Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My "Happy Surprise While Organizing" Dress!

I have been organizing (trashing) my house for the past couple of months.  This month I have taken on the Hercules job of clean up my computer.  Let me tell is the worst part so far!  One delightful surprise was finding the Zaslya pattern hiding in the dark space in my computer.   Glad for the save because I ended up loving the pattern!

Kate and Rose Zsalya Top/Dress.  The instructions are clear and straight-forward and the fit is spot on!  The front yoke design is fabulous because it stops any gaping from happening when you bend over!!  Even after lowering the neckline, it still worked!  Very impressed!  The dress is super comfortable too.  I want to make another one using a single fabric for summer.

I used Rayon Viscose from for both the yoke and the dress.  I am completely crushing on this type of fabric right now.  I LOVE the flowy springy feel of it.  So, I interfaced the yoke portion with Pro-Tricot Knit interfacing because I find this fabric a bit hard to work with.  I cut out the pattern piece on the interfacing and then ironed it on the fashion fabric before I cut it out.  It helped  the fabric hold its shape and kept me from having a meltdown when I sewed the neckline.

I did lower the neckline on this dress.  I simply took about 1 1/4 inch off the front yoke neckline following the original pattern lines.  I then took the same amount off the back shoulder grading down to the back of the sleeve.  It worked out well and everything fit together swimmingly.  Bonus, the neckline still held with zero gaping!  YAY!!!!

Favorite part 
Honestly......the whole dress.  I adore flowy dresses with yokes.  The more I have the happier I am.  I get to use my trickier fabrics with success and I feel good in them no matter what my body may look like day to day.

Current Obsession  
I just found Escape to the Country on Netflix this month.  LOVE!  I have been watching this while sewing but find that it really slows down my progress.  :) The show brings you house shopping in different rural part of Great Britain.......but in the best most interesting way.  Lovely scenery and quirky homes.   I still have family living in Dundee, Scotland and when I watch this show I wonder how my side of the family ever left!  (Great-grandfather got a job in U.S. and my great-grandmother was basically forced on the boat kicking and screaming.  LOL)  

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My 'Most Loved Pattern' Dress

I am going to go out on a limb and call Butterick 5313 my most used pattern ever.  True Love. If I could only bring one pattern with me to my desert island escape this would be it!  

Four panel/front seam alteration
Butterick 5313 is super fast and easy to sew up.  The neckline goes in perfectly every time.  I love it because there are just so many different ways to sew this pattern.  I have made it as directed (below), with the altered shirt (like above).  It has also been made into a summer dress, a tunic and a basic t-shirt and a tank top.....the possibilities are endless.   I have a maxi length with a side split in my head that still needs to be addressed.    I have also never added a ruffle to any of my dresses yet but view B is still calling to me.

Sewn as directed with long skirt and no ruffle

I have tried this pattern with just about every type of knit fabric except a double knit. They have all worked fabulously and the neckline has laid flat every time too.  Love that neckline.

Four panel skirt on princess seams with spaghetti strap gathered top

Favorite Part
I love how this pattern is just so easily adapted into anything I can imagine.  I have a super straight body so I tend to lean towards empire-waist or no-waist silhouettes.  Good ones are really hard to find for some reason so this pattern is super special because it really allows me to build a wardrobe that is diverse.

There are just so many but today I will talk about my two favorite alternations.  

1.    I like to change the two-panel skirt and turn it into a fuller four-panel skirt.  I keep the waist size the same and add the flare to both sides of the skirt piece (above).  I also added to the length but kept the curve at the bottom the same.  When I add the four-panel shirt to the top, I have placed the seams in the center front or at the princess seams area.  Both work wonderfully. 

2.  I love the spaghetti strap dress but not the top ruffles (I would look like a linebacker with all that top weight).  So, I cut out two of the back and front bodice pieces and use one as a lining.  I attach them together at the neck and arm for a clean finish.  I also like to add about 1 1/2 inches of thin elastic and gather the front of the bodice.

Shirt version and short sleeved for panel dress

Current Obsession
Anthony Trollope.  Thank you Amazon Prime for airing Dr. Thorne (It was amazing) and it introduced me to the Trollope's Barsetshire Chronicles book series.  To me, Trollope's writing is a bit like Jane Austin but in a lighter easier reading style.   He is more family at the beach while Austin is more alone by the fire. I completely enjoy his cynical view of human nature and the media.  When the world appears to be a mess, I like to read older novels (this one written in 1855) so I can remember that people haven't really changed a bit. For some reason, that sad fact somehow gives me hope.  :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

My Jacket Love Affair!

