Sunday, July 23, 2017

The multi-sizedness of Jalie

One of the cool things about Jalie patterns is that they come in so many sizes. That is useful for those of us who have family members who come in so many sizes.

Case in point.

My grandson Billy turned 3 today. My daughter told me he needed summer pyjamas.

Billy is what they used to call in the old days a husky size. 

His dad is 6'5" his mom is 5'10" and Mr. Billy is big boned and built like a hockey player, just like his dad.

As my daughter explains it to get something to fit his waist and hips it is miles too long in the legs, and the reverse is also true.

This stuff makes total sense to a sewer - one size in one area of the body, another everywhere else- we live in that territory every day and know exactly how to deal with it.

The problem is of course that when I got the PJ request I didn't have a pattern on hand so I went rooting around in my Jalie stash.

This is what I used to make this 3-year-old something to wear in summer trailer down on the Shore Road in Judique, Cape Breton:




I was able to find Billy's measurements in each pattern and here is the result, the only change being that I used my own cross-over V neckline because I find it easier. 

For fabric I used some striped rayon knit I got as a freebie from Fabricmart many years ago and never could figure out a use for, but for these pjyamas I thought they were perfect. So perfect in fact I also made him along sleeved, long legged, crew neck version for winter.

How could you not want to sew for a guy like this?



Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hélène Cardigan and Talia pants




I have made both of these patterns before and since I liked them both I decided to make a sort of informal pants suit out of the pair of them.

The Hélène cardigan from Jalie is probably one of the most enjoyable patterns I have sewn in a long time. It is interesting to see how it goes together and it provides a more tailored looking cardigan in a knit (which is why my white version ended up being my daughter's lab coat) than most other patterns.

For this version, since I knew I was going to wear it with pants, I lengthened it by 2", also helpful as I am tall. I am not sure if I will add that much next time, but it works here.




I used the same ottoman knit for the jacket that I used for the knit Adeline dress a few posts back and I used some rayon challis for the pants. I made these short as per current style and they are so comfortable.

The Talia's have a flat front and an elastic waist only at the back which is flattering and eliminates bulk where I don't need it.

A pretty easy pair to sew and very practical.



Next, after many months of doing basics sewing and sewing for folks in the family I am stepping out and trying new patterns to wear in the pool with the kids.

Brace yourself for that one.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Adeline dress in woven

A post or so ago I showed you the knit Adeline dress by Stylearc I made and loved.

Of course despite the fact this is a woven pattern I found it was very successful in a knit.

Well yesterday a group from my sewing guild met for a sew and BBQ day and I decided this would be a good time to make up a house dress version.

I really think there is a role in life for house dresses.

You know what I mean.

Dresses in sturdy fabrics that are fine for vacuuming with pockets to put in the weird spare stuff you find on your floors and must pick up. Dresses that are great to throw on when someone comes to the door and you and the dog are just schlepping around eating cereal and drinking tea at 10:00 a.m. Dresses that don't require much maintenance as in ironing and don't stick to your body or restrict your movements so you can pull the green bin to the curb in them and then go shopping.

The sort of dress that requires your only accessory needs to be underwear and flip flops.

Well I had just the fabric for a dress like that, a sort of cotton printed duck that I picked up once at Hobby Lobby because I liked the colours.

We had a great day BTW. I like to see what everyone else makes and the hostess, Cindy, has a to die for sewing space in her basement.

So after I finished my dress I threw it on and we did a few quick shots.

What is most interesting about these shots is the background. My styling apparently didn't involve the sense to brush my hair after I had pulled this dress on.

This may be one of my all time favourite patterns, and certainly is not the last one I will make.

Now is this a house dress or is this a house dress?




I love it!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mistakes sewers make

Feel free to add to this list, most of which was generated by my own mistakes over time. 

Some times I learn my lesson, sometimes I don't.

Here we go:

1. Using up some really good fabric on the wrong pattern because of some dumb head idea that just because you have had it on your shelves for decades it is time you used it to make something. Guaranteed about six weeks after you do this the absolutely perfect pattern for that fabric will show up.

2. Spending huge amounts of time altering and trail sewing the same pants pattern again and again instead of just trying a new pants pattern from another company that just might draft closer to your shape.

3. Killing yourself making a everyone should have one in their wardrobe item, like a hand stitched Chanel jacket, when you know in the back of your head the shape doesn't suit you, and that you are more the kind of lady who makes lunch than the kind of lady who lunches.

4. Having a little bit of thread on all your bobbins and winding not enough for current projects over each one.

5. Cutting out a multi sized pattern because you are too tired to trace it, and then realizing that you want to sew a different size next time.

6. Sewing black fabric with black thread after 10:00 p.m.

7. Not using the pressing cloth because you are in a hurry.

8. Thinking the stitching will look better when you turn it over to the right side.

9. Adding a few inches to the bottom of a pattern and marking that and then cutting out along the pattern pieces, cutting away that extra you wanted to add.

10. Using a light coloured interfacing on a dark fabric because it will never show will it, until you cut those buttonholes open.


That's a start. 

Time to go to bed. Have company this weekend and just realized that I have also volunteered to babysit my daughter's moose sized Golden Retriever male adolescent who likes to sit on people, even those who have allergies.

This list will definitely be continued.

By me, and by you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Adeline dress in knit

I have the Stylearc  Adeline dress cut out in a specified woven fabric and will be working on that over the weekend. 





But when I had some really nice heavy Ottoman knit left over from a cardigan project (probably should have had that review up first of course) I decided to see how this pattern looked like in a knit first.

The knit worked very well. Basically I love this dress and love this pattern. I am going to wear it right out, I can tell.

Not a lot to the dress from the sewing point of view, but what there is has been very well-drafted. The V-neck is faced in the woven version instructions, but I changed this to a simple cross-over V for my knit edition. The dress also has cut-on sleeves that can be rolled up, and big pockets that I didn't put on here as I just was too short of fabric.


My standard cross-over V neck 

In fact to squeeze this dress out of my remnant yardage I pieced the back at roughly waist seam level. Not ideal but hopefully looks as if it was meant to be.

Obviously a super comfortable dress to wear and a very fast sew.

The Adeline has a higher at the front hem ( I just cover hemmed this) that is not too extreme but I think makes for a nice side view:



As you have probably figured out a long time ago I am more a sew it and throw it on and get a fast picture taken kind of blogger than a thoughtful one who puts time and energy into styling. I just sew and then take a picture and run off to sew something else. I do realize that this does show in my shots but hopefully you can still see enough to do the pattern justice.

These shots were taken as I jumped out of weeding and grass cutting clothes (you can see why those were needed in this picture - but note too the nice vegetable boxes my husband has on the go too) and it apparent why those who are more careful have such nice pictures.

The bright sunlight shows for example why women of a certain age IMO would do well to wear hose whatever the style folks say otherwise, and that knit dresses really do benefit from better than gardening underwear.

That said I did put on different accessories on this dress which made clear to me how broadly useful a style like this is.

First I tried the dress on with my favourite gift to self necklace  -I bought at the height of my empty nest attack from which I am now mostly recovered -  and some suede shoes.


Three eggs for three kids, I am pretty sure I bought this just after having put some kid on a plane a few years ago

Next, when I realized how comfortable this dress was I got to wondering if it was something I could also dress up so I ran in the house and got my favourite dressy shoes and some jewellery - totally matchy of course, but then again I am at the stage of requiring hose so that might be as expected.

Here is the dressed up version and those shoes:





This is such an wonderful pattern I know I am going to make a few more for sure. I haven't given much thought to the cocoon shape up to now but can really see how flattering, in a not sloppy way, it can be.

We will see how it looks in a woven next.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Flypaper thoughts morning in July edit


  • My daughter and I in the fabric store
  • I have to go to a wedding
  • What do you like best?
  • The turquoise, the shocking pink, or the coral?
  • What about black?
  • No black, done with black
  • Besides it's a wedding
  • OK. What about navy?
  • Yes I could do navy. I have navy shoes and a bag
  • You mean match? No you can't do that.
  • I like to match
  • Mom no. I mean it
  • So what am I going to wear?
  • How about grey?
  • Let's get those buttons. I can come back later.
  • Offline for the last week because I have been doing childcare for seven days
  • And helped my Texas bound son clean his place
  • Out where he lives there is a sign on the church
  • "Blessing of the surfboards Sunday"
  • Church a block away is selling ice cream cones every afternoon as a fund raiser for Cuba and Uganda
  • Good for instilling values
  • As in any more hitting and no ice cream all summer
  • Have made a few things but need a photographer over the age of 7
  • Got to wait for the weekend to do that
  • Got a Singer Rocketeer for $50 from a man who had it set up in his backyard on a table
  • Sounds so smooth
  • But needs a major cleaning
  • Read you can soak them in kerosene overnight in a bucket
  • Got a feeling I am not going to be doing that
  • Got it to run a old template buttonholer
  • Excited and want to do a post on that
  • Have so so many sewing projects in my head
  • Think I may make a few bags
  • My wallet is shot
  • Pretty excited about that
  • Let's face it 
  • My sewing is not on the edge
  • It's right in the middle
  • Now off to remind everyone about the church ice cream

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Insta T shirt with experimental neckline

I am in need of some of the most basic of  T-shirts for my summer. I will be taking care of the kids 2 and sometimes 3 days a week in addition to my teaching. I am planning on doing a fair bit of running around and a lot of it outside.

It's good for me to be so busy. I am in the process of getting my head around one son relocated to San Francisco and one to Austin Texas, and although I am very pleased for them - both moves represent great promotions- as a mother situated here in Nova Scotia I am still taking in that this is what the family now looks like. I am finding hanging out with younger children and a toddler very therapeutic while I reconfigure my life a bit. 

Of course sewing is my most grounding activity.

Which brings me back to T-shirts. Since I am in the mood for quick and positive results I have pulled out Jalie's Dolman top which of course also has a sleeveless sort of cap sleeved version.

I whipped this one up pretty fast in some cotton single knit I had lying around.

As you all know single knit really curls to the right side so feeling reckless I played around with the neckline a bit.

I cut the neckband and rather than folding it in half instead I  stitched it single layer to the inside of the neck, right side of fabric to wrong side, flipped it to the right side, and zig zagged it down letting the raw edge just hang out about 1/4" past this top-stitching.

Of course this raw edge rolls into the neckline and to my optimistic eye looks sort of like piping if your standards are fairly fluid:




I am pretty pleased with this since I usually don't sew this randomly, as in raw edges.

Here's the full shot of the T-shirt. A very nice simple summer pattern: