simplicity

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

In a Jiffy

Disclaimer: I’m using a new photo editing software. If my pics are funny colors, I apologize. We’re still getting to know each other.

I know repeatedly I’ve said that I’m stash busting this year. My goal was to only buy fabric for the #sewmystyle projects.  I did so good until a few weeks ago. I needed denim for flares that are listed on my #2017makenine. I may have bought a bit of other fabric while I was at it.  One of those fabric was a blue sweater knit. I needed a plain blue top to go with a skirt I made a few years back. (unclogged and my first sew on my serger) I have a long sleeve sweater but it’s not appropriate for summer.

I decided to revisit a pattern that created a fail in a previous life. Simplicity 1364 which is a vintage Jiffy pattern. I did a lot of measuring before deciding on make a size 10 and grade to a 12. I really should have made an 8 and grade to a 10. That’s pretty typical for me. I’ll explain why in a bit.

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When they advertise “jiffy” damn do they mean it! It has a front, back and facing for the neck.  There are a couple darts on the front but other than that I used my serger for everything. When you can park in front of one machine, everything goes so fast! Granted there was some top stitching. Not sure if that was part of the instructions or not. I didn’t actually read them at all. When you have three whole pieces, are instructions really necessary? I believe not!

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As I mentioned, I cut a 10. I shouldn’t have. The knit is forgiving so I could afford to go smaller. And honestly, if I would have flashed back to my previous version, I would have remember that it’s huge on me. Oh well. I ran the top through the serger to shave off the sides a bit more. I also added a small band at the bottom. I didn’t want the bottom to continuously try to roll up which light weight knits tend to want to do. I cut a 3″ wide rectangle the length of the shirt’s bottom circumference. I folded that guy in a half and sergered it on. I did topstitch the sewn edge to the body of the top. I’m determined that there shall be no roll! After trying it on with my skirt, I could have left off the band and turned up some of the length. It does seem a little long.

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I think it turned out well. The neckline is a boat neck and I prefer a crew style but whatever. It works! It’s plain and looks cute with my skirt. Everything I was aiming for.

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It also looks pretty good with jeans too.  I may need to make more of these.  Pieces that I can wear to work and still want to wear on the weekends are a must. That post went by in a Jiffy too.

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 Fabric.com 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!

(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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

Cuckoo for Coconuts

When you think coconuts you think Hawaiian right? No? Just me. Oh well segue that into Hawaiian print fabric.  I bought a super bright, flowery print from SAS Fabric in Phoenix. That store is amazing! I had to put about 3 or 4 bolts back because I was going a little crazy.

I picked the fabric specifically for Simplicity 1106 version D. I wanted more weekend clothes. Fun fabric and a twist on the t-shirt pattern seemed the perfect pair.


The pattern has a separate piece for the back yoke. I contemplated using a different fabric but I was worried about it looking too eye-catching and not being cohesive. The fabric has an edging that’s almost wide enough to fit the yoke pattern piece. If I would have thought about the seam allowance, I would have realized that I could have cut it a little differently and the edging would have fit perfectly without excess print. I did leave out the hole on the back of the shirt. I didn’t want to have a break in my awesome print. I had to grade the pattern from the bottom of the sleeves to wider at the hem. This is a typical adjustment I make on most patterns.


Check out that pattern match! I was really particular about making sure the pink flowers went straight down the front and back. This pattern comes together so fast. I’m normally a really slow sewer but it was done before I knew it.


I’m really happy with the neckline and my top-stitching. I did have issues with the hemming. The fabric is so light that when I hemmed it the fabric would fly out. It made the sleeves look like I was ready to take flight. I adjusted the hem on the sleeves to be a little deeper to give them more weight.


I can see myself making this pattern again. Like I mentioned it’s so quick to sew and there’s lots of ways to make each version different.