Monday, February 18, 2013

Pattern Review Mccall's 6658

I had a few minutes on Saturday to run to Hancock Fabrics for more button and craft thread. I found that they were having a $1 sale on Mccalls patterns. I was looking for a shirt pattern for knits. I wanted something that looked good, but was also easy to construct and kid friendly. Mccalls 6658 seemed to fit the bill.  

After working on Alabama Chanin hand-sewn projects and my embroidery entry in the last month, it is a relief to get to the machine again. I whipped this little number up in a couple of hours and I am very pleased with it's weird drapey-ness.

Here is my review with pictures.

Mccall's 6658

Drapey top

Worn as a poncho

Pattern Description:
Pullover tops. A: Armhole bands. A,B,C: Close-fitting, neck bands. D: Very loose-fitting, reverse construction finish on neckline, front and back cut-in-one, narrow hem, openings for arms and wrong side shows on back hemline. Loose-fitting shorts or straight-legged pants have elastic waist. E: Attached tie. Designed for A,B,C,D: moderate stretch knits only; E,F: medium weight woven and knit fabrics.

Pattern Sizing:
XSM-Med This is for view D – I made a Medium, but for the next I will make the small.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, if I sit like her I guess. I don’t think the single image shows the wearing options.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, though I had to turn the radio off at points to be sure I concentrated. If you follow the pictures and read carefully, you will do fine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I had no dislikes on this one.
I liked the option of wearing this as a cowl neck shirt or a poncho. I liked the seams and the armhole openings.  I like that it looks like more effort than it really is.

Fabric Used:
very light weight knit from my stash

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might make view D again with a much smaller cowl or none at all.
I really like this top it has sleeves that are short enough to not get in the way and just enough warmth when you only need a little. Be sure to use a very lightweight fabric. This top also works great as a nursing cover! My son got lost under all the fabric!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Embroidered Clock Won!

After all my hard work, it has paid off! I won the popular vote for my entry in the New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns contest on Flickr for my clock.

I have won a collection of Susan Bates embroidery hoops from Coats and Clark

susan bates hoops by newvp-contest-photos

A ezine from &Stictches

A collection of colorfast, hand-dyed embroidery floss from Nells.

embroidery floss from nell by newvp-contest-photos

And a embroidery pattern from Sarah Jane Studios

6 iron on patterns by newvp-contest-photos

I am very pleased that my new years resolution has produced a good result!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, February 11, 2013

New Airbrush, New possibilities

After making many A.C. garments I am happy to report that I finally have an airbrush to improve my fabric painting! In the past, I have used aerosol spray fabric paint and pump paints to color my fabric. Some times I have had favorable results, other times not so much.
Paints I have used in the past.

Results with sprayed fabric paint a bit spotty, but functional.
The results with these methods has been okay, but I was really looking for a new, better way to paint. This quality of painting limited my ability to create design that exposed the entire stencil shape as in negative reverse applique. So, I added a Master Airbrush to my Amazon wishlist and received one for a Christmas gift from my Mother-in- law.

This little number came as a kit with all I needed to get painting including the Createx airbrush paint. I am a firm believer that if you can read, you can learn anything. If the instructions are provided, one can learn many new skills. The problem was the instructions with airbrushes are woefully lacking. I guess the manufacturers assume, if you are buying an airbrush, you know what you are doing right out of the box!

The first issue I had was with attaching the regulator to the compressor. It did not say this, but if after you screw it on, it does not tighten vertically, you are to use a wrench to loosen the bolt so that it comes out further. Once you do this, try again until you can adjust it vertically. (I do not know how this is done. I returned the first airbrush to amazon because that was not explained and I thought it was a defect.I had the same problem with this one so I called tech support and they explained what needed to happen. I took this one to my neighborhood Habour Freight tools and they fixed it for me). I thought this solved my problem, and I could begin spraying, but I was wrong.

I had another "problem". Every time I turned it on, within a few seconds the motor would shut off. I Googled it, checked message boards, and watched YouTube videos, but nothing made sense to me. Finally, after avoiding it for days I called tech support AGAIN to see what was up. Turns out, it was doing just what it was supposed to do! The motor runs when you turn it on and then it shuts off when the appropriate PSI range is reached! That is when you begin to spray! You can keep spraying while it builds more pressure as you go. I thought it was broken, but it was just doing what it was supposed to. I am so glad I called!

I got to spraying my new Alabama Chanin Anna's Garden Stencil!

Look at the difference in the paint quality! I am so pleased with the results! This was my first time ever using an airbrush and I am so excited!
Look at the quality of the paint on these panels!
I have been dreaming of a fitted tank dress from the most recent A.C book. I have a delicious sea foam green jersey that I will use as a top layer. I painted with white and am unsure of the backing layer. I am not sure if I want bold contrast or muted similarity. I am also on the fence about whether I want it to be reverse appliqued or regular applique. It would be a shame to cut all that paint away for reverse applique! I have a few projects in the works so I have a bit of time to decide on that. More to come!

Happy sewing!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My first authentic Alabama Chanin Stencil!

Happy dance, happy dance! I have a finally purchased a stencil from Alabama Chanin. I have made all of my stencils to this point using pennant felt and the techniques outlined in her books. I have made Angie's Fall, Paisley, Little Flowers, Medium Circles and Bloomers (though I will remake it as I am not pleaded with the way it looks). These stencils have served me well and are very durable, but small. The shapes in the designs are reasonably sized, so I did not mind the tedious cutting task.
Pennant felt stencils
I decided I wanted the Anna's Garden stencil and did not want to cut out all those pieces out. So with a bonus I got from work (hehehe), I ordered one.

From the Factory!

Even the packaging it stenciled.

Happy Sigh
I am so glad I bought this! It is four times larger than any  of my felt stencils and will make my painting go so much faster! I can't wait!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Year, New You Embroidery Entry

I have finished my entry for the New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns Flickr group contest! My entry is for the category:  "New Year, New You" We are to choose any vintage embroidery pattern that we feel captures the meaning and spirit of one of our new year's resolutions or something we hope to accomplish this year.

My resolution is to dive into sewing and use my time sewing to produce quality and not just quantity pieces. With that in mind, I choose a pattern that fit that theme to a tee. The pattern is from the Keepsake Transfers Collection from 1980.

I began stitching a little over a week ago in between other projects. I think it came together very well and very fast. I even had to rip a few stitches out when they didn't work like I hoped. As  I shared in this original post, I had another clock option in mind to frame the finished piece. I tried it, but the french knots in her afro were too full to allow the clock to spin. Luckily, I had a clock kit in my stash and instead did this using a dollar store frame and the kit.

I may change the numbers to buttons, but for now, it is finished! What do you think?

New Year, New You Embroidered Clock

Details of the many stitch  types used. Seed, back, stem, split, satin stitches and the french knots.

Detail of the girl in the notions basket Of course she has a delightful curly afro. Represent SISTA! Yup, she knows what time it is! (hahaha)
I am very pleased with her. She will have a very prominent place in my sewing room. If I find the time to organize it... 

Happy Sewing

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sew News published my tip!

I subscribe to the sewing magazine, Sews News. I have also "Liked" their Facebook page and follow their posts. One post in December 2012 asked for one of your best sewing tips. I submitted a tip and was pleasantly surprised to see that they published it in their February/March 2013 issue! Check it out:

For every published tip, the submitter receives a stated prize for their trouble. In this issue, the prize was to be a pattern from a company that sponsored the giveaway. So I patiently waited for my pattern to arrive and today the package arrived!

I eagerly opened  my package and was surprised to see that I had not won a pattern, but instead, I had been awarded the book "Kids Crafternoon Papercraft 25 projects for a crafty afternoon". How delightful! I have never heard of this book, but with two crafty kids I am so glad to have gotten it! There are many fun projects to keep us busy on long summer days. Thanks Sew News!

They also included this goodie for the car! Why yes, I do have fabric!

 Happy Sewing!