Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lady Skater Dress

Kitschy Coo Lady Skater
Size 3
Shortened lengthy by 2 inches
Swayback adjustment of 1/2 inch

I can't believe it has taken me so long to make this dress!  I had such a difficult time deciding on my fabric choice; I chose a bold floral.  

I followed the pattern recommendation of making a muslin of the bodice only.  I discovered that I needed a swayback adjustment.  Kitschy Coo has fitting and adjustment directions with photos on their blog--so helpful!  This is the first time I have ever attempted a swayback adjustment and it was very simple for this dress.

I like how fitted the bodice is.

 Nice movement with the skirt.

This is such a great dress to add to your wardrobe.  It is very quick to sew.  The instructions are some of the best I have seen for a knit project.  I will definitely be making more for summer.

Fabric:  Soft jersey knit floral red/yellow/white $6.98 a yard from

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Etta Plaid Dress

Ottobre 2/2012
Etta Plaid Dress (#2)
Size 38
Alterations:  Removed 4 inches from the length

 This dress has a total of 5 pattern pieces, making it very quick to sew!

The trickiest part of the dress is probably the horizontal seams front and back.  

The front of the dress has a button placket and bust darts--2 at the side, 2 at the bottom.  After you overlap and baste the bottom edges of the placket, you then gather the lower edge of the dress till it matches the length of the upper area.  This seam tapers to nothing at the outer edges.  It is really unique how this pattern piece is cut.  The back has a seam down the middle prior to gathering at its horizontal seam.

Instead of sleeves, you have a shoulder "wing."

This dress utilizes the same pattern pieces as the Cordelia cotton dress, which I made before here.

I am amazed at how different this dress looks with changing the sleeve out to a shoulder wing and, of course, different fabric.   I can already tell this will be worn a lot this summer!

Fabric purchased from Fashion Fabrics for $3.90 a yard.  This fabric is actually 2 sided.  The other side is a soft looking plaid with blues, reds, and creams--very pretty.  I have been wanting a simple red check dress, so this looked good to me.  The fabric is labeled as Ecru/pink plaid gauze, but I would call it more fushia color.  It was challenging finding buttons to match.  They cost me more than a yard of this fabric!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Perfect Pair

The Alma blouse paired with the Moss skirt

Sewaholic Alma Blouse
 Size 6
View A
No alterations

 I really like this top.  I tried to make it last summer and had issues getting the invisible zipper in the side seam. I tossed it and moved on to a different project.  I'm so glad I came back to it.  Proof that one should not give up on a challenge.  I just needed time to gain more invisible zip experience.

I forgot to make a sloping shoulder adjustment, but I think it is still okay because of the sleeve type making it not so obvious.  I'm still trying to get a handle on what body-type adjustments to make.

I found the depth of the armhole just perfect, the darts were all in a good place for me, and the length of the blouse is great!

Since my fabric is thin and lightweight, I was able to use my narrow edge foot for the hemming.  I still haven't found a way to go over side seams smoothly with it.  I even tried trimming down the seam, but I always get hung up there.  The only thing I have found that works for me is to stop and manually fold the fabric, stitch over the seam, and then resume stitching with the narrow edge foot.

 Grainline Moss Skirt
 Size 6 at the waist, graded to a 4 at the hips
View A

Alterations:  Lengthened by 2" and dart alteration to back yoke by .5 inches

The moss skirt is a great wardrobe staple!  It sits at the waist comfortably and has nice sized pockets.  It is a basic skirt but a great starting point if you want to get creative with modifications.

To eliminate the waist gap that usually occurs when making my bottoms, I decided to take a 1/2 inch dart out in the pattern tissue on the back yoke only.  I just pinned it out and then cut my fabric.  It fits perfectly without any gaping on my first try!  This was much easier than trying to adjust the CB seam as I have done in the past.  It occurred to me that by adjusting the "seam," I may be altering the curvature of the pattern more than should be.

 I used a triple stitch for my back yoke top stitching and quickly discovered that it was going to be difficult to control my line of stitch.  I did do it on scrap fabric first but didn't realize how hard it was going to be keeping it lined up with the seam.  Yikes!  So, I finished that area and didn't do it anywhere else.  It won't be seen anyway since I never tuck my blouses in.  I had intended this to be my muslin, but I love it and it is completely wearable.

I used a dark blue thread for hemming so it would blend in with the denim.

I can see making up many sets of this outfit--a perfect pair to me!

My denim is mid to heavy weight, so it won't be worn much during the heat of the summer, but nice right now since we are still having cool temperatures.  I'm glad I only ordered a yard of it since it is kind of shiny.  I don't think I would have liked it in a jean.

My blouse fabric was purchased from Fashion Fabrics Club last summer.  I don't remember what it is technically called.  It is some kind of cotton blend.  I wish I could recognize fabric types better.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Swimsuit Love

I love the Jalie swimsuit.  I made a set for me here.

Jalie 3351 & 3023

If you aren't familiar with Jalie Patterns, they are sized 2 to 22.  How awesome is it to have one pattern that will fit the entire family?  Pretty awesome!

Go Fish!  Funny how I got the seashell right at the mid tummy area.

This is a size 134 in the top and a 140 in the bottom.

And a little more fashion forward with my other daughter's choice of fabric.

This is a 140 top as well as a 140 bottom.

Yesterday I was out doing some shopping and noticed tankini swimsuits similar to this style in the ladies department.  I looked at the price and it was around $50.  I made mine for less than half that!  This is definitely an area where you can save some money in sewing for yourself.

I bought the Jalie Boardshort pattern so now I can attempt to make a swimsuit for my son.  I have only made a pair of pj pants for my husband, so maybe I can build some confidence in sewing him up a pair of shorts as well.

Last week I made myself a dress.  Well, I shouldn't say "made" because it went into the trash at the point of the lining.  The dress fit and once my lining was in, it did not.  It also did not help that my machine starting having issues that landed it in the repair shop.   I took it in yesterday and the store owner said it was nothing that I did and it is still under warranty.  Thankfully I can continue to sew on my Janome, but my Pfaff is much better for knit sewing because of the dual feed.  Anyway, I thought I liked the fabric I chose for my dress....big green circles with white swirly lines, but my dress I was making had a neck flounce.  It started to look kind of clownish to me ha ha!  Oh well.  Some fabrics don't meet our expectations once sewn, so I probably wouldn't have worn it anyway.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Embroidery Update

I managed to complete another 4 quilt squares.  I am really trying to stick to my goal of 2 per month.  A small goal, but HUGE when you think about the time that goes into sitting and stitching...time not sewing clothing, which is a hard thing in itself! ha ha

Like the compass squares, there will be a few anchors to do.

This last one I knocked out in 3 days.  One of my girls was hospitalized with pneumonia, so I took my hand embroidery to the hospital each day while I sat with her.  We were a crafting duo.  She sat and practiced calligraphy (once she was feeling better) while I stitched.  She was admitted last Tuesday and was able to go home Friday morning.  Her treatment consisted of breathing treatments and antibiotics.  The doctors said we caught it early!

I now know the only thing worse than being in the hospital myself is having to have one of my children there.  This was the first time she was ever away from home, which was hard for me.  She did okay with that though, thankfully.  The nurses and doctors were amazing!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Jeans--Vogue 8774

Vogue 8774
Size 12

Alterations:  Removed 5/8" from CB seam, 1/2" from length before hemming
Fabric:  Kaufman Denim 8 oz Indigo Washed, 100% cotton, purchased from
Top stitching thread:  White & Red Clay color, purchased from Joann's Fabrics

Installed rivets using my Prym


This is my 2nd entry in the jeans contest!


This is my first go at this pattern, as well as my first attempt at making a non stretch denim jean.  I have always been apprehensive at the thoughts of making a non stretch jean.  I assumed the fit would be more difficult.  I am happy with the fit I achieved.

After reading the pattern instructions, I followed some and not others. One difference was the zipper; it opens to the left instead of the right like my other jeans.  Since I had already trimmed down one side of  the fly front area, I was afraid to reverse the position of the zipper thinking it might not fit well.  Putting it on the opposite side was like trying to hula hoop to the right instead of the left like I am accustomed too!  It just didn't feel right.  I referred to the zipper instructions in my Grainline shorts pattern, which are fabulous, but it was hard to "flip" it in my brain while installing the zip.  Next time I make these jeans, I will put the zipper in the way I know how.

I also prefer a different method for the waistband assembly.   I pulled out my Angel Bootcut jean pattern instructions for that, which works really well.  I also used the hem allowance suggested in the this pattern too.  Vogue instructs you to make a narrow hem allowance of 5/8 of an inch.  I like a wider hem allowance for my jeans.  I have mistakenly put too narrow of a hem in skirts which makes them flip and not lie flat.

I do like the depth of the pockets and I also like how 2 of the belt loops are sewn at the base of the back yoke before attaching to the pant.  This is the first time I have seen belt loops constructed like this and I really like it!  The other belt loops are attached after the waistband is finished.  I like the pant legs.  Plenty of room but not baggy at all.

I also reshaped the back pockets a little.  The pattern piece seemed a little too wide and too square for my preference.

Before attaching the waistband, I tried them on and discovered that they were still a little big in the CB seam, so I adjusted the back yoke by taking it in 1/2 inch.  They could have been taken in a little more, however, but I wasn't sure how much ease non stretch denim would need at the waist.  Besides, I like to wear a belt with my jeans whether needed or not.

Worn with purchased top.
I purchased 3 yards of the denim for a total cost of $23.04.  
I have enough left over to make a pair of shorts!

This denim is really soft.  I just washed it again in hot water, which I did before cutting out, and they are even softer now and the fit is even better!  It shrunk just enough to take up the tiny looseness I was feeling in the waist.  I think I'll do that with all my jeans now that I make.  Since I hem them really long, I can afford a little shrinkage if that happens.

Thank you for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Swimsuit Sewing

Jalie 3351
Shorts Size S

Jalie 3023
Tankini Top Size S

Love, love, love these patterns!

I haven't had a new swimsuit in several years. I have never enjoyed swimsuit shopping.  It is just hard to find something that fits well and is comfortable and modest.  Jalie you are awesome!

The top has a shelf bra, which I made in the solid black.  This fabric was a little thicker than the printed fabric, so I thought that would work best there.

While assembling the yoke piece, I attached a half inch strip of clear elastic to the seam allowance to keep the front secure.  I read a few reviews that mentioned a little gaping here, maybe when wet, so I figured it wouldn't hurt just to put some in.

I had to cut off about 3.5 inches from the straps.  I safety pinned them in, tried it on, and then sewed the straps down once I got a good fit. I removed 2 inches from the length of the top.

The shorts have a side pocket and an inner bikini too, which I made from the printed fabric.

I do have some extra fabric left, so I will make up the skirted bikini too.  I wasn't sure which I would like best, but now that the top and bottoms are together, I love the look!

Technically, it is a pretty easy sew.  Jalie's instructions are always well written and illustrated.  The last step of assembly of the shorts, attaching shorts, bikini and band, take some thought to wrap your head around.  What this does is sandwich the seam in between everything so you don't see it or feel it on your skin.  I actually made one of my girls this same swimsuit, but made the shorts in too small of a size.  I kept it as a visual example just for this step so I can refer to it.  I will be making this swimsuit a lot for the 3 of us!  I will blog about their suits once I make one for my other daughter.

Fabric purchased from The Fabric Fairy.  Wow, what an impressive selection of fabrics they have!


I have a new camera now, so we are experimenting with photos.  Instead of being photographed a 100 times, I'm just going with what we take and figuring it out as we go along.

Next I want to jump right back into jean sewing and maybe enter another pair in the Pattern Review jeans contest!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley