Thursday, 28 February 2013

February in Review

February was a busy month. It was the month that I was busy breaking my sewing resolutions like nobody's business. I was tempted by the online Vogue pattern sale and by some fabrics. My bad. I also managed to get some sewing done before my Lenten Sewing project occupied my sewing calendar.

What did I sew?

Well, using Vogue 1038 I made one of the most comfortable skirts in my closet. It is a pattern that I hope to revisit for a summer version maybe in linen.  Then using a previously loved pattern, McCall's 9264, I have a new floral dress. I want to make another version in a wool and wear it as a jumper in the fall. I switched from my original plan to make a hat and came up with a super soft and cozy stole.  And I exposed myself as an undergarment-making-virgin, until I gave Brigitte's free downloadable pattern a try. My lenten sewing project is purificators, no pattern needed. Just a lot of pressing.

Sew far this year, I managed to stash-bust a total of:

  • 20.36 metres of fabric, 
  • 6 previously unused patterns
  • 4.6 metres of trim
  • 3 zippers
  • 5 spools of thread
  • 3 sewing machine needles
  • 3 snaps,
  • 9 buttons and
  • 1.7 metres of elastic.
And this month I took a detour and added to my stash:

  • 5 Vogue patterns
  • 18 metres of new fabric (4 metres of Vintage Brushed Cotton, 4 metres of embroidered cotton plaid, 3 metres of lining, 4 metres of cotton/linen blend, 3 metres of beige stretch denim.)
  • 2 metres of elastic
Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

My Greatest Sewing Challenge?

My greatest sewing challenge would be creating a well fitting pair of pants. A pair of pants that has a tailored look and no elastic waist.

Armed with Roberto Cabrera and Patricia Flaherty Meyers' Classic Tailoring Techniques:  A Construction Guide for Women's Wear, I'm almost ready. I think I'm almost ready to tackle this challenge.

The last pair of pants that I made I used an Issey Miyake pattern. In general, despite the fitting issues, I did like the pattern. I am quite smitten with that curved waistband. If it just sat a wee bit higher in the front and if I didn't have hips, it would be perfect.
Vogue 1325

A sales lady at my local fabric store tried to convince me that Burda patterns make the best fitting pants patterns. I'm torn on whether or not that is true. Any opinions?

I do not have a great deal of experience sewing pants or sewing with Burda patterns. I haven't had the greatest fit with Burda patterns with the items that I've made in the past. I tend to stick with Vogue patterns because I like the fit. But I tend to sewing mostly dresses, shirts and skirts. I've only sewn two pant patterns; a Claude Montana pattern back in the 1980s and the Issey Miyake pattern this past summer.

This time around I am going to work with an Anne Klein pattern, Vogue 1325. I chose this pattern because I like where the waistline sits on the pants. A semi-fitted, slightly fitted flared pants pattern that has a raised waist. Maybe it will make my short legs look elongated?

Vogue 1325

Cabrera's Classic Tailoring Techniques will help with addressing some of my fitting issues:

  1. I've been blessed with womanly hips and commercial patterns tend to be too tight across the hips. Evident in the Issey Miyake pants that I made. 
  2. A smaller waist compared to my hips. 
  3. I do not have a flat back side like those Vogue pattern models.  Seriously, when are they going to use more women with real curves to model their pants? And could they model a pair of pants with a waistband?   
  4. One hip is higher than the other.  
  5. Protuding stomach. What can I say, I like my sweets more than I like to exercise. 
  6. One leg that is shorter than the other.   
Vogue 1003
No wonder I have fitting issues! This time I'm going to sew a muslin since I decided to ignore the sales lady's advice to purchase the fitting shell pattern. Do I really need a fitting shell pattern? Well, I still have some reading and research to do before I crack open this pattern. Never mind the fact that I have to return the book to the library next week. Maybe next month, I can get started on this project after I clear off all the sewing already on my sewing table.

Have you found a pant pattern that you recommend? Any advice? And what about the Burda vs. Vogue debate? Do you know the difference that these pattern companies offer?  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Can I Pick a Winner or What?

I have to admit that I'm finding the Oscars a bit of a bore fashion wise with a few exceptions. I thought I could use a fashion pickup after reading a few more pages of Overdressed. But no, I'm actually finding most of the gowns as boring as the Gap clothes described in the book. Maybe boring is a bit harsh. Let me edit that and say that I didn't find myself inspired by many of the looks. And did you notice that Pantone's 2013 colour of the year was absent from the red carpet? 

There were a couple of exceptions. Halle Berry wore a dress that I thought was cool, same with Reese Witherspoon, yet there are folks that are calling these amongst the worst dressed. Can I pick a winner, or what?

These were the dresses that I found beautiful and inspiring. I like that Jane Fonda wore yellow, it was nice to see a bright colour.

My favourite look would hands down be the outfit worn by Sunrise Coigney. Stripes ruled the red carpet in my opinion.

Maybe I was inspired. No, I don't need a gown or fancy dress.

You see, now I'm thinking what I want to do with that silver and black stripe silk duponi fabric in my stash.

Maybe that new Katherin Tilton shirt, Butterick 5891?

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

In Sewing News Today...

I finally finished cutting out the rectangular shapes for the purificators this morning. Yippee! I was kind of nervous about the white linen fabric sitting on my cutting table exposed to the elements my clumsiness. Luckily they made it safety off the cutting table and to the sewing table. I now feel relaxed enough to put my coffee cup down.

I delivered a dozen to the church this week and no one spotted my error.

I was sewing the narrow hem when my needle traveled off the folded edge and did not catch the folded edge for about a half an inch.

Sew, I had to go back and stitch over. Unless you look closely, you won't notice the extra stitches. Boy, confession is good for the soul. (Yes, I expect to be hit by lightening sometime in my life.) Until then, I hope to finish another twelve by the end of the weekend.

After I finish the purificators I have another church related project to tackle. I've been asked to replace the trim on a vestment piece. Sew much to sew!

And I have to get another sewing project back onto the table. My little nephew is about to turn fifteen in just over a week. Unbelievable! He's not literally little, just in my mind's eye. Gawd, they grow up so fast. He has been patiently waiting for me to sew him a vest similar to the one his brother received last year. I really should try to get this done in time for his birthday. Every thing is cut out and ready to sew. I'm going to have to squeeze it into the calendar.

Well, I should stop tapping away and try to find my sewing mojo.

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Make Do and Mend!

Make Do and Mend!:  Project #1

Item:  Jones New York sateen shirt, circa 2008.

Problem:  I can't breathe when I wear it.

Tools of the Trade:  Seam ripper and sewing machine.  

My mending pile has been getting out of hand. I've admitted my desire to sew something from scratch rather than mend. But I don't think I can avoid it anymore. This is my journey to work through my mending pile.   

I was looking through my wardrobe, or more specifically the clothes that I didn't have the heart to give away. There are clothes there that I would like to one day wear again. 

Back-in-the-day when it did fit.  
Like my black and white polka dot shirt. It has a side zipper and a drape that twists at the bodice front. 

This shirt was a favourite but for far too long has hung in my closet because it feels a wee bit snug. Okay, a lot snug. Yesterday, I tried it on and it is finally a wee bit snug. I might be able to rescue this one.

It is a RTW item, I can't take credit for making this shirt, but I would like to get it back into rotation. It is sized petite and I'm please with the length of the shirt and the sleeves. I just have to add to the width.

Like most contemporary RTW clothing there is not much of a seam allowance so I won't be able to add ease from the side seam. Plus there is that side zipper that also adds a challenge. I've decided to undo the back darts. This is a trick that Mama R taught me. She would do this to her own clothes that felt snug around the mid-section. As long as the fabric hasn't be punctured with an awe during production, it works out fine. 

Lucky for me there are no holes made in the fabric to mark the darts. Just some top-stitching to undo. I'm going to need my seam ripper for this job. Oh and my reading glasses, black thread on black fabric, oh boy! Then off to the sewing machine to restitch the hemline where the dart was opened.  

Perfect. Well, almost perfect. I do miss the shape that the darts gave the garment in the back. I can forget breathing, I think I could do jumping jacks in this now. But I won't go that far, there's more mending to do.    

