Sunday, March 31, 2013

Knitting: Stashbusting Cowl

I had half a ball of worsted weight wool left (exactly 100g - thank you, handy kitchen scale) that I wanted to use up in a creative way. Cowls are pretty popular right now, so I thought I would make myself one.

What I Did

Most cowl patterns I found called for more yarn than I had. So, I choose a much larger needle (size 10 US) and cast on 176 stitches. This made it long enough to wrap around my neck two or three times. The finished cowl was about 5" wide and 58" around.


The pattern I ended up choosing was "Canaletto Cowl" by Megan Goodacre.


The wool is some Cascade 220 Heather that was left over from the sweater I made my husband.

Other Notes

I found the pattern really easy. It was great for me to do when I was on a plane or watching tv. The cowl seems to like to roll so that the purl side is out. Perhaps if I was able to make it wider or if I used smaller stitches it would not do this. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog: Sociological Images

One of the many blogs I like to follow is Sociological Images. They have many great posts on the things we see in day to day life and what those things mean when looking at the wider picture.

A recent post that might interest you sewers and knitters out there was "What Was in the 1941 College Woman's Closet". Check it out for yourself.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Help A Woman's Health and Teach Her How to Sew

Yesterday, I got an interesting pamphlet in the mail. It was a request for donations to Ethiopiaid Canada. What caught my attention with it was the "sewing pattern" included (good marketing strategy, eh?).

The pamphlet was advertising Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia - a charitable organization that provides treatment for fistula. Fistula is a hole in the bladder that is caused by prolonged labour. Basically, women in Ethiopia have very limited help when giving birth and many end up with fistula: incontinent and in cronic pain. Donations to the organization help pay for the surgeries.

The sewing pattern (well, a small scale representation of a dress sewing pattern) is a demonstration of the dresses that the women learn to make when they are recovering for their operations. According to the pamphlet:

"As many women come to us dressed in nothing but rags or wrapped in dirty blankets, the dress means they have something clean to wear when they leave us. (...) The tailoring skills the women learn can also earn them a living when they return home."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Introducing Tiffany's Notions: My Vintage Sewing Pattern Store

I've finally finished getting my store up and running! After a few hiccups, I've opened a store on Etsy and called it Tiffany's Notions.

At first, I was going to build my own store using google blogger tools and a few templates. I got the store to work , but for whatever reason, the codes did not function properly in Internet Explorer 8. It was fun trying to dive back into the work of HTML, javascript, and css, but it was just too much work for me.

I will have a grand opening in a few days - complete with a bit of a tour of my patterns. Eventually, I plan on selling other sewing notions and even some vintage knitting patterns.

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Sewing Room ... with a Twist

I'm organizing my sewing room - something I told myself I would do before I moved on to another project. Anyways, I wanted to share with you how I store my fabrics.

I like to use sheet set packages - the kind you get when you buy a new sheet set. They are see-through plastic and usually have a zipper. This one holds my interfacing:

I use them for separating fabric types or for individual projects. I then can throw all my bags in the larger version: duvet packaging (which I can then throw in the closet):

It keeps my fabrics clean and organized. It is also easy to see where a particular fabric I'm looking for is. And it even has handles!

Before I take credit for the idea, it is actually my mom who showed me this. Thanks Mom!

Without further ado, here is my sewing room:

And now for the twist...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Inpsiration: Downton Abbey

I'm sure I don't have to tell most of you out there about the wonderful costumes in Downton Abbey. Many sewists (and those into knitting and cooking...) have been inspired by the show (here's a great example).

I got a huge dose of the show a few weeks ago when I was so sick that I couldn't do anything but lie on the couch and watch tv.

One item of inspiration for me was the use of stripes in some of the costumes:

Cute shirt with raglan sleeves and sailor collar

Striped dress

It's nice to see something simple, like stripes, turned into a really interesting design feature. The shirt in particular looks like something I could wear and I have some striped material to use up... hmmm...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Home from Rainy Vancouver

I spent the last few days in Vancouver. It rained every day while I was there! Which, is typical for Vancouver, but unlike all my past trips (where I was extremely lucky with the weather). I'm still feeling a little waterlogged. I'm glad to be home - it's so nice and sunny here.

Rainy-shmainy Vancouver

I could have used Tasia's new pattern, the Robson Coat. It looks great, but I don't have a need for it now that I'm back home where it will soon be too hot and sunny for an overcoat.

Anyways, during my trip I was able to visit Fabricana, Dressew Supply, and Atex Designer Fabrics, as I had planned.

Monday, March 11, 2013

2013 Wardrobe Plan

Alright, I finally have a plan! I have so many different things I want to make. I have prioritized it all, so I don't get overwhelmed.

Firstly, I am going to make a shirt for my Black and White challenge.

I'm going to make myself a blouse using either the Sewaholic's Alma (1st choice), Colette's Jasmine (2nd choice), or Burda's Ute (3rd choice) patterns depending on which one I can get my hands on. I would like something with a nice collar and sleeve detail where I can play with contrasting colours.

I have also decided to make it mostly white and light coloured instead of black. When I reviewed my existing wardrobe, I found that I have a lot of dark shirts, but not a lot of light coloured ones. Light coloured shirts are more suited for spring.

The rest of my plan is after the jump.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sewing: Minoru and Other Projects Update

My zippers came yesterday! I'm now back on track for making my Minoru jacket. Check out this colour combo:

I think I'll look pretty snazzy for spring.

I'm also trying to make a top out of some scrap fabric I found. I bought some cheap fabric from a second hand store for $2. I didn't look at it until I got home, only to find out that it was cut into three triangles.

Check out my c. 1960 kitchen floor!

I also discovered that I liked the back of the fabric and not the right side. How I approached this challenge after the jump.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Inspiration: Bomb Girls

One of my favourite shows at the moment is Bomb Girls. It's a drama based on the lives of 1940s women, who work in a bomb factory. The stories and acting are amazing.

I was afraid the show was cancelled when I didn't see it for the past few weeks. But, I just found out it's coming back March 25th!

Another reason I love it, is the fashions. The costume designers really do a great job in fitting the clothing to the time period and to the different characters.

See more after the jump...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wardrobe Planning Update

So, I didn't get through my wardrobe last weekend, but I hope to do it in the next few days. I already have a few rough ideas of what I need: some dress pants, jeans, and light-coloured blouses. And I wan't to make a flowery dress like this:

My project for the Stitch Once, Rip Twice group for Spring 2013 is the trend of Black and White.

I'll have to keep that in mind while I'm trying to fill the holes in my wardrobe. 

On a sad note, my Minuro jacket is stalled. I couldn't find any zippers that would go with my jacket in my city, so I had to order some online. And now I play the waiting game...

However, I'm having much better luck with my knitting. I'm almost done a cardigan for me!  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sewing: I've Joined a Facebook Group!

I was kindly invited by Diane of Diane's Vintage Zest (a great blog by the way) to join a facebook sewing group!

The group, Stitch Once Rip Twice, is going to pick a project or theme to work on together (well, 'virtually' together). So exciting!
The other members are: