Author Archives: stacy

Wardrobe

Yesterday I made the mistake had the brilliant idea to clean out my closet. While I thought that this would be a quick little project, it wound up being an all day ordeal (I did try a lot of stuff on and swapped out all the plastic hangers for thin, velvet hangers so that there’s more space and clothes don’t slide off of them which took a lot longer than what I planned for).

For me, sewing your own clothing means that my closet is easily over run with makes. To top it off, I find that I have a “sentimental attachment” to a lot of (sewn) items in there so parting with them is sometimes even harder. However yesterday, I went in with the mindset that I needed to clear the clutter and purge the clothing that I hadn’t worn in ages – and it finally worked. Not only is my closet (mostly) organized (I still need a few more hangers to finish the job), but I have a much better idea of what’s in there and what I may want to sew for upcoming projects.

In the mean time, I picked up Greenstyle Creations Lift Leggings and some of their honeycomb knit (some of the same knit that I had failed with a few weeks ago) to make some of those viral Tiktok “butt lifting leggings”. I’m anxious to see if they truly work. I also purchased the Ymir Skull Wallet (and some awesome vinyl and zipper pulls that should be arriving sometime next week) – I’ve been itching to make a bag or a wallet lately and this looks like a fun little creation.

Dead Guy In Room 4

I really enjoyed Schitt’s Creek (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend binge watching it on Netflix) and was sad to see the show end. David Rose always had the best collection of funky sweaters and I decided that I need to have a few in my wardrobe (it’s either that or Moira’s wigs, the sweaters seem more attainable)… starting off with the leopard sweater from Season 4, Episode 1: Dead Guy in Room 4.

To recreate this look, I used a rayon spandex grey leopard print French terry from So Sew English and Jalie 3355, sweatshirt, hoodie, and sweatpants. I would have loved to have used contrasting bindings, but I found that the gray I had on hand didn’t really match the weight of the fabric (this material is quite thin and very flowy) or really wasn’t the right color. Since I’ve made this particular pattern numerous times, I’ll skip the review, but will note that this came together very fast – in fact, I stitched this up yesterday morning right and wore it to lunch that afternoon!

Have You Seen

I had really hoped that I would get a Linky Thursday post up this week, but I have been woefully behind on so much around here that it just didn’t happen (I’ll make up for it next week, I promise). So instead, I’m sharing one of my latest projects – this beach themed pillow found in the latest issue of Creative Machine Embroidery magazine!

This little project is perfect for decorating for summer or using as a throw on your porch or deck. I used a pretty linen as the base, but this would work in just about any fabric. As for the trim, you can pick yours up here. I had a hard time finding trim while our state was shut down during the pandemic (there may be more available now that things are open back up and supplies are somewhat easier to find), but was fortunate to snag this one as it was almost exactly what I had in my mind.

Hope you enjoy making your version and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Miscellaneous

In between working on some larger projects, I’ve been slipping in some smaller items that I’ve been wanting to tackle. First up a lot of shirts! A friend of mine had asked that I make some for her and her family – it’s a shame that I wasn’t able to mail these back to her before Star Wars Day yesterday!

Next, some quick little embroidery projects. The Gryffindor bookmark is part of a “set” that I am planning for my nephew’s birthday (a Harry Potter book, bookmark, and t-shirt) – this particular design is no longer available on the website though. The second project was an applique notebook – also part of a birthday gift. I thought it might be fun to give them a little taste of Ohio, plus it gave the the opportunity to work on my vinyl backing skills (to get a clean look).

Oceanside Hoodie

After spending some time fiddling with my hoodie yesterday morning, I was not only able to modify and finish it, but wear it out too. While this pattern and project isn’t perfect, I love there end result. Here’s my take on the Oceanside Hoodie:

For starters, this was my inspiration – a cute Baja Hoodie that’s a definite upgrade from this style in my college years (but $158?). I went with this navy & mustard stripe double knit because it had a similar colorway and a texture that seemed to match what I remember these ponchos looking like. While this fabric is listed as having a 2-way stretch, it’s pretty limited (around 25-30%) and I’m sure that it’s stretchiness is due to it’s weave. Consequently, I decided not to cut the pattern with the stripes going in the opposite direction (like the inspiration photo) since I was afraid that it would effect the fit of the finished hoodie. Secondly, this fabric was very off grain. I wound up losing quite a bit of fabric just trying to even it all up. Consequently, I wasn’t able to pattern match much other than the front, back, and placket. The sleeves do match each other, though and let’s not talk about the hood. I was just happy I had enough material to make the hood.

As for the pattern, it’s ok. I realize that this pattern was originally drafted for men, but some of the changes I made and issues I encountered would probably effect them as well. My first issue is that much of this pattern is designed to be left raw. This might work if you’re using a material that doesn’t fray, but not with this particular double knit. In the end, I wound up finishing the edges on both the placket and pocket (both were easy modifications) because I’m pretty sure that after a few washes the material would fray so much that the material would pull away from the stitching.

My second issue with this pattern is how it’s assembled. I think that it went about inserting the raglan sleeves in the most complicated way possible. I went with a more “traditional” method of sewing the front of the sleeve to the front, then to the back, then sewing the underarm and side seams. While both methods get you to the same point, it just seems like they made it so much harder for a beginner to follow their instructions.

Lastly, this thing was huge. The photo on the left is the original length, the photo on the right is with adjustments in the sleeve and hem length:

In the end, I wound up cutting off 5″ for the sleeves and 5 1/4″ off the bottom. I could have gone more along the bottom hem as it is a bit long still, but I didn’t want to loose too much of the pocket that I had already installed. After messing with the pocket some, I realize that if I removed it, I was probably going to make holes so I just left it. Fortunately, the pocket is also quite large so I really didn’t lost too much space. I also cut 6 1/2″ off the string and feel that it’s still too long. I may eventually go back and remove a few more inches, but I’ll live with it for awhile and see if this length grows on me.

The bottom line: While I like the end result, I can’t see myself using this pattern again to make this style of hoodie (although I may not need more than one of this style either) unless I was sewing it for a man. After some searching, I discovered that Hey June has a similar pattern, the Vero Beach Set, that has a similar design, but is drafted for women (and wovens) that I might try instead. With that said, the extra effort was definitely worth saving $133 to get a similar look to my inspiration!

Weekend Sewing

This weekend I decided to start the Adult Oceanside Hoodie. I had picked up this great stripe double knit to use with it because they just seemed perfect together. I wound up making a few alterations along the way so this is as far as I was able to get… and today will likely be spent making some (more) edits to this pattern.

I’ll save what I’ve changed in a later post so that everything is together in one spot, but let me just say that this pattern runs LONG. EVERYTHING is so long. I realize that I’m not a very tall person and this was (originally) designed for men but I’m looking at taking off probably 6″ in the arms and even more in the body of this project (and those drawstrings are huge too). The width, however, is exactly what I was after.

I’ll save my final thoughts on this pattern (and fabric) until I’m completely done, but here’s a peek at where I’m at this morning – I still need to finish the hood and alter the length in the arms and body. I’m also contemplating taking the pocket off and moving it up before I take off the length, but I’m also afraid that I’ll make holes in the fabric given the type of weave it has. Wish me luck!

Yes, More Masks

Between our state requiring masks and Easton going back to school full time, I am spending a lot of time washing face coverings just to keep up with our demand. It doesn’t help that Easton only wears a handful of them because he prefers a particular fabric design (who would have ever guessed that masks would become a fashion accessory?). So, I decided that it was time to make a few more (this fun, plague doctor print is from Zor-Elle).

