Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Sewing

Zippered Bags

I made these zippered bags to hold some Christmas gifts for my girls.  I was so inspired by Pam's at Threading My Way that I had to make some.  Pam has links on her website to tutorials on how to construct these.  The hardest part was finding the fabric I wanted to use.  I found some beautiful Waverly prints at Walmart, as well as a fat quarter for the Paris Print and lining.  One of my girls loves all things Paris related.

You would be amazed at how easy these bags are to make.  They are beautiful.

I also made hand warmers for teacher gifts!

I like how these turned out.  I bought some rice and cinnamon essential oil.  I poured the rice into a big pot, sprinkling with the oil, and stirred it up really well.  I sewed 4 x 4 flannel squares together, leaving enough room for a funnel to still fit to pour the rice in.  I used less than 1/2 Cup of rice per hand warmer.  I used pinking shears to trim the edges, attached twine, and used a cute little Stampin Up mitten design to embellish the punched cardstock.  My children were really excited to be able to hand these out to their teachers.  I made a total of 21, 7 per child.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Holiday Outfit for Me

Jalie Faux Wrap Top, 2910
Size T
ITY Knit

Butterick Skirt, 5566
View A
Size 12
Scuba Knit

Out of all the skirts I have made, I find this one to be a favorite.  The only alteration made was to remove 4 inches from the length, which is standard for me.

There are a lot of darts in this skirt!  In addition to those you see on the overlay, the front skirt piece has a total of 4 and the back piece has two on each side of the zipper.  One thing I like to do when making darts is to decrease my stitch length (to about 1.5 or less on my machine) just as I near the end of the tip of my dart.  This helps me to avoid any bubble or puckering there.  

I also used an invisible zipper.

You may notice that my overlay is also in the opposite direction as the pattern illustration.  I had only a remnant of this fabric and had to flip my pattern piece over to cut out the overlay, making it overlap in the opposite direction.  I was so happy that I had enough fabric to cut this skirt out!  It took me several minutes trying to figure out the placement where it would all fit.

I love the angle of the darts on the overlay!  The pattern has you sew the darts on the overlay on the right side of the fabric, but I didn't do this.  I sewed them like normal darts, which I like.  To me, sewn the other way would look like you did it backwards!  I like style and things unique and different, but I wasn't wanting something that different.

I hemmed the skirt by hand to try to eliminate any visible stitching.  You can still see the hem a little though due to fabric type I guess.  The suggested fabrics are lightweight garbardine, stretch wovens, lightweight broadcloth and lightweight denim.  My scuba knit may not have been the best choice of fabrics because my seams were a little bulky with the layering.  In fact, while I was trimming one of my seams, I was careless and sliced a half inch into my fabric.  I felt sick the moment I did that!  I really love how this turned out and everything was perfect up until then.  Fortunately it is hidden by my blouse.  I did a quick zig zag stitch to mend it.

Another great top by Jalie!  This is a faux wrap top.  There is optional stitching in the ditch where one front piece is over the top of the other so it is held securely.  I only did about an inch at the top.  I did try to stitch the whole seam down, but something just didn't lay right and I removed all the stitching.  An inch worth is sufficient in holding the top together for me.

For the bottom hem, I put my top on my dress form so I could get the double layer of the front turned up together.  Trying to do this as it was lying flat on the table was difficult.

I should have done a swayback adjustment, but it's not too bad on this pattern.  Truth be told, I was tracing and cutting out this pattern while watching an episode of Enterprise and forgot to make any pattern adjustments!  I was just zipping through it and had the fabric cut out before I even thought about it.  You would think pattern alterations would be second nature by now.

I have had such a busy week with trying to sew in between other things.  I also just celebrated my 48th birthday!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Dress

Bustle Style Lolita Dress

Last Thursday my daughter asked me if I would make her a Christmas dress that she could wear to school.  I told her I could look through my patterns to see what I had.  She said, "I know what I want!  I found a DIY dress on Youtube that you can make!"

Here is the link if you are interested.  What a talented young woman who created this!

The video is sped up, but my son showed me a way to change the speed.  Did you know you can do that?  I didn't.  I took my daughter's bust measurement to determine the width of the top bodice piece.  However, I kept the same measurement for the inner top circle of the skirt piece as indicated in the video.  I cut the length of the skirt piece to 20", which worked well for my 12-year-old.

The bustle piece is separate and attached to the top of the skirt.  No buttons, no zipper, no elastic.  This is very easy to make, especially if you are new to sewing.

I purchased the Christmas fabric at Hancock's which was on sale!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Athletic Wear

Jalie 2682
Size P

Jalie 3462 (Cora)
Size O

I love this outfit!  I think the 2 patterns together make an awesome combination.  Having made this twice before, definitely 3rd time was a charm for me.  Previously I used swimwear in addition to dri-fit.  This time I purchased some 4-way stretch active wear from Fashion Fabrics Club.  I like this so much better.  Even though swimwear fabric worked for me, it definitely doesn't stretch as much as this fabric.  In the future I'll just keep the swimwear fabric for, well, swimwear!

So far I think this is my favorite Jalie top pattern  (I have some new ones I have yet to sew up though).  You can make a version of this top without the zipper (V-neck) should you choose.  This time I cut a thin strip of interfacing to stabilize my fabric before sewing the zipper on.

The fabric design of the print dulls a little when stretched as seen here at the calf area.

Next I'll be focusing on Christmas sewing.  I'll be making some red plaid flannel hand warmers to give out as teacher gifts.  I'm also anxious to spend some time making zippered pouches!  I purchased some beautiful Waverly prints last weekend that I plan on using.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Animal Print Dress

Simplicity 1018
Size 12
Alterations:  Forward sloping shoulder
1/2" swayback adjustment
Removed 4 inches from length of skirt
Fabric:  ITY knit from Fashion Fabrics

I was so excited about this dress because all my adjustments worked perfectly.  It felt good on and I liked what I saw in the mirror.  Pictures tell a different story.  I'm not as pleased.  I love the dress, but I think that maybe animal print isn't for me.  I should have taken note of the pattern envelope...all solids for the dresses!  Sigh.

Maybe it's my shoe selection or lack there of.

A belt would help or maybe a solid color sweater to break up this print.

The fit is good though.  Overall, a very simple dress to sew.  I love the princess seams, which you can't see because of my print.  This is a fast dress to make and sewn mostly with my serger.

I did use the same fabric for my neckband.  It seemed a little floppy to me so I folded it forward, covering the neckline seam, and top stitched it down.  It looks better.

I will definitely make this again in a different fabric; I'm sure I will like it a lot better.  I am going to take a break from making dresses and save that for summer-type clothing when I can wear sandals and not have to think so much about matching shoes.

I thought about just photographing this barefooted, but it's too cold outside and I get too many shadows inside my house.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley