Monday, September 15, 2014

Galaxy Dress

Butterick 4970 (7-8-10-12)
View A
Size 8
Alterations to Pattern:  Used a coordinating knit instead of a 
lace inset, as well as adding an additional ruffle 

My daughter asked for a galaxy outfit!  Ask and you shall receive,...thanks to Girl Charlee where I found this beautiful knit.  The tunic only requires 7/8 of a yard to make, 1 yard if making the largest pattern 12 size.  I was pleased to find I had a bold purple knit in my fabric stash; it coordinated perfectly!

With 1 yard of the purple knit, I had exactly enough for a pair of leggings, the bottom ruffle of the tunic, as well as the inset piece.  Since I already have a legging pattern that works well for us, I decided to use it instead of the capri leggings included with this pattern.  This jersey knit only had a slight stretch lengthwise, so I added a couple inches to compensate for this, as well as adding a band to the waist for the elastic.  It is always a relief when my improvisations work!

The purple ruffle is sewn right sides together with the bottom of the tunic top.  The galaxy knit ruffle was gathered with a long basting stitch and then zig zag stitched it to the top of the first ruffle seam.  I left the edges of this ruffle raw since knit doesn't fray.  I like the look.  The purple ruffle is hemmed with my coverstitch machine.

The neck, front openings, and armholes are sewn with a narrow hem.  For the neck line, I ironed half inch knit interfacing strips prior to hemming to insure that my fabric would not stretch out.  I also added a little vintage trim to the top of the inset.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Jamie Jeans with New Look 6027

Named Clothing Jamie Jeans, Size 34
New Look 6027, Size 10

I made skinny jeans!  I love the unique look of this pattern.  The thing I love most about this pattern is the center seam on the pant legs!  Overall, I have to say it is not a difficult pattern to work with.  The only challenge I see is if you haven't installed a pants zipper before.  However, I do like the instructions for this.  I used a nice, light weight cotton fabric for the pocket bags and used the reverse side of the denim for the pocket opening.  I also used gold top stitching thread.  I had to cut about 1 1/2 inches off the length, which I like because the bottom of the pant leg isn't quite as narrow to get my wide foot into!

The only error I made was not getting my jeans button accurately placed.  It should have gone over maybe 1/4 inch more away from the edge.  Now my zipper is exposed a little at the top when looking sideways at it.  However, my shirts will always be covering that and I will get it right the next time.  I left off the belt loops.  These stay up just fine and I mostly wear shirts over my pants anyway.  So, to make things easier for me, I left them off.

I used a fairly stretchy denim (4% spandex), which was a little stretchier than my muslin.  I read reviews where others used fabric with minimal stretch and still got good results...not me.  After my muslin, I attempted to use a denim with little stretch and discovered my pant legs were way too snug to pull on comfortably.  Woe is me.  Maybe that would work if I went up one size.  Anyway, this is my third time making these with only one wearable pant.  I have great experience at making them now though!

I know it is kind of end-of-season to make a fluttery sleeved top, but I like this pattern and wanted to give it a go before summer was gone for good.  I thought this shirt paired well with skinny jeans.

I do like this top.  It is a quick sew.  I made Version E.  The pattern fit well without any modifications.  I cut 3 inches off the length after I had it made so it would look like a tunic on me and not a short dress!  The pattern instructions were easy to follow.  I did hem my sleeves, as well as the bottom of the tunic using a narrow edge hem foot.  My fabric is so light weight that a narrow hem seemed like a good idea--much quicker too!  I especially like the front yoke design.  It is sewn into the front on the sides, then the front blouse piece is gathered a little before sewing to the bottom of the yoke.  It is nicely finished on the inside of the blouse too by yoke facings, which are interfaced.

I was at the mall this week and noticed a lot of skinny jeans in store front windows.  The Jamie Jean is a very current pattern design.

I was thinking.  Here I have made myself 3 outfits in the past 3 weeks.  If I had gone to the store and bought 3 outfits, I would be done with my new clothing venture.  However, since I sew, I have become almost obsessive about the next outfit whether it be for me or for my kids!  I guess that comes with the territory of hobbies and loving to sew.

Denim fabric purchased from  Blouse fabric purchased from Denver fabrics.
My necklace is a silver butterfly.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, September 5, 2014

Burda Young 6926

Burda Young 6926
paired with Ottobre Bohemian Blouse

I've made jeggings!  Recently I didn't even know what jeggings were until my girls asked for a pair.  Jeggings...what's that?

  I purchased my fabric from; it is referred to as "stretch denim jegging" fabric.  I have not come across any jegging fabric on other sites, but I have only recently begun to look for it.  If you know of any other places to buy fabric for jeggings, please let me know!

The pattern instructions are easy to follow.  I had no problem sewing these up and they are definitely a quick, easy sew.  My jeggings are a little snug in a way that they don't want to give when sitting.  The fabric is stretchy, but not as much as I thought it would be.  So, I'm not sure if my snugness is fabric-type related or size related.  I plan on making a 36 next time to be sure.  Either way, I will be able to wear both sizes since these aren't uncomfortably tight and a larger size wouldn't be extreme on me either.  But, if I can get my hands on a denim that has a lengthwise stretch as well, that would be perfect.

The jeggings have an elastic waist, as well as a mock fly front.

Whenever I am attaching pockets, I use Farbenmix "Stylefix," which I buy directly from the Farbenmix website.  It is a thin adhesive tape that you finger press on your garment, which washes out later.  It works like a charm to keep pockets (or anything else) in place while you sew.  I don't even have to use pins. 

To complete my outfit, I chose the Ottobre Bohemian blouse pattern.   You can see my first version here.  I am especially happy with my narrow hem; I got it perfect this time!  I recently asked Sew Busy Lizzy with help regarding narrow hems and she graciously supplied me with a helpful tutorial link from another blog site.  Since this is a really light weight fabric, trimming down the seam allowance helped my fabric to feed through my narrow hem foot without getting hung up there.  I finger-folded a hem and sewed a few stitches to start with.  Since I couldn't get my fabric unfolded and wrapped through my narrow hem foot, I removed it from the machine and then put it under the foot again to start sewing.  You can barely see the difference between these two areas.

I was excited that I had a plaid fabric that matched my blue patchwork fabric perfectly.  It helps to break up the busy print without being too much of a contrast.  The patchwork fabric was purchased from Denver Fabrics.  The plaid fabric was a gift from my friend.

I used small silver heart buttons at the cuffs.  It is interesting to me how using something special like that can make you love your blouse even that much more and it is probably something that no one will ever even notice but me (except for the picture I am showing you!).

I received a box of denim fabric in the mail today from Michael Levine, so my next project will be my Jaime Jeans!  My goal is to make myself plenty of leggings, jeggings, and jeans  for winter, pairing them with a variety of tunic-type blouses.

 Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, August 25, 2014

My First Outfit for Fall

Ottobre 5/2014

New Boheme Jersey Tunic (#5) Size 38

Sammalikko Printed Leggings (#6) Size 34

 Leggings made with Hatchi Sweater Knit from
Top made with Stretch Rayon Jersey Knit dark brown from

I love this outfit!  First off, the top was challenging to trace...definitely not one you want to start out with if you are new to tracing Ottobre patterns.  A few times I found myself on a line that was part of a different pattern piece for this blouse.  I also had to tape my tracing paper together because the pieces are very large.  The pleats add a nice touch to the blouse design, as well as the pockets.  I had to cut 3 inches off the length of the blouse so it wouldn't be too long for me.  I'm 5'1" so dresses and tops tend to be a little long.  Level of difficulty for sewing is fairly easy.

I should have made the top in a size 36, but I think it still looks fine.  I'm not wanting to retrace the pattern any time soon!

The legging pattern is fabulous!  They fit perfectly and are so comfortable.  I thought I might have a problem matching up the print on the side seams, but hatchi knit is pretty easy to work with. The stretch recovery feels pretty good, so I am hopeful that they won't stretch out on me too much while wearing.  It doesn't feel like it will.  The pattern calls for viscose single jersey with a stretch/recovery of 30%.

I made the top waistband out of some brown cotton spandex I had.  I wanted that part of the legging to be from a stable fabric since it is used for an elastic casing.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another outfit for school and something for ME!

McCall's 6951 Top
Alteration:  Changed the shape of the bottom of the shirt, adding a split hem
Skirt:  Self-drafted with elastic waistband

School is less than a week away and I'm trying to finish up a few things!  I made one of my girls another outfit, using the same shirt made before here.

My daughter asked for a very full skirt; she had seen one on a t.v. program that she liked.  To do this, I cut the fabric 14.5 inches by the WOF (twice--one for front and back).  I cut the waistband 3 inches by WOF.  I gathered each skirt panel separately and then sewed up the side seams.  I folded the waistband (elastic casing) wrong sides together and then sewed right sides together to the skirt.  I cut a piece of elastic and placed it in the casing.  I hemmed the front panel 1 inch and then tapered the hem to 1/4 inch on the backside.

Worn with leggings from Old Navy.

I am making myself a new pair of pants!  I rarely make a muslin, but this time I figured it would be best to invest the added time.  This is the Named Jaime Jean pattern.  I cut a size 34, which is what I wear in RTW clothing.  The only adjustment I made was to take about half inch out of the CB seam.  Since the waistband is curved, I didn't make any alteration there.  I didn't make the back pockets or do much of the top stitching since it is just a trial run for me.  I left off the button too since I don't have one to spare.  In making my muslin, I used a cheap zipper too.  I really don't like having to remove them once they are in, so I didn't want to use an expensive zipper I would normally use in making jeans.  I have read on other blogs where some add width to the lower leg area, but the fit was fine for me there.  I'm excited about these pants!  I should receive my denim in the mail later this week.  

I love the cute little front pockets!  Another thing I like is the seam down the front of the pant leg.  

The pattern is a PDF and comes together quickly.  You do need to trace it because a couple of the pieces are overlapping.  It is very well drafted--I can see making several pairs of these jeans!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday Visit Dress

Ottobre 3/2013 #19
Sunday Visit Dress
Size 134
Alterations:  Collar assembly

This blog post was supposed to feature something I made for myself, but I got so excited over this dress that sewing for myself got pushed to the back burner.  I started to make myself a dress out of a fun flower cotton spandex print, but I could quickly see that I chose the wrong pattern.  It was becoming way too stretchy for the garment I had in mind, so out came another pattern and within an hour, I had 2 pairs of leggings for my girls.  And then....full stop as I realized one of my girls didn't have anything to wear with her new leggings, so this dress was quickly traced and being sewn up!

This is the Ottobre Sunday Visit dress, same as the Hexagon dress but with an added collar and cute center front trim.  I love sewing with trims and want to do more of that.  I actually had this flower trim in my stash since my girls were toddlers!  I use to put it on the hem of some of their dresses when colors matched.

I purchased this white floral lawn from Denver Fabrics for $3.95 a yard.  The legging fabric came from Girl Charlee.  Isn't it cute!

Since the white fabric is sheer, I had to use white batiste to line the entire dress except for the sleeves.  
Instead of ribbon ties at the back neck, I made some using the dress fabric.  The pattern collar is actually supposed to be sewn right to the dress, turning under a seam allowance on the edge first. I wanted more of a "collar" for this dress.  So, I cut out the pattern piece 4 times instead of 2, so there would be fabric on both sides, interfacing as well.  I followed the pattern instructions except for stitching the collar down to the bodice.  I love how the collar is attached in between the shoulder seams so it is only on the front side of the dress!  Since I made the collar this way, I kept the neck facing a little higher instead of turning down at the neckline seam.  If I had, the collar wouldn't have stayed flat against the dress.  I like how it turned out.  It is a very girly outfit.

Next I think I will try out a new pants pattern for myself!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, August 8, 2014

Refashioning a dress into 2 separate outfits

With school about to start, we have begun going through our clothes to see what fits and what does not.  One of my daughters' dresses got a little snug at the top, but instead of handing it over to her sister, she asked if we could salvage the bottom, making it into a skirt.  I use to do this all the time when they were toddlers.  I would just cut off the bottom of the dress once it became too short, applying a casing for elastic.

This dress is a combination of knit jersey at the top and a pretty cotton blend for the skirt portion.  This made an easy refashion since the jersey knit could be folded over to make a yoga-style band, which I zig zag stitched down.

To make a complete outfit, I made a tank top in a coordinating jersey knit which I already had in my stash.  I used our Ottobre pattern, blogged about here.

Here you can see the top portion of the dress.  I added a band of coordinating jersey knit for the center and then black jersey knit for the flared bottom, creating a nice tunic top that can be worn with leggings.

This is what I started with.  I didn't think to take a picture before cutting, and the skirt band had already been folded and sewn to the inside.

For the bottom of the tunic top, I created the pattern below.  The top half circle measurement is 12.25" and the length is 8.25."  I cut 2 and serged the edges and sewed to the rest of the tunic.  The top width of the bottom piece (the black knit) is a little wider around than the middle band it was sewn to--the middle was approximately 22 inches around.  I asked my daughter if she wanted the top straight or flared.  She immediately went to her dresser and pulled out a RTW top she likes and said, "I want it just like this!"  So I turned the shirt inside out and I traced the bottom part she liked.  Now I can add this little flare to other t-shirts I make.

In addition to the above project, I completed 6 pairs of Crafty Mamas Funky Pants.  I'm in need of some sewing for me now!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley