Sleepy time pajamas

A little chilly for this time of year.. but very comfortable!

So somehow, I’ve actually managed to rebuild a decent sized stash… which of course included some odd selections. Lots of white t-shirt knit – it’s a bit on the heavier side but at least there are no worries about seeing through the fabric. And this flora/fauna green and brown quilters cotton that I am sure came from Joann’s at some point early last summer. Tom created a new cutting table for me and I had been thinking I would cover it with a patterned fabric… but this particular one ended up clashing with pretty much every other material in the room. So away on the shelf it got stored.

Until I started to get ready for the Nashua Sew & Vac retreat! I spent the first week of January just cutting out projects and kitting them in bags with the pattern and all necessary notions. It was actually kind of nice to work that way. And in fact, I’m already sewing more since I got back since I have all these projects just ready to go.

Anyway, this particular set ended up being the first project I sewed during the retreat- partly because they were easy, and partly because they were two of the least interesting projects I brought so I wantedto get them out of the way. It also gave me a chance to tweak the settings on my serger and Bernina for the rest of the weekend – since I didn’t mind a few skipped stitches on my sleepwear!

All told, I followed the instructions exactly – made a medium top and medium pants – and they probably took me a combined 2 hours from start to finish. I haven’t worn them to bed yet… but as soon as we get closer to spring… or I find myself away for the weekend I’ll try them out!

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Stash bash jeans

New jeans... still need some sanding... and a better place to take photos!

Pictures! I wore my newly finished jeans today, and aside from one minor mishap, they were great… and I even took a few pictures just a few minutes ago. (Note to self… start working out… or stop wearing sleeveless tops. It’s not currently a good look!) As for the minor mishap… I meant to topstitch the inseam but didn’t think of it until the side seams had been sewn and serged. AND I also forgot to go back stitch the crotch seam again… so there were a few ripped stitches at the first try on this morning. oops. Luckily the serging held and I survived until getting them back under the machine for a row of reinforcement stitches. And I added that step to my directions for next time.

Once again these are made from the J. Stern Designs pattern #37. I’ve used the pattern successfully before and still love those jeans but they are getting a bit worn out and were meant for flip-flops… so they end up a tad short when I want to wear my boots. Or any other shoes for that matter! Sadly, I’ve put back on a bit of weight (about 15 pounds) so the new pair are ‘curvier’ in the hip area (or rather my hips are curvier – ugh) than I would like but nothing a little new year’s healthy resolution can’t help with.

So – any major changes this time around? Here’s what I noted:

  • Fabric… purchased directly from Jennifer Stern at the Worcester Expo last April – excellent denim to work with although washing & drying it 4 times was a pain.
  • Topstitching… set up a second sewing machine just for top-stitching so I didn’t have to keep re-threading. Definitely saved time. Also used YLI jeans stitch thread. Great end result.
  • Fussy detail – pocket fabric is much sturdier this go round. And it was stitched three times for reinforcement. (I got a hole in a pocket in the first pair.)
  • The standard length was just right – I simply unfolded what I had tucked up from cutting the flip-flop length last time.
  • Back seat – still not perfect but that’s due to some faulty drafting on my end. I just need to straighten out the center back seam with a french curve – no biggie.
  • Must remember to topstitch inseam. It would have added strength and a nice detail that is found on nearly every other pair of jeans I own. I did topstitch the side seams from the waist to the base of the pocket – another detail found on many jeans and I like the look.
  • I’m still not shortening the zipper enough. Next time I need to shorten it to the length of the placket or just order some 4″ zippers and be done with it!
  • I’d like to try the YLI jeans stitch thread in beige next time. I think it would make for more subtle detailing on the next pair.
  • I add some decorative stitching on the pocket – just extra-long stitches mimicking the design shown on the envelope. I’m thinking I need to start a file on pocket embellishment ideas. Or keep saving for an embroidery machine!

Not bad for a first pocket attempt... just chalked a design and sewed!

Sewing Retreat Report

It’s  hard to believe that a week ago I was in Meredith NH for a three day sewing retreat run by Nashua Sew & Vac. I brought scads of projects and got nearly that much done while I was there

Friday was the first day of sewing and we were set up with machines running by 11am. I started off slow with a white knit racer back pajama tank top and then a draped neck sleeveless top. Both were made from the same white tee shirt knit from my stash. Neither are incredible but both were easy and gave me a chance to work out issues with my bernina and the serger. About 1.75 yards went into those two projects.

Next in  line was a pair of pajama pants… your basic full leg, elastic waist, printed cotton. The cotton in this case was an odd green and brown floral/animal print that I had intended to use as a cover for my cutting table. Unfortunately it really clashed… but who cares when it’s jammie fabric!! 2ish yards went into the making of those pants.

Somewhere along the way was a pizza break for dinner and then I got started on one of the dresses I brought – the green boucle sheath with tan bemberg lining. It went together pretty easily and I enjoyed taking my time and doing everything by the book. Lots of serging along the way on that one since the fabric frayed like crazy. I had it finished except for the hem when I tried it on for the first time on Saturday afternoon. Eek…. my hips are even wider than I admitted to myself when  cutting everything out. Luckily there was just enough room to let the skirt out a tad. Stockings would have helped too.

Anyway, that dressmaking lasted well in to Friday night and then most of the day on Saturday. However, in the end, the fit was great and having spent so much time hand finishing the details was worth it. And  chalk up 2.25 more yards sewn up from my stash!

The rest of the report will have to wait… I made a pair of jeans today and now my brain is tired! Photos and the rest of the report tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Embarrassed… But still sewing!

Apparently the name should have been “and she forgets to sew” based on the evidence in this blog! 2011 was a tough year… Mom was sick and diagnosed with cancer in March, work was beyond stressful, and sewing fell by the wayside in a big way. Not that I stopped entirely, but the occasions were few and far between.

Thankfully my friends Lorrie and Sharon kept me sewing a bit during our Tuesday sewing nights and I was occasionally able to attend ASG meetings to gain some inspiration. I’m sure I’ll catch up on some pattern reviews but for now I’m focused on the sewing to come in 2012!

Next weekend I’ll be attending the Nashua Sew & Vac retreat and I’ve cut out six projects this week – all in preparation for 3 lovely days of nothing but sewing. (big yay!)

And what do I have planned, you ask? Here’s the list as of Friday:

nook cover
draped neckline linen sheath
green  tweed sheath dress
orange and fuchsia border print dress
pink sundress and kerchief for niece
whimsical retro-ish apron
drab grey raincoat (previously cut)
yellow wool one shoulder dress (UFO)

Will I get them all done? Highly unlikely but I’ll have fun trying 😉 I also laundered some white knit and a green floral for pajama pants, a tank and a draped neck tee. We’ll see if I get those cut tomorrow…