Oct 15, 2013

Green Pepper F865 - String Bag

In my son's middle school, they have restrictions on the size of the bag they can carry around. Last school year I made my own pattern thinking it would be easy but it ended up very involved. I used the one I bought from the school, at the beginning of the year for $15 that was coming apart at the seams as a guide. It was made from cheap nylon and no lining. My remake had a cotton print outside and a ripstop nylon lining inside with grommets in the corners like the original. I used some thick cording for the straps/drawstring and it worked. It took me all day to figure out and 3 hours to make but it held up the rest of the year and his friends wanted to buy it off him at the end of the year. 
It was successful but this past summer I saw this pattern at a Jo Ann's and decided to buy it.
It comes in mini to medium and the biggest size was within my 17" X 15" maximum limit.

Oct 12, 2013

Pattern review - McCall's M6326 - view C

This top was the first time I worked with a knit fabric. I was previously scared of them & I don't have a serger so I stayed away from them. Then I saw this lovely purple butterfly print I just couldn't pass up.  I looked in my pattern stash and on Pattern Review.com and found McCall's 6326 was an easy top that came out good. I chose view C and cut it out in a size 20, one size smaller than the pattern flap measurements.


Oct 10, 2013

Pincushions and pattern weights

My coworker turns wood and got what he calls an eclipse bowl. There's a small bit of a ring in the bottom you can see when you hold it up to the light.

I took it and made it into a big weighted pin cushion. My first idea was to make the cushion into a hexagon flower shape to fit in the bowl.

Oct 8, 2013

Pattern review - Burda 7670 - view C - plus size

You can skip straight to the review under the break.

I bought Burda 7670 at Jo Ann's when they went on sale for $2.50. I buy most of my patterns when they go on sale for $1-$2.50. They go on sale at different times but usually once a month. Burda used to never go on sale but now they do and this one was one of the first I picked up.

Before the sale, I get on the company's website, look through the catalog & write down the pattern number and sometimes a brief description. It saves time but sometimes, when I look at the pattern envelope I decide to not buy it because it looks different in a larger picture. Sometimes, I flip through the books at the store and see patterns I wouldn't have picked because the pictures are so much bigger than online, even though they are the same pictures. I've picked up a lot of patterns for basic things like button down shirts, boxers, pants, jeans and coats. I don't ever stitch them up right away but I do read the instructions. They've come in handy when I need something special in an emergency. A lot of them are also labeled as 1 - 3 hour projects so I know I can whip it up in a day. Once I get them home and eventually decide to make a garment, I look it up on Pattern Review.com to see what others made and their thoughts. If it got bad reviews or nobody made it before, it's OK because I only spent $2 on it. I feel like I'm just getting the hang of clothes making after years of collecting patterns and reading them and sewing up a few. This is the same way I tackled quilting so I hope to be as proficient at sewing clothes, in the future, as quilting. 

Oct 5, 2013

Pattern Revew - Simplicity 2192 - petal shorts

This pattern intrigued me this past spring. The shorts were unlike anything I had seen before so I decided to make a muslin for it. It's a misses size pattern and I cut the biggest, size 22.

Oct 2, 2013

Thrifty Fixes

It's been a long time but I actually got some projects done. I've been focusing on sewing my own clothes and making thrift store items fit. I've had a lot of success this past weekend on both fronts so I'll have quite a few posts scheduled for the next week or so. I think I've caught a fall sewing bug!

I took a 3x large knit shirt I found at the thrift store and took it in 2 inches on each side to fit me. I could probably take in a bit more but loose & comfy is OK. Then there was an unknown size, long, purple, knit camisole that gaped a lot under the armpit that I just darted in on the side seams and now it fits beautifully & hides my bra. The most I spent on those two items together was $4 so I'm pretty happy with that.

I had a skirt that was two sizes too big with stretched out elastic in the back of the waist. It also had a facing instead of a waistband so I took out the elastic, sewed three channels into the facing around the waist and threaded in some 1/4 inch elastic and now it fits perfectly. That one was also a great bargain but I don't remember how much I bought it for. Knowing how thrifty I am, it was probably under $3. The picture didn't come out but I'm sure you can imagine it got a bit more casual with an elastic ruched waist.

I took the idea of the channels and thin elastic in the waist from  Burda 7381, a men's shorts pattern. That was how they did the elastic waist and I love how it comes out looking and feeling. I'm making my son a pair of pajama pants from that pattern to see how it turns out. Their sizing is tricky and not on the outside of the envelope. My son is a size 36 in RTW and the pattern said it ran up to a US 46 but according to the sizing chart on the pattern paper he turns out to be a 46 so I guess I won't be making these for the Hubby who is much bigger.

I'm not a girl who's big on fashion but is big on saving money lately. I don't go thrift shopping a lot but I'm very choosy on the size & color, not so much the style because that can be altered. And the price has to be low if I'm going to invest time in making it fit or changing it, in case I ruin it. These have been sitting in my "To Fix" pile for literally months waiting for the inspiration to get the most out of them and it just clicked for all of them at once. I'm really grateful for that and I hope to do more.

Jul 10, 2013

Charming chevrons

So I've been feeling better and once again, because I looked several months before, I looked for a quilt to make from some 5" charms, that I bought from Connecting Threads ages ago, at the end of May. I found what I wanted in Christa Quilts! Charming Chevrons Quilt along. It was simple, modern, used charms, and gave a lot of punch for your effort. I bought some Kona black and worked on it on & off for the whole month of June. 

I haven't been 100% so I just worked on it for a couple of hours here and there, otherwise I think I could've gotten the top done in 2 weeks. Then, I thought it'd take another month to quilt but I decided to do the minimal amount I felt I could get away with. So now after about 37 hours of work. Here it is, my first quilt in a year+

55" x 62"
I added a 4 inch border in Kona grey. I like thick 1/2 inch bindings because it frames it. My daughter is an artist/art student and helped me arrange the half blocks into a balanced layout. I couldn't do that without her help. I would have ended up doing it randomly and it would have looked disturbing.
The hours it took was a rough estimate. I think it was more. I tracked it because I was curious how long an "easy" quilt would take. I think I work kind of slow too. I'll definitely do this one again.

I really had fun making this and getting back into the swing of things. I have a top I finished but didn't post about that needs layered & quilted and the BOM blocks I finished last year to put together and quilt in sections. They would be my next two projects but I want to do some more clothes sewing for myself first. But before I even do that, I need to get back to my housework! 

I hope to post again soon!

Jul 9, 2013

Hi again!

I've had a year filled with health challenges but I should be back in the game again.

I did finish the last quilt I posted about but I don't know if I have any pictures of it. Since then, I haven't really done much because I haven't had the energy for it. That all changed at the end of May and I've been working on a fast and easy quilt.

I hope to finish it today and post later after its been washed. It was just something to use up what I had and get back into the groove of quilting/sewing. Actually in February I made a new skirt for myself for V-day and now I plan to sew some clothes after this quilt.

Also I may change to my other gmail account to post but its still me and only me.

Thanks for still following me!