Monday, 8 February 2016


Vogue Pattern V9112, Marcy Tilton Cirque Dress

Vogue Pattern V9112, Marcy Tilton Cirque Dress

Vogue Pattern V9112, Marcy Tilton Cirque Dress

Vogue Pattern V9112, Marcy Tilton Cirque Dress we are hanging out together again. I  hope you've had an awesome couple of weeks since we last chatted. Things have been ticking along pretty good here...I guess the biggest news would be that I have been sewing. It helps that the days are getting, it's not spring yet, but a girl can dream.

Today's make, Vogue Pattern V9112 also known as the Cirque Dress by Marcy Tilton, was all kinds of fun. Another no zip, no button, sew me in a day project. I'm pretty certain that there will be future Cirques in my closet....that doesn't sound weird at all, does it? Now, it may not have as flattering a silhouette as my favourite fit and flare dresses, but it makes up for it by being so fun, quirky, versatile and easy. In fact, the only challenging aspect of this Vogue pattern was the alterations required. At under 5'2", I have to shorten everything...and...I wanted this make to be a tunic rather than a dress. I shaved off 3" in total and, although the finished look is a little longer than anticipated, I can wear it with my dark wash skinny jeans as well as with tights. 

Okay...I said challenging, but was just a matter of paying attention...ermmmm...which, at times, I find challenging. There are a lot of pattern pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. I knew if I simply whacked 3" off the hemline, I'd lose the silhouette of the dress. To avoid that,  I shortened the pattern in four different places; mid armhole, which made the armhole higher {a good thing}, above the bust, just below the waist, and again near the upper thigh. I also wanted a little less volume in the circumference...hope I used that big 'ol word right...of the dress, so I did the opposite of slash and spread; I slashed and overlapped 1/2" right and left front and right and left back for a total of 2". It's almost impossible to explain and as challenging to photograph, but please let me know if you need further clarification.

The collar is my favourite design feature. I added a facing using contrasting fabric...hello gingham...and attached it with the gingham on the outside. The folds of the collar are quite random and I like how the print and gingham interplay.

Let's see...anything else to add? Oh yes....this is a sleeveless dress...that's a striped t-shirt underneath. I contemplated adding sleeves, and went as far as drafting the pattern piece and basting a sleeve on. After that effort...I totally knew I wanted it sleeveless...but, good news...I have a newly drafted pattern piece up my sleeve for a future make. Am I even a little bit funny? wonders she. The fabric was a thrift store find, lime green and orange. The pockets are lined with a polka dot printed cotton. The booties are Seychelles...I bought them at an end of year sale...a bit of good luck that was.

Thanks bunches for stopping by you guys! Thanks also for your encouragement on all things arty last post. I haven't done much painting since, but the whole mess of creativity is still front and centre on my dining room table.  I know that technically more daylight hours does not mean more hours, but I'm hoping to fool myself into thinking I have more time to play!

Dress : : Vogue Pattern V9112

Linking up with:

Gray All Day's Sew It Chic Monthly - February
Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday


Monday, 18 January 2016


A-Colourful-Canvas, Danielle-Donaldson, Creative-Girl

A-Colourful-Canvas, Quilted-Gingham-Skirt, Vogue-V2911

A-Colourful-Canvas, Quilted-Gingham-Skirt, Vogue-V2911

A-Colourful-Canvas, Quilted-Gingham-Skirt, Vogue-V2911

A-Colourful-Canvas, Quilted-Gingham-Skirt, Vogue-V2911

Hey you!

So very happy to see you again.

I am still here. I had an unplanned {they're never planned}, but not entirely unexpected, creative pause. I fought against it for a few weeks...making record use of my seam ripper in the process...before acknowledging the need to put sewing...and anything else involving the use of scissors...on a brief hiatus. Thinking back, it was serendipitous...I mean the timing was really just right for....well...setting not only my 2016 sewing goals, but all those other nifty new years intentions. The truth...keeping it real that I pretty much couch crashed...reading, watching, hanging with was all deliciously decadent and completely non-productive.

On a very positive note, one of those reads made a most favourable impression on me. Titled Creative Girl, and written by artist Danielle Donaldson; it's a book that really speaks to my painting style. My leading image today is artwork directly inspired by one of Danielle's exercises. And, to answer your question, blog remains primarily a sewing blog. I haven't given up sewing, nor do I have any intention of doing so. I just find it a really fun concept to try out...integrating artwork into blog posts. And, I'm nothing if not optimistic, there will be future blog posts...

Now. Today's make. My first of 2016 and intentionally simple....well...sorta simple. I machine quilted the fabric, and, although not a difficult task, it certainly added to the time factor. The pattern is Vogue V2911. It's a Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina.  The skirt pattern pieces are laid out on the diagonal and Sandra provides helpful instruction on sewing bias cut fabrics. Because my fabric is a thin layer of cotton batting sandwiched between cotton gingham and bemberg lining, it behaves less like bias cut fabric and more like corrugated cardboard. Yep....there were zero issues with rippling seams and drooping hemlines.  This baby stands on it's own. The pattern was easy-peasy; elastic waist, no zip, no buttons, no lining. The hemline is finished with bias tape made from the gingham. I added inseam pockets, because, pockets. So....why the quilting? It's a trial method of making a spring/summer weight fabric suitable for winter. This make was definitely a success. I love my gingham skirt; it has the fabrication I love, but it's also warm and least as long as the wind ain't blowing a breeze right up my arse.

