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.


Goals for April

March just zoomed on by here!  I was plenty busy, and then I over-committed myself, and here I am all stressed out again.  Need to stop that.  Part of the problem is that everything came due at once (2 pattern tests and some strike-off sample sewing), and add in some gifts and just fun sewing.

Then this year had some family stuff that wasn’t on the master schedule, and well, I need a rest and to not work myself so hard.  Seriously.  I am exhausted.  So far this year I have had two funerals (one of which I did the eulogy), one benefit, lots of sports and lots of projects.  My house is in need of a major cleaning, too.  I want to get my shit together before summer starts, and luckily I am almost to my non-busy work life.  That will be helpful.

So, for April, I still have a long list of things I want to make.  I want to finish my soduko wardrobe capsule for summer.  I did get one draft done of my skort, so I just need to cut up the rest.

  • Black/white striped skort
  • Grey skort
  • Firebird skort

Tops are a design in process for now.  I will figure out what I want to do when I pick the fabric out of the closet.

  • White tank top
  • Red tank top
  • Red/black striped tank top
  • Grey tank top
  • Black top

One of the tops is going to have this on it:

Next, will be some summer clothes for my girl.  I have some softball fabric that I want to make into a fun summer outfit for her.  She also wanted a dress out of fabric that I used for a dress for me.  I need to get some pictures of that dress for me yet.  Maybe it will be nice later this week and I can get that done.

The kids are NOT going to get new costumes for the Comic Con this year.  The boy didn’t get a chance to wear his there anyways, and since I made them as a set….they are wearing them.  I may have to make some new pants for the girl, though.  Actually, I know I will have to make new pants for her.  I’m hoping the corset will still fit, since that will be a huge pain to rip apart and resew.

That is in early May, so I will do that at that time.  I am not sure how many more years they will be having that Wizard World here.  The line up looks pretty pathetic as of right now.  Oh well.  Maybe one year we can go to a real one in Atlanta (Dragon Con) or San Diego (Comic Con).

I am very much behind in sewing some stuff up for charity.  I got two baby blankets finished, but there is a whole lot of wovens that need to disappear from my fabric closet.  I am planning on making some skirts and dresses for the girls on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

I also need to get some swag made for the two 12U volleyball teams for their out of town tournament in mid April.  I am putting vinyl on water bottles with each girl’s name, a volleyball and maybe the logo if I can get it to work.  We’ll see.  They may just have their name. 😉

Over-committed?  Whatttttt??





Sylva top and tunic

Another test for Sofilantjes patterns!  I like her style of clothes for kids, since they are on trend and comfy.  I still have a few more sizes she can wear in these before she graduates out of them.  They go up to a size 14, and right now she is a 10W and 13L.

Sylva Top and Tunic by Sofilantjes


I tested the short-sleeved tunic with the v-neck on the front and back.  This is an interesting design feature.  When I get some more time, I have plans to make the top out of some fun fabric that I have waiting.

There are also options for a piece long sleeve, a placket front and a hood.  It is a pretty versatile pattern!

This is the 10W and 13L.  She was in between sizes for length, so I went with the longer side.  She is growing.  She’s actually wearing my size 8 shoes now, so poor thing is going to have some big feet if she doesn’t stop soon!

This is about the last of this fabric.  I made her a dress out of it a few years ago.

Okay, several years ago…

I modified it, so it fit her longer, but she still doesn’t wear dresses much at all.  Tunics are her thing these days.

This color is so pretty on her, too.

We took these out in our lovely brown backyard.  It was a dismal year for snow, so we are crossing our fingers for an early spring!

Sale details:
– sale will run from Friday 00.00 to Sunday 00.00 CET (6pm. est)
– Sale price is €5 exl tax (€6,05 incl. eu tax)

One last picture of someone overacting for the camera. 😉  I had made her SO MUCH clothes in the last few weeks that she was losing patience with getting pictures.  First world problems for this kid…geez!

I am going to start on summer sewing for her now.  She has PLENTY of winter stuff to wear at this point, and she mostly needs bottoms.

My main plan is summer skorts, since she seems to like the ones I made her in the past.  I will probably use the base from the volleyball shorts I made for her.  I sewed up 4 new pairs for her before the season started.  Love being able to sew them up for much cheaper than I could buy them (they go for $20-$35 each)!










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!



Dragon boardshorts

Is this not awesome fabric for swimming trunks?

I picked it up on pre-order last year, and she has it in stock again on her retail site (click on the picture of it to go to the listing).  Since she had it in stock again, it gave me the impetus to finally get this sewed up!

The biggest hurdle in all of this is finding a boardshort pattern that has the mesh insert.  Hardly any of them have it.  I ended up going with the Jalie boardshort pattern.  I was going to draft an insert (which I did), but I ended up not adding it in.  The fly is real and is velcro.  I asked the dude if he was alright not having it, and he said it was fine.  I told him if he needed it later, I could figure something out.He fit in the size U in their weird sizing scale.  I also kind of hate that they don’t always have layered patterns.  I thought I heard that some were layered, but none that I have purchased have been.  It is really hard to follow some of the lines in cutting it out.  The do have nice thorough patterns, though.  The main seams are all triple stitched.

Unfortunately I didn’t have any contrasting fabric, so I ended up taping the side panel together and just using the main fabric for all of it.

I did use a too small pair for the facings and key pocket.  I wouldn’t have had enough of it for any of the panels.

I also stole the tie tabs with the grommets from another pair of shorts.  I left the remaining shorts intact so I could at least give them away.  They were Mario Kart or something like that.  I think he is done with the character prints on his swimming trunks now.  😉

I also put in the card pocket, though not sure it is quite functional.  It needs to be a little wider, I think.  I didn’t have grommets, so I just did a circle with a satin stitch for the water release.

Overall, I am very happy with how these turned out and he was pretty thrilled, too.  I have another print with space images on it, but I want to find some contrasting boardshort fabric before making another pair.

Sorry for the cell phone pictures…it’s been busy here, and I didn’t quite have time to get some nicer pictures.e


Sea monsters and an old map

I love this print by Zenith & Quasar Fabric.  Seriously…LOVE.

The main print is a print of an old map, and the lighter color print has snippets of the sea monsters in the map.  Very cool.

Unfortunately, the map print is out of stock right now, and I was lucky enough to snag some for the brief time it was in stock.

The owner of Zenith & Quasar fabric invited me to join in her group for sewing samples, so when I saw she was printing the sea monsters I happily volunteered to sew that one up.  I knew they would work so great together.

Pre-order Sea Monsters

And they do!

The skirt on this dress needed to be shorter, just to be able to get the skirt parts out of this directional print.  I had to fussy cut a bit, which makes me sad due to wasting fabric.  I am hoping I can still get a tank top out of the other bits left of the fabric.

This dress is made from the Wardrobe by Me Sneha tunic (shocker, I know).


  • Cut the bodice piece 1″ longer
  • Cut two skirt pieces
  • Cut the bottom skirt 3″ longer than the tunic length
  • The inside skirt I cut 1″ narrower on the fold from the waist down
  • I used the deep scoop for the neckline (not a modification on that one)
  • Added a channel and ties to the side of the top skirt

The ties on the side are a piece of the green knit sewn on the backside of the skirt, with a channel for the tie.  I cut the tie 1.5″ wide and sewed it into a tube with the serger.  I used this to turn it, and that worked really well.  First time using it, and it was a great Christmas gift!

This dress is so very, very comfy with the brushed poly and jersey knit.  I think it will be getting a lot of wear this summer.  For right now, though…layers!







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

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…

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??