Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kwiksew 2605 Kid Swimsuits - Again and Again and Again

I’ve made this swimsuit too many times to count. The first time I made it was in 2009 when my girls were four and I sized down the pattern to a size three (skinny kids). Now, I’m making the size seven (seven! how did they get so big?). The version I have only goes to size 7 but I was lucky enough last year to stumble across the larger version too so now I can make lovely swimsuits al the way to size 14. This is a great Speedo-like swimsuit. There is a second version with contrast panels. I’ve never made that but I think it would be great if I could find some contrasting fabric that looks good together.

I made four swimsuits; two, one-piece suits and two, two-piece suits. I was afraid they would be too big because the girls are a bit on the small side and not yet seven. Here are awesome Vogue poses. I covered their faces because there are some weirdo creepers out there. I bought this fabric a long time ago from eBay.

Weirdo kid pose #1.



Weirdo Pose #2
The twinleys love them. We had Swimsuit Dance Party.


Weirdo Pose #3
The two-piece version seems to cover everything nicely.


I used my sewing machine to do all the stitching because the serger threads seem to break all the time and the zig-zag stitches seem to never break.

We are gearing up for our March cruise!!!! I need some swimsuits too!!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

BAM. Leopard Print Dress. January Burda Challenge

I really meant it when I said I was going to make a leopard print dress. There are some big changes from the original pattern to what I did with it. First, it was meant for a woven and I was using a knit. So, I decided to go down a size. The smallest size of this dress, as drafted, was a size 34 (my real size) so I graded it down a bit to a 32. Also, the original dress has a zipper (gone!), lining (gone!), an underarm gusset (gone!), and numerous facings (gone!). I’m really happy with my version. Where will I wear it? No idea. Maybe on our cruise in March. Probably to school with flats and a cardigan. Only I will know it’s a glaringly school-inappropriate outfit.
Well, this was an easy dress. It’s only two pattern pieces and it’s super easy to make. I’m not sure I’m even wearing it the right way. The back and front pattern pieces are so close that I’ve tried it on both ways and can’t figure out which is which. Now, where is my Tarzan? Sassy pose, GO.

One side is almost completely ruched down the side (it’s the side without the sleeve, my left side below). The other side has no ruching at all. There are also gathers on the shoulder piece.

I almost always make shorter (above knee-mid thigh) length dresses but I really like how this one is long. I always use the rule: Short, Tight, and Shiny, pick ONE. I chose tight and the print puts it dangerously into shiny-land. I think it’s just knocking on the door to Crass-ville but maybe not through the door yet. Well, at least I think it’s okay. Some may think it’s over the top. I’m okay with that.

I used 1/4” clear elastic on most of the seams as I was serging it. This is the only time I’m successful with this stuff. I can’t seem to use it with my regular sewing machines even when I use all the tricks.

Here you can see me feeding it through the little slot on top of the serger foot.
Other technical stuff: I coverstitched the bottom hem, sleeve, and top of bodice, I left off the underarm gusset because I thought it would add too much ease to the bodice. I’m very happy with it. It adds some fun to winter doldrums.

**edited to add these fun links. I just got an email saying that ITY knits are 30% off. How fun is that? Want some of your own animal print knit? I might have to buy some more too!**

Safari Shimmer Stretch ITY Knit Lynx Spots Natural/Black/GoldSafari Shimmer Stretch ITY Knit Snow Leopard Grey/GoldSafari Shimmer Stretch ITY Knit Animal Mix Gold/Grey Safari Shimmer Stretch ITY Knit Cheetah Black/Grey/GoldSafari Shimmer Stretch ITY Knit Spots Grey/GoldSafari Shimmer Stretch ITY Knit Cheetah Gold/Black

Friday, January 25, 2013

Burda 02-2013 #127 - Raglan Top with Gathers

There are so many great tops in the new February Burda that I had a hard time picking just one. It’s too bad that I didn’t just wait a few days and then make this in February. Then I would have been on track for the Burda Challenge. Drat! Oh well, there are many other options for this magazine.

This is a simple raglan top with sleeves that have gathers.

I made mine out of two different fabrics (obviously). I used a dark gray double knit for the body and a fun stripey sweater knit for the sleeves. I made sure to cut this out carefully so the stripes were exactly the same on both sides.


I think the gathers are slightly easier to see on the back. Not only is it a fun design feature but it gives the raglan top some room to move too. There is a seam in the back of this shirt only because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut it on the fold. I love the stripe fabric. Well, and the solid too. I just love the shirt together. The length is longer like a tunic length. I made a straight 34 with no adjustments and it fits really well. I could have made a teeny swayback adjustment but I think it’s good anyway.


Here are a couple of close-ups of the gathers in the front.

I’ve been sewing like crazy lately. I need to make the January dress before I run out of time too! That will be this weekend’s goal.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Burda Challenge - January - Leopard Print Knit Dress

I decided to participate in the Burda Challenge. You make a Burda garment each month. I decided that I will not be bound by silly thing like years. Instead, I will make a January garment out of whatever year I want. I have about four years worth of magazines to look at. I think for this month, I decided on a January 2012 dress. Why? Do I have a fun party to attend? Am I headed to Vegas? No and no. It’s winter in Alaska, people. I need some entertainment.

What’s funny is that I totally don’t remember this from skimming through the magazine last year. I do remember some of the items in the magazine but not this. This is why this challenge is good for me, makes me go back through and look through my old magazines!



What’s worse, is that I’m going to make it out of gray leopard print knit. Classy, no? This is the Designer Leopard Print knit from (the picture is a link). It’s fun, don’t you think?? Perhaps a tad trashy but overall fun. I plan to use this knit when the pattern calls for a woven. I think I will use a size smaller than I normally do and maybe lengthen the torso on it. I’m worried that the ease for the woven will make the knit just hang off of me. Any ideas from those who have done that in the past?

Designer Sweater Knit Leopard Grey

And hey, I didn’t pick this one. Give me some credit.

Polyester/Lycra Activewear Knit Leopard Black/Pink

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Burda 0006A–Wrap Dress

Back in October (November?) I ordered my copy of the Burda Classics magazine without seeing any information about it. Later, I started to see quite a few posts showing the technical drawings. About a week later, I received a message from Burda saying they had been sold out. At that point, I wasn’t devastated because, after seeing the mostly-jacket-and-fitted-skirt patterns, I decided I didn’t need it anyway. Well, about a month after that, they sent me a magazine. They must have just been kidding about the lack of magazines.

One pattern I did like quite a bit was the Burda wrap dress. I decided to make this in a crazy bright print because I’m tired of winter. Tired.

I quite like it. The shaping with the darts is very nice. I made a size 34 (I didn’t even have to grade the pattern down!) and it fits great. The front is a very low (read: not work appropriate) v-neck. After I looked at the model photo, I should have realized this. Look how they have the two sections of the wrap pinned together to make it higher. I’ll either need to do that with mine or I’ll wear a cami under it. The fabric is a very obnoxious red, pink, black, and white ITY print from I needed something that’s not gray or black. I made the pattern about two inched shorter before I cut it and I like this length much better than the original. I didn’t have enough fabric to make a belt but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. That would be a lot of RED, PINK, BLACK, and WHITE. 

I could have done a much better job matching up the back lines. Oops. I actually did think about it but didn’t really do it. It would have been easy on the back. You can tell I spent some time trying to match the fronts up. I should have lengthened the torso by a half inch or so. It’s just ever-so-slightly above my natural waist.
I have already made one of the tops from the February Burda. I’m so proud of myself!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Burda 10/2012 #118 - Cowl-neck Dress



I’ve loved this dress since I first saw the pattern a few months ago. Several people have made this dress and that made me love it all the more. I made my version out of a gray wool suiting. It’s divine fabric. It has some body but is soft and drapey at the same time. I made a size 34 and it’s about a perfect fit. I had to take it in in the waist a titch but overall the fit is unaltered. 


(edited to add a better picture. This is how I wore it the other day at school when there was actually light! Light helps when you are taking pictures.


This is a more fitted dress than I had imagined.


You can see in this picture that the cowl sticks out a little. I made put a stitch or two in the cowl to “help” it hang better. I did what most other people did and changed the cutting layout so the cowl was on the bias and the skirt was on the straight grain.


Overall, I’m very happy with it. It’s a great work dress; basic and classy. This photo is obviously lightened so you can see the details.


I love these shoes.


I didn’t  line it *gasp* and it’s wool. Personally, I love the warm feel of wool against my skin. Linings make me cold. Instead I pinked all the seams and used hem tape on the sleeves and skirt hem. I hand stitched the hem up using a cross stitch.

This was a super easy dress to make. I started by tracing it out Friday morning and put the finishing hand stitches on this morning. I think it only took me a couple of hours.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Blog Awards–Thank you Ladies!!!

Hi Ladies! It seems like forever since I’ve posted. I had a lot of fun for Christmas Break and just got back into town a few days ago. We spent two fun weeks in San Diego and the sun and nice weather is what I needed to make it through another dreary winter.

While I was gone, I received a couple of Blogger awards. Ahhhhhh, thanks! I know I’m a much less frequent poster lately and I know my sewing has slowed down quite a bit. Thank you faithful followers! :)

I was awarded the Very Inspired Blogger Award by Andrea and Becky. award_1award_2

The rules for this one:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2.  Add The One Lovely Blog Award/Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
3.  Share 7 things about yourself.
4.  Pass the award on to 10 nominees.
5.  Include this set of rules.
6.  Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

Seven things about me (I’m also using this to show you new photos – no, I’m still not over how well this new camera takes photos).

1) I’ve always loved photography and it’s really on my mind right now because I was just given a camera for Christmas. It’s a Canon and I think I’m a Canon whore. I had one in college and I loved it. It was film but I had some nice lenses. Unfortunately, my Mr. Wrong decided he needed to keep it and all my stuff when we got divorced.

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2) I’m not artistic at all. At. All. Really. People are all like, “Wow! you are so artistic! Look what you can make!” And I’m all like, “Ugh, copying something is not artistic.” My father’s side of the family is very artistic and automatically compose shots using the rule of thirds. Me? No. I can copy something if you show me a design. That’s not being artistic.

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3) I’m remarried to a wonderful man. I now know what a marriage is supposed to feel like. Before, it was like two people living their own lives and they just happened to live together. Now, I feel like half of a whole.

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4) I love to run. And run and run. There is nothing so freeing as a good hard run. Wind whipping in your ears, hair coming out of the ponytail, legs hurting, and deep ragged breaths. All good stuff.

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5) I’m not a big fan of the water. It sort of freaks me out. When I’m on a boat in the ocean, I feel anxious. I usually get over it when I’m fishing and having fun but I think about it all the time when I’m out there.

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6) I love Marie Calendar Pot Pies. Love them. I’m weird about them. I’ll wait until I have an afternoon to myself and cook one in the overn (never microwave) and enjoy it by myself. This is super astonishing because I am a very healthy eater. There’s something about the salty goodness, the flaky pastry, and the little bowl that just make me happy.

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Thank you ladies! Let’s see, who to pick?

  1. Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing. She’s so perfect, I hate her. Not really. Well, maybe a tiny bit.
  2. Melissa over at Fehr Trade. She’s prolific and awesome.
  3. J.Kaori Sews. She produces beautiful garments.
  4. Love you Kristine!
  5. Love Angie too!!!
  6. Karen often cracks my shit up. She makes nice stuff too though.
  7. Trena over at The Slapdash Sewist always shows the best tutorials on the adjustments she has made.

I could probably find two more but these are my favorites. I bought a bunch of fabric down in San Diego so I’ll have to show you soon!
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