Just Lounging Around Poolside …

Summer here in the BC Interior can be hot. Maybe not as hot as Southern California but hot nonetheless. We live at the top tip of the Mohavi desert and for this transplanted English Rose, it’s as hot as I want to get. It’s nice that summer patterns are, on the whole, simple and easy to make. This helps as I am sure my brain (along with the rest of me) swells in the heat! Talking of swelling, looser summer styles can be flattering if correctly cut to skim the curves other than cling to them. I’d rather look stylish and comfortable than like the back of a bus. IMG_0701

For this Winter Wear Designs blog tour I have made some of my essential summer clothes. I pretty much live in shorts, little tops and loose flowing dresses. There are some good prizes on the tour;  visit Winter Wear Designs Fun FaceBook page to find out more.

Most of my tops cover ‘my tail’, enabling me to wear them with leggings. As such I’ve been looking for a little top to wear with shorts and short skirts. Bring on the Trendy Tank. A bonus is that if you join the Winter Wear Designs FaceBook group it is a freebie. Even better! I had to adapt mine to exclude a side boob gap that seems to keep occurring on all my knitted tops. I have a bust (really!?) and unless a dart or full bust adjustment is included in my sewing I get gaps. It wasn’t a hard fix at all. I pinned it where I wanted the dart and then basted it in. When it was in the right place I transferred the markings to my pattern; then proceeded to alter a few other tops to boot. I kept this top short and am pleased at how it looks with my shorts.

Rolling on, these are the Essential Summer Shorts. Essential as they are easy to make, you can play with the pattern to your little heart’s contentment, and they come together really quickly. I recently performed in a Burlesque routine and wanted to make some Rocky Horror-esque gold lycra shorties. I simply sized down all over and Hey Presto! I actually attached them to a body stocking (read modesty stocking) for the show. I chose not to hem them as I didn’t want the stitching to show. Plus, let’s face it, sewing a tiny stitch with metallic thread is tedious and encourages me to reach for the wine bottle!! I think they’d make great swim shorts with a side ruche or drawstring. Time will tell.

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I also made the shorts in a lovely knit fabric that I have been hoarding for a long time. I only have a metre of it and making anything with that little fabric can be challenging when you’re 5’9″ tall. Not anymore. I made the shorts and might have enough for a little top too if I am careful.  For this pair I added a 3″ wide knitted waist band and some lace to the bottom. It gives me a little more coverage and they are so very comfortable. I need more as I keep washing and wearing them. Here they are with my Trendy Tank.

Finally I decided to add the Boho Breeze as a maxi dress to my collection. I actually had intended making it into a coverup but there are other patterns that lend themselves better to that (watch this space!). Instead I chose to combine a soft lightweight crinkle cotton with a lush soft bamboo print. I’ve been wondering how to use the bamboo without ruining its lovely design. Well here goes.  Himself, (the Man of the House), is my personal design and sewing critic. He bounds into my sewing room when he comes home from work to see what I have been up to. He will stand there, get ‘that look’ on his face, and totally unnerve me. I have been known to say, “be nice now, it’s come from my head”. Then he will make a good comment about fit, if it’s flattering, length and what might suit me better. I trust his style. After all, one of his chat up lines was “do you wear Valentino? He designs for women with curves” Yes, I married him soon after!IMG_0702.jpg

But back to the Boho! Summer swelling and being ill recently meant I’ve gone up a size; I am really glad I made a muslin! I sized up knowing that the top has an elasticated shoulder / neck band, meaning it won’t slip causing any boob exposures when I shrink again. I decided to use all of the bamboo fabric in my maxi skirt and didn’t measure it; it is rather voluminous. I made the pockets from the cotton but reinforced them with a lightweight interfacing. I also added a side slit to just below knee level. Today the wind was blowing while taking photos, resulting in the windswept ‘skirt wrapped around the legs look’.

One of Himself’s suggestions was to make the neck band from the bamboo; as a contrast but also as it is heavier than the cotton, it is more stable when elasticated. The man is once again correct. It looks lovely. The Boho Breeze can also be made as a romper or top and I expect I will get to those as well. I think it would make a good swim top too …

Pull up a lounge chair and a cold drink, and don’t miss a single stop on the Poolside Blog Tour:

7/16
Jackie Burney for Winter Wear Designs
Meriel of Elli and Nels
7/17
7/18
7/19
Diane of Sewing With D
7/20
Livia of Liviality
Patricia of Sew Far North

 

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Pretty in Pink with Valentine Memories …

Welcome to the Red, White & Pink Blog Tour, and thanks Tibeca for having me along. It’s convenient that one of my sewing groups is also asking, or is that encouraging, us to sew lace this month. As such I made a “Pretty in Pink” dress with lace trims! I like lace: it’s pretty and feminine and is a lot less Itchy & Scratchy than it used to be. I still own the dress I made for my 18th birthday. It’s a cream lace dress over an iridescent blue /purple underdress.  Sadly it doesn’t fit anymore. It is very 80’s and I love it still.

February is a lovely month. because my Sister’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day, and my Uncle Val’s name always reminds me of love and good things romantic like. I dedicate this blog post to them both, but don’t have photos of my uncle. Happy Birthday Chrissie!

But onto the sewing … it’s a pattern hack of another Designer Stitch Pattern, the newly released Synthia blouse. As a tester I made this soft, feminine, romantic top. I love the early Chanel feel of the blouse, how it skims over my lumpy bits yet holds a feminine form. I thought it would make a lovely dress. Oh, it’s also still on sale!

The Synthia blouse is easy to make. I made my top in the shorter length to wear with a skirt. Of course, that is why I am wearing it with leggings in the photos. Go figure! I do like tops I wear with skirts to be shorter than those I wear with trousers.  I made a slight sway back adjustment, which means I pinched out the excess fabric from the back waist to stop it looking like I had a back fabric ‘Joey pouch’. My muslin went on and off without undoing the zipper, so I left it out; and oh the ruffles! The ‘Waterfall’ ruffle is ingenious! It seems a bit disconcerting until you have it all together – then the lightbulb moment occurs and its, “Wow! This really is clever”.

I cut the bodice at waist length for my dress. It would have been a good idea to check the length as the back was about 2″ shorter than the front! A carefully placed extra piece of fabric and hey, no one knew … until now. I didn’t want to spend the time double roll hemming the ruffle and bottom hems, so serged the fabric edges and then sewed the lace on top of it – all 5.5m of it!! I didn’t realize the lace was directional and if you look closely you’ll see that it is one way on the ruffles and upside down (or is that down side up?) on the skirt hem. I’m happy with the result. It’s certainly not a store bought dress!

I copied the lines of a Hot Patterns Casbah Skirt pattern, which made the skirt a quick and dirty affair. I omitted the zipper again, but should have kept it as my DD cup makes it harder to take off a dress than a blouse!

Finally I made another Obi belt, the same belt I featured in my recent blog post. I sewed loads of fancy stitches on it to give it a bit more substance, but should have interfaced it! Syn Obi belt

Photos were interesting. It was blinking cold outside at our local Riverside Park. A lady asked me if I was determined to catch pneumonia while we were traipsing around.  OOPS! We eventually decamped in doors. I paired the dress with one of my favourite hats and some retro looking shoes. All in all I feel glam in a very comfortable dress.

If you like to sew your patterns and need some support with hacking them I encourage you to come on over to Sew Your Pattern Stash FaceBook Group. Our resident Sewing Wise Woman, Roberta, is hosting (and posting) a pattern hack month-long-sew-along. It should be fun and I hope to learn a lot! See Marsha, there were hiccups and errors aplenty on this one! It’s why I am a good seamstress but not a pattern designer. I leave that to the other talented people.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you had a good read and it made you smile. Please check out the other blogs on the tour …

Let’s get inspired!

February 1st: Sewing By Ti (intro),  Mahlica Designs

2nd: Sewing With D

3rd: Sewing With Sarah

Sunday, February 4th: Tenille’s Thread

5th: My Heart will Sew On

6th: Kathy Kwilts and More

7th: Stitched By Jennie

8th: EYMM

9th: With Love In Every Stitch

10th: The Bear and the Pea Atelier

Sunday, February 11th: Our Play Place

12th: My Sewing Roots

13th: Margarita on the Ross

14th: Very Blissful

15th: Seams Sew Lo

16th: Sew Sew Ilse

17th: Aurora Designs

Sunday, February 18th: Sewing Scientist

19th: Manning the Machine

20th: The Fairy Dust Bin

21st: Hazelnut Handmade

22nd: Kate Will Knit

23rd: Lulu & Celeste

24th: Flaxfield Sewing

Sunday, February 25th: Twinado Alley

26th: Ma Moose

27th: Auschick Sews

28th: Oak Blue Designs

The UndiesCovered Valentine Tour with EYMM Every Day Essentials

I was thrilled to join the Everything Your Mama Made & More! (EYMM) Valentine’s Blog Tour. I have had the pattern for ages but somehow just haven’t got round to making anything … yet. The thought of some elegant layers for Valentine’s Day was very attractive. Well, that was, until I received word that my long time planned sinus surgery was set for February 14th! “Happy Valentine’s,” he said. “You get a new inner nose!” At least I can feel pretty before and afterwards!

I won’t say much about the pattern as it has been well documented by previous bloggers just how versatile it is. If you haven’t read any of the other blog posts there are hyperlinks at the bottom of this post, along with a code for 50% off the pattern.  Suffice to say like all EYMM patterns the pattern is well thought out and written. I really like the fact that as well as offering a huge range of body sizes the bra cup also comes in three sizes. After all, we are all build differently.

My first foray was to make a sleep bra, which isn’t shown here; there are some things a woman doesn’t share to the global audience. Which brings me on to just how difficult it was to have photos taken. EEP! I’m not 24 or even 44 any more. The lightbulb moment filled me with horror and worry, until Himself pointed out that if I felt that bad I could pull out of the tour … Ho Hum …

But back to the sleep bra. It is very comfortable and I have been wearing it quite happily – either indoors or undercover (of other clothes). I also get a giggle when I wear it as I used a rather X-rated fabric!

Onwards and upwards… I wasn’t completely happy with the fit and wanted more cleavage coverage, so bought myself some rather luxurious charcoal sparkly fabric … with a LOT of lycra; so much so it is competing with my Spanx for suck it in factor! I decided to make the full cup and a knee length slip. The slip works, but as the measuring chart had indicated, I didn’t need the full cup. It was however a hit with my husband who, while he didn’t have a jaw dropping moment did ask “Is this under wear or outer wear?” His reaction was good enough for me and helped enormously when I was worrying about how much flesh was appropriate to show to the world in general. Let me add it has been -20c here for a while: even indoors I want several layers on.

Short and sassy or short and sweet? Everyone has an opinion, but I do feel comfortable in this slip. It holds all the lumpy bits in, but doesn’t compress me into extinction! I like that the lingerie lace helps with support, and there is also an optional (hidden) support band, which I didn’t use. That lycra was doing its job!

The slip was so comfortable I had a last minute idea to hack the pattern into a summer slip dress. I’m slightly taller than average and the bra top still felt it was a bit too short. I’d already added a few inches onto the slip length but now added 1″ into the bodice length, and altered the cups to give more coverage. I sewed up a bright lightweight knit fabric as it makes me smile. I added white lace to the bottom, and instead of the support band I sewed in some 3/8″ elastic to give some Empire line definition. Yes … I like girlie. I like how the front crosses over and defines my bust, and even if my bra peeks a little it’s a flattering, rather than a tarty look.

I was aiming for a boho feel so added 10″ to the bodice front then gathered this extra to the middle. Next time I will make this gather across the middle two thirds of the front. It gave a flowiness that will be fantastic in our hot dry summers. The end result is fabulous and I’ve made this pattern mine! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed sewing it.

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My only wish is that we saw ourselves as others do, and not with the insecurities that age, life or experiences seem to send our way. My Sista, Janet, always advises me to aim to live in the risen state. It’s been a tough go with this tour but I do believe with the support of Himself, and my FaceBook blogging group I finally got there. Its never too late to learn to like, love or accept ourselves. Happy Valentines Day everyone xx

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Make sure to visit all the stops on the Valentine Essentials Blog Tour! (Keep in mind that the links below won’t work until their scheduled date.)

Feb. 3 -�Sewing by Ti

Feb. 4 – Joelle at EYMM

Feb. 5 – Embrace Everyday

Feb. 6 – Sprouting JubeJube and Capture, Craft, and Cook

Feb. 7 – Call Ajaire and Blessed x Five

Feb. 8 – Rebel & Malice and Sew Haute Blog

Feb. 9 – Kelly’s Sewing Creations and Sew Far North

Feb. 10 – Roundup at EYMM

During the tour, the Everyday Essentials pattern is on sale for half off!�Use code VDAYTOUR�on the EYMM site to save 50% on the Women’s Everyday Essentials pattern until February 12 at 11:59pm PST.

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