern- Newlook 6482

For the Neckline, I used the Simplicity 3503 (OOP) to get the shaping of the facing, it didn’t fit the original pattern, but I was able to copy the design detail enough to do a reverse facing which put the finished facing piece to the outside for me to invisibly hand stitch it down.
The hem was hand-stiched using the “catch stitch”.  You can see the tutorial I did here.  It was the best hem for this fabric and the look I wanted to achieve.  Now, please understand, if you don’t already know me, I laugh and joke all the time about hating hand stitching.  This is true, but one thing you may not know, is that whatever finish achieves the best look is the one I use, even if it means doing the “dreaded” hand stitching.  All the finishing on this dress were hand stitched.
Sizing:  I cut a size 16 in this pattern because it seems I didn’t want any negative ease, even though I know it looks like it at the hips.  I did add a full bust adjustment, FBA for added room across the front.  I did allow the resulting dart to alter the armhole so that it would curve and create a more finished look.  The base pattern just had the side seam ending under the arm as though the fabric just lays over toga style.  I made a slim “kimono” type sleeve affect by moving the resulting dart from the FBA into the armhole. 
As for the length, there were no changes made after I measured the pattern, it was just where I wanted it to fall.   If I was thinking, I would have finished the seam allowances so the entire dress could be totally reversible.  We shall see how the next colorblocked dress turns out.

Well, this dress was such a great success!  Now when I make it for Mom, I know she is going to love it knowing she is getting the original design in her black and red fabric. Besides, it was meant for her initially, right?  For now, I have more two-sided fabric to buy, and more colorblocked dresses to design.  What’s your design process? Are you creating any colorblocked wonders?

This man here will always challenge my husband’s position in my heart.   I made this shirt for his birthday in time to mail it to him as a surprise.  When he got it, he thought it was the pants to the suit I started 2 years ago.  No such luck buddy! Those pants will be finished soon, but with a different material for the waistband and the pockets.  You see, when I made the suit coat, I ran out of fabric to finish the pants.  Besides, I doubt seriously he will be able to fit the pants by now.

Some people say they don’t like sewing for family.  Well, not me…I LOVE sewing for my family.  Especially, when they aren’t picky about what I make and how I make it.  They give me the freedom to just create, with no specific deadlines, besides the ones I place on myself, and their happiness when I see them wearing the garment.  I just love it!!! For REAL!!!  ((((-:  Big grins on my face.

I made this from a fine shirting fabric I bought from the one of the only folks I buy shirting, The Wool House, while at a sewing convention in Atlanta or LA some years back.  The only way to buy from them other than going to their store in Canada, which I think is still open, is to see them at any sewing expo or conference they might frequent.  I know he will be at the upcoming International Quilt Festival here in Houston this coming month.  Of course, I will be stocking up again.  The last time I went to New York to purchase fabric, namely, fine shirting fabric such as this, it was not happening.  The minimum purchase requirements for my business were higher than I wanted to spend and the retail cost were astronomical.  So waiting once each year to see him here, is well worth it to me. 
Kwiksew 2777 Men’s shirt cut in size medium/small.

Construction Details:
The pattern is Kwiksew 2777.  I cut a size a size medium for the shoulders, and graded down to a size small at the waist and arms.  The Shirt runs really large, so since this pattern was custom fit to him, I’m sorry, but its hard to remember all that I have done to this pattern to get it to fit him.  I have made this one for him and my dad several times.  Sometimes, I just don’t blog everything.  Here are a few close-ups for you to enjoy.

The pocket is there, you just need to look very closely.

I used a flat felled seam treatment for the entire garment.  Both the side seams and the sleeves seams. It was kinda hard getting into that sleeve, but well worth it in the long run.
The sleeve placket was very easy, I just followed the technique used by the pattern.
The collar was cut with the opposite side of the fabric for contrast.  The back yoke was cut with a center seam so I could get the chevron affect.
Thanks for following along.  I so loved doing this shirt.  It’s time for another one.  I guess I better get that one completed for my husband next, right?