Saturday, November 30, 2013

I <3 Grainline's Moss Skirt

Seriously, I love it!  I have been reading about the moss skirt and archer shirts all over the blog-o-sphere.  I finally dove in and purchased both patterns.  I put the pattern together, cut a muslin, and sewed away.  

A few things I love:  the style, the instructions, and the fact that you can make this skirt with about a yard of fabric!  A lot of reviews mentioned confusion @ the fly front insertion, but IMHO, I thought the method was easy to follow and resulted in the best fly front I've ever done.

What I didn't love:  I cut a 6.  It was HUGE!  Not to mention, like others have pointed out, the waistband is drafted about 4 inches short.  Boo.  So, I added a bit to the waist band...and wore my skirt to Thanksgiving dinner.  I ended up pinning the waistband to keep it from falling off.  It's destined for someone else.

For skirt #2 - yes, I've made 2 skirts in three days - I used a piece of leftover denim and cut a size 2 - I kept the size 6 waistband.  A little snug in the hips this time, but a keeper!  I top stitched...

Look @ my badass skills - done without a twin needle, thank you very much.

And, here it micro mini moss.  I will definately make it again.  Now. On to my archer top!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Teen Beach Movie shirt

Haha!  The girls wanted to watch "Teen Beach Movie" today.  So, I decided to get  a bit do sewing done.  I made the Tessuti Mandy shirt - a free downloadable pattern.  I love it!

I bought this fabric on sale at Hancocks for $4 yard.  It's a sheer sweater fabric & I thought about making a slouchy cardigan with it.  I decided to use it for this instead - glad that I did.  Normally, I'm not a big fan of oversized...but Mandy changed that.  Comfy, with slender arms to give it a sense of style.  I see more comfy sweatshirts in my future!

Well, the shirt was done by the time the movie was over - that included printing & taping together the PDF!  Woot!

 (Sorry @ the bad pic - my 5 year old photographer wasn't cooperating!)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pika, pika, pikachu!

Happy Halloween!  I love Halloween!  It's the one time of year that kids (and kids at heart) can be anything they want to be.  My mom is an amazing seamstress and we always had the best Halloween costumes.  I remember telling her what I wanted to be and a few days later, the costume would magically appear!  Well , the tradition has carried over to my kiddos.  They are lucky, lucky girls!

Here's a picture:
Mom made the vampiress costume and I made the Pikachu costume.  I absolutely love how they both came out.

The biggest struggle with the Pikachu costume was the hat.  I actually used an old Japanese pattern book pattern for the shirt and a self-drafted pj bottom pattern for the pants.  The hat, however, is a different matter.  To save myself time, I bought Simplicity 1953 - a simple hat pattern.  Trick on me, it was not simple.  To sum it up, I spent more time on that hat than I did making the shirt, pants, and tail!  Oh well, the end result worked out.

Some more pictures:
The back - she was super excited about the tail!

The front during the "trying on" phase!

Hope you got lots of candy last night!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A sweet little dress

Well, it's been a while since my last post. My sewing mojo has been a little off sice my jean fail.  I did wear them once - just to confirm my suspicions - definitely not my style.  Onward and upward as they say.

I started this dress last weekend and finished it yesterday.  It was a quick make out of a lovely fabric I have been saving for some time.  The fabric is 100% cotton and I thought it would wrinkle a lot, but as you can see in the photos, it held up nicely to a day of wear.

So, let's talk the dress, shall we?  The pattern is New Look 0112.  I love the raglan sleeves!  I originally bought the pattern for the jacket (that's one of my next projects).  I cut a straight size 10 - and there is plenty of wearing ease.  The only modifications I made were to take in the bust darts, take in fabric on the front sleeves to get the dart placement right, and take in some at the top of the sleeves because the back was gaping A LOT.  All of these adjustments I just did by pinching fabric here and there.  It's an easy style to modify this way.

A modification photo where I took out some fabric in the sleeve cap:

I didn't really follow the directions - it's straightforward to sew.  The only difference I made was to blind hem the front and back facing to the dress vs. stitching around the neck.  I think it looks better that way.

A photo on my dress form:

I am really happy with the final product and fit.  The opposite of an epic fail, IMHO. Though, I must work on my picture taking...I'm not exactly known for my photogenic qualities.

Next up, a draped front cardigan!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A wadder - or a case of something's not right

So, I finished the trousers.  The fit was awesome, the sewing was perfect, but when I put them on, something just wasn't right.  Perhaps it was the style that didn't work with the jean fabric?  I felt too momsy and not very feminine.  I also could not figure out which shirt to wear with the bottoms.  Nothing looked right.

Sadly, these pants are destined for the wadder pile.  Sad face.

Here are some pictures.  The pattern is Simplicity 1783. 

Cute, right?
I added pockets using Very Purple Person's tutorial.
A shot of the fly front with some more hidden zebra print - fun, right?

Bummer.  I know I won't wear them.  Maybe I will cut them off into shorts.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tackling trousers, finally!

What a crazy month! With our California trip and back to school, there hasn't been much time for sewing or blogging.  But, a little sewing has been happening - more importantly, I finally decided to do the whole pant - not just shorts!

A little teaser!
Some much needed jeans will be added to my wardrobe soon!  And yes, I snuck some zebra stripe in.

Also, my next project is in the planning stages.  I've had this fabric FOREVER.  I think a dress would be good, but haven't landed the perfect pattern yet.  I draped the fabric on my dress form today, and it reaffirms my dress thoughts.  Perhaps a more fitted silhouette would be good?

I also like the idea of adding a red belt or something.

Ok, I better get cracking!  More photos to come!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A little trip to Cali

Well, it's been a while since my last post. Life has been a bit crazy - but I'm hoping to get my sewing time back soon!  In the meantime, I'm in California, celebrating my sister's 25th wedding anniversary.  It is pretty special to see two people with an amazing marriage renew their vows.  I was lucky enough to be there the first time too!

I made my dress for the event.  The lesson learned for me in this make:

1.  It's worth saving fabric in your stash for the right pattern
2.  Don't be afraid to try different patterns together to get something you are going to like.

What do you mean, Tommie?  Well, the original pattern called for a gathered waist skirt.  The picture looked great on the model, but my readers, you already know about my rectangle shape issue, right?  Not so good on me - you know chunky monkey belly is not cute.  For the first time ever, I modified one pattern to work with another.  The top is from See and Sew B5307.  I actually attached the skirt as called for in the pattern and HATED it.  So I ripped it off and re-cut the skirt from the Selfish Seamstress' Coffee Date dress.  Much better!

And, here it is!
I'm glad I didn't give up and I made it into a dress I would actually wear.  It's a little low cut, but the hubs likes it!  Ha!

Oh yeah!  How great is this fabric?  I loved it when I saw it & knew I wanted a summer dress.  I'm happy I picked up three yards.  That circle skirt took a bit of fabric. I also an quite proud of the stripy mid drift section.  A nice design touch, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fabric Hoarding...

So, every seamstress who has been sewing for any period of time has an arsenal of fabric just waiting to be sewn up.  We use cute phrases, like "stash busting" to lessen our guilt over these sometimes hidden, always present, fabric hoards.  I am, sadly, no different.

This little piece of fabric has been in my hoard for about a year now.  

I loved it when I saw it, and it was made all that more enticing by the fact it was in the remnant bin at 70% off.  I had grand plans for this fabric - perhaps a bag or a pair of shorts.  Ultimately, it became at skirt.  New Look 6106 in size 12 to be exact.

After tracing out my pattern (which for me, is the absolute worst part of sewing), I finally cut into my oh so treasured fabric.  Now, I can't really explain why I love it so...probably because I think that the camo is a little rock and roll and I want to still be a little cool.
Here's a little pic of my pattern tracing.

The sewing came together quickly and was finished over the weekend.  The good news is that this is an easy pattern and I fit this all in between a 7.5 mile run, an 11 mile bike ride and back to school shopping with the girls (that about put me over the edge, but I'll save that story for another day).  The only modifications I made were to insert an invisible zipper vs. a lapped one and to bias bind the waistband facing.  I love how the skirt looks (though, my waist is always an issue and it's a little snug).  Next time, I will add bit of room on the waist and take out a little of the A-line.

See the bias binding?  I love finishing waistbands this way.

Did I mention that the skirt has pockets?  Lovely, utilitarian ones.  Great for holding one's phone while back to school shopping.
And, a few photos of my photogenic self (not!).  
I'm happy I finally cut into my camo much better to wear than hoard!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Who wears short shorts?

Or, a study on trousers.  For whatever reason, making a pair of trousers seems so daunting to me.  Perhaps it is because of my two epic fails earlier this year.  Both pairs are sitting in my wadder pile, waiting to be ripped out and re-fitted.  I decided that making shorts might be a good solution to conquer my fear.  I would work on fitting and techniques without the investment of an ENTIRE pair of pants.  You know what I mean.  It's a different level of commitment when the garment goes past your knees.

Why, Tommie, you may ask, do you feel like you need to make a pair of trousers?  Well, let's start with the obvious.  I don't like getting wedgies.  I figured that if I could make my own trousers, I could fix the rise issues and avoid the wedgies all together. Secondly, in the world of shapes, I am not a pear, or an apple, or an hourglass.  I am a rectangle.  That's right.  No waist.  My shoulders, waist and hips are all about the same diameter.  Pattern makers and RTW clothing all assume that you have a waist.  Therefore, I usually squeeze in and get the dreaded muffin top.  It's not cute.

So, my objective in making shorts is simple:  no wedgies and no muffin top.

I started with a Cynthia Rowley trouser pattern (Simplicity 1783) and went from there.  These shorts are my second make from that pattern and I trimmed off about 1/4" from each side in this make.  The fly front construction notes are so good...the diagrams and instructions make it very easy.  I cut these out last week and sewed them this weekend. 

Here's a picture of them on my cutting table. I traced the original pattern and just folded up the pant leg to the desired short length.  I do cut out my dart lines...I find this to be much easier for marking (in case you were wondering).

The fly front during constuction.

And me...hello.  The shorts look a little wrinkly.  : (

Overall, my hubby said, "Those look really good."  And he's the type of person who would ask me "Are you wearing THAT?"

So there you go.  I promise the pictures will be better going forward...I had to ask my 8 year old to take the one of me...she doesn't have the patience!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


So, I decided that I wanted to start a blog.  I've been playing with the idea for some time, and I finally got around to figuring all this Blogger stuff out.  It probably makes sense for me to tell you a little about myself...
  • I'm a mom to two beautiful girls and one very cute, but rotten dog
  • Married and have a wonderful husband
  • Work full time
  • Runner (dabbling in triathlons)
  • Type A
  • Can't tell a joke or a story to save my life
My mother is a professional seamstress and is the most amazing home sewist.  She can make anything.  I used to sit with her when I was a little girl and make shorts and simple elastic waist band skirts.  I remember being so proud of myself for creating something from nothing.  I never had the patience though - so I stopped sewing for a long time.

For the last several years, I have been learning to sew again. I wanted to experience the creative process again and this seemed like a good idea.  I realized very quickly that I needed to learn a lot.  The first few garments I made were a complete train wreck!  Needless to say, I wanted to expand my skills so I could make the beautiful garments that are in my mind.  So, this is my journey/challenge:  In an effort to improve my sewing skills, I will not purchase any clothing items for one year.  This blog will chronicle my progress and learning - wadders and all.