Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Have You Seen This? Brand Name Wicking Fabrics!

Anyone who knows me IRL knows that I live in workout clothes a good portion of the time.  I love good quality exercise clothes, and in particular, I love the wicking properties of the fabrics.  That property is most useful for middle age power surges, besides making exercise more comfortable.   I have a few wicking fabrics in my stash from various sources, mostly appropriate for tees.  I search regularly for both Nike and Under Armour fabrics, and this week two different bloggers posted about the availability of them, one Nike and one UA.  

Most people are probably familiar with the first blogger, Renee from Miss Celie's Pants.  Click on that link for information about her Under Armour haul, and how you can get yourself some.  I've emailed the shop and am waiting to hear back.  Renee said  UA is a local company up there, so maybe the shop will stock it regularly.  By the way, I love her blog, and love to see what she sews.
Look at the great fabrics Renee picked up!

You probably know the second blogger, Dawn from Two ON Two Off, although I found her blog just recently.  Check out the Jalie top  and the Jalie pants (and enviable abs!) she made with the Nike Dri-Fit fabric she found. Compare the price of the fabric to the tights made from Dri-Fit below - a bargain in my book.  She was kind enough to put some up on her Etsy shop, (link from her blog) and said she *might* get more if there is enough interest. 

This article talks about how what you wear when you exercise impacts your confidence and motivation.  I know I like to workout when I know I look good in my workout wear, don't you?  

I am so excited about the availability of these great fabrics, so I am doing my part to pass on the info.  Or maybe I'm just being selfish, promoting it to ensure a steady supply.   So go on and get your wicking fabrics!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Knock-off Top and Cake (Real cake, not sewing cake.)

Good Morning, and thank you for the lovely comments about my last outfit, the first of 'Fall'.  I really appreciate visitors and comments!  This has been a bit of a slow week in the studio, mostly because one of my knees hosted a rebellion.  I did get a little sewing done, though.

In my last post, I mentioned that I wanted to copy a collared knit top for my daughter.  It took me all week, but copy that top I did!  

What do you think?

My knock off top.

The original garment I was copying.


The original top is a knit and has darts.  It has a back opening with a loop and button closure.  The collar appears to be made from rayon, and seems to not be interfaced, and is beaded with with pearly beads.  

I began with the body of Sewaholic's Alma Blouse, which has darts, but is intended for a woven.  I measured the black top, and the flat Alma pattern, and chose the appropriate size.  I drafted my own collar by tracing off the original top's collar.  After cutting out the fabric, I put away the pattern pieces and directions, because I was doing my own thing.  The Alma has facings, but I did not want facings.  (The Alma is a cute blouse pattern and the instructions appear complete and well illustrated, IMO.)

I used a purple cotton, single knit from Hancock's that has been in my stash.  I think it was a bargain table purchase, with the intent of using it as muslin for knits.  It was beastly to sew.  I had to starch the hell out of it, even for straight seams.  For the collar, I used a black knit that has a little more body and willingness to be manipulated.  I cut both top collars and under collars, 2 of each.  I interfaced the top collars only with knit interfacing. There are two separate collar pieces, one for each side, that abut but do not join together in the center front and back.

Seam binding was used to finish off the neck edge and enclose the edge of the collars, as was done in the original top.  There is a center seam up the back, because I initially made an opening back there similar to the black top.  It turned out to be unneccessary, and the neckline was a tad too big, so I took up the CB seam, enclosing the prior opening and decreasing the size of the neck opening.

I had a serious space cadet moment while sewing up this top.  I sewed the sides and underarms in one continuous seam, and really had to stretch between the last clip (pattern marking) and the underarm seam to get them to line up correctly. Then at the ironing board, I asked myself what all of those chalk marks were on the inside.  Seriously, it was a head scratcher for a moment.  Then I realized that those were dart markings, both ss bust darts and vertical shaping darts, the latter being front and back.  Head::ironing board. Duh!

Overall, I am pleased with the outcome of the top, but it will benefit from the shaping that vertical darts will provide and would have benefitted from the ss bust darts.   I think it is worth making in a nicer fabric, one that is on grain, making sure to remember the bust darts and verticle darts so it is not a box.

Dd was lukewarm about the top.  She thought that the top could be taken in, that it is too boxy (didn't tell her about forgetting the darts) and hated the 'silly looking' collar, but otherwise thought it was ok.  Hmmm.   The collar is a direct copy of her favorite top's collar, although it did come out a tad narrower.  That is fixable.  The darts will definitely provide more shaping that she is looking for.  In the right fabric, with the darts sewn in, and the collar a tad wider, it might work!  

In much easier sewing, I have fleece laid out and ready to be sewn into blankets.

The blankets are for a charity I am involved with, and are a joint effort with a friend.  They will be part of themed baskets for an auction.  The Hello Kitty fabric is so very soft, it's yummy!   The committee got together yesterday for some basket making, which is a fun, creative outlet for a good cause.  Here are a few baskets.  The last one hadn't been wrapped yet.


Then, there is this fabric:  

When we went to Jo-Ann Fabrics to buy the fleece (on sale and with a coupon), this greeted me at the door.  It sort of reminds me of a flapper dress, with little rectangular flaps of fabric sewn onto a sheer base.  I bought 1 1/4 yd., not sure what it will become.  I am leaning toward skirt, as I think the line of the fabric will be disrupted over the peaks.  What do you think this fabric should become?  I'd love suggestions.

Behind the draped dressform is a peek at the new art storage cabinet.  It was purchased and set us as a part of my studio reorganization project, which isn't yet quite finished, but is coming along fairly well.  I will post pics when it's all done.

Aside from all of the fun sewing and basket making this week, there has been a dark side to this week.  On Friday, I found out my debit card number was stolen and used, but fortunately it was detected very quickly and shut down.  I am very careful about it's use, and online typically use Paypal.  Theft really pisses me off.  Not only are the perpetrators stealing money, but they are stealing my time as well - the time it will take to clean this mess up.  And they are costing all of us money.  Fraud prevention and detection is an expensive undertaking that we all end up paying for, one way or another.

Sometimes, when life hands me lemons, I make cake!  But of course, as my people over here will tell you, I put some 'healthy' into every sweet thing I make.  This cake has carrots, pumpkin, sunflower oil {good fat}, cinnamon {antioxidant}, and pecans.  My daughter made a wonderful glaze with neufchatel cheese and maple syrup.  It tastes like Autumn to me. Come on over for a piece!

I do hope you have had some quality sewing time this week, and have remembered to sew up your darts!

Thanks for stopping by,