Thursday, November 23, 2017

A trip to Fine Fabrics

Hello everyone!  

So what do you do when the weather is overcast and you want to get out of the house?  Well, you call up your best friend and head over to Fine Fabrics (with babies in tow, of course)!!!

I have heard SO much about Fine Fabrics!  Not only have I seen quite a few blog posts about it, but I pass it every week on my way to and from church.  And yes, each time I pass it, I think "It would be really neat to go there someday."

I finally went!


We started off by getting pics at the front of the store.  It was early Monday morning, but there were still quite a few cars in the parking lot.  The store is tucked away off the highway, but you can't miss the sign when you are driving there.  

Now, when you walk in...

It is HEAVENLY!  The aisles are narrow (very narrow if you are bringing kids), but there are rows and rows of shelves with bolts.  You can find the fabric content listed at the beginning of each aisle, and there are attendants to help you pull any bolts you fall in love with.

I SO wish I had gotten a photo of the GORGEOUS African prints when you walk through the door!  I can't wait to go back and grab one up!  

This is how I made my way through the aisles:

I strapped my son to me in his carrier, and happily fondled fabric while he gazed at ALL the colors.  It worked, but NEXT time I will go with my bestie sans kiddos!  

We spent about an hour there, but you could easily be there longer.  

Oh the remnants! SO many different cuts at such affordable prices!! Must go back!

I think this was various notions...again, lots of choices!

Trims and more trims!

I am not even sure, lol! 

These end aisles have lace yokes for tops and tunics!  I always wondered about those.

It was such a great experience!!!!  Though I wanted to buy a ton of fabric, I restrained myself to two yards of navy ponte.  I just wasn't prepared for so much fabric greatness, and must get my budget together.

But I HIGHLY recommend shopping here if you are in the area, or interested in making a trip.  

In the meantime, my November plans are in effect, and here is a pic of an in-progress Sadie.  I chose a houndstooth knit print, and did the sleeve cuffs in black.  I sewed the funnel neck in the same rayon knit, but didn't care for the drapiness.  I now plan on using a nice black ponte instead.

*Wondering about my Kelly Anorak progress? See how it is coming along here.

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Piedra tent dress

Hello everyone!

There is just something about slipping on a dress that instantly brightens your day!  You know, the dress you go to when you wake up feeling blah, but want to turn your mood around?  Well, that is exactly what I achieved with the Piedra dress from Seamworks!

Let me remind you of the line drawing, because you will see that my version looks a tad different than what I showed you:

Do you notice the differences?  I am proud to admit that I've been pattern hacking!  I do love the original design of the Piedra, and see the appeal to the shape of the garment, but when I saw the pattern hacks included with the Seamwork magazine, I decided to give them a try.  The choices were a V-neck, cowl neck, or ruffle.  

Of course I couldn't just choose ONE, lol!  I needed a V-neck AND a ruffle please!  So, that is what I did!  It was very easy to follow the directions for the hack, and I am pleased with the results.

I used a REALLY old knit from my stash.  I know I got it from Hancock Fabrics as a part of the value section.  When my niece came to visit (I think she was around 9 or 10 at the time), she "kindly" remarked that the fabric design reminded her of poo.  Since then, I couldn't shake that impression when I looked at it, lol!  So, I figured this would be the perfect fabric to use for my adjusted Piedra.  If I didn't like it, it wouldn't be a loss since I wasn't married to the fabric in the first place!

Well, I don't like it, I LOVE it!! I think I need to convert every neckline to a V!!

As far as sewing the V-neckline goes, I could definitely use a little more practice, though.  I have found that you need to make sure you appropriately stretch the V corner, or you won't get it to lay right.  I also staystitched beforehand, and pressed a lot afterward.  I am happy with the results, and look forward to my next V-neckline.

I was able to sew a size S for the whole garment because it has LOADS of ease.  It fit perfectly!  For the hem, I serged the bottom for a clean-looking edge, and left it as is.  Actually, this whole dress is basted on my sewing machine, then serged for the final look.  I really want to work up the nerve to serge my neckbands, though.  I still have some nervousness there, and need to make some practice scraps.

Overall, this dress is awesome, and I may get around to making another one in the future.  For styling, I want to add a longer necklace, like colored beads or something.  But other than that, I am glad to turn this poo to "woo-hoo!"

**Have you checked my Kelly Anorak tab above?  I have updated it for the week, and plan to add more photos soon!!  You can also follow along on my Instagram!**

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, November 6, 2017

October Recap/November Plans

Hello eveyone!

Is it really November?!?!?!

We are still having weather that DOES NOT FEEL LIKE IT!!  I mean, this past week was in the 70s, and I ended up taking my kids to the park to play--no jackets required.  I am certainly not complaining, and even quite thankful, because I still have a chance to wear my finished Anorak, which is already underway.

So last month I spent most of my energy working on the dress I was going to wear to my baby brother's wedding.  That didn't pan out how I wanted, and left a couple of days in the month to actually finish a project.  I feel good that I squeaked in these two:

The first is an unblogged Piedra dress! I plan on having a review up this week for you all, so stay tuned!  I will say that I love it! Also, I made a few changes to my version, and will talk about that as well.   Second, is my Oslo Cardigan!  I love this also!  I was all set to wear it this week, but as I said earlier, with weather in the 70s, I was sweating as soon as I put it on, lol!

So, overall my month was pretty good!  I am still working on making sewing a daily habit.  And each month I am learning tips and tricks to increase my sewing productivity with my busy, busy life.  I have the mindset that life will NOT get easier, so I have to adapt in order to get things done.

Turning to my sewing plans for November, I am giving my Anorak priority!!!!! I have already started on the pockets, and will be posting updates to my Instagram, as well as the Anorak tab on my blog (see above).  If you are interested in the process, you can follow along with either or those two methods.

The rest of my plans are "nice things I would like to cross off my list for the year."

1. I want to sew for my husband!!!  Yes, Mr. Picky himself!  We have been talking about what he would like, and have settled on a crew-neck, Raglan t-shirt from Ottobre:

2. I really want to sew a pair of overalls for my youngest.  I think he is getting ready to size out of this pattern, so I will have to move quickly, lol!  I already have all the fabric and materials so that is a plus.

3. If you haven't been able to tell, I love Seamworks patterns!  So, naturally,when they released two new patterns for November (and they do every month), I got super excited to make the Sadie, a sweater with pockets and a funnel neck.  It will be another great Fall addition to my wardrobe.

I look forward to showing you my adapted Piedra soon!  I am really wanting to cross off some of my goals for the year, but realize I am running out of time.  So, I will focus on what I can do, and adjust for the New Year.

For now, let's make November a good one!

Stay sew-filled!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Oslo Cardigan

Hello everyone!

It seems as though, no matter how hard I try, I always end up squeaking in a sewing project that was not in my monthly plan.  In fact, I remember browsing through Instagram, and seeing that Hana from Velvet Ribbon was taking part in the Cosy Cardi Challenge.  I remember wishing I could participate, but due to a full month, decided against it.

Well, a little after I got back from my brother's wedding, I knew I wanted to sew a cardigan for the challenge. And after seeing Hana's lovely cardigan, my mind was made up!  I chose the Oslo by Seamwork patterns because it was a simple garment, AND it was sewn by the Stitch Sisters on Youtube, two of the sponsors for the challenge.  I knew I could get it done in time, and have a good chance of it fitting me really well since I have sewn their pattern before.

And VOILA, here it is:

I decided on a size S with no grading this time.  There was ample ease, so sizing up was not necessary.  My fabric is a sweater knit with a faint chevron pattern.  It is beefy and warm, yet full of stretch (which was a slight issue while sewing).  It was a Fabricmart Fabrics buy from over a year ago.

I don't ever really mention facts about PDF patterns, but this one was only 46 pages.  It covers sizes XS-3XL, and goes together easily.  As far as pattern pieces go, there is a front (2), back (1), sleeves (2), collar (2), and cuffs (2).  My approximate sewing time for this was two hours.  I broke that up into two nights, as I usually try to sew daily, even if it is in a small amount of time.  It was a gratifying sew indeed!
Oslo Cardigan

In the line drawing you can see that there are optional buttons for the front.  I chose to leave the buttons off.  There are also two options for constructing the cuffs.  I picked option 2, which allows you to wear the cardigan cuffed or uncuffed without showing the seam.

The construction was very easy to follow. I mostly sewed this on my own, and only glancing at the instructions a time or two to verify that I was on the right track.  This is a wonderful project for all sewing levels,  since you are creating such a nice piece that will adapt to your wardrobe well.


The fit is also really good!!  Since cardigans are usually roomier, a nice fit is easy to achieve.  I have enough room under my cardigan to wear bulkier garments and still be able to wear the Oslo over it.

I will say that I wasn't too careful about matching up the chevron print, but it still came out great! 

I basted my seams, then serged them.  I also used a stabilizer at the shoulders.  This fabric was pretty stretchy and LOVED to grow on me!  That can be one of the downsides of working with a knit, but I just took a little more (1/2") out of each shoulder seam to compensate.  Next time I may staystitch? Would that even help?  I'll have to reference my fabric resource guide and see what they recommend.

I do think lots of knit fabrics would work well with this pattern, but I do love the appeal of a sweater knit.  I would definitely make MORE!! 

Serging is not necessary, but I love the clean finish!
Yes to cuffs!!!!!
Overall, Seamworks patterns has another winner in my book!  

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Back from the wedding

Let me start by telling all of you THANK YOU for your encouraging comments regarding the dress for my brother's wedding.  I wish I was here to show you how beautiful it turned out, but sadly, I am not.  However, I am here to say that you all are amazing!!!  It is nice when people believe in you, and know that you can accomplish something.  I truly felt that love from your well wishes, and it meant a lot to me.

So, let me start from where I left off in my last post.  I had finished the bodice, and only needed to insert the zipper, construct the skirt, pockets, and tucks, and attach it all.  First, I ended up getting sick. It was definitely some type of respiratory illness, and I was just plain tired.  I pushed through as much as possible, but wasn't as productive as I could have been.

Later, I ended up having more issues with the fit of the garment.  I kept trying it on, taking it in here or there, then retrying it on.  By Thursday night I realized that I needed a lot more tweaks to get the dress to a place I was happy with.  So, I reluctantly decided to go with my back-up plan, and finish my dress once I got back from the wedding.  That was such a HARD decision to make!

Here is a pic of the dress so far:

I am going to continue adjusting this dress, and am now faced with the dilemma of where to wear it, lol!  But, like anything in life, if you sew it, the event will come!  I am not sure where that will be, but it will be neat when the opportunity presents itself.  I only hope I can get to it because my UFOs have been piling up...

Now that you have seen what I didn't wear, here is what I DID wear to the wedding:

It is a polka dotted dress with waist definition, and a vintage feel.  Though it was not my first choice, it ended up perfect for the occasion.  And we had such a great time together at the wedding!!  I mean, my baby brother is now married!! Everything was beautiful, and the food was amazing!

I wanted to show you pics of the bride and groom, but I am currently waiting until they post pics to their own social media account.  It was their wish, and I have no problem honoring that.  I will show you my two boys together.  Here they are, my youngest and oldest:

They are the best of friends, and someone should definitely tell my youngest son that he is not grown yet, because he thinks he is, lol!  They wrestle, play ball, and be boys together, and when my little prince has had enough, he runs to his sister.

Lastly, here is a pic of me and my father.  I am a daddy's girl at heart!  I always have been, and always will be.  My dad looked so great, you all.  He is retired military and a former drill sergeant (can you tell).  His wisdom has guided my life, and continues to do so currently.

If you all are interested, I will post additional photos of the bride and groom when I can.

For now I am working on a few things that I want to finish before the end of the month.  I am also thinking of creating a tab on the blog that will allow you to see "in-progress" pics of my Kelly Anorak jacket.  It would be a good way for me to catalog it, and reference for my review when I am finished.

I am also nearly done with the Piedra pattern from Seamworks patterns.  I hope to be able to show you this one soon!

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Threadcount 1610 dress sneak peek

Hello everyone!

It is finally beginning to feel like Fall in my neck of the woods!  I am hopeful that this crisp weather lasts; however, being in Georgia, the weather can quickly revert back to temperatures in the 80s.  Considering the fact that I haven't completed many items for my Fall wardrobe, a rise in temperature would be ok with me too.

I am here today because this week is the final countdown to my baby brother's wedding, and I have been sewing like a madwoman, lol!!!  Every night I make my way up to my sewing closet, crank up my machine, and work on my dress choice for the wedding...Threadcount 1610.

So far I have the bodice finished, except for a few seams I have left basted in case I need to take them in.  I really wanted to get this garment to a place where I could try it on and see what I was working with.  It fits my dressform nicely, but I have a little more cushion in my waist than it shows since I have not padded it yet.

Well, I tried it on a couple of times, and was surprised to see that the bodice is still a little loose.  Today I plan to attach the skirt and add the zipper so I can make my final tweaks to the dress.  Hopefully that will all go smoothly because, lo and behold, my throat has started to hurt and I haven't been feeling the best.  This dress will need a lot of me pushing through in order to get it done.

I do believe it is going to be wonderful to see how this all comes together, BUT I have learned that I am not a fan of sewing for deadlines.  While my goal is to be finished with everything on Wednesday,  I think Thursday night is more likely. 

Through this whole thing, I can say I am grateful to have the bodice done!!  That, by far, has been the more intensive part of the garment, while the skirt portion is simpler.  It only has a few tucks, gathers, and pockets before it gets joined together. 

I will try to update my blog once I finish the dress, but I may wait until after the wedding before I post a full review with photos.  I will tell you that I have a "back-up" plan just in case this dress doesn't work out, BUT my hubby has already backed me into a corner and told me I have no choice but to move forward and finish this one! I agree with his sentiments, and am doing all I can to make it happen!

Stay sew filled!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Kelly Anorak muslin is done!

Hello everyone!! 

My husband and kids are home with me today, but I am basking in the glory of this one fact--my Kelly muslin is done!  I made a WHOLE jacket!  Ok, maybe I didn't put a lining in it, or finish up the hardware (it is a muslin), but I did construct an entire jacket, and got some really good practice along the way!!!

Today I am showing you the Anorak, and going over a few revisions I will be making for the final version.

Here is the muslin:

I am a definite fan of this jacket, and am so glad I chose it to sew.  I was definitely hesitant to undertake such a big task, but after having finished the muslin, I feel so much more confident about sewing it.

I will follow up with more details once I make the final garment, but I will provide some encouragement for those of you overwhelmed by the thought of a jacket like I was.  This is a great pattern for an adventurous beginner.  The instructions are clear, and the tutorials on the Closet Case Patterns website provide more information if you get hung up in any areas.

For me, I found the facings to be tricky, but the zipper placket pretty easy.  Also, the hood had lots of ease, and was harder to attach, but the gusset pockets were quick and done before I knew it.  

Here are some changes I will make to the final garment:
  • add 1" in length to account for my long torso
  • move the drawstring casing down 1" so that it sits more naturally at my waist
That's it!!

Since the pattern's release, there have been a few corrections and extensions offered.  One of them is an extension for a lining, while the other is a sleeve adjustment.  I will be checking both of these out.  The sleeves, while comfortable, do feel a bit restrictive with movement.  I read that the new sleeves would eliminate that problem.  Here is a peek at the fabric I chose for my jacket:

The top flannel is for the lining, and the bottom is a navy cotton twill by Kaufman fabrics. 

And, speaking of fabrics, I also got the cotton sateen in that I ordered for my dress:

This week will definitely consist of strategic sewing. I will be finding ways to spend time at my sewing space, and check off items on my October plans list.  But mostly, I need to get some things done!!! I will be back to let you know where I land soon.

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

September Recap/ October Plans

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is well.  In light of all that has been happening in our country, and the recent event in Las Vegas, it feels a bit off to go on with life as usual.  Every devastation brings more grieving and pain.  With that said, my heart goes out to anyone affected by the recent tragedy, and any tragedy.  In fact, we have a family friend whose youngest sister was at the concert who was thankfully found safe after being unheard from for a few hours.  Those moments of not knowing were definitely long--and yet some families endured the waiting to hear terrible news concerning their loved ones.

As for me and my family, as darkness continues to loom, we will hold on to hope.  We will love, we will act; but most of all, we will pray.  I hope that all the brokenhearted will find comfort in the arms of our great God.  And my JOY will continue to be found in dialoguing and sharing sewing with all of you.

Here are the garments I made during September:

I am grateful for the items I finished this month because they were not intended to be my main focus.  I took the first week of the month and worked on some UFOs, and after that, finished my Astoria top.

The Astoria top by Seamwork has proved to be a quick and easy sew! While I had to adjust a few things with the top, I enjoy my Seamwork subscription because it is has been refreshing to add a nice garment to my wardrobe with relative ease.  I am also keeping my Fall wardrobe in mind, and the Astoria is the first garment I have sewn with colder weather in mind.  I am still working on something to accompany it.

Next is M6873, my son's vest.  I finally got him to sit still long enough for me to get a photo of him in his vest!  To my surprise, he doesn't bother the buttons when he has it on.  I thought for sure he would pick at them, or fuss to take it off.  Nope, not the case!  I think I may be more inclined to sew things for him in the future.  All boys need a good pair of overalls, right???

