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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...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Yes, I know....move on, right?

Here is my 3rd McCall's 6992.  I just can't seem to get enough of this pattern.  I do feel somewhat guilty using this again.  Why?  Well, I ordered four patterns from StyleArc which arrived last week, I purchased six patterns that were dirt cheap from Hancock's and my latest Ottobre arrived as well.  I would estimate I have at least thirty new patterns to choose from and I dug out a favorite.

If you haven't seen McCall's 6992 yet, here is the pattern.  

I just couldn't resist.  This time I made it a bit snugger and I used two coordinating fabrics that were a recent purchase from Hancock's.  

These two fabrics are part of their spring line and are very soft, sewed up beautifully, and washed and dried like a dream.  Yay!

So I really don't have much to add to this review other than with the weight of the fabric, I did have to cut my neckband an inch longer than what the pattern called for.  

Try this pattern.  I plan on wearing this with my favorite white jeans this spring and summer.  And yes, I do where white jeans when the weather cooperates.

These photos unfortunately don't capture the texture of both fabrics.  The sun was starting to go down and DH really didn't want to take pictures but did agree and I think he was trying to hurry me along.  Sorry about that!  

Thanks for reading!  Do you have a favorite pattern that calls your name often?  If so, please share its information and tell me how many times you've made it.  


Monday, February 22, 2016

Yet another StyleArc Winner in White

I fell in love with this top the minute I saw it and now that I've created it, I love it even more!
Isn't it cute and fun?  Here is the drawing and description from StyleArc's site:

Asymmetrical hem over shirt with an on-trend back treatment

CRYSTAL OVER-SHIRT: Designer over shirt featuring the important back opening. Use the side loop and button to create a side seam drape. The half front opening and a small collar give this over shirt an individual look.

My dog, Lucy, really wanted my attention so I let her be in the pictures--at least a little bit.  

Look at the fun details--asymmetrical hem with a loop and button on just one side.  

I love the button up back.  I chose to make my faux with just the opening occurring below the last button.  I didn't want any wardrobe malfunctions.  Just a note, the pattern shows eight buttons marching down the back but the pattern piece only indicates seven.  I used seven as I thought the spacing was very nice.  

I love that this is over-sized but with nicely fitting shoulders.  Bonus!

The front doesn't have a pleat like the drawing shows, nor did the pattern pieces indicate a pleat.  

Just see the dramatic difference between the two sides.  How cool!

Here is a look at the button loop detail.  The pattern shows two button and loops and the pattern piece is marked for two, but the directions only refer to one loop and one button.  

I love the casual feel of this blouse/top, especially with leggings.  

I used a white sort of crinkly cotton from Hancock's that I paid less than $3 a yard.  It was one of those spot-the-bolt deals that you can find some pretty amazing deals in once in a while.

I wore this to work today and received so many compliments!!!  I really love this top and plan on making more.  I can totally see one made with extra large polka dotted fabric!!

Thanks for reading, I so appreciate your comments!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


How often do you finish a project that you started YEARS ago?  My quilt is done.  I tried finishing it last year but didn't take the time.  So, then I set a goal to finish it before the end of January and that didn't happen either so now it is finally done!!!

I am so pleased with it.  It isn't my best effort but it is so pretty that all the 'labor' pains of it so to speak are done and forgotten.

In the previous rants I've had about this quilt, you may recall I mentioned that I purchased most of the fabric as a 'kit' from a local quilt shop in Chamberlain, South Dakota.  Chamberlain is literally in the middle of the state which pretty much amounts to the middle of no where.  Seriously!

I pulled in a few more purples and some greens as I was putting this together as I discovered I didn't have quite enough fabrics to make this in a usable size, which is the size I like to make.  I like using a decorative stitch to tack down the binding.  I used variegated thread to quilt and also on the decorative stitch as well.  I mean, why not?  

Isn't the sparkle in the fabrics fun?  I tried to make each flower look more like a flower with the quilting on the petals.  In the center I decided to make a bunch of tiny circles so it looked like a flower center.  What do you think?  Does it?  

I also made bubbles on the borders.  Bubbles are fun to quilt!  

While I enjoyed making this quilt, I am glad I'm done with it and am moving onto more garments and quilts!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

McCall's 6992--another one--are you surprised?

Have you made this uber cute sweatshirt yet?  If not, why?  There are so many super cute versions out there and the possibilities are just endless!

I made view C this time with REAL Leather trim on the upper sleeves.  It was a risk, but I just went for it and I like it!

The textured navy knit is from FM and I believe was described as a double knit.  It sewed up just beautifully!

I may have stretched out my front neckline just a bit, but I am going to wear it anyway. Or, I might add an exposed zip in the front and take out some of the excess fabric in that area.  

I don't have much to add to this project other than this time my fabric was so much heavier and everything behaved beautifully!

I can't wait to make view E with the lace or view A with the lace sleeves.  I think they would both be perfect for cool spring days!

Try this pattern, it is easy, fast to put together and there are so many options!

 When I stitched on the leather--it won't ravel so I cut it and stitched it on with a top-stitch using a leather needle.

At the shoulder and neckline, I treated all three layers as one and stitched using a triple stitch for knits in that area and all is well!  I did switch to a leather needle when I got to that section of the neckline.

Can you tell I love the color orange?  I have on an orange shirt to match my orange door!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Grainline Tamarack jacket customized!

Maybe you've figured this out, but I really love sewing with wool, and I love making jackets.  So for this month's contribution to Fabric Mart, I choose this lovely wool that has a slight hint of some sparkle in it.  I wish I could have captured it with my camera!  Trust me, the sparkle is there.

I knew I wanted to make a jacket with the lining quilted to the wool and when I came across this newish pattern from Grainline, called the Tamarack, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for!

                       Tamarack Jacket PDF

The style is classic, there isn't a lot of fitting, and it looks like the jacket would look great on a variety of figures.  I eliminated using the batting between the lining and the wool.  Had I used a cotton or a similar lightweight fabric then I would have used the extra layer of warmth.  I also thought it would be fun to use this 'suede' to trim the jacket.  I love mixing wool with other fabrics that you might not expect.

Construction of this jacket is easy-peasy and it gives you some room to play with your fabric.  I decided at the last minute to add the fringed trim to the cuffs and the neckline to give the jacket a unique look.  

To make your own fringe from wool fabric, cut strips of your fabric either on the lengthwise or crosswise grains, about twice the width of what you'd like it to finish as.  On one side of the width of the fabric, stitch, sort of like staystitching.  This wool was pretty ravely so I decided to serge the side that would be enclosed in the trim.  Fray the side not staystitched and trim as necessary to give you the finished width you prefer.  Baste the trim to the jacket and apply the finish.  In this case, my finish was bias cut pieces of the 'suede' that I cut in 2.5 inch strips. I applied the trim to the jackets right side, folded the edge to the inside and then stitched the trim by hand to the lining.

Do you have fun with lining colors?  I thought about black or gray but decided on this spring green color which is much more evident in the photo above this one.   I am so ready for spring temps to arrive and this brightened my mood as I stitched the wool to the lining in a grid pattern.

This wool behaved beautifully!  See how nice the sleeve hangs along with how well the sleeve was set into the garment?  One thing to remember when you are working with a wool that has a novelty thread running through it is to use a press cloth so the fibers don't melt.  It is a good idea to test iron a scrap of your fabric so you don't make any big mistakes on your garment!  

I love how the shoulders are slightly dropped and the easy fit of the back.  The shaped hemlines are also pretty cool and lend a nice component to this jacket.  I did make my standard alterations to this jacket: 1/2" swayback adjustment, 1/2" FBA, and 1/4" sloping shoulder adjustment.  I am 5'7" and the jacket length and sleeve length are perfect.


Those welt pockets are nice and deep and in a great position on the garment.  I really like them trimmed with the suede.

I needed these nice deep pockets today!  It is cold outside!

This jacket has hook and eye closures and I just laid them out how I wanted them spaced on the front.

I like my new jacket!  It is warm and comfortable and I love the fabrics I choose!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why I am a sometimes quilter

I love quilts.  I love the complexity of designs, the infinite color and pattern combinations and just the layers of beauty that quilting creates.  With that said, I don't quilt nearly as often as I should!  With an extensive fashion fabric stash and pattern collection, I devote 90% of my time to making my own garments.  not that I don't LOVE the beauty and longevity of quilts, I really do, but with a full-time job, grandchildren, family, church, etc., there is just NEVER enough time.  When I retire, I intend to make many more quilts!

