Saturday, December 28, 2013

What to do when you are home sick

What to do when you are home sick and bored out of your mind and you have finished the internet. Again.
*update- I have bronchitis, please forward gifts and sympathy 8-D

My suggestion. Go to Pinterest and start looking through your own boards. Pretty soon, because you are sick, you will forget that they are your own boards, and then you will think "wow this person has really great taste!" Then eventually you will realize you are looking at your own pins and you will feel stupid.

Ask me how I know.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Reveal

Well, it turns out that my white knit fabric has some poly in it. I can tell because the darkest the fabric is is dark gray. It's okay, I like the colour.

 I hope you all appreciate the photos I took outside, it was freezing. Literally, -3 C, 26 F.

1. This is the crystal scrunch pattern. I was hoping for more white on this, I added too much dye to the fabric, but it is still useable, maybe a sleeve or the back or both.

2. Bullseye.  I like how this pattern turned out. I had never done this tie method before, and this is what I was hoping it would be. I am planning on cutting the front with only a portion of the circle. This may will most likely change.

3. Vertical stripes. A few of the white portions were tied wonkey donkey. It's okay, I am sure I can work around it/them.

4. Donuts. You can see in the photo that I had the fabric doubled when I tied the billions of elastics. There are a couple of strange amoeba shapes in the center of the fabric. And if you squint you can see faces looking at you. No? Maybe it's just me.

5. Close up of the fabric and the colour is pretty much dead on. Which is why I froze for these, the colour is accurate when photographed outside.

By the way, the fabric is 150 cm/60" wide, and the shortest length is one meter/39". So I will have enough fabric to make at least two long sleeved t-shirts.

Overall I am pleased with how the fabric turned out. What you do think? Do any of you see dyeing fabric in your future?

This post is sponsored by the metric system.

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Dyeday Friday

Today is the day to dye. I have destroyed my hands the last couple of days tying, or more accurately elastic-ing my fabric. At one point my hands were cramping, so I had to take a break. When doing this you have to have the elastics really tight or the dye will creep under them and the point of tying the fabric is lost. Hence the cramping hands.

from left to right, top to bottom
1. a crystal scrunch fold 2. vertical stripes
3. circles 4. sort of bullseye
5. soaking in soda ash and water 6. circles after dye is applied
7. bullseye after dye is applied 8. the mess after 

If you start dyeing, be sure to have dedicated tools for dyeing that you will never ever ever ever use for food. You need measuring spoons, a funnel, something to stir stuff with, buckets, measuring cups, rubber gloves, and very likely some other stuff I can't think of now ziplock bags

I only use Procion MX dyes, made by Jacquard Products, Dharma Trading also sells Procion dyes, but I prefer to support local businesses when at all possible. Also, shipping to Canada is a little pricey sometimes. Procion dyes are almost completely colour fast when used on cellulose fibers, cotton, rayon, linen, tencel etc. I tried Rit dyes once and was profoundly disappointed with the results, in my opinion, Rit is Sh*t. It will continually wash out over time.

I am dyeing my fabric using the direct application method, so the first step is soaking the fabric in 1 cup soda ash mixed with one gallon of water. Soda ash alters the PH of the fabric making it "take" the dye more successfully. If you forget to soak your fabric the dye won't bond with the fabric and the results will be less than optimal. Ask me how I know. Very important- soak ash is very alkaline and not nice to your skin, so always always wear gloves. Soak the fabric for 15 minutes up to 1 hour.

While the fabric is soaking, I mix up the dye. I save dish detergent bottles and similar bottles for this purpose (my favourite ones are the ones from Smuckers Plate Scapers, they work really well). I used to buy plastic bottles at the dollar store, but I found they leak and the recycled bottles don't, and besides they are free. Free is good.

I am using black dye, and black takes twice as much dye as most colours, so if you want black, buy more dye than you think you will need. Of course, in the spirit of do as I say not as I do, I had to make a run to the store to get more black dye.

Always wear gloves when handling dyes, and if like me, you don't always take your own advice, and you get dye on your hands, a pumice stone works well for removing the dye. Washing dishes also helps. Ask me how I know.

I like to apply the dye in a shallow container, I found plastic containers at a thrift store for 10¢, they have just enough of a lip so the dye doesn't get all over the everything, and shallow enough that I can put the dye where I want it. Once I have the dye on the fabric, I then put the fabric or t-shirt or whatever in a ziplock bag, and keep them in a warm place for 24 hours.

