Friday, January 20, 2017

Bottled Rainbows

I can't remember where I first saw this quilt, but I knew I had to make one!  It was designed by Stitched in Colour and the details are here, on her blog.

I like the idea of bordering the blocks with plain fabric and then filling in the centre with scraps that match.  This design is an applique one known as 'ticker tape' and the blocks are created in a 'quilt as you go' technique.  Looks like fun!

Here are my fabrics for the borders, which will then influence the fabrics used for the ticker tape.

I used the recommended Kona Cottons as follows:

Top Row: Violet, Berry, Marine, Pacific
2nd Row: Camellia, Cerise, Everglade, Bahama Blue
3rd Row: Pomegranate, Kumquat, Avocado, Grass Green
Bottom Row: Rich Red, Orange, Canary, Cactus

I have started going through my scraps, matching them up to the colours . . 

It looks like I will start with the Bahama Blue as I have quite a few scraps in that colour - perhaps this will become my 'block of the month' and will be completed for Christmas - watch this space!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TG 12 Days

Further to Dawn's request to see the '12 Days of Christmas' that was posted on Facebook - here you go!  I copied and pasted text from FB and I think the font etc is different to what I usually use, but I think this works:

Day 1: grey jersey cardi (Simplicity 2154), grey linen sleeveless top (Seamingly Smitten Draped Tank. This is a bit like the KL Pinwheel Slips), tartan undershirt (started with Kwik Sew 2766 and added a skirt) and jeans 'Tina Givens style' (Oprah).

Ok, I'm cheating a little here as I have been in my PJ's all day tracing patterns and cutting out! Here is a pic from October, and is one of my favourite combos - McCalls 6168 cardi (cotton/Lycra mix), TG Jacqueline slip (muddy linen/rayon mix. Due to complete laziness this has been cut out symmetrically with the two points at the sides being equal), and grey Peg Leg leggings (cotton/Lycra fabric). All worn with black ankle (ish) boots and a bright, cheery scarf.

So, its a bit windy outside - but here you go on Day 3: more TG Oprah jeans, another McCalls cardi (I have a few of these!), an undershirt I made last night with a printed plaid cotton skirt, scarf from Gap, gardening shoes. 

Day 4: This is what I wore to go fabric shopping today (picked up some lovely denim for 70% off - it is currently in the washing machine . . . . . ) Simplicity 2154 Cardigan in purple cotton jersey, black (sleeveless) Holly tunic (this may be my new favourite!), undershirt with silver/grey lace (and an organza ribbon trim to stop it fraying!), black TG Oprah jeans. Worn with black boots. Also grey/black scarf from GAP and a 'me-made' TG inspired necklace - leather strap with freshwater pearls. I had to overexpose the photos so you can see the details.

Another PJ day, so here is a favourite outfit. The cardi is off the same McCalls pattern used previously but a different view, TG Jacqueline slip in cream linen, TG Patricia skirt (with elasticated hem) in check fabric. black pull-on boots.

Day 6: Playing dress up as I will be at my sewing machine all day today! New TG Oprah jeans with a flower patch, undershirt with animal print stretch lace on the hem, draped top with black wool trim (fabric was only 45" wide!), scarf and glass pearls necklace. I'll wear this with a black or grey cardi.

Day 7: and it has just started snowing again. Black McCalls cotton jersey cardi, black/white top, cream & lace undershirt (made from a jersey bedsheet that doesn't fit the bed😉), TG Oprah jeans, gardening clogs (usually would wear black boots!)

Day 8: and still it snows . . . ! Who am I kidding? I love the snow! So for New Years Day I present to you TG Jeans (rolled up to show my hand knit socks), black linen Briare with a ruffle down the front, brick red cotton/Lycra McCalls cardi, rayon jersey Infiniti scarf. 

Day 9: brown linen Cara, Oprah jeans, Simplicity 2154 cardi, necklace made from some of my Mums beads.

Day 10: Back to work today, so bathroom selfie I'm afraid! Grey McCalls cardi, blue TG Jacqueline tunic (cut symmetrically with the longer sides), TG Oprah jeans, black boots, me made lapis lazuli necklace and cheery scarf!

Day 11: washroom selfie 😀 TG Oprah jeans (I know I sound like a one trick pony, but I do have a few pairs - and these ones have a cute patch on the back!), black linen Cara with ruffles down the front, purple cotton/jersey cardi (Simplicity 2154), black boots, me made necklace.

And day 12 is here.

