CHENILLE Sweater for Minerva

My fabric stash and my dresser drawers can attest to the fact that charcoal grey knit is my spirit fabric. I’m sticking to what I love with the grey sweater knit fabric that I chose to make a Chenille Sweater from Kommatia Patterns (now Studio Calicot).

Today you can read about the Chenille that I made for the Minerva blog. You can see the full details here.

Until next time,

Melissa E of mahlicadesigns

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Sew Long Summer…hello Butterick 6388 sweater dress

I say Sew Long Summer with French terry and cold weather dresses.

This fall’s dress is Butterick 6388. It was a hit with me the first time I saw the pattern. The top and dress views are packed with the details I like: a collar to keep me warm, interesting design lines in the bodice, and a slight dolman sleeve.

The pattern is very easy to make and went together in less than 2 hours cut to finish. The dress is so comfortable and I see it working very well as a wardrobe piece that will work in the fall with flats and with tights and boots in the winter.  I have a top version planned in another french terry in my stash, but I might keep my eyes open for an interesting sweater knit to use.

As always, thanks for reading today.

I hope you’ll visit todays bloggers in the Sew Long Summer Blog tour:

Tenilles Thread,  Sewing with D,  mahlicadesigns

Sew Long Summer…hello Chi Towns and Toaster Sweater

I’m saying Sew Long Summer with two items that have been a long time coming.

I’ve needed a classic pair of trousers (that fit), since my son was born five years ago.

Feeling pretty good about the Chi Town Chino shorts that I’ve been making, it seemed a natural choice to use the Chi Town expansion pack to make my first pair of trousers.

I’m really pleased with how they came out; though after an hour and a half into making the welt pockets I thought I’d never reach the end of them. Hang in there, the pockets come out so nicely and the rest of the pant moves along quickly.

The Pattern: Chi Town Chino Pants (expansion pack) in Size 8.

The Fabric: Black twill from Imagine Gnats (now sold out)

For my top, I’m revisiting the Toaster Sweater. When I made it last spring (here) I honestly didn’t think I’d make another one, but it turns out the Toaster was just the pattern for showcasing my surface design idea.

I’ve had my heart set on some tapir fabric since seeing some on etsy last year. After watching Elizabeth Made This use fabric stamping so often, I was really encouraged that I could give stamping my own fabric a try (it took about a year of thinking about it though).

I used a Speedball kit (similar) and Jacquard fabric paint from my stash. I think I spent about thirty minutes carving the stamp and another ten stamping the fabric. After Elizabeth’s advice, I heat set the fabric paint for a good five minutes and let the fabric dry an additional week before laundering. So far so good.

The pattern: Toaster Sweater from Sew House Seven size medium with no alterations.

The fabric: French terry in mint from Simply by Ti Fabrics – oh my goodness is this so soft and cozy.

As always, thanks for reading today. I hope you’ll visit todays bloggers in the Sew Long Summer Blog tour.

Tuesday: mahlicadesigns, My Heart Will So On, Couturious, Anne-Mari Sews, Adventures With Bubba and Bug


Toaster Sweater for spring featuring Simply By Ti

Simply by Ti Fabrics recently let me pick one of her new open weave fabrics to try out. I chose the Black Crochet off of my wishlist with plans to do a pattern hack similar to this with the Blanc Tee. I altered my plan though, once I had the fabric in hand.

I was picturing a thin fabric more like lace (though I don’t know why), but this turned out to be just a bit heavier and thicker than the Hacci sweater knits I’ve used in the past with a similar mechanical stretch. The fiber content feels like a cotton or other natural fiber and is really soft.

New plan: Use the Toaster Sweater to create a transitional spring piece that I can use for a lacey looking top.

My initial thought was that I would need to stabalize all the seams so the open weave wouldn’t pull apart and ruin my piece. I decided to eliminate the cuffs and bottom band to minimize the number of seams that I would have to treat in this way. I simply extended the bodice and sleeves to make up the difference.

It turned out I didn’t need to stabalize all the seams after all. I did a test run through my overlocker on some scraps, played tug of war with them, and I have no worries about these seems. I did decide to add a strip of knit jersey as I sewed the neckline to give that seam some extra support.

Here you can see how I folded it over to encase the neckline seam.

For the hems, I did a double fold hem with a hand catch stitch for a nice looking finish that would have some stretch to it.

The PatternToaster Sweater 1 from Sew House Seven paired with my Goldenrod skirt. I can’t give a complete review here because of the changes I made and using an off book fabric choice, but I will share a few of the first impressions I had of the pattern. The pattern is pretty basic and the use of bands and cuffs eliminate the need for hemming, making the construction really easy. A sewing newbie could easily sew this up. I personally could have done with a more condensed version of the instructions.


Does your fabric sometimes throw your plans for a loop, how do figure out what to do?

As always, thanks for stopping by today.

*Simply by Ti provided the fabric for today’s creation in exchange for a review. These are my honest thoughts on the fabric.

Simply by Ti banner

Zircon Sweater for Sew Long Summer

I’m saying Sew Long Summer by dusting off my fall sewing wish list and making it happen.

One of the projects on the top of my list was to make another Zircon Sweater from Paprika Patterns. The inserts on the Zircon let me have two of my favorite things; geometric shapes and high contrast colors.

I’ve made the Zircon before, so I knew no alterations were needed. Take note that the Zircon sleeve is supposed to be bracelet length, but hits my shorty self right at the wrist were I prefer it.

Those inserts might look scarey to make correctly, but if you follow the directions and take your time to line up the stitching lines, you’ll be good to go.


Stop by today’s bloggers for more inspiration.

AppleGreenCottagemahlicadesignsKaleidothought, PrettiModesti, Olive Ashby, Sewing Bee Fabrics

Wednesday Teaser collage

And…enter our giveaway for a pattern from On the Cutting Floor.

How about some fun discounts and coupon codes from our sponsors:

Zeirstoff Patterns 20% off patterns   Code: zierstoffpatterns20  Ends 9/17/16

Blue Dot Patterns       25% off patterns    Code: SewLongSummer  Ends 9/17/16

On the Cutting Floor   50% off patterns   Code: SEWLONG   Ends 9/17/16

Sponsor Collage Final

Melissa Cardigan for Sew Long Summer

I say Sew Long Summer by getting my cool weather clothes ready.  For me, staying warm as it cools down is all about layers. I used to wear fleece vests around the house, but I’m replacing them with cardigans for a more put together look that I can wear out of the house too.

I dig a dolman sleeve because they don’t bunch up under my arms and an open front cardigan because I don’t have to fiddle with buttons. I’m not a big fan of the drappy front cardigans though, they just look a little too sloppy.

It’s almost like Zeirstoff Patterns made the Melissa Cardigan pattern for me. (We even share a name, just sayin’) I get a roomy cardigan that doesn’t look sloppy and feels great to wear.

I just love how this fits me. The only alteration needed was to shorten the sleeve by 3in, pretty typical for me. Since this is a pieced dolman, I removed 1.5in from the outer edge of the dolman and 1.5in from the top edge of the sleeve portion to keep the seam just below my elbow.

The gals at Zierstoff Patterns gave me a copy of the Melissa Cardigan last February to try out, but I had to put it aside until this fall. I liked it so much I asked them to be a Sew Long Summer sponsor. You can pick up a copy of the Melissa or another pattern from our sponsors using one of the discount codes below.

Fun discounts and coupon codes from our sponsors:

Zierstoff Patterns 20% off patterns   Code: zierstoffpatterns20  Ends 9/17/16

Blue Dot Patterns       25% off patterns    Code: SewLongSummer  Ends 9/17/16

On the Cutting Floor   50% off patterns   Code: SEWLONG   Ends 9/17/16

Sponsor Collage Final

Want more?…of course you do!    Stop by today’s bloggers for more inspiration.

Musings of a SeamstressRainy Day SewingSprouting Jube Jube, Sewing A La CarteAnne-Mari Sews

And…enter our giveaway for a pattern from On the Cutting Floor.

There’s still some winter left, right? Burdastyle 10/2015 #109

Well, I got sucked in by Burdastyle‘s modern aesthetic again, despite knowing I’d have little help from them to get it done. Their directions are wanting. Thankfully this is easy to sew.

Take a look at this beauty…

So chunky, so luxurious. And such an inaccurate representation of the top. Look at how much of the sweater is clipped up on her back, behind her elbow.

Muslin time for sure. I started with my size, 38, based on my 35.5in bust. The result is the refrigerator box of boxy tops. And what’s up with the seam line placement going across the bust? That’s just strange to me. Alteration time.

Burda Muslin collage

First up, I raised the bust line seam by 1in on all pieces.

Burda Raglan Sweater by mahlicadesigns

The pattern has shaping to curve over your shoulder. These points were about 2in past my shoulder on each side, so I used that and the ease around my chest as indicators of how much I could bring the pattern in. I cut my pattern pieces down to the smallest size along the side seams of the bodice, sides of the cowl, and the arm seam. On top of that, I folded out/removed a total of 2in vertically from the center of the front, back and cowl neck pieces. On the sleeve, I slashed the pattern piece up the middle from cuff to (not through) the seam line at the shoulder. I overlapped the cuff part of the slash by 1/2, removing 1in total, and taped up the skinnier sleeve piece.

Burda Raglan Sweater by mahlicadesigns

After finishing up my faux leather jacket and surviving, I thought I really wanted to go luxe on this project and try some faux fur. I added a lining because while the faux fur is so silky and soft, it is supported by a web-like substraight that I didn’t like against my skin. I did a hybrid of underlining and lining using a ponte from my stash. I hand stitched the hems and catch stitched the interior seam allowances open after trimming away a bit of the fur.

Burda Raglan Sweater by mahlicadesigns

This sweater is Warm, which is just what I wanted. There’s still some winter left to enjoy the coziness of this sweater. Don’t be fooled by my modeling in my Charcoal shorts and Jade skirt.

Burda Raglan Sweater by mahlicadesigns

Things to note if you make this sweater:

I’m a shorty (5’4″) and the front hem line falls a couple inches below my navel.

Burda Raglan Sweater by mahlicadesigns

Unless you make this really big, you should expect your sweater to lift up if you raise your arms higher than shoulder level. Hopefully looking at how the shoulders and arms go together in the line drawing and on my muslin sheds some light on why.

I’m feeling pretty good about my warm wardrobe options now. It’s time to look toward spring and get sewing.

So, what do you think, did I overcorrect? I feel like I lost some of the boxy look, especially in the cowl.

Burdastyle 10/2015 #109 made in fur with a lining should take you about 4 hours to complete. (Add more time if you choose to catch stitch your seam allowances)

Pattern: $6    Fabrics: $25   Total: $31