Monday, February 8, 2016

Continuing to Sew In Outfits and Trying out B6026

Thank you so much to those who answered my question from the last post. I think it's safe to say that I'm in a very small minority of people who use the stop/start button exclusively to sew !

Like many people who have a lot of clothes , in the past , I've often found I haven't got just the right thing to wear, To rectify this, I've made a real effort , this past year to sew complete outfits  at a time.
This week, I made this outfit. I know ! Grey and black again.

The linen shirt was a trial for B6026  but was such a success that I decided to make a pair of black culottes to complete an outfit.

 The culottes are in a nice weighty rayon jersey bought at Fabricville.

For the shirt I cut a size 12 with a half inch extra at the side seams which I didn't need so I would say that this pattern is quite generous. I added a bust dart after spreading the pattern piece one inch across the chest. This resulted in the design tucks being a little too low and I will deal with this in my next version.
I must say that those tucks were very easy to achieve and add a lot to the look of this shirt.

I lengthened the sleeves and added cuffs.

The culottes are McCall's 4861 (now OOP ) View E, which I made before here.
I omitted the zipper closure and the back darts and added elastic to the waistband.
I also added pockets which I don't love and may sew them down or take them out , I'm not sure which. They add a little too much bulk to the hips and who needs that?

Both these pieces can of course be worn with a number of other things  and the culottes can almost be a four seasons item They will be fun to style  for spring and summer, too.

Here I added a shrug

I'm not sure about this look

But I love these together

Do you ever wonder what I do with all the clothes I make ? Well, I do weed out my closets regularly. That usually happens when I find myself having to look for a hanger for something. I don't allow myself  to buy more hangers so I know it's time  to put some things in the give away bag.

I;m going to slow down my sewing for a couple of weeks and make my daughter a new winter coat. I''ve finally cut into a piece of heavy wool double knit that I bought in Paris five years ago.This is  a very time consuming project but I do want to make the second version of the above shirt so I'll have that to show next week along with a pair of green denim jeans to match which I've never blogged. So please come back to see me soon.

Monday, February 1, 2016

I'd Like to Ask You Something

I don't have anything to show you today even though I have an outfit made but  no photos yet but there is something I'd love to know. I wonder about this a lot.

And the question is...Does anyone else out there in Sewing Blogland sew exclusively by pushing the start/stop button?
( in other words, without using the foot pedal of your sewing machine.? )

I don't even know where my foot pedals are. I've been sewing,using the Start/Stop button,  for at least 10 years. I think I started because the button was there so why not use it. I sometimes get tempted to look for my foot pedals when I'm top stitching, for example, but that would take up valuable sewing time so I shake it off and of course sew slowly.

Sew Slowly ! I say that a lot to my students but that;s more possible with electronic sewing machines , I believe.This is my favorite machine.

 That leads me to another question....What are your favorite special features that you would not want to be without in a sewing machine?

Mine are the extended sewing surface, the up and down button,the automatic cutters, the stop?start button , the speed control

and the mechanism take makes it unnecessary to take up the bobbin thread before you start sewing. I really love this feature!

I'd also love to have the feature where you can lower and lift the pressure foot with your knee, but I guess you can't have everything.

Now I know that one can sew wonderful things without having this type of sewing machine. I did for many, many years, but if you're lucky enough to have such a machine,, these features can make the sewing experience even more enjoyable. They also help if you have arthritic hands like me.

I tell my sewing students that they should buy the best machine they can afford so that as they learn, they will get less stressed. Nothing is more aggravating than a machine that keeps giving you problems as we all know.

Please let me know if you too use the start/stop button  instead of  the foot pedal and what you especially love about your sewing machine.

More soon from

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sandra Betzina's V1477 Times Three

As soon as I saw this pattern I had to have it.

                                            V1477, Misses' Tunic and Top

I've long wanted to try this style and always suspected that it would bring too much attention to the bust and I wasn't wrong but I 'm happy with the results just the same. I say results because I made two wearable muslins before cutting into the fabric I bought especially for the long version.

I should say that having access to Sandra's online classes , a gift from my DH for Christmas, helped a lot in the making of this pattern
Also, since this was described as close fitting, I cut size D instead of my usual B or C.
Another really good thing about this is that it's not too low cut and the neckline fits close to the chest.

This is the first try. I made View B, the top version.

I used rayon jersey bought in Paris ( I got a "coupon " which usually  means a cut of three meters in my experience of Paris fabric shopping ). I followed Sandra's instructions  ,in the pattern directions,for doing an FBA and made my spread one inch. As it turned out, that was too much and the twist ended up well below the bust and the top was too roomy. It's wearable though and I'm pleased with it.

This is the second muslin. I took about 12"  ( or maybe more. I don't remember ) off the length of View A for this one to see how I would like those pointy edges.

The fabric is poly/lycra and was left over from this dress  This time I did a 1/2 "spread to make my FBA . Much better ! The twist is closer to the bust this time. I love this version. It's sassy and fun and my DH really liked it.


So on to the "real " thing. This time I made View A with no changes except for the 1/2" FBA.

The fabric is rayon/ lycra and just right for this style IMO.
For the hem of this one as well as the red one, I used Steam a Seam and since there will be no stress involved, I didn't stitch it . I've used this method before on loose hems and if you use lots of steam, the hem stays put very well.

