Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Halloween 2016


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, I thought it was time to post about Halloween, lol!  Our church usually puts on a Trunk or Treat in the parking lot but they didn't plan one this year.  I wasn't planning to 'costume' on Halloween because #1 We had nowhere to go #2 We were going on vacation on November 1st and #3 I have been dealing with serious fatigue for months which makes me not want to make a costume for reason #1 and #2.  A week before Halloween, a bunch of the parents at church decided to put on a Trunk or Treat, and it was nice and impromptu and simple.  So....we needed costumes, STAT! I decided to recycle mine and Scott's Doctor Who costumes from 3 years ago, which basically is dressing up in Sunday clothes.  Easy! (That get up and go feeling that makes you want to do stuff is underrated. Seriously!)  


Serenity went as the Supreme Dalek.  (Don't know what a Dalek is? Think racist robot who will kill anything that is not a Dalek on site.)  I based her dress off of a pattern that I tested for in September. It has still not released, so I'm not allowed to mention it or pics of the actual pattern, but this dress is different enough from the original no one should mind.


All of the squares and dots are fused to the red fabric and the skirt is pleated.  The red is a cotton/lycra from Purpleseamstress.  She has wicked fast shipping, guys!  I love this little dress.  I really only tacked the dots down in a couple of places so I should rip them off and make this into some sort of Christmas dress.

I love my little family!  It really is wonderful to have a little person to sew for!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tutorial ~ DIY Cell Phone Pocket: Part 2

Last month, I shared a tutorial on how to draft your very own cell phone pocket from a basic leggings pattern.  As promised, I will now show you how to assemble all of the pieces you cut out.


First, we will add the bound edge to your pocket.  Take the curved part of the over pocket piece and match it up with your pocket band piece, right sides together.  In the picture below the edges of the fabric line up (where my index finger is), but in reality it works better if the binding hangs over about 1/2".


Are you confused yet?  I drew over the first picture so you can see how the top fabric will extend past the solid blue fabric.  Sorry about that!  Sew a seam 3/8" from the edge using a stretch stitch.  


Now, flip your binding fabric over so that the right side of the seam is showing.  Press the seam open.  Fold the binding fabric to the wrong side and pin/clip in place.  Ensure that the binding is 1/2" wide across the entire pocket.


  Topstitch or coverstitch the binding in place.  Here I have used a wide coverstitch and the wrong side of the stitch is showing.  It provides a fun, decorative accent!


Line up your over pocket with your under pocket piece and baste them together at the bound edge. That area tends to slip around while being sewn (due to all of the bulk) and we want it to stay nice in place!


Now, stitch the Back Upper Leg Piece to the left pocket side, right sides together.  All of the seams from here on out will be at 1/2".  (As I stated in the first part of the tutorial, I recommend a 1/2" seam allowance so that you have plenty of room to coverstitch/topstitch.)  You will do the same with the Front Upper Leg Piece, sewing it to the right pocket side.  When you are done, press the seams to one side.  The seams are pressed AWAY from the pocket in this example.


When you are done, don't forget to topstitch!  


Now it is time to assemble the last piece.  Place the assembled upper leg piece and the lower leg piece, right sides together at the curve.  When you stitch on the curve, go SLOWLY.  It will ensure that the curve is smooth, without any puckers.


Press your seam to one side (down) and topstitch.  I decided to use the right side of my coverstitch for this seam, so I have a double row of stitching.


I hope you've found this tutorial helpful! If you decide to make your own cell phone pocket, provide your blog link below, I would love to see it!

Noelle Dress ~ Made for Mermaids

This past week I pattern tested for Made for Mermaids for the first time.  The pattern is the Noelle Dress and is part of their Dreamy Winter Collection.  It is available to purchase TODAY and is on sale for $7 through 11/29!  As you can see, it works perfectly for a holiday dress! I love the dress on the left with the red velvet.


However, when I went to order red velvet it was out of stock...so I'm still waiting to make something for Christmas.  But that's okay, this pattern works really well as an informal dress or as a peplum blouse.  We live in subtropical Charleston, so we have little opportunity to wear winter dresses.


