NEWSFLASH: this week only (offer ends Saturday 6/22) all of my *a la carte* workshops on Creativebug are reduced to only $9.99! if you’ve been wanting to try online learning, this is a great opportunity. you can have me in your living room or studio any time you like, 24/7, and i will patiently show you anything you’re struggling with, over and over and OVER! not to mention FOREVER! once you purchase a workshop it’s yours; your access never expires.
and, in full disclosure, and because i don’t want you to miss out: it’s not only my classes that are on sale; ALL of them, by all the amazing teachers (oh, you know, like Rebecca, Jill, Liesl, Maya, Natalie, Anna Maria, Alix, Heather, Diana, Courtney, Kaffe…) are reduced this week too.
see every single one here.
they make awesome gifts too!
oh my goodness, can you even believe this list? yes, it does include Stephen West, Ysolda Teague, and Gudrun Johnston, just to name a few of the knitting legends who will be there! if you’re within driving distance of New Hampshire, and a fiber lover of any kind, i strongly urge you to come to the Ravelry Revelry party on Saturday afternoon, and then the incredible Squam Art Fair that evening. both events are free, open to all, and feature super fun times, refreshments and PRIZES!
i’ll be there, and you should be too if you possibly can!
1. Chautauqua A-line, 2. A line skirt wearable muslin, 3. Mel’s muslin, 4. Design-it-yourself SAL A-Line Skirt, 5. Finished A-line, 6. Upcycled black velvet skirt, 7. Muslin, 8. Wearable muslin fits!, 9. Lisa’s skirt
well helLO my dear SALlies! so, yes, i did sort of miss a week back there; don’t know if you noticed. hopefully it gave all of you late-joiners and fall-behinders a chance to catch up! i, of course, am eternally behind and haven’t even touched my own skirt-a-long project yet, though i do have my fabric (kelly green denim, just like Jill’s above in the center photo).
so, we’ve got muslins! er, fit samples. and most of them wearable. woo HOO! for most of you that i’ve heard from, this stage went pretty smoothly, yes? and i suspect the few of you who DID have to do some tweaking are probably extra-glad for this fit sample pre-cursor to the final skirt.
onto your next assignment: time to cut and start sewing the REAL skirt! or at least, your first real skirt. it’s helpful to think of this one as the first of many, and there are still lessons to be learned here. in other words, i still wouldn’t suggest cutting into the Liberty quite yet! a few tips and answers to the questions in your head:
– it is definitely a good idea to pre-wash your fabric before cutting, to get any shrinkage over with. wash it just like you do your laundry; if you put all of your clothes in the dryer, do it with the fabric. now, if you already cut but you skipped the pre-wash, don’t fret. you’ll just want to hand wash and air-dry this skirt. or machine-wash it, but don’t put it in the dryer.
– cutting out your skirt should be fairly straightforward, and not too different from cutting the muslin. if you have a print with a direction, pay attention so you don’t end up with a skirt featuring upside-down giraffes. make your markings (really just the dart points) on the wrong side of the fabric. if the difference between right/wrong side of your fabric is subtle, make some chalk marks on the wrong side so you don’t get confused.
– the first steps are to sew the darts and the French seam on the right-hand side seam only. the left side seam is where the zipper will go, and that seam gets done after the zipper is installed. i’ll be posting a French seam tute for you in another day or two. do you need one for the darts as well, or can you handle them? [note: you can do any kind of seam you like; French are just my favorite and i use them wherever possible].
– if you haven’t already done so, be sure to pick up your invisible zipper (7″ is good, longer is fine too as they’re easily shortened), invisible zipper foot (usually they don’t come with your machine; just the regular zipper foot does. i like the YKK brand plastic foot that fits any machine, but you can also order the foot from your machine manufacturer) and single-fold bias tape (or make your own). i’ll be posting more about bias tape later this week…
okay, go to it!
