Monday, June 18, 2012

Greetings From Napa!

Well, we have been here for about a month and a half and we are loving it! Napa is still a 'small' town but the downtown has gone through a transformation in the last few years with new shops and upscale restaurants.

View of downtown from our house
Its been fun trying new restaurants and bars in our little town and what fun talking to people visiting from all over the world! Our plan is to eat and drink our way through Napa but I fear we may be 300 pounds at that point!

Still a lot of work to do on the house so it can get pretty noisy at times but I finally have my own sewing room! Up til now a sewing room was the stuff of legend so actually having one and putting it together from scratch the way I want it is a dream come true. Let me show you what I've done so far. I'm proud of the closet space but a little embarrassed because now everyone can see what a fabric whore I really am!
At least they are neatly rolled!
We took the old closet doors off because they were pretty beat up but I really think I should get new doors. I opted to roll all of my stash with rubber bands and i really like that I can see ALL and I mean all of my fabric. It makes me think twice when I see fabric on sale hehe.

All of my patterns are stored in marked plastic containers at the top of the closet:

I was inspired by this sewing room.

So I got the same cabinet...
And check out those labels!
This is a standalone kitchen cabinet from Ikea. It weighs a ton but look at all those drawers! We are going to put wheels on the legs and add a drop leaf so I can have a large cutting table.

Here is mission control:

I love having a cork board to pin inspiration and current pattern covers I'm working on.
We brought my Ikea desk from the house but are planning to refinish a vintage desk I found on craigslist and replace it with that.
And here is all of my thread now displayed on thread spools on the wall

It is GREAT having an actual room with a DOOR to keep out pesky thread stealing mongrels!

Yes, Vogue 1285 is still sitting on the mannequin unfinished, did you notice that? I'm sad to say that I have sewed TWO wadders since we have moved!!! I sure hope the sewing room is not cursed.

It would be nice to meet some fellow sewers in the area for inspiration. Maybe have sewing retreats at our house, could be fun!!

....So who wants to come to Napa?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Work in Progress - Vogue 1285

We are literally living out of garbage bags at the moment, but I STILL have my sewing area set up. That will be the last thing to be dismantled hehe. So in between packing and the remodel on our new home in Napa I managed to squeeze in some time to sew. I cut out this pattern about a month ago. This is a Tracy Reese pattern. I wasn't initially attracted to the pictures, probably because they used a stick thin model who does the dress no favors. But the line drawing looked interesting.

It's pretty intense with all of the darts and bands. Lots and lots of fiddling because the bodice darts have to line up perfectly with the skirt darts at the waist. Oh, I should also mention that the darts are sewn, inside out - the flap is on the right side of the dress.

The pattern is really more for a sheer knit and has an underdress:

But I had this Joanns bargain bin fabric lying around and I really need to put a dent in my stash, (which took a few trips to move to the new house!) Now that I have almost finished the outer dress I don't think I am going to make the underdress as this fabric is not sheer at all.

I still have to finish the side invisible zipper and the hem. Overall, I like the way it is looking on me. The darts, although fiddly to match up top to bottom,  add a lot of shape to the design.

Hopefully I will have it done soon, but it may have to wait until after we move in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Vogue 1280 Pattern Mystery - Solved

Vogue had one of their online sales recently and I picked up some new spring Vogues including this Donna Karan Vogue 1280:
Beats me as to why she has her leg crossed in that odd position but if you look at the line drawing, you can see that it has some pretty interesting details. Or a lot of pattern pieces :)
I learned quite some time ago (and from making a lot of Burda patterns) to read over the instructions fully before I cut the fabric. And considering the fact that all of the photographs are of a black dress that show no details, it was mandatory! Contrary to how the line drawing looks, the seams are created using strips of fabric. This trim is 'lapped' under the pattern pieces 5/8" (both pieces right side up) and you then baste stitch the pattern piece to the trim. You then have to lap pattern pieces together and top stitch twice. This all became very confusing. Are you left with raw edges showing - both the trim and the pattern piece? I even drove to Joanns to check out the latest Vogue Patterns Magazine, which has the dress on the cover. Don't waste your time, the pictures are the exact same as the damn oddly posed chick in the black dress on the website - no details! I saw that other sewers were having the same confusion .
So I asked Vogue Patterns on their fb page. They confirmed that yes, the trim is left as a raw edge.


If I decide to do it their way, I will definitely be using a sturdy knit, one that will look neat at the edges. One could also use something like ITY Fabric - that does not unravel.
On the other hand, I could choose to fold the trim over.
Either way, this is a lot of piecing together and a LOT of topstitching!
I have to say, I'm not a fan of the raw edge, but I might try it out. I would love to hear what other people would do!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Waiting...

To move, that is. My blog absence has been due to the original mini reno, which morphed into a major reno on our Napa home, which I have been documenting on my other blog, Napa Project. Things have been going great, but it's been a lot of work, and time. I can't believe almost 4 months has gone by since we started renovating! We are hoping to move by the end of March, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
This is the current state of my new sewing room:

I took this picture when we first viewed the house. It was a guest room and smelled moldy
Freshly Painted


Redone Closet and freshly painted.

Welcome to my blank slate! Nothing has been organized yet. I just threw all of my sewing related boxes in the room for the time being. I haven't moved my sewing machine or sergers because I am still sewing when I have time. But it is very discombobulating when I have all of my patterns/thread/notions at the house! But I am managing to fit some projects in! Clothing for myself, anyway. I have not started on the dining room chairs yet. I am going to wait until after we move and then decide on the best colors.

I have been combing the internet for ideas on how to design it. The most important thing to me is I want it to look colorful, fun, and most importantly - uncluttered.      

Love this
And this: