Saturday, April 30, 2016

Project Mania

So, when you have two fourth graders in your home and they both have huge projects, what do you do? You freaking make them, that’s what. Each had to make an “ancient artifact” and costume to go with it. I don’t have finished pictures of the other costume, but I will soon enough. I do have this one though. She wanted a chinese kimon-type costume with giant sleeves. This, people, is why there has not been much popping up on my blog lately. I could have probably have sewn this in a few nights, but instead, I watched and helped while she sewed most of it (bent over at the waist night after arduous night helping her feed yards of ravelling jaquard through the slloooowwwly moving machine – aaauuugggghhhhhhhh!). She sewed the whole body of the gold robe and I did the black “sleeves”. Joking aside, I was really pleased by her hardwork and follow-through. We spent a little bit of time each night working on this. One night we just spent folding miniature pieces of paper and reading the directions. I’m really proud of her. She loves it and that is what really matters.

We used Simplicity 1573, View F as our starting point. I traced the largest size (8) and made the facing wider. I also added length to the hem and sleeves because she is 9 and looong. When we sewed on the facing, we flipped it to the outside instead of inside. We also made a wider Obi-type belt instead of the thinner one pictured on the pattern. Really, we didn’t change too much about the pattern. I embroidered on the dragons (Korean, not Chinese) at night after she went to bed (109 minutes of stitches per dragon!!!) and then sewed up the black panels and attached them under the arms. Whew. I’m glad that’s done. I will try to remember to post pictures of her wearing this.

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Isn’t the embroidery amazing? It’s from Urban Threads. They have pages of dragon embroidery! Here’s the one I used
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I actually did get some other sewing done while the embroidery machine was stitching it’s heart out. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Mom!

Can I just tell you how proud I am of all my kids? We did the Heart Run 5k this weekend and all four of the kids rocked. They are really becoming quite the runners. I could only find pictures of two of them at Heart Run site. Maybe the other two kiddos will pop up on pictures over the next day or two. And yes, we enjoy our face paint and spray paint. :) 

This little powerhouse finished the 5k in 27 and a half minutes!! That's a sub-9min/mile! She's very competitive though and wanted to beat everyone.

I ran with them the whole time. I always tell them I'll run with the fastest kid. That motivates them to run faster. :) You can see a green shirt behind #885.

This girl finished just one minute behind her twin.

The six year old ran the whole 5k and the 11 year-old disappeared somewhere along the way. It's so much fun now that they are older. Moms with lots of kids and twins take note: it does get easier!

I have been sewing a lot lately but some is secret sewing (and no I won't hint!) and some is for school projects (think full costumes).

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sewing for Spring

Spring is officially here. No snow, temperatures in the 50s, chicken poop in the yard, and trampoline set up. I am READY. The winter was crappy with almost no snow and continual icy conditions. I only skiied one time and I ran most of the winter. I usually take a break from running and lift more weights and do more skiing. Not this year!

Needless to say, I’m ready for the next season. I have a thing for shirt dresses right now. I looked back through my Burdas and found this little gem. It is perfect for what I was wanting to make. There is another view that has 3/4 sleeves too. This is 04-2010 #116. The only bummer about it was that the smallest size was the 38 and I’m a 34. I had to size down two sizes while tracing it. It’s more annoying than anything. When I first saw the line drawing I was like, YASSSS. I thought I would look at the model photo and, as Burda usual, it’s super unhelpful. Gee thanks, Burda.


I really like how it turned out. I used a peachskin woven fabric from Girl Charlee. I really like the weight of it and how it’s pretty easy to sew. The edges do tend to fray so you have to either serge them or do french seams.


It has a shoulder yoke and a gently curved hem at the front and back. IT has just enough ease to be fitted but still comfortable.


It does flare a bit at the bottom hem.


We are both divas. Do not sass a diva.


This is the best collar I’ve ever done. I really like how it turned out!! The thread and bobbin thread are slightly different colors of blue. Dammit! Only you guys will ever know.


There are little cuffs on the short sleeves.


I could have made buttonholes and sewed on buttons, but snaps are easier and I love these copper ones.


I love the little details on this dress, the pockets, the sleeve cuffs, and the curved hem. I didn’t try to match the pocket; I don’t think it matters much on this crazy pattern.


This is more the true color. I’m trying to incorporate more variety of colors in my clothing. I tend to wear the same colors over and over again. I chose this print because it’s pretty and it’s one of the Pantone colors for spring.


Next? More running tights. Spring cross country is starting and my little baboos need tights! (Probably. When I make a plan, my only thought is to do something else. It’s the rebel in me!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Jalie Guest Blogger

Guess who was a Jalie guest blogger today? Oh yea, ME! I used Jalie 3022 to make this really cute pair of shorts. Here’s a link to the actual post on the Jalie site. I actually have another pair of these all cut out and ready to go. This time, though, they are for swim shorts.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kwik Sew 3453 - Running Vest

This is an old KwikSew pattern that is long OOP. I’ve made this running vest before with the zipper down the front. This time though, I made it with just a small neck/front zipper. I wanted something that would layer under my windproof jacket on these chilly days we’ve been having lately. This is a wicking Merino wool. I didn’t take it off after these photos. It was so warm and snuggly. This is the size small. I didn’t make any changes except to add an inch above the bust (while leaving the armholes alone).



I made View B.


Some pooling in the back but I didn’t want to add a center seam for a swayback adjustment and it’s not too bad. Oh, I lied, I also added an inch to the CB so the back hem was a bit curved. The pattern has you making it straight across on the front and back.


This, by the way, is what most of my pictures look like from yesterday. My remote battery must be running low on juice so I was trying to do the shots from the timed option. You know, the “fiddle with camera, push button, run for your place, hope for the best” method.


The colors outside are really washed out. This is the true color of this knit. I used a hot pink knit for the trim.


One cool design feature of this vest is that the back wraps over to the front giving you an opportunity to embellish a little bit. I choose to do a faux-piping in the seam.


I hate the way the black interfacing is so visible.


Here you can see the wicking part of the knit and the thick pink knit I used for the edges. This is the same knit I used on that Ottobre dress the other day.


I think I’m making another Ottobre dress in the near future. This time it’s for a kid, not me!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Another Ottobre 02-2016 #7

I had to do it again because I knew this little pattern had potential! I LOVE this version!!!! Here’s my first version of this dress.


I did all the things I said I would do. I lengthed the skirt by 4” (four inches!!!!), I took in the waist area about an inch on each side, and I fixed the swayback issue. I absolutely love it. (And, oh yea, I wear glasses too, although I think they have never appeared on my blog. I’ve worn glasses/contacts since the 3rd grade. I’m blind as a bat that cannot echolocate.)


The back looks much better. I did an inch swayback adjustment on the back.


The color of the top is actually a hot pink, not read. Wow, my skin is so white. We are just starting to get some sun again!!


I still love, love, love, love this bodice. You could add a circle skirt to the bottom of this too and it would be super cute.


I took about 3/4” of an inch off the sides of the bodice at the waist.


I took the skirt in about a 1/2” at the waist and I added four inches to the bottom hem (This girl likes a short skirt too). I ended up taking the hem in another 1.5” before I hemmed it to give it a more pegged look.


This is my super easy swayback adjustment. I don’t know why I didn’t start doing this years ago.


What do you guys think??? I LOVE it!!!! I love the fit of this skirt so much, I may just make a few of these with elastic at the waist to wear with other tops.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ottobre 02-2016 #7 Knit Dress (plus another Jalie cardigan!)

This cute little dress is from the latest Ottobre Women’s Magazine. I’m sad to say that there isn’t much in that magazine that I love. This dress is really cute and there is a spagetti-strap peplum tank that I like too. Other than that, I’m just meh on this collection. I do like the two looser t-shirts too, I guess. You can look at the whole thing here. I REALLY liked the clothes in the last women’s edition so I’ll just keep sewing out of that one. :) Yowza, this baby is short. This is with me just taking a tiny hem too. Tall people beware!

It has released pleats at the shoulder and waist. There are two skirt darts on the front and back for shaping.

I really like how the bodice turned out. You can see a tiny bit of pulling from the center where I had to tack down the cross-over. That baby was definitely just a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. Maybe I should tack it half an inch lower to help with the pulling. 

I should have done a swayback adjustment on this. A pretty significant one to look at the picture! I did add my normal 1” above the bust on the front and back.

I made the size 34 and it looks like I could have given myself a smidge more room for my butt. I did end up taking it in just above and below the elastic in the waist.

Even though it’s short, I’ll wear this with tights and a cardigan to work. I made a new Jalie cocoon cardigan to go with it. This cardigan is made from a very fine weave sweater knit from Girl Charlee.

It had great drape. I love this cardigan. It’ll be great with a white tank, blue jeans, and boots too.

I can put the belt underneath or on top of the cardigan. I think I prefer it the other way, with the belt under the cardigan.

This Ottobre pattern also comes with a “jumpsuit” version with shorts on the bottom. I’ve never been a jumpsuit kinda girl and I’m not going to start now.

A close-up of the knit so you can see how fine it is.

I think I’ll make this again, add the swayback adjustment, and add about 3 inches to the length.

Here’s where I sewed one side over the other. You can barely see it in real life.

The back bodice has darts all over. There are two in the neck and two at the waist. I probably wouldn’t try this with a lightweight knit. You need something that will take the darts and pleats. I used a double knit from 

I have no idea what I’m making next! I guess you’ll know when I know!