Saturday, April 27, 2013

April in Paris

'Why, oh why, do I love Paris?'

I love how the Parisians apologize for the weather when it rains.
I mean how often does it rain in Paris? Lots
is my sense. And they seem so sincere in their apologies.
As if they are personally responsible.
(Actually the weather has been quite good but
a few drops of rain and the apologies start.)

I take no responsibility for the rain in Oregon.
How many Minnesotans took any responsibility or apologized
for all that snow? In April after all. Really!
(My guess is there was lots more complaining
than apologizing for that extra long winter.)

I love Paris for the happy people
who are having so much fun.
All dressed up with somewhere to go.
Laughing all the way...

I love Paris for its beautiful graffiti.

Its great wine.

Playing in the maison martin margiela 6 shop with Alice
who speaks 6 languages.

Standing by the Seine.

I love Paris for Bresse chicken with roasted potatoes
and rockette (arugula) salad for dinner. Yum!

You are here.
(I am here.)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Butterick 5891 Revisited

B5891 Version B 
Although it looks like it, a simple sleeveless shirt, 
it’s not.
(Frankly describing any pattern with 15 pieces
as ‘easy’ seems a stretch.)

This vest/top appears to be causing problems
for some sewers.
Admittedly, it is more difficult than it might look
but if you can sew a straight line you'll be fine. 

             is just that.
                                                       More coMplicAteD.     

Some of the 15 pattern pieces have been known to stretch
so stay-stitching is helpful.
(As I had no problem with this I’m guessing
it might have something to do with the fabric used.)
Be sure to keep those pattern pieces handy
so you know what is what and where it goes.

you have to be smart to sew.

Butterick 5891

Note that the underside (‘wrong’ side/back side) of the fabric
is going to show when either the vest/top or jacket/shirt
are open at the neck. 
Be forewarned so you can plan ahead.

I have made versions of this pattern
so many times 
that I feared perhaps I had lost sight of 
what might cause a problem 
for someone making it for the first time.
So, I made it again,
with as much innocence as I could muster.

Discharged a lovely black stretch Poplin,
'Blackbird', from

‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Veil’ silkscreens with Jacquard discharge paste on 'Blackbird' poplin
I used the pattern pieces
straight from the envelope
and cut it out exactly as instructed.
(Be sure the readable side of the pattern piece is
'right' side up on the fabric when you cut.)
Then, I followed the directions
for stitching it together step by step,
doing my best to forget anything I knew before 
(which is not so difficult these days ).

All the pieces fit together
like an easy puzzle.

The only pattern change I made
was to make the pocket a bit smaller on the lower edge.
I like to tack the pocket down at a spot on the peplum
where it won't show so it doesn't flop.

At step #23, I finished the lower edge of the collar
before I stitched it down.
I pressed the collar 'hem' to the 'right' side of the collar
so that edge would be finished as it is visible
when the vest/shirt collar is open.

B5891 Version C
Someone contacted me with concerns about
the rather acute concave curve
on the jacket/shirt collar.
I have made this jacket/shirt version in
linen, denim and some other heavyweight wovens
navigating this curve with no problem. 

You must be bold with your iron.

Stay-stitch the edge
just inside the seam line and press. 
Use a clapper with the iron if necessary to flatten.
Then fold it under again, back in on itself and topstitch.
See illustration #15 in C/D version pattern directions.

Please don't let any of this keep you
from making this great vest/top
and/or the versatile shirt/jacket.
You will love it and wear it all Summer.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Great Gift

who is the shipping Diva at
just had a birthday.
Her friend Diane is as inspired
as Roxy and Beth by Natalie Chanin's
simple and contemplative hand stitching techniques.
Diane used a pattern from one of Natalie's books
and up-cycled a couple of t-shirts
from the local Thrift Store.

The result is this charming pincushion
and tool holder that sits on the arm of a chair.
(My Natalie pillows in the background.)

Practical, beautiful and heartfelt.

What a sweet and loving birthday gift!

In addition to the pincushion on top
there are two side pockets for scissors,
threads and other small things.
Rice weights the pockets.

This applique technique works
even without painting the design.
Thread color choices offer more
design opportunities.
The brown is perfect here.

Happy stitching!