Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Blouse time

I am trying to get a start on the SWAP - without getting the entire concept down in black and white yet.
I have a wonderful piece of Silk Charmeuse that I bought at Rosen and Chaddick in New York City last year. It is a geometric abstract pattern, in shades of ivory, brown and lime green.
I like lime green in small doses, and this one has just the right amount. It told me that it wants to become a blouse. Now it doesn't want to be stuffy, but it can't be too fun either! I also have leftover silk charmeuse in brown that I want to use for facings and such.
I looked at these four patterns. I have them in my stash so I am determined to use one of them. They are, in order of appearance, Butterick 4985
McCall's 5471
Vogue 7903

And style 105 from Burda 1/07

I like the McCalls pattern, but it is most definitely not the pattern to use for this fabric. I must remind myself to get some crisp white to use for this design!

I looked at the Vogue pattern next. While I really like this one too, I think that I want a front band. Yes I know that it would be easy to draft, but I wanted to look further.

The Butterick version is also out. Too much choppy, choppy for the fabric methinks. I love the sleeves though!

I wandered though Pattern Review to see what blouse patterns had been sewn up lately. I found the Burda WOF during my search and really like it. It has a front band, has darts back and front, and a collar with a band. I am not sure about the yoke in the back, but I can always eliminate that.

So Burda WOF it is. I will cut it out tonight, while waiting on the dozen or so trick or treaters we will see.
HAppy Halloween!
A parting shot of our girls on a Halloween night long ago..

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wedding Day!

What a wonderful Wedding Weekend! I am wayyyy too tired to give you a complete rundown right now, but suffice to say I would not have changed a thing! Apart from the weather that is - darn sky was full of rain and wind all day!
A few teaser photos to appease you all!
I made Kate, Flowergirl Chloe and myself stoles in case it was cold - and it was. Here are Katelyn's and Chloe's
I decided that no bridesmaid is complete without a monogrammed handbag...

and her girls
With Scott
Mike and I - so joyous!

Katelyn was gorgeous, the ceremony was beautiful, I got (mostly) through my speech without crying and the dance floor was PACKED all night. What else could you ask for!!
We had 70 guests for brunch today, and they were all still on a high from the festivities. Back to reality tomorrow though!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The next wedding dress

I am in the process of slapping myself on the hand! One wedding is not over yet, and I am busy looking for ideas for the next dress! AND as Erica will be sure point out to me- the dress is not even my choice!

But in case Erica wants to know MY they are

I stayed up till 3:30 last night finishing up 5 handbags for bridesmaids -Yay me!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On To the Next

I don't want to be a bore with wedding sewing details! However, lately, most of what I have been creating is wedding related. Most of that is out of the way, or at least the light at the end of the tunnel is visible(!) so I can now start to think about my next sewing projects.
I have to admit that I have never done a SWAP (Sewing With A Plan). The bulk of my sewing has been either A. I WANT that, as in a cool jacket or fabric I fall in love with, or B, I NEED that- a dress for a wedding for instance. Looking through my closet lately though, I realize that with a full closet -I don't have a THING to wear! With that in mind, priority number one after wedding is to put together a collection of clothing that go well together, and -and what? "Fashion forward" well yes. "cuting edge"? well yes. I can call it my "Fall Line"!!
One thing I do have to keep in the front of my mind is that my lifestyle, while busy is certainly not 5th Avenue, even though my taste runs that way! I will have to make sure there is a good mix. Another decision that I made is that most of the fabric must come from my stash. I have an embarassing amount of wonderful cuts that need to be seen made up into fabulishious outfits. There would be no harm in augmenting with New York City purchases in two weeks though!
I was toying with the idea of entering the Timmel Swap but their timeline is not condusive to mine. If I get finished in time, I could always create a "Spring Line" for it!
So this is how far I am. Please don't let Katelyn know that I have been working on this instead of writing a Mother of the Bride speech, or finishing handbags or the bustle of the W. Dress!
I have changed my original grey and teal colour scheme with a brown, green and blue one. It's what I seem to have in my stash. No fabric swatches yet- give me time! You can see from the fabric description what they are and where they came from though.
And to end, here is a vintage photo of our beautiful bride to be!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Fabric websites- I love them! I drool, imagine and occasionally I even buy! My personal favourites are also your favourites! Gorgeousfabrics and Emmaonesock are my two top must see sites. You all know them - and you shop there too I am sure!

Today though I have to give a shout out to an online store that I have mentioned before but had never personally shopped with. Tonic Living sells futon covers and pillows but also sells the greatest home decor fabric. Not only is the line wonderful, but so is the customer service. I placed an order on Saurday afternoon. The Saturday of a long Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. They say they will process the order in 1-3 business days. I reallllly needed the fabric quickly and mentioned that in my order. Truthfully, I did not expect to see it this week. I was incredibly surprised to open my mailbox(well really Scottie brought the mail in to me,but "opening the mailbox" sounds better!)
and find a perfectly wrapped package from Tonic Living! For those of you who care - that is 2 business days to get from the order desk to my mailbox! As well as the fabric in the package, there was a coupon for 10% off my next purchase and a busiess card. Not necessary but a very nice touch.
Now I know that I am only a 2 hour drive from Toronto, but when I consider that it took over a week to get wedding invitations to friends in the next town, well -you get my point.
For anyone living in SW Ontario- you also can't beat the shipping costs - exactly ZERO dollars.
To give you some inspiration, I found this Pottery Barn advertisment and these Tonic Living fabrics that could easily create the same look...

On to the next...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Project Runway Canada

Project Runway Canada (EH) premiered today on Slice. Normally I would have completely missed this because in MY house we don't believe in satellite (actually the husband man does not believe, and I am too lazy to do anything about it!), EXCEPT...
A. EVERYONE I know made sure that I knew it was on tonight and..
B. I just happened to be spending a few days at with a friend who gets Slice and understands my preoccupation with anything fabric related.

So why is it that we have to pretend we are the USA? I mean to the extent that the term "make it work" was used almost word for word. And Iman - hell we can't even get our own supermodel - we have to borrow one from Somalia- or is it Saudi Arabia?!
I liked some of the redesigns in this first show. The designers had two challenges. The first to design a garment in 30 minutes using white stretch lycra and the second to design an outfit using 3 items from a competitors suitcase. It would have been more exciting to see them choosing fabric themselves. Hopefully we will get to see that in later episodes.
I'll keep watching as often as I can though to see what up and coming Canadian designers have to offer. And maybe to see if I should have entered??!! (sorry - I am on my daughters IMac and don't know all the formatting shortcuts on it !

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Turkey, kids and handbags

Happy Thanksgiving! The weather has been glorious- I cannot remember another Thanksgiving in my history when we were able to eat turkey and tooo many wonderful desserts on the deck in tank tops! It is so nice to have all of the "childrens" around even though Lauren will be heading back to Ottawa tomorrow. Even Leah graced us with her presence - for a couple of hours!

Kate and I decided today that it would be nice to put all of the bridesmaids gifts together in a handbag. Ummmm so I offered to make them! Only four of them, plus a mini for little Chloe. I sped off to Len's Mill End - where you CAN find nice fabric if you are willing to dig. Leah and I came up with a cute brown and pink swirl cotton for the lining, but no suitable outer fabric. I hate it when I have a certain picture in my head that has to be satisfied.
Then I remembered Tonic Living- a Toronto based company that has the cutest fabric. We picked this one
and hope that it will arrive very very very soon! If you live in Ontario, there is FREE SHIPPING to postal codes that begin with N, M, and L!!
I have about 15 different bag patterns in the house, but of course none of them were what the little screen in my brain was projecting. This evening was actually a free one - those do not happen often let me tell you! - so I designed a pattern, and 2 hours later had a handbag that is too cute for words- I think anyhow. The exterior fabric came from the stash, but I used the lining fabric that I bought for the bridesmaids. I have a friend who will monogram them for me, and I think that I may try to put a little piece of the wedding dress lace somewhere - maybe around my label.

I think they will like them. One more thing for my list!!!!
Now it stands at- finish the wedding dress, finish my dress, hem 3 bridesmaids dresses, make 3 more pew flower thingys, 5 more centrepieces, rolled hems on 6 table runners, finish putting up the new backsplash, wash all the windows, monogram 20 get the idea! I am so lucky that my family believes that it takes a village to marry off a daughter!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wedding progress

Some wedding progess was actually accomplished today!
A huge shout out to my mom and sister who spent a few hours with me in the warm afternoon creating the table centrepieces. They are made from wheat that Mr Scottie McHottie planted and Katelyn harvested. It is apt that they use the fruit of their labours! Can you believe that I even got a SUNBURN! On October the 3rd no less! This is where we sat.....
watching our cute guys tear my barn down so that I can have a new, "state of the art facility" (don't get an incorrect impression of me - I am generally one of the ones getting my hands filthy- it's just - jeeze -sometimes a girl has to bond baby!)
Here are a few shots of my guys (The future son-in-law Scott, darling of mine Mike and my dad -aka"workaholic"I am sooo pleased with this shot of my dad. Generally he mugs for the camera or is shy about it, but I was using a telephoto lens and I got a great one!

Can't leave wedding planning talk without a few photos of some other of our design skills. Some of the wheat sheaves in temporary containers(they will be free standing)
We are going to "monogram" some pumpkins as the wedding is Oct 27th. Just a little something to fill our hours the evening before the ceremony whilst engaging in deep,meaningful conversation with our out-of-town relatives and friends while emptying a keg of beer!
A couple of the pew decorations
- we grew and dried most of the materials used- Yes, we are nuts thank you very muchAs payment for helping me today my sister wanted to see my dress, and the wedding dress. How could I refuse! Since it is unfair to show her and not all of you- here is a VERY BAD snap of the top of the dress!Please ignore the green thing happening underneath the dress - I have a temporary green tee on that dressform - nuff said!
Did I happen to mention today how absolutely sweeet my darling husband is? Someone came over today to interview 2 of our daughters who are going to be the Brownie leaders in our nearby town. She commented on how pretty my dress was, so I simply said "thanks". My husband leaned over and said "she made it herself you know" Well gobstop me- the lady had assumed it was purchased! DUH- it was in the kitchen on a ducttape dressform with a note pinned to it as to what is left to do on it!

I never really thought he cared about or admired my sewing before- I am thrilled beyond belief that I was wrong!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Am I a Snob? or a Couturesmith?

My sister-in-law popped over last night with an auction listing. She knows I am looking for about 300 metres of fabric to use as skirting for our Fair Board display cases, and this aution had
Partial List- Over 500 Bolts of Various Materials ( Gaberdin-Fancy Trims – Edging -Fringes-Satin-Wool Blends-Bridal-Suiting Material-Cotton Prints-Chiddon-Party Fabrics-Upholstry Material-Rope-Elastic-Chintz Brocade-Swag Backs-Poly Blends-Etc.) Huskylock 340D 4 Thread Compact Serger Sewing Machine, Husqvarna Prism 990s Computerized Single Thread Portable Sewing Machine, Singer 251-12 Heavey Duty 1/2hp. 110v. Table Model Single Thread Sewing Machine (leather-canvas-boat tops-etc.), Singer Diana 860 Single Thread Portable Sewing Machine, Display Stands, 2 New Dress Maker Models –Fully Adjustable Up To Size 50, Boy-Girl-Adult Manequins, Large Quanity Related Items New & Used – Scissors-Zippers-Embroidery-Threads-Links-Plier-Fasteners-Hooks & Eyes – 5 Draw Metal Pattern Cabinet – Craft Supplies Halloween Christmas – 60 Gift Baskets – 40 New Winter Wool Sweaters Etc.

Whew! So I went!
What a mishmash of CRAP- whoops I mean one persons treasure. We ( a lady I befriended and I) managed to find out that everything came from one lady's home based dressmaking and wedding decorating business. We saw tags from Polka Dot and Montreal Textiles- both of which have been out of business for over 20 years! Don't people know what a trash bin looks like?

Having said that, I did manage to snag 100metres plus of red (all unknown fibre) fabric. I really don't care what it looks like for the table skirts that people see for 2 days once a year.
What I could not get over was what some people will buy to make quilts out of. Even if it is for "charity", don't the recipients deserve good quality?
I did also pick up a pattern cabinet in good quality, and 2 antique dress forms ($15 TOTAL for the 3!) Also when I went to pick up said cabinet, the auction house pressed upon me 200 patterns that someone decided they did not want. Mostly circa 1980! I took those home, ruthlessly weeded and ended up with about 50 that I will keep. Those were nice staple, vintage childrens patterns and a bunch of wedding dress patterns that I may be able to take some styling from.
So does turning my nose up at inferior fabric make me a snob? Nah- just a couturesmith with taste!