Posts Tagged ‘Sewing’

Darn commercial patterns and their ridiculous amounts of ease!!! If I wanted to wear a sack all I’d need is a rectangle of fabric and straight side seams. There is nothing less fun than spending the time to fit a pattern with tissue and then sewing the real thing and learning that despite your best efforts it still is huge (and apparently you need to work on your tissue fitting skills). I decided to go ahead and do as the internet says and go down a size, which worked, almost magically.

McCall's M5972

I have been trying to make a muslin of the bodice from this pattern, so I could pair it with a feminine circle skirt. I got it, and a number of others, during a $1 pattern sale at JoAnn’s. I have been on a fifties dresses kick lately and would probably give up a quarter of my soul for a closet full of full-skirted, high-waisted, brightly colored dresses.


Well, by going down a size I was able to get the boobs to finally fit, the armscythe seems fine though I wouldn’t mind a little more room, but the front neckline still wants to gape. If I push it flat  it looks great and the shoulders look fitted, but once I start moving it pouches out again. I will have to do some more research. I really want to take a class on fitting patterns/tailoring and get some hands on help with what the heck I’m doing wrong. Right now I feel like I should just stick with sewing skirts and miscellaneous home decor and quilting projects.

Ho hum.


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I’ve actually had this one done for a while, but have been so swamped with work I haven’t had time to post it.  I am a flower-holic. Even now I am plotting how to add flower embellishments to a t-shirt I got at the thrift store to re-fashion.


Here’s the cute felt poppy I made using this tutorial from The Wishing Elephant. They are super easy to put together and look really cute on a headband. I just used a length of grosgrain ribbon I had around and a little piece of 1/4″ elastic at the bottom to make it a stretchy band. I’ll definitely be wearing this as the season changes into Fall and Halloween approaches.

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Mad props to my bestie June for taking some pics of the backgammon board.

Her favorite color is orange so I wanted to make sure to incorporate a lot of orange-y tones.

This time I made a little pouch to carry the game pieces. It matches the fabric I used on the outside of the board and closes with velcro. To carry, just roll it up in the middle of the mat!  I also invested in a bag of wooden circle cut-outs to use as pieces! All I had to do was paint them with an acrylic paint and then use a couple coats of gloss.

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The hubs and I have been on a backgammon kick recently. We’ve been able to play on the xbox 360 when we’re at home, but we really wanted a travel set to take out to the brewery or the park. Rather than shell out $20-30 bucks for one of those silly briefcases, we decided to make our own! Mine being the cute, quilted, girly one and his the butch canvas one.

All set up and ready to play.

Doesn’t it make you think of summer time and watermelon? Two of my favorite things!

Most of the work was cutting out the little triangles or “pips”. On the up-side I’m getting a lot better with my rotary cutter! Yay for practice and fun creations! Anyways, back to the construction notes. The pips were attached with double sided interfacing–the kind you use for applique work. Then I got to do some fun wavy quilting and attach the binding. The ribbons are sewn under the binding and worked great for ties.

All rolled up.

I can’t get enough of cute packaging!

The next time I make one of these I’m going to try and figure out how to attach a pocket for the pieces and dice to go. As it is I’ll have to carry them in a separate bag. I think what I’ll do is sew a basic pouch and make the open end have a flap with a velcro closure. Then, after all the quilting is done and I’m ready to start the binding, I can sew it along one of the short sides and fold the binding over it for extra stability. I’ll have to sew it on the edge opposite the ribbon closures, but then it will be able to roll up neatly inside! (too excited…need fabric and rotary cutter…stat)

Now for my husband’s take on the classic game:


He cut and sewed it all by himself. I’m so proud! He has learned the frustrations (and possibly the fun) of the rotary cutter, the iron, the ruler, and the sewing machine. We’ll see what sewing adventures the future holds for him.

On a final note, I would love to make these and sell them on etsy, but I’d have to get a lot faster. It took me a whole day to make just one, probably because I was being too precise with the measuring and the cutting. But I would rather measure three times and cut once than measure once and cry the rest of the day.

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I finished this project last week but didn’t get around to posting it. Oops. I bought this dress for $7 dollars at the goodwill, and figured that since it was SUPER huge I would have some fun altering it. I’m definitely a sucker for Seersucker. I actually tried it on at Target last year but couldn’t bring myself to buy–my super thrifty muscles always get a good workout at Target.



I didn’t want to do a lot of cutting on this project, so rather than completely unstitch and redo the bodice I did some gathering at the top of the cups.  First I pulled up the dress so the cups actually were at my breasts ( not under my ribs). Then I made little mini pleats, folded the straps over on them, and sewed up the sides. Voila! A bodice with lovely gathering that actually makes it look like I have a nice set of boobs.

Close Up.

Now for the back shot.



Hooray for shirring! The powers of this little technique never fail to surprise me. This was originally just a saggy flat waistband, but with a little elastic thread, a few rows of stitching, and a little steam pressing I got a fully gathered back skirt that fits at my waist instead of dropping down to my butt.

I love the way this dress came out, and am just waiting for the weather to become warm so I can enjoy it! (Raining and cold at the end of May? Seriously?)

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Piecings and Plans

I’m afraid I may be addicted. I pieced together my first quilt square!

Using the rotary cutter and mat was super fun! And a lot harder than it looks on the internet, though I hear there is a learning curve. I’ve got all my fingers in tact still, which is a plus.

The piecing was really easy to put together and sew, and probably the most rewarding part. I pinned the top, interfacing, and solid backing together and prepared myself for what I thought was going to be the hardest task–quilting the ripples. I ended up not doing circles like in my template since it turns out I don’t have the right machine foot for it, but I made partial circles with my walking foot and it gave the look I wanted.


I was completely surprised that the hardest part of this project was attaching the binding. Sewing it to the front wasn’t too difficult, though I had a heck of a time closing the gap where the two  ends came together. I made double fold binding, which was a lot thicker than I wanted and made it hard to finish the mitered corners. Next time I’m making something small I’ll have to remember to use single binding.

Back with Binding

Then I flipped over the binding and hand stitched it to the back. Thanks to the thick binding the coaster is a little bumpy and uneven on the back, but now I know how to fix that.

Teal Koi

And ta-da! A finished coaster complete with Koi fish embroidery! Now to make a complete set for Etsy!

For next time:

1. Measure, measure, measure, and then cut.

2. Cut the backing about a 1/4″ longer on all sides. After quilting my backing ended up being a little smaller than the top which made applying the binding more of a chore. The binding ended up uneven because it had to pull over farther than it was prepared to in order to cover the raw edges.

3. Measure the corners with a ruler (not my eyeball) when attaching the binding to the front. There is a really good looking tutorial at The Sometimes Crafter that I want to try next time.

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This is one dapper fox! He went from idea to reality in less than a day. I think next time his belly will be on the edge and overlap to the other side.

See how it’s a little plain on this side?  His bandanna helps though.  : )  For a test subject he came out pretty well.

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