Monday, October 31, 2011

Completed Project: Thinking Pink Blouse

I made a label for inside the blouse with the breast cancer awareness ribbon embroidered on. Now I want to make unique labels for all of my me-made garments!

I somehow managed to finish my Thinking Pink Blouse for the PR Think Pink contest. I'm mostly pleased with it, although I recognize some things I'll have to fix next time I make this blouse.

The pattern is Simplicity 2339, from their Amazing Fit line. It handily comes with cup sizes A, B, C, and D, so you can skip the bust adjustment! I cut a cup size D, grading the pattern from size 16 at the shoulders, 18 at the bust, 20 at the waist, and 22 at the hips. There's not a lot of ease at the hips, so beware.

I love the colour of this fabric. It's a lovely pink cotton-poly chambray that I found at Mitchells Fabrics last weekend, at a decent price of $3.50/m. Bought the last 2 m of it, too. I have a hard time pulling off pink since I'm so pale and have pink undertones to my skin, but I think this is a good shade for me.

The only thing I don't like about this blouse is the sleeves. I hate putting in sleeves, and this is another example of why. My easing didn't go so well this time, and it's a bit crinkly at the front of the seam. I also forgot (again) to remove 1/2 inch of fabric from the upper shoulder to accommodate for my narrower shoulders. Finally, I added some width to the upper arm and graded back to the original seam by the elbow. This was done because it looked like the sleeve was too tight when I first tried it out. I don't think I should've added so much width, and maybe I should've taken some out of the arm at and below the elbow. For now though, I'm going to leave it for at least one run through the wash. I find my sleeves generally settle down once they do.

I like my button choice, and the top-stitching in white along the cuffs and down the placket really adds a more professional look to the garment.

I'm awfully proud of how the collar turned out. The instructions were a little difficult to follow, but by paying close attention to them and the accompanying illustrations, it went in really well.

If you have time and are a member, come on down and vote for your favourite Think Pink entry. Don't worry, you don't have to vote for me! There's some great entries over there!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sewing Nook Progress

I was a little busy this weekend.

Settling into my apartment has been a really slow process, slower than I've experienced in the past. Granted, I'm usually just moving into a room in someone else's place, or moving into an apartment with absolutely nothing, so unpacking is generally pretty quick.

This time, I've moved with a lot of stuff, including my sewing supplies, so it's taking a bit longer.

But I did get part of my sewing nook done, this weekend! I've been itching to paint my chipped black desk and ugly fake-wood (free) bookshelves a cream colour, and this Friday I picked up the paint.

This is how they looked before:

And this is how they look now:

The sewing desk is a tiny piece of heaven in my humble little home. I adore the cream coloured desk, and the lamp and cork board I picked up today at Walmart finishes it off nicely. It's so handy to have the pattern instructions right in front of me when I'm sewing!

The space still needs some work though. More sewing storage is needed in/on/around the desk. Plus I have a tonne of books stored at my parents place, so the book shelves will change. Am considering moving my sewing patterns and books to these shelves (from another set I have next to the desk) to keep all my sewing stuff on the half of the living room I dedicated to my sewing space. I also need to find a more permanent place for my ironing board, because it's sort of in the way sitting in front of the couch like it is.

Still need to deal with my fabric storage, which will (mostly, hopefully) be kept in these fish crates my Uncle was about to toss out:

No, they don't smell like fish. Still trying to decide if I want to paint them. After seeing the book shelves and desk, I think the answer to that should be yes, eh?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Because of Course I Need Another Hobby

Look at what I bought today. Fuss, I entirely blame this one on you.

There's a cute little shop just down the street from me called Needlepoint Place that, surprisingly, specializes in needlepoint stuff. Of course I had to pop in there, and of course I had to pick up something.

Never mind that I've been wanting tiny floral cross-stitch pictures for around my sewing nook, for crying in the sink I don't have time for more projects!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thinking Pink Blouse, and Other Rambles

I was planning on posting when I finished the project that I'm working on, but it occurred to me that I'll never actually post anything that way. Plus I have too many fun things to share, and I'm at a tedious part of my project.

So PR is having a 'Think Pink' contest, and all the lovely pink garments in the gallery really inspired me. I figured 'hey, I need more office work blouses (I've been itching to make this Simplicity 2339 pattern), and a pink one would be fun!'

Then I got sent out of town for the weekend. However, when I got there on Friday morning, they told me they only needed me for the day, so luckily I was able to get my plane ticket changed and was home by Friday night. A shopping trip yesterday yielded this lovely pink chambray! Up until yesterday, I didn't know what a chambray was. According to, it's a lightweight plain weave fabric where white threads are woven with a coloured warp. According to, it was originally created in Cambria, France, from which the fabric name was derived.

Learning all this made me realize that my Lucky Business Dress is made of a chambray. YAY! That was really bugging me. My pink fabric feels a bit heavier and less flow-y than what I used for the dress, though. It doesn't iron out as smoothly either, so maybe the fiber content is different between the two.

Anyways, I have all the pieces cut out for the blouse, and just need to finish transferring the bajillion markings and find cut out the interfacing pieces. I'm really hoping to finish this thing tonight, because I have to leave for field work tomorrow morning, and won't be back until the weekend (I hope). The contest closes on the 31st (a Monday), so I should be able to photograph the top and get my review made up when I get back.


I've been slowly settling into my apartment. I'm no where near finished unpacking, but I'm getting some parts of my sewing nook set up. I came up with a cute way to organize my patterns! I sorted the patterns according to type (tops, bottoms, coordinates, dresses, etc.), and then made little dividers to put between the sets. Instead of labeling them, I drew on fun little images of the pattern types. They make me smile whenever I see them, and it's so much easier to find what I'm looking for now!

I found a few other treasures during my shopping trip yesterday. At the fabric store, I picked up some black broadcloth and a bunch of fun trim and hardware to make a curtain and an under-sink skirt in my bathroom. I have a big window in there that faces the back entry (and I'm on the main floor, too), which most people use or smoke in front of, and while I have blinds on it, it still makes me nervous to shower at night in there. I figured I'd make a curtain to cover any gaps in the blinds. I'm super excited to get it finished and show it off to you all, because while I hated the (pink, 1950's style) bathroom when I first saw it, it's quickly becoming my favourite room in the apartment!

The other thing I found was this 1960's dress pattern, in what is nearly my size! A bit of alteration will be needed to fit it, but I'm super excited that I get to make my own '60's dress after giving away all those lovelies in my vintage pattern giveaway! I think I finally found a pattern for a piece of black and white polka dot fabric I found this past spring!

Although now I'll probably eat my own words on how much I like that older patterns don't baby you along. Oh well, it'll be an interesting challenge!

ETA1: Oh! If any of you like this pattern and are looking for a size 20, I found one on etsy. Looks like it's in much better condition than mine, too! Actually, tcmally appears to have scads and scads of vintage patterns, so go check her out.

ETA2: I should also note that I did actually get something done for the Friday Night Sew-In, although it wasn't much. I managed to work out what sizes I'd need to cut out for Simplicity 2339, and got the pattern prepared for it. I forgot to mention above, but I've totally played with the sizes here, starting at size 16 around the shoulders and neckline, size 18 for the arms and bust, size 20 at the waist, and 22 at the hips (PR reviews indicated that there wasn't a lot of ease through the hips). Obviously I'm a little more pear shaped than I was last year. Mmm...pears. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Still around, not sewing :(

Oh man, sorry about the long silence there. Things have been insanely busy at work and in my personal life, and there's has barely been time to sleep never mind sew and blog.

I do have a fun announcement though: I got my own apartment! I moved in last weekend.

Actually, this took a considerable amount of what little free time I've had, but it'll be worth it. If I ever have time to finish unpacking!

As I mentioned before, work has been insanely busy. I was out of town for field work for 4 days and clocked nearly 60 hours in that time. (I know, right!) Office work hasn't had as long of days, but by the time I get home, I'm exhausted. Oh the woes of the working class! I was looking forward to having this weekend off to finish unpacking, and even joined up with both the Friday Night Sew-In and the Think Pink contest over at PR to give myself sewing time.

And then yesterday, my Boss came up and asked if I could head out of town Friday-Saturday to help with a project, and my weekend dreams went up in smoke. Wouldn't be so bad, except that I'm in the field all next week again, and I badly needed time to rest up before hand.

Oh well. Hopefully I'll be back by the end of the week (although I've heard I may work over the weekend? I hope not), and will finish unpacking and maybe tackle a project then!

But you should see my sewing nook! It's looking great so far! I'd show you a picture, but I'm not entirely certain which box/bag/suitcase my camera is in.

Also, sorry about the babbling. So tired, but I figured I owed you an update! Considering that I have a 6 am flight tomorrow (blarrgghhh), I should hit the sack.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Plaid Shorts and (most of) a Fishy Top

Yes, I'm posting a picture of myself sans make-up, horrible hair, and a truly awful view of my double chin, but whatever. Don't care. LOOK I MADE SHORTS!

(Why yes, that is a Got Geology t-shirt. I know at least one of you out there would like to mug me for my shirt!)

The shorts turned out pretty good, and are remarkably comfortable. Why have I avoided shorts all these years? Oh yes, my chubby fish-belly white legs. Whatever. I'd show you some shots of the insides, including my silly hem-tape label, but they're too comfortable to take off so you only get one shot of me wearing them. Oh, and a fancy shot of some of their pinked seams.

Speaking of fish-bellies, I'll bet you're all jealous of my fishy top, eh? I'd be, if I were you. Granted, it's only 3/4 of a top, since it still needs a sleeve (which I've lost somewhere - how do you lose a giant red sleeve I don't even know) and the neck binding.

It's going to be so awesome when it's done, I just know it. Going to be fun to wear to the office, dressed up with a black skirt and nice heels. My office mates clothes range anywhere from jeans and tees to full out business casual. So long as it doesn't show too much skin and looks presentable, I think I'll be fine. Plus we do environmental stuff! This is just showing my love of our fishy fried friends!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More Blathering

While double-checking that all of the pieces were present in the giveaway vintage patterns before sending them out (yes, I'm only just getting to it now - work has been a little crazy, don't judge me!), I took a quick peak at the instructions.

One of the things I noticed from my one attempt at a vintage pattern was that the instructions don't baby you along. They are short, to the point, and assumed that you know how to sew. I found that I liked that, although maybe I would've thought differently if I were tackling something more complicated than an apron.

As you can see, some of these patterns were no different. In the Butterick 5317 pattern, the instructions to make the entire dress is laid out on one side of the instruction sheet. Good luck, Molly! I hope the brief instructions aren't too bad to follow. Oh, and I think this dress would look awesome in denim, maybe with some interesting piping? ;)


I haven't done any sewing this week, and since I'm off to do some field work out of town all next week, I won't be doing any then, either. Boy, now work is interfering with my sewing. And I thought Grad School was bad!

BUT! I'm going to be sewing tonight and tomorrow. Well, after I get my sewing area tidied up and organized tonight. I wish I'd taken a before picture to show you guys just how bad it was, because it's a complete disaster!

My goal is to get a pair of boxer shorts done (I need a pair for next week), and a t-shirt or two (possibly a fishy tee?). Think I'll cut out the fabric tonight (after I finish cleaning), and then sew them up tomorrow.

And on that note, time to stop blathering on about sewing and actually get to it. Wish me luck!
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