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Sneak Peek: Emerald Green Swiss Dot

2014 April 15
by elizabeth_admin

I can’t resist posting a sneak peek of my latest work in progress, a sleeveless Grainline Archer shirt for summer.  I am about halfway done (probably only 2/5ths done because we all know how long all the last bits take on a make, don’t we?) and loving it already.

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Isn’t that collar stand so cute in all it’s Swiss Dotted awesomeness???   Can’t wait to make more of these.  I have so many fun fabrics in the stash.

Meetups Extraordinaire

2014 April 13
by elizabeth_admin

It’s been busy here at Chez SEWN.  The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of activities for Jack, school, Spring Break, camping, parties, baseball season and visits.   I feel like I have been going at warp speed for a very long time.   I’m exhausted and paid for it all with a massive migraine coming home from Los Angeles yesterday.  I am so looking forward to some down time next week when Jack is back in school.  Can’t. Wait.

One of my guests was Beth of Sunnygal Studios in northern California.  She was here for business and suggested we meet up for a day of shop talk.  Who am I to refuse an offer like that?  We had a lovely day; her writeup is here.  We spent most of the day trying to fit a coat pattern that was just not meant to be.  I was disappointed that it didn’t work out, but I already know my penchant for picking inappropriate silhouettes for my body type.  I think I’m an Asian woman trapped in a curvy body.  Sigh…  We did go through some of my recent makes and tweaked fit.  So it was a fun and productive day in all and ended with a great dinner.  Next time we meet up, I would love to work on actual sewing techniques with Beth and tackle my fear of welt pockets.

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Yesterday,  Hashi of Such Wild Love met up with me and the little boy in LA at the DVF Exhibit (which has been extended to May 1st!).  It’s a small exhibit but well curated and includes a lot of the portraits made of the Princess (she’s an actual Princess!).  I found it interesting how the scale of each print changed the look of each dress.  Full skirts, slim skirts, halter wraps, wraps worn backwards…  There were a lot of variations on the wrap theme.  Very cool.  And a lot of ideas brewing in my head.

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After a quick lunch, we trekked over the new kid in town, The Fabric Store on La Brea.

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Man, this might be my new favorite store.  Lots of natural fiber fabrics, organized by type and color.  Gorgeous prints and solids.  Lots of silks and knits.  Even some Japanese fabrics.  The prices, especially for the silks, were great.  I couldn’t leave without a little memento, so I purchased a cotton shirting that had a burnout quality to it.  I loved the print, a murmuration of birds in navy on a white background.  It looks so summery!

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We went down the street to visit Mood, but it was closed due to earthquake damage to the ceilings.  :(

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I was so disappointed.  The fabrics I could see from the window looked drool worthy.  The store is huge, almost a whole city block long.  There was a large sewing area of about 15 machines.  It would be so cool to take a class there amongst the fabric.

It was a great visit with Hashi and the little boy was on his best behavior.  A great day had by all.

I love sewing friend meet ups.  They really rejuvenate me.  It’s so fun to talk about the activity I love so much and fondle fabrics with people who understand the addiction.

Happy stashing and sewing everyone.

Serger “Fixes”

2014 April 2
by elizabeth_admin

No my machine is not running at full potential yet.  I have not yet found a new place to take her to be fixed.

Here is the (copious) list of things I have done or had done to my machine thus far:

  • Rethreaded countless times with different color threads
  • Replaced the needles several times.  Sometimes with plain serger needles, sometimes with ball point serger needles.
  • Replaced the upper and lower knives
  • Replaced the faceplate which had broken needles on it.
  • Had the machine serviced and cleaned three times.
  • Tried different fabrics.

Now the serger:

  • Sounds “wrong” for lack of a better term.
  • Does not serge smoothly.
  • The tensions are not quite right anymore no matter how I reset them.
  • Still does not adequately serge the green fabric without skipping stitches.
  • The whole left side of the machine does not look like it was put back together correctly and the pull out section that you take off to sew necklines or sleeves does not fit nicely anymore.
  • The new faceplate does not sit flush with the bed of the machine.
  • Nothing seems 100% right with this machine now.

I am beyond frustrated and sad.  I am scared to use it any further for fear of making it irrevocably worse.

So. Bummed.

Another quickie: Infinity Scarf #2

2014 March 31
by elizabeth_admin

A close friend is going through a really rough patch lately.  I thought I would cheer her up with an infinity scarf.  She likes earthy colors and neutrals.  The scarf, while not only being fashionable, will fill a medical need as well as she is having problems with her neck and shoulders.  Keeping that area warm and out of drafts will help her to feel better.  Killing two birds with one stone as it were.

I had the perfect fabric in the stash, about 2 yds of linen jersey from Michael Levine Fabrics in LA.  I have been hoarding this fabric since I bought it a couple of years ago.  It’s very hard to find linen jersey.  It has a gorgeous hand, almost silky.  It’s drapey and nubby.  Perfect for an infinity scarf.  The temps here are still a little cool, especially in the evenings and early mornings, so this fabric is perfect for our climate, even in the summer.

I used half of the fabric (vertically), so I still have enough to make another scarf.  I’ll probably save it for another quick  gift down the line as I don’t really wear scarves myself since I don’t like things resting on my neck and collarbone.

But enough of the wordy words…  I used the same order of construction as I laid out in my last post here.

Here’s the scarf!

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In other sewing news, I am still not happy with how my serger is working.  So I will have to find a new shop to service it.  It would have been great if the guy I took it to last week had really fixed it because he’s so close to where I live, but he didn’t.  Now I have to find a new place.  Sigh…

Quick project – Infinity Scarf

2014 March 23
by elizabeth_admin

I went to a friend’s birthday party last night and was in need of a quick gift.  My mom suggested a scarf and I remembered this knit I bought from Elliott Berman Textiles last year that I have been saving for just such a project.  I love this fabric.  I should have bought more of it and I’m kicking myself now.  I’m really feeling turquoise right now.  Is it a thing?  Or just something I’m into?

I did a cursory search on the interwebs for an infinity scarf tutorial.  There are thousands of them.  Crazy.  I read a few of them and just went my own way.  I only had a yard of this scrumptious fabric, so I didn’t have much to work with.  Damn, I wish I had bought more.  And in the other corally color too.  Darn it!

Ok, so basically, here’s how I made my scarf:

  1. Fold the length of knit right sides together, pin and serge or sew it together.
  2. Pull one end into the tube so that the raw edges meet, right sides together, then twist so one seam meets the center of the other end and vice versa to create the mobius twist.
  3. Pin and sew it together, leaving a 4 inch opening to turn it right sides out.
  4. After turning it out, hand sew the hole closed.

Et voilá, infinity scarf extraordinaire!

I so wish I could keep this scarf.  I sent a quick text to my chic sister and she approved the scarf so I knew I had a winner on my hands.

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In other sewing news, my serger is back home… after three visits to the repair shop.  Yes, three!  Needless to say, I won’t be going back to that one again.  At least he didn’t charge me for the last two visits.  It’s working now, but doesn’t feel totally 100% and the plastic casing doesn’t look like it’s on quite right.  I might take it to another repair shop next week.  I can’t believe how hard it is to live without my serger.

Anyway, I hope you are having a good sewing weekend.

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