Saturday, 31 August 2019

August in Review...

August was quite the month and I'm not sad to see it come to an end. It was too hot and I'm quite happy to see some cooler temperatures.  


Mostly practical and simple sewing projects that included some items made to order and that were gifted. Nothing too challenging although I have been thinking about a more challenging sewing project. I'll need a staple gun.  

My lipstick print armchair and ottoman are starting to show some wear-and-tear. Okay, I'll admit, I didn't make the wisest fabric choice when I had these upholstered. I picked a cotton twill just because I was smitten over the print.

I do have a more appropriate fabric this time around, a sturdy upholstery fabric. And I'll be trading the lipsticks for scooters. With all this talk about recession, trade disputes and austerity measures in the news, I've decided to try to tackle this project on my own. But here's the thing, I've never upholstered anything before.  Have you?  
The chair is way out of my comfort zone and skill level but the ottoman I think I can manage. I'm going to take the scooter fabric and create a slip cover and staple it to the bottom of the ottoman.  It should work in theory, right?  Anyone have some words of wisdom that would like to share, links to tutorials, anything? I'll be open to any guidance and advice.  

Other than having a potential upholstery project floating around in my head, I've been thinking that the time has come to sew those jeans I've been talking about for months and months now.  

I now have a copy of Vogue 1644 and there is some white denim in the stash that I'm going to use as my toile fabric. Big plans in the upcoming weeks.  

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

In Sewing News Today...

Yesterday, Carlos over at Vogue Patterns posted this incredibly beautiful version of Vogue 1642 on Instagram.  

I would so wear that! And I stopped by my local Fabricland on my way home and searched out a beautiful floral from the Maduri silk collection, circa 2016, that is now in the discounted home décor section. I've been all smitten over this collection of fabric for quite some time and had picked up several cuts from this collection. I was quite shocked when the salesperson tried to tell me that the reduced price was $17.00 / metre instead of the $14.00 / metre I know it was priced at. Because the price tag was faded she tried to argue it was $17.00 despite the fact that I took her to the section I picked it up from and showed her matching fabric labels. I wasn't willing to debate with the same salesperson who recently gave me the wrong size for the pattern I ordered, even if the pattern error ended up working out for the pants. But I digress... 

I wasn't willing to continue the debate and just decided to walk away, even though I was still smitten over the floral version that Carlos posted. I just decided that it wasn't meant to be and besides I have a black and white cotton tweed in my stash that will work just fine thank you very much. 

And just as God works in mysterious ways, this popped out from the pages of my fabric locator binder.  I have a floral fabric in my stash and it has been there for years!  

And it is even more perfect than the Maduri silk that I was thinking about yesterday. Isn't it beautiful how things work out for the best. I have a lot to be thankful for today.   

The fabric is already pre-treated and ready to cut. So, on that note, I'm going to get to work.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

One Last Cork Handbag: McCall's 7851

Out of all of the items I've sewn over the years, none received more inquiries and compliments as my cork handbag.

This includes inquiries to have one made by various individuals. Often when I state the price I'm willing to make it for, the request is rescinded. But sometimes I cross paths with individuals who realize that I'm not a one-person sweatshop operator. I'm just charging for the supplies and my time, I'm not making a profit margin on these bags, minus the one bag that was gifted. This is the forth version of this handbag style and it will be the last as I've finished up the last of the cork for this design. And I'm not seeking out more yardage of cork fabric for this purpose. 

I ran out of the peacock print canvas that was quite popular. The two canvases that I have in my fabric stash were nixed by the client. 

Instead the client chose to go with a silk lining similar to the last version I made. Since the lining has been interfaced, it gives it a nice structure to hopefully hold up to any wear that may occur by various items carried within it's folds.  

The trickiest part of this project is sewing through the suede which was attached to a back side of cork fabric.

Leather sewing machine needles did the trick, for the most part. There was some skipped stitches that needed to be sewn over. I'm not quite certain why that occurred. Moving along the two layers (the suede and cork fabrics) were aided with basting tape to hold the pieces together and the walking foot on the sewing machine. Now that this project is finished, I think it's time to retire McCall's 7851.    

The Stats

Fabric:  0.60 metres of cork; 0.60 metres of silk and 0.40 metres of suede

Interfacing:  0.60 metres fusible

Basting Tape:  0.50 metres

Sewing machine needle:  Leather

Pattern:  McCall's 7851

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, walking foot, pins, clothes pins, basting tape, tailor's chalk, threads, scissors, thread clippers, screwdriver, serger.  

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Wool Pants: Vogue 1642

I don't believe that because a pair of pants has an elastic waist or partially elasticized waist that style is sacrificed for comfort. Vogue 1642 puts that myth to rest. Although, I will admit that I feel like I'm wearing some pretty fancy pajama bottoms when I wear these. 

This pair is more fitted that the first version. I raised the crotch, which turned out to be too much for my liking.  I'll have to shorten it half way between the first version and this one or perhaps I'll use the crotch layout on the size medium now that I have the smaller combination of sizes.

The outer and inner legs were cut as a large and I have to admit that I feel that I could loose a couple of pounds for these to feel as comfortable as the linen pair. The legs feel loose enough, its around the abdomen and butt that I feel this version is too fitted. 

The fabric is a blue wool suiting that I picked up at the Mitchell closing sale a couple of years ago. It's lightweight enough to wear now and into the autumn months. The fabric was pretreated with a tumble in the dryer with a damp towel and on the delicate setting.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2.1 metres 100% wool

Interfacing:  0.2 metres fusible

Elastic:  1 metre 1/2" wide elastic

PatternVogue 1642 (Fall 2019 collection)  

Additional Tools & Supplies:   Cutting table, pins, scissors, tailor's chalk, safety pins, sewing machine, serger, thread clippers, iron, ironing board, seam ripper, threads, hand sewing needle and a cup of tea.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Practical Sewing: Tea Towels, Produce Bags and Mending

Today's sewing time was dedicated to practical sewing and mending. I finally made time to mend a couple pair of socks and a pair of tights that have been waiting for some care for months now.   

There are two new tea towels after I cut and serged the edges of the linen scraps from yesterday's project.  

Next up, I cut a variety of rectangular shapes from sheer curtain fabric.  I then pinned and serged the sides, leaving an opening.

And these are my new re-useable produce bags to take to the grocery store and farmer's market. I was disappointed when I spotted plastic bags for customers to use at the local farmer's market. I'm not a perfect eco-friendly person, but I'm trying to change my behaviour and become a better steward of the earth.  

From one metre of fabric I managed to sew nine produce bags. Today's projects might not be my fanciest sewing, but I can say that it did feel rewarding once these were completed.  

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

New Pants: Vogue 1642

Vogue 1642 caught my eye because of that comfy looking top with pockets. But then as I took a closer look I became enthralled with the pants pattern as well. It has front darts, front waistband and a back elasticized waist. Oh, and did I mention it has pockets?  And the best part of the pattern is where the waistband sits - at the actual waistline!

Vogue 1642 is a perfectly comfortable looking pair of pants. And I could use a pair of comfortable pants. Even though I have some wool suiting fabric that would be perfect, I didn't want to cut into it before I tested the pattern. I chose a striped linen that I found in the home decor department a couple of years ago. I picked up this fabric thinking to make a pair of drawstring pants but never did. I thought this would be a good fabric to test out the pattern and hopefully have a wearable muslin. And it worked out wonderfully.  

I requested the size combination Y (XS to Med), instead was given the larger size by the salesperson at Fabricland. This mistake has happened in the past. I should have learned not to trust that I will be given what I ask for but I didn't check the pattern size before I left to store. Not realizing I had a different size combination than requested and until I arrived home and removed the contents from the envelope. This is God at work because once I looked at the finished measurements on the pattern pieces, I realized that I should be sewing a large for the pants, medium for the top. Thank you God for that intervention! Sometimes I forget I'm shaped like a pear.  

There were some changes, I raised the crotch, cut the inseam as an extra-large, side seams as a large, shortened the hem by four inches and the left leg by an additional five-eighths of an inch. I opted for cutting the pockets in the linen instead of one side with lining fabric. Next time around I will raise the crotch a little more. This is certainly a wearable muslin and I'm sure it will be a favourite for the remainder of the summer. I think I'm ready to cut that wool suiting fabric now.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2.1 metres


Elastic:  1 metre of 1/2 inch 

PatternVogue 1642

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, iron, ironing board, pins, pin cushion, tailor's chalk, scissors, thread clippers, measuring tape, measuring gauge, sewing machine, serger, threads, walking foot, blind hem foot, safety pins, and a chai tea latte.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Boy's Sweatshirt: McCall's 6548

McCall's 6548 contains patterns for a short sleeved button front shirt, pullover t-shirt and shorts. This project used the t-shirt pattern as a foundation.  

I wanted to make a long sleeve sweatshirt but some changes were needed. First I lengthened the sleeves. After checking some reviews, I followed advice from others and added two inches to the hem. I also used Knit-N-Stable fusible tape for the hemlines.  

It's an okay pattern, basic, maybe next time I would shorten the width of the neckline band. I didn't check the instructions. Seriously, it's an easy project with only four pattern pieces. It is certainly suited for beginners.  

The Stats

Fabric:  1 metre

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads, screwdriver, mini-vacuum, lint brushes, scissors, pins, pin cushion, measuring gauge, measuring tape, seam ripper, ruler, tailor's chalk, and a cup of tea.  

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 5 August 2019

Cozy Cardigan: Butterick 6495

Butterick 6495 contains a lovely cardigan pattern that I'm revisiting for this gift project.  I don't know what to say about this pattern other than it's well drafted.  This Lifestyle Wardrobe pattern also comes with other pieces for a top, dress, jumpsuit and pants. It's well worth the investment.  

The fabric is a cotton sweatshirt fleece that I pretreated according to the colour. I pre-soaked the fabric with this method and washed it with vinegar in the washing machine followed by a tumble in the dryer. This is with hopes that there will be no bleeding of the colour in the future.  

It was sewn throughout with the knit (lightning bolt) stitch on the sewing machine and the hems edges were interfaced with Knit-N-Stable tape. Not alterations to the pattern were made.  

The Stats

Fabric:  2 metres

PatternButterick 6495

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Scissors, pins, pin cushions, tailor's chalk, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, serger, walking foot, threads, and a few breaks.  

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Practical Sewing: Laptop Cover

This is my new laptop cover! 

No pattern, I just used the laptop to chalk out the shape, add 1/2 inch seam allowance and cut out the rest of the materials.  

It consists of three layers, from left to right, the black and light blue materials are for sewing ironing board covers.  The black became the interior fabric, the blue was the padding material and the red canvas became the outer fabric. 

There was just one glitch along the way. The partial loss of a fingernail that became stuck in the thread guide.  Yes, that hurt.  But once the finger was cleaned, bandaged, iced, stopped throbbing and the fingernail removed from the sewing machine, it was back to work.  Luckily, there was not much left to finish at that point.  

The Stats

Fabric:  0.5 metres of each layer

Zipper:  22 inch regular

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, scissors, tailor's chalk, thread clippers, threads, sewing machine, serger, regular zipper foot, walking foot, screw driver, Fray Check, Polysporin wound care, bandages, ice pack, Tylenol and a Chai tea latte.  

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Second Slip, Slightly Different

Can you spot the difference on this version of the vintage Simplicity 6851 slip?  

It is made with the same light mint green coloured linen. This one has a slight A-line shape compared to the other one. I only place the on the fold the centre front and back from the neckline and pivoted out an inch and a half from the desired hemline (four inches shorter than the pattern length). This one will be gifted as well and the recipient is quite thrilled with the fit.  

The Stats

Fabric:  1.9 metres

Pattern:  Out of print (OOP) Simplicity 6851

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, tailor's chalk, ruler, pin cushions, iron, ironing board, thread, thread clippers, and a chai latte reward after all the sewing was done.  

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...