Thursday, December 18, 2014

Victory Pattern--Lola Dress

Victory Pattern--Lola Dress
Size 2
Alterations:  Shortened skirt pieces by 2 inches

This is actually my 2nd attempt at the Lola Dress; my first version is here.  This time things went much better with a different fabric type!  

I love this dress.  So far, this has to be my favorite knit dress I have made.   It makes up into such a nice and tailored fit due to the princess seams.

After you get your pieces cut out, it really sews up quickly since all can be assembled by serger if you have one.  I do recommend basting your bodice to the skirt first to make sure that your seams are all lined up.  With such a busy print, it may not be as noticeable if I was off here, but a solid fabric definitely would be glaring at you.

I trimmed my pockets in a stretch faux leather, the same fabric I used for my leggings.  To do so, I trimmed an inch off the top of the pocket and cut my leather trim in strips of a 2.5 inch width.  

For the "triangle" shaped piece at the neckline, I also cut it from the faux leather, but I used the back side so the black would be more muted than shiny.  If you look closely, it actually looks like that piece is off center, but it is not.  The triangle falls right in an area of the fabric that has little black triangle points, so it makes it look like it is off center.  Oh well.  

Fabric from Girl Charlee:
Black abstract shapes on cream ponte de roma knit & black stretch faux leather
Ribbing purchased from (I had some scraps left over from my son's jacket)

I have been sewing up some leggings and other clothing for my children, as well as crafting.  I just celebrated my 47th birthday, so I couldn't let this week pass without a new outfit for myself!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  I'm excited for Christmas break to come; I love the extra family time.

Thank you for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

American Ships Quilt Progress

I'm still slowly working on my son's American Ships quilt.  I finished another ship today and thought I would post the last 5 that I've completed.  

As much as I try to establish a monthly completion goal for myself, I'm having a hard time sticking to it!  With it being winter now, I'm going to focus on trying to complete two a month.  If the mood strikes, maybe one a week--that would help speed things up a bit.  I have been working on this for a few years now (big sigh).  My first passion is sewing clothes and now I have added knitting a sweater into the mix of my hobbies.  Focus, focus, focus!  Sometimes I find it more appealing to start something new than to finish something I have been working on for a long time.

See previous blocks completed here and here.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Sewing

One of my girls has a gift exchange next week in school, so I made up this fabric drawstring bag with goodies!

I made a stuffed puppy and bought some chocolates to include with it.

Pam at Threading My Way has a fantastic drawstring bag tutorial here.  It is fully lined and has boxed corners at the bottom!  These sew up so quickly that it would be quite easy to make several if you needed to.  In the past, I have tried to box the bottom of fabric bags but was unable to get each side to match until now.  Pam's tutorial is so well written and has wonderful photos to guide you along your way.  

And who wouldn't want a stuffed puppy?  I have the sewing and pattern book Girl's World, and one of the patterns included is this cute little puppy that is very easy to make....definitely a beginner sewing project if you are new to sewing.

I also made two more fabric bags for a couple of the male teachers at school for their Christmas gift.  I will buy some chocolates to fill them with.  For the ladies, I am making potholders.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lining my Sewing Box

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we went to a flea market known for its antiques.  I was so excited to find this sewing box!  I don't know if it is an antique or not, but I love it.  I am actually going to use it as a jewelry box.  

I like inexpensive jewelry--big chunky necklaces--so I have been needing a way to lay them out since hanging them has resulted in a tangled mess.  I didn't want a "jewelry box," but rather something that could be used as one.  When I saw this sewing box, I knew it would be perfect!

This morning I measured each compartment and cut out the dimensions plus a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I also had some cream vintage lace on hand that my Aunt Nancy sent me earlier this year.  I think it looks rather Victorian now. :)  The fabric is Moda's Cinnamon Spice by Blackbird Designs.

I used quilt batting between the layers of fabric to give it a pillow-like touch.  I sewed the lace within the seam, just finger-holding it as I sewed it together.

4 compartments in the right top side.

2 compartments in the left top side.

I had enough lace for all but the bottom piece.  It opens up quite wide!

Thank you for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Faux Leather Skirt with a Renfrew Top

I bought some Vegan leather from Girl Charlee to see what I could do with a leather skirt for myself.  I don't own one, so I'm not exactly sure how they should fit.  I looked online at images to try to figure out what kind of pattern I wanted to work with.  I decided that Vogue 1247 would give me some nice seam lines.  I made this skirt before in a soft denim, which you can see here.  That post was about the time I was really enjoying having hair again!  If anyone is wanting to see/know how long it takes hair to grow back in after chemo, my blog definitely gives a good reference.  I can remember searching on Google how long does it take hair to grow back in.  

 Anyway, back to my skirt.  I didn't find the fabric too difficult to sew, but I did use my non-stick teflon foot.  My machine wouldn't move the fabric without it.

I put in an exposed zipper for the first time.  It looks pretty good to me.  I don't think I'll do that again--one skirt with an exposed zip is enough for me.  I have seen so many on other blogs that they grew on me.  I found an online tutorial on Craftsy, which made it fairly easy to do.  Honestly, I wasn't sure what type of zipper method would be best for this fabric.  If I make this skirt again, I will try an invisible zipper.

