Monday, December 31, 2012

Sewing.....for me...edited to update WIP

The Christmas gifts are all done, 8 pairs of pj's, christmas stockings for new family members, and a Monkey for Ronan.  Now is time for me, me, me.  I am doing a remake of McCalls 5815 but with long sleeves from Butterick 4610.  (McCall's long sleeves were wide, with a slit at the wrist, not a look I wanted)  I am going to use the McCalls non bow collar and the pockets from the Butterick pattern.

I am using a 100% wool tweed from purchased a few years back. 

Using 3 reference books, as I have not worked with wool before.  Not many had that great of tips for working with 100% wool, other than steaming tips.  The JFRP is quite practical for construction and the one I am following most closely, the Couture Sewing ( came with a Christmas gift of the Threads DVD) tells of the purely couture methods and their reasoning.  The Basic Tailoring is from Time Life books in 1974.  It is for the home sewer with tailoring techniques explained and illustrated, this and the JFRP are the most practical for my use. 

I chose the McCall's 5815 because I have used it previously, and already traced and modified the pattern to fit me.  I have steamed the wool, allowed it to cool, laid out and cut out all fabric and linings.    I applied interfacing to fronts, front sides, back and back sides, upper and under collars and a bias strip at the sleeve botttoms for a crisp hem and to strengthen an area that gets a lot of wear.  I used a knit 100% polyester interfacing.  It does not shrink at all with steaming.  I hope time shows that this was a good choice.  The pieces that I chose to interface, were from suggestions in Jackets for Real People.


 I even taped the roll line! I measured the roll line and eased a piece of solid tape that was 1/4" shorter, to the roll line.  This is suppose to help snug the lapel line against the chest and not gape away from the body during wear.   

So far, I have about 8 hours of work into it.  I have assembled the fronts and the facing and front linings.  
Next up is to piece the back together and then create a muslin interfacing for the top portion of the back. (lower right portion of the page from Basic Tailoring) It is to be sewed in across shoulders, and down armscye to about 3" under arm.  It is to keep the shoulder area from stretching out of shape and getting baggy and to help support it's structure while hanging up.

Update..... Back is finished and front and back are sewn together at the shoulders...


I am excited to try all of these new techniques.  I hope they result in a beautiful tweed blazer that I will be able to enjoy for years. 
Stay Happy
Keep Sewing


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monkey for Ronan

For Ronan's first Christmas, I wanted to make him something that would last.  I chose the Mikey Monkey by mmmcrafts  The pattern is great and the monkey, even better.  I made a few changes, I did not want his clothes to be part of his body, but instead, I wanted them removable. (the removable shirt and shorts are not included in mmmcrafts pattern)  I also widened his thighs and added a heart.

I think he turned out adorable, I hope that Ronan loves him.

Here he is unstuffed.  I added a felt heart.

All stuffed

With little pair of shorts and tennies

and finally with a T shirt (made from a pair of socks)

Now he is waiting for Christmas morning, and Ronan.

Hope he loves it!!

Keep Sewing
Stay Happy

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keeping busy helps pass the time

So while waiting on Ronan....
I tore my sewing room apart
and it got worse, before it got better

Now it is way more functional

more accessible

More convenient

and nicer to be in

I can feel my creative juices will flow more freely

All this while I was waiting on my daughter and Ronan.
Meet Ronan.  My grandson.

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

39 weeks and counting

Richard Kaufman's Critter Community.  I cut out each little window and arranged them to my liking and appliqued to a white background.
I am not an experienced quilter, so my stipling leaves a lot to be desired, but it was all done with Grandma's love, blood, and tears. 

Now all that is needed is a grand baby.  Any day now. 


Stay Happy
Keep Sewing

Saturday, July 28, 2012

$7.50 shirt to go with the skirt

While shopping at JoAnn's, I was number 82 at the cutting table, and they were on I perused the red tag clearance fabric.  This was $5 a yard and 60" wide.  It said 'Mohair blend' dry clean only.  May crock.  Well, I don't dry clean so I almost put it back, then thought, why not throw it in the wash, see what happens.  So I scooped it up.  Turns out it was just under 2 yards, so I got the second yard at 2.50.  I brought it home and threw it in the washer on cold (alone, in case it did crock) and then tossed it in the dryer 'til dry.  It came out of the dryer looking exactly the same, and a tad softer.  So, a shirt it had to be.    I have made the Butterick 3344 knit top pattern a few times.  I especially like view E with the draped neck line.  The pattern layout is on the bias, which is a fabric hog and totally not necessary with a knit.  So I cut front and back on the fold.  I also used the sleeve from Jalie 2804 which is also cut on the fold.  The back neck has a facing and that is it. 4 pattern pieces.  Love it.  It is a quick and easy sew.  Shoulders seams and facing, sew in sleeves flat, side seams and sleeves.  Done.   I did the whole thing on my old Pfaff with a stretch stitch.  Took me about 2 hours from lay out to pictures. I think it goes very nicely with my new eggplant skirt.  $10.00 outfit.  Going to look so nice with my brown Born boots this Fall. 

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing

PS.... on the grandbaby front..... dd came to visit today....

We tried out a diaper cover pattern...... I need lots of practice!!

It is Sew Baby! Snap Happy Diaper Cover F704.

Great instructions, easy to do, I just need practice applying the fold over elastic!

Now, I really should go clean up my house just a bit.....

$2.49 Skirt

I recently bought quite a bit of fabric at a yard sale.  All pieces, regardless of size, were .50   This piece was about a yard and a half of 54" wide non wale corduroy with a slight stretch.  The color is eggplant.  I have previously made Simplicity 2475 skirt from their Amazing fit collection, so I already had a fitted altered pattern.   This is a very nice pattern.  Easy to fit and modify.  Great bones for alterations.  It has paneled front and back for shaping and the back has inverted pleats for walking ease.  I just love the fit of this skirt.  The changes I incorporated into this skirt:   I always move the side zip to the back.  This allows me to complete the whole skirt and save the side seams for last, so I can get the fit just right without having to deal with zipper placement.  I added slant pockets with a button closure to the front side panels.  I enlarged the belt loops to be more tab like.  I had to lessen the curve in the waist yokes to fit my thicker middle.  I put button on the extended tabs as well.  I really like how this skirt turned out.  The pattern was .99 at a JoAnns sale, the zipper from a second hand score of a basket of zippers at $1 each.  So $2.49 for the skirt.   Got to love that! 

Monday, June 11, 2012


I played hookie today. Spent the whole weekend working on the house, (we painted the outside, finished up trim this weekend) garden (final freeze is safely behind us, so I finally got to plant some pretties.)  So I needed a me day. That was today.

I worked on the grandbaby's quilt.....
I taped the back fabric to the kitchen floor using the tiles as a grid to made sure it was straight.  Then layed the batting over that and then the top.  Smoothed everything out and pinned, pinned, pinned.  After pinning, I cut the batting all the way around leaving about 1"  all the way around.

Here it is, all pinned and folded.  Waiting for me to decide how I am going to quilt it.  Around the windows?  only in the white between windows?  any suggestions?

So then I decided that the grandbaby needed a receiving blanket.  I fell in love with this fabric at JoAnns.  Litte critters all hiding in the jungle.  The back is a soft flannel.   No pattern, just a 36" square of the main fabric and the flannel backing.  After it was cut out, I used a dinner plate as a pattern and rounded the corners.   I then sewed all sides, leaving a 5" gap for turning right side out.  Turn right side out.  Hand sew the gap closed and a little embroidery stitch around the edges.  Too cute.   A little butterfly from the jungle appliqued on the flannel side.

My beautiful daughter and my grandson.  My child with her child. 

Then I made myself a hippy skirt.  (-:  So comfortable.  No pattern.  I just layed the folded fabric out and cut 10" layers.  Sewed them into rings and gathered and layered them together.  Each layer is 1.5 times bigger than the one above it.  There are no pockets, so I made a hidden hanging one, on the inside.  Perfect for my phone. 

I wish I could afford to play hookie everyday!

Stay Happy! Keep Sewing!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grandbaby quilt progress

Top, done.
Back, done.

Now just to assemble with the batting and then figure out how I want to quilt it......

Quilt top. I fussy cut each 'picture' and then appliqued my own layout. 

Borders, blue and brown.  I made bias tape out of the orange for the back of the quilt and inserted it between the two borders.

Adorable little lady bug

Stay Happy!
Keep Sewing!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gingham screams summer to me

I jumped on the gingham bandwagon with this wonderful cotton, lycra blend from  I used my altered Jalie 3130 as the pattern. 

I love this pattern, everything is well drafted and fits together perfectly.  The yoke combined with no stand, make the inside as nice as the outside.  I have included pictures the pattern facing alteration and the yoke inside and out.

Here is an excerpt from my review at Pattern Review

Fabric Used: A stretch cotton gingham from  96%cotton, 4% lycra.  Washed up like a dream and a breeze to sew.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I have altered the original body of the pattern by taking a 1/2 tuck down the front of the pattern.  I also have done a forward shoulder alteration and a square shoulder alteration.  With those changes, it is my TNT button up shirt pattern.   I can then make the 3130 as designed.  Or I can continue with changes which is what I did with this shirt.  It is similar in design to the chambray Fossil I did a knock off of last time.  I changed the collar to a fold over collar by altering the collar piece and omitting the stand. I extended the center front and drafted it into a self facing.  I omitted the sleeve tabs and shortened the sleeves and inserted a 3" split at hem side seams.  I also omitted the pocket tabs. I cut the front pockets and the yokes on the bias for pattern contrast.

Front Pattern with cut on facing                                 shortened sleeve

Altered Collar

Inside yoke with collar straight up, no unsightly seams!

Cut on facing from inside

3" Split at side hem

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I have sewn it many times now. I am sure come fall, I will be needing some more longer sleeved shirts, so this Jalie will be one of my go to's, no matter what the season.Conclusion: I love this gingham, it is light purple and white.  I made it especially to go with a a white denim pencil skirt I made last summer.   I Love it.