Thursday, September 30, 2010

Read a Banned Book

Did you know that we are right dab smack in the middle of Banned Book Week? Well I didn’t either until I was reading the Urban Threads Embroidery blog and it told me so. Therefore, I think we should all go out and read some banned books. It's good for us, we might learn something, even if it's only a few new juicywords. 

Here is a link to a list of a few banned books. 

 A. I'm so proud Judy Blume made the list (multiple times). B. I've read more than half the books.  What does that say about my literary taste? C. "How to Eat Fried Worms" made the list?  Seriously?

Also, while you’re celebrating your freedom to read, go to urban threads website and download this free embroidery design and then stick it on your library tote bag. You’ll be glad you did!

Happy Scandalous Reading
~Melisa & Cordelia

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'd Have to Agree:

That’s right folks, you heard it here.

Sewing is Sexy!

Cordelia and I agree completely, totally 100%.

Except neither of us is in the habit of sewing in our undies.

On second thought, I may have to take that one back….

Sometimes when I’m working on fitting a garment to myself it just takes too long to keep putting my clothes back on.

Happy Sewing
~Melisa & Cordelia

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Cause

Cause fall is on it’s way, and cause my camera has gone KAPUTT rendering new picture taking difficult, I thought I would share a few of the jacket/ coats I have made in the past couple of years.

Happy Monday,
~Melisa & Cordelia

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Check This Out!!!

Thayne, a reader from Texas (I have readers from Texas!?!?! Who ARN”T related to me!?!?!?! WOOOHOOO!!!) sent me a cool link the other day.

Turns out Rowenta Irons, Burda Patterns and Project Runway have joined up to create an awesome redesign contest. All you have to do is take a garment and recycle it into something new and you can win some really fantastic prizes.

But you best be speedy cause the deadline is September 30th. That’s less than a week folks so lets get sewing!

Here’s the super cool link:
Redesign Contest YOU Want to Enter!
I don’t know exactly what I’m going to make yet, but I have lots of ideas. I’d love to see/ hear about any plans you have.

Thanks Thayne for sharing!

Best of luck to all y'all
~Melisa & Cordelia

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Proper (According to Cordelia) Way to Sew a Dart.

Before we get started, I thought I would let you know that today is national punctuation day! So, in order to celebrate this momentous event, I’m going to... er... um, well I don’t know what I’m going to do, but hopefully I won’t have too many punctuation errors in this post.

Back to business. Yesterday Cordelia and I showed you how to mark a dart, so today we will show you how to sew it.
Fun right?!?!?!?!

Start with your marked dart which should look something like this.

Fold the fabric in half making sure to match up the dart ends and to make sure the dart tip is along the fold of the fabric.

Now go ahead and sew along the marked line. You always want to sew from the end to the point! I always backstitch at the dart end.

Stop sewing when you are about ½” away from the dart point. Lower your stitch length to about .75 mm (for those of you who have an European machiene--for those of you with an american machiene, trade it in and buy a Bernina!  JK there are lots of beautiful american made machines out there but sadly I don't know what the convershion is in stitches per inch.  Just shorten your stitch lentgh to tiny and it will work) and then continue sewing. The shorter stitch length will secure the stitches at the dart tip.

Once you hit the dart tip, continue sewing. This means you will take 2-3 stitches off the fabric. This is ok and it will help give you a nice clean point at the dart tip. We don’t want those unruly puckers at the end of the dart—ewww.

Now it’s time to press the dart.
Start by pressing the dart with the fabric still folded. This will help secure the stitching line.

Next, find your handy dandy pressing ham—if you don’t have one, I strongly recommend you invest in one if you will be sewing many garments.

Unfold the fabric and place it facedown on the pressing ham. Fold the dart down to the desired side and press.

A quick note about pressing darts. If the dart is a VERTICAL dart, pres it towards the CENTER FRONT/ CENTER BACK. If the dart is a HORZONTAL dart, press it DOWN.

Remember this, it’s important cause when drafting a pattern you have to decide which direction you want your dart to lie, and when your pattern drafter made the pattern they fallowed this rule. If you try to press a dart in the unintended direction, things won’t match up and lay as smoothly.

Now flip your fabric over and press from the right side so the curve of the fabric is curving in the same direction as your body.

And Tada! You have successfully sewn a beautiful dart.

 You go you little DARTINATOR you!

Happy Darting
~Melisa & Cordelia

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Proper (According to Cordelia) Way to Mark a Dart.

Here is the proper and absolutely best way to mark a dart. I don’t actually know if it’s the best, but it’s what I do and it works for me.

Start by cutting out the fabric according to the pattern.

On the outer edges of the dart, mark by snipping the fabric IN THE SEAM ALLOWANCE. If you snip past the seam allowance Cordelia will pop out of nowhere and smack you on the back of the left ear. Just Kidding, but you will have problems later on, so just say no to snipping too far.

