Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

flyer coat; lumberjack shirt; adorable son!

 Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

Nels, male model. Adorable times One Hundred! You know. I made all the clothes pictured: the Finn hat, the Flyer Jacket, the skinny wool trousers (Banyan by Figgy’s), and the hooded pearl-snap shirt. AW YEAH. Hell I (arguably) even made the child. Yeah. Yeah I’m pretty awesome.

OK, so down to brass tacks: I have two new garments to show you, and two patterns to discuss. Across the internetz many (mostly)lady-bloggers are sewing up a batch of boy patterns. They are all PDF indie designs, have a wonderful size range of 3 months to sizze 16, and they are all featured on sale this week. I was honored to be asked to participate. August 26th I will be submitting my second entry. If you like what you see here, you might pee your pants on the 26th! No, really. It’s that good!

So for today: I am showcasing the P51 Flyer Jacket by Terra’s Treasures and the Lumberjack Shirt by Patterns for Pirates, and I’ll be discussing them here and in my Flickr tagset.

Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour

Monster Hoodie For Megan

monsters, monsters, everywhere!

Look. Not all monsters are spooky, or creepy. Some are “cuddly”. In fact that was listed in the job description from this particular client!

Monster Hoodie For Megan

Athletic stripe at sleeve, and super-cool little silver horns!
Monster Hoodie For Megan

Fully-lined hood in a super-soft cotton stripe, machine-stitched eyelets, and hand-knit i-cord in poison-green cotton:
Monster Hoodie For Megan

The large front pocket is lined in the same stripe that lines the hood:Monster Hoodie For Megan

The 100% cotton “teeth” lining the pocket opening:

Monster Hoodie For Megan

A super-closeup!

Monster Hoodie For Megan

Phoenix, who at a size 6 doesn’t quite fill out this size 14. It is pinched at the back with clothespins but as you can see, the bust is still too large. Still – she was a willing and available model. She wants to be paid. Thoughts?

Monster Hoodie For Megan

I am so pleased with how this turned out – 100% accurate to the sketch I provided the client. It is not only gratifying I can sew what I can draw – it is practical.The client only pays once they’ve agreed to the garment’s sketch and price so at that point we are likely to both have a good experience. So far, the system has worked out well. I provide a 100% refund (no questions asked) and I am also pretty selective at which clients I take on.

As always, you can read a bit more about construction in the Flickr tagset.

Up next: a silk blouse, planning out a drover’s coat for a trade, and maybe even a project for my own family!

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

tiger-striped undershirt (1 hour, $3)

I’m right smack-dab in the middle of tailoring work for clients. After cleaning up my last project, I gave myself permission to spend about an hour on this li’l fella:

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

I simply traced one of Nels’ undershirts – which took about five minutes – and then cut a front and back from a tissue-fabric recently acquired from Britex fabrics. This wonderful 100% cotton knit is so, so beautiful – semi-sheer, lightweight, and rather fussy if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortuately, I do.

The back, in true undershirt-style, features more of a racerback/cutaway design than the front:

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

A closeup – super-closeup – so you can see the very light and almost slubby texture of the knit:

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

 Summer sheer fabrics are wonderful. You get a great look and coverage, but it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all – especially given the kinds of seam-finishes a bespoke tailor is capable of.

Time to get out on the bike!

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

 

My Daughter

knee-deep in the hoopla!

Good news: I hung the most recent pieces of Phoenix’s in fiber art. I am very pleased with the results.

My Daughter's Works

Here’s what’s funny about Phee’s pieces. They are all so good. It’s not really possible to pick a “best” so every now and then I just grab one (as in “Mutant Horse”) and then I scrimp and save to have them embroidered by another artisan (in this case, Nicole from Hoopla). It feels good to support another talented stitcher. It was also fun to swap stories with Nicole – you know, sharing our embroidery yarns. GET IT OH GOD I’M SORRY I’VE BEEN HANGING OUT WITH PUN-STERS

So. Anyway:

Phoenix's Drawings: "3 Cats"

Moon Monster

I am finally getting confident enough in my own embroidery skills I think I can just start stitching away the next time I feel inspired by someone’s work. I’ll probably want to have a few pieces ready – by Phee or Nels – for my upcoming vacation at the family cabin. If you want me to add a drawing of yours, or one you love, let me know! It’s a wonderfully meditative way to honor someone’s art.

Gimme Some Slack! Post 6

gimme some slack! post six: side seams, cuffs, and waistband

Thanks for joining up on the Gimme Some Slack! Sew-a-long. We are on the final stretch! This is the second-to-last post. The final post will be one with the slacks modeled on a child. If I can find a child! I am looking for one.

gimme-slack

Today is going to be all about steam pressing and wonderful, slim cuff and waistband finishes. This is an image-heavy post – 53 images – not because the techniques are difficult, but because I want to show you in detail the exacting work required to get beautiful, wearable, and very comfortable results.

Our progress so far: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern. On the sixth I posted our methods for marking, cutting, and interfacing our fabric pieces. For post four we constructed the darts, front and back, and the pockets, front and back. And in post five, we constructed a totally killer, low-bulk, and beautifully-finished fly front.

Thank you to all who’ve participated, and emailed or commented suggestions and corrections to this sew-a-long. And remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

gimme some slack! post five: fly front

gimme-slack

Aw yeeeeeah. Sh*t’s about to get real.

Our progress so far: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern. On the sixth I posted our methods for marking, cutting, and interfacing our fabric pieces. For post four we constructed the darts, front and back, and the pockets, front and back.

Now before we get started, I ain’t gonna lie. This will be the trickiest session. We are putting together a TOTALLY BOSS fly front, using my favorite method. It’s gonna get intense, y’all.

Before we proceed: thank you to all who’ve participated, and emailed or commented suggestions and corrections to this sew-a-long. And remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

“like, zoinks, man!” – a thread-drawing (mini) tutorial

Today at the evening meeting of the Harbor Art Guild I got to present a little feature on thread-drawing. Since I documented the process I figured you-all might enjoy the education, as well!

A few days ago Nels drew a ship with a smokestack and lots of rigging, in part influenced by one of the Tin Tin books. I really liked the sketch and thought it would look great rendered in loving thread-drawn splendor, and framed. I especially liked the bold vertical lines and the expressiveness of the smoke:

Thread-Drawing

Above from bottom to top: Nels’ original piece, an inkjet photocopy on copy paper, and an inkjet photocopy on a washaway stabilizer.

And here is the completed piece:

Thread-Drawing

The stars of today’s show are: Nels’ expressive and lovely artwork, my many years of sewing f*ck-ups that help me make good decisions today, and Sulky’s Sticky Fabri-Solvy, which, if I was going to have an affair with any of my sewing supplies, she’d be the guy.

gimme some slack! post four: darts & pockets

gimme-slack

Good afternoon, or evening, or whatever time it may be for ye!

Our progress so far: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern. On the sixth I posted our methods for marking, cutting, and interfacing our fabric pieces. Today we will be constructing the darts, front and back, and the pockets, front and back.

Thank you to all who’ve participated, and emailed or commented suggestions and corrections to this sew-a-long. And remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

leiden

I ask Ralph to slow down – “or pull over,” I amend. I feel so ill I’m almost certain I will vomit.

He pulls into a boat launch; the kids make faint, empathetic noises as I exit the car. I place my daughter’s just-now-finished band concert blazer on her lap, and close the car door, walk over to the edge of the clearing. Under a grove of trees and I hear something up high – a small nest of baby birds, perhaps? Three magnificently large fungi adorn one of the birch trees, about twelve feet up. I focus on these and breathe through my nose. There isn’t enough fresh clean air to calm my aching head, to soothe that sickness that roils in my chest.

Soon we are back on the road as my illness, though still with me, is manageable. In the passenger-side window my skin looks terrible; rough, pallid, green. I focus on the words Ralph says; I ask about his day.

We’re installed on bleachers to watch the end-of-year music concert for my daughter’s school. My daughter looks so adult; she shakes her hair, black and teal, out of her face. When did she get so grown? She has the most animated, happy face of the children there. She is wearing a bit of eyeshadow and slumps slim and sophisticated in her black suit. She is so gorgeous. It’s like on one hand I understand when people say she looks like me but on the other hand I watch her from far off and I think How can she be so beautiful? Maybe when she is up close I worry about feeding her and parenting her and caring for her and getting her new socks. And when I see her in the crowd it’s like a wild thing, something precious. I used to call her Creature, and it wasn’t kind when I did. But now she’s a Creature, a sense of humor, a quick wit. She never turns away from a hug from me,  and she returns the embrace with such presence and tenderness; one of those blessings money can’t buy.

It is time for her band performance. Her slide positions on the trombone are swift and decisive. She is focused but not tense. I am glad to watch, sitting here swaying in overcrowded bleachers, despite being ill I am glad I made it here. I know I don’t have to do anything but pay attention. That, I can do.

We leave earlier than my son would like; he has found friends on the playground. He shouts at us that we have to go home. We’ve a dinner to prepare, laundry to wash, pets to feed and love up on.

I’m tired; but sleep with come eventually.

Tomorrow, the sun will come out tomorrow!