Monthly Archives: February 2014

Going Undercover

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One of my favourite things is a sewing project that’s fast & straightforward – a rarity for me for some reason (maybeย probably because I’m very prone to making dumb mistakes lol), but this one was a treat in every way – this is why I love sewing! It’s nice to be reminded of that in the midst of long detailed projects, fitting headaches and other assorted woes lol. Sewing CAN be fun – imagine that! lol

I was super blessed to receive this pattern (the Undercover Hood) from the lovely & talented Kat and this being my first experience with Papercut patterns I can say I’m very pleased & will definitely be trying more!

I had been particularly interested in this pattern for some time, because West Coast weather demands the need for layers, year round, as it can change and fluctuate on a dime, and hoodies are among my favourite clothing items – usually zipped, but I have no pullover ones so I thought this would be a nice change. I knew I wanted a fabric that was warm but thin, to make it versatile, so I sought out a fine merino jersey. (Someone needs to start stocking this in Canada, for reals – it’s amazing stuff and NO ONE has it here!!!) it’s costly to have shipped here but 100% worth it – you can’t buy RTW merino clothing here, either, so I view it as a luxury item.

That said, it’s been about two weeks since I finished making this and I’ve been wearing it CONSTANTLY – usually in a very relaxed and bummy fashion which is why it’s taken me so long to get photos LOL. I figured maybe the bad camera phone pic might distract you from the fact that I’m covered in Lola’s white fuzzy fur ^__^

I traced my pattern on a Friday night, cut it out Sat morning, and had it finished by Sunday. Easy peasy, and so pleasant. Because it’s a knit and a relaxed fit I didn’t bother with an FBA but I did add 3″ to the sleeve length (monkey arms lol). Kudos to the pattern designers for including finished garment measurements – I love that; it’s so helpful. And bonus points for making me a size smaller than I usually am; totally psychological but still – a smile is a smile ๐Ÿ˜‰

I just used my serger for all seams and my regular machine for top stitching only. After attaching the pocket, I decided to run an additional line of edgestitching along the attached seams because even after pressing, the turned under seam didn’t want to lie flat, and I knew it would bug me. I’m MUCH happier having taken that extra step.

I liked it so much I did the same on the hood. Of course, true to form, I couldn’t get through the whole project without a hitch – the last thing to go on was the hood, and it was perfect up til that point. So i sewed that sucker on, then right when I thought I was done, tried it on & realized my hood was not a hood; it kind of resembled a floppy clamshell lol – I had sewn the two halves together backwards!! *facepalm* Well I’m sorry but two rows of top stitching & a serged seam were not coming apart easily so I just cut that baby apart & made a slightly smaller (CORRECT!) hood – no problem for my pea head lol.

it wouldn't be right to not include this shot for laughs - look at that face! LOL

it wouldn’t be right to not include this shot for laughs – look at that face! LOL

The only other puzzling thing is that my fabric appears to have stretch in one direction but not the other so my hem band doesn’t stretch. Maybe I misread the selvedge? Not sure what happened there but it’s no biggie really ๐Ÿ™‚

Love this awesome hoodie & I look forward to making more… I will be on the lookout for more merino when I am
IN AUSTRALIA NEXT MONTH!!!

That’s right, Aussie peeps – watch out!!! This Canadian gal is comin’ to Melbourne!!! Me and the man are going back to his hometown for 2 weeks – mainly to visit friends & family but you better believe I’ve already told him I’m going to Tessuti!! lol! So – if anyone wants to meet up for lunch & a bit of shopping, I’ll be there between March 26th & April 7th!! ๐Ÿ™‚


Could it be?? My first TNT pattern – Colette Laurel!

A few of you may recall I was the lucky recipient of a Hart’s fabric voucher some time ago. I blogged my careful selections but up until now my beautiful fabrics have lain in wait for the perfect projects to give them life.

Well recently I gave my beautiful red silk habutai and charcoal silk voile triumphant life as sassy yet smart Laurel tops ๐Ÿ™‚ (as a side note, you guys, this is my FIRST time using a pattern TWICE (or 3 times actually!)!!!)

(disclaimer: ALL my photos were REALLY derpy – sadly, these were the best… apparently Friday after work is not the best time for photos…. noted, lesson learned, moving on LOL)

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As both fabrics were quite sheer I knew they needed underlining but wanted the silk next to my skin. I thought I’d see if I could maybe squeeze the underlining out of self fabric so I went for it and YES! Just barely had enough but I managed to squeak it out! I cut out both tops at the same time & sewed the red one first.

I used the adjusted pattern from my Laurel dress so of course no major fitting adjustments needed this time, but I did widen the arms slightly for comfort. ย I should mention that this turned out a tighter fit in the chest than my dress; apparently an extra layer of even the delicate weight of habutai is enough to affect fit, particularly if there’s bust darts involved!

I constructed the blouses a little differently in order to avoid an extra finishing step at the neckline. Basically, I sewed my identical bodice pieces together at the necklines, then flipped & pressed the seam before continuing to baste together as per instructions. Voila! No facings – no bias tape. Just a nice clean neckline ๐Ÿ™‚

The red top is a lovely and versatile piece; the style is flattering and works in the office, but also pairs well with jeans, or could easily be dressed up.

The silk is amazing – beautiful quality habutai with a rich, vibrant colour and a soft hand. I hand washed my top twice after the first wear (because I’m accident prone & ended up wearing some salad dressing lol) using a little shampoo and vinegar. The colour bled a little but only in the first wash, and still looks vibrant and fresh.

As lovely as the red silk is, the charcoal grey voile is even better in some ways. A perfect drape, the satisfying slight crispness of voile, the soft hand of good silk, and perhaps best of all: it’s SOOOO well behaved to sew, and presses perfectly, each seam almost disappearing into a crisp press… ahhhh just delicious!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I could make everything out of this fabric! ๐Ÿ™‚

I also made sure to reduce my seam allowances by 1/8″ or so on this one, to make up for the extra layer of fabric. For whatever reason, though, it made this particular top a little too big, so it’s a bit poofy on my upper back and hips but whatever, I still love it LOL.

And just cause I love ya, I’m gonna share some additional derpy pics from this fun-filled photoshoot:

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seriously, what am I doing here?? I look like I’m about to punch my cameraman! LOL 

“Yes, that’s it! Make duck faces while pulling down your top… that’s a great look!!” said no photographer… EVER LOL.

deer in headlights? or something smells? not sure what this face is LOL.

Anyway, all silliness aside, Laurel is my (very first!) TNT pattern – you have no idea how I’ve longed for this day!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย It’s a great basic wardrobe staple; flattering, fits well & works with many different fabrics – I bet I’ll make many more! ๐Ÿ™‚

Many many thanks again to the wonderful ladies over at Hart’s Fabric – expect me to come knocking soon for more of your sensational silks!! ^___^


Anna Dress FBA

Hi All!

Just wanted to do a quick post on how I did the FBA on my Anna dress, in hopes it may help someone out there ๐Ÿ™‚

Luckily I took photos of my process for my own records (which i actually forgot i did lol) so I can share them with you now! ๐Ÿ™‚

(caveat: this assumes you already know how to do a standard FBA)

As per a regular FBA, use your HIGH BUST measurement to choose your size & trace. My personal method to determine how much of an adjustment I need is to hold the bodice tissue up to my body, aligning the side seam, and determine approximately how far away from my centre the centre fold is, at my bust point. Make sure to mark your bust apex on the tissue & draw in seam allowances.

So first, as you can see, our Anna bodice doesn’t have a side bust dart but waist tucks instead. First we cut off the raglan sleeve; we’ll add it back on later so keep that piece!

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What we want to do is add room at the bust without changing the style of the bodice. To do that we have to add the side dart and then rotate it into the existing tucks. Let me show you.

Slash & spread the same way you would for a regular bodice:
(I have a kitty pattern weight lol)

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Next, fill in all the gaps with scrap paper EXCEPT the bust dart you created. You have added space between the tucks so now just cut out the left tuck & slide it over where it used to be:

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Now take the bottom left corner & rotate it up to close the gap created by the bust dart. Fill in the gap at the waist with scrap tissue.

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Now here, if your waist measurement matches the pattern, you could maybe add another tuck to remove the extra width you added, or if it’s a small amount, just add a little to each of the existing tucks. I have a big ol’ waist so I can just leave mine as is & adjust my skirt pieces to match instead.

Now just tape the sleeve back on & you’re done!

Your bodice piece is a bit messy at this point so it’s nice to trace a new copy:

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Then be sure to muslin your bodice & test it out before cutting into your precious fabric! ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see, mine worked out great!

Feel free to comment below & ask questions if you need clarification on anything. Happy sewing! ๐Ÿ™‚