12th CK: I Knitted my Remembrance Day Poppy

Knitting a Remembrance Day Poppy


poppy 10

This Remembrance Day I started my search for a knitting project and this is what I found. This is a special year because it’s the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI. So I started to dig in my scrap yarn basket and found a beautiful deep red yarn, a dark blue yarn and a variegated green yarn that complimented each other beautifully then I started to knit.

As I started knitting other thoughts came into my mind and realized I don’t want to forget the freedom I have today was won at a great cost of life. Funny! That knitting a poppy for this Remembrance Day got me thinking about what this little flower should mean to me and maybe with all the turmoil that is happening in the world right now we should pay extra attention to what this poppy means.

This was a wonderful knitting project for me to knit up and I wanted to share it with you all.

Here is the link for the Woman’s Weekly knit & crochet poppy for Remembrance Day (Poppy Appeal). I hope you all enjoy knitting or crocheting this poppy as much as I did.


Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields


Questions: What are you Knitting or crocheting today, and does it have a special meaning for you? You don’t have to answer, just whisper it to yourself.

Note: I have to say that I crocheted the middle piece of the poppy because I didn’t like the knit instructions and it just didn’t work out right. I just did a magic circle of six chains and increased as I went about three to four rows.

God Bless & Knit On, never forgetting

Thank you







68. It is done! Stained Glass Window, an Irish Dress Creation.

Finished 1st Irish dance wall quilt


The journey to finish this wall quilt was a long one, and took me just over a year to finish. Even though this was a very busy year for my family, I am pleased with the results and I’m eager to get started on the second and now that I know all of the twist and turns of the first one I’ll be able to bypass a lot of problems I ran into.

What’s on the back of the quilt

There is an Irish blessing and prayer. I’ve sewn a small pocket for special letters from a mother to a daughter.


May the dreams you hold dearest be those which come true. And the kindness you spread keep returning to you.


May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow. May the soft winds freshen your spirit. May the sunshine brighten your heart. May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you. And God enfold you in the mantle of his love.

From Beginning to End in pictures


Next week after I finish up a dress I started a long time age, I’ll start work on the second quilt. I also have to say that my friend who I’ve been sewing this quilt for her daughters, has been very patient and when I showed her what the final result was she was over joyed. This has made me very happy and I can’t wait to get started on the next one, which will be the last one for me to make.

Question: What is the longest time you worked on a project and finished?

God Bless & Keep on SEWING


67. The Two-day Satchel


Here are all my trappings for my satchel.

bag 1

I have approximately 2 days to whip this satchel up so last night I fixed my plans in mind and it’ll take 15 min to draw up pattern and cutting up the fabric. Ok, 15 min. to make quick pattern then at least 1/2 hr to cut up fabric.

Prototype #1

This satchel took just!! 2 long days sewing, approx 25-30 hours and I had so much more I’d like to have done.

I’ll be designing a pattern for this one and I already have a smaller one in the works.

What I love:


Size of satchel

Ribbon placement around zipper

Straps & buckles

How I sewed the top bit with zipper.

What needs work:

Different colour of raspberry red front flap buckles fastenings, or a the same colour for shoulder strap for consistency.

How I’ll work all buckles and strap.

Longer front flap about 4 inches longer.

The D rings need to be the correct size to fit the straps and I also need to add a tension-lock.

Well I spent three weeks on a road trip trying out my first proto type satchel and so far I’m please with most of it. Next week I’ll draw up a second proto type with all my corrections.


Do you have to make your ideal bag because you just can’t find one you like?

God Bless & Keep Sewing

Thank you,


40. Vintage Sewing Advertisements & More

40. Vintage Sewing Advertisements & More

 Vintage Sewing

Image result for vintage sewing

For an item to be truly vintage it must be well used and passed down at least one generation, a different era! Do you agree? Anything vintage has always attracted my eye and so I dedicate this post to all things vintage. From notions, books, sewing machines, patterns and advertisements. I’ve also added my own vintage items that have been passed down to my family & myself.

I ran across this article about the history of Butterick patterns. I thought I’d share it with you. I enjoyed this history on Butterick because it took his wife to point out her wish while working at her dinning room table with a sewing pattern, that’s all I’ll say!


Patterns from 1890s to 1900s, and only .15 cents

I can imagine these might have been quite expensive in their day and the pattern would have made the rounds in a community.


Dress Forms

I’ve come across some truly horrifying contraptions that were used a long time ago to create the perfect womanly silhouette.

Notions & More

Buttons, spools, wicker sewing baket & WWII sewing kit. While on vacation this summer I found an industrial sewing machines that sew sails and a wooden ironing board.


Dressmaker French Curves

Simply elegant rulers to look at but practical for every day jobs in a seamstress work shop.

Tailors Rulers

Vintage sewing machines

I myself do not have the honor of owning a beautiful vintage sewing machine but I have a cousin who has two that were passed down through family. These two sewing machines came from two Grandmothers and will be passed on to their granddaughters, lucky girls.

2 sewingmachines

My own Vintage Thimbles


Thimbles from my Great Grandmother and Grandmother on my mother’s side.

These thimble are the only vintage sewing items that have been passed down to me through my Aunty Bev. They were used quite a bit as you can see by the holes on top. These thimble came from my Grandmother Gorham and her daughter, my Grandmother Doyle, my mother’s mother. To this day I still pull them off the shadow box my father made for me to hold my thimble collection. I also have a few items my mother has passed on to me, hardly vintage but you have to start somewhere. Over the years my mother has been quite proud she could pass on her sewing book and notions to her daughter. In a way it’s almost a right of passage! From mother to daughter. Most importantly she has passed on her sewing wisdom, that must be said.


I came across this book: (New Vogue Sewing book, by Butterick Publishing from 1980) in Fair’s Fair a used book store while rummaging for the knitting books. The Costume in Detail by: Nancy Bradfield, first published in Great Britain in 1968, reprinted in 1975. This second book was found in Value Village.

Last but not least

The last of the bunch, I kind of got carried away with this post.

What vintage sewing, tailoring or quilting items have been passed down to you or that you’ve found in rummage sales?

God Bless & Sew on




9. Sewing My Wedding Dress.

Wear Blue & he’ll always be True

That’s what everyone said to me when they found out I was sewing a blue dress for my wedding.


This is my favorite photo of my Wedding day

There is a lovely picture that my father took of me when I sat at my mothers sewing machine while I sewed my wedding dress, It reminds me of how young I really was and how grown up I felt at the time. I’ll have to dig through some boxes but hopefully I will find it.
I wasn’t much impressed with the white wedding dresses at the time or for that matter the traditional wedding dress at all. When I look back on my important clothing decisions when growing up I often diverted from the norm in some way or other.  Well, when it came to choose a wedding dress it was no wonder I found myself on the phone with my mom asking her if she’d like to help me with it, of course the answer was a resounding yes!

Why I chose this dress design

During this time in my life I was in England and in Jane Austen territory, I visited Bath and read all the Jane Austen novels. I was very taken with their dresses and decided early on that this was to be my model for a wedding dress. I had a cape, gloves, over dress & the empire waist and I have to say I loved my dress. The only piece that wasn’t true to the period was the modern style shrug but it was February 5th and even though a very good day for that time of year, there was still a damp chill in the air. I thought it quite sensible to be wearing a shrug. A word on the colour of my dress, in the beginning I was looking for a blue but paler and more a corn flower blue. Of course, when entering into the wedding fabric store with my mother in Ottawa all I could find was this royal blue. This colour was settled upon quite quickly when we saw it on the bolt and it just fit perfectly with the pattern. Oddly enough this colour I have never used before with sewing or knitting, it is my wedding colour.

First my mother and I started pattern hunting.

  1. Main dress pattern is from Vogue Easy Options, dress A, pattern number 2144 & size 8. I extended the dress to reach the ground.
  2. The over dress was from McCalls Evening Elegance 2035, dress B and size 8.
  3. McCalls shrug 2241, size 8 and I lined it because the pattern didn’t have one and I thought it would look better with a lining.
  4. The cape from Butterick (fast and easy) 3084,  and yes I lined the cape as well. Cape (C) size 8.
  5. Kwik Sew gloves (2326) were so fun to whip up, size small and I had to alter them for my right hand. This was a fun challenge because I have a unique little hand. Lastly I made the length of the glove only go up a third of my arm.

Time to Sew

The fabric I chose for my wedding ensemble:

  • Velvet for the cape with a polyester lining.
  • Taffeta for the main dress and poly lining, which the pattern didn’t call for.
  • Velour with a nap pattern for the gloves and shrug, I lined the shrug with the same lining that I used for the dress and cape.
  • Silk organza for the over dress and let me say a very challenging fabric to work with.

A few Alterations needed:

I didn’t have to make too many alteration to the dress and only to the main dress. The alteration that I did make were jus to the neckline of the bodice. And of course my mother showed me what to do when taking in extra ease at the neckline.

The Wedding Dress

Traditional Pictures Taken

I’ve had a great time going down memory lane and I it was wonderful looking at all our wedding photos. A little about where we were married; because, my husband is British we had our first and legal marriage at the register’s office in Morden, Surry, UK. In an old estate park called Morden Hall park, which was a snuff mill in its heyday but now is a wonderfully large park that the locals use frequently and is part of the National Trust. We then had our faith marriage back home in Canada and I had the pleasure of wearing my wedding dress again, then later on my husband and I fulfilled our marriage Sacrament when I entered in to the Catholic church.  On this last occasion I didn’t wear my wedding dress due to babies.

Did you make your wedding dress? and did your mother help you?

God Bless & Sew on




38. My little Black Dress & does a gal really need one?

My little black dress, just a drape over Gillian along with my Icebreaker wool shift dress.


I decided to design my own little black dress and as you can see I decided to start playing with different ideas by draping the jersey fabric around my dress form that my son named Gillian.

The Features:

  • The wrap with a slight lift/collar.
  • A-line hem, starting from the knee to mid calf.
  • Cap sleeves.
  • Wrap will fall above the breast line not below
  • A light drape to give the neck line a cowl feel.
  • Gathering on the side seam.

Influential People who I think made this dress what it is today

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This lady wore the little black dress perfectly, and set a standard of dress for a lot of women in her era. Notice the black gloves instead of the traditional white. The designer of this dress is Hurbert de Givenchy for Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961.

Coco Chanel broke social boundaries’ in women’s fashion.

I won’t even pretend to know everything about this women but I will say I admire her determination to be who she envisioned. She stepped out of the restrictive traditions and did it with style and I’m sure quite a bit of sass as well. She set her standard of dress and lived her life as she saw it and took us with her. Stepping out of the corset that caged women she gave us freedom in fashion/dress. Coco started off as a simple milliner to a fashion icon of women’s attire.

Coco Chanel Quotes that have influenced me

Why is less more, for me Coco stripped women of garish amounts of jewelry/fabric and the corset.  Using chosen pieces of jewelry to accentuate an outfit but not overwhelm the dress, she made life simple but elegant with jersey and threw the corset away.

For what ever reason the little black dress is important, we’ve made it so! It would never have taken off if we had not been so taken with it. Black is no longer in mourning, that was done away with long time ago. The elegant silhouette whether you dress it up or down has made its place firmly our wardrobe and most women have one or two hanging up.

Whether a mother, fashion icon or era. These play a part in what we will wear, so who influenced you?

If you’re interested on the history of LBD here is a great article, 1926 to 2010.

By: Real Simple (A Short History of the Little Black Dress)





13c. The Wrap of it! (Now it’s time to Sew it up).

The Sewing is on

Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve done something wrong even though you were scrupulous about everything up until this moment.


Ready to sew.

Well I had that feeling when I was removing the pins from the pattern for the second front and I just felt a nagging tug on the sewing nerve, well only time will tell. I’m setting up for sewing tonight and will dive into  it tomorrow after mothers group. Incidentally these women are the most amazing friends I’ve ever had who are definitely not afraid to tell me the truth.

I’m also cutting out the back lining/built-in slip. This lining will act like a buffer for movement from behind, which is always good.

All pins are out and I’m preparing to sew. I’ll start with the neck line first, sewing stay stitches and reinforce the shoulders. Sometimes I want to jump ahead, going too quickly and note take the time necessary to finish a garment properly. But I find it’s all the little things that make a garment look great, and something you just love to wear! So, as my mom would say take your time, step by step. A bit like life I’d say!

Now, shall we carry on? As I set about my stay-stitching I realized I had to deal with my sew-in slip. I’ll be putting in a hem before I fix it to the inside-back of the dress. This slip hem. Thank goodness I took the time to write this sentence down because it seems for ever since I was able to tackle this sewing project but I’ve gotten caught up with the knitting side of my life and I thought today was a great day to start sewing again. the first order of business is tidying up the sewing room.

  1. I’ll be using a microfiber needle for the lining hem.
  2. I’ve pinned the hem to some rip (very carefully) away paper to help stabilize the stitches.
  3. I am going to baste the lining to the back of the dress before I sew front and back together.
  4. I’ve bought some clear stretchy binding for the shoulders.

It was a bit tricky sewing the hem on the lining because there was no room for movement for the stretch but I adjusted as I went and manipulated as best I could. I was not pleased with the end result, basically there was no stretch with this hem. I’ll cut and redo the hem and work the stretch as I’m sewing. I wish I had listened to my voice in my head because I knew what needed to be done. I successfully hemmed the lining today using the stretch stitch on my machine and the stretch needle (75/11) and of course it worked out well, meaning I’m happy it stretches and lays flat. DONE! next time listen to yourself.

As you can see the lining is a see through stretch and definitely a challenge to work with.

I have had to prep Gillian for the fitting of the wrap dress.  I was not willing to remove my grain lines  from Gillian that I use for my draping class fashion courses, so while rummaging through my sewing room I found some safety pins I used for a quilting class I took when my children were young. Who would have known they’d come in so hand now.

Chores I’d like to finish this week with my wrap dress.

  • Hem the lining.
  • Hand baste the lining wrong sides facing each other, to the back of the dress.
  • Prep Gillian with the quilting safety pins, so I can keep my grain lines.
  • Sew binding over seam line on the back, wrong side using a baste stitch.

Keep both your and the flat pattern measurements: Of course for prosperity.

Flat Pattern                                                                                      Me

Bust: Front, (19) + Back, (16) = (35) inches.                          36 inches.

Waist: Front, (16 3/4) + Back, (13 1/2) = (30 1/4) inches.    30 inches.

Hip: Front, (20 5/8) + Back, (18 1/4) = (39 1/2) inches.       40 inches.

So, as you can see I’d have to do a bit of altering for this pattern, and even though the discrepancy is slight Id have to adjust if I was working with a no stretch fabric. But since this is a stretchy fabric with the required amount of ease according to the instruction on the back of the pattern sleeve. I have decided to give myself a one inch seam allowance down the side seams to play with, mind you I have not lost the integrity of my arm hole. definitely will not be playing with that.

The chores I was able to accomplish this very short school week (3 days) before the long weekend.

  • Baste shoulder with binding, and I used transparent slightly stretch binding.
  • Reinforce fronts; left & right through collar & shoulder edges.

This will have to wait till next week.

  • Stitch front sections together at back.
  • work on the neck facings.

Well I got on farther than I thought I would. But life has away of interrupting my sewing time. Until next Blog.

I am tidying up my sewing space right now while I’m waiting for some pictures to down load on to WordPress, so I can get down to the business of sewing next week.

Just in case you’ve forgotten this is the pattern I’m working on. I’m sewing dress “B” but with short/cap sleeves, instead of the long. I can’t wait till it’s done!!!!

wrap dress pattern

Pink dress, M7186 McCall’s

Happy sewing everyone.

Question: What is your favorite sewing room notion? I have to admit mine is a LD head lamp, this way the light shines exactly where I’m looking and my hands don’t create a shadow.

