Actual Sewing Content

Keeping it classy with canned corn pattern weights. #sewing

After procrastinating for many many weeks, I finally had a chance to trace and pin the Colette Violet pattern. I’m on the fence about pinning. Sometimes I think it leads to accurate cutting, sometimes I think it makes the fabric bunch up and I like to keep it as flat as possible. I’m using a striped grey cotton from my stash.

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Esteemed Sewing Assistant turned Pirate Cat. #sewing #cats #catsofinstagram #cat #sphynx #sphynxofinstagram

Esteemed Sewing Assistant in Training, trying to be a Pirate Cat.

What you don’t see are hours spent saying, “No, don’t sit on that!” — everything from the fabric, the ironed out patterns, the pattern on the fabric, to “No don’t play with the pin cushion!” until Esteemed Sewing Assistant in Training fell asleep.

More to come soon.

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?

First Sewing Project in a Long Time

Creepy Contortionist Sewing Assistant. #nyc #sewing #cats #catsofinstagram #sphynx #sphynxofinstagram

Super creepy contortionist Sewing Assistant.

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Finished Mason jar pincushion.

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I’m back! It’s been over a year since I’ve posted. There have been a lot of life changes here since then — I’ve gotten married, moved countries twice, have a new Esteemed Sewing Assistant.

This is hardly a sewing project (since it involved no sewing) but more of an arts and crafts project. I found some scrap Day of the Dead fabric in my stash and used it to make a small pincushion, which I then affixed to the top of a Mason jar.

I plan to post here once I get back into the groove of sewing once again, so more projects hopefully soon.

The McCall Pattern Company Tour

Hawaiian print swatches at the McCall Pattern Company.

Hawaiian print swatches at the McCall Pattern Company. The fabric room is filled with board after board of well-organized swatches.

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Yesterday I had a chance to visit the McCall Pattern Company offices. It was interesting to see how patterns were made — from brainstorming, pattern drafting, writing up instructions, testing muslins, sewing the final piece, photographing, and deciding which patterns were to come out for the next season. It was equally good to be surrounded by such passionate people who love to sew.

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Inspiring fabric swatches.

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The hallway has many, many dressforms, all close together.

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Creepy dressforms

Creepy dressforms.

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Desk

Someone who works there enthusiastically loves purple. I wish my desk at work looked like this.

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Writings on muslins

Notes for a Vogue pattern, written directly on a muslin.

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All in all, a very inspiring trip.

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.

McCalls 8775: Chambray Tent Dress

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I’ve been reading Marianne Faithfull’s autobiography for the last few days, and I’ve resolutely decided that the 60s need to come back. I’d settle for the latter half of the 60s, 1967 onward.

I also decided that I’ve missed vintage sewing, but I wanted to sew more things that I’d wear everyday and would fit into my lifestyle. I don’t have the lifestyle (as of yet!) to swan about in 1950s dresses, so I turned to the late 60s.

I don’t usually wear dresses with high necklines, but since it’s short I needed something to balance it out. I lowered the neckline by an inch and a half (more adjustments documented below), and it was still high enough to look like a high neckline (to me) and to still be comfortable.

I’ve already worn this dress to work a few times, and it’s very comfortable. It’s also short (for what I’m used to!), so I I have to be careful when going to the subway, walking about, sitting down. It’s comfortable, practical, can be dressed up or down, and looks different from what’s out there in ready to wear. Many more dresses like this to come, for certain.

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Pattern:

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McCalls 8755, from 1967.

(I originally planned to sew this dress in a green floral but that proved to be disastrous. It was just too much fabric for such a simple dress.)

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Project Details:

Pattern: McCalls 8755.

Pattern Sizing: Size 14.

Description: Sleeveless, front yoked dress has high neckline and center back zipper.

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

Fabric: Chambray.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s comfortable, stylish, and looks somewhat unique.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Shortened skirt by eight inches, narrow back adjustment, used seam binding instead of facing, lowered the neckline by 1 1/2 inch, used an invisible zipper.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes.

By Hand London: Anna

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I finished Anna a few weeks ago and only had time to photograph it now. This is my first time working with sheer chiffon, and it was a pain to cut and to work with. I sandwiched the chiffon with wrapping paper and cut through the layers which made it somewhat bearable, but it was still hard to work with. It also makes the dress look very formal, which means it will probably not get a lot of wear.

I used an invisible zipper in the back, French seams along the side, and serged the hem and folded it over.

This dress was also hard to photograph. Maybe it was the stark white background with the flowers on it, but

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Project Details:

Pattern: Anna, from By Hand London.

Pattern Sizing: Size 2 – 16.

Description: An effortless Summer dress featuring double pleats at the bust, kimono sleeves and a paneled a-line skirt. Variations include both slash and v-neck options, plus midi and maxi skirt possibilities and a dramatic thigh high split. Super quick and simple to make, cut it short for the perfect festival dress, or make it worthy of the red carpet with a maxi skirt and thigh high split.

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

Fabric: Sheer polyester chiffon, which was such a pain to cut and work with.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, had I chosen to read them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Yes. I really like long dresses.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None. The sides were done with French seams, and I serged the hem and folded it over, then stitched it down.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, definitely.