Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kitchen Cabinet Redo

No, I know it’s not sewing but I figured I’d show you what I’m doing instead of sewing right now. Bear with me as I remodel and paint-fy the house.

My kitchen is not big by any means but it sure has a lot of cabinets. You guys probably remember the post about the weird-ass kitchen window. Well, I took all your suggestions to heart and I’m going to have a guy come out and give me a price for creating a one-way mirror. I figure if they cut and tint the glass, I can have a fancy frame made that will make it look more like a mirror. I’m no good at trim work, otherwise, I would do it myself.


You can see from my bathroom post that the painted cabinets came out looking great. I’m using the same Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit to redo the kitchen. I figured since there were so many cabinets I would do sections instead of the whole thing. I’m choosing to do this section first. The pantry cabinets are huge and cumbersome. There’s the damn kitchen window. I’m also pondering making the shelves glass inside the weird window. I need a stainless microwave too. Everything else is stainless. I was hoping to have it installed above the stove but there are certain rules about installing things about a gas stove. I’m still trying to figure that out.


Before I did anything, I made a little a map so I wouldn't mix up the hinges. Old cabinets and hinges are persnickety and I didn’t want to try to move the hinges to holes where they don’t belong. I didn’t have to mark the cabinet doors because all six are unique. The two large ones have arches and they each have hinges holes on one side so it’s easy to tell them apart. The bottom ones I could tell from the hinges holes and the placement of the door handles.



Then I marked the hinges with a grease pencil The grease pencil writes on metal, wood, and glass and just wipes off later. As it turns out, this was all for naught because I ended up leaving these hidden hinges on while I painted. They were too complicated to remove and not all that hard to tape off. I’d rather be over-organized and prepared than under.


It’s a slow process but it’s coming along!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Simplicity 3503–Gathered Dress

Is this not a cute pattern? I finally bought it after all you bad people out there made the dress. There are 92 reviews over at and I had to join the party. I want to say I love it but there are a couple of issues.

I made version B (short length, v-neck bodice, cut-on sleeves) in a size 8. My measurements are closer to the 10 but there is a lot of wearing ease in this one!


Here’s the front and I mostly like it. The fabric is a little washed out (I need to find a better spot with less direct sun) but it looks like stained glass. I bought it from back here. I love this batch of ITY I bought from them.


It’s hard to see in these crap-tastic photos but the bodice is a cross v-neck on the front and the back. Because I’m so awesome, I decided it would be a good idea to add elastic to the edge of the bodice pieces to keep my girl bumps inside the dress. Well, good idea gone bad. The elastic is too tight so it makes the bodice pull on the front and the back, not awesome. Man, these are bad photos. I may go search for a better spot on my lawn. Usually the problem is too little light in Alaska, now it’s too much. What new hell is this??? Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Just kidding. Being dramatic is fun.


However, it was sort of a good idea. Look at my not-visible girl parts in this random camera-timer-oops-shot. See anything? No, you don’t.


Here’s one thing at worries me about the dress. It fits around my girl bumps but then I have armpit sag? It’s not really all that noticeable because of the crazy print but I see it very clearly. If the pictures were better, you could see them too. If you look at the above pattern picture, the shoulders are gathered. I’m wondering if I moved the gathers toward the CF, then the gathers would be more distributed along the bust and less in, well, my armpit.

I’ll go see if I can find a better spot for photos.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jalie 3024 - Dress Hybrid

I’ve made this Jalie dress three times before (time 1, time 2, time 3). I’ve always made the boatneck top. This time I wanted the cross front but I wanted sleeves too. Anchorage has been chilly-willy this summer so I wanted some sort of sleeve.  I figured it wouldn’t be very hard to combine the cross front with the sleeves from the other version.


I think it turned out nicely. The only thing I would have done differently is to add an inch to the bottom of the bodice so the band stays under The Girls. If you read this blogpost, I said I added an inch to the bottom of the pattern piece. Well, I should read my own shit because I didn’t write myself a note anywhere to add an inch on it. Gahhhhhhhhh. I irritate myself sometimes. So this dress is a little snug in the bodice. (Why does my camera keep making my chest a sea of bright white?? It’s not like it’s bright here but my pictures keep turning out crappy. I’m sure there is some setting I’m missing.) I really like the length of the sleeves.


Nothing exciting here, just the back. This fabric is from the San Diego swap meet I talked about here. There is a bunch more of this fabric so you’ll see it again in the future.


Here’s how I did it. I traced the original pattern piece (without the stupid extra inch!) onto another piece of paper but I traced it as if I wasn’t going to put it on the fold.


Then I took my copy (without the stupid extra inch!) on top of the cross front pattern piece, matching the side seams and the CF. I found the same size (I think size S) and traced where the cross intersected my pattern.


Then I compared them just to make sure they would work. This is with the CFs lined up. To make the dress, I cut two of the cross pieces and used the original for the back piece.


Hope that’s helpful for anyone wanting to do the same modification. I’ll probably do this again in the next day or two and add the stupid one inch to the bodice. Gahhhhhhhhhhh. I might have to make it in a fun stripey since I currently have so much fun fabric. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Jalie 2682 - Sleeveless Knit Top

I made this shirt quite a bit back in 2007. I made it for my twins and myself several times. I had a one-yard chunk of fabric from San Diego and decided to whip out this tried and true pattern and make a different kind of version. My other ones where mostly fleece and had high cozy factor. This one is very different from those. I added about an inch to the under bust seam because, on my blue fleece version, I was always pulling it down under my boobs. The addition of the inch seemed to do the trick but then it sort of hung off the ladies like a shelf. To stop the “shelf look,” I added two tucks under the bust. IT would also be fun to do some gathering there or add a dart to the bodice piece? My mind is all over the place because I just read about the One Garment, Many Looks thread over at Think how this would look with gathered shoulders or a gathering tie on the bodice top above the bust but below the shoulders.

This is a size R (women’s size 4) with the length of a size T.


Here you can see the two tucks from the outside. I did this after it was completely sewn. I just tried it on, pinned the tucks and then sewed them down with a few stitches. I guess it’s the same as added a bust dart? Here’s the inside.


Here the inside of the same tuck. I’m not sure what I’m working on next. I think there is some teal rayon lycra knit that is calling to be made into a fun summer dress.


I don’t think I actually blogged about these so I’m including the pictures here and a teeny bit of information. The little ones are size F (size 2T) and the brown paisley, blue, and pink adult ones are for me. I may have to make some more of these for my kids. They loved them and wore them out.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Window Shopping - Maybe Knockoffs?

I love Athleta.

I’m also loving my sweatshirt/hoodie shirt from the other day. I’m thinking it would be super simple to knock-off a couple of these Athleta hoodies using my new KS hoodie pattern. I really like that hoodie and have already managed to wear it two or three times since I’ve made it. This the Stripelicious Hike Hoodie. I love the mixing of the different stripes. Of course. It looks super slouchy and cute on the model too. The front of the hood comes together to form an almost cowl-neck.




I also like this Paradise Hoodie. It’s very similar to the KS pattern too except the shoulder seam has been moved forward. That’s easy enough to do.



My favorite is the Riviera Hoodie. It has some details my pattern does not but they would be easy enough to add. One is the drapey sides, check. Another is the drawstring at the hood, check. The last one is the topstitching on the front of the v-neck. I highlighted it in yellow below. I think this is called the top cover stitch?? I can replicate this easily enough with my three-thread coverstitch. So, CHECK!


I have a Jalie top to show you soon. I should be able to hem it tomorrow.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Burda 05-2012 #105 Tie-Front Blouse

I was smitten with this top from all the cute reviews over at It’s a basic blouse with back darts, slightly gathered sleeves, and mandarin (is that the right kind?) collar. The other versions of this top in the magazine have front darts. This version has no darts so it is left kind of full in the front. This is the first blouse I’ve made in a looooooong time. This fabric is from and wasn’t actually bought that long ago (go me!). I made the Burda size 34, which is my typical up top size. I had to grade the pattern down just a little bit as the smallest size is a 36.


There’s basically just two layers on the front bodice and you tie the outside top together. It’s perfect for this fabric since it’s a bit sheer.
b_0512_105_1 still has it in these colors for $2.99/yard. The top left one is mine. I ‘m also partial to the bottom left one.
Rayon Blend Burnout Shirting Dots Green/BlueRayon Blend Burnout Shirting Dots Pink/Blue
Rayon Blend Burnout Shirting Dots Blue/GreenRayon Blend Burnout Shirting Green/Pink

I also took a picture of the layer tied behind me. Here my chest is all lumpy looking so I’m not sure what’s going on there. I think it’s also a good way to tie this shirt although you wouldn’t know it from this picture. You can see my right hand side upper bodice piece has a strange wrinkle. It’s like I’m hiding bubble pop in my shirt or something.


Boy, is that giant wrinkle all due to the need for a swayback adjustment? This pattern is supposed to have a CB seam but I decided to cut it on the fold because it was straight. It would behoove me to use the CB seam and take a wedge out of the upper butt section. The shoulders look good here.


Side view, yawwwwn.


Twin rabbits. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bathroom done!


There is still a little work to do. My door knobs are still brass and there is no trim on the floor yet. We have a painter/trimmer coming this summer and he will trim out the doors and floors. I think it’s a big improvement. The area above the toilet is pretty empty but there will be a dark wood cabinet with baskets for little knickknacks. There were not a lot of big expenses. I changed out the light above the mirror and the mirror itself (it became a 4’ wide medicine cabinet). I had to buy the purple paint. I already had the floating shelf, towel hooks, and decorations. The shower curtain is a repurposed king-sized sheet. It is cotton and it had shrunk and it didn’t really fit our bed anymore. 


Here’s the before and after lights.


Here you can see the “shower curtain.” I just made a tube in the sheet and hung it up high. Now there are two shower rods; one down low to hold the vinyl curtain and this one up high which is only about 6” from the ceiling. I think it makes the room look a bit taller.


I know I posted these a couple of days ago but the owl is so cuuuute. The curtain is shades of lavender and brown; perfect for this room.


What I really did want to show you are the honey-oak doors. I used Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations in the Espresso finish. I was apprehensive about it because painted cabinets usually look like crap but these look fantastic! It is labor-intensive because there are four steps to the process but I’m going to do it for my kitchen. This was sort of my test run to see if I liked it. The best part? No freaking sanding. You do have to degloss all the cabinets but it wasn’t hard (more like a good cleaning) and didn’t take too long. I know it’s hard to see exactly what they look like but, believe me, they look nice and I’m picky about that sort of thing.

Sewing soon!!!