Saturday, 27 October 2012

In Sewing News Today...

I don't know if you heard, Winnipeg is getting their own Ikea store. It is huge news in these parts. I'm super thrilled because Ikea has a textiles department.

Yes, more textile options in a city that has seen way too many fabric stores close up shop. I can't wait to have more fabric choice at my finger tips.

I know these are home decor fabrics but anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for a awesome print. And Ikea has awesome prints.

One more month until they open their doors.

Until then I need to get busy sewing the projects I have on the go before I start dreaming about adding to my fabric stash.

Project #1 & 2:

Simplicity 5540, this project should have been completed months ago.

I'm holding my head in shame that it is not finished yet. I did start it, the interfacing has been pressed to the fabric and the pattern markings are all set to go. But then I lost my sewing mojo.

I seriously have to get this done and a little denim shirtdress in a girls size 8 before my next massage appointment.
Project #3 & 4:

Vogue 1247 is one of my favourite patterns and I really can't explain why these have been sitting in my sewing drawer collecting dust.

On the left is a half completed top. And the right are all the pieces for another version of the skirt in a navy heavy weight cotton. It should be good for the winter.

Project #5 & 6:

Vests!  Oh my goodness, I have to get busy on these vests that my nephews have requested. I'm using Simplicity 4762 which has received some high praises.

Maybe I need to tackle these two vests first.

Project #7:

I've been meaning to sew a new nightshirt / pj's for some time now. And now I have no excuse because I recently found the pattern that I want to use.

I want the nightshirt with the two front pockets. I have the flannel ready to cut as soon as I get the other projects out of the way.
Project #8 & 9:

This project has been on my wish list for quite some time. Lets see, it has been a year now! It is a project from the October/November 2011 issue of Vogue Patterns Sewing Magazine.

Where has a year gone?

I still want to give this a try. Even the apron pattern that was modified for this outfit is cute. Maybe? Oh and then there is another version of Vogue 1312 that I would like to make.

That will make nine projects in total that I need to clear off my sewing table before I can think of anything else.

I wonder if I can get these done by the end of the year?

Anyway, that is all in sewing news today.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Vogue's Winter Holiday Collection

Vogue's Winter Holiday Collection came out this evening. I don't think that I'm feeling all that festive yet. The holidays are two months away, the downtown was being decorated with Christmas lights this afternoon and not even that the Vogue Holiday Collection jump started my festive spirit.

Despite the lack of festive HO! HO! Holiday spirit, I did manage to find a couple of patterns that I wouldn't mind making from the Winter Holiday Collection.

Of course, one of them is a KaTheRine Tilton pattern. It is a jacket, Vogue 8863. However, I am not in need another jacket. I'm just admiring the design detail. I like the sleeve detail on this pattern. It has knit sleeves sewn from the lining. I think that it is cute.

The other pattern that caught my eye was Vogue 8854. I could see this in a sweater fleece fabric.

I will say that I was a wee bit disappointed that the hemline on the dresses didn't fall. Most of the dresses were knee length or shorter with the exception of Vogue 8858 a Marcy Tilton skirt that has long versions included in the pattern. That said changing a hemline is a simple thing to do and I will admit that I do think Vogue 1326 and Vogue 1327 are very cute dresses. But then again, I don't need another dress either.

A fleece it is!

Happy Sewing.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Never say Never

The mattress cover is something that I never thought I would sew but I did.

Mama R is thrilled with it. See, she's smiling!

Actually, I'm quite thrilled with it too. It is soft like a pillow.

Besides the pillowy softness I'm also thrilled that it is done almost done.

Mama R requested elastic all around the edges. It turned out nicely but my fingers are sore from all that stretching of the elastic. I couldn't say no to her request because she was an amazing assistant with this project. I honestly wouldn't have been able to complete it without her help.

All that is left to do is test it out. I'll find out the final verdict tomorrow.

Happy Sewing!

UPDATE:  The mattress cover passed the nap test.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mattress Cover: The next step

Tonight's sewing was quite basic stuff. It was all about sewing straight lines. Boring stuff really.

I stitched through four layers of batting between two layers of fabric.

It actually feels like a mattress pillow compared to the store bought mattress covers Mama R found in the store.

Mama R was a huge help in this process. I couldn't convince her to help me baste. I tried.

She made sure that the mattress pillow didn't slide off the table. This was a huge help.

After I measure the pillow top, the sides will be the next step. The next step, however, will have to wait until tomorrow.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Now for something completely different...

Guess what I am busy sewing?  

Okay, one hint. I never thought that I would be sewing a project like this one.  

Nope, it is not a quilt.  

I'm sewing a mattress cover for Mama R. She has been searching high and low for a decent one that doesn't make a crinkling noise when you lay on top of it. And that is soft as a pillow. Oh, and it has to fit a twin size bed.

Who would have thought it would be so difficult to find.

After many trips to various shopping outlets looking for a mattress cover that is just right. I finally blurted out, "Why don't I make you one?"

It just came out before I could stop myself. I knew there was a reason why Mama R asked me to take her shopping. She's a very clever woman.

Joking aside, I can't take all the credit on this project. It is totally a joint effort. And I'm enjoying our time together working on this one.

But right now it is time for a tea break.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Things I Learned While Sewing Advance 8436

The Women's Shirtwaist dress, Advance 8436, is finished. And I absolutely love it.

I had to do some tweaking to get to this point. And if I sew another one, which I plan to do, I will have to consider some of the changes that happened.

  • Several inches were cut from the hemline.  
  • Next time I will shorten the sleeves to achieve the three-quarter length.  
  • and the waist, oh my goodness the waist!  
I learned that it is a good thing to do some research when sewing a vintage pattern. This pattern, I suspect, is from circa 1950s. It was a size 16 and the measurements corresponded with modern body measurements from a Vogue size 14, which is the size that I typically sew. I thought I wouldn't have any issues. Boy was I wrong. 

Where did I error? Well, that would be in omitting any historical research into this era. My bad.  

Post-cutting I discovered that gals back in the fifties were into a form of body modification called waist training. My ribs hurt just thinking about it.  

Gertie blogged about Corsets of the 1950s and it seems to be the important detail that I neglected when I started working on this dress. This might explain why I had ample room in the bust and hip area but I had to let out the waist area over three inches! 

It was either that or do this. And I don't do diets. Yeah, there is a diet that goes with waist training. Sew, letting out the dress was my only option. And to think that waist training is apparently making a comeback. Who knew? And why?  

This might explain the high placed bust darts, no? {Source
There was another issue with the Advance 8436 pattern, the ill-placed darts. Or are they ill-placed? It just seemed so odd. I know I recently had a birthday but the girls are not sagging. The armhole and ease around the bust seemed fine but the darts seemed high. And then I found this photo of Deborah Roberts of ABC News.    

I suspect that if I were wearing a corset (such as Ms. Roberts is wearing or a waspie mentioned in Gertie's post) the darts would be perfectly placed for the pushed up girls.  

I'm still not convinced to dabble in a bit of body modification, I'm going to work on the pattern instead.  

The plan, remove the darts completely. There is ample ease around the bust they won't even be missed. I wouldn't mind keeping the tucks the way that they are on the pattern but that will mean adding to the side seams on the bodice.  And then I will also add to the skirt pieces where they meet at the waist. 

I don't think there is anything else that I would change. The pockets and the button front are my favourite detail.  

And I really did like they way the tucks looked before I had to let them out significantly. 

With these things that I learned while sewing the shirtwaist dress in mind, I think I'm ready to tackle the dress in the plaid fabric.  

But first, I have some sewing for others to clear off my table.  

Happy Sewing.  

Friday, 19 October 2012

Check, Check, Check and Check!

I've gathered the sleeves, attached the cuffs, stitched twelve buttonholes, seam ripped two buttonholes and restitched them and I even found the mis-placed buttons. I can check these items off the list. What's left?

I really need to clear off the sewing table and see what other mis-placed items are to be found.

But for now I'm done for the night.

Sewing the twelve buttons will just have to wait for another time.

Until then, happy sewing!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Reasons Why I Sew: Reason # 4

Reason # 4:  For the love of my family.

Sewing for others is a tough gig and it is often a thankless job. But I will always sew for my family. I love them that much.

Even it it means sewing something that I'm just not into or in a fabric that you would never pick for myself because it is a going to be *gulp* a challenge.

I have two more family projects in queue, vests that I need to get working on for my nephews. Maybe this weekend (four days off!!!)? I was hoping to have a phone call from my nephew last weekend who I asked if he would like to help me cut it out. It didn't happen and that's okay. It was a long shot that a sixteen year old would want to hang out with their aunt.

I suspected that he was avoiding me because he expressed fear that he might ruin it. I tried to re-assure him that I would cut the pieces that had curves and that he could help me out by cutting the bigger pieces. Besides, there is lots of fabric to ruin cut. It didn't spark any excitement. Oh well, I tried.

My sewing mojo has been low these last few months because my back has been a pain in the... well, back. I need a sewing room assistant to cut out my sewing projects so that I can just happily sit at my sewing machine and sew away. In my dreams. Or at least a taller cutting table and a sewing home to call my own. Also in my dreams.

But a gal can dream, right?

Well, I should stop my day-dreaming and get to work. Folks I love are waiting for things to get done.  Sew, there you have Reason # 4 of Reasons Why I Sew.  

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Advance 8436: Almost done!

A bit more work on the shirtwaist dress to show 'n tell. Letting out the tucks and sewing 3/8" seams for the skirt worked. I'm extremely pleased with the fit now.

The sleeves sewn at the armhole worked without any major issues. Yippeee!

I shortened the skirt length and hemmed the dress with a narrow hem.

Left to do:

  • Gather the sleeves
  • Sew on the cuffs
  • Sew the buttonholes 
  • Buttons Find the misplaced buttons for this dress
  • Sew on the buttons
These last tasks will have to wait until Thursday evening. The dress is almost done and I can't wait to finish it up! Now, where did I put those buttons?    

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 15 October 2012

Big Beautiful Pockets!

The shirtwaist dress, Advance 8436, is coming along slowly but surely.

This evening I was able to finish sewing the skirt sections together.

The pockets on this dress have to be one of my favourite details. The top of the pockets are placed so that they drape open. They are generous in size. They are perfectly big beautiful pockets!  See...

Well, even though I can't wait to finish this dress it have to wait until tomorrow. It's time to call it a night.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Shirtdress Vintage vs. Modern

Sewing Advance 8436 I have to admit there is a feeling of déjà vu.  In some aspects, this Vintage pattern reminds me of the Simplicity 1880 dress made this summer.  

The bodice has tucks from the waistline in the front and back, just like Simplicity 1880. 

Both dresses have yokes with slight variations. Advance 8436 has a back yoke that meets with the front bodice piece at the shoulder. It also has easing that I do not typically find in modern sewing patterns. 

What's different between the vintage and modern shirtdress. Where to begin?  

The dart placement at the bust on the Advance pattern is quite interesting. The pattern has two bust darts from the side seam. The Simplicity pattern relied on bust ease through gathers from the front yoke. I do prefer the double breast darts. It is something that you don't see in modern designs.  

And I am aware that vintage patterns are sized differently than modern patterns. The Advance pattern is a size 16. The measurements on the pattern envelope correspond with modern Vogue measurements in a size 14. I thought I was safe to cut out my working muslin in a cotton paisley fabric without much concern. 

Oh my Betty!  

Did gals back in the 1950s have a waistline? Seriously.  

I would really need to do some serious waist training to fit into the Advance waistline design. This vintage pattern would be perfect for Betty Brosmer's 18" waistline. And Ms. Brosmer would be able to do up her shirtdress and still look smart.  

The pattern has ample room in the bust line. Not so in the waistline. I'm not of the corset wearing / waist training generation. Sew, I had to get to work. 

I let out slightly over three inches along the waistline by letting out the six tucks between the bodice front and back. There are still six tucks, but they are just 1/2 the width they were before. After doing so, I can breath! 

The skirt is my next issue.  Since I have let out the bottom portion of the bodice, the skirt pieces are being sewn with a 3/8" seam allowance.  

After that, I might have to do some sit-ups. Or I can just alter the pattern for the next time around. 

Until then I'm still going to work at it and hopefully I will have a wearable muslin.  

Happy Sewing!   

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Reasons Why I Sew: Reason # 3

Reason # 3:  I love my Mom.

Mama R has been searching high and low for a mattress cover for one of the beds. The mattress is not the most comfortable firm. And she's been looking for a mattress pad that would make it feel less firm.

She has purchased and returned many mattress pads and covers over the past few weeks. Some were ill-fitting. One was actually shorter than the package's listed measurements. And most had a plastic like topping. I don't know why it took me so long to come up with the solution. But better late than never.

"Why don't we make one?," I asked.

"That would be nice," Mama R replied.  "I would be very happy."

Sew, we were off to the fabric store to pick up batting for the middle of her new mattress cover. This project will of course jump the cue of my Advance shirtdress and my nephew's vests because, well just like I said, I love my Mom.

And that is another reason why I sew.

Monday, 8 October 2012

In Sewing News Today...

I thought this day would never come, but it did! 

Yup, I'm talking about the day that the bolts of silk noir sitting in the clearance section of my local fabric store were reduced further.

I had been waiting a long time for this day. I snatched up three bolts of orange, indigo and a light blue. I decided on the orange and indigo bolts of fabric. 

These treasured cuts of fabric are stashed away until spring. I have plans to make a spring dress with the indigo silk. The orange silk I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but how could I resist.

Frank Sinatra said it best, "orange is the happiest colo[u]r."  

I've been easing back into sewing slowly.  I won't say that my sewing mojo is completely back. I've been sneaking a wee bit of sewing in here and there.

Remember this? It is almost a year that I started cutting out squares from some of my fabric scraps.

It is crazy how long I've held onto some of these pieces. The pink plaid was from when my niece was about two years old when I made her a dress. Crazy! That is sixteen years ago! The tractor print was when my nephew was a year old and I made him overalls. There are a lot of memories stitched together.

But I digress... I have managed to sew 196 squares together. I can file this one under I never thought this day would come too.

It might not seem like a lot, but for a non-quilter I'm quite happy with this. And it has been a good on-going project for those days when I want to get some sewing done but just not in the mood to work on a big project detailed project.  

Talking about detailed projects. I'm working on the vintage shirtdress, Advance 8436. The pattern arrived over a week ago.

I know that I mentioned I wanted to make it in a blue plaid but I'm trying it out in this fabric before I cut it in the plaid. It is a paisley Rosedale Sateen that I found in the home decor department.

I love the details in this dress especially the double darted bodice. This is the first time that I have come across a pattern that has two darts for the bust. There are also tucks at the waistline in the front and back bodice and gathers at the back yoke and bodice. My fingers are crossed that it turns out well.

This is about as far as I've managed to get on this pattern. It is not that I'm not excited about sewing it. I'm just taking things slow until I'm feeling more myself. Until then, a few stitches at a time.

That's all in sewing news today.  How about you, what's on your sewing table?

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. 
Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. 
~Henry Van Dyke

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada where families traditionally get together to eat turkey dinners. I am thankful that I will not be participating in this tradition this year. I like my family, don't like turkey.

This year, as an extended family, we're not getting together.

It is all good as it is understandable that everyone has their own families to celebrate with and other plans that take them to other places. Not all of the family is in the city this year.

It worked out fine because I'm thankful for a quiet weekend and hopefully some rest to see if I feel a bit better than I have these past weeks. If it weren't for a trip to Costco yesterday and watching a majority of peeps with pies in their shopping carts (they sold a lot of pumpkin pies!) it wouldn't even seem like Thanksgiving.

Even though it does not feel like Thanksgiving weekend with all the trimmings missing, I am thankful for a great deal.

Karen's post, Who Should You Thank?, over at Did You Make That? was a lovely tribute to her Mom. And I have to agree that Moms deserves a huge thank you for sharing their creative skills and talents. My Mom especially. Mama R was the queen of re-fashion when we were kids. She is my greatest fashion/sewing influence and the one that I admire the most for her talent. Although, Karen's Mom did create one wicked tea cozy.

I am thankful the online sewing community that I found and all the wonderful tips and encouragement that everyone shares. This one especially is timely, as I'm getting ready to prep some wool fabric for cutting. Thanks Gertie!

I have a lot to be thankful for, and even though I won't be eating turkey dinner and pumpkin pie with my family, I will certainly be thinking about all that I have been blessed with and the people that are important in my life.

Wishing everyone celebrating this weekend a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Reasons Why I Sew: Reason #2

Reason #2:  The quest for good fit, or my left side of my waistline is not higher than the right side of my waistline.

I picked up these tee-shirts because they were wool and have long sleeves. I live in Winnipeg where they are predicting flurries are on their way. And working at job that involves recess duty I'm in need of cold weather clothing, STAT!

I bought these tee-shirts where there are no change rooms and I'll admit I did not inspect them too closely. If I had tried them on at the store they wouldn't have made it on the trip home.

It had a made in Canada label, not a made in China label and I foolishly thought that meant some sort of quality check was in place. Boy, was I wrong. Crazy cutting and sewing can be found in all parts of the world.

Problem #1:  The waistline curve is not horizontally aligned.

Problem #2:  The length from the underarm seam to the hemline is off by half an inch!

It is really noticeable when I put it on, you'll have to take my word on that one.

Even though I was going to use them as winter undershirts it is just not comfortable.

Problem #3:  The armholes are not the same shape.

The tee-shirts are going back to the store which is too bad because they are made out of 100% wool.  And they would have been perfect for work if only they had a good fit.

And they are made out of a fabric that I haven't seen in any local fabric stores.

Too bad.

There you have Reason #2 of Reasons Why I Sew.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Reasons Why I Sew : Reason #1

Reason #1:  I don't have lopsided boobs.

This is a picture I took in the change room. I liked this retro looking jacket. It has a back pleat that I that I thought was a cute detail along with the double breasted front buttons. And I also liked the 50% off sign just above the display.

So even though I don't need a jacket, I did try it on.

I don't usually take photos in the change room but I had to show you this.  Do you notice anything wrong in this picture?

Yea, the darts!

I know that I recently turned fifty but seriously, the girls have not sagged that much. Okay, joking aside.

How did this product make it to the store shelf?

Not only are the darts ill-placed they are not even.

Don't people inspect garments anymore before they leave the factory floor?

No wonder it was 50% off.

I can't even single this item because recently I've been noticing quite a few obvious garment construction errors that have been hitting the store floors.

So there you have it, Reason #1 of Reasons Why I Sew.  

Monday, 1 October 2012

Vogue 8837

I made this skirt last month and am just posting some pictures of it now.

It is made with a kAtheRine Tilton pattern, Vogue 8837. It is so comfortable, I love it. In the picture it does look like it has a bit of an A-line cut but don't be fooled. It is straight skirt, I just had to pin it in the back for the picture otherwise it would have fallen off the form.

I cut the pattern in a size M (12-14) which was perfect in the hip area. Not so much in the waist. I could have gone down a size in the yoke and waist area. You don't hear me saying that too often.

I love the invisible elastic that is sewn inside the self-lined yoke. I guess I could have cut the elastic a bit smaller too. I'll do that for the next version I'll make.

I didn't overlap the side seams but I did keep the narrow curved hem at the sides. I love this detail. And I did not shorten the skirt pattern. The hemline sits just above my ankle and I'm quite thrilled with the length.

It is a great skirt pattern. I would highly recommend this one.

Happy Sewing!

Back to School Face Masks

These polka-dot cotton face masks are to be gifted as part of require back-to-school gear. Not much to say except, of course, I revisisted t...