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Showing posts from July, 2009

Vogue 8536 - Green Sleeveless Top

I've made this top before, so I thought this would be a no-brainer. It was still quite simple, but different fabrics behave differently as this top reminded me.
I made view E but left off the sleeves. I finished the armholes by turning under 5/8" and stitching it with a double needle.
Just like the first version, I pulled the top layer over at the armhole by 3/4" to prevent gaping. This worked really well on the first version, but on this one it seemed to make the lower layer ripple. I'm wondering if making the same change to the lower layer would prevent this.
I must have stretched out the neckband while I was putting it on. Much of the time, the top stays away from my body at the CF like I'm hiding some sort of bony prominence under there. My other top from this pattern doesn't do this at all.

Isn't that a nice farmer's tan I've got going on my arms? Clearly, I needed another sleeveless top in my wardrobe. Actually, I'm hoping that a good hori…

New Look 6762 - Pink Raglan Sleeve Top

Despite the numerous bad reviews of this pattern, I still went ahead with it. The reviewers generally did not like the sleeve with darted shoulder and found the neckband to be a real problem. I like the scoop neckline and the short raglan sleeves. I thought maybe I could change the sleeve to get rid of the dart.

Off I went to check out Fit for Real People from Palmer/Pletsch. Of course they had the info I needed about removing the dart from a darted raglan sleeve. From page 176: "Today, most raglans are undarted or seamed. A darted raglan is rare." That explains why I had never seen this before. Because the dart is at the top of the shoulder, it doesn't show up on the pattern drawing for the front or the back. I don't think I would have bought the pattern if I knew about the dart. I'm pretty sure it was only $1.99, but still....
I might be starved for mental stimulation because I have quite a few knit top patterns that fit well and I like, but I still wanted to go …

New Look 6687 - White Babies' Dress

Okay, who puts their 18-month-old in white clothes? Uh...me. But when she looks as cute as this, how can I not?

This white cotton was leftover from a shirt I made a couple of years ago, the pattern was $.99 and the buttons and trim were leftover from other projects. So, even if she only wears it once or twice before it is riddled with stains it's no big loss.
I made the size large, but left it at the NB (newborn) length. I wanted this to be more like a top than a dress. I had thought I would shorten it more, but with all the fullness from the gathers (and the big round belly underneath), it stuck out kind of funny.

The armhole binding/shoulder straps worked out pretty well. The pattern piece was just the right length and the markings were good. I like the cross-over front and the eyelet trim.

I changed the back to close with buttons rather than a zipper. There are three buttons on the bodice part and none on the skirt.
The shorts are from Simplicity 5316. The pattern doesn't includ…

Done Sewing for the Summer

I'm rather behind on the blog. I've been busy sewing, but not keeping up with this part of the process. I just finished a top and shorts for my younger daughter. Hopefully, I get that up soon. For myself, I made two knit tops that I wore without photographing and now need to wait until they cycle through the laundry. Two more things I made are gifts and I can't post those until they are received.

Now, the title of this post means that I am done sewing summer clothing, not that I am done with sewing for the rest of the summer. Some summer things may still pop up, but I don't have anything planned right now. I like sewing summer clothing. T-shirts, shorts, skirts, sleeveless dresses - all easy-to-sew, easy-to-wear things. But, there are some good reasons to hang it up now.

We are leaving for two weeks of vacation on Monday. By the time we get home, get unpacked and back into normal life, it will be mid-August. Getting all the kids set with warm weather clothes f…

Burda 9990 - Khaki Pants

I'm irrationally excited about these pants. They couldn't be more basic, but I think that's why I'm excited about them. This pattern is going to be used a lot, I think. I made size 3 and it goes up to size 8, so we've got a few years to go.


This little man has been needing a new pair of "good" pants for a couple of months now and I kept putting it off for some reason. Once I actually decided to do them, I think it took only about four hours to finish them completely.



I had intended to put a welt pocket in the back, but I forgot and when I remembered, it was too late to do it (and have it look any good at least). The pattern doesn't include one. So, the back of this pair is plain, but his shirt never stays tucked in anyway.



The pattern instructions would have you sew the waistband onto the pants before sewing the center back seam. This is how most men's pants are made, but in this case they suggest finishing the waistband before sewing the CB seam. Th…

Make-Up Bags

I made these up to sell. The woman with the shop where my other things are for sale asked for more stuff, so I'll try these and see what she thinks. She has mostly decorative things for the home, so I'm not sure these are really what she's looking for, but they were pretty fast and easy and will work for gifts if they don't sell.
The off-white plaid one is backed with a stiff fusible interfacing. All the others have a thin batting between the outer fabric and the lining. The green batik (smallest one) is quilted in a grid pattern.
The middle two are made with traditional box corners (some good tips here). I like that this makes a bottom for the bag, but it also pulls in the side seams making the width of the bottom narrower than the top.
I found this tutorial that shows how to make a straight-sided triangular bag. Brilliant! You can see the difference here:
The pattern for the bag looks like this:
I love finding things like this online. It would have taken me a really long…

Burda 7696 - Knit Dress

This was a good recovery project after the McCall's jacket. It took me just over two hours to make, there were absolutely no fitting issues and I really like the end result.
When I was looking through my button stash for the white jacket, I saw this black buckle. I don't know where it came from. Then I came across this pattern at the fabric store a couple of days ago, remembered a nice black rayon jersey from NY in my stash and thought it would be nice to have a new dress to wear to a wedding this weekend.
I didn't alter the pattern at all and I think it fits pretty well. I cut a size 10 from the waist up and a 12 below. The instructions would have you put in a zipper. That's silly. You don't need a zipper in a knit dress. I kept the center back seam rather than cutting it on the fold because it did have some shaping.


I fused 1" strips of lightweight interfacing along the neck and shoulder edges to keep it from stretching out. I pressed all the seams open and le…

McCall's 5859 - Summer Jacket

I thought this would be a quick fun little project. Turns out it neither quick nor fun. I'm still on the fence about the finished product. It might be growing on me.
Based on the measurements on the pattern envelope, I should have cut a size 12. After checking the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern tissue, I cut the muslin in size 10. After trying on the muslin, I cut out the real thing at a size 8. Ah, McCall's...gotta love the sizing issues with the Big 4.
The sizing issues were just the beginning. I planned to make the pattern just as illustrated. I liked the oversized collar and lapel and the wide neck opening. I did have some doubts about the sleeves and pockets, but sometimes I opt to take away too many details and end up with boring clothes. So, not trusting my judgement, I went ahead with the pockets and sleeves.
Bad decision. The high contrast between the white fabric and black piping meant that the pockets were just "too much." They competed…

Jalie 2561 - Black pants

Another winner from Jalie! I'm pretty happy with these pants (Jalie 2561). As far as a piece of clothing, they aren't all that exciting - just basic black pants, but the fit is pretty good right out of the envelope. That is very exciting.

I made the muslin for these awhile back (post here) and then moved on to other things. After re-consulting the muslin, I raised the front crotch 1/4" and increased the leg length by 1.5". And that's all. Did I mention that I think this is very exciting?


The pattern has two options for the waistband. I chose the narrow one. This makes them slightly low-rise. I'm not sure what I think about the pockets yet. Normally I like slanted pockets best on pants, but this type is good for a bulk-free line over the hip. So, I think I like how they make the pants look, but with utility in mind, I probably won't like them.


The fabric is a stretch cotton twill (the pattern is made for stretch wovens) but I didn't want the waistband to …

Hoping for Happy Feet

I really like handknit socks. I like making them and I like wearing them. I've probably only made six pair or so, but the first couple of pairs that I made are starting to get holes in them. I suppose now I need to start looking into darning socks. That doesn't sound like something I'll like. Anyway...


My MIL gave me this kit. It had three skeins of yarn, a sock pattern, and this note:
It says: "This kit contains handspun yarn that is a blend of wool, mohair, nylon, silk, alpaca and camel made just for socks!"

The yarn is much bulkier than any I have used for socks in the past. I didn't think I would like heavy guage socks, so I let this yarn sit in my stash for awhile. I considered using it for mittens instead of socks. But, after thinking about it I concluded that bulky socks might be something I could really like. I spend a lot of time at home and during the cooler months I always have socks on. After a day of walking around in thin socks, my feet really hurt…

Sweater Complete

I finished the Wonderful Wallaby for my older daughter. It felt like I was working on this for a long time. My daughter was very uninterested in having her picture taken with it on. It does fit pretty well, but I could have made it bigger - or longer, anyway. The sleeves are about the right length right now, so there isn't a lot of room for growth.
All of the details are the same as my younger daughter's sweater, seen here. The buttons are from NY. I bought these thinking I would use them on younger daughter's sweater and then at the next shop I found some I liked better. I think they work pretty well on this sweater.
Now on the needles: some interesting socks (for me). More about that later...