Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

A quick post just to wish you a Merry Christmas. I haven't been sewing this month at all and I miss it! I hope to rectify the situation after holidays!

Hope you get some nice pressies from the man in red!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Wiksten Tova in Nani Iro Sen Ritsu Metallic

It's mid-December and every year Christmas seems to rush head long into my face! Things get busy and things I want to get done seem to take longer than I'd planned. Anyone have the same experience?!

I made this Tova last month. It's sewn with Nani Iro Sen Ritsu Mezzo Piano from the 2014 Autumn/Winter collection. I purchased it from the lovely Frances of Miss Matatabi.  It's brushed cotton and oh so cozy!

Yes, it's true, I'm totally addicted to Nani Iro fabrics! Oh well, there are worse things to be addicted to!

Here's my lovely Daisy being the enigmatic cat!
I've finished the majority of the baking (cookies) last week. I hope to do some gift sewing this week, fingers crossed!

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Oh, my Darling Ranges!

When I started to get interested in sewing again this late spring, I was really happy to see so many wonderful designs from indie designers.  I saw the Darling Ranges dress and went "hmmmm" with interest. You see, I don't wear dresses but something about this design just nudged at me.  Time went by and recently I decided, why not give it a try. I have to say I am just in love with this dress. It can just hang there for me to look at as I wait for warmer weather to wear it.

The fabric is a Liberty Lifestyle cotton I was hoarding. It is not cotton lawn, but it is still a lovely cotton, a bit lighter than quilting cotton. Everything about the design just says "tea in an English garden".  I love it!

Now I want to make one in a bit warmer fabric and make it just a wee bit longer. Brushed cotton perhaps?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


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The Sailor Top from Fancy Tiger Crafts

When the Sailor Top first came out, I was debating whether to buy this design only because it was very similar to something I'd already made - New Look 6185.  However, I was never really happy with the fit and after seeing so many different versions of the Sailor Top, I said "why not? Let's give it a go". I'm so glad I did.

It's such a great fit. I love it and I can see more Sailor Tops to come! It was an easy-peasy make. The only "hard" part is just taking the time (aka Slow Down!) to match up the body to the neckband. I love the way the sleeve and body hemlines are designed the same way.

The fabric is Nani Iro Little Letters in brushed cotton. Perfectly soft and dreamy.  (And, a shout out to my friend Sharilyn - there is a colourway pink on caramel at Spool. Check it out! ) I squeezed my top out of 2 meters and I have enough to do a scarf as well! I love the little silvery bits in the fabric.
Sail on!  I'm dreaming of more Sailor Tops to come!

Monday, November 17, 2014

My first Archer

Believe it or not, I've made 3, almost 4 new things since my last post. It's been all the planning, layout, cutting, etc that has taken up most of the time. Sometimes it takes me awhile to pair up a pattern with fabric either from my stash, or a new purchase.  I get into my dreaming mode and I will fall asleep trying to pair up designs to fabrics. The actual sewing of the garment is, to me, the quickest part...although there are exceptions.

Exception No. 1 is my first attempt at the Archer shirt by Grainline Studio.  Now I loved the Scout tee and I've made quite a few but that's an easy-peasy pattern compared to the Archer. The Archer is a big leap from the Scout - lots more pattern pieces, collar, buttonholes, etc but one must stretch in order to build more skills and broaden one's sewing spectrum.  

At first, I scratched my head over some of the instructions. The online sewalong posts helped. I made lots of mistakes (lots of ripping out), all part of learning, and in the end, voila, a shirt!

This is my wearable muslin and I used some shirting from my stash. I had enough just to cut a 3/4 sleeve. At the end, in a flash of brilliance (ha ha), I decided to make a small tuck at the elbow which I needed to do in order to slim down the sleeve. 
I learned a lot with this project, not least of which is to WALK AWAY when I am confronted with a big mistake. One evening I sewed one sleeve the correct one and the other inside out. Argh! I had never done that before. It was easy to do with this fabric as it's hard to tell the right side from the wrong side. The seam was serged too. I felt like weeping. So a little voice said "put DOWN the garment and back away slowly". I did. I turned out all appliances and exited the room.  The next day I decided I could tackle ripping out the serged seam and put it right. Whew!

In the end, I love the Archer! Of course I would, I love Jen's stuff! I do want to try the Alder before the year is out!

I'll be back soon with more pieces to show. I'll leave you with the last of our roses.
Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear from you. I do wonder if anyone is reading this blog other than my stitching pals and my one new sewing friend from here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

My first make out of knit fabric - Julia Cardigan

November! How did we get here so quickly? Well, I'm glad Halloween is out of the way. Now I can start to think a bit about Christmas!

I have recently finished my first project out of knit fabrics, thanks to taking this course on Craftsy. It was very helpful.  This is the Julia Cardigan from Mouse House Creations.  It's been made all over the blogosphere and I can understand why. So comfy!

I made this first one out of some nameless on sale fabric. No idea of fiber content but likely a cotton blend.  The fit is designed to be close to the body and it does that. For winter, I'd like something big and roomy so I might go up a size or maybe two? 

 My next piece is an unfinished one because I am not happy with how it turned out. This is Blouse K from the Japanese Stylish Dress Book : Wear with Freedom.

It's huge on me. It is meant to be a short cropped top that's full but I think I might've done something wrong and I can also say the instructions for the neck binding, size-wise, was confusing. Subsequently the neckline was huge and I attempted to take some pintucks in the back and a couple in the front. That helped but I am not sure ... I am going to leave this unfinished for now and hope some creative muse drop some hints on what to do with this one. 
This last bit is for any local (Vancouver) blog readers. A couple of months or so ago, we had a new fabric store open which was great news.  Fabrics Etc is located on Kingsway, just east of Victoria. It is more of a clearance store but you can find some good deals, just don't expect any "new releases". 

You know the saying "when one door closes, another one opens"?  Well, it seems to be working out backwards in this case because while we have a new fabric store, an old established one is closing.  Gala Fabrics on Granville by 16th is the only place where I could find a roll of Swedish tracing paper. So last week I went there to get another roll and found a "closing out" notice. Yup, by Christmas. Meanwhile all the fabrics are 50% off. I don't have the pics to show you but I got...a few things (cough, cough).

BTW, they are out of Swedish tracing paper now and won't be stocking it, but Fabrics Etc carries it now.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 20, 2014

100 Acts of Sewing - Dress No 1 & Tunic No 1

On this sleepy Monday morning, misted with rain outside, we stay cozy inside and I present to you two interesting (to me) finishes. But first, let me tell you about the designer.

The two designs come from 100 Acts of Sewing, a project started by Sonya Philip a few years ago. I only recently came upon this by accident, but a happy one at that. You can read about the artist's statement here. I was intrigued by the idea of creating 100 dresses in one year, and was delighted to see all the variations sewn up. The designs, as you can see in her shop, are very simple and has clean lines. I like that. I like the temptation of the blank slate but with a good foundation for me to stand on and play!

So, I started  simply by making the sleeveless dress (No 1) and the tunic (No 1) "as is" so I can set a baseline.

I adore the fabrics, which I found only after I had purchased my patterns.  I also found them locally which was the bonus.  Serendipity at play! The dress fabric was one I saw here first and loved, so when I saw it at my local shop I had to get it. The design is from a 2011 line from Lotta Jansdotter. The second fabric just grabbed my attention and appealed to the artist-wannabee in me! So colourful, so full of fun!

As to the garments themselves - I love the dress and can envision multiple variations. It's a very gracious A-line and the pattern encourages you to make the neckline high or low. It has fabulous BIG and deep pockets. This dress is good for layering.  The tunic is short and boxy and so cute! Right now this piece is too cool to wear in this weather. If I want to make one for the autumn weather I would raise the neckline, and also make it tunic length. The pattern comes with 2 lengths, one for a top, one for a tunic. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Free form sewing - meet the Scout Cardi

I had the most fun with this Scout.  I had already cut out the Scout tee for a 3/4 sleeve version, much like the one I stitched in my last post. I decided to hack this second Scout and give in to what I call "Free Form Sewing"!  I decided to make this a little cardi(gan).
  • First, I cut the Front right down the middle. Then I used some skinny selvedge pieces for the front plackets.You can see in the photo that the strips are of uneven sizes as that's all the fabric I had to use. I had not planned to make this, otherwise I might have made better use of the fabric placement. 
  • I just put in a little snap closure for the top, for now. I might change this later but I like how this looks. This fabric is just perfect for this cardi design. 
  • Ahh, the pockets - totally free form cutting and they are zany (read: crooked!). I used some precious favourite scraps of fabric to trim the pockets and the sleeves too. Love! If I had more of this fabric I would've used it to bind the neckline and hem.

It was a really fun and interesting experience to just make changes as my whimsy took over. I think this may become a habit!

