Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jam Day

Making jam with Audrey and Rosalie today, because you always need helpers on jam day. 

We had SO many plums this year! My tree is still full. 

Pulled out all our canning supplies, plus the cute new 'vintage' Mason jars I found at the hardware store. 

My little helpers, in homemade aprons. 

I've never been quite so thankful that my husband installed a pot-filler by the stove top. This made things SO much easier!

Tea break, with my favorite thrifted teacup in my (small so far) collection. 

Our plums are so tiny, the girls used a cherry pitter and worked for quite awhile on our first 4 pound batch. 

I had time to hand stitch the collar facing down while my minions stirred the pot!

The return on our investment - not bad for a morning's work! Note to self: you can't actually see the cute blue glass when the jars are full of jam, it just looks like a mysterious black substance inside. Oh well!
I still have about eight more pounds of fruit to go...perhaps I should invest in another cherry pitter?!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vintage Roses and Pattern Give Away

This is my favorite piece of fabric, which I found while doing birthday shopping at a fabulous vintage fabric store in Point Richmond. There was only an odd-sized remnant, roughly 1 1/3 yards on one side and a bit longer on the other. 
Today is the day I muster all my sewing mojo and finally cut into it! It's going to be my third version of Gertie's Bow Tie blouse. I found great vintage buttons to match in my stash, from a scavenging trip to the Mysterious Button store. Wish me luck!

In other news, I revisited my abject failure, otherwise known as Simplicity 1692. Whoever drafted all those godforsaken pleats needs a firm talking to. I ripped the Sleeves Full of Poof off and added bias facing, after which I detached the collar and took out all the Random Boobie Poof by stitching down all that excess fabric. 

I basted vintage lace to my black bias facing prior to attaching it as the new collar. Then I added a buttonhole and a self-covered button for the back closure. 

And here it is, MUCH improved by a day's worth of judicious editing!

Please ignore my messy studio, I tend to throw everything around when I'm working!

Would anyone be interested in a vintage pattern giveaway? I have a LOT of patterns and want to share the wealth. Do you have suggestions of what types of patterns should be included? I have a lot of fit & flare dresses, sheaths, coats, skirts...

Friday, July 5, 2013

A year later

My ever-patient little brother asked me for a custom shirt. A year ago. He has trouble finding shirts that fit, as he is 6'3" with broad shoulders and long arms from years of surfing and a slim build. Off the rack shirts fit his shoulders but billowed around his middle, or he always had to roll his sleeves to conceal how short they were. He was dutifully measured, questioned, and sent to buy fabric. Did I mention he has fantastic and expensive taste? He came back with yards of the softest white Egyptian cotton from Britex in SF, thinking it would be such a treat for me to sew such otherworldly fabric.

Uh....the receipt fell out of the bag when I was unpacking his fabric, and I had a panic attack. He wanted me to cut into THIS?! Oh good grief. I was scared to touch it, for fear of making a tiny mark and just general fear of screwing the whole thing up. Also, once I mustered up the courage to try, ALL my chalk marks were visible from the right side and I was fearful that they might not wash out all the way afterward. This is SERIOUSLY sheer cotton! And even though I had made a muslin, there were enough fiddly bits to alter that I was, shall we say, a bit nervous.

So it's not a surprise that this project sat for a bit, oh, say thirteen months or so! He gave up asking about it after six months, nice guy that he is. Meanwhile, the guilt was killing me! So, just in time for his birthday on June 26th, I bought the Colette Negroni pattern and used some blue cotton oxford cloth I has thrifted months earlier and whipped up a shirt for him in about ten days. I used his earlier measurements and did some alterations (without fear, I might add, as I have about two yards of fabric left over). The sleeve packets were a bitch, but I religiously referred to the Male Pattern Boldness sewalong and made it through. 

Anyway, here it is. Sadly, I don't have photos of him actually wearing it, yet, but I hope to post one soon. It fit great, although it was a little long for his taste.