Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Current projects and updates - a lot on my sewing table!

Is it Thanksgiving yet?  I feel the need for a vacation. Or just a week of doing nothing. Well that actually qualifies as a vacation...and the weather around here had been decidedly vacation-like. Around the bay area October is the month of year for clear skies, minimal fog and the optimal time for taking those gorgeous SF skyline and bridge photos with the beautiful setting sun giving everything an extra touch of the golden state glow. So I should not be at all complaining, but I am. Most days I can go outside for some exercise wearing shorts (no joke - it's turning all SoCal around here, climate change is the real deal) So complaining about being ready for a change of season, mild thought it might be. And ready for some rain...oh we always need the rain.  Meanwhile I'm sewing and teaching and thinking about when I can escape to Hawaii.

Speaking of travel - I am convinced I need to make it to London to see the Dior exhibit in 2019. Sounds like an amazing show so that is my plan for next year. Is it too early to talk about a sewing meet up in London? or even doing some sewing/fitting classes when I'm there? Let me know if you're interested. I haven't decided what month I will go yet so plenty of time to plan.  

As for sewing - I've been doing SO much lately. Although almost everything is in a state of semi-completion. For this post I thought I would show you all the stuff that is nearly done or planned for the remainder of this year. Although as of yesterday one of these is done and will be my next blog post :)

thread trace pleats

OH this silk wrap dress for Heather is dreamy.  It is all finished except for the hem and she is coming over tomorrow afternoon so I can mark the hem and stitch it up.
I did a more detailed post on fitting this dress a few weeks ago, here's the link.  This pattern Vogue 8784 is made for wovens and needed some fit adjustment plus I changed a few of the pattern details. I promise a full blog post with photos of her wearing it soon.

Another finished item that I will photograph tomorrow is this dress, also for Heather. I absolutely love it but I'm sure a heavy wool dress might not be for everyone. But the color is beautiful in person and she does a lot of business presentations to some very serious folks so it will be a perfect work dress.  This fabric is from our Britex shopping trip last spring.

Blue wool short sleeve dress for H

Speaking of Britex, we just went there again 2 weeks ago and one of the sales associates took this very nice picture of us. She was very specific about where we should stand and after I could see why - that's some very nice color coordination and contrast there!

At Britex

She bought a few fabrics, a wool for a blazer which might not show up in this image, it is very much a mixture of burgundy, blue and some flecks of other colors. Plus an amazing lining and some matching buttons.

Britex wool and lining

Also some silks for blouses and tops. I have some interesting patterns planned for these, including a Butterick that like so many is uninspiring on the pattern envelope but turns into a really pretty top.



Pattern for the blazer, I'm using the McCalls 6172 jacket. I am really  impressed with this pattern, it's a basic collar and lapel jacket but I think I mentioned a few weeks ago - it has the roll line marked and a few other nice details which make it very straightforward to sew.

I used a wearable muslin version in my Jacket construction class last weekend at Hello Stitch. I did one welt pocket there and then was working on the 2nd one yesterday. And I almost !! made it about 1 inch longer than the first. Don't ask...I got my marks mixed up and was just about to sew it when I couldn't figure out why the pocket flap was so scrawny. Duh! Hey I make mistakes although usually I can correct them and luckily this was a "just before I sewed it" realization so not a mistake.  You can see that the pocket markings on the lower one are longer, extend further beyond the seams. Perhaps looking at it in the camera is what made me notice it. Anyway I redid my markings and error averted.

blue welt pockets

Hey what about me? Yes I have squeezed in a few personal projects - including this Burda shirt which had a abbreviated audition last spring until I pivoted and stitched this instead. 



That's a sneak peek and you can see the dart details. Unfortunately the fabric I chose all but obscures them - the good news is that I really like the pattern and will make it again in a solid so the details are visible. This is the one that I finished the other day and have even taken photos, blog post soon.

The last couple of months I've taught quite a few classes, I think when fall arrives people are kind of done with vacation and travel, they are around and ready to do concentrate on new projects. I just did the Jacket construction class this weekend which is really fun for me - you know I love jackets and love helping people make them.

Weekend jacket making workshop collage

I was so busy all weekend and took very few pictures  - but I demonstrated a bunch of techniques and tips on interfacing, markings, welt pockets and pressing pressing pressing!  In the top left photo Susan is modeling her Yates coat in process, and I did a lot of adjustment on the sleeves for a perfect fit. The sleeve is just pinned on there but it is looking so good.

Upcoming classes at Hello Stitch, we have spots open in our Kimono Jacket class on December 1 (use any Kimono jacket pattern you like) . The rest of my classes for this year are sold out (Thank you!) and we have lots scheduled for Jan-Mar of 2019.  I'm doing  a jeans weekend workshop at the end of January- so during December I will be stitching up more jeans for myself and test out a few ideas I have. Also we will be doing some classes in Series - fitting/ dressmaking (intermediate) and a beginner series.  Plus Lander pants again (so popular) a Garment Copy class, Fitting Workshop,  and a Quilted Jacket class (Grainline Tamarack pattern or McCalls 7695)  All the details on these classes will be on the Hello Stitch website in the next couple of weeks, check their Garment Sewing Classes page.

So that's the latest - I have plenty to do, don't I?  This Saturday is a Bay Area Sewists meet up and this one is a Fabric Swap. Even thought I don't need any fabric it's always fun to go, see everyone and also just perhaps trade for the perfect fabric. Maybe?

Happy Sewing, Beth

here's today's garden photo, I can't recall the name of this plant but it has really interesting flowers, they start out as very tight white buds and slowly open to this golden center. I bought it a few weeks ago at Annie's Annuals in Richmond but I still haven't found the perfect permanent spot for it.



  1. I’m wanting to see the Dior exhibition so hope you do a meet up plus a class would be great,

  2. You are quite busy! So thrilled your classes have sold out and London sounds really interesting!

  3. I liked seeing the many works in progress!!

  4. Looking forward to the Dior exhibition - be lovely to meet some other sewists there. I'd also love to hear about any classes you have planned.

  5. I'd be really interested in any fitting classes in London!

  6. I would absolutely go to London to take a fitting class! I've never been. :)