Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is It Really So Cold I Need Two Jackets?

I usually wear 3 pieces of clothing, especially in winter, but even in warm weather. Since I work from home, I only need a business suit occasionally. So I am always looking for great, interesting casual jackets to wear over my slacks and tops. Here are 2 I finished recently.

This is a Creative Sweatshirt Jacket. My friend, Londa Rohlfing, started designing these beautiful sweatshirt jackets several years. I sometimes help out at her booth during sewing expos which is where this idea was born. I fell in love with the blue silk bias ribbon and designed the jacket around it. Because I failed to follow one of Londa's principles that you are buying fabric, not a sweatshirt, I didn't have enough "fabric" to create the jacket front I had originally envisioned. I was totally perplexed about how to proceed since I couldn't figure out the front. That was where the languishing began. After 1+ years of staring at the unfinished jacket hanging in my sewing room, it just all came together one day. Here is the finished jacket.

The photo doesn't do a good job of showing the color of the original sweatshirt. It is a beautiful grape color. I used the batik fabric to create a yoke on the back and added the blue silk ribbon to create a finished edge at the bottom of the yoke.

This is the other jacket. It is made from a brown berber fleece purchased a JoAnn's several years ago. The original Butterick pattern doesn't call for the hood to be lined, but used some flowered silk remnants to line the inside of the hood. I don't know if I will ever actually put the hood on head, but the silk provides some nice interest against the plain brown jacket.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An Up-to-Date Friend

My good friend, Londa, is open for business on her updated website! (In web-speak she "skinned" her site. I learned that from DS who is the most handsome "geek" I've ever known!)

Go visit Londa's Sewing and check out her site filled with creativity and inspiration and everything you need to bring those two things to your sewing!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Immersed in Fabric

I finally finished!

I have been cataloging and reorganizing my fabric stash and cleaning up my sewing room. Whew! What a job!

I struggled motivating myself to sew after the holidays. I realized it was because my sewing room was really (for me anyway) a mess, with piles of fabric, patterns, magazines, fabric matched to patterns, books, and videos all around. I am, I think, a pretty neat & tidy seamstress. I operate on the philosophy of everything has a place and everything in its place. Where I fall down is in the planning stage. I look at my patterns, then match them to a fabric. Then repeat the exercise. So I end up with, as I said, piles of projects placed everything.

Recently I was looking for a particular fabric and for the life of me I couldn't locate it. Since this has happened more & more frequently of late, I decided to put away all the piles and re-catalog my entire stash. Part of the problem with the stash is that several years ago when my fabric buying was out of control, I did a pretty poor job of keeping track of what I purchased. So I had lots of fabric that wasn't on my stash list.

So I made up a Swatch Card on 5x8 index cards and began to catalog & swatch my entire stash. Mmmm, wow, had I underestimated my stash! At first I was overwhelmed by how much fabric there was. Then I felt guilty for having spent all that money in accumulating all that fabric. But as I made up a card for each different piece, I came to terms with my over abundance. It is what it is and you can't cry over spilt milk. So I started to enjoy all the fabric. I dreamed of what would be the perfect garment for a particular fabric. I realized I no longer need to accumulate and hang on to fabric for dear life. I realized the best way to deal with all this fabric is to create beautiful garments!

I was surprised there are only about 5 pieces that are in the "What was I thinking!" category. There are maybe 5-10 more pieces that are beautiful fabrics, but just not right for me. I need to find a way to sell these. But overwhelmingly I love every piece of fabric in my stash and now that I have my sewing room neat and tidy and all cleaned up, I can hardly wait to get back at the sewing machine!