Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Simplicity 2516 or The Flatlock Seam Skirt

Our sewing guild's Fashion Designers neighborhood group met at our local Bernina dealer for a demo on exposed zippers.  That was neat, but I really loved this skirt that was made using a flatlock seam.  So, using Simplicity 2516 which I made last year, I attempted to make my own. 

This is my first try--the only modification is changing the waist from a zipper to elastic.  I adjusted mine a bit much so the skirt is a little on the big side...but I still love it!  This fabric has been moldering in my stash for years so I figured I didn't have anything to lose (and I still have quite a bit left). 

The hardest part when serging a flatlock seam is to remember to pin your fabric WRONG sides together...

I tested and tested on my serger prior to serging the real fabric.  I guess there's such a thing as over testing, since I had a real problem with my second skirt seam.  Oops.  It all turned out fine though.  Whew.


Skirt all serged and ready to hem.

Ta Da!  Doesn't it flair nicely along the hem?

Close up shot of the flatlock seam--I used a flatlock 3 thread with YLI brand Pearl Rayon Crown thread in the lower looper.  It's a bit heavy perhaps for this lightweight cotton skirt, but I also think that the flatlock stitch is supposed to stand out on a project like this.

Hem:  I serged an overlock 3 thread making this one of the easiest and quickest skirts ever.

See the cat?  Annoying critter (I knew my kids would like that comment!!!)

I have plans to serge one more skirt in a linen/cotton blend fabric that I got from Les Fabriques this year.  Since I didn't line this skirt and don't plan to line the next one, I'm going to serge a slip using cotton batiste and the 3 thread overlock in regular serger thread to wear with them.  Easy summer sewing and wearing!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Scarf Project: Les Fabriques

I told you that I've been going monthly to Charlottesville with a group from our area to participate in their Club meetings.  April's project was stenciling on silk using PaintStiks.  Our instructor had a different way of approaching the paint and stencil that left the fabric feeling soft and natural and unpainted which I loved.  Rather than directly applying the paintstik to the fabric, you draw a line or several using the PaintStik ONTO your plastic stencil.  Then, using one of those stiff stencil brushes you brush or move the paint from the stencil onto the fabric.  I hope that makes sense...I didn't take any pictures of that process and since I don't own any PaintStiks it's not likely to be photographed.

The color didn't come through well on this.  Sorry.  Anyway, we stenciled on the narrow, lighter piece of fabric.  Mine is silk shantung.  I bought the darker piece to make the scarf.  Here, I was testing beads (stealing beads without permission) from my dear daughter's stash for her birthday present--the scarf!  teehee

The finished scarf all folded up and with its real color showing up.  Isn't it pretty??

The finished scarf all stretched out.  Isn't it pretty???

Detail of the beads on the little doodads I put on the ends.  Talk about tedious handwork--what was I thinking?  But, isn't it pretty????!

Obviously, I loved this project!  I am surprised that  more of our guild members don't go to Charlottesville to participate in Club meetings.  It's $10, plus $5 for supplies.  I spent a bit more on this project because I needed to buy the dark lavendar silk shantung to make this scarf.  However, I could've made something else, but I'm glad I didn't!  BTW, dd loved her scarf!!!

At April's ASG meeting, I won the name tag drawing and got this:

I really look forward to trying it!  New sewing gadgets are always fun :)  Don't I have the best ASG chapter???

Saturday, June 2, 2012

McCall 6469 and a Cork Question

About my corking-the-wall post, Anonymous asked, "I wonder, does this improve the acoustics in the room ?? I am planning doing the same in order to have good acoustic... anyone knows that ? Thanks."

Thanks very much for the question and I hope you'll be able to find my answer to you since I didn't have an email address to reply directly.  Anyway, I don't really know if the corks on the wall have improved the acoustics in my sewing room.  For starters, I don't think we have enough area completed.  The walls we've been doing are in the basement and the ceiling there is lower so the acoustics are already pretty good (i.e. we don't get echoes like you would in a large, empty room).  I hope that helps...

SO!  I have finally sewn something and completed it!  I started this project in January and it was literally work on one very small thing a day, with many days that I didn't have time or energy to work.  It was rather depressing.  Equally depressing, I finished this in April and have not had a chance to BLOG!

McCall 6469
I made View D, the top left corner pic.

My fabric--a polyester sheer with gold metallic from Joann's.  It's NOT as bright as this pic...

I guess most people post something about construction and I intended to but these pictures just leave a lot to be desired.  The fabric was really difficult to photograph (and work with...if I'm going to invest that much time and energy in a project, that fabric had best be SILK!!!).  I'll add a bit about the neckline elastic that creates the gathers in the front upper bodice.

The top went together pretty easily, but I didn't like the instructions for the elastic on either side of the neckline.  Rather than struggle through their finnicky method, I developed my own (also finnicky) method.  This would not have been nearly so difficult if I could've marked the fabric easily and well.  Between it being a very dark and a very busy print (and polyester), nothing I tried worked well in the marking department--various types of white/gray pencils, chalks, thread basting (the fabric kept moving...)

So, what I did was to stitch the elastic where it needed to go when I stitched the neckline seam.  I made sure to put a small safety pin at the other end of the elastic so I could work it through the casing later.  I had not stitched the two rows to form the casing at that point.  Next, I turned and pressed the entire upper bodice and stitched 1 row of the casing.  A little lumpy with the safety pin.

Then, I stitched the 2nd row of the casing and eased the elastic through, securing it in the armhole seam.  Nothing too exciting and I'm not sure that the pattern directions would not have been better...

Work on the casing beside the neckline.

The upper bodice with one side of the elastic all completed and the other side pinned and in progress...  And, this is the color of the fabric in real life, busy but not as bright as the other photos.

Wiggling the elastic through.  I don't know why, but when I went to buy elastic they didn't have any black.  This would've looked much better with black!

I raised the neckline by a good 1.5" and it still wasn't enough.  I need to shop for a cami to wear underneath it.  Additionally, the shoulder seam pulls forward quite a bit (is that why the model on the pattern has her shoulder positioned oddly?).  The front of the bodice needs to be longer to adjust this--wish I had been able to catch this sooner, but despite trying on during the process it was difficult to notice that it would be a problem.

No pictures on me because it just wasn't happenin'!

The back is longer than the front--should've taken a side view, too.  It's pretty neat.
And now that it's done, the weather is too warm for it!  Ha haha!  I'm not sure that I like it because of the sleeves and the volume of fabric.  I did want something different and floaty and this meets those requirements but...I'm still not sure it's "me".  That's okay, it was an interesting and engaging project and I know that I will wear it some when the weather cools down much later this year :)

More later--I have been sewing quite a bit, just not posting at all!