Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Craftsy Class

I had a little trouble getting my pattern for my Craftsy Class, the pattern got lost in the mail the first time they sent it. But, as always, their customer service was spectacular and I got a new one in 2 weeks. I haven't looked at my class for a while, I've been making things for my shop. I'm so happy I can do the class on my own time!

Anyway the pattern is Vogue V1263. The Donna Karan Collection.

I really like it, it is something I can actually wear when I make it.  I'm pretty sure I have enough of a knit for my first test jacket, but I'm not sure yet what fabric I will use for the finished embellished garment. Maybe something like this: Organic Cotton Jersey Knit Chocolate Brown 

If you haven't tried Craftsy yet, they are having a Summer Sale right now, It would be a good time to give them a whirl.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Thank You Note

I got a thank you note in the mail today for my article on

How cool is that?

May 18, 2013 is Free Class Day!

Have you had the opportunity to look at Craftsy yet? Today you can try out a class, up to a 39.99 value for free! This deal is open to new members only. I'm taking the Hand-Embelishing Knit Fabric Class and I am learning a lot! 

**edit November 30, 2013, the graphic in this ad updates with each new sale! If you see it here its still current ;) 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The finished dragonfly scarf

I finished the scarf from this post.  I machine stitched a piece of 1/2" trim along an unfinished hem and then folded it right sides together, sewed and turned.  

 Inside and outside light, it is beige with taupe dragonflies. Aside from my impatience and using the machine, I think it turned out well. :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tutorial: Make a shrug from a t shirt

I've still got hand sewing on the brain, but I wanted to make a shrug from a recycled/upcycled t shirt.

I did not do it by hand because I was into instant gratification

The first cut of the bodice is 13" from the neckline/shoulder.

 I cut a pleasing curve.
 I have a bin full of these hems.
 I also cut 1/2" strips for trimming.

 Sewing first strip.
 Second row.
 And the sleeves.
 These strips will develop more character with washing and wearing.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hand Stitching a Dragonfly

I'm just playing around while I'm watching my Craftsy Class. This scarf is made from some leftovers from a t shirt quilt I made.  I'm thinking I'm going to machine stitch it into half the width. And maybe add a small trim to the edges.

 I'm not sure if my stitches are a tad bit tight, I need to squint at some of the stitches on the videos.

And because the back is important too :)
 I'm really enjoying the class. Wow, what a lot of work goes into each garment!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Zippered Hoodie Recycled/Upcycled from 2 T shirts

I really like how this turned out. I don't wear much pink, but the color combination reminds me of what I would've worn in high school.

It was made from a size 4X pink T and a larger size long sleeved grey T shirt. The inside is overlocked with my Juki and a 4 thread stitch. I used my home Pfaff for all the trim and piecing because I havn't gotten one of these yet and my awesome industrial straight stitch Pfaff *refuses* to stitch on knit. It also has a vintage custom zipper pull. I've got about 150 of these nice metal zippers in 4-6 different lengths.

The hoodie has a nice feminine shape to it but, unfortunately, its too small. I have to make the pattern bigger and try again with more T shirts!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Alabama Chanin workshop coming to Ann Arbor, MI!!

 Alabama Chanin is coming to Zing Train in Ann Arbor, MI, on May 31, 2013, to do a day long workshop.

I'm trying to write an article for my Detroit Sewing Examiner page, but I'm having trouble staying with the facts...  The more I read about the company the more interesting it is. Lean manufacturing, hand sewing, made in the USA, almost a zero waste company.  I want to say "I like", "I'm amazed", and I need to clean it up for over there!

I just bought the Alabama Stitch Book, and can't wait to read it.
I really want to go to the workshop, but I'm still working out the details.

 I wrote the company about the workshop and they sent me 17 pages of info! All about Alabama Chanin and their manufacturing policies, plus class info and what our choices are to make for the class.

When I first heard that *everything* was sewn by hand, I found it a little shocking, but they have created an amazing hand crafted industry with local stitchers and beautiful products. 

I think I'm done meandering all over the place and I can write an article now. ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Recycling T shirts or is it Upcycling?

I've been recycling (or upcycling, I'm old so it sounds weird) T shirts for a number of years now.  My family keeps me busy so I don't do as much as I would like, same old story.  I've got ideas for many things and piles of T's. I wasn't able to get into the shop much this winter, we had to make room in the house for boys and heating the barn turned out to be too expensive if I couldn't find the time to make money out there. I'm not complaining really, I'm quite happy caring for boys, it's just that sewing has been something I DO for a long time.

I've also made some of these long t shirt skirts for me and they are so flowy and comfortable, I love them.
I put the t shirts on the bias and the skirt is a half circle.

I plan on making a tiered one next.  I'll try to get more pics of the making process.

I also made a shorter wrap one, I really like the way it turned out, but I don't like shorter skirts anymore.

Now that it is warmer, I hope to find time to work on more :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Hand Sewing Question

I get questions in my email box from readers and I try to answer as honestly as I am able as much as I am able. This latest question I am answering here because it is so where my mind is at!

I found your blog while searching for hand sewing classes in Michigan.  Do you or anyone you know teach hand sewing garments in the style of Natalie Chanin and her Alabama Chanin clothing line?  I have several of her books, but I seem to learn better in a hands-on environment, not to mention that I know next to nothing about machine sewing.  I would appreciate any leads or help that you could give me.  Thanks.   

I had not heard of Alabama Chanin previously, but the whole thing is pretty fascinating! Have you taken a look yet? Please look.  I find it beautiful, but would never have the patience myself to do it ALL by hand. Just looking at it I plan in my head how I would finish it by machine. On the other hand, hand sewing can be very relaxing, maybe I could do it. I love how they offer a DIY version of the garments.
It turns out I won't be leading the sewing class next semester. There were some complaints because my 1 yr old was in the class with me.  I am disappointed, but it is a relief too.  It is a lot of work to plan for the class. There is a wide range of skill and interest levels and it varies wildly by project. I learned a lot and the invitation to teach is open when my kids are older.

Anyway, I chose the books I chose because I was thinking about hand sewing projects and using recycled materials.  I thought the Chanin book could be adapted to use with recycled T's. We could cut a girls fitted T into a shrug and use their embellishing and finishing techniques.

So, I know so far this hasn't helped Cindy very much! Here are thoughts directly for you...

I'd start with something smaller to gain skill and confidence, like the projects in Sewn by Hand. Consider doing some Chanin work on recycled T's or existing garments, less cost upfront, the structure is already there and you can enjoy the embellishments.

As for a class, I don't know of any. But there are several places to get together and ask around. The American Sewing Guild members might know or be able to help you with hands on help with stitches. The Southeast Michigan Crafty Meetups may also be able to help. Either with information or stitch demonstration.

I hope this was helpful. I enjoyed looking at the Alabama Chanin website. Thank you for writing :)