Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Kenneth King Weekend (plus Bonus "Hostage" Experience)



Kenneth wearing his Clown Hair Jacket in front of a photo of it.

 I was lucky enough to be able to attend a wonderful workshop featuring Kenneth D. King, designer and sewer extraordinaire, in Kearney, Nebraska.  There were 4 sessions over Friday and Saturday, and I think I can safely say everyone there had a fabulous time.

Mardel came and stayed with me before and after the conference, although it was a flying visit, so not long enough.  We had a great time, and my friends Jan and Jane also went to the conference. 



We learned all kinds of cool tricks and interesting things, and I can say that my creativity was sparked in a big way.  It was just what I needed, I think.  The most exciting thing that happened however, was after the official weekend was over.  Kenneth's ride back to Omaha and his flight out the next morning, had to leave early and they needed someone "who would be willing" to take him to Omaha.  Well, THAT was a no-brainer!  Mardel and I immediately volunteered.  An extra hour to Omaha from Lincoln and then back home was more than worth it to have Kenneth King as Our Hostage!  Yes, we had him in the car for 3 hours across the state, and he was just as gracious, funny, fun, charming and personable as he had been the entire weekend.  We had a blast, and we hope he did too. 




I have a few photos when he let us try on a few things he had brought.  Talk about feeling like a queen!  Some are a little blurry, but that's life, I guess. This is one of his gorgeous boleros made with the moulage, I believe.  I have photos of another one with a blurry front and a sharper back that I will post soon, along with some other details.  Thanks to Mardel for taking these, and to Jan for taking the ones of Kenneth.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another Swimsuit


I'm still doing Water Aerobics as my main exercise program, and so I'm still making swimsuits.  I did a new one this week and here it is.  The  pattern is one I copied from a RTW suit, and the fabric and the Fold-Over Elastic are from the LA Fashion District (thanks Kathi Rank!!) The bodice is lined with PowerNet from Fabric Depot.  It's sort of an athletic/shelf bra arrangement.  Since I'm hopping around a lot in this, and I'm not wearing it for 'glamour', I like the flattening effect I get with this type of support system.

I was going to say that this was the same as a couple other suits I made, and link to the blog post where I discussed them, but apparently I made them when I wasn't sewing much and I wasn't blogging at all, so I'll put a photo of them in now. 






The pink one with the lines of trim is the one I purchased and have copied.  The others are my copies, and all the fabric is from the LA Fashion District.  The newest, orange one is at the top right in the photos.
The lower photo shows the back, and the interior.  You can see that the powernet has elastic at the lower edge.  It's stitched to the edge of the front piece around the neckline, straps and down the sides.  The lower edge floats free.


New (Old) Vintage Singer aka Grandma's Treadle Machine




 When I was in Junior High (in the 1970's) I was sewing away on my Mom's machine, a straight stitch Domestic, which resided in my parents' bedroom and was in demand by me, my Mom, and my sister.  My grandmother lived in the same town we did, and she sewed as well.  She had a Singer Golden Touch'n'Sew that she used often.  But, she also had her Singer treadle machine, which had been a wedding present in 1925.  She let us have it, and I sewed on it for several years.  It was fun, very reliable, and not really much different than the Domestic other than the power source.

When we moved away, the treadle went back to Grandma's house.  When she moved to a smaller place, my aunt got the treadle, and had it in her home for quite a few years.  It was mainly used as a lovely end table.  I had assumed it would go to her daughter or granddaughters.  A few years ago she asked me if I was still interested in it, and I said, "Of course!"  So she said when she moved to a smaller place, it would come to me.  Well, that day arrived.  I got a call yesterday that her grandson (my cousin's son) was coming down in his SUV to move back home from his college housing here, and would bring the machine to me on the 'empty' trip here.  (He's decided to farm with his Dad, which I think is exciting as well.  It's very nice when young people know what they want to do, and are able to do it.)



So, here it is.  It needs a little love, but mainly it's just about as it was when I used it years ago.  I haven't tried it yet, but I will soon.  I need to read the manual, probably oil it, and the front tip-drawer needs to be put back in place, but it looks like a screwdriver may take care of that.  I am just quite thrilled! 







And these are the accessories and the original manual.




Friday, July 26, 2013

Clean Up

Just a couple notes.

