Recent Network Posts

  • Mermaids


    My niece wanted a mermaid costume so I planned to make her one. When I was fabric shopping my daughter asked if I could make her one too. So I bought enough fabric to make two mermaid costumes using McCall’s 5498.

    I didn’t like the pattern one bit! It had so many darts than were needed for a girl’s clothing. 8 darts in all! And I made two of these (sewing up 16 darts!). I think the darts could have been omitted.This was a tedious pattern. I made both at the same time. I am glad I made them both at the same time. If I had made my niece’s costume and waited to make my daughter’s I probably never would have! I hated all the darts and all the gathering. I wish I had tried a different mermaid pattern.

    Even though I hated the pattern the costumes came out nicely. Here is a picture of my daughter’s costume.

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  • Elsa Dress


    Back in May my daughter had a Frozen birthday party. She wanted me to make her an Elsa dress. I looked online for a costume pattern and found some on Etsy. But then I decided I wanted to make something she could wear all the time and not just for dress up. So I decided my own dress using Simplicity 1925 as the base. I changed the whole bodice, redrafting a new one then creating a yoke. So really I only used the skirt of S1925.  I also made a train which is attached by small snaps, so it can be removed and worn without it. I made a tutu (or crinoline) out of tulle to wear underneath for more fullness if wanted.

    The dress is made with Easy Wash & Care Fabric which I got at Joann’s. The train is made from Casa Collection- Glitter Organza Wave, also from Joann’s.

    My daughter loves the dress and wears it all the time. It holds up well in the wash. I do not wash the train, which she only wears when playing Frozen.

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  • Pattern Catalog


    I like to keep a catalog of all the sewing patterns I own and some information about them, including a way to sort them to specific categories. I used to used Springpad but they closed there site today. The recommended Evernote for my use and other people have also recommended it for pattern cataloging. But I didn’t like Evernote and to enter everything again (some images were not transferred and information was listed correctly), so I looked for other options. I know offers a pattern catalog, but again it has limited sorting. And the mobile site is not easy to use.

    In the end I decided to use WordPress. I made a theme that could record all the info I needed and display it in an orderly way. I sort by item, company or size. Plus I used tags for things like Amazing Fit series of patterns from Simplicity. I am so happy with it. I also made it mobile and it’s just as easy to navigate. I also ended up making one for my fabric. So now I have a Pattern Catalog and a Fabric Catalog. I have bookmarks to them on my phone so I am ready to access them on the go (which is handy when I want to buy fabric for a pattern and need to know how much to buy).

    I also used SpringPad for my wishlists. At first I used pinterest but when I went to the store for a pattern sale there was no way to sort the list by company, which was what I did with the SpringPad mobile app. So I am now using McCall’s (and associated companies) wishlist and Simplicity (and associated companies) wishlists. I have bookmarks to these wishlist on my phone where I can quickly access them. I will continue using the Pinterest one for other brands of patterns which I would have to buy online anyway. I also keep a fabric wishlist on pinterest.

    What method do you use to track your patterns?

  • Red, White and Blue Outift


    My kids love dressing in red, white and blue for all the patriotic holidays, and since Independence Day is coming I made my daughter a special outfit for the occasion. I used McCall’s 6737 for the top and McCall’s 6735 for the shorts.

    Both patterns were easy to sew up. I especially liked the instructions for the fly on the shorts, although the instructions required several re-reads, they were the clearest instructions on constructing a fly that I have ever read. I do think there was a lot of hand sewing on both the top and shorts. They both required you to slip-stitch the facings down, but I didn’t mind since I can do that watching tv, or, with this warmer weather, outside.

    The fabric used was from the Tutti Fruitti Rodeo Gal Collection (Floral, Small Floral and Paisley Hearts) which I bought at Joann’s. I think the fabric worked perfectly for the outfit and it was a pleasure to sew with, even after washing (which isn’t always the case).

    I think this outfit has the best sewing I have ever done, thus far. But maybe it’s just the fact I didn’t mess up on the top stitching or fly on the shorts. Either way I am very proud of how this outfit turned out. My daughter even got a praise for the outfit from a girl we met at a local craft store.

