Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Foxy Dress

This will be a brief post. I spent a good part of the day at the dump in the heat and I'm a little knackered ( a British term, but I love it!)
I finished this dress Thursday morning. It's been in the works a few weeks (?months) and I am glad to be able to now wear it.
I have very few pictures of me wearing the dress -the city is enduring a serious mosquito infestation and the less time spent standing still the better. Cue the sour face.


I originally cut it out during Sew Dolly Clacket. It is a mash-up of two vintage patterns. The neckline and skirt of Style 4980 and the under-bus gathering of Style 4892. I raised the neckline an inch or so or it would not have been at all work appropriate.

The fabric- Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 Picture Pie Fox quilting cotton. The first time I saw a picture of the fabric the back ground looked more gun-metal gray and I think it would have looked better with a slightly darker background. Nonetheless, I still think it is pretty cute.

I lined the bodice in beige cotton- the same stuff I've used to line my last few dresses.

I made no attempts at pattern matching but still one fox is almost perfectly aligned on the front center.


A cool and comfortable summer make. Given its name it should qualify for Oonapalooza but its still a little tame for that. Maybe I could consider it part of Heather's Sundress Sew-A-Long?
Now I really need should work on some tops.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sewing Smalls

 Comfy knickers -every woman's quest. The underwear I bought after my surgery last summer (because the underwear I had before my surgery rubbed the top of my scar) is starting to wear out. While those knickers were ok, they were not the best and I can't see the point of replacing them with a similar, sub-optimal store-boughts.
The underwear pictured below are at least 10 years old and are...ok... too, but better than the latest purchase. I figured I would copy these ones.
Initially I was going to trace them, but then The Geek happened by. Why don't you use scan them she enquired? I must have looked puzzled (something that happens frequently when The Geek flexes her powerful brain). She explained that I would take a picture and use CorelDraw to make a pattern. Lead on, MacDuff.

Picture were taken of all three sections (tho' I forgot to get ones with the ruler she placed on each piece for sizing reference).

 She then freehand traced around each picture and smoothed it out with the software. The half she traced was then cloned and flipped, and then the picture was removed to leave only the 'pattern'.

The pattern was duly printed out on to letter-sized paper, taped together and then cut out. I cut out two sets? pairs? last night out of some interlock I picked up at an estate sale. Judging by how it reacted to the iron I suspect it is a poly-cotton blend, but it works for a muslin.
 I stitched  up this morning. It likely would have taken about 20 minutes had I not broken a needle in the serger, and then run out of looper thread.

I'm sold. These actually fit better than the originals.
 I have some bamboo interlock destined for more. And tons of scraps to use up!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

It has been a miserable, wet, windy day; we have yet to reach our forecast high of 17. I have only been out of the house briefly whereas on most Canada Days I am out all day enjoying the festivities somewhere.

I have a very cheerful song tho', co-written by Chris Hadfield, arguably one of our most famous Canadians, and his brother.

Enjoy what ever you are doing today; one of the benefits of living in this grand country.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Renfrew-Kimono Tee

 May proved I have very few made-by-me tops. And very few print tops.

I tried the Kristen kimono tee and liked its  quick, easy construction. And because I put in a back seam, it took about 0.75 m of fabric. Hmmm

I also like the renfrew tee. So I combined the two. You can see the extra width thru' the hips on my mash up below.

I ordered two one-meter pieces of Laguna knit from Hawthorne Threads. They are very nice knits and I've read they wear well.
So I now have the Pinwheel tee and the Cochlea tee.  Bonus: I figued out what I was doing wrong with the Renfrew neck binding- hooray!
I hope to move on to the Balcarra blouse this weekend.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Last Half of May

This is going to be a long post. Feel free to simply look at the pictures or bail altogether; I won't be offended.

May 14. 0 degrees.  Black stretch denim Vogue 1247 (unblogged 'cuz I already have a couple)  and my orange renfrew.

May 15 It's even colder at -5. What kind of lunacy is this?!? Hence my being dressed for winter in OOP Vogue 2339 made in about 1998 and a thrifted skirt.

May 16; Friday again. Jeans and a wool t-shirt with a thrifted corduroy 'jean' jacket and scarf.
 May 17; A slightly warmer Saturday in the Simplicity 2444 Crayon Dress.
 May 17 -no photo of my yard-work wear.

May 18 -I'm on vacation and on my way to the farm to visit my parents. Jeans and (unblogged) Kristen kimono tee. I need to do a slight FBA when I make this again. I was too lazy to add a seam allowance so I just cut a size bigger and sewed with a narrow seam allowance.
 May 19 & 20. At the farm wearing 30 year old farm clothes consisting of surplus Canadian Armed Forces work dress trousers and a sweatshirt my cousin gave me.

May 21; still on vacation and going to the retirement party of my office partner. It's still a little chilly so I have on a thrifted wool sweater, wool t-shirt and a Hollyburn made from Ikea decor fabric. I cut this out months ago but only completed it that day. The Geek told me it looked like a chesterfield cover (which it may well do) but my co-workers found it to be a very happy print.
 May 22; Thursday: Sewaholic Cambie in raindrops. A lovely day and I'm going for a massage. Vacation luxury. I also ran some errands, one of them a stop at Artsjunktion where I picked up a couple of vintage patterns. Lucky me!

May 23 Friday! but I'm on vacation anyway!! I spent the afternoon with my three year-old nephew playing in the puddles. I forgot to take a picture, but I am wearing the red Kristen kimono tee with a pair of old purchased shorts.

May 24 & 25. Yard clothes. I didn't go anywhere but a greenhouse and I got my garden in before it rained.

May 26; Back to work Monday. McCalls 6708 sweater, Kristen kimono tee (eek! a twin-set), and the Ikea-print Hollyburn. It is much easier to dress in top-to-bottom me-mades when it is warmer. I'm glad I can bike to work -it's so much faster than driving. And isn't my rhubarb huge?
 May 27; Raindrop Cambie. And sandals -the weather is heating up!
 May 28; Shorts than once were trousers and McCalls 6708 muslin.
 May 29; Sailing vacation dress. The temperature, with the humidex, was 38 degrees.  Tons o'kilometers put on the bike today so I was both relieved and vexed that we had a strong wind. We have magically jumped into summer.
 May 30. I forgot to take a picture but I was wearing my denim Hollyburn with a white t-shirt with red earrings and red sandals. My new work partner, Shamrock, was dressed the same. We wanted to see how many of our colleagues would notice. They failed miserabley; only five of about 35 people made the connection. Good thing they aren't undergoing any cognitive assessments themselves.

May 31: Saturday. Grocery shopping and other errands. The Geek cut the grass yesterday but I still have to do the trimming. Wool t-shirt (short-sleeved for a change) and Ikea Hollyburn.
And there we have it.

Still Channelling Dolly Clackett

I had both of theses dresses cut out but ran out of time to sew them before the Dolly Clackett deadline. The first is a sewaholic Cambie with a raindrop pattern. I like it more than I initially thought I would.

The first time I wore I had major gaping, so I added a couple of darts to the neckline near the straps.

 I didn't open the lining, just darted the two layers together. I suspect anyone looking down the front of my dress isn't looking at my sewing techniques anyway. ;D

I'll pinch that out of the centre front pattern piece next time around.  I'll also move the darts closer to the midline; on me they splay a little out to the side.
I didn't use the gathered straps (I'm not a 'gathers' kind of girl) but instead used the strap lining for the inside and outside.

Next time I'll move them a couple of millimeters closer to the middle so my bra strap doesn't show.

I initially thought I wouldn't make this again, but now I am pretty sure I will.

 The second dress is Simplicity 2444 with the Cambie skirt in a seaside print. I had originally thought to go with a sleevless 2444, but I only had three yards of fabric and as I discovered with my crayon dress, three yards is not enough when using a uni-directional print.

It is lined with the same beige cotton as the Cambie
. If I had been more diligent I could have made the darts line up, but one doesn't notice with the print.

Another comfortable, easy to wear dress.
I wore it with the jacket (pre-blog circa 1997) hanging on the door knob -the day started off cool.

The Cambie skirt will definitely be used on its own again. It is the ideal width for cycling and I love the pockets. It was a cool dress to wear in the  33 degrees we had on Thursday and between all the meetings I had that day I put over 40 km on the bicycle.

We may not have had spring this year, but summer has finally arrived.

Apparently I haven't much to say today. I'm usually brief, but this is ridiculous.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I'm Not a Joiner

I have serious committment issues, so I don't join sew-alongs, or contests, or theme months. For me, signing up for something is the kiss of death to any creative endeavours.

 To that end, I didn't join the Sew Dolly Clackett fest. But that didn't stop me from making a dress; in fact, I am making three.
Cambie and Simplicity 2444 & Cambie combo.

I didn't sign up for the Vintage Pattern Pledge either, even tho' I have one dress at the tweaking phase,  another one cut out, and a third in the pipeline.

A mash-up of two vintage Style dresses and a vintage McCalls.

And I am definitely not doing Me-Made May, even tho' I wear me-made or second-hand clothing almost every day of the year. Maybe you have already seen photos of my first two weeks?

Seamless pledge? -yup. An unofficial participant, that's me. I only buy socks, bras, knickers, and my year-round-essential wool t-shirts, but I have a bra pattern and material in the queue, and I am about to take the plunge and make my own smalls.

I wonder what I won't join next?