Garment Sewing Again

I’ve finally made it back to some garment sewing. A couple of weeks ago in her Distinctive Sewing Supplies newsletter, Catherine Goetz featured ITY knits (some prints for tops as well as solids in a 300 weight) perfect for making leggings. She included this Jalie pattern as well.


Jalie leggings

Jalie Leggings Pattern

I ordered 1 metre of the ITY knit in black and navy, and the pattern. They arrived early this week. Couldn’t wait to give the pattern a try – very simple: cut out x2 the single pattern piece (no side seam) in the navy, some elastic for the waist, quickly stitch it up on the serger (no hand sewing required). In under an hour I had a finished pair of leggings that fit very well.

Now I needed a tunic length top. A while back I had made a top using Marsha McClintock’s t-Shirt Trifecta pattern – turned out well. So I looked through the garment fabrics I had on hand, found two jersey knits I’d purchased earlier in the spring. Cut out the pattern (had to use some of the leftover ITY knit for the top since I didn’t have enough of the jersey knit), sewed it up. Not as fast as the leggings, obviously, but a couple of hours and I had a finished tunic length top.


Tunic Top

Top with matching leggings – an outfit I can wear now, and into the winter (with a turtleneck for warmth).

That was yesterday. I got up this morning and headed directly to my cutting table to cut out the second pair of leggings in black. Those went even faster than yesterday – I knew what I was doing at this point.

Then a second tunic top. Again, I was short on fabric, but this time rather than use the black ITY knit, I had enough fabric to piece the sleeves with a center seam from shoulder to cuff (if I hadn’t mentioned it you likely wouldn’t notice it when I have the tunic top on – and the seams in the sleeves lined up perfectly with the shoulder seams!)


Tunic Top II


Outfit #2

Three hours later: another outfit.

I try to keep to the rule – new garment in, an old garment out! I tossed two summer t-Shirts so I could put these two new tunic tops in the closet. I confess, though, I didn’t throw out pants to be replaced by the leggings.

A quick mop up once I was finished and I’m ready to tackle whatever will be my next sewing project – likely a quilt.

Pillow Remakes

I don’t have “before” photos but here are the remakes. I did the needlework about 40 years ago. I was going to toss them out and look for new ones, but when I took a closer look I thought the needlework had held up well even if the velvet backing fabric was definitely showing its age. 

So I very carefully unpicked the seams, discarded the old backing fabric. This time I installed zippers, new backing fabric (on two of the pillows I used some of the leftover upholstery fabric from the sofa), and the pillows look like new – definitely refreshed.

What I find so interesting is that the colours I used 40 years ago are still the colours that draw me today! The pillows go fine with the new sofa and daybed fabrics. Didn’t take long to do, either.

Colourful Socks

Just finished. They seemed to take forever! Probably because I didn’t work on them every evening so they took three weeks rather than the usual two. Anyway, they are now done.

Definitely bright. 

Usually I immediately start a next pair – no idle needles; but it’s now past midnight so new socks will have to be tomorrow….

New Sewing Table

The third sewing table arrived Friday morning and it fits the space perfectly! It’s the right height, and the piece on the left is moveable – when I’m quilting, I can position it further to the right so it will take the weight of the quilt I’m working on. The depth of the main span is also greater (2′ 8″) than on either of the other two tables so there’s more push-back space to work with. I know I’m going to be happy with it.

I intend staining and oiling the surface so it blends better with the other furniture in the space, the majority of which is actually my old teak furniture. I’ll stop off at Lee Valley to ask their advice about how best to do that tomorrow.

So now the space is just about complete. Time to get back to sewing – I have a wall hanging piece I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while – I’m aiming for larger than any I’ve done so far. I’ll start by enlarging the photo on which it will be based so I can look at the elements and think about the fabrics I’ll need.

Here’s the sign outside of the Art Lab in Parrsboro – it was lovely approaching the building Friday evening and seeing it there:

The gathering Friday night was small but definitely enthusiastic.

And as I sit writing on my iPad at the kitchen island counter, I’m also watching the Tennis final in Cincinnati on my iPhone. Cilic has taken the first set, although Murray is pushing him hard in the second…. I was disappointed Raonic didn’t win yesterday. On to the US Open coming week. This streaming thing means I can be sewing and keeping an eye on the tennis at the same time. I love this multitasking….

New Digs II

I moved in August 3 and have worked steadily unpacking and putting away and shopping and arranging stuff. It’s just about done. I’m sitting waiting for the delivery of the third sewing table this morning. There’s still a small dining room table and 4 leather chairs to arrive and I’ve expressed interest in a large painting that I’ll get to audition in my space after Labour Day. But for the most part, this is now home.

Front Door

Apartment from front door


Sewing Studio




Recovered Sofa




Wall shelves with storage


Sewing station – Quilting machine


Repurposed dining room table with storage beneath


Sewing station – Serger






Organized closet


Sitting room with recovered day bed

I’m Back – Show at Art Lab 2016

I’m finally settled into the apartment! There are still a few things to do but for the most part it’s now home.

Yesterday I traipsed to Parrsboro with 10 new quilts and 3 wall art pieces. They’re on show at Art Lab till Sept. 7. We spent the afternoon hanging the exhibition and I was delighted with how well the pieces all show.

New Digs

Wednesday – moving-in day – YEAH! I’m tired of being a vagabond. I’m ready to have my life settled again and a routine in place. Every day I was in Newfoundland felt like Saturday.

I got the apartment keys past Saturday and moved in the stuff I kept with me – some clothing and bathroom items. I’ll be taking in more clothing today.

I thought I should take pictures before the boxes and furniture arrive Wednesday to have a record of the bare apartment.

A galley kitchen with island – the kitchen end of this open space is 15′ x 10′ (back wall to back of island). The front door is to the right of the kitchen. There’s a “den” (read that as an 8 x 11 room without a window which I’m going to use for storage) which you can’t see beside the kitchen.

The other end of this large open area looks smallish from this viewpoint at the island, but it’s a 15′ x 31′ space from windows to back of island. You can see the doorways to the bedrooms, one on each side. There’s a reasonable sized balcony beyond the sliding patio doors. 

This space will house my sewing studio. Tables for each sewing machine, a centre cutting table, a spot for my ironing board, furniture with drawers to store fabric and notions. 

The large bedroom:

The smaller bedroom which I’m intending to use as a sitting room:

The apartment has two large bathrooms and each bedroom has its own walk-in closet.

And an in-apartment laundry utility room:

So lots of space. 

I already know I will have to discard more pieces of furniture because they won’t quite work in the layout I see in my head. Anybody need a solid birch 4-drawer desk? I’ve had this desk since I was eight years old. It has been a part of my computer desk for years but just won’t work here. There will also be a couple of chairs and some end tables to go, but I won’t know for sure until the boxes are gone and the furniture is in place.
Stay tuned.