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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Some spring dress sewing: Simplicity 8551

I need some new spring dresses and I am still smitten with statement sleeves.  This Simplicity pattern caught my attention!  

Image result for Simplicity 8551

Did I mention too that I love using hardware on my makes?  I choose view D.

When I took these photos, we were in the midst of a blizzard and it was COLD outside.  Those aren't good combinations for taking photos outdoors.

I used this fun shirting fabric from Fabric Mart.  This is a Tori Richard shirting fabric in 100% cotton.  If you can find this fabric, it is lovely to sew with.  

This is an uneven plaid.  It was fun playing with the placement.  As you can see, I cut the front band on the bias as well as the lower half of the sleeves.  I also cut the ties on the bias.  

Too install the grommets, I folded the placket/yoke in half and used a leather punch (set on the appropriate sized setting) to punch the holes.  That way, they were perfectly matched up on both sides.  Can you tell I like precision?  

I did work hard to make sure the center back and front seams were on a prominent part of the plaid.  I chose the intersection of the blocks.  

I found this pattern runs really large in the mid-section.  I took it in a least 4 inches at the waist.  Since that never happens, I've dubbed this a 'must-use-again' pattern.  

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Unselfish sewing Simplicity 1082

I was able to spend last week in Baton Rouge, where my daughter and her family live.  There was a day that was deemed by them, "Too cold to go anywhere and do anything," so we decided to sew up this adorable Simplicity pattern, 1082

                Image result for images Simplicity 1082

See what I mean?  It is darling!  Since we are still working on de-stashing we found these the two prints in my daughter's stash and all the other notions needed such as safety eyes, fiber fill, etc.  

If you've never sewn a three-D animal such as this I will give you some hints.

Cut and sew with precision.  All seam allowances are 1/4".  Any sloppiness will result in a finish that won't look as cute as it can.

Mark all the notches, dots, small and large circles as those are pretty integral in figuring out the design.

No matter how much fiber fill you have, you'll probably end up using more than your first estimation.  This guy takes a LOT to get him to look nice and plump and without lumps or bumps.  I probably should have used more but we didn't have any so we left her as is.

If you don't press as you sew, then don't create this guy.  Seams need pressed open flat so they look nice.  This type of attention to detail will also help you match seams easier as you are sewing.

Use a high-quality quilting cotton or fabric to make these.  I would believe a thin fabric won't hold the fiber fill as well and it will look lumpy.

Granddaughter Elaina actually gave this hippo an unsolicited kiss when we showed it to her!  I hope she cuddles with it a lot.  

This only took a few hours to make.  I enjoyed it and can't wait to make the flamingo and giraffe.

Thanks for reading!
Sue :)

Friday, April 6, 2018

Sewing for my favorite boys!

Sewing for little ones, so gratifying!  So fun!  These are my gransdons, Simon and Elliot.  They are 4 and 2.  The day these photos were taken, it was the little guys birthday.  You may notice in the picture that Elliot is holding a battery operated light switch.  His aunt and uncle got that for him and you can tell by some of the photos how thrilled his is that he can turn a light on and off all he wants.  

Here are the patterns I used: 
McCall's MP339

McCalls Easy Infants Sewing Pattern 6873 Vest, Shirt, Shorts, Pants & Tie

Image result for images Simplicity 8180

Both patterns are drafted well and easy to put together.  I used a super vibrant colored abstract dinosaur print I purchased in Omaha, Nebraska last summer.  I had so much from creating these little shirts.  My daughter wanted these make in short sleeves so that they can wear them all summer.  I certainly hope so as I think they look super cute!  Just my humble opinion as a grandma!  

The McCall's shirt has more details that resemble a classic dress shirt with a collar stand, separate cuffs and a shirtail hem.  

The Simplicity shirt is styled more like a camp shirt with no collar stand.  Although it doesn't really make a lot of difference for little fellas.


There were fun and fast makes.  Both shirts were completed in an afternoon.  I used lime green plastic snaps and my Kam snap pliers to adhere them.  If you sew a lot of children's clothing, this is a must have!  I even use the snaps on my own clothing and love the results!

Thanks for reading!  
What are you sewing?
Do tell!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Vintage style sewing! Simplicity 8460

I was so drawn to this pattern--the style, shape, and probably also the color of the dresses on the front.  That pretty coral-ish red is one of my favorites.  

Simplicity Pattern 8460 Misses' Vintage Dress and Jackets

How cute, right?  Well maybe if you are a size 2 like the model!  

Here is my version:  

I used this pretty boluce-type fabric from my stash.  It was originally purchased from Fabric Mart.  Pink is fresh and screams spring to me.  However, we still have way below average temps and snow on the ground.  Did I mention it is April 5???  Hence the indoor photos!

With this super simple style, I decided to line the dress and use couture methods to finish it off.  I used a floral silk from my stash (and incidentally left over from a pink wool coat) to line the dress.  

I added the lining by sewing all of it in by hand.  It was relatively painless and so therapeutic!  Whoever says sewing isn't therapy has no idea what they are talking about.  Am I right?

This photo is of the inside neckline.  When you sew a lining in by hand you can make a little lip with the main fabric and have it slightly roll to the inside so none of the lining shows at all.  

Here is the zipper edge.  I used an invisible zipper but I believe the pattern calls for a lapped zip.  I enjoy invisible ones because well, they are invisible when you insert them correctly.  

Even with a heavier fabric you can still insert an invisible zipper.  

Seeing this silk I used for the lining just makes me smile.  Silk feels amazing when you have it next to your skin.  

I like how the back neckline is on this dress.  To fit this dress, I sewed the side seams and then pin fit it to me in the dart areas.  I like this technique so much.  I didn't make mine as fitted as the models as I am not a size 2 and I want to be more comfortable.  

Here is the cute little jacket that is part of the pattern.  This is the first cropped type jacket I've made.  I didn't have enough of the pink to have it match so I used this mid-weight denim.  The buttons are covered in pink garment leather.  

Oh yes, I did manage to have enough of the silk to line this.  The jacket does call for a lining, unlike the dress.  

I certainly had fun creating this dress and jacket.  

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Stevie Jean Jacket

I have had this pattern and the denim I used for far too long. 
Here is what it looks like: Image result for images Stevie Jean Jacket

 Since I am still on my fabric purchasing (starvation) diet, I used what I had and finally made this up.  This is a 'special' denim.  It is a high-quality, heavier weight denim--like at least 10oz.  It is perfect for this make.  

I like the fit of this--it is over-sized so it gives you a 'boyfriend' look. I made one size smaller than I usually do for SA patterns.  I don't mind a bit roomy, but over-sized and I feel like I am swallowed up. 

Making this isn't complicated.  And, if you've made a jean jacket, you can do this without the directions.  I actually like trying to follow SA's directions.  They are cryptic at best, but I do notice that their newer patterns tend to have helpful diagrams.  This pattern was no exception.


The most complicated part of this jacket is the chest pocket.  It has a very cleverly constructed facing that the flap covers. 


Sorry that photo is a bit blurry.  You can see how the facing is squared off allowing entry into the pocket.  The pocket bag is top-stitched from the inside so it is perfect on the outside.

While I was wanting to show you the pocket outline, you also can see a close-up of the sleeve vent.  That little addition of tacking is mine.  The pattern didn't call for it, but I figured that it will be a possible high-stress area.  Reinforcing it can't hurt.

Yes, there are welt pockets.  These are not my best every welts, so please don't examine them too closely.  :)

This gives you a good idea of how roomy this really is.  
Aren't those little tabs on the back waistband cute?  All the details make these fun.  

Here is my only deviation.  I added this bias band at the neckline.  The pattern tells you to fold the collar edge up into the neckline and collar and then stitch in the ditch.  That makes that seam so bulky so I serged the edge and then added this bias binding to cover it all up.  It gives that part of the garment a comfortable, and non-bulky edge.  Plus, I love that little pop of orange that shows itself occasionally.  

Thanks for reading!  I hope you are enjoying spring in your corner of the world!  

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sewn Magazine Feature!

Hey all!
I am so excited!  Here is my news:

Yay!  Order your copy today!  Can't wait to show you what I've created!

Monday, March 12, 2018

My first Tosti!

I've had this pattern and fabric for quite some time and while I was cleaning my sewing room, I rediscovered it.  I really should clean more often!  
Here is the pattern I discovered I had stashed away...

Image result for images tosti coat

As you can see, this pattern is by a company called Waffle patterns. From what I can tell, they seem to be based out of the Netherlands.  No wonder this has incredible details.  

Here is my version.  Of course I had to slightly deviate from the pattern design.  Just slightly.

This fabric was a bear to sew.  It is somewhat heavy with a water repellent right side and a napped inside that's rather soft on the skin.  

Evidently, I knew what I wanted to do with this pattern as I had put it with this fabric.  

Isn't the color gorgeous?  I really should wear this blue more often, I really love it.  

This pattern has some incredible details.  There are pockets galore.  There are inside pockets, sleeve pockets, patch pockets, welt pockets.  Take your pick, they are there.  

For some reason, I only had this white zipper for this pocket.  I tried finding a blue one like the main zip is, but I simply couldn't.  I sort of like the white.  

I altered the sleeve pocket.  It was supposed to have another exposed zip but with this fun lining fabric, I wanted to show it off a bit so I changed the pocket to be a top opening with that little fold back.  The snap is a real snap but I didn't put the other half on.  It is merely decorative.  

Check out that inside welt pocket.  Is that a fun shaped piece of facing or what?  I really had fun creating that.  Unfortunately, I lost the lining pieces for this pattern and had to redraft them.  Getting those lining pieces to fit into that facing was a struggle.  Did I mention that this blue is also very stretchy?  Did I also mention this was a bear to sew? 

That pocket will fit my cell phone, credit cards, lip gloss, etc.  

Would you look at that lining?  It is a stretch woven manufactured by Telio.  This proved to be the perfect weight and stretch compatibility with the blue.  

I love my new coat.  I plan on making this pattern in a wool for fall.  This is a great pattern from a great company!
Thanks for reading!