Sunday, September 28, 2008

What I have been up to

Wow, 12 days since my last post. Not so good, but I have been busy. Some pictures.

Fall decorating and playing with my camera
A friend of dd#2 had a baby. I made some burp cloths as part of the gift.
Bought a new chair for great room, $40 with the new upholstery. I made a pillow to finish it off. The paint in the background? I am trying to decide on a color to paint this room. I don't think this color is the one.
Watching softball.
Sewing up a couple versions of Amy Butler's Swing Bag. I taught a class today at the quilt shop. I wanted to give some examples of how it could be changed a bit. Colors ae not so hotin my picture - not pink but red in the stripes. Class was interesting and fun. I allowed 3 hours, took 5 hours! Many very beginner sewers in this class but they all did a great job and every person walked out with a completed bag. I am teaching this again in 3 weeks, so I will make some changes in my format. I had a great time and it was fun to see all the bags. I really enjoy seeing how others combine fabric and colors.
Was hired to make a photo quilt. Finished it tonight, delivered it and received payment. Makes it all very good.
Now I hope to make one more purse and send it to dd#2 at school. She loves getting mail and packages. Then back to clothing, I miss my garment sewing. I seem to be on a craft and home dec sewing spree. In addition to the pictures, I quilted a pillow and made another Swing bag.
DD#1 and her fiance registered at Crate and Barrel today, she was so excited.
Sue wrote:

I've been eying that Miranda day bag pattern - was it very complicated?
Not complicated but the instructions are very wordy. It is just a basic purse and I think you can use another pattern to get the same look.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Clean Finish Facings

When I was making my Hot Patterns top and it called for an interfaced facing. I wanted a finished edge on this facing but my serger thread wasn't even close. So I used a technique I have read about in sewing magazines and also was taught in one of my ASG classes this past summer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simplicity 3536

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 3536

Description: Misses’ Knit Tops – 6 variations

Sizing: 4 to 20, I made a 12, the measurements on the pattern piece shows approximately ½” reverse ease. I cut my pattern just a bit bigger through the bust area. My fabric is so stretchy this probably wasn’t necessary.

Instructions: Very good, this top is quick and easy. You only have to finish the back neck edge when making View A or B, this saves quite a bit of time. The drawing on the instruction sheet for sewing the shoulder seams is quite helpful with the drape.

Likes/Dislikes: I like the look of the draped view, it is low and with my 4-way stretch knit it hangs a bit lower. Also, my fabric is a bit heavier too.
No real dislikes other than I don’t love the finished product. It will be a good top for work but I probably won’t make more.

Changes: I cut 5” off the bottom, the sides have elastic sewn in the seam to shir the bottom. My fabric was too heavy to really make this work.

Fabric: Knit Gorgeous Fabric

Conclusion: Okay top but not my favorite.
Shirring on sleeve

Surprise - More Purses

A couple of purses, this one to show off a pattern and the cool handles from my friend's quilt shop. It is Lazy Girl pattern line, Miranda Day Bag.

Next a birthday present for my friend, Meredith. It is the Amy Butler Swing Bag.

Back to sewing clothes - it has turned chilly here and I need some fall items.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


The winners of the giveaway

"Make Your Own Clothes" Book- Auntie Dini
Chelsea Bag Pattern - Ruth
Sew News Magazine - Sew Wilde

Email me at with your address and I will get these in the mail.

Thanks all for the comments.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sample Sewing

Saturday is Open House at my friend's quilt store and I have been using the evening to get my samples ready. What are the samples for? Some of the classes I am teaching, two samples completed tonight, one other purse was done a month ago. I have one more quick sample and then a purse for a November class that won't get done by Saturday.

The first class is going to be a beginning purse class. There will be several people with very limited sewing experience. We picked this Amy Butler pattern.

Can you say easy-peasy? That is the Swing Purse, easy and great results.

I had planned to use my own pattern but this one is just too good to pass up.

Then a quick daytime class in November is a Hostess gift set for the December holiday season.

Wine bag, embellished tea towel and potholder. I am loving this fabric and color combination, it won't go anywhere in my house but I really like it.

I am planning to do 3 purse classes one per month and each one a bit more advanced. Then we are planning a quick, fun afternoon class. Should be lots of fun, I am looking forward to it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Simplicity 2927- Project Runway Tunic

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 2927

Description: Project Runway pattern, misses’ dress or tunic with sleeve variations

Sizing: Size 4 to 20, I made a size 12 according to the pattern measurements. I probably could have tapered the waist to a 10 but I really like the look so I left well enough alone!

Instructions: They were very good, nice instructions for piping, the visual diagrams were helpful. The patterns are geared to more beginner sewers (in my humble opinion) and they do a nice job in this area. Plus, a beginner (new) sewer will get a fashionable garment with this pattern.

Likes/Dislikes: I have always liked the lines of this pattern and the neckline. I was looking through my patterns and my fabric trying to decide what to make next. I found this linen and I had off-white on my serger so my decision was made. After finding the linen, I knew 2927 was the pattern of choice.

Another like, this is a relatively quick garment to make even with the piping. I haven’t sewn with linen for quite some time and I was reminded how much I like this fabric.

Changes: I left off the peephole as suggested in this review I also used an invisible zipper.

A linen in my stash. The piping is a brown and cream striped shirting I just purchased. I didn’t have cording for the piping so I used premade cream piping and covered it with the shirting. The button was in my button stash.

Conclusion: Very pretty top, retro feeling and it looks great on. The neckline is more of the 1960’s Jackie-O look.

Button and piping


My matched yoke and piping - first time, yea for luck!
Now a big thank you to Robin. She read my post on the favor boxes and found 2 sets at her Michael's.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Christine Jonson Tie Back Top & Give away

Pattern Review

Pattern: Christine Jonson #107 Tie Back Top

Description: Self-lined, close-fitting, mid-hip length, pullover top with gathered bustline and front crossover long ties.

Sizing: XS to XL, which is 4 to 22. I made a size 12. The pattern has a sheet to help decide sizes. Also, another chart that states if a pattern is runs small, large or true-to-size and suggests to go up or down in sizing. The tie back top runs small and Christine Jonson suggests going up a size.

Instructions: They were very good but I didn’t follow them. The entire garment is lined and I didn’t want to do this. This was a muslin and I didn’t have enough fabric. Plus, it seemed like too much fabric and layers for a knit top.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the look of the top on the pattern envelope. I met Christine Jonson at ASG Convention and she is so personable. Tells you all about the pattern and has many garments sewn up for you see the styles up close.

I don’t know if I like the ties right under my chest. I put this top on a couple of days ago and just wasn’t sure, it feels a bit like "look at my chest" with the ties right under them! I will give it another try tomorrow for work.

Changes: First no lining. I just turned the neck edge under ¼” and topstitched it in place. I also eliminated the tie in the back. I crossed the ties in the center front as stated in the instructions and then pinned the ties to the side. Basted this side seam, tried on the top, adjusted the ties, cut them off and serged the side seams. Take a look:

Fabric: A jersey knit from Needle Nook (also purchased at ASG Convention)

Conclusion: Not sure, I should try it with the ties in the back and see how this look. I like it okay but there are several other TNT knit patterns I like better.

I have some things to give away this week. State which one you would like in the comments and I will sort them and then draw a winner. Let's see, I will draw on Friday.

I have 2 of these, subscribed at ASG Convention, forgot I had done this and bought one. Oops!

A friend gave me this to read and then pass on as a blog giveaway.

I made this pattern and didn't like the bag, in fact it was a wadder. So I will pass it on. The pattern has been cut but you can still use it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pattern Revew - New Look 6815

Pattern: New Look 6815

Description: Jacket, dress, blouse. Also included in the pattern is a pants pattern.

Sizing: 10 to 22, I made a 12.

Instructions: They were good, I took a few detours along the way but the instructions were very helpful and easy to read.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the pattern when I purchased it. I had been looking for something to make this Michael Kors jacket.

I had torn this ad from Lucky magazine several months back.

The magazine picture, fabric and pattern have been on my cutting table most of the summer. I hope I have not missed the safari trend!

Another like is how easy this pattern went together.

Changes: I used the Michael Kor’s jacket from inspiration and I also used Stella McCartney jacket for more inspiration. I went back and forth to my computer today for ideas and placement.

I wanted the roll-up look of the sleeves with the tab.

I added topsitching and edgestitching to the cuffs of the sleeves to finish them. Also, I added edgestitching to the collar and front.

My jacket is longer than the model’s photo and the Michael Kors inspiration. I wasn’t sure about this and I pinned up an inch at the waistline to see if the shorter was better. It did not look right on my, so I left the longer length. That might be something others want to measure before cutting.

The jacket looked too plain and not safari inspired without the upper pockets. I used the New Look pocket and pocket flap piece which were included for the lower pockets. I folded out length and width from the pattern piece until I was happy with the size. On the flap, I only folded out width.

A couple of other things I had to do:
Baste my pockets, fabric is moleskin and it didn’t hold a press the best. The basting helped to keep the pocket shape while I pinned it to the garment and stitched it in place

Interfaced the belt. My interfacing was the perfect weight for the entire project. You could tell it did not change the hand of my fabric just added substance. I purchased this from Fashion Sewing Supply
The moleskin also needed a bit more edgestitching to keep it in place. You can see that on the cuff of the sleeve. I edgestitched the bottom edge to hold the cuff in place.

Fabric: A moleskin from Needle Nook Fabrics. Anne suggested this fabric for the weight and the wrong side is great for unlined garments. Another plus it doesn't wrinkle.

Conclusion: A fantastic pattern with great results. I spent all day in the sewing room working on this and I am very happy with how it turned out. My question to you, can I put a long sleeve shirt under it and wear for cooler days? I see that trend with other short sleeve jackets and hope it will work with the safari look. So fashionistas speak up!

Hard Work Pays Off

I had most of the day to myself and I worked very hard in my sewing room. New Look 6815, I hope I am not too late for the safari trend!

I will write one of my review posts tonight but wanted to put up a picture. Now off to pick up a couple of girls.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Me in Hot Patterns Top

I had Kaitlyn snap a couple of pictures of me in my new top this morning. We were able to get three before my battery died. I uploaded two, one is a close-up and one you can see the length of the top better.

I finished a Christine Jonson top last night and cut out a safari jacket today. Plus, went to Joann's and brought home quite a bit of fabric. Yea, my sewing mojo is coming back.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pattern Review - Hot Patterns Metropolitan Tie Me Down Tops

Pattern Review

Pattern: Metropolitan Tie Me Down Tops

Description: Semi-fitted Top has center front seam and a tie neck. Top features shaped hemline, with shirring at the shoulders and center back for a fabulous fit. Choose from short gathered flutter sleeves, or full length gathered sleeves with a shirred cuff. Top pulls on over the head for super-easy dressing.

Sizing: 6 to 26, I made a 10. I could have tapered it in around the waist but the instructions indicate that is what the back shirring is to do.

Instructions: The instructions were simple and easy to understand, their diagrams were very helpful. I did find one mistake. The tie is suppose to have a notch, you sew the long tie RST to the notch, clip to the notch, turn right sides out. The portion of the tie not sew together attaches to the neck edge. Without the notch you are not sure what amount of the tie to leave open. I measured the flat pattern neckline and subtracted a bit more. This helped pull the neckline to the body.

Likes/Dislikes: There were no dislikes at all. I really like this top and it looks so much better on me than my dressform which is unusual. Make sure you use soft, fluid knits with a little stretch-try silk(y) jersey or a drapey t-shirting as indicated on the pattern. The fabric will make all the difference in the world.

Changes: I made no changes this time. I want to make it again in the long sleeve version and will add 1-2” in the length.

I did stitch the hem as a double rolled hem to add weight to the garment.

Fabric: A wonderful, soft jersey from Needle Nook Fabrics. I purchased this at ASG Convention.

Conclusion: This top really makes the grade and it is a winner. I have wanted this top since Hot Patterns first brought it out and bought it this summer during a sale. I am so happy I broke down, it was well worth it.

I ordered a nice gray knit from Needle Nook and wanted a nice basic shirt. I used Jalie 2005 but my sizing is a bit wrong. This top is big through the shoulders and under the arms. Time to trace another one.

I have a RTW top with a pintucked yoke. I wanted to duplicate the look, I did vertical pintucks, didn't have to worry about the stretch of the fabric and spaced them out 1-1/2". Don't worry on me the line does not hit right down the middle of my chest. It is just above my chest!

How I did it:
cut a square of fabric larger than the yoke area. Used my chalk marker and drew a line straight with the grain, from this mark made lines every 1-1/2". I stitched all the pintucks, cut a straight line at the bottom - sewed this to fabric piece and then cut out my front.

Here you can see the pintucks. This top isn't a favorite but will be fine to wear to work. I have other knit patterns I like better.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Pattern Review - Simplicity 2914

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 2914
Description: Girls’ shorts in two lengths, knit dress and top
Sizing: 8 to 16 and 8-1/2 to 16-1/2

Instructions: They were good, I added several things to these shorts, so part of the construction was on my own.

Likes/Dislikes: Dislikes first, they were huge! I cut a size 14, dd is a 1 or 3 in RTW juniors. I had sewn the shorts to the point of the waistband and went to find my dd for a fitting. I went back down to my sewing room, used my seam ripper and started again, and I do mean again. I took 5/8” on all the side seams, took ½” from the top (the shorts were very high-waisted) and then tapered the CB seam for a more fitted waistline.

Likes – cute style, good length and shorts don’t take a long time to sew!

Well, dd wanted another Simplicity pattern. I picked it up on sale at Joann’s but I picked up the plus size pattern. I really didn’t want to buy another pattern and the changes were just pockets. I drafted a front cargo type pocket and a back pocket. I looked at a pair of her RTW jeans for some topstitching ideas for the back pocket. These were easy changes and saved me a bit of money, I didn’t have to buy that pattern.

A lightweight twill from Joann’s

Conclusion: If you are aware of the sizing factor beforehand, this is a cute pattern for a young girl. I have also made the dress from this pattern. I think it is darling and fits nicely. I hope dd#3 wears it sometime for pictures.

Some pictures from the backyard:

Wedding Update

Wedding place booked
Wedding reception is in our backyard, renting tents, chairs, etc. Bride and groom said it was the prettiest place they looked at. Isn't that sweet of them.

Tried on wedding dresses and bridesmaid dressses.

Purchased to books and these favor boxes:
They were on clearance at Michael's, $5 each. We were only going to use them as decoration on the tables but decided to use them for favor boxes for each guest. My SIL looked around her town and they were out of the blue.

So anyone who reads this blog going to be stopping by Michaels? If so would you please look for 3 boxes of these? I would happy to pay you for the gas, postage and (of course) the boxes.

Front looks like this:

UPC information

Thank you