Feb 182015
 

I got to try out some lovely knits from imagine gnats, so I sewed two new things to wear to work. I’m really excited to make myself simple work clothes since I noticed that a bunch of my RTW collared shirts that I wear all the time are so worn out that the interfacing is peeking through collar points and hem edges. 😀
wine briar top

First, I made a Megan Nielsen Briar top out of wine-colored French terry. (SO COZY. Stealth pjs.) I’ve been wanting to get this pattern for a while, but I was nervous that I was being taken in by the pretty modeled pictures and how great it looks on Megan Nielsen herself. I suspected that it wouldn’t actually work on my body since it seems to look best on more hourglassy people… but I got it anyway because I am an incorrigible consumer. :>
wine briar side

I redrew the hem halfway between the cropped and full-length views — the cropped hem was way too high for me, and the full-length hem was practically a dress since I’m 5’2″-ish. The longer backside is perfect because I have a couple of slightly-too-snug, no-lining work pants that I can wear again, now that my butt will be covered. hehehe.
wine briar back

The pattern has instructions for two neck finishes: a bound neckline and a t-shirt style neckline. I did the bound neckline… the instructions don’t tell you to trim down the seam allowance, and even though I did do that for my wearable muslin, I didn’t trim the seam allowances on this version, and the neckline came out a little wonky. I do like the bound neckline since I think it looks a little less casual for work, but I don’t care enough about how I look at work to unpick this wonky neckband and redo it. :>
wine briar normal

One of the reasons I really wanted to get this pattern was the elbow-length sleeves, which is actually not marked on the pattern, but is available as a pattern modification tutorial. I love these! The next time I make a Briar top, I’m going to try making the shoulder seam shorter since I think the sleeve starts further out on the shoulder than I need. Oh! I treated myself to Joi Mahon’s Create the Perfect Fit, and I was excited to see that there’s a table of contents entry for that neck-to-shoulder adjustment, but when I went to that page, it was one of the only ones without alteration instructions! >_< It kind of referred to another page further into the book, but when I flipped there, I didn't see anything specifically for the shoulder, and my attention wandered off...
wine briar hiding

The second thing I made was a Sewaholic Hollyburn with teal ponte. This was awesome — it was the first ponte I’ve used that didn’t pill almost at all after washing! (I could only see a verrrry slight texture when I looked at the fabric sideways in sunlight.)
teal hollyburn skirt

I loooove the Hollyburn skirt. This is actually the third one I’ve made (oops, haven’t gotten pictures of the others yet), because I love how it defines your waist and then flares out so your tummy has room to be normal-person-tummy-like. :> I had originally intended to make a comfy comfy elastic-waisted version, but I forgot to cut the waistband with stretch in mind and had to put in a zipper instead. I tried out my new tricot interfacing and interfaced the center back seam allowances in order to hopefully make sure the bottom end of the zipper wouldn’t stick out strangely, and I think it worked!
teal hollyburn back

Unfortunately, I didn’t interface the outer waistband since I thought I was going to put elastic in… I hope it doesn’t sag too much!
teal hollyburn goofy

Mr. Yazoo was so patient and helpful taking pictures for me — he kept retaking and retaking them when I complained about how I was making weird faces, and the first thing he said when we started on the Hollyburn pictures was, “suck in your gut!” hahahahahahahahahaha! (But really, that was super helpful because I totally would have made him retake even more pictures if he hadn’t. :D)
teal hollyburn silly

Feb 132015
 

Back during our New York trip (in October! hehehe), I was a little nutty from not being able to sew, so I made a bunch of sewing-related purchases that I normally wouldn’t have — they were awesome, but cost more than I’d normally spend all at once. One was a Swoon subscription, and that was neat because, while shopping at Joanns, I offered to make my sister-in-law a bag out of the fabric she was getting, so she looked through all the Swoon patterns and chose the Rosie crossbody bag.

(I have no idea why I thought it would be cute to include the Essex linen selvedge on one end of the strap.)
rosie crossbody

Still in the spirit of justifying impulse buys, I used Michelle Patterns’ curvy patch pocket templates for one of the inside pockets. It came out really cute!
curvy whale pocket

I put in two zippered pockets (there can never be too many in a purse!), and of course only the exterior one came out wonky, while the interior one was nice and straight. >_<
rosie crossbody back

My sister-in-law doesn’t sew too much, but she really had fun at Joanns and was buying fabric because I also offered to make her some scrubs and fabric baskets. She found a book in the store with some that she liked, and I remember that they seemed pretty easy to recreate without instructions, so I told her not to buy the book. But now I forget what they looked like! doh! I’d better get cracking on making more stuff out of her fabric — I see it every day, and its guilt cloud is getting stronger…
rosie crossbody

Jan 292015
 

I finally got around to using ikatbag‘s fairytale doll set pattern that I bought right when it was released in December 2013. Oops!
fairytale doll whole set

This pattern is awesome. It’s for a doll, five outfits, eighty jillion different hairstyles and shoes, and niftiest of all, a doll sleeping bag / doll+clothes carrying case. This why I love ikatbag patterns — they’re smart and fun and thoughtful all around!
pink dress outfit

I made it for my niece’s 4th birthday (I thought it would be a waste to make it for my own kids, hahaha), and I even finished way early, but I was a dope and mailed it off only five days before, so it ended up arriving two days late! booooooo.
orange dress outfit

In order to make turning easier, the arms and body are cut in a single piece, and then a fake raglan-shoulder-like seam is sewn to make a shoulder joint. I messed up somehow and the armpit seams don’t go up high enough, so the clothes (especially this one) fit kind of funny.
strapless dress outfit

Fortunately, my sister told me that my niece really likes her doll. Yay! Apparently, she’s using the mermaid bikini as sunglasses instead, which I think is awesome.
mermaid doll

I chose to make the yarn hair, but I didn’t quite pay attention to the length that the instructions say to make the wig, which is why her hair comes down a little too far down her forehead. So to my future self: verbatim compliance, always, with ikatbag patterns!
fairy doll outfit

One side of the carrying case is a sleeping bag, and the other side has a zippered compartment to hold the extra clothes. There’s a top flap that you can fold over the sleeping bag side so that when you’re carrying everything around, your doll can still nap peacefully. Fairies and mermaid don’t sleep, though, since they’re magical beings. (Also, they don’t fit in the sleeping bag with their fancy clothes on.)
sleeping bag

I got this whale fabric during our trip to New York when we went to Joanns. There’s no Joanns here, so I went a little nuts! And as always, I grumbled grumbled grumbled while I was making the bias strips. :>
zippered side

I have about two years before the next eligible baby is old enough to possibly like it if I make these again… that’s probably enough time to recover from all the weeny doll clothes, yeah? 😀
cosmo and doll

Jan 202015
 

I made two more poolside totes recently for presents because I love this pattern so much. The cutout makes it easy to reach in to grab stuff without taking one of the handles off my shoulder!

The first one was for my co-worker who retired at the end of last year. I actually wanted to make her a quilt, but ran out of time. :(
mochi dots poolside tote

Since I wasn’t sure how flashy she likes her bags, I used a conservative mochi dot canvas for the exterior. (Can you see the slip pocket? Pattern matching! :) ) She used to give me cute little origami boxes (with candy inside!) made out of adorable cartoony paper, though, so I figured it would be okay to use this fun print on the inside.
mochi dot poolside tote interior

The second was for my friend’s birthday. I sent it in the same box as her late Christmas present, which ooops, I forgot to take a good picture of. I’ll just slap up the instagram pic here (which I took while I was waiting to find out what length to make the handles) — it’s a Petrillo bag that she chose the fabrics for.
birdie petrillo bag

She’s going to use her Petrillo bag for work, and she remarked that it looked pretty somber compared to the bags I normally make. :> So then to balance things out, I made her a silly horsie bag (my fabric choice, of course) for her birthday!
horsie poolside tote pocketless

I did the zipper pocket on hers (instead of just a slip pocket like the others) because, even though it’s a silly bag, it should still be a little bit practical for my practical friend. 😀
horsie poolside tote

Jan 132015
 

In December, I found the uptown/downtown dress pattern, and I love it so much! It makes an adoooorable little baby dress, it’s quick and easy to sew (I like kiddie things to be fast makes since they get outgrown so quickly), there are a lot of modifications included (great for me, who has no fashion imagination), and it’s a super price (hehehe).
uptown downtown dress, grey

I was able to make two size 2T outfits out of my Cherie Jenna cardi leftovers… oops! Which I forgot to mention here — it was for imagine gnats, and it looked like this:
cherie jenna

Anyway, in order to stretch the leftovers, I omitted the facings and did normal t-shirty neck and sleeve finishes. I also constructed them in the flat because sewers I admire and who are better than me do that too. 😀
cherie uptown downtown dress

For my sister’s daughter my other baby, I made a 2T but chopped it to a t-shirt length since she’s only 1 year old and isn’t walking yet. Hopefully that’s why it fits a bit oddly around the neck, and it’ll get better as she grows into it.
two 2T uptown downtown outfits

I’m a huuuuge dork and forgot to take a good-camera picture, but on Christmas afternoon, I remembered that I wanted to make a matchy Christmas dress for Glowbug and managed to sew this in time for dinner. (Sorry for the blurriness — it’s the best one I have. >_<) hehehe, matchy Christmas outfits!
blurry Christmas matchy outfits

Dec 232014
 

My parents’ 40th anniversary is this year, so my sister and I made a quilt for them. Surprise! (My parents are hard to get presents for — they just buy what they want when they want it!)
anniversary Round & Round quilt

My sister drew pictures of everyone in our immediate family and sent them to me so I could trace them with fabric paint. My OMQG guildies were tickled when they saw me use a Crayola light board for a lightbox, but it works really well and is very portable! (I found out about this at ikat bag.)
anniversary round rents

I used the Thimble Blossoms Round & Round pattern since the circles of stars were perfect for framing my sister’s pictures. I didn’t mean to make it look so allthesamevalue, though! I even took greyscale pictures of my fabric to make sure I had light, medium, and dark values, and I didn’t notice until I was taking these pictures that the stars all kind of blend in with everything. >_< But my sister's drawings make everything better. 😀
anniversary round us

I really like how the Round & Round pattern turned out, but I have to say that the instructions are formatted really weirdly! It goes:

  • Page 1:
    • general instructions, including pretty detailed binding instructions
    • large quilt cutting instructions in bullet points
    • block assembly
  • Page 2:
    • block assembly, continued
    • finishing instructions – making the quilt sandwich and binding (binding information is spread out over three pages!)
  • Page 3:
    • layout diagram (why is the layout after the finishing instructions??)
    • mini quilt cutting instructions in paragraph format (why aren’t the mini cutting instructions in bullet points like the large quilt cutting instructions??)
  • Page 4:
    • binding illustration (why is this not on the same page as the finishing instructions?!)
    • materials list (why is this on the last page?!?)

I would totally rearrange the way the instructions are organized.
anniversary round sis

I don’t prewash my quilting fabric, and I’ve never made a mostly Essex linen quilt before, so I got nervous when Sarah told me about someone who made a quilt with not-prewashed linen, and then it pulled apart at the seams after the first wash. I didn’t manage to wash the quilt before giving it to my parents, but hopefully it’ll be okay because I quilted around every single seam, and also because I haven’t managed to baste very tightly since I switched from spray to pin basting.
anniversary round sis kids

My babies! This is my favorite block, hehehe.
anniversary round our kids

This one is Oscar, my mom’s favorite child. 😉
anniversary round oscar

I forgot to make a label for the back, but I figure this part’s kind of good enough? I actually had to make two of these blocks because I wrote in the wrong date on the first one!
anniversary round date

I liked how the quilting looked, except for around the pictures. They got really poofy since I didn’t quilt much in them, but I couldn’t figure out what I should have done. (Plus, it looks worse because of the creases from sitting folded for a while.) I guess I should buy one of those Craftsy quilting classes!
anniversary round back

Dec 052014
 

I got to test Sew Sweetness’s new Holland bag pattern (I believe it’s going to be released next year), and it makes such a cute little bag!
holland bag

I haven’t gotten around to buying thicker topstitching thread, so my straight stitching on the Essex linen straps was looking wobbly (even though I swear I was sewing straight). I ripped that out for the strap extenders on the bag body and experimented with the decorative stitches on my Juki F600… I may have gone a little crazy with the cutesy-folksy look, but I like it with the matryoshka print!
holland bag -- lookit the straps :D

Since the pattern is going to be aimed at beginners (I think), it includes instructions for patch pockets on both sides of the lining, but I replaced one with my usual interior zipped pocket.
holland bag interior zip

The bottom lining is an Aneela Hoey fabric — this is going to be my niece’s Christmas present, so hopefully she’ll get a kick out of the girl reading a book.
holland bag bottom

The tester version of the pattern has pretty long straps (30″ strips), but I like smaller bags like these to be right under my arm, so I cut mine down to 23″. Here’s a five year-old for scale!
Cosmo and the Holland bag

I sewed this on both my Juki TL-2000qi and F600. I started out on the F600 because of the decorative stitching on the straps and continued until I was sewing the exterior pieces (canvas and Soft & Stable) together. Then I noticed that when I tugged the exterior pieces apart at the seams, the stitching would become exposed, which looks awful. I switched to my TL-2000qi, and that sews things together much tighter so that individual stitches are never exposed when the seams are stressed.

Now I’m curious: do you think that if I needed to, I would be able to adjust my F600’s settings so that thick seams are more secure, or is this just the natural difference between a computerized/decorative stitch machine and a straight-stitch-only machine? Either way, I’m glad I have both! hehehe.
holland bag -- lookit the straps :D

Dec 022014
 

Now that it’s officially the Christmas season, I’m finally posting my kids’ Halloween costumes. On it! (Oh, and everything’s wrinkly because they were sitting in a pile near the door cause I kept thinking I’d take pictures this… okay this… no really this afternoon.)
jedi - set of three

Mr. Yazoo looooves Star Wars (he has almost all the books… which are now only legends, argh!), so he showed the kids the movies and then I told them they were going to be jedi for Halloween. muhahaha.
jedi - glowbug

I made each of the kids a sleeveless tunic and a cloak. Our Halloweens are hot (if they’re not raining), and I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t overheat and then want to take off the cloak. Cause then no one would know what they were!
jedi - unsuspecting

Generally, I think people could tell they were jedi, although more than one person asked if they were Franciscan monks. hah!
jedi - sunshine

I made Mr. Yazoo’s sith cloak last since I wanted to work out the construction on the kids’ ones. It’s made out of bottom-weight twill (the kids’ ones are cotton broadcloth) because he’s going to wear it every year from now on and we wanted it to be nicer, but I couldn’t afford to buy 8 yards of wool. Plus wool is really warm. But the twill turned out to be a heatbox as well! Too bad, though — he’s still obligated to wear it every year.
jedi - glowbug fighting

P.S. I cracked up when Mr. Yazoo showed me this The Force Awakens special edition trailer… although perhaps you should watch the real one first. 😀

Nov 202014
 

(No, not that one. heh!) I’ve wanted to make the Wee Wonderfuls Elsa doll for so long… at first, I was waiting for a time when I could give one to my niece (but then I gave her a daddy doll instead), and then when Glowbug was born, I had to wait till she was old enough to want one. Finally last week she was trying to steal Sunshine’s monster doll, so I knew it was time!
Wee Wonderfuls Elsa doll

I loooove this doll — it’s so cute! It’s the regular (not wee size), and since I worry about little kids playing tug-of-war with dolls, I adjusted the construction so that the arms and legs could be machine-sewn into the seams. Since the bottom gusset is originally a single oval, I cut two half ovals (plus seam allowance) to create a seam to sew the legs into. I also left openings in the underarm and inner leg seams and stuffed them using my hemostats and a bubble drink straw after turning the doll right side out.
elsa legs

It was too difficult for me to try to also machine sew the head on before turning, so I ladder stitched around the neck three times. I made waaaay too many bangs, and I think her eyes are a little higher than they’re supposed to be, but I still love her little face! Yay for a cute pattern! I was sort of going for a forest elf look with the leafish embroidery around her funny little hat; when you look at the embroidery specifically, it’s pretty hilariously bad, but if you just glance at the doll, I think it works! 😀
elsa doll head, head on (hehe)

I also put little colonial knots around the back neck to keep securing the hat, cause I really wanted to make sure nothing would come off. Also, at first, I left the little shoes unattached, but then (after I took pictures) Glowbug started throwing them on the floor and saying, “uh oh!” to get me to put them back on, so I got tired of that and colonial knotted the shoes on as well.
elsa doll head, side view

I’m super happy that Glowbug seems to like her doll — she carries it around and calls it baby! :)
elsa doll and glowbug

Nov 122014
 

When Noodlehead’s Poolside Tote was released earlier this year, I was kind of meh about it. But then my OMQG guildie showed up with a goooooorgeous poolside tote that she received, and I had to make one for myself. This was also something that I made at the last minute before our NY trip — I had visions of carrying my loads of shopping goodies around in my rawr bag. 😀
lions poolside tote

I really wanted to make mine like my guildie’s one — with faux leather pocket and handles — but I eventually calmed down (after mentally reviewing how much I’d been spending on fabric >_< ) and eked the handles and pockets out of some denim scraps I had lying around. I lurve this bag... I especially want to point out the cutout, because at first I just thought it was a cosmetic feature, but it really is practical and makes the bag comfier to use!
lion poolside tote, pocket side