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:

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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.

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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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Front

 

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Back

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Inside

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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″.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Happy Sewing!!

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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.

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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!).

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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…

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And on me!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

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View C of Kwik Sew 2908

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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.

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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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