Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Christmas Outfit for Tamara

I sewed a lot for Christmas and expected to have lots to blog about but I forgot my camera in Ottawa. I had neglected to import most of the photos I took of my proiects. DD is sending it to me.

 In the meantime, I can show you one of the outfits I made for Tamara. I just don't have a picture  of her wearing it.

Here it is.

The outfit consists of a modified version of the  draped cardi, S2603, a sleeveless top to match and a pair of black stretch velvet Yoga pant, Silhouette 3400    .

The fabric for the cardi and the trim on the top is the red version  of the one I used for my Christmas top. The other fabric for the top is a matching jersey which I also used to line the cardi sleeves.

The  inspiration for the trim on the sleeveless top came from the shape of the piece of  fabric I had left over. As simple as that !  I like the way it turned out and so did DD.

For the cardi I cut away about 6" of  the depth of the collar and band/facing from the front pattern piece . The result is a simpler silhouette with much less fabric at center front. I like this version and want to make one for me too.

Happy New Year Everyone! Above all, I hope it is a peaceful 2013 that is filled with love and  with plenty of time for you to sew!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

From my House to Yours, A Merry Christmas

I would like to wish all who visit my blog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.
As we prepare to drive to Ottawa tomorrow to spend Christmas for the first time with my darling Riley, her baby sister Poppy, my son Jeff (and Melanie),and  my daughter Tamara , I'm so very greatful for the many blessings in my life. I truly could ask for nothing more.

God bless you all!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

MY Christmas Outfit

I've stayed away from Blogland lately, all the better to work on my Christmas sewing. Well, I'm still not finished, but almost. I did take the time to make a Christmas outfit.

Here it is.

The top is my own design with the help of "the raglan dress" from the Nov.2008 issue of Burda Style. I used that pattern for this top

 back in Sept.(I find I like the blouson effect worn with a skinny belt and it is quite flattering to my mature shape). I zigzagged lingerie elastic about 12" from the bottom to form the blouson waistline.

I  decided to add a draped collar to this  version because the fabric insisted on it.
I showed how I came up with this draped collar here on Diana's Sewing Lessons.

The fabric is a gorgeous paillet covered concoction. The paillets are matte rather than shiny. They are sewn onto the fabric and are heat resistant. And I only broke four needles while sewing my tunic! Lol.
I had to line the sleeves ( I used a stretch mesh ) because without it,the fabric was impossibly itchy.I'll wear a camisole underneath as well.

The pants are the Silhouette Patterns Yoga pant that I've made many times already and love. The fabric is a luscious stretch velvet .

I love my Christmas outfit. We're going to Ottawa for Christmas this year. I'll be very happy to be with my DD , my son , sweet Riley and her baby sister Poppy. ( Oh my goodness, I can't get used to that name!).

I'll have lots to show you after Christmas because I made quite a few things for family members including a sweet little coat set for Riley.

I want to wish you all a Merry and peaceful Christmas. I hope you all get the chance to spend the special day with someone you love.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Downloadable Pattern ...Kwik Sew 3717

I don't have much to show you this week because I've been working on my yearly project of providing sets of hats, mittens and scarves made out of fleece to our local Resource Center for those in need at this time. I have one more set to finish to make an even dozen. I'll be very glad to be finished!

Last week I  was looking for ideas for an easy project for  my Sewing Group and I decided to try Kwik Sew 3717.

Instead of ordering the pattern  to be delivered, I decided to try out the downloadable version.I put it in my cart , submitted my order and it came via E-mail immediately.
You can only use one computer to print it from and you can print it three times in total.

I can't say it was  a quick process because in order to print it out I had to download Firefox (that was easy) because Google Chrome wouldn't work and there was another  download for something called  File Opener Installer , but if I were more computer savvy, I'm sure I would have had no problems. But where there's a will....

I was excited to finally have all the sheets and to put it all together.

The pattern came in pages marked as Rows 1,2,3,4,5  Columns A,B, C, D and E and each row had   .The pages were numbered , Row 1 Column A, etc.

Here is the assembled pattern.

Each page matched up to the next by aligning little black squares. It was simple really.

The sizes include X Small to X large. I copied Size Medium for myself. 
Here is my pattern which must be layed out on the fold.

Have you used downloadables? What do you think of them?

I've made three samples because I wanted to try different fabrics. All the fabrics I used were from my stash.

 The first one is made of a medium weight knit fabric. I decided to line the collar and add armhole facings with a plaid ponte knit.The result was Ok but I thought the fabric should be a little weightier and this trial garment showed me the armscye was way too roomy for  my taste . I added some fabric to it to see how much was needed. Not bad but I can't really wear it because of the patched armholes.


Next I tried a quilted denim.I bound the edges with a faux suede fold over tape, Cute ,huh?

But this time the fabric was too stiff! I actually took out some of the width at the bottom by adding a back seam as well as side seams. I cut off some of the collar too. I added toggle buttons and pockets .

Then I found  a printed faux suede and I self lined this vest*. The result was not bad. I like the waterfall look, but have found for this and other garments that to have this look , it's  necessary to tack down the folds so they stay in place. For this version, I also added a casing to the back and inserted elastic to draw in the waist.

* Doubling the vest is a real challenge. I've put some construction pointers here on Diana's Sewing Lessons if you are interested.

I think this pattern is a really fun and versatile style. You can play around and change it up, add buttons, pockets, darts, or seams to change the shape,shorten the collar area, and.....there are probably other things you can do. This could be a quick to make gift idea for someone you know who likes to  wear vests too

I don't think I've found the ideal fabric for it yet though. I'm thinking of trying it out in a Fleece.

These vests are all samples to show to motivate my Sewing Group .Once a teacher, always a teacher, I guess. I can't wait to present this idea to  the ladies this week. I think it will be a popular choice.

I love to sew!!! Can you tell?.

More later From

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Award ?!?!?!

 Have any of you heard about I got an E-mail saying that

Dianassewinglessons.blogspot. is the latest website to be awarded with the 'Sewing' award:

sewing facts

and that is a community built 'facts only' website, created to improve factual content on the web, and make a more trustworthy and fun resource to discover information, and improve intelligence

I don't really know if I should ne flatterred or what????

What do you think?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Chunky ,Warm, Soft and Cozy Topper

I bought this chunky knit fabric at Fabricland in Ottawa. The colours include cream, tan and a yummy caramel.It's a wool blend and I love it.

To decide what to make with it, I sat and stared at it for a while with a pad of paper and  a pencil in my hand. (That's my new way of planning a garment and it works really well.).

After a while I could see a draped neck and that vision would not go away. That meant a pullover and of course it had to be loose and I wanted to use big wooden buttons somewhere on it.. And Vogue 8605 came to my mind. But why? It's not a pullover! But where there's a will there's a way!

Enough ramblings. Here's what I came up with. I used the back piece of the pattern as is but eliminated the collar and cut the front by adding a 5/8 inch seam allowance to the center front line. I top stitched CF and CB seams.

For how I achieved the draped collar (with the help of the illustration of the collar of Burda Style, Oct. 2011,#135 ) look here.


I added patch pockets on the slant which added a little bit of style to this simple design. They were a bit slouchy so I shirred them with the help of clear elastic on the inside.I added the big wooden buttons I had my heart set on.

                The sleeves are about 3/4 length which I like.                             The back is unadorned.

I've worn my new topper a couple of times and it has been a hit. Adding shoulder pads made it fall nicely from the shoulders.The collar hangs just right and acts as a scarf really.This is just the way I like to dress for a casual occasion. And it's warm too.

More pics here!

I hope you found time to sew this weekend! 

More later from

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dressed in Silhouette

It's been a while since my last post. I've been to Ottawa to visit my two little Sweeties! Riley has a little baby sister named ( Gulp) Poppy! ( I can't make myself like that name!). She is five months old.

Of course I've continued to sew. I was awfully tired after finally getting everything ready for the Mini Wardrobe contest ,so I made some simple pieces, four in all and all using Silhouette patterns.

I made this simple wrap on time for the contest but didn't include it. I love this thing.

It's Brooke's top  #95 and very easy to make. The wrong side shows on one side though.It is really quite elegant worn with slim pants and of course is a great little extra layer of warmth for those of us who are always cold! The fabric is a very lightweight slubby poly lycra.

Brooke's top, Yoga pant and top made using the Swing dress , all patterns by Peggy Sager.

Then I made Giorgio's top #312 which is my favorite tops pattern at the moment.I love how this fits and flatters. I wore this yesterday while shopping with my sisters and got so many compliments from sales ladies

I'd been wanting something animal skin and this printed poly/lycra is quite subtle, I think. I can wear this with browns,ivory, and blacks so it's very versatile.

My last two items are both Yoga pants, Silhouette #3400.I can't praise this pattern too much. The fit is excellent and the cut ,oh so flattering. Again, I got lots of comments on these.They are fitted to the knee and then they flare just a little the rest of the way.(Notice my animal print pumps . I love them!!!)

Here, I'm wearing the tan Yoga pants with Giorgio's top.I used RPL for these  and this fabric works very well for these pull on pants. It has just the right amount of stretch.

The other pair is a very versatile grey with a subtle stripe.The fabric is also a little stretchy. This time I added an invisible zipper because I was afraid they wouldn't go over my hips but it really wasn't necessary after all.
I've paired them here with V1261

Next time I'll show you a warm topper that I've designed myself, made out of this beautiful chunky sweater knit t and I'm also making brown stretch denim skinny jeans.

Now I have to have a look at what you're making! More later from

PS.Jvenny said "What's with telling us about grandbabies and not showing us so here they are!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Self Drafted Purple Plaid Shirt/Jacket

This is the last post I promise about my PR Mini Wardrobe.

If you haven't voted yet and are a PR member (you don't have to be a paying member), there are many beautiful collections that deserve your vote.

My last garment is this last minute piece that I only dreamed up Friday night. The contest was over on Sunday so that worked into a lot of work and stress. Why do I do these things?

Here's my inspiration piece from RTW. I bought this shirt for $7.00 just so I could copy the collar. My version is different in most other aspects. This one is very 80's. I made mine with higher armscye and narrower shoulders.
 I used an old McCall's shirt pattern as my base and worked from there.  

I got up Saturday morning and had to draft my pattern, creating the different details as I went.I had to cut out the shirt making sure to match the plaid. I sewed up to 10:30 that night without a lot of time off. I still wasn't finished.

 Sunday afternoon right after church, I went at it again. It was done by 4:00 but I still had to take many pictures.

At midnight I still didn't have my composite up but I guess somewhere it wasn't midnight yet because in spite of being late it went through. Whew! What a relief!

Here are a few detail shots.The collar closes with snaps.

An alternate way to wear the collar

The back

The pockets which don't match up the plaid in the photo but they've been fixed. The sleeves are loose and 3/4 length.

The fabric is a light as a feather wool. The jacket is unlined. I thought this piece would add a punch of colour to my Granite Grey wardrobe. I'm still considering shortening it a couple of inches but not sure yet. The buttons are a little heavy for the fabric so I'll be on the lookout for replacements.

I love it like this

...and this

More pics here.

Thanks for taking a look. More later from