Thursday, 31 July 2014

July in Review


There has been a lot of sewing this month, nine items in total (one pair of knickers is missing from the collage). I finally finished the jacket for Mama R that I should have finished last year. And then she took the opportunity to throw more sewing my way.

Even though I did manage to squeeze in a few more than a few projects for myself I still haven't started that Chanel-esque jacket I was hoping to make this summer. So much to sew, so little time! It is all good, I'm grateful for the sewing time.

RTW Fast

I'm happy to report, I was good this month.

One hundred fifty-two days to go. Can that be right?

Stash busting

I haven't been as good when it came to stash busing. Our parish priest sent some fabric my way not knowing that he was enabling my fabricholicism. God bless him.  But he wasn't the only one who enabled my fabric addiction, I'm pleading guilty to adding more fabric to my stash and will have to take some of the blame. My bad.

Added to Stash
61.5 meters
2.7 meters
1.5 meters
Sewing Patterns
Spools of Thread
Sewing Needles
Pant Hooks
0.40 meters
6.2 meters
12 meters
Bias Tape
2 meters
Hook and Eye or other Closures
Basting Tape
5.4 meters

The Month of Pattern Give-aways

This month I've been trying to find good homes for some of my un-used patterns. Many of my patterns in my pattern stash are ones that no longer fit my body. This month, there were eight patterns that have found new homes where they will be used and appreciated (my hope for them). Stay tuned on Sunday evenings when more pattern give-aways will appear next month too.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Pattern Give-away Winner: The Hanging Out on the Patio

Good morning!

The sun is shining here and the forecasted high is supposed to reach 28 degrees C today, perfect for a "hanging out on the patio themed pattern give-away!  

Okay, I won't keep you waiting any longer. The winner is...

Congratulations Vernelle! 

Vernelle asked a question when she entered, "Got any more that need a good home?"

My answer is "Yes!" 

I'm trying to find good homes for an out-of-control pattern stash. I have a lot of lovely patterns that once-upon-a-time did fit me. And niece who I dreamed that I would one-day teach how to sew and who would one-day inherit my pattern collection. Well, I've come to the realization that I may never again be a single digit size and that my niece has her own interests. So, this summer, now that I have the time off, I've been trying to host a weekly give-away to find a few of these good homes.  

Stay tuned, there are more pattern give-aways to come.  

Vernelle, Congratulations and would you please email me at grrracar (at) gmail (dot) com and I will send these on their way.  Thank you to everyone who entered.    

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Cotton Knit Dress

Stash busting 2014:  Easy Breezy Dress

Fabric:    2 metres

Pattern:  McCall's 6747

This pattern made it to my stash thanks to the lovely Carolyn who sent it my way. Carolyn won the sailor's dress give-away earlier this summer. And she sent me a surprise email asking if I would like to try McCall's 6747. Would I?

Yes! I love that it looked like a easy comfortable fit.

Thank you Carolyn, I love this pattern.

I decided to go with this fabric, the green and white knit eyelet.  

I picked this fabric up at Fabricland not too long ago, probably late last year when I found it in the discounted area. It is a lightweight cotton knit and perfect for summer-time wear. The eyelet embroidery on the fabric was flawed in some parts and I did have to be careful and work around that when cutting out my pattern pieces. Luckily, I had extra fabric to play around with the placement. And there's some left-over fabric that I might be able to knock off a pair or two of knickers with white lace trim.  

I was working with a size medium, it is a perfect fit in area above the waistline. From the waistline and below I had to do some adjustments. I have hips. I added 1" to the seam edge giving me another four inches of ease all around. Working with the pattern for the first time I worried if I would have enough ease. There are conflicting reports around as to whether the pattern is for a close-fitting garment or a loose-fitting garment. I'm going to say this is a close-fitting pattern and I'm glad I added a bit more ease in the hip area otherwise I would be turning it into a tee-shirt.  

I chickened out of the placket after reading some of the reviews. Even though I do like the look of the placket I also like how it turned out without the placket. I cut the neckline piece the same size and just put the centre front as the centre back. It worked out fine. I kept the length of the dress long and cut the three-quarter length sleeves. It is not quite a maxi dress, it sits just above my ankles. I hemmed the dress and sleeves using a twin needle.

I think this is a perfect dress for running around to do errands this summer. And I can see how some people say that this would make sweet pj's because it is that comfortable.  

Happy Sewing!  And thank you Carolyn!  

Monday, 28 July 2014

Unintentional Housedress

Stash busting 2014:  McCall's 2176

Fabric:  1.5 metres

Zipper:  22" invisible zipper

This turned out to be an unintentional housedress / wearable muslin for Mama R. It came about because I'm trying to find a simple dress pattern that I can use for another fabric and I found this pattern in Mama R's stash.

It is McCall's 2176, a super easy make. It is a well drafted pattern but I will have to tweak it a wee bit to make it work for the suiting fabric I have in mind. Mama R will need more ease in the waistline area if I'm going to make this other version.

I did add some ease to the centre front of the dress when I cut out the fabric. And I straightened the centre back adding a zipper while I was at it. About six and a half inches below the lower armhole I eased out to the narrowest seam allowance. It is wearable and will work as a housedress. But if I'm going to make another one I will have to give it a workable seam allowance and ease through the body of the dress. The neckline is a little wide too. I'll have to tweak that as well as shortening the shoulder width.  

The fabric may look familiar. It is the same fabric used for this dress. I had enough left-over fabric to test out this pattern. It was nice to stash bust the last bit of this fabric. The fabric came from the home decor department at Fabricland. It is a silk screened 100% cotton sateen.

Not too much else to say about this "relaxed fit" dress. It is a good basic pattern that I will reshape to work with this wool fabric. I will keep the pockets and line them.  I'm actually excited about making a matching dress and jacket as soon as a fix up the dress pattern.

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pattern Give-away: Hanging Out on the Patio

This week's pattern give-away is all about enjoying the summer time.  

McCall's 5274 is a patio package pattern that has it all! 

Chef's hat, apron, oven BBQ mitt, potholder, oval placemat with ruffle, oval placemat with binding and tufting, rectangular placemat with ruffle, rectangular placemat with napkin ring, square table cloth, round table cloth, rectangular tablecloth, napkin, flower pot cover, folding chair cover (two different styles), picnic bench cushion and chaise lounge pad patterns and instructions are all found in this pattern.  

Vogue 7305 is easy pattern for Misses' shirt, top, skirt, shorts and pants. It is a multi-sized pattern that has sizes 8, 10 and 12.   

Loose-fitting shirt has collar, collar band, dropped shoulders, mock-front bands, front extending into tie ends and long, two-piece effect sleeves with pleats/button cuffs, rolled-up (wrong side shows). Close-fitting self-lined top has shoulder straps and back extending into tie ends. A-line, wrap skirt, above-ankle, has tie ends and narrow hem. Wide-legged shorts, micro-mini or straight-legged, cuffed pants, lower calf, have contour (below waist) waistband and purchased cording. D: side slits, narrow hem.  

Here's the deal:  

  • Promise not to sell them. 
  • I will ship internationally using regular post.   
  • Give these patterns a good home where they will be used, shared, and made into fabulous things.  
  • Leave a comment below and I will draw on Wednesday, July 30th using random number generator.  
  • If you include a way that I can reach you if you win, that would helpful.  
Good luck and happy sewing!  

Saturday, 26 July 2014

She Just Can't Get Enough Dress

Stash busting 2014:  Simplicity 2372

Fabric:    2.3 metre

Zipper:   22" invisible zipper

Thread:  1 spool polished off

How many versions of Simplicity 2372 do you think Mama R's closet can hold?

This one is number six and she has also asked for another one. I swear she just can't get enough of this dress pattern. She swears it is the most comfortable dress. Who am I to argue, as long as Mama R is happy all is good with me.  

The fabric is a navy satin crepe. The slippery factor makes this a challenging fabric to sew but moving the sewing machine from its usual spot helped with keeping the fabric from sliding off the table edge. There is enough to make another dress. Shhh!, don't tell her.   

Nothing new that I haven't cover in the other five versions, this one is made with the changes Mama R requested on the last few. She wanted the neckline changed so that it is not as wide as this one along with making the sleeves longer. The length has been shortened since Mama R is a petite sized lady. And that is about it. She wants a matching jacket to go with this and guess I better get to work.    

Happy Sewing! 

Friday, 25 July 2014

In Sewing News Today...

Lucky me! Guess what came in the mail yesterday? McCall's 6747, it is a gift from Carolyn. 

Thank you so much! 

I can't wait to sew this up, I'm trying to decide on a knit from my stash. This one... 


or this one?

I'm going to have to try and sneak it onto the cutting table this weekend.  

Right now I'm busy cutting out more projects for Mama R. We went shopping at Northwest Fabrics yesterday and she picked up some black fabric for a couple of dresses and a top.

I do have a project that I do want to make for her, another jacket. I picked up this fabric at Northwest late last year.   

The plan is to make another jacket, like this one, using Vogue 8916. I have all the pieces cut out and then discovered that there is enough left-over to make another garment. Hence, the dress pattern with the fabric. My initial thought was to make a skirt but Mama R prefers dresses. She asked for another dress using her favourite Simplicity go-to pattern but I'm not too keen on the pattern with all those pleats around the neckline with this fabric. Instead, I found this pattern, McCall's 2176, in her stash that I will give a try and if it works out okay, I'll cut the dress in the rest of this black and white fabric to match the jacket.  

While at Northwest during this recent trip, I did pick up a couple of things for myself. I happened to find white denim, where was this back in April?  

At this price, I would be crazy to leave it behind, right? Peter and Michael did a lovely job on selling white pants the other day. Maybe a pair might be in my future? Or perhaps a dress since there is enough fabric here to knock one off.  

And this fabric was also a good deal. No specific project picked out for this fabric just yet.

This red and white houndstooth weave fabric was too cute, a suit perhaps? I did pick up enough for a jacket and skirt.  

Anyway, that is all in sewing news today. What is on your sewing table?  

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Pattern Give-away Winner: The Jacket Package

Thank you to everyone who entered the pattern give-away!

I won't keep you waiting....

The winner of the jacket pattern package is number ...

Congratulations SewDiane! If you would drop me your mailing details at grrracar (at) gmail (dot) com I will drop these pattern in the mail.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Pattern Give-away: The Jacket Package

This week's pattern give-away is all about jackets, McCall's 5007, McCall's 5937, Vogue 8480 and Vogue 8715.   

The first three patterns are jacket only patterns, Vogue 8715 also has patterns for a skirt and pants. All of the patterns are combination sizes 6, 8, 10, 12. And they are all unopened and factory folded patterns.

If you are interested promised not to sell them, give them a good home where you will use them, share them and make something fabulous with them and leave a message below. I will ship internationally and will draw for these using random number generator on Thursday, July 24th.

Good luck and Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Creamy, Dreamy Jacket

Stash busting 2014:  Vogue 1263 Jacket

Fabric:      2.9 metres

Thread:    1 spool

Button:     1 large decorative button (maybe)

I forgot how many darts are involved in the creation of Vogue 1263! There are a total of sixteen darts in the making of this jacket, four in the back shawl collar plus another four in the facing.  And there are those beautiful six darts that start from the back hemline and radiate upwards. The two double pointed dart in the front near the pocket. Yes, all those darts give this jacket the incredible shape. You're going to have to take my word for it with these photographs that are not doing the details justice.

There are also flat felled and french seams that give this jacket a beautiful finish. I won't talk much about the flat-felled seams as I did write about them when I made the first version of this jacket. The french seam finish on the pockets is a nice finish. I didn't do these on the first version but I'm glad I took the time and did them here. What a difference!

The fabric is a 2014 addition to my stash. I fell for it when I first laid eyes on it two years ago at Fabricland but waited until it was a bit more affordable. It took awhile until it reached my affordable range and luckily the last bit on the bolt was enough to make the jacket. That's what you can call cutting it close (sorry for the pun). I actually cut this out in February shortly after I picked it up but it took some time to get around to sewing this up. It feels soft, it is not wool but has the thickness of wool, but also like a soft felt, the label said there is a high amount of polyester. My fingers are crossed that this fabric won't pill because right now it looks great. I just hope it wears well over time.  

Pinned front as I debate if I should put the button on, hmmm?  

The button that I have in mind has been in my stash a decade, at least. I picked it up at Courage My Love in Toronto. I plan to go with the majority vote and used the rectangular shaped button if I go with a button after all.

You see, I just have one problem when it comes to sewing the button and buttonhole. My Janome sewing machine has this wonderful automatic buttonhole maker. The problem is that the button I want to use is too big for this feature on my sewing machine. Mama R has a Singer sewing machine that can make any size of buttonholes but she is not too keen on letting me use her machine. I don't think she has completely forgiven me over that Singer threadle incident.

Yeah, after seeing this picture and looking this wide,
maybe I should keep it open and skip the button? 
I could use this opportunity to learn a new-to-me technique and sew a button hole by hand. Or I can take the easy way out and see if Stitch It! would sew a buttonhole for me.

For now, I'm considering this project done until I decided how to tackle the buttonhole. Or maybe I'll leave it alone and go without. Until then...

Happy Sewing!


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Vogue 1263: Pattern Ratings

While working on Vogue 1263, I've been thinking about the "easy" rating that's assigned to this pattern.  


The description from the pattern envelope states that it is a "very loose-fitting jacket [that] has front extending to shawl collar, side front dart seams extending into pockets, two-piece sleeves, back princess seams, no side seams on lower jacket, back darts stitched down and flat fell seam finishing." 

This pattern has a variety of darts throughout the jacket, a double pointed front dart, back hemline darts, neckline/shawl collar darts. The darts on this jacket give this pattern the three dimensional shaping that makes it so unique. The flat felled seams finish off the look both inside and out. 

It made me wonder how Vogue patterns define "easy" since some other sewers have rated this "difficult but great for advance sewers" over on Pattern Review. Vogue patterns offers these definitions:
Ease of Sewing—Know Before You Sew
VERY EASY The easiest and quickest patterns to sew. Great for beginner or the experienced sewer with limited time available. Expect limited construction details, hand sewing and fitting. Easy-to-sew fabrics are recommended.
EASY Easy-to-sew patterns but with more details than the Very Easy category. Perfect for those with limited sewing knowledge or little time. Expect a wide variety of sewing procedures—there will be more details when the techniques are simple and fewer details when the techniques are more involved. Some fitting knowledge required.
AVERAGE These patterns are perfect if you have more time to sew, and more experience sewing. Look for challenging designer techniques, tailoring, unique construction details. Expect more fitting and inner construction. Find more variety in fabrics from the stretchiest knits to synthetic leathers and suedes.
ADVANCED The finest patterns featuring the best of European and American Couture. Perfect for those who like the sewing challenge of professional tailoring and fine couture techniques. Expect intricate fashion shaping, hidden construction details, couture inner construction, fine touches of hand sewing and bias draping.

I don't know if I would rate Vogue 1263 an "easy" project after making Vogue 8916. Vogue 8916 had princess seams just like Vogue 1263 but no darts, not even flat felled seams. It did have a lining which was simple to sew as it was a direct copy of the outer pieces. Yet, Vogue 8916 was given an "average" rating. 

Even with underlining the Vogue 8916 jacket I still felt that it was an easy project. I thought that Vogue 8916 was easy and this project, Vogue 1263, is an "average" project because of all the time that went into sewing the numerous darts and finishing off the seams and even the pocket construction took more time that the pockets on the previous jacket.  

I don't know if I would say this jacket is "perfect for those with limited sewing knowledge or little time," I will say that I would highly recommend it. I wonder if I would be more agreeable with the "easy" rating if I chose a "novelty organza, wool crepe, taffeta or cloque" fabric recommended on the pattern envelope? 

Anyway, the latest version is almost finished. Just have to solve a buttonhole issue, sew the button and snap some pictures.  

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 18 July 2014

Interrupting Vogue 1263 Sewing...

Update:  Patterns are ordered, everything on the website is perfect.  Counting down until they arrive, I suspect about four weeks. That should give me some time to clear up the other projects in queue.

My Vogue 1263 jacket sewing was interrupted by a very important notice.

I got a email notification that there is a big sale including the new fall Vogue patterns. I should be ready to sew that Marcy Tilton jacket and Lynn Mizono dress by the time the patterns get here. As the excitement built, I ordered the patterns only to discover a glitch. At check-out the patterns are showing up as pre-sale prices.  

I'm going to have to interrupt my Vogue 1263 sewing again later and see if all the glitches are ironed out.  

Happy Sewing!  

Vogue 1263: Marking and Pockets.

Vogue 1263 has to be one of my favourite patterns in my collection. I made this jacket in a boiled wool a couple of years ago. And I've dreamed about making an off-white version ever since I laid my eyes on this fabric. I had to wait quite some time for it to go on sale.

I do remember that I had some issues with the pockets when I made the first jacket. They look fine from the outside, you can't notice any issues unless you look very closely at the inside of the jacket.

Yea, it is not pretty. In my defence, I believe I was on tylenol 3 at the time. But I digress...

On the first jacket I cut the pocket interfacing out of muslin. This time I cut the pocket interfacing out of fusible interfacing. Fusible interfacing is what is recommended in the pattern instructions. The fusible interfacing worked beautifully. I don't know why I didn't go with it the first time.

I noticed over at Pattern Review that most people left the pockets off but I love the pockets. Those who did the pockets, myself included on the first one, mentioned that they also strayed from the pattern instructions. Here is my take on the pockets, follow the instructions.

Take the time to transfer all the markings carefully. It will pay off in the end. I found it easier to keep everything aligned by basting in place after I matched up the markings.

You'll need to match up the markings with right sides together. Stitch the pocket facing to the jacket front/back along the stitching lines, cut and clip.

Flip the facing to the wrong side, top-stitch and turn over again.

Now you can pin the pocket to the pocket facing, stitch a 3/8" seam allowance, trim...

... flip and press.

Stitch again, finishing off with a french seam.

Now, these pockets are pretty, if I do say so myself. I think it is worth the work and recommend that if you want to sew up Vogue 1263, don't skip the pockets. They really are a lovely feature of this jacket.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

In Sewing News Today...

I have cut out the fashion fabric for Mama R's navy dress and jacket using her two favourite patterns, Simplicity 2372 for the dress and Vogue 8916 for the jacket.  

The fashion fabric is a navy satin crepe. I really dislike sewing this fabric. Mama R know that.  I think she gives it to me to sew just to bug me. For me, sewing satin crepe is up there with sewing curtains and table cloths. Yuck!, (yup, it is up there with my least favourite kind of sewing). I don't know how people sew bridal stuff, I couldn't do it. But I admire their talent for sewing such challenging fabric. I just have to get over it and remember who I'm sewing for, Mama R.  

I'm going to have to rearrange my sewing space so that the fabric doesn't hang over the table edge while I'm sewing. And I think I'll need to pull out the walking foot to contend with the slippery-ness of the fabric. Not looking forward to this project. Yup, not looking forward to it at all.  

So I'm procrastinating. I pulled out a sewing project that has been in my sewing drawer for more than a couple of months now.

It is Vogue 1263, the Donna Karan jacket from a few years ago. I made one version in a indigo coloured boiled wool but this new one will be a cream coloured jacket. I love the details in this jacket.

Maybe by the time I finish this project, I will have built up the courage to take on that satin crepe...

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Pattern Give-away Winner...

Good morning!

The pattern give away winner for McCall's 8133 is...

Entry #4...

Congratulations Nancy D!  Nancy blogs over at Sewing in Surf City. This is a new-to-me blog that I will have to check out. Nancy, could you send me an email at grrracar(at)gmail(dot)com and send this off the pattern.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 14 July 2014

New Vogue Patterns

Vogue Patterns just released their new fall patterns. These are on the want list!

Mizono Vogue 1410

Marcy Tilton Vogue 9035
Do you have any favourites?

Another Pattern Give-away!

I was organizing my pattern drawer and came across this, McCall's 8133. Someone has to make this dress! I think this dress pattern would make a cute summer dress, that is why I bought it. It has been in my pattern stash for way too long, I've out-grown the size since I bought it and before I had a chance to make it. So, I need to find a good home for it.

It is a petite-able pattern, circa 1996, (size 6, 8, 10),
Misses' Dress in Two Lengths:  Fitted bodice with round or square neckline has princess seams, full skirt, gathered to the bodice, side seam pockets and back zipper closure.   
Promise not to sell it, use it, share it, give it a good home and make an awesome dress with it. I will ship internationally.  Just leave a message below and I'll draw for it on Wednesday, July 16th. Good luck!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Verdict

Mama R tried on her newly finished jacket.

She loves it!

(Don't worry, she doesn't plan on wearing it with that dress. I just wanted to snap a photo to show off the fit.)

She said it was just what she hoped for before she handed over some navy satin crepe and asked that I make her another one and a matching dress. And also put in a request for a black dress.  

It looks like Mama R is planning to keep me busy sewing this summer.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wool and Silk Jacket: Vogue 8916

Stash busting 2014:  Mama R's Jacket

Fabric:      1.2 metre of suiting fabric
                1.2 metre of silk organza
                1 metre of lining
                0.5 metre of horsehair canvas

Thread:    1 spool was polished off

Pattern:    Vogue 8916

The Fabrics:

I've been all around town for the materials to put together this jacket. If I'm not mistaken the fashion fabric was in my stash for over a year. The fibre content of this suiting fabric is a mix bag even though I have been referring to it as a wool and silk blend. Actually, it is a 1% polyester, 9% nylon, 35% wool, 22% silk, 11% cotton and 22% viscose fabric that feels wonderful. The subtle purple thread that is running through the weave has a metallic look to it.

I found this at Mitchell Fabrics when they were having a sale and picked up the last bit on the bolt. I would have bought more if there was some available. My initial thought was to make a suit and then just a skirt for moi since there wasn't very much, but when Mama R was admiring it I knew that it was meant for her. At that point, I didn't know that it was destined to become a jacket until Mama R spotted Vogue 8916 and said she liked the shape of the jacket.

The silk organza I found at Northwest Fabrics and has been part of my stash for over a year. It works like a dream at giving the fashion fabric shape. And the bemberg lining I found at Fabricland. It has not been in my stash as long as the other fabrics. I actually picked the lining up late last year, once I knew what the fashion fabric was destined to become.  

The Pattern:

The jacket pattern from Vogue 8916 is the only thing I've tried so far. The pattern is wonderful to work with. I did put more work into the project that I outlined the other day but if you don't go that route, it could be a quick project. I really like the pockets hidden in the princess seam. Mama R likes everything about it and only made minor changes.

I would highly recommend this jacket pattern. I would also recommend putting in the extra work to underline the jacket. It really did make a positive difference to the shape of the jacket. And I did find the time spent doing all that basting and hand stitching to be relaxing. Who knew?

Happy Sewing!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Building a Good Foundation

I'm working on Mama R's jacket, Vogue 8916. This is the second time that I am using this pattern.  

Mama R has been window shopping for a new jacket for quite some time and she has quite a few RTW jackets in her closet. The trouble is finding one that fits and looks good. This project has been long overdue! Mama R was actually the one who spotted this pattern and she has re-designed it to hit all her wants and needs.  

She asked that I lower the front neckline curve down one inch and add another inch to the length of the jacket. She also requested full length sleeves instead of three-quarter length sleeves. The biggest changes were made to the inside of the jacket.  

All of the pattern pieces (excluding the lining pieces) have been underlined with silk organza. Underlining is not called for in the pattern instructions but I recently became a fan of underlining after seeing the difference that it makes to a garment after I worked on Vogue Couturier Designer pattern from the nineteen seventies.  

The jacket front calls for fusible interfacing in the instructions but I went with a horsehair canvas instead. Horsehair canvas is used for interfacing tailored clothes so I figured it would be perfect for this project. Little details that I believe are making a good foundation and hopefully Mama R will have a jacket that she has longed for.   

Happy Sewing!  

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...