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

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!”






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:

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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.


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.

Summer wardrobe capsule plan…sittin’ at the ball fields

Summertime around these parts consists of many hours watching ball games – both softball and baseball.

This means I sit in the hot sun sweating and getting odd tan lines for hours at a time. I wanted to make a mix and match wardrobe capsule that would keep me cool, look awesome and be easy to change up the pieces.

This also matches some other pieces already in my wardrobe, so it should work well.

Here are two sodoku capsules that I made up. This is all subject to change on my frivolous whims.

summer soduko 1

summer soduko 2

I am going to make a pattern for a skort (’cause wind…) with a straight-front, flounce back with pockets on the legs underneath. Something like this:


We’ll see if it actually turns out that way. Whims…I tell ya.

The tops are going to be tank tops to try to minimize the farmers tan. Not that there is anything wrong with a farmer’s tan…had them aplenty growing up.

These are my tank top inspirations. I like the thought of putting stretch lace in there, so I think I will use that idea to try to keep cool.

tank top inspiration

Lots of fun things going on with those tops. The only issue, is the bra issue. I have yet to find a comfortable strapless bra, so I am thinking of making some fun straps with some existing bras.

Fabrics are next. I bought a few different types of athletic mesh in black and gray, some gray Nike sport fabric, and then I have some different cotton/lycra and poly/lycra knits. I also have some lace and should be getting a sample stretch mesh fabric soon that will fit in nicely.

The sodoku would not be complete without some accessories, amiright?? I have a lot of silver jewelry that I can pull out for these outfits, since I am a jewelry hoarder.

This is just the silver stuff…


I need new black sandals, since I threw away my pair that I have worn the last 5 years or so. The soles were breaking down. I bought these two new pairs of sandals. I might need one more black pair, more of a walking sandal, but I will see how these fit when I get them from Zulily. I also got a new pair of shades.

What glorious purse do I carry?

I thought you would never ask! It is this Zip-top Utility Tote by 31 Bags. Could I make this? Yes. Do I want to when this is only $35? No, no I do not. If you want one I can hook you up with my friend that is a consultant.

zip top organizing utility

This has 7 side pockets, yo. It fits all my crap that I bring with me, which includes this non-exhaustive list:

  • water bottle
  • purse stuff (phone, wallet, etc.)
  • kleenex (allergy season)
  • first aid kit (yes, I am that Mom)
  • Sunglasses for large and small people
  • Sunscreen
  • Visor
  • Bug spray
  • Camera and several lenses
  • Snacks
  • Art supplies and/or sewing to keep me busy
  • Hand warmers, and I can throw my blanket on top for early in the season

It is heavy, but holds all my crap.

I am going to be joining in on a contest on the Wardrobe Capsule Facebook group, but I really will be sewing it whenever I get the time. That gets more rare as the summer gets closer, so I need to work on it as soon as I can. Tryouts are next month!

Oh, just in case you are a fellow sports parent sewist person…RP Custom Fabric will be having a sport prints pre-order round on cotton-lycra in March. She will have all FOUR of my kids’ sports. I’m gonna be so poor.











Blue on Black

Purse #2 is DONE!


Procrastination is a life skill that I am well acquainted with, so of course, I waited until the last minute to get this done.  I wanted to make sure it turned out nice, though, and I think I succeeded.


The leathers are both lambskin.  The royal blue is an embossed leather, so it has a design pressed into it.  The black is super soft.  So soft that I had to make sure I put some more industrious interfacing in the purse, so it didn’t collapse.  I added a foam interior so it would have some bulk to it.  The handle has webbing inside it, so it won’t stretch out.


I tried to pretty it up with some hardware choices on the rivets and gunmetal rings and snaps.


The interior is just a bottom-weight royal blue fabric.  I didn’t have anything fancy in my fabric stash.  The pocket is a sample I printed of one of my fabric designs, though.


A thoroughly one of a kind purse!  Hope it sells for a good price.



Denim Blues

I had hoped to make this outfit over the holidays, but I never quite got to it.  I did a lot of reading, and very little else.

So now I’m paying for that lack of industry.  I have two purses to get done in the next two weeks, so of course, I made myself something new to wear.



I did make a start on one of the purses, and cut out interfacing for both of them, so I can say that it is in process.

Comfort seems to be the key in my sewing lately.  I have been using, and altering, some patterns I drafted this summer to create some different looks for them.  Ponte is my fabric of choice.  It is a thicker knit, and feels nice.

There are many different types of ponte fabric, with different weights and lycra contents.  This one is a medium weight, and it feels like a heavier knit with a bit of drape in it.  My skirt in this post was a heavier weight, with not much drape.

The draped top is a long sleeved version of this top.  I made one in black first, for the funeral last weekend, and the shoulder was too far over.  I had to take an inch off the shoulder and size down the sleeve.  I like how this one turned out, though.


Next is my 4-gore skirt.  It has 4 pieces to get this hem shape.  One for the front, one for the back, and one for the sides.  I think the back could come up a bit, but I like it overall.  Maybe a bit more fullness on the bottom, though.  Always something to tweak!


The fabric is a ponte, so it doesn’t have as much stretch as a knit.  It has a nice drape, though.

Now that I have a nice comfy outfit to work…I guess I should work on those handbags!


Oh yeah.  I started a Facebook page for my blog in case you are a Facebooker and want to learn about stuff from there.



A new black purse

My old black pleather purse has seen better days.  As it is pleather, the handle piece tore off, and I had to resew it on.  It looks like crap, since the pleather now has a hole in it.  It was time for a new real leather purse.

This is black Mirabella cowhide with a black lambskin suede.


I have two other purses to make after this one, but I wanted to see if I could do a different interior and the zipper closure.


It all worked out!


The only issue I have with this is the floppiness.  It really does need more than just the fusible fleece on the lining.  I will put in the foam next time, so it will stand up.


This the side pocket, which fits a phone and sunglasses…or keys.  Whatever floats your boat!


I added a piece of suede to the middle of the handle, so it wouldn’t slip off my shoulder with the finished leather.


There are two inside pockets.  One is a zippered pocket and one is open.  I like both.  I put a pen pocket in the open one.

In order to keep the bulk down on the side seams, I split the piece underneath so it is the thinner lining.  I also added a piece of ribbon underneath the suede piece holding the round hardware.  It will keep the suede from stretching out.

So, there is my new purse.  I am going to make two purses for the benefit auction for Deb.  One will be a Green Bay Packers purse and one will be something like this one.  I was hoping we would get a celebratory purse for the Super Bowl, but as I am currently watching the Falcon’s kick their butts…it likely won’t be.

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 are 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!).


The dress is self-drafted.  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.