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A Change of Scenery…

April 29, 2010

I’ve felt lately that it was about time for a blog change.  Getting tired of the name and the format, so I’ve uploaded everything to a new web address and will continue to blog here:

http://entredeuxbetweentwo.wordpress.com

Yes, it’s a long address with a lot of letters, but finding one that hasn’t already been used was tricky! 

I came up with the new name by trolling the dictionary of sewing terms and found “entredeux” to be rather poetic and relatable to more than just sewing..

entredeux: a French word meaning “between two.” Often it’s a piece of lightweight fabric joined to another piece of lightweight fabric with a delicate bit of lace.

My new blog will be about sewing and life and everything “between the two.”  This new format will focus on basically the same topics as TrailerTreasure has, but I’ve reorganized categories into broader terms:  Life+Family, Home+Garden, Fashion+Sewing, etc. so it’s not so cluttered and hopefully a little easier to navigate.  Most of all, the new name offers room to grow and change and talk about whatever the heck I want!

So please update your links and feeds and subscriptions and whatever else you have linked to TrailerTreasure and change them to entre deux :: between two.

See you there! :)

~Erin

Simply Vera

April 26, 2010

I went to Kohl’s last week in an effort to spend my gift card and my objective was new workout wear, but when I found that department sadly lacking I wandered over to sleepwear and found this inspiring Vera Wang beauty!  Mere hours after I’d posted about what to do with my striped jersey!

I ended up buying other things, but made a mental note to copy this design.

Isn’t that lace and button detail so pretty?  I inspected it in the store to see how they put it all together.  I don’t have any lace trimmings in my stash and will need to keep an eye out for some, but it just so happens that I do have a couple patterns that would work for this style!  Nice!

Also, I realized that I can raid J’s closet for a thin white t-shirt to cut up and use as a lining for the striped jersey t-shirt.  I may be making this one sooner than I thought!  If he lets me… ;)

(P.S.:  BurdaStyle Top Picks will resume once I have more new favorites… Slim pickings right now!)

New Jersey (not the state)

April 22, 2010

These two striped cotton jersey pieces are what else I got at my impromtu stop at Hancock’s several weeks ago.  They were both on the discount table and were the last of the bolt.  The thinner striped piece is about a yard and the other is about a yard and a half (if I remember right).

The fabric is thin.  Surprisingly thin for cotton jersey.  It’s like the thin fabric they make t-shirts out of nowadays that I refuse to buy or wear.  However, I’m seriously considering making the t-shirt version of the New Look top I just finished out of the wider striped fabric.  I’m either going to look for a white jersey to buy that I can line it with, although I’m just not sure I want to spend any more money right now, or I can make it unlined and have to wear a camisole under it every time I go out in public.

Or I could scrap the whole idea and make pajamas.  Fortunately, I have my always-present-when-something-exciting-is-happening-like-Mommy-taking-pictures-of-all-the-crap-I’m-usually-climbing-around-on assistant by my side.

“Ofelia, O Wise One, what should I do?”

“OFELIA!  Hello!  Come on, make yourself useful… Buy a lining, make it unlined, or make pajamas?”

“What?! You refuse to make a decision for me because everytime you suggest something I go a different direction and it hurts your feelings??  Good grief!  Why you gotta be all sensitive about this stuff?”

Clearly, I need more human input (and possibly more human interaction…)

Flouncy Dot Top

April 21, 2010

Done!  Finished in two Saturdays.  I really like this top.  This fabric is perfect for warm weather.  It’s very cool to the touch and drapes nicely.

I used French seams at the shoulders and sides.  I love French seams!  I use them whenever possible because they’re so easy and they make a beautifully tailored finish.  Plus they create extra-strong seams.

My only complaint is that the neckline is too big, which means it dips down a little too low in the front (and the back from what I see in the pictures now) and tends to move around on the shoulders.  I don’t even have to undo the button at the back to get it on and off.  I’m on the fence about whether or not it’s appropriate for work and I have yet to wear it this week.  I would wear it with a cardigan, but the ruffles look too bulky underneath.  I may reserve this top for less professional, summertime events.

I also wasn’t able to do a proper hem because it wasn’t long enough. I only had enough to turn it up once and sew which leaves a raw edge inside.  Which is ok since it doesn’t fray too badly, but it would have been nice to do a proper hem.

I made the top in the smallest size (8) which is smaller than my body measurements, but there was 4″ of ease so I knew I would be safe.  I didn’t make any adjustments to it.  I wanted to see how it would turn out straight from the pattern and it turns out that it’s about one size too big.

Next time I make this (and I will–I really like this pattern!), I’m going to make the neckline smaller and add a couple inches to the hemline to make a nice, wide, enclosed hem.

One of the other views of this pattern does have a higher neckline and while it looks too high for my liking in the picture, I wonder now if it would be just right for me?  I have some striped jersey that I’m thinking of making one of the higher neckline versions with, so we’ll see how that turns out.

Spring on my mind

April 9, 2010

I bought this pattern last Friday when I made an impromtu stop at Hancock’s.  Out of all the patterns I have, this is the first one I’ve purposely bought for a specific fabric I already have.  I had a specific style in mind and this was the closest one I could find that I could also afford.  I bought it for the draping ruffle along the neckline.  Isn’t it pretty?  It’s feminine, but not too girly.  And I like the other options, too.  This looked like a good pattern for a variety of fabrics.  It has a keyhole back with button closure.  I like buttons.

This is the fabric that I had in mind:

It’s a thrift store find and I’m not sure what kind it is.  It’s sort of crepe-y.  Rayon? Poly? A blend?  Whatever it is, I like it, but it’s kind of plain, so I want to make something that had some 3-D texture to add interest and I think it would make a great fluttery top for Spring.

I also have this fabric that would be really pretty:

It’s very sheer, though, so I would need to buy some lining for it.  This is a remnant I bought at Vogue Fabric’s stall at this year’s Sewing Expo and I have 1 3/4 yards at 60″ wide!  Not quite enough for a dress, but perfect for one or two tops.

I have so many projects running around in my head and that’s probably why I never seem to get anything done.  Too many choices!  I really need to just pick one and do it!

Supersize Quilt Block

April 7, 2010

This is one of those “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” ideas:  Take a quilt block and supersize it to make a full quilt!

April is Quilting Month at Sew Mama Sew and in this particular post, Malka of a stitch in dye shows us how to make this.  In the pic above, those are two completed quilts each done with shoo-fly blocks.  The one on the right is 70″ x 70″!  Each block measures 35″ x35″.  Wow!

This technique would really work for ANY block pattern and it looks so modern!  Great for fabric with large-scale prints, too.  I am definitely keeping this in consideration for my next quilt project :)  Off to look for a fun block that can translate well to HUGE!

Resurfacing My Sewing Table

April 6, 2010

Yesterday I mentioned that I resurfaced my sewing table.  Ahh, my sewing table.  A labor of love for my husband.  A year or so ago, he took an old fold-up table that we had around and cut holes in it to fit my sewing machine and painted it a nice dark brown color.  It’s a great little table!  A good size for working.  However, there a couple issues I discovered over time.

The paint that he used has a matte finish and every time I would need to pick up a pin or pieces of thread or whatever, inevitably my nails would run across the surface and it was like scraping across a chalkboard.  Yikes!  It doesn’t seem like a huge problem, but I realized it was becoming quite an irritant when I started using other surfaces to put stuff on just so I didn’t have to touch the table.  Plus, because it was so rough that any little thing was scratching it so it has become quite worn-looking quite quickly.

Also, do you notice the gaps?  Yes, there’s a huge one around my machine (need to fix that), but I’m talking about the skinny ones running crossways.  I have lost a lot of needles and pins through those cracks…

So I decided to take some contact paper and cover the table with it.  It’s an awesome solution!

First, I cleared off the table and pulled out my sewing machine.  Then I ran a clean, dry cloth over the surface to brush off the dust and bits.

While the contact paper stuck to the top just fine, I did have trouble getting it to stick to the unfinished underside of the table.  I took some shiny, metallic tape I had found in a pile of stuff I cleaned up and placed strips of it all along the edge underneath.  The contact paper stuck to it perfectly!

I had an entire roll so there was plently to cover the entire surface.  I used a long ruler and pressed it across as I carefully peeled the backing away.

You can really see the difference between the smooth and rough surfaces here.  I loved running my hand over the contact paper.

And here it is complete!  It took me about 2 hours from start to finish.  It’s not the prettiest job done, but it makes a huge difference in my enjoyment of sewing.  I had to put some non-slip rubber mats underneath my cutting board to keep it secure, but other than that this surface is waaayyy better to work on.

I placed the contact paper over the entire table top to cover up all the cracks. 

Then I gave it its inaugural test run.  I needed to repair a small tear in our duvet cover and add a button closure to it (can’t believe I didn’t do that sooner!  Our comforter was constantly falling out the bottom of it) and this new surface is a dream to work on.  Now I can easily shift my fabrics around while I sew, no more lost pins and needles, and most importantly, no more chills down the spine every time I try to pick something off it!

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