Monthly Archives: April 2013

What the heck is hair canvas?


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When I saw this pattern I just had to have it.  ‘Why?’ you ask.  Well, if you have seen the movie Coco, staring Shirley McLain, then you may recognize this style of coat.  It is called a spectator coat.  This is my style.  I started reviewing the pattern so that I would have an idea about what I was getting myself into.

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The first thing that I see after I can get beyond the fabulous style is the amount of yardage.  Boy, that is going to be a lot for me.  I will have to get an extra 3/4 of a yard.  Then I saw an informational insert that was titled, ‘Professional Tips for Sewing Success’.  Being one for success I started to read it.

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I liked the way that the information insert started off: ‘By the early 1920s, women were well on their way to victory in asserting their freedom from Victorian constraints, and it was won primarily by the wage-earning, fun-loving young American mademoiselle.’  Although I am no longer young (don’t ask) that is speaking my language.  I read on.  It was at that time that I came across the term ‘hair canvas’.  What the heck is hair canvas.  I was to find out.

Hair canvas is an interfacing that can be sewn in and is available in a fusible form.  Upon checking the internet, I found that it can be purchased from Joann’s Fabrics.  It is usually a blend of wool and goat hair that helps with it clinging to garment fabric.  Upon research I have learned that this interfacing is the gold standard in tailoring because it gives soft shaping.  This can also be made from rayon or cotton to reduce the price.  There is no stiffness involved with hair canvas as interfacing.

If you pre-shrink your garment fabric then you must pre-shrink your hair canvas.  Don’t worry this is not a hard task.  All that you need is water in a spray bottle (or some way to moisten the hair canvas – not soak it) and an iron.  Moisten the hair canvas letting it sit for a bit to soak in and then iron until dry.  Even I can do that.  It is recommended that you do not use a back and forth motion while doing this for it will stretch the canvas but use a press then lift and move motion.  See not difficult yet.

The next step is to proceed and use the hair canvas as any interfacing – fusible or sewn in.  Just be sure to trim it in seam allowances to reduce bulk.

In this pattern the hair canvas is used as ‘sleeve heads’.  What?  Oh my, another new term.  I read on.  I read on.  Well, to simplify, it is kinda sorta like a shoulder pad but not really.  A drawing is included.

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The sleeve head goes away from the body towards the sleeve itself.  Now I am clear.  I can recall coats that I have owned in the past that had something that was a bit stiff in the shoulder seam.  Now I realize that it was hair canvas used as a sleeve head.  Learning about these was not so bad.  As a matter of fact I know that it is going to broaden my sewing skills – a lot.  Never be afraid about learning something new.


Pattern Blitz on on 4-25-2013.


I am a member of a team, Pattern Patter, and we are having a huge pattern blitz tomorrow April, 25.  There will be a huge amount of new listings of patterns and many of the shop owners will be having sales.  Our shop is having a 20% sales using the coupon code: springsale at checkout.  This blitz is going to be going on all day long.  Come and have a look for your self.

Finished Burda Jacket, It is a Great Jacket!


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Here is the Burda jacket .  I finished it and I love it, if you can love a piece of clothing.  The cut is spot on.  I used a heavier fabric that I believe is a home décor fabric.  I am not sure because it was a fabric remnant that I had purchased.  It is like a denim fabric with a raised embroidery design.  The sleeves are 3/4 length.  Well, on me they are 3/4 length.  I did not want a seam down the center back of the garment so I cut the back panel on the fold and put a pleat/tuck of 5/8 inch to the center back so that the collar width would match perfectly which it did.

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The collar was attached only at the neck opening.  The edges of the collar were joined together by the bias binding.  The bias binding is home décor fabric that I made and I had more than 6 yards of it to use.  I used 5 yards, 15 feet of it.  I did not waste any either.  I do suppose that I would with this being a loose-fitting jacket.

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As you can see in this photo, I did not run the bias binding in a continuous strip around the jacket.  The binding was just too bulky and I didn’t want that look because that is what everyone else does.  I thought of butt joints used in construction so that is what I attempted to achieve with the binding.  I must confess that it is not as perfect as I would want it but I have not attempted butt joints with binding before.  I am satisfied with the end result though.  I plan to wear this jacket with pride.

In the pattern, the pockets have a cuff at the top.  Well, not being normal, I did not want that either so I excluded the cuff and just made very deep pockets.  I am more than pleased with that feature.

I did finish the edges of the seams because this fabric was unraveling like crazy.  That was quite a bit of extra sewing but worth it.  I will definitely do that again.  I feel as though it gives a more finished look.  I would highly recommend this jacket for anyone to make.  It is great!

I Fixed My Mistake.


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I took the collar off and followed the instructions.  It does lay so much better now doesn’t it?  It looks great when I try it on.  The next step is to finish all of the edges with bias binding.

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This is the bias binding that I made for finishing the edge of a slipcover.  It was 3 inches wide single folded so I cut off and inch of width of the single fold.  That was 2 inches total.  I hope that makes sense to you.  Now I have to get my iron going and make double fold out of this bias binding.  I have over 6 yards and it is going to take me a while but it will look good.  At least I think so and I am going to be the one wearing it.  I will be pleased with it.

The next post will be the finished jacket.

Burda jacket pattern.



This is the latest pattern that I am making.  I am making the longer jacket in the bottom right hand of the patter – the longer length.  You can see the off-white fabric that I have cut out.  The striped bias binding is some that I made a while ago that I used as binding on a slipcover for a loveseat that I designed and made.  I had A LOT of extra binding so this is what I am going to use.


This is my progress. I really like this pattern.  When I purchased this pattern and started making it I had some reservations about Burda because I had tried a Burda pattern before and was not entirely please with it.  This jacket/coat pattern really appealed to me so I decided to give Burda another try.  This is such a great pattern.  The instructions are clear and simple and the style is spot on.  I must say that I have not followed the instructions completely.  I have made some changes and have added my own touches.  I will show you when I have the jacket completed.

At this moment I must go and take the collar off because I sewed it on upside down.  That is what I get for not following instructions don’t I?  I know better.  I did think that I had sewn it on correctly but soon found out how wrong I was.

Drawings of my ideas.



This is drawings of what I am going to try to do.  Please be kind because I have never tried to draw my ideas before.  My friend Sue, who lives across the big pond and has an Etsy shop of her own, is encouraging me to draw my ideas (more like demanding).  Therefore, I am giving it a try.  If nothing else it could be very humorous.

I have a t-shirt that is really big on me that I tea dyed.  I have been thinking of altering a t-shirt for a while now.   I decided that now is as good a time as any.  As shown in the bottom drawing I intend to make the shirt more fitted, but not too fitted.  Then I plan to do some rouching on one side.  That will make the bottom of the shirt asymmetrical as shown in the drawing.  Please don’t think that I can’t even draw a straight line.

After that I plan to use some fabric ink and a stamp to put some images on the shirt.  I hope that all of this gives the shirt more ‘personality”.  My personality.  We will see if I can make my plans come true.

Fashion Designer Kit.


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I have decided that I want to start doing a more professional job in altering my patterns so I purchased this ‘Fashion Designer Kit’ from Nancy’s Notions.  This way I will be able to get the fit that I am wanting when I alter my patterns.  There is even an instruction booklet, so to speak.  I do believe that I will be going to my public library and get a book or two that will be a bit more explanatory.

I must admit that I would really like to design a skirt or top for myself.  I have dreamed of that for a long time but I have never had the confidence to even contemplate it let alone to give it serious thought.  Not anymore.  Why can’t I.  Well for one, I have not had any education in fashion or design.  I can read a book though.  I have enough knowledge of sewing that I can understand quite a bit about it.  I plan to give it a try.  I really don’t know what to expect but I do believe that I can enjoy the try.

When I started this blog I thought that I needed to make posts that were very informative and educational.  However, since I have been reading so many blogs by other people I find that is not always necessary.  Therefore, I am going to be making more posts that are light-hearted and hopefully funny.  I look forward to this.  Everything does not have to be so serious all of the time.