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.


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”.

Continue reading

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!