Sew it Chic in a Week #5

Light Chic

I hope you all have had a wonderful week! I have had a busy one. So busy, in fact, that my dress has been done but languishes, unblogged, in sadness. It is done, pictures are even taken, so you will see it very soon. Very soon!

I did get to take a moment to learn more about the seamstress that got the most clicks during last week’s link up — Allie, who blogs at Miss Allie Mass! Here is what she said about her love of sewing:

Allie2Allie3My motivation for sewing: Sewing is my creative outlet! It allows me to wear the clothes I really want to wear, as opposed to what the stores are selling. If I want a closet filled with fifties-style dresses, I can make that happen! I also love using vintage patterns; interpreting decades-old looks to fit me and my lifestyle.
Favorite thing about sewing: I love finding inspiration from vintage patterns. I browse etsy constantly for patterns and vintage clothing, not to purchase, just to steal ideas from. Transforming an idea into an outfit is always magic.
Least favorite: I think everyone’s least favorite thing is spending hours working on something and then having it not turn out as you imagined. I also hate sewing to a deadline! I end up doing this all the time but it’s always a terrible idea.
What I’ve learned recently: I’m currently working on an unlined black lace crop jacket which is quite possibly the most tedious thing I have ever done. It’s all hand sewn! I read Susan Khalje’s book on bridal couture and I’m using her technique for sewing lace so that it looks seamless. Plus, I’m sewing it on a timeline, of course. I’m wearing it tomorrow to an event, so I really have to see on that other sleeve!


And now for our fun link up.

A  reminder of the very simple rules:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as Girl Scout cookies. They are encouraging and build community.



Sew it Chic in a Week #4

Light ChicHello, my fellow seamstresses! Are there male sewists that read my blog? I have never had one comment. That would be very cool, I have to say. Anyway, hello, and welcome to the fourth Sew it Chic in a Week.

Here are the results from my very scientific and official poll on pulling pins or leaving them:

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I was surprised to see how many do, in fact, sew over pins. At least some of the time. I can’t remember seeing anyone indicate they do this, which is what prompted my poll. I wondered if my mother and I were alone in our pin pulling laziness.

I did get a cautionary tale from Linda from Nice Dress! Thanks I made it!!  who has had a sewing machine needle break and fly right to her eye. Luckily she closed her eyes! How scary!

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone finished this week. I finished a very time consuming dress, but I do not have pictures yet to share with you. Pictures can really slow the blogging process down! I can write and write about the sewing process and how it turned out, but I know you all want to see it, so I will post it after I comb my hair and get some photos.


Here is a reminder of the very simple rules:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try, like me, to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as a handmade card. They are encouraging and build community.



Sew it Chic in a Week #3

Light ChicOur second Sew it Chic in a Week went very well! A total of 10 entries this time. I am delighted to see some ladies come back again to show off new items; I’m so glad they liked the party!

I don’t have a finished garment to link up this week, which is sad. I love having a deadline to keep me moving on a project but this week totally got away from me with the pressures of my day job. It happens. How about you? Anything to show us?
Ali2Ali1We had our first Instagram image linked up this week and it got the most clicks. Ali posts projects up at @ and she does some lovely work! Go check her out. And if you don’t blog, feel free to link up an Instagram pic, too!

Ali did answer some fun sewing questions for us to get to know her better:

What is your motivation to sew?
To make stuff! I have always been a “maker” and building stuff has always been a fun and exciting challenge to me. I only started to sew two years ago. It was at this point in my life when I started to seriously consider my style, dressing for myself / my body type, and just having fun with clothes. Sewing clothes brings together my love & curiosity with style with my need to “make”.
 
What is your favorite thing about sewing?
Being entirely in control of fit. I used to think because ready to wear clothes didn’t fit me, that there was something wrong with me! Now I know it’s not me, its them :)
 
What is your least favorite thing about sewing?
OMG this hobby takes up SO MUCH SPACE. I live in a one bedroom apartment and I have literally taken over the kitchen table + most of the storage in the kitchenette area – much to the amusement and slight distress of my husband.
What is the most recent thing you’ve learned about sewing?
So many things…that my serger isn’t as scary as I thought, that sewing knit pants is a great gateway into the knits world (the Hudson Pants!), that sewing a well fitted shirt is so rewarding, and also, sewing is a more social activity than I would have ever thought! Not just the online community, but especially meeting people in real life that are just starting out or have been sewing for years. Either way its like instant friendship!

Oh, I thought I would mention that this link up stays open for 6 days, so if you make or post something anytime this week, you can still share. The more the merrier!


Here is a reminder of the very simple rules:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try, like me, to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as the smell of sun warmed lilacs. They are encouraging and build community.



Are you a Pin Popper or a Pin Hopper?

Today I am wanting to take a little poll around a subject I’ve been curious about for years. Especially since I started following blogs and taking online classes.

I learned to sew from my mom, who is a professional seamstress and has been sewing for more than 40 years now. I learned to sew and still sew on a Bernina 830 Record. For just a short time when I was 18-23 I had another cheap sewing machine that I used after I left home and before I could afford a decent one. I really didn’t sew much on that machine because A) I was young and busy and worked or hung out with friends all the time and B) That machine was more trouble than it was worth. It was a dark time in my creative life…

I know, everyone loves their machine!

I know, everyone loves their machine!

Then my mom gave me her old sewing machine because she got another one. No, she didn’t upgrade, she literally got another of the EXACT SAME MACHINE. Actually, it was her third. As a professional seamstress, she simply could not go without her machine for any amount of time, so she already had a backup Bernina 830. When she got her hands on a third, she decided to give the original to me. It is super super special to me, as you can imagine.

When she taught me to sew, she assured me that I could sew right over pins. In fact, she told me when she learned to sew (in Home Ec in the 70’s) she was taught to sew over pins. So I have for the last 25 years. This very, very rarely presents a problem for me. I use fine glass head pins exclusively and it works great for me, only once in a blue moon will I break a needle. But when I had that cheap whatever machine I had trouble with sewing over pins. With that crappy machine I had trouble with everything, so I didn’t think much of it.

I also have a Brother sewing/embroidery machine that I don’t use often, but when I do, I usually take my pins out. I don’t trust it like my Bernina.

So I noticed as I looked around the interwebs that a lot of people remove pins as they go. Lots of the Craftsy classes I’ve taken have shown the instructors doing that. So I have been wondering and wondering…

What do you do? Do different machines have different tolerance for going over pins? Do tutorials and classes tell you to pull pins because it is “correct”? Of course they don’t want a needle to break and send a shard of metal in your eye! At home, alone, do you just sew right over those pins like I do?

Please take my poll:



Sew it Chic in a Week #2

Light ChicI was so excited to see that 13 brilliant projects were linked up for the inaugural Sew it Chic in a Week link up! Did you find any new blogs and new seamstresses? I totally did and now my blog reader is even more inspiring.

It was so much fun that I want to do it again! In fact, I went ahead and bought InLinkz service for the next 6 months so we can collectively see if this remains a fun way to share.

Additionally, I would like to take this weekly opportunity to focus on one seamstress from the link up and learn a bit about her.

This is Bryanna, and she blogs over at Sweet Shop Sewing. I was pretty excited to see that she is also a runner and a pattern designer! Last week she showed us her bright running top and it got the most clicks.

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Bryanna’s bright plaid Archer shirt

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Undercover Hood top

Bryanna answered a few questions about herself so we could all get to know her.

  • On sewing motivation: “I think what motivates me to sew the most is seeing an item I’ve finished and knowing that I worked hard to make it. I feel so good when I use my time wisely and sewing helps me do that. Not only do I feel like I’m using my time well when I’m sewing, but the desire to have time to sew whips me into shape so that I’ll have time to sew-no wasting time!”
  • Her favorite thing about sewing: “I love the control it gives me over the clothes I wear. I can make any color, any design, and most importantly I can make it fit the way I want it to.”
  • Her least favorite thing: “That would probably be the time it takes to get something to fit just right. It’s worth it in the end, but sometimes it is hard work to fix fitting issues.”
  • Something she has recently learned: “I’ve been learning about welt pockets lately because I just finished a pair of dress pants for my husband. I learned how to reinforce them better and make them look more professional. I know I have even more to learn so I got a Craftsy class about pocket drafting that I’m excited to start watching.”

Thank you, Bryanna, for answering my questions so promptly when all of a sudden I got the idea to interview our featured seamstress. She was such a good sport!


And now for our weekly link up. Here is a reminder of the very simple rules:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Friday, and I’ll open a new one Saturday. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try, like me, to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as dark chocolate. They are encouraging and build community.
 Loading InLinkz ...

Floral bomber jacket made with the BurdaStyle video

FloralBomberJacket1I gave the BurdaStyle video subscription a whirl recently. Some of the video offered are fairly basic, but I do like to see how other people do things and whether their way is better/more accurate/clever.  I love to learn!

This review is for the Athletic Jacket video. I must admit I feel some resentment that the instructions are so sparse and general that they offer paid videos to show us how to make it, after we’ve paid for the pattern. Seems to me they should just have decent instructions to begin with, right? As a pattern designer, I strive to make my instructions as detailed and helpful as possible, so every customer has the best possible chance for a successful garment. If I ever needed to record a video to help clarify anything, I would offer it free of charge. Continue reading


Introducing the Sew it Chic in a Week Link Up

Light ChicI don’t know about you, but I follow more than 300 blogs in my reader. I love it! I love being inspired by the seamstresses in our community and seeing what they are up to! I also follow some fashion blogs, some running blogs, and quite a few craft blogs. What ends up happening is my blog reader is crammed full of posts to read at all times (so awesome) but it also means there are so many things to read I don’t always get to them all (especially on weekdays).  And then I will miss some beautiful creations and am sad!

My main interest is in sewing and fashion for women. I do sew and post about things I make for my daughters, and it is fun, but my passion is women’s clothes (and the reason I’m excited about making patterns). So I had the idea to hold a link up just for women’s clothes sewn in the past week. I really want to see everyone’s creations! I also want to encourage and build community. We all know what the bigger bloggers are sewing this week, but what about the huge variety of less well known blogs?

I know it takes quite a bit of time and energy to start and maintain a blog, time that could be spent sewing, so I’d like to open this up to Pattern Review pages, BurdaStyle pages and Kollabora pages. Those are definitely garments that need to be shared and admired, too. You may need to upload an image from your computer instead of the permalink page, though (specifically Kollabora).

The rules are very simple:

  1. Women’s garments only
  2. Made or blogged in the past week only – to avoid reposts.
  3. The party is open for a week, until next Saturday, and then I’ll open a new one. Feel free to link up every once in a while or try, like me, to complete a garment every week!

Optional additional ideas:

  1. If you are on a blogging platform that supports links, please link back to www.grayallday.com by using the Sew it Chic in a Week button in the sidebar, or just a simple mention in the text of your post. That way more people will find the party!
  2. Look around and share a comment or 2 with a neighbor. I don’t mind admitting that I savor blog comments as much as fine silk. They are encouraging and build community.
 Loading InLinkz ...

100+ hashtags for Instagram #sewing

 

sewing hashtags for InstagramI admit that I didn’t get what all the fuss was about on Instagram until, like, 2 weeks ago. I followed a couple people, and when they didn’t post lots of sewing pics, I lost interest. Usually I do not want to see pictures of your dinner. It just made me hungry. I need no help in the getting hungry department, thank you very much.

But I found the “explore” button, and so I explored for a bit. Some sewing, yay! But mostly random people’s selfies and, please, enough with the glamour dinner plate shots already! Finally, finally, I figured out hashtags are the way to go. Aha! I’m slow, but I got there. Continue reading


A pair of bows on their backs

IMG_8959I know that my girls are probably getting tired of dressing alike. But this pattern was just so cute that I wanted to make it twice! And since I have 2 girls, and both of them love to wear cozy sweatshirts, it seamed perfect to me.

As part of my pattern designer’s group, I got the opportunity to take part in a pattern swap. I love the idea of the swap, because we get someone to interpret our pattern. You must go see what Anne did with my pattern! She totally changed it up. http://www.sofilantjes.com/uncategorized/shirt-turns-dress/. And we also get to try out a fellow designer’s pattern for fun. It is a win-win. Continue reading