Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Hits and Misses

When I was looking through my 2017 makes I realized that everything I made on my SWAP (sewing with a plan) for Jan-April was a hit.  I will strive to make more SWAP’s going forward.  It is nice to have things planned out and work all together.  I am super proud of this SWAP because I have a hard time putting outfits together and I think this was very cohesive.

Here was the original SWAP for Q1 2017
modified swap

I made all but 2 things.  And I still hope to make those at a later date.  I did swap the Jalie cardi for black instead of teal and made a shrug for the dress instead of leggings.  I loved everything I made here, especially the Ginger Jeans.  I wear them alllll the time. 

ginger 6

Here are the Ginger jeans,  the Jalie drop pocket cardi, and the Burda cowl top.  I need to make more Gingers.  I wear these every time I go somewhere.  I don’t even wear my beloved Gap jeans anymore. 


Here is the P4P Sweetheart dress, with Jalie Shrug

20170310_203618[2] (1)

And here is the Renfrew top with Jalie Yoga bottoms.

I have to give an honorable mention to the below:

sweet tee 1

Patterns for Pirates Sweet Tee.  It is the perfect mix of color and fit for me. 

When there are hits, there are also misses.  Sometimes my misses are fabric choice, sometimes fabric.  And other times it’s both!  Here are the makes from 2017 that just didn’t work.

gray jalie 2

Jalie Dolman.  I just cannot get this pattern to work for me.  The fabric was a bad choice too.  I am chopping this one up for underwear. 


P4P sweetheart dress in Sweater Knit.  Now I love this pattern, and it is a hit in the right fabric, but the color of this is just all wrong.  The sweater knit doesn’t feel right; it is loose but somewhat heavy, pulling the dress down weird.  It just doesn’t work.  I have never worn it.  Technically I made it then end of 2016 but didn’t post it until 2017. 

The below are a bunch of misses this year, I just haven’t posted them yet!

I don’t even remember what the first shirt pattern is.  . .   The P4P sunshine bodice I just cannot get to fit right.  It’s poochy and weird in the front.  A McCall’s cardigan made with the wrong fabric, too thick.  A McCalls tank dress that was huge and crappy.  P4P Mama Joggers that were just all wrong in fit.  And P4P pegs as shorts with pocket add on.  Not really a fail for the pattern, but my fabric swish swishes and drives me bonkers.  Plus they ride up terribly. 

On to 2018!  Where I hope to have many more hits, a few misses, and loads of happy sewing. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Purple, Purple and a Puppy

Well, the year is almost over and I still have a bunch of makes I haven’t posted yet. Oops.  I will do my best to catch up so I can start my big plans for next year, fresh.

Here are 3 makes for me (1 fail, 2 successes) and a make for the puppy. 

Ottobre 02/2017 #2 “All Day Long” Rayon Jersey Top


Size: 42 at shoulder to waist, graded to a 44 hip in front and 46 hip in back. 

Adjustments: 1/2” forward shoulder adjustment. Raised neckline 1/2” because it looked low


Instructions are to the point, easy enough to follow.  The neck and hem are bound, cuffs at the arms. 


Fabric: 2 yards Midnight Plum Rayon Spandex Jersey Knit. Purchased May 2017 from on sale for $4/yard.  $8 total.  This is a heavier rayon spandex than I’m used to.  It does make the top hang a bit more (pull towards the ground). 


Thoughts:  Fail.  miserable fail.  I do not like the drop shoulder; Honestly I didn’t think the pattern had this at all, big oversight.  It is also super long.  Like Tunic long.  It looks oversized, baggy, and huge on me.   If I pull up the bottom it looks halfway decent but I still don’t like that shoulder.  I will attempt to use it for a nightgown but I am afraid it is destined for the trash or repurpose pile.  Hmm, there is a lot of fabric here, maybe I can get a cowl tank out of it.  I do love the color.


BurdaStyle 11/2007 #122

I had this pattern pegged to make myself some yoga pants, and then Miss K needed some like “right now” back in September for Gym.  She even used the black space fabric I wanted to use.  After I got over my disappointment of making them for her instead of me, I picked out the same fabric in a different color and made my own. 

burda purp 2

Size:Waistband 42; Front Piece: 42 waist, 44 hip to hem; Back Piece: 42 waist, graded to 46 at hip to knee and back to 44 the rest of the way to hem. I added 1.5” for the hem like the magazine stated but then only did 1” hem. 

burda purp 1

Instructions:  For Burda, these are good instructions.  However, the pattern is also simple to sew up so not too much to mess up.


Fabric: 2 yards Eggplant Space Dye Poly Spandex Performance Tech Knit Fabric;  It is 90% Poly, 10% Spandex. Purchased from in July 2017 for $7.20/yard. $14.40 total for these pants.  This fabric is amazing.  it is soft and slippery.  It feels closer to ITY than athletic wear.  It has great recovery though.  When I wear these pants it feels like silk on my legs.  The fabric is perfect for warmer weather. 


Thoughts:   I love love love these pants.  They are so easy to make, fit really well, and are super comfortable to wear.  I loved them so much that I made a second pair in this thick red yoga knit fabric. 


Fabric: Premium Red Yoga Knit from Knitpop.  Super thick and luscious.  Purchased in June 2017; it was $10.50/yard in a half off sale.  So $21 total for this pair. This fabric is awesome to wear too.  It has great recovery and is super soft and plush. 


And now for the puppy.  Back in September I was preparing Bear (aka bennie, beanie, etc).  for his first shave.  Knowing he would be cold I made him a cute shirt.  I even embroidered his name on the back.  His full name is Bear E.B. Benson. 

Pattern: Sophi and Friends (on etsy) Dog Tee Shirt Pattern 1764


Size: Tiny little 8lb Bear measured in the Large/XL size.  I measured twice to be sure.  I made him the size Large.

Fabric:  A small bit of Turquoise Cotton Lycra from the scrap pile. 


Instructions:  The instructions are good.  I had no problems putting this together.


Thoughts: Pretty good fit though I will probably size down next time.  It is really baggy near his belly and well…. he’s a boy so it needs to be shorter and tighter across his belly. 


He was thoroughly confused by the shirt and the pictures.  It’s so hard to live a dog’s life.


Happy Sewing!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ottobre Hide Away Hoodie and Ottobre Stream Leggings

I’ve had both these pieces finished for quite some time now; but getting pictures taken has proven difficult. When Ottobre 02/2017 came out I was so excited.  I love almost everything in the whole magazine!  I can’t wait to sew them all up. 

Ottobre Hide Away Hoodie

Immediately I was drawn to this pattern.  The pockets are awesome and it looked like a great fall/winter piece.
Size and Alterations: 42 everywhere grading to a 46 at the hip. It was a little tricky adding seam allowance to the pocket linings but I figured it out.  1/2” forward shoulder adjustment. At first I made it with the hem band but I didn’t really like it plus it was too long on me.  So my mom suggested removing the hem band and just hemming it.  Well I love it now!


Instructions and Pattern: I’m used to Ottobre instructions by now.  They are sparse, but too the point.  The hardest part is that there are no pictures to follow.  I have to take each line as it is.  The instructions and pattern is great.


Fabric: Pink & Blue Floral Grey French Terry from Knitpop. 2 yards purchased in Feb 2016  $17.00.  Grey Stripes French Terry POLY 62%, RAY 33%, SPAN 5%, 1 yard also purchased from Knitpop at the same time. $8.50.  Total: $25.50


Thoughts: Love, Love, Love.  I wasn’t sure if it was too baggy or if I should bring it in on the sides a bit but after looking at the pictures I will just leave it like it is.  I can’t wait to wear it.


Ottobre Stream Leggings

black legg2

Size and Alterations: Back Pieces: 44 at waist, 48 at hip down. dropped back crotch curve 1/2”.  Front Piece: 44 at waist, 46 hip down.  Waistband 44.

black legg1

Instructions and Pattern: Simple leggings with an awesome waistband.  No issues with the pattern or instructions.

Fabric: 2 yards Black fabric.  I wish I could tell you what this stuff is. I got it from Hancock’s going out of business sale.  Active Knit High Performance is what the receipt says.  $0.85/yd. so… $1.70 for these leggings.


Thoughts: These are the very best fitting leggings I’ve made and/or owned.  I love the waistband especially; it keeps everything in place. I think that they are a little baggy behind the knees and from the knees down to the ankles.  However, this is an easy fix for next time. 

Next time:  Need to taper legs from knee down, need to add 1” to length.  Waistband needs: 1/2” taken off top of back middle, tapering to 0 (for swayback). and lower 1” in front only at top of waistband.

Here is with it pulled back, if I decided to take in the side seams.  It looks ok, but I think this design is meant to be a bit baggy.


And the before shot, with the hem band.  I didn’t really care for it this way.  I’m glad I chopped it off

Here is a sneak peek of some things I’m working on:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jalie 3667 Marie-Claude Long Sleeve Tops

Jalie 3667 Raglan Top for me


Size and Adjustments: W for shoulders and bust, V for waist and Z for hip
I chose to make View C the soft turtleneck with regular cuffs.


Instructions and pattern: I can’t lie.  I dislike how they piece together the collar.  It drives me nuts.  Why take a simple thing and make it more complicated?  The rest of the instructions are fine for this version (see below on other issues).  Oh! I almost forgot to mention, the arms are really long on this one.


Fabric: 2 yards of French Terry from So Sew English.  Purchased Oct 2017 for $13.50.  FT ALEXANDRA - DENIM / MARSALA - Poly Rayon Spandex French Terry Knit.  I hate to give a bad review and this post is full of disappointments.  This fabric is horribly thin.  I’ve never felt thinner French terry. I just wasn’t happy with it.  Plus my order took forever to come.  Pair it with the fabric below’s issues and I won’t order from SSE again. 



Thoughts: Ok.  Putting the pattern pieces aside, I do love the fit of this top.  It is a fast sew.  I can’t wait to make it again in a different fabric.  I’m unsure if I like this floral fabric on me, I will put it in the closet for awhile and see if it grows on me.

View A: Hooded with regular cuffs for Miss K


Size and Adjustments: Miss K: T for shoulders and bust, V for waist and W for hip
Instructions and pattern:  Normally I love Jalie instructions and techniques, however, these are the worst instructions and pieces for thumb cuffs that I’ve ever run across.  I also really dislike how they piece the hood.  Those two things aside, the rest of the pattern and instructions are good. (I always use this video for my thumbhole cuffs.  the results are perfect everytime: 5oo4 youtube video)

Fabric: Ok, more terrible fabric from So Sew English.  This plaid French terry is super thin.  It has tons of snags in the loops all over the back.  There are also some snags in the front.  Of course one ended up right in front when I was finished.   And worst of all is that the lines are so off grain that there is no hope of matching anything.  As I mentioned above, it took forever to get to me, and I won’t order from here again.  This was 2 yards Red/black FT PLAID -Poly Rayon Spandex French Terry for $19.98 purchased in Oct 2017 for Miss K, she loves buffalo plaid. 

Thoughts:  Miss K wanted thumbhole cuffs, but after fighting with the fiddly ridiculous pieces in the pattern and the terrible directions I just gave up and put regular cuffs on.  I told none of these issues to Miss K.  She wears the top, it fits her great, and she loves it. 


In awesome news, I got a new coverstitch machine!  I know, I know, I just got a new one in May…  In May I sold my Brother 2340cv and got the Janome 1000cpx.  Well I struggled and cursed too many times at that Janome.  We just couldn’t get along.  So I gave up and sold it.  And bought a Babylock CoverStitch2.  No issues with her!  She is awesome!  I’ll do a full review of all three, sometime soon.

Also, I have big ideas and big plans for this next year.  I’ll be sure to share that info soon.  Health wise I’m just taking each day as it comes.  This year has been the hardest for me in terms of my health but I just keep pushing forward, one small step at a time. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sewing for the Boy ~ Simplicity, Burda, Ottobre, Jalie

I don’t sew much for Mr. T anymore.  He’s a 15 year old boy so he is pretty picky on things.  He specifically wants things that are plain.  No graphics, no color changes, no fun… 
He wears hoodies every day to school.  So I thought I would make him a few.
First up: Burda 6718


Size: 36 which fits his measurements exactly.  However, it ended up short.  like 2-3 inches short.  Sadness.

It doesn’t look too short here, but it really is with jeans on. He wears it and likes it but I cringe every time!  I'll have to remake it only longer.


Fabric: Midnight Green Cotton Slub Jersey Knit.  I purchased it from Fabric Mart.  It said 4 way stretch but it barely stretches 2 way.  anyway. 2 yards $4/yard so $8 total for the hoodie. 

2nd hoodie: Jalie 3355
I never knew this pattern was unisex.  There are only girls on the front cover.  Then one day I read in a facebook post and looked on the website and sure enough, unisex!!  How perfect because I love this pattern for me and Miss K. 


Size: straight size U.  This is a couple sizes above his measurements.  I know he likes a men’s medium and I wear a men’s medium; I use size U for this hoodie so that’s what I used.  I’ve been using shoestrings for the hoodie string.  It works out great.


Fabric: 2 yards Dark Pewter Rayon French Terry Knit from Fabric Mart.  Purchased in May 2017 for $6/yard.  total for this hoodie $12.  This fabric is so so soft. but heavy because of the rayon. Mr. T LOVES this hoodie.  He wears it every chance he gets. 

Thoughts: I feel like the hem band is way too tight.  I remember I added inches to it for myself and K but forgot for T’s.  I need to add 1-2 inches next time to the width of the hem band. 

Pajamas. This is where I can have a little more creativity with Mr. T.
Ottobre 06/2011 # 37 Pajama shorts
I’ve made Mr. T these pajamas countless times.  He loves them but keeps outgrowing them!


This time I made size 170.  This is the highest size Ottobre offers so when T outgrows these he won’t be getting more! 

Fabric: 1.5 yards of this fun pinstripe suiting.  I got it in a scrap box from Fabric Mart June 2015.  It was only $0.83 for the whole bit.  The selvage said “Lana, Storia, 180’s Qualita Moderno” Quite honestly I didn’t know what I would use it for and them BAM!  it became perfect for this project. 


I recently got an embroidery machine and digitized this Overwatch design for Mr. T onto them.  This symbol is for one of his favorite characters in Overwatch.  Sombra I think?  He loves these, I love these.  they wash well and wear well.  Next time I’ll remember to widen the waistband and use 1.5” elastic instead of 3/4”

Simplicity 1021 Pajama Shorts
I thought it would be fun to try this pattern.  It has pockets, it looks cool. 

Size: Small.  I took 1” off the rise because it looked crazy high.  They turned out cute, but short.  Like boxers.  What sucks is that the pattern doesn't list yardage for just the bottoms.  They list it for the total top and bottoms.

Mr. T likes them.  I added a Lobster design and T’s monogram to the leg.  Mr. T really likes these.  I think I’ll make the pants version for him.


Fabric: 2 yards (though I didn't use all of it) Navy Lobster in Cotton Lawn.  I got this back in Feb 2015 from Hancocks on sale for $2.64/yard.  so total for these $5.28

Happy Sewing!