Dragon boardshorts

Is this not awesome fabric for swimming trunks?

I picked it up on pre-order last year, and she has it in stock again on her retail site (click on the picture of it to go to the listing).  Since she had it in stock again, it gave me the impetus to finally get this sewed up!

The biggest hurdle in all of this is finding a boardshort pattern that has the mesh insert.  Hardly any of them have it.  I ended up going with the Jalie boardshort pattern.  I was going to draft an insert (which I did), but I ended up not adding it in.  The fly is real and is velcro.  I asked the dude if he was alright not having it, and he said it was fine.  I told him if he needed it later, I could figure something out.He fit in the size U in their weird sizing scale.  I also kind of hate that they don’t always have layered patterns.  I thought I heard that some were layered, but none that I have purchased have been.  It is really hard to follow some of the lines in cutting it out.  The do have nice thorough patterns, though.  The main seams are all triple stitched.

Unfortunately I didn’t have any contrasting fabric, so I ended up taping the side panel together and just using the main fabric for all of it.

I did use a too small pair for the facings and key pocket.  I wouldn’t have had enough of it for any of the panels.

I also stole the tie tabs with the grommets from another pair of shorts.  I left the remaining shorts intact so I could at least give them away.  They were Mario Kart or something like that.  I think he is done with the character prints on his swimming trunks now.  😉

I also put in the card pocket, though not sure it is quite functional.  It needs to be a little wider, I think.  I didn’t have grommets, so I just did a circle with a satin stitch for the water release.

Overall, I am very happy with how these turned out and he was pretty thrilled, too.  I have another print with space images on it, but I want to find some contrasting boardshort fabric before making another pair.


Sorry for the cell phone pictures…it’s been busy here, and I didn’t quite have time to get some nicer pictures.e

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Sea monsters and an old map

I love this print by Zenith & Quasar Fabric.  Seriously…LOVE.

The main print is a print of an old map, and the lighter color print has snippets of the sea monsters in the map.  Very cool.

Unfortunately, the map print is out of stock right now, and I was lucky enough to snag some for the brief time it was in stock.

The owner of Zenith & Quasar fabric invited me to join in her group for sewing samples, so when I saw she was printing the sea monsters I happily volunteered to sew that one up.  I knew they would work so great together.

Pre-order Sea Monsters

And they do!

The skirt on this dress needed to be shorter, just to be able to get the skirt parts out of this directional print.  I had to fussy cut a bit, which makes me sad due to wasting fabric.  I am hoping I can still get a tank top out of the other bits left of the fabric.

This dress is made from the Wardrobe by Me Sneha tunic (shocker, I know).

Modifications:

  • Cut the bodice piece 1″ longer
  • Cut two skirt pieces
  • Cut the bottom skirt 3″ longer than the tunic length
  • The inside skirt I cut 1″ narrower on the fold from the waist down
  • I used the deep scoop for the neckline (not a modification on that one)
  • Added a channel and ties to the side of the top skirt

The ties on the side are a piece of the green knit sewn on the backside of the skirt, with a channel for the tie.  I cut the tie 1.5″ wide and sewed it into a tube with the serger.  I used this to turn it, and that worked really well.  First time using it, and it was a great Christmas gift!

This dress is so very, very comfy with the brushed poly and jersey knit.  I think it will be getting a lot of wear this summer.  For right now, though…layers!

 

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Pretty coral

I was sent a few fabric samples to sew up for Zenith & Quasar fabrics, and this is one of the prints I chose.  It is called Watercolor Coral, and it is printed on a heavy brushed poly base.  It feels soooo nice!  I don’t know what she will end up ordering but both bases I worked with were great.  This base worked really well for leggings.

Plus, they are soooo soft!

I made the 5 out of 4 Shenanigans leggings, but put a more shaped waistline on it.  I think these stay up better on leggings with this waist piece.

The top is one that I drafted.  The pieces are very curved, but I love the look across the front and back.

I also topstitch the seams on these pieces so they lay flat.  The iron is your friend.

The shirt saying I really like, and she helped choose it.  I had a hard time finding the source for it, though.  Unfortunately, the teal color I used is metallic, so it doesn’t show very well.

I drew the wave in Photoshop, and put the file above in the Google Drive folder of my files.  See the sidebar for the link.

I’m pretty happy with how this outfit turned out, and so is she!

If you are interested in the fabric, you can buy it through the pre-order here:

Zenith & Quasar Watercolor Coral

New shoes for the girl

For my daughter’s birthday, she wanted a new pair of shoes like I bought for myself last summer.  These are not cheap shoes.

Zazzle is a website where you can put designs, art and a miriad of sayings on just about anything.  Last year I discovered that they could put tiled designs on shoes, and bought myself a pair:

She liked them so much, she wanted a pair for herself.  She wanted a blue design, and I knew she liked the colors in the sky.  I pulled up a sky photo I took and started color sampling it with the different designs I drew.

I have a lot of designs saved as brushes in Photoshop now.  I will sometimes just sit at my computer while watching tv with the family, draw something up and create a new brush to use in my tiled designs.  They are all a little different. 🙂

So, here is the sky picture I used:

Here is the tiled print:

Here is the shoe mock-up.

They should come in a few weeks in plenty time for her birthday this spring.  Now to make several things to match them!


I’m thinking of setting up a Zazzle shop for the things I draw.  I have to look into the file types needed and most importantly…figure out a name for it!  If I get it done, I may even have a contest to giveaway one item to get some word of mouth advertisement.

Stay tuned…

We’re all mad

I wasn’t sure if the girl would like this Cheshire Cat print from Affordable Fabrics and More, but it turned out she did!  When I ordered, I did not order a panel with it…not sure why.  The fabric host threw in the panel for free, which was a nice surprise.

The panel was short-ish, so I decided to make it into this dress I drafted, which stops at about her natural waist.

I had a navy cotton lycra that didn’t match exactly, but is close enough.  It worked well in color-blocking the skirt, which is two full circles.

As I only had a yard of the stripes and cheshire cat print, I needed to block the leggings (not that you can see it with her boots!).  I did the same for the arms.

In buying custom fabrics, I rarely buy more than a yard, since they are quite spendy.  I try to get the most out of them, and there really wasn’t much left when I was done with these prints.

She wore the outfit to school today, and she also had faith formation class at church later.  Her teacher at that class asked her why she was so dressed up.

She quipped, “This is just how I dress!”

🙂

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Sugar Skull outfit

I might be a bit macabre, but I do love the look of sugar skulls.

Fabric: Affordable Fabrics and More (retail is closed right now, as pre-ordered fabric arrives)

Sugar skulls, called calaveras, are made to honor dead relatives on Dia de Muertos, or All Soul’s Day.  This tradition can be traced back to the Aztecs.  The calaveras are usually made with cane sugar and are decorated with items such as colored foil, icing, beads, and feathers.

I am sure this will still fit her on November 1 next year, as I could not wait to use this fabric.  As such…I made the leggings extra long.

First, I needed a HTV skull for my vision of this top.  I found  a sugar skull coloring page online, and traced it off in the Silhouette software.  I pulled out different pieces to cut in different colors.  The trace worked pretty well, and there was only one part I had to change when weeding it.  I’m not well versed in the software, so I generally wing it and get lucky.

After layering and ironing it all on, it was time to sew!

I drafted this pattern with a lot of curves.  The arms have a big dip in the middle, and the seams are the same depth as the side seam.  It looks like a gradual curve across the arms, from side to side.

 

After putting these all together and ironing them, I noticed the front bodice was messed up.  I cut it totally wrong.  After ripping out the serged seam, I used what smidgen of fabric I had left to cut out a new top.  The front top is not necessarily on grain, but it works.

The skirt on this is a full circle.

The leggings are the 5 out of 4 Shenanigans skort leggings, only I used a different waistband that is shaped to fit her better.  This was a french terry fabric with some stretch to it.

I made this last night and could not wait to have her wear it.  She really liked it when I showed it to her this morning.  This is after a day of wearing it, so the leggings are a little bit baggy.

Now…what to make next??

Busy week and baby blankets

Well, last week I managed to accomplish quite a bit.  I was a pattern drafting fool!  I made the first three below during the week, and the rest on the weekend.  I cut them all out on Saturday after volleyball, and then sewed on Sunday.

  • Short summer dress for me
  • Maxi summer dress for me
  • Skort muslin for me (mostly fit…needs some tweaks)
  • Dress and leggings for the girl
  • Shorts outfit for my grand-nephew
  • 3 baby blankets

I also have another dress and leggings set cut out for the girl with some vibrant sugar skull fabric.  This one is not as twirly as the one I made this weekend, but still a full circle skirt.  I am going to do an HTV sugar skull on the front, so that is the docket for this evening.  Hopefully I can start working on it, too.

Next to get pictures of them all worn!

Here are the baby blankets that I made with my tutorial.

The middle one has been claimed by a fellow volleyball mom.  Her (current) youngest plays with my girl, so this baby was a bit of a shock to them.  They were counting down the days to being empty nesters, but now they are looking at daycare and ordering a crib.

Baby’s are joys and all, but man, would that put a wrench in retirement!

Anyways…

I like to put a fun quilting cotton on one side and then a nice soft minky.

The other two are going to be headed to a women’s shelter on Pine Ridge Indian reservation.  It is a charity that I donate to regularly, so I will get a box filled to send their way.

 This week I will try to get pictures of what I have sewed up so far.  First up will be the dress I made the girl.  It is SO CUTE.  We both agree. 🙂

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Fancy towels for a swap

I have belonged to the online sewing forum, Sewing Mamas, for many, many years. This is one place where sewing peeps used to post their lovelies, pre-Facebook and Instagram. Now it is down to just a few die hards. They are having a dish towel swap, so I decided to join in on it. I generally don’t do swaps, since I am usually so behind in making all the things I want to make! This one seemed pretty easy to do, though. I just needed to make a set of dish towels. I signed up for two sets.

I tend to really like those towels that attach to the stove, so I decided to make them for my project. I had some terry cloth fabrics that I bought to use for bibs once upon a time. I could have gone out and bought towels to fancy up, but I had this already.

Here is my little tutorial on how I made these:

Pattern piece for the top – Cut 2 of fabric and one of interfacing
– 1 piece of terry cloth – 14″ x 18″
Ribbons 18+” wide

1. Iron the interfacing onto one side of the top piece. Fold the bottom edge up 0.5″. Sew the two pieces together, right sides together. Clip the edges of the bottom, and clip the top curve. Turn right sides out and iron flat.

2. Hem the bottom edge of the towel, along the 18″ long side. I turned 0.25″ and 0.25″. You could also serge all the edges and just turn under once to hem.

3. Take your ribbon and place along the bottom. Heat seal the edges first. I went up about 0.5″ to next to the hem. Stitch down both sides.

4. Turn the side edges under and hem.

5. Pleat the top edge. I made one inch pleats starting from the middle and this seemed to be good. Place the top edge in the top piece. Top stitch in place, making sure to catch the bottom edge. I did two rows of stitching.

6. Make a buttonhole 1″ from the edge of the curve. (Alternatively, you can do a snap, as well.)

7. Sew on button, and done!

Mermaid hair today…gone tomorrow

I decided to take some pictures of the girl before she got her hair cut off and donated it.  It had gotten pretty long, and she really doesn’t do anything with it at all…or let me do anything with it.

I have had this saying and mermaid cut out for some time, so I figured I should use it before she gets her hair cut off on Friday.

This is the Mermaid, and I just used a font in the Silhouette Studio.

It is hard to see the font since it is a silver reflective font.  Oh well.  It’s DONE, and that is what is important.

Shirt is self-drafted, and out of a great jersey with lycra.  It is very comfy.  The leggings are the Shenanigans Skort leggings by 5 out of 4 Patterns, with a low loft stretch velour.  It is hard to capture how shiny they are with the camera.

I can’t wait to be able to get pictures  again once it warms up.  I am having the hardest time getting my color right.

Well, now I will have to make her something else to wear to show off her new haircut!

Feeling elvish

Nothing like a long-awaited fabric delivery to de-rail your sewing plans! I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings (even read that massive tome…and The Hobbit, too), so when a pre-order came up for different LOTR fabrics I pounced on it.

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After waiting the required several months for the order to close and then get delivered it finally arrived last weekend.  It had been a long few days away from the family, in setting up and putting on the charity benefit for Deb, so it was a fun sight to be greeted by that box when I got back home.  Into the washer the fabric went!

Of course, I didn’t have the right color coordinates, so I had to make a stop at the fabric store.  I hadn’t been there since before Christmas, so OF COURSE I bought way more than I intended.  I am all ready for sewing up some LOTR, and some summer stuff now.

I started easy with the fabric, and made a Bram Raglan from Wardrobe by Me for my son.  Seriously, this was the main reason I pulled the trigger on this fabric.  Fits him perfectly.

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I just wish these fabric designers would make extra fabric that matches the panel.  I hate having to find matching fabric.  I used a solid chocolate colored cotton-lycra for the back, and a jersey/lycra for the arms.

Onward to what I wanted to make for me!

This was the initial drawing for it:

2017-02-14 12.29.11

I’m using my Sneha hack for this, with the front overlay.  Yes, again.

The front fat-half panel ended up at about 33″, so it shrunk 3″ in the wash. 🙁  This meant I wasn’t able to cut it out at the length I wanted, so I ended up doing a high-low hemline.  I kept the hem to a minimum, too.

The back was an overlay that I matched to the front overlay on the side seams.  I wanted it to have some extra volume in it, almost like a short cape, so I pulled it out from the fold line about 6″ and went down to mid-back for the curve.  I decided I wanted a downward curve after the initial draft I drew.

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The hood is a shortened version of the hood pattern I shared here.  I just took about 6″ off the bottom, and added a band to the edge that was a little bit narrower than the opening. I also lined the hood with the rib knit, since it was white on the backside of the green fabric.

Ribbing tends to stretch a bit more than most, so I wish I would have decreased the length on ALL the bands I used.  .

The hood is a little tight on the neck, so if I make another one, I will increase the width of the hood and scoop out the neckband a bit more.  So if you make your own version, take note.

I was indecisive about the arms.  Initially, I was thinking of adding the faux lacing on the arms like I did for my daughter’s dress.  I was having issues putting eyelets into the knit, since my eyelet setter was broke and the kittens ran off with the parts. >:(

I decided to add pieces that looked like the Elvish leaves vambraces.

vambraces

Just in knit.  I didn’t want them to overlap the whole way, since it would add a lot of bulk.  I just overlapped the seams and called it good.  I hand-stitched them on, so it had a more authentic look.

Here are the pattern pieces if you want to use them.  There is about a 1″ overlap.

I used the Ninja leggings pattern from 5 out of 4 Patterns for the leggings.  I cut up the pattern, and added seam allowances when I cut the pieces.  I serged and top stitched one piece wrong, so they are a little wonky.  Oh well.  I fixed it well enough, and they are a bit patchwork so it is hard to tell.

Retail will be up on Wednesday this week, I believe.  Site: Moonbeam Textiles


I couldn’t resist, and had to a Shire composite (New Zealand).

Background came from Trey Ratcliff.  He had this on his Flickr account under Creative Commons usage (non-commercial).  He does some impressive photography.