Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jan 2015 Recap

I've been busy working on things, but nothing I can show yet ;-)
We have also been very busy at home with a new puppy.
I was sooooooooo excited to get one..... and I forgot how much work they can be!

Exhausting. Plus, he chews everything and is super needy.  Our Nala was not like that at all. So it is a transition for us all.  We picked up Link from a shelter in Minneapolis over a week ago.  I'll share some cute puppy pics.  He is a miniature dachshund mix.

As for January sewing, here is the recap.

12 items, 13 yards of fabric. Total cost of fabric: $75.06

How did I do for Jan with my resolutions?
1 new pattern: yes, 2!
1 new Burda/Otto: yes, 2!
1 fabric stash: yes, 4ish!
1 me make each month in 2015: yes! 3

And lastly, but certainly not least, it is Miss K's 9th birthday today.  Time flies, enjoy your little ones while you can!

from this:

 To this in the blink of an eye:

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Monday, January 19, 2015

Loose Ends ~ McCall's 6948; and a fail

I have a confession to make. I hate having UFO's.
I don't like leaving things unfinished. It gets under my skin.

I've had a few patterns sitting around in various stages of completion since August? September? Who knows but they've been bugging me!  It is so unlike me! I like to finish a project all the way before I start the next.

I finally got around to that pile this week.  I'd like to start the new year off with a clean slate.

McCall's 6948
After I made K her red maxi sundress in July 2014 She asked me to make a high/low hem dress.  I purchased this beautiful cotton fabric sometime in 2014 from and cut out the pattern in a size 10 back in August.  I used a purple cotton lycra for the bodice.

When I went to put the skirt together I realized I had cut the front part backwards. The fold was on the wrong side!!! Boo. I had no more fabric left and couldn't find anymore to purchase.  I was deflated and left the project.  I couldn't believe I made such an silly mistake!

Well I went back and finished it now.  I just cut up the fold and left that stinking line right there in the center front. It is what it is.  K loves this dress anyway and hopefully she won't notice.  K noticed immediately and has banned the dress to the get rid of pile.  I'm going to sneak it into her closet and pray she forgets and loves it in the summer.

It is a very pretty dress.  I normally do not like high/low hems but this looks pretty on K.  The bodice is big for her but she has time to grow into it.
Fabric: Laguna Stretch Cotton Jersey Knit Amethyst, Kaufman that has been in my stash since March 2014. 1/2 yard at $3, skirt is 100% cotton woven, it was simply called Vines Multi, 2 yards for $11.16. Total for dress: $14.16

Jalie 3243
I also had these undies cut out for me in the purple cotton lycra leftovers from K's bodice from the dress but never sewed them up.  I used binding for the leg elastic though I think I should have done them a bit tighter.  I used regular picot elastic for the top and sewed right on top of it with the coverstitch. After wearing them a day, the leg elastic does get a tad loose over time.  Next time I will cut the strips at a full 2" so there is some pull in the binder attachment which makes them smaller. If I do 1 3/4" the binding goes on flat and nice for necklines but with not much pull. At 2" it has nice pull, but wrinkles the fabric. I hope that made sense.

I just love the fit and coverage of the Jalie underwear!

Now I just have 4 more pairs of Jalie's to sew up for K and my pile will be clear! :)

And on to the fail. Not really a fail, fail. But a time wasted fail.  LOL.
K loves my elephant Renfrew and asked me to make her a top like that.  So I spent some time drafting out a cowl and modifying two Ottobre tops to get to here.  Looks cute right? like a baby Renfrew (minus the cuffs and hem because this was a fast "trial".  K put it on to test it out and hated the cowl.  She said she felt choked, even though it is loose on her neck. So, no go. I'm just glad I didn't cut into nice fabric but used crappy $1.99/yard fabric!!  You live, you learn.  (still, it would have been super cute on her). Sigh.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jalie 3355 Sweatshirt/Hoodie with Ottobre pants

I seem to be collecting Jalie patterns and sewing from them only sporadically.  I hope to change that!  Here is Jalie 3355, it is a Sweatshirt/hoodie and sweatpants pattern.

I made K view B - the Hoodie.

Size: Width of P and Height of M. This coordinates with most of her measurements.  Her chest is 2" smaller than the pattern states but sweatshirts are supposed to be roomy.

Fabric: 1.5 yards white dots on black sweatshirt knit fabric from purple seamstress, purchased for $15 total in November 2014.  Purple in lining is a tiny piece of lovely Cotton Lycra also from purple seamstress, purchased at the same time.

Instructions: I love Jalie instructions.  They are printed on the pattern paper, but you can also print them off from the website. I always do this to have them handy.  I love that they have pictures for pretty much each step along with the written directions - I'm a visual person.

Sadly I somehow missed the Kangaroo pocket steps because they are at the bottom of the page that talks about sewing techniques to use. I usually skip that page. Whoops!  I attached it after I had sewn the sleeves on and sides together. It was a bit cramped but I got it.  Also, The instructions state to fold top and sides to the wrong side but do not say by how much.  I winged it and just did 1/2".  It worked fine.

The rest of the instructions were spot on.  I had no issues, until I sewed the hood.  The pattern asks for sweatshirt fabric with 10% stretch, mine had none.  I'm not sure if this was the issue or not but there was no way that hood was getting over K's head. I didn't have any more of the dot fabric left to cut a new, larger hood.  So K and I agreed that we would use the ribbing fabric for the hood. Now it fits perfect. She also wanted it lined in purple.  No problem.  I will have the hood lining pictures near the bottom of this post if anyone is interested.  It is pretty simple to line a hood :) Plus I do not enjoy seeing the seam if left unlined.

In addition to changing the hood to a stretchy fabric, I had to shave 1/2" off the neckline of the bodice for K's head to fit through.  She likes it. It fits her very nicely.

I made purple Ottobre 01/2009 #29 "Saija" Sweatpants to go with the sweatshirt since the hood lining was purple.  While I was at it I sewed up a gray pair too.  Both are of Cotton Velour.  Fuzzy pants are always welcome in the winter.  Size 146. Since I've sewn this Ottobre pattern seven times now, I'll spare you the review :P  But here they are and they will be much loved.
Fabric: Purple: Juicy Amethyst Cotton Velour, 1 yard, $9 from Nature's Fabrics Dec 2014.
Gray: Juicy Charcoal Heather Cotton Velour, 1 yard, $9 from Nature's Fabrics Dec 2014.

K took off to read a new book in her sweat set.  So they must be a hit!

Hood lining steps:
cut 1 of hood, cut 1 of lining. I took 1" off lining on straight edge at front so it would turn nicely to the inside when topstitching.

 Sew curved sides of each, separately.  Then put R sides together of hood and lining and sew them together on the long straight edges that make the front (not the bottom).
 Turn them R side out and stuff lining into hood. Press all around that outside facing edge.  Since my purple lining was 1: shorter here it went inside my hood nicely.  I made sure to turn in so that 1/2" of my hoodie was to the inside.
 Topstitch and enjoy! Now you can attach to bodice as normal.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Friday, January 9, 2015

Miss Nala's Coat ~ Simplicity 2099

A long, long time ago (Oct 2012) I sewed our Nala puppy a coat with Simplicity 2099.

She has been wearing it since, but the bottom velcro always pops off and it is too tight on her chest and stomach.  I wanted to make her a new coat.

 she already got a spot of dirt on it, lol.  And I haven't washed my markings out yet

 This week is super cold here (-20 to -45 below most of the week) and I just shaved poor Nala's fur.  So she needs a new coat.  I measured her this time and she was more of a Medium than a Small.  That poor pooch thought I was crazy measuring her all up with my tape. LOL. I could just read her expression thinking "what are you doing woman?!?"

Last time I didn't like that the coat was unlined so this time I made sure to line it.  I used a piece of cotton for the outer layer and fleece for the "lining".  Everything went together fine.  The instructions are very easy and there are nice pictures steps along the way. Exactly what you would expect for an "it's so easy" pattern.  I sewed this up on my vintage Kenmore and it purred through all the layers and seams without issue.

This last week I also picked up a monogram unit for my Kenmore machine off eBay.  I was too excited to get it out and give it a try.  I put Nala's name on the back of her coat at the neck.  I should have used a darker thread color but I was rushing to get it done before my husband came home.

I was having issues with it too.  I couldn't get why it didn't want to go on my original fleece fabric.  It did not want to push the fleece around - I realized my tension was off much later in time. Then it kept getting hung up on the last letter and not moving - my foot was hitting the oval bar in the back because I have an adapter on my foot.  So I ordered a new darning foot to see if that is small enough, it should come soon.  My machine is low shank and the monogram foot that came with it is for high shank. So I just made the last letter with no foot on at all and the material jumped around a lot.  shrug. Nala doesn't mind but the last "A" is a bit choppy.

I put snaps in the coat this time instead of velcro but they keep popping open despite the coat fitting fine.  I may go back and put in a little velcro tab across the tummy.

I love how it looks; Nala, however does not enjoy wearing this thick coat.  It is quite funny the way she looks at me when I put it on her. The shoulders are too low and she doesn't want to walk right with it on.  I think the legs are too thick for her liking.  I might just do them in fleece without the cotton top next time.  They are about 2 inches too long for her legs too (that's why the cuffs are turned up- but that adds bulk too).  Lengthwise and width wise the fit is good. And it does keep her much warmer outside so she suffers through it.

fleece lining

**I have since altered Nala's little coat now that she has worn it a few days.   I cut off 2" on the cuffs and flipped the fleece lining over the cotton layer and stitched.  I also added a velcro strap to the tummy section (as the pattern calls for anyway).  It fits her much, much better and stays on her.  She is very happy with it now and can run around freely.

shorter cuffs, velcro tab

"Much better mom!"

This is a simple little coat pattern and an "it's so easy" pattern.  With a few modifications specific to your fur baby, it is an excellent coat and now Nala is much warmer.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ottobre Kid Sewing

I had leftover fabric from my Burda top the other day and wanted to use it up right away.  I was able to squeak out a raglan bodice for T, leggings for K, and a pair of undies for K too, (along with my Burda top).  Now that was good use of 2.25 yards of fabric!

Ottobre 06/2013 #39 Raglan Tee

Mr. T hardly gets any sewing from me because he is in middle school now and he is"too cool" to wear any mom made clothes.  I've learned in the past that if anything is to be worn it must be as plain as possible.

I cut a straight size 152 for him.  I used the gray cotton lycra for the bodice and then some scraps I had left of the teal from an Ottobre top of mine for his sleeves.  I really just eeked out the bodice out of the fabric.

No issues sewing it up. Raglans are nice and fast gratification projects.  He said he liked it and wore it all day (at home).  We will see if it gets worn to school.  The neck tends to ride up in the back just a tad when he wears it but otherwise it looks great on him.

poor kid just woke up ;-)

Ottobre 04/2013 #30 Leggings

Miss K can always use leggings.  I was able to easily pop these out of the leftover gray fabric.  They sewed up fast.  I'be used this legging pattern a few times now (I think 4?) and I really like it.  The rise is a tad high on K but it covers her rear well and she doesn't complain (much) about these.

K did however gave me crap about how gray is not a good color for a girl and no one wears gray leggings.  The sass on that girl.  But then after I put them under her leopard dress you see pulled up here, she was fine with them.  Sigh.  Anyway, I used size 152 width, 146 in height. They are a bit long for growing room.

Ottobre 06/2013 #33 Undies

I had the tiniest amount of gray fabric left and cut out this pair of undies for K.  I really love the Jalie underwear pattern and so does K but I like to try new things so I tried these from Ottobre.  I used binding for the legs instead of elastic. with more of the teal scraps as you saw in T's Raglan.

I've been trying to get used to my binder attachment for my coverstitch.  I'm happy to say that these turned out perfect for me! Yay.  I wanted to make them a bit prettier so I added the owl stencil.  Well, that was a bad move.  The paint is "too scratchy" for K to wear them.  Crud.  Fit wise these are excellent and a great alternative to the Jalie undies.  I've made 2 other pairs before, but unblogged up until now because my binding stitches were so wonky from learning that attachment, lol.  K loves these and wears them as often as they are clean.  She won't wear any store undies anymore.

