My Wiksten tank

I searched far and wide for a tank top pattern that was cute and stylish, not frumpy and not tacky. I finally found it with the Wiksten tank. This was the first sewing pattern I actually paid for, but it was well worth it because even two years later I can crank out these darlings in no time and they are ideal for almost any fabric or print. JX65iMr-sE2PDP-55h3fTP_o_sc4Enkc0As90wfAzFM
This fabric has been waiting to be worn for over a year! I bought it in New York City last year and it was a bit pricey so I just bought one yard, which meant I had to save it for something extra special. After that didn’t happen, because how many extra-special one-yard clothing projects are there really, I decided a simple tank would be the best way to display the pretty feathers and subtle colour scheme. The pattern had some kinks in it that did not suit my body shape so well, for instance the sleeves/shoulders had to be adjusted a bit over the course of a few trial tanks, I also made it much, much shorter and tighter fitting since baggy tanks make me look like a balloon. I’ve altered it enough to really like my final pattern (which is now wrinkly and torn in places so I better retrace it since I lost the digital copy I paid for!). Sadly, hemming curved edges is still a challenge for me, and sometimes I just don’t care for perfection, so my hemline is a little crooked – and I am totally fine with that. Either way, nice pattern, good investment and like all my other new projects, just waiting for that sun-on-my-skin warmth to wear this tank out and about!

Sarouel pants – my first ever

So I recently indulged in a Japanese pattern book called Happy Homemade Sew Chic by Japanese designer Yoshiko Tsukiori and I absolutely adore it. cover Japanese patterns are just so intuitive, simple and easy to understand and the designs are modern, chic and free of the frump one often finds in sewing_iM7UhCzDIs6HK4HS594UXl3aKaUajHVzNHY8MrAmY8 pattern books. Of course, the pants on the cover drew me in and I had to make it my first project. I bought a really comfy dark blue/grey jersey fabric for the pKHEtFziOA80TLEbw3Wt9qsPYNUP1lrH02RiFG-vPlj0ants. The book recommended using hemp or jersey so I went with the jersey not really knowing where to even find hemp (several Etsy searches yielded really nice but expensive results). This jersey was a great find at one of my favourite fabric shops in Toronto, Fabric Fabric, and was only $7.99 a yard. So I used 1.5 yards of fabric and managed to whip these up in an amazing, record-breaking (for me!) two hours! The harem-style is super comfy and easy to sew – sewing crotches are impossible for me, I have failed a few short patterns in previous years and the crotch became my new enemy. So here they are – I can’t wait until the real double-digit spring weather hits so I can bust these out with my Toms.

The Trench

My next project was based on the trench coat pattern by Christine Haynes from her

yellow-trench-pockets.jpgbook Chic and Simple Sewing. I’ve never made anything like this before and decided to stick with a light cotton twill so this trench could be something to wear on a cool summer day. It was an interesting pattern, very simple but maybe a little too simple because I feel like it could use some lining, and the sleeves turned out a little clunky, but that is probably just a sizing issue on my part. Either way I am looking forward to breaking out this cute Paddington-Bear-style trench once it is warm enough to do so.

 

Spring sewing is here with my sweet hearts blouse

It took long enough, but the spring sewing bug has arrived. It all began with temperatures in the single-digits (finally) and a much needed break from the stress school usually brings in March without fail. It is definitely time to put away the knitting needles and bust out the dusty sewing machine to start prepping my spring/summer wardrobe! Vogue pattern, 2001
hearts-1.jpg
My first project (which was actually pre-spring – I couldn’t wait) was a blouse based on this 2001 Vogue pattern I found at Goodwill in a bin of patterns that were all under a dollar. Of course it is always hard to find your size in such bins, but I got lucky with this really stylish collection of blouses, and it only cost me 49 cents! Imagine! Of course it was all marked up, and yes pattern pieces were missing, but I did find the complete pattern for blouse B, which is what I used with the mystery polyester/cotton/jersey fabric my grandmother sent me from Pakistan. It was a great, simple project and the blouse has a very classic cut that never goes out of style. I also added shoulder pads to give it a little more definition. This great find is proof that it is worth rummaging through pattern bins at thrift stores!

First burdastyle sewing pattern – cute floral top

So I decided to finally buy a sewing pattern on Burdastyle.com after drooling over patterns for months. The problem was always simple: I never had enough fabric to make anything and I didn’t want to go out and buy more. Plus I didn’t really want to pay for a sewing pattern, but I found this super cute and simple sleeveless blouse with a very unique pleating around the collar. You can find the pattern here. So instead of engaging in super bowl madness last sunday, I decided to protest with a day of sewing and watching bad TV. I managed to finish it in a day and a half – I would have been able to finish it sooner but I had to redo the collar part three times because it was so tricky! Mostly because Burdastyle doesn’t provide in depth instructions like other sewing patterns do. I did eventually figure it out. So glad I finally got to use yet another cute floral print I had been saving for eons! Image

How to make the most of scrap bins at expensive fabric shops

Image

I made this cowl out of some random scraps I found in a scrap bin at one of Toronto’s more expensive fabric shops. After roaming through the aisles of fancy wool and tweeds and running my hands through designer silk, I found myself rummaging through the sad little scrap bin lying under the cutting table. The thing is, you can’t be ashamed to dig through the bin. Scraps of nice charmeuse, coating and silk of up to 1/2 yard can be lying in there for just a few dollars. And for crafters that are strapped for cash, they can be a god send. I found small scraps of yellow and grey stretchy knit fabric in this bin for $4 each. They were probably about 1/4 – 1/2 yard each. I cut them into wide squares, and like my fabric necklace below, I made large tubes and stitched them together to make one continuous tube with the ends stitched together. This stylish cowl can be comfortably wrapped around your neck for a snuggly warmth in the fall or spring. So never disparage the scrap bins! You can make wonderful treasures out of what you find. 

Image