Saturday, November 22, 2014

We Had An Elf Blow In!

Two of my grandchildren were here the other day and they found a present in the fireplace.  We had a little Elf On The Shelf blow in!!  She is so cute and Gisele named her "Bell"!  Poor Bell didn't have any clothes on, so Gisele and I made her a skirt this morning!

Bell seems much happier now!  We hope she goes back to Santa Land and tells Santa that we dressed her!  If you don't understand this post, you must read the book called"  The Elf On The Shelf"!  It explains everything!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving All of You Wonderful Sewing Friends!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Coat Is Finished! Take A Look!!

Well, it is all finished, every tiny little stitch is done!  It took me, I think a month and a half, but I didn't have much time to work on it.  Just a little here and a little there.  I have a few more pictures to explain a few more details:
I am starting to make a header for my sleeves.  I have heard of a header but really had no idea what it was.  It starts out with a 11 x 3 piece of fabric cut on the bias.
You mark the fabric in thirds and iron down one third.

Then you stretch and curve it with the iron and this is what you end up with.
You hand sew this on the seam line of the top of the sleeve where it attaches to the shoulder and it fills in that area and curves around the bulk and makes the nicest sleeve.

Mr. King has the best technique for sewing in your sleeve.  I have seen sleeves sewn in that have no puckers or dimples and always wondered why I could not get mine to look quite that nice.  Well, now I have the technique.  Take a look at the top of my sleeve.  No puckers what so ever!  I just love this and it hangs so perfect!
I also added this technique which was in last months issue of "Threads".  I attached the lining to the bottom of my coat with this little piece of satin to keep it always in the right position and still giving it a little movement.
I also added the shoulder pads to my jacket following Kenneth King's directions, but after finishing it and trying it on, it made me look like a football player.  I did remove them and I like it much better without them. 
Hee is my finished coat!  I can't wait to wear it!
Do you like it?

Here is the lining!
Thanks everyone for following me!  Let me know what you think?  Cynthia

Monday, October 27, 2014

More Pictures on my Tailored Coat!

I know its been a couple weeks now since I last posted.  My hubby and I were on vacation for a week and then last week, I ended up working everyday.  That means no sewing!  I had today off, so I was able to get a few more steps finished.  My Aunt Elinor called this morning and asked why I haven't been working on my coat!  She follows my blog and I better show her I have been busy.  Here we go!

Tailoring Canvas had to be sewn on the lapels by hand.  It is never sewn into a seam, (as I learned the hard way) and tore it out because it creates to much bulk and the seams won't lay nice.
More muslin sewn on all the curves of the coat and the shoulder seams.  This will keep it from stretching out of shape.

Here I am starting to attach the collar.  It gets sewn in by hand. Then it is basted in by the machine and then if all is well, it gets sewed with a regular stitch to lock it in place.  All seams are clipped 1/2 inch apart and around the curves it is clipped every 1/4 inch.

The red strings are my tailor tacks.  I love these.  I have never used them before and I have found out it is the best way to mark those special spots that need to come together.  I would of never been able to get this collar on correctly without those tailor tacks.   

The collar is starting to come together, many hours of work by now.

Here I have the collar finished and the lapel sewn and you can see the difference that pressing makes.  The collar has been properly pressed and the label has had no pressing in this picture.  I know now why they say that proper pressing can even make the worst sewer's garment look good!

looks like a giant pocket sticking out, but this is the beginning of the fly front.  Actually you will see that there will be no buttons showing on this coat, they will be buttoned inside of this fly front.  Actually, it is like a large pocket!

Now here is the inside of the fly front and you can see I have my button holes finished.  I practiced them first and they sewed out beautifully.  Then I started on the coat and it started messing up.  Good thing you were not here to hear my screams!!!!!  I finally did get them sewn but it took me 3 hours to sew out three button holes!  Glad that is finished!!

Here is the collar all finished.  Can you see the difference that the proper pressing has made.  I have always been pretty good with the iron, but I do have to say with Kenneth Kings tips, this collar came out sensational.  I was nervous about this.  I have never sewn this type of collar, but it did turn out very professional.  I read in a magazine that top designers say they can always spot a homemade coat by the collar and lapel.  I figured this must be really hard.  It really wasn't as long as you took your time.  I don't think they will be able to tell by my jacket.  (I hope!)

I have also caught my Granddaughters bad cold.  I am a sniffling!!  I hope I still feel good enough to do some more sewing tomorrow!  Thanks for following!!  Cindy

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Worked on my Tailored Coat Today!!

I worked on my coat this morning and have a few more seams finished!  Here is the start of the collar and you can see the hair canvas for tailoring.  You can actually see horse hair sticking out of it.

And here is the under collar.  It was cut on the bias and you sew diagonal lines on the canvas at a 45 degree angle and this allows the canvas to move and still be supported.  It is not tacked down on the outside edges.  It will just meet the seam and then it gets topstitched.

After making the collar you thread a needle with a double thread and take a stitch on the point of the collar.  You hold both ends of the thread and pull out the corners and shoot it with a puff of steam.  They turn our really nice.  I then formed the collar on my ham, shot it with steam and I am letting it set to form a really nice curve to fit the neck.
Next I started on the hidden pockets.  These really turned out amazing.  I was very happy with them.  It was a little tricky, I could not get it in my head how to lay out the pattern pieces.  After several tries I finally figured out how they should line up to make the seamline pocket.
Every seam gets pressed with a pressing cloth and a heavy clapper.  This is just about the best tool I own for ironing.  It really sets a seam by pushing the steam into the material.  I just shoot it with a puff of steam and put the clapper on it will a few seconds of pressure and it is perfect and very flat.

Here are my pockets being sewn into the seam.  The pockets are actually sewn into the seam line so it does not show until you actually put your hand into the pocket.

Well, its back to work tomorrow and now I won't get to sew again until the weekend.  I had to go in for a colonoscopy yesterday.  Yuck!!  So glad that is over with.  I got back home around 9:00am and I was still a little loopy, so I was afraid to sew and mess things up. I am glad I waited until today even though I didn't get as much down as I wanted.  It has been cold here this week and we actually saw snow last Saturday.  I sure could of used my new coat!!  I need to get this finished and I am getting very excited!!!  I sure hope it fits after all of this work!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Next Steps on my Tailored Coat!

I worked again this morning on my jacket/coat.  The first step was to create the cuffs for the sleeves.  As you can see, you cut the lining 1/8 inch small than the cuff and this is called "favoring".  It makes the cuff pull to the underside and no lining shows from the front.  I love this step!  The cuffs look great.

 I also took a close up of my fabric.  It is called "Boucle" and that is the little black nubs that you see sticking out of the fabric. 
Next, I worked on the sleeves. Kenneth says to add "Wiggin" to the bottom of the sleeve edge to keep it from stretching.  I didn't have this, so I cut some muslin on the length wise grain where there is no stretch and used this.  Wiggin is a very thin cotton.  If you are wondering why I have a safety pin in my fabric, that is to tell me which is the right side.  If I didn't have that, I would never be able to tell.
I have the sleeves and the sleeve lining finished and you can see the cuff has been attached.

I also have the lining front and back attached together and put it on my duct tape dummy.  It is starting to come together now and look like a coat!
Well, that was a good mornings work.  I have some more tacking this evening of the seams and hopefully can work on it a little bit tomorrow!  I hope you are enjoying the follow along!  Thanks!  Cindy

Monday, September 29, 2014

I Am Tailoring A New Winter Coat!!

I signed up for a class by Kenneth King, who is my favorite designer.  I am learning about tailoring a jacket.  I have started and thought maybe you would like to follow along with my journey.  I haven't had much time to sew, so it has already taken me about 4 weeks just to get to the point of sewing.

The pattern being used is Vogue 8841.  Kenneth redesigned the coat and he has shown directions to make the adjustments.  I also had to alter the pattern and I made a few adjustments and sewed out a muslin with my old Disney material.  Now everyone that sees it wants me to finish it and give them the Disney jacket.

I just wanted to make sure that the body fit before I cut out my good fabric.  I ordered a Black and White Boucle Tweed fabric from Mood's in New York.  This always makes me nervous.  I like to see fabric before I purchase it, but I guess this is going to be unavailable to most of us anymore if you want a piece of really good fabric.  Also there are no returns at Moods, so if you don't like it, well, you are just out of luck!  The fabric was created by Designer Anna Sui.  I do have to say, I am so glad I purchased it, because when I opened the box, I just loved it!  The first step I did was I washed all of my different materials and a sample of my designer fabric.  Everything washed up well, so I washed the designer fabric with no shrinkage.  Now when my coat is finished I can hand wash it instead of taking it to the cleaners.  We just lost another cleaners in our area and I really don't think there are any left!  This is my only choice on keeping this jacket clean.
I also changed the jacket to suit myself by adding a full lining to it, Kenneth only had a partial lining.  I would like the jacket to be heavy enough to where in the Winter.  Well I now have everything cut out and I am ready to start.

I created my own lining by purchasing a high grade satin and black flannel to add a little bit of warmth.  I layered the two pieces of material together as you would for a quilt and safety pinned it together.  Then I laid out my lining pattern pieces on top of the satin and flannel material and cut out each pattern piece about 1 inch larger all the way around the pattern.  I drew diagonal lines on the satin material and sewed on the diagonal lines to create my own lining.  This is for one of the pockets.  After I have the diagonal lines sewn, I cut out the actual pattern.

I now have the front lining together and as you can see in the picture all of the curves are sewed with a strip of muslin to keep them from stretching.  Now, according to Kenneth the proper step next is to tack down all of your seams, so everything will lay flat.  I will be working on this tonight as I watch a little tv.   Follow along as I work on this to see my progress. More pictures soon!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Allura's Dangerous New Pair Of Shorts!!

Allura stayed all night on Friday.  I was tired and went to bed early.  When Allura got up the following morning she was all excited and said" Hey Mamo, want to see the new shorts I made while you were sleeping last night?"  Well here they are!!  Yikes!!!

I said they are so cute, but how are you going to sit down.  She said, Oh they don't hurt!
I just said o.k., but please, please, don't sit on my leather couch or on the leather seats in the car.  I guess I am going to have to carry a thick blanket or something when she wears these in the car.  She really comes up with the ideas for only 13.  I wonder what she will be like when she gets older!!  I definitely will be saving the pictures of these shorts!!  Who knows, maybe they will catch on!!  Oh gosh, I better go warn her not to sit on my waterbed!!  I can just see 50 holes springing out water!!
Yes, this grandma loves her waterbed, last of the hippies still out there!  Cindy

Thursday, June 12, 2014


My grandfather loved to garden.  My mother always told me she was the teachers pet because their yard was full of flowers and my grandmother always cut a large bouquet for her to take to her teacher.  No wonder I love to have my hands in dirt!!!!

Here are some photos of a mulberry tree that my grandfather, John Rabal, planted at the G.B.U., later Hunsinger Park and now Ashland Railway in Mansfield, Ohio.  He planted the tree up-side down.  This is a trick that he learned as a nurseryman in Austria, Hungary prior to WW1.  He said, mulberry trees were the only trees you could do this to.  It was planted in the thirties.  Tree is still growing!!



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Allura Designed Another Pair Of Jean Shorts

If you remember from last year, Allura loves to design.  She always comes and tells me her ideas and then I sew them up.  She told me a couple of weeks ago, Mamo, I have another idea.  I want leopard material on one leg of jean shorts and I want the material on the back pocket like this and this and the front like this etc. and I want the hem fringed.  Then she says I told Mom, but she has no idea what I was talking about.  Can you help me make these?  I told her to tell me exactly what she wanted and I would try to get that accomplished.  She also had jeans that were to baggie and she wanted them to be taken in in the legs.  She really hasn't started to sew yet, so I said O.K. its time.  I will work on your design and you need to sew up the legs of your jeans.  So I sewed on one machine and I started her out with filling a bobbin and threading the machine.  I showed her how and then pulled out my threads and would say now you try.  After about an hour she filled her own bobbin and threaded the machine.  We were now ready to go.  I showed her how to peg the legs and gave her chalk to make her new sewing line and she actually took in the jeans totally by herself.  You never saw such a proud girl!!  She even said, I am just so proud of myself!!!

Now as she was accomplishing this, I started to do her design work.  It was a tough job.  I just tucked and sewed as I went for each tiny detail.  On the back pockets she wanted the sewing in between the jeans gold thread.  It was a slow process and I really took my time so it would look professional and like she bought them that way.  They are finished now and she is going to wear them to the lawnfete this weekend. 
We had lots of fun sewing together and making memories!  She thought when she wears these jeans maybe she could get some orders to sell them!  I said "NO WAY", that took me forever to get this accomplished.  I would have to sell them for $400.00 a pair if I had to make them to sell!!  I guess if she can get that much, I would make another pair, but I'm not worried about that happening!    She is very excited and here are the finished pictures! 

Designed By Allura!

If you don't remember what she made last year, here are a couple of links.  Now these she did make all by herself, but there was no sewing!