Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Day of Sewing and Other Stuff

 Image of 1303 Saltspring Dress

 I plan to spend the day finishing my Saltspring Dress for the sew along. It is actually a sew-along-behind-everyone-else because I have to do more than one or two seams at a time. I am an all-in sewist...


Here is a link to a great give-away from Gentleman Jim at the Fine Art of Tailoring. I've been following his blog for a month now and I've learned so much....He is giving away ten copies of his DVD on tailoring to ten lucky posters. So go on over to his blog and enter the contest. (And follow his blog because it is great....). Just read this post on darts and tell me you didn't learn something!!!

And this is the last week of summer vacation before the schools open for the new school year next week. So I will have to get into the groove of sewing on weekends and one night a week again. I did a lot of sewing this summer - four skirts, two t shirts (both turned out wonky) and two dresses. I plan to make my back-to-school bag for carrying all that teacher stuff...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Almost Finished a Forgotten Project (Simplicity 2657) and I Like the Results

Even though this project took me forever to complete (I just have to do the hem), I found it to be a fabulous pattern. The fit was fantastic and the instructions were super clear. I will definitely make this one again and again!
It was the fabric that really messed me up. This is a super cool, cotton border print. And I really messed up cutting it out. I had to make the contrasting blue seams in order to save it....

Oh, and I chose to use shirring on the back - it fit a bit funny and I thought shirring would hide it. I used this tutorial to guide me and I found it was quite easy to do... It also hides that I didn't match the dots on the bodice front and back

And while I fretted about putting in the zipper with shirred fabric it was a breeze.

This is what it looks like now....I still have the hem to sew and then I will get some shots of me wearing it. And now, back to finishing up my Saltspring dress for the Sewaholic sew along.....

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Quick Skirt

I finally made the Vogue 1247 skirt in some washed denim from my stash. I added 4 inches to the skirt length...and I still feel it is too short. I will make it again but maybe add an extra inch or so.

I have my brown matte striped fabric pinned in a single layer on the cross grain of the fabric. I should have those pants finished by the weekend. I spent the summer makings skirts and now I need to think about pants for back to work....

Also, I happened upon this fun video on CTV news about a 14 year old sewing

Monday, August 12, 2013

Matte Stripes on the Crossgrain

Not the greatest picture, sorry about that. This is the fabulous fabric I bought a few weeks ago. A stronger stretch cotton-poly with matte stripes. I love it and bought it immediately. The problem is the stripes are on the cross-grain. I want to make pants with them and believe me, I don't need stripes going horizontally around my body. So I've been looking into cutting these pants on the cross-grain....

The Problem (I posted this on patternreview...)

I bought some cotton-poly blend fabric that has a bit of stretch because I loved the colour and the matte monochromatic stripes on it. I want to make pants. What I didn't realize until I got home was that the stripes are on the cross-grain, going from selvage to selvage. What do I do? Can I cut pants on the cross-grain. What are the pros and cons of this? Any advice is appreciated.

I really have no experience with cutting on the cross-grain. (Although I have lots of experience for cutting off-grain. I went about a year in high school when I just didn't care/believe that cutting on grain was that important!)


Crash course on grain (from Threads)
Grain is the direction of a fabric's yarns in a woven fabric: lengthwise and crosswise. In knit fabrics, the yarns interloop, so the following don't apply.
Lengthwise Lengthwise grain is commonly referred to as "grain" or "straight grain" on commercial patterns. It's marked by an arrow on the pattern piece, indicating the direction in which the pattern should be placed on the fabric. Lengthwise grain lies parallel to the selvages and has little or no stretch. Therefore, in most garments, lengthwise grain runs perpendicular to the ground.

Crosswise Crosswise grain, also called "cross-grain," is made from the yarns woven over and under the lengthwise yarns at a 90-degree angle. Crosswise grain has more stretch than lengthwise grain, thanks to the over/under weaving, which naturally provides less tension. In most garments, crosswise grain runs around the body, parallel to the floor.

Bias—not technically a grain refers to any line diagonal to the lengthwise and crosswise grains. "True bias" is a cut made on an angle 45 degrees to the selvage. It has the most stretch and gives fabric a flowing drape over the body. Because of the inherent elasticity of bias, it requires special care in cutting and sewing to utilize the stretch without distorting the fabric.


That because the greatest stretch was lengthwise it would actually work out if I cut the pattern on the cross-grain because you want the greatest area of stretch to go around the body.

Did You Know: 

  • A lot of couture sewing has waistbands cut on the cross-grain?
  • Kwik Sew patterns often give a choice of cutting waistbands on the length-wise or cross-wise grain?
  • Border prints are understood to be made for cutting on the cross-wise grain?

What I have to think about:

Lengthwise is better for stretch (even the little bit that is built in with the weaving), for strength and general drape-ability. But that doesn't mean you can't cut on the cross-wise grain. It's just always a toss up.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fabricland Isn't Carrying Simplicity Patterns Anymore...

Yes, Fabricland won't be carrying Simplicity patterns after August 1st, 2013. Something about an increase in costs. Generally I side with Fabricland on very few issues. But on this one I agree. Simplicity has written off its Canadian customers. Which is too bad, since of the Big 4, I find the cut and sizing the best. And I like what Simplicity has to offer. 

I've tried ordering off the Simplicity website but they have farmed the Canadian distribution out to another company who charges insane postal rates. (And I'm Canadian, I'm used to paying insane shipping from the States...). So what to do? 

Well, since I swore off Big 4 patterns for a year (and have fallen in love with Colette Patterns, Style Arc, Cake, and Sewaholic Patterns!!!), it really isn't my issue right now. But it should be Simplicity's issue. What company wants to tick customers off so much that they stop wanting your products?

Honestly, when the new Autumn pattern line was released yesterday, I thought it was a bit lackluster...

This top appealed at first but then I thought it must need a very thin knit for all that fabric twisting....
And this looked nice too until I realized it is made in a heavy knit. What? I live in Canada! I need a real coat!

 Of course, some of there retro patterns from the summer 
are great ...but not in the cards for me....

Other than the $3.99 sale on pattern review, I think if I wanted to pick up a Simplicity pattern, I would really have to download it from the site. Something I don't like to do since it is only available to me for one year rather than for 3 -5 downloads which would be more fair.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Oh Why Do I Buy Cheap Fabrics? A green T-shirt and a Black skirt and a lesson learned...

I've been using up some of the fabrics in my stash. I pick up a lot of fabric at thrift stores and some at the sale counters. And the poor quality is really disappointing. I have to learn to shop for better fabrics so that my time is spent well in sewing clothes I like to wear...

This is a short sleeved Renfrew cowl-neck. It looks okay but the fabric is thin and really horrid to the touch.

This is a simple pull-on skirt made of something polyester-rayon and stretchy. It looks okay but again, it feels like plastic. I did add a pocket to this pattern which I am quite proud of...

And a green Renfrew T-shirt with a wonky neck...

SO I guess these are barely wearable muslins and I need to invest in some better fabrics ...and I live near a fabric district where they are plentiful and reasonably priced. I have no excuse. Live and learn I guess....


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