Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A whole year went by!

It has been whole year since my last post!  Life has been busy with things other than sewing.  In the last few weeks I have been enjoying once again reading the sewing forums and some new to me interesting sewing related goodies.  Two inspirational, and tempting, items are the videos produced by Susan Khalje and Angela Kane. 

The Classic French Jacket is hugely tempting, even though I have no desire for a Chanel-esque jacket, so not my style.  It's the construction and the process that draws me in.  I would love to have some couch time watching and hearing about intricate sewing.   For $195 one gets lots of video with erudite Susan gently teaching, some nicely presented written class information, and a Susan Khlaje french jacket pattern, although one has to pay shipping for the paper goods.  (Couldn't that shipping have been included in the course price?)  But $195 is quite a price, probably too much for what would amount to just entertainment for me.  Although, wouldn't it be fun to use the techniques, quilting the fabrics etc. with a different style jacket, a hoodie perhaps?

Angela Kane has been in the internet sewing world for a while and is always expanding her offerings.  Her videos are interesting and to the point, very pleasant to watch.  I like how when there is something a little time consuming, like pinning a seam, the video switches to fast forward until that portion is done, then the instruction picks up again.  There is a membership for access to all videos and patterns for 45 British pounds, at this time ca. 70 American dollars.  I have only watched a few free ones.  I'm intrigued by the Roll Collar Coat which can be purchased as an individual pattern, but all those videos that a membership gets, how fun that would be.

 I'm visiting my favorite sewing forums again.  I have been a member of Pattern Review for nearly 10 years.  There is always something interesting going on there.  I have lurked at Stitcher's Guild for a number of years.  The members at SG sew up some amazing things.  It might be time to join there and actually say something.

My sewing machines are waiting patiently under a dust cover.  My cutting table stands quietly with it's leaves folded down.  My fabrics rest in bins in the attic.  (It's not hot here so the fabrics are in good climate in case you were worried.)  I'm starting to miss hearing the click and hiss of my gravity feed iron and the satisfying effect of it's heat and moisture to shape fabric.  It might soon be time to open up the sewing world again.

NOTE about blog comments.  I have turned off comments to my blog.  This doesn't mean that I don't want to hear you, the reader, it means I am so not good at keeping track of replies but mostly it means that there have been a number of spam comments that I wish to not have to deal with in the future.  I am thinking of you, the reader of my humble blog, and I thank you for being here and for sharing this fabulous thing of sewing love with me.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Scarf Neck Cardigan by Swoon Patterns

Love this cardigan!  Some interesting styling at the hem and a sweet princess seam for shaping over the bust.  So many of these slouchy comfy cardigans are a bit shapeless but this one is just right.

The back is pretty plain but it works.

The fabric is a lighter weight cotton jersey which I wasn't sure what to do with.  It felt too light weight with not stretch enough for a nice top and ended up sitting in my stash for a while.  I think it works perfectly in this cardigan style.  

The pattern was easy to sew and things fit together well.  The instructions are sparse but should get the job done.  The best part?  It's a free pattern!  Get a copy and get sewing!  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hope for McVoguerick

Once upon a time there were patterns that fulfilled the promise on the envelope.  They came in one size per envelope, had seam allowances marked, and good instructions.  The pattern draft was so good that when sewn up the garment could look like a high quality item.  Often the instructions would teach by showing a clever technique or two for sewing and finishing your project.  These patterns were available in almost every fabric shop in the country and there were lots independent and small chain fabric shops around.  Even department stores had a fabric section complete with patterns.

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it?  And yet, that is how it was once upon a time in history.  I was lucky to be there, to live that fairy tale, although at the time it all just seemed normal and expected.  I carefully chose and bought this designer Vogue pattern.  There were no huge % off sales then, it was full price and this one at $7 was expensive on my very small stay at home mom budget.  I found a rayon challis print, floral on a black base, at the discount table and I sewed my designer dress.  The instructions taught me the trick of self lining the sleeve instead of hemming, an easy way to finish a curved hem cap sleeve where the inside would be visible at times.  I wore the dress with a glossy black shaped belt, something that was popular in the 80's, and I felt on top of the world.       

A scan of my original pattern, I still have it.

I have no desire to buy Vogue patterns any more.  Or McCall's or Butterick.  They are all one big blob anyway and they managed to absorb KwikSew which I also have no desire to buy anymore.   Drafting errors, pathetic instructions, weird looking garments when sewn up, there are all kinds of depressing things to be found in the new patterns.  

Some years ago while mulling over this deteriorating pattern group company the word "McVoguerick" popped into my mind and I laughed because it was so fitting.  Recently I decided to look up when I first started using "McVoguerick" which was at Pattern Review and found it was in 2006.  I had not seen that word used before.  The impetus for this research came from something I recently read at the Communing With Fabric blog - that Frank Rizzo, the new President/CEO of The McCall Pattern Company is sometimes called "Mr. McVoguerick" by his fellow workers.  I have to wonder, did I start the use of the word McVoguerick? Is it my fault that Mr. Rizzo now has that nickname?  It really would be fun to take credit for thinking up McVoguerick...but I'm sure it was invented by many others as well. 

The blog post titled My Meeting with Vogue Patterns by Communing With Fabric is a fascinating read.  It puts some hope back into the future of the McCall Pattern Company, aka McVoguerick.  How I would love to once again spend blissful time paging through the books at the pattern counter knowing that the pattern I might choose would provide me with happy sewing time and a fabulous garment to wear.