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Sandra Betzina Vogue 1429

What I liked about this, Vogue 1429 by Sandra Betzina pattern is the stand up collar, which camouflages my rounded neck, (caused by all this addictive sewing!) I also loved the idea of trying some color-blocking. Plus, well, it's by Sandra Betzina!

I had some difficulty figuring out how the front yolk attached and could only find one pattern review, by Acmena on Pattern Review.com. Once I saw that, all of Sandra's instructions made sense. Thanks, Acmena!

I originally made the size with a full bust adjustment and it fit well but I think I'm still used to wearing my clothes a little looser. Scroll down to the second set of pictures and you'll see why I knew I'd be making this top again!

On the second top, I decided I would use a woven interfacing on both sides of the color pieces which gave it more structure to stand in place. The first time I used a knit interfacing on the under collar and I found my light knit black fabric seem to move around too much and did not stand up as much as I wanted. 

So on this black and turquoise one, I made size without any full bust adjustment and it fit very well. At the shoulders I had to raise the sleeve cap about an inch and a half, but everything else sewed together very well. The black is a light textured knit, and the turquoise is a stretch knit mesh, all from Fabricville. 

So, this is the first one. If you have been reading my blogs, you know that I feel that I have to build up experience in choosing the correct fabrics for the patterns I try. I put this on, and my husband said, "Beam Me Up, Scotty." EXACTLY, what I was thinking. I had used a ribbed knit in a very greyed out green, and the lighter weight black knit for the accents. Now, I know there are a lot of Trekkies out there, so this pattern is for you, too!

Just to add a little dizziness to your day!

Style Arc Barb Pants - Free with Newsletter Sign Up

Well, these pants are great! I only had one minor adjustment to make, which is to take a wedge out of the upper centre back to narrow the waist. I made a size 14, with a stretch ponte that is soft and was on sale at Fabricville. It doesn't seem to pill, which is a problem I have had with some knits in the past. On my next pair, I will take in the legs from the knee down about 1/4 inch on either side--just because I have finally learned that this is the style, and it does look good!

Double Sided Fleece Jacket

I also made Simplicity 1758 View A (upper right) with a double sided fleece that was in the remnant table. The navy side was gorgeous and soft, but the plaid had faults in it with blobs of colour. However, I could work around the blobs and was able to fussy cut out the cuffs and the collar. Perhaps, if I was to make this jacket again, I would use lining as the facings with fleece as it is quite thick, but I do love to be cosy! This jacket went together without a hitch, and the princess seams are very flattering. The pattern had a choice of A, B, C, or D cup.  I added a couple of large snaps at centre chest and bottom hem that allow me to wear the jacket with the mock turtle collar, or have open with a scarf.
The blouse was made a couple of years ago. It is actually made from tablecloth fabric--eat, dribble, wash and dry!

I made the scarves with a generous .2 of fabric. It is a crinkly knit and the width (54 inches) allows for it to be rolled twice.

I love a good sewing week!

Blog Hop And Why I Sew

Thanks to my friend and sewing mentor, Diana of Sew Passionista, who nominated me for this blog hop. I'll keep my answers short, so you can get back to sewing!

Why Do I Write?

While I was still teaching, my friend and former principal suggested I start a blog about what I knew about teaching special education and working with students in the public school system who were on the Autism Spectrum. I was retiring that year, and she felt that I had knowledge that needed to be shared. So, that is what you see in my labels. After I retired and moved 1600 km away, I knew that I didn't have the same connections to write authoritatively about that subject.

I had bought myself a basic sewing machine as a retirement present, and through sewing, I was able to meet people like Diana, and her sewing students, who have now become cherished friends. Sewing became my passion, and I decided the blog would be a record of what I am learning, as well as a way for my friends and family back in Ontario to see what I was doing.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I try to remember to take photos as I work, and then get my husband to take photos of me in the finished product. Despite sewing every day, I find it hard to get the photos done. I think it is because I am not confident in styling the finished product. This is an area that I need to work on, and I visit many blogs to see what works.

I find the writing part fairly easy, as I just figure I am talking to like-minded sewists. It is not surprising that people who sew are generous, creative, and love to teach and share what they know.

What Am I Working On Now?

Karen and I are finishing up tunics from Sandra Betzina V1101 that we started in the summer, but got side tracked with the jean jackets. Those pocket details, and using stripes are a challenge! But, with Diana's sew-along which is linked above, I know we will be pleased with the end result. My next goal is to become more comfortable with techniques for working with knits.

One area on which I hope to improve is to choose the right fabrics and to get a feel for what fabrics fit specific patterns. Diana mixes a number of patterns and fabrics. She makes it look easy, but I find it quite a challenge.

I am also working on revamping my blog. I have had difficulty deleting my former postings on teaching, but that is in the past, and I am fully embracing the sewing world and its creative potential. Sewing is a great way to spend the day and it leads you to finding the best friends. It provides life long learning, and gives me great satisfaction.

Who Do I Nominate?

Well, I would like to nominate  Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow. I check out her videos about fabric choices. She is a relatively new sewist, starting in 2012, which is the year I retired. Her sister has a knitting blog, which is another hobby that I love.

So, enough about me! What are you sewing? Why do you blog?

My Mother's Colors: Quilted Wall Hanging

My mother and I have a lot in common. We try new things. We love colors, and tend to overdose on the same cool tones, before moving on.

These ARE my mother's colors, at the moment. She had a beautiful water color painting above the master bed, but it has faded in the light. When she saw this quilt kit made up at a local quilt shop, she bought it and said, "Donna can make that."

I was happy to oblige. It sewed up very quickly. Being a kit, the fabric was cut into manageable pieces and only needed trimming to size. There are four large blocks, a border and binding.

And, I LOVED working with the colors. I bought some gold thread, and borrowed my friend's stencil to do the star in the middle of the gold/purple squares. Everything was free motion quilted, except for the border, where I used the walking foot and decided to do a wavy pattern with the zig zag stretch stitch on my basic Janome sewing machine.

At first, I tried to do a clover leaf and meandering pattern on the large flowered blocks, but the quilting took away from the flowers, so I switched to invisible thread and quilted around the flowers. That worked better, but now I know how the Emperor's Clothes were stitched!

I washed it in cold water, and love the wrinkled, old look the cotton batting gave to this lap quilt/wall hanging. I added some corner flaps and a middle hanger square for a dowel rod to slide through. Bill will have no problem hanging this above the bed.

Now, to fit it in my carry on luggage for my trip to Ontario!