Saturday, September 7, 2013

If Burberry Made Sarongs


Sarongs

My daughter, the 18-year-old who is traveling the globe this year, asked me to make her a sarong - something that could be worn but also be used as a towel. She has to fit all of her gear into a small-ish backpack and it has to work for multiple countries with a variety of climates, so things have to be multipurpose.

Stoked

She asked me to do this about five days before she was slated to get on a plane.

At first I was excited by the idea of using one of two patterns suggested by sewing pal Karla Kizer: the Style Arc Fabulous Freda, or Burda 7207.

However, my daughter really wanted a simple rectangle, so I had to simplify.

I didn't have time to shop for fabric (I've been swamped at work), which meant that I had to use my stash. Most sarongs I've seen are made from fun floral prints. I do not own floral print fabrics. After puzzling it over, I did some stash diving and came up with two fabrics that would work.

One fabric is (I believe) a cotton rayon blend. It has a nice drape and is reversible. The other is a cotton double gauze. I love double gauze fabrics, which are also reversible. The best quality double gauze fabrics are from Japan, but I own several pieces made in China that, while not the same quality as the Japanese double gauze fabrics, have a soft drape. I sacrificed a fuchsia double gauze fabric to the cause.

Both fabrics are plaid on one side. The double gauze has a check on the reverse side. The light blue fabric is striped on the reverse side.

My friend Heather told me that she likes her sarongs made with the dimensions of 1-5/8 yards by 45".

I hemmed three rectangles in all. I made the first from double gauze and, once it was completed, I realized I had cut it out to the wrong dimensions - it was 1-5/8 yards by 36". Luckily, I had enough fabric to make another. In the end, I was glad to keep the smaller one. I've been wearing it around the house as a skirt and it's so soft and comfy!

It amuses me to think that my daughter may be the only person circumnavigating the globe sporting a plaid sarong. ;)

New Sewing Machine!

A week ago I received an email from a local sewist who reads my blog. She was cleaning out her sewing room and offered me a cover stitch machine that she no longer needed. Was I interested?

Was I!!!

Susanne J and I planned to meet at the fabric store over Labor Day weekend. We had so much fun chatting and enriching our already-bloated stashes. (We definitely enabled each other.) She gifted me with a Bernette 009DCC. It's a beauty!

This machine does both a cover stitch and a chain stitch. I didn't want to un-thread the black thread from my serger, so I ordered several cones of black Maxilock thread from Wawak. I was impressed by how quickly my order arrived - my Tuesday order arrived on Thursday, using regular shipping.

On Thursday night I spent some time figuring out how to thread the machine for the cover stitch. My first project was to hem some RTW yoga pants that DD2 wanted to take on her trip.

My next project (already completed) is a knit top. I was excited to road test this baby!

I usually hem knits by hand, but this is going to be fun! Thanks so much, Susanne!!

Leaving

DD2 and I spent some time playing on Friday afternoon into the evening. She got on a plane early this morning. I am not sure when I will be able to speak to her next, as the students leave their cell phones behind once they leave the U.S. I am going to miss the rascal!

Here are a few pics from our Friday outing.

40 comments:

  1. She is off on a big adventure. Oh to be young again! Lucky you with the new machine. I am sure you will be putting it to good use.

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  2. Oh, what a bittersweet time... Love Love LOVE those sarongs!!! I've actually made many (thanks to my time in the tropics, and I always take one when I travel - no matter where I'm going!

    Love the shadow pics too - and congrats on the gifted coverstitch - yay! :)

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    1. Thanks, JillyBe! I'm curious, what dimensions do you find useful?

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    2. I like 45" by 2 yds. Shorter is OK, but the 2 yds. allows me to wrap it around my waist twice with some ears to tie it, or around the waist or bust with enough for complete closure, and then pin or roll it into place, and also long enough for a nice shawl/wrap for cool evenings.

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  3. Free coverstitch machine. It was at that moment that my brain overloaded..

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    1. I know, right?!?!?! Susanne was incredibly generous!!! (And she's nice and stylish, to boot.)

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  4. I'm sure you are going to be coming such good friends with that coverstitch machine! What a wonderful gift! Hope DD thoroughly enjoys all her travels and that she can get in touch with you before too long.

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    1. Oh, and love, love the shadow photos!

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    2. Thanks, Linda! I hadn't been sewing a lot of knits recently, but I think that will change!

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  5. Only you could come up with such amazing sarongs. She will be wrapped in them for the next year, and that must be comforting, right? Your post brought back memories of how I felt when my DD left for foreign lands.

    Wow, now I am totally making a double gauze sarong for myself. You have pre-enabled my fabric purchase when I see the right fabric. Yours is really cute.

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    1. LOL. Thanks, Robin! I have been thinking of you, because I know you went through something similar.

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  6. Beautiful fabric choices for the sarongs, they rock!! Your beautiful daughter looks so excited to be off on the trek. My daughter trekked around around a few South American countries this past spring sans cellphone so know the *disconnected* feeling. A week into the trip the group leader sent a short vid clip of her swan diving off an old railroad trestle attached to a jerry-rigged bungee cord into a mile deep gorge somewhere in Ecuador! Oy Vey! LOL! Not exactly what a Mom wants to see but I could tell she was having the time of her life.

    I envy your cover/chainstitch machine - I need one so bad! Have fun with it! Ani

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    1. KittyAnn, this sounds like a similar trip (through TBB), except that this one ends up in Ecuador. Oy Vey, I wonder if something like this is in the plans.

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  7. Your daughter looks like a hoot! Wishing her safe, wonderful travels. The sarong you made looks fantastic, and will be so versatile and useful!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! I thought some people might think, "Wow, how weird... A plaid sarong??!?" LOL

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  8. Ahhh, momentous time for each of you. Can't wait to hear whatever little bits of news you get from her. Life changing experience, for sure.
    Love the sarongs...so stylish! And those shadow pictures should be blown up and framed...they are fabulous!

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    1. Thanks, Margy! Yes, I expect to get a very changed kid back next May!

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  9. I love your plaid sarongs -- she'll be the most stylish person trekking the globe! What an adventure for her -- can't wait to hear updates.

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  10. Loved this post, Sharon. Seeing you with your daughter, just priceless. Congrats on the new machine. There's nothing quite like a new machine!

    I just got a Janome Cover Pro for big projects. It has a larger bed than normal cover stitch machines. I love it!

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    1. Thanks, Gayle! Congrats on your new Janome!

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  11. How does the sarong stay closed if the only closure is at the top??? The fabrics are delish. Keep us updated on her!

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    1. She was been playing with different ways to wear it, but if you wear it as shown, it's more of a towel/swimsuit coverup.

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  12. Wow, what an awesome adventure for your daughter who is very pretty btw. Congrats on the cover stitch ~ that was a lovely gift! I'm glad that you had such a good time with Susanne and I'm sure we are going to see some awesome knit pieces emerge from your new sewing machine!

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  13. You are a Good Mother! The sarongs are very very stylish. And, encouraging your daughter to take off for a big adventure is just plain wonderful. I will always be grateful to my parents for going along with my outlandish plan to head to South America when I was 20. I was so naive I thought South America was just like Seattle except they spoke Spanish - good grief. I think all three of us were apprehensive about that trip but it set me on my path for life! What a Good Good Mother you are!!!

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    1. LOL, Claire. Your parents turned out a pretty cool daughter! I do think that this sort of travel can form a person.

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  14. I got empathic tears reading this. Love this post a lot for many different reasons.

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  15. Good luck to your DD! If it makes you feel any better the sarongs I pickup up in my backpacking days were floral AND plaid! I used mine TONS when traveling. Sleeping, bathing, beaching, walking, etc....

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    1. Yay! I feel less weird. Thanks, andib!

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  16. Lots going on in this blogpost! Safe travels for your daughter.

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  17. Reminds me of when my son shipped off for the Peace Corps. He was in a village with no electricity nor running water. It was a great adventure for both of us!

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  18. Oh Shams! That is the same cover stitch machine I have. You will love it. It is completely idiot proof. I haven't even changed the needles in years. It is remarkable to have a stand alone cover stitch machine.

    BTW, to the reader who asked how you keep a sarong closed, the fabrics are light enough that, once it is on, you can create tiny knots where you want more security. It really works.

    I'm trying to wrap my brain around that burda wrap pattern with the spaghetti straps to try it out without a pattern but just can't. I like the idea of a sarong that doesn't have to squash your upper chest to stay up.

    Lisa from BABES

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  19. Hmmm. I just thought some more about the burda pattern. I get it. You wrap it around your back, cross the fabric in front and hook a shoulder through the spaghetti strap. The drawing makes it look like the strap is attached to the back but it really isn't. Right? Lisa from BABES.

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  20. The best hint when I started to use the coverstitch was to sew a contrasting basting stitch on the right side where you intend to fold the raw edge to on the back. Then pin up the hem. When you stitch from the right side, centered over the basting line, your raw edge will be perfectly enclosed on the back. Then remove the contrasting basting line. Perfection. Enjoy.

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  21. Best to your daughter... I'm sure it will be an amazing trip! Love how the sarongs turned out.

    Don't miss Debbie Cook's Coverstitch information. http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com/2001/01/coverstitch-all-stuff.html

    Everything you ever wanted to know about CS but were afraid to ask. My tablemate at a CS class Sunday had that machine and it performed very well. Stand alone CS is the way to go! :-)

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  22. Shams, congrats on the 009!! I have one, too, but I have never used it and I have had it for years! We can learn together!

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