A few of his favorite things

The boy is into the Assassins’ Creed video game and movie, though he hasn’t actually played the game.  Dad has, and they are pretty cool games, with a bit of history involved in them.


The boy wanted some shirts with the AC logo on them, and yes, I know…copyright and all that.  We have bought almost all of the games, if that helps. 😉  I also wouldn’t sell these shirts either.

So…I made some shirts for him out of the new men’s raglan pattern by Wardrobe by Me.  These are in size Small for my 5’9″, 115 pound 13 year old.

Bram Raglan Men’s T-shirt


The length is about 1.5″ longer than the pattern, since some found the first version to be too long.  He’s growing about an inch every two months, so this length from V1 was better for him.

It lays better with the jersey (blue shirt) over the cotton lycra and french terry lycra (black, red shirt).

He loved the shirts!

On a photography related side note…I really need to figure out my new flash.  It is underexposing, so I end up having to do a lot of post processing work in Photoshop.  You can see the color is really off on the black shirt ones.  I set up a backdrop in the basement to get these pictures, and the wall are orange.  You can see that a bit with the color cast.  I miss taking pictures outside!



Upping the twirl factor

This week we are going to a funeral of someone that I grew up with as a part of my life.  Her kids asked me to do the eulogy, so I am a bit stressed about that.  I don’t enjoy public speaking, though I can generally do a good job at it.  Just don’t look at my hands, because they shaking.

Sewing is my stress reliever, plus the girl needed something to wear.  She wanted something to wear with the blue leaves necklace that we bought for her at the comic con.  It was her birthday present and she didn’t think she had anything that would go with it (She did…jeans and a black top would go with it!).


I wanted this to have some interest on it, so I added the faux leather accents.  The neckline and the arms have black faux leather.  I put Heat n’ Bond on the backside of the one with grommets.  That way it adhered to the fabric, and will be more stable.


The skirt is a full circle skirt on the front and a full circle on the back.  I didn’t have quite enough fabric, so I had to piece it.  I like how the black works in with the faux leather accents.

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The black is a ponte with an animal print, and the blue is a brushed poly with lycra.  It is a nice heavier weight, so it handles the skirt pretty well.


She will wear it with black leggings and boots for the funeral, then I am sure it will get worn much to school.  It is a very comfortable and suits her well.


A fairytale

I have been interested in doing some sample sewing for some of the custom fabric groups on Facebook that I follow, and this one came up.  I offered up, and was selected to sew up this pretty print.  It will be stocking on Friday, noon EST.  Some of her stockings sell out right away, so if you want it…be ready!

Zenith & Quasar Fairytale Print on brushed poly


The test was printed on swim knit, but it will be stocked in brushed poly (so thicker and warmer).  I love the colors on this print, and it went well with a supplex activewear fabric that I bought last fall on sale at Joann’s.

Zenith & Quasar has a supplex that is similar, and looks like it will go well with the print.  There’s only a few yards left, though.

Carribean Dreams Supplex

I had hoped to get pictures of this outfit this past weekend, but alas, we were busy, busy, busy.  Saturday was the first volleyball pool play, and then Sunday, it took me longer to make my sister’s purse than I expected.  I sewed until almost midnight on Sunday, and then stopped before putting in the zipper.  I was very tired, so I figured that was a good place to stop!


The jacket here is the Foliis by Sofilantjes.  I used the side seam pocket pattern piece from the longer jacket version to add into this shorter jacket.  The bottom of the pocket is enclosed in the bottom band, and the side is caught by the zipper edge.  I still had to top-stitch it down, though.  Otherwise it was floppy.


The leggings are a modified Shenanigan’s leggings.  I cut the curved section out of the middle, and then I also modified the waist.  I cut the waist lower and added a different waist piece.  This is from the volleyball shorts pattern that I created, and is comfortable on her.  Next time the front rise needs to come up about an inch.  It was a smidge short.

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The top underneath is the modified Nivalis/Hibernis mash up, with a design that I drew and cut with my Silhouette Cameo on HTV.  Which….didn’t get pictures of yet.  I will try to do that soonish.

I also used up just about every scrap of both of these fabrics.  I had to piece the top to get enough to do the top part of it (which you can’t see, of course).

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She loved this one, and so do I!




Another gift

I was hoping to get this gift made over my holiday break from work, but I just did a lot of reading and resting.  I needed that, but now I am stressing on getting projects done that I have volunteered to do.

This is what I need to finish up this week:

  • Sample sewing some fabric, plus nice pictures with it.
  • Test a men’s t-shirt pattern.  I have two to make for the boy, with some HTV cut out for them.  Nice pictures of them are needed, too.
  • Start sewing the bags for a charity auction – I’m hoping to donate two.  I would like to do a bead strip in one, so that means I need to do some loom beading for it.  That takes awhile to do.

In the meantime, I was able to get one thing off the list, which is this birthday present for my sister.  Her birthday is Thursday this week, but I know she doesn’t look at my blog.  I am going to get this in the mail, so she gets it by then.


This is made from an oiled cowhide and the blue is a lambskin.  I am hoping the oiled cowhide doesn’t discolor the blue too much.

I tried to make this smaller than my regular bag size, but I should have gone smaller still.  It is still a good sized bag.


The inside is brown and gold, with a zippered pocket.

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It has a snap closure, where I put a concho on the backside of the snap.  There is a conversion kit that Tandy sells.  It is basically a small screw that takes the place of the back of the concho, which fits in the middle of the snap.


The interior has 3 different types of interfacing (foam, peltex and regular interfacing), and it also has gold metal bag feet on the bottom.  This took me around 6 hours to make.  I had to do some hand-stitching around the top, since it was too thick for my sewing machine at the corners.

Making leather bags can be a bit frustrating, with the bulk and skipping stitches.  Now, I only have two more bags I need to get done, PLUS I need a new black bag for myself.  My old black bag was made from faux leather and it ripped at the handle.  It’s been like that for months, but I haven’t sat down to make a new one.  There’s always something else that needs to get made, so I want to make sure I get that made in next month.  Or so.

No rest for the weary!



Elegant, and yet, still very, very comfy…

Ah, the holidays.  The food, the fun, the endless get togethers with family  and friends.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but being comfortable is pretty high on my list.  It is also nice to wear layers, since if you are doing the cooking, or are in a crowded house…you can get pretty hot.

This was my answer.

I made a sleeveless yoke top, palazzo pants and a cardigan to go together.  I love how each piece turned out, but…they make me look a bit bigger than I would like.  Just because you love the pieces and they look good on you…they won’t necessarily look good together. On me.  I think I lost 6 inches in height.


So…I will not choose to wear them together again!  I think with palazzo pants I need to have a fitted top to balance it out.

First are the Palazzo pants out of a chocolate brown 4-way stretch velvet.  This is my pattern draft and what the pieces look like:


The drape is amaze-balls and it feels so fantastic.  I bought it locally, and need to go back for more colors.  When sewing with velvet, make sure to cut it in the right direction for the nap.

Next is my sleeveless yoked top (my pattern).  My normal way of making this has a gather in the middle front.  I didn’t have enough fabric left to do that, having sacrificed this fabric at the alter of my daughter’s wardrobe. 😉


Next time I make this, an adjustment at the middle front is needed.  It was a little too pointy, so doesn’t lay quite right.  It needs more of a curve. It still works, and it hits at just right the spot on my hip.

Then, we come to the cardigan.


This is a sweatshirt fleece by The Worth Collection.  Love having a store nearby that gets leftovers from clothing lines.  This is the softest sweatshirt fleece ever, with a decent amount of lycra in it.  If they had in more neutral colors I would have bought more.  I think they had some in some brighter colors that I would never wear, but I did think about it.

The pattern?  Mine, yes.

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The back skirt curves around to the front, and attaches along the side.  The drape front turns into the back neckband.  I was going to try to do that part on the fold, but there would have been some grain issues, and it was too wide, as well.


This turned out fairly close to what I wanted for fit.  The dart was a bit too low, so I will fix that next time.  Part of the reason it is low, also has to do with the weight of the fabric.  It is a bit heavy with the skirt part, so it is pulling the top down.  I also did thumb-hole cuffs on it.

