Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ottobre Kids Sewing

Ottobre 1/2012
#31 Cheveyo Cargo Sweatpants
Size 152

 Fabric:  Lightweight Sweatshirt Fleece in Navy (Fabric.com)

Here is a pair of sweatpants I made for my son!  I'm pleased with the fit and the most important thing is he likes them!  

Since I don't have a flatlock stitch (for sewing the waistband area, which is just basically turning down the fabric to the inside), I just used a stitch I thought would look nice.  It did get a little hung up where the pocket seams are since there are multiple layers of fabric to sew over.  Not a big deal and not really noticeable once wearing.

Per my son's request, I did all the top stitching in silver thread.  I especially like the top stitching lines for the faux fly.  I used a triple stitch there.  There are two small buttonholes at the front waist to pull a drawstring through.  I found some at my local fabric store in a large variety of colors!  I'm so happy to not have to make my own anymore.

These pants have pockets at the hip and also cargo pockets on the side of the leg.  With the exception of the cargo pockets, these pants sew up quickly.

Even though you can't see it here, I did triple stitch the hem, which looks really nice.  I kept them a little long for growing room.  I told him to just turn them up if he needs to when he doesn't have any shoes on.

I'd like to make these again in a heavier weight fabric.  I didn't pay attention to the "lightweight" in the fabric description.  They are fine, but probably not very warm to be wearing with snow.  However, they make a great pant for lounging around in.

Ottobre 4/2013
#32 Remainder Velour Pants
Size 128 with an extra inch added to the length
Ottobre Creative Workshop 301
Size 134

Fabric:  Brown velour and a striped sweater knit from my stash

If you don't have the Ottobre Creative Workshop 301 pattern, it is a nice t-shirt pattern to have.  I've made this a few times.  However, this time my daughter kept pulling at the neckline.  I cut off the neckband at the seam and then scooped out the lower front neck by an inch and put another band on.  I'll have to go back later and make this adjustment on the pattern.  I just folded the front of the shirt in half and "fingers crossed" made the cut. ha ha  Fixing things is not my favorite.  I'd almost rather make something from the start then have to work on it after it is finished--silly, I know.

For a little interest, I changed the direction of the stripes and added a band at the end of the sleeve.

I also added a band at the waist.  I found trying to hem this sweater knit difficult.  I started to, realized what a pain it would be, took it off the machine, chopped it off, cut a band and sewed it on with my serger.  Easy!

I've made these pants before here.  They weren't really a favorite of my daughters then, but she has since grown fonder of the style.  I think because she has grown into the size where they fit a little better on her.  I omitted the drawstring since she doesn't like them.  Anything with a drawstring, including store-bought dresses. will be cut off by her!  That's fine.  It saves time without the added button holes.

Fun puppy fabric for the pocket linings.

Thanks for stoppying by ~ Shirley

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Victory Pattern--Lola Dress

Victory Pattern--Lola Dress
Size 2
Alterations:  Shortened skirt pieces by 2 inches

This is actually my 2nd attempt at the Lola Dress; my first version is here.  This time things went much better with a different fabric type!  

I love this dress.  So far, this has to be my favorite knit dress I have made.   It makes up into such a nice and tailored fit due to the princess seams.

After you get your pieces cut out, it really sews up quickly since all can be assembled by serger if you have one.  I do recommend basting your bodice to the skirt first to make sure that your seams are all lined up.  With such a busy print, it may not be as noticeable if I was off here, but a solid fabric definitely would be glaring at you.

I trimmed my pockets in a stretch faux leather, the same fabric I used for my leggings.  To do so, I trimmed an inch off the top of the pocket and cut my leather trim in strips of a 2.5 inch width.  

For the "triangle" shaped piece at the neckline, I also cut it from the faux leather, but I used the back side so the black would be more muted than shiny.  If you look closely, it actually looks like that piece is off center, but it is not.  The triangle falls right in an area of the fabric that has little black triangle points, so it makes it look like it is off center.  Oh well.  

Fabric from Girl Charlee:
Black abstract shapes on cream ponte de roma knit & black stretch faux leather
Ribbing purchased from Fabric.com (I had some scraps left over from my son's jacket)

I have been sewing up some leggings and other clothing for my children, as well as crafting.  I just celebrated my 47th birthday, so I couldn't let this week pass without a new outfit for myself!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  I'm excited for Christmas break to come; I love the extra family time.

Thank you for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

American Ships Quilt Progress

I'm still slowly working on my son's American Ships quilt.  I finished another ship today and thought I would post the last 5 that I've completed.  

As much as I try to establish a monthly completion goal for myself, I'm having a hard time sticking to it!  With it being winter now, I'm going to focus on trying to complete two a month.  If the mood strikes, maybe one a week--that would help speed things up a bit.  I have been working on this for a few years now (big sigh).  My first passion is sewing clothes and now I have added knitting a sweater into the mix of my hobbies.  Focus, focus, focus!  Sometimes I find it more appealing to start something new than to finish something I have been working on for a long time.

See previous blocks completed here and here.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Sewing

One of my girls has a gift exchange next week in school, so I made up this fabric drawstring bag with goodies!

I made a stuffed puppy and bought some chocolates to include with it.

Pam at Threading My Way has a fantastic drawstring bag tutorial here.  It is fully lined and has boxed corners at the bottom!  These sew up so quickly that it would be quite easy to make several if you needed to.  In the past, I have tried to box the bottom of fabric bags but was unable to get each side to match until now.  Pam's tutorial is so well written and has wonderful photos to guide you along your way.  

And who wouldn't want a stuffed puppy?  I have the sewing and pattern book Girl's World, and one of the patterns included is this cute little puppy that is very easy to make....definitely a beginner sewing project if you are new to sewing.

I also made two more fabric bags for a couple of the male teachers at school for their Christmas gift.  I will buy some chocolates to fill them with.  For the ladies, I am making potholders.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lining my Sewing Box

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we went to a flea market known for its antiques.  I was so excited to find this sewing box!  I don't know if it is an antique or not, but I love it.  I am actually going to use it as a jewelry box.  

I like inexpensive jewelry--big chunky necklaces--so I have been needing a way to lay them out since hanging them has resulted in a tangled mess.  I didn't want a "jewelry box," but rather something that could be used as one.  When I saw this sewing box, I knew it would be perfect!

This morning I measured each compartment and cut out the dimensions plus a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I also had some cream vintage lace on hand that my Aunt Nancy sent me earlier this year.  I think it looks rather Victorian now. :)  The fabric is Moda's Cinnamon Spice by Blackbird Designs.

I used quilt batting between the layers of fabric to give it a pillow-like touch.  I sewed the lace within the seam, just finger-holding it as I sewed it together.

4 compartments in the right top side.

2 compartments in the left top side.

I had enough lace for all but the bottom piece.  It opens up quite wide!

Thank you for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Faux Leather Skirt with a Renfrew Top

I bought some Vegan leather from Girl Charlee to see what I could do with a leather skirt for myself.  I don't own one, so I'm not exactly sure how they should fit.  I looked online at images to try to figure out what kind of pattern I wanted to work with.  I decided that Vogue 1247 would give me some nice seam lines.  I made this skirt before in a soft denim, which you can see here.  That post was about the time I was really enjoying having hair again!  If anyone is wanting to see/know how long it takes hair to grow back in after chemo, my blog definitely gives a good reference.  I can remember searching on Google how long does it take hair to grow back in.  

 Anyway, back to my skirt.  I didn't find the fabric too difficult to sew, but I did use my non-stick teflon foot.  My machine wouldn't move the fabric without it.

I put in an exposed zipper for the first time.  It looks pretty good to me.  I don't think I'll do that again--one skirt with an exposed zip is enough for me.  I have seen so many on other blogs that they grew on me.  I found an online tutorial on Craftsy, which made it fairly easy to do.  Honestly, I wasn't sure what type of zipper method would be best for this fabric.  If I make this skirt again, I will try an invisible zipper.

I carefully pressed my seams open with a pressing cloth on low heat and then top stitched them down.  That went well except for the vertical seam in the back (below the zipper).  I had to adjust my presser foot to almost nothing so it would glide easily over the fabric without pushing it too hard, creating little ripples.  I even tried putting interfacing there, but that didn't help at all.

I left off the front in-seam pockets.

One thing that helped greatly was Farbenmix Stylefix double-sided tape.  I used this to hold the hem in place, as well as holding the waistband seam together for top stitching.  I bought some fabric glue, but it didn't work.  Maybe it was the kind I used.  I limited how and where I stuck pins.

This is the first time I made the Renfrew with the cowl neck.  I've reviewed the Renfrew before and there are tons of reviews out there--it's a great staple pattern to own.

I'm thinking I will wear this to my husband's Christmas party this year.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, November 21, 2014

Minecraft Creeper Dress

Ottobre 6/2012 #30
Sulka Dress
Size 134
Fabric:  Ponte de Roma Knit, purchased from Girl Charlee

It all started with, "Momma, when can you make me a winter dress?  Oh, and I'd like it to have a creeper face on it too, please."  So, here is a Minecraft Creeper dress as requested by one of my girls.  A while ago I made my son a Minecraft jacket here.

I made the Sulka dress before, but this time I omitted the outer bodice piece since I was not going to be making any kind of bows.  However, I did cut the inner bodice piece out twice so I could use one as a lining to cover the applique stitches.  I had a great thought (later) that I could have also cut out the back bodice piece twice, totally enclosing the gathered waist seam.  Next time I make this dress, I will do that.

When placing the bodice and gathered skirt piece right sides together, you could take that extra bodice piece, putting it right side to wrong side on the skirt piece and then flip up the bodice pieces and baste the two together.  

I used black cotton lycra knit for the applique and neckband.  Hems and neckband top stitching with black thread.

Also, any of you who gather with elastic, is there a method to this that I am missing?  I did it, but not without repeated effort and frustration.  I seem to pull the elastic out from my needle at the beginning even though I run a couple stitches through it, run off my elastic when sewing....you get the picture.  I struggle with this.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I was curious how a ponte de roma knit would work with this pattern.  It is heavy, but it makes a nice winter-wear dress.  This knit is very soft too and easy to hem.  I did cut 1 inch pieces of interfacing (woven) to make my hemming easier.  It makes turning up your hem quick too because you don't have to measure it around since your have already cut your interfacing to the depth of the needed hem.

My daughter has already put in a request for a Tardis dress--my little Dr. Who fan.  I asked, "what makes you think I can just make these theme-type dresses?"  She says, "because you can."  I wish I had grown up with my very own tailor...ha ha.

Thanks for stopping by~ Shirley

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vogue 1411 with Butterick 5925

Version A
Size Small
Fabric:  Patchwork print jersey from Girl Charlee

I really like the way this top turned out.  I think this fabric would make nearly any pattern top appealing, even a simple t-shirt.

There is an interesting design feature--a little twist in the neckband and pocket band, which is made by offsetting marks that you match up on the pattern pieces.

The pockets are made by basting it first to the side piece which is then sewn to the shirt lower side seams.  At the top of the side piece, it gradually tapers in to a very narrow seam with the bottom being very wide .  Then you attach the sleeves, sewing down the arm edge, continuing down the side of the shirt till you meet up with the top of the side piece.  This matched up really well.

This shirt takes 2 yards of fabric up to a size large.  There are 7 pattern pieces!!

You can mix this up by combining coordinating fabrics.

Version A
Size A
Fabric:  Ponte de roma knit from Girl Charlee


Hmmm.  I'm not sure if I like the pants much.  They are just okay to me.  My husband and children like them.  I modeled them for my family before hemming to see if I should continue...ha ha.  Do you ever do that?  They fit well and have a unique design.  Maybe it is because there was a lot of work in putting these together that I just don't feel that the time spent met my style expectation.  The whole time sewing them I kept thinking to myself, "I don't know."  I will wear them though.  If I invest the time and it fits I will wear it.  Maybe not as often as other favorites.  I kind of wish I had just made my Ottobre legging pattern.  It is simple but I love it.  Oh well.  I'm trying to make sure I don't just have 10 of the same thing in my closet.

On to my technical thoughts about the pattern.  You really have to sit down with these and make sure you get everything matched up correctly before sewing.  Seams have to be sewn, pressed open flat, and then topstitched while straddling the seam.  I used a twin stretch needle size 2.5.  Hindsight I wish I had used a wider needle.  I think it kind of made it pucker a little, raising this seam a bit.  However, the seams do stand out more and that is what makes this pant pattern unique from others.  I didn't shorten these and I'm 5'1, so if you make them, you might want to add some length to them!  I almost wish they were longer on me.  I am petite but I always like to wear my pants a little on the long side since most times I wear boots with chunky heels.  Using such a narrow size twin needle could have contributed to losing a little on the length since my seams pulled up a bit (does that make sense?)

Simple waistband with elastic.

That actual fit is good.  They are supposed to fit snug.  I made the straight leg version instead of the tapered leg.  Since they are shorter than I had anticipated, I don't know if they look too short with these ankle boots or not.  Maybe I should try tucking them into a different style boot.

Size A requires 1 1/4 yards of fabric. There are 8 pattern pieces!!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jalie Bra 3131

Bra Review, Jalie 3131
Band size R
Cup size V

This is a great bra!

You might remember this fabric; I used it for an Ottobre skirt I made recently.  It takes so little fabric to make a bra!  I am quite pleased with my results.  This is my second attempt.  Last week I made a muslin and the band size was perfect, but my cups were a little on the small size.  I'm not sure why, but I'm wondering if it is due to my recent reconstruction surgery with implants.  Things still need to settle in (I think).  This time I went up 2 sizes and I'm pretty happy with the fit.  I can definitely use less bra strapping since I have to tighten them up almost all the way.  I have to do that with any store bought bra.  Also, I need to make the armhole FOE piece shorter by about 1/2 inch so it will pull that curve a little snugger in around me.  With those adjustments, the fit will be perfect for me.

 The band stays put where it should across my back, so taking that under bust measurement to determine band size is precise.  There isn't anything very technical to the construction.  If you haven't sewn with fold over elastic, you might want to practice a little with that first.  

My only recommendation is for you to cut your suggested cup size out of scrap fabric, gather it at the bottom and try it out for size.  It won't be exact this way, but you should be able to get a good idea if the size is right for you.

Jalie has a tutorial online; take a look at it and you will be amazed at how simple this bra goes together.  I watched it a few times while I was waiting for my pattern to come in the mail.

I tried to photograph this on my body form, but I wasn't able to get it adjusted where it looked right.  As far as support, I am probably not the best one to say since with implants, I'm not really going anywhere. LOL   However, the way this bra is constructed and lined, it feels pretty sturdy and secure.  It is definitely worth a try if you are interested!

I purchased all my supplies from Sew Sassy.

Thanks for stopping by~Shirley

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Lounging Outfit

True Bias Hudson Pant, Size 2
Renfrew Top, Size 6

 Ahhh, it is so nice to have comfy lounge pants to wear!  If you are looking for a easy sew and quick gratification project, this is the pattern to have.  I am amazed at how well drafted and fitting these pants are.  I used a thermal knit I had in my stash; I purchased it so long ago that I can't remember from where. For the pocket trim, waistband, and ankle pieces, I used navy blue ribbing.  For the inner pocket and lining pieces, I used the same thermal knit fabric as the pants.

I did not have 2 inch elastic for the waist.  Instead, I used some 1 and 1/4 inch that I had on hand. The instructions have you sew 2 lines of stitching for a casing for the drawstring, which is sewn through the elastic.  I just didn't like the looks of it and picked my stitches out (that was fun).  It was probably my error...a combination of wrong size elastic and sewing too quickly.  This started out just as a muslin, so I was throwing it together rather haphazardly.  However, I really started liking the thermal dot with the navy blue ribbing, so I decided to unpick my poorly sewn casing and leave the waistband as is.  I made a drawstring out of the thermal knit.  I cut a good length of fabric by 2 inches and sewed up one side and turned it right side out and knotted the ends.  I made sure to cut the fabric in the direction of least amount of stretch.

I won't be wearing these out of the house since the white thermal knit is a little bit on the sheer side if the light catches it just right.

For my Renfrew top, I cut out a size 6 this time since I wanted a more roomy fit and feel to it.  The fabric is a stretch rayon jersey knit, which is very stretchy and drapey.  The neckband isn't as tight due to this, but I'm okay with that since this is just for the purpose of a pajama.  I purchased this knit from Fabric.com.  I used most of it on leggings and had only an odd-shaped remnant left, so it was a tight squeeze getting it cut out, but thankfully it worked.

I am already cutting out a second pair of pants--I like them that much!  It is rare that I turn around and make the same thing immediately.  I will get some 2 inch elastic though and see if I can get the waistband right next time.  However, I am totally happy with the looks of an unstitched waistband too!  No one is going to see it and I rarely ever tuck my shirts in or wear a shirt that short in length where the top of the pant is seen.

On a personal note, I had my stitches removed yesterday from the 2nd phase of my breast reconstruction surgery!  I'm still a work in progress.  Apparently radiation can tighten up the skin, so the left side is not wanting to cooperate as much.  It's really grabbing on and holding that implant in. My surgeon will do a little more with it during the next surgery, which is in January.  I'm getting there!!  I ordered the Jalie bra pattern to make some nice, simple cotton knit bras.  So, I'm excitedly waiting on my pattern which should be arriving in the mail any day.  I ordered my bra-making supplies from Sew Sassy.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lola Dress

 Victory Pattern -- Lola Dress
Size 2

I shortened my Lola pattern by 4 inches at the shorten/lengthen lines.  I compared the pattern to a dress I had previously made and wanted the same length for this dress.  I should have gone with 3 inches instead of 4, because I missed the length I was aiming for.  I used sweatshirt fleece, but I didn't pay attention to the stretch percentage.  Let me just say 10% is probably not enough for this dress.  Well, in a larger size maybe.  Based on my measurements, I am definitely a size 2.  I think it would get out of hand tracing patterns in different sizes based on stretch factor, even though I have thought about it!

I realized my error in stretch when I tried it on.  I had everything sewn except for the ribbing.  What made matters worse is when I sewed the bottom to the top, I had the front bottom sewn to the BACK top.  I even basted it together first and still didn't realize it!  Sadly, I put it on and then realized oh my gosh....I can't get it off!  I was home alone too.  Doesn't help that I'm only 2 weeks out from my surgery.  I thought I might have to cut my way out of it, but thankfully I was able to get it off.  Patience was wearing thin the hotter I got in this sweatshirt fleece too.  I knew I had to get it off one way or another because my husband and children weren't going to be home till much later in the day.

Now that it is sewn on correctly, it is still a little snug to pull on, but not while I am wearing it, so I am happy.  I do like it.  Of course I would like to make it again in a better stretch fabric.

The pockets are so nice and big!

This is a great pattern!  It does take some time to tape it together, but everything matched up well.  I did put a new blade in my serger before sewing this together.  I knew with the bulk and layers of this dress, it would need to be sharp.

The little triangle piece is the reverse of the fabric.  It probably would have looked better if I had kept it right side up since it kind of stands out and almost looks like an opening in the neckline with everything else being so much darker.  Oh well...wearable muslin!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley