3 out of 4 isn’t too bad!

I’ve been seriously in love with the cool, rainy week we’ve had. Maybe it’s in my genes, but I’m happiest when the sun is more of a special surprise and it’s not our typical Kansas summer blowtorch. So you could say that I’ve spent the last week glorying in overcast days. And even though the sun is shining today, it’s still nice and cool with a lovely breeze.

Enough about the weather, but it’s what inspired me to head back to the sewing room to whip up a four-peat. And as an extra bonus, I found a good occasion to break out an ITY and some slinky that’s been in my stash for….forever. As it turns out, those two fabrics work well for sleeping. Who knew?!

To make them, I used a OOP Kwik Sew pattern that I made a lot of changes to.


A lot of changes might be an understatement.

  1. The first thing I did after tracing off my sizes, was rotate the dart that creates the pleats/gathers into a bust dart. I know that bust darts on knits are kind of controversial, but I don’t mind them.
  2. Then I trued up the front edge, eliminating the excess that would have been gathered/pleated.
  3. Narrowed up the shoulders–even though I cut them at a size S, they were still too wide for a tank/dress to my eye. I shaved off about 5/8″, tapering to nothing at the underarm seam.
  4. And then I discovered after cutting out the first one that it was indecently low–even Burda would blush! So I hacked off 1.5″ at the top of the front shoulders, and then re-narrowed them so that they matched the back and transferred this to my paper pattern.

Because this was a test, I wasn’t too worried about how it would look, but since everything fit the way I wanted it to, I went ahead and used a 12″ wide strip that I doubled over and sewed it to the bottom. It didn’t gather as much as I’d have hoped, but it has a little bit of swing to it that I liked. I was worried that I wasn’t going to like the ITY for sleeping (because I decided it would be a nightgown when I added the “skirt”), but it’s actually much nicer than I thought it would be.

Excited by this knowledge, I quickly grabbed a piece of slinky from my stash and sewed it up exactly the same way–“skirt” and all. I’ll admit that I am not loving this one as much, but it’s actually not bad to wear for sleeping, and no one outside of the house will see it’s flaws…well, except you, but I trust you can keep a secret!

Pride goeth before a fall though, and I stumbled pretty hard on number three. You see, the other two were practice runs to even see if this pattern would look like what I wanted it to before I cut into some super pretty lace to make into something that might actually see the light of day. I liked the way the neckline and shoulders turned out, and the length was pretty close, except I wanted a “mullet” hem and a neckline pleat in the back. So I merrily added an additional inch of width to the back and the mullet part went in great too, until I discovered that this particular fabric stretches the wrong way. Instead of stretching from selvege to selvege, it stretched from cut end to cut end. And I had NEVER EVEN THOUGHT TO CHECK. 🤦‍♀️ I realized it before I cut the front, so I cut the front on the correct stretch line and stitched it together as planned and hoped for the best. Print-wise, it made no difference, and if you look closely you can tell the weave is slightly different, but mostly you can feel it in the fit. I barely got it over my head with the pleats sewn in.

After scratching my head for a minute, I let out the pleat and tried it on again. Much better! I modeled it for the hubby to see if there was a giant wad of fabric at the back neckline, and he said no. So I went ahead and finished it, because I didn’t have it in me to throw it away. It actually turned out pretty good, but the fabric is quite scratchy where my arms rub against my side. I’m hoping this gets better with washing, but it’s not going to be an “every day” shirt anyway, so even if it doesn’t I can probably tolerate it long enough to wear it to church or something.

Then I spied some more ITY in my stash that had been hacked on as a test for something else, but I had enough left to make another nightgown. I got it all cut out and sewn together, exactly as the others, except the neckband just would. not. go. in! I think I ripped that neckband out 4 or 5 times before the seam allowances on the bodice gave out and got holes in them. I decided it wasn’t worth the battle and tossed it in the trash. Sometimes you just gotta pick your battles, you know? At least I got to try out a new toy, right?

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Well, that and building stuff in the garage. I built a little roll around cart for the jointer/planer and my husband and I are currently working on a platform bed for Scotch. Hopefully, he’s mature enough to handle a “top bunk” at the ripe old age of 4 and a half. 🤞 We painted it last night, and hopefully soon we’ll get the rails done and painted so we can mount it on the wall. Because I’m ready to make a corner hutch for my dining room…#toomanyprojectstoolittletime 😆

And I don’t promise that there won’t be another one (or two!) of these coming up soon to wear for every day.

A big fat fail. M7350

So, basically every one of my husband’s family is getting married this year. OK, not really, but there are four weddings for his family in 2017, and two of them were a week apart. 3 for cousins, but this one is his sister’s wedding. Which since we’ve been married since she was about 10(?), she’s basically a sister to me too, and I wanted something special.

Except I procrastinated. I waited until the week before the wedding to decide on a dress pattern, and then picked out my fabric. All was going well, I had made some notes about the pattern and my changes which I’ve detailed below in case I ever want to try again…

McCall’s 7350

  • There is 4.5″ of positive ease in the waistline of this dress. This was good for me (although I still needed more room, so I added it in), but it could be bad for you. Pay attention to the finished measurements which are printed helpfully on the pattern–thanks McCall’s!!
  • I added to the waistline by shifting the pattern piece away from the fold 1/4 of the total amount I needed after taking account of the 5/8″ seam allowances. For me, this meant about 1″. This will mean that my bodice/skirt gathering won’t be as dramatic, but I’m OK with that.
  • I usually trace, but since McCall’s must have been listening to my internal (and possibly on social media) rants and nested the pieces inside each other, I didn’t lose any of the sizes when I cut the size 14. Thank goodness for that!
  • I cut the size 12 around the shoulders/neckline, it didn’t take much off, but hopefully it will be enough based on previous McCall’s experience.
  • I did the lazy knit FBA of going back out to the 14 on the side seams. Since I’m petite, I don’t usually need to add extra length, and should probably start taking it out of the back, but I didn’t do that.
  • The length of this dress is probably perfect for someone who is about 5’7″, but I’m 5’2″ or 5’3″, depending on who does the measuring, so I folded out 4″ at the lengthen/shorten line.

But then, disaster struck. You have to cut the maxi skirt pieces on a single layer because they are so wide. I cut two right fronts. I even swore I checked it because I was nervous about doing that very thing, but it still happened. At first I was devastated. I had gotten the end of the bolt and couldn’t find any more, I was two days until it had be worn, and out of ideas. So I slept on it. I went back to the fabric store to see if just maybe they had some. Nope. Then I decided to just use a shorter skirt view and recut the skirt pieces. Worked like a charm, and I thought I was home free.


As I started sewing up the bodice, I began to have doubts. Something about it just didn’t look quite right, so I pinned it together and had my husband look at it. His mouth said “Well….”, but his face said “NOPE”. So I scrapped it. Well, ok, I didn’t scrap it, I’m hoping to recreate the skirt pieces into something else (maybe a skirt, heh?) And that is how I ended up wearing the exact same dress to two weddings in the same family 2 weeks in a row. After I washed it, of course. 😉

Shorts fail

Well, Simplicity 1808 was a big, fat fail for me. I should have known better. I have a lot of junk in the trunk and a belly in the front, but the thought of elastic waistband jean shorts called to me and I ignored all common sense. The crotch curve on this pattern is laughable. I’m pretty sure (though not positive, since it’s never something I’ve had) that these are designed for the flattest butt to ever flat. There is almost no curve, and then they also add in a crazy amount of ease. The size chart said I needed between a size 18 and a size 20 for my 43″ hips. That size wasn’t even included, so I used the finished measurements and cut a size 14, thinking that the stretch in my denim would cover the rest of the ease.

When I first tried them on they didn’t touch my body at all. Literally. There was an “air moat” between the denim and my skin all the way around. Chub rub was all that held them up. I took out 3″ from the center back and then 4″ more in the form of two darts to get them to fit loosely without being baggy, but while they fit, they looked terrible (think mom jeans), and I decided that was enough. I promptly threw them in the trash.

