So I am pretty sure this is my new favorite pattern, at least for this week. I sewed View A as its supposed to be, then I sewed View A minus the flounce in white satin for the 80’s party, and this morning I sewed View A without the flounce again out of some black moleskin (?) fabric I had in my stash with no idea what to do with. I’m trying to use up some of the fabrics I already have before I buy more the beginning of next month. In May I’m planning on making some workout clothes with the nifty moisture-wicking fabrics I found at Fabric.com and I want room in my stash for anything I don’t use right away, and the fabrics I have stacked up on my tables right now.

M5184BlackFrontAnyway, here’s the latest version of McCalls 5184. I like it, but I did not stop to think about how bad of a dog hair magnet this fabric is going to be. Its going to be horrible… LOL. I added a few inches to the length like I did with the white version- this one got about 4″ added to it. Of course there is no give in this fabric so I have to remember to tug it down a bit before sitting. Thankfully most of my skirts are not this short!

 

 

You also might recognize the top I’m wearing as one of my 80’s Kwik Sew patterns I did last year (I think) from a tiny bit of fabric I thought I would never find a use for. Its one of my favorite tops now- so comfortable, airy, and the bright colors are fun. Its one of those tops I may find myself making again in time.

 

M5184BlackBackMy zipper almost went in perfectly the first time, but then I noticed a tiny edge of my interfacing (which is white) was visible where something wasn’t quite lined up right. This being black, it was super visible, so I had to rip out that side of the zipper and make adjustments to fix it. Still, overall the whole thing went super smoothly. I think I’m done with this pattern for now though and pretty sure I do not need any more skirts either way. Well, maybe a few long ones. I don’t have any maxi skirts.

 

I also spent a quick hour stitching up Simplicity 6816 View C, which is just a basic short-sleeved t-shirt. I remembered after sewing up I think it was View A before that these tops wind up a little short on me, so I added three inches to the bottom hem and it would up being hip length, which is perfect. I don’t have a photo of me in it yet, but here it is on one of my girls.

 

M5184BlackDogIts nothing fancy, just a simple scoop neck T, but I got to use some of the most hideous fabric in my stash (I bought 3 yards on clearance years ago) and it actually makes a good T-shirt. I was happily surprised. The pattern calls for binding on the neckline but I just hemmed it instead. I didn’t see how binding would really add anything to this top and since I really hate doing it…

I decided this year I will play along for Me Made May 2014. I thought about doing it last year but I really didn’t feel like I had enough me-mades to give it a real go. This year though! I took a count of my closet and I might be missing a few items but this is what I found.S6816ViewCFront

  • 13 shirts
  • 1 sweater dress
  • 9 skirts
  • 5 dresses
  • 1 formal dress + capelet
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 2 pairs pajama pants/shorts
  • 1 piece lingerie
  • 2 fleece jackets/capes
  • 1 belt
  • numerous purses

I’ve got at least 21 outfits without even thinking about it right there- that’s almost the full month just like that. I’m going to try to take a photo each day and show you everything at the end of the month, but no guarantees there. I most likely will not be wearing the jacket, cape, or the formal dress, but everything else will probably have a shot. One of the dresses needs to be taken in a bit, or even better disasembled and re-cut, but otherwise everything listed is in wearable condition.

Here’s my pledge:

I, Deb of http://debsinstitches.com/, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2013.

And here’s where you can sign up for Me Made May 2014 too!

I’m not going to promise to dress head to toe in my me-mades every day, but I will wear something. I’d also like to try to wear at least one piece of jewelry I’ve made each day as well. I have tons of it (and tons for sale!) so that should be no problem.

As you’ve seen, I’ve been working on a truly hideous, absolutely tacky gold lame’ blouse for an 80’s party we were invited to on the 3rd. I am using Kwik Sew 1262, and I posted pics a little way back of the shell without sleeves, but hadn’t gotten much further. Anyway, a few days ago I thankfully finished the blouse. Its not that it was a difficult pattern to sew, or that I was having trouble. Its that the gold lame’ fabric is horrible to work with, and it sheds tinsel everywhere. Anyway, I got it done but was stumped about what to do for my bottom half. Then my good friend Tracy suggested white vinyl for a skirt (I had already decided on a mini) and I was off to Walmart with my last $10 to see what they had. Turns out they only had browns and black vinyls, but I came home with some white satin instead.

ks1262front

 

I busted out the pattern I used for the skirt I sewed and posted about yesterday, and making a few small changes (I added 2.5″ to the hemline and completely lined it because my fabric was thinnish) and left off the flounce. I sewed my zipper in more than once but the final outcome is one i am very pleased with and it went in pretty much perfectly.

ks1262back

 

My entire outfit costs me less than $25 including the cost of the patterns, and only took about 2 hours total to sew them up.

I’ll be doing crimped hair, colorful make up and big bold jewelry, though I may still need to make my jewelry. The blouse is hideous. I will probably bury it in my closet and ignore it forever after this, but for the party, its just right. The skirt I will hopefully get to wear again, as I quite like it.

I just posted this skirt (McCalls 5184 View A) yesterday without the flounce and it was a micro-mini. That was fine and all but today I woke up and I wanted to try the skirt with with the flounce added, assuming I had enough fabric to do so. I just barely managed to cut the flounce from what was left, though I had to cut it in 4 pieces instead of two on the fold, but to say its a completely different skirt is an understatement!

M5184ViewARuffleFront2

Just ignore the dopey sunglasses. Its morning here and the sun was blinding me, so I put them on, though now I just look silly.

M5184ViewARuffleSide

 

 

This skirt should be about 4 inches longer, but I made a really deep hem on it to see how I liked the slightly shorter length. I may go in and trim it up and re-hem it, but maybe not. It doesn’t really matter either way.

M5184ViewARuffleKneel

 

The girls are big helpers when it comes to pictures. Sashi was really hoping I’d pick up her flat ball ad throw it but I don’t dare with the camera out there because she’ll probably knock it over.

M5184ViewARuffleSit2

 

Anyway, end feeling is I love the skirt. I love the fabric. And I love the style. It was fun in its short life as a micro-mini, but now I can actually sit comfortably, as well as bend over safely.

I will still be making a mini-skirt version of this for the 80’s party, but I will add about 2.5″ to the length of the skirt as it is without the ruffle. That will make it a little more decent, though still very 80’s. I’ll see you next time!

m5184Where have I been lately? I have all these plans for sewing but haven’t done much of anything. You know how that is? Anyway, we have an 80’s theme party we are going to the first weekend in May, and I’ve been having some struggles with getting my outfit ready. I have my blouse finished, which I will post another day (only I get my skirt that goes with it done) and that was its own mess and struggle.

Anyway today I stitched up a quick skirt using the pattern I am using for the skirt for the party to see how it fit and if I liked it. I used McCalls 5184 View A, but I left the ruffle off of the bottom to make it into a micro mini skirt. I new it would be short without the ruffle but I had no idea it would be this short.

The pattern is super easy to put together (the part of I did anyway) and literally took me an hour from the start of pinning the pattern down to the fabric to finishing the last stitching. The zipper went in almost perfectly, and the only thing I noted wasn’t quite right at the end was my waistband on one side at the zip ended up slightly deeper somehow, resulting in the two side coming together at the zip being a little uneven.

Despite the super short length, I really like this skirt. Its probably too young for me, but its not like everything in my wardrobe is like this. I think I can get away with wearing the occasional article like this.

Anyway, here it is. McCalls 5184 View A minus the ruffle.

m5184viewa-front

 

These shoes aren’t the best but they were the only black pair I could find, though in cooler weather I could wear this with leggings and boots.

m5184viewa-bent

 

I have no idea what I was bending over for but you can bet I will not be doing any of this in public where people can see me! There is literally 1″ of fabric covering my butt in this thing.

m5184viewa-back

 

My zipper is slightly visible here. I used a bright yellow one and all of my visible stitching is yellow as well.

Tomorrow I will be stitching up this pattern again just like this one, but in white satin. My friend Tracy suggested that I use white vinyl but I’m not going to have more money free before the date of the party, and WalMart only had icky browns and blacks. I went with the satin because it was affordable and available without driving across town (I’m almost out of gas). It’ll have to be doubled up as its a little too thin for a single layer, but it should work out fine.

I’ve posted a few projects in the last few months that have had either lousy pics, or mentioned things without any pictures at all. This afternoon my new camera arrived, and I was able to get a few quick photos of some of the stuff you really did not get to see before, so here’s a quick photo dump.

I’ll start with Simplicity 1612, View E, which was my prom party dress. I had posted photos from the party that the photographer took, but none of them really showcased my dress well. This dress turned out great except for some slightly wonkiness at the neckline, but that may have been caused by user error.

S1612ViewEFront

 

The back of this dress is fairly open, and ties at the neck. I had originally wanted to do the view with the twist back detail, but ended up falling in love with this one after seeing it sewn on another sewer’s blog.

S1612ViewEBack

 

One last shot. Look who needs to redo her nails! Whoops!

S1612ViewEFrontClose

 

Here’s McCall’s 6173, View A. I’ve sewn these pants before but wanted one more pair of them because they are so freaking comfortable. I’m totally channeling my inner Peg Bundy here, BTW. The shirt I’m wearing is Simplicity 7330, which was Mattie’s shirt for the prom party. One of these days I’m going to make my own because this shirt is really nice to wear.

M6173ViewAFront

 

Here’s the back view.

M6173ViewABack

 

I still have the complaint that these pants will never really be the leggings they are supposed to be, despite taking them in many inches from the mid-thigh down. They just don’t fit that closely at all.

Here’s Butterick 5169, View B. This is a nice fitted top and its very easy to wear. I can see this pairing well with quite a few things, and my only complaint is its a little too short for my tastes, so if I make it again, I’ll be adding 2″ to the length of it.

 

B5169ViewBFront-546x1024

And here’s the back view.

B5169ViewBBack

 

I think this top does a nice job of emphasizing my waist with the way it fits, although I did find it a bit odd that it only has vertical darts, no horizontal ones.

I also tried working with my polymer clay on my own the other day, only to find my toaster oven I had does not regulate its temperature at all, and my clay was burned completely black in less then three minutes, and the entire house was filled up with horrible smelling smoke. It took me over 30 minutes with the doors all open and a fan going to clear the air inside before me and the dogs could go back in again.

I’m hoping to pick up a toaster oven in the near future that actually works properly and having another go at it. Tracy keeps sending me all these fun looking ideas and I want to try some of them.

 

b5169Butterick 5169 View B is the long sleeved top at left. I had tried to sew this pattern once years ago and having no idea how so sew, or how to follow directions, it was a complete and total failure. I can’t remember what happened to the top in question- I probably threw it out and said good riddance. I do remember there were horribly placed button holes that ruined it completely.

Anyway, in my attempt to clean up and use up some fabrics, I realized a girl can never have too many tops and started going through my shirt patterns. I came across this one and figured why not? It’s been years since I tried it and I actually kind of know how to sew now. I checked the fabric requirement, saw it was a small 2 yards, and selected a 2 yard cut of charcoal Kona cotton from the pile on my beading table. One less cut of fabric to put away, right?

The top is someone fitted, with a lot of darts (6 I think it was), and buttons down the front. I have button holes, but figured there are only four so why not give it a try? I can survive four button holes.

B5169B

Excuse my lousy picture- its from my phone taken in poor lighting. My camera seems to have not only lost its ability to fire the flash without help, but also has lost its image stabilizer too rendering it pretty much useless. I’ll be saving my pennies for a new camera soon. I’ve already got one picked out, and I wish I had the money for it now because having double exposure photos seems to be the best I can manage right now with my camera.

Anyway, the fit is good, though I would lengthen it a few inches if I make it again, and its comfortable to wear. The construction was super simple and easy to follow, and the final outcome is like the pattern image. I haven’t made the skirt yet to go with this, but may make it next. Or I might make this top again in a different color. I really need to gain more solid color pieces as I have more than enough prints in my closet already.

Tomorrow we’ve got company coming over, but if I get up early, I might see about using up another cut of fabric from my stash.

wpid-IMAG0753As promised, I worked up a second pair of these plants today, in some in plain black flannel for Mattie. His pair went together really smoothly except for the past where I manage to stick a pocket on backwards and ended up with two right legs and had to rip out some seams. I didn’t notice until I was about to sew the crotch seam and things weren’t lining up quite right.

Even with that problem, I still managed to knock them out in about 90 minutes from first cut to last stitch.

He claimed they were going to swallow him, I can only assume his reaction to the very wide legs on these pants. Simplicity 4101 is actually a pattern for scrubs so they are very roomy and easy to wear.

I made this pattern once years ago in a really fun, really splashy fabric that was not at all suited towards something that needed to take abuse. I wore them maybe twice, sat down, and the whole butt ripped out. That was when I learned that there are fabrics referred to as bottom weights and what that actually means.

My friend Alix was recently given a sewing machine and I am trying to get her to come over so I can teach her how to sew. Hopefully we can do that soon and I can give hr a small project to work on while she learns.

Today I’m planning on doing some furniture rearranging in my craft room, but not sure how much. I also want to try to reclaim at lest part of the closet nook, but with all of Richard’s car parts in there, that’s looking pretty iffy as I won’t be able to access the space even if I do empty it out.

I set out today to clean my craft room. To says it a mess is an understatement. My craft room is divided into two sides- one side for beading and jewelry making and the other side for sewing. I have two 6 foot folding tables, one on each side of the room. When its clean, its easy to find anything, and there’s plenty of room to work. But when its messy? Forget it. Finding things is a nightmare, and getting stuff done is almost impossible.

 

room-before

This was my craft room after I put most of my fabrics away, and stowed the ones that are for sale into a container pushed under the beading table. You can see it there on the right. Under the table is a huge mess of larger fabric scraps, interfacing pieces, and who knows what else.

 

room-after

This was after I tackled the pile of scraps, throwing quite a few away and stowing the rest. I had to empty my little trashcan twice. I put away pattern pieces from the project I finished yesterday (whoops!) and picked up as many tiny bits of fuzz off of the carpet. I found tons of safety pins laying everywhere. I found my bolt of interfacing, which was buried under all those scraps.

snips

 

That plastic trash bag you see under the table has a hoop skirt in it. Where does one generally store their hoop skirts? I honestly don’t know.

I also found these. My long missing thread snips. I’ve bee looking for them for ages and all along they were buried on my sewing table.

Of course there’s still that big stack of fabric sitting on the end of my beading table I need to do something with. Two of the cuts of fabric are supposed to be pajama pants, so I figured I’d jump in and make one pair today and will probably make the other pair tomorrow.

threadI used Simplicity 4101, View D (pants), cut in a medium. Its a unisex pattern, technically for scrubs, and the sizing is huge. Except for my hip measurement, I really could have cut a small and been okay. Anyway, it went together super easily, though I left off the patch pockets that are on the legs halfway down. The slash pockets at the hips are more than enough for pajamas.

I had a little scare as I was sewing when I looked up and saw this much thread left on my spool, and my bobbin had just run out. I only have about 6 more inches to stitch, so I hand-wound the bobbin a few times around, and hoped I’d make it. I literally finished as the end of the thread from the spool was feeding through the machine, and there’s a tiny bit of thread left on the bobbin. Close call!

Sorry my photos of the pants aren’t very good ones. I see to have been suffering some sort of difficulty with my tank top- no matter how I adjusted it for the pictures, something was showing that wasn’t supposed to.

Here’s the front.

s4101-d-front

 

Here’s the back.

s4101-d-back

 

And here’s the side.

s4101-d-side

 

These are insanely comfortable, and the flannel I used is soft and warm, and the print is really fun. Lately I’ve been all about the owls and the foxes. I would love to make a few more pairs of these, but I really don’t need any more clothes actually designed to lounge around the house in. I do enough of that already.

Tomorrow I’ll make another pair in plain black for Mattie, and that will be two cuts of fabric gone out o that stack.

mattieiMonths ago, I mentioned we were going to a prom-themed party for a friend’s birthday. I had my dress under wraps, and was going to reveal it with photos from the party right afterwards, but it slipped my mind completely. Yesterday I finally remembered to ask the photographer for permission to use a few of his photos in my blogs, and got his website link to full give him credit. Matt Rondel took the photos, and you can see more of his work here.

The photos we’re in don’t show the clothing that well, but they’re still fun photos and I want to share them. My dress has some really fun detailing around the neckline, but as it was chilly, I kept my capelet (McCall’s 5006) on all night and stayed warm.

The capelet was made out of leftover fabric from my dress, as well as some gold satin I had on hand already. I used scraps of velvet ribbon to make the ties to fasten it that I had in my stash already.

My dress was made from Simplicity 1612 View E, after I fell in love with seeing this version in a fantastic border print. I liked the simple lines of the dress overall paired with the interesting neckline and figured why not? I really wanted to do the dress in royal blue, but couldn’t find the right type of fabric in that color so went with this forest green instead. Overall for my dress and capelet, I think I spent about $35 to make both.

Mattie’s shirt is made from Simplicity 7330, View 4, and is called the “3 hour shirt” on the envelope. It was actually a lot easier to make than I was expecting, and turned out really well. I also learned a few new techniques for handling facings while sewing it, so it was pretty much a win-win across the board.

Here’s two more photos form the evening for your enjoyment.

girlslegs mattieguys

 

 

I had a lot of fun that night, and am happy with how everything turned out. 🙂 My only complaint is I had made these fantastic earrings to wear that night, and I forgot them at home. When we arrived I noticed someone else’s earrings, and immediately realized mine were sitting at home, in the holder, and not in my ears. 🙁

capeletI did a lot of sewing the last few days, but unfortunately, I can’t share the most exciting parts of it with you yet and that’s driving me crazy. I stitched up my prom dress for Joann’s party in November with only a few weeks to spare, plus I whipped up a really quick capelet using my leftover dress fabric, plus some other stuff in my stash to line it. I will show you the capelet though, as it doesn’t give away anything about my dress except color and fabric.

I based the capelet off of McCall’s 5006, view G or H, but I only went as far as cutting out the fronts and back piece using the pattern and ignored the rest. I had a few small pieces of black velvet ribbon in my stash which I used for the ties, and I used some gold satin that I have no memory of buying from my stash to line it. Its one of those fabrics I want to use up to get rid of it, but can’t think of many applications where I’d actually want to wear it. I also made a small gold clutch, and am going to go with gold sandals.

I also cut the pieces of the pattern out for the polka dotted top I showed you a mock-up of in this post on Sunday, and put it together on Tuesday. It turned out really cute, and I love it- its exactly what I expected, even though I altered some of the construction methods to finish off the neckband and armbands in a way that would be nicer than what was called for. This shirt was super easy to put together, and it took me about an hour and 40 minutes from start to finish. Part of that time was me ripping out a seam because the upper shoulder edges and center back edges on the back of the shirt are almost identical, and I stitched them together wrong and had to rip it out. I also had to restitch my sleeve cuffs on one sleeve twice as I completely missed snagging the cuff’s fabric on the inside of the sleeve when I stitched it in place.

I finally remembered to check and see if I have a matching zipper for the maroon dress I made months ago because after trying the dress on after I made it, I discovered the zipper sticks really bad, if you can zip it up at all- obviously that is not conductive to wearing it. Unfortunately, despite the fact I have literally 200 zippers of varying sizes and colors, I do not have one in a wine or maroon in the right length so will have to actually go out and buy one for it some time.

Anyway, here’s the top I did today, in a horrible dimly lit mirror shot. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but my camera took a crap on me, so right now its pretty much cell phone pics (sadly mostly in the mirror) unless I can get Mattie to take them for me. The fabric is actually navy blue with light blue dots, though its hard to tell in this awful photo.

I also did some new mock-ups this evening for a new pattern I recently picked up- I love leggings, and while I have two pair, I feel like I could use a few more. The pairs I have are black and grey, wit the black ones having huge metal grommets all over them and the grey ones are studded up the side seams. The grey ones are more versatile of the two, but the black ones can be hard to wear because of the grommets.

The new leggings I will be making fall into two places- calm and quiet, and crazy and wild. View A from McCall’s 6173 features a waistband and zipper, as well as zippers at the ankles. I chose two crazy fabrics for that view, with black and purple zebra stripes, and bold leopard print that channels my inner Peg Bundy.

The other view I like has an elastic waist, and no additional detailing. I’ve chosen a plain black rib knit for one pair, and a tan and brown houndstooth pattern for the other pair. There is a third view in the envelope, which features extra length so they are bunched up around the ankles. I don’t really care or that view.

4I also did a mockup of a mini-dress I have in my stash that I initially purchased for the top variations. But I’m thinking the mini-dress will be a great with leggings (its too short for me to wear otherwise- I’m not comfortable showing that much leg) and the teal colored rib knit I found will be great for it. I could wear it with either of the tamer leggings I’ll be making, as well as the two pairs I already own. Really trying to give myself some wearable Winter options that are still cute and fun while hopefully not freezing to death.

Tomorrow I will see about working on another of the tops I have had fabric for for a while and maybe knock something else out of my stash.I’m thinking of working on one of these variations of Simplicity 2365 View D as I really like the shirt I’ve already made form this pattern, though I did a different view- the one with the short sleeves. I’m not sure which fabric I want to dive into first though I do know the next time I do this pattern it will turn out better then before as I have a better understanding now of some of the finishing techniques used in it after making Mattie’s dress shirt.

I’d also like to see what I have in the way of bigger knit scraps that might be usable for other small projects and see about maybe listing them on eBay. Figure if I sell off some of them, I can make a few bucks and clear some room out in my fabric drawers. I need to pick up a few Priority mailers from the post office when I mail out patterns I sold tomorrow and see how much I can fit into one of them.