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!


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.


  • 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.









Long overdue cardigan draft

I have been wanting to make this cardigan for quite awhile.

It wasn’t the color I would choose, but I loved the flounces.  This would have to be flounces and not ruffles, as the gathering would make it horrendous to sew the seams.

My plan of attack was to use the WBM basic t-shirt and carve out a neckline from the front.  I used a size larger than would fit me, so it had a little extra ease in it.  Next, cut a bunch of flounces.  Now, next time I would make it with smaller circles, so the flounces are more pronounced.  I cut one big circle and then made flounces from it.  They are just too gradual with the bigger circle to look as “flouncey”.

This was a sturdy double brushed poly, and I knew it would have enough structure to handle this. The fabric is a pre-order from Fabric Anthropology.

The fabric is called Frosted Coal.

A French terry would work well, too.  This is going to be very comfy to wear this winter over leggings.


Hearts and sparkles

This is a transition piece for summer into fall.  The fabrics on these came from a round opening at Moonbeam Fabrics.

Rockabily Sparkles

I wasn’t sure what to do with this fun sparkle print, so I just kept it simple.  I knew she would wear this outfit a bunch, since it is just a fun, easy outfit.

The top is free from Orange Daisy Patterns.

The bottoms are Domi pants from Sofilantjes.   I cut them between the lowest line and the second lowest line.

There are some cute Rockabilly fabrics in this round.  The Sketchy Hearts were going to be on the pre-order, but she decided against it for now.

The pre-order round is open now and closes on September 21.  Go check it out!

A choral dress in Golden Oak

The lovely things about sewing up samples, is that you get to see all the pretties ahead of time.  The other lovely thing is you get seasonal fabrics WAY  ahead of time and have to sew them up!  So you are done EARLY!

Golden Oak by Fabric Anthropology

This is part of the holiday fabric line at Fabric Anthropology.  She has some pretty non-traditional takes on holiday fabrics (zombie Grinch), but she also has some very pretty holiday fabrics.  I loved this Golden Oak with it printed to appear as if it has gold foil.

The fabric is a comfy cotton lycra.  I just needed to decide on a dress to make her from the yard of fabric I received.  I like Pinterest to get ideas on details for drafting clothes.  There are a lot of details on structured outfits that you can use for knits.  Sometimes you do need to interface them, though.

This was my initial drawing for the dress.

I wanted the black to break up the lines a bit.  I didn’t end up having enough fabric for the arms, so I used black on them and an overlay at the ends of the arms.  I had to piece the front, so I did a full lining so all the seams wouldn’t rub.

I added a zipper in the back, since I wasn’t sure if it would be too tight around the waist with all the seams.  Turns out I really didn’t need it.  The stripes ended up a little bit off for some reason.  Some of them are fine and some are off, which is probably due to the stripes being a little uneven as they go across the print.

Now she has a pretty dress to wear to her choir concerts this year…and over the holidays!

The pre-order on this round is open until September 9th.

Too cool for school

One of the things I like about sewing up strike-offs of fabrics is that it forces me to be more creative.  The other seamstresses are good at what they do, so just making a plain top or something isn’t trying hard enough.  I want to make something awesome with the strikes!

Awesome it is.  She’s all ready for middle school now!

Krampus Stripes by Fabric Anthropology

This is the long jacket option for the Foliis by Sofilantjes in French Terry.  The only modification I made was to make it a little less wide on the bottom and the skirt is a size 12 long, while the bodice is a 14 long.  It would have been too long for the 1 yard of fabric I had.  I also just wanted to conserve some fabric width and it seemed wide enough by shaving off a few inches from the bottom width.

The arms and hood have a quilted faux-leather fabric that has a cotton backing that I acquired at Joann’s Fabric store.  It has stretch to it, so it should be comfortable to wear. The plain black is a black ponte knit.  I used the ponte knit for the pockets.

When making these jackets with the Foliis pattern, I put the lining inside hood piece and the outside hood edge as the fabric I want to be visible.  The other pieces won’t really be visible when the hood is down.

As I had a little bit left of the fabric, I made a little top to go underneath.  This was a “pattern” of my own.  I use that term loosely as I just kind of threw it together and didn’t draft a pattern for it.  I used a pattern block of mine and moved it around to cut the pieces out.  That’s how I roll at 11pm at night.

The black on this top is a lightweight jersey.  It should be really comfy for her to wear under the jacket.

I have two more prints from this round to share. They are all different and so interesting.  See the prints on the round here.




Packers Pride!

Go Pack Go!

Sara at RP Custom Fabrics has a new pre-order up with tartan plaids in team colors.  How awesome is that??  I love this idea and had to make up a top for me in the Green, Gold and White Tartan.

I didn’t have any matching green, so I went to the closet and grabbed an XL shirt that kept on getting put into my area.  Apparently it doesn’t fit him well, so it’s all mine!  I cut it up for the front and back, and have a really fun top.

The inspiration for the top came from Pinterest (of course), and this pin.  I took a plain top (the Wardrobe by Me Basic Builder T-shirt), and cut it up to make this top.  I will make another one and take pictures for a tutorial.  I have next week off of work, so I am hoping to get that done then.

Go check out the rest of the tartan plaids in this order.  Even if you are not interested in team specific colors, the colorways are pretty for anything really!

Tartan Plaids at RP Custom Fabrics


Summer skirts for a cause with Michael Miller Fabrics

I recently became a Sewing Portfolio’s Ambassador, who partners with Michael Miller Fabrics.  As part of promoting the website and group, we received 3 yards of Michael Miller Fabrics current collections.  These fabrics are from the Swirly Girls line.

I knew that these fabrics would be destined for some girls at the domestic abuse shelter on Pine Ridge Reservation.  I wanted to make a nice summer/back-to-school outfit.  Since it was going to be a back to school outfit, I wanted it to be fun and comfy.  I also wanted it to fit a larger girl, as there is a lot of obesity on the reservation due to a lack of healthy eating resources.

I ended up making two size 14 outfits with a mixture of the fabrics.

Here is the first top and skirt from the fabrics, and a cotton lycra orange knit.  I hope the heat transfer vinyl stays on.  It  is a new type I haven’t tried before and it is a little hard.  It is a fun holograph, so it is thicker.  I pressed it multiple times with my heat press, so hopefully that helps it stay on.

Here is another outfit.  I didn’t have enough of the pink to do a full front and back.  I had to hack it into two pieces, so I added a lace overlay.

This shelter barely receives enough grant money to pay for the lights and minimal staff, so they rely on donations to fill out the rest.  The Sew for Kids group on Facebook or their blog is a great source to learn the current needs on the reservation.  If you feel the urge to donate (and I urge you, as summer is hard for the kids.  They often go hungry, since they aren’t in school to receive the free school lunch program.) please donate here.

Thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for the donation of fabric for some girls in need.  I hope they will enjoy wearing them!