A blog devoted primarily to garment sewing - with little splashes of quilting, crafts, and misc. sewing thrown in for variety.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


I decided my porch needed a facelift, so I've cleaned and freshened it up.

I re-stained the porch swing, rocking chair, Adirondack chair and footstool, the sewing table, and the floor.

My rocking chair had a sad, flat, faded cushion that definitely needed to be replaced.  Here's the new and improved version:   I love my comfy new cushions!


 My sewing table was drab, so I re-stained the legs and covered the top with contact paper.

New throw cushion

And I got a new rug.   It really brightens up the porch!

Dining area:


Now, to enjoy sitting on it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

May Plans

First a review of how I did in April
Start on summer handbag - started but didn't get very far
Harness for Paisley - made 1 but it's not quite right, so need to try again
Make wearable pants - made 1 pair
Work on Riley's & MIL's quilts - worked on Riley's

So overall, not too bad

For May, I want to sew:

another harness for Paisley
wrap pants - Simplicity 4192
2 summer nightgowns
dress - McCall's 7242
wrap skirt - McCall's 5430
cushions for porch
work on Riley's quilt

That's a lot and probably more than I can finish, but I can roll unfinished items over into June.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

McCall's 7286 Polka Dot Top

I bought this pattern on Thursday and made it the next day.   I bought it because of the raglan sleeves and the 2 hemline options.   I made the first view - with short sleeves and rounded hem.   I plan to make the other view too.

I started with my usual size medium.  Since it's described as close-fitting and I like my tops loose through the middle, I started just below the bust and added a little to both the center and side seams.   I also made a swayback adjustment too.  The fit turned out perfect.  And the neckline fits so nice - just high enough and narrow enough. 

I love polka dots and love this fabric.  It's a very soft cotton knit that I got at Joann's a year ago and paid $2.50 yard.   I bought 4 yards and only used 1 yard for this top.  The white is a small piece I had left over from something else.

I wanted some basic summer tees that are pretty and fit better than RTW.   And I'm happy with how this first one turned out.  Now onto the next one.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sewing With My Granddaughter

I'm helping my 7 year old granddaughter make a simple flannel quilt. 

This was her first time using a sewing machine.  I'm surprised at how well she did.  She understood when I explained how the machine worked and was able to thread it by herself and sew a straight line from the beginning.

The puppy wants to "help"

The first time using an iron.

More blocks

The only part I did was the cutting.  Riley decided how she wanted to put the blocks together, pinned them, sewed them and pressed them.  She's really enjoying working on it and it's so nice spending time together. Once we get all the blocks made, we'll tack it together.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

BWOF Pants

The goal is to make pants that are both comfortable and look good.  I've read books, researched, taken on-line classes, tried various fit alterations, and made many, many test pants.  And rarely have I been happy with the results. But This pair comes pretty close.

This is an old BWOF magazine pattern,  from March 2006.  It's just a basic trouser pattern with fairly slim legs.  It has front pockets similar to jeans pockets.  I made a size 44.

My fabric is olive green stretch woven that I most likely bought at Joann Fabrics.  I've been labeling my fabric for several years and since this wasn't labeled, it's been in my stash for quite a while.   Since it has lycra in it, I was afraid they might really stretch out while I was wearing them.  But after wearing them all day, they stilled looked pretty good.

Alterations I made: I lengthened the side seams by adding 1/2 inch to the top of the waist on front & back and I added 1/2 inch to the back crotch point. 

My main fit issue in both RTW and self-made is a fold/wrinkle under the seat.  It's less in this pair, but still there on the right side.   I feel like I'm making some progress.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

April Sewing Plans

Start on summer handbag
Harness for Paisley
Make wearable pants
Work on Riley's & MIL's quilts

Review of March
Continue working on pants fitting - FINALLY MADE PROGRESS
Make 1 top for spring - YES
Work on Riley's quilt and MIL's quilt - NO

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Summer Top - McCall's 7359

I love sewing and wearing woven cotton tops. This is a great pattern with some interesting details.

What I like best is the neckline - it's a folded neckband.  I also like the front pleat - it gives room over the tummy without being maternity looking.  I also like the shape of the front horizontal seam.


I like least the cut-on, dolman sleeves.  In my fabric, they're stiff and bulky.  In a lighter fabric, they'd be better.  When I use this pattern again, I'm thinking about changing it to regular set in sleeves.  Also, the back is a little tight across the fanny for me.  Next time, to give me more room, I'll add a pleat similar to the one in the front.  It turned out shorter than I anticipated, so I will also add some length.

I made a size medium through neck and shoulders going out to large at the hips.  The only change I made was that I rounded the front hemline instead cutting straight across. I think this is more flattering.

And my sewing partner, Paisley.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Knit Top for my Sister - Simplicity 1199

I was making this top for myself,  so I made a size medium at the shoulders curving out to a large at hips. This is my usual size, but it turned out too big.  Which made my sister happy as it's perfect for her.

I used this pattern -  view C.

The only change I made was to add a band at the bottom of the front so that it's the same length as the back.  This was made from different cotton knit fabrics that were small pieces left over from other projects.  The gray prints are a reversible fabric - stripes on one side and dots on the other.  

I love the sleeve and neckbands made from the dot fabric.

For the back, I used the solid gray and white fabrics.

This is a great pattern that's really cute and went together quickly and easily.  I plan to make another one in a smaller sizer for myself.

Monday, February 29, 2016

March Sewing Plans

Continue working on pants fitting
Make 1 top for spring
Work on Riley's quilt and MIL's quilt

February Report
Pants - no real progress
Cardigan - FINISHED
Charity baby quilts - FINISHED
Riley's quilt & MIL's - some progress

Gray Cardigan

Seems like lately, I've made so many things I haven't been satisfied with.  Either they didn't fit or just didn't suit me or poor fabric choice.   I finally made something I like.

I wanted to make a drapey cardigan.  I had seen this method on another sewer's blog and decided to give it a try.  I used a basic knit top pattern and made these changes:




The original design has a lapel that folds back - which means the wrong side shows.  But my fabric isn't the same on both sides and didn't look good, so I trimmed it enough that it wouldn't show.  I had planned to add a band of contrasting fabric, but couldn't find anything I liked, so just serged and hemmed all the edges.


The fabric is a gray knit with a silver stripe running through it that I got at Joann Fabrics.  It's medium weight and very soft and drapey with a nice hand.

And cute puppy picture