Thursday, 12 December 2019

Make Do, Mix and Match Pattern Pieces: Pajamas

I didn't have a specific pattern for this project but I certainly can make do with more than enough pattern pieces on hand.  I was able to mix and match to create a pajama set.  

The pajama bottoms were made with the pants pattern from out-of-print (OOP) vintage McCall's 8548, circa 1996.  They have an elastic waistband and are roomy enough for any little monkey who wants to jump on the bed.  

The shirt is a combination of McCall's 6548 and OOP McCall's 8548.  I used the collar, front and back from McCall's 6548 and used the sleeve pattern piece from OOP McCall's 8548.  It was a perfect fit! No tweaking necessary.  It was like the OOP McCall's 8548 sleeve pattern piece was made for McCall's 6548.  

Call me frugal if you must, but I'm super thrilled that I was able to create this pajama set without dishing out for a new pattern.  The only changes that were made besides mixing and matching pattern pieces was lengthening the hem on the shirt.  

The fabric might look familiar as these are the third pair of pajamas that I was able to make with this beautiful 100% cotton.  It was the last of this cotton and it was pretreated before hitting the cutting table.  The buttons are vintage from when Eaton's closed down.  It felt great to use things from the stash.  

The Stats

Fabric:  1.3 metres

Elastic:  1.15 metres 

Buttons:  3 

Patterns:  McCall's 6548 and OOP McCall's 8548

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Iron, ironing board, pins, scissors, tailor's chalk, buttonhole cutter, cutting board, clapper, seam ripper, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, threads, hand sewing needle, measuring tape, measuring gauge, ruler, thread clippers, safety pins, and tea with cookies.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

My Sewing Top Fives: Sewing Techniques

Top Five Sewing Techniques

1.  This year I discovered the couture method (also known as the burrito method) of sewing shirt yokes with this shirt project.  And I have never looked back at my old method of top-stitching a yoke in place.  

There is a wonderful set of instructions for this sewing technique in the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.  

2.  Clothes pins, they're not just for hanging up clothes to dry.  Paper clips could work just as well!  I learned this year that there are gadgets around us that can be adapted for use in sewing projects without running off to an overpriced fabric store for supplies.  

3.  Pad-stitching can be done by machine to save time.   

4.  Using a buttonhole cutter for opening buttonholes was a game changer.  

5.  Stay tape makes all the difference when it comes to sewing with knits, especially when it comes to sewing hems.  Stay tape stabilizes and supports the edges to they don't stretch out and gape.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 8 December 2019

My Sewing Top Fives: Hits and Misses

Over at the Sewcialists there is a prompt to share our Top Fives of 2019.  And even though there are another three weeks of sewing room blessings and mishaps to enjoy, I'm starting to reflect on this year's sewing adventures.

Top Five Hits

To be completely honest, it is tough to pick out only five, I could easily pick ten hits this year. And I will say that sewing up some produce bags to replace plastic bags in the supermarket was the best thing to come off the sewing machine.  But I digress.  If I must, here's a top five list.  

#1.  This is a shirtdress that I made using pattern pieces from three different patterns to create what is a favourite go-to item in my closet. 

#2.  Okay, I didn't make this dress in 2019 but it makes the list because it was altered and refashioned into a style that now works for the fabric and fits comfortably.  After sitting in the closet rarely worn it has become a go-to item post-alteration.  And it comes with that incredible feeling of saving a project.  

#3.  There has been a lot of joyful sewing for kids that were charity projects and gifted. By far this one, a shirt for an age five boy has to be my favourite for sure.  It's all about those sleeve plackets!  I'm not a fan of the encased slashed placket that this vintage shirt pattern was designed with and decided to go ahead and redesign the way the sleeve placket was finished.  I couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out.  

#4.  The most comfortable pair of pants in linen and with pockets.  Need I say more?

#5.  A proper spring coat has been on my want-to-make list for years.  It was finally knock off the list this year.   

Top Five Misses

#1.  Oops.  Thankfully the hem length was a easy fit.  I wasn't so lucky with the pattern matching on this one.  

#2.  A retro look, but not in a good way.  This dress became a skirt.  

#4.  Pencil skirts don't work for everyone.  

#4.  Missed opportunity on making a Canada Day themed top.  

#5.  I made this turtleneck dress forgetting that not all fabrics are the same.  It was a struggle to get it over my head.  It has since become an elastic waist skirt.  

Happy Sewing!

Friday, 6 December 2019

Men's Pajamas: Kwik Sew 1415

Guessing by the illustrations on the front of the pattern envelope, this Kwik Sew pattern is of a certain vintage, perhaps the 1970's or 1980's.

Although there is no date stamp on this pattern there are some clues. It is a Kerstin Martensson design. Kerstin Martensson is the name and designer behind Kwik Sew patterns.  Her pattern company began under the name Sew Knit and Stretch in 1967 until 1974 when the company changed it's name to Kwik Sew. Based on the name, the pattern is obviously post-1974. Yet the design has an earlier vintage vibe to it when it came to the pajama bottoms. There is a upper back piece that I've not found in modern pajama bottom patterns.

There are only two pattern pieces used to create the bottoms.

It was an interesting design to sew, something new.  A few simple changes, there was a drawstring added to the elastic casing.  And the bottoms were lengthened by three inches and the hems finished with a rolled hem.

The sleeves on the pajama top were also lengthened and instead of piping throughout, I opted for a small piece of seam binding in the pocket design.  I really liked Martensson's instructions and her method for sewing the piping and finishing at the pocket and sleeve band.

The buttons were from the button stash, a score from the menswear department when Eaton's closed down many moons ago.  I added one more as three didn't appear to be enough. They happened to be a perfect match for this 100% cotton fabric.  The fabric was pre-treated with a wash and tumble through the dryer followed by a good old pressing before it hit the cutting table.

The Stats

Fabric:  3 metres

Buttons:  4 - 3/4"

Elastic:  1 metre - 1 1/4"

Twill tape:  1 metre

Bias Tape:  0.20 metres

Additional Tools & Supplies:   Pattern weights, scissors, tailor's chalk, iron, ironing board, pins, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, hand sewing needle, screwdriver, threads, serger, buttonhole cutter, cutting board, hammer, safety pins, seam ripper, and some tea.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 30 November 2019

November in Review...

This month flew by in a blur of sinus issues. I'm actually surprised that I was able to get any sewing done this month.  

There are a few things I need to sew in the next few weeks but I can't speak of them right now.  Stay tuned.

This month over at The Sewcialists, November has been all about giving back and there is an absolutely lovely and heartwarming post about what this means to some in our sewing community. Over at their website there are also some wonderful ideas of projects that might mean the world to a community or a person in need.

The best out of this month is found over at Love to Sew Podcast, with episode 121, Can You Sew This For Me?  Oh my goodness, this one had me nodding my head in agreement with a chuckle thrown in too. Funny, but also sad and true.

And this month comes to an end with my Fabricland membership. I'm giving up the membership as I look back at the sewing projects I've made this year and realize that the most cherished projects were made with supplies from other sources.   

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 23 November 2019

A New Hat: OOP Vogue 8966

This little project came out of necessity after my hat from last year kept creeping up above my earlobe this week.     

I guess in cleaning and putting away my winter gear last year I shrunk my former wool hat. Luckily, there is everything that I need in my stash of sewing room goodies to correct that situation. I have a remnant piece of Italian wool from Emma One Sock and Marcy Tilton's out-of-print (OOP) Vogue 8966, circa 2013.  

I thought by the photo of the striped hat that it would sit a bit taller. Mine didn't finish with that perceived height (perhaps it was the photo angle?).  I did follow the way the pattern said to close the top but it just looked silly on me so I closed it off further. I think if I make this again, I would double the height and tie a decorative piece of leather to close it off. For now, this little hat will get me through the winter. It's an easy peasy pattern and if you're only going to make Hat E save your money, it's just a rectangular shape and according to my hat size, it's huge.  

I cut 1 1/2" inches from a size medium seam (reduced the size a total of 3" taken in to make it fit). Because of the sizing adjustments that were made the pattern markings were off so I didn't bother with following those any further.   

There are other hat and accessory patterns included that may justify the cost of the pattern. Maybe one day I'll get around to making the scarf and fingerless gloves as some holiday gifts.  

The Stats

Fabric:  0.35 metres

Pattern:  Vogue 8966

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Pins, Scissors, tailor's chalk, sewing machine, walking foot, serger, threads for the machines and hand-stitching, hand sewing needle, thread clippers, and a seam ripper.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

What Will You Be Wearing this Winter?

Yesterday in the Toronto Star, Heather Mallick wrote a hysterical opinion piece "Why Canadians Opt for the Same Grim Black Coat Every Winter." I saw myself in this article wearing my black puffer jacket that I picked up second hand as a car coat.  Because.  Wait for it.  It's easy to throw in the wash.  And a lot easier than trying to keep the car clean in the slushy wintery weather.  Am I at risk of being labelled a Canadian stereotype? Only my sewing skills could save me from such a fate.

I wore a colourful coat last winter and will continue to do so again. I would go full out colour me happy as a bubble-bee yellow if I could only find some yellow coating fabric that wasn't polyester. There has been a blue winter coat once gifted that crossed over my worktable.

Oh and the not to be missed and oh so not practical for Canadian winters but oh so chic. The red cape that I put so much work into but sadly hardly have an opportunity to wear.  

I'll admit that there are times that I blend in with the "black Canada Goose parkas and endless puffer jacket" wearing crowd. I'm just glad that sewing gives me an opportunity to break from the crowd. How about you?  Will you be sewing black winterwear or is it colour all the way?    

Happy Sewing!  

Make Do, Mix and Match Pattern Pieces: Pajamas

I didn't have a specific pattern for this project but I certainly can make do with more than enough pattern pieces on hand.  I was able...