Phew, that was a bit of work to get all of these photographed and posted on FB, but it was rather fun!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Not So Plain Jane

I recently joined a Facebook group that sews and celebrates the work of Cheri Payne.  I love the homespun/primitive aspect of her work, and as I looked through I saw a pattern called Plain Jane.  It is quite simple - a pieced background made out of neutral fabrics, some applique and embellishments, and you end up with a very cute wall hanging (the pattern is free if your join the FB group).  I thought that it would make a great memorial for my very beautiful sister Detsie passed away unexpectedly in 2005 and her death is something that I continue to struggle with.  Whenever I see something that references sisters, my eyes tend to leak a little, and I am always on the look out for something to make as a memorial to her.  Perfect.

So let me tell you a little about my 'not so Plain Jane'!

She has curly red hair - just like my sister.  I had straight brown hair and Detsie and I always wanted to swap and have each others hair!!  There are three shell buttons on the strip of lace across the top, representing my brother, Detsie and I, the three children.  There are 36 kisses, one for each year of her life as well as quite oa bit of stitching that I did in neutral thread which doesn't really show up on the photos.

There is a flower (you can see part of it against her dress)

and two hearts - one for each of her children,

A star next to her face and another kiss over her heart.

I found this strangely cathartic, and just need somewhere to hand it.  I really enjoyed the handsewing and embellishment and am now planning one for my mother who was a dressmaker - the motifs for that will be fun.

I think Detsie would have like this.  She would probably want to know where the representations of her beloved dogs, motorbike, books, earrings, etc, etc, etc, were.  But yes, I think she would have like this.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tartan Daffodil

Now there is a great name for a band!  For me it is the latest Tina Given slip that I have made, so let me tell you about it. . . . .

Daffodil had previously passed me by, but when I saw the line drawings - a slip with a hankerchief hem - I thought that it would work for me.  Pair that with some lovely tartan rayon that I had to hand, and I knew that my next project was good to go!  The fabric is very soft and silky with a great drape.  It does not cling - either to me or other fabric/clothes, so will (hopefully) work really well.

The original pattern has two pieces making up the front (and back) as well as having sleeves.  I thought that it would work well as a one piece front (and back) and without sleeves.

I prefer to to wear a cardi over my slip, so sleeves are really not necessary to me.  Having made my changes, this is what I ended up with:

And I love it!  I actually made it too long, so I folded it up 3" which was one check, and you can just about see that around the dropped waistline level - I like to think of this as a design feature!!

I also found that as my fabric was 45" wide, I had to add a band on each side of the hankerchief skirt to compensate for the lack of width.  In my head I devised lots of different ways to hide the seam - a bias binding strip, black ribbon trim, etc., but in the end, the seam was barely noticeable (I actually had forgotten about it), so I left it as it was.  I bound the arms, neckline and hem with single fold bias binding, and OMG - check out how centralised it was on the centre front.  Totally a fluke, but I'll take it!!

I added a single bias cut patch pocket with a bit of black lace as trim.  Oh boy.  Rayon fabric that has a lovely silky drape does not play nice on the bias.  Hence just the one pocket!!!!

Of course, I added a patch centre upper back (the inside one has my label on it) and I used a scrap of lace (leftover from when I made a bra, see the second one down, here)

And here it is all dolled up.  I took part in a '12 Days of Christmas' pledge wearing Tina Givens designs, and as I was at work on the day I wore this outfit, a bathroom selfie will have to suffice!  I am wearing it here with a pinstriped Patricia skirt (which it appears I haven't previously blogged about) and a black jersey/Lycra McCalls 6168 cardi.  I LOVE this look, and have some rayon in another tartan to make another.

Tartan Daffodils anyone?

Edit:  Further to Lisa's question about having to add side panels, this is what I meant:

The solid vertical black lines are the edges of the fabric with the fold being on the right.  The pattern piece extends outside of the fabric (the dotted line on the left) so I had to cut that piece separately (actually there were four additional pieces, front and back, left and right extension pieces) and then attach them to the main body of the slip.

And now you can see why I sew and I'm not an illustrator!!!  I hope that helps.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Sewing

By the time this post is let loose on the world, the Christmas sewing that I have completed will have been gifted, and I will be settling down after Christmas dinner with my husband and father, a G&T in my hand and some new sewing books to pore over (please Santa!)  A small but enjoyable gathering and I trust that your day will have been just as enjoyable.

Time to share some projects!

