Category Archives: Sewing

Three Ts


These are Ts for Grandmeow, aka Mom.

She doesn’t get out much, but still likes to be colorful and have her sparkles.  The industrial washing her clothes go through probably doesn’t help them last either.  So, it was a bit of a trifecta.  One of the Big Box stores had jeans on sale, and those colors coordinated perfectly with the t-shirt blanks I had picked up.

The hardest decision was picking embroidery designs that were light stitching, and lent themselves to further embellishment.

I admit to making a mistake on the bottom one.  The design was denser than I anticipated.  Once the stabilizer washed out, the whole thing wrinkled up.  Thankfully I was able to correct this by using some iron-on mesh backing.  Soft against the skin, and it should hold everything in place.  Hmm.  I guess there’s a reason why one is always told to do a test stitch-out.  I should remember that advice.

I believe all the designs are from Urban Threads. The finishing touch was adding rhinestuds.


Style Arc: Issy


With the warm weather we’ve been having, the wardrobe called out for another summer top.

Along came a sleeveless Issy.  Style Arc shows a line drawing of the top sleeveless on the pattern envelope, so why not give it a try?

This was the last of this fabric.  Given the single-layer layout for Issy, and the odd angles of the front, there was just enough. Whew!

It has been a while since I made this pattern, so  I had to get one of the sleeved versions out to remember how the front folds went.

Catching the folded cowl into the armhole seam required some concentration – best not done at the end of a long day at the office (or after a beer or two).  Once that was figured out, the rest was simple stitching on the serger.

Ta da!


1 + 1 + 1 = Jammies


It’s no secret that I make a lot of my personal clothing, and every once in a while, something for someone else.

BUT, it’s also true that I frequent the Big Box stores, where sometimes they have things that are too good to pass up.

Such was the case for the pieces at left.  The top, courtesy of that fine french boutique Targét.  The bottoms courtesy of the charming Costco.  Cotton knit and french terry.

What’s not to like, other than the fact that grey and blue grey, however nice, are a bit boring.  While I am old (ish) I’m not yet ready to fade into the background.

Zentangle to the rescue!

Dig out that box of fabric pens.  Open the tangle books and see what catches my eye…  The most difficult part was getting the freezer paper to stick to the back of the t-shirt.  It and I just do not get along, despite ironing it on both sides!  Stick, darn you!  Stick!

I suppose I could go back and look up the names of the tangles.  I think one of them is a modified “rain”.  The rest are, well, tangles!  Leave a comment if you can identify them.

Once the drawing was done, there was just a wee bit more – sparkles!  A girl’s gotta have her sparkles.  Not too many.  A Goldilocks amount, to make it just right.  Difficult to see, but there are navy rhinestuds affixed within the designs.

Sweet Dreams!

Style Arc: Autumn


I wanted to try out this pattern the instant Style Arc released it.  But the thought of paying shipping from Australia to the US for one pattern caused the financially responsible me to call a halt to such notions.

Patience paid off, as it was eventually available on Amazon US, and on sale.  <Insert pat on back>.

The fabric is a lovely cotton seersucker that was a gift from dear friend Earin.  I’ve quite a few things made from it.  Washes and wears well.

Typical of Style Arc, the instructions are minimal.  A couple of line drawings to show where the pleats are supposed to go and you’re on your own.

It’s a simple pattern, though not for the raw beginner.

Changes were to double up on the back  yoke, and relocate the pockets.  I love pockets, but these must have been designed with a Glamazon in mind, as they were a good 2 inches lower than my hands.  I have long arms too!

So, the pockets were raised.

I cut two of the yoke, knowing full well that would make hemming the edge of the armhole a bit complicated.  The yoke was sewn so that the seams were all inside, with an armhole seam allowance turned under on both the yoke and body pieces.

Umm, I’m not saying that very clearly, but there you go.

I put snips into the seam allowance to mark how the back pleat was to be sewn, but when it came time to actually line them up, they made no sense to me.  I winged it, making sure there was the same length of non-pleased fabric at each end.  That is one deep pleat, so I don’t think exactness is a concern.

It’s a cool and comfy pattern.  Not so loose that one feels enveloped in fabric, not so snug that you can’t have fries with lunch.

Hot Patterns: Riviera Cote d’Azur Tunic


Another Hot Patterns Cote D’Azur rendition, this time the tunic length.  The fabric is a nice soft rayon knit, which has been aging in stash for a while.  Some fabrics are like fine wine, they just need to age.  Others are more like armagnac – they need to age for ages.

The pattern is printed so the fuller bottom pieces attach midway to the top.  It took several tries, and looking (but not registering) at the drawings before I figured out that the way I had the traced pieces taped together was not how they were supposed to go.  I had the bottom back attached to the top front.  Sooo not going to work that way.

Once my taping faux pas was fixed (say that 3 times fast) everything went together nicely.

The top was sewn on the serger, and hemmed on the cover stitch.  Easy peasy.

Now, you see those sequins on the fabric.  They didn’t come off in the wash, which is what I expected.  However they did come off during ironing.  The iron had sparkles on it for ages!

Cutting Line Designs: Butterfly and Bees


At the end of every year, our sewing guild holds a holiday gala.  A traditional part of the gala is the fabric swap.  Fabric of a length suitable to become a garment or quilt is placed in a sealed bag.  Numbers are drawn, and guests have the option of choosing a new bag, or stealing from another member.

It’s a great way to re-home one’s wonder fabric (as in, I wonder why I bought this?) as well as acquire something completely different.

Many folks will go to great lengths (pun intended) to secure their treasures.  Who’s that hiding under the table?  What did you stuff in your backpack?

To insure our newly acquired treasures don’t languish, the April meeting is a “Wear What Ya Won” event.  Everyone who attends brings whatever it is they made from their prize.  Some folks become very creative!

This was my fabric prize (full disclosure – I was one of the few people to “steal” from someone else – I am ruthless when it comes to fabric).  It’s a slubbed boucle type of fabric, completely washable and very loosely woven.

While it is jacket-weight, it would have required more manipulation than I was willing to do for this material to become a structured garment.

Enter Butterfly & Bees from Louise Cutting.  It’s an older, out of print pattern, but worked perfectly.  There was a coordinating printed polyester in the stash.  I decided to Go For It!

The one pattern is cut twice.  Both jackets are assembled separately, except for the neckline.  Then the two pieces are joined at the neckline only.  This allows the interior fabric to hang freely and peek out all around the edges.  To give more weight to the side vents, I stitched antique glass buttons at the top.

The jacket is perfect for summer evenings here.  Once the sun goes down, there can be a definite chill in the air.

Style Arc: La La Laura


The last of the pin-up fabric has finally found it’s pattern match!  Whew!

Not so much “Whew!” in construction, but more in terms of auditioning various patterns.  Trying to figure out which one would make the best use of the remaining fabric proved to be more work than I expected.

It didn’t help that I only had one full pin-up panel left!  Did I mention she was only printed down the center of the fabric?  Who wants to wear someone’s legs, with no head or torso?  Not I!

Digging through the accent knits – you know, those bits and pieces you keep because there’s no telling when they may come in handy.  Solids.  Polka dots.  Stripes.  Small prints.  Anyway, hiding down at the bottom of the bin was a black & white dot, which works perfectly.

Like the Kim Swing Top in this fabric, I added more sparkles to the girl, then some to the accent fabric.  While adding rhinestones not difficult, it was tiresome, as my able pawed assistants decided jumping to and from the table was the order of the day.

Scattered rhinestones everywhere!