Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Sewing Goodies

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. In my area. we went from snowstorm to freezing rain storm and back again almost non stop for a week and many were without power for days at a time. We were extremely lucky to not be affected. More storms on the way and I hope we have a turn of no power rather than someone who already has experienced it.

My Christmas was wonderful because Tamara was home as well as my baby brother . That really made it just about perfect for my family. And having snow for Christmas was a real treat too.

No sewing here yet and I don't have my mind organized to write a real post featuring the  Christmas gifts I sewed but I wanted to show you what sewing things were under the tree for me . Just look at all this great loot!

All are from Namcy's Notions except the Football Tee which was bought by my dear Tamara at Walmart.

These are my two favorites

I've long coveted the magnetic wrist pin cushion and explaining to my DD about a football Tee holding up a tailor's ham was hilarious! She had no idea what a Tailor's Ham was but she did ask what I really wanted for Christmas!1

Today, we are alone for the first time since Christmas and I'm itching to start sewing and trying these out like the flexible ruler  and the Thread Heaven.

The Jean-a-majig (so exciting!) the 5 in 1 sliding gauge and Pocket Template

Oh and there's also a Bra Measuring Tape in there as well!

Who could ask for anything more? But I also received from DD two issues of Burda Style Magazine, from DH two adjustable wall lamps to give me better lighting when using my cutting table at night and a speaker for my laptop so I can hear the  Craftsy classes he bought me better.

I have to be the luckiest and happiest sewist in Canada today!

Here is a sampling of our White Christmas.

And this is what I wore for Christmas (blogged here ).

Happy New Year dear Readers. I wish you health and happiness in 2014.!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fabric Buying Madness

I'm so bad! On black Friday (Yes, we Canadians now get excited about Black Friday!!), I did some online Christmas shopping at Coldwater Creek, and it seemed like a good time to get my first order of fabrics from Vogue Fabrics Club which I joined this past Sept. There was no sale or special offer or anything like that. It just seemed like a good day to hit that submit button!

 Now I didn't just buy two or three pieces. No, I bought NINE pieces!  Yes my friends, I admit I have a problem and I may need an intervention. I've suggested to my husband that I may need to take the pledge.  (I just went a whole year not buying any Ready-to-Wear , from Oct.2012 to Oct, 2013 ) He just laughed and said he could always put up more storage shelves in the basement.

Here' a look at my new babies.
                                  (wool double knit)    (quilted faux suede)  (stretch denim)
                                   (stretch velvet)        (ponte knit)              ( poly double knit)

                        (Middle row.... bronze metallic faux leather, cotton chintz. wool challis)

I love them all except the last one which falls under the banner of "What was I thinking???"
I have a plan for most of them and you'll be seeing them made up in the new year/

Oh, and guess what!!!! I'm getting a new and larger Sewing Room !

Our house is an extended ranch style with three bedrooms, one of which serves as my Sewing Room. We've come to the conclusion that we really need two spare bedrooms, not just one.
When I showed my husband the pictures that Ann posted of her beautiful sewing room, Bob suggested he could build me one in the basement which only has one finished area, the laundry/exercise room.
At first I said no, I didn't need a new sewing room, but after some discussion, we've decided to go for it! My room, however will not be nearly as spacious as Ann's.

 More about that in the new year.

All my Christmas sewing is finished. I had to leave out a couple of items from my list and I really don't want to sew for Christmas anymore. This really is my last year!

This week, I'm cleaning, wrapping and baking a little for the big day.I'll leave you with a pic of Riley and Poppy.

I hope you are nearly ready and will be relaxed for the Holidays.

More later from

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My Grey Quilted fabric is at Marci Tilton's!

Thank you all so much for the compliments on my quilted coat. I really appreciate all your comments. I've gotten many compliments when I've worn it. I guess it was a huge success.
Some of you wanted to know where I bought my fabric.

 It was in Montreal at C&M textiles but I was excited to find the exact same fabric at Marci Tilton's website. Here is the link. I thought the fiber content was cotton polyester but  rather it 's poly/rayon/spandex. Marci has an assortment of this fabric so check it out.

Here's mine.

And look at this beauty!

I've been sewing a LOT but all Christmas presents so I can't show you anything yet. I'm almost done and I have to admit, I'll be glad. One of the items I made took me 24.5 hours and I've never been so glad to be finished anything in my whole life!

Please don't do what I do and sew too much for Christmas and end up burning out!!

Having said that, Happy sewing from

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Quilted Jacket, I Love it!

Success! It feels good, doesn't it!  Here is my new love.

Now it didn't happen without a struggle. In my mind, I saw a trapeze shape. In reality, I didn't have enough fabric. ( I didn't notice that it was only 48" wide , so I didn't buy enough ).

I used B5822 B5822  View A/B but in a length in between the two.The photo looks much wider at the bottom than it actually is, I think. This was how I envisioned it.

I wanted a roomy,light weight jacket  that would fit over a warm sweater to wear in the fall, especially to take to Ottawa with me (I always go to Ottawa in mid October and end of April, and never seem to have the right outerwear with me). So I made size medium.  Mistake,. Way too big! Sad because I had meticulously altered my pattern using my Craftsy classes Adjusting the Bust and  Adjusting the Shoulders and Back  with Katherine Cheetham . I highly recommend these two courses, by the way.

I know, you're probably asking "What! You didn't make a muslin, AGAIN? "  Nope!

I ended up taking off the sleeves, redoing my alterations for narrow sloped shoulders for size small , re cutting my sleeves and upper bodice front and back in small  and that made all the difference.

I didn't want double breasted. I cut the front as was and then used part of it as the front facing. I expected this  to result in  a single breasted  style but not so. I ended up with somewhere in between.
Because of this I had to give up the toggle closures I had planned. They just wouldn't do. I decided on bound buttonholes and leather shank buttons instead.


I opted for no collar because I didn't have enough fabric for one but I like this look. I can use different scarves to style my jacket. The bias  trim is faux leather . I made it myself. I would have preferred real leather  but I didn't have any.

My pockets come from V 8065, an old favorite of mine. Details on how these are made are at Diana's Sewing Lessons. I changed them up by adding a classic welt opening. The flap is faux leather but the pocket circumference is  a trim I had in my stash.

The  cuffs on the sleeves are constructed differently than the pattern instructions. I wanted the trim at the top  of the cuffs so I sewed them from the wrong side , brought them to the front and stitched in the ditched on the outside where the trim is .

I decided not to line my coat. I could have saved a lot of time if I had. Instead , I finished each seam a la Hong Kong with a silk/cotton animal print.

Now for a pic

or two,

or three,


I know that's a lot of photos, but it was such fun styling this coat!
My jacket is very comfortable and just right for those days before the bitter cold strikes.

And that's the end of the story! (More pics here.)

I hope you too had fun sewing this week. Come back again to see more from

Sunday, November 10, 2013


This week, I wanted to take time to say thank you to you who stop by , read my blog, give compliments or advice and most of all encouragement. I so appreciate you. You could very well just stop by to have a look and move on but you take the time to leave a comment and that makes me keep wanting to continue  this blog.

Until I started writing my blog, I didn't really know anyone who was as passionate about sewing as I am. As I got familiar with the blogging world and I admit that sewing blogs are the only ones I read, I realized I didn't have to be embarrassed about my obsession with sewing because there are many of you who are too.

 It's really amazing how I've come to feel I know you by visiting your blogs and by the comments you leave. I don't want to play favorites but there is one of you who has stuck by me right from the beginning, even after I foolishly deleted my blog address by mistake one night and couldn't get it back. I had to make up a new one and lost my followers , but Vicki you found me right away and have always left such nice comments and I've come to know you will be honest if I want an opinion .
on something. I could probably look back and find very few posts where you didn't leave a comment.Thank you.

Ann, you've also been with me from the beginning .We have become such good friends. It was you who encouraged me to start my blog. I always look forward to our trips to Fabricville and our talks that can last for hours.

Then there's Linda, Jenny, Sharon, Faye, Claire, Andrea, Gail, Pauline, Jean,, Jane,  you managed to find me again after I changed my blog address and are still here today.

Of course there are others and I know I'm risking missing someone and I'm sorry for that.

Some of you found my blog later and I appreciate your support no less: Shams, Rhonda, Sherry, Vernelle. Maria, Rosy, Peg, Em, Sandra,Sarah,Mary, Alexandra, Towanda and of course there are more of you. There are also new bloggers visiting here that I welcome wholeheartedly.

And then there's Carolyn  of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. Hers was the first blog I ever visited and I was hooked immediately. There's just something about that blog that just grabs you, doesn't it. I remember the first time Carolyn ever commented on my blog. I felt I had really arrived! I guess we are never too old to want to be in the "in" crowd! Lol !

 I have nothing to show you today except a peek at what I'm happily  planning  to work on. My pattern has been altered,the jacket is all cut out and I can't wait to get up tomorrow to get started on  this one. I bought this quilted stretch cotton at C&M Textiles in Montreal..My inspiration was V8660.  The pattern ,because I had it in my stash is   B5822      and included is my plan.

I want to have this finished by Friday for a sisters overnight get-together.

I do hope you found time to sew this week. Check in later to see more from

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Silhouette Patterns GA's Jacket, A Failure

Oh my Gosh! I worked so hard and I just couldn't get this one to work! Its Peggy Sager's GA's jacket #1913 and is suppose to be copied from an original Armani jacket. I was so excited to make this one.

First, I should say that there are very few instructions provided for this rather difficult pattern so beware if it's on your to do list.

I didn't make an actual muslin but I sewed the lining first and it seemed like a good fit.

 I chose size 2 because the finished garment measurements seemed to be  adequate for my measurements. The sizing on Silhouette patterns is based on finished garment measurements and not on body measurements.

The sleeves had an awful lot of ease but I thought that because I was using  wool for the jacket, I could shape them, shrink them and make them fit.  Not so.

There were no real drag lines anywhere on my lining/muslin so I thought the jacket would be a piece of cake. Oh my ---!!! I was so wrong!

I spent a lot of time quilting faux leather to use for the front insert, the back side piece,and the collar , lapels, and pockets. So when I had the body of the jacket constructed and tried it on only to find these horrible diagonal drag lines from hip to bust, I was very disappointed.

 I checked to see if I had maybe stretched the wool adjacent to the front side insert but it seemed to still be the same size as the pattern piece!

What to do, what to do? I finally  pinched a dart adjacent to center front and that seemed to get rid of most of the drag line. I decided to complete only one side of the jacket with this dart sewn in, just in case I should be wasting my time.

Next, the sleeves and they were a real disaster. Way too much ease and they really looked awful.

I tried raising them  at the shoulders and pinned them and they looked a little better. I measured and transferred the fold to the sleeve pattern piece.

 I essentially chopped off about 5/8" of the sleeve cap. I then took out the sleeve , and recut and resewed it. Again, a little better but not perfect.

Was it worth while continuing or should I trash it? I had spent the better part of three days working on this thing by now. I decided to construct the collar and lapels and to apply them to the jacket. They were partly made already so why not?

That done, was I happy ? NO! but I just couldn't admit  defeat. I took out the other sleeve and fixed it, added the dart to the other side front, changed my mind about the leather pockets, restyled those and finished the darn thing. I even had trouble with the buttonholes!

I'm far from happy with this jacket and with the exception of the collar and lapels. It's barely wearable. I  despise this pattern and it's going in the trash! No point in it taking up space in my sewing room. But  to tell the truth, my problem was probably due to the weight of my wool in comparison to the quilted faux leather.

To tell the truth, now it's  too small and it will go to one of my sisters who is at least one size smaller than me. Here it is on Antoinette.

My husband pointed out that I don't often have failures, so I shouldn't feel too bad. But the worst thing about it is that I've been giving sewing lessons  for the past six weeks now in my home and my students will want to see how this project turned out. I don't want them to feel discouraged if they see that their teacher, after fifty years of sewing still produces a wadder. BooHoo!

I do hope you had better luck in your sewing room this week than I did! Lol.

More later from

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Adri 1234, a Reversible Denim Suit

As a retired senior woman, it took me a few years to figure out how I should dress. As a teacher, I loved wearing suits. Now I love casual pant suits, especially made out of denim.

My newest pant suit is made out of a two sided denim bought at Goodman Carlyle at7282, Rue Saint Hubert in Montreal two years ago.This was a "find" as far as denim goes,IMO.

The pattern is one I've made twice before ( here ) and is so much fun to make up because of all the top stitching possibilities! It's Vogue 1055 by Adri, now out of print.

I decided to make the jacket reversible. I used flat felled seams on all the seams. This was a lot of work but was really worth all the extra effort. More details at Diana's Sewing Lessons.

I had planned on using a dark taupe top stitching thread but because I didn't have enough of it without making a trip to the city to get some,I used what I had on hand,a light taupe which came off looking white. Oh well! I used a darker taupe regular polyester in the bobbin and it is almost invisible on the print side which is what I intended. Both threads are Gutterman.

I agonized about how to hem my jacket, but in the end, I just turned  it twice and top stitched.The contrast is quite cute, don't you think?

The skinny  jeans are a combo of  V1234 and McCall's 7890. I agonized which side of the fabric to use but in the end,the plain side won out but with floral accents here,

And here.

Here is my suit in action in Montreal at Goodman Carlyle . I love it there. Everyone is so nice! And yes ,I bought a few pieces but no denim!

Another shot in downtown Montreal. I love Montreal !

An at home shot on the reverse side with a denim pencil skirt already in my wardrobe.

More pics here.

I'm really happy with this outfit! My husband gave me all kinds of compliments on this one. I'm always happy when he really likes what I make!

I hope you've found time to sew too these past weeks. If not, remember that when you retire a whole sewing world awaits you!

More later from