Monday, 31 July 2017

July in Review...


The summer months for the past few years have been the time when I typically find more time for sewing but not this year. Thankfully, I've been working. I've found a part-time job at a fabric store. I know, it sounds like a dangerous place to be working but believe it or not, I haven't been buying out the store. Might be that after standing all day and doing all that physical work, the last thing I feel like doing is shopping for fabric. This job might be the best thing to help me with the fabric fast!  

I did manage to get some sewing done, all these projects were made with fabric from the stash. My sewing mojo received a boost with the appearance of Tessuti's Eva dress pattern. There is one hideous sewing project that I made when I was sick, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it, that has been omitted from the project photo above but counted in the stats below.    

RTW & Fabric Fast:

Okay, so working at a physical job didn't keep me away from fabric shopping. As matter of fact I went in on my day off and picked up 2.1 metres of 100% linen I spotted in the home decor department marked down to $4.00 / metre. The plan was to make a pair of pants until someone mentioned they make beautiful kitchen towel and now I'm thinking linen kitchen towels would be a lovely host / hostess gift to have when the occasion is called for. 

The RTW fast is so easy, I don't even have to think about it. I'm looking forward to the day when I can say the same about the fabric fast. Only 2.1 metres is not bad though, right?      

The Stats:

Quantity Used from the stash this Month 
Quantity Used this Year
Added to the Stash this year
Basting Tape
0 metres
3.83 metres
Bias Tape
5.8 metres
6.5 metres
4 metres

Cord Stopper

0 metres
15.5 metres
38 metres
12.3 metres
79.6 metres
Fusible Tape
3 metres
39.26 metres
6 rolls
Hand needles

Hook and Eyes

0.6 metres
6.2 metres
6 metres
Lace trim
2.6 metres
Pattern (new)
Pattern (previously used--TNT)

1.1 metres
3.3 metres
Serger needles

Serger thread

Sewing machine needles

2 metres
7 metres


Happy Sewing! 

Friday, 28 July 2017

The Most Comfortable Dress EVER!

Seriously, it's the third version of the Eva dress by Tessuti patterns and I can't get enough, it's that comfortable. I wouldn't mind making one more with some silk sitting in my stash. But I digress... 

This latest version is made with a light-weight cotton that I picked up this past spring. It's perfect for the current hot weather. I found this lovely paper thin fabric in the clearance section at Fabricland marked down at 70% off and fell for the yellow and orange and some other colour (kidding the burgundy in there is nice too). Despite it lightness, it is not a sheer fabric which make it a perfect fabric to wear for those hot and humid days.  It was pre-washed in the washing machine followed with a tumble through the dryer and then a pressing. It handled the pretreatment process without any issues but I did notice that it is prone to wrinkling and handled the heat of the iron well.  

The pattern is divine. Do I really need to continue to gush over this pattern? If I had a whole closet full of Eva dresses, I would be happy just wearing them for the rest of my life. It's that comfortable. But that would make for a boring sewing blog so I promise to move on. Soon. Ish. I'm kidding, the Lily dress, another Tessuti Pattern, is next on my radar.  

I did make one small change to the design with this version. I narrowed the neckline by an inch and it's now I don't feel like I'm flashing everyone if I bend over.  And there is still enough room for it to remain a pullover dress.   

This is the only version that I made bias tape with the fashion fabric. I also used Knit-N-Stitch tape around the neckline as I did in the first version but my stitching around this area is not as clean. The sewing machine needle that I had used during this section was not the best and when I changed it to a finer needle, size 11, it was a great improvement. I continued to used the Tessuti ribbon as labels saving the ones that came with the patterns. 

The Stats:  

Fabric:  3 metres 

Pattern:  The Eva dress by Tessuti Patterns

Needle:  An universal size 11 for the sewing machine

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Sewing machine, screwdriver, serger, silk pins, scissors, thread clipper, measuring tape, measuring gauge, ruler, bias tape maker, iron, ironing board, pin cushions, good tunes, many breaks, and coffee.  

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

In Sewing News Today...

Does it seem odd that it's late July and Vogue Patterns hasn't yet released any fall patterns? Carlos has posted some videos from the upcoming fall release. They're being such a tease! There is a beautiful short curved hem jacket he shared recently that has me dying to see the rest of the details. But then again, do I really need anymore patterns? I don't think so. And besides, I'm busy enjoying my new Eva dress pattern. I'm currently working on my third version.    

It is almost nine months when I made this statement,
I still have man-made fabrics in my stash but from this day forward, I'm saving my pennies for the natural fibres. No more man-made fibres. That's my new fast. 
All three versions of my Eva dress have been in natural fabrics, two cottons and one linen version. Even my recently made pin-tuck shirts were made in natural fibre fabrics. I may not have been able to commit to the fabric fast but at least I've been doing better on this one. It feels good to have clothes made in fabrics that are comfortable, look good, last longer, and have a less harmful impact on the environment.  

Small steps towards big changes. Right now I'm considering what to do with the polyester and rayon that is lurking in my fabric stash. 

Well, that is all in sewing news today...

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Some Mistakes Are Worth Repeating...

I made another Eva dress and this time I incorporated the seam allowance error of the first one into this project. The additional width of the seam allowance is probably why I didn't find this to be as oversized as some had warned.    

I did find another issue that I didn't notice in the first version. I found that the bodice "that sits at high waist" according to the pattern description actually sat at the lower end of my waist. I shouldn't really be surprised since I'm not exactly a tall person. I guess with the floral print version it wasn't as noticeable as well. I ended up taking in the seam in another 3/8" for a totally shortening of 3/4" from the waistline. The lower tier was also shortened two inches. And the sleeves were lengthened by an inch. The pockets were raised slightly but became the perfect height after I took in the waistline seam.   

There were other changes as well. 

The pattern calls for "Vilene tear-away" and to be completely honest I had no ideal what this was and looking at the photographs I assumed it was a type of interfacing. On the first version I used Knit-N-Stable tape but I really didn't find it necessary since it is finished with seam binding. Curious as to this mystery notion, I discovered that Vilene tear-away is a embroidery stabilizer that helps to prevent fabric from puckering and provides a smoother finish to edges. I can see with how the edges that are finished with the bias cut fabric could benefit from such a product but I didn't use any reinforcement on this version and I'm happy with the final result. No puckering and a nice smooth finish. It could be attributed to the fact that I used my walking foot for this project. I was too lazy to change feet.   

I used store-bought seam binding instead of cutting and making my own. I still had taupe coloured bias tape left over from the spring coat project. I used extra wide double fold bias tape for the dress hem and used narrow double fold bias tape for the sleeve hem and neckline finish.  

I didn't follow the order of construction laid out in the booklet. First, I started with sewing the shoulder seams, then the neckline finish before moving onto the sleeves. The pattern booklet suggests sewing a fitted sleeve with easing at the sleeve head. I didn't find this necessary at all since this is a well-drafted pattern. I had no problem flat pinning the sleeve in place.  

With the side seams left open, I then moved onto the skirt panels. First sewing the centre front and back seams then attaching the bodice to the skirt pieces. Sewing the pockets became one of my final steps and again I did things a little different. I didn't sew the pocket piece between the notches instead sewing it from top to bottom after I serged the curved edges. And instead of sewing a 1/2" seam allowance I sewed a 3/8" allowance.  

Once the pocket were stitched to the side panel, I pressed them open and pinned the side of the dress from the hem, through the side, around the pocket curve, turning at the side seam and ending at the sleeve side seam all with a 5/8" seam allowance.  

And this dress took me an afternoon to complete at a leisurely pace. Gotta love that!  

The fabric, shockingly, is a light pink colour. I know, I know, for someone who claims to dislike pink there seems to be a lot of it creeping into my wardrobe of late. The only explanation I can come up with is that it was on sale. Oh and it doesn't look so bad with grey hair. But I digress... 

I picked this 100% linen at Fabricland when it was 70% off. It was pre-treated with a tumble in the washing machine and then a tumble in the dryer before I steam pressed it with an iron. Even though it was pretreated in the washing machine I plan to hand wash it and hang to dry now that it is finished. It handled the pretreatment process without any issues and hopefully there will be no more shrinkage because I like how it fits.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.6 metres 100% linen

Bias Tape:  2.8 metres

Pattern:  The Eva Dress by Tessuti Fabrics

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, sewing machine, serger, walking foot, tailor's chalk, measuring tape, tailor's ham, pressing mitt, many breaks, coffee and good tunes.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Eva Dress by Tessuti

This is my first project using Tessuti patterns and I'm even more impressed with how it turned out than I was when the patterns arrived.

Let me start off by saying that the Eva Dress is one comfortable dress. I adore the lantern shape of the lower portion of the dress and there are pockets. Pockets are always a win detail. I can easily see another copy making it's way onto the next project list.  

A few people have mentioned that Tessuti patterns run on the large size but I didn't find this to be the case. I chose my size according to my bust measurement and no complaints. The only changes that I was aware of when I made this version was to the length and the pocket placement. I shortened the lower section at the hem by two inches and raised the position of the pockets. Unknowingly, I sewed the seams with a 5/8" seam allowance when the instructions call for a 1/2" seam allowance. Oops! This may be why I didn't find that the pattern runs large, as others had warned. Obviously, I didn't read the instructions throughly before I proceeded with the sewing since it seemed like a pretty straight forward project after flipping through the pages of the book.    

The light-weight cotton stretch fabric originates from Northwest / Marshall Fabrics and made it into my fabric stash a few years ago. I did find that I used more fabric that was called for in the pattern instructions. According to the pattern, I should have only needed 2.45 metres of 140 cm fabric. I used three metres and did not have enough left over fabric to cut bias strips so I made another trip to the store for some matching bias tape. Which wasn't a big deal because I discover picot elastic was back in stock on that trip.  

It is a quick project for a comfortable summer frock and I'm sure another version will soon appear.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  3 metres of cotton stretch fabric

Bias Tape:  2.9 metres

Fusible Tape:  1 metre

Pattern:  Tessuti's The Eva Dress

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, thread for the sewing machine and serger, walking foot, pins, cutting table, iron, ironing board, scissors, thread clippers, measuring tape, Burda tracing paper, highlighter, pencil/pens, wrist brace, many breaks, good tunes, and snacks.  

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

You'll Never Guess What Happened Today!

I stopped in at Marshall / Northwest Fabrics and was surprised when I came across this, 

picot elastic! There's an assortment of colours to chose from, ivory, pink, navy, black and grey. Needless to say, I was over-the-moon thrilled and picked some up. Once I have my current project completed, I'll have to dig out my Simplicity 8229 pattern again.    

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 14 July 2017

My Sewing Mojo Arrived in the Mail!

If you follow on instagram you already know that I'm coloured impressed by the amazing service I received from Tessuti Fabrics.  

These lovely patterns arrived yesterday, beautifully packaged, with labels and my newly found sewing mojo. I decided to let go of the Butterick pattern for now and make the Eva Dress instead. I need something loose-fitting and comfortable more than I need a new top.  

Now, I just need to find time to sew!   

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


Oh my goodness, when it comes to sewing projects, I have the attention span as Dug from Up!  

I have projects cut out and in various stages of completion yet they sit there as I move on to the next project just to get bored by it as well. Remember this one?  

Yes, I was super excited to get my hands on that Marcy Tilton jacket pattern and cut out my fabric only to lose interest when I discovered an issue with the pocket pattern. The project moved to the side-lines as I considered if I wanted to fix the pocket pattern piece's width and cut out more fabric or omit the pockets all together.  

And that Sybil Connelly coat project, still in a state of is-it-ever-going-to-be-finished? [holding head in shame].  I took a break from my fitted sleeve struggles. Bias cut sleeves with a cotton sateen stretch wasn't the best fabric choice. I think I need to cut down the curve on the sleeve cap.  

And last night, I started to lose interest in my latest project, Butterick 6492. I don't know if it was because I'm uninspired by my polyester fabric or that I was too tired to actually sew. But I was dangerously close to giving up on the latest project.  

I have a whole bin full of unfinished projects waiting for some attention. I think this is the source of my inability to focus and finish something. Is it this clutter that is taking up space on the sewing table that is my distraction?

I feel like I need a vacation from all things sewing related and maybe I'll come back with a fresh outlook. That's just crazy-talk, isn't it! Or maybe I just need to step away from the polyester fabric that wasn't even my first choice. 

It's all about the fabric that can play a part in seeing a project to competition. And as we can see, I've made a few less-than-perfect fabric choices. I need to make some tough decisions about some fabrics in my stash.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 9 July 2017

In Sewing News Today...

McCall's released their early fall 2017 line of patterns this week echoing fashions found in the RTW landscape. I get that atheleisure wear is not going anywhere anytime soon but there is nothing that bores me more.  

And throwing in the cold-shoulder detail is not making it anymore interesting. Nor is throwing on a pair of heels with the atheleisure.  

McCall's 7636, Early Fall 2017
And if atheleisure is not one's thing there is a flashback to decade past. No, I'm not talking about the Archive Collection pattern, McCall's 7625, with it's sweet ode to 1955. 

No, I'm talking about the flashback to the nineteen-eighties nightclub scene. 

This is meant to be a cosplay outfit, right? Or a possible Halloween costume idea? Well, all I can say is that I don't know why I even bothered to look at McCall's patterns. I'm finding that they offer less and less that I find interesting. It wasn't always the case. I miss some of the designs from the NY Collection they offered in the past. And I'm going to revisit one of them for my next sewing project.  

For my early fall look I'm going to work on a muslin for this jumper/dress, out-of-print (OOP) McCall's 7352. I have some graffiti print denim that I like to make it out of once I get the fit all sorted out.  

How about you, any plans for fall sewing?  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Slow Sewing

This is the second version of Butterick 6026 and I'm really pleased with how this version turned out. The pin tucks stand out in a solid colour and they are my favourite feature of this Katherine Tilton design.

Again, I used my blind hem foot to make these pin-tucks. I really like how they turned out over using the pin-tuck foot.

This project, however, took much longer to finish with over two weeks from the time I cut it out to the finish. It has been an activity in slow sewing as I was feeling under the weather that dismissed my sewing mojo to a near non-existent level. It is nice to finally see this project complete.

I have to echo all the praise that this pattern has earned over the years, it really is a comfortable shirt. Even though I find this a comfortable top, I did adjust the design to allow for more ease. The back has double pointed darts as part of the design that were removed and the curve at the waistline was adjusted when extra ease was given at the side seams. I added 5/8" from the hemline grading up to zero at the bottom of the armhole. There were, surprisingly, no adjustments made to the hem or sleeve length. These lengths were perfect on my five-foot-one frame.

This photo shows a true representation of the colour.

The fabric is from Marshall / Northwest Fabrics and I found it in a section labelled linen fabrics but also included some cottons. They have a very small selection of linen. There is a little doubt that it is a 100% linen because it doesn't wrinkle like other linens in my stash. Marshall / Northwest is notorious for not labeling their bolts of fabric and there is a trend in the fabric stores to label fabrics as one content when it is actually a blend. Perhaps this is the case? Maybe I'll be proven wrong when I test it out with a day of wear? I pretreated the fabric with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer. I didn't find that it wrinkled as much as this linen fabric. I was actually able to get out the wrinkles with the cotton setting on my steam iron. I used a non-fusible interfacing for the collar and collar stand. Sure fusible interfacing is quicker to use, but I prefer the look and texture of a non-fusible more. I think it's worth taking the time to hand-stitch in place.

The buttons are from Fabricland and turned out to be a perfect match for my fabric.

