Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chicago Fabric

Yes, I bought fabric... a total of 37 yards, no wait, 41 yards because I ended up buying some on the Sunday when we went to Fishmans to meet Lt. Gov Sheila Simon.....
I also bought some notions at Soutache Ribbons.  Soutache Ribbons They had beautiful ribbons, floral pins, zip pulls, and hardware.  Here's what I lugged home from Chicago (suitcase was 32 pounds going; 49.5 pounds returning):
and ribbons

The store had beautifully created floral pins and colored ribbon everywhere.

And my fabric purchases from Vogue (Evanston and Roosevelt locations); Chicago Fabric Yarn and Buttons, New Rainbow Fabrics, and Fishman Fabrics

And I'll end this post with a current picture of my new great niece, Tessa Lyn, who I got to finally meet yesterday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

McCalls 5974

I've made McCalls wrap dress a while back and love it. I think what attracted me to the pattern is the red fabric.

so, when I saw the exact same fabric at Fabric Mart.... I had to buy some to make this dress again. 

at the time of this post, they have 32 yards left   Fabric Mart Website.   I just cut it out and will sew it up this weekend!   This weekend I will also take photos of my recent Chicago fabric and notion purchases..... stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chicago... my kind of town - Part 1

I went to Chicago aka the City with the Big Shoulders, The Windy City, Second City, and Chi Town to name a few.
I was born near Chicago, in Bellwood to be exact.  We moved to California when I was 6 years old.  I missed not growing up with a hoard of relatives and always felt like I missed something.  But, lucky for me I got 3 sisters, and 2 brothers.

The first day we got up early and headed out to Millenium Park located in the loop area of chicago.  It's called the loop area because this is where the el loops around. This area used to be rail yards and a smaller park.  The park has a pavillion, gardens, fountains, and the "bean" which is actually called "Cloud Gate".

I love the way it reflects the city.   The Park also has the Crown Fountain which is an interactive video sculpture. The fountain is 50 feet tall and displays faces of residents of Chicago.

The streets were full of blooming tulips and apple trees.  It was beautiful!

My husband joined me the first 5 days and I was able to show him the city.... we ate delicious food, walked, visited with my cousins, went on several tours,  and had a great time.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sloppy Tee to Fitted Tee

I'm considering showing the neighborhood group teens how to take a big ol' sloppy tee and turn it into a fitted tee.  I think they can learn a lot from this and it will show them how to create something fun with something that they already have.  I hate that if you want a fitted v-neck tee, it is generally 2x as much as a man's tee.  So, I now buy the biggest size they have, preferrably a 2x and cut it down.  I use a Jalie basic tee pattern.
I start with the tee

I cut the tee up the sides, and out through the sleeve hems.  Then I cut off the sleeves.  I find it doesn't really matter where you cut the sleeves off, inside or outside the seam.  

 so I now have four pieces: front, back, and sleeves.

  the sleeves are put wrong sides together, and the front and back are folded down the center.  The pattern is placed on these three pieces, keeping in mind the placement of any graphics.  Some times if the neckline is going to cut off too much or an important part of the graphic, I put it on the back.
I then cut it out, following the pattern/  I am using the existing hems on the body of the tee and the sleeves with this tee shirt, so I'm not cutting the bottom edge.  If the tee shirt is extra long, you can cut the bottom edge and re-hem and use the excess for neck binding.

next, I sew the shoulder seams which you can either serge or use a very narrow zig zag

then I serge the neckedge to give it some stability, and fold it over 1/4"
 I then sew the neckedge down 1/4".  You can also bind the neckline if you had extra fabric after cutting.  I didn't have any extra with this tee shirt. Below is the finished new neckline.
Next is to add the sleeves.  I just pin the center of the sleeve cap to the shoulder seam and serge it on adjusting as I go.

Now the tee is all sewn, except for side seams.  It looks better already.
Last step (since my hems are already done) is to sew up the side seams.  When using a serger, after I sew up the sides, I add a drop of fray check at the beginning and end of the seam since the hem is already done and is what will usually anchor the seam.

I now have a new tee, for the price of a cheap tee and less than an hour of my time.

Got Dodgers!