Saturday, 21 March 2020

Nightgown: McCall's 2476

This project has been requested, made and gifted away. It's a 100% cotton plaid nightgown and it's the essence of coziness. 

I actually wouldn't mind a longer version for myself but I don't think there is enough left over fabric. But I digress...

It's made with McCall's 2476, a pattern that I would highly recommend for beginners or anyone looking for a quick make. The fabric is a 100% cotton shirting fabric, more lightweight than a cotton flannel but still soft. It was pretreated with a tumble in the washing machine, dryer and followed by a steam pressing before hitting the cutting table.   

I don't know what else to say besides the pattern is well drafted and came together perfectly. The only alterations were to shorten the sleeve length.  

The Stats

Fabric:  4 metres

Interfacing:  0.6 metres

PatternMcCall's 2476

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushion, scissors, tailor's chalk, measuring tape, measuring gauge, thread clippers, screw driver, sewing machine, walking foot, sewing machine needle, serger, threads, iron, ironing board and a coffee break or two.  

Happy Sewing!

Edit:  I made a second nightgown with the same fabric, also to be gifted.  There was enough leftover yardage to make a second version.  Only one change, the sleeves were shortened by an additional half inch as requested by the wearer.  

Thursday, 19 March 2020

In Sewing (and other) News Today...

I was good with all this sewcial distancing.

Like many of you, I have a fabric stash.

And a hobby to distract myself.

Until things got real.

Euro Cup 2020 has been cancelled.

Until 2021.

Virtual window fabric shopping would surely cheer me up, right?


But I'm currently on a fabric fast.

Kidding aside.  How is everyone doing?

Personally, I'm a little sad by the behaviour of some people.  

There are people out there that are not taking it seriously.

Showing up at work sick.

Seriously, I'm not kidding.

I'm happy to read that many in our sewing community have jobs where you can work from home.

Be safe.

And thankful that you're some of the lucky few who can continue to work from home.

I worry for the homeless.

Those sleeping on the streets.

Without access to soap and water for frequent hand washing.

I wonder if those hoarding hand sanitizer are thinking about the homeless?

I worry for those with  medical conditions.

Those who are having their medical treatments postponed.

Those worried about others with uncompromised immune systems who are not taking this seriously and acting recklessly.

Be kind.

Wash your hands


Think about others.

To help them stay safe.

Keep your distance

Keep calm

Count blessings

We have many

We just have to count them.

And stay creative.

It's good for the soul.

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

It's a Menswear Classic: McCall's 2447

This is another version of the McCall's 2447 shirt pattern. Nothing really new to report, this is more of a show-and-tell project. Other than the obvious fail on the stripe matching with the shirt pocket. I'm not perfect. As far as alterations and changes go, this one is cut exactly like the last version. It was lengthened two inches, a 1/4" addition to the side seams and the yoke was sewn using the couture method described in my Reader's Digest sewing reference book.

The fabric has been in the collection, possibly for a decade. I had to cut the width of the sleeve a little shorter than my pattern piece and alteration dictated because of the narrow width of this fabric. Gratefully, it worked out fine and I was able to flat fit the sleeve without any issues. The fabric is a light-weight cotton striped shirting and  will be perfect for the upcoming spring/summer season.

It was pretreated with a tumble in the washing machine and dryer followed by a steam pressing before hitting the cutting table. I'm pretty confident this will eliminate any future shrinkage.

The buttons for this project were actually purchased for another project, Vogue 9370. They were a perfect match for this fabric so since I abandoned the Vogue 9370 project, it was nice to find an alternate project for these buttons.

The Stats

Fabric:  3 metres (124 cm)

Interfacing:  0.8 metres

Buttons:  15 mm (9/16")

Pattern:  McCall's 2447 (circa 1999)

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, scissors, tailor's chalk, pins, pin cushions, rulers, measuring tape, measuring gauge, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, serger, threads, tailor's wax, hand sewing needle, seam ripper thimble, tweezers, iron, ironing board, collar pointer, clapper, cutting board, buttonhole cutter, screwdriver and some tea breaks.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

In Sewing News Today...

So far this year, I haven't stepped inside a fabric store.


Feeling pretty proud of myself on that one.

I did step inside a department store though.

Spotted a long sleeve cotton, not cotton blend, t-shirt.

Just a plain pullover style.

It was on sale for fifteen dollars.

I thought it was a good deal since it's so rare to see cotton t-shirts now-a-day that aren't blended with a man-made fibres.

I then stumbled on the RTW fast and came home with a new long-sleeved cotton t-shirt.

It came with a good dose of shoppers remorse.

Not feeling so proud of myself on that one.

But sometimes I stumble until I come to my senses.

It's back at the store.

I have cotton t-shirt fabric in the stash.

Lots of it.

And there is Vogue 9130 waiting to be made up one day.

Or perhaps, a version of out-of-print (OOP) Vogue 1306?

With long sleeves.

And without the neckline placket.


Confession really is good for the soul and discovery.

I know what my next sewing project will be!

Well, I better get to work.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Book Review: Indigo

Indigo:  In Search of the Colo[u]r that Seduced the World

Author:  Catherine E. McKinley

ISBN:  978-1-60819-505-3  

Publisher:  Bloomsbury, 2011

US price:  $27.00 (Hardcopy)

Okay, there are some things that really I didn't like about this book and then there were things that I did.

First, I don't know how anyone can say that this has anything to do with "history" unless they are talking about McKinley's personal history.  And in that case we should just call this book what it really is, McKinley's autobiographical journey.

And historically, there are some questionable references in this book that illustrates what appears to be poor research or bad editing. I'm not quite sure.  
It is said that no indigo box was dispatched to England without being smeared in human blood, and resistance to that tyranny sparked a two-year peasant revolt -- the Indigo Revolt of 1859 -- that Gandhi joined as his first civil action.  
Okay, Gandhi was not even born when the Indigo Revolt of 1859 occurred.  Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869.  Could McKinley be referring to the Indigo Rebellion that happened in the next century?  All I do know is that from the early pages of this book I was distracted by words that didn't make sense.  
By the eve of the American Revolution, when cubes of indigo replaced paper currency, South Carolina planter were exporting 1.1 million pounds of indigo to Europe -- nearly $30 million today.  
The war would mark the beginning of the weakening of American indigo profits, also hastened by the invention of the cotton gin in 1974.  
Sigh.  Yup, 1974 is found in the pages of my book.  Needless to say, any enthusiasm that I initially had when I first picked up this book diminished quite quickly. Until I reached page forty-one,
When you have a cloth box, it shows you are mature.  Every respectable woman has cloth.  Plenty of cloth!  For Ghana women, it is the most important thing after having children.  Cloth is more than our bank accounts and our insurance.  Even if you don't own land, you own cloth.  You could say it is like a European lady's silverware!  The price of fine cloth never decreases, while our money, its value keeps on changing.  If you have three hundred pieces of good cloth, like a real madame, well then you have something!  
The story of another woman's fabric stash offered a reason to continue.  But I wasn't rewarded in the following pages.  The beautiful indigo book cover drew me into a book I really wanted to enjoy but the pages within didn't offer the same enticement or deliver a satisfying read.  I could have spent my time sewing or at least admiring my own cloth box(es).  

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 6 March 2020

Happy National Dress Day!

Today marks National Dress Day, a day to celebrate dress memories and that one piece garment that makes it easy to throw on and go.

By far this would be my favourite dress memory.  I picked these colourful knit fabrics to celebrate the colours of the Portuguese flag when Portugal made it to the finals in the Euro Cup in 2016.

I do like a wrap dress and this maxi wrap dress was a favourite for some time. I eventually shortened it and then it quickly lost its appeal. But I do still have fond memories of the maxi version.  

The dress memories associated with these two velveteen dresses are all about learning new techniques. There was a lot of research, trail and error, and tears that went into the making of these dresses. Eventually and gratefully they turned out in the end.  

Out-of-print (OOP) Simplicity 2372 is the most-made pattern that I've sewn and Mom's favourite dress pattern.  

Sometimes I like to mix and matching pieces from different patterns to create something new.  

And here we are at my current favourite dress pattern, the Assembly Line's Tulip dress. It's so comfortable and has the oh, so essential, pockets. The perfect dress needs pockets.  

What's your favourite dress style or pattern?  

Happy Sewing and National Dress Day!

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Troubleshooting Thursdays: Machine Won't Stitch Properly

There are a few things that we can check first if our machines won't stitch properly before throwing in the piece of fabric and taking the machine into the repair shop. 

1.  Stitches are loose  

If your sewing machine is producing loose stitches this indicates a tension problem. It is best to search your sewing machine instruction book for adjusting the tensions to correct this issue. Can't find your sewing machine manual? The Ultimate Manuals Library is a great resource to check out.  

2.  Stitch length is erratic

This situation occurs when the feed dog is not at the right height and a presser bar adjustment may also be needed.  It is best to refer to your sewing machine manual for the adjustments on your feed dog and / or presser bar.  

3.  Stitches are ragged

This situation is likely to occur when you're using two different sizes / weights of thread in the upper thread path and the bobbin area.  Generally speaking, it is best to use the same thread in the bobbin as on the spool and avoid mixing different threads. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule such as when you're doing machine shirring or embroidery.  

4.  Thread loops on bottom

When your thread loops on the bottom it can indicate one of two problems.  First thing to check out is your sewing machine needle.  If the point of the needle is blunt that could be your problem and it's easily fixed by changing the needle.  If you checked and change the needle and are still experiencing the issue, it could be the tension.  Refer to number one.  

5.  Frayed stitches

When frayed stitching occurs this indicates that the machine needs to be cleaned of all the lint in the lower bobbin assembly area.  

6.  Zig-zag stitches are uneven

Uneven zig-zag stitches again indicates a tension issue that needs to be addressed.  Refer to number one and check your sewing machine manual for these adjustments.  

More Troubleshooting Thursday posts:  

Happy Sewing!

Nightgown: McCall's 2476

This project has been requested, made and gifted away. It's a 100% cotton plaid nightgown and it's the essence of coziness.  ...