Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year...

...and Prosit Neujahr from Vienna!  Wishing you much sewing happiness in 2015.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

the stockings were hung...

Christmas stockings finished just in time for the jolly man's arrival.  To make these, check out Scandinavian Needlecraft and don't forget to arm yourself with a vanishing fabric marker pen.
Merry Christmas to you.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

pepita pepita, olé!

I've been mesmerized by all of the black and white hounds-tooth fabric we're seeing everywhere lately and nearly scaled a wall of fabric bolts to reach this bold black and white pattern.  My mom told me it's actually called "pepita", which it turns out is named after Pepita de Oliva, a 19th centurty Spanish dancer who toured under her stage name, Josefa de la Oliva.  The pattern is meant to mimic the pit of an olive.  How cool is that?
Since the fabric is named after a sassy flamenco dancer, I felt obliged to lift the hemline on my pattern and add a splash of fiery red. I dug out my beloved red heels (who also spent many early mornings on the dance floor WAY back in the day....) A great excuse to take them out for an encore twirl with my Pepita coat!



Muchas Grazias, Pepita de Oliva for putting some more sass into sewing!


Monday, 1 December 2014

not quite ready-to-wear

I have to start this off with a disclaimer - the information below may be glaringly obvious to a community of sewers, and I hestitated writing it...but maybe someone out there is in the same boat!

Ready-to-wear trousers always have the same fit problem on me - snug in the bum and too wide around the waist.   I usually bring them to a professional to take away the extra fabric in the waistband and centre back, rather than doing it myself - it always seemed to scary to try.

 Last week-end I finally broke down.  I armed myself with my seam ripper, a pair of scissors and a strong cup of coffee and attacked the centre back of a waistband on pair that I've been holding up with a belt for too long.
You know, it wasn't that scary!  It was kind of like unfolding the paper on a Christmas present and putting it back together to look like no one noticed...or maybe a piece of Japanese origami...

If you haven't already tried this yourself, here are some things I learned:

-  Baste, baste, and baste again (before you cut anything).  I used safety pins first, established the fit and then basted and took them off and tried them on again.  (A step I've always had to skip when I go to the tailor!)

-  When you are trying them on, walk around, sit down, do a downward dog, dance a jig...and do it again!

-  When you do sew, make a few rows of machine stitches for strength.  (You can never bee too sure)

- I used my ironing board to keep the back of my trousers flat as I hand stitched everything back together as it was.  (I never even had to get out the measuring tape)

If you have the same issue with your trousers, and you haven't tried this already, I promise it really is straightforward.  I wish I had done this years ago!

How do you guys feel about alterations?