Where Did All The Time Go?

Really, where did it go? I’ve been sewing up a storm, but I’ve been slacking on the taking pictures department. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can catch up and show you everything I have worked on. For now I’ll show you Kwik Sew 3954. This raglan sleeve tunic is an easy sew and hopefully I will be making a few more. My first was too large, a medium, so I downsized and it fit great. I’m hoping that I will get to wear the original during the winter months and not be swamped by it. I expect I might need the extra room by then….

Because I’m Pregnant!

TwirlDesigns Kwik Sew-1

 I had a bit of nausea and I had a hard time eating meat in the evenings, but other than that I have been doing great. I’m now four months along and thankfully out of the first trimester! Along with the pregnancy came some definite body changes. My boobs grew, my hips and butt got bigger and then came the bump. Sewing has been interesting and I imagine it will manage to stay that way.

But back to the pattern!

TwirlDesigns Kwik Sew-3285

I used a thin burnout knit from Girl Charlee that I bought quite some time ago. I have enough of this stuff to muslin almost every knit pattern I have! However the stretch factor of this knit is not conducive to any pattern that needs to stretch much. So this loose swingy tunic was perfect. One of my favorite parts of this pattern is the high low hem, although the actual hemming of this top not so much! No matter what I did on the hem the coverstitch still created a tunnel. I think next time I’ll use clear elastic to act as a permanent stabilizer and hope it won’t be too heavy.

TwirlDesigns Kwik Sew-3272

I did shorten the patterns sleeve at the shorten/lengthen line. On my first one I made I did not like how long the short sleeve was. It ended up being the perfect length for me. Not much else I can say about this pattern. Make sure to go down a size from the recommended or pay attention to the finished measurements on the pattern itself.

And one last pic for you:

TwirlDesigns Kwik Sew-1

I’m due in February 2015!


Busy, Busy, Busy all the Time

And so I have been, busy that is. I have been busy with sewing and life. First lets talk about sewing and then maybe we can move on to other subjects.

twirldesigns new look kimono tee front-

I made New Look 6217 view B. It’s a simple kimono top intended for wovens. I chose to trace the size 12 for the top and grade out to the  size 14 around the bottom. After sewing the back and the shoulders together I was unsure if the size 14 would be enough to go around my hips and not bunch up on top of them. No one wants a bunchy shirt when it should be smooth! I decided that if I left the last two inches and a smaller seam allowance I could make it work. Anyone else hear Tim Gunn just then? Probably just me. And it did!

twirldesigns kimono tee-

After trying it on I decided that I didn’t want to lose any length, so out came the vintage bias seam binding tape. Whoo, that’s a mouthful! My sisters had grabbed a bunch of vintage patterns for me and unbeknownst to them there was all sorts of fun sewing stuff below some of the patterns. I had nothing that matched, but the grey looked great and didn’t stand out too much. The white I grabbed really did stand out. To make everything match I decided to use the binding on the neck and sleeves and even put my own unique touch on it.

twirldesigns new look kimono tee closeup-

I used one of my machines special stitches and made sure it was the thread that matched the fabric! I used the teeny tiny buttons to hide my ends and the mess I made of the hook and eye. I’ll get better at it the more I use them, but for now I’m happy with this.

As much as I like the idea of this top the reality is that I am not thrilled with it, but first the good:

  • Everything matched up.
  • No set in sleeves!
  • It used stash fabric
  • I used another pattern!
  • It’s wearable

And the bad:

  • It would have been much better in a knit
  • the sleeves ended up a bit tight. If you have any muscle in your arm size up for the sleeves!
  • I should have lengthened it by two inches.

I hadn’t realized that the good outweighs the bad. Blogging about it makes this top a bit more wearable for me. I have worn it for Me Made May ’14 and yes I am participating this year. I am not documenting it nearly as much as last year. It has shown me that I need a few more pairs of shorts and some less casual wear. I have plenty of lounge wear and I end up wearing that pretty much every week. I need more tops like this one and pants. I hate shopping for pants and really do not look forward to the idea of making jeans either. Maybe with Sewaholic’s Thurlow I will feel a bit less frantic about making pants and even jeans. So for the next few weeks I will be focusing on casual but comfortable basics. I recently bought several of Papercut Pattern’s new line. Anyone want to guess which ones?

In other news:

I’m off crutches! I am using a cane for long distance and any stairs I can’t avoid. I’ll take that over crutches any day!!!! I’m progressing in physical therapy and hopefully soon I will be back to hoop dancing like I did before the injury. Hopeful I’ll be back with another finished project soon!

Enough rambling! What have you been up to?


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?


Pocketless Tiny Pocket Tank

I think I stared at the title for this blog for longer than it will take to write it! So here goes nothing:

Before starting to sew my Bombshell I had cut out and started to sew my Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline. I love all of the indy pattern designers that are popping up and I wanted to be able to partake in the fun of making a few up. Hopefully I’m not too late to the party or if I am I’m only fashionably late.

I looked at the sizes and after making two unfinished muslin I moved on to what I figured would be the final project. I chose to make a size six because my fabric had some stretch and I didn’t want to end up with something that was too loose. With the help of the muslins I knew I had to draw (silly me) and pin the darts correctly and that I may have to scoop out the underarm portion of the armhole.

I have had six yards of a very bright floral stretch cotton waiting on me to do something, anything with it! I bought it through Denver Fabrics in their discount section. Sorry there isn’t any left! I think I paid a total of $20.00 for the six yards, so all in all, a very good deal. Even with the fabric being outside of my normal selection the fact that it had stretch appealed to me. My mom will tell you how often I have selected a floral fabric. Almost never! And yet they are appealing to me more and more. So why with six yards did I make one tiny tank? Because it is the lightest drapiest fabric I had on hand without buying anything new or using a knit. And really I think it is still too stiff for the pattern.

How did I get this far without a picture?

How did I get this far without a picture?

And yes I decided to play with doing a hi-lo hem on it. I used my styling design ruler to determine where I was going to trim and then smoothed out the transition from front to back. If anyone is interested I can document it more the next time I do it. I love the hem other than the fact that it really needs form-fitting pants. The ones in the picture are the only ones I have. It’s July in Texas. JULY! Denim in July does not happen and neither do long pants! That very fact almost makes this shirt unwearable for me. I’m in the process of trying to making some for myself using a Bonfit Pants Patterner I found on craigslist last week. Keep your fingers crossed for me that It will turn out decently.

This is a fun easy pattern that I need to sew up a few more times!

Pattern changes:

Hi-lo hem

Scooped the underarm out and marked the pattern for next time

Binding ended up being facing (I took too big of a seam to start with and I wasn’t taking it out!)

Other than that I have been tracing patterns and trying to decide what I’m sewing next. More on that in my next post, but for now some more pictures:

TwirlDesigns hi-lo tiny pocket tank (1 of 1)

I need to sew up some camis to wear with this. Anything that is polyester creates the worst cling ever!

TwirlDesigns hi-lo tiny pocket tank-4681

I thought I might never be able to wear this because of the darts, but push up bras saved the day!


Me Made May 2013

So you may have guessed that I am taking part in Me Made ’13. I have been wanting to take part since I discovered its existence last year. So here I am! Full steam ahead!  So without further ado: Drum roll, please?

‘I, Erin Twirls of https://twirldesigns.wordpress.com/, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavor to wear one self-made garment on at least one day each weekend for the duration of May 2013’

So there’s my pledge and I’m sticking to it. I will try to at minimum wear one item on one weekend, but watch out for more than that! Yesterday was a photo shoot day up in San Marcos, Texas with a friend of mine that runs Medrano Photoraphy out of San Antonio, Texas. Go check her out! She was up there to take photos for the Central Texas Toy & Comic Expo. I was just along for the ride and quite enjoyed being able to take photos quite so freely. Because of the photo shoot I didn’t get to wear any Me Made items. I wore a Medrano Photography t-shirt almost all day long. So today is my Me Made May day!

I started the day out by wearing a pair of wide leg knit pants that I absolutely love! But after a day of tracing and cutting out patterns, I completed a top to wear for the remainder of the day.

TwirlDesigns MMM13

That’s my first Me Made May ’13 outfit. Yes, I said outfit! Not only did I wear one item, but I made another and proceeded to wear it. Perfection in my mind! The pants I’ve already talked about in an earlier post, but the top was made today. It’s made out of a blue almost sheer knit fabric I had in my stash. The pattern is New Look 6814, but with a few changes. The top and bottom were raised around two inches so there would be a deep enough channel for a thick ribbon if desired. I ended up using a thinner ribbon I had in my stash, but I’ll be changing that in the coming weeks.  the top is designed for a ribbon that is at least an inch wide and has a nice soft drape to it. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for the perfect ribbon for it.

I have multiple posts in mind for the coming weeks and hopefully I will be able to keep up with it. Sorry for the long absence from the blog. I’ve been dealing with a hip injury that  has turned into chronic pain. It took a while but it is diagnosed and I’m even close to pain-free today because of some new medicine. Woot! That means I can sew! I do almost all of my sewing standing up since my machines are on a shelf that is a bit above my waist. I love it except for when my hip acts up, which means I’m not truly comfortable standing or sitting at a ninety degree angle. Only laying down or reclining seems to help. But today, I’m practically pain-free! I’ll take it and each day like it that I can get!

But for now, more pics:

TwirlDesigns MMM13 1


TwirlDesigns MMM13 3

I love posing in front of the rose garden me and my husband planted

TwirlDesigns MMM13 2

Ooooh, look! A rose! I must smell!