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

Friday, August 1, 2014

Making our own leggings!

Yesterday I discovered how easy it was to make our own leggings!  I have tried a couple patterns, but my girls weren't sold on the fit and neither was I.  I try to buy leggings when they go on sale and have stuck to solid colors so they could be worn with multiple outfits.  Another thing that we prefer with RTW leggings is that they only have an inner leg seam.  I finally decided to try tracing a pair of leggings to see if I could get a pattern out of it and I did!  It was very easy and I will show you how I did it.  First, here are a couple of pictures showing how they turned out.

I love the busy print.  I also made her camisole top she is wearing with them.

We always wear our leggings with dresses, skirts or shorts over them.  For the pictures, a couple are without so you can see the fit better.

Vertical stripes--FUN!  A perfect match with the t-shirt we bought this week.

To start, I placed pins in the cruved seam of the legging so I could see the seam better through my tracing paper as well as feel them.  I placed a dot at pin head to help me more accurately trace the curve.  Lay one leg out, flattening the fabric away from the sewn seam, dividing the front side from the back side with the fold.  I traced the front side of the legging, then being careful not to disturb the fold of the fabric, I flipped it and traced the other side, again placing pins in the curved seam.  Once I had TWO tracings, front and back, I taped them together at the straight edge, giving me one pattern piece.  Use a ruler to make sure that the sides where the straight leg seams begin match up perfectly.  If they don't, pattern designs in your fabric won't match up either.  After tracing, add 1/2" seam allowance to the waist (I used 1/2" elastic) and 3/8" (or more) for leg and crotch seam allowance, as well as 1/2" seam allowance for hem.

Next, cut out your fabric.  This legging is traced from a girls medium size, using only 1 yard of fabric.  If the fabric is wide enough, I am able to get 2 sets of leggings out of it.  

Sew each leg piece together at the inner seam.

Put one leg into the other leg piece, right sides together and sew the crotch seam.  

I measured around the waist of the RTW legging and cut my elastic the same size.  I cut 21 inches (an inch beyond what I needed), overlapping each end by 1/2 inch to sew into a circle.  I zig zag stitched the elastic together the direction of the circle.  The elastic seems to stay in place better because you aren't running off of an edge.  Mark your 4 points on your elastic.  I use a sharpie for this.  I use to use pins to do this and one would fall out before I got everything together.  You won't see the marks once it is all sewn.  Mark corresponding points on your legging waist.  Use the front and back seam as 2 points and then just stick a pin on each side edge.

Using my sewing machine (with ball point needle), sew elastic to inside top edge of legging with a zig zag stitch.  I set mine at 4.0 length and width and sewed straight down the middle.  Fold your elastic over and then stitch once again, enclosing the elastic.  I used my coverstitch machine but you can use your sewing machine on a zig zag stitch for that as well.  If you use a zig zag stitch, just make sure you are catching the bottom edge of the elastic in your stitch.  You should not be "stretching" your fabric or elastic at all, as both waist edge and elastic circle should be the same size around.

To finish, I turned up a hem of 1/2 inch (I just eyeballed it) and sewed with a zig zag stitch.  You can change the lengths for shorts, capri, or pant length.  The leggings I traced from were actually shorter than my girls wanted, so I added about 5 inches in length.

All fabrics are cotton spandex.  I think I purchased all yardage from Girl Charlee.  Some are lighter weight than others and they fit just the same.  I made sure all fabrics had a 4-way stretch.

I am so thrilled to be able to make leggings for my girls (and myself soon).  It is great to be able to choose our own fabrics.   I made all of these in just a couple of hours.  I would have spent at least twice as much buying these as it cost to make them.  That's why I sew!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley