Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February In Review...


Yeah, there wasn't any sewing going on as I recover from a tailbone injury and trying to get my right leg to match in strength with the other one.  I miss sewing terribly. I've tried, there was an attempt to work on the new Marcy Tilton top, Vogue 9244, that ended in frustration early on in the process.

I'll admit to trying to get off the pain meds and feeling cranky while not being able to enjoy a hobby used I love. I have attempted to sewing microwave cozies a few minutes here and there but it ended with the top of my leg/hip hurting. This all just made for a sad month of longing. Tailbone injuries suck.  

Fabric & RTW Fast:

Yeah, [holding head in shame] I didn't do well in these departments. After I quit my job it was recommended that I keep moving, so I hit the mall bored out of my mind and picked up a few items. There were these shoes.  
Swoon. They were so comfortable. Yes, I wrote that in past tense. They were promptly returned when I convinced my unemployed self that I need a job more than a pair of shoes.  At least these shoes got me out of the house and moving two days in a row.  Yeah, I just admitted to quitting my job after the school principal and supervisor pulled me into the office, questioned a doctor's note and suggested that I didn't injury myself nor need modified work duties for two days I work in the JK classroom.  What added insult to injury was that the fall happened at work on a newly waxed floor in front of witnesses! I felt humiliated, insulted and stupid for popping medications to get through my work day. Even though I miss my job and the wonderful teachers that I worked with, quitting was the best thing I did because it meant that I could attend medical appointments during the day and concentrate on my recovery. Sadly, it also means I'm unemployed and unable to sew. I can sympathize with The Sewing Lawyer having the time but not able to do the things one wants is, well, "GAAAAAAH!" But hopefully soon I will be working both at a job and finding joy at the sewing machine. 

But I digress... it explains why I fell off the fast wagon, too much free time on my hands and orders to keep moving. Yeah, I know it didn't mean shopping but it was too icy to be outdoors.   

I may have returned those swoon-worthy shoes and a cashmere sweater that was in my possession  oh-so-briefly, but not any fabric. I'm still hopeful that I will be sewing again. There was a fabric label printed cotton that I found at Mitchell Fabrics and some lovely silks at Fabricland. Fabricland had their big Members sale at the end of the month and I stocked up on cotton and serger threads. There is hope in the air.  

The Stats:

Quantity Used from the stash this Month 
Quantity Used this Year
Added to the Stash this year
Basting Tape
1.12 metres
Bias Tape
1.8 metres


Cord Stopper

0.8 metres
6 metres
22.2 metres
16.9 metres
Fusible Tape
8 metres
Hand needles

Hook and Eyes

2.1 metres
1 metres
Lace trim
2.6 metres
Pattern (new)

Pattern (previously used--TNT)


Serger needles

Serger thread

Sewing machine needles


2 metres
2 metres
7 metres



Happy Sewing! 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Fifteen Minutes at a Time..

I will tell you, back in January when the physiotherapist said that it will be awhile before I'm sewing again, I was skeptical. Seriously, how long does a tailbone injury take to heal? Well, it seems it takes awhile. And it's quite painful. I miss sewing.  

The good news is that I've been given the go-ahead to try fifteen minutes of sewing at a time. It might take awhile to get something done but at least its something. It's still painful to sit and I'm working up to 15 minutes if I'm not on pain meds. I don't like take medications since it makes me drowsy and well that's not at all helpful when sewing. So what's a gal with a tailbone injury to do? Take it slow.  

I'm slowly tackling the new Marcy Tilton jacket, Vogue 9244. I actually cut it out weeks ago when the pattern arrived. Saint Anne, Patron saint of seamstresses seems to still be messing with me. As I cut out this pattern before checking out these cautionary reviews.

Over the past couple of days I worked up to step #7 to discover that something was not right. I thought it was my own error since I also discovered that I cut out pattern piece #2 out of the fashion fabric instead of interfacing. My bad. In my defence, I'm been functioning on pain meds. The width of the pocket (3) and pocket facing (4) does not match the width of the side front (5) as shown on the right. If I pin the sides together on both edges, as shown on the left, there is a noticeable pucker come from underneath of the upper pocket edge. ~sigh~

Not only doesn't this pucker match the sample jacket on the pattern envelope, it doesn't match the illustration in the instruction sheet. It wouldn't normally bother me this much if I weren't this sore, but it is just an added pain in the tailbone area as this will send me back to the drawing board to slash and spread the pocket and pocket facing and recut more fabric. Not to mention the 1.8 metre of Knit-N-Stable™tape that's now wasted on the pocket facings. 

Maybe sewing wasn't a good idea. I really don't have the energy and mindset for this and this it's not putting me in a happy mood. I fear Vogue 9244 is about to become an unfinished object (UFO) until I'm feeling better. Thankfully, there is enough left-over fabric to cut out new pockets and pocket facings.  

Happy Sewing!  

Happy Louis Riel Day!

I have to admit, I raised an eyebrow last week when I spotted a sign regarding the upcoming long weekend at the local Fabricland store. In our part of the county, this weekend's holiday is called Louis Riel Day but the store signage referred to it as "Family Day." Hmmm, you would have thought that the local staff would have noticed?  

Back in 2007, Louis Riel Day was named by Manitoba school children in a competition to name the holiday. So needless to say, I found it sad that the store chose to adopt a name that does not acknowledge our regional history instead adapting a name that is only observed in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. 😞  

L'Assomption Sash/ Metis Sash
Now, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan are not the only provinces that observe this weekend with a holiday. Nova Scotia marks this weekend with celebrating Nova Scotia Heritage Day and Prince Edward Island observes the weekend as Islander Day. It makes me wonder if the Eastern Fabricland stores have the same notice in their store windows. Or perhaps it is just a local blooper?

Whatever you're celebrating this long weekend, Family Day to our neighbours next door to the east and west, Nova Scotia Heritage Day to the folks over at the east coast, Islander Day to the folks on the eastern island and Presidents' Day to those south of the border, here's to wishing you a happy one.

Whether or not you celebrate this weekend with the passion for Louis Riel and his life's work, one can not deny the cultural influence of the Metis people to Manitoba. Festival du Voyageur is in full swing and the Metis Sash is worn with pride and can easily found in local shops. It's when I found myself at a rack of sashes at Value Village thinking what a beautiful blanket it would make if the sashes were stitched together. Of course, that's if I didn't have enough sewing projects on my wish list.

Happy sewing & celebrating whatever holiday you chose to celebrate!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

How Political is Your Wardrobe?

Fashion, as we have seen in recent weeks, is political. U.S. President Trump in his not-so-eloquent address over the Nordstrom decision to drop his daughter's line of clothing highlights how the politics of fashion are in play. Even if it meant disregarding a statement he previously made that "the president can not have a conflict of interest." But that is a whole other story left for another time and venue. It is actually a Globe and Mail article, "Designing Dissent", that has me thinking about the politics of fashion.

Most recently the Pussyhat Project became the latest political fashion trend to hit the streets. But since the January 21 protest march this political symbol has moved from the street scene to an artifact at the Michigan State University Museum. Did it become a symbol of the march or a conversation prompt leading to change as the co-creators hoped it would? According to the Globe and Mail article, "[f]ashion translates our world but rarely offers social commentary" offering a cynical look at the recent appearances of political symbols on the fashion runways.

How political are our wardrobes? I've never understood how people consider fashion as frivolous when there is identity and environmental politics at play with wardrobe choices made. I've participated in the RTW fast movement because of the environmental impact of fast fashion.

And the fact that I can make better quality clothes than I can find in the ready-to-wear landscape. Sewing is certainly a political act for me.  So I found the closing statement of the Globe and Mail article hard to swallow, "protest in the fashion industry rarely makes it past the end of the catwalk." I have to strongly disagree. A simple article of clothing or a certain style of dress may not seem to have an immediate political impact. But the critiques of society are historically underlined by the way we dress and signal our approval or discontent with the world around us. And these critiques do not appear and disappear on the catwalk, they're created in our creative spaces as well.

So, are there articles of clothing that made it into your closet because of a statement you're trying to make?

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm not sewing yet... just revisiting a sewing project from 2014 and sending out valentine wishes.  

Monday, 6 February 2017

Monday's Mending Pile: Does Thread Have an Expiry Date?

My new-(ish) coat made it to the mending pile this weekend.

This coat has proved to be quite warm and is holding up to the elements (and outdoor duties) so I've been wearing it to work. A lot. That means it doesn't get the gentle care that it deserves. Instead of hanging on a hanger, it is shoved into a locker, dangling from a metal hook. And that is how this hole developed from where the neckline and under collar meet.  

This mending task proved to be an easy peasy fix, no sitting (thank goodness) required. I was able to lean it on the back of a chair, stand, and hand-stitch the opening close. This time I used jean thread since the thread I sewed this coat with did not hold up to the reality it faces. And that got me thinking about whether or not my thread could have been to blame?  

Does thread have an expiry date?  

According to Bob Purcell, the senior threadologist at Superior Threads, the answer to that question is yes. The thread that I initially used to slip-stitch the under collar to the lining is of a certain vintage. I'm can say for certain that the salmon coloured thread was purchased at designer's going-out-of-business sale back in the eighties.  

And I have to admit that I have spools of thread that are wrapped onto wooden spools. When was the last time you seen wooden spools at the fabric store? So yes, they're that old.  

If threads have an expiry date, why are they not date stamped? How do you find out if they're past their expiry date? Whip Stitch has a test that you can use to check if your thread is up for the sewing job. 

I don't think I would ever toss a spool of thread. Seriously, I'm proud of my frugality. But maybe I might save those older spools for temporary basting and underlining tasks.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

McCall's 7541: Retraction

Remember last month when I said that I was undecided about McCall's 7541? Well, I'm withdrawing that statement. I now have a very strong opinion of this pattern.  

This pattern is perfect. 

So you might be wondering what changed. I brought it to work yesterday and gave it to one of my co-workers thinking that perhaps one of her daughters would like it. My colleague tried it on, then and there, and oh my goodness, it was perfect. She's taller than I am and I guess the height difference between us made a huge difference on the fit of this top. The neckline wasn't too wide or low on her, it was absolutely perfect.  

She wore it today and looked awesome and words can not express how good I felt that it's being worn by someone who likes it. 

I guess now I should say, if you're a petite size (I'm five foot) you might want to consider doing a muslin first. I can't remember if the pattern pieces have the markings to lengthen or shorten the bodice pieces but after re-reading the review I wrote over at pattern review, I originally quoted the back envelope description. 
Misses' Tops: Loose-fitting, pullover tops have length and front and back overlay variations. Note: No provisions provided for above waist adjustment.
Maybe taking it in from the shoulder seam and adding at the hemline length might work if I have another go at this pattern? Or should I re-shape the neckline? Of course, that will have to wait until I can sit without an aid. I'll have to think about this more when I'm not all doped up on pain meds. The cape overlay piece has quite a lot of narrow hemming to it and I don't think my tush is in any condition for that right now. But when I'm up to it, it will certainly be worth another go.    

Until then... Happy Sewing!  

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