Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sewing Resolutions for 2017

I am not really big on New Year Resolutions, simply because I don't really follow them. So I suppose my 2017 Sewing Resolutions would be to get out of my comfort zone and do something different or learn to make something new, for example:
  • new types of fabrics
  • new sewing techniques
  • new types of garments
  • new combinations of skills
  • new sewing patterns (my own patterns or whatever patterns I have in my stash that I haven't used yet)
I am happy with the sewing projects this year and I have learned some new techniques (e.g. I just learned how to narrow the shoulder seams on a 1990's jacket). I'm looking forward to learning more of everything regarding sewing and refashioning in 2017.

I wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy 2017!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Last Sewing Project for 2016

The year is coming to a close. I managed to squeeze another sewing/refashioning project before New Year's Eve. This is a very well made, good quality jacket that I thrifted a couple of years ago. It's a beautiful true red, cashmere blend jacket, made in Canada in the 1990s. The fabric is really soft and extremely warm. I wore it in the office with layers underneath and I was sweating profusely.

The super broad shoulders and the crop length made my body look even more top heavy than it already was. The sleeves were too long also. A Refashion/Alteration was in order.

I watched a video of Angela Wolf narrowing a jacket's shoulder seam and I thought I could try that with this jacket. There is a very good tutorial at this blog: So this was my plan to alter the jacket:

I opened up the lining seam and found that the jacket was indeed very well made. It has custom shoulder pads and proper sleeve heads:

First I took out the very wide shoulder pads. Then I tried on the jacket and basted the new shoulder seam. And eventually I sewed and steamed the new shoulder seams in place.  Then I chopped off the sleeves and made them 3/4 sleeves. And here is the resulting garment:

I think it now looks better for my proportions. I'm happy to have a better fitting, warm and colourful jacket for the cold months!

Now I need to dig into my to-be-Refashioned pile and see what I can fix/refashion next!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Holiday 2016 Sewing: 6th handmade gift plans - tweed sparkly cushions

As mentioned before, I have too much fabric in my stash. When I dug into my stash I found this plaid sparkly tweed. I decided to make a pair of cushions for family members who have a grey decor. It's difficult to see in the photo but there are silver threads running through the fabric. I figure that black and white cushions will go with any decor. I hope they like them!

Another great stash busting x'mas gift!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday 2016 Sewing: 5th handmade gift - another children gift

The weather has gotten really cold here with very high winds. I thought I would make a very warm vest for my daughter since her body is not the best in regulating temperature.

I dug out this fleece backed faux sherpa material in my stash. I made a winter coat for my son when he was a baby. I knew this was going to be a very warm fabric.

I drafted the vest pattern myself and used lapped seams to sew the thick fabric. My daughter went through my button stash and chose these mismatched buttons for the vest. She has been obsessed with dressing like a 'lamb' so she made sure that the vest was reversible. And here is the final product:

My daughter wore it out and thought it was very warm. I still have some of that fabric left. Perhaps I will be able to make my son something too!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday 2016 Sewing: 4th handmade gift plans - almost finished

I almost finished the 4th handmade holiday gift. I say almost, because my mother-in-law has to try the trousers on before I can tailor them to her body and finish everything. The hem is serged and the waist already has an elastic inside.

Well, it's nothing to look at right now hanging on the hanger. I can't wait to finish them!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holiday 2016 Sewing: 4th handmade gift plans - a challenging one

The December theme for the Make a Garment a Month group is 'Dreaming'.  So I guess that includes both 'sweet dreams' and 'nightmares? Just kidding. However, this next handmade gift will be no easy task.

My mother-in-law asked me to make her a pair of dressy palazzo pants for x'mas. She gave me a pair of moderate stretch knit pants to make my pattern. However, I couldn't find any suitable fabrics in the colour she wanted at my fabric store. Instead, I bought this very drapey, non-stretch grey wool crepe fabric in the colour she wanted:

Since I bought a non-stretch fabric, I modified my initial pants pattern based on the moderate stretch knit pants:

I hope I made it too big because then I can tailor the pants to her body. If it's too small then all hope is lost.

I'm also very nervous about this because her weight tends to fluctuate a lot. Moreover, she is not the most patient client and is not used to 'bespoke' garments that requires time to tailor to fit. I guess I'll have to pack my sewing machine and supplies when I travel to see her for the holidays.

Wish me luck on this one! ;-)