Disney Villains

I have joined another seamstress team for sewing up samples of custom fabric prints to advertise for their new rounds.  These are from The Fabric Cottage, and this round includes Disney Villains.  She sent me a 1/4 yard of the coordinate and an adult panel of Maleficent.  I didn’t think that the coordinate went as well with this panel, so I made two different things.

First, I made a peplum top with the coordinate (my pattern draft).  It is a 3/4 sleeve, and I put one of the portraits in the center front as an applique.  I backed it with Heat n’ Bond, and fixed it with a satin stitch on the edge.

I don’t know why this is so blurry!  Ugh.

The peplum is two layers of a light-weight athletic mesh.  Unhemmed, as I didn’t think it needed to be hemmed, and I offset them a bit.

She needed bottoms to go with this top, and this turquoise metallic mermaid print went very well with the background of the villians coordinate.  Not sure they really match subject-wise, but they look cute together!  The pattern for the leggings is from the 5 out of 4 Shenanigans skort.  I should have gone a little wider with them, though, since this fabric doesn’t really stretch as much as a knit.  They are a bit tight!  If she is uncomfortable wearing them, I will likely just cut them apart and do blocked leggings with some black knit.

The panel needed to become a tunic for the girl.  I could have made something for myself, but I knew she would wear it more.  I made a cosplay for her of Maleficent a few years back.

I had the greens already in my fabric stash (I just needed to find them!), so I just needed a pattern.  I drew this up, and it mostly worked.  I just needed to add one more layer on the bottom of the side seam, since it ended up too short.  An easy fix.

This turned out so cute!

She can wear a pair of her black volleyball shorts underneath during summer if she wants to do cartwheels or handstands (she will).  Here she is wearing it with some black leggings.

The pre-order for these fabrics will open up in the group on April 28th if you want to order some of these villains.

I personally love Maleficent and Cruella.  There is also some other prints that are adorable.  I like the Monsters, Inc. ones, and the Sully fur is so cute as fabric.

Check it out!












Dance off Bro!

Look!  I sewed something for my son!

Poor kid gets so very neglected in the sewing room.

This was a strike off sewing sample for Stardust Textiles.  It is part of a new round of pre-sale fabrics that focuses on space shows (Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Star Trek).

I was late to the tester group on this round, but there were a few more things that needed to get sewn up.  I got a fat half of this bamboo lycra dance party coordinate, and I knew my son would love something with it.

He is 13, though, so I have use character prints with discretion.  I decided to do the arms and some blocking in the coordinate using the Bram Raglan from Wardrobe by Me.  I just cut the bottom section up a bit on the pattern and added a seam allowance.   I made sure to make the pattern cuts at the same time so they would match at the side seams.  Pretty easy pattern hack.

This fabric is so nice and soft and drapey.  I love bamboo lycra. The black is an athletic mesh, so it is a pretty light-weight shirt.  Perfect for summer!

Next was adding a vinyl thing to the front.  It was obvious what was needed, really. 😉

I admit, I took a random image off of Google to do the cassette tape, so I won’t be sharing this cut file.  I was too tired to draw my own cassette tape.  Then, of course, I didn’t mirror the words to cut this out, so I had to recut the words.  Hate it when I waste so much vinyl!

A fun, cool shirt for the dude.  I hung it up on his closet door at about 11:30 at night, and he was wearing it in the morning!

The pre-sale on this closes on May 1.  Check out the fun fabrics.  I think the “Come to the dark side, we have cookies” panel is pretty cool, too.  🙂

Time for some softball!

While I was waiting for the pre-order to come in for Sports Stitches at RP Custom Fabrics, this strike off sample came up on a charity auction.  I just couldn’t wait, so jumped on the chance to buy it.  That was at least a month ago, and I just didn’t have time to tackle it.  I got the impetus to get going on it, so it is finally sewed up!

I drafted both the top and the skort.  She wants the skort a little longer next time.

My serger is having some “issues” right now with constantly breaking the lower looper thread, which is oh so much fun to re-thread.  Why does it always have to be the hard one??  I am hoping that I don’t have to bring it in to service it, since I have a lot that I want to get done!

I made some mistakes in sewing up the skort, but you can’t tell.  I serged a few layers together that weren’t supposed to go together.  The bottom is supposed to be a little wider than it is.  Still works fine, though.

So cute!

The Sports Stitches are apparently coming in this week, so hopefully I will get the rest of the fabric I ordered in the next few weeks.  I ordered softball, baseball and volleyball.  It is really hard to find softball and volleyball fabric, so I am happy that I was able to find these.

I applied to be on their strike off tester team, and was accepted, so you will see more from this fabric host in the future.  I like that she doesn’t do a lot of “inspired prints”.  I think we are starting to get out of the animated characters phase, so sewing up stuff for the kids can be a challenge.  There are still ones that they like, though, so that is good at least.

I have a few more strike-off samples to sew up this week, along with 2 baseball games, a night out with the neighbor ladies, several softball and baseball practices, along with the last volleyball tournament of the season.  Should be easy to get them done amiright??

Over-committed?  Nah! 😉




Mantica dress

Look at that stripe matching!  Just look at it!!

Yes, I am happy to say that I paid attention during cutting to try to get the side seams and the front and back all matched up for the plaid version of this cute little dress.

Mantica Dress by Sofilantjes

This knit summer dress was another pattern test for Sofilantjes.  There are options for a gathered, longer skirt, and different color blocking on the back.

I wish she could wear it to school, but no shoulders showing is the dress code.  Still, she can wear it elsewhere over the summer.

It also is a little harder for bra-wearing tween/teen to wear it due to the back, but they can also just wear a nude colored or matching bra.  It seems showing straps is not such a taboo thing anymore.  With the lined bodice, I’m not sure my girl will really need to wear one with it, but she can if it makes her more comfortable.

This dress was mostly made from a complimentary mystery scrap pack that Zenith & Quasar fabric sent to me.  The cuts were only a 1/2 yard, some had flaws, too, so I had to be creative.  Luckily I received two matching plaids, but in different fabric bases.

This plaid dress has many different types of stretch fabric:

  • skirt plaid – scuba knit
  • top plaid – brushed poly
  • red and black – ponte, though different weights and stretch
  • black skirt lining – athletic mesh

So yeah.  The seams didn’t exactly match up as well as I am used to with this pattern maker.  As no one else mentioned the issues I had (which really weren’t many), I can attribute it to the different stretches and weights of fabric I used.

The instructions worked well for attaching everything together.  It is a really cute look!  Make sure to mark the armbands from the pattern, so they all match up at the same spot.  There are reasons for pattern markings.

Then there was the big decision of gold or silver grommets.

I ended up going with gold, and made a cording out of red knit jersey fabric.  Now that I have a tube turner that works, I love using it!  I did not have the correct size grommet setter, though.  I ruined the first waistband, and had to cut another off grain with the remnants of the black I had left.

As for the cording, in the instructions she has you put the cording in at the end.  I knew it would be a huge pain to get it through the holes (though I think I do have a bodkin…somewhere).  I added the cording before sewing the waistband to the skirt, so it was already sandwiched in there.   I just had to make sure it wasn’t near the seam when I was serging it together.

Inside of the dress:

This was the second dress I made.  These dresses are good to use up smaller cuts of fabric you may have laying around.  I had used both of these for clothes for myself, and used up much of the rest of it for this dress.


  • Flowers – This is a stretch woven that has a nice satin sheen on it.
  • Matte Grey – This is a performance knit
  • Shiny Grey (skirt lining) – An athletic mesh
  • Navy – Rib knit

They worked pretty well together.  I had to piece the back, since I didn’t have enough to cut two skirts on the fold.  When sewing together two fabrics with different stretches, always put the one with the lower stretch on top or else the stitching goes off.  This dress is sewed a lot on the sewing machine, so that is pretty important.

