I’m going through my inventory and while I have several items I’ve just added to the shop with more to come, there are also several that I am considering donating. So, if you want to score some free stuff (just pay shipping) check out the shop portion of the site and sort by price from Low to High. Or just click this link.

There’s a few scarves, a pair of ginormous slippers, some earrings that just aren’t quite up to par, and a pot holder that has too small of a hanging tab. These items are well-made, they’re just not moving well and I want them gone. So click on through and see what you can grab!

There’s also a few beading patterns, but those ones are always available for free.

Butterick3579One bad go at pants wasn’t enough. I had to try again. This time I used this simple slacks looking pattern and again, I traced the pattern out on kraft paper and graded up a few sizes. I ran into a few issues in tracing, which may have led to some of my problems with fit. Basically, the pattern was printed lighter than normal so I had to sandwich the pattern between two layers of kraft paper to make the lines visible to trace out. That meant trying to keep all the layers still, which was beyond difficult. In hindsight, I should have pinned them together first. Doh!

Anyway, I finally got my pieces traced and a few measurements told me things were going to be a bit big. My waistline was measuring out at 52″, not subtracting for seam allowances so I know I’d have to take things in. I sewed them as is though and then tried them on and yup, way too big.

I ended up ripping out the waistband, and taking in about 2.5″ from each outside seam, plus adding one small dart that took up about an inch into each side in the back. That was better, and I stitched the waistband back into place like this.

B3579Front

 

Are they great, amazing, fantastic pants? No. But I didn’t expect a miracle because they literally have three pieces and no shaping in the original instructions. They are however, better than the red pants are ever going to be, and they are comfortable to wear.

B3579Back

 

Oh! And that’s another Kwik Sew 3740 view B you see on my top half. I managed to squeeze it out of the scraps I had left over from the Dolman sleeve top I showed you last time with the red pants.

I’ve sewn KS1425 before, twice, actually, but its such a comfy, casual style and I wanted to sew it again. I traced the patter sizes I’d previously cut out to a larger size (boo! weight gain!) and I started cutting. I was proud of myself because I graded things perfectly and all my pieces lined up just right. Of course this top has 4 pieces, plus the little strips across the back, so there’s not a lot to it. I didn’t take process photos but there’s not a lot to see in this one anyway.

Afterwards, I took some photos wearing it, along with the red pants from my previous post. The pants are kind of growing on me, and as I said, they are super comfortable. I’m thinking  after looking at these photos, maybe they aren’t so bad.

Here we go! Picture time!

3

 

I’m still not 100% crazy about the fit in the front but I’ve gone over several fitting cheat sheets and there’s nothing super glaringly wrong with them. They’ve just kind of loose which I’m not sure to, though as I said, I like the rear fit okay.

4

 

So, new top, and the final view of the red pants. I’ll hopefully be posting new projects soon. I have some crazy stuff in mind!

M6697I first saw this pattern while browsing on eBay and I knew I had to have it in my collection. Shortly thereafter, I was shopping for fabrics to use in it. Unfortunately, the only two fabrics I could find at Joann’s when I went that were similar in stretch and weight were in purple and black. I had initially wanted something with more contrast between them but purple and black was an okay combination so I went with it. It looks good in the pattern envelope, so why not?

The pattern sat on my sewing table for a while- a few months. I kept picking it up in passing. I had the fabric. I had the pattern. But I still hadn’t made the dress. Finally yesterday I laid my fabric out to start cutting. I wasn’t thinking about how many panels this dress must have to make the stripes but once I started cutting I was wondering if the cutting was going to take all day- There were I think 10 panels in the dress I had to cut.

M6697Front

 

The actual construction went smoothly and easily. There’s not a lot to it besides making sure the pieces go in the right order, and There aren’t any even moderately difficult techniques used in this dress. You sew the front panels together, sew the back panels together, sew together at the shoulder and side seams, and then made a narrow hem at the arm- and neck-holes and hem the bottom. Sometimes I skip out on hemming the bottom on knits but this was dragging the ground a bit so I had to.

M6697Back

 

I really love how this turned out and the color combination worked really nicely. If this wasn’t such a stand out design because of the striping, I would make this again. Its super comfortable and I love it!

Yesterday I posted that I made the low-volume maxi skirt as explained on So Sew Easy. My first try at it was nothing but problems, and my fabric, a thin slippery knit, kept getting stuck in my throat plate. I did a bunch of research this morning and only found one thing to try that I had not already given a shot- changing my needle. I wanted to try adding a second layer to the skirt because the material is so thin that panty lines are highly visible- more so because the fabric is shiny.

silverfront

 

I grabbed the skirt and cut another layer for it, then attempted sewing it again with the new needle. Amazingly it worked pretty smoothly though I did have to help the fabric along a bit. I am much more pleased with the outcome with the second layer of fabric in the skirt.

silverback

 

I think this will be a great basic piece to have in my wardrobe and should be matchable with a lot of different tops.

Back in June, I sewed up the blouse in this pattern, and though my fabric choice was pretty and it looked nice, it didn’t work out. The fabric shredded through the seams with the slightest pressure, and even with seam binding added onto it, it just didn’t work out. I loved the pattern though and knew I was going to make it again in a different fabric. Wednesday I sat down in my craft room and cut the pieces out of a cotton fabric I bought for something else originally but decided would work great for this blouse. I cut it slightly large then the pattern called for where the seams would be to give myself a little extra room to do French seams. The first time I made this I found out this blouse has very little ease, so cutting a little bigger was a must for this. I also added about 2 inches to the length of the blouse. This goes together really quickly and soon I had a super cute top in an adorable button print. I will swap out the zipper in the side most likely later on for a lighter weight one, but aside form that, I am thrilled with it.

long

 

So Sew Easy had a post on making the perfect low-volume maxi skirt and I was excited to try it. I only recently sewed my first maxi dress and am crazy about the length. I’ve never had long skirts or dresses before. I grabbed a fabric I originally bought for a dress but decided I didn’t care too much for and got to work. I thought it might make a cute skirt so why not? Wrong! The fabric is super thin, super slippery, and just bad. When I had 2 layers of it, it sewed okay, but when I added a third layer the fabric kept getting stuck in my plate. I tried backing the fabric with tissue paper and wax paper. Nope. Still stuck in the plate. I tried my walking foot (that I finally looked up how to put on my machine- doh!) and that didn’t help. Finally I settled for pretty much dragging the fabric through by hand and it sort of sewed okay. I’m pretty darned sure the rest of that fabric (slightly more than 3 yards) is going up in my shop very soon!

longback

 

I did love the shape of the skirt though so I made another one out of a more stable, not slippery knit. This one turned out fabulously and its in the pictures with my blouse. I want to make another one but not sure if I have another cut of fabric that will work for it in my stash. I’ll have to go look.

003I was browsing Pinterest (I have such mixed feelings about it but occasionally I find my way back to it) and looking for free sewing patterns. I came across some really cute ideas, but so many are not suited to my body type, or would take a lot of scaling as the patterns were only available in very small sizes. Then I saw this. This jacket has the prettiest draping and the shape is interesting given the way the seams run. Its made out of a stretch knit fabric, and I definitely want to make one for myself before winter comes.

The jacket is made from three pieces of fabric and the only pattern you really need is a few measurements form your tape measure. Here’s the link! Its from a few years ago but I absolutely love it.

My good friend Tracy sent me a few links to some patterns the other day, and this wrap dress from So Sew Easy really caught my eye. I immediately thought to myself “What if I can turn that dress into a top? It can’t be that hard!” I downloaded the pattern, and got to work cutting and taping pieces together. I had planned to use the yard and a half of yellow burnout fabric I bought that I was on the fence about in case it didn’t turn out, but it turned out great!

The first thing I did after cutting the pattern pieces was measure myself from my armpit down my side to where I wanted the top to end up at. Then I marked out the extension of fabric with my pins and started cutting. This pattern has numerous pleats in it for shaping, which I left in the same places, and just extended the one on the left front out to the edge of the fabric. My first try on alerted me that the top was going to be much too big, but I believe that was due to user error when taping the pattern together.

I took it in a it at the side seams, tried on again, and adjusted from there. I left it a little on the loose side, though when (Not if, definitely when) I make this as a dress I will adjust for a snugger fit. The other change I made to this design was I added bias binding to the sleeve ends and the neckline- I used a contrasting medium grey and I think it really gives the top a more finished look. I tacked a few stitches onto where the binding criss-crossed in the center front as this fabric does not have great recovery and I didn’t want it gaping by the end of the day.

sewsoeasywraptop

 

If I made this as a top again I might add more pleats into the right side. There are four now, but they only run about half of the distance from top edge to bottom hem. I’m not entirely positive on the best way to do that, but the internet offers a host of information and how-to’s on pretty much everything so pretty sure I can sort it out easily enough.

If you like my creation, pop on by Deby’s site and get the pattern for yourself! Make it as a top or as a dress! 🙂

Back in October, I sewed View B from Kwik Sew 1425 out of a wild pink and black knit that I loved. I decided this Wednesday evening to sew up View C, which is identical except for having a cross-cross detail on the back. I did make a few minor changes to the pattern, and I will list them off.

  • I added a band to the bottom hemline. I laid my pieces out and planned to make the shirt a few inches longer when cutting, then I spaced out and cut it as is. The band was added to the bottom hem to both add length, and I first ran elastic through it, which I ended up pulling out because I just didn’t like it.
  • I hemmed the neckline and sleeves edges rather than use the binding method suggested by the pattern. This was due to finding that the fabric I used, while stretchy, was not stretchy enough to make use of the binding strips as I cut them. Instead of re-cutting them a few inches longer, I just hemmed the raw edges instead.
  • I added 6 criss-cross bands instead of just the required 2 pieces. I may have gotten a little crazy there but I think it was a fun add-on and super easy.

Other than those two things, I followed the directions as they were. Yes, this is a traffic cone orange t-shirt. Its super, super bright, but the light pointelle jersey is so super airy and breathable and so comfortable to wear I can forgive its ridiculously bright color.

KS1425ViewC

 

When talking to Tracy last night, I noted I am wearing a lot more bright colors than I ever have. A few years ago there is no way I would have worn a top like this, or some of the other brighter colors I’ve sewn things up in. My Kelly green half circle skirt? No way! My white birds t-shirt? Nope. I didn’t wear white, ever.

Another thing I did yesterday was fix the quick strap I made to pull my bra strap down a bit for those tops and dresses with low backs. You’ve probably seen the fix on Pinterest in a dozen places, and while I made my own hardware clip to put on the elastic, the effect is the same, just cheaper.

lowbackstrap

 

Sorry about the great view of my fat! I’ve lost a lot of weight but still have a ways to go! Anyway, this fix would probably work better on someone thinner, because as we get smaller, our narrowest waist point tends to be lower, and that’s where the elastic ends up- at your narrowest point. I’m heavier and my natural wait is higher so this doesn;t make a big dramatic change n my bra strap location, but it does pull it down just enough.

You might remember if you’ve been reading for long that I sewed up View E of this dress a while back. I sewed it out of an inexpensive green stretch velvet for a friend’s prom-themed birthday party and it turned out almost perfect. I realized a few days ago I have never had a maxi dress in my life- the only long dresses of any sort I’ve had have been at least semi-formal. I decided to fix that.

This pattern was not the one I first had picked out for this fabric. The one I initially bought it for is not bra strap friendly, and as an F cup, I need to be wearing a bra. This is my fabric, all ready to cut. Its more turquoise than blue in person. I wish I had the room for a huge cutting table so I wouldn’t have to fold my yardage back on itself when pinning and cutting, but I make do with the space I have. 🙂

ReadyToCut

 

View C is the full-length version without sleeves.

S1612Envelope

 

Its got the twisted back with that lovely opening, and a knotted center front. When I sewed View E of this dress, it was really easy, so I expected this view to be easy too. In a way it was. If I had followed the directions properly and not skipped a step (if this pattern says baste, for the love of all that’s holy, BASTE!) it would have gone together smoothly and easily. Instead I skipped a tiny step, and spent ages undoing my work to go back and do it because the issue could not resolved otherwise.

All told, I spent about 3 hours on this dress. I did have a break when we went out for beer and dinner, buut did the hemming when we got back and my head cleared a bit.

S1612CFront

 

I LOVE how it turned out! So comfortable and the fit is fabulous!

S1612CBack

 

The only thing I did not like was the back is just low enough I had to rig up some elastic to pull my bra strap down so it doesn’t show. Otherwise, a wonderful dress and pattern, and I love it!