Yes, Another Hat!

Yes, another hat. I’m really focusing on busting those scraps!

Recently, Blank Slate Patterns put out a testing call for their new slouchy beanie pattern and I snatched that opportunity. The pattern ranges from infant to adult sizes. It’s a reversible beanie. You can use one colour or try cutting two different colours for a neat look like I did for one of my beanies.

Not much to say except that the project is fast and a great stashbuster. I will be making a few more and sending them off to my friends for their new babies.

Slouchy Beanie

Slouchy Beanie

My first version is using leftover scraps from my Wonder Woman top from a few years ago. It’s a cotton rayon jersey with a nice drape and perfect for the beanie.

Slouchy Beanie

Slouchy Beanie

My second version is made with two different cotton lycras. One is a feather print leftover from a concord tank dress made in the summer and the other is a pink scrap acquired recently from a friend purging some of her stash. The cotton lycra doesn’t have a good drape like the cotton rayon jersey, but it still works.

Slouchy Beanie

Both hats are made using the tester pattern. Overall, they worked really well.

 

Pussyhat Project

The pussyhat project is all about marching for women’s rights in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out in time to send hats to Washington D.C. for the march, but I am showing support online. The march is tomorrow January 21st and also takes place in other locations as well as a virtual march online, which fosters inclusiveness for disabled people wanting to show support. I won’t be able to attend the march, but I am showing my support through a virtual march and with social media. If you are a feminist, grab a piece of pink fleece and make a hat and join the march either online or in person.

This project takes so little time to sew up and really has a cute end product. I grabbed some pink coral fleece from the Dollar Store and got started just last night. I cut out and made the hat in about a half hour on my serger. If you are using your sewing machine, it probably wouldn’t take very long either. This is also a great scrapbusting project. The coral I used for the hat is material I bought for a fleece sweater that I will share with you another day.

Pussyhat Project

I added a band along the bottom of the hat rather than hem the bottom. I hate hemming and will avoid it with bands forever! hahah. I also think it looks better this way. 😉 The band is 5 inches wide and folded and as long as the width of the bottom piece on the fold minus the seam allowances of a half inch (inch total), because it is on the fold. I also reduced the length of the hat because the band would make it really long and less fitted on my head. I took off 2.5 inches from the bottom.

I used a pink coral fleece from the dollar store for the entire hat instead of using a contrast fleece for the inner ears as the pattern tells you.

The pattern I used was the free Halloween hat at Fleece Fun using the cat ears and adult/teen pattern in size medium. You better believe I will be making this again for all my friends babies using the viking horns or the dinosaur spikes or inventing my own (bunny ears anyone?!).

Pussyhat Project

Pussyhat Project

Pussyhat Project

Pussyhat Project

There are lots of other FREE patterns you could use for this project:

Pussy Hat pattern for fleece pdf

15 minute Fleece Cat Hat

Kitty Hat Tutorial

(Thanks to CSC facebook group for posting a bunch of links for this)

If you are a knitter, check out ravelry for a pattern or there are more patterns on the Pussy Hat Project website for knitting, crocheting or sewing.

Pussyhat Project

Here’s my TL:DR rating, but like… it’s a hat… how complicated is it? So 5 stars obvs.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Free Halloween Hat from Fleece Fun
  • Pros: Comes in every size from baby to adult with tons of options.
  • Cons: It’s a hat pattern….what cons can there be?
  • Make again?: D’oy 😉
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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Stashbusting and #2017makenine

One of my 2017 goals from my top 5 post has to do with stashbusting. In the stashbusting group, we were all asked to submit our totals at the end of January since the goal is to be 10% down as a group. Last week, I measured all the fabric in my stash and cataloged it using google sheets so that I would be able to access it anywhere. I made categories for fabrics: cotton prints, satins, crepes, suiting, etc. Then I held my breath and did a sum of it all.

Stashbusting!

Three shelves, two drawers, and a bit of flannel on the left there equals 233 yards of fabric. I have 138 different pieces of fabric. That doesn’t include my trim, like pieces of stretch lace or elastics. I didn’t see the point in including that since they are attached to fabric and don’t stand alone.

Plans are to reduce my overall stash to 150 yards and, if I buy fabric, to only buy for specific projects or to use up an equal amount that is brought in. For knit projects, I almost always use up what I buy immediately and as a result there are very few knits in my stash. I will likely continue to buy those more than other fabrics, but I do want to use some of my deep stash: fabrics that have been around for a while like brocades and satins and rayon fabric that I love, but have been reluctant to sew.

Some people in the group posted smaller amounts than me, but lots more people posted with 5 times or even 10 times my amount. It blows my mind to have that much space for fabric! Makes me think of Carolyn’s drool worthy stash….

I sadly don’t have that much room. I am able to house fabric in my cabinet, but outside of that… I slowly push my husband out of the bedroom so… I would like to avoid that since I love him very much. ❤

This month’s theme in the group is sewing organization. My stash is pretty organized and neat, especially after taking everything out and measuring it and then  putting it back neatly. I also have a nicely organized UFO area with everything in two wicker baskets and all of my supplies, trims, and tools are organized as well. The big mess is my scraps. I have two large overflowing plastic tubs and two large plastic bags of scrap fabric on the floor of our closet. *hangs head in shame*

Now that I have measured the stash, my next goal is to go through the scrap fabric. Whatever I can’t use will be put into bags so I can take them to H&M. Did you know that they take fabric scraps? I am excited to have a more sustainable hobby by packing up my scraps rather than throwing them in the landfill. I assume there are still amounts that end up in the landfill, but I would much rather a portion of my scraps goes towards recycled material than 0%.

The plan is to cut up some of the cotton scraps into quilt squares for a quick scrap quilt. It will probably just amount to a small quilt and I will back it with a fleece blanket from the dollar store or thrift store. Some things may become baby hats or little bags that I might post on etsy. I also have a huge bra project that will need some non-precious fabric for testing so I can use my scraps for that.

Another part of my stashbusting goals this year is to use up patterns that I have owned for a while. I have a lot of Burda patterns downloaded from the website that I want to use this year. I’ve made some Burda in the past and really liked them. KS_Sews is also doing a Burda challenge and has for the past couple years. I am joining that with a commitment of at least 6 patterns.

Here is my #2017makenine Except for the middle column, these are @burda_style patterns. I made a goal to make more Burda patterns since I love the designs and think the block fits me pretty well. Plan is to make at least these 6 this year starting with the grey sweatshirt using some cat print terry I have. In the middle column, I want to make a maxi length @cashmerette #appletondress with some lovely tropical fabric I recently acquired in a swap. I love #M7537 from the @mccallpatterncompany early spring release. I can see it becoming a quick favourite. Finally, I have a bunch of flannel in my stash that is due to become pjs using the free pattern from @5outof4patterns If I bust that stash, I clear out an entire shelf of my stash! And I get many cozy pjs to wear about the house in various lengths for the year. Last year I didn't get any of my list done. This year feels pretty reasonable and should be doable. 😁 #sewing #sewcialists

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Last year, I didn’t accomplish a single item on my #2016makenine post. This year, I have a mix of easy projects and more complicated projects. My #2017makenine is mostly filled with the six Burda patterns I want to make this year. Starting with the first row and going across:

  1. Prairie Style Dress from Burda. I’ve been drooling over patterns like this for a while and really love the details in it. I am not a huge fan of the ruffles, though, and may leave them off. I actually love ruffles on a bodice, but they seem a bit excessive in this dress since there are so many lovely design details.
  2. I want to make the Cashmerette Appleton dress using up some lovely tropical print material I got in a local sewcialist swap. Ever since seeing Gillian’s lovely dress, this has been in my head and I’ve wanted a tropical maxi version of my own.
  3. Cowl Neck Top from Burda. I will need to buy fabric for this one.
  4. Keyhole dress from Burda. While this one is similar to #1 with those front pleats, it is different enough to have me wanting to make it.
  5. M7537. I don’t have this pattern yet so it would sadly add to my stash. I really love view C with the different prints and colours. I love the sleeves in view B as well.
  6. Raglan sweater with zip. I have some fleece and some cat print terry in my stash that I will use, but I might need to buy some more rib knit. I will leave the zipper off of the top, though. I’m not one for unnecessary zippers.
  7. Belted Kimono from Burda. This will require fabric, but I hear there are some nice bamboo terry fabrics at Fabricland. I’ll try to coordinate with a sale to make the journey to get to one.
  8. I have 22.5 yards of flannel in my stash that are begging to become pj pants using the 5 out of 4 free pj pattern that I made a bunch of for family/friends this Christmas.
  9. Boho maxi dress from Burda. I have a gorgeous crepe print for this pattern. I will have to wear a little slip under it since it is a bit see-through. Now I just need a lovely beach to walk along…

Considering how many projects I tackle in a year, I know nine won’t even really cover my plans, but I haven’t enjoyed planning my sewing for a while and prefer to live wild and free. I have a massive bra project I will be starting soon and a blazer I want to make and a bunch of party dresses I put in my top 5 goals. I also am full of plans to make bow tops and cute pinafore dresses to go with them. Not to mention the basics I need throughout the year, like leggings and underwear and little shorts for the summer to wear with skirts and dresses. I’d like to anticipate those and not scramble to sew them when I am desperate for them. Right now I need a couple more pairs of leggings to get me through the winter, but then around March I’d like to buy some fabric to get me ready for spring and summer.

I’m excited to show you some different projects this year. I really want to challenge myself to create an even better and more accessible wardrobe.

Cashmerette Turner Dress for the Holidays

The Turner dress was the last garment I made in 2016 and the first refashion I did in 2017! Haha. I’ll get to why I refashioned it later in the post. All of the pictures in this post are mirror selfies fyi, because it’s cold outside and I am in hibernation mode so the fact that I am taking pictures at all is a huge thing. I never promised professional photography here people!

I tested the Turner dress in March before leaving for my honeymoon in April. I brought the tester version with me a wore it a bunch while in Holland and around Scandinavia. I don’t even have a picture of me in the dress there except covered by a coat, because I was too worried about accidentally posting it on instagram before the release.

Cashmerette Turner Dress

Cashmerette Turner Dress

Ignore the wool socks with flipflops. These pictures were taken in March last year and it was cold! The fabric I used for my tester version was a navy ponte with enough stretch for the pattern. I picked it up at the thrift store. I love finding good scores there.

I made size 22 E/F graded to a 24 at the waist. My friend’s version is the same size.

The pattern goes together really quickly. There’s clear elastic at the waist to stabilize it. Debbie of Stitches and Seams, however, didn’t use elastic at all and has a stable seam. I think with the right fabric you could definitely follow her method. I’m allergic to the clear elastic so I just used regular latex free elastic. Likely this ponte fabric as well as the ponte fabric I made my friend’s dress out of are totally fine without elastic.

Turner Dress

Both of these are lined bodices. I added pockets to my friend’s dress, because pockets are amazing.

The week before Christmas, I went to Fabricland at Honest Ed’s. It was having a closing sale so I picked up this pretty rayon poly knit:

I figured it was perfect for a Christmas dress that would look good beyond Christmas.

Sadly, there are no more Fabriclands within a good distance from me. The most accessible one for me, I believe, would be at Dupont and Dufferin, but that is an hour from my place by transit. I am still really close to Toronto’s Fashion District, but it is often difficult to find sales or even printed knit fabric that isn’t completely polyester. Hopefully a Fabricland will appear again in a more accessible location sometime soon.

It wasn’t until Christmas day that I was certain that I would be making this dress. I was sick most of the holidays and it’s irritated my breathing issues and made them worse again. So it wasn’t until around 1pm on Christmas Day that I decided to start making it when we were leaving for dinner at my husband’s sister’s house at 3pm. I got it done at 2pm! Before your jaw drops off, I already had it cut out. 😉 I also did a modified neckline and used the scoopneck from my concord t shirt pattern and the band. I also cut out a 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the waist since my size had changed slightly since the last time I made it.

Turner Dress

It worked out really well and we were out the door in time. But as the night went on, the dress stretched and stretched….. and the knit fabric had zero recovery… so it looked a bit like an off the shoulder dress after a while… I wore it one more time to work and then tossed it in a corner to be fixed.

Turner Dress with sad fabric recovery fail

Inspired by Gillian’s recent series Lazy tip for fixing knits, I had to make it work! The best way to fix it in my mind was to do two things: stabilize the shoulders with some elastic (probably should have done that in the first place! HAHA) and replace the neckband with a cowl to cover up an modesty issues that may arise with the recovery issue. I didn’t take off the neckband when I put the cowl on because I was worried about it stretching out further, but I did serge it off.

Turner dress with cowl neckline

Turner Dress

Turner Dress

I definitely like the refashion and might actually do this again for another Turner dress with a slightly different shape for the cowl. I love cowl necklines so I call this a win.

The cowl is also long enough that I can hide in it. I think this will be useful for the winter hibernation.

Turner Dress Cowl Peekaboo

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Turner Dress
  • Pros: Super fast pattern. Great shape and style. Really good for large busts with the cup sizes.
  • Cons: The pattern itself doesn’t come with pockets, but it’s easy enough to add. Like most Cashmerette patterns, the neckline and shoulder are wide, but that is an easy fix.
  • Make again?: Definitely. It’s a great dress and a great base for some fun pattern hacks. 🙂
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars

Handmade Christmas 2016

I got back to sewing in December and made a bunch of presents for people for Christmas. I did manage to make one thing for myself before the year ended, but I will post about that another day.

My mom got a dark purple bamboo knit Cashmerette Concord T:

Concord T shirt for my mom

I made her one for her birthday last year and she really liked it.

I made a bunch of pj pants and shorts using the free pj pants pattern from 5 out of 4 patterns.

5 out of 4 PJ Pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

5 out of 4 PJ pants

The top two were made for two of my friends that I work with. The bottom two are for my stepkids. The pants all have pockets in them and every time I pointed that out the recipient was pretty excited about it!

I have plans to use up all the flannel I’ve been hoarding for myself for this and try out the pattern. If I used up my flannel, I’d clear off a shelf and get the surplus into my cabinet. Most of the surplus is fleece leftover from the next project so if I make some fleece tops then that is cleared, too! Plans to get my stash down by 10% are underway.

The next project was all self-drafted. And by drafted, I don’t mean to claim any professional skills, but that I eyeballed most things and made guesses and luckily it all worked out!

First up, I made three mermaid tail blankets!

Mermaid Tail Blanket

They are super cute. Two are adult size for my niece and sister and the one is a bit shorter for my youngest niece.

I made shark tail blankets for my nephew and brother in law:

Shark Tail Blanket

These are probably my favourite out of the lot. Those teeth make me giggle!

Finally, I made a Cashmerette Turner dress for my friend and couldn’t resist trying it on:

Turner Dress

It’s made with some lovely medium-weight knit that a friend gifted me. The colour and print looks great on my friend. It’s all coffee colours and was originally going to be a Gilmore Girls related gift with a Luke’s Diner brooch made by me, but I never got around to it. So she has to wait for that part of the gift. She sent me a pic of her wearing it for her birthday and Christmas Day and I was over the moon with happiness. She looked amazing.

That’s it for what I made for Christmas presents this year. My husband missed out on the handmade gifts this year sadly, but I tried to remind him that he got two wicked Star Trek uniforms earlier this year!

Did you make any handmade gifts this year?

Top 5 Goals

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Top 5 Goals for the New Year

1. Accessible Sewing

This goal covers quite a bit actually. I spoke a bit about accessible sewing earlier in the fall, but I didn’t go into much detail about what that specifically meant for me. There are a few issues with mobility for me. A big one is my shoulders. My left shoulder dislocates and my right shoulder is beginning to have instability. I also find buttons a bit more difficult these days since my fingers are having a tough time with fine work. I can still do a lot, but I think snaps or other things would be a good addition to my wardrobe for the just in case future. Unless it is stretchy, I have trouble pulling things over my head and I can’t do a centre back zipper with my shoulder issues. I need to figure out a way to step out of a dress with a side zipper. That likely means snaps at the shoulders and no sleeves. Sleeves in wovens are also difficult for me to get out of so I need more room there. I think sleeves will also be reserved for wrap dresses or shirt dresses that I can open completely in the front and not pull over my head. My bras need to switch to front closure. As for pants, I can’t seem to take too tight jeans, which is why my floral Misty jeans never worked out for me. My knee doesn’t like the compression or the restricted movement. I think trying out looser pants or going with leggings is best. I’d love to make palazzo pants or culottes. I actually have a UFO of Winslow culottes that I need to finish. I have a few other patterns for loose pants, too. I also think they would be good for when I get a knee brace sometime in the new year since I could wear the brace under the pants. With leggings, it would be a little difficult, but I think I can wear it over the leggings. I’ll talk more about this in the new year as I approach each challenge. Some will be easier than others for sure, but with each win I will feel like a Wonder Woman.

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2. Burda Patterns

I have tons of these and am challenging myself to sew at least 6 new patterns. That is one every other month. I want to break the stigma attached to Burda patterns and show how they work for someone of my size. I have really liked the few I have used already. I’m excited to start this adventure.

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3. Blazers

I really want to make blazers (I have so many patterns!) and keep putting it off. 2017 is the year of the blazer for me!

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4. Party dresses

Recently, I’ve been feeling like my wardrobe needs some more party dresses. Not that I have a lot of places to wear snazzy dresses, but I sure do love them! I have a LBD already cut out and ready to make. I also have a few other in my head as plans with some lush fabric that I’ve been hoarding like crazy.

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5. Stashbusting & Getting Rid of UFOs

Speaking of hoarding fabrics, I have a large stash that recently grew far too large from a bunz trade and another friend dropping some lovely fabrics off at my place (although one of those got used for a Christmas present!). I’d like to focus on getting my stash down to a manageable size. I’ve been getting rid of the clutter in my house and making sure that what I have is usable or that it doesn’t contribute to poor health with dust accumulation. Unfortunately, most of my books are leaving the house because of dust. The ones I keep will be my favourites. A smaller amount should be easier to clean. I’d like to document more of my stashbusting. I took part in the sewalong this year, but didn’t do a lot of documenting on my blog. I’ll be keeping track each month of what I buy and what I sew from my stash. I’m not going to be super strict about it, but I really would like to reduce the fabric clutter. I will be also do monthly theme sewing when I can.

I’ve also had a lot of UFOs this year or projects that I cut out but didn’t complete. This is not my usual habit! I need to get more of those out of the way and reduce the clutter in my sewing space.

For whatever you celebrate, I hope you are warm and cozy or cool and out of the sun for the southern hemisphere people and surrounded by people you love.

Top 5 Hits

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Top 5 Hits

1. Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat

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This is possibly my favourite garment that I’ve made. I love wearing it. Sure, there are some mistakes and it is not perfect, but I love it and have worn it so much this year. I have plans to make another one of these coats eventually. I’d like to make the Tosti coat first, though, in this stiff buffalo plaid flannel that I’ve been hoarding.

2. Cashmerette Upton Maxi dress

Upton maxi dress

I wore this a bunch in the summer and really really love it. I’ll definitely be making more in the new year for summer especially with similar fabric.

3. Moxie Patterns Verity Dress

Verity Dress by Moxie Patterns

From the fabric to the pattern, from head to toe, this dress is a winner! I love wearing it and get lots of compliments whenever I do.

4. Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Insurrection Captain's dress uniform

Star Trek Costumes

Well, technically these are three items, I’m grouping them together. I’m really proud of how they turned out, especially for my husband. He looks spiffy and I am proud to clothe him in Federation garb!

5. Baby Bedding

Bedding set for baby Charlie

Probably the biggest project I have ever made for another person and tackling three different things that I’ve never made before. I’m so pleased with how they turned out and really happy for my friend with her new little girl.

Honestly, narrowing down this list to 5 was tough! I really loved a lot of what I made this year.