Friday, December 5, 2014

sew it all series - upcycled knit tunic

I know that the projects on the blog haven't been very inspiring (or frequent!) lately.  In fact, boring and almost non-existent may actually be better words!  But I've been swamped with commitments in the non-virtual world, and sewing has really taken a back seat, as it should.  I considered stopping blogging altogether, but I really do enjoy sharing what I sew, so I think I'll keep at it for now.  Just don't expect anything all that special or interesting in the sewing arena for the next few months while I immerse myself in Science to make several teenagers happy!  Although it's possible a banner for our Science Olympiad team may show up on the blog at some point if I decide to sew one :)

Mae's newest top is an upcycled shirt from Salvation Army.  I originally bought the top to use as fabric for another project, but then didn't end up using it.  I put it aside for a few weeks ... ok, maybe more like a few months :) ... and promptly forgot about it.  After making Mae's floral pants, I realized she had no tops to match, so I went digging in my upcycle bin and rediscovered this gem.  At first I considered just cutting it up for the fabric, but in the end I chose to keep some of the features from the original top, like the button tab sleeves and the split hem.

I started with a not-yet-released Wee Muses pattern designed by Anneliese from Aesthetic Nest for the bodice, and then kind of winged it from there.  Honestly, the original design of the shirt pretty much dictated what I could make so it wasn't a very difficult project.  The construction was pretty easy too since the hem and the sleeves were already finished.  All I needed to do was add the neck binding and attach the bodice and sleeves to the skirt and I was done.  Sometimes a simple project like this is exactly what I need to feel like I've accomplished something in an otherwise completely unproductive day!

Here's a close-up of the cute details.  This picture kind of annoys me ... I spent a lot of time aligning all the stripes on the rest of the top, but on this side seam, which was finished by the manufacturer, they don't line up perfectly!  Although, if I'm being honest here, it doesn't annoy me enough to actually fix it :)

Upcycled tee

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

sew it all series - floral ponte pants

There hasn't been much sewing going on around my house lately, so I've been lacking a bit in blog content for the last couple of weeks.  I finally did get around to making something, and I thought I would go ahead and share it here, even though it's not exactly the most exciting project :)  Once again, I used pattern #9 from this Japanese sewing book, which I've already used here and here.  What can I say, once I have a pattern I like already traced and cut out, I'm unlikely to look for a new one!  I  used the size 110 with the 100 length since I was going for knit pants that were not as fitted as your average legging.  If I make this pattern in a size 100, which is Mae's usual size in Japanese patterns, it fits like a traditional tight legging, so the 110 is perfect for a more relaxed fit!

I just love this Ponte Roma floral from, which is unfortunately no longer available :(  The colors are beautiful, and the weight is perfect for a heavier, winter legging.  I just hope it holds up over time - the knits from can be so hit or miss!

Floral Ponte de Roma knit from - no longer available

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

madeIt florence - christmas blog tour

Welcome to my little corner of the Florence Christmas blog tour!  I have to be honest, my little corner almost didn't exist.  I totally got the date for my post wrong, and then I got sick and didn't get anything to Olu on time!  So, I've got to give a huge thank you to Olu (Needle and Ted) and Anna (creator of MadeIt Patterns) for their patience and understanding :)

This blog tour is a little different than most - it is also a competition!  The version of the Florence with the most comments over on Needle and Ted will be the winner.  So, if you like my version (or anyone else's) head over to Needle and Ted and leave a comment! 

For this week only (November 17-23) you can get the Florence Blouse Pattern (and any other pattern from Anna's shop!) for 20% off with the code Tour20.  Just click on the button below!  And (yes, there's more!) if you sew up a Christmas version of the Florence, make sure to post it on Madeit Patterns Facebook page by the end of January 2015 for a chance to win a MadeIt pattern of your choice!

Now that all the blog tour details are out of the way (because I totally would have forgotten to include them if I waited until the end!) we can get to my Christmas-ish version of the Florence pattern!  I say Christmas-ish because I don't generally sew holiday specific clothing for my kids.  I prefer sewing things that can be worn for an entire season.  So this jumper is a little less Christmas and a little more winter :)

I know at first glance it looks nothing like the Florence Blouse, but I actually kept most of the pattern pieces as is.  I used the front and back pieces without any modifications and eliminated the collar and sleeves.  Then I doubled the width of the placket to make it double breasted and added a simple pleated rectangle skirt.  It's amazing how small changes can make such a big difference in the end!  Although Mae wears a size two according to the chart included with the pattern, I sewed the size three because I wanted a little bit of room for Mae to wear a shirt under the jumper.  And I would have to say that the pattern fits true to the measurements which is always a good thing!  Obviously, you can't see the fit with these pictures, so you will just have to take my word for it that it is perfect :)

This fabric was a bit of a challenge to work with.  I purchased it at Joann's last year, and it was located in a miscellaneous spot in the store, so I'm not sure where it really belonged.  I don't think the women who worked at Joann's knew either which is why it was stuck on an endcap!  It's a polyester suiting fabric, but it is more of an outerwear weight.  And it frays like crazy!  I accidentally caught a corner of one of the pieces with the button on my sleeve, and suddenly the piece was 1/2" shorter!  I learned really quickly that I had better be careful, or the entire jumper was going to fall apart :)  I thought the fabric felt a bit prickly (although my kids told me it didn't) so I fully lined the bodice with a stretch sateen ... in red of course!  After all, I at least have to give a nod to Christmas since it's the theme of the tour :)

I really love the details included with the pattern!  The princess seams are lovely, as is the back bodice.  I didn't finish this jumper following the directions in the pattern since my version is fully lined, but I did read the pattern through, and I have no doubt that any blouse made with this pattern would be finished beautifully inside and out!

White Suiting from Joann's
Lining - Stretch Sateen from Joann's
Snaps - Kamsnaps

Make sure to check out the other blogs that are part of the tour!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

sew it all series - every girl needs a polka dot dress

As I stated back in my first Sew It All series round up post, Mae needs more dresses since she only has one, and people at church are starting to wonder!  My favorite thing about sewing dresses is that I don't have to make sure that they match anything else.  Or, in other words, I can use any fabric I want!

For this dress I chose Nani Iro Pocho double gauze in Teal.  I used double gauze one other time, and it was one of my favorite fabrics ever to sew!  Plus it rarely needs to be ironed which is always a plus ;)  After I chose the fabric, I moved on to choosing a pattern, which was not quite as easy.  I really wasn't sure what I wanted, and nothing was really appealing to me from my existing pattern collection, so I started with a Japanese pattern basic bodice (used for this dress) and made a few modifications.  And by a few, I mean that I changed everything!  I changed it to front opening, added length to the bodice, added facings, changed the shape and length of the sleeve, and pleated the skirt rather than gathering it.  In other words, I didn't keep anything from the original pattern ;)

My favorite modification is the sleeves.  I added 3" to the width, and then rather than gathering the cap, I made tiny inverted pleats.  It took 12 pleats for each sleeve.  I probably won't use this method again since it took longer than the entire rest of the dress, but it was fun to try it once!  And I love the look since it takes in the fullness without adding a true puff sleeve, which is not really my favorite kind of sleeve anyway.

The bottom of the sleeve is finished with a double cased elastic band with a 1/2" ruffle.  It kind of mimics the look of shirring without having to change every single setting on my sewing machine, so it's 100% better than shirring in my mind :)

Take a closer look at the snaps - each snap is covering a dot that is exactly the same color.  I would love to say that I planned that, but the truth is it was totally a coincidence :)

Nani Iro Double Gauze
Snaps - Kamsnaps