Sunday, December 3, 2017

My best make of the year: Baby Claire!!

Max and I had a fun summer together doing toddler yoga, taking a music class and swimming at the pool almost every day. It was our special time before he became a big brother!
Baby Claire was born in September and she is such a sweet, easy baby! We all love her so much and Max is being an excellent big brother giving her so many hugs and kisses, bringing her toys and helpfully yelling "baby's crying".
I had gestational diabetes this pregnancy, which I cheerfully do not recommend! I was able to have a VBAC and avoid a c-section, which made life and recovery so much easier.

They are almost exactly 2.5 years apart
I have one more week before I go back to work, so I might write a flurry of posts. I really want to sew more again, I miss my beloved hobby. I need to carve out the time to make it happen!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Vogue 755 Button- Which size to get?

I am looking at these buttons from Mood, so I have to choose from only seeing them online which can be difficult. There are two sizes: 19mm and 32 mm or about 3/4 inch and 1 1/4 inch. Which size seems better for a coat?
I am shorter than this model drawing lady and am going to simplify down to only (lol) seven buttons. So just picture it skipping the second, fourth, sixth and eighth rows.

Which size is best?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Actually working on Vogue 755 coat!

I pulled that coat out of the drawer it lives in and am working on it! I started this coat when we lived in New Orleans over five years ago and have since gotten married, had a baby who is almost two, gotten laid off and rehired, etc. Here is post detailing my (lack of) progress so far: click here!

 Here is the long ago pattern for a coat dress. I lengthened the sleeves.

After some careful consideration, I have decided to not do the collar and cuff detail. The wool is too thick and the cuffs I made looked costume-like and awful. That was the point I stopped before it got shoved back in the drawer.  I added the facings, although they haven't been pressed or anything; the ironing board is still on the back porch because we put the Xmas tree in the dining room. 

I think it looks vintage, in an elegant way right now. The cuff and contrast collar put it over the top into the range of vintage clothes that I don't like anymore. When I started the coat, I was happy to sew vintage patterns and wear them no matter how silly they looked (and my middle school students were super enthusiastic!). I am older now and it's not my jam anymore. 

 The back darts and the pockets at the waist did not line up perfectly. I was annoyed with Past Molly and her lazy sewing, until I took them all out numerous times and tries to fix them. The left pocket is 90% better as well as the left dart. The right dart is still a little off, but it was the best I can do. The right pocket is improved, but still far from perfect. There are so many layers of heavy (underlined) wool that my poor Singer (a champ of a machine) can barely press through it and it was absolutely infuriating. So, I will live with imperfection.

I ordered plum Bemberg lining from Vogue Fabrics and am waiting for it to arrive.

Two hopes for tips:

1.Bagging a lining - Can you believe I have never done that? I rarely make jackets and I think I hand sewed the whole cape lining which was horrific. Tips? Good tutorials?

2. Online resources for buttons for this coat. I am kind of thinking brass or metal with a vintage feel? I am going to simplify the number of buttons down from 15. Cost is not really a large factor because they are the focal point of the coat.

Happy New Year to you all!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Nursery is Complete!!

Now, I know that Max is 18 months old now...but we just finished his room! We painted it light green before he was born and I painted some art for him while I was pregnant since I was a long-term sub for an art teacher and my students were painting, too. 

The walls are a light green that is really hard to photograph. When we were in Oregon recently, my mom and I chose some fabric for the curtains. I got it at Jo-Ann because I wanted to use a coupon. I needed ten yards and didn't want to spend a fortune. We chose one with a white background and baby animals. The green in the curtains matches the walls. 

Fabric close-up:

I made three panels for each window and they turned out fine. There are Ikea shades behind them, but we couldn't get ones that matched the width of the windows exactly, so some light comes in on the sides. The curtains have solved that problem and also make the room look a lot more "finished". 

 The curtains also match the quilt my mom made for Max. The quilt has lions, monkeys and giraffes on it and it is super cute. Max likes to point to the monkey and make oh oh ah ah noises now.

Mom also made him a bunting with his name on it, too. Which is also super cute! 

 Here is my "artwork". While they are cute and I am reasonably okay at drawing and painting, I did not come up with any of these ideas myself. Just to be totally clear- I found all of the images on Etsy searching for "baby art" and then drew them by hand, made a few changes and then painted them. I will put my inspiration as a link under each one, if I can find it

 I regret having made it appear that the fox is floating in the air. I also changed the birds to robins because that is my mom's name.


 This is the worst painting and I did a terrible job cutting the mat. Measure once, cut seventeen times because I can't make straight lines with the exacto knife.
It was similar to this one
 This one is my grand oeuvre, my masterpiece!
Inspiration by Silvia Portella
I made a few changes: hamster to hibou, Ingrid to igloo, mouton to Maxwell (obvi!!), Xavier to xylophone, and Zoulou (which seemed weird/a little racist to me) to zebre. Other than that, it was super cute and I tried my best to imitate it. 

So that's Max's room and I am really happy with how it turned out!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bedroom Curtains!

We have lived in our apartment for five years now and it was time to make some new curtains. The old ones were meant to be temporary, as there were no blinds or any kind when we moved in. It was pretty awful and didn't block out all of the light; I should have made new ones sooner.

 It's just two panels the width of the cotton I bought on sale at Jo-Ann. Max likes birds and always says "a biwd" in his tiny little voice, so I thought he would like these. The old ones were black and blocked out a lot of light, but the black fabrics all had ugly prints.This one is grey. 
 I added ribbon ties on each side, so you can pull them back if needed. 
 The print is cute, but nothing amazing. I just want to wrap up some projects before I go back to work next Monday and all my energy and free time disappears!
I have a lot of projects to post, but I need to take some pictures of them!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Which coverstitch machine should I buy?

I have one sewing machine, a vintage Singer 15-91, which only does a straight stitch. I really like sewing knits now and I want to up my game and have a professional looking end result. From looking online, it seems like it will be about 400 dollars, which is a lot, but I will have it forever so it is an investment.

From online research, I have found:

Janome CoverPro 900CX

  • It has really good reviews and can use regular spools of thread instead of serger cones. 

Brother 2340CV CoverStitch

  • Some people say releasing the thread is really difficult. It does do a triple thread, while the Janome only does a double. Is that even something I would use, though?

I am leaning towards the Janome... Do any of you have either of these and some advice?

(Last time I went to JoAnn, I wanted to see the display machines and they didn't have either to view AND they had rearranged the whole fabric section and eliminated at least 2-3 rows of fabric. Ugh)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Vintage Pledge 2015 Skirt- 1940s Advance 2469

I didn't even technically make a vintage pledge for 2015, since I was already huge and pregnant in January and I had somewhat low expectations for how much sewing I would get done. That eventually was lowered down to nearly zero.

Kerry of Kestrel Makes did ask me early in the year to do one of the pattern stash interviews and being an experienced mom, she let me put it off until the fall. I delusionally expected to get it done during my maternity leave. Ha. I was featured in December. I now can see I have some serious pattern hoarding (and finding) contenders in the Chicago area like Tasha, Michelle, and Liz. They have some awesome patterns.

Anyways, this was my first sewing project for post-baby Molly for 2015. Let me take you way back in my time machine to around September. I was back at work and I though about making a skirt. I had a huge piece of plaid flannel-feeling fabric from the year before that I bought at Jo-Ann- I think they are called Plaiditudes.

I wanted to use Advance 2469, view 1 with the cool pockets. Right after school started, I had not lost the last ten baby pounds so I knew I needed to increase the waist from the 24 of the pattern to the 28 of my current size. This pattern is from the 40s and is completely unmarked; it just has the holes of various sizes for marking and you figure it out.
From the Vintage Pattern Wiki
Okay, so just to recap, after having a baby and not sewing anything for myself nearly a year, I decided that my first project back should include:
  1. Grading a pattern, which I rarely do
  2. Matching plaid, which I suck at
  3. Using an unmarked pattern from the 40s

Great, can you see where this is heading? lol

Let's start with grading the pattern. You know, I added a half-inch to the outside of each piece and it does correspond accordingly. It's just that at work, I am always on my feet as the co-teacher walking around the room and helping students. So after going back to work, those ten pounds melted away and I am back at my original weight (though jiggly). So the skirt doesn't fit and I can't take it in because of the....
 Attempt at matching plaid! This plaid has a somewhat weird repeat and I had a really hard time trying to match it while cutting on the bias. I did a fairly good job cutting it out, but the fabric is thick and I still don't have a walking foot. So in places the layer fed unevenly and the plaid is slightly off. I am not sure why I thought bias cut skirt + plaid = magic in the first place... so if I took it in along the side seams, the plaid matching would be off by even more and would be super visible.
Plaid close-up
 The pockets are the cool feature of this pattern and they are really unique. They are only sewn on in one row of stitching under the flap. So the pocket bag and the flap are both floating.
Floating pockets

 With a baby and a full-time job, finishing this took a few weeks. The thought of then hemming it by hand was just too much. I rustled through my notions and found some vintage, black, iron-on hem tape and I went to town! It worked as advertised and it gave the hem a little more volume, a little like horsehair braid dialed down a bit.
Vintage, iron-on hem tape
 The back lined up fairly well in regards to the plaid. For some reason, like forgetting how to sew after such a long break, I thought it would be smart to use an invisible zipper. I don't have an IZ foot, so I just used a regular foot. This led to the infamous bottom-of-the-zipper-poof where it looks like "maybe that lady has a tail? under her skirt?"
 Probably should have reinforced the waistband with something too...

I can't blame the pattern really. Using an unmarked pattern just expected a little too much of my skills/memory after such a long break from sewing anything slightly complicated for myself. I think the last thing I made for myself was the same maternity pattern three times before Christmas of last year...

Anyways, I will just donate it I guess. Commiserate with me, maybe? Oh well, you live, you learn as the great Alanis Morisette once said. lol

To part, here is a picture of Max at City Park in New Orleans just after Xmas. He's sitting in a oak tree being adorable!
10 months!