Designin’ December Questions and my progress with my DD me-made Copy …

I had a couple of Questions about Designin’ December.  

Do I have to copy a “high-end” Designer?  Nope!  If your taste leans towards something like these Nordstrom jeans – from Veronica Beard RTW at a cost of CAD $418.42 – make them!

Veronica Beard / Nordstrom / $418.42

I say … “Why buy when you can make it yourself – better and for less money?”  Just show us your Designer Original photo and your Designer me-made Copy!

Another question – Do I have to sew it and post it in December?  Nope!  Inspiration strikes us all year round!  Anytime during the year you might find your Designer Original and make your Designer me-made copy – make it, post it, let me know!  I’ll save it for the fashion show in Designin’ December!

Don’t be shy now.  If you have questions, ask away!

Now it’s time to update you on my Designin’ December me-made Copy.  I decided long ago to copy this Designer Original … an Oscar de la Renta, Fall 2018.

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I ran into a bit of a snag because I couldn’t believe that the pants were so PLAIN, but Sue of Fadanista came to the rescue and found a close up of the pants for me.  I love the slits in the back of the pant legs!

I originally was going to use a Simplicity pattern from 1999 that I have used before, # 8740, but I thought I would pull out my self-drafted pants pattern that I drew up a while ago, after many fittings of my muslin, and give it a try instead!

I compared my self-drafted pants pattern with the Simplicity pattern pieces.  There wasn’t much difference so I cut the pieces out using my self-drafted pattern pieces.  It felt safe enough!  We shall see how it turns out with this 100% cotton fabric.

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Look at that, I even have matching thread in my stash!

Zipper attached, inner and side seams basted.

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Approximately 100 fittings later – which meant trying them on, taking photos from all angles, examining the photos, picking the seams out, sewing them up again, and doing it all over and over again —

— I ended up really liking the fit on the RIGHT FRONT LEG and the LEFT BACK LEG!!!  LOL  I’m determined though … perhaps just one more fitting session is needed!

Of course, I had to pick apart my side seams along the top yet again to sew in the pockets!  I cut the corners of my front leg pieces in the same shape as my pockets.

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Pocket lining pieces attached.

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The belt loops and waist band were attached.

The waist band inner facing was attached too.  Then I picked it apart in a few spots so I could slip in the forgotten belt loops and sew it up again!

Last bit of machine sewing …

Next, the hand sewing is done.

Now for the slits in the back of the pant legs.  I cut the 2″ hem off and an additional 5″ for the cuff.

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I cut four pieces to make the two new 5″ cuffs.

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They turned out nicely.

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They were machine and hand sewed on.

Final photos?  Nope!  Not yet!  Not until I can wear them with my Designer me-made Tunic Top!

How’s your Designin’ December me-made Copy coming along?  Do tell!  Any Questions?  Just ask!  If you would like to know more about the Challenge, click on – Designin’ December!

Thank you to our sponsors!

Happy Sewing!

My sister’s Designin’ December idea!

Yes, my sister, who isn’t fond of sewing (she loves to draw), asked me a few weeks ago  to make her a top.  No rush, no pressure, it would be great though if it was ready by the date of her husband’s Christmas party, this Saturday – which actually wasn’t a problem.

She had already purchased this GAP top, in grey, but she wanted another just like this in her favourite colour.  Easy! I could trace the grey one!

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Finishing that friggin’ UFO … (Part 2)

I apologize for not posting sooner.  I did continue working on my Sister’s shirt/jacket during the last week, the final chapter of my Sister’s Sewing Projects, although I am sure she will eventually think of something else for me to do!  I am using Simplicity 5455, a pattern from 2003.  I started it here using two wonderful fabrics, a solid blue and a white “newsprint floral”, both made of 97% cotton and 3% spandex.  Things were rolling along nicely … until they came to a dead stop!  Why?

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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!


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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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.



I used this little gizmo to thread the elastic through the waist line casing.

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…just sneaking one in here…

Our weather has been quite windy here and we have already lost power once (no TV, no internet, NO SEWING!) so I thought I would just sneak one in here now that the power has come back on – before it goes off again!

I was working on my Sewaholic Nicola.  I am using a fabric from my stash, 60% cotton/40% Tencel*, that I was saving for this dress.  This fabric is so soft, I think I am in love!

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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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