The annual birthday outfit

I generally try to sew something up for the girl for her birthday, since it is a special day.  Having my birthday 2 weeks before Christmas makes you appreciate people actually remembering that you have a birthday. 😉

This was a last minute, start at 10:30pm and finish at 1 am, outfit.

The fabric is a brushed poly-type of knit, though not what you would think when describing this type of fabric.  This is not the LuLaRoe legging fabric, but a quality thick poly.

The skirt is a full circle and has shorts sewn underneath.  No problem in spinning in this one.  The top is a simple top, HTV design of my own making and lace sleeves.

I made the outfit to match her shoes that I designed for her, and the fabric does match.  It is a little yellow on the pictures above.  Quick pics before school and not the best focus!

My next project is a strike off sample that I have been mulling around in my head as to what direction to take it.  It will be pretty fun!  Then, I really, really need to get that gun holster made!  I hate having things sitting over my head for other people.  I also have a zipper to replace on my Dad’s jacket, but he won’t need it until the fall. 😉




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…

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. 😉



Lion damask

This fabric design was one of the first designs I put together, and I still really love how it turned out.  I think one of the designs looks like a lion.  Do you see it?


I printed this on the cotton lycra at Spoonflower, and it didn’t print out a true black.  You can see the difference between the black on her cotton lycra leggings.  I bought two yards of it, so of course I had to use it up.  I made myself a pair of comfy Urban Joggers from WBM, and then this top for her.  The pattern is my own draft.


I made sure to have one of the lines going down the middle so it looked even on the front and back.  Luckily I had enough left to do so.

I made the top tunic-length so it would cover her bottom in the leggings, which are the 5 out of 4 leggings from the Shenanigans Skort.


This is a nice comfy outfit for fall!

Summer dresses – pattern hack

Over the summer I made a few dresses that were worn quite often.  I used the Sneha tunic/dress from Wardrobe by Me for the base of these dresses.

These first ones were just the basic pattern, only I added bands to the arms.  The bands were 2-3″ shorter than the armscye hole.  This first one I didn’t lengthen.


The fabric is another one of my designs.  The was a performance knit I printed at MyFabricDesigns.  It was a nice wicking type of fabric, but it runs if you stretch it too much.

And this is my lovely tan from my sandals this summer.  Lots of baseball and softball games. 😉


Here is the same tunic lowered a few inches.

This one I lowered quite a bit.  Not sure how much, since I made it at my sewing retreat.  I measured from my shoulder to the floor and made it long enough to make a maxi dress.  It stretched a bit, so I had to rehem it.  I probably went out about 10″ from the original hem on the tunic, so it was a gradual increase to the hemline.


Next summer, I am sure I will be making more!

Cruise around and be a Star with Blaverry

I absolutely love how this outfit turned out for my daughter.  These patterns are the Cruise and Star from Blaverry.  I received these for free as part of the promotions team, but all opinions are my own.


The Girl has been complaining that she didn’t have enough shorts for summer.  I tend not to make too much for summer here, since it is so brief.  It isn’t worth making a lot for 3 months.  I did want to make up a few things, though, and these turned out so nice for her.


The Star shirt is a white cotton/lycra knit and a modern jersey knit in one of my designs.  The HTV design is also one of my designs.


It was not adhering very well, and took FOREVER to get it to work.  My iron just was not set to a high enough temperature, so something to watch for next time.  It almost made me want to get a heat press.

Next time I make this up for her, I will do some different grading.  I made a 7W and 14L here, and as you can see the shoulders are too narrow.  She needs the wider shoulders for her age, but she is still plenty thin for the rest of it.


The Cruise shorts fit her so well.  I also made a 7W and 14L, but her shorts length ended up between the shortest length and the next length.  I had her try them on before hemming to get them to the length she specifically wanted.  Custom clothes makes that easy!    I didn’t add the elastic in, since they fit her in the waist pretty spot on.  I think I will add some in just to the back next time, since it did pop out a bit when she sat down.  The pattern comes with instructions on how to add buttonhole elastic.


The inside of the shorts.  How nice does this look??


These were drafted very professionally with no real shortcuts that you see in a lot of designs these days.  They aren’t a super fast sew, but you get a very nice product at the end.

She will definitely be getting more of these for her winter wardrobe in the longer length.


Note: Girlfriend just got back from horse camp and her legs took a beating.  There were a few things there that OSHA would most definitely disapprove of.

More lovely ladies are sewing these patterns this week:


Stylin’ Stacy * BLAVERRY * Élégantine * Sprouting JubeJube * Stuff I Make * Turtle Birdies

Blaverry Nina and Ollie

Me: Do you like the outfit? I think it looks nice on you.
Girl: I look like a business person.
Me: You look classy.
Girl: What does classy mean.
Me: The opposite of trashy. You look stylish.
Girl: I always look stylish.


She does like how it looks on her, to be clear. The only issue she has, is that she prefers skorts, so she doesn’t have to act all ladylike and not show her underwear. So. I will make her a pair of white shorties to go underneath, and next one I make will have them built in.  I will do a tutorial on that, as well.  Pretty easy to turn any skirt into a skort, as long as you have a pair of leggings you know fits.


This is the Nina skirt and Ollie top by Blaverry.  These were given to me for free, as I am now on their promotion team.  You should know by now that I generally only make things that I want to make, so I was happy to join this team when asked.


Details: These patterns were very straight-forward and easy to assemble.  The patterns are layered, and they don’t have no cut pages.  Instructions are made with illustrations and not pictures.  The Ollie has two different collar options.  Both have a keyhole in the back.


Changes: I made them using a 6W and 14L.  The armhole did end up shorter than if I would have graded it all the way out to the 14L.  I think it is just about perfect here, so just look at your kid and figure out what would fit them best.  She is so slim everywhere that a longer armhole would have been too much showing for her.


Fabric: This fabric is two of mine.  I printed it in the Modern Jersey at Spoonflower.  The shirt is actually leftovers from making this shirt for me.  I made it so these colors match.  Depending on the lighting they can look grey or greenish.


The back was not intended to be pieced.  Spoonflower has a very generous white selvage edge that I didn’t notice when cutting.  I was using scraps of this fabric as it was, so I had to do some piecing to get rid of that white edge.  Looks just fine, though.


Yes, I took a lot of pictures with this one. 😉  She just looked so cute!

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Summer is coming

Time to get some summer sewing done, right?  Well, I actually made these a few months ago, but she finally wore them this week when we were hit with a warm spell.

She told me that she couldn’t wear jean shorts to school anymore.  The hell?

I looked up the online dress code and it says no tank tops, but nothing about jean shorts.  It just says your clothes can’t show the undergarments (duh!), so pretty much any booty shorts, irrespective of jeans, can fit that description.

These shorts are NOT booty shorts, nor would I make her any that didn’t have to do with sports (in volleyball or gymnastics they do wear those short, tight shorts, but I made my daughter’s shorts a bit longer than what I could buy).

Photos turned out a bit over-exposed.  Quick before school photos do not always turn out well!

20160418_6596This was the second set I made for her.  First is here.  The cami is from SLPCO, and is another fabric I designed.

20160124-DSC_0027 20160124-DSC_0019I made the shorts to match, which are a shortened Emilya’s Bermuda short.  The shorts just have fabric paint on the edges, and I tried to mix the paint to match the fabric.  I should have made it a little lighter, I think.  Overall it is a cute outfit, though.


Freezer paper stencils are really easy to do with fabric paint, and since I didn’t have any purple iron-on vinyl, this was a good option.

I just drew the design on freezer paper, cut it out with a scissors and exacto knife, ironed it on and painted it.  The hem isn’t even on these, since I must not have shortened it the same on each side.  I trued it up before hemming.

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Since she can’t wear a plain tank top to school, she needed a cover.  Luckily, I had already had this circle top made up from a few years ago.  It all matched very well, so she was all ready to meet that rare 80 degree day in April.


Sneha Flare Tunic

Pattern test/review of Sneha Tunic and Dress by Wardrobe by Me (the pattern is on sale for a week at $7)

When this test came up, I was already in the midst of a few other tests wrapping up.  I just couldn’t NOT throw my hat in the ring, though.  I love this top, and it is just what I was going to draft for myself.

I also love not having to draft it myself.

The fit on this is a fitted top where it starts to flare out just under the bust. The first version I made was closer to my measurements of a 12 top and 8 bottom.  It was a little roomy, but still looks nice in this poly knit.


This is the asymmetrical hem with v-neck and 3/4 sleeves.

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The next version I made it smaller on top, so a size 10 top graded to a size 8 bottom portion.  It is the cap sleeve, v-neck and short length.  It doesn’t quite cover the butt at this length on my 5’7″ self.  No pictures yet.  I will get them. Eventually.

Edit: Hey look!  Here it is finally!


This last version is 3/4 sleeves with a dress length hem, 10 top with 8 bottom and low curved neckline.  This fabric had less stretch.  I think I could have gone with a size 12 top on this, as you can see it has some stretch lines.


I added 1″ to the bodice, since I finally saw the note to add length if you were over 5′ 6″ (I am 5′ 7″).  I think for a dress length, you would need to add more  length.  This would be too short for me.


It has some wrinkles in the back, but I think it depends on your fabric whether you get them or not.  If I had sized up to a 12 top, I have a feeling these lines would not have been there.  Christina noted the wrinkles on a few of the testers, but I am not sure whether she took some length out of the back or not.  This didn’t happen on the other two of mine, so it may be fabric specific.


The fabric for this top is one I designed to make into a tunic.  I used two yards of Modern Jersey.  There was enough left on the sides to do the arms.  It looks green in some lights and grayish green in others.  It’s a chameleon.


So…go buy the pattern.  I really like this one, personally, and I know I will be making more!

Custom Fabric Printing snafu

So, in my continued perseverance to try out different custom fabric printers I tried out a new one.

My Fabric Designs

I bought two yards of fabric. Their site is not quite as developed as Spoonflower’s site and obviously has less users.

First one was Quadri Performance Sport Knit ($26/yard). It printed true to design and the yardage was as described. The fabric was a bit thin, so I think it is more for a wicking shirt than leggings. Fine.  I will make myself a summer tank top of some sort out of it.

fabric printed blue

Next was their Cotton Slinky Knit ($24/yard). It appears a little heavier than Spoonflower’s Modern Jersey. I printed on black, and it was a little lighter than Spoonflower prints, so not a true black. The yard BEFORE washing is 32″. Yeah.  After washing it was 29.5″.  Not happy.

fabric printed phoenix in flight

Oh yeah, and my washing machine broke mid-cycle when I went to wash these, so there they sat…sopping wet. I washed them up once I got my new front load washer. I hated that washer anyways, so I guess I’m not totally brokenhearted that the 2 YEAR OLD LG washer broke.


I was having some fabric printed in China, that I am sure some of you have seen me talk about. It printed great and I love the quality, so I ordered 20 yards. Well, that supplier got really behind and decided to keep going and basically finally ran into the wall and had an emotional breakdown.  It was not good. I’m hoping paypal will cover the $450 I have in fabric.  She gave me the name and e-mail of her supplier, which in the custom world is like someone handing you the holy grail or the One Ring.  *my precioussssss*

Once I (hopefully) get refunded from Paypal, I am going to give “Simon” a shout and see if we can’t get some squishy cotton lycra.  I am  hoping for a reduced cost/yard, since I am cutting out the middle man and can get it directly shipped.

Not be dissuaded, I ordered from a different custom fabric place, but this was in stock fabric. I ordered from Zenith and Quasar fabric, and got one of her “like a girl” panels. I got “fly like a girl” with Amelia Earhart. I am going to make the Girl a shirt with it, and probably do the Hibernis with the color blocking. I am hoping I can fussy cut the panel to get it all to work together like I want. It was a nice poly lycra, so basically the same as Modern Jersey,  only thicker. I didn’t measure before I washed it, but after washing it was just a little less than a yard. I also got a space swim fabric, and it is a really nice weight fabric. It will be great to sew up a swim suit for the Girl (or me!).

Oh, and I got the new Cotton Spandex ($26.75/yard) fabric from Spoonflower. It had a coating on it when it arrived. Like it was stuck together and you had to peel the fabric apart. I washed it once in cold and dried it, and it still does not have a soft hand. Maybe more washings will make it better. I printed a black and white fabric, and it was a dark grey and not true black. Bummer.

MyFabricDesigns and Spoonflower’s version of “black”


This picture shows (left to right):


Cotton Spandex, Cotton Spandex sample compared to the China printed yardage, (bottom to top) Performance Knit ($24/yard), Minky ($27/yard), Silk Crepe de Chine ($38/yard) (that is the wrong side – right side was a good printing). The Performance knit would be fine for leggings, but isn’t super thick. The Minky printed great, but really low loft. Not super deep fabric that you want when it comes to minky. The silk was nice and would make a good see through blouse or scarf (but super expensive per yard). I still need to order a sample of their Sport Lycra to see if it would be good for exercise leggings.

So…there ya go! 🙂