Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review: Sewing in A Straight Line

Chickee and I have been bitten by the sewing bug!  Chickee had worked a few projects before with a teacher/friend but we soon found that we needed our own machine.  I learned to sew with my Mom when I was a child but hadn't sewn since.  Because Chickee felt compelled to continue learning, I broke down and bought a new machine.  Our first project was Brett Bara's zippered pouch from her Design Sponge series.  The tutorial was so easy and thorough that we were pretty successful on our first try and we did even better on the second. (See posts under the label "sewing" for more of our past sewing projects).

When I learned that Brett had written an ENTIRE book of easy to sew "straight line only" projects I was thrilled.  A cool book of projects that we CAN make!  Chickee and I poured over our copy, Chickee marking every page for each project she wanted to make.  I felt like the beautiful Origami Dress was a bit out of our skill level ...right now. But we still wanted to advance our skills... so we chose the Easy, Breezy Blouse.  Made of Chiffon, the fabric choice alone was enough to make us nervous.  We grabbed our coupons and headed to the fabric store.

The instructions helped us take Chickee's measurements. NOTE: Chickee didn't want her sleeves quite so wide... so we adjusted... but we failed to consider how this would change the fit.... and she didn't want the neckline quite so wide... I WAS careful to make sure it would actually fit over her head. See, Chickee suddenly is her own designer, tweaking as she goes, making the project her own, learning as she goes.

So we cut our fabric.  The slippery fabric was difficult but we managed.  We pinned slips of paper to the edges so we would know which edge was the shoulder and which edge was the length. We had trouble figuring out which was the "right side" of the fabric but eventually decided which side we wanted to be public.

Here's Chickee practicing on a scrap of fabric.  We looked to make sure our tension on this lightweight fabric was going to work. Also, after pre-reading the pattern, we found out that we had better practice making French Seams!  Illustrated on page 18... we followed Brett's easy instruction and quickly learned this "new to us" technique!
And here is Chickee sewing her actual blouse.  We completed the whole blouse in just one afternoon!  As soon as she wakes up... I'll make her put it on an post some photos of her wearing it.

We can't wait to do more projects from the book.  We'd also like to make this cool bowl set.

To me, this book accomplished every thing I wanted... it was inspiring, the book had projects that were beautiful but felt possible, we learned new things, and we were able to work together. WIN, WIN, WIN.

I admit that I bought fabric too, for my own Easy Breezy Blouse.  Knowing that I could make the entire blouse in an afternoon, I probably will squeeze it in to my schedule.


Brett is also doing a huge giveaway on her site. HUGE. She is giving away a SINGER sewing Machine AND a SINGER serger!

Stay tuned for photos of Chickee in her new blouse.

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