Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Very Prairie Dress

My daughter chose Laura Ingalls Wilder for a report and project at school. The third grade did a wax museum. Each child chose a person from our American history. They the had to write a report, create a background, come up with a costume and props. I encouraged my daughter to choose Laura Ingalls Wilder because I wanted to make the dress. Yes, I asked her teacher and she said it was okay for me to make the dress.

My first challenge was to find the right fabric. It needed to be something that looked very simple and old fashioned. It needed to be inexpensive (I was going to need about 5 yards). I found some fabric at JoAnn's a few weeks ago on sale. I spent about $20 for the fabric which wasn't too bad. I washed it up and of course it was a wrinkled mess! You get what you pay for. Actually, wrinkly cotton wasn't too bad for this project. I think that it was more authentic this way.

I used McCalls 9424
The pattern was pretty easy and straightforward. I didn't have any difficulties. I didn't change anything either. I did omit most of the interfacing. I didn't put it on the collar or the back facing. Both turned out just fine. I did interface the brim of course and also the front facing for a bit more crispness. I think it turned out pretty well. My daughter was certainly pleased with it. She wore it all Friday hence all the wrinkles. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Portland Fabric Store Tour Stop #3: Rose City Textiles

Rose City Textiles
2515 NW Nicolai
Portland Oregon 97210

This was the one store that I really wanted to hit. I really wanted to get some good wicking fabrics. I would like my kids to have some nice wicking shirts for camping and they can be quite expensive in stores so I will have to make them. I also wanted some nice lightweight outdoor fabric for some Ottobre pants for my sons. This store was a high priority and didn't want to miss it.

This store is located a little out of downtown. It is in a bit more industrial area. The street it is on has train tracks running down the middle. At first we couldn't find the store. I knew we had passed it so I turned around. Going the other direction down the street I easily found the store. The sign above the door says RCT.

I walked in and knew right away that this was going to be an awesome store. At first when we went in we didn't see anyone but after a few minutes Annette came and let us know she was there if we needed anything. They had bolts and bolts of wicking knits, lycra knits and gorgeous fleece. Around the corned was a plethera of mesh and supplex and other outdoor fabrics. Through a couple of double doors in what they call the Annex was lots of elastics and trims and other fun stuff. I couldn't tell you all that they had. Once I was out in the Annex I found the motherload. I was looking through some bolts of fabric that were stacked out there on some shelves. One of the men who worked in their warehouse informed me that all on those shelves was $1 a yard. Blow me over with a feather! $1 a yard! I couldn't believe my ears. I was quite overwhelmed though. I didn't really know what I was looking at.

Annette to the rescue. I asked for a bit of help and she was more than willing to point me in the right direction. She showed me all kinds of great fabrics. I ended up leaving with about 60 yards of fabric. Most, but not all of it was from the annex. I left with some fantastic deals.

Now, I would like to gush about the customer service. It was fantastic! Annette was so helpful. She is quite the enabler salesperson. I really liked working with her. When she found out that I was from AK she said that she does a lot of business with Alaskans. She said that if I needed something to just give her a call and she would send me samples.

This was such a great find. I am so glad that I made a point of stopping at Rose City Textiles. If you are in need of high tech fabric go online or better yet give Annette a call. She will be more than happy to help you out!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Enjoy your day!

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Jalie and Kwik Sew Patterns

Dawn informed me yesterday that Seams like Home (our local sewing store) just got in Jalie patterns. I had been in a few months ago and they had one Jalie pattern. I got really excited and asked if they had any more. Now, Seams Like Home was originally a quilt store. The owner purchased Three Sister Fabrics (a fashion sewing store) and combined the two. So, the woman I talked to must have been a quilter and had no idea what I was talking about. Saddened, I left hoping that someday they just might carry more of these patterns. Yesterday was a happy day (although the owner had to point out what I was talking about because the woman I asked to point me in the right direction must have been a quilter :) )! The patterns were still behind the counter. Hadn't even been put out yet. They were so fun to look through. I was like a kid in a candy shop. :) Here is what I came home with.
It is only two of the many patterns I like but these two were my must haves! I have seen so many great shirts made out of this pattern. I was going to purchase a half zip sweatshirt/jacket pattern but since I didn't have specific fabric in my stash for it I decided to go for a Kwik Sew pattern instead.

Yes, Dawn, I said Kwik Sew. Let me explain for the rest of you. For a while now the store has had the Kwik sew pattern books. But, they didn't carry the patterns (except for a few leftover old ones). To me it didn't make sense why they would have the book and not the patterns. I am so excited that they now have both! I know that this may seem trivial to most of you but it was exciting for me. I haven't tried one of their patterns because I haven't had access to them locally. I see so many of you making great things with their patterns and am really excited to finally try one. I bought the this one because I have so much wicking fabric to use and I really like this style. A couple of my favorite t-shirts are this style.

I am so anxious to start the Jalie pattern on the left with my blue microfleece. It will have have to wait until I finish a project for my daughter. I am making a prairie dress for her for an activity at school. It is on Friday so I will have pictures later. I have enjoyed this project. It has been a good "get back to sewing" project. I didn't have to do any fitting. There has not been any difficult sewing. Just fun to get my juices flowing again.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day.

Until next time...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Portland Fabric (and Yarn) Store Tour Stop #2: Knit Purl

Knit Purl
1101 sw alder
portland, or 97205
(11th and alder)

Knit Purl was a fantastic yarn store right next to Josephines Dry Goods. We had a great time looking around in here. Every thing was so neat and inviting to look out. The people working there were very helpful. As we were leaving my mom and I saw the cutest baby sweater. Usually, I don't consider making baby sweaters. They grow out of them so fast and the recepient of such a gift does not always fully appreciate the gift. But I have a friend having a baby in August who I knew would really would appreciate this sweater so I just had to buy the yarn to make this really cute sweater for her. What is also really fun about this is the yarn I bought is lucious. It is Shibui sock yarn. I was told that the owner of Knit Purl created this yarn. Too fun!

(Picture courtesy of the Knit Purl website.)

I am really excited to make this for her. I haven't started yet since I have so much to sew and I have plenty of time. :)

Here is a link to the Knit Purl Blog.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.

Until next time...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ooooo La La!

Look what I got from Dawn!

Yep! A bunch of luscious fleece. This is gorgeous stuff.

The green and blue are Polartec 100 microfleece. It is so soft. The funny thing about the blue is that I have a hooded Columbia fleece jacket that I bought from Nordstrom probably 8 years ago. I absolutely LOVE that jacket. I wear it all the time. I have always loved how the fleece is thin yet very warm. About a year or two ago the bottom of the zipper broke. Did I throw this beloved jacket away? Of course not! I just don't unzip it very much. I step in and out of it most the time or unzip with the ultimate care. Guess what! This blue Polartec is almost the exact fabric that my jacket is made of. It's fabulous!

The red is Polartec 200. It is a little thicker than the 100. This is what caused my heart palpatations when I saw Dawn's Etsy store. When I was in Portland I saw fabric very similar but didn't buy any. I tried to go back to the store on the way to the airport but didn't have time. I have been kicking myself that I didn't get it in the first place. I really wanted to make a specific Ottobre jacket for my middle son. When I saw that Dawn had this I contacted her right away to get some. This is when she informed me that she had all kinds of other stuff. She is an evil woman!! :) Such an enabler!

Okay, the last one is so fantastic I can hardly stand it. It is plum on one side and lavender on the other. It is so soft I can't even describe it. It is a Polartec 300. It has great properties. Wind resistant on the plum side and wicking on the lavender. This is perfect for up here. The funny thing about this fabric was that a few months ago I saw this at our local store. I was drooling over the color and the softness. I dragged my daughter over to see the color and feel the softness. She wasn't as impressed as I was. Silly girl! I didn't purchase any because even though it was a 20% off day it was still way too expensive at the original price of $26 per yard and I didn't know exactly what I would do with it. I dropped my teeth when I saw this from Dawn and she was parting with it for soooo cheap. I couldn't help but get a couple of yards. I still don't know exactly what I am going to do with it but who cares. I think I will just pet it for a while. :)

So, go on over to Dawn's shop on Etsy. She has lots more fantastic stuff. Just try not to drool all over your keyboard. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Until next time...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Portland Fabric Store Tour Stop #1: Josephine's Dry Goods

Our first stop was going to be Bolt Fabrics. According to an article in Threads Magazine it was one of the best Fabric stores in Portland. Unfortunately, we were there on Monday which is the day it is closed. So we headed on to our next destination.

Josephine's Dry Goods
521 SW 11th Ave. Portland, OR 97205

This store is located in downtown Portland . It is on the bottom floor of a taller building. The store was small but very nice. The quality of the fabrics was great. They had some very beautiful fabrics I would have loved to take home. The prices, while not inexpensive, seemed reasonable compared to some other stores we had been at. The sales woman was friendly and helpful but let us shop on our own. They also sell Burda World of Fashion Magazines so I was able to pick up the February issue. I was very excited to actually look through a magazine in person. I loved so many of the styles in this issue. The shirt dress is fantastic. I might have to try making this.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back from Puyallup

Okay, I'm back from the Sewing and Stitchery Expo. Well, actually I have been back for a while but I have been catching up on stuff. This afternoon was the first chance I had to unpack my very large box of fabric and stuff that I brought back.

My mom and I had tons of fun! We took so many great classes and learned so much. We took a class with a new to me way of altering patterns for a better fit. Lorraine Henry (I think that's her name) taught two 1 hour seminars and a 2 1/2 hour hands on class about the seam method. She taught how to alter patterns by cutting off the seam allowance, making "hinges" and then pulling out the seam allowance to the correct measurements. I think I understand this way of doing it but haven't had a chance to try it on my own yet. I will blog about it when I do it later. All that she taught is from a great book called Fabulous Fit.

Here is a link to a Threads article by Judith Rasband (a co-author of Fabulous Fit).

We took some other great classes. I absolutely love Peggy Sagers of Silloutte Patterns. She helps me focus on the fun of sewing and not on the rules. Actually she throws out a lot of the "rules". I have taken her seminars every time at Expo. Each time I listen to her something is cleared up for me to understand and use. The first time she taught me about setting in my sleeve flat without using pins. I LOVE this way of putting in sleeves. It is so easy! I don't pin at all and my sleeves ease in beautifully. The key to doing it is to have the sleeve on the bottom so the feed dogs can do the easing for me.

This year I finally understood LCD after hearing it three times. L is for length. C is for circumference. D is for Depth. Any alterations are done to the length first, then circumference (width) and the you can change depth (darts ususally). She talked about the bust circle that is a 2 1/2 inch radius around the bust point and that all darts and princess seams just have to go to or through the bust circle not the bust point. She said lots of other great things that I might be able to remember later.

Along with great classes we did lots of shopping. That was so fun too!! Since I do not have everything unpacked I don't have any pictures. Maybe I will take some pictures of some of my goodies in the future. I also brought home tons of fabric for so many great projects. After Expo we went down to Portland to some great fabric stores. I will tell you about some of the stores in the next few posts.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my ramblings. Have a great day!

Until next time...