Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi

Monthly Stitch Miss Bossy Patterns BadgeI need your vote for The Monthly Stitch’s March Miss Bossy Patterns challenge.  We need to select a pattern from our ‘stash’ that has never been sewn (by us) and, yup you guessed it, finally sew it!!  But, as an added twist, we need to have you nice folks boss us around as to which pattern to sew.

Pick one.  PICK ONE!!

Pick one. PICK ONE!!

Welllll, I have to say, this was far more challenging than originally thought.  I had much difficulty reducing the enormous pile of patterns, even with the help of our gracious and talented Kitty.

Alas, after much debate, I wanted to make sure the vote was on a level playing field, so I selected 4 Dress patterns that have similar lines.  They all have some kind of gathered and/or drape neckline bodice, a fuller skirt of varying widths and a choice of sleeves.  Fabrics for each pattern correspond, so I selected 4 fabrics, also from my growing stash, and paired it with a pattern.  All of the fabrics have similarities, although they are different types.  They are in the same colour palette, are lightweight and drape very well.

Here are the Fabric Selections....Oh Sigh.....

Here are the Fabrics….Oh Sigh…..

So, tell me what you think.  Vote your heart out!  Thank you for your help Jedi Masters.

Fabrics Paired with Patterns

Here are the fabrics paired with patterns after His Royal Highness has moved.  Thoughts?

And, here are the pattern choices:

Simplicity 2145 Project Runway

Simplicity 2145 Project Runway

Simplicity 2281 Cynthia Rowley

Simplicity 2281 Cynthia Rowley

Vogue 7363

Vogue 7363

Vogue 7363

Vogue 7363

Vogue 2286 Tom and Linda Platt

Vogue 2286 Tom and Linda Platt

Vogue 2286

Vogue 2286 Tom and Linda Platt

Happy Valentine's Day Everybody!

Happy Valentine’s Day Everybody!

  • Vote Here:

Edit – February 28, 2014:  Poll is now closed.  Thank you ALL so much for voting!

A Pyjama Party with Independent Pattern Designers

The day has finally arrived!  The lovely and multi-talented Karen Ball, from Did You Make That?, who also recently began writing for The Guardian Fashion Blogger’s Network, is hosting a Pyjama Party and we are all invited!Rosetta-Pajama PartyAlso this month, two very gregarious and skilled sewing bloggers, Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes teamed up with Mel from The Curious Kiwi to host Indie Pattern Month, so I have also invited a few Independent Pattern Designers to join the Party!

Sewaholic Tofino Pants Pattern

Sewaholic Tofino Pants Pattern

Colette Sorbetto Top Pattern

Colette Sorbetto Top Pattern

Downtown DIY Sewing Book PJ Bottoms Pattern

Downtown DIY Sewing Book Lazy Morning PJ Bottoms Pattern

For the pajama bottoms, I used the Sewaholic Tofino Pants Pattern, and ‘frankenpatterned’ them by adding elements from the Lazy Morning PJ Bottoms pattern found in the book Downtown DIY Sewing by Alice Chadwick.  I also added a pajama top to the mix and decided on Colette Patterns Sorbetto top.  This is actually a free pattern and you can download the PDF for it by clicking here, then print it out onto letter sized paper and tape together.Folded Colette Sorbetto TopFolded Sewaholic Downtown DIY Sewing Book Pajama BottomsI love the wide legs, shaped front and back and piping design element of the Tofino pattern, but also wanted to add the ridiculously adorable heart-shaped pockets and contrasting hem and waistband from the Lazy Morning PJ Pattern.  Both the body and the contrast fabric for the pajamas are 100% cotton.  I used ivory coloured lingerie piping, which is made of satin, (instead of the ready-made cotton piping), and the sheen really made the pajama bottoms look elegant.  This type of piping would look great with silk or satin fabric.

Sewaholic Tofino Frankenpatterned Pajama Waistband and Heart Pockets  Sewaholic Tofino Frankenpatterned Pajama Piping and Contrast Hem TrimSewaholic Tofino Frankenpatterned Pajama Bottoms2Sewaholic Tofino Frankenpatterned Pajama Bottoms3I had just enough fabric for a small matching top, so downloaded the Colette Sorbetto, as it only used approximately 3/4 of a metre of fabric for the entire top.  This was my first time making this pattern and I just love it!  So simple, but the result is very polished.  Colette Sorbetto Pajama Top 2I used an ivory 1/4″ pre-made bias binding (although the pattern calls for 1/2″) as I wanted it to emulate the thin piping on the pants.  An alternative would have been to make bias binding out of the contrast fabric from the pajama bottoms hem and waistband.  Ultimately, I decided this would have been too ‘busy’ as the main fabric’s paisley pattern was already quite elaborate.Sorbetto Top and Tofino Frankenpattern Bottom PajamasAnd now, you are wondering to yourself, “What is she going to do with two little heart-shaped pockets on the pajamas?  What will she carry in there?”  Well, I can answer that…

Kitty treats!  For The One I Heart.  :)For The One I Heart 2For The One I HeartKitty and I

credits:  First Picture of Pajama Party, circa 1927, taken from http://laughwithrosetta.blogspot.ca/2012/06/pajama-party.html

Bocce Ball: Kitty Selects a Winner for Pattern Pyramid!

Yes, Bocce Ball!  A fun, jam packed exciting lawn bowling game made popular in ancient times during the Roman Empire.  Summer is the perfect time for a rousing match, so Kitty decided to select the Winning Pattern Pyramid Entrant through a game of Bocce Ball!

And, since we have no idea how to play Bocce Ball, we made up our own rules!  Best kind of game ever.

Prepping the Bocce Balls with Entrant Numbers 1 to 28

28 entrants – 28 Bocce balls

We had a total of 28 entrants, so numbers 1 to 28 were stuck onto 28 Bocce Balls.  A Winner’s Circle was set up along with a panel of Judges, to rule on any discrepancies in throws.

Winner's Circle and Panel of Judges

Winner’s Circle and Panel of Judges

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!…………….

GAME ON!!!!!

GAME ON!!!!!

Bocce Balls began whirling and rolling in seemingly random directions.  That’s mostly because we cannot throw.

Go For It Kitty!

Go For It Kitty!

Where Did It Land

This way. Throw them THIS way.

Kitty takes full charge of the game, never letting any Bocce ball go by, without giving it his stamp of approval and padding after it, (in popular Canadian Curling style) to maneuver it toward the Winner’s Circle.

Bocce Ball Inspection

Each Bocce Ball Must Be Thoroughly Inspected by Kitty

Kitty inspects each throw, psychically willing every Bocce Ball to land within the Winners Circle.

Kitty impatiently awaits the release of yet another Bocce Ball.

Throw Another One!

Throw Another One! THROW IT!!

Kitty is quick to point out that VERY few Bocce Balls are actually entering the Winner’s Circle.  Which is quite sad, since we did, indeed, make up our own rules, you’d think we’d be able to get at least one into the Winner’s Circle.

Did Not Make the Winners Circle Throw Again

Wow! 0 for 0. You are terrible at this game!

Kitty takes pity on the ball players and opts to offer up some strategic advice for throwing the Bocce balls.

"Throw it a little more to the right.  The right!!  Not YOUR right, MY right!  That way!"

“Throw it a little more to the right. The right!! Not YOUR right, MY right! That way!”

Oh my goodness!!!  Upon Kitty’s sage advice, the game begins to pick up!  Miracle upon miracles!! One Bocce Ball finally enters into the Winner’s Circle!!!  Immediately after, a second ball quickly follows suit.

So Far Two Made it Into the Winners Circle

Two Bocce Balls in the Winner’s Circle!!

The excitement is palpable, Kitty is duly impressed! And, it’s hard to impress Kitty.

Wonder Twin Bocce Ball Powers ACTIVATE

“Excellent Job!” says Kitty. “High Five – Paw.”

Wait!! What’s this??  A third Bocce ball enters the coveted Winner’s Circle.  The judges are bowled over!  (Literally. I had to set them back upright a few times….)

Three Bocce Balls Make It Into the Winners Circle

Three Bocce Balls Enter the Winner’s Circle. Kitty and the Judges are overwhelmed.

Ah, but now, which of the three is the winning Bocce ball?  Lucky for us, Kitty is able utilize his astonishing powers of intuition to sniff out the winner!

Which One Do I Like

Kitty circles, attempting to intuit the winning Bocce ball.

He circles and circles, he is practically vibrating, his spidey senses are tingling.  He peruses and paces….Honing in, getting closer…..

Yes I Feel as if This One is the Winner

“Yes, I’m sensing THIS is the winning Bocce ball.”

And, amazingly, he does it!!Kitty Randomly Selects Bocce Ball 10 from the Winners Circle

IMG_3754YES!!!!!!!!!  Winner Selected!!!!!!!!!!  Bocce Ball Number 10.  And, from the list of entrants, number 10 corresponds to………….(drum rolll)………………….:

"Here.  This is the Winner.  See it?  See it?  Look Closer!  It's the 10."

“Here. This is the Winner. See it? See it? Look! Look Closer! It’s the 10.”

List of Entrants

Fiona Parker from Diary of a Chain Stitcher.

Congratulations Fiona!  Kitty and I are very happy for you!!

Please email me with your specs so that I may get the Pattern Pyramid to you!

"My Work Here is Done"

“My Work Here is Done”

 

Wellington Pattern Pyramid Has Arrived! Enter to Win!

Wellington Pattern Pyramid ArrivalI was very lucky to win the Wellington Pattern Pyramid from Laura over at Make it Yourself Mom’s Diary.  Laura also gave me a very cute card and some lovely stretch cotton floral print fabric.

Love this Fabric from Laura!

Love this Fabric from Laura!

This Pattern Pyramid originated from the Wellington Blogger’s Meetup, in New Zealand, where they met up, exchanged sewing supplies and had many patterns left, with no takers.  So, Miss Joie De Vivre at A Charm of Magpies, began this Pyramid.  It then made its way to Anne from Pretty Grievances.  Next up, the lucky winner was Laurie and Kerrielee from Sew Exhausted who then passed it over to my predecessor, Laura.  Now, it’s my turn to pass it along to all of you!

These are the 3 patterns I am taking out: (I was quite thrilled that so many patterns were my size!).

Patterns I am Keeping

Patterns I am Keeping

There was a sailor style /diaper closure culottes pattern that is so fantastic!!  Version C has an inverted pleat at the sides.  I can’t wait to make these!  And, I’m also helping myself to a yoga collection and a pretty yet simple dress.

And, these are the patterns I will be putting back:

Patterns I am Giving

Patterns I am Giving

I have included the Vogue coat that I received in a giveaway from Mari at Disparate Disciplines which caused some definite excitement in this post.  But, the pattern is several sizes too big for me, and I am finding Vogue patterns difficult enough without the added stress of having to grade it down.  So, instead I thought I’d share it with those who can use it!  I also included a stylish Vogue skirt pattern with a yoke and pockets, but yet again, it is too large for me.  And, a McCalls blouse pattern that includes 8 different styles.

Bonus Patterns I am Giving

Bonus Patterns I am Giving

And, here are two Extra Special Bonus patterns that I will also be adding in:  Very cute 1970s wrap skirts with pockets.  The instructions are in French only and I have labelled them in case the winner does not read french.

Here are the patterns sorted by size:

Small Sizes 6 to 12 (32 to 40)

Small Sizes 6 to 12 (32 to 40)  That Threads dress is just beautiful!  And the New Look vest is really cute if you disregard the envelope styling.  The Butterick pattern includes the dress, jacket and pants.

Medium / Large Sizes 12 to 22 (38 to 48)

Medium / Large Sizes 12 to 22 (38 to 48).  The Simplicity pattern (top row) actually includes the skirt, top, jacket, pants AND purse!  A wardrobe in one.  And the Vogue Five Easy Pieces pattern includes zip jacket, top, skirt, dress and yoga pants.  An entire outfit.  That Simplicity dress / top is the Khaliah Ali Collection.

Mens and Accessories Pattern

Mens and Accessories Pattern.  Accessories are “one size” and the mens jacket is Size 38. 

New Wellington Pattern Pyramid

‘New’ Wellington Pattern Pyramid

The fine print:

  1. Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by Friday June 7, 2013.
  2. You must have an active blog.
  3. A winner will be randomly selected and contacted.  I will then post (mail) the pyramid to you.  Kitty is sharpening his claws in preparation for the next draw officiating ceremony!!
  4. The winner will then select a pattern(s) to keep and add a pattern(s) of their own back into the Pyramid.  (Adding a pattern is optional, if you add a pattern back in, the pyramid keeps going longer, but it is not compulsory.) The winner will then host their own giveaway on their blog and the cycle continues…

Good Luck to Everybody!  And, Happy Sewing.

Also, check out Kitty’s last winning entrant selection from our previous Pattern Pyramid win, Kaitui Kiwi from The Curious Kiwi.  She finally received the Pattern Pyramid and has it posted up on her blog, here.

So…..Many…..Thank Yous…..

thank-you-languagesI am very excited and privileged to be amongst such generous and inspiring company.  Over the last few months, I have won several giveaways, received some gifts AND have also been honoured with some awards.  I wanted to post the ‘goods’ with a link to all those who were so kind as to offer up gifts and bestow awards.  I am humbled by your fabulous, creative company.  So…Thank You.

GIFTS and GIVEAWAY WINS

  • A lovely rayon/linen blend ecru coloured fabric with matching thread and buttons and a McCalls summer top pattern from Dale at Finished Threads McCalls Pattern and Fabric
  • A cute and ’70s looking poufy sleeved Simplicity Dress pattern from Denise at Dottie DoodleIMG_3624
  • Fun retro top and shorts Simplicity Pattern, Project Runway Blouse Pattern and a luxurious brown silky satin stretch fabric  from Kristin at Sew ClassicIMG_3621
  • A small piece of very cute Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric and an Amy Butler pillow pattern from Kerry at VeryKerryBerryIMG_3623
  • A retro, frilly ’70’s blouse pattern from Carmen at Carmencitab IMG_3427
  • A vintage sewing book on CD:  Practical Dress Design – principles of fitting and pattern making.  Author, Mabel Deane Erwin. From Deborah at GraceDressmaking Vintage Sewing Book
  • Lovely winter weight plaid fabric and a whole slew of notions to match from Gillian over at Gilly MakesIMG_3622

Thank you so much everybody!  Cannot wait to sew up some fabulousness with these lovely items.

BLOGGING AWARDS

veryinspiringbloggeraward

  • Very Inspiring Blogger Award:  Bestowed on me by the experienced and always helpful, Brooke at CustomStyle She’s always ‘game’ for answering my questions or some wonderful sewcialist chat on Twitter.  Her blog is rife with sewing information.

I was blessed to have received the Leibster Award by four (FOUR!!) extremely fantastic and talented bloggers. This award requires that you answer 11 questions given to you by the presenter.  For purposes of brevity, I have opted to answer 3 of each person’s questions.

I did not make any nominations as I was recently nominated for 3 blog awards here and nominated some wonderful folks at that time.   liebster-award-elephants-picturebook

  • Sarah at Sarahmshultz.  Sarah hosts some fun blogging parties on her blog and is also adept at organizing as well as sewing.

1. What made you start blogging?  My new-found love for sewing and my desire to record my journey and be able to interact with others.

2. If there were to be a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?  My wits.

3. Do you actually have that weapon easily accessible?  Sometimes, depends on the day :P.the-liebster-award

  • Cherry Pix from Cherry Pix.  She makes some super fabulous things for her cat, including a matching mom and cat outfit!  Kitty is already in love with her.  She has also made some simply lovely garments and her blog is so much fun to read.

1.  What is your number-one favourite sewing gadget?  My rulers.  I have many, different styles, lengths, curves, squares, triangles, metric, inches, see-thru.  Bliss!  Going to do a blogpost on them in the future.

2.  Are you a pattern tracer or a pattern cutter?  I trace, trace, trace.  Often while utilizing my rulers. :)

3.  Which of your own sewing creations are you most pleased with?  My Ikea Butterick 5285 Skirt.the-liebster-award

  • Amber at Miss Parayim.  Amber makes beautiful outfits and may, indeed have a fabric fetish.  (Don’t we all?)  She always seems to find JUST the right fabric for JUST the right outfit.  Note to self:  I must go fabric shopping with her one day!

1.  What kind of machine do you use?  A Janome My Lock overlocker / serger and currently borrowing my mum’s Kenmore sewing machine.  I’m in the market for a new sewing machine.  Any opinions or advice would be much appreciated, feel free to comment! 

2.  What inspires you?  A fantastic book or a terrific song with lyrics that amaze.  A spectacular warm, sunny day by the water.  Selflessness in others.  And, the underdog.  Always, the underdog.  

3.  What do you want to make next?  Summer dresses!  A long, flowy halter style made of silk and a shift dress made with cotton. 

the-liebster-award

  • Kacie at Thimble and Cork.  Kacie calls herself a beginner sewist, but I don’t think she can be!  She must be practicing on the fly, when she is supposed to be sleeping because her stuff is top-quality.  She also has the kindest things to say to my Twitter posts.

1.  Do you do most of your fabric shopping in local stores or online?  Local stores.  I have only just VERY recently (this week) ordered my very first ever mail-order purchase!!  There is likely to be more of that.  I was warned…

2.  Which new sewing skill are you most excited to learn or perfect?  Tailoring and altering clothes and patterns to fit properly.

3.  Is there a movie or TV show that you think has particularly inspiring costumes?  Well, my answer is not theatrical and dramatic nor overly technically complex, but, for outfits that I would actually wear, I rather  like Mary and Rhoda’s wardrobe on the Mary Tyler Moore show.  And, it hasn’t opened yet, but I’m fairly confident that The Great Gatsby is going to have some stunners. 

Leilande and Millicent Thank You

Sewing Dare Done: Ikea Fabric + Butterick 5285

Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt FrontI was recently charged with a sewing dare sewing daresby Jagoda from FitNottoFit to sew something for myself to wear out of this Ikea Fabric.  sewing dareYou can see the post here.

I decided to make a skirt from Butterick B5285. butterick 5285 2 I made View B, which has two box pleats in the front and back, a back zipper and side seam pockets.Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt Front 3

It was quite easy to make, (save for my brand new (to me) vintage overlocker eating my first skirt, both front and back pieces.  I had to start all over again.  And, the second skirt, the waistband was too big, so I had to make a new one.)Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt BackThe only real difficulty I found was with the box pleats.  It took so much time, measuring and ironing them, then lining up the next pleat so that it did not overlap the first one, making sure the pleats were the same size, etc.  This actually took longer than constructing the skirt.  It was much more challenging to get these box pleats even and flat from top to bottom than it was for knife pleats, like those found in versions C and D.  Is there a trick / secret to making box pleats?  If you know of one, please share!Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt Front 4I do really like the way the box pleats layer the fabric and allow the large floral print on it to peek through and make all kinds of abstract and colourful designs on the skirt.  I think it really utilized the fabric to its full potential, adds an extra element of design and creates an interesting composition.  I am quite pleased with that aspect.  And, of course, POCKETS!!!!  ‘Nuff said.  I submitted it for my skirt project in sewing class and received 20 out of 20 (100%).  :)Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt and KittyAnd, I have seen so many photos of you lovely garment makers twirling in your skirts, so here goes:

Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt Twirling 4Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt TwirlingTwirling is THE BEST!!!!  And, it really shows the layers of colour and abstract floral patterns underneath the box pleats.

Kitty Likes Measuring Tapes

Kitty Likes Measuring Tapes

Pattern Pyramid Pick Progess (De-80s-fying). And a Sewing Dare!

So, to refresh your memories, I had selected the Very Easy Very Vogue Pattern to Take Out9647 from the winning Pattern Pyramid.  There were two main reasons for this; one, it was in my size, two, it was touted as “very easy”.

Now, not sure if you can see from the picture or not, but this pattern is definitely very ’80s.  Especially, the incredibly expansive shoulder pads.  They are actually large enough to land a plane on!  Seriously!  And for those of you afraid to fly, picture a Kitty perched on each shoulder and walking around all day like that.

I wanted to try my best to De-80s-fy the pattern (yes, I coined that phrase, please feel free to use it and share).

This is what I came up with to bring it into this century while lancing the shoulder pad design detail:  De-80's fying the pattern pickI opted to make the top half of the dress in B (the short sleeves) and the bottom half of the dress in A (the full skirt), while also shortening the dress to about knee-length.  I’m using a periwinkle blue cotton voile that has a flower design embossed on it, and is almost sheer where the flowers are embossed.  I thought it would be delicate and flowy and deter from that ‘boxy’ look.  I then decided to sew an Obi Style belt out of the cotton floral fabric to cinch it at the waist while still keeping that light and airy look (as opposed to using a heavy leather / plastic belt).

So, these are my plans to de-80’s fy, what do you think?  In my mind, it looks fabulous! :)  In reality, we’ll have to wait and see.

And, I have been charged with a Sewing Dare by Jagoda from FitNottoFit:

Catja, I don’t know what your plans are for March, but I CHALLENGE you to make something from Ikea fabric. Hopefully something wearable, for yourself, not for the kitties. Do you accept?”

Yes, I accept!  Although Kitty is a tad disgruntled.  Here is my plan:sewing dare2I love Ikea fabric, but it can be a challenge to sew clothing with it, as it is mainly designed for home sewing projects.  I am going to make Butterick B5285 in Version B and use this Ikea fabric pictured.  The fabric design is:  Malin Akerblom, 2010.  The floral print is quite large and I’m hoping that with the addition of the pleats on the skirt, it will look like an abstract floral pattern.

Karen, from Did You Make That? made the same version (B) of the Butterick skirt in a fabulous fabric, check it out here.  It looks terrific, so if mine comes out half this well, I will be stoked!