Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blog of Randomness

I really enjoyed reading everyone's responses on the fabric stashing question!!! and once again, I am constantly amazed by the way we are all doing the same thing (SEWING!) different ways. It's always fun to hear about what works for someone else and what doesn't...and to get new tips and tricks!

Now...The Randomness.

Dear sewing friends,

When I started sewing I'd saw references to making bias tape. Then one day I bought some and used it on a top. And I was smitten. "OhEmGeeeee! This stuff is awesome! Why the heck would I make it!?"

And I'd read comments from sewers about how icky the packaged stuff is and I'd be all...pfft!

Then one day I made a bias cut neckline binding for a top. And thought, "AGAIN, WHY would anyone make this stuff?!?! It's so extra tedious!"

Dear, dear sewing friends...I was so wrong.

I decided to make a lightweight jacket from this waterproof fabric I scored at FabricMart for cheap. It's black and using Simplicity 2153 which is unlined. So I decided I'd make black & white polka dot bias tape for the insides. And I was dreading it.

And then...THEN...I googled and found this tutorial by Seasoned Home Maker and it looked really simple and easy and I thought, "hey, even *I* can do THAT!"

Oh. My. GOSH!!!

Sure it took me 4 tries to get the second fold right (don't ask...) but I made bias tape! And a lot of it! And it was FAST. Well, the cutting was and I ran a couple short pieces through the bias tape maker...I still need to sew the ends together and do the whole lot of it but I think I'm hooked!

Yes, I know that isn't black and white. You see...I used some of the black and white fabric to make the bra top and uhmmm...I can't find the rest. I have looked and I don't see it. Now, what will happen (guaranteed) is, I will use this grey and white bias tape, finish my jacket and then BAM, I'll see the black & white fabric sitting in front of me. No worries. I *could* go buy a smidge of fabric but I'm on a budget and I have no more craft dollars for May. I spent them all. All. And I'm sticking to my budget!

So, the jacket. I decided that I don't need to finish this and I have been working a bit more meticulously than I normally do on projects. I will probably finish it sometime this week. I'm adding a hood (hello? Waterproof fabric!) and it should be great for the morning commute. It'll still be jacket weather in the a.m. for at least a month...and then I'll be ready for early fall!

Look at those pockets! I promise they are stitched extra neatly!

I need to serge the seam allowance here and topstitch it in place (towards the yoke). 
I finally realized THAT is why my loop kept swinging out.

That buttonhole ain't half bad!

The casing is created by stitching 7/8" bias tape or twill tape at the waistline and then running cording (if I remember correctly...) through. My bias tape will be 1" but I don't think anyone will come looking for me.

Since I don't have the black and white, there will be fewer accented areas. So only the casing and the front facing. Not the side seams or the inside of the hood. Whatevs.

I really like how this pattern is coming together and if you Google it, there really are NO bad versions! Everyone's is extra cute! I think I'm going to make the vest too in this orange twill.

What else...Hmmm. Jacket progress halted because my dear, sweet daughter saw the June issue of Burda and decided this tunic MUST be hers. By Tuesday for her culinary final (my husband and I get to go and have her cook a 4 course meal for us!)

So...those tucks? Oh good grief. I have one half done. I have to do the other one. Based on the length of time these tucks are taking she is getting a mama version of this top. The mama version will be altered such that:

There will be one skirt layer (it's WAY too short to be a dress on her. The girl has a 34" inseam...)
There will be no placket/cuffs. Nope. I am going to make a band and put some elastic in it.
That whatever is happening at the bottom of the button band? nope. It's going to end and then the top will meet the skirt.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

In other sewing news;

I'm thinking of this S1374 bikini in these two contrasting fabrics. :-O I cannot bring my head around mixing fabric. I see it when others do it. I LOVE it. I get scared to do it myself. The closest I got was the snake print/black ponte raglan and that wasn't exactly an interesting mix of prints.

Since the striped fabric was something I bought when I FIRST started sewing and didn't realize was a swimsuit fabric until I tried to make a no-pattern pencil skirt and press it (Oh boy!) it's been sitting. The coral was free in a FabricMart bundle. This will be my first swimwear piece so it'll be good practice.

Lastly (WHEW!)...

Growing up my mom would bring my sister and flowers every time she got paid. I grew to *LOVE* flowers. Trader Joes has really cute small bouquets for $3.99. I bought one today and figure that's a fun treat for myself...

No exaggeration...I smile EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I walk past them. Small price to pay for some warm fuzzies :)


  1. Thanks for the link to the bias tape tutorial. It is better than the one that I used last night. I was having problems getting the strips sewed together. Now I see what I was doing wrong. Thanks a bunch.

  2. Bias tape is soooooo handy. Love making it. Found a bias tape maker at a yard sale for 5 bucks so that makes it easier.

    1. I bought a 1" and 1/2" when I first started and they've been just sitting.

  3. Thanks for cheering me on, Nakisha. I thought about you while sewing the skirt---I thought about writing "Nakisha's probably made a whole prom dress in the amt of time it took me to make 2 muslins, cut out and start sewing this skirt." :)

    I buy myself flowers every week. It is also a tradition carried on from my mom.

    1. That was the best laugh ever Kyle! LOL!!!

      Yesss! how sweet! Moms rock!

  4. I think those fabrics will be adorable together as a bikini!

  5. The jacket looks very lovely so far. Those are really pretty flowers. I love flowers too; they always brighten up my day.

  6. That is a great tutorial! I make my own bias tape and piping sometimes, but I've never used a bias tape maker -- I think I need to get some. Flowers make me happy too:) I used to reward myself with an inexpensive bouquet after grocery shopping, but I've gotten out of the habit. I need to change that.

    1. Thanks!

      Oh those bias tape makers make the job much, much easier. Oh yes. Get yoursefl some flowers!

  7. Hahahaha! I love my clover bias tape maker. Love it. Cheap, easy, and you get the colors you want to use.
    Good luck on the tucks on that top. whew, I get tired just looking at it - but it will be lovely when finished.
    Cute story about the flowers - it is great to hold on to special traditions like that :D

  8. Your jackets going to be great, it has some lovely features. I love bias tape! If I can bet away with store bought I will....but I do get a thrill making some out of quirky coordinating fabric which means I have a garment that's truly unique!

    1. Thanks Kathy!
      Agreed. When storebought works...great. But when you have some crazy combo you want or just a perfect accent fabric...ahhhhh. :)

  9. I like your progress on the jacket! I find that bias tape is much better when you make it yourself, and it isn't that hard, like you said. I like to keep flowers on my kitchen table, they really do make you smile!

    1. Thanks Vanessa! Yes! They really brighten up the space.

  10. I've always ironed out the folds on the purchased bias tape: I would be ironing in new folds after sewing the first step. It stores better for me in flat rolls I make up as I'm ironing open the seams on the ironing board. I am kind of obsessed with it by now.

  11. Wow! Thanks for the link to the bias tape tutorial! I will have to try that out - looks intriguing!

  12. Nakisha - did you know your "Follow This Site" link doesn't work properly? The tiny overlapped squares to the right do - but to get full usability and make it easier for people to join your site there is a change of URL code you can do. I'll hunt it down sometime today and send it to you. I'll also pop a tutorial on my blog


    2. Thanks Kathy! I had no idea. I'll be looking for the URL!

    3. Nakisha - This link should take you to a tutorial to add Followers to your Widget list, which means the "join this Site" link in your side bar should work properly. "Followers" is an old, discontinued Blogger way of connecting that they are trying to replace with Google + .

  13. I'm fairly addicted to bias tape...I use it whenever I can. I haven't really made much if my own but now that I have my little metal doohickey I don't think I can justify the $3 packages anymore :)


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