Saturday, October 2, 2010

my best friend: the seam ripper

Still waiting for that USB camera card reader. Online tracking says it left Honolulu yesterday, so should arrive in my PO Box today, but I've got too much to do to drive over to the other side of town to pick it up. Maybe I'll have some fresh pics for you on Monday afternoon? If I'm not too frantically trying to catch up on everything I have/want to do before departure for the east coast on Tuesday am.

Lots of sewing this week. A bit too much. I do best with short sewing sessions. When I keep going and going I am prone to stupid user errors. Like sewing the yoke onto my black stretch twill pants (Jalie 2908, wide legged version #2) backwards. A fixable error, but one I wish I'd noticed before I zigzag-finished the raw edges and added two rows of top-stitching. Oh well. It's all been picked apart and pressed back into shape, and as soon as I finish up here and get a little more caffeine in me I'll go put it back together again the right way.

I also produced an epic fail of Vogue 8323, the cowl-neck version:

It sewed up easily enough. I reduced the (ginormously long) cowl by half, by cutting on the "fold here" line, and stabilized the shoulder seams. But I wanted full-length sleeves, and when I tried it on the weight of the sleeves pulled the cowl neck sideways and that mid-shoulder princess seam ended up off the edge of my shoulder. The problem is that my fabric, although "light weight" as in thin and stretchy, is too "heavy" (as in weighty, not thick) for this style, and the wide cowl makes stabilizing the neck impossible. PR reviewers who've made this version have commented that a lightweight, droopy fabric (which mine is) is necessary for this view because a too-stable knit makes the cowl impossibly high and awkward.

I am very sorry I used some of my good fabric for this one. It might be possibly to save it: I'm thinking of, first, cutting the sleeve off to a minimal cap sleeve or, if that doesn't work, removing the sleeves entirely, and maybe taking an inch off each side of the cowl. I think without the sleeves it might be okay. It might even be better than okay. But sleeveless is not what I need to go in my suitcase, so any rescue operations on this one will have to wait until I get back from my trip. Unless a miracle happens and I end up with an hour or two of free time between now and Tuesday morning.
The bigger disappointment is that I had the cross-front version of this top (with sleeves added) in mind for another print in this same rayon jersey, and now I don't dare attempt it. I've had this fabric for a couple of years now, and want very much to make something with it, but finding the right pattern remains elusive. I may fall back on my TNT Santa Monica T, but had hoped to find something with a little more styling detail.
I've also made five (5!) "origami bag" zip pouches from Amy Butler's new book, Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags
This book is GORGEOUS, one of the most beautifully photographed and designed books I've ever oogled over, and worth spending time with for eye candy fun even if you aren't much into bag sewing. The Origami bag is the only pattern from the book I've made so far, and is a nifty little design in six different sizes. I found a few parts of the instructions less than crystal clear the first time through, but having made one the rest were quick and easy. Several of mine are not to Amy's proportions, as I was working with pieces from the "large scraps" quilting drawer and using odds and ends of whatever bag-weight interfacing I could find. They all turned out great, though, and all the little crap I'm taking with me will now be sublimely organized.
Pics of these cuties will follow eventually. In the meantime, someone has posted a page-shot of the Origami Bag to Flickr here.


  1. ha. That's my BFF too. ;)

    Hope the cardreader gets there and works for you! Have a great time on your trip!!

    Ok, my word edit is "fuzzeefu". HAHAHA!!!

  2. Can't wait to see your origami bags! My seam ripper and I are on a first name basis... I call him "Jack"... "the Ripper"