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Holy Moly!

I'm sewing altar linens, I thought the title works. I've been busy cutting, pressing and sewing 100% linen this weekend.

I have to tell you that I did expect the linen to shrink after I washed it in the washing machine and threw it in the dryer for a tumble. But Holy Moly, I didn't expect it to shrink as much as it did!

In my naivety, I thought the shrinkage would occur in the length of the cloth, but it happened to the width as well. I know, what was I thinking. At the fabric store I estimated that I could cut four purificators out using the layout of the short edge of the purificator along the selvage of the fabric. That was my estimate in the store. I was thinking that I would be able to fit more throughout the length of the cloth. But it is not working out that way, sigh. Instead, laying out my sample piece the other way and I manage to cut six from one width. I'm still getting a good yield from the cloth. I'm just surprised with how much the fabric shrunk.

Sew far, they are coming along nicely. They are not all perfect, just like the sewist. I can say that I'm trying my best. Twelve were completely finished this weekend. And I did manage to cut a whole stack ready to press. Ah pressing, you are my lenten penance this year. A necessary step none-the-less. There are some interesting tips for pressing linen. Have you ever heard of putting your fabric in the freezer before pressing? I wonder what might happen if you forgot about it, freezer burn? But I digress... I found some great tips for pressing linen.

The sewing part I love. Nice small seams that allow me to get up and stretch every now and then. I figure if I shoot for three a day, I can have these finished by Easter.

Happy Sewing!

Location, Location, Location!

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that sews clothes in this town.

I know it is not true. It can't be true. But with fabric store disappearing over the years. And those stores that remain dedicating more and more floor space to home decor and quilting, sometimes as a sewist, it can feel a bit lonely out on the prairies.

Not anymore. It is funny what a little map can do to make you feel like you're in good company. 

Have you seen this map? It is quite cool, I think.  

Monday, 18 February 2013

Oh My Goodness--It's that pattern!

Look what popped up over at Etsy!

A couple months ago I found this pattern and made both the jacket and dress. Once upon a time this pattern was part of my collection. I made the dress and it was one of my favourite pieces. The dress and I sadly parted ways when I moved on to a different size. And I was thrilled to pieces many years later when I found the pattern again.

Another copy of this fantastic pattern popped up. I'm not going to snap it up but I will post it here because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this pattern.

I will warn you that there are a lot of darts involved to make the dress and jacket but it is so worth the work. The fit created by the darts is perfect.

I will also say that I found the dress front bodice with the square neckline is a little low but on the most recent version that I made I did raise it 1" and it did not do any harm to the design.

Sew, if I am ever going to recommend a dress pattern, this would be it. The pattern is a size 16-18-20 and listed for $7.00!

Happy Sewing!

Happy Louis Riel Day!

It is Louis Riel Day. Louis Riel is celebrated as a hero and has grown into a popular culture icon here in our province. Not so much in some other parts of Canada.

Even though there's a lot to take in today (free admission at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Festival du Voyageur) to help celebrate Louis Riel day, there are some horrid road conditions. I think I'm going to stay put and take advantage of some quality sewing time. I do have more linen fabric to cut and sew. Maybe I might even make a cup of tea and read a few pages from Overdressed. But for sure, like so many others, I will dedicate some thought to this great Manitoban.  

Happy Sewing and Happy Louis Riel Day!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

In Sewing News Today...

I'm feeling a wee bit guilty today. 

I stepped into a fabric store yesterday. Heck, who am I kidding, I just blew my New Year's Sewing Resolution to bits. 

I was feeling blue and tired of all the criticism in my personal life. Gawd, I miss living on my own. But I digress... 

In need of a quiet space and something, anything to make me feel even a little bit happy, I found myself in the parking lot of Fabricland. Oh yes, good old fashion retail therapy. 

I killed an hour and a half in there because I didn't want to go home. I had to finally leave because the store was closing. 

Did it help? Yes, for a little while. I did feel a wee bit happier than when I came into the store. I have to tell you that there is nothing more beautiful than a fabric store filling up with beautiful spring colours when it is cold and grey outside. I didn't purchase anything from the new selection even though there were some brightly coloured sateen prints that caught my eye. It is lovely to see yellow and greens again. They are still on display because I didn't want to dish out for a Fabricland membership to get the weekend's 50% off on new spring fashions. A membership has proven dangerous to my budget in the past.   

Instead, I found some neutrals further reduced down to 70% off. They were hiding in the bargain centre were you can still find deals without a Fabricland membership. I picked up 4 metres of a light green coloured cotton and linen blend. The plan is to use it for the Marcy Tilton dress pattern that is in transit, Vogue 8876. And I picked up a taupe coloured stretch cotton. The plan is to eventually make a pair of pants that fit. Even though I would love to give a new pant pattern a try, Vogue 1325 didn't make it home with me. Maybe I'll save that splurge for the next time I'm feeling blue.  



Friday, 15 February 2013

Lenten Sewing

On February 25, 1917 an article appeared in The New York Times about Lenten Sewing. Yeah, "Lenten Sewing." This is a term I've never heard before. Now, I'm not what they call a CEO (Christmas and Easter Only Catholic). I do make it to service on other occasions too. But I have never heard of such a phrase. Apparently, it has been around for awhile.

Illustration by C. Jay Taylor {Source}

"Lenten Sewing" was a term used in the early 20th century late 19th century to describe sewing that was done during the forty days prior to Easter. The type of sewing was directed to those in need. And women of social prominence would gather to do charitable sewing and knitting work during Lent.

According to The New York Times article, women would gather for "sewing classes" held at various participants' homes. It appears to be a social event as much as it was about charitable work.

And what about "thimble party?" Have you ever heard of a thimble party? A thimble party refers to this sort of gathering to do charitable sewing and it continues today! Who knew this tradition still continues? Not I.

I found a literary reference to "Lenten Sewing." It is from Tailor Made Girl, Her Friends, Her Fashions and Her Follies by Philip Henry Welch.


Edith.—Why, this is a surprise! You haven't been for three meetings!
Arabella.—I know, and I quite thought I couldn't come to-day.
Edith.—What was the matter?
Arabella.—I mislaid my thimble, and we had such a time finding it.
Edith.—How provoking!
Arabella.—Yes, for there wasn't another gold thimble in the house except a couple of mama's, and they are inches too large.
Edith.—Oh, you could never have come!
Arabella.—It would have been too aggravating, for I particularly wanted to come this meeting.
Edith.—Why? It's an off-day, you know.
Arabella.—I know, and that's the reason; for I heard Nell Knickerbocker said I only come on the days the men are asked to drop in.
Edith.—How spiteful! She needn't think they "drop in" to see her.
Arabella.—No, indeed! Why, at the Elliott german, just before Lent, she was only taken out twice.
Arabella.—I should die of mortification!
Edith.—And I. Do you know I am quite too provoked this afternoon?
Arabella.—Do tell me about it.
Edith.—Why, Mrs. Talcott has given me this horrid canton flannel to sew on again; the white fuzz just covers my dress.
Arabella.—Why didn't you object?
Edith.—I did, and she said there was only that work left, and suggested a larger apron. Arabella.—As if we were waitresses!
Edith.—Yes, just fancy! I am not at all fond of Madam T., by the way.
Arabella.—Nor I. She says such pointed, disagreeable things.
Edith.—I only joined her class because mama worked so hard to get me in.
Arabella.—It's really awfully swell, you know.
Edith.—Yes; but they have plenty more fun at Mrs. Highchurch's.
Arabella.—Yes; and you might say they are just a lot of nobodies.
Edith.—They are embroidering vestments, too; much nicer work than this nasty fuzzy canton flannel.
Arabella.—We are going to begin altar-cloths next meeting.
Edith.—The men go there every time.
Arabella.—Of course, that's a great deal; still, Mrs. Talcott says it's vulgar not to be able to do anything without the men.
Edith.—She didn't think so last Lent, before her daughter caught Ered Noodle.
Arabella.—No, indeed; they were asked every evening.
Edith.—Well, Friday is a gala day. I've got an awfully fetching little chatelaine, with hanging ribbons that hold thimble, scissors, and emery cases, and a tiny needle-book.
Arabella.—How lovely! You should see my new apron; it is trimmed with Valenciennes and heliotrope feather-edge rosettes—awfully Frenchy!
Edith.—I want to see it. Oh, horrors! Mrs. Talcott is going to read; we'll have a dose of Shelley. She always reads Shelley.
Arabella.—How tiresome! I really thought she would be read out by this.
* * *
Edith.—What an exquisite thing!
Arabella.—It is such a treat to hear you read, dear Mrs. Talcott!
* * *
Edith.—What a hideous gown the Forsythe has on!
Arabella.—That is one of her "effects." I've heard her say one is nothing nowadays if not bizarre.
Edith.—She gives herself such airs.
Arabella.—Yes; and they are awfully new people, too. Quite the only detrimental in the class.
Edith.—Yes; mama says at the first luncheon she encountered Mrs. Forsvthe she called for sugar and cream for her bouillon, mistaking it for tea!
Arabella.—Oh, fancy, how dreadful!
* * *
Arabella.—Will this interminable seam never be done? How I hate to sew!
Edith.—I never do—except here.
Arabella.—Have you the faintest idea for what or whom these garments are put together?
Edith.—Oh, not the slightest.
Arabella.—Nor I. Isn't it dull? Can't we go?
Edith.—Yes; I want to go down to Marshmallows and get some Jordan almonds to munch in church. Come with me.
Arabella.—I don't know about the almonds. I'm trying to get on with very, very few bonbons this Lent.
Edith.—Oh, I'll only get a few.
Arabella.—I've done ever so well. I had a five-pound box at Ash Wednesday, and one at Mi-Caréme, and none between.
Edith.—You deserve an indulgence to-day, then.
Arabella.—But this wretched seam isn't finished.
Edith.—That doesn't matter. Take it home and let the seamstress do it.
Arabella.—What a lovely suggestion!
* * *
Edith.—So sorry, dear Mrs. Talcott, to leave so early, but I have an errand to do before five o'clock service.
Arabella.—And I must go, too, Mrs. Talcott. But I do so want to finish this piece of work. Do allow me to take it home and complete it!

Just when I thought the idea of Lenten Sewing was starting to have some appeal, I had to read about the adventures of Edith and Arabella. Sounds like a horrid gossip fest--but also an entertaining read. I do like the thought of doing some charitable sewing. This has me thinking about another stash busting project...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!  

I'm off to work wearing my McCall's 9246 jacket. It wasn't ready in time to wear for Christmas but it just happens to be perfect for Valentine's Day.  

Have an absolutely lovely day and Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

In Sewing News Today...

Have you read Overdressed: The Shocking High Cost of Cheap Fashion? I've heard a great deal about this book over at other blogs. It was Peter's review of the book that had me searching for this book for some time now. Sarai from Colette Patterns is the most recent blogger I've discovered to discuss the book.

Can you believe that I haven't encountered this book in any of the city's bookstores? Well, I was shocked to find it checked-in at the library this past weekend. And I'm thrilled to finally have a chance to read it--four day weekend coming up. So many books, so little time.

Something else happened this past weekend, I fell off the wagon again. No, I didn't pick up any more patterns. This time I came home with some fabric. My bad.

It was a vintage piece of brushed cotton fabric that tempted me to fall off the wagon. I found in the Annex at Mitchell Fabric, it is like a fantastic fabric museum down there. But I digress...

This brushed cotton was a bargain at $3.50/metre and it is 44" wide. I think it will be lovely for a Vogue 1052 Issey Miyake jacket.

Maybe that sewing resolution was just unrealistic. Wonder if I will be able to give up fabric shopping for Lent? Yeah, maybe that is what I need to do, take smaller steps.

In other news, I'm putting my sewing projects on hold while I work on the purificators.

I'm blessed. Mama R has offered to help me with this project. She offered to help with the ironing. Bless her heart. I hate ironing. She knows me so well. Of course, I don't want her to do all the ironing, but it is tempting to accept her help. Sew, sew tempting.

Well, that is all in sewing news today.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

And back to the Dress: McCall's 9264

Stash Busting 2013:  Project # 9

Fabric Used:    2.7 metres 100% polyester (including lining).

Pattern Used:  McCall's 9264, McCall's NY Collection, circa 1998.

Zipper Used:   1 invisible zipper from stash


Final fitting before finishing with a rolled hem.  

This dress was cut out last month. Left over silk was cut for the lining. I even traced out the dart marking before I realized my mistake.  

Can you spot my error?  

Yup, I was suppose to cut the bodice with the upper bodice centre front on the fold.  


Luckily, there was enough of the floral fabric to cut out a new bodice. There was not enough silk so I opted for lining fabric instead.  

Once the darts were remarked on the newly cut bodice front pieces it was back to work.  

One dart down! Off to press the dart down.  
Once the two lower darts have been sewn the lower centre seam bodice seam is sewn before tackling the upper bodice dart.  

The upper dart in place... 

... it is time to do it all over again with the lining fabric.  
All this work was worth it. I love the bodice detail.  

Well, the invisible zipper is finally sewn into place. There was about as much drama with the zipper as with the bodice front. No pictures but in my carelessness I ended up sewing a perfect invisible zipper before realizing that the front bodice was twisted. Oops! Luckily I didn't have to cut anymore fabric but I did have to dig out the seam ripper to unstitch on side of the zipper and untangle the dress bodice.

In the process of sewing this dress, I have nicknamed it the dress of a 1000 mistakes. It is almost done, just some hand-stitching left to do and the hem. I just wanted to take a break to show you how it looks with all my initial mistakes corrected.

It fits perfectly. I'm so thrilled that I was able to find a previously loved pattern in my current size.

With all the drama that I had endured, I can not hesitate to recommend this pattern if you are lucky enough to find it. This pattern is a true gem.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Alter Linens

Have you sewn alter linens? This is one of the projects that I have coming up.    

I'll admit that I'm quite nervous about this project. I was asked to sew purificators. This is a new sewing adventure, I never sewn alter linens.  

A purificator is one of the alter linens used in the Catholic Church. It is a linen napkin which the priest uses to wipe the chalise after the Communion of the Precious Blood.  

Linen napkins sound simple enough. Purificators, not so simple. There are rules and I have to admit that I had to do some research to settle my nerves. I found an online copy of The Art of Making Linens first published in 1920.  

First rule alter linens must be made in natural fibre, a medium grade linen. For the thread, 100% natural cotton thread will be used. Since these are going to be made out of 100% linen, the fabric must be pre-treated. 

And there are rules about laundering, "alter linens should not be dried in the drier except to preshrink before cutting new linens" (The Order of Saint Veronica 22). 

So far, I'm on the right path. The fabric has been pre-treated and ironed. I hope that I'm scoring brownie points with the big boss upstairs since ironing is my least favourite domestic chore.   

I'm stumped with conflicting instruction for sewing the hems. According to The Art of Making Linens the finished purificator should have a 1/4" side seam and 3/4" end hem. This does not match the sample that I was given. Hence, the nervousness around this project. Even though the linen is pretreated and ready to cut, I've held off until I know for certain the proper size and seam finish.  

I have to stop with the research despite how fascinating I find it and start sewing.

But first, I have to finish off that McCall's 9264 dress that has been hanging around my sewing table for weeks now.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 10 February 2013

McCall's 9264 Dress Progress

I managed to get a wee bit of sewing done on the McCall's 9264 dress this weekend.  

I have decided to depart from the sewing instructions before sewing the bodice side seams together.

With the side seams are left open, I stitched the skirt back to the bodice back.

The plan is to sew an invisible zipper in place with this set up.

Next the skirt front to the bodice front and then sew up the side seams. If everything goes according to plan this dress might escape the possibility of becoming an UFO.

It will all have to wait until tomorrow. Downton Abbey is on, until then...

Happy Sewing!

Give-away Winner

Good morning afternoon!

Well, it is the final day of Sew Grateful Week. I have to say, it has been fun. Instead of sewing, I spent most of my free time recovering from some stomach ailment and discovering new sewing blogs. The discovering new sewing blogs was the highlight of my week.

Before I go on any further, I would like to thank Debi over at My Happy Sewing Place for hosting this event and the opportunity to post and share our stories and projects.

Now, without an further delay let's get to that Sew Grateful Give-away! And the winner is...


That would be Kristin.  Congratulations Kristin!

Kristin blogs over at Sew Classic. Another new sewing blog that I discovered today.

I'll drop you an email shortly and will wrap up your Sew Grateful Giveaway.

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 9 February 2013

In Sewing News Today...

I'm working on the McCall's 9264 dress. I'm not feeling a great love for this project. It is at great risk of becoming an unfinished object (UFO). I think it is my fabric choice and that I am stumped at how I will install an invisible zipper with a lined bodice.

My biggest issue is the slippery-ness of the fabric. Why oh why did I chose this fabric for a project that has nine darts? This will go down as one of the world's greatest mysteries. 

The first time I made this dress, back in the day, I made it in a light weight wool. I didn't have half as much drama with the darts.  

The darts are done and I am pleased with how it looks but I'm no where finished. I had to do the whole production over again using lining fabric. Yes, more slippery fabric! 

Sew, where I am now? I'm stitching the lining to the bodice. That is going more smoothly using my walking foot. Gawd, I love that attachment! Now I'm dreading the zipper installation. I really want an invisible zipper and I'm just trying to wrap my brain around how I'm going to get it done. I think I will have to skip sewing the side seams first... This might take coffee and more thought.   

I also have to tackle Simplicity 7478 again. Mama R recently tried it on to point out all the flaws in her new dress.  
  1. The length is too long. And yes, I did pin it up when she was trying it on.  
  2. The pockets are too low.  Again, I did pin those on while she was trying it on.  
  3. The neckline is too wide at the shoulder seams and too low in the back. Awww, the classic complaint.  
And then there is the fabric. Mama R also does not have a great love for her fabric choice. I'm going to agree with her on that one.  

Now that I know what needs to change, I'm going to fix the pattern to Mama R's specifications and cut it out of a navy sateen fabric. Oh, I can't wait to run my hands along a 100% cotton fabric. The thought of it almost makes me squeal with delight. 

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you! You'll never believe what happened. I walked into Mitchell Fabrics yesterday and walked out with no fabric for my stash. Seriously. Actually, I went there in search of white natural fibre fabric. It is another project for the church. I found a beautiful 100% linen that perfectly matched the sample they gave me. But I didn't have the funds to pick up the amount of fabric that was needed. Someone will have to go back for it. But I actually walked out with no fabric. I wasn't even tempted. I was focussed on the job at hand. Seriously, I don't recognize myself sometimes.    

Well, I'm off to make the cup of coffee and try to conquer McCall's 9264.  

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 8 February 2013

It's a Wrap!

Stash Busting 2013:  Project #9

Fabric Used:  0.7 metres of embroidered fun fur? I'm not sure what to call it. But oh my goodness, it is so soft! I picked this piece of fabric up maybe back in November. It is a fairly recent addition to my fabric stash. I picked it up with the thought of making a hat in this lovely softness but then it got brutally cold and I then thought that was an unpractical idea.

Trim Used:     1.5 metres of beaded trim which has been in my stash for years.


Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Naked Truth...

The naked truth is that I have never sewn any undergarments. Yes, in all my years of sewing, not one pair. Until Sew Grateful Week!

I'm not saying that it hasn't crossed my mind, it has. Years ago I added a pattern to my stash with the intention of such a project, Kwik Sew 2028. It is no longer in my pattern stash, it found it's way to a good home. My girlish figure long behind me, I thought it was best that this pattern and I parted ways.

Well fast forward many years, I'm on this stash busting journey and I vowed to curve my RTW appetite. Oh wait, I actually said I would stop buying RTW. Including undergarments. I figure it is about time that I try my hand at sewing undergarments. I have everything I need in my sewing stash. I have no excuses.

Since I also vowed not to purchase any new patterns this year and I'm feeling a wee bit guilty about last week's fail, I'll have to pass on the oh-so-retro Betty High Waist Panties by Ohhh Lulu... ~sigh, what was I thinking? It is such a pretty pattern.

Luckily, there are several free patterns on line. It is a starting point. I also have a well fitting comfortable pair of undies that I can also use as a guide.

Yes, this is my project for Sew Grateful Project Day!

For my pair of undies I used the free downloadable pattern from Birgitte over at indiorchid. You must check out her post where you will find a rich source of information to help sew your own undergarments including a look at elastics. Thanks Birgitte!

Seriously, I am sew grateful for all the information and free pattern you have posted.

Stash Busting 2013:  Project #8

Fabric Used:  0.26 metres of cotton knit. This fabric has been in my stash for years.

Elastic Used:  1.7 metres of underwear elastic. Yes, I found this in my stash. Funny thing is that I don't remember when I bought these elastics. Perhaps, when I picked up that Kwik Sew pattern.  

I have a new pair of undies and I couldn't be more thrilled. I have to tell you that it was easier to sew than I thought it would be. Cutting out the pattern and the fabric were a piece of cake.

Then I questioned what I was up to when I pinned the crotch gussets in place. It looked crazy.

After a bit of stitching and flipping and little more stitching, I have my first pair of me-made undies.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Confession Time...

It is Sharing Day! over at Debi's My Happy Sewing Place as she hosts Sew Grateful Week. We're supposed to write a tutorial or provide an online free pattern. I'm going to have to bow out of this Sew Grateful event, I'm not prepared. But I do have something to share. It is not a new tutorial, sorry Debi. It is more of a confession.

I was bad. I broke down and picked up four lovely patterns last Friday when Vogue patterns had their $3.99 sale.

Oh, yes I did. [bowing head in shame], my bad. I feel like I dropped the ball and let my fellow stash busters down. I did manage to resist shopping the first three days of the online sale. But then I told myself that it was okay because I sold a few patterns over at I know, that was a poor excuse.

I lasted a total of thirty-two days before I broke my "no new patterns" resolution.

Do I feel guity? No, not really. I have four lovely patterns on their way and they should be here in about a month. Sooner, if I'm lucky. And I picked them up at a fabulous discount! I would never pick them up this cheap here in the city even with shipping. There, I feel better. Confession is good for the soul.

Which patterns managed to make me cry 'Uncle!' and give up on my "no new patterns" resolution? Well, if you're interested I'll share that bit of information. Here are the newest patterns that are on their way to my pattern stash.

Vogue 8882
I have a lovely blue eyelet fabric and blue lining fabric that I have been holding onto for quite some time. I think it would be perfect for this pattern.  Or maybe in the blue sateen that is sitting in my fabric stash.  

Well, at least I'll be fabric stash busting.  

Vogue 1340
I love the bodice on this pattern and would love to give it a try.  I'm not 100% sold on the skirt portion of this pattern and might have to substitute a fuller skirt.  I will have to stash bust some muslin fabric for this dress before I decide on which fabric to drag out of my fabric stash.  But I do have an orange / tangerine coloured linen that I'm thinking about for this dress pattern.  
Vogue 1281
Carolyn over at Handmade by Carolyn made this dress using previously loved tee-shirts from her family. And she made the coolest dress ever.  Seriously, Vogue needs to hire this talented woman as a stylist because it was Carolyn's dress not this pictured one from the Vogue website that convinced me to pick up the pattern.    

I am aiming for a comfortable summer dress, but instead of cutting up tee-shirts (I'm not that creative) I'm going with a blue coloured knit fabric that is sitting in my stash. What sold me on this idea is that Carolyn was able to stitch this up without installing the zipper. Gotta love that! I'm going to lengthen it significantly and make certain that wrap front detail doesn't expose too much when I wear it out in the windy city.  

Vogue 8876
This dress has pockets! I love a dress with pockets. I will have to lengthen it. Oh wait, maybe not. As long as the pattern pieces fall below my knee, I'll be happy.  I have a floral print denim that I think I would like to stash bust with this pattern.  
Happy Sewing!

Pullover Dress: Vintage Vogue 1606

  This summer Vogue Patterns released Vogue 1691 an easy to wear pullover dress.  I was smitten with this style but unwilling to pick up t...