Aug 122014

I made more clothes! I like reading the blogs of super fancy pretty clothes-making people, but I only ever make myself very basic, basic, everyday things. :D

Anyway, I made an Eucalypt tank using a fun polyester crepe de chine. This one’s an XS at the top and graded to a small at the hip; I did that because the first version I made (in cotton voile) fit really nicely at the top but was too tight at the hip. It looks like I need to make just a straight small, though, because this one’s noticeably too tight on top. Poo!
crepe de chine eucalypt top and denim maritime shorts

I had a hard time applying the binding facing on this one, and I guess it’s because I’m not used to sewing with polyester since I had an easier time on my cotton voile version. I was really happy with the bottom hem, though — I managed to get it really narrow, and it didn’t flare strangely! Yay! I only realized after I finished that this fabric wasn’t ravelly at all, and that’s why I was able to make such a nice hem… is that what all crepe de chines are like? I really don’t know much about fabric types, doh.
eucalypt + maritime back

I don’t know if I’m supposed to be able to adjust things in the back so that droopiness doesn’t happen, but I can’t imagine how since there are only two pattern pieces and no darts. I love the drapiness in the front, though — hides my tummy! I got sick of taking pictures of myself since I apparently can’t make normal faces, but I loooove wearing this tank. I feel all grown up because I’m wearing something that’s not a t-shirt.
eucalypt + maritime side

Here’s my second pair of maritime shorts; these are made of a Robert Kaufman denim (I think). Even though I didn’t serge off the center seam allowance by accident this time, I still ended up having to add some fabric to install the fly zipper. Ugh! This makes me want to take an in-person class so someone can show me what I’m doing wrong, but realistically, I’ll probably just buy the thurlow trousers pattern since I’ve heard that those instructions are really good.
denim maritime front

I still love the back pockets, even though Mr. Yazoo said they look too big. I do find that I have to pull my phone slightly out of my pocket in order to sit down… oh well.
denim maritime side

I did a 1/4″ full seat adjustment, which I think helped reduce the strange creases. Next time, I’ll try increasing it to a 1/2″ adjustment — there’s still something funky going on there. I’m not too concerned with that pulling weirdness just below the waistband because my shirts always cover it. :P
denim maritime back

When Cosmo saw the crepe de chine (before I had cut it up), he really liked it and asked me to make a shirt for him out of it. When I told him that it was going to be a tank for me, he got all mad and grumped, “why do you get all the nice things?!” hahahahaha!

Jul 292014

… in both the color and theme! hehehe (<-- only funny to me)

For my nephew’s 2nd birthday, I made him a daddy dolly — his sister got one in casual clothes back in January, and even though I heard that he tried to steal it right away, I was was a meanielazysewerer and made him wait for his birthday for his own. (A nice auntie would have just made him one right away.)
daddy dolly in the weeds

This one is supposed to be wearing a Navy lieutenant uniform, but it keeps making me think of an airline pilot. What do you think? I was soooo glad that I made the jacket separately when I was almost finished — after I turned the dolly right side out, I found out that I’d sewn the arms on wrong! They were angled up (like when kids ask to be picked up) instead of angled down like I’d meant them to be. Fortunately, the jacket kind of mushes things into the correct shape. There’s no way I was going to unpick all that back-and-forth-and-scribble-some-more-to-keep-it-in-place stitching!
daddy dolly in action

Even though I tried to draw the jacket pattern so it would end up with wide sleeves, I failed and the sleeves were really tight — I had to pull the doll arms through with my hemostats. Other than that, I was happy with the jacket — I sewed the soft side of the velcro on the inner jacket edge and little dots of the scratchy side of the velcro behind the felt fake buttons. It holds together pretty well… but I didn’t toddler test it. Oh, and can you see the hand-stitched-down collar (or lapel thingy)? I was really pleased with how that turned out. :}
daddy dolly jacket

I started on this dolly a week before I had to mail it, and when I went to get blue safety eyes from my stash, I found out that I only had one left! Yay for responsive Etsy sellers — I found someone who was able to ship the ones I wanted the next day (I didn’t know this, but since some sellers hand paint some of their safety eyes, they can’t ship certain types until a couple of days after the order is placed). This was also the first time I used safety eyes with metal washers (the other ones I had had plastic washers), and metal washers are SO MUCH EASIER to put on. Yayyyy!
daddy dolly on the steps

Gosh, but I was happy to finish this; I have a big pile of apparel fabric that I want to play with, but I keep having to put it off for things like this that I’d feel awful if I didn’t finish first. I think the kids have been eyeing that pile of fabric to use as a leaf pile… >_<

Jul 212014

I made Maritime shorts! It takes so much mental energy for me to make clothes that I post about what really ought to be muslins, heh. You can see in this picture that there is a seam in the center next to the fly that oughtn’t be there — I had to add fabric because I didn’t read the instructions properly and serged all the way up the center seam instead of stopping before the bottom of the fly.
maritime shorts on front

These are a size 4 and fit really comfortably, even though they’re made out of pretty stiff remnant home dec twill. Next time, I ought to top stitch around the front pockets; the instructions don’t call for it (unless I missed that), but I think the pockets look a little unfinished without any.
maritime shorts on side

But what’s going on here? I’m not experienced enough to even be able to tell what’s wrong — is it the stiff + no-stretch fabric, that I should have serged much closer to the crotch seam, or that I should sew the back-crotchular part with a smaller seam allowance so there’s more room? The weirdness in the back is related to the pulling on the side near the waistband, yeah? How do I fix this?! argh.
maritime shorts on back

I got confused when I was putting the fly together and thought that the instruction’s diagrams were telling me to put the fly shield on with the serged edge on the side that would show. I ended up having to pull out a pair of rtw pants to check what the fly shield looked like. Also, I missed the edge of the waistband facing while top stitching from the front, so I had to hand stitch it down in many spots. The innards of my shorts are not very pretty!
maritime shorts inside out

Despite the weirdness in the back, I’ve been wearing these shorts a lot — I can’t see my own butt, so I pretend the funkiness isn’t happening. I love the back pockets — the top stitching looks actually looks okay! Plus, patch pockets on the backs of shorts and pants are my favorite. I know welt pockets look fancy, but I don’t like using them; they’re often wrinkly when empty, and I think they look silly when you load them up.
maritime shorts flat back

I’m stoked about the fly front — I feel like I finally made real shorts! I put on a button (using these two tutorials) instead of using a hook and eye because the waistband facing fabric is pretty flimsy, and I was worried that the hook and eye would rip it or pull strangely. Should I not have been worried about that?

Anyhoo, even though there’s something funky going on with this pair, I’m super happy with the Maritime shorts pattern. I like the mid-rise waistline (the three other bottoms patterns I’ve tried all have high waistlines, which I know are good for holding my tummy in, but are a little less comfy), the back pockets, and the real fly!
maritime shorts fly

Jul 152014

One of my recent sewing dreams came true — I got to make a double gauze blanket for myself! Months ago, Rachael sent me some double gauze scraps in my fabric order, and the Kobayashi solids were just ridiculously soft and wonderful. I decided then that when it was time to treat myself, I’d make a tied, whole-cloth, double gauze blanket — I didn’t want seams or quilting to get in the way of the way the fabric felt. And here it is! It doesn’t look like much, but I love using it.
nani iro blanket full view

I tried to be economical since double gauze costs a little more than I usually feel like my budget can handle. It’s made out of:

  • 1.5 yards of Nani Iro’s Joy Flower — the white parts of the pattern are actually white shimmer paint! I don’t know how it’s going to like being washed, but I think I’d better remember to dry it on delicate.
  • 1 yard of the Kobayashi mustard solid
  • 2 yards of the Kobayashi blue-grey solid
  • 1 package of Quilters Dream wool batting, throw size (60″ x 60″). I bought it from Seaside Quilting, and the shop owner is crazy awesome. She included a sample card of all the different Quilters Dream battings (I LOVE that sample card!) and a little coaster kit!

nani iro blanket full view back

I thought it would be fabric-efficient to add a bit of the Joy Flower to the back in order to bring the front and back center panels to the dimensions I wanted, but that didn’t turn out to be a great idea since there’s a pretty significant difference in the way the Nani Iro and Kobayashi double gauzes feel. Nani Iro is for looks and Kobayashi is for feels. :> But since Nani Iro is for looks, I kept the selvedge on the front so I can show off (to myself) that this is my Nani Iro blankie. ;D
nani iro blanket selvedge

I forgot to get a picture of it (not that it would be super interesting), but the blue borders are mitered at the corners. I wasted significant (to me) chunks of fabric doing that, but I really like the way it looks. I’ve always thought that the pillows my sister made looked extra fancy, and I finally realized that it’s partially because she miters the corners of her borders.

This quilt is sort of tied — I used a snowflake stitch in the tie-down spots (I got a Juki F600 for my birthday, hehehe), and it’s holding up so far.
nani iro blanket fascinating backing

I’ve already got most of my supplies for my next double gauze blanket. For one thing, Glowbug keeps stealing this one. She kicks off any other blanket that I try to put on her, but when I’ve already snuggled under this one, she takes it from me! Also, it’s a little shorter than I like since I was too scroogey when I got the fabric for this one. And finally, it’s gotten a leetle bit scratchy. I think that some of the fibers of the wool batting have worked through the loose weave and are bothering me a bit. Next time, I’m going to try Quilters Dream Puff, which is even fluffier, probably just as warm, and definitely smoother-feeling. I say again: my little batting sample card is so cool!
nani iro blanket photobombed

Linking up with Sewjo Saturday :)

Jul 142014

Months and months after my first trial pair of Tania culottes, I finally made a real pair! (Sorry about the tilt-o-vision — Cosmo took this picture for me, and it turned out to be the best close-up picture of them on.)
tania culottes close on

They’re made out of Anna Maria Horner’s Sinister Swarm in rayon challis, which feels faaaaantastic!
tania culottes flat

I sewed on a label (of sorts) because I once went an entire week wearing my other pair of culottes backwards. I kept thinking that it felt kind of short in the rear, but I didn’t think to recheck how I was wearing them!
tania culottes labeled

I struggled with my invisible zipper (as usual) because I bought it at my local Fabric Mart, which meant it had a big crease from being stapled into the packaging, and it made the side of my culottes poof out weirdly. I wasn’t able to iron the crease out, so while I was putting it in, I kept trimming it down to get the bendy-out part less noticeable, and I trimmed kind of too much off. >_< In the future, I'll just buy invisible zippers from ZipIt -- then they won't have a giant crease.
tania culottes that dang zipper

I let it hang for a week on my new sewing room friend! It’s pretty dorky, but I was waiting to make these culottes again til I got it — it was a big pain marking the even hem without a dressform the first time, and this time it was suuuuper easy. Just spin and pin!
my new sewing room friend

Even my normal (not too curvy) hems used to look awful and I dreaded doing them, but this time I used Coletterie’s tutorial for hemming circle skirts, and that made the hemming part super duper easy and much neater than I usually manage. (Well derp, I just read someone else’s post about these culottes, and she mentioned that Megan Nielsen gives this tip, too. Oops!)
tania culottes hem

Here are some full view pictures — I find them the most useful when I look at other people’s blogs to figure out if I want to buy a pattern, but I don’t like taking them myself. I’m clutching my not-yet-blogged blankie to cover up my jelly belly.
tania culottes full view front

Oh! I wore my culottes to my first meeting at the Oahu Modern Quilt Guild (whoopee! we finally have one!!!), and I was so happy because no one asked me if I made them (someone did ask me if I made my backpack). That’s a sign of clothes-making success, right? :D
tania culottes full view back

Jun 302014

I have a bad habit of liking and then wanting to buy clothes and fabric that will look weird or unflattering or silly on me, even though I know they’ll look weird or unflattering or silly on me. It happened again when Mood had a sale on striped fabric and I ordered a rainbow seersucker because it was so happy and made me think of a rainbow circus (cause who doesn’t want to wear clothes that remind people of a rainbow circus?), but I was at least able to restrict myself to making pjs out of them. This way, only my family will see my silly clothes! hehehe.
lakeside pajamas

I made a lakeside pajama set — the split back is so cute! (Oops, I really need a haircut.)
lakeside pjs, back

