Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Sneek Peek at my Shop

I'm putting together a little store for my vintage sewing patterns! I'm calling it Shop Tiffany's Notions.

It just needs a few more tweeks, but you are welcome to check it out. I already have a few pretty patterns up there. The 'grand opening' will hopefully be in the next week or so.

Roadtrip! Where to go? What to see?

In a short while, I'll be going to Vancouver for work. I have to work during the day, but I'll be there for three nights and plan to do a little shopping in the evenings while I'm there. And, instead of shopping for clothes, I'll be looking for fabric and yarn!

So far, I've found three places that I'll try to visit: Fabricana, Dressew Supply, and Designer Fabrics. If I have time I'll hope to go to Button Button. Do any of you Vancouverites out there have any other must see shops?

I'm trying to dress my feet up better as well, so I would like to go to a handmade shoe store. I'm ready to bite the bullet and spend more on a pair of shoes that will be more comfortable and last a decade or more. I found Ella Shoes, but I'm not sure what else is out there. Any suggestions?

In order for me not to be comepletely overwhelmed by all the pretty fabrics (Fabricana says it has 25,000+ square feet of store!), I'm going to sit down and plan 2 or 3 future projects to focus on. I'm also going to go through my waredrobe to see what holes I should fill.

I'm from a smaller city in the interior of British Columbia and there isn't very much in the way of fabric stores in my area. So, I'm so excited at the possiblites. What great things will I find to make into other things?!

Blog: Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

Here is another great blog for sewers: Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. The blog has great tips for sewing and how to mix in some vintage flair. It's all put together by sewing enthusiast Gretchen Hirst.

I've also ordered her book, "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing". I can't wait to get it. Once I do, I will review it here and make posts about any patterns I use.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sewing: Book Recommendation

I recently took out "The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting" by Sarah Veblen from the library. I was very impressed with the skills displayed in the book and how great the illustrations were.

I recommend it to anyone sewing their own clothes and trying to get the fit right. Sarah Veblen tackles a variety of typical fitting issues. She also shows issues from that arise from different body shape. In all, it's a great resource.

The only downside, is now I can more easily see where clothes aren't fitting on other people and myself. People are often intimidated with trying to get their homemade clothing to fit properly, but they shouldn't be so hard on themselves. A quick look at most of the RTW (ready-to-wear) clothing people wear on a daily basis will show you that fitting issues are everywhere.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sewing: Working on my Minoru

I've finally started my Minoru jacket. I'm making a wearable muslin out of cotton-poly twill. If I like it, the plan is to buy some fancy outdoor wear fabric to make a winter-jacket shell. Right now, I'm making a pretty spring jacket.

This time, I'm doing a bunch of little things I have never done before, either because I did not know about them or because I was too lazy. No short-cuts this time!

1. Use Tracing Paper

Instead of cutting out my pattern like I am used to, I used Swedish tracing paper and traced the pattern in the size I wanted. I then used the tracing paper to cut out my fabric. This saves my pattern for the future, should I want to make it in a different size (and/or I find out I made it in the wrong size to begin with). This is an especially good idea for when you are using vintage sewing patterns.  

Here is a good tutorial on tracing sewing patterns from A Fashionable Stitch.

2. Cut Slits Instead of Notches

Instead of cutting the full triangle-shaped notch, I just cut small little slits. It is a little more precise and my fabric isn't as tempted to fray or run.

3. Tie my Ends Together

This is a big one! When I finish a seam on the sewing machine, I take the two pieces of thread, tie them together, and then trim the excess.

If the treads are too far from the end to easily tie together, thread one on a needle and poke it through to come out next to the other thread.

This prevents your seams from unravelling someday soon (and then having to do mending work). It's an especially good idea to do this if you have to start a seam in the middle of a work (for example, if you run out of bobbin thread half-way through a seam). The sewing back and forth we do at a beginning and end of a seam is good in the short term, but it can fall apart.

It takes a few extra seconds after sewing a seam, but saves time in the long run.

This idea is thanks to Sewing Machine Basics by "Jane Bolsover", which I mentioned in a previous post.

I'm glad I read the book, as I had forgotten a lot of little things.

Welcome Back my Friend Ubuntu

Recently, I put Ubuntu on my laptop. This time, I chose to save my Windows partition in case I need Windows for anything. More for my own benefit than anyone else's, I'm going to put the steps here to install Ubuntu with a dual boot.

Step 1: Create a bootable USB stick (see Ubuntu guide for details).
Step 2: Defrag Windows (called 'Optimize' in Windows 8)
Step 3: Create a new partition in Windows using the Disk Management option (Computer > 'Manage' > 'Disk Management' (
Step 4: Restart the computer and go into BIOS mode (F12). Turn off Secure Boot option.
Step 5: Restart the computer and go into BIOS mode. Choose to boot from the USB.
Step 6: Test Ubuntu and see how it works for your computer.
Step 7: Install Ubuntu. When you get to the 'Installation Type' window, choose 'Something Else'. Add a swap partition (the size of your RAM) and then add a root partition (mounting point "/") for Ubuntu. (

And in case you are not sure how this is knitting or sewing related, how else do you think I do this blog? Also, look...

I'm installing Ubuntu while working on my next sewing project: my Minoru jacket.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Knitting: Batman Socks using Duplicate Stitch

Another present I knitted this past Christmas was a pair of Batman socks for my brother-in-law. He loves animation and Batman and I thought I would personalize his gift with a nice Batman logo.

Instead of using intarsia or Fair Isle knitting, I used the cheaters way of doign two-colour knitting: the duplicate stitch. Basically, I knitting the sock in black and then went back and stitched my design on top of the black stitches with grey yarn.

More notes after the jump...