Better Late Than Never

It’s been such a long time since I last posted! Sometimes it’s hard to believe how fast time flies, especially when you are busy making new memories. I just finished teaching Ethics in the Counselling Profession to graduate students at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. What an amazing experience! From the lovely people I met to the beautiful campus and surroundings, I had a great time. It was refreshing and career-building at the same time.

Before heading to Acadia University and finishing up the school year, our family celebrated another milestone. Jennifer convocated from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador with a Bachelor of Commerce! We are so proud of her accomplishments.

As a part of her celebrations, she needed a dress for a gala event. I obviously wanted to make this extra special by designing and making the dress myself. I will admit that it was a long process but very rewarding. From the initial sketches to the fittings, the concept of the dress and the final product changed a lot. Eventually Jennifer settled on what she really loved. So here it is!

The dress probably cost about $25.00 for the material. I was lucky enough to have purchased this beautiful fabric a couple of years ago for about $2.00 a meter! You just never know when your fabric stash will actually become useful!

Now that the summer is coming to a close, I am thinking about what my sewing plans will be for the fall. I will keep you updated in the next week or so. For now, I am going to try and rest and catch up on some unfinished tasks that I have been procrastinating!

Live Kind,

Kelly

Braving the Cold: Part 2

So I finally finished coat number 2. For this coat, I used a Vogue pattern – 9157.

I actually really like the structure of this coat and the lovely details that it has. The pattern has the custom fit system for various cup sizes to help adjust the pattern, which is super helpful. I chose a navy wool fabric with a leopard print lining. The fabric is very nice BUT…

I’m not loving it! When I started this coat, the overall measurements were looking good. Since then I have lost 10 pounds and the coat is now too big (insert sad face here). I certainly don’t mind the losing weight part, but the coat needs some major adjustments.

First, the bust size is too big. I should have chosen an adjustment for cup size B, instead of C. Also the shoulders are too oversized currently. The shoulder pads are way too overpowering. I also think that I should have chosen flat buttons, instead of the shank style buttons. They have a tendency to droop down and then look uneven.

So now I need to decide if I’m going to rip the coat apart and do some major adjustments or gift it to someone else. I think for now I will put it to one side and work on my next coat project. Maybe this coat will be ready for next winter.

Live Kind,

Kelly

Braving the Cold: Coat Project #1

True to my word, I have completed my first winter coat project! The pattern I chose was Simplicity 1254 by Leanne Marshall. I purchased this pattern on a summer trip to the United States because our fabric stores in Newfoundland usually don’t stock Simplicity patterns.  This pattern is described as an easy lined coat and it suggested medium to heavy weight fabrics for the construction. It also comes in two lengths – a jacket and a coat length.

I had the fabric for this coat long before I found the pattern. Sometimes the fabric picks the pattern and some times it seems to be the other way around. During the Spring, I travelled to London and spent a day shopping on Goldhawk Road. Let’s just say, I was in paradise. I had never been to Goldhawk Road before and now understand why it is a mecca for sewists. Of the many stores I shopped in, I spent most of my time and money at Misan. It was there that I fell in love with the most beautiful wool fabric. Its print was like nothing I had seen before and the details of the selvedge was breath-taking! A picture just doesn’t do it justice.

 

When I found this Simplicity pattern, I knew that the fabric was meant for this coat. The structure of the coat is simple enough to show off the fabric. The only addition I made was using a soft black wool for the collar because I thought the main fabric might not have been soft enough around my neck and face.

 

What do you think about that amazing collar! It certainly adds drama to the coat.

I couldn’t be any more pleased with how this coat turned out. And I love that my mom knit me the beautiful hat and mittens to match!! Win, win.

Now off to work on my next coat.

Live Kind,

Kelly

Winter Sewing

Groundhog Day has come and gone, with the promise of an early Spring. Although I would love my sewing plans to be focused on pastel prints and flowy dresses, I live in Newfoundland and our early Spring could mean May. Therefore, my current sewing plans are all focused on winter sewing, in particular outerwear. I realized I had a problem once winter hit and I had no dress coats that fit me anymore. Anyone who knows me would understand how terrible this is because I LOVE a great coat! Eventually I even ventured to the local mall to buy one, but instead I was caught in the vortex of a sewist – “I could make that cheaper” or “I could make that better.” Needless to say, I left the mall without a coat and headed to the fabric store.

I have to admit that I haven’t made anything in the way of a warm weather coat before, but I have accumulated several patterns that I hoped I’d get a chance to try one day. Now these patterns have moved up the sewing queue!

Project 1:Simplicity 1254

On one of my last trips to the US, I picked up this beautiful Leanne Marshall pattern for a lined coat. Just check out that gorgeous oversized collar! I have a beautiful fabric I bought in London last Spring just waiting to be used for this pattern.

Project 2: Vogue 9157

Who doesn’t love a double breasted jacket! I am currently working on view B in a lovely navy blue wool, with a colourful surprise lining. I can’t wait to finish it so I can show you how lovely it’s turning out!

Project 3: Vogue 9288

WOW… I am a sucker for a cape. Our weather is probably a bit too nippy to wear a cape yet, but this will be my make for the Spring.

Project 4: Clare Coat by ClosetCase Patterns

Every pattern I’ve tried by ClosetCase I love, and I’m sure the Clare coat will be no exception. I really like the version with the side zipper.

So, now that I actually wrote all of that down, I am wondering if my plans may be too grandiose for the amount of time I have to sew. Lol. Off I go to get started!

Live Kind

Kelly

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy 2018 Everyone!

Welcome to a new year of sewing. I have spent most of January looking back at 2017 and evaluating what goals I would like to accomplish in 2018. I realize that it is February but it takes me awhile to really settle on these things. Although 2017 was busy, there were things that I feel I would like to improve upon. This may be a little challenging because on top of my full-time job I decided to go back to school again after 17 years being out of the university world. Already I can tell that my time is going to be very limited and I will need to be focused on the things I want to get accomplished. So here are my goals for 2018:

Big Plan #1:

For some time now I have been really loving Pattern making and designing new garments. I would love this year to try creating my own design to sell. I already have a good collection of slopers for each garment size, so know I have to settle on the design, craft the pattern, and mock up samples. Although we had spent the first couple of years teaching sewing classes, this is something that really excites me and I am anxious to see if this is a direction that will be good for the business, as well as personally.

Big Plan #2:

I am determined to spend time doing more personal sewing projects. I think that through my makes, and blogging about the final product, others may be inspired to keep learning and sew themselves. I have a running list of projects that I need and would like to sew.

Big Plan #3:

That brings me to blogging. This year, I would like to increase the frequency of our blog posts. This will be a bigger challenge for me, because I find it harder to make the time to post. It will be necessary, though, if I am to achieve my goals of inspiring others. I am going to aim to post biweekly about my sewing projects and techniques that have helped me become a better sewist.

Big Plan #4:

The last goal is to start a YouTube channel. This is definitely my biggest goal. Currently it is in the research stage, but I hope it is something I can accomplish before 2018 comes to a close!

So here we go! I hope you can follow along with us on our creative journey.

Live Kind,
Kelly

 

Dress Obsessed

Confession – I have a dress obsession. I love that a dress is a complete outfit. Pull it on, accessorize, put on some killer shoes, and you are all set to go. My day job requires a business casual dress code and a dress is often my go-to outfit. I have been on a mission since spring to find a dress that can accommodate fluctuating sizes and still look flattering. It also needs to be comfortable, look great with tights/leggings, and pair well with boots. This is Newfoundland after all and we usually live in a perpetual cold front.

One such fabulous dress is the Ebony Tee/Dress by Closet Case Patterns. This beauty is a swing dress sensation. It is designed for a knit with a choice of neckline, sleeve, and length. This can be made as a dress, tunic, or tee. Super versatile!

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In my hometown, we have very little choice for fabric, so I have become a regular at our local Fabricville. During one of my daily trips, I was drawn to this gorgeous printed knit. It’s amazing the pull a beautiful fabric can have. It breaks down all logical reasoning and suddenly it doesn’t matter that you already have an overflowing fabric stash, or that you don’t have a pattern in mind, or that it is full price. You MUST have it RIGHT NOW. So obviously, I had to comply.

Then along came Ebony and I knew this would be the perfect partner for my knit. I had to grade the pattern between four sizes, but this is a process I am used to in order to accommodate my aforementioned fluctuation in dress sizes. In hindsight, I probably could have gone two sizes smaller in the hip due to the generous drape of the dress. So, when I make it again (and I definitely will) I will adjust the pattern accordingly.

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The pattern was super easy from the beginning to the end. I serged all the seams and the dress was sewn in a couple of hours. This is the first pattern I have completed by Closet Case Patterns but certainly won’t be my last. I have my eye on the Clare Coat for a fall make. Stay tuned for that!

Live Kind,

Kelly

Fall Classes

The time has finally come to release our Fall classes! We have two classes coming up in October and November designed for a variety of skill levels. We hope you’ll come on out and join us! Here are all the details:

The first class is Learn to Sew – Make a Scarf. This is the first class that we will be offering starting in October, and it is ideal for the complete beginner. Absolutely no previous experience is needed. You don’t even need to know what a sewing machine looks like! Just bring your lovely self, and we’ll take care of the rest. During this class we will be making fat-quarter infinity scarves.

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The second class will be offered in November. This is a brand new class for our studio. It is Learn to Sew Leggings. In order to sign up for this class, you must either have completed Learn to Sew – 101 or have equivalent skills.

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For complete details on both classes, check out our ‘Classes’ tab above. Remember spaces are limited, so register here as early as you can! If you have any questions, just send us an email at hello@thegatheringstudio.com.

Hello Fall!

It’s been an interesting year for me so far. I experienced my first full-blown sewing burnout. I think the unrelenting, soul-sucking Newfoundland winter combined with a lack of selfish sewing produced in me the need to lie in the fetal position under a cozy blanket ALL THE TIME. Slowly though, I dragged myself back in my studio and allowed it to speak life back into me. In a move of complete self-love, I decided that I would only sew for myself for a while and pray that it would bring back my sewing mojo…and it worked. Isn’t that the beauty of creativity!

 

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As the winter gave way to longer days and more sunshine, my vitamin D deprived brain began to experience more sewing inspiration. This Spring and Summer have led to a flurry of makes for myself, and there are tons of blog posts to follow.

So, fall here we come, with new classes, projects, makes, and some exciting new additions at The Gathering Studio!

Stay tuned,
Kelly

What Have We Been Up To?

We’ve been asked this question quite often over the last few months, and we want to share with you what’s been keeping us busy this fall and what new things we’ll be working on in 2017!

As some of you may know, we are both members of the Aurora Women’s Choir. We sing with a group of lovely ladies every week, under the direction of Andrew Cranston, and we absolutely love it. So when we were approached by the choir this past summer about designing and making their new choir dresses, we were pretty excited.

This was no small project, but honestly it was one of our most exciting and fulfilling ones to date.

The designs for the dress were built around comfort and practicality, but also elegance. So we decided on a wrap style bodice, flutter sleeves, and an a-line skirt. This style can flatter a wide range of body types, and that was an important factor when the dress needed to fit 23 different women.

Our studio was transformed into a production zone for most of the fall, and after many late nights and empty coffee pots, the dresses were finished just in time for Aurora’s holiday concert. And if we may say so ourselves, the choir looked stunning!

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None of this would have been possible without the fantastic support of the Aurora ladies, Coastal Sounds Choir Association, and Andrew and Beth Cranston. You are all the absolute best and we could not be more thankful for the opportunity!

Since finishing the dresses, we have come to realize how much we love the design process. We love creating dresses that make people feel beautiful – and trust us when we say that there is no greater feeling than when you make someone feel beautiful! This is why, starting in 2017, along with our usual sewing classes, we will also be offering a custom dress design service!

Have a special event coming up? Looking for a dress that is unique and original? Always had an idea of what your perfect dress should look like, but couldn’t find it in stores? That’s where we come in. We can design, fit, and sew a dress specifically for you. For more info, head over to our ‘Custom Design‘ tab above!

We are so excited for this next step in our small business journey, and we can’t wait to see where 2017 takes us!

 

Robson Trench Coat

It may seem like the wrong time of year to be making coats, but if you live in Newfoundland, you understand. Julyuary weather has made an appearance once again and it’s sort of depressing. However, all is not lost because it gives an excuse to make lovely outerwear! Check out our latest make: the Robson Trench Coat.

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Pattern: Robson Trench by  Sewaholic Patterns

Fabric:  A bargain-bin find from Fabricville – It’s sort of twill-esque with a fun geo pattern.

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This coat was a bit of a time-consuming project because of all the details. There are a lot of small touches that make trenches the style staples that they are, like the collar, the sleeve tabs, the belt, and the buttons. So this one took a little while to whip up, but it was definitely worth it.

The best thing about this pattern is that it required no adjustments! Sewaholic patterns are designed for pear-shape figures, so the fit was spot on for me.

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This pattern is the quintessential trench, and I absolutely love it!