An amazing collaboration between quilting and bookmaking.
RTW vs. me-made
Now I can raise my arms without exposing my belly!
Quick and easy peasant blouse
I recently finished a quick and easy peasant blouse out of cotton lawn, No. 2 on my summer top sewing list.
I made a muslin (from an old sheet) primarily so I’d know where the bust point was (important for fitting) and to check the overall length. The only changes I ended up making were a full-bust adjustment with the new French darts I tried on the last project (still love them), and to lengthen the bodice and the sleeves an inch each.
The whole project, from muslin to final, took only two weeks, with the sewing of the fashion fabric taking only two days!
(I had high hopes of sewing up the fashion fabric in one day, but alas, I’m just not built for that level of concentration.)
The neckline is quarter-inch elastic in a casing, with skinny ties attached to the end of the elastic. The elastic comes nearly all the way to the keyhole front and the fabric ties are plenty long enough, so I think I’ll cut the elastic 4 inches shorter than the guide for the next go around.
This blouse is actually a direct replacement for a very similar knit top that I have. But that originally OK-fitting top has shrunk and shrunk and shrunk in the wash so much that now it’s a crop top!
A HUGE benefit of sewing is making clothes that fit my full bust (without excess fabric at the waist or the hemline rising up in the front) and is long enough.
I’m so pleased with how this classic style turned out, that next up I’ll be making another one from ivory eyelet, bought during the same trip to Fabric Outlet in San Francisco as the cotton lawn.
And since the pattern is already fitted, I can make another in about the same amount of time it would take to find a ready-to-wear version that kind of fits.
Maybe I’ll be sick of the pattern after that, but I’d really like a third version in chambray blue with three-quarter sleeves.
For you sewing enthusiasts, how many times in a row can you make a pattern before you’re tired of it and want to make something different?
Sewing and the State Fair
I love going to the California State Fair, that annual celebration of the Golden State with an emphasis on its agricultural industry. I’m not sure how many people outside our state realize that warm beaches are but a fraction of what we have to offer. Agriculture is an important part of our economy. In fact, if you live in the United States, you’ve probably eaten some produce from our state.
I live in Sacramento County, where we’re lucky enough to have the State Fair in our backyard. I go chiefly to see the award-winning sewing projects from people of all ages, but there’s plenty of other things to do as well.
While the fair has a wide variety of attractions (concerts, carnival rides, weird stuff for sale), I prefer the old-fashioned features, such as the Counties Exhibit, which provides each county the opportunity to show its best attributes.
On the way to the sewing exhibits, I came across some unusual characters that are another slice of life in California.
The California Crafts exhibit is my main interest. It showcases the sewing goodness that I came to see:
There weren’t nearly as many garments on display as in years past, but this one caught my eye:
And the next generation of sewing enthusiasts was well represented:
As part of showcasing the agriculture of California, the fair includes a three-acre farm area that this year also features drought-tolerant decorative plants and information on saving water.
And you can’t go to the fair without eating fair food. And “fair food” really means fried food. There are healthful options, but really? You can eat a salad any day, but how often can you eat funnel cake?
I have to admit that as I head toward my 50s, my fried food game is not what it once was. I couldn’t eat even half of that funnel cake.
Maybe next year.
California State Fair
The California State Fair showcases much more of the state than can be shown here. There’s still time to attend. The 2015 fair runs through Sunday, July 26. More information is available at www.castatefair.org.