Monday, September 29, 2008

Day One: Thursday Sept 25th 2008, Babylock Passion For Fashion Sewing Challenge at the American Sewing Expo in Novi,MI

The contest is over (And the results are in!), but I'm going to go day by day and fill you in on what happened each day.

I was due at the expo on Thursday night at 5:45, unfortunately I was about ten minutes late. I missed the trip the Finalists display.

Shown Below...
Babylock Passion For Fashion 2008 Finalists

Babylock Passion For Fashion 2008 Finalists

Babylock Passion For Fashion 2008 Finalists

Babylock Passion For Fashion 2008 Finalists

That's mine in the corner, with someone else's shirt on top. What an amazing array of talent represented here! I'm actually glad now that I didn't end up seeing this display until the end, the garments are very intimidating!!

First, we met our mentors (I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of them!) Kayla Kennington and Becky Fulgoni (scroll down). I've heard about Kayla before and she has been featured in magazines, Becky was totally new to me, but turned out to be a fabulous inspiration. Both are great seamstresses and I have no complaints only compliments about how well they mentored.

Next we all sat around and introduced ourselves. The youngest was 18 and the oldest was not me!! But I do think most of the contestants were in their 20's and I in my 30's was in the top four if not in the top two oldest contestants. Its hard to guess.

We had varied backgrounds, from design school to businesses, at least one other contestant sells on Etsy and four of the contestants were returning for a second try at winning the contest.

We were introduced to our sewing machines. A Babylock Espire

Babylock Espire

The sewing machine was really cool. An automatic needle threader (one of the easiest I've seen) and buttons for thread clipping, needle up, as well as many features I didn't have the chance to discover. The bobbin can wind while I'm sewing and the thread automatically positions itself correctly and doesn't reqiure holding (or doesn't pull itself unthreaded right when your hands are full!!)

and our serger a Babylock Evolve (waaay over to the left....)

Passion For Fashion 2008

The best thing about the serger was Christine! She was there for sewing machine support and did all the thread changes for us at the show. In fact we didn't even get a intro on these, because she was available to quickly take care of it. How is that for easy serger thread change!!

Next it was time to meet the models. They were all lovely, and I found myself analyzing each of them as they walked down the runway. We ended up choosing our models by drawing numbers out of a hat. This was the fairest way. I ended up with a model named Breanna. We all walked over to the sewing area, measured the models and were done for the evening!

Day One: Sewing space

I had a really hard time sleeping with all the nervous excitement, but the next day did arrive!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Recycled Denim Jacket

I made a denim jacket from three pair of blue jeans and one skirt using Butterick Pattern B0458, by Connie Crawford. I first mentioned the pattern here. As usual my pictures of the garment are not so great, but I'll keep trying!Recycled Denim Jacket B0458

And this close up turned out a little better.
Recycled Denim Jacket B0458

I also took many picture of how I laid out the pattern pieces on the denim if you are interested you can see them on Flickr

Here is a view of the pieces ready to go together.
B0458 layout

I chose the pieces by color, the facing pieces were a slightly lighter weight and that was a real bonus. All the denim was fairly lightweight, I wouldn't recommend diong this jacket with Levi's. The sleeves are cut with the out seam still sewn and there are darker pockets showing on the back of the side back pieces (I removed the pocket to make it fit). All the side pieces are from the skirt, the center front and back pieces are from one pair, and all the facings are from the last pair. Also my collar and cuffs are on the opposite grain.

I mostly followed the directions, I talk more about the construction here on Pattern Review.

A bonus to working with old jeans is the cost, if I make a mistake its not a big deal. And there are plenty out there. Choose Larger sizes if you are going to try something similar.

A drawback to recycling is that a lot of the denim is stretched in spots and may take more fussing, particularly the sleeves. And a caution, I have a couple of wear spots on my finished jacket, I should have looked things over a little better.

I LOVE my new jacket, I think it turned out awesome. I do have to decide what to use for buttons, but I have time. I'll definately be trying some more patterns. I need to do some drafting too. This is something that would be great for selling.