Monday, November 30, 2009

Honest Scrap!

Julia awarded me this!  Thank you so much!  If you haven't been to her blog, please go.  She is a lovely, straightforward lady, who sews the most beautiful heirloom clothing for her grandchildren.
Scrap means left over, fragments, discarded material. Many times truth and honesty are discarded material, considered fragments and left over. People like us need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will.
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and list their blog and link it.

2. Share "10 Honest Things" about yourself.

3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.

4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded Honest Scrap and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

So, my 10 honest things...
1) I am not at all introspective, so this is hard for me.
2) I don't like disorder, but sometimes am too lazy to deal with my own.
3) I am a total control freak.
4) Sometimes I cut corners when I want to hurry and get a project done.  I always regret it, but still find myself doing it the next time.
5) My sewing closet is an unbelievable mess.
6) My family and my relationship with God are the most important things in my life.
7) Sometimes I forget #6 when things get crazy, and that makes life even harder than it needs to be.
8) Although I've made many poor choices in my life, they've made me who I am.  I'm not sure I'd change them.
9) If you ask me what my favorite...(color, food, whatever) is, I'll probably have a response, but it will surely change soon.  Does that mean I'm fickle, or just don't know myself?
10) Actually, my favorite color is green.

And the 7 bloggers that I am nominating:
1) Pam of Pippi Creates.  She makes all sorts of cute things for herself and her family.  She always makes a design hers with fun embellishments.
2) Beangirl.  She sews up the cutest kids clothes aver and does some awesome refashions.  I can always count on her for good advice!
3) Aphie from Botticelli Babe. The crafty Aussie does it all!  She sews, quilts, cooks - heck, she even made her own deodorant!
4) Digs from StraightJacket Muse.  She gives us the inside scoop on her beautifully crafted coats and jackets.
5) Pammie from Pammi and the P's.  Just for Elvis!  Seriously, her Halloween costumes were a hoot, but she sews beautiful clothing as well.
6) Myra from Adventures in Baby sewing.  She makes beautiful things for herself and her kids.  Her applique work is lovely,  and she gives us a littler glimpse into her life.
7) Varina from Varina's Costume Shop and Haberdashery.  So, this is a little bit of nepotism, since Rina is my sister, but her blog is a fun mix of vintage sewing, knitting, cooking, and her own wry wit.
8) Sarah of SarahbelleSews.  She taught me everything I know.

OK, I know, that was 8, but how was I supposed to just choose seven blogs that I love???  Have you seen my sidebar???  Seriously, if you are on my sidebar, then I find you inspirational and stalk your blog relentlessly.

Thanks again, Julia!  And thanks to all of you who read my ramblings.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Butterick 3475

I have made this pattern a few times...  It has been my TNT both for short sleeve button down shirts as well as cargo shorts.  I think this is the 6th shirt I've made and I've made the shorts twice.  Logan loves everything I've made from this pattern, so I just keep using it, although now that I have discovered Ottobre, it may be time to retire this one.  It is a little boring.
I actually cut out this shirt in May when I made a Cars themed baby gift for a friend.  I am so embarrassed!!  I generally can't stand having unfinished projects around, but somehow this one kept sneaking by me.  I'm glad I got it finished while it still fits him!
Next up in the queue is another set of scrubs for Mitch, but before that I committed to sew a few things for the Christmas party at my church.  The theme is "A Night in Old Bethlehem", and I will be making a few robes to set the stage.  Should be fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


this is for you!!  I did do the arrow pointing to the girl parts(and laughed while I was doing it!!).  I actually chalk traced it pointing down, but it looked funny, so I went with the original design.  As you can see, it is pretty subtle.

Here it is up close.  

Fun, no?

BWOF 10/2009-127

The skirt is done!!  Here is what Burda says about this style, "A lady of rank is well-dressed in this flared, below-calf skirt. An inverted box pleat and wool herringbone fabric with crosswise stretch furnish plenty room for romping with the heirs."  I love that description!
And I am excited to say, it went together easily and without a hitch, and it fits perfectly with no adjustments.  An unequivocal success!  Bring on the Burda!! I wish I had a slightly better photo of the front!  You can't see the inverted pleat.  I think I am a bit obsessed with inverted pleats at the moment.

Here is the side and back.

I made it out of a soft wool houndstooth that I found at Hancock's.  In the past, I've not found a lot of apparel fabrics there that I love, but this one is quite nice.

One thing that I love about Burda is that they don't skimp.  This skirt is beautifully constructed and fully lined.

I love that the lining has side slits to allow for the movement that the front pleat gives the skirt.

The only thing that I changed was to eliminate the front fly and button and to put in a back invisible zipper.  I LOVE invisible zippers!!!

This is only the second one I've done, but it is awesome!  It did take take two attempts, but only because I was a perfectionist about matching the houndstooth.

I'm ready to romp!!

While I had a semi-cooperative photographer, I also got a picture of the Vogue tee as well.  I think it will look very nice with this skirt, but I think I need a nice pair of boots to complete the look...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I'll be able to knit as well as my sister.  Check out these freaking adorable stockings she made for the kids!!

They are unbelievably soft.

I'd better get to practicing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vogue 8323

This top seriously should NOT have taken me this long!! But when your 15 month old is vomiting every few hours and wants to just lay around (on you) all day it makes for slow sewing. She's fine now, although still a wee bit clingy, so I make no promises about the skirt I just cut out. It'll get done when it does.

So, the top. It is Vogue 8323, view A with the 3/4 sleeves from view B. I made it out of a 100% cotton jersey sheet. The side panels are the same for the three views, which makes interchanging the sleeves a pretty trivial matter. This is a "Very Easy" Vogue, and it was easy, by Vogue's standards, and way cuter than a regular old tee.
The princess seams made for an impeccable fit. Mitch commented that the back looked like a fitted jacket. He was impressed! I did a 1 inch FBA, but no other alterations. I love the length. I hate feeling like I need to tug my shirt down all the time.
The collar comes fairly high on the back of the neck. In a slinkier knit, I think it would just collapse down and drape. I like that the self-facing at the back of the neck is deep enough to allow it to be folded down like a shawl collar. After just trying it on, I'm not sure about the angle of the collar in back, but I'll wear it tomorrow and see how I feel.

ETA (11/22/09) - After wearing it all day Friday, I really had trouble with gapping at the neckline, so I went ahead and took an inch out of the back neck.  That took care of the neckline gapping.

I transferred the change to the pattern piece.  That is the line in blue.  Now the next time I make this top it will be perfect!

I'm working on a skirt to go with it, although I'm confident a black knit top will go with 90% of my wardrobe. The skirt is BWOF 10/2009-127. I admit, I had planned to make this skirt before I made the top, but I sort of chickened out. I haven't yet had an unequivocal success with BWOF yet. I really love this skirt, and I want it to go well! Once I get the skirt together I'll get Mitch to take some pictures of it with the top.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Test run!

Mitch wore his new scrubs to work today. He likes them, so that makes me happy. There are a few more minor changes for the next set, but nothing critical, so that pattern is a go. The color, while fabulous and exactly what Mitch wanted, is also the precise color worn by the nursing staff on one of the floors where Mitch often is working, so I think we'll be going with the more traditional "doctor" blue for the next round. Apparently his co-workers spent the day asking him why he was wearing nurses scrubs.

It also got a wee bit cooler today and so Logan got to wear his jacket.
I think that delighted face says it all.

In other news, I got started on Vogue 8323. I am making view A, but with the 3/4 sleeves. By my upper bust I am a size 10, but by both measurement and tissue fit, I need a 1 inch FBA. This is the first time I've needed a full FBA on something with a princess seam, so I used this really cool tutorial to help. It's great! It even has animations to show you how to spread the pattern.
Here are my altered pattern pieces. This was a little complicated because of the wrap neckline. How weird does that pattern piece look? The big "wing" is the wrap self-facing. I had to sort of reflect my slash and spread at an angle to resize the front, but so far it looks good. Maybe I'll have a new top to show you soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simplicity 4378

We're still not sleeping, so I've been getting grumpier by the day - missing my favorite therapy - so my sweet hubby shuttled me off to the sewing room yesterday, and I go to sew all morning! Turns out, I was working on a second trial of scrubs for him, so we both got something out of the deal. My first attempt at a scrub set for him resulted in scrubs that were too big in the top, too long in the rise and too short. Hmm - not really wearable. He also told me that he prefers a set-in sleeve. Would you believe that I could only find one scrubs pattern that has a set in sleeve!! This is it. Simplicity 4378.
I even checked Kwik Sew, Burda and Ebay/Etsy. This was it.
Anyway, here they are. I made both the top and the pants from the pattern. Tracing Mitch's favorite scrub pants didn't work, since the fabric was so different, it changed the way it felt to him, so I decided to scrap that and start over. These pants had the features that Mitch was looking for, so I gave them a go. We like them! The fit isn't perfect, but he loves the pockets. So did I! The pocket and facings were all one piece, so you just folded it to form the pocket bag. Way cool! The only changes I made were to move the cargo pockets to the rear and added a self-fabric casing. The pattern called for a ribbon, which I thought was weird. They fit fairly well, although I'll add a bit to the width next time, just for comfort. Mitch is a runner, so he likes a little extra room in the thigh. The drawstring, per the pattern is self-fabric with an elastic component. Self-fabric drawstrings don't bear the weight of several pagers and phones well, so I used cotton strapping as usual, but the idea of the elastic was interesting, so I gave it a go. Mitch isn't sure he's sold on the idea, so we'll see how it performs.
From the back, you can see that the top is quite snug across the shoulders.
Up closer - the sleeves are really straining. Good thing I double stitched those seams! The top is going to need some serious reworking. Obviously, I'll be altering the fit in the shoulders. I also really dislike the neckline. It is faced and topstitched, a treatment I have never seen in RTW scrubs. And can we talk about what a pain that was!? I definitely prefer the band, but I may try a mitered binding for the next one, since that is generally what you see in RTW.
Tomorrow Mitch is going to wear them to work for a road test, so we'll see, but I think we are nearly there!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ottobre 03/2004-4

Thanks to my sainted friend Randi, I was finally able to sit in front of the sewing machine today. She took my kids for the morning. How great is that?!?

All this little jacket needed was the zipper. It's been waiting all week! It is a really basic sweatshirt style jacket made out of the softest, snuggliest fleece ever. I wish you could feel this stuff. I think they secretly skinned teddy bears. The original Ottobre design had some piping and other fancy details. I didn't do that, but I did add a couple of appliques.The front has a little robo-dog patch.
And on the back a circle of gears and robots. Logan has a mild obsession with gears lately. Must be a boy thing...
This is my first separating zipper and I am really proud of how well it lined up, which is why you are looking at this overexposed picture. It was a huge pain to shorten! I now have pliers in my sewing room.

Now if only I could get Logan to actually wear it! In his defense, it was in the high 70s today. Maybe he'll get to wear it next month.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Both of the kidlets have been sleeping poorly this week. This means that I 1) am exhausted and 2) haven't had any time to sew (since I sew while they sleep, generally). Still, I have been thinking about sewing and of course, reading about it. I was inspired by Trena's post about being Cute every day, and decided that while I may not be able to sew right now, I can at least clean out my closet. And I did.Look at all that space to fill! I need to sew!!! But only things that I LOVE.
Here is my pile of cast-offs. This is just the first run. I think that I'll go through everything again with a more critical eye. If I don't love it, it must go! Still, this leaves me with the quandary- refashion or Goodwill? I suspect that since I didn't like these things in their original incarnations, I probably won't be able to make myself love them as refashions. I'll have to contemplate this further. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Harvest top

Myra really didn't have anything to wear with her twirly skirt, and I did have some of that fabric left over, so I made her this.
The base pattern is Simplicity 5695, but I've made a few changes. I shortened it to top length, added a curving empire waistline and a pleat at center front. Obviously, the pleat is heavily inspired by Kitschy Coo's Mini Mod dress. If you don't have that pattern already, go get it now!!
With her skirt, from the front. Since she wears her skirt under her little belly the top ended up a wee bit short in the front. The expression on her face is a result of bribing her with Disney. She's mesmerized by Lightning McQueen. It is the only time she stops moving long enough to get a picture!
From the back.
I don't think brother's black Crocs are gonna cut it...
Or maybe she's just been watching Get Smart? (Link included for the youngsters who don't recognize that reference.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I'm working on a jacket for Logan, but I need a separating zip, and since notions are half off on Wednesday, I'm waiting. In the mean time, I got this adorable fall fabric when the Harvest Designer Prints were 60% off. It was asking to become a skirt.
So, I granted it's wish.
Great for dancing!!
Myra likes the striped waistband. Or she just likes to show off her cute belly.

Hmm, the only problem with this skirt is that she doesn't have a single top that goes with it. Back to the sewing machine!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

McCall's 5592

We had such a great time on our hot date (Thanks to all for your well wishes!). And I had a smokin' new outfit! Well, mostly new. The cute rose printed blouse was stolen from my mother's closet when I was a teen. Thanks, Mom! She did make it though, so the entire outfit is handmade.Today's post is dedicated to my first attempt at jeans. And here they are! I started with a nice full straight leg, so there wouldn't be as much to fit in the rear and I could focus on the waist/hip area - always a problem in RTW jeans. Seriously, is there anyone who doesn't get rear waist gaposis??
Here is the front. The fit through the torso is great. They are quite high waisted, which isn't a really great look for me, since I am short waisted.
Side. Hmm. That belly isn't as flat as it used to be...
Rear - No gaposis!! I had to pinch a full inch (so 2 inches total) from the center back to make these fit, but they do!
The fly shield and pocket facings are a fun pink print. I did the topstitching a little differently than called for on the pattern to give them a more RTW look. I also did the waistband and belt loops slightly differently. The pattern called for the belt loops to be sandwiched between the waistband and facing at the top, then for the waistband facing to be slipstitched down on the inside. My RTW jeans have a topstitched waistband with the belt loops bartacked on after, so that is what I did.
For my first test drive of this look, Mitch took me to the coolest restaurant! We went to the Dead Fish Grill on Lake Belton. We watched the sun set over the lake, had wonderful seafood and then stayed for live music on the patio. It was amazing!! If you are ever here in my neck of the woods, we'll meet you there!

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Look 6853

After a day and a half of constant hand sewing, it is finished!! I was going to take it slow, but Mitch is taking me out on the town tonight, and I wanted to wear my jacket. So here it is!!From the front - The fit is fine. There is a little bit of overlap at CF, which I don't need. Otherwise it is good.
Side - I am really wishing that I had just gone for the two piece sleeve. This one isn't as sleek as I'd like, but it was easy to match the plaids!
Back - The fit in the back is absolutely perfect. Can you tell there is a seam at CB? Mad skills...
Here is a close up of the trim, before it was sewn on.And, of course, what is a Chanel jacket without a chain? I got mine at Home Depot - Sh! Don't tell!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Ease"iest sleeve ever!

After taking a little break making my Jalie tops, I was ready to get to work on my jacket again. Next up were the sleeves, and I was excited about using a technique I had read about several places, most recently when Erica B. made her Vogue 8601. Instead of easing the sleeve in using the traditional 2 rows of gathering stitches, you use a bias strip of Armo-Rite (scavenged from an old tie in my case) and stretch it to fit the armscye as you sew.
Here is the Armo-Rite sewn onto my sleeve cap.
And here is the sleeve! Perfectly eased with no puckers or tucks.
And how great is that plaid matching across the sleeve, hey? Next up - bagging the lining, then I will just have to attach the chain and trim and it will be done! I'm starting to see the end in sight. I might make that Nov 15th deadline after all!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jalie 2794

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!! I had fun and managed to get some serious sewing done between trick or treaters. I have loved all of the great Jalie tops that Kathi has been making, so I ordered this pattern several weeks ago, and have finally gotten around to making it up. Twice!!This is version one. I decided (foolishly!) to just make it up with no adjustments. It is pretty low cut, as had been noted by many reviewers on PR, and I agree! I could also use an FBA here, although since it is a knit I can get away with it - sort of. I think it leans a little on the trashy side, but still wearable.Here it is from the back. Perfect fit here!Here is version two, after raising the neckline 5/8 of an inch and doing my usual 1 1/4 inch FBA. I still need to hem it, but I like the fit much better.Still a good fit in the back.

I'm VERY happy with this pattern. It was fun and quick to make. Jalie includes instructions for seaming knits without a serger. You zigzag the edge prior to sewing the seam. I went for it and I really like the way it turned out. I did feel a little strange finishing my seams before sewing them, but it worked. The pattern goes all the way from a size 2T up to a 22 (50 inch bust), so don't be surprised if you see a mini me version for Myra soon!