SEWING DILEMNA? Ask Londa's FREE advice!!! a sewing educator for over 35 years, designer, and author with experience as a sewing machine dealer/fabric shop owner, custom dressmaker and more...I'm most happy to answer ANY and all questions to the best of my ability. Just contact me HERE with your question.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wristlet Gift for Kids

I stole about 15' (tops!) and the smallest leftover COLTS fabric from another project and stitched up this great little wristlet money-holder for my #1 Grandson as he starts First GRADE!

I found this on the blog: And Sew She Says...and highly recommend that blog as well...

I also made the Spareribs recipe from that blog this weekend - sprad with barbeque sauce, wrap in foil - 4 hour at 300 degree oven - EASY and meat falls off in tender scrumptous bites...

Anyway back to the Wristlet...just follow the directions. Any size zipper will do - you just stitvh across at the length determined in the directions.

No batting or anything - just really 4 layers of fabric with a window in one set - in which you insert the zipper, stitching around the window, then 'face' with the other doubled fabric, leave a hole, turn, press and topstitch. adding strip of velcro on outside of one end, inside of the other.

WALA - perfect 'carrier' for lunch money, reminder note, permission slip - whatever the little tyke needs.

I did grab my favorite white Point Turner to stick out those corners.

AND - for my Sidewalk Method for slip stitching the hole you leave to turn it all...check out my You-Tube Video at this page of all my videos HERE.

OF COURSE, a good NaNa inserted money - starting with a dollar bill which went to his piggy bank, then had to add some more change for these photos.

Send me photos of yours.

Come to think of it - these would make GREAT stocking stuffers too!

Now write that idea down somewhere...where you won't forget it! :)

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My New 'Living' Sweatshirt Jacket in 'Christmas' Colors...

I was excited about  completing my new jacket version of the Living™ Talking Pattern™ last week and uploaded a new Album on my business Facebook Page...but now I want to take a minute to repeat those photos here and share more regarding the creative process that I so love.

Christmas Living™ Sweatshirt Jacket
Inspired totally by the angular button shapes and colors
If you look closely at the set of 3 buttons from Crone Art Fimo Clay Buttons on this jacket - you can see that THEY WERE THE INSPIRATION.  I sell amazingly beautiful buttons of this type only at the Sewing Expos and guild/shop  appearances since they are one of a kind and therefore would take forever to scan, measure, describe and put on my site.  :)  However... you can always contact me with specific color/size/shape needs and 'm most happy to snap a picture of some that qualify and email it over to you!
I especially loved the touch of purple in them - feeling that capitalizing on that color with the 'typical' green and red Christmas color theme would take it beyond solely a 'Christmas' look.

Determining which color to use for binding edges.
Determining which color to use for binding edges.
Here you can see that even though I had already applied an iridescent hot pink/green silk binding to the jacket's right front edge - at this point I realized I didn't like the 'pink' that was showing in that fabric, AND I really was considering the emphasis on the purple that I ended up with.
Look closely and you can see that yes - I had even mitered those points of the binding.  OFF they came.  Creative sewing definitely includes UN-SEWING!!!
That is...if you are like most creative people - and have to 'try it' before you can see if you 'like it'.  Kudos to you if you can 'see' the result ahead and always KNOW if you're going to like it or not!
After I had committed to the front closing edge shape, decided on how much of the left front's Underlap to let be exposed, and created interfaced facings for both the left and the right front edges, it was time to play wit the hem silhouette.  Here you can see what I came up with.  This is why details like exact hem length and shape are NOT included in my Talking Patterns, but rather my personal explanation and teaching you HOW to determine this for YOUR project IS included.  Much, much more fun - and even educational in the long run!                   Playing to decide atractive hem silhouette and length.

Inside look at the overlapped left front.
See here the inside of the Left Front.
Look closely here at the inside of the jacket's left front.  Because I wanted the green silk dupioni to 'peek' substantially to the right of the right front edge on the jacket, I set it over further than the cut edge on the jacket's left front.  THAT is why the stitching line is further to the left edge.  I eventually trimmed back the excess green sweatshirt edge closer to the stitching.  '

The black you see here is Pro Woven Fusible Interfacing from Pam Erny that I love.

If you look very closely, you can see that I've serged the right most edge of this interfaced silk Underlap.

Exposed left front of jacket - the Underlap I created.    And here is the photo that shows closely how much underlap on the Jacket's left front I had decided to have exposed.  Note the pins marking the points of the closure.  I needed to decide and mark that securely so that the 'fit' didn't constantly change on me.
This decided, THEN I could go back and tweek the side seam fit.  I DID use Fronts, Back and Sleeve patterns as found in my Book 2, or Genesis Too™ Talking Pattern™ or Refined Too™ Talking Pattern™ to create the basic part of this jacket, as I wanted the sleeve up at it's natural location on my shoulder.   You can do the same - even if you do NOT have my bodice pattern.  Just make use of ANY jacket pattern that fits you the way you want it to.  Cut the back, and the sleeves out of the available sweatshirt - which I 'see' as just fabric once the ribbings are cut off.  For the Fronts, obviously leave it cut on the center font fold, and cut neck, shoulder, armscyes, and side seams ONLY.  THEN you your buttons down - and go to work designing a pleasing edge line for the front closure that looks good with YOUR buttons.
Rejected fabric and embellishment - to orangy red.    With my stash of fabrics and yarns for this jacket was this silky polyester that had a wonderful selvage.  I thought all along that I would use this fabric as well - and here at the right most side of this photo, you can see where I had wrapped a cable cord with the selvage.  However - durned if the red wasn't objectionably too 'orangey' compared to the blue undertone of the chenille yarn I'd already chosen and attached - centered with a purple chenille yarn.
Below, see the entire hem silhouette I decided on.  The point in the back is centered, but I had also decided that I would do some couching in a non-centered orientation as well...just not sure WHAT.  You have to be OK with NOT making ALL decisions at one time - but rather, one decision at a time that you are feeling good about and just trust that the rest will fall into place.  Just like life - eh? See how valuable SEWING is?!? Full view hem silhouette
Trimming layered bias strips for Dupioni Fur Trim.   Ahhh - naughty girl!  I really SHOULD close my rotary cutter blade when I lay it down!!! you see that I've trimmed the sides of the layered and stitched (down the center of) 3/4'' wide bias strips so that the edges are clean and straight 1/4'' from each side of the center stitching.

This is the technique I was honored to be invited to share in the first series of the new PBS Sewing show called It's Sew Easy HERE is a link to the written how-to's for my segment of the 2nd show!
AND, I even saved the scraps that you see in the pile.  They were so pretty - I think they'll end up on the front of some stitched Christmas greeting cards.  Stay Tuned...........

After trimming, I ATTACK both edges, both sides of this strip with the Fabric Chenille Brush which is indispensable for this task!  NOTHING works as well!  Find it HERE.  Just $5.99, but for a limited time - get it FREE with purchase of my DVD:  Refined Embellishments for Creative Sewing - just $19.95.
Extended Sleeve lengths with cuffs of silk dupioni.  The sleeves weren't as long as I would like - since I had cut them out of the sweatshirt in order to Re-Cut with a sleeve cap.  Just a 'creative opportunity'... I added interfaced BIAS cuffs as you can see here. And yes - interfaced the outermost layer with Pro Woven Fusible Interfacing.

Back View of my finished jacket.
Back View of my finished jacket.
And here you can see my finished jacket  from the back side.  Be assured the placement of all of the chenille strips and couched yarn was NOT quickly and immediately decided upon!  Not only standing back from a proposed design of those embellishments, but TAKING A PICTURE with my digital camera to view has become my absolute favorite way of 'seeing' if I really like a design proposal or not! I'm surprised not to see that trick yet on Project Runway.
There you have it - the Creative Process for this jacket - and such fun! Approximately 6 Jumbo Clear Plastic Snaps actually close the front of the jacket.  Those were unavailable for a time, but now I have them back again at my site HERE.  YEA! Those snaps are included with the Living Pattern Combo which includes the pattern, snaps, my tissue pattern for the front, back and sleeves, one each of the Fusible Stay Tapes AND makes a $5 donation to my Drill a Well for an African Village project!
Don't  let time get away from you  - send in your entry for my Creative Sweatshirt Jacket contest.  Find all the details HERE - and have a good chance at winning the Grand Prize of $250 at my site or one of the other great prizes.  Deadline for entry:  November 15, 2011.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

'Resource Center' aka Fabric Stash Additions

Ahhh - it's about time to get started creating more stylish jackets from sweatshirts! I want to have a bunch of new samples for the Fall Show season. What an excuse! These pieces are ones I found at a fabric shop on Nantucket Island in off Cape Cod during our vacation there in July. Can you tell that I LOVE STRIPES??? It's just that I KNOW they have so much creative potential in wearable art. Here is how my mind goes crazy with ideas...
  • Of COURSE...cut on the bias for great 1) bindings - or any width 2) Create matching fabric chenille strips as I taught on the new PBS sewing show: It's Sew Easy making use of this awesome Chenille Brush which PERFECTLY ruffs up the bias edges. Read HERE for all the details of my technique as taught on the It's Sew Easy - Techniques page there to support/reinforce what was aired on PBS! If you don't get this show in your area - Call and Tell them about it! REQUEST it! P.s. If you're a supporter of that station with your $ - they will listen to you better! :)
  • I LOVE this brush SO much - SEW much better than your fingernail, a toothbrush, and safer than a stiff wire brush too, that I've made a new COMBO of my DVD for embellishments called 'Refined Embellishments for Creative Sewing' that INCLUDES this brush FREE with purchase of the DVD for a limited time. fabric chenille brushClick HERE to get this brush FREE!
  • Re-Create Fabric - by cutting and/or stitching the stripes in different configurations. For example, on the brown/aqua piece - I could create a 'fabric' of just the narrow aqua and cream stripes for an area on a jacket. I could cut out one of the narrow aqua stripes and piece it down the center of one of the wide brown stripes - couching yarn along each of the raw edges. ....
  • Use stripes themselves for cutting a stripe out and applique it on top of the fabric itself at an angle...
The textured piece above the aqua/brown stripe is a wonderful REVERSIBLE piece of aqua and brown! AND - check out that SELVAGE! I LOVE to make use of SELVAGE as trim!!! AND, this fabric will ravel amazingly well along the straight grain - and look ever so wonderful...can't wait to play..and this looks awesome on a BROWN sweatshirt!
Many of the same ideas for the blue/sand stripe to the left. Denim is bound to be combined with this piece!
WHAT is this you ask? about am amazingly wonderful HUGE (108'' long) linen tablecloth?
Found at an Antique center and talked them into a price of $85 - I should be able to get an amazing Creative Sweatshirt Jacket from it - PLUS another all linen & lace jacket - PLUS some kits for my Creative Sweatshirt Jackets as I sell at the sewing expos. It is wonderfully rich on the Brown Comfort Color Sweatshirt, but I also just today ordered some sweatshirts in White to play with dyeing with RIT DYE to achieve a perfect off-white color. We'll see...
SEW... Stay tuned - LIKE me on FACEBOOK to be sure to catch every step of my creative escapades! 
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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Check this out - UPSIDE-Down Pockets

As seen in the airport at the start of our vacation in July...the UPSIDE-Down pockets - on I think Izod pants (see alligator peeking above right pocket) Sew...I feel on purpose. Got my attention! Not too useful...but kinda cute.

Question: Would you do this? Might be fun...just to see who notices..........
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Thoughts on THREADS Magazine 156

First treat to myself on recent vacation was to read through the most recent THREADS Magazine cover to cover…
Sew…for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts and comments on this great issue (I think most of them are great by the way!)
Threads Magazine current issue 156

Page 24 – I don’t expect I’ll try this one – in the bias area of that butterfly sleeve, I would think it would ‘pull’ into diagonal lines like crazy – even WITH my Pfaff Integrated Dual Feed. Thoughts???
Page 27 – There’s no mention of it, but notice the finished interior edge of the facing in Photo 2. Silk organza was cut same as the facing, stitched right wides together on interior edge, then seam pressed open, then as needs to be BEFORE attaching to the garment as a facing. I did this years ago on nice linen heirloom front button blouses. PERFECT amount of ‘body’ for a facing!
Page 28 – I sure don’t have time to hand do understitching if it’s not to be seen. Happy for those who do!
Page 31 – Vogue 1211 – immediately checked out on my IPad – quite dramatic! I like asymmetry, but feel I’d decrease the size of the collar some.
Page 34 – Love that collar stand interest. While on vacation – saw some men’s shirts from Robert Graham featuring machine embroidery on the UNDERLAP side of the front placket – between buttons, also on the collar stand.  Yea – found my notes and just looked up online… See HERE – hover your mouse over the collar area and you’ll see the embroidery.
Page 36 – I must be inept, but can NOT get bias applied like that to look good enough to suit me on both sides. I would stitch right side of Bias to Wrong side of shirt, then finish stitching on Right side of shirt.
Page 37 – I would fold the top tip of that triangle down first to ‘miter’. Cool idea though.
Page 44 – I LOVE that dress! Could be a sheer woven, but then you’d have to hem the skirt. LOVE Love, Love not hemming knits cause they don’t ravel! My Home Ec professors would turn in their graves…
Page 54 – Gusset thingie – If I were doing alterations, this would be a Keeper!
page 64 – Also loved the Balanciaga article – so interesting re the church influence. Blue dress on page 64 looks like nun wear to me!
Page 67 – I especially liked the stay or the ‘pleat’ at a cap sleeve. THAT can be added any time – and I sure plan to do this to several of my tops.
Page 69 – I assume the Balenciaga bow would be cut on the bias for soft folds.
Page 73 – love the ‘whisper rather than shout’ lingo in comment bout the gown’s sleeves. Too much fashion ‘shouts’ these days – ala the collar in the Pfaff ad page 17! Now….that shouts. Each to his own. I’d rather ‘whisper’ myself.
Always look forward to the next THREADS!!! Love, love, love it!