Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Practical Sewing

UPDATE:  Over at PatternReview.com Quiltfixer shared another source for 3/8" plush picot elastic:  Sew Sassy.  Thanks Quiltfixer!

Simplicity 8229 has to be hands down one of the most valuable sewing patterns in my collection. With this pattern I'm able to make the most comfortable panties imaginable.  


The most difficult part of this project is finding the supplies. There was no problem sourcing the cotton knit fabric, it's the 3/8" wide plush picot elastic that is proving to be a bit of a challenge. For this pair I used a 1/2" plush picot elastic that I found at Fabricland. I can't find 3/8" wide elastic anywhere near here in a brick and motor shop. Thankfully, Tany posted a link to this shop, B,Wear, out of Sweden which sells elastic for panties.  

Back to the elastic that I did use for this pair. It worked out great. The only thing that I had to do differently is sew a second row of zig-zag stitching to make sure the elastic was properly stitched in place after it was turned over. It just took a little more thread and time to complete. It was all worth it in the end and it's good to know that the 1/2" elastic works just as well as the 3/8" wide elastic.  


The Stats:  

Fabric:  0.5 metres of cotton knit

Elastic:  2.4 metres of 1/2" wide picot elastic

Pattern:  Simplicity 8229

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Scissors, pins, cutting table, sewing machine, serger, walking foot, iron, ironing board and thread clippers.  

Happy Sewing!  



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

In Sewing News Today...

Did you know that Butterick is having a two day sale on patterns?  $1.99 patterns and that includes the new fall release!  


Katherine Tilton's Butterick 6492 and Butterick 6357 both made the cut. Only two patterns this time. 

I really do like Butterick 6495, the Life Style Wardrobe pattern, and it is a great value (especially during this sale) but I don't need another coordinates pattern. So, it was just the two Katherine Tilton patterns.  

In other sewing news... I finished fixing Mama R's dress hem.  


Last night I picked up some seam binding and re-stitched the hem this morning. She's thrilled with her new dress and I'm equally as thrilled to move onto a new project. I'm thinking Marcy Tilton's Vogue 9052 might be up next. We'll see... 

Until then, happy sewing!  


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Little Black Dress

Simplicity 2372 has made more appearances on this blog than any other pattern. It is the most trusted pattern in my collection and Mama R's favourite dress pattern. I've lost count how many dresses, let alone the other pieces, I've made with this pattern. I've used this pattern to make cotton house dresses and fancier versions. This one is the latest version in a crepe fabric. It is also the shortest version I've made. This one is truly a little black dress.


I don't know what happened, near the finishing of this dress, Mama R tried it on and it appeared to be too long and we agreed on chopping 1 1/2" and turning it up for a 1 1/2" hem. Boy, oh boy it's short! So right now it is heading to the mending pile to see if I can lower the hem. I found some single fold bias tape that I'll sew on and lower it an inch. It should be ready for another fitting tomorrow evening.  But for now...

The usual changes were made to the pattern according to Mama R's preferences.

  • Remove the centre front seam and cut on the fold.  
  • Insert zipper at the centre back (its a pullover style dress but she finds it easier to get out of it with the aid of the zipper).  

  • Lengthen the sleeves.
  • Shortened the length. Yeah, I went too far on this step.  
  • Adjust the neckline width by resizing at the raglan sleeve seam.  
The fabric is a polyester crepe that has been in the fabric stash for years, okay maybe decades. I picked it up so long ago I can't remember where I picked it up. This crepe is unlike the crepes I've seen lately, it has a beautiful weight to it and even Mama R is quite taken by the texture and weight of this piece of fabric. And that is how this fabric finally became a dress for Mom. Well that and the fact that there wasn't enough to make another Vogue 1410 for moi. 


The Stats:  

Fabric:  2 metres heavy-weight polyester crepe

Interfacing:  0.3 metres fusible interfacing

Zipper:  22" invisible zipper

Basting tape:  44" two-faced tape

Pattern:  Simplicity 2372

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, tailor's chalk, ruler, measuring tape, polyester thread for the sewing machine, serger, thread, silk thread for hand stitching, sewing machine, walking foot, invisible zipper foot, regular zipper foot, regular foot, screwdriver, scissors, thread clippers, tweezers, iron, ironing board, tailor's ham, many breaks (for stretching and running errands), and some good tunes.  

Happy Sewing!  




Saturday, 17 June 2017

Back to Thinking About Summer Sewing

Part of the recommended physio exercises I was given these past few months was the suggestion to exercise in a pool. I already know of the benefits of exercising in a pool (easy on the joints, etc, etc) but I haven't done so because of one reason. 


I can't find a pool outfit that I would feel comfortable enough to exercise in. And they don't make swimsuits like they used to ~sigh~. I really want to find a board short. I haven't found a bathing suit shop here that sells ladies board shorts. And whenever I try to find one in a sporting good store I've been directed to the mens section because apparently they don't make them for women. And they don't look all that comfortable. The ones I find on the internet for women seem to sit lower than I would like them to sit on my body. I don't think I'm asking for much, am I?


Apparently not. According to an article in today's Globe and Mail, some men are finding that "ill-fitting and bland board shorts are unacceptable" as well. Tailored swimwear! Now, this is what I'm thinking about. Well, since I don't have $595 for a custom made swim shorts I think I'll just have to make my own. 

I've already been thinking about making my own swimwear for some time and have been searching high and low for fabric. Both Fabricland and Northwest Fabrics carry swimsuit fabric but not board short quality fabric. I guess there is not a lot of demand for this speciality fabric from the sewing community in a town with a famously short summer season. Luckily, The Fabric Fairy sells a wide range of colours and prints in board short quality fabrics that has me thinking that this project just might be possible.   