As I said in my review, I’ve been trying very hard to take accurate measurements and then use them honestly instead of lying to myself. But then you have a project that comes out like this and you wonder if you’re going too far the other direction.

My quest for nicely fitting pull on shorts continues…


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#Sewcialists will understand. 😠 Kwik sew 3672.

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Did some work today on Kwik Sew 3672 pattern, only to discover that I chose a poor fabric mate for it. It happens. It’s annoying, but I’m not devastated. To be honest, I’m not sure that it was realistic for me during exercise anyway, but it might have been ok for sleeping in or lounging in the evening. Basically the fabric felt icky on my skin, it was too lightweight, and too stretchy for the pattern. I might try again someday, but I don’t have anything suitable and I’m trying to minimize my new fabric purchases since we’re hiring contractors to replace our windows and siding* (yay!!!!) instead of doing it ourselves. Because of that, it’s going to be a bit lean and I’ll need to focus on making do with what I already have. And believe me, I have plenty, I just need to focus on it instead of checking out the new and shiny. 😉

*This is the first time we’ve let someone else come in and do a whole project. The DIYer/control freak in me is probably going to struggle a bit. But I’m mostly just excited about our house looking nicer and being able to open the windows easily! 🙂

Fail parade

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely noticed a couple of projects that hadn’t previously made it on here. They were wadders that I just decided to let go and not try to remake. I don’t have endless amounts of time to dedicate to making things work, so sometimes I just admit defeat, and move on. Especially if I don’t really know what needs to be done to fix it anyway.

Case in point? McCall’s 6163. I have no idea what happened. I don’t know if my stay tape wasn’t up to the challenge (doubtful) or if it was a matter of the thick knit getting that pulled out of whack from my inability to change the presser foot pressure, or if I just flat cut the wrong size (though based on my measurements it should have been right…??) Either way, this was unacceptable.

Good grief, it just gets worse every time I look at it!

I’m slightly fuller busted than the dressform, but it still looked indecent. I didn’t even finish it before throwing it away. It’s a bummer too, because the ladies that reviewed it on PR looked fab in their versions, so it’s definitely something I did–I’m just not sure what.

My other fail was this:

So much promise. *Sigh*

I knew going in that there were a couple of bad spots in the fabric, spots where blue dye had somehow ended up in the white portions, but they seemed like NBD to cut around, and it wasn’t. What I didn’t notice was all the little holes that showed up (or at least became more visible) after washing. I really think it was just a very delicate fabric and should have been handwash only. Of course, I only noticed it after I started sewing, and even then I started to ignore it, but I just couldn’t get the fabric into the point in the CF the first try and…..well, let’s just say that no matter how careful you are, the seam ripper just doesn’t like this fabric. So between the holes from washing and the snags from seam ripping I decided to just let it go.

Anyone else been riding the fail train lately? I’m hoping to end my streak soon, because I’ve still got a need for some cute blouses and t-shirts…

A pretty green FAIL…

So. I’ve been dreading this post, since a couple of you expressed interest in the fabric and/or the pattern. I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened, but this just didn’t work out for me. I suspect that the slippery fabric got off grain a bit (or perhaps a lot)? Anyway, it pulls oddly (while being a bit big everywhere), there’s a strange “poof” under each of the bust darts as though they aren’t big enough, but it pulls the blouse up awkwardly if I pin it out….?

See the weird poof near the bust dart?

Oddly enough, the double side boob look doesn’t appeal.

I don’t know. I’ve fiddled around with the pattern until my muslin seemed like it was going to be perfect, and then to cut it out and have it be all strange has kind of ticked me off. I would try to salvage it, except for the fact that it’s too short…I don’t know if it shrunk while I was pressing it?? I did prewash it, and send it through a fairly hot dryer, but I’ll confess that I had to use a pretty hot iron on it to get the darts to even come close to being pressed flat. I just know that when I lift my arms, way too much of my belly is on display, and no one wants to see that!