The design on the top part of the dress is two layered vinyl designs in green and a holographic silver.  I purchased the vinyl from Espressions Vinyl.  The designs are my own.

The only issue I really have, design wise is the open pocket on the skirt.  I think on the smaller sizes it works pretty well, but on the larger sizes, you end up having a huge open pocket for the skirt.  It is the entire skirt front.  I mean it works great if you are collecting seashells, picking apples or harvesting veggies, but otherwise…seems a bit excessive.  I understand why she designed it like this – for a cleaner look on the front and no pocket lines showing through.  I just think that what works for littler ones, doesn’t necessarily work the best for someone over 5 ft tall.

So just an  FYI on that.  Overall, seriously cute little summer dress.

When I took the first plaid dress to the Girl to get fit pictures, she was in the process of giving me the tween eyeroll for disturbing her.  She took one look at the dress and deadpanned.

“You like it don’t you??”


There was much looking in the mirror when she tried it on.

A winner!

Details on the pattern release:

– sale will run from Saturday 00.00 to Monday 00.00 CET (6pm. est)
– Sale price is €5 exl tax (€6,05 incl. eu tax)
– Links:
EN pattern- http://www.sofilantjes.com/…/mantica-tunic-and-dress-pdf-en/

NL patroon- http://www.sofilantjes.com/p…/mantica-tuniek-en-jurk-pdf-nl/












Cute little swimsuit

I purchased this galaxy swim fabric last summer from Zenith & Quasar (no longer available) with good intentions to make my daughter a swimsuit with it.  I didn’t end up getting to it, so I wanted to make sure I got one made in time.

She said she is over two pieces where she is showing her belly.  I guess she thinks it is too big??  I always thought that way growing up, so I get it.  I told her she is not fat (like, really??  I have to tell her that???), but I made her a design of her choosing so she is comfortable.

I showed her several suits on Pinterest and she chose a design that had flounces in the middle.  I drafted up this design with the halter and split the front and back pieces to be able to insert the flounces (which were cut in a continuous circle).  The flounce fabric is a sample that is not available to purchase yet.  I will blog about it if it gets stocked.  It was cute for this!

It is fully lined so the seams are all covered.

The bottoms are fully lined, too, and have elastic at the legs.

This is a good suit, since all 6th graders have a waterpark outing at some point before school is out.

This will have good coverage. 😉



Summer dress muslin

So, I thought to myself, “I got this! I am going to use a pattern block I know fits and just modify it for this dress. No problem!”

Guess what? Problem!

I had to redo the neckline and armholes so many times on this.  The neckline is still too high, though.  Maybe on my next one I will get it right. (IF I do a next one)

I used a stretch woven (leftovers from this outfit) to make the top part of this dress.  This is a really nice stretch woven, and I wanted to make use of the leftover bits.  The knit part is a jersey knit, which has a great drape, but not great stretch to it.  It was a bit of a bear in using it for the bindings.  I need to re-figure how I  do the neckline.  This mess is not working for my sewing perfectionist self, but by the time I got this far, I was basically like f#$% it!

I had scraps left of the jersey after cutting the skirt (I had to cut the skirt in two pieces due to not enough fabric to cut on the fold.  I added some of the extra pieces to give it some more interest, and to just use up the fabric so it wasn’t just sitting there looking forlorn and unused.  I also added some of the extra stretch woven.

I had to redo both.  The jersey wasn’t cut on enough of a curve to drape correctly and the stretch woven looked skewed to one side.  I took that off.

Here is what the final version looks like when worn.  Not a perfect muslin, but it will be worn!

It does make me look a bit top heavy.   I really did know better than having such a light color up there with the rest dark.  Oh well.

We’ll see how much wear I get out of it this summer.  If it doesn’t get worn…into the giveaway pile it will go!



Summer tops

These are some summer tops that I drafted/hacked from either patterns I made previously, or by using the Sneha by Wardrobe by Me.

I used my style sheet that I put together from tops I found on Pinterest:

Then, I went back and looked at more tops.

Here is the first one.  I modified a swing tank I drafted a few years ago.  This fits pretty well, but needs some more room under the arms, so that is the only thing I would change on it.

It is made from athletic mesh (black), cotton lycra (white bands) and an iron on vinyl design I cut with my Silhouette.

You can find the cut file for this top here.

This next one would have probably worked better with a lighter jersey knit.  I do still really like it, though.  I drafted a dolman sleeve t-shirt from a RTW version that I really like.  The arms a little too tight on this one, too, so that is the only modifications I would make to it.  I cut up the pattern with a 3″ section in upper top that I used a white mesh.


This black top is my version of a tank with mesh inserts and different cuts.  I used the Sneha top as a base for this one.  I just traced out the pattern, and cut it up where I thought it would look good.  When I was cutting out the pieces I added the seam allowance.   I was a little concerned with the sturdiness of the lace, but I think the bands will work well like this.

This grey top is my own fabric design, printed on Modern Jersey from Spoonflower.  The pattern is my draped cowl top, only I shaved about an inch from the shoulders.

This red top used another pattern I had drafted previously.  I added some ruffles and a deep cut back to add visual interest to it.

Here are some pictures of the ruffles in process.  The pieces were about 20″ long for the wide, less gathered ruffle, and 40″ long for the very gathered ruffle.  I pinned them well, attached the shoulders together and then put the band on it in two steps.  First I attached it to the front of the tank, then I turned the hem under and stitched it again.  For the back I included clear elastic in it, so it wouldn’t stretch out.  This is a jersey knit, so it doesn’t have great recovery.  Lastly I attached the tubes for the back.

So there are my summer tops so far!  I do have a few more ideas, and luckily…plenty of fabric! 😉





Summer skort for sittin’ in the bleachers

I won’t lie and say this sporty skort is for exercising.  It is so I can be comfy sitting in the hot sun.  I might try to go for walks before games, since we usually need to arrive an hour before game time.  That would be a good use of my time, actually.

I always have good intentions of taking a walk while my kid is warming up for his/her ballgames, and this summer it is something I really need to do.  We usually have to get there an hour early, and there I sit when I need to exercise a bit.  My pants really don’t fit me well at all right now.  Wine, I tell ya.

In order for me to be comfortable in doing both sitting at the bleachers and taking a walk, I have devised this skort from a RTW inspiration at Lululemon.  It is a running skort that is way shorter than I like and is also pleated in the back.

My version has more of a circle skirt thing going on in the back and is longer.  I added some pockets underneath for a phone and keys. This is what the pattern pieces roughly look like (roughly since I can’t draw very well in Photoshop).

I drafted this in an evening and was able to sew up the first one right away.  It needed some modifications, so I made those.  It is an easy sew.  You could easily hack this from a pair of leggings that fits.  Then you just need to measure the waistline to get the waist length and go from there.  For the front piece I didn’t make it all the way across and drafted it so the back skirt came into the front by about 2-3″.

The waist piece is around 4″ long, and does double duty as kind of a tummy suck-it-in.  The doubled up fabric helps with that.

The pocket cuts from the middle of the leggings are 4″ wide.  The pocket is 7″ long, which allows for a 1.5″ hem.  Inside the hem I added clear elastic, so the fabric doesn’t stretch out and it holds the shape.

And look!  Jalie is released one that is really close to mine!  They do a great job on their patterns and have a wide range of sizing, so I would recommend them if you are wanting something like mine.  They only have pockets on one side, though, and really, the more pockets the better.  I bet you could hack the pattern to do the same on the opposite side.

Here is version #1.  This was made with a black ponte with good stretch and athletic mesh.  The mesh is on the skirt, and with only one layer…a little bit see through.  It should be nice and cool, though. 😉

Version #2 made with a Nike athletic poly and athletic mesh.  It is kind of a grey-blue color.  This one I added another layer in the back.

Version #3.  This is my fabric design from Spoonflower in their Performance Piqué.  This is a lightweight poly.  The leggings and top piece are made from a ponte.

Version #4.  This is cotton lycra made with fabric I had printed for me.  The leggings are made from a black cotton lycra.

This will see lots of wear this summer.  They are comfy and fun, and I love how they turned out.

I will try to get the post up on the tops tomorrow.  🙂

Spring/summer capsule…DONE!

I love how this all turned out!  I am excited for the weather to get warmer and I can wear this new casual wardrobe this summer.

I made:

  • 4 shirts
  • 4 skorts
  • 1 dress

I do have several RTW and previously sewed items that will work with this, as well.  I will do a few posts showing the different pieces up close.  For now…this is my finished mix and match wardrobe.

More details to come!

The Blixen Blazer

It has been awhile since I made a blazer, and Wardrobe by Me was going into testing for one.  The timing was less than ideal.  I had already committed to doing some sample sewing and another test, and then I had a funeral.  I was soooooo very glad when I got this finished.

It turned out very nice, though, so that was my carrot for the trial of accomplishing this pattern.  It took the majority of one week’s sewing.  There are a lot of pieces to cut out, interface and mark/baste stitch/notch.  Luckily it was drafted well, so everything went together nicely.

Blixen Blazer

I did do a few things that made it more difficult:

  • Leather welts and collar
  • Thin, slippery satin lining
  • Non-stretch interfacing

So…don’t do that.  For the first one you make at least.  There were also testers that had issues using scuba knit, since it really didn’t iron flat.  I would not recommend that type of knit.  This was a pretty sturdy ponte knit, and it ironed very well.  The thin, slippery satin lining was the devil’s handmaiden, though.  It acted like I cut it all on the bias.  It suuuuuuuucked.

This blazer looks and feels expensive, and I am very happy with the outcome.

I made a size 12 with no alternations.

There were some changes after this version.  The back notches for the sleeve were not in the right spot, so I had to really iron out some puckers.  In the final version she had them placed correctly.  Mine was made worse, as I did not use a stretch interfacing.  I didn’t have enough tricot interfacing to do the jacket.  I should have ordered more, but this test came up sooner than I thought it would.

This is the peplum back.  If you want it more full, it would be fairly easy to just slash and spread this piece and the lining piece to get a fuller back.

Lots of nice tailoring in this.  The notched collar and back darts.

The front piece has the dart and welt in a combined piece.  The pieces all went together very well.  Christina does a good job at drafting.

I put my buttonhole in wrong.  It should be a horizontal and not vertical hole.  I should have remembered that, but it was the LAST THING I needed to do.  I honestly was so excited I was just about finished.

I think it would be fairly workable to use zippers in the place of the welts, too.  You would just use the interfacing piece to make the pocket facing and the sew the zippers to that piece or a narrow seam around the opening.  That would look pretty nice and modern.

This is the “bane of my existence” lining.  A pretty satin.

Taking photos for this was a challenge due to the angle of the sun.  I also did some cloning on the ground where our mulch needs to get raked back up a bit.  Looks like the kids have some yard work to do! 😉

I love the details with the leather collar and welt pockets, but they do make it more of a challenge.  I used wondertape to hold it in place and also clips instead of pins.  I am actually using my clips a lot more than pins these days.  Makes it a bit faster and I can’t try to sew over them!

If you don’t have shoulder pads on hand, just use some quilt batting.  That is what I usually do now.  It gives it some form, but it still forms well to your body.

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Details on the pattern release sale:

Blixen Blazer on sale for one week for $12 (reg. $15)


Oh, and I made my shirt, too, but I will post about that later.  It is hard to get pictures of white shirts.  It actually has an interesting detail on it that really doesn’t show up in these photos.