Saturday, August 27, 2016

Jalie Cocoon Cardigan

 I made myself a cardigan at last!  I made it previously for one of my girls here.

This is very easy to make and I sewed the entire cardigan on my serger.  The most time consuming part was attaching the band all the way around.  I used clips every couple of inches and they worked well to hold everything together.  I find I prefer using clips to pins.  My husband and kids no longer complain about getting stuck by a pin in my sewing area carpet.  I'm not the most careful seamstress with placing my pins back on the magnet dish.  

I imagine my sleeves could be shortened a little, but I'm okay with them being long.  I like a sleeve to come down over my hands actually.

I bought this knit at Joann's.  I fell in love with it immediately, but didn't buy it right away because it was super light weight and somewhat sheer.  Then I got to thinking how it would make the perfect cardigan--something to remember with those beautiful sheer knits that would otherwise not make a modest blouse.  When I returned to the store, they only had 1 and 5/8 yards on the bolt!  Thankfully, it was enough to make this cardigan in a size T for me.

I also made a plain white t-shirt to wear underneath it using Sewaholic's Renfrew pattern in a size 6.  I didn't want anything to compete with the busy print of my knit cardigan.  I also like wearing white shirts with jeans.  Most times I like just plain and simple.  

The t-shirt and cardigan took me about 3 hours total to make.  A small investment of time to have something new to wear with a pair of store bought jeans.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My First Knitted Sweater

 I finished my sweater! 

This is what I made with's "My First Sweater" class.  I made a size small.  I already knew how to do the knit and purl stitch, but that is all.  I never made anything beyond a scarf.  Casting on stitches still gives me great difficulty and I seem to have to do it several times before I am happy with the results.  If you are a beginner like me, you can definitely knit this sweater.  I thought the video lessons were great and you could clearly see everything the instructor was doing.  Once I posted a question for help late at night and I had my answer in the early morning!

I made a few mistakes.  Picking up stitches at the neck and front edges was a struggle for me.  I don't think I picked up as many stitches as I was supposed to, but it still turned out okay.  Somehow I missed putting in the top buttonhole too!  My plastic markers (is that what you call them?) kept falling out.  I need the ones that look like safety pins.  Mine are shaped like broken circles, so when I would shift my project, out they fell.

The pattern instructions are for a smaller neck band, but I wanted to extend mine out so it would fold over onto itself.  As you can see, I didn't quite get there.  Next time I will be sure to add more rows.

I'm wearing my sweater with my Angel Bootcut Jeans.

I love the eyelet detail at the raglan edges.

I had a couple places on my button bands where there was some sort of opening but not the buttonhole.  I mended these with needle and yarn; they were small spots.  One spot looked like a stitch had come undone, but I'm not sure how that would have happened.  I definitely don't know how to fix anything yet, at least not the right way!  I'm happy though and it fits and it's warm--mission accomplished!  My next knitting project is to learn to make socks.

I made a new Jalie Dolman (3352) top.  I used a sheer, crinkled knit for the sleeves that I had left over from a few years ago.  I'm so glad I saved it because it was a perfect match.

One of the things I like about this style of top is it how it is a little longer in the back but not drastic like a high/low top.

Since I was working with the Dolman pattern, I decided to make one up for one of my girls.  The second one always goes together quicker since I don't have to refer to the instructions just having made it.

The last time I used this fabric, I made myself a maxi skirt.  The fabric is incredibly soft.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I'm Still Here!

Summer vacation is coming to an end and our children will be returning to school.  I thought my blogging days were behind me, but what I really needed was to step away from sewing for the summer.  Summer activities, vacation to Disney World, time with relatives, and pool time were our priorities.  Before, I seemed to be able to craft and keep up with our summer commitments, but the kids are getting older and so am I!  So now I realize that when summer rolls around, that is the perfect time for me to change up my routine and relax a little too, even if that means no blogging.  Once school is back in and I'm alone in the house, I'm sure my sewing machine will be calling my name.  I have tried to make so much of what my children wear, but sometimes it is so nice just to go stock up during an Old Navy sale.  It really takes the pressure off me to sew so much.

