Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ASG Meeting- First Timer

Being new to sewing I thought it would be a good idea to connect with others in the sewing community.  I checked out my local American Sewing Guild meeting on Tuesday and I am so glad I did.  Even though I have a calendar and wrote it down for some reason I thought it was at 10:15 and not 10.  OOPS (not out of print but really oops)!

Walking into a room full of people and late at that is the worst.  Two of my phobias, crowds and being late, mixed into one.  All of the ladies were sitting around a long table and I found a chair right next to the wall.  They welcomed me to scoot right up to the table and introduce myself.

There were lots of updates about what was going on with ASG and then came the fun part.  They had what I would equate to a Show and Tell.  Purses, quilts, dresses, baby clothes.  I was amazed by the level of talent surrounding me.  Everything was so wonderful.  They also showed a lot of items they made for charity.  The things they were donating were just as great.  Hopefully the recipients will be grateful for the time and effort put into them.  Pretty pillowcases, aprons, clothes.  

After the meeting several members came up and spoke to me.  It was great that they were so welcoming because I was very nervous.  They all went out to lunch afterwards and then to a local quilting shop.  One member so kindly told me next time just take the whole day off!!

It felt like an honor to be in the prescence of such talent.  No pictures, I forgot my camera and I thought it would be really awkward to start snapping photos of people I really didn't know anyway!!  Needless to say it was a great experience and I am looking forward to going back next month.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Seam Binding- Now What?

On Thursday I stopped in Goodwill near the Joann Fabrics to see if they even carried anything sewing related.  No books or neat machines like other people find.  I did however find a bunch of seam binding.  Some are lace too.  Since I don't have a serger is this the stuff I use to clean up the insides of my garmets some?  I am sure it will be used somehow.  What do I do with the lace ones though?

Seam Binding Find

Look how much one of them used to cost. 17 cents. I wonder how old these are!!

Seam Binding Find

Fabric- Where To Start?

If I could tell you how many hours I have spent looking at fabric online, adding it to my cart, and never buying it I would probably be embarrassed.  As a beginner one of the hardest things for me has been learning about different fabrics.  The closest store to me is Joanns, so of course I have been there but I want to go to a "real" fabric store.  There are a couple about 1 hour from me but finding 2 hours to commute and then time in the store to wrap my head around everything equates to one full day.  The next time I have a full day to myself will be... ummmm.... well.... errrrrr...yeah, you get my drift.

I did check out More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina from the library.  This book is great.  Not only does it give a description of the fabric it goes into a lot of details about working with the fabric.  Everything from preshrinking, needle to use, presser foot, thread, and more.  It has been quite helpful but I need to FEEL the fabric.   


The need to feel it led me to finally pull the trigger and sign up for the Julie's Picks Sample Club at  It seems to be a easy way to get a handle on some of the options available and familiarize myself with different fabrics.  I called last week to inquire and she gave me the rest of this year and next year for what equates to about $3/month When January 2011 rolls around I get a $25 coupon which really means this will cost somewhere around $1.50/month.  

Let me tell you I was like a kid in a candy store waiting for those samples to come.  She told me once they go out I would probably get them in 2 days.  Sure enough on day 2 in my mailbox was a nice little envelope from them.  Inside, about 30 samples, 5-6 per page, with descriptions.  Joy.  They provided a nice variety of fabrics and a nice price range as well.

Fabric Mart Sample Pages

Please think back to your days as a beginner and give me some advice on how you went about buying fabrics.  How long did it take you to start buying fabric online?  Fabric mishaps?  Do tell!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tweet Tweet

I just set up a twitter account for my sewing fun.  Come tweet with me. 


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Is Here And I Have No Clothes

Here we go again.  Another fall is upon us and as always a look in my closet is such a sad, sad occasion.  Since I am not a shopper I tend to find a few pieces I like and wear them for years.  I am to young to be like this (I think) so I will try and fix my wardrobe dilemma by making some new clothes.

First up will be a jacket. Then a shirt.  Then a vest.  Then another shirt.  Then a skirt.  Then a shirt.  Well at least I am hoping to get into some sort of groove where I can revamp my wardrobe while also becoming a better sewer.  I have a bunch of patterns to choose from.  There are a few Vogue's that I want to snag while on sale this week at Joanns and Simplicity will be $.99 next week.  After that I am done buying patterns.  Seriously.

I did pick up the Butterick 4865 a while ago so I will start that this weekend.  The fabric is a gray cordury. Depending on how well this goes I may get a heavier fabric and make a second one from this pattern as well. We'll see.

Butterick B4865

Are you sewing this weekend?  What do you have lined up?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sewing Saturday- McCalls 5819 Done

I finished the McCalls 5819 shirt.  As a newbie to sewing there are so many first times for things.  I feel like I am not progressing at times but then realize that if I am doing something for the first time I shouldn't expect to do it as if I have done it for the 100th time.

There was a little frustration from the start with the pattern layout.  I just couldn't understand why they didn't have you cut a certain piece a certain way.  With sewing there are multiple ways to skin a cat and after I had analyzed it 20 times over I chose to skin it my way.  After getting all the pieces cut out I made the largest size it was still to small for Lani J.  She wasn't available  for mesearment but I was postive when we bought the pattern it was her size.  Oh well..we can try to alter some things for a better a fit.

I do like how the neckline sits though.  We both like the style of the shirt so it will probably be made again.  For future versions we definitely need to lengthen the shirt body, lengthen the sleeves and/or cuffs.

McCalls 5819

Hanging in the sewing room

McCalls 5819

A little snug and short? BTW that is Zoya Perrie on the nails.

McCalls 5819

Yes, this needs to be a bit bigger.

McCalls 5819

The back seems okay, in this picture at least.

Pattern Description: Hooded jacket A has exposed separating zipper and sleeves with bands; top B has raw edge finish at front neckline and casing, short cuffed sleeves and purchased camisole; top C has contrast sleeves and bands; shorts D, pants E have ribbed knit waistbands; pants E are below knee length; pants F have draped, ringed waistband. I made View C

Pattern Sizing: AX5(4-6-8-10-12), DD(12-14-16-18) I made the 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?They were okay. I did get stuck on the pattern layout for a moment.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I like how the neck band sits on the shoulders.

Fabric Used:Joann Sew Classic Knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I used one color for my top instead of using a contrast color.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I will probably sew this again at some point making some alterations. My daughter said she would like thicker cuffs on the sleeve as well as the waistband. If I have enough fabric I'll go back and make those tweaks.

Conclusion: Cute pattern. Will tweak a little the next time around. You can do a lot of things with the neckline to give it your own personal flavor.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Next Up- McCalls 5819

I didn't get any actual sewing done yesterday because we had a planned power outage but I did go to Joann's to peruse the fabrics.  I walked away empty handed.  Actually I got 2 things but for some reason I can't remember what it was.  I had two coupons and used them both so it was probably needles or something.  That is how thrilled I am with that excursion.

Friday is a great for sewing.  I can see why the Friday Night Sew-Along exists.  Sometimes I feel lame telling people I was home sewing on Friday night.  I am doing something relaxing though and I owe myself some relaxation to unwind from a hectic week.  For the past 3 Fridays I have been sewing but am not ready to commit publicly that I will surely be sewing AND make decent progress.   Tonight I went to the local high school football game with the family.  (Great game, we were down 0-21 in the 3rd but came back to win it..woot, woot).  I did get the fabric washed and dried so tommorow I can work on it.

Anyhow I am in somewhat of a fabric and pattern jam because I don't have any fabric for the patterns I really, really want to sew. I happened to have some knit so I thought I would try making a comfy long sleeved shirt.  From the patterns I have on hand the McCalls 5819 fits the bill.  I'll be making View C which is the long sleeved shirt.  No designs, no multiple colors.  Solid and basic is the direction I am going.

