Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Oh yes, the sewing machine.  Our much loved tool we use in our creative lives.  But did you know that this machine hasn't always brought joy. Back-in-the-day, 1790, the first patent for the sewing machine was granted to an English cabinet maker whose machine mimicked the motions of hand stitching. Other patents followed as the design elements of the sewing machine changed. Decades later in France, a tailor patented a machine that he used in a factory that made uniforms for the French army.  Displaced tailors caused a riot which resulted in the machines being destroyed and nearly killing the inventor. Thankfully, many others followed to improve on the design of the sewing machine and new patents emerged which lead the way for the home sewing machine. Okay, I have left some key details out, but if your interested in learning more I do suggest this read.  And if you're lucky enough to spend some time with your sewing machine.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 11 June 2018

McCall's 7630: Just What I've Been Looking For!

I have this vintage cotton skirt that is perfect for the warm summer weather but it hardly sees the light of day because I struggle to find a suitable top to wear with it. 

Until now, McCall's 7630, a loose-fitting pullover top pattern just happens to be what I've been looking for. And there's some raw silk that was sitting in my stash that was perfect for the project.  

I'm really thankful that this weekend all of the new patterns that I tried out worked. I read review of this pattern that others wished they added length to this pattern so to caution on the safe side, I added an inch to the hemline. And then I removed the added length. The original length on me was perfect.

The only change I made was take advantage of the many options that come with this pattern.  I basically used view B with view E's back.  

The Stats:

Fabric:  1.3 metres

PatternMcCall's 7630

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, cutting table, scissors, measuring tape, pins, pin cushion, sewing machine, thread, tailor's chalk, seam ripper, serger and more thread.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Orange is my New Dress!

This is my version of the Lily Linen Dress by Tessuti Patterns.

I made it in an orange coloured linen fabric because like Frank Sinatra once famously noted, "orange is the happiest colour."

And check out the pleating details at the hemline. It was the reason I was drawn to this design. I'm really happy with how this pattern turned out because this is the first try at this pattern. I know, a toile made out of linen, crazy! Thankfully, it worked out and I ended up with a wearable toile.  

I adore everything about this pattern from how it was packaged, it's perfect drafting, and oh my goodness, the fit! This is one comfortable dress. And can I just add that it's nice to make something without an armhole that is dropping a quarter-way down my arm? It came together easily, even though I didn't closely follow the instructions. Tessuti patterns call for a half inch seam allowance. I sewed a 5/8" allowance at the shoulder and side seams but used the recommended 1/2" allowance at the armhole. It worked out fine.

I also made my bias binding into a seam binding instead of folding it in half and opted out of stabilizing the neckline before I sewed the seam binding in place. The pockets were cut but as I was sewing the dress together I left them off. I know, I can't believe I just wrote that either. I figured the patch pockets gave it a more casual vibe and I wanted this dress for work. The last change to this pattern was the length. The pattern pieces instructs an additional two inches to be added to the hemline. Also omitted considering my height. On me it looks a little longer than on the model's photograph but I'm good with it. It's a very comfortable dress. Gotta love that even if it doesn't have pockets.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  2.5 metres

PatternTessuti Fabrics Lily Linen Dress

Additional Tools, Supplies & Distractions:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushions, scissors, tailor's chalk, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, regular presser foot, iron, ironing board, seam binding maker, Burda tracing paper, pencil, ruler, measuring tape, seam gauge, audio book playing in the background and occasional breaks to fit in some housework and errands.  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Nautical Tee-shirt

Simplicity 8529 became my go-to pullover sweater pattern this winter.  Now, it seems like it may also become a go-to t-shirt pattern. Just a little Knit-N-Stable tape at the hemline to give it a nice, clean finish and it ended up an easy make. 

This is a super easy project. It's a size medium but I could have gone for a size small this time. Something to keep in mind if I revisit this pattern.  I did shorten the sleeves more than the other versions.  

And unlike any long sleeve t-shirt I would find in the ready-to-wear landscape, these sleeves fit. The nautical print and contrasting neck and wrist bands are a cotton knit. Needless, to say, this is one comfortable t-shirt.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  1.4 metres 

Interfacing:  1.5 metres of Knit-N-Stable fusible tape

PatternSimplicity 8529

Additional Tools, Supplies & Distractions:  Cutting table, scissors, tailor's chalk, Burda tracing paper, pencil, sewing machine, thread, walking foot, serger, more thread, an episode or two of procrastination, iron, ironing board, hand needle, thread clippers, and seam ripper.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Joyful Sewing

Seriously, is there anything that could bring more joy than sewing clothes for little wee people? I can't think of anything.

