Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Brief Pause to Move and a Giveaway

There has been zero sewing here, as I packed up the sewing machine to have the cleaners clean, and I really don't want to clean again, so it stays packed up.  We're giving up the internet today, so it will be radio silence until we make our way to Kansas.  However, I have my first giveaway for you readers!  I am giving away 1 Manaquim magazine- which is like Brazilian BurdaStyle, and the following fabrics-  1 yard of the blue plaid I used last week, 1 yard of mystery paisley fabric from Istanbul and two yards of I think a poly-crepe that I got in Bras.
To enter- please comment on this post.  You have until Noon EST on Wednesday August 6 to enter.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Best of Brazil- Foz do Iguaçu and Burda 7576

As it is my last week in Sao Paulo, I thought that I would show you some of my previous makes from my time here and Brazil, as well as some of the places we have been.  We'll start with the make- Burda 7576.  It is the only pattern that I have made the entire pattern in one outfit.

I made a couple of changes to the jacket- mainly took in the collar and took the crazy cuffs off.  Oh yeah, I also added two buttons.
One of the interesting things about this skirt is that the slit is in the front.  Ha!  I totally match my back ground. 
Here it is without the jacket.  The top is made out of a Carolina Herrera silk I found on Mood.  It's no longer on the website.  I believe that I used the wrong side, as the right side was very shiny.   I really like the heathered aspect of the wrong side.  Anyway, now on to the virtual sight seeing-  Foz do Iguaçu or Iguaçu Falls, which sits on the Brazil/Argentine border.  If you go, you really need to see both sides.  The Brazil side is the wham bam thank you ma'am of the falls- easily accessible and you instantly get why they are so amazing.  The Argentine side though gets you in the falls- literally.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.

It was truly one of most beautiful places I have ever been.  Amazing!  I wish we had been able to spend more than 2.5 days there (one of which I spent at the hotel and in the ER with my oldest due to a throat abscess).  Anyway,  on the sewing front, I have made some progress with my Prada dress muslin.  I see a second muslin in the future, because it's too big in the waist, and I think that I can take out the pleats furthest to the side (and then scoot over the next pleats). 

Sorry about the bad selfie pic with my sweat pants showing.  The I could easily take out an inch in the waist, if not two.  If I take out the farthest side pleat, and then spread everything out just a bit more, I think that it will work much better.  One of the pleats lands right on the neck seam, making it extremely bulky.  We'll see how it finishes up.  What do you think so far?  Anyway until next time, happy sewing and or sightseeing!
Alex was very sad that his highchair and crib were taken away today.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Progress on the Prada inspired dress

Super short post, just wanted to show you the progress I made on my Prada inspired dress muslin. Or I guess my Prada inspired top.  ;)  As the 27 pleats I have to sew is a little overwhelming, I started slow with the collar.  It looks like I packed the instructions, so it took me a little bit to figure out how the collar would lay, so I cut one side right side up and the other upside down.  I interfaced it with silk organza.
 I decided to use bias tape to finish the edges of the collar (I'll probably also use it to finish the sleeves). Three out of four corners turned out well, but you can see the slightly wonky one below.  :(

Once the collar was done, I started on the sleeve.  I am interlining the whole top with the orange voile that I was going to originally use as the main fabric.  The orange voile turned out to be way too flimsy.  I didn't baste the interlining to the outer fabric, I was just extremely careful when I folded and pinned. I started out by ironing each individual pleat, but then realized that it would be best to iron them all together, so that I could ensure they were evenly spaced.

 To open up the pleats, I cut strips of cardstock slightly thinner than one inch. Since the cardstock was only 11 inches tall, I taped two pieces together.  (I might have to tape a third piece to some for the body of the top.)  I then tapered one edge so that it would slide easier into the pleat. 

You can see what a cheap ironing board I am currently stuck using.  It's super annoying. 
Once I got all five cardstock pieces inserted, I then moved the pleats around until they were evenly spaced.  They're not perfect by any means, but they're good enough for government work.

 Once I was finished ironing, I basted the interlining to the outer fabric, to make sure the pleats stayed flat.  I then trimmed the excess pleating at the top (as I was lazy in my drafting, and didn't figure out the exact shape at the top to not necessitate trimming).  As I had never used this sleeve before, I wanted to see how it fit, so I went ahead and sewed it together using french seams.  The fit is pretty spot on.  You can see in the picture below that I still need to trim the bottom of the sleeve to even it up.  I want to wait until it's on the top, so that I can decide on length.
Anyway,  that's it for today.  Hopefully I can make more progress tomorrow in between playing with the baby and taking the dog to get her exit paperwork from the vet, which then on Tuesday I have to take to the airport for certifying or something.  I'd like to wear this on my last day of work, and I would also like to make one more Bronte top for my plane ride.  I think it would make my sweat pants look a little more chique.  Anyway, until next time, happy sewing!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quick top and Suggestions needed

Good evening, there has been limited sewing since we last talked, as this is the current state of my sewing room.

Awww look how empty it is.  I did make a top after the movers finished.  It was one of the few that I cut out before they showed up.  Having it pre-cut made it a fairly quick make, I think over all it took me 2 hours?  It probably would have been quicker, but the fabric was so flimsy that they neck took a bit of coaxing to hem.  If I were to re-do it, I would use bias tape to finish the neck.  This time around I folded over twice. 
If I do this on a neckline, I usually make the first 1/4 inch fold before I sew any of the seams.  It usually makes the second fold around the curve a bit easier.  Anyway, I wore the shirt on Wednesday for casual Wednesday at work. 

If I told you that I worked really hard on matching the plaid, would you believe me?  Honestly, I just got really lucky, with how the print matched. Moving on, there is a meter of this left, which will be in the first giveaway... more to come.  

I need some reader input... I am going to make an evening gown in the near future, I need suggestions. This is what I wore last year.  It's a modified By Hand London Anna dress, made in a cotton sateen with a cotton lace overlay.  I'm thinking plaid this year or poppies, but I don't even have an idea for a pattern.  Ack!  Granted I have until November, but I need to start thinking about it.  Leave me a comment!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sewing and the Art of Packing Day 2

The movers are here, and packing the last of my possessions, junk, stuff, crap, whatevs.  They worked yesterday from 9-4:30 with an hour lunch.  They got almost everything packed, and my UAB weighed.... which wait for it, 695 pounds.  I could have added five pounds of notions!  Oh well.  Best to be slightly under, rather than having to decide what to take out, right?  Anyway....  Here is what my apartment looked like this morning, before the movers showed up.

The tall randomly shaped thing in the foreground is my dress form.  They opted not to take it apart.

A piece of art waiting to be packed.  The table is also ours, but we're going to donate it, as I can't stand it anymore.  It's bar height, which I didn't realize how much I hated sitting bar height until I had to do it every g-d day.

Living room.  695 pounds of UAB to the left of the scale and the sofa in the background.

The dining room table is not ours so it stays.  Luckily this means we have a place to sit for the next 10 days.

Yes they didn't pack my sewing table yet.  So what does a sewista do?  That's right, this morning while waiting for the packers, I did some last minute working on my Prada inspired dress.  My husband likened me to getting one last fix.  Which to be frank, while I do really enjoy sewing, it is not an addiction.  He also states that have a reading addiction too.   I just shake my head at him, and continue to read whatever book I'm reading.
I had yet to make the pattern for the sleeve, so that's what I did quickly this morning.  I realized that I had packed all my rulers, which egads!  Did I really do that?  That was not very smart of me.  Oh well.  I used the inch squares on my mat, it seemed to work out fine, as I was adding two inches every two inches, to end up with one inch pleats every other inch.  I then cut my muslin.  You can see the lining in the background.  It's a orange vicose voile.  I originally was going to use the voile as the outer fabric, but realized that it was too flimsy. 
Look a sleeve pattern!  Hopefully it works out well.  I used my Art of Shoemaking book as a weight, as it's going with me to Kansas.
I made my last cut as the movers were coming up the elevator, so I had to hurriedly clean up my mess and toss everything in the bedroom.  I still have to cut the collars, but that will have to wait.  Hopefully I'll have some time to sew this afternoon.  (No addiction here, I swear.)  I decided that the final dress will have to be made out of organza in order for it to have the same oomph as in the original.  I have some swatches of organza meeting me in Kansas from Mood fabrics.  One is black and white checkered board, one is green and blue checkered board, and one is mauve with circles on it.  We'll see what I choose!
I'll leave y'all with a parting image of my move.  Yes that is my couch.  It does not fit through our service door, so instead of the apartment complex letting us use the social elevator, they had to get a completely different company to come in and hoist the couch down 24 floors, off my veranda.  I'll be honest, in that I think this is completely a waste of money, as it would have been one five minute trip down the social elevator during the middle of the day, when no one is home.  No more no less.  The foyer is under construction anyway, forcing everyone to use the service elevator.  Oh well.  Until next time, happy sewing!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sewing and the Art of Moving

As I write this, our movers have arrived and are unloading a ton of material to pack up our stuff for our move from Sao Paulo to Kyiv.  I am eternally grateful that my job hires movers to pack us up and then moves our stuff for us.  We get two types of shipments.  Air freight (UAB), a small amount of items based on number of family members (for us is 700 lbs), which in theory should get to us pretty quickly, and then what comes by boat (7200 lbs), which depending on the country can take up to six months to arrive.  For Brazil it took 3.5 months for us to get our stuff, and then 4.5 months for our car.  Anyway, here's to hoping it will be quicker for Kyiv.  

So I've spent the last couple of days organizing our stuff.  My husband is of the mind that the movers can come and go from room to room and pack it as they go.  My philosophy is to make large piles in one room so that it's easier for me to monitor.  What do you think?  My way is more time consuming for me, but it gives me a chance to go through and organize everything, and hopefully get rid of stuff. right?

Anyway, yesterday was spent organizing my sewing supplies.  This was my sewing room yesterday morning.  In other words, a disaster of epic proportions.  I may have cried a little bit about the shear amount of work I had to do.  I'll be honest, this move has been more stressful than our last six.  I'm sure that you can put two and two together of why.  One of the hardest things about organizing a mess, is that it's so messy that you don't know where to start.  I started by moving things out that were easily moved. 

That meant packing up the serger.  I used to have the box for the serger, but during our move from Yekaterinburg to the states, the movers in Yekaterinburg packed our UAB in smaller boxes and sent it to Moscow, where some jackass put everything in those special UAB boxes, and took both my serger and sewing machine out of their boxes!  I was flaming pissed when I got our stuff.  Oh well, one must breath and move on, right?  So the serger was the first thing out of my sewing room.
Then came my notions.  The serger will go in UAB, but the notions will got HHE.  I figure, since we'll be living all of two blocks to the closest sewing store, notions can come a bit slower, allowing for more space for toys and clothes to come faster.  My notions are organized in baggies and then tossed in storage boxes.  I think they're called stackables- I got them at target.  I have 12 currently. 
After notions came books-  I realized that I have a ton of sewing books.  Almost an entire bookshelf.  They are a mix of old and new.  I am thinking about getting Sewaholic's Sewtionary, and Tilly's book, but it will have to wait.  (And to be honest, I also have a bunch of E-books.)
I could have sworn I took a picture of all my stash, after I emptied the drawers, but I guess not.  It's already been packed to go by boat.  I did save some things for you guys.  You'll just have to wait and see.  I plan on doing a couple of giveaways starting next Friday (as I'll be traveling).  Here is what my sewing room looked like after everything was packed.  Emppppty!  I'm going to miss this sewing room.  It was the first time that I had an entire room dedicated to sewing/crafting.  It was nice.  I wonder how it will be in Kyiv?
I'm sure you're wondering where my sewing machine is?  I am hand carrying it to the States and then to Kyiv.  It needs some tender, love, and care, so it has to go with us. You can see it in the foreground of the stuff that will go to the States.  I also am taking some already cut projects, and a limited amount of sewing supplies.  I'm not sure if you can see it, but I have smaller cutting boards that fit into my suitcase, allowing me to turn any table into a sewing space.  You can see some of the give away fabric on the bed.
Last night, after everything was organized, I took the time to precut some of the projects I plan to work on.  Unfortunately, I ran out of steam before cutting out my Prada-esque dress, but you can see the patterns for it sitting on my suitcase.  I figured out the back issue.  I realized that if I did an even number of pleats, then I wouldn't have to worry about the center back, because there wouldn't be a pleat there.  I had to space out the pleats 1/8 of an inch more to make it work, but I'm sure it will be fine.  I'll get back to it once the packers are done.  Anyway I'm sure you're wondering what I plan on working on during the next month.
I cut two versions of New Look 6013 modified into a top.  The second week of September is the One Week One Pattern challenge.  I'm planning on participating, and stepping it up a notch- I plan to wear only Vogue 2514 skirts and New Look 6013 tops.  I think this will be interesting to see how it works out.  Are you planning on participating?
I also cut out two more versions of Jennifer Lauren's Bronte top modified to not have the bindings and sleeves.  One will be black and the other will be cream (looks pretty white here).  I didn't have any black lightweight jersey, so I used hunter green instead.  You can almost see that I finally got around to cutting out the new button placket and facing for my Deer and Doe coat.  I also cut and attached the interfacing.  

The picture on top is what we hope will be able to go UAB.  My scale decided to break, so I couldn't weigh anything, so I have really no idea how close or far we are.  The picture on the bottom is the HHE.  You can see all my sewing stuff.  I'm going to miss it!  I do have some new Vogue, Butterick, and McCall's patterns meeting me in Kansas, so I can look forward to that.

Last but not least, did you know that if you get wax tracing paper wet, it dissolves?  I didn't.  We're currently using our super crappy welcome kit iron, because I have broken two others.  This one is pretty broken as well, so it leaks when laying flat, which my husband laid it flat and then it leaked all over some wax paper leaving a lovely green puddle.  On a white floor.  Luckily, it didn't stain. 
Well that's it for today.  By this afternoon the packers will have packed a significant amount of stuff, and likely by tomorrow afternoon we'll have almost nothing left in our apartment.  Until next time, happy sewing.