January Summary including projects not previously posted

I had such a wonderful sewing month in January, that my sewing got ahead of my posting.  Here at the end of the month I’m summarizing my sewing and will evaluate how I’ve done at working towards my goals.


Jan 15 I completed a 2nd Doll blanket for donation toHeirloom Creations. Heirloom Creations is a sewing machine vendor for Bernina, HusqvarnaViking, Janome and Singer in Sioux Falls SD.  They continued the Bernina Sewing club and renamed it Sewtopia.  Sewtopia is open too all machines, all sewists.  The vendor coordinates several charitable sewing activities.  I particpate in 2.  I participate in sewing cosmetic bags which are donated to the Banquet.  I also love sewing the doll blankets which are sold at the annual  Quilts N Vines quilt show.  The doll blankets not sold during Quilts N Vines are donated to Toys for Tots during Nov/Dec. Both these sewing activities give me a lot of personal satisfaction.  I’m not only using small amounts of fabric (which might otherwise be in a landfill), I’m contributing to the overall health of my State, neighbors and friends.



Photobucket(Personally I’m hoping they choose the back as the front. Whilst it was an interesting square to develop and work with, my first results are, ummm, ugly.)


Burda 2010-11-129 I’m calling this a finished prototype.  It is a tremendously interesting pattern that almost fits at this point.  If this was RTW, I would have called it finished a couple of weeks ago.  Despite my previous reservations, I do desire to work with this pattern a little more.  I certainly would like to slim the legs down just a bit more.  The hem circumferences are 24″.  I prefer a max of 19″  I feel this could be a pattern which makes the most use of given fabric.  It’s wonderous to think I could create a pair of pants from a little over a yard of fabric.  So prototype done.  Onto the next pattern drafting/alterations.


I had problems with some missaved pictures.  I mean I know I took them and I usually take several because even with a tripod I can manage to blur my photographs.  But I can’t, at this time, find the picutres from the Stretch Velvet top constructed using Butterick 5387 View c.  I cut size 16 across the hips and 14 lengthwise crossing the shoulders and defining the neckline.  Yes, I did make my usual 1″ petite alteration above the waist.  I normally cut a size 14 and maybe add 1/4 to the side seams at the hip.  Not always do I add at the hip.  It depends upon the flat pattern measurement 8.5″ down from the waist.  In this case the pattern measurement equaled my hip measurement.  I have had a few close fitting knit tops.  If the bust lands where my bust is, the waist corresponds with my waist and the same with the hip, close fitting knit tops are very flattering.  Yes a lady carrying 40+ too-many-pounds-to admit;  wearing a correctly and close-fitted garment can look good.  But this was the first time I’d used this pattern and frankly I don’t trust the pattern companies.  IMO, they take far too many “artistic” liberties.  I used the recommended fabric, stretch velvet for my prototype.  I’ve now worn my prototype a full day and here’s what I think:

  • The neckline which seemed fine on the dressform, during fitting and early in the day, slowly lowered and now reveals the top of my clevage.  During the summer and for some activities, this would be quite attractive and appropriate.  However, this is winter day with a high of 33 (wind chill dropping the high to 17),  I’m terribly glad that I wore not only my long underwear but a funnel neck dicky – the kind that goes all the way up to the chin and all the way down to be tucked into the top of my trousers. 
  • Stretch velvet (the fabric recommended first) is excellent during the winter (had the neckline not dropped so low) but would be horribly uncomfortable when those summer, triple-diget temperatures occur.  The low neckline, great in the summer, is inappropriate for most winter activities.  So we’re combining summer wear with winter fabrics.  It’s just doesn’t make sense to me.  I’m asking “what were they thinking?  Even New Yorkers have to get out in the snow sometimes.”
  • I do want to make mention that I was unable to duplicate the pleating (my bad) and eventually added a bias band to the neckline solving my pleating challenge and  raising the neckline, alas not enough for winter. My pleating is more lovely than the envelope depicted.  So the pleating is not necessarily a negative. 
  • I could have trusted the fit as far as my hips and the alignment of bust, waist and hip with pattern bust, waist and hip.  That’s a big plus in my mind.  I see this pattern has having great possiblities and will work with it again. 
  • I’m just sad that I didn’t have the pics to show you.  Oh well, you probably couldn’t have seen the details even if I did have the pics.  My velvet was a wonderful dark violet.  If you have Joan Wolfrom’s incredible  3-in-1 Color tool


It’s color 13-14 but with all the luster, shine and complexity that velvet adds. (BTW skip Amazon go to Dharma for a good price. NAYY)


There is also a lovely book cover I completed on Jan 27.  I used the leftover icy-pink microfiber velvet from the vest I made in November which I also neglected to photo or post about at that time.  I like making these book covers.  It’s an easy, quick way for me to experiment with color while at the same time using up small pieces of fabric and in this case turning an ugly, abused threme book into something lovely and usable.


 The last garment to share, is a shop stopper.  Unfortunately my pictures are not. 



This is Jacket #5 for the 12×12 or JAM at Stitchers Guild. My fabric is a losely woven silk herribone. The colors are a green turquoise and olive (6-8 and 1-21 on the 3-in1).  I haven’t seen this combination in many years. I think mid-1960’s.  I do like it and I’m sorry it’s not more popular.  My lining was also silk, but a satin-backed-crepe kind of a brownish slate (oh about 1-16 in 3-in1)   The herribone raveled something incredible, part of the reason for using an antiqued pin as a closure. (Pin was acquired at a garage sale 7-10 years ago.  Even then it had  a look of new rather than age).My Fabric raveled just moving it from the cutting table to the ironing board where I fused 2.5″ wide strips of  Louse Cuttings Fusible Weft (which she no longer has but is looking for a substitute.)  Please, I’m not trying to impress you with the name dropping.  It’s just that when I’m really interested in someone’s sewing, these are the kind of details I really, really want to know. So my intent is to share. And I have an oddity to share.  I did not pink the edges of the interfacing, either before during or after the fusing.  The silk herringbone is fused all down the front, around the armscyes, and back neckband.  The hem is fused with 3″ strips, also not pinked.  You can’t tell it down the front, around the armscyes or back neck, but around the hem there is the slightest, very slightest – you have to look for it- line indicating  the interfacing edge. I’m going to live with it.  I mean you really have to look for it to know it’s there.  I’ve gotten to the point I hate using my pinking shears.  They are stiff and after nearly a year’s worth of use, still horribly stiff.  I do have the rotary blade, but must swap out regular with pinking blade and then back. Currently on the list is to buy a second 45mm rotary cutter to hold only the pinking blade.  


But my ego really swells with pride when it comes to the pattern.  I started with NL6538 (which is so OOP I can’t find a picture on the internet) and altered to a one pattern-piece vest.  So I have the left front, a full back and a right front all attached to either other between the sides and center back.  This is my Version 3 of NL6538, in which I create a dart underneath the arm.  The dart allows for more shapping in the final garment.  I think that closer fitting vest will be most useful for the summer.  During the summer I want not only lighter vests, but closer fitting.  In the winter, those big ol’ armholes are filled out with blouses and sweaters.  In the summer, they just flap around rather annoyingly. 


So that’s my January projects not previously blogged.  My summary (next para) quite impresses me. But then I remember, we had lots of cold weather and a number of nasty storms (not as bad as some states but still not very nice).  During those days, I get up, get dressed, fill my coffee cup and think “I’m so glad I’m retired”.  I get lots of sewing done during this kind of weather as evidenced by the 45 items I did complete:


Tops (blouses, Tshirts etc) 10

Pants 2

Skirts 0

Dresses 0

Vests 4

Coats/jackets 4

Cosmetic Bags 20

Doll Blankets 2

Book Covers 2

Scarf 1





Not bad.