Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Hot Summer

This hot summer has me sewing more sleeveless garments that I have ever sewn before. I don't usually wear sleeveless, figuring that my upper arms aren't that great. But after a year at aquacise, I realise that my arms aren't as bad as I think and there are many arms out there that look a whole lot worse. That's one of the many benefits of a water aerobics class, you see that there is always someone who looks worse than you do!

So this top is the blouse from Simplicity 2215. I decided to make the blouse to check the pattern fit; what I really want to make is the dress. But rather than risk a wadder and waste yards of fabric, if the blouse works, then I can cut the dress out with confidence.

A nice bonus is that I didn't buy one thing to make this blouse. The fabric was a rayon batik from the stash, the pattern was purchased a few months ago, I had matching thread and there were even perfect grey-blue buttons in the button box.

Two weeks ago, I finished a sleeveless top and 6-gore skirt in linen-cotton, and before that, I made a rusty red sleeveless dress from another linen-cotton blend.Sorry no pictures to show. All those fabrics came from the stash and the patterns were also in the home collection. What a great feeling to use up this stuff and not simply be adding to the home fabric store. I have done enough of that.

It seems my new addiction is wool, I am buying more than I can knit. Also collecting knitting magazines at a rate that needs to be slowed down. Where will I hide that stuff?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Sleeveless Tops

Having fitted that Kwik Sew sleeveless top, I am now on a roll with sleeveless garments. I made another one, with a skirt to match, and am now making a third sleeveless top with a shirt collar. I guess the warm weather is inducing me to sew things I don't normally bother with.

At the same time, I am knitting a cardigan that makes me break out into a sweat after a few rows. Knit from the bottom up on a circular needle, I wanted to challenge myself with something more difficult than straight stocking stitch. And this two-colour pattern really appealed to me. Perhaps it will be finished just in time for cooler fall weather.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Armhole Success

The alteration worked! a sleeveless top that can be worn without revealing too much skin or bra - sometimes it is worth sticking with a pattern and getting it right.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sleeveless Tops

It's very hot here in Nova Scotia, we rarely get such hot weather. Perhaps a few days per summer, but the heat wave on the east coast is reaching us here. And my usual knit tees feel too clammy to wear. Now, if I were better organized, I would have something sewn up in advance to pull out on such warm days, but I am probably like many other women and wait until the heat is here to panic and try to sew something.

I pulled this pattern out from the stash, I had made it a couple of years ago and recall a problem with the armholes.

Too big, but I forgot how much too big. I noticed that I had raised them, so figured that I had worked out an alteration and cut into a nice piece of rayon batik that I had in the stash. Too bad, the armhole problem was not fixed and the top is unwearable. I tried several things, but it is not fixable and I will finish it off and put it in the donation bag for Goodwill. It is a pity because the fabric has a lovely feel and the collar and shirt fit so nicely except for those humongous armholes.

Since I really like the hang of this shirt, I pulled out another pattern that is sleeveless, and that I know fits. It is the top from Twice as Nice, a pattern from Saf-T-Pockets. I know this one fits because I actually taught a class on this once, making a reversible sleeveless top using industrial methods. I can't remember them now, but I am sure they would come back if I made it again. I guess I wasn't charmed enough by the style then because I only ever made one. But the pattern is useful to compare with this Kwik Sew, and that is what I did. It was surprising to see just how much the armhole was off when compared with one that fit. It was clear that I could raise the underarm quite a bit without affecting anything else and that is what I did, in this photo.

This is the shirt that didn't work.

And this is the fabric for the next try. I will let you know if it works. While searching the stash for suitable fabric, I came across another piece of rayon batik (I got several pieces while I was selling batiks from Batik Butik in my online store). If you have never sewn with their fabrics, do check them out. The batiks are 100% rayon, so very cool to wear, with lovely colours that don't wash out. And the rayon is good quality, it withstands machine washing and doesn't hang all limp as some rayons do.

Monday, June 25, 2012

What's been happening

I have been absent for quite a few weeks. Here is the main reason.