McCalls 5819

I can see this being a nice lounge around at home or lazy weekend errand running shirt. I also have another idea but I just need to get through making it first to see if I want to move forward with that.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Butterick B5216 View C - Finished and Review

I think I may actually wear this shirt.  It is a little longer than I am used to but it's not so bad.  

Here is the shirt on the hanger:

Butterick 5216

And on me (I have shorts on, I promise!!):

Butterick 5216

With a belt (thought that jeans would be a better look):

Butterick 5216

I am thinking this will look cute with some skinny jeans and ballerina flats.  To bad I don't have any ballerina flats.  I think my skinny jeans are living in one of my daughter's drawers.  I may have to conjure them up.

On to the review:

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, pullover top or tunic has narrow him. Gathered shoulders, elasticized, empire waistline.

Pattern Sizing:Xsml-Sml-Med

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?No dislikes. As a beginner I like how they did the casing for the elastic. Quite simple.

Fabric Used:Fabric I got for $1/yd at Joann Fabric. Not exactly sure what it is. Light and flowy with a little stretch. The fabric was a little hard to work with but I am still happy with it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I had to change the arm hole a little. It was a little tight and hard to do the narrow hem around the arm. I let out the side seam at the top some to allow for a little more give when doing the narrow hem around the arms. I may go back and gather a little more on the shoulder seam so they are thinner.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Maybe, but I would make it longer so it will be a dress.

Conclusion: This is described as a very easy pattern and I agree. The directions were easy to follow and straight forward. This is a pattern a beginner could get through and be happy with the results.

Monday, September 6, 2010

PA Fabric Outlet

The new thing for me now is if I go out of town I look to see if there are any local fabric stores.  I was in Lancaster, PA this past weekend and was only about 10 min from PA Fabric Outlet.  Having seen it mentioned on PR I decided to check it out.

I didn't find anything that struck my fancy but it was fun just looking around with LaniJ. They had lots of buttons, great prices on zippers and belt buckle type things, trims, and of course fabric.

Here are a few pics:

Parking lot. There is a BINGO parlor right next to it. LaniJ said she could hear them calling the numbers when we were in there.

PA Fabric Outlet 9-4-10

Lots of fabric of course:
PA Fabric Outlet 9-4-10

PA Fabric Outlet 9-4-10

And more buttons:
PA Fabric Outlet 9-4-10

And feathers!!!!:
PA Fabric Outlet 9-4-10

They did have fabrics for .99/yard but I didn't see anything I liked. I was a little disappointed not to have walked away with something but it still fun to look at all of the different things.

A few more pics here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Goal- 15 A Day

Life happens and often things get pushed to the side.  Working out, reading, spending time with family and friends, blogging, and of course sewing are all things I enjoy immensely but it seems as of late there hasn't been much time for any of them.  In order to get on the right track I have decided to commit myself to at least 15 minutes of sewing a day.  While I know 15 minutes isn't a lot of time, especially when it comes to sewing  I think it will be enough for me to make a little bit of progress on any project I am working on.  We shall see what happens and what I can produce.

Butterick B5216

My 15 minutes today was spent ironing a fabric for a shirt I am making for my daughter.  I got a 4 yard piece ($1/yard) so it took forever to iron.  I am thinking I should have just cut it but I didn't want to cut it unironed either.  Well at least it is ironed which took 12 min and laying this 4 yards of fabric on the floor to lay out my pattern took the last 3 I am sure.  I will probably get a chance to cut this later so with luck I may get more than 15 minutes in today :-)

Technically, 15 min of sewing a day will yield 450 minutes of sewing for the month.  That translates to 7.5 hours which I am sure most of you can sit down in one weekend and do.  The goal here is to get me working on something each day.  I may reach the 450 minutes but if I don't do at least 15 minutes a day I will not have met the goal.  Of course there are some days I already know I am going to be out of town so I am giving myself a pass on those days.