Saturday, 31 December 2011

Sewing Moments

I've been thinking about my favourite sewing moments of 2011.  Here they are:

Invisible Zippers.

I managed to sew an invisible zipper that I am proud of! Thanks to Eugenia's (fabulous) World of Fashion and her post How I get an invisible zipper looking neat at the top! All I have to add is invest in an actual metal invisible zipper foot and forget those cheap plastic ones.

Sewing polar fleece.

Or maybe it was being asked by my nephew to sew him another polar fleece? Not only did the request surprise me, it made my year.  He even came to the fabric store to pick out the fleece.

Natural sunlight.

There is nothing like getting out of the cramped poor lit sewing space in the basement into some natural light.

The summer of 2011 was a mosquito free summer and I loved it. It is a rare occurrence out here in the Canadian prairies. I really did enjoy sewing outdoors without being bothered by those little blood suckers.

Wrist pincushions rule!

And so does my wonderful and thoughtful nephew who managed to hunt down this rare gem for my birthday. Luv it him! They're both rare gems.

How about you, what were your favourite sewing moments of 2011?

Friday, 30 December 2011

Burda Style #7798

I'm quite pleased with this pattern. I adore the bodice front with the four darts from the neckline. I'm starting to become a fan of Burda Style patterns.  

This is my first try with this pattern. I did tweak it a bit to fit my personal physical quirks, but overall I would highly recommend this pattern. It is easy to sew and would make a good project for a beginner.

I do want to remake this dress in these 100% cotton stretch sateen fabrics.

I would change up the pattern by lining the bodice front and back instead of finishing the neckline with bias tape.

The skirt is cut on the bias and it falls beautifully and finished with a narrow hem.

I did find that I had to lengthen the bodice front and back. That said, this pattern has two adjustment points to such consideration.

This pattern will be filed away as one of my favourites and can't wait to sew again.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

It is a good plan to pre-treat your fabric

I finally decided to use the small piece of butterfly print fabric that I picked up a couple of months ago. There is enough for the bodice piece and the short sleeves. I had a solid blue linen/cotton blend that I planned on using with the print for the skirt portion.

I was quite excited and went to work at pre-shrinking my fabric. I popped them both in the washing machine  followed by a tumble in the dryer.

Oh no!

You'll never guess what happened.

Yup, the unthinkable.

The blue solid fabric faded and now it is not looking as appealing as it did before that tumble. Yikes.

I not quite as smitten with the match-up as I was prior to the pre-treatment. So, I'm pre-shrinking another hue of blue cotton fabric as I type.

Fingers crossed it will work out.

Clockwise:  The butterfly print, the faded cotton/linen,
and the new blue.  
Update:  It is a darker blue than my first choice. But since my first choice faded significantly I will go with the darker blue instead.

Lesson learned:  Add a 1/4 cup of vinegar to the pre-wash to avoid discolouring.  And I knew this trick, I just got caught up in the excitement of starting a new project.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas Give-away Winners are...

I hope everyone had a wonderful break and fun celebrating friends, family and beliefs that are near and dear to your heart.

I'm glad to read that you enjoyed the 12 days of give aways. It was fun thinking up this up. But enough about me, let's get to the winners.

Winner #1:  Heather from Sewing on Pins

Hat extravaganza package.  

Fifteen various children and adult hat patterns, two yards of polar fleece, three spools of thread, and 1/4" wide thread.  

Winner #2:  No one entered for this
Lovely bag filled with buttons:

I Love Cat embellishments/buttons from Fabricland

Swirly buttons from Courage My Love in Toronto.

Hand crafted Lovely Ladies and Blender Cocktail buttons from Peach Beserk in Toronto.

Separates, Dresses & More!  

Vogue 2279: Misses'/Misses Petite Jacket, Dress, Top, Skirt & Pants (Size 8, 10, 12). 
Vogue 2863: Misses' Shirt, Top, Dress, Skirt & Pants (Size 6, 8, 10). Vogue 2401: Misses' Dress (Size 6, 8, 10). Butterick 4790:  Misses' Wrap Dress (Size 8, 10, 12, 14). Black ric rac and Black and White Seed Beads

Congratulations!  If you send me an email @ I'll have them in the post this week.  

Sunday, 25 December 2011

On the Twelfth Day of Give aways...

