Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fleece Jacket number 1

Last night I finished a jacket from sweatshirt fleece. The outside of it looks nice and the inside is super soft and cozy. I just wish the temperatures here in Texas would actually feel like winter so that I could wear it without sweating. 
My next few projects will be: re-sewing some of the seams on my Minnie Mouse Moneta, sewing a blouse, and making a birthday Emery dress with some beautiful Cotton and Steel quilting cotton I bought from It has yarn balls on it! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


On Saturday I had color consultation with a friend who recently became a House of Color consultant. I thought for sure that I was an autumn, but I'm not! I turned out to be a Winter. A burnished winter, to be specific. She said that this type of winter often has autumn eyes. So that explains a lot. :)
Here I am in my burnished winter colors and lipstick. I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the day! I went from her house straight to Joanns. I picked up some pretty charcoal gray floral quilting cotton to make another Emery dress. 
One of the most useful tools that you get is a wallet with color cards that you can use to help choose clothes. Then I went home and cleared out all of the spring and autumn colors from my closet. It was liberating, really. 
So now I have a better idea of what colors of fabric to use when I want to look great! 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

FO: McCalls Tweed Dress

M7014 is a princess seam dress. It is my first try at fitting princess seams, and I think there is a little tweaking that I need to do to get the fit just right. Certainly not bad for a first try, though! 

Cutting the fabric was more difficult that normal because of two things: the pattern pieces were longer than my cutting boards meaning that I had to use scissors instead of my rotary cutter, and the fabric was a much looser weave than I am used to. The fabric liked to slip around and stretch out while handling it. Serging around the pieces helped. 
Sewing the pieces wasn't terribly complicated. I did make a few changes to the pattern, though. I used an invisible zipper instead of a normal zipper and I didn't make a lining. I used bias tape around the neck and sleeves instead. And I added pockets! :)
The final fit is a little off, but it certainly worked well as a teaching dress. 


Monday, February 15, 2016

Why I'm sewing

I'm sewing for fit. Specifically, I'm sewing my own clothes so that I can have clothes that fit my current body. The body that beat breast cancer. The body that is very different in size and shape than it used to be and is SO different from what looks decent in most ready to wear clothes. 

Fit is such a challenging issue in sewing. I  really had no idea when I started. Now I'm reading all kinds of books and blogs about bust adjustments and pattern alterations...

Here is my prepared pattern for McCall's M7014. 
I graded between a 16 in the bust and an 18 in the waist and hips, added an inch of length in the torso, two inches of length to the hem, and took out a half inch for a hollow bust adjustment. 

I beat cancer, but there is still a long journey ahead. By God's grace and providence, I'll get through this. And have a beautiful handmade wardrobe at the other end. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day dresses

On this Valentine's Day Lord's Day, I'm wearing my newest Emery dress and my mini-me is wearing her (way too big) mini-Moneta. She insisted that she had to wear it to church today. I think I will have to draft a smaller bodice pattern. :)

Next up is a McCalls dress pattern. I cut it out last night, but I need to add some length to the hem and probably make a hollow chest adjustment. 

And one more picture just for fun. This is Mr. Creative. Picture taken by my favorite four-year-old photographer. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Emery Adjustments

I didn't sew, crochet, or knit much this week due to a sinus infection and a minor surgery. But today (Saturday), I worked on perfecting the fit of the Emery dress. After reading through the Palmer/Pletch book Fit for Real People, I made the following adjustments: I cut a size 12 in the bust and graded to a 14 in the waist, added an inch to the bodice, and took out a .5" for a hollow bust adjustment. 

Here is a picture after I put in the zipper but before it is all the way finished. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016


I made a mini-Moneta! I used the bodice from a McCalls knit dress and put a plain gathered skirt on it. I didn't even look at the pattern directions. I just made it like the Colette Moneta and it turned out perfectly. She measured between the size 5 and size 6, so I cut the size 6 bodice but it still has a ton of growing room! And If I'm going to make things for her, I want them to last for a long time and get loved and used. She enjoyed twirling around in it. In fact, that's the first thing she did when we tried it on. :) 

Floral Moneta and the best T-shirt pattern ever

So last night I sewed another Colette Moneta dress. This is such a great pattern--great fit (I did grade between two sizes, and change up the neckline a little, but it was super easy), great directions, easy to sew, and amazing to wear. This one is made from a floral knit fabric that I picked up at Joanns. The headband is self-drafted and made from scrap fabric left over from the dress. I also used a hair elastic and a button. 

I didn't think that I would enjoy sewing with knits as much as I have, but this week I've been on a roll. 😀 

Friday night, I made two t-shirts out of scrap knit fabric. They fit me so much better than ready to wear t-shirts, that I'm not sure I could ever go back. The pattern is another Butterick blouse pattern I picked up on sale. It is B6132 to be precise. I only made two changes to the pattern: I didn't line the yoke, and I sewed the sleeves in the same way that you do for the Colette Moneta. 

I have a little bit more knit fabric in my stash to work through, then I have a million other plans and ideas. And I still need to work on my languishing knit and crochet projects. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sewing with knits

This week, I made two different patterns with knits. I love my serger. It really makes seams quick and easy with knits. And my sewing machine does a great job on the hems.  (I always use a jersey needle made for knits when I sew them!)

First up, the Butterick Knit Blouse (B5354). The short sleeves ended up being cap sleeves, so I can't wear it without a cardigan at work. I will probably make another with longer sleeves so that I can have one that is more versatile. 

Second, another Colette Moneta. I'm calling it my Minnie Mouse Moneta. :) Maybe I should make a big bow out of my leftover fabric! I adjusted the bodice pattern pieces to have a bit more coverage on the shoulders and neckline. Just personal preference, really. This fabric has some spandex in it, and was more difficult to sew than the jersey I've used before. The weight of the fabric gives it great drape, but meant that I had to adjust the way I was sewing it. You can't let the fabric hang off of the table while you sew it! I may have to go back and restitch some of it to give it a bit more stability. Again, I didn't put the pockets in. I LOVE pockets, but knit fabrics just don't hide them very well. 

My goal is to have a great handmade wardrobe, and I am well on my way. I have a few more things that I know I need in my wardrobe, but I think it's almost time to figure out what is in my closet that just doesn't work for me anymore. Then I can really see what gaps I need to fill in with my next sewing projects. Maybe I will purge my closet after I get my color analysis done. Then I can have a better idea of what colors look good and why. I've been thinking a lot about what shapes look good on my body-- my post-mastectomy body is pretty different than my pre-cancer figure. More on all of that later.