A long drawn out battle with beautiful fabric …

and I’m not quite finished yet!

Let me tell you what’s up …

I have been searching for a pattern and fabric to make a “replica” of my mother’s and aunt’s dresses in this photo.  My Aunt was a seamstress back in Europe and she not only sewed for clients but also for herself and my mother.  She used no patterns and could make anything!  I thought I had the magical combination for this dress with this 100% Rayon Denim Challis I had in my stash – a favourite fabric of mine!

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I still think this pattern, Vogue 1395, might work but it doesn’t have the rounded neckline that I want.  Being lazy, I thought I might just make two bodice backs and use those to make the bodice instead.

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What can I say? I still had some denim strips left!

And I’m certainly not one to waste recycled denim!  So let’s make another bag.  This one is not quite big enough to hold my iPad, not like the last one I made.  This one seemed to go together quicker too!  Perhaps it wasn’t as “fancy” or perhaps I’m actually getting used to throwing them together?!?

Again, I started by sewing my strips together, pressing them, ironing on the fusible interfacing, and trimming the two outer bag walls to the right size.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! Continue reading

Head’s up!

I’ve been locked out of my Instagram account. I think I’ve been hacked!  So much for #sewphotohop!  Does anyone have contact info for a real person at Instagram?

EDIT: Thank you Mads I have emailed.  Sarah, I’m trying your idea too!

A FURTHER EDIT: I also opened a second IG account just so I could use their “report a problem” on that second account to report my first account had disappeared.

A FURTHER EDIT: Thank you again! An IG rep emailed me back and gave me back my IG account.  Thanks for the help and support everyone.  Now I’ve got to go take some photos for my next blog post.  😘😘

 

Happy sewing to you!

How to sew a recycled denim handbag. Part 2

Back again!  To recap last week’s post … I wanted to make myself a 100% recycled denim bag, using denim strips like those bags I saw on Pinterest.  Last week I cut up my denim jeans, pieced and sewed the strips together and fused on the interfacing for my outer bag walls.  I sewed the pockets and the zipper pocket on my bag lining.  I sewed the bag strap.  I did my topstitching – I love topstitching and Amber, my Singer 421G was a work horse!  

This week, I continued on.  I prepped the opening zipper, cutting it to the right length and topstitching the zipper tabs on the ends.  I switched from the brown zipper to this blue one as it fit around my iPad just right.

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How to sew a recycled denim handbag.

I was trying to think of an eye-catching, mysterious title for my blog post.  I couldn’t.  I have too been immersed in bag making lately – sewing creatively, instead of blogging creatively!  

The only other handbags I’ve made I posted about here and here.  I made one of them for my sister – she’s seems to be happy with it.  I made her’s by copying something she already had.

This time I wanted to make a handbag for myself out of 100% recycled materials, specifically denim.  I have been collecting a few images on my Pinterest and I’m quite inspired by this recycled denim Chobe Bag with the denim strips sewn together.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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My Fabric Stash … and a game!

A while ago, I detailed how I organize my Pattern Stash, here.  Over the years, I have probably collected, and received from others, over 200 patterns.  I still use the same method I blogged about back then, but now I also have a photo of each of my patterns on my iPad.  Always at my fingertips!  

I put the envelopes in plastic pages into binders with all the dresses together, jackets, etc.

I put the instructions and pattern pieces into one plastic zip bag and store the bags numerically in banker boxes.

I find this way I can easily browse through all my pattern drawings and the information on the back.  After I have made a decision on which pattern I want to use I move to my banker box and pull the pattern instructions and pieces out.

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… and it’s the last of it!

Last week I made a lovely dress out of my Tower print fabric, here.  I purchased enough for a dress and a top so I was determined to get a dress and a top out of it, even if I made an error cutting out the directional print on one of the skirt pieces last week!

This is one of my favourite patterns for piecing tops together.  I also have had success with the “By Hand London – Polly Top” and the “Teach Me Fashion – Two Tone Singlet“.  

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… future’s so bright I gotta wear shades!

Seriously, it’s been a HOT summer.  No rainfall the whole month of July, not a shower or drizzle.  The temperatures are supposed to get up to 33 C (91.4 F) this week!  It’s a good thing I took the opportunity to run outside today and take my blog photos – I think I will be hiding inside with the fan or an air conditioner the rest of the week!

Let me tell you about my “Tower Dress”.  I love that name.  I’ve named my dress after one of my favourite prints – called a “Tower” print, 92% polyester, 8% spandex.  I love how the odd white leaf POPS out at you.

For my Tower Dress I used this McCall’s pattern, M6503, view B.  It has fold back facings for a collar and a wrap bodice.  I can’t wait to try some of the other bodice versions.  The only pattern changes I made were to omit the side zipper (mine’s made from a knit fabric), lower the waistband about an inch (I’m not fond of high waisted garments), sew shut the wrap bodice (I find them to be a bother), and add piping (my new fetish!). I think this type of dress is available from lots of pattern makers, including the Indie pattern producers.

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… with the kindness of strangers.

I was determined to clean up and oil Barbie, my Singer Slant-o-Matic 500, my “Rocketeer”, while I was on holidays from work.  Before I even got around to cleaning her up … well … I broke off her Plate Cover by accident.  I just closed it and it popped off in my hand.  The manual showed it was an easy fix – just snap it back on.

I could see though on my Plate Cover that my hinge pins show some paint chipping on  the right and a slight crack possibly on the left.  

These VSM are famous for broken Plate Cover hinges so I was afraid to force it.  I cautiously pushed it back on – with a bad result …

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THE Biggest Grandstand Show in Canada!

Let me explain, in case you missed my IG feed … I headed back to the Calgary Stampede for my summer vacation!

I was in such awe of THE Biggest Sewing Room in Canada when I saw it in August of 2014 at the Calgary Stampede, I just knew I would have to return to see THE Biggest Grandstand Show in Canada – the TransAlta Grandstand Show – and all the talented performers who ultimately end up wearing all those costumes made by all those talented sewists in THE Biggest Sewing Room in Canada. Continue reading