SMH It’s been a while…

Luckily, I was not absent from blogging due to illness, but due to summer being busy and fun so far!

My main source of enjoyment has been my garden.

Flamingos and pinwheels. #gardening #urbangardening #smallspacegardening #containergardening

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Our front step is looking pretty snazzy! #plants #smallspacegardening #urbangarden

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And my plants

A beautiful day for plants inside and out. #plants #cactus #smallspacegardening #containergardening #houseplants

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I haven’t taken a recent picture of my garden. The tomato plants have grown to be 3 feet tall! The cucumber, red peppers, and beans are coming along too. Sadly, the amount of rain drowned my herb seedlings and made my lettuce turn from good to bad in a day. Oh well, lessons learned. I will buy some mature herb plants soon and just keep them inside, I think.

My jade plant sadly got a mold disease and looks really bad. I used a spray solution on it and all the diseased leaves are falling off. I hope I saved it in time. I have one little cactus that is looking poorly, but stabilized over the past month. If anyone has a clue what is wrong with it, please let me know. I know it isn’t bugs or too much water…

Why yes…I do anthropomorphize my plants. #plants #cactus #indoorplants

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The big news is that I met Kat!

She came all the way from New Zealand and we met up and did some fabric shopping.

She brought me some tasty chocolate and lush merino from New Zealand. We also bought matching pink monkey jersey!

It was so good meeting her. We even discussed a Monthly Stitch meetup in Japan for 2018. I’d love to do that!

In the sewing world, I made three more Pavlova skirts. Cake Patterns is no longer, but this skirt pattern is a staple for me.

All three skirts are done! Feels good to be able to count my UFOs on one hand now! #killingit #sewing #sewcialists

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Unfortunately, I need to alter the black skirt since I mis-measured and need about another inch and a half. Luckily the skirt has pleats and a long waistband to let out.

The skirts have pleats in the front and in the back. They are meant to copy this Butterick skirt pattern by Gertie. In my version the pleats are a bit different and a bit more flattering on me. I seriously love the black and white skirt and wear it a ton in spite of it being made in a mid-weight suiting material. The blue one is pretty short and works great for a variety of casual cosplay, including Wonder Woman.

I made a new born outfit for a friend’s baby boy.

And the finished outfit. Yeay! #sewing #sewcialists #babyclothes

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The E is totally covering up a serged hole. 😦

I have two dress cut out and ready to make for two different friends.

I have to get on those and send them off.

I managed to get a wicked good haul at the thrift store and add 30 yards to my stash…

I’m not doing great on stashbusting….

I still have UFOs and am slowly getting through them.

These Misty Jeans require topstitching.

This Harrison shirt still needs button bands and a collar:

I still need to redo this dress.

I think I will take the waistband off and add darts to the skirt. At first, I was just going to do fisheye darts, but now I want to do it properly.

My swimsuit is half done. The bottoms are all done. They look messy when laid flat, but are fine on me. I have to make the bra top soon.

This is an in progress picture of them:

Done now, but I didn’t take another picture after this.

I cut out and made a Concord T shirt yesterday.

Well that was quick! #concordtshirt #sewing #sewcialists

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I also have an Appleton maxi almost done. Here is a sneak preview.

Oh yes. Yes. Yes. I do love this. Yes!!! #appletondress #sewing #sewcialists

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I also cut out a Webster dress and two pairs of shorts in linen rayon fabric

The Appleton dress will be posted soon. I just have to put on sleeve bands and hem the dress and take pictures. It’s going to be gorgeous. I am trying to meet the dresses deadlineΒ on Friday (@ 8pm in Toronto!) for the Monthly Stitch’s indie pattern month. It’s also part of the maxi dress sew along. πŸ™‚

Are you taking part in either of Indie Pattern Month or the Maxi dress sewalong? πŸ™‚

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Simplicity 1812 top and Cake Pavlova Skirt

I’ve been sick for a few days now with some sort of cold flu apocalypse plague-like thing. I woke up this morning and got dressed and put make up on and went into work. Then my boss told me to go home, because I was too sick.

I headed home and got tons more kleenex and some throat tea (basically fennel and other stuff) and honey. But I decided not to waste the make up and outfit and take as many pictures as I could before I was a feverish sweaty mess. Gosh, I’m classy.

I’ve made the Cake Pavolva skirt before. I’m not sure why, but I still haven’t mastered making this skirt out of the package. I always have alterations. This time my back pieces are smaller than my front pieces and it makes for a much better fit for me. I have finally made these alterations to my pattern pieces so maybe I can make this without any issues next time!

I love the pockets on this skirt. I used the pavlova pocket piece, but opted not to make the little pleats on it or put the band at the top of the pocket. I put an embroidery stitch from my machine across the top in a light blue colour. I love the look. In terms of the placement of the pockets. I chose to angle them slightly and I think they look pretty good.

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As for the top, the pattern is Simplicity 1812. It includes several skirt patterns, as well. I’ve made the skirt before and really loved it. Sadly, it was made when I was a beginner and didn’t really hold up all these years. Shame, though, because it was pink polkadots!

I made this top twice. Cut it out, put it together, and then tried it on and well… It did not fit. The main issue was the top cutout. I have really narrow shoulders and a hollow chest and it’s tough to fit. I took the entire top apart. I just cut off the seam allowances, because there was enough extra ease to account for it. It was so much easier than ripping out serger stitches. There are still issues with the top, but it works a lot better than it did before (you can see the issues still remain in the picture below if my shoulders aren’t back and I don’t have perfect posture). I doubt I will make another one of these tops. It’s a neat style, but I don’t think I will ever get a great fit in it, sadly. But if you have broad shoulders and a bit bust, it should work for you.

It’s also meant to be a 3/4 length sleeve and ends just above my wrists. It’s a little long. Maybe the pattern works better for non-petite people?

Here’s my sick photoshoot and, by sick, I mean flu induced photoshoot:

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Simplicity 1812
  • Pros: Unlike most big 4 patterns, this top has negative ease!
  • Cons:Β Simplicity definitely thinks that if you are big, you are big all over. If you are petite in other places, keep in mind that you will have to shorten the sleeves and make major shoulder adjustments and adjustments to get the inset piece to fit.
  • Make again?: I will make the skirt again. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while, but the top…nope. I’m not up for all the alterations that I need to do to make this fit.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-mdwhite-star-black-md3/5 stars

Dotty Parisian Top

After my Parisian top cardigan hack (say that five times fast!), I knew I wanted to try out the pattern as it was drafted. I loved the style of it as a top, but found it didn’t translate well to a cardigan in spite of the other version that inspired it at Lemon Squeezy Home.

The Parisian top is from Go To Patterns, which has patterns for both women and children, etc. I got the pattern from the Just Add Jeans collection and basically bought the collection for that pattern alone. I liked the other patterns, too, but definitely wanted to make up the Parisian top immediately.

I am definitely a fan of the pattern.

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I made it with a reversible double knit from Joann’s for the main pattern and a thick knit from a local shop for the contrasts. The second I saw this double knit in Joann’s during a trip to the states, I knew it was destined to be a Parisian top. It didn’t disappoint at all. It’s a nice thick sweater with cute details. I walked around work when wearing this on Friday with a smile on my face and pretty pleased with my wonderful sewing job. It also helps that the top took me no time to construct. I basically sewed it about two hours. The only issue I had was with the cuffs on the sleeve. One moved while I was sewing and had to be ripped out. But that’s because the dotty fabric was rather slippery.

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I used the dotty fabric for the sleeve cuffs. You can see them a little better in these pics as I threaten you with snowballs! πŸ˜› I also love how the thick knit on the sleeves makes the puffs even more pronounced and amazing, which of course means I need this pic:

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I wore the top with my Cake pattern’s Pavlova skirt and my Andi Satterlund Cable Brim Beret. It’s snowed like crazy on Thursday and made for a lovely photo session. Lovely, but cold. Rosy cheeks do mean I don’t need blush, though! Bright side!

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I had to make a snow angel, too. πŸ™‚

Not much else to say, except that I will be wearing this top frequently and looking adorable.

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I’m cold now! Time to run back inside…

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….to warm up with some tequila and orange juice….shhhh…..

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Santa approves….the nutcrackers…not so much….

 

Cardigans and Skirts, Oh my!

I’ve been hard at work sewing lately and instagramming the #bpsewvember photo-a-day challenge. Phew. Busy, busy.

First up is a skirt I made in about an hour for my halloween costume. A black circle skirt for a skeleton costume.

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You can’t really see it there, but I made some pretty horrid mistakes when I put this together the night before halloween and then just decided to frack it and come back to it later. I made the flower garland for my head as well:

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Ooooh creeepy!

The circle skirt wasn’t the greatest. I used my Pavlova skirt pattern and forgot to cut a smaller size. Luckily, I had a belt on to hide all the flaws in the waistband. This past week I unpicked and sewed not only the waistband, but also the seams and zipper again (although, the zipper was fine, but I had to take the side seams in). I made french seams and hand-stitched the waistband facing.

Then I made the Jenna Cardi from Muse Patterns, because I always need a cardigan and it matches my black circle skirt perfectly!

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I put heels on for this picture…

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This is my “why did I put heels on for this picture?” face Oww……

Of course, all my photos are inside now, because outside has turned into winter overnight and the sun now sets around 4:30pm, which is shortly before I get home from work.

Anyway, back to sewing, because it’s far more interesting than the weather.

I love this cardigan so much. I sewed a size 48 and altered the sleeve to be more fitted. In larger sizes, Muse patterns sleeves tend to be rather big, which is fine if you prefer a loose fit. If you want a more fitted look, I suggest grading down toward the wrist and cutting the smaller cuff. The patterns are drafted for tall 5’10” women. I am only 5’4″ so the sleeves are long and big on me. I shortened them down a few inches and graded them in at the wrist, because I have tiny wrists (and super small hands). The cardigan hits in the right place for me. For future versions, I will be cutting out a smaller size, though, because it doesn’t quite go in enough at the waist for me, but that is my preference.

Sewing was very easy it took under two hours and the instructions were brilliant. I love the cardi. I used a mustard yellow ribbing and a black jersey with silver stripes for the main fabric. Of course, I ran out of black thread! I had finished the circle skirt right before and ran out during that. So, unfortunately, the whole cardigan was sewn with navy blue.

Obligatory circle skirt blurry twirl picture!

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I also took care of an old UFO that I had been wanting to fix up.

It started off as this:

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It’s a hacked Go To Patterns Parisian top. I made it into a cardigan and didn’t like the length.

Now, it’s shorter, like my Jenna cardi. Although, a little shorter than that because I had a cutting accident. Oops! Don’t drink and cut, kids! (Kidding, I didn’t. I just cut the button bands shorter than I wanted by accident)

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Happy again because I took off the heels… Heels are so pretty, but I find them horribly painful…

I love the cardigan now. I still have trouble finding dresses to wear with it, though, because of the neckline. The Jenna cardi is definitely more to my taste. I think the Parisian top is best left as is and I will be making up the pattern again without any hacks.

The final piece to show you to round off my skirts and cardigans post is this major fail and I will be tossing it into the donation pile:

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Nope, not wearing heels just really unhappy with this horrible skirt. And yes, I am wearing a top underneath my cardigan, it’s just really light and I didn’t want to change for a horrible skirt.

Oh pencil skirt, why did you fail me?

This is the free pencil skirt pattern from Lekala. The pattern itself is totally fine, but it looks horrible on me. I tried it lower, I tried it higher, but the position and fit were never flattering on me. It just does not look right. I shortened the darts, lengthened the darts, removed the darts, etc. It just didn’t work.

My quest for a pencil skirt does not end here, though! I refuse to give up! I recently got Tenterhook’s Snapdragon skirt and Bluegingerdoll’s Betsy. I want to try out both patterns in the future and maybe, just maybe, I will finally have the perfect pencil skirt for all my sexy librarian needs.

I’m currently working on a coat as part of my Fall Essential Sewing Plans. I have sewn up the muslin and am excited about the fit. After the coat, the only items that are still outstanding for the Fall Essentials Sew Along are leggings and underwear. I am still trying to get the Espresso Leggings pattern right, but I should have that done, too. I am taking my bra making class on the 28th/29th and have some panties patterns picked out for a quick sew up. Some of the dress patterns I chose got replaced with other patterns, because of timing and my mood. Actually, the only one I didn’t sew was a Lekala pattern. I will do a round up post after FESA 2014 ends on the 30th and a round up of my #bpsewvember photos. Many round ups.

Speaking of round ups, check out the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge round up post at Miss Crayola Creepy! Some amazing amazing things there!