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Mahgret's Choose Joy Fiesta SWAP

Started by mahgret, November 02, 2019, 01:28:09 pm

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November 02, 2019, 01:28:09 pm Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 01:39:10 pm by mahgret
I typed a big huge message and lost it so I will post in pieces!

I am announcing my intention to participate in SWAP 2020.  I moved back to my home town in NJ this year after the death of my husband.  My mantra since my move has been choose joy.  I always try to find the good in situations and also to find the happiness in little things.

For example, when I moved I abandoned my old sad chipped grey dishes from the 80s, and bought Fiesta ware.  My brother calls them widow dishes.  I mostly have these 6 colors.

IMG_4311 by Maggie, on Flickr

I do admit I tend to get a little wave of happiness just eating my cereal out of a cheerful bowl.  I seem to be using pops of these colors throughout my new home.

SO that is my theme.  Choose joy, through pops of Fiesta colors.


My daily uniform is black or denim pants and an informal style top.  My SWAP will include black ponte and black or blue denim pants, and then a large assortment of tops.  I'm hoping to perfect the button-down shirt, and I have a few Stylearc patterns to work with on that. 

Here is my fabric pull, which includes some fabrics with pops of Fiesta ware colors.

IMG_4320 by Maggie, on Flickr

I will probably only buy one or two new pieces in order to incorporate the green and yellow.  I need to work out how to do this as these are not my best colors. I found some prints where the green and yellow are prominent but the background color is one that is better on me.


At the moment my plan for the challenge aspect is to finally work with my Bluprint classes by Suzy Furrer and make my bodice sloper and use it to create a pattern for a top.  I started watching the classes again yesterday.  I will work on this in earnest as soon as I finish my family's matching pj pants for Christmas.  I have traced off all the patterns, just need to cut and sew 3 more pairs.


As a backup new technique I plan to make a vneck top with a binding instead of a facing, which I have been avoiding for many years.


You are off to a great start, Maghret! 
I am in awe of your attitude! 
You will find the binding much easier and more ready-to-wear looking than a facing.  Here is how I do mine:

Measure the complete length of the neck opening.

Cut a piece of binding 1 ½ inch shorter than the neck opening.
Sew the raw ends together, right sides together, creating a circle.
Press the seam open, then press the seam folded flat.
Divide and mark your neckline opening into 4 sections.
Divide and mark your binding strip into 4 sections.

(The binding strip should be shorter than the neckline to allow it to stretch and lie flat against the body.  This is why you cut it on the bias unless it is a stretch fabric.)

Match the neckline marks with your binding marks. 
Put the seam on the left shoulder or center back - your choice.

Stitch the binding, matching your quarter marks on the garment to the quarter marks on the binding.
(As you become more confident, you will skip this step.)

  (Some put the binding seam at center back, some put the seam on the left shoulder.  The garment does not care.)

This is fun and quick and always looks great!


Since last I posted, I lost my dear middle brother to cancer, which was diagnosed the same week as my husband's.  I am determined to forge ahead anyway.  My sewing room is closed until the new year now, because it is also my guest room and my son arrives Wednesday.

I did complete my sewn before SWAP starts item, a red peplum top (Sydney by 5oo4 patterns) which will be part of my new Christmas outfit.  I also made grey/black houndstooth pants, which will not be part of SWAP.

Here are some fabrics I was auditioning before I made my red Christmas top:
IMG_4474 by Maggie, on Flickr

This is the jersey knit of unknown fiber I used for my CHristmas top.  I bought it on a roadtrip my husband and I took some years back to Fabric Mart.

IMG_4475 by Maggie, on Flickr

This is two shirts I bought at the Cape May Lima Bean festival, intending to make one raglan sleeved shirt out of them.

IMG_4476 by Maggie, on Flickr

Woven, not sure what pattern I will use yet, but it will for sure be one of two new blouse patterns I bought from Stylarc.


I took more photos of fabrics today.  My good sewing machine is still at the spa, I might work on pattern taping and cutting garments out tonight.  I ordered two more pieces of fabric to try to get the yellow and green dishes represented.  I will take photos of those when they arrive.

IMG_4649 by Maggie, on Flickr

This is a rayon challis which I am still trying to figure out what to do with. I am thinking use my TNT pullover woven top, but include new details from my Suzy Furrer classes.  This would be my new technique without fighting the fight of drafting the block from scratch.

IMG_4648 by Maggie, on Flickr

This is a nice flannel that will be a traditional button down type of shirt.
IMG_4647 by Maggie, on Flickr

Blue jersey, which will probably be made up into one of my TNT tee shirt tops.  A back up for my new technique would be to make this a V-neck and figure out how to do the binding on a V-neck.

IMG_4646 by Maggie, on Flickr

This is a lovely blue striped cotton shirting, which is a souvenir from my Vermont vacation this summer. If you are ever in Brattleboro Vermont, stop in at Delectable Mountain cloth, they have a little shop full of nicely curated fabrics and beautiful buttons set out in cut class dishes.

IMG_4645 by Maggie, on Flickr

Turquoise and black ITY, which will become another 5oo4 Sydney peplum top.


Quickie bathroom mirror selfie of my sewn before Dec 26th item, 5oo4 Patterns Sydney Peplum top.  I made the vneck version, and the half circle peplum.

IMG_4654 by Maggie, on Flickr


I was so sorry to read about your brother and your husband!  How is your husband?  How are YOU handling this?  I will pray for you and your family.
That is a LOT to handle.


My husband passed away in September 2017.  Both he and my brother had colon cancer.


Mahgret, I love your colours, your Fiesta ware, and most especially your attitude!  I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of your joyful SWAP!   (((hugs)))
Melinda<br /><br />Perth, Australia<br />Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/


I got this groovy cactus print in yesterday's mail.  I am not sure the color is best for me to wear, but I love it anyway!

IMG_4679 by Maggie, on Flickr

I finished this top last night.  It is another Sydney by 5oo4 patterns, in ITY.  I did the scooped neck version, 3/4 sleeves.

IMG_4674 by Maggie, on Flickr


Also, I talked to my niece today and she is going to work with me to get better photos.  The quick bathroom selfies are just to track my progress.


This Fall I went with a few friends to the Cape May Lima Bean Festival.  Not sure why, as I am a lifelong lima bean hater.  I bought two tshirts there with the plan to refashion them into one 5oo4 Nancy Raglan.

IMG_4713 by Maggie, on Flickr


IMG_4714 by Maggie, on Flickr

IMG_4725 by Maggie, on Flickr

glamorous mirror selfie


I'm working on a Sacha by Stylearc blouse.  I've sewn Stylearc before, but man the instructions on this one are really lacking.  No mention of the darts or hems, or even the splits on the sides.  I think I can work it out, but one of my goals was to work on improving my button down shirt game.  I'll have to look in my sewing books and see if there are any books with more details about sewing shirts.


I sewed a lovely collar for my Sacha shirt and the topstitching was my best ever.  When I went to put it on the shirt, it was 3 inches short.  I looked through everything and I did not make any adjustments to either the shirt of the collar pieces (sometimes my adjustments for fit make things go awry) and I reprinted the stand in case there was something amiss in the printing or assembling, but that is not it either.  I looked on pattern review, I don't think anyone has made it near my size.  I am wondering if somehow in the grading up the collar and stand were missed or something?  Now I am a little worried the whole shirt will be wonky, I think I will baste the sides together and try it on.  I guess I better make sure the cuff is the right size for the sleeve too.

I added 3 inches in length to the stand, thinking I would use my already sewn collar, but now I am thinking that will look odd to have so much stand on each end with no collar.  So later when I get home I will add the same width to the collar.

I am overcoming the lack of directions by using my Reader's Digest guide to sewing which I bought in the early 1980s.  I recently bought the revised edition, which I have lent to my niece who is trying to learn sewing.  Anyway, the book has step by step on pretty much everything I need to do.  I just need a refresher because I have not sewn many button down shirts in a long time.  Also, I want to try to improve my techniques. 


Finished my Sacha by Stylearc.  I used the collar and stand that I adjusted to match the top of the shirt.  I like how it fits, I will never button it all the way up so it doesn't matter that the collar is big on my neck.

IMG_4785 by Maggie, on Flickr


I just need to do the hems on the skirt and sleeves and the SWAP diversion dress for my nephew's wedding is done.  So then I started thinking that I wanted a nice new blouse for the rehearsal dinner.  I wandered through my stash and found a really pretty chiffon and I decided to give it a go.  I suspect the fabric will match my red dishes so it might make sense to include it in SWAP.

IMG_4857 by Maggie, on Flickr

I have never sewn with chiffon, and I plan to make what they are calling a couture dart I found in one of my sewing books, suggested for darts in sheers.  I also might have a go at a rolled hem.  I am going to research buttonholes in chiffon.

I am working on including extra garments so that I can have options on what to include and also so that if a garment is not working out I can abandon things.


Also, I got a new tv and a wall mount for the sewing room.  I can watch Bluprint on there and I have been enjoying watching quilting videos while I sew. (not really SWAP related but a happy addition to my sewing room)


March 14, 2020, 08:47:24 pm #19 Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 08:52:20 pm by mahgret
I did finish my chiffon blouse for my nephew's rehearsal dinner last week.  This photo is before closures.  Since there was so much fraying, I decided against buttonholes- I sewed on black snaps and then just sewed the buttons on the outside.

IMG_0024 by Maggie, on Flickr

this had a lot of firsts, my first attempt at sewing with a sheer, I made the couture dart, sewed in silk organza as interfacing, made a template out of file folders to sew around for the collar and stand, made a rolled hem.  Also all the seams are either French seams or I bound them with bias strips of the silk organza I used as interfacing.

I wore it over a cami I made a few years ago as the muslin for my bathing suits and I felt like a million bucks!


Over the past few days I made my blue vneck tshirt.

IMG_0101 by Maggie, on Flickr

The jersey is a little more clingy than I might like, but it is comfortable.  It was my first try at a vneck with binding.  I used instructions from this book:
IMG_0087 by Maggie, on Flickr

IMG_0088 by Maggie, on Flickr

The book is pretty good, but both things I've used it for lately (the other one was the couture dart), I got to a point where it seemed like they assumed I knew a little more than I do.  But it worked out ok, even if I maybe didn't do exactly what they intended.


I took a break between batches of masks and made this top:

IMG_0333 by Maggie, on Flickr

I used my TNT blouse pattern, which is based on an old Coni Crawford pattern for Butterick (I'll hunt down the number ).  Anyway the pattern is for a dress, but I have made a number of versions as a blouse.  I tapered the sleeve, and drafted a flounce to go on it.

IMG_0314 by Maggie, on Flickr


I made the Style Arc Jules tunic from some very yellow cactus print cotton.

IMG_0560 by Maggie, on Flickr

I need to go through what I have done, I think I may just need one more item for SWAP to be done.  I'm wearing my stuff so I hope they are still good for picture day.


Looks great!  I am still trying to adjust to wearing a mask. 


IMG_0621 by Maggie, on Flickr

Not sure I'm going to finish.  Maggie vs the electric hedge trimmer and Maggie lost! Stitches on two fingers.  i only have 1 more piece so maybe I can make a tnt pattern after I heal.


Well I healed sufficiently to sew, I thought since I was still in pain I would use a familiar pattern.  So I made Style Arc Jules tunic again in some seersucker from my stash.  This seersucker is exceptionally puckery.  I guess its fine for a summery shirt since I'm not having tea with the queen.

IMG_0690 by Maggie, on Flickr

So I think I have finished SWAP, I'll count up now and hope thats true because I am pretty much out of time.