I’m Alive!!

The tale I have to tell you.

2017 has been horrible so far, but things are finally feeling a bit better. Back in December, I got sick. I had a cold over Christmas. I didn’t think anything of it, but then January and February I got worse and worse until I couldn’t walk in February and was having such a difficult time with breathing and I was coughing so much. I wrote about it a bit in my last post back in February. Turns out I had pneumonia, but getting to that point of diagnosis was ridiculous. I didn’t have a fever at all, but I generally have a lower body temperature than the norm. I found out my dad has that as well. In February, I saw my GP several times and saw my respiralogist. Neither of them thought I needed a chest xray because the cough has been present for 9 months and I didn’t have a fever. I told them I was sweating and having chills, but I was checking out okay at a temp of 37.5 degrees celcius, which is high for me. I’m usually around 36 and rarely up at 37.

Eventually, I got diagnosed after going to the ER because my coughing was causing pain in my abdomen, a mild hernia. I got a CT scan and a chest xray and both showed pneumonia in my left lung.

I missed a month of work in total… Not good.

I got back to work and then ended up in the ER again after 2 days back because I sneezed and pulled a muscle in my back/dislocated a rib. It was terrible. I also got costochondritis, inflammation in the rib cartilage from coughing so much, and I still have that and a sore lower back. When you have a chronic illness, getting sick is so much worse and takes so much longer to recover…

I’ve been back to work for two full weeks. I had a migraine this morning, though, but I still feel like things are getting better.

I have little to no desire to sew. It was all I thought of while I was confined to my bed, but now that I am better….meh to sewing apparently!

Here is a recap of what I have sewn this year, though, since I won’t be writing individual posts on things (sorry, I need the spoons):

A blue Cashmerette Upton dress made with the same polyester fabric I used for the Star Trek uniform I made in the fall. I had 12 yards of this fabric so you’re going to see it pop up other places. 😉 I just love this pattern. I have many more plans for it. This version uses the gored skirt. I left the zipper off, because the fabric has some mechanical stretch to it. I’m also still perfecting the length of those waist darts and the width of the neckline, but overall I am pleased with how it looks on me and how I feel in it.

I made two bullet journal pen holders. The black and white bunny one is for my friend, Selina, who loves bunnies. Her holder has velcro on the back. I didn’t have white velcro handy for mine though so it ties around the journal. I’m going to switch that out eventually since it does not sit flat. These holders are great scrapbusters and took me a half hour to make both of them.

I made several of these Burda sweatshirts, which were part of my #2017makenine. I left the zipper off, because it’s not necessary and I didn’t want to struggle with it and the knit fabric. It’s a nice boxy sweater and comfortable. I made a size 52 and graded to a 48 at the shoulders. My first version was pretty large in the shoulders.

But the versions after worked out well.

I didn’t take final pictures of two of these, but you can see the colour combos below. All are made either with sweatshirt, terry, fleece, or cotton lycra with ribbing in various colours. The blue sweatshirt material with black brush strokes is the same material as my Golden Rippy Omega Angel jacket. The material is from 1986! I’m bringing the 80s back. 😉

I designed a couple of future dream projects using my curvy sketchbook:

Spent the day home feeling terrible but had fun sketching this design. #sewing #sewcialists #curvysketchbook

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

Mostly, I’ve been making cards and enjoying that part of my creativity and the amazing team of people I am a part of with Stampin’ Up. Yep, I signed up as a demonstrator since I kept giving them my money. Hahah. It’s also been such a positive experience being part of a great team. It’s really helped getting cards from my team members while I was sick. ❤ It’s also a really great time to craft and be social.

I’ll be doing some small cardmaking classes in Toronto. I have one coming up on April 30th. If you live close by and just want a fun easy project to work on and want to be social, you are more than welcome. Feel free to contact me for more information.

I’m hoping my sewjo returns soon, but I’m glad that I’m feeling better every day. I do tend to sew more in the summer, because I want all the summer dresses.  I am still lacking in a lot of energy, but it’s getting better especially with the weather getting better and Spring in the city. I used some precious spoons this weekend to clean up my deck and prep for the flowers and herbs I will be putting back there. I’ve been enjoying my indoor plants and finding joy in the small things.

The happiest little corner ever. 😍😍😍 #plants #indoorplants

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I also really appreciate the notes I got and the well wishes. Friends sent me flowers, brought soup over, and I got a stuffed fox from one, too. It made being sick for that long easier knowing how much people cared. ❤ Thanks all for your emails, comments, and well-wishes.

 

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

16114041_10100597855406816_7023160288136389259_n

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?

A Bedding Set for Charlie

I didn’t sew all November and now I have a huge amount to sew for the holidays. Luckily all knits so they should go pretty fast. I can’t post about the projects until after Christmas, but I will be posting my Top 5 of 2016 again this year along with stats and such. Should be fun. I am also hoping for a sewcation for the holidays so I hope I will have a new project to share after. 🙂

This project was the last one I worked on.

Back in May, my friend, Nicole, posted on facebook that she was annoyed with the selection of baby bedding and how expensive it was. Nicole had recently announced that she was pregnant with her second child. I immediately commented that I could make her something. We worked out an arrangement where she paid for the fabric and I covered the labour as a present to her.

Plan was to make a quilt, a bed skirt, and bumper pads. We picked out the fabric from fabric.com in June and got it in July along with a few things locally and the quilt batting locally. I started the quilt in August with two decorative squares. One using applique:

Nicole sent me the design for the fox when she sent me a bunch of inspiration for the whole set.

Quilt for Baby Charlie

As a surprise, I embroidered the name on a quilt square with an arrow:

I haven’t done a lot of embroidery, but this makes me want to get into it more for adding fun details to clothes.

The rest of the squares and rectangles on the quilt were created without a plan. I cut the quilt back to size first and then arranged the pieces on top to get an idea of the layout.

I squared up the pieces and sewed.

And then sandwiched the layers together and used safety pins to make them lay right for quilting. I’ve never done a quilt of this size before and have literally only done one quilted wall hanging before so this was all a new experience for me.

For the quilting, I just followed the lines of the squares to make sure the feature was the gorgeous fabric and those two feature squares.

For the binding, I could not wrap my head around how to do it and just sort of winged it. I have since looked up more tutorials and am kicking myself for not getting it, but I didn’t want to rip it all back and really it looks just fine. The binding is a navy blue polkadot print. Difficult to tell in these pictures:

Baby quilt all done!!! 😍😍😍 #sewing #sewcialists #quilting

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

The skirt was pretty simple to make. I followed this tutorial, but didn’t make a box pleat and chose to use two different fabrics.

The bumpers were a bit more difficult. I didn’t get the length right the first time and I piped the tops of them with the same navy polkadot fabric. I had to rip it out and redo that and I messed up the position of the ties so that also needed to be fixed as well. After you add the batting, you then quilt lines through all layers at each tie except the end ones so the batting sits flat. My heart was a bit in my throat since I was sure I would mess that up, but it worked out great.

And then I tossed it in the mail. It didn’t make it to their place in time for Nicole’s mother to see it in person. That’s Canada Post for you! They guarantee 7 days and it gets there in 10… :/

Nicole took some pictures of the nursery with everything set up and I am in love with it. I sent her fabric samples once she chose the main fabrics and she picked paint colours and accessories based on the samples. The room looks like something off pinterest!

Quilt for Baby Charlie

Bedding Set for Baby Charlie

Bedding set for Baby Charlie

Bedding set for baby Charlie

Bedding Set for Baby Charlie

Charlie is a super lucky little girl to have such an awesome mom. ❤ ❤

 

C4 Winnipeg, Shatner, and Star Trek Costumes

This past weekend, my improv troupe, the Dandies, headed to C4: Central Canadian Comic Con in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to open for William Shatner with Star Trek improv. In true Andie fashion, I had to make some new Star Trek costumes for the event.

My inspiration for my costume was the dress uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

picard_yar_riker_dress_uniforms

I have been feeling a bit body conscious lately and felt that the shape of my current uniform and these would not make me feel quite comfortable. So I adapted the look into a fit and flare dress with a wrap front and the gold trim. I chose M6887 as my base pattern and planned out my costume with that in mind.

Plans with the #curvysketchbook #sewing #sewcialists #startrek #cosplay #costumeideas

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I made flat pattern alterations and just cut right into my fabric since I knew the pattern already fit me well. The first step was to raise the neckline. I did this using M6696 and used the collar piece from that pattern for the costume. After raising the neckline, I took the center front and back and slashed for a yoke piece. I used the sleeve piece from my test version of the Auberley dress pattern since I knew that is was close to fitting. I made a 2 inch large bicep adjustment and narrowed the sleeve toward the cuff so it wasn’t a bell sleeve. I may have narrowed a bit too much since I like rolling up my sleeves and am unable to for this dress. For the back shoulder piece, I traced and cut a triangle from the sleeve head that matched with the yoke, added a seam allowance, and then topstitched the pieces on before putting in the sleeves. They *almost* match up. One side is off on each, but that can be solved by trimming off a bit of excess seam allowance before sewing the detail on. The dress has a wrap front and sew-on snaps are put in along the princess seams. I will be replacing them, however, with velcro tape since the snaps don’t really provide a very clean look. Because of the curved princess seam, they do show off some bumps and pulls that I don’t love and are a direct result of the snaps not being quite in the right place/matching up correctly. Velcro will make that a bit cleaner and take out all the guesswork. I will replace the snaps with velcro now. However, it being last minute and needing to pack meant that I just wore it as is all weekend.

My dress is made with blue polyester fabric (I got a huge bolt of this so expect to see many more things made with it), black cotton rayon, and gold lame bias tape.

For my husband’s jacket, my inspiration was Kirk’s admiral uniform from a few different movies.

Kirk-Uniform-022614

I really wanted him to wear a jacket that was an homage to Kirk since we were meeting Shatner himself.

More plans. Not for me this time though. #sewing #sewcialists #startrek #cosplay #costume

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I didn’t make many changes from the inspiration for this except in very tiny details such as adding the black bias tape to trim the inside white panels or adding a thin gold strip on the sleeve above the cuff or on the cuff itself. It was a result of not enough time and realizing that it wasn’t really worth the trouble.

I used the same pattern as his Picard jacket, M7216, as the base for this costume. I lengthened the jacket by 7 inches and turned the fronts into a wrap style. I raised the neckline using the M6696 pattern, but for this one I finished the neckline with red bias tape using the twill from the body. Other than that, I only added a cuff, a white rectangle at the shoulder, a belt, and belt carrier at the back of the uniform. The white turtleneck underneath is a dickie using white rib material. I also made the belt buckle and cuff pips using polymer clay. The fronts are closed with snaps and the belt is closed with velcro.

This costume is made with red and white twill, black cotton rayon for bias tape and the belt, gold lame bias tape, and white ribbing.

In the pictures below, I made all the Star Trek uniforms that our troupe is wearing because I am freaking amazing.

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

 

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

We had a great time. Other than opening for Shatner, we got our first paid gig at a private birthday party and we had a show in a local board gaming cafe called After Dark. It was a great time for bonding with the troupe as well. Now for a world tour. Errr, after our monthly home show tonight. 😉

Other than that, C4 was a lot of fun. I got my picture taken with Mark Pellegrino who plays Lucifer on Supernatural.

And I got my picture taken with the first blade and an impala to round out my Supernatural love:

I got my picture taken next to the impala #supernatural #c4winnipeg #baby

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I saw some great cosplay.

Shatner is sad it’s over:

That being said, con exhaustion is a real thing. I didn’t get con flu, though, but I’m ready to sleep for the next week! Ha!

If you want to check out more from that weekend, check out the troupe facebook page here. Here is the wicked video of us singing Shatner on stage:

Laugh long and prosper!