Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Chattanooga Sewing Guild takes to Art Weave

Spectacular Art Weave pieces were blooming at the Chattanooga Sewing Guild this Saturday! 
Art Weave workshop with the Chattanooga Sewing Guild.

Usually, I am called to teach my Art Weave workshop for quilt shops or for quilt guilds. But this time, I had a multi-talented as well as multi-disciplined group of sewists [sewing + artist = sewist] from the Chattanooga Sewing Guild in class.
Art Weave magnolia blooms.

In addition to sewing garments and children's clothes, these women were painters, crafters, machine embroiderers, knitters, crocheters and were experienced in making draperies, home decor items and upholstery. Talk about a room exploding with talent!
Art Weave violets.

Each student put her own creative spin on the large scale fabric prints.
Art Weave red poppy.

We discussed different options for finishing...
Art Weave blue iris.

... and I had several examples in the class for inspiration. I am very curious to see how this group chooses to embellish and finish their pieces.
Project examples of the Art Weave technique.

Thank You to the Chattanooga Sewing Guild for inviting me to teach Art Weave! It was great spending a lovely Spring day with all of you... and reacquainting with two women with whom I've shared previous fiber art experiences (a surprise bonus for me!).

Please send photos of your finished Art Weave projects. I would love to see them!

#artweave  #funwithfabric  #largescalefabricprints

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Anticipating Spring with new Art Weave

This is a start of a new Art Weave piece in anticipation of a workshop with the Chattanooga chapter of the American Sewing Guild next weekend. The reds, yellows and oranges of the lilies are a welcome preview of Springtime blooms in the days ahead.
Art Weave—a fabric art project.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Visible hand stitching with Stonehenge Solstice

One of the projects on my Make Nine Challenge 2019 list is one that incorporates visible hand stitching. I didn't know specifically what the project would be when I made the list, but trusted that something would cross my work table that lent itself to hand stitching. Here it is. 
Collar detail on Siena Shirt: hand stitching with 5 wt. perle cotton thread.

The Siena Shirt
This is another shirt using my go-to Siena Shirt pattern from The Sewing Workshop. (My third shirt using this pattern.) This time, the fabrics are from Northcott's Solstice collection—a collection of quilting cottons designed to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Northcott's Stonehenge blender line.
Siena Shirt [The Sewing Workshop] made with fabrics from Northcott Solstice.
The Solstice color palette is a complementary turquoise-blue-green/rusty-orange scheme with celtic motifs on several of the pieces in the line. It's a beautiful fabric collection in Northcott's top-selling color scheme.
Back detail: hand stitches with  8 wt. perle cotton below the yoke.
In addition to the decorative stitches on the collar and at the back pleat, I decided to do the top stitching along the seam lines by hand rather than by machine as prescribed in the pattern instructions.
Hand stitched top stitching along at a seam.
The hand stitched details are done with Eleganza 5 wt and 8 wt perle cotton from WonderFil Specialty Threads.

Today I celebrated St. Patrick's Day with needle and thread. Hand stitching a cotton shirt featuring celtic motifs.     #makeninechallenge #stonehengefabric

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Collins Top: my first Make Nine Challenge finish

One of the items on my Make Nine 2019 Challenge list—the Collins Top, a pattern by In the Folds—is finished!
Collins Top from In the Folds.
Fabric is Nikko Geo by Diamond Textiles.

With a pre-washed piece of Nikko Geo—a lovely yarn-dyed stripe from Diamond Textilesfrom my stash in hand, I pulled the pattern from the envelope earlier this month and began the making process.
Ready to start my Collins Top.

With a yarn-dyed fabric, lining up the pattern pieces on the straight of grain is a cinch!
Laying out the pattern pieces.

This pattern has opportunities for changing the directions of the stripes for a more interesting top. The pattern instructions actually encouraged it!
Collins Top front view.

 I like the wedge at the bottom of the back center panel. Nice detail!
Collins Top back view.

My Pattern Modifications
I set an objective to document my projects for the Make Nine Challenge, so these are the modifications I made to this pattern. They were minimal.
Neckline bias binding on my Collins Top.
  • added 3/4" length to front and back.
  • took in about 1/8" at each seam at the neck. The neck was too open for my liking.
  • eliminated the back opening and button closure. This was an option in the pattern instructions and the neck opening was still large enough to pull the top on over my head.
  • made the bias neck binding visible. The pattern instructions were to roll the binding completely to the inside of the top. Since I had other details featuring the striped fabric, I thought a "pepperminty" stripe at the neckline added to these details.

I finished the neck, sleeve and bodice hems by hand. Voila! My new Collins Top is finished! One project down and 8 to go for Make Nine 2019.
Collins Top back view.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Odette Top: it's all about the raglan sleeve DARTS!

Generally speaking, I don't much care for raglan sleeve tops—for myself. I have narrow, slopey shoulders, so with a set-in sleeve, there is definition where the shoulder meets the arm, and the silhouette is more tailored. A style I like.

Then I met Odette—a knit top pattern from The Sewing Workshop.
Odette and Ivy Tops pattern from The Sewing Workshop. Note the dart in the raglan sleeve.

I've made the Siena Top (The Sewing Workshop pattern), so I'm 'comfortably' familiar with the sizing, fit and wearing ease of the tops from this pattern company. With a piece of knit fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics [Willow Blooms Spices from the Spices Fusion collection] already pre-washed and longing to be sewn, I decided to give Odette—a top with raglan sleeves—a go.
Odette Top (front).
My Odette Experience
Odette in M (medium) was just as accommodating as my experience with Siena. No mods needed! Yes, believe it! Ms. gorilla arms didn't even have to lengthen the sleeves!
Odette Top (front) showing front peplum.
Making this top could not have been easier. And the best part? The shoulder darts in the sleeves! For someone that doesn't care for raglan style sleeves... the darts made the fit and shaping feel like it was a set-in sleeve.

Edge finishing
One of the things I really like about The Sewing Workshop patterns is that the instructions include when to finish the seams and edges. You don't have to think about it—the pattern tells you when in the process to do this step.
Serged edges in contrasting [red] thread.
My inside detailing for this top is the red thread used to finish the seam allowances and hems. A nice contrast to the black print with the pink floral accents. [And for full disclosure... the red thread was already in the machine.]
Finishing and serging the edges with contrasting thread.
Serged hem finish in contrasting thread.

I <3 this top! The raglan sleeve has other potential design options—like using contrasting fabrics for the sleeves and the bodice. And a short sleeve version would be great for warmer weather.

I highly recommend this pattern. Give it a try. I've changed my mind about raglan sleeves because of the sleeve darts in this pattern! Thank you, Linda Lee and The Sewing Workshop for caring about and adding the details.

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