When we were in Canmore in October we passed a small shop that had some lovely flannel nightshirts on display.  Mr. SDSC said at the time that he would like a nightshirt and so I was on a mission.  I used Simplicity 2317, which features regular PJ's, a jersey vest and shorts, as well as a nightshirt.  My local fabric chain was selling some lovely Canadiana flannel at a great price - so I was good to go!  I used the XL size which will be on the large side - but I suspect that this will also be worn as a dressing gown.  I made a couple of changes to the pattern/construction:
  • lengthened it by about 5", Mr. SDSC is 6ft tall
  • no piping.  Just because.
  • serged the collar to the neckline.  I like to top and edge stitch the seams, rather like a faux flat felted seam (I actually have seen it called a welt seam)
  • plastic 'poppers' instead of buttons
  • pockets added to the side seams - who wouldn't want pockets in the side seams?
  • hand-stitched the facings down.  I know that this will not be ironed, and there is nothing worse than 'flappy facings', so it took an hour or so to sew the facings down and I am pleased that I did that.

It is hard to make it look good on my dress-form - but you get the idea!

I know that the closures don't look perfectly spaced at the top - I just wanted there to be a couple of options of how high the neckline could be.

I know it is a little bit vain, but I do enjoy adding a label.  I have found that the folks that I do make things for tend to look for the labels and appear to be a little disappointed if I have failed to include one :)

Next up was a pair of socks for Mr. SDSC.  Nothing special about them other than the yarn is rather fabulous.  It is self-striping from Regia and this is the second pair that I have made using this yarn.  It is fab!

Oh no, what is that I can see in the grey stripe?  Yep, a dropped stitch.  Dangnabbit.  Oh well, It is all tidied up now!

My father is quite hard to make/shop for, but when I was at a quilting fair this year I saw a remembrance quilt by a Canadian designer called Corinne Hewitt which I thought he would appreciate, so I bought a kit called 'Lest We Forget'.   Again I made a couple of changes - left out the lettering (I think that it is rather poignant without the lettering), changed the headwear of the soldier to look more British (my father is a retired British Army Officer).  I used the profile of a WW1 memorial in Wales for reference (scroll down the link until you get to the profile photo at the bottom), and am rather pleased with how it came out:

The three poppies in the field (bottom right) are small, red buttons.  The four poppies in the corners are made up of two layers of poppy petals and a black button in the middle.  I kept the Canadian flag as my father is very proud of now being a Canadian citizen and this is a lovely marriage of the two Countries.  I have added a sleeve to the back so that he can hand it if he likes - it is 25" x 36".  Oh, and this photo was taken two or three days ago - as you can see, a nice dry deck.  Would you like to see what my garden looks like now?

Winter has arrived!  I'm not too sure how excited the dogs are, but I am looking forward to a white Christmas!

Each Winter I plan to make some table runners and never seem to get round to it - but this year, I did.  Both are free patterns:

Ah yes, just look at that lovely, fresh snow.  The light at this time of year can be pretty dull and it therefore hard to get good photos, but this works!  This is a really quick and easy project and I used up some of my Mum's quilting fabric which I enjoyed doing,  I kept the borders very plain - I rather like the modern esthetic of a skinny binding, and that is it.

There are a few different ways to finish off this topper - I chose to use pinwheels and to go 'scrappy' using red and green fabric although not necessarily Christmas fabrics.  I love this!

The white flecks on the photos are falling snow - it was snowing when I took the photos!

Unfortunately I didn't get chance to sew any Christmas clothing - but I am still off work for another 9 days so I am sure that that will change!  Do you have any Christmas sewing that you'd like to share?

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Restyling Patricia

Over the last few months I have made a few Patricia Skirts (Tina Givens - who else?!).  The pattern is for a dropped yoke with a gathered skirt attached and then the hem is pulled in and sewn to a band.  It has a very funky balloon or pegged (thank-you Lorie for the description!) look.

So far, so good.  Well, not really.  The skirts have been sitting in the back of my wardrobe - feeling a little unloved, so I set about determining what the issue is and fixing it.

It turns out that there are two issues - one is that I clearly walk like an Amazon with big ground-covering strides, and the hem band is rather restrictive.  I found this especially so when getting in and out of the car, stepping over lounging dogs - you get the picture!  Also, the skirt has no pockets.  Well, my version doesn't.  I changed the pattern a little to make the yoke one piece with an elasticated waist, so no side seams.  One of the joys of making my own clothes is to add pockets, usually inseam.  To everything. Well. Almost!

To fix the first issue, I made a couple of the skirts with an elasticated hemline - thereby keeping the shape of the skirt, and yet making it more 'walkable'.

This is a lovely Royal Stewart Tartan in brushed cotton and is lovely to wear.

In order for this to work - I need to have gathered the bottom skirt onto the yoke.  However, what about the skirts that I had pleated onto the yoke?  I find this a lot quicker and easier than gathering, so I needed another solution.  I noticed that another designer, Krista Larson has a similar RTW design with an unrestricted hemline - so that was the way to go. I cut off the original hem treatment and a simple single fold bias binding attached with a triple stitch zigzig was all that was needed:

This is the first skirt that I changed, and as I did not have any of the chocolate linen/rayon, I dug around and found some co-ordinating linen with a stripe pattern.  The hem looked a little strange being in a different colour, but when a scrap was added down the side over part of the ruffle, and a patch pocket was sewn to the yoke it looked much better - and solved my second issue!

Sorry about the colour variation, the middle of these three photos is closest to the correct colours.  I had to piece the pocket together, but I think it looks rather good.  It is 6" wide and this is about 6-7" in depth - enough for some lip salve, a tissue etc!  And it is double thickness with some interfacing ironed on near the top.

And then I did some other skirts . . . . 

This is a lovely 100% wool with browns/dusky pink/greys that I got for a steal from Fabric Mart or a few years ago before the Canadian Dollar tanked against the US Dollar.  Is is very soft and washes well.  I cut this pocket on the bias, and left the seam that made this double layered on the front so that it can gently fray.  My 'design feature'!  The other bonus with this skirt was that the hemline was quite bulky before and wasn't quite 'right'.  But now - it is lighter, and to my mind, more attractive!

I also updated a plain black 'Patricia' with a strip of lace along the ruffle and on the pocket - you will need to use your imagination for that one though as the photos came out terribly.  And finally, the Royal Stewart skirt has this pocket:

Again, cut on the bias with a scrap of lace 'just for fun'!

Due to the type of tops I wear with my skirts, the pockets will likely be covered, but just knowing that they are there makes me smile.

I am really pleased with this simple makeover.  My skirts are now a lot more wearable and still retain the boho/Lagenlook style that I love. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Undershirts - Hits and a Miss or Two

I mentioned a short while ago about shirt extenders - or undershirts as I like to call them.  Made from cotton jersey on top with a lace trim that hangs down beneath a top or cardi.  And I love them so I made some more . . . . want to see?

White cotton/spandex jersey with a rayon print trim.  Yep, regular fabric works just as well as lace.  I made the skirt 3" longer on most of these.

Grey cotton/spandex jersey with a brown checked fabric.  I also used some pink trim on the arm and neckline.

A 'tartan' check on grey jersey with a little bow on the neckline (shorter skirt).

Apparently this is Royal Stewart tartan.  I think that it looks very dramatic and I have matched it here with black cotton/spandex jersey and black arm and neckline trim.

Charcoal cotton/lycra jersey, charcoal lace and an organza ribbon trim.  For this version I used different lace and it frayed a bit so I edged the bottom with black organza ribbon, folded it up and sewed it to the right side.  Done.

And sometimes I add a lovely little patch on the back:

Please excuse the Merchant and Mills type photography.  The weather is pretty cold right now, and I didn't fancy lots of costume changes!  I think that you can see the details a bit better as well when the undershirts are flat.

Well - how do they look as part of garments?  Let me show you :)

Here is the Royal Stewart version with a charcoal grey McCalls 6168.  I would wear this with black Peg Legs or some Tina Givens jeans.

And it works equally well with the cardi open, a pretty necklace and a scarf.

This time a burgundy cardi and my undershirt is under a light grey linen drapey top.  Pearls and a short infinity cowl made from rayon fabric and done!

I think I will be wearing these two outfits to work next week.  I remember that Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic used to plan out a week's worth of garments including accessories (I can't find the posts now) and they were very inspirational, and such a great idea.  No pondering what to wear in the mornings.  Bonus!

So, what were the misses?  Well, with one version I used some different black lace that I think had lycra or spandex in it.

Can you see all those little threads?  I think that they are the spandex/lycra/elastane/whatever and washing and wearing had made them degenerate.  That's a shame, but I'll take this lace off and add something else so not all is lost.

Here is the other one:

It is a little hard to capture in a photograph but the neck trim doesn't lay flat (this is one of my pet peeves).  It is a matter of lovely trim, wrong application.  It looks great on the neckline of a bra, but does not have the stretch for this jersey.  Oh well.  I'll cut this off too and add a different trim and this will work too!

I'd like to think that I am 'undershirted out', but let's be realistic - that's not going to happen!