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Frixion Pen Disaster

21 Jun


I hesitate to even mention this disaster, because I know what you all will say, “What the heck was she thinking?”  If you don’t know me in real life, let’s just say I like to live life dangerously.  If someone says to me, “you really shouldn’t try that at home”, I probably will.  I’m a bit of a risk-taker.  Enter the Frixion Pen.

I love these pens!  I use them to mark fabric, not ALL fabric, but most fabric.  And they work beautifully!  I can use a really dark colored pen to mark the lightest fabric!  Finally, I don’t have to strain my eyes to find the correct markings on my fabric pieces as I’m sewing.  This is truly marking heaven…or is it?

I’m making a white, yes white, jacket/blouse combo.  The fabric is a lovely cotton-lycra jacquard from Marcy Tilton.  So what color Frixion pen did I decide to use?  Purple, of course.  You know where this is going.

The idea of the Frixion pen is that when you iron the marks, they disappear.  It usually works that way, too.  But I think I’ve discovered a kink.  Whenever I iron away marks accidentally, and then go back over the area to replace the marks, that’s when I have a problem.  Here are some pictures to explain the issue:

Here are the original marks on the fabric:


This is after ironing marks the first time:

2013-06-21 07.43.25

See, marks are gone.  Now I replace the marks because I still need them, and this is what happens after I iron the replaced marks:

2013-06-21 07.42.18

Holy, moly!  Fortunately, because the fabric is white cotton, I was able to take a bleach-soaked q-tip and bleach out the marks.  Some are coming out better than others:

2013-06-21 07.43.12

I’m still working on these.

Will I continue to use the Frixion pens?  Yes indeed.  I’ll just be more careful about double marking.

What are your marking tool disasters?  Misery loves company!


Slow But Steady Progress on Vogue 8804

11 Dec

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on my progress.  I’ll start at the beginning.

As I said in the last post, it took a long time just to gather the materials.  Once I did that, I realized some of the items were not quite right.  For example, the chain I purchased from somewhere (can’t remember) was too big.  I discover this when I went snoop shopping in the Chanel Boutique at Nordstrom.  I noticed the chain was much smaller and sturdier than the one I had.  Claire recommends a 1/4″ chain, and that may work, but the Chanel chains that I saw were 1/8″.  So, I went in search of a new chain.  This is the one I bought from Susan Khalje Couture:

Moving along, after everything was cut out, thread traced, and marked, it was time to practice buttonholes. The buttonholes were VERY challenging for me, mainly because I’m a perfectionist in my sewing, and I kept trying to get it “perfect”.  After I made the buttonholes, I had to put the whole project away for a few weeks to get some distance from the imperfection of the buttonholes I had created.  As is usual for me, once I went back to the project, I realized that part of the charm of a couture piece MUST be the little imperfections, so I’m okay with the buttonholes at this point:


Once the buttonholes were placed on the front, it was time to quilt the front a prepare the back of the buttonholes, which are made somewhat like a bound buttonhole:


It’s a good thing, too, since the backs of the hand sewn buttonhole are not very attractive.  Here is a picture of the quilting before it is pressed:


Notice the little dart in the lining.  That dart is in the lining only, the public side is actually eased and shaped with heat and steam.  I am learning so much about how couture garments are made, and loving every minute of it!  This type of dart shaping is continued as long, horizontal darts on the front and back pieces to shape the waist.

I’m currently working on quilting the back and shaping the darts there.  More later on the Chanel jacket.

Here is a little side project I worked on during my hiatus from buttonholes.  The inspiration came from Margy on Stitchers Guild.  I don’t know if she made hers or not, but when I saw hers, I had to figure it out.  It’s a unique scarf for a Christmas present:


Here are the instructions, unfortunately without pictures:

1. Cut lengths of knit fabric, about 1″ wide. The length will depend on how long you want the scarf. I would start by wrapping a measuring tape around my neck and measure from there. I think on the one I made, I just cut it 1 yard long because that’s how long my fabric pieces were. But, I do wish it were longer. When you cut the fabric, it will role automatically, either a little bit or a lot, depending on the fabric.

2. You don’t finish the edges. Leave them raw.

3. Let the lengthwise fabric role as it will. Pinch the rolled ends together and sew, overlapping the seams slightly. You now have a long, sort of rolled circle.

4. Make as many of these circles as you want, depending on how thick you want the scarf.

5. Put all of the overlapped seams together, and wrap a piece of rectangular fabric (the band) over them to hide the seams. Hand stitch, making sure you take up some of the circles to hold the little band in place.

Here are some more pictures that might help:




Sew Expo, Puyallup 2

16 Mar

A few days to recuperate from surgery, and I can finally post #2 of Sew Expo.

I took two of Katherine Tilton’s classes, The Arty T and Using Raw Edges.  I’m going to start with the raw edges class.

I remember the first time I sewed Vogue 8497, I didn’t realize it had raw edges.  I finished it and hated it!  I just couldn’t wrap my mind, or my style, around raw edges!  I guess when things are really different, it takes me awhile to get accustomed to it, not that I would ever say I’m rigid – I actually consider myself quite flexible (a wonderful teacher-trait) :=). But I guess I’ve been pretty traditional when it comes to style, and now that I’m retired and can wear anything I want, I’d like to break out of my mold a bit.  Nothing too radical, mind you, but a few raw edges here and there will NOT kill me.

Katherine’s idea of raw edges can be pretty radical.  She will just throw odds and sods of fabric on garment edges, and it turns out wonderful.  That would never work for me.  But I will say, she did inspire me.  Here are some examples from her website:

There are raw edges at the bottom of this Vogue 8691 T-shirt.  It’s hard to tell, but I think the vertical piece on the front has exposed edges, as well.

I’m not sure what the above pattern is, but this cardi has more raw edges than you can believe.  Isn’t it cute?  This is one of those garments where she just puts pieces of fabric in different places…and viola!  Looks easy, huh?

I love this cardi!  Check out the raw edges on the bottom and the top (and probably the sleeves).  Katherine will sometimes use the role of the fabric as a natural finish on a neckline.  Also, she will use a double fabric treatment for style and warmth.

Katherine and Marcy both use tule or netting for edges, so I bought some at their expo shop.  I washed it today, along with some other fabric that will go with it.  We’ll see what I come up with.

In the Arty T class, Katherine showed us that you COULD combine fabric that you really wouldn’t think would go together, to make beautiful garments.  What I took away from that class is that fabrics will work together if they have at least one color in there that sort of matches.  Mixing patterns on fabrics adds interest and distinctiveness to a homemade garment.

The last class I took at Sew Expo was a class on using my Babylock Serger.  I have an Imagine, which doesn’t have a coverhem.  In this class, we used an Evolution, which does have a coverhem.  Boy, is that baby easy to use.  I love my Imagine, but I am now officially coveting the Evolution.  NO, I WILL NOT BUY IT!

Speaking of buying things, after much deliberation and research, I purchased this Naomoto HYS-58 gravity feed steam iron:

I’m very excited about this purchase, which I thought I would never say about an iron, lol.  I now must locate an IV stand to hold the water container, then I’m set.  Press on!

Mood Fabrics

9 May

Last weekend, we visited our son, Matthew, and his fiance, Elisha, in Los Angeles.  Fortunately, Elisha enjoys fabric as much as I do, so I didn’t have to twist her arm to accompany me to Mood Fabrics.  Neither of us had been before, and it was well worth the trip.  Here is some of the eye candy:

Yards and yards of ribbon and trim.

This is just a teensy part of the button section.  There was actually

a mini-room full of button boxes like this.  I don’t know why I didn’t get a better picture.

Zippers, zippers, and more zippers!

At this point, Elisha and I were totally overwhelmed!

We didn’t have a clue what to buy!

We finally chose some fabric and took it to the cutting table.  I had an interesting conversation with the woman there about Project Runway.  She said that Mila lives in L.A. and comes into the store all the time.  She actually showed us some fabric that Mila recently purchased; and yes, it was black and white.

I loved this store, but then I haven’t had much experience with high-end and large fabric stores.  I’m sure some of you have seen much better stores than this, but for me, Mood was thrilling.

Goodbye Mood!

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