Friday, November 26, 2010

Cool Weather Jacket that is sooo Cozy...McCall's M4961

I knew I needed this pink ultra-suede and berber backed fabric when I saw it, but what do you do with it.  It sat in my fabric storage for a year or two.  Then I got the courage to work with it.  This pattern is the simplest jacket pattern I could find, McCall's M4961. I was looking for straight lines and few seams. 

I followed Sandra Betzina's directions for suede in Fabric Savvy.  Thread: Polyester, Stitch Length: 3.0mm, Walking Foot,  Seam Finish: Fake Flat Fell.  I did not dare make a button hole, so I cut squares of the fabric and turned the ends over and topstitched them into place.  Then added the toggle buttons and leather loops.  

My topstitching was not perfect, but I had never taken on such a fabric.  It appears that the ultra suede was interfaced to this fuzzy berber.  All the trim is just the fabrics underside of berber.  It is the softest coat and it was already self lined.

I picture of my inside seams.

attern Description: CHILDREN'S AND GIRLS UNLINED COATS AND HATS: Coats have button closures; coat A has fake fur; coats B, C, D and E have pockets, cuffs and stitched hems

Pattern Sizing:Girls X-Small - X-Large

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?yes, It shows multiple views of almost the same jacket. Mine had pockets.

Were the instructions easy to follow?yes, but my fabric choice led me in to a different construction.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?Simple lines for fabric that may not be the easiest to work with.

Fabric Used:Pink ultrasuede with a berber interfaced underside. I purchased it this way.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I followed Fabric Savvy's advice by Sandra Betzina for ultrasuede. Longer stitch length, walking foot, and most importantly the fake flat fell seam. This is done by sewing a normal seam then trimming one side. The longer side is then folded over the short seam and folded and topstitched in place. This solved my seam finish problem with this fabric. Since the underside was a berber, you can hardly see the seams from the inside. Instead of button holes, I choose to sew little squares on the jacket and flip up the sides and then topstitch it. I was not familiar with sewing on this fabric and was a little worried about the outcome. Fortunately this is one of my better experiments. (My recent experience with crushed velveteen was not.)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?This is a simple jacket and is great to try with an interesting fabric choice. If you make it of a solid fabric, it would be boring and I would choose something with more details.

Conclusion: A winner of a project with ultrasuede!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Lillian Jumper

 Lillian is a very easy jumper to assemble.  It has three outside (fashion fabric) pieces and 3 lining pieces.  It goes together in less than an hour.  The fabric is a Robert Kaufman corduroy print.  I tired to anchor the busyness with red ribbon, but the print was so busy it was hard to get a great photo.  It doesn't look so crazy in real life.

The back is simple with buttons all the way down the back.

Lillian comes with a square pocket.  I wanted something fancier, so I grabbed the last pattern I had done with pockets and added Modkids Frida pockets without the elastic.

Pattern Description: Lillian is a sleeveless, lined shift dress that buttons in the back. It has short slits at the bottom of side seams for easier movement trimmed with fabric or ribbon bows. Patch pocket can be trimmed with rickrack.

Pattern Sizing:Sizes 3-12 in one package. I made a size 7.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?This dress has 3 fashion fabric pieces and 3 lining pieces. The assembly is fast and easy. It is cut to fit through the shoulders. It also does not A-line out so far that it looks like a baby outfit.

Fabric Used:Robert Kaufman corduroy

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:The pattern comes with a square pocket and I wanted something snazzier. I grabbed the Modkid Frida pattern and used their pocket. I didn't add elastic, but ribbon along the top pocket.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes. It is great without a shirt in the summer and cute with a shirt underneath in the winter.

Conclusion: Great, easy pattern for summer or winter using very subdued fabric or WILD fabric. Great versatility.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oliver + S 2+2 Blouse and Pleated Skirt plus some fall t-shirt variations

This is a cute outfit from Oliver + S.  It is the 2+2 Blouse and Pleated Skirt.  The fabrics are from   Lorene Bonewitz from is great at matching some of the cutest fabrics.

