I am a big fan of Parson Gray fabric lines...and I am using them for one project - shown in the blocks above. As I considered the simplicity of the blocks I decided to make a second version using reproduction fabrics (below). This version will use up stash...a good thing. I hope to keep up with the traditional version, but will see if that makes sense as the blocks become more difficult. I think that my '2X the fun' plan will work though.
Many years ago I invested in Pat Cambell's (I miss her work) thread carriers for appliqué. I have two...a warm side and a cool side...filled with Mettler Silk Finish threads which were very popular before Superior and Aurifil hit the scenes. The carriers were made from some of the ugliest fabrics known to mankind...but they were a Godsend at that time. I was working full time then and did not have the time to make them. The thread is all still perfectly good, but I found that I disliked carrying around two relatively large thread carriers all of the time . So....I have invested in the much more portable, easy-to-use, donuts of my favorite,Masterpiece thread, from Superior Threads. Now, if only Aurfil would come up with something similar I would be appliqué thread color heaven! Can you imagine the thrill?! I know...simple pleasures for simple minds !
I just love it when an "old time" product makes modern life better. I had considered getting a tailor's clapper for a few years, but always managed to dissuade myself by thinking that it just could not make that much of a difference. In a fit of "what the heck" I ordered this maple version (hard wood matters) from Nancy's Notions...how I appreciate her free shipping offers! After ironing your blocks with steam you slap this clapper on the block and presto! you have beautiful, flat, non shiny blocks! Yes! It really does make a difference and this will be so good for my shirt making endeavors as well. Old technology, old wisdom, that works for today's sewist! Perfect!
I finished another shirt. Vogue 7700. This was an experiment. It offered me the chance to revisit some sewing techniques that I figured that I would be rusty with. A slightly gathered V back, collar stand, sleeve placket, longer back than front etc. I had a feeling that the V back might look kind of old lady and I guess it does...but this is a very comfortable shirt and it will see more use than I had thought it would. That's a nice bonus when I take a chance on a pattern!
I used material that had been ordered by mistake...but in my favorite rayon challis fabric. I had decided to keep it rather than return it so I felt a bit more free to use it for a shirt that I might not have liked. I found buttons that look like they were made just for this fabric. The blue in the shirt is more turquoise than the next photo indicates....the picture of the back of the shirt is the most color correct.
My next shirt project is this "Now and Zen" from Sewing Workshop. The fabric is from Malka Dubrawsky and is a part of her "Simple Marks" line which I love...I just ordered enough of another of the designs from this line for another shirt. Anne Dawson, a well known quilt restorationist from Lopez Island has an amazing eye for fabrics. Her shop is small but I could happily buy just about everything she has in stock. I bought this fabric there.
I had expected a lot from the Sewing Workshop patterns. I like some of Linda Lee's patterns very much and was excited to have finally bought one to try. They are relatively expensive, but you DO get multiple looks from one pattern so that counts as, of course, does the excellent instructions (which is what I buy them for anyway I guess!). I used to like using Kwik Sew patterns from before they were bought up by a conglomerate because the pattern was printed on nice, heavyweight, paper that was a pleasure to work with...not on flimsy tissue (I hate tissue patterns s much!). For some reason I had hoped that patterns from The Sewing Workshop would be printed on more substantial paper..but they are printed on white (which I do prefer to the usual tan color),very thin, tissue.
What are your favorite sewing tools? Modern? Vintage? Both? I love tools so share your favorites!
What projects have you been working on? Plans for winter sewing? Here we have the 'season of eternal gray' which, with the time change, will become even more gray soon. Sewing helps keep my mind off of the darkness!