Grandchild #9 arrived on June 7, one day before her parents' tenth wedding anniversary. Sarah Elena weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces, and is a very welcome sister to Hannah (9), Jacob (9), Ben (6), Joe (4) and Isaac (almost 2). Her mom is still getting used to having a second girl after four boys.

I was with them for three weeks, helping out with cooking and entertaining the kids, and drove back home over the weekend. The car's air conditioning was malfunctioning, so Friday was an extremely hot day. Thank goodness, the weather became overcast and rainy for the remainder of the drive, otherwise Teddy (my dog) and I would have been prostrate from heat exhaustion.

I have been sewing, just not posting any photos. I made another summer shirt in navy linen, and a pair of cream pants using Katherine Cheetham's pattern for Pull On Pants. Smart patterns, those Petite Plus Patterns. No alterations needed. I should sew up more of them.

Also knitting. I finished the red sweater and it is blocked, now lying in pieces waiting to be sewn up. And I started another sweater, this time knitting in the round from the bottom up. Plus I knit baby blankets for Sarah Elena. Not that she needs them; everyone got blankets for this new baby. I will post some pictures later.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Plaid Blouse

After we had a couple of warm days in March, I thought I should sew some blouses for spring/summer. I am always caught unprepared and go through my closet looking for cool clothes, only to be disappointed with what I find there.

I noticed this plaid cotton on a shelf in my sewing room (it was intended for a dress for my daughter, but she declined the plaid, preferring a solid navy instead). Which meant this fabric was mine. Just the right weight for a summer blouse and bright and cheerful too. I had a couple of patterns in mind for this, one with interesting princess seams and a square front yoke which could be cut on the bias for interest, but instead I opted for this McCalls pattern, view B with the three-quarter sleeves. It is out of print, not surprising since the date on the pattern is 2006. It only takes me 6 years to get around to using patterns!

I added tabs to the sleeves so that they can be rolled up and buttoned in place. Found that pattern piece in a pattern that I made up more than 20 years ago. Aside from that, I followed the pattern directions, using a French seam on the sleeves so that they would look nice when rolled up. I did the buttonholes and sewed on the buttons before adding the sleeves, and that meant today when I put in the sleeves and serged the seam, I was done!

Next I plan on making two pairs of capris from this pattern, another out-of-print pattern, no date on this one though. The pattern says it is low-rise pants in 3 lengths, which means that the crotch depth should be perfect for me without alteration, and I will end up with pants that come to my actual waist, which is now non-existent. Oh for a different body type!

I have a cream cotton fabric for this and I am going to go through my navy stash to see if there is a cotton or linen blend in there that will work for this. So far, I haven't been to the fabric store in weeks, and I am very proud to be sewing from the stash. I am feeling guilty about the amount of fabric that I have here, and can't justify purchasing any more until I sew some of this down. So I am keeping to my resolution of one purchase for every two stash fabrics sewn; actually I am doing better than that, because the last three garments have been sewn from the stash. And that includes thread and buttons. Feels good!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jean Jacket Complete - Next?

I finished the corduroy jean jacket yesterday. This is a nice pattern, just one puzzle with it - why are the cuffs so big?  I cut off at least one inch from these cuffs, and then put a pleat in the back of the sleeve to make it fit. They are still huge and I overlapped them by about 3" when putting on the buttons. These sleeves are meant to be 3/4 length; on me, they hit just at the wrist, but even so the cuffs are still too big.  Check that if you use this pattern and adjust them shorter, then taper the sleeve or put in two pleats to make it fit the cuff. 

So what's next? Seeing as how I am not the fastest sew-er in the west, I plan on fitting a summer dress pattern. I have kept to my New Year's resolution of only buying fabric when I have sewn two items from the stash. Since I actually sewed three items, I felt perfectly fine picking up this cotton at the store the other day.

100% cotton, very fine, perfect for hot weather. I have always had a weakness for this type of plaid and black and white just couldn't be better. It was on sale too and I got this piece (3.5 metres) for just under $20.  I plan on using it with this pattern, Simplicity 2215.

I will add sleeves to this; at 62, my upper arms should not be bared. This should be fairly easy to do; the armhole is quite deep-cut, as the photo shows the model wearing a blouse under the dress. I made this pattern last summer for my daughter Elena, and it is a lovely pattern. In fact, almost all of Cynthia Rowley's designs appeal to me.

The plaid will be a trial dress; if it works, all well and good; if it only serves as a muslin, I am fine with that too. Because what I really want to make this dress out of is this:

A cross-dyed cotton, one thread is bright turquoise, the other is midnight blue, almost purple and it gives the most wonderful toned-down turquoise, one of my favourite colours. I had forgotten about this fabric until I cleared off a shelf and found it hiding under something else. I bought it in May 2011 from Fabrics in Vogue. I had no idea what I would make with it then, but bought 4 yards just in case it was meant to be a dress. I would rather have some left over than not enough.

Now, knitting, I've been doing that too. The green sweater I was knitting was all done and ready to be sewn together. But I was not that keen on it. And when I found that the sleeves were not long enough in the cap to match to the body, that was a perfect excuse to unravel it and start something new. I used to be retentive about that sort of thing and feel I had to finish it. But life is too short, to spend on things that you don't really like.

So, from the stash comes this red wool. Even my husband said, that colour will look good on you. I don't think he liked the granny smith green of the other one.  It took me four tries to figure out this lace ribbing and I was going to switch patterns, but I gave it one more try and figured it out. Since it is the most distinguishing feature of the sweater, it is kind of important to have it right.  This will be this sweater by Jeannie Chin.

If you haven't discovered, and you are a knitter or crocheter or embroiderer, you have to go there and sign up. Amazing things for you to make. And the photos of some of the members will blow you away. Gorgeous gorgeous sweaters. I hope to be able to knit like some of them one day. Till then, I will go with fairly simple designs like this one; I think it will be a perfect topper for summer dresses. 

I have several ideas in mind for dresses; I never wear skirts or dresses in the cold weather, because I hate stockings and tights. But when you can wear bare legs, then dresses have to come out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ease in Sleeves

I am currently working on this pattern, Butterick 5616.

I am using a very fine pinwale corduroy. And to beef up the fabric, I have lined the jacket using a quilting cotton. Everything is from my stash, and I didn't want to buy anything for this project. However, I will have to go and buy 14 buttons as I don't have 14 buttons that will work for this.

One thing I have noticed in the last couple of jackets that I have made and I am wondering if anyone else has found this too. Since it has happened on at least four jackets, I am thinking this is not just me, but must be something in the pattern draft.

In the past, I have always found the back of a sleeve to have more ease than the front of the sleeve. This makes sense, since it is the back that needs the extra fabric as you move your arms forward. But in the past several jackets that I have made, all of the sleeves had no ease in the back but they have ease in the front. This means that you are trying to ease in fullness on the front of the garment, not a place that I would expect to do this.

My solution was to ease stitch the sleeve twice in order to shrink it up, then I set in the sleeve matching notches, underarm seam. I eased as much sleeve to the front as I could, but then let the notch at the top of the sleeve fall where it would. This ended up with the top of the sleeve falling slightly (about 3/4") towards the back of the garment. This didn't affect the fit at all, and allowed me to set in the sleeve without puckers. I would surely have had puckers in the front sleeve if I hadn't moved that point.

If you have found this, I would be interested to know. It seems definitely wrong to me. Why do we need ease in the front of a sleeve, between the single notch and the shoulder?  Surely that ease should be placed in the back. Is this a new styling (I doubt) or is it poor drafting (I suspect). Let me know if you have found this too. Surely I can't be the only one.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Second Knit Top

This is the second top from the Marcy Tilton pattern, this time in a rayon/lycra knit. This knit almost feels like slinky knit, it has that kind of drape and feel to it.

This is a close up of the neckline to show the little darts over each raglan seam, but they are hard to see on this print. I might sew some buttons on the front seams of the neckline as shown in the pattern, but none of my enormous button collection seemed suitable.

There will be a trip to the fabric store in the near future.
So I have kept to my resolution and made up two items from stash fabrics, which means that I can purchase one fabric length. We shall see, I have another project planned with another fabric that I bought with this knit, intending for the two to go together. It's good to whittle down that stash.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Aaahhh, sewing again!

A blissful three hours of cutting and sewing have restored my mental health!  I can't believe how good I feel for having spent the afternoon sewing.

Last night, I went to our monthly guild meeting and we were treated to a mini fashion show. Two months ago, members were invited to pick up a package of two fabrics, donated by guild members, and they were to make one garment (or more), using both fabrics. The entries were great. And I was obviously inspired to get sewing today.

First, a picture of the coat that I finished prior to the surgery that has kept me relatively inactive for a month or more.  I still don't have the buttons or snaps sewn on, but I needed the dress form and the coat had to come off. So the picture is sans closures.

This is Vogue 8548, an out-of-print pattern. I saw this pattern made up by Tany of
and also by Erica of

So I ordered the pattern from Vogue and it was well worth the wait. I really really like this pattern. And hopefully I will get to wear the coat a couple of times this year before spring comes for sure.
Actually today we have freezing rain, so there are still a few weeks of real winter left in store for us.

Prior to my surgery, I had washed some lengths of knit fabrics and put them with patterns I wanted to sew, thinking that these would be easy to do. So today, I took one of these fabrics downstairs to cut out and used Vogue 8636 by Marcy Tilton.

I confess I cut this out on the wrong grain (I wasn't looking carefully) but as Marcy says, with knits that have two-way stretch, it really doesn't matter which way the stretch goes. This fabric has enough lycra in it to recover and keep its shape.

There is no one here to take photos of this on me, so the dress form will have to do. I followed Marcy's instructions to the letter, since she knows knit tops so well. I had read her book on Sewing Knit Tops several years ago.

The neckline is interesting, it is a wider neckband that is brought into the neck by four little darts sewn just above the raglan seams. This gives an opportunity for using other fabrics and one of Marcy's versions shows that neckband in sheer lace, which is a pretty option.

I was just so happy to have sewn and actually finished something in one afternoon, that I have another length of knit in the wash right now. And hope to make a second version of this top tomorrow. I will pay more attention as I cut out, as the second fabric is a nice rayon knit that I bought from Fabrics in Vogue last fall and I want to do it right.

Boy, there is just nothing like sewing and finishing something up that you are pleased with to get your creative urges flowing once again.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More Patterns on Order

Gosh, you get a BMV membership and it is just so easy to order patterns.  But then I was always someone who was easy to enable!

Today's email offer from McCalls was too good to resist at $2.99.

This is a cute blouse, McCalls 6512, from Melissa Watson, Pati Palmer's daughter who is now designing for McCalls along with her mom. It is the short sleeve version that caught my eye, and especially the neckline that I like most.

The second pattern is McCalls 6405, a pattern for slim pants. This pattern has two features that I want to try:  first, the contour waistband which I have found is so comfortable to wear; and second, the seam in the centre back leg which allows you to remove excess fabric in the back thigh. That is a problem many of us sew-ers have with our sewn pants, that bagginess in the back leg. What really sold me on this pattern was seeing it on Pati Palmer in their newsletter. Pati has a mature figure and, if she can make these pants look flattering, well why not me?

And the third pattern I ordered was 6294, a jacket pattern again by Melissa Watson. the seaming details caught my attention on this. The back view has many seams and one section is cut on the bias, making for interest depending on your fabric. A mini plaid would look wonderful cut on several grains, and even denim with topstitched seams to highlight the design would be great.

I'm going to have lots to sew once these patterns arrive. No shortage of fabric though. I won't tell you how many boxes of fabric I have in my stash. When we moved into this house 16 years ago, I had no stash whatsoever. Since that time, and largely due to running an online fabric business, I accumulated many fabrics. I think everyone can understand how that happens. Some are small pieces, the ends of bolts, but others are quite large, 5 metres for instance, as I knew they were just too good to pass by.

I particularly like sewing spring and summer clothes, so this morning I am going to go and look at the stash to see what will work with these patterns soon to arrive.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Patterns

After four weeks of being on crutches and a walker, I am anxious to get back into my sewing room. But I have a few more weeks of recovery yet.  I could sew, but it is just too difficult to get all the other things organized, such as the ironing board and manoevring a walker around that. Plus cutting out would be tricky when you have to stand on one leg only. 

But I have noticed a few patterns lately that are very attractive and this morning I thought why not order them and they will be here in a few weeks, just as I am ready to start sewing again.

One pattern is a cardigan that I noticed on Carolyn's blog at
It is Butterick 5760

Carolyn makes many sweater sets, and she used this pattern to make a different neckline than her usual V-neck.  The pattern looks great to me, and I have some knits just waiting to be made up into cardigans.  I have noticed many dresses lately that seem to just call out for a light cardigan to be worn over them.

And speaking of dresses, I have been wanting to make a couple of new dresses. And there are some nice patterns out there.  The first one I ordered is Butterick 5382.

I really like the neckline on this, with the pleats adding interest to an otherwise straight sheath dress.

Then I also ordered Vogue 8786 because this is another simple sheath, but with the interest of a yoke. And with two sleeve variations, this can be made up for either warm or cool weather.

and the fourth pattern I ordered was McCalls 6433. I had seen this last year in the catalogue and I really liked it but thought that this would not work for my figure type.  But then I read the newsletter put out by Palmer/Pletsch and read that Marta Alto made this up as a top and skirt, rather than a dress. Then she could lengthen the top and straighten out the side seams, rather than make a dress with a defined waistline, something that doesn't work for either her or me.  I will also raise that neck opening, as that is definitely for a younger body than mine.  If you haven't checked out their website, it is worth reading the newsletter. You can download it for free at  - click on the left for Free On-line Fashion Magazine. I read with interest Pati's experience with a new pant pattern with a contour waistband. As she says, cotton/lycra pants just don't look that great because the fabric doesn't drape. Her fitting tips are well worth reading.
Now, I will anxiously await these new patterns and, in the meantime, think of which fabrics from the stash I can use for them. Because I am going to keep the New Year's resolution of sewing two stash fabrics for every one new purchase. 

I am still working on the Aran baby blanket. It is going slowly, as there are 171 stitches in each row, and I am making it with baby weight wool, rather than worsted weight. I find the lighter wool easier to knit with these fingers that get stiff holding heavier yarn.

It is good to feel keen to sew once again. It has been a while since I felt inspired to make something new. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blog Award

Ann from gave me the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thanks, Ann, I have to confess I was surprised as I only have a few readers. But it's kind of fun to participate in this so here goes.

Now let's see. I am supposed to do some things here, in order to spread this around.
First I have to mention seven random things about myself.  Hmmm.....

1.  I have been married to the same man for 38 years.

2.  We have 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren, with another on the way.

3.  Our youngest daughter broke the mold, wears a habit, and is a Franciscan nun.

4.  I began sewing at age 12 and am self-taught for the most part.

5.  For years, I crocheted endlessly; for the most part, I made lace shawls that I sold through craft stores.

6.  I love dogs and have had a dog almost all of my life.

7.  I would love to live in the country on an acreage, not a farm (too much work) but with a fair chunk of land around me.

Now I am to list the rules of the award and will now proceed to pass it along to 15 other bloggers. 
So here are the rules:

- Add the award to your blog.
- Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
-  Mention 7 random things about yourself.
-  List the rules.
-  Give the award to 15 bloggers.
-  Inform each of those bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I haven't posted in quite a while. Life has been different around here. I had hip replacement surgery on February 7, which means that tomorrow is the two week appointment with the surgeon to see that everything is on track.

Unfortunately, there is no longer physiotherapy offered for patients who have hip replacement. They still have it for knee replacements, but cutting costs in the medical system has meant some services are cut and physio for hips is one of those.

(Aside to Americans: I'd be really wary of getting a health care system like ours in Canada. While everyone does get to see a doctor and can go to emergency for care, the wait times and the amount of care have to make you wonder. I am definitely in favour of a two-tiered system, where you can pay extra to have some things done a whole lot quicker.)

Before going in for surgery, I almost finished the houndstooth version of Vogue 8548. I just have the buttons and snaps to sew on and will get a photo up when I can move around enough to take a photo and then upload it to the computer. Some things just involve too many steps to undertake at the moment. Getting up and down stairs, getting to the bathroom with a walker and checking email on the laptop is about the extent of my ventures in the house.

Due to the sedentary nature of my life at the moment, knitting has taken over. Last night, I finished the second sleeve of a cardigan, and will sew in the yarn ends today. Hopefully I will get round to pressing it this week, and then sewing it together before adding the neck and front bands. I have discovered and am checking out the next project. It is really nice to know that I can order wool online and have it delivered quickly so that I won't be without something to knit.

Although the next project I know will be an Aran baby blanket. My daughter Elena is expecting a baby in June, and the ultrasound showed that this one is a little girl. We are all excited about that, as she has five children and only one of them is a girl. Hannah will be nine when this one is born, and she already has so many mothering skills that Elena will be lucky if she gets the baby to nurse. Even the boys can look after wee ones now, as Joe was seen rocking Isaac when he was fussy and Elena was cooking.

The reaction of most people, when I tell them that Elena is having her 6th baby, is one of shock and disbelief. It seems that having a large family is considered impossible these days. But, if you could spend some time around one, you would realise that the children are happy having all those siblings, they really do look after each other, they always have someone to play with and as a result are very imaginative. No computer games for these kids, they play tag and cops and robbers, and endless games of hide and seek.

Elena and her husband will have six children and my oldest daughter Rebecca has five children with her husband Nathan. And all are thriving. I am so proud of all of them. Both these girls got post-secondary educations and not just simple degrees. Rebecca has a PhD in mathematics and Elena has a BA in history and a Bachelor of Education too, so she is trained as a high school history teacher. Both of them have opted to be stay-at-home moms while their children are young and they may even choose to home-school, if the schools do not provide the quality of eduation and the environment that they consider good for their children. They are post-feminist women and I am so proud of them, for making the choices that they have. There are days when I am sure they would much rather be at work, getting "things done" and feeling a sense of accomplishment whereas many days at home feel as if you have accomplished nothing. But the results are in the long run, not the short haul. Their kids have so much going for them, given that their moms have made that sacrifice. Kind of an old-fashioned choice in today's world, but sometimes you have to swim upstream to get what you really want.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sweater Blocking

I finished knitting this sweater a couple of days ago, and then began the rather lengthy process of threading in yarn tails and sewing up seams. I understand why people prefer to knit on circular needles, so they don't have much of this to do. But the weight of a sweater on circular needles is not something I enjoy, so I will have to sew up the seams on all future sweaters.

Having read a little about blocking, I thought I should do this with this sweater. It is advisable to block the pieces before they are sewn and I should have done this. But I shall see how this method works. I covered a styrofoam board with 1/4" gingham, thinking that I would use the gingham to measure the sweater. Not at all, I took out the tape measure and pinned the sweater to the dimensions written on the diagram. Now I will mist the sweater with water, get it fairly damp and cover it with a towel for a few days until it dries completely.

I am not sure how this yarn will behave, as it is a new kind of yarn and acts very much like rayon fabric. It feels wonderful in the hand, but is heavy and drapey when made up. The finished sweater may grow in the wearing, we shall see.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vogue 8548 Finished

I am going to take this to a dry cleaners and have them steam press it, as I just don't seem to be able to get a good final press of the wool.

I am pleased with this coat, but there are a few things I would do differently. The pattern does not call for shoulder pads, and I think the sleeves would hang better with a small pad. The lining is attached by machine to the armholes before the sleeves are inserted and then the sleeve lining is hand-stitched in place. So I won't be undoing all of that to add shoulder pads at this point. I will live without them.

I plan on making this again, the version with the more open neckline and I have a houndstooth wool in mind for this. But I will make some changes. I will reduce the flare at the sides of the coat, as I am not keen on this on me. It looks great on the others that I have seen, but most of the flare seems to be on my back, and I would prefer to have less. Also, I will attach the bodice lining to the bodice front and then sew that piece to the lining of the skirt part of the coat, then attach the entire lining to the coat at the front edges. This will eliminate most of the hand sewing which was rather tedious. I think it will be easier to press as well, since I will be dealing with single layers, rather than the bulky seam at the empire waist.

The wool was a dream to sew, and top-stitching really shows up well on this. I particularly like the seams on the bodice being accentuated that way. A good pattern, even if it is out of print. You can still buy it on the Vogue pattern site, under their OOP pattern link.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Wishing all a happy new year. New resolutions? not here, not this year anyway. I am anticipating some upheavals soon, so no need to add to the stress. Every time the phone rings, I think "that's the hospital" with a mix of fear and relief. It will be good to have this hip surgery over with and the rehab period over as well.

Meanwhile, knitting has been progressing as we have been watching quite a few movies here. My husband is a Brit from Liverpool and my parents came from the UK as well, so watching British flicks is normal fare. We just discovered the series Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. The repartees are hilarious and it is hard to believe this was written and filmed in the 80's. It seems as if nothing has changed. If you like political satire, try it. It is good to laugh at such things, and perhaps become a little wiser to the machinations of politicos and civil servants.

We made a short three day trip to Maine and stayed in Orono. There is a small lovely wool shop there, called Fiberphilia. I had hoped to find an apple green wool there for a cardigan, but there was no such yarn. And the shop here, LK Yarns, is also nice but smallish. So online I went and hopefully, the company I contacted will have the wool I want.

Anyone have sources for buying yarn online? I would prefer Canadian sources as the shipping from the US to Canada is very steep, often as much as $25 per parcel. Which means it is not worth buying anything unless you buy $100 or more.

I have a pair of LH Cruise pants cut out and ready to sew. I have never tried her Euro Pant pattern but took it out to compare. Basically the two pants are the same, with the Euro having wider legs. The crotch curve is identical and the Euro does offer an elastic-waist version, which is what the Cruise Pants are. I will stick with the Cruise Pant pattern as I have made this at least three times and there is no altering to do at all now. I even made a flat-seat alteration, taking a 1/4" tuck down the entire back leg. At my height, all extraneous fabric needs to be removed.

And just before Christmas, I was searching for some grey coating to make this coat - Vogue 8548.

I first saw this coat on Tany`s blog and I ordered the pattern, which took three weeks to come from Vogue. Then I saw the coat again on Erica`s blog and saw her line about pockets. Good advice, I will be adding side seam pockets to mine. The pattern is out of print but still available from Vogue.

There was no wool coating that I liked at our local fabric store and I really wanted a grey coat. I already have a black wool coat and the majority of my clothes would go best with either of those colours (or red, but I don`t want a red coat this year). Online again for a fabric search. I discovered that there is not much in the way of heavy wool coatings to be found. Most retailers have wool for jackets, but it is simply not heavy enough for a Canadian winter coat. I found lots of wools that are boiled wool weight, but that would be a cardigan in my neck of the woods.

I did find some at Vogue Fabrics and it seemed the right weight, although the colour was a little lighter than what I wanted. But I thought why not, I am not going to find anything more suitable at this time of year. And I want to make this coat for this winter, not for next. So that is next in the queue, after I finish the Cruise pants. So a quick trip to Fabricville for some grey satin lining, hopefully they will have Kasha, and thread and buttons. I have plenty of interfacing here, and will probably use weft insertion fusible for this project. I hope this will go quickly and I will have some pictures to show in a week or so. Enjoy your sewing adventures, and knitting ones too!

By the way, the wool coating arrived within two weeks and it is great, it has a brushed surface and has a slight bluish tint to it. Vogue Fabrics did indicate that on their webpage. I was very impressed with the shipping time. Usually parcels from the US take three weeks to reach Nova Scotia.