Monday, July 24, 2017

Seamwork Loretta in Arizona After

My first sewing project back in the U.S., and my first project on my new baby, an all-metal vintage Bernina! 


For my first project on the new machine, I decided to go with something simple. Plus, since my serger is still on its way from S.E. Asia, I planned to use french seams, so simpler is better on that front, too.

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This is the Seamwork Loretta, a simple peasant-style blouse with flowy sleeves and an elastic neckline. It's billed as being convertible: you can wear it up on your shoulders or pulled down off of them. Off the shoulder is not my style, so I'll be sticking with the regular look. It comes in two lengths, tunic and top. I opted for the top here.


 The fabric, from my new local fabric and yarn shop, Nido, is from April Rhodes' Arizona After line at Art Gallery Fabrics: Ojos Flame in rayon. I love the rusty orange color. The fabric is quite silky and soft, although more lightweight than other designer rayons I've tried, like Cotton + Steel. I think I prefer the slightly heftier rayon.


Speaking of Nido, I am really excited to have a local craft community. Nido has weekly open craft nights on Tuesdays, which I am planning to start attending when I can, and it has sewing and craft classes, too, with visiting artists from time to time. I'm registered to take a shibori dyeing class in August, which I am looking forward to! I've also signed up for some classes at the Generator, a maker space in the city. Lots of creative happenings in this town, that's for sure. Hooray!


For my Loretta, I switched up the construction slightly at the neckline because I didn't think an exposed elastic casing would look good in this print. It looks lovely in the bias cut stripes in Seamwork's sample, but the Ojos Flame print looked a bit chopped up on the bias. Instead, I treated it like a hidden bias tape facing and ran the elastic through that.


I also messed around with the hem shape slightly. The way the pattern reads, there is a curved hem in the front, but the back goes straight across, which seemed strange to me. I decided to curve the back hem to match the front, so it's more of a shirt-tail hem that dips in the front and back and is slightly higher at the sides.


The fit is loose, as expected, and delightfully flowy, as I hoped. However, the armholes are really quite low- my whole bra band shows! Arg! I feel like a pattern this simple should really be sure to get things like that right. It's not the end of the world, but I would prefer if it came up about 2" higher at the underarm.


All-in-all, though, this was a good "welcome back" project! I love how it looks with my Birkin Flares and my new clogs (Clarks Ledella Trail, recommended by Jenny of Cashmerette... so, so comfy!). I topped the outfit off with a vintage '70s necklace I stole from my mom. Perfect!


What do you think of my new photo-taking spot? This is the front/side yard at the apartment building where I am currently staying for a few months. I felt a bit nervous about taking photos in public (yes, I know the balcony at my Bangkok apartment was not technically private, but it felt more private). I got a few questions (and two pairs of pants to hem from my neighbor/landlord) and some weird looks, but I like how the photos turned out. It'll do for now, I think!

23 comments:

  1. Nice job as usual. Will be interested in your future thoughts on the Bernina, as it seems to be a highly coveted machine in the blog sphere. Does it live up to the hype? I hope you will consider discussing and sharing.

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    1. Thanks!! So far so good with the Bernina. It's got a few issues I hope to have resolved (the bobbin winder doesn't currently work) and I am still figuring out exactly how certain functions work, but it purred through this this rayon without jamming it up in the throat plate, which is awesome. I'll definitely provide an update at some point in the future!

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  2. I love April's new rayon prints and colors...but working with the fabric was definitely a challenge. Wonder tape was my friend when doing the hem lol.

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    1. It was really thin and slippery, wasn't it? I had to go really slowly with the French seams.

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  3. I have an out of print Vogue pattern on my cutting table similar to this one and your wonderful top has encouraged me to move it up the list! Love your new picture taking spot...and I know what you mean about the exposure...but your neighbors will get used to it. Mine use to lean over their patios and watch but now they just ignore me! *LOL* Glad you're settling in well!

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    1. This style would look fabulous on you, Carolyn. It's the perfect summer blouse. Hopefully the armholes on your Vogue pattern are better fitting than these!!

      Ha ha- glad to know the neighbors eventually get bored!

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  4. lol, I kind of can't believe you got two pairs of pants to hem! I haven't been able to bring myself do the photos-in-front-of-the-neighbors thing yet but I should, as the front of the house is a better venue. I love the 70s vibe of your outfit!

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    1. Thanks! I was really apprehensive about the photo taking. Explaining the whole sewing/blogging thing to people not in the know can be really exhausting. Oh well! Worth it.

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  5. This shirt is really cute, Meg! I got a different April Rhodes rayon and I was surprised/disappointed with the weight of it. I have also gotten used to the heavier weight rayons and prefer them. I'm cracking up that you have pants to hem after taking these pictures. Your new spot is great!

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    1. I'm glad to know it wasn't just me thinking it was on the thin side. It's significantly different from the Cotton + Steel rayons, isn't it?

      I am hoping those two pairs of pants are the only ones I get. Although after the fact he told me to tell him how much he owes me. Maybe I'll just subtract my going rate from my next rent check ;-)

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  6. I have the same bernina 910. It does perfect topstitching on jeans and was the only machine I own that would sew leather without a problem. Hope you lovery yours !!

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    1. Ooooh- I am so happy to hear that! That's exactly why I wanted a metal machine! My modern Janome does just fine on most things, but I wanted more power for things like denim topstitching, etc. Yay!

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  7. Yay!!! Love all this Vermont sewing! That is a really sturdy and powerful looking sewing machine! Can't wait to hear more about it. And I love the top and the fabric. Good to know about the armholes, though, that stuff makes a big difference to me in terms of wearing things to work, having to wear a camisole, etc. Ugh! It is a lovely ensemble, though, I love the groovy vibe.

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    1. :-) It's so sturdy- it weighs like a million pounds! Ha!

      The armhole thing is a bit annoying, not gonna lie. It's such a simple pattern, I feel like that detail should have been remedied before publication!

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  8. Love your 'camp era' blouse! (I went to Girl Scout camp Hochelaga near you on the lake.) And I used to have the same sewing machine until the motor blew up. I really could shoot myself for letting all the feet go with the machine. ARGH! Thanks for the memories!

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    1. How fun (about camp, not about the motor on your machine blowing up!). Yeah, I've heard those feet are like gold. I was lucky because my mom got this machine from her quilting friend with a ton of different feet, including a walking foot! The only thing I'm missing, upon first inspection, is an invisible zipper foot.

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    2. You can use the buttonhole foot for invisible zippers. Proud 930e and just got a 730, owner here

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    3. Fascinating! I'll have to look into it. I've never done the 4-step buttonhole, either, so that's new for me. Thanks!

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  9. Meg, as far as I know you can still purchase the feet from Bernina Dealers. I owned the original Bernina 830 fro 27 years and traded up to the Bernina 180E, as yes I can still sew leather, and heavey mens braces on that machine as the good Bernina machines have solid metal shafts. I forgot that I have repaired a heavy canvas tent on my machine with out any problems,

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    1. Cool! I'll have a look around town to see if there is a dealer nearby. Glad to hear the machines are so powerful!!

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  10. I love your Loretta. Great color for you!

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    1. Thanks so much! I never would have thought this would be a good color on me, but I quite like it!

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  11. I predict that you will really like your "new" Bernina. I bought my first Bernina nearly 44 years ago when I had three kids and a new home to sew for. It is still being used by my daughter. The feet are can be used with any of the three other Berninas I have bought. I have taught both daughter and 3 granddaughters to sew/quilt on these machines. One of them lives at another daughter's, thus is still in the family. They will all remain in the famiy long after I no longer use them.
    I hope you find a dealership near by. My local dealer has classes and can answer any questions.

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