Both tunic versions require leggings or something underneath. Even the long version could not be worn as a dress. I made my leggings out of a ponte-like poly knit which worked really well. I used my Silhouette Patterns Yoga pant pattern as a starting point and tapered them to my shape That worked really well too.

So what do you think? I know that the long version would look a lot better if I were tall and slim like the pattern model but ,at my age ,I no longer care about things like that. I just really like how this feels . A great dancing outfit, methinks.

With boots

See what I mean ? This couldn't be worn as a dress !

And with shoes

Now I must go see what you all have been sewing so more later from

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pinterest Inspired Projects for my Sewing Group.

I teach a wonderful group of ladies from my community . We call ourselves The Winter Sewing Group. It started out as  my brainchild , I would say six or seven years ago and it has become a wonderful way to forget the harsh winters we sometimes have on the east coast of Canada even for just one afternoon a week..

My ladies make me feel like a star. They are always so complimentary of my self made clothes that I usually take along a couple of pieces for a Show and Tell segment of our class which they seem to love..This week I took this jacket made last fall

and a top which I haven't shown you yet but will be my next post as it is part of a threesome.

I bought the fabric for this jacket online at Mood but there is a slightly heavier version at Fabricville right now and on sale too.

The ladies were very happy with my project ideas this year   and I admit that  I always put  a lot of effort in coming up with something new. I also make plenty of samples.

Besides the reading shawl shown here, the mug thingy shown here, the Rachel Comey skirt but of course lengthened,,the yoga pant from former years but made into slim pants or jeggings, this year,Pinterest was a big factor in the other projects I chose.

I admit to being totally addicted to Pinterest These images fueled my creative fire and I can't stop making the tee shirt necklaces and scarves.


I made many samples but here are a few.

I admit that some of my samples were made using fabric yardage rather than tee shirts and it's been fun experimenting.


I love this one where I used the ring from a belt and stoppers instead of beads .This was my inspiration.

I made larger "tubes" to use as scarves. The fabric for bothof these is a sweater knit.

I added a bit of braiding to this one,

Another big favorite from Pinterest was this type of scarf because it uses up fabric scraps that are a little larger.

How To Make A Scarf {handmade} I Heart Nap Time | I Heart Nap Time - Easy recipes, DIY crafts, Homemaking:            Scarf:

And these are scarves I  made.

If you want some instructions on any of these items, please let me know, and I'll post directions
at Diana's Sewing Lessons.

I managed to sew other things this week because I declared a sewing vacation for myself. I needed a break from housework .I'm not finished what I want to show you next but you know I'll be back.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Two Garments Made With Paris Fabrics

Happy Sunday All! And thanks for the nice comments you leave on my blog. I truly appreciate all of you. Many of you wanted tutorials on my Christmas gifts and I've posted one on the Reading Shawl and another on the Mug Thingy over at Diana's Sewing Lessons so let me know if they aren't clear . I'll do the hair towel soon.

When Tamara and I went to Paris in Sept., one of my favorite things to do was the whole day I spent all by myself in the fabric district of Monmartre situated just below the very scenic Sacre Coeur

I thought I had died and gone to fabric heaven.

This is me at an outdoor cafe taking a load off my feet and getting my second wind. The nice waiter unfortunately took a close-up.

Right after Christmas I finally delved into the Paris haul and came up with these two garments that fit perfectly into a retired Canadian woman's wardrobe. First a simple but warm wool double knit cardigan which I took up a notch by adding faux leather pockets.

Next I made a simple (again) tunic to wear for New Year's Day family dinner which we hosted . The fabric is a wool blend and although it looks somewhat like a ponte knit , it drapes more like a heavier rayon knit.

The brown double knit was not expensive. I only paid 8 Euros a meter but the vendeuse assured me it was pure wool .( I'm not too sure about that but it 's warm like wool so I'll take her word ) The light taupe fabric was also suppose to be wool but it's a blend for sure. It too was 8 Euros at the same store but the name escapes me.

For the cardi, I used M6844, View A,  as my base pattern. I added 6" to the length, I straightened out the waist curve and added 1/2" to the side seams as I wanted a looser fit. As well I omitted the front band but I extended the front piece by about 4"which also raised the neckline. I added the same at the back neckline . I then folded back two inches as a  facing.


 I really like how that ended up .  My inspiration was this sweater found somewhere online.

As for the tunic, I used V8952, View A. The only changes I made were to add 2" to the length and I lengthened the sleeves and shirred them using clear elastic.

 The exposed animal print zipper is a rather pricey one also bought in Paris although I wish I had gotten two . I simply laid it over the sleeve seam and top stitched. I think it adds a little `je ne sais quoi `` to an otherwise plain piece.

I wore this tunic with plum coloured slim scuba knit pants made before Christmas.

Oh look ! I have matching flats! As my husband would say : ``Of course you do ! ``

       Although I love experimenting with all sorts of different and sometimes strange pieces, it`s the simple and classic garments  I choose  when I go out in public. These two ,especially the sweater, fall under this category.
Here`s another look at the cardi together with a scarf I fashioned  trying to copy similar ones on Pinterest as a sample project for my Winter Sewing Group which starts this week..Sorry no pic of me and this piece yet.

Thanks for dropping by to see my babies. Don`t you just feel like your creations are your babies !

And of course, there'll be more later from