Thursday, July 30, 2020

Sewing the Diane Swimsuit (Jalie 3893+)

Pattern Review

Pattern Description Jalie 3893 - One-piece swimsuit with scoop neck. The keyhole back holds the straps in place and a fun inset that makes adjustments a breeze! Instructions to sew in supportive soft cups are included. The front is fully lined and lining in the back is optional (recommended for adults, not needed for kids). The optional mesh waist tie can be attached in the front or back for a feminine look. 

Jalie 3893+ : A 3 front variations pack is available as a separate purchase : A) cross over front, B) tie front with front cutout and C) tie front. I bought both the pattern and the variations pack add-on.

Pattern Size : Jalie patterns offer both children and adult sizes in most of their patterns. Instructions are available in both French and English. Made in Québec since the 80's!!
Girl sizes : F to Q = 2-13 US / 92-155 EU (heights in cm).
Women sizes : (R to FF = 4-22 US / 34-52 EU (bust in cm).

My daughter's measurements : July 20 2020, 11 years old, 100 lbs, 31-25-33 in.
I chose the Girl size P (12 US / 152 EU) - view C (with the ties but without the front cutout.

Fabric Used : Swim lycra from Stretch text in Montréal and polyester lycra lining in pink from Fabricville.

Alterations or design changes : 

  • I omitted the pocket for the removable bust cups in foam. 
  • I made sure the side seams were not raw inside the swimsuit by modifying the order of construction a bit (see my sewing notes below).
  • I top stitched more than asked for. 
  • I sew every seams using the lightening bolt stitch and sewn the elastic and top stitched using the standard zigzag.
  • I only had 3/8 in elastic, so I used it everywhere, even in the neckline.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes and the colour blocking was the same as our inspiration colouring on the line drawing!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I had to reread steps 47 and 48 to better understand them - mostly it's just sewing the side seams.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 

  • I found there were a lot of unnecessary notches and they are a bother to cut using a rotary cutter, so I might omit them next time around.
  • I wish the pattern add-on came with a 2 pieces front bottom so the back waist band continued in the front too. For my own swimsuit, I plan to modify the pattern to have a continuous waist band.
  • Maybe the keyhole and waist elastic need to be more snug than the pattern calls for ; since the waist elastic has a tendency to flip out in the back...

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I have planed to make one for myself in view B (with the ties and front cutout).

Sewing Notes

I change the construction a bit because I did not want raw edge inside at the side seams - mostly just leaving the raw edge at waist as the last steps before applying the waist elastic so the side seams could be enclosed. I bet this suit could be reversible by removing the seam allowance where the elastics goes and using FOE. I would need to think a bit more about how to treat the waist seam for this to be truly reversible.

Sewing the bottom

  1. Sew back waist band to back bottom twice (in fabric, in lining)
  2. Sew crotch seam twice (in fabric, in lining)
  3. Baste leg holes, but leave 3/4 in toward all side seams.
  4. Sew side seams  twice (in fabric, in lining).
  5. Baste the waist seams for the bottom (lining and fabric together, zigzag).

Sewing the Top (view B and C)

  1. Sew shoulder seams twice (in fabric, in lining) + Top stitch the seam allowances twice (in lining toward front, in fabric toward back).
  2. Mark seam allowances at the pivot point and the tie point + Pin right side on right side the lining and fabric layers from the pivot point to the pivot point on the other side.
  3. Sew under the ties from pivot point to tie point on both sides. Then sew between both tie points.
  4. Sew the neckline elastic (size P : 30.75 in) to the seam allowances between both neckline marks. + Understitch the elastic to the lining only. If the ties do not lay flat, I may go back and top stitch the whole neckline and ties later on... I want to check first if it's OK when worn tied, since the top stitching might add bulk.
  5. Baste armholes and back keyhole with a zigzag stitch up to 3/4 in from the side and waist seams, leaving the Side and Waist seams free.
  6. Gather the side front between marks at the bust front (lining and fabric) + Sew the side seams 4x (in lining and in fabric, right and left) + Topstitch 2x (lining toward front and fabric toward back). I did not gather the front : I just pinned the front and back flat around the marks while I let the front be longer (bubbling up) between the marks and just pulled it flat as I sewed. It worked since I was sewing a girl size P. I will see if the difference is too pronounced with my woman version (size BB) to take that shortcut...
  7. Baste the waist seams for the top (lining and fabric together, zigzag). It is a prerequisite to sewing the back keyhole elastic.

Sewing the elastics

  1. Pin the elastic by quarter on the lining side. + Sew the elastic on the lining side using a zigzag stitch. + Then fold toward the lining and top stitch with a zigzag for :
    • the leg holes (size P : 16.5 in)
    • the armholes (size P : 17 in)
    • the back keyhole (size P : 15.5 in)
    • the front keyhole (view B only).
  2. Sew the waist seam at 3/8 in
  3. Sew the waist elastic (size P : 23.25 in) on the seam allowance only, on the lining side. + Fold toward the bottom and top stitch trough all layers.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Jalie #3997 - Rachel Top or Dress

Jalie #3997 : Rachel (options)
Pattern Description:
Dress or top with jewel neckline, draped and tied front. A surprisingly quick and easy-to-make sewing project with unique details.

Pattern Sizing:
Child (size 2 to 13 : 21 to 32 inches bust)
Women (XS to 2XL : 33 to 51 inches bust)
all in the same pattern, PDF with layers.

My measurements :
19 janv. 2020, 175 lbs, 5'3".
(41) 44-36-43 inches.

Size : The first I made was :
  • a size AA (42,75 - 36,5 - 45,75 inches
  • dolman version (sleeveless 
  • without ties
Fabric Used:
Organic Bamboo knit in white from Club Tissus (Brossard), 4 way stretch, more than 40% stretch each direction, a bit on the thin side...

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
  • Remove 0,75in at side seams, from hem tappered to nothing at notch. (probably the same as grading between sizes AA waist to BB at hips)
  • Then, removed 3in from bottom
    (Note that the hem ended up waving up because of the twist - HOW TO FIX?)
  • TODO : finish neckline, sleeves and hem.
  • NB : might still need a sway back adjustment?

v1 : Pattern size AA - as is

Try to pin the excess at SS and fold up for length

Try it with jacket : shorten version wins!
v2 : Side seams taken in and hem shortened by 3in
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes (except wavy hem)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Very fast sew. I would have liked to see the bust and waist symbol.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I want to try a less flimsy fabric and I had ideas about how to make it reversible that I might try eventually... (since the fabric I bought for my next version is too flimsy, if I doubled it maybe it would be better? so might as well make it reversible!)

to be continued...

(need to finish neckline, sleeve and hem)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Frocktails Montreal + Appleton Review

Frocktails Organisation

Paulina started the ball, with Andréanne, Esther, Monserratt and me to organised the first Frocktails of Montréal!!

Andréanne, Paulina, Esther, Caroline, Monserratt

It was a lot of work, but very rewarding to see how the Montreal sewing community got together to help out and were very generous with goody bags donations and raffle prizes although this was the first Froctails in Montreal!

I started using Instagram (@CarolineSewEng) and found it fun to meet sewists in a very graphic, fast and responsive manner (hence, my blog was neglected!). I had fun with Monserratt designing posters and going on St-Hubet to talk with every store owners... 


We even went to the Ottawa Frocktails to get a glimpse of their super party! It was a super weekend with Monserratt and Vicky! I am glad I did it even thought it was a bit much with my work promotion this fall.

Johanne, Monseratt, Vicky, Caroline

I am very glad that attendees seems to enjoyed themselves and relieve we will have help to organise the next one with more volunteers! Thanks!

Frocktails Event

I went with my mother and aunt, the evening went by so fast! They were very impress by our sewing community and were still talking about it at Christmas! They have sewn forever! But they were a bit shy to come without wearing something they made... But I am glad the committee decided early on that our event would be very inclusive and that nobody needed to sew especially for the event ; attendees only needed to want to talk about sewing for a whole evening! And my mother and aunt felt very welcome and even try a bit of English ;)

Suzy, Caroline, Claudine

The staff was very attentive and friendly at Hambar, the food was good with vegan options, with wine and non alcoholic beverages too. Speeches could be made shorter next years and we had a lot of  very nice and expensive raffle prizes to draw!

Caroline and Monserratt at the entrance

Stacey and friends

Yolanda et Mme "Pénélope Machine"

Kay, Heather and Vicky

Montreal Spoolettes!!

My Dress : Cashmerette Appleton 

My measurements 

Nov 2019 : 159cm/5ft3in around 177 lbs,
(high bust 41) bust 45 - waist 36 in - hips 43 in,
RTW Bra 34G, long torso, sway back 1 in, short legs.
Hourglass that tends to rectangular, with bum and bust.

Maxi version - nov 2020

My pattern review
Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Pattern Description: Wrap dress or top, sleeveless or short/long sleeves, promise no gaping. Extended plus sizes with cup sizes.

Pattern Sizing: I selected a size 14 with G/H cups.

Did it look like the photo/drawing? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very well done, except the image when sewing the neckband back wasn't totally correct...

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 

Like : The clever neckband construction and no gap! It was fun to sew and I love that all my velvet is soft going down. The "Feminist" label received at Ottawa Frocktails always makes me smile!

Dislike: The lack of waist definition on my rectangular body. The looseness of the sleeve hem (easily fix for next version by tapering or adding a band). Lack of pockets. I should have lengthen the ties for a maxi.

Fabric Used : Low pile printed polyester velvet with a silver/grey shinny reverse - from C&M Textile on St-Hubert Street.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: lengthen to maxi dress.

Would you sew it again? Not sure as I prefer a waist seams to do a sway back adjustment and a more defined waist (I tend to emphasize my hips left-right more to balanced my silhouette)

Conclusion: I am a slightly hourglass but mostly rectangle shape and I did not find it so flattering as a maxi. I cut it after Frocktails to make it a top and I have been wearing it every 2 weeks since. But my velvet reverse side is slippery and I always readjust it as the day goes... Happily, I had no gaping at the neckline. I think the waist is too high on me by about 1,5 or 2 inches and probably that is what is forcing me to pull it down and readjust?!?

Cut as a top - dec 2020

2020 : Poitras & Dior à Montréal

Jean-Claude Poitras - Mode et inspirations

Musée McCord jusqu'au dimanche 26 avril 2020

Visite avec médiateur culturel à 15h (du mardi au dimanche) en Français
Visit with cultural mediator at 12h (Tuesday to Sunday) in English

Designer de mode Québécois depuis 1972. Plus de 160 objets, vêtements, et documents d’archives, issus de donations de M. Poitras effectuées auprès du Musée de la civilisation et du Musée McCord entre 2001 et 2017, racontent les trois décennies de carrière d’un créateur libre qui a toujours fait fi des conventions.

Intéressé à vous joindre à d'autres amateurs de couture pour une visite guidée?

Source : Journal de Québec

Christian Dior

Musée McCord - du 11 juin au 13 septembre 2020

Réunissant des modèles du riche fonds Dior de la collection permanente du Musée royal de l’Ontario, une douzaine de tenues de la collection Costume, mode et textiles du Musée McCord et des prêts de Dior Héritage, l’exposition couvre la période allant de 1947 à 1957 et dresse un portrait captivant du processus de création et des rouages de la haute couture parisienne dans les années 1950.

Intéressé à vous joindre à d'autres amateurs de couture pour une visite guidée?

Source : The National

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Montréal Frocktails 2019


Réservez la date! Samedi 16 novebre 2019 - 19h

Un super événement rassemblera une centaine d'amateur.e.s de couture à Montréal cet automne, soit Montréal Frocktails - où l'on se rassemble en habit fait main et cocktail à la main!

Nous offrons une boissons gratuite, quelques bouchées et, plus important, une occasion unique pour célébrer avec des gens passionnés de couture!! Il y aura de nombreux prix de présence et chaque participant repartira avec un sac de cadeaux liés à la couture ; nous avons déjà annoncé quelque commanditaires qui offrent des patrons et des cours de couture en ligne gratuitement!

Nous annoncerons la salle et le Sponsor platine pour Frocktails Montréal très très bientôt !! C'est si difficile de garder ces secrets!! Suivez-nous pour tout savoir dès que c'est officiel!

Ticket : Facebook Event

Save the date! Saturday, November 16th 2019 - 7pm

A super event will gather a hundred of sewing enthusiasts under the same roof for Montréal Frocktails - where we mingle in our handmade frocks, one cocktail in hand!

The party provide a free drink for everyone, a few bites and, more importantly, a unique party with people that love sewing! There will be several raffle prizes and each participant will leave with a sewing goody bag ; we already announced some sponsors that will give patterns and free online classes!

Major sponsor and venue announcements will come shortly for the Montreal Frocktails!! It is so exciting but so hard to keep secrets until all is signed!!! Follow us to learn the latest news while still hot!


les organisatrices :

Saturday, March 16, 2019

En mai : Mugler et la virée des ateliers!

Musée des beaux arts de Montréal (source)

Thierry Mugler - Visite guidée en mai

Si vous aimeriez faire une visite guidée de l'exposition Thierry Mugler en mai 2019, cliquez ici pour voter pour vos dimanches libres... Notez que le dimanche 5 mai, il serait possible de combiner musée le matin et la virée des ateliers en après-midi!

Thierry Mugler - Guided Tour in May

If you would like a guided tour of the Thierry Mugler exhibit in May 2019, click here to vote for your available Sundays... Note that on Sunday May 5th, we could go to the museum in tehmorning and visit the Open House of numerous artisans ateliers in the afternoon!

Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Mtl Sewing Bloggers Meetup!

Saturday January 5th @ 11h30 St-Hubert & 16h Birra Bar

For our fabric store outing this Saturday, I suggest we meet at 11:30 at the cafe, Chez l’Editeur, which is right on Saint-Hubert at the heart of the fabric district. Here is the address: 7240 rue Saint-Hubert. I’d be happy to have a coffee before checking out the shops in order to give some time for those arriving.

Some have shown interest in drinks at the end of the day, so for those who are up for it after fabric shopping or who would simply like to join in at the end of the day, I suggest we head back to Birra Bar, 7129 Saint Laurent, at 4pm. Looking forward to seeing you all!

Samedi le 5 janvier @ 11h30 St-Hubert & 16h Birra Bar

Pour notre meet-up ce samedi 5 janvier, je propose qu’on se donne rendez-vous au café Chez l’Editeur, 7240 rue Saint-Hubert, à 11h30. On pourrait prendre un café afin de donner assez de temps aux gens pour arriver. Ensuite on commence à faire les magasins !

Après avoir magasinier ou pour celles et ceux qui se rejoindraient à nous à la fin de la journée, je propose qu’on retourne au Birra Bar, 7129 Saint Laurent, à 16h. Hâte de vous voir !

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ateliers Artisans - Crafty Workshops

ma mère et moi pratiquant les coups de pinceaux d'un trait avec Éliane Berdat, Illustratrice

J'ai adoré mon atelier d'introduction à la peinture aquarelle organisé par CreaCo au Lofts Créatif sur St-Laurent. Éliane était très généreuse de ses conseils et elle nous a laissé expérimenter avec plusieurs aquarelle, encre d'aquarelle, produits masquant, crayon feutre micron et papiers de diverses gammes et qualité. Sans prétention, seulement pour le plaisir d'expérimenter les couleurs sans le stress de la performance - très zen comme atelier! Un beau 3h en bonne compagnie avec thé, café et viennoiseries fournies. Merci beaucoup!

La compagnie CreaCo permet de trouver sous un même toit des ateliers à réaliser en personne dans plusieurs villes de la province du Québec. Ils offrent des ateliers avec des artisans de métier pour tout les goûts : dessin, peinture, macramé, pâtisserie, ateliers de robotiques pour enfants, poterie, joaillerie, etc. Ils commencent à offrir des ateliers en couture aussi... Je les ai croisé au Marché Etsy ce weekend - des filles allumées et très inspirantes! Et mon petit doigt me dit que ce n'est que le début! Bravo!

PS : J'ai payé nos ateliers pour ma mère, ma soeur et moi-même avec mon propre argent de poche, comme une grande! Je ne suis pas affiliée à ces compagnies, mais je les trouve géniales!

CreaCo offert crafty workshop everywhere in the province of Quebec - look them up! :D

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Balanciaga @ Musée McCord until Oct. 14 2018

I had the pleasure to visit the Balenciaga exhibit with fellow seamstresses at the beginning of the summer ; it was so much fun! You still have until October 14th to go... Another group of seamstress are also going on September 19th - you could join them!

J'ai adoré visité l'exposition avec des copines couturières! La visite guidée est super! Vous avez encore jsuqu'au 14 octobre pour aller voir les créations de Balenciaga... Il y a même un autre groupe de couturières qui y vont le 19 septembre - vous y allez?

Balenciaga au Musée McCord

Thierry Mugler @ Musée des beaux arts - mars 2019

Mark your calendar, a special fashion exhibit will be presented in March 2019:
Garder la date, une exposition de mode spéciale arrivera en ville en mars 2019 : 

Thierry Mugler au Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal