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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scraps: Scrunchies or Chou Chous? Green Sewing for the New Year

Two Completed Chou Chous
(along with a fabric covered book) I made for gifts
~ ~ ~ 
Web Resources 
Enchanted by Sewing Show Notes and Links to Shows http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/12/ench-by-sew-027-festive-holiday-tees.html

Audio-Only Link http://ec.libsyn.com/p/7/1/3/713e354889f7b167/FINALcastFestiveTeaAndTeesdec2014.mp3?d13a76d516d9dec20c3d276ce028ed5089ab1ce3dae902ea1d06c98e3ed7cf5d5260&c_id=8063812

What is a Chou-Chou or a Scrunchie? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrunchie

Although I made chou-chous for holiday gifts, they are a perfect cleanup-for-the-New-Year or anytime, sewing cleanup/recycling project. You can't get more green than using up scraps of fabric that are too pretty to toss. You can also use the ends of stained or recycled clothing. You can even repurpose old worn elastic!



Here's the idea in picture form, to help you follow along with the Technicos segment of that show.




I can never toss really pretty scraps
But at some point, I need to use them!

I measure out 10 inches of 1/4 inch elastic

I fold a 20 (or slightly longer) tube of scrap fabric
This one isn't perfectly straight and it has one edge hemmed  as a result
of a long-ago project trim. No problem

I pieced on one extra scrap, to make the tube about the
right width
An extra seam at an odd place isn't a problem
when you are scrunching up the fabric anyway

 I cut a piece of string longer than the length of the tube

And lay it inside the tube, along the fold line

Stitch down one side of the tube and across just ONE open end
Make sure not to catch the string when you sew the long side
But DO catch it when you sew across the open end

At this point, I chose not to trim along the seam line,
to give a sausage-like look to the finished chou-chou

Push the sewn across end down into the tube



Pull the string end through the tube, so the outside pulls through
Note that this is a very thick, fabric like chou-chou
That's because I chose not to trim the seam after I sewed it,
to give that sausage-like appearance.
Remember, the chou-chou fabric tube should be about twice as long as the elastic,
so that the fabric scrunches up
You also want enough elastic to be able to double the band around the hair
Otherwise, it will slide off.

Open the sewn-across end, by snipping off the string
Now you have two open ends
Add a safety pin to your 10" of elastic
Pull the elastic through your tube
I set the zig-zab stitch on my machine
I caught up/secured my elastic end on both ends
with a zig-zag stitch.
Be careful not to lose the elastic ends  down either end of the tube, at this point!
Then I sewed the two secured ends together
When I doubled the finishing off seam back to get a neater finish
I broke my needle
So after that, I wrapped my second, neatening seam with a hand stitch
That takes less time than changing my machine needle!








Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fitted Red Tee in Time for Christmas, Valentines, and Any Day I want to feel cheerful (Vogue 8323)


I'm loving my "Princess Laurel" tee from Katherine Tilton's, Vogue 8323 so much that right after I made it up in floral velour, I repeated the deal in this Christmas'y/Valentine'ish light weight, red, interlock knit. This Katherine Tilton pattern, Vogue 8323, is a princess-seamed, very fitted, tee shirt.

There's more about my experiences sewing this tee in this month's December audio/podcast, Enchanted by Sewing - Festive Holiday Tees and Tea (#27)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Terminado! My Princess Laurel Tee

There's more about my experiences sewing this tee in this month's December audio/podcast, Enchanted by Sewing - Festive Holiday Tees and Tea (#27)
Hoping to get another photo where the center of the shirt 
doesn't pull up on me! It isn't really THAT fitted.
I've been wearing this princess seam tee 
quite a lot for a week (layered)
I call this my "Princess Laurel" tee because

1) It's named after myself
2) It has princess seams
3) When I was little, my older sister Trisha kept me entertained with stories about her flights to Treasure Land. Apparently she went there every night after I went to sleep. She had a magic plastic comb with genuine diamels that she used to transport herself! One day she brought me a pair of shoes decorated with sequins, that looked, oddly enough, like my old slippers that had gone missing! In Treasure Land, amazingly, there were two princess that looked exactly like us - Princess Laurel and Princess Trisha!

I was a true believer in Treasure Land, and begged her to take me along one night. She promised she would when I was a little older, but I think the comb was lost when we moved and I never got to go.

