Friday, July 17, 2015

Easy & Cool Summer Top

Since I love wearing cotton woven tops during the summer, I was intrigued when I saw Butterick 6215. 
When Butterick's were on sale at Joann Fabrics, I picked it up.


The most important way to insure a successful project is to pick the right fabric and this time I did.  
I sewed it from a soft, light-weight cotton print that's perfect for this top.

What do I like about this pattern?
It's quick and easy to make - no buttonholes.
It's cool and comfortable to wear
And the fit is good - a V-neck that's not loo low cut.

The only change I made was to the length of the back.  I didn't like the extreme hi-low hemline. 
So, I shortened it a couple inches.

 I wasn't sure about it, but now that I've worn it, I really do like it.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Black & White Dots Top

I've finished another top.

I used Vogue 9057 and made view B.   With a few changes I got the loose tunic type top that I wanted.  First, I lengthened it by 2 inches.  Then I added fullness through the waist and hips by moving the center of the pattern away from the fold of the fabric.  And, obviously, I shortened the sleeves.  I really like how it turned out.

 Vogue 9057

The black and white dot fabric is a light weight ITY that's perfect for summer tops. It's very soft and was easy to work with.  I don't remember where I got it, but I bought 4 yards.  This top only took 1 yard, so I still have a lot of it left.

The black fabric that I used for the sleeves is a thin poly knit from Joann's. I also used it for the neckband. This is the method I used for the neck: cut a strip 2 inches wide and fold it in half; attach it to the neck and then serge the seam; then fold the seam down and top stitch.

I like the contrast of the black sleeves and neckband with the print fabric.  I also like the rounded shape of the hem.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sheer Top

Sometimes the simplest things turn out to be the best.  Like this top:

The fabric is a sheer black and silver that I got at Joann's.  I paid $5.25 a yard and only used 1 yard.  I made narrow bias binding from a light-weight silvery/gray fabric I had in my stash, and used it to finish the neck, sleeves and hem.


I wear it with a black cami underneath.  It's nice and cool on these hot summer days.

I didn't have a pattern for what I wanted, so I altered Vogue 8880. I removed the waistline seam and the neckline darts.

I like how it turned out.  It's comfortable and fun and I get compliments whenever I wear it.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sleeveless Knit Top & Mesh Jacket

Butterick 5925 was the starting point for this top. I've used this pattern a couple times before and really like it.  I make a size medium and the fit is good with only minor alterations. 
 This time, I left off the pockets and made it sleeveless.

This was one of those projects that just happened as I went along.  When I started, I didn't have a clear idea of what this top would be. The print fabric was left over from a maxi skirt project, and I used it to cut the front and then added the black band across the bottom.  I initially thought I would use the black fabric for the back, but didn't have enough of it, so I used it as the side pieces.  I also bound the neckline and armholes with strips of the black knit.

t can be cool in the office, so I wanted a little something to  wear over sleeveless tops.

I had 1-1/2 yards of this mesh-like fabric that I bought the fabric at Joann Fabrics.

I started with an oop pattern for a simple jacket and then made a few changes to get the shape I wanted.

I wore the set to work and it was very comfortable.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Silky Summer Tops

I love wearing silky tops for summer and recently made 2 using McCall's 7093.

For the first version, I made the length of view " D" with the pockets from view "B" and made short sleeves.  I used 3 different fabrics: a blue floral and solid blue that I had in my stash and I picked up the white "silky" from Joann Fabrics.  I don't really like the white fabric,  but it was the only thing I could find at the time.

I bound the neckline with bias strips cut from the blue fabric.

I made a straight size 16 with no alterations.  It's a little big through the shoulders and bust - and maybe a little too long.

For the 2nd top,  for the front section I used a silky print that I've had in my stash for years and black for the back and sleeves.  This version is a little shorter than the first and uses the curved back hem of view "c".  I wasn't sure I'd like the longer back hem, but I really do.  I made this one a size smaller from the waist up, and the fit is good.

I'm sure I'll get a lot of wear out of both of these tops this summer.

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.