Monday, 27 October 2014

The Archive Collection

I have to say that I do like the look of McCall's The Archive Collection patterns that have been coming out these recent months. And there are two more patterns released in this Winter/Holiday collection.  

The blouse, McCall's 7053, is lovely with the draped collar and long sleeves. I could see myself wearing this look. And the vest, McCall's 7056, finishes off the skirt from their previous released pattern, McCall's 6993. The three pieces together are a nice look.   

Do you have any favourites from McCall's Winter/Holiday collection?  

Happy Sewing!  

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Colour Mama R Beautiful

A reader dropped an email regarding Mama R's recently altered coat. 
please, please try to get some colour into her life
I couldn't agree more.

It does seem like I have been sewing A LOT of black clothing for my mom. I would typically try to put my foot down and try to convince her towards another colour choice but social pressures have been influencing her requests lately.  

Mama R in the past few months has been asking for black clothing because she feared the worst. Her beloved brother was in the hospital for three and a half months and there was a great deal of praying that he would make it. Things were scary for part most of that time and fear set in and then the request for mourning coloured clothing. Thankfully, my uncle is home recovering and our prayers have been answered. Of course, he is still in our prayers for a full recovery. 

You see Mama R is a devote Catholic of Portuguese heritage. If you ever seen the comedy of The Portuguese Kids you'll get the gist of what it is like being Portuguese. She hasn't been asking for black clothes because she likes the colour black, it was to be ready if the worst happened and thankfully, it did not.

There is colour in Mama R's future. These are a few fabrics that are in queue for new dresses and jackets for Mama.

The cream/biege rose patterned fabric in the top left corner is set to become a jacket using Vogue 1385. The green fabric (top right) is for the same but will be my muslin (hopefully wearable muslin). And the floral medium weight cotton will be a dress using Mama R's all-time-favourite pattern, Simplicity 2372.

This satin back crepe fabric is waiting to be turned into a top so that Mama R can wear with her suit.  Not my favourite fabric to sew, but Mama R loves it. She wants it made out of Simplicity 2372.

An this blue and gold lightweight cotton will become another housedress. I wouldn't bet against Simplicity 2372 for this one but you never know if Mama R surprises us.   

So there we have it, these fabrics are the ones that are waiting to colour Mama R beautiful. Well, more beautiful than she already is... But right now, I'm selfishly sewing a dress for moi. Then I will get to work on the satin back crepe top for Mama.  

Happy Sewing!  

Friday, 24 October 2014


This is the beautiful winter coat that Mama R and I found while we were out shopping. Like most RTW items that Mama R finds, it required quite a few  alterations.  

In this photo, the sleeves are in mid-alteration stage but I wanted to snap a photo to show the length of the hem. I wish Mama R would have allowed a before photo because you wouldn't believe this is a size 12 they way she was drowning in the length. But it fit beautifully in the shoulders. 

At the time, it seemed like a reasonable project. Of course, I wasn't thinking about how much I dislike doing alterations. I was smitten with the vintage feel of the style and the shape of that collar.  

"Sure", I said when asked if it could be altered.

The coat had a lovely drape, it was fully lined and even had a removable liner for extra warmth. This would work as a spring coat as well. 

The sleeves were the biggest pain of all the fix-ups. I cut off about four inches and then turned them up another 1 3/8" along with adjusting the sleeve lining. The sleeves had a mock sleeve vent which is hardly noticeable and inner buttons that had to be moved for the inner liner.  

The coat length was shortened by nine inches and there was a back vent that Mama R wanted closed. There is now a 1" hem on the coat and the lining is another inch shorter.  

The inner liner was much less complicated and time consuming. It required a simple hem on the sleeves and bottom.  

To be completely honest there were more than a few moments that I thought about giving up on this project. It is not my favourite kind of sewing. But I'm glad that I stuck it out. Mama R is pleased with how it turned out and I'm pleased that I can do some actual sewing--the non-alteration kind.

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sufferin' succotash!

My goodness, what is it with shipping costs?  

I once paid eight dollars to Vogue Patterns to ship out some patterns that arrived from a Canadian destination and had postage marked on the envelope that was less than two dollars. I was not impressed.  

Last week, Colette Patterns posted on their blog that they have lowered shipping costs and that international customers will especially notice a difference. Thrilled to read this, I went to order Moneta. Shipping costs for the one pattern came to eight dollars and sixty-five cents. Now if that was a lowered shipping cost, I would hate to think how much it was before. Then Colette Pattern posted another shipping cost related message again today. 
So many of you inquired about where to get Dahlia if you aren’t in the US and don’t want to deal with international shipping. I thought I’d post a rundown of retailers who may have it first in your area.
So I looked at the list, found a retailer located in Canada and proceed to check it out. Yes, they have the Moneta pattern and they ship. [small happy dance] But I was a little shocked to see that the price of the pattern is higher than Colette's own website and so is the shipping!  

Sufferin' Succotash! The total cost jumped to over thirty dollars. It's cheaper to order the pattern from Colette Patterns and deal with their international costs! And all because I'm not a fan of PDF patterns. I have to start drafting my own patterns.  

Happy Sewing!  


Monday, 20 October 2014

Oscar de la Renta

Always relevant and inspiring Oscar de la Renta passed away today. Not only did he design for the rich and famous, he made his designs accessible to the home sewist. He came onto the fashion scene in the nineteen fifties and produced designs offered by Vogue for most of his career.  

Circa 1960s

Circa 1970s

Circa 1970s

Circa 1980s

Circa 1980s

Circa 1980s

Circa 2000s

Circa 2000s
His range of designs included day dresses to evening dresses and couture to ready-to-wear styles. His enormous talent will surely be missed.  

Sunday, 19 October 2014

In Sewing News Today...

Good morning! New day and I am feeling optimistic about that coat. I'm still not a fan about alterations but a little patch work hidden on the inside of the coat will be our little secret. 


Something that may not be a secret is my love of quality fabric and a good bargain. Yesterday, I found myself at Fabricland searching for some linen fabric that I saw last time I was there and neglected to pick up. It was in the discounted section and where else in this city would I find solid coloured 100% linen at $15.00/metre? 

I was kicking myself last week for not picking it up. Thankfully, I found it on the bottom shelf in the darkest corner of the store and there was enough for what I have in mind. 

It may not look all that impressive sitting here but I think it would be lovely made up in that Sybil Connolly dress I picked up a few weeks ago.  

I'm planning ahead as this will be a spring 2015 project.  

I also found this lovely floral print deeply discounted in the home decor department. It is a 100% cotton and would be perfect as a jacket.  

For this floral fabric, I'm thinking about using Vogue 8333. It is a pattern that has been in my stash for a few years waiting to be made up. I'll need to make a toile first.  

I also found a beautiful Wilmington Jacquard priced at $37.00/metre. Even at 50% off this weekend it's not in the budget and is still at the store. Check me out with some self-control!  

But I will admit that I did consider blowing the budget. I was thinking that this fabric would make a lovely jacket using Sandra Betzina's pleated neckline pattern. But I really don't need another one, I just love the pop of yellow.  

Well, that's enough day-dreaming planning for now. I should get back to that coat.  

Happy Sewing!  

Saturday, 18 October 2014

In Sewing News Today...

I'm am dying to get to my sewing machine and feel like I'm doing something creative. Instead, I'm working on an alteration project for Mama R. I really hate doing alterations but I love my Mom which explains why I doing something I rather not be doing.

It is a fully lined winter coat that has a removable liner for warmth. It really is a beautiful coat and I know she'll look great when it is finished. Do you want to know the kicker? I was the one who found the coat for her. And now I'm kicking myself. I can't really complain as Mama R is willing to help.  

She's also willing to drive me bananas over this project. I had her try on the coat so that we could measure a sleeve. What's that saying, measure a million times, cut once?


Well, I measured, I pinned, I even basted a line of stitches so I knew where to fold it up. Of course all the measuring, pinning and basting were done when Mama R was trying on the coat. And then I cut the sleeve, I re-enforced the sleeve with fusible interfacing and I cut the sleeve lining. Mama R tries on the coat since she's around and asks that I take it down half an inch.  


This is why I don't do alterations for people. I don't know how Fit for a Queen does it but that person is a saint. I hope her clients realize that and I wish I had some of her patience because right now I'm ready to throw the coat in the corner and start on some selfish sewing.   

But I won't.  

I've called it quits for the night and I am going to sleep on it and try to figure out how I'm going to make it work by adding another 1/2" to the sleeve length after I cut it. For now, that's tomorrow's sewing problem to solve. 


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