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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jennifer Lauren Handmade - The Laneway Dress

This is a dreamy dress!

The Jennifer Lauren Handmade patterns are really lovely patterns - drafted dreamily - I love the Bronte Top (I have several versions) as a tried and true pattern.  When I had an opportunity to test a new dress - right when I needed a new dress - I jumped on that wagon!

The Laneway Dress is a lovely - straightforward dress with separate pattern pieces for B, C & D cups - and I was able to make and wear it with no (I swear!) adjustments - no swayback, no bust changes, not even length!  I made the dress three times - all in a 16C - a muslin, this one and another to be revealed later.

I had a silly purchase in my stash - a gorgeous linen with a garish black overprint - I don't wear black, so that's the silly bit.  I am not sure what I was thinking - but from the pattern accompanying the fabric - it looks like I thought a pair of culottes (?)  - wowza.

So since this was a tester, I thought - I would use the fabric for this project instead, and surprise! I have worn the dress several times!

I know - the shoes - adorable, right?

The sleeve is wonderful - I have a full range of motion and it went in without a hitch.  The side pocket instructions are especially nice.

I didn't have enough fabric to match the side seams of the skirt, but the back is a piece de resistance:

 check out the pattern matching!

The invisible zipper install instructions were very nice, and I used my invisible zipper foot for a painless process start to finish.

The front neckline has three supercute options - I lightly tacked down the asymmetrical opening on mine

The inside is nice too:

And.... I have pretty new tags for my makes!

In the end the dress was perfect for the hot gymnasium the night of my son's graduation.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

One of the unblogged: V8499 Tilton Skirt

Slowly, but surely..... Back to the blog!
I now have a SERIOUS BackBlog.  I have been sewing like crazy, and haven't been reviewing patterns, or blogging!
So here is the Tilton pattern I decided to work up! I am especially taken with these pants and will make these soon, I think, but I decided I needed a skirt and had a gorgeous fabric in my stash to work with.  I bought this batik and it's coordinating piece AGES ago - in the late 80s?  Early maybe as late as 92?

Hanging to dry over my banister it sure looks like a piece of art!
Here is what the coordinating piece looks like:

The pockets
 I read on Pattern review that the zipper suggested was too short, so I bought longer zippers, and was able to find a lovely metal zipper that complimented the fabric.  I followed "Noile"'s advice and covered my zipper tape with self fabric.

Next time I will follow "about sewing bee"'s advice and add stealth pockets to the inside - the pockets are purely decorative at this depth,

Overall it is a great pattern - a little long on me, and yes, it runs high on ease, but a very nice pattern.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Grainline Morris - Breaking Ground

Woo Hoo!  It's Spring!
Time for layers and figure-revealing jackets! (Or, let's be real, I'm in Canada: I'm just raising my shirt-tails to  bum-revealing)

I will fully admit that I have avoided Grainline Studio patterns so far:  no slight intended (and I doubt, taken), but the aesthetic isn't me - I am all about soft and curvy and flowy, upward movement, and face/waist framing and Grainline is: not.  I feel like it is less romantic and more business casual, and I have seen the waxing poetic about the Scout Tee, the Farrow, and the Morris for ever - and just kept right on looking.
Farrow, Scout, Morris from Grainline Studio

That said, when The Breaking Ground Blog Tour came up and I was thinking through what pattern company I might want to look into, I came across several versions of the Morris that were my style, and I thought: self, perhaps you should give this a whirl.

So - I bought my pattern from - (I get a tidy discount because I am a member, and I was featured recently and had a little coupon gift to use).  I took my file down to the local Staples Copy Centre and (after a wee struggle and realization that the A0 version worked best on their printers) had a pattern on my table to trace.

Now - I started to do all my normal adjustments - but then I changed my mind, and decided to make the pattern as printed - to do a proper review I think that's only fair.  So here is my review considering the pattern as written, no adjustments, to my size specs, following directions step by step.

So - there are a few caveats we should address for this pattern - it is a straight forward pattern: Sleeve, Front, Back and Facings. There is magic in a pattern like this - the fit has to work without princess seams and darts - and this pattern is a little piece of that magical land - it actually works pretty well.

I LOVE the facing application and construction process for this jacket - you end up with a nice and tidy unlined, stretch woven or stable knit jacket.  My choice of a stretch twill/denim worked very well, and I have a nice casual jacket to throw on over jeans when I run to pick up a kid on a work from home in my jeans sort of day.  I think if you are experienced with fitting for your body it is a great little pattern, or if you are a slim, somewhat broad shouldered gal, you should be able to make this out of the package.

That said - I think you should be prepared to measure and pattern fit.  The chest/bust measurement vs garment for a size 14 was bang-on.  The sleeve is a slim sleeve - so definitely measure and ensure you have some ease.  In addition, I found that the shoulders were wider than my own and I am pretty typical lately (after a significant weight loss) - so plan to measure and adjust the shoulders.

Too broad in the shoulder, and too tight in the bicep.
Gainline Morris
I perused the Internet and found one example after another of a wrinkle at the back of the jacket between the armpit and the shoulder - go check it out online - it won't take you long if you google the images for the grainline morris blazer.  I'm not sure if it's because the sleeve is too narrow, combined with the shoulder so wide - but I like the construction elements of this jacket so much that i am going to tackle this again, with a bicep adjustment (I like Sewaholic's instruction-set) and a shoulder adjustment (Colette's Albion Sewalong has a nice graphical step by step guide to a narrow shoulder adjustment).

In the end I have a jacket that is wearable with bare arms underneath.  It's a great item to throw over my general uniform and to dash out looking a little like I tried  :)

This post is part of the Breaking Ground Tour - pushing each contributor to try a new pattern company.  I purchased all materials with my own cash - so opinions are entirely my own!  more blogs links below.

Here are the rest of the Breaking Ground Blogs (direct links to Breaking Ground posts) Anne-Mari Sews, Sprouting Jube Jube, Sewing A La Carte, Tales of a Tester

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Thrift Shop Haul Share!


The Pattern Collection at Value Village, Lethbridge AB Feb 2017
(yes, I went thrifting when I was on a business trip with 1 carry-on bag)

I am a total LOVER of thrift shopping.  It's a calling, I think.
Every once in a while I arrive at my local Value Village I realize that someone has purged their collection, and that someone is my sewing Doppelgänger.
I had a wonderful haul this weekend!
Here's my tour - and remember.... I spent $32 (I had a 30% discount coupon)

What? Yards and Yards of underwear elastic!  $3.99

2.99 for a bunch of bias tape and ric-rack.....  I LOVE the red polkadot one.

$2.99 Totally fun bag of 20 zippers (including 5 invisible zippers) and 2 brass jean zippers.

AND NOW.....

 Totally sweet Badgley Mischka V 1066 .... sewellen made this in 2009.....  and Erica Bunker made it 2008.

Another Great Jacket - but that TOP!  V2987

   I love this top (with the split in front) V1085  A nice Betzina.

  Cute low-rise pants  V2907

 A nice cropped jacket V1040

  A longer jacket and cute pants V1293
   M5522 with a few nice fitted tops

   I LOVE that Betzina top!

There are another dozen+ !!!