My Last Makes of 2015

I’m going to share my last two makes of last year, so that I can start sewing and sharing this years. First up is New Look 6350. I made the pants even though I bought the pattern for the skirts. The hip measurements for the skirts are just not big enough for my hips unless I made them out of a knit. So pants it was! I made two pairs of these. I learned a lot from my first pair. The waist is way higher than I like in the pattern and there is no separate waistband pieces. I fixed both of those issues with this pair. My first pair is currently waiting for the waist are to be fixed. Several stitches holding the elastic have popped.

I used rayon fabric treated with Mary Ellen’s Best Press to make cutting out easier. Mary Ellen’s is a starch alternative so it stiffens up the fabric and makes it much less slippery. I usually spray and then iron to apply, but this time I mixed it with water about half and half and added the fabric. From there I removed the excess liquid from the fabric and put the fabric in the dryer. Easy! It went straight from the dryer to the cutting table. You can easily use more or less Mary Ellen’s to get crisper or softer fabric and it all comes out the next time you wash it.

Misses' Skirt and Wide Leg Cropped Pants or Shorts

I made view C and while I was unsure of the angled hem I went with it. I actually love it more than I expected. It would be an easy fix if you don’t like the look of it. I need to make view D next and I really want to make view C in a knit. These pants are in continuous rotation in my wardrobe. They are comfortable and easy to pair with any solid shirt.

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On to the next! McCalls 6968 which is sadly out of print. I made view D out of a swiss dot cotton. I started this pattern in my last month of pregnancy which was a bit ago! I finished it several months after when I ventured back into the sewing room.

M6968, Misses' Tops, Skirts, Shorts and Pants

This is a super simple pattern. One pattern piece and a lot of ease. I cut a size 12 and my recommended size was a 18 or 20. Look at the finished measurements on this pattern to determine your size. You need the ease for it to drape nicely but you don’t need 20+ inches of it! My skirt has around 10 inches of ease and it fits great. The only change I recommend is to lengthen the ties so they tie and drape nicely.

The swiss dot cotton was breeze to cut and sew, but not as drapey as I would like for this skirt. My mom sewed me this skirt in a rayon fabric and it drapes so much better.

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What’s your next project? I have a finished knit object to share with you soon!

Merry Christmas

And happy holidays to all! I said I had more projects to share, so share I shall. Today I want to share a project that I finished recently. My family tries to go to the renaissance fair every year. We love to go in costume and I needed to piece together a new one. My old one is a bit small right now.

I’ve been trying to decide on a pirate costume to go with the one I made for my husband. I’ve been torn on whether I wanted a skirt or bloomers. It, of course had to have a corset which my mom supplied so I needed my bottoms to match or at least not contrast badly. Not having a lot of time, I decided on finding a bloomers pattern that would work. I had a hard time locating one that was a ready made pdf or print that I liked. Ultimately I ended up drafting my own from these instructions. (That links directly to a pdf download with drafting instructions)

This first pair was meant to be a muslin. I feared that I would have to change a few spots. I have been pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they ended up being, even without those changes. I do need to make some adjustment to the rise and to the rear of the pattern. They tend to try to give me a perpetual wedgie. I think I need to take some of the pattern off from the crotch seam and add it to the side seam. I’m not sure this fix will work, but I already tried adjusting the crotch curve on a second muslin and it wasn’t enough. Any ideas on the fix that will work?

I made these out of a rayon that I had in my stash that was destined to be pants. Since the pattern is drafted as one pattern piece for front and back I had to cut it out on the cross grain to make the pattern fit. Luckily I wanted them shorter and the pattern fit. The sewing was straightforward and I love that there is a separate waistband for your elastic. I wish I had folded the bottoms up a bit more before sewing the elastic into the hem. I fear that eventually that seam will give out, but at least that is easily fixed when it does. I did not end up adding any lace since I thought these would not be my final product. I ended up running out of time to make the final pair and as of right now I’m still fine tuning the pattern.

We didn’t end up going to the renfair, but I should have a decent pirate costume for next year. As of right now I’m on my second muslin and I imagine there will be a third. I have raised the rise and adjusted the crotch curve so far. I think I need to raise it more and adjust the back differently. I have already worn these as lounge wear and even went out into public in them! I completely forgot that I had them on. I can see adjusting the pattern to make these out of a knit.

I look forward to completing a full costume for next year’s renfair!

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A Match Made in Fabric

I finally had some time to get pictures of several of my finished projects. I expect that I’ll have several posts for you over the next week. This skirt was finished quite a while ago. It was my first project postpartum. Which means I made it sometime at the end of February!

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The skirt is Simplicity 1163 view E. I traced every skirt in this pattern and I imagine I will sew them eventually.  It’s been a while so I have no idea what size I sewed. By the finished measurements it should be a size 20 which is a bit smaller than my 46″ hips.

It’s a super easy pattern and  I didn’t use the instructions until I dealt with the pleating. This is a great pattern if you want to do some pattern matching, since each piece is cut individually. Stripes would have been much easier to match than the fabric I chose, but I think I did a fairly good job.

What do you think?  I honestly didn’t expect the matching to turn out nearly as well as it did. I wear this skirt way more than I expected. It’s easy to put on and easy to match. I can easily do anything with my son while wearing it. That includes sitting on the floor to play with him.

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I’m not getting into the sewing room as much as I would like, but I am still working on projects and the knitting bags. I do not know that I will be offering them through Etsy just yet, but I may have other opportunities coming up. A lot of my time right now is spent with my amazing son and knitting. I’ve been working on Stephen West’s Doodler mystery knit along(MKAL) and I have been in love with the pattern. Go look at all the wonderful projects people have made!

I’ll be back with another finished project in the next few days. In the meantime, do you knit? Tell me what you are working on!

Miss Bossy’s Flirty Skirt

My time in my sewing room has been limited for the last month and a half, but I managed to finish my miss bossy project for The Monthly Stitch. I had asked for everyone’s input as to which one of three patterns I should sew for the March Challenge over at The Monthly Stitch. Of the three the favorite was McCall’s 6842. It was the pattern that I was hoping would win the vote all along. I couldn’t wait to sew it up! However, there was one little surgery that kept me from my sewing room for a good two weeks and even after that I was limited with how much I could sew. On a positive note, I needed the surgery and my hip is doing much better than before. I’m even in much less pain and that includes being sore from physical therapy! I’m still on crutches, but I’m hoping to be off them this week. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Back to the skirt! You might be looking at it and thinking that fabric was never on the blog and you would be right. I had a minor catastrophe while sewing the houndstooth fabrics up. My serger knife ate them! Grrr! Both of the pieces are curved and you have to ease them together as you sew to make sure they line up. Both of the fabrics were heavy enough that they didn’t want to ease together easily and before I realized it my serger ate the fabric. I was so mad that I didn’t want to risk using my butterfly fabric, so I grabbed a fabric that I was ok if it didn’t turn out. To my surprise it sewed up well and I love this skirt! I want to make at least two if not three more.

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This pattern was designed for wovens and not stretch fabrics I made a few changes. I traced and cut out a size smaller than recommended and I cut the back piece on the fold. Make sure that when you make a change like that you remove the seam allowance on one side of the new pattern piece. Since you won’t be inserting a zipper or center back seam you will only need the SA for the sides. I was lazy and didn’t hem this and I finished the waistband with black foldover elastic. Such an easy way to finish knit waistbands!

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You can get an idea of how well this skirt moves and flows with these pictures!

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The only changes I might make to this pattern is to lower the waist about an inch. If I wasn’t trying to pattern stash bust I would be making another one of these right now! On that note I have something to admit: I bought patterns, but it the perfect pattern parcel! So it was for a good cause! I am also making some changes to my sewlution for this year. I had wanted to only buy patterns after I had made three unused patterns. I realized this wasn’t the best way to address my stash, so here is what I’m doing instead. I will no longer buy patterns from McCall’s or Butterick. I am lumping Vogue in with them as well, however I will consider buying if the pattern is unique. From here on out I want to only buy indie patterns and the occasional Simplicity pattern. Hopefully this way I will be able to limit getting patterns that will not sew up well. Anyone else change their sewlution or resolutions this year?

 

Winter Pants for the Cold

And cold it has been here in Texas! We normally don’t get below freezing until February and we have had two weekends of cold weather now and it doesn’t look like it will stop. Fortunately I had made and finished a pair of double-knit palazzo pants before the cold snap hit. I was hoping these pants would be warm, but unsure how warm they would be. They are warm! Almost too much in fact.

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We went up to Fredericksburg, TX for the afternoon to stock up on wine from the Fredericksburg Winery. It’s family run and has quickly become our favorite out of the local wineries. Fredericksburg is really big on Christmas and they have a very large German population, so they have some great events going on right now. It allowed me to get some neat pictures if nothing else! If you are anywhere close to Fredericksburg , I recommend you check it out.

I made these pants using New Look Pattern 6735. I used it previously to make this skirt. I love how wide these end up being, however the fit in the crotch is not good. If I make it again I will have to make some adjustments to the pattern piece to make it work better for me.  My only other change was the usual wedge of fabric I have to take out by my hips.  I serged the elastic to the waistband and then flipped it and sewed it down to secure it. I use the lightning bolt looking stitch to secure it. I could have used my coverstitch….but I was being lazy. I didn’t even use it to hem the bottom since serging them would secure them well enough. I also didn’t have a lot of spare fabric to allow me to fold up the hem allowance.

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I probably will not be making these again any time soon, since I have so many sewing patterns to choose from. I really need to work my way through more than a few of them. Up next is a hoodie that I am making out of fleece. I might make it reversible. It all depends on how I feel about it once I start sewing it up. I still have to cut out the lining and see if I even have a zipper in my stash. I’m not sure what else to tell you about the pattern, so I will leave you with one more picture.

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Three Wishes Pajama Pants

A long time ago, in a sewing room far, far away…. I fell in love with Vogue 8584 and that, I think, is where the fairy tale ends. I have wanted to make this pattern, but I have an ingrained fear of using my Vogue patterns. The first pattern I used from them did not end up turning out well and I still feel the sting.  I am slowly dipping my toes into the waters, but it is a torturous sloooow process. I even bought V8882 and have one of the skirts cut out, but have I started to sew it up? Nope! But this post is about pants, not skirts, so let me get back on topic. I came across a Simplicity pattern that is very similar in styling and I grabbed it up to make my vision come true.

Simplicity 2414 came to the rescue and helped me create my genie pajama pants or my three wishes pants! I knew I wanted to make view A with the gathered ankles and that they would be made out of the flannel backed satin that I have had waiting for at least as long as I have been wanting to attempt the Vogue pattern. And this is the end result:

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I couldn’t help but pair them up with my fav Star Wars shirt! R2D2 will always make me giggle. I can almost always hear him at a convention before the people around me. If you like unique tees you should go check out Teefury. They have one tee a day that is a play on a topic/movie/character etc. I have bought multiple star wars shirts for my hubby. I still have one that I need to refashion for myself! But back to the pants, these came together very well once I gave up on doing them on the sewing machine. For all that they have flannel on them, they are still satin and satin frays like the devil! I couldn’t get my tension right on my machine with a long stitch and I was unwilling to risk these falling apart  because the stitches caused it to tear. So on to the serger! It saves my sewing projects more times than I can count! After doing a quick fitting by placing the fabric up against my legs, I realized I didn’t have a lot of room to play with. I didn’t bother with the normal seam allowance and instead took off the very edge and sewed them up with little to no seam allowance.

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It was a good thing I had not used the normal seam allowance, because there is no stretch in the fabric and they feel tight if I bend down at all. These are perfect for lazing about the house, reading a good book, and best yet snuggling up with my honey! The feel nice and smooth on the outside and oh so soft on the inside! This is the same fabric I made my hubby’s pirate pants out of, except they were black. I think that if I had the same trouble with getting the tension right for his pants I may not have made mine.  I’m glad I did make them! They will be a great addition to my fall/winter wardrobe. I even think I may be able to dress these up as well as down. What do you think?

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For the ankles I decided I did not want to have to worry about my laces always falling out, so I attached the ribbon to elastic. I then tied a bow out of the ribbon and trimmed the edges of the ribbon to the desired length. I hand stitched the bows in place, so hopefully they will last through at least a few washes. My one mistake was the buttonholes for the drawstring. I normally mark the back of the pattern with a pin and I don’t worry about it until I need to do something with the back. Somehow the pin marking the back fell out or I took it out without meaning to. Since I didn’t check the rise very well my drawstring holes were put in the back… and I didn’t notice until the waistband was sewn all the way up. To make up for my mistake I made a bigger bow for the back of my pants! So, Bows!

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Since I feel like these are very reminiscent of Aladdin and I Dream of Jeannie, I feel like I need to find myself a magic lamp to rub. My three sewing wishes would be:

The Anna dress designed By Hand London!

A dress form!

And last but never least, unlimited time to sew!

And with that I will leave you with one last goofy picture of me.

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Can I blow you a wish?

What are your three wishes?

Sewing for Winter…

Wait!

What winter? After all I do live in sunny southern Texas! We are even now still experiencing highs in the 90s and above. We do get some cold days, but most would say we have mild winters. More than just a few cold days, since I am such a wimp when it comes to the cold, but this year me and the hubby will be doing some traveling during the colder months. We will be visiting family and some amazing friends, who we consider family. I’m looking forward to it and above all I am looking forward to time spent with people I love!

But, because of that I want to have some more winter clothes on hand before we go and that means sewing it now. I decided I wanted a few different jackets, long sleeve shirts, leggings, and a skirts and dresses that would go well with leggings and/or tights. Some of this I could buy at a store and be just fine, but some of it is almost impossible for me to find at stores. Long sleeve shirts mostly. I am somewhat claustrophobic and tight sleeves will freak me out! Some days I will be fine with wearing them and other days I will start gasping for air as soon as the shirt is all the way on my arms. I’m hoping that I will be able to make some shirts that will be loose on my muscled arms! And above all else, Me Made May made me realize I like to make and wear my own clothes versus buying it.

So to start my planning I made a Pinterest board! And I made my first out of the items I want to make. Leggings!

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Don’t I look thrilled!

The leggings were made with McCall’s 6173 and after having read a few other blogs I knew I would have to cut a smaller size than the recommended since I was using a four way stretch jersey.  I had the large/extra large on hand so I knew I was going to be taking these in some. Annnd I did. Somewhere to the tune of four to six inches off to make these snug. I lowered the waist enough to make a casing for the elastic. This was probably the worst waist I have ever put together. I figure most people won’t see it, so I’m not worried. It had better stay together, though!

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That wrap was knitted by my very talented mother!

My only dislike was how high the waist ended up. It sits on my waist instead of slightly below it like I was hoping. I went ahead and adjusted the pattern piece, so the next pair will hopefully be where I want it. The next pair is going to be made out of a grey jersey and I’m thinking about maybe doing a brown pair.

These will be easy to wear with longer tops and they are thin enough to go under skirts and dresses if I don’t want to bother with tights. Both a win in my books and a good start to sewing for winter. Up next is a pair of flannel backed satin pants. My husband’s pirate costume pants are made with a double layer of the same fabric and he is thrilled with them! Just thinking of this fabric makes me look forward to the renfair and makes me want to cuddle!

So what are you thinking up for fall/winter? Any special projects?