"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Picture Sewing

Happy New Year's Eve!
My blog has somewhat fallen by the wayside.  It just hasn't been as exciting or important to get modeled shots of everything I'm making for myself and my girls lately.
I will share with you my Christmas photo and tell you about the me-made's in the picture.

I am wearing my second version of Vogue 8742.  I must not have cut the knit quite on the grain, because the seams were all twisty towards the bottom of the dress (which has nothing to do with me crossing my legs... I was trying to stop the wind from making me have a Betty Boop moment with the dress showing the "v" of my crotch area.  It kinda worked.).  I may try to cut it to tunic length to get some wear out of it, but honestly, I'm totally happy just sewing it for this picture.  The fabric cost me about $12 and I had already sewn it in purple, so it went quickly.  I couldn't have found it in a store as quickly as I sewed it, nor for that price, so I'm content.
My girls are wearing t-shirts made from Burlap Button's Tummy Topper pattern and the pettiskirts are from Tulips and Eidelweiss' Lulu pattern.  I highly recommend both patterns, although they are on opposite ends of the spectrum for time investment.  The Tummy Topper is so quick and easy.  The Lulu is tedious and time consuming, but well written with super awesome payoff at the end.

I barely finished all the sewing before we left for Destin and was just crossing my fingers for one good shot.  We had the camera on the tripod in the sand and set it to take, like, 10 consecutive shots with a delay before starting so my husband could push the button and then run to his spot in the sand.

We had a bit of a setback when the wind kicked up.

Expensive Nikon crashing down into sandy beach = not good.

We set it back up and buried the tripod a little deeper in the sand and it was after that that we got the shot that we put on our Christmas card, so I'm glad we pressed on.

Maybe we'll get an actual photographer next year.  Who knows?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Vogue 8742

Hooray for more stash busting and perfect pattern/fabric pairing.  I bought Vogue 8742 after seeing Leisl blog her amazing orange one.
Don't ask me what kind of fabric this is.  It's knit and I got it off the remnant table at G Street Fabrics near DC.  (Are you tired of hearing me say that about fabric yet?)  I had to have it because of the color. My favorite color is purple and this is one fabulous shade of purple.

I don't really have much to write as far as a pattern review.  I loved it.  It was straightforward and everything matched up.  

I was scared at the thought of inserting a zipper into knit, but it turns out that I didn't need to anyway.  I feel like I have to be gentle getting it over my head, but it really has plenty of room.

I took it in a smidge in the back because of my sway back.  I just shaped it a bit so it would curve with me.  That's a super easy fix though, since I could just put it on inside out and mark where I needed to change it.

I'm not totally sold on my look with the ankle boots.  I bought these boots specifically to go with this dress and the belt I already had.  I made this dress to wear to a wedding being held at an old schoolhouse/farm event space, so I wanted to let that guide my fashion choices a bit.  As I said, not sure I made the right choices, but whatever, I still love the dress and will just style it differently next time.

I'm already considering making another with 3/4 length sleeves and a lower cut back for family Christmas pictures.
I am glad I saw Leisl's inspiration and glad to have this pattern in my collection.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

There's No Saving It

Some times I can get myself out of a pickle, and sometimes, I can just tell that it's not worth trying.
I need to go get some shut-eye, so this is going to be short and sweet.

I cut this out a long time ago so I haven't the faintest idea why it's so short.  It can't be the pattern (Simplicity 2599), because this pattern is well-reviewed and well-loved.
Issue Number 1: too short for some unknown reason
Issue Number 2: dart in completely wrong place for me

See where my fingertip is?  That's the end of the dart.  See where my thumb is?  That's where I need the dart to point to and to end.
I can't blame the pattern on this one either because I didn't mark my darts very well.  It usually turns out pretty ok when I eye it, but not this time!

Issue Number 3: the poofy ruffles!

This synthetic something-or-other fabric that I got from Hancock's sure is pretty, but it won't hold a crease and it's too floaty and not drapey enough for those ruffles.  They look downright stupid.  Very clown-like.

Issue Number 5: print + ruffles = too loud and confusing

I actually think the lovely spatter print on this fabric that I was attracted to, doesn't really work with all the ruffles.  It's too much going on, yes?

Just goes to show how important it is to match the right fabric type and print to the right pattern.  And how important it is to cut things out according to the pattern.... and to sew them according to the pattern.
Really, pretty much everything is important.  It was all too much stacked against this top for it to have any hope of not being a wadder.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I bought some jegging fabric, like, months ago and it's been sitting in a pile.  I was in my post about plans to sew things... my stashbusting post and I've finally busted it!
I had plans to sew some leggings for myself and for my two girls and I've sewn two out of three, so that's something!
Here are mine, made from McCalls 6173.  Sorry, no awesome or styled shots.  These are just with the t-shirt I had on and with my Photo Booth on my Mac.

I altered the fit (again... this is the second, maybe third time) and I'm kind-of sorry I did because they are a leeeeeetle tight for this particular fabric, especially at the calves.
I wanted to do something different with these besides hem them at the bottom so I made long cuffs.  I was thinking of doing little buttons up the outside of the cuffs, but I'm not sure if they would bother me with boots on.

I don't even really have anything in mind to wear them with, besides boots.  What do you wear jeggings with?
I made them with a knit waist band because I was inspired by another pattern to try it out on these.

Wanna see the other pair of leggings and see the inspiration for the knit waistband?

It's Titchy Threads Fancy Pants pattern. It's part of the Sew Fab bundle, one of 26 patterns for $29.95
My babe is wearing her Fancy Pants jeggings with the Molly Blossom Buttercup Tunic.

This leggings pattern is really great.  There is a long and short version and a knit waistband option (thus the idea for mine). There's a panel in the bum that's great for nappy-wearing babes or just for active toddlers who want to do "tricks" without splitting a seam.

If you have a babe or two of your own and you'd like to see what else is in the Sew Fab bundle has to offer before it's gone on October 8th, you can read about the rest of it here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Favorite, Miniaturized

The photo above is from a while ago, but I had to show you again one of the two cowl-neck Sewaholic Renfrews I've made.

I remember thinking back when I made them, "I wonder if I could miniaturize this?"  I wanted to be able to make something like this for my two little girls.  I never tried, but thank goodness, someone else has made a pattern for it so I don't have to make mistakes and waste fabric trying to figure it out for myself.
I introduce to you the Bimaa by LouBee Clothing.

There are actually three options in this pattern; a rolled neck band, a cowl neck and a hood.
The hooded Bimaas I've seen are totally adorable and I already bought fabric today to make on for my little sweetie.

Now how am I going to draft a hood for my Sewaholic pattern?!

Do you need a mini cowl pattern in your life?  How about 25 other patterns with it and all for $29.95?  The Bimaa is a part of the Sew Fab bundle, only available through the 8th of October.  Want more info and a chance to purchase your own?
Head over here, see all the patterns that are included and read all about it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Still Stashbusting... and a Confession

If you missed the original stashbusting post, it's here.

One of my paired fabric/pattern plans has come to life in this gorgeous bright purple knit that I found on the remnant table at G Street Fabrics during a trip last fall to DC.  It's not done yet and this was just a quick photo taken with my computer.  I'll be wearing it to a wedding in a couple weeks, so I'll get better pictures then.  I love this pattern (V8742) and can completely see myself making another.

I had plans to make a McCall's 5241 cardi in blue knit, until I got a pattern from the Sew Fab bundle that I thought would work just as well.  This is the Infinity Sweater by One Girl Circus.  For now, it is exclusively available through the Sew Fab sale.

I felt so lucky to have exactly the right knit in my stash for this.  It's thin, but not rolly.  It's nice and flowy and has some weight to it, which makes it drape so nicely.  I also got this on the remnant table at G Street Fabrics!  I bought the whole piece and it turned out to be just enough for this pattern, which calls for 2 yards.
The Infinity Sweater goes together sooooooo fast.  There isn't any edge finishing, so picking the right knit is important.  

I like the trendy super long version and the versatility of it, but this could easily be made into a short, hip-length version and be equally cute.   I'm even considering trying it in a woven like a rayon challis and doing a rolled hem on the edges.

Here's a link to see the rest of the patterns in the bundle and my affiliate link to buy your own bundle, which includes the Infinity Cardigan.

In my post (here) about knits, I also showed you a swimsuit I'd made.  Although not from the original pattern I'd envisioned, it still counts toward my stash busting.

So that's three more down and 8 more to go to meet my pledge of 13 garments sewn from my stash before I buy any more fabric for myself.  

And now... the confession.  I bought fabric.  Of course that was the confession, right?  And you probably knew better than I did that it was going to happen, I bet.  I seem to be in sync with Kelly and there's some consolation in being bad together.

My little bit of good in my being bad is that I have specific intentions for each piece of fabric.  I ordered this from Girl Charlee:

I'm sure it will be all over the blogosphere, but I can't resist feathers!  I'm going to make a knit Grainline Scout Tee with this.

Which I plan to use to make a dress inspired by this one from Mod Cloth (no longer available), 

which I have been coveting from afar.  I read some reviews on it that said the fabric was fairly thin, so I bet mine will be even better.  Also, as much as I love a rainbow, mine could potentially be worn across all seasons because of that nice grounding brown in there, don't you think?

Did I make my case well enough?  Do you forgive me for cheating?

The Best Deal on Patterns You'll Get All Year

The Sew Fab bundle is now available for purchase. (My blogs are only two of many places you can purchase the bundle through affiliate links....which means that wherever you purchase, that's the person that gets a percentage of the sale.)
They are already going like hotcakes and I am still working through the bundle so I'll have plenty of pretties to show you. If you don't think you need it now, I bet you'll be overwhelmed by the amount of awesomeness you will see by the end of the week and then you'll really neeeeeeeed it. Haha! So, just buy it now so you can have something cute sewn by the end of the week instead!

Here's the official blog post with all the details and links to purchase.  (do read all the way to the end because there's free stuff to be had through giveaways)

Just a few little teasers:

If you can't stand to wade through the long post on my Molly Blossom Design blog and you realize your immediate neeeeeeeeed for these patterns, just go right to the shopping cart, pay, download and get started!

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Sew Fab Sale


A little teaser over on my business blog for the second annual Sew Fab Sale.  I was an affiliate last year, selling the bundle through this blog.  This year, I'm proud to be a designing contributor and will be posting all about the sale and showing you my makes of quite a few of the patterns over at my business blog, Molly Blossom Design.
I have been steadily sewing through the bundle since the designers got to play with it early.  Let me tell you, there is some really great stuff in here!  For my daughters, I will have one dress, two tunics, a coat, a shirt, a cardi (and another for ME, hello selfish sewing) and possibly more to show you.
Can't wait?
Neither can I!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Knits Are My New Fave

These t-shirts are all from Ottobre Magazine.  The cutest ever owl knit is from Stoffe and so are the hearts (which I also got in pink).  I loved that ruched sleeve tee so much that I made two.  They will be perfect layering pieces as the weather cools.

My jump-roping girl is wearing a Charlie Mack-a-doodle dress.  My good friend made this pattern because she loves knit dresses for her girls, but wanted to have a slimmer alternative than she could find available in a pattern.  This pattern makes a great tank top, then there is an optional drop-waist pattern piece (I also added a ruffle) and a full or 3/4 circle skirt option.  So it's a build-your-own kind of thing.  This dress is going to be great layered over my purple ruched-sleeve shirt.

To add to the knit cuteness, the designer of the above pattern is about to release a t-shirt pattern with sleeve options.  The cool thing is that you could just add the drop waist and skirt onto the t-shirt and have a flutter, short or long-sleeved dress.
Here is my tester tee.

One more stretch fabric garment to show.

I never did take the time to do any more muslins on that "perfect" 70's swim suit pattern, but I did make myself a suit from a ladies' underwear pattern by Jocole. Again, there are tons of options: high-waisted, brief, bikini, boy short, different leg openings, lace accents, ruching.  Seriously, this is the only underwear pattern you will ever need.
 I just winged the top and it still needs some elastic in the bottom and cups sewn in.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Swimsuit Fail

That was pretty much worse than shopping for a swimming suit.
I attempted the 70's Stretch 'n Sew pattern I have with some of the swim fabric I bought from Fabric.com a while ago on sale.  I used the measurements on the envelope.  Apparently, those measurements are crap.
The top part of this suit does not cover what is supposed to be covered!  The torso is super short on this thing.  And I have a regular to short torso, so that means the pattern is reeeeeealllly short!
And listen, I know my butt is big, but I'm going to need about four more inches added on to the hips and that low back that happens to be, like, the main reason I bought this pattern? It shows crack.  Seriously, my butt wouldn't fit in the suit!
Women in the 70's were waistless and buttless apparently.

Here it is, lying in shame.

I can see the potential, though, so all hope is not yet lost.  Hopefully, the next version will not be so scandalous and, well, plain ol' ridiculous.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Watercolor Stripe Maxi

This busted stash fabric is from my stock-up trip to the G Street Fabric (DC) remnant table last year.  It's a super-soft, springy knit in a blue/purple watercolor stripe.  I have loved it ever since I bought it, but just couldn't seem to match it with it's perfect pattern.
At the time I bought it, I had a dark blue maxi dress that I wore all the time and didn't want another blue maxi dress, but that maxi dress has since been given to Goodwill and now this fabric can fulfill it's destiny.
I used McCalls 6559 View D, the one without the racer back.  I knew I wanted a blouson top, so I cut fairly straight down from the armpit to the hips.  After I made it, I just put it on in front of a mirror and bloused it out a little and marked where the elastic would go.  I put 3/4 inch elastic around the smallest part of my torso, just under my ribcage and cut it at a comfortable length.  I sewed in into a continuous band and then zig-zag stitched it to the inside of my dress.

Hemming this sucker STUNK!  I hemmed just the front and it was, like 4" difference from one side to the other!  After a couple of tries and some seam ripping (which is so dangerous in knits!!) I got it.

I raised the neckline fairly significantly when I cut the front piece and then had to gather it in the middle because the knit was soooooo stretchy.  Oh well, bonus design element.

This is stash-busting garment number two of thirteen.
I think some SewaholicThurlow shorts will be up next... or possibly a swimsuit.  We'll see what strikes my fancy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Stashbusting Begins (With Not-so-great Pictures)

I've started my journey through my patterns and fabric with the goal of making at least 13 garments or waiting until the end of the year before I can buy more patterns or fabric.
It's already gotten hard to resist, so I have much motivation to get these 13 garments knocked out!
First up, Butterick 5498: the jacket that is not for warmth.
I like this pattern and I can see myself making more of these little light jackets in the future.  This is a fun way to use a pretty fabric and not have to make a dress.  I used a rayon challis floral print from Hancock Fabrics.
I apologize that I have not at all been in the mood lately to take pretty pictures of my makes.  I just plain don't feel like setting up the camera or posing.  Maybe the funk will pass, but for now you get iPhone selfies.

I like the shape, the drape, the 3/4 sleeve length and the way it naturally falls in pretty ripples.  Next time, I will make the facing extra wide, because it kept falling open too far and exposing the raw pinked edge of the facing.  I'm going to encase that raw edge in some pretty pink bias tape on this one, but next time, there just needs to be more facing.
This will be a lovely fall transition piece for my wardrobe and I look forward to pairing it with different tops and pants.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jolijou Shelly Sew-Along: I Know We Just Started, But Now We're Through

This top is truly a quick sew.  After you've got your side seams sewn up, there's only the neck, arm and hem bands to add.
I have to stop right here and admit that after I realized that I was working with three different knits with three different amounts of stretch and I am going to have variability in the length of strip I need, just like the pattern says.
And ladies, when I get derailed off of the pattern, I usually get totally derailed.  I didn't even look at the widths for the arm bands or neck band or hem band.  I just experimented with what I thought would look good and what would give me some variety.

Back to my very first muslin.  I didn't have very many options when it came to fixing it.  No extra seam allowance on the sides to let it out and, from my other experiments, I thought that unpicking the neckband and letting loose some of the gathers wouldn't really help a whole lot either.
I decided on a random idea that popped into my head based on a vintage dress pattern I'd seen.  I cut triangle shaped inserts, opened up the side seam starting at the end of the sleeve and sewed in some extra room for myself.

Then I chose skinny bands for the ends of the sleeves and a thicker band for the waist, more similar to the pattern, but my shirt is significantly shorter.
Here's the finished product.

This is a good length for me...in the front.  The yoga band makes the fabric pool atop my derrière in the back.  Which is not my favorite.

I discovered that if I stand with my hands on my hips everywhere I go, I can pretend that my armpit inserts fixed the pulling problem.

But, just between us, those wrinkles are still there.

I haven't completed the grey sweater knit version (my second muslin), but I did complete my third muslin.  I tried thicker, contrasting armbands, a longer shirt length and no hem band.

I think I'll get quite a bit of wear from this one.  It's very comfortable since I gave it more room in the armscye.  I love the fabric (glad I saved it for third!) and I like the contrasting bands.
Just goes to show that sometimes you have to find the exact right combination of things for your body and many times, a pattern can be altered a bit to work for you.  You just have to train yourself to have a critical eye.
The wrinkles are still there in this version (see how the sleeve looks twisty too?) because, as we already discussed, I would need to redraft the armcsye and sleeve to have the correct shape in the front AND the back.  

I realized after my last post about my pattern/fabric stash, that I do want to make another t-shirt in the near future and I really love the neckline of Shelly and the shaping through the waist.
See? I like how it fits my curves.

So it's still worth frankenpatterning.  I don't feel confident redrafting the sleeves for myself, but I could just steal an armcsye and sleeve from another pattern that works for me, trace it and then trace Shelly onto that. 
We shall see.