I finished my dress!

Well … actually my sister’s dress – part of my “Sister’s Sewing Project”.  It’s a border print and I’ve fallen in love with it.  Border print fabric is not easy to find!  

My sister wanted this dress – she took this photo from the TV!  It was her inspiration.  

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

And she found a lovely border print fabric for it – 100% cotton.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I pulled this pattern from my stash – Butterick B6089.  (It’s difficult to see in this photo because of the camera flash on the plastic cover – sorry!)

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

I’m back!

Last weekend started out as a busy weekend and turned into a challenging week, but let me show you what I did!

I am still working on my sister’s dress – part of my “Sister’s Sewing Project”.  She would like this dress, in this 100% cotton border print and I am using this pattern, Butterick B6089 (sorry for the flash glare).

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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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One of my favourites …

I started this dress last week (read the prequel right here).  I love this pattern.  It’s a remake of a classic dress pattern, Butterick B5920 “Retro ’51”.  Comfortable and easy to make.  The fabric is lightweight and soft, an Ellena Rayon Twill Print, 100% Rayon.  I even found the perfect buttons for my fabric.

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Now I did make some changes – no heart shaped pockets on the chest, no waspish waist, no corset, no crinoline.  

One important change for anyone wanting to try this pattern for themselves – I made the sleeve-less version but the shoulders seemed too long at the top seam.  I actually cut the armholes to a gradual inch shorter at the top shoulder point.  If I am making a sleeve-less top – it’s going to show all of my arms! Continue reading

A bit of a set back …

Yes, I had a bit of a set back.  As soon as I returned from my lazy holiday in Mexico my back went out.  Walking is fine, standing is fine.  That’s about it.  So … no sitting in my sewing chair.  😦

I couldn’t help but dream, browse, and plan my future projects though … and I started seriously searching for my DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER outfit.  I know DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER is far away yet, but I am not the type of person to leave anything to the last minute.

I started my search looking for designer fashion on Pinterest.  I managed to “pin” quite a few favourite dresses and jackets to my DESIGNER FASHION board. Continue reading

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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DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER 2016!

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

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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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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