Happy Thanksgiving and Other Things

Hi everyone.  I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I am very thankful for my wonderful family, friends, and my readers.  I was thinking about it the other day as I was pressing a section of the (seemingly never-ending project) overcoat.  I dug out my special pressing things I have had for years for use in making clothing…my ham, my sleeve pressing board, my shaped wood pressing piece.  I haven’t used them for a couple of years and I am grateful I did not get rid of them because of that.  I am grateful for my machines and my wonderful inspiring studio, no matter that it is a bit of a mess.

My thoughts today are also with those who have lost so much in recent disasters both hurricanes and fires.  I  just want to hug you all and wish you all a speedy  and full recovery.  I am trying to figure out the best approach for helping.  I don’t have a lot of cash to contribute and I know rushing to send stuff is sometimes more of a problem than a help in the end.  For now, I’m doing some praying and watching for what, if anything, I can do.

Sew how is my overcoat coming?  Well, I have completed the outer shell and am almost finished with the lining that includes the fur collar.  To me, the biggest challenge is getting that fur collar installed in the coat.  Sewing with this thick fur is not the easiest thing and requires some special techniques even it if is “faux” fur.  I think that will happen tomorrow afternoon or Monday.  Then I will be practically done except for hems and buttonholes, so it is looking like I will make my Thanksgiving deadline.  After that…back to quilt making and book writing, and I am looking forward to it.  The coat has been more of a project than I anticipated largely because of the challenging fabrics.  The fabulous wool is, nevertheless, loosely woven in a way that closely resembles hand woven fabric.  the fur collar is fabulous faux fur, but sewing with it is also challenging.  Nevertheless, I will be happy to have this beautiful coat.  It is going to be a little snug, but since I am in the process of losing weight I think that is the way it should be fitted at this time.  It will serve me well for several years even as I go down in size (I can move the buttons and I made the sleeve/side seems such I can take them up fairly easily).  My next fashion sewing project will be with well-behaving fabrics!!!

Sew happy everyone!  Have a wonderful time this week!

 

 

 

Making a Coat and Other Things

Sew I have put on my inner Edna Mode and am tailoring myself an overcoat as my regular readers already know.  I used to do quite a bit of tailoring and know serious tailoring techniques, but it has been quite a few years since I’ve done this kind of work.  So I’m slow, and get distracted, and have to look things up in my old notes because they don’t really include these high-end techniques in most patterns of the day.  It’s worth it though.  The results provide good fit, hang beautifully, and last and last.

 

Messy work table with coat pieces

 

Today I just finished the outer shell of my overcoat and am moving on to the lining, which also includes the fur collar.  At least I was able to try it on and it seems to be fitting okay, though it is kind of hard to tell without the lining and all.  I know, I should have made a muslin fitting first, but I didn’t.  I did do extensive measuring and adjusting.  I really love this pattern, and I’m making it in almost the exact same fabrics shown on the cover.  Of course, I am a rather large woman, so it won’t look quite like this, and I changed the sleeves a little and shortened it to knee length because I didn’t have enough fabric for this version.  Still, it’s going to be quite nice I think.

Butterick B6604

The very nice wool fabric from my long-held stash is, nevertheless, quite loosely woven almost like a hand-woven piece, and requires fully finished edges despite the fact that the seams will be hidden within the lining.  I’m lining it in a beautiful red crepe back satin and I have a wonderful faux fur for the collar that I bought years ago at G Street Fabrics from their remainder table.  Even as a small piece like that it was expensive then, but I have had it long enough that I consider it free…LOL.  I might make this pattern in another color in a long length with these interesting sleeves next year if this one turns out well since I still have a fair amount of the most beautiful black faux fur for the collar.

I don’t know why I’ve been so distracted on this project, so I haven’t sewn steadily on it every day like I normally do in such a case.  Still, I am making progress.  My “deadline” I set for myself is Thanksgiving.

What has distracted me, you might ask.  Among other things I am working out a new workshop to teach at G Street Fabrics next spring  for sit-down quilting with rulers using Bernina’s basic sit down ruler set.  My problem with this is the rulers are really basic and limiting, but I have learned I can add lines to them with Sharpie markers and later remove them with alcoholic swabs…(thank you Bethanne Nemesh for that tip).  This opens up many new possibilities.  I want to do something other than a set of rectangles to fill in standard looking designs for the class project.  I haven’t yet come up with a quilting pattern design I want to make into the workshop project, but I will eventually.   Then I will have to make one or more samplers and write a handout to go with it.

In the process I have been developing some templates to print out and use as quilting design frameworks.  I have managed to get my printer to use the biggest paper it is supposed to use…13 x 19 inch paper…and make these framework templates to fit on two sheets.  They are 16″ x 16″ and should work well as a basis for a 20 x 20 inch sampler.

In every printer there is a small amount of distortion, and so keeping the number of sheets down is very helpful in something like this.  That’s why I don’t think printing it in standard letter size sheets that need to be taped together works as well.  After printing them out and taping them together I tape them to the table and put a piece of tracing paper over them to work out some designs, while making notes so I can remember what I did (Thank you Lisa Calle for introducing me to this technique).  It has taken a good amount of time so far since I have made several of these framework templates.  I was thinking of eventually having these frameworks made into stencils for people to use in a similar way, but I haven’t yet decided what to do about that.

Additionally, I am working hard on finishing my Ten Skill-Building Projects for Bernina v7 design software book.  I plan to also write another similar book for Bernina v8 software.   I’ve also been working on working out some aspects of how I will approach my next show quilt, and new ideas keep rolling in, so I make notes in hopes of capturing the concepts as they fly by.

All of this is why I haven’t yet finished my overcoat.  LOL.

Sew happy everyone!  May you all live in God’s safety and happiness in this troubled time.