Okay kiddos...I have a couple of sewing projects in the works...and by works I mean I'm thinking about them. The door may be open, but I'm not exactly galloping out of the barn. Yet. Have you been there? How did you get going again?

Photos on Location: Vancouver Public Library Main Branch


Monday, 23 November 2015


Ginger Jeans Yoga Pants, Sewaholic Dunbar Top, A Colourful Canvas

Ginger Jeans Yoga Pants, Sewaholic Dunbar Top, A Colourful Canvas

Ginger Jeans Yoga Pants, Sewaholic Dunbar Top, A Colourful Canvas

Hey you. Me. Again. Finally. It wasn't my intention to be so long away from the keyboard, but my latest project nearly swallowed me whole. It all started with a thrift store find. Four way stretch fabric with a decidedly denim vibe. I knew exactly what I wanted to create...a yoga pants version of Closet Case Files Ginger Skinny Jeans. And apparently I didn't want to create just one pair. Originally, I thought two....the first as a wearable muslin...the second with my treasured denim. But. After my first pair {the green ones}, the weather got chilly enough to warrant the cozy yellow pair. ankles were feeling fickle...I  further tweaked my Ginger Jeans et voila...ankle length yoga pants with self fabric cuffs. My activewear is deliciously close to being lounge wear.  After three rounds, I finally felt ready to cut into the  four dollar good stuff.  After meticulously fitting my bottom with four pairs of stylish bottoms, it seemed just that my upper half receive likewise attention. And looky dat....Tasia at Sewaholic releases her athletic-inspired collection including the Dunbar Top. High ho, high I go to sew.  Now...sitting amidst a colourful pile of stretchy clothing...I do believe I've unintentionally created my very own, ultra exclusive, Yoga Wear brand.

Vancouver has, over the years, become quite the fit city, and yoga is wildly popular at the moment. For once, I was ahead of a trend. I started yoga in about 1975. Yep...'75. My Mom and I registered for evening classes at the local YM/YWCA. I've continued yoga on and off for...ack....forty...forty years. I love how yoga is more than just's mindfulness, meditative, strengthening, toning, grounding.

There have been times when I've done less yoga and more exercise based movement...specifically the eighties....I was a bit of a gym rat and was big on aerobics classes...high impact, low impact, Jazzercise, Step name it, I probably did it. It was during that time that I made and sold activewear. For real. It was on a very, very, small scale. I had leotards ready made and ready to sell, but everyone kept requesting custom this and custom that, and it all became tedious rather quickly. Curious about my makes? Here, I've googled 1980's aerobics clothing. for you. And it's really okay....I had a good laugh too. that I've talked all about me for several paragraphs, let's talk shop for a minute. As I mentioned, all fabrics are 4-way stretch fabrics. I cut and sewed my yoga pants the same size as my Ginger Skinny Jeans. I cut them just below knee length and added a half moon shaped band of fabric to the bottom. {The orange pants were done a little differently...they are full length with a self fabric ribbed cuff.} I did not add a zipper, but I did keep the fly front fabric, which I stitched flat with top stitching. I did not add front pockets, but the back pockets are fully functioning.  The waistband is tweaked from the original jeans pattern. I traced out a front and back waistband, using CCF's waistband as a template. Instead of cutting separate waistband and facings, I made the waistband width wide enough to fold over in half. I trimmed some length off of both front and back waistband pieces; the exact amount really being dependent on how stretchy the fabric is. You want enough stretch that your pants will stay up {very important}, but not so much that you can't get them up over your hips {also very important}. For reference, my waistband pieces are about 3/4  of the measurement of the pants waistline plus seam allowances. After sewing the front and back waistbands together at the side seams, I folded the waistband in half, right sides together and machine sewed it to the pants. On the orange ones, I added two eyelets and a drawstring. On the others, I left a small opening in one inner side seam where I can add elastic if the pants begin to lose their stretch.

Next Dunbar Tops. Although I am not Tasia's target market....she drafts for the pear shaped body....I really wanted at least one piece from  the new Vancouver Collection, because...hello....Vancouver. Having sewn both her Cambie Dress and her Minoru Jacket, I was confident that I could alter my Dunbar Top to fit. And...yes...I feel I was successful. I do, however, notice just a bit of rippling along the necklines of my tops, and I know that is because I did not alter the built in shelf bra properly. Yes...I cheated...altering the outside to perfection while leaving the innards basically unchanged. It wasn't until I sewed the elastic bra band on that I truly saw the error of my ways. To be tops fit like a dream; there's no bouncing or pinching. They're Comfort with a capital C. But? Well, I just want to make the perfect one. So, yep. I'm going to sew at least one more, and I'll be building it right, including the insides. I might even sew the sports bra view B for a different look. Then, I'll write a post giving the Dunbar Top the schtar treatment it deserves! Hey, I might even come up with a few more yoga poses...

All righty, 'til next we chat. Happy sewing. Happy styling. Happy smiling.