Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Throwback, Pieced Quilt

I have a throwback for today, a finished project from about 2 years ago.  This was my first pieced quilt, I made for my cousin in Toronto who had a second baby.

I used the pattern Fox and Friends by Sew Fresh Quilts.  It was a quick and easy quilt to use as my first piecing project as the pieces were all the same size and shape.  I like Sew Fresh Quilt's patterns; so cute!  


This quilt took me only a couple days to do as I ran away to my parents' house to work on it.  I had a three day break from work and decided to take a sew-cation at mum and dad's as they have neither pets nor children running around.  This meant I could lay out my pieces and not worry they'd be disturbed, as well as dedicate my time to just sewing instead of taking care of anyone else.  It worked out nicely for me.


I was still at Fabricland at the time I made this, and I did it up as a shop sample, so I used exclusively Fabricland cottons.  Heritage Quilting Solids are the cotton solids Fabricland carries, and I used 5 shades of green, one orange, one grey, one black, and one white.  I then chose a green and black buffalo plaid for the backing and an orange-ish brown woodgrain print for the binding.  I quilted it just as the pattern suggested with straight lines 1/4 inch on each side of the seams.


The batting was Warm & Plush, which is a 100% cotton batting that has a slightly higher loft than the standard Warm & Natural.  I like this batting, especially for quilts I send back East.  It's just a little bit squishier and fluffier so it's cozier.  Works nicely in a Canadian winter.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Back from the (internet) dead.

Alright, so.  Hi!

I've been offline for so long as life got in my way.  Internet isn't as important as children, dishes, and sewing.  However, Itsa is now in kindergarten and Acki is in Grade 2, so I find myself with a couple days a week without children or work.  Seems like a good time to dust off my blog.

I've made so many things in the time I've been offline, and I'll try to post about them in time. I've declared this to be the year of the quilt, and have made a few of those.  I still wear a primarily handmade wardrobe, adding pieces here and there, and I do take on client work sometimes.

Last March I moved from working at Fabricland to Fabricana, which was a great move.  Fabricana is less hectic and sells many luxury fabrics.  MmmmMMMMMmmmm I LOVE petting the silks and cashmeres and dreaming about the beaded laces as gowns.  My coworkers at Fabricland were hard to leave behind, but the corporation itself was easy to leave.  I find Fabricana's philosophies and business practices more closely align with my own ideals.  More control over inventory and lower prices with fewer sales.  Much more to my liking.

I'm going to attempt to post every Wednesday for now, and hopefully work up to two or three times a week in the next year.  I've missed writing and engaging with the online sewing community.



Here is a parting shot of a three machine jean-making set up I do when making jeans.  I like to have one for construction, one for topstitching, and the serger set up to get an assembly line going. I do two pairs at a time and it takes only a few hours this way.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

And now for something completely different

Look!

Cats!

My cats love pineapple!  I have no idea if other cats react to pineapple this way, or if mine are just strange.  I'd love to hear of anyone else's experiences with cats and pineapples.

We could lead them around the whole house with a pineapple.




Thursday, 28 April 2016

Finished project: Rayon Challis sundress

This was my first model garment project for Fabricland!  I'm so excited about it.  I used McCall's 7116, view D which had a lot of details I really like in a summer dress.  Cross over bodice means easy FBA, bias skirt drapes over my lower body nicely, and the sleeves are adorable.  I used some Rayon Challis that Fabricland received back in February.  I have a low opinion of Rayon overall, based on my experiences with it 15 years ago.  I thought that they might have made some advancements with the fibre since then, so I was willing to give it a try.  My experiences before told me that Rayon pilled easily, stretched and sagged by the end of the day, and felt clammy on the skin.  We'll see how this one holds up, but so far it feels wonderful on the skin, especially in the heat!




Have you ever worked with rayon challis?  Slippery!  I had to chase it all over my cutting table.  I actually had to cut out the skirt front twice as the first time I let the excess fabric droop over the sides of the table and everything was the wrong size by the end.  Lesson learned.  I recut it on the floor and that went much better.




The only adjustment I made to the pattern was a 1/2" Full Bust Adjustment.  I like how this dress hangs and drapes on me.  Next time though, a slight sway back adjustment would be helpful.



Monday, 25 April 2016

Finished Project: Pencil skirt!

For my second model garment at work, I actually did two garments. This skirt is Butterick 6326, view B, which I made to go with the poplin shirt.  It was a really cute outfit to display, and I enjoy wearing the pieces together.

This was made with Fabricland's Belle Stretch Sateen, Cotton and spandex.  So nice to work with, and so comfortable!  Stretch sateen is my second favourite cotton fabric to work with.  Cotton Satin is my first favourite. 

As soon as Butterick released their spring patterns, I knew this pencil skirt had to be mine.  The poplin shirt was already decided, so I actually wanted to make a green pencil skirt to wear with it, but the only solid green we had was non-stretch, and for model garments you have to follow the pattern pretty closely.  I decided I wanted to sew this specific pattern more than I wanted to use the green, so I went with this navy blue.  I don't care much for blue, but whatever.  It's not a big deal, really.



I used this tutorial from The Sewing Rabbit for adding in a tummy control panel with powernet.  I had lots from the bargain basement at Dressew, and it was a quick and easy thing to do.  It does help my tummy look smoother, which I think is important to me in a high-waisted pencil skirt.

Taking photos was a bit of a trial as I'm not skilled with a tripod and self timer.  I will be hunting down a remote control and I hope that will help my photography.  No more chopping off my head.  Actually, I think the problem is that it's my husband's camera, and he has some sort of zoom lens on it, but I always used a 50mm lens on my SLR camera.  I keep missing the sweet spot in the depth of field.  And on the particular day I took photos, it was expected to be around 28 degrees outside, so I wanted to take these photos first thing after dropping the kids off at school.  That meant the morning sun wasn't high enough to get over all the trees in our complex and I ended up trudging around with the tripod for a good half hour looking for the right spot.




Friday, 22 April 2016

Finished Project: Poplin button up

How cute is this top?

Super cute!




I used view A of Butterick 6217, which is a Patterns by Gertie design.  I do like Gertie's style for the most part.  Some of her designs don't appeal to me at all, but the ones that do appeal have me salivating over them.  I'm not sure about the tie on this one, I may yet remove it, but for now I'm undecided.




The fabric is a cotton poplin from Fabricland,  This was part of my March model garment ensemble, along with a pencil skirt I'll show you next time.  The fabric collection this was in is called Printemps collection, and I'm in love with almost every single piece in the collection.

I didn't do any alterations to this pattern, but I really should have.  I cut the size 18, grading to a 20 at the waist and hips, but it's actually too big.  I always go by the measurements on the tissue paper, but should really start actually measuring the pattern pieces.  Start with a 16, Mandy!  A 16 with a slight FBA and FTA (full bust and full tummy adjustments), and adding an inch of length is what I need to remember for Butterick patterns.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Finished Project: Maxi Tartan

As with most crafty people, I love to poke around on Pinterest for ideas and inspirations.  I usually only pin projects that have tutorials or patterns with them, and not finished projects without DIY involved.  Sometimes, however, there is something that is just so beautiful or wonderful that I pin it with the intention of copying the idea.  When I saw this Maxi skirt, I knew I had to have it.
From Aprilpride.com/blog/yards-of-tarts
Isn't that gorgeous?  I love plaid on the bias.  I knew I wanted to make my own, but with Newfoundland tartan.




My mother is from Newfoundland, but I also think the green tartan is lovely.  It's one of my favourites.

I looked at the inspiration photo, and decided what it was that I liked about it.  I loved the bias plaid, the fullness, and the wide waistband.  The easiest solution was a half circle skirt with a 10cm waistband.  The original seems to have side seams and a centre back seam, so I feel confident that I didn't rip anyone off, just took inspiration from it.



I bought Newfoundland tartan at Fabricland, and it was 140cm wide.  I bought 3.5m, but really only needed 2.5 or 3 at the most.  I have lots left over!  Then I used a compass to make a perfect semi-circle for the waist using the formula for the circumference of a circle where C= my waist measurement.  By folding the fabric over, I only needed the radius and to draw a quarter circle.  I then measured my hip to just about the floor, 96cm, and used that measurement and a metre stick to mark a series of radials from the waist.  It's not the most accurate method of getting a larger circle, but it was the easiest for me to do by myself after cutting out the waist.  Pro Tip:  Use the string and pin method to mark your length BEFORE cutting out the waist for the fastest and easiest way to draw a large circle.

Ahem.  Learn from my mistakes!  



In my experience, the easiest way to hem a circle skirt is with a hem facing.  I had hoped to use only materials I had on hand, so when my hem was too long for one package of facing, I just pulled out another, even though the colour was wrong.  I did happen to have a nice green zipper though, so at least I used that.  All those notions were bought in thrift shops.



I finished the waistband with riveted snap closures.  Next time I do this, I will just extend the zipper to the top of the waistband.




I started hemming by hand, but soon gave up and used the blind stitch function on my machine.  That hem is 4 metres long!  That would take me hours to do by hand.

We just brought in some lobster print poplin at Fabricland.  I am tempted to make a lobster shirt to go with this Newfoundland skirt.