I carefully pressed my seams open with a pressing cloth on low heat and then top stitched them down.  That went well except for the vertical seam in the back (below the zipper).  I had to adjust my presser foot to almost nothing so it would glide easily over the fabric without pushing it too hard, creating little ripples.  I even tried putting interfacing there, but that didn't help at all.

I left off the front in-seam pockets.

One thing that helped greatly was Farbenmix Stylefix double-sided tape.  I used this to hold the hem in place, as well as holding the waistband seam together for top stitching.  I bought some fabric glue, but it didn't work.  Maybe it was the kind I used.  I limited how and where I stuck pins.

This is the first time I made the Renfrew with the cowl neck.  I've reviewed the Renfrew before and there are tons of reviews out there--it's a great staple pattern to own.

I'm thinking I will wear this to my husband's Christmas party this year.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, November 21, 2014

Minecraft Creeper Dress

Ottobre 6/2012 #30
Sulka Dress
Size 134
Fabric:  Ponte de Roma Knit, purchased from Girl Charlee

It all started with, "Momma, when can you make me a winter dress?  Oh, and I'd like it to have a creeper face on it too, please."  So, here is a Minecraft Creeper dress as requested by one of my girls.  A while ago I made my son a Minecraft jacket here.

I made the Sulka dress before, but this time I omitted the outer bodice piece since I was not going to be making any kind of bows.  However, I did cut the inner bodice piece out twice so I could use one as a lining to cover the applique stitches.  I had a great thought (later) that I could have also cut out the back bodice piece twice, totally enclosing the gathered waist seam.  Next time I make this dress, I will do that.

When placing the bodice and gathered skirt piece right sides together, you could take that extra bodice piece, putting it right side to wrong side on the skirt piece and then flip up the bodice pieces and baste the two together.  

I used black cotton lycra knit for the applique and neckband.  Hems and neckband top stitching with black thread.

Also, any of you who gather with elastic, is there a method to this that I am missing?  I did it, but not without repeated effort and frustration.  I seem to pull the elastic out from my needle at the beginning even though I run a couple stitches through it, run off my elastic when get the picture.  I struggle with this.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I was curious how a ponte de roma knit would work with this pattern.  It is heavy, but it makes a nice winter-wear dress.  This knit is very soft too and easy to hem.  I did cut 1 inch pieces of interfacing (woven) to make my hemming easier.  It makes turning up your hem quick too because you don't have to measure it around since your have already cut your interfacing to the depth of the needed hem.

My daughter has already put in a request for a Tardis dress--my little Dr. Who fan.  I asked, "what makes you think I can just make these theme-type dresses?"  She says, "because you can."  I wish I had grown up with my very own tailor...ha ha.

Thanks for stopping by~ Shirley

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vogue 1411 with Butterick 5925

Version A
Size Small
Fabric:  Patchwork print jersey from Girl Charlee

I really like the way this top turned out.  I think this fabric would make nearly any pattern top appealing, even a simple t-shirt.

There is an interesting design feature--a little twist in the neckband and pocket band, which is made by offsetting marks that you match up on the pattern pieces.

The pockets are made by basting it first to the side piece which is then sewn to the shirt lower side seams.  At the top of the side piece, it gradually tapers in to a very narrow seam with the bottom being very wide .  Then you attach the sleeves, sewing down the arm edge, continuing down the side of the shirt till you meet up with the top of the side piece.  This matched up really well.

This shirt takes 2 yards of fabric up to a size large.  There are 7 pattern pieces!!

You can mix this up by combining coordinating fabrics.

Version A
Size A
Fabric:  Ponte de roma knit from Girl Charlee


Hmmm.  I'm not sure if I like the pants much.  They are just okay to me.  My husband and children like them.  I modeled them for my family before hemming to see if I should continue...ha ha.  Do you ever do that?  They fit well and have a unique design.  Maybe it is because there was a lot of work in putting these together that I just don't feel that the time spent met my style expectation.  The whole time sewing them I kept thinking to myself, "I don't know."  I will wear them though.  If I invest the time and it fits I will wear it.  Maybe not as often as other favorites.  I kind of wish I had just made my Ottobre legging pattern.  It is simple but I love it.  Oh well.  I'm trying to make sure I don't just have 10 of the same thing in my closet.

On to my technical thoughts about the pattern.  You really have to sit down with these and make sure you get everything matched up correctly before sewing.  Seams have to be sewn, pressed open flat, and then topstitched while straddling the seam.  I used a twin stretch needle size 2.5.  Hindsight I wish I had used a wider needle.  I think it kind of made it pucker a little, raising this seam a bit.  However, the seams do stand out more and that is what makes this pant pattern unique from others.  I didn't shorten these and I'm 5'1, so if you make them, you might want to add some length to them!  I almost wish they were longer on me.  I am petite but I always like to wear my pants a little on the long side since most times I wear boots with chunky heels.  Using such a narrow size twin needle could have contributed to losing a little on the length since my seams pulled up a bit (does that make sense?)

Simple waistband with elastic.

That actual fit is good.  They are supposed to fit snug.  I made the straight leg version instead of the tapered leg.  Since they are shorter than I had anticipated, I don't know if they look too short with these ankle boots or not.  Maybe I should try tucking them into a different style boot.

Size A requires 1 1/4 yards of fabric. There are 8 pattern pieces!!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley