Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sewing During the Holidays

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season and getting some sewing done too!

My sewing the last couple of months, really has no "rhyme or reason"...just what I want at the time.  That's the case with the projects for this post.  I found myself working on casual tops and believe me, they are truly needed in my wardrobe!  I need a lot more of the simple Tees and Sweaters too, so you may see more of them in my posts.

For this project I'm working with an Indie pattern.  It's not my first time, but I've not used them as much as I would like to.  I am going to change that though!  This pattern is from Hot Patterns and it's called the "Joyful" top and my first impression is a "Thumbs Up"!  

I used two different pieces of fabric from my stash, the first is a navy and grey, tie-dyed rayon/linen blend.  I believe I purchased this from Hancock fabric quite a while back.  The pattern calls for contrasting fabrics, but I made this top all in one fabric. It was a pretty good weight for the pattern, but I believe light weight, drapey fabrics like rayon chalis work best for the front and ruffle/flounce.  Here's my first one top...

Based on the pattern design, the shoulders and back yoke could be made from faux leather or suede.  The remaining back portion, could be made from a soft drapey knit like a rayon lycra.  I made a size 12 but ended up having to take the side seams in about an inch each side.  I love the length, so I didn't change that.   I really like this pattern and I love how the back hangs lower than the front!  However, I decided, I really, really did not like the ruffle on me, so for my next version I eliminated the front ruffle/flounce (I may redesign the ruffle/flounce to make it smaller)...

Some of you may recognize the black faux leather used for the shoulders and back's left over from the hubby's shirt I made recently.  The remaining fabric is a polyester chiffon purchased from Joann Fabric not too long ago.  I wish I had some rayon lycra in black I could have used for the back, that would have been really nice!

I will make another with a combination of three fabrics as suggested by the pattern designer.  I just have to decide on fabric, color and or print.  So I'm headed to my sewing machine to create more tops!

What are you sewing for the holidays?  Please share and thanks for stopping by and reading my post!  I truly appreciate it!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Sewing!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

My First Sleeveless Duster

I started seeing these sleeveless dusters being worn around my area. They peaked my interest, especially since it doesn't get extremely cold here in Florida.  I thought these were a nice look for fall/winter paired with long sleeve sweaters and tees.  I think this is something that can be dressed up or down!

So I set out to make one for myself… I got the idea when I made my Burgundy colored, two piece dress on a previous blog post you can see here.  I'll show you that burgundy set with my new duster shortly. First let's talk about the duster...

I started with a commercial pattern for the base. Although, my resulting duster doesn't look anything like the commercial pattern, LOL!   I used McCall's 3796 and I selected view D (the rust colored one).  Now this one is out of print, but can be found on Etsy, Ebay and other websites.  However, ANY jacket pattern will do just fine depending on how you want your end results.

The fabric is from my stash and was purchased from Joanne (I cannot remember when).  It's a very lightweight wool blend with a slight stretch.  I would call the color "taupe".  This is one of those great times when I paired the right pattern with the right fabric…thank you Lord!  

Because this is a muslin, I decided not to line it. (And I live in Florida, doesn't have to be line either...too hot at times!) I will be making another in black and it will be lined.  Sewing this one was such a so much!  I only ran into a couple of very minor issues that I decided not to correct because this is my muslin and I love the way it looks as is! (Yes, I plan on wearing it!)

The two minor issues were…

The Duster has an "over the shoulder and back panel" which was totally self drafted by me.  On the next one I will make this panel about 2 inches longer to come just over the bust.

Secondly, the commercial pattern I used had an extended shoulder, I assume for shoulder pads on this particular jacket.  I didn't realize how much they extend out until after I had sewn the facing in! (That's too much for me to take out and adjust... and I just don't want to because I'm being lazy!). I have adjusted my pattern for the future and there definitely will be another!

I love the back of this vest!! 
Here's a much more casual look (I think I need a new pair of old ballerina's have seen better days!!)

Actually on phone w/ son...called during photo shoot! 
I can't say how much I love this Duster!  It's a nice trendy piece to add to my wardrobe and it was so fun to sew as well!  What's the last trendy piece you created for your wardrobe?

