Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting Reaquainted with your Mother's 10+ year old Serger is Not Easy...

But, at least I'm not afraid of it like I was when I was 13. When she first purchased it, I remember being amazed by what it could do. I didn't know the first bit about truly sewing. But, I knew about playing with machines and fabric, much to my mother's chagrin.

Fast forward to now. The serger was sitting a box, lonely and forlorn. My mother had long since moved on from her interest in sewing. There left only me and my desire to overcome my discomfort of the complicated machine.

I kept visualizing the finished edges and how pretty they would look. Then, I became determined to do it. I followed the color guides on the machine, followed the illustrations in the manual and finally - after all of these years - did it!

The reason why I was so interested in fixing the serger?

There's a project that I discovered on Presser Foot: Inspiration Anthro : Catch and Release Scarf . I won't get into details yet - as I'm doing a few reviews this week on the different projects I've been working on. But, I'm inspired by how I've taught myself how to use elastic thread to gather fabric, based on the tutorial.

Most importantly, I've fixed the Singer serger so that I do not have to do annoying pressed rolled hems to finish the edges!

More updates to come soon!  Until then, check out my new cooking blog, The Farmer, Cook and Spoon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sew: The Dinner Party Dress - Simplicity 2580 with Vogue 8379 sleeves

Nothing says "wear me to a nice dinner party at Kendall's Brasserie and Bar in Downtown Los Angeles" quite  like Simplicity 2580 with sleeves.

"What what?" You might find yourself asking. "Simplicity 2580 doesn't have sleeves! It comes with those kind of kiddy playtime flutter sleeve caps! Those aren't sleeves - those are arm cap sunburn protectors!"

But, Vogue 8379 has sleeves. Perfect 3/4th sleeves. Connect the dots. Knit to knit. Can it work?

Well, in my best Kool-Aid man voice, "Ohhhh yeah..."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sew: Simplicity 2580, View C, Midnight Goddess

I needed this dress like a woman walking away from a one night stand who needs satisfaction after being underwhelmed.

This dress, for me, is like a deep red merlot from Hunt Cellars in Paso Robles. It's like a cooking and techniques class at Williams-Sonoma, where the presenter is friendly and gives you extra portions to taste. It's like a smile and conversation with a nice guy that has a friendly large dog and no wedding ring.

Yes, it's just that good.

After the horrible bastard child fail of Sew: Mashup Fail= Simplicity 3503 halter bodice with Simplicity 2580 waist and skirt combo, I needed something to reaffirm my ability to sit in front of a sewing machine and construct a wearable piece of work.

Musing: "Daybreaker"

"We, we burn our boats each new year
Silently watching the flames and the old life disappear
We're burning new sunrise into yesterday's skies
An ashen fingerprint melts into the sea

-"Daybreaker" by Beth Orton

I took this photo during my last trip to Santa Cruz, California. The ocean was breaking violently onto the jagged cliffs below where I stood. I had wanted to see the natural bridges. Instead, I stood overlooking the ocean as the sun met the horizon. I noticed a single man that dared to go further than the rest of us, climbing down to the beach and upon this ledge. The ocean crashed upon the stone in front of him as he stared. Then, quite calmly, he turned and walked away.  

This song means so much to me on so many different levels. Maybe it's time I started teaching myself how to drape and make this feeling of emotion that this song invokes within me interpreted through a dress vs a scarf's color scheme. 

The energy of emotion and creativity is so intertwined within me. Which is why I'm so connected to the music that I listen to. I love music with lyrics that make sense and speak volumes regarding the various shades of the human condition. 

This certainly will be a creatively interesting project.

Knit: "Purple Haze" Scarf - Mellow Shades of Relaxed Comfort

A lovely purple scarf done on my knitting board with two rows of crocheted stitches at each end for an added finish.

It's half the width of my usual scarves and much longer.  It looks bright and perfect for a rainy California day and wonderful for an added color boost. It feels long, luscious and fantastic on.

And the best part?  I created it without skipping even one looping stitch on my board! Something tells me that I'm getting better at this knitting board thing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sew: Mashup Fail= Simplicity 3503 halter bodice with Simplicity 2580 waist and skirt combo.

One look at Simplicity 3503's halter style and I was in sewing love. Reminding me of my favorite American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Bandeau Dress, I love how halters create a fantastic bust line with a good shaping bra and waist line drape.

However, what I didn't like about 3503 was the gathers at the midriff front. Nor, did I like the midriff design. But, I did like Simplicity 2580. And they are such similar patterns...

So, what's a good sewer to do? Why, a mashup, of course!

........Until you realize that you are utterly sick of the color red, the halter hits too high, the center seam is ugly and you want to throw it in all into the fireplace and burn it while drinking a glass of wine.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sew: The Wrap Dress of Legends - Vogue 8379

I love this dress. I love this dress. I love this dress. I love this dress. I love this dress.
I love this dress.