Tomorrow, the reveal.

If you want more information about dyeing your own fabrics, the websites below are great resources.

Paula Burch-all about hand dyeing
Dharma Trading-also a supplier of dyes, and fabric and everything for dyeing
Jacquard Products-maker of Procion MX dyes

Monday, November 18, 2013

dyeing some fabric

I have mentioned in passing that I live in a fabric desert. One fabric store, and a chain one at that, doesn't make for fun fabric shopping. Sure, there is always something you want, but when you want to make a t-shirt in the style of the Tilton sisters with 3 or more coordinating fabrics that aren't polyester or plain poly cotton interlock, fuhgeddaboudit.

So after watching The Ultimate T-Shirt Craftsy course, of course I went out looking for fabrics. Uh, no. There was nothing that got me. There was however this.

it is white, not gray, and the wrinkles are permanent

It was in the discount/mystery content/el cheapo section for $3 a meter. It appears to be a cotton blend, possibly with rayon and maybe a little polyester. I love finding knits in the discount section, especially when they aren't of the petro chemical variety, so I bought it. All of it, 9.2 meters of it. I would have bought more.

The plan is to dye the fabric, using tie dye and shibori methods. I plan on dyeing the fabric three or four different ways, but all in the same dye colour. A different method for each pattern piece. I still haven't decided on which tying/resist pattern for front, back, sleeves, and neck band. 

I only use Jacquard Procion MX dyes, which only work on cellulose fibers, and as I don't know what the fabric is made from, I had to do the most boring of all things and actually test. Sigh. 

forgive the crappy iPhone photos, with all the water and soda ash etc my DSLR wasn't getting near this mess
I played around with chip clips, tying beads into the fabric (donuts), thin elastics, fat elastics, and just plain tying the fabric in knots. None of which helped me make a decision, but was fun nonetheless. 

the finished test samples, chip clips on the right
As you can see the fabric took the dye pretty well, I'm thinking at most it has 10% poly. So this means I get to move forward on my plans. Stayed tuned.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

drum roll please

They were all sooo excited about the draw.
Apparently there was more than 13 people who hadn't made a Minoru yet, there were 20.

Everyone was assigned a number, in the order of which they commented.

1 Seraphinalina
2 Katy
3 House of Pinheiro
4 Jilly Be
5 Robin
6 Barbara
7 Country Girl Couture
8 Sox
9 Carolyn
10 Kate
11 t Sedai
12 Dracualsh
13 KC
14 Summer Flies
15 Rainjerette
16 Prettynpink
17 alizee
18 Judith
19 Andrea
20 Gmarie

Barbara  Robin is the winner! Congratulations Barbara Robin! Email me and let me know your address so I can get it to you.

Edited. OMG I am a complete idiot. As you can clearly see, I made a mistake and it isn't Barbara that is the winner, it is Robin.   Robin please email me with your info. 

Barbara, I am so sorry, please email me and I will find something to send off to you. Again, I am so sorry.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Minoru (sung to the tune of My Sharona) and a giveaway

I finally made my first Minoru. I have loved this jacket pattern since it was first produced. I have been looking for a suitable casual jacket for years. Yes, years. I either don't like the style, the fabric, the price or whatever. I have an ugly old Gore-Tex that works perfectly well for what I need, so I wasn't going to buy something I didn't love, or at the very least, like.

The changes I made to the pattern. The usual pockets on the outside. This is almost a given. The interior pockets are intended to have Velcro closures. There is almost nothing that I hate doing more than trying to sew on Velcro. Instead I redrew the pocket pattern, making sure there was room for my iPhone and credit card holder,  and added zippers, and spent about six times as much time as I would have if I had just used Velcro. I consider it time well spent. Velcro is evil.

Updated: I forgot that I straightened out the waist a little lot, as I don't have much of a waist. If you are a square instead of a pear you may want to do the same.

I am also a touch bigger than the largest size and so I had to grade up the pattern. I used up the last of my Swedish tracing paper. I can't figure out if I like this stuff or not. I don't like tracing with it, because every pen I use bleeds through and the pens sometimes catch on the paper. On the other hand, I like that when I am marking the fabric with Frixion pens, the ink goes right through the paper, and I don't have to use a tracing wheel etc. I usually use plastic table cloths from the dollar store. Hmm, something to think about.

For those of you who are screaming at me not to use Frixion pens because of the ghosting, I have had 100% success with removing the ghosting marks with my standard stain remover of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish detergent (not safe for silk or wool), but YMMV, always be sure to test on your fabric.

My outer fabric is thrifted stuff and I think is cotton, possibly with some linen, the lining is that insane Home Sewing is Easy fabric. I love this fabric, and couldn't figure out what to do with it. It is too silly for me to wear a garment out of it, but a lining is perfect. I couldn't find zippers close enough in colour to satisfy me, because I live in a sewing desert with only one useless chain fabric store, so I used black. I like the look.

I wrote all of the above quite awhile ago when I was still in the infatuation stage with the jacket. Since then I have sewn and ripped and sewn and ripped. I have never in my life screwed up as much as I have on this jacket. I can easily state with no danger of exaggeration that I spent three times as much time ripping out stitches as I did actually sewing. I have to state it is in no way the fault of the pattern, or my choice of fabric. It was me. All me me me me. At one point I was considering setting fire to it in my driveway and then driving over it in my car and lawn mower and snow blower. So I wisely decided to take a break from it. For a month and a half.

Canadians, notice the piece of Canadiana memorabilia.
To make it all worse, I don't like the jacket on me. When it isn't zipped up it looks okay, but with the zipper done up it is like it is designed to draw attention to my worst features. I have a short neck, and the collar makes me look like my head is attached directly to my shoulders. I have a protruding belly, it couldn't be more obvious if I had appliqued on an arrow pointing to it. Don't get me wrong, I WILL wear it.

UPDATE-since writing all the above.

I have worn the jacket quite a bit and have had a few unsolicited compliments, also the few people that I told I made it were very complimentary. So now I like it, making it clear that I am very easily swayed and have no firm opinions of my own.


And now for the giveaway. Recently while indulging in one of my favourite hobbies (thrift store shopping), I found a brand new, uncut, unopened Minoru pattern. So my find is your potential gain. If you are one of the 13 people who haven't made a Minoru yet, leave a comment and I will draw a name on Sunday, November 17.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Lots of dogs.

We board dogs for friends and acquaintances when they go away. We charge a pittance, like ¼ of what the "luxury" kennels charge. This place would qualify as a luxury dog motel. They are welcome on all the furniture, there is a fenced backyard to scamper about in, two scheduled meal times a day, long walks (if it isn't too hot or too cold), three human slaves to tend to most of their needs. I usually bathe the dogs before their people come to get them and they also get manis and pedis. It's a good deal. We do it because we all love dogs and it is fun, all the humans enjoy it. Some of the permanent canine residents, not so much 8-). Jasper, I am talking about you.

Sometimes we are busy and other times there is a drought. In the last two weeks there has been a flood.
from the top row, our dogs, Barney, Max, Jasper, Ricky (who wasn't in the mood for photos), Karma
second row, Chewy, Roxy, Opal, Poppy is in there somewhere, Benny
third row, Boba, Benny & Barney, Karma Jasper Boba & Benny on a walk, Boba sleeping and Boba in the kiddy pool

We have our five, Barney, Max, Jasper, Ricky (aka Big Dick Rick), and Karma (aka Karmageddon). Then we got Roxy and Chewy. Then Poppy and Opal arrived. Nine. All we did was count dogs. In  and out, in and out. Roxy, Chewy and Poppy left. Leaving us with six. Then Benny and Boba arrived. sigh. Boba is a three month old Pomeranian and quite possibly the cutest puppy ever in the history of puppies, and he is a delight, almost housebroken already (sorry Sue). I thought he would be the difficult one. Little did I know.

Prior to this summer we didn't keep written records about the dogs we take. Notice the use of past tense.

We currently have an intact male with an intact female in heat. Oh Joy. Insert as many expletives as you can imagine here _______, I have said them all, I believe in the same sentence. Oh yes, it can be done. We knew Benny wasn't neutered, but we completely forgot about Opal. Fortunately Opal suddenly started behaving like a drunken co-ed at spring break and so it was impossible to miss that she is in heat. So Benny is wearing a belly band and Opal is in a crate or Benny is in a crate. Benny is behaving like a typical male of any species who wants sex, whimpering, begging, howling, crying. Delightful and not at all annoying (sarcasm). If he had a collarbone he would be beating his chest to show his macho-ness, as it is he is demonstrating his suitability for mating by trying to beat up Boba. Boba is having none of it and fights back fairly well for one so small. All the while Ricky and Jasper growl at anyone who walks by them, Max sleeps through everything, Barney looks disgusted, Karma of course thinks it is all a party, just for her and wants to be in the middle of all the action. Fun fun fun.

I think Opal is going home today. It can't possibly happen soon enough. If I knew what time they were getting in, I would meet them at the airport.

So the jist of this post is there will be no sewing for the foreseeable future. I'm sure you can all understand why.

Friday, July 26, 2013

so far behind on blogging

So. Far. Behind. Sewing has happened. Much sewing.

I just can't seem to get around to photographing the much sewing that has happened. Sorry ladies. Soon. Maybe.

Stop judging me.

While playing around with Google Earth today, we found our house has been photographed recently. I find it incredibly amusing that you can clearly see two Frisbees and our clothesline in our backyard.  Funny, no? Glad I wasn't sunbathing naked. On the other hand it would just look like a large white blob of something or other. Go to and see what is in your backyard. I dare you.
the white and yellow circles are Jasper's Frisbees

If you are in need of having a good laugh (and really, who isn't), wander over to The Bulwer-Lytton fiction writing contest website and have a look. The contest is named for the Victorian era writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton whose novel, "Paul Clifford" began with, "It was a dark and stormy night". The contest is to write the worst possible opening sentence to a fictitious novel. The entries are funny beyond description, I have entered a few times but have never reached the pinnacle of Dishonorable Mention. Oh well, I would like to have it on my resume that I won a fiction writing contest. Wouldn't have to say it was a bad fiction writing contest. Would I?

I highly recommend NOT drinking a beverage while reading on your electronic device and if you insist on doing so, you can't blame me. I warned you. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day! The winners are...........................

Canadian Flag Cake
Image shamelessly stolen from

I love my sewing books, I really do. I will go to The Sewing Dungeon pick out a bunch and will read through them for a week or so. Some you like more than others. I know, I am a master of the obvious. There is a point to this. I have spent this last week looking at and trying to read Bridal Couture, and I don't get it. I mean I do get it, but  it isn't possible to care less than I do about ever sewing a wedding dress or a couture quality evening gown.

The point to this is, if you are one of the eight people who commented and want this book, your odds of getting it just increased. It is a waste for me to keep a copy that I don't enjoy so I am giving away both of my copies. The worship of me can now commence.

Drum roll. The winners, chosen by Karma. Also known as Karmageddon and possibly Jasper if he can be bothered. Each name is written on paper, rolled up into a roughly spherical shape and tossed on the floor. Which one (if any) will they choose?

My camera died, or more accurately the battery did. Sigh. So no incredibly precious photographs of little dogs with small pieces of paper playing keep away from an disheveled woman in her Obi Wan Kenobi bathrobe. You will just have to take my word for it, they were adorable.

The winners are:

Wait for it.

The Muslinette



Both winners are Canadian! No this isn't rigged. No, there won't be a recount 8-). I really wish I had more Bridal Couture copies to give away so you could all have one. Ms Muslinette and Tanit-Isis please get in touch with me and I will get this on its way to you.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Off topic-the good and the bad about having a really smart dog

If you have read my blog for any length of time you are aware I share my life with dogs, oh yeah and The Husband. Five dogs. I would love more, but The Husband disagrees. So does Barney.
Barney adores fabric, if any fabric hits the floor, he is on it.

This post is about Barney, our Border Collie/Labrador Retriever cross. Barney is the Einstein of the dog world. Seriously. He is smart. Scary smart.

Barney is a rescue, he was in our yard for minutes when he figured out he could open The Gate To Freedom, so now we have to have carabiners on the gates to keep Barney contained. He can find any gap or weakness in any fence. He is our self walking dog. We have always been grateful he doesn't have opposable thumbs, god only know what he would be capable of (yes I know, bad grammar, don't care).

Barney is very protective of children and anyone he figures can't protect themselves (he is a pretty good judge). Aunt Edna for example, Edna has cerebral palsy and is mentally and physically challenged. A couple of years ago she had to stay in our home for a couple of days, and Barney decided he had to guard her through the night. One morning I got up, opened to door to the room to get Barney outside for his morning pee, I guess I surprised him as him as he let out a growl unlike anything I have ever heard from him before. He quickly realized it was me, and was rather embarrassed by his error in judgement. I really believe he would have attacked if it was someone he didn't know. Good Barbar, taking care of Aunt Eddie.

In recent years Barney has developed an extreme fear of thunderstorms. Salivating, crying, shaking, he is clearly terrified. It is awful to see him like this, as he is usually fearless. He then made the connection between rain and thunder, and now he is frightened of heavy rain as well. Nothing we do seems to help.

We resorted to pharmaceuticals. We started giving him peanut butter (the only time he gets peanut butter BTW) with his Valium when the weather got too much for him. Works like a hot damn, he gets stoned and sleeps through the storms now. Then his bad mom forgot to refill his prescription, so I thought I would try giving him just peanut butter, couldn't hurt, right?  Guess what? It works, he made the connection between the peanut butter and feeling better. I have a dog so smart that a placebo effect works. Scary.

Update-The PB seems to work for a small/short thunderstorm, if thunder continues for more than 20 minutes, he needs the real thing. We have reduced the size of his dose by half however, and now Barney doesn't just sit around with glazed eyes, eating junk food and listening to Pink Floyd all day. It's all good.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pay It Forward-A Giveaway

We all know that the online sewing  community is kind, welcoming and generous, don't we?  Recently I was given an OOP sewing book that I really wanted by someone I don't even know. And, she wouldn't let me reciprocate. Thank you Josette ♥. Her selflessness is your potential gain. I somehow ended up with two copies of OOP Bridal Couture, by Susan Khalje, (before you accuse me of being a thousandaire, I got them both at library book sales).  If you want a copy of Bridal Couture, all you have to do is leave a comment and promise me that you will "Pay It Forward" to another sewist and if you have a blog, write a post about what you did.

I will draw the name on Canada Day. update-Canada Day is July 1.

PS-the book has been changed from a softcover to a hardcover by the library, but other than that the book is in good shape, no stains or torn pages.

Is it just me?

McCalls 6809 Boot Wraps

Or is this the ugliest/stupidest thing/pattern that has ever been produced in the history of the world?

Tell me. Honestly. If I am old and have no taste or clue as to what is happening in the world of fashion let me know. I really am curious if people actually like these.

Oh yeah, McCall's autumn patterns are out, seems premature to me, seeing as summer hasn't really made an appearance yet. They have some interesting patterns. I may even have to buy one.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

from the Manequim website

I found a link on Pattern Review about the Manequim website, saying they had free downloadable patterns online, of course being a greedy thrifty sewist I had to go see. Now we all know that Google translator isn't entirely reliable when it comes to translating, but this one had me in convulsions. Here is a screen shot of the translation from Portuguese to English.

How to measure the horse's shoes? WTF?

Oh and here is the link to the website, if you are interested. I couldn't find the patterns. Let me know if you do.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The tension is getting to me

I am hoping that one of you out there may be able to help me. I am trying to make a shirt for The Husband. I struggled for an hour this afternoon with the tension and nothing I do seems to make a difference. The fabric is 100% densely woven cotton. My machine has a drop in bobbin and the pressure on the foot is automatic. I have tried every needle from every size Universal I have, a Denim 16, Microtex 12 etc. I have cleaned my machine thoroughly, and it was serviced recently. Other fabrics I can make the tension work. Just not this one. Is there some fabrics that a machine just will not sew?
As you can see, the stitches on the top look fine, but the bottom the bobbin thread just lays on top of the fabric.
There is barely any difference between the tension being set at 1 and being set at 8.
 Does anyone have any ideas?

Updated June 20

After testing on another fabric, where the damned tension was fine (sigh), I removed anything removable from my machine. Cleaned the tension disks with fuzzy dental floss. Blowed air at the tension disks as well (canned air, not human air). The tension was improved, not perfect but improved.. Thank you all for your help! It is much appreciated.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pepto Pink Pyjama Party

I love making clothes to lounge about the house in, L♥VE I tell you. I don't know if it is because the pressure is off, if I am making things only my family will see, I don't feel the need to be as perfect. Possibly. Then again, I live a fairly dull life, (I'm not complaining, if I wanted excitement I would go get me some), and I wear casual/lounge clothes more than almost anything else. A combination of the two perhaps. Let's go with that.

After my recent make of Loes Hinse Cruise Pants (cropped version), I thought they would also make perfect pajamas (notice how I am demonstrating my cleverness in using both spelling of PJ's, oh wait a third version too, goodness, I am gifted).  They are easy, fast and fit like a dream. Exactly what one wants in lounge wear.