I could probably “fake it” if I wore it with an elastic belt, but I’m tired of ending up with stuff that I have to belt for it to look right. I just hate belts, OK!? I don’t like them on pants, I don’t like them around my ribcage (because that’s where they always end up–right under my boobs), and wow does that sound like a whiny little kid. 😳 Well, I guess that’s just how I roll sometimes. LOL. Seriously though, I have to wear one to hold my pants up, I’d really prefer not to wear one to “hold my chest up” too. 😛 (No, it doesn’t really do that, but they ride up and look like that’s what it’s doing.)

But lest you think this post is a complete whinefest, I did learn a lot about my body and it’s particular fit issues as well as how to fix the flat pieces of paper to get the results I want. And I also learned that apparently you can do 2 FBA’s to get a more accurate result, which is something I’m definitely going to start doing, because one huge one really makes the armscye awkward, and the dart unwieldy (plus it ends up not quite big enough). I definitely liked cutting out the size 8 in the front (and a 12 in the back), I think it came closest to fitting my more-appropriate-for-a-10-year-old shoulders and upper chest than the 12 does. I really need to figure out a good method of scooping out across the high bust area though, seems like no matter what I do the set in sleeves get strange wrinkles in the front next to my boobs, but the alternative seems to be lots of pulling when I move my arms forward. Any fitting experts who know what I’m doing wrong, I’m desperate to hear from you!!

So, next I think I need a quick and easy project, and I’ve got just the fabric and pattern. After that, I have a couple of dresses that I’ve been wanting to make up since my one and only pair of remaining slacks are getting too big and are also dry clean only (seriously, I have no idea why I bought dry clean only pants–especially not dirt magnet black wool pants!) Plus, I think I’d like to wear a few more dresses…just to see how I like them over the long term. I’ve always thought them too girly, but maybe my tastes have changed. We’ll see. Anyway, congratulations if you make it through this excessively long and boring novel post! You are awesome!! Mwah!

Just keepin’ busy!

Hope everyone has been having a wonderful past couple of weeks! I have been keeping busy on my end, though it’s hard to tell sometimes. I’ve done some cooking, some sewing, and a lot of missing my hubby! He was gone all last week to some sort of work thing, which left me and the kiddo here all by ourselves–it was rough! 😦 But, he’s home now, and we’ve spent a lot of time catching up. 🙂 Unfortunately for ya’ll, it’s sort of like I haven’t been able to talk for about 2 weeks, so it’s all pent up desperately trying to get out. Fasten your seatbelts, this will be a long post! 😛

Last weekend was a wedding for a family member, and I need new clothes like crazy…(I rely heavily on jeans and t-shirts stolen from my hubby which wouldn’t fly at such a nice event) so I originally thought I’d sew up Simplicity 2403, but I ran into an issue with my muslin…for some reason the waist part was so tight there was no way I was going to be able to wear it. Because I made it in the largest size I had on hand, I decided to try a different project.

Enter Jalie 2561. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know that I’ve made these once before….however….not only have I put on about 5 pounds since then, they were also extremely tight to start with (especially once I put the waistband on). Because of this issue, I decided to try and remake them in the size suggested by my waist measurement…..yeah…right… Turns out, making them based on my waist measurement turned these cute (and snug-fitting) pants into clown pants! 😮 I could have fit almost TWO of me in there somehow! 😮 I think I’m going to have to retrace this pattern about 100 more times to figure out exactly what size/range of sizes I need to get it to work, once I do though, they are definitely going to be TNT’s, because they are just so darn cute and easy to sew up.

After all of that, I decided to just make a dress. To go with my Jalie 2561, I had planned to make up a drape-neck top in a silky print that I had. Even though I had ran into a snag with the pants idea, I couldn’t get the drape-neck idea out of my head, so I decided to make a dress out of the drape-neck top I was working on. Enter McCall’s 6069. I merged it with my custom drafted drape-neck top and made a very cute dress for the wedding in just a few short hours. 🙂 It has a chain going across the back drape to keep it on my shoulders (instead of the fabric tube suggested by McCall’s) that is held on with hooks so that I can take it off to either change it out according to my ever-changing mood or just to wash it. 😉 I found an adorable belt at Vanity, broke out my cute strappy heels, and was fairly pleased with the result. 🙂

Front View

Back View

Sorry for the bad pictures. This was me throwing it on a couple of days later (and it had been crumpled up in the wash pile since I’d worn it), no undergarments (I wore it with a strapless bra and a waist cincher to the wedding), and it smelled awful from being worn during the 100* heat in a church with minimal cooling abilities. (Everyone was a sweaty mess–but it was still fun! 🙂 )

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fabric I made it in! This knit was such a dream to sew on, the print is pretty cool (even though I hate houndstooth), it has excellent wearability (no wrinkles even after being wadded up in the basket for several days!) and it feels pretty luxurious against the skin. It also had the perfect amount of drape for the style of dress that I made, which is something I have trouble with on occasion.

The past few days I have been spending time with the hubby, cleaning up my Singer 301-A so that it’s ready to go as my topstitching/buttonhole machine, and cooking.

Speaking of the 301-A, here it is in it’s (slightly ugly) glory! 🙂

Singer 301-A

I’m not going to try and sugar coat it…it’s ugly. I mean, it’s brown, for Pete’s sake! They could have least made it metallic blue or heck–black! But, she purrs like a good little kitty, and I think I’ll call her Tabby. 😉 There’s definitely going to be some getting used to the setup, especially the reverse feature, because it’s totally different than what I’m used to. I’m also going to replace the foot pedal getup, because it’s kind of a safety hazard, but I’ll keep the old one just in case.

Tabby got a good washing and waxing today before her internet debut too. I used a product called TSP (which is usually for cleaning the grime off of painted walls) which I was assured that it wouldn’t take any paint off. Near as I can tell, the only thing removed was the grime…lots and lots of grime. After that I even put on a rubbing compound to take off the dead paint (which there was surprisingly little of) and then I waxed it with plain ‘ol turtle wax. I’m sure there is someone out there right now gasping in horror, but I assure them that the machine looks better now, and I can use it without fear of getting gunk on my fabric (because it looked/felt like someone had parked it next to their Fry Daddy and made about 30 batches of chicken nuggets *yuck*).

Anyway, I should probably stop gabbing and get to work on something productive…like supper! I have two hungry males to feed, ya know! 😛

Sewing my butt off!

Or at least wishing that it was actually coming off due to my sewing… 😛

So yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of sewing lately, unfortunately, no pictures. Sorry. I finished *almost* all of my charity sewing projects (to which I nearly dedicated an entire rant-post to, but decided against posting it). I just have to put some binding on one of my charity projects and I’ll be done. However, I’m going to have someone help me put that binding on since I’ve no idea how to do it myself.

I started on Simplicity 4076, but my version is going to be a wadder. I really liked the knot detail on the front, and thought that it was going to be cute, but the neckline is way too low and the knot detail is kind of gape-y. I’m not going to throw it away, just in case I decide to see if I can figure out how to fix it, but I’m considering it a wadder for now. I think it needs a more substantial fabric than what I tried to use honestly. 😳

I hope to have my pieces traced off and cut out for Jalie 2908 by tonight, because I’d like to have them finished before we “leave” for vacation next week, since my only pair of nice jeans has finally started to come apart. 😥 It seems that on most things it takes longer to cut the pieces out than it does to sew them up, so I’m hoping that will be the case on these.

Yikes! It’s a wadder!

You might recall that I was working on McCall’s 4381 a while back that I had some issues with and was going to go back and fix it….well, somewhere in the black hole of my sewing room are the directions for that shirt. However, I didn’t even get to the point where I would need them…while I was trying to rip out the stitches so that I could do my repair, I snagged some fabric and made a big nasty pair of puckering snags–right in the front. 😦 So, yeah….I trashed it. Apparently, the sewing-gods didn’t want me to finish this project.

I’ve had to postpone Burda 124A again too….everyone I know is having a baby! Yikes! So I’m drafting the pattern up for gifts for them. I’ve got a good base pattern, and a good memory, so I don’t forsee any major issues with the semi-draft that I’m doing for them.