Sunday, September 7, 2014

Liebster Award

Back in April (!!) I was nominated for a liebster award by the talented Sally Bee Makes. I'm great at putting things off so I'm only getting around to doing it now. Thanks again Sally!

How this works:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other followers with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5. Tag your nominees and post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them

1. Why did you start blogging?
 I find the combination of personal style and crafting skill shown by sewing bloggers very inspiring and wanted to be part of the community.
2. How do you get yourself out of a sewing funk?
I don't really have a tried and true method for that!
3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I love where I live (Toronto Canada) but I've always wanted to live abroad in Japan. I'm really interested in the culture, plus the country is pretty much the holy mecca of craft supplies and fabric.
4. Sewing for other people: love it or loathe it?
I kind of like it. Sewing for other people was one of the challenges I set for myself this year. The project I'm working on right now is a dress for a friend and I'm a little bit nervous!
5. What is your best feature?
Probably my eyes. 
6. If you had an infinite amount of money that would disappear after one day, how would you spend that day?
Paying off my friends and mine student debts, flying my family in from British Columbia (1st class because we're talking magical money here!) and then taking all my friends and family out for an awesome time at Guu Izakaya.
7. What is your favourite fabric shop?
I really like Fabric by Designer on Queen St in Toronto, it has a nice selection of garment fabrics and is well organized. I also like King Textiles on Spadina for the size of the selection and good prices. My most frequented online fabric store is Miss Matatabi for gorgeous Japanese fabrics.
8. What is your biggest sewing sin?
Not always lining up my fabrics selvage to selvage to check if the grainline is straight. 
9. If you could make any sewing process disappear, what would it be?
checking grainlines, haha!
10. Which other crafts, if any, do you do?
I like to knit, but mostly only on long car rides or in front of the tv.
11. Cats or dogs?

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. How do you get yourself out of a sewing funk?
3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
4. Sewing for other people: love it or loathe it?
5. What is your best feature?
6. If you had an infinite amount of money that would disappear after one day, how would you spend that day?
7. What is your favourite fabric shop?
8. What is your biggest sewing sin?
9. If you could make any sewing process disappear, what would it be?
10. Which other crafts, if any, do you do?
11. Cats or dogs?

I nominate:


Bonus to take me to 11:
Her blog is in French but Viedomestique is lovely with great eye candy, she posts on Burdastyle as as aalaberge.

Also! I used bloglovin followers to determine eligibility, even though I actually use Feedly to follow most blogs. If you want me follow you on bloglovin for the numbers I would be more than happy to.

Hope everyone has fun with the questions!

Monday, June 16, 2014

I made a nettie!

brown polkadot nettie

I made a closet case files nettie! I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it, and knew I wanted to give it a try even though I have not tried sewing with knits in years, and don't really like bodysuits that much. I'm glad I gave it a try because even though it didn't turn out perfect, it does make me feel like a total babe, which is rare for me and very nice! Such is the power of the nettie.

brown polkadot nettie back

Sewing notes

I made it in size 8 which would be size 6 in the current version. I really like how dramatic the low back view is, and I find scoop necklines to be flattering so that was what I decided to try. One of the silver linings of having a small chest is not needing much support, so I only included the shelf bra, not the cups. For my A cup the shelf bra feels like it has about as much support as a regular soft bra, so I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Having not sewn much with knits I struggled a bit with the neckband. I had to rip out my first try because it was uneven. Ripping zigzag is time consuming! Advice for knit novices: zigzag binding along edge before sewing in, as my major issue the first time was the neckband curling as I stretched it, which led to unevenness. Also I found it much easier to sew in when I added extra pins between the main four which are measured. I cut it to be a long shirt instead of bodysuit, as when I pulled it down to close the snaps I didn't like how low it made the neckline on me.
The only negative I have for my version (first try!) is that the shoulders are a bit prone to slipping. Not a top for dancing or vigorous activity. I'm not 100% on why it's happening. A couple guesses are that the shelf bra is pulling the back too far forward (the side seam is certainly very pulled forward), or I need to make a bigger size, or maybe my fabric has no lycra? The content was unmarked so I could only test stretch percentage.

I loved making it and I have plans for like... six more. So highly recommended if you were thinking about giving it a try!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Datura refashion / wearable muslin


Lately most of my sewing projects have been failures, and I really can't gather the will to blog about them. This one almost ended up in the failure pile too, but a couple of rough on the fly fixes and I ended up with a top I'll actually wear! 
This is the Datura blouse from Deer and Doe Patterns. You've likely seen this one around! I'm pretty broke so I consider indie pattern purchases a bit of a luxury. It took me a long time to cave and finally buy this pattern. I already have three more planned so I think it will be worth it!

Pattern Notes:

I started  with the size 38. I know doe and deer patterns are sized for a c cup bust, which obviously is not me! This is actually my second try with a D&D pattern. I have a failed Belladone stashed away, waiting for me to deal with it sometime. For the Belladone I did a small bust adjustment, but for some reason this time I skipped it. 

My first hurdle with the pattern came with sewing the yoke together. I could not for the life figure it out. I spent quite some time searching online for someone to explain it, and that just turned up either people linking to a dead french link explaining it, or just commenting on how ingenious the construction is. Ha! I felt like a bit of an idiot. 

Anyways: you turn the front yoke piece so that it is right side out, then place it inside the back yoke piece! ugh. For some reason the wording in the pattern completely threw me. I might try to make a mini photo tutorial to replace the dead french one in case anyone else is out there on the internet confused as hell by this pattern!

Once the yoke was figured out I tried my WIP and the fit was pretty bad on me. The bust dart was quite a bit too low and the whole thing overwhelmed my small frame. In progress fixes I did:
1) take up the straps 3/4"
2) drawing a waist shape into the body like so:

Fabric notes:

datura back

This is actually a refashion from an old unflattering dress I was holding on to because I liked the print. It's a light weight poly and was a little tricky to work with. I'm a still a novice when it comes to slippery fabrics!

I've changed my stash diet rules a bit to deal with my particular situation, which includes lots of potential refashions. Any one finished refashion project (even if it used more than one old piece) counts as one complete "stash" fabric. So not great for counting used up yardage but what I need to get my sewing corner under control!

...Actually I'm just off to visit fabricland on this lovely (warm! sunny!) spring day, and likely use up my whole earned fabric allowance of three pieces!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An actual wearable sweater.

Even though I've been knitting for quite a few years I've never actually managed to complete a sweater that ends up being wearable! This one still has its flaws (if anyone has an easy to understand faq on short rows / how to make them invisible I would love it if you passed it on to me. I watched and read many how-tos and kind of got it, but still made mistakes / lack confidence). 

The pattern is the Agatha cardigan from Andi Satterlund, and I imagine a lot of you have seen it before as its pretty popular in our corner of the internet. For good reason I think, it's pretty cute. I like the high-waisted style becaue it complements vintage looks but also the design is nice and casual which is good for counter-balancing some of my dresser makes (like my sultry sheath).I probably should have made it in a medium, as it pulls at the button band pretty badly. But what the hell, still very happy with it.

A quick word on the yarn: I used cascades 220 like the pattern called for, and the sweater has already started felting and pilling even though I've only worn it 6 or so times. I don't think it happened during blocking because it looked fine after that. Any insight to what's going on? This sort of thing happen with cascades yarn maybe?

Thanks for checking out my post, hopefully I'll be back next week with some recent spring makes!
It's spring dammit. Stop it with the snow Toronto.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wardrobe Architect Week 1, 2, 3 & 4

wardrobe architect

 Images clockwise: Vivi 2012 05, Lena Hoschek S/S 2013, Satorialist, Unknown.

After following along for the last few months I've gotten hooked on the Colette Patterns Wardrobe Architect Series. I have a bad habit of seeing a look that I think is awesome on someone else, and then buying clothing in that style even if it really doesn't suit me. My current clothing collection which is at about 40% or less wear-ability if proof of that. I need this! Plus it's fun.

Week one allowed me to think in depth about my relationship with clothing in a really helpful manner. Clothing is pretty personal to me, and the answers reflected that and were a bit more open than I'm willing to be on the internet. My main takeaway without getting too personal was:

I love to dress up. I associate very casual dressing with periods of depression when I really don't give a shit about what I look like, therefore when I'm feeling good I like to celebrate it through my clothing. So my relationship with clothing ends up being emotional rather than just a question of style or appropriateness.

For Week two I made a style mood board  (the image at the top of the post), and filled out the questionnaire:

When you are wearing your favourite clothing, how do you feel (e.g. confident, sexy, poised, powerful, etc)?
When I wear my favourite clothing I feel happy, I feel together, I feel self-confident.

When you’re wearing something that is not quite right, how do you feel? What are the feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear?
Tired, self-conscious, invisible.

Who do you consider to be your style icons? What is it about them that appeals to you?

No real style Icons per say. Zooey Deshenel - I like her feminine offbeat style, Katy Perry - love her over the top but classic style (plus she's kind of my pop guilty pleasure...). Marianne Faithful - I love the quiet confidence she seems to exude and her casually chic 60s style.

Images via Pinterest

What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you?
Modern, minimalist, fashion forward, trendy, understated, draped.

Top 5 words for how I see my core style:
Off-beat, feminine, classic, colourful, graphic.

Weeks three & four - Silhouettes I like:

1) Full skirted dress with high waist.
2) Somewhat loose top with tight bottoms, high or low waist.
3)Tight high waist top with high waist loose bottoms.
Never a whole outfit with loose fit. These silhouettes all create an hourglass shape (I'm what the built by wendy book refers to as 'boyish') and and conceal my lower abdomen (current nexus of body image issues).

If you made it through all of that Thank You! Largely this post was for myself, I hope to really be able to create a streamlined flattering wardrobe through these posts.

If you haven't tried the exercises Sarai has shared for the Wardrobe Architect series I highly suggest you check them out!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gingham Negroni for Joshua

Ok,  so crafting resolution #2 attempt 1! I've been wanting to make something for my boyfriend Josh for years now, and finally got around to it. I'm pretty pleased with it for a first try, though there are definitely some things that I'll change for the next try (primarily the length of the shirt body). Also I learned that not only am I bad at taking self timer shots of myself, but I generally suck at photography all around. For most of these pictures I stood way to close to Josh and since he's a good foot taller than me, they all ended up being lovely shots of up his nose. Sorry babe! I also didn't take that many shots since I felt bad about making him model (for no real reason since he was great about it) so had very few shots to pull from. New mini crafting resolution: become better at photography.

gingham negroni 01

Pattern notes:

This is the Negroni pattern from Colette Patterns. I got this back in 2011, so it's been in my stash for a while. I didn't realize that it had a camp collar until I started making it! I think it works but I also want to make Josh a more traditional dress shirt as well, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know!

I used the medium for the most parts but lengthened the body to the xl. I did this because I was comparing the length to that of a shirt my boyfriend said was a good length on him but realized after it was done that long dress shirt = meant to be tucked, versus the short more casual style of the negroni. So that was one new lesson. I want to go back and shorten this shirt at some point.

The only other change I did was slashing and overlapping the sleeve at the midpoint to make it narrower, which was the only change Josh asked for from the muslin. I wasn't really sure at first how to go about doing that while still keeping the cuff and shoulder seams the same size since he was happy with them. After searching the internet the best I could come up with was the inverse of this technique (thanks internet!). I then trued the pattern and proceeded on my way. It seems to have worked but yeah, lots of guesswork in that pattern manipulation theory.

Sewing notes:

Lots of new techniques for me here but not many changes from the pattern. The only major failure was my flat felled shoulder seams. When it came time to press the shoulder seams to the body to be sewn down I messed up the previous pressed fold, and could not get it back as neatly because it was already sewn on. Next time I'm just going to finger press at this point. I think maybe I lack refined pressing skills!

Plackets! Kind of fun, kind of stressful. I bought an edge stitch foot after this project. 

Fabric notes:

I've decided that items sewn for other people are exempt from my stash diet rules, and this was not a stash piece so it doesn't count towards my stash total. However of the 3 yards I bought for this project I ended up with about 3/4 of a yard left (single layer cutting!) so now that leftover counts as 'stash'. 

Been really enjoying watching Project Sewn unfold, and have a couple ideas about the next themes so might submit to the sew along if I can get organized in time!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lately - Stash busting with mixed results


  1. A failed wearable muslin of the Grainline studio Tiny Pocket Tee for Stash diet #2. Is the pocket supposed to be kind of slanted at the top? Really hard to tell in that photo, though I expect no...
  2. New Cat Lady poster from Bellwoods brewery. Pretty great, but makes me want fancy beer whenever I look at it!
  3. Stash diet #3. A small success. To get through my stash will require some pretty unexciting projects, which I think is part of the problem. Bought this upholstery weight fabric about three years ago from etsy?