All posts tagged: sewing

sewing fabric

February Sewing Project: A stylish, comfy wool & faux-leather jacket

Starting a new project at this chilly, sometimes dull time of year usually lights a creative spark in me that pushes me through to Spring. I’m counting on this straightforward sewing project to do it for me this time round. I’ve been a bit slow getting to it. I found the fabrics — a lovely black-and-grey wool/viscose blend and black faux-leather with a pretty square imprint — last autumn while visiting Montreal. I intended to get it done by Christmas, but travels, unexpected projects, and my best excuse yet: carpal tunnel surgery that has left my dominant right hand heavily bandaged, have put a spanner in the works. That’s why I’m calling this a “February sewing project”, because I’m hoping that in approximately one week’s time, when the bandage is off and the wrist stronger, I can get cracking and start putting thread to needle. If you’re curious, please check back here around mid-February mid-March to see how it’s turned out. I’ve already chosen some jewellery to go with it…so now all I have to do is get going and make it a reality! At last! February March Project completed So I’m happy to finally …

sewing

Pretty abstract-print blouse that’s perfect for business or leisure time

Here I am, striking as close to a proper model’s pose as I can manage, to show the neckline gathering (front and back) and waistline tucks in this pretty abstract-print polyester blouse I made using Butterick’s See & Sew pattern B6156. I’m not a huge fan of polyester, but this one is so lightweight I think it can be worn even on a warm summer’s day. I bought the material at Fabricville in Montreal during a terrific sale in April (I had to borrow my sister Pamela’s sports bag to bring back all the fabric I purchased, mostly stretch cotton). I slightly let out the collar and armholes and added some width at the hips. A little more width at the waist might have prevented the slight forward tugging, but then the waistline would have been less fitted. Ah, the trade-offs! I think it’s great as a casual blouse with white jeans and would also be suitable paired with a deep blue blazer for a business meeting. I’m looking forward to making it again in a beautiful pistachio green fabric my sister Andrea has set aside …

sewing pattern

A cool, chic sleeveless dress that’s just right for a Swiss heatwave

Little did I know (though I might have expected) that a heatwave would be rolling our way now when back in May I ordered online this pattern by Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity UK. I was in the mood for something a little different and View B, featured on the envelope photograph, with its eye-catching cut-out sleeves, seemed miles away from what I would usually wear. When push came to sew, however, I questioned my judgement, (you do that, too?) and doubted that it would look as good on me as it would on the model. Worse, I wondered, would it just look weird? So I opted for the chic little sleeveless version, View D, and am now, in the middle of this hellaciously hot week, glad I did (though I haven’t entirely given up on sewing View B). Never forget: study the finished garment measurements! As usual, I had to adjust for my personal body measurements, which in this case meant having three different sizes, increasing from top to bottom to accomodate my pear-shaped body. I cannot overstate the importance of comparing the finished garment measurements …

sewing fabric

A ‘kwik’ Spring sewing project for a devoted fabric-a-holic

I recently returned from a trip to Montreal to visit with my family where I brought a few sewing patterns with me from Switzerland just in case there was spare time to explore some of fabric stores that I used to haunt as a teenager. Turns out that jaunts to the local branch of Fabricville were a hit with my sisters, Pamela and Andrea, as much as they were with me. Love of fabric runs in our blood: our maternal grandmother was a brilliant self-taught seamstress who made many of her four daughters’ outfits whether for everyday or evening wear. In the end, I had to borrow Pamela’s gym bag to cart back all the fabric I purchased. I should qualify this by saying that there was a 40%-off sale underway and with the purchase of a reasonably priced client card the savings were even bigger. It’s as if Fabricville saw me coming. I enjoy shopping locally here, in both Geneva and Lausanne, but so far at least, no one store has managed to include under one roof the …

jacket sewing project

Beating the winter blahs with a new sewing project

Nothing gets me through the colder weather blahs better than a creative push through to Spring and this time round that means a new sewing project. I really like this Very Easy Vogue pattern I ordered online (from US) for a laid-back, but still semi-structured bohemian-style jacket that strikes me as something I wouldn’t be able to find in Swiss shops…making it just that little bit unique. It can be made to suit both indoor and outdoor wear depending on the length of the bodice and sleeves, as well as the collar style you choose to use. And of course, your choice of fabric will determine whether it suits outdoor temperatures or not (it’s unlined). I plan on making it to wear on crisp Spring or Autumn days and I’ve found a thick 100% pure wool material at Modessa, at Rue Saint-François 4, CH-1003 in Lausanne. It’s reversible, in a lovely deep blue flecked with grey on one side and on the other, deep grey flecked with blue. I’ll be making it in style B (medium length with long sleeves) but with collar A. And to make the most of the two-tone fabric, I’ll make the bodice in …

girl sewing

Me and my Bernina: A sewing love affair made in Switzerland. Plus, where to buy your sewing supplies!

The chances of my being interviewed for a Proust Questionnaire–those Q&As so popular in trendy magazines wherein the celebrity being profiled dishes on their likes and dislikes, favorite quotes, the contents of their handbag and most tellingly, their most prized possession–are small to nil, yet I can’t help but ponder what my responses might be if asked. This reflection never lasts very long because other than remembering my favorite movie (To Kill a Mockingbird) on other questions I largely go blank. I console myself by saying I’m too busy living life to keep mental notes on it…and frankly, opinions are so changeable…but I admit it nags at me a little. The other day though, I had a bit of an ‘aha’ moment when I realized there is one thing at least that, if not quite my most prized possession, is certainly my most hardwearing, longstanding and loyal one (if inanimate objects can be considered loyal). That would be my Bernina 1005 sewing machine, the most basic model available in December 1988 when my husband bought it for me …