 Thanks for stopping by. Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Easing into Sewing for a new Season

I find the transition of season shakes me up a bit, in a good way I think, but indeed it is "shaken, not stirred". There seems to be so much to do, inside and outside.  I just need to be more organized...;-)

One way I've organized my sewing is to try and cut a few projects out at a time then sewing them up is much easier and faster. The first one in the line-up is the Schoolhouse Tunic by Sew Liberated. This is my second make and I've modified the neckline and the inverted dart in the skirt - just something different I wanted to try. The fabric is Nani Iro Fuccra .
The next one is Top 64 by Merchant & Mills. The fabric is Cat Nap in Purrfectly Happy by Lizzy House. I think this whimsical print is purrfect for the very structured Top 64 - a very sweet balance. But funny story - I wore this yesterday when out at one of those big fabric stores. This guy gave me such a funny look like - that woman is wearing a print in our kids' section! Hmmm. I smiled. I will wear it Halloween night when giving out candies to the kiddies and see if anyone will comment on it. I love it, by the way.

The last, and my favourite, is the Scout tee with a wider 3/4 sleeve, in Nani Iro Pocho.  I am so glad this is THE pattern that is easy to stitch, looks and feels great on me. This is my equivalent of eating chocolate when I'm feeling blue. Thank you, Jen!  She has hinted at new patterns this fall so I am keeping my fingers crossed - hope it will be soon!

What's next you ask? Well, in the above photo, there is a black and white gingham brushed cotton lying on the ironing board. It's currently cut in the same Scout tee as in this Nani Iro, but I am pondering whether I should hack it.

The fabric on the left in the photo is a pink and white gingham brushed cotton as well. Both were those "no name" good deals. I have more of the pink (2.4m?) and haven't figured out what to make yet.  I also want to advance to more challenging patterns (for me) so buttonholes are next. My buttonhole foot was ordered awhile ago but it is finally being shipped to me so I gotta put it to good use!

With September and the return to classes at the community centre, I resumed my acrylic painting class. Here's my first finish from a photo of apple blossoms.  It's fun to get back to playing with paints again.
What's on your sewing table?

Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate hearing from you! Have a great week!

Friday, September 19, 2014

More from the Sewing Factory

Hello on the start of what we hope will be a sunny weekend! Currently we are still having some drizzle and (brrrrr...) cold, but hopefully this will change soon as per forecast!

The Sewing Factory chez moi has churned out a few more creations. I've committed these to my "good" fabrics.

First, the Shearwater Kaftan in Nani Iro's "Dear Mother's Girlhood - Gratitude".

 I like this one a lot. It's very comfy.

Next up is really my first make on the Camber Top by Merchant & Mills.  The fabric I used was part of a couple of "end pieces" I purchased from Linnie Darling awhile ago.  This is called Field Star.
Not crazy about this on me. I've since taken in the sides a wee bit. I may shorten it too as it then may look better as a "short boxy top".

The third and last one is *sigh* a beauty!  Look at this fabric! It's another from the "end pieces" I got and it's a Nani Iro cotton (not gauze) called Little Letters in Wedgewood floral. It's the Wiksten Tova with a few inches added for tunic (I'm tall) and I'm looking forward to wearing this with leggings in the upcoming cooler weather!  The fabric is a light cotton, not quite like lawn, but close. I love this piece!

That's it for this week. Thank you so much for visiting. I really appreciate reading your comments, knowing that someone reads this new blog of mine!

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Roza blouse in which I keep trying & trying!

You'd have to have patience with me on this post as I share with you my attempt at getting a Roza blouse that'd fit me!

When I first saw the Roza blouse here, I just fell in love with the design by KateNRose. I had dreams of making a many versions of this top. I started off digging into my old quilting stash to start a wearable muslin which ended up as Version 1. I was really excited too as I managed to get a complimentary piece for the inset so off I speedily sewed.
Oh, I was so pleased with how it looked, then I tried it on. 
Hmmm. It may not look it in the photo above but it was very breezy and the neckline was very, very wide. 
I put on a tank then felt a bit better. My husband looked at it and said "why not put a piece of fabric in there instead of the tank?" OK. So off I went to try that. 
While it looks ok in the photo, it really doesn't work in real life. I was pretty discouraged at this point as I loved this pattern so much, but it was time to put the tools aside and "sleep on it"... (the problem not the tools!)

The next day I decided to try something which was to go back to the pattern pieces and grade any sizing to do with the neckline from Large to Small. Back to diving into my old quilting stash. Here is a first fitting of Version 2.
The fitting was encouraging enough that I took the time to make a better looking top. 
This does work a lot better but leads me to think I should maybe do one more try - make the body Medium and grade the neckline to X-small.  I'm going to put this aside for now though as I'm tired of it and this is more Summer wear than Fall wear.

