Monday, February 29, 2016

Super SIMPLE knit dress!

This dress and pattern is PERFECT for beginners. A very easy and quick sew. A good way to practice with knits.

It's also perfect for you advanced sewers. Why? Because it is a comfy knit dress of course!

The pattern I used was Simplicity 1358. I had intended to use view B but ended up using view C. This happened because I obviously don't know how to count and did not have enough fabric to make view B. I debated on ordering more fabric but decided I couldn't be patient and went with the shorter dress.

The dress only took a couple hours to sew up. Luckily for me my mom is letting me borrow her sewing machine until I can buy a better one so I actually could use a stretch stitch.

And here is the dress..

I love the fabric, It is very bright colors. Perfect for spring and summer. Right now it's warm enough to wear during the day, just not mornings or evenings. But soon I can wear it regularly. And I will.

The fabric is called Aqua Green Peacock-Inspired Polyester Jersey Knit and I got it from Mood Fabrics.

I used a size 12 pattern and cut it out to a size 14 for my hips. No other modifications were made. 

And because it is knit it is super easy to bend down and stretch while wearing.

Yep. I have backyard chickens. Because, why not? These are my two girls. They are terrific. Raised them from babies. Fresh eggs from free range hens.

Mmmm fresh eggs...

And because this is a sewing blog, not a backyard chicken blog. One more shot of the dress..

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Simplicity 1363

My plan was to create the perfect nautical themed outfit. The sailor pants I attempted to make were supposed to be the bottoms. This was supposed to be the top. I have to get the pants to fit because I love this top. Super comfortable!

So the pattern I used for the top was Simplicity 1363 view D.

It says "easy to sew" but I would have to disagree. How to make the neck band is like a foreign language to me. I could not figure out what the heck Simplicity wanted me to do. I started an online search to find other bloggers who may have made it to see what they said. Well, I'm happy to report I'm not the only one who had problems with this pattern. Seems a lot of people made it up as they went. So that's exactly what I did.

For the neck band I just put it right sides together raw edges even then sewed 3/8". Then I understitched. It seems to have worked fine.

And the result?

I know it's crooked on the bottom on this picture, but I promise it does really lay straight :)

The fabric I used was Chagall Crepe de Chine Scrolls Navy/Creme, which I bought at The fabric is lightweight, almost opaque, and very soft and comfortable. The only negative is it is 100% polyester.

The back of this pattern has a button closure. But it is loose enough that I can easily pull it on and off.

I'm already pear shaped so I think this might influence it more. Probably not the best thing for me. But I still like it.

And this is the reason why I wanted this top for my sailor pants. Short in the front to show off the cute front of the pants.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My first pants!

I have finally attempted my first pair of pants! My inspiration for these pants came from Erica Bunker and her blog post here. The second I saw them I knew I wanted the pattern to make a pair of my own. The next day I went out and got it.

The pattern is Simplicity 8058. I just love everything nautical. This is a good way to get it without overdoing it.

So, I did go to the store and picked up the pattern the very next day. Where I messed up was grabbing the size pattern I usually get for tops (size 12). Well, I'm definitely not a 12 in pants. I'm not even sure what size I am, probably an 18.

Once I had the pattern I knew I would have to add width to it. So I carefully measured out to a size 18 and marked the pattern (or the fabric) to make up for the size. And of course, made a muslin to try out.

I tried on the muslin (without a zipper) and it seemed to fit fine. This is cotton and my actual fabric is ponte knit so I knew I would have extra stretch in the real pair. I figured I was good to go and make my pants.

So once again, I carefully marked out the pattern to a size 18 using navy blue ponte knit I bought at Joann's

It took me days but I worked my way through the instructions. Somehow I managed to sew the pockets closed. WTF did I do? I have no clue. I made tons of pockets on all those pajamas I made...

And the final result? Well, you won't see me modeling them for you. They don't fit. I'm so sad, because I love them so much. They are just barely too small. Something went wrong somewhere. Or, I just picked the wrong size. I can get the zipper halfway up, but not all the way. Time to lose some weight! And now I have just another reason to do it.

But I did finish them. So here are some poor lighting indoor shots for you (sorry).

That was my first time ever dealing with a zipper. Not even back in high school did I attempt one in my sewing class. It's not perfect. But the pants are wearable, if I could only fit into them.

Sorry the picture is sideways. The blog I use doesn't have cropping or editing features for images. The zipper top is supposed to be tucked between the layers but it slipped out when I was sewing and I didn't notice until it was too late.

So those are my pants. If ever I fit into them I will be sure to add some pictures of me wearing them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Seriously? Another t-shirt?

I know. It's another t-shirt. But what can I say? I like me some t-shirts. They are comfy! Plus, this is what I really needed. But soon you will see me tackling some new things. Especially now that it's warming up outside. 73 degrees today!

My first time attempting a Butterick pattern. Butterick 5354 Fast & Easy to be exact. I used my standard size 12 top and graded it out to a 14 for my hips.

I decided to make the short sleeve (green) version.

I have to say, if you are beginner and you are doing one of your very first patterns do not start with Butterick. Start with Simplicity or McCall's. Not that this was very difficult, they just don't explain things as thoroughly in the pattern instructions as Simplicity or McCall's. They expect you to know more and have some experience.

For example, this is an instruction from Butterick on how to fuse and finish a neck facing:

And here is an instruction from a standard Simplicity pattern on how to fuse and finish a neck facing:

And lastly, here is an instruction from a McCall's "Learn to Sew" pattern on how to finish a neck facing:

So as you can see, depending on the pattern company, instructions on how to do the exact same thing can differ. I'm sure there are many other detailed instructions, and lacking instructions out there.

And now hopefully you can save yourself some stress. And for those people who roll their eyes because this is sewing 101, sorry, let's move on to my top!

This is what I get for having my husband take the pictures. He didn't tell me to fix the shirt! Also, sorry for the wrinkles. I hate to iron.

Since it was too dark to go out and re-take the picture here is it up close on my dress form.

I like how the sleeves are sewn on. I have never done them this way before. For some reason it reminded me of a flower. On the bottom (in the arm pit) the result is this..

See my zigzag stitch? Yeah, I still need a new sewing machine. Just have to decide which one to get and how much I am willing to spend.

The fabric used was from my very first order from Mood Fabrics. Yay! The fabric is dark pink medium-weight cotton jersey. You can find it here. It's very comfortable. I probably won't wear it when its 100 degrees outside, but it is wonderful in this weather.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A top for work - Simplicity 8061

Tops. Lots and lots of tops. Preferably ones that I can wear to work. That's kind of what I am focused on. But now that the weather is warming I think it may change. Because dresses. Yes, I need to make me some for my vacation this summer. Woohoo.

I actually finished this top last weekend. It wasn't a difficult one at all. But I wound up getting sick during the week and today was the first day I had the energy to dress and put on makeup for pictures. I'm still not 100% but this is what you get.

So anyway, on to the top! For this one I used Simplicity 8061. I used my standard size 12 for tops. However, because of what happened on my last top, I graded it out to a size 14 for my hips. Oh the joys of being pear shaped... Is their a better name than pear shaped? It's not really attractive..

I like this pattern because of all the different variations. Super easy to make so many different tops. Really perfect for work wear. I went with view C because I don't have any tops in RTW that are squared off at the top.

And the result was...

That's my dog in the bottom corner. He wanted to hang out for this photo shoot. It was so beautiful outside! Almost 70 degrees.

The neckline is a little crooked but I think that has to do more with how I was standing and moving then what the pattern ends up looking like. It is usually straight.

My one problem was the sleeves. Why are they poofing out on top? Does anyone know? Please help!

None of my other shirts seem to have the poofy problem.

The shirt also has this detailing on the side. I don't think my camera picked it up well though for the picture. But you get the idea.

I haven't quite perfected the turning of the stitch up top there. But I did much better this time than I have on other shirts I have attempted it on.

Typically I would wear this shirt with slacks to work. But being sick and all I just threw the top on with some jeans.

The fabric is from Hancock Fabrics and you can find it here. It is called Rayon Challis Blurred Floral Natural Rayon Fabric. Whew! What a name. It is 100% Rayon and sooooo comfortable. I can't get over how soft it is. But I found a flaw on it while I was sewing. I'm so sad. Looks like something got caught on it and there is a run. So I recommend inspecting it, and other fabrics, before you buy.