p.s. thanks SO much to all of you who are posting your pics over in the DIY clothes group, and most especially you brave souls who even posted ones of fitting-in-progress! it’s hard for me to know if anything’s really happening until the photos start showing up, and it makes me so happy to see the evidence that projects are happening. plus, it gives others inspiration to see the lovely finished ones, and confidence to see the less-than-perfect ones (of course they’re ALL perfect and lovely in my opinion)! i encourage you all to take a peek over there and leave a comment or two to support your fellow SALlies who are bravely showing their work! there is also a discussion thread over there for each week’s topic, which is a good place to post questions or comments, or hot tips (got a favorite online zipper source?) for the whole group to see. of course you can also comment here, or email me. i’m here for you!
so, how did the patternmaking go? any trouble? questions? i’m guessing it went pretty smoothly because i haven’t heard much from the peanut gallery, just a peep or two here and there. i know many of you had already done this step, so you may have taken the week off. remember, if you have any questions or comments as we go, you can post them in the discussion section of the flickr group. there were a few photos of patterns posted this week (such as Tamika’s lovely one above) and i’d love to see more!
on to Week 2′s project: sewing and fitting your muslin. this is a step often skipped, but immensely valuable. i mean, we have no way of really knowing how your lovingly drafted pattern is going to fit until we test it, do we? it’s always possible your measurements or your math were a bit off, and you wouldn’t want to find that out by jumping right into that Liberty print you’ve been hoarding, only to find out the skirt is too small…
a few notes about muslin-making:
– i tend to prefer the term “fit sample,” because it’s a little more apt. you can make your fit sample out of the fabric called muslin, though i’m a fan of using some inexpensive fabric that i actually like, so if the fit sample works out, i can just finish it and i have another skirt to wear. this is known as a “wearable muslin”.
– when you are sewing up your sample, all you need to stitch are the darts and side seams. it won’t take long at all! be sure to leave one side seam open from the hip line to the waist (where the zipper will go in the final skirt), or you won’t be able to pull the skirt on.
– it’s a good idea to give it a quick press with the iron before trying it one, so the seams and darts lie flat. try it on, pin the zipper opening shut, and give yourself a good once-over in a full-length mirror. what do you think? take a look at the waistline and how it fits (noting that it will sit 1/2″ lower when the skirt is finished), the darts (especially in back: are they nipping in enough, so the skirt lies snugly against your back?), the hemline (you’ll lose an inch in hemming), and the amount of flare.
– if you want to make some adjustments, i suggest taking your sample off and putting it back on inside out. this way, your seam and dart allowances will all be easy to grab and pin and play with. you can take in darts or seams with pins, raise the hem or lower the waistline by folding and pinning, or marking with chalk or pencil. if you need to add more fabric at the waist or seams, pin on a scrap of muslin to extend it. then take the muslin off, and if you’ve made changes, mark with chalk or pencil where you’ve pinned, and unstitch the darts and seams. lay the muslin pieces on top of your pattern pieces and transfer the changes to the pattern. if you’ve made drastic changes, you might want to make a second fit sample, but usually you can move right on to your real skirt…
should you have any questions, i’m right here. generally in my classes, the muslins need only minor tweaking if any at all. so don’t be nervous.
have fun and report back!
1. Granny Skirt, 2. basic skirt, 3. Polka dot blouse and high waisted skirt, 4. a-line skirt, 5. giraffe bubble skirt 2, 6. flora skirt 1, 7. fish skirt 2, 8. Blue skirt for length, 9. village skirt 3, 10. dream skirt, 11. First skirt pattern drafted by me, 12. Green skirt for length
and we’re OFF! i hereby declare that the DIY A-Line Skirt Sew-Along has begun! i am THRILLED at how many of you are into this idea and excited to participate. to get the ball rolling, here’s a little inspiration for you: 12 of my favorite skirts from the Design-It-Yourself flickr pool, which is where much of the action will take place. you can post your photos there, both process shots (especially if you need/want help or advice) and of your finished projects! i’ve started a thread there too, for questions and discussion as we go; feel free to start new threads if you have a topic to discuss… and don’t forget to tag your pics with AlineSAL as we go.
so, week 1′s project is drafting your skirt pattern. some of you have already done this, but you might just want to take some time to review the process, or even try drafting a slightly different skirt for yourself, or one for someone else, just to exercise that pattern-drafting muscle! i’m going to draft my own new pattern and stitch myself up a new skirt right alongside all of you. and it just so happens that we’re coinciding with Me Made May which is another great source of inspiration and motivation!
have fun, and i’m here if you need me. i think it’d be awesome to see some pics of patterns too, so don’t be shy about sharing those!
and i can’t think of a better time to hook up some crochet flowers! this is my newest workshop on Creativebug and i’m pretty excited about sharing my freeform approach to creating a bouquet of yarny blooms. these little cuties are a fun way for new crocheters (or those who are coming back around after a long hiatus) to practice and play with their stitches. and i’m all about projects that use up those scrappy little bits that we all have and can’t (SHOULDN’T!) throw away. you can use the flowers as brooches, gift-wrapping toppers, or to adorn hairbands, hats, pillows, purses, or anything that needs a little joy!
i’m slowly building my *crochet curriculum* over there, and planning that it will eventually be a go-to resource for anyone who wants to learn crochet. so far, these are the other workshops i have available, and more are on the way:
Beginner Crochet 1 which covers chain, single, double and triple crochet stitches, and fastening off
Beginner Crochet 2 which includes half-double, spaces, bobbles, fans, stripes and increasing/decreasing
Crochet Hat Formula which shows you a recipe for making any size and shape of hat, at any gauge
plus there are a bunch of other fun crochet projects with the likes of debbie stoller, anna marie horner, alix bluh and jenny doh. so, grab your hook and some yarn, check out a workshop, and see what happens…
last week at the Makerie
i taught 26 people how to draft their own sewing patterns. often when i teach patternmaking classes, i wish i could be there for my students through the stages of the process that come next: muslin-making, fitting, pattern-correcting, and final garment sewing. i know that for most, this will be the first time experiencing these steps, and i always worry that those lovingly drafted patterns will just sit in a drawer or pile somewhere, and never see the light of day…
SO! i’ve decided that perhaps a sew-along is in order? or two? we’ll start with one for the A-line skirt, the simplest pattern to draft and garment to sew. then, if all goes well and everyone’s having fun, we’ll continue onward to the shift dress. whaddya say? i’ve never done this before, so it’ll be a bit of an experiment. but i think it could work, and give you all the support and motivation you may need.
now, of course you needn’t have been at the Makerie to join in! you may have taken a class with me somewhere else, or you can get the instructions for drafting and sewing the skirt in my book, or watch me demonstrate them (over and over and OVER if needed!) in video form via my online Creativebug workshops. how’s that for options? the pattern drafting lesson is Patternmaking Simplified: A-Line Skirt, and the sewing lesson is simply called A-Line Skirt. both are available as either *a la carte* or as part of an unlimited subscription.
as i said, this is a first for me, so i welcome any input/ideas/suggestions. but here’s my loose plan: the DIY A-Line Skirt Sew-along will kick off on Monday, May 6, to give you all a bit of time to gather supplies, find your book, and get prepared. each Monday i’ll do a new blog post with the goals for the coming week, photos (hopefully submitted by all of YOU!) of progress, questions and issues that you’ve encountered, etc. your photos can be posted in my Design-It-Yourself Clothes flickr group, (use tag AlineSAL) from which i’ll pull them for my blog posts.
Week 1: Drafting the pattern (my Makerie students can review this step, or try drafting a new one for a friend or family member)
Week 2: Sewing and fitting the muslin, and correcting the pattern if necessary
Week 3: Cutting the final skirt, sewing the darts and French seam
Week 4: Inserting the invisible zipper, and finishing the remaining side seam (Mock French)
Week 5: Bias tape waist facing and hem
how does all that sound? any questions? i’m excited, and i hope you are too. please leave a comment here if you’re IN!
i’m on something of a retreat high… just back from last week’s *beyond* dreamy Makerie Sewing in colorado (i promise a full report later this week) and gearing up for next month’s Squam Art Workshops (oh SAW, how i love thee!)… and it’s high time i told you about a brand new one that you can STILL attend! here are some illustrative words defining Lucky Star Art Camp:
Where whole living meets art, it’s sleepaway camp for women set in the hill country of Texas. Imagine five artful days spent on the banks of the Guadalupe River where you choose from an eclectic mix of classes including mixed media painting, art journaling, jewelry making, dream mapping, yoga, apothecary, quilting, crochet, photography, food styling, stamp making, lettering, creative writing, sewing, canning and preserving, intuitive spirit work, embroidery, cheese-making, and homesteading including organic gardening and how to raise backyard chickens, bees, and goats. Did we mention live music and a camp fire under the big Texas sky? It’s more than just an art retreat. It’s about digging deep, connecting, and reaching for the stars. Mark your calendar for October 9-13, 2013 and start believing the daydream!
