Monday, February 20, 2012

Jacket sewing tips with Peggy Sagers

I nearly dropped my laundry basket today while catching this segment on PBS - which contained some excellent tips on collar and sleeve construction that I can't wait to try.

Sleeve caps have long been the bane of my existence, and I hate doing them. Little girls' dresses are one thing, where the top of the sleeve head is supposed to be frilly and poufy. Not so much on a woman's blouse. Her ideas about using old tie interfacing, cut on the bias so it has more stretch and body, were awesome.

Her quick trick on pointed collars was equally cool, I thought, especially as I look at the top to my son's Halloween costume (an Army jacket) that you can tell is homemade because of those stupid uncooperative points. Argh. But the way she does it is so simple, so easy, and you don't need any fancy gadget edge-turners or whatever they're called to achieve sharp corners that can transform a garment from looking homemade to store-bought.

I would love to take sewing classes and improve my technique - I've been sewing since I was a kid and sometimes feel I'm no more advanced than a beginner. While visiting a quilt expo in Cleveland, Ohio a few years ago, I was bowled over in amazement at some of the absolutely exquisite garments a professional seamstress had on display there. Someone in the segment mentioned 'taking as many classes as you can,' which is a great idea - if you can find them.

More reading:
Sleeve Cap Ease is Bogus: An excellent blog post on sleeve cap ease and why it's so eternally frustrating (if you do it the way you're "supposed to")

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy 100's Day!

Tomorrow is my daughter's 100th day of school and we worked on a special project together for her class. When my oldest was in kindergarten, we used 100 Thomas the Train stickers to look like the Island of Sodor. This year, we decided to do a pretend box of chocolates with stickers on the front.

I started with red paper and cut out the heart. Then I made a strip of black to the width I wanted (I think mine was 2 inches, but should have probably been wider to look like a real box).

I cut slits in the paper so that it would bend around the corners more easily and then hot-glued it into place.
A bad close up but you get the idea. 
I cut the black poster board wide enough so I could cut slits on both edges, about a half inch in. I folded each cut edge over and glued it to the heart to get the "wall" of my box sides. I then hot-glued white ric rac under the edge of the top heart.

The kids were eager to get to work, but as you can see, too many cooks in the kitchen can be a bad thing. Trying to keep track of 100 hearts when everyone is sticking them on is not so easy, either. (In the end I realized I could count the missing hearts from each sticker page and it would be a lot easier. Duh.)

The finished product. I filled in some areas with red glitter glue after my daughter went to bed, exhausted from cutting out and sticking on hearts.
A closeup of the ric rac on the edge. 
And now, on to make 60 Valentines cards... *yawn*