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Friday, April 29, 2016

A (not so) young Jedi sewer makes a break through.

This week I was adding buttons to a (what was kind of a muslin but has become a real piece) cardigan and since I wasn't being particularly anal I decided to trust my machine's automatic buttonhole foot. Usually I still mark and use my foot pedal, but for some crazy second I forgot what machine I was at and I pushed the start button (I have never used this button) instead of the needle down button. The machine went into crazy action at top speed (faster than my foot pedal will make it go)... perfect button hole. I put aside the sample scrap and grabbed the garment - and perfect button hole: 6 times. huh!

I guess I need to learn to trust in the Force.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A kindred soul's stash

Earth Day /week inspires a lot of rehoming, repurposing, and reduce, reuse, recycling and today was a thrifting day in my town: schools and organizations have resale events where they collect a small admittance at the door and various "vendors" tag their goods for sale in gymnasiums and halls.

We visited a sale this morning searching for some summer clothes for DS the younger.  Afterwards we popped into VV to dig around.  I (per usual) loaded up the cart with children's books (to keep the boy occupied while I peruse) and moved over to the sewing and fabric section and I delightedly collected a few bags of notions.

I gaga'd at the little sneak peeks that i could discern through the jumble of stacked cards and celophane, shelled over my $6 and change and happily returned the children's book (save 1 DS got to pick).  Once at home I settled down to sort through the 4 bags.  The first was a fantastic collection of buttons.  Gorgeous jewels still on their cards.  Most were purchased for 15 cents from Woolworth, Zellers, and Eaton's. 

I am taking such joy on this bag! There was a little card of orange buttons that attracted me at first, it was why I bought the bag... but, so many beautiful buttons!  Like candies.

Bag #2 had me at a peek of blue and silver rick rack.  There were so many pretties peeking over the stacks of cards in the bag.  There was also a new treasure:  Shell Braid.  Everything is sparkly with gold and silver fibers, and so may pastels!

Bag #3 was a motherload of snaps and hooks and eyes, needles and bias tape.  This one fascinated me in its history.

So many of the little metal bits were made in Canada and England.  Today they come from China and India usually, and I have been trained to have an aversion to cheaply made bits (often this is why I thrift - to re purpose and rehome bits and pieces that already exist, and lessen my footprint that iota.)

Bag #4 sits on my kitchen table waiting for my inspection.   I spotted bra hook panels and a snap setter and that was the motivation to spend another $1.39.  

I feel like I know the former owner of all these things, in fact, I feel like she is an old friend.  I know, if she was alive as the items were loaded up, that there was regret at the projects not made and the loss of those beautiful cards of buttons.  I hope that she somehow knows that her stash has landed in my stash.  I will do my best to create the final home for these notions and finishings and her passion will be infused with mine.

Do you wonder what will happen to your stash when you no longer hold it?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Endeavours! Shorts and "that curve"

I am really excited to be sewing up some Endeavours!  I have looked at the pattern online so many times in the last year, and passed because I was unsure of the whole package  (I was stung sharply by a BAAAAAD pdf (previously blogged, you'll find it if you are looking for the pattern review) )- I wanted to see reviews and they were few, and the designer was offline for a while.

A photo posted by Heather Dawson (@rainydayperson) on

Then recently there was a thread of chat about tough to fit bodies and pants and a Fb friend recommended the pattern.  Phew! - then! I was (just the NEXT DAY) shopping in a destination fabric shop a few hours from home :  Fabrications and saw this wall:  (YES, I giggled)

The pattern IS innovative.  I like the variation for hip curve - bum-cup size as described by the designer.  It's drafted well (all the notches match, too!) and my first kick at the can (get it!?) was a near success (I am so! close).  The instructions are great - if you have experience with reading a pattern, it's easy to get the jive.  It's similar to a Style Arc instruction set - and there are plenty of handy tips right on the pattern pieces - be prepared to trace you pattern.

I was excited to see that the PR Pants Contest is next month, so I am hoping that I will get a TNT out of these.  The first pair were dreamy on my bum, and a little tight in the front (I am an atypical shape) So I am going up a size - I suspect I may be 1 size in the front and another in the back....
I highly recommend not skipping this pattern - it's a treat.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Dandelion Bronte Top

My last mishmash post of knit sewing tips and tricks was a gathering of a month of psych - ing myself up for actually using one of my precious fabrics.  I bought an Art Gallery Knit : Tiny Dancer at my local fabric supplier, Stitch by Stitch and I was terrified I might create a wadder if I didn't prep, practice, pray.
So, I prepped and practiced all month.  I made several knit projects over the month and finally the last week of the month I cut into a similar fabric as a muslin.  When that one worked out fine I sucked in my breath, and prayed while I finally cut into the AG knit.

I have made a few before, but with the changes to my bust since my mastectomy I wasn't sure how it would fit, and to my great pleasure,  it fit really well.
 The knit's stretch and body worked really well for this pattern, and the 4way stretch was a nice surprise.   The whole project went well, and I am a definite convert to the thicker knit.
The 3/8 seam allowance worked nicely with my 6,0 needle 
The bobbin thread perfectly encases the seam allowance and the cover stitch effect is great.

 I graded up 2 sizes below the waistline.
The other alteration was to add a sleeve band instead of a hem; I have marked the pattern to add an inch for future hems, I like the sleeve just a tad longer than drafted. 

I liked the look of the three buttons to finish the shirt off.

All in all, I love this shirt and it has now become a true TNT. I'm already thinking about my next one, and I have already splurged on another Art Gallery knit.