It's all about the sequins! | Week 11 | #52wonderfilledweeks

This week...this was a week.  So many highs and lows. On one hand I am super excited for my horn and organ concert later today.  I have wanted to do this collaboration for years, since I was first introduced to the Hermann Baumann Horn and Organ CD by my teacher Rick Menaul while in undergrad.  I had Bubba 10.5 months ago and I am just so proud of myself for setting this goal (if I do say so)! On the other hand it was a heart wrenching week as a friend lost his 36 year old sister to cancer in 27 days.  TWENTY SEVEN days.  Think about it. She leaves behind a husband, 7 yo and an 8 mo boys as well as her parents and siblings.  Life just seems so unfair.  19 years ago my sister was ripped from our lived in a freak car accident.  All the emotions from my family's loss came barreling back to me.  Needless to say it was a hard week to keep my focus and I was happy to have a project to meditate on and help to quiet my mind.  Ironically, I couldn't use my serger (which makes clothing construction SUPER fast) I was forced to use my sewing machine for everything.  It was so slow going and while I normally would be super frustrated by the speed, or lack of it, I was thankful this week because it forced me to take things slow and enabled me to gather my thoughts about everything going on.

SEW...I needed a new top for my upcoming concert. But I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  Luckily I took a jaunt through Chicago's Textile Discount Outlet back in January with another sewing/musician friend when I saw this amazing sequined fabric.  I have been uhb-sessed over navy blue for the past year or so.  Pretty much since I knew Bubba was a little man...coincidence? I knew at once what I wanted to make, another M4M Mama Claire.  I swear I have a few new patterns in my queue but this was screaming to be made into one!  

These sequins aren't your average sequins, they are small and more flexible than what you might be thinking.  Usually it's recommended to remove any sequins within your seam allowance.  This is for comfort (they can really scratch up next to your skin) and it's easier to sew thru.  I choose to risk it and sew thru the sequins since my rotary blade cut my fabric pretty easily. Well...I busted a needle on my serger within about three inches of sewing my tester fabric.  I've learned a lot about sewing in the past few years, and a TON just this year doing this challenge and I knew that was a sign I should just cut my losses and sew the whole bad boy on my regular sewing machine.  I never realized how. much. longer. sewing on a sewing machine can take after sewing on my serger! The contrast of the two machines was amazing and I am super excited to get back to my serger next week.

Top stitching the seams.
In addition to the slowness of sewing on my regular machine I had to deal with the "unfinished" look.  I really love the way a serger makes everything look so crisp and professional so I decided to finish my seams up in two different way to make up for it.  First, I made sure to press/push over my seam allowance after sewing and top stitch.  Think like on a pair of jeans.  This makes for a more comfortable garment as the seam allowance isn't sticking up and all wonky and scratchy against the skin.  But it also gives a more finished look I think from both the front (the fabric is basically see through) and the back.  The other trick I used was when adding my bands I serged the edges.  I do this even when I am using my serger to assemble a garment.  I find serging the edges helps to keep the band from rolling when stretching to fit the line.  In this instance though when I top stitched over the finished seam it actually looked like I was able to serge the garment. I of course broke a twin needle right before being done! But thankfully I had a back up and just took it even slower!!

I am really happy with the finished garment.  I had planned on making a matching bamboo tank for underneath but with everything else going on this week I opted to make something in my closet work. 

Sometimes I write my blog the night before I post because kids and life can happen Sunday mornings.  I wrote the above late last night.  This morning as I was drinking my coffee and playing with my kids I caught this story on CBS Sunday Morning, How busy hands can alter our brain chemistry (we like to call it the cry show).  It just affirmed what I had already wrote above about how making something this week helped me cope with what life was throwing at me.  Actually it's probably the number one reason I started this challenge.  I already knew how I felt when I took the time to create science is jumping into the pool!


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