Overall, pretty happy with these pieces! 🙂








Leather gifts

We are at a point in our familial gift giving, that many just want to exchange for the kids and not do anything else.  We are getting some gifting back, but for the most part the adults are not interested.  I miss it.

I do have a cousin in California that always sends something nice and thoughtful to us.  This year I finally had time to be thoughtful, too.  I made a little clutch for her that could go over her saddle horn, if she wanted a place to store her keys and phone while riding.  I made her hubs a wallet, which was a first for me.  I would make some changes.  It is narrower than I would like and the inside card pocket needed some more room on it, too.  Next one.

These are a mixture of an oiled cowhide and lambskin leathers.  The cowhide is VERY oiled.  The other leathers were starting to darken up from the oil in the main leather.  Oh well.  It still looked nice. 🙂

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I put together a tutorial on how to do a reverse applique on leather.  This is the process I use for each one that I make.

Leather reverse applique tutorial

First, I cut out a piece of Heat n’ Bond that will be a little larger than my design.  Next, I draw my design on half of it.  Options for designs if drawing is not a skill you possess – trace out an image from an image search of tattoo designs, clip art, coloring book pages, etc.  It just can’t be too intricate, since you have to anchor it with stitching.  It is hard to do that if they have a lot of small pieces.


Cut out the design.  You can also do this when it is on the leather, but I like to do it beforehand, so I can cut the leather cleaner.  Your choice. 🙂

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Now, find the mid-point on the leather for applying the applique.

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Now, iron it onto the leather.  Make sure that it is placed evenly on each side before ironing it.  Ask me how I know to do this??  Use a press cloth, or else your iron will stick, and possibly sear, the leather.


Now time to cut it out!  I use a combination of exacto knife, small scissors, big scissors and rotary cutter.  I try to get the big, longer cuts first and then do the smaller intricate ones last.

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Peel off the backing, and cut out another piece of leather that will cover the hole.  Iron this on, using the press cloth.

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To secure it, sew it on the sewing machine.  To sew this, I have a leather needle and use a long stitch.  I have to walk it around some of the areas, so you really have to go slow to make sure it looks nice in the end.


Don’t cut the threads, but pull to the back and tie off.


I have a full tutorial on this No Hardware Clutch here.

Year in review

It is that time of year to look back at alllllllll I accomplished throughout 2016.  I started the year off strong, then came travel softball and baseball for the kids, so summer was mostly a wash.  My time eased up by fall, so I finished the year off strong.

Here is a synopsis of a sort.  I didn’t get everything photographed, so the pictures below are not all of it.  I tried to keep track of my sewing, and it looks like I sewed up around 160 yards of fabric this year.

Yeah.  You can totally NOT tell by looking at my overstuffed fabric closet.  I have a problem, yo.


Reds/Blacks/Greys + Random colors

Purses/clutches/random leather stuffs


Boy Sewing

Girl Sewing

I still need to get a few things photographed, yet.  I’ll add them in when I do.  Some will probably never make it to the blog, but I do tend to put most things on Instagram at least (there’s a button over to the side to my account).  They may not see more than a 11:59pm post-sewing camera phone shot, though.  I try to get things on the blog, and explain any pattern modifications, or HOW I made the pattern, or at least SHOW the pattern I made.  There will be some belated postings that made it to Instagram months ago.  I’m hoping to get them written up and photographed over my Christmas -> New Year’s break.   Then my job will get super busy again, and time will be harder to come by.  *SIGH*

Never enough hours in the day.


No modeling of these!

Generally, there are things I tend to buy.  Jeans, outerwear and underwear being in that group.  It seems a waste of time to make underwear, since they are so cheap.  Of course, if you like a certain overpriced brand in a version they no longer carry…then you might be inclined to make them.

I took a pair that was worn out, and traced the pattern.  First pair was fairly good, though I stretched the elastic on the legs and should not have done so.  They are tight in the legs now.  The second pair, I raised the waist a little and didn’t stretch the leg elastic.


Good stuff.  They fit and didn’t take much fabric or time.  Give this a shot if you are inclined to make something that fits well.

I made a few more in some neutral colors.  Changing a few things.  I lowered the front waistline a little.  I think I need to lower it more.  The fabrics I used are cotton lycra knit and jersey knit with lycra.


I got the elastic at the fabric store here, but there is a lot on Amazon.  The top elastic is about 3″ wide.  Leg elastic is 1″ wide.  I actually bought 6″ wide elastic and cut it down the middle.  It seems to be holding up well in the wash.  I just zig-zagged it over the top of the fabric.  These are really easy to make.  Here are what my pattern pieces look like:


Like I said…don’t stretch the lace elastic, at least the thinner one.  The 6″ elastic had a lot more stretch that the 1″ elastic.  Test yours to see how much it stretches.  The thinner laces didn’t have a lot of give, but it just could have been the type I purchased.

Last pair, and now I am working on holiday sewing, like probably every other sewist.  I have a to do list that is a mile long, but only so many things are going to get made.





Mix and match sparkles

I saw this striped fabric on a custom fabric website and thought it would be perfect for the pattern test I did on the cropped jacket.  Unfortunately, I spent way too much on fabric for these pieces, but sometimes you just gotta splurge.  Most of my fabrics I buy are at a discount fabric warehouse, so I don’t normally spent a lot per yard.


Here are all of the pieces I made with the above fabrics, and how they can all go together.  I have another few plain black pieces I made for her that will go with them, too.  I bought 2 yards of both the black arrows and the gold sparkle, since she needs over a yard of fabric to make her bottoms.


Folis Jacket by Sofilantjes (just released)


This jacket is so cute!  It is an unlined jacket, and pretty easy to throw together.  It also comes in a long jacket and dress.  Any version would be cute.  It is meant to be fitted, so she doesn’t recommend long sleeved shirts underneath.  My girl has skinny arms, so it isn’t as fitted on her as it was on other testers.  I made a 10W and 13L.


I used most of one yard on the jacket, with and extra half yard for the hood lining and bands.

Domi pants by Sofilantjes


These were made out of the French terry and I kept it simple.  She didn’t want pockets on the pants, so I left them off.  I also made them long and just hemmed them instead of adding the bands on the bottom.

Nivalis/Hibernis by Sofilantjes mash up

This is similar to the tattoo horse top I made her previously, only I made it short sleeves. (Sorry, didn’t get a picture of it without the jacket!)


Hibernis by Sofilantjes

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I left off the pockets on this top, and just did the side panel pieces plain.  No cowl either, and I used the hood from the Nivalis pattern.  I added on thumbhole cuffs.

Shenanigans Skort leggings by 5 out of 4 Patterns

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Not Sofilantjes for this one.  I like the leggings from this pattern, and they fit her well.

All the pieces will go well together.  She is wearing a black long sleeved shirt under the hood with some of the pictures, and she also has some plain black leggings, and a pair of black stretch velvet domi pants.  Lots of stuff to mix and match!

A fun tween capsule for her to be able to wear this winter. 🙂



Reds and blacks

I finally got pictures of this top that I made in late summer.  I have shared a picture of the skirt before, but here is a better shot of it.

The shirt is my drape top pattern out of Modern Jersey in my own fabric design.  I really like this design, and even put it on a pair of shoes that I purchased from Zazzle.


I kept my top sleeveless, so I can use it in both summer and winter.


The skirt is made out of a nice thick black ponte.  It is a bit of a mermaid style skirt with 4 gores and then a waistband.


It was super easy to put together.  Just serge the 4 pieces together and add the waistband on it.  Everything stretches, so fitting wasn’t an issue.  The waistband is a little less than two of the pieces.  I kind of eye-balled it and cut it out.


I should have top-stitched the seams down.  It is a little irritating.  It also isn’t the easiest to walk in, so I want to change where it swoops out to a bit more above the knee.  The waistband also flopped over since it was straight up and down.  Next time I will use one where it goes in at the waist.  This is like the waistband on this skirt.



I have some chambray colored ponte that I plan on making another top/skirt combo.  That ponte is much softer and more pliable, so I think it will be pretty comfortable for a skirt.

In the meantime, I have to do a pattern test for Sofilantjes that I am really excited about.  I have a SUPER CUTE outfit grouping planned for the girl, and spent too much money on custom fabric for it.  She doesn’t know how lucky she is. 😉