Rock on

When RP Custom Fabrics offered up these strike-offs for sewing up, I knew my time would be at a premium.  Unfortunately, this past week and upcoming week, we are in the thick of games and tournaments.  My poor kiddos are tired, tired, tired, but luckily school is almost out for them.  It is hard to have all these games, PLUS homework.

I got this sample to sew up last Thursday or Friday, so I washed it up and then didn’t have any time to sew.  Last night I got home at 5:15 yesterday from work and proceeded to cut, make and photograph these two pieces before leaving for my son’s baseball game at 7:45 (yes, it was a late one for the boys last night).   Photographing these at 7pm wasn’t fun, since the sunshine was bright and not low enough and then my remote was dead.  Being in a hurry, you will always, always have issues!

These are my two pattern drafts that I love the fit.  The top is here, and have a one size pattern for it.  I actually moved the front top part out from the seam a few extra inches to get more of a drape on it.  You just keep the bottom pattern piece against the fold line and move the top part of the pattern out at an angle.

This fabric had a great drape for this type of top.  It was a bamboo lycra, which incidentally, is now being offered in these prints for this round of fabric at RP Custom Fabrics.  It is one of my favorite fabrics to work with since it feels so nice.

The skirt is this pattern draft, just lengthened by 5 or 6 inches.  This is a nice heavy cotton lycra, so it works really well for a skirt.  Definitely not see-through.

The colors on this cotton lycra print are so pretty and vivid. This print is called Piedra and is available to pre-order at RP Custom Fabrics through the end of June.  I have a few more prints in this line to make and photograph, so more will be forthcoming!


Roses and thorns

I like a good theme-centric project to get my wheels turning.  This one was related to the intended fabric, which was inspired by the 1996 movie, The Craft.  The plotline was centered around a group of girls that aspired to be witches, and luckily it was actually on Netflix so I could reacquaint myself with the plot-line.

They dress very goth-like, so that brings joy to my little inner black-clothes lover.  Bonus, the fabric had red and black in it, so it was right up my alley.

RP Custom Fabric – Craft Roses in cotton lycra

I pondered several different designs, and finally settled on this one.

This is my draft of a tulip hem, 4-gore maxi skirt with some embellishments.

The back gore is cut in half, and I added a bit more swoosh into that piece.

Nope, not doing a mini skirt.

I also added to the seams a pleather bias tape that I had purchased some years back.

The Craft Roses fabric is cotton lycra and the black fabric is ponte.  I wanted to integrate my rose drawing into it, so that was something I added to the side panels.

I drew a vine out and added some randomly placed roses.  I added the Silhouette cut file to the Google Drive folder on the side, along with the picture of the cut file if you don’t have a Silhouette (sorry no .jpg of the thorns, since that was somehow corrupted).

I used two of the vine pieces, along with a large rose in the middle, medium roses on the ends and two small ones in the middle.

I needed a matching top, of course, so I searched Pinterest for some goth-worthy designs.  So many options!  I also went to the fabric store and bought pretty much every knit that was black.  I love the great variety I find when I go there.  I purchased some rose fabric on a 2 way stretch sheer base.

I decided to use the rose fabric for some full half sleeves and then ponte and the Craft Roses fabric for the main part.  This was my own pattern draft of a princess seamed shirt.  I made it at least 5 years ago, and just tweak it a bit as my sizing changes.  I think this top pattern would be interesting as a dress.  I might have to work on that drafting.

I messed up the neckline.  It was supposed to go across the breastbone like this, and instead it is high enough to choke a person.  Sooooo…I flipped it to the back, added some hardware and called it a “design feature”.

I need to paint my nails black while wearing this methinks. 😉 Midnight was not as into pictures as one would assume. 😉

The pre-order for this fabric is up at RP Custom Fabrics.  Here is the order form for it.  It will be open from May 20-June 7.


















I love damask, which really shouldn’t be a surprise since I draw it quite often!

This damask print is part of the current round open at RP Custom Fabrics and it is inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The other prints are closer to a Tiffany blue, though.  This one seems to be closer to a turquoise color, which is still very pretty.

I know this because I got a gift at work for Christmas one year that was a silver bracelet from Tiffany’s.  I still have the box, though the bracelet was stolen when I was a dumb dumb and left it out at a hotel in Vegas.  Yep…it somehow “disappeared”.

So, this top was a bit of a challenge.  In fitting and getting the HTV vinyl on the front (nope, not a panel…that is my drawing).  The HTV was actually a different, far longer design.  I had let a piece overlap the edge of the cutting mat, and it caught and messed up the cutting.  I stopped it before it went over everything again off design, and just dealt with what was cut.  I wish there was a vinyl store that I could get things from locally, but I don’t.  This vinyl was from Expressions Vinyl.

I will try to remember to load the original cut file into the folder linked on the sidebar.  The design overlaps so it is longer.

The top was a highly hacked Sneha Tunic from Wardrobe by Me.  I basically  used the top pieces and the length of the skirt.  I should have used something more fitted, since it is a bit wide.  The skirt was longer originally, but it was not flattering at all.  I cut it to the sweet spot on my hip.

Overall, I think this turned out pretty.  I was questioning whether I would wear it when I finished it last night, but I think it works with skinny jeans.

Now I have another fabric on it’s way to me, and in the meantime I have a few dresses cut out to go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the girls for summer.  I really want to get them sewn up and on the way to them, along with a few dresses that my daughter grew out of and were barely worn.  Hopefully, I have time to get it all done this week!


Summer dress muslin

So, I thought to myself, “I got this! I am going to use a pattern block I know fits and just modify it for this dress. No problem!”

Guess what? Problem!

I had to redo the neckline and armholes so many times on this.  The neckline is still too high, though.  Maybe on my next one I will get it right. (IF I do a next one)

I used a stretch woven (leftovers from this outfit) to make the top part of this dress.  This is a really nice stretch woven, and I wanted to make use of the leftover bits.  The knit part is a jersey knit, which has a great drape, but not great stretch to it.  It was a bit of a bear in using it for the bindings.  I need to re-figure how I  do the neckline.  This mess is not working for my sewing perfectionist self, but by the time I got this far, I was basically like f#$% it!

I had scraps left of the jersey after cutting the skirt (I had to cut the skirt in two pieces due to not enough fabric to cut on the fold.  I added some of the extra pieces to give it some more interest, and to just use up the fabric so it wasn’t just sitting there looking forlorn and unused.  I also added some of the extra stretch woven.

I had to redo both.  The jersey wasn’t cut on enough of a curve to drape correctly and the stretch woven looked skewed to one side.  I took that off.

Here is what the final version looks like when worn.  Not a perfect muslin, but it will be worn!

It does make me look a bit top heavy.   I really did know better than having such a light color up there with the rest dark.  Oh well.

We’ll see how much wear I get out of it this summer.  If it doesn’t get worn…into the giveaway pile it will go!



Summer tops

These are some summer tops that I drafted/hacked from either patterns I made previously, or by using the Sneha by Wardrobe by Me.

I used my style sheet that I put together from tops I found on Pinterest:

Then, I went back and looked at more tops.

Here is the first one.  I modified a swing tank I drafted a few years ago.  This fits pretty well, but needs some more room under the arms, so that is the only thing I would change on it.

It is made from athletic mesh (black), cotton lycra (white bands) and an iron on vinyl design I cut with my Silhouette.

You can find the cut file for this top here.

This next one would have probably worked better with a lighter jersey knit.  I do still really like it, though.  I drafted a dolman sleeve t-shirt from a RTW version that I really like.  The arms a little too tight on this one, too, so that is the only modifications I would make to it.  I cut up the pattern with a 3″ section in upper top that I used a white mesh.


This black top is my version of a tank with mesh inserts and different cuts.  I used the Sneha top as a base for this one.  I just traced out the pattern, and cut it up where I thought it would look good.  When I was cutting out the pieces I added the seam allowance.   I was a little concerned with the sturdiness of the lace, but I think the bands will work well like this.

This grey top is my own fabric design, printed on Modern Jersey from Spoonflower.  The pattern is my draped cowl top, only I shaved about an inch from the shoulders.

This red top used another pattern I had drafted previously.  I added some ruffles and a deep cut back to add visual interest to it.

Here are some pictures of the ruffles in process.  The pieces were about 20″ long for the wide, less gathered ruffle, and 40″ long for the very gathered ruffle.  I pinned them well, attached the shoulders together and then put the band on it in two steps.  First I attached it to the front of the tank, then I turned the hem under and stitched it again.  For the back I included clear elastic in it, so it wouldn’t stretch out.  This is a jersey knit, so it doesn’t have great recovery.  Lastly I attached the tubes for the back.

So there are my summer tops so far!  I do have a few more ideas, and luckily…plenty of fabric! 😉





Summer skort for sittin’ in the bleachers

I won’t lie and say this sporty skort is for exercising.  It is so I can be comfy sitting in the hot sun.  I might try to go for walks before games, since we usually need to arrive an hour before game time.  That would be a good use of my time, actually.