It’s a little tent-like in the front for me, though. I’m sure it’s my fabric choice (the seersucker is not what you’d call drapey, unless you meant drape-like, hee), plus I was very slapdash when I sewed the darts — I made them half an inch longer than they were supposed to be, and I think I should have shortened them by at least half an inch from the marked endpoint. I’ll try sewing them shorter if I make another top… but it might be a while before that happens because there’s soooooooo much bias tape to apply!
lakeside top bias tape forever

Actually, I probably need to just reprint the pattern and make completely different sizes — I sewed a size 2 top and bottom, but next time, I ought to make a size 0 top and a size 4 bottom. The right leg of the shorts sticks to my leg and rides up a bit, and I suspect that it’s because my right thigh is bigger, although I’ve never taken the time to measure.
lakeside shorts

I bet I could stand to shorten the shoulder straps by an inch, as well. The length is okay now, but I’m a little paranoid about little baby hands yanking on my shirt. :D
lakeside top back

Jun 192014

Again with the catching up on little things — bunnies and hedgehogs from April!

These were Cosmo’s and Sunshine’s bunnies for their Easter egg hunt. I made them following ikatbag’s free tutorial… by the way, I think it’s crazy that this was a free tutorial. I’d totally pay for that pattern! I’m severely 3D-deficient, but still. It’s awesome!
pair 'o bunnies

I used the least stretchy velour I could find at Fabric Mart and poured a whole package of poly pellets into each bunny. I maybe didn’t put as much stuffing into the bodies as I should have, though, cause they get sort of empty towards their necks when they try to sit up. Since I felt a little guilty for not making all of the other neato ikatbag bunny goodies (the bunny bed, bunny clothes, and bunny carrots), I decorated them a leetle bit with the carrot scarf, tummy rainbow, and butt hearts. The whole time, though, I was thinking about all the imaginative play my kids wouldn’t be able to have since I was too lazy to make them carrots and clothes and things…</being slightly sarcastic but also not entirely>
bunnies gotta help each other

Anyway! I intended the white one to be for Cosmo (since he loves rainbows) and the blue one for Sunshine (cause he always picks blue things), but they ended up choosing the reverse. Since he’s older and better at finding Easter goodies, Cosmo found both bunnies first and snagged the blue one. I asked him if he could let Sunshine choose between the two, and so Cosmo showed Sunshine the bunnies, but held the white one out closer to Sunshine to try to get him to pick it, and it worked! Sneaky!
bunny lineup

These hedgehogs were favors for Cosmo to give to his preschool classmates on his birthday. I was feeling toooo cheap to buy stuff for goodie bags, and these were free (aside from the quarters I put in the pockets).
hedgehog class

Not only that, but since I don’t have any good wrapping supplies, I printed out free froggy treat boxes and had Cosmo decorate as many as he could. muhahaha!
free wrapping

Cosmo was paid in (a single new) hedgehog. (Oops, this isn’t a picture of him with his hedgehog.) Fair trade, yeah?
Cosmo, child laborer

May 212014

Ooops, I found pictures of some small things I made half a year ago and forgot to post about. Must document everything (hah)! :D

Last year, While She Naps made a free tiny kitty pattern that’s super adorable, so I put together a couple of them for my kiddos.
two tiny kitties

I used fleece for Sunshine’s one, which wasn’t the best choice since it came out not quite as poofy and cute as the other one. Wait, why is this one grey with blue eyes? Oh! I remember now — I had made three; the grey one that Sunshine’s holding is his, and the purple one in the other picture is his cousin’s. Sunshine refused to give up his kitty for the group photo, that’s why. I know you really wanted to know all of this. ;)
fleece tiny kitty

Cosmo’s is made out of super soft minky. It came out cuter since the minky was stretchy and could poof out more, but I had to watch out because the stretchiness meant that I almost made the head too big. And later on, the minky attracted dirt like craaazy!
minky tiny kitty

Then at Christmas, I made my aunty two bags for her Secret Santa present. Gah, you can see here that I forgot to make the two sides of the right bag mirror images so the fabric would line up correctly at the bottom!
two bags for Aunty

The left one is Michelle Patterns’ grocery bag. I really love making these now with denim for the exterior and handles — it looks really cute this way, and I don’t have to stress about coordinating three different prints. hehe.
woodpecker grocery bag

The right one is Echinops and Aster’s spa bag. My aunty complimented my mom’s one, so Mr. Yazoo pointed out that I ought to make her a similar one. I cropped out the evidence that I put it together wrong, muhaha!
Aunty's spa bag

May 022014

Selfish Sewing Week is almost over, and I managed to only be half-procrastinatey about it… I made a comfy grandpa sweater early, but put off posting about it. heh!
julia cardigan

I got to try the Julia cardigan, and even though I’m not sure if it’s incredibly flattering on me, I’m really happy that I did because it is so comfeeeey. I’ve been wearing it constantly ever since I made it. (Look, my seams almost match up!)
julia cardigan right

I used this two-sided brown and mustard jersey from Girl Charlee — it’s actually just like double gauze because it’s two layers of really thin jersey that’s secured together all over (thus the pin dots). It’s ridiculously soft and cozy, and I love it. I was thinking about mixing the brown and mustard on the outside of the cardigan, but the pin dots are pretty noticeable in person (and made me think of pores…), so I ended up just using the mustardy side. It’s such a pretty color!
julia cardigan left

I made the no-hem, long-sleeved version for maximum warmth. I’m not sure why, but I stared for a long time at the instructions for putting the doubled collar together, and then I still sewed it together wrong at first. Other than that, though, I think my clothes-sewing skills are (slowly) improving because I wasn’t too stressed about sewing the rest of it. :D Since the pattern mentions that the sleeve cuffs are drafted to be loose, I whapped off about 1.5″ off the circumference (I think), and then adjusted the sleeve pattern so it would taper to the narrower cuff. I also sewed twill tape along the shoulder seam allowances (I learned that from the Renfrew Top!) so they wouldn’t stretch out.
julia cardigan laid out

Even though I was a big procrastibug, there’s still time to enter the SSW giveaway, and you can see other great projects on the Selfish Sewing Week Kollabora page. Have fun!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

ssw logo final 350 px
Apr 102014

My old bag was looking rather worn (plus, it’s a little too small for three waterbottles, assorted cars and trains, and my actual stuff), so I made my annual new bag-to-use-daily. I love it! It’s floppy (makes it easier to stuff full), big enough to hold a normal amount of kiddie+me stuff, and comfy to carry. I don’t know if I look doofy being a grown-up who prefers to use a backpack over a normal purselike, but I don’t care because I can’t see myself!
cloud backpack

I’ve been waiting for the longest time to find something I could embroider this cute cloud (free pattern!) on. It fit perfectly on the flap and is in such a cool style. I printed it out on a sheet of Sulky sticky fabri-solvy, which is so awesome, and then just slapped it on the fabric and started embroidering away.
cloud backpack embroidery

The bag itself is actually Michelle Patterns’ messenger bag (retired); I just printed the pattern out at 150% and then replaced the cross-body strap with backpackish straps (which I didn’t make adjustable since it’s only for me). I also made the back pocket zippered — I aaaaaagonized about whether to figure out how to put an inset zipper at the top of the main compartment, but finally decided that having a zipper on the back pocket would be enough of a semi-secure option. (Um. I just noticed the background of this picture — that’s a seed pod, not a dead bug. Sorry!)
back of cloud backpack

Prior to this bag, I thought that elastic-topped pockets looked kind of frumpy, but now I love them! They’re nice and deep, and the elastic makes me feel like things won’t just slide out, so it’s been super convenient just to chuck my phone in there.
cloud backpack front and elastic pockets

Slip pocket, zippered pocket, key dingledangle, as usual. Nice and roomy! I’m a little worried about that white birdy fabric — it’s so bright white that I suspect it’ll look dingy more quickly. Ah well!
cloud backpack inside

I had been thinking about making a backpack without a pattern, but I’m glad that I made this one instead. It came out to be a great size! When I’m on my own, I tend to overestimate how large bags ought to be, heh.
cloud backpack on

In other news, I made another Renfrew top. It’s my funny Christmas version — it’s kind of like I’m wearing a reindeer sweater vest! Mr. Yazoo doesn’t think it’s that funny… :P:P:P
Christmas Renfrew top