Month: September 2016

Peppy Peplum

This peplum thing doesn’t seem to be going away. I’ve never thought I would try it because if you have hips, why would I want to acentuate that even more with a ruffle? Well everything changed when I saw Rachel at Sew Red-y in a peplum.  Her and I are about the same shape, even though she’s got 4-5″ of height on me.

I didn’t seek this top out, it just kinda happened. I popped into Hobby Lobby when they had $1 patterns. Wouldn’t you know that I picked up Simplicity 1425 which is a peplum. Then I was looking for grey denim at and found a cute black and red polka dot charmuese, which would be perfect for a cute peplum.  The sewing gods were telling me this needed to happen. Who am I to argue?

The pattern has 8 pieces. If I hadn’t had misunderstood part of the directions, I could have had this done in one sitting. It had princess seams in the front a darts on the back to help create that fitted shape.

The part that took the longest was the bias tape. I made my own out of some black poly I had. You’re only supposed to use it on the neckline and arms. I used it around the bottom of the peplum.  Charmuese is a little slippery and the thought of turning the bottom and stitching a hem sounded like a nightmare. Plus the tape gives the bottom a little volume. I do have to give a warning on the size.  Normally I’m around a size 8 or 10. I cut the size 12 because that’s what the envelope suggested. I’m glad I did otherwise it would have been way too small.

I did make a change to the pattern, which when I looked up reviews on the pattern, a lot of other sewist decided to do also. The pattern called for three buttons down the back as the closure. Was someone phoning it in that day or what? 3 buttons. 1 at the top, 1 in the middle and 1 at the bottom. Uhhh, are you not supposed to move when you wear this top? Is it like a mannequin Halloween costume? Who can wear this shirt with only three buttons and not feel like they’re about to bust out of it all day.? Would you know when it happened? I mean it has to be breezy anyways then with a button undone, who knows the difference? “Um, excuse me Susie, we need you to actually wear your clothes appropriately when you come to work.” Unless you work at a strip club then you need easy to remove clothing. Maybe that’s who it’s directed at. Sorry got side tracked…

Anyways, I installed a zipper in the back. The zipper separates at the bottom so it’s easy to get the top on and off. At least so I thought. I could easily zip the top up to my shoulder blades and then my arms couldn’t bend the right way to grab the zip and pull it the rest of the way up. Crap! I don’t go scuba diving or have any need for a wet suit but I’ve seen enough on tv to know that they have a pull in the back to grab to help zip yourself up. That’s pretty genius. I have some pleather that I can insert into the pull on the zip and create the same effect.

I can now get the shirt on all the way by myself. Go me! I think the top looks good on but the volume is a little distracting when I wear it. I can see it out of my perphrial vision.

It flys up like a skirt when the wind catches it. Also, sitting behind my desk, many people thought I had a dress on until I stood up. Oh well. I still feel adorable!

It’s a Cinch!

Some things are super easy for me to make. It happens fast, smoothly and before I know it, project completed. That’s how my new corduroy bag went. I mentioned previously that I have a love for corduroy. This is the third bag I made but in total I have 5 and a change purse. They all have a patchwork look to them. Unfortunately, the ones I make don’t have the incense smell the others do when you buy them from the hippy, trippy store. I love that smell…

I decided I needed (wanted) this bag because I use those little drawstring/cinch bags on my lunch every day. I’m a wanderer during my hour lunch and those bags are really easy for me to toss my stuff in and go. The problem with the bags I use, is that they’re cheap so they fall apart and are a bit too small for all my roaming essentials.

The typical size for a drawstring bag is around 14″ X 18″. I cut my corduroy into 3″ X 3″ squares. With 6 columns and 8 rows, mine should equate to 15″ X 20″ with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Everyone following? I had to use my calculator to calculate. 🙂

The process is simple: make all the rows, connect them together and have 1 front and 1 back. I knew I wanted to add in a pocket for my cell in the seam. I made a pocket (sorry no photo) similar to a pocket for pants. Once that was stitched in, I sewed the front and back together leaving the top open.

I made a lining with two cotton rectangles sewn together on three sides. There needs to be a tube at the top for the drawstring to go through. I made one more row of blocks and then chopped it in half length wise. I sewed this to the top of the bag. Before completing the tube, there needs to be a couple holes for the string to come out of because not only does it cinch the bag but it’s also the arm straps. I made large button holes, two on each side of the main bag.

The “string” is made of 1″ corduroy strips. The strips are sewn together on one side then pressed in half and 1/4″ of the raw edges turned in and pressed again. I topped stitched the turned edges and original stitched side. The finished “string” is 1/2″ wide. To figure out the length of each “string” you take the 2x height + 2x width. So that makes each 70″.

I fed the “string” through the proper holes and decided to connect them to the bottom of the bag through the seam. Trusty seam ripper to the rescue! I ripped out just enough to push both ends through side by side.  I stitched the holes shut with two rows of stitching for security.

At this point, I added my name to the top of the bag. Ya know, just because. Then turned down the top half row and stitched the edge creating the tube. I made sure to push the bag lining up high enough to catch in the downturn. The thing is you have to be uber careful not to catch the drawstring. Slow and steady!

That’s it! She’s done and she’s glorious. I love it when things turn out that quick and exactly how I hoped. I mean look at how even those rows are. Thank you 1/4″ foot!

It’s Raining Men

My mom liked to complain when I first heavily got into sewing that I didn’t make her anything. I eventually caved and made her a small bag for Xmas back in 2012. Since she was coming out to visit I decided to make her something as a surprise/early Xmas present. It’s expensive to ship stuff!

I got the idea for this present last year while out shopping for fabric for my Holiday Skirt. The fabric caught my eye in a total “giggle until I want to pee my pants” kind of way. I knew I needed to buy some of it and make something for mom. I’m a sick person and I also like to amuse myself. So what’s so special about this fabric?

It’s man fabric! lol Dude, they have hair south of the border too! I bought this at Jo-Ann’s. No dirty store required!

I am a mischievous little sewist but also a practical one. I decided to make a reversible bag. Nice and simple on one side and gigolos on the other. I made a pattern that resembles a brown paper lunch bag. Simple and quick to sew up. As soon as I got the man fabric assembled (man bag as I kept calling it), I kept giggling like a nut.

I mean LOOK AT IT! Men everywhere!

I don’t know if I’ve ever had this much fun sewing a fabric. The outside was just as quick but no giggles. I didn’t use any interfacing because the tan fabric is home decor fabric so it’s pretty hefty on its own.  I slipped the men inside the tan bag (haha) and created a bit of bias tape to stitch across the top. Tan fabric on one side and navy on the other. My goal was for it to not look like it had another side. I even took special care to match up the light tan fabric on the front and back to the light fabric bias tape. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

I was pretty happy with it as is but I wanted a button closure. I created two button holes and added a button on each side. I was even careful enough to use navy thread on the gigolo side and tan on the plain side. Pretty much you fold the top over and put the button through the two sides. Woot woot.

I hope she likes it! lol

(Wo)Man with a Plan

I’ve been trying to go through some fabric that either is part of my stash or leftovers from another project. This top is made from leftovers from my Safari Simone. I knew I had enough left of the animal print to squeak out a shirt. While I’m working on other projects I always start thinking about the next. This one I’ve been thinking up for a while.

I figured I take the animal print and use that as the main bit. Then use the black cotton to make it ringer style. Ring for the collar and end of the sleeves. Lastly, add a stripe from the neck ring to the sleeve rings. The last thought is maybe to add a ring around the hem. Not too hard.  I had two different patterns picked out but I went with the vintage reprint of Simplicity 1692. This pattern was used before on my Granny Chic top. It’s got the different attributes I’m looking for. Tight collar, built in sleeves and relaxed fit. That’s how I make this pattern, which is nothing like what the pattern actually looks like! lol

I had to make my own collar piece because the piece is a rectangle and I wanted the ringer t-shirt look. It was honestly the worst part of the whole construction. I had to copy the curve of the neckline and add in the 1″ width and be aware of the seam allowance. I cut two pieces for the inner and outer collar.


The arm stripe and sleeve rings were rectangles. The sleeve rings I made 2 1/2″ wide because I used a 1/4″ seam allowance and folded the piece in half. The arm stripe was 1 1/2″. Each piece was topstitched to help it all lay flat.


Since the collar fabric is cotton with no stretch, I had to include the split in the back. The goal is to wear the clothes right?


I used two hook and eyes on the collar to keep it shut. I also added a little decorative stitch in hot pink because I can. I figure if I do it on every garment it can be my “tag” instead of buying proper ones. So how roomy is my new shirt?


I decided to play airplane to demonstrate.  Weeeee!!! As you can see I didn’t add a ring at the hem. It would have made it too stiff and I liked the floaty feel. The hem is actually high/low but it’s hard to see.

Normally I don’t share what other projects I have going on but I’m compelled to because it kind of gives you an idea what’s normally going on in my sewing room. In other words, chaos!

I have t-shirt bits everywhere because I’m going to start work on a t-shirt quilt. I have a bunch of shirts that I don’t wear anymore and there’s others that I can’t let go. I thought a t-shirt quilt would be interesting to try plus it will be a light bedspread for those super hot months.

I love corduroy. I don’t know when I fell in love but the fabric calls to me. I don’t want to wear it. I want to cut it into little squares and makes bags out of it. I’ve made two so far. This will be my third. I use a string bag everyday on my lunch at work. I toss in my lunch, wallet and a few other items. It let’s me be mobile and I need that because I spend half my lunch walking. The string bags I have are cheap so I’m making my own to withstand daily use.

I’ve been crocheting up a storm. Unfortunately for how much I’ve been crocheting, it doesn’t show. I’m a fast crocheter but crocheting lace is a new one for me. I’m going to use the lace to go around the bottom of a shirt and legs of shorts for a pj set. I’m going to dye the lace with coffee to match the fabric. I’ve tested on a strand and it works really well.


So that’s what’s going on in my world. What’s happening in yours? Oh and this is a proper pic of me in my new shirt.