Wednesday, March 14, 2012


The most fabulous thing happened today! So much better than Christmas...after more than a month of waiting, my new Poetic License shoes have arrived in the mail. What do they look like you ask? 

The mustard yellow, the pompoms, the stripy fabric, what's not to love? What could top all of that? They're comfortable!! Poetic license heels are actually more comfortable than pretty much any other pair of shoes that I own...flats, sneakers or otherwise. BEST DAY EVER! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ava and the Flu

Good morning to you,

I got a lovely treat this weekend, the flu! It doesn't seem fair that I only get sick on weekends. Such precious days to waste laying in bed. Especially when those days are the first nice days of spring. I dragged myself up this morning to take some pictures of one of my recent creations - Victory Patterns Ava.

I swear I ironed this 2 minutes before the picture.

I meant this as a muslin, so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be wearable. Victory Patterns are magic, I tell you. They require almost no alterations and fit great! I made this version out of grey jersey that I found at a thrift shop and some sheer polyester that I thought was really pretty when I bought it but had lost a bit of its charm when it came home (especially once I tried to sew with it!!). I didn't need to use a zipper since I used jersey. I also took about 1 cm off of all the seems at the waist (guess I should have just made a smaller size...) but I blame this on the fact that I used jersey instead of a fabric recommended by the pattern.

On another note, I finally gave in and bought the Sewaholic's Renfrew pattern. I generally try not to buy simple patterns that I could easily draft myself  but there were just way too many great versions popping up everywhere. I couldn't help myself. It came in the mail the day after I bought it online! Yay Canada! I managed to sew up most of the cowled version last week. Of course, it wasn't until I put it on that I noticed I'd put one of the sleeves on backwards...oops. I meant to finish that up this weekend but alas, it is not to be. I had also intended to start up my dress for the Mad Men challenge. I've decided to make up something similar to Joan outfit here:

I just have to decide if I want to make it as a dress or as separates. It looks to me like it's a matching sweater and skirt and not a dress. March is running by quickly. I need to get started!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mad Men Challenge

For years now I've intended to participate in a sew-along or sewing challenge. I think it would be so inspiring to sew with other people...even if they're in internet land. Julia Bobbin's Mad Men challenge seems like the perfect place to start. I mean, who doesn't love Mad Men? Especially the clothes!! I wish I could prance (or is sashay the more appropriate term?) around the office in a Joan dress. The closest I come is this little number I made awhile back.

The question is: who to use as inspiration? Do I use Joan as a muse? I do have a number of her outfits on my sewing list. Something like this blue dress perhaps? 
I'm also quite partial to this one:

snagged from here

Or do I go team Betty? All big skirt/shirtdress?

Such a dilemma. I've got a month to figure it out and make it work...of course with work, etc. taking up my valuable sewing time, it's more like 6 or 7 days :)

I truly do enjoy spending at least one day on the weekend sewing. If I don't get to sew on the weekend, I feel like I haven't accomplished anything. Forgot socializing or cleaning! It's all about the sewing. Today, I mostly finished my second muslin  for a pair of cigarette pants. I'm hoping they'll be wearable. They're bright red! I'm in love. 

I'm progressing nicely on my self-inflicted challenge. In the past week (and a bit), I've whipped up a cute dirndl skirt and Victory Patterns Ava dress (photos to come). 
Please ignore the wrinkles...i swear they weren't there when I put it on ;)

It always boggles my mind when simple projects take me 4 times as long as they should. I mean dirndl skirt - cut 2 rectangles, gather, attach waistband. Simple right? Well, for some reason I only cut one rectangle and ended up with a pencil skirt that I couldn't get on! That's right folks, I am a genius.

My sewing scorecard for the month is looking pretty good. I've made 5 wearable garments in February. At this rate, the tickle trunk will be empty in no time! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Adventures With Victory Patterns

When I first saw the patterns from Victory Patterns, I just had to have them. Never mind that I have tons of patterns that I'll probably never use (sigh, at least they're all second hand). But then I thought "Hey! I should support independent designers! Just because I have to spend my days in a cubicle doesn't mean everyone else should have to, right?" Annnnd I'd be supporting a Canadian designer! Done!
Exhibit A: A Suitcase Full of Patterns

So off I went and bought the Lola and Ava patterns. The designs were so cute! I sewed up the Lola two weeks ago and finally got to take some pics (bad ones to be sure). The pics are bad for a number of reasons:
1) It's winter and the light in the apt is only right for pics for about 3 hours in the late morning. This means I'm unlikely to even want to take photos and will probably not have gotten around to hair and makeup yet (if at all, it's the weekend after all!).
2) My camera is old 
3) I don't have a tripod and have to balance my camera precariously on things to get a self-timed shot.  My new favorite is hanging it from the curtain rod..
Maybe one day I'll remedy this, maybe not. My apologies.

The pattern was really easy to make and needed almost no alterations. I cut a size two and took in 1 cm at each seam at the waist. I like the waist of my clothing to be defined since I'm short and boxy-ish. Honestly, it could probably stand to be taken in a bit more, but it's wearable. I made it out of fabric  that I bought at a thrift shop for about $3. The pattern cost me more than the fabric!

I might dye the fabric. I like the idea of light coloured clothing much more than the stained reality they usually turn out to be. The only problem I had with the pattern was one of the pieces magically disappearing, along with the fabric piece I cut. It remains a mystery as to where it went. I blame the cat. Meet Frankie. She's camera shy, loves fabric and hiding in vintage suitcases. Lucky for her, I have many. We're a good match. Anyways, I digress and that's probably a good way to end this. Ciao. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Better (6 months) late then never.

Hi! I've finally decided to start a blog. 6 months or so ago, I realized that my fabric stash had gotten slightly out of control and challenged myself to use the majority of it within a year. Or something like that - that's the problem with challenges that you make with yourself, the details get fuzzy. Anyways, I digress. The point is, that I need to do something about all of the fabric that I have, and keep, accumulating. How bad can it be, you ask? Well I've got a tickle-trunk full
and suitcases full...
and bushels full...

Ok, in fairness, the bushel is full of fabric scraps. I'm being thrifty.

I've also taken to buying cheap wool coats at thrift stores for the wool **hangs head in shame**.

Where do I keep all of this fabric you might ask? Well, I have an entire room dedicated to sewing in my apt. Over the course of just a few years, I went from a small table in the corner of my bedroom to an ENTIRE room. Not that that's a bad thing - I enjoy it :) 
So, here,  today, I am re-challenging myself to get into gear and start making more clothing items that I'll actually wear. So I love to make 50s style dresses? Yup. Do I ever wear them more than once? Not usually.  Bah. 

I hope this will help me focus. We shall see. This is what I've done so far this year:

Very comfy, but not exactly flattering..

The polka dot blouse is a bit of a fail. The fabric is too stiff for the pattern and the shirt is too short. Oh well, better luck next time I suppose :)