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Archive for the month “February, 2009”

February Project – Muslin Paid Off

I am loving this muslin process actually. Wonder why I never did this before. Anyway, I wanted to show you the finished shirt. The only thing left was to make buttonholes and sew the buttons which I did last night.

Muslin Process

Full Review on PatternReview.com

Here are the techniques I learnt in this process
1. Button Band – love it. Any future shirts I make will have button band instead of the facing.
2. Puff sleeves – Also love them. So cute, so springy.
3. Collar and collar band – I’ve done this before. But next time I am going to find a better way of constructing. It gets easier each time.
4. Lots of alterations – Well not lots, but it was amazing how tiny little things can make such a big difference.

Now I am trying to figure out how many more blouses I can make from this pattern 🙂

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A day in the Big Apple

It’s never the same…
And yet, there is a certain familiarity to it every time I visit. This weekend was the most fun mainly because I went for ME!

On Friday I met the nice folks at Simplicity and delivered the Best Pattern Certificates personally. They were really honored to receive them and told me how much they love PatternReview. While there, I also got a sneak peak at their next collection. I won’t ruin the surprise for you all but let me just say that it ROCKS!

Not only did I get to try the Amazing Fit Pants (which are awesome by the way), but I also got some really neat tips on finishing the coat vent. Deborah was trying to explain how to do it and I had this really sad, helpless expression on my face. She must have seen it cause she said, “Would you like me to get it fixed for you here?” Would I? OF COURSE! So guess what? My coat vent is all fixed up and she is going to send me easy vent completion directions later.

As Judy, Deborah, Bonnie and I sat around the table talking for hours, I realized why this company is so successful at what they do. Their whole team is clearly passionate about sewing and they love every minute of it. Deborah showed me around their offices and looked at me said, “I go home inspired every day and wish I could just sew every minute of my free time”. Back in 2005 they had done a fabulous tour for PR Weekend Attendees so I knew (sort of) my way around.

If you guys are going to the Puyallup sewing expo, stop by Simplicity’s booth and introduce yourself. They’d love to hear from PR members.

Next stop on my list was Jonathan’s embroidery shop. Kenneth King had recommended this shop for buttonholes. Remember the coat I made back in November? Well it still needed some buttonholes. And these nice folks at Jonathan create professional looking keyhole buttonholes in seconds, while you wait. So 5 bucks and 15 minutes later, I was finally able to admire my coat in it’s full glory!

256 W 38th Street, New York, NY

I also picked up some buttons for my new blouse from MJ Trim. I must say that I wasn’t too impressed with their selection or the prices. In future, I am sticking to Sawyer Brook for their best match service.

I met Kenneth King for breakfast the next day and what a treat it was. Check out these cool coats! He refashioned this coat from a flea market find. It’s monkey fur.

And this one is made with Hair Extensions which Kenneth sewed onto ribbon.

He teaches all these techniques in his FUR class on PR in case you’re interested. One of the things which I love about him is the fact that despite being aware of his talent, Kenneth is a very modest, down-to-earth guy. He said to me “Look, I am basically a lazy guy, so I figure out the smarter way of doing things which will give me the same result in half the time.” Now don’t you love that? He ranks his pieces by how far he walks before he gets a compliment on it 🙂 And it is true. His work is out of this world.

My cousin met up with me at the MET later and boy! It was my first time and I cant tell you for how long I’ve been wanting to visit this museum. It was worth the wait. We were only there for a couple hours but it was a treat each step of the way. Here are some photos I took with my blackberry.

My 4 year old nephew loved the Arms and Armour section!

Just because you are going to war doesn’t mean that you can’t be fashionable!

Talk about self control. I passed Spandex House but didn’t even peek inside.

Sunday was spent with family and I admit I haven’t gone to bed so inspired in a long time. I want to make a FUR coat, the Amazing Fit Pants, Another winter coat, a Linen Top, and at least 5 more blouses! Looks like by the time PR Weekend rolls around, I will have an entirely new wardrobe.

Year of the Muslin

I am calling this the Year of the Muslin. That’s right, I bought a whole bolt and not afraid to use it. I am taking the time to explore the possibilities. Starting with this cute Burda WOF Blouse everyone was making last year. I am a little late to the party but enjoying it neverthless.

Reviews on PatternReview.com

Step 1: Muslin Making
Making the muslin led to some fitting discoveries. Almost all the Burda patterns have too wide of a shoulder. So I have to shave off about 1/2″. I was also getting some wrinkles right under the bust which were driving me nuts.

Shannon and Heidi both recommended taking out the excess fabric right under the bust. So I did that and it looks much better. There are still some wrinkles but I dont want to overfit so I am willing to live with this.

Now comes the fun part. Sewing it!

I cut it out from the lovely cotton I bought in Costa Rica.

Because the fabric is very thin, following the advice of one of the reviewers, I made the bib double layer. And guess what? I hand basted the layers together with a silk thread. You can see that I am indeed taking the time on this. I am breaking it down into smaller steps and sew a little bit every night. So it’s quite fun actually.

Here’s what I have so far. The back and the front are done, the sleeves are gathered up and ready to go. My interfacing is getting pre treated and tonight I will be able to do the collar. I am going to NYC this weekend so I should be able to find some treasures there for this blouse. Or who knows, maybe I’ll wear it to NYC. Still too cold for it though.

My next version from this pattern will be in Linen. I bought this handkerchief linen from Fabric.com but the cranberry turned out to be too dark. So I am thinking, maybe that should be a skirt. I’ll make the blouse from the oatmeal Linen. What do you think?

review

For The Record – January Project

So just so I don’t forget about it and for the record, I present my January Project. I was quite productive in January actually.

Incidentally both the projects came from Burda WOFs.


Full Review here

AND


Review

I have been in love with this top ever since I saw Christina’s Review

The full cowl neck was a style I’ve really been craving. So when I couldn’t locate a copy of the magazine, I asked Christina for help and she sent me the pattern right away! And I’ve already made two tops from this pattern. This is a gift which will keep on giving for years. Love it!

One a month Sew Along on PatternReview.com

Fun AND Productive Weekend

So remember my post The Love Affair is over back in December about the hole in my favorite socks? Ok so in my anger I gave up knitting (like that’s going to do anything). But the truth is I don’t like fixing things. I like creating from scratch but not fixing. It applies to everything… Sewing, cooking, knitting, pretty much everything I do. To give you an example, Gagan asked me to fix the loose button in one of his shirts one time. I asked him to put the shirt in my sewing room. It was lying there for more than a year! Next year my mom visited and long story short… she was the one who ended up fixing it. Yes, I detest fixing. But part of the reason is because I don’t know how… Well the button was just laziness but things like fixing that hole in the sock.

OK so here’s what happened this weekend. Gagan’s aunt was with us this weekend. She and I were chatting one evening when the subject of sock came up. I was ready to throw out the sock when she said, give it to me, I’ll fix it. I warned Bua(Hindi for Aunt) that it’s a big hole to which she said “If I can become a doctor, I can do anything!”. She is too cute. I love her enthusiasm. And sure enough, half an hour later, the sock was patched up. And just like that, I learned a new skill and she revived my faith in knitting. She also showed me a few tricks on how to reinforce the heel of socks.

Here’s how she did it.

She picked up the stitches and tied the thread to close the hole first.

Stitches picked up and closed. We now have a circle which will not fray.

She then picked up stitches from a couple of rows before the hole started. The goal is to knit a rectangle and then stitch it down on top of the hole like a patch.

Testing the rectangle to see if it’s big enough to cover up.

Finally stitching it down.

Later than night. I started a new sock 🙂 Having this new skill gives me the freedom I always wanted. Now I can FIX things.. well not everything. We’ll start with a sock 🙂

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