Monday, August 31, 2015

Flosstyle Jukebox Dress ~ Encore

I have a ton of cute cotton woven fabrics to sew up because cotton woven fabric always seems to have the cutest designs!  Miss K is getting older and soon she won’t want to wear half of them.  I saw this pattern release by Flosstyle and thought it would be a perfect way to use some of these fabrics up. 



This pattern is unique in that it offers 6 base designs and tons of ways to mix and match them all up!  The sizes go from Girls size 1 to 16.  The pattern also states that there are Australian women sizes from 6-10 but this is just girls sizes 12-16.  Australian women must be super tiny!  The largest chest measurement goes to 30.75; no way would that come close to fitting me. Regardless, it is a great pattern for K.




I picked the base style of “Encore” because K is on a maxi kick.  The first time around I cut and made two fronts on accident. doh!  I had enough fabric to recut it correctly.  I noticed the top was huge on K when I first cut it at a 12. So I measured and settled on a size 8 for the top with 10 in height.  The skirt tiers are a size 12 in width, 10 in height.  Miss K wants no part of elastic at her waist so I omitted that part and did not expose the ruffle on the first tier.  She is so picky some times. 




The instructions are a bit crazy in my opinion.  It was a bit hard to understand and read.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.  Regardless, I plugged through and the finishing is superb.  The bodice is lined and the neckline and sleeves are enclosed with the lining so there are no raw ends.  There is a zipper in the back as well.  I used my ruffler attachment on my sewing machine for the bottom hem but it didn’t give me as good of ruffles so I switched to using my serger for the top tier where it connects to the bodice.




Fabric: 1 yard (would have been 1/2 if I had not jumbled up the first top) “Gust of Leaves Silver, Wanderer” by April Rhodes, Art gallery fabrics, purchased in March for $8.60.  This is amazing fabric! So soft and smooth.  The second tier is 1 yard “Hilltop Mint” from Dear Stella, purchased sometime this year for $7.12 and the third tier is “Navy Sprigs” also from Dear Stella, 1 yard $7.12. Total for the dress: $22.84





Thoughts: This dress exceeded my expectations.  It looks amazing and I’m so happy I bought this pattern.  I look forward to trying out some of the other styles and mixing and matching things up.




And, School starts tomorrow for my kiddos.  Exciting and sad at the same time. I’ll be working on some fall clothes for me now!



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Let’s Talk Fails

Not everything I make works out.  Sometimes it does not fit right, sometimes the sewing does not go right, sometimes the fabric fails me or the pattern.  Fails are a terrible part of sewing.  They happen, but nobody likes it when they do.  The only good part about a sewing fail is that I learn each time. I thought I would catch up my August sewing and share some of the fails I’ve had this month. 

Simplicity 1068

Remember when I made my awesome Cheetah ruffle skirt?  I love it to pieces and said I would try some of the other views of the same pattern.  So I did. And it was not love.  I decided to go with the circle skirt, view C, knee length.  Circle skirts are easy to sew, though they take up a ton of fabric, and this pattern is just a knit circle skirt with an encased elastic waistband.  I picked up 2 yards of black and 2 yards of gray fabric to give it a try.  I used size 16 waist to 18 hip.  This is my waist size, but 1 size less than my hips.

This is the gray skirt (my shirt is a Renfrew I made in March)

The pattern instructions are very easy to follow if you’ve never sewn a circle skirt.  I have sewn a few for Miss K so I did not need them.  I sewed both these up in no time. 


The fabric is a bit of a story.  I am on a ton of Facebook groups for fabric, patterns, sewing in general, etc. and many sewists were talking about how Walmart is now carrying knit fabric.  I popped into mine the end of July and sure enough they had a few bolts.  The gray is a super soft “Pontiroma,” a poly blend, lighter than Ponte, but a nice weight.  I purchased 2 yards for $10.88 total.  I love this fabric and will probably buy more.  It would make a great Lady Skater dress or knit pants. It is of medium weight and has decent stretch.  The black is Cotton Spandex Knit and is nice and thick compared to most Cotton/lycra (spandex) that I purchase online.  It has great stretch and recovery.  I purchased 2 yards for $11.96 total.  *On a side note, the lady had no idea how to cut knit fabric.  She gave me the most jagged crazy cut edge I’ve ever had on a piece of fabric.

And this is the Black Skirt

The gray skirt has more drape to it and thus turned out better looking than the black skirt.  I will keep the gray one but I don’t know how much use it will get.  The weight of the black one makes it feel frumpier to me.  I don’t know how to explain it but it does not hang right.  I don’t care for it at all and will chop it up into underwear as soon as I get time. 

My little helper wanted to be picked up constantly today (his kids, K &T, are gone so he is super needy)

I have decided that circle skirts just are not for me, at this length anyway. I would, however, recommend both of the Walmart knits (for appropriate projects of course). 

Next up is a Burda skirt that I had really high hopes for.   Burda 03/2013 #122

Every summer I go through a Maxi skirt obsession.  This skirt appealed to me but I did not have that issue so I had to buy the skirt via PDF version online for $5.90.  It comes with the skirt pieces for design #120, 121, 122, and 123.  The directions, however, are only for the number you purchase. 


This skirt is unique to sew because it has an invisible side zipper that is attached to the pocket bag.  It was challenging and frustrating.  I goggled and read up on how to attempt this feat.  It took 3 unpicking’s before I was satisfied with it.

See how the zipper comes down and it's attached to the pocket bag. . . crazy!

The skirt has a yoke and then the two lower rectangles, as well as pockets on the side seams.  I sewed the lower part with just one fabric, omitting the bottom “ruffle” layer.  I underlined with a very soft and light cotton muslin.  When I finally finished I tried it on and was sorely disappointed.  The pockets and gathering at the hip made me feel ginormous.  I ended up ripping out the zipper and omitting the pockets before closing it all up again.  I still feel 100 pounds heavier when I put it on, it is not a good look for me. 


My instincts told me that gathers by my hips are a big no-no for a pear shape like me; I should have listened to my gut. The pattern makes a really awesome skirt, it was just a style mistake for me (being so hippy).  Boo.


The instructions for this skirt are typical Burda – little bits and pieces but no real help.  I utilized my stash of sewing books and the internet to sew it up.  The inseam pocket/invisible zipper part was terrible. 


The fabric is amazing.  I’m sad I cut it up.  It is a Muted Navy/Beige/White Dappled Leaves Cotton Lawn from FabricMart.  I purchased this in May 2014, 3 yards for $16.17 total. I love it too much to part with it so I will salvage what I can from the lower half rectangle.  Expect to see it again sometime!



Continuing with my Back to School preparations, I made up a bunch of underwear the last few weeks, too.  Miss K will no longer wear store undies so I re-stocked her drawer with
Ottobre 06/2013 #33 Undies


I mass produced 6 pairs in 2 days.  The coverstitch binder attachment helped tremendously, though I will think ahead of time next time and use the same color bands on all pairs.  It was a pain to change thread colors so much!  My coverstitch is super picky and I have to re-thread from the beginning every time I need to change colors.  The fabrics are all scraps from previous makes.  Miss K was super happy to see some of her favorite fabrics. 


Not wanting Mr. T to feel left out I tried a new boxer pattern for him.  It is the Boxerwear pattern from Stitch Upon A Time.  *Also referred to as SUAT for short*  I used the XS size for him with the long length.  They fit him great, but the length is a bit long for his shorter body (It’s a men’s pattern).  Next time I will use the shorter length for him.  Fabric is also scraps from his other makes.  The seams on the inside of the “pouch” are enclosed (there is a lining and an outer fabric) so they are very soft inside. Mr. T did not want to take them off... 


Mr. SunnySewing also got to try some new boxers from the same pattern.  His are a size XL and fit great (below on the Left with the fly).  They also have a boxerwear pattern for Women, so of course I made myself some in a size M at the waist to L at the hip.  They are super comfy to wear.  I can’t wait to make more! 


I popped out a tiny pair in XXS for Miss K but they were too small for her.  She also declared she would never wear “man” underwear so I won’t attempt any more for her.  They are super cute though! The fabric is from scraps from her previous shirt.  


I also wanted to share this crazy picture. I was bit by an ant 2 weeks ago and I had to deal with this monstrosity for almost 2 weeks!! I almost gnawed my leg off it itched SO bad! I mean really, who reacts like this to a tiny ant!!  Actually, I itch again just looking at it. Sigh. It's better now, just a shadow of this.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Exciting News!

A couple weeks ago I decided to put in an entry to be in FabricMart’s annual Fabricista Fashion Challenge.  Last year Nakisha was in it and I loved watching the things she came up with.  So I crossed my fingers as I sent it and then tried to forget about it.  Well, yesterday I received an email back saying I was one of the contestants!!

I was so excited! I squealed, jumped up and down, called to tell my husband (who was happy for me but really doesn’t understand the whole thing).  Then I sat down and became nervous. 
Whew.  The contest begins September 11th and there are 4 challenge weeks.  The 5 other contestants have been revealed on the website.  I follow Dawn’s blog and know that she is a fierce competitor (who makes beautiful things) so I know I have my work cut out for me Winking smile
Wish me luck!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back to School Sewing

I had to take a short break from me-sewing to make up some things for Miss K for back to school.  I spent two nights going through all my Ottobre magazines and picking out things to make her.  I have a huge stack on my kitchen table that I’ve slowly been tracing and cutting fabric for.  I finished up these things over the last two weeks. 

Ottobre 04/2012 #28 “Fancy Mix long-sleeve T-shirt”

Size 146 height and for shoulders/bust, 152 waist. 


I made this once before back in Oct 2013, but it was too big at the time.  I have Miss K’s size down to a T now with Ottobre.  This was a fast sew after attaching the yoke and the bit of gathering.  K loves it and it’s a great pattern to mix up scraps with for the yoke and sleeve ends.  I used clear elastic to do the gathering and my coverstitch for the hems and neckline.


Fabric: 1 yard hot pink/black leopard spots on grey, cotton lycra from Purple seamstress.  Purchased in Nov 2014 for $10. The pink is a Hot Pink Jersey Knit, 50% Rayon 48% Polyester 2% Lycra, from fashionfabricsclub.  Purchased in Jan 2015. I only used a tiny bit of this, we’ll say 1/4 yard for $1.


Total Cost of shirt: $11.00


Ottobre 06/2012 #30 “Sulka Jersey Dress”

Size 146 height and for shoulders/bust, 152 waist/hip


I’ve also made this pattern once before in Sept 2014 as a leopard dress for K.  This time I wanted to use some super cute sweater knit.  Last time the sleeves were a bit tight so I added 1/2” to the width.  I also had to underline the dress with tricot because the sweater knit was too loose and wanted to grow every which way.  It was pretty sheer as well.  I used clear elastic for the waist gathering.  I was silly and attached it to the “right” side of the skirt so when I attached it I had bits of it showing.  When I went back to serge a larger seam allowance it chopped off most of the elastic so the waistline is a bit saggy.  It doesn’t want to hold it’s shape well.  Sad, because this fabric is so pretty.  Luckily K didn’t notice. 


Fabric: 2 yards, Sunset Stripe Sweater Knit, 95% Polyester 5% Lycra. Purchased June 2015 from fashionfabricsclub for $7.90. 1 yard of tricot Purchased May 2014 from, $4.78


Total Cost of dress: $12.68


Ottobre 03/2012 #34 “Jungle Stripes Jersey Dress”

Size 146 height and for shoulders/bust, 152 waist/hip


This is a favorite pattern of Miss K’s.  It is a super comfy knit dress and has pockets, so perfect for her.  I’ve made this a few times

  1. Yellow Summer Dress
  2. Pink Thermal Nightgown
  3. Pink and Black Stripe Dress
  4. Pink Flannel Nightgown

K wears them until they are worn-out (actually she still wears the yellow one for bed, and I just took away the other pink/black one).  K wanted me to re-make the pink/black striped one because it is her favorite.  This time around I omitted the pleats in the neckline because they don’t look very nice when finished and create too much bulk at the neckline.  I simply smoothed out the neckline when tracing, folded it over for a 1/2” hem, and inserted 15” of 1/4” elastic to make it a peasant neck.  Easy and only took about 1.5 hours of sewing.


Fabric: 1 yard of Hot Pink/Black Stripe Ponte de Roma Double Knit, 97% Polyester 3% Lycra, purchased two weeks ago just for this project from fashionfabricsclub, $4.95. This fabric washed, cut, and sewed like a dream.

Total cost of dress: $4.95 and K is super happy so win-win.

Awesome stripe matching, even on the pockets!



Seaside Notions “Point Mugu Maxi Skirt”

Size 12Y in waist and 10Y in height.


I was able to pattern test for this maxi skirt, and K loves her maxi skirts.  It went together pretty straightforward.  I didn’t care for the interfacing in the waistband (in my opinion knits should not have interfacing where they are required to stretch), so I omitted that.  I was testing the regular skirt, there is a cute ruffle option you can add to it as well.  The skirt is for woven or knits.  K loved how it turned out and I am interested in trying a woven version.  The size chart was spot on, too.


Fabric: 1 yard of this blue floral 70s look cotton lycra, purchased May 2015 from FabricMart, $2.40 and 1.5 yards of light pink cotton lycra, purchased Feb 2015 from purpleseamstress, $9.75

Total Cost of skirt: $12.15

You can view/purchase the pattern here if you are interested.


I still have 2 more tops ready to sew up for K and I’d like to make her some pants before I can stop with the school sewing. 


Can you believe Fall is almost here?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Unselfish Sewing


I did a bit of unselfish sewing this last week.  My nephew had his 2nd birthday and I gained a new niece (about a month ago).  Different families, however, both families are into tractors.  One family being rednecks (lol); the other family are actually farmers. 

I set out to make the nephew farmer a cow plushie out of Farmall fabric.  And the niece a dress from the leftovers. 

I scoured the web for an appropriate cow plushie pattern.  Being from Wisconsin, we know cows.  Seeing as he is a little farmer, he would definitely know cows.  I wanted a cute, fat cow that looked realistic.  I found many weird skinny cows and clownish smiley cows but only one that fit what I wanted.  (Technically this is a bull, not a cow)

1 cow

This pattern was written well with many pictures.  There was only one spot where I scratched my head and wished for a clear picture.  It took me almost 4 hours to sew this guy up.  I forgot how many small corners and items are involved with plushies!

2 cow

Fabric: 1/2 yard Farmall fabric from $4.60 and 1/2 yard black anti-pill fleece from Wal-Mart $1.49.  The pattern cost $8.50 – I picked it up from the Rumpled Quilt Skins website.  (note: For some reason the pattern wasn’t sent to me via email so the next morning I emailed her and she responded immediately with the pattern).  Total for the cow: $14.59

3 ciw

Thoughts:  I think he turned out great.  I took care in hand sewing the belly shut after stuffing him.  I despise hand sewing but this ladder stitch was perfect!  I do hope he enjoys the cow.  I would recommend any of her patterns on the site.  I may try my hand at a few more as Mr. T thought the cow was “so cool” but prefers pigs (it’s a Minecraft thing).

4 cow


Next up was the dress.  I traced out an Ottobre dress but decided not to sew it up as it had more steps and I wanted something fast and simple.  Someone was talking about the Geranium dress on a Facebook group and I thought it would be perfect.  Since I was using the 0-3 month size it was free (even better!).  This pattern is from Rae of Made by Rae.


1 red

I printed it off and cut out the pieces with ease.  There are only 2 pieces included in the pattern (the front and back bodice) and the measurements are given for a rectangle for the skirt part. 


2 red

The instructions are excellent for a free pattern and includes photos of the steps.  The one part I disagreed with was that no interfacing was recommended for where the buttons/snaps would be.  To me this is essential.  Anyway, I sewed this dress up in no time. 

clean insides

3 red

The bodice is lined and there are no seams to be scratchy by babies stomach.  I used red snaps per Miss K’s request.  I mailed it out right away before little Miss E could outgrow it!

Fabric: 1/2 yard Farmall fabric from $4.60.  I sure wish I sewed when my kids were little.  These things take such small amounts of fabric and so little time!

look, so small!

4 red

Saturday, August 1, 2015

July Recap 2015

11 items, 18.5 yards of fabric. Total fabric cost $83.05
How did I do for July with my resolutions?
1 new pattern: yes, 5
1 new Burda/Otto pattern for me: sadly no, but I used a few of the Big 4 this month. (Technically I have a Burda skirt in progress but it is not quite finished yet)
1 fabric stash used: yes, 4.75 yards total (I’m embarrassed to tell you how many yards came INTO my house this month…)
1 me make each month in 2015: yes, 4 things for me