Sewing Challenges: #So50Visible and #BGchallenge

@sewover50 has been running the #So50Visible Challenge on Instagram and I wasn’t too sure if I’d make their deadline of March 15th! And what do you know… I did! And not only did I, but I found out that I could also enter the #BGchallenge (Breaking Ground Challenge)!

The aim of #So50Visible is to make a pattern from a pattern maker who has models over the age of 50! How many of those do you see day to day? I was lucky to find this collection!

The aim of the #BGchallenge was to make something from a pattern maker you haven’t used before! And what did I make from a pattern maker I haven’t used before who uses models over 50? The Tuesday Stitches Citrus Leggings, of course! You can link to their pattern here if you’d like.

The sewing of this pattern went really well and the finished leggings feel so good – to be honest the first pair of leggings I have EVER worn! And I am going to make and wear MORE!

Yes I had to print out the PDF pattern and glue it together. Some sewists download the PDF pattern onto a flash drive and take it to a printer to have it printed off on large paper for cutting out. Unfortunately the nearest print shop to me is 35 minutes away … who can wait that long … so Sophie and Simon and I just cut and glued ourselves happily into the night!

I had two meters of the BEST fabric. I should have taken a photo of the bolt end so I could remember it’s content. I remember it had a spandex content though with a good four way stretch, as recommended by Tuesday Stitches, and it was quite thick compared to some of the stretch knit fabrics I see. I chose to do view C without the gathers, so that I could squeeze TWO pairs on to my fabric, so it was easy to sew all the seams – skipping the gathers. Maybe I’ll make a pair with gathers, view A or B, next time. I used a narrow long zig zag stitch and didn’t have much of a problem except for when I sewed through a couple of thicknesses for the hems.

Tuesday Stitches has a tutorial for a hidden wide waistband elastic here, which I used and liked. First though, I put the leggings on inside out and measured where the waistband elastic should go.

Fitting for the wide waistband elastic.
I made extra sure to centre my elastic on my front and back seams.
Using my long zig zag to attach my elastic.
As an extra precaution I stitched the elastic down all along the waistline.

There are three seams on each leg that you can use for fitting. Let a bit out here, take a bit in there! I think I might let out the seam along my calves just a bit, that seems to be the only place I am not right on with the fit. Big calves! Otherwise, these are really really comfortable!

Now excuse me while I go over to Instagram and submit my entry to the #So50Visible and #BGchallenge and tell them what a wonderful job they are doing running these challenges. I think I’ll go tell Tuesday Stitches how much I love their Citrus Leggings pattern too!

Have you made yourself a pair of leggings yet? If so, which pattern did you use?

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Well, no change there … still 131.2 meters left … I bought two meters so I could make these Citrus Leggings and I used it all up!


A UFO – not lost, but found!

Last weekend I attacked with renewed energy one of the UFOs I found when I was analyzing my #MMMay2018 results and inventorying my fabric.  (Found?  First I would have to I admit it was lost!  Never!)

I had previously made a Designer me-made Copy of a GAP tank top for my sister with a beautiful deep teal green stretch knit, 90% polyester, 7% rayon and 3% spandex, posted here.  Since there was fabric leftover from that project, and it is a beautiful fabric not to be wasted, I told my sister that I was sure I could squeeze a simple tee shirt out of the remnant. Continue reading

Amber takes a break …

Well!  We are all packed, ready to go on holidays!  Amber, my Singer 421G, finished my swimsuit cover up a few days ago and I’ve packed her up for a little R&R!

I just had to show you the cool stitch that Amber can create, one of many I have yet to discover!

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This fabric is a lovely “Dahlia Jacquard”.  51% polyester 46% cotton and 3% spandex.  It feels soft and comfortable.  I didn’t want the seams to be messy and unfinished on the inside, so I decided to finish them off by folding them to one side and sewing them down with a decorative stitch.  I was happy with the results.

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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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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

I figured it out!

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I have been sewing up exercise clothes in a frenzy lately and looking at what’s on line and in the stores and therefore the most fashionable.  I found a pretty gathered fold over waistband on a pair of $62.00 (Canadian) name brand yoga pants and I just wanted them – not for $62.00 though!  I borrowed a pair from a friend and examined them closely.  Then I started…

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So I guess if you lose your voice, it’s time to write a blog post?

Lying here on the couch, watching TV and reading other blogs, fighting off my cold with hot chicken soup, hot tea and a chocolate bar (a recommended cure, honestly!), I have decided I might as well write up one of my own on what I put together last week.

Perhaps you remember my sister, Bon-Bons & Bootcamp?  Well my sister made me a purse (I shall have to blog about it to show it off to you).  So in return I offered to make her some workout gear – seems I can’t stop myself from “Diving into knits!”  She gave me the material (a lovely blue and a black – polyester spandex), thread and a couple of patterns with a request to make McCall’s M6360, view F, and McCall’s M4261, view C.  The pants black with a blue side stripe and the bra top all blue.

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Diving into knits! Part Two

Back on schedule again!  Perhaps some of you remember my other “Diving into knits”  post?

imageI have been using McCall’s 4261.

I sewed up my red T shirt, it was such an easy pattern to put together, but I think now it might be too nice to workout in!

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Now on to my blue yoga pants.

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Don’t worry! I ironed my pattern piece after taking this photo and before cutting!

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My first “up cycle”?

My sister’s co-worker is traveling to Mexico very soon to avoid our rainy winter – the rain just goes on and on and on…  She asked my sister if I would be willing to sew her “tankini” for her before she leaves.  Sure, I love a new project!

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What we have here is her tankini top and a sample of the bottom she would like to have made out of the material which covers her tummy.  She wants that material taken off so that she can get some extra sun.  “Might as well! Hey?”

So I cut it off.

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I used this excellent stitch to hem up the stretchy knit material of the top by hand.

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imageTop hemmed.  The strap has to be changed yet though.

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