Friday, September 27, 2013

SBCC (Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick) Free T-Shirt Pattern

This pattern comes highly recommended by so many of our PatternReview friends, and now I know why.  I am 5' 1" so the pattern worked very well for me.  It's cut for petites (5' 4" and under), thus the length measurements are much closer to my own.  I didn't have to remove length in the back-waist the way I usually do with other patterns.  I did however, add an inch or so to the hem since reviewers said this shirt is short.  As stated by other PR members, the fit of this shirt is snug, so I cut mine using M-L-L.  My actual measurements fall between S-M on top, and M in the waist and hip. I do not like when t-shirts cling around my middle and show bulges when I sit so this worked out perfect for me.  It's flattering  and doesn't cling.

The fabric is from a maxi dress I bought about a year ago.  It was cheap and I really thought I'd wear it... but it's a dress... so I never did.  I really liked the border detail at the hem, so I chopped off the skirt and used it for my t-shirt.  It's a very thin fabric though, and needed to be lined.  I used some plain white cotton t-shirt knit which was also too thin to use alone.  Now, I have a functional t-shirt that fits well.  :)

So, is this a type 2 type fabric?  Close, but maybe not quite... it's a little bold.   I might stick it in a dye bath, but I don't think it'll change the black.  It does go well with my jeans and my shorts.  And did you know.... with the darker color across the middle, and lighter strips across the shoulder and hips, my waist appears to be an actual waist!  It's not as obvious in these pics, but I noticed it when I was checking the fit of this shirt in the mirror.  Now that's a happy coinicidence!

And that completes my 4 piece Mini Wardrobe entries.  :)   I got it done and have 4 new pieces I can enjoy... Automatic winner!   Next month is a lined jacket contest.  I think I'll enter that one with the jacket pattern I wanted to work on.  Haven't started yet and I know I'll need lots of time to work on it. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Butterick 3595 with waterfall collar - part 1

I've seen some very positive reviews about this pattern, and have always wanted to make it.  But then I saw this jacket:

And fell in love with the collar!  So I decided to adapt my pattern to add the waterfall collar.  Now, I haven't drafted for many years now.  I've been buying patterns when I sew for myself or family because I'm usually sewing Home Dec projects for work.  But I have about 1 week more to concentrate on my own things before I might have work flowing in again, so I'm going to get this collar drafted!

I've consulted my Patternmaking book and the only helpful thing could figure out was that this collar is based on a shawl collar design.  So I'm starting with that.  Then after consulting with some of the helpful ladies at,  I managed to figure out how the waterfall collar was drafted.  So now it's trial and error.

Here's my first draft at the front pieces.

After folding the collar to what I'd like it to look like, it seems a little wimpy.... see?

I'm thinking of lengthening it a little more and adding a bit more to the Center Back seam.  Crossing my fingers.
And yes, I know I should be taking pics to post of my recent Mini-Wardrobe entries, but I REALLY want to have this jacket!  :D  I'll get to those pics soon....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mini Wardrobe Entry #3: Jalie 2908 - stretch jeans

I made a pair of these jeans quite some time ago and loved the fit.  So I've made a new pair, according to my current measurements (slightly larger...)

I'm a petite 5'1" and don't have the long leggy look of the model on the pattern, but the fit still is nice for my body shape.

This is the 3rd piece for my Mini Wardrobe entry.  This time, I made the low-rise version... just to try it out.  I'm used to a slightly higher waistline, but this is pretty comfortable.  I used a dark indigo stretch denim with grey thread for all the accent stitching.  I discovered the perfect stitch on my machine for all that bold topstitching!  The Triple Stitch!  Yup... I'm lovin' it.  It's slower, but looks so much nicer than topstitching 2 or 3 times to attempt a bolder line.  The stitches are actually looking like individual stitches rather than blended together lines.  :)  Here you can see how nice that triple stitch looks on the back pockets.

