Monday, August 3, 2015

Oh Cara!

It has been a few weeks since I have made anything due to visitors (it was lovely taking them around Calgary and up to the mountains though - so no complaints!) and it was great having time to settle in my sewing room this weekend and get some sewing done.  I had a pair of Phoebe trousers and a Sorbetto top already cut out (sorry Ruth, I do love your Bamtams though and may have to give them a try soon!) - they have patiently been waiting their time to get sewn - in light blue linen/rayon and I also wanted to try the new Tina Givens pattern - Cara.  And this is what I made:

Off White Cara & Blue Phoebe Trousers

It is hard to see in these photos, but the Cara slip has two front and two back pieces so the slip is bisected horizontally between the waist and hip.

(this is the closest that I could get to a line drawing - this is taken from the instructions)

There are four points (two front and two back) and a pocket that is in the front horizontal seam.  I chose to have in-seam pockets in the side-seams and edged the neck, arm and hems with 1.5" raw edged bias binding folded in half.

I found the neckline to be a bit higher than the Jaqueline and the shoulders to be wider, giving more coverage.  I liked that!  This top is pretty wide as it flares out from the underarm.  I think for future versions I may tame this a little.

It does, of course, work really well as a layer and can be seen above with my blue Phoebe trousers (another of the five items made this weekend) and my altered Phoebe jacket (which I have just noticed that I haven't posted about as yet) . . . . not to mention a TG inspired necklace made out of Lapis Lazuli chips.

Finally with this top, the finishing touch was to add a label out of some printed linen, with my label on top.  This is the inside view, and I love it!

White Cara

With this version I chose to add some of the details from the Cara trousers - a pleated triangle insert and triangular patch pockets.

Another label - call me narcissistic, I don't mind!!  The printed fabric is from some Ikea pillowcases.  We buy the 'on sale' bedding and use it to cover the duvets that form the bedding for our greyhounds.  The pillows don't get used, so they were perfect for the labels!

You can just about make out the triangle on front - there is a better pic with the blue top!  Another great, basic slip that will work with lots of trousers and jackets.

Blue Cara

You can see the volume with this version - as much as I love it, I don't think that it looks so good without a jacket.  In seam pockets again, I prefer them to the triangle ones on the white version.

And I ran out of binding.  I thought about hunting around for some leftover blue fabric, finding the diagonal and cutting a strip . . . . and then I saw some pattern binding already cut . . . . so I used that!  I don't think that it looks too shabby!  You can see how I attach the binding - a three stitch zigzag.  It has held up pretty well on other garments - so far!

Here is the back view and the patch that is on the right side of the fabric, with my label being on the wrong side.

Looks pretty good with a jacket (I am trying to get away from the scrubs look - not sure if I am succeeding!)

Here you can see the attached triangle.  There is one centre front and one centre back.  A little funky!

Blue Sorbetto

Nothing much to say about the blue Sorbetto.  It is blue.  And makes a nice alternative to longer slips.

I have quite a few so I mix them in with my Phoebe trousers and jackets!

Finally, I wanted to show the new necklace that I made using some cultured pearls and a key . . . .!

Phew, lot of photos - hope I didn't loose you part way through!  Although we are in the middle of a gloriously hot summer, I think I may have to turn my thoughts to Autumn,  How about you - are you still sewing Summer?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


For the last three weeks we have had visitors from the UK and although this has seriously impacted my sewing time, it has meant that I have had a ball travelling around this fabulous Province that I live in.  Want to see some pics?

 The Parade for the Calgary Stampede.

 A Lancaster Plane at the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton.

 Old Grain Elevators in Nanton, AB.

 My Uncle Ed, his lovely lady Heather, and me wearing some of my TG clothes!

Stunningly beautiful Lake Louise.

A shed!  I got me a shed!  It will be a work in progress, but I plan on taking my treadle machine out here, so I can sew in the garden!

The Largest Dinosaur in the World!  Drumheller.

 Royal Tyrell Dinosuar Musuem in Drumheller.

 A real, live grizzly bear near Vermillion Lakes.

 View from Banff Springs Hotel - this is a 'panorama' pic so the perspective is a little wonky!

Canola fields on the Prairies - just down the road from my house.

 Looking down from Mt Norquay over the Banff Townsite.

Uncle Ed and Dad looking down over Vermillion Lakes where we saw the bear.

Phew!  It was fun looking back over the pics and realising just how much travelling we did.  This does not show the malls that we visited, various restaurants, Atlas Mines, Sheep River Falls etc., etc., etc!  It certainly highlights how comfy we have become - doing things around the house, not moving far from home, but boy, I'm exhausted!  I'm looking forward to getting down to business and doing some sewing again!  I picked up some patterns during the most recent Tina Givens sale, so can't wait to get cracking with them!  Also, have you seen the most recent post on the Curvy Sewing Collective?  It's all about Lagenlook - do take a look!

How has your summer been?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


There are no two ways about it - when I sew I often make two or three garments at the same time, perfecting the seams/buttons/hems/other details and making the most of fabric that uses the same colour thread in my serger!  This last weekend was no different.  I decided to make three linen jackets based up the Tina Givens pattern, Phoebe.  I have made up some plain versions of this and they are very wearable, so although I do not have photos of the complete garments (maybe tomorrow!) I do have some close ups of the details that I am particularly pleased with, and wanted to share.

Firstly, I noticed that one of the features of many layered looks is to have fabric patches attached inside the garment and outside.  For some designers it is a place for them to add their logos or brand names . . . . And I thought that I can do that!  So I sewed my 'Spotty Dog' clothing labels onto some coordinated fabric and made 'inside' patches on my jackets:

As you can see, I zigzagged near to the edge and (gasp!) left the edges raw.  I'm really getting into the raw edges . . . . . and I kinda like it!

I didn't want there to be a random rectangle of stitches showing on the right side of the fabric . . . so I added a patch in the same fabric as the main fabric:

Yeah, I know, the last photo is a little boring!!!  I like the look of these inside/outside patches so much that I have 'retro-fitted' a couple of slip dresses that I have made/worn/washed and added patches to them as well.  I have found that the patches do fray a little - I trim any stray threads, and that leaves a soft edging to the patches which is similar to the bias binding edges that I have been adding to necklines and hems.

I've also had some fun with button and button band facings:

These buttons are plain silver metal - the pattern on them looked a bit like the weave that you can get on leather buttons that are often sewn on woolly cardigans.

These are just ordinary self covered buttons . . . . . and I used a co-ordinating 1" lime green ribbon for the button band.  I have started using smaller plain buttons on the wrong side of fabric when attaching heavier buttons to the right side.  I find that this gives the buttons more stability and I think that it makes the wrong side (the side that you can see below) look much tidier.

Again I used some metal buttons - but oh boy, what a find - there are greyhounds on the buttons!  As I am the happy Mom to two greyhounds, I am thrilled with these!  I sewed them onto an off-white jacket as I knew I would be wearing this a lot.  I will now be chasing up my other local fabric shops to try and find more of these buttons!

And on the wrong side I used a plain cream ribbon for the button band and some small off white buttons to back the larger metal buttons on the front.

Do you have some 'patented' details or trims that you use that really 'make' your garments?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Your Wish is My Command (Part 2)

My last post showed quite a few of the new pieces that I had recently completed - and here are the rest of the garments.  To date . . . . . I may have another 3 or 4 planned!

White Kika Dress with Sorbetto Bodice
Dusky Rose Jaqueline Pants

White Kika Dress with Sorbetto Bodice
Dusky Rose Jaqueline Pants
Dusky Rose Phoee Jacket
White Kika Dress with Sorbetto Bodice
Dusky Rose Jaqueline Pants
Off White Phoebe Jacket
Dusky Rose Zelda Slip
Dusky Rose Jaqueline Pants
White Phoebe Jacket
Dusky Rose Zelda Slip
Dusky Rose Jaqueline Pants
White Phoebe Jacket
Dusky Rose Zelda Slip
White Simplicity 4221 Skirt (unhitched!)
Dusky Rose Zelda Slip
White Simplicity 4221 Skirt (hitched!)
Dusky Rose Zelda Slip
White Simplicity 4221 Skirt (hitched!)
White Phoebe Jacket
Dusky Rose Zelda Slip
White Simplicity 4221 Skirt (hitched!)
Off White Phoebe Jacket
Dusky Rose Zelda Slip
White Simplicity 4221 Skirt (hitched!)
Dusky Rose Phoebe Jacket
White Zelda Slip
Dusky Rose Pants
Brown Peplone Jacket
Now, somewhere amongst the garments from this post and the previous one are my entries for the Artisans Square Summer 6PAC!  Just need to identify them and create a collage!

So what is next?  I picked up 3 patterns from the recent Tina Givens sale, and I am ready to try some different styles.  Fabricland is also having a pretty good sale so I picked up some more linen mix (I have been using a linen/rayon mix) really cheap, in the light blue that I used for a jacket on my previous post, as well as a gorgeous 'jewel' sapphire blue.  Watch this space!

I just wanted to comment on a reply that was left about the fabric that I use and ironing.  I am embarrassed to say that I have 'misplaced' the comment, so will reply here!  It would appear that Tina Givens (my here - not that you would have noticed!) throws her linen garment in the wash, and once dry . . . . they are ready to wear.  Personally, I need a little more structure to satisfy my OCD tendencies, but I also don't want to lose the soft edging that raw edged bias binding and the patches leave, so I have only been ironing those garments that look really rough when they are dry!  My off white Jaqueline pants needed ironing as they looked a mess when they were dry, but the white Jacqueline slip (the one with the lace patch on the front) can go straight in the closet.  I suspect that the fabrics have slightly different compositions and that is what the difference is.

How is your summer sewing?