Tag Archives: sewing

On Sewing and Ohio Weather

28 Mar

Spring in Ohio is fickle. Last week it snowed two inches on Monday and on Wednesday it was almost 60 and I had a lovely evening in the warm sun enjoying watching my son’s soccer practice. Three days later his game was canceled because of cold weather and a frozen ground. Maybe I belong in Ohio, because I can’t make up my mind either.
This winter weather lingering into spring has actually given me more time to sew and think about future sewing.  It’s nice to get outside, but it’s also nice to sit in my warm sewing room! I’m taking advantage. So here’s what I’ve been up to lately. Forgive the randomness here. I’ve been bouncing around a whole bunch, and can’t make up my mind on what to focus on.

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I made another Renfrew. It needs a hem, but I haven’t officially made up my mind on what to do with it yet. If I put a band on it, it would be too bulky to wear under this adorable skirt. If I hem it as is, it’s a bit too short for my taste. Decisions, decisions. (Please excuse my kids’ gross mirror, I’m Spring sewing, not cleaning)

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I love the Heather grey of this fabric, but it’s not very comfortable. It’s probably 100% polyester since it was given to me in a grandma stash from the 70s. It’s not terrible, though. We’ll see if I wear it enough when push comes to shove. I have another one cut out just like this one only I want a high low hem with a printed fabric for the back panel. More like a tunic to wear over leggings.

Speaking of leggings, I also refashioned a pair of leggings. I added a velvet stripe down each leg. Olive won’t stop touching them because it’s so soft.

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Next up I started researching a dress to make for the two weddings later this year. I fell in love with one from modcloth, but I can not find a pattern close enough to replicate. So I thought I’d mess around with some draping. This might turn into nothing…. or something… it’s fun to play around at least. I’m just getting started there, the other shoulder would hypothetically mirror the other side. Also, the fabric I fell in love with for this dream dress is crazy nuts expensive. Especially for someone who normally buys my fabric for free from my stash. I might be dreaming, here.

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Last but not least, I actually did buy some fabric to make Keith a work shirt!

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It’s a nice blue Oxford,  and I’m excited to get started on it. But first I’m sewing up a wearable muslin for him in easter fabric. He promised he’d wear it to work. He’s a fan of wearing things as a joke. He loves hokey Christmas sweaters and even wore as ascot to work once as a bet.

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He’ll probably only wear it once, but that’s the ultimate test of how well the pattern fits, right? Wear it for a whole day and you’re sure to find out where it can be improved. I can’t wait to get started on his real work shirts, though. He’s been in need for so long!

So that’s it for my spring sewing. It’s scatter brained and going in spurts with the weather, but I’m thankful for the time I’ve been given to indulge. 
Happy sewing!

How To Save Your Husband’s Favorite Work Shirt

10 Mar

Elbows. My husband has razors for elbows. He’s busted through two shirts this week alone. Luckily for him, the weather is warming up and I can take his beloved work shirts and make them short sleeve work shirts!
Side story: he thought it would be hilarious to hulk the bottom off the sleeve of the first shirt and it ripped it so completely that it was not something I could fix, so don’t let your husbands hulk their sleeves off. Unless he wants to wear a sleeveless shirt to work.

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So, first things first. Hack off the end of the sleeve.  I used the elbow hole as a guide and then measured the other sleeve to match.

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Turn the shirt inside out and press in 1/4 inch all the way around each sleeve.

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Then press the sleeves in again 1 inch, making sure to keep the 1/4 in under. This creates a nice finished hem.

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Sew around the sleeves as close to the edge as possible without going over. The sleeve is most likely slightly too big for the new hem, so you’ll want to try your best to ease it in. I had to make a very tiny pleat in each sleeve. Just make sure you line that up on the under side of the arm so it’s not visible.

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Press one more time and you’re done! Now kiss your hubs and tell him how much you love him, especially his razor elbows ūüôā

What Happened to January AND February? !

28 Feb

It has certainly been too long since my last post but I promise it’s not for lack of sewing. I have been a busy bee!
I finally got myself a Renfrew during that fabulous birthday sale she had going on up there. Thank you Sewaholic, I’m not sure how I managed to survive this long without this pattern. I will be making a billion of these. Here’s my first one, I love it!  

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I got an itch to purchase a high waisted swimsuit and decided to cut up a suit I already had instead. It’s way more flattering on my short torso than the original suit, I feel it is modest enough for me to feel comfortable and my husband approves. Win win win. I love the way it turned out! And I am excited for this negative degree weather to start hiking back up so Spring can come and then turn to Summer so I can take this baby for a swim. 

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I’ve been slowly working on reorganizing my sewing room. I made a better work flow station, added a TV for Netflix and music (amazing addition! I’m currently working my way through Parenthood and it’s the best.show.ever) and added these organizers behind my machine to help organize my current projects. I love that I have a few clear pockets right in view to hold my booklets, measurements, and phone. It’s pretty daggon amazing, actually.

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I am also trying to figure out what to do with my abundance of polyester. I have a closet full of fabrics I can’t get rid of but I probably won’t sew into wearable garments. I am finding that I enjoy the feel of fabrics and I put that above pattern If it’s not comfortable, I won’t wear it…even if it’s a really cool retro floral.
Over the holidays I won a pattern from The Brooklyn Pattern Company.  It’s adorable. I worked with some vintage cotton and an old men’s button up to make one for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. I haven’t gotten a final picture of it yet, but here’s a sneak peak.

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To top it off I have altered a few of my spring wardrobe pieces and added an eyelet white peasant style top sewn from my stash and a vintage pattern. Pictures in the future.
There are a million more things I want to share but I think I’ll end here for now.

I really do hope to keep the blog more updated as I go along especially with how much of my wardrobe is becoming me made!

Happy Surprise!

8 Oct

I could not be happier to figure out that my sewing machine does little tiny letters!

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I never paid attention to that section of buttons because it’s all about memory functions, which I don’t use.

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Here I am trying to figure out how to make size tags and all of the sudden I find this little gem hiding in the corner of my machine. This is a game changer! I’m so very excited.

This leads me to realize I really need to take a class on my machine. I would love some more decorative stitches and I have this plate:

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Does this mean I can find more stitches sonewhere? I really need to figure that out! Anyone out there have this machine and know the answer?

Minoru Sneak Peek (P.S. I’m Back!)

19 Sep

I’m back in the sewing room. and it feels gooood. Seriously, why, how, did I wait so long?!

I decided to get back in the game with a pretty big project. I decided I needed a jacket. and sewing a jacket has been on my list of things to sew for about 10 years. Speaking of which, I am squeaking in the last half a year before I turn 30 to stay true to my blog name ūüôā I’ve still got time, so I’m running with it.

Anyway, back to the jacket. I’m loving it so far, but I’m not yet half way through. I’m using fabric I already had in my stash from grandmother’s donations. A black speckled wool for the self fabric, and a cotton printed plaid for the lining. I have a slick synthetic of some kind cut out for the arm lining, but it might be a bit too thick, I haven’t decided yet.

I’m not finished yet, or even close! But, I wanted to go ahead and talk about the things I am doing this time around that are different. I’m taking my time and changing things up a bit. So, In no particular order:

  • I actually cut into the pattern this time. I have traced my fare share of patterns and it is pretty much the worst. I have yet to try the freezer paper method, and I do plan on trying that one, but this time I decided to cut out the biggest size and fold in to my size. That way I can unfold when I need to make another size and I don’t have to buy another pattern. That makes me happy. It worked out well, I thought. It’s not the easiest thing to move the pattern around with all the folds and snips, but it got the job done and I don’t feel like I ruined my pattern. Plus, double plus.

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  • When I cut out my fabric from the patterns, I used hand stitching ¬†and tailor tacks to show the pattern details. Typically, I try everything possible not to hand stitch anything, but my other methods were not working on this fabric, and this pattern has so many important markers {elastic casings, mainly} that it was very important for me to mark everything and actually be able to find it later. I’m kinda terrible at hand sewing, I despise trying knots, and I’m usually not very good at creating a strong stitch. Those things don’t matter one bit when you’re transferring markings onto your fabric, though. And even though it took a bit of time, it was really easy! It even inspired me to hand sew the gathering at the collar later on, and that might have just changed my life.
  • I’m not racing to the finish. When I sew something up, I generally try to get to the end as fast as possible. And don’t get me wrong, I really can’t wait for this to be finished, as the weather is a bit chilly already. But,¬†this time,¬†I am taking my time, making sure to add personal touches along the way. One major way is that I am adding a red topstitch in every chance I can, and I am¬†loving the end result. I’m using a thicker thread so the topstich is popping out and it’s really tying the lining in with the wool. It takes time to switch the thread every time, but it is so worth it.

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  • I’m adding to the pattern! I decided to add a lining to the hood because I wanted the plaid to pop when I had the hood out, and I am so excited about the result! I am also going to add in some sideseam pockets {hopefully with a nice warm fabric to keep my hands warm}. I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I think I might also make the cuff with half self fabric for the outside, and half lining for the inside. The pattern calls for the self fabric to wrap all the way around, but this wool is as itchy as itchy can be. I’m going to experiment a bit and hopefully the results work out like they look in my head.

So there you have it, the sneak peek of my Sewaholic Minoru Jacket!

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See you when it’s finished!

I Drew a Line, I Drew a Line for You

5 Mar

And it was all yellow:)

I have been absent from documenting, but certainly not absent from the sewing machine! There are so many things I sew for gifts and secrets that I would ruin a surprise if I blogged about it right away!¬†I also have a¬†commissioned¬†project that’s going on right now that is taking up most of my time, and I am loving ever second of it!

In little spurts I have been sewing little things here and there, like a baby shower gift, and Love’s yellow dress to wear for her yellow themed 2nd (what?!?!?!) birthday party next weekend. It was such an easy, simple design, and I am thrilled with the result! Once again, I was able to use fabrics I had in my stash. The neon yellow skirt bottom came from my sister in law who actually got it from her grandmother (my sister in law had this hanging up as make-shift curtains in her master bedroom right after they built there house, and it turned their whole room neon, lol)

The bust and bow fabric is from my great grandmother in a box of unfinished quilting she had.

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I just love using these fabrics. I love knowing where they came from, and how many hands have touched this fabric,¬†contemplating what to make with it. I love knowing that my mother’s mother’s mother had UFOs (unfinished Objects) just like me. Maybe she would prefer WIP (work in progress), maybe she wouldn’t, she was¬†pretty¬†feisty:)

Simple Yellow Dress

She used to watch me when I was 3 or 4 and I always loved sneaking into her sewing room. It was a tiny little room that had a mini door leading to it (she was under 5 ft, and her husband was over 6 ft, so I¬†imagine¬†this was quite an escape for her, as he physically wouldn’t be able to fit in this sewing room). I often wonder if these UFOs were sitting there while a secretly glanced around, allowing me to experience this fabric in two different ways within one lifetime. 24 years later I am helping Granny make use of this yellow fabric that she probably lost interest in finishing after chasing after me:)

Simple Yellow Dress

I find it lovely to have these connections with people through fabric, and I pray that someday my children will find¬†unique¬†connections to me and my mother, and her mother and so forth. It may not be fabric, or even something¬†physical, and that’s ok. But for the record, there will probably be a basement full of fabric for them to inherit:)

Under Pants

11 Jan

Love has¬†eczema. Severe eczema. And you know what? It’s¬†awful. Awful for her mostly, but for us as well {her parents}. She itches something mean 24 hours a day and if she can ever barely see the skin on her legs, she scratches down to the bone. It’s heart breaking to watch her go through this, and I am always looking for an answer. A way out. A way for her to¬†experience¬†life without the constant irritation of painful, itchy skin, or scabby legs.

We are trying two things right now {we’ve been trying things her whole life, so this is actually normal around here}.

1. only 100% cotton clothing {but mainly on her legs, because that’s where her skin is effected the most}

2. no wheat {I can’t even begin to explain the crazy links I have read about, linking everything to the cause of eczema, so we give each one a try}

So far the wheat is working ok, it’s not been long enough for me to tell if she is itchy or not. But Keith and I both noticed she had been in a better mood since we stopped buying grocery bread. We haven’t officially transitioned fully to no gluten, she still has some snacks. So time will tell with that one.

What is working is the 100% cotton. She is still itchy, but the cotton doesn’t irritate her skin, and as long as she doesn’t have access to scratch, her legs look close to normal {!!!} However, it’s actually difficult to find clothing for kids that is 100% cotton, especially pants! And top that off with it’s actually IMPOSSIBLE to find socks that doesn’t have a “filler” we were running into a problem with her being able to get at her legs to scratch them to pieces. So, mama, the sewer came up with these bad boys:

Under Pants! Made from 100% cotton ūüôā

They are working like a charm, and I couldn’t be happier. Now if only I could figure out the root of the eczema so she doesn’t have to feel the urge to scratch, we’d all breathe a little easier!

P.S. I drafted the pattern myself. And I’m proud of it. Woo!

How to Dress myself {Basics: Navy Blue Skirt}

19 Dec

Phew! I’m finally finished with the pjs, and I got to sew something for myself! A while back I started to realize I need to revamp my wardrobe. I have a lot of clothes that simply don’t fit. partly because I have had them since high school, and partly because my body has changed in the last 4 years. I also took a pledge not to buy ready-to-wear clothing along with a bunch of other fantastic ladies!

So I started with a simple cotton, very light weight fabric that my husband bought a long time ago as a photo backdrop in high school. It’s still on the bolt. It’s a beautiful navy blue and the perfect color and texture for a staple A-line skirt. I didn’t use a pattern at all. It’s a square front¬†panel¬†and a square back¬†panel. the top is gathered over the elastic. the only measurement I took was the elastic around my waist, and I used the actual elastic, not a measuring tape! Then I eyeballed the hem as the last step.

I used some no twist elastic for the waistband, and some hemming lace to make a wide hem just below the knee. I’m really excited about the versetility of this skirt, as I can wear it with boot ans tights for winter, or just a slip in the summer. I cardigan in the fall and just a tank if it’s warm. I can wear it with a simple tee, or a light sweater, and if I add a sparkly top, I feel it would transition nicely to a semi dress up.

Cost: 100% free, thanks to my stash.

ALSO, I am sooo sorry the mirror I used was gross. When you have toddlers running around, you tend to sneak in photo¬†opportunities,¬†and that sneak didn’t include walking past them watching Veggie Tales, increasing my chances of the distraction not working, just to get windex. Please look past the fingerprints.

Makes a beautiful wide hem. And a touch of surprise underneath.

Makes a beautiful wide hem. And a touch of surprise underneath.

Hemming Lace

basic staple, in navy

basic staple, in navy

My serger broke a thread, and I got annoyed, so I took a different approach.

My serger broke a thread, and I got annoyed, so I took a different approach.

Christmas Gifts Finished, Finally.

12 Dec

My family is no longer allowed to have children. Seriously, that’s a lot of pajamas!I’m not joking! {OK, I’m joking, I love all these kiddos and I want more more more!}
2 boys and a thousand girls {6 girls} Christmas pajamas have been sewn. I started planning this in September. And I will do it again next year:) I am hoping they will wear them Christmas eve!

Hand dyed flannel fabrics: Purple/Pink/Blue

Jersey fabrics: Green and Dark Purple old jersey sheet sets.

Florals: Already in my stash from grandma’s and such.

DIY ombre dye! Had fun dip dying the skirt fabric before I cut out the pattern.

DIY ombre dye! Had fun dip dying the skirt fabric before I cut out the pattern.

Vintage floral pattern was used to supplement my lack of purple fabric. I simply love the way this one turned out.

Vintage floral pattern was used to supplement my lack of purple fabric. I simply love the way this one turned out.

This is not my favorite style, but I was so happy to learn how to sew this!

This is not my favorite style, but I was so happy to learn how to sew this!

Oldest cousin's dress. I couldn't decide if she would like pink or purple better, so i did both.

Oldest cousin’s dress. I couldn’t decide if she would like pink or purple better, so i did both.

The Green accent in this dress actually pulls in the rest of the collection. {accidental, but I love it}

The Green accent in this dress actually pulls in the rest of the collection. {accidental, but I love it}

The simplest of the bunch for Eli.

The simplest of the bunch for Eli.

Special hem!

Special hem!

Fleece Pajamas

Each child that is receiving a separates set has a special stitch design.

Each child that is receiving a separates set has a special stitch design.

Olive's didn't get a bow, because when mommy is the seamstress, she skimps on yours! Promise I won't do this next year!

Olive’s didn’t get a bow, because when mommy is the seamstress, she skimps on yours! Promise I won’t do this next year!

Fleece Pajamas

Bow on the back of the booty, to match her newborn sister.

Bow on the back of the booty, to match her newborn sister.

Since this set is for a newborn, I add a bow on the bottom of one of the pant legs.

Since this set is for a newborn, I add a bow on the bottom of one of the pant legs.

This collar didn't exactly turn out perfectly, but I ended up liking the look.

This collar didn’t exactly turn out perfectly, but I ended up liking the look.

Fleece Pajamas

And ruffles:)

And ruffles:)

This very special girl loves the color green, so she got the green jersey instead of the purple!

This very special girl loves the color green, so she got the green jersey instead of the purple!

Lessons learned:

  • ask for waist measurements of all the kids {some of them might be too big}
  • This pattern’s torso length is insanely short. {Ruffles, and special hems were added to extend the length for the kiddos because I could feel it in my bones that they are going to be belly shirts)
  • Ironing freshly RIT dyed fabric results in discoloration.
  • Sewing the armseye on a size 5 or smaller is difficult unless you sew it flat}.
  • Sometimes I hem one pant leg in the rong direction, which means technically one pant is sewn on backwards. Thank goodness this pattern has a similar front and back.
  • I will not put in as much effort for my own clothing {or my own children} as I do for sewing gifts for other people. I hope to improve this.

So what do you think?

Don’t Sew with Wine

11 Dec

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I am unintentionally dying my bobbin wine colored. Not exactly the start of the evening I was hoping for! Think it will dry on its own without me unwinding it?

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