Dragon scales

I loved this fabric when I saw it on Affordable Fabrics and More’s website, but I wasn’t sure what to make with it.  We are kind of growing out of these kinds of prints, but I thought I could make something fun.

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I only bought one yard, since it is pretty spendy fabric.  I was going to make pants, and then I remembered that my kids need more than one yard of fabric for pants.  Ugh!  I ended up doing some piecing on the pants so that they were long enough for her.

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The pants pattern is one I modified from some leggings.

The top is the Hibernis by Sofilantjes.  I didn’t add the cowl to it.  I used up pretty much all of the yard of fabric, which is why I like this pattern.  You can use up some of the smaller scraps on it.

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The design is one of my drawings on heat-transfer vinyl.  I think it went with it pretty well.

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She said she really liked her dragon scales outfit! 🙂

Enter the 80’s

I remember the 80’s well, as I spent my most awkward years during the extra large bangs, neon and bleached dyed jeans era. As most of us girls that grew up during that era can attest, if you were to drop a lit match on the floor of the bathroom, the whole place would ignite from the build up of hairspray.

This top is a bit of a throw-back to that time of neon infuse clothes.  Much bettering styling and hair, though.  It is actually neon green, but didn’t photograph very well.

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This was a fun outfit to make, and apparently a winner for 6th grade.  She got asked where she got it from, which must have been a new kid in her class.  Pretty sure most of the girls know that I have made all of her awesome clothes since kindergarten. 😉

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The top is one that I have drafted for her.  It is a slim knit top.  I grabbed the hood off the Nivalis pattern by Sofilantjes, and added thumbhole cuffs.  I basically used this tutorial for making the cuffs.

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The pants are the Domi Sweatpants by Sofilantjes, only without pockets and the cording.  Keeping it simple.  The fabric was a velvet knit with hearts embossed in it.

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Pretty happy with this one!

Ode to the skort

Oh skorts, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways!

#1 My girl is active and doesn’t like to be ladylike.  She crawls on the floor, likes to run around, and doesn’t want to worry about showing her underwear.

#2 Due to #1 above, she really has a hard time wearing skirts.  She just feels uncomfortable in them.

#3 This skort pattern has LEGGINGS.  This means you don’t have to make a bunch of long tops to cover the bottom.  These do it for you! WIN WIN.

This pattern is one I tested for 5 out of 4 Patterns.  It is the Shenanigans Skort and it goes up to a size 18.

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I think it may be a little on the short side, since she fit in the 18 length, which is about a 30″ inseam.  She’s got some long giraffe legs, though.  I also made it 8W, which I think was a little too narrow for her, depending on the fabric.

The black fabric here is almost a ponte, so it doesn’t stretch as much as cotton lycra.  They are tight.

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I am going to print out the pattern again and do a 10W, which then will mean the leggings won’t pull up quite so high to stretch to fit.

This was very easy to make and they really do fit well.  I opted not to add the flounce to the skirt, and made the mid-thigh length.  The length was lowered after this version, so it will be longer in the final version AND if you add the flounce.

The grey top here is the Hibernis by Sofilantjes, with none of the extra features.

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The dip down in front is totally my fault on the black skirt.  I cut the wrong side on the fold.  Work has been kicking my butt lately, and my back has been pretty painful, so lack of sleep is my excuse.

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These blues matched so well, and I am pretty sure I bought them at different times.  I have had them in my stash for several years, so time to use some of it up.  I still have more than a yard of the cotton lycra houndstooth left.   I think they would make good leggings on their own, but I need to watch them in wash.  The fabric bled a bit on the first wash.

The top here is a modified Oliver + S raglan.  I lengthened the sleeves and body a bit, and fixed the neckline.  It didn’t really lay right, so I decreased the width at the top of the raglan and then lowered the neckline.

Pattern matching?  Not so much.  I tried and failed.  Obviously, I didn’t try too hard.  She is into blues right now, and this is going to be a go to outfit for school.  It is super comfy fabric.

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More to come for Back to School sewing.  I am on a roll!  I have several other things cut out and ready to be sewn up.

Summer dresses – pattern hack

Over the summer I made a few dresses that were worn quite often.  I used the Sneha tunic/dress from Wardrobe by Me for the base of these dresses.

These first ones were just the basic pattern, only I added bands to the arms.  The bands were 2-3″ shorter than the armscye hole.  This first one I didn’t lengthen.

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The fabric is another one of my designs.  The was a performance knit I printed at MyFabricDesigns.  It was a nice wicking type of fabric, but it runs if you stretch it too much.

And this is my lovely tan from my sandals this summer.  Lots of baseball and softball games. 😉

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Here is the same tunic lowered a few inches.

This one I lowered quite a bit.  Not sure how much, since I made it at my sewing retreat.  I measured from my shoulder to the floor and made it long enough to make a maxi dress.  It stretched a bit, so I had to rehem it.  I probably went out about 10″ from the original hem on the tunic, so it was a gradual increase to the hemline.

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Next summer, I am sure I will be making more!

The start of fall sewing

The chill isn’t quite in the air here yet, but it is time to start thinking about fall.  I have plans for doing a Fall/Winter capsule like the one I put together for spring.  The main colors I will be using are going to be black, red and white.  This vest fit nicely into that theme.

Love Notions – Canyon Cardigan

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This is the new Love Notions Canyon Cardigan, and it has a lot of options to it.  I made the vest with the waterfall front, and no pockets. Size Medium.  My material is a 2-way stretch that is partially transparent.  I thought the fabric was interesting when I got it a year or so ago, but had no idea what to make it into.  I think this was the perfect project for it.

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I also bought the applique a few years ago, and wasn’t sure where I would use it.  Again, the stars aligned and it worked great for the back of this vest.

I am wearing the vest with the WBM Sneha pattern hack and a ponte maxi skirt that I made at the sewing retreat in July.  I love this skirt with a small exception.  I need to figure out how to fix it, and then I will share it in more detail.

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I also made a long-sleeved cardigan, too, (Option A) though I made it 5″ longer. I knew I wanted to wear this with leggings, and wanted to make sure it would be long enough to cover my butt. I would have needed a few inches for my height anyways (5’7″). I had to patch the length on my arms, too, since I ran out of fabric for the full length arms.  The fabric is a textured knit.  Some sweater knits will stretch out during sewing so you have to really watch that for matching up the pattern pieces.

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The suede at the collar was cut pretty much the same length as the edge, so I cut it a few inches longer than the pattern piece. I serged the edge of the knit first to make sure it wouldn’t stretch, straight-stitched it on, and then top-stitched. The leather elbow patch I glued in place before stitching it down. Can’t use pins with leather.  I also measured from my shoulder to the middle of my elbow to get the right spot for the patch, so I would check on the placement before sewing it on. Taller people have longer arms, so the placement should vary with height.

Love how this turned out!  I am wearing it with the brown top I made from my spring capsule and a pair of grey leggings I made a few years ago.

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Fall sewing for the kiddos

I need to get organized, so I am going to post my ideas for getting some fall sewing done.

The girl is in need of pretty much everything.  She has grown several inches since last year, so of course, none of her pants fit.  I made most of her leggings long, so they kind of fit.

Re-measuring is in process.

One outfit I would like to make for her is a copy of this Diesel dress.  I have some chambray fabric and some patterns I can mash up together.  I will make some leggings to go with it, and probably line the body with a comfy and warm knit.  Mine won’t end up looking so “broken in”, but it will still be cute and trendy.

This is the fabric I will use for it.  The pink will be for leggings underneath.

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I also like this little dress, only with some sleeves and in knit.  Again, some leggings for underneath.  I have some plaid knit, but not enough for the whole dress.  I think I will do the skirt and the neck flounce in that and the rest in a dark complementary knit.

I have some fabrics for the Cruise chinos and Star Top.  I will likely do the graphic on the solid color body and print for the sleeves, similar to the shorts and top I did last week.  I have a grey/white print of mine to use.

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She will probably get a couple pairs of chinos, since they fit her well.  She wants “dark” colors right now, so I will be leaning more towards that section of my fabric stash.  I also have a few things to upcycle for her.

This will be a top of some sort and then black ponte leggings.  The leggings can go with the dress above and the chambray dress/top.

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The dragon scales with either be leggins or maybe Domi pants.  The top is going to have the white and HTV in the middle and red for the arms.  Not sure what top to do yet.  If I go with leggings, then I will likely do a Hibernis top.

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I will be buying her some jeans, most likely, and need to match a shirt to a pair of her Justice jeans I got on clearance that are green and white patterned.  She has nothing that matches right now.  She also wants a “black leather jacket”, so I will see if Zulily has something that will work.

As for the boy, well, he is basically hoodies and t-shirts.  I need to find some good solid hoodie fabric.  I have several t-shirts to make him out of Deadpool and Fallout fabric.  I have a Harry Potter one, too, and he said he would wear it.  I can use some of the busy prints on the inside of the pockets and hood for the hoodies.

He will be getting some purchased pants, but not sure what he wants yet.  He starts middle school, so I’m not sure if he is going to want all-athletic-pants all-the-time.  I think something with a zipper fly is more age appropriate, but what do I know??

My plan this week was to make up the t-shirts for the not-so-little-anymore dude, so that is still a plan since I actually have a free weekend day tomorrow.  Hopefully I can get to work!  I also have a test for a cardigan/vest to do.  That should be pretty quick and easy, and something I wanted for my fall capsule.  I have some fabrics planned for it, and it should look pretty nice and fit in well.

Hopefully, it will be a productive weekend!

Body shape and dressing for it

In one of my favorite groups on Facebook, we try to help ladies figure out their shape and how to dress for it. I think I have this mainly figured out at 42.  I know as I get older it will all change again, though.

The Admin, Becca, wanted us to post what we will be wearing for the next season as an inspiration for others of the same body type.  I kinda went nuts with this post and just pulled what I made in the past.  I will likely keep with the same options for Fall, but right now I haven’t gone far in my fall planning.  I do have several fabrics and ideas, though!

Here is me right now:

Body Shape: Rectangle (39-32-39, roughly) at 150 lbs and 5’ 7”.  I also have a large rib cage and shoulders.  When I am in shape, and more around my target weight of 135 I am a V-Shape, Inverted Triangle.  My shoulders are wider than my hips at that weight.

This is mostly my business casual work wardrobe.  On weekends when I am going nowhere you will find me in comfy pants and knit tops.  If I have a game to attend in the fall, I am all about leggings, boots, tunics, sweaters and scarves.  If I tend to look more put together than some, it is because I have a lot to choose from, but also because I try to keep in the same color schemes.  I have a few favorites and don’t really deviate from them.

My colors go in groups.

  • Black/grey – which work with the royal blues and reds where I have for my pops of color
  • Navy/grey – I have a few patterned tops that go in with this group
  • Browns/Oatmeal/Cream – A new venture for me this past year and I like the soothing nature and sophisticated look of this color palette.

For my accessories I buy a lot of my shoes from Zulily (credit link).  Especially leather boots where you can get a really good deal if you don’t mind waiting a month for them.  I don’t mind waiting a month if I can save $100 on a nice pair.  They always have a good amount of jewelry, too.  Clothes are iffy.  I have had plenty that didn’t fit and I just gave away, but I like getting sweaters from them since I don’t knit and they tend to have a lot of variety.  I do get a lot of my jewelry from Stella and Dot, since they have great quality.

What looks good:

Tops:

I have found that wrap tops with ruching at the sides look good on me.

Tops that are fitted at the bust and hip, but skim over the waist:

The tuck, and tops that have some gathering in the middle that reach at about mid-hip.

Flared tops, where it is fitted and then skims over the waist and hips.  These first two tops are the Sneha Tunic/dress.  The third is one I drafted.

Skirts: Pencil skirts, A-line or drop waist skirts.  Nothing that sits at the natural waist and poofs out like gathered waists and pleats.  Those add a good 10 pounds. I have a ton of pencil skirts.

Dresses: Fitted or ones that are fitted until the smallest part and drop down.  Also straight dresses with bust darts.  Maxi dresses I have done the flared out like the tunics above, only longer, and then the loose top-fitted bottom like the striped one here.

I also like wearing fitted jackets, since that gives me more shape on top and it looks like I have a waist:

As for pants: Leggings with tunics, straight-leg, wide-leg…it all works as long as I don’t show off my natural waist.  A few inches below my belly button is where I like them to land.  High-waist is really unflattering.

Tips:  Lighter colors on the bottom and darker colors on top.  If it is reversed, then I tend to look too top heavy.

Example:

Not that I always follow this rule, but it is definitely noticeable to me when I don’t.  A lighter bottom accentuates the smaller hips and darker top de-accentuates no waist.  If I do go lighter on top, then a lighter bottom is good to offset it.

I made most of the clothes above (sans the jackets and few tops and pants), and sadly can’t share patterns since I drafted most of them.  I do have some tutorials, though.  If interested look on the left sidebar under the category “tutorials”.

Hope this helps for some advice!  I will hopefully have time to work on my fall clothes, soon.  When I get it all planned out I will post it.  I have a rough idea, so need to get on that!

Cruise around and be a Star with Blaverry

I absolutely love how this outfit turned out for my daughter.  These patterns are the Cruise and Star from Blaverry.  I received these for free as part of the promotions team, but all opinions are my own.

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The Girl has been complaining that she didn’t have enough shorts for summer.  I tend not to make too much for summer here, since it is so brief.  It isn’t worth making a lot for 3 months.  I did want to make up a few things, though, and these turned out so nice for her.

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The Star shirt is a white cotton/lycra knit and a modern jersey knit in one of my designs.  The HTV design is also one of my designs.

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It was not adhering very well, and took FOREVER to get it to work.  My iron just was not set to a high enough temperature, so something to watch for next time.  It almost made me want to get a heat press.

Next time I make this up for her, I will do some different grading.  I made a 7W and 14L here, and as you can see the shoulders are too narrow.  She needs the wider shoulders for her age, but she is still plenty thin for the rest of it.

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The Cruise shorts fit her so well.  I also made a 7W and 14L, but her shorts length ended up between the shortest length and the next length.  I had her try them on before hemming to get them to the length she specifically wanted.  Custom clothes makes that easy!    I didn’t add the elastic in, since they fit her in the waist pretty spot on.  I think I will add some in just to the back next time, since it did pop out a bit when she sat down.  The pattern comes with instructions on how to add buttonhole elastic.

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The inside of the shorts.  How nice does this look??

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These were drafted very professionally with no real shortcuts that you see in a lot of designs these days.  They aren’t a super fast sew, but you get a very nice product at the end.

She will definitely be getting more of these for her winter wardrobe in the longer length.

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Note: Girlfriend just got back from horse camp and her legs took a beating.  There were a few things there that OSHA would most definitely disapprove of.

More lovely ladies are sewing these patterns this week:

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Stylin’ Stacy * BLAVERRY * Élégantine * Sprouting JubeJube * Stuff I Make * Turtle Birdies

Two for gifts and one for me

I am a huge fan of these scarves during the fall and winter…and spring.  They are great to throw on to dress up an outfit and keep you nice and cozy warm.

These two I made for gifts for the Sewing Mamas retreat.

I did actually try to match the plaids. *sigh*

They were well received.  I told the Packer’s recepient that if she didn’t want it, I would wear the shit out of that.  I would have made her another.  I wasn’t sure how much of a fan she was, but she said it would never make it out of her house once she got it home.  We are a bit rabid. 😉

This one was mine.  I made it with flannel and a sweater knit.  All of them have leather on the edges and post snaps.

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Here is my tutorial for the scarves

Now, I am thinking of making a fall capsule, similar to my spring one.  We shall see if I have time!  (pssst…I already know I don’t!) 😉

A CAbi hack

Every 6 months or so I am invited by a friend to her CAbi party.  I really do like the clothes, but in my opinion, they have gone down in quality over the years.  The last pair of overpriced pants I bought from them stretched out so very, very much and had poor recovery.  So…not sure how much longer I will be buying their clothes, but it is nice to go see my friend and get ideas.

One top that I liked a few years ago had a woven front and knit back.  I think it was a silk panel for the front, but it definitely was a scarf type of fabric.

I drafted this from a big boxy top pattern I made last year.  I decided to go short sleeved on this, because a long-sleeved top would be too cool for our winters here.

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The back is a linen knit, and I think I made it a bit too long.  If I make another, I will definitely shorten up the back.

See…it is pretty wide.  It is supposed to be kind of “floaty”.  The linen knit is a very light knit fabric, and is kind of see through.  Using it in a non-fitted garment is a good idea so you don’t have to wear something underneath.

The bands around the arms and neck are a poly knit.

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I wasn’t sure about it, but I wore it out and liked it.  It does tend to pull to the back, since the knit weighs more than the silk panel.  I think shortening up the back will help with it, though.  If I find another piece I like for the front I may make another.  It is a great top for a hot summer day.

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