lundi 17 août 2015

Help me select a new machine !!

Photo taken on Pfaff's web site
Ho I need help on this one.

I am shopping for a new machine. My mind was set on the Janome 8900 but when I saw the size in real life, I changed my mind. I don't have a sewing room for the moment, so it needs to fit in a closet. Normal size or slightly bigger is ok, but no monster. I sew clothes and I don't quilt. I want a perfect one step button hole and enough power to sew a wool coat. Between Juki, Janome, Bernina, Pfaff, Husqvarna, Babylock, or ?? which model would you suggest me to test drive and read about?

I thank you in anticipation for your help.

J'ai sérieusement besoin d'aide.

Je suis à la recherche d'une nouvelle machine à coudre. Au départ je croyais acheter une Janome 8900, mais lorsque j'ai vu la taille dans la boutique. Ho ciel ! J'ai changé d'idée. Pour l'instant, je n'ai pas de salle de couture. Mes machines se rangent dans une grande penderie reservée aux tissus, aux accessoires et aux machines. Je cherche une machine de taille normale ou légèrement plus grande qui peut prendre des épaisseurs et confectionner une belle boutonnière en une étape. Entre les Juki, Janome, Bernina, Pfaff Husvarna, Babylock, quel modèle me suggérez vous d'essayer et pour lequel je devrais me documenter ? ha oui, je ne fais pas de quilting, mon temps de couture passe à la confection de vêtements de tous types, du soutien-gorge au manteau de laine en passant par les jeans.

Je vous remercie en anticipation de votre aide.



 

mercredi 5 août 2015

Sewing lingerie - a new universe to explore


Malborough bra samples all sewn by Norma. Des échantillons de soutiens-gorge Malborough - un patron génial

At the end of June, encouraged by Carmen (CarmencitaB), I enrolled into a bra making class in Boston.

The class is given by Norma Loehr from Orange Lingerie. Norma is a very skillful seamstress as well as an excellent teacher. She teaches the class in her quiet and lovely studio in Boston. The studio can accommodate a small group of four students. This is the perfect size to form a private group with three of your friends.

À la fin de juin, encouragée par Carmen du blog CarmencitaB, je me suis inscrite à un cours de confection de lingerie. Le cours est donnée par la charmante et douce Norma Loehr de chez Orange Lingerie. En plus d'être une couturière accomplie, Norma est une excellente pédagogue. Elle offre son cours à son studio de Boston, un havre de paix où l'on apprend à manier la dentelle, le tricot et la soie. Le studio de Norma peut accueillir jusqu'à quatre élèves à la fois, une taille de groupe parfaite pour organiser un groupe privé.

My old sewing machine transported in a Pelican Case in the isle leading to Norma's studio - Ma veille machine dans son étui Pelican dans l'allée menant au studio de Norma. Il y a aussi une boîte de cupcakes.


Enrolling into a fantastic class
After enrolling via email, Norma sends us a list of articles to read about bra making. From fabric to elastic, those readings do help preparing your self to the class. She also asks for body measurements and she has the right pattern size ready for each of us when we arrive on the first morning.

She starts by a fitting session with Malborough bras made in all possible sizes. The 34B was the perfect match for me. Then, Norma guides us step by step into bra making. We all make our first bra during the first day. The learning curve was steep for me though I have been sewing for 25 years. It seems that when it comes to bra making, I am a slow learner. I have to admit that my poor old Janome machine was not up to the beat. Not that Janome are not good machines !!  She is only old and not being nice to very thin and delicate fabric.



Une fois inscrite au cours via courriel, Norma nous envoie une liste de lectures disponible sur son blog. Des tissus aux élastiques, les informations s'y trouvant aident considérablement à la préparation pour le cours. Norma nous demande également de lui envoyer nos mensurations afin de d'imprimer la bonne taille de patron pour nous.

Une fois sur place, le cours débute par une séance d'essayage. Il y a là toutes les tailles possibles de son soutien-gorge Malborough. Ensuite, le vrai travail s'entame étape par étape. Norma nous guide brillamment à travers toutes les étapes de la confection d'un premier soutien-gorge. En ce qui me concerne, ciel, je semble avoir été lente à comprendre. J'ai fait toutes les erreurs possibles en assemblant ce premier soutien-gorge Malborough. Il était horrible et très croche, mais qu'à cela ne tienne, le suivant était portable et les prochains seront mignons à souhait. 

 Lunch brake

After a very dense morning, Norma tooks us to a local café where they serve excellent vegeterian food and certainly the best rosemary fries in the world.

Après une matinée bien remplie et dense en nouveautés, Norma nous sort luncher dans un café du quartier ou l'on sert d'excellents repas végétariens et des frites au romarin simplement renversantes.



Carmen, Norma and Leisa

   
Leisa, Carmen and I on Instagram

The afternoon flies like lightning. Each step that bra making involves is new and it requires a great deal of attention. It felt like the hours had run a marathon on the clock. I finished my first bra on time to fit it. I transposed the corrections on the paper pattern pieces so that on the second day I can sew a wearable bra that fits me to perfection.

The fitting session makes me realize that I had been wearing my bra's band too loosely. Norma indicated us that no more than 2 fingers should fit in the back when you stretch the band.

L'après-midi s'est envolée à la vitesse de l'éclair. Comme chaque étape de la confection d'un soutien-gorge est nouvelle pour moi. Elles requièrent toute mon attention et ma concentration. Malgré ma non-collaborative partenaire, Miss Janome, j'ai réussi mon soutif à temps pour l'essayage. Les corrections sont ensuite transposées sur les pièces en papier

Cette session d'ajustement m'a fait réaliser à quel point je porte les bandes de mes soutiens-gorge trop lâches. Norma nous indique que pas plus de deux doigts doivent s'insérer lorsque l'on étire la bande au centre dos. 


Day two at Orange Lingerie



On the second day, we cut our second bra, Ze sexy black one, with our perfectly fitting Malborough pattern. Have I mentioned it enough, this bra pattern is amazing !!!  The fit, the support, the look, it is pure perfection. I love it.

So the second bra is cut and we start sewing it again with the excellent instructions Norma is giving us at each step. The most challenging one for me is basting the underwire channel precisely on the cup's seam. I certainly need more practice on this one.

Nevertheless, at the end of a fully busy second day, I had a wearable bra, that looks nice (that is if you do not inspect it too close ;-). I like it, it is my first one and imperfection can be charming.



La deuxième journée commence en lion. Munie d'un patron Malborough sur mesure pour moi, je taille mon deuxième soutien-groge, la veuve noire ;-) Ce patron est dessiné à la perfection, le soutien, la ligne, le confort, tout y est. 

Avec ma petite vielle Miss Janome et ses caprices en séries, j'ai tout de même réussi à terminer mon deuxième soutien-gorge. Je le qualifierai de portable, mignon et imparfait. Je l'aime, il s'agit du premier d'une longue série.

Norma nous guide tout au long des étapes. Elle a une patience d'ange et elle demeure une source incroyable de connaissances.

TA DA !! 
 
MY first Malborough bra
Thank you Norma, you give an amazing class that is worth every penny!

Merci Norma, vous enseignez un cours qui vaut son pesant d'or!


Carmen on the left with Norma Loehr the lingerie magician and her Brompton bike <3 br="">

I forgot the cupcakes we had together. 



P.S. During the class I also came to the conclusion that I need reading glass when I sew little things. So I bought cute red ones, just for bra making ;-) My eye Dre, Nathalie Lévesque is also a magician.


dimanche 14 juin 2015

The silk chinese top is going great - McCalls 4381

Ho la la time is flying, my top is going good by my skirt is not cut yet !!  Will I have my new out fit for Friday June 19 ??

I chose some time consuming techniques to finish the seams. Lining and Hong Kong finish in one step. This is a technique I used twice already 1) HERE and 2) HERE. The tip come form Laura Lo.

Voilà !!







See you next weekend !

vendredi 12 juin 2015

Ma vie en Jalie

My friends Jeanne and Emilie are soon launching a brand new pattern line. Among those, there is a cycling dress named after me.  Talk about an honour.

Mes chouettes amies de Jalie, Jeanne et Émilie lanceront bientôt une toute nouvelle ligne de patrons. Parmi ces derniers il y une robe de vélo - multisports portant mon nom. Tout un honneur !!! Ciel.  

Voici le lien:

http://jaliesewingpatterns.blogspot.ca/2015/06/Jalie-3463-Anne-Marie-Dress-Tank.html

Take a look at their blog. There are treasures of sewing tips on top of pictures of the new patterns.

mardi 2 juin 2015

The Raincoat Projet - Final part - Vogue 8934 - Marcy Tilton




If you are like me, you must prefer seeing picture of a finish garment on it's owner than on a dress form. Therefore, I twisted DH's arm and he accepted on taking a walk to photograph me in my beloved raincoat. Here is the result.

Si vous êtes comme moi, un vêtement terminé demeure  plus intéressant et à la rigueur plus parlant lorsqu'il est porté par sa créatrice ou son créateur que par un mannequin. Sauf respect à ma fidèle Daisy. Ainsi, après avoir usé de tout les charmes, ma douce moitié m'a accompagnée pour un petit au parc du coin de la rue. Les photos sont prises et hop voici le résultat.




As I said previously, I took 8 cm of the original lenght so that my raincoat would be slightly above my knee. It was a good decision. I love the look with that lenght. I am only 5'4''. On me, long coats with a little baggy shape easily make me look like I am 4'5''


De la longueur initiale, j'ai retiré 8 cm. Selon, pour une femme de ma stature (1m63) de trop long mateau un peu bouffant me donne vite l'air de mesure 1m40. Bon j'exagère, mais à peine.

























Black in white superposition. Juste for the fun of it.

This pattern has a lovely shape buttoned or unbuttoned, this is the advantage of single breast coast over double breast. In my humble point of view.

J'adore les jeux de noir et blanc tout en superposition. 

Un des avantages de ce patron réside dans le fait qu'il est beau boutonné ou déboutonné.Voilà un avantage du simple boutonnage en comparaison au double boutonnage. Selon moi bien sûr ! 


Ho ho ! Lining peepshow ;-) - Ha ha la doublure joue les exhibitionnistes ;-)

The back painting remains my favourite part. I love this raincoat. I want it to last for numerous years.

La petit oeuvre appliquée sur le dos demeure ma portion préférée de cet imperméable adoré. Puisse-t-il durer de nombreuses années.




And here is a picture of my neighbourhood.  Et une photo de mon quartier. #montréal






dimanche 31 mai 2015

Silk chinese top - chinoiseries de soie

As I mentionned yesterday, I cut and sew the muslin for the OOP pattern McCalls 4381. I cut size 10 as I was afraid that my regular size 8 (for the Big-4) would run small on me. Well I was half right with that choice.

Comme je l'indiquais hier, j'ai taillé et cousu une toile pour le haut chinois (McCalls 4381, un patron épuisé mahleureusement). Les critiques disponibles sur Pattern Review indiquaient que ce patron taille plutôt petit. Ainsi, je risquais de me retrouver avec un haut trop étroit en selectionnant le 8 ans, ma taille régulière pour la maison McCalls. Ce choix s'est avéré bon pour la moitié du projet.

THE BACK - Le Dos

 I skipped my regular sway back correction just in case it would not be necessary, that was a good choice. I don't feel that it requires one. The wrinkles go away when I place it right without pulling hard. The upper back looks a bit big. But this is only because of my protruding shoulder blades. Oh well that's life.

D'entrée de jeu, j'ai préféré attendre avant de corriger le dos (correction dos courbé habituelle pour moi). Juste au cas où le dos me ferait bien. Et hop, une correction d'évité. La photo montre quelques plis liés uniquement à un oubli de ma part de les flatter doucement. Le haut du dos semble un peu grand en contre partie. Toutefois, il ne s'agit là que d'une illusion créée par mes omoplates bien volontaires. Une caractéristique qui ne se modifie pas ;-)

PULLING MY ARMS IN FRONT OF ME - Et hop les bras vers l'avant 

 Now that I put my arms in front of me, the back of the garment hugs my body very closely. Adjusting the back with my none stretch fabric would be a  mistake. Therefore, no back correction here in my point of view.

En tirant mes bras vers l'avant, le vêtement colle bien à mon corps. Corriger le dos rendrait mon haut sans elasticité bien inconfortable. Mieux vaut jouer prudent et ne rien toucher. D'ailleurs, le dos me plait bien.

THE FRONT - Le devant

If I compare the look on me and the look on the model, the front looks bigger then designed. Usually, I take in the waist of one or two sizes down. As the next picture clearly indicates it, the waist needs to be adjusted. The bust is a little bit big as well. I decided to take half a size down at bust and one size at the waist. The rest will be adjusted on the fashion fabric while wearing the bra selected for the top.

La photo du patron suggère un ajustement beaucoup plus près du corps que la toile sur moi. La taille nécessite un ajustement d'au moins une taille plus petite et pour le buste je retire une demi taille. Le reste des ajustements se réaliseront sur la soie en portant le bon soutien-gorge.


 The kirt has never been review. I shall write about it soon !!  

La jupe n'a jamais fait l'objet d'un article dans le blog. Je vous en parlerai bientôt. Elle passe le test du mignon, mais pas celui du fonctionnel.

Now lets cut the silk. Maintenant, place aux ciseaux sur la soie. hhhhaaaa !!!!

samedi 30 mai 2015

Playing with silk - Douce soie

As I mentioned it in my last post, last weekend was a slow pace one for me. I had a bad cold with fever and my entire body was calling for slow pace day... One thing modern life in the city rarely inclines us to do so.

I worked on an easy done project: two identical silk shawls. One for me and one for my colleague Natalie. She had given me a piece of narrow (90 cm in width - 3 meters long) silk shantung she had bought during the years she lived in Asia.

I knew she liked the fabric and I though it would be nice to share the pleasure of  wearing a simple garment. So two silk shawl appeared to be a better plan than one dress for me.

So I split in two 2.3 meters of the silk shantung (it is rather matt and rough) that I decided to line with a printed silk crepe Georgette as we call it in French. I used French seams to sew the lining. Here is the result:

Comme la semaine dernière j'étais fiévreuse, j'ai passé un weekend sous le thème de la lenteur. Voilà un concept qui s'applique rarement à mon style de vie très urbain et souvent de vive allure. Je me confesse être une mini-hyperactive...  à mes heures.

Vélo le weekend, soirée en amis, boulot, cuisine en famille, suivi des études de mon fils, bref ça roule. Tout comme dans votre vie, j'en suis certaine. 

Ainsi le weekend dernier, j'ai cousu bien tranquillement deux châles identiques. Un pour moi, un pour ma collègue de travaille Natalie. En rangeant des coins peu visités de sa maison, elle avant mis la main sur un shantung de soie mate acheté en Asie, il y a des lunes. Comme elle ne coud pas, le tissu a atterri chez moi.

Plutôt que de le consacrer à une robe pour moi, je trouvais l'idée chouette de lui faire porter cette belle étoffe. Doublé d'un crêpe Georgette de soie, j'ai assemblé le tout avec des coutures françaises en plus de franger les deux extrémités. Je crois que le cadeau lui a beaucoup plu.




Detail of the French seam

Detail of the French seam
As a late birthday gift for my colleague, I think it was a nice one.

______________________

This weekend I not going out for a long bicycle rides as I usually do. My cold is still hanging around and I don't feel energetic enough to ride against winds of 30 km/h with drafts that are up to 50 km/h. I am quietly playing with silk again. My son has his high-school graduation ceremony on June 19 and after changing my mind 2 or 3 times, I settled for a pencil skirt and a Chinese top.

For the top, IF the muslin test is positive, I will use McCalls pattern # 4381

Cette semaine, je manipule encore de belles étoffes de soie. Je confectionne un haut asiatique et une jupe étroite pour la graduation de mon fils. J'ai choisi le patron McCall's 4381 pour réaliser le haut. Le tout dans un brocard de soie venant de chez Couture Elle.


According to two reviewers on Pattern Review , this pattern is very fitted. I will start with size 10 and see how it fits.

The fabric chosen for the top is a beautiful 100% silk brocade bought at Couture Elle on St-Hubert street (Montreal, Canada). The mix of colours is unusual for me. The dominant colour is a pinky-lilac with gold and beige accents.

 Voici les deux tissus.




I hope it will go great with my hair :-/  Well in the fabric store I though it did...  We shall see

The pattern selected for the skirt is from an old Burda magazine. I used it two time previously.  I have no time to waist here. I want a TNT pattern. 

 
Burda Magazine 2008-01

You can see versions made in 2013 and made in 2009 as well as here

This skirt will be cut in a beautiful silk dupioni that had body and density. It is from Couture Elle as well.

La jupe est une reprise d'un patron Burda Magazine édition de janvier 2008. Deux jupes dans ma penderie témoignent de mon intérêt pour ce patron simple et chic.


Ready, go! I am off to muslin cutting now.

samedi 23 mai 2015

The raincoat project part 3 - Marcy Tilton you are wonderful!

I have been wearing my raincoat for at least two or three weeks. On and off since our spring plays a strange yo-yo game. One day it is 29C and the day after it is only 12C with close to freezing temperature during the night. Global mixing I call it instead of global warming.

The fabric was bought some six or seven years ago at Madeleine Soie et Laine, a store that no longer exists in Montreal... sadly. It was very easy to machine sew the raincoat but that fabric was though on my finger. The weaving is very dense, so passing the needle between fibres was difficult  when I had to hand sew the facing and sleeves hem. As all synthetic water proof fabric, it required low iron temperature as well as precaution so that I would not iron the waterproof coating applied on the wrong side.

I wanted to show pictures on me so that  you could see the lenght, that I judge perfect for my height. But I have this big cold and I look terrible. I seriously do not feel like playing model for DH.

So here is a series of pictures taken on Daisy who was kind enough to pause in the cold morning we had today (6C at 9:00 this morning).

Vogue 8934 - the collar is perfect to wear a scarf underneath, it's height protect from the wind
 The button holes wear done by a Pressage Unique on Beaubien street. They offer an excellent and quick service to tailors and sewist in Montreal. The button holes are all black except one that is light grey. Just for the fun of it.

Details of the hand painting I did on patches sewn on the raincoat

Vogue 8934 front view

Vogue 8934 back view

Vogue 8934 view of the lining

I had one button hole down in light grey
This pattern, designed by Marcy Tilton, is perfectly well drafted. All pieces fit with high precision. It was more than a pleasure to sew a garment using this pattern. Marcy, you are a true artist !!! The lines have style. Style and simplicity combined usually seduce me... and this is what that pattern offers.

I received lots of positive comments for this raincoat. Colleagues at work were surprise that I use wall paint for the little splashes. I confirm, wall paint does not run when exposed to rain.

Now I have to sew clothes for my son's graduation. It is taking place on June 19. Silk brocard is on the table !!!

lundi 6 avril 2015

The raincoat project part 2

In the retail industry, they prepare garments many months in advance. In my sewing world, I don't always feel like sewing summer clothes when it is -20 C or sewing wool jackets and wintercoats when it is 20 C outside or worst when it is 30 C and humid.

Since winter is very, very long and very, very cold this year, my raincoat will be ready on time. This must be a premiere in my life ;-)

Vogue 8934 view B

As I mentioned previously, I am working with Vogue 8934 pattern.This pattern has been designed by Marcy Tilton. It is a pure joy to work with this pattern. It is well drafted (all pieces fit wonderfully with one other ... it is not always the case)  and the sizing is excellent. Often Vogue patterns are too big for me if I follow their size chart. I cut size S which is for women usually taking vogue pattern size 8 or 10. According to their chart, I am a mix of both. Bigger in the upper body because of my wide shoulders and wide upper back compare to my waist and narrow hips. As I planned, I took off 8 cm of the initial lenght. It is now 96 cm long.

Vogue 8934 view A



I had a very precise idea in mind when I planned that project. Starting on view A, I wanted to use laser cut stencils and paint words on the appliqué (patches) pieces and play with that concept. In the back I would have wrote "Made In" and for the button hole patches would have formed the word J A P A N ...  but the two types of paint I tried were running. And the words were not presentable..  sadness in my heart.












I seriously wanted to finish this project by the end of Easter weekend. Instead of trying 2-3 other types of paint and spending lots of money for an idea that did not work. I decided on playing around with a mid size paint brush like the ones you use to paint your home.


Donna Karan dress
I had seen a very nice dress by Donna Karan with a large brush stroke type of pattern on a hip. So I decided to give it try. 


I like the patterns I have created on the patches. Once dry I finished them with my overlock machine. My project is getting together nicely. The shell is finished, the lining is also done and I am now hemming the bottom of the raincoat.

Speaking of lining. I often start by sewing the lining, it allows me to verify the fit as it can semi-play the role of a toile/muslin. For this very loose fitting raincoat fitting was no issue, but it is nice to try the fit and lenght before cutting the fashion fabric. Starting with the lining gives me this impression that my project is going faster. It is totally psychological, but I feel more encouraged when I start by the lining. We all have our little tips.

So here are pictures of my project. Today, I have to finish the hem, sew the collar and the front band and voilà !! I have not decided on sewing patches in the button hole area like on view A. I have to see first the garment with the front band.

 The lining is sewn in a Sevenberry quilting cotton made in Japan. For the sleeves, I used left over of man jacket lining to facilitate putting on and off the raincoat.The quilting cotton would not be smooth enough and it would stick on a wool jacket for example.

I forgot to mention that view A is not lined and that view B has a lining pattern. Si I used pattern pieces from both views and I mixed the instructions of both views. The back lining is cuton fold and you create the vent by sewing a fold at the bottom and a partial seam at the top of the back



 The global view of the back lining gives this result. The fabric is great for a lining or a PJ, but it is way too busy for a dress...  in my point of view of course.


View A and B have pockets. Marcy Tilton designed them with front and back part in the same fabric as the raincoat shell. I used the quilting cotton for the front part and added a neat band to hide the pattern when my hand is in the pocket.It is nicer when I put my hand in the packet and it is less bulky. Here is a series  pictures illustrating the pocket.

The band is 5 cm wide.

Marcy makes secure the pocket with a little seam on the top through all layers.

Peaking inside a little

Peaking inside a little more
 Sewing through this fabric by hand is rather difficult. To ease my work, I attached the lining to the hem band BEFORE sewing the band to the raincoat. You see in magenta all my thread marking. I mark all pattern religiously. Except the water-repellent fabric to avoid piercing it to much. I mark it with wax paper instead. Pressing, marking and basting are done with lots of attention my sewing room.

Ajouter une légende
Now ready for a weekend breakfast and the raincoat will be finished by the end of the day.  See you later.

Here are 2 bad pictures taken with my phone. This is a fun project.