Monday, January 6, 2014

Bye bye 2013, Hello 2014!

So many non-sewing related things happened last year and I've grown up a wee bit thanks to all of those. My sewing took to back burner and I have absolutely no regrets.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, they say! I found that to be true, to my amazement. 'Letting go' seems to be the general theme for last year. And I also discovered that I was not forced by life to 'let go' and that it was a choice. MY choice! I discovered the strength to stand up for myself and not put up with disrespect and the strength to let go.



Letting go did not create a void in my life, but some space. A generous breathing space. I guess, making that space in my life consciously, has brought some welcoming changes around here and we are thrilled.... I also owe 3 people, some love filled packages... It's coming sooooon. I promise!

As for sewing resolutions for this year, I have none! I'm going to practice being grateful for all that I have and to live in the moment.

Looking forward for 2014!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Toronto Sewing bloggers meetup

The second one is being planned, ladies!

Funnygrrl from Falling through your clothes  is visiting Toronto and is organizing a sewing bloggers meetup. Who wants in?

The details are here.

Update: I couldn't make it this time around as I had to be elsewhere on that very day. Maybe next time! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Elna Supermatic


I saw this beauty advertised for sale and left it alone... For a long time.

And now she's mine. Feel free to shake your head thinking "Incorrigible". Laugh all you want, but she's mine! All mine.

SSsshhh! We don't talk about the no-buy resolution in these parts anymore! Remember? I gave it up in June and not looking back.


All the machines I've tried in the past 20 years.. could never match up to the straight stitch from my mom's treadle. And now I've found one that possibly can.  I've read about vintage Elna's a bit and have found that they could make a stitch as good as vintage Bernina's. Let's see if she can rise up to the challenge. I picked her up yesterday. She came with just one accessory - the zigzag cam. I don't think I care about other accessories.. At least not at this point, anyway. I also found the Elna Supermatic manual online.

The good news is that she seems to work! Yay! Bad news is that there's some noise; The needle moves freely not hitting anything but there's some noise elsewhere. I've read that the pulley might be off and needs replacing every 50 yrs. The Youtube video that talks about changing the pulley in Elna Supermatic seems to have a different noise than mine. But first things first - she needs a bit of cleaning and a lot of oiling to see if the sound still exists. If it is the pulley, apparently it is easy to change on my own and the pulley can be bought online at RayWhite. But I might get it serviced as well.

A machine that was well used and care for at some point and put away for long time.  Needs a tiny bit of TLC before she can be back in full form kicking ass.

In case you are wondering if I am sewing at all, yes, I have finished a dress and wore it thrice already and love it! Just waiting for pictures before I post on that. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Connie Crawford's class - a review


It's been a week since I'm back from a class with Connie Crawford in June. And it has taken me this long to decide whether to post this review or not. Read on and you'll know why.

Fitting on my own has been frustrating... First comes selecting the correct size for the pattern, then knowing what adjustments to make. Followed by how much to take in or let out for each of these adjustments. And to do this on my own?? Yikes! Makes me want to go back to reading about sewing, instead of actually sewing! No, Not lazy, but just plain frustrated!

So I signed up for this class with Connie Crawford at Ann Arbor. I know that Connie also comes to Toronto for the Creative Festival in Fall every year and teaches hands-on workshops and seminars but I have other classes in mind for then. So Ann Arbor, it was.


Know what was even more fun?? I convinced my family to drive to Michigan with me. :)

As for Connie Crawford's class, I'm double minded.

I did learn stuff from her - Watching her drape a knit top on a mannequin was a great learning experience. Learning about drafting, grading, watch her do it with a grading ruler was very helpful too. Her method of sewing lapped zipper was very different and quick and easy! Also, got some tips on drafting styles from a sloper  and balancing seam lines in skirts / tops etc.

For the "Fitting & designing for the girls" class, (No,  I don't like the name either), Connie had us try on multiple samples from her sloper pattern that is drafted for all sizes, all bust cups.

Fitting the bust first and then taking in the shoulder (no changes to sleeves) was her main principle in fitting. Which is totally fine - there are million ways to fit as long as the wrinkles are gone. But her idea of a well fitting garment and mine were not the same. She was ignoring the very obvious arm hole/sleeve wrinkles in many people she fitted.  And I could see that a lot of people needed their armhole raised - me included.  When I went back again and asked a question about the armhole and showed her what was wrong with it - yes, she agreed I needed to raise the armhole at least an inch.

Does that mean all were fit incorrectly? No! that's not what I mean. If you have a figure that fits into one of the multiple samples from her pattern, you lucked out and I'm really happy for you. For the rest of us who did not confirm to the body shape that the patterns were drafted for, Too bad!

One of the ladies tried on Connie's knit top samples (Which were not for different bust cup for each size, just regular XS, S,M,L, XL, etc) during a demo. There were very obvious wrinkles originating from the bust at all angles and somebody in the audience even dared to ask the question that many of us were asking ourselves - if it fit right - to which Connie said 'In my opinion, the fit is perfect!   Sorry! Nope!

What was very annoying to me is her repeated bashing / eye rolling at people who educate or make patterns for home sewing and making fun of 'choosing by upper bust measurement and asking how on earth will it fit the bust?' while she very conveniently ignored that an FBA was almost always done on the pattern when they have a bust bigger than B cup, while choosing by upper bust measurement.

Overall, I'm glad I tried this class. I might buy her books / DVDs in future or check them out in the library. But I don't think I'll take another one of her workshops, which is really unfortunate as I do think she has a lot to offer on drafting. I browsed through some of her books that were available for sale at the venue and those seemed good. I haven't watched her DVDs so can't comment on that but obviously it would not contain the repeated bashing 'what does home sewing say.....?'/ self adulation 'I'm the only one who has ...' / This person copied my pattern / that person copied my book... No thanks!

One person that got a lot of my thanks was 'Rosebud' - her assistant for this weekend. I had missed the 'Sew like a pro'  class since I arrived very late, driving from Toronto to Ann Arbor.. Rosebud offered to help me get caught up with the class. And she did sit with me for half an hour the next day morning before the class started and had me caught up with 'Sew like a pro' class material.  Those tips were very useful.

In all, I got a lot out of Grading / Draping / Sew like a pro class. None with the fitting.