Friday, 17 November 2017

Pyjama Bottoms: Vogue 9217

A designer Vogue pattern for pull-on pants with a shaped hem made the perfect pair of pyjama bottoms. 

The pattern is Kathryn Brenne's Vogue 9217 and I'm quite happy with how these turned out. They have generous pockets, an elasticized waist, and the cutest seam binded hem. There will defiantly be another pair or two in my sewing future. I'm thinking the reversible top that is part of this pattern along with another pair of pants would make a cute summertime outfit. But I digress...   

The fabric is a 100% cotton. It was pretreated with a cycle through the washing machine and tumble in the dryer followed by a pressing on the steam setting. The pattern was shortened by an inch and I had to grade the pattern up to a large to provide the amount of ease I want for pyjama bottoms. The pattern is a multi-sized pattern but I purchased the smaller size thinking that the loose-fitting description would be enough. Perhaps loose-fitting referred to the other garments in the pattern? Or maybe I need to do some more squats? Anyway, it all worked out perfectly.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.2 metres

Elastic:  1.2 metres of 25 mm wide elastic

Seam binding:  1.65 metres

Pattern:  Vogue 9217

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, measuring tape, tailor's chalk, scissors, thread clippers, sewing machine, serger, thread, seam ripper, iron, ironing board, and tea. 

Happy Sewing!   

Thursday, 16 November 2017

National Button Day!

Today is National Button Day.

Clockwise top L to R:  recycled large black rose coat button, green and blue vintage buttons circa 1960s, vintage black and silver buttons, new burgundy shirt buttons, recycled large red decorative buttons, polka dot buttons, large rooster decorative button, red shirt buttons, and black and silver coat buttons.  
A day to celebrate buttons! When it comes to sewing clothes, I prefer using buttons to sewing a zipper. It's just easier to get in and out of a garment with buttons never mind replacement. I would much rather replace a button than replace a zipper! And buttons can be decorative besides functional. Sure, there are decorative zippers out on the market but do they really compare to these gorgeous buttons?  
There are so many buttons out there that are tiny pieces of art. Of course there would be a National Button day! If you're interested in reading a fascinating piece on the history of buttons and some beautiful visuals, I recommend this read.

Happy Sewing!  (with buttons!) 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

In Sewing News Today...

Today started off with the heartbreaking news that Nancy Zieman passed away early this morning.

Back in September, not long ago, she wrote a message to her viewers that she would be retiring from her program and that the next fifteen new episodes would be her last. It was a terribly sad good-bye as she hinted that the end was near. I don't have a lot of words other than the sadness felt at this news.  Rest in peace gentle soul.  


Friday, 10 November 2017

Pleated Skirt: OOP Vogue 9951

Sometimes you just feel like breaking the rules.  

I made this skirt with out-of-print Vogue 9951, circa 1996, in a canvas, almost denim, weight fabric. But that is not where I broke the rules. This Vogue pattern lists view A and B pleated skirts as "unsuitable for obvious diagonals, plaids or stripes." 

It's the first time trying out this pattern and the fabric was a bargain find at Ikea. So I thought what the heck and gave it a try. I won't say that I dislike it, but I'm not loving it either. It will be a good item to kick around the house in. It would probably look better in a different fabric. The pattern suggestions are for a light-weight gabardine, wool crepe and light weight woollens. It would look nice in those fabrics.  

This was all about trying the pattern. I had to make some adjustment to the size, and to be honest, I can still do some tweaking there.  I omitted the waistband only because it would have sat too high.  Instead I finished off the waistline with left over seam binding. I did the same for the hem. I wish this skirt had pockets. Pockets would have been great.  

All and all, it's a pattern worth revisiting at a later date. In the meantime, I think I can get some use out of this skirt.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  1.6 metres 

Zipper:  1 - 7" invisible zipper

Seam binding:  2.5 metres

Pattern:  OOP Vogue 9951

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, measuring tape, ruler, tailor's chalk, sewing machine, invisible zipper foot, regular zipper foot, serger, iron, and ironing board.

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Panties: Simplicity 8229

I'm revisiting Simplicity 8229 this evening. 

I made a few for Mama R a few months ago but she asked if I can sew a few with the elastic on the outside. She doesn't find how the elastic is inserted comfortable to wear. This insight has me confused because I haven't found any issue with how the elastic is sewn. But who am I to argue with how someone feels in their clothes. Comfort is everything. Before I go into production mode with these I thought I would try out a sample to see if this will work. Fingers are crossed.  

The fabric is a recent purchase. Mama R complained that the other pairs don't stay up well. And I'm certain is has to do with the fabric she chose. This cotton knit is the one that I use for my own panties so I went to pick up some more hoping that it has the amount of stretch that she finds comfortable. I found it in the discount section at Fabricland and it's currently marked down to 70% off. The picot elastic used at the leg openings came from Northwest Fabrics and boy did their stock of picot elastics sell quickly. Hopefully they'll get more in soon in a colour that better matches my fabric since I picked up enough fabric to make several pairs of panties. Since Mama R complained about how the elastic was sewn on I decided to try a lightweight lace elastic sewn on the outside of the waistline. I'm not sure if she'll like it or not but my hope is that this will be more comfortable.  

The Stats:  

Fabric:  0.5 metres of cotton knit  

Elastic:  2.4 metres

Thread:  1 spool was finished off during this project

Pattern:  Simplicity 8229

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, thread clippers, pin cushion, sewing machine, walking foot, serger, iron, ironing board, good tunes and tea.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 6 November 2017

Time Will Tell

Word out on the internet is
NEWS FROM OUR PARENT COMPANY: We are excited to announce that CSS Industries, Inc. has just purchased Simplicity Creative Group. The Simplicity family of brands includes wonderful sewing patterns, of course, but also Wrights® trims and sewing notions, as well as terrific crafts brands including Boye®, Perler®, Dimensions® and American Girl Crafts®. These brands—combined with our existing CSS brands, including Offray®, Lion Ribbon™, C.R. Gibson®, La Mode® buttons, McCall’s®, Butterick® and Vogue Patterns®, and our creative and dedicated employees—will continue to bring our consumers an ever increasing variety of products and innovation all within the CSS portfolio of brands.
I'm not sure what this is going to mean for consumers, only time will tell. I'm sitting on the fence right now. Maybe I'm surprised. But there are a lot of speculation and strong opinions as to what this will mean. 

There is hope that it will mean Canadian consumers will have access to Simplicity patterns without having to fork over a small fortune in shipping and exchange rates. Or travelling across the border for a pattern run.  Fabricland stopped carrying Simplicity and New Look patterns years ago. I'm not so sure if they will reappear since even though Butterick, McCall's and Vogue are offered at Fabricland stores, they do not carry Kwik Sew which is also under the MBV umbrella. Time will tell.  

Personally, this news is greeted with the memories of what happened to the NY Collection when McCall's was picked up by CSS Industries. The short lived NY Collection designs changed once they were under the Vogue label and then they disappeared. I remember the sizing changed as it was a time when I was able to get smaller sizes than was available under Vogue. I like the fit of Simplicity patterns, I just hope they don't mess with the fit.     

Fear has also been expressed on McCall's Facebook page that this will mean less competition and higher prices. Followed by comments on how expensive not only patterns are but also that the price of notions and fabric have sky-rocketed recently. I have to agree, I've also noticed an insane increase in prices. Certain brands of zippers for example that more than doubled in price. So, I can also appreciate the fear expressed by others.  

I guess time will tell what this will mean. Until then I'll be hoping for the best.  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 5 November 2017

In Sewing News Today...

The sewing machines have been humming this weekend. I've been busy sewing for the upcoming holiday season and stocking up the Etsy shop with more microwave cozies.  

There are more to come. The Campbell's soup print has been the most popular but I'm running low and sadly the store is out of stock. So, I'm branching out into some sports themed prints. It's fun mix and matching with some new prints.  

In other sewing news, I finally used up four metres of cotton velveteen from my stash. I know, after those little girl dresses that I made in velveteen I claimed that I would never sew with this fabric.  

But I still had this floral print velveteen in my stash. Never say never. I picked it up many moons ago when Fanny Fabrics closed down. I actually thought about using it for a coat but memories of sewing velvet and velveteen turned that idea into a dream. Since I have recently discarded several pieces of my bedding in a little experiment I found myself chilled to the bone last night. At least I woke up not feeling stuffed up. But I digress... I folded this piece of fabric in half stitched the selvages together and serged the un-finished ends and there I have a make-shift blanket made out of cotton velveteen.  

Well, that is all in sewing news today.  

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Knit Sweater: Simplicity 8529

Simplicity 8529 is the cat's meow. I'm so thrilled with how this turned out and that I have a wool sweater to wear.  

Seriously, I'm going to get good use out of this one. And the best part is that I was able to make this out of a beautiful 100% wool knit that I had in my stash. I was just waiting for the perfect pattern to come along and this is the one.  

Sorry, black doesn't photograph well. I really like the funnel neck line (view A) and the side slits. The back is a little longer than the front and it actually did surprise me that I like how it looks. Maybe because of the loose fit? Some how it just works.  

Last night I worked on the toile for this pattern (the red version). I copied a size medium and cut it out just as it came in the pattern. I shortened the hem an inch and finished it up and when it came to cutting out the black wool version, I also shortened the length on the sleeves.  

Super easy make and super comfortable to wear. So the fabrics... 

The black wool fabric was a find at Northwest Fabric a couple of years ago when they received fabrics from an out-of-business upscale dress shop. All of the fabrics were marked down to $3.99 / metre and if you bought the rest of the bolt, it would only cost 99¢ / metre. So I bought the rest of the bolt which only worked out to 1.7 metres and it had some damage at the end.  

I took my time inspecting and marking all the holes in the fabric and thankfully I was able to cut out all of the pieces that I needed. Can I just say that this wool knit feels luxurious compared to the polyester knit that I used for the toile. The toile fabric was another bargain find when Fanny Fabrics closed down many years ago. It feels great to finally put good use to these knits. The sweaters were sewn with the knit (lightning bolt) stitch and the edges were finished on the serger.  

The Stats:  

Fabrics:  2.8 metres

Pattern:  Simplicity 8529

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Burda tracing paper, highlighter, pins, scissors, thread clippers, measuring tape, measuring gauge, sewing machine, walking foot, serger, tweezers, iron and ironing board, and tea.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Could Some of My Fabric Choices be Making Me Sick?

Okay before you start to assume I'm an over-sensitive eco-lunatic about natural vs. man-made fibres bear with me for a bit. I actually started on the natural fibre journey because I was noticing that natural fibres held up better than the man-made fabrics that I was sewing with and it started my inner calculator to conclude that I really was better spending a little more at the cash register for the natural fibre fabrics. 

CC-licensed image by Flickr user:  Jo Jakeman {Source}
I found this to be the case because they last longer and in the long run, man-made fibre garments actually cost more because they had to be replaced more often. This sewing thing has been a long journey full of little observations along the way.

But then another observation that doesn't have to do with how quickly and badly a fabric is prone to pilling made me start thinking about other natural vs. man-made fibres qualities from another angle. It had to do with my allergies. This past summer I had a part-time job at the local fabric/quilting/home decor/knick-knack store. Yes, my happy place. While at work I spent over seven hours a day handling fabrics in a very dusty environment (and think of all that lint!). One thing that I quickly noticed was that it was not the greatest environment for my allergies and sinus issues. I found that the days I cut large quantities of fleece / home decor fabrics and put them back on the shelves these were the days that I had the most negative and painful issues with my sinuses. I felt like I was sick all the time with flu like symptoms and the tissues were becoming stained red when I blew my nose. I have since left the position and miraculously my sinus issues improved. For the most part...

The observation that the days I worked more closely with fleece and home decor fabric were the worst lead me to wonder if the blanket on my bed could also be contributing to feeling stuffed up when I woke up in the morning.

I made this blanket back and 2011 and it has been part of my bedding ever since even in the summer months. But one day while changing my bedding I started to consider that this simple item that laid on top of my sheets may also be a culprit. I often woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe and I always woke up feeling stuffed up. Could this blanket made of similar fabric in the fleece / home decor department be playing havoc with my sinuses and breathing?

I decided to do an experiment and remove the blanket from my bedding. I made my bed up with just flannel sheets and a down comforter. Would this make any improvement? Much to my surprise (it really shouldn't have surprised me but it did) I experienced a much better sleep (I've actually been sleeping through the night) and I didn't wake up stuffed up. I should add that recently I've been starting incorporating Rhonda's essential oil routine.  But I digress...

All of that was until I made this project.  Another man-made, faux fabric and after handling the fabric for about eight or so hours while I cut, chalk marked seam allowances and sewed, I found myself waking up the next morning all stuffed up. Could my man-made fabric choices of the past be what has been making me sick? Some people are allergic to wool, so can an allergy to the chemicals, finishes and products used in making man-made fibres be such a far stretch?

I don't think that these pieces put together amount to a coincidence. They actually might be worth more investigation. Or at least a little experiment.

I've cleaned out my closet of all the clothes made with man-made fibres and for the next three months I'm going to strive to wear a natural fibre wardrobe. I have another appointment with an ENT specialist next year. So, it will be interesting to see if there is any noticeable change after being more mindful of what I wear and perhaps see if this sinus situation improves with this wardrobe change.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

October in Review


Clockwise Top L to R:  wool top, Vogue 1503; wool jacket, out-of-print (OOP) Vogue 8916; satin back crepe dress, Simplicity 2372; faux shearling jacket, Kwik Sew 4197; satin back crepe jacket, OOP Vogue 8916; silk dress, Eva dress by Tessuti patterns; waffle weave cotton kitchen towel (one not shown), no pattern used; waffle weave cotton night gown, Butterick 5567. 

I made some plans last month. How many did I cross off the list.
  1. Sew that cardigan style jacket for Mom.  This one is a priority.  
  2. I need a fancy dress for an upcoming event in two weeks.  I was thinking about another Eva dress in a grey silk fabric but I'm not all that excited about sewing another version of the dress. I might have over-dosed on the pattern. But if I don't sew it, I have no idea what will replace it.    
  3. A jacket to go with said fancy dress. 
  4. I still want to sew some sleepwear.  
  5. And could you believe that I entered the coat contest over at Pattern Review. I have OOP Vogue 1213 that looks like a fun pattern to try. We'll see if there is time. 
I'm quite pleased with my progress this month although I was feeling a little wiped out by mid-month.  Plan #3 I abandoned when I discovered that my burgundy coat worked with my dress. I just removed the decorative closure and it was perfect. No need for a new jacket. I didn't get around to Plan #5, sewing Vogue 1213 for the coat contest. Part not enough time and part thinking that I could use a car coat instead or another full length wool coat. One day I'll find an excuse to make Vogue 1213. It looks like a fun project.   

RTW & Fabric Fasts:

I finally did it! It took ten months but this is the first month that I was successful at the fabric fast. Woohoo! Mind you the stores are open until six. Just kidding. The binders helped with this fast, not only with finding where a piece of fabric is stored, it also reminds me of what I have in the fabric stash. The binders are a game changer.

I did purchase and return a sweater this month. I wanted to take it home for some photos and then return it. The plan is to maybe recreate a version in a better quality knit (this one is acrylic).

The sides of this sweater has side slits (both sides) all the way up to the armhole with ties. The fit was great and it had a turtleneck. It's so my kind of sweater and I really wanted to take notes on this one.  This was all before I got my hands on Simplicity 8529, so plans have changed.     

The Stats:

Quantity Used from the stash this Month 
Quantity Used this Year
Added to the Stash this year
Basting Tape
 1.1 metre
5.93 metres
Bias Tape
 4.6 metres
28.8 metres
10 metres

Cord Stopper


32.3 metres
38 metres
 17.7  metres
121.6 metres
Fusible Tape
 1 metre
44.26 metres
6 rolls
Hand needles

Hook and Eyes

 2.6 metres
9.8 metres
6 metres
Lace trim
2.6 metres
Pattern (new)
Pattern (previously used--TNT)

1.1 metres
5.3 metres
Serger needles

Serger thread

Sewing machine needles

2.1 metres
4.1 metres
7 metres


November Plans:  

  1. A sweater or two made with Simplicity 8529.  I have some beautiful wool knit fabric that I've been too afraid to cut into so there will surely be a toile made before hand.   
  2. That beautiful Paco Peralta skirt, Vogue 1567, in a red plaid silk perhaps?  
  3. And I would like to finally make the good version of Vogue 9268 in a cotton knit fabric.  
Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Kwik Sew 4197: Jacket

My weekend sewing plans changed while out at the farmer's market on Saturday and quickly noticing that I didn't dress nearly warm enough while out in the open space. It was cold. Could see your breath cold. It was the nudge that I needed to get to work on this project.  

This jacket is made with Kwik Sew 4197, a 2016 release. The pattern is well-drafted and it was an easy sew. Easy but messy. But that is another paragraph.

It has been awhile since I've sewn with a Kwik Sew pattern and the first thing I noticed is that they have move from the hard stock paper to tissue pattern printed patterns. I felt nostalgically sad when I opened the pattern and discovered this but I guess the hint of it should have been the different envelope and lighter weight. I got over it quickly when the initial sadness turned to appreciation during the cutting process.

Tissue paper was just fine when it came to cutting out this fabric and it's pile. The pattern instructions for the most part are excellent. I did get over the disappointment that there were no finished garment measurements anywhere to be found despite finding this on the instructions sheet, "[c]ompare the measurement of the finished garment, printed on the pattern piece to your body measurements." I'm just complaining over nothing, it was easy to measure the pattern pieces and do some simple math. I guess I just wanted to hurry and get this project done.

There was time spent marking the seam allowance in order to overlap the pattern pieces and topstitch.

The excess on the underside had to be trimmed.

Folding the excess over, it was clipped close to the edge.  

My favourite feature of this jacket are the overlapped and top-stitched seams.  

I stumbled across this fabric over the summer and couldn't resist the 70% off sticker. It's not a natural fabric that I'm trying to sew more of, but it appears to be a fabric that I'm hoping will keep me warm on these cold autumns days. I was a little worried about how to sew it. I read recommendations to use a teflon foot, instead I used the roller foot that I had on hand. It worked out great. I used a denim needle as suggested and a heavier weight thread. I chose a longer stitch length and pinned the pieces with silk pins that did not leave any marks.    

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2 metres faux shearling 

Needle:  1 - Jeans 100/16

Pattern:  Kwik Sew 4197

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, thread clippers, scissors, measuring tape, measuring gauge, silk pins, tailor's chalk, sewing machine, roller foot, walking foot, serger, threads, vacuum, mini sewing machine vacuum, lint brushes, and lint roller.   

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Making Something With the Scraps

There was just under half a metre of that lovely waffle weave cotton fabric and well, I decided to make something with some left-over pieces. 

There was enough to squeak out two kitchen towels. 

The trim has been in my notion stash for a long time. It's the same trim used on this robe. One of the towels has two rows of ribbon just so I could use up the rest of it. Feels good to finally stash bust this trim. And it feels good to make something useful with the fabric scraps.     

The Stats:

Fabric:  0.4 metres 

Trim:  2.1 metres 

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, scissors, sewing machine, thread clippers, jean-a-ma-jig, serger, tweezers, threads, iron, ironing board, and a cup of tea.  

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Sleepwear: Butterick 5667

Sleepwear has been on my want-to-sew list for quite some time and tonight I finally got around to trying out one of sleepwear patterns in my stash.  

Butterick 5667 is a super easy pattern pattern for a top, gown and elastic waist pants. It's a perfect pattern for a beginner and quite affordable. I was able to press my fabric, cut it out and sew this project this evening. I glance over the pattern instruction sheet and noticed that it calls for set in sleeves and then decided to do my own thing. They're just suggestions right? 

Instead of setting in the sleeve, I flat pinned and sewed the armhole before finishing the side seams.  I didn't use the self-neck binding method from the pattern since I had some blue seam binding left over from this project and just used up the last of the seam binding instead. I was worried that it would be a bit snug around the hip area so I sewed the side seams with a 3/8" allowance. Maybe I should have made a large instead of a medium? Something to keep in mind if I make another one. That and maybe narrow that neckline. Although, I'm not convinced that I want to make another one.    

It's nothing fancy but I'm hoping that it will be cozy. The fabric is the last of the waffle weave cotton that I used to make Mama R's robe. I'm surprised that I was able to squeak out the gown since I was a bit short on the recommended yardage. Maybe it was because I didn't cut out the neck binding? The fabric made it's way into my stash after I found it in the bargain centre. It has a fading line down the centre of it's length where it was folded on the bolt. I was able to avoid the evidence of fading at the centre front and back by creating a new fold. On the back there is evidence of the line of fading on the lower right side. No big deal since it's just to sleep in. The fabric was previously pre-treated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer. 

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.4 metres waffle weave cotton

Seam binding:  1 metre

Pattern:  Butterick 5667

Additional Tools and Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushion, measuring tape, tailor's chalk, scissors, sewing machine, serger, threads, thread clippers, iron, ironing board, and chocolates.  

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Rachel Comey Top: Vogue 1503

Vogue 1503 has been in my pattern stash ever since it was released last year. I've been meaning to make it right away but then I waited until April to cut it out.
I hand stitched the non-fusible interfacing on the pattern pieces that call for interfacing but then it became an UFO for six months while my sewing mojo just couldn't get into it. I couldn't at the time handle sitting and sitting through the french seams turned me off of this project for some time. And then other projects pushed their way ahead of this one. Add to that my sewing mojo took a hit.

After the recent flurry of sewing projects, I was ready to tackle this project at a much appreciated slow pace. I enjoyed the process, the clean finish of those french seams, and those pockets are delightful. So, finally after six months and eleven days of sewing, it's done!

This pattern, Vogue 1503, is absolutely beautiful. Rachel Comey designs some of the best patterns that incorporates functionable and stylish pockets. I'm thinking back to that much-loved skirt pattern with pockets, out-of-print (OOP) Vogue 1247. This one is another. There are three bodice front pockets. Love it! These are not dainty pockets that are pretty to look at and that's it, they're pretty and functionable pockets.

I found this lightweight cream coloured 100% wool at the clearance section at Fabricland that I thought would be a perfect fit with this pattern. I'm on a natural fibre kick lately so this works well with that focus. The non-fusible interfacing is also a natural fibre. The fabric was pretreated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer followed by a pressing prior to cutting. The fabric handled all of these pre-treatment processes without any issues.  

The button front top pattern is perfect. Okay, almost perfect for my petite frame. I did have to shorten the sleeve and hem length along with straightening the hemline. The only other change that I made was to the button placement on the front band. But in my eyes it's perfect.

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.2 metres 100% lightweight wool

Interfacing:  1.3 metres non-fusible interfacing

Buttons:  Twelve - 1/2" buttons (I put an extra one in the front)

Pattern:  Vogue 1503

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, pin cushions, scissors, thread clippers, rulers, measuring tape, sewing machine, serger, buttonhole foot, tailor's ham, sleeve ham, iron, ironing board, thread, hand needle, tailor's wax, tailor's chalk, tailor's mitt, good tunes, lots of breaks for stretching and doing physio exercises.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

In Sewing News Today...

I forgot how happy french seams make me. Giddy happy. I'm currently working on Vogue 1503 which has french seams and a pieced front. It's a fun project. Although, I'm scratching my head as to why Rachel Comey would suggest encasing the armhole seam with double fold bias tape after all the labour intensive work of french seams.  

The french seams are beautiful. I want more french seams. Lynn Mizono's Vogue 1274 has french seams even where the sleeve is inserted into the armhole. I'm going to go with Lynn Mizono's suggestion on how to finish the armhole. Why add more bulk with seam binding?  

In other news that has me scratching my head, new fall fabrics found at the local fabric/quilt/home decor/and knick-knack store. Lots of polyester and man-made fibres. I'll be honest, it's not my favourite. Goodness, do I miss the gorgeous wools and organic cottons that used to be found at Mitchell Fabrics. But I digress. What really shocked me was the price increases found this season. New stock of sequin polyester taffeta priced at $70/metre. Even with the 50% membership sale discount that's an ouch price for polyester. Yeah, polyester. Similar to this. Apparently, the price of sequins are behind the price increase. [insert a chuckle and eye roll here]. I'm thinking back to something I read in Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. Cline exposed how manufacturers use decorative features like sequins to make a synthetic fibre appear as a good or luxury item. I guess it is where we place value and sometimes, as Cline points out, we're blinded by the bling.   

Oh and speaking of value, there is an on-line all-brand sale happening at MBV until tomorrow. 

Well, that's all in sewing news today.  

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Silk Eva Dress

I will admit, I'm dying to sew something new. But I couldn't deny that the Eva dress is one fabulous pattern. And time was ticking away and this is not the time to try something new. It's time to go with something that I know will work and just get it done. This is a special occasion dress.   

And words can not express how happy I am right now. It's been an insane week of trying to get sewing projects done by the weekend.

Along the way there were injuries, boo-boos, bandages, heating pads, medications and quality time with the seam ripper. But in the end, everything worked out and words can not express the amount of relief I feel.

Nothing new to say about the construction of the Eva dress. I made it with basically the same changes as the others. Oh, but the armhole seam I sewed an 1/2" seam instead of 5/8" on the others. The rest of the seams were sewn with a 5/8" seam allowance. The fabric is a silk that I found in the home decor department. It was pre-treated with a tumble through a wash cycle and a spin in the dryer. All on the delicate cycles.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  3 metres 100% silk

Fusible Tape:  1 metres Knit-N-Stable tape

Needle:  Microtex 60/8

Seam binding:  2.5 metres

Pattern:  The Eva dress by Tessuti patterns

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, measuring tape, silk pins, scissors, thread clippers, iron, ironing board, organza pressing cloth, tailor's ham, sleeve roll, sewing machine, walking foot, serger, threads, and a seam ripper.  

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

And Now the Matching Jacket

This is a project that a week ago was no where on my radar along with this dress. It's funny how plans can quickly change.

This is the same pattern that I used for the black wool jacket but with one more change. Mama R didn't like how the lining fabric showed when she moved her arm. In the original pattern instructions the sleeve and the lining are to be stitched together at the wrist. On this one I extended the sleeve length an additional inch and a half to give the appearance of a facing with the fashion fabric and to hide the lining fabric if Mom were to lift up her arms.

It did mean that I strayed from the pattern instructions to accommodate this latest request. I didn't mind. Actually, I found it easier this time around since I didn't have to hand-stitch the sleeve lining at the sleeve cap.

Instead, I flat sewed the sleeve cap instead of doing a set-in sleeve both on the fashion fabric and lining. Then I sewed the bodice and sleeve sides. I also left the wrist open and an opening at the bottom back to pull the jacket to the right sides instead of pulling it through an open armhole. I thought it was much easier. The final step was to slip stitch the openings closed.

Oh, and this one I added a little Vogue label. I know it's not an actual Vogue designer pattern but with all the changes that Mom requested I think it makes it an Mama R Vogue designer original and worthy of a label.

The fabric as previous mentioned a bargain find from Fabricland. It was quite narrow in width compared to other piece of satin back crepe I've found in the past. I started with five and a half metres and thought for sure I would have enough for two dresses and a jacket, I'm only left with 1.4 metres. This piece of fabric is 115 cm (45") wide.  Maybe there is enough for a top someday?

The Stats:

Fabric:  2.1 metres 100% polyester

Interfacing:  0.5 metres horsehair interfacing

Underlining: 1.2  metres organza

Needles:  2 Klasse Sharps, size 70 (broke one while sewing too close to pins.  My bad.)

Thread:  1 more spool polished off

Pattern:  OOP Vogue 8916

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Cutting table, pins, ruler, measuring tape, scissors, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, serger, tweezers, canned air, ironing board, iron, Polysporin® (knocked the iron over and it landed on my arm), pain meds, tailor's ham, sleeve roll, pressing block / clapper, pressing cloth, damp cloth (for wiping off water stains from the iron! Thankfully, it worked.) hand needle, silk thread, tea, coffee, and some good tunes.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

In Sewing News Today...

I'm feeling under the weather and trying to push through some sewing projects that I need done by the weekend. It's been a rough day of nose blowing, back soreness, and a burn to my arm when I knocked over the iron. Sometimes I don't know when to call it quits. Luckily, I was distracted by the email alert that the new Vogue pattern release came out this evening.  

I have to admit there are more than a few designs that I admire. Although I'm surprised that there weren't any pantsuits in the holiday collection. Anyway, here are some of my favourite looks.   

Now, the last thing I need is another dress pattern but I do like the waistline detail on Vogue 1566. A jigsaw puzzle dress.   

Vogue 1567 is my favourite pattern of this collection. It might be safe to say that Paco Peralta is one of my favourite Vogue designers.   

Vogue 1570 might make it into my pattern collection if I were twenty pounds lighter and five inches taller. It's the wrap front on the pants that really caught my attention.

Vogue 1572 caught my eye about a week ago when Carlos was online tempting everyone with the new collection. A square neckline, peplum and wide leg pants, some of my favourite details.   


Did I mention how thrilled I am to see wide leg pants that sit at the natural to high waistline? And I like that these Vogue 9282 pants have a the back zipper and button front details.  

A couple of Marcy Tilton designs caught my eye, Vogue 9283 a skirt pattern that reminds me of OOP Vogue 8637.  

Vogue 9287 is a loose-fitting jacket that looks awfully comfortable.   

Oh and this accessories pattern, Vogue 9291, by Kathryn Brenne! If only it came out in the previous release, it would have been perfect for this weekend's outing. 

There is one more pattern that has caught my eye recently, it's Simplicity 8529. It's currently on back order and on the top of my wish list along with Vogue 1567.  
How about you? Are there any holiday patterns that have caught your attention?  

Happy Sewing!  

Pyjama Bottoms: Vogue 9217

A designer Vogue pattern for pull-on pants with a shaped hem made the perfect pair of pyjama bottoms.  The pattern is Kathryn Brenne&...