Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life Changes continued.......

We have moved from a lovely celebration and the life changing event of the marriage of our son, to his beautiful new wife, Charity, to the sudden death of my mum.  This is one of the last pictures taken of her at the wedding.

We are in grief and working our way through the changes the Lord has brought before us.  We are so grateful for all the prayers as we walked this journey and as we continue to walk forward.

I hope I can get some of the sewing posts put up in the near future.

Thanks for your patience......


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Busy Life With Beautiful Changes.....

Last month we had one of these............................

Our family dynamics are changing, as is to be expected.  I did not have to do much sewing for the wedding.  The girls' dresses were made by Charity's mum.  The tuxedos were rented.  My dress was my silk regency dress, and all the undergarments to go with it, that I made for wearing to the, Jane Austen Festival, Bath England, back in the fall of 2010.  My shawl I made for the wedding, using Lyla Messinger's Sensational Shawls Pattern .  It was made from a burnout silk fabric that had some lovely metallic thread in it.

My new daughter-in-law loves hats. :) :) :)  So, in honour of her love for hats, her mother and I wore hats.

I have several posts I'm trying to put together with various sewing projects from the past several months.  Maybe I can get a few done next week. :)

I hope everyone is having a productive summer.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Oliver + S Explorer/Fishing vest

A dear friend of ours was turning 4 years old.  I wanted to make him something special and different for a birthday gift.  I know he would have appreciated a new 'cool shirt', but I wanted something more.  After thinking about it and seeing some inspiration pictures, I decided to go with a fishing/explorer vest theme. 

My friend's father likes to go fishing, as well as his uncles.  He is eagerly awaiting to go on his uncle's fishing boat.  I wanted a vest that was multipurpose and hopefully would fit for a few years.  I also wanted it so that a life vest could go over top, easily enough.

I decided to use the Oliver + S Little Things To Sew Explorer Vest and built it from there.

Changes I made to the vest were:

I added Velcro closures to the pockets to help keep treasures inside.
I used a zipper, instead of buttons, which gave more room to last longer.
I added D rings and a clip for being able to clip on items of interest.
I also added a D ring to the back to use for hanging up on a hook.
I made the bias strips 2.5 inches wide, instead of the instructed 2" wide.

The fun items we added to the gift, to go with the vest were:

Head lamp
Carabiner clips
Explorer net
Wooden gun

The vest is made out of a cotton twill that is a light to medium weight.  The lining is made from a cotton camo fabric that was light in weight.

I chose to make the bellow pockets, which were more work, but so worth it.  The pockets will hold a few more items. 

I had so, so much fun planning this project and sewing it up for him.  I was delighted to know he likes his gift, very, very much! :)  I now have two more to make for two sons who have ideas of exactly what they want on theirs. :)

Good Night,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012 Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress

Last Year I made the Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress Pattern.  I decided to make it again this year, with a little twist.  I did a review on this pattern and will do an update, since I made the dress again and learned a few more things.  That's to come in the near future.

For now, here is the dress Olivia wore to church this morning.  It is made from a cotton sateen from the Lisette fabric collection. We took these pictures, after church, and as you can see, there was a chilly breeze.  I couldn't get great pictures, but I think these will serve the purpose. :)

More later......


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Salsa Skirt, Child Size

After having made many of the Salsa Skirts for myself, I figured it was time to make some for Olivia. 

When I was at Swing Expo this year, I was stopped so many times while wearing my Wool Salsa Skirt and asked about the pattern.  I was a bit surprised by how many times I was stopped and found it interesting, since I wear this skirt at home all the time.  Perhaps it was seeing it in action while walking across the campus and the 'flirty, flippiness' to the hem that drew attention to it, since I wasn't wearing a coat.  Since it was obviously a favoured skirt, I thought I should make some for Olivia, so she too could have fun skipping along in a Salsa skirt.

Olivia has recently learned to skip.  She knew how to do it a bit, several years ago, but had forgotten and wanted to learn to do it and master it.  She would do a 'sort of skip' movement, but not a true skip.  For the past month and a bit, we have been skipping along where ever she decides is a good place to skip.  It took about a week of skipping through large stores and parking lots to get it down, but she has it down well, now.  Do you remember the enjoyment of skipping as a child?  I love holding hands with her and skipping around town. :)  These are precious memories. It doesn't matter to me if people think this old lady looks funny skipping around with her precious daughter, I am so thankful to be skipping with her. ;)  Olivia has some eye tracking issues which is why she is delayed in some of these activities. ;)

With Olivia's newly picked out knit fabric, I went about enlarging the children's Salsa Skirt pattern and sewed up a couple of new Salsa skirts for her.  This is the first one.  Olivia chose which way she wanted the stripes to go. :P  It was fun to have her select fabric and make decisions on the garments she wanted made up with the fabric.  She has a difficult time making decisions, always wanting what 'you' want, rather than having an opinion.  It has been fun to push her out of her comfort zone and have her make decisions. :)

Olivia thought a new shirt to go with her new skirt, using the extra fabric, would be nice.  We decided on the Oliver + S Hopscotch pattern.  I took the size 12 and enlarged it.  I found that depending on the type of knit, I needed to enlarge the pattern to have a little looser fit.  This knit is a loose knit, but I still chose to enlarge the pattern.  I added 1.5" to the length of the shirt and about 1" to the length of the sleeves.  I decided to double the width of the neck binding, which looks great.  I added a total of 2" to the sides of the pattern, which was .5" to each side seam.  The pattern is great and easy to put together.  I have made this a few other times, but as dresses, not as a shirt.  We will probably make a couple more of these to add to her wardrobe. 

Olivia put the dress and skirt to the test of skipping and twirling.  She really likes her new outfit. :)

Thanks for visiting.....


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sewing Expo 2012

Sewing Expo 2012 has come and gone and now I have a new list of things I want to make and skills I want to further learn and apply to my sewing adventures.

First off, here are some of my goodies that I purchased and brought home with me.  I kept it light, considering the baggage restrictions.  I did bring an extra duffle bag and we had extra room in Olivia's carry on bag, just in case we needed it. :)

Here are two fabrics Olivia picked out for garments for herself.  It's fun shopping for her and allowing her to pick out fabrics she likes.  We decided on a skirt and shirt for the striped, knit fabric and she wants to make a dress out of the beautiful cotton fabric.  The cotton fabric has a look and feel very similar to Liberty Print fabric, though it's not.  We have yet to choose a pattern that will be easy enough for her to sew and enjoy wearing.  Hopefully we will do that in the near future.

The other fabrics I have here are knits fabrics, except for the vinyl pieces for footing for footed pjs. :)  One of my goals for Expo this year was to learn more ways to work with knits and any techniques that would be important to know.  Several of my classes were on knitwear.

Here are some patterns for knitwear that are deigned by Canadian designer and teacher, Jan Bones.  Jan Bones in an excellent teacher.  I always enjoy my classes I take from her.  She's a 'classy' teacher with a wealth of information with a peaceful and fun spirit to her.  I truly appreciate her way of teaching and generous and gentle ways.  If you ever have the opportunity to take classes from her or use her patterns, I highly recommend her. :)

I am anxious to try the "PJs With Feet" pattern.  Making that out of lovely knit fabric would be wonderful!  These are sized for toddler to adult. :)

These next two patterns are from Canadian designer, Linda Macphee, who is out of Edmonton, Alberta.  My favourite skirt pattern the Salsa Skirt, is designed by Linda.  Linda has always kept her patterns on newsprint and has not had the most up to date covers, but she has some great patterns.  She likes to 'reuse' items for some of her patterns and has all kinds of creative ideas.  I appreciate her easy approach to sewing.  Many years ago I took one of the classes offered by her licensed instructors on how to make outerwear, it was GREAT!  It was there that I learned how to make proper winter clothing.  Don't be fooled by her simple covers or newsprint patterns, she offers some great patterns and has some lovely fabrics.  Her new pattern, "Looking Good, jacket and vest #67" was designed while she was undergoing chemo for her cancer.  A portion of the proceeds from the purchase are donated towards "Women with Cancer....a search for the cure".  Unfortunately, her website is so user unfriendly, in my opinion.  You have to go to the main page, and either type in the pattern number, or search through the type of pattern to get to the one you are looking for, it's not easy to just link to it, sorry about that.  Pattern #413 Circle Square skirt is one I am looking forward to trying.  I have seen it made up in the past and have always enjoyed what I have seen, so now it's time to branch out to another one of her skirts....though the Salsa Skirt is truly a staple in my wardrobe.

Two of these pattern in the picture are from Lyla Messinger patterns which I am looking forward to playing with.  They are designed for knits and look beautiful when sewn up.  I look forward to sewing with these, later in the year. :)

The other pattern in the picture is from Safe-T-Pockets patterns.  I am looking forward to playing with the design of these pockets in the shirt.  Having 'secret' pockets for traveling is something I want to explore if I am going to continue traveling.  This is also one of the stores where I purchase FOE (Fold Over Elastic) in the narrower width and some fun colours.  Here is a picture of the two colours I have purchased.  That red FOE is so pretty, I have a little girl who will love this. :)

Continuing with learning to sew men's shirts, I have purchased two patterns from Islander Sewing Systems that have some great tips in them. :)  With my two young men growing like weeds, I want to be able to provide them with nice, well fitting shirts.  They are looking forward to me making them some shirts in the near future.  They enjoyed the Western Shirts I made for them last summer.  I am looking forward to learning more techniques and short cuts for making nice looking dress shirts.

Last, but not least, I purchased the new Lisette Patterns.  I know several of the dress styles are shorter than my liking, but not all of them.  The ones that are short, I just add length. :)  Liesl's patterns are well designed and her Oliver + S children's patterns are a delight to sew.  I appreciate the extra structure and steps in the patterns to help walk you through the process.  She has done a lovely job to assist new sewers on creating excellent garments.

That wraps up the purchases.  At some point, I will share a bit about some of my classes and the instructors.  The Puyallup Sewing and Stitching Expo truly is a great place to take classes from some of the best teachers available.  I feel very fortunate to get to attend.  I am enjoying taking my little Olivia with me.  She comes with me on the Sunday and we go to the charity fashion show and it's her day to pick out some fabrics and enjoy seeing all the lovely shops.  It's also our day to spend with Grandma and Aunties, taking in all the fun. :)

Good-night and happy sewing,


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kanga Jumper Dress

From this

to this

When Jennie Chancey of Sense & Sensibility Patterns put her first batch of Kangas up for sale, I simply had to purchase some to help out with the sewing guild.  I love that she is putting this effort into assisting women in need, be it widows, single mums or others in difficult situations.

When I purchased the Kangas, I thought they could make some lovely gifts.  After I received them, I realize the quality of the fabrics vary quite a bit.  Some are much more gift worthy and others not as much, but still worthy to have and to make into something special, should one choose to do that.

I chose my first Kanga project to be a jumper dress for a lovely young girl.  This girls has talked about becoming a missionary.  I recently had fun tracing off a simple pattern from one of her favourite jumpers and giving the pattern back to her, sized up, so she could make some jumpers for herself.  This young girl just turned 11 years old this month.  Miss T. has a heart of gold and is very kind and compassionate to many young girls.  I appreciate these qualities in her.  The dress I took the pattern from was of the colour blue.  I thought I remembered her mother saying blue was one of her favoured colours.  With that in mind and my only Kanga in blue, I knew which Kanga would be used for her special dress.

One thing I learned about working with this particular Kanga is that the cotton fabric stretches very easily.  Not only that, the design is printed off grain! :P  Well, I simply had to work with what I had and make it the best I could.

Since the cotton is so light weight, I used some cotton batiste fabric to line the dress.  It is my desire that when Miss. T wears her new dress, or sees it hanging in the closet, she will remember the women who received the funds from the purchase of the fabric, and how these women are learning skills to help support their families.

Each of the Kangas have a saying on them.  This particular saying is translated:  “GOOD WILL IS A COMFORT TO FRIENDS".  Miss T's 'good will' is a comfort to one friend I know. ;)

Here is Miss Olivia checking the fit of the dress for me before we give the gift away.

The lining of the dress:

Here is the information that accompanied the Kanga when we received it so you can read a bit about the project and where the funds are going.

Thank you for your support of Kenyan women in entrepreneurship! All proceeds from the sale of Kanga fabric go to fund the Forever Grace Sewing Guild, which partners with Hosanna Revival Church in Nairobi’s Kibera slum to provide work for widows, single mothers, and other needy women. The ladies who work with Forever Grace receive free instruction in pattern cutting, sewing, and marketing. They are treated as independent contractors and are able to work from home on their own time schedules (no sweat shops!). Over time, we hope to help these ladies develop a line of clothing with a marketing plan for in-country sales and export to the US and other markets. Thanks for helping to launch Forever Grace and enable these ladies to care for their own children while working from home. Be sure to follow Sense & Sensibility Patterns on Facebook, as we’ll post photographs from the sewing guild from time to time and showcase the work these ladies are doing!

More Kangas will be up for sale sometime in the month of March.  I hope to snag a few more. ;)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

1912 What to Wear?

This year marks 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic, but it also marks the 100 year anniversary for the Calgary Stampede  Add to the mix the Vintage Pattern Lending Library vpll1912 Project and I can see I might need a few 1912 garments. :)

Having spent many hours viewing on line, the garments from ca 1912, along with several of my own personal materials, I have started dreaming up garments from the time period that I would like to make.  If you would like to get some inspiration or read up on some costuming ideas, you can go to Sensibility and read the article with lots of pictures to inspire you.  At the end of the article, you can download a PDF for more images and information.

A few weeks back, I started playing with a modern pattern to change it into a 1912 inspired garment.  It is not historically accurate, but historically inspired.  I used Butterick 5620  It has the lovely princess seams that were very popular at the time.  I would not wear this dress without sleeves, so I have a lace jacket/tunic in the works to go with this.

I took the pattern and lengthened it, narrowed it in the front, but added width to center back to put in a few pleats.  Instead of hook and eyes, I used buttons.  The fabric I used is a silk sari fabric.

I have signed up for the vpll 1912 Project, so I am awaiting my first pattern to arrive.  I am looking forward to sewing up some lovely 1912 garments from this era.

Once this outfit is complete I will post pictures with the lace jacket, or tunic, still not sure which length I will decide is best.

Off to dream of more 1912 projects. :)


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Zippered Secret Pocket for Simplicity 2245

When I made this dress, back in October, for my trip to Spain, I put in that lovely, zippered, 'secret' pocket.  It was a great pocket to have and I am very happy to have it.  However, I have to tell you something funny.  When I left Calgary, for Frankfurt, I had no problem going through security.  When I arrived in Frankfurt and was making my connecting flight to Barcelona, we had to go back through security.  My lovely new zippered pocket, set off the detector and I was offered the lovely, full body pat down.  Ugh! I have the invisible zipper up the back and I had my metal hair clip in my hair, but neither of those set it off, just the little zipper, which is located below outer pocket level and hidden. ;)  I guess it had more metal content to it?!  I have another zipper in another dress I made from this pattern.  Too late to change it to a more nylon style.  I might have to make a new one or two and make sure the zipper I put in has less metal to it. :)

The moral of the story is, make sure your zippers that you add to your garments, for traveling through airport security systems, has little to no metal in them. :) 

Happy Travels and Sewing,