Sunday, July 29, 2007

Terrific T-Shirts

We are back from a great vacation week in Rehoboth Beach, DE. We rent the biggest house we can afford a couple blocks from the beach and invite family and friends. My parents, 2 of 3 siblings, many cousins, and my best friend from college, live in MD, VA and DE, within a reasonable driving distance. It is a constant stream of people and food. The girls who sew always make a point of visiting Mare’s Bears, a quilting shop in Lewes, DE. We also shop the discount book stores for quilting, and craft books. We have been doing this for about 30 years and we have started to reminisce about some of the wilder “pre kids” times. It is now our kids that are providing the excitement. 13 year old girl and 15 years old boy cousins, testing the limits of their parent’s rules on boardwalk curfews and attire. The girls fell victim to a box of cute kittens “Free to a good home” and hid two of them in a bedroom of our ‘no pets rental” for several days before being discover by an adult. Fortunately two of their friends were able to take them. The week before vacation I finally got around to making a T-shirt for my younger sister Suzanne, from fabric she bought at G-Street fabrics. She is predominately a quilter, having had traumatic clothes sewing experiences in high school. We still chuckle about the time she sewed sleeves into a blouse upside down, matching the underarm of the sleeves to the shoulder seam. The blouse fit great when she held her arms up in a cheerleader “rah rah” pose. Any other arm position resulted in tight shoulders and massive bunching under the arm. I too have my share of of similar sewing incidents.
For her T-shirt I chose to go with Simplicity 4076, which has 50 plus good reviews on I had sent her instructions on taking her bust, waist and back measurements. I included my measurements, thinking if she saw mine she would not be surprised or dismayed at her own. Though we have similar coloring and hair, she is smaller and has cuter features than I do. I was sure her measurements would be very different than mine. Image our surprise when they were exactly the same, except she is longer waisted. As she said, she is the same top on shorter legs.
It did make fitting a snap though. The reviews of that pattern are right on the money. The gathered front T shirt was easy to make, and it fit great. That made me want to try the other styles, so I raided my stash and whipped up the crossover top and knotted front versions as well. All winners! Here she is modeling all three tops in front of the beach house. They all went great with her white pants.
I liked them so much, I orders some great print knits from that coordinated with my summer SWAP (Yes, Melody, that was me. Love the fabrics!) My sister liked the shirts so much she asked if I thought she could make one on her regular sewing machine. I told her yes, and brought two smallish suitcases of knits from my stash to the beach for her to choose from. My husband rolled his eyes whan he found out the suitcases contained fabric. All the girls happily helped her choose a couple of pieces. It is so great to have sewing friends and relatives!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Purr Sueded

I fixed the links for the SWAPs on the sidebar to point to my flicker photos. My guys are off this week at Scout Camp near Pulaski, VA. My husband is coming home a couple days early to take me out to celebrate my 50th birthday on Friday. It is Friday the 13th, but for me that day has never been bad luck.

This past week I had various scout things to do to get the boys ready to go. Sewing badge after badge on shirts and sashes. Some day I am going to digitize the shape of a scout merit badge to make the sewing easier. If anyone has already done it, please share! Nothing like trying to go around a circle the size of a quarter neatly. Another task was to purchase a moccasin kit for youngest son so he could complete his Leather Working merit badge at camp. I stopped by the local Tandy Leather store to get the kit. This store typically carries, in addition to the kit I was after, loads of heavy, stiff black leather. I am not sure who their customers are, but there must be a lot of motorcycle riders or local equestrians that are into making their own chaps, studded belts, saddle bags, etc. The store never has much in the way of garment leather except for pig suede in black, and garish colors like purple and orange. This visit, I was surprised to find suede in aqua and a soft green. After much mental arguing, I succumbed. I actually made this suede top a couple of years ago for my Sewing with Leather presentation at an ASG meetting. Funny how a presentation deadline can motivate you. It wasn't difficult to sew and I wear it a lot in the winter. Then the Aug/Sept issue of Vogue Pattern Magazine arrived and it had a new pattern for a suede jacket I loved. It is not on the Vogue web site yet, so here is a picture of Vogue 2087. The fortuitous arrival of this new pattern put an end to any unease I had about the suede purchase. I think it will look lovely in the green.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Summer Sewing

My resident photographers have returned from their various trips. One from a business trip to Houston, another from Church Camp and rafting in WV, and the last from a 10 day trip to AZ, UT and NE with a friend. Me, I stayed home with DMIL and went to work as usual. These are the items mentioned in my last post. I have made several tops and skirts for my summer SWAP since then. More on those later. I just finished moving all my sewing photos from Yahoo Photo, which is shutting down in Sept., to Flicker. What a pain. I have to figure out how to set up new links to Flicker on my Blog sidebar. I also have to start putting together my presentation for this Saturday's Sewing Guild meeting. I am showing the "Line and Underlining in One Step" technique from Shannon Gifford article in Threads magazine, March 2004, Issue 111. I took her on line class on Pattern Review and made a reversible white eyelet jacket lined/underlined in red. It was a fun technique. I presented this topic before at another Neighborhood group meeting, and wouldn't you know it, threw out my samples.