Personal Sewing Challenge – 5th Day

What I would like to see done for the day is:  sew the two pairs of pants.  The shirtwaist dress will have to wait until later due to incoming client work.

Black fabric….and both sides appear to look the same….but are not the same.  Up close there appears to be little difference.  However to be safe I treat all textiles as though they have a dye lot and I do not want to mix up the right side from the wrong…..and I have a trick that is better than my eye for this.

I use a photo magnifier.  I have cut the cloth with right sides together – but if I confuse the order of the pieces I can use this handy tool to make sure that I construct the garments consistently throughout.

a magnifier keeps the right side sorted out from the wrong side
a magnifier keeps the right side sorted out from the wrong side

10:15am – iron on, all machines threaded, set to start.

12:15pm – pant backs are together, pockets all constructed – ready to make the fly fronts…..after a lunch.

2:45pm – fly front zippers are in, side seams, inseams and hems done.  Waistband assembly and attachment is next

3:45pm – sewing and buttonholes done.  Buttons attached.  I’ll throw them through the wash to bring the stretch seams back to original dimension (they stretch out a bit during the construction process).

The day is glorious – time for a walk out in the Vancouver sunshine.

6:15pm – a light iron, a bit of steam and these are done.

black sport pant with zippered pockets
black sport pant with zippered pockets

Setting a challenge was good.  It kept me on task (mostly) and even though I did not get the shirtwaist dress done, I know that getting the blouse and both pairs of pants done was more than I would have done without the word ‘challenge’ attached to it.  I’m going to do this again.

Until then – happy sewing everyone!

Personal Sewing Challenge – Day 3


Time for the pattern for the second part of the challenge – 2 pair of casual sport pants.  I have my pattern from 2011 for a sport pant that was based (but changed significantly) from a pant that I had purchased years before that and then worn to shreds (literally).

The pattern has many pieces and uses the stretch quotient of the cloth to great advantage.  The seams of the pants are manipulated so that they accommodate activities such as cycling or hiking.  The stretch pant has roomy pockets and an elasticized back waist…..perfect sport pant for me.  In fact I wore a pair of the 2011 version for a 13 km walking jaunt just this very fine west coast morning.    And there shooting from the floor of the forest wetlands….skunk cabbage…..first time spotted for 2015.  Spring IS on its way.

the pieces 'look' strange but really work well for sporty active days
the pieces ‘look’ strange but really work well for sporty active days

All the pattern changes, cutting and marking are done.  I’ve chosen different threads for different purposes.  The #40 for stitching and topstitching (red spool-2 of them), #50 for the buttonholes (red spool-1 of them), and #65 for the serger (yellow spool-4 of them).  All bundled into a work box – I love the contained and prepared feeling of a bucket of cut cloth and notions.

ready - set - sew....tomorrow
ready – set – sew…2 pairs….tomorrow

That’s it for today.  Downtown Abbey is wrapping up their season tonight.  No doubt some story lines will be resolved and some……will provide tantalizing possibilities for another season.  Can’t wait.  I have been enjoying the Downtown costuming this year.  Rose’s trousseau was particularly to my liking.

Personal Sewing Challenge Day 2

I’m calling this a challenge because challenges of any sort seem to be ‘in’ and because the idea of “challenged” to do anything just carries a mystique and seems to result in compulsion to perform!

It’s a perfect sunny day here on the west coast but compulsion has me in the workshop getting ready to cut out my new clothes.

The purchased fabrics are all washed and I have gathered the related notions and threads. I have to select patterns and begin some cutting.

I have a large…..huge!….stash of patterns.  The collection if measured in linear feet with the patterns stacked like books on a shelf it is a bit more than 35 feet.  I managed to drastically purge the pattern file a few years ago but clearly further editing is required.  Some of these patterns go back to the beginning of my sewing days..(the 70’s) and many are patterns that I have created for a wide variety of clients over the years.  I digress because that is another blog series in the waiting.

The plan for today is to prepare patterns and begin cutting for all four pieces……new clothes… motivation to begin it is still a thrill…..CARRY ON!!!

Starting with the blouse:

I am using a pattern for a shirt that I developed more than ten years ago.  I call it the Camino Shirt…because….I wore it on the Camino de Santiago.  It is still a go to pattern for me.   I have changed the collar for both fit and point style for this floral version.

pattern weights keep us strong
using pattern weights keeps us strong

I organize all of my cut pieces into a work box with all related parts and notions.

all cut and organized and ready to sew
assembled into a work box makes me feel organized

Then sew…..and….pouf!….new shirt.

matte peach buttons for trim
matte peach buttons for trim

I love the floral print.  And I am inspired to haul from the fabric stash  (….also huge and a sensitive topic…..argghh to undone projects…)  a piece of olive green pebble weave linen which I will consider for a skirt to wear with this.

More happy sewing days to follow.


I just have to start…..

The blank page can be daunting. The same is true for the blank blog.

So here it is: My first post on this blog.

Simple: bought cloth – gonna make me some clothes. The floral for a blouse, the lightweight linen blend denim for a shirtwaist dress and the black for 2 pairs of casual pants.

blouse, shirtwaist dress and two casual pants
blouse, shirtwaist dress and two pair of casual pants – my 4 day challenge

But here’s the catch. I sew for a living for the film industry in Vancouver but only occasionally do I make clothing for myself. My commitment is to have these garments complete in the next week. Lofty endeavour? Maybe – but when I work on film deadlines I always deliver on time – and these four garments would represent an average weekend sewing order. So I’ll jump in and let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck……and concentration!

This blog will serve as my portfolio.

Hello – This blog site serves as my portfolio.

I’m passionate about all things textile and I have had the very good fortune to have spent an entire career in various ways concerned with textiles.  Even a very brief stint as a factory sewer and an even briefer stint selling leather jackets.

So I’ll be parking a lot of photos of past work here (even though I have been colossally bad at documenting my work) and you can look up my resume, production list, and a bit about the teaching that I do.

And since this is my blog – I’m even going to include some before and after photos of the  renovating and redecorating of my home, drawings and forays into painting, as well as quilting, weaving, embroidery, the knitting that sent me on a trip to England…………..and even………the baking of apple pies.  I’ve been perfecting the recipe for years!

Please enjoy – and please share your comments with me.

Warmest Regards,

Deborah Gyug

site under construction – photos coming