Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ottobre Tunic, Mini Skirt, & Leggings

Ottobre 5/2016

#8, Drapefront Top, Size 38
#7, Mini skirt, Size 36
#9, Leggings, Size 36

This was such a fun and easy outfit to make.  All three patterns utilize very few pieces and sew up quickly.

I had to remove quite a bit of length in the tunic so it wouldn't be a dress on me.  But, yay me, I can also make this as a dress one day--ha!  I removed 4 inches on my tunic length, but after made, I had to remove an additional 2 inches.  It was too long, covering my not-so-mini skirt on me...something else I had to shorten after the fact.  I also found the sleeves to be rather long, so I cut 2 inches off there as well.  I did my normal 1/2 inch sway back adjustment.

I love how the CF, CB, and shoulder seams are sewn wrong sides together with a rolled hem. At the hemline, a rolled hem is also sewn.  I opted for black thread to tie into my skirt color, giving a nice contrast to my top too so those threads would really stand out.

I love the neckline on this.  When stabilizing the shoulder areas on the back pieces, make sure whatever you use doesn't exceed the width of your rolled hem.  I cut too wide a strip of interfacing and it was visible on the inside, so I had to work at peeling it off my fabric.

CB seam is a nice little detail.

Love, love, love these leggings.  You just wouldn't think that legging patterns would be so different from pattern to pattern.  These are the first that truly fit me well.  I had to shorten them by 3 inches.

Here you can see the front detail of the skirt a little better.  The skirt fronts overlap.  This is intended to be a mini and I forgot that mini patterns are usually down to my knees.  Normally this is great when I don't want a mini.  However, since I'm wearing leggings and flats, mini is a better look for me since my legs are kind of short.  My skirt material is a nice heavy weight knit.  Top of skirt is folded over, encasing elastic.

I'm sure that this is going to be one of my favorite outfits to wear this fall and winter!  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hooded Flannel Shirt with Jalie Jeans

McCall's 6613
Size S
Alterations:  Added a lined hood
Fabrics:  Flannel, jersey knit for hood lining

I love a good flannel shirt for winter.   I bought this flannel last year on clearance for about $3 a yard.  It is pretty thick too, making it a good weight for a jacket.

I'm happy I chose to use this shirt pattern.  The instructions were great and the fit is pretty good. The sleeves are a little long on me, but I'm okay with that.   If I use this pattern for a "shirt," I will most likely take some of the length out of the sleeve.   I used the hood pattern from McCall's 7447, which lined up perfectly.

I finally figured out how to line a hood enclosing the neck seam!  First, I basted my hood to the neck seam.  I left a large area of the hood lining center seam unsewn.  Next, I pinned the lining to the hood, right sides together, with the shirt folded up between the two.  I sewed all the way around the hood edges, pulling the shirt out through the hood lining opening.
 here are my hood pieces clipped right sides together with the shirt in the middle

 Then I pinned my center seam of my hood lining together and hand stitched it.

And I'm really happy that my stripes lined up!  I thought I cut out my pockets to line up too, but that didn't happen.  Oh well.  I just remind myself that with store bought, more times than not, their lines don't match either.

And what goes well with a comfy flannel but a nice new pair of Jalie jeans!

This is such a great pattern.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Jalie Cocoon Cardigan

 I made myself a cardigan at last!  I made it previously for one of my girls here.

This is very easy to make and I sewed the entire cardigan on my serger.  The most time consuming part was attaching the band all the way around.  I used clips every couple of inches and they worked well to hold everything together.  I find I prefer using clips to pins.  My husband and kids no longer complain about getting stuck by a pin in my sewing area carpet.  I'm not the most careful seamstress with placing my pins back on the magnet dish.  

I imagine my sleeves could be shortened a little, but I'm okay with them being long.  I like a sleeve to come down over my hands actually.

I bought this knit at Joann's.  I fell in love with it immediately, but didn't buy it right away because it was super light weight and somewhat sheer.  Then I got to thinking how it would make the perfect cardigan--something to remember with those beautiful sheer knits that would otherwise not make a modest blouse.  When I returned to the store, they only had 1 and 5/8 yards on the bolt!  Thankfully, it was enough to make this cardigan in a size T for me.

I also made a plain white t-shirt to wear underneath it using Sewaholic's Renfrew pattern in a size 6.  I didn't want anything to compete with the busy print of my knit cardigan.  I also like wearing white shirts with jeans.  Most times I like just plain and simple.  

The t-shirt and cardigan took me about 3 hours total to make.  A small investment of time to have something new to wear with a pair of store bought jeans.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My First Knitted Sweater

 I finished my sweater! 

This is what I made with's "My First Sweater" class.  I made a size small.  I already knew how to do the knit and purl stitch, but that is all.  I never made anything beyond a scarf.  Casting on stitches still gives me great difficulty and I seem to have to do it several times before I am happy with the results.  If you are a beginner like me, you can definitely knit this sweater.  I thought the video lessons were great and you could clearly see everything the instructor was doing.  Once I posted a question for help late at night and I had my answer in the early morning!

I made a few mistakes.  Picking up stitches at the neck and front edges was a struggle for me.  I don't think I picked up as many stitches as I was supposed to, but it still turned out okay.  Somehow I missed putting in the top buttonhole too!  My plastic markers (is that what you call them?) kept falling out.  I need the ones that look like safety pins.  Mine are shaped like broken circles, so when I would shift my project, out they fell.

The pattern instructions are for a smaller neck band, but I wanted to extend mine out so it would fold over onto itself.  As you can see, I didn't quite get there.  Next time I will be sure to add more rows.

I'm wearing my sweater with my Angel Bootcut Jeans.

I love the eyelet detail at the raglan edges.

I had a couple places on my button bands where there was some sort of opening but not the buttonhole.  I mended these with needle and yarn; they were small spots.  One spot looked like a stitch had come undone, but I'm not sure how that would have happened.  I definitely don't know how to fix anything yet, at least not the right way!  I'm happy though and it fits and it's warm--mission accomplished!  My next knitting project is to learn to make socks.

I made a new Jalie Dolman (3352) top.  I used a sheer, crinkled knit for the sleeves that I had left over from a few years ago.  I'm so glad I saved it because it was a perfect match.

One of the things I like about this style of top is it how it is a little longer in the back but not drastic like a high/low top.

Since I was working with the Dolman pattern, I decided to make one up for one of my girls.  The second one always goes together quicker since I don't have to refer to the instructions just having made it.

The last time I used this fabric, I made myself a maxi skirt.  The fabric is incredibly soft.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I'm Still Here!

Summer vacation is coming to an end and our children will be returning to school.  I thought my blogging days were behind me, but what I really needed was to step away from sewing for the summer.  Summer activities, vacation to Disney World, time with relatives, and pool time were our priorities.  Before, I seemed to be able to craft and keep up with our summer commitments, but the kids are getting older and so am I!  So now I realize that when summer rolls around, that is the perfect time for me to change up my routine and relax a little too, even if that means no blogging.  Once school is back in and I'm alone in the house, I'm sure my sewing machine will be calling my name.  I have tried to make so much of what my children wear, but sometimes it is so nice just to go stock up during an Old Navy sale.  It really takes the pressure off me to sew so much.

In the meantime, I found a perfect hobby for me to do to keep my hands busy...literally--knitting!

I enrolled in Craftsy's "My First Sweater" and love it!  I have knitted scarves before, but only knew how to knit and purl and nothing more.  I'm so excited that I am making my very own sweater.

pictured above is the back and left front piece

both raglan sleeves are finished

I love the eyelet detail, which surprisingly is pretty easy to do!

Michael's Craft Store had a sale on their florals, so it was the perfect time to grab some to make a wreath.  I have wanted to make one for years, but I was too intimidated to try until now.  One of my girls wanted to help me, so we sat and snipped a good portion of the stems off and stuck them into the wood branch wreath.  Then we just hot glued the heck out of everything and made a pretty bow at the bottom.  I know it's a little early for a Fall wreath, but my daughter and I were so proud of how it turned out that it is already on our door.  We decided, after all, it was for us to enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hanging up my blogging hat.....

Summer is here and my sewing has slowed to spend more time with my children.  This has lead me to contemplate whether or not to continue blogging.  I think that I have finally grown tired of the sewing/blogging cycle.   I will keep my blog online though.  While going through breast cancer, I created a tab where I journaled my thoughts, feelings, treatments, surgeries, etc.  I want to keep this available just in case anyone finds my experience helpful to them.  I will continue leaving reviews on Pattern, so look for me there!  I'm still a ways away from finishing my son's American Ships Quilt, but when I do, I will definitely post a picture of it here.  I have been working on it for years and looking forward to its completion.

Thank you for all your comments and following me on my sewing and breast cancer journey.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Linen Drawstring Pants

New Look 6055 (Pants/Shorts)
Version A, Size 12
Alterations:  Several

Where to start with these pants?!  First off, I purchased this coral linen at Hancock Fabrics for less than $3 a yard.  I think the original price was close to $16 a yard.  I grabbed 3 yards for my stash.  I purchased the fabric for maybe a dress, but after prewashing it, I thought it might be a little too heavy and stiff.  So, pants were the next thought.  I looked through my pattern stash and came up with New Look 6055.  Looking at the model, I knew there would be more fabric at the waist than I would want.  I should have considered sizing down, down, and down again!  Seriously!  I was a little afraid to make changes initially without seeing exactly what I would be dealing with.  I looked online and linen pants are very roomy, so I didn't want to cut away and do something wrong.  Plus, I didn't want to make a muslin.  Sometimes that just seems like way too much work.

What I like--I love the side cargo pocket.  It is nice and big with a buttoned flap!

Changes I made--I created 2 darts at the back waist.  These pants were a series of sewing, putting on, pinning fabric out, resewing, etc.  I dismissed any thoughts of altering the pattern at this point because of the way I made the alterations.  There was so much fabric to eliminate and I had to do it a little at a time.  I took in the front and  back crotch seams, probably a good inch in addition to sewing my 5/8" seam.  Six inches were removed at the waist alone.  I also shorted the front crotch depth.   Then, I took the center leg seam in by an inch!  I know, my alterations are all over the place, but I think that covers what I had to do.

My shirt is covering up the darts here.  I got the idea of darts from looking online at other linen pants.  I liked that feature and wanted to include it for mine as well.  I did not make the tabs at the bottom of my pants because I didn't want them tight around my ankles.

I used eyelets instead of button holes at the waist.  I got them a little high.  I pulled my drawstring cord out of a romper I made a while back that no longer fits me.  There is also 1 inch elastic in the waist.

I also like the nice and big front pockets!

I put vinyl on my shirt using my Silhouette Cameo--love that machine!!

I tossed out my pattern but kept the pocket pieces to use again with a different pattern.  I'm happy with my pants, but I think the same pants could be more easily accomplished with an elastic waist trouser pattern that doesn't have as much ease built into it.  However, I did get the pattern to work for me and New Look patterns are very reasonably priced.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley