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!

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!

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!

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 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!

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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.

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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:

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I’m due in February 2015!

 

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

I’m Back…

and I should have more than a few makes for you soon! In the meantime I thought I would share my birthday goodies with you. My birthday was early this month, so I am just a bit late for this post but……. I’ve been keeping busy lazy.  I got quite a few sewing goodies this year thanks to my mother and my amazing husband.

My husband and pretty much anyone who knows (and pays attention) that I sew knows that I have been wanting a dress form for quite some time. I have been going back and forth on cost and brand for as long as I have been wanting one. I always came back to the Dritz My Double Deluxe dressform because of the size range of the hips. This year my husband bought it for me! I don’t have any pics of it yet, but it mostly set up. I’m debating on whether to get the Fabulous Fit Dress Form System to make it more of a body double. I’ve read a few reviews and I’m still undecided. Any thoughts or input?

My mom gifted me with a hundred dollars that I could spend however I wanted. She already knew that I wanted the Anna Dress by By Hand London. I bought that plus just a few others…. Espresso Leggings and the Cabarita knit top by Cake and the Briar sweater and tshirt, and the Tania cullottes by Megan Nielson. I have already played with the espresso leggings with no luck yet. I think I need some stretchier fabric than I have used or I need to build in a bit of ease. I’m really not sure which and I’m not sure I’m over the moon about patterns that only have the inside seam. They do not seem to form to my hips very well. Of the patterns I bought the Briar sweater will be on my plate next I think. In the meantime I have a pair of palazzo pants finished and a fleece hoodie that is currently being cut out.

I received two gift cards, one from Joann Fabrics and the other to Amazon. I’m still unsure what I’ll be getting with them, but it will likely be fabric for the first and a sewing book from Amazon.  These are the books I’m looking at: Sewing Lingerie That Fits: Stylish Underwear, Sleepwear, and Loungewear for Everyday Living by Karen Morris, Bare Essentials: Bras: Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design (Volume 2) by Mrs. Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks, Shirtmaking: Developing Skills For Fine Sewing by David Page Coffin, and maybe even Gertie’s new book when it comes out! I’m sure I’ll decide sometime in the near future which books(s) it will be out of this selection.

And for now it’s Turkey Day! So I’m going to spend the rest of the day eating, sewing, and spending time with family; not necessarily in that order.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!