Friday, July 17, 2009

Garden Path - Skirt - Part VI

Almost, But Not Quite Done

I see quite a few you liked the OCD button! I'm OCD about quite a few things - so is my husband, but about different things than I am. It makes life very interesting, to say the least.

Well, I've continued to move along on the skirt, and even with all the errands and other things I had to do today, I made more progress.

All that's left at this point is:

The lining hem - it is pinned and ready to go. It should take about 30 minutes to complete.

Tacking down the waistband facing - again, pinned and ready to go. This will take more than 3o minutes to complete, but should be fairly easy.

Adding the interior hook and eye and OCD button. You can see in the photo above and the photo below that the ends of the skirt waistband are rounded. Not exactly an easy feat.

The template below explains a few things.

One, it explains how I was able to get such a nice rounded end. Two, it should explain *why* I chose to make the ends rounded. This is the template from the tab on the collar of the blouse, which is rounded. I chose to make the ends rounded to that they would match the blouse and all the other scallops of the ensemble.

Yes, planned OCD is a wonderful thing!

Will I get the skirt done before I leave? Not sure. Depends on if I get a couple of free hours tomorrow to work on it! We'll see!

Q/A: Sarah wanted to know about the braided trim. I made the braid myself from soutache - that's why I bought so much of it on one of my recent NYC trips. I try to as much as possible make all my own trims and embellishments for my art garments.

Bunny asked if I got the yarns at a shop in Henniker, NH. I got the yarns at the Elegant Ewe in Concord. I had to pick up my son at church from a Sunday School outing to the zoo in York, ME, so I thought I would take a little extra time and go to Bead It and the Ewe first since they're both in Concord.

Parting Shot: Short. My daughter decided to get her hair cut. I wasn't sure how short until she said she liked the pixie cuts. After a discussion with the family stylist, this is what she got. It's basically the same cut as mine, but so far, she loves it and I think it will be easier for her to take care of.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Garden Path - Skirt - Part V

More Progress!

Yay! More progress is a good thing. Today I work on some fiddly things, but important fiddly things. First, I tried on the skirt and discovered that I needed some darts in the front. I was able to place them underneath the pocket edges, so that they are hidden. This is the view down inside the pocket:

Here's what it looks like from the outside - no distracting dart to the smooth pattern of the front:

Second, I finished the lining, having to add the front darts and side seams.

Third, I got the waistband on and made the bound buttonhole:

Fourth, I even made the windowpane facing and it lines up perfectly. Thankfully.

Lastly, for the real fun: a perfectly matched to the pattern covered button. Yes, I am a bit OCD about matching. Not that you couldn't tell, right?

Tomorrow I'll finish up that waistband and all that will be left is the hems, tacking the lining to the zipper opening and adding the button and interior hook and eye.

Parting Shot. New Yarn. I bought some new yarns today for some more socks. Now that the sweater is done I need some car projects, especially with the road trip vacation coming up!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garden Path - Skirt - Part IV

Major Progress!

Thank you all for the compliments on my niece's ensemble! It is fun to sew smaller things that don't require so much attention to fit and minute little details!

I am trying to get the skirt done and the blouse at least started before I go on vacation. I have been finishing up all sorts of projects that need to be finished anyway so that I can have a few days to really concentrate on this skirt.

Here's what I've got so far:

Not too bad, huh? It actually looks like a skirt!

I was able to get the trim onto the pocket edges today. You can see in the photo below that it is being attached with matching purple beads. Their purpose is to hold the trim in place, but not be extremely obvious.

I was going to use the double strand braid, but once I actually saw it pinned to the trim and on the skirt, I didn't like it. It was too heavy, thick and really took over the trim. I didn't want the pretty scallops or beading to be obscured. After unbraiding and rebraiding with five strands instead of ten, I was much happier with the result and finished it up. I still think it needs something, probably a hundred beads or so. Right?!? LOL. You know me, it *will* have something else, mostly likely beads before I'm officially done. It can wait - it won't take long to add the extra beads.

The really big news is that I got the zipper in and the side seams done. As you can see, I've placed the invisible zipper in the side seam along with the pocket. This was a big risky as there is that bulky trim that goes into the side seam, but I really did not want a vertical line in the back where the zipper would be - the front and back are nice and uninterrupted with the zipper in the side seam. I am really pleased with this zipper - it actually went in nicely and there is no bubble or pucker at the bottom.

Tomorrow's big plans are to keep working on the flower garden (as usual - I'll have to show you an update on that some time) and to get the waistband on. That will involve a bound buttonhole and a covered button, so that's probably plenty for one day. If all goes well, I'll be putting the hems in on Friday and will be done with the skirt, well except for those few extra beads.

Parting Shot: It Fits. After five photos and threatening to get the other photographer, I finally have a picture of me wearing the sweater. It is soft and warm and I'll think I'll wear it to church tonight - perfect for the air conditioning.

PS - Someone did ask about the pooling of the colors - I just let the yarn do its own thing and knitted away, not terribly conscious of how the colors ended up. Since this is a hand dye, there is not as much precision as some of the more engineered multi-colored yarns.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Garden Path - Skirt - Part III

A Skirt Post!

Really, I've actually been working on the skirt. The garden is still growing for the jacket and until I get that done, I can not do much real work on the jacket. So, I've decided to work on the skirt during the days and the garden in the evenings.

When we last saw the skirt, it was in muslin form and just large, uncut quilted pieces. Yesterday, I cut out all the quilted pieces, underlinings and lining. The one thing I didn't have done up to this point was the pocket yokes - that piece that fills in the space between the top of the pocket and the waistband. I didn't quilt them initially, because I did not know where in the pattern the pocket edges would be. I wanted to match the quilting on the yokes to the quilting on the skirt front perfectly. Until I cut out the front, I didn't know where the lines or free motion quilting would be.

You can see in the photo below that I'm lining up the piece I cut off with the new piece to get the stitch lined up properly. It will take a bit more careful measuring and checking before I cut those yokes out.

Today I was able to get the yokes quilted, they're hanging now to dry after removing the water soluble pen lines.

The other thing I've been working on today is underlining the back and making the darts. Notice in the photo below that I've transferred the markings, and basted down the center of each dart. I've got a couple pinned and waiting for stitching, but I need to check to see if the darts are in the exact same place on either side of center back. I'm a little OCD about these things, but the darts must be in the same place in the pattern on either side of CB, mirror imaged, of course.

Tomorrow I will start work on the trim for the pockets. That needs to be in place before constructing pocket bags and the remainder of the skirt. You can see that I have already shaped the bias pieces to fit the curve of the pocket edge. These are ready now for the shell tucked trim and the braid.

I did have a question as to where I get my ideas for my trims and such. I get some inspiration from Jane Conlon's book, Fine Embellishment Techniques. Mainly, though, I just play around with different ideas and elements until I end up with something that I like. Sometimes it takes a while to get just the right thing and sometimes things fall into place quickly, I never know until I start playing around.

Parting Shot: Goodies. I won a blog giveaway from Marilyn, and just look at all the cool things that I got. There are pressed flowers, pictures, postcards, a bookmark, a vintage zipper and buttons amongst other goodies. She has fairly regular giveaways, so check her out!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXIII

Small Trim, Part 2

I've been finalizing the details of the small trim for the jacket and skirt pockets. Which I really should be doing since I cut out the skirt today, but that's another post for another day. Here's a better photo of what's going on with a ruler for reference.

We've got the five strand braid, which actually uses 10 strands, because I'm using two piece of soutache for each strand. There's also those scalloped edges. From the wrong side you can see how that's done - which isn't hard!

Those scallops are made by using the shell tuck stitch on my sewing machine. The machine does all the work - all I have to do is feed the bias strip through evenly. Of course, I'll be using matching thread, but this is only a sample. That side is covered anyway so it really doesn't matter.

Last but not least, there are the beads. I have some yellow ones on my desk that will replace those white ones in the real version - I just didn't have them at the time! This border also is attached via beads - purple to actually blend in so that the border sort of floats.

Tomorrow I'll make the trim for the skirt pockets and get start on the skirt construction! Yay! Finally some progress, well, besides the garden that is still growing.

Parting Shot: In. Bluebird of Happiness has made it into the International Quilt Festival Show in Houston, TX. Now comes the wait to see if it wins anything in October.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Garden Path - Jacket - Part XXII

Small Trim

I'm still working away at the garden part. I'll be working on that for a while, actually. There really is not much to show, except for more flowers at this point, but I'll show progress photos when there is enough to show. Meanwhile, I need to make progress in other areas and in order to work on the skirt and some of the jacket construction, I need to work on the small trim for the jacket and skirt pockets.

This trim is not exactly simple and I'm still not completely set on everything that's happening here. This is what I've come up with so far: first, there is a strip of bias yellow silk, trimmed with purple borders. I like the extra little bit of purple - it defines the edges of the garments and defines the border areas. The purple is similar to the coneflower and allium colors. Those two purples are not exactly the same, BTW. The purple edges might end up scalloped, although this is still in development at this point.

In the center of the yellow strip, there is a 5 strand soutache braid which I think will be accented with purple beads. The braid is the reason I bought 25 yards of soutache in NYC this week. I'll need a lot to do all the edges I've planned to do.

I'm not exactly sure yet, but you know it wouldn't be a project without at least 1,000 beads! You can see in the photo below that I'm auditioning different beads.

Finally, this trim will be attached to the jacket and skirt with beads - like the BOH border was. No surprise, right?

I'm going to try to finish development on this over the weekend and Monday because next week, I plan to get the skirt and blouse made. I think that's a pretty tall order, but I'd like to get that done before vacation - along with a bunch of other stuff, of course. I've done all the prep work - muslins have been made and fitted, the skirt fabric is quilted, I just need to get everything cut out and made.

Parting Shot: Shingles. If it stops raining long enough, we are going to have our roof re-shingled. Our current roof is about 30 years old and the shingles are only 25 year shingles, so we're a bit overdue for new ones. We hope this will be the last big thing our house will need for a while!