I learned something new…

Just by chance actually!  As a matter of fact, I learned a couple of things.

I’ve decided I need more dresses in my life (again).  I also noticed that IG is having a #sewtogetherforsummer Challenge that I can participate in – if I get my entry done by June 21st.  I do not like deadline sewing, so this is going to be interesting.

I have my shirt dress pattern picked out – Butterick B5920.  It is an unexpected shirt dress pattern, as it might not even be a shirt dress.  It’s a Butterick Retro ’51 pattern.  Of course, there is NO WAY I am sewing heart shaped pockets on my chest – sorry.  I am going to leave the pockets off completely.  But I do LOVE this turned up collar.  It kind of follows my neck curve like no other collar I have seen before … and I love it!

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One step closer to the beach …

My sewing days are running out.  Soon my sister and I leave for Mexico.  As usual, I have a dozen ideas but only so much time – so at the top of the list, besides swimsuits, is cover ups.  I bought the fabric for two cover ups – one for my sister and one for me – last weekend.  My sister chose this print – full of black, brown and gold colours.  It’s called Tangiers Linen-look print, 97% polyester and 3% spandex.  It definitely has the quality of linen.  When I pre-washed both fabrics, this one lost at least a 1/4″ off the width with the unravelling and fraying.  I decided that I would have to be very careful finishing off the seams.

Did I make changes to this pattern, McCall’s M7200?  I added a few inches to the length and I made the back only one piece instead of the several they designed into the pattern.  This pattern has a pretty back with all those seams and a bit of a peplum, but I want my cover ups to be a plain style.  I ended up with only four pieces – front, back, collar and sleeve.  (My cover up will be the same, made of the beige fabric.)

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So I like it …

and it takes A LOT for me to like the style, colour and fit of a swimsuit.  With a few changes, this one was good right out of the envelope.  It’s a one piece, which I wanted, and it has flattering gathers at the front to hide all evils.  I removed the gathers at the back though – I’ll explain that later.  The colour … well it’s a wild purple print!  Purple is “my colour” as I have discussed before. The sizing was a bit big, I used shorter than recommended strips of elastic, and I sewed the side seams in with a 1 inch seam allowance, and not a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

So let’s get into some detail about this pattern …

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Photos really help!

Every time I make a pair of pants (trousers) for myself I first take a look at this photo.  No, I did not make these.  This is how RTW (ready to wear) fits on my body – and this is the right size.  Just awful!  This photo reminds me that no matter how little or how much work it is or how good or bad it turns out, me-made is always going to be better than this.

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I have cut out three pairs of pants so far and last Tuesday I finished the first pair – the chocolate brown ones.  I used McCalls M6901 (a Palmer/Pletsch pattern).  I didn’t use to like Palmer/Pletsch patterns – basically because they just went on and on, page after page of instruction to which I never paid any attention.  Silly me! Continue reading

Amber is put to work …

Perhaps you remember my Singer 421G, a convertible free arm sewing machine made in Germany in 1954.  “Amber” for short!  Since purchasing Amber, she has received a good cleaning and oiling, and I took apart her tension assembly and put her back together again.  She runs smoothly now with a nice stitch.

I love the sound she makes – like a train clicking quickly on the tracks, heavy on my table with no shake – unlike my Janome 3160QDC who whirrs loudly and shakes the table as she sews.  Now it’s time to put Amber to work.   Continue reading

Finishing that friggin’ UFO … (Part 2)

I apologize for not posting sooner.  I did continue working on my Sister’s shirt/jacket during the last week, the final chapter of my Sister’s Sewing Projects, although I am sure she will eventually think of something else for me to do!  I am using Simplicity 5455, a pattern from 2003.  I started it here using two wonderful fabrics, a solid blue and a white “newsprint floral”, both made of 97% cotton and 3% spandex.  Things were rolling along nicely … until they came to a dead stop!  Why?

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Giving it another go …

I started the year with the #2017makenine Challenge – pick nine patterns and get ‘er done during the year!  So far, I am not too sure if I have been successful though.  I started with the dress pattern in the bottom left hand corner.  It was Vogue 9202, but it turned into a top, McCalls 6896 – actually rather successfully!

Last weekend I started my second garment of the #2017makenine Challenge.  Pants/trousers in the middle row, left side – Vogue 7881, described as “Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture Collection”.  How’s it going?

Well I took a good look at that pants pattern again and decided that I wanted to forgo the “couture” techniques just for now – I just don’t have the interest or energy!  I just want some pants, quickly, like now.  So I switched to another pants pattern of mine, Vogue V2532.  A simple pattern – fronts, backs, pockets and waistband – described as a “basic design”.

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Again … I say better late than never!

I managed to get my FIRST Jungle January – #junglejanuary5 – finished prior to the deadline, but my second animal print just wanted to fight with me.  It is a lovely fabric – a cream, black and brown 100% Rayon Challis.  Just beautiful to the touch.  But as I was discussing it with Curls n Skirls I realized that it would be a perfect weight for a top, but perhaps not a perfect weight for a dress.  It might need a lining.  But then if I was planning to wear it in the warmer months – would I want lining?

So I changed the plan … instead of making a dress, Vogue 9202, I would make a top, McCalls M6896.  I’ve made the McCalls pattern before – it was my FIRST Jungle January – with good results.  Of course the Vogue bodice pattern pieces were too short.  They only reached to the pink line I drew on the McCalls bodice pattern pieces.  So I would have to add an extension onto every Vogue bodice pattern piece.

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Vintage pattern No. 4

Yes, I am almost finished my “Sister’s Sewing Projects”.  I have finished her last skirt and am working on her matching shirt/jacket.  We are going to have to go out and buy you more fabric soon, Sis!  

I haven’t abandoned Jungle January 5.  I’ve still got some sewing to do on my second Jungle January 5 animal print – a dress – but I have put that aside for a couple of days.  We need some distance between us … Let’s just say the Jungle is not big enough for the two of us at the moment!

My sister’s favourite skirt pattern is McCall’s 4408.  I have made this pattern for her before … a few times.

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