Thursday, June 11, 2020

Muscle Up Tank

Greenstyle Creations
Muscle Up Tank
Size Small
Fabrics:  Cotton Lycra from Purple Seamstress

My son has been asking me for a while if I could make him a tank top.  I came across this pattern on the Greenstyle Creations site after having purchased the Moxie shorts (another awesome pattern that I have now made several times)

This is a great pattern to have fun mixing colors.  I can't take credit for this fabric combo though; it was all per my son's request. :)  

You can make this without the hood and there is a lower cut line on the front pattern piece for that should you choose to just add the neckband.

I made sure to reinforce my knit with stabilizer before attaching the grommets for the drawstring.  Before stitching the hem on the hood, I basted my drawstring down with white thread so I could see where the edge of the drawstring was.  This way I could then use my cover stitch machine, ensuring that I would not sew over my drawstring.  My grommets were too small to be able to thread my string through with a safety pin if I waited till my hood was completely constructed.  I need to buy the 15/32 size before I make anymore shirts for him.  For this hood, I used my 1/4" grommets.

I have a Brother CV3550 and purchased a binder for it a while ago but just now decided to take the time to figure it out.  It is quite intimidating just to look at, but don't let that scare you.  Since this was for my son, I decided to finally figure it out and I'm thrilled with the results.  I found it best to cut the binding fabric piece longer than the pattern suggests, by at least another 6 inches.  I would rather waste a little then come up short.  When I thread the fabric thru my binder, I like a good 3 or 4 inches to get my stitching started before I slip my shirt fabric in between the binding folds.  This way I can make sure I have fed my fabric correctly, the fabric is folding at the end of the binder as it should, as well as checking to make sure my machine is stitching well.  Once this is all good, it's smooth sailing at this point.  You don't have to stretch or pull on anything but just guide your shirt fabric through and also keep an eye on the tail of your binding piece to make sure it hasn't somehow shifted and folded.  I have very pointy tweezers that help to grab and slide the binding fabric through the binder.

And another pair of Moxie shorts...

This pair was for one of my daughters and I was so pleased to get the stripes all aligned.  This print fabric was purchased from the Fabric Fairy.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Sinclair Ivy

Sinclair Ivy Tee
Size Sm US4 petite

Ottobre Leggings 5-2016-9
Size 38

Fabrics used:  Cotton Lycra from Purple Seamstress
Rayon Spandex from Joann's Fabrics

I did not make any adjustments to the top, but next time I will make a forward shoulder adjustment.  The neckline is high to begin with, but with an adjustment, it will be more comfortable to me.  I should have done this since it is necessary on all tops I make.

I really love the back pleat.  This is the perfect kind of top to wear over leggings.  With the Florida heat, I retraced my Ottobre leggings pattern and cut them at 12.25 inches below the crotch curve, hemming by 1 inch.

The curved hem may be a little tricky to a beginner because there is an inch of fabric to turn under, which can be fiddly when sewing with rayon spandex.  If you turn up an inch and just start right at the crease with a little bit of steam, you can gradually move your iron up to flatten the fabric.   I kept my hem at an inch vs turning to make a narrower hem and used my cover stitch machine.  I found that if I put a small piece of interfacing right at the edge of my hem, it helped me to have an easier start with my machine.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Sewing outside of my comfort zone

Ottobre Woman 2-2019
#4 Explorer Pants
#8 Traveller Hat

Simplicity 1366 Cynthia Rowley 
View C Top

I have made something totally different to what I normally wear.  I felt like taking a step out of my comfort zone with my sewing and tried something new to me... I really like the results!

The cami top is pretty simple, so nothing much to elaborate on except this is the first time I have made one for myself.  My fabric is absolutely perfect for it and was an awesome find at Hobby Lobby.  The top is cut on the bias, so takes more fabric to make it than you would think.  The straps are a thin tube of fabric which I thought would be painful to turn, but pattern instructions tell you to use a thread and needle and amazingly, with patience, it worked quite well.  Upon basting the straps in between the fabric and the facing, I discovered I needed to trim 3/4" off to avoid the top from dropping too low.  Not surprising since I always have to tighten up every bra strap I'v had.  
I cut out size 12, grading to a 14 at the hips.  For the narrow hem, I turned up the bottom about 1/2 inch and sewed quite close to the fold, trimmed, and then turned up once more keeping the hem quite narrow and stitched again.  

The pants!!  I'm on a mission to learn fitting with a woven it seems.  I have the book "Pants for Real People" and this helped tremendously!  I bought this book years ago, but at the time, it was really over my head and then it just sat on my shelf for a long time.  I highly recommend this book even if you are just learning to sew.  One day it will definitely be of benefit to you when you are ready to learn more.

I knew immediately that this style of pants would require lowering the waistband.  A high waist does not work on me because then I will have no length in my torso.  In "Pants for Real People," tissue fitting is explained.  In the past I would hold up a pattern against my body and look in the mirror and say, "that looks about right."  Yep.  Well, that is not very effective obviously.  So this time, I followed the book and pinned my paper pattern tissue together and slid my leg into it very carefully.  This will tell you a lot before you even get to working with a muslin.  I was able to see that fabric would need to be removed below my bottom, requiring the 1/2" tuck.  Also, I was able to mark on the tissue where I wanted my waistband to be attached so it wouldn't swallow up my torso!

My alterations:

Removed 10" from length because I am short!  ha ha  (5'1)
1/2" tuck on back from waist to hem
Lowered back waist 1" tapering to 2" at the front
1/2" full derriere
1/4" bottom scoop
full thigh adjustment of 1/4" to top inseam on front pattern piece only
Removed 5/8" from height of waistband pieces.
My elastic measurement was 16.5 inches.

Fabric is an indigo twill from Fashion Fabrics online.

And I made myself a hat!

The brim on this pattern is very, very wide.  After sewing and top stitching my brim, I cut two inches off so I could see from underneath it and also so I wouldn't have it lying on the back of my neck.  Then I was faced with what to do with the raw edge left.  I still had some white twill left over that I cut my hat pieces from and made some bias binding to finish the edge.

Embroidery design is from Embroidery Library 
Blossoming Bohemian Flower Spray

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Burda Style Cargo Pocket Pants

Burda Style Magazine
12/2009 #116
Cargo Pants

I love a good pair of cargo pocket pants!!  I bought this issue of Burda Style specifically to make them.  Then it took me about 5 years to get around to sewing them up.  I wish I had not waited so long, but they are quite an investment of time.  I knew that I had to make a muslin, which turned into another muslin, and additional tweaking before I was satisfied with the fit.

My alterations list:

Extend front waistband by 1 inch. (I like having more fabric to work with than what a pattern usually allows)
Raised the knee by 1 inch (I'm 5'1)
Lowered front waist by 5/8"
Added fly front to pattern
Added 1/4" to back pattern for full thighs
Straighten center front to gain width in waist (not needed and now a little too big)
Moved button hole inward by 1/2" on large pocket flap
Added 1/2" wedge at the back crotch for full derriere
Scooped back crotch
Sewed waistband @ 5/8" seams to reduce some height
Removed 2.75" from length
Hemmed by turning up 5/8" and then 5/8" again
Sewed belt loops into waistband

I love the curved back yoke detail.

The cargo pocket instructions on the lower leg are terrible!  I also missed the instructions to cut 2 side pocket fold pieces AND didn't have enough fabric left to cut them with the added seam allowances.  However, I'm very happy with how they turned out and if I make them again, I will make them exactly the same.  If I had added the s/a to the side pocket pieces, my pockets would have been much fuller.  Being short, I don't need my pockets to flare out that big.

If you make these and need a little help with the pockets, here are some visual aids.  I don't know if my way is what Burda Style intended with their instructions because I gave up trying to make heads or tails of them. 

I have paired by pants with Jalie 2682.  Pants fabric is brushed twill and the top fabric is DTY, both from

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, March 13, 2020

Athletic Wear

Greenstyle Creations Moxie Shorts
& Xpress Tank

I'm showing the back view first because these are the features that I love!

My daughter has some RTW shorts very similar in design and style, but with a large price tag attached to them.  However, these are relatively inexpensive to make since they require little fabric.

These are not difficult to make but do take a bit of time when making the bias binding.  I'm so glad that I came across this pattern company--the shorts are very unique in construction and the assembly instructions are well written.  I did not make any alterations to the shorts and I'm very happy with the fit.  These are made from stretch twill purchased from the Fabric Fairy.  The waistband and add-on compression shorts are both made with cotton lycra from The Purple Seamstress.

It's hard to see with the navy blue fabric, but both sides of the shorts have a deep pocket. 

When sewing the shorts pieces together, you end up with one very long piece of seamed fabric that you sew your binding too.  Next you sew your crotch seam and fold your shorts in a way that the upper back overlaps the lower back.  At this point you can either stitch them together or place bar tacks to hold them together, which I chose to do.

The shirt pattern is only one piece.  The shoulder seams are sewn and then you hem all around the edges, which I did using my cover stitch machine.  Turning up the hem is the only time consuming part of construction.  Pretty basic top obviously, but I've seen similar in stores.  This is an inexpensive make since it only requires 1 yard of fabric!  Fabric purchased from Hobby Lobby.

Here is another set I made--Xpress tank with the rounded back option and Moxie shorts without the add on compression shorts.

The top is made from an ITY which feels so nice and cool.  I've started riding my bike most mornings and it is perfect to keep me from getting too hot in this Florida weather.  However, because the top is not tied in the back, whenever you bend forward, all the fabric falls forward.  So, keep that in mind if you make this option.  

Without the shorts add on, these are ideal for wearing over my padded bike shorts.  I'll definitely be making more.

In case you are wondering, I'm wearing a Puma sports bra underneath.  I found them at Costco and they are sold with two in a box.  At the time, they were on sale for about $11.  I bought one box and went back the next week and bought another box.  They are really comfortable.  So comfortable that the next time I go to Costco, I'll pick up two more.

Here are my embroidery makes since my last blog post:

Bohemian Dream Catcher from Embroidery Library

Woodland Bouquet Bicycle from Embroidery Library

 Urban Threads Aries

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Simply Forest Critters Applique Quilt

Pattern:  Designs by JUJU #1446

This was another quilt as you go method baby quilt.  The quilting was done with a variety of sashiko inspired quilt blocks, also by JUJU.  This is a method that is all done while in the embroidery hoop!  

I also included this little Ohana, Duke the Puppy, stuffie for brother.

I made this for one of my girls!  It's from Embroidery Library, Moon Kitty, in the 5x7 hoop.  The frame is from Hobby Lobby.  

I'm currently sewing up some athletic wear for myself using Greenstyle Creations patterns.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Easter Alphabet Quilt

Here is a quilt I made for a precious little one for this Easter.  The applique letters are from Designs by JuJu, as well as the fonts, which I have listed below if you are interested.

This is my first time using the method "quilt as you go."  I'm really pleased with the results.  With all the embroidery stitches, it would have been tedious sliding this around the machine to quilt.  Instead, I was able to free motion quilt each block.  This part was so much fun.  There wasn't a lot of free space around each letter, so the stippling was quick and I was able to do it over a weekend.

I don't think I have ever wanted to photograph the back of a quilt before.  This time I'm not afraid to show it; it turned out so pretty.

I have Embrilliance Essentials software, which provided a way for me to do some creative work for the corner squares.  I'm not very tech smart, but I find Embrilliance very user friendly.

I simply copied over the bunny, egg and flower designs and added some pretty fonts.

Here are some notes on my actual quilt construction, as well as pattern and fonts purchased from Designs by JUJU.  I'm detailing my construction notes in case I want to recreate this style quilt again.  I really struggle with quilting math, but this worked for me.  I really cut it close with my fabric because when I purchased it, I didn't have any idea what my sizing would a little bit of winging it happened.

Fabric purchased from Missouri Star Quilt Company:
Meredith Charm Pack
Meredith flowers Ivory, 2 yards
2 yards of Kona Cotton white, 1 yard of petunia, and 1 yard of gumdrop

JUJU Designs:
Egghunt Easter Alphabet
Behind Green Eyes font for the name
Farmhouse Lemonade for Here comes Peter Cottontail
Carried Away font for date and Elegant Easter Motif 2 for the Cross

Cut 10 x 10 squares of white Kona cotton to do embroidery applique, using medium cutaway stabilizer
Resized squares to 7.5 x 7.5 for free motion stippling (this gave me an area to start and stop in if I needed to.  Sometimes stippling can be tedious and it's nice to have an area to rest it in)
Trimmed to 6.5 x 6.5 for quilting

Front Sashing Strips:
4 strips x 2 inch width-- cut into 7 inch pieces
9 strips x 2 inch width-- left width of fabric

Back Sashing Strips:
4 strips x 1 inch width-- cut into 7 inch pieces
5 strips x 1 inch width-- left width of fabric

4.5 inch strips WOF x 4 for border back
4.5 inch strips WOF x 4 for border front

5x5 inch fabrics for letters
Resized W & V to fit on 5 inch fabrics
Used tearaway for dense areas outside of letters like bunnies and flowers
Used WSS over bunny faces to make jump cuts easier without risking snipping threads underneath

Starched all fabrics during embroidery and quilting

I bought myself a mini cricket press and it is wonderful!  It is great to use when pressing applique  while still in the hoop.  It heats up very quickly.

In addition to this quilt, I also did a little sewing for myself.  Jalie Alex for me in Sew Lush fabric from Joann's.  I also made the Jalie Yoga pant to match.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley