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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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.

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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

Winnie and I go on a road trip…

and there are strange goings on in our hotel room…

I spent last weekend out of town, with one night in a hotel, with nothing to keep me occupied.  Well, nothing except my 1952 Singer Featherweight 221, or “Winnie” for short.  (If you would like to learn how I acquired Winnie and all her deets, just check out this post.)

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Hopeful for a new cardi and avoiding some tension problems …

A while ago I purchased two fabrics – both 85% polyester and 15% rayon knits – a Chevron pattern, one a Hunter Green and one a Red.  Just on a whim.  These fabrics spread out are a bit overwhelming for my taste – but they were too beautiful to resist.  I had to figure out what I was going to make with them.

I thought I would make a cardigan with one, perhaps the darker one, and a skirt … or culottes … or a skirt … or culottes … with the brighter one.

My favourite cardigan pattern is Butterick B5789.  I’ve made my red one successfully before here.  Now just to be brave and try new things, this time, I thought I would try making a cardigan that was reversible.  The green Chevron pattern on one side and a white linen look on the other.  That way if I didn’t feel bold I could wear the Chevron fabric on the inside, just peeking out, and if I was feeling BOLD then I could wear the Chevron fabric on the outside.  I thank my friend, Nadine, for giving me the white linen looking fabric (and quite a few others!).

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I run for …

Vintage Sewing Machines!  

I didn’t know I did, but it has been proven that I do.

Ever since I was given Ilona and Maria, I’ve been bitten by the “VSM bug”.  (It’s all my Mom’s fault!!!)  I’ve been browsing “for sale” sites on line and learning as much as I can about various Vintage Sewing Machines.  So far, my favourite is the Singer 500, the “Rocketeer”.

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The “Rocketeer”.  The most unusual and complicated sewing machine I have ever seen!

The Rocketeer is a slant shank, steel gear driven sewing machine made between 1960 and 1963.  It has a horizontal rotary hook (drop in class 66 bobbin) and besides doing a lock stitch, reverse, and zigzag, it has 25 built in stitches, 5 Special Disks (top hat cams) included, plus 12 more that can be purchased separately.

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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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Fabric Frenzy!

… or what I like to call “My Pilgrimage to the Church of Fabricana”.  I’m not in the least obsessive or possessive regarding all things sewing related.  (Ya, right!)  I have even sworn off fabric shopping – PERIOD – for the last year.  Well, except for the couple of purchases I made about a month ago, just some knit fabrics for T-shirts (to be made up “someday”).  But those were purchased with Gift Certificates – Gift Certificates given to me last Christmas!  Considering I didn’t actually buy those, I think they’re exempt from the Fabric Fast.

So I still claim that I have not purchased fabric for a year.. ever since August of 2015 when I last travelled to Vancouver to visit my Enabler/Sister.  She is always more than happy to drive me from store to store in exchange for a treat or a meal or even a fabric purchase for herself (for me to sew, of course!).  So last weekend, off I went again!  

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Let me talk about new toys…

For as long as I can remember, I have been sewing in my invisible zippers with a Singer Zipper foot that fits on my Janome sewing machine (below right).  It bounces around a bit, but it’s ok.  A few months ago I purchased this “Unique” brand package.  A plastic Zipper Foot with a variety of shanks to fit any machine – supposedly useful for sewing in invisible zippers!  Sorry… I found using my Singer Zipper foot to be more accurate.

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I recently decided that it was time to splurge.  After searching for a Janome Invisible Zipper foot – only to discover there was no such thing – I found a Janome Concealed Zipper foot… and I bought it, despite it’s silly name!

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