Monday, April 7, 2014

Sewing for others...

doesn't stress me out as much as I it used to, but it still does to some degree and it does take me longer.

I had a lot of things I wanted to make in March and I as I stated, I had a busy busy month w/work and chorus activities going on too.  So I didn't get 1/2 of what I wanted done and quite honestly, most of it got pushed into April.

1)  Shirts for my husband - I had planned on making 3 shirts total (don't know why I said 3+1 earlier in the month as it was always only three).  The process for this involved retracing out 3484 in a new size as my husband wanted a bit more room then the last shirt had given him.

This basic patter is really quite good and I love the versatility of it!  Not to mention that it makes a good basic structure to add embellishments too.    I made two shirts from the basic pattern itself: first was Green w/leopard print accent.  I actually thought this shirt was pretty fun - but it's probably my husband's least favorite

The under collar is out of leopard print too which I think is a fun little surprise

And I used these Black and white buttons that have a kind of animal print vibe to them.

despite the fact that it wasn't his favorite, my husband did wear this shirt out once already.  

I have all the fabric to make myself a purple version of this shirt, but it's not at the top of my list at the moment.

I did almost the same thing with some brown solid and a cotton w/pin-up cowgirls on it.  My son loves this shirt and would probably steal it if it shirt would fit him.

And, for the third shirt, I used the Kwik Sew pattern but added shoulder yolk pieces and welt pockets from a vintage pattern I have:

This one is everyone's favorite!

I got started with the "Sew bossy" play suite, and got all the pattern pieces traced and muslins made for all of the pieces.  The blouse... well it turned out terrible, but the skirt and shorts fit first try.  but there are other things higher on my priority list at the moment so I've set that aside for now because...

I finally cut into my apple print fabric:

And made great progress on that dress (to take to Viva).  

I think it could still use a little fine tuning on the fit, but overall I'm really happy.  Especially with all the work I put into the collar.

The pattern instructions were really wonky around how the facings are turned to make the button plackets so I had to make it up :-\ and that's probably my least favorite part of the dress.  I'm really happy with everything else - even if my husband does think the apple print is 'too much'

I also spent a LOT of focused time cutting out some additional projects with the goal to get as many of them as possible done before we leave for viva on April 15th. Including this wrap around dress in a green shantung. 

as well as a sun dress out of purple roses and a silk vintage blouse.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Plans

March is going to be an interesting Month... I'm out of town for two weekends and one entire week - and yet I still have a lot of things I would like to complete before the end of the Month.  Viva Las Vegas is coming up quickly and I would like to make my outfits for that to be 99% Me Made!  Plus I've told my husband I would work on a few things for him.

So, the plans look like this...

1)  3 shirts for my husband (and one for me) from Kwick Sew 3484.

I made one of these shirts last year -- it was a mess :)  I've learned a lot since then.  I've got a few fabric combos to make these with various contrast etc (like leopard print) and I'm excited about seeing these come together.

2) a Short sleeved - convertible collar version of this shirt

I'm making the 'western' version w/skulls and roses fabric on the contrast yokes - totally Bad ass :)

3)  My "Play Suit" that won the Sew Bossy Poll

I even bought some fabric just for this

I just have to wait for it to arrive and see if it's actually heavy enough to make a pair of shorts out of.  I should (at least) be able to get a shirt and skirt from it.  In the meanwhile I need to redraft the pattern in my size *sigh*

4)  Pattern Review is doing a Fitted Blouse contest - I'm going to enter that and use this pattern; view C
McCall's 3629
Fabric is still TBD but I'm thinking This from my stash might work out.

this will be extra challenging since I also have to redraft this pattern in my size (darn vintage patterns)

5)  Later in the month we'll be continuing the Marfy Sew-along with the jacket.

I'm going to be making that out of this BEAUTIFUL Raw silk suiting

6)  Oh, and I want to make several of the Meringue Clutch from the Big City Bags sew along, because I want to make this cute little clutch in a rainbow of colors to go with my vintage dresses - I hate carrying a purse at Viva and a clutch is the perfect alternative.


I also need to finish my Albion Coat, finish my husbands's suit coat and I have a ton more vintage dresses in the queue that I want to finish before Viva - no, I'm not ambitious at all!  I wonder if I can figure out how to take some sewing with me when I'm out of town for a week for work.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Look, in the sky! It's a UFO!

So I've been trying to roll through some of my UFO's.  Many of these have been sitting for almost a year now!

Some are projects I dropped because... Squirrel!

Some sat because I couldn't get excited about the hand stitching that needed to be done.  Others sat because I didn't like the way they were turning out and didn't know if it was worth the effort to continue.  Maybe because it's starting to look like spring around here I felt the need to poop or get off the pot on some of these.

The first was an easy fix.  A skirt from Lekala Sewing Patterns.

Skirt With Tail Sewing Pattern #5928
Frankly it was a little advanced for my skills a year ago.  A rather complex pattern w/minimal instructions and no seam allowances.  On top of that I used the wrong fabric and the wrong thread...

Amazingly enough I ended up with a skirt I rather liked - though it took me a year to put a button on it (don't ask me why).

The fabric is a green cotton... almost a soft burlap - hard to describe.  It didn't have the drape this skirt deserved but as I said I kind of enjoy the hard/soft contrast of it.  As for the pattern.  It's great!  Well drafted and fit me perfectly - which is important since with all those pieces I wouldn't have known where to even start to make adjustments.

And in case you didn't know - Lekala is a pattern company that custom drafts patterns based on your measurements.  And with skirts I have great luck with them.  I've only tried one top and had issues with the fit - but as I said, it was a year ago, these are not 'easy' patterns and my skills have come a long way.  Plus in the past year Lekala has added additional measurements to their order form so I'm willing to give it another go.

The next UFO was a top.  I started it last April/March

The goal was to make Mccall's (M6648)

 this beautiful floral shirting I found recently at

The problem was - hand sewing - TONS of it and a finished project I wasn't sure I liked.

The sleeves are HUGE and it leaves a LOT of ease --

As you can see the arm scythe reaches half way down my body.  All that fabric was making me feel like I was downing in this top.  But I finished it.. wore it for a while, took some photos, modeled it for my husband and... it's passable.

I would, however, like to point out the pattern matching on the front...

 I'm not sure I NEEDED to be that anal and it might have been better to break up the pattern now that I've made it up.. but I'm proud of how well it turned out.

And the last UFO.. well it's still a UFO - I'm just not sure I like it and I'm not excited about completing it.

what I don't like is how the front draping doesn't follow the same line as the kneckline... I may play with it and see if I can fix it, but until then I'm not putting on the sleeves...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sew Bossy!!

Do you want to boss me around?

Want to tell me what to sew?

Well here's your chance.  As part of the Monthly stitch we've been asked to let someone else pick the next project and so I present you with three choices - all Vintage because 1) I need stuff to take with me to Viva and 2) Because I made a vintage sewing pledge.


Butterick 9348 - a three piece playsuit - so very cute!


Simplicty 1602 - a sheath dress with overskirt

PS:  This pattern has some of the scariest art I've ever seen - Those eyes - they won't stop staring at me!

a simple dress with awesome scallop design - I would make view 1 with pockets because... pockets!

And so, I leave the rest up to you!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A tale of two bags

I've been following along with the bag city bags sew along for two months and I've been loving it.

So far I've made three bags (in two months) and have learned so much!  The added bonus is that I've gotten to use up a bunch of scraps and 'orphaned' fabric that I might otherwise not have used. 

The first bag I made I already blogged about - the fireside bowl bag that I made in with the purple/ladybug fabric. 

As soon as I finished that bag I knew I wanted to make another for my youngest. Since her favorite color is green I did a search of my fabric database to find the right stuff. What I found was a little different and unexpected... A dark green suiting made of wool with a silver metallic thread running through it. 

I had originally bought it (on clearance for $2.99 from to make a skirt but after getting it home didn't really like it for that. But for a bag it was perfect. I also had some green lining material for the inside of the bag that matched perfectly. All I needed was the contrast. For that I dropped by walmart and found a green on green floral cotton that was perfect for $2. 

All together I think it made up into a really cute bag!

I made a few minor changes from the original design suggestions. 

First, I made piping for the trim instead of just using strips of fabric. I just cut bias strips out of the lining and sewed it around some cord I picked up

I love the way this looks and want to try piping all the seams on a bag sometime

I also skipped using hardware for the handle (which I made out of the wool) and just sewed it directly to the bag. And I made the interior pockets out of the wool too to add some interest to the inside. 

The best part of all is that my kiddo loves it

Now this months 'official' bag was a little different. It was called the go go bag. The pattern was an envelope style with a flap, closed with a metal swivel and two zipper pockets. 

I decided to make it out of zebra print twill scraps from the trench coat I'm working on, trimmed with black slipper satin. 

As I was figuring out what was available in my zipper stash, I found a hot pink one and that gave me the idea to do all the top stitching in pink. I then closed the bag with a hot pink button because I didn't want to spend the money on the special heard ware. The end result...

 Well, I think it's marvelous!  

If you are part of the sew along you might note that my accent piece looks a little different then the instructions.  That was a 'happy mistake' of sorts. When I put on the large accent it moved some while I was top stitching and wasn't centered anymore . No one would have probably noticed but me, but it bugged me. As I debated ripping out all the stitching I started playing with the second piece and discovered that by putting it at an angle not only did it hide that the bottom layer was askew but it added visual interest to the whole bag that really played along with the whole zebra print/black satin/ hot pink motif. 

The inside has two pockets. One with a zipper and one patch pocket. ( a design change by me. 

I also made the strap a little longer and eliminated the hardware and attached it directly to the bag. 

Perfect length for my body. 

I have to admit... I love love love this bag and it is now my every day purse. I have never been so happy to drag a purse around with me before!

The ladybug bag gets used daily too; to haul around my lunch and walking shoes. 

And so, all the makes together...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

McCalls 6658

I've been excited about McCalls 6658 since I saw it.

So when I found this light knit fabric at fabric mart I figured it would be a perfect marriage.

It turns out I was right :D

Th pattern went together great, though it doesn't fit together exactly as you might expect.  Yes, I had to read the instructions several times to get it right, but it did come together eventually.  I love the cowl and the overal all drapi-ness of it.  As well as all the room.

It was all that 'room' that did me in.  I looked at the pattern and thought - oh, no need for a FBA - there's so much design ease in this...

What I didn't take into account is that a true FBA also adjusts for length - and somehow, through the photos and the line drawings (see if you can spot the problem)

I had missed just how short the front of this sweat is.

The seamstress is not amused

I mean really...

If I hemmed this it would hit me just at my beltline.  While on some tops that might be perfect but on a drapey capey sweat wrap thingy... :(

It needs more length.  That being said, I've spent two weekend mornings bumming around in this thing.  I love that it doesn't have real 'sleeves' so I can work with it on and still feel like I'm wrapped up in a blanket.

I don't think I need two of these, so I doubt I'll make another, but I'm glad I scratched the itch and finally made something from this pattern.