Last is M7570.  This was another super easy sew.  The tie in the back is so cute, but I am still in search of a way to wear it without "braw" straps peeking through.  It will definitely be worn next year, but I am glad to have made it.

Now, the main thing I worked on, and will continue with, is the Kelly Anorak:

I love to work on each new detail, and see the jacket slowly coming together.  I only have to add the pockets and sleeve, and I am finished with the muslin.  The hood gave me some trouble because I had a HUGE amount of ease when I pinned it to the coat, but I just took some out of each end of the facing. The whole experience feels surreal, and I have to keep reminding myself that I am getting closer and closer to my very own jacket!!

October Plans
The month of October will bring a lot of the same!  I want to finish my jacket muslin and translate it into my final garment (yay). 

I also FINALLY chose a pattern from my stash for the dress I will wear to my brother's wedding this month:

Though I have been sewing almost 100% from my stash this year (yes, I can't believe it, but it is true) I had to buy a fabric suitable for this pattern.  After spending the day at Joann Fabrics and coming up empty, I decided on a cotton sateen from, thru  I am nervous!!!! The fabric will be here any day and I have to hit the ground running.  The wedding is less than 3 weeks away! Yikes! 

I also decided that my "quick" make from my Seamwork subscription will be the newly-released Piedra pattern.  It is already printed out! I just need to tape it together, make minor adjustments, choose my fabric, cut and sew.  I have an idea for this garment that will incorporate it into my Fall wardrobe.  Spoiler: It won't be stretch velvet, but I am loving the way the velvet looks on the model shown.

And that does it!  I have lots more swirling in my brain, but I will be focusing my efforts here.  I will check back soon with my finished muslin pics, and maybe even a sneak peek photo of my dress fabric when it gets here.  I hope you are inspired to sew something this month, even if it is only ONE thing--every garment matters!

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Astoria Cropped Sweater Completed!

Hello everyone!

This is a bit of an inspiration post.  You see, I get Sew News magazine issues in the mail, and have been receiving them for the last year.  I like them mostly, and got them at a wonderful discount, but I have to admit that I only browse through the issue here and there.

However, I couldn't help STARING at the cover when my newest issue came in the mail for September.  I just thought the cropped top on the model was so adorable.  Day after day, I would glance at the cover and think "what a darling top...haven't I seen it before?"

I finally decided to dig deeper and find out the pattern referenced on the model.  Well lo and behold, I was pleased to discover that the top is the Astoria by Seamwork patterns!

I cannot tell you how happy I was to find out that I already had access to this very pattern with my Seamwork magazine subscription!

My next question was whether or not to translate this pattern literally, or interpret it my own way.  If you guessed I would interpret it my own way, you were right:

I don't have many sweater knits in my fabric stash, so I went with this aztec cotton knit instead.  I only had a small amount of it, maybe a yard if I had to guess.  Whatever the amount, it quickly became a game of squeezing all of my pattern pieces in without going crazy.  Somehow, it all worked out--mostly because this fabric had an equally good amount of stretch lengthwise and crosswise.

Sometimes you just cross your fingers, and go:

For this top I made two adjustments
  1. Added 1" in length (I really should do this each time because I have a long torso, but I often omit this if I the top is long already.
  2. Adjusted the shoulder seam by doing a forward shoulder adjustment (This one made such a difference. The shirt sits a lot better, and feels really comfy too).
I will admit that I experienced a few "hang-ups" though.  The first was the neckline.  Maybe it was because I did a forward shoulder adjustment, which decreases the front piece some. I could not get the neckband to sit nicely for me.  I inserted it, and it was drafted a smidge long.  I adjusted it, reinserted it, and still had the problem.  So I applied it like a bias binding in order to get it to stay.  It could also be my fabric choice, but it was a snag for me.

The second issue was the cropped band.  Even though I added length to the piece, it was still far more cropped than was comfortable to me.  So, I ended up reworking the construction, and adding the piece as a extension to the shirt, rather than folding it lengthwise on itself.  That worked well, and now I am looking forward to creating another piece to wear with it--maybe a maxi skirt???  I will think about it, but am open to styling options for this top because it is so cute.

Overall, this is a nice pattern, and I know I will find a purpose for in my wardrobe.  However, it won't be a repeat sew for me.  

Stay sew-filled!