I always have good intentions of taking a walk while my kid is warming up for his/her ballgames, and this summer it is something I really need to do.  We usually have to get there an hour early, and there I sit when I need to exercise a bit.  My pants really don’t fit me well at all right now.  Wine, I tell ya.

In order for me to be comfortable in doing both sitting at the bleachers and taking a walk, I have devised this skort from a RTW inspiration at Lululemon.  It is a running skort that is way shorter than I like and is also pleated in the back.

My version has more of a circle skirt thing going on in the back and is longer.  I added some pockets underneath for a phone and keys. This is what the pattern pieces roughly look like (roughly since I can’t draw very well in Photoshop).

I drafted this in an evening and was able to sew up the first one right away.  It needed some modifications, so I made those.  It is an easy sew.  You could easily hack this from a pair of leggings that fits.  Then you just need to measure the waistline to get the waist length and go from there.  For the front piece I didn’t make it all the way across and drafted it so the back skirt came into the front by about 2-3″.

The waist piece is around 4″ long, and does double duty as kind of a tummy suck-it-in.  The doubled up fabric helps with that.

The pocket cuts from the middle of the leggings are 4″ wide.  The pocket is 7″ long, which allows for a 1.5″ hem.  Inside the hem I added clear elastic, so the fabric doesn’t stretch out and it holds the shape.

And look!  Jalie is released one that is really close to mine!  They do a great job on their patterns and have a wide range of sizing, so I would recommend them if you are wanting something like mine.  They only have pockets on one side, though, and really, the more pockets the better.  I bet you could hack the pattern to do the same on the opposite side.

Here is version #1.  This was made with a black ponte with good stretch and athletic mesh.  The mesh is on the skirt, and with only one layer…a little bit see through.  It should be nice and cool, though. 😉

Version #2 made with a Nike athletic poly and athletic mesh.  It is kind of a grey-blue color.  This one I added another layer in the back.

Version #3.  This is my fabric design from Spoonflower in their Performance Piqué.  This is a lightweight poly.  The leggings and top piece are made from a ponte.

Version #4.  This is cotton lycra made with fabric I had printed for me.  The leggings are made from a black cotton lycra.

This will see lots of wear this summer.  They are comfy and fun, and I love how they turned out.

I will try to get the post up on the tops tomorrow.  🙂

Spring/summer capsule…DONE!

I love how this all turned out!  I am excited for the weather to get warmer and I can wear this new casual wardrobe this summer.

I made:

  • 4 shirts
  • 4 skorts
  • 1 dress

I do have several RTW and previously sewed items that will work with this, as well.  I will do a few posts showing the different pieces up close.  For now…this is my finished mix and match wardrobe.

More details to come!

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.






Summer top turned into summer dress

With the approach of summer, I decided to try my hand at converting a top I drafted last year (or was it the year before?) into an easy summer dress.  I like this top, since it is loose around the waist, but not too loose.   This is aided by the gathers just being along a 2-3″ span in the middle, and having some shaping on the side.

I lengthened this draft to an A-line dress that hits above my knees.  The length on this dress is 36″ hemmed, so it only takes a little over a yard to make it.

The fabric I used is a knit jersey with lycra.  It is super comfortable and lightweight.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add the HTV design to it, or not.  After asking for opinions about it, I got a lot of “Keep it off and accessorize with a big necklace!”  Normally, I am all about accessories, but this is for hot summer days, and I will likely be keeping them to a minimum.  So…HTV it was!

I bought a pair of red Ariat sandals from Zulily to go with my red stuff in my wardrobe capsule.  I need to step back from the online shopping now.  I have a big problem with hitting the credit card lately.

As that worked out so well, I decided to make a maxi dress with side slits.  With fabric like this, you don’t want to go extra long on the cutting.  You actually want to cut it short, since the weight pulls the hemline down.  I had to re-hem a maxi dress I made out of this type of lycra jersey last summer.  Several times.

I added side slits to this dress, and made them at about 18″ from the unhemmed bottom.  To do this, I first serged the edges, then sewed up the side seams up to the 18″ marking.  Then I just turned the edge and top-stitched.  I knew if I tried to just serge the side seams, turning under the slits would have been harder.

I also added a lace applique that I had purchased at SR Harris.  I have a bunch of appliques I purchased, just because I like them.  This worked great for the yoke.  I just zig-zag stitched it on, with a matching thread.

Just needs to look good on the outside, am I right??

Still photos of this dress look a bit mumu-ish.  It is actually much better worn with movement.  It is also super comfy.

I will be wearing this to the office quite a bit this summer, me thinks.


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!