Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sewing Chitchat: November

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well!

About November...well, it really kicked me in the butt! If it wasn't household sickness and activities, it was getting our littlest guy on a schedule to sleep through the night. So, my November plans have fallen by the wayside. But the good news is, I plan on keeping the same plans for December.

I think I may need to streamline my process a bit more, and maybe that will help.  I tend to go step by step for each project (prewash fabric, cut out pattern/make adjustments, cut out fabric, sew pieces), yet I think it might be more helpful to do EACH step for ALL of my projects first. So, prewash all my fabric first, cut out all my pattern sizes together, etc.  If you have tried this and find it helpful, can you let me know?  I am trying to use some shortcuts as well as maximizing blocks of time.

Anyhow, I thought I would start blogging sewing chitchat, so you may see more of these posts in the future. It will be a way to let you know some of the sewing-related things going on in my life while I am working on various projects. And there is always a lot going on! So, here is a bit of the cool things I have bought, found, or am just really into for now:

Sew Now Magazine

Sometime around last month I was putzing around online, looking at the overseas sewing magazines available. I mean, I like the local mags, but I haven't found anything here that is on trend, to my liking. So of course I was purusing Burda and other publications, and happened on this magazine that just launched in the UK.  It is a branch from their Love Sewing publication, and it features a FREE sewing pattern with each magazine, as well as 6 .pdf downloads.  Their goal is to focus on sewing and craft trends (with a strong emphasis in apparel sewing), while staying on trend. YES!

Here is the pattern for the launch:

I can't give you a full on review yet because I have not had it long, but I can say that my inital impression is very good. I love the pattern that came with it. It is from Simple Sew, and a beginner sewing level. It has lots of visual interest, and clean lines. You can sew a dress or top. I want today, lol! But, I do not have any compatible fabric in the stash for this.

There is also really good advice inside from experts in the fashion sewing field. One really good article showcases things to be aware of when sewing different fabrics.  Another great feature was called Shop it or Sew it. On this page, it shows some stores found currently in stores (RTW), and the corresponding pattern you could use to sew them. Love this! I tend to do this a lot while shopping, or pinning on Pinterest.

The only downside for me is the .pdf patterns (YEP) and shipping time. I will brave a .pdf pattern, don't get me wrong, but I would much rather have a paper pattern to work with.  For shipping internationally, my magazine took almost a month to get here (yikes) even though it was supposed to take 6-14 days. I paid a little over $11, which I didn't find bad at all. I did see that there was a warehouse moving issue that delayed the magazine shipment, so I hope when I order the next issue (and I plan to) it will be here in a more timely manner.

It also came with an Accessories magazine as a bonus:

You can check out More Mags if you are interested in ordering!

Sewing Labels

I got a new sewing label ya'll! And it is so purty!!!!!!!! I wanted to FINISH a project and show it off, but since I haven't been able to do that, here it is:

I ordered it online from Dutch Label Shop! Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic recommended them, and there was an online ordering code at the time so I figured it was worth a shot.  This is really an updated version of my original label. I kept Sweet Ness, which comes from my nickname, "Ness," and the fact that people always say I am so sweet. It can also mean sweetness. I like the double meaning. And the Rose icon is my middle name. I plan on using these LOTS!

Sewing Books

If you don't know already, I love books!!!!! Usually I check them out at the library, and the ones that I find myself checking out OVER and OVER again are the ones I purchase for my own personal book library. You see, I am an Amazon Prime member, and enjoy shopping on They make it super easy to buy used books at great prices. Actually, you can even find great prices on new books too!

So I definitely ordered this book to help me choose fabrics. One of my goals is to sew different types of fabrics. I usually sew knits, but some ones on my list to try are rayon challis, peachskin, and cotton lawn. Who knows? I may even discover a new fave! 

I also got this BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook because it was just so darn cute, and I have a weak spot for books that have master patterns included.  I plan on fitting the main pieces to my shape, and making adjustments from there.  Ultimately, creating a wardrobe would be ideal, but I know I buy so many other patterns too that I can't guarantee that. 

Now this one right here is my homegirl! I have never tried a Colette pattern, but the ones included in this book are lovely, AND the instructions look really sound.  I definitely look forward to a future sew from here.

That is all for sewing books. I am goal setting for next year already, and I am pretty sure I am going to have to choose a month to ONLY sew from my pattern books. I have amassed quite a few cause I just love looking at them, but I don't think I have sewn one. No, not even one.

New Craftsy Classes

The craft of sewing always keeps you learning, right?  Well, as an adventurous beginner in apparel sewing, I have been keeping my eyes on Craftsy sales so I could use them as I learn and grow. Here are the ones I acquired:

I was intrigued with this class when Candice from Sew My Time raved about it. Well, she is right! What an awesome class where you learn so many wonderful techniques. I got my Islander Jacket Pattern about three weeks after I purchased this class, and it looks like a flattering jacket for all figure types. This is a definite sew for the future.

I am really excited about this one because I find that I often run into this dilemma: I see a plus sized pattern that I LOVE, but I don't know how to size it down to fit myself. Well, here you go. You can learn to grade any pattern up or down so that you never have that problem again. Have you ever went to a pattern sale, bought a particular one, and later realized that you bought the 6-14 in error and you really needed the 16-24? Ha! I've done that more times than I can count! Then I have to ask myself if it is worth it to go back and get the right one. So, yeah, I am curious about this one for sure.

I have never sewn a jacket, SO I need help when I do sew one! This class is for that reason! I really want to sew more outwear because I normally wear a lot of it in my wardrobe.

And last, but not least, I have purchased a lot of Suzy Furrer's patternmaking classes. The main reason is because I started on a sloper journey a few years ago that I never finished. I just needed some more handholding in order to accomplish it. I have watched some of these, and she appears to be a great teacher. I love that this class goes over making a bodice/pants sloper for wovens, and ALSO includes the adjustments needed for a knit sloper. If you are only interested in one vs. the other, I have seen Craftsy classes a little cheaper that have that option. But, it is awesome that she includes BOTH.  I grabbed most of these classes with the "all classes 17.99 sale."

Of course I don't think I will be tackling this anytime soon, particularly since I am still steadily losing baby weight. But, it is included in my 2017 plan for sure.

Sewing Patterns

I have purchased loads of patterns in the past month or two, probably more than I ever have. And I haven't even touched any of the winter/holiday styles!! There are some really great ones out there. I won't bore you with dozens of my picks, but I will share with you my two standouts:

I am definitely late when it comes to "popular" sewing patterns, but I am jumping on the bandwagon! I FINALLY bought the Sewaholic Renfrew! This pattern has always appealed to me, but I just never justified buying it because I felt like there were comparable things within the BIG 4. Well, there are, but who cares?!?!? Other people really love this one, so I am going to give it a go!

Have you seen the Kelly Anorak popping up online???? I have, and this was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! I just had to buy it, I just had to! I am glad I did because the instructions look fantastic, and there is more insight on the Closet Case Files blog. I already bought all of my materials, and want to finish this jacket for spring. Technically, I would have loved to start on it this month, but I am moving it to Jan. or Feb. instead.  As long as I finish it by then I should be able to get some good wear out of it. This is my BIG project! :)

Youtube channels

Lastly, do you all follow any fellow seamsters on Youtube? I recently discovered a few channels, and have been binge watching to my delight, ha, ha ha! Since I haven't been able to sew myself, I love watching what other people are making. I wanted to share two faves with you:

INSIDE THE HEM--This is a duo that sews and converses. You can check out their plans and makes for each month, as well as their faves.  It is always great to have a friend who crafts with you, and these two definitely show that dynamic.

LISA EMERITA--This woman is a dressmaker with serious skills and personality! I love watching her videos because she has such an infectious way about her. It doesn't hurt that she is always talking about her latest collection, and one month she sewed 27 items!!!!! What?!?! I am struggling to sew three, lol! She is definitely talented, and you will thoroughly enjoy her videos.

What a wonderful sewing community we have!!!! Whether it is blogging, vlogging, Facebook, instagram, Periscope, or whatever else, let's make sewing trend! Just a few years ago I kept hearing how sewing was dying out, but I argue that it is now on a full-on surge, and continuing to rise!! Let it rise! I love being a part of this community, and seeing the other inspirational people around me.

I hope you enjoyed this "chitchat!"  I am ready to wash off the drudge of November, and start afresh this week!  Who's with me?

Stay sew filled!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November plans

Hello everyone!

Somehow I slid right through October without a peep, and now it is November! Though I was silent, it hasn't been because I wasn't sewing.  In fact, I was! But, a lot of it was not fruitful.

I had a great month of September, sewing 30 minutes a day most days, and was excited to continue that trend. Then, in October things started out good, but I got hung up when I made some construction errors on my Canyon cardigan. But, never mind all that! No matter what last month brought, this is a new day!

And a new month needs new plans...

For November I am going ROGUE!  I usually choose my projects depending on the theme of  my Make A Garment A Month (MAGAM) group, yet this month didn't really intrigue me with it's "natural" theme. Also my kids really wanted me to sew a few things for them out of the Winter 06/2016 Ottobre magazine.

So, (left to right) I plan on starting out with a set of pajamas for my son. This will be an interesting project since I have to do A LOT of alterations in order to get this top and bottom to work. I'll address those things later when I start this project, but long story short: my son is tall and skinny, and needs clothing three sizes bigger than what is offered for the pattern shown. BUT he just LOVES this specific style, so I am going to give it a shot!

In the middle is a knit dress that is adorable! My daughter saw this and immediately asked for it. I plan on trying a fabric that is a little dressier so she can wear it to holiday parties/events that occur in December.  By the way, did you know that Ottobre will be offering a family issue magazine in 2017? It will have mens patterns, as well as women and childrens. I am looking forward to this! I already renewed my subscription for the kids magazine, but am thinking of adding the family and womens to it (my subscription will end just before the family issue at the end of next year). Anyhow, shipping charges have now been waived for the magazine subscription, so the prices are just awesome!!! Check out Wooly Thread and see!

Lastly, I saw the Love Notions Mother/Daughter peplum top, and just HAD to put it on my sewing list!! First of all, I have never worn a peplum top! Never! Can you even believe that?  Second, I had to convince my daughter that we would look cute if we both had one. They don't have to match, but they might...
Love Notions Peplum
I will say that .pdf patterns are not my favorite, BUT I really do like the Love Notions patterns a lot! Also, their sewing instructions are wonderful and easy to grasp.  

So these are my dreams for November!  I really, really, really want to finish all or most of these projects because I want to start something BIG in December! I am getting over a pretty bad sinus infection right now, but will be kicking it into high gear soon.  

Here is an update on my baby boy, who is almost 4 months old:

He is such a sweet, laidback, chunky boy! He is already 15 1/2 pounds!!!! But, yes, he is super healthy, and full of personality! Here I am with the older kids in a recent fall trip:

My son has a birthday coming up soon (almost 10, yikes), and we had such an amazing time out on the ranch! Really, its a great day when you get the whole family out and let the kids run wild, literally!!!!! Here is my hubby too: 

Thanks so much for reading my blog and following along with me! I appreciate it, and hope to be able to post more, especially going into next year! 

Until soon, 

Stay Sew-filled!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Squeaking in some summer shorts!

Hello everyone!

I'm back with a finished project! Do you remember the shorts I was sewing for my daughter?

These are the "Perfect Summer" shorts from Ottobre design 3-2016 (summer) issue! As soon as my daughter saw these, she wanted me to make a pair. Even though I have sewn tops and dresses for her, I have never attempted any pants or shorts. However, I figured that Ottobre's marvelous fit would work to my advantage, and it did!

Pattern Details

I used a floral poplin for this pattern that my sweet girl picked out herself. For an accent fabric, she chose white cotton fabric from the stash.  I sewed a size 128, which lines up with my daughter's measurements almost flawlessly, except for the waist.  

The pattern comes together quite easily, especially if you have sewn pants before. I love the method used to attach the short front and back pieces.  Also, there is some nice topstitching, and a mock fly front that you unfortunetaly can't see due to the fabric design. My only issue with this pattern was the waistband.

Now, I have sewn a waistband before, but this technique was new to me, and I did NOT like it. I kept having to undo my stitching and start again. It wasn't a particularly difficult method, I just felt that eth steps they had you take made the construction process harder and not easier. So, if I make these shorts again I will not use their method. 

Other than that, I enjoyed sewing this pattern! It is really cute!

My only adjustment was to add an inch of length to these. I didn't want them to end up being too short on my daughter. For the inside, I serged as many seams as I could, as well as the pocket bags. 

The back pockets were a big topic of discussion among me, my son, and my hubby. Apparently, the "boys" didn't think that the pockets matched, and that they stood out too much. But to us "girls" that is what makes these shorts more fun!!!! I mean, no one is going to have a pair of shorts like these, with the same style as my sweet girl.  That's the whole point of sewing them!!  I wanted them to be a reflection of her taste, and they are.

Overall, I highly recommend this pattern! If the seasons were not about to change, I would definitely invest in sewing a lot more. In fact, my daughter wore these to school right away before these got packed away, lol!

Update on Sew 30

Many of you know I am participating in the Sew for 30 minutes a day challenge for this month. I can't say that I have made it everyday, but I can say that I have done it MOST days. So, let's just say about three to four times a week.  It really makes a difference too!  I would not have finished this project without the Sew 30 challenge. It is such a manageable block of time that most days I reach my goal.


I'm off to my next project!! Wish me luck!

I decided to give the Canyon Cardigan a try! I have already printed it out in my size. Now to choose the fabric and get going.  Maybe watching Project Runway tonight will give me a little EXTRA inspiration!

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, September 5, 2016

New goals for National Sewing Month

Hey everyone!

It's September!

Happy National Sewing Month!

Thank you for all the well wishes on the birth of my son! There has definitely been an adjustment in our family life since he came, but I am grateful for every small milestone. Namely, a little one who is sleeping more at night and giving sweet smiles during his more alert moments. Oh, and finally settling into his car seat! It's the little things that make a big difference lately.

4 weeks old. He is now 7 weeks, and much chunkier, lol!
So, now that I have been able to get a breather, I am looking forward to participating in my MAGAM group again. For the month of September, in honor of National Sewing Month, we are encouraged to pick a garment and sew 30 minutes a day until it is finished. Essentially, committing a small amount of time each day.  This is perfect for me! I have already started yesterday, and will continue throughout this month. Somehow, even when I have had a long day, putting aside 30 minutes doesn't seem overwhelming at all.

I haven't chosen my patterns yet, but there are some I am considering for fall sewing:

First is a pattern I never finished, Love Notions slim style pants. It turns out when I tried these out before, I ignored a lot of wonderful features that make this one a user-friendly sew. The patterns are trimless (yay), you can modify the .pdf to print ONLY your size, and you don't have to print all the pages of the pattern, only those designated for your view. I did not know this the first time around because I was treating this pattern like others I had downloaded online before. Well, it pays to read the instructions!! LOL! So, I am hoping to revisit this one again--with much less stress.

Love Notions also recently released the Canyon Cardigan. I love the options for cardigans! So, yes, I have already purchased this one. Personally, I wear a lot of cardigans during the fall, and enjoy collecting different colors. Having a basic cardigan is great, but this I like that this one has a lot more personality! Here is the pattern illustration:

Another option I am looking at is a Mimi G pattern.  It is an adorable shirtdress that can be paired with tights or leggings. Being postpartum, leggings are now a welcome treat. They are most comfortable, and appropriate for my body at the moment. They will also continue to fit great even with losing weight over the upcoming months.  

Lastly, I am considering creating a duplicate of another garment I have. I've never tried this before, but I have a tunic dress top that I love to wear, and would like more of.   The silhouette is simple enough, so that should help me figure it out (that and helpful Youtube videos).

These are some of the ideas swarming around in my head these days. For now, I am focused on establishing a daily sewing habit.  

Stay sew-filled!