Category Archives: Sewing

Archer the first – in Black and White

Standard

IMG_4522

This is probably my most worn self-made garment I have ever sewn. The black and white checkered pattern seems to go with everything in my closet: jeans, dressy skirts, office slacks…same with the colours. I particulary love it with a chartreuse wool skirt or with jeans.

The advantage of this one versus my usual store bought shirts is that is the fit…so much more relaxed than most of the ones i own. No gaping, no pulling!

The pattern is the Archer shirt from Grainline. Jen did an awesome sew-a-long and I had absolutely no issue following it. There’s even a video on the “burrito” method and the music on it is awesome!

I made a size 2 and most of the fit was spot on. However, I should have adjusted the length of the shirt and of the sleeves. I am 5’9″ with long arms and i could have used some extra length. As I mentioned though…I still wore it to shreds (quite literally). I added 1.5″ on the sleeves and about 2″ on the next one and that was perfect.

The fabric is a very soft cotton voile from Joann(!!). Lovely fabric but i think it keeps on shrinking with every wash…or I’m growing by the day… I also used iron-on interfacing from Joann and it has bubbled a long time ago (but of course!). Luckily it is not visible after ironing the cufs ….plus I am rolling the sleeves now as they are getting shorter and shorter…

There are a few construction/sewing hickups hiding in the busy checkered pattern: the front placket was not entirely caught on the inside, the hem has…issues, the tension went crazy somewhere along the way and some of the topstitching shows it…. Oh…the pattern matching…perfect on one side and perfectly shifted one row on the other… I tried, really tried to get it perfect…no idea how that happened.

IMG_4518 IMG_4521

Anyway, nothing to stop me from wearing it with lots of pride. I still have enough fabric so i might try and do it again with a nicer sleeve placket.

Oh, i have used this tutorial for the collar stand. Very nice! Thank you Four Square Walls!

Next up… get ready for color!!! 😉

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender (1)

My imperfect pride and joy…The plaid skirt

Standard

FullSizeRender

There she is …my pride and joy! She’s not perfect by any means but the whole process really was (at the time I made it) a huge lip forward for me.

I started dreaming about it a few years ago after seeing Sunny’s. Loved her skirt to bits…However when I tried to get that same fabric she used (yes…I planned to shamelessly copy the whole thing) they were out of it. I think another year passed (or was it two?!) and I finally came across a fabric that I liked and bought it…online! Luckily it was a a very nice quality wool flannel. Soft and very easy to work with so I forgave it for having a very, very muted plaid pattern….my only regret. It might have been from Frabric Mart but it’s been a while so I am not 100% sure. The lining is rayon bemberg in the same gray color.

The pattern is the skirt piece of the Lonsdale dress pattern from Sewaholic. I cut a size 6 and i believe I might have lengthend it a little which in the end wasn’t quite necessary because the skirt is cut on the bias and because of the weight of the fabric it “grew” in length quite a bit.

Speaking of bias and plaid…I am so proud of my pattern matching!

IMG_4510

It really is pefect on both the back and front center seams.

I even inserted a handpicked metal zipper…

IMG_4512 IMG_4515

And no, the zipper is not visible wheni wear it…my dress form has an weird rear-end…The idea was that the stitches are not visible at all.

The skirt has a horsehair hem which i am a little unusure about. It does give the skirt a nice, fuller silhouette but somehow it feels a little bit costumey when I wear it…And it’s also scratchy…Maybe I will try using Petersham ribbon for hem next time.

IMG_4511

The waistband is a straight long rectangle and it’s one of the things i’d change for next time…I don’t like it. I am a pear shape with a pretty accentuated waist so it gapes at the top. The inside was finished with petersham ribbon.

IMG_4514

Overall, this is probably the garment I worked on the most…Lots of hanstitching (the waist band, the hem, the zipper) but I like doing it and I think i even like the skirt a bit more because of it.

I will have two Archer shirts coming up!

 

More panties – Rosy Ladyshorts

Standard

IMG_2820

More panties…this pair was made using the Rosy Ladyshorts free pattern from Cloth Habit.
I actually made these before my Perfect Panties and as you can see from the pictures I did take my time sewing the lace and I think that part turned out quite okay for a first attempt (or I should say it’s good enough for me 😉 )
IMG_2822
IMG_2823

I made a straight size 4 with no alterations and followed the instructions closely (the instructions are pretty awesome btw!).
I do like the result, they look very cute but they are quite different than what I’m used do (obviously, not the pattern’s fault). The crotch is way to narrow for my liking (TMI anyone?) and I think I should take them up on the sides about 1/2″ as they seem a bit loose. The other thing that got me a little confused, and it might just be the kind of lace I used, is the length of the lace recommended for the leg openings and the waist. It seems way to loose… Maybe if I had it a bit tighter I wouldn’t even need to take them in on the sides? Worth a try I think.
After I’m done playing with the Perfect Ones I will come back and give these another whirl.
IMG_2821
Other than that, they come together quickly, are cute and comfortable and…free 🙂 Once again, thank you for a free pattern Amy!

Now I just need to find a thong pattern and I’m close to being set in the undergarments department!

Perfect Panties…finally!!

Standard

IMG_2825

Finally found the perfect pattern for underware!
From here pattern Oh! it is also FREE!
The site has now an English version and Ana is just the sweetest person to talk to! Very nice and the pattern is a dream!!! perfect rise in front, back…just perfect!

IMG_2827

These are a “trial version and it shows in the way i have attached the picot edge elastic.Wobly and a bit uneven but it’s hardly noticeable when I wear them.

For instructions I referenced this and this
I need a lot more practice with the elastic…

IMG_2828

So happy to finally have a TNT/go to pattern for panties…I wouldn’t change a thing about them!

Thank you Ana!

Bunny Rabbit

Standard

photo 2

This is another project for my favorite boy in the whole world…Jake

It is a very cute and sweet little gift I made him for Christmas. He loves bunny rabbits even though he can’t really chase them anymore. But they sure still get him excited…

There is not much else to say:
– the pattern is this;
– the fabrics all from the stash and actually all from Freecycle, including the filling poly.
Gotta love using up every little bit and not spending much.

Next, I might need to make him a squirrel…he loves them so 😀

photo 3photo 1

The past reaches out or the unexpected gifts of Freecycle

Standard

photo 4

photo 2

photo 1

Todays post is a bit special to me and i thought about how I feel about it for quite a while. It was a mix of feelings from sadness to joy…But here is the story.

A couple of weeks ago I answered a Freecycle add in which someone was offering a box of old vintage patterns in size 32. Now it is really rare for me to find any vintage patterns at all in this area but to find them for free and in MY SIZE, that is something rare. I answered the add asking for them and in my excitement I didn’t even notice that she mentioned leaving them on the porch for anyone to come and get them. Hours and hours later, although sure they had been already claimed, I read the email one more time and saw my mistake. I flew out the door in my slippers and got there in no time. They were still there!!! As I walked up the stairs to the porch the door opened up. Scared me and the young lady who opened the door. We chatted a little and she offered some crazy ’70s fabrics along with the patterns. Everything belonged to her grandmother and yes, everything was definitely from the ’70s.

I got home and looked through the patterns and love most of them. Some will have to find a new home soon but 90% of them are staying with me. The biggest surprise was in the fabric box where, along with the craziest polyester I have ever seen, were three bags each containing an unfinished project: a red velvet men’s vest (for her husband?), a pair of girls pants (very flared) and a wrap dress. All projects neatly packed with the pattern pieces pinned to the fabric and the pattern envelope and instructions wrapped with the remaining fabric.
What made her stop? what happened? did she grow tired of them? I think not considering the trouble she went to package them along with all the bits and pieces. She must have been young too (or maybe sewing for a young girl) because the skirt on the dress is …SHORT, very short. I’d love to know the story but likely i never will and I now choose to think that she had just discovered that she was pregnant and started sewing for a little one or maybe she discovered the wonders of natural fibers and walked away from the poly…

Anyway, for someone who has close to zero family heirlooms it made me sad that her family was giving her stuff away. She spent time touching them, working on them….a bit of herself is in them. But then I thought more of it and maybe I am looking at them all wrong: by giving them away, they set these projects free to find a new home and fulfill their purpose. Her work will likely be finished, someone else gets to enjoy them.

I happen to like the dress pattern (coming up soon) and the bodice fits me incredibly well so I plan to finish it up. There is no way I would wear that polyester anywhere but for a test garment is pretty good.

The pants, you see in here…. I will sew them up as well. I figure it is a good way to practice new sewing and fitting techniques and plus, the muslin is already cut up, I just need to sew it up.
Pictures of the finished pants soon.

Have you gotten any sewing stuff from Freecycle? Any cool and unexpected gifts? I’d love to hear 🙂

Summer evening Plantain

Standard

IMG_3580

My first go at this pattern was such a quick and rewarding project that I made another one the next week. This time in tangerine organic cotton jersey (Fabric.com?).

For this one I had a different theme in mind….breezy, wavy, easy going summer evening.

I cut it to be a size 36 at the shoulders and sleeves area and added about ½” to each side. I also cut the long sleeves.

As you can see, I left small slits on the sides and at the sleeves and I used a cool hemming technique I have seen on a RTW top I have. Rather than fighting jersey’s natural tendency to curl up, I used it as a decorative finish. On the back of the hem edge I sewed a second strip of jersey fabric. They both curl up creating the double roll effect. For the neckline, I cut a 1 ½” strip of jersey, folded in half lengthwise wrong sides together and sewed it along the neckline. I also did one row of under stitching. Got the same double rolling effect.

IMG_3577 IMG_3585 IMG_3590 IMG_3592

The pocket is just a free form shape …I felt that the top needed something extra…

All in all, another success. I love both of them even though they are so different. Looking at them side by side I can’t believe they are made from the same pattern…proof of what a versatile little wizard ain-t-shirt/”>Plantain is.

I already have a few more variations in mind but first I need to sew a couple of these little guys for my sisters. They loved both tops very much and after I bragged A LOT as to what a fast and easy make they are ….well, they each asked for one grrrr!

Color Blocked Plantain

Standard

IMG_3547

IMG_3562

IMG_3564

Hopping on the Plantain wagon as it is going on full speed! As you can see can see why, so many cute versions and so much room for creativity…and free! What else could a girl ask for?!

My first version (yes, there is a second one coming right up) is made out of grey wool jersey (left over from a different project) and some green wool jersey…that is actually the bottom part of a dress I altered a while ago. Yes, I like using EVERY SINGLE scrap 🙂

I cut a size 36 (according to the bust measurements) and followed the pattern instructions …well, overall I did 🙂 My fabric ended up having a lot less stretch than what was probably intended because the t-shirt ended up being quite tight across the bust and back. Luckily it was very easy to unpick the side seams and I sewed everything back up with a 1/8” seam allowance. Much better! And no need to finish those edges.

The sleeves are the ¾ length plus the green bands which are about 2” wide. The neckline is simply a cowl neck…almost a straight rectangle.

Loved the construction order, it made everything come together in no time. The tips for sewing with knits are also very smart. It only took me about 4 hours to make this top and this includes unpicking both sides, fiddling with the sleeve bands (on and off and back on for about 3 times) and deciding on the cowl neck. Not to mention the devil that the grey wool jersey was….rolling into a thin baguette the second I’d lift my hands off of it.

The result is a very eye catching, comfortable and warm top. It is probably the first pattern I would recommend to a beginner sewer that wants to try working with knits. It looks cute, it is versatile, the instructions are awesome and the result doesn’t scream “I made this!!!”.

I wore it this weekend and received a ton of compliments, even from strangers! Super big win in my book!

Thank you ELÉONORE for this versatile and cute top!

PS: I am camera shy 🙂 please excuse the headless pictures.

2014

Standard

This year…

General
1. I will blog all the projects I have made. With as many details as i can remember.
2. From now on, i will write down changes, details, etc. as i am working on a project, not months later. (forgot most of the changes i have made already on most of the things i have sewn).
3. Better document the tutorial, articles, posts that i use in any of my projects. for many reasons; credit should be given where it is due, I shouldn’t be scrambling everywhere t find a technique if I have already used it before and it worked.
4. Better pictures.
5. Better site design, learn more about blogging in general.
6. Be more organized overall.
7. De-clutter more.
8. Be more efficient/Focus better.

Sewing related:

1. Improve garment fitting.

2. Sew a pair of pants.

3. Sew a jacket.

4. Sew a shirt.

5. Make buttonholes

We shall see how these will play out. I really do have the best intentions of following through with them though.

Let 2014 be the year of learning, de-cluttering (of any kind) and loving myself/yourself much more.

My vintage patterns

Standard

Tops

Butterick 5308 (size 32)

Image

 

Advance 5528 (size 14 / bust 32 / waist 26 1/2)

Image

 

Butterick 5657(Size 14 /Bust 32)

Image

 

Advance 5124 (Size 14 / Bust 31 1/2 / Waist 26 / hip 34 1/2)

Image

 

Simplicity 3288 (Size 16 / Bust 34)

Image

 

Simplicity 2357 (Size 16 / bust 34)

Image

Simplicity 1912 (Size 14 / Bust 32)

Image

 

Simplicity 4808 (Size 14 / Bust 34)

Image

Simplicity 5105 (size 12 / bust 32)

Image

 

Simplicity 3330 (waist 30 / hip 39)

Image

Simplicity 2720 (size 14 / bust 32)

Image

 

Simplicity 6437 (size 14 / bust 34)

Image

 

Simplicity 3263 (size?)

Image

 

Simplicity 3774 ( waist 26 / Hip 35)

Image

 

Simplicity 2851 (size 16 / bust 34)

Image

 

Simplicity 2474 (size 16 / bust 34)

Image

 

Simplicity 2764 (size 14 / bust 32)

Image

Simplicity 3585 (size 16 / bust 34)

Image

 

Simplicity 2412 (size 14 / bust 32)

Image

 

Simplicity 3200 (size 16 / bust 34)

Image

Simplicity 4010 (size 16 / bust 34)

Image

Simplicity 3208 (size 16 / bust 34)

Image

McCalls 4939 (size 14 / bust 34)

Image

Vogue 6024 (size 14 / bust 34 / hip 36)

Image

 

Simplicity 4359 (size 14 / bust 34)

Image

 

Simplicity 7812 (size 16, bust 38)

Image

 

Simplicity 8914 (size 14 / bust 36 / waist 27)

Image

 

Simplicity 8882 (size 14 / bust 36)

Image

McCalls 3733 (size 14 / bust 36)

Image

 

Simplicity 2473 (size 16 / bust 34)

Image

 

Simplicity 3851 (size 16/ bust 34)

Image

McCalls 9418 (size 15 / bust 33)

Image

 

Simplicity 2958 (size 14 / bust 34)

Image

 

McCalls 8396 (waist 26)

Image

 

McCalls 2853 (waist 26)

Image

 

Simplicity 9599 (size 14 / bust 36 waist 27)

Image