Monday, September 29, 2014

The American Sewing Expo -- Go Michigan!

Cosplayers added a lighthearted creative spark! Though this mouse does look a bit serious...
 Perfect weather.
Fabulous fans.
Grand booth mates.
Scoring cool new buttons.
Connecting with friends --
new friends, Facebook friends and long-time friends --
a treat to teach at and experience.

Such an odd juxtaposition of interests sharing signage and Showplex space. 

Nobody confuses the participants.

McCall's designer Melissa Watson gives a customer a tote bag.
The McCall's booth was hopping
 with celebrity guests, the bosses and happy sewers;
all enjoying meeting, greeting, gabbing,
getting to know each other
and buying patterns at a bargain price.

McCall's designer Khaliah Ali and Kathy Wiktor, Director of Retail and Consumer Relations.
McCall's designer Khaliah Ali
is as warmhearted and lovely in person
as she is beautiful in photos.
A fun new experience
to get to be one of the 'celebrities'.

Super-fan Jan Crews drove 3-1/2 hours from Ohio to visit!
As you may be able to tell,
I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Chandra Worman working on her 'Under the Sea' dress.
ASE "Passion for Fashion" contestants
worked long hours on Friday and Saturday
preparing what they hoped were winning entries.
I focused in on fellow Oregonian Chandra Worman
working on her design Friday afternoon.

Each designer had a specific theme to inspire their creation
using fabric and notions donated by show vendors and
David Tutera's Social Occasion Collection.

Frank Rizzo, McCall's President and CEO with Leslie and Bridget.
Saturday afternoon Frank
Pied-Pipered a passel of people with posies
to purchase always pleasurable ice cream cones.

The experience: priceless.
The ice cream: forgettable.
The alliteration: irresistible.

Gertie signs Rickey's new copy of Gertie Sews Vintage Casual.
Gretchen Hirsch (aka Gertie) was great fun to hang out with!
We met for the first time in person in the hotel lobby
as she returned from a ride on her pink bicycle.
Handily enough the bike folds up and fits in a suitcase
providing transportation and exercise
while looking super-hip and cool.

Gretchen's got it all!

Chic in raw edges.
I can't remember this creative's name
(I forgot to write it down)
but I spotted her wearing
this great vest as she arrived in my class.

Simple and stylin'
she really knows how to make those denim scraps work!

Close up of Jasmine's hat.
She's got it happening.
Friday afternoon I found myself following Jasmine's fabulous hat
and she happily let me take a photo.
She is currently working on a knitting certification.

Jasmine's jacket front.
Jasmine's jacket back.
Jasmine showed up Saturday in her prizewinning
red leather moto jacket with chain mail inserts.

At the McCall's booth she was surrounded
by multiple mature sewing fans who were in awe
of her pattern drafting and sewing skills!
She is only 18 so we will surely
be delighted with her creations for many years to come.

Award winners Mari and Ezekiel.
Clearly it runs in the family
as Jasmine's siblings,
10 year old Mari and 8 year old Ezekiel
won awards in their ages groups as well.
Mari made her tunic and pants;
Ezekiel made his vest, bow tie and pants.

Needless to say their proud parents had big smiles!

McCall's designer Melissa Watson with celebrity wedding planner David Tutera.
Melissa Watson did a fabulous job
as commentator at Saturday afternoon's
McCall/Butterick/Vogue Fashion Show.

And the winner is...
Fancy fabrics were the perfect prize
at the McCall/Butterick/Vogue Fashion Show
This lucky lady walked off with the Grand Prize.
She won so much fabric she needed help
carrying the bolts home!
It will be great if she comes back next year
wearing what she makes with it.

Ruth modeling Butterick 5960.
Ruth found an amazing fabric
to make her version of my coat.
What a great model she is.

I sure hope she sends me a photo when she completes it!
(hint hint)

Happy stitching everyone!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lengthening Butterick 6106

Since my last blog
about making some jacket/shirts
from Butterick 6106
I've received several questions 
about lengthening it.
Here are the answers.

butterick 6106 in monet's garden 'denim'


Yes, I did lengthen the pattern for my blog versions.
No, I did not use the 'lengthen here' lines
as shown on the paper pattern pieces.
Why?
Well, I didn't have the Butterick version
of the pattern yet, I had my own
(which by the way has no seam allowances).
 
Know that I have the pattern before Butterick does
but it doesn't look the same as what you purchase.
From the time I send Butterick the size 10 samples
to be photographed, it takes about 9 months
for the pattern to come out.


top left front showing 1-1/2" of added length
left front and left side back showing 3" of added length

I looked at my pattern 
and made an educated decision 
about where to best lengthen it
to get the 3 more inches I wanted.
Given the number and shapes of the front pattern pieces
it seemed like too much to add in just one place.
Since I couldn't see adding at the hem
I basically chose two places where I could add 1-1/2"
while still maintaining the integrity
of the jacket/shirt's lines.

right front with 1-1/2" added in two places

It was fairly simple but like any pattern alterations
the details take some time.
I've opened the now released pattern envelope 
of Butterick 6106 and looked at all the pieces.
The 'lengthen here' lines are all good to go
so you don't have to reinvent the wheel like I did.

adjusting the seamline with a curved ruler

If you want more than 2" of length added
feel free to copy what I did.
I think you can figure it out from the photos.
Remember it's not brain surgery,
what you are about to attempt
is mostly common sense.
I've just done some of the thinking for you.

All fabrics used for my work are from
Because the samples go to Butterick
so far ahead of time
often the fabric used in those samples is gone
by the time the pattern comes out.
(At the time of this blog
'Monet's Garden' and 'Versaille' stretch denim
are still available. If you can't find them on
Marcy's website, then they are sold out.)
But there's always more fabric.
New pieces are posted almost every day.

Have fun and send me photos please!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Babe and Jean (or Variations on Butterick 6106)


butterick 6106 in plaid
 
 There are some wonderful plaids
available these days
in fabrics and ready-to-wear.
When I saw this bold plaid 
in grey and black I was hooked.

Sometimes I'm attracted to a fabric 
and it sits on the shelf
waiting for inspiration.
In this case the inspiration was right there.
No escape.

The moment I'd finished
the sample I was playing with I was on it.

with front collar open

Since I was going for a Babe* look
I knew I wanted to do something different
with the plaid -- more than just matching.
Butterick 6106 seemed right
for the challenge.

back butterick 6106

 Planning how to cut out something like this
takes some forethought.
I knew I wanted to mix it up
and I also knew
I wanted to match things up.
I started with the matching up.
 

side back cut at an angle

 The back is always a good place to start
as you won't have to look at mistakes 
(if there are any).
Originally I cut the back with the plaid
matching all the way across.
After I completed the two fronts
I decided that one of the side backs
needed to be cut at an angle.
Since this fabric was woven and then brushed
it was quite stable 
so I didn't have to worry about stretching
if I cut off grain.
Which I did a lot of...
 

left front plaid matching


I decided to match plaids on one side of the front.
I chose the most complicated side to manuver
but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.
I love how the bold black line
zigs and zags down the front.

front facing detail
 
All pattern pieces were cut out one at a time
moving from the shoulder to the hem;
back, left front, right front, back revised.
Decisions about how to design/cut the next piece in line
were made one at a time 
after studying the plaid and the pattern piece.
An organic process,
allowing each design decision 
to lead to the next.

fold back sleeve detail

The plaid fabric was too thick to use for facings
so I chose a lighter weight fabric.
The contrast fabric definitely 
takes the jacket up a notch.


* Plaids always seem to remind me of Paul Bunyan.
Paul had a sidekick named Babe
(never mind that she is a blue ox).
 Hence I call this my Babe jacket.

butterick 6106 jean jacket

I made the same jacket in a 'denim'
digitally printed from the image 
of a well loved jean jacket.

front button detail

I was able to utilize the fabric print
to my advantage.
Fun to be able to top the visual buttonholes
with real ones
and manage to find buttons 
that mimic those found on the real deal.

back view jean jacket

I call these 'jackets' but often
I wear them like a shirt
as well as layering them
over T's.

Can't wait to make another one!


 



Friday, August 15, 2014

Some Tips for Butterick 6106 Jacket/Shirt

butterick 6106 in versaille jacquard denim
I love to play with fabric combinations,
and I'm always trying to make it easier.
Hence patterns where the combinations
are already done for you.

pattern pieces puzzled out before stitching
After cutting all the pieces out,
keeping the pattern piece with the fabric,
I put everything together
to simplify the sewing/matching notches process.
Often I stitch the smaller pieces
to the larger first,
always thinking ahead
as to how I'm going to finish the seams
and what needs to be done next.

press before stitching
For this little piece and the one it's attached to,
it's best to press the 'hemmed' edges
before you stitch them together.

finish seam before you go on
Here you can see I serged the edge
before going any further.

all ready for hem finish later
The hems are stitched in place
once the jacket is fully assembled.

mostly assembled jacket
I always like to do 
a final design check
to make sure I still like what I'm making.
Note that the contrast bias strip
on the curve of the hem
will only be seen from the inside.

auditioning buttons
Buttons need to be checked out too.
This particular jacket seemed to call for a variety.
Which means the buttonholes
need to be different sizes.

curved edge detail
Many sweet details make this jacket/shirt
very fun and easy to wear.
This version pieced of Japanese cotton
utilizes buttons in pairs down the front.

avoiding bulk in the hem
To eliminate some of the bulk in the hem
I have a little trick I like to do.
I serge the seams to clean them up
and keep the fabric from fraying.
But I keep the seams that will be 
hidden in the hem 
open and flat.
When the fabric is turned over on itself and pressed
the serged end is hidden in the turn-over
and the flat open seam creates less bulk.

how to deal with that little pointed 'corner'

Where there are 'flares' or extra fabric
in the hem I draw a mirror image
of the angle with chalk
and stitch on that line,
trimming the excess off 
and pressing the seam flat.

 
fold over hem 'point'
This keeps the hem flat
and the corner tidy.

butterick 6106 in monet's garden stretch cotton
All the fabrics I use in my patterns
are from MarcyTilton.com
and if the exact fabrics
shown on the pattern envelope
are no longer available
we are sure to have something
equal to or better than
to satisfy your creative wishes.


butterick 6106 line drawing

Happy sewing!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Crusing the Big City

times square

Returning to New York City
after a long hiatus is great fun!
I loved the visit
and appreciate the fact that I live in the country...
 
The best part is naturally the people.

Eating and hanging out with family and friends,
catching up, laughing, learning what's new.

 mannequins in the hallway

A visit to McCall's
provided a look behind the scenes
and a chance to meet the talented women and men
who make my patterns possible.

one of the workrooms

They are sewers just like us.
They work really hard at their jobs,
would like more time to sew,
and seemed as happy to meet us as we were to meet them!

marcy in the mccall archives

makeup area for the photo shoots

vogue pattern magazine mock up featuring a new pattern

Such a gift to now have 'faces' and spaces
for the place that completes all the work on my patterns.

After our McCalls visit
we walked to the 911 Memorial.
Unlike many other crowded 'tourist' areas in NYC
the energy here was serene and respectful.

911 memorial waterfall and pool

 Names of the deceased 
surround the high waterfalls 
that fill the two pools,
that fit the footprints of the towers.
 
In the center
water disappears into an abyss.
Fitting metaphor for sorrow,
loss and love.
 
Powerful
Emotional.
Compassionate.
Moving.
Neverending.
 
A privilege to experience.


Many other experiences happened as well.

surrounded by fabric

We shopped for fabric every day
and found some amazing pieces
(for all of our pleasure).
Cherry picking the best of the best
And trust me,
after shoping NYC for fabric,
MarcyTilton.com has the best!

with madeline and marcy on the high line

Took a lovely walk on the High Line
where the green and the calm
belie its location
in the midst of the city.

at the charles james' exhibit

The Charles James Exhibition
was extraordinary.
What a mind created these garments!
 
How lucky we are to be able to see
inside and outside 
with the aid of cameras.
 
wonderful quotes surround the work

intelligent words
 
 The quotes that surround the work
provide a hint into the brilliant workings 
of James' mind.
 
madeline toasting at blue hill nyc
 
The finest meal I've ever eaten
 
Delicious, fresh, surprising,
perfectly prepared
and paired with wine,
the courses went on and on,
delighting the palate,
and pleasing the eye.
Outstanding in every way
and perfectly served.
Ahh... What a joy!

Spoiling me for anything else.