Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Mismatched Plaid

Stash busing 2014:  Loose-fitting Very Loose-Fitting Vest

Fabric:    2.3 metres

Buttons:  2

Pattern:   Butterick 6064

I loved the look of the draped neckline on this vest when the pattern came out. I'm not quite as excited about this pattern while sewing it up though. It is not a bad pattern, I just can't pin-point when my enthusiasm became deflated.

I love the fabric and goodness knows I love a plaid. So, that is not it. The fabric is a silk and cotton blend that I found at Fabricland. It has blue, beige and gold tones in it. I did a horrible job at matching the plaids at the side seam because I was too cheap to purchase extra fabric to match the plaid. I'm good with my cheapness. The pockets are designed to be at a slant so there was no way of matching them with the fashion fabric. The pattern does say that it is unsuitable for diagonals. I'm starting to think it might not be suitable for plaids as well.

The buttons were found in my button stash. I used a clear button for the interior button and I found a button for the exterior that picked up on the colours in the plaid. The armholes are finished with bias strips cut in the fashion fabric.

The pattern is nice. kAtheRine Tilton did a good job with the instructions and drafting this pattern around the corners. The miter corners were simple to construct and the pleats on the pockets are nice. It is a nice pattern--not exciting or challenging, just nice. 

I did shorten the vest significantly since I'm shorter than the average model that the Big Four pattern companies use. And I still feel it is long on me. Because of the length adjustment I waited until the vest was constructed before I sewed the pockets in place. I also left off pleats on the back section. They looked as if they were too close together on the pattern piece and after I checked out another version of this vest on Pattern Review, I decided to skip this step. Those were the only changes that I made to the pattern.

Maybe I shouldn't have skipped the back pleats because this looks big (or should I say shapeless?) on me. Maybe that is what is stopping me from loving this vest?  

I'm sure I will get a lot of wear from this vest as part of my work wardrobe as the pockets are my favourite feature. But I don't see myself making another one. It sort of feels like I'm wearing an apron, a fancy silk apron, instead of a vest. It will be perfect for those I-feel-fat days.  

Happy Sewing!  


Monday, 1 September 2014

Happy Labour Day!

Labour day is always a wonderful holiday because it marks the end of my summer lay-off. [insert happy dance here]

I'm excited to head back to work tomorrow, even if it means less time for sewing and it unofficially marks the end of summer,

because if anyone knows me they know I love this time of year. The autumn colours, crisp morning air, pumpkin everything, apple pies, plaid fabric, and new jackets, what's not to love? I will just have to get re-acquainted with wearing shoes all day. No biggie.  

Happy Labour Day!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Pattern Give-away: Channel Your Inner Mad [wo]Men

This Sunday's pattern give-away is a nod to the Mad Men television series that will soon be coming to an end. So, this give-away is to help get ready for those Mad Men themed parties.  

Simplicity 3541 channels Peggy (season 4).  
Teen and Junior one-piece dress, reversible top and sash:  (Size 12, Bust 32)  "Simple to make"  Dress has roll collar, kimono sleeves and zipper and kick pleat in back.  Faced sash has purchased buckle and fringe.  Top has wide neckline and back buttons to front.  

Style 2509 will help you channel your inner Megan (season 7).  
Misses' Blouse, Skirt, Trousers and Sleeveless Jacket: (Size 14, Bust 36)  The blouse with collar and front-button fastening has long set-in sleeves gathered into the armholes and into the buttoned cuffs.  The A-line skirt is 5: above average length with waist-band and side zip fastening.  The flared trousers have front zip fastening.  The sleeveless, panelled jacket, lined to the edge, has cut-in armholes, "V" neckline and edge-to-edge front.  

Simplicity 5741 is all about Dr. Faye's cool style (season 4).  
Juniors' and Misses' One-piece dress or Jumper:  (Size 11, Bust 31 1/2)  The A-line dress or jumper has lowered round neckline, back zipper closing, and interesting front seam detail.  View 1 has self-fabric tie bow; long set-in sleeves and zipper closing at wrists.  Sleeveless jumper View 2 has welt pockets.  View 3 features sleeveless dress.  

These three patterns are a Mad [wo]Men package and here is the deal if you are interested in this pattern give-away.  
  • Promise not to sell the patterns.  
  • Promise to give them a good home where they will be cherished, shared and made into fabulous fun party clothes. Hosting a Mad [wo]Men themed party is optional. Cocktails are a must.  
  • Leave a message below (please include a method that I can reach you if you win), I will draw on Wednesday, September 3rd (after my work day) using Random Number Generator.  
  • I will ship internationally.  
Good luck and happy sewing!  

Saturday, 30 August 2014

August in Review...


There was a flurry of activity going on in the sewing space this month. I have two items that I haven't written a review for yet. Soon, coming soon...

I have to say that August turned out to be the month of sewing bloopers. I was making mistakes left, right and centre! Thankfully, I can see the humour in my mistakes and when needed I did have extra fabric to cut and start all over. I was even able to pick up more of the sky-line fabric when it was on sale this weekend. There might be a do-over on Vogue 1385 but for now it is just fine for work.  

RTW Fast

I am happy to report that even though I have been shopping it was not for RTW.

Did you read Sarai's article / post "How to Shop for Inspiration Instead of Clothing?" It was one of the best reads I found this month. Sarai writes about how shopping for clothes is filled with stress but it doesn't mean that she avoids shopping altogether. She shops at high end retailers to get the inside scope and construction techniques and sewing inspiration.

Inc. Lace motocycle style jacket
I've been busy snapping cell phone photos of head turning worthy items. I found this lace motorcycle jacket by Inc. at The Bay. I was not even tempted to pick it up since that would mean a crazy amount of money and alterations to make it fit. It would be much easier to stitch one up from scratch with this pattern from Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick. How cute would a lace moto-style jacket with a peplum be! More spring appropriate than fall though.

I also snapped a photo of this Karl Lagerfeld tweed jacket that I found at an antique shop at The Johnson Terminal (sorry, I can't remember the name of the store). 

What I love about this plaid jacket the most beside that it is made in a yellow plaid is the pockets. Oh my goodness, they were absolutely beautiful, perfectly matched and fully lined.

It looks like a pocket flap but no, it is a patch pocket with a mock pocket flap. Sarai is right, shopping for inspiration is way more fun than shopping for clothes.  

Pattern Give-aways

The summer is coming to an end and so are the pattern give-aways. Back to work next week and a new routine which will put a end to the give-aways for now. The last give-away is set for tomorrow! It has been fun hosting the pattern give-aways and sending these off to people who will appreciate and make fabulous garments with them. Thank you to everyone who entered and messaged me back with links to their finished garments. I do love seeing the patterns made up!

What's next?  

Looks like my sewing frenzy will have to come to an end. I have a few projects for Mama R to take care of and then I'm going to practice teach myself how to do some bound buttonholes. Exciting times! I'm looking to put bound buttonholes on a winter coat I'm getting all excited about. Some slow sewing for sure.  

Well, that's my August in review... 

Added to Stash
70.7 meters
4.2 meters
3.5 meters
Sewing Patterns
Spools of Thread
Sewing Needles
Pant Hooks
0.40 meters
7.2 meters
12 meters
Bias Tape
2 meters
Hook and Eye or other Closures
Basting Tape
7.8 meters
2 rolls

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Urban Print Jacket

Stash busting 2014:  Vogue 1385

Fabric:   2.9 metres polyester and linen blend

Pattern:  Vogue 1385

I've wanted a jacket out of Sandra Betzina's top pattern, Vogue 1385, ever since I saw her version in the Vogue Pattern magazine earlier this year. This was found on page 81 of the April/May 2014 issue. 

Betzina states that all she did to change it into the jacket shown was to eliminate the front buttons and pleats on the sleeves.  

I followed Betzina's lead and added a couple more changes. I lengthened the jacket by three inches in order to add side pockets that I borrowed from kAtheRine Tilton's top pattern, Butterick 5891. I didn't adjust the sleeve length at all and it is not quite a long sleeve nor a three-quarter length sleeve. It is somewhere in between. If I make another jacket, I'll have to remember to lengthen the sleeve pattern two inches to have a long sleeve length.

The fabric is a polyester and linen blend that I found in the home decor department. It frays like crazy and was a challenge to press. It worked best to press it with a wool setting followed by the pounding block to tame the seam allowances.

Would you believe that there is another sewing blooper in this project. Can you spot what it might be?

This time the sewing is fine. My mistake is in the size. I cut this in a size A which I don't know what I was thinking because I should have cut a size C. Seriously, I don't know what's up with all my sewing mistakes. It is still wearable and I didn't have plans to put buttons on the jacket anyway. This certainly has turned into the month of sewing bloopers.    

Thankfully, it still worked out.  

I have to tell you, I think this is the coolest pattern with the neckline detailing. If you are worried about constructing this project, stop. Sandra Betzina offers video pattern construction for her Today's Fit patterns including this one. You can find them here at this website for a small fee or you can subscribe and have access to many other videos. I didn't order or view any of the videos but I do think it is a cool idea. 

In addition to the video instructions, Betzina provides additional information in the pattern instructions. She suggests different options for finishing the seams. The jacket is meant to be finished with flat-felled seams but Betzina also includes instructions for French seams using three-thread serging. This design also works well if you would like to finish it with Hong Kong (bound) seams. The instructions were wonderful on this pattern. And so are the neckline pleats and darts--my absolute favourite part of this pattern.   

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Pattern Give-away Winners

Good morning!  

It is the perfect day for a coat pattern give-away. I woke up to a temperature of +8 (Celsius) a indication that autumn is on its way. And yesterday, my vintage Vogue 1521 coat pattern came in the mail. I'm quite excited about making a coat. I hope you are too.  

So there are two patterns here. First up let's draw for size combination AA. But first I'm going to sort out who entered for this size.  
  1. Annie Case Hanks
  2. Hillary
  3. Kathleen

Congratulations Annie!  Oh dear, Annie did not leave a way that I can reach her. Annie, could you email me at grrracar (at) gmail (dot) com with mailing details and I can pop this in the mail.  

Now for size EE:    
  1. Jecrois EnDieu
  2. cathynd95
  3. MAD14kt
  4. twotoast

Congratulations twotoast! Twotoast blogs over at Spotty Dog Social Club. You'll have to head over and check out her blog.  

Thank you for everyone who entered and offered to give these patterns a good home. One more give-away scheduled for next Sunday.  

Happy Sewing!  

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

In Sewing News Today...

Remember the knit dress that I made last month? The one that is not even a month old.  
I made it from a light-weight eyelet embroidered knit fabric that I found in the bargain knit section of Fabricland. It was marked down to 70% off the regular price. I thought I scored such a great deal.  

Turns out, it wasn't such a great deal after all. 

I found these holes when I put it on the other day. It is right in the front of the dress. I can't believe it. They were not there when I cut and finished sewing the dress. And I even took care when I laundered it washing it in the delicate cycle with other knits. 

Now, my knit dress is in the mending pile to try to be selvaged.  I doubt that I can fix these holes without it being noticeable, so once mended the dress will become a night-shirt. You can't have too many night-shirts.  

Bummer on the fabric. Oh well, lesson learned, sometimes a bargain is not a bargain.  

I am finally tackling trying to tackle my mending and alteration pile which I typically avoid like the plague. I hurt  re-injured my ribs on the weekend when I bending down to the bottom of the freezer. Someone really needs to design a chest freezer for short people.

I have Vogue 1385 on the sewing table waiting to transfer all those markings but it hurts to bend down right now. Maybe it was the sewing gods telling me to get busy on the out-of-control mending pile before I head back to work. It is not working out too well because the T-2's are making me drowsy. Or maybe it is that mending and alterations bore me?  In other sewing news...

Would you believe me if I told you I walked into Mitchell Fabrics on Saturday and walked out with only a metre and a half of fair trade cotton knit? Yup, despite all the beautiful fall wools and printed silk charmeuse that I was dreaming about as they draped around my fingers I just walked out with the cotton knit. The plan is to do some practical sewing and make a few more pairs of knickers.

While at Mitchell Fabrics I saw and gasped at the most beautiful fabric I laid my fingers on. It was a 100% cashmere coat weight priced at $250 a metre.  Oh my goodness, it was gorgeous and oh-so-very expensive for this gal's budget. But I did appreciate every second we spent together.

Anyway, that is all in sewing news today... 

See you tomorrow with the announcement of the pattern give-away winners. Did you enter?

Happy Sewing!


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