Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid

Ladies and Gentlemen, a few days ago I received a parcel ALL THE WAY from Australia . . . .

Being the most recent winner of the Plus Pattern Pyramid (thank-you Belle and Chris!), I was HUGELY excited . . . . 


but when I opened the parcel . . . .

Oh no, it was empty!

Only joking :)


Look at all these fabulous patterns! 

So… what do you need to do be the next lucky person to win the Plus Size Pattern Pyramid?

THE RULES (As copied – and slightly amended – from BeaJay over at On the Road to Sew Wear and special thanks to Karen who came up with the Pattern Pyramid idea)

  • Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight Mountain Time Saturday June 1st, 2013 BUT you must have an active blog. (Reasons will become obvious!)
  • I will randomly select 1 winner.
  • I will post a collection of patterns to the winner.   The winner will select which ever patterns they like to keep for themselves, and add the same amount to the collection and then host their own giveaway.  They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to that Person.  The next Person will pick a pattern/s for themselves, host their own giveaway and post the remaining patterns to the winner, the next Person will do the same and the patterns will continue to keep going around.
  • All patterns are in the plus size category – ie – if the pattern comes in 2 sizing groups, then it will be the larger category.  Patterns to go up to at least go up to a size 20 (most go higher). Patterns listed as “all sizes” will include plus sizes.
  • If you wish to take more than one pattern you can replenish the stock with a pattern you no longer want – but please make sure it is in plus size range
You get the idea!


  • We are taking it on trust that all pattern pieces are there
  • If you’re a winner, I would love it if you could make a small contribution to The Brooke. This is a charity close to the heart of Catherine, who so generously provided the original patterns.
  • Please engage in a timely fashion, launching your own giveaways soon after receiving a parcel
  • You must be be happy to post patterns worldwide.

I’d appreciate it if you could spread the word – let it be known to all that there’s a great Plus Size Pattern Pyramid happening

What will I keep?  What will I add?  Will there be extra goodies?  All will be revealed on Sunday June 2nd when I announce the winner!  So, leave a comment below and you are in with a chance to win!

Have You Ever Made a Kilt?

No, me neither.  But long story short, I am going to be footling around with bagpipes in about 3 weeks along with a dozen or so colleagues, and I think that one should always dress for the occasion.  And that means a kilt.  I looked up the price of renting one (about $85) and here in Canada there is no way I would be able to get the Leslie Tartan (my mothers tartan) so I thought 'I could make one of those'.  After a quick search online and I found a set of instructions which look scarily straightforward, and was selling some plaid that they called a '100% wool gaberdine' and at only $1.95/m (I know, what a price, I had the last 10m) I am now good to go. 

I have no idea why the fabric was so cheap, it is a woven plaid and is as soft as butter - it is almost like flannel with browns, cream and pink.  I know that it is going to take a lot of time basting the pleats in place (43 of them across the back) but this is going to be such fun. 

So how about you - what have been your impulse 'sews'?!

Monday, May 20, 2013

MMM - Week 3 and Plans!

The easy thing (for me anyway) is that I can wear something that I have made every day of the week.  Take right now, for instance, I am wearing MM jimmy jams and hand knitted socks.  My problem is getting photos of said clothing.  Oh well, I think that will be my challenge for next year!  I should also add that when I get home from work, I change out of work clothes and put on comfy loungy bottoms (jimmy jams) and hand knitted socks - hence all the sock photos!

I did get a Monday photo - and really I should learn to stand better in trousers as these actually hang really well.  Honest!

These trousers are based upon McCalls 5239 (if it ain't broke . . . . !) and the cardigan is based upon McCalls 4466.  I am wearing a black RTW tank underneath.  The trousers are a dark charcoal and have a cream/white pinstripe.  Great for office life!

Oh, go on then, I'll show you some more socks before I get on with my plans for the next week or so!

The rainbow ones above are one that I particularly like.  I dyed the yarn so that I would get a self striping rainbow effect and I am rather pleased with these.

I just love the yellow, pink and lilac in these - the yarn is Drops Fabel

Now then, back to sewing :)  I have almost completed my mustard linen trousers - I just need to hem them, then will get pics.

I also made this pair - they are cropped and made from a 'technical' fabric.  Years ago I was involved in a small business making fleece jackets and trousers for climbers and and a small section of the UK military.  My partner in the business gave me some of the fabric that was no longer required and I ended up with a few meters of this.  It is definitely polyester and is totally windproof!  If they were made by Patagonia or Berghaus they probably would have cost around $200-$300!  Mine?  Free!  Now looking at them I can see that you are thinking that these are really boring looking trousers - how do you jazz up a pair boring, sludge colored trousers? . . . . . . .

Well, you use pretty pink serging thread and fancy smancy ribbon for hemming!  Incidentally, the legs are level - it is just my photography that is somewhat wonky!! 

So really, it was a quiet week of sewing for me, I do have a bias cut 'A' line skirt cut out that I did not have chance to sew up.  And today I worked on a blouse/top pattern that I can wear without having to tuck in.  It is based upon the blouse in 'Perfect Plus' and I plan to start the wardrobe using this beautifully soft grey suiting (pants and long sleeved top) and the blue/grey striped cotton (short sleeved blouse).  I have been reading and re-reading this book and am excited to get started.  I know that a lot of people have given this book bad press because some of the styling/clothes are outdated and that the book is aimed a the Petite market (patterns can be adjusted to regular), but I love the idea and am excited to get going!

I also cut-out a skirt from this cotton/lycra jersey. 

The skirt will be my version of the Hopscotch Skirt by iCandy:

I won't be sewing the 'jog' in the middle as my stripe repeat is about 12", nonetheless, I think it will make a fun skirt!

Well, that was my week - how was yours?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

MMM - 10, 11, 12 & Weekend Sewing!

OK, so I'm going to swap this around a bit and start with my weekend sewing.  I wanted some 'quick and easy' sewing that give me some clothes to wear NOW!  Having been really pleased with my Jimmy Jams that I blogged about here, I thought that I would make another pair or two.  After a quick mooch in my fabric selection I came up with a couple of contenders.

Firstly, some lovely flowery cotton that I inherited from my Mum.  I don't think that it is quilting cotton - the fabric is too wide and also it has a high thread count:

It certainly made a great pair of summer Jimmy Jams, and as I am wearing them right now - they are my MMM May 12th garment.  The pattern is McCalls 5239

And if something works once, twice, they let's work it again!  The fabric this time is another 100% cotton that I used to make a wearable muslin Sorbetto.  And no, I don't plan wearing them together!!

OK, so I apologies about the hanger shots.  I finished these and the next two skirts in the early hours of the morning and haven't got round to 'styling' them yet!  But I will . . . .

I knocked out a couple of Simplicity 4221 skirts, how I love that pattern for ease of use and looks.  This time the fabrics were a silky, lightweight poly in black with white dots.  It reminds me of Star Trek and the stars whizzing past at warp speed:

Nothing to note - the skirt is lined with white Bemberg Ambiance and has a narrow lace trim.  Oh, and it is soooo swishy!  I will probably have to make a red jersey top (or two) to go with this.  Or maybe fushia.  Mmmmm!

The second skirt is made from a rayon fabric from Batik Butik which appears to be going out of business.  There do appear to be a number of retailers who still sell it, so take a look.  It is goegeous fabric - lightweight a fluid.  I love it. 

This last photo shows the subtle red shading.  Love, love, love it!

A few quick MMM photos to finish off.  On Friday (MMM - 10) I worked from home so slummed it in PJ's all day but wore these handknitted socks:

These are really fun socks as they are make up of the leftovers from about 13 other pairs!  In no way do they match (other than stitches, rows etc) - but note the pink toes.  I made a pair for Mr. SDSC and his have blue toes so we know whose are whose!

Yesterday (MMM - 12) I wore these:


They are a great pair of socks, using the Knit Picks Felici yarn again.  The yarn is a supersoft merino that unfortunately fuzzes a little, however that can be excused because the stripes are so cute!  This colorway is called Chimney.

To summarize my MMM garments over the last few days:

14. Leftover Socks
15. Chimney Socks
16. Springtime Jimmy Jams

Phew, that was one long post - I hope you managed to stick it out!!  How was your weekend?  Lots of sewing?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

MMM - 9

Another glorious day that deserved a summery skirt.  The pattern is Simplicity 4223 that I blogged about here.  The fabric is a cheery cotton print and I am wearing this skirt with a RTW cardi and tank and I am accessorized by 3 greyhounds, a collie and a Jack Russell - my father's dog is staying with us overnight . . . . .

The skirt is a little on the racy side for me - it is rather short in my opinion!, but it certainly fits the bill and is a treat to wear on these hot sunny days.  Trying to organize the dogs was like herding cats, but there are four there!  Oh, and a comment on the scenery - out house is a new build and all the landscaping has yet to be done.  Hopefully we will have grass and fences, not to mention stonework one the house and new tarmac on the roads - before the summer is out!

13.  Cotton Watercolor Skirt

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MMM - 8

Sunny days are here again . . . . . and so is the wind!  It was very blowy outside when we got home today, so this is the best photo . . . . the rest have already been consigned to the place where bad photos are never seen again!!

So, what am I wearing - I know, it is hard to tell from this pic!  The skirt is from my K.I.S.S. Collection, yet another Simplicity 4221.  I just wish I could have a better photo because I thought that I looked pretty sharp today.  Again, my cardi and tank are both RTW.  So this is piece 12:

12.  K.I.S.S. Skirt

Do any of you have a favorite pattern - one that you make time after time?  Do share!

Before I go, I must thank you all for taking time out to read my postings, and especial thanks to those who comment - it gives me such a thrill!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

MMM - 7

Today was considerably cooler - no summer skirts, my little trotters would have frozen - so it was an ideal opportunity to try out my new Flinen trouser made from McCalls 5239.  The fabric is a deep red linen weave that hang really well.  Having said that, I should have checked my appearance more carefully in the mirror before leaving the house . . . I am not too sure that these proportions work too well.  I love this cardi, it is an over-sized RTW grey cotton jersey with flowers printed on that cover parts of the rib and some seams - almost like big appliques.

I really love these - again, no bagging around the butt.  They fall about 1/2" about the ground and fit great.  It was a bit blowy outside when these pics were taken, so the legs have ballooned out a bit.  I added some faux-ties to the front of the trousers, I made one long tie out of 2" fabric folded edges towards the middle, folded in half lengthwise, then stitched close to the edge.  I then sewed the middle of the tie to the centre of the trousers for about an inch, then tied it loosely in a knot - I think that this was a nice touch that added to the 'linen' feeling.

I forgot to count the last two day's garments - I am interested to see how many different Me Made clothes I will wear this month, so here is the catch up:

9. Checked Jimmy Jams (May 5th)
10. Green & Aqua Summer Skirt (May 6th)
11. Red Flinen Trousers (today)

So there we have it.  One week of clothes, and it has not been too hard so far.  Can I continue with duplicating?  Probably not, but as I am having fun, I will continue!

Monday, May 6, 2013

MMM - 6

Today was a fabulous day in Cowtown - 28c (82f) which is very toasty to those of us that spend 6 months under snow - so today I wore another skirt (Simplicity 4221 again), using a bright and cheery cotton and lined with a white poplin to prevent any 'see-through).  Tank and cardigan are RTW.  I plan to make a few tanks using some ribbed cotton jersey and knicker elastic around the arms and neck.  Yep, I know, sounds a bit dodgy, but I think that I can make it work!


Here I am with the three hounds from hell (oh, not really!!), but I they are so cute, I had to get a photo of them as well!  Let me introduce you to Hobbes (black greyhound), Rocky (white & brindle greyhound) and Jess the collie.

Now, back to business.  I completed my 'Flinen Trousers this evening' and plan to wear them tomorrow.  Due to poor pocket placement, I now have 'Fockets' (aka Faux-pockets, although it does sound as though I am swearing!)  I wanted zipped pockets - I have put them in fleece jackets probably hundred of times (I kid you not, but that is a story for another time!), forgetting, of course, that fleece is much more forgiving.  So I unpicked the pockets leaving the zips in place and added teeny tiny linings - I had had enough and wanted them finished!  So here are a couple of close ups . . . .

I am looking forward to wearing these tomorrow and if all goes well, I will cut out a pair in some gorgeous linen/rayon.  Happy days!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

MMM - 5

Jimmy Jams, Socks, Flinen Trousers and the Pattern Plus Pyramid

OK, so there is a lot to get through today, so better get at it!

Mr. SDSC and I had a very lazy day today - no shopping, cleaning, meeting up with buddies, washing cars or anything.  A truly lazy day.  So in honour of that, I chose to wear a brand spanking new pair of Jimmy Jam trousers (PJ's to other folk) that I finished last night.  I used a soft cotton with a plaid weave (and no, I didn't even attempt to match any of it up) and my new McCall's pattern (5239) that is fast becoming a TNT.  I added 2" to the waist for the fold-over elastic and stitched the side seams with 5/8" seams even though the pattern is altered to 1" seams.  I thought that the extra space would be just what was needed!

I love this finish for an elastic waistband - there is a great tutorial here, and rather than use a twin needle, I used a three step zigzag and I am very pleased with the finish.  It will be appearing again!!  The only comment to add here is that the trousers looked like a dogs breakfast whilst I was stitching on the elastic.  It was only when I had started the zigzag that they began to look a LOT better!  So if you do try this technique, no wobbly bottom lips until you see how they transform when the elastic is sewn down!

Although a little creased, I am happy with how the back hangs on these, no bagging under my butt :)

And to finish off, another pair of hand knitted socks!  This is a very plain pattern used with self striping yarn (Knit Picks Felici Sport) and as we are moving into warmer weather, I won't be wearing hand knitted socks very much from now on so I am making the most of it!!

Following on from these toursers, I am going to make another pair - a bit more fitted - with some lovely red (wannabe) linen - hence the name 'Flinen' (aka faux linen!!).  If they turn out well, I have some mustard linen/rayon from Fabric Mart that will be put into use for a fabulous pair of summer trousers.

And finally - although maybe the most exciting news, is that I have won the current leg of the Plus Pattern Pyramid.

In short this means that I will soon be receiving some plus sized patterns, I get to chose one (or maybe two or three) to keep, replace them with some from my stash, and then hold a competition on my blog and the winner will have the patterns sent onto them . . . and so it continues!  As the parcel is making it's way from Australia - thank-you Chris - it will probably be a few weeks, but watch this space for details if you would like to play!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

MMM - 4

Yay!  Star Wars Day - May 4th be with you!!

And in honour of that . . . .

Yep, Mr. SDSC has a lightsaber!  He also has a fabulous fleece Jedi cloak that I made a number of years ago as a dressing gown but he says that we misplaced it in the move.  It sounds a little suspicious to me because he complained that it was too long and he kept tripping over when wearing it - particularly when going down stairs.  Mr. Picky!!  It was a result of this complaint that I made him the Batman dressing gown this Christmas.

Anyway - back to me please!  Today's 'Me Made' is another fabulous skirt from Simplicity 4221.  I keep coming across a number of items that I have not blogged about, and I think that this skirt is another.  The fabric is a bit seersucker like - a supersoft cotton with stripey puckering and the odd stripe of silver for that summer skirt 'bling look!'  I'm not sure where this fabric came from - I don't recall buying it so it may be one of my mother's fabrics.  The skirt has 4 gores and I have lined it with with cotton to give it a bit of body and prevent the 'Lady Di' look!  It is worn with a RTW pink cardigan, a RTW white tank and a lightsaber . . . .

8. Pink Stripe Skirt - Simplicity 4221

Oh yes, and it looks as though we may finally be moving towards Spring.  Today is gloriously sunny and I think that there may be quite a few Summer skirts being brought out!

Friday, May 3, 2013

MMM - 3

Day 3!

Today I was on another trip out of the office - hence the lovely location for photos!  This is actually inside a hotel in Lethbridge, Alberta (hey, I've got to eat!), there are trees, water features, oh, and a piano!

The pics are a little out of focus (oops!) but you get the gist :)  Thanks Cory!!

Today I am mostly wearing a Sorbetto top, my orange Ponte cardigan . . . . . and hand-knitted socks!  My grey denims are rather old RTW pair complete with a few muddy bits from walking the dogs in the morning!  I have to say that reviewing these photos really makes me realize that I can be a little lackadaisical and need to pay more attention before walking out the door!  

Here are the details on todays 3 items:

5. Sock Bunny Sorbetto top - more details here
6. Ikat Winter Collection Ponte Cardigan - McCalls 4466 (again!)  I did 'redo' the front binding.  The one that was on originally did not sit very well, so I cut it off and added a smaller, more professional looking binding that I am very pleased with!
7. Hand knitted socks using my own pattern - here is a clearer photo.

So there we go, 7 different items so far!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

MMM - 2

Day 2 - so far so good!!   There are two items for today.  Firstly, and for me, the most exciting item, are these trousers (or pants, if you prefer.  Me, I'm a trousers girl!)  The pattern is a McCalls 5239 and I picked up this pattern during my most recent fitting class.  I wanted to make a quick pair of trousers using a lightweight pinstripe suiting, so I cheated a little and straightened up the sides, added a bit to the waist for a 'turnover' rather than adding a waistband to make these 'pull on'.  Now that I am happy with the fit, I am going to make a few more pairs with pockets, zips, etc.  This will become my 'go to' pattern, and enters the TNT collection!  I am also thinking that some cropped trousers as well as some linen ones with a drawstring waist will be perfect for the summer.

These two photos show the alterations required for the trousers to fit me - some crotch adjustments and then some rather large tucks (1.5" per side!) to get rid of all the baggyness that I get under my 'oh so flat' butt!  According to my lovely instructor Janice, I have a particularly flat butt, but it hasn't 'dropped' yet.  Thank heavens for small mercys!!!

Today's outfit includes 2 pieces:

3.  Black pinstripe trousers - McCalls 5239
4.  Cardigan - McCalls 4466

And they are worn with a plain black tank bought before I commenced my RTW fast!  Talking of which, I have been 'fasting' for almost 7 months.  And I am not missing clothes shopping at all!