Sunday, January 27, 2013

What was I Thinking! and a Nice Basic Pullover

Do you ever come home from the fabric store with a piece of fabric that is just plain ugly?
It doesn't happen to me often but I think you'll agree that the fabric used in one of the garments I\ll show you today is.

So here goes!

See? I told you!

The only reason I ended up using it was to try out Butterick 5524 . I think this would be a good project for my Sewing Group but I don't think my sample will help me very much to sell it to the ladies though!

One positive thing about the fabric was its selvage which I used to trim the hem, sleeves and pocket edges.

As for the pattern, I made View B. I find the neckline and collar are too small. I would make them larger another time. Also, I felt compelled to raise the  underarm three inches .I would also make it a couple of inches shorter too if I were to try this in a prettier fabric.

On a brighter side, I had a black cable sweater knit that screamed out it wanted to be a boat neck pullover and I love this piece. I've already worn it three times this week and gotten lots of compliments.

I would have preferred long sleeves but I didn't have the yardage.

I used Burda Style , Feb./09, #108. This is a close fitting top so I cut the largest size and it fit just right.I scooped out the front neckline 5/8" and was satisfied with that.

To finish hems and neck facings ,I tried something different. I used a lighter weight knit together with Fusi knit interfacing which I sewed with wrong sides facing out. After sewing to neckline, bottom of sleeves and hem, I fused the facings in place , then hand stitched as well. It made a nice neat finish to the neckline ,sleeves and hem and no stitching shows on the outside..

I did my usual FBA and added a bust dart.

This is the first piece in a series of what I'm calling Classic Basics. I have too many silly looking tops made in the last couple of years. I really prefer to dress in simple lines and that is my fashion goal for 2013.

I'm wearing my boat neck top with a skirt I made for Swap 2009 and which I still love .

Hope you found time to sew this week.Next week, I'll show you what I did with V8817.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sewing What I Need

I always use the time right after Christmas to consider what I really need to sew. This year, I needed pj's and a new robe. I didn't really enjoy making this robe but I thought it was worth showing since it was such a  pain to make.

The fabric is a very weighty cotton  chenille from my stash. Sewing with it was a pain in the a--! it produced fluff and stuff that settled all over the house, I raced to get it finished so I could vacuum  because I can't stand a mess.

I used V1234 an OOP pattern as my starting point.

 I enlarged the collar and  made the robe floor length.

I used a pretty cotton print as the facings to make it a little less bulky. I didn't really like the collar that way so I cut a strip of the chenille and sewed it as a trim around the collar. Much better, I think.

I added  a favorite pocket of mine , also made out of the cotton print.

I fastened  the tie belt at center back waist  instead of using carriers and also added ties on the inside waist for a secure closing and I was done.

The PJ's are going to have to wait a little while because I'm chomping at the bits to make something fun.

More later from

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tamara's Fur backed Trench Coat

First of all, I want to thank all of you who leave comments on my posts. I really appreciate it a lot. I especially was grateful to you for giving me your opinion on my labels. The winner was the blue large and smaller D.  I intend to try it in other combinations  when I get the chance.

Now, I want to show you that trench I've been telling you about. I'll show you right away and then a few details.

The pattern I used is M5525


The fabric is a fur-backed denim bought at  Fabricville years ago.

Before starting this project, I planned it out .This drawing really helped me to figure out how to achieve the look I wanted and to plan  my strategy .

If you are interested in knowing how I achieved this look please go to Diana's Sewing Lessons to see the details.

Here are some detailed shots.

First the collar and lapels. I omitted the collar band which is included in the pattern.

The inseam pockets which are very small in this pattern. I made them larger and left out the pocket flaps..

 The back

Because the belt is rather wide,belt loops would have been too big so I attached the belt to the coat like this.

I top stitched both sides of the back seam.

This was a real challenge to make. As usual, I agonized over the fit of the coat but it was right on and
   Tamara loved  it so it was well worth it.

My beautiful DD at work wearing her coat with the accessories which were also Christmas gifts.

A close-up of the accessories. I made the bag and scarf but not the gloves.

When I decided on a trench for this fur backed denim, I wasn't sure it was the right choice. In the end, however, I think it was just right. What do you think?

More later from

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Riley's Made by Nana Christmas Presents

I have my camera back! Hooray!!

I'll show you the things I made for Riley first. This will be a quick post.

I used S2745    to make a coat , beret and pant set using fleece  lined with micro fleece. I omitted the godets shown on the pattern as I thought it would be extremely wide at the bottom and I was glad I did.

Here is what I ended up with.

And here is Riley on Christmas day ( minus the pants). She loved it and it was hard to persuade her to take it off.

Riley is three now and she says she wants to be a chef when she grows up. Her daddy asked if I could make her a chef's hat so I did. My DH searched on line for a picture to help me draft an apron and hat. Cute,huh?

And my Little Pixie on Christmas Eve.

She still had her apron on when Santa dropped by for an early visit.

And with Santa (Daddy) and baby Poppy.

Thanks for humoring me and  having a look at my sweeties.

I'll show you the denim trench first chance I get.

More later from

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Labels Anyone?

I still have no camera so I can't show any of the items I'm dying to write about. One of these is a fur-backed denim trench coat I made for Tamara which she absolutely loves.  Another is a coat set for Riley which she wore eating Christmas dinner ,so I guess she loved it too. I made several ponchos that were well received too and animal print faux fur handbags. More on those when my camera arrives in the mail!

I've had a Kenmore Elite 19005 with embroidery capabilities for  more than two years now but rarely embroider anything. The reason I wanted it in the first place was to make some sewing labels for  the clothing I make. This weekend, I suddenly decided to try to come up with a few different  samples. It was lots of fun.
I haven't really found THE ONE yet but I did produce a few usable labels. Here they are, pictures taken with my phone.

Which do you like?

 I think my favorite is the blue one on the end and I also like the monogram.

I know. Pictures leave a lot to be desired!

 I really like the stitching on these

And the patterns on these.

 The problem for me is that all my initials (all three of them ) are D. Doesn't make for a very exciting      monogram ,does it? I even tried one using SP for Sew Passionista. I might work on that one for fun pieces that are not too serious.

The labels I've come up with so far are a little big  ( about 2" or 3") and would be fine for coats and jackets.
I want to try simpler and smaller  labels too for lighter garments.

I worked on choosing colour combinations that are classy.I started with light green, pink and brown which I really like.Then pink and brown, brown and blue and blue and cream. I love all but most of all the green/pink/brown and blue/cream combos.

I think black and white would be nice too but I've run out of black embroidery thread ???(don't know how that happened!) so that will have to wait.

Another consideration has been fabric. For all these ,I used Bemberg lining. I've used silk/cotton in the past with less success. I even used light weight denim for a label for the above mentioned trench jacket. What would you suggest?

My DD has wanted me to put labels on the things I make her for a long time. She'll get her wish at last!

More later from