Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Celebrate September!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the Year” the jingle of a T.V. commercial has us rolling our eyes and wanting to cling to what is left of the summer holidays before we get back to the routine of school lunches and work schedules. I’m so glad Labour Day is late this year; it gives us a few more days and one more long weekend to enjoy and get ready for back to school.

To celebrate all Wonderfil Thread is Buy One, Get One Half Price! Serger thread is 50%off. There are new Upholstery Ends including woven Chenilles and Tapestry, perfect for some cushions or covering those dining room chairs. Lida Biday fashion fabrics are 50% off and now is the perfect time to get that quilt finished with ½ price extra wide backing for quilts.

Once summer is over many of us want to get back to the sewing room and nothing is nicer than starting fresh with a brand new sewing machine! Come in and check out the amazing prices on the Quilter’s Choice, Decorator Choice and Espire. Sergers are on special, too and Owner’s classes are FREE with your purchase of a Baby Lock Sewing Machine or Serger.

This week at Sew Have Fun

Thursday Sept 2, Fashion and Fitting, is making pants a pain in the butt? Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and learn some pants fitting tips so that when it comes time to wear pants we’ll be ready!

Tuesday, September 7, Quilt as You Go, Straight Out of Line 10-1.

Wednesday, Sept 8, Serger quilt 10-1

Thursday, Sept 9, Serger night 7-9, using the serger to gather and ruffle.

Many more classes on the schedule, drop in or call to book your spot!

Looking Forward to seeing you soon,


Sew Have Fun



p.s. Don’t forget to set aside Thursday, Sept 23. Trunk Show by Brenda Sutherland, 7-9pm

New arrivals of Fabric:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Magazines Burda Style

Just a quick note, the latest edition of “A Needle Pulling Thread” has arrived and as always there are fabulous articles and ideas. While you’re at it the latest Burda Style is here with some interesting outfits perfect for back to school.

Past copies of Burda Style are available at the store for a discount!

Looking Forward to seeing you soon,


Sew Have Fun



Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Sew Cool" "Young Designers" "Sewcial"

A Special Sewing Student!

This time of year always brings a sense of sadness and anticipation. For the kids summer vacation is almost over but there is the excitement of the coming school year and all the unknowns...the next grade in school, new friends, and new experiences. The grown-ups look back and see the accomplishments or lack of them; I know I always start the summer with a big to-do list. And now the days are getting shorter some leaves are even starting to turn and we are going to pack as much as possible into the remaining days of vacation.

I hope for some of you that includes some sewing! The Lida Baday Collection fashion fabrics are on sale 50% off, perfect for a new fall outfit. Fall and Christmas fabrics are arriving so come in before they slip away! As many of you know once these are gone we won’t be able to get more. Our September schedule is ready so sign up for a class, we have something for everyone!

“Sew Cool” and “Young Designers” are weekly sewing classes for young people. Pre-registration is Tuesday August 24 from 6-7:30pm. Is there someone you know who would love to learn to sew? Come in and check out some of the sewing projects.

August 26 7pm “Sewcial” Join us for a fun and informative evening as we challenge each other to participate in a S.W.A.P. sewing with a plan, and demonstrate how to make a Full Bust Alteration on different styles of patterns. Call to register.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,




Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Look 6779

Pattern Description: New Look Easy Dress

Pattern Sizing:This is a multisized pattern sizes 10-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?What I really wanted was the yoke and a A line dress so the silhoette is there but my dress does't really look like the pattern

Were the instructions easy to follow?Instructions were ok but I veered from the path right from the start as I lined the dress and didn't use the facings.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I was looking for an A Line dress with yoke because I was inspired by a dress while window shopping.

Fabric Used:

Polyester knit from Sew Have Fun

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Pattern alterations? Where shall I start...first the measurements, had I made the dress according to my measurements I would have cut the 22, I cut the 18. New Look is probably the worst offender when it comes to grading for larger sizes...who has 18" shoulders?!! I should have made a full bust alteration before I rotated the dart and turned it into a princess line dress but the dress is full enough below the yoke so it is ok. I traced the dress front and back, cut it apart and added seam allowances. The back yoke was still too big so I cut it apart and added a button and loop closure. Not needed as the dress slips over my head but it took care of the extra fullness in the back yoke. The front yoke is still a little big, there is a pooch of extra fabric at the neckline which I think would be solved by folding out a dart at the neckline on the pattern.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I don't think I'll make this again but I will not be afraid to rotate darts and make alterations. I don't think I could recommend this unless you are prepared to check all the measurements and make adjustments. It's a lot of work for a simple dress.


I'm ok with the out come, not as formal as the inspiration dress as the hem is coverstitched and a little short but I like the red and the cording look on the seams.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A new look for a new era!!

A new era where I promise to blog more than I have been doing!  I have been sewing...so much that I have had no time to blog or do much of anything else.  Sewing forever...housework whenever!  I will take pictures of the New Look dress I recently made and post a review on pattern review as well.  New Look patterns were on sale at my local fabric mart and this dress reminds me why to pass them by!  I will explain when I post pictures.
For now I just want to say that I have missed reporting on myself and will get back into the habit. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Self drafted" skirt

Summer's coming, I know it and when it does this skirt will be great with a tank or at the beach with a bikini top.  Here's how I did it:
My fabric is 60" wide so I cut 60" (1.5m).  I trimmed off the selvages.

I folded it twice and placed the corner with the folded edges closest to me. I used my tape measure and measured a waist measurement. (7x4 layers = 28") Cut off and divide into quarters, mark with pins or a marker.  This really stretches so if you have a tiny waist I'd make that measurement smaller by about 20%.

I cut a waist band 4 inches wide by 28" long.  Seam the short ends right sides together and fold wrong sides together.  Mark the quarters with a pin and match the pins to the main body of the skirt.  You want to place the seam of the waistband to the back of the skirt and for me I wanted the points of the skirt to be front, back and sides.  You could place it differently but I think this is the most flattering for everyone.
Here you see the waist band and waist of the skirt pinned together.  I sewed this on a serger and the big thing to remember is that sergers don't sew over pins so you must pull them out before you damage your machine!
I sewed an elastic into the seam as I sewed the waist band on and I'm glad I did as this knit is weightier than I thought.  I roll hemmed the hem of the skirt and there you have it, an easy summer skirt, it will pack easily for a cruise, too!

If you were adventurous you could wear this above the bust, just another option!

I've Been Sewing Too!

Pattern Description:

Top with gathered bust section.

Pattern Sizing:

34-44 (I graded it up to a 46 and did a FBA)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, it does look like the pic.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I looked at the instructions and made a couple of changes because of using the serger and coverstitch so that everything flowed more logically.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This was an easy top to make and I like the flattering neckline, however it was a little too revealing for me. I obviously didn't read the whole discription, "A cowgirl can also show off her figure in such a bright ring-striped top with gathered bust section to attract a suitable cowboy!" As I previously mentioned I did a full bust alteration so I don't want to show off! I think with a little more alteration I can bring in the neckline so that my brastraps won't show.

Fabric Used:

A lovely light-as-air knit from "Sew Have Fun". Should have used a narrow coverstitch as the hem puckered just a little.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Graded up to a 46 and did a full bust alteration to the bust portion. You can see how I do a FBA http://sewhavefun.blogspot.com/2010/01/does-it-take-2-weeks-to-make-5.html

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I think once I make the changes I will sew it again.


This will make a great little summer top for when the hot weather really arrives.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

At last, my long absence explained

Hi friends, I'm sure some of you thought I fell off the planet, but I'm back!  I've been here all along, reading your posts and blogs and gathering as much info as I could on building your own business from scratch!  And so now here I am, Sew Have Fun has grown into the real deal, storefront and all.  It's been quite a journey, one I'm not sure I would want to repeat, but some of it, yes, and of course hind sight is 20/20 so are there things I might change. 
So here we are, I'm in my store, waiting for customers who love sewing as much as I do!  A few have been trickling in, I'm waiting for the flood!  Just like Noah, but I hope I don't have to wait 100 years.
Here is a great list I'd like to share.
Everything I need to know I learned from Noah

Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.

Don't listen to critics. Do what has to be done.

Build on the high ground.

For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

Two heads are better than one.

Speed isn't always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.

If you can't fight or flee--float.

Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.

Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.

When the doo-doo gets really deep, don't sit there and complain--shovel!

Stay below deck during the storm.

Remember that the ark was built by amateurs & the Titanic was built by professionals.

If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.

Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside.

No matter how bleak it looks, there's always a rainbow on the other side.


Monday, February 15, 2010

I haven't been at the Sewing Machine for weeks:(

But I'm happy to say that someone has been keeping busy!  My son was involved with a group that recreated certain periods in history and his interest in knights and armor really grew.  He has created several garments that would have been worn in the 1000s; that means natural fiber and all sewn by hand. 
I went down to the sewing room to trace out a Burda Pattern and this is what I found on my sewing table.
This is "Scale Armor" kind of an apron that would protect the wearer's torso.  It is completely made by hand.  The metal plates are cut, the sharp edges grinded and three holes punched.  They are hand sewn to heavy canvas in a woven pattern to inhibit sharp objects from penetrating.  This is what it might have looked like: http://www.polandbymail.com/get_item_jk503_full-size-hussar-fish-scale-armor-helmet-with-stan.htm

I am amazed by his hand work, I showed him how to do a buttonhole stitch quite a long time ago and you can see he makes use of it here to finish the edges of the canvas.  I guess sewing does run in the family!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Does it take 2 weeks to make 5 buttonholes?

It does when you are in the middle of inventory! At last it's done so I will have a little more time for sewing! I have posted the review over on Pattern review, just click on the icon. I was pleased with the full bust alteration on the shell and needed to add the same to the cardigan. I played a little with the placement and set the dart in the arm instead of the same as the shell.  I drew the lines from the bust point to the hem and armseye, cut and spread the pattern as before.  I pivoted the dart created into the armseye.
Here you can see the new dart I drew, again, it doesn't go to the bust point.  I also added a rounded back alteration.  I drew a horizontal line where I am the most round.  I added a line into the shoulder seam and cut
the pattern across the horizontal line leaving a hinge.  You can see it here.  I smply added a dart into the shoulder seam.  Fits quite nice!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Full Bust Alteration Easy Peesy!

Over the past couple of years I’ve been working on ways to have the clothes I spent my precious time making actually fit! The “Big Four” continually draft patterns for a lady with a “B” and I am a D+. I used to add a little here and there, no wonder I didn’t end up with professional results. This is a sleeveless shell, drafted with no darts. Had I made it as is you would see the fabric pulling from the underarm or side seam to the bust. Perhaps you have seen this on yourself or others while, dare I say it, people watching at the Mall.

Here is my tutorial on how to turn any top without darts into a top with darts and, yes, T-shirts should have darts. Start by drawing three lines on the pattern, from the arm to the bust point, the side to the BP, and BP to hem.

Cut the tissue from hem to BP, BP to arm, leaving a hinge (reinforce with tape). Cut from the side seam to the BP, leaving a hinge. Spread the cut edges apart. You can see I spread an inch. Put some extra tissue or paper underneath and glue everything down so it doesn’t move. True the bottom hem. Draw the dart. Just a word of caution, you don’t want the dart to go right to the bust point, things will be too “pointy”.

Here is the completed shell which is part of a twin set I am working on. I will show how to move the dart on the cardigan and add a rounded back alteration.
Have a very busy week coming but I will post when I can.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Burda World of Fashion..Yes they are worth it!!

Pattern Description:
Classic Jacket with Princess Seams
Pattern Sizing:
Plus size 46
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, aside from the contrast at the collar.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Okay instructions, changed a couple things.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
As the discription says this is a classic jacket but not overdresessed. It will look nice with Jeans, slacks or a skirt.
Fabric Used:
This is a quilted fabric with a lining fabric on the inside. It's all man-made-plenty of static!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
When I laid the back piece on the fold I swung the pattern piece out just a little to add an extra inch to the hips. No interfacing was used because there is enough body in the fabric. I changed the sewing of the collar and band a little; I sewed the collar to the band and sewed the band to the neckline, folding the facing over the leading edge of the band. This way the neck edge that shows if the Jacket is not buttoned all the way is nicely finished. The directions called for the band to be sewn along one side and then folded in and hand stitched on the inside neck edge. This just seemed to be more trouble than it was worth with this quilted fabric. I didn't include the pockets in the princess seams, I was afraid they would gape or pull across my tummy. I also didn't do the topstitching along the seam lines or contrast at the collar, I felt the fabric had enough detail.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I think I will sew this again, there's a nice piece of chenille in a colour wash of brown and teal in the stash. I think I'll add a little length to the sleeve. We'll see if I get it done this winter.
I'm so glad I've gotten a few BWOF garments sewn, the fit is superior to the big 4 patterns, I don't have to make many changes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Another Swap Project Done!

I know the PR Fall Wardrobe swap is long over but these pants were cut out and waiting patiently on the cutting table for me, silently pleading for love and attention! The wait is over and now they hang on a hanger in the closet, waiting for me to lose the Christmas cookies that are hanging around my hips!! A few more trips to the gym and the wait will be over agian! That said I do love the pants, they are just what I wanted out of dress pants, they hang beautifully (don't pay attention to the fabric pulling at the inner legs, the dress form has no bum or legs), and feel really nice on which has to do with the bemberg lining I used (except for the cookie problem I mentioned earlier, they will feel really nice when they are not too tight!) To prep for the Zipper I put together this tutorial, as a result of the practice the zipper went in without a hitch or glitch!

Fly Front Zipper Tutorial

The time had come to finish these crepe, bemberg-lined slacks and I wanted to practice the zipper before I went to the project. I have done zippers before and sometimes they require stitch ripping :( before you’re done. I just didn’t relish using a seam ripper on black crepe. A practice run is the solution and since I was doing it for me I thought I’d share it with you!

Here is the mock up of the pants front. You’ll notice that the fly extensions are interfaced to the seam line. Part of the crotch seam is sewn and the extension is basted.

Clip the crotch seam just below the extension and press the seam open.

Fold the pants and one extension back so that there is only one layer on the work surface. Pin the zipper facedown so that the zipper tape is against the seam. It’s always easier to use a longer zipper than called for in the pattern so that the zipper pull is well out of the way. Sew the zipper to the extension, this doesn’t have to be pretty or accurate or even straight (as you can see from my example) it will never be seen!

Next fold the zipper back and sew 1/8-1/4” from the fabric edge.

Now it’s time to sew the other side of the zipper to the other extension. Fold the pants body out of the way and sew the zipper where it lies. There’s no measuring or manipulating to do. The zipper will lay flat, just sew it where it is!

You’re almost done now! Turn the project right side up and chalk a nice line to follow. You’re the designer so put your line where it looks good to you; 1 ¼” is good for casual pants, I like dressy pants to be a little narrower. Don’t worry if you don’t sew on the zipper tape, it’s already stitched down to the extension. If you’re using contrasting thread this is where you’ll want the stitches to be perfect, (unlike this sample) and it might be fun to do a double row of stitches with a twin needle. Do a little bartack or backstitching where the seam will open, take out the basting and you are done! A Stress Free Fly Front Zipper!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I've been reading many of your blogs and your accomplishments in 2009 blow me away! I'm not going to even try keeping up...I will try to accomplish more sewing than I did last year and I will be better about reporting on what I'm doing. I will try to get to the gym regularly and run 150 miles and more this year! I will read something that feeds my soul every day. These are my resolutions, notice I didn't say anything about eating less...that's just not going to happen when there are still cookies and treats in the house!
With all that said I have been in the sewing room today. I really wanted to make this little jacket in the fall and found a poly fabric that looks a little like a felted wool. I'll do a review tomorrow when it is finished, but to prove that I sewed today I will show you a few pics.
One of the things I took issue with was the finishing of the lower front edges. I think you can see the layers of fabric that would be at the center front right on top of my biggest part. Why would anyone want 8 layers of coating fabric on their stomach!
You can see I mitered these front edges which makes a nicer finish than folding and folding and tacking the seam down with hand stitches.
This Jacket took 10-15 minutes to cut out, 40 minutes construction on the serger, and 15 minutes basting the bands in place. Tomorrow I will do the top stitching, button hole, and final press. I'm not sure how I feel about the raw edges, (yes the bands and facings are applied with a raw edge technique) not sure how durable this poly version of wool will be. In anycase it hasn't been a huge time investment, or cash investment for that matter.
'Night all, and by the way there are 149 miles left to go as I did 1 mile on the treadmill. Did 5 miles on the excercise bike too but I'm not counting those.