Tuesday, March 26, 2013


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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Transition Pieces, Sort Of

I had the two pieces I'm showing today cut out and didn't want them to turn into UFO's so, in spite of being anxious to to start spring sewing, I plodded on and made one more classic top and one more Yoga pant , but with a difference.

For the top , I used my already discussed M6533.

My fabric is beautiful ,I think. It is a very fine, soft and pricey sweater knit with various width stripes which posed the problem of how to match them and still use a quite deep bust dart.

 I took my time with the cutting out and so managed fairly well to match my stripes. The only place I found it impossible  was the back sleeve/upper back area. Otherwise, I'm very happy with my result.

I added a cowl collar  which isn't part of the pattern so I used this method to create it.

I think the pink and white help make this piece appropriate for spring !?.

I love new black denim jeans with emphasis on the word "new". I found a great cotton/spandex black stretch denim at Fabricville and since I absolutely love the Silhouette Yoga pant, I decided to make them with a difference. I added  back pockets and some top stitching.

 To make them more spring  friendly, I decided to use white top stitching thread on these.  I like to design my own pattern for the pockets of the  jeans I make. (look here to see what I do). I really love this one. I'm sure it's been seen before but to me it's new.

For the design, I used this decorative stitch  with top stitching (Gutterman) thread. It's called "saddle" stittch on my Janome and "sculpture" stitch on my Kenmore. For the rest of the top stitching, I used a stitch length of 4.

After finishing the pockets ,I decided they are a bit too far apart, but I wasn't about to move them,so a note for next time.

I solved some fitting issues with this pant which I will put on my other blog. It took me a whole day to get them to fit as well as they do and I'm very pleased with the fit.

I decided to change the waistband on these. the pattern piece is a long rectangle which you fold over lengthwise,sew to the pant and then requires you to insert a 2" wide elastic. I'm not in love with that method so I omitted the elastic and used side seams and a center  back seam which I shaped and it  made all the difference. As long as your fabric is stretchy enough, this should work. I want to draft a contoured waistband for next time.
As winter returned to us this week, on the  east coast of Canada , my new outfit didn't seem out of season when I wore it to a meeting I attended.

I'm now working on a UFO before I start my spring stuff.

I hope you found time to sew this week. More later from

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Anne Klein Jacket (V1264), At Last

I spent many, many hours on my Ann Klein jacket, almost four weeks.  A reminder of what the pattern looks like.


I loved this pattern from the first time I saw it . Here is my version

The fabric is a wool/poly blend for which I payed $7.50 in total! The leather is from an Isaac  Mizrahi skirt I bought for $10.00 at Value Village. It looked brand new and I had a hard time to make myself cut into it.In the end it helped that it was too big for me.

I made a muslin first and found that I had a diagonal drag line from waist level to bust. I decided to change the bust dart to a French dart and it helped but didn't get rid of it entirely. I have a feeling I didn't need my FBA on this one .

I used my teflon foot and a regular 80/10 universal needle to sew the leather because I didn't have a leather needle and surprisingly , that gave me a perfect stitch!

I lengthened the sleeves but not quite enough to make them full length . Why? I have no idea!

I lowered the neckline by 5/8"all around because I don't like a too high neck and I really like the way the collar sits.

I added a center back seam  because I think a center back seam with top stitching makes a coat or jacket look more expensive.

Now for the lining! I love my lining! I think it really goes well with the outer fabric. It is a polyester charmeuse.I bagged the lining but hand sewed it at the sleeve band.

I used grosgrain ribbon as a trim.

The inside of the jacket is where I spent many hours hand sewing but I really enjoyed the process.
I used all the techniques that I described here and here on Diana's Sewing Lessons.

The closures are large covered hooks. The pattern calls for only one at the neckline , but I used four  stopping at the bottom of the leather piece.

I had to stitch in the ditch to join the leather piece to the facings for the hooks to work.

I decided to add a chain ,which I've had in my stash, at the bottom of the coat and it really makes it hang well. I used dental floss to sew it so now the bottom of my coat smells like mint! Lol!

Although I wasn't sure I liked this piece as I was making it because it seemed quite shapeless, I really love the finished garment. It feels expensive on, you know, like a well cut coat that hangs really well.

That's all for now. Next, I'm going to finish a UFO. Just not sure which one.

Hope you found time tom sew this weekend! More later from

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I still haven't finished my V1264     jacket although I'm almost there. I had the flu for the second time in two months!

So,I thought I'd show you what's new in my Sewing Room.

For Christmas, my husband bought me this! I'd been wanting one for so long and am so happy to finally have it.

So my cutting area went from this (only pic I could find) to what you see above.

In February, I had a milestone birthday and my darling Bob thought I should have a really good back-up machine. He saw this Janome machine that was the Showstopper of the day on our Canadian Shopping Channel and asked me if I'd like to have it!!! I said "YES!!!"

My other main machine is a Kenmore Elite Embroidery machine and I've often thought I shouldn't use it so much just for ordinary sewing so as  to preserve the embroidery component and this Janome will take its place as my main garment sewing machine.

My very favourite feature is this one.

I can't tell you how much I love this thread cutting feature!

Another new addition to my sewing room is this tablet. I find it so handy when I want to follow instructions from Sandra Betzina or Louise Cutting, for example. Unfortunately, I can't access Peggy Sagers' Webcasts on it.

This thread holder is the perfect stand for my tablet!

The next item goes farther back but is an invaluable sewing aid. It adjusts in several places and helps keep fatigue of  the back or arms at bay. I think everyone ,if at all possible, should have an adjustable sewing chair.

I'm so very lucky and I know it! I really have everything I could possibly want in my favorite room in the house!!

Now I thought I'd share a few of  organizational tips.

I keep this shallow basket on or near my cutting table to hold everything concerning the project I'm   currently working on. It makes clean up easier and I have all at my fingertips.

When I cut out more than one project at a time,I put everything pertaining to each project in separate plastic bags like this. I have many of these given to me by the drapery ladies at Fabricville.

(Unfortunately , all too often, these accumulate as UFO's)

I roll my knit fabrics to store them on my shelves. They keep neater and are easily visible when I'm looking for a particular piece.

Here is what I do with the rest of my stash. Chiffons and organzas are folded into baskets but most other things are folded and kept on the shelves that I''m lucky enough to have in my sewing room.

Well, I think I'll go sew a little before I settle down in front of the computer for my Sunday night visit to your blogs.

Hope you found time to sew this week.

Next week, I'll show you my jacket!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

End of Winter Recap and Critique

I didn't sew one stitch this week! Hard to believe isn't it !

I got really bogged down in cleaning every square inch of my sewing room and it took me several days to sort through, reorganize, throw out and give away the hundreds of things we sewers accumulate..And wow! Does it ever feel good!

I'll be ready tomorrow to finish my jacket. Today, I thought I'd think over what I sewed since the beginning of Fall and see how I did in sticking to making pieces I actually wear. Here goes.

Here are my very favorite garments of the season.

Starting at top left, self drafted topper, M6355,Silhouette Patterns Giogio's Top,Burda style
I really like these and wear them a lot.

Brooke's top by Silhouette, M6355, Sweater Set by Silhouette, M6208

I like these a lot but haven't had a chance to wear them much.

Self Drafted Coat, Self drafted Christmas Top, M6355 Dress

Burda Style Dress, V8817 Top, Burda Style Pullover

I really don't like this and will never wear it even around the house.

Oh , I forgot this one

I like it a lot and am wearing it right now.

I should also mention the four pairs of Yoga pants I made using Silhouette Patterns  Three Piece Yoga Pant pattern. I wear them all the time and plan to make another one out of black stretch denim in the near future . I can't recommend this pattern too much. The seven ladies in my Sewing Group have each made two pair ( I had them all make a muslin first) and they all love them too!!!

In retrospect, I do think I was more careful in what I chose to make this season, There's really only the one thing that was a waste of time so I'm  happy to not have things clogging up my closet(s) that will never see the light of day.

Now I have to have a look at what you all have been sewing this week.

More later from