Showing posts with label QandA's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label QandA's. Show all posts

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Military jacket Q&A

Howdy all! Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments on my latest wardrobe addition. I have been in southern Oregon for the past week, in a tiny little map-dot town that is terribly hard to get to. It's a beautiful place but it rained. the. entire. time. The town is called Brookings. Ever heard of it?

I usually try to answer questions in the comments but, as I was visiting family in that tiny town, I did not have internet nor reliable cell phone service. The horror.

Do the jacket front edges actually come together?

Yes, although there is no fastener in the front to hold them there. I am debating adding some large hooks to keep them closed should I choose to wear it that way.

What is your secret for having clothing that always looks professionally made?

Lots and lots of trial and error. My mother taught me some basic sewing techniques, but the majority of what I do is entirely self taught. If you desire to make garments that look store bought, you've just got to put in the work to learn and expect to make a ton of mistakes. Also a touch of perfectionism doesn't hurt. :)

Did you prewash or pershrink the fabric?

Not this time. I put a full lining in it, so I don't plan to ever wash it in the washing machine. And I've never had a thick cotton like this shrink from steaming it with the iron.

One of the many beaches along the shoreline of Brookings

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

April Burda picks and some Q&A

IMO, this is another month of duds. When my subscription is up at the end of August, I will not be renewing. Arg! This is so sad! What happened to the interesting and innovating designs they had for so many years?

I felt like I had to pick something from the magazine that I could see myself in, and I do like pants 104. (Although I've seen this same design in several other issues during the past 2 years and haven't gotten around to making those either.)
Sorry for the negativity. I feel like I've been posting all downers lately.

Awhile ago Sally asked:
I have a couple of random questions.How do you decide when you have to match a print? The girls at JoAnns always tell me that you don't need to but somehow that doesn't sound right.Also, do you ever so formal wear or maybe your wedding dress? I Would love to see that if you did or how you use dressier fabrics.

Well, I always match the fabric when I'm working with plaids or horizontal stripes. I don't usually match prints. If I'm using a fabric with a big print I'll look for a pattern that doesn't break up the print much, like a pencil skirt with only seams at the sides. As for formal wear, I do have an occasion I'll need a dress for coming up in May. I have all the materials needed to get started, but with my current humongous rash of wadders, I'm scared to get started. I need to sew a few winners in a row to get my confidence up. My mother actually made my wedding dress, although it was more of a suit. I had plans to show it last May on my 10th wedding anniversary, but got busy with something and didn't get around to it. Perhaps I'll do it this year.

Sewsister asked:
Any tips on how you lost the baby weight so fast? My son is 18 and I still have baby weight! ;D

Thanks for noticing! I have no magic tricks for weight loss. I have high blood sugar which I'm expecting to turn into diabetes later in life as I have a family history of it. Because of the high blood sugar, I have to eat a ton of protein and very little sweets to keep from getting horrible headaches. Limiting sweets happens to cause my body to loose weight. Also, I live in a 2 story house and am very forgetful, so I end up running up and down the stairs at least 20 times a day. That's pretty much it!

Bonnie D asked:
I noticed you live in San Antonio. Are there any independent fabric stores there? I am in SA frequently for business and I'm always looking for new sewing and knitting shops.

I do a lot of online fabric shopping for a reason! We have a few JoAnn and Hancock Fabrics, that's about it. There are also 2 quilt shops in town that I never go to as I'm not a quilter. I guess it's not much of a high-fashion town. There's plenty of fun things to do, though.

If I've missed your question please feel free to ask it again. I promise I am not ignoring you, I just happen to be busy with daily life. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Butterick 5566 - Green floral straight skirt

Don't get too excited. This was a near wadder save. I was going for view A, with the interesting pleated overlay. Super cute look, right? Too bad I chose a polyester shantung that totally stretched out while sewing both the bias pleats and front bias facing. It looked wonky and horrible and I was even more upset because this was my second wadder in a row. After taking a shower (I do some of my best planning in the shower - anyone else?) I realized it could easily be saved by removing the front overlay.

So here you go, a boring old pencil skirt. I do like the colors in the fabric and am glad it was salvageable, but I'm bummed the skirt I wanted to make didn't turn out. Although I did learn two lessons from this experience. One - this view needs to be made with some stiffer fabric or perhaps a thinner fabric that is starched before sewn to prevent being stretched out. Two - skirts with 4 darts in the front and 4 in the back just don't fit my body very well. I'm too much of a square.

I have already worn this outfit (hence the wrinkles) and do think it's cute. I made the white top in these pictures as well. It really sees a lot of wear.

I added a full lining in flesh toned Bemberg.

I've received several comments lately about how unbelievable it is that I'm so productive. Well, that might have been true several years ago, but these days I'm lucky if I get 3 things done a month. And most of the stuff I'm making has been simple garments. But thanks! I'm glad you think I'm productive, because I feel the total opposite.

Answers to more recent questions coming soon. I've got one hour before bed to get some stitching done!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Updated picture of my plum wool military jacket

Thanks for all the wonderful comments about my recent dress. Wow! You guys are such a self esteem boost! I received a few questions about it, and I am trying to answer questions promptly.

1. How is the sizing? Well, I cut my typical size 12. This doubleknit does not have a huge amount of stretch and the dress is very fitted and has to be pulled on over the head. I definitely wouldn't size down if you are using a stable knit.

2. Did I overlap the tucks over the darts? I am not sure what this question is asking. I followed the instructions and did not deviate. Hope that helps.

Hard to believe right now but when we went outside to snap this picture, the temperature was in the high 70's and I was sweltering in head to toe wool and that warm turtleneck. Now of course it is super cold and we might even see some snow tonight. Snow! In south Texas! That just about never happens.

Anyway, I still really love this jacket, although I have not had an opportunity to wear it yet because that skirt just started fitting again. I bought a plaid boucle with plum in it to make another skirt with. That just may get saved for next winter, though.

I hope all my fellow Americans are staying warm!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Vogues, October Burda picks, and some Q&A's

There are a few topics I've wanted to do a post on, but time is a rare commodity these days. For starters, Vogue surprised me with releasing some fun new patterns. (I always wonder why their winter dresses are mostly short sleeved or sleeveless. Well anyway, I can always save these for warmer months.)

This first one, 1206, is a Kay Unger design. Now I like yellow, but this fabric is not the cutest IMO. I love the fitted bodice, front ruffles, tucked sleeves and midriff band.

Next up is a simple dress by Tom and Linda Platt, Vogue 1208. I like the ease of a pull on bias dress and the asymmetrical neckline, but am thinking of changing the leaf-looking ends of the side shoulder knot to something more squared off.

This jacket from Vogue 8701 is very nice, especially the bias insets at the side front and back. I'm not crazy about the green, but think it looks awesome in plaid. Not that I need yet another jacket pattern.

Moving on to Burda, I must state that this issue isn't my favorite of all time. Actually, I'm not chomping at the bit to make any of these designs. But I did find a few simple ones that might get made if I need something to match an outfit.

Jacket 107 looks cozy and stylish in the brown wool velour they've made it up in. Is this a fabric anyone comes across on a regular basis? I like the interesting lapels and slightly boxy shape for use as a casual overcoat.
Jacket 113 has a vintage shape and simple design. I can see this made up to match a winter dress or as part of a skirt suit as in the magazine.
I like the front slit and bias tying collar of top 118, but not the flipped up sleeve hems. I'm thinking it would be even cuter with the ties extending a bit longer.
The most exciting thing from this month's magazine? The previews for next month! Especially the velvet tuxedo jacket in midnight blue.

So, some of you might have noticed that I am not very good at answering questions. Especially if you asked me a question and it never got answered. My every intention is to get back to you right away. But life with three kids is busy!!! And you know I homeschool, right? Also I'm a bit computer challenged and can't figure out how to email back directly. Anyway, here are some questions from the past few posts:

On Corduroy butterfly baby skirt Sally asked:
I have a question that doesn't relate to this particular outfit and don't see any other way to contact you. This pertains to ITY knits. How do I know it is an ITY knit when I am in the store looking at fabrics? I have checked the ends of every bolt I see and never see that term. I even asked the store clerks and they had no idea what I was talking about. Help!

Um...??? ITY knits are thin and polyester, they don't wrinkle or shrink. I call it an ITY knit because that's what it is described as in the online store where I bought it. I know there's a precise definition out there. Anyone what to chime in here?

On Navy blue wool cropped jacket Catherine asked:
Question - when you fully line a jacket, where do you leave a hole for turning it right side out? Do you leave the bottom edge of the lining loose or do you leave a side seam on the lining not fully stitched? Thanks!

I always leave the bottom edge loose. I enjoy hand sewing and it seems like the neatest method, but I've not tried any of the others.

On Navy blue wool cropped jacket Sally asked:
This is a beautiful outfit! How did you make the jacket so "crisp", was it the interfacing?

I use interfacing on facings and collars. Any other "crispness" you might be referring to is the result of a high pressure steam iron and the use of a natural fabric.

On Gray & purple border print Cynthis Rowley skirt AuntieShel asked:
Thanks for showing us the side with the binding. I will be taking a second look at this pattern thanks to you!! Was it hard to get the length right with the binding and all?

All I did to extend the length was add 2 inches to the top of the skirt directly under the waistband. Besides the waist gathers, there was no other shaping to the skirt. Adding to the top was the easiest way to make it longer.

I wish I could write about some new project that is almost done, but sadly I've only completed a little bit of my next jacket. However, what I do have sewn is looking fabulous, and I'm hoping to find some time to work on it this weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Questions, answers & thanks

Okay, I've been putting this off long enough. Time for another Q&A installment:

Of floral wrap top Ruth asked:
Your clothes are so beautifully sewn Amanda.
I have a question/s?
Do you do the french seams and binding because you don't have a serger?
Also, your invisible zippers are so perfect. I've tried invisible zippers but I can't match them up? I've given up on them, but I'd like to try again because of your work! Any tips?

Thanks! I do french seams and binding because I like neat insides and don't have a serger. However, you don't need to finish knits because they don't ravel. Invisible zippers can be tricky. I've been planning to do a tutorial on making them match up for awhile. Hopefully I get around to it soon.

Of brown fad-classic knitted vest Renata asked:
I can't knit anything, but after reading and seeing your work, I want to learn. Can you give me some advice on a good Learn to Knit book? Also your sewing skills are wonderful.

Thank you. In order to learn how to knit, I took a class at my local yarn shop. I looked at some how-to's on the internet, but couldn't wrap my mind around what they were showing. I'm a hands-on learner I guess. I do like the Knitting Answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe for various questions after you learn the basics. I hope that helps.

Of Simplicity 2665 My Fabrication asked:
Love the vest! Do you have any tips about how to stop thick top stitching threading jamming in the machine. Do I need a special needle? I use a lighter thread in the bobbin.

I use a regular needle for top-stitching with thicker threads without any problems. I'm not sure why yours is jamming. Have you tried adjusting the tension? I believe I had to put my tension wheel on the 2 to use the thicker thread. (It's normally set on 4.)

Of BWOF 3-2009-106A Cindy asked:
I just cut my Joann's yellow/grey fabric for a spring coat. Did you track some down?

Hi Cindy! Yes, I asked my sister in Houston to see if she could track any down and she found some. You know you have a fabric addiction when you're calling relatives in other cities for fabric that already sold out in yours!!! (Thanks again, Elisa.)

Of BWOF 1-2009-106B Shorty asked:
I love your top! I have been wanting to make a top with that kind of fabric but every time I try something it just doesn't look GREAT, just ok. I would love to see a tutorial on how to sew seams without a serger, I assume you do not use one. I do not have one and I just can't seem to get it just right on my regular machine. I know I am asking a lot but it never hurts to ask!hehe Thanks for your lovely blog, it always inspires me!

You are so sweet! Have you tried using a special knit needle? (I can't remember the proper name for it - possibly a jersey needle?) I use to use one on my old machine that skipped stitches like crazy on knits. This new machine doesn't do that. I really don't do anything special when sewing on a knit other then to stretch it a bit so the stitches don't pop when you're putting it on. Sorry, that's not too helpful.

Of BWOF 1-2009-106B Geek sewing asked:
What is "ITY" jersey knit?

It's a thin polyester knit that has great drape and doesn't wrinkle. I don't know why it's called ITY - maybe that stands for something but I don't know what.

I think that's it for the questions. I hope I answered every body's. Feel free to ask me anything (within reason) and I'll try to get it answered in a timely manner. I don't get any one's email address with the comments and I'm not very computer savvy. Is there some trick to that?

Here's a great big THANK YOU to Mimi, Rachel, and Kristine for nominating this blog for the Sisterhood Award. I'm very honored, ladies. And sorry it's taken me three weeks to thank you for it. Sometimes I'm a flake, I admit it.

So, what am I currently working on? Vogue 1021 - the dress and jacket will be my Easter outfit for church. I'm using the lovely pink brocade from this post, but I had to make the sleeves 3/4 because I ran short on fabric. The dress is 80% complete and I'll probably post pictures of it tomorrow, hopefully.