Monday, January 25, 2016

Burns Night

January 25th is the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the famed Scottish poet, and accordingly haggis is eaten, whiskey is drunk and a good time is had by all.  Which is appropriate as apparently Mr. Burns rather had an eye for the ladies and knew a good time when he saw it.

I attended a Burns Supper over the weekend and it was rather fun.  Their were a number of Scots present, dressed accordingly and the haggis was piped in and addressed (apparently Burns loved haggis so much he wrote a poem about it!):

And we ate and made merry!  For some reason the haggis was vegetarian (?!), which of course made it edible (!) but that was rather strange!  It was served with beef and veggies and a lovely evening was had by all.  I wore one of my purple outfits and felt well dressed and comfy!  I have thought a couple of times about making a kilt - probably a bit longer than is traditional, but using the same techniques.  Maybe later this year!  I did buy some lovely plaid wool, but I keep dipping into it to make other things like the checked skirt here and the bag, here!

I did get some sewing done this weekend - I made a couple of items for my SIL who is in the Eastern Star and needed some 'whites'.  Unfortunately she is not well at all, and her medication is making her feel uncomfortable and I able to make her a Tina Givens skirt and tunic so that she could dress appropriately but still feel good.  She was thrilled, I was humbled :)  No photos unfortunately as this was a rush job - she asked late Friday for a couple of items, I made them Saturday to give to her at the Burn's Supper that evening.

A lovely weekend - I've got a couple more garments under the needle right now, then really must get cracking on my PJ's for the Artisan Square SWAP!

How is your sewing coming along?  Are you full of verve for the New Year?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Purple Raine

I love purple.  Not sure if this is a case of 'always have', but I do.  I prefer the blue end of the scale, and when I my local fabric shop had a sale of 50% everything, including the bargain basement fabrics (they seem to be a mix of really of cheap tat, and fabric that has just been cleared off the shelves to let other fabric on), I was all over it like a rash!  Unfortunately, the content labels are usually ripped off, so it is a bit of a gamble as to whether you have a bargain or not.  However, at $2.50/m, I picked up a few yards!

First of all is this lovely purple rayon jersey.  I made a skirt, top and longline cardi (and there is still 3 or 4 metres left!  Purple underwear anyone?!

Sorry about the pics - this was the best that I could get even after touching them up.  The light is really funny at this time of year - you think you have it sorted and it is nice an bright . . . . and then the colours don't play nice.

The skirt is Simplicity 4221, and I have made this many times.  It is a four gore, elastic waisted skirt.  Very easy to make, and with a full lining it feels lovely to wear!

The top is Kwik Sew 3752, which I've made before, in fact, I've made this 'two piece' dress on a couple of occasions, and it is very easy to make and wear.  I made a cowl/polo neck (not really sure how this would be categorised!) because I do like something round my neck, and it also stops the neckline stretching out if I misjudge the band length for the neck!

The cardi is my trusty McCalls 6168 and as the jersey is so soft and drapey, the sleeves are a little on the long side.  I'll probably push them up my arms a little so all is good!

It is pretty hard to see the details of these garments due to them all being the same colour - I probably could have just wrapped the fabric round me and the photos would have looked the same!  So to prove that I did do some sewing, I took a couple of pics with some trousers:

And I also tried the cardi with some Summer Lagenlook (a little creased, seems like these garments have been in the closet a looooong time!  And oh boy - look at those legs!  Milk bottles eat you heart out!!

I'm not sure how long the fabric will last - if it will pill, but until then, I will enjoy wearing it as it is very snuggly!  I did change the neckline a little - I cut out the regular pattern pieces, and rather than face the cardi I just added a 3" strip of fabric, folded in half lengthways to the front and neck edge (on the wrong side), folded it to the right side and edge stitched it down.  A nice finish that I am happy with.

After making three purple garments, whey not make another?  It made sense as I had the thread in the serger!  So I cut out and made a another Simplicity 2154.  I have a few of these that I wear regularly to work, or with jeans and it is a great little top.  I did make a purple one a year or so ago - but made a total hash of the buttonholes and I don't wear it!

This fabric definitely has a large percentage of cotton in it, and the front looks a little like a rib with the wrong side being smooth.  There wasn't so much of this for sale - but enough for this cardi, and probably another 'fabric light' top!

I used some cute patterned ribbon for the button-band (teapots and tea cups!)

And look, I had a helper!

Little Nico is still trying to work out how this household runs.  No doubt he finds it quite amusing!

Do you have a favourite colour?  A passion for purple perhaps?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

12th Day of Christmas - What's Next?

Well, what a great Christmas and New Year break that was.  Back to work on Jan 4th after just over two weeks off.  Managed to get lots of sewing, knitting and blogging done - I like to think that it is good practice for retirement.  Although about 5-10 years off, it is kinda fun to try it out and see if it 'works'.  It does, I tell you, it does!

I also managed to get more familiar with using my Apple Mac and the photo editing - I was easier on my old machine and Picasa, but I'm getting to used to this now.  Having said that, the 'Previous Ramblings' (the column on my blog to the right of this post that lists previous posts) and selecting posts from past months does not seem to work.  If I click on '2014' I do not get the months and the posts to select.  Not sure if this is a 'Mac' thing or not - will try it on my work machine.

I'm all ready to get cracking on the SWAP for 2016, (I mentioned that yesterday) and also have some other plans.  I'd need to make a longish wool coat for winter.  I have a big down jacket which works well, but I'd like a coat similar to McCalls 4673.

I'd also like to make some lingerie - cami tops and tap pants.  I took the Craftsy 'Sewing Lingerie' course (by Alison Smith - I can't link to the class as I am enrolled), and it was rather good and it has inspired me to make some frillies!  There will also be some Lagenlook garments in the future (I have a slip and a tunic already cut out), as well as some bags.  I am putting in a proposal to teach a bag making class at one of my local fabric shops, My Sewing Room, and I am looking forward to that.

Finally, I picked up some rayon knits in the sale . . . . they were from the 'bargain centre' area of the fabric store, lots of 'unknown fibres' and bolts with the labels ripped off.  They usually sell for about $4-5/m, so at 50% off, I may have gone a little nuts.  I've cut out a two piece dress and a cardi in some lovely deep purple rayon/cotton jersey, so they will be making an appearance in the future!

How about you - what are your plans for the year?

Monday, January 4, 2016

11th Day of Christmas - Work Clothes

Whooosh!  The New Year is off to a mixed start.  I needed to make a couple of pairs of work trousers - quite standard, I've made them before (two years ago in fact!) and am in need of some more.  I've adjusted the pattern a couple of times (it is a TNT McCalls 5239), I shaved off the edges last summer when I lost weight, and need to add it back on (sigh!)  So, I cut two pairs out - nice and simple elasticated waist, lined, side seam pockets etc.,

These are just plain black wool and I think that I've hemmed them a little long.  Grrrr.  You can see them bagging out as a result.  The hems are handsewn so I'll take a look at that during the week.  Shouldn't take too long.  Just grrrr!  The vest top is another Sorbetto with a gathered frill down the front (a la Tina Givens!) just for decoration.  Due to the colour, it will get worn a lot!

The coral coloured jacket is yet another McCalls 6169 and is made up in a rayon knit.  It is quite thin and floaty and will be perfect for work.  I think that it will work pretty well in Summer as well as it is so light.

Because black trousers are so boring, here is another look with a black cotton jersey McCalls 6169.  This is much heavier than the coral one above . . . . and beautifully shows off the white dogs hairs from young Nico.  I actually made this last December. I am wearing it with a lovely red scarf that makes me smile whenever I wear it!  Such a cheery colour.

The second pair are made from a black pinstripe wool/poly blend.  Maybe not so much on the wool actually, but the fabric is just delish - very soft and drapey.  The stripes are brown, bordered by skinny white stripes.

These are a much better length, but to my mind, the legs are rather baggy.  I probably should have gone back to the original pattern and altered that rather than the adjusted TNT.  They do look great from the back though and both pairs will be worn through the winter at work.

Whilst I was prancing about taking photos (Mr. SDSC was busying himself making a lovely late lunch - thanks honey!) I spied a wool, tartan (well, plaid) Patricia skirt by Tina Givens that I don't think I'd photographed previously.  I made this in December last year as well:

I love this skirt!

So, that's my start to the New Year - two pairs of trousers.  How about you?  How is your New Year shaping up?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

10th Day of Christmas - SWAP 2016

Ah yes, it is SWAP (sewing with a plan) time again over on Artisan's Square.  You may remember that I took part last year with my 'Out of Alberta' Lagenlook Collection and came in with a very respectable third place.

The rules vary slightly year on year, and for 2016 they are:

1 "3 pack' of Colour(s) A (3 garments)
1 "3 pack' of Colour(s) B (3 garments)
1 "Combo Pack" of Colours A & B (2 garments)
1 "3 Pack" of Wild Cards

All for a total of 11 garments.

So, what to make?  As much as I love my Lagenlook/TG garments, I have made LOADS more (a quick count in my wardrobe reveals 48 LL/TG garments.  Gosh.)  Conversely, my PJ situation is rather dire - scruffy old PJ bottoms and tatty mismatched tops, so my plan is to make lots of new jammies and dressing gowns.  A little unconventional - but it is what my wardrobe needs!  Here is the plan so far:

A) 2 tops, 1 bottom
B) 2 tops 1 bottom
Combo Pack: 2 dressing gowns
Wild Cards: 2 bottoms, 1 top

I plan on having some winter jammies (brushed cotton), short and long sleeved regular jammie tops, a couple (at least) of cotton jersey tops,  long and (possibly) cropped bottoms, finishing off with a fleece dressing gown and a floaty cotton/linen or silk Summer version.

I aim to do some funky fabric blocking on the bottoms and using lots of lovely patterned fabrics.  I will only be using about three patterns and may well have some fabric in stash, otherwise I will be watching the sales at my local fabric stores!

How about you?  Are you taking part in the SWAP or do you implement this kind of sewing organisation?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

9th Day of Christmas - My Year in Review

I do enjoy writing up my 'year in review' post.  I find it acts as a great reminder of what I have been making throughout the year and it is fun to walk through my recent history.  I have a terrible memory, so this is a great update!  It usually is a longer post - so feel free to skip this if it is not your idea of fun!


Ah yes, this is when I started playing around with making jeans, starting off with Ginger Jeans.  I also made 4 pairs of work trousers - I had lost weight and my previous ones were too big.  Sadly I have put the weight back on so these are a little on the snug side :(

There were also two cardi's, a pair of handknitted socks, a teeny tiny wallet, a foxy scarf and 6 sets of 'Princess and the Pea' using lots of felt and Altoid tins!

Total: 9 garments, 7 miscs (toys and wallet)


February was the month of jeans cardi's for me, and I made 4 cardis from Simplicity 2154 and 4 pairs of jeans using my TNT pants pattern and the Ginger pattern.  I also managed to throw in 4 wide mouthed pouches that were auctioned for charity.

Total: 8 garments and 4 miscs (pouches).


This was the month that I 'discovered' Lagenlook and Tina Given's patterns.  This discovery was to lead to my SWAP entry for 2015 (more about that next month), and in March I made 6 garments in this style and a waistcoat for my Dad that he wore for his Canadian Citizenship Ceremony.

Total: 6 garments


I finished and submitted my SWAP entry this month - and was absolutely thrilled to be voted into third place.  Amazing!  I made another 6 TG pieces to flesh out the SWAP Collection.  As Tina Givens sells the patterns that she uses for her 'Couture' Collections, I thought that it would be fun to 'price' up my collection and compare.  On average, her garments cost $291 each, whereas mine calculated out to $26 per item.  This is a totally useless, but quite fun fact!

I also made 4 more partial band bras, a bra fabric pouch and 3 iPad holders.

Total: 10 garments and 4 miscs (pouches & iPad holders)


This month I continued making more Lagenlook garments, mostly using TG patterns.  Using the gorgeous rose fabric I made a vest top and jacket, as well as a cream top, pants and jacket.  I also tried my hand at necklaces - and made quite a few interchangeable ones that I am constantly wearing.  I finished off with a couple of infinity scarves - all in all a great month!

Total: 5 garments, necklace, 2 other (scarves).


I played around with skirts in June and made a couple with a double layer - the outer one that could be 'hitched' up.  I made some more jackets in blue and white linen and a rose 'Zelda'.

Total: 5 garments.


In July we had visitors, so I did a lot of travelling around our gorgeous Province - including a trip to the mountains and to the Dinosaur Museum in Drumhellor.  I completed a couple of patterned jackets (at least I think I did, they don't appear to mentioned anywhere else!)

Total: 2 garments.


This was the month that I tried out the Cara pattern by Tina Givens . . . and made three tunics in pale blue, white and cream.  I also made another necklace.  A great month!!

Total: 3 garments, 1 necklace.


I made some lovely bags and pouches in this month.  The 'bra' ones were for the lovely ladies in Hamilton who host the Bra Makers Supply Courses that I attend - it was a little treat for them all as they look after me so nicely!

Total: 7 (bags)


I went on my next bra making course - no photos yet, but I have LOTS of pretties to make new bras!  2016 will be very pretty!  But, it was another bags and wallets month . . . . . and I only blogged about some of them!

Total: 5 (bags and wallets)


I made stuff but didn't blog about it, and the lovely Nico came home with us from the Humane Society:

so straight onto to . . . . .


This was a HUGE catch up month!  So much to tell you about!!  I made my Christmas outfit (skirt, tunic, jacket and petticoat), a pair of jeans (the zipper broke during the final fitting so they are currently sitting in time out) some green corduroy trousers that just need the buttonhole,  turquoise Feather top, Sorbettos in black and brown, Patricia skirts in black, brown, plaid, 3 longline cardis (plain black, coral, cream with blue spots), 3 Zip 'n' Go bags, 5 wine bag holders, 3 pairs of socks, Cortland Mitts, Cowl, retreat bag, and I'm sure that there are lots more that I have missed . . . .

Total: 19 garments, 9 bags.

In summary, my posts were down in total this year - 41 in 2015 as opposed to 52 last year.  That was mainly due to computer issues around August/September time and losing my will to post.  As far as items made, the totals are as follows:

Garments: 67
Other: 39

I am sure that some people will think that this is wasteful - but for me, this is my main hobby - I clothe myself and make items for others, I have not bought any shop bought clothes for over 3 years.  Not being defensive - just stating facts!

So that was my year - how was yours?

Friday, January 1, 2016

8th Day of Christmas - Travels

Mr. SDSC and I took a week out in the mountains this autumn.  And fortunately for us, 'the mountains' means the Canadian Rockies.  I had forgotten how fabulous they are.  We got married in the area in 2005, and really should make the effort to get up there more often.  We stayed in Canmore - I actually prefer Canmore to Banff.  It is less commercialised and therefore not nearly as busy.

The view from our apartment.  As it was a celebration of my birthday and our wedding anniversary, we got 'a room with a view'.  These mountains are the Three Sisters and are symbolic of Canmore.


We did drive into Banff, and the scenery there is equally spectacular:

This is looking down onto Vermillion Lakes.  There has been a project to put out these red adirondack chairs in various places of beauty, and we saw some here, near Two Jacks Lake and the top of Sulphur Mountain.  I love the contrast of the red against the natural beauty.

You can catch a gondola (cable car) partway up Sulphur Mountain, and then climb (OK, it really is a walk, but you do get to ascend quite a bit higher) to the weather station at the top.  And this is what you get to see!

We went to the Hot Springs as well, which was lovely, relaxing and rather bizarre - just sitting in hot water is a little strange!!

Another day was spent around Two Jacks Lake - a gorgeous place, and very photogenic.

It was strange being without the dogs for a few days, but so lovely to get away.  The air smells sweeter, the pace of life is slower and we came back feeling most refreshed.  Until next time - we love you Canmore!