I really like the idea of a tailored board short but there is also another pattern for swim shorts that I might be willing to try, Jalie's swim shorts. These however are made from spandex but they have a wide waistband and are supposed to stay put in the water.   


It might be an option. You can't tell by the picture but they are described as having a raised waist for larger sizes where more coverage and support is needed and this pattern has been given wonderful reviews online. I might make it to the pool yet.  

Have you ever sewn swim / board shorts?  




Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Butterick's Fall Pattern Release

Oh my, can you believe that there are already fall 2017 patterns being released? Although, I am looking forward to fall, always! (I love autumn.) I haven't even brought out all of my summer time clothing out of storage. And yes, it will seem like in a blink of the eye, autumn will be upon us but I would like to make that off-the-shoulder top and maybe wear it at least once before I think about fall sewing. That said, there are some lovely patterns that have me thinking ahead.  

Of course another Tilton design caught my eye. At first Katherine Tilton's shirt pattern, Butterick 6491, reminds me of a shorter version of Marcy Tilton's coat pattern, Vogue 8934, with the shaped hem. Except this one has tucks instead of darts at the hemline and a different sleeve and collar design. It looks great on the model, and that forest print fabric is fabulous make up in this design. I think I'm more taken by the cream and black coloured fabric, so pretty.  

Butterick 6492 is for sure on my wish list. Not only would I wear this top as part of my everyday wardrobe, I wouldn't mind this as a pyjama top as well. It looks that comfortable and pockets!

I'm not sure if Butterick 6495 will make it into the collection but I really do like that the off-the-shoulder look is being interpreted for fall. I would certainly make that dress maxi length and maybe three-quarter length sleeves and wear it with a vest instead of a cardigan. But realistically, I don't need another dress. 

Oh no, Butterick 6490! I'm not falling this this cape/top style again. Once was more than enough. Okay, maybe I'll try the cape/top style again but if I do it will be giving Donna Karan's OOP Vogue 1417 a try instead. Prairie autumns call for more arm coverage.  

Well, that's enough thinking about fall sewing when I haven't even put a dent into my summer sewing projects. And besides, the only fall sewing I should be thinking about is making dresses for an autumn wedding. But I don't even want to think about that yet.   

Happy Sewing!   

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

I just thought that I would share something since today is National Sewing Machine Day. This is the Sewing Machine Orchestra (installation) by Canadian artist Martin Messier.  






It is a journey into the connection between sight, light, and sound with an everyday object (in this case a pre-computerized sewing machine) exploring the emotions and memories they stir.



Enjoy and happy National Sewing Machine day!




Monday, 12 June 2017

The Wild Side of Butterick 6026

I'm not someone who is typically drawn to animal print fabrics but when I spotted this linen fabric there was just something about it that I couldn't resist.  


This 100% linen animal print fabric went for a song during the tail end of Mitchell Fabrics closing sale. If it weren't for the sale I don't think I would have splurged on this little luxury. It was the last 1.4 metres from the bolt and when I picked it up I had no idea what I would make with it. With some creative pattern placement and still keeping the pieces on grain, I was able to use every last bit of this 132 cm wide fabric and squeak out a version B from Butterick 6026.


And I'm quite taken with Butterick 6026, a Katherine Tilton design, as well. Let's talk about this pattern. I was a little concerned about the "fitted top" description on the back but after reviewing the finished measurements I felt more relaxed about proceeding. It was the pin tucking design featured on the sleeve hem, front neckline and bodice that drew me to the pattern.


Since I like to have some ease around the mid-section I left off the back darts and after trying it on after basting the sides I went down to a 3/8" seam allowance instead of a 5/8 seam allowance. I cut the top as a size 14 around the neckline, shoulder and armhole and cut a size 16 from the side seam. I like the amount of ease it now has but next time I'll adjust the pattern piece. There was no adjustment to the hem length at all. My favourite part are the pin tucks.     


After asking for some guidance on the button from instagram followers, I went with these vintage black and white buttons.  They were on a card of six for seventy cents, that old.


Oh, and the pin tucks! Even though I own a pin tuck foot I went with the method illustrated in my sewing machine manual.


It calls for the blind hem foot and to move the needle shaft to the left. Using the guide on the foot, run the folded edge of the fabric up to the guide and stitch. It turned out perfectly and there was no need to switch to a double needle. If you're interest in using a pin-tuck foot method this is a good tutorial. But I have to say, I'm really pleased with how it turned out with the blind hem foot method. The pin tucks took the most time for marking, pressing and then stitching and was worth the effort. I think they're just lovely.

I pre-treated the fabric with a tumble through the washing machine and then dryer and of course a good pressing. I typically pre-treat my fabric with the same method that I'll wash it after it's made into something. But I don't plan on tossing this through the machines. I'm quite smitten with how it turned out and plan to launder it with some tender hand washing.

And for someone who isn't typically drawn to an animal print, I can't wait to wear this one.


The Stats:

Fabric:  1.4 metres printed linen

Buttons:  7 - 1/2" vintage buttons

Pattern:  Butterick 6026

Thread:  100% cotton thread for sewing, 100% polyester threads for the serger and basting .

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Sewing machine, buttonhole foot, blind hem foot, regular foot, walking foot, serger, pins, pin cushions, cutting table, iron, ironing board, scissors, thread clippers, measuring tape, ruler, sewing and knitting gauge, tailor's ham, sleeve ham, hand needle, wax, threads, chai tea breaks, stretching breaks, and breaks to watch a bit of the Tony Awards.

Happy Sewing!




Practical Sewing

UPDATE:  Over at PatternReview.com Quiltfixer shared another source for 3/8" plush picot elastic:   Sew Sassy .  Thanks Quiltfixer! ...