Monday, February 25, 2013

Look at this Challenge!!!

Join the Challenge: Sew Your Own Wardrobe for a Year! is a blog hosted by several sewists from the Toronto Area. They have made the commitment to sew and wear their own clothes for one year beginning April 2013. And they want you  to join them!!! I love this challenge.  Join me in making the commitment to yourself, and to your bank account by refusing to buy rtw clothing for the year.....

I can only do this challenge because of Victoria's amazing Fearless February Challenge. I have been sewing all month. And I will have two pair of pants to post this weekend and maybe a third. I did give myself an extra week due to a migraine - so my February lasts until the 8th of March. I can't believe how confident I have become about sewing pants!!!! Pics later this week....Oh! And I haven't just been sewing trousers. I am also about to finish a coat. I threw it in at the last moment and besides a few last minute fitting issues, it has been quite easy so far....That should be done by tomorrow night or Wednesday night at the latest....

I decided to enrol in Natalie Chanin's Craftsy class....I love her work. I'm not going to wait the 2 months it takes for the pattern to get here. I'm going to use her embellishing techniques on a skirt pattern instead.
From the Craftsy site "Designer Natalie Chanin will show you how to hand-sew appliqué and add artistic stencils and stitches to turn a Vogue coat pattern (included free!) into a work of art". I have two of her books and I want to get the third soon....

Source: Mimi G
 And I plan to take the pencil skirt online class at Mimi G after seeing Kelly's amazing pencil skirt at Sew much to do, sew little time. The course is only $10.99 and to have a great skirt at the end of it is just amazing. (I'm signing up tonight!!!)

  Also, still for the Greater Toronto Area, there was a meet-up on Saturday,
February 25th, that I thought was next weekend but turned out to be this weekend. So I missed it. They ( Gillian and Adrienne) have promised to put together another meet up for the summer months.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Migraine, A Winner, A New Contest and Two Awards

Okay, I had a terrible migraine this long weekend (it was Family Day in Ontario) so I fell behind on my February Challenge sewing. I am extending February into March for one week. I am just determined to finish four pair of of which is 90% finished and another is already cut out and just waiting to be sewn up.

I also let the February Burda Magazine Give-away run later than St Valentine's Day...again, I blame my migraine...the winner is Jody Sears....I've emailed you Jody but if you're reading this, send your address and I'll post it today.

And I am humbled to learn that I have been awarded two awards....


liebsterblogawardand the Leibster from Sewtell

There are rules and obligations to these wonderful awards, the answers to which I will post  later this week...

Finally I another Burda give-away,if you're sick of snow and cold, I'm giving away the Aug 2002 Burda (lots of pics below so you can get an idea...) to help warm you up. Just leave a comment and you're entered in the draw (oh, and I'll mail anywhere in the world and please let me have a way of contacting you!). This winner will be picked March 5th...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I Make a Muslin for Most New Patterns

I used to hate making a trial garment (or a muslin). I mean I wanted to sew the garment not a draft. But then I found, if I made the muslin, I became more sure of the end result for the real garment. And I also had cloth pattern pieces (because I take my muslin apart and save the pieces). And this extends the life of the pattern and I can reuse the fabric pieces for a future muslin should I feel my body has changed.

What held me back from making a muslin?
  • I wanted to make the garment right now
  • I felt I could measure and make changes on the garment fabric without too much trouble
  • making a muslin seemed long and tedius

I find these days, I always make a muslin. (What a change from even a year ago!)

According to Wikipedia

 Muslin (/ˈmʌslɨn/ or /ˈmjuːslɨn/) is a loosely-woven cotton fabric which originated in then India (and now Bangladesh), which was introduced to Europe from the Middle East in the 17th century. It became very popular at the end of the 18th century in France. Muslin is most typically an unbleached or white cloth, produced from carded cotton yarn. It is often used to make sewing patterns, such as for clothing, curtains, or upholstery. Because air moves easily through muslin, muslin clothing is suitable for hot, dry climates.

