The Christmas Sewing Post (Better Late than Never)

Hi Guys! Me again! Can you believe it? I'm on a roll! I know Christmas seems like it was ages ago now, but I thought I would share a few of my Christmas makes with you.

My Dad loves to wear sweatshirts, and he used to buy these great ones at Mark's Work Wearhouse (I'm dating myself because I guess they just go by "Mark's" now) all the time, but recently, he's been complaining that they aren't the same and that it's getting harder and harder to find the style he likes. So when I spotted this Kwik Sew pattern, I knew he would really dig it. I wish I had gotten a photo of him wearing it, but I forgot when he tried it on for me. Anyway, he has worn it a ton (which my sister has attested to), and phoned me a number of times to rave about it and ask how he can get more. LOL The fabric is a "Roots" sweatshirt fleece I picked up at my local Fabricland and the ribbing is the closest I could find on the shelf near by. Why is sweatshirt fleece and matching ribbing so hard to find?

I decided to cut out at little triangle detail because I've seen it on lots of RTW. I interfaced the little triangle piece and then just zigzagged it on. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Sorry that I don't have a better photo of it, but it looks really good in real life. 

The rest of the Christmas sewing is centred around the boys (my stepsons - I guess they are more men now than boys. Ha!). Last year I made them matching map shirts and they loved them. So early last year, I started hunting for more fun novelty fabric.  When I spotted this cool galaxy print at, I thought it would be perfect.


I used McCall's 6044 again, only this time I went down to a size medium. Last year the boys complained that the shirts were a bit too roomy. So for two of them I went with a Medium but sewed everything a 1/2" seam allowance (except the collar and button bands) instead of a 5/8", and then the other one is just a straight medium. I think it worked out pretty well, and they all seemed happier with the fit. 

Because I had so much fun making these shirts for the boys last year, I decide to make them each an individual one as well. John actually picked all these fabrics out with me when we were at Thread & Paper in Salmon Arm during the summer. They are all really nice quilting cottons which seem to work really well for a button down shirt, especially a novelty one.

 I also have to include this silly shot. Such hams for the camera.

With short sleeves, this shirt sews up really quickly. I think it took me longer to cut everything out and get it all interfaced than it did to sew them up. If you are looking for a good place to start with some sewing for the special dudes in your life, either of these patterns are great! And when it comes to shirts, men just seem so much easier to fit.

Do you sew for the man in your life? What are your favourite patterns?

I'm Back.....and with more Jeans too! (I know you're shocked)

Do you ever get so far behind with blogging that you want to just forget you even have a blog, and pretend like nothing ever happened? You can't be behind on a blog you don't even have, right? I mean, I only document via Instagram, everyone knows that right? If I go long enough, people will forget I had a blog, right? Right? Right? LOL. Ugh! I really want to be someone who regularly updates their blog, but sometimes I would just rather sew, or knit, or watch Fargo (have your watched it yet, the series is awesome and the first season is filmed all around Calgary!!) or reorganize the pantry, or snuggle the pugs, you know how it is, don't you?

Anyway, I'm sorry for the unintended break (I'm also super behind in my blog reading, so if you haven't noticed me in the comments, don't worry, I'm getting there. LOL). We are now back in Calgary, enjoying the snow (and by enjoying I mean staying inside as much as possible but looking at it through the window), our cabin is closed up for the winter and we even had a trip to Iceland in there too. So lots of stuff has happened in the last month, but not a lot of it was sewing related.

I have however done a whole ton of Christmas sewing over the last 2 weeks, and I really want to share it with you, but as it's all gifts you'll have to wait until after Christmas day. So in the meantime I'll entertain you with some old photos (we took them back in October, I think) of more jeans and a linden. An outfit that was unapologetically copied from Katie (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?). When she first posted her fall Linden and jeans, I knew I wanted an outfit just like it!

So this is yet another Linden sweatshirt; I have a whole closet full of tops made from this pattern. It's so quick and easy and can be made in a variety of knit fabrics. I've even seen a few woven ones pop up on the internets too, but I haven't tried that yet. In the interest of copying Katie and for something a little different, I went with the split hem variation, and I really like it. 

The fabric I used for this sweatshirt is a french terry that came from Girl Charlee many moons ago (I'm not exactly sure what I bought it for, but it's been in my stash for a while). It's really warm, and soft, but the stripes were terribly off grain, so I did the best I could. It does look slightly off when you look closely. The ribbing came from my local Fabricland.

The jeans are another pair of Angel-Ginger Hybrids, exactly like this pair, and this pair. This time they are made from a lovely charcoal "black" Cone Mill's denim. This denim is definitely not a true black, it's more of a grey, especially after a few washes, but I really like the colour. It goes with pretty much everything in my closet, and it's a little more casual than true black which suits me just fine.

So even though these and my other Angel-Ginger Hybrids, fit really well, and they are mid-rise just like I intended them to be, I'm finding that they still aren't perfect. I really thought I was happy with a "mid-rise" but I've noticed that during and after sitting the waistband tends to roll. So I'm starting to think that I either need to go back to a "low-rise" or try a full "high-rise" jean. I've only ever made the high-rise version of the Ginger jeans once, and I don't think I gave them a fair chance. At the time, I wasn't really used to a higher rise, and I didn't make the now standard adjustments I usually make to jeans. I'm much more experienced at jeans now. 

I've also recently purchased Lauren's new Birkin jeans pattern, so I'm excited to try that out too. I'm not 100% convinced that it's going to be perfect on me, but I am excited to try it out (especially after seeing Meg's smokin' pair). I'm also really looking forward to the skinny version Lauren intends to release soon too. So expect to see some more jeans sewing from me in 2016! Woo hoo! I've also forayed into sewing jeans for John as well, so I'll do a post about those one of these days as well.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back on the blogging wagon, and I'm hoping you are all doing well too. Are you doing any Christmas sewing? Gifts or maybe fancy Christmas outfits? I wore the same Anna I made last year to John's company shin dig. No one noticed and I got lots of compliments! Lazy seamstress for the win!

More Jeans & Other Makes too!

Hola peeps! How are you all doing on this fine Friday the 13th? Things were going pretty well for me until I had almost completely finished this blog post and Safari crashed and I lost it all. UGH!! (It actually happened twice, so I switched over to Google Chrome and that seems to be better.) And I don't remember everything that I wrote! I guess it's a sign to start over. Anyway, I'm back with surprise, surprise: another pair of jeans, but not to worry, there are some other new me-mades in this post too. Woo hoo!

So this ensemble consists of another pair of Ginger-Angel Hybrid jeans (Angers? Gangels? Ginangels?), a sleeveless Granville, and a Hemlock Tee. All worn shamelessly with my slippers! What can I say, I love my fuzzy slippers!

So let's start with the jeans. I don't really have anything new to say about the pattern, as this pair is pretty much exactly the same as my last pair.  What does make this pair special is that they are made from a gorgeous 9oz Cone Mill's Denim from Threadbare Fabrics. There is just nothing like a good quality denim. It's so much nicer to work with, it presses nicely, and the best part, it's recovery is amazing. I can wear these baby's for days and they totally maintain their shape. (And by days I mean, I can comfortably wear them four or five times before I need to wash them, unless I spill something on them, ahem coffee,  which is pretty common for me 😝). The 9oz denim might actually be a little light for a regular pair of jeans, but I just couldn't resist the colour. It's a slightly lighter shade than the regular indigo you usually see in denim. It's not showing up very well in these photos, but it really is a bit lighter. While the weight of this denim might be a little lighter than what I'm used to, it makes these jeans extremely comfortable, and stretchy (they almost feel like leggings)! I do miss the (ahem) support that a slightly heavier denim would provide though. Plus because I used a quilting cotton for the pockets, you can sort of see the pocket outline through the denim, but that is mostly my fault as I should have went with some lighter scraps, but who can resist surfin' cats?

When I got my hands on this denim, I debated making something else out of it due to it's lighter weight. I thought it might make a lovely Chardon or Brumby skirt, a shirtdress or a jean jacket, or even quilted with flannel for a cool Tamarack jacket, but in the end I decided a pair of jeans would probably get the most wear. I almost tried out this pull on version (which I think would be perfect in this weight), but I was too lazy to try a new pattern this time, and I really wanted to make another pair of Ginger-Angels as I wear my first pair a ton!

For something a little different I decided to go with some red topstitching. I remembered Amy's pair and I loved how the red looked against the dark blue. I'm not sure my red pops quite as well as it did on her pair, but I still really like it. I think one of the really cool parts of making your own jeans (and your own clothes for that matter) is that you can change up those little details. I'm also planning to add rivets, but I haven't decided on the colour yet. Any thoughts? (I have brass, gunmetal, silver and copper.)

Anyway, enough about the jeans, let's talk about the tops. The lovely striped number is a Grainline Hemlock.  I made a Hemlock months ago, and decided that the boxy, one-size fits all pattern just wasn't for me. It seemed too shapeless and long for me, but then I kept seeing cool ones pop up in my Instagram feed, so I decided to give it another go. I mean, the pattern's free, so why not? This time I decided to forgo colour-blocking, shortened the body by 2.5", and made it out of a stripey fabric. I mean you can't go wrong with stripes, right? I am so happy that I gave it another shot. I have been wearing the two that I made pretty much non-stop. It's amazing how something changes when you get the length right. The other one I made is striped too, but I haven't blogged about it. I think this fabric came from my February Knitfix pack from Girl Charlee. It's a french terry, but it is on the thin side; you can easily see the pockets of my Granville coming right though it, so it might not be the best for layering over tops.

All summer, I really wanted to make a pale pink Granville top. I even found the perfect fabric at Blackbird Fabrics (it's a beautiful Italian Linen just like this one), but for some reason, I never got around to making one . So in my recent fit of cutting out 5 Granvilles, I decided to include the pink linen. It's a little seasonally inappropriate, but I figured it would work well under sweaters, and worst case scenario: it just hangs in my closet for a few months and then I know it will get a ton of wear when it warms up in the Spring and Summer. I had planned to use some cute little buttons, but when I spotted these cool marble snaps in my stash, I knew it was meant to be. I know they came from Snap Source because they were still in the package, but I couldn't find them on their website.

It still looks a little stiff, as I have't washed it since I made it and I starched it like crazy so it would be easier to work with. Linen always seems to stretch out and go wonky on me, and I found that spray starch really helped. 

Anyway, I hope that you all are having a lovely night, and please hug your loved ones tight and wish or say a prayer (or whatever you do/believe) for peace and the people in Paris. I don't really "pray" myself, but after crying while watching the news, I am trying hard to hold a space of love instead of fear (which I know is really hard), because a big point of these attacks is to evoke fear.


The Quest for the Perfect Jeans: Angel Bootcut Jeans Part 2

And we're back.....

Hey Everybody! What's chippin' your potato? How's the week going so far? I guess it's only Tuesday so it might be too soon to tell. As promised I am back with yet another jeans post. I mentioned in my first Angel Jeans post, I felt like I couldn't really give the pattern a proper review as I had done all this crazy slimming down to the legs, and I messed up my lengthening only the front rise. So I decided I would make it up again, but this time make it as close to the original as possible no messing with the leg width or the rise, or anything like that (I did make a few changes to make them fit me better, but that's about it). Alright, grab your coffee or tea, and let's get down to business

After wearing my first pair a few times, I decided that not only did the denim bag out quite a bit, they were just too big. I had chosen my size based on the size chart, but after contemplating it for a bit, I decided that this pattern must not be drafted with negative ease. It calls for stretch denim, but I think I must like my jeans much snugger than what Angela Wolf has drafted for. So I consulted my trusty Ginger Jeans pattern, and used the finished garment measurements to help me figure out what size to make. I ended up going down to a size 6. A size 6, can you believe it? I went down 3 sizes. Whoa!

The denim I used for this pair is an Italian stretch denim I picked up at Ditto Fabrics in the UK (and by picked up, I mean I bought it online).  It's actually really quite stretchy, so if I were to make these again in a stiffer denim, I might need to go up a size.  I have been on the hunt for the perfect denim for quite some time, and this was one of the many denims I have acquired (for research purposes of course). Anyway, I was bummed to find that it is no longer listed on their website because it's really quite nice. It's stretchy and comfy and the recovery is quite good. These pictures were taken on my second day of wear. They get pretty stretched out and need a good wash after a full second day though. And looking at these photos now, I think the fit looks better when they first come out of the wash. 

When I first tried these on, I was like, "I can't go back to wearing a flared/bootcut jean!", but after wearing them a couple times, the style has really grown on me. I think they are going to look really good with some little wedge booties I have in the back of my closet (I still don't want to admit that it's boot weather). They make me feel reminiscent to when I was about 17-18 years old and this was the style. I had traded in my beloved men's Levi's 501s, for a flared Silver Jeans pair. It was a radical change for me at the time, but I I remember feeling very ahead of the trend. 

I will get into the fit details at the end, but I have to say I'm pretty tickled with how these turned out. I think the fit is pretty close to perfect, and the only thing that I really want to change is to move the back pockets closer together. They are a little farther apart than I would like them, but not enough that I feel compelled to unpick and reposition them. And looking at these photos, I might need to scoop out the back crotch curve just a little more too. It's difficult to fit the back on your own. I usually get John to take a few iPhone photos when I'm in the process, but it's hard to see fit issues in dark denim in photos.

I used two buttons this time for my wide waistband, and unfortunately, I think I put the buttons a little too close together which seems to  cause the top of the fly to gape open a little. It's not really that big of a deal as most of my shirts cover it (speaking of which do you like my new longsleeve tee? It the Grail tee by Vesta Patterns), and really it's not that bad.

It's a bit hard to see it in the photos, but this time around I used a yellow variegated topstitching thread. It's a subtle change from the gold, but I really like it. And I'm happy to say that I get a little bit better at topstitching every time I do it. Hurrah!

Okay so here are the changes I made this time:

  • started with a size 6 (my last pair was a size 12)
  • lengthened the front crotch curve by 1" and the back by 2" using this tutorial again
  • shortened the legs at the lengthen/shorten line by 4 inches, but cut another inch off the hem at the end too
  • decided when I basted them together to check the fit that I might need a full or rounded thigh adjustment, so to compensate, I sewed the side seams from the bottom of the back yoke to the knee with a 1/2" seam allowance and the rest at 5/8" - next time I'll just add a little extra to the side seam when I cut them out
  • cut 1/2" of width off the belt loops piece to make the belt loops slightly narrower
  • did not interface the waistband, except for right at the button hole
  • sewed 1/4" elastic into the waistband (at the top) in the hopes that it would work as sort of a stretchy stay tape and help keep my jeans from falling down - I think it's helped a little but I may have needed to stretch the elastic more when I was sewing it in

I thought I would include a photo of my traced pattern pieces so you can see what the curve looks like. And check out the cute little spiral bound book for the instructions.

So there you have it. I'm really happy with this pair of jeans, and I have been wearing them way more than I thought I would. I have been a pretty die-hard skinny jeans girl for quite some time, so it's nice to add something different into the mix. I am hoping to make another pair just like this, but leave them a little longer to wear with heeled boots (and maybe fix the back pocket position too).

And as if this post isn't long enough already, I feel like I should include a few details about my t-shirt too. As mentioned, it's the Vesta Pattern's Grail tee. I just couldn't resist the cute drawings, and I really liked the idea of the different body shapes offered, plus it has two neckline options (a scoop and a crew), 3 sleeve lengths, and the option of making a tank top. You can buy the pattern in either the S Shape (for an hourglass shape), the E Shape (for a more straight body type) and the A Shape (for a more pair shape). I went with the S Shape, and made my first Grail tee a Large according to my full bust measurement. While the shape was really nice, it was really tight across the back, shoulders and boobs. [Super honest side note: Before I bought this pattern, I was humming and hawing between it and the Lark from Grainline, but the cute drawings and the idea of supporting someone brand new sucked me in! And hey, maybe it would be great! But after I made my first version, I was kicking myself, wishing I had bought the Lark. Lesson learned! (And who are we kidding, I'll probably end up buying the Lark anyway - I need that boatneck! I'm such a pattern junkie!)]

For this version in the photos, I made a straight XL (which is the biggest size) with the crew neck, and the fit is much, much better. I am happy with it, but beware that it runs small, and/or you may need an FBA if you have big boobs. This lovely long-sleeved number is made out of some amazing bamboo striped knit from Blackbird Fabrics, and it's soooooo soft and cozy! It's sold out now, but I'd keep an eye on Caroline's shop because I'm sure she'll restock it. She does have this glorious tie-dye bamboo that I bet is just as soft (well actually I know it is, because I have some of it too but in navy).

And with that, let's wrap this post up! If you've made it down to the bottom, thanks for hanging in there, and if you just looked at the photos and scrolled down, you missed all the details!! Go back!! Kidding! Kidding, I'm kidding.  I hope you guys are having a lovely Tuesday, or whatever day it is when you catch up with your blog feed! And not to worry, there are still more jeans posts to come!

Maria Denmark Edith Blouse

Guys, I keep taking these unintentional blogging breaks. I don't know what is going on with me, but I seem to be adverse to blogging lately. Anyway, I am deep down the rabbit hole of jeans making, but I'm not quite ready to share all that with you yet, so let's take a look at one of my summer projects: the Edith Blouse by Maria Denmark.

This blouse has been on my radar for quite sometime, but Helen's pushed me over the edge. Aren't they gorgeous? Those Carline Liberty prints are amazing! Anyway, when I went onto Maria Denmark's web page to buy the pattern, I discovered that you could purchase either a B or C cup pattern. I went with the C cup pattern, chose my size via my upper bust as usual, and proceeded with my normal full bust adjustment.

I think this worked out okay, but I'm not in love with the fit. It looks pretty good as long as I don't move. Ha ha! I should also mention that the pdf was easy to put together and the drafting is really good. The only issue I have with the pattern itself is that you have to add your own seam allowances and I hate doing that! What can I say, I'm a lazy sewist.

I'm not sure if it's my fabric choice, which is a medium weight cotton from Fabricland, or because I should have just picked my size based on my full bust measurement, but I am not happy with the fit. It doesn't look too bad in these photos, but when I move the whole shirt moves with me. If I move my arms the shoulders move up to my ears. It makes this top a little uncomfortable, and I'm thinking it's not meant to be that structured. My darts are a little bubbly and probably a touch too long (not my best sewing), and it almost looks like I don't have enough room in the bust still. I think that's a bit strange and makes me think that I should have just went with my full bust size. What causes those diagonal wrinkles, does anyone know? 

While I do quite like this blouse, I'm not sure it's really me, so I didn't attempt to remake it like I normally would. I am currently thrilled with my Archers, and my sleeveless Granvilles, so I didn't pursue Edith. I may go back to it next summer, but who knows. I like the idea of the dress version so maybe.

I wanted to go with red buttons, but I didn't have any in my stash that I liked, so I chose yellow, and I'm really happy with the combo. It's a shame I don't really like the fit. I still wore this blouse a few times this summer though, so not all is lost.

I've decided to leave all my adjustments to last, as I like when other sewing bloggers do that, and then all the fit stuff is in one place, so here we go:

  • started with a 38 C
  • did an FBA of 1.5" (3" total)
  • moved the dart point up to be in line with my apex point
  • moved the fish eye dart up by an inch because I moved the bust dart
  • did a 1/4" forward shoulder adjustment
  • added 1/4" for a high round back adjustment
  • and lowered the armhole by 1/2"
  • finished the hem with bias tape

Phew! That was a lot, thank goodness I take notes! John wasn't super keen on the flat collar. I was surprised as he usually likes retro style, but he, like me, prefers my Archer and Granville collars. Am I sounding like a broken record yet?

Anyway, I hope you had a great weekend.  Are you sewing for fall yet? I haven't made a plan myself, but I've seen a lot of great ones out there, particularly Katie's. I love her fall/winter list so much that I just might copy it, in different fabrics of course. Ha!

