Monday, 30 November 2015

November in Review


I can't believe that I managed to get this much sewing done considering how crazy busy the month has been along with the tendonitis in my wrist acting up.

Clockwise L to R:  Matching child and doll dresses: McCall's 6875, Cardigan: OOP Butterick 5760,
Knit dress: Vogue 9101, Knit dress: OOP Vogue 8939, Angel Costumes x 4:  OOP McCall's 2340,
kAtheRine Tilton jacket:  Butterick 6253, and Empire-waist top: OOP Vogue 8118.   
And there was mending done as well, adding trim and replacing elastic to one of the already-made angel costumes, as well as hemming up a pair of pants for Papa R. Sad to say, he's been waiting a while for the pants to be hemmed.   

RTW Fast:

I will admit to doing some RTW shopping this month. A pair of cotton Elita knickers, they happen to be an allowed item on the RTW list so I'm not going to sweat it. Besides, they are very comfortable and I haven't found cotton knit of that quality in my fabric store travels. Same can be said for the merino wool shawl I found with the funky sixties themed print. So, I'm going to forgive myself on this one as well.   


Sewing Supplies
Used from Stash (this year)
Additions to the stash (this year)
Basting Tape
6.01 metres

Bias Tape
1.3 metres



1.3 metres
2.63 metres

103.84 metres
124.2 metres
4.16 metres

Lace Trim
1.2 metres
6 metres

1.9 metres


Hooks and Eyes

19 previously used
30 new
28.55 metres
13 metres
Serger Thread

Sewing Machine Needle


Spools of Thread

2 - 22" separating
5 - 22” invisible
1 - 12" invisible
2 - 8”  invisible
1 - 7" invisible
1 - 8" regular
1 - 18" zipper
1 - 8" invisible
1 - 22" invisible 
Tops / Shirts
Pants / Shorts
Coats / Cape

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 28 November 2015

A Little Selfish Sewing...

Stash-busting 2015:  Vogue 8939

Sometimes you just want to do a little selfish sewing, use an easy-peasy TNT pattern, and whip together a quick make.

The Pattern:

I can not believe that this pattern is already out-of-print. It came out in 2013 but the dress is a classic piece. This is the second one that I have made up using this pattern. It has an average rating, but the dress is super easy to pull together. I actually spent more time looking for the pattern piece for the collar than I did sewing up the dress.  

Yes, my copy of this pattern is missing the collar. I have no idea where it has gone. I hope one day this pattern piece and I will cross paths again. Until then, I borrowed the turtleneck pattern from Burda 6990 to help me out.

The only other changes to the pattern were shortening the sleeves and lengthening the hem. I started off by adding ten inches to the length and then cut off five inches. I wish I added six inches allowing for a one inch hem. This one has the narrowest hem allowance I thought I could get away with, even though it is not my ideal length. I will admit to being happy that it does sit below the knee.

The Fabric:

I found this piece of fabric at Fabricland and picked it up because I was all smitten over the colour. It is a heavier knit and will be great during the winter. It feels like a scuba knit but I can't remember if it was labelled as such. When I spotted this I thought I would make up another Marcy Tilton skirt with this fabric but then I would have to make a top to go with it, so I changed my mind.

I didn't want to top-stitch my hems even though I had a twin needle waiting in the wings. Instead, I finished off the hems with the blind hem foot.  

The Stats:

Fabric:     2 metres polyester knit $24.86 ($22.00 - 50% off + taxes)

Thread:    I've averaged out $3.00 to cover sewing machine, basting, and serger thread used.

Pattern:    Vogue 8939, already priced out in a previous version.    

Additional Tools:  Sewing Machine, serger, cutting table, pins, walking foot, blind-hem foot, and hand sewing needle.  

Friday, 27 November 2015

Pattern Give-away Winner

No one threw their name into the hat for McCall's 6875 this week.  

So, I guess there is no pattern give-away winner. Okay, moving onto the next sewing project... 

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

In Sewing News Today...

Do you remember these wee little dresses?

I made them last year for a teacher's daughters. They were not a perfect fit last year and were big on the little girls. Well, I was overjoyed to learn that the dresses fit the girls this year (so thankful they didn't out-grown them during the year!) and get this... they want to wear them! It just made me so happy to hear that.  

And then yesterday on the news there was this heartwarming story. Two little sisters who are collecting Christmas dresses for other young girls who might not have a special dress. How special are they to be thinking about others at this time of year.

I'm currently reading Dress Code:  The Naked Truth About Fashion and the two little sisters in the above mentioned news story captured a reference to the movie The Matrix found in the first section of the book.
Human beings are social creatures who also visually communicate with their surroundings.  Clothes place us socially in society (Arntzen 35).   
Clothes can transform a person and make us or a situation feel special. Those little sisters were reminding us of this simple truth.

If the tendonitis in my hand wasn't acting up, I would so be sewing little girl Christmas dresses to help those kids reach there thirty-nine hundred dress goal. But that won't be happening. I hope they reach their goal though.

And those little blue silk dresses...

The teacher who requested them sent the most adorable pictures of her daughter and doll wearing their new dresses. I'm so relieved that the dresses fit. The holidays are all about making others feel special, isn't it?

One more Christmas dress to make and then I can get to work on the projects I have piling up on the sidelines. And a new top for Mama R, she's a patient woman. But I digress... It is hard to believe that December is around the corner and I haven't got around to sewing a fraction of the things I planned to sew at the beginning of the year. Maybe next month year?

Happy Sewing!


Monday, 23 November 2015

Pattern Give-away

Well, I need to find a good home for McCall's 6875. It is a cute pattern and all, but I can honestly say, that I won't be sewing this up again. Would you like to give it a try?  

Pattern has been cut to child size 3.  

It is an Laura Ashley design for a matching set of dresses. Child and 18" doll sizes. I did cut this child dress pattern to a size 3 so if you're looking for a pattern for itty bitty dresses, this might be the pattern for you.  

Itty-bitty dresses all made up. Give-away is for the pattern only.  
I am willing to ship internationally. Please note that I will be shipping regular mail via Canada Post and it might take some time for international packages to arrive and it might not arrive prior to Christmas. If this sound fine and you promise to not to sell it, then go ahead and leave a comment below and I will draw for the pattern on Friday.   

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Warning: Pretty Darn Cute Dresses

Stash-busting 2015:  Matching Child and Doll Dresses

I wasn't going to sew for my co-worker's children this year but one of the teachers that I work with asked if I would make a matching dress for her daughter and her American Girl® doll for her upcoming birthday. She said that American Girl® doll clothing cost about eighty dollars [insert jaw drop] and she didn't want to spend that kind of money. Yes, everybody wants you to sew for them so they can save money [insert eye roll and slowly shaking head]. After checking out the website, I see that a matching dress and doll outfit would come to that much. I thought it was for one! After sewing a combination girl and doll outfit I don't think that eighty dollars is unreasonable nor warrants a jaw drop. But I digress... I already had the angel costumes to work on and told her that I can't make any promises. Well, I was able to finish the costumes prior to her daughter's birthday so how can I say no?   


I only agreed to this because the pattern the teacher picked out doesn't have sleeves. I remember what a pain in my finger tips it was to sew these sleeves into these tiny armhole openings and I wasn't willing to go back there. I paid for all the materials so that I had control over the fabric I would be sewing. Heaven knows I would be swearing like a drunken sailor if I have to sew tiny curves with slippery fabric. I told the teacher that this would be her Christmas gift in exchange for some bit of creative control. Yup, go ahead call me a sucker? Okay, moving on... Despite giving up fabric, supplies, my free time and a bit of sanity during the busiest time of the year, I do have to say these matching dresses are pretty darn cute.

The Pattern:

The teacher picked out McCall's 6875 for her daughter. It is a Laura Ashley pattern with a gathered skirt. I do have to say that McCall's does offer a wide selection of children patterns including matching 18" doll outfits. Who knew this was such a big thing?

McCall's 6875
I am not a fan of sewing dolls clothes. I have to admit that I do admire folks who have the patience and skill to maneuver those quarter inch seams. I had more fun sewing the little girls' dress over the doll dress.

I will admit that even though I'm thrilled with how these dresses turned out, I am not a huge fan of this pattern for several reasons.

  • There is no notch marking on the front skirt to match up with the bodice front. There are notches for the back pieces.  
  • I did not find the instruction sheets easy to follow. The instructions were given for version A unless otherwise specified.  
  • I did not like the front band which looks like it is part of the belt but it is not. It is a pattern piece that is folded in half and the raw edges match up with the bottom of the bodice. It is held into place at the waist and side seams. I left this off because it just seemed silly and I thought would only function as a crumb holder since it is not stitched down on the upper folded edge. Plus, it would add unnecessary bulk at the side seam where the back ties were stitched in place.  
  • I didn't also like how the lining and sleeves were handled so I changed how things were pieced together.  
If you head over to Pattern Review I seem to be alone in my complaints. People who have sewn with this pattern love the instructions and highly recommend the pattern. I don't know if I would go that far. Actually, I wouldn't. I think Vogue 1455 is my favourite girls' dress. But again, I digress...

I did cut out lining pieces, but I didn't use all of them. I used the sleeve lining as a sleeve facing instead of lining the bodice. Mostly because I was working with small pattern pieces and with the tendonitis in my hand acting up this weekend, a tight deadline with the little gal's birthday coming up this week, and a drive-way to shovel, I didn't want to deal with turning pieces over and all the hand-stitching. I do have to admit that I do like the finishing and there is less bulk. 

I stitched the sleeve with the facing at the hemline before sewing the sleeve to the bodice pieces. The edge at the underarm was finished on the serger and then rolled hemmed. For the neckline, I used bias tape and top-stitched.

I couldn't find a 14" zipper to match my fabric so I used a 22" zipper and cut it short.

I sewed an invisible zipper, just because I love the way it looks. In order to sew the invisible zipper I sewed the skirt to the back bodice first straying from the pattern instructions.

The little girl's dress was sewn in a size 3.

Sewing the doll dress did not go as smoothly as the little girls' dress. I had a hard time working with the 1/4" seam allowances for one. And turning over the ties on the doll dress was painful. I wish I had a loop turner in my tool kit for that part of the project.

And just when I thought I was finished, I realized that I had goofed.

Out came the seam ripper because I sewed both strips of the Velco® to the inside. Oops! Thankfully, the stickiness didn't damage the fabric and it was reapplied to the proper side.

The Fabric:

I had four fabrics that I was willing to sew the dresses out of and the teacher picked out the blue raw silk. This was much to my delight because it is one of my favourite fabrics to sew. I did warn her that it is silk and will require delicate care instructions but that did not seem to be an issue. I pre-treated the fabric by steaming it in order not to compromise the hand and drape of the fabric.    Although raw silk can be machine washed, I prefer to hand wash with a gentle soap.

The fabric was a very narrow width and the skirt pieces did not fit and could not be cut on the grain line. Instead, they were cut on the cross grain. Same with the ties.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  3.2 metres $$39.78 ($22.00 / metre - 50% off + taxes)

Zipper:  22" invisible zipper $3.53 ($3.90 - 20% off + taxes)

Velco:    25 cm $2.47 ($2.19 + taxes)

Seam binding:  1 package $2.26 ($2.50 - 20% off + taxes)

Basting tape:     30" length $0.00 (Birthday gift)

Pattern:  McCall's 6875 $9.57 ($15.95 - 40% off + taxes)

Thread:  I have budgeted $4.00 for the thread used in the serger and sewing machine. 

Additional Supplies & Tools:  Sewing machine, serger, shears, pins, steam iron, ironing board, cutting table, and seam ripper.

Happy Sewing!  


Saturday, 21 November 2015

In Sewing News Today...

I'm back in the sewing space ready to clear off the unplanned Christmas gifts that have entered my workspace. I was all set to do Christmas baking in the cutest tea cups for the teachers I work with but plans changed. I have another Vogue 1455 dress cut out earlier this week. There was enough Indigo Wax Katagami fabric left over from this project to cut one side of the upper dress. It is a beautiful cotton so I'm thrilled I'll be able to do one side in this fabric. And I love this pattern so I'm actually looking forward to making another one. I believe this will be the seventh one I've made in various sizes.  

And this evening I cut two dresses using McCall's 6875. I'm not as excited about this project. It is cute and all but looking over the instructions I think I might need to make a Bodum® of coffee before I get started.  

Butterick 6285 is the pattern that has kick-started my sewing mojo. I found the pattern at my local Fabricland store, much to my delight, since this is from their Winter/Holiday collection and I feared it may not be in stock. Now, I'm all set for Gertie's sew-a-long due to start in a couple of days.  And that would be why I need to clear off these little dresses from my sewing table. It looks like I have a busy weekend ahead.

How about you? Anyone else joining the wrap top sew-a-long?

Happy Sewing!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...