Monday, October 24, 2016

Sewing Bee Entries

This year I decided to enter Pattern Review’s Sewing Bee.  I made it to round two.  Maybe next year I can make it further but I’m happy with my makes regardless. 

Entry for the Bias Round
Pattern:  Autumn/Winter 2013 BurdaStyle "Classic" Special Edition #0005, View A.
I was drawn to the classic, simple style of this skirt. Actually, I've had it on my "to sew" list for a few years now so I was glad to finally get around to sewing it.

plaid 2

Size: The pattern goes from size 34-46. I chose to use size 42 because my waist fits in that size. Then I graded up in the hips to a 46.
This pattern has a slightly curved, lined yoke to help keep bulk around the hips low. It then flares outward and drapes down to create the lovely drape. Since the skirt is cut on the bias it gives it greater movement. The outer yoke pieces are interfaced; I feel like I should have used a softer interfacing because mine created some of the wrinkles in the yoke.

plaid 3

Instructions: The instructions were adequate.  This is a simple skirt with few pieces so it doesn’t take too much to put together.  I did use my 1970s Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing for pictures and instructions on putting in the invisible zipper.  (This book is an excellent resource that I think every sewist should have).  I made sure to hand stitch the lining of the yoke to where the side seam zipper attaches.


Thoughts: I knew from the start I wanted to do fringe trim. When my skirt was ready to hem I sewed two lines of stitching 1/2" from the edge and then slowly created my fringe by pulling out threads from the line of stitching to the edge. After I pulled all the strings out I went back and cut them all down to 1/2" in size. (The fringe took forever to complete).  I love the classic, simple design. I was very happy with the fit and the look of the bias with the plaid. I'm most pleased that I was able to sew up finally since it had been on my list for 3 years now.


Fabric: 2.5 yards of a Brown/Tan Plaid Suiting. It is a Rayon/Poly blend made to look like wool - but without all the itch. The fabric was 56" wide and I purchased it from Fashionfabricsclub in October 2013 for $4.75/yard just for this pattern. I used almost the full 2.5 yards even though the pattern called for less than 2 yards.


I really love the look of a bias cut skirt but I feel like it uses so much fabric! Cutting this skirt out took time and patience. I took great care in matching the stripes on the side seam, this made cutting a slight challenge. I also made my pieces full and did not cut anything on the fold. I find with bias it is much easier to cut a full size pattern - however, finding the space to do this is sometimes a challenge because the fabric is opened up all the way.

I had a great time sewing this skirt up, I love the look, and am completely happy with the fit. I can't wait to make the maxi length version!

Entry for the “Shorts” Round

Pattern: BurdaStyle 03/2011 #131B 

Size: I started with tracing a size 44 (2 sizes smaller than my hip size). This gave me the perfect thigh size. Then I had to add 1.5" to the back hip. I also scooped almost a full inch out of the back crotch curve; I've learned that my bottom sits lower than the crotch line and have to scoop that spot out or I look like I have a wedgie. I added 1.5" to the back rear by cutting/slashing on the hip line and pivoting only the back crotch curve - This helped to also raise the rise. I extended the front fly by 1/2" so it was a bit wider. This pattern has a curve waistband - great for curvy women. It also has two darts in the back for shaping.


Instructions:  This is the “sewing course” for the magazine so the instructions are well written with easy to follow pictures.  I always use Sandra Betzina’s Easy to sew flat fly tutorial when putting in a zipper fly. 


Fabric: 1.5 yards Abstract Painterly Print Sateen, a cotton sateen from FabricMart that I purchased in July 2015 for $11.99 total.  It has 20% stretch.


Thoughts:  I spent a lot of time trying to get the fit right on these.  I wanted a basic short pattern to fit right and then build off of.  I debated putting in the pockets at the hip because with my pear shape they usually gape open or add width to the hip – which I don’t need.  I used silky, thin pocket fabric and there is still added bulk.  I will go back and take out the pockets, making the side seams more smooth.



These were made the first week of September.  I’ve lost about 6lbs since then so they are now rather large on me.  I plan on taking off the waistband, slimming up the hips by removing the pockets, possibly add a welt pocket in the back, and making them slimmer through the waist.


All in all this is a great starting point for shorts.  I highly recommend the pattern. 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Perfect Dress x2


Pattern: Sweetheart Dress by Patterns for Pirates ~ There are many variations to this pattern.  I chose: Short Sleeves – banded and knee length circle skirt.

Size: Large – Fits true to size


Instructions: Fantastic.  These are hand-holding instructions with step by step photos. This pattern would be excellent for beginners to advanced sewists. 


Fabric: 2 yards Charcoal Slub-Look Jersey Knit, 95% Polyester/5% Lycra, Looks and feels like an ITY.  I purchased this in July 2015 from fashionfabricsclub for $7 total for the 2 yards.


Thoughts: I love this dress. The fit is spot on and it is such a classic style.  I like how comfortable it is to wear and that it was a fast sew.  We had a funeral to attend the end of August and I had nothing to wear to the wake/viewing.  I made this and the following dress for Miss K in 2.5 hours total.  I see many more of these dresses in my future.

Pattern: McCalls M7079


Size: 12 for shoulders and bust, size 14 for the rest.

Instructions: this pattern is well written and well drafted.  No issues following the instructions.  This dress sews up fast. I must note that the pattern calls for you to simply turn and stitch the neckline, I used binding instead.

Fabric: 2 yards gray, super soft “Pontiroma,” a poly blend, lighter than Ponte, but a nice weight; from walmart; I forget when I bought this. Total for 2 yards was $10.88. 


