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.  🙂

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.






Goals for April

March just zoomed on by here!  I was plenty busy, and then I over-committed myself, and here I am all stressed out again.  Need to stop that.  Part of the problem is that everything came due at once (2 pattern tests and some strike-off sample sewing), and add in some gifts and just fun sewing.

Then this year had some family stuff that wasn’t on the master schedule, and well, I need a rest and to not work myself so hard.  Seriously.  I am exhausted.  So far this year I have had two funerals (one of which I did the eulogy), one benefit, lots of sports and lots of projects.  My house is in need of a major cleaning, too.  I want to get my shit together before summer starts, and luckily I am almost to my non-busy work life.  That will be helpful.

So, for April, I still have a long list of things I want to make.  I want to finish my soduko wardrobe capsule for summer.  I did get one draft done of my skort, so I just need to cut up the rest.

  • Black/white striped skort
  • Grey skort
  • Firebird skort

Tops are a design in process for now.  I will figure out what I want to do when I pick the fabric out of the closet.

  • White tank top
  • Red tank top
  • Red/black striped tank top
  • Grey tank top
  • Black top

One of the tops is going to have this on it:

Next, will be some summer clothes for my girl.  I have some softball fabric that I want to make into a fun summer outfit for her.  She also wanted a dress out of fabric that I used for a dress for me.  I need to get some pictures of that dress for me yet.  Maybe it will be nice later this week and I can get that done.

The kids are NOT going to get new costumes for the Comic Con this year.  The boy didn’t get a chance to wear his there anyways, and since I made them as a set….they are wearing them.  I may have to make some new pants for the girl, though.  Actually, I know I will have to make new pants for her.  I’m hoping the corset will still fit, since that will be a huge pain to rip apart and resew.

That is in early May, so I will do that at that time.  I am not sure how many more years they will be having that Wizard World here.  The line up looks pretty pathetic as of right now.  Oh well.  Maybe one year we can go to a real one in Atlanta (Dragon Con) or San Diego (Comic Con).

I am very much behind in sewing some stuff up for charity.  I got two baby blankets finished, but there is a whole lot of wovens that need to disappear from my fabric closet.  I am planning on making some skirts and dresses for the girls on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

I also need to get some swag made for the two 12U volleyball teams for their out of town tournament in mid April.  I am putting vinyl on water bottles with each girl’s name, a volleyball and maybe the logo if I can get it to work.  We’ll see.  They may just have their name. 😉

Over-committed?  Whatttttt??





Team colors…gooooooooo team!

Luckily my kids’ school colors are some of my favorites.  Red and Black.  It seems to be pretty popular, since that is the school colors for A LOT of other teams in this area!

I do like to wear the colors when going to cheer them on, so I decided to make a new outfit.  It needed to be comfortable, though, since we can spend over half the day at a pool play, or tournament play.  Even when baseball and softball start up, it is still cold out.  We don’t get the heat until June.

These leggings are made from a thick ponte with lycra in it.  I used my own pattern, and added the strips down the side out of lambskin leather.  I just cut it at the side, and added a 3″ strip.  I had to use my sewing machine with this, since the serger doesn’t exactly cut through leather.  After sewing the seam, I also topstitched each side down with a long straight-stitch.  The seams are pretty solid that way.

The leather is soft with a lot of stretch to it.  I haven’t throw these in the dryer, but I am able to wash them fine.  I didn’t really subtract any from the sides, so they are not tight on me.  I think that is fine, though.  I was expecting less stretch in it, but it works.

Sorry this is blurry!  I did a shaped waistline on it, but I still added some clear elastic at the waist in case the fabric was prone to stretching out.  I could have taken a few inches off the waist, too.  It is not overly tight, so I am glad I added the elastic.

The top is my Sneha tunic hack that I first showed here.

Right now I am working on a blazer test pattern for Wardrobe by Me, which will hopefully be released next week.  I am a bit behind on that test, so I need to crank through it tonight and tomorrow night.  It is going to be a nice classic black blazer with a little leather on it, because why not??

Then, I need to get my summer stuff done!  By the end of April, we will be constantly running the kids at night, so my sewing time is going to slow to a crawl.  The girl also needs some summer outfits.  I need to have a more organized sewing plan, so I will be working on getting that done.  I seem to have crafting ADD too much, and then I can’t focus on what to make!



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


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…

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??

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!

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.


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.


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.

20170214_191201 20170214_191433

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.


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.

Goals for February

Since January flew by in a blink of an eye, I am going to write down what I plan on making for this month.

#1 – Purse #2 for the charity auction.  It is cut out and in process. DONE


#2 – Possibly a new hip purse for when I am working at the charity auction.  I have a feeling this won’t get completed, but maybe I will have time… Not done – this one will have to wait

#3 – I want to do a Pinterest project a month, so two projects if I can.  I am thinking about these two as possibilities:

cardigan Not sure on the color of the cardigan yet, though.  This will also fit into the Self Love Sewing for February.

#4 – I have signed up to make an upcycled item for a blog tour.  I know what I want to make, so I just need to get it done!  DONE

#5 – I want to make a pair of red ponte leggings with a black leather tuxedo strip down the side. DONE

#6 – To match the leggings above I want to make a black top like this one, only with long sleeves, maybe a different hem line.  It will be longer, since this isn’t quite long enough to cover the bum: DONE20160227-DSC_0076#7 – Charity – I want to get through some fabrics I probably won’t use.  I have a stack of fleece pieces that would make great hats, scarves or cowls.  I could also make some baby sleep sacks.  Sewing for charity and reducing the stash of unused fabric would be a real win.  After the fleece is gone, I am going to start on making skirts or dresses for girls on the Pine Ridge Reservation with the woven fabrics I have.

So…that is the plan so far for this month.  Lofty goals, but hopefully I can reach them!