Thursday, February 27, 2014

Preparing for Spring ~ Ottobre 03/2011 #19

I've been doing a bit of cleaning in my sewing room this last week.  I am purging more fabric (sold another 18.5 yards!) and inventory-ing my patterns.  I have been trying to inventory my fabric as well.  I use Evernote for both. I like that I can add tags and access my info from my phone on the go.  It feels nice to get rid of things, have a clean room, and get organized.

Thinking of spring......(as this winter drags on and on and on. It was -24 again today and we have warnings of -45 tomorrow), I decided to get a jump start on K's wardrobe.  I popped out 2 tee shirts for her with Ottobre 03/2011 #19.  I have sewn this one other time. I like having a good tee pattern because the kids live in them.  I used two wild knits from that box of fabric I picked up in Jan for $1.18 per yard.  So each tee cost $1.18. WIN!

dizzying isn't it?

a close up


The wild one with the pink sleeves I used size 134 shoulders and length with a 142 width. The fabric is really stretchy so it works but is a bit snug.  For the floral tee I used a straight 146.  It is big in the shoulders so I think I can go down to a 142 in shoulders and 146 in width - this fabric was less stretchy.

Neither of these are stash fabrics (except the pink sleeves and neck bindings) but they are cute!  I was working on a blue linen Oliver +S hopscotch skirt (to go with the tees) but realized I won't finish it by the end of the month so I wanted to get these pictures.  The skirt will have to be another day. I picked up the hopscotch and knit tee pattern as well as the music class blouse and skirt pattern (both from Oliver+S).

I happily ordered some fabric - What!? I got rid of 18.5 yards so I figured it was ok :)
I picked up 3 yards of the most beautiful Wee Wander - I am so in love with this print! I got the top two and then the middle one, but in pink
Wee Wander Fat Quarter Bundle in Twilight

A yard of Charley Harper knit that I've been coveting for a bit now
Image 1

And a yard of this awesome mustache fabric that is the softest knit I've ever felt.
Jay-Cyn Designs Just For Fun Knits Fabric

Things are going well in our neck of the woods and I'm enjoying this peaceful time - I know it won't last!

I really need to get sewing some things off my upcoming list though... and the April Burda looks AMAZING!  I'll be busy - but I'd rather have too much to sew than not know what to sew at all. :-)

Yardage Totals:
Stash sewn this year: 12.5
Fabric out 2014: 53.5
Fabric in 2014: 55

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Comedy of Errors

So I had this brilliant idea to turn the lady skater dress into a empire waisted top. The idea came after seeing Jill's version at Made with Moxie.

I got right to pattern hacking.  I wanted to use this terrible drapey, thin, rayon jersey that pills to no end for this experiment but I didn't have enough. Alas I found his cousin in my stash in a darker blue of the same terrible fabric.
(horrid inside night time pics)
Front looks ok, slight pulling at bust

I cut off the bodice right under the bust and then eye balled how long I wanted the bottom piece to be.  I used the skirt part of the skater dress pattern but took about 1-2 inches off width-wise.  I sewed in clear elastic tape to help hold the shape under the bust - as the pattern states for the skirt.

Everything sewed up nicely despite using crapy, slippery fabric - to the point where I felt bad about writing this fabric off as ok to destroy.

I went to sew the side seams and realized my measurements were WAY off when cutting the back bodice. I had to laugh. Nonetheless I trudged on and fudged up the arm band.  Here is where I stopped and decided it was "made" enough to see how I liked it.

laughing at my poor measuring skills - the back is almost 2 inches higher than the front

I do like it! I really do.  It hits me quite nicely under the bust where I"m almost smallest in width.  I like how it flows over my stomach - my not so favorite area.  I couldn't decide if I liked where the bottom hit on my thighs though.  The shoulders do fit right but this fabric kept riding up so there is a weird poof on top of them.

Seeing the pics I think I need to add just a tiny bit to the bust area because there are some pulling lines.  The swayback looks great for once!  (granted this is very flow-y fabric).

sway? no way! :D
 (back bodice will be lowered 2 inches to match front)

I think though that I would like to make the front and back one piece and add a casing to the inside and feed elastic through it, instead of messing with a top and bottom piece.  I picked up the most luscious, soft, amazing knit from (believe it or not) and plan on making it into this top.  It is in my "must do sooner than later" sewing list.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Color-blocked Top, Ottobre Hack 05/2013 #1

Pattern Hack of Ottobre 05/2013 #1A

I made this color blocked top before with blue and gray. The problem is that the blue knit is light and rayon.  It pills like crazy.  I wanted to make another one because I love to wear that one and I'm sure it's going to bite the dust soon.

This is technically the 4th time I've used this pattern - I think it's safe to say I love it. Sizing is 40 bust/waist and 44 hip.
Light rayon
Color Blocked
and now this one

I did make some changes to the pattern to get a better fit.

  • too tight sleeves: Using the palmer/pletsch method I sliced and split the sleeves to add 1/2" more width. They are comfortable now but I honestly would love another 1/4" to 1/2" more
  • Hip: Added 1/2" to each side in back only to accommodate my larger rear
  • Shoulder: added 1/2" to shoulder width on both sides. I noticed in my blue one that the shoulders did not reach the end of my shoulder pivot bone. The adjustment helped and the shoulders now sit correctly
  • Swayback: 1/2" this time in addition to the 1/2" previously but looking at the side picture I think I may need to go even more. Sigh. I feel like I have the biggest sway ever. 

I kept these changes: 

  • 1/2" square shoulder adjustment
  • 1/2" sloped out of front and back from neck tapering to 0 at hip. This helps with the neck gaping I keep getting.  (I'm thinking I may have to start cutting a smaller size at shoulders and neck)

I really, really love this pattern. I have a red one planned too: solid, not color blocked, and short sleeves.
This was just the top I needed to get me back in the sewing groove.  The fabric is lovely - thick but not too thick - thin enough but not too thin.  Just right.  It is the Laguna knits from Kaufmann.  I just hope they wash well.  (Sorry, this is not stash fabric. I bought this in Jan. specifically for this top).

In the future:

  • re address that darn swayback
  • add a bit more to the sleeve width
  • take a bit in on the front piece only - it is a bit loose
  • possibly work on a forward shoulder adjustment

Yards out in 2014 to date: 31
Yards in: 32.5
Stash used: 10.5 yards

I sewed K's American Girl Doll a cute dress with some of the scraps too. The black is the bottom of an old T-shirt so I cheated and used that hem! lol.  This is one full skirt! Pattern Simplicity 4654

K attached the snaps using my new Prym pliers. Holy cow do they make a difference. I have the snap setter and dritz pliers but neither worked well and my hands couldn't take the abuse. These Prym ones are so freaking amazing!! They line up perfect each time. They hold the snaps well when applying, and they look amazing.  I picked them up at for cheap compared to the other places selling them. $33 for the set and it comes with all the adapters and snaps. you can use it for anorak/coat button snaps, camping snaps, and eyelets too. That is not an affiliate link, I just love these pliers.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Time to get motivated!

The guests have left and things are slowly returning to normal around here.  K's room has been returned to her and her things unpacked from storage. My room and sewing room now have more space again.
I re-evaluated my stash and decided to part with some yardage.

I'm happy to report that 18 yards have left my stash so far this month (sold them) :D

As for sewing, I still have the 2 tops cut and ready to be sewn.  I still have one pair of undies needing to be sewn. Plus I have 3 more patterns traced and ready to go.  February hasn't been too productive for me thus far.  I have been enjoying reading all the lovely blogs though. I'm always amazed at how beautiful the makes are.

I did get in my room quick and sew up these two pairs of underwear. 1 for me (chevron) and 1 for K.  Pattern is Jalie 3242.

K and I have been baking a lot too. 

Yards out so far in Feb: 20 all from stash
Yards in: 11.5

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Friday, February 7, 2014

What I'm Working On

I thought I'd pop in with a little update. Holy cow, did I forget how exhausting it is to have a 3 yr old in the house.  Much props to all the moms with little ones in the house; I'm surprised you sew at all!  Our company arrived Tuesday, a day early.  Things have been.... nuts?  It has been a transition and somewhat difficult.
I have not been able to do any tracing, adjusting, cutting, or sewing since they arrived.  I am too afraid to bring pins and a rotary cutter out with those grabby hands around.  So with zero sewing going on, this lady is stressed!! Tonight we had a much welcomed break - they are out visiting others until tomorrow night. (I think they will be with us 3ish weeks so wish me luck!)

I took advantage of this alone time!  I washed 2 loads of fabric. From Left to Right: I adjusted and cut out a black knit, and a green/black chevron knit for an Ottobre top.  I managed to get 3 pairs of underwear out of those scraps plus one more pair out of other blue scraps.  I adjusted and cut out a blue/dark blue knit for a Lady Skater baby-doll top.  And all of that has made me much happier.  My sewing room is off limits to the small one so now that my stuff is ready to go I can lock myself in and have at it.
I also received my "fit for real people" book and have read it through twice. There is TONS of good information in this book.  I've already used a few techniques. (Thanks Gail for the heads up on how great the book is)

So expect to see some fun makes from me soon and I hope you are sewing up a storm.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Monday, February 3, 2014

Vintage Simplicity 9788 ~ Under the Sea

Can you believe I found more flannel in my stash. Urg. I thought I had gotten rid of it all, but alas more has creeped out.  I found 6 yards of this Ariel print.  I think I originally wanted to make a blanket for K out of it?  It was purchased 3ish years ago.

I wanted to try out a vintage ©1980 Simplicity pattern (which reminds me of Punky Brewster so much). K had picked it out at Goodwill one day.
The pattern has a 2 piece raglan sleeves a button closure in back, and a "U" shaped hem.

I followed the directions for the most part. I also tried out a narrow hem foot; on flannel. LOL. Let's just say it didn't work well because the fabric was too thick and it also didn't like the curves on the hem.

The neck bias cut of fabric was never going to fit the neckline so I had to add a good 4 inches to it.  It is a size 10 so a bit big on K right now - she will grow.  I added cute Ariel bows to the front that we have had for-ev-er in the stash. I made a fabric loop in the back instead of a hand-stitched thread loop. "bling button"

here is the 2 piece raglan sleeve

All in all it went ok but I don't think I'd use this pattern again.  It worked well for the wild print but is really such a plain pattern.  K loves it. She wore it straight after school today and even asked to take pictures.

 (side note: I love this banana couch. It was my great-grandparents!)

My beautiful peanut also turned 8 on Friday :-(   *stop growing*
She received her first sewing machine :D

Stash fabric used: 2 yards.

Total stash used in 2014: 10.5 yards

I also updated my "upcoming" page with lots of goodies I hope to tackle. The list will keep me on track and help when I have those days where I'm not sure what to sew.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Recap

In keeping up with last year's tradition. Here is my recap of January.

We will keep the number tally simple this year.

Makes: 5
Yards used: 8.5 (all from stash)
Total Yards in: 21
Total yards out: 11

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~