Olympic Viewing

I admit it: every two years when the Olympics are running, I turn into a slothful TV watcher.  I love to watch it all day, every day.  I really can’t get enough of it.

But, I need to be doing something with my hands while the Games are on, so I picked up a new knitting pattern and some yarn from my stash:

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This is the perfect way to watch the Olympics, simple mindless stockinette stitch.  It’s going fairly fast, hopefully, I’ll have enough yarn.

If you’ve been watching the news, you know about the “Snowmageddon” we’ve been dealing with here in the Southeast.  Seriously, the kids have been home for 5 days!  They went back yesterday, so I started in on this lovely:

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Just fell in love with this one the moment I saw it in the Vogue Patterns Magazine.  These quilted details are so fun!

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I’ve had this perfect teal colored linen in my stash for a long time.  I’ve hit a stopping point, though because I need to get some matching lining.  Maybe I’ll hit Gail K’s today!

Vintage Patchy Quilty

Hey everyone!  What’s doin? Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, but I have been hard at it, working on this:

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This isn’t a full bed quilt, just a throw, but it turned out better than I expected!   I began with the throw pattern from Amy Butler’s In Stitches book, but after a while I was doing my own thing. 

I added more squares and rectangles, just more or less trying to use up my scraps.

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Does anyone recognize their couch in there somewhere?  Seriously, this is mostly floral cotton decorator chintz, straight from the 80’s.  At this point, we might as well  call it “Vintage”.

The thing is, I still have a lot more of this to use up.  I think I’ll make up a few more smaller things from that book, maybe a bag or scarf, we’ll see.  This quilt was a fairly time-consuming project.  If any of you have ever made a quilt before, you know that the piecing is easy.  It’s the quilting that’s the great time-sucker.

Have a great weekend everyone!

A Sad Sack no more!

Yeah, the sun finally came out, but it’s freakin’ cold!

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This is much better!  I took four inches from the side seams.  I had to pick out the shoulder seams at the under arm, but it was worth the work.

Taking out two inches per side seam at the under arm leaves extra sleeve fabric.  I just tucked and puckered the seam back in place.  It’s chiffon, no one will notice.

I also cut the ties off and sewed the cuff seam together.

Done!

The case of the “Sad Sack” sack dress

It has been raining here in the southeast for, like ten days in a row.  So I thought I’d work on my mountain of fabric stash, look for some inspiration.  I found this long-forgotten dress wadded up in one of my bins.  I recall it was given to me by a neighbor with a “here, you sew, can you make something out of this?”  Here it is, in all it’s glory:

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Now I remember why it sat untouched for so long.  This is a Chico’s dress, made of two layers of rayon crepe, blue and purple.  It’s a plain sack, too big for me, but there’s so much fabric, I guess I thought I could do something with it.

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Oh boy.  Like I said, a big ole’ sack, no darts, no shaping.  And, the ties at the sleeves gotta go.

I wanted to try a few quick-fit adjustments rather than taking the whole thing apart, so I began by sewing some shirring stitches at each shoulder seam:

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I just sewed a straight stitch in the ditch across the shoulder seam, with elastic thread in the bobbin.

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This brings the armscye up to hit the shoulders better.  You could also use clear elastic, or even sew tucks.  It’s quick and dirty, not perfect.

Next, I shortened the hem, staggering each layer, so they would be visible:

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Well, it’s not perfect.  I think it’s still too big and will require more than just the shoulder tucks.  The side seams need to be taken in, which means both layers, since they hang freely from the arm seam.

As long as I’m doing that, I may as well remove the sleeve and alter the shoulder.  It is raining again today, I may as well!

And, I still have to cut off those stupid sleeve ties.

Bustin’ at the Seams…

Ok, I’ve committed…

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Starting in 2014, I’m not buying any clothes.  I’m inspired by all the folks who’ve signed up over at Goodbye Valentino to join the RTW Fast.

It’s a money issue, but also a space issue.  I really have no more closet space, for goodness sake!

Check it off the to-do list!

It’s a tremendous deal whenever I tackle my sewing “in pile.”  Why?  because it stays un-done for so long.  Take this great leather jacket:

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There’s a story behind it.  Many years ago, like, before anyone blogged, I found an old leather jacket at a Goodwill store.  I don’t have a picture of the original jacket, but it was a real piece of work, straight from the ‘80’s.  It looked something like a combination of these styles (from Pinterest):

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The big giant shoulder pads, the dolman sleeves, and, of course, the drop-waisted double-breasted closure that hit right at the crotch.

I just laugh whenever I think about what it used to be.  BUT!  The leather was like butta, and I was motivated to cut the original coat up  and make a smaller more stylish jacket.

I used Vogue 2827, long ago OOP:

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The new jacket turned out great, and so many years later, I still wear it a bunch.  It truly gets softer with age, and I just love it.

EXCEPT:

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Look at that collar, will ya? UGH!

Surprisingly, I ran out of leather when I got to the collar, even with that gi-normous style.  So I used this fabric called Ultra-leather.  I don’t know if it’s still being sold today, but just look what happened over time?  BLECH!

This stuff flaked so bad, and little black flakes would get everywhere, while the REAL leather still looked beautiful.  I don’t know why it did this, but it was un-wearable.  Time to fix it.  Yesterday, after sitting in my mending basket for like 9 months, I finally fixed it.

I ripped the old collar out.  The flakey mess got everywhere (YUCK!):

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I used the original pattern collar to cut a new collar from some leftover stretch leather.  I sewed it back at the original seamline, hand-stitched the lining back on, and it’s like a brand new coat:

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YEA!!  And it only took a few hours from start to finish.

I was so happy with it, I wore it out the same day.

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One of my favorite jackets ever!

I’m not sure what caused the other synthetic leather to disintegrate like it did.  I have a theory, though.  I store all of my heavy coats (along with this one) in a hall closet and, since we live in the South, we have to use moth balls.  I suspect the fumes from the chemicals reacted with the synthetic leather of the collar.

That’s my theory anyway.  To be on the safe side, I’ll be storing my “new” jacket in my regular closet from now on.

Happy Sewing!!

A nice breather..

After the Jacket from Hell incident, I needed a bit of a respite from sewing, so I got the knitting out again.

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It’s time for some Christmas ornaments!!

I found this pattern on Ravelry, it’s a free pattern that can be found over at Greens and Jeans.  It’s a great pattern, no seaming required.  It’s a great way to use up your odd bits of yarn stash.  I think I’m addicted….

Sewing will be happening again soon, I have some hemming and upcycling to do.  Stay tuned…

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!

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