The Sisterhood of The Travelling Fabric

Hi Everybody!! Oh my goodness, where have I been? Well lots of places actually. While I have been sewing since my last few posts, I just have had no desire to blog. What's up with that? So I have a big back log of things to blog about. Plus John and I took a trip to London, so I want to tell you all about that too! But before I get too overwhelmed let's get to The Sisterhood of the Travelling Fabric

A long, long time ago (last March) in a faraway land (Bangkok), a lovely sewist called Meg made her husband a chambray shirt. The fabric looked so lovely, and deliciously stripey that I couldn't help but fawn over it. Come on, who doesn't love a good chambray? And a striped chambray to boot! Oh and the shirt looked really nice on Tim too! ;) Anyway, being the lovely lady that she is, Meg contacted me a few days later with an offer to send me, and Nicole (who had also made a fuss over the fabric) some of the aforementioned chambray. Of course I am not one to turn down fabric, so we all decided that it would be great to make it a three way swap in the spirit of Lola's Sisterhood of the Travelling Fabric. The amazing sewing community strikes again! 

Anyway, I still haven't made anything out of the chambray, though it does sit in my fabric cupboard where I can gaze at it daily, and take it out and fondle it to my heart's content. I just haven't come up with the right project for it. Would it be weird for me and Meg's hubby to have matching shirts? I did however work up the courage to cut into the beautiful rayon challis that Nicole sent me. How did she know I love blue? ;) I hummed and hawed over what to make and narrowed it down to a nice summery shirt, or another Southport dress. With the help of my design consultant (aka John), we decided that I should make a nice summery, sleeveless blouse. This resulted in my first attempt at the Granville. I know that I blogged one already, but that one was actually my second attempt.

I chose my size based on my waist and hip measurement, with the help of the finished measurement chart, and then once I had traced out the pattern pieces and preformed an FBA, I compared them to my Archer pattern pieces and decided I would be okay to jump right in without a muslin. 

Everything went quite well. The fabric was tricky to cut out, but I thought that I had done a pretty good job. I thought it looked a little bit wonky when I finished, but it wasn't until I saw it in these photos that I realized just how awful it was.

Oh my goodness, how could have miss that? The collar is totally lopsided and look at the button band!! 

Ahhhhhh! And look at the armhole! Side boob anyone? I felt so badly about this shirt. Partly because I felt stupid for not realizing just how wonky it was, but also because the fabric had been gifted to me. I was super embarrassed and I had to work up the courage to point out all the flaws to John. I mean I have been sewing for a year and a half, these silly mistakes shouldn't happen to me! Ugh!!

Anyway, lucky for me, there was enough fabric to squeeze out a remake. I was a little worried that I had done something wrong with my FBA or the pattern somewhere, so that's when I decided to make the first Granville I blogged about. Once it was finished (and a success), I went out and bought some spray starch and very, very carefully cut out a mulligan. I should also mention that I cut it all out on one layer, no fold. That really seemed to help. I made sure to compare the pattern pieces to the fabric as I went along to make sure there had been no shifting, and then I carefully sewed up a new shirt.

That's better! I am happy to tell you that while it's not perfect, it is sooo much better and I am so happy with it! I have been wearing this shirt pretty much constantly since I finished it. Seriously, I must wear it about twice a week.

See how the armhole fits so much better on this one? I really think that had to do with my cutting job. 

I love the princess seams in the back of this pattern. Such a nice fit!

So I did a number of alterations to that you might want to know about, here's my list:

  • a 1.5" FBA and moved the bust dart up 1 1/2" so it lined up with my apex
  • shortened the shirt by 3 1/2"
  • a 1/4" high round back adjustment
  • I shortened the shoulder seam grading out to nothing about 3/4's of the way down the armscye to make this shirt sleeveless. See this tutorial.
  • the armholes and hem are finished with store bought bias tape

It took me a while to decide whether or not to share this shirt with you. I could have easily just shown you the "good" shirt and left out the "bad" one. But I decided that it is all a part of the learning process and I should document my mistakes and failures as well as my successes. 

I am so grateful to Meg for initiating this fabric swap, and I am so thankful to Nicole for this lovely fabric. I want to apologize for wasting some of it, but I don't really think it was a waste. I learned a lot! And now I have a beautiful shirt that makes me think of Nicole every time I wear it (and a wonky one hanging in my closet as a reminder to take my time). So it was a win win in my book!

Thanks for hanging in there for this long post! Have you ever swapped fabric? Do you have any slippery fabric cutting horror stories? I'd love to hear them and any tricks you may have picked up a long the way.