Friday, January 31, 2014

Ottobre Velour Pants & Raglan T-shirt

Ottobre 4/2013
#32 Remainder velour pants Size 128
#33 Ruler raglan T-shirt Size 128

 I love these 2 patterns!  These pants scream softness and comfort.  I used a black velour fabric for the pants, which I think I purchased from the Fabric Fairy a few months ago.  These have been on my To-Do list for a while now.  My daughter loves her yoga-style pants, but I needed to find something that would be warmer in the winter--huge score!  She loves them!  They are such a nice fit.  

I haven't sewn with velour but one other time, and I found it to be very easy to work with, but a little linty.  Since there is some stretch to it, I did use a ball point needle, as well as my walking foot to ensure even feed of my fabric.  The pocket facings are made from jersey knit, which was easy to sew to the velour.  I finished all seams with my serger.

I cut the tie strap from a lycra cotton, which proved to be difficult to hold a crease with ironing.  I used pins to hold the folded edges and then used a zigzag stitch instead of double stitching.  I thought a straight stitch would be more difficult to control, and the zigzag was quick and hardly noticeable.  I basted the waist casing from the inside of the pant to make sure I wouldn't catch the elastic or miss the edge of my fabric, and then turned it to the right side and used my twin stretch needle to sew my double seam.

I used a small piece of woven interfacing behind the button holes, which worked beautifully.

The raglan shirt was made from a thermal pig print knit.  I used a strip of the velour for the neckband.  It worked okay, definitely not as good as a jersey.  I am running low on my black jersey and need it for another project.  I didn't want to chance shorting myself, so just used the velour.  I also wanted something super soft around the neck area (this thermal knit is not very soft) and a way to tie the two pieces of clothing together.  My daughter loves pigs, so when I saw this fabric a while back, I grabbed it.  I can't remember where I bought it now.  Another reason to start logging my fabrics in when I receive them!

This entire outfit was made in 4 hours, with the exception of cutting out the pants the day before.  This is definitely a pattern that I will be coming back to a lot. Size range is 128 to 170, and with my daughter wearing a 128 at this time, we're covered now for a few years to come!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2 More Penny Pinafores

 I am really enjoying the Penny Pinafore pattern!  This time I made a tunic top for myself.  I purchased these knits from Girl Charlee fabrics.  I noticed the retro flower print a while ago and knew that I wanted to make something with it and this was the perfect pattern choice.

I definitely wanted another dress length too.  Actually, the mini is just above the knee for me since I am 5' 1".

The next Penny I make, I will trace it onto my Swedish Tracing paper.  It is a "keeper!"

It was my son's turn for sewing, so I made him his favorite Imke hoodie shirt by Farbenmix.  I love the Gothic Crosses fabric, which was also a Girl Charlee purchase.

Tomorrow I need to focus on some hand embroidery.  I'm still working on my son's Ships Quilt, and it is taking me a long time.  I need to put it on my sewing outfit, a ship, an outfit, a ship! Otherwise it will take me years to complete!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Keeping Organized with a Sewing Journal

This week I had two projects--another Ottobre 3-piece outfit for one of my girls and beginning a sewing journal to help me keep track of my projects with fabric references and cost.  Once you determine that something works really well, i.e., fabric type, pattern, etc., it would be nice to have that information easily accessible to duplicate the process again.  I always think I'll remember what I bought a fabric for or even what type of fabric it was, but once I have moved onto my next project, all those thoughts are gone in a flash!  I have seen other sewing journals online, but I wanted something more basic.  I don't want it to be too time consuming because I would much rather invest my time in sewing and not paperwork.  I like what I have put together so far, and perhaps this might give someone else a good place to start too.

I purchased a 3-ring binder and made a simple document in Word.  I attached my fabric samples first to an index card and then attached that to my form.

So my first project to test out my journal is another outfit from Ottobre 1/2009.  I made it once already here. The skirt was a tiny bit too big in the waist, so I removed the seam allowances from the 128 size.  I couldn't go down a size since that is the smallest size for this pattern.  I love how fast an outfit goes together after you have already sewn it before.  This is actually my third time since I made this outfit for my other daughter as well.  She doesn't like the little layered top (nothing with any type of horizontal seam unless it is at the waist). So the snug look of it did not appeal to her tastes at all!

I found a free crochet slouchy hat pattern online by crazysockscrochet!  I thought it would be fun to make hats to match our outfits.  I have made 3 this week!

I started lining my girls' skirts.  I just don't like to see their skirts clinging to their legs when they walk.  It is really easy to line a skirt!  It especially makes the hem quicker too when you sew the lining to the shell fabric.  This I learned when I attached the lining to my son's duffle coat and thought I would do this with their skirt.  I don't know if RTW skirts are lined this way, but it definitely works for me!  I did have to hand stitch the lining under near the zipper.

and here is the other outfit I made without the layering top....

Super cute as a 2-piece outfit...and the hat I made to go with this one is pink with a purple band trim!

Fabrics used:  Navy poly cotton twill, crushed jersey knit, stretch Hatchi knit Graffiti stripe (

Now on to sewing something for me.  I decided that I get an outfit in between sewing for my kids. :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Penny Pinafore

Kitschy Coo Penny Pinafore
made with Girl Charlee Fabrics

I love this dress!  It took me longer to assemble the PDF pattern and trace it than it did to sew it up!  The instructions for this pattern are so well written.  If you are new to sewing knits, you can definitely jump right in and learn how to do it with this pattern.  I especially like how well-fitting the neckband is.

I see some wrinkles at the back, so I guess that means I need to learn how to make a swayback adjustment.  I got Nancy Zieman's Pattern Fitting book for Christmas, and I feel confident I can do this now.  That will be my next sewing goal for myself to get this dress pattern to fit me better.  I will definitely be making this again and again!  I like that the pattern comes in tunic, mini, or knee length.  This is the mini length on me.

I had seen this pattern on other blogs, and everyone had such nice results with it.  The selling point for me though was the fact that I could also purchase the pattern in a size for my girls.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Duffle Coat

Ottobre 6/2012
Klassikko Pattern #40
Size 152

I have been anxiously waiting for the buttons to come in to finish my son's coat!  They finally came in yesterday, and I put them on last night.  I actually finished his coat nearly 2 weeks ago!  I am so happy with the finished product.  I used a wool blend coating black/white for the shell and black China silk polyester for the lining, as well as black flannel.  It has shoulder yokes, patch pockets, zipper with wind flap, 3 toggle buttons, and an awesome British-style hood attached.

I love all the topstitching on this coat.

I purchased the toggle buttons where they were already put together as a set.  In Ottobre, the supplies are for buttons, as well as cotton cord to make your own.  I wanted the ends to look finished like the duffle coats in the store.  

If I make another coat like this again, I will definitely buy a better quality lining.  I went for the cheap stuff.  I sure hope it holds up.  For some reason one of the sleeve linings gave me difficulty easing it into the jacket, so I had to redo it a couple of times.  That caused the fabric to weaken in the cap sleeve.  I guess that would happen no matter what quality fabric, but I'm sure it didn't help any.  Flannel is used for the back yoke and the front area of the coat only.  Overall I was able to follow the instructions pretty well.  I got stuck at the point where you join the sleeve lining to the shell.  Oh my goodness!  I really was sweating it and was concerned that it would not come together ever at this point.  Once I had that lightbulb moment, I wrote down a note to myself so I would remember how to do it again.  Here it is in case it helps you if you have the same problem:

wrong side to wrong side and put the lining sleeve overlapping folded up hem of shell sleeve.  Sleeves are pulled out from inside of the shell and lining towards middle of coat when working on.  Sew with interfaced hem of shell on top

I took these last 2 photos before I sewed the buttons on.  Now that the buttons are on, you can see the stitching on the inside of the coat.  Ottobre instructions do have you put them on last, so I'm not sure if that can be done before lining so the stitches are hidden.  I guess it doesn't matter.

To sew the buttons on, I placed them on the coat where I wanted them to be and traced around them with white chalk.  I zigzagged stitched them on.  I tried a straight stitch first, but I didn't like how it looked.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Outfit of 2014

Ottobre Woman 5/2008
#2 buttoned denim skirt
Size 34

Jalie 2805
View A
Size R

I was going for something a little nautical looking....

Yep, it's winter and here I am modeling my outfit for summer!  Oh well.  In the pattern magazine they show it being worn with leggings and it looked super cute.  Maybe I just don't have the right shoes, but with tights it just didn't look right on me.  My daughter took the photos and she got embarrassed because people in coats were staring at me!

This skirt is high on the waist, so this is a little different than I am used to.  It was fairly easy to make.  Topstitching the waist was a little tedious since it is made from stretch denim.  I put a strip of interfacing on the seam allowance that was turned under before stitching it to the skirt front.  It helped to stabilize it when sewing.  First though, I had to take out my stitches when I had some buckling of the fabric.  The interfacing did the trick!  I love all the topstitching.  I lined the pockets.  I find this is easier to do than having to turn under seam allowances.  Plus it feels nicer when you put your hands in your pockets.

My belt seemed a little wider than my loops.  I guess I got something not right there.  It's minor though.

I like the Jalie top.  It is the first time I have used the pattern.  I might scoop out the neckline a little lower next time; it does feel kind of high.  I like it with this skirt style.

thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Favorites from 2013

I thought I would take a moment and show you some of my favorites from 2013!

This is one of my favorite dresses.  I made this when I was nearing the end of my chemotherapy.  How do you like my $4 hat? LOL  I don't know why I chose this time to really challenge myself with this Ottobre pattern; it was pretty tough for me because I still didn't have steady hands.  I had a meltdown when I hit one of my buttons with the machine needle, and my husband immediately drove me to the fabric store and picked out even better buttons!  He is an amazing man and I am so happy that he is my husband.  We are approaching our 18th wedding anniversary.

This is another favorite of mine.  I love this skirt...and I have hair again!  I didn't plan the length very well and made a very narrow hem, which requires major pressing with the iron before I wear it so it won't curl up on me.  I will definitely be making this again but with a wider hem.  

This is such a great shirt!  My son LOVES his penguins, so I grabbed this fabric when I saw it on Girl Charlee.  This shirt is one of my favorite patterns out of the "Sewing Clothes Kids Love" book by Farbenmix.

I wear this coat all the time!  I wish I had lined it with regular lining fabric instead of flannel, but my knowledge and coat-making skills are improving.  It is my new addiction with sewing.

Love, love, love, this My Little Pony coat I made for my daughter.  She is so thrilled with it and was right along side me during the planning stages.

And the puppy coat!  I love how the personalities of my girls are really showing through with their choice of clothing.

This year I am looking forward to making some fitted tops and dresses, something I was unable to do this past year and really missed.  I will be having  breast reconstruction surgery around April/May time frame, so once that is complete, sometime in the Fall, I will be able to sew fitted clothing again.  Not knowing future breast size, I didn't want to sew up too much that would ultimately not fit me.  Initially I will have expanders put in.  My measurements will be smaller, which I'm actually looking forward to--no FBA in my future! ha ha  Since the Big 4 pattern companies are based on the average size B cup, I may not have to make any pattern alterations at all...wouldn't that be grand!

Here's to a great year ahead and thank you so much for visiting my blog!  I have so much to be thankful for.  Thank you God!

~ Shirley