Saturday, April 10, 2021

Sneek Peak

 I have been sewing!

I am working on the Willow Wrap top from Love Notions.

Just a glimpse of this sewing project.

Fabric cut out to be sewn

Shoulders attached, front pieces basted at sides, the right side is gathered

I visited Hobby Lobby to purchase a new blade for my Olfa rotary cutter. While there I saw that Simplicity patterns were $.99 and a limit of 10. I only purchased 3 as I was limited for time. Not sure if the sale is still on and hopefully will find time to revisit the store to see. $.99 sale for Simplicity is a rarity IMHO,

Here are the three I purchased

I have fabric washed and ready for 9273. I plan to make the view on the bottom left side. I have seen a blogger wearing a top like this and I fell in love with the sleeves.

Another purchase I made was the cotton fabric. It is mid to heavy weight cotton. I plan to make a pair of shorts with this.

That's it for now. Hopefully will complete the Willow Wrap this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Change of Plans (again)

 Perhaps you have seen the commercial (screenshot above) about retirees and they keep changing their retirement plans.

So again I have a change of plans for the Burda pattern.  I decided to use a different pattern similar to the Burda one I was going to make. I decided I do not want to keep adjusting this pattern. The traced pattern is a hot mess and tired of trying to make it fit; I'm too old for all this.

 The one I am going to use is from Love Notions-The Willow Wrap top.

The ruching is there, the wrap is there but different and this pattern fits me with only a few tweaks. I still have the Burda pattern printout.  With a pattern of the right size and the potential to hack, I think I will get closer to what I had in mind.

The predominant color will be black and I am auditioning a couple of fabrics that look great with black.

I hope to have a new top soon! There is always a chance of a change in plans!

More later.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

New Fabrics

 I have not purchased any new fabrics in some time. Finding sales recently and a few extra dollars in my pocket, I decided to purchase a few fabrics. One was a new source that I follow, yet never took the plunge, So Sew English. I will purchase from again.

This is a red gray ombre knit fabric. The feel of it is nice and I have several ideas of what to make from it.

The next fabric is a red crepe knit with black polka dots from Fabric Mart. This is a source I have purchased from over the years. I purchased two other fabrics year-end 2020.

The third purchase was from Fashion Fabrics. It has been a few years since I purchased fabrics from this source. I have been looking for some challis fabrics. This one immediately caught my attention because it is a green fabric, a color I love.

I have hit a sewing block (again) and thought some new fabric would help me get past it. Updates on a sewing project to follow.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Where's the top?

During the Covid shutdown, I like some others gained some extra pounds over the past year. I have a sugar addiction and gave in to too eating more sweets.  As a result, some of my jeans and pants are now too small or when wearing created a muffin top! I had an overall increase in body measurements; resulting in some other garments being too close-fitting for my comfort.

The realization was I needed to remeasure high/regular bust as well as waist and tummy!  There were some extra inches definitely needed. Now with these new measurements, I am once again ready to choose new pattern sizes.

I also had a meeting with myself and discussed actions to take to get back to my former size. Weaning myself off sugar is a real challenge. To go cold turkey will result in failure, tried it/been there.

So what does this have to do with sewing, you ask? A lot.

After printing out the Burda pattern 113 from Burda issue 11/2018, I found that this pattern is not big enough. Since the pattern requires one to add seam and hem allowances, I added an inch to the side seams and used 5/8 seams for armscye, neck and shoulder. I then pin-fitted the pattern and was not happy with the outcome.  The back pattern piece is drafted way too small, underarm too high, etc. So I am working on more adjustments to the pattern piece and will add more width to the center back and see how that works.

I am also thinking the easiest thing to do would be to use a basic knit tee pattern that does fit and then overlay the front pieces of the Burda pattern to create the pattern style.

I was close to giving up but that will not be my option. This has not been the immediate gratification sew that I thought it would be. I am off now to work on needed adjustments! Updates to follow.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Change of Plans

 I decided not to make the Butterick pattern. There were more changes to make besides the ones I've already made. The pattern is looking like a hot mess. Also, the fabric was not quite right for this pattern. This fabric has been in the stash for a short period of time. It is rather a thin knit and clingy. With my weight gain, I am having to rethink patterns and pattern sizes. I need knit fabrics that work with a more fitted top yet do not cling. 

I have decided to move forward with the Burda pattern. I had already printed the pattern and finish taping it together yesterday. The drawback is having to add seam allowances; another time-consuming step. I plan to color block this top and will be using a black knit from my stash. I have some leftover fabric from other projects that I think I can use. 

I also have a UFO for a Love Notions pattern and have found the right buttons to use with the blouse. It will be a perfect top for hopefully upcoming warm weather. 

More to share later with pictures!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Two projects up next

 I have been sewing so many PDF patterns, that I needed a change-up, for at least one of the two tops I plan to sew.

The first one is Butterick 6709. I purchased this in 2019. My plan to make View A or B. I hate when the pattern comes in XS to Med as I always need the L for the bust. My preference is always 14-22 in Butterick because there are fewer pattern adjustments.

My fabric is one I purchased from Hobby Lobby in 2019. This is the only store with knit fabrics in my area, besides Walmart.  There is a nice quilt shop and have purchased fabric for a top that I started but has become a UFO. It is a light blue knit that looks grayer in this photo.

My second project is a Burda pattern that I purchased last week from the Burda Style website. The pic of this pattern does not really show its potential.  I was drawn to this pattern based on the one on Ellen's Sewing Passion blog. I have a black knit fabric that has been in my stash a few years from EOS and I have a few small pieces of fabric that I can use with it. Of course, after printing out the pdf, I realized that this does not come with seam allowances, so some extra work for this one. 

I will post updates on this new sewing journey.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Laundry Day Completed

 I am very happy to have finally completed the Laundry Day Tee from Love Notions and I like the end results.

I must be the last person in the sewing world to have made this pattern. I acquired this pattern when first released. And there it set in my Love Notions folder. I did make several skirts from this pattern line and have several more patterns yet to make. There was always another pattern that moved to the top of my list.

In 2017, I was notified that the pattern was updated and added to my previous order. I downloaded the update. I decided to make the pattern last month; I used the 2017 pattern. I printed, taped, and traced on Swedish Sewing paper. Once I pin fitted I found some fitting issues with the underarms being way too high, which is not something I usually have. Normally, I have to raise the underarms. Also, the bust was going to be too tight and the FBA adjustment was to be too large. I decided to use the next size up for that area. Before that, I decided to read some current reviews of the pattern on Pattern Review. Also, another blogger informed me of an issue she had with the sleeves. 

After checking PR reviews, I found there was a newer update that I knew about but forgot. I updated my version. The update included a front bodice piece for full bust sizes. This version IMHO was better drafted with improvement to the underarm also. The pattern is now available for a wide range of sizes.

More printing, taping, and tracing followed.  Even with the full bust piece I still needed an FBA adjustment. I eliminated the resulting dart which added more to the waist/hip area. Too much and I reduced that area by about an inch. I also reduced the length by an inch. During the basting and fitting process, I realized that I needed to shorten the length by another 1 1/4 inches. I am 5'2" and the pattern is obviously drafted for a taller person.

Between trips to take DH to the doctor for back treatments, I finally finished the top two days ago.

I truly like the fit of this with all the adjustments and will definitely make this again in the near future. If you are still reading along at this point, here are some photos of my new top. The fabric is from Fabric Mart purchased in 2013. My plan was to enter this in the fabric stash contest on PR but missed the deadline.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Laundry Day Tee-Twice

I have never made the Laundry Day Tee, though it may have been one of the first PDF patterns I purchased. Since the original draft, there was an update in 2017. That was the first one I used to print, tape and trace. I tried on the pattern and was very concerned about how it was looking.  I had used a Medium/Large for this. I was either going to have to spend a lot of time making numerous adjustments or print out the Large/X-Large.  Yes, I have put on some weight during Covid.

I decided to go to Pattern Review and read some recent reviews of this top. After reading through a few, I hit on one review that talked about using the full bust bodice piece. I went back to my PDF file and found I did not have that option. So off to Love Notion's website and yes there had been an update in January 2020. I was only a year late in taking advantage of this. Since I own the pattern, the updated one was in my previous order file with Love Notions! Yeah!

I again printed off the medium/large sizes with the 2020 updated version. I then taped and traced my sizes. I tried on the pattern and a much better fit with the full bust bodice piece. Yet I still had to make an FBA with this one. I added an inch. After trying on again with other usual adjustments-forward shoulders, high round and swayback adjustments. I found that I needed a deeper swayback adjustment from 5/8 to 3/4.

The changes have been made and I ready to cut out the fabric. 

I hate that I had to use a lot of paper and ink. I have thought about using a projector file but I am not wanting to spend the money. I need to find a local source for copy shop printing that could save me some paper, ink, and wear and tear of my printer.

More to follow!

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Fabric Purchases for 2020

I did not break the bank with fabric purchases last year. I actually purchased four fabrics for the year. That in its self is a record for me. My goal for 2020 was not to make any new fabric purchases and to focus on fabric stash. I certainly do not feel any guilt about these purchases.

I purchased two fabrics from Sly Fox Fabrics in June. Both are ponte knits and purchase to make the Calypso top from Sinclair patterns. By the time I was ready to start on the project, I lost my sewjo and decided in September that this was more for spring. 

 I ended up using double-faced fabric in December for that fabric!

After Christmas, I took advantage of a sale at Fabric Mart and purchased two knit fabrics at a truly great price.  One was a black knit crepe fabric. The pic below does not do this fabric justice. This looks like a faded black when it is really a true black knit.

I think I may need to upgrade my camera. 

The second fabric was blue lapis fabric with a distinct pattern, that pattern does not get captured at all in this pic. The color is correct.

The pattern is rectangular blocks that are horizontal and vertical throughout.  It is a double knit. I have no real plans for this one. I just wanted a blue fabric.  The black is going to be top either from Style Arc or Helen's Closet. That too is subject to change.

I decided to post this as I had to reprint the Laundry Day Tee as I had not updated my pattern to the newly drafted 2020 pattern. After more printing and taping, decided I needed a break before tracing this one.

More later.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Last garment of 2020!

 My sewing was not my usual for the year. Sewing was up and down!  I signed up for the PR Fabric Stash contest in an attempt to push me to sew. It's starting to work for now.

I made another Sinclair pattern. The fabric used was a double-faced green/blue knit from Sew Much Fabric, 2017.

It is a more muted shade and I prefer something brighter. I remember the plan was to sew a McCall's pattern. However, as with my sewing, I change plans frequently. 

I have enjoyed sewing Sinclair patterns, so decided this was the fabric to use from the stash. I made an error in printing this top and ended up with larger pieces. I did not trace the pattern print out and decided I really need to go back to "team trace" Taking that extra step would have reduced the fitting adjustments with cut out fabric.

There are many makes of this pattern on the web with much prettier or brighter fabric mixes. Since it is now officially winter, I felt this fabric was a perfect sew.

I used a 12 upper chest from and back, changing to 16 for bust and then changing to 14 below the bust to hip. I did not need the 16 bust and found that the shoulder width was too wide, ended up taking a 5/8 seam with the sleeve at the shoulder and a 3/4 seam from bust to the end of the sleeve. 

Here are pics of my wearing to make a Walmart grocery pickup.

The back is solid green and the front is blue and green

The strips are sewn first and then topstitched using stretch sew (lighting stitch), zigzag or cover stitch. I had planned to use my cover stitch machine for this, yet did not as  I lost the tiny screwdriver needed to remove the needle for replacement or moving to a wider or narrower stitch. Amazon to the rescue as I searched local stores for this small screwdriver and the only sewing related store was closed for the holidays. I was able to get a screw set for small sizes but a nice handle grip.  Link to this on left side label under Amazon. Full disclosure- I am an Amazon associate and could receive a commission if you were to use this link. 

I used the lighting stitch what I normally do not use for the topstitching. For the sleeve and top hems, I used my cover stitch machine, once the screwdrivers arrived two days later after ordering.

My first project for 2021 will be the Laundry Day tee with fabric from Fabric Mart, 2013. 

I am moving forward with my sewing for 2021 as I work on improving my positivity into the new year.

Friday, January 01, 2021


 2020 was not the best year for me as it wasn't for many. I started the year continuing to reflect on my 50 year HS Reunion and the fun we all had. Then came Covid.

I watched and cried as I saw so many lose their loved ones and seeing so much death, with freezer trailers being used for storing bodies. Then Covid touched my family making it all the more real. My sister-in-law and husband both became infected with the virus; she asymptomatic and he became very ill. He was admitted to the hospital on November 7 and into ICU the next day. He spent a couple of weeks on a ventilator and then they performed a tracheotomy to help with his breathing the day before Thanksgiving. I remember talking to my SIL on Dec 12th about how much he was improving and the plan to move him to another hospital specializing in weaning people off the ventilator and into rehabilitation. We were all so happy and prayers being answered. Yet the next morning I got a call from her telling me he had passed away. I couldn't believe it and though prayers did help it was not meant to be. We could not travel home for the funeral making it even harder to accept this death.

Earlier this year my DH was diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia or Alzheimers. Both of my parents died from this illness and I know what to expect. This was not how I saw our retirement years being for us. Life is funny that way.

All of this has thrown me into a huge funk this year. My favorite thing to relieve stress is sewing and that wasn't happening much either.

So I am truly glad that 2020 is in the rearview mirror. I am determined to face 2021 with hope and some positivity. I am working and will continue to work on my getting out of the depression and funk that I have been in for several months. I saw a report on how young people are struggling with online schools and a follow-up they conducted a few months later. One young person said she told herself to deal with it and move on. She was very positive and her grades had improved.

From her mouth to my ears-I am going to deal with it and move on.

Sneek Peak

 I have been sewing! I am working on the Willow Wrap top from Love Notions. Just a glimpse of this sewing project. Fabric cut out to be sew...