What a Friday!

Hardly any sewing got done the last couple of days, as I’m in the middle of planning two birthday parties!MMJ 10  DD1 is turning 13 later this month, and despite many attempts to get a response around ideas for a party for her, all I got was “meh”.  Now I know 13 is an odd number, but it struck me that there’s really no “rites of passage” in my (4th generation Canadian) heritage, and I really wanted to do something marking her transition to the teenage years.

So I decided to do a surprise party with a sleepover for those friends that could stay.  And today – Me Made June Day 10 – was spent cleaning, cooking, last minute shopping and pretending nothing interesting was happening this evening so it would go off without a hitch.  I could not for the life of me figure out a good alibi to get her out of the house, so had the foresight (stupidity?) to arrange DD3’s 8th birthday party for tomorrow.  In order to get DD1 out of the house, I sent her on a little trip with DH to the store for party favours and (unbeknownst to her) her very own birthday cake.

Outfit: RTW shirt and sweater, and a much-shortened version of the skirt from Vogue 1093.  I loved the first version of the skirt, but the slit went all the way to the wazoo, so I thrifted it.  I purchased the stretch-cotton striped denim from Fabricland in order to re-make it with a less distracting slit, but discovered after pre-treating the fabric that there were several flaws (read holes about 2 cm in diameter) down the centre of my yardage.  I suppose I could have complained, but I’d already washed it.  So I had to very carefully piece this shorter version together.  I don’t regret it, but I will need to make up the longer version at some point.

Activities:  endless errands related to birthday parties (not on the scooter!)  Oh, and the scooter idea was thanks to Claudine over at CoutureArts, who had suggested that every Friday during Me Made June we post photos with a common theme.  Today’s was a method of transportation, and you can see the rest at the Me Made June 2011 Flickr pool.

Me Made June: Days 8 & 9


Just a quick post today for MMJ’s sake…

MMJ Day Eight

Outfit: Vogue 7340, from Liberty of London tana lawn in “Judy” and a shortened version of Vogue 2165 in olive green linen.   Both patterns are OOP, unfortunately.

Activities:  Bible study with friends in the morning; picking up DD3 for lunch; another meeting in the afternoon

Thoughts:  I really enjoy wearing this shirt. V2165 The tana lawn is very cool and the print is so delightful!  I did an FBA on this wrap shirt and it fits like a dream.   The skirt is bias cut and is really comfortable to wear.   The original design calls for two layers of fabric – one of organza or chiffon over a heavier layer – but it works very well in linen.  This is the second version of this skirt that I’ve made up over the years.  The first one was a dusty yellow linen the full length of the pattern.  I wore it out.  I’ve never actually put the entire suit together, mostly because of the jacket, and I just don’t do skinny pants… nope… no way.  But with the return to longer jackets on the runway, this might be an interesting one to try.

MMJ Day Nine

P6090001Outfit:  My Susannah dress which is Vogue 8469.  I reviewed the pattern last year over at PatternReview.com, but I’m not sure anyone can read it without logging in, even if I do add a link.  So I posted a (very) belated review of it here on my blog.

Activities:  Getting the kids out the door to school on time, chatting with an overnight guest who was leaving this morning, the salon, and checking out a karate class for kids with Down syndrome for DD2 this evening.  I’m hoping she will be able to attend this September.

Thoughts:  The waist on this dress really bugs me because it rides up.  It sits high anyway – the bottom of the band is about 1 inch above my natural waist.  I really like this fabric, and I’d be sorry to thrift the dress just because of the waistband, which is something that I could fix if I found some extra fabric in my big box of remnants.   But I think the real problem is not adding enough depth to the bodice when I was doing my FBA.  I’m slowly learning that whenever I do an empire styled bodice, about 2 inches needs to be added to the bottom to ensure a proper fit.  I wonder if I could just add a strip of fabric in below the bust (and above the front waistband) to make it fit properly.  Does anyone have any ideas about this?

MMJ Day 7: Hot, hazy & humid


Yep, the three dreaded words for summer weather in T.O.  36C and humid humid humid, thanks to a roaring thunderstorm that went through at 4:30 a.m.  Just a quick post before I live the exact opposite of my official title, that being SAHM!  Smile

Outfit:  Vogue 2902 in a printed voile with espresso linen trim.  Shoes by Remix Vintage Shoes from Original on Queen Street West

Activities:  touring a new school for DD2, as she’ll be starting Grade 6 next year; running DD1 to the dentist for her first ever filling and tooth pulling; taxi service for all dear daughters to dance classes

MMJ 7 2Thoughts:  I don’t usually wear this dress with a belt, but maybe I should.  I love the big circle skirt.  Every time I wear this dress it reminds me of why I like to wear dresses so much.  Living in a circle skirt is a lot of fun.  I had to grade the bodice down a size, since I’d purchased the wrong size pattern for some reason, and then do the requisite FBA.  The waist sits a little above my natural waist, which feels odd – almost as if the vintage undergarments are missing or something along those lines.

vintage red shoes

Pattern Review: Vogue 1159

tie dye 3

Ok, I know you saw this dress yesterday, but this is the “formal review”, so bear with me!  This is the second time I’ve made up this dress.  I originally purchased this tie-dye rayon-lycra jersey in pumpkins and mauves to make this design, but then I fell in love with Vogue 1250 – a new 2011 Donna Karan design – and thought I’d give it a try.  You can read my review and see the disaster for comparison.

Anyways, I dismantled the V1250 dress, rummaged pieced tie-dyethrough my stack of cutting leftovers on my sewing table and found the extra yardage and bits and pieces.  Boy, was I thankful to find that I had probably about 60 cm of length uncut.  And then I was doubly thankful to find that the hemline of V1250 was a perfect match for the tie-dye design as the edge of my remnant!  So I stitched themimage together and pieces a couple of other little areas to make up the humungo pattern piece that comprises the skirt front, skirt back and the front bodice.  I also had to piece the back down the centre to get the width and length.  The back piece wraps around to the front at the waistline, unlike the back from V1250.

I wasn’t sure the tie-dye thing would work, but given the  fabric used on the pattern model (see it here) I thought it would be cool.  But I didn’t know it would turn out as interestingly as it did! tie dye 4tie dye backI mean, I totally love the back of this dress!  It’s so darn interesting with the way the lines meet, and it looks so (IMHO) flattering compared to the previous disaster!

Fabric: rayon-lycra tie-dye from Emma One Sock

Alterations:  A few, since this was the second go at this dress.  I cut two sizes smaller for the shoulder-waist length only.  In other words, I cut a size 12 at the shoulders and tapered it out to the size 16 for the remainder of the dress.  The two sizes down gave me the 2" shortening that I need in the bodice length.  That was the only cutting alteration I did.

Once the dress was sewn up and I put it on, there were a few things that became apparent.  First, the weight of the jersey really pulled down at the front hemline.v1159 pleat to lining  The pleats are stitched to the front of the lining at the waistline, but I stitched mine at the top of the lining piece, which hits just below my bust.  That made the skirt hang straight.  This was something that I didn’t do for the first version, and just cut off the excess prior to hemming, something that bugged me ever since I did it.  But this one I did “properly” so the grain is straight all around the skirt.  In the pic below, my fingers are resting at the marked stitching line for the pleats.  Mine are stitched (messily) just below the hem at the top of the lining.front lining

I also sewed up the armholes a good 3 inches more than the pattern stated.  This seems to be a common adjustment, although some sewers have been happy putting in a little extra piece under the arm.  I didn’t want to do that because of the tie-dye.  But that created a problem, namely, the front pieces, which simply criss-cross at the center front and opened to my navel!  Umm…. nope.  Not at my stage in life, even if I’m wearing something pretty by Aubade.  I suppose I could have just used double-sided tape to hold everything on, but who want’s that hassle?  Leave it to the celery-shaped starlets.  I needed a different solution.

First I just pinned where the fronts crossed over and fell-stitched it together by hand, but it pulled out of shape and looked like it had been stitched in place.  Bad bad bad….  This is because I should have done an FBA, and didn’t.  But then a light bulb went on.V1159 step 22

At Step 22 in the instructions, the side edges of the the F&B (front & back piece) are stitched together (see highlighted area above)… v1159 step 23and then attached as one piece to the side of the back bodice.  This actually puts a double layer of fabric over the bust line – sort of like a built-in self facing. And it means the potential for twice the width across the bust. So I slashed the facing free from the side seams and arranged it over the bust, following the draping of the fronts. crossover stitching

I turned the edges of the facing in about 1 inch, overlapped them to a width of about 3 inches, and stitched it together.  This is the result.adjusted front

Would I recommend this pattern?  Yes.  Definitely.  You may need to tweak it a little to get the exact fit you want (and the coverage!) but it’s definitely a flattering dress with all the draping.

Oh! And in Me Made June news for Day 6…..

mmj 6 2_thumb

Outfit:  Dress from OOP Vogue 2684.  Red pique and bemberg lining. 

Activities: blogging, sewing, cleaning, providing taxi service for children

Thoughts: This is my throw-it-on-and-run-errands dress. It’s cool, comfortable and putting on means I don’t have to think about what I look like. That’s the beauty of dresses – no thinking required (except for what’s on your feet).  I like the design, and although I did an FBA, because it’s an empire cut I would add and extra inch or two at the bottom of the bodice so that it sits in the proper position properly instead of almost sitting below the bust.

Me Made June: Days 3 & 4

MMJ 3 2

Wow… yesterday seems like a lifetime ago.  Funny how that happens!  Friday, June 3rd…. day 3 of Me-Made-June…. Oh yes!  

Outfit:  Wrap-front shirt, Vogue 2396, originally blogged here; very ancient capris by Land’s End (funny how they just won’t wear out!)

Activities: It was a truly SAHM sort of day, imposed by the lack of a vehicle, mostly due to said vehicle being at the mechanic’s… and DD1 home with a headache. Do you find, if you’re a SAHM, that you’re really not at home that much? It’s sort of a misnomer. I think I spend equal amounts of time running around outside the home as I do staying in it.

Thoughts:  I really like this shirt.  This is the first full day of wearing it, and it was very comfortable to wear, although perhaps not with these capris.  And I seriously lack self-stitched capris.  I’ve got plans for a few pairs, though, when Fabricland has their 50% off sale next week.  They’ve a lovely collection of poly-cotton Old Navy (!) twill in a variety of colours that would do very nicely.  In other thoughts, these LE capris were a bad choice with this shirt.  I have a dickens of a time finding pants that fit my waist-hip ration properly and this pair is a little short through the rise on me.  That’s usually not a problem if I’m wearing a longish T-shirt, but it was a bit of a problem wearing this wrap shirt because it only extends about 3” below my natural waist in the back.  And the pants sit about 3” below my natural waist!  But I will remedy this….

MMJ Day 4

MMJ 4 am

Well, this is what I wore in the morning…. until I stepped outside in the thundering rain and decided it was a bad idea for a Saturday that involved running around.

Outfits:  The Susannah dress, blogged previously until about 9:30 am.  Then I cheated with RTW capris, T-shirt and raincoat (although I did wear my new leopard print silk scarf!).  Then after I did the dance class run, I changed again.  No, I do not normally change my clothes three times a day.  The last outfit consists of Simplicity 4076 (shirt) and pants from Vogue 8434.  I did wear my RTW trench, too.MMJ 4 pm

Activities: Running my girls to dance class in the morning (in the pouring thunderstorms), picking up thread from Fabricland, and going to see Diana’s Dresses at the Design Exchange with a good friend.  I will post about that excursion tomorrow.

Thoughts:  First, I seriously don’t have any capris that are self-stitched in my closet.  When I was in Fabricland sourcing thread, I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a BOGO or BOGT(wo) sale, so I snooped around looking for good capri fabric.  The Old Navy twill I mentioned earlier was not part of the sale.  Lots of fabric with stretch, but I don’t want stretch because I intend to use Vogue 2396.  Then I got to thinking…. y’know there’s striped linen in my stash from a couple of years ago that was supposed to be capris… stretch olive denim… chocolate stretch denim…..   you get where I’m going with this.  So I walked out with only one spool of thread.  

And you know the neatest part?  I met Irene for the first time as she was walking out of the store.  She recognized me from my crazy little posts here and we chatted about sewing and what she was working on.  We both agreed that sewing is a gift, and adding to our stash is just part of the therapy.  I was so encouraged that she stopped to say hello!  So thanks, Irene, for making this blustery day sunny for me!

Me Made June: Day 2

Today is an Earl Grey tea sort of day, and because I’m feeling chillymmj 2-2 (it’s only going to be 19°C – brrrr! after the last couple of days), I’m not wearing what I planned to wear today.  I need to take my DD3 to the dentist this morning, and am feeling chilled to the bone for some reason, so I’ve opted for jeans.

And unlike Tanit-Isis, I’ve not attempted a pair of jeans.  I think I’m too lazy to make a pair, frankly.  Jeans and I have never really been friends for as long as I can remember, and it’s only since finding the… are you ready for this?…  Sexy Boot Cut Jean (HA!) from The Gap that I’ve become comfortable actually wearing them.

Outfit:  Gap jeans and tank; mustard linen Donna Karan designed jacket from Vogue 2923 from my pre-blogging days; shoes: Indigo purple shoes

Activities:  Dentist run with DD3 , a run to the mechanic for my air-conditioning-less van and various domestic goddessing

mmj 2Thoughts:  The scarf is a strip of silk charmeuse leftover from lining THE COAT, which I hemmed in the traditional “scarf” way: a hand-turned hem.  It’s warm, and I’m surprised at the versatility of the leopard print.  It seems to go with everything.

The shoes were purchased on my last ski trindigo shoesip in a little place in Invermere-on-the-Lake, BC.  I can’t remember the name of the store, but my dear SIL and I were moseying around the town and stepped in to see what this particular store had for shoes.  Purple shoes always catch my eye, and I kept coming back to these shoes.  In the end, after leaving the store, walking half a block and saying aloud, “Y’know, I really like those purple shoes,” said SIL told me to get it over with.  So I decided to add them to my closet.  I’ve worn them a lot and they are amazingly comfortable.

And the jacket…. well, I had fun putting this jacket together, and I’ve worn it a lot.  It’s an unusual colour, which makes for some hassle combining it with what’s in my closet.  And I made the mistake of not interfacing the collar because the linen was a bit on the heavy side.  I’m sorry I didn’t.  It needs the extra support to make the curved collar sit properly.  Ah… lessons outside the classroom…

earl grey

Me Made June: Day 1

P6010007Well, it’s June!  And the sun is shining and it’s WARM.  Finally!!  May was a month of rain, rain and more rain.  It’s so nice to be able to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and the blue sky and it’s windy, too, which is a nice switch from the killer humidity of the last two days this week!

And welcome to the month of documenting what I wear that’s self-stitched.  I’m looking forward to seeing what turns out to be a favourite in my closet and what I need to stitch up to fill in the gaps.  I hope there’s not too much repetition, but with warm weather a lot of dresses, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of repetition.  I don’t have 30 dresses in my closet, and I’m not sure that I want 30 dresses in my closet.  So… here goes!

Outfit: Vogue 1159, original post here; shoes: Joesph Siebel

Activities:  Sweeter than Chocolate study with friends in the morning, domestic goddessing in the afternoon, and my DD’s dance photography sessions in the evening (I’ll try to sneak some photos and post them for you tomorrow).

Thoughts:  I LIKE THIS DRESS.  I’ve probably only worn it about 4 times (today makes 5), but it’s so darn comfortable and the print is unique and I just really like this dress!  I’ll definitely pull this out and wear it more often this summer.

Some needlework

Wow.  I can’t believe it’s almost the end of May and I’ve hardly done any sewing… or blogging for that matter.  I just haven’t done much to share with you, dear reader!

I did sew up a gown for a friend of mine who had a concert a couple of weeks ago, but I wasn’t able to get any decent photos, so I haven’t mentioned it.  She’s coming over on Wednesday, and I hope to get photos and write the review later this week.  We used Kay Unger’s design for Vogue 1206 and a french navy satin-backed crepe.  It was very elegant, and I can’t wait to show you the pictures!

image courtesy of voguepatterns.com

Last week was spent shopping and opera-going with a good friend of mine visiting from Edmonton, so my sewing table was very sadly neglected.  I did manage to finish up the smocking on a dress for DD3, though.

P5230002It’s now blocked and ready for the embroidery, which I will take along with me this coming weekend  on a training course.  Hopefully I’ll get the embroidery finished so I can put the dress together when I get back next week…. when it’s JUNE!

And speaking of June, I’d like to add my little commitment to Me-Made-June ’11.

I, Tia Dia of MezzoCouture, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June ’11. I endeavour to wear at least one Me-Made item each day for the duration of June 2011.

Voilà!  Now I’d better get sewing and pray for warm weather, since most of my MezzoCouture garments are for warmer-than-we’ve-been-having weather….