Friday, July 4, 2014

Trying to Sew More...PR Wardrobe Contest July 2014

I'm attempting to enter the PR Wardrobe Contest this month.  Whether I have time to finish or not, I think this will force me to goal-oriented and it is a good incentive to finish more projects.  Five garments in a month is a lot for me.  I could do it if I sewed every weekend, but the weekends are the only time I have to spend with the Boyfriend because our work schedules are not in sync.

I haven't sketched in Illustrator (other than for work, of course) for a really long time.  I work in Illustrator on a daily basis creating technical sketches and updating designer flats, but I haven't created my own flats in a really long time.  The ones I made were very basic, but it was fun working on them at home.  No new designs...Just made a flat sketch of the Pattern Magic Apple Peel Leggings and a circle skirt.

Here's my plan so far.  I am posting this to the PR discussion board too to get some feedback.

Some of these garments are involved and will take some time fitting.  Even if I don't finish, at least I'll have made some.  The Polly Top is already cut and I have fabric prepped for the leggings and the other shirt.  Haven't decided on the fabric for Vogue 1170, but I have both in my stash.  I'm going fabric shopping on Sunday to see if I can find a pretty minty green or preferably a reddish/coral double knit for the circle skirt.

I can see myself really wearing this wardrobe.  These types of "bottoms" are lacking in my wardrobe, so it will be nice to fill some holes.

Let me know what you think!  Any feedback, good or bad would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Annie's Edna

One of the Boyfriend's good friends had an adorable baby girl and he wanted to do something special for her.  We decided to make a teddy bear.  The Boyfriend helped select the fabrics and I pretty much did the rest. :-P  Oh, The Boyfriend also helped stuff the various bear parts.

We used the Purl Bee Teddy Bear pattern and tutorial.  The pattern was drafted well and the instructions were good.  I think a beginner could make this. Certain sections were quite difficult like the muzzle area and lower leg paws, but doable if done slowly.

 I wasn't happy with how the paws turned out initially.  They are uneven and a little wonky.  To fix camouflage the problem (or make it stand out more?) I did some purposefully uneven, but charming hand embroidery.  Well, I say charming; others may say shitty. Hehehe.  The arms were stitched to force them forward as they kept flailing backward.

Here are few views of the hand stitching:

Overall, I'm pleased with how the bear turned out and named her Edna.  She's a little weird and I thought she needed an odd, old-fashioned name.  Annie can re-name her when she's old enough to talk.

Edna's Tail!

For scale, here's Pearl modeling with Edna.  Pearl is 3.5 lbs.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hi Everyone!  If you are so inclined, vote for my trousers on PR!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Colette Juniper Trousers!

I'm back.  I've been sewing some and crafting some, but just not blogging.  Sorry :-/

I busted my butt this morning and into the afternoon to finish this pair of pants to enter into the Pattern Review Pants Contest.  I started them because of the contest and of course waited until the last possible moment to finish them.  

 Here's my official Pattern Review:

Pattern Description: 

Classic wide-leg trousers, perfectly fitted through the hips and falling gently to a moderately wide hem. Has front slash pockets and fly front.
Pattern Sizing:

0-18. I made a 4 with lots of fit modifications.

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

Yes! It did!

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I thought they were pretty easy to follow. I sewed the pocket in a different order than the instructions called out, which made more sense to me. I thought the instructions were a little too wordy. They are too conversational and could be easily simplified and still make sense.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really like the style of these pants. Something I always want to buy, but have a hard time finding in stores.

The fit was not great for my body type. I do not have hips so I had to make some modifications. That was a little annoying because being an indie pattern (not a Big 4) I was hoping the body measurements listed on the back of the pattern would be more accurate. I measure 27.5" at natural waist, and 36.75" at hip and I had to take in this pattern a lot! See below.

I also did not like that there wasn't a top pocket facing. I ended up adding one.

Fabric Used:

A vintage med. weight denim I bought at a church sale for a few dollars years ago and a vintage floral sheet for the pocketing I got for free when I first started to sew. Yay for stashbusting!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: we go...

Like I said above I made a size 4. I was a big-ol-idiot and thought that I would make the pants straight from the envelope and not have to make fit adjustments. I even overlocked and topstitched the sides and back rise before checking fit. Derrrr. So I had to unpick a lot and make as many adjustments as I could without recutting and redoing the entire pant. I ended up taking in the side seams from about low hip to waistseam 1/4" (1" total circumference). i also took in the CB seam 1/4" (1/2" total). Of course then my facings were the wrong size! My seam allowances for the CB facing pieces ended up being about 1 3/8" and I left my front facing pieces seam allowance 5/8." This was my quick and dirty fix. I hate recutting pieces.

Also, I drafted a little top pocket facing because it is one if my pet peeves to see pocketing fabric exposed inside the pocket.

I still need to address a little bit of "hungry butt" but overall, the fit is pretty good for my first real pair of pants.

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

I might make this again, but I would have to transfer all my fit changes to the pattern and I'm not up for that right now. Plus there are so many other patterns I want to try.


Overall, its a pretty good pattern, just not great for the hipless.

 Here are a few detail shots of the pocket and the trouser closure.

 If you made it down this far, VOTE FOR ME :)

Pants Contest 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Minty Spring Dress

A few weeks ago I made a dress, but I just finally got around to writing about it.

I used M6754, and combined view C and D.

The dress does not have a zipper.  The waist is stabilized, which makes it a little tricky, but once it's over my chest and shoulders, it's quite comfortable.

Fabric is a poly/lycra double knit I got for $1.50/yd at the swapmeet.  I first wore this dress out in Palm Desert, CA and it was surprisingly cool in spite of the polyester.

So, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out except that I should have done a small FBA.  The front of the waist seam pulls up a little.  The seam is not at my true waist which makes wearing a skinny belt a problem.  Belts don't quite sit at the waist seam and droop down especially at the CF.  If I use this pattern again, I will adjust the seam.  Lastly, the neckline hem is a little wonky over the thick seams, but looks as good as RTW in my opinion.

These pics were taken in my apartment complex.  The Boyfriend was a sport.  So was Pearl.  :)

Full Review on PR.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Super Cutesy Heart Top

Hi Everyone!

I made another version of Simplicity 1693!  This time I made View C.  The first time I made a floral, sleeveless View F.

Last time, I felt like I needed a very slight FBA with this pattern.  So this time, I cut the size 10 and added a 3/8" FBA (3/4" total). This helped add a little ease at the bust and balance the hem so it didn't hike up in the front.  I'm noticing hiking in some of the things I've been making.  Damn my boobs!

So I'm really stoked with the top.....with the exception of a few things.   I spent a long time lining up the hearts at CB and I missed it by 1/8."  That pissed me off.  It just shifted when I was cutting.  The other thing that is sad is the fabric itself.  I bought it at the swapmeet for $1.50yd.  It's a really nice stretch poly crepe.  Sadly, there are spots on my fabric.  The black bled out into the white leaving weird, grey blotches.  I didn't notice until I was pressing during construction.  Everyone who has seen the top said they didn't notice until I pointed them out.  I'm still going to wear it anyways and hopefully over time, the black will completely bleed into white creating a nice light grey. Hahaha.

I bound the neckline with packaged bias tape and overlocked the seams.

The bottom hem and sleeve hems are narrow hemmed.  I'm very proud of the hems actually.  They turned out very nice.

Well that's it.  See my full review at PatternReview.

 More pics below.  Oh, and the Boyfriend and I made the sewing pattern flower.  We made a bunch when we started watching Homeland a few months ago.  We never got into the show, but we have a bunch of flowers decorating our apartment.  Win!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Burda 02-2013 #127 Gathered Raglan Sleeve Top

This pattern was both a wadder and then a success.

I thought I had found the perfect pattern to use for the striped fabric below:

I really liked this grey and white stripe knit.  I purchased it in Maui years ago, and have been holding on to it.  When I finally got to working with the fabric, I realized the grain was horribly distorted, probably because it was originally a circular knit and then it was cut to roll on a bolt.  The Boyfriend and I tried pull the fabric back into shape, but we failed.  I decided to cut the pattern out anyways and put the pieces on grain as best as I could.  Construction was going fine until I realized that the fabric had no recovery! I finished the top, minus the hem, and tried it on.  It was a hot mess!  I tossed it right away along with the rest of the fabric.  I was so sad.  

I decided to try again with a black Rayon/Lycra knit I had in the stash.  This fabric was drapier, and had nice recovery.  I consider this one the success.  Not sure I love the raglan look, but it fits and looks good.  All the pictures are completely washed out to show some detail.

Changes I made:
I shortened the body drastically and shortened the sleeves by 2".  I could have shortened the sleeves more.  I also shortened the neck binding by 2" as recommended by someone on PatternReview.  For this version I sewed the sleeves on to the body first and then stitched the sleeve and side seams second.  I had to take about 1.25" out of the underarm.  I felt there was too much fabric and it was hindering my movement.
I used a twin needle on all hems.  

Link to my PatternReview.  

Sorry for all the washed out photos.  It was the only way to show the detail!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

V1247 Blue and White Smock...I mean Top

Remember the fabric featured in the pattern weight post?  Well, here's the blouse I made with it!

I used V1247, the Rachel Comey blouse.  I've been wanting to make this for a while, and finally got around to making it.

The fabric was actually from Joann's from the Lisette collection a few years ago.  I really liked it.  Unfortunately, I don't think it worked all that well with this pattern.  Again, I chose a pattern that isn't a stripe, but is.  The flowers converge on each other in a weird way in the center.  I must not have cut the fabric out as accurate as I had hoped.

Instead of following the instructions and using french seams, I just stitched the seams and then serged the edges.  It was quick and just as effective.  Not as pretty inside, but still professional looking.

I wish I would have made one size smaller and lengthened the pattern a bit.  I am short, but I would have liked it longer n the front.  Like the reviews say on PatternReview, the shirt is very low cut.  I'm usually okay with this, but since the top is large, I need to wear a cami underneath.

The Boyfriend says the top looks good on me, but he's always nice about the things I make.  It's a super comfy shirt, but I don't think I will wear it often.  :(  It reminds me of hospital scrubs.  What do you think?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

More Silhouette Fun.

I made my mom a silhouette portrait of my parents for Mother's Day.  I finally got around to taking the picture off my camera.

I photoshopped photos of them, merged the images together, and converted the file into Illustrator. The Silhouette Studio program will take .ai files, but not .jpgs.  I traced the file and with some trial and error, made the portrait.  I used some Amy Butler scrapbook paper for the background and created my own photo mat too.  

I took this picture of Pearl on the same day.  Yes, a gratuitous portrait of Pearl :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Burda 02/2013 #135 Polka Dot Top

Hello Again.  Just trying to post my backlog of projects.  Can you tell?  It's Xmas in this photo.   Hey, do you like our first Christmas tree? The Boyfriend and I went to a tree farm and chopped it down!  We decorated it with vintage ornaments we purchased at local flea markets, ornaments from my childhood, and other ornaments my mom generously gave up because she has hundreds.  Literally hundreds of ornaments.

 Anyhoo, My boss bought me a gift card for Liberty of London fabric for Christmas in 2012 and I've been searching for a perfect pattern for the print I chose.  It needed to be simple, because the print is very busy and it's repetitive.  Instead of choosing a typical, tiny floral print, I ended up choosing a print that is a large, repeating scallop.  I essentially have to treat it as a stripe.  Ugg, why am I so attracted to stripes.  Such a pain in my ass!

I used Burda 02/2013 #135 for my first test garment because it is simple and I thought it looked cute in the magazine.

I'm not too impressed with how the top turned out.    I used a super cheap ($1/yd) cotton fabric I bought at the swapmeet years ago.  I think it's one of the first fabrics I purchased there.  Once I got the top mostly made, I realized the neckline was really bad.   I  chopped the neckline down to fit these crazy lace collars I bought at the swapmeet for probably 25 cents.  Yup, they were very cheap.  I hand stitched them on, and even though it took a long time,  I sort of enjoyed it.  Instead of stitching the binding like the Burda instructions stated, I sewed it right sides together and then flipped it entirely to the inside and topstitched 1/4" away from the neck edge.

In a different fabric, this may be cuter.  It's comfy, but it does wrinkle easily.  I don't wear it much, but it was fun to make.

My Pattern Review is here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fun Times with the Silhouette!

I mentioned a while back that The Boyfriend bought me the Silhouette for my birthday in 2013.  Here is one of the projects I made with it.

The first actual project I made with the machine was a silhouette portrait (how appropriate, no?) of the Boyfriend and Abraham Lincoln.  I was inspired by the portraits made at Disneyland.  If you didn't know, there are cast members in this one shop on Main Street who hand-cut your portrait in a matter of minutes.  It's novel, but not cheap.  One of the examples on the wall of the store is of Abe.  We were initially going to pay for a portrait with The Boyfriend and Lincoln, but I though it would be more challenging and fun to do it myself.  I know, it's weird, but that's how I roll.

 I used my mad photoshop skills to turn the Boyfriend's profile image into a black silhouette.  I combined that image with a rad clipart file of Honest Abe.  Working in the Silhouette software is not easy.  I'm so used to Photoshop and Illustrator that the software doesn't make sense to me.  And there aren't great instructions out there.  So many tutorials, but a lot of work to watch and try to apply to my own projects.  I'm much more into designing my own things, than downloading from the Silhouette Store.   Here it is:

I surprised the Boyfriend with this on his birthday.  

Not wanting to waste paper, I also decided it would be cute to get a portrait of Pearl.  It was a bit of a challenge to get Pearl to sit still long enough to snap a photo of her from the side. 

 I snapped this picture with my iPhone in my left hand and a treat held up high in my right hand.  

She's such a sport....

(Both frames were found at an Antique Flea Market.  The Boyfriend's frame was $2 and the bow frame was only $1!!!)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nifty Flea Market / Yard Sale Finds

Look at this cool sh*t!

I go the numerous antique flea markets / swapmeets a couple times a month.  Sometimes I find really cheap vintage patterns, awesome notions, and on rare occasions I get fabric.  Then there are those times you find really cool things.  Like these brass duck pattern weights!

Well, the original purpose was place holders on a dinner table, but they are super heavy and a great size to fit in the corners of pattern pieces.  I use these in combination with metal washers I bought at the hardware store.

The ducks are my new favorite...and if I ever have a big Duck Dynasty themed dinner party, I have the perfect addition to the table.

(The fabric was made into a blouse for myself.  To be blogged about later when I get around to taking photos.)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Baby Quilt for Jack!

Going to try to get back into blogging again.  I've made quite a few things since the last time I blogged, but haven't taken many pictures.  Made myself a couple of tops, a button down shirt for my dad, a quilt (see below), pillows for my house, blanket pants (super warm and fuzzy pjs) for the Boyfriend's brother-in-law, and most recently a sweatsuit for my baby nephew.  I think I realize that I don't blog if I get held up with photographing a project.  I made my mom a beautiful pencil skirt last year and I still don't have pictures of it.  I have a hard time moving on, if I don't "complete" a project.  You won't see many UFOs in this house.  I've had a crap project or 2 which I won't go into because they make me sad. I hate sewing projects that don't pan out.  I've also been focusing on more craft projects for the house, rather than sewing all the time.  I work with clothes on a daily basis at work and going home and doing the same is too much sometimes.  

Well enough of the excuses.  Here's the quilt!

My sister had her first baby in October.  For the shower in August (yes I made this so long ago!!!) I made a baby quilt.  I had so many ideas to choose from thanks to Pinterest, but I landed on this triangle quilt.  I'm pretty happy how it turned out.  The binding could have been better, but my sister seems to like it. 

I used Kona Cottons for all the solid colors, which I purchased at  The mini triangle fabric was also purchased at  I bought the grey chevron fabric at a local discount fabric store.  

The quilt took a few days to make.  The Boyfriend helped with some of the sewing :) and the placement of triangles.  

I also made a little matching pillow with extra triangles and bunting to hang in the baby room. 

I stole this picture from my sister's facebook page.  The quilt and pillow are on the chair.  

For size reference, here is the quilt occupied by Pearl.  If I put anything on the floor, Pearl jumps right on.

I'll try to jump back on the blogging band-wagon.  If I don't, please forgive me.  :)