65. Hem! Hem! A Grecian style dress.

Having fun hemming

This is a beautiful Grecian style bridesmaid dress, that needed to be hemmed, both layers.

hem dress

Practice Makes Perfect

Well! As perfect as you can make it. Early on in my 30’s I took several sewing classes. Starting from the beginning of how to sew, fitting to designing; simply, because it had been many years since my mother had sat me down at her sewing machine. One teacher in particular challenged us to be come the sewer we envisioned; To be a (Slap dash Sally or a Persnickety Pricilla), I chose Priscilla. So my first order of business was to practice with the rolled hem presser foot and twin stretch needles and lets not for get the fabric.

Rolled hem presser foot

What a great invention! Once I got the hang of working this presser foot it was a dream to work. I spent some time working with the scrape piece I cut off the bottom of the outer sheer shell of dress. It’s a bit of a fright when you start sewing the rolled hem and get a inch in then ask yourself am I sewing from the right side? Nervous laugh! My inner sewing ninja must have kicked in because I was sewing from the correct side. Take time to read sewing directions concerning a presser foot you haven’t used in awhile. I’ve found rushing in only ends in mistakes and frustration, nor do I want to rip out stitches from this sheer fabric. The best part about this rolled hem presser foot is no pressing.

Scissors

I chose my Fiskars, the sharpest ones I have and what’s best they have a flat bottom edge. This is good for cutting a straight edge, as straight as you can get it.

fiskars

The Rolled Hem

Well I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. No prepressing/stitching just a wonderful rolled hem presser foot that did everything for me and in less than half the time.

rolled hem

Question: What is your favorite presser foot to work with?

God Bless & Keep on Sewing

 

Thank you

Jennifer

64. A little progress report on the wrap dress.

64. A little progress report on the wrap dress.

 

Sewing up the sides

I’m almost finished, I suspect this week will be the last and on the weekend I’ll just be touching things up. I know this is an odd angle but I’m still basting the right-side seam.

wrap dress 1

The size I went with was (10) not just because I’m a size (10) but for this pattern it was just a tad too small which I thought would be good since it was a stretch fabric.

I’ve basted by hand the outside of the dress before I make the final stitching of the side seams. This is because I have to fit the wrap dress to my figure first and make any adjustments.

I’m very please with the gathers at the left side-seam, I may have to adjust the gathers if I have to take the dress in more than I expect, we’ll see. Next after the side-seam will be the short sleeves and hemming.

Well this post was short and sweet, I’ll be getting back to sewing now.

Question: I don’t have a lot of experience with stretch fabric, so any last-minute advice would be appreciated.

God Bless & Sew On

Thank you,

Jennifer

63. Time to sandwich the Irish dress wall quilt.

63. Time to sandwich the Irish dress wall quilt.

Finally I get to Sandwich the quilt

Irish dress quilt

After a year of fussing with this quilt, I learned to think outside the box. I have quilted many times before and I love the organization of blocks but this type of quilting was very new to me. Quite often I sewed myself into a corner only to find myself wondering which way to proceed, spending many days trying to figure a way out. For goodness sake I was even having quilting dreams, crazy!

The top is pretty much finished, I just have a few more things to touch up before I start to sandwich. This wall quilt has turned out much better than I imagined and I have to say I’m quite pleased with myself. I went outside of my comfort zone, my tidy little box that I feel comfortable within.

Time to sandwich:

A couple of weeks ago I spend the weekend working on the backing and quilting baton, that is one less job to do and I’ll be able to get down to the business of sandwiching this quilt together. Concerning the quilting I’ve decided to start from the center piece and go out from there. I think this might be the most sensible way to proceed, because this isn’t a typical quilt worked in blocks. This quilt is made up of two different Celtic dancing dresses and I worked the dresses into this quilt so there will be darts to contend with, and because of this the quilt won’t be perfectly flat.

The Center piece:

quilt Irish

What I really like most about this center piece is the choice I made to use contrasting thread to top stitch the shards of glass (fabric) down, this really added a beautiful touch to the quilt. When I decided to make a Celtic infinity knot I was just playing around with the tubes of fabric I’d sewn up. My original idea was only to make a ring around the center circle, but I wasn’t happy with how the ring joined. Sometimes my best ideas come from the problems I face in sewing something.

The back of the Quilt?

Because this is a wall quilt I will be adding information about the making of the quilt, dates and who it is for.

  1. Two Celtic dancing dresses.
  2. Started April 2017 to Summer 2018
  3. For one of two little girls (name)
  4. By me (Jennifer)
  5. An Irish limerick

A pocket of memories:

I shall be adding a pocket on the back of both quilts for memories, the girls can add what they’d like in there.

Irish Limericks:

My friend Sarah hasn’t decided what Irish limerick to use yet, but there is time for that. Here are a few I found on Pinterest.

Question:

Which Irish limerick do you like?

Thanks for coming on my sewing adventure, I’ll post when it’s finished.

Jennifer a sewing Ninja

God Bless & Sew On

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

60. 4 Summer Dresses to be Sewn.

60. 4 Summer Dresses to be Sewn.

My Summer Dress Sewing Goal 

The Four Dresses are:

Dresses from left to right.

  • Burda 7828
  • McCall’s M6752
  • Butterick B6054
  • McCall’s M7186: This dress has to be finished.

I picked these patterns and the fabric last summer and I’ve been too busy to finish or even start new ones but this summer I’ll dedicate the time to sew in the early mornings with coffee in hand and Janome revved up.

In preparation for sewing this summer.

  • All patterns minus (McCall’s M7186) must be brought out of their envelopes to asses the size I want through flat pattern measuring.
  • Clean and reorganize the sewing room.
  • Clean my Janome.
  • Get thread and needles.
  • Practice sewing with the fabric and find out what needles are the best.

I will be posting my progress as I go.

Question: Do you have your summer projects lined up yet?

God Bless & Sewing On

Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

 

61. Weekend Sewing: Sewing the Fabric Glass Shards to Celtic Dress Quilt

61. Weekend Sewing: Sewing the Fabric Glass Shards to Celtic Dress Quilt

Glass Shards

Placing the fabric glass shards, now the arduous task of stitching down the pieces in preparation of the zigzag top stitch and as I’m finding out that’s not so easy.

glass quilt

I’m in the last lap of the race to finish this quilt. It’s been a long haul with many bumps along the way. This weekend I’ll be practicing and perfecting this technique of zigzag top stitching at very tight and pointy corners. I’ll be adding these fabric shards of glass around the center celtic knot.

Practice Fabric Shards of Glass

Perfecting the sewing.

quilt

Not bad for the first time but next practice piece I’ll start midway between the points, so my points will be cleaner.

Second Practice Piece

practice quilt

Well, I like my points much better. Now the fun part begins. Cutting out the bright coloured fabric and sewing it down for the zigzag top stitching, in different colours. I am going to have to slow up the sewing from the feed dogs to keep the zigzag thicker and not so sparse looking, but other than that I am pleased with my efforts.

One sewn and 14 more to go.

glass quilt 2

It was a picky but I managed it in the end. This week I’ll spend sewing these pieces of fabric to the quilt. Then it’s just a matter o sandwiching the whole thing together.

Just to remind everyone with what I started out with, two Irish dancing dresses. I can’t believe I’m so close to the end of the first wall quilt and I’m going to have to meet with my friend to discuss what she’d like on the back of the quilt, maybe an Irish limerick. Now that I know all the problems I’ll be running into I’ll have an easier time sewing the next quilt. 

 

God Bless & Sew On

Jennifer

Question: Has anyone tried to sew a quilt from Irish dresses before and how did it turn out?

 

56. The Odds & Ends: A Busy Weekend

56. The Odds & Ends: A Busy Weekend

The End is in Sight

Whether it is knitting or sewing I always find one weekend where I spend my time finishing up those projects that are so close to being finished. This weekend I spend my time starting the last phase of a wall quilt and knitting I-cords for a shoes-lace and a bracelet.

The I-Cord Bracelet

The Bracelet I have yet to jazz up with some charms and beads, and the last shoelace was completed at last.

bracelet

I-cord Shoelaces

I ran across this I-cord pattern years ago that I couldn’t even tell you what magazine I found it in. This is the first time I’ve tried them out and I have to say I like the results and it’s a great way to use up scrap yarn.

Celtic Wall Quilt

I’m so very close to finishing this lovely quilt that I’m almost overwhelmed. It has been an epic journey, and I have learned so much along the way.

20180318_165420

What I have left to do: Because I have endeavored to make this quilt look like a stained glass window. My next job is to sew on the shards of glass that will surround the middle celtic knot. The problem is with the top stitching at the points. I’ll be using a different colour thread that will compliment the coloured fabric and will be using a zigzag top stitch with a shortened stitch length. For the next couple of day I’ll be sitting at my sewing machine attacking this problem from different direction to see what works best. Then I can sandwich the whole thing together, top stitch and bind, I think a binding in white. After that there is another one to come, and that quilt should go faster because I’ve ironed out all the wrinkles.

I have to say I love the feeling when I finish up a project, such satisfaction!

Question: What charms should I put on my Bracelet? Need to go shopping.

God Bless & Sew, Knit On

Jennifer

P.S.

I will post pictures of the finished wall quilt.

 

 

57. Sizing Gone Crazy: My Frustration

57. Sizing Gone Crazy: My Frustration

Embracing your Shape

body-shapes

Learning to embrace your emerging shape as you develop as a teen to a mature woman. In media we are not always encourages or even shown how beautiful the different body shapes are. We’ve only been shown one body shape for a long time and have been told that this body is the most beautiful and none other. Never taking into consideration that there are many beautiful women shaped differently in this world. Recently another body shape has emerged with much resistance  but perseverance has paid off and this I’m glad for. These are only a few body shapes and we must take into consideration all the variations on these shapes as well. Learning to love and accept your body shape is difficult in a world that seems to ignore most of them and only glorifies a few.

Women in Art

Look at all the beautiful women in art over the centuries, as you can see we come in all shapes and sizes.

Finding Your Shape

Three measurements: Bust, waist, full hips and a few more.

HowToMeasureYourself-Womens

Sizing Gone Crazy

My frustrations when it comes to shopping are:

  1. I can go from a small to large size depending on what store I happen to be in at the time.
  2. I recently went bra shopping at the same shop I’ve been going to for the last 10 years and my cup size has steadily crept up to an unbelievable size yet my body has stayed the same, the only difference is I’m no longer in my baby making years so I have slimmed down a bit. I would even go so far as to say my cup size should have gone down as well.
  3. What is their purpose in trying to convince me that I’m smaller but lager at the same time.
  4. I get that the pattern and garment industry has a difficult time in finding a body shape average, but why confuse me with all these different sizing charts from different designers? I will say that some pattern companies indicate on their patterns which body shape the pattern most compliments, this I’m happy with.
  5. I don’t even bother shopping for dresses or trousers anymore because I find it so discouraging because I find my body type is not represented in the garment industry except at a few stores. This is why sewing has become so valuable to me.

rs_634x873-150818141916-634.vanity-sizing.cm.81715

This is mind-boggling, I’m not sure what to make of it. What do you make of it? Is it a reflection of todays sizes? The last ten years have really jumped. You know at the end of the day I’m not a size, I am a women trying to make sense of this craziness. My advice learn how to sew!!!

My Shopping strategy

When shopping write down a few thing on a flash card:

  • Your body shape.
  • Your relevant measurements.

Also:

  • Bring along a good friend.
  • Measuring tape
  • Try not looking at sizes, but rather look at the garment and gauge whether it would fit by visual inspection.
  • When in the change room still do not look at size but feel how outfit feels on you.
  • Try not to look at mirror they are always unflattering.
  • Go to the stores that accommodate your figure.

Question:

Let me know if there is anything I missed, and what is your take on sizing.

God Bless & Sew On

Jennifer