Friday, July 11, 2014

Montreal's Costumes Exhibits

A quicky post about 2 sewing related activities in Montreal this summer :

Musée du Costume et du Textile de Montréal
 1) The Museum of Costume and Textile is having a 70s exhibit now / Une exposition sur la mode style macramé des années 70 au Québec, designer Francine Vandelac : Totalement Maille! (20 juin au 12 octobre 2014)

Université de Montréal, François Barbeau

2) The University of Montreal has an exhibition about a designer of costume for the theater, ballet, cirque du soleil / L'Université de Montréal offre une exposition sur le travail de création de costumes du designer François Barbeau : François Barbeau Créateur de Costumes (25 mai au 7 décembre 2014) 

Montreal's summer isn't just filed with awesome festivals! ;)

Friendly Reminder for Next Week

Fabric Shopping on St-Hubert

(FRANÇAIS PLUS BAS) Here is just a friendly reminder for our date next Friday July 18th at noon to have a quick lunch & coffee at Tim Hortons, shop for fabrics, have a drink afterward to unwind and swap patterns/fabrics/notions! :D There is parking available on Chabanel and in underground Parking (333 and 555 Chabanel). Please, make sure to bring cash if you plan on buying fabrics.

Tim Hortons St-Laurent/Chabanel - 18 juillet - 12h

Friday July 18th on Chabanel

  • 12h - Tim Hortons, 9485 St-Laurent (métro Sauvé)
  • 14h - Start shopping at Cuir Boilard, 185 Louvain.
  • 5@7 - Rapahël Bistro, wine bar,
    8497 Ste-Dominique (corner de Liège)
    (15 min on foot)
    Reservation under "Caroline Côté" at 17h15 (10 pers.)
  • Friday itinerary  in google map.

On Chabanel, it will be the perfect day to shop for :
  • leather skins (Cuir Boilard and 2 stores at 99 Chabanel O.)
  • swim/sports fabrics at the unique SuzieSpandex on St-Laurent, corner Chabanel.
  • bargain priced fabrics everywhere (apparel, home dec, not much for quilting) 
There is parking with parcometer on Chabanel (credit cards accepted, can be paid with smart phone App too) and paied parking at 300 and 555 Chabanel O (about 4$/h, max 10$).

Nearby streets offer free parking, just mind the "resident only" signs to avoid a parking ticket... It is sometimes confusing as alternating sections of both sides of the streets requires a parking permit.

From the Tim Hortons to the wine bar afterward, it is only a 15 min walk...

If you want to walk more, the shopping center (Marché Centrale, on l'Acadie) at the West end of Chabanel has free parking too.

RSVP - Confirm your presence at cotc03 at hotmail dot com.
Do not hesitate to invite friends! I will update the bottom of this post with a list of the confirmed attendees.

See you soon!

Un petit rappel amical pour notre rendez-vous vendredi prochain, le 18 juillet, à midi pour un diner rapide au Tim Hortons, un après-midi de magasinage et un 5@7 pour faire un swap de tissus/mercerie/patrons autour d'un bon verre! :D Il y a du stationnement sur Chabanel ainsiqu'au 333 et 555 rue Chabanel. Apportez du liquide si vous prévoyez acheter des tissus.

Vendredi, 18 juillet sur Chabanel

  • 12h - Tim Hortons, 9485 St-Laurent  (métro Sauvé)
  • 14h - On commence par Cuir Boilard, 185 Louvain.
  • 5@7 - Rapahël Bistro, bar à vin,
    8497 Ste-Dominique (coin de Liège)
    (15 min à pied)
    Réservations au nom de "Caroline Côté" à 17h15 (10 pers.)
  • Itinéraire du vendredi  sur google map.

Chabanel est l'endroit idéal pour trouver :
  • Du cuir (Cuir Boilard and 2 stores at 99 Chabanel O.)
  • Tissus de sport/costume de bain (SuzieSpandex, Globetext, StretchText)
  • Des bas prix imbattables! (tissus mode, décors, pas de coton à courte-pointe)

RSVP - Confirmer votre présence à cotc03 at hotmail dot com. 
Passez le mot à vos amis! Je vais tenir la liste des confirmations à la fin de ce billet.

à bientôt!


Friday / Vendredi - 18 juillet 2014
12h @ Tim Hortons, 9485 St-Laurent (métro Sauvé)

  1. Caroline @ Sew Eng. 
  2. Mélanie, my sister!  
  3. Suzy, ma mère!
  4. Kay Young @ The Sewing Lawyer
  5. Claire @ 1 seam at a time
  6. Anne-Marie L  
  7. Rhonda @ PR and Rhotos Rag
  8. Renée B.   
  9. Vicki @ Another Sewing Scientist
  10. Julie @ SurMesure on Burdastyle

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Plan for a Retro Inspired Bikini


I have been obsessively researching the web for inspiration to sew a retro inspired bikini since my last panties sewing last month... Here is my Pinterest board : inspiration for sewing swimwear and lingerie.

And a few of my favorites :

Black and Floral by PettiBear

Key hole by Halia Mia Swimwear



My husband, tired of seeing me obsess over this hypothetical project, sent me fabric shopping yesterday. I went shopping for nylon lycra in the Chabanel Fabric District. I bought some super wide black nylon lycra for a little less than 8$/m at Globe Text for muslin. Then, I bought lovely fabric : 1m of solid magenta (12.50$/m), 2m of black/white/magenta floral (13.50$/m) and 2m of black power mesh (9.50$/m) at StretchText on 9320 St-Laurent. Then, I went to Trimcity for elastic at 7381 St-Hubert. I bought some picot edge, smooth edge, clear elastic and regular braided 1/4 inch black elastic all around 3$/4yards to try out... I should have plenty to make 2 bikini and a one piece and several of top trials!

Power mesh, Floral and solids nylon lycra
Floral Fabric Scale
Various Elastics

Patterns Plan

Bikini Bottom

I plan on using my TNT pattern for the bottom : the Vera Venus Grannie Pannie, free one size pattern (size 10-12). It is fast and only have 2 seams : the crotch and back seams. For more elaborate designs, I will either use the side seams line to cu it or use my bought pattern, the Oh Lulu Betty Undies...

VV Grannie Pannie

Bikini Top

After agonizing an entire evening about which pattern to use, I finally chose Wearing History #4003D 1940s Brassiere, 5$ one size pattern (bust 32-35) after a good night sleep, filled with bikini sewing dreams! Mostly because I really like the long line and lack of underwire, it is a instant digital download and not expensive. But it is made for woven fabric. Since it is a little on the small size for myself, it might be not too bad. I will probably need to increase the bust cup size anyway... But a close second choice was Burdastyle Bustier 5/2011 #127 ; it just wasn't as long below the bust but can be made as a swimsuit by using interfacing in the front...

WH 1940s Brassiere
So now I just need enough alone time and/or quiet nights to sew it before the end of the summer!

Spring 2014 Finished Projects

Sewing Knits Fabrics

I have made a few new projects in 2014. I started sewing in June because my 1 day a week without kids (Merci maman) was now free again : no more school homework or volunteering at my daughter elementary school... I have sewn knits projects exclusively : they are fast, easy to fit and I used cheap (1.50$ to 5$/m) rayon knit fabric from Chabanel in Montreal... Here are my projects :

Knits Maxi Skirts

I used the remnant of my verso top indigo rayon knit and a new floral rayon knit to make simple maxi skirt with a yoga band. I love wearing it so much that I made a second "sur un coup de tête" in one day! I really like them both, they are great casual skirts.

I made the indigo one first in just enough fabric to get a 40 inches hem all around, but it can get hard to get into my Westfalia van without lifting it and it is a quite revealing sometimes since it is so tube like (evidence in the small right picture below). The floral one is more comfortable with a 60 inches hem all around. For reference, my waist is 33 inches (waistband is 30 inches for a snug fit) and the length of the skirt (without waistband) is 35 inches ; I am 5'2" 160 lbs.

Here are the tutorials I used :

My maxi skirts, with fuchsia top worn all bunched up to show the waistband

When I was sewing my Fuchsia Top, I kind of liked the crop top look before it was finished, so I think I will sew myself a crop top...  Even if I am quite self aware at my current size, my age/wisdom/don't-care-as-much-anymore-attitude and the lovely ladies sporting crop top on the web might give me enough confidence to wear it out!?!

Fuschia Knit Top

I used my drafted verso top front to make a top ; with the same top and back pattern piece, a ruched band in the middle and banded hem. I planned a dress but I was so undecided about the waistband and skirt that I end up doing a top instead! Inspiration : trellis dress  by eShakti. I have sewn my take on the trellis dress waistband, but I didn't like it enough and decided I need more separates...

Trellis waistband muslin

But I really like the finishing of the neckband. I used a tutorial on how to sew neck binding in 3 different methods from Kitschy Coo : The grumpy person's guide to knit bindings nut end up doing the method from Ikat Bag. But you can see my Pinterest board for various Sewing Tutorials for more options...

Problems : The top of the midriff seam is too low after a while wearing it ; I think my top stretched because the shoulders and neckband are not stabilized. I still wear it, I LOVE THE COLOR and softness of the rayon knit!

My fuchsia knit top with a ruched wiastband

Floral VeraVenus Granny Pantie

I modified my previous version by :
  • Adding 1 inch to the front of the gusset lining
  • Sewing with zig zag the SA of the Gusset-Back-Front to the Gusset (doesn't show from outside)
  • I left the front of the gusset lining unfinished
And I figured out elastic, finally!!! I sewn my pantie, then measure exactly where the elastic was to be and used 90% of that measurement. The pattern is available for free on the Vera Venus Free Patterns page. My previous version can be found in the underpants experiment series.

Floral Vera Venus Grannie Panties

I now really want to sew myself some high waist bikini!!

Foxer - Women Boxer Briefs

As a teen, my favorite undie was a Calvin Klein gray boxer short. I wore that under my cut out jeans and under skirts and dresses until it worn out and couldn't find a replacement anymore... I was eying Jalie 2572 - Women Shapewear, but the price of the paper pattern and a picture I saw of the inside looking more like a legging with added gusset had me thinking twice... I decided to try my theory and sew a super short legging with a gusset lining.

I based it on So Sew Easy tutorial to draft your own leggings ; she even have a spreadsheet that do the calculation for you! I really liked it. I also stumbled onto a men who is sewing his own Spiderman costume from scratch in the comments, it was quite interesting! I love to get a glimpse into the secret hobby life of people!

Unfortunately, it gave me a camel problem... So no picture for now. I will investigate more to find out how to fix this. Maybe my fabric is too thin too... I have found a great source of info about the camel toe problem on Fashion Incubator. Stay tune for more details eventually... I might cave in and finally buy the Jalie pattern! ;)

My husband says he loves my hobby ; mainly because I often sew half naked. He told me I should rename my blog The Half-Naked Seamstress and commented that it would be ultra dangerous to do his own hobby in his underwear (building guitars with power tools)!!

PS : I started using PicMonkey to make collage and I quite like it!