Sunday, 15 January 2017

Literally, A Pain in the Arse to Sew

Vintage Butterick 5556 should have taken me no time to whip up especially since I had it all cut out and ready to go on Monday night.  

Butt it proved to literally be a pain in the arse to sew. You see the day that I had plans on sewing this project up after work, I fell and this week there hasn't even been an ounce of desire to sew. I have a bruised tush and my back is killing me. What should have taken me a few hours to sew took me the whole day. Moving the sewing machine on the cutting table abled me to sew while standing up and allowed me to avoid the prospect of sitting down to work on this robe. I finally have this project done after many hours of sewing spurts followed by some quality time with a heating pad and repeat. I'm amazed it's finally done.  

This robe is for Mama R. After she saw the little robes I made for my co-workers' kids she mentioned that she would like to have one but I knew that she's not one for the tie belt versions found in the pattern books and retail landscape. 

The request sent me on a search over at Etsy and it was there that I found out-of-print Butterick 5556. I'm guessing that it is from the 1970s based on the illustration on the pattern envelope and the detail in the construction of this robe. They don't make patterns like this anymore. This pattern is for a fully lined robe! This robe doesn't have a lining it but I might one day revisit this pattern and sew it up as intended. It is a well-drafted pattern and I really like the shoulder dart that extends into the sleeve area, it really gives the sleeve a lovely shape.    

I did make a few changes other than leaving out the lining. The sleeve length was shortened, more ease was added to the mid-section of the robe and the pockets were raised several inches.  

The waffle weave cotton fabric is the same fabric used in the previous robes. It was pre-treated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer. It handled the pre-treatment process without any issues. The fabric was a 2016 find in the bargain centre at Fabricland. I scored it for a song because there was some fading at the fold-line which I couldn't avoid when I cut out the back piece on this robe. Mama R doesn't mind the fading and even though I offered to hide it with some creative trim detailing she wasn't interested claiming that it doesn't bother her. I think it bothers me more than it bothers her. The centre back is supposed to have a seam, but Mama R preferred if it didn't and wanted the back cut as one piece. 

Now that I have this project off the table and into Mama R's hands, I think I'm going to stop sewing until I'm all healed up. It might be a while according to the physiotherapist. I think I just need to listen to the physio-therapist and take it easy for now.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  3 metres

Interfacing:  1 metre

Buttons:  6 - 1/2" buttons

Pattern:  OOP vintage Butterick 5556

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads (for the machines and hand-stitching), cutting table, sewing needle, scissors, pins, wrist pincushion, wrist brace, heating and massage pad, Magic bag, meds, a lot of breaks, tea, and a nap.  

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Vogue 9028: A Comfortable Top

Vogue 9028, circa 2014, is a somewhat recent addition to my pattern collection. It happened this past summer when Fabricland was selling off Vogue patterns for $5.00 after a shipment came in from another province. Otherwise, I would have overlooked this pattern. At 40% off (with a membership discount) a $29.95 (Cdn $) pattern, I didn't think it was worth the expensive for a basic top. At five dollars, I was willing to pick up a pattern that I wasn't sure about and give it a try.     

And I'm glad that I did. This is a really comfortable top and I really like how the shoulder seam is cut. It is loose-fitting, I like that as it is easy to move in. 

I work in at a job that has a "professional dress code" yet my job is physical and messy. I sweep, kneel, get sneezed on, and sometimes worse. It is just difficult to find something that fits the criteria with the reality of my job. I wish our dress code would be classified as "smart casual" but it's not, so my fingers are crossed that I can get away with this top as part of my work wear rotation. Maybe dress it up with a skirt? To make it "work ready," I added pockets to the front. They are big enough to hold keys and other necessities. 

Other than adding pockets, I changed the neckline. Instead of choosing one of the collar variations offered in this pattern, I used Knit-N-Stitch™ fusible tape around the neckline, single-folded the edge down and stitched with the stem stitch. Knit-N-Stitch™ fusible tape was also used for all of the hem finishes. Dictated by the quantity of fabric, I removed the back centre seam and omitted the back zipper. Thankfully it worked out fine and I found the zipper to be an unnecessary detail as it is easily a pullover top. If I make another one (highly likely), I would like to cut the sleeve cap and armhole two sizes smaller to see if I can get the armhole seam to sit closer to my shoulder. I cut the top out as a size 14. 

The fabric was a remnant find at Fabricland, it was unlabeled but it appears to be a cotton knit. Pink is not typically a colour that I'm drawn to but this fabric made it home because it was quite the deal and I do like the print. It was pretreated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer. The seams were sewn with the stem stitch (also known as the knit or lightning bolt stitch) with the exception of the pockets where I used a basic straight stitch, back stitch and locking stitch.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  1.4 metres 

Fusible Tape:  1.5 metres

Pattern:  Vogue 9028

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, walking foot, serger, tweezers, thread clippers, cutting table, scissors, pins, steam iron, ironing board, measuring tape and some good music with some stretching breaks thrown in.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 9 January 2017

Monday's Mending Pile

It is about time that I do something with the robe that has been sitting on the armchair for quite some time. Two areas need attention to make this functionable--the length of the sleeves need to be shortened and made into pockets.

There was more than enough length from these cuffs to turn into pockets. They're folded so envision double the length. After the robe was taken care of there was one more project that needed attention.   

One of Mama R's recently made slips ended up in my mending pile. Yup, that was quick.

She said when she put it on this week, it wasn't comfortable because something was scratching her at the back where the straps were. I figured it could have been a edge of the seam binding that was peaking out from the side of the top-stitching. The scratchiness could have been from the Fray Check that I used on the cut edges.  

I just re-stitched with the stem stitch tacking down any exposed edges. I think this should work.  Stay tuned.  

Well, that's it from the mending pile.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 8 January 2017

In Sewing News Today...

Have you seen the new Spring release from Vogue patterns? Let's just say, I'm happy that I'm not on a pattern fast this year. 

Vogue 9241
I really don't need another dress pattern, and it is a little fancy for my simple prairie-gal lifestyle but my-oh-my, this Kathryn Brenne design is stunning. 

Vogue 9244

Now this Marcy Tilton design fits my life-style better. And I have a striped cotton knit sitting in my stash that would be perfect. I just need to get my hands on this pattern and get to work.  

Vogue 1531, a Julia Alarcon design, is another dress that I don't need but if I had the figure and somewhere to wear this, I would be tempted.  

My favourite of the spring release would be Vogue 9248 for this jacket and pants pattern. It is available in sizes 2 to 8 and goodness it is too cute.  

What about you, any spring patterns catching your eye and imagination?  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 7 January 2017

McCall's 7541: Undecided

McCall's 7541 is one of the spring release patterns that caught my eye a few weeks ago. What's not to love about a cape-style top. That was my thinking when I picked up the pattern.  

Now, I'm undecided, it is not my idea of a comfortable top. The main reason is the neckline, it's too low and wide. Maybe I can pull it off with a sleeveless turtleneck dress? Other than the neckline, I like it. It is just that neckline. If I make another one, I will change the shape for sure.  

This loose-fitting top is an easy project and a quick make. I used a polyester knit that I picked up a year or two ago. It was pre-treated with a tumble through a washing machine cycle and then the dryer. The entire project was sewn with the stem stitch (also know as the lightning bolt or knit stitch). I used Knit-'N-Stitch tape for the hemline of the top. The overlay piece has a rolled hem.  

The armhole for the top is supposed to be finished with single fold bias tape but I just serged and left it since it is unseen when worn. 

Well, I'm going to have to see what I have in my closet that I can wear this with... 

The Stats:

Fabric:  2.6 metres

Fusible tape:  1.5 metres

Pattern:  McCall's 7541

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, walking foot, tweezers, cutting table, scissors, pins, thread clippers, water and stretching breaks.   

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 6 January 2017

Jungle January Project: Animal Print Top

There is just something about putting on an animal print to beat the January blahs, don't you think? I was quite sad when I used this animal print fabric on a wrap dress that was just a bit too tight and ended up in the donate pile. Thankfully, the fabric has once again made it into my wardrobe as a t-shirt. There was just enough fabric left-over [insert happy dance here].

The pattern, OOP McCall's 7946, contains a favourite t-shirt pattern and it was the one I reached for to use with this remnant.  

This pattern is beyond easy. I was able to whip it up in an evening from cutting it out and sewing it. The 100% polyester fabric was pre-treated when I made the wrap dress with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer so no need to pre-shrink again. 

The Stats:  

Fabric:  1.3 metres

Fusible tape:  

Pattern:  McCall's 7946

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads, cutting table, pins, scissors, iron, and ironing board.  

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 5 January 2017

All Pieces Are Completed!

Mama R now has a complete set of camisoles and slips. It took me longer than I planned. Slept in, dealt with waking up with stuffed up sinuses, morning coffee, break to make and eat egg nog French toast, back to work on the camisoles and slips, stretching breaks, and then finally I can call this project complete!  

I woke up to two more slips that needed the Knit 'N Stitch™ tape to be fused to the neck and underarm edges before serging, and then sewing. Mama R didn't want the bottom edges of the camisoles treated with Knit 'N Stitch™ tape. I was willing to do it but Mama R felt that it was unnecessary. Whatever Mama R wants... 

I used the same bias tape, circa 1970-80, as I used on the first camisole. The ends were treated with Fray Check™ and left to dry while I ate breakfast.  

Once they were dry and breakfast was done, it was back to work. The ends were rolled and pressed in order to cut down any potential shifting when it came to attaching them to the camisole and slips. 

The hems of the slips were finished with beige lace trimming that I found in my stash.

The lace trim is a pretty finish at the hem and will help in the prevention of the slips riding up. It is nice to finally have these done. Mama R hasn't seen them yet but my fingers are crossed that she's be pleased.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.3 metres

Lace Trim:  2.6 metres

Fusible Bias Tape:  3.75 metres

Bias Tape:  1.8 metres

Pattern:  Burda 6964 (tweaked)

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Sewing machine, walking foot, serger, tweezers, scissors, thread clippers, polyester thread, pins, cutting table, iron, ironing board, some fuel, and coffee.  

Happy Sewing!  


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