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Ilona’s Future’s so Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades!

I have certainly learned a lot cleaning up Ilona – my Singer 15-88.  As you know from this post my Mom has given me her and her sister’s Vintage Sewing Machines.  I even bought myself a small hammer and a screwdriver…  you know, one of those ones with a bunch of different attachments?  I took off all the parts that I dared, carefully photographing every step so that I would know how to put them all back together again.  I wiped down all the japanning (black paint) with Sewing Machine Oil (SMO).  Some areas I had to use diluted dish soap – the brown staining just wouldn’t come off.  Of course, I was also wearing gloves throughout as my hands get dry quickly.

For the chrome pieces I used Brasso.  As you can see, some of the pieces were dirtier than others.  I was warned to not let anything harsh touch the decals so it was much safer to remove what I could!

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Fabric Frenzy!

… or what I like to call “My Pilgrimage to the Church of Fabricana”.  I’m not in the least obsessive or possessive regarding all things sewing related.  (Ya, right!)  I have even sworn off fabric shopping – PERIOD – for the last year.  Well, except for the couple of purchases I made about a month ago, just some knit fabrics for T-shirts (to be made up “someday”).  But those were purchased with Gift Certificates – Gift Certificates given to me last Christmas!  Considering I didn’t actually buy those, I think they’re exempt from the Fabric Fast.

So I still claim that I have not purchased fabric for a year.. ever since August of 2015 when I last travelled to Vancouver to visit my Enabler/Sister.  She is always more than happy to drive me from store to store in exchange for a treat or a meal or even a fabric purchase for herself (for me to sew, of course!).  So last weekend, off I went again!  

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A simple Boho skirt… and Daniel Craig.

A friend has asked if I can make her a Boho/peasant skirt similar to one she owns already.  No problem, happy to assist… it just might cost you a few “mike’s Hard Black Cherry Lemonade” beverages though!  

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C.P. (let’s call her that) has done her research and came equipped with instructions she has found on the internet and a large piece of paisley (I love paisley!) and two large pieces of denim fabric.  Both fabrics had a similar feel of a medium weight denim so they would drape together well.  The instructions that C.P. had found on the internet gave you a wonderful little “tier calculator” to predetermine the correct length and width of each tier.  All you had to do was enter in the widest measurement on your lower body (waist, hip, whatever), press calculate and all the math was done for you.   The free pattern and tier calculator is here if you are interested.

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The ladies I hang out with…

are ladies that need a lot of attention, but their company is so rewarding.

To start from the beginning, we are presently helping our parents move from a home they have been in for forty years to a seniors’ home.  There is a lot to go through – some is moved with them, some is passed on to us, some is given to charity, recycled or discarded.  It is a massive undertaking and I empathize with those who have to do the same.

The lovely thing about it all is the history.  Objects seem to have no allure for me unless there is a story attached to them.  We have come across this wonderful photo…

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I've added an extra inch of insurance - perhaps a flat felled seam?

My denim skirt – pockets on/pockets off!

I’m am going to start off by apologizing… this post just might be photo-heavy, but don’t worry that won’t strop me from talking too much!

I am so happy!  I have finished my denim skirt – finally!  It has been a slow process, but for the most part, enjoyable.  I loved all the different techniques involved and I was pleased that I could turn my favourite pattern, a Sewaholic Hollyburn, into a denim skirt.  If you missed some of the posts, I worked on sewing and topstitching the back pockets and the flat felled seams here;     I sewed the fly front, front pockets, faux flat felled seams and belt loops here;  and I pretty much spent this whole post here agonizing over whether to sew on my back pockets or not!

But before I get all bent out of shape over the back pockets again, let me show you one of my favourite sewing tools – The Hammer.  Perfect for attaching jeans buttons and rivets and letting go of all that stress bottled up inside you! Continue reading

I've added an extra inch of insurance - perhaps a flat felled seam?

My Denim Skirt Dilemma.

Alas, I am still working on my Sewaholic Hollyburn to Denim Skirt makeover.  I have been pinning/unpining and trying on/taking off and puzzling over/avoiding my skirt for the last three days now, trying to decide what to do.  Has there ever been so much indecision in my life!?  (I hope not!  I hope there is only indecision with minor details such as this one!)

I am very happy with my denim skirt, so far!

I have made my denim skirt with what feels like a 100% light weight cotton.  I would like to call it a chambray, unfortunately it was unlabelled, inexpensive and I bought a large amount of it not having any proof as to its content or description.  It is light weight though, therefore it would be nice if it was an A line shape (my favourite) and/or gathered would be nice too (I have gathered the back of this skirt already).

I love the topstitching I have done – front and back pockets, seams, waistband, hemming.  I love the rivets and jeans button.  I would change none of it.  (If you missed any of the steps you can see the previous posts here and here.)

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I've added an extra inch of insurance - perhaps a flat felled seam?

More on my denim skirt…

Hello all, me again.  I’ve had a couple of “distractions” over the last week therefore I haven’t quite finished my denim skirt, but I thought I would show you what I have accomplished so far – and perhaps this week you might even get a laugh out of it!

I started my denim skirt by cutting out a Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern here and making my back pockets, and doing my topstitching and flat felled seams here.

Now it is time to sew my jeans fly front.  My one side is interfaced, double fold bias tape is sewn on the rough edge and the piece is sewn on to my left side front (if I am looking at the skirt).  The interfacing will never show as this piece is folded over to the inside.

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I've added an extra inch of insurance - perhaps a flat felled seam?

I’ve decided to make a denim skirt…

from my Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern.  I cut this pattern out last week from some 100% pre-washed cotton I found in my stash.  I still have a good metre or so left so I’ll have to think of another project for it.  Do any of you have a favourite tank top pattern that could use the remainder of my 100% cotton denim?

Since this is the fourth time I have cut out a Sewaholic Hollyburn, I think it is definitely one of my TNT patterns.

My skirt is coming together well.  The thought of topstitching and revits and Jeans buttons makes me SMILE!  

I started this skirt by making my interfaced back pockets.  I just cut a large rectangle shape, as the Hollyburn didn’t have a pattern piece for this.  I precisely measured for my angled corners.  I marked the centre point of the bottom with my Chaco liner and I measured two inches up on each side and made marks there too.

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I've added an extra inch of insurance - perhaps a flat felled seam?

Finishing one, starting another…

Perhaps you remember this dress, from my Sister’s Sewing Projects, a vintage dress pattern from 1978, Simplicity 8510, which I first blogged about here.  I decided before I start anything new, I must finish the old projects …

This dress still needed its elastic waistband.  I found many ways to do that on line and in my reference books – I decided to make a casing for the elastic.  I cut a strip of the same fabric as the dress, and since it frays easily, I hemmed the edges with a zig zag.

imageI measured down from the arm holes on both sides, 8″ in this case, and I sewed the casing on and ran a length of elastic through.  I have left it open here so we can check the tightness or looseness of the elastic, then I will hand sew it closed.

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I used this little gizmo to thread the elastic through the waist line casing.

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Let me talk about new toys…

For as long as I can remember, I have been sewing in my invisible zippers with a Singer Zipper foot that fits on my Janome sewing machine (below right).  It bounces around a bit, but it’s ok.  A few months ago I purchased this “Unique” brand package.  A plastic Zipper Foot with a variety of shanks to fit any machine – supposedly useful for sewing in invisible zippers!  Sorry… I found using my Singer Zipper foot to be more accurate.

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I recently decided that it was time to splurge.  After searching for a Janome Invisible Zipper foot – only to discover there was no such thing – I found a Janome Concealed Zipper foot… and I bought it, despite it’s silly name!

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