In the meantime, I found a perfect hobby for me to do to keep my hands busy...literally--knitting!

I enrolled in Craftsy's "My First Sweater" and love it!  I have knitted scarves before, but only knew how to knit and purl and nothing more.  I'm so excited that I am making my very own sweater.

pictured above is the back and left front piece

both raglan sleeves are finished

I love the eyelet detail, which surprisingly is pretty easy to do!

Michael's Craft Store had a sale on their florals, so it was the perfect time to grab some to make a wreath.  I have wanted to make one for years, but I was too intimidated to try until now.  One of my girls wanted to help me, so we sat and snipped a good portion of the stems off and stuck them into the wood branch wreath.  Then we just hot glued the heck out of everything and made a pretty bow at the bottom.  I know it's a little early for a Fall wreath, but my daughter and I were so proud of how it turned out that it is already on our door.  We decided, after all, it was for us to enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hanging up my blogging hat.....

Summer is here and my sewing has slowed to spend more time with my children.  This has lead me to contemplate whether or not to continue blogging.  I think that I have finally grown tired of the sewing/blogging cycle.   I will keep my blog online though.  While going through breast cancer, I created a tab where I journaled my thoughts, feelings, treatments, surgeries, etc.  I want to keep this available just in case anyone finds my experience helpful to them.  I will continue leaving reviews on Pattern, so look for me there!  I'm still a ways away from finishing my son's American Ships Quilt, but when I do, I will definitely post a picture of it here.  I have been working on it for years and looking forward to its completion.

Thank you for all your comments and following me on my sewing and breast cancer journey.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Linen Drawstring Pants

New Look 6055 (Pants/Shorts)
Version A, Size 12
Alterations:  Several

Where to start with these pants?!  First off, I purchased this coral linen at Hancock Fabrics for less than $3 a yard.  I think the original price was close to $16 a yard.  I grabbed 3 yards for my stash.  I purchased the fabric for maybe a dress, but after prewashing it, I thought it might be a little too heavy and stiff.  So, pants were the next thought.  I looked through my pattern stash and came up with New Look 6055.  Looking at the model, I knew there would be more fabric at the waist than I would want.  I should have considered sizing down, down, and down again!  Seriously!  I was a little afraid to make changes initially without seeing exactly what I would be dealing with.  I looked online and linen pants are very roomy, so I didn't want to cut away and do something wrong.  Plus, I didn't want to make a muslin.  Sometimes that just seems like way too much work.

What I like--I love the side cargo pocket.  It is nice and big with a buttoned flap!

Changes I made--I created 2 darts at the back waist.  These pants were a series of sewing, putting on, pinning fabric out, resewing, etc.  I dismissed any thoughts of altering the pattern at this point because of the way I made the alterations.  There was so much fabric to eliminate and I had to do it a little at a time.  I took in the front and  back crotch seams, probably a good inch in addition to sewing my 5/8" seam.  Six inches were removed at the waist alone.  I also shorted the front crotch depth.   Then, I took the center leg seam in by an inch!  I know, my alterations are all over the place, but I think that covers what I had to do.

My shirt is covering up the darts here.  I got the idea of darts from looking online at other linen pants.  I liked that feature and wanted to include it for mine as well.  I did not make the tabs at the bottom of my pants because I didn't want them tight around my ankles.

I used eyelets instead of button holes at the waist.  I got them a little high.  I pulled my drawstring cord out of a romper I made a while back that no longer fits me.  There is also 1 inch elastic in the waist.

I also like the nice and big front pockets!

I put vinyl on my shirt using my Silhouette Cameo--love that machine!!

I tossed out my pattern but kept the pocket pieces to use again with a different pattern.  I'm happy with my pants, but I think the same pants could be more easily accomplished with an elastic waist trouser pattern that doesn't have as much ease built into it.  However, I did get the pattern to work for me and New Look patterns are very reasonably priced.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Jalie Jean (Shorts) with Sleeveless Top

Jalie Jeans Pattern 2908
Size S
Fabric:  Kaufman 6oz Stretch Denim Indigo from


Ottobre 2/2013, #3 Buttondown Sleeveless Blouse
Size 38
Alterations:  1/2 inch swayback, removed 2 inches from length
Fabric:  Magenta/Navy Lawn from Fashion Fabrics Club

Oh my gosh....this is going to be my go-to outfit for summer!  I love it!

