Love the dress… The Pattern? Not so much…

Sorry…  But this is not the first time I have been shaking my head at a pattern envelope or PDF.  This time it is McCall’s M7169.  I love the photo and diagrams.  This is another garment in my Sister’s Sewing Projects.  

Let me start with… I love my sister’s fabric choices!  Both fabrics are cotton with a hint of spandex – for those days when chocolate or cheesecake are required.  The brown flowers are so abstract up close and so clear from far away.

Ok, maybe I’m over reacting, but chocolate was required in order for me to finish this dress properly.
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No fitting problems last weekend!

Happily you do not have to do much fitting when making a bag for your sister.  A while ago I posted on Instagram this photo – asking “What do you think my next project will be”.  There are some clever sewists out there that guessed the answer correctly.  (Sorry, no prize for the winner!)

My sister wanted a bag that was 5″ deep, 11″ wide and 8.5″ tall.  No pattern?  No problem!  Then she let me run with the idea – and so was born the “TA-DA BAG“!

First I drew out my pattern pieces and taped them together to get an idea on the size.

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Last weekend’s accomplishments.

Well there wasn’t much time for sewing, my sister came for a visit!  I had my pants finished in advance so that we could laze around all weekend.  Well, except for the 5 km walk/jog we did.  My two sisters and I did the CIBC Run for the Cure Sunday.  It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold and it was extremely uplifting to see all the participants and breast cancer survivors, some survivors announcing on their T shirts “18 years cancer free”.  Fabulous!


I was going to use my vintage pattern, Simplicity 8740, for my pants, then I realized that my pants sloper was pretty much the same type of pattern piece as the pants pattern and so, I used my sloper instead.  


The fabric was called “Aristocrat Solid”, 88% polyester and 12% spandex, with a soft drape – one of the fabrics I bought during my last trip to Vancouver. Continue reading


A perfect place for my pockets.

Perhaps you remember my denim skirt?  I spent a couple of days trying to decide whether to sew on the back pockets, or not.  Well, I have found a perfect place for them!

A while ago, I found the FREE pdf pattern from By Hand London, the Polly Top.  I knew it would be perfect for the leftover fabric I end up with occasionally… and I certainly had some left when I finished my denim skirt.

Does anyone else piece together pdf patterns the same as me?  I always seem to piece together one pattern piece at a time and then immediately cut it out.  I guess I feel like I am accomplishing something that way?  Here you can see my first piece taking shape – like putting a puzzle together.

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Have you already completed your COPY of your Designer Original?  Or perhaps, like me, you are just in the planning stages – whatever… there are still a few months left before DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2016!

Pull those ideas out of your head!  Ever since DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER last year I’ve seen many dream garments in the stores, magazines, on social media … the Fashion Runway… so many beautiful garments!  And still I say, “Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”

I think I finally have my DESIGNER ORIGINAL picked out…

Ellery Neu

I have recently seen a lovely “bell” sleeved dress on Barbara Jane Made.  I don’t have anything with bell sleeves – I want something with bell sleeves.  Along comes this Ellery Neu. Continue reading

This is an evaluation image and is Copyright Pamela Perry. Do not publish without acquiring a license. Image number: 0515-1003-3016-3439.

I run for …

Vintage Sewing Machines!  

I didn’t know I did, but it has been proven that I do.

Ever since I was given Ilona and Maria, I’ve been bitten by the “VSM bug”.  (It’s all my Mom’s fault!!!)  I’ve been browsing “for sale” sites on line and learning as much as I can about various Vintage Sewing Machines.  So far, my favourite is the Singer 500, the “Rocketeer”.


The “Rocketeer”.  The most unusual and complicated sewing machine I have ever seen!

The Rocketeer is a slant shank, steel gear driven sewing machine made between 1960 and 1963.  It has a horizontal rotary hook (drop in class 66 bobbin) and besides doing a lock stitch, reverse, and zigzag, it has 25 built in stitches, 5 Special Disks (top hat cams) included, plus 12 more that can be purchased separately.

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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, like Brasso, touch the decals (gold painted designs on the machine) – so it was much safer to completely remove the parts I wanted to clean with Brasso!

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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!  


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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