Monday, February 25, 2013

Mission Accomplished!

The Toronto online sewing community finally gets organised!

After months of planning, promotion and anticipation, our Toronto sewing meet-up finally happened! 
I woke up extra early yesterday morning with butterflies in my stomach. Will people actually come? Will they have fun?

Oh yes, people came. Seventeen, to be exact. And we sure did have fun.

Seriously, I went into this expecting to have fun, but I never expected it to be this much fun. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the company of every single person who attended. What is it about sewists that make us so great?

In attendance:

GillianCrafting a Rainbow

Kristian from Victory Patterns

Chloe, Button and Needle

Andi, from How Unseamly!

Catja from Gjeometry

Dana from Wardrobe Dysfunction 

Debbie from Sew I think I can Sew

Reethi from Weekend Crafting

Vicki, Another Sewing Scientist (All the way from Montreal!) 

Anastasia, who doesn't have a blog (yet!)

Kay from Gently Down the Stream

Sarah from Pattern Vault

Kristin from K-Line

Tracy, who will soon have a blog!


I'm missing two ladies, I think. Please help me identify them!

The event was filled with cute details. Gillian made some fabric name tags for everyone -- we suddenly found ourselves on a first-name basis with the shop attendants! Catja made really cute cake pops that really hit the spot when the fabric-shopping munchies hit. People were sporting their hand-made garments in all their wonderful details. Of note, I was shocked to learn that Tracy had not only made her own coat, but that she used to teach coat making! This lady seriously needs to get herself a blog and make some tutorials for us!
A surprise visit from the bubbly Kristiann, owner of Victory Patterns, who definitely
knew where the deals were at, and who explained how she had made her amazing mittens!
Reethi and her superb self-stitched faux-crocodile skirt
Wool section at King Textiles
 / DanaSarah and Catja at Leathertown
Kristin, Kristiann and other lady (help me identify her!) trying to keep it civilized at the fabric and pattern swap / What I brought home from the swap (I still can't believed I scored Sew U Home Stretch!)
Vicky showcasing her Nelson Mandela print from South Africa, and telling us how bad the shop attendant felt when she cut through Nelson's face / 
Tracy having a laugh, and Vicky showing us her new Egyptian print
Chloe and Tracy
With Debbie who shared some helpful running tips (this lady has completed 50K and 90K races!)
A surprise visit from Jagoda, who was finally able to get a babysitter /
Gillian and I in our me-made outfits: in my Grannysmith Blouse + skirt I made before the blog,
and Gillian in her new knit dress / Left to right: Anastasia, Tracy, Kristin, Vicky, and Reethi
Dana, Sarah, Adrienne (hum, with name tag issues?) and Vicky

Friday, February 22, 2013

Map the Sewentists

Stop press!

If you haven't yet caught wind of Map the Sewentists, you need to do that right. now. Go ahead and pin yourself in there, add your blog address or your Burda Style account, and check out if there are other sewists in your neighbourhood!

Vicki from Another Sewing Scientist -- whom I'm so excited of meeting tomorrow at our Toronto sewing meet-up -- has had the brilliant idea of opening an open Google map. Finally, a tool to let us know who's who and who's where! This will be a terrific tool to organize our next Toronto meet-up as the map grows.

Thanks Vicki, and I look forward to seeing all of you on the map!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Toronto Meet-Up this Saturday!

Hello everyone!

The Toronto Sewing Blog Meet-Up is almost here! Are you as excited as we are???

Gillian and I have been busy finalizing the last details of the event. For my part, this has been on top of juggling the other commitments in my life at the moment, which has been crazy busy! But even if it's been quiet around here, I'm still sewing and I will have a few things to show you.

We really can't wait to meet all of you this Saturday. We've gone from not being sure that anyone would sign up, to not being sure how to manage a list of 15 participants!

What will happen?
Meeting in early afternoon, we will be exploring the fabric shops on Queen West. At the end of our shopping, we will head to a restaurant nearby for some food, drinks, and fun! At this point, we will have a fabric and pattern swap, so bring along any fabric or patterns from your stash that you just don't think you'll use anytime soon. One woman's stash is another woman's treasure! Bring as much or as little as you want. We'll trade our goodies and come home with something new and exciting! We expect to finish at roughly 4 or 5 PM, but if you're up for some more adventures, some people might hit the shops again, or stick around for dinner and drinks.

If you haven't signed up, or if you are on the "maybe" list, it's not too late! Just confirm by Thursday by emailing one of us.

If you've confirmed your attendance, you should have received an email from Gillian or myself with the event details. If you haven't, please check your spam box or get in touch with us!

Last thing: The ability to admire each others' self-made garments in real life is a big part of what makes meet-ups so much fun! Go ahead and wear Saturday that quirky dress you'll never wear at the office! *Cough.* Lobster dress.

On that note, and to entice you, I'll leave you with a couple pictures of the experience that started it all... Karen's infamous Fabric Fandango, held in London in 2011! If we can do half as good a job as Karen did in organizing this event, you'll have the time of your life this Saturday!
Sewing-world celebrities, left to right, Portia, Zoe, Melizza, Marie, Dibs,
and a blog-less lovely lady whose name I can't remember!
Our sub-group -- so nice to get to know these ladies!

Friday, February 08, 2013

When the universe conspires to help us sew

I've been trying to figure out how to copy View C of New Look 6000 for Winnie's Polka Dot FrockFrest, but didn't feel too confident about my progress so far.


Imagine my surprise when I saw the evening's program at pattern drafting class!

This skirt is half of my dress right there! My teacher Nick was more than happy to fill me in on how to proceed with the other half and I now think I have it down now. I've been enjoying my pattern drafting class SO. MUCH. by the way -- I have to do a separate post about it.

Now, the only issue standing between me and New Look 6000 is my darn bodice bloc. I desperately need to fix. Although it's totally functional at the moment, the position of the bust point and bust darts are not accurate, which is weird since it fits like a glove, but which totally won't fly with dart manipulation.

Speaking of positive sewing coincidences: Last year, in Granada, I kept thinking "I need to buy a screwdriver to fix my sewing machine. I need to buy a screwdriver. I need to buy a screwdriver." And the next thing I know, I wake up one morning and there is a bright-red screwdriver that seems to have fallen from the sky to land on my third-floor terrace. I was able to fix my sewing machine and two days later I had a brand new Minoru jacket, which I love to this day. How crazy is that?

Sometimes, the universe conspires to help us sew! And I'm sew grateful when that happens!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Four Sewing Challenges

I'm participating in not one, not two, not three, but FOUR sewing challenges at the moment:

1) Super-blogger Karen (if you don't know Karen, you either don't read sewing blogs or you've been living under a rock) came up with a brilliant idea to hold us accountable to our Sewlutions -- the Sewlution Jar. Mine is to make trousers complete with fly zipper. I haven't yet started on that and it regularly haunts me late at night, along with other stressful items on my to-do list. Karen made clear that she could pull any name out of the jar at any time to check up on their progress. Do I want to lose face when that happens not really.

2) I'm excited about the Stashbusting Sewalong put on by Cation Designs and EmSewCrazy because, you know, the stash keeps growing. There is a theme for each month and February's theme is Love. These two ladies asked that we officially declare our intentions so here goes:
I, Adrienne of All Style and Substance, commit to using 24 pieces of stash fabric in 2013.
That's it, I've committed, no turning back now!

3) In Winnie's PolkaDot FrockFest we will be sewing the beloved New Look 6000 in polka dot. I bought the perfect fabric for it today and I have my game plan all laid out and ready.
What's that you say? Didn't I pledge to "not buy any more fabrics"? Ahem, that's why we went shopping this morning and we're making the pledge tonight.

4) And last but not least, there is Julia Bobbin's Second Mad Men Challenge. I drooled and drooled over your Mad Men outfits last year and was totally ecstatic when I learned of round two.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Review: The Tissue-Fitting Method

I adjusted my Georgia O'Keeffe Blouse using the tissue-fitting method, or the "Palmer-Pletsch Approach to Fitting". Fit for Real People certainly makes you feel that this new method is going to change your life forever. And it's a perfectly fine method, but it didn't really.

For one thing, it takes time to prepare and assemble the pattern pieces -- as much time as making a muslin. I did like that I was able to see precisely the waist, center back and center front markings against my body due to the tracing paper being see-through.
The side inserts of this pattern replace the gussets often found in kimono sleeves

But that small advantage is outweighed by the fact that the method requires a fitting buddy, like many of you commented previously. I would add that it not only requires a fitting buddy, but a qualified fitting buddy. As in, someone well-versed enough in sewing and fitting that they can actually help with the fit problems. It feels that the method was really designed for the sewing-class context, and the student-teacher binary. And in fact, it comes as no surprise that the book is the result of the authors' 20+ years of teaching experience. 

You can see clearly in here that Center Back is not positioned properly at the center of my back. Removing one inch from at the bottom, and adding one inch at the top of center back was the solution.

Conclusion: Tissue fitting is not particularly better than muslins. But I think I now understand why so many of you are so fond of Swedish tracing paper: It offers the best of both world. You get to write on it and see-through it like tracing paper, but you can also sew it like a muslin. And use the unpicked muslin as final pattern pieces. Brilliant.
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