Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Swimsuit Season

My oldest wanted a one piece swimsuit for her lifeguard certification class and around that time Shelley made one for her daughter.  It was a Jalie pattern that I had been eyeing and seeing it made up by someone I know was all the incentive I needed to purchase it. (I sewed this swimsuit 2 months ago but didn't have a chance to get photos until we were on vacation this past week.)
pattern:  Jalie 3134
size: O at top, Q at bottom, and U for length
fabric:  Peacock Blue Tricot Satin Matte Nylon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee (this color is no longer available)
I screwed up a little when tracing the pattern.  There was quite a bit going on around me at the time and I kept losing track of what size I tracing!  No fault of the pattern...next time I'm blending between sizes I'll wait until the little girls are in bed or at school;)
Per K's instructions, I kept the swimsuit all one color and didn't add any piping. 
 The back pattern pieces are where I messed up while blending sizes.  Luckily, despite my blending blunders, the swimsuit stays in place while swimming laps and practicing rescues!  K wore it for all 5 of her classes and reported that it was comfortable to wear.  While it won't get much wear this summer at the beach, it'll come in handy when she swims laps as part of her cross training during track season.
I also made myself a new swimsuit...well, bottoms at least...for our recent vacation in Florida.  I only have this one picture that K snapped before trying out our Go Pro camera underwater.  Sadly, I seem to have left the bottoms some where in the Florida Keys as I couldn't find them when we were back in Kissimmee and I had K all ready to take some pictures. 
size:  4, mid rise
fabric:  Black Tricot Satin Matte Nylon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee
mods:  I fully lined the bottoms and skipped the gusset.
*Full disclosure: I tested the pattern so I received a copy for free.
After numerous swims in the pool and several beach outings, I have found my new favorite swim bottoms!  The key difference from all my other (6!) bottoms are the bands at the waist and leg openings.  They hold the bottoms in place but don't dig in to my skin like elastic has a tendency to do. I promise that I will be sewing more for the summer and I'll make sure I get photos.;)  I basically lived in these while we were on vacation (until I lost them).  Bonus: the Barrie Briefs are a really quick sew since you don't have to fiddle with elastic. 
We had a wonderful time in Florida and got to spend a few days in the Florida Keys which was a new experience for everyone but my husband.  I even got to meet up with Alisa from Making More With Less who was in Orlando with her husband. This vacation was just the break the entire family needed after a very busy past 7 months. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures from our time in Florida...
Kissimmee, FL l resident gator in the lake behind the house we stayed at
sunset in Key West

Sunday, March 15, 2015

'True Friends' Hoodie

BK needed an active wear top for running and I had this really nice cut of merino wool/nylon/lycra knit that was begging to be used.  A quick look through the Ottobre Design magazines and we had the perfect pattern.  BK looked through my ribbing stash and picked an excellent contrast fabric.  I love this color combination!

pattern:  Ottobre Design 04/2014 #37 'True Friends' Hoodie
size:  140
fabric:  Watermelon Pink Merino/Nylon/Lycra knit from New Zealand Merino and Fabrics  ,swimsuit fabric for the hood and inner pocket bags, and cotton/lycra ribbing
modifications:  added some length to the body and sleeves, made thumbhole cuffs

Cold weather active wear tops have to have thumbholes (at least at our house)!  

BK picked a pretty aqua blue for the ribbing and I didn't have any jersey that was the same shade.  However, I had a rashguard that was too wide and short to fit anyone sitting in my swimsuit fabric bag.  It was a great match to the ribbing.  Bonus: the slick surface makes the hood slide on and off easily with minimum hair messing up.

I love everything about this top...the hood with ribbing on the edge, the welt pockets, the thumbhole cuffs, the wide ribbing waistband, the colors and most of all, BK wearing it!



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Free For All!

The sisters at Frances Suzanne are up to it again with a twist to their Flip this Pattern series.  February is a "Free for All" where everyone can be a competitor and can use any pattern as long as it's free.  Who doesn't love a free pattern?

From February 9 - 20 various bloggers will be sharing a free pattern of their choice and you guessed it, today is my day!

size:  5Y/6Y, version 2
*Ideally, you should use a cotton/lycra or ribbing for the waistband but we were snowed/iced in and I didn't have any in my fabric stash that matched.
mods:  made the waist band a little longer since BK wears a 10/12 in ready-to-wear (RTW)

I'm a fan of all things Kitschy Coo and this pattern does not disappoint!  It comes in 3 sizes:  18 month/2T, 3T/4T, and 5Y/6Y.  There are 2 versions to compliment the rounded bum/belly AND the straight up and down body.  (I've got one of each.) 

 A couple of weeks ago, my middle girl needed a black skirt to wear to school.  They needed to dress up for their field trip to the symphony.  I had a black corduroy one started but ran out of time to finish it.  No big deal, she could wear her younger sister's black skirt...except it was too big. 

The morning of the field trip I got up early, printed off the Tennis Skirt pattern pieces, dug out some black knit fabric, and half an hour later had a black skirt.  The Tennis Skirt pattern saved me!  That skirt has been worn multiple times since that day.  You can't beat a basic black skirt.

I also made the Peek-A-Boo pattern shop Janey Jump Around dress. My original plan was to make a long sleeve top from it to pair with BK's Tennis Skirt but I didn't have enough fabric that would coordinate with the skirt. I need to stock up on solid knit fabric.;)

size: 8
fabric:  knit print from Joann Fabrics, City Weekend Interlock, and stretch velour from Chez Ami Fabrics (none of these fabrics are available anymore)
mods:  continued the ribbing on the neckline all the way to the side seam, left off the buttons/loops, did double sleeves (lack of fabric again!), and added length to the sleeves

I had fun mixing and matching fabrics for this dress.  I'd love to do a version similar to this.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers as they share their free pattern creations:

 And don't forget to link up your Free for All creations right HERE.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ottobre Design Moto Jacket

When it comes to sewing, I'm pretty fearless.  I'll tackle any project even if I know think it's above and beyond my skills.  After all, if you break it down and take each individual step as it comes, it doesn't seem quite so complicated. 

So when my oldest daughter wanted a moto jacket, I threw caution to the wind and dove right in to my hardest sewing project yet!

pattern:  Ottobre Design Woman 02/2013 #11 'Biker Style' Linen Jacket
size:  34
fabric:  Black Pleather from Jo-Ann Fabrics and heavy black lining fabric (originally from my mother-in-law)

This was my first time sewing with pleather but it was very similar to sewing with laminate fabric.  I used a Teflon foot and a microtex sharp needle in my machine.  Just like with the raincoats I sewed, I used Clover Wonder Clips to hold the fabric together and for the front zipper.  Unfortunately, they didn't do me any good with the zippers on the sleeves.  I ended up using Wash A Way Wonder Tape to hold those in place.

There were several times during the construction of the jacket that I began to wonder what the heck I'd gotten myself into.  The sleeve gussets and zippers were not fun to construct.  I didn't really understand the directions at the start but went ahead and followed them. I limped my way through the first one and did an okay job of it. Midway through the second one, I googled "sleeve gusset tutorial" and came across this tutorial.  Even though the jacket in the tutorial has a seam down the front of the sleeve and the steps are in a different order than the Ottobre Design instructions, the pictures helped to clarify the process for me.  The second sleeve gusset and zipper went in much nicer!

The sleeves are set in which was a bit challenging.  There again, the first sleeve gave me fits but the second one went in smooth as silk.  Too bad I didn't have a practice sleeve to work the kinks out before sewing them to the jacket.;)  

It was when the jacket was almost completely done that I had my biggest issue....the hem band.  I followed the instructions  but the pleather kept stretching and getting wrinkled when I tried to sew the outer hem band to the jacket.  I had to rip out my stitching several times and the pleather in that section was starting to look rough.  Pins would have really come in handy here!  I ended up putting my walking foot on the sewing machine which helped some and topstitched the bottom edge of the hem band.  The topstitching really did the trick as it stabilized the band.  

So there you have it...my most challenging sewing project(yet)! 

Threading My Way

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Thumbhole Obsession

Ever since I put on my first long sleeve running top with thumbholes, I've been a bit obsessed.  It sure beats tugging down your sleeves to cover half your hand.  And I'm not the only one, it seems.  Thumbholes are popping up everywhere!

size:  10
mods:  added thumbhole cuffs

MG has taken over the other Bimaa top that I made (BK and collars or high necklines do. not. go together very well).  I knew the size 10 would not be slim fitting on MG but that was okay since this is a layering piece.  And I was too lazy to trace off the size 8.;)

I made new cuffs that were longer than the pattern, marked where the thumb openings needed to be, and sewed.  When I stitched the cuffs to the sleeves, I placed the thumbholes 1 1/2" forward of the sleeve seam.

Though it doesn't show up so well on the microfleece, I used a decorative stitch around the hood edge in thread that matches the cuffs and hem band.

Now MG is ready to go running with me on cold days...and we'll match!