Lots of Plans, Not A Lot of Sewing

I mailed my Mum’s cardigan to her early last week, and she got it by the end of the week. She said she loved it, that it was precious, that she wouldn’t need a spring jacket now, and that I’d done a beautiful job. That is always so wonderful to hear.

A little history, my Dad didn’t contribute very much at all to our family. My Mum was the one who provided for us, made sure we had the clothes and food we needed, and for me she sacrificed a lot and made sure I had music lessons too. Even though things were always a challenge, my Mum would take family in if anyone needed help. My Mum was a great example of a strong woman. So, for me, it’s a pleasure to be able to give back to her and please her. When my Mum said she wanted a black cardigan, I made it the next day.

This week, I have little to show on my blog – just a few projects I’m planning. My week seemed to be spent running around to appointments. I did have some fun on all those errands – with a couple of visits to the fabric store. After finding Lycra there, I had to go back and look for some more. This week I bought two beautiful prints and felt quite pleased I’d resisted a third print.

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I love both of these and think they both make adorable bra/panty sets.

As pleased as I was with these prints, that third print stayed on my mind for a day or so. I went back to the fabric store and found the print again – but on sale this time: buy one get one free. I did like that.

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This is a delightful black and beige polka dot Lycra. Can you see why I really couldn’t resist?

I feel very ready to start the Watson Sew-Along now with not one, but three beautiful new Lycras from which to choose. This week we were to gather our supplies, and look at Bra Fitting Alterations.

Happy creating!

For My Mum

My Mum was saying she’d been watching The Shopping Channel and saw a cardigan the same as I’d made her, but in black. She said it was $150, and wanted to know if I could make one for her for less.

I can hardly imagine a little peplum cardigan costing that much, but I assured I could do it for a lot less than that. And I did. It’s an early birthday present for her. My Mum will be 89 this Spring, but I thought she might want to wear this before it warms up too much.

 It was the same McCalls pattern I’ve made a couple of times now, in fact the same style even, so I didn’t need the pattern. I also have some Ponte material.

Once again I’m revisiting McCalls 6844. I think I’ve made most of the sizes now. I had originally made a size Small for my Mum. This time she wanted a size Medium. She wants it big enough to wear things under it. So, my Mum is getting her way. I made her the size Medium – even though I seriously doubt she needs it that big.

The only other change I made this time was to use the serger. My hubby helped me re-thread it (again) and I oiled it (again). The repair man did say to oil it well, so three times is well, and it hums away now. It’s actually hummed away well enough to do a few projects with it.

So here’s my Mum’s McCalls 6844:

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I dressed it up a bit with a pretty scarf just to add a bit of color. Black on black against beige really doesn’t show much.

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I really love the shaping on this cardigan. It flatters, well, it flatters me and my Mum and we’re pretty different when it comes to our shapes. She’s always been very thin-hipped, and I’ve been curvy for as long as I can remember. This cardigan flatters both of our shapes.

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Even the back has a nice shape to it.

I loved having the serger working and making such quick work of this. Every time I’ve sewn it before I not only double-stitched it – where I’d sewn the regular seam and then a second one 1/4″ away from the seam allowance. Then I did a zigzag over the trimmed edge. That was a lot of work. Serging my way through this project made it seem super quick and easy.

One last comment. I made the size Large last time I made this for me and it fits me loosely, which is what I wanted. However, I’ve wondered about making myself a more fitted version as the envelope photo shows a more fitted cardigan.

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So I thought before I send this off to my Mum, I’d give it a quick try on to see what changes I might want to make to a size Medium. And I did try it on, but I didn’t get a photo of me in it! I had another parcel going to the post off that day, and wanted to get them both sent off. Let me just fill you in here on my thoughts.

The first material I used had a lot of stretch to it, and if using a knit like that, I could easily go with the size Medium. However, the Ponte doesn’t have as much stretch and it felt snug in a few places like the arms and across the bust and hips. I could probably make the Medium/Large cross if using Ponte.

Did you notice I have a new badge on my blog? Amy, from Cloth Habit is starting another bra sew-along – and it starts today! I can’t wait. I had so much fun on the last one she did.

Happy creating!

My First Watson

The Watson bra pattern from Cloth Habit is showing up all over the place on blogs. And it is an adorable pattern. I also seem to have an addiction to bras and bra patterns, so I had to try it. I also think Amy (of Cloth Habit) is wonderful. I admire her sewing, and participated in her bra sew along two years ago (can it really be two years ago already?). So when Amy said she was releasing a pattern, I wanted to try it.

The Watson bra pattern isn’t something I’d tend to think about for me. I need support, and this isn’t a support bra. However, it was too adorable for me not to try, and I do wear leisure bras around the home from time to time. The other aspect that was making me hesitant was the material used for the Watson. I usually use duoplex and power net. When I do use Lycra, it over those other very supportive materials.

An interesting aside to this is last year I’d read about a French lingerie company and how they didn’t make structured bras, only soft cupped bras. Their philosophy was a woman’s natural shape was the most attractive shape. I dismissed it at the time thinking that definitely wasn’t for me, but I notice more and more soft cupped bras are appearing in both RTW and patterns. Amy may be right on trend with this.

Here’s my Watson:

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I really love this. but it’s not perfect. This was one of those projects where I had to fight over ever step.

I chose some fabric I had left over from a Merckwaerdigh kit I bought a few years ago. I made a bra from this too, but it just seemed too much of something. I don’t know if it was too much pink, or what, but I didn’t wear it. You can see it here. The Watson in this material? I love it.

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Here’s the side view. I put my oft-used foam cups in to fill the bra out. I really do love this material for the Watson.

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And the back view.

It really is an adorable bra. I do think I’ll try the longline version next.

There’s a little fabric left after making this, and a fair amount of the bright pink lace. I’m thinking of making Merckwaerdigh’s E-SH20 panties, View A.

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I think that will make a really cute set.

Do any of you follow Erin from The Sewing and Life Adventures of Emerald Erin? Erin has set a sewing challenge for herself – a bra a week! She said for a year, but then amended that the first three month of 2015. She is also open to having others bra makers send their photos to her and she’ll post them along with her own. That just sounds fun! You can check out her blog for all the information, and here’s the email to send your own bras to her: bra.a.week@gmail.com

One last comment; I had a phone call from my Mum. She wants another cardigan. She saw something on the Shopping Channel that looked the same, but cost $150. So now she wants one in black. She also wants a size bigger, which I question, but I’ll make it for her. I was planning another McCalls 6844 for me, so I guess two more are on my sewing list.

Happy creating!

Yet Another McCalls 6844

When I first saw read about the McCalls 6844 and its high recommendations – rated best pattern of 2013 on Pattern Review – I knew I wanted to make one for myself. I didn’t think I’d make a second one, let alone a third one. And I’m not done yet.

Like the second cardigan I made, this one isn’t for me. This current one is a thank you for a good friend who did some work for my husband and me that I just don’t have the skills to do. She loved my cardigan, so I said I’d make her a cardigan too. It seemed like a fair trade to me.

I used the same material as I’d used for my first cardigan, but a different color this time. It’s a lovely soft Rayon/Bamboo knit. It’s just dreamy to feel – so soft.

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I didn’t do anything differently on this one. My friend is taller than me, so after measuring I didn’t have to shorten the sleeves, nothing. Everything was good as it was. Isn’t that the best?

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And the side view, showing the flounce so nicely. It really does have and give a lovely shape.

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Here’s the back. I love the rich deep color this cardigan has. It’s really lovely. My friend was thrilled too. She loved it.

Lastly, I had a bit of fun this past week. A good friend of the family is a producer, and every once in a while he calls on us to be in different projects he’s doing. Last year my husband and I had a lot of fun with parts in a movie. It was great fun to go to a theater for our own movie premiere. What fun. This past week we were called on again. However, I felt I’d been demoted quickly. First, I was going to be a Dr., and then a nurse. Well, I ended up as a patient.

Tracy & me acting

We did have fun though. Here I am with another good friend, who just happened to get the nurse’s role. This photo caused a bit of a stir on Facebook. All my friends who don’t know both of us, thought there must be something wrong with me. The texts started while I was still at the hospital. We put a caption on there saying, Look. We’re both smiling. All is good. We’re just acting.

Happy creating!

A Material Mix-Up

A few weeks ago when my dear hubby surprised me and my Mum with an overnight trip to the mountains, we took in a few stores in Canmore and Banff. In one of the stores I visited in Banff, there were some lovely fall jackets and I went straight to them. I’d seen that material before. I knew it.

Just as I was checking out the jackets, a woman came up to me and asked me if I knew about the store. No, I replied. She told me it was Canadian owned, and they only used Canadian materials and the garments were manufactured here in Canada. While all this was being explained to me, I’m looking at the $100 price tag on the jacket. That’s not too unreasonable, but I knew I had seen that fabric before, and it wasn’t $100.

I left the jacket in the store, but made a note to go to the fabric store when I got home. And I did.

I searched for the fabric and found it, but when I measured it, didn’t think it was going to be enough. Off to another store to look for the same material. At that second store I bought what I thought was the same material.

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Isn’t that gorgeous? I love it. But… something didn’t seem right. This is a flocked denim and it does have a bit of stretch, but only a bit. I thought the material in the jacket had been a stretch knit fabric, not denim. And the material at the first store, I didn’t remember that being denim. However, I didn’t see anything else in the store that even came close, so I bought it. But there was still a little nagging doubt that this wasn’t the same material.

A day or so went by and then I went back to that first store to compare what I’d bought with what I’d seen there. And sure enough, it’s not the same material. The material I wanted was a stretch knit.

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Well, they do look awfully close. And the good news is there’s just enough material. We pulled out a pattern while I was at the store and it’s the exact amount I need for what I’m making. Seeing as it was 50% off I didn’t even think about it. I bought it right away.

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Here they are side-by-side. They are really close, but not exact matches. I still love them both too. So for the flocked knit (left in the picture) I’m going to make another McCalls 6844, this time a little more fitted. I’m also thinking of frog closures or something to embellish the front.

For the flocked denim (right in the picture), I’m thinking I’ll use that to make the Flirt Skirt. It’s a lovely skirt. Heres the link for the pattern on Pam Howard’s website.

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This photo was from the Craftsy web site showing the skirt. They had offered kits and a workshop. I was thinking of making the skirt in a knit, but now might do it in a woven. I also have some lovely black Ponte and dark gray too. Either of those would make a great skirt to go with the McCalls cardigan.

So I may have had a bit of a mix-up with my materials, but I have plans for both of them.

Happy creating! And it’s Thanksgiving day today in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving!

A New Cardigan

It was way back in February when I heard about this cardigan. Andrea from Satin Bird Designs posted about it on her blog saying how she was thinking of making it. She also said how it was rated best pattern of 2013 on Pattern Review. I picked up the pattern right away – it’s McCall’s 6844. Like Andrea, I lost weight and had to give up my favorite cardigan. I bought one a year ago, and didn’t love it like I’d loved my old, now-too-big one.

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But this cardigan looked charming. I knew I’d love it the moment I saw it. I made View C, the same one shown on the front.

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Here’s my version. I bought this material back in the spring, and am so glad I did. I actually didn’t have quite enough when I cut it all out. I had to go and buy more material for the facing, and unfortunately this material was gone. Since I couldn’t find the same material for the facing, I decided to do some color-blocking.

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Here’s the underside of the facing showing. I really love that pop of deep color coming out! It was between this and bright red. I decided on this because there’s a black design in it, where the red was a solid color. I thought the black would pull the two materials together more.

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This shows the detailing on both materials closer up. I really love this!

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Here’s the jacket from the side. I love the peplum on it. It fits perfectly too. I pulled out my sloper and compared the length for the waist and for the arms. I thought it would be a good way to finally use my sloper.

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And from the back. I really love this cardigan. I wore it to work the day after I finished it and had that wonderful experience when someone asks, ‘Where did you get that?’ Isn’t that the best feeling? And I’ve worn it a few times since that first day, and every time I wear it, I’m asked where I got it. That really is the best feeling.

My cardigan is looser fitting than the model’s on the front of the pattern. I’m two different sizes, so I chose the larger size to make it not as fitted. I thought about what I wanted and didn’t want a close fitting cardigan. Hers doesn’t look like it would wrap around her much at all. It looks quite fitted. Mine does wrap around a bit at the front, and I like that too. I have a few RTW cardigans that aren’t designed to wrap around the body at all, and barely touch at the center of the body. I was told they’re called Toppers. I prefer a little more coverage and being able to wrap myself up if I feel chilly.

As well, the pattern is listed as Petite, but the pattern pieces are all marked where to shorten for Petite. I made the size without adjusting for petite although I did shorten the arms where they were marked to shorten for Petite.

I like this pattern so much, I’m entertaining View B or D next.

I’m adding a P.S. to this post. I had a request for a picture of me in my cardigan. So, here are a couple of pictures of me in my cardi.

me and cardi front

You can see in this the overlap action in the front. I wanted this. I’m always cold, and like feeling wrapped up.

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And the back. I love the peplum. It a cute flirty touch.

Happy creating!