They appear clear on the fabric but they have a bluish-green tint to them. I increased the quantity of buttons used on this project and followed the advice of others to watch out for the button placement guide with this pattern. Instead, I tried it on and eye-balled the placement. All-and-all, I'm really happy with how it all came together despite the length of time it took to complete. It will be a comfortable work shirt.   

The Stats

Fabric:  1.3 metres 

Interfacing:  0.6 metres

Buttons:  8 - 1/2" 

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers, iron, ironing board, tailor's ham, sleeve roll, sewing machine, blind hem foot, walking foot, buttonhole foot, silk thread for hand stitching, cotton thread for top-stitching, polyester threads for the serger, Kleenex tissues, meds, and lots of naps.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Ugliest Thing I've Made

But my goodness, is it ever comfortable. So, I'm good with it. 

Late last night when I couldn't sleep because I was coughing up a storm, I got up and made this over-sized extended tee-shirt into a night shirt using New Look 6321. This is view E which should have been a tunic length and with side slits. I made a few changes, it wasn't this ugly on it's own. I lengthened the hem by ten inches and removed the side slits. I also lengthened the sleeves by five inches. I would have lengthen both more if there was more fabric to work with but I used up all of the terry knit that I had in my stash. I didn't focus too much on the finishing details. I could have hemmed it but I just ran it through the serger and let the hems rolled as they wished. I didn't have the energy to fight it and I didn't want to invest any Knit-'N-Stable tape into this project. The neckline could have been finished with top-stitching but again, I didn't have the energy. I just wanted to stitch it up as quickly as I could and wear it to bed.

I'm not completely sold on the pattern, it's fine I guess. I would recommend it for a beginner for sure. Otherwise, I won't be revisiting this pattern. I don't care for how wide the sleeves are and I have far more interesting sleepwear patterns to try out. But it was a quick and easy sewing project and it served it's purpose. I found this pattern at a second hand shop and even though I only paid a few nickels for it, I was disappointed that it wasn't a complete pattern. It's a hit-and-miss shopping for patterns at second-hand shops.  

Maybe my lack of excitement for this sewing project is part feeling under the weather and part not inspired by my fabric. I made this with the end of the bolt, white terry knit that I found at Marshall / Northwest Fabrics last year. The fabric was also a bargain price score as it had some slight flaws that didn't bother me too much. It's not like I'll be wearing it out in the public sphere. What was important is that it's comfortable to sleep in, I just wish a had more fabric to pull off long sleeves.

The Stats:

Fabric:  2 metres of cotton terry knit

Pattern:  New Look 6321

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, walking foot, thread for the machines, cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers, tailor's chaulk, measuring tape, ruler, Kleenex tissue, Tylenol, cup of tea, and many breaks.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 3 July 2017

In Sewing News Today...

Big holiday weekend and I missed all the festivities as I spent the weekend in bed. ~sigh~ I had Canada Day off and last week I briefly considered making an outfit just for the occasion. I was inspired by this picture on Pattern Review.  

Butterick 6177 Katherine Tilton design
Photo credit:  pfjonker {Source}

Isn't it fabulous! It was also one of the featured holiday outfits on Pattern Review's instagram account. It's made with the Canada Day cotton prints sold at Fabricland. Marshall Fabrics also carries Canada themed print fabrics. I'm so glad that I didn't spend the money on fabric (I can't believe I just wrote that! There might be hope for me yet.) for a festive Canada Day outfit since it would have turned into my holiday pyjama outfit instead. Mind you, I could use some new pyjamas.  

Talking about pyjamas, New Look 6321 is a recent addition to the pattern stash. I found this uncut pattern at a second hand store for a few nickels. The plan is to lengthen view E and if there is enough fabric maybe end up with a maxi-length nightshirt. There is some white cotton terry knit in the fabric stash that I would like to use up. If there isn't enough of the terry knit for a maxi-length, I just make a tee-shirt length and use up the last bit of blue waffle fabric and make some pants as well. We'll see what I can manage.  

Nothing like feeling under the weather to make one consider making sleepwear. Well, that's all in sewing news today. I hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend (if you're celebrating Canada Day or the forth of July tomorrow).   

And 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...