New business cards

design, life

My super talented friend Margot Madison designed these amazing new business cards for me. They are so lovely.  I am really NOT a graphic designer and I just couldn’t figure out how to get great business cards, so I asked for help and the results were perfect. I have finally learned the lesson to get help with the things that are just not in my skill set.

busness cards

 

Knit and crochet until the cows come home.

craft, crochet, design, DIY, knitting

I’ve been having so much fun working on my latest yarny project. Most of you know I’m undercover on these projects but I really needed to share these because I think they turned out so great…

IMG_7013 close up pink close up pink 2 blue whole blue close up blue close up 3 blue close up 2



I have no idea how long they actually took to make.  I worked on them in the evenings while watching 3 different versions of Tess of the Dubervilles among other long, slow period pieces.

The pink one is for a semi-secret mission and the blue one is for my daughter’s 14th birthday. We took down the horrible ceiling fan in her room and wired this up in its place and it works!

I might be out of my mind, but I’m thinking of making more!

A Vintage Crochet Turban Pattern

craft, crochet, design, DIY, fashion, Uncategorized

I have finally written out my instructions for the crochet turban that I have been making for several years. It was inspired by this great vintage pattern that I found in a box of old sewing things that was left behind in the first house I bought.

crochet turban pattern for sale, pdf

It was such a beautiful and simple pattern that I had to give it a try.  I experimented with it until I got the pattern exactly how I wanted it with the inexpensive modern yarns I could buy at the craft store. I love to crochet but I am hardly a yarn snob.  If I only bought the beautiful but expensive yarns from the yarn shop I would never finish anything. Knitting and crochet, for me, is all about the fun and having great accessories that I can wear (until I’m tired of them and pack them up to be rediscovered later) or give to friends and family as gifts, and no one ever complains that the yarn should have cost more.

So, now you can purchase a copy of my crochet turban pattern at my Etsy store and when you do I will include the entire original vintage pattern as well. I’m imagining seeing turbans of every color imaginable all over the place, a turban revolution if you will.

Enjoy! – Jeni

The work table today…

design, fashion, sewing

Today I draped some peplums on the half-size dress form. I’ve been thinking of making these for months but something has been holding me back, today everything just clicked for me and I was able to finally start.

draped peplum 2draped peplum 1

This is the first finished peplum and it’s really beautiful. I got this fabric at Mood this summer. It has a black cotton background with brown satin stripes.

finished peplum 2

This peplum ties around the waist with a drawstring of the same fabric and on the back there are buttons to hold it in place and extra buttons inside so that you can adjust the width of the peplum at the waist.

peplum back

I’m working on some in other fabrics including one from crisp white poplin with a rounded shirttail hem that will resemble a men’s shirt.

Have you noticed what’s happening with hips?

fashion

One of the things that really stood out for me in the Fall 2012 collections, aside from the fact that Spring’s pastels are going to get a smack down from Fall’s very bold palette, is the action going on in the hip area.

With peplums on everything from tops to pants and some just flat out distorted silhouettes the hips were a huge focus for fall.  Style.com described Stella McCartney’s collection as being “…how women want to dress now.” I for one don’t mind having a little extra wiggle room in my shirt dress but I have to wonder where is this coming from and, more interestingly, where is it going?

Super Pointy Detachable Collar Pattern

design, DIY, sewing, tutorials

I’ve uploaded my  Super Pointy Collar, corrected pattern for your personal use.  I hope the instructions work, I did write them fairly quickly so let me know if anything is unclear.  I have made this collar more times than I can count so I know the pattern works for me and I hope it works for you.  See my post on how to make perfect points if you need a little help with the points.

*Make sure your pattern prints out at the right size, the ” fold” edge of the collar should measure 2.5″, you may need to adjust your print settings.

bttn_cllr_2d

I  have also designed collars with standard and curved points and written more detailed instructions with illustrations.

You can get all 4 of my collar patterns with new easy to follow instructions in one PDF downloadable pattern here:

Making Perfect Points

sewing, tutorials

I was asked to give some tips on how to make the nice sharp points like the ones on the ends of my collars.  This is a little tricky but really just takes practice.  I learned how to make great points by making lots of really bad ones first. I finally got a little bit of wintry sunlight to shine into my studio so I could snap a few photos to go along with the text.

While making this post I decided  that I will follow it up with one of my collar patterns and a tutorial for how to make the detachable collar.  But I need to get my pattern scanned first so enjoy this pointy tutorial and next Monday I will upload the collar pattern. 

Pointy Pointers

Sewing

  • You should  sew your point with the tiniest stitch you can. This will help prevent the trimmed seam allowance from poking through the stitches  after you have turned your point right side out. Stitch the main body of the collar with a medium stitch length then when you get close to the point stop sewing and adjust the stitch length to something  smaller.
  • If you can trace your stitch lines directly onto the fabric that will help you make sure your stitching is exactly where it needs to be. Make sure to mark your turning point on the fabric so that as you sew you will know exactly where to turn.
  • When you get to the point stop sewing with the needle down directly through the point, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric so that the stitching line of the next side is lined up perfectly in front of the needle. Put the presser foot back down and finish sewing.
  • Some people like to sew to the point then turn half way and place a single stitch across the point, then turn the rest of the way to continue stitching the other side of the point. I only use this method when I’m working with really thick fabric and then it works very well at controlling some of the extra bulk.

Trimming

The real trick to good points is trimming the seam allowance. Imagine that the fabric you leave outside  the stitch line needs to fit inside that point once it is turned. Trim as close as you can without endangering the seam, I would suggest never going closer than 1/8″.

  • First cut straight across the point and then trim the sides in stages taking a little bit off then a little more until you think it looks right.

how to sew points tutorial

  • You may want to grade your seam allowance to reduce bulk.  This is done by trimming away more on one layer of seam allowance so that the cut edges are not even and won’t lay right on top of each other after the collar is turned right side out.

how to sew perfect points

It’s a little tricky to see in this photo but this point has been graded.

Turning

Turning the point can be the most frustrating part and may take all of your patience.

  • Before you begin to turn your collar right side out press the whole thing flat, this will set your stitching.
  • Gently push the inside out with a bone turner being very careful not to push the point of the turner through the fabric leaving a hole.  When you can see the point but it seems like it just wont come out you can switch to a smaller turner like a chopstick to nudge the end out.
  • If the point still won’t come out you can try to gently pick it out with a straight pin.  This is risky because if you pull to hard you may pop the seam allowance out through the stitches so be very careful.

you can  also try takeing a needle threaded with thick thread and make a large knot in the end.  Pass the needle through one layer of the fabric very close to the point and pull the needle out through the opening. Gently tug on the knot as you turn the collar right side out and the point should come out. Cut the thread close to the fabric and shake the knot out.

sewing points tutorial

 

When you get your point turned out the way you like it press the whole collar flat with the hottest iron your fabric can handle. Pressing makes everything look better!

Your best bet is make a few samples. Just using the point part of your pattern cut out a few sets that you can practice with. Make sure that you are using similar fabric to that of your final project and that you cut the pieces following the grain line indicated on the pattern.

Just go slowly and thoughtfully, you don’t want to ruin your project  by being hasty.