Sunday, April 28, 2013

Another Sewing Filled Weekend

As you may know, I've been learning to knit. I've become enamored with knitting in short order. I spend tons of time (more than I'd care to admit) browsing awesomeness on Ravelry.

I've been focused on making tops for work as it was an area that was lacking in my wardrobe. Now I need pants and have two pair cut and ready to sew. But I wanted to make something FUN this weekend.

So, I cut S2406, view B, in a blue/black/white animal print (What animal?) charmeuse. I think that the shape is simple enough to handle a busy print. I haven't sewed it yet.

I bought some black stretch (cotton twill?) fabric from SR harris for $5/yd on one of my trips there. I bought 2.5 yards of it and was able to cut a top and skirt from it - SCORE!

Since I needed a fun and cute sew, I decided to do the peplum thing. I don't know why I waited so long! I had NL6130 in my stash. It was probably the 2nd pattern I bought. It looked complicated so I kept putting off sewing it. It was an easy sew. Not fast necessarily, but easy.

Now, I'm not much of a muslin'er. I should have made a muslin and I'm not willing to consider this a muslin - as in throw away. I like it too much. I cut a size 14 and ended up taking 3/4" side seams and trimming an inch off the back before adding the zipper...the finished bust measurement on the 14 was 40" and on the 12 was 38".  So I ended up with a finished bust of ~38.5" and my full bust is 38.5". The amount of stretch was more than I expected so zero ease was perfect.

I do have gaping around the neckline that I'm wondering if I can take two small pleats to fix it. I could probably unpick the shoulder seams and trim it but I'm scared of messing it up.

Gaping at the neck and also slightly too big around the armscye

But SO much potential!

I also cut V8672, The drawing made it look more pencil skirt-ish than it is. It sewed up very straight. I didn't want a straight skirt. I wanted a fitted pencil skirt! I sewed a 16 and it looked like a cute skirt for work or church. I didn't want a work skirt and I don't go to church. So I took in another 1/2". Still not to my liking. So I tried pegging it, but didn't do a good job and got some bubbling after the hip. I'll have to try to fix that. 

But together....eeeeeeee! I like. I like it alot.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finished Item: McCall's 6751

So, when the summer McCall's were released, I was tweaking. I wanted them and I wanted them badly.  I needed to sew tonight (yes, I'm a junkie) and decided to cut M6751 and NL6130.

The McCall's top only has 2 pattern pieces - sweeeeet! The New Look pattern has, err, a few more. I passed on the facings. I hate facings. I hate them. And the fabric I'm using is a bit heavier, has a bit more body and I'm going to use bias tape as neck and armhole bindings and I probably won't do the tie.

I thought I could get them both cut tonight and at least get 6130 partially sewed. Well...

The McCall's top sewed up in 2 seconds but the &#*)(*)$ bias binding around the entire top...oy vey! It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to pin it and sew it and iron it and sew it. I didn't hem it and it's totally a belly top :)

I considered this a muslin anyway...this is leftover fabric from the dress I made before.

Front view. The shoulders are designed to sit a little wide.

Side view. It just kinds of hangs from the bust. I should have cut it larger.

The keyhole isn't perfect. Sewing round/ed seams is hard.

ENDLESS bias binding! LOL!!!

PR Review:
Pattern Description: 

Misses Tops

Pattern Sizing:

XS-M (I cut a small)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I love that it is a very simple construction that looks more complicated. I hated doing the bias binding in that continuous (never ending) loop! 

This top is REALLY short. As usual, the modeled shot is not what it seems. I have a short waist and it's supposed to have a 5/8" narrow hem. I don't think it'll meet the top of my bottoms.

Fabric Used:

Fabric leftover from S2443. Some type of slightly stretchy poly woven.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I didn't want the full amount of ease in the Medium (says 36-38 bust with finished bust of 42" and finished waist of 45"). I should have cut the medium and taken slightly larger side seams. 'tis okay. It's an easy pattern to make larger (considering I cut the small!).

I haven't hemmed it yet. I was hoping to make this a wearable muslin but I'm not sure yet.

I also had a slightly tough time with the roundness of the keyhole. It's not perfect.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I want to sew it again in some "nicer" fabric maybe?


I want to LOVE this top. I'll definitely try it again. I had a sewing bug and needed a quick project for the night. It was really easy to sew but the bias binding was time consuming.

Sewing FAIL. Butterick 5613 -aka- The Giant Green Skirt

I stalk my blog role. No seriously...I check on my favorite bloggers several times per day. Today, I read a great post by Cation Designs, Stop Blogging Your Perfect Sewing Life. Which was inspired by a different post about people blogging their perfect lives (via Instagram, FB, etc).

Not a single sewist - beginner, advanced, couture, etc - has zero fails. Has zero wadders. Has zero evil patterns or fabrics.

Then, I read Joyatee's post today about her fail with a pattern. And it reminded me of my horrific fail. And I decided to be brave and post it!

I set out to make Butterick 5613. It looked cute. I thought, hey, I can make a nice bright skirt to wear with a cute polka-dot or stripped tee/tank.


And then there was...this...

Wah! I gathered and gathered and gathered some more. It was just...humungous. Colossal. Massive. I didn't even bother to put in the waistband, and I was so disappointed because the waist tie was done to perfection. Now that I know a *little* bit more about sewing, I know I can reduce the size of those ginormous rectangles and have much less gathering. But I am afraid now - deathly afraid - of the gathered skirt.
So since I'm supposed to blog about the joys -and- you go! :)
Puerperium update:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


About 2.5 seconds after I sewed my first wearable item, I decided I needed a serger. Not wanted - NEEDED. And I was determined to get one. If you know me, you know what it means when I become determined to do something. There is NOTHING that will stop me.

So I did it. I made enough side money to buy my serger - yay me! It was delivered last Thursday. I took it out of the box and admired it. I sat it on my table

Next to my sewing machine

And there it has sat. For a week. I even sewed last weekend...but I didn't use it.

I'M AFRAID OF IT! lol!!! I don't know why but it has already intimidated me. I know that it shouldn't - it is my friend. My sewing friend. I have to tackle it, read about it, heck at least turn it on...

I have some gift items to sew up and I refuse to without serging them. I can deal with weird insides (for now) on my own items...but not items that I give away!

Friday night - it's on!


In other news...the peurperium is moving right along! I want to make eleventy of these sweaters.

I don't have any other DK yarn though!! I'm not supposed to buy more yarn - I'm not...I do have tons of Caron Simply Soft which is tagged as worsted but it isn''s probably a 3.5 if there were such a thing. It's between DK and worsted. I could probably use it but the sweater wouldn't be NB, maybe more like 0-3 months...but that's ok too. NB babies grow so dang fast. Gah.

Look - it's a SWEATER! HA! It makes me think I can work the top-down, raglan sweater in Ann Budd's book (which I checked out from the library). A Twisted Little Raglan. It's basically the *same* as the Peurperium...just bigger. And I'd have to learn to knit in the round to make sleeves. But that'd be a real sweater that I could wear! That I would have made myself!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Weeks of Me Made Monday - and Tuesday!

I generally photograph my tops (since that's all I've been making lately!) as I'd wear then on MeMade days, I feel weird taking a pic because it's essentially the same pic! Except, when I'm sewing, my hair generally looks crazy because I tend to run my hands through my hair when I'm frustrated. :)

On 4/15 I wore McCall's 6519

On 4/22 I wore Vogue 8679

I need to redo the neck binding on this. It kept flapping up and it made me sad. But this knit was really soft and comfy to wear all day.

On 4/23 (not a Monday but...I had to take pro pics for my company website today and thought this color would look fabulous with my black suit! So I wore Simplicity 2892. Wait until I make this up in this beautiful creamy ivory swiss dot fabric I found! Mmmm! :)

I've lost 10 pounds and I'm finally able to tell! And this suit isn't killing me! And I can comfortably button the pants and keep them buttoned even after lunch! :)
I shall have pants for the next MMM post! I SHALL!

FIRST Finished Knit Item! Fingerless Mitts and project #2!

I had the pleasure to take intro knitting lessons from Rox Richardson at a lovely LYS here in Minneapolis, Needlework Unlimited. You get two 2-hour lessons for $20. Did you *hear* that?!?!? 4 hours worth of goodness for $20!!!!! And she's a great teacher too!

The project for the course was an easy-peasy pair of Fingerless Mitts. I've made this kind in crochet are basically making a rectangle, slight smaller than the circumference of your hand, and sewing it up the side...leaving a 2" opening for your thumb. The skills learned were casting on, garter stitch (all knit stitch), stockinette stitch (alternating rows of knit and purl), using stitch markers, maintaining tension and casting/binding off.

Rox's Finished Mitt



What I learned:
1) Yarn matters. I used Lion Brand Wool Ease worsted. It was okay, but it was kind of splitty and fuzzy. Knitting with the nice cotton I got from the LYS and the Knit Picks Chroma was sooooo much easier. FYI I'm making another pair with Chroma Regency. Very pretty stuff!
2) I learned to tink! (Which is knit spelled backwards!). I purled when I should have knitted and had to fix it.
3) I am developing my own way of 'throwing' my yarn that is comfortable for me.
4) Knitting does not aggravate my tendinitis/carpal tunnel the same way that crochet does. I have to figure out why.
5) I am going to love knitting even though the length of time it takes for some projects is going to drive me crazy. I like instant gratification. :)


So, I had already started making dishcloths but got bored with it (see?). I am learning to knit to make wearable things - like sewing. I didn't want to sew a tote bag or a placemat...I wanted to sew garments! And I do. And I shall knit wearables. So there.

"I" have a lot of babies due this year. No, not me. My baby-having days have sailed bye-bye in the wind. But I'm in that age group where folks are having babies left and right. And I like to make baby things. They're cute and tiny and faster than adult things. People oooh and ahhh at them. :) FYI: If someone gives you a handmade gift, you'd better know that they must really, really like/love you. I don't make gifts for just anyone. If I know you won't or can't appreciate the time and money that goes into it (making something is NOT necessarily cheaper than buying it!), then I won't waste my time.

I'm making the Puerperium, a popular and absolutely adorable little cardi for newborns. I'm making it with a DK acrylic and since it seems to be going just fine, I'll make my gift sweater in a nicer DK yarn. There's some things that I'm already a little hung up on (reading ahead in the directions) and I might have to go to the clinic at N.U. to get some help. But I'm excited. I could probably be further along if I stopped admiring my work every few rows. LOL! Also, I missed the whole "circular" needle bit. So uhmm, yeah. Rearranging my 100+ stitches on the straights constantly is also a time drag. At least they're 14" needles...Next time I'll be ready.
Aga2md's version - ADORBS!!!!

I can't wait til I learn to do color work!
My progress so far :) It's worked top down - so on mine you're seeing the neck (to the right) and the beginning of the shoulders/chest.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Finished Item: New Look 6104 #2

Yes, there will be a #3. It will be black with a slightly raised front neckline and pockets. Yep. I'm fancy.

I love this pattern.

This time I decided on view A. It has shorter sleeves with a cute little pleat detail. It also has a ruffle. Err. The pattern does but mine does not. Ruffles, apparently, are not my friend. It was fiddly and I don't like fiddly. I pass on fiddly details because I'm not very patient.

The pattern! :)

The cute sleeve pleat

In all it's purple glory.

I am a bias binding lunatic now! 

My set in sleeves are getting so much better.

The fabric is a 100% cotton chambray shirting from It's firm without being stiff and sewed like. a. dream. I did get two Clover bias tape makers this week (finished width 0.5" and 1") but I was being a lazy pants and didn't make my own. This purple wasn't an exact match which is why it's inside...but I'm still happy. I think I'm wearing my red shirt tomorrow though for MMM :)

Fabric: $6
Bias tape: $1.20
Thread: On hand
Pattern: Pfft. I've gotten my $2.97 worth I think.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finished Item: McCall's 6519 #2

I really do love this pattern. It's about a one hour top. How can you NOT love THAT!?!

Front and back both cut on the fold. Finish arm and neck with bias tape. Hem. Done! :)

I was in Target today with my daughter:

My "little" girl (She'll be 15 in September!)

And saw this shirt:

I loved the idea of a different fabric for the back! I am not a fan of the 'mullet' hem so I didn't do that. And since this pattern doesn't have a facing (and I'm not skilled enough yet to draft one) I didn't do the front vent.

The fabric was cut on the cross-grain. Hopefully there are no ill-effects from me doing so. The pattern was horizontal and I didn't want horizontal! :)

Cannot wait to wear this to work!!!! I was going through my closet and I have 2 polka-dot tops, a striped cardigan and 2 striped tees. Every other shirt I own is solid. Every. Single. One. So I am happy to add this pretty print.

Fabric: $4 (1/2 yd red rayon - $2.20 and ~ 2/3 yd of white broadcloth I had on hand - $1.80)
Thread: Already had
Bias tape: $1.20


Monday, April 15, 2013

McCall's 2013 Summer Patterns

Of the Big 4, I like McCall's best. I've got a couple of good, basics from Butterick but otherwise they're a little outdated for me. Simplicity is okay for the most part, Vogue is a little too much for my everyday life. I like New Look patterns too.

I like lots of stuff from the McCall's summer collection



I want that dress and that fabric. I'm sure that it's the pattern and not just the fabric that I love! :)



Cute. Cute. Cute. That's all.



SO cute! The other pair of shorts in the pattern are toooo high. They come like 0.0025" below the breasts!



Such a sweet dress. I don't know if I "need" this pattern though. But that dress is awfully sweet.




It's a soft (looking) t-shirt dress. I don't think I'll buy this one...not even for $1. LOL! But it's cool.



I love this shape. The other dress is meh. The shirt? See below.




What is happening with that zipper?


I just don't know. The line drawing is scary too.

Line Art

The kids patterns are cute and the swimsuit is awesome!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Finished Item - McCall's 6519 and Simplicity 2892

These projects were finished last week, I don't know why I didn't blog about them!

McCall's 6519 - A 'wardrobe' kind of pattern. I don't care much for the dress and wonder if the blazer is too boxy for me (I'm shaped like a box already). The pleats on the pants...I don't know about either. Hey, when the pattern is $1 I only need to like *1* item for me to buy it!

The top is meant to hang away from the body and I would have cut a 14 and graded to a 16 after the bust. However, this pattern had the 14 and 16 on separate sheets and I didn't feel like tracing. Yeah...I really like the top!

I also learned a new skill - sewing in bias binding! Woohoo!

It's funny, I jumped into sewing with no reservations. I made buttonholes the first day I used my machine. I've inserted zippers. I've worked on pants and even got one pattern to fit relatively well (New Look 6189 and Simplicity 2700 are on their way!). BUT - I have feared linings and bias bindings. WHY?!?!?!

This was such an easy process to get such a high reward. It makes things look really really pretty! My Pattern Review

The challis was a dream to sew! I want to buy a ton of this stuff and sew everything with it! EVERYTHING! I'm wearing this to work on Monday!


Simplicity 2892 - swoooooooon. I fell in love with this top when I saw Regan's version. It is such a simple but sweet and feminine top. I messed up the band but I was able to fix it so it's still pretty on the outside even if it's a little scary on the inside. I didn't interface the waistband because, I picked up the smaller pattern envelope for some reason. I usually cut tops 14/16 and the larger size is 14-22. I can only assume they didn't have it when I went in. Eh. I'd cut it a little larger or maybe cut more generous SA because it's not "right" at the pleats. They aren't smooth when it's on. OMG and I couldn't get the blousing right - or I was too sleepy to care. I'm totally gonna rock it though! 

100% Rayon (Tropical Weight) from Hancock Fabrics. I love it! Didn't use much fabric at all, the only reason that it required a bit of fabric is that the waistband (front and back) are cut on the bias.

Excuse the 'crazy face'. My daughter was being a stinker and didn't warn or anything. When I posted it (rushing to get it in for Faye's Sew Along!), I didn't have cording for the buttons. I have it now. I am probably going to wear this one for my company photo next week!

I am quickly crossing over. I see the place for poly blends in fabric options but I've gotten my hands on rayon, wool crepe, cotton shirting, etc and yeah, I prefer it already :)

P.S. - The Brother 1034D is ordered and on it's way to me!!!!!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Me Made Monday(s)!

I intended to do this and have worn a 'me-made' item the past three weeks. The first two weeks, I didn't take pictures because I'd worn them pretty much as pictured for my reviews -- with jeans. Today I wore Butterick 5678 under my argyle sweater. I've always thought I was too chunky and top heavy to layer my tops. But I really liked it!

I did not like wearing my too big grey slacks. I've lost almost 10 lbs and they are saggy baggy. I'm too scared to try to make an alteration to them and really should sew up a grey version of NL 6189. Meh.

Here are my last few 'me-made Monday' looks.

Monday, March 25: Simplicity 2594, Old Navy jeans

Monday, April 1: New Look 6104 with trousers

Monday, April 8: Butterick 5678. Argyl sweater-Target, Grey slacks

I have one more blouse I'm hoping to get sewn up for Faye's Essential Sew Along, which ends Wednesday. Check out the fabulous blouses HERE!