Saturday, June 27, 2015

McCall's 6559...Summer Sewing in Outfits

My one goal this last while has been to sew up my stash and what better way than in outfits. I had to plan for this. I  pulled out patterns and fabrics  I wanted to use and then started sketching ideas as they came to me. Here are three of the sketches with corresponding garments .

And here is the sketch for what I'm showing you today
I used M6559 which I had muslined previously. I made the dress View D and the shrug View B

I didn't photograph the shrug but here's the dress.

The fabric is rayon jersey for both pieces.

 I cut my usual size 12 but added 1/2" at the side seams. I wouldn't have needed the extra and ended up with one inch side seams.

 I widened the shoulders by a half inch because my muslin showed me that they didn't cover my bra straps.I also did an FBA.

To match the stripes I both  pinned and hand basted the side seams and it was well worth it.

I added a casing and elasticized the waist to form  a blouson effect. For a belt, I made three long tubes, and braided them together at the back. Cute ,isn't it!

I find myself not really liking maxis that go right to the floor and I think the length I chose is more flattering for my figure.

I used a twin needle to finish the hem because I knew that otherwise I'd end up with popped stitches.

The neck and arm bands were finished using the black strpe from the fabric.

As for the shrug, can I tell you a secret? I finished all edges with Steam-a-Seam. It remains to be seen if I'll need to sew them later! Oh, and I shortened the ties byfour inches. It really was too long.

I really love this outfit which I wore  to a seniors pageant where I was a judge and got loads of compliments.

Here's a sketch on what I'm working on now.

Happy July 1st to my fellow Canadians !

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Vogue 1385, the third version

There's a tops contest at Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing and since I had one more
Vogue 1385 in me ,I decided to participate.

V1385, Misses' Top

I've had several meters of of white silk dupioni in my stash for years and in the back of my mind, I had the top I ended up with, except with longer sleeves. So here it is.

The reason for the short sleeves is that I made this to wear to my grand-daughter's graduation , which is today. It's usual horribly hot for graduation ( I attended many during my years as a high school teacher ) but wouldn't you know it? It's pouring rain here today and all of 12 degrees Celsius so I don't know what I'll end up wearing !

I really enjoyed making this blouse. I cut size B knowing from my previous two versions ( here and here ) that this one runs big.

I started out by fusing all the pieces with Fusi knit to give it some body.

 The bias trim was made with silk/cotton. I used a double layer sewed it to the outside by machine and to the inside by hand.

Isn't this fluted neckline pretty?

I took a chance that my Janome wouldn't let me down and made black buttonholes with silk thread and a size 70/10 sharp needle. They turned out perfect. I had planned on using black ball buttons but couldn\t find any that were big enough soused these domed ones instead.

To achieve this length of sleeve, I cut them off at the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern piece. They were quite wide so I sewed a little tuck at the bottom and that worked well.

If you have this pattern and are hesitating to make it because you think it might be complicated, please know that it is surprisingly doable with Sandra's excellent instructions and with careful marking of the folds and darts. It's so worth trying .

I love this top . I intend to wear it to church and I intend to make a matching dupioni skirt for the  next event I attend. For now , I made a black scuba knit pencil skirt and I like how the two pieces look together.

I think I could take it in at the side seams a little. It is quite roomy.

I also have a couple more outfits made which I'll show you at another time..I'm having a great time right now sewing in outfits and using up my stash!

I do hope you've found time to sew this weekend because I know, like me, that;s your favorite thing to do !

More later from

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Burda 6998 or The Creative use of a Pattern

Burda 6998 is one of those pattern  gems one finds occasionally that end up in shreds because of being used many times. I discovered this one last summer and have used it so far for two dresses and two tops. I have a couple more  things planned using this one.

You all know I love stripes and since I'm presently trying to add pieces in the beige, brown family, this light brown stripe cotton lycra piece, bought in Montreal, popped out at me from my shelves.
I've gotten into the habit of sketching my ideas before committing to a garment and in the end ,I came up with this top.

I'm not in love with the French dart combined with the stripes but I otherwise love this well fitting top, thanks to Burda patterns' great fit. The only alteration needed to this one originally was a narrow shoulder adjustment which was  easily achieved. Look here if you are curious. No FBA was necessary on my regular size 12 . No extra was needed at the side seams either.

I drafted my own neck facings for this pattern after the muslin stage. I've added a quick post on Diana's Sewing Lessons on my foolproof way to keep the facings from curling out to the right side and it works wonderfully well. On this top , I sewed the facings to the inside, pressed them to the outside  and with the help of  Wonder Tape  , top stitched them in place. I should add that I interfaced the facings with Fusi knit, my favorite fusible interfacing.

Style details include

Bias striped "yoke in both front and back,

 3/4 sleeves  cut on the bias and vertical stripes cuffs.

And a vertical stripes  band at the hemline.

I also made a pair of natural colour heavy cotton sateen jeans  using a combination of my Sandra Betzina jeans pattern and McCall's skinny jeans both OOP.


I'm hoping the fabric which was quite pricey, will soften with wash and wear because they look very wrinkled as they are now.

And I think one picture is enough of an every day outfit !

Happy Sewing from

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Few Spring Things

I've had a few things,all navy, made for a while now but getting pictures taken has become a chore to me ! Finally, here they are :

A top.

I used V8793 minus the collar. The print is a textured double knit  and the sleeves are scuba knit, both from Fabricville. Adding pockets  made it a bit more interesting IMO.

A scuba knit pencil skirt made using my UFO skirt pattern Mc5590 (OOP). The navy scuba knit pant was from last summer.

A cream/navy cardi  ( based on View B of M6844 ) The fabric is  a cotton knit from my stash.

The front drape was achieved by angling out the front from just below the bust ,then joining it to the side of the front piece in a curved line ,using my French curve.

And finally a raw silk jacket. This is a rough silk that looks very rustic ( it actually reminds me of hop sack) and was a lot of fun to sew up but is hardly a luxe piece I used V8605 for a starting point but my jacket is far from the original style of this pattern.

For this piece,I was influenced by the many collarless and minimalist coats I've seen at various sites such as and Nordstrom.

Style  details include Hong Kong finishing on the seams (I should have lined it ) and linen facings.

Welt pockets which have a circular pocket " bag of sorts " and can only be seen slightly but I love them.

A jewel neckline

Snap closures

Roll back cuffs sleeves for a casual feel..The fabric was really too thick for a wide hem to fold back and I may decide to take out the Hong Kong finish at the hem.

I so love this one! I know I say that a lot where jackets are concerned, but I do .Look how nice it looks with white skinny jeans!

...and a pencil skirt

....and my wide legged linen pants

...and a dress

and many more items in my closet but you don't need any more pics, I'm sure.

I'm now working on beige and white pieces but I need to hem four layers of chiffon/charmeuse,etc on Jessica's prom dress and I'm dreading it with all my heart. Please wish me luck! No ,I didn't make the dress.

I do hope you 've had time to sew all kinds of fun things to wear in the warmer weather to come.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Jessica's Graduation Dress

Jessica was my first grandchild and has always been very special to me of course. She's 18 now and I just don't know where all those years went. She graduates in June and will then go clear across the country to the University of British Columbia where she has been accepted in a Performing Arts program.

 Graduates at her high school are required to wear white dresses for the graduation ceremony. I was all too happy to offer my services as dressmaker. She wanted lace and together we found the fabric at Fabricville and came up with a  design based on this dress.

I used Vogue  8766   as my base pattern.

 I used the bodice of View D for my muslin and the skirt of viewD as well for the skirt.I lowered the front neckline, and  I changed the back neckline into a V. Once I had perfected the fit of the bodice, I drew directly onto the muslin ,the outline for the sweetheart bustier layer. I reshaped the skirt to an A-line and added a deep pleat at center front and after Jessie's approval, I got to work. 25 hours later (Yes 25 hours!!!) or five days, after many fittings with my cold hands, Lol. I ended up with this.



The lace is polyester, the under layer is poly satin charmeuse, and the lining is a silky rayon challis for comfort.

The binding around the neckline and armholes is bias strips of the charmeuse and was impossible to not twist. I tried each area three times and had to give up but then I remembered seeing this designer jacket

  (I can't find the link), online with its twisted binding and decided to relax my expectations.

I delivered her dress to Jessica today and there was no doubt that she is perfectly satisfied with her dress and that she  absolutely loves it so I'm very happy tonight!  This project was truly a labour of love!

These photos were taken right after skating practice and she still looks wonderful in her dress!

Next up I'll show you a few spring pieces I managed to make in between DD's coat and DGD's dress so come back for another visit please!.

Happy Sewing from