On the twelfth day of Christmas give aways
This blog gave to Winner #3
1.12 ounces of black and white seed beads,
Eleven Vogue pattern separates,
Ten yards of ric rac trim,
nine(teen) fifty-two Retro patterns

Saturday, 24 December 2011

On the Eleventh Day of Give aways...

On the eleventh day of Christmas Give aways
This blog gave to Winner # 3
Eleven Vogue pattern separates,
Ten yards of ric rac trim,
nine(teen) fifty-two Retro patterns

Vogue 2863: Shirt, top, dress, skirt and pants
Vogue 2279: Jacket, dress, top, skirt and pants

Friday, 23 December 2011

On the Tenth Day of Give aways...

On the tenth day of Christmas give aways
This blog gave to Winner #3
Ten yards of ric rac trim,
nine(teen) fifty-two Retro patterns

Thursday, 22 December 2011

On the Ninth Day of Give aways...

On the ninth day of Christmas give aways
This blog gave to Winner #3
nine(teen) fifty-two Retro re-issue patterns

Vintage Vogue 2401, size 6, 8, 10 Dress
Retro Butterick 4790 Wrap Dress

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

On the Eighth Day of Give-aways...

  On the Eighth Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #2
Eight blenders blending
Seven glittering lovely ladies
Six swirly glass buttons
Five prrr-etty kitty embellishments 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

On the Seventh Day of Give aways...

 On the Seventh Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #2
Seven glittering lovely ladies, 
Six swirly glass buttons
Five prrr-etty kitty embellishments 

Monday, 19 December 2011

On the Sixth day of Give aways...

 On the Sixth Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #2
Six swirly glass buttons
Five prrr-etty kitty embellishments 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

On the Fifth Day of Give aways...

On the Fifth Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #2
Five prrr-etty kitty embellishments 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

On the Fourth Day of Give aways...

On the Fourth Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #1
Quarter inch elastic
Three spools of thread
Two yards of polar fleece 
A collection of winter hat patterns

Friday, 16 December 2011

On the Third Day of Give aways...

On the Third Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #1
Three spools of thread
Two yards of polar fleece 
A collection of winter hat patterns

Thursday, 15 December 2011

On the Second Day of Give aways...

On the Second Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #1
Two yards of polar fleece 
A collection of winter hat patterns

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

On the First Day of Give aways...

On the First Day of Christmas Give aways
This blog sent to Winner #1
A collection of winter hat patterns

McCall's 8513 (unopened) 
"Kids bundle up for winter, make hats and scarfs in all shapes and sizes, fun, cold weather accessories for kids in sizes small thru large 21 thru 23 inches."  

Simplicity 7880 (unopened)
"Misses', Men's, and Teen's Hat. All items in fleece type fabrics only. Top hat has contrast top and brim. Jester hat with purchased pom pons has contrast band with ear flaps and purchased cording ties. Stocking hat in two colours has self fringe and top-stitching. Hat in three sizes Small (21"), Medium (22"), Large (23").     

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Nothing says Christmas like twelve days of give-aways!

Starting tomorrow it is twelve days before Christmas. Can you believe it? I don't know where the time has gone.

Anyway, it is a holiday that I like to celebrate and I thought it would call for a give away, twelve days of give aways.  There will be three winners during the twelve days of give aways.

The give away is open to anyone, anywhere. Just leave a comment on one of the twelve days of give-away posts and I will draw for the three give-away winners on December 28th.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Cards

I have been writing Christmas cards this weekend. Yes, it is one of my favourite holiday traditions.

I know you're probably thinking, "how old fashion".

But I do love coming home from work to find that another Christmas card has arrived in the mail.

Yes, I have "ol' fashion" friends who are generous enough to take the time to write and mail those little pieces of art, humour, and good cheer.  

And I do get Christmas greetings from my technology inclined friends via electronic sources. It is not the same as those e-cards are hard to display on the Christmas tree or string along the wall.

My favourite cards are the ones that are homemade with winter scene photographs, or scrap-booking materials.

I do admire those folks that go the extra hundred miles in their Christmas card giving.

I am in awe of those creative folks that use their sewing machines to create homemade Christmas cards.

And check this one out! A co-worker and friend gave me this beautiful hand-made card a few years ago. It is stunning.

She rolled paper strips and glued them onto card paper into a pattern depicting a tree.

I don't have the patience to create this detailed work but I do have an appreciation for the creativity of this beautiful piece of art. Every year, I take it out and display it with the other cards that come in through the mail. I thought I would share it with you too.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

How I spent my Saturday afternoon

I spent an afternoon participating in self-torture.

Yes, that was a pattern sheet from Burda magazine. It is for the draped dress shown here.

I spent the afternoon highlighting the pattern pieces in yellow. I haven't even started to trace it out. Now that I have finished highlighting the pattern pieces I think I've changed my mind about the project.

But now I know what everyone has been talking about when it comes to tracing out a Burda pattern.  Yikes!

Finding the pattern pieces wasn't so hard, the sheets are labelled somewhat like a map. The margins indicate a general location to find you pattern piece.

At Pattern Review, Eileen gave a helpful hint--wax paper. I would never have thought about that.

fehr Trade recommends tracing the patterns using a serrated blade on top of a carpet.

I also read someone's recommendation of using see-through plastic. Love that idea! But it could get quite expensive, no?

How do you handle Burda World of Fashion magazine patterns? Or do you want to give up when your eyes start going cross eyed?

Friday, 9 December 2011

It was all about Shoulder Pads!

Picture credit:  Jimmy Pants.
I was too busy getting my groove on to be taking any pictures.
The Prince concert was unbelieveable! Seriously, I have no words to describe the feeling of ecstacy during the concert. All I can say is that I never danced so much in one night. And I love my raspberry beret! Yes, I did.

Prince was in amazing shape, he played a two and a half concert with The Power Generation. The band and the back-up singers were equally amazing.

Three costume changes for Prince. He first came out wearing a black suit with a asmetrical hemline.  His impectalbe black shirt had a white collar and cuffs.

The second outfit showed off what amazing shape Prince was in, highlighting the muscles in his legs. Yowza!

And the third outfit was a black & white graphic tee-shirt with white pants. What did they all have in common, shoulder pads. But not a throwback to the eighties. Just like Prince's music from back in the day, it had a modern twist.

In three words:  BEST CONCERT EVER.  I love a concert with a live band. Even though he didn't play Musicology I still had the best time. I was hurting today at work but it was all worth it.  

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Princely Dreams

When I was a wee youngster in my twenties I dreamed of working as a fashion designer for Prince.

Yes, it is my dirty little secret.

I've always admired his fashion sense, even those, um, pants. Yup, the pants. He's brave and always manages to pull off any look. He has the look.

Anyway, I'm am lucky enough to see him tonight in concert.

[insert excitement here]

I can't wait to see what Prince will wear!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Little Drummer Boy is my favourite Christmas tune, but this version is pure awesome-ness.  

And you can check out the story behind the video via an interview with CBC Radio.  

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

In sewing news today...

Project Runway: The Final Five Episode! (we're a wee bit behind the rest of the world) 

Ouch! The tension in the workroom is ruining the post-yoga vibe I have going on.

I wish there was a mute button for Jason. Just saying.

I also have to say that I loved the lattice work in Laura's dress--Wow! But Anya's designs did rock the episode! I love the angles on the dresses.

I was speechless at Anya's choices for who should go to fashion week with her--Victor and Jason? Seriously?

I won't spoil it and say who will go to Fashion Week in case anyone hasn't seen the episode.

I don't know if I'm really excited about see the rest of the season. It is a bit of a yawn. I don't know, another episode of Jason. Oiye!

New Fabrics!

There was a sale this weekend at Fabricland, I think I might have mentioned that.

Honest, the only reason that I went back on Sunday was to pick up snaps to finish off the baby onesie that I was making.

Light olive green corduroy
And then I spotted these lovely fabrics and that was it, visions of finished garments started floating around in my head.

The corduroy fabric is so soft and it has a beautiful drape. It is a cotton, nylon, and spandex blend. I picked up two metres of this for a skirt. It's a light-weight fabric that I think will make a lovely skirt for spring.
Cream / Off white silk

And this medium weight off-white coloured 100% silk I picked up thinking that it would make a nice jacket.

But then it would also be lovely for a dress too.

I do have some time to think about it since I still have several projects sitting in my sewing drawers waiting that I will have to finish.

That's is all in sewing news today.  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...