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.

twirldesigns-4022twirldesigns-4027twirldesigns-4020

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.

twirldesigns-3985twirldesigns-3989twirldesigns-3992

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

Advertisements

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!

twirldesigns-3974

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.

twirldesigns-3982

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!

A Long Time Coming

It’s been a while, in some ways too long, and in others not nearly long enough. The last time I posted I was still pregnant, and now I’m the mother of a handsome six month old baby boy! This is likely to be a long post; if you want to catch up read on, if not skip to the pictures to find out what I’m up to in the sewing realm. I won’t mind in the least.

I imagine you want to hear about my pregnancy and the birth of my little boy. It was stressful at times and at times it was amazing. My job was one of the main causes of stress and I’m happy to say that I no longer have to worry about it. I’m a stay at home mom right now and loving it. The doctors were another cause of stress. I felt like the doctors weren’t listening to me and taking care of me. I had a lot of swelling in the last 4 to 5 months of my pregnancy. Towards the end of my pregnancy I hurt my right shoulder and my blood pressure kept getting higher and higher in the last month. On the other hand it was amazing feeling him move, and being able to see my husband when he felt our son move. I ended up being induced at 39 weeks because of the high blood pressure. Let me tell you: NEVER AGAIN! I love my son, but I really would rather go into labor naturally than do that again. Squeakers McWiggles, was born on February 6th, 2015 at 1:32AM, and weighed 7lbs 3oz. My husband and I were (and are) ecstatic! I’ve been having problems with postpartum depression, but with the help of my family, friends and the therapist I was already seeing for my PTSD and anxiety, I am doing much better. I really should say more here, but right now, I can’t/don’t want to. I might feel more like it in the coming months.

I did some maternity sewing, and pretty much none of it ended up here. There is always next time! I would have done even more but the last trimester the swelling really kept me from being on my feet much. Next time I’ll use the compression stockings sooner. Swelling hurts! Thankfully I had a really good friend that loaned me enough maternity clothes to fill the gaps. Thank you, Melissa! IMG_3639Lately I’ve been watching my son grow, and in my spare time I’ve been spending time on my hobbies. I started crocheting back in 2012 and about seven to eight months ago I started learning to knit. I’m a continental knitter and I’m loving it. Here is where I’m bringing my love for sewing and knitting together.

Project Bags!

TwirlDesigns Projectbag-3666 I’m making projects bags for knitters and crocheters. I’m going to be setting up an Etsy store and selling them. I received a really positive response to them from my Stitch n’ Bitch group I go to. The bags are made without a zipper, are reversible, and I’ve made them with tabs or with a handle.

TwirlDesigns Projectbag-3674TwirlDesigns Projectbag-1The handle seems to be the more popular option so far. I’m having a lot of fun picking out the fabric combinations and hand sewing the bias binding. I’m finding the hand sewing very relaxing; I had expected it to be tedious and not much fun.

TwirlDesigns Projectbag-3658 TwirlDesigns Projectbag-3661My next step is to design a larger bag into which these may be inserted, or can be used alone for larger projects. This one is perfectly sized for shawls, socks, or any project that doesn’t take up much space. What do you think?

Wrapping up my current projects, I have several skirts I’ll blog about in the coming month. I look forward to seeing you back!

Swatches Galore!

Several months ago my husband was chatting with me about different options to improve some mods for his car. The mod we decided on would need some reflective fabric, so I went out to see what our options would be. I stumbled on Seattle Fabrics and saw several options for reflective fabric and trim. The only question was which would be appropriate. To find out I ordered some swatches and decided that I would order swatches for several of the knits they offered.

I mentioned in my last post that I would likely not be able to sew much for the next several weeks. The reason for me not being able to sew is that I finally went in for the surgery that will (hopefully) fix my hip. I am on crutches for the next month and physical therapy could last up to a year. It means I’ll be able to wear heels again, run around, hula hoop dance, and so much that I haven’t been able to do for the three years. I thought I would share these swatches since I can not do much sewing right now. So if you come here to see my finished garments feel free to skip this post!

The first swatches are the reflective fabric and tape/ribbon:

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1559The reflective tape is on top on the left it has a slick top with a woven back. It is fairly stiff and would not lend itself to most garment applications. below the tape is the iron on reflective tape. The top layer peels off and I have not tested the iron on effectiveness of it. The reflective ribbon feels as flexible as any other ribbon and would sew on very well. The reflective portion is a bit off set, but most folks would not notice. The bottom tape looks and feels exactly like the Army’s Reflective PT belts! I can’t imagine what I would ever use it for.

On the right we have the reflective piping. It is quite flexible and would be great to use in seams of any athletic gear. You can barely see it in the photo above, but the orange peeking out behind the piping is a piping tape. It would be good for the same applications as the piping, but it would be a bit more subtle and perhaps easier to sew in. Finally we come to the reflective fabrics. The top two are silver and the bottom is orange. They are lightweight from the top to heavyweight on the bottom. You could easily use the topmost fabric in some outerwear to increase visibility.

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1560

Packaging back

Now onto the more interesting fabric! Knits and fleeces!

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1553

From top to bottom these swatches are for their Wicking Jersey, Dryline, Active Dry, and their Anti-Microbial poly/lycra knits. The Wicking Jersey are soft to the touch and have some four way stretch. Most of the stretch is with the width and a very tiny amount down the length. The Dryline knits are four-way stretch, feel smooth to the touch, and are thinner than the Wicking Jersey. The Active Dry are smooth on one side and textured on the other. They have stretch with the width of the fabric and almost none with the length. The Anti-Microbial knit only comes in grey. It is a thin knit, smooth and extremely stretchy in all directions!

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1554

Look at all the colors!

Next up is the Polartec Power Shield. It is smooth on one side and fleece backed. It has very limited stretch with the width and none with the length of the fabric. It would be great for sweatshirts, hoodies, jackets, and pants if they don’t have a ton of negative ease. The colors are vibrant and selection is great! If it had more stretch I might consider making some into leggings, but I think it would be great for an Avocado hoodie!

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1549

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1550

Look at the difference from the front to the back!

Below is the description that Seattle Fabrics gives for it.

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1551

Fleece! Below we have what they call PT Wind Pro. it comes in two different weights and in a lot of colors! It is a fairly think fleece, so think sweatshirts and jackets. Two of the heavier weight fleece have a short fur pile backing which makes it very soft to the touch. If I bought myself some and made it into a sweatshirt I don’t know that I would be able to take it off!

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1547

Oooh! Soft!

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1543

This can give you an idea of how thick they are. I imagine they would be quite warm.

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1541

And the package back.

The last set of swatches I invested in was Ultrex. Ultrex is a water repellant fabric, which would make it ideal for outerwear. This makes me want to by the Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic to get some of this fabric.

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1556

There is a wide selection of colors!

Seattle Fabrics Sample-1558

Colors and description on the back.

Hopefully I will be back in my sewing room within the next few weeks!

Seattle Fabrics did not provide me with the swatches free of charge; nor did they ask for a review. I would gladly do so if they offered me a length of fabric though!

Pattern Stashbusting at your Mercy!

I’m at your mercy for the month of March. It has been decreed that The Monthly Stitch Challenge for March will be pattern stashbusting with a twist.

I get to use a pattern that is in my stash to make anything I want from it….but the twist is where you come in. The pattern I use is picked by you out of a selection that I choose. I have three contenders and many more fabric choices. I may or may not stick to any of the fabric choices I show you. It all depends on timing and mood!

My three patterns are all fairly simple and the reason for that is that I may be limited on how much I can sew for the next two to three weeks. I’ll tell you more about why later. In no particular order:

M6842

M6842

McCalls 6842. I currently have a skirt that I bought at a thrift store that is the same style as this pattern. I LOVE that skirt! It is short, flirty and above all comfortable! The fabrics I have selected for it are:

twirldesigns fabric McCalls

1 and 2 are both houndstooth print ponte knits and would be used together. 1 is really stiff even after washing! If I used 2 I would make the entire skirt out of it. It is a swimsuit lycra that I picked up on a whim.

The second option is Kwik Sew 3778:

K3778

View A of course!

I’ve had this pattern for a while and haven’t messed with it mostly because I do not like the stiff paper Kwik Sew prints on. I trace my patterns now, but I still dislike handling them. (I know I’m weird)

The fabrics I have set aside for this one are:

twirldesigns fabric kwik sew

1 is a sweater knit that will be good for fall and late spring. 2 is an ITY knit that I originally bought to make a top out of. 3 is a knit from Joanns that I have been eying for several months. It has tiny shiny stars all over it and it’s grey!

The last option is Simplicity 1589:

I would turn view A into a dress

And the fabric:

twirldesigns fabric kwik sew--2

1 is a purple polyester that has a nice drape and is easy to work with. 2 is a satin that is slippery, but I love the color! 3 is a border print charmuese I just bought from Denver Fabrics. 4 is a silk that I am afraid to mess up. 5 feels like it is silk but it is actually a high quality polyester.

Lots of choices for me and some for you! So tell me which pattern you would like to see?

*If I don’t get to this in March it will be the first item I make once I have time to sew.

The Dress that Wasn’t

Or Lekala 5897. I’ve been wanting to sew something with leather for a while and the concept has been a challenging one to make myself approach. I have completed small projects with leather, but never an item of clothing. My husband’s interest in a lightweight leather jacket was enough of a push to see if I could make it work. I decided to play with the leather on a much smaller scale before deciding to jump straight into making a jacket. That is where Lekala 5897 comes in. I felt that a dress with leather as a small design feature would be a great way to start. A yoked dress seemed perfect! And in theory it is, however the pattern needs some much-needed tweaking before I show you a finished dress on me.

twirldesigns lekala-3

The fit issues:

  • The shoulders should be much narrower for me. At least an inch needs to come off the yoke.
  • The contour darts need adjusting. The bust fits great, but the waist area needs some more definition so that I am not wearing a tent.
  • I think the waist needs to be dropped down about two inches if not more. Maybe I have a bit more of a long torso than I thought? I say that because the widest portion of the hips is hitting me above my widest portion.

twirldesigns lekala-2

The leather was a delight to work with! I chose to bind the edges instead of creating a lining. Making my own bias binding was fun and much easier than expected! The main things I did to make sewing the leather easier was to use a leather needle, my walking foot, and a long stitch length. For more in-depth tips check out my post on The Monthly Stitch. The challenge for this month was New Year=New Skill. I was determined to be able to post this make in time! This is by no means a finished make and it may never be. I consider it a muslin and one pattern from my stash used! Yeah!!!!

twirldesigns lekala-

What unfinished project do you have lying around that has taught you something?

 

The Zoo, Stripes, and a Raglan Tee

One of the few hang ups I have in sewing is sewing tops and woven. I decided it was past time that I tackled at least on of those, so I started off with tracing and cutting out a few basic knit tees. One of the first that I managed to finish was New Looks 6230 raglan top. I had decided that I needed long sleeves, since it has been quite cold here this winter. I can’t stand most long sleeve shirts since the sleeves are generally too tight on my arms.

twirldesigns raglan tee

Not only did I decide to attack making tops, but I decided to try to match stripes as well! And I mostly succeeded. The back is off just slightly in a few places and one of the sides don’t match up. Nothing most folks will notice and I think the stripes were printed just a bit off on the fabric as well. Either way I am very happy with how they turned out. To match the stripes I cut everything one piece at a time and tried to match the next piece against the piece that would attach to it.

twirldesigns raglan tee-1

The two fabrics are both knits and of similar weights. The black and white I used for the body is a bit thinner and does not have as much stretch as the colored fabric. It ended up being a perfect combo since it makes the sleeves tolerable! The length of the sleeves could have been a bit longer for me and I did think about using bands to finish them to make them. It would have made them longer but I don’t have much luck doing this yet. I am surprised that the neck-band worked as well as it did. I have another top in the works that I am having to take apart because the neck-band was too long. Partially an oversight on my part and easily fixed once I have it taken apart. So instead of the bands I finished the sleeves by folding them under and using my coverstitch machine on them. I am slowly getting more and more used to using it. My hems are not quite picture perfect yet, but they will get there! The white fabric is so light that it likes to roll, so the bottom was finished with fold over elastic. The elastic keeps the shirt bottom down while I am wearing it and it was much easier to use than folding the bottom to hem it.

twirldesigns raglan tee-2

The back! Look at the matching!

There are a few things I would change if and when I make this again. I would lengthen the sleeves and then I would have traced a bigger size for the bottom of the shirt. I am more or less pear-shaped. I say more or less because my bust does not measure less than my waist does. However my hips are a good ten inches bigger than my bust. I fit better into the pear-shape category than the hourglass-shape category. Most tops will not give you a finished measurement for the hip or for the hem circumference. I think I will be marking the seam line from here on out and measuring to see if I need to grade between sizes.

The hoodie I was working on went into the not happening pile. I misplaced or never traced the front and I was not taking the pattern out again anytime soon! Grrr! so the next projects are a dress from Lekala that I ordered in my size and a pair of stretch capri pants that I traced from a well-worn and well-loved pair of rtw pants that I own. Hopefully both projects turn out well and if not, I will have at least used one pattern out of my stash.

We ended up at the zoo with some visitors which was the perfect place to get some different pictures. It was a cold day and almost everywhere was too cold to be without my jacket for long. One of the aviaries ended up being the perfect location to take the shots. It was a great day to go to the zoo as well. It was cold enough to keep most folks away so it wasn’t over crowded. We could stay and visit and takes pics with the animals as long as we wanted. Some of the exhibits were closed due to the cold and renovations. It’s good to know that they are taking care of the animals and making sure that their habitats are truly as close to a home as they can get.

What projects are you working on and which have not gone your way?