Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sew Colette 2.0 – Peony Franken AKA Pastilleony

Happy Halloween!!!

Just a reminder this is your last day to enter my giveaway – I’m doing the draw tomorrow 🙂

October’s sewalong item is the Colette Peony dress. I wanted to participate but I was really bogged down with other projects so I did something a little different 😉

Back in May, as part of the Sew Colette sewalong, I made my first fitted dress; Pastille. I did a pretty good job, too, all things considered. I did my first FBA, my first horizontal pleats, and a not too bad job on one of my first zippers even 🙂

However, when all was said & done I had some serious back neck gape which meant I only wore it once. Since then I’ve also lost some weight, and the dress didn’t fit quite as well anyway, but I figured why waste a perfectly good skirt? Skirts are relatively easy to take in, plus I still had some of the same fabric so I figured I could make the Peony bodice, adjust the darts on the skirt to make the thing smaller, then just Franken the two together, right?

Well it turned out ok but it was a lot more work than I anticipated! lol. Aside from fitting woes described in my earlier post, I probably should have taken the skirt apart at the sides & resized it that way instead because I didn’t realize how much I needed to take in, and now I have giant bum darts lol. Also the back isn’t fitting as smoothly as I’d like, and the neck still stands out from my body a bit – *sigh* I’m still chasing that elusive great fit, I guess 🙂

I also got a tad confused making the belt because I hadn’t initially cut enough pieces, plus the instructions baffled me lol. Luckily some kind soul on the Colette forums had explained it for someone else who had a similar issue 🙂

So I’m pleased to have salvaged a dress that otherwise would have gone unworn, and without further ado, I present to you my first Frankenpattern – Pastilleony!!



Adventures in Vintage Patterns!

So now that my UFO is an FO and behind me, my next project on my SWAP is a vintage shirt dress made from Maudella 5184, which I won from the lovely and generous Handmade Jane 🙂

I’m sewing this alongside my friend Annabelle, who is also sewing a vintage shirtdress from a different pattern 🙂

This is the first time I’ve worked with a vintage pattern, and it’s an unprinted one to boot! 🙂

Today I traced off all my pieces, which was quite a nice experience compared to modern patterns, as there’s only one size. Also instead of tracing with the pattern below the paper, I placed it on top, allowing me to draw right through the punch hole pattern markings. Very pleasant, and an interesting change!

I really love the comic book style hand lettered instruction sheet; check it out:

I then proceeded to do my usual FBA, reducing the amount by half, as the pattern is 2″ bigger than the size I usually start with.

I wasn’t sure if the pattern would be noticeably too big so I opted to do the FBA first before I did an overall resize, then made a bodice muslin to try it out.

I also did some minor waist adjustments to both the bodice & skirt front.

Well as it happens the bodice was WAY too big, everywhere but the waist (as I’d already adjusted that) so I took an inch wedge out of the front and back bodice, in a straight line from the center of the shoulder, tapering down to 0″ at the waist on both, and re-sewed my muslin. Much better!

As I’m using my vintage Simplicity sewing book to help fill in the blanks on my instructions, I’ll leave you with my favourite ad on the back cover:


Also, make sure to enter my blogiversary giveaway; draw for the winner is next week!!

Giveaway! First Annual Blogiversary!

October 18, 2012, marks the one-year anniversary of my first blog post on this here project blog. Little did I know what an amazing community I was yet to discover and become a part of!! I’m gonna get all down & personal here now, so if you wanna sit this one out, or just skip down to the giveaway, I’ll totally understand 🙂

A lot has happened in a year; I’ve learned so much, and come so far!!

In sewing, I’ve participated in my first sewalong, made my first pants, did my first FBA, sewed my first buttonhole and used boning for the first time, along with so much more! I’ve learned so much about fitting, fabric, and technique. I’ve begun to discover my own personal style & have started my first planned capsule wardrobe!

In my personal life, I’ve spent the last 10 months trying to improve my health, inside & out. For me personally, unless I follow a strict diet & exercise plan, my self esteem suffers greatly. I have a really slow metabolism so I easily gain weight, become lethargic, and just feel generally gross – physically and mentally. Through tracking calories & a daily exercise regime, I’ve lost over 30 lbs! I still have a ways to go but I’ve come a long way & I’m on the right path^_^ I am also very blessed to have a wonderful man and mum in my life who are loving, supportive, and patient with me no matter what I’m going through 🙂

In my professional life, I just recently lost my job of almost seven years. No boo-hoo-ing though; this is one of those transitions that was meant to be. As emotional as it was, (after so long, the people there are like family to me), I was going stagnant there from lack of creative stimulation. With the changes in the company’s focus, there was less and less work for me, so while I still do work for them a few hours a week, I’m free now to try & find a new home that will challenge & grow my creative abilities… and that’s exciting! (even if I have to be poor for awhile lol)

Over the last month, two lovely bloggers I’ve met along the way have nominated me for blog awards. Thank you to A Gastronome’s Closet and PunkMik!! Since I have already received one recently and handed out the honours to others, this time I would like to, instead, give back by hosting my first giveaway!!

The giveaway is for a set of three patterns; one for each of my award nominations and one for my one year anniversary! ^__^

The first two are brand new, unused patterns:

Simplicity 2339 Amazing Fit blouse:

And Simplicity 4192:

In addition to these two, you will get one of your choice from the vintage patterns shown here

Alternatively, if you’re not a sewist, I’m offering a personalized blog header for your blog, designed by me 🙂 (you tell me what you want & I’ll design it!)

This is my thanks to you all for being so awesome!!! Feel free to pass the giveaway info on to your friends; anyone is welcome to participate!!

To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of October and let me know what prize you prefer 🙂 I’ll draw the winner on November 1st 🙂 Happy October!!

UFO Complete: Simplicity 2562 – Amazing Fit Pants

Yay! My UFO is finished!

I have to give mad props to this pattern. The instructions were excellent, and the process was easy to follow, even for a beginner like me 🙂

I really love the inclusion of finishing details, like bias tape on the inside of the pocket & waistband edges, and the option of using hem tape.



I even managed to get a decent fit; however my photos are crappy so I apologize…


look, I have a bum! lol

My only regret is that when I originally started this project, I was fabric ignorant and when buying fabric, thought I was getting linen, but it was really poly *blech* It was AWFUL to work with; frayed everywhere, refused to press, distorted and slipped around… basically made the construction a disaster. By the time I got to the waistband facing, my accuracy was so bad I ended up with this:

WTF?? How did I manage that? Then there’s the fact the front waistband is wider than the back, which I couldn’t press, so it looks hideous lol:


Believe me, I’m not proud of this, nor is it at all the pattern’s fault. It’s entirely mine, as I was so frustrated with the fabric that I stopped caring at the end. (although I did hand sew the hem lol)

II show you these embarrassing shots to urge you hard working sewists out there – let’s banish polyester!! Let’s encourage our fabric shops to bring in more natural fibers – we shouldn’t have to live like this! lol

Kidding aside, I’m sure I’ll make this pattern again at some point, with a nicer, PRESSABLE fabric 🙂

The Fly

No, not the movie, although that was a classic…. is anyone even old enough to remember that one? 🙂 I was just a kid but I still remember being creeped right out!

But I digress… this post is indeed about a fly, but one that I made!!! My first one, in fact! Check it out:

Front view:




Can I say, this was a really hard thing to get pics of. Nevermind even getting GOOD pics; it just seems obscene to me somehow lol. I can understand why it was once considered obscene for women to wear fly-front trousers. LOL. IDK, call me weird or perverted, I just think it is 😛


The pattern instructions, I must say, are AWESOME. I pin tested the whole process to make sure I understood where everything would go, and how it all fit together, and it all made sense!

I made a fly, peeps!! 😀


Isn’t ‘pants’ a funny word? Having British heritage and enough mates in the UK who laugh at the North American usage of the word, I get why it’s funny, but somehow saying the word ‘trousers’ doesn’t feel right to me either, (although I do try, to be correct lol)…. but for the sake of my Canadian-ness, in this post, I’m calling them pants! ^__^

True to their name, I personally think pants are also very weird to sew. Unlike dresses, tops, or skirts, where the pieces make sense even on their own, pants pieces have strange shapes and go together in a weird way that doesn’t really start making sense until they’re almost done! 🙂

Now mind you, this is coming from a girl whose only pants sewing experience prior to my current UFO project was a very very inhumanly large pair of fleece jammie pants; a discouraging first foray into the world of adult sewing about three years ago, which I promptly chucked aside in disgust and which led me to give up sewing for another couple years lol.

Having said that, my talented mum assures me that sewing pants is easy; probably because it doesn’t come with the fitting issues that our upper bodies necessitate; but then, that too remains to be seen ^__^

So without further ado, I give you the first glimmer of recognizable pants pieces from my UFO – Simplicity 2562 Amazing Fit PANTS – yeah that’s right, they are officially called pants! lol

Bias bound edge of front yoke (check out my freehand edge stitching!


Front and inside pocket shots – I made pockets, yo!! Including more gratuitous freehand edge stitching action:



So far, the instructions are very good; even for a total n00b like me lol. I haven’t yet run into any area that has baffled me; sometimes I have to read the step I’m working on twice & triple check what piece I need to use – but so far so good. I’m taking it slow. These pants are NOT made for running 😉

I would like these to work out but I’m being realistic; this is a pretty tall order for my first pair of pants; yoked pockets, fly, contoured waistband. So if they don’t, I’m ok with that 🙂 I’m finishing this UFO no matter what, and if it turns out to be a science experiment then I’ll just take notes & try again ^__^

What’s your preference? Pants? Trousers? Leg decor? LOL ^_^ How about sewing them? Do you find it harder or easier than other garments?