Pam at Fashion Sewing Supply generously provided interfacing sample packs for all of the participants in the Coat Class I did on Saturday, as she did for me in Chicago too.  I can't thank her enough, and I hope the participants take advantage of the resource they've been given, and test the best interfacing available, in my opinion.  You know you'll need interfacing for a coat, and probably more than one type, so this is a great way for them to find out exactly what works best and what fits their fabric and their project.  She sells larger test/sample sets on her site, and I encourage you to try her products if you haven't already.  You will wonder how you got along with what you've used before.  NAYY, just a fan for quite a few years.

On to the non-sewing stuff. 

This may be kind of silly, but I am so thrilled to now have a recycling can as well as a garbage can!  I've been hauling the recyling to various places around town for several years, and it's not that much fun, plus it builds up in my garage until I can take it.  Now, finally I can put it in the recycling can and the garbage guys will take it away.  Thank you Niederhaus Bros.  This is wonderful!   I don't have to sort it, or haul it away myself, I just put it in the can and they take it once a week, like magic.  I don't produce that much trash anyway, but it's amazed me how much of what I used to throw away was recyclable, and it cuts down the actual trash to a very small amount.




My other news is the turkey of course.  I found eggs next to my house in the side yard, behind some ferns and daylilies, and it turned out that they were turkey eggs.  The turkey laid quite a few and has been sitting on them ever since.  I'm hoping they're going to hatch pretty soon.  I am able to look out a window above her nest, and so I keep an eye on her.  She never seems to move much, although I noticed there were quite a few feathers in the side yard yesterday, so maybe she's preening or something, away from the nest a bit.  I really know nothing about turkeys, so it's all a learning experience for me.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fun in Omaha - ASG Class

The Coat Class I did for the Omaha ASG yesterday went very well.  I had a good time, and I think everyone else did too.  I had said earlier that I was taking about 6 coats that I'd made, but when I got them all together and actually counted them, there were 8.  I hadn't realized I'd made that many, and now I feel very virtuous, or productive, or something anyway. 


This is my latest Coat/Jacket as I'm putting it on and buttoning it up to show the fit.  Yes, it really does match across the seams and hem, but not while I'm buttoning it.

Here's a favorite I wear all the time, and you can see the slide of the Marfy catalog illustration of it.


This is the second time I've done this class, and it's just so much fun.  I hope I will get to do it again.

Ooh, also a little tid-bit I heard while there:  Kenneth King is coming to Kearney, Nebraska this fall to do a 2-day workshop for the Bishop Educators group.  I will make sure I get to attend!

Stitcher's Guild - A Little Reminiscing


Edited on Tuesday, July 23, 2013.  Commenting has been suspended.  Thank you to all who did comment.  It's wonderful to know how many remember the fledging of SG.  It seems this is causing more controversy than I had expected.  I simply wished to publish a little history of our beginnings, and I hope that we are headed for a bright future as well.



Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time, or who remember me from Sewing World, may remember that the very first Announcement of the new sewing board, Stitcher's Guild (originally and very temporarily, Sewing World Refuge) was made here on Sew Intriguing, on March 20, 2006! By March 29th, we had been temporarily shut down by our host because we exceeded 100 (!!) members. It's hard to believe it's been over 7 years since Kathryn (Fzxdoc) and I put our heads together to figure out a way to keep in touch with all of our wonderful sewing friends when Sewing World finally ground to its inevitable decline. As we said then, we had no real desire to 'usurp' SW's place, but it was slowly dying from neglect, and there was nothing to be done other than make a place where we could all begin again, and carry on.

Much time, thought and effort was put into making the transition as friendly as possible, and to that end, since Kathryn and I are experts at sewing, not with computers, we thought we would ask DragonLady (Julie) to help us create the sewing board of our imaginations. She did this very ably, though of course everything was done with a consensus of the three of us, then Lisa came on board to help us, and it became four of us. Eventually Ann was added to our leadership group, and we have worked long and hard over the years, much of it behind the scenes, to make it all run smoothly. I'm sure I don't have to remind you of the many little contretemps and disagreements over various topics and posts which became controversial for one reason or another. We think we have the greatest group of posters and members anywhere, but a little diplomacy was called for now and then, you'll agree!

As our project grew, we each gave many hours and put a lot of effort into it. The Moderators read all of the posts, heading off trouble where it looked likely, moving posts to make our search function more user-friendly, and more successful, something we all agree is vital to the serious sewer looking for answers, and generally welcoming new members and making wonderful friendships ourselves. We help fix/edit member's posts and photos where and when necessary, which takes time and knowledge on our part and is no small assist to the look and feel of the board. Julie was vital to it all, and she has always gotten kudos for her contribution.


When we began this board, it was on the Ladies Club format, where everyone was a volunteer working to provide enjoyment to all. When something was required, we asked for volunteers and/or donations, and those were forthcoming. Now it seems that Julie is thinking about changing it to a business, the club model is no longer applicable. It has its limitations of course, but it also has a lot going for it. It will be interesting to see just what finally occurs.

As most of you also know, I have been almost totally absent from the board since the death of my DH, Pearle. My life changed so much I just couldn't manage to keep up with it, I couldn't even sew, which was soul-killing in its own way. Any of you who have been through a similar event will understand when I say it was all I could do to just keep my head above water and let the future take care of itself. It was a very dark time, and I was so glad that Kathryn, Lisa, Ann and Julie all were very gracious and let me just slip away.

I am finally (I think, and hope) back to normal, or whatever normal is going to be now, and I thought a little reminiscing was in order. It's been wonderful. I feel that I have friends all over the world through it, and I wouldn't trade the experience of starting and caring for Stitcher's Guild. I don't want to fight, but I don't feel like I should just walk away without a discussion either. It's worth more than that to me. If Stitcher's Guild's time to change into something different has come, it has come. I think we need a discussion at least rather than just announcements.

Links in this post:
Original Stitcher's Guild Announcement
March 29th, 2006

Friday, July 19, 2013

Boiled Wool Marfy Coat 3196



All photos in larger sizes available here.

I'm giving a class on Coat Construction tomorrow to the Omaha ASG chapter, and thought I'd better make a new coat. This is Marfy #3196 from the new 2013 catalog. I made a few changes, of course. Here's the original design.


I didn't like the belt-like hold-ups on the sleeves, and actually, much as I love 3/4-length sleeves, they're really not practical during our winters. So, I thought I would try something else.

The fabric is from Pendleton, originally a flawed piece of cream colored wool. I got it at the outlet in Nebraska City when Linda was here visiting me. She is a master at fulling woolens, and convinced me (it didn't really take much convincing!) that it would be a fun fabric. I fulled and dyed mine while she was here, and it has sat there ever since. I hadn't realized just how nice and absolutely like commercial boiled wool it was until I started working with it. It's really going to be a very warm coat.

I only made a couple of pattern alterations, doing
1. my usual swayback alteration, adding a CB seam in the lower back at the same time, and

2. shortening the bodice between the bust point and shoulder. I just folded about 1 1/2" out to do this.

By shortening the top section of the coat, it moved the button placement so the top 2 buttons are closer together than the others. I decided this was not something I was going to try to change, as I would have had to move all of the seam lines, since the buttonholes are in the horizontal seams. Also, it's not unusual for the collar button on a coat or shirt to be closer to the first bodice button than the spacing between the other buttons.

I'd never done inseam buttonholes before, and I was excited to do these. Yes, they're very simple. You just leave the seam open where you want the buttonhole. It's the back or facing that can be the problem. In a lighter weight wool, I would have made bound buttonholes in the facing. That was not going to work here though, as just having two layers (coat and facing) was already very thick. The wool absolutely does not ravel, so after some consultation with a friend, I used strips of Ultrasuede over the buttonhole area on the facing and just cut slits through it and the facing to match the buttonholes on the front. I had to jazz up the strips a little bit of course. Interesting shapes would have been fun, but I had a roll of Ultrasuede this wide in the right color, so I used this. I think it's kind of cute.



The pockets are also in the horizontal seaming. I used my lining silk for the pocket bags with a small extension of wool so that it won't show the contrast if they gape slightly.




The construction was pretty straightforward. I did hand pick-stitching on the collar, mainly because it was so thick I didn't think machine stitching was going to be either easy or attractive. I may eventually do the same thing on the front edges, but it seems to be holding well without it so far. Here you can see the stitching as well as the buttons.




The lining was put in by hand, my favorite method, although I did flat-line the sleeves. They are very heavy since I have the cuff on them, turned down, in case I decide I want to turn them up. The fabric is heavy enough and textured enough that I don't think they will slip down by themselves.



Since I flat-lined the sleeves, and the sleevehead shape is unusual, I had to figure out a way to make the body and sleeve linings come together attractively. Here's my solution.



Finally, here's the back, and another shot of the front.