Tuesday, 26 May 2020

In Sewing New Today...

A few months ago the strap on my handbag broke. The leather strap was fine, it was the hardware that gave out. The strapless handbag sat unused for months because I miss having a strap. Until now.  

Instead of spending funds to replace the handbag hardware, I created a new strap with one of the scarves made earlier this year. I actually like how it looks and it sits comfortably on my shoulder. I'm still holding onto the leather strap that came with the handbag, it might come in handy for another fix-it project.  

It seems like the pandemic's greatest impact on my life has been driving home the make do and mend mantra. Going out to run errands takes more time and can be stressful if you're in an environment where folks are not taking social distancing and Covid-19 medical precautions seriously. Making do with what is on hand is a much safer and less stressful option. And it's challenging me to be more creative. There a sense of joy that comes with successfully completing this challenge and giving new life to a old object.  

In other sewing news, I discovered the likely reason for an increase demand in face mask sewing requests. Costco is no longer selling face masks or gloves in their stores and online. But I was able to find a box of 50 disposable face masks at my local pharmacy for sixty dollars. That wasn't a typo. I would have to work more than half a day to pay for that one box. No wonder workplaces are not supplying face masks or if they are, they're limiting how many you can use during the day. I'm so glad that I can sew. Needless to say, there is another batch of 3-ply reusable face masks on the sewing table.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Me Made May 2020: Part III

Day 16
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Today's me-made picks:  cotton knit dress circa 2017 (Vogue 9268), cotton face mask circa 2020 (Dhurtala Davies pattern), cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296), cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217).

Day 17

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Me-made items worn today:  linen brassiere circa 2020 (Simplicity 8510), cotton shirtdress circa 2020 (OOP Vogue 1606), cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296), cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217).  

Day 18
Monday, May 18, 2020 
Victoria Day Long Weekend

Me-made picks:  Yard work required comfortable picks:  striped linen pants circa 2019 (Vogue 1642), cotton / linen blend shirt circa 2017 (Butterick 6026).  Changed into a wool shirtdress circa 2017 (McCall's 7546, Vogue 1503 and Vogue 8934) to combat the air conditioned environment.  Slept in cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296), cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217).  

Etc., etc., etc.  

The 2020 pandemic edition of Me-made-May is basically a repeat of the same old thing. I'm going to stop doing photo collages of my me-made wears because it's basically a repeat. I'm working from home, thanks to God! I'm one of the lucky ones who can do this. I know how blessed I am to be in this position at this time. Self-isolation, less walking up and down stairs and walking in general at the workplace, means pandemic pounds have creeped on and I find that most of the me-made clothes that I was able to wear last year don't fit as well this year. If it weren't for the pandemic and staying home to save safe and save lives I would have certainly have worn my spring coat and other me-made jackets but there hasn't been the need. If I venture outdoors for a grocery run, I'm more likely to throw on a hoodie that I can immediately throw in the wash when I get home. Dressing up is not top of mind right now. Not even my cork handbag has made it out of the closet.  

I did complete the MMM challenge I set out for myself. I made a brassiere. I could use some neutral colour two inch wide elastic if I revisit this project but I'm not willing to go to risk a fabric store trip. It's not that essential. So it looks like this will be it for a while. 

I will still continue to wear me-made items everyday not just for the remainder of May. And most of my everyday and sleep wear are me-made so that's easy. I just won't be documenting it with photographs for the remainder of the month. Enjoy the rest of Me-Made May.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing! 

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Pullover Dress: Vogue 9237 and Vogue 9057

There were other plans for this woven stretch fabric.  

Plans were made to turn this piece of cloth into a version of Tessuti Patterns Eva dress. That plan changed after the fabric was pretreated and the discovery was made that there was quite a bit of shrinkage.  The 3.2 metres of 115 cm wide fabric became 3.0 metres of 112 cm fabric. Cutting out the Eva dress was no longer an option. 

I wanted an easy to wear dress and my alternative plan was Vogue 9237. I made this dress a few years back but it didn't last in my wardrobe rotation. I found it less than comfortable across the sleeve, bust and the neckline. It just felt too restrictive when I tried to use or stretch my arms. So, I tried to rectify that problem with merging these two patterns, Vogue 9237 for the bottom half and Vogue 9057 for the top half of the dress.  

This worked out well and it feels way more comfortable than the first version.  I lined up Marcy Tilton's bodice pattern pieces on top of the dress pattern pieces by matching the waistline measurement. From there I recut the neckline and shoulder seams on the dress pattern and I used the sleeve pattern from Vogue 9057. The hemline was left as is, it sits just below the knee on me. And I raised the pockets an inch. The neckline and hem were finished with bias tape. No zipper or loop and button closure needed, so I eliminated the center back seam on the upper back portion.  

Can you notice the lower back ruffle piece?  It's hard to see in this print. It's one of my favourite design features of this dress. That and the fact that this dress has pockets!  

The Stats

Fabric:  3.0 metres

Interfacing:  0.40 Knit 'n Stable tape

Seam binding:  3.65 metres

PatternsVogue 9237 and Vogue 9057

Additional Supplies & Tools:  Cutting table, pins, measuring tape, scissors, thread clippers, tailor's chalk, threads, sewing machine, serger, iron and ironing board.  

Stay Safe & Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Me Made May Challenge: Brassiere

Sewing a brassiere, void of any underwire and in a natural fibre fabric, has been on my wish-list for quite some time. Simplicity 8510 (Simplicity R10160 on my copy), a 1930s vintage style (2019 release) made my dreams come true.  

This is a well drafted pattern and it fits well too. You'll have to take my word for it.  

There is just a very odd thing about this pattern. It's found in the instruction sheet within step one regarding the construction of the darts.  
TIP:  To prevent a "bubble" at the point, make the last few stitches right on the fold and leave the thread end long enough to tie a knot.  DO NOT back-stitch at the point.
Okay, who back-stitches at the end of a dart? I'm blown away that that would even have to be included in a pattern. 

Nothing else stands out other than how incredibly comfortable this is to wear. There may be more to be made once I find some more hooks and eyes.  

The fabric is a light-weight linen that has been in my stash for many moons. It was prewashed in the washer and followed a tumble in the dryer. It's nice and soft now. It will become a hand wash item in the future. 

The Stats

Fabric:  0.60 metres 

Interfacing:  scrap piece of fusible

Elastic:  0.05 metres 

Hooks and Eyes:  3

Pattern:  Simplicity R10160 / Simplicity 8510

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, tailor's chalk, pins, pin cushion, tracing paper, pencil, ruler, measuring gauge, scissors, thread clippers, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, walking foot, screwdriver, hand sewing needle, and thread.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Friday, 15 May 2020

Me-Made-May 2020: Part II

Day 8
Friday, May 8, 2020

No, I didn't spill my morning coffee over my first outfit. A quick run to work followed by some errands meant that there is a change of clothes when I got home. These were the me-made items I wore and used today:  Blue cotton sateen skirt circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 1247), cotton maple leaf face mask circa 2020 (Dhurata Davies face mask pattern), grocery shopping bags circa 2020 (OOP McCall's 4851), cotton striped wrapped shirtdress circa 2018 (Simplicity 8687), cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296), cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217).  

Day 9
Saturday, May 9, 2020

Me made items worn today:  Pullover top circa 2019 (Simplicity 8529), Linen face mask circa 2020 (Dhurata Davies pattern), cotton pajama bottoms circa 2017 (OOP Vogue 9217), cotton pajama top circa 2017 (Butterick 6296), underwear circa 2017 (Simplicity 8229).  

Day 10
Sunday, May 10, 2020

Me made items worn today:  Cotton floral dress circa 2020 (Assembly Line Tulip dress), cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296) and cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217).  

Day 11
Monday, May 11, 2020

Today's me-made items:  Chain motif cotton shirtdress circa 2019 (created with mixing these three patterns:  OOP McCall's 7546, Vogue 1503 and OOP Vogue 8934), cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217), cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296) and cotton denim face mask circa 2020 (Craft Passion pattern).  

Day 12
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Pajama day!  Cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296), cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217), embroidered silk pajama bottoms circa 2020 (OOP Vogue 9217) and embroidered silk pajama top circa 2020 (Butterick 6296).  

Day 13
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Today's me-made selection:  floral cotton dress circa 2017 (Tessuti's Eva dress), cotton knickers circa 2017 (Simplicity 8229), white cotton pajama top circa 2020 (Butterick 6296), white cotton pajama bottoms circa 2020 (OOP Vogue 9217).  

Day 14
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Today's me-made picks:  shirtdress circa 2020 finished this morning (vintage OOP Vogue 1606), embroidered silk pajama top circa 2020 (Butterick 6296) and embroidered silk pajama bottoms circa 2020 (OOP Vogue 9217).  

Day 15
Friday, May 15, 2020

Today's me-made items:  cotton knit t-shirt circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 1306), not shown striped linen pants circa 2019 (Vogue 1642), cotton flannel pajama top circa 2019 (Butterick 6296), cotton flannel pajama bottoms circa 2018 (OOP Vogue 9217).  

Update on the MMM challenge:  A decision on fabric has been made and there should be some fabric cutting coming up this long weekend.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Shirtdress: Vintage Vogue 1606

The one thing that I like about sewing with patterns from the last century is that they fit in the shoulders. I'm really over this century's dropped shoulder trend. This little fact made this project the most pleasing sewing experience I've had in a very long time.  

The upper portion of the sleeve and how it fits into this design is my favourite feature of this vintage Vogue pattern. Vogue 1606 is a Betty Jackson design circa 1995. 

The lower portion of the sleeve was changed to the placket, pleating cuff details from Vogue 1503. I shortened the sleeve length of the Betty Jackson pattern but I could certainly have shortened it even more. A note for next time. Additional changes: adding side pocket and more buttons. I do believe that is my favourite thing about sewing, I have complete control of the quantity of buttons or whatever closure I want a project to have. You won't find a ready-to-wear clothing manufacturer now-a-days willing to sew fourteen buttons on a shirtdress. I found these lovely buttons at Northwest / Marshall Fabrics for next to a song. They don't often carry buttons.  

There was some concern that it might be short by the look of the pattern photograph. And forgetting that I'm no where as tall as a Vogue fashion model, I added four inches to the hem. I questioned my decision upon the first fitting. In the end, I left the extra length finishing the hemline at one inch and some hand stitching.  

The fabric was in the stash and it actually wasn't my first choice. I had a heavier weight cotton in mind for this wearable toile. The initial fabric choice was short on yardage for the changes that I had in mind. I could see this being quite lovely in a light-weight linen or cotton shirting fabric. Something light weight so that it drapes nicely. 

This cotton shirt weight fabric did present a challenge as the right and wrong side of the fabric was hard to detect and even though I chalked an X on the wrong side, I still managed to make an error ending up with two right side front pieces.  Lesson:  never sew when you're tired.  

After sleeping on it and carefully removing the machine and hand invisible stitching, I went to work correcting this error.  

There are many pieces to put together and even though the pattern is rated "easy" it is one that is best worked through slowly to truly enjoy the process and appreciate the ingenuity of the design. 

The Stats

Fabric:  3 metres

Interfacing:  0.7 metres

Buttons:  14 - 12 mm, 2 hole shirt buttons

Pattern:  OOP Vogue 1606

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushions, tailor's chalk, measuring tape, measuring gauge, scissors, iron, ironing board, hand sewing needle, tailor's wax, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, cutting board, button hole cutter, hammer, thread clippers, tweezers, serger, threads, seam ripper and many breaks along the way. Oh, and there may or may not have been a few tears thrown into the production.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

In Sewing News Today...

There was actually some non-pandemic related sewing yesterday. The sewing project did get delayed this weekend with another request for a face mask from a friend that I was more than happy to make. But yesterday was a full-blown day of almost uninterrupted sewing bliss. It was fun to alter, modify and sew a new-to-me pattern. After, my initial sewing blooper that almost brought me to tears last week, everything was working out great. I hope to finish sewing up the last bit of details tomorrow and have it ready for a reveal soon.  

Sewing Fisherman's Wife by Anna Ancher circa 1890.

In other sewing news, Vogue patterns are on sale and the new "Sale" pricing has some sewing enthusiasts to the south quite upset. I don't know how some missed it during the last on-line sale? Yup, it's not cheap to sew and it hasn't been for a long time if you live outside of the United States and like sewing with the Big Four pattern company offerings. If patterns were ordered online at the previous $6.99 offering there was US$ exchange rates and insane shipping costs added onto that enticing advertised sale price. I'm still a fan of Vogue patterns but I agree, right now in this global economic climate, commercial sewing patterns are a luxury item. It's the perfect time to take up pattern drafting considering that many of us are under stay home and save lives orders.  

I guess it wasn't all that unexpected that sewing pattern increases would follow the price increases of sewing notions and fabrics double and triple in recent times.  

Sewing really has changed in the recent years and now shopping for clothing is being challenged in the retail marketplace by the pandemic. It will be interesting to see how all of this will impact people's view of sewing. I suspect that many more people will pick up sewing despite the increase costs many of us have noticed in recent years.  

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!  

In Sewing New Today...

A few months ago the strap on my handbag broke. The leather strap was fine, it was the hardware that gave out. The strapless handbag sat un...