I also added the same elastic waist treatment as I did on the Maritime Shorts.  Here's a pic showing the elastic sewn in before I sealed up the waistband.  It's really quite simple.

You simply stitch the elastic ends to the waistband where the side seams are.  I cut it about 2" smaller than the back waistline.  The hardest part it the topstitching along the top of the waistband.  Make sure you don't catch the elastic... in fact, make sure your elastic is thinner than then one I have here.  I barely fit it.  It snugs up well, but it was difficult to push the elastic out of the way to topstitch.

A few reminders when using this pattern:

1)  It's made for women with thinner or normal thighs.  The thick thighed (like me) will need a little extra space.  I squeezed out 1/4" extra out of the tiny seams (it's cut with 3/8" seam allowance) and this was barely enough for comfort.  But I'm currently in a health/beauty phase and have started taking better care of myself adding more veggies, less junk to my diet and started exercising daily.  So even if these jeans are snug, I'll still feel good wearing them.

2)  The zipper treatment is wonderful.  One tip here though, to help your zipper tab stay hidden a little better.   When sewing the zipper to the underlap (fig 25,26) sew close to the teeth.  When sewing the zipper to the overlap (fig 27) sew closer to the edge of the zipper tape.  Here are a couple of pics showing you how my zipper came out. I didn't discover this until after my jeans were completed. The zipper tab is pushed slight outward rather than tucking into the the underlap... next time I'll know.

3)  Don't forget about the major gaposis problem at the CB seam.  Again, I forgot about this happening the first time and spent an evening removing a whole lot of stitches to close it up.   It also brought the pockets closer together at the center... it doesn't bother me, but it's just something to be aware of. 

4)  These are LARGE pockets.  I like them 'cuz they fit my phone nicely, but I think they'd look nicer if they were perhaps 1/2" smaller.  It points down past my butt... does it make my butt look big?  LOL

Okay... I have one more piece to go to finish up my entries. When they're all done, I'll post pics of these garments on a body.  It just doesn't seem right to start wearing them until they're ALL ready.  :D

Hopefully I'll get to start on my jacket as well. I'm working on adapting the pattern now. But I might just save the sewing for the next contest (lined jacket). That's next month... 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chair Bags (Not type 2, but very practical)

Deviating from my Mini wardrobe for a moment....

I made Chair Bags!  We've been bringing these to soccer games/practices and everytime we pick them up, the chair would slide out the bottom.  So I spent about an hour or two stitiching up these new bags.

These cost me nothing.  I cannibalized the drawstring and cord lock, the webbing for the handle and supplies I had on hand.  The fabric is some old upholstery barkcloth scraps leftover from a curtain project so there wasn't enough to match the print on the phone pocket, but it serves it's purpose of keeping my phone and keys at hand.  I also made them slightly larger so I could slip my umbrella into the bag too.  Handy! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MacPhee Patterns Linda's Best Dress & Top

For my first Mini Wardrobe piece, I constructed a simple knit top using MacPhee Patterns Linda's Best Top.  It's flattering and modest, with the neckline comfortably high enough so any leaning over will NOT offer a free show...  in fact, I might cut the neckline slightly wider next time, so it'll be cooler.  Here's the pattern:

You might just pass this one by... it's not spectacular looking by the line drawings, but it's a wonderful, quick fix when you want an attractive garment.  I did have to make a few adjustments the first time around. I made a dress, which I never use, but love the fit of.  It still hangs in my closet and I don't think I'll ever use it. It's not a T2 dress, black and bright pink... but I made this pre-DYT.   I almost never wear dresses this one included, but not because it doesn't fit.  Here's a pic of the finished, adjusted dress:

Adjustments I made:
Raised the empire waist by about 1/2".  I'm short, so if you're not, you may not have to do this.  I'm also small in the bust, so the dress kinda just hung.
Which brings me to the second adjustment I made.  
I took in about 2" total around the empire waistline.  Some of it was reshaped into the center back seam, the rest along the side seams.  It was shapeless till I did that, but it looks great now.

And here is a pic of the finished top:

Another pic with a body in it...

Ooooo.. I can hardly wait till I have a new pair of jeans to go with it!   And I just ordered more rayon jersey to make another one.

Grainline Designs Maritime shorts #2

Piece #2 for my Mini wardrobe entry is a pair of  very soft and comfy shorts.  It's a very dark plum color in wide wale corduroy.  Amazingly soft and cooshy.... I love them.  I think I might even wear these out of the house!  Did I tell you I never wear shorts out unless I'm going to the beach or the pool?  Yeah... I was brought up wearing dresses or long pants to school.  Shorts were to casual for school, only appropriate for home.  Not anymore.

Here's my favorite pair of shorts. It doesn't have much competition since there's only two others, and one is the test piece, but I did add a few extra special touches to this one.

 I added some very wide belt loops, thin ones didn't seem right for this fabric.  And I added an elastic to the the back half.  It fit fine before the elastic, there was just enough space to feel comfortable when I sat and relaxed, and I could definitely eat without worry of bursting buttons.  But I really prefer a waistline that's snug so it won't slip if some child happens to grab at my pants.  I'm sure my hips would stop them from falling, but just in case...
And instead of using hooks (which I'm finding inconvenient on my grey test shorts), I used buttons.  They don't poke, are easy to undo and are just as nice.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Grainline Designs Maritime Shorts

I saw a couple reviews for this cute pair of shorts and it's been so hot and humid here.  I want a pair of shorts sooooo badly!  Now in my current wardrobe, I have only one pair of shorts that I rarely use.  Most of my bottoms are capri length or longer.  I do NOT have lovely legs... let me take that back... I am currently beautifying my legs (and body) with more exercise and healthy eating.  When I saw a review of Grainline Designs Maritime Shorts pattern I immediately looked for more info about the pattern online.  Then, I went back to drool over and reread the reviews and finally, I ordered the pattern.  Of course, it sat around for a week or so, while I read through the instructions a few times, dug through the stash, and made sure I remembered how to sew and fit a pair of pants.  Uh huh... I actually went through the process in my head thinking of the best way to put it together.  In the end, I decided to just follow the directions given by the company.  They are acceptable, but not perfect. The fly zipper construction works, but Sandra Betzina has a better one, though hers doesn't have the fly guard.  Use hers and add the fly guard on before sewing on the waistband. 

I'll definitely be using this pattern in the Mini Wardrobe contest.  My test run garment turned out wonderful.  Here's my result.

Lovely and grey.  Not as soft and comfy as I'd like, but that's just because of the fabric choice. This is a very useable muslin, it won't be my favorite shorts, but I know it will be used.  I cut the inner waistband and pocket linings out of a soft cotton and like the way it adds a little bit of pop.  I'll be the only one seeing it, but doesn't it look great!

 I also added 1" to the hem, as the other reviewers did and I liked the length they had made theirs.  Other than that, this pattern is traced as a size 12, as according to my measurements and it fits true to size.  My real one will be made of this:

 It's a very soft, wide wale, deep plum corduroy.   I know, it looks black here, but it's not.   Very cooshy and cozy.   I'm really looking forward to wearing those!  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Mini-Wardrobe for DYT 2

I finally got my patterns and fabric choices together and am ready to post pictures!  For PR's mini-wardrobe contest, the rules require that we have only 4 items sewn/reviewed/posted in 1 month.  I've decided to construct 1 printed knit top, 1 t-shirt, 1 jeans, 1 shorts.  I'm also hoping to finish a bonus item, an ultrasuede jacket with a waterfall collar.  Similar to this one here:
I'll have to figure out how to draft the collar onto the jacket pattern I want to use, so I'm not sure if it will be done in time.  But it'll be nice to have this when the weather gets cold here.  I love the drapey, soft collar... what a challenge I'm tackling!

Here are the other pieces I hope to finish (click to enlarge):

The white will probably be changed to a different color if I can find an appropriate fabric.  If not, I'll probably end up dying it.  Maybe I can just wash it in the load with my denim and it'll be less stark.  Anyway, the contest begins soon and I'm really excited to get started.  I've been tracing and preparing patterns over the past few days.  And I'm working on getting all the supplies together.  Happy sewing adventures everyone!  :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A New Start!

Recently, I purchased a program called "Dressing Your Truth" by Carol Tuttle.  It has been enlightening and I'm beginning to allow myself to be truer to who I am.  It has been my belief that I'm a wimp and I needed to be tougher.  Tough love with my children (though I was never really successful at this since my softy side always interfered), turning away from softer "drab" (but appealing) colors, ignoring the fact that I really do like more feminine details over plain but practical clothing.   I always felt this was a waste of time and I needed to spend my time learning about things more pertinent to life...  you know,  like earning money, cooking meals, keeping the home in order, parenting.  I rarely put myself first or bothered to examine what I really like when it comes to my appearance.  And I did not value WHO I am, a gentle, slow and deliberate person.    

What I've discovered so far, is that a gentle nature is also VERY strong.  Our strength comes in the peaceful, relaxed and easy-going way we live everyday.  We help others slow down when they're going in circles.  We help others release when they need to rant.  We help others to stop and breathe for a minute, to appreciate what's around them.  And we just help others... Yes... I am a Type 2, a softy, a yin, and most importantly, a peacemaker.  What I once saw as a weakness, I now view as my greatest strength. 

That said, I just signed up for the Mini Wardrobe challenge being held on and decided to start sewing some Type 2 clothing.  Thus the rebirth of my blog, and the name change.   Welcome to my blog.  :)   

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Simplicity 2172 - jacket turned vest

 So my daughter is into cosplay and wants to achieve a similar look to this:

And this is the pattern I had in my file:
Close enough to adapt into the shape she wanted.  We simply removed the sleeves and pockets, redrew the hem, eliminated the top ruffly bit and added a tiny ruffle around the bottom hem.   Luckily, she's short, so when we removed the excess back-waist length, we ended up with the perfect amount of space for the two big silvery buttons.  Here's what we ended up with:

She loves the vest, but doesn't seem to wear it out much... as with the cute bloomers I made to complete the look.  I'll post those later, when I have a picture of it.  It was completed quite a few months ago... it's gotta be around somewhere in her room (the black hole).   Hopefully I'll catch her when she decides to wear it for another Anime Convention or something.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Craftsy Classes: BOM

I began taking the FREE craftsy BOM class at the beginning of 2012 and am only NOW getting to the actual quilting part.  The reasoning  for this quilt was to use up all my little barkcloth scraps that I've kept from work over the past few years.  It looks like I've used up most of them, so at this point I'm looking at a nearly successful quilt... The sewing/sashing was easy... I had no trouble gettiing it all put together, the stitching dooesn't show so it looks really nice right now.   But I'm beginning to do some free motion quilting on it and am struggling to make it look good.  My curves and loops have been looking more like zigzags and I'm ready to give up.  I've spent so much time ripping out stitches... :(  My quilt will consist of mostly echo quilting and stitch in the ditch. Here's a peek at my quilt at this point... 

You can see some of the attempts at FMQing, the ones that I felt were acceptable enough not to tear out.
I'll keep working on finishing this quilt between work projects, But I sooooo want to master FMQ though...

Blue and White Pillow collection

Blue and White!  My favorite!  I made this batch of pillows for a friend's TV room.  Her theme was Japanese and her main focus was comfort.  Thus, the big cooshie pillows...

She had requested 4 large 20x20 pillows, a sobakawa back pillow, 2-18x18 pillow, a dogbone pillow, and a pillow that looks like a couch pillow, recovered.   My favorite thing about this project was that she gave me her old pillows and some fabric and just said... "Do whatever you want.  Just recover these."   So I added a few decorative elements to some of the pillows.