two very different hats

I usually try to avoid grand, sweeping, generalizations. However, in this instance, I feel pretty safe in saying that for the continent of North America this winter has been one mean mother f*cker! Okay, okay… I actually have no idea what’s going on …

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Spectrum o’ Shirts

Since this is a project about creating a wardrobe, I thought I would do a quick overview of where I am at as far as shirts go. I finally have a small collection of everyday casual shirts. The aqua/green-ish chambray in front, and the narrow blue and white striped shirt behind it are the two […]

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Selling on Etsy.

Hi guys, need your thoughts/ advice/opinions on something.I’ve been sewing for almost 3 years now, and have held on to every single handmade item I’ve made. About 70% of all my handmades are either not my style, don’t fit properly (made straight o…

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Selling on Etsy.

Hi guys, need your thoughts/ advice/opinions on something.I’ve been sewing for almost 3 years now, and have held on to every single handmade item I’ve made. About 70% of all my handmades are either not my style, don’t fit properly (made straight o…

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My Uniquely You Dressform

It’s been a while since I posted here. It occurred to me that I could share my Uniquely You dress form experience.I did a lot of research before I decided to order my new dress form. I watched this video which was a great help. I found my Uni…

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Finished Project: BHL ‘Anna’ in spotty rayon with split.

I want to share with you my second Anna dress. I can’t get enough of this pattern. I wish I could live in this dress, it is so comfortable to wear.I wore it on Saturday for mum’s birthday. My sister Judy  and I took mum to see King Kong Live on St…

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Sewing 911 – Practical and Creative Rescues for Sewing Emergencies by Barbara Deckert

I just wanted to share a new book purchase that I made the other day.  It was a book published in 2001 by Barbara Deckert.  When I came across it on Amazon I was sort of amazed.  It is definitely a sewing book with a twist.  Every s…

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Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960 Available

We are excited to release another video tutorial series from SewingMastery.com! Now available on YouTube and here on SewingMastery.com is a complete video tutorial series covering the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q sewing machine. This video tutorial series consists of more than 50 individual videos that spans almost three hours of instruction! The Sapphire™ 960Q is […]

The post Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960 Available appeared first on Sewing Mastery.

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FITTING: By Hand London ‘Georgia’.

I never thought I would ever say this, but I love making muslins. I was sold on muslins after seeing my finished Anna. All the time spent making adjustments to the muslin was definitely worth it.The Georgia Sewalong kicked off on the 27t…

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Really Natural Mint Chocolate Chip Snow Cream

Here in Sweet Peaville we’re experiencing our sixth, yes sixth, calamity day.  Not sure how I feel about the term “calamity” day since most of our days were far from a calamity; no huge snow or ice event, just cold, cold, cold.But today our calami…

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Free Valentine’s Day Subway Art

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to design a fun Valentine’s Day subway art!  This is a free 8 x 10 printable.  Once you click on the download you can print it directly from your computer OR you can save it to your computer.  If you save it to your computer you can print it off at any photo printing place.

 

You can frame this cute image or Mod Podge it on a canvas.  To Mod Podge it all you need to do is use a foam brush and spread a thin layer on the canvas.   Set the printed picture on top of the canvas.  Let it dry for about 20 min.  Next you will use your foam brush to spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the printed Valentine’s Day subway art!  Enjoy your cute Valentine’s Day decor!

 

-Becky, tcbotb.com

 

Click here to download your free Valentines Day subway art!

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Free Valentine’s Day Subway Art

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to design a fun Valentine’s Day subway art!  This is a free 8 x 10 printable.  Once you click on the download you can print it directly from your computer OR you can save it to your computer.  If you save it to your computer you can print it off at any photo printing place.

 

You can frame this cute image or Mod Podge it on a canvas.  To Mod Podge it all you need to do is use a foam brush and spread a thin layer on the canvas.   Set the printed picture on top of the canvas.  Let it dry for about 20 min.  Next you will use your foam brush to spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the printed Valentine’s Day subway art!  Enjoy your cute Valentine’s Day decor!

 

-Becky, tcbotb.com

 

Click here to download your free Valentines Day subway art!

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KWIK SEW 2185 – Men’s Polo Shirt

I’m right in the middle of my winter sewing.  Continuing with my next pullover the KWIK SEW 2185 – Men’s Polo Shirt, which I am making in the long sleeve version.I really am a big fan of KWIK SEW Patterns.  They always come with good solid in…

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Pear Fennel Soup (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

Sometimes I read recipes and my mouth starts to salivate (same thing happens when I watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but I digress) as I read the ingredients and imagine their tastiness.

Other times I read recipes and I think, “huh.”

This recipe was a product of my curiosity after I read about the idea of combining fennel and pear in a soup…followed by a “huh.”

So I tried my own version of combining pear and fennel in soup and my “huh” quickly changed into a “yum!”

This is simple eating at it’s finest.  Fresh flavors.  Natural sweetness.  Refined flavors.  All in about 20 minutes flat.

Pear Fennel Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
2 small fennel bulbs
2 medium pears, ripe, but not overly soft
1 cup apple juice
4 cups waters
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Chop the onion and add to the pan.  Cook 2-3 minutes.

Slice the fennel and core and slice the pear (no need to peel) and chop roughly.  Add to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the apple juice, water and salt and pepper (about 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste) and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree, either with a blender (be careful–it’s hot!) or immersion blender.

Serve with fresh fennel fronds (from the top of the fennel bulb).

Say it with me, “yum.”

Serves 6.

Life is sweet,
SPC

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Finished Project & Pattern Review: By Hand London ‘Anna’.

This dress is by far, the BEST thing I’ve handmade in my life! I am so pleased with the final result. All the hours of measuring, marking, photographing, crying, tweeting, swearing, googling, sewing (times 400) paid off in the end. I am smitten wi…

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Finished Project & Pattern Review: By Hand London ‘Anna’.

This dress is by far, the BEST thing I’ve handmade in my life! I am so pleased with the final result. All the hours of measuring, marking, photographing, crying, tweeting, swearing, googling, sewing (times 400) paid off in the end. I am smitten wi…

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FITTING: By Hand London ‘Anna’ muslin/toile with sway back adjustment, neck darts & repositioned side seam (part 4).

By now I am sure you are sick to death of my posts and tweets on this topic. I am a woman possessed!! Just make the fucking thing already, right?Well, now I can!!! I finally got the fit right on my muslin.After making what felt like two hundred adjustm…

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Why I’m Blogging Again

by Ashley

I followed the same path that most of my friends were on at the time: got married during college, traveled with my new husband, and worked full time. Then it seemed the time was right to have a baby. Soon after, we welcomed a beautiful boy into our home. It seems my girlfriends had the same idea too because I would hear news about all of them having their first babies! Then came many more firsts: diapers, car seats, bottles, binkies, night feedings. I remember thinking how nice it would be to talk about all these firsts with my girlfriends who were experiencing them just like me.

Around that same time, I began to hear about blogging. What’s a “blog” I thought to myself? My sister happened to have a blog so I remember hopping online and looking at it one day. She would write about the every day moments with her family and post adorable pictures. Underneath each of her entries were comments left by friends and family who kept in touch with her by reading her posts! Genius! Light bulb!

I started my blog in the beginning of 2007 (right when blogging was becoming popular). I was happy to see that almost all of my friends decided to start blogs too! I would literally check in on my friend’s blogs every day to see what they were up to! They would write about their new baby, how they felt about breastfeeding, when is the right time to potty train, or details from their most recent vacation. What I loved most about the “blogging social network” of that time was that people would post more than just a picture and a few brief words. They would write details about sights, sounds, and smells, of their memories. It was more than just a snapshot, it was a story.

I was writing stories too! Blogging was my therapy as a new mother. I would put my baby boy down for a nap, and hop on my blog to see who had shared anything about my thoughts that I had posted the day before. I remember writing about the struggle I had with taking away my sons binky because he was becoming too attached to it. He had a hard time giving it up and I needed advice on how to help him with the transition. Many of my friends gave advice and I was able to help him successfully. I wrote about all of the details of my family life. I wasn’t worried about how many “likes” I would get on a certain post because it was “MY BLOG” I could do with it what I wanted. I also never had to worry about posting “too many pictures” of a certain event because I wasn’t clogging up anyone else’s news-feed. This was my little online journal.

It seemed like this blogging thing would last forever. I hoped it would. But then, all of a sudden, people started making their blogs “private” which means that only friends who were invited could view them. This made it more difficult stay in touch. On top of that, Facebook started to take flight and people jumped on that ship because it was a faster more efficient way to communicate with multiple friends at once. I get it, I jumped on that ship too. I immediately started finding friends on Facebook. I started sharing pictures and funny little thoughts. It was fun!

However, in all the hullabaloo, something was getting lost. The details. Those tiny moments in life that add the spice and color. Perhaps there was a song you were listening to when you had your first kiss, what about that funny thing your daughter said when you where playing dress-up, and you don’t want to forget exactly what you felt that day in the hospital when you held your grandmother’s hand for last time and told her how much you loved her before she took her last breath… These are the details.

I took a year or two “off” from blogging. That was to my detriment because there were many details of those years that I wish I would have written down. The bottom line is that it’s difficult to find time every day to sit down to the computer and write your thoughts. This is why I was SO HAPPY to see that there is a new Blogger app for phones!! I have my phone with me constantly, and that’s also where all my pics are stored so I can just take a few minutes to add my photos and write about them when I have downtime.

I am happy to say that I have dusted off my little blog and started writing again! And while my friends may not come to look at what’s happening on my blog anymore, that doesn’t matter to me. I have changed my outlook on what blogging is for me. It’s my journal. It’s a safe place for me to log thoughts and photos of my family. It’s a guilt-free place that I can post picture after picture of my child eating spaghetti. And in the end, that’s really all that matters.

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” Ernest Hemingway

 

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My favorite free banner fonts!

Here are some of my favorite free banner fonts I wanted to share with you!  These are fun to use when designing baby shower invitations, birthday invites and you can even use them within your blog banner. Let me know if you have a favorite banner font and what you use it for!

Have a good day!
Becky

 

 

 

 

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FITTING: By Hand London ‘Anna’ muslin/toile with shoulder & erect/short back adjustments (part 3).

Good morning, happy hump day!
Last night I made a bunch of adjustments to Anna muslin number three (muslin number 2 was a complete fail, I stuffed up the shoulder adjustment – inadvertently added 3cm to CB when I was adjusting the shoulder, lets not talk about it).
Reading through all the tweets and comments on my last two posts (part 1part two), everyone pointed out that I had erect shoulders/posture, a short back, forward shoulders.
CheekyChaCha kindly emailed me info on forward shoulder fitting problems – THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU, I need to get a copy of that fitting book that you own!! 
I’ve ticked the problems I am definitely experiencing, the rest of them I am unsure…
  • shoulders seams lie behind the shoulder tip 
  • loose wrinkles form along front armhole
  • tighter stress wrinkles form between the back armhole and shoulder blade
  • sleeve cap is tight around front of shoulder 
  • sleeve cap is loose, puffy, over the back of shoulder
  • shoulder seam needs to be moved forward 
  • bodice front needs less fabric width at armhole
  • bodice back needs more width at armhole
  • front sleeve cap needs to be more rounded
  • back sleeve cap needs to be flatter

It was evident from the photos I posted online that my shoulder seams were sitting about 3cms back from centre of my shoulder. Yet to determine if the forward shoulders is causing the waist seam to dip backwards.

My first adjustment was redistributing 3cm from the front shoulder to the back shoulder so the shoulder seam will sit on the centre of my shoulder.

  • I drew a line at the seam allowance (SA) of FRONT shoulder, slashed it and removed 3cms. 
  • I drew a line at the seam allowance (SA) of BACK shoulder, slashed it and added 3cms. 
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Removed 3cms from front bodice shoulder.
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Before and after.
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Redistributed the 3cms taken from front bodice to back bodice shoulder.
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It worked! The should seam now sits centered on my shoulder (blade??). Looks and feels way better than before!

Forward shoulder problem fixed *pops champagne* shoulder seam sitting comfortably, woo hoo!! 
Now for my erect back/posture/short back issue.

I’m not sure if erect shoulders, erect posture, short back are three difference issues; or if they are the same issue with different descriptions.

A lot of people suggested my erect back/posture was the cause of my waist seam dipping back, because my overly erect posture made my centre back length (CBL) decrease between the neck and mid-back… or something. I still don’t get this one!!

CheekyChaCha also sent info on erect back fitting problems, again I’ve ticked the problems I am experiencing, the rest of them I am unsure…

  • excess fabric sags into loose horizontal wrinkles across upper back
  • flatter contour of the back needs less dart shaping
  • bodice back needs less length   
  • bodice back needs narrower darts 

My next adjustment was to take a wedge out of the centre back (CB) following this tutorial for erect back adjustment.

The waist seam was dipping about 3cm towards the back, so I took a wedge of 3cms out of the centre back. 
I’m not really sure if this was the right fix for me, as I didn’t notice much of the fabric riding up my neck to begin with (as per tutorial, fabric riding up is one of the fitting problems). I gave the adjustment a shot anyway.
  • I drew a line perpendicular to the grainline, in the upper back
  • I cut into the back bodice piece from centre back, stopping before the seam allowance (cut along the line I drew)
  • I pivoted the top piece of pattern down to “remove” 3cms from the centre back
  • I straightened up the CB and grainline 
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Before and after shoulder seam and erect back adjustment.

Here is the result…

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Front and back waist seam still not level.
Waist is dipping back/front rising up.

I will do the ‘elastic test’ tonight as suggested by some ladies on Twitter, however I do prefer my waist seam sitting just above my natural waist.

Should I need to take another wedge out of the lower back at the waist, and then lengthen the front bodice so that the seam will be level?
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Bust/neck looks a little gapey in this photo taken last night…  but in the photo below taken this morning, it looks fine.
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No more gaping…? I will do the ‘bending over test’ tonight.
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Photo taken last night: I noticed wrinkles in the back, but this morning they disappeared! 
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Photo taken this morning, no wrinkles..?
Is the back meant to be this low? Should I make the back neckline higher?
This dress has been on my mind 24/7 since last Thursday, I’m exhausted but I really want to get the fit perfect. Even though I’m super frustrated that I haven’t cut into my beautiful fabric yet, I’m enjoying the challenge. 
Thank you guys soooooooo sooooo much for helping me with the shoulder seams. I’m so happy that I’ve at least knocked out one fitting problem.
Now I need your helpful suggestions on the next lot of fitting problems:
  • how do level the waist seam?
  • should be concerned about those wrinkles on the back bodice that come and go?
  • shoulder I make the back neckline higher?
Please comment below, tweet me @sewmelove or email me 🙂
Thanking you in advance!!

PS. After posting this, I found this document on the internet which I found helpful.
It describes my problem – “Too much fabric at the back waist causing a puff at the centre back, 
wrinkles under the waistband, pants seat is stretched, side seams swing forward and hemlines are longer in the back – their diagnosis is “swayback or down sloping waistline”.

My side seams definitely swing forward! Down sloping waistline, that’s a new one! Thoughts?

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My Very First Clothing Labels

It was a pretty cool day for me yesterday when the postman dropped off the mail.  I received my very first clothing labels.  Stephanie ordered them as part of my Christmas present through Labels and Ribbon.com.  “She’s the Best”!I a…

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FITTING: By Hand London ‘Anna’ muslin/toile, adjustments for my erect shoulders (part 2).

Huh??? What is an erect shoulder??? I googled to find out more in order to accurately diagnose my sewing issue, and the results page was mortifying to view.Advice: don’t google the words “erect” and “back” in the same sentence.Thank you to every one on…

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FITTING: By Hand London ‘Anna’ muslin/toile – I need your help with fitting (part 1).

And here she is, my Anna wearable toile/muslin, almost completed.Fabric from my stash, it’s cotton dad got from Vietnam for me in November 2012. I only had 2m of fabric so the skirt neither midi or maxi – just made do with the length left ove…

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Homemade Suet Bird Feeder

In the cold, cold winter, there’s just something about having a bird feeder out the window and seeing a Cardinal or Blue Jay eating.A couple weeks ago, G and I made a homemade feeder.  I had a can of saved bacon grease lingering in the fridge, whi…

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Add your Instagram feed to your blog sidebar

Check out the newest tutorial on the site today!

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Chanel Shorts

The sewlution trousers didn’t happen people. But look! I made shorts! I tell myself that spending quality time with my friends and family (i.e. Project Runway marathons with mom!) were more important this month than meeting a sewing goal. Why I had to wait until the very last month of 2013 to start thinking about my sewlution, I’m not sure, but I do know that the trousers will get made sooner or later. If anything, because my wardrobe is in urgent need of some comfortable and chic black pants. Hells, my wardrobe is pretty much in need of everything!

The Chanel shorts: My idea was to make these simple shorts in order to perfect the fit of my pant bloc before cranking up the volume on the trouser complexity. All in the name of perfect fit, three muslins were made, each more disastrous than the next (we just about had a second crotch growing out of the side on one of them) only to return to the original version, which frankly embodied godly perfection next to its monster cousins. (Cousins not shown — not that they were not deserving of pictures, but we were concerned with protecting the sensibility of our more delicate sewist readers.)

The fabric, purchased at Mood’s in NYC, has NOT spent the entire year of 2013 being cuddled and sweet-talked by its proprietress (no way). I don’t think the photos here can convey the extent of its beauty (black is always tricky to photograph) but it’s a synthetic bouclé woven with strands of lurex — black lurex on one side and silver on the other. I chose to work with the black side for a less flashy (and tacky?) effect. I freaking love this fabric.

The best thing about these shorts is that they require next to no yardage. The temptation to pick up gorgeous brocades from the Toronto fashion district and whip out a few more of these will be strong, I know!

What would I do differently next time? The fabric is quite loosely woven and not very thick, so I would actually interline it with either silk organza or muslin. I would also make sure to use a zipper with a “stopper” that would prevent it from accidentally coming undone. I was able to partially solve the problem with a hook and an eye, but it still doesn’t feel 100%.

A note about the background: whenever in Toronto, I love to visit my sister at Bobette and Belle, where she works. I know the Quebeckers among you will probably think “what an unfortunate name choice” seeing that “bobette” in Québec parlance means “undies”. Nonetheless, this name has not stopped the business from becoming one of the most established cake decorators of the city, and, in my book, the perfect place to have a coffee and a slice of cake on a Sunday morning. So cool that my sister works there. *cough* discounted macarons *cough*
Can you imagine spending your days surrounded by these beauties? Dream job! Though, how my sister maintains her vavoom figure in this environment is a mystery to me. Featured: chocolate ganache cake, a.k.a, the Ferrero Rocher of cakes a.k.a the best cake EVER.

Happy sewing everyone! (Are you suddenly hungry for chocolate cake? I know I am!)

Adrienne xo
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D.I.Y. Flatbed Sewing Machine Table

Did you ever buy a vintage sewing machine that didn’t come with a cabinet or a case?  You ran into this wonderful find on Ebay or at a yard sale and just absolutely had to have it!  Well that is exactly what happened to me last fall.  I …

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The Georgia Dress Sewalong!!

http://byhandlondon.com/topics/georgia-dress-sewalong/Georgia sewalong is coming! I’m so excited!! This will be my first ever sewalong. First time I’m not late to the party (I’m currently working on my Anna dress, the last person on Earth to make …

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Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 Available

We are excited to release another video tutorial series from SewingMastery.com! Now available on YouTube and here on SewingMastery.com is a complete video tutorial series covering the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 sewing machine. This video tutorial series consists of more than 50 individual videos that spans almost three hours of instruction! The Husqvarna Viking Sapphire […]

The post Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 Available appeared first on Sewing Mastery.

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