Blog Archive

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I started this lap quilt about two years ago.  The piecing went together fast and then I stalled out on the actual quilting. I had decided to quilt by hand.  I didnt realize the time commitment of that decision nor my supreme lack of interest.  So the project sat until this summer when I had no machines and nothing to do (outside of readying my house for sale).

It's done.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


We've bought a new house. The great news is I will get a dedicated sewing room.  The bad news is that I have had to dismantle my current sewing room - aka my dining room.  I have sold my Featherweight and my vintage Elna Lotus.  My white Featherweight is up for sale. The pfaff and the industrial juki serger and the janome coverstitch are in the pod.  My Bernina is in a portable sewing bag so that I am ready to resume lessons with Frank in September.  That means no projects for a while.  Probably November.  I'll be back with more space soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New dress, Based on Simplicity 2444

I made Simplicity 2444 about 7 years ago and it was a royal mess.  It was all user error. This time I used my block but mimicked the design lines 2444,  muslined the bodice, prewashed my fabric, and staystitched the neckline to prevent growth.  I need a frock for a Frank event next week. Sure, no one will see me, but my psyche could use a boost that a pretty new dress will give.  I shortened the bodice length, added a bust dart for a full bust, and drew on some cap sleeves. It is just hanging and I'll hem it the week.  It is fully lined.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sutton Blouse

A shirt for my Mom for Mother's Day.

This is the True Bias pattern: Sutton Blouse.  What can I say, I was at work, window shopping. I bought it and printed it out, and taped the pattern together last night.  I shortened the length by 1 1/4" but left the rest untouched.  I used a light silk crepe de chine I had in stash. Based on the interlocked Cs on the fabric, I think it is a Chanel knock off.

I liked some of the little touches on this pattern.  The french seams.  The tidy way the hem and side slits are done.  I don't like the great big neckline.  I didn't muslin and I didn't realize this v was so damn big until I tried it on to test.  We'll see what mom thinks of it....I have my doubts that she'll find it wearable.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

No Sleeve Burda 115 and some shorts

As promised, I redid another Burda blouse (#115 04/2014) without sleeves for the summer.  Love.  I just raised the armhole a titch and then bound everything in bias.  I also did a proper internal miter because how lazy was I not to do that on the other one and then stitched it in a prettier fashion.

The kids got some pull on shorts (Simplicity 4206). The fabric was intended for a blouse for myself, but I got the blouse half done and said frig it.  The kids got the leftovers so I don't feel too guilty about the wadder.  This pattern is for a woven. FYI -  I have used this pattern before for a knit.  I just shave off some on the side seams to streamline them a bit.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Burda #115 Wrap Blouse 04/2014

I am really happy with how this top turned out.  In the end all I changed was to add an additional 1" to the length and did a bicep adjustment on the sleeves.  I think the sleeve fit could be improved - raise the shoulder a bit and flatten the sleeve cap to eliminate some ease.  I like this so much I will make one for summer, without sleeves, in the same fabric.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Beginning to look like a coat.

The never ending prep work on Pat's coat is nearing a finish.  Interfacing (fusible), marking, basting sped by and was done in a week.  I also cranked out the bound button holes in record time. 
The pockets slowed me down as it had been a long while since I had made either type.  The coat has two buttonhole pockets and a welt pocket.  I remembered neither technique.  So back I went into my samples and notes and did them in muslin.  Then I practiced them again in the coat fabric.  I cannot say how much my samples and my notes save my ass.  I go back and reference them again and again.  Why then do I have such a hard time convincing my students to TAKE NOTES?  Samples are great but only if you have an outline of the steps you followed.  Have the two things and you are always always going to be good to go.

Class tonight.  I need to draw my facing and lining patterns.  Then I'll get the undercollar attached and start sleeve construction .

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Burda 115 - Wrap Blouse Muslin

A trip to Montreal has netted me some lovely Lycra fabric for this summer's swimsuit. For the first time I have had the car while fabric shopping so was able to venture to the warehouses on Blvd St. Laurent.  I got two complementary colours and some lining.  Beautiful stuff.

I also picked up a soft lamb skin.  I think I am going to use it for the under collar and welt lips of Pat's winter coat.

Finally, I muslined Burda 115 - the wrap blouse from 04/2014 magazine.  I had originally thought I would use the soft bold rayon stripe but now I am wondering if the shirt is better left simple.  This one I am going to think about for a bit. It will definitely be done in a bright colour.  I have had enough of grey and black this season.  I am going to shorten the sleeves a bit to hit me at the wrist bone and I may to to add a bit of girth to the actual sleeve for ease of movement.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kwik Sew 3555 - The Shirt of Sadness

Kwik Sew 3555 -  I tried to jump start my interest this week with a nice new crisp shirt. Just about everything that could go wrong with it did.

I cut one of the front pieces wrong. Now my pattern matching is off by about one inch on one side of the placket. I guess I lined up the placket fold thinking I was lining up center front.  It took every inch of my being not to scrap this top right when I realized my error.  No extra fabric meant I couldn't recut. This is good fabric, from Darrell Thomas, an I decided to plow on.  I also messed up my sleeve plackets from a pattern placement perspective as well. 

Actual construction went no smoother.  Yoke, collar, front placket - rip and sew, rip and sew.  In the end it is wearable but is below my usual standards.  No fault of Kwik Sew, all driver error.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2013 Skirt - Finally Done

I don't leave many unfinished objects.  For whatever reason I left this skirt sitting unfinished since the end of 2013.  I drafted it from my basic aline block. While I was organizing my fabric stash over the holidays I pulled it out and thought wouldn't this be nice to wear on the holidays.  Then it sat for a bit longer but out in the open where I couldn't avoid looking at it.  Finally I attached the facings, cut the lining, and put it all together.  It went very easily.  I don't know why I hesitated.

Actually, I do know why.  The waist feature.  There are two overlapping bands there.  Initially I had thought I would put a great big button there...then I came to my senses.  I decided to leave them unadorned.  With the facings mostly on, the overlaps then had to be slipstitched closed.  Note that I also piped around them to highlight their shape and also to highlight the waist.  If I had to do it again I would have piped the whole lace design inserts (the piping ends just past the darts).  Ah the darts - I regret the little design darts at the front of the skirt.  The skirt would have looked much sleeker without.  I don't need any poof there and they give a bit.  I finished the skirt with a rolled hem.