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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A long drawn out battle with beautiful fabric …

and I’m not quite finished yet!

Let me tell you what’s up …

I have been searching for a pattern and fabric to make a “replica” of my mother’s and aunt’s dresses in this photo.  My Aunt was a seamstress back in Europe and she not only sewed for clients but also for herself and my mother.  She used no patterns and could make anything!  I thought I had the magical combination for this dress with this 100% Rayon Denim Challis I had in my stash – a favourite fabric of mine!


I still think this pattern, Vogue 1395, might work but it doesn’t have the rounded neckline that I want.  Being lazy, I thought I might just make two bodice backs and use those to make the bodice instead.

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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

Now that’s HOT!

We are completely lacking in energy here.  The temperature hit 32 C (89 F) today.  Not a common thing for us!  The whole family just lounged around waiting for the cooling fan to rotate towards them.



Needless to say, after a long work week and today’s heat nothing much has been accomplished.  But I did get a lovely package in the mail and another from a friend at work.  Let me show you …

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I have the right to change my mind…

Don’t I?

I love this fabric, so soft and light and silky (ITY knit – polyester/Lycra).  I thought I should make this lovely summer dress – McCall’s M6922.  I traced the pieces for the short sleeve version of the dress and cut out my fabric.


I very easily sewed together the eight panels with a narrow zig zag stitch.  This dress had fantastic flare!  But it seemed kind of “hang-y”.  I tried it on.


It was not only hang-y, the bodice and armholes stretched so much as I was wearing it I could have put my head through the armhole!

I took another look at my notes on this fabric.  It was polyester/Lycra WITH 50% STRETCH!  I just couldn’t do it.

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Matching stripes!


I have been thinking about matching stripes. I can think of examples when stripes and patterns don’t match in nature, and those are truly beautiful!  Otherwise, I think if  something is hand crafted the stripes should match.


I spotted this lovely polyester spandex knit the other day. It has a perfect design on it, stripes of different shapes and colours.  You can’t possibly just cut and sew it together without paying careful attention to the design.


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A “boo boo”…

…and a true sewing challenge!

Perhaps you remember the day I ambitiously chose to cut out material for three shirts in one afternoon full of interruptions, blogged here, with terrible results?  I have yet to take a close look at my work to see what size all three fabrics, indeed every pattern piece, has actually been cut to.  Which line did I use?

Well now it is time to start sewing them up.  Upon opening up my first set of pattern instructions, for McCall’s  6076, (I can’t even remember what view I cut out!), I find eight pages of instructions!  Apparently it is a “Palmer Pletsch” Classic Fit shirt.  Who needs a book?  Who needs a course? These pattern instructions are full of details and diagrams for getting the tissue ready, making adjustments to the hip and waist, back width, full bust, princess seam placement, on and on… Hmmm… Things I should have read and done BEFORE I cut out the fabric!  Oh Joy!

BTW here is my pattern and my two lovely fabrics.  I can’t remember what kind of fabrics these are, they were just pulled from my stash, but they are probably a polyester, even though they feel like silk.


I think I should sew these two tops up with my fingers crossed!

Below is the third fabric I cut out on that day.  McCall’s 6606, view C.  Again, I am unsure which size I cut out – did I cut it too big or too small, which line did I use?  At least this one, being “not fitted” and having a lot of design on the fabric, will be more forgiving.


I think Dolly is going to come in very handy when I am putting together these tops, with me trying and adjusting every piece on her.  First I will have to double check her measurements with mine to make sure she hasn’t been jogging too much or sneaking too much chocolate!



Now not to offend anyone, Palmer Pletsch, or even you Oprah, honestly!

(Maybe I should write in this popular clause…  “The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the rest of the world!”)

But, the funniest words in this Palmer Pletsch pattern are:

“…this is the blouse neckline style that Oprah claims is most flattering.  Stores who had a blouse with this neckline couldn’t keep it in stock.”

Read it yourself!  Palmer Pletsch even call their pattern “the Oprah blouse” on their website!


Makes me very happy that Oprah didn’t claim this was most flattering…


or this…


because Palmer Pletsch would have had their work cut out for them! (No pun intended!)

To sum up… 8 pages of instructions, 4 of which are a lesson on how to adjust your pattern BEFORE you cut out your fabric (too late for me now!) and one page that says this…


When I started sewing long, long ago you knew you were done the outfit when you finished all the steps and could wear it! Now you know you are done when you read “This page is intentionally left blank” .

Makes me laugh every time!

Happy Sewing!

P.S. Remember the most important rules – Read the instructions first!  Then – Measure twice and cut once!


My quick fix and I am really happy with it!

Yesterday’s post resulted in a lovely blue cardigan, McCall’s M6802 ….. that needed some improvement.

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The pattern instructions suggest to leave the bottom and collar edge rough or to hem the bottom and collar edge up as usual.  The problem with that is the bottom hem continues up into the collar hem, which then flops around to show the wrong side of the hemming.  Something I do not like.

So I purchased some wide foldover broadcloth to cover the edges (it looked just like double fold bias tape) and some single fold bias tape to cover the inside seams that might show with movement.


They were so easy and quick to sew on!

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The finished look, beautiful edges and covered seams inside.image

Finished!  and I am really happy with it!  I think I shall wear it to work tomorrow!

Did I do okay? Part two… and a quick Cardi for the cold office!

I am going to try it again.  Like always, if you don’t like it the first time, keep trying until you are happy with the results.  I traced my first pattern in my lifetime here. It was good, but not great.  So I try again, this time with tracing paper from the art section of my craft store.  Unfortunately in my excitement in finding it I grabbed the wrong width, so I might have to tape together two widths of it to make it wide enough for some of my tissue pattern pieces to fit.  But I do have lots so I am not worried about that!


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So I guess if you lose your voice, it’s time to write a blog post?

Lying here on the couch, watching TV and reading other blogs, fighting off my cold with hot chicken soup, hot tea and a chocolate bar (a recommended cure, honestly!), I have decided I might as well write up one of my own on what I put together last week.

Perhaps you remember my sister, Bon-Bons & Bootcamp?  Well my sister made me a purse (I shall have to blog about it to show it off to you).  So in return I offered to make her some workout gear – seems I can’t stop myself from “Diving into knits!”  She gave me the material (a lovely blue and a black – polyester spandex), thread and a couple of patterns with a request to make McCall’s M6360, view F, and McCall’s M4261, view C.  The pants black with a blue side stripe and the bra top all blue.


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