Thank you so much for dropping by!! Here you will find sewing and project I get excited about...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Waterfall Shrug for a Formal Evening on our Cruise

This is a photo of my handsome husband John and me during a formal evening on a cruise. Before we went on our cruise around the Hawaiian Islands for our 40th Anniversary I did a lot of sewing. I didn't make this dress but I made the sheer, sparkly olive top. I used an old shrug style pattern for a top for a dress that had a short rounded bolero style front but added a waterfall front by just extending the pattern across the front and taking it down to a point. I rolled and hand stitched all of the seams because I didn't think I would like a stitched effect that might pull the fabric. I really liked this top and enjoyed wearing it because I'm really not fond of my bare arms. When we ballroom danced it kept flying over my shoulder when John had me do a turn so I was able to tie it at the front which was very handy. Hopefully if the dress still fits after the cruise, LOL, I will wear it again for New Years.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Miniature Fabric Panel Kits, Marigold Garden Lady in a Presentation Box

My "creative excitations" has lead me recently to finish photographing and put my more recent kits up for sale in Etsy, eBay and our web site. The first three photos show my Marigold Garden Lady in a Presentation Box. I was very excited about finally finishing this kit. It is in one twelfth scale and I was inspired by my antique book Marigold Garden. I used many of the images from the book in the kit and box and designed other tiny patterns that I felt suited the Regency Period.
The process I go through to design these kits is to do it in a paint program where I paint the doll then design the clothes that will fit her. Once I have finished designing I then print them out on an iron on transfer and iron them onto fine batiste cotton. Then I cut everything out and glue the pieces together for an example, make directions and the cover. I really love designing and it is much like designing a sewing pattern but everything is in miniature.

Below that I'm showing a Victorian Rose Bed kit and Victorian Rose Curtains and Desk kit. Since I have made so many other of these kits, a chaise, love seat and chair kit I didn't have to start at the beginning this time to design the fabric since it was already made, it is so much fun to play with different fabrics in paint programs and figure out how they will look good in miniature.

I have so many ideas I want to sew in full scale but I've been working on an online magazine I've been involved with, soon it will be back to sewing... very exciting.

Have a great week, happy sewing Jean

Monday, April 2, 2012

Catching up with Myself

Hi Everyone,

Very sorry I haven't posted in so long. I have been sewing, sometimes life just slips by as you all know. I have been enjoying all of the new Spring fashions and I'm hoping to get into spring prints and colours soon. Above are outfits and tops I made in February and March.

The navy and ivory striped top in the upper photo is my most recent addition... I totally love it! It was a Burda magazine pattern  2010/10/112. I liked this pattern very much because it is a classic sailor top. It fits so well and the fabric is more of a sweater knit with a tiny slub in the ivory. I found the fabric in a second hand store, I couldn't resist it and best of all it only cost $4.00. I really like the long sleeves too. Makes me feel like more of a recycler and very environmental. The grey black and white jersy knit was the first top I made with this pattern from a couple of remenants because I just wanted to try out the pattern but I ended up liking it very much. The grey and tan stripe was the second top I made of the pattern, didn't buy enough fabric for long sleeves..raglan tops always take more fabric. The grey strip was from Fabric.com and it is rayon and a stretchy component. It is so light and I really have enjoyed wearing it too.

Below that I'm showing a two piece dress that I made for Valentine dance we enjoyed. What a difficult time with the top. It is a Burda top 2011/10/137. It is supposed to have a straight neck line, but after I put it together the front opening was so low that my bra showed, not a good look for me!!
I had to redo the front and bring up the facing so that it was a height that would work and then of course it draped but I liked the softness of the drape and just added a seam down the back to get rid of the extra fullness, the pattern really did seem to large. I honestly haven't a clue if I did something wrong with the original pattern since my directions were in Russian, literally, LOL,  Since I've wanted many of the more recent Burda's I've been fortunate to find quite a few internationally. I thought I could figure out the simple pattern and I'm sure I did but it really didn't work. Anyway I ended up loving it and made a skirt of my own design with just a wide elastic waistband. The skirt worked great with a deep red top I had in my wardrobe too for another dance.

The bottom photo shows a skirt I made two weeks ago to go with a top that a Couture Seamstress had made for me that I love. She very kindly sold me extra fabric for the skirt and I used pattern
2009/10/137 from an older Burda magazine. I really liked it. The top was made by my friend Alida's Gowns, you might like to check out her beautiful website. She really inspired me to start sewing again. I love the top and skirt together and it looks much like a dress. I also made a couple of pairs of pants in navy and black. I have many more ideas I want to make so I hope it doesn't take me a long to get back to blogging next time.

Hugs, Jean

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Red Print Top and Skirt with Red Cardigan each from Burda Patterns


Above you can see the skirt, top and cardigan I made and wore to a Chinese New Year's Dinner and Dance with John.  I thought I would like a dress but I really find the versatility of two pieces quite wonderful. This skirt goes with other tops I own and the top can be worn with pants or another skirt but I did like the way they both resemble a dress when worn together. We had a wonderful time and the knit was very comfortable. I also made the red snake skin belt from vinyl I had on hand. I wrapped a vintage buckle with narrow stipes of the vinyl to cover it. The necklace I made a while ago from crystal and red glass beads, I was so please that the colours matched the ourfit. I also wore red snakeskin look shoes. That is the fabulous thing about sewing, it can make you feel very put together.

I really enjoy making this top from a pattern in Burda January 2009. It was especially interesting because my magazine was in German which I do not speak so I just put it together the way I figured it should go together and it worked, yeah!!

The skirt was from Burda December 2011 and I really like it, it worked well out of the knit. This knit was not too stretchy and has a very soft feel to the fabric. It has a zipper on the left side.

The last item I made was the cardigan from Burda August 2011. This was different than the Simplicity I have made cardigans of already and starts with the waterfall higher and the sleeves and length worked perfectly. I had this fabric for so long it was wonderful to finally get something useful out of it. The colours went so well too. This was a good fabric to use because both sides of the fabric looked the same for the waterfall effect.

Thanks so much for looking and all of your inspiration on your other beautiful sewing blogs.
I need another red outfit for a dance this Saturday for Valentines and I think I will wear this skirt with a red top I have in my wardrobe already.

Cheers, Jean

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Aqua, Chartreuse top and Brown Boucle Cardigan

I finished this top and cardigan last week using the same two patterns that I mentioned in my blog here when I showed the teal outfit and top. This top was made of the same knit fabric as I showed in a previous blog, I love the fabric, it feels wonderful but my goodness it stretches. I was so pleased to see that is coordinated with a necklace I bought last year.

The boucle fabric for the cardigan I had had for years, it made up very quickly and it was so nice to finally make something out of it. I really liked the fringe on the selvage of the fabric and thought I would like to feature it so I cut the front with the edge along the selvage, tapered the sleeves more and added a cuff of the reverse with the fringe too. It is a bit heavier for a waterfall cardigan but it drapes well and it is warm, I also made it a couple of inches longer than the pattern. It looks really nice with an apricot silk shirt blouse I wear, probably because of the collar of the blouse and the sheen is a nice contrast to the boucle matte look. The boucle knit fabric has lovely tiny shiny loops of chartreuse, apricot and gold.

I'm having fun this week working on a skirt and top for a Chinese New Year dinner dance we are going to this weekend. It is the first time I've traced a pattern from a Burda magazine and it fit!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Christmas gifts for Artie

Can we go for a walk now??

This is our son Tony and his partner Georgia's, French Bulldog Artie. He is one year old and so fabulous. I call him our Granddog. We love to dog sit him and we looked after him for over one month last October while their band performed in Toronto on a National TV program. You can read about it on my main blog here if you like.

I made him a couple of jackets for Christmas and designed this pattern to fit him by sketching the shape first and measuring him in all different directions and adding overlaps for the velcro in front across the chest and on his underside. I made the overlaps with velcro as large circles on the fleece one so they add a bit of warmth in those areas. They fit really well. I bought the batman fleece first and made it reversible with the same fabric on both sides and the large Batman logo in the middle back. We were supposed to have a cold winter so I thought it would keep him warm.

The other fabric I was delighted to find in my favorite second hand shop and the two pieces of fabric were both in the same bag. There was the waterproof green fabric and the red Georgia bulldog fabric (how perfect was that for Georgia's bulldog) that I lined it to make it reversible. I also bought the strip of iridescent iron on fabric that shows up so well with the flash and great for night walks. Georgia and Tony were pleased with these and Artie is getting used to the velcro closures so that is great.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Deep teal knit outfit

I love having this blog as a journal of my sewing and to save links I have enjoyed.

Here is an outfit I made in November when I really started on a roll with sewing. These were easy patterns that fit and worked well. I also made a slim skirt out of the top printed material that looks like a dress with a belt. I really love all the mix and match possibilities with sewing if I get enough of each fabric to make different outfits. I had some fabric left over of the deep teal so I made a scarf that I can wrap twice at my neck or just use it like the bottom photo. The top is a really cool fabric and great for dancing, I made it from an older pattern from 2003, 3968 Butterick, adding to the length of the arms and body and taking it in down the sides. The 6 gore skirt is from 6735 New Look and I like fullness and flip of it. The cardigan is 1945 Simplicity, nice cut, made the sleeves a bit longer. The cardigan sketch on the pattern is not the same as the photo and the folds start much lower than the sketch. You can see the patterns I have scanned in blow. I also made a pair of slim fitting pants in dark teal crepe that really add to the outfit as well.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pink Flair Top

I finished this knit top and I love it. The knit fabric is so soft but very stretchy... I had to make the V neckline higher. I made the maroon necklace a couple of years ago from a vintage necklace and dark amythist bead chunks. I love the vibrant colours with such an artistic swish of design.  I like the diagonal line of the pink. (diagonal lines are supposed to be slimming). I did lengthen the body and the sleeves. I have bought quite a few tops from Olsen's and really like the way they fit, so I have been adapting most of the patterns I have made to be the same size as their knit tops. I have made this pattern before and enjoy wearing it dancing because the lower neckline is cooler. We line dance (19 years now) and ballroom dance so keeping cool is important to me. I also have this fabric for a top in aquas so I'm looking forward to making it.
There is a small amount of fabric left over and I'm thinking a small cowl might work well on the top.

Burda 8082 pattern... I really liked the different way the sleeves were set in, they go to a V at the upper shoulder.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Navy Lace over Satin Skirt and Knit Top

I've been needing some new skirts for dressy and ballroom dances. The lovely Kat from Petticoats & Peplums made a beautiful blue lace over satin skirt last week for Sew Weekly. I loved the look of lace over satin. It reminded me of some nave satin I had bought a few weeks ago. I found some border lace and looked through my patterns to try to find a pattern that would take less than 1M of fabric and show off the border design. An older Burda 3584 worked really well. The slit is very handy for dancing too. I should mention that the two navy colours do work well together, they look quite different in the photo.

Before Christmas I found a remnant for the knit top. I thought it would be good for the holiday season and dancing because it is stretchy enough for lifting my arms. I used a pattern I had made a couple of times before, New Look 6735. I cut the neck a bit lower, made it and the sleeves a bit longer too. It looks nice with the necklace I bought in Ponta Delgada in the Azores when visitied on a cruise around Great Britain last year.

I wore this outfit to a dance on Saturday and it felt great. I scanned in the two pattern covers below, you can see the slit in the skirt better I the scan.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Infinity Scarf and Tam

While I was knitting this infinity scarf, I noticed the light coming through the fibers and thought it was rather magical and such a lovely fiber, soft and fluffy. I used large needles for the scarf and just did a stocking stitch of three knit and three pearl stitches. I had used a similar stitch for another couple of scarves and was pleased with the springiness. The tam I crocheted and didn`t use a pattern because I knew I just wanted it to fit and open into a circle. This set is the same colour as one of my winter quilted coats, it is sort of aqua grey in real life. The best part was that I found the wool second hand and both pieces only cost $3.00. I love wearing it, so soft.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sewing Inspirated from Antique Postcards and Thrifty Environmental Sewing

Every time I look at some of my antique postcards I think how wonderful they would be for fashion inspiration today. The special fabrics with their fine attention to detail are so lovely. These postcards are some of the digital downloads I sell on Etsy.

My own sewing has been going really well. I'm working on a fifth pair of pants, all the same pattern but I keep varying it is different ways. It is an older slim Vogue by Sandra Betzina and fits really well. Because we do a lot of Ballroom dancing I wanted some good quality pants for practices. I even found a beautiful deep navy crepe from my mother's stash that will work well too. Heaven only knows how old it is but it prewashed beautifully. A piece of fabric I got yesterday was from a thrift shop and it is a lovely very dark teal crepe so I'm making them today and it washed up well too. Thrifty, recycling and getting new clothes!! Doesn't get better than that.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tangerine Tango and New Sewing Form

I have recently received an email from Pantone with the photo above mentioning that Tangerine Tango was chosen for the colour of the year 2012. Wonderful to start off the New Year with such a vibrant, exciting colour!! For those of you who might not be following Pantone's predictions and great colour palettes with 175 new colours, their web site is
Here is a link to Pantone's Spring Colour predictions too, very interesting and inspiring and a great tool when shopping for new fabric.

I'm thinking I might look for a scarf in this colour or fabric to make an infinity scarf, there is a free pattern in with the Simplicity news letter that I found before Christmas and they are fun and very quick to make.

Recently I have started sewing again. I get such enjoyment from making my own clothes... from picking out the pattern to wearing what I've made. The clothes just feel that little bit more special and it is a chance to make clothes that really suit me and fit! Sewing also makes me feel more in control compared to trying on 12 pairs of ready made pants and not having any of them fit exactly the way I would like.  I received a dress form for Christmas which was something I always wanted and it has been very rewarding to make the patterns fit the form. I hope to share some of my experiences with you and show you some of the items I've made. It has been a wonderful time looking at sewing blogs and seeing the exciting outfits and crafts everyone has been making. I hope to add my favorite sewing blogs to this site soon.

I should add that I really try to be environmental so I love finding wonderful patterns and fabrics in thrift stores for a bargain and seeing how I might use them but I do love buying new patterns and beautiful fabrics too so it all balances. Another good value is the Burda Style magazine I just found today in a local book store with so many great patterns in it to trace. I collect vintage patterns, antique sewing magazines and notions so I just love all the sewing retro blogs that are out there too.

For 2012 I would like to sew up the fabric I have and do more of my own designing by mixing patterns and adding my own touch. 

Hugs, Jean