Tag Archives: Self-stitched September

Remember what I said about the north wind?

Yes, that's snow on my neighbour's roof this morning.

It didn’t stick, but it still sucked.

Canadian winters are sorta like childbirth. They really suck when they’re happening, but then when they’re over you feel all macho and tough for getting through it (why no, I didn’t have an epidural. Either time.). Except that I only had to go through childbirth twice. Of course, this isn’t winter. Winter’s still a good couple of months off, though with La Nina developing it will probably be a nasty one, unlike last winter, which barely counted. It was nice, but not nice enough to make up for the cruddy summer.

I never have understood why people like fall. It’s my birthday season and I still don’t understand it.

Anyway, that’s probably my year’s quotient of weather-whining for a sewing blog, so I’ll move on.

Other than needing to vent over the snow, I might as well have skipped posting today. The outfit’s a repeat, and the only “sewing” consisted of pulling out most of the seam holding lining to coat to re-position it. There was a lot of swearing involved. It may end up not being possible to wear this coat unbuttoned, because I’m not convinced I can keep the front sides from swinging out. Though I guess if I have to tack down all the inside seams, I will. Grrr. Well, I’m definitely learning a lot. I’m sure if I went to make it over again, I would screw up way less.

Anyway, the daily outfit is a repeat, so bring on the goofy poses:

Self-Stitched September, Day 17

Walk like an Egyptian!

Self-Stitched September, Day 17

OMFG it's freakin' cold out here!!!!1!

Self-Stitched September, Day 17

This is what happens when you turn around to see if the camera's gone off yet.

Have a great weekend!


Filed under Sewing

So close…

Zig-zag butted edges and twill-tape covering

And yet so far away.

The interlining is assembled. This was interesting and kind of fun, but not very tricky. I cut it out sans seam allowance, butted the edges, and stitched them together with a three-step zig-zag. Then, just to make the join stronger, I covered it with twill tape stitched down on each side.

Then I ran out of twill tape.

Unwilling to be delayed or sacrifice the two hours it would take to get to Fabricland on transit to get more twill tape, I

My space suit!

sacrificed some nice ribbon instead. Sorry. If I’d had crummy ribbon I would’ve used that. Well, at least it’s pretty.

I actually have gotten quite a bit further… I have lining inserted, collar attached, and am currently fighting with the hem. It’s not going well. The front panel has an edge on the bias, which stretched out when I hung it up. Now, I’m pretty sure the instructions included a part on hanging before hemming… but anyway, it threw off the fit with the front facing, which is interfaced so didn’t stretch… I was suppose to interface the front itself but I messed it up… actually the instructions didn’t say which until AFTER, I guess assuming your front and facing pieces will be interchangeable. Sine I had to piece together my facings, that wasn’t really an option. So anyway, I’m having some issues there. I’ll take pictures when it’s looking a little more kick-ass than it is now, hopefully by the end of the weekend.

In Self-Stitched September news, here’s today’s outfit:

Self-Stitched September, day 16

I am a goddess of compassion.

As you can see, it’s only one piece (the pants… ok it’s actually the other Lydia shirt but really, the arms are identical) off from this much better pic from last week.

Self-Stitched September 6

But really, I'm just a goofball.

Taking pics outside is WAY more fun, I think.

Anyway, having sewed more than I ought to today (even if I don’t have much to show for it yet), I will take my leave… hopefully when we meet again I’ll have a coat to show off!


Filed under Sewing

The north wind doth blow…

And we shall have snow. Apparently by tomorrow morning.

pause for a lengthy insertion of expletives.

Okies, moving on. Or, not really moving. The kids-in-school thing is definitely turning into a stranglehold. Tyo had homework, dictee (spelling in French… yes, my children are receiving their education in French), and a bunch of forms for me to fill out. Between that, running to the grocery store, and making supper, somehow the evening flew and I barely got anything resembling sewing done at all. Here is my progress:

What will be the interlining of my coat

I traced around the pattern pieces with marker because I was too lazy to pin them down. The plan is to cut them out (minus seam allowances) and butt the eges together and stitch with a 3-step zig-zag, possibly reinforced with twill tape. We’ll see how this goes.

But, in happier news, I opened my mail this morning and look what came!

Ceylon and Lady Grey!

Colette patterns! Are those not the cutest little pattern booklets you’ve ever seen? (ok I’m sure they’re old news to everyone else in blogland, deal) You open them up and there’s the instructions in a little booklet on the left, and a pocket with Β the folded tissue on the right.

Inside: instructions (in booklet form) on the left, pattern on the right

I got to admit, for a $20 pattern I may prefer the Jalie way of printing it on real paper, but these are adorable anyway, and more compact.

Now Gertie’s officially starting the Lady Grey sewalong tomorrow (cutting muslins) and somehow I’m thinking I’m not going to make it. Especially since I don’t have my original winter coat done. Which I need, and soon, if it’s going to start freakin’ snowing on us.

Speaking of coats, I decided to photograph today’s ensemble with mine, since otherwise it’s an incredibly boring repeat (Lydia and Jalie jeans, OMFG). This is not a self-stitched piece, it’s thrifted, ages ago (but if I started counting thrifted and hand-me-down items for the challenge, well, that’s almost everything in my wardrobe except some of my jeans). I’m liking the cozy thrown over one shoulder under the coat… it works like a big red scarf, and keeps my belly warm since the coat itself doesn’t have any closure. It’s a lovely coat, though, as long as you’re wearing it for purely fashion-related purposes. Which I’m not.

Self-Stitched September, day 15

Speaking of which, it’s officially halfway through September. Crap. Well, I got SOME of what I needed to get done accomplished. Anyway, I have done it “all” Self-Stitched. Barring, y’know, socks and undies and sweaters and coats. But pretty much all self-stitched. Hurray! Thanks for the encouragement, you guys, because I would not have had the guts to step it up if you hadn’t.

And, y’know, it’s not so much that I’m bored of wearing the clothes, so much as I’m bored of recording the same ones over and over. Yet on some level I’ve bought in to a must-photograph-to-document-my-participation kind of mentality. Kinda weird. Anyway, what do you think? Continue with the daily outfit or let it slide? At least it gives me something to blog about on the days like today when I got almost nothing done. On the other hand, it’s pretty boring. Which is worse, no post or boring post? πŸ˜‰


Filed under Sewing

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat

More edgy photography by Tyo... if you tilt your head right you can see a few under-arm wrinkles left.

How I wonder where I’m at?

Hrrrmm. Working on this coat definitely does not produce the kind of instant satisfaction sewing a Lydia or a cardi-wrap does. But, I have conquered the sleeves of doom. Or, at least, we’ve fought each other to a standstill, an uneasy cease-fire marred only by occasional skirmishes as I tug futilely at the remaining wrinkles under the sleeve. It’s not perfect, but considering my limitations in the no-dressform department and my idiotic abandonment of the idea of using pieces from the same pattern that actually match… well, I can’t really complain. It took many rounds of pinning, basting, and ultimately a felt-tip marker, but they’re in.

Oh crap. Now I have to do that all over again with the lining.


I tackled that touchy subject, the shoulder-pad. Now, my original pattern called for 1/2 shoulder pads. Can we say 80s, anyone? I generally

Believe it or not, this is the inside of my coat (sleeve to the bottom). The blobby half-circle thing is the shoulder pad, the white thing is the sleeve head.

don’t think my shoulders need much additional breadth, plus I’m pretty sure I removed most of that ease when I petite’d the jacket bodice, but I figured I’d give some thin pads a try. I took two layers of my coat fabric, cut into half-circles and zig-zagged along one edge, with a smaller half-circle inserted between to give it a bit more substance. And, y’know, it really does smooth out the look of the shoulder. I also did my own improvised sleeve-heads, which I may even have inserted properly, and they seem to help, too, with giving a nice, smooth line to the shoulder. So I may be half-ass, but I’m only a half-ass half-ass. Or something. For some reason in the picture above one side looks pointier than the other, which is certainly possible but I don’t really see it in the real coat so I’m going to hope it’s an artefacte of the monster’s photography.

Anyway, here’s the front view:

Gee, I look short. That's kind of amazing, actually.

And the back view:

Coat back. I look less short, for some reason.

And this is the inside where the pocket is hanging out (Tyo figured you needed to see this. I’m mostly including it because it’s the closest we got to photographing my clothing today—the

Coat inside, and today's outfit.

Manequim cowl top and the black Jalie jeans again. I believe I’m wearing them both in this original picture, anyway, which is much more flattering than anything I can pull of today. I won’t lie, I came close to cracking and putting on RTW jeans today… but I gritted my teeth and got another day’s wear out of the black jalies. The nice thing about this overly-stretchy fabric-store denim is it doesn’t bag out as badly at the knees as the RTW does, which is usually my cue to change my pants. The ex-capris are washed now and assuming they’re dry by tomorrow I’ll be back in them. Isn’t this exciting?!?)

Ok, the hubby is whining that I’m not spending time (aka watching TV) with him, so I’d better go bum around support my marriage. Tomorrow… lining sleeves! And interlining.


Filed under Sewing

This would be infinitely easier…

Sleeve pinned---almost looking good.

… if I had a dress-form.

I speak, of course, of trying to get the sleeves set in my winter coat. I got the rest of the lining cut out and mostly assembled, so all I need to do at this point is set the sleeves, construct the interlining, and then put the whole thing together.

Setting the sleeves is a problem.

This is because the sleeve I chose to use is not the sleeve which came with the pattern.

Typically when you do this, you choose a sleeve from a pattern that has worked well for you in the past, and then you copy the armscye from that

And straight... still some wrinkling on the inside.

pattern as well.

However, I didn’t actually have a sleeve from a jacket pattern that I liked. All I knew was that I wanted a two-piece sleeve and I didn’t like the sleeve that came with the pattern (which was one piece and designed for a puffed sleeve-head.)

So, I’m using the sleeve from this coat. Yeah, the one that I had all the trouble with. And there was no way I was copying the armscye that went with it.

I’m stupid that way. The armscye length was actually perfect (I measured), but I thought I should enlarge the sleeve a bit and cut the head extra-generous so I would have some wiggle room.

And, y’know, I think it can work. I’ve had it pinned into a reasonably functional position (on me) about five times in the last two hours.

I just can’t get it off to baste it without the pins popping. And I don’t think I can really baste it while I’m wearing it.

I was hoping to make a paper-tape dress form on the weekend, to address this very problem, but that didn’t happen (see the post about Sunday). And it probably won’t happen next weekend, as the hubby works. Unless I can conscript the children… I’ve already had to fight to keep them out of my precious paper tape. We’ll see how desperate I get.

I really, really, really would like to get this coat finished. It’s frickin’ cold here right now and the only coat I have is a very stylish, beautifully-draping raglan-sleeve dress coat I got at Value Village about twelve years ago. It’s been sitting mostly in my closet since then, probably for the same reason it was at Value Village in the first place: it has no buttons.

Yes, function was definitely secondary to form when that coat was designed. This is a bit of a pain, although it works pretty well with my new cardi-wrap if I throw one side of the wrap over my shoulder before I put on the coat. Just like having a big red scarf.

Oh, I guess there is the fur coat from my grandmother and the mink-trimmed coat from my sister-in-law, but a) that’s a bit dressy even for me and b) I don’t really need to be assaulted by PETAns on my way to work.

And speaking of the crappy weather, here’s my outfit today:

Self-Stitched September Day 13

Self-Stitched September Day 13

Top: Simplicity cardi-wrap, Lydia top; Bottom: Kasia skirt.


Self-Stitched September Day 13

Taken through the patio door so I didn't have to set the tripod up out in the rain.

Well, I think that’s all I have time for tonight. Wish me better luck with my sleeve-setting tomorrow!


Filed under Sewing

Little to report, Cap’n

I got da stuff.

Despite my best intentions, the day was unproductive, sewing-wise. I spent a lot of time running errands. I watched Ninja Assassin with the hubby. I gave in and bought Tyo a bunch of jeans (and a cool pair of high-tops) from Value Village for school, since she’s outgrown everything from last year and the hand-me-downs from her 13-year-old cousin are still too big.

What the labels were SUPPOSED to look like

I did finally take the opportunity while out and about to spend a little more of the money I shouldn’t be spending on a package of T-shirt transfer sheets. An hour or so of wrangling with Adobe Illustrator, and I had produced this (Click to see it full sized):

At this point the file decided to corrupt and refuse to print or save. Some cut-and-paste and swearing later, I had a new version, but for some reason most every time I tried to print the lettering would print out white. Even after saving it as a .pdf, which usually clears up most printing problems. Anyway, out of my entire first page of transfer paper I managed to get about a dozen usable labels. Compared to all this, ironing them on to the twill-tape was nothing.

So, without further adieu, here is my first branded piece of clothing: (yup, it’s the cardi-wrap, it was too much work to take off my pants to put the label on them πŸ˜‰

“Strange Aeon” is a name I’ve wanted for my “brand” (of anything) ever since I first read the phrase. I’m sure someone else has used it already, but not, as far as I can tell, for clothes, so myeh. And since anyone who gets clothes from me is more likely to know my real name than my screen name, I put my real name on them.

I’m pretty sure I’ll change it up a bit next time—make the text a tiny bit larger, replace the cloudy background (that for some reason printed out green) with some kind of a border… anyway. They’re still fun. πŸ™‚

Now to see how they hold up to the laundry…

What they actually look like.

In Self Stitched September news, here’s today’s outfit.

Self-Stitched September, Day 12

Day 12 outfit

You may be seeing more of this cardi-wrap than you want to. Since this is only one piece different than yesterday’s outfit, I figured I’d give you a different part of my backyard to see. Hmm, I think the other fence is definitely more photogenic, though.


Filed under Sewing


Simplicity 2603 Cari-Wrap

So bright ‘n early this morning I toodled off to Fabricland to score Simplicity 2603, as per (almost) all of the suggestions yesterday. A bit of tracing and layout juggling later, here I am. Despite the pattern calling for 2 3/4 yards for the small, I was able to squeeze it handily out of my 2m of fabric (about 2.2 yards, maybe?). The fact that my fabric was a smidge wider than 60″ helped, but really you can do better than the layout suggested. Other than that it is made up pretty much as directed, including the elastic in the back neck. Except for the sleeves, which I wanted to be full-

Cardi-Wrap Back

length but not with the weird cuff. I used my handy-dandy Lydia sleeve for a length reference, gave it a bit of a bell shape where the cuff would have been, and voila, nice long scooching-over-my-hands sleeves.

Those of you out there who don’t have ape arms, you have no idea how much satisfaction that fabric around my hands gives me. No idea at all.

I have wings!

So here it is, in all its cozy, elegant glory :D. It’s really too thick a fabric for a lot of the fancier wraps (most of which don’t really suit my figure anyway… I think you need to have curves if you’re going to go tying bulky stuff around you and have it look good)… but it’s certainly a step up from my usual bunnyhug, I think.

I’m counting this as my outfit for today cuz it’s so warm and cuddly there’s no way I’m taking it off. πŸ™‚

Also, it probably would look even more awesome with the kick-ass boots, but I was trying to change it up a bit.

I am sneaky!


Filed under Sewing

Second verse, same as the first!

Lydia, v. 4

Actually, this is what, version 4? Youch! But—take a look at that. And, since my preferred poses really don’t show the fit, here you go with

Lydia---front view

some straight-on shots.

Lydia, back view

Here’s what I did: Since people were divided on whether I needed less length (petite through the armscye) or less width (narrow shoulder/narrow back), I just went down to basically a 32 (I normally make a Burda 36, though I could probably get away with a 34 sometimes). Then I took a deep breath, had a minor panic-attack, and shortened the front even more. I also shortened the sleeve-cap (while trying to keep as much width as possible. Going down to the 32 took almost an inch off the back armscye, so I left it at that since there wasn’t as much gaping in the back. It looks pretty good now, but I think I could probably petite it even a little bit more; there’s a small amount of horizontal folding still happening along the shoulders at the back. Probably I could’ve kept a little more width in the back, but it’s comfy, anyway. The armpit sits incredibly high, but that’s comfy, too, actually.

My awesome neck binding!

The swayback is obviously still puddling like mad, though it doesn’t actually bother me. I have read a technique for shortening the back without a centre seam—basically you drop the neckline down at the top, squaring off the shoulders in the process—that might or might not help with that… maybe I’ll give it a try some other time. All in all, I am a pretty darn happy camper.

Here’s a closeup of my awesome neck binding! (Ok, not really awesome but I am pretty happy with it.

And now the neckline, which was too low on the last couple of attempts, is too high again. But we’re getting closer!

So—exciting? No. But comfy, and fitting much, much better, so a trimph. And apparently I’m petite from bust to shoulder. Who knew?

Also, how did the red background work out for photographing the black? I still don’t have anywhere inside that has adequate lighting, but I thought the red (which is my sweater knit by the way) might be better than a white wall or a black curtain.

Speaking of the red sweater knit, I’m a touch torn here on what to do with it. I want to make a flowy cardi-wrap. I have several options.

One is this tutorial here, which has the advantage of being free and cutting into the lovely fabric minimally. Another alternative is this Simplicity pattern that has all the rave reviews on PR; Simplicity patterns are on sale at Fabricland right now, which is good because I wouldn’t want to spend the full $15 on it. The third possibility is the Karen Cardigan off Burdastyle, probably with the waist-tie moved up to underbust level. Probably the Karen is my least favourite of the options… I’m wanting the long, long look.

Any thoughts? Anyone tried the tutorial? It seems a little too simple to be true, kind of thing.


Filed under Sewing

All Emo’d up an nowhere to go…

Why so serious?

So yesterday I wrote, and bummed around, and wrote, and did some laundry, and wrote, and wished I was sewing, and wrote some more. Basically I was a good little scholar. What I didn’t do was get motivated to do anything like fix my hair, put on makeup, and take pictures. Anyway, I was wearing the same thing as today, only without the long-sleeved Lydia underneath (it was in the laundry. I better hurry up and make a dozen or so more of these…). We are definitely getting into repeats territory here, folks, and with the weather being crummy I can’t even spice up my photos out-of-doors. Also finding sewing time in the afternoon/evening now that the kids are back in school is getting HARD. It’s like I put them to bed, make lunches for the next day, and all of a sudden it’s time to go to bed myself. Also last night we played Dragon Age: Origins (Witch Hunt), which was technically my birthday present so I couldn’t really ditch to go sew.

Self-Stitched Sept. 9

Contemplating the rain...

But here’s me for today, anyway. The weather has gone craptacular the last couple of days (not that it’s been good for over a week at this point, though no snow yet thankfully), so today’s photos are a reflection of my state of mind. I guess I should really be wearing the black jeans to complete the outfit, but I think all y’all get the idea.

Blue fabric for the Ten Year Old, yellow for the Seven Year Old.

Just to prove that I am still at least thinking about sewing, here’s some fabrics the kids picked out on the weekend. Well, Syo* picked them out, Tyo was home sick, and I’m not sure she’s thrilled about the sparkly blue remnant Tyo picked, but she’s stuck with it. Syo’s yellow is slated to become one of these sundresses (nothing like sewing seasonally, I tell ya), and Tyo wants the top from this outfit. Yes, that is a page from Patrones. No,

Patrones Kids' issue... Tyo* wants this outfit. The whole thing.

I haven’t found a local source for these… this was a another “gift” from Her Selfishness**—two whole, kids-only issues of Patrones magazine. To be fair, the kids have only earmarked about half the patterns for me to make. And I do better muddling through the instructions in Spanish than I would in most other languages (I don’t speak Spanish other than what you pick up from Dora the Explorer, but I do have a bit of French)

And on that note, I had best get back to my work. Thanks again for all the birthday wishes, and also the help from the people who commented on the Lydia fit issues.

Self-Stitched Sept. 9

Now... back to work!

*I’ve decided to knock off Beangirl and start calling my kids Syo (the seven-year-old) and Tyo (the ten year old). It’s not quite as cool as her T-Bo and T-Lo (The Big One and The Little One) but I’m getting tired of writing out “the seven year old” every time. This will work okay until next summer when they turn eight and eleven and are suddenly both ‘Eyo’. Meh.

**Doubtless a calculated attempt to distract my from my own selfish sewing… children’s clothes are no threat to her sewing supremacy, after all.


Filed under Sewing

No Sew So


Today is my birthday. On top of that, it’s my thirtieth birthday. Probably I am doing nothing special (except trying to deny its happening), but practically that means there will be no sewing today. Some friends came by with a surprise cake yesterday, too, so there was no sewing yesterday. Also today needs to be full of paper-writing. Lots and lots of paper-writing. But that’s another story.


At the risk of starting a tradition of cakes on sewing blogs (I am not a foodie and don’t read cooking blogs for a REASON), here is the cake my friend’s mom made me. Isn’t it awesome? It smells really good, too, but I am trying to save it for tonight.

I still need to do another Lydia version (by the way, for those who have commented on my prolific sewing-rate over the weekend… aside from sewing the hem (done by hand while watching a movie with my kids), the gathered skirt took less than two hours, including a muslin of the yoke, and the Lydia took a similar amount of time. I really am not a sewing machine. The quick projects are sure nice, though.

Also, Self-Stitched September, Day 7.

Since it’s my birthday, I decided to wear my Danielle Dress. Since it’s freakin’ cold again (having my birthday at the beginning of September, I am always hoping for lingering summer weather. I am pretty much always disappointed, too), I am layering it over my black Lydia and Jalie Jeans (again… I warned you there would be repeats!) This fails to hide the poor shoulder-sewing on the Lydia, and the necklines don’t quite match up, but on the whole I like the look. Especially with the boots. Kick-ass boots make almost everything better.

Birthday outfit

Self-Stitched Sept. 7

Birthday Outfit

Self-Stitched Sept. 7

Birthday Outfit---Sorry for the squinting.


Filed under Sewing