I had a blast sewing this jacket! Best time I have ever spent at my sewing machine and it is also my all-time favorite sew!  Now that, is a winning combination...super fun and best project ever!  I finished the jacket while it was 75 degrees outside with no snow in the sad.  Thankfully next week is suppose to be full of snow and wind so hopefully I will finally be able to wear it!!!!

Waffle Utility Jacket Tosti  I clearly love this pattern. When I first opened the pattern, I did get a bit intimidated but there was no need.  The directions are so clear and well-written it was almost like having a mentor right beside me.  The sizing was spot on too!  I made a muslin and it fit the first time....even with my super wide shoulders.   I took my time with this one but never got frustrated or felt the need to toss the whole project out the window.

I used a 100% cotton twill for the body of the coat and a Kaufman flannel for the lining.  I bought a couple of yards of the twill and made an apron a couple of weeks before making the jacket.  That way I was able to wash the heck out of it to make sure the fabric would hold up well. Thankfully, it did because I love the color and the price at Hobby Lobby couldn't be beat!  

Favorite Part
The best part about this pattern is that it is constructed in a way that is completely stress-free.  All the pockets go on before any construction begins so if I messed up I only had to re-cut that one piece. Even the snap portion (they were the scariest part for me) which is in the final stages of the project could easily be removed and replaced.   I LOVED that.  

I followed this pattern to the letter but did run into a problem with the back vents at the end.  I finished the jacket with beautifully sewn vents and decided to try it on once more before adding the lining.  Sadly, my big ole booty caused the vents to stand straight out.  Heartbreaking!  I should have added the full vent to my muslin.  :(  Since you cut the fabric when you make the vents, I was unable to just unpick them and move on.  Instead, I just sewed them down.  I had to get creative with the back seams of the lining so they're not straight but I am happy with the finally product.  

Current Obsession
It is even sewing related this week!  I am IN LOVE with Allary Chalk Cartridge Set.  I don't know how I have lived without this for so long.  I am forever struggling with market tools but no more.... because this is the bomb!!!  Am I the only clueless soul in the world that didn't know about this amazing tool?   

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My "70's But Not In A Retro Way" Outfit

My sweet daughter was my photographer today.  I asked her what she thought of my new outfit and she said it was 'definitely the 70's but not in a retro or chic way.....just full-on the 70's'.  I am pretty down with that.  :)  The crazy laughing was caused by a frantic mother, a dog and a baby on the other side of the fence.  The mother clearly needed a cup of coffee......with a kick.  :)   Also, my skirt seam shifted during the pictures but since pictures are the worst part of blogging, I just went with them.


Shirt - Stretch & Sew 309.  I don't know why I love this pattern so much but I do.  I guess it reminds me of my childhood.  It is surprisingly easy to sew up on a serger.   The hardest part is just figuring out color choices.  This pattern was in my mom's stash forever and I am so happy to have inherited it a couple of years ago. 

Skirt:  New Look 6078  I love this one also.  So many ways to customize it.  For this skirt, I just took the seams in to create a straight skirt.  


Shirt: This is my second time making this t-shirt.  The first time I was new to sewing and used a double knit for the body.  It felt like a straight-jacket.  This time I use a nice jersey knit.  I keep saying I really want a rainbow colored shirt (all seven colors).  My husband raises his eyebrows every single time I mention it.  LOL.  Lucky for him it is hard to find all the right colors in the right weight economically.

Skirt:  I used a lightweight 100% cotton denim.

Favorite Part

Shirt:  Clearly the rainbow and the fit of the shirt.
Skirt: I really love all the panels on this skirt.  I think it is really figure flattering and easy to wear.

Current Obsession: 

Netflix's Versailles costumes!  I almost want to watch each episode twice.  Once because the show is amazing and a second time to completely absorb the costumes!  I really LOVE the royal jackets.  I want to sew one up for everyday use.  It could work right.....with a really casual outfit under the right fabric....maybe one for every day of the rainbow colors.....LOL! 
Image result for versailles netflix mens costumes

Thursday, March 16, 2017

And she lives!!!

I can't believe it has almost been a year since I last posted.  Oh my!  I decided to make a comeback for a couple of reason.  First, it seems like fewer and fewer people are blogging.  I miss the bloggers! I love Instagram as much as the next person but the information and connection just isn't the same.  While pondering this, I realized I am a blogger that stopped blogging. So, here I am!  Secondly, I find that I use the blog a ton for reference (often make the same thing over and over).  Lastly, the pictures keep things real.  The mirror lies...lies...lies whereas a picture is often brutally honest.

Pattern:  Today we have  McCall's 6074.  It is a super favorite of mine.  I have these two shirts, a dress and a second dress on work table.  It is really fast, easy to make and easy to fit!  The elastic in the front does most of the fitting for you.  

Fabric:  I usually make it out of ITY fabric but want to try it with a nice weight jersey knit soon.  I prefer a slightly heavier fabric with really good recovery for this pattern because it makes the dress/top more shapely.  The thinner fabric works too but the results are less peplum and more straight.  Both of these fabrics were bought at and sadly both are sold out.

Favorite Part:  I love the way the pattern addresses the neckline,,,,,,,you sew it flat.  The neckline is sewn before combining the front two pieces which makes sewing the v-neck super simple.  

Current Obsessions:  I love a good podcast in the sewing room and this week I am binge listening to Lore.  History with an edge to it.  Each episode is guaranteed to be disturbing and are often times down-right scary......but....I. can't. stop. listening!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Jasper Sweater - Two is Better than One!

I finished these sweaters late last week.....then we got hit with a huge snowstorm.  So, thanks Colorado for making polar fleece totally acceptable in May.  I do wish I had gotten around to this pattern in the Fall instead of Spring because I just love them.  The high neck is perfect for our windy climate..  I made both version of the Jasper Sweater from Paprika Patterns and I am so happy with both of them.

I made the hoodless one first.  I used polar fleece because it was just suppose to be a fit test but then I ended up loving it.  The fleece is kinda great because it allows you to bend and twist the neckline into different shapes and styles.  It is also super warm and cozy.  The pattern itself was so easy to work with.  Great directions and  everything fit together perfectly.  Also, a shout out to Paprika Pattern for making welt pockets super easy!!  The tutorial on their website is AMAZING!!

My hooded version is made out of 100% cotton sweatshirt  fabric from  It has zero stretch but I didn't even notice until the final try-on......thankfully I could get it over my head and it all fit perfectly!  I did have a bit of trouble fitting the hood....had to take about 2 inches off the back seam.  I also removed about 2-inch from the front collar to accommodate my stretch-less fabric.  I  am happy with the results. 

I highly recommend this pattern and had such a great time making this that I will be checking out more of their patterns in the near future.  I will definitely be adding this company to my favorite independent designer list!

On other news, I  decided to participate in the Me Made May challenge this year.  My goal is to finally address all the makes in my closet that need repairs and adjustments.  Fingers crossed.  Maybe I will even get some long needed photos taken for the blog.........that would be shocking.  LOL!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My First Ever Jean Jacket - Style Arc Stacie Jacket

Some days the ability to sew is just FABULOUS!  Today is one of those days.  I have always wanted a jean jacket (since high school which was AGES ago) but I never found one that I could move my arms in.  My shoulder are just a wee bit too broad.  So my choices were 1. A cute fitted jacket that I could wear while standing perfectly still or 2. a jacket I could move freely in but looked like it belonged to my boyfriend.  Now I can do both.....thanks to Style Arc Stacie Jean Jacket!

I really love Style Arc patterns! They tend to be a little (a lot) tight-lipped with their directions but their patterns are just fabulous to work with!  I used a 100% cotton denim I got at ages ago.  I also used Angela Wolf's Craftsy class with this jacket.  I  have never topstitiched before and it took a while and a ton of scraps to get the hang of it.  The jean thread didn't work for me but thankfully the double thread method was prettier!  Sadly my denim didn't take to distressing well but in the end I like the crisp look.

This project was a huge confident booster!  I feel like I may be able to tackle some jeans soon!  The pattern fit right out of the box minus the increase for my shoulders which I have to do on most every woven top.  I love the design to think they are flattering on me.  I didn't care for the cuffs so I cut my own.  The denim was surprisingly easy to sew with my basic machine.  

I am also a bit in love with my skirt.  The fabric is from  I didn't order enough to match lines but I stinkin love it anyway.  I used my favorite maxi-skirt pattern New Look 6762..  Back to the jacket.  This was a really fun pattern to sew.  Slow and enjoyable.  I highly recommend it.  I also love the jean buttons I found on Ebay.  They were surprisingly easy to put on.  I was so nervous that I would mess up the whole jacket on the last step but thankfully I didn't!

I leave you with a photo of Knight the horse.  It was dinner time so all the horse where hiding away eating!