Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Train PJs

I'm afraid this post isn't going to be earth shattering, but I wanted to record the info for my own purposes. For some reason, I can never remember which patterns for PJs I like and what sizes I have used! It's a problem. Anyway, I finally got a chance to do some sewing, and the boys need PJs.
I started with Duncan, as his need was the greatest. The shirt is a blank from Walmart that I added the diesel engine to with flocked HTV, It's fun and fuzzy. For the pants, I used the Goodnight Sweetheart pants pattern from the Sewing for Boys book. I've been using it successfully for years, but Duncan is in the largest size now, so we'll be retiring it soon. Sad day. I did have to shorten it significantly. I took 3 inches off the length, and it's still got some grow length.
He likes them very much because TRAINS. The fabric is quilting cotton from Not my favorite choice, but train printed fabric is difficult to find in anything else.
Logan was a wee bit trickier. He prefers shorts and short sleeved tees for his PJs. All the stores around here have switched over to winter stock, so long sleeves are all that are on the shelves. So, the shirt is mommy-made.
I was a little apprehensive about this, actually. I know, just a tee shirt, but sizing for Logan has been really challenging me lately. He's getting into pre-teen sizing, and I don't have the same intuitive feel for that as I do for children's sizing. The last tee I made him was on the small side, and I didn't want that to happen again. After some discussion with the ladies in my Ottobre sewing yahoo group (Thank you, ladies!!) I decided to go with the Dirt tee from the 01/2015 issue of the magazine, as the photo of the shirt looks on the looser fit side. He falls pretty squarely into the measurements for a 148, but after also comparing a few of his favorite tees with the pattern, I ended up sewing the next size up.
He loves the way it fits, so yay! I think the neckline is a bit wide, but since it's a PJ top, I'm not too fussed about it. If I were making it for him to wear to school, I would have made a band for the neckline, rather than the narrow binding, and probably brought in the neckline 1/2 inch or so. The fit through the body is just the way he likes it though, so win! He likes the shorts very much too, and declares he is happy with his PJs.
The shorts are from the 06/2011 - the Green Check boxers. I went with the same size in the boxers as the tee, but of course, cut the waist elastic to Logan's actual waist measurement, which was 25 inches. I skipped the fly as Logan will never use it, and added a tiny bit of topstiching to the side seams, While Logan was wearing them last night, he happened to need a pocket and I was informed that future PJs needed pockets. Ok, then. The boxers are long - coming to below his knee - but he says he prefers them that way, so that was a win.
I'm happy to have a PJs formula for the boys that will work for now, and I have plenty more train fabric to work with, so there will be more of these forthcoming.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Jalie Eleonore, with sparkles

Well, the inevitable fall weather has finally hit us here in Eastern Tennessee, and fortunately I had an outfit all ready for Myra! She's been agitating for a pair of jeans "but fancy like yours, not from the store" for a while. And really, how can I refuse a request like that?!
Of course, the fancy part of her descriptor meant she wanted embroidery and sparkles. As you wish.
Myra prefers her jeans with a slim leg, so I went with the Jalie Eleonore pull on jeans. The pattern is great and given that the pants don't have zipper or buttons, they're a quick sew. Which is a good thing, as my sewing time has been pretty sporadic lately.
I made the same alteration for Myra that I did for myself. In the interest of booty coverage, I raised the back waist 3/4 of an inch (by increasing the height of the yoke at CB). I also shortened the elastic piece in the back waistband and stretched it as I basted it in. This pulls in the back waistband to cover Myra's backside.
For the embroidery on the front, I did a flourish with stars. I used a new-to-me applique technique that uses Glitter Flake heat transfer vinyl in the place of fabric. The big benefit of this method is that the HTV doesn't have to be cut away during the applique process - it rips away! Super fast and easy! And glitter-tastic, so Myra is definitely a fan!
The back pockets are embellished with purple unicorns, tiny glitter stars and swooshes. I used the rip-away applique method again here and it was amazing. I'd never have been able to applique those tiny stars with fabric. The trimming would have been too tedious.
As a finishing touch, I embellished a RTW sweatshirt with a dark purple glitter flake unicorn, to coordinate with her back pocket design. She was pretty thrilled with her new outfit, and declared that I am the best mom ever. So that was a win all around.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jalie 2908 sewing jeans!

Jeans! The leaves are turning and it's getting chilly, which always makes me want to sew jeans and jackets.
Jeans were a real wardrobe need too, so it worked out to my advantage. Basics like a good pair of dark wash jeans are always useful!
Of course, the pattern is Jalie 2908. I think this is the 9th pair I've made, so I've tweaked the pattern so many different times that I'm not sure Emelie would recognize it if she saw it!
This time, I altered the hip curve by about 1/4 inch. Not a major change, but I like the feel better. Definitely more comfortable. The fabric is a Ralph Lauren stretch denim from Mood. It has cool crosshatch threads running all through it that gives the jeans an interesting look.
I did all the topstitching with embroidery thread instead of jeans topstitching thread. I really like the look! I little more subtle than jeans thread, but with more shine. I chose the color (University of Texas orange) to match my pocket embroidery. It's pretty close to the classic jeans gold.
Of course, the pockets are the best part! I went with a vintage sewing theme. Both designs are from Embroidery Library. They were fun to stitch out, except for the flowers. I chose a tweed rayon thread for the flowers, and it was super finicky. I had to stitch out the flowers at a snail's pace with thread conditioner and still got quite a bit of breakage. In the end though, I love the result. The roses have a lovely depth of color.
Yay for my new favorite jeans! I could definitely use another pair in the rotation, but I've a few other projects on the backburner first. Lots to do!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ottobre 03/2011-31

Of course, after her baptism, her white dress was all wet, so she needed another one. I found this amazing cherry blossom lace at, and I knew it was the one.
Since I wanted the lace to be the star, I went with a simple style. This is a combination of patterns from the 03-2011 issue of Ottobre. This basic dress is done three different ways, so I went with the lined dress, full shirt and straight (non-puffed) sleeve. I also added quite a bit of length - 5 inches, I think. Myra likes her dresses long.
The skirt is nice and full - perfect for twirling. The underlining fabric is duchesse satin in a slightly paler pink than the lace. It makes the lace really pop. The dress is lined in hang free polyester lining, with some ruffles added to the hem for fullness.
It closes in back with an invisible zipper, which I'm pretty happy with. It's been a while since I've put on in, and it behaved on the first try. Whew! Picking it out of that lace would have hurt.
Since the lace had a lovely scalloped edge, I used it for the sleeves and hem. You can see the lace a little better in this pic. It really is so pretty and dainty. Just perfect for a girl's dress.
Even though she is a big, grown up 8-year old, her dresses still need to be play friendly, and this one passes with flying colors. It felt really nice to get back into something a little more complicated. I've struggled lately to tackle complex projects since my sewing time has been so erratic, but finishing this lined, underlined lace dress has really reminded me how much love to bite into a big project. Next up - jeans.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kitschy Coo Skater dress for a very special day

In our church, children are eligible to be baptized when they turn 8 years old. Myra turned 8 last month, and she couldn't wait to be baptized, so we began making arrangements, and I got to sewing.
The first dress I made was for her to wear during the ordinance of baptism itself. She needed a pure white dress, simple and sweet. I chose the Kitschy Coo Skater dress for its simplicity and comfort.
Myra wanted a long skirt, so I lengthened it about 8 inches, but kept the skirt slim. We baptize by immersion, and I didn't want it floating out of the font! It's still quite hot here in Tennessee, so I used the short sleeve. The fabric is a scuba knit from, which was just the right weight and nicely opaque.
Even though the dress was simple and white, I still wanted it to be special, so I added some embroidery to the front bodice. It was very difficult to photograph, since it's tone-on-tone, but looked very sweet in person.
Myra was very happy with her baptism dress, and I was so happy I was able to make such a special dress for her. Of course, she needed another dress for after the baptism... I'll post about that one tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Simplicity 2369

