Vernon Fashion Studio’s Blog

Archive for March 2010

Our town has lost both its Quilting stores in the past year. The most recent one closed a week ago. The reason they closed will depend on who you ask. The size of the hole it leaves in the local sewing community depends on which reason comes closest to the truth.

The closures may have left some opportunities for me but I have to admit, I am not sure how to proceed. There are a number of options to consider and there are a couple things that need to be done before I can act on any of the options.

The first thing I need to do is get a website. I get asked about a website all the time. I have had domain names registered for over a year but never got around to doing the website. So, this afternoon, I went to Go Daddy.com and set up a Starter website that just says I exist and where to email me and where I am located. It was free and a good starting point. I have looked at some of the free websites available and I think I am ready to pick one to host my cyber-life. Hubby will look at my two choices and help me pick. Then all I need is to take some pictures and write some content. A website gives me the platform to support whatever I decide to do going forward.

I didn’t spend much time at the Studio this week. My work schedule was a killer last week and this next week isn’t much better. I will be lucky if I get Good Friday off. It is a Stat Holiday here in BC but since I work for myself it isn’t a holiday for me unless I take it as one.

I did cut the blocks for the baby quilts, but that about covers it. I hope to get more time  there next weekend. The vending machines were sold today so that clears a section in the entry hall for some shelving or display grid. Haven’t decided which yet.

Project Runway was interesting this week. It was the 4 elements challenge. I loved Seth Arron’s jacket! I was surprised he didn’t win. Amy has been one of my favorites but this was the second week in a row she was in the bottom 2. I am glad she survived but she needs to pull her act together real quick.

Guess that’s it for now. Leaving you in Stitches…

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Just got home from spending a few mostly pleasant hours at the Studio. Thought I would catch you up on what’s happening there.

What happens when you cross an expecting Grandma and a sale on Simplicity Patterns at Fabricland?

They are all unisex patterns so I am prepared no matter which sex it is.

And what do you get when the expecting Grandma decides to make a quilt for the grandchild and has a daughter whose best friend since high school is expecting also, so there are two quits to make? And the quilting fabric is on sale for 50% off?

I fell in love with the splatter fabric. I plan to cut my squares then take this project on vacation with me next month. I need to dig out my travel machine and make sure it is ready to travel.

Remember my Pansy Blouse I made last year? Well, like so many Vogue patterns the front slit is cut alittle low. It isn’t a huge problem if I stand up straight but in my work, I bend over alot and the gapping shows way more than I want to reveal in public. So I got some cute little closures that I hope will help the problem.

I also got the two bound buttonholes done in the coat. They are are not that good looking so I did not take pictures of them. Also sewed the female half of the snap on the other side. I think I am ready to join the inside and the outside together. YEA!!!

I have had this white silk jersey in my Wish List over at Gorgeous Fabrics for quite awhile. I finally ordered it and it arrived earlier this week. It is so fabulous!! I am pondering the possibilities.

I am taking the ICS Dressmaking and Design course. With that you get a sewing machine and mine arrived this week. It is a Brother CS-6000. I set it up this afternoon but I haven’t tried it out. It will be a good machine for my young students. It has speed control which many of them need. hehe

I did get bad news and that is that the other tenent in the office space I rent is moving out at the end of the month. The third tenent left last month so that just leaves little ol’ me with my hobby/business holding the bag. I put in a call to my landlord. I have two very busy work weeks coming up and then a weeks vacation. I don’t have time to move and I don’t want to get the utilities in my name. The landlord will have to get them in his name and I will pay my portion. Utilities have always been a sore point with me since I am not there more than 10-12 hours a week. I pay too much in utilities for my usage.

My main merchandising company is merging with another company and I am afraid my work will get cut back. It’s always something isn’t it?

But I am not going to think about it tonight. My FIL is making potato pancakes tonight for dinner so I plan to enjoy a pleasant evening with family. Mike is working most of tomorrow so back to the Studio I go.

Leaving you in Stitches…

This question showed up in my Top Searches section of the Blog. It is interesting to see what searches bring readers to my Blog and sometimes I wonder what provoked the search. And this is one of them.

Why do we have hems? We have hems because otherwise all our garments would end badly. Without hems my garments would have uneven endings. The fraying fabric would make an ugly fringe at the end on the garment. And the fraying would cause an ever decreasing length for the garment. The fraying would cover my lint trap in the dryer and leave little bits in the washer.

Hems give a polish and finish to our garments. They help give drape and weight to our garments. I gives us a place to put ruffles or pleats or lace.

Having said all that, there are fabrics that don’t fray and maybe in a casual outfit that you don’t plan on wearing in public, you might forego the hem but I hope not.

All garment edges need some sort of finish…some sort of hem. There are so many choices on how to finish a garment edge, please choose one, whoever you are who searched asking “Why do we have hems.”

