Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blog Neglect

Wow, it has been a while since I've posted.  Not much action has been happening in the sewing room.  Summer time is short here in Canada and we've been out an about.  We had lots of snow this past winter and it was July before all the snow was gone from the hiking trails in the Rockies.  We've been out hiking almost every weekend since then.   Hence the no sewing.

In the news today, sewing enthusiast Susan Stewart coordinated a huge donation of back to school outfits for the tornado stricken town of Joplin Mo.   Susan, you're an angel.  Watch the video here

A parting shot of Lake Agnes and the Lake Agnes Tea House. One of the most hiked trails in the Lake Louise area. Starting at the majestic Lake Louise, a 3.5km hike (with a 367m elevation gain) leads you through a forest trail to a lovely rustic tea house.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In the sewing room New Look 6892

In the sewing room this week is a fast and easy project.  New Look 6892, I just finished cutting the long sleeved version in an embroidered cotton fabric.  The fabric is quite sheer, so I'll likely layer it over a cami or a sleeveless T when it's done.  I must be on an embroidered fabric "kick" because my last project was an embroidered knit fabric.

I am fortunate that I have a separate sewing space, that way I can leave my projects out and work on them in snippets of time.  Rarely do I have a full day to spend on sewing, so most of my projects are completed in small chunks of time. I enjoy it when other bloggers share photos of their sewing space, so I thought it might be fun to let you have a peek into my sewing room.

The cutting and pressing area

A peek inside my cabinet, stuffed to the brim not with fabric but with patterns and sewing books

The sewing area where the bears play.  The bear sitting behind the serger was sewn by me.   Faux fur, fully jointed it was a fun diversion from sewing garments. The basket to the left, is a fabric covered ice cream pail, a bit of sewing and lots of glue.  It holds my machine accessories.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Free Pattern Month Starts Today!

Yes it's true, a whole month of patterns.   Blogger Grosgrain is hosting a month of patterns featuring tutorials and patterns from great blogger around the world.  She's starting the month with a tutorial from Adey the Sew Convert for a lovely top she calls the Sunny Resort Blouse.  Click the button on the right side of my blog, this will take you right to the pattern of the day. 

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kwik Sew New Patterns

For me, quick sew patterns has always been about the basics.  No real frills here, just basic patterns ideal for beginners or to use as "templates" to add your own design details.  Often they are great patterns to use when you have a very "busy" fabric and you don't want a lot of design details.  Their new 2011 Spring patterns include some updated basics. 


How about some fun hats!

Do you have some linen, eyelet or a great cotton print in your stash? This summer blouse may be perfect.

A simple knit top with a fun variation.

Down to the basics, perhaps you have some leftover fabrics from your knit top.  How about some matching undies?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jalie's a wrap!

Today I managed to complete the Jalie Faux Wrap top.  And I'm quite happy with the results.   It's a nice fit and went together quickly.  This pattern is definitely a keeper.  I  have a couple of knits in my stash that are likely candidates for this pattern.  The only downside is that it may be a while before I can wear it because the weather hasn't been very warm in this part of the world.

Faux Wrap Top with forward shoulder seam and banded surplice neckline. Sleeveless

Pattern includes Women's sized 4 to 22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Instructions were very easy to follow. But one thing I almost missed, was the seam allowance on Jalie patterns is only 1/4"

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked how quickly the pattern went together. And how little fabric it took. I used a size 9, which took 1.00 meters of fabric.

Fabric Used: Cotton knit with lycra stretch. Black with machine embroidered flowers

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't make any changes, but one thing I would consider next time is to add an inch or so to the band. The fabric I used had machine embroidery on it that limited the amount of stretch, so getting the front band on was a bit tricky. I don't see this as a pattern flaw but more of a consequence of the fabric I used. If I had allowed a bit extra when I cut the band I could have adjusted the band as needed. By allowing the extra length to the band you can adjust the fit of the band if needed, and if you don't just cut off the excess.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely. I'm already considering a few different pieces of fabric that are in my stash.

Conclusion: A great fitting, lovely styled pattern. My first Jalie pattern and definitely not my last.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Jalie Pattern...vintage or not?

Earlier this week, I showed you my progress on my first Jalie pattern.  However, this wasn't the first time I planned to sew a Jalie pattern.  Back in the '90s I purchased this pattern; Jalie 926.  I've seen some bloggers referring to 1980's and even some 1990's patterns as vintage patterns.  I'm wondering at what point does a sewing pattern become a vintage pattern.  This one is circa 1992.

I still like this pattern and I'm thinking that I might sew it up in a wind resistant, water repellent technical fabric to use for walking/hiking/biking pants.  However, I'm still waiting for the right fabric in the right colour to present itself to me.

Come to think of it, this pattern junkie has several patterns waiting for the right fabric to magically appear.  How many of you are still waiting for this magic to happen?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jalie Faux Wrap Top Project Update

Pattern traced, cut and ready to sew!  Yeah.    After perusing the instructions, this pattern looks delightfully simple to sew.  I'm still thinking about the armhole finish; I'm making the sleeveless version  The instructions call for serging the edge and folding over and top stitching.  I'm considering either serging some clear elastic to the edge to stabilize (before folding over and top stitching) or attempting a self fabric binding.   ...thoughts?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

...where does the time go

Writers block, sewer's block...not exactly. I've been so busy reading all the great blogs out there I've been neglecting both my sewing and and writing on my own blog.

First item on my things to tell you is that Pattern review has published their first book on Kindle.  If you own a kindle or other e-reader I'm sure you're happy to hear this too.   There are tons of sewing books out there, but not too many for the Kindle.  Check out the link on the pattern review website

On the cutting table this week is Jalie 2910, Women's Faux-Wrap Top.  The fabric I've chosen is a black knit in a cotton Lycra blend.  The fabric is solid black with grey flowers embroidered on it.  I'll be sure to post photos for you.  It will be my first Jalie pattern.  I've been wanting to try out a Jalie pattern for several years now.  How long you ask....I actually purchased my first Jalie pattern in the '90s and I'm pretty sure it's buried in my pattern stash.  How do I know it's there? I'm a pattern junkie, and unless a pattern proves to be a real blooper, it remains safe and sound in my collection.   I'll be sure to scan it and post in on my blog, you never know maybe someone out in blog land can share a pattern review on the "near vintage" Jalie pattern.

Sew what's been keeping you busy these days?


Monday, March 7, 2011

McCalls Cape Pattern Giveaway

....and the winner is

Congratulations Rosy, please email me and let me know where to send your prize.

Thanks to all who participated.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Summer is on its way!

Summer is on its way. Even though the weather outside tells me something different, there is a sign that summer is near - the pattern companies are starting to release their summer offerings.  McCalls early summer patterns are now available on-line.  This year they are offering shoe accessories, an interesting concept; although I don't it's something I'm going to put on my list of projects.   What I do like is the lines in McCalls 6329, a simple style lined jacket that offers a number of fabric possibilities.  In print, or a solid, a bright colour or a casual khaki, this lined jacket would look great with a summer skirt or paired nicely with jeans.   Then there's M6326, summer tops.  The asymmetrical pink top is my favorite.   Summer sewing is so much fun.

An for those of you who aren't quite ready for summer sewing yet.  Be sure to enter my giveaway to win a McCalls cape pattern.  You have until February 28th to enter


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pattern Giveaway - McCalls Cape Pattern

Well, as much as I tried to escape it, winter is still here in Canada.   Although that cute little groundhog has told us that spring is near, I'm not so sure we can count on that.   So, for my second pattern giveaway I've selected an easy McCalls Cape/Capelette Pattern.  M5985.  This front zipper cape can be made with or without the hood.  Suggested fabrics include Fleece, Gabardine, Poplin, Wool and Wool Blends.   A nice addition to keep you warm during the transition from Winter to Spring.  The pattern is multi-sized X-Small,Small and Medium (American/Canadian sizes 4 to 14) To enter just leave a comment on my blog; giveaway closes on February 28th.   Good Luck to all.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where does the time go?

Wow I can't believe its been over three weeks since I last posted on my blogs.  After two business trips to Ottawa, a lovely holiday in the Dominican Republic and a three hour road trip to visit family I finally find my self at home sweet home.  I had said to myself that I would find some time while on the road to connect with my fellow bloggers.  But, actions did not follow good intentions...yes, I've been a bad blogger.  

While in the Dominican Republic, my swimsuit cover up that I made in December got the wear test.   What is the wear test you ask?  Not only does a garment have to look good when you try it on, but it needs to be totally functional and wearable.   Test number one,  low maintenance after being rolled up in a suitcase for hours and hours...passed.  Survived a day at the beach...passed.  Still looks good after a few trips to the pool...passed.  Coordinates with beach towel assigned by hotel....bonus points.   Comfortable to wear all day, no pulling riding, falling off the shoulders...passed.   Survived the trip home and the first run through the washing machine, no fabric wear, pilling or seams that need reinforcing...passed.  Ahhh....success.   After going through my vacation photos, I realized that I hadn't captured a shot of me wearing the cover up.   So, instead I'm sharing a couple of beach photos.

I hoping to work on some unfinished projects this week, including the Anthropologie shirt refashion that I blogged about in August.  I'll also be posting another free pattern stayed tuned.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Vogue Spring Pattern Collection

Vogue's spring pattern collection is out, check out their web page.    The designs that caught my eye were Anne Klein New York spring dress and Marci Tilton's cropped pants.   DKNY also came out with a cute dress. There's nothing like a spring skirt to freshen up your wardrobe and Vogue 8711 has some great options. 

Lots of dresses and a few separates.  I wish Vogue would come out with more coordinates patterns.  Although I do love dresses, I prefer separates.  They offer much more versatility.

Check out the new Vogue patterns; which ones are your favorites?



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free Sewing Books

Who can resist the offer of a free book?  Not just any free book but a pattern drafting book based on Italian Fashion Desgin.  Here is the link to the website Pattern Making Book.  The book is described as a tutorial of fashion design for man, women, children's, with detailed descriptions, examples and drawings. In Italian and English languages. 

If that doesn't tickle your fancy, how about a vintage embroidery book or perhaps a 1914 Edition of a Teachers Sewing Manual

Books can be downloaded in various formats, PDF, Kindle etc.


Sewing Shoes

Today, I spent some time on Simplicity Pattern's Website to checkout what's new.  I was really surprised to find out that Simplicity has come out with a pattern for Misses and Baby Shoes.   Actually, I think calling this a pattern for a shoe is a bit of a stretch, it's more of a slipper.   But, it did get me curious...does anybody out there actually make their own shoes?  I find the art of shoe making really fascinating.  There's a lot of work that goes into a pair of shoes.  Checkout this link to Discovery Channel's show How its Made to see all the work that goes into custom made running shoes.  After a quick web search I found this website promoting a book on how to make your own shoes.  Very interesting indeed! 

While I'm not quite ready to venture into making my own shoes, I'm wondering if any other bloggers have walked down this path...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

McCalls Spring Catalog Preview

McCalls Patterns has released their spring catalog and it looks like there some fun sewing ahead.  My favourites from this collection include:

McCalls 6284 - Cute kit tops with neckline and sleeve variations.
McCalls 6278 -  I love the angles on this dress.  The colour combinations shown in the diagram are great, but I can also see this dress in one colour but with a mix of texture.  I prefer the sleeveless version over the short sleeves
McCalls 6280 - Another easy dress with angles,but this time it's asymmetrical and has a more feminine touch.   This one has lots of possibilities.  
McCalls 6286 - Tapered blouses with raglan sleeves.  I'm not to keen on the black and white print, but I really like the short sleeved version.  Perhaps in a nice cotton eyelet, or a small retro cotton print.  Perfect with a pair of denim capris or a nice summer skirt.
McCalls 6292 - This princess seamed jacket is so cute.  It certainly has a retro feel to it; it reminds me of a jacket I sewed during my teen years.  This is the third pattern I've chosen that has colour blocking in it; I'm sensing an 1980s flashback coming on....
McCalls 6265 - Flashback to 1970s...Hawaii Five O...The Streets of San Fransisco...don't these fabulous tunics remind you of the seventies.   
McCalls  6271 - Isn't this dress the cutest.  I don't have any kids to sew for but this dress is so fun I thought I'd share it.
McCalls 6298 - Look at the lovely smiles on these models, and who wouldn't smile when they get to model these critter aprons. 

I hope you had fun looking at a preview of the new McCalls patterns, now I'm just waiting for the nearest pattern sale, because I never pay full retail for patterns.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making Smart Clothes... 25 cents

Yes, it's true, in 1934 you could by a sewing book for 25cents.  This one is titled Making Smart Clothes by Butterick Pattern Company. 

A book of this vintage has an excellent section on hand stitching and back then many seamstresses made their buttonholes by hand.  According to this book the three most important lines are the neckline, the waistline and the hemline.  And I was intrigued by the ideas of zig zag shirring (diagram 195), something that I'd like to try on a garment this year, perhaps at the hem of a summer skirt or down the front of a shirt.

Refashioning was called remodeling back then.  "Every smartly dressed woman should take stock of her wardrobe as regularly s the new season rolls around with an eye to salvaging favorite frocks for further active duty"  Suggestions include "Lower your old skirt on a bodice top, and combine it with a new tunic blouse in lame' or satin.  Reverse the process and make a knee length tunic of a too short frock"   What I found interesting was this; "So, often sleeves wear out before their time. Butterick has prepared special patterns to replace them, each offering a variety of remodeling suggestions"  Can you imagine that, buying a pattern of only sleeves.  And what are the odds that it would actually fit one of your patterns or ready to wear garments...NOT.

I hope you enjoyed this look back in time as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Happy New Year

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Vogue Pattern Giveaway - Winner

An the winner of the Kay Unger Vogue Pattern giveaway is Snowflakes. On December 24th, Snowflakes commented. "Thanks for hosting giveaway. I have two weddings this summer and this would make a great dress for one of the weddings"

Congratulations, Snowflakes! Please contact me via email to claim your prize.