Saturday, April 9, 2016

Smocked Coat + Fitted blouse

My New Year's resolution to knit from my yarn stash and sew from my fabric stash - exibit A.
I spent the month of February knitting on this baby. I needed a white blouse to pair with it so I spent March fitting and sewing the blouse.
Et voilĂ ...the epic february knit project. My smocked coat from Vogue Knitting magazine Fall 2010. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca yarn in varigated denim. Details on my Ravelry page.

New Look #6513 fitted blouse, view A (minus the ruffles)
Size 10
Mods: moved apex, omitted the front darts, lowered the neck and adjusted the collar to fit (made it longer) and widened at side seams.
Size 11 sharp needle.
Buttons from my stash.
I used a sew-in interfacing for the collar and a fusible for the button bands. I was disappointed with the fusible...
I wish the back had more ease. Next shirt I want to try a stretchy shirting fabric.

How I make it happen

Sewing in a small space for me means using this small collapsable ironing board. I find its ease of storage outweights the hassle of repositioning the piece being ironed plus it is very portable for the projects I have sewn on the go. The one major flaw of it was how inadequate the padding was when I purchased it which in turn developed into one of my must fun projects recovering it making use of stuff I had at home.

I adore this printed cotton fabric and never knew what to make with it until this idea came along. A few layers of cotton quilt batting leftovers for the padding and the existing cover as a pattern reusing the string it came with to secure the cover snuggly over the metal base.

The best part was making my own matching bias tape using the Janome Rotary Even foot. I keep the metal bias tape maker in the same was purchased seperately.

These handy gadgets I've had hanging around for a decade and I never actually took on a test drive but happily worked like a charm!

Here we see how I cut out my recent blouse project. My table is easy to pull out from the wall so I can stand anywhere I need to position myself for little table on wheels is very handy for all kinds of uses: ironing board base, serger table, storage under the cutting table etc. All of which is rather quick to tuck back in and clean up when finished.
The fitted blouse I am making is the finishing touch to a rather epic knitting project I worked on in February with the help of my 'Downton Abbey' marathon. Any little mistakes I blame on the fact that the series had me (and the whole family) glued to the screen.
More on these projects soon!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Projects circa 2015

In May... 
I was invited to a work related gala and we, the staff, decided to sew our outfits for the evening. We all showed up for the event wearing red and the big reveal of what each of us made was so much fun!

This was my dress...I picked this Burda pattern because I love anything with no waist... The clever construction used both sides of the fabric. The shinny side for the center panel and collar; the matte side as a contrast.

Fabric: satin from Paquette Textiles.
Pattern: #125 02/2008
Size: mods just cut straight into the fabric without so much as a paper Burda!
The pockets are a bit low for my T-rex arms to reach but it's a party dress so who cares.

BTW...I think this is the first dress I have ever sewn for myself...really??

#125 02/2008 Burdastyle magazine

In March...
I love jackets. And this is my first attempt.

Fabric: Polyester from Paquette Textiles
Pattern: Simplicity 2227
Size: 10
Mods: Moved the apex, shortened and widened the waist. Added shoulder pads.

This was my prototype. I did make a muslin out of denim first but this version is so cute that I do wear it to work. I would love to make this again in cute summer twill fabric or light denim. I do need to tweak the pattern a bit more...I find the back is snug since I gained a few pounds. Ahem. I think I need to adjust the front armscye.

My latest skirt. (I've sewn mostly skirts through the years)

Pattern: Simplicity 6542
Size: 14
Fabric: Woven wool blend, poly woven lining (all from the remnants section) and pleather for the waist detail from Paquette Textiles
Mods:  I moved the darts, rounded the hips, and of course, shortened it. I lined it using my pattern pieces as a guide. Applied an invisible zipper to the right side...I like my zips on the that weird? I blind hemmed the to blind hem.

This is it for sewing last year...I sure am happy I have more time now to get things done.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Meet the staff

I have been very pleased with my Janome sewing machine. I do find it heavy to move around with my small space I have to keep clearing the table but it has been a real gem. I can embroider words with memory for labels...button holes like nobody's takes thick fabric very well, too.
My new Imagine serger is the best thing for me... I have never got the hang of adjusting tension dials. I look forward to really testing what this baby can do!
Then there is Pete. He is my half-pug 'compagnon'... He is always beside me when I am home. We keep each other happy. We go for long walks when the weather is perfect and sometimes when things get tricky in the sewing room that is the best way to tackle it.

The is my Janome serger. It does not get much action since I use my Imagine but I was advised that if I keep one serger threaded in white and one in black it is much faster than changing threads back and forth. Good idea but I don't have much space... I would sell this machine if someone was interested. :D

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Small space sewist

Welcome to my new small sewing space. 
Just a folding table that I can easily move around if I need to spread out. Lots of daylight and a door to the garden...


I have a cork board to pin my current pattern in progress along with the pattern notes and my measurements are temporarily taped to the wall.
I have my favorite little drawer box with my tools and a ceramic owl full of pens and scissors.
I have a tin box with some thread and a sewing box with my embroidery threads...
My cutting mat is at the ready -- love this thing!!
There is a plastic drawer box on the floor where I keep my fabric scissors, zippers and haberdashery.
Under this table is a smaller folding one on wheels we found at a garage sale that I can pull out and use for my first or second serger. It is also a great place to store my many rulers when everything is neatly tucked away.


We found this rustic armoir at the flea market a few years ago. Len put the shelves into it and it has served as a linen closet but now I have my sewing books, iron, pressing ham and current project fabric in there. I store my measuring tapes on a hook and my pattern pieces I hang from a binder clip in between sewing sessions. I like to keep my table tidy since it is in a high traffic area.

My fabric stash is kept in a bedroom closet along with a few more of my gadgets and my printer is on top of the cabinet which is easily accessed when I stand at the top of the stairs of this split level part of our house.

Stay tuned for more about what I have been busy creating!

- Aline xx