Creativity! Some of us reach adulthood with our creativity intact and some of us don’t. They say we are all born with it and we nurture it when we are young but if we don’t continue to nurture it into adulthood, we lose it. They also say we can regain it in adulthood, if we exercise it.

Generally, my life has been pretty black and white, yes/no, good/bad, with not alot of wiggle room for creative thought. I do have the odd creative thought that just pops into my brain and dances around until I do something with it. And that is what happened today.

Fabricland has those big snaps I talked about in an earlier post and I decided today was the day to go buy a set to use on the inside flap of my coat. That thought led to thinking about the big collar and how I might be able to use a big snap to hold the collar up to protect my head and face from blustery weather. The only negative thought I had was that most of time half the snap would show on the collar. I liked it on Gigi’s jacket but wasn’t liking the thought on my coat.

So, I wondered if there was some way to cover the snap when a creative thought popped into my brain and started dancing! Use another snap with some decoration on it to stay in the exposed half of the snap when it isn’t being used! Then I thought of losing it in my purse when I need to pull up the collar. Then I decided I could sew a snap half on the under side of the collar that would be exposed when the collar was up, for the snap cover to be put in. I am just loving this idea.

I would make the cover like making a yo-yo or Granny circle. I think it needs padding on the top so some batting will work. Then I need to decide what to decorate the cover with. Here are a couple ideas I have:

I will keep fine tuning the idea. Maybe some beading or an initial…hmmmmm….

I spent a few hours at the Studio this afternoon and I know I did stuff but I am trying to figure out what!

The first thing I did was try making a strip style bound buttonhole and my second attempt was better than my first but still not good enough and probably never will be good enough.

Second I made two attempts at patch style bound buttonholes with much better results. This was my second attempt:

It isn’t perfect but I know what I need to do to make it perfect…a piece of thin cardboard. When folding this material to make the folds (or lips), it is too thick to stay folded in place. Even using pins, I couldn’t get it to stay positioned under the iron. So, I think cardboard might be my answer. It won’t melt like my plastic ruler or burn me like my metal Hem Gauge might. Luckily, I have some here so I will take it tomorrow and see if it works like I think it will.

The other thing I did today was hem the lining of the coat. That went well. Then I pinned the lining under sleeves to the sleeves so they are ready to sew tomorrow. Then I can attach them to the lining and do their hem. Then I will decide on the position of the buttonholes and do them.

One of the things I did at home this week while watching TV was attach these square beads to the pocket welts. They will draw attention to my hips which in my case is a bad thing. They are easy enough to remove if I change my mind later. As you can see the welts are still pinned since I haven’t sewn them down yet.

Not the best picture of the outer shell but it gives you an idea of its shape. I love the big collar on it and the length is perfect for me.

The fabric is branded Igloo and I suppose you could call it  a polyester flannel. It is quite nice!

Until tomorrow, leaving you in stitches…

Ok I tried the what is called the strip type bound buttonhole and don’t like it. It came out a big mess.

I am going to spend some time at the Studio tomorrow and will try the patch method of making bound buttonholes.

Wish me luck!

I said in my last post that I had to figure out how to do the buttonholes on the coat. The buttons I have measure 1 1/8″ on the bottom which is 1/8″ longer than my machines can make. Most sewing machines, with one step buttonholes, seem to only be able to make a hole for up to a 1″ button. If you have a machine that has a 4-step buttonhole feature, you are not so constrained. 

However, there is a complication with my buttons…they are basically domed. I measured from one side to the other, over the domed part. That measures 1 3/4″! To that you add 1/8″ which means 1 7/8″ for my buttons. I need some other options for buttonholes for these buttons.

I got out my goto book for all things special:

This book is my personal favorite for those  techniques that make a garment extra special. Basically I can do a Bound or a Handworked buttonhole. I think I will try the Bound Buttonhole for this project. I will be back at the Studio on Wednesday so I will try a couple samples then.

However, I am not done pondering this situation. Remember that I bought vintage buttons and that my coat is washable. Do I want the buttons to go through the wash cycle even if it is the Delicate cycle and cold water? I am thinking not. So that means I need to use another smaller button, attached to my vintage one and put it through another buttonhole on the other flap.

Plus, this pattern is meant to be double-breasted. I don’t plan to make it double-breasted but I think it needs a closure on the inside to hold up the inner flap. Gigi at  Gigi Sews (see Behind the Seams in the Sidebar) used some great, big snaps on a jacket she made recently. Frankly, I don’t expect to find things like that locally but as I was looking for a belt buckle, I saw that Fabricland had those snaps. They wouldn’t be seen so it might be a waste but making another buttonhole isn’t a good thought to me.

I have the  coat about ready to put together but I want to make the closure decisions so I can work the buttonholes before putting everything together.

Any thoughts?