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

Vintage pattern No. 4

Yes, I am almost finished my “Sister’s Sewing Projects”.  I have finished her last skirt and am working on her matching shirt/jacket.  We are going to have to go out and buy you more fabric soon, Sis!  

I haven’t abandoned Jungle January 5.  I’ve still got some sewing to do on my second Jungle January 5 animal print – a dress – but I have put that aside for a couple of days.  We need some distance between us … Let’s just say the Jungle is not big enough for the two of us at the moment!

My sister’s favourite skirt pattern is McCall’s 4408.  I have made this pattern for her before … a few times.

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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

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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What do you get when you cross a …

needle with a tiger – A pinstripe!

What do you get when you cross a bodice pattern block, a Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt and a vintage Butterick pattern?  Let me show you!

In the ’80s I remember having a red polyester knit dress – similar to the one here without a collar.  I loved it!

I decided to make another one for myself using this Butterick pattern and this knit fabric.  I’m not sure what its content is – I just found it in my stash.  I love the print.  Is this paisley or floral – or paisley floral?  or floral paisley? Continue reading

It’s Done! Well almost…

My sister will be happy, another garment has been (almost) finished in what I’m calling my Sister’s Sewing Projects.

This one is a vintage pattern from 1978, Simplicity 8510. It must be a favourite of my sister’s for her to keep it safe all this time. The fabric is a similar beige as in the pattern photo, linen-like, 70% polyester, 30% rayon.

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The “Snake skin”.

… or “What I did on my summer vacation (Part I)”.

I managed to get in a bit of sewing while on vacation.  I finished the third skirt of my Sister’s Sewing Projects.  I offered to sew up for my sister three skirts and three dresses AND the dress she is going to be wearing to her son’s wedding, her MOG dress!  I love having the distraction from my own sewing projects and it is fun to work with the lovely fabrics and patterns that she has picked!
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Picasso’s flowers.

This is my second garment in my Sister’s Sewing Projects.  A skirt we call Picasso’s flowers.  When you plan on making three skirts and four dresses for you sister, you better be really organized – patterns, fabrics, notions, etc. – so from the start we gave all the fabrics names.  Now although this 100% polyester fabric is quite lovely, it is out-shined by the real Master …

Petit Fleurs by Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973

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