A Bag in a Bag in a Bag

So instead of wardrobe building, I spent April purely focusing on my Craft Book Challenge craft: The Origami Bag from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches.

You know how you put small objects in a larger bag and they always seem to fall to bottom corners so you end up digging and digging or dumping the entire contents just to find the darn thing?  Yeah, I was in desperate need of something to solve this problem.

When I take my earrings off before my workout I can throw them in one of these bags and easily retrieve them without a hassle.  I can use the larger ones for toiletries, intimates, electronics, etc.  These bags come in 6 different sizes (extra-small, mini, small, medium, large, extra-large) so there is a size for just about everything.

Because I wanted to use up a little more fabric in the stash I even made a second set which I have hopes to offload to someone in need (or want!) of some catch-all bags.

I still have a few more to complete, but I am so ready to get back to more sewing for the wardrobe.

-Nizzy

A Bag in a Bag in a Bag

Hoodies!

I LOVE Hoodies!  If I could have one in every color I would.  There really isn’t anything that spectacular about them other than I’m always cold so they come in handy.

Source: http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m4261-products-1839.php?page_id=118

A while back I purchased enough sweat suit material to make both the pants and jacket from McCalls 4261.     I made the pants  years ago and the remaining material was recently rediscovered in the stash.  Since I am in “fabric-stash busting mode” this year, it was this fabric’s turn to get used up.

Unfortunately, after resizing the pieces I found that I did not have enough material to make long sleeves.   I solved that problem by cutting them shorter and adjusting the cuffs to fit my bicep.  I also couldn’t find a matching zipper so I used a neutral.  Problems galore, right?

The pattern instructions wanted me to leave the pocket edges and the shoulder piece edges raw and I didn’t want that look so I just top-stitched all the seams on the inside.  Everything else worked out well.  I just wished I cut down some of the seam at the cuff so it’s not so bulky on the inside.

As a bonus, I made the yoga bag.  I haven’t been to yoga in quite some time, but I’d love to take some classes again.  Now, I won’t have hand carry my mat anymore!

-Nizzy

Hoodies!

What’s in My Bag

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One of my favorite store finds is this tote.  The company has (not sure if they are still available) three different sizes and I use the medium for most of my sewing tools.

Everything you see here, displayed in “Things Arranged (semi) Neatly Style” is packed into this tote.  I apparently have a fetish for sharp pointy objects as there are lots of scissors! And rulers.  And French curves, but I’m not crazy about those things.   I really just like tools and little notions in general.

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Well, I DO love scissors and always want a new pair every time I walk past them in the store.  Only a few pairs I use exclusively for cutting fabric and you will see me wince if I catch them cutting paper or some other thing.

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I’ve always wanted a pair of those shiny, sleek, and heavy dressmaking shears.  Got ’em!   Only cut a small piece of fabric with them and I am in love with them already.  Time to hurry up and pick the next project so I can make some serious cuts.

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What’s in your bag?

-Nizzy

What’s in My Bag

CM has been nominated for the Liebster Award!

Threadtheory has nominated this blog for the Liebster Award.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I graciously accept.

I truly appreciate all of you who take the time out to visit my little corner of the web whether it’s to browse, comment, encourage, or offer input.  As part of acceptance there are some great questions I have to answer, so here goes!

1. If you could choose anything (absolutely anything!) as a career, what would it be?

I think I would choose photographer as a career.  Not because I am completely competent and confident behind the camera, but because I really enjoy the process of trying to ‘see’ and capture the moment.  I’ve done a few photography shoots (maternity and couples) and although they were a little nerve wrecking I had so much fun at the same time.

2. What garment would you most like to add to your wardrobe?

More pants.  And in particular I want so badly a pair of those black and white two toned pants that are now popular.

3.  Where do you like to shop for fabric?

Everywhere!  Online, Joann’s, local fabric stores…I’m a fabric junkie.  If you saw the stash you would know.  And I’m so plotting a Mood visit one of these days.

4. What movie most inspires you to sew?

I had to think about this.  I remember being in love with the costuming in Gladiator, but I can’t think of anything more recent than that.

5. What are three key things that you would add to your dream sewing studio?

A counter height cutting tablefabric storage closet, and one of those fancy extra padded dressform that’s exactly my size.

6. Are you a PDF or a paper pattern person?  Why do you prefer one over the other?

Paper pattern.  I’ve never printed a pdf pattern before.  It sounds like I would have to tape too many pieces of paper together.  Not fun.

7.  Other than sewing, what most preoccupies your time?

Other than sewing (or my other crafty hobbies), COOKING.  I like it most of the time and I’m trying to cut down on dining out.

8. What type of garment interests you the most as a sewing project: Something that highlights an unusual fabric or something with a basic fabric and unusual details?

I love unusual details: ruffles, gathers, pleats, godets, odd draping, etc.  I love fabric manipulation.  I hope to incorporate more of that in my projects.

9. Do you have sewing buddies?  If so, who/what are they (friends – in person/online, pets, family)?

My best friend’s sister went to school for fashion merchandising and she loves to create her own designs.  Every now and again we get together and pull a late night sewing session.  I am still looking to meet up with others who enjoy sewing/fabric shopping as much as I do.

10.  Do you have sewers in your family history?  What type of projects did they mostly sew?

My grandmother and great-grandmother had sewing machines, but I never saw them sew anything.

11. If you could pick any new subject to spend a year learning, what would it be?

First thought: Japanese!  I’d really like to speak another language fluently.  For a while I was self-teaching Spanish, but I didn’t keep up with it regularly.

The questions were a lot of fun to answer!

I hate to stop the chain, but I don’t have any sewing blogs with few followers to nominate for this award.  The last few blogs that I started to follow have tons of followers and have been around for a while.  However, everyone loves a little blog traffic anyway so I will leave you with my most recent finds:

You Sew Girl

Sew My Time

Dresses and Me

Enjoy!

-Nizzy

CM has been nominated for the Liebster Award!

BurdaStyle Love

I was getting a little bored at the tail end of my subscription to Burda Style magazine so I didn’t renew as of June 2012, but now that I’m looking back and I see all of these super cute outfits I want my subscription back!  In the meantime, I’m working from the stash almost exclusively on this one.  I chose a basic dark grey wool crêpe for this dress in the September 2009 issue.

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BurdaStyle 9-2009-111
Image source: Russian Burdastyle Website

The pleats over the bust make me a little nervous even after making a muslin of the top.  The fabric is cut and the lining is attached.  Baby, I’m all in! However, I’m running into some problems.  There is the wonky fitting sleeve and then there is this:

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Yikes!

I’d love to ask for help (regarding the sleeves) from all the lovely ladies that posted their finished creation to the russian site, but I don’t speak Russian. Those ladies have the garment fit to perfection while I am just aiming for finished.

-Nizzy

BurdaStyle Love

Sewing with a Plan: Pattern Selection

For some time I’ve been kind of disappointed with my wardrobe.  I feel like most of the things I own fall into one or more of the categories: too old, doesn’t fit, don’t like it anymore, too blah.  I want some change, but sometimes shopping is a nightmare and I also can’t seem make clothes fast enough for my satisfaction.  So instead of incessantly whining about it, I’m going to take my time to purchase what I need, sew the rest, and just make it all work over time starting with one of my crafty goals.

At the start of the year I came up with a reasonably short list of few crafty things I definitely wanted to finally attempt in 2013.  One such goal is to participate in a SWAP.   Not the kind of swap where you get a few people together to trade yarn, clothes, patterns, or other things, but SWAP as in Sewing With a Plan.  If you don’t know about it already, here is a link to the  Original SWAP Article.  Basically, it originally began as a contest where you create a starter wardrobe of 11 different coordinating pieces using fabrics of two colors and one print.  I’m going to make it a little easier for myself and pick a pattern that has a bit of everything already in the package.

Choice 1: Vogue 8866

V8866
Vogue 8866
Image source: www.voguepatterns.mccall.com

It’s all about that jacket peplum!  I love it, but I can totally see it giving me a headache.  The rest of the pieces are pretty basic and look easy to sew together.

V8866-2
Image source http://www.voguepatterns.mccall.com

Choice 2: Vogue 2975

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Image source: Pattern Review Website

With this one there will be a little bit of fussing with the pleats, but at least I will only have to do it once to account for the top and the dress.  I’ve never made a suit jacket before so either way it will be a new experience.

2975line
Image Source: Pattern Review Website

I can’t decide which one I want to start with!   Suits aren’t required for work, but that makes me no nevermind.  Ideally for option 1 I would like to have everything sewn by the fall so that I can go into the season with something new, but I have to fit it in with the other sewing projects I  have already planned/on the wish list. With option 2 I could enjoy some of the pieces throughout the spring and summer as I sew.  Decisions, decisions!

-Nizzy

Sewing with a Plan: Pattern Selection

Tools of the Trade: Tracing Materials

I really do admire all of you sewists who can cut straight into a pattern and immediately lay out your fabric to cut and sew.  Maybe the size for you is perfect or you know your body sizing like the back of your hand.  Before I get started I have tons of fitting to do and because I am working to get my fit spot on, I need to do that painstaking work of tracing patterns.  Also, anyone who has worked with patterns from Burdastyle magazine knows this task is completely unavoidable.

I’ve tried a variety of tracing materials and I’m so happy to have stumbled upon something that works the best for tracing Burdastyle patterns.  Do Sew (from Viking section of Joanns) didn’t work out so well.  It’s thin enough to see through, but my writing utensil gets caught on the rough fibers.  If I’m using pen or marker it bleeds right through.

I’ve used tissue tracing paper sold by Clotilde which is equivalent to the paper on the table in the doctor’s office.  It works well enough.

Pattern Ease from Joanns is not transparent enough for tracing.  This paper is thick and sturdy and I think it would work best for fitting some patterns.

Now, I’ve hit the jackpot!  This tissue paper is super transparent.  More so than the one sold at Clotilde.  Last year I got lucky and found this paper at a movie set sale.  $10 bucks for this huge roll!

I’ll be surprised if I ever see the end of this thing.

-Nizzy

Tools of the Trade: Tracing Materials

Happy Februween!

Craft Book Challenge Month 2!

I have an interest in decorating, but it’s not always something that comes so easy. I often take the lazy way out: doing nothing.  Most times I just pull out the Christmas decorations.  But I’m tired of looking at empty corners, walls, and surfaces.  I want my place to look lived in, inviting, with a touch of something personal in each space.    I imagine indoor plants, pictures filling the walls, pieces of art strategically displayed on surfaces.  For the outdoors, dreams of a floral container garden with the fresh colors of  spring fill my head.  For now, I’m starting with placemats.   And not those headache-giving shaped ones either.  Instead of doing lazy this time, I did easy and created a few holiday themed placemats.

You really don’t need a pattern for simple placemats: two rectangles, sew some straight lines, and you’re done!  I took it  a quarter-step further and went with the look of the place mats in this book: four rectangles. 

Unfortunately, I will have to enjoy the Valentine’s Day mats next year and since it’s such a long stretch to Halloween, I picked up some patriotic fabric so that I could enjoy a set in the near future.  Inside I used Pellon 926 Extra-Firm instead of the Timtex called for in the instructions.

My best pal Fibbonaci even makes an appearance in this craft.   The placemat front pieces above are cut in a Fibbonaci sequence.  How cool!  A geek craft, home craft, and craft challenge completed all in one.

-Nizzy

Happy Februween!

The Slowest Sewist

Say that five times fast!

Soooooo….I’m finally (well, almost) done with my first pair of dress pants! I feel like they took me forever to put together.  At the time of starting this post I had to sew on buttons, hem the pants, serge the inside, and reposition the hooks and eyes. I thought it was a lot, but I was able to finish it all on Tuesday after work.

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General fitting was a real issue.  I can’t stand a pair of ill-fitting pants so that made me try my best get them to fit as great as possible, but I still ended up with a pair of ill-fitting pants.  Crotch woes and all, I’m wearing them today.

I decreased the waistband after pattern fitting, after fitting the muslin, and again after I tried on the pants and after all that, it’s still a little too large.  I think I added too much crotch depth and room in the rear. To top it off, as I am wearing them it seems the pants are getting stretched out. Or am I gradually shrinking? Who knows. I’m also having issues with the rear pocket lining pulling up through the pocket hole.
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Other things I changed:
I straightened out some of the flare on the leg below the knee. The waistband lining was also not put in according to the pattern instructions cause I goofed somewhere.

Overall, they’ll work for work, but I still have to go back to the drawing board for refitting before the next wearing. I’m not gonna let these pants be the boss of me!

-Nizzy

The Slowest Sewist

Welt Pockets are Stressful!

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For the past few hours days, I’ve tried to perfect the welt pocket.  What a stressful experience!  Why am I messing around with welt pockets?  Because I’m in desperate need of pants.  Over the past year I’ve lost a couple of pounds and now my pants no longer fit properly.  I’ve been to several stores trying on pants and I can’t seem to find a pair that fit like I want them.

Bright idea: Just make your own!

Here I am, back in the sewing saddle and because I like to challenge myself I picked a pattern (Vogue 2907-View A) that has welt pockets.  Now, I’ve worked on welts once before and was incredibly unsuccessful.  My results above are less than perfect, but I’ll be damned if I take it out to reconstruct.

I’m worn out !  And I only did one!   Would it look weird if I only had one pocket in the back?   *sigh*

Somebody, please, send some magic fitting vibes my way to make sure that these pants fit.  I worked hard on that pocket!

-Nizzy

Welt Pockets are Stressful!