Thoughts:  This style of dress looks great on Miss K.  I needed a respectable and conservative dress fast – we had no luck at any department store so I whipped this up and it was perfect.
Previous sews with this pattern:  A beautiful Roses Dress in August 2016;  and also a then-failed rib knit dress which K loves and wears all the time now, made in July 2015 (near the bottom of the post)

**We’ve had a rough couple months here at the Sunny household.  My husband’s grandpa passed away the end of August.  Two weeks later we had to tragically and unexpectedly put our much treasured Nala puppy to sleep.  She was only 6 years old.  Our house just doesn’t feel the same.  (You’ve seen Nala make a quite a few appearances on the blog here over the years). To top things off my truck broke down twice in this time and numerous small things happened as well.  My health has not been well – though fall is usually hard for me.  I am slowly trying to get back up and going so you will see more from me soon.** 

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Top: Jalie 2805 - Size Q at shoulder/bust graded to S for the waist/hip.

Bottoms: Jalie 3351 – Size S at the waist, R everywhere else. 


Fabric: 1 yard Rainbow Tie-Dye Swimwear Knit from fabricmart.  I purchased this in May 2015 for $4.80.  It’s a great swim knit.  1 yard Aqua Swim Knit for contrast.  The top is also fully lined in front.  Purchased at the same time for $4.40.  Total for Swimsuit : $9.20

suit whale

Miss K loves this suit.  She is super modest and didn’t want any type of store suit because they are too revealing. 


Miss K’s friend came to swim at our house a few times this summer and got a cute swim suit and bag to match. 


Bottoms are Jalie 3247 View E - Size R.  Then I put the swim briefs from 3351 (also a size R) inside them.  I did have to shorten the rise by 1” for them to fit right in the shorts. 


Top is the SUAT Brazi in XS

These were such a quick sew.  I think I made them in an hour.  Her favorite animal is a Zebra so I used my silhouette to put it on a bag for her with HTV.  I put her name on the bag too.  Fabric: scraps from my suit I made back in Feb 2015.  It is an Italian Swimwear print (nylon spandex) from Michael Levine, Inc. that I purchased in May 2014.  This stuff is super soft.  Top is fully lined, bottoms have the swim brief attached for the lining.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hits and Misses for Miss K

 Sewing for tweens is hard.  Here is a little catch up on what has been sewn for Miss K lately.

Vintage Kwik Sew 1077 vs. Purl Soho City Gym Shorts


Kwik Sew size 14 - in stretch denim with self made cotton bias tape (both fabrics from the scrap bin).
Kwik Sew was way to small to even be comfortable on K; she could barely get them up over her hips/butt.  I did scoop out the rear but it did not help.  This is sad because they turned out so stinking cute!


City Gym Shorts (CGS) in women’s size 35-37 in cotton woven with self made cotton voile bias tape (both fabrics from scrap bin).

CGS were too small too, but only a smidge in the rear.  I did not scoop out the rear on these but may try again in the future. I going to be honest here - I didn’t follow the directions for these because they are just weird.  You can tell the author is a quilter and not a clothing sewist. Luckily, they are simple to make and no directions are needed.

Fabric is from this dress K never wore. 100% cotton woven, it was simply called Vines Multi when I purchased it for $2.79 for the 1/2 yard. 

Jalie 3024 mash up with SUAT Aurora
I used the top from Jalie and the skirt from Aurora.  Size Q for Jalie and 14 for Aurora.


I really like this dress.  It's cute.  Miss K picked these fabrics but still hasn’t tried it on.  I hope she will like it once she finally does put it on.  
 Miss K refused to wear it so I chopped the top off and used the skirt to make her an Aurora.

Fabric: 1/2 yard of Coral Cotton Lycra – this stuff is nice and heavy at 11 oz a yard.  Purchased in March 2016 $1.98 from fashionfabricsclub and 2 yards of Mint Green/Gray Stripe Jersey Knit (poly, rayon, lycra) also purchased in March 2016 for $5.93.  Dress total: $7.91  

Jalie 2444 Sport Tank in size Q for shoulders/bust and S for waist/hip. I added 1/4” to each side at the bust and lowered the neck by 1” because the reviews on Patternreview said the neck was too high.


Miss K wears this tank but it is way too tight on her.  Lowering the neckline was also a bad idea – don’t listen to the reviews.  It looks so much better with the higher neckline. I will remake this for her in a larger size because it is such a cute tank. 

Fabric: Turquoise cotton lycra 1/2 yard purchased in April 2016 for $4.80.  Small bit of Shattered Showers poly/lycra that I’m hoarding from March 2015, it is from a custom fabric group "Cuddle Muffins".

Vintage Kwik Sew 1077 – tank
Size 14; this turned out super, super huge on Miss K.  Which is ironic because the shorts at the very top of this post are with the same pattern and way too small.  I ended up cutting this up to make her underwear. I totally forgot to snap a picture of it until I was cutting it up. Oops.


Ottobre 01/2011 #29 Yoga pants
Size 152 with 1/2” shortened.  You’ve seen me make her this pattern a million times. 


These are sewn with super soft French Terry.  They are nice and lightweight.  She loves them. Fabric: 1 yard of Black Two Tone French Terry Fabric (poly, rayon, spandex mix) purchased in Nov 2015 for $7.40 from Stylish Fabrics.

And here are a bunch of SUAT Scrundies that I made for Miss K from scraps and clothes she won’t wear.  I went with the “Adventure Time” theme.  Now she has 7 days of Adventure time to wear.  All characters were done with my Silhouette and Heat transfer Vinyl.  Miss K will only wear these underwear now, claiming them to be the most comfortable ever. I used size XS for her.  

As you can see, the only thing that survived from this tween sewing stint was the undies and the yoga pants.  The rest were either too tight, too big, or not wanted.

Happy Sewing!