4,442 miles …

between Victoria, British Columbia, and Edinburgh, Scotland … and why am I telling you this?  Well today I started as this week’s “Fashion Superstar” over on CUT OUT + KEEP!

CUT OUT + KEEP is an Edinburgh based craft community I would like to introduce to you.

But let me start from the beginning …

A few months ago, well the end of February to be exact, a very patient Cat Morley asked me if I was interested in being a “Fashion Superstar” on her craft community CUT OUT + KEEP.  Well of course I am!

Then life interfered (sigh!) and a very patient Cat Morley asked me again.  Again, I replied “Of course I am still interested!”

So while I was in Mexico, lying poolside in the sun, I planned and organized and wrote and rewrote and reviewed and came up with seven project posts for CUT OUT + KEEP.  I’m featured this week, so head on over and take a peek here!  Check out some of the other crafters too!  I don’t think I have ever seen a site that has so much variety, everything from desserts to slinky cabaret dresses (those two probably don’t go together so well) but CUT OUT + KEEP has it all!

So why was I thinking about 4,442 miles?   Continue reading

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

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

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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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.

Continue reading

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.)

cu2 Continue reading

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