Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Hemline Index

It has been said that you can tell the state of the economy by judging hemline lengths. Back in 1926 economist George Taylor made an observation that the stock market's future could be predicted by the way women dress--or more specifically by the length of their hemlines.

So what does this say about the economy?

I'm working on McCall's 7028 which has that trendy hemline. Now if a shorter hemline signals that woman are willing to take risks and spending which is good for the economy and longer hemlines are a negative sign for economy, what does this dress say with its higher front and longer back hemline?  

The front of the dress is six inches higher than the back of the dress. I'm not loving' it. And the pattern envelope photo doesn't illustrate this hemline. I wish it did otherwise I would have adjusted the shape of the hemline.  

Even the line drawings on the back of the envelope give a hint to the trendy hemline on the dress.  

I'm trying to fix the hemline but it's proving to be as tough as fixing the economy. I think I might need something radical.  

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 20 November 2014

It Feels Like Christmas!

I found a few out-of-print patterns that I'm quite excited about. And I gave myself an early Christmas present.  

I'm really excited about Vogue 2453. It is a Donna Karan dress pattern that is actually part of my pattern stash. Sadly my copy is in a size that I am currently not so I quite excited that this is on its way.  

I picked up Vogue 2757 because I think the neckline detail on this top is just divine.

And this dress pattern, Vogue 7960, is the most conservative of the bunch. It will be perfect for work. I'm starting to get excited about Christmas! And with a two week lay-off around Christmas I might even find the time to sew one or two of these up.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

In Sewing News Today...

I haven't done much sewing this past week despite having the weekend off. I've been busy cleaning up my sewing workspace instead. And repacking fabric away.   

I'm still tidying up! I hope to be back at sewing by the weekend.

Even though I haven't been sewing, sewing has been on my brain. I did make it to the fabric store twice. Once was for some knit lining that I need for this dress.

And the second trip to the fabric store was to pick up this pattern I never thought I would add to my collection. 

Have you seen Wendalia's review of McCall's 7028 over on Pattern Review? Oh my, this will be perfect for hiding my flaws curves. Her version is so lovely and I think it looks better than the McCall's photo. Sorry McCall's. It is a loose-fitting pull-over knit dress with pockets and sleeves! How did I miss this? Anyway, it will be perfect for work.   

Talking about work, I've been quiet about sewing club ever since it started but it has been busy. I can't believe that we only have two more official classes. The group of kids are just adorable beyond words! I can't believe that they are so into sewing. It almost seems like sewing is cool again. I can't believe I just said that, in my mind sewing has always been cool.  

I'm a wee bit panicked about getting these Christmas stocking done in time for Christmas. My co-workers and I have given up some of our lunches to give them more time. The kids have even brought their stocking home to work on them. I can't wait to see how they look after they're complete. I hope they'll complete them in time.

I'm thinking about something more simple but also along the Christmas theme for next year. Maybe this might work as a more realistic project?

And talking about Christmas can you believe that it is only thirty-something days until Christmas? The kids at school wrote that on the board today. I had a moment of panic when I read that as I have some Christmas sewing that I would like to do. I better get busy if I plan to complete it in time.

And on the theme of holidays, have you seen the new holiday patterns by Butterick? I wasn't tempted by any of them this time around. The closest I came to having my interest peaked was with this kAthRine Tilton pattern.

I reminds me of a longer version of another kAtheRine Tilton pattern that I have in my collection so I think I'll pass on this offering. This is probably a good thing since I have a lot on my plate at the moment.

Well, that's all in sewing news today...

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The "Devil's Snare"

Can you believe that at one point in history buttons became so popular that the Church denounced them as the "devil's snare?" That's just crazy! 

Thankfully, we live in a time where buttons are celebrated, like today on National Button Day.  

National Button Day, founded in 1938, celebrates button collecting as a hobby. Now I do have quite the collection of buttons but it never started out as a hobby nor was there any intention that it would become a "collection." It just sort of happened. It is kind of like my fabric stash. It just happened.  

I come from a generation where items to be discarded were first looked over for those precious gems that could be reused and recycled. Zippers and buttons would be removed for future sewing or mending projects. It just made sense to save something than throw it out and later regret that wasteful action. And most of my buttons in my collection are just such gems.  

These buttons were saved from a blazer my Mom had made in the 1950s.  

Various vintage buttons I gathered over the years.  

I love these black and white buttons, some are recent and some are from the nineteen sixties.  

I found these coffee cup buttons at Courage My Love back in the nineteen eighties. At the time I thought they would be cute on a cardigan style sweater.  

I found this large rooster button in Gimli, Manitoba. I had to have it since it spoke to my Portuguese heritage. One day I hope to make something that I can proudly display this gem.  

Rugged and manly looking buttons have even found its way into my button stash!  

And fun whimsical buttons too!  

I'm saving these animal print buttons for Jungle January. 

How about you, do you have a button collection?  

Happy National Button Day!  

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Pop of Yellow

Stash-busting 2014:  Pleated Neckline Jacket

Fabric:    2.3 metres

Pattern:   Vogue 1385

Take II 

First version
This is my second attempt at this jacket, Vogue 1385. The pattern is actually for a top and the pattern envelope line drawings and photograph show it as a top. However, hidden inside the instructions there is this little tidbit written by Sandra Betzina.
While I initially designed this pattern as a blouse, my last version was in a lightly quilted satin, which I made in the shorter length.  I eliminated all vertical waist darts, which made it boxy--great for those who do not have a waist.  I eliminated the pleat detailing at the bottom of the sleeve, eliminated all closures and left the coat unlined.  I love it!
There's a picture of the said jacket in Vogue Pattern magazine that appeared earlier this year and Shams also has photographs of it on her blog. I think it is a stunning garment and that is why I picked up this pattern.   

When I made this jacket the first time I cut it out in the wrong size. I'm still kicking myself for that blooper. Not too hard mind you because I learned a few things along the way.  
  1.  Don't sew when you're tired.   
  2.  Sometimes it pays to take your time.  
I transferred all the markings with chalk when I made the first version. And I did that again with this version.  

I found that the chalk markings faded on the first version as I worked so I took the time to then baste those chalk marking in a contrasting coloured thread.  

It was worth the time investment when it came to stitching the neckline darts and pleats.

This time I cut the pattern in size C, whereas the first was cut in size A. This time the fit was much more comfortable but I will say that I do find the sizing a bit on the small side. Even though the measurements on the pattern envelope states that C has a bust measurement of thirty-six, I couldn't imagine it as a button front top without adjusting the fit. As a jacket without the vertical darts and buttons I can live with the fit but I certainly won't be using this pattern as a top.

I also cut the jacket as view B, the longer length. I couldn't pull off the look to I shortened it by seven and a half inches.  The sleeves I lengthened by two inches for a full length sleeve and both the jacket and sleeve have one inch hems. 

This fabric is a recent addition to the stash. I couldn't resist when it went on sale for a second time. The pop of yellow that runs though this 100% polyester fabric I just found irresistible. The only drawback is that it frayed like nobody's business so I had to work fast! The upside to that is that I have a new jacket to wear.  

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

This Skirt Makes Me Happy!

Stash-busting 2014:  Marcy Tilton Skirt

Fabric:   1.9 metres of cotton knit

Pattern:   Vogue 9060

Oh my, I love how comfortable this skirt is and how easy it was to sew!

The fabric is a recent addition to the stash that I found at Fabricland in a bin as cut pieces. I'm so glad that there was enough for this skirt. It is a textured cotton knit. Recently, there has been 50% off sales and I was able to whip this skirt up at a bargain price. 

The pattern, Vogue 9060, is a newly released Marcy Tilton pattern from their Holiday/Winter line. And get this, 
Skirt can be worn front to back and back to front.  
Goodness, I love that description! And did I mention that it is comfortable? Oh so comfortable. The waistband is cut smaller than the skirt opening and there is no elastic. It has a fold over waistband in two different widths but I even went with a smaller width and have a 1" wide waistband. The pattern recommends using a waistband fabric that has a good recovery. And I find this is sufficient. Unless, I loose some weight I don't see any need for an elastic in the casing.  

Along with the changes to the waistband I also omitted the topstitching. 

I might have to make myself another one of these skirts. I like it that much.  

Happy Sewing!  

Monday, 10 November 2014

Over the Moon

Stash-busting 2014:  Turtleneck Sweater

Fabric:   1.6 metres

Thread:  finished off 1 small spool

Pattern:  Burda Style 6990

Oh my goodness! I am over-the-moon happy with this sweater. I made this as a test version and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. This will be a wearable muslin for sure.  

The fabric has been in my stash for several years as well as the burnt orange thread. The fabric was easy to sew, I used my regular presser foot and the knit stitch on my sewing machine. When it came to doing the hem on the sleeves I used a twin needle and continued using the knit stitch. Everything came together quickly and easily.

The pattern is a recent addition. I wasn't sure how it would turn out and to be completely honest there was some doubt as to the fit based on other Burda makes. I have to say my worries were unfounded. 

I used Burda 6990 cutting a size 14 waist up and graded up to a size 20 at the hipline. That is what I love about sewing, you can make something according to your own curves. Yup, I have curves around my hipline that make it hard to find a good fitting RTW turtleneck. I gave the top enough ease so that it wouldn't hug my mid-section and to me the fit is perfect! I love combination sized patterns that make grading up and down so much easier than those vintage single-sized patterns. The raglan sleeves were shortened significantly. I didn't shorten the length on the back and front pieces until I tried it on and then I decided to shorten it by three inches.  

Without a doubt, this pattern is a keeper and I can see more versions on the horizon. If you are looking for a turtleneck sweater or a great tee-shirt, look no further because I would highly recommend this pattern.  

Now I feel ready to cut out this fabric.

Happy Sewing!


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