The placket on the shirt looks difficult, but is very easy to put together.  

To extend the life of the bright orange skirt, it became a great fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving outfit.
I bought the cute embroidery pumpkin from  It is called the Double Pumpkin Alphabet.  They made theirs in cute fall colors, but we HAD to have a pink "M" on ours.

While I had my embroidery arm attached I whipped out these other two t-shirts.  
I am in LOVE with all the cute owls that are out there this year.  This design is from  This design is called "Owl Mommy, Brother and Sister."

The owls in the tree are from  This one is named "Monroe Owls."

Pattern Description: A-line blouse sewing pattern features neckband ties, gathered front with applied patch, and button back, options for long and short sleeves. Pleated skirt sewing pattern has hidden snaps at side placket, button-loop closure on waistband, and elasticized back waistband.

Pattern Sizing:Sizes 4-8

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes, my only problem was the snap and button on the waist band. (I had spent all day in the kitchen cooking and was relieved to sit and sew, but I am not sure I was all mentally there.)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I loved the detailing on the blouse. The placket was done beautifully.

Fabric Used:The fabric was purchased as a kit from The top is a cotton bloadcloth/pima and the skirt is baby corduroy.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I think I made a size 6. My daughter is very thin and I didn't use much elastic in the back of the skirt. It does make the skirt wider in the front than the back, but what can you do for those skinny girls. My daughter is also tall and I have found that Oliver + S runs short on her. I usually make the skirt longer, but I don't think I did with this one.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes. It looks time consuming, but it really went very fast.

Conclusion: As you can see from my blog, I have reused the skirt for the fall holidays. So, a cute skirt and shirt can go along way in a little girl's wardrobe.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Nina by ModKids and Sassy Skirt or "What do you do with 1/2 yard cuts in your stash?"

I had found some super cut prints and ribbon from Patty Young's collection of Andalucia.  The fabric has long since been discontinued, so those 1/2 yard cuts would have to make due.  I came up with a t-shirt and skirt combo and a Nina shirt and embellished jean combo.  Both can be mixed and matched for two complete cute outfits.  

Sassy skirt by Children's Corner without the double layer skirt.  The t-shirt is from Target and the embroidery design is from Stitch in Time and is called hillhouse8.  

Nina shirt by ModKids with Target jeans and Andalucia ribbon and ruffle.

This is a close up of the shirt.  I used yellow ribbon from the collection and a decorative stitch from my machine to add the details on the front.

The shirt has a simple tie back.

The embellished jeans!

Pattern Description: This all-seasons top can be made as a sleeveless tank with tie-straps for the Summer, short-sleeved for the Spring & Fall and long-sleeved for the Winter. It has a sweet peasant style and several options for embellishing the top. As a bonus, weĆ¢€™ve included easy step-by-step instructions and diagrams for making our no-pattern Easy Peasy Skirt, as seen in the front cover. Pair up your favorite version of the Nina top with our Easy-Peasy Skirt for a complete boutique-style ensemble!

Pattern Sizing: 2T to 7

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is a cute top for little girls that goes together quickly. There is little fitting, so it looks home sewn. To make this really cute, you need an idea for the front square section (ribbon, embroidery, or buttons).

Fabric Used:I used 1/2 yard cuts for two whole outfits that coordinate. I had purchased these cuts a year or so ago and hadn't used them yet. The line, Andalucia, has been discontinued so I had no hope of adding to the fabric. I searched through all my patterns looking for a way to turn these cute fabrics into something useful.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:I used view C, which is short sleeved (didn't take a lot of fabric). I added ribbon and a cute stitch from my machine to add some detailing.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I used this pattern to get around that 1/2 yard cut and it worked.

Conclusion: I like the two outfits and their cute looks. I did not use the skirt pattern on Nina due to the yoke of the skirt being a rectangle and my other review of Sassy Skirt by Children's Corner goes into the reason not to use this.