It Happened Again

I one time had a CL ad up – for buying, and fixing old sewing machines. A guy called and said he had an old singer that no one wanted at his garage sale. Could I swing by his place and pick it up from his girlfriend. She handed me a little broken mint green box! I was in shock.

Then yesterday, I was walking with my little boy in the neighbourhood early morning, while a lady was hanging up a garage sale sign. I asked my standard questions ‘any guitars or sewing machines?’ She said she had some sewing machines for $25!

I went there immediately & saw the little blk box with $150 on it. I opened it up and it was jammed to the top with accessories (zigzager, buttonholer). A bit pricey but I had just got pd so I bought it.

I carried it home and unpacked it and there was a 222 inside! The only things it’s missing is the embroidery hoop. The darning foot is even there.

Im in shock! Stars aligned twice or my city is saturated with 221 & 222. Our city did have a singer store downtown for eons.

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Yoga Bag

So after much searching on the web I came up with this yoga bag. Here goes:

Fabric used: medium weight cotton with scrap lightweight cotton contrasting fabric.

Bag main piece: 18 x 30
Contrasting strips: 18 x 4.5
Handle: 3 x 48
Circle bottom: 3 inch radius – resulting in a circle 6 inch wide.

Homemade bias tape in contrasting fabric. 2 inch strips folded and sew to make a ties but ribbon would look fabulous.

Top edge folded back 2 inches.
Contrasting strip placed and sewn 4 inches from top edge sewn stitching and 4 inches from the bottom.

Namaste. Now not to fall over in yoga class. I kinda reallysuck at balance. :)

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McCalls 6844 Sew-a-Long

I have been in a bit of a sewing funk lately so I needed a quick & easy garment to get me back into the groove.  The craftygemini was having a sew-a-long for the McCalls 6844 pattern.  I used a bright red ponte knit and opted for the peplum cardi which was featured in the sew-a-long.  The next time I make this, I will size down to a 12 but keep the 14 sleeve size – not much wiggle room in these sausage link style arms… :)   I have since bought navy knit to make the view which is just a straight cardi. Here are the 6 videos for the pattern.

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My Lady

It has been a while since I posted.  I have been busy making some wardrobe staples, but have not taken photos as they are much the same – just duplicates.  I did however, treat myself to a dress form.

I did quite a bit of research on the subject before buying – indecisive. I went back and forth between some of the adjustable forms that I could get through amazon vs the non-adjustable ones.

I settled on one by theshopcompany.  At first I wasn’t sure if they delivered internationally but found out if ordered thru ebay – they would!  I ended up buying a size smaller that what I am, so that I could pad the form to my natural size.

The form arrived in no time and it was exactly as advertised.  Pinnable linen, collapsible shoulders, a cage for hemming, cast iron rolling base.  She is gorgeous.

Not sure of the name, but it was instant assembly and I can’t wait to put her to use.  I will have to wait about 3 weeks until I can get back into my sewing room.

Post script – the boobs look kinda of pointy in the photo – but they are not :)

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It Pains Me

20140321-180452.jpgHere’s the thing. I didnt even put the buttons on this before I tossed it. Dont get me wrong, I learned a ton (welted pockets, topstitching etc) Never took on something so complicated – with so much construction. Forty pieces in all.

So what’s the problem? The fabric! The demin is way to heavy and stiff. It was free so I used it as a muslin to see if I was a med or lrg.

Next time, if there is one, my fabric will be much lighter and with a bit of stretch. The feeling I have right now is Im tired of this pattern and process involved. It will be a while and I am onto sewing other things.

This is the first time I have abandoned something at the muslin stage? How about you?

At least I know my size now!

B4132 Butterick Cowl Top

Just finished this cowl top in a super soft jersey. I was suppose to cut on the bias, but opted not to because the fabric had plenty of stretch. My muslin was sleeveless, and too short. I added an extra 4 inches to the length. The top is comfy and has 3/4 sleeves. I am happy with how it turned out and think it will be worn a lot.

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Wardrobe Architect Week 1

History

I grew up with elderly parents who lived and fought in the war.  When I was school aged, fashion did not play a large role in our house.  My mom was a stay at home mom with little interest in clothes and my father was a bricklayer working in demin most of his life.  Clothes were utilitarian in nature.  Later when I went to high school, I didn’t worry or think about clothes much because I wore a school uniform daily for 4 years.  A grey wool box skirt, white blouse, sweater vest, and knee highs.

I moved out to attend university and did not have money for fashion, as I was focusing on paying tuition, rent and food.  I then started my career at the University in which I studied.  Needless to say academics do not seem to be that fashion forward!

Philosophy

I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools.  My Catholic faith ended after it stopped being forced upon me in school.  I am very faith filled but not in an organized way.  I believe in treating others with kindness.  I have always admired my parents for immigrating from nothing and being totally satisfied with what they had.  I don’t think they kept up with the Joneses’ because the Joneses’ were so far away from where they came from  – any comparison was difficult to make.   I was taught to only buy new or the best and only buy what is needed. They were against used.  I think it was because that is all they had growing up.

**I try to stick with this philosophy but have moments of weakness.

Culture

I grew up in a Dutch house hold but our culture was never celebrated.  My parents moved to Canada, only spoke English and tried to forget anything from the past.  I was only influenced by Canada.  As mentioned above,  we did not shop regularly.  My father went to shopping centres almost everyday in his retirement for a cup of coffee, but both of my parents were not shoppers.  Academic culture has also influenced the notion that you don’t have to follow the gender stereo types of clothing.  While studying at school most of my garments were black, black and more black.  Did I mention black?

Community

Family is the most important community to me.  My husband has been wearing jeans and plaid shirts everyday (including to work – he is a social worker) since I met him in 1992.  He has one pair of dress pants & shirt for occasions both happy & sad.  My small circle of friends are way more fashionable!  I am the type of person who invites the family to the big Xmas or Thanksgiving dinner and asks everyone to arrive in  PJs.  Because who doesn’t  want to relax at these gatherings anyway!

Location

I live in Canada. -50 with the wind is not uncommon in the winter.  And +38 is not uncommon in the summer.  I notice the heavy plaid shirts come out in the winter – never dress or skirts.  This summer, since starting to sew my own garments – I have incorporated many more skirts in my daily wear.

Body

I most recently have been at a weight – a little more (OK quite a bit more)  heavy that I normally carry.  I aged 40 plus now and think it is both age and life style.  I love to sew with a glass of wine in hand.  I have always been able to fit ready to wear garments with ease.

The New Year

It has been about 1 year since I started my sewing blog! I have made so many things from small projects (zippered bags, bento box, scarfs) to clothes (archers multiple like rabbits, sorbettos, knit Ts, hoodies, cowl shirt and yoga pants).

Joined a few sew-a-longs and made a few swaps with other bloggers! And met some wonderful sewists!

I ve enjoyed the new Bernina and also picked up a few singer keepers which I just can’t part with.

Thought I would start my year off by committing to the wardrobe architect project, over at Collette’s blog. I need help & planning in that department.

The Wardrobe Architect

Secret Santa Reveal

A cute box landed from the New Zealand in my mail box. Thanks fellow sewist! I have used the twill tape on SO many projects, I made just prior to Xmas. Such unique items an sweet buttons – many thanks.

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Merry Christmas

I always seems to stumble upon the most beautiful sewing machines around xmas time. Last year it was my singer 221 featherweight. This year it is a gorgeous class 15 in a bentwood box that is 20 inch long! It was $25 with a full box of original attachments. My other bentwood is only 16….this one is big & heavy (40 lbs?) but in such great condition. Think I will do a bit of quilting – since this one is set up in the middle of the living room, with no plans to relocate.

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Craftsy, Sew Better, Sew Faster

I have mixed feelings about the consumerism of Black Friday.

But I had a moment of weakness on Thursday. My seamless pledge was holding strong until I bought two pairs of jeans from Old Navy for $15.

The only places I plan to visit to make a purchase today is the fabricstore, and to buy a bottle of Las Moras shiraz.

I plan on finishing another archer this weekend. (which is so outta character for me – not). This version has a major pattern mis-match of the plaid on the front. Tradgic for my OCD, but Im ok with this mistake.

If you havent gone over to Craftsy – stop reading this post and buy yourself another class. You cant go wrong with everything listed as $19.99 (my consumerism weakness is showing). Yesterday I purchased the Sew Better, Sew Faster by Janet Pray.

This class is chalked full of learning opportunities. (Yes, I watched all 8 lessons at once!) She has a ton of tips which are awesome. And she really explains the ‘why’ behind these tips.
I am waiting for my hard-copy jacket to arrive in the mail. The project is an unlined demin jacket with a large amount of top stitching and welted pockets.

I cant wait to get started on this project!

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Double the Pattern Pyramid fun!

Michelle:

Spreading the word!

Originally posted on Béa's Sewing Adventures:

I wanted to post a reminder that you’ve still got a week to enter the Pluz Sized Pattern Pyramid giveaway here on my blog.

But in addition, Alison from Sewing with Cats has now posted her own Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid giveaway here, so you’ve got that additional opportunity to join in the fun now. Go on, check it out- it’s got to be worth a little comment to be in with a chance for those beauties!

EDITED TO ADD THIS EXCITING UPDATE!

It’s actually *treble* the fun, because Chris Lucas, another lucky pyramider, has posted her Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid giveaway too. Hooray for treble chances!

 

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Needle book

In the summer, I was part of a notion swap for the sew weekly reunion. I made a needle book for a swap gift, but never got around to posting about it. Didn’t want to give anything away. This morning, I was about to make another, and realized I didn’t have a post I could look back on.

Here is the tutorial I used to make my book:

http://megsmonkeybeans.blogspot.ca/2010/08/hexagon-needle-book-tutorial.html

Another with a D link which looks interesting:

http://mythreesonsknit.blogspot.ca/2010/05/hexagon-needle-book-tutorial_1452.html

I also found this incredible project. It would take me months to complete….but I do need something like this for my sewing machine needles particularly. I love the colors chosen and how it is combined with a more natural linen:

http://sewingroomsecrets.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/little-hexie-needle-caddy/

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Cold Feet? Warm Hands

I had so much fun this weekend making felt wool mitts. I went down to my local thrift shop and purchased 3 wool sweaters. I never really looked at these before and the average price is around $6.99. I bought 3 for a total of $20. Washed in hot, dried in hot and they came out infant sized. I managed to cut out 4 mitts.

They involved 4 pattern pieces and were very easy to sew together. The thickness of the cuff got me crazy in the first pair, so I opted for a blanket stitch when making the second. I never attempted this stitch before and it was a comedy of errors! But I finally got the hang of it.

I lined them with super soft fleece and they are ultra warm.

I will be keeping my eye out for sweaters as the 100% wool were tricky to find. But I wonder what would happen if a slashed a 100% wool chevron mens suit jacket instead of a sweater? Hmmmmm….maybe another weekend.

Here is the pattern and instructions. Its free!

My girl friends sister sells her wool mitts for $40. I can see why – the wool can get pricey but they are super warm.

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A Warm Mindless Project

A very long scarf all curled up. I had to do something while watching 3 episodes of Shameless. The US version is very entertaining.

Cast 28
K4, P2, K2 til the end
Repeat until super long
It ends up stretchy because of the rib stitch.

A very mindless knit – just like I need if I am concentrating on the tv plot.

Does anyone have a mindless craft they do while watching tv? I’ve tried hand stitching hexies but nothing else other than the odd scarf.

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moccasin

moccasin

ˈmɒkəsɪn/
noun

a soft leather slipper or shoe, strictly one without a separate heel, having the sole turned up on all sides and sewn to the upper in a simple gathered seam, in a style originating among North American Indians.

I received the verbal instructions and the 5 cut out pieces for a ladies size 7 & 9. In the indigenous way of knowing, I only have verbal instructions.

I have a remnant and have my pair cut. The plan is to work on them on the weekend. Have to find some fur – or maybe my pair will be furless.

Here are some pics of my verbal lesson.

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And here are the start of mine.

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Foot Pedal Rewire

I ended up fixing the foot pedal which was evading me all weekend, thanks to these diagrams from Joe. I do credit him and a few other people (Tammi!) on the vintage sewing machine forum for enabling me 2 years ago.

Turns out my 1, 2, and 3 wires were in the wrong order within the prong. Only took 1 zap to find out (I forgot to unplug the cord when I was testing the order).

No copyright info on these images – but I wm still posting or I will lose them.

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Pillow

My son has claimed the newly created pillow. And since learning how to use my #20 Bernina foot, zig-zag, and lowered feed dogs, I dont think I will ever sew a button by hand again! Love that feature. Also used a hidden zipper at the bottom.

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Weekend

I fixed this beautiful sewing machine for a women who lives out of town. It’s a 3/4 – singer 99 model with a very nice bentwood case. She has to buy a new foot pedal, I couldn’t repair hers. The timing needed adjusting and now it’s ready to be picked up. She mentioned she sews moccasins and will share the pattern with me. I am super stoked. She makes them out of leather and recycled fur coats.

I bought the neatest Halloween fabric which will be a skull pillow – inspired by lladybirds blog post. While I was paying for my fabric, I noticed a cute gift card holder. It’s made cheaply, but I took a picture so I could make my own.

http://lladybird.com/2013/10/24/applique-pillow/

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Singer Featherweight 221 – For Sale

I have 12 vintage machines & I don’t need 3 black featherweights!

This is a used vintage Singer Featherweight serial number AH568685 built in 1948. Good working condition with all decals in tact and bright. This is a straight stitch sewing machine.

I accept only Paypal.
Item with extras – $325
Packing materials – $25
Shipping – TBA depending your location

Photos are intended to be part of the description. I am a long time quilter and sewist and I am thinning my collection – have used this machine with care and regular maintenance. This comes from a smoke-free environment. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. My email is vanginney@gmail.com.

***US Buyers: Shipping times can be slower from Canada, so please patient for extra customs time.

Included is:

A serviced 221 sewing machine – I have created a video – I think it’s important to see what you are buying. http://youtu.be/z_DO3v7FG2A

Carrying case
1 Key
Foot control – wear showing on the wires.
Original bobbin case assembly
Bobbins x 3
Singer buttonholer with 4 button templates.
Attachments – see photo. Lots of attachments.
Manual

Ready to sew when you get it!

Full disclosure: There are very small pins pits on the bed & light scratches. The foot control is original wiring that is showing wear and I would suggest purchasing a new foot control ($20 on eBay). But I have used it the last year ‘as is’ with no problem. There is also a quirky squeak to the machine….you may hear it in the video but all my vintage machines have their own sound! The case bottom is missing the black paper – this is cosmetic and does not affect the function.

I will do my best at packing and will insure for a value $350. This price listed does not include shipping costs which may vary depending on your location. I will get an exact shipping fee to you…..before you send your paypal payment.

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Thanksgiving!

This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and I splurged on a ‘want’ I have wanted for a while. The Bernina 550QE!

I purchased from Cindy and Cindy-rellas. She was most helpful and made sure it was a machine that would grow with my skills. Jenny from The Missouri Star Quilt Co is even visiting her shop!! Check out Cindy’s shop:http://www.sewcindy-rella.com/.

This will keep me busy for a while. Not sure how my turkey dinner for 13 is going to get done with this in the house!

The unboxing. Once I figure it out and have more time Ill post more info. Trying all the features and the BSR.

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My sewing room today

I have another Archer cut and ready to sew. This time I am trying a dressy wrinkle free….linen looking fabric in Navy. Can’t wait.

Also got a few patterns in the mail. My favorite is the DKNY dress. My co worker had one made out of a paisley double knit. It looked awesome and her husband sewed it for her. How romantic – his mother believed in raising her boys without the gender stereotyping of only women sew!

I also spent some time cleaning a few machines. The first one the singer 404 I hauled home in the RV from some a small town, cabinet and all. It has a knee control, is super light and I think I have fallen in love with this model. The knee control is so convenient. Think I will sew my Archer on it to test it out.

The second machine the Singer 127 is a shuttle machine…I oiled and cleaned and made a rice bag for my stiff neck :) I blame it on all the sewing. The sound of this shuttle machine is so unique – it’s like the needle almost does a little bounce. It’s mesmerizing – I guess only someone who is addicted to sewing machines would notice. It has a gorgeous bentwood case and was given to me by an incredible seamstress. It was her grandmothers. And was carried by boat to Canada when she came. I am very honoured Noreen chose me to keep this machine.

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Thanks Simona!

I love receiving sewing stuff in the mail and Simona from Sewing in the Attick sent me some patterns all the way from the UK.

http://sewingadventuresintheattick.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/craftsy-review-sew-better-sew-fasterpart-1/

I am interested in the M6043 pants which have a mock zipper (perfect for my aversion to the zip). And the other pattern is for ‘very easy’ pants which again are perfect for me!

Thanks Simona. Mailed a pkg off to you. Something old & something new – Enjoy!

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Another Archer

Had to make another Archer before I forgot how to make it. The first one was a large learning curve for me! This one is made from a heavier plaid fabric which will last forever. Its cozy and perfect for the cold weather coming our way. It came together so much faster than the first. The next one might be silk!

post script. Only after seeing the pic did I notice one pocket is sewn on backwards. Ha. Gonna have to fix that today. 20130929-075034.jpg

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My Archer

I have been in a dark place with work for the last few weeks but can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Also taking care of my mom after her surgery and dog sitting my sisters dog which wears diapers! Yes, I have been changing dog diapers – like I said – I have been in a dark place :) The last little while I have only had time to sew and work – not post to my blog. Everything is settling down and the pup will be going home soon.

I am finished my vintage cotton challenge which I am saving for another post.

And I also tried my hand at Grainline’s Archer shirt. I LOVE this shirt. Not sure if I could have gotten thru the construction without the sew-a-long visuals posted on her website. But now that I have made one, I want more.

Didn’t iron this one, but if I would have waited for that to happen this post would never have existed. The plaid is a soft thinner plaid which I picked up for $0.99 a metre. So with my vintage buttons the total cost was maybe $2.50 :)

I learned so much making this – yokes, plackets, collar, and so on.

Going to pick up Grainline’s Moss skirt and attempt the zipper. Possibly my October goal.

Onward and upward.

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I spy a diaper! She is deaf too, so she didn’t turn around for the pic! Her name is Sage.

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Bean Bags or Pattern Weights, Saltspring Dress Hem and other Thoughts

Twelve more bean bags to go for a friend. I ran out of split peas. They would make handy pattern weights.

And my little boy just attempted to hem mark my Saltspring dress and I fear its crooked :) He is 10, a true helper and very careful. I think I will have to think of another solution. I so wish I had a dress form for times like this. Although he liked to stab the pins through the metal hem marker and play with the magnetic pin weight. I was standing for a really long time.

I also need to find a solid thin, neutral brown, black or grey – summer, cotton sweater to wear with the dress – to off set these large flowers. My next Saltspring will be tamer!

I learned so much with this sew-a-long. How to handle slippery fabric, how to underline and line. How to omit the zip :)

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Fall For Cotton – Butterick 7731

I have decided to make the Butterick 7731 pattern (1956) for the Fall For Cotton Challenge in September. There is a story behind this choice. At the beginning of summer, I received a call from a guy who wanted to know if I wanted a sewing machine that use to be his moms. When I picked it up, he also handed me a box of patterns – at least 60 plus patterns.

Brian gave me a picture of his mom and the bill of sale for the sewing machine which was bought in 1952 for $104 dollars. I can’t fix this 3/4 size seamstress machine…it’s missing a few parts and needs a new motor. It is the only machine out of the 20 I have repaired that remains dormant. I have beautiful picture of Joan who is the seamstress behind the machine. Her patterns mostly range in the 1960s but there are a few 50s and 70s in the mix. This Butterick 3371 pattern was purchased at the Simpson Sears building downtown in the mid 50s. I remember going to this department store with my mom as a kid. It is the 5 story building on the right.

I really like the collar and the cuffs on this top. The pattern states it has an Italian flair. If all works as planned, I will try to incorporate the vintage buttons Nikie mailed me for the Sew Weekly Reunion notion swap from the UK.

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Future Sewists?

My kids always bug me about my sewing habit. Tonight my daughter and her friend decided to design clothes for the sock monkeys I made them last Christmas. Both used my vintage singers – very easy to learn and they each had a machine to work with. Took them 5 minutes to learn how to use them – spent a good 3 hours cutting scraps & sewing them together and making mini clothes.

I tried to convince them to make PJ pants for themselves but it was a no go. Maybe next time!

Sock Monkeys & Pattern:

http://createquiltsew.wordpress.com/tag/sock-monkeys/

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Cowl Neck Ruched Top Tutorial and Free Pattern

Michelle:

I will have to give this a try!

Originally posted on Made with Love:

While deciding what to do with the leftover fabric from a convertible dress, I had several ideas and considerations:

  1. I bought some leggings a while ago, but am still lacking a semi-long top to wear them with
  2. I really like cowl neck tops
  3. Ruching looks fun to try and I also like the idea of ruched side seams

Combining all 3 considerations, the idea for this semi-long cowl neck ruched top was born =)

My original intention was actually to make a long-sleeved top. But as we all know, things don’t always turn out as planned! After tracing the front and back pieces for the torso, I felt like there was still a lot of fabric left, so I went ahead and merrily traced out the first long sleeve. It was only after I already cut out the first sleeve, that I realized, oh NO! I don’t have enough fabric…

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Sewing With Knits

This is the class that really got me started sewing. Being a quilter, I was afraid of knit material before this class. I also was having fit issues with wovens which can be very discouraging for a newbie.

This class is very worth the $30 dollars. I have made numerous hoodies (3), the slice dress (so comfy), several skirts (3), the pants and the shorts. You get 5 patterns with the class but Meg includes mods for shorts, skorts, and capris – so there are 8 patterns.

They are forgiving patterns, and her videos are very detailed so anyone without sewing experience could have a comfy item in a weekend.

Here is the class and here is a sample of the skirt – so easy!

I used a grey athletic non wrinkle fabric – feels great against the skin and washes awesome. Plus the waist band is double fabric folded and sucks in my gut – love that. The pants have the same waist so thats a bonus. I used a subtle navy chevron, but dont have a pic.

http://www.craftsy.com/class/sewing-with-knits/114

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Saltspring – Sew – A – Long

My Sewaholic Saltspring Dress bodice is complete – lining and all. I have never attempted lining before! Caroline’s sew-a-long instructions are so very helpful. I went with the wider strap instead of the spaggetti style. The bottom of the dress instructions will be posted on Wednesday – cant wait.

Sure wish I had a dress form – but my lamp will have to do for the photo shoot.

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Studio Spotlight – Link Party Pics

Just want to participate in the Studio Spotlight Link Party hosted by The Sewing Loft & Ellison Lane. I have enjoyed looking at all the spaces each day featured over the last week. I started in a closet – but kinda expanded into taking over a corner in our rec room where my family hangs out. The closet now stores my stash as it should.

I think what inspires me the most is getting on old broken singer sewing machine and then fixing it up. I have given 11 sewing machines away so far – to anyone who has an interest in sewing. Most items in my space are up cycled or from yard sales. My latest find has been a free white singer featherweight! It was like winning the sewing lottery.

Sewing is a part of my day, after work…time to relax and create. Here is where I sew.

My hubby is a social worker, so he is very understanding dealing with my SMAD (sewing machine acquisition disorder), while my teens call me the ‘sewing freak’ :)

Post Script:  How does your family re act to your sewing?

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SaltSpring Dress Sew-A-Long Prep

I found my fabric for my saltspring dress. It has 3 colors from Pantone Fall 2013 collection. Carafe (dr brown), Turbulence (dr grey), and Koi (orange). It is a charmeuse with great drape. It is outta my comfort zone in the fabric department. It is a really LARGE print but I am hoping to pare it with a carafe jacket/cover. I found it more challenging than I thought to find the sew reunion colours. However, this will be only the first of a few saltspring dresses and I will hopefully end up with a wearable muslin.

I have retraced my pattern pieces – not darling to cut into the original tissue paper.
Cut my fabric using a million pins – it wasn’t so bad as I have heard!
Re-threaded my serger – an hour of hell
And figured out my walking foot for the slippery charmeuse

Just have to pick up my notions….I am thinking invisible zipper but the pattern calls for regular so I think I will wait till farther in the sew-a-long to decide.

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Gertie’s Portrait Blouse

My co worker bought 2 copies of Gertie’s Book of Better sewing and let me buy a copy from her. Not sure if I would have ended up with this book otherwise. I am sure glad I did. It is chalked full of every kind of alteration question a beginner sewist would have. I also like the way she explains the various finishes that one could do to make the garment their own. I made a couple of the easier pattern – the portrait blouse. They sew up super fast, take only a metre of fabric, and forced me to face my zipper phobia. I conquered the invisible zip….just couldn’t do the lapped one she explains in the instructions. I am a visual learner and that is one downfall of the book…..I need more images! But that is just me. The first pic is a sateen and the second a sale cotton.

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Thank You Nikie!

I have been away in Cypress Hills for the past week. It was beautiful. The trees, fresh air, fires, and peace. I was also fortunate to pick up another vintage sewing machine at the local quilt shop – the Cats Meow! That will be for another post.

We got back this afternoon, kinda unpacked, and I soaked in a much needed hot bath.

I walked to our post box and was skipping my way home because I had a special package waiting!

Niki from the UK – not sure of your blog? Or email? Please, please let me know what it is! – Just Found It – Sent a most thoughtful package as part of the sew weekly reunion pattern & notion swap. She sent, Simplicity 1882, beautiful vintage buttons made in Britain, tiny natural pearly buttons that are to die for, blue velvet ribbon, and red ric rack! Nikie you made my day!!! Thank you sew much. I have your thoughtful note hanging in my sewing room too!

I dont have too many patterns and I cant wait to get started on the one you sent. I am a beginner, so this is my first pattern that doesnt fall in the easy category. I am up for the challenge! Woot woot.

Post script. There is an ‘e’ missing from my note in the pic. Sorry Nikie

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Camping

I am on day 5 of camping and I am going thru sewing withdrawl. I brought a hand stitch project to work on in the car. The featherweight is packed but i have only used it to patch a rip in my daughters pants.

Dont get me wrong. Camping is fun with the family but sewing is my way of relaxing so it is missed.

I dont have alot of space in this hybrid trailer and it would be challenging to sew. I did bring material enough for a silk tie bag.

I miss sewing but have been doing a lot of reading about sewing!

Had a chance to head into the local town and bought a pair of gold scissors with a blunt end for hems. The same store called ‘the cats meow’ had a nice singer rocketeer that she will sell to me for $25 – a fair price.

If the stars align, i will be going home with two sewing machines! Here’s hoping.

I also am curious to know if my pattern notion swap package arrived? And my sewaholic saltspring dress pattern? Something to look forward to.

Pattern. Check!

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I am a very indecisive person, but after a night of lurking about for a pattern I decided on the Saltspring Dress by Sewaholic for my Sew Weekly Reunion. There are so many awesome patterns out there – I  wish I had more time. Sewaholic is hosting a sew-a-long from August 16-30 – so the timing is perfect!  I usually choose easy patterns (sorbetto, knits etc) so I thought this might be a bit up a challenge with lining & a zip.  And the step-by-step of the sew-a-long will be the extra help and motivation I need.  Another reason to check my mailbox!  Can’t wait.  Now for 2013 Fall Pantone color inspired fabric choice.

Little Black Scarf

I put this scarf together last night. I started with a light see thru black material with 22 inches wide by the width of the fabric. I serged the edges and ran 3 baste stitches down the centre of the scarf and 2 inches from each side. I was lazy when I gathered and went with a single baste row & thought I would take my chances against the thread breaking. After it was gathered, I ran a 3 step zigzag to hold the gathers in place.

It has been a cool summer here and my office is as cold as a fridge with the air conditioning.

The next time, I would make it slightly more narrow and longer. I am thinking 16 inches by 60 inches. But it will do the trick as is!

I also got my swap package mailed this morning. It should arrive in 6-12 days!

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Notions on my mind…

I was quite excited to receive an email from Kat http://macskakat.wordpress.com/ | Modern Vintage Cupcakes this morning. She is collecting measurements for a pattern & notion swap which is part of the sew weekly 2013 reunion – http://thesewweeklyreunion.wordpress.com/ My recipient is overseas so I want to get my package mailed tomorrow to account for travel time. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the perfect pattern. Clothing is such a personal thing so I hope she likes it. I think we are both new sewists, so I want a feminine dress, without a lot of complex construction and the correct size. I ended up purchasing a printable pattern from Butterick.

I buy a lot of PDF patterns but this is the first time I was not given a PDF but instead I had to download software and print off without saving. The whole experience was enough for me not to purchase like that in the future. I was under a time crunch this time!

Now I have notion ideas floating in my head. I think I have come up with the perfect plan…a needle book. I hope to get some sewing time in tomorrow to finish my package up before the post closes. Crossing my fingers or it will be plan B. Either one will be fine!

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Five Dollar Finds – Hem Marker & Sewing Box

A great find was had on the street I grew up on! I was helping my mom and when I drove away, spotted a yard sale. I always ask the same thing on arrival ‘Any sewing items or guitars?’ The guitar question I ask on behalf of my son.

Here is what I found. A sewing box in great condition. Wood, large, made in Poland. I have a smaller version of this box from university days, taking art class. I love this new box on legs and it was $3. I spend a Friday night, with a glass of wine organizing my notions – yes my life is the life of envy :)

The other contraption I first read about in Gerties Book of Better Sewing. Love the book and it is chalked full of information. It’s a vintage hem marker which can be set to a length of 7 – 24 inches from the ground. A partner clamps and pins around the skirt hem for more precise hemming. There is a small place within the clamp to place the pins. This handy device was $2.

The yard sale owner said she sold her dress form last year – arghhh. One day….I will find one.

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Pattern Wants!

I keep a running list of pattern pins on my ‘Sewing Clothes’ pinterest board. Often when there is a $1.88 sale and I will go thru and see if there is anything pinned on my wishlist. I do have a long wishlist, and plenty patterns waiting in the wings to keep me busy. Here is the current $100 list which doesn’t fall into the McCalls 2 dollar sale.

  1. Cake patterns - Tiramisu
  2. http://boutique.deer-and-doe.fr/2-dresses-belladone-dress.html
  3. Sewaholic – Tofino Pants, Cordova Jacket, Renfrew Top, Cambie Dress, Alma Blouse
  4. http://www.tessuti-shop.com/products/tokyo-jacket-pattern-print-at-home-or-copy-shop-version
  5. Victory Patterns – May have to have a couple of these too!
  6. My list keeps getting longer. Easy, knit – Lady Skater Dress

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Ruffled Foot

I have several ruffler feet which I seem to be collecting with each sewing machine I acquire. A few weeks ago I spent the evening with a glass of wine and the idea to master the use of this funny looking foot. I found out the foot has three settings. It will gather at every 3rd, 6th, or 12th stitch. Now the geek in me thinks this is really cool so I made samples of all three setting.

The mechanics of this foot is basically to attach it to the sewing machine by hooking onto the needle holder. That’s it. I created an a-line skirt which I used this foot to create THE most uniform pleated gathers to add to the bottom of the skirt hem.

I was very excited about what I learned and passed along an extra foot to another sewist friend. Not many people share the same enthusiasm for these vintage gadgets. I just can’t believe what kind of person invented this foot? Truly a time saver for anything needing gathers. Too bad it is still not 1980! I will have to be discrete in which projects I will use this attachment for. :)

Although some say ruffles are back! http://www.sewmamasew.com/2011/03/sewing-trends-whats-new/

Here are a few samples.

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