Sunday, June 28, 2015

Practice Astoria Sweater

Seamwork Astoria Sweater

Seamwork Astoria Sweater
Seamwork Astoria Sweater

Seamwork Astoria Sweater

I've been wanting to make the Seamwork Astoria sweater ever since it first came out! I love the simple but vintage look, and that it can pair well with so many outfits. The fact that it's a simple pattern to put together, makes it all the more awesome!! 

sewing the shoulder seam

Seamwork Astoria Sweater

This is my practice version, from a fabric I've had in my stash for years. I love the texture of this fabric, it has ridges of stripes mixed with a pretty floral pattern. The only problem with the fabric, is that it doesn't have very much stretch - it only stretches in one direction. I'm glad I made this practice version, because I made a little mistake picking my size. I accidentally made the sweater a little too small, and that mixed with the lack of stretch - makes this practice version a pretty tight! For my next version, I'm going up a size and a half.

Seamwork Astoria Sweater

Seamwork Astoria Sweater

I'm loving these short and sweet Seamwork projects. They come together so smoothly and you could easily put them together in a day. This pattern was super simple to sew. I'm definitely going to make a bunch of these. I already have my fabric cut for my second Astoria  :)  It's going to be in that lovely white and blue nubby fabric, I showed in my Madrid Tote post.

Josh and I checked out Fredericksburg, VA for the first time this weekend, and that's where these next photos were taken.

Seamwork Astoria Sweater

Fredericksburg is an adorable town, with sooo much history. I've never seen so many antique stores in one area....  can you say heaven on earth!!! We had a lot of fun walking around, and found some real treasures! I got an awesome pattern making book from the 70s! Can't wait to try some amazing 70s patterns  :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Beautiful Boucle Skinny Tie

DIY skinny tie
A skinny tie for my Papa

I made my dad a skinny tie for Father's Day out of some wool boucle from Mood and some silky floral fabric that I've been hoarding since I started sewing 5 years ago! It is a BEAUTIFUL tie - the color combo and the texture just meld together in such a lovely way. I was very happy with the finished result, Josh wanted to keep it for himself but settled with modeling it for me  :)

Cutting fabric

Adding the interfacing

Just like the first skinny tie I made, I used Cheryl's instructions from Joe & Cheryl. The wool was a lot easier to sew with, than the silk I used for Josh's tie. The picture above shows the thick cotton interlining, which gives the tie it's shape and strength. It was an enjoyable little project, and I'm sure there will be more ties in my future - I know Josh wants one just like this!

I love the texture on the tie!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Scalloped Leather Tote

Madrid leather tote
Scalloped Leather Tote

New tote and my Colette Iris shorts!

Beautiful matching side seam!!

I just finished another Seamwork project, a modified version of the Madrid tote bag! I've been wanting to make one for awhile, and finally did with some beautiful leather from Tandy and some lovely light purple, slightly nubby, upholstery fabric from Jo-Ann's. This was my first time working with leather, and I learned a lot!

Drawing my scallops and re-drafting the Madrid

Use tape rather than pins when sewing with leather

Piecing the tote together

I knew that I wanted to make some changes to the shape of the Madrid tote, and I get really bored piecing together PDF patterns, so I decided to draft my own version of the Madrid tote. It was great because I was able to make the tote exactly the size/shape I wanted and then use the instructions from my Madrid pattern to complete it. I added scallops for a fun twist - and traced a magnifying glass/compass from my childhood to make them! After drafting, I cut out my fabric/leather and started sewing. When you are sewing with leather, you can't pin your seams because the holes will stay in the leather and it's also just too thick. Instead, use tape and binder clips to hold your seams together while sewing. Make sure to keep the tape out of the way of your sewing, it can gum-up your machine if you sew over it. Use a good amount of clips and take your time, because leather tends to stretch and spread-out while you are sewing. It's worse than a knit fabric, because you can't just redo a seam easily - any holes you make in the leather are there for good.

Use binder clips to hold leather seams together while sewing

Inside of tote + lining (with pocket) = match made in heaven  :)

I made a really large pocket for the inside lining, which is all made of waterproof ripstop fabric. I am very happy with my finished tote! It's not perfect, but I learned a lot on the way that will help me with my next Madrid tote!

Seamwork Magazine Madrid

Madrid leather tote

Beautiful squared corners!

Seamwork Madrid tote

We've had some super warm days already here in Richmond, but Josh was nice enough to get out in the 90+ degree weather today to take some pics with me! We stuck around our neighborhood, and were inspired by all the pretty flowers blooming  :)  I kept cool in my Colette color-blocked Iris shorts!

Updating the fabric stash

In other news... I just ordered a bunch of sale fabric (and a pretty knit I splurged on) from Mood, and I can't wait to get started on some new projects. I see summer dresses, cropped sweaters, and ankle-hugging slim chinos in my future!