All in all, it taught me to try new things in terms of altering a pattern.  I still love the pattern, just not sure it's for me though. Time will tell!

In case you are wondering how on earth I am going to wear all these things (ha ha) I am making these as wearable muslins rather than just muslins. Sometimes I do the latter.  There are pros and cons of each. Next year a lot of these will likely be donated to the Women's Shelter so I don't mind being "the crazy woman at her sewing machine"!

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, September 8, 2014

First Try at the Cappucino Dress

Finally, I was able to make the Cappuccino Dress by Liesl & co.  This was the most complex of the projects I've tackled so far so I told myself to go slow.  The instructions around the attaching the front inset to the sides baffled me a bit but little by little, I got it!

I liked it but the fabric wasn't the best for it I think. I shall have to see what to use for my "good" version. My husband did comment that he thought the silhouette was very "elegant". ha.

Today Mr Mailman brought me some goodies purchased at the Labour Day sale at Warp & Weft.  The sale is still on till end of today so you still have time to hop on over there to get a deal! 

I feel like a proper sewist now!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are enjoying the posts. I know my (cross) stitching friends are popping by from my other blog which is great. If you are a new sewist visiting I would love to hear from you. BTW, if you have "no-reply" on your Blogger profile, I can't contact you to thank you for your comment. I also have a problem commenting on Blogger posts where comments are "below posts" (default). 

I have run out of projects to sew so the next few days will see me prepping the next set of projects. Enjoy your week!

Once Again - New Look 6185...altered

I posted about my New Look 6185 finish last week here. I wore it a couple of times and wasn't happy with the elastic/tunic thing happening so I decided to remove the elastic thing altogether and give this thing a haircut!

I also decided it needed pockets but not just any plain ole' patch pockets but something with a little extra zing! So I just drafted something and made it up as I went along.

You like? I like it a whole lot better now. The only thing I would change about the pockets next time is to make them Bigger!

Off to post about my next finish...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Shearwater Kaftan : "Shear" Delight!

A few weeks ago, when I first attempted the Shearwater Kaftan I had a near meltdown. You can read about it here. I did end up saving the garment but I knew I had to go back to the drawing board, so to speak.

So, I revised my pattern pieces to a size up and cut out the pieces as per normal, or on the grainline, rather than across. I am so relieved now that it fits me wonderfully and I love how it turned out!  I will be making another one (or two) I am sure! 
The fabric is a batik and I love the pattern and the colour!  I did not make the tabs for the sleeves. Although I admire how the tabs look on others' versions, I knew I would not use it. This works for me.

I have been loving the colour orange in the last couple of years. Here it is in my pot of begonias in our garden.
I was out in the garden this morning, after having neglected it for at least a week. We had fall weather roll in over the Labour Day weekend and I can just see this reflected in the garden. Things are looking tired, like they've been partying and it's time to go to bed!  I guess I'd better psyche myself up for some fall garden clean-up this month!

Meanwhile, more sewing! Next up, the Cappucino dress/tunic!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Two from Merchant & Mills

I have a couple of Merchant & Mills finishes. (Just in case you are wondering, I had cut out 5 projects by the end of August so now it's just the sewing and that's why I am whipping these things off quickly.)

First up, The Dress Shirt. I was really looking forward to seeing how this would sew up as I really like the look of it on the front of the pattern. 
My initial finish last evening was a disaster. The little pleat up front looked horrible on my version, like I had a weird new appendage growing out of my abdomen! Argh! I tried fixing it last night but it was not cooperating. Note to self - don't try to fix problems at night! Even the photo won't cooperate for this post!

Then today, after I stitched up the lovely Top64, I tried fixing it again by inverting the pleat so now it is looking better. I am still not loving this but at least I can wear it without someone thinking I have the Alien thing going on!  The Dress Shirt would really benefit from some pockets which I may still try to do!

Today I stitched up Top 64.  *sigh* Love it. It really is a lovely top and will be warm and cozy in the cooler months. I want to make more!

The pockets on this top are the coolest!

While I was really frustrated with my Dress shirt, including the instructions, what I can say about both pieces is that I love how the neckline and shoulders fit on me - absolutely wonderful!

I'm so focused on sewing that I almost missed my hair appointment today! If my hairdresser hadn't texted me that she'd me a bit late, I would've totally missed it!

What day is it?

It's sewing day, of course! ;-)