Monthly Archives: September 2010

Lady Grey Sew-Along: The Muslin.

The Lady Grey Sew-Along kicked off a few days ago with cutting out the pieces for the muslin.

The muslin in pieces.

I became overzealous and lazy – two qualities which don’t really seem to belong together. I ended up assembling most of my muslin this evening (overzealous) and I have decided I probably won’t make any changes (lazy).

The point of a muslin as I understand it is to create a tester version of your garment. The muslin is usually made out of inexpensive material ideally with the same weight and drape of your finished product material. During the muslin stage, you would measure and mark any appropriate changes to your pattern – taking it out in the waist, taking in the bust, etc. This is to ensure that the final garment will actually fit you the way it’s supposed to, because as we know, all bodies are different and there are countless combinations of bust/waist/hip measurements out there. As well, it will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration if you’ve discovered that you cut out and sewn a beautiful piece of clothing… that doesn’t fit you.

Anyway, my muslin seems to fit me like a glove, so I think I might just go ahead and make the size 8 as is without trying to tailor it. While this would be a great opportunity for me to learn some tailoring skills, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands right now and would prefer to get this coat done sooner rather than later, which I think I can do if I just stick to the pattern as it is.

Also, I have two other Colette Patterns to work on while fall is coming.

Sewing Treasures.

Well, I started full-time work today, so while I adjust to a 9-5 mentality I don’t think I’ll be as productive with knitting and sewing as I would like. As I was unpacking a few nights ago though, I found a bag of my mom’s old sewing supplies that she gave to me before my parents moved back to Thailand. I had to discard the box they came in, as it was broken and I couldn’t carry it across Canada, so hopefully I can find a more permanent home for them soon that isn’t a grocery bag. These items have been stored at the bottom of a box that we didn’t unpack in London because they didn’t contain items I would need over the year, so it’s nice to see them again after so long.

It’s really lovely having my mom’s sewing things. Not only does it remind me of her while she’s halfway across the globe, but it’s great having her collection of supplies to add to as I develop my own sewing skills, rather than starting from scratch.

The best part of this find, by far, are the sewing shears. I had to cut the fabric for our sofa cover using regular scissors. It was not fun. These sewing shears are so smooth and still work perfectly after several years.

One of my greater finds this week, in a box that I packed over a year ago and hadn’t opened until we got to Ottawa, was my sushi bracelet:

Glass sushi.

I really thought I had lost this bracelet. The clasp isn’t closing properly, so more than once it’s slipped off my wrist and luckily I’ve noticed. I don’t know why I would pack this bracelet into a box that I didn’t want to open for a year, so I assumed it had fallen off my wrist one day and was lost. Little did I know, it was sitting and waiting for me in my own home! This bracelet and I have been through a lot. My dad made it for me (he is a glass-blower). I wore this bracelet daily for several years. I snagged it on my coat on the streets of Lille, France in front of a nightclub and managed to save three of the beads in the dark… and I found the rest the following morning wedged between the cobblestones on the street. I am thrilled to have it back now, after feeling quite strange without it for over a year. .

Biking Upgrades.

I’ve never really been comfortable on a bike, considering I only learned how to ride one about four or five years ago, and rode maybe two or three times a year since. I had never biked on a busy road, only neighbourhood streets. When we moved to London, we got rid of my old bike which seemed large and clunky compared to the new purple bike I bought when we arrived in London.

Unfortunately, London is not very conducive to cycling. Our apartment building was surrounded on all sides by busy roads, so it was tough to really get anywhere, and I ended up taking my bike out only a few times which was very dejecting.

Finally, here in Ottawa, we live in a lovely neighbourhood full of quiet side streets. We went out last week so I could get used to being on a bike again, just going around the neighbourhood. Then yesterday, we rode almost to Quebec! That sounds more impressive than it really is, as it’s about a 10 minute bike ride to get across the bridge leading to Gatineau, probably 5 minutes for other cyclists as I go really, really slow. We had to go along a very busy road but there were comfortably wide bike lanes so I was fine. At first I was nervous with all the traffic, but I just got used to it after a few minutes.

Corey skipping stones into the Ottawa River.

Ottawa River and Gatineau in the background.

To celebrate my cycling abilities, we biked to Mountain Equipment Co-op afterwards and I got some proper gear, including a pair of biking gloves as a present from Corey. I haven’t been to MEC in over a year, so it was great being back in there.

We also went to The Works before biking home. The Works is a great Ottawa burger joint that has dozens and dozens of delicious burgers on their menu. Their water comes in giant measuring cups and they have lightbulb salt and pepper shakers.

The Works.

All in all, yesterday was a good and active day in Ottawa.