Threading Lightly

Adventures in amateur sewing


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Turtle Power! My summer blockbuster

Simplicity Pattern Pattern: Simplicity 1100

Even though I am writing this post the beginning of autumn, I actually did finish this project in the height of summer.  My summer sewing productivity was a bust. As I noticed the days getting shorter, I realized I did not have enough time to make the shorts I wanted in the time I would be able to enjoy them.  I needed a quick win, and this bathing suit cover up was just the thing.  I bought this pink turtle-print rayon a while back with the intention of making a bathing suit cover up.  Rayon is just such a cool, lightweight fabric and the turtles gave it a slightly tropical look.  The problem was finding the right pattern – one that was simple enough to sew quickly but also stylish enough to be unique.

Some simple google searches did not help me, so I went onto a site I have been an inactive member on called http://sewing.patternreview.com/.  I was able to find and purchase the perfect pattern – it was a simple dress-like cover-up that is sewn in two pieces, with no buttons or notions.  You simply tie it around the neck, Continue reading

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Tie Bow close up


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The networking blouse: or how to succeed in business by really really trying!

Pattern: Simplicity 1779 (view c)Simplicity 1779

They say that job searching is all about the networking.  Let me tell you from a diagnosed introvert, networking really sucks.  You really have to put yourself out there, totally out of your comfort zone and start conversations with complete strangers.  You have no idea if they want to talk to you or not.  Sometimes these conversations go well, sometimes they feel as painful as falling down a flight of stairs.  Making that perfect connection that furthers your career can feel like a needle in a haystack.  It’s also extremely exhausting, being “on” all the time.  When I come home after a few hours of networking, I feel almost as if I ran a marathon.  But it is important – applying for open jobs the old fashion way definitely doesn’t get the maximum result.  And getting a job can be more “who you know” than “what you know” in general.

I feel it helps to have some sort of ice breaker prepared.  Which is why last week, Continue reading

Venice Dress on dummy


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The garment of Venice: a tale of two fabrics

Pattern: Simplicity (vintage) 6216, view 2Simplicity Pattern

The search for the perfect pattern to match an idea in your head is a challenging one.  But sometimes it really works out!

Venice FabricI found this printed fabric by accident in the back room of one of my favorite fabric stores, Sewfisticated Fabrics.  It’s actually really nice quality cotton with a tiny bit of stretch to it. The print looks like the canals of Venice, Italy.  Really cool find, so I had to buy some, even if I wasn’t exactly sure what it would be.

Somewhere I got the idea it would look good as the top of a dress, with the bottom being just plain black.  I also figured it should probably have an empire waist – so the search began for a pattern I could use for this vision.

I started to look at some vintage patterns, because I couldn’t really find many modern patterns of the dress style I was looking for.  I settled on this Simplicity pattern because the picture had a similar look to what I was going for.  For the black skirt, I bought fabric that would dress up the look, but I’m not exactly sure what it is – some sort of polyester.  It’s a little on the thick side, so I knew I was going to have to use a serger so the seams didn’t appear too bulky.

Most of the vintage dress patterns I have used have been really easy to construct, and this one was no different.  For the bodice, it requires you to cut out a facing, which finishes the top and armholes without a lining.  When you cut out the facing and sew it all together, it is one long piece like so:

Facing

Then you sew it to the bodice with right sides together so it can be flipped to the inside:

Facing on bodice

This is before you flip the facing to the inside.  The raw edge is pressed and sewed as well.

I find this “facing” method a lot in vintage patterns and Continue reading


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There will be only one: a difficult kilt project

Pattern: Simplicity (vintage) 7213

I was doing so well on my last few projects, so I was not anticipating any problems.  Unfortunately this one knocked me down a few pegs – I don’t think I will be attempting another kilt-skirt any time soon.  And definitely not this pattern.

Some Background

I got the idea to make a kilt-skirt last summer, when I went to Scotland for a vacation.  Okay so what I really wanted to do was make something in the clan colors shown in Highlander: the TV series (not the movie), since I have always been a huge fan of the show.  Finding clan tartan fabric was not as easy as I had hoped – I found some fabric from a few of the clan names but they were all in this really heavy wool that I knew would make my skin break out immediately.  And I couldn’t even find MacLeod tartan, which I’m not even sure is historically accurate on the show.

Author’s note: I apologize to all people that may be Scottish reading this!  I am definitely not Scottish and I am probably not using any of these words (clan, tartan, etc) correctly since I have no idea of what I am talking about (and all my knowledge comes from the TV show Highlander).  Feel free to correct my knowledge about clan or family colors/tartans as I don’t mind being educated!   Continue reading


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Just Keep Sewing…

Well it feels like ages since I’ve been in blogworld.  I’ve missed writing, reading other blogs, and discovering new ideas and project inspirations.   So much has been happening the last couple months, but the biggest change was that I moved!  After a brief but necessary time living at my parent’s house, I finally moved into my own apartment.  It is a bit of an adjustment and the unpacking process takes a lot of my time, but I’m starting to feel back to normal again.  And despite everything that has been going on, I have kept up on my sewing…somewhat.

While I’ve been away from the blog, there were a few projects I completed that I didn’t have time to write about.  The first was a top from this retro pattern:

Sailor Pants

I bought this pattern because I have an obsession with those navy-style pants.  Someday I am going to make a pair.  I showed this to my sister and she asked “Ooh!  Can you make me that little sailor top for my birthday?!”  She may have been half-joking, but I accepted the challenge.

Crop Top

 

This pattern calls for something called “braid” for the trim, which I had a hard time figuring out what that was.  After an exhaustive Google search I wondered if it’s even called that any more.  My sister and I went to the fabric store to see what we could use for the the trim on the back flap.  Finally, she picked out some white ribbon so we could make a type of navy design.  I think it actually came out pretty good:

Navy crop top back

 

But, wow!  It is a tiny top.  I won’t post the picture of me wearing this, as it is a bit revealing.  So here is another shot of Madame Booty wearing it:

Navy crop top front Continue reading


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Okay…I did it…

Pattern: Simplicity 4127

In case you were wondering, that vague post title refers to the fact that I made a muslin, which is something I pretty much never do.  I just don’t have much patience when tackling new projects.  But, I have also noticed that being a newbie, I tend to make a lot of mistakes.  And I also notice that the second time I make something, I make less mistakes, soooo….yeah you see where this is going.

Making a muslin refers to making a “trial” garment out of some inexpensive material.  Traditionally these were made with muslin, hence the name, which is a really plain cotton fabric.  But now the term “making a muslin” is used for any fabric that may be used.  This is my understand at least, from reading many sewing blogs.  Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

I bought a wonderful white material labeled “as seen in J Crew” at the Fabric Corner in Arlington, MA.  I bought it because it reminded me of this cute summer top I used to have when I was much younger, that showed off my midriff.  I’m not at an age where I can show that much skin, but I did want another cute summer top, so I splurged on it (it was pretty expensive) and then bought this pattern:

Simplicity 4127

My mom gave me some brown-ish printed cotton that was leftover from a quilting project.  So I got to work. Continue reading