Monday, 30 September 2013

September in Review

There was very little sewing going on around here. A sinus infection and cough that won't quit has kicked my sewing mojo to the curb. 

I do have Burda 7136 in a state of unfinishness waiting for sleeves, cuffs, buttonholes and buttons. It is a white shirt that is part of the Tim Gunn Project. I can't really say that the white shirt has my creative juices flowing but it will be a basic piece that I'm sure to get some good use once it is finished. I just need my sewing mojo to return to I can get it off the sewing table.   

Oh and there was the Mini Wardrobe contest that I entered earlier this month and failed big-time at completing. 

Yup, September was a very quiet month. I did do some shopping though. Yes, I also failed at the stash-busting this month. But I really did need those buttons for the white shirt and that half metre piece of indigio fabric is going to look stunning with the orange fabric.   

Well, here is the year-to-date stash busting adding stats:  

  • 68.76 metres of fabric, 
  • 23 previously unused patterns
  • 7.6 metres of trim
  • 17.50 packages of seam binding,
  • 10 zippers
  • 16 spools of thread
  • 4 sewing machine needles
  • 18 snaps,
  • 3 hook and eye
  • 52 buttons and
  • 3.8 metres of elastic.
And this this year I've added to my stash:
  • 43.4 metres of new fabric
  • 17 new patterns,
  • 2 metre of trim,
  • 15 packages of seam binding, 
  • 8 spools of thread
  • 2 sewing machine needles,
  • 30 buttons
  • 2 new sewing feet
  • 4 metres of elastic.  
Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 23 September 2013

Book Review

Shocked:  My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me
by Patricia Volk

ISBN:  9780307962102 

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Inc., 2013

Canadian price $32.00


Patricia Volk explores, compares and contrasts the world of two fascinating women: fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli and her mother, Audrey Volk. The two women, who never met each other, made a profound impress on Patricia Volk.

It is a love story. A touching tribute to her mother, the world of art and fashion, and the love of reading. It is a testament to the power of literature and the impact it has on one's memory and world.  

As a child Patricia Volk explains that she was curious of the books that robbed her of time with her mother. Wondering what inside the pages of the books her mother would read she first read Schiaparelli's Shocking Life at the age of ten. Volk revisits the book later in her life and highlights the differences and similarities of these two women.  Audrey believes that a woman must sew whereas Schiaparelli is not "good with a needle" yet takes the fashion world by storm with her wit and vision.

Shocked is a journey back into a long lost era with pearls of wisdom found within its pages. Schiaparelli on the request of a London newspaper offers her daughter and readers advice on the "correct way" to dress.

Only the rich can afford cheap clothes.  If something you see looks worth twice its price, you may be sure the illusion will not last.  What you buy must be good.  Cut is of the first importance, and cut of course implies fit (197).  

Schiaparelli's own advice to her daughter echoes with a eery ominous voice, well before fast-fashion threatened and crushed creativity.

Volk fears that she has let too many family secrets escape towards the end of the book, grasping onto Audrey's age as if it were a cherished family jewel. She shares what is personal and cherished, a mother's advice and her own memories.

Shocked:  My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me is a interesting look at the world of art and fashion from two different roads travelled.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Hello Autumn!

It is officially my favourite time of the year!  

It is the summer's great last heat, 
It is the fall's first chill:  They meet.  
~Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

Finally, summer is over. Hello autumn! I love this time of the year. The colours and sounds created by nature are a true gift and inspiring. It is the perfect time to brew a cup of tea and take that inspiration into the sewing room.  

Happy Sewing and Autumnal Equinox!   

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Lady-like Fashions

I have recently become quite smitten with the lady-like looks found in Vogue Couturier Design and Vogue designer patterns from back-in-the-day, more specifically the nineteen seventies. Once I get my rid of this sinus infection, finish that damn shirt and pants that are taking FOREVER to get done, find my sewing mojo and some free time, I hope to relax and challenge myself with these patterns.  

Until then, I thought I would share my latest vintage pattern finds.  

The perfect pattern!
The Sybil Connolly design has a gathered front yoke.  The yoke facing has pleats. Oh the details!

The perfect fabric!
I was sitting at the doctor's office flipping through the super heavy Vogue magazine (when you don't have your normal energy it feels like a ton!). Flipping through the pages, I saw the most gorgeous dress all in orange.

Oh. My. Goodness. I started to think about the orange fabric that has been sitting in my stash for over two years now. This fabric is perfect for fall and it has a nice stable drape that will work lovely with these gathers at the bodice. It is as if I was meant to save this fabric for this pattern. Sometimes a gorgeous fabric is just waiting for the perfect pattern.   

The other pattern that has me over the moon is another Teal Traina pattern. This is the second Teal Traina pattern that has made it into my stash. I still haven't got around to sewing the first. Life just gets too busy sometimes. But I digress (once again)... 

This Teal Traina design has a pin tuck insert. I adore the look of pin-tucks. The last time I did pin-tucks it took me forever. Luckily, since then I have invested in a pin-tuck foot that would be perfect for this project.   

Well, if a gal can't sew while she's on the mend, at least she can dream about future sewing projects.   

Happy Sewing! (and sweet dreams)...   

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sick as a Dog

This is the second year in a row that I have entered the Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe contest. And it seems to be the second year that I will fail at the task.  

Oh. My. Goodness. I'm sick as a dog this weekend, complete with running nose, headache, chills and sore throat. My big plans to fit in some sewing time are the not likely to be this weekend.   

Burda 7136 is still sitting on the dress form waiting for sleeves. And I have a pair of black British wool fabric cut out in Vogue 1325. I should have had these two items stitched up ages ago!  

Well, it is the half-way point over at the contest and I haven't finished one item yet. This is not looking good. What's looking good right now is a mid-morning nap.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

In Sewing News Today...

I think I spoke too soon when I said "Hello mojo!" in the last post.

Burda 7136 is still in a state of unfinish. Today, I did manage to get some sewing time in but I have to tell ya, I don't know where my focus has been.


It is just crazy. All I managed to do is press up a 5/8" seam allowance, stitch the collar band to the neckline and pin the other side. That was it. At this rate I'll be lucky to finish this blouse by the end of the year.

In other sewing news, I even more smitten with the Vogue 1325 than I was before. I've been wearing the two pair of dress pants as part of my work wardrobe rotation. And they are holding up to the active workplace. Not only that, the pant legs have enough ease to fit over my knee braces without feeling constricted. I think I might have to add a pair or more of these pants into the rotation.

Well, that is all in sewing news today. I hope your sewing room is seeing more action than mine has of late.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Hello Mojo!

I love autumn, it is my favourite time of the year. There is just something about it that gets my creative juices going. Maybe it is the autumn colours, the crispness in the air? I'm just happy that it is here. It wasn't so a couple of days ago.

Friday it was HOT, seriously
(by wimpy prairie gal standards) and I did not like it one bit. The temperature hit 32 degrees celcius (90 degrees fahrenheit) and I know there are people that live in those kind of temperatures year long but I don't know how they do it. I melted when I had recess duty in the afternoon and I overheated a few hours later while in the garden trying to rescue items from the predicted severe thunderstorm and hail that never came. And then I dealt with a throbbing headache and nausea well into the night and next morning.

Let's just say that I didn't get any work done on Burda 7136 this weekend.  

I'm so glad that the cooler weather is here (this week at least), hopefully to stay. I promise I won't complain when it is minus thirty-two! But I will get back to the unfinished blouse that has been sitting on the cutting table.

With the cooler crisp weather my sewing mojo is back. Once I'm home from work, it is straight to the sewing room. I can hardly wait.

Happy Sewing!    

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Taking My Sweet Time...

Burda 7136 is on my sewing table right now. It has been on my sewing table for days. It shouldn't be taking me so long to make a blouse.

What can I say, I'm taking my sweet time. I'm about half way done. Yesterday, I finished sewing and basting the collar. Later today, I'll finish the collar and facing and then move ahead on the next steps.

The last time I made a shirt in a fabric that has a similar appearance on both sides I made this great error. And this blouse also has plackets. Oh, the flashbacks!  

Mistakes happen, I just have to learn from them. I think the lesson that I took away from the McCall's 2447 shirt would be to take my time and double check before stitching. Just take my sweet time and everything will be fine.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Those Were the Days...

Here in my town, there is a small selection of a stores to find fabric. This weekend I was in search of fabric for shirts. I wanted a contrast colour to go with a yellow cotton and Fabricland did not have what I was looking for so I ventured out to Mitchell Fabrics.  I found solid coloured cottons in lots of colours and price ranges to choose from, it was heaven.

Mitchell Fabric's resident cat.  
When I brought my purchases to the cutting table the store cat was standing on the floor one side of the counter. A young woman was standing there looking at the cat. I quickly made a detour to the other side of the cutting table with my items to be cut.

The sales youth instead of serving me went to service the young woman looking at the cat.  She left her position behind the counter picked up the cat and brought it over to the other side of the cutting table.

"I'm allergic to cats," I said as she carried the cat around the counter.

The sales youth appearing annoyed with my statement put the cat down.

"It's on the other side," she coldly stated as she gave me a dirty look. And then she proceeded to cut my fabric without any further exchange.

It was a very uncomfortable situation. I know that the store has a resident cat. I know that I have to wash my purchases as soon as I get them home.

Don't get me wrong, I love animals including cats. But I'm really allergic to them.  While standing at the counter being served by the sales youth who picked up the cat before handing my fabric I was in a state of discomfort. It sucked. It was made worse by the dismissive attitude of the sales youth.

I left the store not feeling like it was a piece of fabric heaven. I left longing for the fabric shopping experiences of the by-gone days of when I lived in Toronto. And where sales-folks actually cared about customer service and they shared their knowledge and passion about sewing and fabric. Those were the days.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 2 September 2013

In Sewing News Today...

I just finished watching The Great Gatsby. I know, it was released months ago.  

The costumes were just fantastic, I can see why there are so many Gatsby themed parties and sew-alongs occur every year.  

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie and will recommend it if you haven't already had a chance to see it. It is a great movie to kick-start your sewing mojo.  Mine has been wavering a bit lately.  

Talking about movies, have you seen Lee Daniel's The Butler? Another movie that I will recommend. There are a few sewing scenes in the movie but that is not the reason I recommend it. Don't worry I won't spoil it. But I will say that the costume department on this film also did a great job.  

I did manage to get two projects cut out this weekend. Another pair of pants using Vogue 1325. I'm sure you are probably sick of me talking about this pattern. I just can't help myself, it is one of my favourite patterns at the moment. The next pair of pants will be in a black suit-weight British wool.  

The other project is the Burda 7136 shirt pattern. I did cut it out with a few pattern alterations. 

First, I went up a couple of sizes where the shirt moves towards the hip measurement. I always tend to find this a problem area in RTW shirts. The other issue is the sleeve length, I shortened it significantly and now wonder how it will look with the placket which appears to come all the way up to my elbow now. We'll have to just wait and see how it turns out. I'm on the fence about the back darts. I'm planning on basting those before I commit to actually stitching the darts in place.  I hope to fit in some sewing time later today.  

Well, that is all in sewing news for now...

Happy Sewing!   

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Tim Gunn Project

Next up:  The Classic White Shirt.

I pinked the edges of my white fabric and threw it in the wash for a pre-shrink. Well you wouldn't believe how much it frayed!

I don't believe that there is 50% cotton in this fabric by the amount of fraying, the other 50% is suppose to be polyester. I'm going to take care with pressing this fabric.

Moving along, I changed my mind on the pattern when I stumbled across Burda 7136. I've read some great reviews and I'm going to give this pattern a whirl.

It has sleeve plackets and even french cuffs! For this white shirt I'm going to make style A. Burda lists this pattern on it's website as a vintage design. Whatever they want to call it, I think this pattern will work as a classic white shirt.

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...