Sorry this photo is a little blurry!  

My latest quilt is a Grandmother's Flower Garden design.  This is probably the most labor-intensive quilt I've ever made.  Each hexagon was hand cut and each took an incredible amount of precision--which I hoped I accomplished.  And each takes precise sewing with exact 1/4" seam allowances.  I am sure if you look at my entire quilt, there are a few indications that I didn't achieve  perfection in each seam allowance or each block I cut.  :)  Don't look too close!

What makes a quilt beautiful?  I think each layer of quilting adds a layer of beauty.  Selecting the fabrics is your first layer.  Pick fabrics you love as you'll spend a great deal of time with each of them.  If you are unsure what fabrics go together, pick a stack of fat quarters to star with.  That is probably the easiest way to pick coordinating colorways and coordinating pattern combinations.  And, that is what I did with this quilt.

I purchased my fabric on a road trip that I made across South Dakota, from Rapid City to my home of Sioux Falls.  The span of that distance is just over 400 miles and a stop about half-way is much appreciated.  Not only do you need a break to stretch your legs, but let's face it, if you can get some lovely fabric, you can think of the awesome quilts or garments you'll make when you make it home!

So, with this quilt top completed about six months ago but started at least three years ago (shame, shame, shame on me!) I finally decided that enough was enough and let's get this quilt done!  And if I must admit, I have at least three other quilt 'packages' I've purchased since I started this one.  I finally decided to put all the quilting fabrics and kits together in one container.  I pulled those out recently and the motivation to start another was just enough to get the gumption I needed to finish this ones.  I mean, grandson number 2 is due the end of April and before I start on his quilt, I decided this one MUST be finished.  Luckily I have a four-day weekend coming up so I can finish this beautiful quilt!

Do you quilt?  Are you like me and have the best of intentions when you start a quilt only to put it aside for a garment?  How do you persevere through a quilt that is tedious but will be gorgeous when you are finished?  Please share your experiences since I have so many in my stash ready, willing, and hoping to be created!


I can't wait to show you the finished quilt.  I think it is quite pretty!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Another McCall's knit jacket--never ever enough!

I have always like this pattern and I've made it again!  The first time I put it together, it was for a sewing bee on SPR.  I made it from a woven, lined it, and overlaid part of it with lace.  I like it, but I don't love it.  This version however is a different story!  This one is love for sure!  Here is a peek at the pattern:

M7199, Misses' Jackets
Line Arts

Another winner of a pattern with many possible variations!  I choose view D with contrasting fabrics and no closures and I left off the pockets.

That really isn't any sort of staining on the front lapel area.  That is a weird shadow from my camera!

McCall's 7199 is a Misses' jacket that is semi-fitted, unlined jackets have self-lined front extending into standing back collar, seam detail, shaped hemline, wrong side shows, side front pockets, and stitched hem on sleeves.  A: Exposed zipper and metal snap.  C: Toggle closure.  A, B, C: Topstitching.  Note: No provisions for above waist adjustment.

Again, I made a size 14 with a swayback adjustment.  I wish I had made an FBA but I was feeling lazy.  Next time I will have to as I see some pulling in that area.  I know better!!!

 I didn't have enough of each fabric to make a single color, and with the gray, I barely had enough to make it in the manner I did with the back in the solid and the front piece and the overlay area.  I do like how I laid out the fabric--even if it isn't exactly what the pattern called for.

As you can see, this is pretty fitted (for a jacket that is listed as semi-fitted) from the shoulders to the waistline.  This is exactly the fit I was looking for.  

See how fun the piecing is on this jacket?  I also got those points to match up really nicely!  

I wanted to show you how the inside is partially lined.  To attach the facings to the inside, the pattern calls for hand stitching.  Next time I make this, I am going to figure out a way to wait to topstitch the seams until the garment is complete and then that will also secure the facings without having to hand stitch.  

And that would be my only minor complaint about this pattern--you topstitch seams during the construction process and then have to hand stitch.  

See the slight pulling at the bust?  I needed an FBA.  Did I mention that I used two pontes for this garment?  Both were FM purchases and sewed like a dream!

This is nice and warm, fun and I think very cute!  I wore it to work today and received many compliments!

Thanks for reading!