Peasant Blouse from MellySews, Core Wardrobe part 6

Peasant Blouse

Peasant blouse by mahlicadesignsAhhh, spring wardrobe sewing is so glorious. Color and breezy materials are what I’ve been missing. I am very ready to say goodbye to thick fabrics, layers, and wearing socks to bed.

I happened upon this polyester charmuese at Denver Fabrics a few months ago and thankfully got enough yardage to make the Peasant Blouse from Melly Sews. I’m thinking a red like this will be one of the main colors for my Core Wardrobe.

100_3862I was a bit nervous about working with this kind of fabric for the first time. My strategy: keep it sharp and pin the stuffing out of it. I made sure my rotary blade was sharpened, used a brand new Microtex needle, and pulled out my “good” sharp pins.

I took the sewing pretty slowly to keep those slippery edges neat and to make sure my machine didn’t eat the fabric. I also spent a lot of extra time making French Seams to containing the fraying edges. The neckline is finished with bias binding that also is the casing for elastic. The sleeves and bodice are finished with a fold over hem.

100_3863The Peasant Blouse is a free pattern from Melly Sews blog and her post gives some really good tips on how to style a peasant blouse, just the kind of hand holding I need. The instructions are streamlined since they are given in a blog post as a tutorial, so some sewing experience is assumed. I had no problem with the instructions, but did have a little wonkiness along the neckline where the sleeves met the bodice front and back. The pieces just did not match up to make a smooth neckline. Operator error? Beats me. I just smoothed out the line a bit when I attached the bias binding.

100_3853The instructions recommend 23-26in elastic length around the neckline; 23in made a pretty high neckline and pulled the sleeves a little snug at the underarm. 28in of elastic for the neckline worked best for me and gave a little more room at the underarm.

I used elastic thread for the first time on this project. I hand wound the elastic thread on my bobbin, used the longest stitch length on my machine, did a test, and added one row of shirring 1/2in from the sleeve hem.

This project took 3.75 hours to complete. I’m guessing half that time was making the french seams. Working with a fabric that does not require the french seams would cut down your time.

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Purple Polka Dot Bag-ini

Day Out Bag

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I think the Itsy Bitsy part is apparent. The finished bag is about 5.5in X 6in.

When I first saw this tutorial for the Day Out Purse I barely gave it a look, but returned to it as a good option for an upcoming trip.

This project suffered from my attention being divided between another project and a disruption in the family routine. I Do Not multi-task well. Trying to steal a couple minutes at a time often meant the tablet with the instructions was elsewhere, I goofed on the placement of the magnetic clasp, and I cut the pocket piece incorrectly. Nothing fatal though. I was able to improvise solutions and looking at the instructions got me on track.

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Pattern Comments: The instructions have you make a 30in strap, I needed 50in to make it an over the shoulder bag. This bag is SMALL, but easily modified to be larger. The card pockets are awesome but the large pocket takes up too much real estate in this small purse.

The end result is a streamlined bag that is just right for my Day Out plans on vacation.

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No new fabric was cut in the making of this project. I used up two pieces of my fat quarter collection from my former quilting days. About a hundred to go.

This project should take you a couple hours.

Frumpsville: pajama fail

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The next place on my wardrobe needing a replacement is pajamas and since we’re still in the midst of winter,  I made up some winter pajamas despite my overall plan to be working on spring pieces. I choose two patterns from my stash (as a continuing goal to test out my existing patterns) Butterick 5150, a hand me down pattern and SBCC’s Tonic 2 Tee which I’ve used before here and here.

As I was finishing up these pajama pants, so many funny thoughts came to mind for a project title: Frumpsville, Don’t wear THIS, Shame Sewing, Giant Plum Bum, I’m bringing frumpy back. The overall theme is FITTING FAIL.

100_3840But I’m still going to share about it in all its purple horror.

First Butterick 5150  view F. Well the construction is simple enough. I did shorten the rise and took off about 3in in length. While this pattern may work with more fitting and in a different fabric, the overall fit plus the bulky fleece equals a FAIL.

100_3844Now for the top, SBCC Tonic 2 Tee. I made a size up, medium, to account for minimal stretch in the fleece. The medium worked out pretty well, though I like my sleeves a little longer. I simply folded over the neckline and top stitched instead of inserting a neckband.

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After my first photos of the pants I decided to slim down the inseam by serging a new seam about 1 inch over. I think this has helped a bit. But still.

I bought a light gray fleece at the same time with the plan to make two sets and mix and match them. I’m so glad I decided to do a test run first. I’ll figure something out for the gray fleece and hatch a new plan for more warm pajamas next fall.

Well I did get a decent top out of the project and I’ll be honest, I’ll probably pull these pants out on the cold days. I also met my Sew Your Pattern Stash goal for this month a few times over, see here, here and here.

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If you should chose to make the pants, it should take about 1.25 hours

The SBCC Tonic 2 tee should take about 1.25 hours

Rose Tshirt from Blank Slate Patterns; pattern review

Rose t-Shirt

Theres nothing like purple to make me happy and to help break out of the basic colors I’ve been using to build my Core Wardrobe. The first of much more color to come for Spring and Summer, is my version of the Rose Tshirt from Blank Slate Patterns.

Rose Tshirt mahlicadesigns
Body is more of a plum color like the accent pieces

 

Likes:

  • The gathering at the front adds some nice ease through the body without making it baggy and I did not need to size up at the hips like usual.
  • Great pattern for a little stash busting of those quilting cottons I haven’t touched in a while.
  • The contrast options at the neckline draw the eye up and away from the tummy and hips.
  • I like inserting sleeves flat.
  • Theres a full facing on the front to cover up all those seams.
  • The pattern can easily be made into a dress with just a little grading for the hip/thigh. (The pattern has been re-released to include a dress option)

Rose Tshirt mahlicadesigns

Criticisms:

  • The seams at the front of the arm scythe are pretty bulky with three layers there. I’d recommend using a lighter weight fabric for the front facing to reduce the bulk.
  • The arm scythe at the front curves in toward the center front a bit and causes some pulling. I’m not going to spend time to adjust the pattern as I’m only planning to use this pattern again for a sleeveless version.
  • I determined that the triangle shape marking on pattern piece#6 needs to be moved by 1in down toward the center front to make the two front pieces #6 and #5  line up correctly. I purchased my pattern from a store, perhaps the PDF versions in the Blank Slate Patterns webstore have been corrected.

    Corrected marking in Red
    Corrected marking in Red

Rose Tshirt mahlicadesigns

Suggestions:

  • Go down a size if you’re between sizes. I’m a 35.5in bust and the small sized for up to a 35in bust has enough ease for me.
  • Understitch the facing around the neckline to prevent rolling, before top-stitching the front facing below the front yoke.
  • Use a lighter weight fabric for the front facing if possible, this will decrease bulk at the arm seams. Alternately, grade the seam allowances if you’re not using a serger.
  • Check your pattern pieces.
  • Lay out your front yoke pieces as demonstrated in the instructions to help keep track of what goes where.
  • I use stay tape at my shoulder seams when sewing with knits.

The Rose Tshirt takes about 3.25 hours to complete.

Bucket Hat and Rohan Hoody, a taste of warm and cool weather

This month I planned ahead to participate in Kid’s Clothes Week and Sew Your Pattern Stash. That planning was worth the effort, but I still missed the KCW deadline by a mile. Oh well.

KCW challenges you to sew one hour a day for one week as an encouragement to sew up clothing for kids. This season’s theme was upcycling. Awesome, I have two sacks of items waiting for a purpose.

First up, the reversible bucket hat, a free pattern from Oliver + S; utilizing an old tee and a button down from daddy. We’re taking a sunny vacation soon, so a brimmed hat with an absorbent lining was just the ticket. It came out well except that my little one whips it off his head immediately.

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Second project in line was the Rohan Hoody from Crafty Kitty. I upcycled a purple tee and used some remnant sweatshirt fleece from my stash. I modified the pattern to include a zipper front. I simply added 1/2in to the CF to be the seam allowances for the zipper and cut out as two pieces (instead of one piece on the fold). I also used a seam finish (pictured later) to give the neckline seam a neat look.

Even though I planned ahead pretty well, I came to a stop midweek when I decided the hoody needed a purple zipper to go with the lining of the hood.

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Since I had a little extra time to work on this before I could get out for a matching zipper, I used more of that purple tee to cover the seam at the neckline.

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I also added an edge finish to the hems on the sleeves to peak out when the cuffs are rolled up. I made this hoody a couple of sizes too big so the little one can wear it more than one season, so I’m sure that detail will make an appearance.

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So, here I am all finished well past the official KCW, but so what. I have two items my little guy needs, I used up fabric from my stash and used patterns I already owned for the Sew Your Pattern Stash challenge.

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The bucket hat should take you about an hour to make.

The Rohan Hoody took about three hours to make.

McCalls 6559 Summer Stripes dress; Core Wardrobe part 5

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Come on warm weather, I’d like to see you.

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The warmth is still a ways off for us, but that’s why we take vacations right? In honor of warm vacations to come and because I just need/want to focus on spring and summer Core Wardrobe pieces I’m trying a pattern out of my stash. McCalls 6559.

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I found this striped knit, in my Core colors, in the Joanns red tag section. It was pretty stiff feeling, but at $2.5/yd I thought it would make a good beach cover up and give me some practice matching stripes. To my surprise, it softened up nicely after washing. Now I have a nice striped dress for summer, bonus!

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I sewed up view D in a size 12. I went with the maxi length after I realized I had bought more yardage than I remembered and what the hey, why not test out how maxi length looks on me using a bargain fabric. I can always shorten it.

I made a few simple modifications to the pattern and instructions.  I used a 1/4in seam allowance at the sides because I was concerned about having enough width at my hips and thighs, this turned out to be unnecessary. Instead of turning and topstitching, I used self fabric as neck and armhole binding, I just think this looks better. I removed 3in from the length, I’m 5’4, and sewed the hem at 5/8in.

100_3802It took extra time of course, but I’m pretty pleased with the pattern matching at the side seams.

I can see this pattern being pretty useful in a lightweight knit as pajamas, as a beach coverup in the shorter length as I originally planned, and to show off some awesome prints.

McCalls 6559 took 3 hours, including the extra time needed to match stripes and add neck and armhole bindings.

Fabric Bins tutorial

Fabric Bin Tutorial

This week I needed a quick and easy project, so I tried out a crafty idea that I saw in Nai Nai’s kitchen. I’d like to share with you how I quickly made a few fabric bins to help wrangle the loosey goosey stuff that lives in the drawers at my house. I’m sure there are plenty of templates and tutorials out there, but I just wanted to dive in and do it my way. Mine are 7x2x2.

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You’ll Need:

 Some basic sewing gear, heavy weight fusible stabilizer, two 12×7 inch pieces of coordinating fabric.

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Tip: Making multiples is efficient and easy. Stack multiple layers of fabric when cutting and chain stitch your corners.

Step 1: Cut a 12in X 7in rectangle in each fabric (2total) and one 12in X 7in interfacing.

Step 2: Apply the fusible to the wrong side of the outside fabric.

Step 3: Mark a 2.25in square at each corner. Stack your layers and cut out the corners.

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Step 4: Sew each corner, right sides together, using a 1/4in seam allowance. Sew from the raw edges down all the way past the cut edge. See below. Do this for all eight corners.

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Step 5: Nest the two pieces right sides together, pin if needed. Sew the top edge using 1/4in seam allowance and leaving a 2in opening along one of the longer edges. Turn right side out.

Step 6: Fold under raw edges of the 2in opening and pin as needed. Topstitch along the entire top edge closing the opening.

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All Done

Optional Step 7: For some added shaping, pinch together each upper corner and topstich for about 1/2in from the upper edge. See below.

Topstitch the top 1/2 inch
Topstitch the top 1/2 inch
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Topstitched corners for more structure