Blog Archive

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

American Girl PJs

I had some scraps of knit hanging around - the remnants from PJ shorts for Kate.  It is hard to find cute soft knits around here and I was loathe to throw them out but they were clogging up my workspace.  I dug out my American girl block and did PJs for two dolls. I used up too much of the darker fabric on pants so I shortened the top, omitted sleeves, and added some crochet trim I had kicking around to make things look a bit more purposeful.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tessuti Brooklyn Coat

Next up in the Fall Sewing files is a warmer sweater coat.  I picked up Tessuti's Brooklyn pattern on a whim in the early summer.  I had to put the project on hold when I realized I had no suitable fabric in stash and all the stores had already packed away their winter fabrics.  And so it sat.  I got it taped up and cut out (stupid PDFs) and kept an eye on the fabric stores.  Finally Fabricland got some boiled wool in - it was on sale when I went in, the colours were great, but the damn wool was a blend and it had a crappy knit backing on it.  Eager to sew, I bought it anyways.  2.5m (only should have bought 2m) and some thread cost me $50. Ouch. 

The coat took no time to whip up (I cut and sewed it in an afternoon).  However, that shitty fabric backing is visible when the coat hangs open.  To deal with that I added a snap at the neckline and I'll wear this sweater coat closed.   I had to whip up a mini-facing for the collar as the backing would have shown at the collar join to the center front.
So, while not as perfect as my perfectionist heart desires, this is still a nice and useful sweater coat.  The pattern is well drafted but check your side seams in the larger sizes.  Maybe it was my printer and taping skills but the back side was a good inch longer than the front side.  Also, this coat has lots of ease.  I initially cut the size L/XL when I muslined but used the S/M for my fashion fabric.

Now that this bee is out of my bonnet, I will keep my eye out for some 100% boiled wool, with no funky knit backing, an do this sweater coat up again at a later date.  Maybe in red.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Woodland Stroll Cape - Leisl and Co

Grey 100% wool was $4,from a lady selling off her mom's fabric stash.It's a light summer weight.
Lining is a poly, from stash.
Buttons were $2.5 from Fabricland.

Pattern is the Woodland Stroll cape which I bought in PDF when it was 50% off.  I love a cape and this one is meant for light fall mornings at the bus stop.  

Everything I read showed people wishing they'd upsized their pattern. I did a muslin.  I cut the XL,found the back piece gaped at CB neckline and had to correct it by transferring the excess to the shoulders. I also added some width under the arms to ensure I got a nice loose drape.

I had my doubts about the pattern.  I find outer wear needs proper facings. Woodland only has a back facing.  It worked ok but I had to understitch the entire cape to prevent the lining from showing and to get nice crisp edges.

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 .