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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Animal Print Raincoat for Tamara

Tamara has been having a very busy and stressful few weeks at work and I thought she needed a little surprise.I had an animal print, water proof fabric in my stash that I knew would be a winner with my DD, I agonized as to whether I should make her a long coat or a more sporty jacket. Well, knowing Tamara ,who is a girly kind of gal, I decided on a long coat so she would be well covered in a downpour on her way to work.

I wanted this to be an easy sew and chose a pattern that didn't have too many seams. Few seams or not, this little number took me the better part of four days to produce!!

I used a pattern copied from Burda Style ( issue 01/09 ) which I used for this jacket.

Well, actually, I only used the front minus the band, the back and the sleeves and somehow they morphed into this coat.

.Now you may be able to guess what took all the time. Yes, the pockets and flaps and the collar made out of faux leather. Pretty cool huh?

In the 70's, I had a jumpsuit that had this style of pocket flaps and I've long wanted to use this design on something. As for the pockets, they are actually double pockets with one sewn over the other. Why , you might ask? Well, I don't know why. I just did!

I find it hard to judge where to place the belt carriers on a garment when the person is 1000 miles away so I sewed three to the back. When I next go to Ottawa, I'll redistribute them if necessary.

As for the orange polka dot lining, it was in my stash so I used it but man was it hard to work with these two slippery fabrics together. Another time, I'd line with a light cotton or silk/cotton. Whoops!. No pic!

No pic of Tam wearing her coat yet but she was delighted with her surprise. It was waiting for her after a week of exhausting work travel . It was definitely worth all the angst I experienced sewing it to hear how much she loves it !

Next, I'm making a long white  lace  dress for my oldest grand-daughter's graduation (it's not her prom dress). Only yesterday, my darling Jessie looked like this while helping me take pictures for my blog when I first started blogging in 2008. How quickly she has grown up!!!! And she has been accepted into the performing arts program at the University of British Columbia ! All the way across the country! I can't bear to even think about it!


Thank you for stopping by! More later from

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sewing Friends are so Special

About five years ago, I decided to try to organize a sewing group to meet at our community hall which had just been renovated. Right from the start, I knew it was something that was needed and appreciated by the ladies who decided to join. It was to become a Winter Sewing Group to help pass those cold snowy days of January to March .

There have been some who have come and gone but most of this year's group have been with me since the beginning . I was a little hesitant to start this January because of the death of my friend Bev last summer in a freak accident. I knew she would be missed and I worried that it would be just too sad without her. In addition, my teacher friend Susan wasn't going to be there to help me as she was travelling all winter.  To my surprise, everyone seemed to get closer than before and of course, all were patient in waiting there turn for help. As well , the ladies helped each other whenever they could.

Here is a group picture taken at my house this past week when we got together for a meal .Most of the ladies are wearing something they've made during our sewing sessions.

Through the years, I've introduced many projects to my sewing friends; the infinity scarf, my own version of the turbie twist, ponchos, wraps, cardis, a topper developed from a favorite Vogue pattern  8605 , Silhouette Patterns" yoga pant from which I've drafted many personal copies  after taking careful measurements.and probably other things as well

Alexa brought many of the items sewn  during the five years.Here are a few.

Marion, who is a quilter, also loves to sew for her little grand-daughters and she and I are both very happy with her yoga pants because they fit her perfectly.

Jeannette and Linda are sisters and they like to sew things they can't find in  stores .


Ruth and Jeananne are also sisters and are very happy with this years projects. Ruth is proud of the fact that she managed to make her own bias tape for the Christmas apron she made

Who could resist taking a pick of the black and white Butterick cardigans that Alexa and Jeannette made. Joyce, like a few of the other women,  is wearing one of the infinity scarves which were a great hit this winter for the second time around.


We ended our sewing session with a wonderful afternoon, a nice meal of Chinese food which Ruth generously provided, wine,  desserts, a photo session and much good will. Winter is over and spring has arrived and we'll each go on to do our own thing knowing that winter will come again and we have Sewing Group to look forward to again next year! And I have to say that I really enjoyed our sewing time together, ladies!

Happy Sewing to all of you.
More later from

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Vogue 8757 + McCall's 5590 = A Retired Lady's Suit

It's late to be showing a winter outfit but I've had this made for a while now. Originally, I was going to make just a jacket out of this faux snake print and faux leather combo but Vogue 8757 called to me from the shelf one day and I had to try it. I later added the skirt to make a suit to attend Swan Lake with my sister Pauline.
For the skirt, I used my TNT pattern for a pencil skirt, McCall's 5590

The faux leather was not top notch quality and gave me no end of trouble with puckered seams .I should have interfaced it (and I may yet buy more fabric and take the jacket apart to do that. !!!) I used my walking foot and that was fine but still,  less than perfect garments resulted. wearable but not perfect.On the other hand the faux snake leather was a dream to work with and has a nice firm hand

Don't you love the collar. I cut off 1" from the depth  of the collar to get this look.

The pattern calls for knit sleeves and as I was not using a knit, I changed up the armscye and the sleeve by copying them from another jacket pattern. I don't love the sleeves and had to open up the lining and go back in and reshape them. Better , but again not perfect. I actually took the sleeves out and resewed them in to get rid of those awful pull lines.

For closures, I used large brass snaps.

As you see, I cut up the skirt pattern to form  princess seams so it would match up with the jacket.

A peek at the lace trimmed lining. Pretty, isn't it?

Here is the jacket worn with the new brown jeans I just finished. I was on my way to have a root canal in this photo ! (Yuck! ) One of my snaps isn't done up. That's why the jacket isn't hanging right.

For dressy casual...

And here is how I've worn it it  to go to church.


Well, that's it for winter sewing. I'm happily cutting out and sewing some spring pieces. A dark navy raw silk topper is in the works !

Thanks for stopping by to take a look. I really hope you all had time to sew this weekend.

More later from