Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sewing for Summer

P4P Favorite Tee Pattern

I'm really enjoying sewing up knit dresses for summer!  Sewing with knits is fast and fun, something that I have needed in order to overcome my recent sewing slump.  I gave it some serious thought about what I wanted to be wearing--cool and comfy--without having to devote hours into solving fit of a new pattern.  On occasion I do like the challenge of more complicated sewing, but for now, I want my sewing to be a little more lighthearted.

This is a PDF pattern from Patterns for Pirates with neckline, sleeve, and hem style/length options.  I made a small bodice graded out to a medium at the waist.

I did make a muslin, twice, of the bodice and sleeve and I'm so glad I did.  I determined that I needed to raise the neckline 5/8", lower the armscye 1", and adjust the width of the sleeve pattern by 1/2".  My arms are rather full and it felt like the sleeve was too close to my armpit to be comfortable.  

I also made a swayback adjustment.  I don't even think twice about that anymore.  When I trace a new pattern, that is something that I do right away.

I like the lower curved hem in the back.  I didn't shorten this dress any since the length of the front was spot on for me.  So many of my dresses have to be shortened since I am 5'1.

I purchased this fabric from Knitpop.


Kitschy Coo
Lady Skater Dress

I made this once before here.  I'm surprised that I haven't made this again until now.  After looking at the fit of my first one, I realized that the length of the bodice really needed to be shortened by an inch!  And of course I had to retrace the pattern to enlarge at the waist/hip area--sigh.

This is such a simple dress; actually, both of these dresses I'm blogging about today are.  Just two mornings of my week and I had two new dresses to wear.

I purchased this fabric from Girl Charlee.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, April 14, 2017

Another Aldaia Dress

Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

I made this dress before here and here.  This time I used the bodice from view B with sleeves and skirt from View C.  This dress pattern is awesome.  With the many combinations between the 3 views (I still have yet to make view A), and different fabric choices, you can fill your closet with this one dress pattern.  I know I will...especially since I have my size and fit figured out and the pattern is just sitting and ready to go!

My fabric is Telio Venice stretch ITY knit from  When I looked up to see what it was I bought, I noticed there is also this same print in Denim color.  I think I will have to buy that one too.  To me, this fabric gives the dress a retro look, which I love.  The print is textured.

I haven't made view A of this pattern yet because I am totally in love with this wrap style bodice.  If I make another one this summer, I have to admit it will probably be this combination of pattern pieces.

No swayback needed for me since there are two darts at the bottom bodice back.

I've been making some great progress on my son's American Ships Quilt!  I still have a ways to go, but I am nearly finished with embroidering the ships.  I have about 5 to go, as well as some embroidered accent squares.  It has been a work in progress for years

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, March 26, 2017

DIY Spring Wreath

Spring is finally here!  So this weekend, my kids and I went to our local craft store and bought supplies to make a pretty wreath for our door.  

I already knew I wanted a purple and white color theme, but my son thought to add a splash of some turquoise flowers to the mix.

If you haven't ever made a wreath before, here is how it all came together for us.  Hopefully you can get your flowers on sale. It doesn't look like a lot flowers purchased, but once you begin cutting the stems free of the bunches, it starts to accumulate into a nice pile quickly.  I did have another picture of a additional 2 bunches, but there was an error with that picture and I couldn't post it for some reason.  It was a bunch of small white flowers and a little more of the turquoise flowers, as well as a tiny sprig of pink.  I just want to let you know to give you an idea of how many flowers we used.

Some of the stems are thick and hard to cut through, so it helps to have a pair of wire cutters on hand.

My daughter and I each took a side of the wreath and randomly started sticking the flowers into the wood.  It helps to take a few steps back and look at it from a distance as you go.  If it doesn't look right, just pull it out and start over.

Next, secure most everything with a hot glue gun.  

 I searched for a You Tube video on how to tie a bow for a wreath.  You definitely want to use wired ribbon for this.

My daughter used one of the stems to fasten an area to glue our bird to.

Happy Spring!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, March 13, 2017

Making Chokers & Missing the Mark on My Sewing

One of my girls is really into wearing chokers.  I can remember wearing them myself, many, many years ago. Allowance money can only take you so far when you want to start buying jewelry, and when you are crafty, why buy when you can make it!  Thank you Sew4home blog for the awesome post on making your own chokers.

The most challenging part is finding the ribbon you want.  We still need to find a good source, so more shopping to come.

However, we found enough to get started and they turned out awesome!  This was much easier and quicker than we thought it would be.


I have been sewing for myself, but I'm having a bad run of things not fitting!  It's so frustrating.  Times like these, if I wasn't already an experienced seamstress, I might throw in the towel...yes, that frustrating.

I once had my fit perfected, but I'm a little older now (49) and after a couple extra pounds, things just aren't coming together as easily.  Plus, I have been on a mission to make myself a woven skirt, so that is another hurdle as well.

Simplicity 8300

This is such a cute skirt!  Cute details with darts, back zipper, overlay, etc.  By the way, Chambray frays so nicely too.  I had high hopes of making a cute red striped knit shirt to wear with this.  I made it in a 14, and although my hips fall within this size range, I clearly need a little extra room on the backside.  The back doesn't fall level to the front, and after some blog reading, I now understand why you can be within the size range and still not fit.  I have more on the backside than I do on the front, so I need to compensate for that.

It's a basic skirt pattern with the cute overlay making it look like a wrap.  This pattern is definitely a winner, but I have to learn how to make the needed adjustment for fitting myself.


