Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Finally Up and Running!

I’m not going to lie. My house is in shambles, my purse is missing at the moment, and I have no idea where the moose meat is for dinner. But you know what? My sewing room is up and running and that’s something. I actually made something and it’s cute. It’s a total hack of this type of shirt (from Saks):


I, of course, used my Jalie TNT 2805 t-shirt. It was really easy. And pardon the not smiling. All the other pictures are too fuzzy, not good angles of the shirt, or something else. I’m not sure I’m in love with this print either. And can you tell it was taken by a little person, with a phone, from far away. Siiiigh. This, people, is why I have my own camera (somewhere) and a tripod (also somewhere).



Because I am that lame, I did not take pictures during construction. This is a super easy hack. You just cut it out like normal. Then you eyeball the amount and cut it off the top of the sleeves.


Then, hem or coverstitch the cut-off section of sleeve.


Oh look, directions. It’s easy. Trust. Notes for next time. I will open up the neckline a little and try the 3/4 length sleeves. The fit is nice and the cut-out is about right. I may make it a tiny bit smaller next time.


I probably will only be posting a bit on my blog while I try to organize my new house and deal with the holiday season. Fun fact: We hosted Thanksgiving this year with camp chairs and tables on saw horses. There were 25 people and we ate two turkeys, ham, and a prime rib. (And I got an Instant Pot and I’m in love.)


More later! Promise!

Friday, November 18, 2016


Well, you knew there was big news, right? Well, we found a beautiful house and are in the process of moving!!!! You knew it had to be big to keep me from sewing, right? Here are just a few pictures to let you peek at it. The inside is big, beautiful, and bright. It's also a mess right now. A complete and total mess. I'll be back to sewing as soon as I can. All my sewing items are in one corner of the garage just begging me to be unpacked. 

Isn't it pretty? I absolutely love the birch trees! It also has quite a bit of privacy which I also love. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Stewing in my juices . . . not really . . .

Hello people of the world. :) Many of you have emailed me expressing concern. You guys are so sweet!! To answer some questions for you all.
  1. All is well. 
  2. Yes, I'm fine.
  3. No, I'm not mad/sad/annoyed/pissed about the Rue dress. :) It is what it is and I was "invited not to continue on" for the fourth round. That's okay. I'm NOT heartbroken, embarrassed, or sitting here stewing in my angry juices having a tantrum. I didn't particularly like the pattern, but other people made amazing dresses out of that pattern. Yes, I think there were issues with the pattern, but again, some people made AMAZING dresses even with those problems. 
  4. Yes, there is big news and I'll share when I can. No, I'm not pregnant. Oh, the HORROR. I love my children, but NO. My uterus is on a permanent, well-deserved vacation. 
  5. I've just been REALLY busy. I have managed to sew some in the past couple of weeks. I've whipped up a couple of those new Kwik Sew patterns and I really love them. More on that later. 

On another note, I love the newest Ottobre magazine that came out for kids. It has a lot of of larger kids/ tween patterns which is what I need to be sewing. Here's the tech drawings and a few that I just love so I'm showing you close-ups. I circled the ones I really liked. 

And this top in particular caught my eye. I love the hem, the ruffle, and the applique. I would probably do this as a freezer-paper stencil, but it's pretty much the same thing. The girls are in the 134 size range but with length added for two of them and no length added for the third one. My son is getting closer to that 170 size range. Eep!

I love this cute knit dress. This would be perfect for my girls. 

They have a ton of pull-on pants just like the popular Jalie Eleonore pant. There is even this "slim" sized pattern which is exactly what I need for the twiggy twins. I love this cardigan too. 

I just love the knit tops with fun details. That's my favorite part about Ottobre, really. 

These are great too. My son would love both of these. He's always  cold and wearing long sleeves year round. 

And Ottobre made an announcement on Facebook the other day too. Next year, they will be published seven magazines; four for children, two for women, and a new "family" issue. It will have 10 men's patterns and patterns for the "between tween and adult" sizes. I'm excited to see this new edition. It looks like it will also have some plus sized patterns and some maternity wear. 

And yes, I'll tell you the big news once all is settled and things calm down. :) You may not hear much from me for the next month or two though. Know that I'm okay and having fun!!! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Colette Rue Dress–Sewing Bee Round 3

Okay, I did finish my Rue dress. It's kind of a mess. The bodice is cute in theory but obviously didn't work for me. I used size 2 (I think? I'm trying to think of it like pushing out a baby - once it's over, you forget) and added three inches to the bodice for my torso. Admittedly, I do have a long torso. I usually add an inch to Jalie, Burda, and KwikSew patterns. This is still higher than my natural waist. Maybe adding another inch would have helped? In these pictures, it looks fine. Well, it looks okay. I do, do, do super love the fabrics and colors together.



Here it doesn't even look bad. And I love the little belt I made. I'm keeping that even if the rest of it is going to donation.

But this, siiiiiiiiigh. Look at those bodice wrinkles. It's like I've got the Eye of Sauron on my torso. Well, I guess only if The Eye had a horizontal slit and not a vertical one. It's really too bad too, because I love this fabric.

If I stand perfectly still, The Eye goes away. The sleeves are wonky and, ugggggggghhhhhhhhhhh, well . . .  I'm just not going to be surprised when I get "invited to not progress to Round 4 of the Sewing Bee." There are so many good versions of this dress at I think most people made many muslins and did quite a bit of pattern drafting. Those are not skill sets I have. Whatever.

The red is a thin, crinkly gauze.

I really love the belt.

The zipper is put in perfectly and the lining is great too. Oh well. I tried my hardest, right? I'll be curious to see what the next challenge is even though I won't be in it.

Friday, September 23, 2016

You would have done it too . . .

I recently went to my local fabric boutique for the Pattern Review bias dress challenge (I MADE IT TO ROUND 3, by the way!!!!!!!!!!!!) and saw all these beauties. I bought them. You would have too. They were $0.10. Let that marinate for a moment. TEN CENTS per pattern. I couldn’t resist. You totally would have done it too. I would not have paid full price for most of these, but some of these are gems. These are the good ol’ Kwik Sew patterns of old. Most of these are printed on the thick, white paper. Kwik Sew is always good at the basics, knit tops, active wear, and directions. I was especially thinking of my kids here. I was thinking what great patterns for them to learn to sew.


These are all “new” Kwik Sews. These are ones made by McCalls and they have white paper, but it is thin. I have never made these before and some are not my style. But, ten cents? Come on . . . There are also some really cute patterns in here too. I really, really like the loose white and black knit tops with the ruffle edges. I, of course, love the active wear in the top row too.


These are the older Kwik Sews with the thick, white paper. I love all the kid swimsuits. And I’ve thought many times about purchasing the adult swimsuit with the side cut-outs. I love these knit tops and the kid sleeper pajamas. The shorts with the six buttons are really cute and I love the moto jacket. There are also a bunch of great basics in here: t-shirt dress, leggings, straight skirt, circle skirt, and loads of knitwear which is my bread and butter!


There were also some interesting blends of old and new. These patterns must have been produced in the “transition” year/s of Kwik Sew to McCalls. The drawings and packaging are old but the paper is the new style and they say McCalls on the back.


So, I bought 29 Kwik Sew patterns for $2.90. You would have too, wouldn’t you????


We find out the third challenge tomorrow morning and I’m just dying to know what it is. The first two challenges haven’t been exactly easy so I’m a little nervous about what this one will be. Jumpsuit? Activewear? Bomber jacket? Cocktail dress? Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ottobre 05-2016 #3 Knit Dress

Back in August, I had told you guys that I thought there were lots of cute things in this version of Ottobre magazine. Well, this is my third make from it and so far, I’m not disappointed.


I just love simple, easy knit dresses like this. I wear things like this constantly in the winter. These are great layering pieces.


What do you think? Cute, eh?


I did a small swayback adjustment and I’m happy with it.


This back bodice on this dress wraps around to the front of the bodice to make an overlap detail. I used purple coverstitching thread for a little contrast. It’s not much, but it is there. If you look REALLY closely, you can see the dark purple thread I used to attach the back flap to the front bodice piece.


The sides of the front of the top go way, way over making this top almost not bra friendly. It’s fine as long as I push the straps to the sides. If it’s a big issue, I’ll add bra strap carriers to the side. I made my typical alterations: add 1 inch above the bust (leaving the armhoes alone) and also pinching out about 1/2” at the CF and on the back.


I think next I’ll have to make something for my kids. They are begging for more sweatshirts now that it’s getting chilly!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Burda 03-2010 #126 Slouchy Knit Top

Once my entries are submitted to the Sewing Bee, I find that I have a lot of nervous energy. What to do with this extra energy? Why, I must sew, darlings!! This week is spirit week at my place of employment. Monday was Tie Dye day so I made a cute tie dye top. It’s a very simple pattern from the March 2010 magazine of Burda. This is a rayon knit from the National City Swap Meet. It’s very thin and drapey. This picture is the best representation of the color of the top.


Here it is on a washed-out me. The camera was working fine, but then the red was a little too much shock and awe for the camera. I only had a little over a yard of this fabric so I knew I needed some sort of easy-fitting top.


I really like the bat-like sleeves.


After trying it on, I found that the neckline on the back seemed to stretch out over my shoulders. After the fact, I attched a piece of clear elastic with a zig zag to the seam allowance of the neckline. I did stabilize the shoulders and should have done the same thing to the neck.


Isn’t it cute in a thicker fabric too? I may have to make this again. In stripes!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sewing Bee–Round - Bias Dress

Woof. This dress wrecked me. It’s not a hard dress, it’s not super technical or anything, but those arrows. . . and fitting everything on fabric on the bias . . . and more matching of arrows . . . yikes.

So here’s the backstory. I was pretty annoyed with this challenge for a few days. I actually could not sleep one night because I was so worried about figuring out a stupid pattern. In my head, I kept thinking of flowy, billowy, clingy bias dresses. I am not that gal, I hate slippery fabrics and hate wearing them. They always feel cold to me and I’m an Alaskan. I do not enjoy cold fabric on me. Then I realized that “bias” is just how you are cutting it. Ding, ding, ding! Once I got over that hump, I realized that Burda had tons of simple bodices that I could add a circle to and be done. Then, I realized that back in 2012, I actually made the perfect pattern for this dress. Really, my only change was to make there be a CF seam, length it, and to, of course, cut everything on the bias.


I spent so much time getting these arrows to match. So. Much. Time.


Under some sewing miracle, the side seams also match. This was not planned, it was just good luck.


There is a slight hi-low hem and the waist seam also goes down in the back.


This is a canvas from Cotton + Steel. Yes, a canvas. And it still spins like this! It’s a great fabric.


I did not line it because it was so pretty. I love how the inside makes chevrons too.


I bound the sleeves and neckline with bias strips.


I totally nailed this invisible zipper. The chevrons match, you can’t see the zipper, and there are no ripples or bumps at the end of the zipper.


I love how each chevron is unique because they are not all arrows meeting in the middle. My favorite is the gold metallic dots that meet in the middle.


I pinked every seam and pressed almost all the seams open so you can see the fun chevrons on the inside too.


This was the original pattern. I added 8.5” to the peplum to make it a dress. I lowered the neckline by 2 inches and I left off the sleeves.



I spend so much time on my knees marking the skirt panels on this fabric. I had to move them over and over again and try to fit everything on this fabric while making sure that the stupid lines matched. You can see I barely had enough fabric.


Woof, indeed. Even with all the hard work, I do really love the dress.