Lessons I learned this week. Listen to yourself, it’s worth your time.

Sorry the downloads are not happening I will publish them next week.




13A. The Wrap of It! Dress; Adjusting the Pattern to fit me.

The Wrap of It


Step 1:    The first order of business is to layout the pattern on the table and measure the bust, waist and hip lines. This is called flat pattern measuring. Verify my measurements and compare them to the pattern and decide on the size I’ll go with. I do this because even though on the back of pattern sleeve I’m given measurements for each size I find that I still need to compare so I have a better idea of what to do with the pattern, so it will fit me.

Things to do prior to cutting fabric:

  • Launder the fabric. I like to see how the fabric holds up to a normal washing.
  • I like to press the paper pattern on light heat no steam, this takes out the creases in the paper.
  • I’ve spent some time today reading the pattern.
  • Tomorrow I’ll spend time measuring pattern and compare my measurements to it, this will give me a good idea what size I will go with.
  • I like dress (B) but I think that I’ll make 3 1/4 length sleeves. Instead of full length sleeves. Change of mind; I’m going to go with the short sleeve (cap). I don’t want to alter the long sleeve to 3/4 inch as well widen it.
  • I like the gather at the waist and I’ll lengthen the hem a few more inches aswell.

The measurements I’ll check are bust, Waist and hip and back length. I think it’s size 10 for me. with a few adjustments with a hip curve along the way will do. Ok! Instead of adjusting the hip I’m going to add a full inch on side seams so I can play with wiggle room. I want the dress to run smoothly over my hips. So, not too tight and not too loose.

I find I don’t get over whelmed by a project if I split it up into smaller parts:

  • check size of pattern and yourself.
  • transfer pattern to paper to make any adjustment.
  • pin pattern to fabric. Usually I try pattern out with muslin but with the stretchy fabric I’ll baste side seams together.
  • Start sewing. Take time to press stitch line before you open up the seam.

Because I’m not going to do a muslin of this dress, I’m a bit hesitant about what size. In past experiences I’ve gone for the right-side but then found the garment too big, so I am going to the size that’s just a shad too small because there is a stretch. there is no ease with this dress because the stretch takes up the ease but I also don’t want it to be too tight and show all my lumps and bumps in an unflattering way!! problem. Man I am humming and hawing way too much about this, I just hate to have the size too big. This dress is to hug my curves not fall limp on me.

Size 10 is the best I believe because the bust is 1 inch smaller than me and the pattern hip is half an inch smaller than me. I’m going to give myself (1″) seam allowance on side seams this should be good for any adjustments, (usually it’s only 5/8″ S.A.). Then I will baste the side seams first. Then once I have everything the way I want it, I’ll sew a permanent seam.There is no waist measurement on the back of the pattern envelope but I’ve measured the pattern and it is good and besides the gather will pull in the waist and create the waist curve. Ok, I feel better getting that of my chest, size (10) it is. I’m just going to lengthen the hem line a couple of inches. I’m not always keen on the shorter skirt, it often emphasises the wider part of the leg instead of tapering to a smaller area of the leg. Then lead to the curve of the calf. That’s what I like. Clothing one-self is often a deception of sorts. I like to think that it is directing the eye to your best physical qualities. Oh! by the way I’m going with the cap sleeves, I think it will look nicer.

I ran into a bump while adjusting the side seam. Now, usually I only have to work with one side because the center front is on the fold,but as I was working with one side of one front panel (there are two front panels) I realised that I’d have to adjust the other side as well. I will do this for the other front panel as well, glad I was paying attention. Sewing a garment is a bit like life, always full of surprises.

P.S. A few last minute instructions to self, remember to mark each copied pattern piece for future reference. Nothing worse than coming back to a pattern and realizing you don’t know what you’re working on. I always put pattern number, brand, size, pattern piece (front, sleeve etc.) who it’s for, how many pieces to cut out and which version your sewing.

P.S.-P.S. Remember write everything down, just saying.

A few pictures: to show you.


Next Post will be cutting and basting: Wish me luck!