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!

Monday, May 5, 2014

What did I do??

I have been trying to make my own pizza for many years now with no success.  My pizza was always done on the edges and soggy in the middle.  I finally decided about a year ago to give it a try again.  I will work at something until I get it correct!   I have tried many different crusts for many different tastes and also tried making my own sauce.  Every weekend I would bake a new recipe and my grandkids and Dave would try it out.  Finally, with many tweeks and twists, I have created a pizza crust that is just as done in the middle as in the crust and created my own pizza sauce that is delicious.  This is a thick crust pizza and I have to admit it is pretty good!  The only problem I have now is that I realize I did a stupid thing.  Nobody wants take out pizza any more which every mother knows is a real break for us when we don't have to cook.  Now they all want my homemade pizza with the homemade sauce.   I do have it down to a science and can have it finished and on the table in about an hour. 

If anyone would like the recipe, just let me know, but beware, you may never get a break again!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Easiest Way To Thread A Needle!

I found this tip and thought I would share!   What a great idea!! Be sure and try this, you will be amazed!  Thank You Sebastian Sandersius!

The Easiest Way to Thread a Needle


Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Sebastian Sandersius, a co-founder of Bison Made.
Like so many honest moments captured by Norman Rockwell, his depictions of this exasperating task are true to our experience. Whether trying to re-attach a button that has popped off, helping grandma thread her sewing machine, or stitching your own wallet, we have all had our frustrations with threading needles. Sometimes we get lucky but then sometimes we get caught up in the iterations of cutting, licking, and coaxing the thread into the eye of the needle.
Luckily, there is an easier way to thread a needle!
At Bison Made, we do a lot of hand-stitching to ensure our products are finished with the finest attention to detail. When I train a new employee to sew our products, lesson 1 is the best way to thread a needle.
Every time I show someone this method of threading a needle, they are astonished at how simple it is — and they take to it very quickly. I personally happened upon this easier method after countless bouts with needle and thread during the early days of developing our products. I scoured the internet and couldn’t find any documentation on this method, so I decided to write it out myself to help make this simple task common knowledge.
When most people thread a needle, they hold an inch or so of thread between their fingers and try to guide it through the eye of the needle. Leading it directly through is difficult, because the thread is flimsy and floppy. When you inevitably miss, the thread deflects and frays, forcing you to put it in your mouth to reform the fibers before making another attempt.
The 4-step “pinch the tip” method offers a simple, but significant improvement to this method. Here’s how it’s done:
  1. Hold the thread between your thumb and index fingers.
  2. Pinch down on the thread between your fingers until you can barely see the tip of the thread between your fingertips. With your other hand holding the needle, bring the thread and needle eye together.
  3. Instead of trying to push the tip of the thread through the eye of the needle as in the typical method, here you push the eye of the needle onto the tip of the thread. Your fingertips give the thread support so it will not deflect or fray. Even if the thread is too thick, pinching the tip compresses it into a shape that fits the oblong shape of the needle eye.
  4. With a little practice you should be able to feel with your fingers when the needle is being threaded properly. Keeping your fingers pinched together to support the thread, follow through and push the needle between your fingertips. As you part your fingertips you should reveal a threaded needle.
When it comes to threading the needle on a sewing machine, this same method should work just as well. The only difference is now instead of holding the needle in your other hand, the needle is fixed in place. Approach the needle eye with the pinched thread tip as shown below.
This “pinch the tip’” method will work for all types of threads: bonded, unbonded, cotton, polyester, nylon, kevlar, teflon, etc.
I hope you find this method useful and straightforward so that next time you need to replace a button or patch up a hole, you won’t be frustrated trying to thread your needle. Don’t worry about cutting a clean taper or wetting the thread in your mouth to twist the fibers tight, just pinch the tip.
Bison Made uses the principles of high-quality craftsmanship when producing quality leather carry goods. Instead of paper patterns and hand cutting, we use high precision cutting dies to create consistent leather components that are hand finished and stitched. We have taken a position that by starting with high-quality raw materials and detailed precision, beautiful and functional works that are designed for life will follow.