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.

My fabric stash is long overdue for some sort of organizing.  Continue reading

… 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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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

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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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

Like a kid in a candy shop …

I’ve been participating in #miymarch17 on IG and the prompt for today was “COMMUNITY”.  The sewing community is definitely a wonderful place to share knowledge, projects and friendship.  Today’s prompt reminded me that I haven’t had the chance to share this with you yet – my visit to the creativfestival, certainly another way to meet your local sewing community.  It was my first sewing expo and I certainly hope I can attend another soon.

I signed up for a class with Cindy Scraba of Cindy’s Threadworks and learned quite a few things about bag making.  I always wondered what the heck I could put in my bags to make them not so floppy.  Now I know!

Here are a couple of many sample bags that Cindy brought with her to discuss.

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