I was pretty thrilled when I came across this uncut, brand spanking new baby pattern that doesn't have the over-the-top eighties vibe of most patterns found in the second hand store shelves. As a matter-of-fact, this is actually a current Kwik Sew pattern, K3982. Once I noticed that it was uncut and everything seemed intact, it was an easy decision. And I had a new project on the list.  

The pants were the first item I wanted to make and I have to say that it's a quick make. The front and back are in one piece as there are no side seams. This makes things a lot easier to piece together. Just sew the crotch seams, then the inner leg seams and finish the hem and waistband. Easy peasy and so darn cute. You can whip a pair of pants up while the little one naps. Seriously. And even have time for a shower.

But I digress...

Next up was the little shirt. A little more time consuming than the pants but an easy make as well. 

I love that the pattern includes all sizes up to 24 months.  The projects was sewn mostly on the serger since the seam allowance that it calls for was 1/4 inch, I thought why even bother with the sewing machine. Only the hem and casing were sewn on the sewing machine. I love that this pattern gives you the length to cut for the waist elastic. I don't usually find this information on kids' patterns and for someone who doesn't have a child handy to measure, this is valuable information to include in a pattern. McCall's are you listening?

The fabrics are light-weight cotton knits that will be perfect for the upcoming hot summer days ahead. And the elastic was a light-weight fold-over lingerie elastic that was the perfect weight and softness.

The Stats:

Fabric:  1 metre

PatternKwik Sew 3982

Elastic:  18 inches

Snaps:  4 small

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, tracing paper, pencil, pins, thread clippers, scissors, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, serger, interfacing tape, measuring tape, hand needle, walking foot and threads.  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 26 May 2018


Why, did it take me so long to make this dress? This pattern was a gift from Kisha.  Thank you!  And ever since I laid eye on it, it has been on my want-to-make list. It's a 2015 release. It's been that long!  

Every summer, I would think about sewing it up and then something pushed it's way ahead of the line. I'm just glad that I finally made it because my goodness, it's one comfortable dress and best part besides that double collar is the fact that it has pockets! I love a dress with pockets. I lengthened the hemline by three and three-quarter inches and raised the position of the side pockets an inch. Otherwise, the fit is perfect.  

The main fabric is a cotton with a wee bit of stretch.  The under collar and the under side of the upper collar is a lightweight sateen fabric. 

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.5 metres (main and contrasting fabrics)

Interfacing:  1.9 metres non-fusible

PatternButterick 6185 (Thank you Kisha!)

Additonal Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, scissors, pins, iron, ironing board, hand sewing needle, thread, seam ripper, sewing machine, serger, walking foot, and a screwdriver.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 21 May 2018

Top Ten Reasons for Sewing Your Own Panties

Once you find a panties pattern that you like, I don't believe that you'll ever to back to shopping for undies. I have two patterns that have become my go-to panties patterns. Madalynne's Simplicity 8229 and Simplicity 8228 are my favourite panties patterns.  And Gertie's Butterick 6031 is another pattern that I would recommend trying out. But if you don't have a favourite pattern there are a lot of free patterns found online and tutorials for creating your own pattern from a favourite pair.  

1.  You're in control of the fit. In my humble opinion, there is nothing worse than ill-fitting undies. But once you have the sizing just right, you'll never have to worry about wearing ill-fitting undies ever again!     

2.  You get to pick the fabric. There are some fun lace fabrics out there that would make some cute undies if lace is your thing.  And then there are some organic cottons that are quite lovely as well. Or how about giving a new life to an old t-shirt and have some fun with pattern placement.  

3.  It's easy.  Seriously, easy.   

4.  Sewing is relaxing.  

5.  Sewing is fun.  

6.  Making panties for your family will make them happy.  

7.  You're in charge of quality control. I don't know if you've noticed but they don't make things with the higher quality of days gone by.  But when you sew, you're in charge of the quality control.  

8.  And think of all those beautiful and fun elastics that you can choose!  

9.  Prefer the leg elastic on the outside, no problem when you're sewing your own panties.  You have complete creative control.  

10.  It's more economical to make your own undies.  It doesn't take a lot of fabric and it's the perfect way to use up small scraps that you might have laying around after another project.  

Happy Sewing!  

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Oh yes, the sewing machine.  Our much loved tool we use in our creative lives.  But did you know that this machine hasn't always bro...