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a little of your time with me!  It's truly appreciated!!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Another Shirt for the Hubby

I am really loving working on shirts and tees for the hubby! (He's loving it too!).  I know it takes time away from my "selfish sewing" but it's so worth it!  Especially when I see him go into the closet and grab items I made for him first!   He has long arms and it's hard for him to find shirts that fit his arm length without being too large in the body.  Since I already have a TNT pattern for him (McCalls 6044) it makes it super easy for me to create different styles for him without him physically with me. That means "surprise" shirts can be made like the one I'm making in this post.

The design for this shirt came from my husband seeing an inspiration shirt in a mall store.  He thought it was the coolest shirt!  Now mind you, my hubby is not one for shopping for himself nor remembering titles, brands or any of the important things necessary to research and find what you need.  He also is one that needs a while to "think about" a purchase and usually misses out because it's no longer available when he finally makes a decision.  Needless to say, that's exactly what happened to him in this situation!  We had gone back to the store where he saw it and of course he could no longer find the shirt (even with the assistance of a store clerk).  Then I searched online for a faux leather black shirt like the one he'd seen with no luck at all.  There were so many out there, but none like the one he described, I felt bad for him because now he seemed to really want the shirt.  I swear the more we could not find it, the more he wanted it! (This is probably his "passive" way of trying to get me to make it, you think?).  We decided it was a loss for him and he agreed the next time he saw something he liked, he would buy it...he could always take it back if he decided he didn't want it for pete's sake!

Of course, you know I pulled out my trusty tools and went to work! (Sewing machine, serger etc., LOL!!). First, I had this beautiful fabric I had purchased from Pennie Fabrics about 2 years ago...sorry I don't remember the fabric content.  However, it feels like an extremely soft medium weight rayon with a slight stretch and beautiful drape (feels like a lightweight lambskin leather!)  This could be used as a contrast fabric because what makes it so unique is the Leather look...

The picture doesn't do it justice! 

I remembered when I first saw it in the fabric store I wanted to make a two-piece dress for myself or some cool "leather look leggings!"  So I decided to be "selfless" and use it for the hubby. (Does he know how lucky he is...YES!!).  Fabric for the remainder of the shirt is a very nice Kaufman Cambridge lawn cotton purchased from 

Ok, enough of the "novel"!...I bet you want to get to the good stuff, right? LMBO!!  I made a few changes to the pattern:

First, I extended the back yoke approximately 3" towards the front to make more of a contrast with the leather look fabric...that worked beautifully!


I added a "placket" opening at the cuff (this pattern does not include it).  Also, the hubby had mentioned black snaps...I found these cool Black flat matte ones on Amazon here).  I love shopping online, you can find just about anything!  I combined a snap and button on the cuff, snaps on remainder of the shirt...



The hubby was a very  "Happy Camper" when I showed it to him after he got home from work Friday night!

This was a fun shirt to make and because it started with his TNT pattern, it made for a quick sew! Do you have a TNT pattern you use for your loved ones?

Thanks so much for stopping by, it's really appreciated!


Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Colors - Fall Sewing

Hello everyone my sewing Mojo has been in full swing lately! I am REALLY happy about that!  I've been working on challenges and creating really nice pieces! 

Now fall has come around and it's time to switch gears and start making some fall/winter gear.  However, we don't get much winter here in Florida so my wardrobe might not match yours if you're in an area where you get cold and snow…sorry!

With that said, below is a chart of the 2016 fall Pantone colors:

While all of the colors are very nice jewel tones, one that I'm really loving is not in the chart.  The color that I'm referring to could be called many different colors from burgundy, Merlot to dark wine…you get the picture...

I actually had some fabric in my stash that matches this color!  I purchased a beautiful burgundy fabric earlier in the year from Pennie Fabrics. (Sarasota Florida, sorry no online presence) The fabric is a heavy rayon spandex knit.  As soon as I saw the fabric in my stash, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it!

I pulled out a recent pattern purchased from Style Arc, it's the "Cold Shoulder Top". This is the first time I've used this pattern and it won't be my last, this is a very quick, easy and beautiful pattern!  Makes for a very quick stylish T-shirt too!

I purchased as a download and printed the pattern (link above).  There aren't very many pieces for the pattern, so it was quick to tape together!  For this project, I paired this cold shoulder top with a self drafted pencil skirt featuring my usual and loving, yoga pants style waistband!  It too is a very quick sew when you need a pencil skirt that's oh so comfortable!

These pieces are going to get a ton of wear, the only problem was that I didn't have enough fabric to make a pair of leggings too...this could have been a three piece wardrobe!!  I'll be checking back with Pennie Fabrics soon to see if I can rectify that!  Hopefully he'll have more of it!!

I absolutely love this set and can think of many styling options, one of which will be featured in my next blog post (please stop by and check that one out too!).

What are your favorite colors for this fall season?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a little of your time with me, is truly appreciate it!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Thrift Store Refashioning

Hello everyone, I've been working on another challenge (I bet that doesn't surprise some of you all, LOL!). Lately I've been obsessed with them because there are monthly challenges going on this year and they've all been very interesting. This month's challenge was a "thrift store refashion". Since I had never been in a thrift store before, I thought this could be a lot of fun! I had my reservations only because I don't like doing alterations and taking apart some of the clothing to refashion them made me a little apprehensive.
But I put on my big girl undies and dove into the challenge! Boy am I glad I did!
First, here are the items I purchased at the thrift store. We had a budget of $25 and lucky me purchased five pieces (below) under budget...I only spent $18.77!!

I selected these pieces specifically for the fabric…each of them had enough fabric for me to be able to create something and I liked the "festive" look of each. Without further ado, here's what I created with my "thrift store" stash...
First up the beaded/sequined poncho refashioned to a tank:
It's party time!

Second, the purple "prom style" dress refashioned to a two-piece cocktail dress. I also used some of the black knit dress:

Lastly, is the one I posted for the challenge. We were only to submit one completed Thrift Store project. The two sweaters (silver and charcoal/silver) and the black knit dress were refashioned to a pull over cocktail dress:

I self drafted each with the exception of the purple top. I used Simplicity 9697 (the lilac colored version). I changed my mind at the last minute and decided not to make this top a turtleneck version. Instead, I opted for a bias banded neckline you see above.
My sketch & Simplicity 9697
I hope you all enjoyed reading about this challenge as much as I enjoyed creating them! Thanks again for stopping by and spending a little of your time with me, it's so much appreciated!  

What have you challenged yourself with lately?
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

September Denim Challenge

Hello everyone! How was your September? It was a very fast paced and eventful month for me. A lot went gone on, we traveled to Las Vegas, attended a beautiful wedding (I picked up a virus on the flight home and spent two days in bed sick!) Now I am wrapping up the month with a denim challenge I wanted to participate in for September.

I don't know about you all, but I start these challenges off with high hopes and lots of project goals. Unfortunately, reality sets in and I end up way below my initial plans! That's definitely what happened to me with this denim challenge. I had plans for two pair of new jeans, at least one or two denim dresses and a special denim project. By now, you've probably guessed...none or most of it did not happen and you would be absolutely correct! LOL!

I did manage to crank out one special project. I called this a special project because of the fabric. I've had this piece of fabric in my stash for years, I can't say when I got it and I don't even remember where I purchased it! Shame on me because it is beautiful! It's a "beige colored sueded stretch denim"...

My first thought was that this fabric was "reversible" but upon inspecting it closely, I realize that the blue is actually the inside (Wrong side) of the denim. This piece of fabric has been in my stash for so long because I could never figure out what to do with it. Then one day while showing the fabric during a periscope for the denim challenge, an idea came to me...I could make this a bomber jacket! I have a pattern for a bomber jacket, but it just wasn't working for me and the majority of ones that I found online, didn't have the exact look I was going for either. Of course I had to have what was in my brain, so I self drafted a pattern using a fleece jacket from my closet (RTW) as a template.

Plaid fabric was muslin
After cutting out the pattern pieces I need it, I thought I had better be smart and make a muslin. As it turns out, that was a great decision, LOL! I didn't have to put together the entire muslin, because one side was enough to tell me what I needed to do to make this jacket come together and fit. Because of the weight of the denim, I decided to use a "heavy weight rayon ponte" knit for the collar, lower and sleeve bands. I was correct on this thought too because it worked liked a dream

I decided not to line the jacket because I like the denim look on the underside. I guess I underestimated working with the weight of this fabric… It's pretty heavy weight and using a size 18 needle in my sewing machine help tremendously! This jacket challenged my thinking process, especially when it came to all of the zipper details. I wanted each of the zippers to be active working pockets and they are. Each sleeve zippered pocket can hold a large Smart phone (I don't have the largest but trust me it will fit!)...

I love the way this project turned out and it made me feel so much better about not completing everything I wanted to for this denim challenge! This one piece made up for everything! (And just in time for the fall season!)

So, tell me what have you challenged yourself with lately?

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my blog post!

Happy Sewing!