Sunday, April 28, 2013

First T-shirt

 I wish this T fit as well as it looks in the pic.

I have sewn since I was a teen, but have focused the past couple decades on making really cool quilts.  My new-found attention to garment making is a little disturbing.

I used the Looney Toon fabric for a muslin,.  Unfortunately, Butterick 5215 has a 17" neckline that is roughly the right size for an armhole.

The whole DRAMA is at my blog.  Click to read.  Please use the restroom first.  I don't want to be held responsible for your cleaning bill.

Still Pants Muslining... took me an entire week to get back to my pant's fitting task because the week was so very busy.   By the time I got home each evening I was so pooped that I thought it best not to sew - so didn't.  In the meantime I watched two pants fitting videos - the one that was very helpful was from the Thread's Fitting DVD series, for waist and hips) and another one (which I won't even name) wasn't so helpful.

Taking the information I gathered from the Thread's DVD,  I took the changes made to muslin #1 (from last week), transferred them to my pattern, and made up muslin #2.  I was willing to sacrifice time for this extra work because I truly believed that it would yield great results.  Here's Muslin #2, and  I'm satisfied with the results.


The muslin is comfortable sitting and standing (in fact, I'm wearing it right now).   I only had to try it on three times opposed to the usual 10 to 12 times (no kidding).  Could the muslin be better fit?  I believe that it could be tweaked further if I had the use of extra hands and another set of eyes.  But for my solitary efforts of fitting myself by myself, I think I did a good job.  I feel that I've learned a lot about pants fitting this go around, and am certain that if someone else needed help fitting pants I could be a valuable help.

There are five pair of pants in my summer wardrobe plans.  Hope I have zippers stashed in all the right colors.  Speaking of zippers - I usually pull out a special set of instructions I have for front fly zippers.  Recently I couldn't find my laminated copy and had to wing the zipper insertion.  I found that I've been using the instructions as a crutch.  Oh well, my skills are progressing...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My latest pants for weekend walking.

Hi everyone,

I've been busy making a very practical pair of trousers.  Every so often my husband and I go on a walking weekend.  My old walking trousers have seen better days, and I had some stretch cotton twill leftover from my exercise pants, so I decided to use it to make a pair of very comfortable pants:

And me wearing them:

 For further details about these trousers (what pattern I used and so on), visit my blog:

Happy sewing everyone

Sarah Liz :-)

DIY Dress + M6083

Hey ladies, This is a dress that I created using a self drafted pattern and the jumpsuit that my lovely sister is wearing is M6083. I've provided details and more pictures on my blog The Fearless Seamstress BTW, I must say that you ladies have been doing an awesome job. Keep up the great work!!! Happy Sewing, Natalea

Friday, April 26, 2013

StitchSlapped: Stephanie

I tried to make this McCall's M6437 blouse in style D. It ended up looking like a martial arts Gi or Victorian bathrobe!

I made a muslin that fit, but the final fabric still made it look stifling and old-fashioned.

I get exasperated trying to gather that fabric! I really want to know - ladies, do you use a gathering foot? Doing this with basting threads always looks uneven to me, and I get tired. If you do use a gathering foot, how do you measure the gathers to fix exactly around the joining piece that is not gathered? Does the foot just help do the work that your arms would do, or does it sew down the gathers, so that they cannot be spread apart or put back together to fit?

I even added button loops on the back using the voile. The final disaster was the bubbling of the interfacing. I learned that I should use sew-in interfacing, or pre-shrink it, or use more expensive kind that does not shrink? What do you use?

This gave me quite a sad face. I hope I can remove the collar and save this fabric for something else.
I posted more details here.
I'm not giving up on our challenge, and I look forward to seeing more of your new clothes! It is very motivating for me!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Two projects. BOOM.

I am pleased to announce that I have finished two of the projects that have been holding me hostage for some time now.

Yay me!

First item finished was my color punched sheer blouse, that after a burn test  (I check against both charts to feel confident of my choice) revealed it's not the famous twin sisters Poly and Esther but some sort of rayon blend.
No clue as to why this picture is leaning so hard to the left! 
I also completed my leather dart skirt. And hopefully this ends my semi-obsession with leather. 

Hopefully this ends my leather obsession, even though I'd love to find some ultra thin leather in a line green or neon green. All I could think about that is HOT. (As in sexy, not, you know... sweat.)

Not to fear, this will get a good iron treatment before it gets put on my body. Also, some of the lines that look like pleats or wrinkles are actually imperfections in the leather which I like. It gives the skirt a more rugged, edgy, worn look.

Check out my blog for more pictures and details.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another dress for my wardrobe.

This one is a v-neck version.

