Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Couple of Finished Sewing Projects + One In the Works

I just finished another apron as a birthday present for a friend.  I used the mid-century modern inspired "Clean Plates" in the Appliance line by Lizzy Dish for Andover Fabrics:

I used the reversible apron pattern in Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter.  I made one of these a couple of years ago and I remembered how figure-flattering the design is and how nice it is to have an apron that is reversible. 

And finally(!)...last week I finally finished McCall's M5764, the capelet:

McCall's M5764 - Capelet - Serendiptiy Handmade

Just in time for Spring, right?!  Ha ha ha.  Perhaps it will rain again this weekend and I can pretend the seasons haven't changed.

I am really disappointed that I couldn't finish it in time to wear it this past winter season. I only get tiny amount of time from my instructor each week during sewing class as there are so many students, so if I'm stuck on a step I generally have to wait until the next week to get more help. 

One of the reasons it took so long is that I decided to make a lining for this garment.  The fabric is a bit formal to be left unfinished, and because I didn't serge the edges the inside looked a mess:

Before lining

Ambiance Bemberg lining

I thought it looked terrible (the fabric really frays easily), so the lining was necessary.  My instructor had to guide me every step of the way because the pattern doesn't call for a lining.   I used Ambiance Bemberg rayon lining in Blackberry because I hate acetate.  It's hard to see in a photo but it really picks up the lavender flecks in the tweed.

Can you believe that the lining cost more than the actual tweed?!  If you recall I bought this cotton tweed from FIDM's Scholarship Store and it was only $2 a yard -- the lining was $9.99 a yard before the coupon discount at the big-box fabric store!  I think it will be worth it though.

In other news, last week I had the opportunity to visit a local fabric manufacturer, Prima-tex, with my sewing class.  I wish I could have taken more photos!  They are a major fabric manufacturer and will make fabric for just about anyone.  I've never been inside a fabric plant before so it was quite educational.

Making burnout fabric

For example, Prima-tex does the screenprinting for David & Goliath tees and also make fabric for such major lines as Juicy Couture, but they often produce small runs of fabric for independent designers and small boutiques (at a FRACTION of the price it would take to produce a similar run on Spoonflower).

Have you even wondered why screenprinted products are so expensive?  I now know why.  It takes a lot of time and physical effort by actual people (not just computers) to set up the screenprinting process on a machine in order to produce a quality tee, including time to make the stencils that are used in the printing process. 

Click here if you want to see the David & Goliath design I saw being printed.  Each color on the tee gets a separate stencil.  If you have four colors in a design, that's four separate stencils for four separate applications of fabric paint.  It takes some time. I then watched some workers meticulously test the placement of the stencils to be sure that the fabric paint would print within the lines of the design and then test that the paint dried on the fabric correctly. 

Happily, we were given some free remnants at the end of our tour.  I love this Navajo-inspired print in this bright colorway even though it's a polyester knit I have about 1 yard of it so it's not much to work with: 

This lightweight turquoise, green, and lavender cotton gauze was screaming "do something retro with me!" and it turned out that I have almost 7 yards, so I decided to make this 1970s-era muu-muu from Pauloa Patterns 901A because I love the flowing angel-back on this dress.  Can you believe that the dress calls for 5 1/4 yards of fabric? 

I chose this easy pattern because I feel like I need more actual sewing time outside of class, and I'm not quite ready to face a sewing challenge on my own yet.  Maybe I'm just too much of a perfectionist.

Dear readers, any thoughts on what to make with the Navajo-print knit fabric?


  1. I LOVE your cape!! It is amazing and beautiful!!

    Your friend is a lucky one to get such a cute apron.

    The Navajo Knit? Maybe a tank top? Easy t-Shirt?

    I love muu-muus. Can't wait to see yours finished.

    Nothing wrong with being a perfectionist. One of the few good pieces of advice the mother ever gave me - "It can be handmade, just don't let it LOOK homemade."

    1. Thanks Becky! I am happy with the cape. Wish I could wear it right now, however.

      I was thinking a tank top too with the knit...the colors are great for summer.

      Glad I am not the only muu-muu fan in the world....

      And your mother was right!

  2. your cape is gorgeous! sewing clothes gives me hives

    1. Thanks so much Susan! I am pretty proud of it...wish it hadn't taken so long though!


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