i can’t begin to tell you how excited i am about this one! first of all: TEXAS!!! i’ve never been to Texas, but spent much of my youth riding my pony around while wearing chaps and a cowboy hat. (note to self: photographic evidence of this phase is surely required.) second: a few words that jump out to me from the paragraph above: apothecary, canning and preserving, cheese-making, homesteading, organic gardening, chickens, bees, goats… how amazing does this sound??? all of these are SO up my alley! and if you’re reading this, they’re probably up yours as well. i’ve never taught at a retreat before that had these kinds of classes, and it sounds like heaven.
and if all that weren’t enough, Lucky Star will take place at Waldemar, a real-live-still-functioning summer camp for girls, established in 1926! i have so many amazing memories of the camps i attended as a kid, and i plan to relive them all. there are horses there! and canoeing! and campfires, and…
registration is now open. i’m thinking you MIGHT just want to nab your spot before you miss out…
i still can’t quite believe it’s really true that in just a couple weeks i’ll be teaching in Colorado, at the Makerie Sewing retreat, along with all my new pals Liesl, Amy, Heather, Jenny, Tamar, and Kaari, most of whom i can’t WAIT to meet for the first time, because i think we’re all going to become instant BFF’s! these ladies are the cream of the crop of the stitching and textile arts, and i’m just tickled to death to be listed among them. click on each of their names to find out some fun facts about them, and my teacher Q&A is right here.
wouldn’t you love to escape from real life (and responsibilites) for a few days, take four workshops with your stitchery idols, play with thread and cloth and dye, stay in adorable cottages with mountain views, hang out at the Fancy Tiger Pop-Up Shop, and eat awesome locally-sourced meals? today is the LAST DAY to register, so if you’ve been feeling pulled toward this fun sewing-themed getaway, make your move! and if you’re not able to do the whole weekend, you might be happy to learn that day packages are now an option too.
hope to see you there…
sometimes i daydream about a magical place, where i have nothing that needs doing but to work on super fun projects, and all of the supplies i need are automatically right there, and yummy snacks and meals are all prepared for me too. and basically, i can just make stuff, without a care in the world. sounds pretty cool, right?
well, Brett Bara must have similar daydreams, because she has made my crafty fantasy into a reality: Brooklyn Craft Camp! this Saturday, 3/16, you can come for a “one-day DIY vacation” and forget all the cares of your daily life, for 9 action-packed hours! there’ll be coffee and donuts to start the day, then two 90-minute workshops, then an exquisite bento-box lunch and keynote speaker Jay McCarroll (squee!), two more workshops, cocktails and snacks, and farewell prizes and the juiciest-sounding goody bags i’ve ever heard of. throughout the day, you can visit the Purl Pom Pom bar, the DIY nail art bar, or the Craft-A-Day bar!
i’ll admit i’m pretty darned chuffed that i get to be there! i’ll be teaching Beginner’s Crochet (whoops, SOLD OUT!!!) and Twisted Crochet Headband, which happens to be a pattern i designed for Brett’s latest book, Clever Crocheted Accessories.
adding to the fun, several of the other teachers are some of my favorite crafty pals! Christina Batch Lee is teaching the Wooden Bead Necklace workshops. so cute! WANT! (secretly i’m hoping to whip one up during the lunch break). Jessica Marquez, one of my fellow Squammies, can help you Learn to Embroider (that’s her lovely work at the top of this post). and Kayte Terry will show you how to make amazingly life-like Crepe Paper Flowers. and the ever-awesome Julie Schneider is teaching Papercut Cards and Printmaking. WOW!
the class i most wish i could take is Make a Terrarium with Gönül Yetim. i mean, how dreamy is this little scene below? i can hardly stand it…
the camp is nearly sold out, but there are still many classes with a spot or two left, so act fast if you want to join in on the fun. hope to see you there!