I did the version of the dress without the peplum or pettiskirt.  The fabric I used is a Made Whimsy 12 oz cotton/lycra knit from youmadesomething.com.  In case you were wondering, the quality is amazing and affordable, and this lady ships fast!  


I sewed up a size 1/2, which ended up being too big because I didn't realize my daughter had lost a 1/2 inch in her chest size, whoops! That's okay, my skinny Minnie will grow eventually.  This pattern goes from a 1/2 all the way to a 14.


With a stiffer fabric, the collar will stand up more than it did here.  You may want to interface the collar for a better stand.  Make sure you use lightweight knit interfacing, though.  The midweight one I tried didn't provide any stretch and made it impossible for me to get it around the neckline so I ripped it out and sewed the collar un-interfaced.


I love the drama of this skirt, and with the circle skirt it's so easy to achieve.  You don't even have to hem your knit like I did, many of the testers didn't.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

First Sweet Tee ~ Patterns for Pirates



Even though I posted another Sweet Tee (Patterns for Pirates) make on this blog, this is the first one I ever made.  If you compare with the first blog post you will notice the original fit is a bit more relaxed. (I took the second one in a bit more on the sides.) I seriously love this shirt! It is a pretty doable project in 2.5 hours.  (I'm sure some of you can whip one up much quicker than that.) This shirt is so comfy!  The print is Idle Wild by Riley Blake that I had been eyeing for way too long and finally sent home with me.  The trim is some bamboo rayon I had in my stash.


I originally made this shirt with the curved hemline, but I really wasn't a fan of the way it dipped down low past my hips.  Sometimes things look great on a model and when you put it on your petite body you have to adjust.  I ended up cutting it a little higher with a little bit less of a dramatic curve.  I think it looks more proportional.  Don't ever be afraid of changing a pattern to fit your body or your style.  It's what being a maker is all about!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tutorial ~ DIY Cell Phone Pocket: Part 1


Today I want to share a tutorial with you! I think it's been years since I've done so. I loved the athletic capris that I made last month and decided I wanted another pair, but with a cell phone pocket.  My husband always says that ladies' pants pockets are useless so he has no problem carrying my phone when we're out and about.  Well, this pocket is big enough to carry your big honkin' phone and probably your lip gloss, too!  For reference, I have a Samsung Galaxy s5.  

For this tutorial, you will need your pattern.  I have used Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates.  You can use another pattern if you wish as long as it has one whole piece for the left leg and one for the right.  The waistband is separate.

When I am pattern drafting, I don't draw directly on my nice pretty pattern.  I trace my pattern first and then I can mark it up as much as I want.

Start with your pattern and find the grainline.  We will start by drawing lines PARALLEL to the grainline.  I like to use a quilting ruler to draw parallel lines.  Find the center point in between center front and center back at the bottom edge of pants.  Find the point in between center front and center back at the top of the pattern piece.  Before you draw the line just check with your quilting ruler that the new line is parallel to your grainline.  Draw a TEMPORARY line between these two points from the top of the pattern piece to the bottom like so:

 Now, draw a line 2" to the left and 2" to the right, parallel to the grey line.

These red lines represent the sides of your pockets.  (The grey line can now be removed.)  My pocket is 4" wide.  (I thought it was 1/4" too wide so you may want to make yours slightly smaller, especially if you have an IPhone.)  Now, we will draw a line bisecting the red lines to define the bottom of the pocket.


Erase the red lines below the bisected line and label these areas:

These are 4 of the new pattern pieces for the right leg.  Lay tracing paper over the top of this pattern and trace each piece, leaving space in between because YOU WILL NEED TO ADD YOUR SEAM ALLOWANCES.  The black lines represent the old pattern, so obviously don't add seam allowances to those sides.  Any sides that are red or purple will need seam allowances added.  

Not sure how much to add? Check your pattern for the seam allowance used and add the same seam allowance for your new pattern pieces.  I like 3/8" seam allowances but for this project, I highly recommend using 1/2" seam allowances.  It makes coverstitching/topstitching the seams much easier.

Now, draw a line to define the top edge of your pocket.

This is represented in green.  Now you can trace the 5th and last pattern piece, the Over Pocket Piece.  This is the only piece that requires ALL seam allowances added to it.  (This might seem confusing, just trace the green curved line for the top of the pocket, the two parallel red lines below that, and the purple line at the bottom.)

Where you choose to draw your green and purple lines is up to you.  The purple line I drew was about 11" from the top of the leg pattern piece.  The top of the pocket piece on the right side (the point where the green line touches the right red line) was 2 1/2" from the top of the leg pattern piece.

You will also need to cut out the pocket band (goes over the top edge of the pocket).  This is a rectangle 1.25" x 7".

Pat yourself on the back, you are now a pattern drafter!  In the next part of the tutorial, I will share how to assemble your pattern pieces.  

Supplex Peg Legs with Smartphone Pocket


This is my second pair of Peg Legs, this time made from Supplex from Zenith & Quasar.  (My first pair is here.) Supplex is a wicking nylon/spandex that is great for activewear applications.  It is easy to spend $20 on one yard of supplex.  I can squeeze one pair of capris and one bra on a yard, so it doesn't end up being more expensive than ready to wear clothing.



When I'm out and about I need a place to put my phone, so I drafted my own smartphone pocket.  For the contrasting blue pocket, I used budget supplex.  It doesn't have quite the stretch that regular supplex has.  So for the left leg, I used my regular pattern piece and for the right, I assembled my smartphone pocket and then sewed leg pieces together.  I coverstitched the cellphone pocket with the loopy side up.  It was a bit tricky going over seams and the thread got messed up.  I took a needle and thread and fixed it in parts and I think it looks great!


I preordered the supplex, but the wait was worth it!  These capris are super comfortable! I'm happy to know that next summer when the heat is unbearable these capris will wick and help me stay during a workout.  And since summer weather doesn't end until November, I'll be comfortable now, too!

Stay tuned for a tutorial on this cell phone pocket, I can't wait to share it with you!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Arenal Top ~ Itch to Stitch


Over the last couple weeks, I had the opportunity to test the new Arenal Top Pattern by Itch to Stitch.  I have fallen in love with this pattern and I'm sure you will, too!  Click the link above to purchase your PDF pattern, on sale for $8 until October 19th.

This knit v-neck pattern has a fitted bodice version and a handkerchief hem option, along with sleeve options.  I opted to do a 3/4 sleeve with the fitted bodice.  


This pattern calls for 100% stretch fabric.  It's perfectly fine to use fabric with 50% or 75% stretch, just know you may need to size up 1-2 sizes. I used the fabrics below as follows:

Sleeves: Poly/lycra stripes with about 50% stretch.  I sized up 2 sizes to make up for the lack of stretch

Bodice and neckband: Bambo/lycra with about 75-80% stretch.  I sized up 1 size to make up for the lack of stretch.


I wish I'd only sized up 1x for the sleeves and did no sizing up for the bodice...maybe my bamboo fabric had more stretch than I thought! That's ok - the issue was easily fixed by taking in the side seams at the bodice and sleeves. I shortened the sleeves and the bodice a bit to fit my petite frame. Next time I will do a narrow shoulder adjustment but I think it looks just fine without.

Today marks the first day I have ever posted about a v-neck shirt I've made...because this is my first attempt, EVER! I have three years' worth of built-up anxiety over v-necks and as it turns out, it was quite easy! The instructions are very easy to follow, but I needed a bit of hand holding, so I found this helpful video:


If you find yourself a little hesitant to sew a v-neck, give it a try! I followed the instructions and my first attempt had only a few puckers (that no one will ever notice...let's be honest, only people like me would ever look closely).


I really loved sewing this easy knit top and I think the depth and shape of the 'V' is just perfect! Thanks for the opportunity to test, Kennis!