Finally a black purse

In early 2017 I had made a black purse that I loved.  After going back home for a benefit (whereby I made two other purses for it) I was offered some moola for my black purse.  I knew she really wanted it and would ask me again for it, so I sold it to her.

Well, I finally made a replacement one.

This is a pattern I have developed and still need to tweak a bit.  One of these days I will do a tutorial on it.  It definitely takes a good 6 hours to make it.  I usually try to do all the interfacing and gluing and then leave it for the night and work on it the next day.

This is a regular lambskin and a perforated lambskin with gunmetal hardware.

I forget the fabric line for the interior and I used pretty much all of the 1/2 yard of fabric that I had for it.

I have a zipper on the inside, two interior pockets and an outside pocket on each side (fits a phone).

It also has some feet on the bottom, but I forgot to take pictures of that.  This is on my list to do a pattern and tutorial for it.  One of these days I will get my stuff together on that!

A little bit of sass…

I’m pretty sure this photo explains the little bit of sass…

This is a pretty cute little panel that is up at Rockerbye on pre-order.  This round is full of horses, llamas, some jungle creatures and cute coordinates.   The pre-order starts today at Rockerbye.

The size of the panel here is a child’s panel, and it was a little small for a 12 wide sizing.  I would have opted for a bigger size, but I made it work!  I added some overlays on the front and back and extended the bottom with some split bands.

I made her a pair of straight leg leggings to go with the top.  They will be super comfy to wear, since it is a nice thick ponte with lycra.

I also added some fun roses and leaves to the top to give it that western flair (files in my Google drive folder on the sidebar).

I drafted the top, and just kind of winged the overlays.  They have raw edges, and I did a double line of lightning bolt stitching to attach them.

They have some cute coordinates that go with this print, in addition to some other forest and farm animals. Go check it out if this interests you!

Gathered cowl top

I ordered this bamboo jersey fabric from Nature’s Fabric, and expected it to be more of a true red.  It is a bit of a rusty red (more rusty than I could get the color to show here), so it wasn’t going to work for what I initially intended.  Instead, I though I would make myself a comfy fall tunic/dress.

By the way, I do love the feel of the bamboo jerseys I have ordered from them.  Such a comfy fabric.

The base of the dress is the Sneha tunic from Wardrobe by Me.  I wanted it to have two skirts, which works well with this pattern.  The bodice pattern piece is separate from the skirt pattern piece since there are multiple skirt options for this pattern.

I traced the full skirt piece out and recut one side to have an angle.  I then cut two skirts, and serged them to the bodice so each fabric had the lower edge on each side.  The fabric underneath is a thin black jersey.

Next, I added a cowl with the thin jersey.  These were the basic measurements for it…you cut two of them and serge together at the side seams.  I left the edge unhemmed.

Originally, I was just going to leave it, but it proved to be a bit sloppy.  I decided to gather it at the side seams, so it would lay at the shoulder and then just waterfall down.  You need a pretty thin and drapey knit in order for this to work right.

The jacket I am wearing here, is the Blixen Blazer that I made last spring.  It is such a nice, solid piece.  I am wearing leggings I purchased from CAbi several years ago, but I want to make another pair.  They don’t fit the best at the waist and tend to pull down.  I have to continually pull them up, so I think a me-made replacement is on the list.

The list of “to makes” is pretty long right now, so not sure when I will get to it.  Hopefully soonish!

My little assassin

The girl has been reading the Sarah Maas series where the lead character is basically an assassin, though she becomes a leader.  (I think…she tends to get wordy and unfocused when she explains it all).

This year she wanted to be an assassin in going to the Renaissance Festival and for Halloween.  That works fine for me, but I had limited time.  I purchased a few types of black pleather and got to work on a costume for her.  I ended up sewing most of the day on Saturday, so we could make the last day of the festival on Sunday.

First up were pleather pants.  I could have cut them up to look more like patched leather pants (since leather hides are not sold by yardage, and have to be pieced), but…I was lazy.  I widened the 5 out of 4 leggings I use for her, since pleather generally doesn’t stretch as much, and used black supplex for the waistband for comfort.

The top is a mystery knit of some kind that I purchased many years back.  I added a strip of pleather to the front and at the neckband.  Unfortunately, the neckband did not play well with the vest, so I ended up cutting it down on the fly before leaving for the festival.  Oh well, I made the top first, so I didn’t think of how the two would work together.  This is the best picture I have of it right now…it’s lost somewhere in Mt. Laundry.

Next, I drafted a vest, and made it have a hood.  I knew she would likely want a hood.  Assassins have hoods to hide their features, don’t you know?

It was a little too small when I gave it the final fitting (urggggg!), so I added a square of fabric in between the two and had it all snap up together.  Still worked and looked neat, so we’ll just call it a spontaneous design feature. 😉

The corset is a larger version of the one I made last year for her.  I just added an inch to all the pieces, on top of doing some cut outs with a mesh fabric.  I didn’t add the boning, just to make it more comfortable to wear.  I still did all the top-stitching, though.  That is the most time consuming part of them.

I also made some simple gauntlets out of vegetable tanned leather.  I had to dye it black and I just punched holes in and added lacing.  She made it about half the day, and then wanted them off since they were hard leather and not overly comfortable to wear.

The accessories were from her Ciri costume last year.  I made a cape for it last year at Halloween for a little added warmth (it was needed at the festival, since it was a rainy, dreary day).  I also had made the belt and pouches for that cosplay costume, so they became used as accessories for this one.

 

The kids both got some nice compliments on their outfits during the day, which is always fun. We enjoyed several shows, some artisans at work, food and drink. We just had to wait out a small storm in a beer tent, which was not really a hardship. 😉

The day before was a beautiful, sunny fall day, and apparently overflowing with people.  It was one of their highest attendance days ever.  I will take the rain and mud over that much humanity!  We barely had to stand in line for anything.  Always pick the crappy day over the nice day, I say. 😉

Blue agate

One of the reasons I love Zenith & Quasar fabrics is that she creates fabric with some great images of the world (and galaxy!) around us.  This print is created using inspiration from a blue agate.

The current round open for pre-order is called the Nature round, and is full of rocks, woods and things that grow.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, but I wanted to keep the print as intact as much as possible.  I decided to draft a tunic top for my daughter to wear, and break up the print a little with a flounce.

Blue Agate print at Zenith & Quasar

She was not a fan of the flounce.

The pattern pieces look like this, though I did have to cut up the arm a bit.  I would have rather had the arms be the print, but I didn’t have enough fabric with only 1 yard to make the whole top.  I went down about 2″ from the arm to cut up the bodice.  I went straight across the back, but did a curve above the chest area for the front.  The flounce is a full circle for the front and full circle for the back, and it is hemmed.  I usually serge the circle first, which gives it a slight pucker.  This helps to hem circles.

I used a stretch woven on the flounce, since I wanted it have more body.

I figured a cotton lycra wouldn’t look as nice, though I did use cotton lycra for the arms and neckband.

The leggings are the 5 out of 4 Shenanigans leggings.  I do put elastic in the waistband, because otherwise she complains it is too loose on her.

When I finished this up, I wasn’t sure it was really “tweeny” and “middle-schooly”.  She was not a fan of the flounce, so I guess my instincts were right.  I love the print…it is so pretty, but I feel like the white maybe wasn’t the right choice to go with it for an older girl.   Moral of the story…it doesn’t always work out.   I will take out my trusty seam ripper, take out the flounce and just put a white band in between the two layers.  Simple fix that will take an hour (seam ripping serged seams is FUN!!).

She still wore it, though, since it was so comfy!

The pre-order for this fabric is open for a week only, so go check this and the rest of the nature prints!

Denim dress

I have been meaning to make a cute little denim dress for my girl for some time now.  This fabric was purchased a good year ago, and is a lightweight denim woven fabric.  As with most things these days, I needed an impetus to spur me into action in getting it done.  This year’s family photo was the push for this to get completed.

I drafted the dress to be a fitted top with buttons down the front.  It has a full circle skirt on the front and back, with the added bonus of pockets!

The slant pockets were a bit of a pain to put in the full circle skirt on the front.  Next time I do a skirt like this, I will do pockets in the side seam.

The inside has some unfinished seams that I stitched down.  When  putting this together, it was very on the fly, and making it up as I go.  I normally like things to be more finished on the inside.

I made the placket with seven small buttons and one large one at the waist.  The rest of the placket is stitched down.

I used the opposite side of the fabric for the contrast.  I also left them un-hemmed, hoping they will get frayed and fun looking.

It is quite twirly and fun to wear.  The color is more like the flat lays of the dress.  We had a storm rolling in, so the color was a bit darkish.

Now hopefully she will actually wear it!

Joggers are not actually for jogging

As the Girl’s gym teacher learned when he was trying to talk her into joining the track team.  He was pushing hard, too.

“Uh, yeah, no…running isn’t really my thing.”

You can, though, still look cute in them.

These are the Rumba Joggers from Rogue Patterns, set to release tomorrow.  They come in a huge size range (0-30), and she worked really hard to make sure it fit across the different body size spectrums.

I made them out of the Electric Lime supplex from Zenith & Quasar fabrics.  You need a pretty stretchy fabric for the waist, so make sure you pick that one wisely.

They were quick to sew up (about 1.5hrs including pattern taping to finishing).

The top is one I drafted, and need to revisit where it crosses in the front.  A few inches lower would make her more comfortable.  This is from Z&Q, too, and is a brushed poly print.

It looks like pictures before school are going to have to wait until spring again.  The sun was barely over the horizon, so the pictures are soft and grainy.  She gets on the bus in the 7am timeframe, so we are losing light now.

I’m not ready for the dark days of winter!  But winter is coming…yes, I went there. 😉

 

Brasov top from Itch to Stitch

It was hard to cut into my Carina Nebula brushed poly from Zenith & Quasar fabrics, but I knew that the pattern would fit well.

Brasov from Itch to Stitch

This is the new Brasov top from Itch to Stitch, and I tested it.  This was my first test top, and I didn’t really need to make another.  It all fit well right out of the chute, so I would really recommend it.  It has side pleats on the top layer and two pleats at the shoulder.

It took about 3 hours to make it from putting the pattern together to finishing.  You need to take your time around the pleats to make sure everything lines up well.  The only change I made to the pattern was adding 1″ to my sleeve length (she ended up adding another inch to the pattern, since I still felt it was a little short).

I needed to make a matching skirt (of course!), so I pulled this stretch poly out of my stash.

It is a cushy thick with a sateen on it.  The pattern here is my own draft, and is a 4 gore skirt with a doubled up waist band.

It twirls well.

I made it mid-calf length, since my maxi skirts have been getting stuck in the wheels of my office chair.  I figure this length will help with that.

During the initial pattern release the Brasov top will be on sale for one week, starting today, for $8.00 (original price $10).  Go on over and get it soon if it appeals to you!

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A wardrobe staple – 4 gore black skirt

This is one of those pieces that will get worn all the time.  It is fitted at the hips and skims down to flare out above the knee.

This is a nice length for this area, since I can wear it in the winter with tights underneath and boots.  It will still show my boots, and not get in the snow.  It is just these pattern pieces, and simple construction.  Sew the sides of the waistline together, and fold in half.  Attach all the gore pieces together, and top-stitch, if desired (I didn’t do it on this one).  Attach the waist to the bottoms.  Hem. Done!

I didn’t have enough length to get all four gores out of it, so it has a seam down the back for the last gore.  It takes a good 2.5 yards of fabric for this…more if it is a directional print.

It is easy to walk around in, so just a comfy, stretchy skirt.  I made another one last week, but it was to match a top in a pattern test that will be wrapped up by next week.  It is just such a nice quick sew!

The top here is one I made many years ago, and have a tutorial on how I drafted and put it together.

Pattern hack – zipped cowl top

Is that a good name for it?  Not sure what to call this style.

Okay, what we have here is a tutorial for a pattern hack to get this style of top:

Instructions to hack a pattern

In order to do this hack, you need a basic long sleeve t-shirt top pattern that fits.  I used the Wardrobe by Me Basic T-shirt in a size larger than I would fit per the measurements.  I wanted it looser fitting.  I added the band at the bottom, the cowl and a facing, but otherwise, the bones of this top is just a basic long-sleeved t-shirt top.

Need –

  • Basic t-shirt pattern
  • 1.5 yards of fabric (roughly)
  • Interfacing
  • 16″ or 18″ zipper
  • Optional: Wondertape (for placing zipper)

Take out your front, back and sleeve shirt patterns, and trace a copy of them.  Figure out where it would hit just under your breasts, and mark that spot on your pattern piece.  Now make a gradual curve down to the side.  I just draw this in with a pencil first and then cut.

The diagram above shows what I did for the front and back pieces.  Make sure the cuts meet up on the sides.  The bottom band for my shirt ended up being 6″ x 18″ on the fold (both top and sides).

This next diagram shows how I used the front piece that I had cut from the pattern to draft two new pieces.

The cowl I measured the length of the neck opening on the pattern pieces (subtracting the seam allowance at the shoulder), and used that length for the length of the piece.  The width is 7.5″ wide, which can be cut on the fold OR you can use two different fabrics for the inside and outside (what I have done).

These are the majority of the pattern pieces (just missing a piece for the bottom band and front facings).

These are all the pieces cut out except the front facings.  I forgot to do those until I got to that part of construction.  I just used 2″ into each side of the front pieces for the facing pieces.  The facing is just giving you some protection from chaffing from the zipper.

Construction:

  • Sew the shoulder seams together (I sewed the bottom on the back piece first, but you can wait on that if you want).

  • If you have an inside and outside of the cowl piece, you need to sew them together along the long edge.
  • Attach the cowl to the neckline along one edge right sides together.  The inside of the cowl is going to be the one showing, so select the outside part to attach first.

  • Next add the facings to the inside edge of the cowl.  Don’t use a serger for this, just zigzag them on.

  • Add interfacing along the edges.  My interfacing was 1.5″ wide.  If you have a seam for the cowl, just go up to that seam and not over it.  I ended up cutting the interfacing there, since it affects how the seam folds over.

  • Take your zipper, and figure out where it will hit at the neckline and mark this spot.  This helps to make sure your zipper does not get skewed and offset when stitching up.

  • Place the marking at the neckline and sandwich it between the inside/outside cowl, front piece and front facing.  Clip in place, and you can check to make sure the zipper will match when zipping it up by turning it carefully to the outside and zipping up. Straight stitch the zipper.  If you want to make sure it won’t shift, use Wondertape to hold in place.  Just make sure you are placing the tape inside the seam allowance so it won’t show once stitched up.

  • Top-stitch the zipper seams.

  • Attach the inside edge of the cowl to the neckline.  You can turn the edge under, pin and top-stitch or do the burrito method (enclosing the body pieces in the cowl), leaving an opening to pull everything through to the outside.  I did the burrito method, and then still top-stitched.  It just allowed me to not have to pin as much.

  • Top-stitch the top edge of the cowl (if desired), and stitch down the front facing pieces.

  • Now we are going to attach the bottom front to the top.  I didn’t want the extra zipper teeth at the bottom to be irritating when worn, so first I stitched across the zipper.  Next, I cut off the excess zipper and pulled the teeth apart up to the stitching.  Lastly I pulled the excess teeth off with a small pliers.  When stitching the bottom to the top, I wanted to make sure it held together, so I just did a quick basting stitch to the bottom of the zipper to keep them together.
  • Mark the middle on the top and bottom pieces.  Clip them together and stitch for both the front and back.  I first stitched the front pieces on the sewing machine and then serged.  I just wanted to make sure my serger wouldn’t hit the zipper, because that causes broken needles flying to your eyeballs.

  • Top-stitch the seams, if desired (I did).
  • Attach the arms.  I color blocked them at the 3/4 sleeve line and added a few inches of extra length.
  • Sew up the side seams, matching the curves at the side, and hem the arms.

  • Sew the edges of the bottom band together.  Mark it in 1/4’s for the sides, middle front and middle back.

  • Mark the middle front and middle back on the bottom of the body pieces, and match them up on the band.  Sew the band on the shirt.

  • All done!

Let me know if anything is unclear in the tutorial.  I didn’t detail everything, as if you have a basic pattern, you should have instructions for some of it already.

The fabrics I used here are a brushed poly stripe from Fabric Anthropology, a black fleece backed poly and a quilted faux leather from Joann’s.

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