Monday, 2 May 2016

Monday's Mending Pile

I will admit, my toes just can't take it anymore. Oh the memories of walking and running around in heels. Feeling taller than my five foot, half inch frame where the view was spectacular on top of my heels. If only I had the wisdom in my youth to be kinder to my tootsies, I could have saved fabric with a shorter pant length, loads of coin spent on epson salts and time recovering from hours on top of my heels. Now that I'm older and wiser, I'm appreciating the view from my intended view point in comfortable footwear.  
And so this is how these pants ended up on the mending pile. It is my black wool version of an Anne Klein design, Vogue 1312. I originally hemmed these to wear with a red wedge shoe.  


Now, I want need to wear them with flats and I re-hemmed them with a cuff. I have to admit that I love the way this looks. Vogue 1312 is the perfect pant pattern for a cuffed leg.

Happy Mending! And be kind to your feet.  


Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Elusive Zipper

Where on earth can you find a six inch separating zipper that isn't sold as a 5 000 piece minimum order? Anyone? I would really appreciate the help on this one. 

{Source}

You see, I picked up Vogue 1507 and I'm dreaming about those pants in a white denim but I can't find a 6" separating zipper. I've checked high and low, at all the fabric stores in the city and I've checked online as well. Even Vogue's online fabric store doesn't carry 6" separating zippers. Oh Vogue patterns, how you tease me with a desirable design!  
I'm not giving up hope. I actually did pick up a nine inch separating zipper, the smallest length that I could find.  


The thought was to try and remove those metal clasps and reapply them three inches below. Just one flaw in my plan. My right hand is swollen today and my fingers are killing me. Could it be that the sewing gods are trying to tell me something?  


Like maybe I shouldn't sew "fitted through hips" pants? Naw, that can't be it. So the search for this little treasure continues. Has anyone seen a six inch separating zipper in their corner of the world? Perhaps buried in your zipper collection? That you wouldn't mind selling?  

Happy Sewing!   



Saturday, 30 April 2016

April in Review...

Is it true?  Are update posts boring?  I found this posted in the sewing blog sphere and I thought about my monthly blog updates.  

Update posts aren't usually interesting but... 

I'm still going to continue with them because for me it is a record and keeps me accountable to my sewing and budgetary goals. I really hope it is not boring for those visiting this blog. If it is please feel free to skip this post but I do hope you return another time.  

Sewing:

There were two projects that didn't get made up this month. The print wrap dress and the floral jacket are still on my wish-list. The wrap dress is cut and a few seams have been stitched, so hopefully soon it will be finished.  The jacket is still a dream folded up neatly within the yardage of fabric.

Top L to R: Blue lace top, OOP McCall's 7946; Fashion
Revolution Necklace; Minty wrap dress, OOP Vogue 7014;
Silk dress, Vogue 1410; Cotton knit top, OOP Vogue 8710.  
Beside finishing (and starting) the wrap dress and jacket, next month, I would like to make a pair of pants for moi, and a new dress and slip for Mama R. Being told to rest the hand is throwing a curve ball into my sewing plans though. We'll just have to wait and see how far I get with these plans.  

RTW Fast:

Actually, I didn't pick up any ready-to-wear items this month.  Woohoo! And next month is Me-Made-May '16 which I pledge to participate.  

I have to admit I do like this activity because it hits home that I have a me-made wardrobe that I like and which fits me better than RTW. And it is a good exercise in finding out what needs there are to fill (besides undies--really need to sew some undergarments).    

The Stats:


Supplies
Quantity Used from the stash this Month 
Quantity Used this Year
Added to the Stash this year
Basting Tape
0
0.40 metres
0
Bias Tape
2 metres
2.01 metres
0
Buttons
0
19
0
Chain
0
0
0
Cord Stopper
1
1
1
Elastic
1 metre
3.8 metres
1 metre
Fabric
8.1 metres
27.65 metres
30.9 metres
Fusible Tape
0.40 metres
0.40 metres
0
Hand needles
0
0
0
Hook and Eyes
0
0
0
Interfacing
0
1.60 metres
10 metres
Lace trim
0
0
0
Pattern (new)
1
7
6
Pattern (previously used)
3
5
0
Ribbon
0
0.50 metres
0
Serger needles
0
0
0
Serger thread
1
1
0
Sewing machine needles
1
6
0
Snaps
0
0
0
Thread
2
5
24
Trim
0
1.8 metres
1.8 metres
Velcro
0
0
0
Zipper
0
1
2




Thursday, 28 April 2016

Tendonitis is Tripping Up My Sewing Plans

There hasn't been much sewing since my right hand ballooned up earlier this week. Not only was it ugly, like bull-frog ugly. 

No offensive meant towards bull-frogs.  I'm sure
there is another bull-frog out there that finds
this one quite attractive. 

It also hurt to move my fingers. It kind of freaked me out and lead to a panicked call to a physiotherapist. So, long story short... I've been advised to take a break from sewing until things settle and wear this thing again.  


I think my next sewing project should be designing a more attractive cage to keep my thumb straight that doesn't have velcro. Velcro ruins my clothes. Yeah, I know I can just cover it with a cut sock but it is warming up and it is, well, ugly.  

Talking about the good, bad and ugly, I picked up a new book at the library.  


I admire this man's wit, to me he is a wise person who highlights how fashion is more than material things in our closet. It is about history, politics, innovation, culture, subcultures, fitting in, protesting and expressing ourselves. I know this book will keep me entertained and occupied while I take a break from the sewing room because I've always enjoyed Gunn's blunt, witty, and astute observations.  

  




Monday, 25 April 2016

Do You Follow Trends?

I wouldn't define myself as a trendy person. By the time I get around to sewing the "latest trend" it is typically gone. I watch for the latest must have fashion trends just for entertainment, rarely because I'm dying to jump in. But here is a "must-have fashion trend for 2016" that I must admit I do like. The off-the-shoulder look.  

Dress by H&M, Top by Zara.
{Source}

Of course, this look has no place in my everyday life without a deluxe roll of double sided tape. Working in a school environment is a very physical job, this is not the sort of look I could pull off at work life. If I were a woman of leisure or off to some beach side restaurant to have lunch, it might work.

bcgb {Source}

I was surprised that this look is being shown as a to-watch-trend but I couldn't find too much evidence of it in the new spring releases from McCall's, Butterick, and Vogue.







I was, however, able to find some off-the-shoulder looks in the current offerings from previous releases. With the exception of Gertie's new one-shoulder dress.  Nothing as modern edgy and chic as the black RTW top from Zara shown above. The pattern offerings from the major four pattern companies seem to be mostly made up of reincarnated seventies bohemian chic. 

Lovely if you can pull off the look but I'm a middle aged (ouch, that hurt) lady with a bit of a mid-section (need to hit the gym) who fantasizes of being dressed as stylishly as the folks on Advanced Style. Except, I'm eating Nicoise Salad at some beach-side restaurant somewhere in Europe. I'm not asking for much, am I? 

Should I side-step this trend as Sandra Halliday warns?  

Call me foolish or call me a risk-taker, but I think I found a pattern in my stash that might work despite Halliday's dire warnings. Vogue 1038 is a dramatic off-the-shoulder tunic that looks stunning with capris.  I know this to be true because a fabulous version has been modelled by Tia Dia over at Mezzo Couture. Forget about trying to recreate that Zara top, I'll be sewing this Donna Karan design (and will make my own Nicoise Salad). 


How about you, will you be sewing the off-the-shoulder look this season?  

Happy Sewing!  


Sunday, 24 April 2016

"GET YOU PAWS OFF MY FABRIC!"

I have Rachel Comey's Vogue 1507 in queue to be sewn. 


I can't wait to get to work on these pants and I have some white denim that I'm planning on using. Just one problem, I need a zipper. Vogue patterns failed to mention on the notions list and in Vogue pattern magazine that the 6" exposed zipper needs to be a separating zipper. In this town, no such thing exists. Trust me, I've looked.  

This afternoon, I was looking through Mitchell Fabrics and even though I did not find the exact size of zipper I needed, I did pick one up slightly longer hoping that I will be able to make it work.  

Once I found the notions I needed, I thought that I would take a look at the fabrics. Since I was there, why not?  After taking a look up stairs I went downstairs to the Annex where I found some striped knit and I walked by a pile of knit fabric on the ledge near the stairs. There was this cherry red cotton knit that I went to pick up when at the wall of home decor fabric a saleswoman helping two young men, yells in my direction, "GET YOUR PAWS OFF MY FABRIC!"  

Top of her lungs she yells across at me. She startled the young men who were standing beside her and they quickly turned towards me. I'm sure people upstairs heard because she was right beside the open staircase. Totally embarrassed I step away from the cotton knit and quickly went upstairs.  

I paid for my items and quickly left the store. And driving home, I just felt angry at myself that I let someone's unprofessional behaviour made me leave. It made me angry because I didn't knowingly or deliberately do anything wrong. I'm sure she could have handled the situation differently. And when I got home, I called the store to speak to a manager. But there was no manager, there was only a supervisor and it was the woman who yelled at me.  

We spoke. She apologized. I'm still not sure why she told me to get my "paws" (which I find very offensive) off her fabric. To be completely honest, I don't really care. She did me a favour, I didn't need to add anymore fabric to my stash. I just wanted an apology for the way to spoke to me. And I think I'm officially turned off from fabric shopping. Thank goodness I have quite the stash to keep me occupied in the meantime.  


Fashion Revolution Week 2016

Today, marks the end of Fashion Revolution week and the anniversary of the tragedy at Rana Plaza. Today in Bangladesh, protesters are once again demanding justice. 

{Source}

Bangladesh is home to four million garment workers many who work in unsafe conditions for little pay while big brand labels like H & M and Joe Fresh continue to have their products made in South Asia. There were over forty officials including the owner of Rana Plaza who were arrested following the tragedy, yet no one has been convicted since the 2013 building collapse. Media attention following the tragedy highlighted promises that working conditions would change but little has happened since that time. Are we doomed to stand idly by as western consumers continue to gush over cheaply made and priced fast-fashion?

H & M Grand Opening {Source}
Photo credit:  Wayne Glowacki, Winnipeg Free Press
This year's focus was on the people and businesses in our own community that are part of the fashion industry. I wonder if a focus on customers might be another angle to generate awareness. People did ask me about the necklace I made out of labels and it gave me an opportunity to explain. It was wonderful to have the discussions I did and to see the shocked look on the faces when I shared facts about the environmental and human rights issues surrounding the fashion industry. The necklace will go down as my favourite item I have sewn this year. It gave me hope as it was a vehicle to share some awareness not only with others but also with myself.      

  




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