Sunday, September 27, 2009

Purple Purse Part 1 Drafting

It all starts with an idea, then comes the pencil and paper. I want a very feminine deep purple purse in either faux suede or velvet. I pulled out some graph paper and started on a very primitive outline. I want softness both in fabric and design details.  Soft pleats or gathers will evoke a feminine feeling and softness.

Next I made a cleaner line drawing showing the details I want to incorporate, topstitching and the placement of the pleats (as you see in the picture above).

I use Pattern Ease for tracing and drafting patterns. First I trace the purse front at actual size (no seam allowances that comes later). In the above picture you see the purse front including the top band.

I then trace the front again without the top band and add seam alowances. Then trace the top band and add seam allowances also. I used a seam allowance of 1/2 inch. This will be the top band for the inside and outside, I will cut 4 of the top band from the out side fabric. The bottom front is traced and 1/2 inch seam allowance added and then becomes the inside lining pattern, from this I will cut two from the lining fabric. Later I will show how I drafted the inside pockets.

I retrace half of the bottom front without seam allowances these will be added after I add the pleats. Using the front bottom I marked where I wanted the pleats. Starting 1 inch from the center front I added the first pleat marking and 1 inch out another and so on until I had 4 pleats marked. Then cut and spread to add the extra fabric to create the pleat. Each pleat uses 3/4 inch of fabric and by taping to a piece of scrap Pattern Ease it helps to keep everything even. I then retraced the outside front bottom pattern piece and added 1/2 seam allowance as before.

Now to find some fabric.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ischia Necklace

In the summer of 2001 we vacationed in the Naples area, having the pleasure of living in Northern Italy at the time it was affordable for us to drive to the region of Campania. We visited Naples, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, and Paestum. We had wanted to visit the Isle of Capri, and tour the famous Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), but were told the sea was angry and there was no way we could go. So we decided to tour the island Ischia off the north coast of Naples, the biggest of the three islands in the gulf of Naples.

I was a fun time!! While walking through the piazza we were approached by a man selling coral necklaces. It was a dainty strand of what looked like seed beads.  We of course said "no, thank you", but he continued telling us how it was real and the best. He even bit the beads and broke one off, saying "real, real". All I could think of was how odd of a way to ruin your teeth. He kept at us as most street vendors do, but then being in the good mood we were my dear husband bought the neacklace for me. Now mind you we knew it could not have been real, but felt it was a fun souvenir. I still have that necklace and when I wear it I always remember the beautiful island of Ischia.

Just this week I was reminiscing about the beautiful island, and all the fun we had. When I came across a question someone posted at Fabsugar on the coral choker necklace Giada de Laurentiss was wearing in a photo.

'La Bella Figura'

Italian women have a elegant style about them and take pride in the way they are dressed. Giada is definitely a very stylish Italian woman! I got to thinking that I could use a coral choker in my wardrobe arsenal and off to AC Moore I went.

I purchased seed beads, faux coral nuggets, random faux coral shaped beads, gold bead caps, small gold beads, gold lobster claw clasp, jump rings, .038mm nylon coated beading wire, #1 crimp beads, brass 20 gauge wire, and crimping pliers (you know, just like the guys - we gotta get the right tools for the right job!). 

I made 5 stands of beads, two strands of just seed beads, one of seed beads and gold beads, one of seed beads and nuggets, and one of seed beads and the random shaped beads. Then loosely braided them before adding the bead caps. So what ya think?? Ya want a toot??

Ciao bella!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Versatile Denim Skirt Part 3

It's all finished. The Burda WOF 03/2002 #108.

The basic denim skirt with front fly zipper, scoop pockets, an top stitching details. A back yoke, patch pockets, and kick pleat. Very easy to sew, with the exception of the fly front. Not a beginner pattern, but not advanced at all (I used Debbie Cook's toot on fly front zippers). Thanks again Debbie!!

All the seams were sewn using cotton covered poly thread in navy with a denim needle and the seam allowances were finished on the serger with a three thread flatlock stitch. Sewing denim can be a challenge, and it was for me this time as I used YLI Jeans stitch thread and a topstitching needle for all the top stitching. Well, a top stitching needle will not go through more than 3 layers of denim at one time. It was a sight to see me trying to sew the top stitching, and if you were in ear shot - well not very lady like noises were coming from the sewing room. YLI Jean Stitch thread is much thicker thread than say Coats and Clarks top stitching thread and it would not fit through the jeans needles so I had to use a top stitching needle for the YLI Jeans thread. I not a big fan of Coats and Clarks threads - but next time I will be using thier top stitching thread for denim!

Here's a close up on the design I digitized for the back pocket. It's really a basic continuous quilting design. This was stitched with the YLI Jeans stitch thread also but only through one thickness of denim. I embroidered on the denim and then cut out the pocket and sewed it onto the skirt back.

Now to have some quiet fun and a margarita.......................

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Versatile Denim Skirt Part 2

I searched for a jean style skirt pattern in my pattern stash and found a skirt pattern from Burda WOF 3/2002.

From the cover you can see my issue is in Dutch, I purchased this while living in the Netherlands. Dutch is a hard language to learn, at least for me. I learned just enough to get by, but they also speak English there to so that helped a lot. This pattern is the sewing course for this issue and it shows step by step line drawings of how to assemble the skirt - a plus!

Pattern #108 is a cute jeans style skirt with back patch pockets, front fly zipper and scoop front pockets. They added a kick pleat to the front.

From the line drawing you can see the back yoke, waist band and belt carriers. I moved the kick pleat to back for my skirt but pretty much kept the design the same.

So far I have the back yoke sewed on and topstitched, two back pieces together also topstitched and the pockets on.

I have the front fly zipper in and the front pockets complete. Next I have to sew the front to the back and add the waist band and hem it.

Monday, September 7, 2009


If you look 'Charity' up in the dictionary you will see :

1. generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one's life to charity.
2. something given to a person or persons in need; alms: She asked for work, not charity.
3. a charitable act or work.
4. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution: He left his estate to a charity.
5. benevolent feeling, esp. toward those in need or in disfavor: She looked so poor that we fed her out of charity.
6. leniency in judging others; forbearance: She was inclined to view our selfish behavior with charity.
7. Christian love; agape............................
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