Friday, May 29, 2015

It's Been a Week

Friends, this isn't going to be much of a sewing post.  More of a rambling, so if those kinds of posts don't interest you, you have been warned.

This week has been one for the books.  My sewing machine has started hitting on the outer limits of the stitch width.  In a matter of minutes a nearly finished t-shirt broke 4 needles as I was doing top stitching.  I thought I was doing something wrong, but then realized my needle was hitting and that was what was causing the needle to break.  After doing some testing I found that the needle was hitting on both the left and right limit of the stitch width.  Ugh!  I guess my machine is going in for a servicing, because no amount of cleaning is going to fix this issue.

I had minor surgery this week.  Not really going to go in to detail, but it seems all is well which is what we were hoping to find out.  I learned an important sewing lesson after this procedure though.  Pain meds and pattern adjustments are not a good mix.  In my post anesthesia pain med brain fog, I somehow thought that adding 5 inches across 4 seams meant adding .75 inches to each seam.  Fortunately, the pattern had a great amount of ease and the fabric some stretch, but this could have been a real issue!

I have so many things that I want to sew right now, so many fabrics that are begging to be cut.  Yet, today is the last day of school and I know my sewing will slow considerably while school is out.  You will probably be able to see more of my makes on Instagram over the Summer as my blogging time will likely be reduced.

Hope all is well with you and yours, and that you are looking forward to flights of Summer fancy!

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Throw Back to My Youth - Simplicity 3799 and Butterick 6071

Friends, I actually finished this ensemble a few weeks back, but have yet to blog about it.  Please excuse the wrinkles, because this colorful duo is getting a lot of action!  It reminds me of the play clothes that I wore as a small child in the early 80s.

B6071 and S3799

The top is Simplicity pattern S3799.  I love this style shirt for the warm months, as it is light and breezy and just feels great.  This pattern would also make a cute nightgown or house dress in a similar material.  Speaking of which, the material used here is a 100% cotton crinkle gauze that I picked up at Hancock a few months back.  It was one of those reduced priced bolts that had never been pulled.  I had been watching it since last Spring, and when I finally decided to get it, it was 80% off because of someone's over sight.  My gain, I guess!  This kind of bright multi color pattern is a bit uncharacteristic for me, but this season I have really been craving these sorts of prints.

S3799 is a quick sew.  It fit straight from the envelope in a XXL, because honestly these style patterns offer a lot of ease.  I think that I did alright on the pattern placement, though in hindsight I probably would have gotten the center medallion a little more off center.  This pattern was cut and sewn in about an hour and a half.  I suppose it would have gone even faster had I not used a crinkle fabric.


For my dress loving friends out there, S3799 would sew up in to a perfectly fast Summer sundress.  Just add a belt to get the definition that you are looking for.  Though if you were to use a thin fabric like this, you would probably need a slip or lining.

I finished the underarms with burgundy bias tape (sorry no pics).  You might notice that I have been using a lot of bias tape lately, that is because I have a stockpile of the stuff from my thrifty shopping efforts and I figure I need to use it.  Plus, cutting bias makes pattern layout a pain.

On to the shorts!  Friends, do yourself a favor and challenge yourself with sewing some shorts this Summer.  It will be a great learning experience!  These shorts are Butterick B6071.  This pattern is actually intended for trousers or capris, but I chopped it off right at the knee line printed on the pattern and lo and behold, we have shorts!


This is all you are going to get to see of the front, because no one wants to see all that jiggly stuff, but I did want to show off my zipper insert and button hole.  If you look on the right side, you can see where I ended up with a tiny pucker on the waist band.  Little errors like that drive me crazy.  This fabric is a stretch twill, and I promise it doesn't look as wrinkly in person, nor do the front seams look stressed.  If anything it looks too loose.

B6071 has a really weird thing happening at the rear waist band.  When the pattern is laying flat, the waistband curves up.  Like picture the way a camel back sofa curves up.  When I finished sewing these, that weird back waistband stood out from my body.  So I opened the waistband up and inserted elastic.  I am NOT a fan of elastic waist pants.  If I decide to keep this pattern around I will be making some changes to the waistband for sure.


One interesting detail of these pants/shorts was that they have a welt pocket that runs through darts.  It made me a little nervous at first, but it worked out fine.  I only made faux welt pockets though.  I don't like the the bulk that real welts add, but me arse is such a large piece of real estate that it needs a little something to break up the landscape!


The faux welts were lined with a quilting cotton from the stash.  Peekaboo!


I used the same lining for the front pockets.  I think I have gone mad with lining pockets with cute cotton prints!

B6071 and S3799

S3799 is a pattern that I will use over and over again because it will keep me cool during those dog days of Summer.  B6071 may not see the light of day again.  Beware too, that this is a Connie Crawford pattern and they notoriously run large if you decide to give it a try.  I will wear these shorts because they are super comfy (due in part to the stretch twill), but honestly they just aren't very me.  I like tight bottoms that hold everything in.  I detest lycra in my denim!  Who's with me?  At least this pair went over my thighs.

What great things are you sewing up as the mercury rises?  Can't believe the unofficial start to Summer is only a week away!!  Any fun Memorial Day plans, ya'll??

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

McCalls M6885 Only Shorter

Hello, Friends!  If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been gah gah over this fabric from Joann.  It is a 100% cotton floral jacquard that was hiding in the shirting fabrics.  It is lightweight much like voile or lawn, and though slightly see through, I was able to make it in to a tunic with no need for a lining.  It is the perfect lightweight fabric for Summer, and just look at that color!

McCalls M6885

When I was trying to figure out a pattern to use for this fabric, I was trying to decide between M6885 or self drafting something.  Debbie from over at Stitches and Seams talked me out of drafting something from scratch, and I am so glad that she did.  I still had to tweak M6885, because M6885 is actually a dress pattern.

Line Drawings for M6885 from

I first made M6885 back in September of last year just before Labor Day, for a beach trip we were taking.  Even though I added four inches of length to view B, the side slit came up so far that I was flashing my Spanx and that is not a good look!  You can read about that version here.


For this new version, I cut the pattern down to tunic length.  I am a tunic kind of gal, in case you haven't noticed.  Another change that I made was to remove the full collar and to only use the collar stand as the collar.  I thought at first that this would end up being a Mandarin style collar, but once I finished the tunic, I decided that I liked it better as a small turned down collar.


My edge stitching is a little wonky.  I think my machine needs a tune up, because some of the stitches are walking around lately.  Also, I should note that my button holes have been on point lately.  The thread is a perfect match so I am not sure why it looks so much darker here.

Here you can see the different textures in this fabric.  It is really such a great fabric for Summer.  I can see it made in to maxi dresses, beach cover ups, the list goes on.  I chose plain white buttons because this floral print has a lot going on.  I love how they more or less blend in from a distance.


Here is a shot of the back of the tunic.  I made the shirt tail a little longer than the front of the shirt.  I chose to make the armholes nice and fitted so that my bra doesn't peak out from under the shirt.  I think that I need to cut the armholes deeper in the back next time to keep keep it from pulling in at the under arm.

What you can't see here is that I used French seams on the inside.  I didn't want to serge off this thin fabric, so a French seam was the natural choice for keeping fraying to a minimum and not having to bind every seam.  I used a rolled hem.  I think I am in love with rolled hems right now.  White bias tape was used to bind the armscye.

I am loving this tunic and I see more hacked up M6885 tunics in my future.

Friends, what are you sewing right now?  Are their any fabrics out there that you are totally in love with?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Hello Friends!  I wanted to let you all know that I am wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!  

I hope that your Mother's Day is spent enjoying time with the ones that you love, or at the very least spending time on your favorite hobby.