Simplicity 8343

Such a cute pattern!  Elastic waist shorts with an over skirt that ties in the front.  I made this in a size 14; however, there is so much ease that I had to really tighten up on the elastic, throwing off the tie/wrap pieces and since I can't tie them as tight as I need to, they hang lower than where the shorts hit my waist.  I still think this pattern is a winner, but I have to make them in a 12 next time.

I really thought this fabric was navy blue on the computer, so a surprise when I saw that it was purple.  Not being sold on the color didn't help when I was sewing it up.  I found that I really have to love my fabric or I just want to fly through my project to get it done.

New Look 6407

I was so excited that this was turning out!  I originally planned on View D with the tie sleeves, but quickly realized that they were going to be way too tight around my fuller arms.  I pulled out the sleeve for View E and compared the two pattern sleeves and discovered that there is much more room in E.  Oh my, much more ease to contend with and the way the sleeves looked on me just made me disappointed.  It could be the result of using cotton lawn.  Maybe.  

There are actually a couple of other makes that are long gone in the trash, so as you can see, I have been in a long sewing slump.

To recover from my sewing blues, I sewed up a couple of Jalie knit shirts...

Jalie 2805

Jalie 3352

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Bell Bottom Baby dressed with Jalie

Jalie 2908 Jeans
with 2805 Knit Top
Size P

I asked my children the other day what they wanted me to make them next.  One of my girls excitedly said, "bell bottom jeans!"  Since Jalie jeans already have a nice flared bottom, I took that and extended the flare out by 1/2 inch at each side.  I gradually took this line up, blending in at the knee area notch.

If you are wearing bell bottom jeans, you definitely want to complete the look with a flower top, right?  She couldn't be more thrilled.  I did make a swayback adjustment for her and lowered the neckline a little.

The fabric is Art Gallery Jersey Knit Pop Art Spring Blossom, purchased from
The denim is also purchased from

For years, this one wouldn't even put on a pair of jeans.  Everything was too stiff or too scratchy.  I would have to resort to knit yoga pants for her every year.  Finally, finally, I got the okay to make her jeans.  I didn't think they would be bell bottoms though.  Now she is in love with her new jeans and already wants more.

Getting a great fit took time and I didn't want to fuss with a muslin.  I had my daughter try them on all along the assembly process.  I had to take an inch out of the center back yoke, which is a quick fix to eliminate the gap.  Before I make another pair, I will take a 1/2" dart out of the pattern piece.  Since the waistband has a CB seam, I immediately removed a 1/2" before I sewed it together.  After basting the waistband on, I discovered yet another gap at the top of the band!  I had to remove the waistband and take in 1/2" at the center point of the seam, tapering back out to 3/8 at the top and the bottom.  This way when you fold the band over, you get a little V shape, bringing it closer into the waist. Perfect!

I'm overjoyed that this outfit turned out perfectly for her.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, February 13, 2017

Another Aldaia Dress

Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress
View C
Size 38 Bodice, Size 40 Skirt

Alterations:  I used a neckband in place of the bodice facings.

This is another Aldaia dress.  I love this one just as much as the first one I made.  They look so different from each other that you might not even think that it was from the same pattern!

My fabric is so busy, making it really hard to see the 6 gores in the skirt, so I am holding them out to show the lovely fullness you achieve with this version.

I really was intrigued by the pattern's use of a facing for the neckline, which would make for a nice clean finish.  Unfortunately, my very stretchy fabric made this difficult for me to achieve.  The front side of my bodice kind of rolled forward exposing my understitching.  I ended up cutting off the facing and attaching a band as you would for a t-shirt.  Sometimes you have to make a quick fix in order to salvage your project from the recycle bin!  I have no doubt that with the right fabric choice, this would have had better results.

I purchased my fabric from Joann's.


Next are a couple of shirts I made using Jalie's 2805 t-shirt pattern.  Pure love!!  If you don't have this pattern, I highly recommend it.  

Alterations:  Lowered neckline, 1/2 inch swayback adjustment, and forward shoulder adjustment.

Fabric purchased from Knitpop.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Aldaia Dress

Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

View B with longer sleeves
Size 38 Bodice with 40 Skirt
Fabric:  Nicole Miller

I have found a new pattern that I love!  There are 3 dress versions, all equally as beautiful.  I am not a big fan of PDF patterns; however, this one went together pretty easy.  I love how each bodice, sleeve, and skirt is a separate file so you can pick and choose what to print.  To me, this makes it so much easier to assemble the pattern since the entire dress isn't printed and taped together in one massive sheet.  Smaller sections helped my sanity and saved me some paper and tape.  Also, being able to pick and choose between 3 bodices, 3 sleeves, and 3 skirts, you can create many different looks.

I like the side slits.  Since I shorted the skirt pattern by 3.25 inches, I just picked a spot to take the split up to, not even measuring to see what the actual pattern placed it at.  I found the slits to be a little pesky to hem since my fabric is stretchy.  To make it easier on myself, I cut a thin strip of knit interfacing to stabilize them.  The bottom hem I was able to use my covers stitch machine without any problem.

The back skirt and back bodice pieces both have two darts at the waistline.  It's nearly impossible to see them because of my fabric print.  The darts allow for some nice shaping at the waistline and a swayback adjustment wasn't needed.

I love the modest wrap of the front bodice!  It is so hard to find a wrap top or dress that is high enough or won't gap open dare you move or bend over.  The last thing I want to have to do after I have made something is to add a pin or a snap to keep it closed.

For my next make, I'll be making View C of this pattern!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley