Preppies, Knitters & a New Feature on the Blog packed with Free Sewing Stuff!

Collage

I hope everybody had a terrific Halloween.  It was raining here :( but we still received some trick or treaters and decorated the house with spooky style.

Halloween Photo Collage

 

Preppy Fashion

Muffy, my socks are itchy!

This year, Kitty dressed up as a dashing 80s preppy boy and wore a hand-knit sweater vest that his Gramma knit for him (thanks Mum!!)  His argyle sweater vest was completed with a prep school sew-on crest (from 1987, of course).

Cat Argyle Sweater Collage

You can get the free knitting pattern here from knottygnome crafts.  Now, if you look carefully at the sweater, you can see something special about the Argyle pattern.

Argyle Sweater Fish Pattern

It looks slightly askew compared to the regular diamond pattern of argyle, yes?  No!  Look closely.  They are fish!!  And, because they are knit in gold yarn, they are goldfish!  I KNOW!  I died.  Then I came back to life and died again.  ;)

Look Muffy he thinks he's one of us

Where is my polo shirt??  Maybe I’ll rough it this weekend in my khakis and madras.

The Official Preppy Handbook

Anybody have The Official Preppy Handbook from 1980 and did you follow any of the ‘rules’, however satirical they may have been?  Come on, you can tell us!  For those of you still preppy, the author has a newer book out: True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World, 2010.

-New Feature on the Blog-

I have recently added three new sections to the blog!  At the top menu, there is a drop down menu labelled FREE PATTERNS/BOOKS/RESOURCES.  Free Patterns Books Resources

The first section, Websites with Free Sewing Patterns, has a number of websites that contain a variety of free sewing patterns.

Websites With Free Sewing Patterns

The second section, Free Sewing Patterns, is a compilation of free patterns of varying styles and difficulties that range from couture to casual.

Free Sewing Patterns

And the third section, Free Sewing Resources (Classes, Tutorials, Books -vintage & new), contains downloadable books, both vintage and new, resources, classes, pdfs, videos, etc. that cover everything from needle selection to couture sewing techniques.

Free Books Resources

I will be updating these sections on an ongoing basis, so check back periodically to see what’s new!

If you have a free sewing pattern or resource that you would like added to the site, please feel free to leave a link in the comments section.

Kitty All Tuckered Out

photo credits: Brighterman, The Official Preppy Handbook

Sew Grateful Giveaway!! How about some Red and some Threads?

SewGrateful3xlI’m so delighted to participate in Sew Grateful Week hosted by My Happy Sewing Place!  I truly feel blessed to have found a past-time that I love, that relaxes me, that challenges my brain, that allows me to be creative and that’s resulted in so many new friendships and connections both online and in the real world.  And, at the end of it all, a new garment or accessory is the result.  Win-win!

So, Monday’s task for Sew Grateful Week is a crowd favourite:  A Giveaway!  I’m so grateful for all of you and I would like to give you something.  Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning Bundle

The Goods

  • Threads Magazine, July 2013   Threads Magazine, July 2013 #167
  • Threads Magazine Collection Sewing Pattern, Simplicity 4275   Simplicity 4275 front
  • Three different red themed Fabrics   Three Fabrics
  • Sewing With Nancy Booklet: Quick Jackets by Nancy Zieman   Sewing With Nancy Quick Jackets
  • Coats & Clark Totebag to carry everything   Coats and Clark Totebag

The Deets

Threads Magazine July 2013

Threads Magazine July 2013, Number 167

Simplicity 4275, Threads Sewing Pattern.  Includes: 2 styles of jacket, 2 styles of trouser and a short sleeve top.

Simplicity 4275, Threads Magazine Collection Sewing Pattern. Includes: 2 styles of jacket / blazer, 2 styles of trouser, a short sleeve top and a belt.

Three Red Themed Fabrics

Fabric: 1. Silky smooth, lightweight and very drapey poly blend in a solid red colour: 2.5 yards (2.3 m). It could be used for a dress or blouse but would also make terrific lining fabric. 2. Black, grey, white and red striped fabric, lightweight and floaty poly blend: 2 yards (1.8 m). 3. Red, black, white stars and stripes Scooby Doo Hanna Barbara medium weight 100% cotton: 0.7 yards (0.6 m)

Sewing With Nancy Quick Jackets

Sewing With Nancy Booklet: Quick Jackets by Nancy Zieman, Booklet #510, to help you sew your Simplicity 4275 Threads jacket.

The Fabric In Action

Yoke and Pockets Lining

Red and White Stars Cotton Pajama Bottoms

The first two fabrics played centre stage in a Red themed outfit I sewed for Sew Red October.  The solid red fabric and the striped fabric were used to colour block my By Hand London Polly Top and the striped fabric was also used to line the yoke and make pockets for my wide legged culottes.  The stars and stripes fabric was used to make men’s pyjamas for my dad.

The Entry

Entries close on Saturday, March 8, 2014 (eastern standard time) which also happens to be International Women’s Day.  Happy Women’s Day!  In honour of this day, please leave a comment below telling us about a woman you find inspirational (real, fictional, dead or alive).  And, if you enjoy my blog, don’t forget to follow it!  Giveaway is open to everybody worldwide.

Kitty will, once again, officiate the draw and select a winner so you can look forward to antics such as this or this or better still, this!

Good Luck Everybody and Thank You.  I Really Am Sew Grateful.

Edit:  Giveaway is now closed and the winner is posted here.

Army Fatigue Jacket Made Cozy, Cozy, Cozy.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Army Fatigue Coat Front Zipped and OpenThis month’s challenge for The Monthly Stitch was to sew something from a sewing book.  I have SO many sewing books, where to start?  Actually, I began with Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, and am at work on a project from it as well as a review.  Next, I also have the sewing book, Twinkle Sews and began work on a project from there, in addition to a review of the book.Army Fatigue Jacket Hands in Pockets

Sew Stylish Magazine Front and Back

Sew Stylish Magazine, Fall 2013

But then, the latest issue of Sew Stylish came out (Fall, 2013) and right on the back cover was a photo of an army fatigue jacket with the pattern and instructions included in the magazine.  So, since it is officially snowing here and I happened to be VERY cold at the time of purchase, I immediately went to work making the jacket out of a cozy wool blend, that feels soft, like a sweater blanket.

Army Fatigue Jacket Front and BackI opted not to add the inner drawstring channel and cord, since I thought it looked crisper and more tailored without it.Army Fatigue Jacket Front collar down"Model Pose"....or something....Work with me

“Model Pose”….or something….Work with me

I wanted to bind all the edges in the fuchsia pink, but this type of fabric has thick woolen threads weaved into it in order to create the flecks of colour and it raveled as the long threads separated from the raw edges almost immediately. Jacket Fabric and Separating ZipperSewing on the bias tape then resulted in many failed attempts as the threads pulled from the edges of the fabric, taking the bias tape with them.

Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens

Mah Bias Binding Matches Mah Mittens

But, I did manage to attach the bias binding to the edges that mattered, ie, the facing and hem, areas that you would see easily if the jacket were unzipped.  The remaining raw edges were over-locked.

Bam!  Fuchsia binding.

Bam! Fuchsia bias binding

The jacket has a long two-way separating zipper, (i.e., it can unzip from the bottom and the top) and deeeeeeeep patch pockets.

Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets

Warm, cozy, deep patch pockets

Some notes on enlarging pattern pieces:  First, number both the sides and top and bottom of the grid on each pattern piece.  Next, photocopy each pattern piece separately, then trim around the outside of the piece.

Fatigue Jacket Pattern PiecesThis way, when you go to enlarge the pieces and need to tape the multiple pages together, you can easily match the corresponding numbers on the top and sides of the grid.  You can also opt to copy the pieces either bigger or smaller than the intended size.  I photocopied mine so that each square was 6/8″ instead of the intended 1″ square, in order to shrink the overall size of the pattern.

Snow.  Wheeee!!!!

Snow. Wheeee!!!!

Snow WheeeeAre free magazine sewing patterns recommended?  It depends on what you are attempting to make.  Simple items, where little can go wrong are likely better than something with more complicated pieces.  Also, I don’t think the same amount of editing, thought and care goes into the instructions and pattern drafting for the free magazine patterns as there would be for independent or larger pattern company patterns, and therefore errors can definitely result.  For this jacket, one of the diagrams was wrong, causing me to insert the zipper backwards.  (I had to re-do the whole thing and it’s a 32″ zip!)  I also made my cape out of a free magazine pattern and found that the instructions to enlarge it were wrong.  I would recommend that you not be a complete beginner and have some sewing experience before you use one of the free magazine patterns.  That way, you can tell beforehand if/when there is an error and correct it.

Army Fatigue Jacket Unzipped

Hello Kitty!  In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Hello Kitty! In his sweater knit by Gramma.

Stay tuned for Blogpost Part 2, which I will post next week, where I will have, hopefully, completed the two projects from Gertie’s and Twinkle’s sewing books.  Edit:  Both completed and blogged here!

Kitty Photobombed

Sweater-Kitty Photo-bombed