Black Friday Fringe Cowl

Black Friday Afternoon Project

Well I went to JA for Black Friday this morning, spent 2 hours there and stocked up on some fabrics for some projects.  The cutting lines were a little ferocious as evidently the fleece was a ridiculous price and folks had about 10-15 bolts per cart to cut! I landed a good place on line, and it moved fairly well, the only trouble i ran into was that after that and shopping for notions, i remembered i needed the trim for these cowls, and had to select it and then get another number and at that time I hit a longer wait.  Oh well... no biggie... I knew I wanted to probably start one of these cowls today, so i stood and waited.

So my cowl is inspired by Sandra from my Stitcher's Guild forum.  Her blog post about it is Here.  It is from a Soho tutorial from The Purl Bee - Pom Pom Cowl

My taste wasn't pom-poms, so I searched the trim section at JA for something that I liked.  I found a few, but some were very expensive... Then I found this silky fringe, like from the roaring 20's.  I really like it, so I got Brown to go with the gold pinstriped Brown linen, shown below, Red to go with the black linen, and gold to go with the beige linen.  It came out better than hoped.  The look is exactly what I was going for, and it is so comfy!

I fell in love when I saw Sandra's cowl, thinking now this is the best alternative to those turtlenecks I always want to wear in the chilly weather... this really dresses things up and keeps me warm... total shout out to Sandra!  You'll see on her blog how she is a master adjuster of all things wearable!

Sewed this up in about an hour 1/2, maybe a little more because lining up that fringe was tricky.  Will post the other two when they are done.


November 28th,

Well I made my second Cowl, Black with Red fringe.  I took more pictures this time along the way.  I also improved my method from the first time by pressing the seams first, then pinning and stitching the fringe to the cowl.  Went much smoother that way.  Here is a little story of pictures...
First, I started a little before this clock picture, say 5 minutes earlier.
First thing I did was fold under and press my seams
This way I get to line up the ends to see if they line up ahead of time, which was something i didnt' do on my first cowl, and I had to ease the ends together, which wasn't a big deal, but i figured I'd improve on this the second go 'round.  These didn't line up, so I opened the seam a little and re-pressed.

Like so...

Now I could lay the trim easily in the channel, and pin it for stitching.

I had to make sure those little strands were all tucked on the right side and not interfering!

Side one stitched! Nice!

While stitching I had to keep a hand gently guiding the fringe out to the side so as not to "catch" any on the underside, which did happen a little anyway, but it was minimal, and easily fixable.

OOoops!  had a miss on the end here! didn't catch the tape :) 

Pull out my trusty seam ripper so I can re-stitch this boo-boo.

Okay all better!

Finishing up side two, now to stitch the two sides together, press seams open, stitch the open seams down, and we're done!

Now the fun part!  Pulling off the fringe-stay plastic which was attached to help keep the fringe together and manageable until the project is done. This was fun but as you can see left a bunch of little lint bunnies.

Wrapped this up in about 1 hour 15 minutes-ish

Cowl Number Two!
My third one is Cream with Gold fringe. I will just pin a pic when that's done.
Thanks again Sandy for the outstanding inspiration!


Sunday Sewing Mojo - SWAP/6PAC/FUN

3 Pieces all done by Noon today!

# 1

Today is Sunday.  Last night I cut out 4 projects so I'd be ready to sew when I got back into the mood... I just got back from a business conference that wiped me out, so I wasn't thinking that I would be sewing this weekend... HA!

So, I did my 5th piece of my 6PAC first - my 3rd Turtleneck.  I did it in Ponte Roma knit.  First time with that material and it sure was different to work with... the pins didn't really want to go through it and the needle seemed to 'slap' it every time it stitched.... I like the sturdiness and weight of the fabric, but I'm not crazy about the limited stretch.  I'm pretty pleased with the top,. though, even though if I realized the limited stretch, I would have cut it bigger.  But I got my nice long sleeves, and this will be a good layering piece.  Last piece to do is the cream ponte turtleneck. and my 6PAC will be finished.  Here is the Red Ponte:


# 2

The second I made a FUN piece! - Gingerbread Fleece Lounge Pants... Oh so soft and comfy.... and christmassy..... I have some matching cream t-shirt fabric that I want to make a long sleeve T to wear with these pants, but I need a pattern for it.


# 3

Then I made my SWAP Poncho! what fun that was!  I made a separate post on it right underneath this one...  feathers and all!

Now I'm watching the Redskins game because my team (Baltimore Ravens) isn't playing until 8:20 pm tonight.  I won't see that live 'cause I'll be asleep! Have to watch the recording tomorrow after work~...

SWAP 2013 Poncho

Pre-Make for the SWAP 2013

Well My Mojo was crankin' today and I had to make my Poncho!   I actually made 3 garments this morning - 1 for my 6PAC, 1 for fun, and this one for my SWAP!

I was real excited to sew this one because I originally was going to use a fur lining along the front and hood and attach it via buttons or snaps so that I could remove it come spring time, since this piece is my bridge piece, and my two capsules are each spring and fall/winter. However, upon searching tirelessly for the fur that I had in my mind, I came across some feathers on a website, and thought "Hey!" that would be a great idea and would fit both capsules.... so i re-directed my search for feathers and found these beautiful ones (from: The Decorating Studio) that I thought were a nice and warm color - Auburn. Would go well with my cream wool fabric. (ordered from: Fashion Fabrics Club (plus I love Auburn - I used to have Auburn hair growing up... still can see it from time to time). Cut this fabric and pattern last night along with others, so I had stuff lined up just in case I was in the mood to sew today... For this I used pattern McCall's 3448 view C. (top Middle)

The reason I chose a Poncho/Cape as my bridge piece for the SWAP is because I have a "goth" top that has flaring flounce sleeves that will not be able to be put into the sleeves of a jacket, so the poncho/cape will work over that top.  I am doing two of those; one for each capsule.

I used a double lining of feathers along the front panels, meaning two layers back to back, so there would be some body to them along the front, and just one layer along the hood, because it didn't need the body there.  I didn't really take pictures along the way, so I am posting a montage of three pix taken at the end of the project...  I think the feathers really add the special look I wanted for this piece.



Angry Birds Toss Game

Holiday Party Game - Angry Birds Toss

Well at my office every year, I've become by default the sort of holiday party planner in a sense that I always seem to get it going, get the decorations bought, put up, plan the party, plus I make gifts for everyone every year, that management lets me hand out to everyone at the party.  I started this because for a couple years in a row, we had tried having "Secret Santa" party at the office and suffice ti to say it didn't work out - and the team just didn't have fun with it, we also tried "Pot-Luck" and that didn't really fit our group either... So, being my nature, I really wanted everyone to have a nice holiday party, so I started getting gifts for everyone, so everyone had something to open and receive at the party.  nothing major mind you - one year it was DVD Cases for the guys and mini Yankee candles for the gals, all with winter character stuffed toys assigned to each staff member, Ornaments for the tree with every one's names on them, one year I made stockings filled with "fitness" items - a jump rope, nature bar, a brain teaser game, (of course a piece of chocolate - just 1) - last year - custom mugs with everyone's name on them - this year - well you'll have to wait in case anyone reads the blog before the party...  But the order came already and I think they came out nice - I am going to embroider every one's name on them.

So Anyway.... each year I've never planned on an activity ahead of time for the party, thinking management had something, so this year I thought I would supplement that by adding something *fun* instead of just an ice breaker activity... So i must have spent a good solid week of nights surfing, tyring to get ideas... then I remembered one manager saying last year that he would like to do something with Angry Birds - make a shelter out of cardboard or something... So i had to research anrgybirds to see what he meant - I'm not into video games... ;) So upon thinking it out, it seemed that making a stage like the on-screen game, everyone would always knock it down, I couldn't come up with how to make the challenge in a live version... thinking.... thinking.... so i kept surfing and came across these little angry birds toys.  they call them 'flingers' where you put them on a stick and fling 'em... must be fun for kids, but they gave me an idea...  If I could make them velcro'd and a Velcro board, we could toss them to hit the board for points!  skills involved - toss properly, to actually hit the board and have them stick, then to place it in the areas to get the most points...the thought made great sense, now could i make it so it worked???  Gotta find out...

Searched for Velcro, aah yes 4" should be good... aah yes 5 yds should be good...  so i ordered it all.... it came in... so i sewed a little guy up, threw him at the Velcro roll and he stuck good!  Alright! so let's go for it....

The Guys...

Getting their Attachments....

I like to think of it as their Capes...

Figure a 22 x 28 poster frame....

So w/ 4" felt border to wrap around backing, that's 30 x 36, and 2" strips of ...I think I did 24"

Sew the Velcro strips to the felt - boy does felt stick to Velcro!

Bias tape for line markers
Made point markers (stars), little pictures and title and printed them on glossy photo paper, and cut them out, glued them to the board - need to add the 'golden egg' pictures before I bring it to the party! After all, I think that is the main theme of Angry Birds - they are protecting their eggs from the pigs...

This was an actual test run (above) and Yes! I got 500 points!  Also if you get it on the line, you get the higher of the points! (Like on the top row) So, this board is a sample of 875 Points!

This is the board with the guys lined up..
I sent it to management after I made sure it all worked - (waited til hubby tested it out to make sure the male fun factor was there - can you believe he got TWO characters in the 500 box????) and management thought it "Sure looks like it could be fun"
I think the crew will have a blast... and this was a game that everyone could participate in.. you see , half the team is on a call center, so they will need to rotate phones during the party, and since this will be a score sheet game, and tallied up at the end for prizes, all will be able to participate!
I hope they enjoy it!


Piece 4 - Fuzzy Turtleneck

4th Piece of my 6PAC~

My 2nd Turtleneck - a real Warmer!

Well, I have joined the SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) sew-along on the forum, so I went shopping for some fabric at JoAnn's yesterday to look at fabrics.  I went to the one 1/2 hour away because someone told me it was bigger and had a larger selection... I had the day off, so sounded like the perfect time.  It's true - there were a lot of fabrics there.  So, I came across this awesome red fuzzy fleece, (silky fuzzies) and immediately fell in love with it and knew I had to make one of my turtlenecks out of it.  I am attending a work event next week like a seminar, and the banquet rooms are always freezing - now I won't be cold on at least one of the days!

So I set out to cut the fabric this morning - and remember the fabric is a "fuzzy" fabric, so after I cut the fabric, my husband just came in a laughed when he saw this:

(Yes, that is a floor full of fuzzie's!)
So anyway, I got to sewing up the shirt, and it went along nicely, I cut the collar taller than the first one, and I also cut the sleeve major long like I like because i didn't think i would make cuffs for this, just let the sleeves fall. 
 I also think I came up with a tip for sewing with the overlock stitch - to keep the bottom fabric piece slightly protruding out under the the top piece - I did it that way and the stitch came out magnificently, and there were no misses.  For all I know, that is the way you're supposed to do it anyway!
Well I'm pleased with how the top came out.  Here it is... and it's soooo cozy!
4 pieces of my 6PAC are done.  The last two are turtlenecks also, a burgundy and creme both ponte knits.


SWAP 2013

My very first SWAP...

A SWAP - Sewing With A Plan.... It is a contest they run on the forum I belong to Stitcher's Guild (Artisan's Square) The have one every year. It is a contest where you sew a certain amount of garments (I think it's usually 11) within a period of time.  This year it starts Dec 26th.  The rules are out already, this year it will be sewing 2 capsules either 5+5+1 or 4+4+1 (or combo of those two).  Within that grouping the pieces are set, meaning the 4+4 is 2 tops, 1 bottom and 1 dress, and the 5+5 is 3 tops and two bottoms. then the +1 is a garment that ties to both groups.  (many people do a jacket for this piece)  I am in the planning stage, so here is my first draft...

I still don't know what fabrics yet, but there's more to plan....

So, it's a few days later and I've changed up because I kept looking at the poster and a few pieces I just almost knew I wouldn't wear, and I want to wear everything I make...You know I really want the pieces to be enjoyable - there's no purpose for me just to sew pieces to make a quota or something :-) So, i threw out that dress that was going to take almost 7 yards of fabric, and while nice, I didn't think I would get enough wear form it.. whatever the reason, it just didn't work for me, and I went on to look for a replacement pattern... I ended up getting nowhere fast, and came up with the idea that i didn't have to have a pattern after all! I could make my own design!!!!!  So that's what I am doing! My own dress, my first design.  It will have a silky solid-color shell and a patterned sheer overlay, with a dropped waist, and asymmetrical hemline, lined with ruffles.
There's so much to do still - colors? and shopping for fabrics?  I think I will make the other side also 1 dress, two tops and 1 bottom.  I still want to make the knickerbockers, and the cuff top, We are allowed to have one pre-sewn item, so i think i will enter my jumper.


Well I went shopping today for fabrics for this SWAP, what fun!!! there is nothing better than shopping for fabrics!  It's great to have such a blank canvas - I hadn't had any ideas yet of my colors.  It was still open... So i was going shopping with a blank canvas - which can be real tough when there's so many choices... I have to find the one fabric that i absolutely fall in love with to be my centerpiece and then work the colors from there...  This go 'round it turned out to be my self designed dress.  I found a sheer that was so gorgeous - a must have - and so i am building from there. After the first decision was made, some more fell into place and I had my next piece.  Didn't find anything for my Winter capsule at that store, but stopped at the other one on my way home and it worked out - found a fab flannel I loved for my cuff shirt, then the sweater knit, and black denim, so there you have it - grays, blacks, splashed with red would be my winter capsule.
So my plan has evolved and here's my 2nd Draft!
My bridging piece will be the poncho mainly because with the ruffle top (2nd one from the top) I wouldn't want to be wearing a jacket with sleeves, so the poncho would keep the sleeves fresh.  It will have removable fur along the front, for winter/spring conversion.
So I have all the fabrics for my winter capsule which i want to sew first anyway, so there you have it.  I am allowed to cut things out before the 26th, and I'm still not sure that i like the top on the lower left corner.. I might like it if I take the sleeves off.
I bought muslin material so i can make my dress first to make sure I have it right before I cut into the real fabric.  ( I learned about "doing a muslin" from the forum.)
More to come...

November 12th

Ha!  I just found out my Jumper dress is actually considered a 'pinafore' and therefore will be considered as a bottom, so i needed to reconstruct my winter capsule, to 2 bottoms, and 3 tops - perfect excuse to do another of my favorite tops! (the ruffle sleeve)  I will need to go pick out fabric for this top, not sure what I'd like yet... need to stay with the grays/blacks/red theme... anyway i re-did my poster - Version #3 :-)...
Also, I redesigned my dress, and am going to do this design instead.  I like it better.
I hope to stick with this plan... just need to pick out more fabric... I plan on making a muslin of my dress before Dec 26th, just to make sure I have it basically as a good design.  Like I'm not sure if I will need a zipper or not - if so, it will be on the side...

November 30th

Okay, Here we go - more changes!  I think I am closer, I will have to make final decisions soon!  My latest Poster:

I do really like the Motorcycle capsule idea with the custom embroidery... Here is the 1st draft of the design for the back of the jacket:
It will be Tone on Tone.  I ordered the faux leather and the wine denim, I hope the leather is not too thin.  The description indicated "soft leather" so i hope that doesn't mean paper thin.  I hope it has some weight to it.  If not, then I'll have to go with the other one I saw.  But it was more upholstery weight.  Nice color though.  This one said it would be good for jackets... Anyway I'd like to make two suits (Jacket and Pants) and a matching cap.  I am going to do a muslin of each piece over the next couple weeks, starting today if I can.  I am doing Burda "Larissa" #6032 jacket and Burda "Bella" 6011 Pants. Then the cap is from a tutorial Eddie Cap Tutorial from Website: All Free Sewing.
I haven't tried any of these patterns yet, so I want to make sure they will all turn out before I make the final drafts.  however, for me, doing mock ups isn't as appealing as diving right in and making the garment. But logically it makes sense because then I can tweak it of course, and figure out any potential mistakes all before working on the fashion fabric... but it's just not appealing to me; it just seams like a lot of potential extra work.  it seems like something you would do if you were designing something on your own, but if you have a pattern, I'm not sure about it.  I do, but I don't.  I'm torn in other words.  I guess that's why I haven't started them yet.  I am more of a "just go for it" kind of gal....  Well I'll kepp you posted on whether I change my plan again or if I do any muslins....
Pieces of my Motorcycle Suit:



Here is the Latest and Greatest update.  I had to do a little shuffling to keep within the contest rules...  Also, 3 of my pieces are done so far and I put those pictures in my current poster...


Piece 3 - Jumper Dress

It's my Jumper! - 3rd Piece of my 6PAC

Well, now that I've gotten the jumpsuit out of the way, (and 1 turtleneck) I needed to get a jump on my jumper.  I am jumping into the unknown (what else is new) and am going to take two patterns and doctor them up and combine them to make my jumper.  I've used both patterns before for their intended garment, and was pleased with the results. I'm nervous because I will have to figure out how to blend them together - but that'll get my creativity juices flowing.  You know how I LOVE to be creative!  I am going to pretty much put the overall top on the skirt and call it a jumper dress.  These are the two patterns.

I'm doing view E on the skirt - the short yellow one at the bottom.  So this week I cut out the fabric - a nice deep black Caviar Corduroy.  I tried to figure on how much fabric I needed to purchase in order to accomplish the outfit - without laying all the pieces out, I kind of winged it with my sense of spacial relation.

Well it all worked out - i squeezed every inch out.  Turns out I am learning about Nap. this corduroy has nap.  I can't say that I did a 100% job on the nap, because I realized it half way through, and couldn't remember which pieces were turned which way...  Nap is the direction of pile.  It all goes in one direction, and if you cut pieces with alternating nap (which can be for effect in some designs) then you have the light hitting differently on different parts of the garment.  Can look disorganized and mismatched.  So when patterns say allow extra yardage for nap I now know what they are talking about, because where on "non-nap" fabric you can turn pieces to fit (as long as they are on grain) you might need more yardage with nap because pieces might not be able to turn upside-down.  well i am still on my path of learning a new skill with each new project!  (this one I'm learning many skills)

Saturday November 3rd

Well, checked the forum and caught up on news this morning... then had to get going on putting the jumper together - started with the skirt - that's all together now - don't forget to press the seams! :-)

OK.  So now have to pretty much figure out the next steps.  Enter my partner in crime - another fabulous investment - I wouldn't be able to make this outfit without her for sure.  So I am piecing it together to see what the moves will be.

This is basically the mock-up of the front... There will be a zipper on the one side.  The skirt is too big, so I will be making a pleat in the front panel and the back panel to true it up.. - another thing I wouldn't be able to do with out my dress form.  I like the look of this so far, and I think I have the plan of how to sew it up.
This is the back.  The shoulder straps will be the overall kind with the buckles.  I'm trying to decide If i want to embroider a design on the front panel or not.  I dont' think I am going to put the front panel pocket on - it makes it too "outdoorsy"  this way it's a little more dressy.  A well chosen design could add a Little pizazz, also, but I want it to be something that will go with everything - no matter what top I want to wear - it can't clash neither with color nor with theme, nor with look (dressy/casual).  That will take some thinking....
Well, while I think on that design, I need to find those notes and remind myself how to make that pleat I want to do on the front and back panels to take in the skirt.  I'll add to this post at the next interval...

Next Steps....

Well I decided to add an embroidery design. This one I think is perfect for what I wanted.  "Inky Rose" found Here.  

I sewed the top front on to the skirt - so far so good! This is coming out just like I've hoped.

I put a pleat in the front center and back center to take in the waist to tailor the fit before i put on the waistband.  I used the pleat that is tucked in instead of the outside type one, I think they are called over vs. under, because I think it went better with the godets in the skirt... (the triangle panels).  Then I utilized the waistband as a transition piece - I'm real glad I did - what a difference!  Next i will assemble the back, and attach to the skirt.  I need to install a zipper, i guess that will come after the back is attached. then add straps, buckles, hem, and adorn with some satin ribbon, if i think it will work.  All in all I think I will actually finish this up tonight.  After all, tomorrow is football Sunday and I'll need to shop in the morning and prep something for game time.
Let's see how I do... Off to work on the back....

Almost finished!

Well, the back went pretty smoothly - I had to use my dress form to see at what height to attach it.. that was tricky because when I cut the pieces, I cut with a lot of extra on the bottom - you know just in case, since I had no idea where this piece would fall.  So, without the form, I wouldn't have been able to know where to pin it.  This turned out to be pretty high up, compared to where i cut the material, so that was good - hey better cut more than not enough!.. So the buckles that I had purchased were narrower than the overalls called for because the ones I had on hand were silver, which i didn't like for this, and they were i think 1 3/4 inch or 2 inch - whatever they were they were too wide and not "dainty" enough, so I bought these polished brass narrower ones, however that called for me to make the straps narrower since they were patterned for the wider buckles.  So i did that,. but boy was it real difficult to turn those - they were pretty thin... Then I remembered - i think with the thin straps you press the seams under, wrong sides together and top stitch it together...  (too late!) - but I made it through that rough turning...It's all together, and just will hem tomorrow, or the next day.  The ribbon is still tbd.  I'm thrilled this worked out! I will take a picture of me wearing the final piece.  Here's the jumper all together...

Now it's time to relax and watch a movie and surf...


Well I put the hem on last night, and declared my jumper done.  I don't think the satin ribbon trim on the hem would fit the look I wanted, and the ribbon bows on the front either.  I think basically the embroidery is embellishment enough.  This way the jumper can still be casual or dressy...
So I wanted to wait until this morning so I could take the images outside - when you are photographing black for some details, regular point and shoot flash is not your friend, so if you do not have studio lighting, natural day lighting is best, and you will achieve results where the details will come out virtually how they look to the eye.  (be sure you are in an even shadow area, and not in a half shadow half bright sun!)  ANYWAY.... here are my pics!  BTW I'm wearing the turtleneck I made which was my 2nd piece of my 6PAC...


I learned a lot making this jumper...How to morph two patterns together, and join them at the right time, I'm telling you if I did not have my Dress Form, I never could have pulled this off.  I was constantly throwing this on her and fitting it and then when it came time to put the front and back on seeing where they would fall, so where to attache them, etc.  I have some things on this jumper that will remain between me and my Janome and my dress form.. ha ha...now that I completed this, I am more encouraged to try it the next time I want to morph a pattern.
So now I've got three down, and three to go... the last three are all turtlenecks, and I still have to get the fabric for my last turtleneck. The other two will be solids made from Ponte Roma Knit.  Good thing is - the two hardest pieces of my 6PAC are complete!