    I made on change to the short pattern, in that I added a adjustable waist. Last time I did an adjustable waist I used Dritz Buttonhole Elastic. I will never use that product again. It is rather flimsy and doesn’t hold up to wear and washing. This time I used Sew-ology Buttonhole Elastic (from Hobby Lobby). I was even able to get it in navy blue instead of just white. I am not sure how it will hold up yet, since I haven’t washed the outfit and it has only been worn once. However it felt thicker and sturdy than the Dritz elastic did. I will post on how it holds up.


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  • Finding Time to Sew


    I don’t get a lot time to sew which is why I haven’t posted recently. I just rearranged my living room so I could have my own sewing corner and don’t have to put everything away in a closet when I am done. Before I wouldn’t both sewing unless I had 3 hours or more available to sew, otherwise it was worth the time to take everything out and later put it all away. Since I now have my own corner I finished one whole project even though it’s now summer vacation and both my kids are driving me mad.

    I will be doing a lot more sewing at the end of summer since my daughter will be starting full day Kindergarten, leaving me with a lot more time to sew. Then I think I might start a sewing business. I plan to sew my own line of dress up clothes for little girls and sell them on Etsy. I may eve try my had at pattern making, which I actually already do for myself and my daughter. I need to learn more about grading and have more patients to draw everything out on my computer so that the patterns can be digitally downloaded.

    I plan on posting some photos of my recent project, an outfit for my daughter, plus 2 dresses and 2 mermaid costumes I made last month, within the next week. I will also eventually share my failure with the Albion jacket from earlier this year.

  • Win a FREE Craftsy Course!


    I love Craftsy! I have learned so much from the sewing courses available.

    My favorite course is The Couture Dress. It was the first course I took at Craftsy and it changed how I think about sewing, which made me a better sewer. You can see my posts about my dress here: The Couture Dress. I never finished my dress because I gained some weight so it doesn’t fit anymore. I don’t often wear dresses so I decided not to make another one, but I used all the skills I learned on all my other sewing projects. Especially when I worked on The Princess Party Dress for my daughter.

    If you haven’t checked out Craftsy, you should! And you’re in luck because I am giving away The Couture Dress course to one of my readers! All you have to do to win is go to the Craftsy website via the link below and signup or login. That is it! Contest ends on March 31st.

    Enter to win a Craftsy class!

  • Albion Progress


    I am never going to buy flannel at Joann’s except for pajama pants. The shirting plaid fabric is horrible. I have to use a microtex size 10 needle to not get the flannel to run! And the fabric was so off grain it took me forever to get the plaid to lay straight when I cut it out, then as I handled it while sewing it went off grain again! I hate this fabric! I wish I had thrown it away and bought something else when I realized how bad it was, but instead I continue working with it. So I have the shell, minus the sleeves done. I also have the lining, also minus the sleeves done. I added a welt pocket to the lining (my first) which wasn’t too hard when the fabric cooperated which it dies when it’s interfaced. Thanks to Kenneth King for the great instructions in his Designer Pockets class! Without that class I would have never been able to do that welt pocket. I also add a back pleat in the lining to allow for ease of movement. I did this by adding 1.5″ to the fold line before cutting out the fabric. Then you fold the back in half (which was so hard since my fabric was off grain again) and sew it 1.5″ from the folded edge for a few inches (from top) then baste till you get down to the center. Then you stitch for a few inches, then baste and then back down to a regular stitch for the last 2 inches. Then you press the pleats open and remove basting. I had to spray down the flannel and press for it to press nicely. Lots of steam wasn’t enough! I also got the collar basted on. I went through 2 collars, my first draft didn’t fit correctly so I had to redraft and try again. Now it looks nice. I can’t wait to finish this coat. I already hate sewing it, which is why it’s taking me so long to finish it. I have taken up knitting instead, which has been great because I can knit even when I am sick and just need to rest. I always have to be doing something with my hands! Sewing, knitting, cross stitching or some other craft.

    Shell Lining Welt Pocket I did a good job lining up the plaid at the side seam despite the difficult fabric. Back pleats