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. 


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?


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.  


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!  

Monday, 13 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my Canadian readers and anyone else celebrating the holiday weekend, Happy Thanksgiving!  

Besides the obvious list, family, friends, job, roof over my head, food, clothes on my back, and pumpkin pie. I'm  also thankful for an extra day off this weekend and maybe the chance to fit in some sewing time.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Tackling that Ever-Growing Mending Pile

Part II

Can you believe that this vest has already made it to the mending pile? It didn't take long at all, it actually made it to the mending pile before I had a chance to wear it out in public. Yes, it was part of my blooper-filled August sewing.   

The seam finish on this vest are French seams and being a silk fabric I was dealing with some fraying. I believe that I had cut a rather large hole in the side seam when I was trimming back some frayed threads that showed through my French seams. My bad.  

I used Fray Check to control the fraying and to allow for the narrowest seam allowance over the hole. It was near the bottom hemline at the side seam and I didn't want to have too much bulk at the hem allowance. Thankfully, the repair worked out without drawing attention to the repair.  

 ✄ ✄ ✄

This jacket also made it to the mending pile. I was wearing it out recently and the opening of the pocket seams were opening up.  

It was a quick fix that shouldn't had been in the mending pile at all. I wish I could blame it on waiting until I changed the thread colour on the sewing machine but nope I can't do that. There has been black thread in the sewing machine for some weeks now.  My bad. 

And of course, I could have avoided this mending pile visit if I only reinforced those decorative seams when I cut out the pocket as I refashioned the jacket. I know, I should have known better but in my defence I do believe I was in a T-3 induced state after knee surgery and sewing in short spurts while standing up in order to keep my leg straight.  

✄ ✄ ✄

These ski pants have been in my wardrobe for two years now and I'm almost embarrassed to tell you that it has been that long that these have been waiting to be shortened. I could have taken them into get altered but I would hate to think how much I would be charged with the inner elasticized and outer leg with metal snaps to be shortened. Besides, I could [umm] do this, if I would stop packing it away for the summer!  

With the inner leg alteration I didn't want to cut off the elastic and reinsert it. So instead, I tucked a section all around just above the elastic and then serged off the excess.

The outer leg was more difficult and it is not perfect. I had the challenge of the snaps on the lower section to work around and the fact that one leg is shorter than the other by half an inch. Here I shortened it while I kept the pant leg a little longer knowing that I can hook it up in the back with the loop and snap that was part of the design.

I didn't stress over finishing the hem, I just served the edge and left it. If I do decide on finishing it with a hem in a couple of years (okay, at least I'm honest about my readiness to do mending), I'll finish it with twill or bias tape. But for now, I'm okay with it.

Well, that is three items knocked off the mending and alteration pile and can you believe I have hardly put a dent into it? More to come...

Happy Sewing!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...