My fabric for the top is fairly sheer, so I am wearing a black camisole top underneath.  The fabric also frays terribly, so I made French seams.  This was a little tricky since I only added 3/8 inch seam allowances!  Had I examined my fabric a little more closely, I would have definitely traced a larger seam allowance.


I did consider cutting an inch off after it was already hemmed to bring it up a little, but hemming this fabric took time and I decided it isn't "too" long to deal with.  I made this top a couple of years ago, shortening it by 5".  This time I chose to shorten it by 2" since I had to retrace my pattern in a larger size.

I'm always keeping an eye out for a good shorts pattern.  Then it occurred to me that I can use the awesome Jalie jean pattern and just make them into shorts!

 For the length, I used the top portion of the pattern only.  I brought out the inner leg seam by 1/2" at the bottom, tapering up and rejoining the the original pattern line about 5 or so inches up.  I also darted out 1/4" on the back yoke piece to adjust for my swayback, also taking in 1/2" on the CB waistband.

This fabric is 96% cotton with 4% spandex, giving it plenty of stretch and the denim is very soft.  I added a piece of stay tape in the top of the waist band.  I should have added a piece of interfacing at the section of the buttonhole since my fabric isn't very thick.  I turned up the cuff on the bottom twice, tacking it at the seams only.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, May 6, 2016

Shirtzie Dress

SUAT Shirtzie Dress
Size Small with Size 3 Band
Fabric:  ITY Knit & Kaufman Laguna Stretch from
Alteration:  I used the skirt from the Brazi Pattern

I think this dress may be the most comfortable dress I have ever worn.  I opted to skip the lining for the bodice.  My fabric is thick enough with one layer.  If you do this, you will also have to cut a neckband.  I measured the neckline and cut my band 3" less, which seemed to work well for me with the amount of stretch in the Kaufman Laguna jersey. 

One of my favorite details of this dress is the shape of the neckline.  

I chose to combine the bodice with SUAT's Brazi skirt since it is only gathered in the center front and back.  The Shirtzie skirt looks to be gathered more and I prefer fewer gathers. 

I like how bands are used instead of hems at the sleeve edge.  Elastic is also sewn onto the waistband seam allowance.  Two bands are sewn together with the elastic sandwiched in between. 

So far this is my second SUAT pattern and I'm very impressed!  The fit is perfect!  

I was able to make one of my girls an outfit with the fabric I had left over from my dress!  I started with Jalie 2805 shirt pattern and then used an Ottobre tank pattern to narrow the shoulders and make the right-sized armholes.  For the skirt, I used Simplicity #1675.

It is definitely a wearable muslin.  Next time I need to lengthen the armholes and definitely make the skirt longer.  I threw this together while my daughter was at school, hoping that she would like it--she does!  I added the white band to make it look even more different from my dress.  No "mommy and me" outfits for this girl.  That's a deal breaker! ha ha

I left it unhemmed.

When she lifted her arm, the armhole wasn't too high, but in a relaxed pose, it looks like it is.  I used a size 158 to base the armhole on, but my kids are growing like sunflowers and just straight up!  I can't keep up with their growth spurts.

For my son, I made him a lounging outfit, although he has worn the tank top to school.  I figured he would.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the HTV vinyl.  I wish I could have made the graphics bigger, but I'm low on supplies.  I'm still learning how to use my machine, so sadly not all vinyl has made it to fabric.  A lot has ended up in my trash.  However, a lot of my sewing received the same fate in earlier years.

How cool is the Walking Dead fabric for the shorts?  I bought this on  Did I really think I could cut out a men's XS size (Simplicity 1021) in just one yard of fabric?  Sigh.  No pockets here and I also had to cut the waistband from some white knit fabric.  Actually, that made for comfy shorts to lounge in though since the other fabric is 100% cotton.  His tank top is made from Laguna jersey knit.

You can see here where I used knit for the waistband.  I didn't alter the waistband size since elastic is used for a secure fit.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley