Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Starting 'em early!

It might be somewhat surprising, but my son's pre-school classroom at the Google Childcare Center doesn't have computers for the children's use.  Instead, (and among many other awesome features, like a real woodworking station) they have a sewing station, with two regular sewing machines, an iron, fabric cutting table with a large Olfa mat, and a child-size dress form.  Overall, it's pretty much comparable to my own sewing workroom!  Actually, I don't even have a table for my Olfa mat--I cut on the bed or floor--so their set-up is better!
Today, the teachers sent us videos of the kids practicing with the sewing machines, investigating thread colors in the spool and bobbin, and testing out the various stitches (unfortunately, I can't share those outside of our classroom community, but trust me it was cute!).  It's incredible to see girls and boys learning this great art at such a young age--the same age I began sewing.
My own child has not shown much interest in sewing (yet!); instead, he's been hanging out at the woodworking station, sanding blocks of wood. And that's pretty cool, too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Last vestige of summer dress--Vogue 8663

At the suggestion of several readers (thank you for rescuing me from indecision!) for uses for this striped canary ponte knit from Mood , I went with the Vogue.  Here's a refresher of the pattern (Vogue 8663) envelope, now out of stock:
What is most distinctive (and worth sewing, in my opinion) is the pleated neckline.  Finished, the neckline is interesting and flattering without being showy.  Love it.
I had significant fit issues that involved taking the entire dress apart, trimming, trimming, trimming and putting it back together.  The width of the shoulders and waist were the biggest issues, and they still aren't perfect.  See that wavy waistband?  Ugh.  As much as I love the neckline, I can't stand the waistband.  It needs to be slightly tighter to pull the clear elastic a tiny bit, but I think I'm done taking it all apart!

Between the wavy waistband and slight bagginess at the lower back, the dress needs some kind of belt or sash. Apparently, the pattern envelope has a "purchased belt" for a reason.  Some options:
White sash, stolen from another top.
Skinny hot pink belt
Self sash?  
I kind of like the self-fabric sash, since it can be sewn down and not shift (always practical!), but the pink belt looks kind of fun, too.  Self sash + pink belt? :)
Looking at it finished, and seeing the calendar whizzing toward September, I know this was a bit of a silly make.  I figure, I have about two wearings before Labor Day, and then I'll tuck it away until Spring.  But I'll wear the heck out of it next year!

Resewlution 2014: August garment #1

Friday, August 15, 2014

Return from Alaska and sewing indecision

My family and I just returned from a nearly two week vacation to Homer, Alaska to visit my husband's parents.  It was lovely and peaceful, and we did a million things a person can't do in Silicon Valley: digging for clams, picking rhubarb, wild raspberries and blueberries (I made jam!), fishing for halibut, salmon, dolly varden, rockfish, pollock etc., seeing the sun set at 11 p.m., playing in the rain... :)  It was refreshing to have a completely different life for a few weeks!  
Since I couldn't bring my sewing machine (though I just may next time!), I purchased some local handmade yarn.  I'm not much of a knitter, it's like a craft-of-last-resort for me, but I saw this color (named "Fireweed" after a local wild flower--a photo of the real deal is at the top of the post) and my fingers started itching to make something.  Well, after about 20 rounds on the circular needle in a basic lace pattern for an infinity scarf, I had "lost" 4 out of 260 stitches.  Now that I'm back in the land of sewing machines, it might be hard to persuade myself to figure out how to remedy that situation!
Canary ponte knit from Mood Fabric
Which brings me to my next problem: while I was away, I ordered bunches of fabric, which was all sitting on my doorstep when we got home.  I feel most inclined to sew something with this lovely, but summery, striped ponte knit (image above).  But what to make??  Some options:
Lady Skater
Vogue V8663 (out of print)
Another Myrtle?
Another Renfrew modified with a boat neck?
Dresses are always my initial inclination, but with Fall approaching, a top might be more versatile right?   I may modify the Renfrew to have a boat neck--seems to go well with the stripey print and will be well-worn, I'm sure.  With an upcoming bathroom remodel, I've had to make a so many decisions lately--I just need someone to tell me what to sew!  

Once I'm done with this fabric, it's the transition to a Fall work wardrobe--wools and darker prints, skirts, trousers and blouses.