Monthly Archives: January 2015

Quick Tip Tuesday: Save your Settings

One of my students was working on a pair of jeans last week—a new-to-her type of sewing project. After running a few topstitching samples to determine the stitch length she liked best, she used her phone to snap a quick pix of the stitch length and tension setting. Brilliant!

Sewing machine settings by Sew Maris

This is my machine with just the default settings – not what my friend was using – but what a quick and efficient way to catalog important information!

Happy sewing!

Maris

T-shirt mania

Evidently garments that are worn on the top half of a body are produced in multiples around here. Four. That’s how many tee-shirts I finished up this weekend. I know, two of them were started last fall. But two of them were started and completed in the past several days.

Knit T-shirts by Sew Maris

I fell in love with this fabric on a buying trip to Billie’s Designer Fabrics in Chehalis last fall with my two fabriholic sewing pals. My colors, my fiber (cotton knit with maybe some lycra), and my kind of print (graphic and modern).

Tee shirt Knits  by SewMaris

I used Pamela’s Patterns Perfect Tee, with 3/4 sleeves and then widened and lowered the round neckline slightly. I trimmed the neck and sleeve edges with FOE stretch velvet trim, and am really happy with the result. Belt or sans belt I think this T will come into wearing rotation frequently with jeans, black pencil skirts, black slacks, and probably other things in my wardrobe I’m not thinking about right now.

Knit t-shirts by Sew Maris

You shouldn’t have your DD take photos for you; too much giggling occurs! 🙂 This is another great purchase from Billie’s; a lovely, drapey ITY knit in black, teal, royal blue, and white. Hmmm, drapey fabrics work for cowl necklines, right?

Knit t-shirt by Sew MAris

I used McCalls 6963, with a few modifications. I adjusted the neckline so it was midway between the “hi” and “low” version on the pattern, and also cut a size larger than my normal McCalls pattern size. So sort of View C with an adjusted neckline and 3/4 sleeves. Loads of folks who have made this previously found it a little snug, and a little low, so I was giving myself some extra insurance. I also did my standard forward shoulder and above-the-waist-petite-ing adjustments because, well, because they are needed. I know, I know; you think these lo-o-o-o-n-n-ng legs are crazy cool, but a bit more body length would be nice, people. Really.

T shirts by Sew Maris

Santa Monica Tee  by Textile Studios with short sleeves. I think the only modification I regularly make to this is to lengthen by a couple of inches. I bought this fabric at my local Pacific Fabrics last summer or early fall, and seriously wish I had more of it. LOVE this print.

Tee shirt knits b y Sew Maris

It’s scary back there!

Tee shirts by Sew Maris

Love the pop of red against the grey and black!

Tee shirts by Sew Maris

Last one! I promise! Another Pamela’s Patterns Perfect Tee, this time with 3/4 sleeves and the standard round neckline. I tried to jazz up the stripe a little by cutting the sleeves cross-grain and binding the neckline and sleeves with bias strips. I have no idea where I bought this fabric, but it is super soft and cozy. You know that means it will probably pill and not last very long, but it is still pretty cute. I even made a half-hearted attempt to match the stripes on the side seams; successful enough for the 3-foot rule!

Tee shirts by Sew Maris

 

Glad to have some fresh tees in my closet, they are such a staple you can hardly have too many. Do you have a favorite tee pattern? How do you like to mix ’em up to keep them interesting?

Happy sewing!

Maris

 

Decisions, decisions! What’s a girl to do?

Seriously readers, I need help. I have this stack of knits in my stash, and some of them are just NOT telling me what they want to become when they grow up. Does that ever happen to you? You buy a fabric that speaks to you in the store, but at home it gets a little feisty and doesn’t want to play nice!

Knit fabrics by Sew Maris

I guess you can tell my color palette at least. Look at me going all crazy with that touch o’teal one! 😉

Knit fabrics by Sew Maris

This big chunky sweatery-textured-not-too-stretchy knit is really stumping me. I thought when I ordered it I would make Pamela’s Patterns Banded Front Cardigan, but I think it might be too thick for that. It doesn’t drape much at all, so too much fullness is out. Maybe I should switch to one of these 2 coat style patterns if I have enough fabric? Other ideas?

Knit fabrics by SewMaris

I love this print, and love the colors. Not sure if it has enough drape for a pretty cowl….maybe a simple Christine Jonson Basewear Two T-shirt would be better for this one? And yes, I do already own the CJ pattern, but didn’t pluck it out for consideration since I was trying to step outside my plain, TNT T-shirt rut. I think the fabric is a either cotton + lycra or a combo rayon+cotton+lycra. A little beefier than most straight rayon knits.

Knit fabrics by Sew Maris

Despite my earlier comment, I was originally thinking a plain round-neck T for this silky ITY knit…..but am reconsidering. Maybe the McCalls 6963 shown on the grey graphic knit above is calling this guy’s name instead. Hey, chatting with y’all is helping! 😉

Knit fabrics by Sew Maris

Sparkly, metallic-y sweater knit. Pretty sure this needs to be a drapey cardigan. Oh look! I just happen to own Pamela’s Patterns Draped Front Cardigan pattern. Maybe I should use it yet again, eh?!? I think I have 2 (possibly 3) of these sweaters in my closet right now. LOVE this pattern.

Knit fabric by Sew Maris

Am I in a cowl neck rut now? I do own the Style Arc Issy top, as well as the Tootsie….but haven’t tried either of them yet. Both are pretty popular on PR,and since I am a Style Arc addict they would be kind of a no-brainer.

Are you “stuck” trying to decide what pattern to use on for one (or more!) of your projects? Please tell me I am not the only one who buys fabric with a specific plan in mind, only to forget or change my mind!

Happy sewing!

Maris

Kwik-Sew 3504 Jeans for Men

My husband buys the most gawd-awful-looking jeans possible, so I am on a mission to upgrade his denim attire. These are not a very significant upgrade, but they are my first attempt, and turned out mighty wearable.

Kwik-Sew 3504 by Sew Maris

I used some denim I had kicking around here for probably 20 years. Seriously. At least that long. Felt great to get that piece out of my stash!

I cut a straight size medium for him, and after basting together the sides he wanted a bit more room in the seat. Easy enough to reduce the seam allowance slightly for this pair, and I will adjust the pattern pieces for future versions. He also wanted a bit more room in the rise, so for the next pair lengthening the front and back a bit will solve that problem. Don’t you hate how few adjustments men need to get a decent fit?

Kwik-Sew 3504 by Sew Maris

Check out the those rivets! Used my crazy new Micron TEP-3 Press for those babies. We’ll see how they hold up over time….a little worried the fabric was a bit thick for the rivet post. Notice how the coin pocket is on the left front? Yep, my guy is left-handed so this is more comfortable for him.

Kwik-Sew 3504 by Sew Maris

Gotta have a cute butt shot. 😉

I get it. These are not styling jeans. But they will suffice for a sturdy pair of work jeans, and now I am ready to crank out a few pairs of nice looking, dark wash jeans complete with contrast stitching and a perfected fit. Maybe I will be able to get some outdoor shots in decent light and he may even let me include his cute face. Ever hopeful!

Have you ever made pants or jeans for a man? Do you like sewing for men? A dress topcoat and dress slacks are also on my list to make for my DH this year.

Happy sewing!

Maris

 

 

 

Book Review: 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make

The next best thing to actually writing a book of your own is knowing someone else who is a real, live, published author! What an accomplishment to design and work thru multiple projects, write clear instructions, commit to publishing deadlines, work with an editorial staff, and plenty more.

Ribbons Rosettes review by Sew Maris

I met Deanna McCool at a sewing conference  about a year and half ago, and we hit it off right away. I just knew this lady was something special from the moment we said ‘Hi” to each other. There are loads of adjectives that could be used to describe her (smart, funny, compassionate), but the one I want to concentrate on today is talented. Her latest book, 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make, is chock full of eye-candy to help you add a pretty bow to nearly everything in your life!

And if you consider yourself to be a bit challenged when it comes to crafting embellishments, this book will serve as a great source of both inspiration and clear-easy-to-understand instructions..

Ribbons Rosettes review by Sew Maris

Pretty ribbons make gift packages seem extra special and exciting!

RIbbons Rosettes review by Sew Maris

Adding a colorful bow or clip to a child’s hairdo is fun for the wearer as well as viewers!

Ribbons Rosettes review by Sew Maris

Decorating a venue with pretty, decorative ribbons always adds to the festive atmosphere of an event.

Ribbons Rosettes review by Sew Maris

Love the bumblebees! REALLY love these!

Deanna walks you thru the entire process from start to finish. There is a full run-down on the best tools to help achieve a professional look, as well as the steps to properly fold and adhere the ribbons to any kind of base. I particularly like the skill level and size of finished bow information that is listed right at the top of every instructional process. Helpful!

Wouldn’t 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make be a delightful addition to your home library?

Happy sewing!

Maris

Quick Tip Tuesday: Refashioning Garments

Sometimes modifying a garment that is already in your closet can move it from the almost-never-worn status to a frequent-favorite.

McCalls 5974 by Sew Maris

This was my first dress of 2014. I LOVE the fabric (purchased at District Fabric in Seattle), but I originally made View C/D with the wrap ties. I should have known better. Fussy hoo-haws on clothing is not my style. Not.At.All.

So I ripped open the (SERGED) side seams, removed the ties, and now have a dress that fits my personal style better. I could have donated this dress, or given it to a friend, but I wanted to try a re-do first because I love the fabric. Naturally, ripping out the previous stitching took longer than serging the seam closed again, but it still was way less than an hour from start to finish.

Do you ever try re-making clothing that isn’t a total win for your personal style? What was your favorite re-make?

Happy sewing!

Maris

 

Ready-to-Wear Fasting

You have probably heard of Goodbye Valentino’s RTW Fast. Cuz you are just cool like that.

RTW 2015 Bade by Sew Maris

 

I thought about participating last year, but you know, sometimes you just can’t commit, amiright? 😉

For 2015, I am all in. Gonna officially take the plunge. I don’t know about all you other RTW Faster-types, but I definitely have some exclusions.

Shoes. I have enough tools and mess in my house with all my sewing paraphernalia, and I sure don’t need to learn cobblering. Only.So.Much.Time.Remaining!

Lingerie. Can you spell BOR-ring? I like to sew tailored shirts, people, and this year my goals are to ratchet up my coat tailoring skills and try my hand at men’s dress slacks. Panties? Pffft. I can envision I might try making them some day, because it IS fun to whip out a quick project now and again, but it is so far down my I-want-to-sew-list it may never surface. And I don’t really have any trouble getting bras to fit properly, so that effort also just doesn’t provide sufficient return on time investment. I know, loads of you out there disagree with me. That’s OK. We can still be friends. 😉

Sweaters. KnitNBee, I bow to you, and the many other great knitters out there. I know how to knit, but don’t do much of it anymore. I already have enough arthritis in my hands to cause discomfort, and I need to save my hand energy for sewing and gardening. On that note, I am starting to think about which varieties of edible greens I should plant in the next month or two…we have had a mild winter here in the PNW. Gardening time!

Plenty More Than an Apron and a Tote

I see it over and over again. When kids learn to sew, they much more than how to thread a machine and put stitches to fabric. They learn how to “figure things out”. They make something real with their own hands, and sometimes too, design something using their own creative energy.

Last week a couple of little gals finished up the projects they had been working on for a few sessions; an apron and a tote bag. The apron was a joint design collaboration between S. and I, and the tote bag was a darling design by Ren Murphy for SewMcCool. Both are cute, teach some important skills, and are fun and achievable for beginning sewists.

Sewing students at Sew Maris

Con-cen-trayyyy-tion! 🙂

Sewing students at Sew Maris

Not looking!

Sewing students at Sew Maris

These two have know each other almost forever, and there is plenty of giggling and visiting that happens too.

Sewing students at Sew Maris

Posers! An apron ready to tackle a batch of cookies and a tote bag ready to haul some books and snacks!

Sewing students at Sew Maris

Did you see the three colors I picked for my tote bag?

Sewing students at Sew Maris

Friends!

Sewing students at Sew Maris

Love this shot! Thanks S and N, and see you next week!!

Happy sewing!

Maris

Pick Me! Pick Me!

OK, this is totally shameless self-promotion. SHAMELESS, I tell you!

2015 Craftsy Blogger Awards by Sew Maris

But if you have fun reading Sew Maris, I would love, love, love it if you feel inclined to nominate me for a Craftsy Blogger award. The SEWING category would be good (lol!!), and probably Best Tutorials, eh? No one would suggest me for best photographs! 🙂

If not, s’ok. I will still blather on about all things sewing here in my teensy corner of the blogosphere. Because I hope to change the world just a smidge; one little sewist at a time. 😉

Happy sewing!

Maris

Quick Tip Tuesday: Sew something FUN!

I am not making a big pile of 2015 resolutions, but I am spending some time this month thinking about my business and personal priorities. I am not ready to share everything yet, but one thing is super clear: I will be  sewing more for FUN this year. Making things that just tickle my fancy, and I encourage you to do more of the same.

How ’bout it? What do you want to sew, just because? Not necessarily for any good reason, other than bringing you joy. Oh. I think that IS a mighty good reason!

Happy sewing!

Maris