Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September in Review


This marks the end of National Sewing Month. This year's theme is Sew for the Charity of It! I didn't manage to complete any charity sewing this month but I am getting ready to sew four angel costumes for the upcoming Advent concert at work. Did you manage to fit any charity sewing this month?  

L to R:  Butterick 6182, OOP McCall's 2485, OOP New Look 6107, Vogue 8975, Butterick 6097

It was actually a quiet sewing month as I spent most of my free time wearing a wrist brace, again. This was starting to annoy me and cut into the one thing that I love to do. And that would be sewing. I finally went to the doctor's office after the swelling wasn't settling down reaching my I-can't-stand-being-out-of-sewing-room point. Thankfully, I have a gel that seems to be helping with the swelling and pain and hopefully will be back in the sewing room in no time.   

RTW Fast

I'm really proud of myself that I made some gym gear this month because that has been a RTW downfall in the past. I did, however, fall off the RTW Fast wagon when I picked up a pair of cotton tights.


Sewing Supplies
Used from Stash (this year)
Additions to the stash (this year)
Basting Tape
5.71 metres

Bias Tape
0.5 metres



1.3 metres
1.63 metres

88.64 metres
114.2 metres
4.16 metres

Lace Trim
1.2 metres
6 metres
1.9 metres


Hooks and Eyes

16 previously used
25 new
24.75 metres
13 metres
Serger Thread

Sewing Machine Needle


Spools of Thread

1 - 22" separating
4 - 22” invisible
1 - 12" invisible
2 - 8”  invisible
1 - 7" invisible
1 - 8" regular
1 - 18" zipper
1 - 8" invisible
1 - 22" invisible 
Tops / Shirts
Pants / Shorts
Coats / Cape

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Oh My Goodness!

Have you heard of O! Jolly!? I was checking out the next Pattern Review contest and it is a Sweater Knit contest that is coming up for October. And O! Jolly! is the contest's sponsor.  

I never heard of O! Jolly! before reading about the contest and OH! MY! GOODNESS! have you seen this fabric

Double Knit Merino wool fabric and it is available in the most beautiful autumn colours. I might be bias here since I think autumn is the most beautiful season ever.  

At $26.00 a 23 X 23 inch panel, I couldn't possibly justify this luxury item. Besides my sewing skills and sewing equipment aren't up to handling this knit fabric the way it deserves. But it is so pretty isn't it and just think how toasty warm it could keep you while skating at the park shovelling the drive-way. Yeah, it is too pretty for snow shovelling.

I won't be entering the contest as I already have enough more than enough on the sewing table. How about you, will you be entering this newest contest?

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Winter / Holiday Vogue Are Here!

Best day ever.

Today is the first day of my favourite season and the new Vogue are released. What more can a gal want?

There are some interesting designs in this release.

This one, Vogue 1472, caught my eye right away. This does not say winter to me at all. Zandra Rhodes must be designing for the ladies who spends their winters soaking up the Florida sun or perhaps on a cruise ship because crop tops and strappy sandals do not say prairie winter. Sew moving along... 

My favourite part of the Winter / Holiday collection would have to be these shoes shown with the new Marcy Tilton pattern. I do like the pattern, Vogue 9161, as well but I don't need another skirt and top pattern.  

There is another Kathryn Brenne pattern that I quite like. Vogue 9162 consists of patterns for a jacket, shirt and pants and it looks so comfortable. Now this look would work for a Canadian winter. But I don't need this either.   

Here is another pattern, Vogue 9153, that caught my eye. Love this fabric! The pattern reminds me of the Marcy Tilton pattern previously mentioned, Vogue 9161 with that pocket and those darts. And again I don't need another funky jacket.  

I seem to notice a lot a dropped shoulders in this release. Its not a good look on me, it tends to make me look like I'm drowning in my clothes. So, even though there are a few things that I do like, I'm going to pass on this Winter / Holiday collection which is a good thing since I already have more than I can keep up with in the sewing room.  

How about you, were there any patterns that you're tempted by?  

Happy Sewing!  


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Active Wear

Stash-busting 2015:  New Look 6107

I need tops to wear to the gym and I thought that I would sew a pattern that has been in my stash for quite some time. I used this pattern previously (many moons ago) for my best friend but never for myself until now.  

The Pattern:

Multi-sized OOP New Look 6107 is a pattern for a fitted top (very fitted). I was scared when I was sewing that it would be too tight and decided to sew the sides with a half inch seam allowance. It was unnecessary but I did because I do appreciate the extra ease. I didn't sew the pockets only because I couldn't find the pattern piece. I'm thinking about adding a patch pocket to hold my iPod while I'm working out.  

I also didn't follow the instructions after reading them. I decided to serge the seam allowances and top-stitch instead of sewing welt seams. And I sewed the sleeve cap first before sewing the sides. Other than that, this was a very quick make.

The Fabric:

I found this light-weight sweatshirt fleece at Northwest Fabrics and it found its way into my stash last year. 

I pre-treated the fabric with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer. My fingers are crossed that no more shrinkage will occur in future laundering otherwise I might have to lose a few more pounds to continue wearing this one.  

The Stats:

Fabric:     1.2 metres $9.75 ($8.99 - 20% off + taxes)

Pattern:    I have no idea how much I paid for this pattern, it is priced coded with a colour and it is decades old.  

Thread:     I'll average out about $2.00 towards premium serger thread and 100% cotton sewing thread used to sew this project.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 21 September 2015

Is Velvet and Velour Making a Comeback?

Okay, I'm not sure if velvet and velour is really making a comeback or if the fabric store stocking up on Halloween fabric? I've been noticing velvet fabrics appearing at the fabric store over the past few weeks but yesterday I almost let out a bloodcurdling scream when I turned around and spotted a table of velour fabrics.  

I'm not kidding.  

I wish I were, but I'm not. 


And then I laughed at the thought of velour tracksuits making a comeback. Oh gawd, please no!  

Even scarier, I have some stretch velvet-like fabric in my stash from the last decade that this fabric was "in" sometime last century. I even have a black with a taupe floral print velvet in my stash. This might be my opportunity to make that 1920's Archival Collection coat and cape from McCall's. 

It would make a cute fall coat (that I would have nowhere to wear such a item). Or I can wear it for Halloween by adding a strand of pearls for a flapper look. And then donate it to the Costume Museum of Canada.  

This just might be the year that I stash bust all that velvet and stretchy velvet stuff out of my stash without ending up with a track suit [queue the bloodcurdling scream track].  

How about you? Will velvet or velour become part of your Halloween look or do you have other plans for this luxurious fabric?  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 13 September 2015

It's A Wrap! Or Is It A Cape?

Stash-busting 2015:  McCall's Fashion Accessory

If you have been visiting the blog lately, you know that I've been inspiration shopping and am all over the cape trend this season. Well, I finally have a cape.

Or is it a wrap? It feels like a wrap but the pattern lists this as a cape.  Tomato, tomatoe.

The Pattern:

This cape is made with OOP McCall's 2485. I completely forgot that I had this pattern in my stash, circa 1999, until I stumble across it earlier this week. It consists of one pattern piece. 

It couldn't be easier except I had to take care of pinning and cutting this out as my fabric hung over the edge of my cutting table. Sewing wise it just called for a roll hem. The pattern is designed for Polar Fleece® and it is the only fabric suggestion listed which makes one wonder, do you really need to do a roll hem on Polar Fleece®?

The Fabric:

I didn't use the recommended fabric. Instead, I used a houndstooth suiting fabric that I picked up at Northwest Fabrics about two years ago. My fabric frayed like no-body's business so I serged the edges before moving onto the rolled hem.

I did not pre-treat my fabric before cutting out this project and I'm okay if it shrinks a bit because it sits at a longer length on my five-foot frame than it does on the model. Although, I do like the longer length--it makes it stand out from the RTW versions I've seen in the stores.  

The Stats:

Fabric:   2.10 metres $21.33 ($8.99 + taxes)

Pattern:  OOP McCall's 2485 $10.12 ($11.95 - 25% off + taxes)

Thread:  $2.00 (averaged out cost for serger and sewing machine)

Time:    Weeks deciding on this pattern, about an hour to press the pattern and cut the fabric, and another hour at the sewing machine.  

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

In Sewing News Today... (More Capes!, Fabric Suggestions and Sewing Bee)

I'm waiting for the big announcement of who is advancing onto Round 2 of the Sewing Bee over at Pattern Review. I'm not expecting to advance on the the next round. Heck, I was amazed that I actually finished a fitted shirt in time. Sometimes, I amaze myself.  

Talking about amazing, have you seen the new fall Marfy patterns? I'm scared to try one of these since they are single-sized patterns geared to the expert sewer who doesn't need instructions. I'm a multi-sized gal who is a life-learner seeking out new sewing skills and am not shy to admit that I like reading instructions. And I like to look at what new patterns are coming out.  

Marfy Cape 3757

I thought this was a cute pattern for a cape (yes, I still have capes on my brain) but with that zipped up front and collar it would be perfect for blocking a chilly wind.  

Marfy Vest 3795

And this vest also caught my eye along with the fabric suggests for these two patterns. Vicuna! They list vicuna as a suggested fabric. Did you read The Coat Route?  

Vicuna is the fabric used to make the coat mentioned in this book. Until I read this book, I never heard of this silky soft wool found in back rooms of luxury tailor shops. Nor, have I ever, knowingly, stood within close proximity of such fabric. So you can imagine my surprise when I read it as a suggested fabric. Now, I really think Marfy patterns are out of this prairie gal's league! I'm not that glamourous.   

More my league is OOP New Look 6107.  

I really could use some more gym wear. I'm lacking in the comfortable top department. And looking through my pattern collection, I came across this pattern, in my current size. Bonus! I believe there is some white light-weight sweatshirt fleece in the fabric stash that will work out (sorry, bad pun) for this project.  

I don't know when I'm going to get around to this project since at night I've been sporting (oh boy, I'm just full of bad puns) this fashion accessory again. The tendonitis is acting up again. It has been recommended that I take a break from sewing or computer work at half hour intervals. Yeah, right. I would never get any work done and once you get started on a project, well... would you be able to stop every thirty-minutes or would you push through?  

Hopefully, it will be all rested if up I make it on to round 2.  

Well, that is all in sewing news... 

Happy Sewing!  

UPDATE:  The winners of round one and the contestants moving on to round two are up. Congratulations to all! I didn't make it to round two but I feel like a winner because the Sewing Bee forced a procrastinator (me) to get that fitted shirt off my sewing table within a week. Woohoo! Are you following the Sewing Bee? I can't wait to see what round two has in store.  

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Look What I Found!

I've been impatiently waiting for the new Fall McCall's patterns to arrive in the city because I have been dying to get my hands on McCall's 7259

Burberry Coliette Cape / Lightweight Wrap

I've been inspired by all the wraps and capes that have been appearing in the retail landscape this season. When it is chilly at work, I often wish I had a blanket wrap to throw over my shoulders or as outwear on top of a denim jacket on those cool autumn days. Those autumn days are around the corner. But I digress... Thankfully, my RTW fast pledge is safe as I'm not tempted to pick one up, as all of the ones I've come across in the retail arena have acrylic list on their labels. And I'm not a fan of how acrylic wears and pills. And I wouldn't forgive myself for purchasing something I could have made quite easily. I could just finish off a big rectangular shape to make it easy.    

Or I could use a pattern. And you'll never guess what I found in my pattern stash.  

Yes, I had a pattern for cape sitting in my stash. Right under my nose! 

And I have some wool houndstooth fabric that would be prefect for this project. Now, I don't need to add McCall's 7259 to my collection, even though I think it is a lovely cape with its vintage vibe. OOP McCall's 2485 (circa 1999) will work out just fine for this project. I can't wait to get busy on this one.   

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 7 September 2015

Fitted Blouse

Stash-busting 2015:  Butterick 6097

Goodness knows I do love a peplum. Sew would it be any surprise that I chose Butterick 6097 for my fitted blouse entry in Pattern Review's Sewing Bee?

I didn't really intend on signing up for the Sewing Bee just because my schedule is about to get hectic again. Back to work tomorrow--YIPPEEE! But when I saw that round one is the fitted blouse I thought this is just the push I need to add something already on my sewing list. 

The Pattern:

Butterick 6097 has princess seams and a pleated peplum that I quite like. This is the second version  and I made a couple of adjustments from the first. I made a sway back adjustment and slightly lengthened the sleeves from the shortened sleeve length. I also like that this is a combination sized pattern and that I was able to customize the size to my own body.  

The Fabric:

The shirt is made in a medium weight Indigo Wax Katagami fabric from Japan. I found this gorgeous cotton fabric at Fabricland last year and picked it up earlier this year when it went on sale. It has a narrow width but thankfully, I picked up enough for this project. I actually picked up enough for a dress and now have a small length remaining. I think there might even be enough to use in another version of Vogue 1455. But that is another project for another time. I used the wrong side of the fabric as a collar band contrast and as the underside of the collar.

I pre-treated the fabric with a tumble in the washing machine, dryer and then a steam press on the cotton setting. It handled the pre-treatment process like a champ and didn't lose it's beautiful hand.  

The Stats:

Fabric:             2.1 metres $14.24 ($20.00/metre - 70% off + taxes)

Interfacing:     1 metre $3.39 ($6.00/metre - 50% + taxes)

Buttons:          nine 12 mm buttons $3.62 (4 packages - 50% off + taxes)

Thread:           $3.00 (priced out to cover the cost of serger and sewing thread)

Pattern:           Butterick 6097 (already priced out in this version)

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

In Sewing News Today... (Say What and Buttons)

So Sew, I received this email flyer earlier this week. Fabricland is having a "Buy One Get 2 Free" sale this weekend.  
It sounds good, doesn't it? And I did need buttons for the fitted blouse that I'm making. And check out the cute graphics on this announcement--see the salient position on the centre left with the four and two hole buttons graphic. I really did believe that shirt buttons would be on sale for Buy One Get 2 Free. Not so cute was when I got to the store to discover that the buttons shown on the graphics were not included in the Buy One Get 2 Free sale. The Buy One Get 2 Free deal only applies to covered buttons. I did ask one of the store clerks who said there wasn't enough room on the email announcement to add "covered." Really? They couldn't make the banner or text size smaller to fit the word "covered" next to buttons? Things that make you go hmmm.  

I still bought the buttons that I had picked out for my fitted blouse project. They were marked down to 50% off which might make you wonder why I'm even writing about this. Well, it is just that I felt like I was duped with a bait and switch scheme. Not cool.

Talking about buttons, would you pay $4.67 (US) for a button? How about $42.00 (US) for a set of nine? How about if it looked like these?

I gasped with joy when I saw these buttons over at this easy shop. They're handmade buttons based on replicas of Portuguese tiles. I haven't been to the city of Porto but these do remind me of the tiles found on the island of São Miguel. I won't be picking them up since I already have buttons for my blouse but they do make me nostalgic for a by-gone time. I think they are just lovely.

Well, that is all in sewing news today.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Months in the Making

Stash busting 2015:  Jungle January Jacket

Yes, this is finally my 2015 Jungle January project. I picked up the fabric for my Jungle January project back in January. I even cut this project out during the time. What can I say, I'm late to the party.

The Pattern:

This Marcy Tilton pattern, Vogue 8975, is for a pull-over dress and unlined jacket. I have to say that I'm not all that convinced about calling this a jacket. It is more like a cardigan sweater than a jacket in my eyes. Let's just say, whatever we call it, it's extremely comfortable and fun to put together.  

The pattern for the cardigan-jacket is my favourite from this pattern even though at some points I did have to re-read the instructions and take a second look if I missed any markings. And this happened right from the start.  

The instructions ask you to sew buttonholes where they are marked on the jacket front (front and back are cut as one piece with no shoulder seams). However, my pattern piece does not have any buttonhole markings. Ooops!  

I figured it out easy enough, so this doesn't even qualify as a complaint rather just an FYI. And take care to transfer all the markings. You'll be glad you did when it comes to sewing the sleeve. And don't worry about seam finishing until you have it all pieced together. I finished my seams on the serger.

The Fabric:

The masala and grey animal print fabric is a light weight animal print that I found at Mitchell Fabrics. I picked up the last 1.6 metres on the bolt which happened to be the perfect amount for the jacket. Did I mention that this was supposed to be my Jungle January 2015 project [holding head in shame]. Maybe I should be starting Jungle January 2016's outfit now. But I digress...

I used a piece of Knit-N-Stable™tape where I placed the buttonhole. It is a stretchy fusible seam tape that provided some stability for the buttonhole sewn on a single layer of fabric.

I used the walking foot and the knit stitch (lightning bolt) on my sewing machine. For the most part, everything worked out fine until tried to speed things along. 

And this happened to remind me that slow and steady is the best way to go. Thankfully, I was able to push the fabric out of the plate without any visible damage and get back to work.

The Stats:

Fabric:            1.6 metres of lightweight knit @ $28.84 ($15.95/metre)

Ribbon:           1.5 metres @ $2.40 ($1.40/metre)

Pattern:           Vogue 8975 (already priced out when I made the dress)

Sewn on:       Janome 4120 QDC using the knit stitch and the walking foot. 

Seam finish:    Serged on Janome MyLock 234D.  

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Lisette Dress

Stash-busting 2015:  Mama R's New Favourite Dress Pattern

Yes, this has turned into Mama's new favourite dress pattern. She has already asked for another as soon as I add patch pockets to this one.  

The Pattern:  

I made this dress with Butterick 6182 which is the same pattern that I used for this top. This is a quick and easy make with a lovely front bust dart detail from the centre front seam.  


Mama R did request some design changes though  
  • additional ease under the bust line towards the hemline
  • an invisible zipper in the back
  • add patch pockets
  • 1 1/2" instead of 1 1/4" hem.  
Minor changes. The best part of this pattern is how happy she is with the fit. The dress does not require a zipper to get it on and off. Mama R just finds it easier to get out of a dress if she's able to unzip it rather than pull it over her head. 

The Fabric:

It is a 100% cotton fabric that has been in my stash for a few years. It is a perfect weight and fabric for this hot summer weather. It was pre-treated with a tumble in the washing machine, dryer and steam pressing. It handled all pre-treatments very well.  

The Stats:

Fabric:  2.7 metres $14.64 ($16.00 - 70% + taxes)

Zipper:  22" invisible zipper $2.20 ($3.90 - 50% + taxes)

Needle:  sewing machine needle $0.76 ($5.40 / package of 4 - 50% off + taxes)

Thread:  $3.00 (in consideration of thread used in the serger and on the sewing machine)

Pattern:  Butterick 6182 (pattern has already priced out in previous makes)

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

In Sewing News Today... (National Sewing Month, Capes, and Other Sewing Plans)

Happy Sewing Month!

National Sewing Month had its start in the early nineteen-eighties as a means to recognize the importance of home sewing. Ironic that it was also the time of free trade deals, the decline of the North American sewing industry and the rise of fast-fashion.  

Today, we continue to celebrate our passion for sewing with National Sewing Month even though sewing for most of us is a year-long celebration.  

This year's theme is "charity." Do you do any charity sewing? This month I'll be doing charity sewing for the school I work at when I work on four angel costumes for the Advent concert. I wonder if I'll get them done by the end of the month. We'll see...       

✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄

I can't believe that this is my final week before I head back to work. YIPPPEEEEE! Lay-offs are difficult and somewhat depressing especially when summer time is not one's favourite season and mosquitos are flourishing. I could not stand to be in the garden--the mosquitos were that bad. I managed to harvest one zucchini, two tomatoes and two cucumbers before the mosquitos drove me back indoors. But I digress... It will be great to get back to work. And then again I'm going to miss my sew-when-I-feel-like-it sewing schedule. Maybe that is why I love autumn so passionately, I'm back to work and it is mosquito free.  

Along with scenery like this vine draped tree, doesn't it make you want to break out some plaid? Nature is full of beautiful surprises and so colourful this time of year! All these happy things has me gleefully considering autumn sewing projects.

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During my last week before heading back to work I would have loved to use the time to make a cape. Did you see this one that recently came out of the new McCall's pattern release?

McCall's 7259
This pattern is for a coat and comes with a detachable collar and cape.

I love the idea of this cape and thought that it would look cool (and very Canadian prairie chic) in a red plaid over a jean jacket. That was my plan but sadly the new McCall patterns have not arrived at the only fabric store that carries McCall's. I'm sure they will get here once I'm back to work and have less time on my hands.  

Bummer, because look at the back neckline darts. Aren't they beautiful? I guess it is a blessing in disguise that the pattern is not available around these parts since I do have a lot on my sewing table already.

✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄

So Sew instead of a plaid cape, I will spend my final week off sewing another hoodie. 

This past weekend I pre-treated this blue knit sweatshirt fleece for my next version of kAtheRine Tilton's hoodie, Butterick 6253. This time around, I am using a sweatshirt fleece fabric with a higher cotton count, only 10% polyester in this beauty. It is thicker than the previous fabric and has a firmer hand. And it didn't wrinkle like the other fabric after it was pre-treatment.

Right now, I'm trying to decide on a zipper from my stash. The pattern calls for a twenty-four inch zipper but since I'm shortening the length of the tiers I can go with a twenty-two inch zipper no problem. The only twenty-two inch zippers in my stash are the black ones.  I wonder if I could get away with an even shorter length since the blue or yellow zippers are my favourite colour choices. What do you think? Make it work with the blue or yellow zipper or go with one of the black zippers?

✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄

In other sewing news, have you checked out the "Inspired by Books" contest entries over at Pattern Review? This contest has me filled with over-the-moon happiness. The participants were inspired by poems, novels, characters and even books themselves. It's great reading about how their clothing was inspired and woven together by the printed word. As a book geek and someone with a B.A. in Literature (this might explain the annual lay-offs--take note college and university students), I was all over this contest. I'm just glad I'm not a judge, there are so many inspired entries. Go check them out!

Well, that is all in sewing news today.  Happy Sewing and Happy National Sewing Month!

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...