Teaching My Little Sister to Sew

Learning to Sew

My sister asked me to show her how to make a circle skirt.  I am excited as well as honored to have been asked!

Not wanting to wait I began discussing basic sewing principles a couple of weeks ago with her.  In our humid climate I suggested cotton or cotton blend fabrics.  I can’t wait to see what she chooses.   Not too long ago I found a pair of inking shears for s steal.  A nice tool to start out her sewing kit.  Plus, pinking is a nifty vintage seam finish technique, yes!

Sew Lyrical Measuring
First things first; gotta get those measurements!

She’s such a nifty girl and even thought my Tabitha (1925 hand crank sewing machine) was cool.  I have read these are great to learn on because the student is better able to control speed.

Tabitha 2016

First of all I get to spend an afternoon with a beautifully positive, spiritual-minded young lady with whom I have the pleasure of serving the most high God Jehovah, in the full time service as Pioneers.   Sewing, as a skill, is something we may use on into the new system; how useful!

Sew Lyrical teaching

Sissy and I share a love of vintage styling.  She’s made an excellent choice for a first project?  Not to mention she will be absolutely darling in her circle skirts.  I suggested we “beast it” and knock out two or more for this her first project.

Sew Lyrical Teaching 2

Baby girl decided to start out with one skirt though.  Bless her heart she purchased fabric from expensive Hobby Lobby (we’re plain folk down this way living on modes sums) and they took all her money.  Phooey on them!  Big Sister has got to tell her about the apps where she may get sewing related discounts.

Sweetness 2

Sending a special shout out of thanks to Sunset Happy Glow, our sister who lovingly took all the photographs of our afternoon sewing soiree.  And where would I have been without Gulf Coast’s Daughter who provided a special treat for me – bean pie!  Not one, but two mind you.  One was to be mine to take home but guess what!!!  Sweet Pea here and Sunset Happy Glow did not tell me that one of the pies was mine to keep – they ate it!

angry smiley face
But I’m aiiight!!!

 

Seriously, I hope to see her this weekend in her very first circle skirt creation.  Perhaps she will grace us with a stylish photo.

Sweetness 1 Sewing

This day goes down as one of the best.  Now, on to my own circle skirt to wear this weekend along with a Bree top (which is simply a good old-fashioned peasant blouse, LOL).

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

1950s Wrap and Crinoline

1950s Wrap Dress: Lyrical Reveal

 

1950s Wrap and Crinoline

Tie and Facing

 

My ties were done sew wrong.  Again, I simply misread/didn’t see the instructions.  After I found them they were quite easy to understand.

Other Tie

 

 

An aside:  The big four pattern companies have ruined what could have been a great sewist I tell ya.

With their pattern instructions all in order and even numbered.  Oh, and we won’t even talk about the lightweight tissue paper pieces all marked and notched telling sewist wanna-bes exactly where pieces are supposed to meet.  The nerve of them.

pdf patternIn printing my pdf I used photocopy paper . . . thick as all get out (which I kinda thought was good, kinda sorta); though a tad cumbersome.  When I printed the first set of instructions I didn’t think about it being coloured and I did not want to deplete her ink, then the printer jammed a bit.  So, I wound up printing elsewhere.  Additionally, I found separate skirt instructions on Loran’s site that I didn’t realize existed and needed to print.  Duh!

Some of the instructions I printed were double-sided, others were not.  Some were coloured, others were black and white.  Now, while that is probably not a big deal, remember, you’re reading Lyric’s blog.  The lady born feet first who does many things “bass ackwards” as my mamma used to say.  When it comes to the sew-a-long I will reprint the instructions, one-sided, thank you very much.

Moving on from bodice construction to the skirt . . . if you think the bodice was a comedy of errors, wait till you hear what happened while putting together  the skirt.  Now mind you, I stand by the fact that this project is easey peasey, LOL.

3.5 inches too long

There is 3.5″ of fabric beyond the edge of the bodice!  On both sides!  Shoot, I am simply going to fold the whole shebang back and keep it moving!  I did measure the  waist area of the skirt pattern piece.  It dawned on me that I did NOT fold the darts in and measure the paper pattern bodice pieces before cutting them out or I would have seen the discrepancy.  I did measure the waist area of the skirt section and it was perfect for my waist.

Too Big Facing
3.5″ folded back

opposide too long facing

FYI, I was sent the size 36/38 pattern.  The cutting lines between the two sizes is negligible, IMHO.  So, I’m still scratching my head at the waist/facing discrepancy.  The only thing I am coming up with is that the bodice is/was not as long as the skirt’s waist.   For I did measure the skirt but did not measure the bodice.  Again, I’m cracking up at all my faux pas (er ah, did I spell that correctly?)

two pattern sizes

For the sew-a-long I’ll trace the bodice onto tissue paper, elongate the ends, and deepen the armscyce.

Armscyce
Armscyce too tight!

Polka-dot-dress

 

Try as I might I can’t seem to get away from wanting a red and white polka dot dress like the original.  Not so much because I don’t have imagination but by golly ’cause they are two of my favourite color combinations!

Maybe between now and the sew-a-long something else will catch my eye, but for now my name is written all over a correctly done version.

Thank you all for hanging in there with me during this dress construction.  Now, what I need from you in an honest critique.  It won’t hurt my feelings.  I’d rather now than when I get my fashion fabric of choice!  Plus, I’m trying to grow as a sewist.

Wrap Dress Back View

1950s Wrap Rev

Project Wrap-Up:

In General:  The pattern has only three pieces –  a dream to make up quickly.  I would venture to say this dress may be made in one afternoon.  The biggest thing I would possibly change is making the instructions into one file (which will probably be done for the SAL).  The pro tips Loran added were on point.  I am grateful for them.

For Me:  The bodice will have to be lengthened to match the skirt and wrap around my waist properly.  The armscyce will be deepened as I do not want to tie the shoulder ties differently thereby making the girls covered less; i.e., adjusting the ties may lower the armscyce but that effects how much my bust is covered (or not).  Also, I am thinking of lengthening the skirt.  For this project I only did a 1″ hem, the instructions called for 1.5″ and I believe I would like that better, but I do not want to lose length in the process.

See you all at the sew-a-long!  Oh, and don’t forget to write your comments and constructive criticisms below.  Thanks again for visiting and hanging in there with me.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

1950s Wrap Dress Bodice Construction

50s wrap sun dress Bodice DoneDoes it make sense to have a pattern with minimal pieces, full instructions (with real photographs nonetheless) and still make blunders?  Hey, step into my Lyrically styled world.  I am cracking myself up.  Well, here we go with the continuation of my 50s style wrap sun dress pattern testing.

Loran highly rcommended stay stitching the edges of the bodice. She even said we would be sad if we did not.  Honestly, I did not measure where to put the stay stitching.  I eye-balled and did the stitching a skosh away from the pinked edges.  Then, I noticed the fabric . . . .

Stay Stitching Bunch

I believe the tension on my machine needs adjusting because the fabric gathered as I stay stitched.  The funny thing is when I sew two fabrics together  there is no such “gathering”.  It only happened when I did one layer of fabric.  Oh, and by the way, I am using a cotton fabric, medium weight.  Sew, straight to the iron I go hoping smoothing the threads and pressing will help.  Oy vey!  I decided to keep it moving.  On to the bias tape.  Oh boy!!

I had a time of it installing this tape.  First of all, I went to my stash and you know I had 1.5 packages of two different 1/4″ yellow tapes, right!!!  The other day  I stopped by Wally World and they had only the .5″ wide tape and Loran advised against using the double wide tape.  JoAnn Fabrics is 70 miles away (literally) and I do not have the time to mail order tape, not to mention shipping fees.  make-do with  what I have then.  I am telling myself, “It’s only a muslin and I can wear this dress around our farm” and keep it moving

Second of all — the dang tape is “uneven”.  I don’t mean it was manufactured that way, oh noooo, “I” installed it incorrectly apparently.  Here is what I did:

  1. Opened the short side
  2. Placed the right side of the tape to the right side of my fabric
  3. Sewed the tape in the opened fold of the short side
  4. Brought the longer side of the tape to the back of the fabric
  5. Stitched bias tape on the right side, catching in the longer side on the inside of the dress

I did not pin the tape in place.  Loran mentioned it would be easier to stretch the tape around the curves if it was not pinned in place.  What I ran into while stitching the tape:

“Some” areas there was too much fabric to be totally encased into the bias tape fold after bringing it up and over the edge of the fabric.  Therefore, in spots (the wrong side) you see the pinked edges of the fabric.20160725_083051Stay stitching is visible along the whole of the bodice.  I am thinking that means I should stitch closer to the pinked edge. ???Stay Stitching showing

Considering the bunching of fabric and the visible stay stitching; perhaps I should rip out the stay stitching on the other bodice side.  The thing is . . I do not want to re-stitch if my machine needs repair.  I do not know how to adjust (fix) the tension mechanism.  In the past when I have turned the knob in any direction . . . nothing happened.  Stitches did not lengthen or shorten.  Okay, for the fun of it tomorrow I will get a piece of scrap fabric from this project and lay with the knob and see if I get a looser stitch.  if I see no difference in moving the knob I will go ahead a install the bias tape and then trim close to the stitching making sure the edge is enclosed.  IF I do get a looser stitch I will rip and re-sew the edge stitching closer to the pinking.

We’re almost there!

Stay tuned my sweets,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

50s Wrap Sun Dress

Polka-dot-dressThanks to my cyber bud, Maria, this way cool dress is going to be Lyrically styled.

See, what happened was, Maria asked if anyone knew where she could find a pattern to make this dress.  True to their nature a heapa buncha sewists chimed in with answers to her dilemma.  Ay yi yi, lo and behold there is a pattern for this dress over at Etsy for . . . $78.00 or some such non-sense.  Too much for my pocketbook.  Lyric went away sad.

But wait, there’s more!

Enter Ms. She-Ro Sewist, Loran of Loran’s World said she could draft a pattern of this dress easily.  Guess what??

Loran's Dress

She did!  Oh, but, wait, there’s more . . .

Not only did she draft the pattern and sew it up . . . she drafted several and is allowing some of us gals to test the pattern before our official “Maria Wrap Dress Sew-A-Long”!  At least that’s what I am calling our upcoming SAL.

I am making a toile, size 38 (bust) and I am ecstatic!  You see, I have never been selected to test a pattern; YAY!!!!

Loran emailed me the pattern for copying.  One thing about patterns printed at home (or wherever) – the copy paper is surely sturdy.  Not to mention you have the file and may print additional copies as fitting changes are needed.  Or, if the original copy somehow gets ruined.

paper pdfThis pattern has three, count ’em, three pattern pieces:  front, back, and skirt.  They say part of being a professional is making a thing look easy.  My hat goes off to Ms. Loran for taking her personal time and talent to draft this pattern and then share it.  Thank you, Loran, for helping me add this pretty dress to my growing vintage styled wardrobe.

In testing this baby one of my jobs is to report anything amiss.  Up to this point I have:

  • Put the paper pattern together, separated/cut the pieces apart
  • Pinned pattern to muslin fabric
  • Marked the darts

To my thinking nothing else needs to be added.  You can see for yourself how professionally she laid out the pattern pieces above.   Loran even addressed the issue of grainline within the post about this dress.

Oh, did I tell you she included instructions on how she put the dress together.  She also offered pro tips and fitting advice to help us make our dresses look professional along with warnings and things to look out for.

Lyric’s Typical Blunders

They say “watch what you put out in the universe”; i.e., what you speak out of your mouth.  Still, I can not help but keep it real and fess up. Perhaps it’ll make my sewing better.  Anywho, it seems with most projects that I sew there is at least one big mistake.  This muslin is no exception . . . sigh.  Well, what happened was . . . okay, how can I ‘splain this?

The bodice of this dress is cut “one” with fabric A and “one” with fabric B.  No problem, right?  Easey peasey, makes sense.  Okay, I am using this fabric . . .

Yellow Grey Paisley

Sew, I got it right and cut one of the fabric on the left and one on the right.  Where I messed up was I did not lay the pattern pieces in the correct direction.  Oh, but wait, there’s more . . . I purchased three yards, 45″ wide fabric for each side of the dress.  NO!  I should have purchased 3.5 yards or maybe 3.75.  Not having enough fabric the tip of the strap is off the fabric. No matter how I finagled and shifted I just could not get the pattern piece to fit.  What was I to do to fix this blunder?

bodice blunder 3
Fabric too short

The Solution

I matched up and added an extra piece of scrap fabric to complete the tie.

bodice blunder 2
Pieced strap area

No doubt you sewists could think of what I should have done.  There is no Internet in my She Shack where I sew; therefore, I had to keep it moving at the time.  After all, I’m on a deadline for completing this muslin.

Now, back to the original blunder . . . the mis-cut bodice piece(s).  To the scraps I went to see (knowing the answer) if there was a piece large enough to cut another bodice piece the correct way; i.e., the opposite direction of the other bodice section.

The Solution

See if the store has more fabric.  The lighter one I took the entire bolt. The darker one I really do not recall if there is more.  IF I remember I will check tomorrow.  There wasn’t.  Therefore, I decided to use the wrong side of my fave of the two fabrics to make the bodice work.

bodice blunder
Left side is the wrong side of fabric

Oh, here’s another funny for ya . . . I assumed the dress had piping.  It doesn’t!  Lo and behold as I was reading the instructions, it calls for bias binding, ay yi yi.  What a hoot.  The deal is . . . JoAnn Fabrics is literally a day trip away, one is 35 miles down the road and the other about 45 miles ONE WAY!  Hopefully I may find the yellow bias tape at Wally World.  Fast forward, they have the wide tape and Loran advised against that.  Ay yi yi.  Searched my stash and there is some dirty old 1/4″ yellow bias tape.  I’m trying to decide how best to wash it – perhaps in one of those stocking net things that you wash hosiery in? I’m too lazy to line the bodice or I would simply use the new piping.

Bottom Line

I have found no serious flaws in the drafting of this pattern up to this point.  The instructions, advice, and pointers are sufficient to bring this project to fruition.  Thankfully, this is a muslin and therefore the “real” dress will be gorgeous. 🙂

My next post will be sewing the bodice.  Stay tuned.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

 

Vogue McCall’s Pattern Bust

Pattern Sale

Am I the only one who tells self I am buying no more patterns?  Yeah, right!  Took advantage of the monthly pattern sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics today.  Apparently I already own most of the vintage style patterns (that appeal to me) that the big four have to offer.  These will do until they come up with more, LOL.

An executive decision was made today:  I need to list the holes in my wardrobe and make an effort to fill the gaps.  Off the top of my head that will be solid tops and solid skirts.  I possess so many printed tops and skirts that don’t match each other.  Truly, I must replace the Wal-mart tee shirts I have been amassing for $1.99 and $3.98 in myriad of colours and replace them with vintage style, classier, women’s tops.  This pattern stash will get me started.

Happy June, yaw’ll.  Can you believe it, soon this year will be half over!

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay

Are you all hipped to bentonite clay for hair and skin health?  Apparently it is good for “cleansing, clarifying, moisturizing and conditioning hair” accord to my daughter, Brookie, and the worldwide web. There is myriad of information about the benefits of bentonite clay on the Internet so I won’t reinvent the wheel. I have included some links here for you.

Bentonite Clay How-ToBentonite Clay How-To

The mixtress in me just had to try this out yesterday.  The bestie was selected to be the guinea pig, LOL.  Here is the recipe we used: Bentonite Clay Mask.

This is how the first batch turned out.

lyrics bentonite clay
Clay, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, water

It seemed kind of watery to me.  I’ve got a video on my cell showing the consistency; however, I can not seem to upload the mp4 here, sigh.  Well, here is my hair all clayed up.  For the second batch that I put into my hair I added 1 tablespoon less water and a skosh more bentonite clay for a thicker mixture.  I made a hot mess of it on the floor while applying it to Bestie’s hair.

Bentonite Clay Hair MaskBentonite Clay Hair Mask

I let the mixture “do what it do” for 30 – 45 minutes under a plastic hair bag allowing my body heat to help out.  Since we heard it is excellent for the face, why not?  Do I not look like a being from Star Trek or what?

bentonite clay facial mask

Here are my locks after the initial treatment.  I did not get a photograph of bestie’s locks after she removed the clay.  Lo siento!

961

Our bottom line:

As my hair is always soft after co-washing I did not notice a big difference in that department.  The whole thing about detoxing and addressing hair loss peaks my interest and as this is a natural product I know it is not harmful to my hair and skin.

One of the accolades of bentonite clay for hair is that it aids in situations of hair loss.  I am thinning on the top no doubt due to menopause.  That being said I am curious to see if using this regime will effect change and possibly reverse the thinning that I am experiencing in the top, center of my head.

Bestie says it “closed her facial pores tremendously.”  However, she did not state noticing a difference relative to her hair.  I did not notice a difference relative to my face.  Oh, let me state my daughter said it would helps with the dark circles around the eyes.  That definitely caught my attention.

We will continue with the bentonite clay hair and facial treatments and see where it takes us.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

 

Shorty Got Low, Low, Low, Low

20160503_145349

Here we go, “Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fir, everybody lookin’ at her.  She hit the floor; next thing you know, shorty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low”.  Don’t ya just love the movie Zookeeper?

Okay, on to my good news.  Just left weigh-in no. 4 (I think); 179.3 lbs.  YAY!!!  I do not know the last time I was one seventy anything!!!!  That’s 7.2 lbs down from when my job’s “Biggest Loser” contest began.  I know this is a vintage style sewing blog, but I am really excited about this progress and me thinks writing in public adds another level of accountability.  Plus, thankfully, I am surrounded by positive well wishers like YOU.

Now, gang, I’m going to need you all to pull together and send good vibes, strong will my way.  I go home next week.  And, ahem, at home I can get things like bean pie, peach cobbler, and fried white bass fish.  The good things is, we have Anytime Fitness at home and oh yeah, I WILL be a workin’ out.  Can I get an “amen”?

Cheers,

Lyric

 

A Biggest Loser

the biggest loser

Okay, ladies (and any really cool gents who may be readers of Sew Lyrically Vintage), they say confession does something for the soul, whatever.  My job has a “Biggest Loser” contest going on and I decided to play along.  I asked a fella to take  these this morning just after the weigh-in.

Lyric Big Skirt 4-21

Weigh-ins are every Thursday until May 26th.  The grand prize $500.00 (mamma needs a car to get to the ministry and work).   I am not even scheduled to work today but I got my butt up at 0600 and prepared to drive to the weigh-in.  This is the third weigh-in.  Last week I went up 1/2 lb.  Hey, check it, my husband treated me to an impromptu luncheon and my congregation took us Pioneers (full time ministers) to a luncheon.  The increased weight was worth it, don’t you think?

Lyric 4-21

Try for the life of me I can’t find the post when I blogged about making this skirt.  I could have sworn there was one.    I was away from my Tabitha and thus made the skirt by hand while visiting family either last year or the year before.  I tell ya, time is going so fast.  A small person could fit in there.  YAY!!!

I have decided whether I win the $500 or not I will be “a biggest loser” for ME.  In March my friend encouraged me to join a local gym with her.  We even hired Matt, the personal trainer.  When I first when to the gym I was at least 189 lbs.  In a month’s time I had gone down to under 185.  I love it and I do not want to go back to the 190s.

Now, hitting the 170s seems to be a reach.  But I AM GOING TO DO IT!  Lifting weights, behavior modification, next to no McDonald’s (I have enjoyed the snack wrap, no ranch sauce, and the small parfait).  This from a McDonald’s-a-holic.  I used to eat there daily and I am proud of myself so far for exercising restraint.  Basically instead of eating sweets with wild abandon, I am watching what I decide to put into my mouth.  I ask myself often, “Is it worth it?”  When I think of the money I spend to workout at Anytime Fitness and the fact that I am only part-time; i.e., not much money, I refuse to waste all that I am doing for a stupid pastry.

I am working toward viewing my “choices” not as deprivation, but sensical (is that a word) choices for healthier living.  I was almost 200 lbs., with body fat of over 45%, pre-diabetic and hypertensive ; i.e., a disaster in the making.  When I last visited my doctor my LDL had dropped 24 points (that is the bad one, right)?  My hope is that my next visit in August will remove me from the one medication I am taking.  At the very least go from the current 10mg down to 5 mg.

Apparently I should be drinking a gallon of water a day.

water

Still working to get to that.  It’s not that I do not enjoy water, it’s more of remembering to drink the stuff.  At work, I’m busy.  While in the ministry, I’m busy ministering, LOL.  I’ll reach it though.  By “choice”.  Hey, perhaps I should do this!

water bomb drink water

Stay with me on this successful journey to health, reduced weight, and Sew Lyrically granny styled cuteness to the max!

Yours in good health and happiness by “choice”,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Simplicity 1421

Simplicity 1421

Though vintage styling tickles my fancy, colourful clothing a la Africa, India, Japan, Pakistan, Thailand, Morocco and Middle Eastern are equally uplifting in my book.  Therefore when I saw That Black Chic’s version of Simplicity 1421 I experienced multiple eyegasms.  I can NOT get that jacket out of my mind.  Not to mention, check out the model . . . . her beautiful daughter.

http://www.thatblackchic.com/2015/07/sew-what-simplicity-1421-sew-long.html

I told Ms. Michelle (That Black Chic blog author) that I would not have purchased this pattern simply by looking at the envelope.  She truly made this jacket come alive with her sassy style and keen eye for colour and design.

Now with my own pattern in hand fabric purchase is my next step.  Oh, and just like Michelle paid it forward here is a link to beautiful textiles Michael Levine Fabrics.  I do hope to purchase my own fabric this week.  I want this jacket to be fitted so I am thinking a toile is a must.  Uwww, I am giddy, check out that double faced binding.  Mm mmm mmmm!

Please, stay tuned for the Lyrically styled version of this baby.  Me thinks a chic straight skirt will finish off the look to boot!

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Cora Running Tights

Cora Pants

Recently while at a local sporting goods store a pair of workout pants caught my eye. I meandered over, fingered the fabric, and then the price tag came into view. EXCUSE ME!!!!!! The pants were the standard grey, they may have had another colour, frankly I don’t remember. But, I DO remember the price tag. Humor me, what do you think the things cost? Go ahead, spew out a number. I’ll hum the Jeopardy tune while you think about it. . . . . Okay, do you give? The stinkin’ things were $60.00!!!!!

Blue Cora Running Tights

Look, when I’m working out, especially pushing those heavy weights there is no telling what manner of air that may escape from this old body. There ain’t no way I am going to pay that kind of money for exercise pants to sweat in, fart in, maybe even a leak of, ahem, water while I am working out. Seriously, folks! I am SEW glad my mamma and auntie taught me how to sew. In comes Jalie 3462 Cora Running Tights and Shorts.

cora running tights

Ya gotta love the Internet. A lady in one of the sewing discussion groups I am in posted about this little gem. I had to have her and now I do. Yay! Immediately I commenced to acquiring fabric to whip up a few. Humph, I was also inspired to take out the serger that one of my Christian sisters GAVE me. Yup, did you read me? She GAVE it to me, but since we live off the grid I have been unable to use it. I took that baby over another friend’s house and I am now in the process of getting acclimated to it. Hmm, I’ve go to give her a name. Ater all my hand crank Tabitha and treadle Hadassah each have a name.

Black and white knit
Thanks to Fashion Fabrics Club and I now have six funky, fun fabrics ready to go for my very own workout pants.  I am sew excited to be making these.  They are one of those garments that I just never considered sewing for myself.
.
Paisley knit

I love, love swirly, colourful, graphic designs and styles.  Not to mention if I’m gonna make ’em why go for the plain and mundane!  The photo swatch above does not do this fabric justice (I simply have GOT to get a digi cam and quit using this cell phone).  Hopefully the finished product will be photographed better.

Four other fabrics were purchased but I did not have a chance to photograph them so stay tuned for my Lyrically styled version of the Cora workout pant.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute