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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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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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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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!

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

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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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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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Where I Sew 2013

I am in between projects, so now is the perfect time to post photos of Where I Sew – http://www.pinkchalkstudio.com/blog/2013/06/30/where-i-sew-month-2013/ Just looking at the 2013 Where I Sew photos by pink chalk, gave me a lot of inspiration. Each space is differentand that is what is so neat about it. I would love to move my sewing space upstairs to a spare room with a larger window but will have to wait about 10 years!

Until then, I have created my space in the family room downstairs. Therea many positives to this despite the lack of natural light. It is the place my husband spends his extra time and my kids too. We have an open concept large room each divided for our own purposes. Media, exercise, computer, and sewing of course. My space is the second largest which affords room for my supplies and my SMAD – sewing machine acquisition disorder! I like to collect vintage machines, fix them, and use them.

I also have a few machine cabinets playing double duty as side tables upstairs in case there is a teen sleepover that takes over the basement. I hope you enjoy the pictures of Where I Sew.

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Sewing for Profit

Do you have any sewing books which are essential?

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Sewing for Profit – Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences Scranton, PA

I found this book at the local used bookstore.  It is part of a textbook series mostly published in the 1930’s.   I was only able to get one book in the series.  The whole thing is available online to read – both sewing & cookery. It is truly a peak into another time!  There is a ‘Specializing in Sewing’ section that will be my weekend reading material.

The cookery ones can be found here: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Woman%27s%20Institute%20of%20Domestic%20Arts%20and%20Sciences

Brainlock – Cross Over Bag

It all started with a bag of thrifted ties for $5.99. I really wanted to buy all 4 but thought that might be too greedy. Plus I have about 3 quilts started but not finished.

I decided to create the cross over bag from Michelle’s Patterns. I purchased about 6 retired patterns she was clearing out. This pattern comes in size medium and small.

The first bag I made turned out great! I love the silk tie look and used the tie label on the front of the bag. All the ties in this bag are non-diagonal and have a very retro look. If only the ties could talk!

The second bag made was small. I love the look of the bag using all diagonal stripped ties. I dont have an image because I gave it to my mom for her birthday.

I am now on my third bag – a small bag which is part tie material, part recycled cotton. I am running out of ties!

Not bad for $5.99 🙂

Here is the pattern. But it can not be purchased anymore as it has been retired. http://keyka.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/07/cross-body-bag-sewing-pattern.html

Bag 1 Image

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handbags

Wallet

I found this pattern online and needed a small project for tonight. I had some really great material with scanned barcode images that lends itself to shopping and money. The holder was meant for a small pad of paper but who writes stuff down anymore! I have been using ‘notes’ in the cloud.

Here are pics of the inside and out. I travel lite with very few cards – can’t be bothered with locality programs.

http://www.lbg-studio.com/2011/10/12-days-of-christmas-blog-hop-organizer.html?m=1

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From Texas

A nice surprise came to my door after work. Thanks Olita! And here is the story. Very touching: And greetings from Texas.

‘Here is your mug rug, made with you in mind. Of course I patterned it after several things that I saw when visiting Sault St. Marie Ontario, ( which I know is not the area in which you live). I hope you like it as I had a lot of fun making it. I do have to admit there are some glitches here and there and I have to blame the RA as sometimes it is rather hard when handling small squares etc.
The maple leaf block represents the fall foliage that was just beginning turn colors while we were there.

The bear claw block represents the bear prints I saw while stopped at a national park as we ,(Richard and I), rode the Algoma RR into the forest.
And of course the flying geese blocks represent the beautiful geese that I saw in Sault St. Marie. And we had a pair spend a few days here at my apt. complex a few weeks ago. I suppose they wanted a rest and our little pound looked good for them before moving on along home.

The light blue in the geese pattern represents the clear waters in the streams, rivers, and waterfalls, we saw while riding the train.

And lastly the red represents the red maple leaf in your flag.

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Me – Made – May 2012

My grey knit skirt ended up WAY to stretchy but I improvised and cut half of it away so it would fit. I guess when the pattern asks for fabric with 25% stretch I shouldnt choose 50%. So I ended up making another skirt out of cotton, with a simple elastic waist. Used the Meg McElwee’s skirt pattern kind of 🙂 Regardless, my me-made outfit today was the grey casual skirt. Had a great day avoiding stores, people, and crowds in general. Had a cup of tea on the deck and listed to CBC radio. A good day!

I am thinking of making an infinity scarf out of my ‘Twenty-three’ fabric. Thought the orange, lime and retro images may work. But that will be for another day.

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Me – Made – May 2013

Day 3 and I am still into the Me – Made challenge. Today I wore my blue hoody knit that I made using my Craftsy course by Meg McElwee. http://imake.gg/2013/01/10/things-i-like-thursday-sewing-with-knits/

I am sure I will not be able to keep up with pace of this challenge, but I will try to sew everyday! Tonight will be the knit skirt in black another Meg pattern…it is suppose to be +24!

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My Sorbetto

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I downloaded the Collette Sorbetto tank top. It was my weeknd project. http://www.coletterie.com/colette-patterns-news/free-pattern-to-download-the-sorbetto-top

What inspired me was another bloggers post about 7 days of the Sorbetta. She added sleeves which was a big deal for me, plus I loved her 20s dress version too. Surprising how many ways a simply (2 pattern peices) can turn out – with a little imagination.
http://www.sewweekly.com/2011/07/7-days-of-sorbetto/

The fabric I chose for the top was a sheet set I had when I was a kid…so that unfortunately makes it 35 years old. The fabric has a wonderful worn feel, but the design was something I remember from being a kid in kindergarten. My favorite design I sparingly used for the bias collar, hem, and small strip down the front. Just could cut large chunks out of yet!

I still have to sew the buttons on…they are just pinned. Was waffling on which to pick, but the I will stick to these white ones I got at the estate sale last week.