Saturday, September 7, 2013

If Burberry Made 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.


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!!


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.