Sunday, March 31, 2013

Work in Progress

Part of my table centre piece for an Easter dinner with friends
First of all I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and didn't eat too much chocolate!

Now that the weight of the unfinished Lady Grey Coat has been lifted from my shoulders, time to look at what's next.

On my cutting table I have a Colette  Beignet Skirt. Instead of lining the skirt as directed in the pattern, I am underlining it. So I am in the process of tacking the underlining to the wrong side shell pieces of the skirt before cutting out. I am using the brown striped fabric I picked up in England last year. When I saw the fabric it said Beignet skirt to me!

Making sure the stripes match exactly is the fun part!

Then I was very excited to get my Sewaholic Robson Coat pattern in the mail when I got home from vacation last week. I had picked up a piece of heavy weight poplin in a light grey from Nancy's Sewing Basket in Seattle last week that I think will be great for this coat.

But now have decided that light grey, while very versatile and will be great for spring and fall, is a little boring. So at Fabricland yesterday I bought some black and white dot fabric (not quite even spaced polka dots!) and bright yellow bias binding for the inside seams. I plan to do the epaulettes, flaps, belt and sleeve tabs in the black and white fabric and then my buttons will be bright sunny yellow (haven't found those yet!)!

And for a knitting update the Hedera socks are moving along nicely, I am probably a third of the way through the second sock so should be finished soon. I didn't do as much knitting as planned while away, but there was no problem with taking my knitting in my hand luggage on either Air Canada or United Airlines!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Me Made Holiday

As I was looking through some pics that we took of our week away, without even consiously planning, I noticed that many of the items that I had worn are "me made". This makes me realize that I am sewing wardrobe staples.

Not just the pretty dresses I love to sew and then never find an occasion to wear! Yes, I am talking about you, Pastille dress, never worn yet and you lovely Lonsdale, worn only once so far.

Below we have the Sewaholic Minoru jacket worn with my black Jalie jeans. A perfect outfit for learning the Cha-Cha on the street with one of my sons!

Then the Lady Grey Coat that I blogged about the other day. I wore this several times last week, with jeans or with black pants.  This coat certainly kept me warm against the cool Pacific sea breeze (gale force wind??). Also note the self knitted long gloves!

The Minoru again, this time showing a self knitted Sashay scarf, similar to the one I blogged about last year.

Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland!
My owl sweater kept me nice and cosy on a cool day. Here below teamed with the black Jalie jeans.

 Overall I am pleased that I am making more everyday casual clothes that I wear a lot.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Lady Grey

I don't think I've ever sewn anything (that I actually wanted to finish) that has taken me as long as the Colette Lady Grey jacket.

Finished at last!!
I purchased the pattern back in about May 2011 and the fabric even before that when my local Fabricland had a sale. According to some notes I found I actually started the cutting out in November 2011.
Showing a peek up the sleeve of the turquoise lining 
I used Gertie's fabulous Lady Grey Sew Along and did a muslin, sewed in hair canvas,  pad stitched the collars,  bound bottom holes, etc etc etc!
I even did a muslin. (Not something I do often!)
Showing the pad stitching on the under collar
All was going well, and the tailoring part almost done when I seemed to just put the jacket aside. But I knew I wanted to finish it. As I mentioned in a post two weeks ago, there is nothing like a deadline to get things finished. We were traveling out west (Seattle and Portland) for a holiday and I was determined I would wear the jacket.

Close up of the collar. And yes this was in the very first Starbucks!!
In the end it took me the best part of about 10 hours to finish. I know that's a long time, but I persevered and am happy with the result. I love the wide collar that I
can pin several brooches to.

It was even cold enough for me to wear the long gloves I had knitted to go with the 3/4 length sleeves.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Arm Knitting

Or, why I always have things waiting to be finished.
Yes, that is a giraffe whispering in my ear!!
Friends came for dinner on Saturday night and as one was leaving I commented on her lovely infinity scarf. She laughed and said that not only did she know I would notice her scarf and want to know more, she had also brought along a ball of yarn in her handbag to show me how!!

It is called arm knitting and I had never heard of it. But rest assured by Sunday morning I had my own infinity scarf!! I see something new and sometimes I just have to try it, even though I have other items of knitting and sewing that I am busy with!!

Trying to show the big loopy stitches!
Basically you knit using your hands and arms as the needles. This scarf took 15 minutes and is 3m long! There are some great demos on YouTube. I happened to watch this one.

I think I need another scarf as well!! Perhaps I will use several  yarns at the same time.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Work in Progress

What am I working on this weekend?

Well first up is an UFO. My Colette patterns Lady Grey Jacket, which if I look back at some notes I made, I started in November 2011. 

Collar hand tailored and steamed
The worst is, when I looked at it the other day, I have done the hard part. I have hand tailored the collar, lapels etc. I used Gerties New Blog For Better Sewing, Lady Grey Sew Along.  And then I just left it.

I even knitted long gloves to go with the 3/4 length sleeves of this jacket.

Now there is a mad rush to finish as I am going away next week and want to take this with me. Nothing like a nice little deadline to get things going!

I am also knitting the Hedera socks from CookieA. This is a free pattern, but I only discovered this after I purchased mine. But that’s ok!

I am using green yarn. Hedera is a type of ivy, and once I had read that I couldn’t bring myself to look at any other colors!

I love the lace pattern on these. It is an easy to memorize four row pattern. This is my first attempt at socks and also a lace pattern. I am hoping to finish the second sock while I am away. I am using bamboo needles, so not sure whether they will be allowed on the plane in my hand luggage. The Air Canada website only mentions allowing plastic round tipped needles.  Not sure what to do there. Anyone travelled and knitted with bamboo needles on a plane?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Very Easy Butterick Dress

The pattern envelope says this is a one hour pattern and it really is. From having the fabric on my cutting table to trying the finished dress on was an hour. I have an overlocker (serger) and overlocked the seams as well as using a stretch stitch on my sewing machine. This dress has no darts, so relies of the fabric for the shape.

It is two pieces for the front and back, a cowl neck and a ties belt.

I have made this dress once before, a purple one which is so handy for work. I can see this one being a staple for work as well, with a black jacket or a cardigan.

The best part is the fact that I scored the fabric from our recent swap at the Toronto Bloggers Meet-up. 

This fabric was from Seraphinalina. And she has made the following dress from it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mathilde last!

Late again as usual!

By now the entire sewing world has probably made at least one Tilly and the Buttons Mathilde Blouse, but better late than never I always say!!

I chose a soft white cotton fabric with a nice drape (from Fabricland) for this blouse. I know white is so boring, but white blouses are a wardrobe staple for me, especially for work.

I really like this pattern. I love the buttons at the back, an unusual feature for a blouse. I used clear buttons.

The construction steps were nicely explained in the pattern instructions (love the little check boxes!), but if you need more in-depth details you could just go to Tilly’s blog.

I will definitely be making more of this and in more exciting colours! Plus I know it is copying, but I have to do a chambray like Tilly! Luckily we live on different continents so the chance of us bumping into each other wearing the same blouse is minimal!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A facelift!

For three years my orchid did nothing, now it blooms!!

I have been blogging for just on two years and for the first few months I kept it private, it was just for my own personal enjoyment. But then decided that I would change the settings and make it public. I am so glad I did as really enjoy the interaction with other like minded people.

Now I am about to give my blog a bit of a facelift.

First the name, I want something shorter, so we are going with  "Sew Debbie” (which sort of matches the website address). “Sew I Think I Can Sew” was too long!

Then the layout and color has changed! 

My trusty sewing companion!
I also want to really spent this year improving my photography as when I am looking at other blogs, it is often the pictures that catch my attention. Hence the random pics in this posting!!

Another change is to do a weekly check in of what I am busy with. Sometimes it is a few weeks before I have a finished article photographed ready to go. So this will hopefully keep me more on track, if I have a weekly update of where I am. My theory is that if I go public with half finished items / plan it will motivate me to get them competed more quickly!

On a sewing note I made another shopping bag, from Simplicity 2806. My friends seem to be enjoying their hostess gifts!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sewing Room update

One of my goals for this year was to organise my sewing room. I am always in such a hurry to get onto the next project that I let the "junk" accumulate.

But I did it! And it only ended up taking a morning. I cleared out two black garbage bags of scraps. I don't really quilt so who am I kidding keeping all the tiniest of pieces.

Sewing table before
Sewing table after

I have to be careful anyway as it is not so much a sewing room, but a sewing area. A little corner of the basement that hubby designed and built for me when I began sewing again.

Cutting table before

Cutting table after
The cutting table was so piled high with projects that I was using the boys' beer pong sorry table tennis table! You can imagine how that went down when they were home!! Now I even have room to display some of the postcards I picked up at the Ball Gown Exhibition that I went to see in London in summer! Some sewing inspiration!

Most of the patterns are neatly packed in a milk crate. 

Threads arranged by color as far as possible

Old friends found! (from my bear sewing days)
That was the easy part. keeping this way is the tough part!!!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bag Lady

I have sewed not one but two bags in the last two weeks.  It does of course mean I am behind in my sewing goals for the year. But never fear, a Mathilde blouse is half finished on my sewing table. So keen am I to finish it, that I had 20 minutes to spare at about 6.45 am this morning (yes, 6.45am on a Sunday morning!!) so went and sewed before I headed out for my long run!

Anyway back to the bags. The first was a camera bag, the Paparrazi bag. I was a pattern tester for this new pattern from Sew Sweetness. I am not a quilter but I love her bags.

Front View
Back View
Here is my version of her Paparrazi bag. I love the fabric I chose, also love the pockets and inside there is  a removable insert to make the inner sections as wide or as small as you need.

The second bad was a shopping bag for a friend ( a hostess gift).

I used a ripcord nylon for this and I think it turned out well. Who doesn't need to keep a shopping bag in their handbag! I used the Simplicity pattern 2806 and sewed view B. This is the second bag I have done from this pattern and both have turned out well.