American Rag

I’ve been racking my brain lately on how to finish up my red sweater knit Walmart fabric. Coming in at a whopping 5 yds, it takes up quite a it of my stash. I had bought 2 other fabrics both at 5 yds a piece and I can create about 3 items from each. So far in red, I’ve made a long sleeved red swing dress. 2 more to go!I have a small bit of navy sweater knit in a similar weight that I could use with the red. I chose to make another raglan sleeved Toaster Sweater by Sew House Seven. I made one previously in the same style as the one in the post. It was floral and grey. Unfortunately, I made it a bit short. I tend to tug at the bottom. This one I was going to make sure had a good length.

Here’s the changes to the pattern:

  • Funnel/mock turtleneck to a crew neck
  • Vented hem to a curved hem (a little longer in the back)
  • Long sleeve to 3/4
  • Add about 5″ or more to length

To make the crew neck, I take a pattern piece from another pattern. I draw it on the fabric with chalk then line up the shoulders from the toaster pattern and continue. The curve is free hand. I mark the fabric again with my chalk at a curve I find acceptable. It sometimes takes me a few marks until I’m happy. Better to do it with the chalk and not after it’s cut.

I was planning on using the navy for the sleeves. I realized the little bit of fabric I had was not going to be long enough to do the sleeve in one piece. Time to make it work! It would look silly to hook two pieces of navy together mid sleeve. The best thing to do would be to stripe the sleeves with the red. I figure narrow, wide, narrow would be a good pattern.

I also didn’t have the proper width for the fabric it that would be okay because the sleeves were always big and this would make them more fitted. This also lead to me having to cut down the body a bit too at the bust. Fitted sleeve and everything else being super billowy wouldn’t look right. I eyeballed this with my chalk and then hacked it off.

I have an American feeling shirt. It’s so comfy. This fabric is soft and it swings just right at my hips. No worries of this being too short. The knit is so light I’m not worried about getting too hot in the spring heat. Love it!


VD Dress

I’m not a Valentine’s Day girl but with a red dress it feels appropriate to talk about it now. Truth be told, I made this dress in an afternoon in December. I’ve been a horrible blogger lately. Hubby and I have bought a home and it’s been taking all my time. I good write an entire post just about all the things happening. Some has been planned but most hasn’t! I’m sure you can get the picture that I haven’t had much time to sew, let alone blog.

Okay, let’s continue with the dress!

I’m going to start with the fabric. It’s a red sweater knit from Wal-mart! It was part of my awesome score of 5 yds for $5. It’s a light to midweight, padow red. If it wasn’t so cheap, I would not have picked it up. I’m sooo not a red kind of girl. I can honestly say this the only red item in my closet.

The pattern for the dress is a mix of a Briar Tee by Megan Nielsen and McPattern Swing Dress. My original Swing Dress pattern is not a crew neck style so the introduction of the Briar Tee pattern helps to change up the neck. You can also see the tight crewneck on my cropped Briar Tee. I wanted more of a winter dress so that required long sleeves and I love an extra long sleeve so I added 3-4″.

The hem is a bit wavy but I’m not super annoyed by it. The hem is wide to give it a bit of weight. I’m not Marilyn!

There you have it. A nice simple red dress. It’s so comfortable and soft. I can easily curl up underneath it. Of course, it has some swing!

Add a heart necklace and I’m ready for Valentine’s Day!

Quick and Warm

When I picked up 5 yds of black knit fabric, my brain had to start coming up with more ideas than a long sleeve cardigan. Then I came up with the best idea! A 3/4 sleeve cropped sweater to wear with my Vogue 9001 maxi dress.

I used the Briar Tee pattern by Megan Nielsen. The cropped length would be perfect to hit me at the waist. I would need to bring in the neckline because I wanted a crew neck, find a happy sleeve length between the short and long, and lastly make sure the sides were fitted in tight. I didn’t want a big slouchy sweater.

I cut and sewed this in one day. More specifically, in an hour!

This fabric is so soft. The weight is decently light so it will be great for layering.

I took these pictures were taken way too late in the day so it’s me and my shadow. I had to take about two inches out of the sleeve width to get the fitted look I wanted. I cut the smallest size for the bodice. I only had to take an inch or so out of the sides.

I was able to turn up the hem on the bodice and sleeves 3/4″ for a clean edge.

The neckline is a 2″ wide strip folded in half and attached.

I love a quick and easy project. This was my final make in my old sewing room before I packed the girls up for the move. Frankie is smelling the night light for whatever reason…

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.

All in the Cards

I can’t stop remaking patterns this year. I’ve made the Toaster Sweater from Sew House 7 three times (one, two, three) and now I’m on my second Saunio Cardigan by Named. Last time I made the pattern, I whined about the shoulder seam being too far down my little bony shoulder. The other annoyance was how far away the sweater sits away from my neck.

When cutting the pattern I added 1″ to the neckline. I shortened the shoulder piece so it wouldn’t droop down my shoulder. I had to extend the sleeve top to make up for all the length I cut off the shoulder. Not sure how much I took off the shoulder and added to the sleeve. I just started hacking like you sometimes do. I did plan on adding 4″ to the bottom of the cardigan but I didn’t have enough for the facings when I got to cutting them. I was about 2″ short. I’ll talk about how I dealt with this in a minute.

Now that’s a happy shoulder seam. It’s right where it belongs. Moving the seam didn’t take away any of the swing of the cardigan. It’s sill roomy and doesn’t feel constricting at the arms.

Since the facings were short (because of my lack of fabric) and on my first Saunio, I was a little annoyed by all the overlapping fabric in this area. I needed to create a solution. I stitched the edge of the facing bottom to the bottom of the front piece.  This created almost a tube in this area.  It also made a hole where the facing and the front were not connected on the left side of this pic between the bottom of the cardigan and the edge.  I flipped to the inside of the facing and front piece and stitched the seam allowance. This closed up the hole and made it where I didn’t lose length just created a large hem at the bottom.  The only thing encased in there is the seam allowance.  There’s no bulk. I stitched all along the bottom to secure the facing and created my hem.

As I mentioned before, I did add 4″ of length but after my upturn at the bottom it equates to about half of that.  I’m okay with it.  I really like the width from the stitch line to the bottom of the cardigan.  Happy accident.

The bottom hem is 2″.  The one on the sleeve is 5/8″.  Majorly different but worked for each area. On my last one, I know I turned under quite a bit more on the sleeve. I liked where this sleeve hit with the small fold so no point in adding more.

I think this has potential to have a closure at the waist.  What do you think?  Not on this one because I like it as is, but if I do the pattern again.  I like the way the front flap fell when I was playing around with it while taking pictures.  I think a big button or a frog closure could be interesting. Or it could be simple and I can make a belt which a lot of people did when they made this for February’s #sewmystyle. Maybe even work ties into the side seams. That way the belt is always with the sweater.

The original pattern has a slight curve from the neck down to the tip of the sweater front. I decided to straighten out the line on this.  I didn’t really understand why it was curved and a straight line is easier to sew!

Definitely love this one more than the purple one. The purple color is fantastic but I keep looking at those damn shoulder seams.  The fabric for this one is super soft and light enough for the office to keep me warm when they have the a/c turned to arctic. I’m way happier with this pattern now!