Tuesday, December 9, 2014



With little and no time to sew, I did manage to whip out a couple Christmas gifts.


My experience with making men's shirts has been an ongoing process.  Not exactly successful as each new shirt came together, but maybe, just maybe, this one is correct at long last.
     My first attempt I put the buttonholes on the right side of the front, which made my husband absolutely refuse to wear it.
     My second attempt I got the buttonholes on the correct side, but had the buttonholes going horizontally, instead of vertical.  My husband wears it, but complains.
     My third attempt I got the front panel and buttonholes all correct, but got the buttonhole on the wrong side of one cuff so that it buttoned backwards.  I offered to take that apart and fix it, but my husband said he could deal with it; however, the way he deals with it is to have me button it, because he can't figure out how.
     Do you get the picture that I somehow have a problem with buttonholes?
     The third shirt is above.  It's not for my husband (I hope that is not the winning trick).  It is for a skiing friend of mine and was inspired, or I was motivated to make it only because I saw the fabric print of skiers everywhere.   Since he has spent a great deal of time attempting to make me a better skier (he is an instructor), I made it for him as a gift.  The buttonholes are on the right side, the right direction, and so are the cuffs.  Success at last!
     We won't tell my husband, but I also found a fabric with cars all over it at the same time I found the skiers.  Since my husband's business is used auto parts, cars, etc., I purchased that fabric for him, and have made a shirt for him for Christmas.  I think it is all correct, but won't know for sure until he inspects it Christmas morning.
     Now, I couldn't give my skiing friend a shirt without giving his wife something.  She had admired a sweatshirt jacket I had made for myself a long time ago, so I made a sweatshirt jacket for her.
     I cut off the cuffs and lower band and replaced them with a polyester silk print (not a fabric I like to work with, but when you live where I live, you use what you can find if you are doing something on the spur of the moment.) .  Then I sewed panels of the print in stips up both side fronts and both side backs, as well as along the sleeves. 
     Next I made horizontal sewn lines across the stips 6 inches apart, and cut the fleece along each side inside the now sewn rectangles.  DO NOT cut across the top of each rectangle.
     I gathered the loose piece of fleece in the center and wrapped thread around it to hold it gathered up, and sewed a medium size pearl in the center.
     I made a waistband of the silk print, as well as bound the sleeves with the print.
    I finished the gift by making an infinity scarf out of the leftover silk print.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Plaid Dilemna

Self-designed Skirt Pattern

      I bought this plaid fabric last spring, at Mood's, while on a whirlwind trip into the city for a day of fabric shopping only.  I have to say this is a real treat for me, as I live in Ohio, and getting quality fabric where I live is next to impossible.  So, while working in Connecticut, a train ride is just an hour away and I am in NYC.  Awesome!!

       I decided I wanted a long skirt for the holidays, and I wanted it to be on the bias.  This, of course, was a decision I made at a moment's thought, and needed to get it made in a day.  Normally not a problem to make a skirt.  

  However, once I made the pattern, and laid it out on the fabric, I realized that the fabric was not quite wide enough for the circular skirt on a bias.

But that's no problem.  Just piece the small corner where it needed more fabric.  Match the plaid while piecing and you are good to go.  Right?    It took about an hour to get the pieces just right, but I was quite pleased with the final result, once the two, front and back, pieces were cut out.

     But then another "however."  As I went to sew up the sides, voila!  I had completely forgotten to turn the underside piece of fabric around and had simply folded it over and cut both pattern pieces together.  (For someone who makes French jackets, and does a lot of couture sewing, I know very well that you need to cut all pattern pieces out on a single layer.  What was I thinking?

     So the fix, because I really, really wanted to wear this skirt to an informal dinner, with a heavy, turtleneck sweater, was to sew a piece of grosgrain ribbon down the side to separate the two pieces.


Am I happy with the result?  Heavens NO.  I need another trip to Mood to get enough fabric to make another back piece that matches.

And for the last "however,"  I love the skirt from the front and the back, and if my arms were long enough to totally hide the side seams, I would be good to go.

My husband says that no one would ever notice the sides, but I do, and I am quite sure any other true sewer/seamtress would, also.