Thursday, 31 May 2012

Me-Made-May '12: Week Four and a half Round-up

Monday, May 28th  Chilly spring day.  

Daytime:  Sick day. A trip to the pharmacy to fill the prescription I was given yesterday. Started on medication hoping that it will take down the swelling in my knees, popped a Tylenol 3 and back to bed. 
Evening:  Not much.  

Sweater:  Ted Baker
Glasses:  DKNY
My Oh-So-Sexy Kneebraces:  Ossur
Comfortable Footwear:  Mephisto
Bathrobe:  Simplicity 7417

Tuesday, May 29th  Another chilly and rainy spring day.  

Daytime:  Back to work. Staff meeting and Tylenol 2's to start the day. And I managed to stay awake!     
Evening:  Prep work! I found out at the end of the day I'm teaching Subject and Predicate to the grade 4 class. And find time to bake cookies for tomorrow's staff lunch hosted by this term's social committee.  

Double Knit Pants:  Liz Claiborne
Top:  Vogue 8709 
Sweater:  Olsen
Glasses:  DKNY
My Oh-So-Sexy knee braces:  Ossur   
Comfortable at home:  Mephisto
Work footwear:  Josef Seiberg 

Wednesday, May 30th.  Woke up to a morning temperature of zero. I'm glad it warmed up during the day. The sunshine certainly helped.  

Daytime:  Work.
Evening:  Drove Mama R to Costco and housework.

Skirt:  Vogue 1247
Top:  Mexx
Sweater:  PART TWO
My Oh-So-Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
Work Shoes:  Josef Seiberg
Comfortable at home Shoes:  Mephisto

Thursday, May 31st.  What an absolutely perfect spring day!

Daytime:  Workday.
Evening:  Took Mama R grocery shopping, banking, picked out sushi for supper and iced the knee (no need for pain meds today, love that!), cover letter / resume writing (about to be laid-off for the summer).

Sweater:  The Bay
Work Shoes:  Browns
Comfortable at Home Shoes:  Mephisto 

    May in Review

    Graduation Party Dress

    Fabric: 2.4 metres muslin, 4 metres stretch polyester special-occasion fabric (on sale 50% off!), and .5 metres interfacing, $71.82
    Pattern:  Simplicity 2398 (picked up during the on-line pattern sale), $4.47
    Thread:  $19.54 (serger and sewing machine thread only, embroidery thread used for the hem was not included in pricing)
    Basting Tape:  $0.88
    Zipper:  $4.37
    Microfiber needles:  $3.22
    Tide to go:  $6.71
    Total Cost$111.91
    Times Worn this Month: None, it is not my party. This dress is for my niece to be worn in June.  
    Time investment:  22 1/2 hours 
    Tools needed:  Sewing machine, serger, fabric shears, measuring tape, sewing machine needle, hand sewing needle, invisible zipper foot, blind hem foot, seam ripper, iron, steamer. 

    My New Favourite Skirt Pattern, Vogue 1247

    Fabric:  1.5 metre of Stretch Cotton, $8.40
    Pattern:  Vogue 1247, $6.47
    Thread:  $4.37
    Bias Tape:  $1.29
    Basting Tape:  $0.41
    Zipper:  $4.37
    Snap:  $0.28
    Total Cost:  $25.59
    Times Worn this Month:  Once, so far.
    Time Investment:  7 hours
    Tools Needed:  Sewing machine, serger, curved ruler, measuring tape, fabric shears, ball-point sewing machine needle, seam ripper, pins, iron and tailor's chaulk.
    Would I make it again? Yes! I already have the fabric pre-washed and ready to go.

    Bedroom Curtains

    Fabric:  4 metres 100% drapery cotton, $22.40
    Pattern:  None, $0.00
    Thread:  Leftover, $0.00
    Total Cost:  $22.40
    Time Investment:  4 hours
    Tools Needed:  Sewing machine, serger, measuring tape, needles, iron.

    World's Easiest Dress Pattern

    Fabric: 1.2 metres polyester fabric which has been in my stash for some time now, $4.80 
    Pattern:  Burda Style $6.78
    Thread:  Left-over threads, since it is a multi-coloured fabric, $0.00
    Zipper:  The pattern calls for a zipper but I didn't need one, $0.00
    Total Cost: $11.58
    Times Worn this Month: Twice.
    Time investment:  3 hours 
    Tools needed:  Sewing machine, serger, fabric shears, ball-point sewing machine needle, measuring tape, hand stitching needles, seam ripper, pins, iron and tailor's chaulk.
    Would I make it again?  I do love this pattern, so sew there is a possibility that I'll make another.

    Knit Top

    Fabric: 1.5 metres Cotton knit fabric $8.40
    Pattern:  Butterick 5679, purchased from on-line sale, $3.35
    Thread:  $4.39
    Total Cost: $16.14
    Times Worn this Month: Three times so far.
    Time investment:  3 hours 
    Tools needed:  Sewing machine, serger, fabric shears, ball-point sewing machine needle, hand stitching needles, pins, steamer and tailor's chaulk.
    Would I make it again?  Yes, I have some tweaking to do with this pattern.

    Wednesday, 30 May 2012

    Vogue 1247

    I finally managed to sew Vogue 1247, or at least my version of it. You might have noticed that I didn't opt for the short skirt version.

    I now understand why everyone is raving about this pattern. This skirt is so comfortable and I love the pocket placement in the front.

    This Rachel Comey design might actually replace Vogue 2885 as my new favourite skirt pattern.

    The purple and beige floral fabric was my "muslin" version before I cut into the green stretch sateen that I have in mind for this project. I actually like it so it is my "muslin" is a new addition to my wardrobe.

    I didn't interface the waistband, and I actually like it without interfacing. I did use seam binding for the seam edges around the pockets and front yokes. I love how it looks. The rest of the seams I used my serger and I'm pleased with how that turned out too.

    Sew, I think that I'm ready to go, I'll probably take it in on the sides a wee bit but I will keep the length.  I added ten inches to the length of the skirt.

    Maybe, if I'm feeling a bit more like myself I'll make a trip to the store for a matching invisible zipper and start cutting that green sateen fabric.

    Tuesday, 29 May 2012

    Pattern Give-away Time!

    Now that my niece's dress is finished I think it is time to find a good home for this sewing pattern.

    I highly recommend this pattern, it is a very flattering dress. I just have no need to keep it in my stash, so it is going up for grabs.

    Here is the drill. I will ship internationally, leave a comment if you promise not to sell it, and promise to give it a good home and pass it along when you are done.

    The pattern, Simplicity 2398, is for special occasion Misses' dresses in two lengths. The pattern is multi-sized (4, 6, 8, 10, 12).  I made size 12 but I was careful not compromise any of the other sizes.

    Leave a comment below and I will draw for the pattern on  Sunday, June 3rd (right after my morning coffee).

    Good luck and Happy Sewing!

    Monday, 28 May 2012

    Embroidery Thread, Not Just for Embroidery!

    I have finished hemming my niece's graduation party dress, Simplicity 2398. It is officially complete.

    She came over the other weekend so that I could pin up the hem. It was quite the sewing experience to see her in the dress. She looked lovely. I wish I had a proper picture to show you but I don't. I was the one busy pinning and holding up the white backdrop while her mom snapped some photographs. I'll try to get a proper photo later, perhaps.

    I first tried to stitch the hem using the blind hem foot on my sewing machine but I'm not sure if it was me or the slipperiness of the fabric but it didn't catch all the way around. It was likely me, it was my first experience with foot G.

    I then went back to my original plan to hand-stitch the hem. It is beautiful. I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging, it is all because of the thread.

    I may have mentioned that I have a Janome Memory Craft sewing machine. It has some embroidery features, nothing fancy like the newer Janome models that are out today.

    My sewing machine is a couple of decades old. But it does have some lettering that I used to monograph pajamas for my niece and nephews back in the day. So needless to say I have some Janome Embroidery Thread in my collection. Can you believe that I have the exact colour to match my niece's dress? Who would ever imagine that over a decade later this spool of thread would be so valuable.

    The thread is made of 100% acrylic and it's texture is very fine. It worked like a dream. Embroidery thread is not just for embroidery.

    I found this to be the perfect match for the stretch polyester special occasion fabric that I was working with, yea! There was no need to wax the thread since it didn't twist and get into a knot. It is one strong thread and doesn't break easily. Just try to pull and break acrylic thread. It was perfect for the job.

    Sunday, 27 May 2012

    Me-Made-May '12: Week Four Round-up

    Monday, May 21st.  Victoria Day! It is is a National holiday here in Canada. So, I have an extra day off.

    Daytime:  Cooking a big pot of Vietnamese Beef Soup, housecleaning, mending and ironing. Oh, what fun!
    Evening:  Laundry

    Glasses:  DKNY

    Tuesday, May 22nd. Cloudy, chilly and rainy day. (Wore my MMM outfit when I got home from work.)  

    Daytime:  Work.
    Evening:  Household paperwork.  

    PJ bottoms:  Lady Hathaway
    Glasses:  Ohh la la
    Socks:  Smartwool

    Wednesday, May 23th. Cloudy cool day.

    Daytime:  Work
    Evening:  Chiropractor appointment followed by a nap on the couch.

    Pincord Skirt:  Burda Style 7283 
    Sweater:  DKNY
    Black Cotton Jacket:  DKNY
    Wedge-heel Rubber Boots:  Cougar
    My Oh-So-Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
    Glasses:  DKNY
    Beige Wedge-heel (work) Shoes:  Local
    Comfortable at home:  Mephisto

    Thursday, May 24th. Perfect spring day!  

    Daytime:  Work
    Evening:  Not much. Hanged out in the backyard with a Chai Latte listening to the robins chattering away.    

    Beige Skirt:  Vogue 2885
    Marcy Tilton Shirt:  Vogue 8748
    Wedge-heel Rubber Boots:  Cougar (worn during the day)
    Work shoes:  Local
    Comfortable at home:  Mephisto
    My Oh-So-Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
    Glasses:  DKNY
    Watch:  Buffalo

    Friday, May 25th. It was a chilly day compared to that perfect spring day we had yesterday. Today's high +8 and tonight they are calling for a chance of frost. Must remember to cover up the eggplants in the garden!

    Daytime:  Work.
    Evening:  Recovery mode.  I hurt my knees during the school's fundraising walk-a-thon so it was off to see the chiropractor to see if he could shift my left knee cap back into place. And then it was home to pop a Tylenol 3 and ice the knees.  

    Gray Wool Skirt:  Olsen
    Marcy Tilton Top:  Vogue 8709
    Boiled Wool Jacket:  Vogue 1263
    My Oh-So-Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
    Wedge-heel Rubber Boots:  Cougar
    Work shoes:  Josef Seibel
    Comfortable at home:  Mephisto

    Saturday, May 26th.  Cool spring day.  

    Daytime:  Drove Mama R to her hair appointment and managed to squeeze in a hair appointment for myself.
    Evening:  Still icing my knees while chillin' with a good book, a Chai Latte and a Tylenol 3.

    Sweet as Cherries and Sour as Lemons Shirt:  Butterick 5365
    Jeans:  Style & Co.
    My Oh-So-Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
    Footwear:  Mephisto
    Jean Jacket:  Buffalo

    Sunday, May 27th.  Cold and rainy spring day.  

    Daytime:  Spent seven hours at the sports injury clinic waiting to have a doctor take a look at my knees. While there I managed to read a few more pages of my book, flip through some outdated magazines and drank horribly bad hot chocolate from a vending machine.
    Evening:  Iced my knees, popped another Tylenol 3 and thought about all the laundry I didn't manage to get done this weekend.

    Dress:  Vogue 1234
    Jean Jacket:  Buffalo
    My Oh-So-Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
    Shoes:  Mephisto


      Friday, 25 May 2012

      My Sewing Mojo has Gone into Hiding!

      I was so excited about participating in the Pattern Review Best Pattern contest. I had the fabric all picked out and big plans to lengthen the skirt pattern and sew both the skirt and top.

      I had picked out a rich green hue in a cotton sateen for the skirt and a multi-coloured polyester for the top.

      Now that I'm just about caught up on my sewing projects, nothing. The excitement is all gone.

      I still love the fabric I chose and I still want to work on this pattern. But my sewing mojo has gone into hiding.

      I'm just not feeling it.

      I still have the hem to finish on my niece's dress. But no sewing mojo to get it done.

      Oh and there are those RTW pants that are sitting here waiting for my sewing mojo to return. Also not done.  

      I think I'm just feeling sewing burn-out. Could that be it? Could my sewing mojo be hiding until I get up and stretch and take a break.

      Maybe that is what I need, a weekend to read Jose Saramago's Manual of Painting and Calligraphy that I recently picked up. It has been a while since I sat down to read a good book.

      How about you, have you read any good books lately? Or has your sewing mojo been keeping you busy?

      Thursday, 24 May 2012

      The irony!

      Oh Lady Gaga is in the news again.

      No, it is not about what's she's wearing. Well, her clothing or lack of has made the news but then again it is old news. She recently tweeted that she would like shop for a fake Rolex after landing in Thailand. And people are in an uproar about her "insulting" comments.

      Okay, but I'm shaking my head at this story because we're talking about the queen of plagiarism shopping for a fake Rolex.

      Is everyone missing the irony here?

      I thought it was funny.  

      Wednesday, 23 May 2012

      Where, Oh Where?

      Back in March, Cindy emailed to ask if I could share any "mustn't miss recommendations for fabric stores" in Winnipeg and leads on sewing classes for garment making. Cindy mentioned that her home town has a good selection of quilting specialized shops but she was looking for shops focused on garment making.

      Her question was a good one, I had to think about it since I often long for the fabric selection in Toronto and dream about taking a sewing themed vacation. But I digress...

      Here is a list of local businesses that I am familiar with, it is by all means not a complete list of Winnipeg shops. I'm sure there are some hidden gems that I haven't yet discovered.

      Carellan Sewing Centre

      Carellan Sewing Centre is located in the west end of the city.  They sell sewing machines (Pfaff) and offer sewing classes at various times in the year.  Their classes range from bra making to quilting and cater to different skill levels.

      The store also sells sewing notions.  

      Pros:  They carry Pfaff sewing machines. I am loyal to my Janome sewing machine and serger but I have heard many good things about Pfaff sewing machines.

      Cons:   Parking can be an issue.  Recommended by a co-worker, I stopped by once when I was shopping for a new serger. There was a pajama making class going on in the middle of the afternoon.  So there was no one available to sell me a serger because all the staff was busy helping the room of teenage girls. Quilt as Desired was able to sell me a serger that after after the staff at Carella Sewing Centre asked me to come back another day. Long story short, shop there when there is not a class going on. Or go for the classes. That way you get the staff's focus.


      There are three Fabricland locations in the city. One on Pembina Highway, Regent Avenue, and St. James. I find the staff friendly and knowledgable, especially at the Pembina Hwy location where I tend to shop the most. There seems to be a lot of quilters that shop at the Pembina Hwy location and they have a largest selection of the three locations dedicated to quilting. That said they have a fair selection of garment quality fabric.

      Pros:  They carry special occasion, seasonal, quilting (some that are appropriate for garment making), sportswear fabrics.  They carry Vogue, Butterick, McCall's, Look, and Burda patterns.

      Cons:  Very limited selection of notions for garment making, especially zippers.  Most notions seem to be of the novelty genre. Seriously, I don't shop at the fabric store for sewing themed nail files. Lots of notions dedicated to quilting. More and more floor space is novelty (seasonal) and home decor (drapery) items.  Shopping here can be expensive unless you have a membership card.    

      Mitchell Fabrics

      Mitchell Fabrics has so much to offer. If you are looking for fancy/special occasion and bridal fabric this would be your place to shop. They have a beautiful selection of lace.

      I also have the best results when I'm looking for notions. Orange is the hot colour of the season? You'll be able to find an orange zipper. Love that!

      They have a huge selection of buttons, some vintage.  Oh, and you must check out their vintage selection downstairs, it is quite the trip.

      Pros:  The selection and the service. They will special order fabric if they can. And they will go out of their way to help.  

      Cons:  Location is in the north end of the city.  Parking can be an issue.  The store has a cat that has the run of the store. If you have allergies, you might want to keep that in mind.  They have a limited offering of sewing patterns.

      NorthWest Fabrics

      I've never been to Northwest (Marshall) Fabrics but I have heard wonderful reviews of this place. I'm scared to visit only because it might result in additional fabric to my stash.

      Quilt as Desired

      I highly recommend this shop. The customer service is the best in the city and this store is my go-to place for servicing my sewing machine and serger. They carry an impressive line of sewing machine and serger accessories, sewing and quilting books and an impressively displayed collection of quilting fabric.  

      Quilt as Desired offers sewing and quilting classes and if you purchase a machine here they offer classes to help you become familiar with your machine.

      Pros:  Best customer service in the city. If they don't have something in stock, they are willing to see if they can order it for you.

      Cons:  Limited parking spaces, but I've never had an issue with parking. So really, I can't think of any cons.

      Tuesday, 22 May 2012

      Pattern Give-away Winner!

      The winner of the Style 2092 pattern, white cotton sateen and the 7" zipper is Lise.  Congratulations!

      I will send you an email shortly.

      Monday, 21 May 2012

      New Curtains

      "You have to make sure that the tone of your dress was not the same tone as the curtains" ~Julie Harris

      Well, I say rules are meant to be broken.

      I made curtains out of the fabric I cut for a dress, McCall's 6554.

      The fabric for the curtain look different hanging on the bedroom window.

      It actually looks better in person. The bedroom wall is painted yellow with a marble effect. And the print on the fabric reminds me of these beautiful flowers that grew all over the Azorean island I visited many moons ago.

      I love this print so much I just had to cut a dress out of it too. Is that bad?

      Sunday, 20 May 2012

      Me-Made-May '12: Week Three Round-up

      I'm going to apologize because I have been horribly bad at documenting my MMM outfits this week. It has been a busy week. But were there are no photos I tried to link to the original clothing blog post.

      Sunday, May 13th: Mother's Day!

      Daytime: Busy in the kitchen making Mama R lunch. On the menu: Eggplant Parmesan and Jicama Slaw. Then we hopped in the car and did the same thing half of the people of Winnipeg did with their Mom, we went to Costco.
      Evening:  I spent the evening working on Simplicity 2398 bodice front, bodice back lining and pressing.

      Black Pants:  Liz Claiborne, shortened to knee length
      Glasses:  DKNY
      Shoes: Mephisto

      Monday, May 14th: It is going to be a hot one, +29 C and windy. I had a different outfit in mind but the wind factor made me reach for a straight skirt.  

      Daytime:  Workday.
      Evening:  Seeking comfort in an air-conditioned oasis, this means hanging out at the sewing table. I spent the evening working on Simplicity 2398 sewing the bodice front to skirt front, front to back at side seams and ties.

      Black Skirt:  Refashioned Pants to Skirt
      Blouse:  Anne Klein, Vogue 2789
      Glasses:  DKNY
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Outdoor Shoes:  Mephisto
      Indoor Shoes:  Calvin Klein

      Tuesday, May 15th.  The weather certainly cooled off today! My Me-Made outfit was not for work but rather for lounging around the house this evening and bed.

      Daytime:  Workday.
      Evening:  Working on Simplicity 2398.

      Tunic:  Simplicity 2289
      the fabric is a double faced fabric that has a knit on one side and fleece on the other. Cozy on chilly days/nights.  
      Pink Betty Boop bottoms:  Gift.  

      Wednesday, May 16th.

      Daytime:  Workday.
      Evening:  Working on Simplicity 2398. 

      Dress:  Vintage Vogue 1043
      Glasses:  DKNY
      Silver Brooch:  Part of a different outfit.
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Shoes:  Local

      Thursday, May 17th.  It was "colour day" at work. The kids at the school don't have to wear their school uniform and the staff is allowed to wear jeans or any other comfortable clothing.

      Daytime:  Workday.
      Evening:  Big plans, early to bed since the alarm clock will be ringing at 5:30 a.m., tomorrow's workday starts at 7:00...

      White Skirt:  Vintage Vogue 2885
      Green Polka Dot Top:  Burda 7489
      Glasses:  DKNY
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Shoes:  Mephisto 
      (I prefer to call it "comfortable day" at work, it is the only day that I'm allowed to wear my idea of appropriate for working with kids comfortable shoes)

      Friday, May 18th.  It was suppose to rain today, during the day. It didn't happen until the late evening.

      Daytime:  Workday.
      Evening:  Loitering at the mall.

      Brown Pants:  Style & Co.
      Silk Tunic:  Vogue 8733
      Glasses:  DKNY
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Green and Brown Shoes:  Mephisto All-Rounders

      After working the before-school program and morning in a school that had the heat on, yeah.  No one clued in until the 9:00. I was feeling gross and drenched in sweat.  Needless to say, I came home at lunchtime to change my clothes:  

      Grey Cotton Skirt:  Liz Claiborne
      Shirt:  Anne Klien, Vogue 2789
      Glasses:  DKNY
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Outdoor Shoes:  Mephisto
      Indoor Work Shoes:  Local

      Saturday, May 19th.  A rainy chilly day.

      Daytime:  Running errands, working on Simplicity 2398, visiting with the whole family who came over for the fitting and stayed into the evening.
      Evening:  Nothing, tired and stuffed up. I'm allergic to cats and my niece and her family have six cats! Needless to say, it is rough hanging out with peeps that bring cats' dander into my world. It was an evening of allergic consequences.   

      Knit Dress:  Vogue 1234
      Wedge-heeled Rubber Boots:  Cougar
      Denim Jacket:  Buffalo Jeans 

      Sunday, May 20th.  Still a little cool, but boy do we have sunshine!

      Daytime:  Church, grocery shopping, coffee with a friend.
      Evening:  Movie night, Surviving Progress

      Red and White Cotton Skirt:  Vintage Vogue 2885
      White Shirt:  DKNY
      Shoes:  Mephisto


      Wednesday, 16 May 2012

      Pattern Give-away Time!

      I think I need a break from sewing. I know, I can't believe I'm saying that myself. I need to catch up on some mending and alterations. And I also need to clear off the sewing/cutting table for the next project. Oh, and I'm going to have to think about what my next project will be, sew much to do.

      Sew, while I'll be busy with other things and the weather is heating up in these parts (summer is almost here!) I thought what a perfect time for a pattern give-away.

      What is up for grabs?

      Style 2092, this Misses' Separates pattern is perfect for the summer. It is an uncut pattern and includes all sizes from 6-16. The pattern envelope description:
      Short sleeved jacket has asymmetrical single buttoning fastening and center back seam with vent detail.  Top with fitted panel seams has front tie detail and center back button closure.  Low-waisted trousers and shorts have front and back darts, belt carriers and left side zip closure.  Trousers have side seam slits at hem.
      And there is more,

      • a piece of white cotton stretch sateen for a pair of shorts (there is enough fabric if you even wanted to make the shorts a wee bit longer), 
      • plus a 7" (18 cm) white zipper.   

      You know the drill... I just ask that you promise not to sell the items, give them a good home, use them, and when you are done with the pattern pass it along. Leave a message in the comments and I will draw for the give-away on Tuesday, May 22nd.

      Happy Sewing!

      Tuesday, 15 May 2012

      The Big Reveal!

      This is Simplicity 2398, finally.

      I made if for my niece. I can't wait for her to come over and try it on so I can hem it. The hem is the last finishing touch.

      I have to say I do like the pattern, not so much a fan of the instructions though.  

      I made just a few changes.  Instead of a lap zipper, there is an invisible zipper. That meant sewing the back pieces first instead of the bodice pieces.

      Sewing instructions should include a tip for using basting tape, greatest invention ever! If you're working with special occasion fabric that has a slippery or silky texture I would highly recommend picking up this tape.

      I also didn't care for the way the front skirt A piece was cut into two pieces (a skirt front and a skirt front end) so another change occurred there too.

      Sew, on the shopping trip for fabric the one request that I had was that the fabric had enough width to avoid this issue. I was then able to cut the skirt front as one piece.

      The pattern instructions suggest a narrow machine hem for the skirt hem. I don't think I'll take that route. I'm thinking about a hand stitched hem with invisible thread.

      I do like the colour my niece picked out, she does have great taste. It will match her brown hair and eyes perfectly.

      Monday, 14 May 2012

      In Sewing News Today...

      Getting Ready for the Final Fitting...

      Simplicity 2398 has been quite the project. I'm using this pattern for my niece's graduation party dress.

      She picked out a beautiful green coloured special occasion fabric which has been a bit of a challenge.

      Once I got out of my sewing natural fabric mode and changed the needle on my sewing machine everything was a go. And everything was going along smoothly until the unthinkable happened.

      I found a spot on the fabric.

      I know! I freaked before moving onto panic mode. How the heck did this happen?

      Spot cleaning with water didn't work. This was serious and demanded a road trip. So it was off to the store in search of Tide to go and a heartbreaking trip to the fabric store to discover that there was no more fabric left. Luckily, the Tide to go worked and I escaped from that close call.

      I've been ultra careful with this fabric ever since this near mishap. Tonight, the dress is almost done minus the hem. I'll need to do a final fitting for the hem. I'm just working on the facing and hemming the second strap. Promise, pictures will come soon. But I think I'm about ready to call it a night sew not tonight.  

      Big Plan, Sew Little Time...

      My plans to enter the Pattern Review The Best Pattern Contest were ambitious and I'm quickly running out of time. Oh, who am I kidding the contest closes on May 15 and I haven't even cut out my fabric.

      Oh, and I picked out beautiful colours, I don't have anything like this in my closet. I found this rich green coloured cotton stretch sateen for the skirt and a multi-coloured 100% polyester with a wonderful drape for the top.

      The pattern, Vogue 1247, has been in my stash for some time. Of course, I will have to lengthen the skirt significantly if I want to ever wear it to work.

      There are so many versions of this Rachel Comey design and all of them have turned out beautifully. It is no wonder that this pattern made it on the Pattern Review list.

      Well, even though I am running out of time, this pattern is still on my list of projects. I just won't have it ready for tomorrow's deadline. My bad.

      Anyway, that is all in sewing news today.

      Happy Sewing!

      Sunday, 13 May 2012

      Happy Mother's Day!

      I'm not a mom. I am a god-mother and aunt but not a mom.  I do celebrate Mother's Day because I have a wonderful Mom. No, I have THE MOST WONDERFUL MOM.  So, today is all about celebrating the most wonderful woman I know.

      Words can not truly describe what my Mom means to me. I tried once. Let's just say that she's more than a Mom, she's my best friend too.

      She selflessly shares her gifts and talents with others. She has a heart of gold and will do anything for her family. Even when we have broken her heart she has always welcomed us back.

      She is the rock and protector of our family.

      I love you Mom. I hope you have a great Mother's Day!

      Saturday, 12 May 2012

      How Did I Live Without You?

      I have a new favourite tool in my sewing kit. It is basting tape. Seriously, I don't know how I coped without this two sided tape in the past.  

      I'm working on a dress for my niece, Simplicity 2398, and I have to tell you I was a little nervous about installing the invisible zipper.

      It wasn't the actual sewing of the zipper that had me worried. I threw away that plastic invisible zipper foot (don't waste any money on those things) and have a solid-made-for-my-machine invisible zipper foot for sewing invisible zippers. It had to do with the fabric that I'm working with and the design of the dress.

      The fabric is a fancy occasion fabric, shiny on one side, dull on the other and slippery silky to the touch. The design of the dress demands that I match up three seam lines across the back width. Yeah, Yikes!

      Honestly, I don't know if I could have done a good job without basting tape. So Sew, there you have it, my recommendation for the must have sewing item in everyone's sewing room.

      Me-Made-May '12: Week Two Round-up

      Monday, May 7th.  Rainy Monday morning and more rain throughout the day in the forecast. 

      Daytime:  Crazy busy workday that included an early morning volunteer appreciation committee meeting, department meeting, recess duty, workshop, missed lunch and afternoon coffee break. Yes, I did end up changing my shoes before the day's end.  
      Evening Plans:  Pick up my niece from school, drive her home, get some food!!! (I was starving and ate in the car) on my way to the chiropractor and when I got home I passed out on the couch. Oh the exciting life I lead!  

      Dress:  Vintage Vogue 9229
      made in a medium weight cotton sateen
      Pleated Suit Jacket:  The Bay
      Black Bow Belt:  Borrowed from another dress
      Leopard Print Head Band:  The Bay 
      Glasses:  DKNY
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Outer Footwear:  Wedged heel Rubber Boots, Cougar.  
      Indoor Shoes:  Red shoes, Steeve Maddin
      Wedged heeled shoes, Local. 

      Tuesday, May 8th.  Another rainy May morning.

      Daytime:  Workday.  
      Evening Plans:  Catching up on paper work and watching the next episode of Fashion Star.    

      Dress:  Vogue 8577
      made in a green and red plaid cotton/silk blend
      Glasses:  DKNY
      Necklace:  Red stone on silver chain
      Outdoor Footwear:  Wedged heel Rubber Boots, Cougar.
      Indoor Shoes:  Wedged heeled shoes, Local.  

      Wednesday, May 9th.  Finally, they are predicting sunshine and a high of +20!

      Daytime:  Workday involves recess duty.   
      Evening Plans:  Chiropractor appointment, stop in at the fabric store, and an evening of sewing.

      made in 100% cotton fabric
      Long Blue Ruffled Sweater:  I.N.C International Concepts
      Glasses:  DKNY
      Cat-eyed Sunglasses:  Vogue
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Outdoor Footwear:  Mephistos 
      Indoor Shoes:  Wedged heeled shoes, Local.

      Thursday, May 10th.  Another gorgeous day! 
      The +27 C temperature promise that summer is on its way.   

      Daytime:  Workday involves recess duty  
      Evening Plans:  Pick up my niece from school, drive her home and myself, then pass out on the couch!  I think I'm not used to the heat.  

      Dress:  Burda Style 7517
      Navy Light Knit Cardigan (worn at work):  Liz Claiborne
      Glasses:  DKNY
      Cat-eyed Sunglasses:  Vogue
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Outdoor Footwear:  Mephistos 
      Indoor Shoes:  Wedged heeled shoes, Local

      Friday, May 11th.  We're back to spring time weather, a wee bit cooler than yesterday, about 11 degrees cooler. Sorry, no photographic evidence of MMM'12 outfit.  

      Daytime:  Workday involved three recess duties, lots of exercise!  
      Evening Plans:  Massage appointment with plans to go to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to catch an art exhibit by Ottawa artist Stephen Hutchings and a group of musicians billed to bring his art to life. By the time I got there tickets were sold out. Drats! So there was downtown shopping instead.  

      White Skirt:  Vintage Vogue 2885,
      made in a heavy weight cotton sateen stretch
      Top:  Marcy Tilton, Vogue 8709
      Yellow Coat Sweater:  BCGB
      My Oh So Sexy Knee Braces:  Ossur
      Outdoor Footwear:  Mephistos 
      Indoor Shoes:  Wedged heeled shoes, Local

      Saturday, May 12th.   A gorgeous day, lots of sunshine. Don't ask why I took an indoor picture.    

      Daytime:  Running what felt like a million errands all across town. Best part of the day, scoring a bag of plantains at 50% off.  Gotta love young student grocery store clerks that don't realize when plantains are perfectly ripe!  
      Evening Plans:  Stay in and hopefully get some sewing done.

      Pink striped skirt:  Vintage Vogue 2885,
      made in 100% linen
      Blue Knit Top:  Olsen
      Glasses:  Ohh la-la de Paris
      Shopping Bag (for carrying all those plantains and other goodies): McCall's 8705
      Apron:  Butterick 5263

      Thursday, 10 May 2012

      In Sewing News Today...

      The bodice pieces from my niece's graduation party dress have been re-cut and sewn using the brand spankin' new microfibre sewing machine needle. The seams look perfect and there is no fibre damage to the fabric. I'm glad that problem was solved.

      I did decide to sew the seams open after I serged each side of the seam allowance.  It just looked too bulky when I serged the two layers of fabric together.

      Do you press open your seams?  

      I have to admit that I do like the look of a seam pressed open but I am guilty of taking shortcuts every now-and-then and often will just serge my seam allowances together before taking it to the ironing board to be pressed.  

      I'm going to be on my best sewing room behaviour with this project, taking the time to press every step along the way. The extra time has been paying off so far. Mind you I haven't progress very far into the project yet.   

      Frances Kennett in Secrets of the Couturiers states that the "emphasis on careful pressing cannot be overdone; it makes the difference between success and mediocrity in finish" (16). And taking the time to try the two methods just proved the point. No short-cuts for me on this dress.

      I'm going to tease you with just the photo of the fabric. I hope my niece will allow pictures of the dress when she comes for her next fitting. I might have to hold the dress hostage is she declines. I'm kidding C!  

      New Patterns were added to my pattern stash this afternoon. No, my Vogue pattern order has not yet appeared in the mail. I can hardly wait until they get here.

      The new patterns I picked up were a couple of Burda Style patterns.

      The first one is a vintage re-issue blouse, Burda 7255. I'm planning on sewing the one with the 3/4 sleeve and waistband.

      The next pattern I picked up was for the pants. Over at Pattern Review someone reviewed a beautiful pair of pants that had me wishing I could create a pair of my own. This pattern is a big step for me, I can't remember the last time I made a pair of pants. I think I only made pants once back in the eighties. Forgive me the eighties are kind of a blur.

      What in the world is making me think I should make a pair of pants now, you might be wondering. Well, I found a 239-page bundle of courage at a charity book sale called Fantastic Fit for Every Body by Gail Grigg Hazen. This book is a treasure for someone like me who recently (over the past few years) has been gracing a different shape than I had in my youth. And now with this by my side, I think I might be able to pull off a pair of pants.  

      At the same sale I found this gem, Every Kind of Smocking. I can't wait to try my hand at some of the projects in this book this summer.  

      That's all in sewing news today.

      Happy Sewing!  

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