By now I’m sure everyone has a preferred pattern, but for those interested, this is a modified mask by Victory Patterns (it’s free). Since Easton has to wear his all day, he finds this design the most comfortable because it doesn’t sit (or pull) on his ears and, because it’s shaped a bit, doesn’t feel like it’s smothering him (or as he says, “it has breathing room”). Bret, on the other hand, prefers the basic, square style mask with the expandable folds (I had gotten some from Old Navy) because they don’t fog his glasses as badly.

And now back to some regular, fun sewing.

Linky Thursday

More great menswear patterns from Mood. This time it’s the Basquait Trousers.

This mug caddy would make a great teacher gift or just a cute way to keep your work or sewing area organized.

Decorator pillows are always pricy, but there’s no reason that you can’t easily make your own. Learn how to stitch up bolster and 2 different styles of round pillows with this tutorial.

With the weather turning warmer, I’m starting to see more patterns for swimwear – like this bikini (or this one that is definitely eye catching) or this adorable vintage style one piece.

Get two bags in one with this reversible tote pattern.

This spaghetti strap top is perfect for warm summer days and would look great lengthened into a dress.

Give your pooch some comfy digs. Learn how to sew a dog bed with this easy tutorial.

Looking to make mom a handmade gift? Stitch her up some pretty potholders.

Enter to win a charm pack or fabric panel from Gardensong Fabrics.

It may be getting warmer outside, but there’s still something comforting about snuggling under an awesome blanket – like this faux fur or upcycled sweater versions.

Cutie Booty

Let me start off by saying that I wasn’t initially sold on the Cutie Booty Boxer Brief pattern, but after seeing a handful of tester pictures that looked like something I might make (and the fact that I still had my coupon from my Fabric for Pirates bundle), I decided to give it a whirl. I’m glad I did.

I decided that if I’m making my own underwear, they should be “fun” so I searched my stash and pulled out a few remnants that I thought would work: T Rex Busting Through jersey from Jumping June Textiles and a black and white cotton stripe jersey from Girl Charlee (I also used a plain white jersey for the waist and leg bands). For this version I used the low rise, short inseam with the T-rex design on both the center front and back panels and the stripes for the sides. I contemplated just hemming the legs instead of adding leg bands, but after a test fit, decided against it since they became more “cheeky” type underwear and I figured I would struggle to keep them in place. I’ll consider trying this in future versions, but I think I would skip the cotton and try more of a poly blend that won’t stretch out of shape as easily while wearing them.

Sewing this up was very easy – all the pieces came together well and I didn’t have any issues putting this pattern together. The instructions are also easy to follow, so this is definitely a beginner friendly pattern. And the fit? Well, they’re extremely comfortable. I don’t usually wear this style, but I think these have completely changed my mind. Plus, how cute are they?

I definitely plan on making a few more of these – I’m even considering the mid inseam (which I wasn’t initially a fan of) for a pair of boxers to sleep in. I’m also curious how these would perform as shapewear (in a power mesh)- OOOh, the possibilities! Overall the cutie bootie boxer brief was a surprising winner for me, I’m glad I decided to give it a try.

Zip It

I’m on a zipper kick. I’ve added a few custom zippers and pulls to projects recently and now I feel like everything needs something special. So, lately, I’ve been buying interesting interesting zipper tape and pulls... here is my latest haul:

So for this round of goodies I picked up a couple of mystery packages – one for zipper tape (which is the black, white, & silver bundle – these were all fabulous, especially that silver) and one for zipper pulls (they included fun stuff like Deadpool, a plague doctor, a butterfly\moth, etc.) along with additional tapes (just check out that green and blood splatter!) and a few more pulls. While I picked up a few fun ones, I also made sure that I had some “regular” stuff as well so that when I make jackets, etc. that I have items that looks more ready to wear. As a side note, the regular pulls are very nice – very substantial and a great size.

Now that these have arrived, I feel the need to make a few bags. I recently discovered Bagstock patterns and have been seriously considering making their free Sunshine Crossbody. My biggest problem? Narrowing down what fabric I might use.