Sunday, 31 January 2016

January in Review

Sewing:

Top L to R:  Jungle January Jammies, McCall's 2476; Vintage Jumper Muslin, OOP McCall's 7946;
Vintage Jumper, OOP McCall's 7946; Donna Karan skirt, OOP Vogue 1378; 'The Cat's Pajamas', McCall's 7299;
Striped skirt, no pattern used.

I actually did not get around to doing a lot of sewing this month. The Donna Karan skirt and the vintage jumper muslin were sewn during my Christmas lay-off. I just didn't get around to snapping pictures and blogging about them until this month. I had grand plans that are still in the works.  Maybe February will be more productive?  

I did manage to get some mending and alterations done this month. This is a huge achievement for me because I'm not all that fond of mending and alterations. The plan is to get the mending pile under control this year.   


RTW Fast:

And I managed to get through the first month sewing, mending and altering all my clothing needs. This is my third year on a ready-to-wear fast. Woohoo! After the first year, I recall Carolyn mentioning that it gets easier as time progresses and she's right. As my skills improve so does my confidence that I could make something just as well or better.


The Stats


Supplies
Quantity Used from the stash this Month
Quantity Used this Year
Added to the Stash
Basting Tape
0.40 metres
0.40 metres
0
Bias Tape
0
0
0
Buttons
1
1
0
Chain
0
0
0
Elastic
0.8 metres
0.8 metres
0
Fabric
11.15 metres
11.15 metres
20.5 metres
Hand needles
0
0
0
Hook and Eyes
0
0
0
Interfacing
0
0
0
Lace trim
0
0
0
Pattern (new)
4
4
3
Pattern (previously used)
1
1
0
Serger needles
0
0
0
Serger thread
0
0
0
Sewing machine needles
0
0
0
Snaps
0
0
0
Thread
2
2
0
Trim
0
0
0
Velcro
0
0
0
Zipper
1
1
0


Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Nostalgic Sewing

Stash-busting 2016:  Revisiting an Old Fav and Finally Blogging About It


I made a few skirts with this pattern back-in-the-day when I was much younger and thinner. Well, when I found this pattern in my current size over on Etsy, I couldn't resist the pull towards some nostalgic sewing. That was almost three years ago, goodness how time flies.


OOP Vogue 1378 is a Donna Karan design for a body blouse and skirts, circa 1994. I have in the past made both skirts. Version B was by far my favourite of the two and the one that I wanted to revisit with this sewing project.  

I cut out all the pattern pieces needed to make a direct copy of the skirt as shown above but as you can see it turned out quite different from the photograph on the pattern envelope.

I cut the largest size on the pattern remembering that it was quite fitted when I first made it and my hips are thankful that I did. But I had to do something about the excess of fabric at the waistline and above. I could have cut a size 12 at the waist and graded up towards a size 16 at the hips. So, after sewing up the sides I had a few trips back to the sewing machine taking the side seams in and reaching for my seam ripper to remove the old stitching lines.


Then I basted and chopped off the shaping of the raised waistline and did a rolled hem instead of bothering with the suspenders. I really do like the look of the suspenders but with how my wrists has been feeling I wasn't all that keen on turning over long tubes of fabric.  


This fabric has been in my part of my stash for a very long time, at least a decade if I were to guess. I found it at Mitchell Fabrics in the basement vintage section. I have no idea what the fibre content of this fabric is but I do know that it handled machine washing and drying quite well. It also wrinkles and presses well on a high temperature setting. It is a light-weight plaid and don't let the colours fool you, it would work best as a spring / summer garment. As I was sewing the skirt up and hand stitching the slits and hem, I came to realize that this would make a really nice plaid shirt. And I do have enough of this fabric in the stash to make one. Don't worry, I don't plan on wearing plaid on plaid. That's so 1994!  

The verdict on this one, nostalgic sewing is fun but sometimes you just need to change it up a bit. I do like how it turned out and I think it would be a nice addition to my weekend wardrobe. But I don't think that I'll be sewing up another one anytime soon. Although, it was a nice trip down memory lane.


The Stats:

Fabric:     1.2 metres $7.19 ($5.99 / metre + taxes)

Zipper:     20 cm invisible zipper $1.58 ($2.80 - 50% off + taxes)

Basting Tape:     40 cm $0.00, birthday gift.

Thread:    I'm going to average out about $4.00 for thread used for the sewing machine, serger and hand-stitching.  I managed to finish off a spool of thread during this project.

Pattern:     Vogue 1378 $24.65

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, scissors, pins, hand needle, invisible zipper foot, zipper foot, about four hours, two cups of coffee, and one cookie.

Happy Sewing!





Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mojo Jump Start

Sometimes the sewing mojo needs a jump start with a little bit of fabric shopping.  


I found this stroke-able fabric at Mitchell Fabrics on the weekend. I wasn't even looking for another animal print but it jumped out at me. And then I had to take a look at the pattern books to find some inspiration. 

My brain was thinking along the lines of a jacket. Or perhaps use it for the cape? Kitschy or Katie? I decided to stick with Katie-esque for the cape and use this pattern for an animal print jacket. The plan is to go kitschy for Valentine's day. I work at a school where kitschy is the way to go on theme-day holidays. I wonder if I can finish it in time for Jungle January? I'm coming home after work to give it a try. 

I was actually shopping for some knit fabric for the Issey Miyake pattern, OOP Vogue 2556, that has recently found its way into my pattern stash. I found some fair-trade red cotton knit and a muted yellow contrast.  

But I noticed something while fabric shopping this weekend and on a stop over at Northwest Fabrics yesterday. It isn't just cauliflower that is going up in price. I used to find some great deals but those are becoming harder and harder to find. Either this hobby of mine is becoming way too expensive or I need to stop dreaming about garments made in quality fabrics. The biggest sticker shock was found in the wool department. But even polyesters are priced with eye-raising tags. The store clerk showed me a ponte knit that was priced more than the fair-trade cotton knit. It wasn't the price that made me choose the cotton knit rather memories of how ponte knit is prone to pilling which deflated its value in my eyes. Even Fabricland raised their price of their membership and lowered their pattern discounts last year. I decided not to renew my membership this year. And it looks like I'll be doing more shopping from my stash than at the fabric store. 

How about you, have you noticed a sharp increase in sewing supplies lately?  

Happy Sewing!  



  

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Prrr-fect Print

This is a special little project for a little gal who has been in my prayers this past month. And I hope she likes it [fingers crossed].


McCall's 7299 is the pattern that I used to make this nightshirt. I really do like this pattern even though it did require quite a bit of slip-stitching.  With the exception of one missing notch on the front yoke shoulder seam, this is a perfectly drafted pattern. And the missing notch, no big deal.


The hem was straightened instead of the shirt-tail hem shown on the pattern envelope only because I wanted to take it easy on the wrist. And instead of using two sixteen millimetre buttons I used one decorative cat button.


And check out this print. This is the prrrr-fect print for a little gal who loves cats! I found this 100% cotton flannel fabric at Fabricland and picked it up during a buy one get one metre free sale. It was pre-treated with a tumble in the washing machine and dryer and then a steam pressing on the cotton setting. Would you believe that it shrank width-wise from forty-four inches to forty-one? Yikes!


The Stats:

Fabric:      2.2 metres

Button:     1 decorative

Pattern:     McCall's 7299

Thread:     100% polyester thread

Tools and supplies:  Sewing machines, serger, scissors, buttonhole foot, sewing needle, and some good tunes.

Happy Sewing!



Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Sewing Mojo, Where Are You?

What is it about this time of the year, that my sewing mojo seems to disappear? I have so much on my sewing table and in queue but I've been coming home and the last thing I want to do is head to the work space that once brought me so much joy.  


It hasn't helped that I've been fighting a sore throat, runny nose and sweats the past couple of weeks.  


And wearing a wrist splint for what is suspected to be a tear. 


But I really need to clear this project off the sewing table. 


And I have to get ready for sewing club starting up later this month. One more word to embroider and I really want to finish the sample "I ♡ to Read" bookmark with the word "sleep".  


I'd probably sleep through the night if the velcro on the wrist brace would stop sticking to the flannel sheets. Hmmm, maybe I need to sew a velcro-less wrist brace? Or find my sewing mojo...  

Happy Sewing!  





Monday, 18 January 2016

Monday's Mending Pile

I haven't been getting too much of my own mending done because well, I love my folks and another pair of their pants ended up on the mending pile. This time it is a pair of pants for Mama R. Did you faint? Most people are shocked when they see Mama R in pants because 99% of the time she's wearing a dress. It is only when it is this cold and she has to go outside that she will wear a pair of pants. And she wanted to wear a pair of pants that she recently picked up at the mall. I know, you're probably asking why I don't just make her a pair of pants but I have offered many times. Even her favourite pattern, Simplicity 2372, has a pattern for pants. Could it be that she doesn't trust me? Anyway, I digress... 


Mama R is a wee-petite lady and even though she picked these pants up in the petite section, they still had to be cut before they were hemmed.  



First, I basted where the pants were folded up after she tried them on and they were pinned. Then I used the basting shown in red to measure an inch and a half hem where I cut and finished the edge on the serger. The pink basting I stitched to aid with the fold for the blind hem that I did on the sewing machine.  

The best part of this project is how happy and appreciative Mama R is with her pants. I just wish she would let me make her a pair. Maybe one day but for now, she would rather have another dress.  

Happy Mending!  





Sunday, 17 January 2016

Say What?

A nightshirt project for a little gal has jumped queue. I didn't have a pattern in my stash for such a project so I hit the fabric store. And how did I not notice this before, 
The garments in this pack are not intended as sleep apparel.
There are all these patterns listed in the McCall's pattern book under the section labelled "Sleepwear" but contain this description. The patterns look like sleep apparel. So I don't get it. Does anyone know why a pattern like this would have such a description attached to it? Anyone? McCall's are you reading this and care to respond? 

I'm curious and for the life of me, I can't figure out why.  

Anyway, I did settle for this pattern. It was one of the few that didn't have the description listed on the pattern book page.   


I hope to whip this up this weekend.  

Happy Sewing!  




Saturday, 16 January 2016

More Horizontal Stripes

Stash-busting 2016:  Pull-on Skirt


Well, after making this jumper I was left with 0.75 metres of this ponte knit. And not wanting to waste it or put this back in the stash, I thought this might make a easy to wear and comfortable skirt for work. So I got to work.  


There are no side seams or any shaping cut into the fabric with scissors. I just stitched a 5/8" seam allowance at the selvage of the fabric, sewed a casing for an elastic to be lead through with a safety pin, and sewed the ends of the elastic together.

The hem was serged and left as is not because I was being lazy rather, I didn't want it any shorter than it is already. I really like this medium weight ponte knit fabric more than I like this make. This one is more of a hang out around the house than seen out in public project.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:    0.75 metres $4.58 ($18.00 - 70% off + taxes)

Elastic:   0.80 metre $0.32 ($0.35 / metre + taxes)

Thread:  Averaged out $2.00 for serger and sewing machine thread.   

Happy Sewing!  



   

Thursday, 14 January 2016

In Sewing News Today...

Have you seen Rivergum's dress? You can check it out on her blog, The Insouciant Stitcher. She took one of my favourite Marcy Tilton patterns, Vogue 9060, and made the most brilliant dress. And to top it off, she made it in a woven rather than knit fabric.  

{Source}
This is my idea of the perfect dress. And now Rivergum has me thinking about using the skirt pattern to create a my own dress. Rivergum used her Eva dress bodice and some creative drafting techniques to cut the bodice and main skirt piece as one.  

Since I don't own the Eva dress pattern and I already added three new patterns to the stash, I thought that the bodice from Vogue 1312 would work as well. Of course, I have no idea when I'm going to find time to make this creation but I figure it will be a cute summer dress so I have time to clear off what is on the table.  

And that would be the supplies for the cape. I haven't yet pre-treated the melton wool that I've picked up for the project even though I did decide on the pre-shrinkage method that I'm going to do. Thank you for the comments and suggestions! I'm going with the dryer method but I'm delayed until I can get some help wringing out some towels since I'm wearing another brace, this time on the left hand. I haven't even traced out my pattern pieces yet. I'm all talk, no action this week.  

And those patterns I added to the stash... 


This OOP Issey Miyake pattern I found on Etsy.  



And these two Vogue spring releases are on their ways as well. Did you know that Vogue, Butterick and McCall's are currently on sale until Sunday?  

Anyway, that is all in sewing news today.

Happy Sewing!  


     


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Black Tie Sweatpants?

I get it sweatpants are all the rage. I see them at the mall at all the twenty-something shops. Forty dollars (CDN $) a pop is quite an expense when you consider how easy they are to whip up and that teenagers are sewing pyjama bottoms at home economics classes. Sewing up a pair of sweats is not that far of a stretch from pyjama bottoms. I guess those classes don't emphasis the economics side of sewing. Or maybe it is the designer / brand logo or celeb-look they're after.  

{Source}

Now I have to admit that I did literally laughed out loud while reading this article, "The Latest Thing in Fashion:  Stylish Sweatpants?!" while in the waiting room at physiotherapist's office. Gotta love a waiting room with current magazines. But I digress...

{Source}
And this is a public laugh-out-loud. I found it utterly ridiculous when I read
Paul Hardy has a pair of sweatpants he says cost him at least $600. They look like a hybrid between dress pants and sweatpants; he wears them with a tuxedo jacket.  'We're not talking about Adidas here,' he says. 'The ones I have are from a Parisian designer. There's a drawstring on the inside of the waistband'.
Don't all sweatpants have waistbands and drawstrings? And to think that I thought $40.00 was ridiculous for a pair of sweatpants. What am I not getting? Besides a pair of $600 sweatpants.

The Hudson Pants by True Bias  {Source}

If this is your thing, you can easily make your own. True Bias has everything you and your family needs to be hip and fashionable in "stylish sweatpants." The Hudson Pants is available in women, mens and kids sizes.

Jalie Sweatpants (Source)

Even Jalie patterns have hopped onto this trend.

Vogue 8909
And Vogue patterns too! Myself, I don't think you will see me dressing up a pair of sweatpants to wear to work or a black tie event. Call me old school but I wear sweatpants for sweating not strutting. Needless to say, I wouldn't style it with a tuxedo jacket, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Just don't spend $600 on a pair. That's just crazy!

Happy Sewing!




Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Vintage Cape: Fabric & Supplies

I found my fabrics for the vintage cape at Mitchell Fabrics. I was quite thrilled when I stumbled across this red wool that reminds me of the Kate Spade cape I so admire. It almost made me forget about the beautifully soft black cashmere that I walked by moments before and which was so out of my price range. I happened to pick up the last of the red melton wool on the bolt and luckily it was the exact yardage that I required.  

  
This melton cloth (shown on the left) is a 70% wool and 30% rayon blend. The lining (shown on the right) is a 48% cotton and 32% acrylic kasha satin. I did spend some time looking through their vintage collection of coat buttons but didn't find anything to go with the fabric. It didn't have to be red buttons, I was looking more for interesting and unique. These understated buttons I found at Fabricland and just happened to be a perfect match with my fabric.  


I cut and sewed the front, sides and back of the cape pattern to test out the fit and figure out where I would like to place the pockets. All that is left to do is trace out my pattern pieces, pre-shrink my fabric and cut it out.  


Unlike some vintage patterns from the 1970s, this one does not come with separate pattern pieces for the lining. This means that I'm going to take some time this week and copy my pattern lining pattern pieces before cutting.  


In the meantime, I'm getting my fabric ready. The lining fabric has already been pre-treated with a run through the washing machine and two dryer cycles on delicate. It is currently hanging on the drying rack waiting for a light pressing. The wool I'm torn on how to pretreat it. Any suggestions?  

There is the London shrink method and there is this dryer method. Of course, I could take it to a dry cleaner. If only there was a dry cleaner I would trust with my fabric. I am leaning towards the dryer method. It might be tricky while dealing with an injured wrist and wearing another brace. We'll see... What is your preferred method of pre-treating wool?  

Happy Sewing!  







Monday, 11 January 2016

David Bowie

Today has been a heartbreaking day, the world woke up in a state of disbelief to the news that David Bowie is no longer with us. 


Heroes is one of my favourite Bowie songs. Yet it is not only the music that I find fills my heart and toes with absolute joy. Bowie is a artist in every sense of the word and his impact on the fashion scene is undeniable. Bowie's influence on the fashion scene is not limited to street fashion and the looks that his fans try to mimic, Kings and Queens of the design world have also benefited from his creative genius.  


I want to share a quote that was shared on another sewing blog because it is perfect.  
"If you're ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."
Thanks Karen for sharing this quote. I am without a doubt grateful to have existed at the same time as David Bowie. It has indeed been a true gift. Rest in peace, Mr. Bowie. You have left us with an legacy of creativity to be inspired by.  





Monday's Mending Pile

A sign that I may have over indulged over the holidays. This one ended up in the mending pile a couple of weeks ago when I bent over and with a pop I felt like I could breathe again. I really need to hit the gym. But I digress... 


I NEED to fix this hook on these pants since these are my warmest wool pants and winter seriously arrived this weekend. According to the weather forecasts, winter plans to stick around this week.  I wonder what happened to that El NiƱo we're supposed to be enjoying?  

Nothing like a blast of cold weather to make one take a look at the mending pile for those cold-weather items.  

Happy Sewing!  


Saturday, 9 January 2016

Big Plans

I'm still dreaming about making a cape. A few weeks ago I was out and about and I just happened to stumble upon a Kate Spade cape. I found it at Winners, you know that retail store that claims to have "the hottest brand name and designer fashion of the season," blah, blah, blah. Well, they also carry last season's hottest brand name fashions and that is where I found this Kate Spade cape from the 2014 Fall / Winter season. Even though this is so last year (and possibly a half), it is still so pretty.


Seriously pretty, and not allowed while on a RTW Fast. But that didn't stop me from taking it to the change room to try it on, gush over the gorgeous details, and snap a few pictures. Besides, quality workmanship is timeless and there is a lot of pretty details in this cape.     


It is a beautifully crafted 100% wool lined cape. And it is my inspiration for my next sewing project. A couple of months ago, I picked up this pattern, Simplicity 6680.  


It is a vintage pattern, circa 1974, and will be the foundation of my cape. The one detail missing from this pattern that I absolutely love on the Kate Spade cape are the pockets. And that is where this pattern will help out. 

I plan to borrow the welt and pocket pattern pieces from Vogue 8863 to get those pockets that I love in the Kate Spade cape. Sue over at Ilove2sew! made Vogue 8863 a few years ago and although she did not have high praises for the jacket she did for the pockets.
The welt pocket came together well and the pocket is nice and deep, perfect for a jacket.
There was one thing that I forgot to record when I was in the changing room gathering all my research material, the length. I knew that I like the length of the Kate Spade cape but I did not have a measuring tape with me in the changing room. Drats!

Thankfully, I was able to find this information online. The Simplicity pattern lists the finished length as 32" and the Kate Spade cape is a 29" length. It looks like I am all set to get to work on a toile. Yes, I'm going to make a test garment first before I cut into my fabric.  

Oh, wait until you see the fabric...  

Happy Sewing!  




Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Spring Vogue Patterns

The new spring Vogue patterns were released last night. Oh My!  

Vogue 9174
Marcy Tilton posted a preview of this pattern, Vogue 9174, on her website and I've been waiting for its release since.  

Vogue 1488
Vogue 1488, a DKNY shirtdress and slip looks comfy, I would just have to lengthen it significantly if I want to make it work.  I really like the front tie detail.  

Vogue 1493
I was surprised to see another Koos van den Akker design, Vogue 1493. It is such a beautiful design that highlights the loss the design world endured last year.

Vogue 1494
And another jacket caught my eye, Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1494. It is a high waisted peplum coat. My kind of coat and one of the suggested fabrics happens to be lambs leather. Could you just imagine! 

Vogue 9168
This has to be the biggest surprise of the collection, Kathryn Brenne's dress. Even though it is not at all my style, I will admit that I do find it to be quite pretty. My favourite part of this outfit is the slip worn underneath.  

Vogue 9168
Vogue 9177
And there is another little gal's dress that I think is too cute.

Vogue 9177
It is the smocking detail that I think is too cute. This pattern goes up to a girls size 8 which I haven't typically seen before, usually I come across patterns for smocking in younger sizes. I've always admire this detail but I think my days of little girl dresses is behind me. But I hope to follow someone else as they tackle this project, it looks like a lovely pattern.  

What about you, did you have any favourite picks from the new Vogue line?  

Happy Sewing!  


  


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Vintage Jumper: The Wearable Version

Stash-busting 2016:  A Striped Dress

You know what "they" say about horizontal stripes? 
Here is the skinny:
  • Avoid putting horizontal stripes across the larger parts of your body.
  • The wider the stripe, the wider and shorter the area will appear.
  • The higher the contrast in color, the more dramatic the widening effect.
Well, I threw caution to the wind, broke all "the rules" and ended up with this jumper.  


I should be smiling in this picture because I'm really do like with how it turned out. And check out the stripe matching on the sides.  


After testing out the changes I made to OOP McCall's 7946, I decided that I was ready to cut into this ponte knit that has been in my stash for a few years.


I kept the same empire waistline change but took it in a wee bit at the side seam at the bust. I also tried to narrow the neckline but after trying it on, I went back to the original neckline.  

I pretreated the fabric with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer cycles and there was no need to iron. Gotta love that! It is a medium ponte knit which will be comfortable for this mild prairie winter we're having this year. I'm sure I'm going to get quite bit of wear out of this garment.


The Stats:  

Fabric:    2.6 metres $15.87 ($18.00 - 70% off + taxes)

Pattern:  OOP McCall's 7946, already priced out with this one.  

Thread:  Averaged out $4.00 for the sewing machine and serger. I finished off a spool of thread during this project.  

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, walking foot, cutting table, scissors, and pins, and three enjoyable hours listening to the radio while sewing.  

Happy Sewing!  


Monday, 4 January 2016

Monday's Mending Pile

I think I might have mentioned that I DO NOT LIKE MENDING. So, when something ends up in the mending pile that does not belong to me, there is one one explanation. Love. George Bernard Shaw got it wrong when he said

{Source}

Seriously, there is no sincerer love than someone doing someone else's mending. And I do love my parents, it goes without saying. It is the only reason why I would allow someone else's mending to end up on Monday's mending pile. Love. 

This week's project is another pair of pants that belongs to Papa R. I have already hemmed these pants for him after he tried them on and blah, blah, blah. I measured, pinned, had him walk in them before I took them to be hemmed. But when Papa R thinks no one is looking, he wears his pants like the "cool" kids (or do they like being called the "kool" kids?).  

{Source}

It is the only explanation that I can come up with to explain this mess.  


It doesn't look so bad in this picture so let me stick my hand through this mess to demonstrate.  


Some kids just need to pull up their pants, right Papa R?  


And if that fails, their pants get hemmed dangerous close to a flood length hem. Now that these pants are re-hemmed, the question remains, how low can Papa R go?


Happy Sewing!


OOP Vogue 8887: Cuffed Trousers

This is my test garment of out-of-print (OOP) Vogue 8887. There is so much that I like about this pattern. First off, the fabric is cut on ...