Welcome To My Blog

I'd like to thank all of you who stop by to visit and to look at what I make.You, my sewing friends from cyberspace, are dear to me .Knowing you're out there in many parts of the world thrills me. You enrich my life with your kind comments and your inspiration.LOL.
Diana (aka Sew Passionista)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Last Summer Garment (V1109 + B5522= a Dress )

There's no denying it. Summer is over. I know this because  September is here, school has started, and heck, the leaves on some trees have already started to change colours! Ouch!  Apparently, that's due to the hurricane that struck in early July which caused  stress to  the trees. But I'm not ready to let go of warm sunny days yet!

My  last  summer garment is a dress made by combining the sleeves of V1109  by Sandra Betzina,

 and the body of B5522, now both out of print.

I made it to wear to my sister's 70th birthday party. I wasn't sure I liked it until I walked into the party and got oodles of compliments on it. Well. with this bright fabric, they had to notice, I guess. That settled it. I do like it.

The fabric is a border print poly/lycra and I had to buy 4 1/2 meters in order to get enough border print to make this happen. It was a fun piece to make but I wish the border had been wider so it would be more evident at the neckline. Other than that, it turned out just as I envisioned it.

The focal point of the dress is really the unique sleeves which I love. The top which I've made a couple of times was very form fitting but I always wanted to use the sleeves again.

I got the idea of  joining the fronts of the dress and the top at the waistline, then using the neckline and the armholes of the top  and that worked really well.

I love the way this dress patterns falls nicely over the hips and without being fitted at the waist, still gives a shapely silhouette.

( Bad photos but a photographer, I'm not, LOL )

What do you think?

Next time I'll show you a bias cut shirt made using B5786.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

An Elsa Dress for Riley

Wow! Two weeks sure went fast. My son and family left this morning and Riley and I almost parted without crying but.... there were tears but she started and then what could I do!  Enough said about that.

Yesterday, with my little pixie to keep me company, I managed to finish the much anticipated Elsa dress using McCall's 7000.

I didn't take construction photos but I snapped a couple of Riley wearing ,very happily,  her "perfect"  (her words)  Elsa dress.

And because I can't leave her little sister Poppy out here's a gratuitous shot taken at the mall.

I'm getting anxious to get to my sewing room to sew something but have no idea what. I'm pretty sure I'll come up with something so check back next weekend to take a look.

I did visit your blogs during the last few days but was usually too tired to leave comments. I'll make up for that in the next couple of days .

More soon from

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Black,White and Red ( continued from last week )

Thank you so much for the lovely comments you left  on my black and white pieces. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and comment. I've worn all my pieces and love having them in my wardrobe. \

I got a nice compliment from a sweet young girl in Winners. I was wearing the black/white check shirt and she came up to me and said "I love the shirt you're wearing". Not often a 60 something gets a compliment from  a teenager!!

My son and his family are arriving today for  a two week visit so I'll not have time for blogging or
sewing. Nana will be very occupied with her little  Riley and Poppy.

 I wanted to show you two more pieces that fit the black /white. red theme.

The first one is McCalls 6822 (OOP)

   .This is strictly an around the house top and because it is loose and made from a very lightweight cotton knit from Mood.com is very cool to wear on a hot summer day.

I had read on PR that the shoulders would fall off because of the neckline being wide  in the front and  low in the back. I didn't alter the neckline. I simply added a band across the back neckline , sewed down the overlap and that works for me.

The colours are red and grey and so it  matches  perfectly with my grey skinny jeans made last summer

The last top is a colour block top and  the pattern is V8856, View C .

The fabric is the left over cotton lycra knit from other projects with plain red and black poly lycra for the contrast sections.  ( I know I'm asking for trouble mixing cotton and poly , but we'll see how that works for me ).

I left off the sleeves and added neck and armhole bands for a pop of red.

I left out the inverted triangle from the bottom of the back. I don't need attention brought to my bottom at my age, LOL !

Here I'm showing it with slim yoga pant, palazzo yoga pant and skinny jeans and I think this top works with all tree bottoms.

I'll be checking all my favorite blogs while my company is here but I won't be sewing or posting.

Happy Sewing and see you in a couple of weeks!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Story in Black and White ( With a Little Red Thrown In )

I send out big hugs to all of you who left such sweet messages of sympathy for the loss of my friend. Your kindness is truly comforting.The shock has started to wear off but it is still awfully hard to believe it can be true. But dear sewing friends, during that first week of trying to come to terms with the loss of my friend, sewing really helped soothe me as it has through any bad times I've ever lived through..be it divorce, children troubles, my mum's Alzheimer's and everything in between, Sewing has always been my comfort. We are all  so blessed to have this wonderful craft as our  hobby. I truly don`t know how I would ever cope with life`s hurdles without it.

During our week-long power outage, I did manage to cut out four items, all black and white. I have  them finished. All quick sews, they are all casual wear because ,for the most part, I do sew for my lifestyle.

The first is a classic T-shirt dress using V8793 by Katherine Tilton  but of course  I lengthened it .

I was intending to use this collar but it ended up being too heavy so it will keep for a heavier weight version.

Instead I cut neck and arm bands using a red stripe Thrift Store top I had bought for just such a purpose.

The dress fabric is a cotton lycra bought at Mood's online store.
This is a very comfy dress that I already love having in my closet! I left it quite loose fitting on purpose but I can add a belt to bring it closer to the body..

Next, I made this short sleeved shirt using S2339

I was inspired by an outfit at Coldwater Creek  ( I miss them already !! )

This is an Amazing Fit pattern . I cut the bodice front using the C Cup piece because I've used this before using the D cup piece and it was too big. I wear a DD bra so I'm not sure why  the C is better for me ??? In any case , I love the fit and will be using this pattern again for sure.

The fabric is cotton but not gingham. The check is woven in however and has just the right amount of body for a shirt.

Nothing much to say about the construction. I love a collar on a band and used this method outlined at Diana's Sewing Lessons.

The third piece is V8792, View B which I've always wanted to try.
I had fun changing it up a bit by adding a band at the hem as well as sleeve bands.

Isn't it cool ! It's also very comfortable to wear and goes well with the grey skinny jeans, last summer's palazzo pants,as well as with my Silhouette Yoga pants which I tapered to form a "skinny " black  version. The fabric is scuba knit from Fabricville which I imagine is make-believe neoprene. Whatever!I love this fabric and have made two other pairs of yoga pants this summer. No pilling unlike the ponte knit of last summer's multi pairs of yoga pants.

Well DH is calling me to watch Episode 16 of Season 5 of West Wing on Netflix. Oh my! We are so addicted to Netflix!!

I have a couple more things to show you but they will keep for another time.

Happy Sewing from

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Sandra Betzina Dress

I've been absent from blogging for a while now. Two weeks ago, I lost a dear friend to a freak accident . It's been hard to continue with life's daily routine when  you've lost someone so dear to you.I don't have a lot of good friends but Beverley was one of the ones I do have. It's really hard to believe she's gone. I'll always miss her.

The past week has been especially trying because the province of New Brunswick was hit hard by Hurricane Arthur last Saturday. No lives lost but many, many trees uprooted and the loss of electricity and telephone service for many of us. Ours was finally restored last night . Thank God for NB Power and Quebec Hydro who came to our rescue.

I've had this dress made for a while now at the request of my sewing ladies who asked if it could be their summer project. They often look through my patterns and this Sandra Betzina pattern ,V1101, now out of print, really appealed to them. My version was the test to see if I thought they could handle it.

If anyone has this pattern and would like to join our Sew Along, I've documented the steps and will soon publish a series of posts of the various steps on Diana's Sewing Lessons.

Here is my version.

The two tone chevron effect was quite accidental. My fabric is a two tone linen, thus when I chenilled it, each side highlighted one of the two colours of the weave. I used white linen for the facing which shows behind the chenille work.

The back area is also suppose to be chenilled. Well this chenilling business was a lot of work and I soon decided that I would only do a few rows at the back. I'm satisfied with that. Actually, you wouldn't have to do any at all.

There was a lovely white fringed selvedge on one side of the fabric and a blue one on the other. I turned up a narrow hem on the dress and then zigzagged the selvedge to that. I love this little extra touch of white.

As for the pockets, I've used this style several times before and have a tutorial here. I omitted the zippers because I didn't have any on hand and thought that I'd prefer them open. Now I wish I had added them.

When I tried on the dress after basting the side seams , I thought there was too much fabric at the hips and it wasn't flattering. So I took away some of the fullness. I started at the hips , drew a new cutting line and finished by taking off  a wedge that was about 2" by the bottom of the skirt.

That worked nicely and is much more flattering.

This is how I will wear this dress to church

The photos give me a heavier look but in person,the dress doesn't add the pounds but is flattering ,I think.
This is the perfect summer dress to wear on those hot ,humid days of July.(like today )
For those of you who love the bias cut and who love linen, you would love this pattern.

Happy Summer Sewing to All !

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Marci Tilton Jacket and a Marfy Top

First, I want to thank you for the great comments you left about my last outfit. They are very appreciated! I wore the two pieces together to church today and got some very nice compliments.
An added plus is that both the dress and the jacket are very comfortable and fit very well. Don't you love it when you achieve a great fit!

Today I have my first Marfy garment ever ,albeit an easy pattern to sew, and the Marci Tilton shirt/ jacket ,V8982, promised last week. I'll start with the latter.


The fabric is a 50% linen /50% polyester that looks like denim and has a wonderful drape.I think it was ideal for this pattern.

This was not complicated to make. I made a size 12 but did an FBA and added a bust dart.  I also did a Narrow Shoulder Adjustment of 1/2"and I could have taken off at least another 1/2".

I changed the little slit at the cuff of the sleeve from the seam line to the front of the sleeve. I then added a button above the slit, just because.

 I used four buttons instead of three because I thought that was a better look for the size of my buttons.

I top stitched everywhere using a double needle with one white and one red thread. I didn't use top stitching thread though so it doesn't show up as much as I'd like.

I really like the neckline and the back section that extends to the front and sort of dips down.

The fit is quite loose as stated on the pattern envelope but the picture on the front makes it out to be at least semi fitted. I need to trust the description and not the photo on patterns. I know they must pin away excess fabric for photos. I could make this easily into a double breasted garment. For this pattern I wouldn't have needed the FBA. I placed the buttons 2" from the outside and that makes it fit better.

I consider this  a shirt rather than a jacket. Next time, I want to use a heavier material and make it into a jacket. I'll also try to figure out how to make it a little more fitted. Oh and the sleeves were quite long and I'll have to wear them folded back!

I recently purchased the 2014 Marfy catalogue which comes with free shipping and 20 free patterns! I'm in love with many of the designs. The free ones include some pretty cute things as well. I decided to try this tunic out for size.

I usually cut a size 12 with a little extra at the sides for the Big Four pattern companies. For Marfy I decided to cut size 46 even though my measurements are closer to size 44. I was afraid these patterns might run small but at least this one didn't and I had to take in the side seams.

This was a very simple sew. I omitted the crescent trim over the bust but I otherwise made it like the picture. I did add a band to the sleeves because I wanted to repeat the border print. They wanted to stick out so I added little darts and that fixed the issue.I also added a neckband highlighting  half circles as an extra design element. Pretty cute ,huh?

The fabric is a cotton /spandex bought in Montreal last fall . It feels so light and wonderful against the skin! I love it! Worn here with my new slim pants made using the Silhouette Patterns Yoga pant which I tapered below the knee. I love these!

This would make the best summer nightie and I intend to make at least one before too long.
As far as a top,  for me it doesn't do a thing. I wear it belted and blossomed so it wasn't wasted fabric and it will be comfortable on a hot muggy day this summer, but loose... I don't think so!

I hope you had a great time sewing this week. Next week I'll show you a couple more tops that I'm adding to my everyday wardrobe because I'm ever aware that I need to sew for my real life and not an imaginary one !!!

More later from