Sewing

July: Project Sew My Style

This month’s project for #sewmystyle is the Valley Blouse by Cali Faye. The pattern is a billowy, long sleeve peasant blouse.  The pattern calls for a light, airy fabric such as chiffon, swiss dot, silk or my fav, rayon. I bought a mint rayon (who would have guessed) from LA Fabrics. When I hear mint, I think green more than blue but this is definitely more on the blue side.

The sizing of this shirt is strange. I made a small but the sizing dictates that I should make a large. I understand that it needs to be roomy but a large would have been entirely too big and completely unwearable. Be sure to check your measurements properly against the pattern pieces before beginning this project.

I have never completed a shirt like this so I relied heavily on the instructions. The pattern does suggest using French seams since the fabric necessary is so light.  I complied and did so on the side seams and back placket. The rest of the seams I ended up serging because I could not figure out how you’re supposed to French seam using a gathered portion of fabric as the fold over bit.

IMG_3012

One thing that super annoyed me about the instructions was that it kept telling me to “finish the edge”.  I don’t always read pattern instructions but couldn’t it at least give me a suggestion? If I serged the edge, you would see it through the light fabric so what the piss?  The only spot that it looks bad is on the back facing.  I used a zigzag stitch on the edge and a bit of fray check.  That looks like shit.  I left it but did stitch the facing down to the shirt, which you’re not instructed to do but it kept wanting to flip up and I was going to make sure that booger stayed where it belonged!

IMG_3016

The sleeve cuffs are a bit weird. You leave the end at the wrist open so it looks like a regular sleeve and cuff with a button.  I’m used to other patterns where you cut a new slit so it’s on the outside of your wrist.  This one is at the back of mine. I put the button hole stitches through both sides of the overlapping cuff pinning them together.  I knew I could slip my hand in and out so no worries on ever needing to unbutton the little button.  I also stitched the top stitches where the cuff overlapped together because they were trying to angle away from each other.  It bothered me.  No one would ever notice that I did this extra bit of stitching but it made me happy to not see the twist it was trying to achieve.

IMG_3006

The front placket and in the front shirt piece calls for a keyhole.  In every picture I looked at of completed blouses, you can not really see this feature so I said “screw you giant keyhole”.  I really didn’t want to fiddle with the little piece of fabric that was supposed to finish the cut edge.  Squirrelly rayon and a thin fabric pattern piece coming together and me being happy about it? Hell no! I did leave the front plackets split from one another so it created a noticeable keyhole. Ha! I like it and it was worth the effort because you can see it. I also added a little loop of fabric to place my button in rather than add a buttonhole.  Yes, I know that was a fiddly little bit of fabric but it would cause me a lot less grief to add than that giant keyhole.

IMG_3013

My favorite thing about this shirt? The sleeves! They’re large and you can feel the wind catch them as you walk. And yes, I kept flailing my arms about even as I walked because it’s too much fun!

IMG_3014

The blouse definitely walks a thin line of being able to be a dress.  It’s quite long. I folded the hem up a bit more than it tells you. Another fiddly bit is getting the hem to lay flat since it’s a rounded edge. Folding up that much of a fabric onto itself does not go easy.  There’s a small bit (I won’t tell you where) on my hem that has a small pleat in it because of this.  This is why I use bias tape on rounded hems because it will move around the curves appropriately.

IMG_3010

I believe July’s garment is a success.  There’s small things that I would change about it for next time like the neckline seems really open but this shirt is not a style I would normally wear so maybe I’m not used to it.  I have to say when I did wear it out I didn’t fidget with it as much as I imagined I would. The length is a bit too long and I need to figure out a better way to deal with that back facing.  I’m curious to see how other sewists finished it off.

We’re now over halfway through the yearlong sewalong!  You can still check out all the details at Bluebird Fabrics.  Keep your eyes peeled for discounts on the patterns.  It seems that shortly after the month is finished a discount will pop up. As always, you can check out the finished garments from me and other lovely sewists on Instagram using the #sewmystyle hashtag.

No Stowe

Part of my #makenine2017 was to make a bag similar to the Stowe Bag by Grainline Studio. If you’re not aware of this little tote, you have to check out all the different versions.  It’s too adorable!

I do have a tendency to make my own pattern for any bags that I make. I studied the Stowe bag and I liked the size. I started there with my measurements. The bottom should measure about 5″ x 9.5″. That’s a nice sized handbag. I couldn’t decide how I would incorporate the handles and the fabric that I wanted. And this is where any resemblance to the Stowe bag disappeared.


What I ended up with is an alternating fabric using my suede-like fabric along with Daleks fabric. This is super similar to the makeup bag that I made the bestie for xmas. I loved that little bag so it’s not really surprising that I’m making this so similar. The construction is even about the same.  Did that statement just take out all of the air of this blog post.  Well I don’t care! I’m excited about my own ‘little can of hate’ bag!


I did add a little bit of Dalek on the inside of the bag.  It’s cute and happy yellow gingham but I stitched in “exterminate” around on the bottom.  It was almost 2 am and it sounded like a good idea.  It did not strike me that I will only see this when I’m desperately digging through my bag hunting down something that I swear is in there. It might not amuse me as much as it did stitching it during my late night sewing session.


The measurements came out to what I was intending for the base.  I put this bag together thinking of not closing the top completely. I only wanted a flap I could secure to keep things from falling out or other people digging in.  Not connecting the flap on the sides of the bag kept it from keeping the boxy shape that I liked.  I did some quick stitching and attached a few points on the flap to the bag’s body to help pull in the wandering sides.
After using the bag for a week or so, I realized the handles could be about an inch or so longer. I could have also dropped the flap down about an inch into the bag instead of putting it right at the top like I did. It’s a little flimsy even though I used interfacing on the gingham. A stronger interfacing would have fixed this.

Super short little post for an angry little bag. 🙂

3 items left on my list! Sewaholic Thurlows, Burda Flares and rainbow belt. A little over 5 months left and I have everything I need to make them. If I can’t complete this, I have a serious case of the “lazies”.

IMG_2925

Scrappy Floral Garden

Have you ever gone into your fabric stash and come out with an accidental project? You feel the immediate need to complete it A) because you have the fabric in hand B) there’s a pattern that is dying to be made from this sad little remnant.  That’s where this shirt began.  Lying in a little neat folded pile amongst other fabrics waiting for their turn to be beautiful.

I have a See & Sew pattern B5632 (out of print) that I haven’t used for a very long time.  I think it may be the first pattern I bought when I decided I would try to make my own clothes.  it touted that it would be “Sew Easy”! I had a hard time with it. I chalked it up to being a beginner and thinking I could slap something together without needing to fit it.  Well I’m much wiser at this point and realize that’s not how sewing goes, at least most of the time  anyway. The pattern is a dress but I figured I had enough to squeeze out a shirt. Simple enough!

IMG_2871

The top patterns pieces for this are cut in duplicate; one innie and one outtie. I have some very thin cream jersey that I figured would work for the innie and the outtie is the floral rayon scrap.  The package told me that I should cut a size 14. I knew it was wrong but I cut it anyways. Trimming down is easier than trying to magically make fabric grow. When all was said an done, I should have cut the size 8 which I figured but hey, I was trusting the creator.

IMG_2872

I have to say for such an easy pattern, I had a hell of a time with it.  Partially because of cutting the wrong size and the other because the pleats and overlapping is quite fiddly in the front. The pleats do not make for a nice rounded cup. It does weird things and I couldn’t get the fabric to lay flat against my bosom. So piss on that. I kept changing the position of the straps because putting the strap where instructed caused the fabric to flare out at the side.

IMG_2870

Talk about barely squeezing this out! I had to use the selvedge!

After wrestling with this “sew easy” project over a few days and many strong curses had been had, I completed a simple tank top.  All that for just a tank.  It should have been something more astonishing and marvelous but sometimes you take what you can get.

IMG_2877

For the hot, hot weather we’ve been having, this top is perfect. The rayon makes it light and it feels like I’m not wearing a top at all! Which did cause me to touch the hem a few times to make sure it hadn’t flown up or magically disappeared.

IMG_2880

I still think I need to come up with a much better way to construct the main pieces of this pattern because it is adorable and I can see me using it again. That can happen another time, when I have lots of patience and alcohol.

June: Project Sew My Style

I’ve had this garment of the year long #sewmystyle project done for over a month. I mistakenly made it last month thinking it was May’s project but that was the doomed Pocket Skirt by CaliFaye. This month’s make is way better! It’s the Briar Sweater & Tee by Megan Nielsen. You may have seen that I wore this shirt twice during #mmm17. It’s pretty awesome!


I bought an fantastic rayon knit from Girl Charlee. It’s two shades of blue; electric and navy. It’s soft and really light. Perfect for a summer tee. I chose the full length shirt over the cropped version. As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a cropped kind of girl but I was concerned about the length on the tail of the full length version. I like a good butt flap but an extreme tail might not be cute.


