Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What's around?

"Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. "
~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth


Monday, April 29, 2013

An Unexpected Turn Out

A beautiful fabric, an adorable pattern, one disappointing project. How could it be? What went wrong? Should I try it again? I was soo excited to post this project until I deemed closer to finishing it and realized..."this is not going right." There are a few things that were wrong from the go, now that I look back. My fabric choice, although a beautiful pattern and cut on a bias draped beautifully, just didn't suit this project which should've been a light weight cotton instead of a blend. Next, I used an ultra lightweight cotton, see-thru for the lining. This was bad choice #2. For number 3 and so on, I'm blaming the pattern. When it came to attaching my lining to the floral fabric, the pattern didn't mention reversing the stitching side, where a zipper was 'supposed' to go. (Hence, if it's on the inside, your going to reverse it so that only face sides show.) A little confusing, I know, but the theory here is having no sewn edges showing.   And attaching the straps was a no-go from the beginning. You were supposed to sew the face and lining on the front thoroughly together leaving no area for the straps to be attached.  According to the instructions, it's okay 'cause they're going to be attached to the lace that you'll be adding. So... midway thru, I attached old bra straps I salvaged from this gorgeous mint green bra I used to have. Bottom line ~ Can I wear this? Yes, with a cardigan, it would look pretty cute.  It is comfy, fits good, but I just didn't like how the bra top attached to the skirt. It would be great if no stitching was visible. It called for top stitching the lining first, then folding the face fabric inward and top stitching again. Yuck! Why didn't the top portion extend longer to make room for serging or zig-zag stitching for a finished edge? To me, this is doomed if your darts are even slightly off, because it will be uneven no matter how hard you press and trim!  And..... that doesn't go to mention again, fabric choice. So why all the complaints? Because after it was all put together, the lining didn't 'sit' flat and needed to be cut out and re-stitched again. Here are a couple pics!




Well, here's the shocker. I am going to try it again. A stubborn Taurus, you could say. And here's the kicker ~ I want to do another blend fabric. There's a couple things I think I could tweak to suit my ideas better. Regardless.... it's all about the sizing right?
And I guess you could say this one fits pretty good!
Till next time!
Happy Trails:)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Up & Coming

Amidst the blooming flowers and awakening trees, family life, a 'real' paying job, and preparing for our upcoming Orthodox Easter has kept me busy as a bee. Yes, the baskets are ready and so am I.  I was terribly excited to share an awesome pattern until the completed piece did not come out as desired. Do I dare show you a disappointing project? I probably should as I've been told and could pass along.... vintage patterns are a pain in the butt! I am also making note of posting some old time recipes from a couple cookbooks our lovely neighbor gave me from the 50's and 60's. (Of course on Clementine & Clove.) There are tons of recipes I can't wait to share. And... an unplanned trip to Joann's had me leaving with more fabric and more patterns.
What was a girl to do at only ninety-nine cents a piece! I love those sales!


Hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine & blooms!
Happy Trails:)

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Spring Top

A retro inspired top!
What can be better than making the uncoordinated ~ coordinated? Putting unpredictable fabrics together is something I love to do with sewing. I found myself drawn toward a multi-colored polka dot fabric that could only be enhanced by a bright, lime green & yellow lining.
There was no need to break this project up into sections.
It was a simple pattern to work with. Take a look!

Cutting the pattern and fabric is always the most tedious part. It has to be precise or your finished product won't look so finished.

Transfer every marking! For transferring darts, I marked the central and end points.
Connect them with a straight edge.

Line the darts downwards and stitch together towards the center point.

Connect your front to back, only at the sides.
Next the 'mini' lining ~ Stitch them together, at the sides, face fabric inwards. I finished the lower edge with a serger to keep the ends from fraying.
You can do this with a zig-zag stitch on your machine.

 Place your lining over your top, right sides facing each other.
Sew only at the armhole edges and neck.

Clip away at the curves so that when you turn it right side out, you press and achieve a flat, flawless seam. I connected the shoulders by straight stitching face sides together, once with the serger and then again with the sewing machine. (Unnecessary, but a habit indeed.) You could finish with a slip stitch only if you leave a seam allowance at the shoulders when sewing your neck and armholes.
This is where my pattern slightly disappointed. There really was no wiggle room.
I serged for the hem and pressed inward; completed with a straight stitch.

I used the coordinating lining fabric to make an abstract ruffle.
(I'll have to show you that in another post.)
 A black knit button made a perfect point of interest.
Making clothes and items for yourself or others is extremely rewarding. I swear, once you make a piece, the term well-made takes on a whole new meaning.

I'll have to make sure I get a snapshot of how cute this top looks on!
To more up and coming projects!
Happy Trails:)

Friday, April 12, 2013



Sewing, gardening, books, & patterns...there's so much I want to talk about. The grass is getting greeeeeeen as are the buds on the trees. I'm looking forward to so many posts and often wish I had five sets of hands to take on all the ideas in bloom. Salad seeds have been sewn outdoors and plants have already been moved. Snow boots are slowly making there way to the back of the closet, but I'm still hesitant about the winter coats. I don't want to jinx the weather we've been having;)
I want to share a couple great vintage patterns on the blog but
am debating on how to do so. Should we start a project together and work post to post? Or do I bundle it all up in one toss? Hmmm... decisions, decisions.
And scrappy is still in the works:)
Happy Trails!