Monday, 21 August 2017

Strawberry Fields Apron

I picked up this strawberry field print quilting cotton fabric and seam binding yesterday to make Mom an apron. She's been waiting for an apron for a long time a very long time. Mama R really liked the apron I made six years ago with OOP Butterick 5263. Except she didn't want a reversible one. She said it was too heavy to wear.  

She just wanted a simple single layer apron that could protect her dresses when working in the kitchen. I still used OOP Butterick 5263 to recreate one for Mama R. Instead of sewing two layers together, I finished the edges of the neckline, armhole and hem with red seam binding.   

I had some really cute buttons that I wanted to put on the back but Mama R wasn't having any of that, insisting that she's just going to pull it over her head and wouldn't want to fuss with buttons. The back is stitched closed, after using my seam ripper to remove the first attempt at a buttonhole. 

And look at how cute she is in her new apron!  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2 metres 100% cotton  

Bias Tape:  2 packages of pre-made bias tape.  

Pattern:  OOP Butterick 5263

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, ruler, measuring tape, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, tailor's chalk, iron, ironing board, serger, 4 spools of threads (cotton for the sewing machine and polyester threads for the serger), seam ripper, and coffee.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Retail Therapy...

Okay, my birthday was low key this year. First year in almost a decade that I worked on my actual birthday. This is great news because I'm usually laid off for the summers. And lay-offs are difficult. But my birthday also fell when one of my oldest and dearest friends was packing up and moving away. Of course, I wish her and her husband well but it's sad to see them move. So, some retail therapy was in order. This is my excuse for breaking my fabric fast this month and I'm sticking to it.     

I found these lovely fabrics at my local Fabricland store. They are going to be made into things for others but they just make me happy.  

Seriously, how awesome is this print? I want to frame it but instead I'm going to turn this fabric into some reusable shopping bags. It was one of the home decor fabrics.   

This one is a quilting cotton that I'm reserving for some more microwave bowl cozies.  

Same with this fly print, I wish the colour showed up better, the background colour is actually blue. I thought it's a hilarious print for soup bowl cozies. 

I love this strawberry field print, another quilting cotton but this one is reserved for an apron for Mama R.  

I did do some selfish shopping as well. A little birthday present for myself.    

I do love a paisley design and this red and black knit caught my eye. It is part of the new fall line showed up at the store. And I picked up two metres to make myself another Marcy Tilton skirt, Vogue 9060. Now, I just need to get to work.  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 19 August 2017

It's Like It's My Birthday Or Something

Ever since Fabricland/Fabricville stopped carrying Simplicity patterns the only way to get those lovely patterns has been to order them online or search for them on Etsy or Ebay. So, since they disappeared from the Canadian retail brick-n-motor landscape my Simplicity pattern purchases dropped significantly. It's sad because they have some really cool designers lately and many have been TNT patterns.  

And some super cute kids patterns as well. Seriously, how cute is this pattern?  

Well, that all changed when I spotted this instagram post. It's like they knew I didn't have a chance to celebrate my birthday earlier this week and they wanted to mark the occasion. So I picked up a couple of birthday presents for moi. Squeal! Okay, there's also a pattern for Mama R.  

Yes, all those must-have-essential and too-cute-for-words patterns are available at 40% off with the discount code found on their instagram post for this weekend. 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

One of the Most Comfortable Dresses I've Made: Vogue 9268

One of the fall 2017 Vogue Pattern release patterns that caught my eye was Kathryn Brenne's Vogue 9268. I couldn't wait to get to work on this one, a pattern for a knit dress with that side drape, I was instantly sold.  

As soon as it hit the local fabric store, I picked up my copy. Despite the fact that it is currently on sale on the MBV website, I couldn't wait for it to make it's way through the postal system. Would you believe it sold out on the website at the beginning of the sale? Actually, it's not that hard to believe. I have noticed that it is back in stock and it's still on sale for another day. But I digress...

This was meant to be my toile. I used some interlock twist yarn (Ity) knit fabric just because I had a lot of this fabric in my stash and it's a two-way stretch with the required crossgrain stretch. I actually have a cotton knit that I want to make this pattern up in but I will admit the Ity knit has a lovely drape. 

I did have to tweak the pattern, a wee bit. Okay, a lot. I'm talking about the length and my five-foot-one frame. Love that there were markings to lengthen or shorten the skirt portion. Even with cutting the shorter version, I still had to adjust the length. 

I could actually benefit from shortening the sleeves a little more. Maybe on the next one, I'll make it with three-quarter length sleeves. And I did change the shape of the neckline. Instead of the V-neck shape, I changed it to a rounded neckline referring to the changes I made to the Marcy Tilton tops, Vogue 9057

I used Knit-N-Stable™ on neckline, sleeve and hem instead of cutting out the interfacing pieces. I love that this pattern comes with pattern pieces for interfacing the hem. The only pattern pieces I used were the dress front, back, and the sleeve. The dress is cut out as a size medium and I made one more change. I cut the front and back pattern piece on the fold, eliminating the centre seams. I quite like it without the centre seams.  

Now, I need to get busy on the cotton knit version.  

The Stats:

Fabric:  4.2 metres polyester knit (I used more than the required amount because of a cutting error and had to re-cut the dress front piece.)

Fusible Tape:  3 metres Knit-N-Stable 

Pattern:  Vogue 9268

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Pins, tape, cutting table, scissors, thread clippers, sewing machine, serger, walking foot, iron, ironing board, measuring tape, curved ruler, tailor's chalk, and coffee.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

My Day of Sewing Bloopers

I should have been able to sew up Simplicity 2372 with my eyes closed. I've made so many versions of this pattern, it should have been an easy peasy project.  

And to be honest, looking at it now you wouldn't believe the bloopers that occurred along the way. Maybe sewing while stuffed up and a sinus headache wasn't the best idea, but I had promised Mom I would sew this earlier in the week. And I was itching to do sewing after six days of not, I was starting to experience withdrawal symptoms.   

The first blooper came when I tried to zip up the zipper and realized it was all twisted. I wish I could say that this is the first time this has happened but that wouldn't be truthful. I haven't been sleeping well this week with being all stuffed up so we can throw in there lack of sleep this week. Now, that is being truthful. But sometimes you just have to feed the need to sew and work past the tiredness.  

I'm glad that I did because I was able to fix the issue before calling it a night. Everything was going well until it came to the pockets. When I clipped a big hole in it.   

Yes, I did. Snipped right through the upper corner of the pocket. It's amazing that Mom even has another dress hanging in her closet.  

The fabric is a fairly recent find. I found this beautiful floral print stretch sateen at Fabricland. The lining fabric is from the now-closed Mitchell Fabrics and has been in my stash for a long time. And the interfacing used was a light-weight fusible interfacing. Both fabrics were pre-treated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer and pressed before they were cut.  

The dress pattern is from Simplicity 2372 and has been modified to Mom's requests,

  • Zipper in the back
  • Centre front seam removed and cut on the fold
  • Hemline shortened
  • Sleeve lengtened
  • Neckline adjustments
Despite all the bloopers that occurred in the past twenty-four hours, I'm thrilled with how everything worked out in the end.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.10 metres

Interfacing:  0.5 metres

Zipper:  22" invisible zipper

Pattern:  Simplicity 2372

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads, hand needle, seam ripper, blind hem foot, walking foot, regular foot, invisible zipper foot, zipper foot, iron, ironing board, scissors, thread clippers, rulers, measuring tape, pins, pin cushions, tailor's ham, sleeve roll, tailor's chalk, good tunes (The White Stripes), tea, coffee, and there was an attempt to take a nap.  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Advice for Beginners

Yesterday, I was approached by someone who doesn't sew but wants to learn. They wanted advice on purchasing a sewing machine. The advice I offered was to do the research and try it out before making a decision. I also shared my thoughts on my own sewing machines and how the one that cost the least amount of money was a true treasure.  

It is hard to give a recommendation for a sewing machine because I think it is a very personal decision and that it depends on what you want to make, the type of sewing you want to do, and how much time and expense you want to invest. But I shared what information I thought would be helpful even though I didn't feel I was the best source. I don't have an extensive knowledge of the many brands out there. I feel strongly that someone has to do their own research. 

And I was asked about what patterns I sew with and well, as you all know, I'm basically a Vogue pattern sewer. I like the fit and I enjoy the challenge of their designer patterns. But for a beginner, I recommended trying McCall's "Learn to Sew for Fun" patterns. I think that McCall's does an excellent job with offering beginner patterns. 

So, it has me thinking about what sewing advice I would give a beginner. 
  1. Practice. No one is born a naturally skilled sewer, it takes practice.   
  2. Invest in a seam ripper. We all make mistakes so don't ever get discouraged if you have to dig out a seam ripper.  
  3. Hand-stitching is just as important as knowing how to machine stitch. Don't underestimate the importance of those unseen hand stitches to the final look of your project.  
  4. Never throw out the fabric scraps after you finish cutting out your project. Keep them near by to practice on, it is a good way to check the quality of your needle and test out your stitching and tension before you get started.   
  5. One needle does not fit all
  6. There is a difference between pressing and ironing. Never skip on pressing as you sew. It will make a world of difference in the final outcome.  
  7. Don't sew over pins! Please don't. It could cause your needle to break, damage your fabric or worse.  
  8. Take care to cut your pattern following the grain line markings and transferring all the required markings. The investment in time will pay off in the end. Pattern instruction sheets have a glossary of terms that you should read and understand before you begin work on your pattern. Just like following a recipe, read the instructions first before starting a project.   
  9. Wax your thread to prevent it from getting tangled when hand-stitching or sewing on buttons.  
  10. Have fun! Sewing is supposed to be relaxing. If it's not, it's time to get up put on some good tunes, dance a little, make a cup of tea or do something else. Give yourself permission to enjoy the creative process. It's all about the journey of discovery. Enjoy it.  
That's it, now that I've given it more thought, my sewing advice for beginners.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I Need a Plan!

There is nothing like a rainy August day and a few leaves on the ground to make me realize that summer will soon be coming to an end. And the sad part of this is that I haven't gotten around to sewing plans that I wanted to make. Part recovery from the injury, part lost sewing mojo and part life just got in the way.  

I picked up this pattern back in November 2016 (pre-injury) with plans to have that top made in time for the summer. I have still yet to make it. 

This Oki Style pattern was picked up over a year ago (March 2016) and I was crazy excited about sewing this up, still am. Life just got busy and it fell to the sides.  

Does this happen to you? Big plans that sometimes don't come to be because of unforeseen circumstances or procrastination or perhaps a lack of planning. Or perhaps you try out a pattern and then you spend the next few weeks remaking it because it's too fabulous (insert Eva dress that I've been distracted with lately).  

Or are you the type of sewist that I envy who can stick to a plan regardless of what life and pattern companies throw at us?  

The only plan I have in the near further is to make a dress for Mom and then an Eva dress for a friend. And then maybe I'll get to making a sewing plan for myself.  

Happy Sewing!  

Strawberry Fields Apron

I picked up this strawberry field print quilting cotton fabric and seam binding yesterday to make Mom an apron. She's been waiting for ...