A few short projects

In this post Christmas sewing world, I’ve been focused on quick projects. ūüôā¬† I get a¬† lot of joy out of making something and then using it right away.

First:  A hat and convertible mittens:


The hat is from Simplicity 2494, one that is likely long out of print.  I used View D here, but previously I had made view B and it was too big. This time I sized down to a small and it fits well.  I think this is a good basic hat pattern and if you were to take out the weaved contracts, it was be a really simple hat.  I would recommend sizing down though.


For the convertible mittens, I used McCalls 4681, a current in print pattern.

I’m kind of ambivalent on these mittens.¬† They were fiddly to make and they feel small on my hands at the wrist area.¬† I’m a little disappointed in this pattern.¬† I know there are some free tutorials on the internet, that I may try.

Following on that, I made the cutest little jewely purse.¬† This is from so-sew-easy, a site I had never really explored before.¬†¬†So Sew Easy Pattern Store.¬† They had a 20 minute tutorial, it looked easy and fun so I figured why not!¬† It’s awesome and useful too!






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Just so you can understand the scale…

It has space for earrings, necklaces, rings, a zippered pocket and other pockets.¬† I think this is brilliant because I’m always throwing my jewelry in ziplocks or whatnot when I travel.¬† I liked that this has a place to store your rings too b/c I hate leaving those just sitting out on a hotel nightstand while I go work out or go to the pool.¬† I love this and it’s a huge winner!¬† If I need a little gift for someone, this would be PERFECT…and the nice thing about it is that you can really customize it to exactly what you want.¬† It went together in just a couple of hours too.¬† ¬†I used fabrics from my stash on this one, but it would be super fun to personalize it with special fabrics…you just need to remember to get a coordinating zipper and ribbon if you want to use that touch.

Next up is a vest from an old Burda Mag…I think it was from Oct 2012.


Cute, eh?¬† I love my old Burda stash!!!¬† ¬†It turned out slightly bigger than I’d like…I didn’t bother with a muslin…but it’s ok.¬† I like it.

Next up is going to be another similar vest…also from an old Burda mag.


I made a muslin of this yesterday and then I’m going to lengthen it by an inch, but then I think I’m good to go…¬† My sister gave me some of these seam allowance adder ruler things from etsy for Christmas and they’re a love!¬† She sent me the 3/8″ and I think I’m going to buy the 5/8″s.¬†SA Curve.¬† Here’s a pic of them in action.¬† These definitely make Burda, and my other pattern magazines much easier to deal with.¬† I’ve used different methods to add the seam allowance in the past, but this is far preferred.


Speaking of Burdas…I’m going to head down to Needle Nook Fabrics here in a minute to pick up the latest…¬† The Jan and Feb seems to have some really awesome clothes in them!

I’m currently contemplating doing the RTW Fast again…I actually started this blog because of it.¬† I’m going to think about it.¬† The thing holding me back is that I’m starting a new job on January 8, and while I think my old stuff will be fine…I just don’t know yet.¬† But…I do have a ton of clothes in my wardrobe so I should be good to go.¬† We’ll see.¬† I have a few more days to decide!

Happy Sewing!

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Mermaids and Sharks! (Simplicity 8275)

Never in a million years did I ever consider that I might someday make a mermaid or shark blanket…but I did!!!¬† In fact, I made, not one, not two, not three, but FOUR mermaids and one shark.

Simplicity 8275 was just the pattern and it came with a matching doll sized pattern, so I made my two nieces a pair.


I swear I cut out sooooo many starfish….this blanket is adorable, but really….just skip the smallest size starfish in the pattern (or maybe only cut a few).¬† ¬†The pattern actually has three sizes of starfish in it, so don’t feel like you have to use the smallest one only!


Small and medium sized starfish and appliques. Round white ones are bubbles.

Here are the finished blankets.  I did add some ribbon trim to the top just to bling them up a little.


Let’s just say that between the starfish cutting and the sewing on, these blankets took far longer than I thought they would!¬† To sew them on, you first stitched around the outside edges, then you stitched lines in the center to make it look like a starfish.


Detail of some of my first starfish!

But…I’m not easily deterred, so next up was the shark for my 7 year old nephew.¬† ¬†I figured it had to be fast and easy after the mermaids and it was.¬† The shark is AMAZING. I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!¬† My nephew is about a half a foot taller than my oldest niece, so I did add some extra inches to the top of the blanket for him.¬† ¬†His shark turned out perfectly awesome.¬† I made it per the pattern except for the addition of the length, and I stitched down the facing at center front and center back.¬† The pattern has you just stitch the facing in the ditch on the side seams, but I didn’t think that held it well enough.

If you make this pattern, make sure that you cut out 4 sets of side fins.¬† My printed pattern only said to cut two.¬† The diagram showed 4.¬† Of course I didn’t realize it until I was trying to figure out how it went together and realized that I needed another side fin!¬† Luckily, I had enough scraps that I could make it work.¬† Cue the Jaws music!!


Amazing, right?!!! I love how the red peaks out!¬† For the rick rack, I used the jumbo simplicity stuff on a spool that you buy.¬† In my Joanns, it was back with the trims that have to be cut by the yard.¬† The spool had just enough to go around the¬† mouth.¬† ¬†I had about 6″ left over.¬† If I were making the adult one, I’d definitely get two spools.

Here’s to give a sense of how tall this is.¬† I added 7 inches on and I’m about 5’6″.


Help me!!!!!! The shark is eating me!!!!  This was before I stitched the facing down at CF and CB.

Both mermaids and sharks are amazing!¬† The mermaids are a lot of work…but you can make it easier on yourself by either skipping the appliques all together or maybe just putting a few on.¬† ¬†The shark is AWESOME!


Happy Sewing!

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Burda #7382 Leggings and Hot Patterns 1211 The Weekender Swingy Sweatshirt

This has been a fun sewing week for me because I’ve been experimenting with some new styles on me.¬† ¬†I like the look of the relaxed top with some leggings, so first up, I wanted to test out a legging pattern.¬† I know that Burda pants fit me relatively well, so I found their only woman’s legging pattern and picked it up…#7382.¬† ¬†I added on a couple inches to make them full length and I didn’t mess around with the gathering on the side.


I started with a 16, added an extra inch or so at the top of the center back.¬† For the first pair, I used¬† a jersey that I knew didn’t have enough spandex in it, but I really just wanted to check the fit.¬† ¬†I have found that my calves are larger than normal and are often too big and wind up pulling the pant down uncomfortably.¬† ¬†On these, I found that if I cut the calf on the the 16 line, then sewed with a slightly smaller seam allowance, they work!¬† It’s awesome.¬† This is a pattern where the leg is made from one piece, so they are super easy to put together.¬† I made a 2nd pair in a jersey with more spandex and I lowered the front waist a bit and they’re almost perfect.



I think the next time I make them, I’m going to cut the hips and waist at the 14…I think that will be perfect.¬† ¬† I’ve been debating whether I like these or the Sewaholic pacific legging better .¬† I blogged about the pacific here:¬†¬†Pacific Leggings.¬† I really like those ones too. The Burda wins on speed, but I think I prefer the fit of the sewaholic…plus it has a gusset!¬† ūüôā Anyway, time will tell on which is the winner…they’re both good and I’m thankful to have some choices.

Next up was the Hot Patterns Swingy Top.¬† I’ve loved the look of this since it came out!


Those wide cuffs!¬† The top stitching!¬† The pockets!¬† What’s not to love?¬† I wanted to use some fabric from the stash that I bought last year that I also used or the HP Artemis.¬† It’s just a gorgeous berry pink/purplish color, and the fabric has this diamond texture build in.¬† I love texturized fabrics.

I made a quick test last weekend out of some ancient cheap fleece.  I bought this fleece before I understood the difference between cheap and not cheap fleece, so I was glad to put it to use in a muslin.



This has my rounded back curve adjustment and the lowered and shortened bust dart already in it.¬† Those are two common adjustments for me, so I just made them first.¬† From the muslin, the neck was a little wider than I wanted, so I brought that in about an inch and I added 4 inches to the bottom¬† to make it long enough to wear over leggings.¬† Here’s the end result.


I look like an elf in that last one with my green pacific leggings!¬† You have to love the sewing room shots, and I am the first one to admit that I am not, nor do I have any desire to be, a fashion blogger!¬† I did yoga this morning, so I still had on my workout stuff.¬† ¬†When I wear this for real, I plan to have on brown leggings, and my new ankle boots.¬† I think it will be super cute and will try to remember to update with a¬† pic.¬† ¬†All in all, I love it and can’t wait to wear it.

I’m not sure what is next up on the sewing list….I have a couple of ideas floating around, but haven’t settled on one just yet.

Happy Sewing!

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HotPatterns SuperFantastic Top, Cashmerette Appleton and a New Look 6415

It’s catch up time!!!


I made a Hot Patterns Superfantastic top for my mom!  It did turn out Superfantastically!  I used abalone buttons on it.  She lives in PA, so I mailed a muslin home to her so I could see the fit adjustments that needed to be made. She has a shindig coming up and she wanted something new.


Since I was mailing things home, I made my sis a Cashmerette Appleton.¬† ¬†It’s super cute!¬† I also made her a slip, but I forgot to get a pic of it before it was mailed!


Here is the dress on me.¬† This was made in the smallest size with the smallest cup, I think a 12C for a 40, 30, 32″ figure.¬† ¬†I”m about a 34 bust, 29 waist and 39 hip.¬† I think it fits me pretty well and I’d totally wear it if it was in my colors.¬† If I made it again, I’d probably figure out a way to extend the front flap over a little more.¬† It was ok, but I’d prefer a little more coverage when seated.


For me, I tried on this top in a local store a few weekends ago and loved it!


It was $30 though and that seemed to be a lot to me for a glorified T when I could make my own for much less.¬† ¬†What I didn’t realize is that there are no knit patterns out there for this style!¬† I found a woven pattern, but it’s all pieced and has no sleeves.


Instead of messing around with that, I decided to try New Look 6415 for a similar look.¬† Overall, I’m giving it a not quite.¬† I don’t have the bottom hemmed yet…but I’m not really in love with it.¬† I was considering just trimming the angle off and making it a normal T.¬† ¬† I need to try it on with some leggings first though.



Happy Sewing!!

Posted in Gifts, HotPatterns, New Look, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Hotpatterns 1137, Riviera Summer Breeze Top

After the last two dresses were done, I didn’t have anything exactly lined up on the sewing agenda. ¬†While browsing PR the other day, I saw someone’s review of the Summer Breeze top and it was gorgeous, so I decided to move it into next place. ¬†I’ve had this pattern for a at least a couple of years and have always loved it, but just never got to it. ¬†Here’s the pattern cover. ¬†It’s a gorgeous pattern cover by the way!

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I started by making a couple of muslins…here’s Muslin 1.


I had started with an 8 at the bust and a 10 at the hips. I made my normal hunchback adjustment, but I didn’t mess with my HP standard FBA b/c I would have had to make it on both sides of the pattern and I just didn’t want to bother. ¬† ¬†I figured the extra drape would be okay. ¬†I was a little too aggressive with my hunchie, and I had gape around the front neckline that I wanted to fix. ¬†I decided that a 2nd muslin was in order. ¬†Here’s number 2 (This is an old bedsheet by the way!).


It was better, so I declared it good enough and carried on.

I found a gorgeous teal poly woven in the fabric closet that had just a ton of drape. ¬†I knew that it’d be a pain the neck to work with, but with this style, you NEED a drapey fabric. ¬†I used fusible knit stay tape to try to stabilize the arm holes, neck and shoulder seams. ¬†As I was working through this shirt, I decided to really use it as a practice shirt for slippery woven fabric. ¬†Here’s the list of things that I did differently on this top then I may have otherwise:

  • Used knit stay tape
  • kept the pattern pieces attached until I was ready to apply the stay tape.
  • trimmed the neckline and armholes down to an eighth inch rather than clipping in notches (this was on the recommendation of Trudy in her ¬†Youtube Tutorial for this top)
  • Used interfacing on the hem
  • used lace as a hem tape
  • hemmed with a hand blind hem stitch.

Here’s the finished result…


And on me!


I should have had my hubby take a pic of it on me from the front too, but I forgot about it, so unfortunately you have the sewing room selfie.

All in all, it’s GREAT! ¬†There are still one or two things that could be tweaked further, but really, I’m not a perfectionist. ¬† Despite my careful taping, the back of my left armhole still got ¬†a little stretched out of shape… I didn’t realize anything wacky was going on until I tried it on. The right side fits great, so I don’t think it’s a pattern adjustment that’s needed, just more careful handling. ¬† Here are photos of the insides just because they’re so nice.


I finished the seam coming down from the shoulder with a french seam and at that point I was considering doing the whole top in french seams, but then I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to handle the keyhole feature at the back neck (and I wanted that) and I wanted to leave my options open at the side seam in case I needed to let them out a smidge at the hip (I didn’t). So there’s on seam finished with a french seam, and the rest are serged. ¬†I wanted to try the blind stitch with the lace because I’ve always just wanted to try that. ¬†On the green burda dress that I just made, I was considering doing something like this but then didn’t want to take the time to figure it out. I think on a knit, I would be able to do this same sort of thing but with a stretch lace. ¬† I tend to have a lot of laces lying around and I think this is a really pretty way to use them.

For the back button, I used a silver button that I painted with gold nail polish. ¬†Here’s a close up of that.


I think it’s really pretty and I prefer the gold over silver…here are the two side by side:


The sliver was pretty, but I just thought that it was a little too blingy for me.  I like the gold better and it will work better with the rest of my wardrobe.

And here’s a detail short of the close trimming that I did. ¬†All in all, this worked out very well and was easier than cutting a bunch of notches all over. ¬†It turned more smoothly too.


And one other detail photo…I did stitch the top of the pleat down a couple of inches. ¬†I thought that would help it fall nicely. I was trying to show that in the pic below.


All in all, I LOVE this top. ¬†It’s gorgeous. ¬†Mostly I’ll wear it to work, but I really need some sort of classy thing to wear it to because that’s what it deserves!

I’m not sure what is next on the sewing agenda…I may pick out a fabric and figure out what to make with it….

In other news…I got some of these! ¬†They make me ridiculously happy!20170703_201918

Aren’t they awesome?! ¬†I discovered a couple of months ago that I’m lactose intolerant so I’ve cut WAY back on the dairy…that means….NO ICE CREAM. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†It’s been horrible. ¬†But…with these little whizbang things, I can try all sorts of nondairy concoctions with minimal work. ¬†I made a fudgesicle this morning and they turned out great. ¬†It was just coconut milk, cocoa, honey and a bit of salt. ¬†Easy and FAST…my type of food! ¬†Our peach tree is producing peaches right now, ¬†so I think a peaches and creamsicle will be next up.

Happy Sewing!


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Burda 7082 – An awesome work dress (or two!)

Normally when I decide what to sew, I start with a pattern. ¬†Well, in recent times, my fabric stash has grown out of control! ¬†I currently have fabric sitting on the floor b/c my closet is too stuffed to put it away. ¬†So…rather than starting with a pattern, getting my heart set on it and realizing that I didn’t have the perfect fabric, I decided to start with the fabric first. ¬†I chose this chevron fabric that I bought from Needle Nook Fabrics.¬†20170625_121724

Yeah, I thought it was pretty gorgeous too! ¬† ¬†After I had the fabric picked out, I went on a pattern hunt. Ultimately, I decided on Burda 7062, but here’s some that were in the running.

To narrow the choices down, I went to Pattern Review and looked at how the dresses made up. ¬†Ultimately I wanted one that was 1. ¬†Work appropriate and 2. ¬†Flattering. Burda 7082 won on both counts. ¬†Here’s a pic of the pattern.


I really liked that this pattern had a pencil skirt and an A-line option in it. ¬†I like an A-line…but for work I just think a pencil skirt is more professional. ¬† For sizing, I used a 12, 14, 16 which matched my pear shape measurements. ¬†I decided to trace off the pattern because I like to preserve them in case I want to make them for someone else. While tracing it off, I noticed that my ¬†front straight skirt pattern piece didn’t have the dot marked on it for the gathers. ¬†I was bummed..I mean, I could fake it but I really like to follow the pattern when I can. ¬†Finally, I thought to look on the A line skirt piece and there it was! Yay! ¬† My world went back on it’s axis. ¬†ūüôā

Rather than making up the chevron version first, I decided to make one in a green ITY to test out the pattern as a sort of wearable muslin. I did go ahead and make a forward shoulder adjustment and a swayback. ¬† As it was, it was pretty much perfect. After I sewed it up, I did need to remove some of the curve from the upper hip, and that’s completely common for me. ¬†Here are the finished dresses.


I like the green dress, but I really LOVE the chevron dress. ¬†The green one is very elegant, and there’s no doubting that it looks nice, but I just really feel like me in the Chevrons. ¬†I’m going to keep my eye out for more awesome prints and then I think I’ll make one more (I need to shop my stash first though).

All in all, this is a FANTASTIC dress.   I feel like a million bucks wearing it (both versions).

Happy Sewing!


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More Lekala Testing, some undies and a little Jalie

So I am love the theory behind the Lekala patterns. ¬†You put in your measurements….it gives you a pattern. ¬†I’ve done a few tests. ¬†All in all, I love it. ¬†The bust tends to fit me dead on and I do need to do some small tweaks at the hips. ¬†Here is last night’s test… ¬†This is 4582, what I consider to be a woven work dress:


I decided to test this particular one because it had sleeves. ¬† Previously I had tested some tank style dresses, but I knew I’d need to test a sleeve to get an accurate assessment of the back fit.

Here’s my test:


All in all, I can’t believe how well this fit. I did learn that I need to bump up my waist and hip inches by an inch, but the bust and the shoulders are PERFECT. It’s amazing. ¬†The length on the skirt turned out a little too short for my liking, but that’s also an easy thing to fix. ¬†I think these patterns are brilliant and can’t wait to make up more.

In between all that, I also made 11 pairs of undies from my favorite Kwik Sew 2908 pattern.

Here are the 5 I kept for me..the other 6 went to my sister and I forgot to take a picture before they left!


View C of Kwik Sew 2908


The best undie pattern ever

In the middle of the undie sewing, I started to have the worst time with my machine. ¬†The fabric just wasn’t feeding correctly. Finally i realized that it was likely my walking foot, so I went to Joanns and bought another one. ¬†It was branded as a Singer walking foot and it just did not work at all. ¬†Based on some advice from the smart people at Pattern Review, I bought one from Sears for a Kenmore machine. ¬† I have a Kenmore (which is really a Janome in disguise.) ¬†This walking foot is AMAZING! ¬† ¬†I’m glad it’s not my machine because I didn’t want to not have it while it was in for servicing! I’ll kick the can on that one a little while longer! ūüôā

Next up was a quick Jalie top for my sister. ¬†I’ve never made this pattern before so the ladies on the Jalie Facebook page helped me out with sizing. ¬†My sister said she loves it! ¬†This fabric is soooo gorgeous….it came from Needle Nook Fabric in Wichita.


The top sewed up perfectly. ¬†I love Jalie patterns. ¬†I’m on the lookout for some fabric for me to make this up in.

And that catches us up to now! ¬†Next up is a quick bikini for my sis. ¬†It’s another surprise gift in a cute Navy with red polka dots.

Happy Sewing!


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