Sunday, June 27, 2010

Well the 2 week resolutions didn't last too long, but I have made some progress on other projects. After a wonderful PR weekend I was inspired to start sewing a bit more and picked up this Jalie pattern (2921). The demo that Jalie did at the weekend was great! I had some fabric in my stash that I picked up in New York last year, and thought it had marinated long enough in the cupboard and it was time to give sewing knits again.

I noticed that Deepika had used this same fabric sometime last year to make up a top and had mentioned the problem of bullseyes due to the circles. I kept this in mind when selecting the top and fabric choice and thought well I won't make that same mistake and carried on. I only had 1 yard of fabric so I just made sure that no circles were in the bust area and started cutting hoping for the best. It was only when I finished the shirt and went looking though old blog posts did I realized that I had also picked the same pattern. If I had realized that in advance I might have been saved the trouble.

Let me just say I would trade for circles on the boobs versus what I ended up with. I really should have cut everything single layer and perhaps I would have avoided this problem. The shortage of fabric prevented any pattern matching, but I thought random squigly lines would be fine... If only!

Here's a pic...

Why wearing the shirt with the bow model is not an option : Though I'm not happy with the owl's eyes above the bust, it might be possible to wear it with the buckle. Must go and pick one up. (Excuse the bad photo, it's a bit hot in the house at the moment) On the positive side, I'm really happy with the fit and shape of the pattern. It went together really well. I love Jalie! I just wish I would pay more attention to things like this. Next time I do this pattern it'll definitly be with a solid and not a print. I've learnt me lesson on shirts with a centre front seam! I've also developed a bit more confidence for sewing with knits and rayon jersey in particular. I just love this fabric. It is so soft and confortable. I need to finally make up the hotpatterns wrap dress I bought ages ago! I just hope that I'll have better luck with pattern choice! I'm learning slowly I swear!

I have quite a few other finished projects or ones that are nearly done that I really must write about, if nothing else it keeps a nice log for me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two-Week Resolutions 1 week 1 (2WR1-1) - progress

Well so far things are going well...

To recap the goals for this fortnight are :
  • Toe-up socks
  • Fit my blouse
  • only take the stairs
I have made good progress on my first toe-up sock. This is actually my third attempt, but first working with a real pattern. I bought Socks from the Toe-Up by Wendy K and things finally fell into place.

The yarn is by Lorna Laces that I bought in Toronto almost 3 years ago. Now I'll be able to use up all the wool and not have any leftovers.

I tried working on fitting my blouse pattern (jalie 2322 - hmm, can't find a link on Jalie's site - is it out of print?) today and got as far as taking out all but 1cm of the broad back increase that I had done and basically stalled when it came to making a 1 inch sway back adjustment, on top of the 3/4 inch adjustment that I had already done on the pattern. I was a little concerened that this was changing the sides of my pattern and that it just wouldn't work.

Back to the drawing board. I have succeeded in gaining about 10 pounds since September and it is probaby time to simply go up a size. I took my measurements and I am now a Size S (according to Jalie). Also thanks to a post on to check the postion of the waist. It appears that my waist is 1/2 inch higher than the pattern. I'll probably still have to do a small swayback adjustment (as this was required on a skirt I did in my sewing class) this may make the pattern a little bit better, that and lower the bust dart 1/2 inch

Honestly, I'm a little discouraged to start all over again from scratch, but thankfully I stumbed across Sew-4-fun's blog and one of her posts where she mentioned that it is nearly impossible to get something perfect on the first go (especially for newish sewers), so I'm going to start with that, sew up the blouse and work on perfecting the blouse in the future incarnations. I will succeed in having a well-fitting blouse by the end of this year!

As I've already cut out the top, I think I'll just try cutting out a new and larger back and fit it to the front that seems to fit ok as it. That and I don't have enough fabric to recut everything.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Years Resolutions Two Weeks at a Time

I heard a neat idea on the radio this morning of making resolutions for two week periods only. Most of what I want to accomplish this year is project based and therefore working in two week sprints I might actually finish some of my projects.

Here is v1.0 of the things I hope to accomplish by picking one or two to work on during the fortnight. Obviously some are much longer than others, but as long as have accomplished a few tasks of the project I will consider it a success.

  • Make a proper fitting blouse
  • PJs for me
  • PJ bottoms for a friend
  • Draft adult one-piece PJs for my brother
  • Draft and make dress shirt for hubby
  • Use one of my hotpatterns and fabric from New York
  • Jalie Suit Jacket
  • Finish pants
  • Use one of my BurdaStyle patterns
  • Use some stash fabric


  • Knit toe-up socks
  • Finish Juno (and frog what is done)
  • Fix toe on plain socks
  • Finish waving lace socks
  • Use some stash wool
  • Fix hats
General wellbeing and personal improvement
  • EA active every two days
  • Only take the stairs
  • More walks for the dog
  • Read a French book
  • Do some French homework
  • No buy week (except for food)
  • Keep the house spotless
  • No jeans at work (except for Fridays)


  • Finish decorating the bathroom
  • Plan kitchen modifications/renovations
  • Start planning basement decorating
  • Plant a garden
  • Do some yard work
Misc. projects
  • Go to Thailand
  • Learn a few key phrases in Thai
  • Finish photo books

First up:

  • Toe up socks
  • Fit my blouse pattern
  • Only take the stairs

Hmm, is that too much, time will tell come Monday February 1, 2010! Oh yah, and I must update the blog a little more often for it to keep me motivated.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A New House

Well it seems we can't stay longer than 3 years in any one place, so this spring it was time to move again. My hubby got a new job about 1 hour west of where we were currently living so we decided to move to a small house in the suburbs to cut down his commute a bit and finally buy a house after living in appartment style condos before.

It's a tiny bungalo built in 1954, and though one day we dream of having a bit more space, frankly it's perfect for us at the moment. I really appreciate the fact that it's less to clean as already I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the garden. We're leaving that for next year as we've been fortunate to be blessed with the wonderful flowers the previous owner planted for us. I'm just a little scared that it'll be a mess come next spring due to our neglect.

Our first mission was to bring the stlye up to date and remove the "elderly" feel. The pink carpet had to go! We spent a lovely weekend removing the pepto-bismo inspired flooring so that our contractor could put down some new hardwood and remove the wall the created a hallway leading to the bedrooms. Initally we had planned to simply refinish the original hardwood under the carpet, however as the dining room was previously a 3rd bedroom, there was a bit gap where the wall had been removed and all of the planks were in the opposite direction to the majority of the hardwood. In the end to ensure a better result we decided to go with new flooring. Just as well, as our contractor informed us that the wood had seen better days and was pretty thin.

Here's a shot before:
And after:
I'm in love with our new floors and we just have to get another 2 pannels of curtains for the big window and paint the window boxes the same colour as the wall. Initally I thought we'd leave them white, but they stand out a bit too much. After that just a few more accessories to finish the space off, though I'm so happy with the results already.

Here's the perspective from the other side:

For the moment, you'll just have to imagine a large mirror with some floating shelves along the back wall and a better scaled picture between the two windows.
Here's the wall we had removed to open up the space a bit. The hallway was usefull when the dining room was a bedroom, however it just seemed to cut the space too much. so thanks to our wonderful contractors bye bye wall.

Yep, so in a nutshell this is what has been keeping me from my sewing projects. Well in reality, the fact that Hubby has taken my table and I only just started unpacking my sewing boxes once we finished painting the second bedroom which will eventually become my sewing room.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

When Stuck, Start a New Project

So I got a bit stuck on my Jalie pants, but I finished a skirt today. Here as well I was getting horizontal wrinkles so I definitly think that I need to let out the hips on my pants.

This is my second skirt from this patter from Sew U by Wendy Mullen. It went together quite well, and was made even easier by the border print that requires no hemming. In total I think it took me about 4-5 hours, but I'm definitly not a fast sewer and I don't have a serger that is up and running yet, so this is good for me.

I'll write up a pattern review for this baby tomorrow, but for now it's bed time.

Wrinkle Woes and Some Finished Socks

I've been working on my Jalie pants 2561. I really like them so far, and can't wait to finish them up, but I'm a little concerned about the horizontal wrinkles. You can see them here. I guess I should really just try letting out the hips a smidge and see if that helps. I think I've gained a little bit of weight since I first started making the pants. If I raise them up slightly the wrinkles disappear, but I'm not sure if the waist band will really help with that. Perhaps I just need to run a bit and the problem will sort itself out.

There is also a bit of wrinkling under my butt that I can't figure out. I reeally need to find a good fitting book to figure out what is causing the wrinkles. I couldn't find any info online. I thought this would have been a common problem, but I'm obviously not using the right words to search.

I think I'll be off to the bookstore to see if I can find a good book to find the solution to my woes.
In knitting news, I've finished a few socks and completed the pairs. First up, X-mas socks for my Mother-in-Law, by her request.

Then the window-pane socks (ravelry link) for my Grandma. I actually started these on our summer road trip in September, so I'm glad that they are finally finished.
And some socks just for me: These are the Embossed Leaves (ravelry link again) by Mona Schmidt. I love the pattern, but they are just a tiny bit big because I probably should have gone down a needle size, but once again, I didn't check guage. I even dyed the wool myself for these babies!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm a winner!

Yah, I'm so excited, I won the Jalie pattern give-a-way... I'm so excited to pick out another one of their patterns to try. In the mean time, I finished DH's housecoat. It was a week late, but better late then never. I also didn't want to rush it too much and screw it up. That's one thing I love about Jalie's patterns, it's hard to screw up if you follow the instructions. Though I must be careful to get to cocky or karma will bite me in the butt.

DH mentioned that he wanted a house coat for his birthday and I wanted to make him something so I made him this house coat using Jalie's pattern . I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The only slight problem that I had was that the color buckles a bit, but I think that is because my feed dogs were having trouble with all the fabric laters to get through. DH says that he loves it, so I'm happy. The only slight panic I had was cutting it out, I didn't follow the placement for the pattern peices and didn't realize till almost too late that the way I had it laid out I was going to be missing a sleeve. Fortunatly I was able to change a few peices around before too much was cut out and one sleeve was only slightly shorter than the other, which got lost in the sleeve hem. I really enjoyed learning the new techniques that were included in this pattern and will definitly sew this pattern again, though not so sure about the terry cloth experience as it killed my sissors. Perhaps better quality ones would do better?!

Without further ado:

The Green Machine:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The motivation I needed to get some posting done

Well I thought it was finally about time to post some of the things I've sewed in the last little bit, but kept putting it off till I saw this: Jalie pattern give-away. I thought, I've got almost 4 patterns that I've sewed but not review yet at so I finally got onto it tonight and posted the 3 patterns that have been completed. (Must finish DH's house coat tonight though).

I can't say enough good things about Jalie, they are absolutely my favorite pattern company, and I love dreaming about all the new things I can make from them. As a beginning sewer these are the only patterns that turned out for me (ok, with the exception of one, but that is only because I didn't follow the instructions and trie to alter it.). They have great styles that are classic and the patterns fit! They don't need to add 5 inches of ease to everything like they do in the big 4!

So without further ado:

I used the Jalie blouse pattern 2322 and altered it to copy a RTW shirt I saw at RW Connection. I moved the bust dart to under the bust and then cut the pattern into 3 peices, added seam allowances and then added volume to the sleeves to make them puffed. I'm really happy with how this turned out though next time I'll have to move the bust band down just a bit, I find it rides up when I'm wearing it.

Next up in a fleece jacket (Jalie 2319) that was one of my first ever projects, and first project that actually turned out after having frustrating experiences with the Big 4 being way too big. I need to make another one as I really like this jacket. I want to make one that is part of a yoga sweatsuit outfit or something like that.

This jacket has a lot of potential, and I can't wait to sew up another version. This one I just used some cheap cordouroy fabric that I had lying around, though I'm not very happy with my finishing job. This is my fault though. I decided not to do the lining and then the facing got a bit wrinkled and wrapped by how I tried to attach it. Live and learn. I really liked how my welt pockets turned out, and they would be perfect if I wasn't so impatient and decided to you the same fabric to do the body of the pocket which made them really bulky. I've already bought some nicer fabric and I am looking forward to trying this again, but next time I think I'll wait to get a little farther along in my sewing classes.