Now take a pin and poke it through the pattern and fabric at the dart tip.

Fold your top layer of fabric back keeping the pin in place.

Use a marking pen to mark on both pieces where the pin has gone through the fabric. I'm marking the WRONG side of the fabric cause this will help you later on.

Now unpin the two pieces from each other. Using a straight edge draw a line from the dart tip to the outer edge.

Repeat for the other side.

You have just successfully marked a dart!

Tomorrow I will show you how to sew it!

Happy Darting
~Melisa & Cordelia

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mmmmm Drywall

So do you remember how Cordelia and I had to temporarily relocate for the summer because our house was getting remodeled to include a new studio? Well we are still living in the rental house, but the other day I went to check out the progress on my new studio and discovered the drywall had been installed. For those of you who, like myself, know nothing about building a house, the drywall is a very exciting stage because for the first time I got to see my studio with actual walls and now I can start to visualize the finished space.

So check it out, here is a brief tour of the studio.

This is the front door only right now it has a bunch of house building stuff in the way.

This is the view from the front door.

And this is the view from the other corner.

I have some French doors which I’m pretty stocked about cause they're purty.

This is the closet.

And this is another closet.

And finally, this is the backdoor.

Well let’s hope they hurry up and finish cause Cordelia and I are getting excited!

Happy Remodeling
~Melisa & Cordelia

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"It is Better to Wear Out Than to Rust Out"

Today is The Mama Hart’s birthday.

"Happy Birthday Mama Hart" says Cordelia.
Sometimes she can be sweet.

Any who, I made The Mama Hart a little something something cause that’s the kind of daughter I am. Plus I do have a reputation to live up to seeing as how I am known as the




Giftinator Dun Dun dun.

After diving into my fabric stash and finding a collection of Silk Dupioni scraps I decided to make her a scarf. It seamed like the right thing to do cause I knew the cream and blues would look stunning next to her face. So after a snip snip here and a stitch stitch there I ended up with this little beauty:

It is reversible for those times when she’s feeling a little less festive.

Cordelia LOOOOOOVES it. She refused to take it off and I had to bribe her with maple candy and a nap in my big comfy bed before she agreed to give it back.
Scheesh, what a lush.

This scarf is a perfect example of why I enjoy working with striped fabric—cause it’s obvious when you play around with the different grains of the fabric. See I have stripes going in every which way.

I fooled around with some different decorative seam finishes.

Like the Hong Kong seam.

I threw in some of the cream fabric’s salvage too cause it was fun and stripy.

I was working with scraps and I didn’t have quite enough to get the second cuff so I ended up having to piece a bit, but again I played around with the grain of the fabric and I really like the effect.

I finished it up with a few rows of decorative topstitching around the cuffs.

Bonita! Now I just wish I had enough fabric to make myself one.
On second though, it’s a good thing I don’t or I’d have to risk walking around in matching mommy and me scarves, and seriously, who wants to match her mother.

Just Kidding Mama Hart!

Happy Birthdaying
~Melisa & Cordelia

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cards Gone Wild!

The other day I walked into Papers! Albuquerque’s cutest little paper/ stationary store cause I was sent there to check out a seam finish on a bag.

I don’t remember the bag so well cause I got distracted by these little beauties:

They are only some of the cutest ribbons I have seen in a long while so I bought them.
 Cause I have a weakness for all things sewing related.

I got my ribbons home and I had no idea what I would do with them but after playing around for a bit I decided to use them to make note cards.

I was so happy with the results I was inspired to play around with a few more card variations and I ended up with these little puppies.

Cards may be my new favorite things to make cause they are quick and I get to use up all my scraps of fabric.
Now all I need to do is start sending them out.
 Watch for yours!

Happy Snail Mailing
~Melisa & Cordelia

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Patchwork Twirl All Grown Up

 I’ve been making these patchwork twirl skirts.

Cause they’re fun.

And they’re cute.

And they’re easy.
 Easy to make, not to shag like loose women.

The only problem is that I have a shortage of little girls to wear them so I decided I needed to try a big girl version of the skirt.

I started with 9 fabrics—I chose brown for a more “mature” feel.

 I sliced them into a bunch—and I mean a whole bunch—of 7X7 inch squares; then with a few quick stitches and a bit of gathering I ended up with this:

The patchwork twirl skirt all grown up.

And let me tell ya, it twirls real good like.
Cordelia made me spin her around and around until we both got dizzy.

I gave it a yoke and put in a side zipper to give a smoother, more flattering look.

It has 3 tiers of gathered patchwork awesomeness

So what do ya think? Is it as cute in the grown up version? I can’t decide

Happy Twirling
~Melisa & Cordelia