Well, that was boring …

but unfortunately, necessary.

A friend/co-worker was complaining last week that she had to give a few of her clothes away as they did not fit properly anymore.  I agreed.  I must have three or four pairs of pants that are now too big.  She scolded me, “… after all, you sew your own clothes … you can fix them” she declared.

oops!  I am shamed!

So I dredged through my closet and my drawers and found what doesn’t fit anymore and yes there are four pairs of pants that needed to be taken in, another pair with a broken zipper and another that needs hemming still (I guess that one is in the UFO category actually!)

So what did I do this last weekend … I did the alterations on my pants.  BOORRRING!

I did learn one thing though. Continue reading

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

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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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!

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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.  

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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

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…

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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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It’s DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER! And I’m So Pleased!

It’s done!  And I’m so pleased!  For a while now, I have been eyeballing this outfit from Marina Hoermanseder.  I just had to have it!  Of course, it’s not my style to wear short shorts to work, so instead I opted for the longer look of wide pants, or  culottes.  Here’s Marina Hoermanseder’s ORIGINAL…

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It really is BLACK!

Honestly, why is BLACK so difficult to photograph?  It must just suck in all the light around it!  Anyway…

I have finished my 4th pair of pants, black ones, after spending extensive time with the muslin and making three pairs after that.  I thought my blue pair was my favourite – best fitting and lovely fabric.  Those were made with Horizon Suiting, 100% polyester.  (I actually managed to find and buy more Horizon Suiting in a Navy Blue colour.  Whoopie!)  I think these black pants have taken their place though.  Although in trying to photograph the black, that might not come across!

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Betcha by Golly ya thought it was gonna be about a UFO!

You know how it is.  You finish a garment and there is something that is not quite right about it.  So you put it aside for later… and there it sits.

Two weeks ago, I posted about my finished blue pants.  The only problem is that I sewed the invisible zipper in too close and after I tried the pants on and zipped them up, the fabric got stuck in my zipper and I had to break the zipper to get them off again!

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This is a lovely fabric (Blue Horizon Suiting, 100% polyester), a lovely pattern (Vogue V2948) and I’ve worked on the pants muslin to get a pretty good fit (Pant Fitting Techniques by Sandra Betzina).  Now I have the added extra of A BROKEN ZIPPER! Continue reading