Sunday, May 24, 2015

Knit Maxi Skirt

I didn't use a pattern to cut this simple maxi skirt which is basically an A-line.  I made the back a little bigger than the front to allow for hip room.  I then added a waistband.  I made it one day and wore it the next.  I paired it with a basic black tee and black sandals.   The fabric is an ITY that I believe I bought at WalMart several years ago.  This skirt took about 2-1/2 yards and I still have a couple yards left.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Handbag

Since the weather has warmed up, I've been planning to make a summer handbag.  I love polka dots, so when I saw this blue and white dots fabric at Joann Fabrics on the red tag table for 50% off, I had to grab it.  When I got ready to start on my purse, I went diving thru my stash for some coordinating fabric and I came up with this blue tropical print.  It looks so summery and beachy.   This print is also a home d├ęcor from Joann Fabrics.  I used a solid blue from the stash for the lining.

There's a large zippered pocket on one side and an open pocket on the other.  Inside there's a cell phone pocket and a small zippered pocket. 

I used white plastic drapery rings on the straps.

I used plastic canvas to stiffen the bottom.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Outfit

For the pants, I used this Simplicity pattern.

This pattern is designed for stretch knits, and for the test pair, I used a medium weight poly-blend brown knit I had in my stash.  My measurements put me in a size 18, but I didn't want mine to be form fitting, so after looking at the finished garment measurements,  I decided to cut a 20.  This was a good decision.  Given that I made this pair without any modifications to the pattern, I'm truly amazed at how well they fit.  I do have my normal wrinkles in the back and some tightness in the back crotch curve, but they're pretty good.  I left out the front and back darts and zipper and added an elastic waistband.   I really like the shape of the legs and the hip curve.  Only dislike is how high the waist is, but that's easy to fix.  I'm hoping to refine the fit of this pattern and use it to make some summer pants and capri's.

Even though it doesn't look much like it, I used this pattern for the top:

I started out making view E, but about half way into it, I realized it wasn't going to work.  So I made some changes. Instead of having the bodice cross over, I just stitched it up the center front.  And I changed the gathers on the lower section to pleats. Now that it's finished,  I like the top, but probably won't try this pattern again.

The only thing that's the same as the pattern are the flutter sleeves. 

I really like this fabric, and this is the second top I've made from it.

And finally, a picture of my lilac bush starting to bloom.  It smells so good.  I hope the frost doesn't get it.

Friday, April 3, 2015


I've  attempted to make panties a couple times in the past, but had trouble with the fit and the elastic application, so I quickly gave up.   But I was determined not to be defeated this time.  I spent the month of March working on this and my perseverance has paid off - 8 new pair of undies!

For the first 2 pair, I used a gray cotton/lycra knit I got at WM for $1.50 yard.  It's really perfect for this as it's thin and very stretchy.  I happened to have a small piece of matching gray lingerie elastic and used it for the waist and legs of the first pair.  The second pair I used white elastic since I didn't have any more of the gray.

For the next two, I used the same gray cotton knit and some left over poly stretchy knits for the waist bands and legs.  These are comfortable and I like them, but the leg bands do stretch out.

The black print is a ITY knit leftover from a dress project; white cotton knit for crotch; and stretchy black knit for waistband and leg bands.

The pink & blue is a cotton knit left from some past project and white cotton knit for waistband and leg bands.  The cotton print does not stretch up and down, so they ride a little low.  And the cotton knit I used for the waist and legs does not have good recovery, so stretches out during the day.  This pair looks so cute, but not that great to wear.    Lesson learned.

These last two pair are my favorites.  I used the same gray fabric as before.  I've decided I prefer the combination of  stretchy knit fabric for the waistbands and picot elastic for the legs.  I finally figured out the right length for the leg elastic and have gotten pretty good at applying it.  And after several alterations, I have a good fit on the pattern.


I used the pattern from this book and kept altering it until I have one that works for me.  I changed a little here and there, but the main alteration was adding more coverage to the lower check area. 
This book also has patterns for slips and  camisoles.  And the instructions are really good.

I honestly didn't think I'd like sewing panties.  And at first, it was fiddly, but I once I got the hang of it, I enjoyed making them.  And it was good learning new techniques. Now that I have a TNT pattern and have ordered more elastic, I'm sure I'll make more in the near future.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Old Patterns

I was helping my mother-in-law do some cleaning at her house and found a drawer of old patterns.  I picked out a few that I like and are my size.  They aren't anything special or valuable, but they have sentimental value to me, and I might sew them.  If not, maybe my granddaughter will one day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Knit Tops

I recently made four knit tops and decided to review all of them in one post.

For the first top, I used a Marcy Tilton pattern - Vogue 9057.  I love this pattern.


Here's the front

And the back  

Side view

The print fabric was purchased several years ago at WalMart and this is the second top I've made from it.  It's a poly-blend, but is actually pretty nice.

For the 2nd top, I used this New Look pattern. 

A black & gray lace sweatshirt

I like this top, except I made the neckline too big.  It's too low, especially for a winter time, so I wear a lightweight top underneath it.

Another Vogue 9057

For this one, I used a reversible knit from Joann Fabrics.  It's dots on one side and stripes on the other.  I had planned to use the striped side for the sleeves or maybe the back or even the cuffs,  but I didn't really like the look of it.   It seems like a wasted opportunity, but I just couldn't make it work.  So I only used the stripe for the neckband.  

Last one and my favorite

For this top, I used Butterick 5925

This is the 2nd time I've made this pattern.  I made my usual size medium, but I changed the shape of the neckline and added cuffs to the sleeves.

The print fabric is a beefy cotton blend that I've had for a long time, and don't remember where I bought it.  I love the colors & pattern of the print and it's so soft & comfy.  For contrast, I used a blue ponte for the side inserts, sleeve cuffs and neck binding; and a black/gray slub for the pockets.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Flower Garden Quilt

I saw this pattern in a magazine several years ago and loved it. I also liked the idea of hand piecing a quilt. I've hand quilted quilts, but never hand pieced one.  I enjoyed working on it, but really glad it's finished.  It turned out quite a bit bigger than I planned - closer to king size than queen, which means it will be hard to wash.  I'm almost afraid to use it.  It would be nice to use on a quest bed, more as a display piece.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Simplicity 1543 - Knit Tunic

   My first project for 2015


I used this OOP pattern and made a size medium at the top, going out to large at the hips.  This pattern has a lot of ease and is very loose fitting.  I think I should have made a smaller size.

My daughter-in-law got me this pretty scarf for Christmas and it looks great with this top. 
It was nice that the weather was warm enough to take pictures outside.

Even though the pattern calls for a knit fabric, I don't see any reason it couldn't be make with a woven fabric.  My fabric came from zincksfabric.com/ in Berlin, OH.   It's a textured knit and I paid $3.00 yard for it. 

I added 4 inches to length of this top to turn it into a dress to wear with leggings or tights.

This is a cute top/dress that I think I'll like wearing, but most likely won't make it again. It does have some interesting details.  The sleeves have long "cuffs" that have drawstrings on them.  And the pockets are open on the side.  I like that the hem is a little longer on the sides than the center front.