Sunday, 11 August 2019

Practical Sewing: Tea Towels, Produce Bags and Mending

Today's sewing time was dedicated to practical sewing and mending. I finally made time to mend a couple pair of socks and a pair of tights that have been waiting for some care for months now.   

There are two new tea towels after I cut and serged the edges of the linen scraps from yesterday's project.  

Next up, I cut a variety of rectangular shapes from sheer curtain fabric.  I then pinned and serged the sides, leaving an opening.

And these are my new re-useable produce bags to take to the grocery store and farmer's market. I was disappointed when I spotted plastic bags for customers to use at the local farmer's market. I'm not a perfect eco-friendly person, but I'm trying to change my behaviour and become a better steward of the earth.  

From one metre of fabric I managed to sew nine produce bags. Today's projects might not be my fanciest sewing, but I can say that it did feel rewarding once these were completed.  

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

New Pants: Vogue 1642

Vogue 1642 caught my eye because of that comfy looking top with pockets. But then as I took a closer look I became enthralled with the pants pattern as well. It has front darts, front waistband and a back elasticized waist. Oh, and did I mention it has pockets?  And the best part of the pattern is where the waistband sits - at the actual waistline!

Vogue 1642 is a perfectly comfortable looking pair of pants. And I could use a pair of comfortable pants. Even though I have some wool suiting fabric that would be perfect, I didn't want to cut into it before I tested the pattern. I chose a striped linen that I found in the home decor department a couple of years ago. I picked up this fabric thinking to make a pair of drawstring pants but never did. I thought this would be a good fabric to test out the pattern and hopefully have a wearable muslin. And it worked out wonderfully.  

I requested the size combination Y (XS to Med), instead was given the larger size by the salesperson at Fabricland. This mistake has happened in the past. I should have learned not to trust that I will be given what I ask for but I didn't check the pattern size before I left to store. Not realizing I had a different size combination than requested and until I arrived home and removed the contents from the envelope. This is God at work because once I looked at the finished measurements on the pattern pieces, I realized that I should be sewing a large for the pants, medium for the top. Thank you God for that intervention! Sometimes I forget I'm shaped like a pear.  

There were some changes, I raised the crotch, cut the inseam as an extra-large, side seams as a large, shortened the hem by four inches and the left leg by an additional five-eighths of an inch. I opted for cutting the pockets in the linen instead of one side with lining fabric. Next time around I will raise the crotch a little more. This is certainly a wearable muslin and I'm sure it will be a favourite for the remainder of the summer. I think I'm ready to cut that wool suiting fabric now.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2.1 metres


Elastic:  1 metre of 1/2 inch 

PatternVogue 1642

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, iron, ironing board, pins, pin cushion, tailor's chalk, scissors, thread clippers, measuring tape, measuring gauge, sewing machine, serger, threads, walking foot, blind hem foot, safety pins, and a chai tea latte.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Boy's Sweatshirt: McCall's 6548

McCall's 6548 contains patterns for a short sleeved button front shirt, pullover t-shirt and shorts. This project used the t-shirt pattern as a foundation.  

I wanted to make a long sleeve sweatshirt but some changes were needed. First I lengthened the sleeves. After checking some reviews, I followed advice from others and added two inches to the hem. I also used Knit-N-Stable fusible tape for the hemlines.  

It's an okay pattern, basic, maybe next time I would shorten the width of the neckline band. I didn't check the instructions. Seriously, it's an easy project with only four pattern pieces. It is certainly suited for beginners.  

The Stats

Fabric:  1 metre

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads, screwdriver, mini-vacuum, lint brushes, scissors, pins, pin cushion, measuring gauge, measuring tape, seam ripper, ruler, tailor's chalk, and a cup of tea.  

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 5 August 2019

Cozy Cardigan: Butterick 6495

Butterick 6495 contains a lovely cardigan pattern that I'm revisiting for this gift project.  I don't know what to say about this pattern other than it's well drafted.  This Lifestyle Wardrobe pattern also comes with other pieces for a top, dress, jumpsuit and pants. It's well worth the investment.  

The fabric is a cotton sweatshirt fleece that I pretreated according to the colour. I pre-soaked the fabric with this method and washed it with vinegar in the washing machine followed by a tumble in the dryer. This is with hopes that there will be no bleeding of the colour in the future.  

It was sewn throughout with the knit (lightning bolt) stitch on the sewing machine and the hems edges were interfaced with Knit-N-Stable tape. Not alterations to the pattern were made.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2 metres

PatternButterick 6495

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Scissors, pins, pin cushions, tailor's chalk, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, serger, walking foot, threads, and a few breaks.  

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Practical Sewing: Laptop Cover

This is my new laptop cover! 

No pattern, I just used the laptop to chalk out the shape, add 1/2 inch seam allowance and cut out the rest of the materials.  

It consists of three layers, from left to right, the black and light blue materials are for sewing ironing board covers.  The black became the interior fabric, the blue was the padding material and the red canvas became the outer fabric. 

There was just one glitch along the way. The partial loss of a fingernail that became stuck in the thread guide.  Yes, that hurt.  But once the finger was cleaned, bandaged, iced, stopped throbbing and the fingernail removed from the sewing machine, it was back to work.  Luckily, there was not much left to finish at that point.  

The Stats

Fabric:  0.5 metres of each layer

Zipper:  22 inch regular

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, scissors, tailor's chalk, thread clippers, threads, sewing machine, serger, regular zipper foot, walking foot, screw driver, Fray Check, Polysporin wound care, bandages, ice pack, Tylenol and a Chai tea latte.  

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Second Slip, Slightly Different

Can you spot the difference on this version of the vintage Simplicity 6851 slip?  

It is made with the same light mint green coloured linen. This one has a slight A-line shape compared to the other one. I only place the on the fold the centre front and back from the neckline and pivoted out an inch and a half from the desired hemline (four inches shorter than the pattern length). This one will be gifted as well and the recipient is quite thrilled with the fit.  

The Stats

Fabric:  1.9 metres

Pattern:  Out of print (OOP) Simplicity 6851

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, tailor's chalk, ruler, pin cushions, iron, ironing board, thread, thread clippers, and a chai latte reward after all the sewing was done.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

July in Review...

New Fall Collection

Half the year is gone and I haven't made a pair of jeans yet. I've been talking about sewing a new pair of jeans since the beginning of the year. It might change with the new fall pattern release from Vogue. 

I wouldn't mind making up Vogue 1644 in a denim fabric. I have to admit, it has been quite awhile since I've been taken in my a new pattern release but this one is an exception.  Could it be that I'm thrilled that designers raised waistbands? Perhaps.  

This Vogue 1642 pants pattern has captured my interest as well. Or it could be the wide leg design that has me all smitten over sewing a pair of pants? The one fact that is certain, there will be some pants hitting the sewing table sometime in the near future.  


There has been some actual sewing this past month. Nothing too challenging, mostly gift and practical items.  There was one project that I abandoned before it was finished, Vogue 9370.  

The pattern is perfect, my sewing and fabric choice, not so. I think this design would work best in a cotton shirting as recommended on the pattern envelope. Instead, I chose this denim-like fabric from the stash. It was labelled as 100% cotton but it didn't drape or feel so. And then I made an error on the front facing that would have been difficult to correct and there wasn't enough fabric left to recut the required piece. Sewing bloopers happen.  

I do plan to re-use the fabric for something else. Maybe I'll bring out-of-print (OOP) Vogue 1455 out of retirement and create another reversible bubble-hemmed dress to be gifted for a little gal.  

Happy Sewing!

Practical Sewing: Tea Towels, Produce Bags and Mending

Today's sewing time was dedicated to practical sewing and mending. I finally made time to mend a couple pair of socks and a pair of tig...