While I keep mine for future use of the same pattern, Tasia at Sewaholic doesn't. She suggests reusing the muslin either by re-cutting it for other muslin pattern pieces or by using it for sew-in interfacing. (What a great idea!). And one blog I visited touts the merits of using muslin as a face cloth (albeit, she is pushing a brand.) I bet you could cut off some of your bolt of cotton muslin to use as a face cloth or even a rag (depending on how tight the weave is).


A muslin is made out of a cloth of similar weight and drape as you plan to use on your finished garment

A proper muslin does not include all the pockets and other features – only the main pieces to check for fit

I find a quick muslin of main pieces works for fit and sometimes I use the muslin to practise buttonholes or other new-to-me techniques

Again, the muslin can be unpicked and kept as a properly fitted version of the pattern for next time. I have done this with three patterns so far and it has been really useful. 

It's an extra step but it can be a time-saver.


But Is a Muslin Always Necessary?:

My belief is no. I took sewing classes in high school where not a step was overlooked. We never made muslins. So I am sure that this is a newer tradition (at least for every garment). 

Proper measurement, familiarity with the the pattern-maker's cuts and generous cutting (leaving an inch to play with) or tissue fitting all work too.

But be sensible: if you need to make a lot of alterations, a muslin is the way to go

Step-by-Step Instructions on the Web

Sewaholic has a great turtorial here 

Oliver + S has great step-by-step instructions too.

Shona Stitches is another blogger with a post on muslins (and really, I agree with her on almost everything although I haven't started tracing my patterns yet. I know, I know. I'll regret it)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Made it (No, I'm About Half-way Through Making it) Monday Bloghop

I'm in a bloghop.... and it is for creative people with blogs. kidding. Anyway I saw some really great ideas on different blogs...Like teacup hooks from Fluff the Mindless Reader and a green pizza recipe from Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby

Look at this amazing pizza from Healthy Mommy

I will be making some cool teacup coathooks and some green pizzas soon. Until then, I'll update you on my weekend. Snow, snow, snow...I shoveled four times on Friday! Schools were closed so I didn't have to worry about driving in it....

This is the first pants pattern I decided to try because it promises extra tips for fitting pants - which is my problem with making pants...

Here is one of the added in tips I am finding quite useful.

I'm making version A, shown here, but I want a straight-leg pant not one that is tapered. So I cut accordingly.

Another good and useful tip built right into the pattern

Here is the muslin, all taken apart and put away so that I can use it again if I make another pair of pants from this pattern. (and oh, Palmer and Pletsch push for tissue fitting but lately, I've seen the wisdom of muslins. Also, I take them apart and use them as fabric pattern pieces and keep them to re-sew later....It is just nice to know that these pants will fit. And I find with tissue fitting, I am still doing a lot of trial-and-error fitting on the finished garment.)

This is my fabric choice - from my stash- a royal blue light-weight twill.

Fabric pattern pieces on fabric

This is the wrong side of the fabric- look how it picks up lint. The right side looks almost exactly the same except it doesn't pick up lint (thank goodness!)

I keep everything from a used pattern in an extra large Ikea ziplock bag.

Oh, and because I was bored, I used the first fitting of the muslin to make these pajama bottoms from fabric from my stash

 I am hoping to have the pants completed tomorrow night. I am also working on a wearable muslin for a spring jacket I'm making for a friend. This wearable muslin is more to be sure I can make the jacket than for fitting purposes....Again, all fabrics bought previously....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine's Burda Give Away

This give-away is for the March 2002 Burda Magazine. ...

It has a good mix of patterns, a few for men....

A lot of casual pants and tops for women....

Some Asian-themed outfits...

A suit or two...

As I said, some Asian-themed outfits

And a good number of formal wear for children

I'm calling it my Valentine's Give Away because I will announce the winner on February 14th. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me about your next sewing project. Open to anyone. I will mail this anywhere in the world. Good luck!


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