Category: finished project

Finished Project: Cara Top

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I finished this project a few weeks ago and only had a chance to blog about it now. This is my first time trying a Style Arc pattern and it did not disappoint. I used a really cheap $4/yard cotton/polyester with excellent drape that I got from Chic Fabrics in the Garment District. I made no changes and it turned out cropped, but mid-length for someone like me since I’m short. I’m wearing it with high waisted pants here, so the silhouette sort of works out. I still have no idea how to style this for our blazing hot 30C weather here. It definitely needs a high waist to balance it out so it’s not too cropped, but my usual jeans are way too heavy and warm for the summer.

(The pictures show a very wrinkly Cara top since I didn’t have my travel iron yet here and it got wrinkled by being in my duffel bag. More well-pressed projects next time!)

Pros: On trend, easy to sew.

Cons: Summer is nearly over but I still haven’t worn this anywhere! I’m still not sure how to style this for work or if the off the shoulder top will be too much, but I need to figure something out soon.

Project Details:

Pattern: Cara Top from Style Arc

Pattern Sizing: size 4 to 30.

Description: This on-trend top gives a gorgeous look with its flattering, gathered, off the shoulder neckline with a floaty raglan sleeve. The elastic at the back neck band keeps the shoulder line in shape. Wear it with jeans or dress it up with a fabulous print to wear to a special occasion.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton/polyester.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. There was a diagram included since one part was tricky, but that was really helpful.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really easy to make and on trend.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, it’s a very cute top and a fast and easy make.

Finished Project: Box Dress with Boat Neck, #2

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This is my second version of Box Dress with Boat Neck from Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I’ve worn this to work a few times already. Our QA said that it looked very “Japanese fusion”, which is a fitting description for this dress.

I’d made my first version out of some drapey cotton that I had in my stash. I removed around one inch from the bottom underarm seam once it was finished since it just looked and felt too boxy but I think I removed too much. I really liked the huge oversized sleeves from the black and white version and I think this dress lost that design detail since my alteration. I really should have gone down a size instead of trimming from the underarm seam. There’s at least one more version of this that needs to be made — I need to lower the boat neck collar since it rides up when I sit down and feels way too high but otherwise that’s about it.

Otherwise the dress is a successful make — comfortable, easy to wear, instantly presentable.

Project Revisited: The Really Voluminous Swan Blouse

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It’s still really hot here, and I’ve ended up wearing this blouse around once a week since I finished it. The huge amounts of billowy cotton voile though were really bothering me, so I removed 2 inches from the bottom underside of the kimono sleeve / side seam, basted in the new seam, tried it on, and serged the sides again. It’s much more wearable now. It still has that oversized look but less pronounced.

(By the way, this blouse has a lot of wrinkles since I had to stuff it in my duffel bag to go to Montreal and my husband doesn’t have an iron.)

Finished Project: The Really Voluminous Front Tuck Swan Blouse

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I’ve been trying to keep up with sewing while traveling constantly, which is both good and bad. Although I’m not home working on sewing, it’s good to get out of the city for a change of pace, and all of this traveling has led me to discover a new photo location — the courtyard of the Montreal home.

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I finished the Front Tuck Blouse from Stylish Dress Book a few weeks ago. It came together quickly and was a pretty fast make, however I haven’t worn it out yet since I am really wary of wearing color — I love wearing black and grey yet hate sewing in black — but I will probably wear it soon.

Pros: Easy to sew. Comfy. Uses an average amount of fabric. Has floaty sleeves. Great feminine design details. No closures, no facings.

Cons: I didn’t realize until seeing these pictures how voluminous and oversized this blouse is. Maybe the cotton voile is too light and floaty for the pattern, since when I stand to the side the sides stick out in an unflattering bell-shaped way, but I do plan to try this again and I plan to size down severely.

Project Details:

Pattern: Front Tuck Blouse from Stylish Dress Book.

Pattern Sizing: extra small – large (Japanese sizing though).

Description: n/a

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really easy to make and comfortable.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None! I made a medium according to my measurements, however, I need to go down a size or two. I didn’t realize how large and voluminous this blouse was until these photos were taken. I serged the side seams and used pre-made seam binding for the neckline.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but in a much smaller size.

Finished Project: Japanese Pencil Case

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I recently finished this pencil case that I made for my dojomate. I had about half a meter of Wagara fabric from Miss Matatabi that was more than enough for a pencil case. Wagara means a Japanese pattern or design, and has gotten popular recently by being turned into bags, pouches and clothes. The Wagara fabric is really gorgeous — it has a black background with a lighter black on top with a subtle pattern to give it some depth, with some temari balls, fans and peonies on top. I lined the inside with some yellow cotton that I had from stash. A quick and easy project and a great stashbuster — I really should make one of these too for myself.

Finished Project: Box Dress with Boat Neck

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I finally had a chance to finish Box Dress with Boat Neck around two weeks ago. This is from Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori, the dress on the cover page. It’s very comfortable and an easy sew, essentially one front piece, one back piece, facings and two supporting sleeve pieces. The pattern does not come with seam allowances, so it’s important to note that. It’s also not fitted at all which makes it tricky to style, since the looseness can be borderline unflattering. Fabric choice is essential! I chose a drapey geometric cotton from my stash.

I had to walk to work in 30C heat in this dress since the subway stopped running on my morning commute one day and I still managed to stay cool. I’ve already worn this to work around three times and have even put it in the laundry already. I will need to hand stitch the facing I think since it keeps on flipping up. This is partly my fault as I graded the collar and the facing to almost 1/8”, then did not understitch it. Still despite user error, this pattern is a winner! It’s comfortable and stylish and I already have a second version planned.

Project Details:

Pattern: Box Dress with Boat Neck.

Pattern Sizing: extra small – large (Japanese sizing though).

Description: n/a

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really comfortable and there are few pattern pieces. However this is not fitted at all and is very boxy, but that is the style.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! I already finished my second Box Dress with Boat Neck.

Finished Project: Colette Violet

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This blouse took forever. I’m not quite sure why it did, either. I started this project around three months ago. Nothing was particularly challenging. I didn’t make a muslin, I made a few practice buttonholes before starting, but I’m still not sure why I’m sewing soooooo slowly nowadays.

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I’m not sure how I feel about this pattern (or maybe my execution?) I didn’t make a muslin for this, and that might be why there are weird diagonal creases. I think maybe I should have gone up a size, but all the reviews I’ve read say that the pattern is too boxy. I’m satisfied enough with it that I’ll wear it out, but that might be the extent of it.

Project Details:

Pattern: Colette Violet.

Pattern Sizing: Size 4.

Description: Button front blouse with short gathered sleeves.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really comfortable and easy to follow.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don’t wear a lot of button down blouses, so I probably wouldn’t sew this one again.

The Frida Kahlo Pillow

Frida Kahlo + Kalbo. #sewing

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Finished the Frida Kahlo pillow for my neighbor's art opening. #sewing #fridakahlo #frida #kahlo

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I started working on a pillow for my neighbor over the weekend. It was a quick make, only a few hours from cutting to finishing. I used red pom pom trim for the edges and made sure to baste it before assembling the pillow. I hand-sewed the bottom edge closed. I never realized pillows were so easy to make, I definitely might make some for my home now.

McCalls 6095: Pincushion B

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Yet another pincushion.

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I left all of my garment sewing patterns up in Montreal, so until I bring them here I’ll be working on a few arts and crafts projects.

This is a pincushion from McCalls 6095. I used leftover scrap quilting cotton, ric rac and a button from stash. Halfway through I realized my pincushion looked halfway deformed, and I almost threw it out. I didn’t have any felt for the base of the pincushion, and using quilting cotton would probably mean that the bottom would unravel.

Thankfully I didn’t let my perfectionistic tendencies get the best of me. I found some ric rac that distracted from the strange non-round, lopsided shape of the pin cushion, and found a decorative button from my stash.

As I was taking pictures of the pincushion I found some felt in my stash, so I will amend this with new felt the next time I sew.

My sewing machine has been unable to wind a bobbin lately. I had to wind the bobbin by hand until it was halfway full. About a year ago it was already having bobbin winding issues, but I got around it by putting a mechanical pencil underneath the bobbin winding mechanism until it caught. Looks like I have to bring the machine into the shop soon if I can’t figure this out. Has this happened to anyone else out there?

Scout Woven Tee: Burnout Scout, #3

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There isn’t much to say about Scout. I’ve made this two times already, and I’m not about to stop. I love it, and so should you.

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Wearability: I’ve already worn this to work, to social occasions, to a gig. It’s 60% sheer, but since there’s a pattern on it, it’s not that noticeable.

Construction notes: I serged the seams, left the bottom hem raw and the sleeve edge raw because I was too supremely lazy to finish it. Because it’s a knit, it’s very forgiving, and I don’t think it matters much.

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