Friday, 19 September 2014

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

It's really hard to come up with a title for a post about a white button up shirt

At least the visuals will be interesting, since I took pics while I was in Istanbul! I finished the shirt just before we left so this was my first chance to wear it.

Here I am in front of our hotel. The fit isn't perfect but I like that it's a very relaxed fit, which was what I was going for. This evolved from this muslin that I drafted.

Here I am (not looking my best - that fisheye is unflattering!) but I had to post this pic because this restaurant was wonderful! It's called Tavanarasi, which means 'in the attic' in Turkish. Located at Beyoğlu Asmalı Mescit Sk No:10, with no sign, you enter a tiny lobby with just an elevator, which you take to the top floor. The vibe of the place was amazing and there were lots of vegetarian options! We watched the sun set over the rooftops.

Uh oh! Our hotel had a crazy dessert bar every night (We only indulged once. Turkey is the land of 1000 desserts!). Here I am with half of the available desserts. Whew! Good thing I'm wearing a nice roomy shirt!

Friday, 12 September 2014

A Canadian Seamstress in Istanbul

I was in Istanbul last week!

Have you been? This was my first time.

The view from Topkapi Palace

What an amazing city!

We only had a few weeks to plan. I tried Googling to find fabric stores, but aside from the fabric section of the grand bazaar, I really wasn't sure where to go.

Me, distracted at the bazaar

Most of the fabric stores in the Grand Bazaar only seemed to carry very cheap or upholstery fabrics. I was starting to despair! And then, on my last day there, I found it.

Bagzibagli Nisantasi

(OK, I have to admit, I was too excited to take a picture while I was there, I had to find a pic on the internet.)

There were a bunch of other fabric stores in the neighbouring streets but I'm pretty sure this is the best store in the city. They had so many gorgeous fabrics, prices were flexible, the store was pristine and the staff were so helpful!

If you're ever in Istanbul, I would highly recommend visiting this store. They're just a block from Osmanbey Metro Station.

Seriously, if only we had even one store like this in Toronto!

Want to see what I bought?

 A gorgeous Valentino linen!

The linen will become a dress inspired by this Carolyn Schnurer dress that I've had on my mind for years.

This delicious silk!

The silk will be a pencil skirt like this.

But I might also make a matching blouse for this kind of look.

Oh la la!

Now all I need is a working sewing machine!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Work dress binding tutorial


Two things to start off - I just got back from a trip to Istanbul (I bought fabric!) and both of my sewing machines are acting stroppy (You'll see. The tension ugh.)

But down to business! An anonymous commenter asked about the binding on the work dress and I have the day off so I whipped up a little tutorial.

What I did was I attached the binding to one side of the seam. Directly onto the pattern piece. So the first thing you have to decide is what side of the seamline you want to binding on. I used silk on my work dress to keep the bulk down.

Add the width of your seam allowance to the width you want your binding. for mine I used 5/8" seam allowance and 1/2" for a total of 9/8".

Stitch a 2" wide piece of bias tape to the pattern piece along the 9/8" line, with right sides together, just catching a little of the bias tape.

If the pattern piece has a curved edge, you can give it a little extra ease where it curves out and pull it a little tighter where it curves in.

Iron your seam and fold the bias tape towards the edge of the pattern piece.

Baste within the seam allowance.

Trim off the excess so the bias tape is even with the edge of the pattern piece.

Now you can just treat it like a regular pattern piece. Sew it up, right sides together.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Back to the button up shirt

A few years ago I made my first button up shirt (burda's 042010 Long sleeve blouse) and since then I've fallen madly in love with wearing shirts but I have yet to find the perfect pattern.

When I made my first shirt, I didn't like how baggy and relaxed it was so I made some adjustments to the pattern and then chucked it and stared over because I still wan't happy!


Later, I reverse engineered another pattern, which I do like, but I want a more casual look for my next shirt.

I figured I might as well try to draft my own pattern. Right? Right.

Muslin 1:

As always, I used instructions from Patternmaking for Fashion Design. Also as always, my butt kind of gets in the way, made worse by the fact that this fabric is polyester and has more body that I would want in a shirt fabric.

I also also think that I should shape the back where it meets the yoke to reduce the wrinkles at a 45 degree angle at my shoulder blades.

The biggest problem is that it needs to be much longer, which should be pretty easy, and I'll re-shape the side seam to be more subtle below the waist. I'm going to extend the shoulder by about 3/8" so the top of the sleeve isn't quite so tight on my shoulder.

Hmmmm... how do I make it not make me look so pregnant?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Poppy Skirt

Boom baby.
Another skirt because why not?
Again, this fabric is from It has the most gorgeous colours! I really enjoyed the hand stitching parts of this project, because it was the perfect opportunity to admire the colour up close. Do you ever find that happens to you?
 My last skirt was silk and this one is cotton. I find I'm much more relaxed about wearing this one, because I'm always worried about ruining the silk one.

In these pics I'm wearing my cropped sweater again. It's been a cold summer and I've gotten so much use out of it!

Lookit how fun this print is!

And look at this! The purse I painted with stripes.

I added side seams so I could use my fabric more efficiently (I just had to buy a yard and a half instead of three yards). Side seams means pockets! 

I find that pockets look cutest positioned just below my waistband. I used this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. I've tried it a few times and this is the first time that my pockets worked out perfectly.

Perfectly disguised pockets!

As always, I used the grosgrain waistband instructions from Tailoring: A Construction Guide for Women's Wear by Cabrera.

Just for fun, I used a bright orange lace detail to finish the raw edge of the hem.

Monday, 4 August 2014

A study in coral

Happy August statutory long weekend!

So I made yet another Kwik Sew 3559 yoked jersey dress. This is the first one I've done with the short sleeves. Perfect to throw on on the summer weekends. I can even bike in it!