Friday, 24 October 2014

Alterations

This is the beautiful winter coat that Mama R and I found while we were out shopping. Like most RTW items that Mama R finds, it required quite a few  alterations.  

In this photo, the sleeves are in mid-alteration stage but I wanted to snap a photo to show the length of the hem. I wish Mama R would have allowed a before photo because you wouldn't believe this is a size 12 they way she was drowning in the length. But it fit beautifully in the shoulders. 

At the time, it seemed like a reasonable project. Of course, I wasn't thinking about how much I dislike doing alterations. I was smitten with the vintage feel of the style and the shape of that collar.  

"Sure", I said when asked if it could be altered.

The coat had a lovely drape, it was fully lined and even had a removable liner for extra warmth. This would work as a spring coat as well. 

The sleeves were the biggest pain of all the fix-ups. I cut off about four inches and then turned them up another 1 3/8" along with adjusting the sleeve lining. The sleeves had a mock sleeve vent which is hardly noticeable and inner buttons that had to be moved for the inner liner.  

The coat length was shortened by nine inches and there was a back vent that Mama R wanted closed. There is now a 1" hem on the coat and the lining is another inch shorter.  

The inner liner was much less complicated and time consuming. It required a simple hem on the sleeves and bottom.  

To be completely honest there were more than a few moments that I thought about giving up on this project. It is not my favourite kind of sewing. But I'm glad that I stuck it out. Mama R is pleased with how it turned out and I'm pleased that I can do some actual sewing--the non-alteration kind.

Happy Sewing!  








Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sufferin' succotash!

My goodness, what is it with shipping costs?  

I once paid eight dollars to Vogue Patterns to ship out some patterns that arrived from a Canadian destination and had postage marked on the envelope that was less than two dollars. I was not impressed.  

Last week, Colette Patterns posted on their blog that they have lowered shipping costs and that international customers will especially notice a difference. Thrilled to read this, I went to order Moneta. Shipping costs for the one pattern came to eight dollars and sixty-five cents. Now if that was a lowered shipping cost, I would hate to think how much it was before. Then Colette Pattern posted another shipping cost related message again today. 
So many of you inquired about where to get Dahlia if you aren’t in the US and don’t want to deal with international shipping. I thought I’d post a rundown of retailers who may have it first in your area.
So I looked at the list, found a retailer located in Canada and proceed to check it out. Yes, they have the Moneta pattern and they ship. [small happy dance] But I was a little shocked to see that the price of the pattern is higher than Colette's own website and so is the shipping!  



Sufferin' Succotash! The total cost jumped to over thirty dollars. It's cheaper to order the pattern from Colette Patterns and deal with their international costs! And all because I'm not a fan of PDF patterns. I have to start drafting my own patterns.  

Happy Sewing!  




  

Monday, 20 October 2014

Oscar de la Renta

Always relevant and inspiring Oscar de la Renta passed away today. Not only did he design for the rich and famous, he made his designs accessible to the home sewist. He came onto the fashion scene in the nineteen fifties and produced designs offered by Vogue for most of his career.  

Circa 1960s

Circa 1970s

Circa 1970s

Circa 1980s

Circa 1980s

Circa 1980s

Circa 2000s

Circa 2000s
His range of designs included day dresses to evening dresses and couture to ready-to-wear styles. His enormous talent will surely be missed.  


Sunday, 19 October 2014

In Sewing News Today...

Good morning! New day and I am feeling optimistic about that coat. I'm still not a fan about alterations but a little patch work hidden on the inside of the coat will be our little secret. 

{Source}

Something that may not be a secret is my love of quality fabric and a good bargain. Yesterday, I found myself at Fabricland searching for some linen fabric that I saw last time I was there and neglected to pick up. It was in the discounted section and where else in this city would I find solid coloured 100% linen at $15.00/metre? 

I was kicking myself last week for not picking it up. Thankfully, I found it on the bottom shelf in the darkest corner of the store and there was enough for what I have in mind. 


It may not look all that impressive sitting here but I think it would be lovely made up in that Sybil Connolly dress I picked up a few weeks ago.  


I'm planning ahead as this will be a spring 2015 project.  

I also found this lovely floral print deeply discounted in the home decor department. It is a 100% cotton and would be perfect as a jacket.  


For this floral fabric, I'm thinking about using Vogue 8333. It is a pattern that has been in my stash for a few years waiting to be made up. I'll need to make a toile first.  


I also found a beautiful Wilmington Jacquard priced at $37.00/metre. Even at 50% off this weekend it's not in the budget and is still at the store. Check me out with some self-control!  


But I will admit that I did consider blowing the budget. I was thinking that this fabric would make a lovely jacket using Sandra Betzina's pleated neckline pattern. But I really don't need another one, I just love the pop of yellow.  


Well, that's enough day-dreaming planning for now. I should get back to that coat.  

Happy Sewing!  


Saturday, 18 October 2014

In Sewing News Today...

I'm am dying to get to my sewing machine and feel like I'm doing something creative. Instead, I'm working on an alteration project for Mama R. I really hate doing alterations but I love my Mom which explains why I doing something I rather not be doing.

It is a fully lined winter coat that has a removable liner for warmth. It really is a beautiful coat and I know she'll look great when it is finished. Do you want to know the kicker? I was the one who found the coat for her. And now I'm kicking myself. I can't really complain as Mama R is willing to help.  

She's also willing to drive me bananas over this project. I had her try on the coat so that we could measure a sleeve. What's that saying, measure a million times, cut once?

{Source}

Well, I measured, I pinned, I even basted a line of stitches so I knew where to fold it up. Of course all the measuring, pinning and basting were done when Mama R was trying on the coat. And then I cut the sleeve, I re-enforced the sleeve with fusible interfacing and I cut the sleeve lining. Mama R tries on the coat since she's around and asks that I take it down half an inch.  

Really.  

This is why I don't do alterations for people. I don't know how Fit for a Queen does it but that person is a saint. I hope her clients realize that and I wish I had some of her patience because right now I'm ready to throw the coat in the corner and start on some selfish sewing.   

But I won't.  

I've called it quits for the night and I am going to sleep on it and try to figure out how I'm going to make it work by adding another 1/2" to the sleeve length after I cut it. For now, that's tomorrow's sewing problem to solve. 





Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Peek Inside My Sewing Drawers

I have seven projects cut, packed away in my sewing drawer and waiting to be taken to the sewing table and stitched up. But I have been busy with mending and alteration projects.

1.  This blouse with bow details is cut out in a mint coloured silk. The plan was to make it this summer and when I finished it to make a pair of cream coloured pants to go with it.  That didn't happen. Instead, it has been sitting in my sewing drawer for months.

If I can get this to the sewing table soon, it just might turn out to be a lovely holiday season item.   
2.  This lovely Sybil Connolly coat is cut and ready to go ever since is landed in the mail. Okay, maybe a couple of days afterwards. I have it cut out in a red sateen fabric as my test run. If all goes well, I will cut out another winter version. But first I have to make my test garment.  
3.  Here is another project that I cut out with plans to make and wear it this past summer. It didn't happen but if it does make it to the sewing table this season I can get some wear out of it.

And if I do recall the first version of this top was a quick sew.  
4.  Now this pattern I'm almost embarrassed to tell you has been cut out for years. Yes, I said years [holding head in shame].

I cut it out in a green polyester for Mama R after I made her a blue version. She wears the first version but complained that she didn't like the width of the hemline created by the front pleat. Now she says it is her most comfortable top. I guess it grew on her and that would be the motivation I might need to get it done.  
5.  [still holding head in shame] This dress has also been cut out for years. I do believe that I actually started transferring dots and squares before it returned to the drawer. I really like the fabric and the vintage style of the dress so I can't explain why it is taking me so long to get this project done.  
6.  Here is another project that I cut out this summer as soon as it arrived in the mail. It is cut out of some left-over cotton fabric to test out the fit. The plan was to make this version and if all works out I have a lovely cream coloured wool fabric in mind for a final version.  
7.  I had cut three versions of this men's shirt for one of my brothers. I made two but the navy and black print fabric remains cut and unsewn in my sewing drawer. My bad. 

I was just using fabric from my stash for years and it was shirt projects that I gifted to him. I wonder if my brother remembers that there is a third shirt coming?  



Well, I've confessed the dark side of my sewing. Sometimes I fall behind and neglect the projects I have in queue. The plan is once I get one more alteration project finished for Mama R, I will clear out the sewing drawer of these projects. And fingers crossed the plan is that I finish them by the end of November. 

Happy Sewing!  


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tackling That Ever Growing Mending Pile

Part III

Sometimes my mending and alteration pile increases in size with things that aren't even my own. I have no problem saying no to other people's mending except when it comes to my parents. 

Papa R never asks me to hem pants. Mama R does that for him. If you were to ask Papa R he would say that he doesn't need anymore pants but Mama R makes sure he looks as good as she does. So two pairs of pants found their way to my work table this weekend. I had to endure his complaining, "it's good enough," while I sat on the floor pinning his pants. Of course I was disturbing him with this task during one of his favourite television shows, The Price is Right. How dare I?  


Thankfully, Papa R played along and I was able to pin the pants to Mama R's satisfaction. Once they were done I showed him and he comments that he could have done it with scissors and tape. Obviously, I didn't not inherit my love of sewing from my dad.  

✄ ✄ ✄

The next item was a recently made item for Mama R. She requested a different elastic waist treatment for the skirt I made for her. Bless her heart she took out the stitching for me.  


I used the same elastic but instead of sewing a casing and then running the elastic through, I marked off the centre front and side seams on both the elastic and skirt.  


Stretching the elastic I zig-zag stitched in to the upper served edge. Then I used a stretch stitch to secure the lower edge of the elastic to the skirt. I then folded over the elastic towards the wrong side of the fabric and stitched in place. This worked out to be a much more flattering finish. The gathers sat evenly and appeared less bulky.  

I have to admit I like this method better than the one given on the pattern directions.   

Another three items knocked off the mending and alterations pile, made it feel like a productive weekend. How about you? Do other's mending and alterations projects end up on your sewing table?  

Happy Sewing!  






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