Sunday, September 20, 2015

Haute Handbags

Gosh, was that Summer over and done?  It certainly was a lovely Summer, but I'm thinking that we have now seen the best of it.  The nights are drawing in, and we have even had to switch the heating on a couple of times.  While I deliberate over what my Autumn sewing will look like (I do have a couple of other Summer Lagelook items to photograph and show you), I saw this magazine on the racks . . . . and I was inspired to play:

And inside I saw this bag (and yes - those are tabs marking a few other bags that I may have a go at making!):

Here it is a bit closer:

There are a few patterns in the magazine - unfortunately this was not one of them, so I made my own, using dimensions from a pretty bag I bought back from Australia a couple of years ago.  I used a couple of bundles of fat squatters that were for sale in my local craft shop.  The fabric was a canvas/denim weight and comprised of white, denim blue and stripe.

Here is my version:

It is probably about 12" square and I lined it with some striped shirt fabric left over from another project.  You can just about make out the internal pockets - there are three or four on each side to keep my odds and ends in so hopefully I won't need to rummage around for things too much!  the outer layer has some fusble fleecy facing attached (the type that I use when I make small bags and pouches).  The hessian and white band  are on the front only and the hessian came on a roll - it is about 6" wide.  I retro-fitted  the magnetic closing.  I wasn't going to have one but the bag gaped open and a closure was required.  Fortunately I turned the bag through the lining at the bottom, so it was easy enough to unpick that seam, add the closure, and then sew it back up again.  I have not trailed the bag yet - I will take it for a spin, and if the dimensions work out, I'll make another in more 'un-summery' colours!

Next week I am off on another bra making class with Bra Makers Supply in Hamilton Ontario, where I will be learning how to make alterations to 'fit every body'  Can't wait!  The ladies at the shop are lovely, so I made a few pouches for them out of some bra patterned fabric . . . .

I have made six in total - I hope they like them!

How is your sewing coming along?  Have you moved into Autumnal sewing yet?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Oh Cara!

It has been a few weeks since I have made anything due to visitors (it was lovely taking them around Calgary and up to the mountains though - so no complaints!) and it was great having time to settle in my sewing room this weekend and get some sewing done.  I had a pair of Phoebe trousers and a Sorbetto top already cut out (sorry Ruth, I do love your Bamtams though and may have to give them a try soon!) - they have patiently been waiting their time to get sewn - in light blue linen/rayon and I also wanted to try the new Tina Givens pattern - Cara.  And this is what I made:

Off White Cara & Blue Phoebe Trousers

It is hard to see in these photos, but the Cara slip has two front and two back pieces so the slip is bisected horizontally between the waist and hip.

(this is the closest that I could get to a line drawing - this is taken from the instructions)

There are four points (two front and two back) and a pocket that is in the front horizontal seam.  I chose to have in-seam pockets in the side-seams and edged the neck, arm and hems with 1.5" raw edged bias binding folded in half.

I found the neckline to be a bit higher than the Jaqueline and the shoulders to be wider, giving more coverage.  I liked that!  This top is pretty wide as it flares out from the underarm.  I think for future versions I may tame this a little.

It does, of course, work really well as a layer and can be seen above with my blue Phoebe trousers (another of the five items made this weekend) and my altered Phoebe jacket (which I have just noticed that I haven't posted about as yet) . . . . not to mention a TG inspired necklace made out of Lapis Lazuli chips.

Finally with this top, the finishing touch was to add a label out of some printed linen, with my label on top.  This is the inside view, and I love it!

White Cara

With this version I chose to add some of the details from the Cara trousers - a pleated triangle insert and triangular patch pockets.

Another label - call me narcissistic, I don't mind!!  The printed fabric is from some Ikea pillowcases.  We buy the 'on sale' bedding and use it to cover the duvets that form the bedding for our greyhounds.  The pillows don't get used, so they were perfect for the labels!

You can just about make out the triangle on front - there is a better pic with the blue top!  Another great, basic slip that will work with lots of trousers and jackets.

Blue Cara

You can see the volume with this version - as much as I love it, I don't think that it looks so good without a jacket.  In seam pockets again, I prefer them to the triangle ones on the white version.

And I ran out of binding.  I thought about hunting around for some leftover blue fabric, finding the diagonal and cutting a strip . . . . and then I saw some pattern binding already cut . . . . so I used that!  I don't think that it looks too shabby!  You can see how I attach the binding - a three stitch zigzag.  It has held up pretty well on other garments - so far!

Here is the back view and the patch that is on the right side of the fabric, with my label being on the wrong side.

Looks pretty good with a jacket (I am trying to get away from the scrubs look - not sure if I am succeeding!)

Here you can see the attached triangle.  There is one centre front and one centre back.  A little funky!

Blue Sorbetto

Nothing much to say about the blue Sorbetto.  It is blue.  And makes a nice alternative to longer slips.

I have quite a few so I mix them in with my Phoebe trousers and jackets!

Finally, I wanted to show the new necklace that I made using some cultured pearls and a key . . . .!

Phew, lot of photos - hope I didn't loose you part way through!  Although we are in the middle of a gloriously hot summer, I think I may have to turn my thoughts to Autumn,  How about you - are you still sewing Summer?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


For the last three weeks we have had visitors from the UK and although this has seriously impacted my sewing time, it has meant that I have had a ball travelling around this fabulous Province that I live in.  Want to see some pics?

 The Parade for the Calgary Stampede.

 A Lancaster Plane at the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton.

 Old Grain Elevators in Nanton, AB.

 My Uncle Ed, his lovely lady Heather, and me wearing some of my TG clothes!

Stunningly beautiful Lake Louise.

A shed!  I got me a shed!  It will be a work in progress, but I plan on taking my treadle machine out here, so I can sew in the garden!

The Largest Dinosaur in the World!  Drumheller.

 Royal Tyrell Dinosuar Musuem in Drumheller.

 A real, live grizzly bear near Vermillion Lakes.

 View from Banff Springs Hotel - this is a 'panorama' pic so the perspective is a little wonky!

Canola fields on the Prairies - just down the road from my house.

 Looking down from Mt Norquay over the Banff Townsite.

Uncle Ed and Dad looking down over Vermillion Lakes where we saw the bear.

Phew!  It was fun looking back over the pics and realising just how much travelling we did.  This does not show the malls that we visited, various restaurants, Atlas Mines, Sheep River Falls etc., etc., etc!  It certainly highlights how comfy we have become - doing things around the house, not moving far from home, but boy, I'm exhausted!  I'm looking forward to getting down to business and doing some sewing again!  I picked up some patterns during the most recent Tina Givens sale, so can't wait to get cracking with them!  Also, have you seen the most recent post on the Curvy Sewing Collective?  It's all about Lagenlook - do take a look!

How has your summer been?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


There are no two ways about it - when I sew I often make two or three garments at the same time, perfecting the seams/buttons/hems/other details and making the most of fabric that uses the same colour thread in my serger!  This last weekend was no different.  I decided to make three linen jackets based up the Tina Givens pattern, Phoebe.  I have made up some plain versions of this and they are very wearable, so although I do not have photos of the complete garments (maybe tomorrow!) I do have some close ups of the details that I am particularly pleased with, and wanted to share.

Firstly, I noticed that one of the features of many layered looks is to have fabric patches attached inside the garment and outside.  For some designers it is a place for them to add their logos or brand names . . . . And I thought that I can do that!  So I sewed my 'Spotty Dog' clothing labels onto some coordinated fabric and made 'inside' patches on my jackets:

As you can see, I zigzagged near to the edge and (gasp!) left the edges raw.  I'm really getting into the raw edges . . . . . and I kinda like it!

I didn't want there to be a random rectangle of stitches showing on the right side of the fabric . . . so I added a patch in the same fabric as the main fabric:

Yeah, I know, the last photo is a little boring!!!  I like the look of these inside/outside patches so much that I have 'retro-fitted' a couple of slip dresses that I have made/worn/washed and added patches to them as well.  I have found that the patches do fray a little - I trim any stray threads, and that leaves a soft edging to the patches which is similar to the bias binding edges that I have been adding to necklines and hems.

I've also had some fun with button and button band facings:

These buttons are plain silver metal - the pattern on them looked a bit like the weave that you can get on leather buttons that are often sewn on woolly cardigans.

These are just ordinary self covered buttons . . . . . and I used a co-ordinating 1" lime green ribbon for the button band.  I have started using smaller plain buttons on the wrong side of fabric when attaching heavier buttons to the right side.  I find that this gives the buttons more stability and I think that it makes the wrong side (the side that you can see below) look much tidier.

Again I used some metal buttons - but oh boy, what a find - there are greyhounds on the buttons!  As I am the happy Mom to two greyhounds, I am thrilled with these!  I sewed them onto an off-white jacket as I knew I would be wearing this a lot.  I will now be chasing up my other local fabric shops to try and find more of these buttons!

And on the wrong side I used a plain cream ribbon for the button band and some small off white buttons to back the larger metal buttons on the front.

Do you have some 'patented' details or trims that you use that really 'make' your garments?