It's been several weeks since I made this, but somehow or other I just hadn't gotten around to blogging about it. Perhaps because I'm still on the fence about how I feel about it.
The pattern is new to me, Simplicity 2369. It's been in my pattern stash a while, and I really like the lines of it. The front is a true wrap, just over the bodice. The left bodice and skirt are one piece, with the right wrap tying on the side. It sound more complicated than it is. Construction was pretty straightforward.
The back is sleek with a center back seam for fit precision. I added a little width through the hips and the fit is fairly good.
This is view A, but I omitted the sleeve elastic for a more angel-type sleeve as seen on view C. I also lengthened the skirt by 7 inches. It's not shown on a model on the pattern envelope, so I guess they intended it to be a midi-length? It was quite unflattering for me as drafted, but I do love a good maxi dress, so here we are.
So far, so good, but I think the fabric I chose is a bit thin for this. It's a lightweight ITY. There is no lump and bump coverage in the design, so I'm wearing pretty substantial underpinnings here. Had I used a firmer knit, that mightn't have been an issue, but as it is, this will have to be a church dress rather than the casual, running around dress I had in mind.
I do like the pattern though, and I think I'll try out the top version, but if I make the dress again, I'll use a more substantial fabric to minimize the need for Spanx.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Avengers in a dress

When I made the boys their matching Avengers tee shirts, Myra wanted to know when I was going to make hers. But, you know, as a dress. Because Myra.
Since I wanted to do a similar look to the boys, but with a girlie twist, I went with the Mini Penny Pinafore by Kitschy Coo. I used the Avengers pattern knit for the side panels and sleeves, and the solid black Laguna knit for the center front and back, as well as the neckband.
I did Myra's decal in a metallic HTV (Fashion Film Electric in Firecracker Red, if you'd like to know). Of course, as Myra is an active girl, she also got a pair of matching undershorts, also detailed with the Avengers logo. A superhero likes to preserve her modesty when saving the world.
Suitable for kicking bad guy butt? Yep!
We've made the Mini Penny a few times, but she's sized up since the last one, so this is a size 8. The only alteration I made was to make the sleeve elbow length. I just folded the long sleeve in half and added a hem allowance. This will be a nice all-season length here in the South, so Myra will be able to wear the dress a while.
I love the way this dress looks and fits from the back. So ladylike! Even in superhero fabric.
I actually finished this last week - I'm so behind on blogging - but Myra has already worn it three times. As soon as it comes out of the wash, it's on her body! I'm so glad she's happy with it, and I love that I can make her a superhero dress, since sometimes it's a bit hard to find them in stores. Yay for sewing!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jalie 3245 for two!

After making Myra's sweet dress, I wanted to do something quick and easy, which this would have been, if it hadn't been the craziest week ever. Fortunately, I finally got a chance to sit down to the machines and whip these out.
The pattern is Jalie 3245, which I bought after seeing all the amazing tops Gillian made with it. I'm not really a tunic girl, but I like the way this is semi-fitted, but has a relaxed vibe. And I especially like that Jalie patterns come in a zillion sizes, so Myra could have one too!
She likes that idea. Myra has gotten quite picky about her clothes, so these days I've been very careful to get full approval for items before I start sewing them. This one was a surprise, so I am beyond thrilled that she loves it and thinks I am the best mommy ever - at least for the moment...
So, the pattern, Jalie 3245, is a raglan style tee/tunic, which also features a racerback tank/tunic. The sleeve is semi-fitted and elbow length. The neckline is bound, which I did on my coverstitch binder, but Jalie includes excellent instructions for knit binding on a regular sewing machine.
Both tee and tunic styles feature a shaped hem in the style of a baseball tee, which is a pretty fun feature. The hem allowance is 3/4 inch, which is about the deepest hem reasonable with a curve like this. I think the next time I make this I'll only use 1/2 inch hem, just to make it a bit less annoying to sew.
The fabrics I used are from the Laguna Cotton line at These two were coordinates, so the color matching was done for me - yay! I also decided to add a fun graphic snow leopard decal to the front of the shirt - done in HTV with my Cricut. It was challenging to layer all the colors, but I love the finished look.
Myra and I are both pretty happy with our shirts. I'll definitely be using this pattern again.