Here is an update on the jean quilt for S. It is coming together well, although S wants a little more dark, so I may still make some changes.
So, the day passed quickly without me doing much crafting. P and I went to the fabric store. We went to the Richfield Penn Celebration, spending way too much time in the sun. But how many of these beautiful autumn days will we have in Minnesota?
In any case, for sewing, slow sewing construction is slow. Luckily, I saved a project I completed almost a month ago for a day like today, when I didn’t get much done in the week and don’t have much to say.
These are the fingerless gloves I told you about a couple of months ago. They actually didn’t take that to put together, but the beading took much longer.
I love the way these look but I am not sure how useful they will be here since Minnesota weather is either really hot or really cold. However, I like the way they look so much I will probably make another pair.
I just got back from a long trip to my mom and dad’s. I had a great time first at my parent’s house and then at a big family reunion. We had a good time fishing and hanging out with my dad. At the reunion, it was wonderful to see everyone and catch up. We also had a rousing game of kick ball which has left me still walking a little funny.
It is a 10 hour drive each way so I made up 4 kits a la Alabama Stitch book to work on in the car. The first one was this little bolero which I made to match the little tank top I made a few weeks ago. It took me most of the trip but I am very pleased with it.
Here is a close up of the beaded edge.
I am very happy with it. I am excited to start on my other three kits. Now I can position one on the porch and another up in my bedroom while I am watching TV.
I am now working through a great book I bought called Alabama Studio Sewing and Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe. The pattern I tried was the bolero.
I am very happy with this pattern. If you remember the corset I made that matches this bolero, I used two men’s size t-shirts. I had enough extra to make this matching bolero. I wasn’t sure how useful the bolero would be, but since we have had few chilly days, I have used it quite a bit, much the way I would use a scarf.
There were a few things I struggled with. First, the sleeves have quite a bit of ease. Chanin recommends putting them together flat, I did it in the round. I will try it flat next time.
Also, the binding. She recommends sewing through all layers at once. I found this difficult and it made my stitches uneven. Instead I bound it much like I would bind a quilt. I sewed the binding to the wrong side, then brought it around the edge and sewed the right side. This gave me much better stitch quality on the outside and a firmer bind.
I would also suggest to think about the binding at the garment cutting stage so you have longer pieces. I did quite a bit of piecing for the binding and it made it a little less nice.
Just like the corset, the fit is very flattering. It is especially nice with the matching corset. I had fun using the different colored fabrics for different parts to create a subtle color blocking. I definitely will make it again.
I was invited to go to a yarn bombing. I wasn’t able to go, but went to look as soon as possible. Look at this fabulous yarn bomb:
It is such a cheerful, happy piece with so much attention to detail. I love how dimensional it is. I love how many different yarns were used.
This photo shows the beautiful sun. I can’t believe what a great job they did. It was made from leftover donated yarn. If you live in Minneapolis, this is at my church, Holy Cross, on 1720 East Minnehaha Parkway. The column that is decorated is on the east side by the basement.
I am in the midst of a little bit of chaos. One of the good things is my mother-in-law is visiting. I am excited and happy she is here. However, any visitor requires me to maintain the façade that always have a clean house. Yes, there isn’t a layer of dust and ketchup on most of the horizontal surfaces of my house and hand and foot prints on most of the walls.
What is nice is the house cleans up pretty good. Steve even painted the walls of the front porch. He bought floor paint also, but time got away from him with all of the things going on. He plans on finishing the floor later this summer, as part of our four year plan to have the house really nice by graduation 2017.
We also noticed we were very low on chairs. So I went out with my usual dining room chair budget of five dollars each to get new chairs. I found these at a garage sale for twenty dollars for four. I am very happy with them, only one has a slight crack in the upholstery. I have had chairs like this before and I know they are super easy to recover so I may do that in the future. Steve wants to paint the carved insert red. I am not convinced because we have nothing else red in our house. However, I agree with him that it would look super neat.
We also found these chairs for seven dollars each:
They look like they have been in our house forever. They are very comfortable and came with these matching pillows.
The other thing going on is the rain. We have had incredible amounts in Minneapolis- all of Minnesota really. We are in the midst of what is already the 2nd wettest June on record, with a strong shot at the wettest. The parkway is very flooded and we even had a small amount of water in the basement. I am including a link to some footage shot kitty-corner from my church.
The nice thing about much of Minneapolis is that we have a history of a edge of public space around our streams and lakes. For this reason, there is a buffer between the parkway and buildings. So it hasn’t bad as it could be.
For many years, I have been very interested in The Alabama Stitch book by Natalie Chanin. I finally began to work on the projects. The pattern I first decided to try was the corset. Here is my first attempt:
I am very happy about this one. It fits very well and it is very flattering. I had a little trouble with how low-cut it is. I shortened the straps by quite a bit, and it is still a little immodest for me.
Now this attempt was not as successful for several reasons. I used a more stretchy fabric. Chanin recommends using cotton jersey of a heavy weight. This was a microfiber for exercising in. I also sewed most of the corset by machine. For this reason, even though I did the pre-basting, I had a good amount of stretching. I simply had to add a modesty panel, which then gapped. So finally, I added elastic. In the end, I kind of like it even though it is not exactly Chanin’s vision.
I am extremely happy with my third attempt. I dyed these two t-shirts and used them to make one corset. I sewed it completely by hand. For size XL, it takes more than one man sized t-shirt to make one camisole. I shortened the straps by about a half inch and added about an inch to the top of the front center pane. This is creates a more modest neck line for me. I love the effect of the pattern of the original t-shirt on the front.
So all in all, it is a very flattering pattern figure-wise. It is very easy to put together although it is most successful when it is hand stitched. It took about 2 hours to put together (outside of dying), but it was very pleasant easy sewing. I did it after dinner. I will make it again definitely.
I missed last weekend because I was out-of-town. I am working on a pattern from Alabama Stitch Project. I will have full review in the next few weeks.
In the mean time, I did some dying this week. Remember these jeans?
This what the lighter pair looks like now:
I plan to make them into shorts. I love this new color- although if you look closely you can see the mint green zipper.
I know I am a day late, but I was away. I was visiting my sister and got to see my little nephew get confirmed. It was great to see everyone and get to spend time with my family. My mom really surprised me when she brought out two large boxes of jeans that she had picked up at her church sale for five dollars. She picked them from a quilter who could no longer work with denim because her hands were bothering her. I am excited to start working with them!
I love the gradations of pink she picked up. I am low on red and pink in general and have none in denim. I have an idea for these already. I also like all of the stripes.
In the group, I found two pairs that fit me:
I plan to dye these and use them for shorts.
As soon as I saw these orange ones, I was knew they would make a great skirt. They are very large, so I can completely rework them. The color is wonderful!
Thanks, Mom. I love them all. I can’t wait to start working with them!