Friday, December 21, 2012

Cowl-neck T-shirt with matching pants

Well, I decided to make one more quick outfit before my children were on Christmas vacation.  Here is a cowl-neck t-shirt I made using Ottobre's 301 Creative Design pattern.  I found a cowl-neck tutorial here by "Off the Cuff Sewing Style."  Oh my gosh...this was so easy to do!  I scooped out the neck of the t-shirt pattern.  I cut the cowl neck 18" (the neckline measurement) x 8" (the depth of the collar) using my rotary cutter.  

I can't remember where I bought this knit because it was a while ago.  No one really cared for the color.  However, when I was making the camel-colored funky pant by Crafty Mamas, I then realized this knit would be a perfect match!

This is my last sewing project for a week or so.  Partly because of Christmas, more because it is forced upon me--my washing machine broke today!  I am unable to prewash my fabrics.

Sadly, my attempt at making Ottobre's Jolie dress jumper didn't work well for me.  I got stuck after putting in the invisible zipper.  The next step and the following step just didn't compute.  I tried anyway and ended up with a big frustrating mess.  So, if anyone is successful at making it, please share with me how to proceed after the zipper.  It was turning out so nice.  I should have made it in a muslin first...sigh.  So, this outfit was born out of my failed attempt at the dress jumper.  I had to make something to restore my level of confidence. hahaha

Thanks for stopping by~Shirley

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Have a Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  My sewing has slowed a little in preparation for the holiday.  I am really looking forward to Christmas break with my children and husband.  I cherish the time we all get to spend together, all under one roof. Being a military family, you never know if you will spend the holiday together or not.  This year we do. :)

My next project to be is a dress jumper for one of my girls.  I'm using the "Jolie" velveteen pinafore dress pattern in the Ottobre 6/2009 issue.  I'm trying to make it identical to the photo.  I'll also be making a matching long sleeve shirt to wear beneath.  If I can't find a brown scarf to match, I may try to make that as well!

Until my next posting, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Blogger Award

I got Blogger Award today from Claire at SA Curve!  Claire, you put a huge smile on my face.  I just love Claire's blog.  She is such a talented seamstress!  Now it is my turn to share some of my favorite bloggers with you!

My nominees are Claire at SA Curve for starters.  I just had to bounce this right back to you Claire because I am always looking forward to your newest creation, which has led to me adding patterns to my wish list.  You have brought my sewing up a notch with your neckband tutorial (check it out on Claire's site), as well as having your 3/8 inch seam allowance ruler.  Having that little tool makes adding seam allowances a breeze to my Ottobre patterns...and fun too!

Another favorite of mine is 21 Wale.  You totally saved me with your cargo pocket tutorial the other day.  I just love seeing what you make for yourself as well as your children.

Justine at Sew Country Chick is one of the first blogs I ever followed.  She is so talented. I don't think there is anything that Justine couldn't put together and she does it with such flair and style!

Liza Jane Sews is a blog you want to head over to right now if you are making or going to be making maternity clothes!  Liza, I really enjoy your blog and seeing what you are making.

Amy Stebbins is a blog I discovered through linking parties.  She is very talented and made one of the most gorgeous coats ever.  Her creations make her look like she just walked out of a fashion magazine. :)

Suzie at No Moa not only sews fantastically, but her fabric choices are spot on.  AND she even embroiders cute little things on her creations.

Thank you SA Curve for nominating me!!

 7 things about me:

1.  I am a stay-at-home mom who sews for myself and 3 children.  I hope to get up the nerve to make my husband a shirt one day--yikes!
2.  I am a Science Fiction movie/show lover.  I even went to a few Star Trek first one in L.A. nearly 30 years ago.  SG1 is my all-time favorite SyFy series.
3.  I overcame my fear of water and learned to waterski and wakeboard.
4.  I love to go fishing but don't like to bait my own hook.
5.  I like red wine.
6.  I absolutely love being a mother and a wife.
7.  I graduated from a medical transcription course and got my RMT.  However, I loved the course much better than the actual work, so my dreams of being an MT were short lived.  I discovered I would much rather be sewing. :)

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.
2.  Add The One Lovely Blog Award/The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
3.  Share 7 things about yourself.
4.  Pass the award on to 10 nominees (or a few less if you are short on time).
5.  Include this set of rules.
6.  Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blog.

Ottobre Creative Workshop 303

This morning I finished my holiday t-shirt using Ottobre's Creative Workshop 303.  I used the "U-Neck" option.  There are 3 neckline options; O neck, V neck, or U neck.  I really like the fit.  I think it's a great length too, although next time I may add an inch.  
This is a size 38.

I used the same jersey knit fabric for the neckband that I used for the sleeves.  When preparing my neckband, I always zigzag my long edges together before attaching it to the shirt itself.  If I skip this step, sometimes I miss catching both edges.  

I lined up the deer using my back pattern piece instead of the front.  I wish I had noticed this before I cut it out.  When I lined up my front piece to match where I had cut out my back, it was then that I noticed my deer were going to be too high on the front.  So, a couple of the deer have their antlers missing.  I got the layout right for my girls.  It just goes to show you that you have to pay attention every time you lay out your fabric!  ha ha  

Thanks for stopping by!  ~Shirley

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ottobre Creative Workshop 301 T-Shirt

Look at this cute fabric!!  I love this Fair Isle fabric knit that I purchased from Girl Charlee fabrics.  It is absolutely perfect for this time of year.  I made this shirt using Ottobre's Creative Workshop 301 pattern for the first time.  I am a huge fan of Ottobre, and I really like the simplicity of this pattern.  It is definitely a good one to have on hand for a basic t-shirt to pair up with anything and everything.

When I saw this fabric, I immediately knew I wanted to use a solid color for the sleeves and neckband.

I made a pair of "Crafty Mamas Funky Pants" to go with her new shirt.  The pants are made from a medium weight knit also purchased from Girl Charlee; the colors match perfectly!

My daughter said, "oh my gosh!!  I just love this outfit!"  

Thanks for stopping by~Shirley

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jalie 2918 (Boys/Mens T-Shirt)

I am very pleased with the Jalie 2918 t-shirt pattern for boys and men.  This pattern ranges in size from 2 to 22--wouldn't it be nice if every company did this?  Can you imagine only having to buy one pattern and being able to use it as your children grow into adult hood?  Yes, I am one of those mothers who hopes that my children will still want me to sew for them even when they have children of their own.  I told my son that if he ever decides that he doesn't want me to make his clothes, and this is okay, to just let me know.  His response..."Never!"  

One thing I really like about this t-shirt pattern is there is an actual pattern piece for the neckband.  Cut it out, sew it on, and it is a PERFECT fit.  That is enough in itself for me to return to this pattern time and time again.

He is wearing this shirt with his Ottobre Hi-hat pants I made; see them here.  This is the shirt I had planned for these pants.

If you have ever wondered about how a double sleeve is sewn, you sew up the side seam on both sleeves and then put them together, baste the edges, and then sew them as one piece to the shirt part of the fabric.  I always wondered that myself, so I thought I would pass that along.  It is super easy.  The downside to a double sleeve is FOUR sleeves to hem for one shirt--ha ha ha.  That's okay.  Even that is pretty quick with my coverstitch machine.  

I love this fabric!  Both fabrics were purchased from Girl Charlee fabrics.  They are my go-to-place for knits.  Rarely do I buy a knit fabric anywhere else now.  I am extremely happy with their quality and selection and price!  

Thanks for stopping by~

Friday, November 30, 2012

Jalie 2682 with zipper

Here is a quick and easy pullover top I made for my girls yesterday.  I used Jalie 2682 pattern, zipper at front neckline option.  This fleece fabric is a little hard to work with on my serger, so I made these using my sewing machine.  

I made one with a black zipper and one with a red zipper so my girls would be able to quickly see which one was theirs.  I actually bought 2 zippers of each color because I wasn't sure which would look best since I bought the fabric online thru Joanns Fabrics.  As it turned out, both looked great.

complete with candy cane ;)

My girls are wearing their tops with purchased winter pants from Old Navy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ottobre "Timeless and Cozy"

Have you seen the women's Ottobre 5/2012 magazine?  Love it!  I think I want everything in it, so I started with #3, Timeless and Cozy.  It definitely is!  I bought this fabric a while back from  It has quite a bit of stretch to it.  Originally I had planned on making a wrap dress, but had second thoughts about my fabric choice.  I'm glad I tucked it away because I am really happy with my pattern choice.  I think a busy print always looks nice with a simple design.  I don't remember what type of knit this is, but it is buttery soft and has such a nice drape to it.

I purchased this scarf a few weeks ago, and I love how well it matches the fabric.  

I used a plain brown knit for the neckband, as well as the hemband.  I made this in a size 38.  I really debated on whether to make a 40 or not.  My bust measurement fell between the 38 and the 40, but my hip measurement was definitely a size 38.  I'm happy with the fit.  The sleeves feel a little snug on my arms, but not too tight or uncomfortable in any way.  In another type of fabric, I will probably adjust the sleeve width only.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ottobre Hi-hat pants 4/2008 #33

I am really excited to have finished my son's cargo pants!  The pattern can be found in the April 2008 issue of Ottobre magazine.  They are the "Hi-hat" casual pants, #33.  This is the first time I have ever made zippered pants for my son.  I feel like I have "graduated" from making elastic-waist pants now!  He wears 140 store-bought jeans, so I made a 140 pattern size; they fit exactly the same.  I found a tutorial online to help me with the cargo pockets, which you can find here.  Thanks Joy!!  

I used Gutermann grey topstitching thread.  With the many areas to topstitch, it took more than 1 spool of thread.

I love the construction of the back pockets; the top flap is sewn into the seam of the back yoke and pant.  The back pant leg is actually 2 separate pieces (how cool is that?); you can see the top stitching where the 2 pieces are joined.  The waistband fit perfectly, sewing together very easily.  I did add a strip of stabilizing tape to the edge of the waistband (the part that you turn under 3/8" on the top front of the pant).  My fabric had a slight stretch to it, so that kept my waistband fabric from stretching while sewing.

I purchased these silver star buttons from, and the pants are made from black twill purchased from Denver fabrics.

I found Ottobre's instructions to be very thorough for this pattern, but previous experience with zippers is a plus; there are additional instructions for zipper installation in this magazine issue.

When using Ottobre patterns, you do need to add seam allowances.  I purchased a 3/8" ruler from Claire here.  I follow Claire's blog, SA Curve, and decided to try out her ruler; I'm so glad I did.  It makes adding seam allowances a breeze.  I use to use my hem gauge, which took forever and not very practical on curved seams. 

My son is wearing his Farbenmix Imke shirt I made for him a while back.  See my post here

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Farbenmix Girls Imke

Today I made this cute jersey knit top for one of my girls.  This pattern can be found in the Sewing Clothes Kids Love book.  Farbenmix patterns are really a lot of fun to make.  I have made several Imke shirts for my son, but this is the first time I have made one for my girls.  

Since I used a different fabric for the hood lining, I pulled the lining a little forward and then top stitched the seam.  Normally I always fuss trying to get the seam just perfect here.  However, this time I decided since my fabrics were contrasting, it would be great if the lining was visible.

My daughter chose the fuller sleeve option for her shirt.  She is wearing this shirt with her Crafty Mamas Funky Pants.

I hemmed the sleeves with my coverstitch machine BEFORE I sewed the shirt down the sides.  I have found that the fewer seams I have to sew over, the better my coverstitch machine performs.  After the sides of the sleeves are sewn, I just "tack" the bottom of the sleeve hem right on the sleeve seam, hiding about 1/2 inch of the serger thread tail on the inside.  This just secures the stitching a little more.

These fabrics were purchased from Girl Charlee.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas Quilts

I'm excited to say that I finished the quilts for my children today!  I worked all day today sewing the binding on them--sore fingers and all.  It has been a while since I have done that, and 3 in one day took longer than I imagined.  I'm really happy with the results.  This is a double slice layer cake quilt.  I blogged about it here when I completed the first quilt top.

I love how they brighten up our living room.

I also let my children decorate the backside of their quilts with fabric markers.

We pulled out our Christmas stencils, which came in handy for this project.

Thanks for visiting my blog!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jalie Scarf-Collar Top

Here is my Jalie Scarf-Collar top.  I posted about this yesterday, but didn't like my picture in it.  I tried to sneak it off really quick, so if you saw it and then it was gone, that's my fault.  I really, really like this top, but don't feel it looks as good on me as I would like it to--even one of my girls said it looked kind of funny on me (I love her honesty!).  You know how you just don't "feel" good in something?  For starters, this fabric looks beautiful but not ideal for this top.  It is too thin!  I would have to wear another shirt underneath it, and then it looks bad when you do.  I am pretty sure I made the right size, so maybe my error is just in fabric type.  This is made from a Cielo stretch rayon blend jersey knit. Next time I will try this top in a different type of jersey, making it for my girls first.  

I feel like I'm in a sewing slump.  This is sewing project #3 that hasn't worked out well.  I made my patchwork jeans but folded my fabric wrong and had the stretch going lengthwise....eek!  They didn't fit obviously.  When they wouldn't go past my thighs, I realized I had made a BIG mistake.  A good amount of hours lost there.  Fortunately Denver Fabrics still had some in stock, which I ordered again and also picked up some black patchwork as well.  Lesson learned.

My second failed project was another top where my stripe/solid combination didn't look right, and now this top.  Oh well.  Moving on.  I'm still working on the quilt.  I can't just work on one long project it seems.  I still have to throw in some clothing as well.  Are any of you like that?  I guess it's like people who love to read, including my son.  It is rare for him to just read one book.  He usually has 2 or 3 going at the same time.  

I love the construction of this top.  The entire shirt rolls up into the collar piece, which you sew all around leaving a small opening to pull the shirt back out...very clever!  You can tie the scarf into a bow too.  I like the look of it just hanging freely.

You leave an opening about an inch down if you make version B or C, and then put the ends of the scarf thru it.

I love everything about this top.  I will definitely try this again but for my girls first.  Getting the right fabric is so important and so challenging sometimes.  If I am successful with it for my girls, then maybe I'll try it again for me.

Jalie has so many beautiful patterns for tops.  I really want to try their hooded shirt and another t-shirt pattern they have.  They have so many patterns that I would like to purchase!  Since they come in a huge range of sizes, if one doesn't work for me, my girls will still benefit from the pattern.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Double Slice Layer Cake Quilt

Here is a quilt project I am working on right now.  I found a tutorial here, which is by the Missouri Star Quilt Co.  Actually, they have many online tutorials. Once I start looking at them, I can't seem to stop!  They just make everything look incredibly easy.  

I'm making three of these, one for each of my children.  I wanted something that would be quick and easy and would not cost a lot of money to make.  I purchased three Santa's Workshop Stackers from (these are 10" squares).  I'm using three different coordinating Santa's Work Shop fabrics for the binding and white muslin for the border and backing fabric. Fortunately I already have some baby-sized quilt batting on hand.  I'm keeping the border narrow to be sure I don't go wider than the size batting I have.  This is just the top piece of the quilt.  These are the perfect size to snuggle up with on the couch during cold months.  I really like this fabric medley.  It is Christmas themed but not so much so that it can't be kept out all winter long.

(I have already started cutting for my second quilt)

After completed, I'm going to let my children use their fabric markers to decorate the backside!  :)  They are really excited about that.  I want this to be a combined Christmas project effort, something that will be a treasure for them to always enjoy.  I will post pictures again once I have finished them!  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crafty Mamas Lovely Layers Top

 Here is my version of the "Lovely Layers" top from Crafty Mamas.

I purchased this as a PDF pattern here.  It is wonderful to be able to buy a pattern, print it out, and begin working on it as soon as you want to!

I chose the pattern size based on my measurements, which was a perfect alterations necessary!

This is a medium-weight knit fabric purchased from Girl Charlee fabrics.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Jalie 2682

Here's my Jalie 2682!

I really like this shirt.  I have already made this for each of my girls, and it is a quick and easy project.  I did add 1/2 inch to the bodice front and back to lengthen where the seamline would be.  I needed a little extra length there.

I purchased this fabric from Girl Charlee fabrics.  It is a double-sided fabric, which I had never seen before.  One side is stripes and the other a coordinating solid color.  It was a little time demanding matching up the stripes on the bodice.  I put my fabric pieces right sides together, pinned them, and then flipped my fabric up to make sure my lines were together.  I did the same with the and peak. :)  It took a while but well worth the results.

I love this pattern.  Jalie does a fantastic job at creating patterns that are timeless, functional, and comfortable!  I also love how their patterns come in a huge range of sizes.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Do you have the time?

Here is another Imke shirt, which is one of the patterns in the Sewing Clothes kids Love book.  I love this timepiece fabric that I found online at Girl Charlee fabrics.  It is a nice thick knit fabric.  I am always looking for unique-style fabrics to make my son's shirts out of, and this is definitely a winner for him!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jalie 2908

I love the Jalie jeans pattern!  Here is another pair I made for my daughter in a patchwork stretch denim fabric I bought from Denver Fabrics online.  See her first pair and review here.

This time I straightened the leg a little so they weren't so flared at the bottom.  In order to do this, I placed a ruler flush at the notch, which is midway, and drew a chalk line down to about 1 inch in from one side of the bottom edges.  Then I folded the leg in half, pinned them together, and cut on my chalk line.  I did this to both front and back leg pieces.  I actually decided to do this after I had already cut the fabric out from the pattern.  My daughter said she would like me to buy another pattern with a straighter problem, I can just make that little alteration myself!  I just held them up to a pair of RTW jeans she had so I could get a comparable size.  It worked like a charm.  They are still roomy at the ankle, but not bootcut like the pattern.  I love the bootcut myself, but it is nice to have a straighter leg too.

I love how my topstitching thread matched so well to the other thread in the denim.

No topstitching on the pockets this time; the fabric is busy enough!  I find this part of the jean assembly the most challenging...lining up the pockets on the backside pant.  If they aren't pefect, once you sew your back legs together, you can immediately see the imperfection of placement.  I take my time here and pin my pockets and then put my backside pieces together to make sure the pockets are EXACTLY in the same place.  Don't rush this because you don't want to have to remove all that stitching to correct your mistake.  I also interface the pockets; it's so much easier to sew them on without dealing with the stretch.

I have this same fabric in tan, so I will be working on my jeans very soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jalie Top 2682

What a great little wardrobe builder the Jalie 2682 top is!  I made this in size K for my daughter, which only takes 1 yard of fabric--what an inexpensive top this is to make!  I tried to match up the stripes the best I could by placing them at the same color stripes at corresponding notches in the pattern.  The front bodice pattern piece is cut twice, which makes up the right side and left side of the top front.  This is the only place where the stripes were completely off...go figure.  I will watch for this a little more closely on the next one I make.  
I assembled this top using my sewing machine, serger, and coverstitch machine.

As soon as I made this top, my daughter paired this with her Crafty Mamas funky pant I had already made her.  It feels really good to make an entire outfit that will be regularly worn. 
I purchased the knit fabric from Girl Charlee, which is becoming my shopping destination for knits.  They have the best variety for the best prices.  Everything I have bought from them is such a good quality knit!
I'm becoming a huge fan of the Jalie pattern company.  This pattern is from a size 2 to 22.  There is a sleeveless option, as well as a zippered top option.  I'm anxious to make this in a fleece with zipper for winter. 
Here is one I made for my other daughter today (9/20/12)  This one is a size L.  In this size, it dropped the v-neck a little lower on her, so she wore it with a tank top underneath.  Next time I will bring the v-neck up an inch so she can wear it without the extra shirt.  Still, it looks great layered.
 Both fabrics are a knit, but look how different the top looks with just a change in print!