August 12, 2016

Accordion Pleated Skirt

As soon as I laid eyes on this technique I knew that I had to try it. As it turns out it isn't new or difficult.

I started out with my regular T and T (tried and true) skirt pattern, Butterick B5917. Instead of cutting the back in two pieces, I cut it as one with a rectangle added from the pleat to the extended hemline. I didn't want any seams adding bulk in that area. 

I assembled the skirt in the general way and then fiddled with that extra fabric, pleating it until I was satisfied. The pleat is sewn in place with an inverted "V".

Once I was happy with the pleat, I focused my attention on the length. In making the skirt longer it had lost its curvy shape so I tapered it a bit and settled on the length. I originally wanted a very long skirt but changed my mind and chopped it off mid-calf. I wasn't sure what the best option for the hem would be so I went with a very narrow one. I generally like a two inch hem but with the tapering.... well, I just didn't feel like doing anymore fiddling. I like how it turned out. 

I've already worn it a few times but haven't tried for any pictures yet. Sooner or later I'll get a picture and post it here to share.

Until next time, I hope that all of your stitching adventures are going grandly. 
Happy stitching!!

July 22, 2016

90s Inspired Skirt

90s Inspired Pinstriped Skirt ~ Finished

My sewing for July got to a late and slow start... but it did start and I was able to finish a garment. This skirt is made from one of the oldest pieces of fabric in my stash. I purchased it, along with my very first pattern almost 15 years ago. No wonder it reminds me of the 90s.

The fabric is a synthetic that I purchased from Jo-Ann Fabrics and the pattern that I used is my favorite T and T (tried and true) Butterick B5917. 

Grey Striped Fabric and Butterick B5917 Pattern

It seems that I have put on some weight around the middle, so in making this I had to go up a half size from my usual 12. I accomplish that by cutting a size 14 and sewing the side seams larger than called for in the pattern. The fabric also made this size increase necessary because it clings and has no structure of its own. I wanted the skirt to drape nicely and hang, without being pulled or stretched.

The thing that I enjoyed the most about this project is the amount of hand sewing I was able to do. The only sewing done on the machine was the side seams and the center back seam. The zipper, darts, and all the finishing stitches were done by hand. I wasn't able to match the thread perfectly and I'm fine with that because it makes it easier to appreciate the handwork that went into it. 

Blind Hem Stitch by Hand

Flat Felled Side Seam by Hand

Hand Sewn Zipper

I hope you are having a fabulous summer  and an amazing time with your own sewing adventures.

Until next time,
Happy stitching!!!!

July 04, 2016

Current Sewing Goals

I'm really excited to publish this blog post because it showcases not only my current sewing plans but also my first video.
Butterick B5917, Grey Pinstriped Synthetic, Tan Tropical Weight Wool

I am loving the skirt portion of Butterick's B5917. This grey pinstriped synthetic reminds me of the 90's so much that I am going with a menswear inspired, suspendered, pencil skirt. For the tan, tropical weight, wool I'm planning a mid calf, pencil skirt with a deep, accordion, kick pleat.

Cream & Red Pinstripe Tropical Weight Wool, Butterick B5391,
Simplicity 3688, & Butterick B5685

I have several plans for this beautiful cream tropical weight, pinstripe wool. First, I'd like to finish the jacket that I started several seasons ago using Butterick B5685. Second, it would be really fun to have a pair of wide leg pants from this fabric. The only problem that I have is that I'm not sure what pattern to use. I currently have Butterick B5391 and Simplicity 3688.

Sterling Grey Stretch Wool Suiting, McCall's M6173

For this grey, stretch, wool suiting I'm wanting to try McCall's M6173 view A. The pattern calls for a zipper but I'm planning to just leave the seam open and add an extension to the back panel. I'd also love to figure out how to add a high waistline.

Violet Burnout Cotton, Simplicity 1460

I love this peplum pattern and very excited to try the top view with short peplum and scalloped collar. I don't think the peplum will stand up by itself so I'm planning on adding horsehair braid to help it stand up.

January 06, 2016

Pattern Review 2016 Contests

As you may well know, I love sewing challenges. Not because I am an overly competitive person but because they have built into them a time table, more importantly a deadline.

I missed the unveiling of's Contest schedule for 2016 but I checked today and grabbed it.

* Jan. 1st - 31st ~ Pattern Stash *

Jan. 15th - Feb. 15th ~ Activewear

Feb. 1st - Mar. 2nd ~ Little Red Dress

* Feb. 1st - Mar. 31st ~ Wardrobe Contest *

Mar. 1st - 31st ~ Bargainista Fashionista

Apr. 1st - May 15th ~ Endless Combinations

* May 1st - 30th ~ Pants *

* May 15th - Jun. 15th ~ Skirt Contest *

* Jun. 1st - 30th ~ Natural Fibers *

Jul. 1st - 31st ~ Vintage Pattern

Aug. 1st - 31st ~ Sewing For Children

Sep. 1st - Oct. 15th ~ Sewing Bee

* Sep. 15th - Oct. 15th ~ Handbag *

* Oct. 1st - 31st ~ Outerwear *

Oct. 15th - Nov. 15th ~ One Pattern Many Looks

Nov. 1st - 30th ~ Make The Fabric Your Own

Nov. 15th - Dec. 15th ~ Menswear

* Dec. 1st - 31st ~ One Yard Wonder *

Usually there are only a few that catch my eye but I actually love all of the challenges this year. Being realistic, I know that I can't participate in all of them so I've just put a star on the ones that fall into the plans that I have for the year already. Now I just need to write everything out and see what I have ready at hand.

Are you planning on joining in on the fun?

January 01, 2016

Happy New Year!!!

Hello and welcome to 2016!

You know what that means.... Resolution Time!! I'm carrying my previous sewing resolutions over to this year. That seems to be quite common for me since I've been doing this for several years now.

The Main Goal For 2016 - A lot of the fabric that I have is already earmarked for specific projects, so this is an exercise in completing and Realizing Old Sewing Goals. Off the top of my head I can count a handful of beautiful garments just waiting to be cut and stitched up. It's just a matter of looking back over my old blog posts and getting the job done. I'm actually starting to get excited now.

Sewing Contests - These act as inspiration and (almost) more importantly, set a deadline. I really need deadlines to help me stay focused and accomplish my goals. There are usually a few contests over the course of a year that fall in line with something I have planned.

The Monthly Stitch

Support and Encouragement - There are also groups that don't offer contests but still give suggestions, inspiration and are generally just great to chat with and show off your work to. My favorite is Make A Garment A Month. She now has a Facebook page. I'm a member of several Facebook garment sewing groups. If you see me, please say "Hello".

And speaking of Facebook, I started a facebook page to post daily updates of sewing projects. I want to use it to hold myself accountable to actually sew 30 minutes a day and have photographic evidence to prove it. Posting to this blog everyday just didn't seem very realistic, especially since it would only be a picture or two. I do want to post a weekly update.

If you know of more contests or great groups, please let me know. :D

October 18, 2015

Work In Progress

Last week I decided to challenge myself to sew for at least 30 minutes a day. I know from past experience that you can really get a lot done that way. My work takes a bit longer because I like to do a lot of homework.

I now have two work in progress items on my sewing table. The first is the project that was the subject of my attention all last week. It's a simple boys vest.

I'm at a stopping point because I want to do snap closures and have no snaps. I'm very happy with the work so far.

Here is a close up of some hand top stitches. The lining directions on this say to stitch seams and turn. Not my favorite lining option because it never lays nicely. Top stitching around the seams helps everything lay better. The pattern did call for fusible interfacing but I omitted that. I'm not a fan of fusibles.

The second project, and the one that will consume my attention for the next several weeks, is a muslin for pants. If this project works out, I will be the proud owner of fitted, straight leg, empire waist slacks of wool suiting. 

I've made a facebook page for everyday updates. Feel free to stop by, say hello and share pictures of your current projects.

October 12, 2015

Sewing Bookshelf Additions

I love books!!! I especially love old books. While I do have very, very old books on sewing, I think more modern books are appropriate for this blog.

There is a used bookstore that I visit regularly and always come away with at least one bag of books. Sewing books are generally included. Here are a few from a recent purchase:

I'm especially loving the couture techniques in this one. The book was published in the 90s but the instructions are timeless. 

This book was purchased with the notion of making gifts. After all, who doesn't love stuffed animals?

I've already made a few purses but I grabbed this one hoping that it would lend inspiration and perhaps some purse making secrets. 

This one I picked up for my daughter. It lives on my bookshelf but she is the one interested in making clothes for bears and dolls. 

I hope that all your sewing adventures go smoothly this week. 
Happy Stitching!!