Saturday, 31 March 2018

March in Review...


There has been sewing! I finally finished that shirtdress, sewed the cutest little jeans for a wee little cutie to grow into, a little baby onesie (unblogged but just like these ones except it has a little animal patch on the front), and a navy skirt. It felt great to get back to sewing. I even added pockets to a dress I made Mama R over six months ago. My sewing mojo took a hit for a while and then a tore ligament in my knee certainly slowed me down. I'm happy to report my knee is healing very well and the sewing desire is back and strong.  

It's Easter weekend and it is the time that I usually wrap up a Lenten Sewing project. But this year, I didn't get around to doing any charity sewing projects. I just didn't have the energy to tackle one this year. Maybe later in the year. 

Easter bonnet {source}

I didn't even made an Easter outfit or a festive egg carton Easter bonnet. I'm boring this year. 

RTW & Fabric Fasts

I am happy to report after that slip last month that I haven't added any fabric to the stash. It might be because I was less mobile this month. Instead, I've been admiring what the ladies, who attended Sew Camp this month, added to their stashes. There was a lovely paisley added to a couple of stashes that reminded me that I have a gray and black paisley sateen I've been meaning to use.

I did make it to the fabric store for some thread. The clerk asked if I had a membership and was shocked when I replied that I don't because I spend too much when I have one. The lady next to me laughed but I wasn't joking.

The only thing magical about the local chain fabric store are those membership cards and how they can empty one's wallet.

Coming Up Next!  

Now that the sewing mojo has returned, there are plans. This weekend I'm working on Simplicity 8229.

I have nineteen pairs cut and pieced together just waiting for the elastics to be sewn.

And then I plan to work on this pattern. I purchased and printed it two years ago. I could use some shirts for work and hopefully it will fit without too many alterations.

That's all I have planned for now.  How about you?  Are you done with winter sewing and moving onto spring / summer projects?

Happy Easter and Happy Sewing!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Revisiting Vogue 1567

I made the skirt from Vogue 1567 a couple of months ago and to be completely honest, it's one of my favourite makes this year. So, would it surprise you if I made another version of this distinct style?

Please excuse the photo, it's pinned to my mannequin and instead of showcasing the beautiful pockets, it looks like a bustle in the back.  

Paco Peralta's design is quite unique with that side drape actually hiding the most fantastic and generously-sized pockets. Seriously, I can carry my lunch and a thermos in these pockets and still have room for my wallet and cell phone.

The pattern is easy to put together, in theory. The first came together quickly and easily, without any issues. This one, not so much. There was a lot of seam ripping involved as I was making mistakes left, right and centre.  

The waistline on the skirt pattern is a little smaller than my actual waistline and like the version before I had to add some more ease. But this time my mathematical calculations were way off and I ended up with a enormous amount of ease. Add to that, I didn't follow the pattern instructions too closely this time and ended up sewing the zipper before I stitched in the waistband. Yet my math was right on the waistband. So I didn't actually discover the error of my ways prior to sewing the zipper. Oy, what a mess!  

And the night before, I stitched one pocket right sides together and the other pocket wrong sides together and didn't realize that mistake until after it was serged and laid out on the table. How this skirt came to completion, I have no idea. It must have been sheer determination. Oh no wait! I was motivated to keep seam ripping by the beautiful British wool that I have cut out. It was too precious and in these parts too rare to even imagine giving up. So, the seam ripping continued.  

I cut four inches, yes four inches!, from the centre back seam. Ideally, if I did the mathematical calculations correctly from the start, the ease would have be eventually divided between the front and back pieces. Instead, the ease ended up being located at the centre front.

Not perfect, but at least it was on it's way to being wearable. I then removed the invisible zipper, took a deep breath and continued working on the skirt. And this is how it turned out.  

Fabric:  3 metres 100% wool

Interfacing:  1 metre light-weight fusible

Zipper:  55 cm invisible zipper cut down to the required size

Pattern:  Vogue 1567

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers, pinking shears, sewing machine, invisible zipper foot, zipper foot serger, thread, iron, ironing board, clapper, seam ripper, hand needle, tweezers, measuring tape, tailor's chalk, and two-faced basting tape. I should have had some coffee.  

Happy Sewing!


Friday, 23 March 2018

Sweet Memories: OOP McCall's 8548

Once upon a time, circa 1996, McCall's came out with the sweetest Toddlers' pattern. It had pattern pieces for a unlined jacket, dress, pants, cap and hat. 

Seriously, isn't it the cutest? I picked up a copy of this pattern back-in-the-day and even made cute little outfits for my then small niece and nephews. I don't know what happened to the original pattern, lost in the countless moves over the years, I guess. It came back in my life when I stumbled across an uncut copy in a second hand store. You can't imagine my delight at discovering this little treasure. Of course, I had to pick it up...  

And make something from this pattern. I remade the pants. Little toddler jeans with faux leather knee patches! I had some cotton denim in my stash. Not the kind of fabric that they are trying to pass off as denim in the fabric stores now-a-days. There is no tencel here. This is strong 100% cotton denim fabric. You never see this in the retail landscape anymore, unless you find it in a vintage store. This is the kind of denim that can withstand any kind of playground shenanigans that that a toddler can get into.  

This was a quick and easy project. I really like that the front pants pattern piece has the placement lines for the patch. It even has a patch pattern piece included that you can cut out in your fabric along with a decorative mock fly. It's a well drafted pattern and everything fits together quickly and easily. The challenge came in getting the right supplies. Thankfully, I found all the supplies in my stash including the yellow denim thread and a new denim needle for the sewing machine.  

Fabric:  0.90 metres

Pattern:  OOP McCall's 8548

Elastic:  1 package of 1" wide elastic

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Tracing pattern, highlighter marker, felt marker, cutting table, scissors, pins, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, serger, various threads, tweezers, jean-a-ma-jig, pin cushion, thread clippers and a lovely trip down memory lane.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 19 March 2018

Monday's Mending Pile

Today's item is not actually a mending project, it's actually more of an addition. I made this dress for Mama R last year and ever since she has been asking me for pockets. I should know better than to  deliver to her a dress without pockets but that's what I did.  

And she waited.  

I actually did try to sew pockets back when I made it, everything was going well until...

I made a mistake clipping the corners. And then I gave up and moved onto other projects. I made up for that today.  

The first set of pockets that I tried to make were with polyester lining fabric. But these pockets are lined with leftover silk fabric from this project.  They feel sublime and best part is that Mom is happy.  

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Shirt Dress

I made a shirt dress by mixing some of my favourite elements from three patterns.

  • Rachel Comey's Vogue 1503 have the most beautiful sleeves that I used along with the cuffs and placket detail.  

  • The front and back pieces from McCall's 7546 were extended ten inches for a dress length.  
  • Front fly front, collar and collar stand came from the McCall's 7546 pattern.
  • And Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8934 provided the perfect side pockets and finishing detail to the button front fly.  

I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  It is a comfortable dress and conservative enough to wear to work. The pockets are just an added bonus.

The fabric is is a wool and cashmere suiting fabric. Sadly, it only made it into my collection when Mitchell Fabrics closed down last year. I miss that fabric store. The fabric was beautiful to work with and it feels lovely to wear.  

Not much else to say. It took six weeks to finish.  I'm just glad that it is finally done.  

Fabric:  3 metres 100% British wool and cashmere fabric

Interfacing:  3 metres of cotton non-fusible

Buttons:  14 shirt buttons

Patterns:  McCall's 7546, Vogue 1503, and 8934

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, button hole foot, serger, sewing machine needle, threads for the machines, hand needle, silk thread for hand basting, cutting table, scissors, pins, thread clippers, tailor's chalk, measuring tape, sewing and knitting gauge, and a whole lot of searching for my lost sewing mojo.

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Happy Blog-iversary!

Wow, I can't believe that it has been seven years that I've been blogging about my sewing journey. It's been a journey for sure. I have been sewing for longer than I have been blogging but blogging about it has certainly mapped out my growth and changes.   

There has been gift sewing. I've lost count how many of these baby onesies I've made over the years for friends, work colleagues, charities, and family. Sewing from out-of-print (OOP) McCall's 7367 pre-dates this blog.  

There has been a lot of sewing for my love, my dear Mom. This is her wearing what will become her favourite and go-to dress pattern, Simplicity 2372. After a few requested changes to this pattern, it has been remade into countless versions. Mom used to sew our clothes when we were little, and now I have the pleasure to sew her the dresses that she otherwise wouldn't be able to find in the retail landscape.  

My greatest sewing honours would be sewing for my niece and nephews over the years. Left, my little niece is wearing a hat I made for her from OOP McCall's 8548. I made her the matching dress that came with the pattern. It's an adorable pattern, circa 1996, that even has a little boys' outfit as well. If you happen to find a copy of it and have little ones to sew for, I do recommend picking it up.  Right, is the graduation dress, Simplicity 2398, I had the privilege of sewing for my all-grown-up niece. It was truly a labour of love for at the time I was not 100% comfortable with sewing slippery satin fabrics. I was over-the-moon happy to have made this for her special day.  

This young man has been one of my favourite people to sew for over the years. My youngest nephew would make a request and it would fill my heart with so much joy that he would want me to sew for him. It has been many moons since then but it always brings happy memories when I think back to that time. And I have learned a few things along the way.  

1.  Sewing coats is not that hard. Little girls' coat pattern, Vogue 9219.  

2.  A dress is never perfect unless it has pockets. Dress pattern, Simplicity 2372.  

3.  Nothing beats the feeling of lined pockets.  

4.  When you know how to sew and your favourite soccer team makes it to the finals, you can whip up a dress for the occasion. Dress pattern, Vogue 9130.  

5.  Keep learning new skills, you might surprise yourself with what you can pull off.  

6.  Never pass up on a vintage sewing book, they're filled with priceless bits of advice that are often lost in the newer books.  

7.  Reuse and repurpose fabric. You don't have to make a trip to the fabric store, you can have "fabric" hanging around to make into something.  

8.  Learn about fabrics, just because it is the latest trendy fabric doesn't mean that it will be comfortable and suitable. And if it doesn't work out, embrace the lesson, laugh, share, and move on. Dress made by combining Vogue 1312 and Vogue 9060.  

9.  Sew for those who appreciate it, it will bring you both joy. Learn to say no to the others who are out to use you. Your time is valuable. Jacket pattern, OOP Vogue 8916.     

10.  Be mindful, make a difference and always have fun. Top pattern, Vogue 9056.  Pants pattern, OOP Vogue 1325.  Label necklace, no pattern used.  

Happy Sewing!  


Monday, 12 March 2018

In Sewing News Today...

This morning we woke up to the sad news that another iconic McCall's and Vogue pattern designer passed away.  Herbert de Givenchy, aged 91, left behind an astonishing collection of designs as he dressed the famous while helping to dress the home sewists in his designs.  

"Balenciaga taught me everything I know.  He taught me to care for the details, that it was not necessary to sew on a button where it had no use, or to add a flower to make a dress beautiful ... no unnecessary detail."  ~Givenchy~

"There's Balenciaga and the good Lord."  ~Givenchy~

"There is not a woman alive who doesn't dream of looking like Audrey Hepburn."  ~Givenchy~

"Luxury is in each detail."  ~Givenchy~

"The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress."  ~Givenchy~

"All a woman needs to be chic is a raincoat, two suits, a pair of trousers and a cashmere sweater." ~Givenchy~

"I absolutely believe my talent is God-given.  I ask God for a lot, but I also thank him.  I'm a very demanding believer."  ~Givenchy~

Saturday, 10 March 2018

There Has Been Sewing!

Hallelujah! My sewing mojo has returned. And there has been sewing.  

Yes, those are shoulder seams! As a matter of fact I'm finished sewing the side seams complete with side pockets. 

This project is a mix of three patterns, McCall's 7546 for the base of the shirtdress, Vogue 1503 sleeves are swapped because I love the fit and the beautifully drafted sleeve placket, and OOP Vogue 8934 pocket pattern. Progress has been slow but it feels good to be back at work on this project.  

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...