Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Me Made May and Retirement :(

I am taking part in the Me Made May - wearing a homemade garment every day for the full month.  This is all being organized by the lovely Zoe of Sozo - pop on over and sign up!

This will be quite a challenge for me as I only really got back into sewing last year, but we all need something to push us along! Here is my pledge:

'I, twotoast sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to a self-made garment every day for the month of May. These garments will be either sewn or knitted by me.'

I think that weekdays will mainly be sewn garments, and the weekends will involve a lot of handknitted socks.  Which leads me onto a sad moment.  I had to retire a pair of socks this weekend due to a hole in the heel of one of them.

So, a moment if you please . . . .

I actually dyed the yarn for these socks myself, knit them up two-at-a-time and entered them into the Western Showcase that highlights local crafts at the Calgary Stampede, in 2011.

They will be missed.  I know that I could darn the heel, but I have about 100 other pairs to wear so I think I will be good to go!

So how about you?  Are you taking part in Me Made May?  Go on, you know you want to!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Moving Onwards - aka, More Fitting Fun!

In November last year I took a 'Fit For Real People' class based upon the Palmer/Pletsch teachings with the fabulous instructor Janice.  More details here.  As a result, I have made 5 great fitting cardigan type jackets from ponte knit (wow - I can't find any photos, I will have to rectify that!) as well as 8 or 9 Sorbetto tops (find out more here!)

So, when Janice advertised that she was going to run a  follow up 'pants' fitting class, I was all over her like a rash.  I have to pause here and let you know that as I am British born and Bred (although I am now living the dream in Canada) and that 'pants' to me have two meanings before we even get to 'trousers'.  First of all they are knickers, undergarments etc.  So when ever I hear talk about pants, I first think of underwear, have a little snicker to myself then have my second thought . . . . which is that if something is 'pants' then it is bad/wrong etc.  To put it into context:

Tilly being eliminated from the Great British Sewing Bee is 'pants'. 

See what I mean?

Only after these two thoughts have completed their dizzy dance inside my head do I realise that pants are also know as trousers.  So if we ever meet and discuss clothing, please excuse the delay in some of my responses . . . . !  Sewaholic had a great discussion on her blog about these differences - go take a look!

Anyway, back to the story - I am happy with my skirt making, getting more confident with fitted tops, so pants seem to be the next garment to master.  Yet again, I found out why I have so many issues with both sewing patterns and RTW.  My RTW jeans and trousers are always hugely baggy under my butt - I can always gather up a handful of fabric and there are times when my trousers have been known to start letting gravity take hold and slip down past my hips.  The reason is that my hips are too small for my waist measurement (the other way to look at it is that my waist is too big for my hips but we are not going down that road).  So after some pattern selection and tissue fitting, Janice happily advised me that I have a flat butt - like a seriously flat butt (we took out an inch in the back pattern piece.  On. each. side. - and I am still flapping in the wind).  But hey, I am not drooping yet, says Janice.  Thanks heavens!  After a number of alterations to the pattern pieces, the result is that my rear is two sizes smaller than the front of me - I tried explaining that to Mr. SDSC and he dissolved in a fit of giggles.  Seriously? 

My homework for this week is to insert an invisble zipper into the crotch - I think I am going to go for centre front - and sew up the crotch seam.  This will be a plain garment - no pockets or fancy smancy stuff, and I am using McCalls 5239 which is supplied as part of the course:

I have a lightweight (summer weight really) denim, as well as a heavier dark brown jumbo corduroy (with a bit of stretch), so I will use one of these two fabrics.

The class is based upon the Pants for Real People book that I got for Christmas:

I know that this probably reads like an advertisement - it is not meant to but I am really excited about these classes.  I am sure that there are lots of other classes that you all attend and making the connection that although my measurements may match those on the back of a pattern does not mean that the pattern will fit is just such a revelation.  I want to jump on the 'wool crepe pants' bandwagon and knock out a few pairs for work as well as making some fun casual trousers and this is a great place to start.

Well, that is me - by next weekend I should have some well fitting pants to wear, and I will get some photos taken of my cardigan/jackets that I have made as well.  The fire is back again and I am ready to sew! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I kind of lost my sewing mojo.  It was linked into moving house and my sewing room looking like this:


But, Mr. SDSC has been very busy building my units, and I will be back to full sewing speed pretty soon,  There are still some things that need moving from the old house (we downsized our house without downsizing our possessions.  Oops!)

In the meantime, I resorted to my more portable hobby - some knitting, and have cast on a cute scarf called Hitchhiker (you can pick up the pattern on Ravelry).  I am using some lovely self-striping yarn called Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball.  The scarf has teeth along one edge and gently curves.  Very cute!  Here is my progress so far:

And here is a photo of my little helper enjoying the afternoon sun - Rocky the greyhound:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Three Out of Four 'Aint Bad

I really don't enjoy sewing for others.  I would like to enjoy it more, but really I don't.  I think it has something to do with other people having their own opinions and wanting their vision and not mine.  However, when I see someone having a problem that can easily be fixed with some stitching, well, I just can't keep quiet.  And so it came about that I started this weekend with four ties that were an embarrassingly 10cm wide (hello 1970's!!)

Pretty colors though!

And have you seen what goes on on the back of ties - all those fabulous co-ordinating fabrics.  Gorgeous!


And layers.  Let me tell you about the layers - there was the outer silk, a thicker, shaped, bias cut, woven interfacing (wool I think), and a silk-organza partial lining.  Phew!

Anyway, this isn't a blog about menswear . . . . . . so after following a number of links this is the result!

 Some very respectable 7cm wide ties.  Much more 'in' I think you will agree!

And I managed to keep the makers' label to use as the tie stays/keepers - to stop the two ends flapping around willy-nilly . . . .

 Not bad eh?!

'Hold on a sec', I hear you shout - 'what happened to the green number?'  Well, unfortunately I got a little scissor happy, cut it too narrowly and it now resides in that great fabric shop in the sky.  I don't think the owner will notice, do you?!

All in all, it was a quickish sewing job.  Probably about one hour per tie.  Measuring, trimming and hand-sewing.  I am quite pleased with how they turned out!

How about you - do you like sewing for others?