The shirt is super fast and easy. Fast to cut out and just as fast to stitch. All done in one sitting. I normally don’t do that. I have to think different aspects through before I continue on.  Nothing to think through. It’s a t-shirt! Front, back and sleeves. Simplicity at its finest. Check out that stripe matching!


I did have a mishap. I snipped the sleeve! I was trimming out extra fabric on the sleeve hem. The fabric is so light that I didn’t realize I had more than a single layer and SNIP! Crap! I tried to fix it by sewing the little flap I had dangling to cover the hole. Kind of healing itself. That did not wash well at all. I used a bit of cotton fabric the same navy color and put behind the hole and stitched around it. I think this will work so much better.
Nothing else to really say about this one. I enjoy wearing it. The butt flap is a little much. It gets caught on my booty. I would like to try out the cropped version in a sweater. It would look cute for layering.That’s all folks!  Have you made the Briar tee? What are your thoughts?

From Old to New

While visiting my parents, my mom decided to dig out an old dress and force it upon me. “Here make something with it!” Ya know, because I make magic from old ugly things.  I did not take a picture of the dress before I started hacking it apart. I even told myself to do so.  I was watching tv and thought I could rip it apart while I sat.  Picture be damned! The dress was a long sheath dress with a slit on each side.  Nothing exciting.

I knew I had enough fabric for a shirt and possibly a skirt or something else. Hmm… I started with the shirt. I wanted to make a peplum top.  I fished out my pattern Simplicity 1425. I made this shirt before and it wasn’t too bad of a sew.  The dress already had the proper neckline and it was sleeveless so I really only needed to worry about the princess seams in the front, darts in the back and the peplum. Talk about a lazy sew.

FullSizeRender 4

Sorry for the deodorant mark! lol I’ve worn it already to work and we haven’t made it to wash day yet. 🙂

I laid out the pattern on the top and realized that the pattern wasn’t going to work because the fabric wasn’t wide enough so I decided to wing it! I put the top on and starting pinning it on myself. I picked where the princess seams should sit and pinned the line on one side. I cut along the pins and left a 1/4 seam allowance. (well I tried. It was definitely not that big) I took that line and mirrored it on the other side by folding the piece in half and marking the cut in chalk.

FullSizeRender 3

I was able to follow the pattern for the length, darts in the back and the peplum.  I did have to cut the peplum short in width because I wanted to conserve as much fabric as I could.

IMG_2794

I made sure when I was sewing it back together, that I unpicked the hemmed edges.  I could have sewed it up without doing so but it would have left funny lumps at the joins.  Taking a few extra minutes to unpick is so worth it! Instead of the pleats on the peplum, I gathered the piece to fit the width of the top.

IMG_2795

I was super worried about how to do the closure in the back.  I had a plan of adding an extra piece down the middle and sew it closed to about the waist and do some snaps to finish out the length. It was going to look like the extra piece was hiding buttons or a zipper but when I tried it on with the extra piece, it was too big.  I was able to sew the back closed and I can still slide it on.  The fabric has a bit of stretch that is just enough to shimmy down into place.  Score!

IMG_2791

As if a cute top wasn’t enough, I have enough to make a pair of shorts.  Yup, shorts.  Like I mentioned before the fabric has a bit of stretch so why not!  I named them Rose Butt before I even started on them.  Because that’s just what you do.

IMG_2800

I used my handy dandy workout capri pattern I’ve used a bunch of times.  They are slip on style and have an elastic waist.  Unfortunately when I made them the legs were a bit too tight.  So tight in fact, my fat started to try to decide above or below the hem.  It was not pleasant.

FullSizeRender

Tis a bit blurry but you get the idea.

Instead of just canning the whole idea, I decided to revisit the dress’ start.  It had slits.  I can just add slits to the shorts and bam!  No need for my fat to worry about not being with its other friends.

IMG_2796

Now I will tell you, this will be the one and only time they are worn together.  That’s so not cool.  I want to make a big, swingy top to go with them.  Tight on the bottom but airy on top.  I prefer this rule in my life.  Never two tight items or too lose.  It just doesn’t work for me.  I feel like I’m sharing a lot… too much? Oh well.

IMG_2799

I didn’t want to wait until I decided what the top should look like before sharing the shorts so I did pair it with my Blackout Sorbetto for another look.  Two for one special!  Out with the old and in with the (two) new.