For the price of the binding attachment ($79) it is a useful tool.  It sure does make sewing on bindings soooo fast. It took me a small bit of time to get used to it and now it goes pretty smoothly. You can read more about that attachment if you want by clicking the pic here below. I think anything is useful if it makes sewing easier and faster ;-)

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Monday, January 5, 2015

Burda 10/2014 #103 Envelope Top

While perusing the internet one day I stumbled upon this amazing Burda dress over at Frogs in a Bucket and knew I had to make one similar!  I have the issue, I even earmarked the top to make at a future time.  The best part is that I had just picked up some Ponte at Hancock's on sale that would work perfect.  The stars were in alignment!

Being the practical person I am, I wanted to try the top out and work out fit issues before moving on to the dress version.  I've lost some weight and my previous alterations just weren't working as before.

Burda 10/2014 #103

For my muslin I traced out a 38 shoulders/bust, 40 waist, and 42 hip from a super soft, brushed rib knit fabric.  This top has the envelope-look at the neck (which I love) so I didn't know how to approach a square shoulder adjustment. I just left them alone.
* added 1" to hip at back only for my large rear
* took 3" off sleeves (knew they were long going in and didn't want them that way)

When I put on my muslin the neckline was big on me. Too big.  The top looked all weird. Plus there was bagginess under my arms and through the bust.  I took in a TWO inch dart on the back neck and then 1/2" off the sides from armpit to waist. Tried it on again and it was much better. The sleeves are still too long and I'm not sure I like the length of the shirt.

The bad neckline. The bagginess everywhere. 

Now every review states how easy this top is to sew. So I began to think "what is wrong with me" when I just could not get the neck/shoulder stitching right. My brain refused to understand what Burda wanted.  "Lay back R sides together with front. Stitch upper edge of back along joining lines on front from each marking to seam #1"  From each marking? so do I stitch the triangle across the shoulder part even?  I thought the envelope front meant you didn't stitch the actual top shoulder. Sigh. Much frustration, seam ripping, flipping of material.  Whatever - I just did it my way. I put R side front to R side back and stitched across the triangle part where it shows on the front piece there.  Then I basted the armhole area. Done.
much better

Then we come to the neck "facing". Woah. So you sew this bias strip to the neckline but only to the marks. Then you flip it to the inside and it stops just before the front piece connects.  Well it's supposed to anyway.  Mine was a tad short so I suggest to leave extra on neck facing until you stitch it down all the way, then clip it, it can go under the front flap.

Clearly the rest of the shirt is easy peasy once you get past the neckline.  I did put the sleeves on in the flat - I don't enjoy setting in a sleeve. Also, what is up with Burda putting in 3" of ease in a knit sleeve?? THREE inches? WTH.

Fabric: Designer Brushed Baby Rib Knit Flowers Smoke, 65% poly, 35% cotton, Purchased Feb 2014 from for $4.89/yard. Used 2 yards. Total: $9.78

Top #2
I transferred all the changes to the pattern and set off again. This time with a cotton lycra fabric.
Alterations this time:
*kept 1" added to hip at back for large rear
*took an additional 3/4" off sleeves for a total of 3.75"
*took 2" dart off back neck, sloped to nothing at hem
*tapered 1/2" off armpit to waist
*reduced sleeve cap by 3/4" for a length of 17.5" instead of 19"

This time I sewed the neck with exposed bias and sewed the back crossover to the front as visible.  I like this look. Reminds me of the Bronte Top.

Fabric: Heather Grey Jersey Knit, 95% cotton, 5% lycra, 9.5oz/yard.  2.25 yards purchased August 2014 at $5.50/yard from fashion fabrics club. $11.00 (did not use all the 2.25 yards though). The bias strip is a scrap from Laguna Stretch Cotton Jersey Heathered Knit Pepper, Robert Kaufman.

I was all excited and tried it on. Too tight. UGH, what the heck!  Well, this fabric was considerably more stable and less stretch than the rib knit, I should have known better.  The saddest part is that I am in love with this version.
Hmm. Well....

Ugh. Too tight. 

In all fairness the pattern says to use a "fine stretch jersey".  The cowl draped way better on the rib knit, it tries to stand up on the jersey version. I'll have to think about this before I head into making the dress version.

** Thanks to Levone who pointed out to me that BurdaStyle offers a video "how to" of making this top, but in the dress version! You have to pay for the video $7.99, but it might be better to invest in a one month subscription to the videos with Burda for $19.99. **

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~