Saturday, 31 March 2012

March in Review

I have to say that it was nice to get back to my sewing workspace. Here is a look at my March projects in review.

A Second Chance Project (Alterations): The Striped Knit Dress

Fabric: 0.20 metres of black knit fabric, recycled from a previously owned dress in my remnant stash
Dress:  Previous owned and collecting dust in my closet. $22.39 if you must know.
Pattern:  None used, cut straps freehand
Thread:  0.50
Total Cost: $0.50 supplies for the alterations only / $22.89 total for the dress.  
Times Worn this Month: None, it is not warm enough.
Time investment:  1 hour.
Tools needed:  Sewing machine, serger, fabric shears, ball-point sewing machine needle.  

Pincord High-waisted Skirt

Fabric:  2 metres pincord fabric, $15.68
Pattern:  Burda Style 7283, $5.32
Thread:  $3.21
Zipper:  $4.32
Total Cost:  $28.53 
Times worn this month:  Twice
Time investment:  5 hours.
Tools needed:  Sewing machine, serger, fabric shears, ball-point sewing machine needle, roller presser foot, tailor chalk, pins.
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

Modern Fit Blouse

Fabric:  1.5 metres 100% Cotton and .5 metre interfacing $5.60
Pattern:  Butterick 5365, $9.80 (worth every penny!)
Thread:  $4.32
Buttons:  Recycled
Total Cost:  $19.72
Times worn this month:  Not yet worn.
Time invested:  8 1/2 hours (including cutting and layout)
Tools needed:  Pins, fabric shears, sewing machine, ball-point sewing machine needle, buttonholer presser foot, needle, tailor chaulk, pressing ham, and seam ripper.

*Prices are in Canadian dollars

Friday, 30 March 2012

One Week, One Pattern: Part II

Wednesday, March 28th
[Big Smile] The sun is shining and it is finally warming up again.

Pink Stripped Skirt:  Vogue 2885.  100% linen.
I made this one as my muslin. And I surprised myself by keeping it because I don't 
typically like pink.  It was left over fabric from a little girl's dress many moons ago.
Green Tee-shirt:  Talbots
Denim Jacket:  Buffalo Jeans
Indoor Shoes:  Birkenstock
Outdoor shoes:  Groundhog

Thursday, March 29th
I have to admit that even though I love this skirt pattern I'm starting to long for something different from my closet. Something like a pair of jeans on a chilly day like today. Hmmm, what to wear?

I have to say that this exercise is making me realize that I need to sew more versions of Vogue 2885, maybe a version in wool for chilly days like today.

Taupe Skirt:  Vogue 2885, made in stretch crepe.
Shirt:  Vogue 8748, made in 100% cotton  
Indoor Shoes:  Mephisto

Friday, March 30th
This chilly cloudy day was my last day of March break and Mama R and I went out to get our hair cut. So to be completely honest, I wore a black knit dress out to the hairdressers' because I was also getting a colour done. And I didn't want to risk getting hair colour on any of my Vogue 2885 skirts.  What did I change into when I got home?  Pajamas and wool socks. I'll make up for it tomorrow, promise.

Saturday, March 31st

I haven't quite decided yet... It is suppose to warm up tomorrow, perhaps the white sateen skirt with the black and white print top, Vogue 8709.  I can wear my black spring coat with it when I head out to do my Saturday errands.

Hmm, come to think about it I really could use a Vogue 2885 in black too.  Don't you think?


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Connie Crawford is a Genius!

Connie Crawford is a genius, she designed the perfect shirt pattern. It is Butterick 5365 and there are two styles, one with darts and the other with tucks. I can not sing loud enough the praises this pattern deserves. I made it in a 100% cotton with long sleeves. I love the fit, and the darts from the neckline glide above the bust line beautifully. I want at least five more!

I finished my first one just now. I am beyond thrilled with the fit (thanks Doobee for recommending this pattern).

I really like the front darts that fall from the neckline.

I was also thrilled to find these vintage (circa 1960's) buttons, lemony yellow and perfect.

 Maybe on my next one I'll add pleats at the cuff seam instead of gathers.

Butterick 5365

I'm working on Butterick 5365 and so far I on the road to rate this as the best shirt pattern EVER!

I just sewed up the sides and there is no unsightly pulling, sweet! And so is my print.

I picked a 100% cotton with lemons and cherries print. I love the colours, it is left over fabric from a dress I made for Mama R. And even though the Butterick pattern recommends drapey fabrics it is working out nicely in the cotton I'm working with.

I should finish it shortly, next up the sleeves and then onto buttons and buttonholes. I'll post photos as soon as it is done. But first, I going up for a coffee break.

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

One Week, One Pattern

So, Tilly over at Tilly and the Buttons is hosting One Week, One Pattern (OWOP) this week. She has been serving up pie charts and all sorts of fun (there is a give-away too) to help us celebrate those patterns that we love to sew.

My most used pattern in my stash is McCall's 7367, but it does not qualify for this event. It is a pattern for an Infants' Layette. I've made dozens of versions of the baby jumpsuit. It has been my go-to pattern, since 1994, whenever another friend/co-worker announces that they are expecting. But I digress...

Tilly asks that we pledge to wear things that we made from one pattern.

Sew onto my second most used pattern. This would be Vogue 2885 a Vintage Vogue re-issue pattern. It is still available via Vogue's website and found under the Out-of-Print patterns section.

I would never have picked this pattern based on the envelope cover illustration. On the illustration it looks like a pencil skirt. Even though pencil skirts are lovely, they do not suit my curves Budha belly and booty in a flattering manner.

It was the photographs that I found on the Vogue website that sold me on this pattern. The photographs revealed that this skirt pattern was not a slim skirt.

It has an a-line shape and a lovely kick pleat in the back. Who would have ever guess that this would end up being my favourite skirt?

I love the relaxed fit. There is no waistband, instead there is a waist facing and v-cut centre front.

I've made five skirts from this pattern. And I'm glad I did because they are appropriate for my workplace and comfortable to wear around the house. I know that I've been boring and didn't stray away from the skirt design. But why mess around with perfection? It really is the perfect skirt pattern.

Saturday, March 24th
It is -1 today! I know it is Winnipeg, in March none-the-less, but we were teased with +21 temperatures earlier this week. This calls for a sweater.

Taupe Skirt:  Vogue 2885.  I made this one in a stretch crepe.
Taupe and Orange Sweater:  Rachel Roy
Orange Eye Glasses:  Ohhlala!
Indoor socks:  SmartWool
(most comfortable socks EVER made and one of the best gifts I've received!)
Indoor Shoes:  Birkenstock

Sunday, March 25th
Still cool outside.

Taupe Skirt:  Vogue 2885 
(yes, I wore the same skirt two days in a row but I didn't go out in public yesterday.  
Shhh, don't tell anyone.)
Teal Sweater:  DKNY
Eye Glasses:  DKNY
Brown Leather Boots:  Le Canadienne (Tahra)  

Monday, March 26th
A cloudy, rainy sort of day.

Red and White Skirt:  Vogue 2885.
I made this one in a 100% cotton fabric that I found in the home decorating department.  
Red Tee-shirt:  Jones New York
Eye Glasses:  Green readers 
Jacket:  DKNY
Red Shoes:  Steve Madden 

Tuesday, March 27th
More rain. It was suppose to be warming up today but they're were calling for snow flurries. This is my Yikes, I just took the snow tires off the car! expression. Luckily, it didn't last and it's all melted.     

White Skirt:  Vogue 2885.  Stretch cotton Sateen
Polka Dot Top:  Jones New York
Shoes:  Miz Mooz
but then I changed my mind... 
Wedged-heeled Rubber Boots:  Cougar (not shown)
Socks:  SmartWool
Jacket:  DKNY (shown in Tuesday photograph)

That's my OWOP looks so far.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Vogue 8791 - Muslin = Epic Fail

When will I get it though my thick skull that I'm not a skinny six foot Vogue model and that I should make a muslin before trying a new pattern?

I'm not quite sure that I have an answer to this question beside that today was not the day.

After blogging that I could use some tops in my wardrobe I cut out Vogue 8791.

Yes, I broke the cardinal rule about sewing. I cut it out in my fabric before I sewed a muslin. Let's just say that it turned out to be a disaster.

I don't even want to try to save this top. There are so many things wrong with it. The length and the above waist seam is actually a below waist seam. And there is a whole baggy back bodice thing going on. Never mind the not enough room below the waistline for my overly generous booty. What was I thinking?

Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

I just have to remember that Chinese proverb, mistakes occur through haste, never through doing a thing leisurely. That and the fact that I'm not a six-foot skinny Vogue model.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring/Summer Top of my Wardrobe Wish List.

I've been thinking about what I need in my wardrobe and the one thing that I find lacking is some tops (blouses, tunics and shirts) that fit well. The biggest reason that I have for sewing tops is that most RTW clothes if they fit me in the body fail to fit in the arm length. Something that would be appropriate for work too.  

I have enough green raw silk to make this tunic, Vogue 8791. It is a semi-fitted faux wrap, pullover top.

Part of me would like to make it with long sleeves, but somehow I think the short sleeves might win out.

I think it would be lovely with the white stretch cotton sateen skirt, Vogue 2885, that I have hanging in my closet.
I love the neckline darts and shoulder tuck details found in this blouse pattern as much as I love the bright colours in this fabric.

I haven't tried the pattern out yet. Doobee gave it the stamp of approval. But over at patternreview someone mentioned some fitting issues.

I don't want to chance any fitting issues before cutting into this fabric sew I'm going to make a muslin for this one first.

I found this over at anthropologie and I just love the lines, colour blocking and front drape.

This is a drafting project that I would mind tackling sometime.

I would even colour block it, perhaps in orange and indigio raw silk. Oh wait, I've challenged myself to shop from my fabric stash. Hmmm...

This blouse pattern, Vogue 2789, has been in my stash for some time. I've made it many moons ago and still have it in my closet.

Despite gaining a few more than a few pounds since then, I am still able to wear it. No, it does not have a generous amount of ease, I actually opened up the side seams and added a panel to extend its life. I would love to re-size this pattern and make it work.

Maybe I'll make it in this Swiss Dot fabric or a sunny yellow cotton once I grade the pattern up.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Pattern Give-away Winner!

And the winner of the Vogue pattern give-away is Doobee from Doobee's Creations!


If you would email me at grrracar(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address I will send these on their way.

Friday, 23 March 2012

What's next?

Right now what is on my sewing table is the beautiful green fabric that my niece picked out for her grad dress. I haven't been able to cut it out yet, I'm ready, the ribs say no. So sew I've been thinking about what will be next and the sewing challenges that I would like need to do during my second year of sewing and blogging.

Make that darn winter coat.

I've chicken out on this project. I have the fabric and the pattern picked out but for some reason I'm a little scared to tackle this one.  Is my twenty year old Janome up for this challenge? Am I up for the challenge?

My procrastination on this project is fuelled by my fear. Luckily it was a mild winter this year because the muslin that I cut out last summer is still sitting in my sewing drawer. I just have to get over my fear and on with it!

Make handkerchiefs.

I'm all for bringing back the hankie and switching to handkerchiefs has been on my to-do list for some time.

First, it is a small step towards environmental kindness. Think of all the trees that will be saved when I start using my hankies! Never mind the water that is wasted in the production of tissue and the environmental costs for transporting this product.

Secondly, oh the fun I can have making these. I can do a little rolled hem, paint fun designs on them, trim them with lace or mini ric-rac!

I have a metre of white 100% cotton fabric and quite the collection of trim. All that is left to do is start cutting out squares and decide on how to decorate it.

Thirdly, I always thought that hankies were tres chic. I don't know how they ever went out of style?

Shop from my fabric stash

Okay, here is a tough one. Of course, I say this before I score some of that raw silk sitting at Fabricland at 50% off. Oh, this might take some will power.

My biggest challenge this year is to stay away from fabric stores and only use the fabric I find around the house and in my stash. It shouldn't be a tough one, I have quite the fabric stash. But somehow I think this one might be a tough one.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

In sewing news today...

Have you caught the latest fashion design related reality television show out?

I'm talking about Fashion Star. I caught the second episode last night for the first time. I can't really say if I love it or hate it, all I know is that I feel really naughty for watching this reality television show. I should be sewing instead of watching poor Oscar Fierro throw a hissy fit because he left behind his dog or something like that. Yea, I just felt really dirty watching all that overplayed drama with questionable dance music and Jessica Simpson shaking it in her seat. Yikes!

Just when I thought I forgot all about it, I came across this while checking out the Vogue/McCall's/Butterick online sale.

Why? Seriously, why?

I don't get why McCall's would pick up a reality television program's designs that are already available online via Macy's, Sak's Fifth Avenue, of H & M.

There was something new on the Butterick website that made me raise an eyebrow in a more favourable way, a new retro pattern.

I think this dress, Butterick 5747, is just the cutest! But I don't need another dress pattern. This is a test of my will power.

What I do need is to get to work on the projects that I have in cue. Luckily, I have a week off next week.

The plan is to work on my niece's grad dress before anything else. I just have to channel some will power and turn off the television.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

My first Blog-versary, Cupcakes, and a Give-away!

This calls for some serious celebrating, don't you think?

First, we need cupcakes! I'm going to share with you the best cupcake recipe EVER. It's gluten-free and it is delicious beyond belief. You can leave out the ground almonds if you like. Once you have your cupcakes done come back, there's more.

Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 tbsp. Dutch-rocess cocoa powder, sifted
2 tbsp. ground almonds
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Place 12 paper baking cups in a muffin pan.  Put the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, or medium bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir until completely melted.  Set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, cream the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Gently fold in the melted chocolate and remaining ingredients.  

Spoon the batter into the cups.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.  Frost if you must, but these are delicious just the way they are!  

Aren't they divine? One of my co-workers made this recipe for my birthday last year. And she was kind enough to share the recipe. Lucky me!

Okay, sew now that we have cupcakes we can get down to some serious celebrating. Of course, that would mean a give-away.

There are four Vogue patterns up for this pattern give-away. Brand-spanking new with factory folds. From left to right: Vogue 7280, A-line or flared skirt; Vogue 7829, Semi-fitted blouse; Vogue 7743, Fitted and flared pullover top; Vogue 7720, pullover top.

I will draw for it 8:00 p.m. Winnipeg time in one week on Saturday, March 24th. I don't mind shipping internationally. I just ask that you do not sell it, but rather use it, share it, and give it a good home. Good luck to everyone who enters!

Can you believe that it has been a year already? I can't, I have to tell you that it has been fun encountering new sewing sites, blogs and people. Since starting the blog you have gave me pointers on how to sew the perfect invisible zipper, inspired me to refashion some of my existing wardrobe and tackle my pile of scraps for charity blankets. Oh and yes!, offered a place to participate in some fun sew-a-longs and challenges. And most of all, it has been wonderful to find a community of people who share a passion for sewing. 

Happy Sewing, and thanks for helping me to celebrate the blog-versary!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Why should you never iron a four-leaf clover?

You don't want to press your luck.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my Irish friends out there.  Ah, to everyone, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Wow, where did the year go?

Tomorrow is my first blog-verary. Can you believe it?

And that has me thinking back. I have to say that it has been fun doing this blogging thing. It has been a fun journey and an opportunity to meet some fabulous people who share a passion of hoarding fabric, patterns and sewing.

Vogue 8748
I've shared with you a few of my sewing projects:

Vogue 1263

Colette's Sencha

Burda 7798

There has been a few give-aways:
The very first give-away! July 27, 2011

 And of course of few sewing bloopers:

The iron incident.
Oops!, sewed the wrong seam (again).  

Vogue 1185
I made this forgetting that I'm
not a six foot Vogue model.

Fabulous dress pattern +
over enthusiasm + No muslin = Epic Fail

And I've shared a few saves.

Vogue 1185 refashioned as a dress.
Straps make it wearable!

Hmm, I wonder what fun the next year will bring?

The Perfect White Shirt

Is there such a thing?  If I were to dream, the fabric would be white and made from natural fibres. It would have long sleeves, a menswear ...