Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Hits and Misses

I posted over on Instagram a bit ago that I have been very ill – which is why there has not been any posts the last quarter of this year.  Unfortunately I have been so ill that sewing hasn’t really been possible.  I count the days until I can get into the GI doctor (the end of January). I am ready for 2016 to end as it has been a rough year for my family.  2017 can only be better!!  (ps. I do post things on Instagram sometimes as I make them, or in progress shots because it's faster than a blog post).

I’ve gathered up some hits and misses from my sewing this last year.  Sewing really slowed down in 2016 and I hope that 2017 means much more sewing!  I worked really hard on fitting and altering patterns this year and feel like I understand how things fit my body better.   I also realized that I mainly sew from Jalie, Burda, and Patterns for Pirates.  These three companies/designers really fit my body type better than the big 4.  I do have a lot of big 4 that I want to sew up though. 
top 6 of 2016

1. Suat Brazi Dress: I just love how this fits, and it is super comfortable. I made 2 of these this year and love them both!  I would call this an easy to sew pattern, too.
2. Jalie 2908 Jeans: I made two pairs of these this year and I can’t begin to explain how nice it is to have jeans that FIT!  Normal jeans gape so bad at my waist. I also won the Pants contest for this pair of jeans.  This pattern is easy to sew, but time consuming.
3. Jalie 3248 Cardigan:  I wish I had 50 of these to wear each day.  This cardigan is so comfortable and I want to live in it.  This pattern is easy enough to sew, but I’d call it a “medium” skill pattern.  There are some funky instructions that make sense if you read them slowly. I made Miss K one of these and she loves it. I also have another one cut and half sewn for myself.
4.  Burda 12/2008 #114:  This is actually a nightgown made of rayon spandex.  It is super comfortable and easy to just throw on for bed.  I love it and reach for it all the time it’s clean.  I would also call this an easy sew.
5.  Jalie 3355 Hoodie:  This is the second one I made and I live in both of mine.  I love this pattern and this hoodie is my favorite in my closet.  I would say this is an easy sew. I wear it as often as possible.
6.  Patterns for Pirates Layer Me Up Tank:  Ok, I love, love, love almost all the P4P patterns.  I just finished up a sweetheart dress I haven’t posted here yet or it would be up in the hits.  I love this tank top because I can layer with it and not be hot or cold.  It fits perfect and I made it with custom fabric from the movie “UP.”  These patterns are all easy to sew with tons of pictures to help.

Here’s a sneak peak of that P4P Sweetheart Dress (LOVE!):


fails 2016

Ok, pleasantly most of my “misses” this year were because of fabric choice or something I did when sewing.  This must mean I’m either getting better at fitting, picking patterns, or sewing!

1.  Burda 11/2006 #116: This was a fabric fail and the fact that I couldn’t understand what the heck Burda wanted me to do to sew it up.  I love the look of it so I may revisit.
2. Patterns for Pirates Boyfriend Tee: this was a fail because of the horrid fabric choice I made.  That color is not me and it is too thin and drapey so it shows every lump and bump; plus, the fabric grows and grows making the shape of the tee out of whack.  I’ll remake this pattern many times in a different fabric.
3.  Burda 03/2011 #131B:  These are a work in progress.  I have such a hard time fitting my pear shaped lower half.  These are the closest I’ve come to good looking shorts; however, I should have known not to add slant pockets to the side of the hips like that.  I’ll be working on this pattern in an attempt to get TNT shorts out of it. 

I’m excited to see all your hits and misses for the year!

And I’m so ready for 2017. . .
Here’s to a much better year ahead. 

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

3 Hoodies, 3 Tees

 Hoodies are my favorite thing to wear.  Cozy, snuggly, warm; what’s not to love?  My purple Jalie hoodie from April 2015 is getting a lot of wear so I decided to make another one.

Pattern:  Jalie 3355 Hoodie

home 2

Size: "U" for shoulders/bust/waist to "X" at the hip.  My purple one had stretch so it was looser, this one is a stable french terry so it is more snug. 

home 3

Instructions:  Great instructions!  A sheet of written instruction and a sheet of photos for each step. 


Fabric: 2.5 yards Heather Grey French Terry; 80% Cotton 20% Polyester; purchased in July 2015 from fashionfabricsclub for $8.25 total.  This stuff is fantastic!  I wish all the french terry I purchased would be like this. It is stable and moderately thick, yet soft. I also used about 1/2 yard of Charcoal  Cotton Lycra from Stylish Fabrics; purchased in Sep 2016. $3.45.  Total for hoodie including vinyl: $14.70 (vinyl says “there’s no place like home”)

home 4

Thoughts:  I love, love, love this hoodie.  I wear it all the time.  It is my favorite thing I have right now.


Pattern: Jalie 3355 Hoodie

Miss K wanted a purple hoodie exactly like my purple Jalie one.  She asked for it about a year ago and I now just got to making it. Oops! Size: Q for bust and height, R for waist.  Fabric: 1.75 yards Regal Purple Sweatshirt Fleece purchased from fashionfabricsclub in October 2015 for $11.38; Also, 1/2 yard of Purple and Mint Rayon Modal Knit, purchased in Dec 2014 from Purpleseamstress for $2; Total for Hoodie: $13.38. Thoughts:  It fits her perfectly and she is super happy with it.  I wanted to put a graphic on it but she wouldn’t allow it.


Pattern:  Patterns for Pirates Relaxed Raglan with Hoodie Add on

owls 1

Size: Straight size Large. Fits exactly like a sweatshirt should.

owls 2

Instructions: Fantastic.  These instructions hold your hand each step of the way and photos are provided for each step. 

owls 3

Fabric: 1 yard Owl French Terry from Wanderlust Designs Custom Fabric on Facebook.  I purchased this in May 2016 on sale for $16.50; also 1 yard Red Scarlet French Terry from Stylish Fabrics; purchased in September for $7.50 – the red is thin and seems like it would pill easily.  I am tempted to take out the red and replace it with a heavier cotton terry in blue.  We will see. Total including vinyl: $27.00  (Vinyl says “dreamer, soulsearcher, wanderer”)

owls 4

Thoughts:  I really like the pattern.  I like the fit of the raglan.  I’m just not happy with the red french terry.  It is much lighter and thinner than the owl fabric – which makes the sleeves feel heavy. 

Pattern:  Patterns For Pirates Relaxed Raglan


Size: M bust/waist to an XL at the hip.  Options: Short sleeve, Cut on the Shirt hemmed line, Round neck.   I slimmed 3 inches off each side seam from nothing at bust to 3” at waist to nothing at hip.  I like the slimmer fit.


Instructions: Fantastic.  These instructions hold your hand each step of the way and photos are provided for each step. 

Fabric: 1 yards Royal Blue Poly/Lycra Jersey Knit, 95% Polyester/5% Lycra, purchased in May 2016 from fabricmart with a coupon, $2.84. Also, 1/4 yard Laguna Stretch Cotton Jersey Heathered Knit Pepper, purchased from in March 2014 $1.48. Total for top: $4.32.

Thoughts: I made this top before the below top.  I loved the gray sleeves and blue body of the raglan.  I wasn’t sure if I liked the lightweight drape of the Poly knit.  It hasn’t been worn at all.  So, I decided to remake this top in all cotton lycra, as seen below.

Pattern:  Patterns for Pirates Relaxed Raglan


Size:  M bust/waist to an XL at the hip.  Options: Short sleeve, Cut on the Shirt hemmed line, Round neck.   I slimmed 3 inches off each side seam from nothing at bust to 3” at waist to nothing at hip.


Instructions: Fantastic.  These instructions hold your hand each step of the way and photos are provided for each step. 


Fabric: 1 yard Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey Knit Royal, purchased from in May 2016 for a tank for my husband (more on that later) but, it didn’t work out and so I repurposed it for this shirt,  $6.97. Also, 1/4 yard Charcoal 2 Tone-N Cotton Lycra Jersey Knit Fabric Combed 10oz, purchased from Stylish Fabric in Sept 2016 for $1.73. Total for shirt with vinyl: $11.70.

Thoughts: Well, I love the graphic however I think the shirt is too tight at the bust – I should have made a Large in the bust.  Also, I mistakenly cut it on the “Shirt Banded” like instead of the “Shirt Hemmed” line so I feel like it is too short.  Maybe I’ll try to add a band to it or maybe I’ll just scrap it.

Pattern:  Patterns For Pirates Relaxed Raglan

Size: XXS; Cut on “Shirt Banded” Line; Short sleeve option.


Fabric: 1/4 yard “Shattered Showers” Poly Jersey from Cuddle Muffins on Facebook.  I purchased yardage of this in March 2015 and like to use it sparingly to save hoard it; $5.25.  Also, 3/4 yard red cotton lycra that I’m not sure where I got or when.  Normally I pay $6.50 a yard for CL so we will say $4.88 for the 3/4 yard.  Total for shirt: $10.13

rainbow red

Thoughts: This looks great on K. It fits her well and she loves it. Win-win!

Tally: 3 hoodies, 3 tees; 3 wins, 3 so-so's; 4 for me, 2 for Miss K

Happy Sewing!

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!