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!  

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February in Review...

I miss sewing! That's all that I have to say. All the sewing that I managed to do was one front dart to a shirt dress I'm hardly working on.  

At this rate I should have this project complete in 2019. Most of the time invested on this project has been searching for buttons and considering what I liked and dislike about the first version I made and how to improve the next one. Now, I just need jump start to my sewing mojo.

Fifty-four days into my RTW / Fabric / Pattern fast I failed. What is a gal to do when she stumbles across some blue 100% linen fabric marked down 70%?  Yup, I picked some up.  And then the next day feeling blue I went to Marshalls to cheer myself up and picked up some quilting cottons for some new microwave cozies. I texted my best friend who moved away several months for some help picking out new prints. At Christmas time she suggested that I sew some animal prints and we picked out a few new ones.  It was nice to shop with my friend, even if it was virtually. Man, I miss her even though I'm happy for her move to a warmer local. But I digress... My friend is suggesting that I sew tea cozies! She says they're big in her neck of the woods. Tea cozies. Who knew? Not my cup of tea though. I know bad pun, sorry. I don't think I'll be getting into the tea cozy sewing business anytime soon, or ever.  

Yup, sewing wise February was a disappointing month. I just need to find some free time along with my sewing mojo.   

Until then, how was your February?  

Happy Sewing!   

Monday, 26 February 2018

Monday's Mending Pile

Sometimes I stand in front of my closet and think, "I don't have a thing to wear!" This is because most of clothes that should be hanging in my closet tend to end up in the mending pile at one point or another. And well, I'm not the most efficient at clearing items off the pile. I'm not the biggest fan of mending.  

But I am a fan of finally getting an item back into rotation instead of adding items to the donate pile that might eventually end up in a landfill. That would just make me sad. Take this RTW t-shirt. Yeah, ready-to-wear, I still have some of those lingering around my wardrobe. That would make this t-shirt over five years old. I'm guessing maybe ten? I picked it when I spotted it on sale despite that it had this lace thing stitched to it. I didn't like the lace appliqué but it was a bargain and I thought what the heck, with the long sleeves and cotton fabric, it will be a good t-shirt to wear and work in the yard.  

Problem was I hardly wore it because I didn't like the appliqué. Seriously, I don't know why it took this long to remove the lace. Now, this is a t-shirt I can wear.  

And socks. Yes, there are constantly socks that make it to the mending pile and linger there despite that it a quick mending project. My bad.  

This cotton t-shirt made it to the mending pile once again when I noticed holes happening at the underarm.  

This mending project is all about my stitching rather than wear and tear. I used a lightning bolt stitch while sewing this stable cotton knit which was overkill. I could have easily used a straight stitch without any negative consequences to the outcome. Lesson learned for the next time I sew this type of fabric. And it's how I repaired this section, with a straight stitch.  

Well, I might not be a fan of mending but I am a fan of putting these back in the closet. 

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 24 February 2018

It Costs How Much?

There has been an Issey Miyake skirt pattern that I've been searching for years now.

And this evening I actually came across it on Etsy. In my size range! I would have been over-the-moon excited if the price tag didn't stop me in my tracks. The price for this vintage pattern, with exchange and shipping, a whopping hundred fifty-eight (Cdn) dollars and fifty-five cents. That was enough to give up my search and any desire to ever own and sew this pattern. I think I need to start drafting my own patterns. When did pattern prices get so insanely crazy?  

Okay, I do realize that it is an Issey Miyake design but really, do people pay over a hundred dollars for a sewing pattern?  

I found this one, circa 1950's listed for one thousand six hundred (US) dollars. It's not even a designer pattern.  

It makes these Givenchy patterns look like a bargain listed at three hundred twenty (US) dollars for OOP McCall's 3625 and three hundred thirty-nine and eighty-nine (US) dollars for OOP McCall's 3788.  

This Simplicity pattern from the nineteen thirties is listed for two hundred and fifty (US) dollars.

And this pattern capturing the era of 1950s glamour is listed at three hundred sixty-four (US) dollars and forty-six cents.

Even patterns from the nineteen sixties are demanding some serious coin such as this Fabiani design listed at two hundred twenty-five (US) dollars. Not only is it a stunning design, it comes with a label.

Even this 1970s futuristic Handsmaid's Tale cosplay pattern disguised as a bridal pattern has an asking price of two hundred two (US) dollars and forty-eight cents.  

It's not just patterns from last century that are priced with eyebrow raising price tags.  This McCall's 4659 pattern from this century, circa 2004, is currently listed at one thousand three (US) dollars and sixty-four cents.  

So it begs to be asked, how are these patterns priced? Is it whether or not a pattern is considered rare, culturally relevant, or could it just be a typo?  

Happy Sewing!  

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 ...