This floral velour tee shirt is named in honor of the royal garments that Princess Laurel once wore, 

I really like wearing this Katherine Tilton  Vogue 8323, princess-seamed, very fitted, tee shirt. I made this first version in a floral velour (I think that's what it is - the fabric was a freebie from donations made at school), that I think is probably mostly polyester with some spandex. I've been wearing the shirt over a pale pink turtleneck or a black turtleneck, as it's not very warm. It looks pretty without them though, and I look forward to getting a photo of those.

I embellished the shoulder seams with
pale rose glass beads and twists of fabric

I added some pink glass buttons and twists of fabric on the shoulder seams, for fun embellishments. Isn't it great sewing your own clothes and doing stuff like that? Impromptu embellishments like that are just one of many things that keeps me, enchanted by sewing!

The pattern work was harder than I thought - getting the fit lines to mirror my body. I've found that my dress form Conchita is pretty good for getting basic fit areas, but when it comes to absolutely fitted, nothing beats putting the garment on my own body and checking it out in the bathroom mirror (or with a buddy like the day Susan H came and she marked all over the inside for me). One thing I learned was, not to make the adjustments to the princess seams permanent before I added the sleeves! The sleeves pull the fabric back, over and all which ways. Baste, Baste, Baste!  Oh, I had some fun with Auntie Seamah Rippah and all the seams I thought were ready for regular stitching but really weren't!

I employing my lesson about basting while making another plain red version of this tee, which I look forward to blogging about. It's almost done. Of course being a different piece of knit - a kind of fluid interlock, the red knit had to be taken in a little more. And of course the self-fabric neckband had/has to be fit differently.

Getting the neckband on this floral version in right such that it didn't gap and wasn't too tight was a real challenge. I basted a lot with pins and by hand. I also laid it over my duct tape dummy (remember Helen?) to get a sense of how the neckline would fall on my actual body. Boy, no neckband is the same.

Also I think since this neckline mostly curves at the center, then shoots up almost straight, I think the trick is a slight stretch on the curvy center part, then less stretch as it goes up. 
Great tee. I have fabric for a few others that I hope to make soon, while the alterations and fit challenges are fresh in mind. Also I just love the way it looks on, so I want more!


~ ~ ~
Web Resources
My Early Pattern Work on V8323 http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/princess-seamed-tee-shirt-pattern-work.html

http://www.katherinetilton.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ench By Sew-027: Festive Holiday Tees and Teas - Our best holiday episode ever!

Crafternoon at Marilyn's House
We promised not to clean house when we get together, but we never agreed not to get out the pretty dishes!
Hey! 
The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!

Socializing at this time of year, sharing a cup of tea and a light meal, admiring something a friend has made, engaging together with a sewing project, and getting advice on it, that’s the kind of thing that keeps me . . . enchanted by sewing.

Our best holiday episode ever!
Of course, every year it's better than the last :-)


Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web (while sewing perhaps?:-) by clicking on this link
*****
~ OR ~
Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes 


The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser,  (http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com) which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 

My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live. 

This show is created, produced and brought to you by Laurel Shimer. 

This month’s show  is  *Festive Holiday Tees and Tea*

1) Holiday Tees and More 

* Crafternoon - Finishing my beaded cap, started in Vancouver

* Three Tees - Tee Shirts 
i. Rumpelstiltskin Cowl Neck Top (M6078 - tried and true pattern) http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/12/spinning-straw-into-gold-my.html

ii. Two versions of the Princess Laurel Tee V8323

No, it doesn't usually pull up in the from like this!
I hope to redo this photo

1. V8323 My Floral Velour Tee (Originally a Test Garment - but I'm wearing it all the time!) 

2. A plain Red version - (at podcast time, there was still a little work to do finishing up the neckband). Perfect for Christmas and Valentines day, but it will see plenty of other use.

http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/12/fitted-red-tee-in-time-for-christmas.html



* Ivy –A new shirtdress from my tried-and-true M3623 pattern, Inspired by Mrs. Obama!

