Saturday, March 29, 2014

Most t-shirts are not simple, but this one is! Sewaholic Renfrew

Sewaholic Renfrew


Bamboo jersey (very soft)


Renfrew by Sewaholic.
These patterns are made for pear shaped women.  I found quickly that I am not pear shaped and took in from the underarm to the hip a few inches.  By the looks of the picture, I had room to remove a little more fabric.  The shoulders and bust fit very well.  A very nicely drafted pattern.  This is a great t-shirt pattern for those without a coverstitch machine.  The sleeve and waistband are done very well.  I personally prefer my coverstitch machine.  There is less bulk when I use it.

I have been noticing wrinkles under my arms in many tops including RTW.  I need to make the sloping shoulder adjustment.  Next time.........

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Turquoise Lace Shift Dress from Simplicity 1457

Turquoise Lace Shift Dress from Simplicity 1457


About a month ago, I spent a few days in the Dallas area.  Jan from BessieMary suggested a few fabric stores in the area.  I fell in love with Fabrique Fabrics in Plano (one of Jan's suggestions).  I could live in that store!  I bought these pieces of fabric, turquoise stretch lace and chiffon lining, plus a few more........

Usually these two fabric types are a little fussy to sew, but I had no problems with these.  I used my serger for all the seams.  I attached the lining to the fashion fabric and I was able to see straight through the dress.  I didn't even question my daughter on her thoughts, but called up Fabrique Fabrics and ordered another yard for a slip.


I knew in my mind what I wanted this dress to look like.  Straight with the hem of the dress and sleeves in the selvedge.  So, I dug through my pattern choices and Simplicity 1457 was the closest thing I could find.  

The pattern has a yoke, but I combined it with the dress and cut as one piece in the front and back.  The sleeves were cute cap sleeves, but I wanted my selvedge used, so I cut the sleeve using the cap from the pattern and letting the selvedge fill in at the bottom of the cap sleeve.

Since I was using a stretch fabric, I used a size 8 in width, but a size 16 in length!!!!  This is one short dress!!!!!

Can you believe I used this pattern for my lace dress?


1.  Joined the shoulder seams of the fashion fabric and then the lining.
2.  Joined the necklines of the fabric and lining.
3.  Added the sleeves to the fabric and lining.
4.  Side seam and sleeve underarm seam.
5.  Pick stitched the neckline to keep the fabric from stretching and the lining from peeking out.
6.  Cut another dress from the lining (front and back) and serged those pieces together for the slip.

Turquoise may be her color!

Back view
With the slip, you can't see through the dress.

"Hem" of the dress. (No sewing)


When I took these pictures, I realized my "little" girl is not so "little" anymore.........

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tunic with all the details, Simplicity 1817

Sweet tunic with all the details

Japanese white embroidered lawn from Lyn Weeks (Australia)

Simplicity 1817, View C.
I followed the pattern exactly.  No problems.  Cut a size 8 in width and 10 in length.  
Serged most of the seams.  Used the chiffon hem treatment for the flounced hem.

Tucks in the front

Knotted sleeves
Shirred back and flounced ruffle hemline

Shirring detail.
Ready for school and taking pictures in the parking lot.  I didn't have a willing model.

Willing model in my own backyard with the dog.

Good look at the fabric.

My treat for checking the garden.

All garments must be made tough to endure treatment received at my house.  

Great top and one happy girl!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Spring is here" skirt

What ever I sew during the week is fair game for my daughter to wear as soon as possible.  Regardless of the weather or season.  So, she wore her new white skirt (my new spring sewing) to church today.  I did ban the white shoes until Easter.  I hope the fashion police take into account the opinions of 10 year olds.  

Simplicity 1675 redrafted for an A-line skirt.

Simplicity 1675 redrafted for an A-line skirt.
I had recently made this pattern and knew it would fit, so I drafted the skirt longer and took out the hi/low hemline.  The elastic waistband is coverstitched.  

White novelty cotton from Hobby Lobby. 
Before you run out and buy some yourself.  I noticed when I cut out the skirt the pattern lengths not matching exactly.  Well, as I started to pin, I realized the fabric was flawed and the patterns in the fabric didn't repeat exactly.  My last photo show a  side view and if you look careful, you will find the section that doesn't match!  Oh, well!  A pure white skirt won't be white for long on a 10 year old!

Fabric from Hobby Lobby

Playing with the dog who wouldn't leave us alone taking pictures.

We just finished Spring Break and I spent some off days in my sewing room!  
Can't wait to show you my projects!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Simple Sewing, Pajamas, New Look 6334

Nightgown, New Look 6334

Life has been busy, so I did some very simple sewing.  Relaxing and fun!  I added a few pictures at the end of my other pursuits and why sewing simple was so appealing 
(My whole body is sore and tired.)

New Look 6334, View A for nightgown
View B for pajama pants.

I didn't look at the directions, but found another pair of my daughter's PJ pants and compared them to the pattern.  Interesting the front waistband in the RTW was 1 1/2" shorter than the pattern and the ready to wear was 1 1/2" longer in the back.  I also used my overstitch machine to sew in the elastic waistband.  I LOVE this trick!
So, I altered my pattern to match something that already fit.  

The gown came with a facing for the neckline, but it is silly to put that on a nightgown.  So, I used bias binding for the neckline and sleeves.  I also cut the neckline larger to allow it to fit over my daughter's head.  Not many kids want buttons in the back of a gown.

I have been pulling prints from my stash that are clearly too young for my sophisticated daughter.  These are a few of them.  They were put to good used in pajamas.

Instead of a facing, I bias bound the neckline.

Back view of New Look 6334

Simplicity 6334 View B Pants in Fabric Finders Fabric.  Purchased Tank.
New Look 6334 pants and purchased cami.

The following are pictures of my garden!  I just planted the whole thing for spring: beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onions and herbs.

My favorite seeds, gloves and garden plans.
First strawberries will be here soon.
Onions are going well.  There will be 1015's, red, and white onions soon!

Everything is planted.  Just weed, water, and wait.

Green onions grow all year.  My tomatoes will top these huge cages before June.

My little tomato starts in their Texas Tomato cages!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wish I could go............Lacis Museum Exhibit

If you are a lover of smocking, the needle arts, fashion, fabric manipulation or fashion history, don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the exhibit Smocking, Fabric Manipulation and Beyond, at the Lacis Museum in Berkeley, California. Gathered in one place, you will find amazing pieces that span the decades and demonstrate the versatility of smocking. From the homely shepherd’s frock to the dress worn by Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, the breathtaking dress recently featured in Threads magazine to the work of modern artisans, it is all gathered at the Lacis Museum in Berkeley California from March 8th  through October 4th, 2014. The opening reception is March 13th and special classes and lectures are planned for the 13th through the 15th
The impetus for the exhibit began with Sarah Douglas’ donation to the Lacis Museum of all her smocking tools, research and plates. Sarah was instrumental in the revival of smocking in the 1980s and was involved with the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA), a not for profit guild formed at that time to help preserve and foster the art of smocking and related needlearts. As word of the donation spread, Nelli Durand and Mimi Ahern, also part of smocking’s revival in the 1980s, also donated their collections. The Lacis Museum joined with SAGA, and the Cable Car Cablers, the local chapter of SAGA, to collect and display pieces of this art form from around the country.  
The art of smocking arose from the necessity to fit the fabric to the body. Without the skills of tailoring, the alternative was manipulate the fabric itself by simply gathering the fabric where it was too loose and securing the gathers by stitching across them creating a stretchable, comfortable fitting garment. The shaping would soon go beyond simple fitting to providing form to the garment as well as decoration through the use of elaborate embroidery on the pleats. Eventually the technique would become an independent art form free from any necessary function.
SAGA is sponsoring the opening of the exhibit March 13th-15th with a lecture on the history of smocking, classes in smocking on the 14th and 15th, and a reception on the 13th that includes a behind the scenes tour. Space is limited. For more information and to reserve your spot go to