Sunday, December 29, 2013

Recycle Shirts into Underwear!

Don't you love it when you have one of those light bulb moments!  So today I have been making underwear using Jalie 3242 (see my previous  Then I thought about the pile of  shirts that my daughter has outgrown; those soft comfy shirts that have been washed over and over and over.  Why not turn those into underwear?  You have to make sure though that whatever shirt you use, it has a good amount of stretch in BOTH directions, otherwise, your underwear is going to be too tight.

View A
Low-waist bikini

Below you'll see a pic of various shirts I pulled out to recycle, the bunny pj top being one of them.  That shirt was too small to use for a pair of underwear completely, so I cut out the applique and zigzagged it onto white fabric.  It was my daughter's idea to cut the bottom scalloped edge of the shirt off to use as a trim on top of the underwear--love that idea!  Even though the "hop bunny applique" was stretchy too, it did compromise a little of the stretch.  I'm still in the learning curve with these undies, but I'm enjoying experimenting.  I'm really focusing on budgeting costs with sewing, so I am continuing to look around through the piles of clothes that get tossed to the side once outgrown.  There has got to be other uses that I haven't thought of yet! LOL

I really want to experiment with little scrappy fabrics on undies that are small enough to not compromise stretch but make it fun to wear.

It feels so good to recycle and get more mileage out of clothing.

thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Jalie 3242 Underwear

View A
Bikini Low-Waist
Size 127 (K)

How does one photograph underwear for your blog?  I pinned it to this room divider thing we have.  Not the best photograph, but this pattern definitely deserves blogging about!  I have made the boys briefs using this pattern, and those are fantastic with an excellent fit.  One of my girls asked me a while ago to try making her a pair as well.  Since I forgot to buy some this weekend when we were at the store, I felt now would be as good a time as any to try it out.  She loves them!  This obviously takes so little fabric that you can make several very cheaply.  This took maybe 30 minutes from cutting out to finishing...if that.  They are really fun and easy to make.  So much so that I will try this pattern out for myself eventually.

For the waist, I purchased elastic from Sew Sassy Fabrics.  
For the legs, I used 1/4" braided elastic.

I finished sewing my son's wool coat!  I am now waiting on the toggle buttons to come in the mail.  After I attach them, I will be posting pictures of it.  I'm so excited and happy with the results.  It took me several hours, but I am hooked on making coats now.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ottobre 3-Piece Outfit

Ottobre 1/2009
#30 Tintti sleeveless jersey top Size 134
#31 Tellervo jersey tunic Size 134
#33 Minna miniskirt Size 128 cut at length 170 with 1" hem

This is a great outfit!  I had a lot of fun sewing these pieces up this week.  Elasticized shirring is actually pretty easy.  Instructions are included in the 1/09 issue.

This outfit is really perfect for school.  I tend to be old-fashioned with their skirt lengths.  I like them a little on the long side, which is easy to accomplish with Ottobre patterns.  I just cut the size width and trace it out to the longest length.  You can always cut away an inch if need be.

I used a crinkle jersey knit for the sleeveless top, a jersey knit for the long sleeved t-shirt, and a twill for the skirt.  Twill is kind of stiff, but my girls said they like a skirt made from it.  I did a lot of hand stitching on the sleeveless top.  I didn't want my stitches to show along the straps.  

I got my shirring to match up perfectly on the side seam!  Love this top!  

These photos were taken this afternoon after school, so the outfit was kind of wrinkled.  In the morning it is too dark for pictures.

I like this skirt pattern.  It is very basic with simple pockets and invisible zipper at the back center seam with a button closure on the waistband.  It doesn't even take a whole half yard, so it's cost effective and you can have several as part of your wardrobe.

I'm still waiting for my son's coat fabric to arrive in the mail, and I had planned on making me something, but I couldn't resist sewing up this outfit!  My daughter already wants this outfit in another color, and my other daughter has put in a request for an outfit for herself.  My sewing que is bursting at the seams!

thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Querida with a Puppy!

I finished another coat!  Here is the Farbenmix Querida with an appliqued puppy for my other daughter.  She loves anything to do with puppies, so her applique suits her.

I used an anti pill fleece fabric, lined with flannel, and Warm & White cotton batting in between.  This coat is so cozy, soft, and warm!

Nice and long to help keep her legs warm.  I kept the arms long as well.  It helps when they forget to wear their gloves.  

You can't have a puppy without puppy paws!

Puppy and paws are made from felt.  This time I had to use a darker felt as a background.  The felt I chose for the puppy matched the coat fabric perfectly and blended in completely!  

Now on to making a wool coat for my son!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Querida with a touch of Sparkle!

Farbenmix pattern Querida
Size 134/140

Here is one of my girls' new coats!  I have been working on this little project for a couple of weeks--a lot of time, effort, and love went into this.  She is a huge fan of My Little Pony, and a while back asked if I could make her a coat with Twilight Sparkle on it.  I forgot how much I enjoyed doing applique.  

I used anti pill fleece, lined with flannel, and also some Insul-Bright which is an insulated lining that I sandwiched between the fleece and flannel.  I did not put the Insul-Bright in the sleeves, only the body part of the coat.  This coat is so warm! 

Who doesn't love a HUGE pom pom on their hood! :)  I lined the hood with fleece as well.

Twilight Sparkle in her beautiful gown with matching shoes.  I made her out of pieces of felt, putting her together like a puzzle!  Then I had my daughter sit beside me at the sewing machine, guiding me as I did the inside stitch details.  The eyes were definitely the tricky part of this applique since they are made up of a few different layers.  I am very pleased how this turned out.  

Pockets are sewn into the side seams of the coat.  My sewing machine has monogram capability.

Got to have the cutie mark!

I really like this coat pattern.  Pattern instructions are in German, but you can go to their site and see a brief summary on how to assemble the coat.  First I use Google Translate and translate the pattern pieces to English, writing it on the pattern for reference.

My next project is a puppy-themed Querida.  After that, I am in desperate need of some jeans for myself.  Time to pull out the Jalie jean pattern!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Relajarse for me!

Ottobre Relajarse Miniskirt 
Size 158 with added length

Antonella Shirt Farbenmix
Size Small

I loved the skirt I made so much for my girls, I made one for myself too!  Over this past year, I have lost 20 pounds, and I discovered that my hip size falls, for now, in the Ottobre kids measurements--lucky for me! This is a fun, casual skirt and I will wear it a lot this winter.  I paired it with the Antonella shirt by Farbenmix.  I like the keyhole neckline.  There are many variations with this pattern.  You can cut up the sleeves, having many colors, plain long sleeve as I have done, or even cap sleeves!  You can opt for the basic neckline too.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ottobre Relajarse Skirt with Tellervo Top

Relajarse Miniskirt 
Size 134 with added length

Tellervo Jersey
Size 128 cropped to shirt length

Fabric purchased from

 It is a mini like it says, and even with the added length, I could have gone another inch which would have been better I think.  Next time I will.  I traced this out in a size 134 but did not add seam allowances except for the top that attaches to the waistband and also pockets except for outer curve.  My girls are both a 128 in the waist, and the smallest size in this skirt is a 134.  Elastic also goes in the waistband, which makes it a perfect fit.  

I interfaced the pockets.  I don't know if you can tell with the photo, but there is a rivet on the outer edge of the pocket.  If you haven't installed a rivet before, they are very quick and easy to do.  I use a nail and a block of wood.  I hammer the nail threw the fabric, and before I remove the nail, put the bottom piece of the rivet at the tip of the nail and push it up through the fabric, pushing the nail out.  If you don't do this, it's really easy to loose that hole after you remove the nail.  Then you use a tool to press the top of the rivet onto the bottom.  It really adds such a nice professional finish.

The leggings are RTW.  Sometimes I think I need to start making leggings too, but they are pretty cheap to buy from Old Navy when they go on sale.

For the top stitching, I found a nice decorative stitch that makes a zigzag with a straight stitch on both sides.  I also used my walking foot since the fabric is a little thick.

I doubled up on the knit trim on the side of the skirt.  There is a considerable difference in fabric weight and I felt it would be too flimsy.  I did not feed the drawstring through the waistband of the skirt.  With there being elastic, I didn't see the need.  I made a bow and tacked it to the front of the waistband.

I'm definitely mommy sizing this one for me!  It will be great having this skirt for cold winter days!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tunic & Dress

I did some more mustache dress/tunic sewing.  I had already made one of my girls a dress, so I was catching up trying to make one for my other daughter.  They LOVE the mustache fabrics.

Ottobre 3/2012
Jungle Stripes Jersey Dress
Size 128
I left the elastic out of the sleeve hem

This dress soon became a "tunic" for her sister.  My other daughter didn't like it.  She said, "it doesn't feel good around the neck."  This is a different neckline than she is accustomed to wearing.  I love the pleats and elastic.  I think it looks adorable.  I tell my children though, if you don't like it, you don't have to wear it.  With sewing, you just don't know until it's on how you are going to like it.  I have made myself many things that never got worn more than once.  That doesn't happen as often now since I have learned by looking at a pattern if it suits my personal criteria of what I want.

I would like to make this in a dress for her as well, but I would need to lengthen it to 170 cm.

Next is the tunic turned dress, which I hoped (fingers crossed) that it would be more to her liking.  It was!

Ottobre 1/2009
Tellervo Jersey Tunic
Size 128 with a length of 170 to make it more of a dress for her

I shortened the sleeves since she didn't want them long.    

I figured out a shortcut on pockets.  I used a new t-shirt that my son never wore.  I lined up the top edge of the  pocket pattern piece with the t-shirt's bottom hem.  All I had to do was turn the remaining edges under and sew.  That was easy!  If you have the space, it really does help to hold on to other items of clothing because you never know when you can incorporate them into your sewing.  I didn't have a white solid fabric and then I looked over and saw this t-shirt that was the perfect bright white to match the mustaches!  Try as I might, there was no way I could get a neckband piece out of it.  I thought about trying to cut away the t-shirt neckband, but it was a double band with a color that didn't really go with the blue of the dress.  That's okay, she loves the bold white pockets...I do too.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting Crafty with Minecraft

Ottobre Hooded Sweat Jacket #32
Size 152

Here is my son's "Minecraft" hooded jacket!  He is a huge fan of Minecraft.  I was inspired by Kristin over at Sunny Sewing when she made her son one using an Ottobre pattern.  

I purchased all materials through  I love this fleece.  It is called Winter fleece Micro Chamois.  I used Pellon stick-n-tear for the stabilizer when I appliqued the Creeper face to the jacket.  I had to be really careful not to scorch the fabric.  It was a little tricky to hold the iron long enough to get the Creepers to stick without overdoing it.  I used Heatnbond Lite for the iron on adhesive.  I used a 22" sport separating zipper, which was really easy to sew on.  The only thing that gave me difficulty with this jacket was making the welt pockets.  I practiced on scrap fabric first and STILL made a mistake on my second pocket.  Thank goodness I had just enough green to cut out another front side!  I put the pocket on where it opened to the wrong side--how on earth did I do that?  I even checked before sewing, but obviously was confused.  

I made the jacket a little big so he can be sure to wear it next year!  

I kept the Creeper low enough on the jacket to not be covered up by the hood.

It is so nice to use ribbing for the arm cuffs and bottom hemband.  It makes sewing up a jacket so quick (once I got past the welt pockets that is). The hood doesn't cover up his face, he is just looking down.  The only thing I did not do that was part of the instructions was to include elastic in the hood.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, November 1, 2013

Johanna Coat

I'm so excited about my new coat!  This is a Farbenmix pattern, the Damenmantel Johanna.  I bought this pattern last year and it took me a while to decide what fabrics to use and how to make it.  The instructions are written in German; however, you can go to the Farbenmix website and see a summarized version of instructions and photos of how to assemble the coat.  It is minimal, so you do need to have some sewing knowledge under your belt.  

I chose to make my coat in a brown wool blend with a dark brown flannel lining.  This coat is so warm it is like putting on a blanket!  I did take the wool fabric to the dry cleaners before I made this.  I didn't want to risk it shrinking later.  

It took 3 yards of wool, as well as 3 yards of flannel to make this.  That was really cutting it close...pun intended.  You can make this without a lining if you use a fabric that does not fray.  The instructions are to assemble this coat leaving visible seams.  Since I chose wool, I couldn't do this.  I wasn't sure if I would like having my seams visible anyway.  I may try that in the future if I find a fabric that I like.

I kept the sleeve lining longer than the outside wool shell so I could fold it over onto the sleeve, creating a cuff.  

I got a little creative and came up with my own pocket flap.  When I ordered my buttons, I did not initially plan on using them on the pockets.  That is why the coat is missing 2 buttons at the moment (bottom button and very top button).

I purchased my fabrics and notions from  Total cost for this coat was $40 (the wool was on sale).  It was definitely one of my more expensive sewing projects.  

I am very happy with the fit.  I made this in a size small (34/36), with no alterations.  I topstitched all the seams flat except for one underarm seam.  Since it was the last seam, it wasn't possible to sew it.  The facing took me the longest to do.  Some was sewn by machine and the outer neck area I stitched by hand.  I used my walking foot for all my sewing.  I find that I am using that foot more and more.  It is extremely helpful with sewing knits and heavy fabrics.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Knit Pajamas

Here are a pair of knit pajamas I made for one of my girls yesterday.  It is getting cooler now with winter approaching, so it was a good time to make something new.

I looked through my fabric stash and found two coordinating fabrics that she liked.  The color blocking of the top was not intentional, but merely a way of trying to get all the pieces cut out of what I had!  Even with all the sewing I do, it amazes me at how much fabric some things really require to make.

The top is made from Ottobre's "Becky" camisole (6/2009).  I love this pattern.  I made the nightgown version before.  I HIGHLY recommend this pattern, especially if you are new to making Ottobre patterns.  It is pretty easy to trace and sews up quickly without any difficulty.  

I added short sleeves, and instead of hemming them, I added a strip of green knit.  I cut these at 2 inches, the same as the neckband, folding wrong sides together and sewing to the garment.  For the short sleeves, I snagged one from another pattern and with a little tweaking, made a minor adjustment in the pattern to fit.  Why draw one from scratch when you can borrow from another?

I topstitched the neck band using a longer stitch around 4.  I was always so reluctant to do this in the past, but it works just fine and the fabric is still stretchy.

I hemmed the top with my sewing machine's double needle.  I do have a coverstitch machine, however, when there are multiple seams to sew over, this often results in skipped stitches.  If anyone knows how to avoid this, please tell me how!!  I have tried going slowly, going faster, etc.  Sometimes it doesn't skip and sometimes it does and I just don't know why.
I also added a green knit band to the bottom of the pants, cut at 3 inches.

I first thought about making elastic-waist pajamas but quickly dismissed that idea.  The funky pant, yoga waistband style works well for her, so I stayed with that.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My First Pattern-Free Dress

I'm so excited to share with you a dress that I made for myself WITHOUT a pattern...sort of.  I traced a store-bought dress that I had which fit me really well.  I have a picture of that dress at the bottom of my post.

I laid my store-bought dress on the floor and traced the outline of it in pencil.  I discovered that it helps to "pin" the paper to the outfit you are tracing.  I traced the front side, the back side, and also the sleeves.  

I used a really nice drapey knit I purchased from Girl Charlee and made my arm bands and lower dress band out of gray ribknit binding.  Oh my gosh...doing that alone makes this dress incredibly easy to stitch together because there is no hemming involved.  On the arm bands, I turned them up so they are a cuff.  I really thought matching all these stripes up would be difficult to do, but it wasn't.  I used my walking foot on my sewing machine to sew all seams and then finished them with my serger.  I find this is better to prevent shifting of the fabric.

I made my hat too!  It is called the Tulip Stitch Slouchy Crochet Hat pattern.  I purchased it from an Etsy store called Lifeinsmallspaces.  I'm a beginner crocheter but this pattern was relatively easy for me to do.  I want to make them in several colors for this winter. 

 and here is the dress that I traced.  You can see that it has a really large cowl neck.  It takes a lot of fabric!  I had only 2 yards of fabric to work with and I was elated that I could get all pieces cut from it.  I didn't have an 1/8 of an inch to spare!  I got lucky.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley