Completed: Simplicity 1541and McCall 6988

Over the holidays, we met up with my sister for a ski trip.  I also brought along my sewing machine, a handful of patterns, and some muslin so I could work on fitting a few things to her. Since I mostly sew only for myself, it was a good challenge to try fitting someone else.

When I got home, I set to work on a couple of the final garments. First I sewed this skirt:
Simplicity 0503

It’s Simplicity 1541. It’s one of the AmazingFit patterns, and I like that includes options for ‘slim/average’ and ‘curvy.’
Simplicity 0503
Simplicity 0503

The front has princess seams and the back is darted. I sewed the ‘curvy’ version, so the back has two darts.  This one fit really well out of the envelope.  The only change I made was to taper the side seams a little bit below the hip level.
Simplicity 0503

The fabric is a medium weight cotton that I purchased from Michael Levine a while back. (I’ve also made myself a dress out of this, and will blog that soon.)  It’s lined with cream Bemberg rayon.

Simplicity 0503

I followed the zipper/lining method from this free Craftsy course.  It worked perfectly and the zipper and lining was sewn completely by machine.
Simplicity 0503

Next I sewed this dress:

McCall 6988

Please ignore the tight fit on my dress form.  It will fit her with more ease than shown here.  I just didn’t bother adjusting my form down to her measurements.

McCall 6988

The pattern is McCall 6988. This pattern has multiple cup sizes, which was helpful.

McCall 6988

I modified the pattern by raising the armholes slightly, reducing the sleeve cap ease, and sewing the sleeves in flat.  I also lengthened the sleeves, per my sister’s preference.
McCall 6988

And I redrafted the facings. As drafted, the facing goes down around the armholes, but I found that added too much bulk. So I went with a neck facing only.
McCall 6988
McCall 6988

The main fabric is a ponte that I ordered online somewhere (I think FabricMart), and I got the lace from Metro Textile when I was in NYC. I purchased these months apart, and just got lucky that they matched so well!

McCall 6988

It was my sister’s idea to add lace to the yoke. I love how it turned out, and want to make one for myself.

McCall 6988

Long distance sewing is a little stressful because there’s not a chance to fit as you sew the final garment.  These are off in the mail now, and hopefully everything works out!


Completed: Another Miette

I did a little bit of unselfish sewing recently, and made a Miette skirt for my mom.
Mom's Miette

I used the same linen/rayon blend I that I used for my Miette, only in navy this time.
Mom's Miette

I even used blue serger thread so the inside would be pretty.

Mom's Miette
Mom's Miette

I don’t have much else to say about this make, it was quick and painless, and the skirt is cute and practical with it’s back wrap.  I really like this pattern, so much so that I’ve got some cotton/linen denim earmarked for another skirt for me!

Mom's Miette


Also, if you haven’t read it already, I wrote a guest post for my friend Erin at Miss Crayola Creepy about how to use a clapper.

Completed: Miette Skirt

A couple weeks ago I decided to try out the Miette skirt pattern from Tilly. I was planning a trip to visit family in my hometown, and wanted to whip up a quick skirt to fill a void in my casual wardrobe.  This little skirt was perfect – it was quick and easy to sew!  Unfortunately, I didn’t end up getting to wear it on my trip, the temps were too cool for skirts or shorts.


If you’re wondering, that bandage on my arm is from donating blood. I donate about every 8 weeks. If you’ve ever thought about being a blood or organ donor, I encourage you to look into it.  It’s a simple way to make a big difference in the life of someone else.  Plus you get cookies after donating, always a bonus!  🙂

Fitting this skirt was a breeze, I just picked my size based on my waist measurement, and that was it.  I did shorten it by a few inches though.

The fabric I used is the same 50/50 linen rayon blend that I used for my Thai fisherman pants.  I like that it gives the skirt a little more drape, and is not as A-line, as say a crisper fabric would be.

I love the way it wraps in the back. And it really does feel secure from flashing everyone.

Here’s how it looks unwrapped, from the inside.  I finished the seams with my serger, but french seams would have been nice too.
Miette Skirt

It’s funny, I wear dresses or skirts to work about 90% of the time, but when it comes to evenings or weekends, I almost never do.  I think that by adding a few casual skirts to the mix, that might change.
Miette Skirt
Miette Skirt

Anyway, I can totally see making this up in all different colors.  I think it’s also a good pattern to sew for others (if you are into that kind of unselfish sewing) because the fitting is so easy.  I also think this would be a great skirt to pair with the Nettie bodysuit.  In fact, I tried to do that, but about half way through sewing my Nettie, I realized it wasn’t going to fit my shoulders.  So I abandoned that one, and plan to cut some more fabric and try again.


Next up, I made some pants!  Will share soon.  🙂





Completed: Vacation Skirts

Tonight was my trouser sewing class.  We were set to work on tissue fitting our patterns.  It would have been a whole lot more helpful if I had remembered to bring my pattern peices!  I was in a rush this morning and shot out the door without them.  So unfortunately I don’t have any insights to share on the trouser front.  😦

But I do have a couple more finished projects!  Mr. B and I are going to Hawaii for vacation next week.  So I wanted to make some quick, comfy skirts for the trip.  I was thinking lightweight, zipper-free, and something that can easily get tossed over a swimsuit.  Here’s the first one:
It’s just a really simple elastic waistband skirt.  I didn’t use a pattern, I just cut two pieces of fabric that were 1.5 times my waist measurement, by the length I wanted, plus 2 1/2 inches for the waistband and hem.  There are lots of tutorials online for elastic waistband skirts.  I found these two helpful: Elastic Waist Skirt Tutorial – Mama Edition and How to Make an Elastic Waistband Skirt

After I had the elastic in place, I sewed two lines of stitching through the casing and the elastic to prevent it from rolling or folding over.  I got the idea from my gym shorts!  I stretched the elastic as I sewed over it, so that the waistband would stay nice and stretchy and fit over my hips.  Pulling the elastic and sewing was a little tricky at first, and my stitching isn’t exactly even, but I’m not getting hung up on it.
skirt waistband

When the skirt was done, I felt it looked a little too plain.  So I added a some embroidery to one corner.  The design came from the Hoop Love Vintage Transfers group on Flickr.

skirt embroidery
skirt embroidery

The second skirt is actually a refashion.  I had this dress/coverup thing that I never wore because the top didn’t fit right, and it was super short on me.


So I hacked off the bodice . . .

and then sewed a piece of 2 inch wide flat elastic to the skirt.

I love the result.  The skirt is really comfy, was a super easy to do, and I know I’ll get a lot more use out of it now.
This was also my first refashion.  I see more of these in my future!

A Look Back

This weekend I decided to take a look back at some of my early sewing projects.  For the most part these garments have been tucked away in the back of my closet since I made them.  (With the exception of the pajamas, I think I wore each item out in public only once. Then I quickly came home and hid them away, where, in my opinion, they should stay.)  But today I decided to pull them out and reluctantly photograph them.  So here you go world – my early projects.

First up, my “moo-jies.”  This was the first thing I sewed after I got my sewing machine.

I used Simplicity 9871.  This is a unisex pattern, which meant that I had A LOT of extra crotch room.  They were also ridiculously high wasted.  I ‘fixed’ that by cutting a few inches off the waistband and reattaching it. I actually like these pajamas.  They are warm and soft, and I love the cows.

Second I made a denim skirt.

I used McCall’s 3341.  I actually made a muslin for this skirt, and it was my first time sewing darts, and installing an invisible zipper.  The finishing leaves a lot to be desired though!


This skirt is okay, but it rides up at the waist, so it’s not very comfortable to wear.  Also I really dislike my rushed, machine sewn hem.
denim 2

Third I made another McCall’s 3341 skirt.  This time I used a bright printed cotton.
I should have lined this skirt.  When I wear it, it sticks to my legs and pulls in funky non-attractive way. Also, look at that terrible finishing.  I’m embarrassed.  This is what impatience looks like.

blue 2

Next I went back to pajamas, and tried my hand at a knit fabric.  I used Butterick B5432.  I don’t have a good picture of these (they were in the wash today – yes I actually still wear these).  They fit pretty well, the problem is that they are UGLY.

Me Made May 5-23

Then I made this top.

There are so many things wrong with it.  First, it’s huge and looks like a pregnancy top.  Second, I got seduced by the quilting cotton at the fabric store.  I really loved the prints.  But it has terrible drape, and it’s not very soft.  And finally, it just looks really juvenile to me.  I think it might be cute on a five year old.
big 2

But I did find a good use for the fabric.  I made a pressing ham and seam roll out of it!  I found the patterns here.
Finished Seam Roll & Pressing Ham

Finally I made this shirt.

I used McCall’s M5522.  I like this pattern and plan to work on the fit and make it again.  But what was I thinking with the orange print?


Again, I got seduced by the quilting cotton.  Live and learn.  I’ll consider this my wearable muslin. This was a good project though because I learned how to make buttonholes and a collar.

So that’s about it for the early stuff.  Oh wait!  I just remembered that I also made a couple of aprons.  I totally forgot about those.  Maybe I’ll do a part 2 post.  🙂

Until then, I’m going to put these back away, where they belong.