So I went stash shopping in the fabric closet of requirement and found Pepto Pink Linen! Why was Pepto Pink Linen in my stash I asked myself? Myself had no idea. You see, I don't wear light pink. Ever. Even as a child. So why on earth did I buy it? It must have been cheap. I washed and dried the fabric three times in hot water and put it in the dryer before cutting. It made such a difference to the feel, it's like a completely different fabric. Much improved, not as crisp and wrinkly, and I am not likely to iron these.

I love them. Worn together they have the look of hospital scrubs, not exactly what I was going for, so I tend not to wear them together, I don't sleep in bottoms any way, they are too warm for me, so I sleep in the top and wear the bottoms with a t-shirt.  The top is OOP Vogue 2148 and as mentioned above the bottoms are Loes Hinse Cruise Pants. Win.

I feel I need to explain/apologise for the lack of photos of me wearing garments. I really hate having my photo taken, even if I am the one doing it. I am trying hard to get over it and I promise I or at least my body will make an appearance soon. Bear with me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Help me! Opinions Please

Is the look of orange and pink colour blocking over? I have the above fabrics (knits), which are exactly the same and now I feel like doing something with them together. Tell me ladies, is it too late, has the boat sailed on this look already? 

1. Is this look over?

2. If it isn't over, what would you do with colour blocking a t-shirt? I am thinking of one sleeve a different colour or ............? Share with me.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Alert the Media! Part one.

I have contacted Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp), BBC, but not FOX news (for obvious reasons). For some reason they don't feel the information I am about to share with you is news worthy. Humpf. What do they know anyway? Now that I have your interest. Here we go.

I sewed. Yup, that's right I sewed. In spite of the way it appeared, I hadn't been kidnapped and held hostage for my impressive sewing book collection, I wasn't being held for questioning by the stash police, wasn't on a top secret mission finding the world's rarest fabric, oh no. Just suffering from lost mojoitis. No, not mojitos, mojoitis. I just couldn't get going. All that changed this week.

I made this.

What is it, you ask? It is a holder for my earbuds for when I go to the gym. More than once I have arrived there without any means of listening to music thereby keeping my butt on the treadmill for the required amount of time. Now that my membership card is attached to them I can't go without them.I love the fabrics I used on this, the colours make me smile every time I see it.

I finished a caftan that I started months ago. It is Vogue 7335 now OOP. I have had this pattern forever, it came out in 2001 and I bought it pretty soon after that. On Pattern Review there is a consistent opinion that this is way oversized. Hell yeah it's big. I made a size 16, and I am a size 20 or 22 (on a bad day), I also am broad shouldered, and this hangs off me like those sweatshirts they wore in Flashdance, not really the look I was going for. That isn't to say I don't like it, I do. It will be perfect for lounging about the house when the stupid hot days of summer arrive. It made from one of the worlds ugliest prints (think of fishbones on acid), a rayon from my stash (I think it was thrifted, I hope it was really cheap). It was intended as a wearable muslin. Next one will be considerably smaller. Mark this as a win.

Next up Butterick 5504, Connie Crawford shorts or capris. Let me say right away that these are most definitely not a win. I am not sure whether that is the fault of the pattern or the fabric I chose or both. The fabric was in my stash (thrifted) and is cotton twill with lycra. I have read other people describing fabric as being spongy and I was never quite sure what they meant by spongy.  Now I do. If you want to know what spongy fabric feels like, let me know and I will mail you some 8-). I think if I made these in a drapier fabric, I might be able to fix whateverthehell is wrong with them, but with this fabric, no way I am willing to try. They do some really strange things, for instance in the front crotch area there is fabric pooling there, which as I am sure you can imagine is less than attractive.  Apparently when I walk strange movement occurs on the legs. These are too awful to photograph. My camera might break. Sorry, you are just going to have to take my word for it.

Next up (I told you I sewed), Loes Hinse Cruise Pants. I made the cropped pant, in a linen cotton blend. Instant Love♥. The pattern goes together like a dream and fits well. I'm not saying they fit perfectly but as my weight is in flux I am not willing to spend a bunch of time fitting something that won't fit perfectly in a little while anyway. I have barely been out of these pants since I made them, except to wash them to take photos. WIN.

It is so nice to be back to sewing, you don't realize how much you love it until you haven't sewn for awhile. Stay tuned for part two.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Just like many others I am claiming my blog. Don't really understand why I or anyone else has to do this, but what the heck.

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday ditherings

Ever since I signed up for "The Challenge", I have been suffering from decision paralysis. I can't seem to make up my mind what to sew next. It is so bad that I am procrastinating and actually ironed all my husbands shirts today. Around twenty-five of them. This is serious, no?

 I really want to make the Minoru Jacket and have forever, I even have a Pinterest board of Minorus. As I am in the midst of a weight loss struggle and the Minoru is complicated it just doesn't make sense to sew it right now. Then there is Butterick 5504, a Connie Crawford pattern for shorts, perfect for summer. Vogue 8810, a dress which I am also considering. The list goes on and on. What to do, what to do? I know myself better than to force myself to sew when I don't have the spark, whenever I have done that it has been a major fail, so I am looking through my patterns and fondling my fabrics. Inspiration will wander in eventually.

I have discovered a new, not so secret passion. It is Top Gear, the British car show. I am obsessed with it. It is a great show to watch while ironing (see first paragraph). Fortunately there are 17 seasons on NetFlix. If you want to have a good laugh, watch Season 10, episode 6 and 7. I have seen each of those episodes three times and my abdomen hurts from laughing. British humour at it's best.

If you want to feel hopelessly inadequate and uncoordinated, go to Walmart and buy a hula hoop.  I did. When I was a child I could do it forever, on Wii, I am not great but I can keep the hoop moving. In real life, not so much. After trying for 20 minutes I can get the hoop to rotate around my waist for oh, maybe three times. After I get bored of that, I terrorize the dogs with it. All good fun.

On a serious note, I have a request of all of you. I have a young friend that is having a very difficult time right now, and I am worried sick about her. I can't be specific without breaking her confidence. Could you please add Rosa to your prayers, she really needs some help right now. Thank you, I appreciate it more than you can imagine.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sign me up ladies!

because you can't have a blog post without a photo, this is one of
my canine children, Jasper.

I have been following this blog for awhile now, and that little voice in my head keeps telling me to sign up. I have been telling the little voice to shut the @$#& up, the little voice has been getting louder and more persistent, so in order to quiet one of the voices in my head (kidding) (sort of), I am signing up. This has  been my intention for some time now anyway, only now I am stating this publicly. Prepare to be underwhelmed ladies!

One of the challenges of doing this is that I am exercising and losing weight, and I have been resistant to making clothes that won't fit me forever. I have decided that this is not going to stop me, granted I won't be sewing with high priced quality fabric from Emma One Sock or Marcy Tilton or with Claire Shaeffer patterns etc, but I will make clothes that fit the body I currently inhabit. So there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It is February

Well, duh, right. I will explain. For me February is the time of year that I either hibernate or go mad cleaning out closets or a combination of both. This year it is both. I have been busy decluttering and cleaning closets. It is incredibly satisfying to open a closet that you previously needed full body armour to protect yourself from falling debris, to see the change to a tidy organised space. It is so satisfying that I have done every closet, pantry and china cabinet on the main floor of the house. Obviously, this means no sewing has been happening. This is why I have been a no show here. I know you have all been feeling my absence keenly. 8-)

Sometime ago, I got an email from a lovely person who nominated me for a blog award. In a frenzy of activity I deleted all my emails and then promptly forgot all about it. I  am so enjoying menopause brain. Not. So, if you are the lovely person who nominated me, please accept my apology for seemingly ignoring you. I didn't mean to, really.

Vicky from Another Sewing Scientist has come up with a brilliant idea. Map the sewists, sew-ers, sewintists, seamstresses, mangler's of fabric or whatever you like to call yourself. Go here to read about it and go here to put yourself on the map. I did.

I came across this website, Daylight Map, and I find it really useful when dealing with people from another part of the world, I am so very international, don't you know? Seriously, though, it is interesting watching the spring equinox coming. On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This probably is of more important to those of us here in Canada than if you are closer to the equator. I thought someone else might like this site. Please let me know if you like it as much as I do, or whether I am just a total geek.

That's all. Sewing to come soon.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kwik Sew 2874

I made view A

Fresh on the heels of my latest make, the less than successful Katherine Tilton  V8690, which I feel my choice of fabric was largely to blame for. I decided not to set fire to the remaining four meters in my driveway (sorry Heather), or to put it back in the closet of requirement, or to donate it. I decided to discover if the fabric truly was to blame for the failure of V8690. So I decided the next knit project of 2013 going to be Kwik Sew 2874. Since I already had the sewing machine, the serger and the cover stitch machine  threaded, and I knew how to handle the fabric, I figured what the hell.

this is the fabric of the devil
I did discover something while making this top. It is incredibly freeing to sew something when you could not possibly care less about the outcome. Really. For instance, instead of being thrifty while cutting out the fabric so you use as little as possible, I did the opposite. I tried to waste as much fabric as possible. It was fun and I felt like a rebel (I know, it's sad). The remaining scraps are going in the garbage, where they belong.

the shoulders are held in place with blue tack so you can get an idea
of the shapelessness of the garment
I can state without hesitation, if you ever want to make a completely shapeless garment that will make you feel  unattractive and will hide all those pesky curves you worked out so hard to get and gave up cheesecake and pizza for, this is the fabric for you. I know ladies, control yourself now. You got to get yourselves some of that. The pattern, oh the poor pattern. It gave it's life for the fabric of the devil. I have no idea what this pattern is like. I can say the directions are good, and it goes together easily, but whether it is wearable and a well fitting pattern, sorry I have no idea. As part of my resewlution to sew knits all year and get competent, I will revisit this pattern at some point this year.

Oh yes, the fabric was in very large part responsible for the massive fail of Vogue 8690, whether it is entirely at fault, I don`t know. I will make it later in the year and get back to you.

So far this year month I have made

                             Vogue 8536
                             Simplicity 4076
                             Butterick 5215
                             Vogue 8690
                             Kwik Sew 2874

9 more to go, I think I will make my goal this year, don`t you?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Butterick 5215 and Vogue 8690

Close up of fabric, accessorized with dog hair.
Two more t-shirts on my list made. One is a complete success, the other, not so much at all.

First, the success. Butterick 5215, a Connie Crawford pattern. 

I made view B, which is the semi fitted version. I lowered the neckline by two inches (thanks Dixie!) and that was the only change I made to the pattern. It fits pretty much perfectly and it is in the running for my TNT. I made it from a horrible rayon lycra blend that I bought a while back after I had bought a t-shirt made from the same stuff. Before the purchased version began pilling, of course (sigh). At least it was cheap, if memory serves it was $3 per meter. It wasn't fun to sew as it is slippery and clingy all at the same time. Swearing while sewing was mandatory while making this one. Fortunately I am very good at swearing. Ask anyone who knows me. 

The not so successful. Vogue 8690, a Katherine Tilton pattern.


I made this to wear around the house instead of a sweatshirt, to that end it is successful. This is not a garment I would tell anyone that I made. As a matter of fact, no one that I don't live with will ever see me in it. That includes all of you. Sorry.

The shoulders are tacked on the wall with Blue Tack so you can see how much
the fabric stretched. Not a good look. Fugly.
Ignore that last paragraph. All of it. The Husband just came home, saw this on, and announced "well, that is a look". Keep in mind my husband is incredibly supportive and almost never critical of anything I make. This may be the first time he has ever been that critical. Seriously. Welcome to Wadderville.

I am not sure if it is the fault of the fabric I chose, or the pattern, or a combination of both or the manufacturer. I am in the way of thinking it is the fabric. This is (I think) a poly cotton blend, it is that stuff they make thermal long underwear out of. This stuff stretches in width and shrinks in length. Of course this is the stuff that I have four more meters of, I am too cheap to throw it out, and I would hate to donate it and have someone experience the joy that is this fabric. The karma would be a killer. I am considering setting fire to it in the driveway and then dancing in the ashes, it would have the added benefit of melting some ice. Oh, I don't know, I may just put it back into the fabric closet of requirement.

I think I will try this pattern again later this year, in a better choice of fabric.  Four patterns down, ten to go.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1947 Singer Measurement Chart

This little goodie fell into my hands when a friend of mine gave me a box of sewing goodies he came across at an auction. I was hoping for a case of unopened Dritz welt buttonhole makers, three or four thousand vintage pristine cut mother of pearl buttons, four or five dozen eyelet templates for the Singer and Griest buttonholers. Uh, no.

This was the only cool vintage thing, of course I thought immediately of sharing it with all of you. I wish they still made the "Molded to You" form. No more duct tape dress forms. Oh well.