Enchanted By Sewing
Ench By Sew-39: Plaid tidings’ to you and all of your kin( *Dolls* too!) Part 2 of Tartans and Plaids  (Winter Holidays Mini-Cast)

Plaid tidings’ to you and all of your kin! During the winter holidays, plaids and tartans look so festive. Dolls are the perfect plaid-sewing partners, because sewing for a doll, gives me the motivation to engage in some sample sewing. And at this time of year they remind me of  dollies, and doll clothes that were sewn for me, at this special time of year – like the mini wardrobe of Barbie clothes my aunt gracie sewed and sent me one winter holiday, as well as the red courderoy jumpers and dotted slip dresses, Mama made for our chatty Kathy dolls, as well as for me and my sister Trisha in the winter I was 4 (with matching girl jumpers).

 

K.R's green plaid jumper is based on an

 American Girl free doll clothes pattern in "Mollie's Pretty Clothes"

 

The doll featured in this sewing project is Katie Rose. K.Rose is an Engel-Puppen doll. (Engel-Puppen doll link - has history of these dolls)


Sample sewing may not sound very exciting, but sewing an 18” (think American Girl sized) plaid doll’s dress gave me a chance to – in a very limited amount of time - practice my pattern cutting out skills for plaid fabric, as well as experiment with a new-to-me technique for improved  plaid matching


This  show is all about the technicos/techniques.


My goals with this doll’s dress were to work on:

Primero/First)Careful layout of multiple princess-seamed bodice pieces - definitely less nerve racking for a doll, and gives me confidence to work on the red plaid princess-seamed shirt I’m muslin’ing - as well as the plaid nightshirt I’ll plan to be making soon for my husband.

Entonces/Then)I tried Fusible Thread to decrease slippage during sewing (a new-to-me technique for enhanced/ improved  plaid matching).  Also useful /good idea for sewing on patch pockets  


I used crafster to look for help regarding my challenges with fusible thread.

Response from ~T Read more: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=442125.0#ixzz3ufLODkuJ

https://www.byannie.com/shop/product/fusible-thread/


She calls for low heat, so I am guessing you just had the iron too hot.


She also describes another technique for using it with aluminum foil as your pressing cloth..letting that cool and peeling it off, to create a design on fabric. Like a dimensional paint overlay technique?


You Craftsters always inspire me to hunt for new ideas   


I Goggled 'Fusible Thread Instruction' for this one. There are more on there as well.


~T”

I love using succulents all over the house during the festive season.
This simple arrangement provides the perfect place for Katie Rose to hang out.


American Girl Doll Clothes Patterns - Free http://www.agplaythings.com/AG%20Patterns/DollDressPatterns.html

 

More Plaid Web Resources


http://moviestarmakeover.com/category/classically-ladylike/


http://moviestarmakeover.com/category/myrna-loy/


http://www.pendleton-usa.com/thumbnail/Home/FABRIC/PLAIDS/1721/c/1828/pc/1816.uts

 

Direct download: castFINALplaidTidingsLaurelShimer.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:02pm PDT

Ench By Sew-38: Tartans and Plaids - Part 1

At this time of year, I particularly love to sew plaids.

In this Show

*Tartans and Plaids – What’s the difference?

*Tartans – Who’s got the rights to wear them? (Myth Busting)

*Visit to Edinburgh Weaving Mill

* Final Pensamientos...

 

Direct download: FINALCastTartanPlaidPart1_November2015.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:19pm PDT

Ench By Sew-37: Savage Beauty of Alexander McQueen (Halloween Style)

October is a month when many of us in the Western Hemisphere get in touch with our own emotions and comfort dealing with

mortality. Folks in my neck of the woods celebrate Dia de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead. Dia de Los Muertos is a day for celebrating ritual death tradition- engaging in crafts, creating and eating special foods, and putting out images – colorful, beautiful, and also macabre – that may touch on a connection with departed family members.


In our neighborhood we put out beautiful pumpkins, scary dancing skeletons and bright lights. Then we celebrate our connection to another world, by welcoming in the trick or treaters- be they costumed beautifully, colorfully, or gruesomely - by handing out free Halloween candy.


Fashion designer Alexander McQueen focused on designing beautifully romantic, avent garde fashion. He also had a strong interest in the macabre. His masters fashion exhibit “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims”, was a hint that this emerging designer was not going to be run-of-the-mill when it came to setting his artistic tone. Other chilling exhibits followed. “Highland Rape” and “The Widows of Culloden” , among others, carried McQueen’s historically inspired fashion artistry farther into the dark side of the human soul.


Morose? Yes – often- but his work was also drop dead gorgeous. Many of McQueens materials, embellishments design lines, colors, technology and elements inspire my arty-romantic sewing nature, even as I am frightened by other aspects of his work.


As you accompany me in the show, I’ll share the beautiful, and the colorful as well as the scary.  Because that’s what this time of year is all about, where I live.

Direct download: castFINALSavageBeautyAlexanderMcQueen.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:58am PDT

Fiona, The Irish Laurel Dress (Farewell to Summer)

Dress creation brings out the romantic in me. When I looked ahead to my summer sewing, I thought if I could sew only one garment for the season, it would be a dress. Fiona, the Irish Laurel dress, satisfied my yearning to design and sew the perfect summer frock.

This dress was a very satisfying project for my arty romantic style. In between sewing summer essentials - shorts and tees - I worked off and on to determine what design lines spoke to me about summer, mock up a miniature sloper pattern to test my ideas, draft a pattern from my sloper, and then finally to sew up Fiona, while summer was still on!

*Pensamientos Primeros - Thinking through my idea for this summer dress

*Technicos - Pattern Drafting and Kissing Zipper using a Prick Stitch

*Pensamientos Finales - Fiona's Design Lines have roots in my own history

 

Direct download: castDraftFINAL4FIONA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:58am PDT

Ench By Sew-35:Enchanted by Charles James - 20'th Century Fashion History

Enchanted by Charles James - Stepping into a liminal space to study and enjoy glorious fashion designs and analyze the construction of those garments is the kind of thing that keeps me … enchanted by sewing.


Hey let’s go to the show together! 

 

Links and notes- http://EnchantedBySewing.blogspot.com

 

 

Some months the Enchanted by Sewing podcast, journals my own sewing project accomplishments, techniques and creative ideas. Other times I share the source of  some of my sewing inspiration. This month is inspiration time, as I take you along on an another in-the-,moment fashon exhibit - a visit to the beautiful Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco , where I went repeatedly to  view the exhibit, High Style: The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection  exhibit of the Brooklyn Fashion Museum.

 

This collection – which is housed  and curated by the Metropoliton Museum of Art  in NY City- includes a wide range of the work of 20’th century designers and couturiers.


There was no way I could share all of what I saw with you.


By my third visit, I realized that , despite the charms of designers and coturiers in the exhibit- Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet, just to name a few of the big names, and some that have been almost forgotten- the hands-down winner for sharing with you, was Charles James. That’s because James, and his clients and admirers, worked to see to it, that more than his beautiful garments were saved in this collection, to motivate and educate future sewists, designers and couturiers. This historical treasure trove includes sketches and muslins which really tell the story of how he worked, and what went into the garments he fashioned. They are an inspiration for the creative process.


The body of Charles James work extends from the 1930s into the1950s. The garments he designed, constructed and created were worn by high society types like  Austine Hearst, the wife of Mr. William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Millicent Rogers and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney. They were also made for women with less blue blood like Jeanne Bultman the wife of the artist Fritz Bultman, and Gypsy Rose Lee!


James didn’t just sketch up a gown and expect others to produce it. He worked in the true couture tradition (some say the only American designer who did). He draped fabric in complex ways to get what he was after. Often he created specialized support systems under his gowns, to enhance and extend their third dimensions . Charles James also used fabric in studied ways working with color, light and reflectivity in addition to the hang or drape of the material. He also focused on developing seaming techniques that molded the fabric into directions he wanted it to move.

 

Direct download: casFINALCharlesJamesLaurelShimerEnchantedBySewing.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:59am PDT

This month’s show is Fairy Inspired… Fairy Gardens that is– where my sewing (like my gardening)  knows,  It’s the Story that makes it.

I was feeling pretty serious about my sewing when I got back into town last month. I was thinking that any day I’d get on with some serious pattern drafting work.


Well, I haven’t! As a matter of fact whenever I thought about doing intense pattern work – either drafting or pattern alteration – I just found something else to do. And, as this has been an unusually busy summer for me, both professionally and personally, it was easy to put sewing off.


Finally I just quit worry about what I’d planned to do, and responded to materials and projects that were singing out to me from the bins over my machine. And I was, once more, reminded of Lori Van Monnans’s advice to ‘sew forth now’.


Sometimes you just gotta sew. By just responding to what I had on hand, I was working on getting in some summer garment essentials. They were essential because there items I really use at this time of year, and also essential to my happiness. It doesn’ t always matter whether I’m carrying through on garments I blue sky about. What matters is that I respond to my essential need to sew because, sewing enchants me.


In this month’s show


1) Recent summer essential sewing – Journaling about what’s useful additions I’ve sewn for my summer armoire.


Lucy Locket's Mobile Pocket Bag http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/lucky-lockets-mobile-device-pocket-bag.html


A new Tapestry Cap - http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/replacing-my-tapestry-cap.html


Enchanted by Sewing(Aug 2014) Capping Off Summer - Creating a simple pattern for, and sewing a cap http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/08/ench-by-sew-023-capping-off-summer.html


-Singing the Blues Tee - Pattern drafted from my moulage http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/07/sewing-summer-essentials-singing-blues.html


Rose Embellished Straight Skirt - Pattern drafted from my sloper http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/06/terminado-rose-embellished-straight.html


2) Technicos: Techniques I used to complete My Rose Embellished Denim Straight Skirt – Sloper to Pattern, and embellishment techniques


Enchanted By Sewing Show (May 2015) Parlez Vous French Pattern Drafting ?http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/05/ench-by-sew-32-parlez-vous-french.html


3) Fairy Gardens Inspire My Sewing 

Whether gardening or sewing – it’s the story that makes the creation


Postcard from California - How to Introduce a Fairy to a California Garden (Fairy Gardens)

http://www.postcardfromcalifornia.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-to-introduce-fairy-to-california.html


Both these Disney Garden books inspire my theme gardening style. I like the tabbed-cookbook style of DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY when I want to quickly review the steps for creating a hanging basket or well illustrated how-tos for small topiaries. (There's lots of good info for larger topiaries and garden sculpting as well - I just haven't tried it out) In addition, there is good gardening (yard or pots) basic techniques as well as many recommendations for plants that work well for specific themes and temperatures. I highly recommend it, because I have used it a lot over a period of several years.

 

I also turn regularly to my Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens book. It has a lot of similar techniques and information as DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY and it also has lovely, lovely photos that inspire me. So when I want to sit down and just get ideas for themes or gardening styles, I pour through the photos in this book.

 

Fairy magic is definitely adding a little more enchantment to my life, when it comes to gardening. 

And ….It’s also given me a better understanding of how to keep my sewing enchanting.

 

Direct download: CastFINALJuly2015SewFlowFairiesFairyGarden.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:23pm PDT

Ench By Sew-33:Back in Town

After three weeks vacation in England and Scotland, I'm not yet caught up and engaged in my sewing projects. I am, however, reflecting on historical and travel sewing inspiration from my trip, putting some good hard thought into planning sewing projects, and continuing to learn about working on my sewing pattern skills, using my sloper and moulage patterns.

 

Quick Fashion: When it comes to a summer state of sewing sometimes I just want to zip zap up 3 tees in a tried and true pattern and never mind about careful seam finishes or hems – maybe a deconstructed neckline or too. Other times I want to focus on slow careful pattern work, practice my sewing techniques and create a garment that I expect to see me through a number of seasons.

 

Slow Fashion: I also like to put time into developing patterns with personally crafted fit, carefully finished seams and well-thought techniques.

 

Planned Sewing: Other times I need to step back from sewing and give my fabric and pattern inventory and choice of sewing projects a good solid overhaul.

 

This Month:

1) Field trip to England and Scotland 

(7 days London, 5 days in Lake District (2 travel/3 self-guided walking holiday, 2+ days Edinburgh)

 

In and amongst our activities,  I encountered textile and sewing information and inspiration.

 

For travel to use with audio books and in flight movies, and tired evenings, I took along hand embroidery, and practiced stitches on a piece of natural linen scrap. I took this lovely little book,

Embroidered & Embellished: 85 Stitches Using Thread, Floss, Ribbon, Beads & More • Step-by-Step Visual Guide along on my iPad.

 

                                                   

 

Many Wonderful Large London Museums are free: Victoria and Albert (free) (Fee for special Alexander McQueen exhibit – Savage Beauty) 

Imperial War Museum (free) – Fashion on the Ration 1940s Street Style exhibit http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/fashion-on-the-ration

Museum of London (free)

The Queens Gallery (Moderate Cost - worth it) – painting paradise became scavenger hunt for pooches (get your ticket stamped for free return for a year)

 

Conversation Starters - Greeting friendly pooches and their people.

On our treks between museums and scenic places, we enjoyed greenery, statuary and ornamental waters, not to mention horses, dogs, people and kids, in the big parks Holland Park, Kensington Gardens,  Regents Park, St James Park.

 

Mid Week break for More Green with Country Feel, easy access from London

Osterly Park (free estate/park area and/or paid access

to Neoclassical Robert Adam (Regency Era Architect/Designer) historic house and formal gardens) A good mid-week break - 30 minutes from Kensington by train -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osterley_Park

Robert Adam ‘one of the most fashionable architects in Eng’ also designed furniture to match the rooms at Osterly, which they still have!

 

Mickeldore - Self-guided walking holiday in England. They setup up the B&B, schlep your luggage and give you maps and directions. Well worth it. We have used for two or our three walking trips in the U.K. (They don't have a Cornwall trip or we would have used them for all 3!) http://www.mickledore.co.uk/

 

Wool  - Lake District - We stayed at Askhill Farm B&B (http://www.loweswatercam.co.uk/Askhill_Farm_Stay.htm ) There, I learned a little something about current challenges in English wool market chatting with my hosts

 

Tartan Weaving Mill: Edinburgh On the Royal Mile, just down from The Castle Tartans /Plaids Weaving ( http://www.royal-mile.com/interest/tartanweavingmill.html) Sure, it's primarily a gift store, but there are tidbits for the fabric savy on more than one floor.

 

Jaquard Loom and other Looms are on Display - National Museum of Scotland (Wonderful Museum) Extensive Exhibit area on textiles

 

 

2) Technicos: Fitted Tee Shirt – Sloper to Pattern, Putting Nibble On

 

 

3) Purging – Pains and Pleasures - Please post your own thoughts

 

Direct download: CastFINALBackInTownSummerJune2015.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:19pm PDT

I first signed up for Lynda Maynards' French Pattern Drafting Class to help me improve my fit and alteration of commercial patterns and was surprised to find that Lynda's class opened my eyes to the idea of drafting my own patterns - an aspect of sewing I’d never expected I’d get involved with, and frankly considered beyond my skills.

Studying with a teacher like Lynda and being inspired to try new things – that’s the kind of thing that keeps me, enchanted by sewing!

1) Pensamientos Primeros – The Art of French Pattern Drafting

 

My Pattern Work Postings

 

Early Days in Pattern Drafting Class - Includes Kenneth King Link http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/02/drafting-my-back-block-learning-pattern.html

 

More from Class http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/02/french-pattern-draftingmoulage-first.html 

and

 

http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/03/fitting-in-sleeve-sloper-pattern-work.html

 Using My Sloper and Moulage to Draft Patterns

http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/04/pattern-workparlez-vous-tee-shirt.html

 

http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/04/damson-plumm-private-eye-nibbled-that.html

 

     Parlez Vous Flared Skirt? http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/04/pattern-work-parlez-vous-flared-skirt.html

 

 

Pattern Work on Pinterest:Links to many pattern drafting and design resources  https://www.pinterest.com/lrshimer/0-sewing-pattern-work/

 

2) Technicos  - On Wearing Ease Going from a Moulage to a Sloper and Back Again

 http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/05/parlez-vous-wearing-ease-moulage-to.html

 

3) Pensamientos Finales – My sloper...A garment for any occasion?
 

Direct download: CastFINALParlezVousFrenchPatternDrafting.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:35am PDT

Ench By Sew-31: Historical Bathing Beauties

Bathing and swim wear has certainly changed from the cover-em-up days. This month I’m sharing a walk around an historical bathing suit exhibit I saw at the Vancouver Maritime Museum in the fall of 2014. I get a kick out of hearing and reading about how bathing suits have changed over time, and thinking about what a shock people must have had to suddenly start seeing others, especially women, revealing so much of their flesh on beaches! The big changes in swim suit styling around the 1920’s seem to have been about the time when the  sport changed from ‘bathing’ to ‘swimming’ in the English speaking world. It wasn’t enough just to immerse ourselves in water outside, as we did indoors anymore. Now more people wanted to get some exercise when they went into a pool, river or ocean.

Direct download: FINALBathingVancouverEnchantedBySewingLaurelShimer_-_42815_2.05_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46pm PDT

Ench By Sew-030: Hats Off to Downtown Abbey!

This Month's Show - Hats Off to Downton Abbey!


In this month's Enchanted by Sewing show, I talk about the role Downton Abbey played in inspiring  the hats I've been making. I also share what I've learned about how to make hats, and a variety of historical and modern links.

 

In this Month's Show

1)  Pensamientos Primeros – Making Hats -  inspired by Downton Abbey , and enabled by local milliner Wayne Wichern

 

Why do I love to watch Downton Abbey over and over ?

1) The Romantic setting

2) The fantastic British trained actors

3) The Fashions - my favorite part of Downton Abbey.

The best part of the those fashions? -  Hats! 

 

 2)  Technicos A summary of the Techniques I learned something about while making Hats with Wayne Wichern

3)  Pensamientos Finales – Pretty as a Picture Hat - Grandomther Lily’s Wedding 

Direct download: castFINALHATSoffDowntonAbbeyEnchantedBySewingLaurelShimer.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:13pm PDT

Ench By Sew-029: The Importance of Scrap 
A cada quien su gusto – To each her own
 
As well as being useful and cost effective, using up the Scrap from our garment sewing, opens up a world of personal creativity, as well 
Coming up with different ideas for utilizing my scraps, keeps me . . .  Enchanted by Sewing.
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.
* * *
Clearly, scrap is important to the newest member of our household, Izzie the teenaged tabby cat.

Scraps are just as important to me as they are to any cat. Working with scrap, gets my mental processes humming,in ways not so different than they do for Izzie. I have a habit of going to my scrap bins when I feel the need to get a little jolt of playfulness. That’s something I think our young cat can relate to.

I like to work on my scrap habit. It’s good for the planet, and it reminds me that I don’t always have to purchase a new product, 
to make something useful, fun or really beautiful. To top it all off,  focusing on playing, oh I mean experimenting!, with my scrap,
gives me a chance to build more neural pathways - It sparks my creative juices, just like it does for Izzie the Teenaged Tabby Cat. 

 A cada quien su gusto! Or, maybe you say To each her own!

Izzie says, Just get out the scrap, let’s play!
 
Here’s what I talk about, in this month’s show, “The importance of scrap”, recorded in February of 2015
 
1)Pensamientos Primeros
Scrap – Rags, Patches and Snips.  How useful a sewists leftovers can be!

Scraps are sewing leftovers. I call some of my  larger scraps, remnants, These are scraps, from which, I might still make another tee shirt, a camisole or  maybe a tote bag or little purse .  

Entonces/Then there are the smaller remnents odds and ends– not big enough for a whole garment, but quite useful for a variety 
of projects and make -do challenges. 

Finally there are my snips – tiny bits and pieces, and strips that are just too pretty to toss. These bits and pieces are what really bring my creativity to life.
 * * *
 
<proxy>
I'm sorry I lost the link to this site.
I remember it was a public site in Australia
 
 Yup that’s me singing that old hit, "Ragg Mopp" , once sung by the Tenriers and the Aames Bros. Rags might be considered kind of  lowly to some folks, but in fact these leftovers have been important for a lot more than wiping up spills and polishing cars throughout history. Rag mops and rag rugs are just a few of those very utilitarian, and sometimes beautiful ways to repurpose strips of old or new fabric.

1.Ragg Mopps and Raggggg Rugggggs
iii. Nice link to Little House Living a woman who makes her own rag rugs for her own home.

According to this link, rag mops are the best mop in the world, and the author says the that professionial cleaners in many countries swear by them.

 I’d love to hear from listeners who’ve made either of these raggy kind of projects. How patient do you have to be? I’m thinking of trying out something more basic along these lines like coasters. Could you maybe braid and curl up hot pads from repurposed scrap or old clothes?

Follow the Drinking Gourd - The Spiritual 

SewRuth, who I think hails from Ireland, had several ideas I hadn’t thought of. She had some very nice photos and how-to for belts, covered jewlery - bracelets, watch straps  and embellishment for handbags.. I’m going to revisit the tutorial part of that posting when I think about making a belt from scrap I also really liked her idea about making an obi .That posting is definitely worth a visit if you’re into using up your scrap in an artistic way. 

A couple of postings about the buttercup purse pattern, including a free pattern link
 
Do you love butter? In Praise of the Buttercup Purse. http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2012/09/do-you-love-butter-in-praise-of.html

2)Entonces/Then - Technicos – How I sew appliqué
I have my own way of doing a somewhat deconstructed appliqué

AngelLea has her own ideas  
 

 

3)Pensamientos Finales/Final Thoughts – A Story of Scrap
Direct download: castdraft5c64KBFINALScrap.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:25pm PDT

Ench By Sew-028: A Very Fitting Sewing Day With Susan

Recently I went to visit with my buddy, Susan, and her household’s two dogs, Bruce and Bain. You’ll hear Bain’s comments at various times during the show, just the way you occasionally hear some of the audio from things in my house like the train that runs just behind our yard. I’m partial to including a little locally occurring audio ,because it adds another sense to the personal journal style of the show.


Don’t you feel like you know Susan by now?  I’m always mentioning her and the time we’ve spent together in this show. This month I got a chance to share a sewing day at Susan’s house with you. It started out as an interview, but it became a duologue – even when I cut out several of the places where I interrupted!


Pensamientos Primeros/First Thoughts . . . we talked  about our sewing relationship and some of the non-sewing things that give you a sense of who Susan is and what drew us together.


Entonces/Then . . . we talked about some of the things that she learned about fitting patterns, that I’ve benefitted from over the past couple years.


This month's Pensamientos Finales/Final Thoughts . . .  are scattered throughout the show as we each share with you a little something about where Susan is living. The area she’s recently moved to has a very long-term historic role in agriculture and pre-agriculture, within California, that has provided people with both food, fabric,  and more, for over 4,000 years. 

 

Direct download: CastFINAL14OfficeSusanFittingJan2015.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:08pm PDT

1