I like it so much that I finished it last night and then wore it to work today.

Flash didn't go off

This is how I wear it - definitely with something on my arms.

More info and pics on my blog - On the Road to Sew Wear

My wardrobe is growing by the day (well - by the week actually).

Happy sewing.

Dealing with Pants Fitting issues...

So I went back to the drawing board with the same old vintage TNT pants pattern after ending up with a wadder when I recently tried a new pattern.  I am determined that when I need a new pair of pants, I'll be able to pick my pattern up and simply whip up a pair - voila, yeah just like that!

So I:
  •  re-traced the original pattern
  • cut a new muslin without any preconceived alterations- starting from scratch
  • extra tedious work - yes!  But I plan on it being well worth it  
What does it matter that my pants are made alike?  I contend, especially when time is of the essence, that correct fit, good construction, and quality fabric is really all that matters with this particular garment.  Here's a picture of my major pants fitting issue and what I'm doing to eliminate it:

Pockets are sagging a little, but I can fix that by stabilizing that area during pocket construction.
It's odd, but this pattern fits me perfectly in the back.  But as you can see from the front, I'm plagued with diagonal wrinkles that extend from the crouch to the side seam.  Here you can see that I've  following Peggy Sagers advice by:
  • working with a muslin I've pinched out the wrinkles, pinned up the excess (right side) in a diagonal dart, and then stitched the dart in (left side). 
  • Peggy suggests disassembling the muslin and using it as the actual pattern rather than chancing error when transferring the alteration it to the original pattern piece.

Next I'll:
  • mark all basted seam allowances that I've altered to make a better fit, 
  • then remove all the basting stitches, completely dissembling the muslin, and
  • use the muslin pieces as my pattern. 
I won't make a second muslin because I think my diagonal wrinkle problem will be solved.  I have three pairs of pants planned as my next sewing projects.  Maybe by mid week I'll have a new pair of wrinkle free pants.  You can reference my blog for a more detailed post.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happily, I've finished my first garment. While the jacket has been cut since (would you believe February, YIKES!!), I've been sewing it haphazardly - a bit here, and a bit there but decided I needed to get it out of the way so I can move on to other things. Janine

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Vogue 8781 & New Look 6150

 Hi Ladies,

This is my latest project.  I'm not sure I straight-grained the fabric before I began which explains the jacket fronts not hanging straight (a lot of puckering, twisting, and curving...aaarrrrgghhh!).  The full review is on my blog.  Vita!

First 2 items for the year challenge

Hi fellow challengees.

What a great idea this is - to join together and blog about the garments we sew to build our own "sewn by me" wardrobe.

Thanks to Vita and Natalea for this invitation.

I have just finished my first 2 garments for this challenge. They go together as a suit. I have been sewing for about a year and a half now and slowly getting my skills up to where I am proud to go out in public with my sewn by me clothes so this challenge is really timely for me.

My first item is the StyleArc Marni Jacket. My inexperience in sewing can be seen on this post - with all the trials and tribulations of trying to put a sleeve on a jacket.

This is a great pattern and I would recommend it. It is recommended for a Ponte Knit which is what I have used.

The second item is the dress I am wearing with the jacket. It is fast becoming a TNT for me. It is easy to whip up and I am getting the fit right. It is McCalls 2401. It is a sheath dress - however my alterations have made it more of a shift.

Here is the suit together.

If you are interested in seeing the journey to my TNT - Check it out on my blog

I look forward to going on this journey with everyone and seeing what items you sew for your wardrobe.

Happy Sewing
Beverley (aka BeaJay)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Currently: Darci - Leather Pants


I'm excited to share my first completed project since starting this journey with you all earlier this month.

I wanted a pair of leather leggings/pants. So I made some! :)

The pattern is originally McCall's 6173, but there are so many tweaks and changes that the pattern is probably unrecognizable. I guess the only thing that matters is that the pants fit my body the way I like!

I've made several other versions of these pants (even though the pattern is for leggings), but this may be my favorite (for now!).

Better pics next time! Promise! 
I wore this last night to dinner for the hubby's birthday. My favorite part of the pants are the fit! Second favorite thing is the flat felled seam.

One thing I would change for the next time I make these pants is to increase the width of the fly zipper. It seems a little shallow to me.

Also, just an FYI for anyone interested in making these pants as leggings (aka as they are intended!) - if you're actually using a stretch material like legging are made of, go down a size! The reason this pattern has morphed into a legging/jegging item is because the original leggings I made were LOOSE!
Check all measurements! Especially your ankle since as you can see, these fit around my ankle like slim fit pants, and not a legging!

Welcome Miranda!

So...I received a lovely request from one of you on behalf of Miranda.   She and her daughter had already committed to making their own wardrobe.   She ran across our challenge from another board and soooooo wanted to join us.  How could we refuse?!  Let's welcome Miranda who blogs at The Year of Living Sewingly!  It's great to have you with us....  We're cheering you on!!! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ooop...Welcome Awilda!

Please forgive me....I overlooked Awilda's request to join on April 11th.  So, all together now...let's welcome Awilda!  She hasn't sewn in a while and doesn't have a blog, but she's excited about the journey!  We're glad you're with us....  

Sarah Liz Exercise Pants

Hi Everyone,

This is my most recently completed project for the sewing your own wardrobe for a year challenge.

These are a very basic pair of elastic waist stretch twill pants - from an OOP pattern ( McCalls 6082).  They are a quick and simple to make basic. And, although they are not fashionable, they are certainly useful for functional activities like this.

Its a pity that this pattern is OOP, but for those of you that want to make something similar, there are a lot of simple elastic waist trouser patterns on the market.  The pattern I used was designed for stretch fabric, so just watch the ease if you buy a pattern for wovens.

So given the challenge, here was an opportunity to make something simple that was too hard to resist.

Some of you have seen my blog post on these pants, and for those of you that haven't that are interested:

Enjoy the challenge

Sarah Liz :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Welcome T!

As enrollment comes to a close, let's welcome "T" who blogs at Seam Ripper Diva.  It's great to have you T.  We look forward to cheering you on over the next year!  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Welcome Marjorie and Mary!

Hello Ladies!  

Yes!  We have two new members to our community as our door of invitation prepares to close tomorrow.....  A huge welcome goes out to Marjorie who blogs at Applique Addict and Mary who blogs at Sew Fast Embroidery.  It is our pleasure to welcome both of you to our community!  We're excited you've committed to the journey, and we are cheering you on!!!  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Better too Big Than Too Little lol!

Stitch-Slapped Friday

Remember the blouse I made a few days ago, well for pictures sake I pulled it way up lol!It comes way too low to show you but all in all I was glad it was too big than to small, all pattern run different & if this one is going to run small than I'm all for making more once I figure out how to get the kinks out , as you can see it is way to big & if it wasn’t pulled up it’d be showing a whole other level lol! next week I’ll tinker with it, pull it up on the shoulders & see what happens

It's Stitch-Slapped Friday!

Here's hoping you have nothing to share! :-) 

Thursday, April 11, 2013


just thought I'd give you a heads up on a great sale on patterns! check  out your local Hancocks

Simplicty 5 for $5 (April10-14th)

Butterick 1.99  (April10-14th)

McCalls 99c  (April18th-23rd)

Vogue 3.99 (April 24th-28th)

Kwick Sew 20% off ( April24th-28th)

run! run! run! lol! we've got a  bad storm comming in later this eveing so I've got to run fast lol!
Happy sewing!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome Andrea!

It's time to welcome to Andrea!!! She blogs at Knit Knac!  She enjoys making her own clothes and has been on a buying fast for a few years.  We are glad you've joined us Andrea!  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Welcome Darci & Stephanie!

It's time to welcome Darci who is looking forward to journeying with like-minded sewists and blogs at Currently Darci Stephanie is also excited to join us and blogs at On the Mend!
 We're thrilled you both have joined us!  

Welcome Robin!!

Yay....welcome Robin everyone!  She's ready for the challenge.... She has lots of fabric and patterns, her machines are oiled and in working order. No blog yet, but it's on the way.  We're excited to have you Robin.  

Welcome Sophie and McKenzie

Hi Ladies,

Two more ladies are gracing us with their talents.  Sophie blogs at Monbouton's Needles and McKenzie (no blog to post yet) is joining us as well.  It's great to have both of you ladies!  We look forward to cheering you on.... 

Last Call...the last day to join "The Challenge" is April 15th!

Hi Ladies,

Thank you again for joining with is in this year-long challenge to create fabulous "me-sewn" wardrobes, enhance our sewing skills, and find encouragement along the way.  We currently have 37-39 ladies who have taken up the challenge (a few ladies don't have active blogs on the roll).  April 15, 2013 will be the last day we accept new participants.  Feel free to post this announcement on your own blogs as well as the link to the Welcome & Intro Video. 

We're excited you are with us!  In the next day or two, we will add the following tabs/pages to the blog:

  • Guidelines - this will provide a template for standard posts
  • Tips & Tutorials - Lynn's jeans & Faye's tops are great examples of information we will copy & paste to this page and link to the original posts.  
  • Resources - this area will be for book, dvd, and product reviews you feel would benefit everyone
If there are other pages/tabs you think might add value to our experience, let us know.  Happy sewing!  

It's Me-Monday!

Share them if you wear them...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Essential Tank Tops

Several weeks ago I started craving some simple tank top additions after being inspired by another blogger's  use of Simplicity 2599.  I even rushed out to buy some brightly colored drapey fabrics that I thought would work well in making tanks. (blogged about here)  I finally got around to making two of them, but decided to switch patterns. I'd used McCall's 5977  several years ago and felt it would be a better fit for me now.
 Who can't make a simple tank - right???  Well, I certainly can; but felt there was just a little something missing in mine even though it's a really simple design.  I decided to watch Peggy Sagers webcast "All about Tops" and was able to pick up the following simple tips that made my tank top even better than before:
  •  how to adjust the shoulder seam for a better armhole fit
  •  how to adjust center front to eliminate gaping at the neckline
  •  how to insert a tiny self-binding at the neckline that is more like upscale RTW
Maybe these were things I should have already known, but I didn't.  For me sewing is all about continual learning in the quest for better fit.

This tank in the closest thing I could find to Pantone's African Violet spring color.  Not sure if you can see my tiny neck binding, but I really love the fact that it's so small.  Peggy Sagers suggests using a self binding that is no wider than 1", and if I can remember correctly, it does not need to be cut on the bias. My pattern piece for the neck binding was 1 1/2" wide.  Using the smaller width gave me the finished look that I am really pleased with.   She also suggests that the binding begin and end at the left shoulder as does it does in most RTW garments. 

This tank is Army Green, although not a Pantone spring color for this year.  But it's one of   my favorite colors (for some reason).  For this top I did adopt an element from Lula Louise, the rounded baseball style hem.  I just think it's cute.  I used a dinner plate to get my curve edge and it worked out just right.
 I want to do some more (playing around) with this simple pattern.
  •  adding a tiny pocket
  •  rotating the bust darts to the bottom hem
  •  adding side slits
Just a few ideas because I do like playing around with pattern design...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Welcome Nicola!

It's time to welcome Nicola!  She's excited about joining us and looking forward to the adventure.  Nicola blogs at The Great Jeans Sew Along and Sewvival.  We're honored you're joining us Nicola, and we're ready to cheer you on!!! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sarah's Skirt

 Hello everyone - I've made a simple little stretch cotton sateen skirt.  I can't tell you what pattern it is, because I traced it off some years ago and just labelled it "straight skirt". Which it is.  Very simple and easy to make, and just has a zip and a split for walking at the back.

Front View
Back View.

Not sure what I am going to do next - perhaps some trousers for work - I really need them.

Looking forward to seeing everyone else's garments as well :)

Sarah Liz  :)

Simplicity 1699 Complete_Vita

I'm done...not a huge fan (except for the pants)!  I still love peplums though....  There is more info on my blog.


...I felt I needed to re-visit New Look 6150 because my first try with it  ended up a wadder even though it was a muslin.  I cut the muslin too large, and it was plagued with major gaping in the bust area.

Mmmmm,what can I say about my newly finished top - well I'm not absolutely pleased, but I do feel that it will get some wear.  I fixed the gaping problem so the fit is much, much better, but I guess the pattern is must not be for me.  The construction is good, I made sure of that - even though I knew half way through the project that the style was just not me.  It's not awfully terrible and there's no way I'm trashing this great jersey knit - at least not right away.

The fabric has a navy lace print on an off white background.  Fabric suits me, style does not.  It just seems a little matronly to me.  It might make it into work wardrobe rotation  - I'm not sure.  If not it will
certainly work for those "I've got to make a quick run to the store" trips.  Guess you can tell that I'm not feeling to chipper about it.

I do have a nice pattern refashion project coming up next so keep your fingers crossed for me...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Welcome April!

Welcome April!  We're so glad you've decided to take up the challenge....  April blogs at Amore-Fitness & Fashion!  It's great to have you....

Welcome Kbenco!

Please send a shout out.... It's time to welcome Kbenco who blogs (sews, smocks, embroiders, and knits :-) at Kbenco's Projects!  Welcome Kbenco!  It's great to have you joining us.... 

Welcome Faye!!

Yaaaaay!!! It's time to welcome Faye!  She blogs at Faye's Sewing Adventure and is noted for hosting her own share of great challenges throughout the year.  It is great to have you join us Faye!!!  

Welcome Elle!!!

It's a pleasure to welcome Elle to the challenge!  She blogs at Elle C Sews.  It's great to have you Elle--we're cheering you on!  I think all of us can find some encouragement from her "Sign Me Up Ladies, 4/4/13" post....  Happy sewing!