My Sew Called Life

A Journey Through the World of Sewing

Hello March! February 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Burke @ 1:21 pm

Well, February is gone. I didn’t realize that my last post was on February 5th, and I haven’t managed to make much progress since then. I inherited some new responsibilities at work and for the most part have been exhausted ever since. I also turned 27 which came and went. In all actuality I’m not sure where this month has gone. My husband interviewed with a church in GA and the thought of moving to small town and taking a break from the world of work seems more and more appealing. But, for the time being, we must managed being in Knoxville with my crazy job and his job search.

Despite my lack of actual sewing since February 5th, I have managed to snatch up some fabulous fabric, mostly from Fabric Mart – a light oat colored wool gabardine, a mint/navy plaid gabardine, a navy wool tricotine and a copper wool gabardine. My husband likes to say that I love fabric and would rather drape these pieces on our walls than cut and sew them. I have to admit that I am rather nervous to actually cut them and sew them, and I’m trying to work through some patterns using some cotton prints prior to cutting the wool. Alas, I am still nervous. But, the more fabulous wool I see the more I want.

I have no idea what to do with these two yet, but they are lovely. The wool tricotine has a fabulous drape to it, not quite the feel of a crepe but a lovely soft drape.

I did manage this past weekend to start adjusting some patterns and cutting out some that had been in my que this month. I decided to try and make the Butterick 5415 in the fabric that it calls for, a stable knit, so I went ahead and cut it in some black ponte that I had.

I’m starting to get a feeling that these shifts that lack shape around my shape aren’t very flattering at all. It’s not finished but I just have a feeling that it’ll be what my husband calls an “around the house” dress. I also cut a Spring New Look dress, but again, I think the lack of shape will just be unflattering.

Which leads me to lesson # 11: You cannot deny your shape.

Lesson # 6 was Know Your Figure, which I do. I am top heavy, no denying it. My hips are not “child bearing” if you know what I mean, and I’m close to having the ideal proportions from chest, waist and hips by about 2″. So while I know my figure, I must not be acknowledging it. I keep leaning towards these free-flowing dresses with a-line skirts that skim the body and instead end up looking like I’m wearing a sack. One of my favorite dresses (and most flattering) is a navy wool/lycra v-neck with princess seams. I have a pattern for one but it calls for a stretch woven and I haven’t found one that I have deemed suitable.

On a more positive note, I believe that I have conquered the Full Bust Adjustment:

Look at that!! A Full Bust Adjustment performed on a Laura Ashely pattern, McCall’s 5972:

I bought this pattern specifically at a recent sale in order to perform this adjustment since it has the traditional four darts on the front. It has been tissue-fitted and will soon be in muslin form.  I am INCREDIBLY proud of this – I have been reading about the FBA for months…literally months, trying to figure out how in the world to keep a size 16 on the neck and armholes but adjust for a D-cup. I’ve had luck with the patterns that include pieces for different busy sizes, but I am thrilled to have achieved this fitting trick. Hopefully the muslin will look similarly fabulous and I can continue with a great plain sheath.

Despite nearly 70-degree weather today (!!) I think my plan to create fabulous simple, chic wool dresses is where my natural interests are heading again.


The Denim Dilemma February 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Burke @ 10:55 am

Yesterday I managed to wash and dry about 5 different fabrics that have been sitting waiting for their project. Work has been stressful to say the least so my evenings have been spent falling asleep in front of the TV around 8:00 pm. My hubby was a substitute conductor for a local orchestra rehearsal, so I took the time to go to JoAnn to pick up some zippers, thread and some kelly green denim. I’m trying to copy the J.Crew pants that are currently in stores, but the pattern is making me nervous:

This will be my first actual pair of pants, and I have to admit I am a bit nervous. I also have the New Look 6058 which is an ankle length pant with a side zip, with literally 4 leg pieces and a waistband, but I’m afraid the fabric will look weird if I’m not sewing them as tradition jeans would be sewn – topstitching and flat fell seams. I’m also a bit concerned about the fit, but I figure if I can adjust on the side seams I should be fine. Eek!

Something else thrilling happened this week: I PURCHASED A SEWING MACHINE! I’ve been borrowing a friend’s Bernina which has been a joy. My new Brother CS6000i should arrive on Tuesday! AND my order from Fabric Mart should also arrive this week! I still haven’t decided what to use the wools for, but I’m so excited!




Back to Basics February 1, 2012

Filed under: Fabric — Burke @ 5:48 pm

A fabulous thing happened today: I’ve been thinking that maybe my original plan of sewing solid wool wardrobe staples wasn’t such a bad idea. A quick closet scan yields a mass of black pieces, with a few purples, reds and navys thrown in. I just so happened to stop by and lo and behold today’s sale is 40% off wool gabardine! SNAP! I snatched up 5 yards of both black and muted amethyst (right), and then 2 yards of bright amethyst wool crepe (left). I considered the muted gabardine to be a sensible purchase, but the crepe was pure lust.

I must be buying up fun summer patterns though because my inventory only showed about 10-12 patterns that call for wool of any kind. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll put all of these to good use!

On another note, I learned the next important lesson the past few weeks:

10. Every finger counts.

I was washing dishes and cut my ring finger on a sizable carving knife that I’ve used maybe a half-dozen times. Needless to say I was out of sewing commission for a week or so while the likewise sizable cut healed. BUT I did manage to cut out some projects which are waiting patiently on me – Vogue 8626 to be made in red wool gabardine to copy a jacket I saw in the Spring 2012 Boden catalog:

The Boden coat was actually dark blue, but I had this red wool hanging around, afraid to make anything out of it. I may actually insert snaps or leave it closure-less in lieu of sewing on buttons, which are rather large if you follow the pattern. The model wore it with skinny jeans and heels. Speaking of skinny jeans, I’ve gotten a hankering to make some kelly green denim ankle length pants, to copy the so-very-cool J. Crew jeans:

I keep reminding myself what my 1975 Vogue Sewing says:  dark colors recede, bright colors come forward and subsequently make you look larger. Luckily my bottom is not so large, so I’m thinking I’ll be okay. We’ll see!