Next Project & New Items

About a week ago I had a conversation with my husband via text that went something like this:
  Husband - "Did you order something from Amazon?"
  Me - "No. Why?"
  Husband - "Cause there is a package here with your name on it and its pretty big."
  Me - "What!! Weird. I wonder what it is?"

Who doesn't like mysterious packages?!? Turns out it was a new Brother Lock 1034D serger from my super amazing parents!!

My machine collection is now complete! A sewing machine and a serger. This will help me out a ton when working on the apparel that I create. It makes wonderful finishing stitches and cuts the fabric while you sew. As Jessica Simpson would say its a "twofer" (one item that has two uses) which she uses often on The Fashion Star show. :) In the past couple of days I've been able to play with it a little and watch some video tutorials on how to thread it and change other features. I wont was very scary at first to even know where to start with it. I went to JoAnns and grabbed some neutral white/grey threads to get started.

I've been testing out its special stitches and I've learned that you can actually use your serger to gather your fabric! No more creating two baste stitches and pulling on threads. It does it for you and I found an amazing youtube tutorial here on how to do it. So I've tested a few of my fabrics I have on hand to see how the different types of fabric react to the gathering. I tried both gathering (on the serger) and just creating regular pleats (on the sewing machine) on the chiffon fabric to see which one I like better for my skirt. I will probably stick with the gathering.

regular stitch (green fabric) & gathering on stretch material

gathering (left -serger) & regular pleats (right - on sewing machine)

I am also a lover of books!! I love the smell of books, the feel of holding a book, and how pretty the covers are...strange I know. Which means I don't have a Kindle and don't plan on getting one unless I'm forced to. If I had endless amounts of money I would have the library from Beauty and the Beast...maybe just on a little bit smaller scale. :)

Like I said in one of my previous posts I've been very overwhelmed lately with all the new fabric terms and types of fabric out there..Chiffon, Voile, Seersucker, never ends and with me being a newbie to sewing this was really hard to grasp. This led me to do some detailed searching on a book that would come in handy. I initially wanted a book that had actual swatches in it so that I could touch and feel the fabric, but this is the next best thing. Its Fabrics A to Z: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Using Fabric for Sewing. One of the awesome things about the author of the book is that she also has a GREAT blog that I am following as well. Check it out here!

Next Project! Ok so its really very similar to the last project I did since its just another version of a maxi skirt, but I'm working with chiffon and giving it an inner lining. I found the inspiration from the BurdaStyle website here and I really wanted to find a coral colored chiffon but JoAnns didnt have any and most of what I can find online is too expensive for me so I found a fun bright blue print fabric instead.

chiffon fabric, lining, 12" invisible zipper, and iron on interfacing

One of the great things about this skirt from BurdaStyle is that you can download all the pattern instructions for FREE which to a Dutch wife is the best word ever. :) More to come on my project later.


Maxi Skirt

Here is my very first skirt creation. As with the rest of my "beginning" projects I am learning new things along the way. I found this stretchy polyester/spandex fabric from the clearance section at JoAnn Fabrics which I thought was pretty and a fun color. I am hoping to really step out of my box and find some fun and even brighter colored fabric for a later project.

sadly this picture doesn't do the colors justice

The hardest thing about this project was deciding how I wanted the waist to fit. I got the idea from this blog Here but of course my brain had to alter it in a few ways. For one I didnt want to attach a top to the skirt because I wanted to be able to wear the skirt with whatever top I wanted and any color. So I decided to make the skirt flowy by gathering the waist fabric just like the blog, but I wanted to attach the waistband and also use a zipper. The waistband was hard because I wanted it to be 2" (more of a wider style band) but I only cut the fabric and interfacing at EXACTLY 2" which means I didn't have the extra 5/8" seam allowance that I needed to attach it to my skirt which led to this happening once I folded the skirt over:

I obviously didn't have it big enough to then fold over and sew again. I have yet to sew the waist down to the front because I haven't decided if I want to sew it with the machine (because you would see that stitch from the front) or sew it by hand, which I could possibly hide the stitch in the middle layers of fabric so it wouldn't show from the front. 

The other problem I came across was sewing with stretch fabric! Apparently there is a lot to learn about sewing with stretch fabrics. You need to have the correct ball point needle and you need to use the correct stitch on your sewing matching. The stitch is called a "stretch stitch" which looks like a zig-zag stitch. I looked in my sewing manual and it said which one was for stretch fabrics (thank goodness).

Finally once I had the zipper on (which wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be) I tried on the skirt and realized the zipper was sticking out and bunching in the back making a non-flattering look which is why I have no rear photos below...Haha! So I still have to figure out how I am going to get the zipper to lay flat, finish the waistband (take it in a little depending on where I want it to sit on my waist), and finish the bottom hem. I only did a quick baste stitch on the hem for my photos cause I have no patience. :)

Here are some final photos! Enjoy..

skirt is higher in this one

Until the next project!
-Colby Maia