Apr 282015

Back in February (haha, my late posts are kind of catching up to now), I actually managed to finish my sister’s and brother-in-law’s presents for their March birthdays early… and then I almost forgot to mail them in time!

My sister took a finance class and has been really good about keeping to her budget by using a cash system. The finance class gave out checkbook-cover-looking pouches with paper envelopes to keep different budgets separate, but my sister mentioned that she felt a little embarrassed pulling out it to pay for things. What’s a sewerery sister to do? ;D
modified mochi della wallet

I had been all set to buy the Necessary Clutch pattern, but then I realized that the Della wallet would work just as well with some modifications, and with the added benefit that I already owned the pattern. 😀

The Della is designed with two exterior zippered pockets and two interior billfold pockets, but since my sister has three budgets, I changed the billfold pockets to be two additional interior zippered pockets. I figured she could use the extra zippered pocket for her phone… you can never have too many zippered pockets!
mochi modified della wallet, open

I actually made two at once — I tried out the modifications on the extra one before duplicating them on my sister’s wallet. I love this Harajuku Rose print!
Harajuku Rose Della wallet

I had meant to keep this one for myself, and I was particularly excited about the funny mix of new and vintage zippers that I used in it. Unfortunately, even though I like it on its own, the coral print inside bothered me too much, so I’m keeping it on the side for an emergency gift. Also, I think that I should have topstitched the card pockets with pink thread instead of blue.
Harajuku Rose Della wallet, open

My poor brother-in-law is having back problems, so I made him a hot/cold buckwheat pillow. I made it using Sew Mama Sew‘s instructions for the cover, but with The Green Wife‘s dimensions, and this is my new favorite size for buckwheat heat packs! (I made one for myself with more Harajuku Rose fabric, but I didn’t take a picture because it’s pretty boring to look at.)
buckwheat heat pack

I added some belt loop-type thingies on the back of the pack so that my brother-in-law could belt the heat pack to his back — I meant for the loop and belt to be on the outside, keeping the the heat pack closest to the back. However, it seems like my sister’s appropriated it to keep her shoulders warm and landed up with two birthday presents. 😀
buckwheat heat pack back

Apr 132015

I’ve really been loving being a part of the Oahu Modern Quilt Guild — the other ladies are so fun and kind that it’s awesome meeting up with them every month. Since I’m behind on blogging (as usual!!!), here’s some things I’ve made for OMQG events since I joined…

In December, we had a mini swap as part of our holiday party, and I made mine based on Carolyn Friedlander’s Bartow quilt. I actually got to see the Bartow quilt and other Kona anniversary quilts in person! A local fabric shop close to my work had them on display, and I wanted to visit and take pictures for our guild during my lunch hour. Since I was nervous about going and taking pictures in the shop, a fellow guildie who goes to there a lot stopped by to go in with me and make me feel better. 😀
bartow mini

I think you can see that I did matchstick quilting… even though it’s only a mini, I got SO BORED while I was quilting. I fell asleep a couple of times.
bartow mini

More recently, we finished up a Bonnie Bucket Bag sewalong. I had a smallish piece of my squirrels and hedgehogs having tea fabric left, and I wanted to use as much of it as possible, so changed my bag to have just two panels instead of three.
bonnie bag

For the exterior zipper, I left off the welt pocketiness of it — in almost all of the Bonnies I’ve seen, the welt things remind me unpleasantly of lips.
bonnie bag, back

My bag was not as impressive as others finished for the sewalong, but people seemed to get a kick out of the gnomies inside. :}
bonnie bag, inside

Finally, the quilt block due this month is for our guild quilt. The blocks had to be made using only our guild colors in solids and could be any size. I made another humuhumunukunukuapua’a; luckily, I had at least saved my initial drawing, although it didn’t have any seam lines drawn on it. I kept referring to my old blog pic while I was sewing this one, heh.
omqg humuhumunukunukuapuaa

Mar 252015

I needed a top to go with a skirt I made for something coming up next week, and I luckily just found out about Boostrap Fashion, so I poked around and found a simple drapey neck shirt that I thought would be perfect. And it pretty much was!
black shirt yar

At first, I sewed it right off the the pattern (since it was generated from my measurements!), but I found that it still had way too much room around the chest, plus the cap sleeves flared out so much that they gave me super linebacker shoulders. (It would have been nice if I’d taken a picture, shucks.) I took in an inch under the arms and 3/4″ along the side seams, and then I loved it! I also left off the bottom band because the shirt seemed long enough, and I hemmed everything normally instead. I still haven’t gotten around to buying a twin ballpoint needle, so I went around all of my hems twice to get the twin needle effect. 😀

Hm, I guess the shoulder seams tend to want to pull to the back since the back piece is smaller than the front, but I think that can’t be helped — otherwise there couldn’t be the drape in the front, right?
black shirt side shoulder seam

I know it’s kind of like (waving hands), OOH, I made a butt-easy shirt! — but I bet I’ll wear it every week to work for at least the next month. I’m happy because I like it and it’s so useful.

Now I’m excited to try more patterns from Bootstrap Fashion… I have to be careful because I’m tempted to get stuff that I’m almost positive won’t work for me, like this drapey front pocket thing tunic that I’m probably too short for and will make me look like Domokun with longer legs. Plus, I never wear tights (which seem like the bottoms you have to wear with this) since it’s always so hot here. But I want it! :>
black shirt tilty

Edit: I should include the actual name of the pattern in case of googling — Bootstrap Fashion Made To Measure Sewing Patterns – Cap-Sleeved V-Neck Blouse. 😀

Mar 192015

I’m definitely not a mass production-loving person, but in the past couple of months, I’ve made three wide open zipper cases for presents because they’re awesome! They’re pretty quick to sew, look great, and I feel confident that people like receiving them because anyone can find a use for a pouch. Sometimes I talk myself out of making people bags because we can have really definite bag preferences, but pouches are universally useful. :)

Back at Christmas, I made the first wide open zipper pouch for my cousin who’s a teacher. Teachers need to keep things places!
fishies zipper pouch closed

I love how wide these open up! This first one was a little bit of a pain to sew when I was going around the U-turn, but it got easier with the next ones. I completely forgot to include the ribbons at the ends that give you something to grip when you’re opening or closing the zipper. Fortunately since the pouch is brown, I think it won’t be too noticeable if it gets the ends get a little grungy from being grabbed, instead. ;D
fishies zipper pouch

Next, I made one for my dad, who’s addicted to buying little pouches for his USBs and cords and things. I think he was happy…! (I can never tell with my parents.)
pac man zipper pouch closed

I remembered the ribbon end thingies, but forgot to include my label on his, which I felt bad about since he once specifically mentioned to me how much he likes them. >_< pac man zipper pouch

The last one was for my awesome co-worker’s birthday. I finally realized that the ribbon ends were a perfect place to put my labels!
whales zipper pouch closed

Usually, I dither for a long time when I’m trying to put together fabrics, but this time I felt like the orangey triangles really went with the whales. Was I right… or delusional?
whales zipper pouch

For all of these, I was a big cheapie and used not-fat-enough yarn inside the piping, which is why they all look a little suspect. But I recently bought a cone of fat packing twine to use for piping, so hopefully things will improve! 😀

Mar 022015

hehehe, I’m blogging about two months behind my actual output…

Since Sunshine’s been in preschool for half a year, it was about time for me to make him a naptime quilt. ;D Also, at that time, there was a guild sew-in coming up, and I wanted to have a project prepped for it. So I started cutting out the pieces for a Hazel Hedgehog quilt… and it was so fun chain piecing everything together that I finished the top in two days! (Oops, sorry about the creases in the picture.)
hazel hedgehog quilt

I used the baby sized blocks and just added another row and column so it would be a better size for Sunshine. I wanted to make sure it would cover him, but not be so big that it would be difficult for him to put away in his cubby. The whole quilt is made from my stash, which I was a little bit proud of, since I usually end up buying sashing and backing fabric for specific quilts. I very carefully laid out my blocks beforehand to make the different colors spread out evenly… and then I messed up and sewed the rows together in the wrong order!
hedgehog quilt sunshine

I thought Elizabeth Hartman’s quilting was perfect, so I copied it as best I could with pointy stippling. It was my first time doing this kind of fmq, and I thought it was fun! I didn’t have enough light grey thread so I used light purple, and while I was quilting I kind of didn’t like it, but in the end I don’t think it’s really noticeable.
hedgehog quilt close up

The pattern is brilliant and so easy to follow — probably the reason I wasn’t able to stop and save any of the quilt top sewing for the sew-in. I thought it was super cool how all the pieces came together to make the hedgehog blocks. And they’re so cute!
hedgehog quilt in use

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