Saturday, 30 June 2012

June in Review

Summer Dress

Fabric:   2 metres of drapery fabric and .5 metre lining fabric, $14.20, 
Pattern:  McCall's 6554, $6.47
Thread:  $4.87
Basting Tape:  $0.82
Zipper:  $4.37
Total Cost:  $25.59
Times Worn this Month:  Once, so far.
Time Investment:  7 hours
Tools Needed:  Sewing machine, serger, measuring tape, fabric shears, ball-point and micro-fibresewing machine needles, pins, sewing needles, iron and tailor's chaulk.
Would I make it again? I would recommend it for sure, not certain I need another summer dress.  

My New Favourite Skirt Pattern!  

Fabric:  1.5 metres of Stretch Cotton Sateen, $11.76
Pattern:  Vogue 1247 (second time around price justified in a previous project), $0.00
Thread:  left over thread, $0.00
Bias Tape:  $1.29
Basting Tape:  $0.41
Zipper:  $4.37
Snap:  $0.28
Total Cost:  $18.11
Times Worn this Month:  Once, so far.
Time Investment:  5 1/2 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! 

The I can't pass for a Vogue model but my sister-in-law can Tunic

Fabric:  3 metres of 100% Silk Noir (at 50% off!), $36.96
Interfacing:  $6.72
Pattern:  Vogue 8791, $6.47
Thread:  $4.37
Total Cost:  $54.52 
Times Worn this Month:  None, gifted to my sister-in-law.
Time Investment:  8 hours
Tools Needed:  Sewing machine, serger, shears, pins, ball-point sewing machine needle, tailor's chalk, sewing needles for basting.  
Would I make it again?  Nope, it worked out in the end because it is a good fit for my sister-in-law. 

Third Version of My New Favourite Skirt Pattern 
(it looks just like the ones above just in blue)

Fabric:  1.5 metres 100% Cotton $13.44 
Pattern:  Vogue 1247 (third time around price justified in a previous projects), $0.00
Thread:  $7.39
Bias Tape:  $1.29
Basting Tape:  $0.41
Zipper:  $4.37
Snap:  $0.28
Total Cost:  $27.18

Time Invested:  5 1/2 hours
Times Worn this Month:  Once.  
Tools Needed:  Sewing machine, serger, shears, pins, ball-point sewing machine needle, tailor's chalk, sewing needles for handstitching, tailor's wax.  
Would I make it again?  Yes!

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Graduate and the Dress

Yesterday was my intelligent, compassionate and beautiful niece's big day, her high school graduation. Congratulations Graduate! This dress was nothing without her, she rocked this look and she looks stunning. Seriously, see for yourself. It is Simplicity 2398.

Front View, Simplicity 2398

Back View, Simplicity 2398

Side View, Simplicity 2398

The hair-do

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Shirt Dress Sew-along: Update.

The shirtdress is coming along slowly but surely. I have the back bodice of Simplicity 1880 sewn to the back skirt of McCall's 6554. I omitted the centre back seam in the skirt to match the bodice. Tomorrow, I will start piecing together the bodice front before sewing and attaching it to the skirt front. Once that is done things should move along at a faster pace.

Have you noticed that I'm not a good follower? Sunni has her skirt front and back sewn together and hanging on the dress form to let it hang for several days before hemming. I have never done that before. Well actually, I guess I did do that for the dress I made for my niece but it wasn't intentional.

I'm thinking about what I want to do about the interfacing. Lately, I'm turned off from using fusible interfacing. Long story that I won't get into now but hand-stitching some non-fusible will be in the plans.

Another pattern that falls in the category of shirtdress has crossed my sewing table, Style 2739, circa 1970. Mama R made this outfit for me many moons ago.

It was in Mama R's pattern stash. She dug it out the other evening. I can't believe she held onto it all these years. We had a great chuckle over it and some others that she dug up.

Anyway, that is the update on all things shirtdress.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I've got this!

Pattern Review is hosting a contest that has my name all over it. How did they know I have a ridiculous pattern stash?

No joke these are all unopened Vogue patterns that are in my stash for over six months (and some even longer). I haven't gotten around to sewing any of these, yet. And I even have a stash of unopened Vogue patterns that are no longer my size. I don't know when I was planning on it, but this contest might be just the kick-in-the-pants I need.

And best part of the contest, I have the month of July off from work. I better get busy on that Shirtdress so I'm ready for the start of the Pattern Review contest.

I'm feeling better now about being laid off for the summer. Mind you a job would be sweet too.

Monday, 25 June 2012

In Sewing News Today...

I've reached a decision, finally!  I'm participating in Sunni's Shirtdress Sew Along using the bodice of Simplicity 1880 and the skirt from McCall's 6554.

The plan is to catch up with everyone soon. I'm making the dress in 100% cotton that I found in the quilting section of my local Fabricland store.

I cut the collar on the shirtdress with a Peter Pan collar and used Sunni's suggestion to create a neat curved edge. I'm going to keep the pockets on the skirt portion of the dress. That's the plan.

Vogue 1233 is still on my want to make list.

I cut out the pattern pieces before I thought of marrying the Fashion Star and Project Runway patterns.

I pulled out a blue cotton sateen and blue lining. I just have to give a pressing and then it will be my next project.

There hasn't been much sewing this weekend. And today my sinuses have been acting up, allergies to cats. And I spent the day yesterday with my nephew who lives in a house with six cats. Why can't they be puppy people?

Once this sinus headache clears up I'll be back at the sewing table. This week I'm going to be laid off from my job for the summer. Yup, I'm going to need some relaxing time at the sewing machine. Most people think that it is fun to have summers off but I would rather be working. At least I'll have some sewing projects to work on while I break from resume writing.  

Until then, I thought I would share a picture of the wild roses from the backyard at my folk's place. I thought they were pretty.

What's on your sewing table?

That's all in sewing news today. Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

This could be epic!

I'm so indecisive this week, I don't know what is wrong with me. I'm sew behind in participating in Sunni's Shirt Dress Sew Along. I have Vogue 1233 on the sewing table and even though I do want to make this dress, I'm not sure it is the pattern that I want to use for the shirtdress sew along.

I think I need to dust off the bike, take a ride down to park and meditate by the river for awhile. Just to clear my head before I hit the sewing machine. Let me explain...  

Yesterday, I was wearing the McCall's 6554 dress that I made recently. And I was thinking how much I love the fit of the skirt and the pocket placement. And I really do love the look of the bodice from the shirtdress in Simplicity 1880. Besides the flirty little skirt shape in Simplicity 1880 might not work well in the windy city. Someone in the Royal wardrobe department (is there such a thing?) should have done their research about how windy it can get in parts of Canada to avoid that unfortunate yellow dress incident but I digress. Now, I'm thinking that I should merge the features that I admire from these two patterns. Ohhh, Fashion Star meets Project Runway. This could be epic in a good way?

Besides Sunni's sew along is named the 2 in 1. I could just call it the 2-in-1 Fashion Star & Project Runway Shirt dress. No?

Sew much to do today and catch up on. Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Okay, I'm not feel the love...

I really do want to participate in this Shirt Dress Sew-along.  And I don't want to be difficult but I'm just not feeling the love for Simplicity 1880 anymore.

Maybe because it just seems too preppy. I have never considered myself preppy. Or perhaps it is that I haven't had the best fitting results with Simplicity patterns and I'm getting cold feet about the muslin.

Whatever it is, I have headed back to my filing cabinet and pulled out some patterns. Let's see, a shirt dress has details borrowed from the classic men's shirt such as a collar, a button front or cuffed sleeves.

I have a few patterns that could easily fall into the shirtdress category. Actually all of these patterns have button fronts.

And some of the patterns in my collection ummm, have that preppy vibe I didn't see myself as have going-on. How did these make it into my pattern stash?

Butterick 4892, circa 1997, has a short and long version of the shirtdress. Shirt like qualities include a button front and shirt collar.

It is still too preppy for my taste.  Sew, next!

Another Butterick pattern from the same time. Were shirt dresses all the rage back in 1997? I can't remember. Perhaps it is just that shirt dresses are that classic piece that make into many wardrobes.

Okay, maybe these dresses haven't borrowed from the classic men's shirt to qualify as a shirt dress. They do, however, have button fronts.

These dresses could qualify as a shirt dress.  The Vogue dress has a shirt collar and button front.  And the Lisette Simplicity pattern has all the classic dress shirt features.

Am I stretching it here with these patterns? They both have button fronts.

Vogue 1038 is the pattern that I'm thinking I would like to make into a shirt dress. It has a buttoned front and sleeve cuffs. I realize that it is a tunic but I wonder if I lengthen it if it would work? I think I might give it a try. This is more my style.

But then again I did like the fit of the Connie Crawford shirt when I made it. I did think about making it into a shirt dress at the time.

Hmmm, I'm still thinking...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Shirt Dress Sew-along: Muslin Making.

I'm cutting out the pattern pieces that I will need for the Shirt Dress Sew-along. June 19 was muslin making day.

Sunni wrote a sensitive blog post that caters to to the muslin-making and non-muslin-making people. Sunni suggests
[i]f you are going to make a muslin, consider only making up the bodice because let’s be honest, the skirt section on Simplicity 1880 is most likely, 9 times out of 10, going to fit you. I say that because the skirt is a flared 1/2 to 3/4 looking circle skirt and those fit nearly everyone bearing in mind that you’ve picked the right size for your waist and hip and double checked that with the finished waist measurement that is found on the pattern piece itself, which is pattern piece #15 btw.
Sunni's observations had me thinking about my experience with Simplicity patterns. I haven't sewn a lot of garments for myself using Simplicity patterns even though I think they have great patterns. My Simplicity patterns wardrobe items are loungewear which are not fitted garments. That said, I agree with what Sunni recommends. My niece's dress using Simplicity 2398, it was the bodice pieces that I was keen on checking the fit with a muslin.

Simplicity 3673 bodice
But I'm that one out of ten that needs to be concern with the skirt fit. Do you recall my red mess dress, Simplicity 3673? It was ugly. I didn't make a muslin and cut my fabric I ruining it. The bodice was a great fit, the skirt was my epic issue.

Sew back to Simplicity 1880, according to the pattern measurements I am a size 14 in the bust, a size 20 in the waist and a size 16 in the hips.

Did you notice anything odd with the first photo of the skirt pattern piece? No? Take a closer look.

I picked up a combination size pattern that includes sizes 12, 14, 16, 18, 20. When I went to check the ease of the pattern I found that Simplicity gave the ease measurements for sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 only.

Really, Simplicity patterns. Are you messing with me or is this your way to tell me I really should make a muslin?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Wait for me!

I've decided to join in the Shirt Dress Sew-along and picked up Simplicity 1880. Sunni over at the charming blog A Fashionable Stitch is hosting the sew-along.

Sunni is crazy organized with this sew-along, she even has a calendar mapped out. Everything is worked out at a nice and easy pace and there are some posts that I'm looking forward to reading/discussing like the lining vs. slip talk.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself for someone who is just joining in now.

I was on the fence with this Simplicity pattern. I do like the look of shirt dresses but I wasn't sure how it would look. EliseMarie's review of this dress and the picture of how great it looks sold me on the pattern. I think for my own dress I would like to make it a below the knee length. Sew, that said I'm going to give it a whirl.

Right now, I am at a critical stage of the sew-along, deciding on the fabric.

There is this crepe fabric in a yellow, green and white dotted print on a purple background. It has been in my fabric stash for years.

Or I could go with a more recent purchase. A 100% cotton with the fun pattern pieces print. I found this fabric in the quilting section of the fabric store. But I'm thinking that it might be a little stiff? Hmmm.

I do like the drape that the crepe fabric has, maybe that would be a better choice. Any thoughts?

I've checked out the calendar and I'm not too far behind to jump into the sew-along. Maybe I might have some time to sleep on this fabric decision.

Anyone else sewing along?

Monday, 18 June 2012

In Sewing News Today...

I made another skirt. Do you want to guess what pattern I used? Yup, Vogue 1247, I don't think I'll never get bored of this pattern. I made my third version of this skirt in a blue cotton fabric with the same hem length (ten additional inches) as the other two versions. At this length they're perfect for work.

I do find now that I'm adding colour into my wardrobe that it has been a challenge to find skirt/pant length invisible zippers in my local fabric store that match my fabric.   

Luckily, I am able to find a match in dress length zippers. I can work with that.  

I start off with marking off where I want my zipper to end and I use a heavy weight thread to hand stitch a stop point.  

I can finish off the raw edge with the serger but what I like to do is sew on a small strip of seam binding to finish it off.

And that's how I solved the zipper issue.

I am going to take a break from sewing Rachel Comey skirts. The three I have in my closet right now should serve me well over the summer. Although, I might have to revisit the pattern for a winter version of this skirt in wool.

Until then, I've been thinking about my next re-fashion project.

Do you have anything in your closet that you have held onto for a long time and just can't get rid of even though it no longer fits?

I have a Precis jacket in a beautiful rose print. It is in a size 6, I haven't worn it in years because like I said, it doesn't fit. But I don't have the heart to part with it. I love the print.  

The sleeves are snug.  The button front of the jacket is well let's say it's decorative because it can't close the front. The back shoulder width feels snug. I really gained a few pounds since the last time I wore this.   

Sew, I'm taking inspiration from one of my all-time-favourite designers, Jean Paul Gauthier. The plan is to give my rose Precis jacket a new life and patch it back together after I take it apart. I have in my fabric stash some ivory coloured cotton sateen that will match the stretch cotton of the jacket. 

I'm trying to save as much as the jacket fabric as I can including the ribbon. But before I can piece it back together I should get my seam ripper and get to work. 

Sew, I'll be off deconstructing a jacket.  

And for the moments when I want a break from the seam ripper I might head over to the sewing machine and add a few more pieces to the patchwork blanket.  I'm up to a hundred twenty squares! Just a few more hundred to go.   

That's all in sewing news today.  

Happy Sewing!  


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Today, we celebrate our fathers. I am blessed to still have my parents here with me. My father is that great story-teller and jokester. We share a passion for cooking. He ruins my summers with his hobby-gone-wild, gardening. And I love helping out in the garden, just don't tell him I said that. My best childhood memories were from harvesting at the end of the summer. But my dad and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye.

He is the strong, stubborn guy that has always tried his best for his family. Think of Gus Portokalos from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. That's my dad. We came from two different cultures and there were many times where we didn't understand each other. He immigrated to Canada in 1956 from Portugal and he tried to merge his Portuguese ways with the Canadian culture he found himself. He settled in the Prairies where his kids only experienced Portuguese culture through food and gender differences. I rebelled against the Portuguese gender inequalities that my Canadian peers didn't seem to have inflicted upon them.

That was then. Now, I see that Papa R always tried his best for his family. We may not always agree but I will always have the upmost respect for all the sacrifices and struggles you have gone through. Happy Father's Day.

Pattern Give-away Winner!

The Pattern Give-away Winner for the Vogue 8791 tunic is...


Congratulations Njeri, I'll send you an email shortly to get your post information and will drop it in the mail this week.

That was easy. I didn't even have to seek the assistance of the Random Number Generator.

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Pattern Give-away Time!

I need to find a good home for Vogue 8791. Here is the drill:

  1. if you promise not to sell the pattern, 
  2. give it a good home, 
  3. use it, 
  4. cherish it, 
  5. and share it when you are finished sewing the tunic.  
Then you can leave a comment below and I will draw for the pattern on Sunday, June 16th.  

Pattern description from the envelope:  Misses' Top and Tunic:  Semi-fitted, mock wrap, pullover top A or tunics B, C have collar, self-lined upper front and shaped hemline with very narrow hem.  B: Stitched hem on sleeves.  C: Sleeves pleated into button cuffs with seam opening. A, B, C, D cup sizes.  Note: This pattern has been cut in a size 14 A cup in version B only, the other pattern pieces remain uncut. 

Good luck and happy sewing!    

Vogue 8791, saved.

Awhile back I was sewing a tunic, Vogue 8791. I didn't make a muslin which was a huge mistake because I spent a good chunk of change on this beautiful raw silk noil.

I should have made a muslin.

I cut the pattern out in a size 14 and it fits in the bust area, not so in the below waist area.

Some people gain wisdom when they age, I gained a generous back side. If only I gained wisdom, I would have cut a muslin.

The silk tunic has been sitting off in the corner as a constant reminder of my foolish ways. Today, it is sitting on my sewing table about to find a new home.

My sister-in-law was over when her daughter came over to try on her dress. I just happened to ask if she would like to try it on. It fits! Sew, I've finished it off.

The pattern is a lovely and it is easy to piece together. The description states that it is semi-fitted, maybe in the bust-line.

I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from making it. Even though it didn't work for me, it did work for my sister-in-law.

Another note: It does call for fusible interfacing that is used in the bodice centre front pieces. If I were to make it again, I not so sure that I would bother with the interfacing.

I would just take care to sew a muslin before hand, especially if you're like me and have been blessed with curves instead of wisdom.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Worse. Fabric. Ever.

I bought this beautiful silver, blue and black African print fabric at Mitchell's recently. It is 100% cotton with the graphic design printed on top of the fabric surface.

I washed the fabric and pulled it out of the washing machine to find that the silver colour was coming off on my hands and scattered along the black background of the fabric, and the interior of the washing machine.  It was all over the place. And then I put it in the dryer.

Oh my goodness! It is not the same fabric.

Putting the fabric in the dryer was not the smartest move I've made. It didn't change the fabric from after the wash. It just managed to leave a residue caked all over the interior of the dryer.

What a mess!  The lint was not your typical lint. I came out in the lint trap as a fine powder.

There was some serious clean up to do. And let's just say there was some elbow grease needed to clean this mess up.

This fabric purchase was a big epic fail. Whose kidding who this is the worse. Fabric. Ever.

This fabric well, is getting filed under big mistake and then the trash bag.

Sew, needless to say the fabric search continues and the Vogue 1309 tunic pattern is currently put on the back-burner.  

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...