Wednesday, 30 April 2014

April in Review

Sewing




It has been a hit and miss month. The Chloe skirt was on my I want-to-sew-list for quite some time and I feel fat when I wear it. Wonder if it is the print? Maybe large circles is not a good look for a pear-shape. But the wrap dress was a winner. I feel like a million bucks when I wear this one.


The shirt with the french cuffs is my favourite make this month. The three slips were all made for Mama R, she's thrilled with them and that makes me happy. I have quite of bit of sewing lined up for Mama R next month.  

RTW Fast



No RTW clothing, but I did pick up a lovely pair of cuff links for that french cuffed shirt that I'm quite smitten about.

Stash-busting

Well, even though I did manage to get some sewing done this month, I also did some fabric stashing. I don't plan on keeping them in there for very long. I have plans.



Items
Stash-busted
Added to Stash
Fabric
38.9 metres
36.4 metres
Interfacing
2 metre
0
Lining
1.5 metre
0
Sewing Patterns
13
17
Spools of Thread
12
4
Sewing Needles
5
0
Pant Hooks
5
6
Zippers
4
0
Trim 
0.40 metres
10
Elastic
1.3 metres
6 metres
Bias Tape
2 metres
0
Snaps
0
0
Buttons
37
12
Ribbon
0
0
Hook and Eye or other Closures
4
0
Basting Tape
2.1 metres
0

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

WooHoo!

I thought April 29th would never get here. I was wrong, here it is!  

Today is the release date of The Pink Suit.


It is a novel about the iconic Chanel suit made for Jackie Kennedy, the one she wore on that tragic day, seen through the eyes of the seamstress who worked on the suit. Karen over Did You Make That? alerted us to the upcoming publishing date and ever since I've been sitting on the edge of my seat for the release date.  

I also picked up 


And this takes care of my summer reading list. I can't wait to turn these pages. First, I have to finish The Kite Runner, a highly recommended read.  

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Tim Gunn Project: The Classic White Shirt

Stash Busting 2014:  McCall's 8943

Fabric:   1.8 metres of 100% cotton and 1 metre of interfacing.  

Buttons:  4 white buttons

Thread:   2 spool of threads

Bias Tape:  0.2 metres 


McCall's 8943 is a long sought after pattern with french cuffs! And now I can finally knock the classic white shirt off my Tim Gunn list.

Once upon a time, I did have a copy of this pattern and then I out-grew it before I even had to make it. I'm thrilled that I found another copy in my current size.   


This is a vintage, McCall's 8943, Lida Baday jumper and shirt pattern. I adore this shirt pattern with front and back tucks details and french cuffs. I even picked up a pair of cuff links to wear with the shirt. The pattern even has instructions for a button alternative that can be made instead of cuff links.


The pattern is lovely, no complaints.  I would totally recommend this if you are looking for a shirt pattern. I found this one over at Etsy.

The only alterations to the pattern were shortening the sleeve length, sewing bias tape at the back neckline and reducing the width of the front and back tucks. This shirt has a lot of ease in the bust area where as I could use the extra ease in the hip area.   


The fabric is a 100% cotton and a recent addition. I found it odd that I basically had to wait for the spring/summer fabrics to show up in the store to have a pick of plain white cotton fabric. The saleslady at the fabric store said white cotton fabric is highly sought after for christening gowns. Who knew?

 I can't really say that it was an easy project. I had my share of mishaps. Thankfully, I had extra fabric that I was able to cut another sleeve. Now you would never know all of the sewing errors I made along the way by looking at this shirt. Shhh, our secret.



The four front buttons were stash-busted from the button stash. And I managed to polish off two spools of thread (they weren't new spools). There was a great deal of top-stitching along with hand-stitching in the pattern instructions. I top-stitched the yoke and armhole but decided to leave the collar and cuffs without any top-stitching. 

Happy Sewing!    




Sunday, 27 April 2014

Who, Me? Sunshine Blogger Award

I have to admit that I was surprised to be awarded the Sunshine Blogger Award by Nakisha. Nakisha blogs over at Sew Crafty Chemist. She's a full-time mom who works a full-time job and finds time to sew and knit. She's an inspiration. I do not feel worthy. Thank you, Nakisha, for the Sunshine Blogger Award.


The Sunshine/Shine On Award is meant to get to know your fellow bloggers and allow your readers to get to know you a little better with the use of 10 facts about you!

There are rules to accepting the award.
The Rules:
  • Include the Logo
  • Link the person who nominated you
  • Write 10 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 10 bloggers
  • Notify the nominees
Ten Facts about me:

1.  I love to cook as much as I love to sew. 

2. I'm not married because I'm a fiercely stubborn and independent woman who hasn't found a man who likes to iron. A friend is convinced that it is because I do not like country music.  

3.  My nick-name is Tigger. Apparently, I bounce when I walk.  

4.  One of my legs is a half inch shorter than the other. I must keep this in mind when adjusting pants patterns. This may explain the "bounce when I walk."

5.  Autumn is my absolute favourite season. Summer is my least favourite. I dislike the hot heat and mosquitos and end up spending the summer months indoors where there is air-conditioning, whenever possible.  I might enjoy the summer months if there were no mosquitos, a consistent +25 degree C with a light cool breeze.  

6.  My family and especially my parents mean the world to me. I love them with all my heart and would do anything for them, that includes living in a city where there are mosquitos and brutal winters.  But I sometimes often dream of living in a city that doesn't have mosquitos and brutal winters.  

7.  I'm not perfect. I've made mistakes in life and in my sewing. It keeps life and sewing interesting. I have no regrets about my past mistakes because you can't change the past. I can only try to do better and learn from my mistakes.      

8.  I went back to school as an adult to complete a BA in English Literature and Rhetoric, Writing and Communication while working a full-time job. And I won the university gold medal for Honours English. (Let's just say that it helps to have a slow-cooker in one's university survival kit.)

9.  Sunflowers make me happy. 


10.   I struggle with being an ethical and socially-conscious home sewist and fabric-holic. I wish I weren't so ignorant as to where my fabric stash originated from and I'm trying to change my ways. I strive and struggle to be more informed and find fair-trade and organic fabric suppliers.  

Now to nominate 10 inspirational and talented sewists and bloggers that I would like to learn more about.


  1. Barbara who blogs over at Sewing on the Edge
  2. Shelley who blogs over at NVL New Vintage Lady.  
  3. Annette who blogs over at Mrs. Toad Sews
  4. Judith who blogs over at Made by J
  5. Tanit-Isis who blogs over at Tanit-Isis Sews
  6. Elle who blogs over at Elle C Sews
  7. Katja who blogs over at Of Seams and Dreams
  8. Meg who blogs over at Meg the Grand
  9. Anne who blogs over at Pretty Grievances
  10. Karen who blogs over at Sewing by the Seat of my Pants
That's all for now.  Happy Sewing!  



Friday, 25 April 2014

Sewing Makes Me Happy!

I'm having a rough day (side is still sore when I cough, coughing because of my allergies--read spring time and recess duty). And can you believe I was brushing snow off my car this morning? Right now, I'm home for lunch feeling dead tired. But look what was sitting in the mail box that put a smile on my face.  


It is an uncut Vogue 1794, circa 1996.  I want to stitch up the blue tunic with the front slits and little bows. Sewing make me happy! I can't wait until the end of my day so I can come home and sew.  

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Fashion Revolution Day


Today, I'm showing my outfit inside out to show that sewing is an ethical and sustainable alternative to fast-fashion and mass consumerism. It is the sewist's version of Fashion Revolution events being held today.  

Refashioned skirt and Vogue 1306 Top
My top is a me-made item and the skirt used to be a pair of pants that I made into a skirt after reading Erica B's article in Vogue magazine. The skirt still has a label. The pants (the original item) were purchased at a local shop called Candies and Dolls that carries lines from many local designers. The pants were made here in Canada.



A rare find, considering how much ready-to-wear clothing is made overseas where they are out of reach of labour laws that we have here.

I have to admit, I feel a bit like a fraud.  

I have so much more to do and research to truly feel that my own sewing is an ethical and sustainable alternative to fast-fashion. I have to admit that I do not know the origins of my own fabric stash other than the fabric store that they were purchased. Most fabric labels (if there is one) contain fibre content and yardage information. Rarely can you find country of origin information.  

I do have some fair trade cotton knit in my fabric stash.  I feel good about this and to be completely honest it wasn't any more expensive from the other knits on the fabric store shelves. And the quality is wonderful.  

As a consumer, I realize that I have to ask questions of the shop owners and let it be known that I care about social justice issues surrounding the ethical sources of the materials I use and purchase. I just can't stand here and snap a picture because I feel that there is more work to do. This is about the journey, not a destination.

But this moment, this snapshot is a way to pause and think of all those who died and were injured a year ago at Rana Plaza. They died sewing fast-fashion in horrid conditions that still exist today in many parts of the world. Today is a day of remembrance, awareness and the journey to make the world a better place.

It always seems impossible until it's done. 
~Nelson Mandela

Well, I have to run to work (clothes are only inside out for the photo). It is also Pay It Forward Day here.

Off to do random unselfish acts of kindness and think about what this day means on so many levels.



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Some Days Are Not Meant for Sewing...

Some days are not meant for sewing and today is one of those days. I'm working on a white shirt with french cuffs. This should be a quick and easy make but it is not because I'm spending my time making silly mistakes.   


I noticed that I stitched diagonally across the upper end of the lap before I top-stitched. I removed the diagonal stitching to correct the error of my ways to make my second mistake. I top-stitched on the wrong side. Once I corrected that error I re-did the diagonal stitching and clipped my loose threads. And there we have my final mistake. A lovely hole clipped into my sleeve.  

Some days are not meant for sewing.  

Thankfully, I have enough left-over fabric to cut another sleeve and lap piece and start over again. I know that I can use some Fray Check on it and mend the hole but I'm really looking forward to having a nice shirt with french cuffs so I'm going to re-cut another sleeve. The other sleeve is inserted and it's perfect. So, I know I can do this. Not today though, I think it is time to call it a night and start all over tomorrow.  

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

In Sewing News Today...

Happy Easter!


I love Easter. It is a day that you get all dressed-up, head to church and then you're reminded of all the CEO's (Christmas and Easter only) folks that snag all the parking spots and seats. I drove around trying to find a spot to park and then a place to sit. I keep forgetting this is an annual occurrence. I like to instead think of Easter (besides the obvious reason for celebrating Easter) as a dress-up-in-spring-colours-after-a-long-winter occasion.  


This morning did not start off as planned when I got all dress up in my Sybil Connolly dress and then proceeded to wipe out on the hard-wood floor, crash into a table and spill the cup of tea that I was holding. Luckily, the splash marks that remained on my dress where hardly noticeable since I didn't have time to change. The dress is now in the laundry room. Despite the hardly noticeable splash marks, I received a lot of compliments on my new Easter dress.     


It's was quiet Easter here. An afternoon nap and then a late lunch before I unpacked the loot I picked up a Northwest fabrics yesterday. I was in search of silk charmuese which I was unable to find but I came home with some lovely alternatives. Now that I have figured out how to get to Northwest Fabrics (sign of spring in Winnipeg is all the construction and road closure signs), I'm never shopping at Fabricland again.

Do you want to see what I found?  


I picked up this cotton stretch fabric for a dress for Mama R but she doesn't like the colour. 

"It's too red," she claims. This is coming from the woman who asked me to make her a dress out of this fabric


One of my favourite colours is orange, (in case you haven't figured that out by now, see Easter dress above). So, how could I resist this linen print? The plan is to find some lining fabric and whip up another wrap dress.    


And oh my goodness, I had to pick up this 100% wool fabric. I wish you could touch it, it is gorgeous. The plan is to make a suit out of this fabric. Or maybe a coat? We'll see.  

There was also some black cotton to make a skirt and a lovely shade of blue cotton knit to make a tee-shirt.  

I did manage to fit in a wee bit of sewing today. I'm working on a white cotton shirt with french cuffs. I hope to finish it up tomorrow if I can find a bit more time.    


Well, that is all in sewing news today. I hope you had a wonderful Easter. 

And Happy Sewing!  




Saturday, 19 April 2014

Peplum Top

Stash busting 2014:  There's a New Peplum on the Block

Fabric:     1.4 metres of a 100% cotton print.

Zipper:     22" invisible zipper

Pattern:    Vogue 8936

Basting Tape:  44" length

Bias Tape:  .5 metre

Despite the epic failure of the first peplum top that I made (I still can't believe that Vogue 8815 was voted a Best Pattern by Pattern Review), I decided to give another Vogue peplum pattern a try.

Vogue 8936
This time I made one with princess seams using Vogue 8936

The fabric was a piece that I had in my scrap stash. I used it to make a Marcy Tilton Top/Jacket a couple of years ago. It is a 100% cotton fabric that I picked up at the now close Fabric Centre. Gosh, I miss that place. I'm happy that there was enough fabric to make this top.

The pattern, Vogue 8936, is quite lovely with the way the peplum is cut. I like the princess seams in the front, drape and shape of the peplum and the top-stitching is a nice finish.

I did not like the shape of the neckline and I did re-shape it in the front. I also left out the bodice lining and opted to finish the neckline edge with some black bias tape.


The sewing machine gave me some issues and I stopped mid-sewing to clean the machine after changing the needle and adjusting the tension did not seem to work. The stitching has been off-and-on  since I made the wrap dress. It might be time to take it in for a tune-up? I guess I'll see if the latest cleaning makes a lasting difference. It did make a brief difference and I was able to finish the garment without changing sewing machines.


Back to the pattern, I will agree with Sewmanja that the pattern does run large. For me, it was in the bodice side seams that I had issues. I found that I was running back to the sewing machine and taking in the sides a wee bit more. I started at a size 14, my usual size, and graded up to a larger size at the waist. I'm happy with the new waistline as I do not like things tight fitting. But the side seams above the waist was in some immediate alterations and needed to be taken in (much smaller than my usual size 14 measurements).

I also did the order of things differently when piecing together this project. The instructions suggest sewing the side seams of the bodice first and then the side seams of the peplum before attaching the bodice and peplum pieces together. I didn't do this because I wanted my centre back seam open to sew my invisible zipper.  I sewed the peplum piece to the bodice pieces before sewing the side seams. Then I sewed the invisible zipper and then sewed the side seams.

There seems to be an error in the pattern instructions. Along the sleeve cap it suggests ease stitching between the markings. I found that this was not enough and ripped out that stitching and replaced it with stitching between the notches. It must have been a typo?


All-in-all (now that it is done), I'm happy with all the tweaks and final results.

Happy Sewing!
   

Friday, 18 April 2014

Would You Wear Your Clothes Inside Out?

You may have noticed a new button and link on the blog. Fashion Revolution Day is coming up on April 24th. Participants are asked to wear their clothes inside out to show the labels on instagram. 



Celina who blogs over at Petit a Petit and Family and Abby who blogs over at Things for Boys is asking the sewing community to get involved. Their take on this global awareness campaign is to
get the online sewing community involved with this initiative by creating the first

Virtual FLASH MOB

of sewists wearing something handmade inside out.  The goal is for all of us to stand together for a united cause and help to show sewing (in all its forms) as an ethical and sustainable alternative to fast fashion and mass consumerism.  It’s one piece in a very large puzzle but by showcasing home sewn items we will help spread the word that in some cases the answer to ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’ can proudly be answered, “ME!”

Why?  

April 24, 2014 will mark the first anniversary of a horrific and tragic event. One thousand one hundred twenty-nine people died when the unsafe building they were working in collapsed. Over two thousand people were injured. Many lost limbs.

The building that collapsed housed garment factories that catered to the fast-fashion appetite of western countries. Although the building also housed a bank and other shops, these business closed and left the building as soon as cracks were discovered. This was not the case for the garment factories where workers were ordered back to work in this unsafe environment in order to meet shipping deadlines.


This tragedy brought to light the horrific working conditions and little pay that the workers must endure to support their families. It shocked many in the west who were oblivious to these conditions when they picked up that bargain garment.

So, on April 24 we're asked to think about the people who have passed away, those who survived, and those that continue to work in unthinkable working conditions and ask ourselves "who made your clothes?"

I have thought of this social justice issue and how it relates to my sewing. I wrote about it back in February when Debi ask those participating in Sew Grateful Week to reflect on what sewing means to them.

The straw that broke the camel's back were the heart-wrenching reports about the sewing factories overseas. "Made in the U.S.A." or "Made in Canada" disappeared from our western landscape in the past decades as our heads were filled with the promises of globalization. I am no saint when it comes to some of my shopping decisions in the past. I have clothing produced by Joe Fresh and that have "Made in China" and "Made in Bangladesh" and yes, it makes me ill every time another garment factory fire occurs and innocent garment workers are killed. It is not cheap fashion when the high human cost comes to light. 
This past year, I try to think of those who sew our clothes not because it is a hobby rather they are trying to feed their families. I am trying to be more mindful in my decisions and change my shopping behaviour of the past. I have learned to appreciate my sewing skills more than I did in the past. I now think of my sewing skills as more than a hobby. Sewing has become a form of social activism. I know how much I hate it when people take advantage of my sewing abilities and try to get work done for cheap or worse free. Yet when I buy fast-fashion am I not doing the same thing? It is one of the reasons that I joined Sarah's RTW Fast this year. I'm grateful for the community of fasters that have been supportive and inspiring in this journey.
This is an opportunity to stand up and think about where we place value, in people or products. On April 24th, would you wear your clothes inside out and snap a photo? If sew, spread the word.  





Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Fancy As It Gets

Stash Busting 2014:  The Fancy Slip

Fabric:   2 metres of slinky polyester (I'm pretty sure it is a polyester) fabric

Thread:   1 spool of white thread polished off from the stash

This is the third slip for Mama R using the out-of-print (OOP) Simpli-city 8666 pattern. It is a little fancier than the other ones with a pink rose print.  

The fabric has been in my stash for a long, long time. I won't even guess how long. I can't even remember where I picked this up. I must have been drunk because it is pink and I'm not that crazy about pink. I'm at a total loss as to how it made it into my fabric stash. Mama R loves the fabric so it worked out well in the end.

I finished the neckline and underarm edges with bias tape that I made with the same fabric as the slip. Crazy difficult to press and I managed to steam the heck out of my thumb. I did not like that part of this project. I do, however, like the finished results.

The straps were recycled from another slip. I think this covers it for slip making for a while. Now to get this item pressed before I deliver it to Mama R.   

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 14 April 2014

In Sewing News Today...

My sewing mojo is coming back. Well, actually I didn't really lose my sewing mojo. I just didn't have much energy to sew while I was down and out with the pneumonia. I'm feeling better now and hopefully it means that it won't take days and weeks to finish simple sewing projects.  


I gave up drinking coffee over a month ago but I wouldn't mind having this coffee mug. I can use it for my Chai tea lattes.  


Threads magazine published their Designer Techniques The Best of threads Collector's Edition (Summer 2014). I picked it up because one of my 2014 sewing goals is to make a Chanel-esque jacket and there is an article called "Inside a Designer Jacket" by Susan Khalie.  


There is another article by Susan Khalie, "The LBD" (Little Black Dress). It made me sad to see this article because it appeared in another Threads magazine published a few years ago. I don't like buying magazines to find articles on things that have appeared on previous issues that I have already read. Why do they do this? And the dress pattern in a vintage Vogue pattern, circa 1960s. I wish Vogue patterns would re-release this vintage pattern. ~sigh~ 


I'm longing for this fabric. It is the Geek Chic Crossword fabric that Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness used to make a shirt. I think both Peter's shirt and this fabric are too much fun. But I must remind myself that I do not need this fabric instead I'm trying to save for some silk fabric to line the Chanel-esque jacket that I'm planning on making.

That is all in sewing news today...

Happy Sewing!  




Saturday, 12 April 2014

A Cotton Slip

Stash Busting 2014:  Another Slip for Mama R

Fabric:      2 metres

Bias Tape:  .8 metres


Same pattern, different fabric. This one is made in a light-weight 100% cotton fabric that I recently picked up with plans to make a white shirt. But plans do change on occasions and this is one of them.  

The fabric makes this a perfect summer slip. I finished off the neck and underarm seams with white bias tape that I had sitting in my stash. The hem was finished with a rolled narrow hem. Mama R didn't want any lace or fanciness. Just another simple slip.  

I have one more slip on the sewing table to finish.  

Until then, Happy Sewing!  





Thursday, 10 April 2014

Unsolved Mystery

My latest make was a bit of a challenge. I was working with a knit fabric that was not playing well with the sewing machine. After trying different stitches, lengths and needles I gave up thinking that it was time to take the machine in for servicing.  


I was able to finish my dress on my back-up machine which sewed the fabric without any of the issues that the other machine had encountered. But today I thought to take a look at the machine that was giving me some trouble. Would you believe that it is working perfectly fine. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that it is sewing beautifully, I just wonder what was up last week.  

It is an unsolved mystery as to what was going wrong. Last week I was sewing an interlock knit fabric and today I'm sewing 100% cotton.  

Any ideas?  I still have some interlock knit in my fabric stash. Any suggestions on the best way to handle this fabric?  


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

In Sewing News Today...

I have the pleasure of working at a school. The kids amaze me everyday, I'm really blessed to witness their greatness. This year, I discovered that there are several students who are into sewing. Like really into sewing. It was always my dream that my niece would be into sewing and one day I would have the pleasure to share my creative passion with her. My niece's interests lie elsewhere and she and I do not share a love for sewing. Oh well. I guess it wasn't meant to be... But the newer generation seems to be all into it. 


They make purses, and clothing for their dolls and stuff animals. Sew yesterday, I took a box of fabric scraps to the school where I work. The scrap pieces are fairly large and I thought that the kids might like to pick out some pieces. They were sew into it, going through the box of fabric and telling me what they plan to make. Oh my goodness, it totally made my day. I can't wait to see what they create.  

It seems like sewing is cool, where years ago I knew more than my fair share of folks that made fun of sewing activities. I wonder if it relates to all the prime time television programs that emphasize sewing and the creative process? Shows like Project Runway, Fashion Star, Project Catwalk were all programs that highlighted the creative skills needed to produce clothing. Even The Great British Sewing Bee is gearing up for an American version of the show. I'm not sure when sewing became cool with the kids, I'm just thrilled to see it happen in my life-time and I'm around to witness it.  


And to top off my day, I came home to a package from Vogue patterns. The patterns I ordered arrived in less than two weeks! How awesome is that? Pretty awesome, I'll say. I think, I'm most thrilled about the Vogue 9014 top pattern. It is a lined back buttoned top and I have a beautiful deep red lace fabric that would be perfect for this pattern.   

This will have to go down as the best day in a very long time.  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 5 April 2014

It's A Wrap!

Stash busting 2014:  The Wrap Dress

Fabric:   3.8 metre, 100% polyester knit

Pattern:  Vogue 8896

Thread:   polyester thread found in the stash

Vogue 8896 has been on my wish list for quite some time. There was an issue with getting my hands on the proper size. But thankfully, that all got sorted out and I've come to terms with purchasing my patterns on-line from now on. This pattern is rated "very easy" but my fabric proved to challenge this claim.

The fabric is a beautiful deep red colour in a polyester interlock knit with an equally beautiful drape. This fabric has been in my stash for a very, very long time. I picked it up because I loved the colour and it sat in my stash because I was scared to sew this knit. And I did have some difficulties working with this knit.

My initial thought was to work with a ball point needle and the knit stitch on my sewing machine but that plan did not work all that well. Fabric was being pushed down the metal plate and there were moments struggling to release it that I thought the fabric would be damaged. I moved to a micro-fibre needle and again the same problem occurred. I decided to abandon the knit stitch and try a regular straight stitch only to encounter a new problem, skipped stitches. I didn't know what to do so I gave up and switched sewing machines.

The older Janome worked well with this fabric. I didn't return to a knit stitch and opted for a normal straight stitch. The seams are double stitched and serged. Why mess with something that is working? I'll have to go back and check out the other machine, it might be time for a tune-up. I'm just grateful that the project is finished. I plan to wear it out to the opera this evening. Yes, a wrap dress might seem to be a bit casual for the opera but this is Winnipeg. Ninety percent of the population here live in jeans and/or yoga pants. I think I can get away with a wrap dress.  

The wrap dress will be prefect as my day dress for the Tim Gunn sewing challenge. Can you believe that 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress?  

Many people will attribute the wrap dress to Diane von Furstenberg and the nineteen seventies but it was Betsy Johnson's wrap dress that was featured in Vogue on September 1, 1967. The height of popularity for the wrap dress happened in the nineteen seventies and made von Furstenberg a very wealthy women. Her timing was impeccable. By 1975 Vogue declares it the year of the wrap dress. Everyone is designing a wrap dress from Furstenberg to Halston to Anne Klien.  By 1978, Women's Wear Daily declares that the wrap dress is passe. Premature, yes as the wrap dress is revived in the nineteen nineties and is considered a classic to this day. 

The pattern, Vogue 8896, is perfect. I would highly recommend it without a doubt. I didn't shorten the pattern when I cut out my fabric. I knew I wanted a longer length wrap dress and that is exactly what I got. It could have easily been a maxi dress on my five foot frame. Instead, I ended up chopping four inches off the length and now it falls just above my ankles. I love the length. I also lengthened the sleeves which now sit just above my elbow. The hem on the skirt is top-stitched. The hem on the sleeves I tried to use my blind hem foot but that didn't work so I did a hand stitch for the sleeve hem. Despite all the challenges and change in plans, I am quite pleased with the final result and my new dress.

Happy Sewing!


   




Thursday, 3 April 2014

A Simple Slip

Stash busting 2014:  Slip

Fabric:   2 metres

Pattern:  Simplicity 8666 modified according to Mama R's own slip.

Mama R has been after me to make her a slip for longer than I care to recall. I have to admit that the procrastination involved in this project was firmly based on fear. I was sewing with a lightweight man-made knit, let's call it a mystery fabric, that I picked up at Fabricland earlier this year. It is a sheer, light-weight and slippery fabric which took me outside of my comfort zone.  

My biggest fear was that my sewing machine would eat up the fabric as I tried to sew with a knit stitch. I avoided this scenario by sewing the side seams with the serger. To finish off the neckline and underarm seams I serged the edges and then used a twin needle and knit stitch to secure the folded edge in place. To my relief, it worked.  

The straps were hand stitched into place and made from ribbon that Mama R found in her stash. It worked out perfectly. The hem was finished the same method as the neckline seam.

The pattern was a second hand store find and I thought by the way it was folded that it was an uncut and factory-folded pattern. I was wrong. It was a previously loved pattern and the slip had been cut in the small size around the bust to a larger size at the hips. I worked with one of Mama R's own slips to re-trace the correct measurements using the pattern piece as a guide for the shape. It was an easy fix as the front and back pieces are cut as the same.  


It was a super easy make and best part was how happy Mama R is with her new simple slip. She has already put in a request for a second one.   

Happy Sewing!


More Cotton Knickers

I refuse to buy any more knickers now that I have Simplicity 8229 in my pattern collection.   Seriously, with this pattern and som...