- Fabric from a favorite local and online store – Exotic Silks/Thai Silks http://www.exoticsilks.com
- Wrap-up posting about my first shirt dress project, "Peaches and Cream" http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/09/terminado-completing-peaches-and.html
* Julia Morgan – Arts and Crafts movement architect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Morgan
YWCA Hostess House in Palo Alto, built in 1918 and later to become the site of the MacArthur Park Restaurant[17]
 
*Technicos – Green Sewing Gifts* Covered books and chou chous (scrunchies)

Story of a garment-sewing, Californian, a dyed-in-the-wool Romantic, inspired by the natural scenery of her home state, as well as her trips through time to other places and eras.
MEENCANTACOSER.BLOGSPOT.COM


I created a pattern for my fabric book cover from a paper bag first. 13 step tutorial http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Paper-Bag-Book-Cover


*Come on over for holiday tea and sewing* In the show, I share lighter holiday offerings, inspired by three sewing and tea parties I've gone to or been hostess at recently. I wish you could have come too!

a. To drink I'd offer Roibos tea with milk and  Easy Microwave No-Sugar Cocoa (you can have sugar if you want!) made with soy milk or non-fat milk 
  I like these cocoa powders (non-sweetened varieties) Cadbury, Schafen Bergen, Ghirardhelli, Trader Joes, Droste
b. Laurel's Holiday Lights Pumpkin Gingerbread 
c. Blueberry muffins (Whoops! Not the Mayo Clinic it's from the Harvard School of Public Health - chock full of blueberries!) 
I substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. Love the texture of the almond meal and the flavors of the orange zest and blueberry. Made them twice in short order. Very popular with my family.  

d. Persimmon oatmeal cookies - I didn't have the psyllium husks and substituted some applesauce for the persimmon when I ran short. They were great anyway!


e. Laurel's London Loaf - A very light schoosh-of-oatmeal and lemon peel bread http://simpleromantic.blogspot.com/2010/08/for-anna-london-loaf.html

f. Harry Potter's Bath Buns, like Hagrid never made
I have the The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook  this Bath Bun recipe came from  (someone else has typed up on this page) and I made these buns for supper one night, along with a nice meaty beef stew. I used golden raisins. Many recipes in the book are heavy on the butter, but this much less so. Delicious, very holiday tasting with the caraway seeds.

g. Laurel's Dried fruit truffles
Quick Recipe Recap, For more description, listen in to the later part of this month's podcast
Food processor -  Take out all pits! 
- 12 dried apricots, 6 medjdool dates, 6 dried plums/prunes
- 2 full graham crackers, 2 t almond meal (optional)
- zest of one orange or lemon 
Pulse the food processor till all broken up
- drizzle in enough honey to get mixture to hold together (maybe 1 teaspoon?)

- Press plain cocoa powder (no sugar or fat added) through a sieve so that it's all a fine powder
- Roll mixture into a lot of little balls
- Roll balls in cocoa
- Store in your cutest tin!

A local very tasty cocoa
Cadbury Cocoa is sold in London
Haven't found it closer to home

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Crafternoon Tea - Finished my Beaded Cap (Terminado!)


First Marilyn made us a lovely festive tea! Doesn't she set a lovely table? And then we watched "Miracle on 34'th Street" (the original with Natalie Woods and Maureen O'Hara of course!), and worked on our craft projects together. OK, we also talked non-stop.

 I finished beading my faux-tapestry cap. You remember it? That's the project I started in Vancouver. I talked about sights, sounds and sewing inspiration in Vancouver in my (Episode 26) November, Enchanted By Sewing audio/podcast. You can find out more about that episode and listen right on the web, or download it to your mobile device, by clicking on the show notes at http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/11/ench-by-sew-026-embellishment-via.html.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Spinning Straw Into Gold - My Rumpelstiltskin Cowl Neck Knit Top (McCalls 6078)


My  Rumpelstiltskin Straw-Into-Gold Top looks best tucked in!

Oh I love wearing this straw-into-gold wool jersey top! Yes, you're right. The longer hem that worked for my polka dot cowl, is too long for this fluid wool jersey. I may hem it shorter, but I've ended up tucking it in most of the time anyway. What a difference the hand of a fabric makes, eh?

Do you recall a few weeks back, when I finished my reworked Retro Polka Dot cowl-neck knit top? I'm just starting to buildup my pattern wardrobe of tried-and-true patterns, and I love having a pattern I can turn to late one night, and finish off before breakfast.

I pulled out my version of M6078 (the version I traced, altered and know fits me) and a light weight, gauzy , golden wool jersey knit from my fabric inventory one night last week, and the next day I had a great new top to wear. I didn't stay up late making it either:-)

I can spin straw into gold.  I know just how that German gal  in the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale felt. You remember her? She was the one-time commoner who found a husband by practicing her domestic skills with her spindle and a hunk of straw.*   

This is already proving to be a great top for our not too cold, California cool season. It's good under a long sleeved top, or on it's own. I can wear it with jeans, a denim skirt or my brown stretch-velvet jeans. And yes, I'm tucking it in :-)

I'm so ready to make more. Sewing tried-and-true is the kind of thing that keeps me . . . 

Enchanted by Sewing!


* Honey, I highly recommend a degree in Computer Science as a better option.

Web Resources
My Retro Polka Dot Knit Top  (also blogged about as "Why I don't love Lucy") http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/11/terminado-retro-polka-cowl-neck-knit.html
Who's Rumpelstiltskin? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumpelstiltskin

Friday, November 28, 2014

Terminado! - Ivy's Ready for the Holidays - Raw Silk Shirtdress

I'm really happy with my new shirtdress, Ivy. She's perfect for holiday occasions, and can also be accessorized for a variety of more casual situations during the year.

I created Ivy from deep green raw silk, also known as silk noil. I purchased this fabric last year from Exotic Silks/Thai Silks in Los Altos CA. They have an online store as well.

I used the same pattern I used for Peaches and Cream. I talked about altering and using this pattern extensively in my September Enchanted by Sewing podcast.

~ ~ ~ Web Resources ~ ~ ~ 

Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast- Shirtdressing
Includes pattern links and a number of blog postings about altering and creating my first version of this shirtdress.
http://enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/09/ench-by-sew-024-shirtdressing-and-fall.html

Mrs. Obama's arms inspire shirt dress sewing
http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/11/romancing-dress-mrs-obama-arms-inspire.html

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ench By Sew-026: Embellishment Via Vancouver B.C., Canada

Hey! 
The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!
Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link

*****
~ OR ~
Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes 

This month’s show  is  EMBELLISHMENT VIA VANCOUVER B.C.

The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 

My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live. 

Recently I was in western Canada, in Vancouver BC for a six days trip. My husband attended a conference for GSA. Not being a geologist, I went along for fun!

I’ve taken four trips to Vancouver in the last six years. It's a place we really love to go. We are all really drawn to the city and the vicinity. We identify with the city as fellow westerners. There is a strong bond of shared history and culture, between people in the western Americas, particularly down along the coast. There's also a lot of ross culture with my home in the San Francisco Bay area. 
That said, there is a spice of difference and Canadian feeling. We feel both comfortable, and excited with the sights sounds and smells(!). 

In the show I discuss . . . 
On my slow travel trip, I kept embellishment in mind when I

- Shopped
- Looked for inspiration for sewing projects
- Designed and Worked on a small sewing project

I also included a lot of travel notes in the 'cast. You'll hear about how my interest in very accessible forms of Native American art in Vancouver, the out of doors, and local city life affected my sewing ideas and my travel style.


~ ~ ~
Web Resources
Sunset Inn and Suites – Burnaby St, West End, just off Davie
http://www.hotels.com/ho164255/sunset-inn-and-suites-vancouver-canada/?PSRC=AFF01&dateless=true&gclid=Cj0KEQiAkJyjBRClorTki_7Zx8QBEiQAcqwGMeXJ-gc2KOCEPb-gB9qWOWmCcrtOOkuID51u6QGew0UaAvNr8P8HAQ&hotelid=164255&rffrid=sem.hcom.US.google.003.08.02.s.kwrd%3DZzZz.s8fvadtdYZr1h.0.55304224213.1020qs718367.d.c

Button Button - A Unique, Artistic Button Experience
http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/11/embellishment-buttoning-up-vancouver-bc.html

Button Button is on the edge of Gas Town. It's where the Steam Clock is. Yup, it was being renovated when I was there!
http://creativefinds.ca/art-retreat/attachment/vancouver-gastown-steam-clock/

Dressew http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/californian-visits-vancouver-bc-sewing.html

Beadworks http://www.beadworks.ca
Bead store on Granville Island
In the Net Loft building

5 - 1666 Johnston Street, V6H 3S2
T: 604.682.2323 | F: 604.682.1303
" Located in the Net Loft Beadworks is the ultimate destination for all of your jewellery making needs. Choose from thousands of different beads; from pearls to shells to glass and everything in between, and materials for making earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and more. Ask the helpful staff for tips, and you can even create your one-of-a-kind accessories in-store. We also offer classes."

Inspiration
From Nature, City Walkings, Fantastic Museums and People I meet

Stanley Park is a huge fantastic city park. Wonderful views of the water, water activities, biking, walking. Woods too - take your pick.

- Native American Art Good locations there
- Behind Maritime Museum Mungo Martin Totem Pole
- Totem Poles, Spirit Park in Stanley Park
- Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at University of British Colombia (UBC), carvings, crests on totem poles, bentwood boxes, modern and ancient sculptures
o http://moa.ubc.ca
o Explore the MOA Collection Yourself - Images, Info, etc. http://moa.ubc.ca/collections/
o First Nations Collection at MOA http://moa.ubc.ca/collections/firstnations/
o

Vanier Park
Museum of Vancouver (MOV) http://www.museumofvancouver.ca

Exhibit - From Rationing to Ravishing Through early March 2015, 
http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/exhibitions/exhibit/rationing-ravishing


Maritime Museum - nearby the Museum of Vancouver
Exhibit - Babes and Bathers, History of the Swimsuit
http://vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/press/babes-bathers-exhibit-opens-maritime-museum

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Embellishment: Buttoning Up Vancouver B.C. - A Sewist Travels

 


On my recent trip to Vancover B.C., I stopped in at Button Button, a unique embellishment mecca for the sewist who just thinks she's already seen it all.

Browsing Colleen's collection of gorgeous, handcrafted buttons  is like visiting an art galley full of tiny gems - except that these jewels are more affordable than Tiffany's!

I purchased the lovelies above for future embellishment projects. Likely I'll attach them to one of my caps, or on the lapel of a jacket or shirt. Can't you just see that terrier doggie surrounded by a circle or oval of tiny seed beads, or seed pearls? 

I'll be talking more about my experiences shopping for embellishments and looking for sewing inspiration in Vancouver, in my (free) November Enchanted by Sewing audio podcast, which I'll be publishing by the end of this month. You can signup to get an email  each time these monthly audio shows are available.

~ ~ ~
Web Resources


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pattern Work: Binder Clips and Household Hooks Keeps Pattern and Fabric Sections Current in a Small Space (Organizing )

Three clips in action!
A little binder clip is hooked over the neck of the hanger.
A bigger binder clip is attached to the top of the hanger.
Farther down one of the hanger hooks supports a few more pattern pieces.
I take advantage of the up and down bits of the clips as well, to keep things out of the way.
Since I've begun working with patterns I'm creating from scratch or altering, I'm finding that I need to keep my pattern pieces handier during the project. That's because I make more changes as the work progresses. 

Locating and re-ironing a particular piece really adds a lot of time. It also just kind of makes me feel nervous not to have my pattern pieces handy, when I have so many personal decisions invested in them!

The most important things are:

1) Don't lose any pieces! I've invested a lot of myself and my time in them.

2) Have all the actual garment pieces, as well as pattern pieces ready and pressed 

I've seen photos of sewist's and designer's studios with their big tissue pieces hanging from specially designed walls and display areas. That's really neat! But, I don't have that kind of space. I've mentioned before that I have a sewing zone, not a whole room. That means I'm sharing my sewing space with my family.  It means I clear off the communal work table, and put most of my bits and pieces away, every time I stop a particular work session. Honestly, I'd rather have the company than the space!
A skirt hanger holds up a number of current pattern pieces. More pieces dangle from another binder clip I slipped over a nail in the corner (off to the left). These areas are, more or less, out of the way from other folks who use the family room where I sew.
My pattern pieces and cut out garment sections are another thing however. I need to be sure I have all those individual pieces - both cut out fabric sections and individual pattern pieces I need to refer back to - close at hand and ready to use. I also need them to stay as pressed as possible in between work sessions. I bet you know the challenge of having maybe only a half an hour to sew. It can take that long to re-press a cut out section or pattern piece.

What works for keeping my pattern pieces at the ready and out of the rest of my families' way? 

Binder clips (two sizes), skirt hangers with clips, and every out of the way hook (or nail) I can find, does the job for me. I also have one of those long 'S' hooks (designed for plant pots) that I can slip into loops like the curly brackets that support our high shelves. Once I have hooks in place, I have something to slip my clips and hangers over. There are my pattern pieces all ready to go - snugged in a clip - with the cut out fabric attached, or just on their own waiting to be called into use, or  ready for a penciled note. 

I can hang up layers of pattern pieces within one binder clip and laying over another. I can dangle all those clips from a hook, nail or the neck of a hanger. Several items (both paper and cut out pressed-and-ready-to-go fabric) can be clipped together. 

This method of keeping all my pieces hanging at the ready has really helped me during my current work on my shirt dress Ivy. That silk noil fabric wrinkles like crazy, and I've saved a lot of ironing time.

Once the project is over, I'll make sure I've got all my notes on the pieces, then fold and press them, and store them away in my "Tried and True" pattern box. But for the time being, my clip and hook organization method keeps what I need handy, while making sure nothing gets in anybody else's way.

Figuring out how to keep my pattern and garment sections pressed and at the ready, helps make my sewing time more enjoyable, because it keeps my project steaming along.


That's the kind of thing that keeps me . . . 
Enchanted by Sewing!

~ ~ ~
Web Resources

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mrs. Obama's Arms Inspire Shirt Dress Sewing and More (Romancing the Dress, Ivy)



Mrs. Obama is an inspiration to me professionally and politically.
Also she inspires me to want to improve my muscles - using sewing as my exercise willpower gimmick!

I've been working on adding weight lifting into my health routine. I'm a regular exerciser, but weights have been a challenge for me to add. They just doesn't interest me like walking, hiking, biking or swimming do. I know, however, that weight lifting is linked to a decrease in health problems that affect ladies of a certain age (osteoporosis). I think it may help with my posture improvement program. I know that it improves lean muscle mass, which increases my metabolism rate (never a bad idea). It's clear from her toned physique and excellent posture, that Mrs. Obama has mastered this exercise skill. Isn't it nice when our leaders and their spouses are not only professional and citizen role models, but health models as well? Images of our president's beautiful wife  have reinforced my desire to improve my own biceps, triceps, and .... you know all that other arm area stuff.


Oh yes, this is my sewing journal!

I don't know 'bout you, but I sometimes have to fool myself into liking a new exercise. I think I may have found the secret for making weight lifting more fun for me. 

You probably guessed that has something to do with sewing...

Here's how I do it... 

Over the last week, I've been working on a new dress, I call Ivy. I had the piece of forest green, raw silk (silk noil) you see below, in my fabric inventory, just waiting for more meaning in it's life, then could be found in my armoire. I bought the material at Thai Silks/Exotic Silks in Los Altos a year ago, planing to create a shirt dress for last fall's Draping class. Part way through the semester, I realized, that I wasn't quite ready to drape something with that much detail, so I made a simpler linen dress with a front zip instead. Since then I've altered a commercial shirt dress pattern to create just the  type of dress I wanted. (More about my pattern work and sewing experiences in my recent Shirt Dressing audio podcast. You can also read blog postings I wrote about my first shirt dress "Peaches and Cream".)
A little pinning, a little cutting - it all fits great in between
ten curls, rows or other weight bearing exercise moves.
Don't you love this deep forest green silk noil/raw silk?
I bet Mrs. Obama would approve!
I'd like to wear Ivy to several events over the holiday and winter season. I've also got a personal deadline for finishing her. There's a supper party coming up midway through this month. Though these events inspire me to complete Ivy, life gets in the way a bit. Believe it or not, I have a few things to do other than sew :-) ! Of course in addition to fitting sewing in and around those things, I need to schedule in my exercise as well.   New activities like weight lifting might just get overlooked. 


So I setup a multi-tasking project session, alternating between weight lifting and sewing.

My weight lifting program is three sets of six exercises. That's 18 different spots of work. So first I do my first ten bicep/tricep thingies. (Yeah, I forget what each exercise is called, but I know what to do each time, and that's what counts.)  Then, while I'm taking my quick break between exercises, I unfold Ivy and do a little bit - maybe I plug in the iron and set up the board - maybe I pin a seam. Next, as you guessed, I do another batch of ten exercises for the next part of my program (that extended flying arm thing maybe - do you like the professional way I describe my exercises?)  after which I sew that freshly pinned seam or perhaps press what I sewed last time.

Well, you get the idea. I do a little bit of each, sandwiching my sewing and weight lifting tasks together. It also really helps me to get through some of the aspects of creating Ivy that I don't like as much. My least favorite parts of creating a shirt dress are the work on the front facing and collar, with all the interfacing, pinning, pressing and basting, working to get a clean, precise, finished edge. 
Collar and Front Facing
I'm not as partial to doing the work involved in getting the
interfaced pieces working, as I am to other
aspects of sewing a garment.
Fitting the steps involved in these less desirable activities around weight lifting, gets me through more easily. It also encourages me to stop regularly and stand back from the task, which helps me to accomplish the task more neatly and thoughtfully. It actually makes me less likely to buzz through too quickly (in an attempt to
Anything that helps me avoid those
 painful personal sessions with
Auntie Seama Rippah is to be encouraged!
finish what I don't like to do), which can typically result in a painful session with Auntie Seama Rippah. I know that never happens to you, of course.


When we elect Mrs. Obama as president a few years down the road, I'm going to write her a fan letter. Of course I'll tell her I respect her stand on important issues. And then I'll let her know that she's been an inspiration to me for quite some time...
~ ~ ~
Web Resources

Let's Not Invite Auntie Seama Rippah for the Holidays! http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2012/11/avoiding-auntie-seama-rippah-for.html

I recommend Exotic Silks (formerly Thai Silks) highly for both price and quality. They are a local business, but you can buy their products on-line. http://www.exoticsilks.com

My Enchanted by Sewing Shirt Dressing Audio Podcast (listen on-web or download to your mobile device) http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com/2014/09/ench-by-sew-024-shirtdressing-and-fall.html

A wrap-up posting about my first shirt dress project, "Peaches and Cream" http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/09/terminado-completing-peaches-and.html

Mrs. Obama's Exercise Program http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/michelle-obama/6156655/Michelle-Obamas-arms-the-nine-minute-secret.html

More Sewing Inspiraton from Mrs. Obama - A blog kept for five and a half years that records many aspects of the first lady's wardrobe http://mrs-o.com

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Terminado! Retro Polka Cowl Neck Knit Top (M6078)

Hey! I got that remake of my retro-style polka dot knit top finished!
It's McCalls M6078.
I blogged about my experiences altering this pattern, and sharing my attitudes towards I Love Lucy:-) in  Reworking a Retro Style Polka Dot Tee

I've been focusing more on wardrobing in my sewing. (How about those red accents!) I talk about wardrobing and my pattern alteration experiences, in the October episode of my Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ench By Sew-025: Restyling




Hey! 
The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!
Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link
~ OR ~
Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/enchanted-by-sewing/id566370325)

This month’s show  is  Restylin’.
It all came about when I started shaking the dreams from my hair. Restylin' is about my transition in sewing and wardrobe style . It involves looking at patterns in a new-to-me way, and working my brain around ways I want clothes to fit me.

The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 

My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live. 

This month I’m working on creating two tee shirts M6078 and V8323. The details are in these blog postings from MeEncantaCoser.blogspot.com
V8323 - Princess Seamed - Katherine Tilton Tee http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/princess-seamed-tee-shirt-pattern-work.html

M6078 - Retro Style Polka Dot Cowl Neck Knit top - Reminiscent of I Love Lucy http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/reworking-retro-style-polka-dot-tee.html

1) Pensamientos Primeros
– (Sewing) For my wardrobe’s sake (How about those red accents!)
2) Technicos  
Reworking my sewing style/methods. Pattern alteration experiences.
3) Pensamientos Finales
Transitions - Restyling  

David Crosby sang, 
“I almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day . . .”

4) Epiologue 
Redefining what I want to create

Vogue - Sofía Vergara http://www.vogue.com/865250/sofia-vergara-dangerous-curves/

* * *
Restyling has me  shaking the dreams from my hair.   That’s just one more thing that keeps me . . . 
Enchanted by Sewing.