Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Slow and Steady...

This week I'm living by the rule "slow and steady wins the race" when it comes to working on the Issey Miyake dress, OOP Vogue 2427. 

I was out of commission this weekend as I tried to regain neck and shoulder movement without aggravating it further. I set the stress to this area into motion when I was cutting out six large pattern pieces on the floor. There was a visit to the doctor's office and physio and applying heat and doing stretches that allowed me a wee bit of time to do some hand stitching.   

The dress is slowly coming together and with each pleat that is basted in place I'm loving this pattern a little more. But I'm stopping here, grateful for the little bit of sewing that I was able to do. And hopefully, tomorrow will be filled with more movement in the sewing room.  

Until then, happy sewing!  

Friday, 22 July 2016

Holy Pin Cushion Batman!

I think I'm getting too old foolish to be on my hands and knees cutting out pattern pieces on the floor because oh-my-goodness am I ever hurting.  

The Issey Miyake dress pattern, OOP Vogue 2427 has several large pattern pieces that are cut from single layers of fabric. And the pattern pieces and fabric were too big to cut from my cutting table. What was a gal to do? It is like Bob Dylan said, 
Behind every beautiful thing, there's been some kind of pain.
And this pattern is a beautiful thing. (Although, I don't think Bob Dylan was talking about sewing.)

It is all cut out now and the sewing machine and serger have been threaded. I even have the buttons ready to go. But I think I'm going to take the rest of the evening to mend.  

Tips for Pain Free Fabric Cutting

  1. Get someone else to do your cutting.  
  2. If that is not possible, get up and move around often. Know your limits and don't spend too much time in one position.  
  3. While you're up and moving throw in a couple of stretches.  
  4. Ice and heat. And followed by ice.  
  5. Rest.  

Of course, I'm sharing these "words of wisdom" after I neglected tips 1 to 3 and learned my lesson. What can I say, I was excited to get started on this project. Step 4 is working, now I'm onto step 5 before I start back on this project. Tomorrow.    

Until then, happy sewing stretching!  

Thursday, 21 July 2016

In Sewing News Today...

Good morning lovely sewing people, 

So what is on your sewing table? 

After browsing the latest makes on Pattern Review, I got a kick was inspired to sew an OOP Issey Miyake pattern, Vogue 2427, that made it into my stash this year.  

Did you see Sarah's version over at Pattern Review? I actually gasped when I saw it, it is beautiful and I love that she did it in a stripe. My pattern sat in my stash because I feared that it would be too small as I purchased a size 12 and this pattern comes from the days when patterns came in single-sized envelopes.  

Sarah was gracious enough to respond to my question about how "loose-fitting" this pattern worked out to be in the end.  
Hi Graca.It is loose fitting in the sleeves and shoulders but fits at the waist and across the front.I think you could move the buttons over a bit and perhaps add some at the sides.Hope that helps and I look forward to your version!
With these words of encouragement, I opened this treasure and much to my delight I believe that a size 12 will work based on the amount of ease labelled at the bust and hip points. So last night, I pressed six metres of teal coloured pre-treated cotton sateen and carefully cut out the tissue pattern piece. The pattern pieces are large and it looks like I will have to cut some of these single layered pieces from floor level. My body might not be thrilled at the prospect of cutting from the floor but I'm pretty excited about this project. There are darts and tucks that remind me of the shaping of Donna Karan's Vogue 1263. I'm pretty excited about this challenge. It's been a while since I've been this excited about a sewing project. I hope to cut out my fabric later this afternoon.  

In other sewing news... Did you see the latest releases from Vogue and McCall's? There were a couple that I was interested in enough to click a little further but nothing that would make it to the shopping cart.  

McCall's 7435 is cute but really, I have enough patterns for loose-fitting tops. I don't need another one.  

And I do like the hooded jacket in McCall's 7441, but I don't think I need to draw attention to my booty. 

I'm finding more inspiration and desire to sew from my OOP patterns in my collection this fall. Gawd, I'm going to miss Issey Miyake, DKNY, and Donna Karan designs. What about you, did you find inspiration in the new fall release?  

Happy Sewing!   


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Another Peplum Top

Well, it didn't take me long to stitch up another peplum top once I found where I put the pattern pieces. I was close to running out to the store to pick up another copy of the pattern. I revisited Vogue 9056 and can I say how comfortable this top is to wear. I love the raised waist on this one so I'm happy I found the pattern pieces. I accidentally put them in another pattern envelope.  

The fabric is a super soft cotton knit that I picked up at Northwest Fabrics this year. I really like this fabric as it has some stability to it and is not as light-weight and see-through as many of the cottons I'm seeing at other fabric stores. I picked it up for a song too. 

It should have been a quick make if I didn't mistakenly sew the wrong side of the back piece to the right side of the front. I think I spent more time removing the stitching than I did fusing and hemming the peplum. Silly me. To be completely honest, you couldn't tell the difference if you were far away, but I would know. So, I set out to painstakingly remove those tiny knit stitches without damaging the fabric. It was worth it in the end.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:   1.4 metres

Fusible Tape:  2 metres

Pattern:   Vogue 9056

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Janome sewing machine and serger, ball point sewing machine needle, polyester thread for both machines, cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers, tweezers, iron, ironing board, sleeve roll, tailor's ham, seam ripper, chai tea latte, a break to shake my head, and a good night's sleep before finishing the project.   

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Can I Tell You a Secret?


I love sewing knits. Seriously, I'm not joking. Yes, there was once-upon-a-time when I feared tackling a knit project, wondering how I'm going to finish those hems and raw edges. 

Vogue 9101 Serged skirt hem has been
left unfinished. Hand-stitched sleeve hems. 
And goodness knows, I've had my fair share of sewing bloopers with knits along the way. 

Back in the beginning, wobbly hems. 
I've picked up a few tips since this lime green made-for-the-donate-pile knit top. I stitched that wobbly hem with a regular foot and knit stitch. I know a walking foot and ball point needle is often recommended for sewing knits but my favourite trick I picked up has to be this little roll of magic.

Knit-N-Staple™tape. Have you ever used this product? If you haven't, I would really suggest giving this a try. I first picked this up after working on this wrap dress where I used twill tape at the shoulders and I wasn't 100% happy with the bulky feel. The next wrap dress, I used Knit-N-Stable tape. It was a technique called for while making this Katherine Tilton top. Even though I don't believe I will be revisiting Vogue 8710, I can say I'm really happy that Katherine Tilton's instructions lead me to discover this project.  

This product is what I use to finish those raw edges that call for a narrow hem.

And would you believe this smooth finish was achieved with the knit stitch and regular foot that came with my machine. What a difference it made from that lime green top from back-in-the-day. Crazy! Now you know my secret behind my knit sewing love affair. Give it a try. 

Now, maybe I should go back and finish that hem on the pink dress?   

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 15 July 2016

New Dress for Mama R

As soon as I finished this dress, Mama R deposited another length of fabric on my sewing table. She's sneaky that way. The fabric is a remnant from a previous make and I was able to squeak out another dress.

The pattern has been seen before, Simplicity 2372. She loves the fit of this dress pattern and let's just say that I've lost count of how many times I've sewn up a version of this dress.

The same usual changes reoccured in this dress: removed the centre front seam, inserted an invisible zipper, adjusted the sizing of the raglan seam, lengthen the sleeve and shortened the dress. Oh yes, and added pockets.   

I seem to have finally mastered invisible zippers and despite this being a 100% polyester fabric I didn't have any issues inserting it. It has been a long journey getting to this point in my sewing. I couldn't have done it without guidance from sewing magazines, the online community, my iron, some basting tape, and investing in invisible zipper foot.  

This last bit of fabric has been part of the stash for more years than I care to remember. If memory doesn't fail me, I do believe I picked this up when Fanny Fabrics were closing down in the city. A very long time ago. It has been pre-treated with a tumble in the washing machine followed with a tumble in the dryer and it handled the laundry process without any issues. Wrinkles came out with a low heat temperature on the wrong side of the fabric. The right side has a suede-like finish and doesn't accept iron heat as readily.  

The hems on the sleeve and dress were done by hand. All-in-all, Mama R is pleased to have another version of Simplicity 2372 in her closet.   

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.3 metres

Basting Tape:  1.08 metres

Zipper:  22" invisible zipper

Pattern:  Simplicity 2372

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing, serger, walking foot, invisible zipper foot, zipper foot, cutting table, scissors, pins, thread clippers, screwdriver, iron, ironing board, hand needle, basting thread, threads for the serger, hand-stitching and sewing machine, a nap, snacks, and chai tea latte.  

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 14 July 2016

National Tape Measure Day

Yes, there is a day celebrating that oh-so-important tool in our sewing baskets.  

The tape measure, often worn as a fashion accessory by sewists and tailors who know the importance of a fabric's grain. 

Happy Sewing!  


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