Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Souvenir Blouse - Take 2

After some helpful advice on flickr and the Lisette forums, I decided to try this top again.  I definitely needed more space across the chest and back so I cut a larger size and added an inch to the middle front (just the bottom panel, not the yoke). 

It ended up too big, like falling off my shoulders too big.  I took the sleeves off and contemplated taking the yokes off, too, (yokes? is that right? it doesn't sound right) so that I could cut them to the smaller size.  I didn't have the patience to do all that seam ripping though so in the end I just offset the sleeves in 1/4" in on both the front and back yokes.  Most definitely not the most professional alteration but it made the neckline fit better (and the neckline still lined up . . . after two tries).  I will still have to wear my "fancy" bra -- it has thin straps that wont show as easily but it also hoists my breasts up into a kind of shelf, which I find distracting.  My husband doesn't mind, though :).

The fabric is this 100% linen (hence the wrinkles) from (Again Canadians don't choose the UPS standard shipping option -- you'll end up regretting it!).  It's very lightweight but not sheer so is perfect for summer. 

Overall I like this style and I think I will wear this quite a bit (might have to investigate other bra options, though) but right now it feels quite baggy, almost maternity-esque.  I can't see myself making this again but if I did maybe the larger size in everything except the yokes and only add 1/2" in the middle front?? 

Sorry for the crappy picture. My hubby only picks up my camera reluctantly so I take what I can get :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Short Sleeved Linen Tova

Summer appears to be here to stay so I decided to make a loose fitting short sleeved Tova.  This year I really am going to try to avoid my usual uniform of $10 v-neck t-shirts (I say this every year).

For this top, I replaced the 3/4 length sleeves with gathered cap sleeves using this tutorial.   I lowered the armholes a 1/4" and added 1/4" to each of the front and back sides for more room in the chest (using Jenny Gordy's advice from this flickr discussion).  I think all these changes combined might have been a bit much as it's quite baggy right now.  I'm also not sure about the sleeves -- they make me feel like a linebacker and I'm not really comfortable showing off so much of my arms.  I'll wear it a couple of times before making any changes, though, because I'm a lot like the kids -- if it's new or different sometimes it takes some time for be to get used to it :).

The fabric is this linen from  It feels really nice and, despite the dark colour, I'm sure will be very cool.  They have great prices, by the way, but if you're ordering to Canada, whatever you do don't choose UPS ground -- not only will you pay for shipping but UPS will also charge you a COD brokerage fee (ostensibly for filling out the paperwork to clear customs).  In my case it was $22!!  Craziness!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lisette Souvenir Blouse - Simplicity 1879

Some projects are just not meant to be, not through the fault of the pattern or the fabric but the mindset of the seamstress.   A few weeks ago, I had been having a really crappy day so I decided to take a break and do some sewing.

Things did not get any better because I made a million mistakes on this top.  Here are just a few:
~ I didn't mark the right side so ended up making two two left sleeves
~ I fixed one sleeve then I stitched the second sleeve on before adding the bias tape to finish the seam
~ when I was pinking the armhole seam I snipped a hole in the sleeve, right in the front shoulder so I had to cut and attach another sleeve.

Now that it's all together, I'm very unhappy with the ripples in the sleeves, especially at the shoulders, even though I ripped them out and redid them a couple of times (beyond the fixes I had to do above).  I now have a tailor's ham so that might help for the next time. 

(As an aside, when I went to buy the ham, I had to ask three (!!) different staff members at Fabricland for help finding it because none of them even knew what I was talking about.  When I finally found one, the package was dusty and it looked like it had been there for 30 years.  Does no one use these things anymore?)

Also, it's tight through the shoulders and chest and gapes like crazy at the front.  I know I didn't do the best job finishing the top as I made so many mistakes that I didn't think I'd end up wearing this anyway.  I'd like to try again as I really like the style of this top but I need to figure out if I should alter the front yoke before I make another version.  Looking at the photo, I think it might be too small.  Maybe a larger size would help with the gaping?  Also, the yoke looks a bit wonky on so sewing it on properly might help :)

I'm embarrassed to even post a photo of this because it looks so awful but hubby was kind enough to take a couple so here goes:

edited to add:  I did try this top again and had much better luck.  See it here

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day Gift

I made my mom a continuous hand towel (a la elsie marley) for Mother's Day.  My kids were quite happy to lend their hands for tracing and quite excited to see the outcome.  My littlest is just learning to read so she sounded out "hand towel" and then laughed: "it's a hand towel and it's got our hands on it and it's for wiping your hands on!"  Hehehe.  

I used two layers of this linen from and it's got a lovely weight to it.  I bound the whole thing in retro cotton lawn from  I added snaps to the bottom, and used black versamark and twill tape for the label.