Friday, February 25, 2011

Quilt & Fibre Art Festival - Waterloo Region & Beyond - May 24-28, 2011

It may seem like a long time away, but if you live in Ontario or are travelling here, the Quilt & Fibre Arts Festival of Waterloo Region is worth a visit. Go to for a list of activities. And be sure to allow lots of time for the Merchant's Mall at the Woolwich Community Centre. Often there are bus tours that come by but they only allow 15 or 30 minutes to shop and the passengers always complain that it's not enough. There's a lovely little cafe with homemade goodies at very reasonable prices. Make sure to have your lunch there. The Merchant Mall features sewing books, quilt shops, vintage sewing items, fabric, patterns, notions and more. It's open Thursday, May 26 10-7, Friday, May 27 10-5 and Saturday, May 28, 10-4. Admission is free and parking is free!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Facing a Facing - Threads

Facing a Facing - Threads
This online article from Mary Ray, a contributor to Threads magazine, shows a wonderful way to finish your facings inside a garment. Check it out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

10 Body Language Tips for Female Leaders

AKA Tips on How to Behave Like a Man

Oh no! Here's another article on how badly women are at behaving like leaders. Yep, you'd better stop all that empathizing and girlish gesturing. Ensure that you are rude and interrupt people to show you have power. Never mind that it's women giving this advice.

Will someone please write an article on why women's qualities already make them great at leadership?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Christine Jonson Pleat Front Dress 630

Knit Pleat Front Dress
I have taken a picture of the pleat front dress with custom-made (by me) gemstone necklace and earrings to coordinate. The dress is a lovely Ponte de Roma double knit with Lycra in eggplant and black geometric "knit" print. The necklace and earrings are made with rainbow fluorite that I purchased from Beady I beading store in Bronte Village, Oakville. The mannequin has no hips, so the A-line of the dress doesn't show as well as it would on a human being.

Anyone interested in purchasing this fabric or the pattern, please email

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pleat Front Dress - Christine Jonson

I have not sewn with knits very often but I am going to be stocking more knits as they are comfortable and stylish. I decided to contact Christine Jonson of Michigan about carrying her patterns because they are drafted for knits. Christine has been perfecting her patterns for over 20 years and I have heard many good things about her patterns and designs.

I decided to try the Pleat Front Dress in a Ponte de Roma designer knit print. I read the instructions thoroughly and I also read Christine's book, Life in the Little Black Dress, which is full of wonderful information.

I traced my pattern onto medical examiners tissue pattern.  I used the size 16 for the bust, shoulder and sleeves and gradually scaled out to the size 20 to cover the waist and hip area. I was worried about the fit because it seemed rather small to me. However, I decided to go with the measurements provided on the pattern and see how it went.

The bodice is self-lined, but I used a solid black Ponte de Roma instead of the print. I also sewed it on my straight stitch machine rather than using the serger.  I did not serge finish any seams. Because it is a knit I know it won't ravel and I find that serging adds bulk and sometimes creates marks when pressing.

The pleating at the bodice and the centre front skirt are a little finicky so I waited until I was feeling alert and unrushed. Other than that the whole thing was easy and quick to sew.
The moment of truth came when it was time to try it on. It has no zippers and slips over your head. The fit is snug at the bodice so Lycra or spandex knits are a must. I tried it on and it fit very very well. The bodice with the lining is form fitting but comfortable. The V neck is flattering and lies perfectly flat against the chest. It's also not too low.  All I need to do now is hem the sleeves and bottom and it's ready. A simple yet very flattering dress. I am so pleased.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Folkwear: Unique patterns with timeless style

Did you know that we carry most of these incredible patterns here in Canada? All patterns are priced at par, meaning no mark-up for foreign exchange. And if we don't have the pattern you want, we will get it for you.
Folkwear patterns are drafted from historic and ethnic costume. They appeal to a broad range of garment sewers for many reasons:
Reenactment:  Individuals who recreate some aspects of a historical event. Patterns such as the Croatian Shirt, MLady's Corset, Kinsale Cloak and Walking Skirt from the Old Europe and Romantic categories are popular.
Dancing: People who engage in recreational and professional belly dancing, ballroom and latino dancing purchase patterns from the Caravan category such as the Flamenco Dress & Practice Skirt, Tribal Headdress & Makeup Booklet, Tribal Style Belly Dancer and Turkish Dancer.
Martial Arts: The Japanese Hakama & Kataginu is a big seller.
Country & Western:  Frontier Shirts, Big Sky Riding Skirt, Rodeo Cowgirl Jacket, Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt and Country Frock Coat all fit the bill for this ever popular style.
Asian:  There are many Asian patterns, from the authenic Kimono to Tibetan Panel Coat, Chinese Pajamas and more, Asian styles are comfortable and ageless.
Vintage:  It's a pleasue to see so many sewers, young and old, sewing and wearing styles from the early to mid 20th century:  Swing Suit, Traveling Suit, Beach Pyjamas, Hollywood Pant and Glamour Girl Dress. Shades of Katherine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
Halloween and Fancy Dress:  Patterns from any category!
Classics:  These are the garments that, depending on the fabric used, will be very wearable for many occasions.  Hong Kong Cheongsam, Travelling Suit, Swing Suit, Sophisticated Lady, Empire Dress, Armistice Blouse, Walking Skirt, Gibson Girl Blouse, Scottish Kilts, Tibetan Chupa, Wall Street Blouse & Skirt, Bolivian Milkmaid's Jacket, and Nepali Blouse are all possibilities.

Click here to browse our selection and to purchase these incredible sewing patterns.