Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

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On this May the Fourth, let me give you a little sneak peek of my R2-D2 Disneybound– part of my #epicdressproject wardrobe.

We were supposed to be in Disney World for a week in the latter half of April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that didn’t happen.  The Disney resorts all around the world are closed (still), and traveling is not happening.  We are under a stay-at-home order, and so those circumstances obviously affected this project.

I have continued to work on it, after all, I have the fabric and supplies, and making things is a kind of stress-relief for me.  I was attempting to try and finish all of my projects by our original departure date, but that didn’t quite happen.  Obviously there are extenuating circumstances.  Aside from the general shift in mood, there are some things that I needed to prioritize.  I made and donated a large number of masks, my children are home and I need to do school with them… you get the picture.

Now that it’s the beginning of May, I thought it would be a good time to just give a quick update of where my projects are at.  I had six outfits planned, and I’ll give an update in the order in which I started them.  You can see fabric peeks on Instagram (I posted each time I cut out a garment) and also in THIS blog post.

  • Belle ‘bound: the dress needs a hem, and I also need to complete the yoke (which obviously needs to be finished to hem it).  The yoke is waiting on buttons: I ordered special buttons from Joann, but they shipped me the wrong ones, and so now I need to figure out how to deal with that issue.  (I do NOT recommend Joann.)
  • R2-D2 ‘bound skirt: Finished!
  • Magical green/stars (Tinker Bell?  Magical Pandora? bound): As I started constructing the bodice, I realized that my main fabric was too heavy to also be a comfortable lining.  This was just when the whole pandemic thing really started to hit (I think it was the night that it was announced that our schools were closing), and I have not been able to go out and shop for a matching lining fabric.  The dress is cut out and is sitting in a partially-sewn state.
  • Peter Pan dress: This dress simply needs to be hemmed and I need to sew on the decorative (non-functional) buttons.  I haven’t searched my button stash to see if I have any on hand, but I’m pretty sure I have something that will work.  It’s so close!
  • Snow White ‘bound blouse: Finished!  I am so pleased with how this one came out.
  • R2-D2 ‘bound top: Finished!  I love this top, too!  (sneak peek at the top of this post: pattern is the Blank Slate Abrazo tee (<–affiliate link), to which I added circular ruffles at the sleeve hems).  I bought a great belt (<–affiliate link) to complete the look, so this whole outfit is finished!
  • Minnie Mouse ‘bound: This dress really could be finished.  All I need to do is fit the straps, hand-stitch the lining, and then give it a hem.  I think I was disappointed that the straps don’t fit better, and that combined with the disappointment of our trip being postponed for quite a while just killed my motivation.
  • Snow White ‘bound skirt: I prewashed the fabric!  Ha.  This one really won’t take long– I just need to DO IT!

I’m going to try and finish this wardrobe by the end of May (pending the acquisition of supplies like buttons and lining fabric).  I think that is a perfectly reasonable goal, and I hope that I can make it!

I realized that a silver lining of our trip being postponed means that I have a better chance of finishing my Disney 2016 scrapbook project before we go again, so I’m going to be working on that as much as I can… the Disney magic won’t stop!

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I’ve really been enjoying listening to the “Sew and Tell” podcast. They posed a challenge recently called “Sew Your Roll”, in which you roll 3 12-sided dice to determine color, shade, and detail parameters for a sewing project. I thought I’d play along!

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I rolled three dice with the following results:
Blue die = color = 7 = aqua
White die= shade = 11 = neutral
Green die= detail = 2 = ruffles

I was really excited to get aqua (one of my very favorite colors) AND ruffles, because lately, I just love all the girly details, and ruffles are right there at the top of my list!  I promise that I didn’t doctor this roll!

As I looked through my stash (no fabric shopping going on currently), I discovered a smallish (29″ x 42″ wide) piece of dusty aqua rib knit that had been handed down to me a few years ago.  I think the color definitely qualifies as “neutral aqua” 🙂

Next, I needed to come up with a garment idea that would have ruffles…and fit on a >1 yd piece of fabric! I immediately thought of the Blank Slate Patterns Kirei camisole (<–affiliate link).

But how to add the ruffles…  I did a quick Pinterest search of “ruffle tank top” and this came up:

…and that helped me envision ruffles along the front neckline. Even though I used this for inspiration, the final top looks different. As I considered how I would add the ruffles with the binding, I decided to have them point downward rather than upward like the inspiration top.


And then, as I was getting everything together, I realized that the only thread I had on hand that was even close to matching is a slightly darker teal/aqua… and one thing led to another, and then I was using a scrap of darker aqua knit that matched that thread (from this dress) to add a second layer to the ruffle that would make the darker thread look intentional!


Another little hack I did was to improvise some knit interfacing.  The pattern calls for knit or stretch interfacing for the straps, and I don’t have any on hand.  Since we’re under a stay-at-home order here, it would have been irresponsible for me to go out on a hunt for some in the stores, so I got on the Blank Slate Patterns facebook page to reach out for suggestions.  Melissa suggested cutting a thin knit fabric on the crossgrain to sandwich into the straps instead, and it worked great.

In the above photos, you can see how I laid a crossgrain strip of knit along the middle fold of the strap piece.  I basted in place with very long basting stitches so that I could remove them easily when the straps were installed.  

I left the bottom hem of my top unfinished, since the rib knit will not unravel, and I have raw edges on the ruffles, as well.

I think this ruffle cami is going to be such a cute layering piece… and I never would have thought to use this hand-me-down piece of rib knit without the Sew Your Roll challenge!



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Just an E has released another fantastic PDF pattern, the Transcendence Makeup set, including this Palette Palace bag.



This large zippered pouch (12″ wide at top, 10″ wide at bottom, 7″ tall) has an angled zippered pocket on the outside front, which I made in vinyl, but could also be made with mesh:


And a smaller pocket (vinyl or mesh) on the outside back:


Inside are slip pockets on each side; one is divided:


and the other is left as one large opening (but you could decide to divide it if you want!).


The Transcendence Makeup set also includes a pattern for a cute little Lip Color Caddy, which is a small divided pouch for organizing lipsticks– but the pattern also contains modifications and dimensions for the pouch to hold items like epi-pens and inhalers!

Not only is the end result great, but the instructions are superb.  Definitely go check it out in the Just an E Etsy shop!

Since I realized at the very last-minute that I was able to test this bag for Abbe, I was limited to what I had on hand… I used zippers from my stash, and the top zipper was 14″, so I lengthened it by attaching coordinating fabric ends.

I didn’t have enough woven interfacing, so I instead used some Pellon 931TD Fusible Midweight Nonwoven interfacing that I had on hand. My bag sides are probably stiffer than normal, but I love how stable it is!  Because I didn’t have enough (and because it’s so stiff), I only interfaced one of each of the interior pocket pieces and the exterior flap piece.

I also don’t have any transparent/translucent vinyl! I remembered that I save all the zippered bags that things like blankets, sheets, and pillows come in, and so I cut my vinyl panels from one of them that seemed to be of nice quality.

I love how the bag turned out, and I’m pretty chuffed (haha, been watching some British shows lately) that the entire thing is made from stash/scrap/repurposed materials!

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This cheerful buttery-yellow Mimi blouse (from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch <–affiliate link) is perfect for spring.


I started it way back in February, as I was compiling a set of patterns to use for my #epicdressproject, and I love the gathered details, the shape of the neckline and the collar, and the cute pleats in the sleeves.

But when I got to the buttonholes, I stalled.  I was simply procrastinating, and it bothered me that I was procrastinating.  So I finally finished it up this past week so that I could check it off my list.



The fabric is from my stash, and it’s a similar feel to a shirting even though it’s a former sheet.  I also found the buttons in my stash, so aside from the thread, this project was free!


I have to admit, I messed up the buttonholes.  I was trying to multitask and help my kids do some schoolwork review (like almost everyone else in the US, our schools are closed right now, and I made them horizontally all the way down the front!  I don’t know what I was thinking… but since it’s a wearable muslin, I’m not too worried… we’ll just call it a design feature, ha.

P.S. the skirt I’m wearing is the Delphine skirt I made using the pattern from the same book!

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2020-03-06 14.17.00

As of the writing of this post, I have fabric to make six outfits for my #epicdressproject (a Disney-bounding wardrobe for our week-long Disney World trip).  I’ll talk a bit about the fabric, and then I’ll update you on the status of the project.

At the very beginning of March, Husband and I drove about 45 minutes to a fabric store I’d heard of, but that I’d not yet been to yet.  And it was worth the drive!  What a great store.  G Street Fabrics has showrooms for different kinds of fabrics and notions, and they have great quality fabrics and great prices.  It was better than being a kid in a candy store!!

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the showroom with garment fabric

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the clearance section–everything in this room was $2.97/yard!

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on my way to check out with my cut yardage!

My wonderful Husband helped me to choose fabrics for some of the outfits for my #epicdressproject. I have appreciated SO much how willing he is to be involved in this project (at the beginning, he sat down with me to talk through and narrow down the patterns I was going to try… he has been invaluable during the fitting process… and he was a great sounding board and co-searcher for just the right fabrics while we were out shopping).

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The stack at the top of the post represents five outfits!  Here’s a closer view:

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From top to bottom:

  • Bright yellow rose batik cotton from G Street (for Simplicity 8051A)
  • Blue knit from G Street (for Blank Slate Abrazo tee <–affil. link)
  • White twill from my stash (for Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt <–affil. link)
  • Peter Pan print (Michael Miller Fabrics) from Hobby Lobby (for Simplicity 8096B)
  • Blue poly crepe from G Street (for Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse <–affil. link)
  • Light yellow linen from G Street (for Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt)
  • Green with yellow stars cotton from G Street (for Butterick 5209B)

I also wanted to find a red-with-white-polka-dot, but I didn’t find the right scale of polkas at G Street… I ended up buying yardage later at another store, and so that is intended for Simplicity 8051B.

P.S. As I’ve started cutting out the different garments, I’ve posted sneak-peek closeups of each of the fabrics on my Instagram account, and I will continue to do so.

~ ~ ~

So all of this fabric shopping and planning happened before the COVID-19 pandemic really set in, and suddenly the world has changed.  There are major restrictions on gatherings, many stores are closed, and we are staying home.  My kids are home from school for at least 6 weeks, and our Disney trip will be postponed.  We are very blessed that we have many of the supplies we need on hand, and we are still able to get to the grocery store every so often for food.

It seems strange in the midst of such dread and upheaval to work on a project that seems frivolous.  However, I have decided to try and continue on, even attempting to finish the six garments by the date we should have departed for our trip.  This sewing hobby of mine is a great stress-reliever and it brings me joy.  I am going to continue sewing for fun when I can for a sense of normalcy and fun.

I am prioritizing other responsibilities, and having my kids home has drastically reduced my available hobby time, so it will be an interesting challenge to see if I can stick to my original “deadline.”



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For my own records, and also in case anyone is interested, I wanted to give an update on my #epicdressproject!

As I mentioned in my first post about this project, the goal is to make up to seven Disney-bounding outfits (mostly retro-inspired dresses) for our upcoming trip to Disney World.

From November through the very beginning of March, I was sewing up a storm and cutting into old sheets like it was my job… trying out a number of potential patterns and getting them fitted to myself.  This post will be about all the patterns I tried, and will end with my “final cut” of the patterns.

  • The very first dress I attempted to make was a surplice bodice + 3/4 circle skirt from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book.  Unfortunately, even though I muslined it from a sheet, my attempt to make a wearable practice version from a rayon-like fabric failed miserably.  First, I had a very bad experience inserting the lapped zipper (I suspect that I stretched the fabric as I was working with it…
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    And once I fixed the zipper (I spent at least a couple hours with that darn zipper), the dress fit terribly.  The bodice gapes and sags unflatteringly, and I just don’t have the skills that I need to adjust the pattern, especially in the time crunch I have for this project.

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    my “wearable muslin” attempt (fail). It may look ok here, but there are definitely problems with it. 

The first round of dress patterns I bought was from Simplicity.

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  • I love both views of Simplicity 8051; I graded the midriff pieces between two sizes and shortened them by 1″ for a better fit.


    Simplicity 8051A muslins: before and after

  • I made a muslin of the bodice of Simplicity 8439 (view B), but I was unhappy with the way it was fitting in my shoulders, so I’ve decided to put that one off indefinitely.
  • The first muslin of Simplicity 8096 (view B) needed SO much work.  Husband is an absolute gem, and he patiently helped me pin and take tucks enough to see that it was worth putting in the work.  I ended up shortening the bodice pieces by TWO INCHES in order for the horizontal bodice seam to end up in the correct place.  Shortening the bodice also went a long way toward correcting some of the other issues, so I feel confident that this dress will work out in the final version.


    Simplicity 8096B muslins: before and after

  • I decided that I didn’t like the silhouette of 8592 enough to attempt it, so I returned it unopened (I had other patterns that I liked more).

The next round of dress patterns was from Butterick:

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  • Currently, I’ve only tested Butterick 5209 (view B) from this set.  Again, I needed to grade the midriff pieces between two sizes and shorten them by 1″ for a good fit.


    Butterick 5209 muslins: before and after

  • I’m keeping Butterick 6018 because it is a fantastic silhouette, and I’d like to make it, but at this point, I’m going to work on the outfits for which I’ve purchased fabric before starting to fit another pattern.
  • If I have time and/or need more dresses for my wardrobe, I’m keeping 6556 and 6094 (a new copy) to hand for now (I’ve made 6094 twice before: comic book and mint-chocolate style!), but it is likely that I will end up returning these unopened.

I’ve also successfully fitted two patterns from from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch (<– Amazon affiliate link), the Delphine skirt (see my denim one HERE), and the Mimi blouse.  

Finally, I’m also going to be making the fantastic Abrazo tee from Blank Slate Patterns (<– affiliate link) to go with one of those skirts.  You can see my past Abrazo tees HERE and HERE

So after all that, here’s the summary of outfits I hope to make:

  • Simplicity 8051, view A
  • Simplicity 5209, view B
  • Simplicity 8096, view B
  • Blank Slate Patterns Abrazo tee + Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt
  • Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse + Delphine skirt
  • Simplicity 8051, view B

I already have much of the fabric that I’ll be using, so stay tuned for a post about that!



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I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes making quickie muslins for my “epic dress project” to determine which patterns are going to make the final cut for my (hopefully) 7-day wardrobe.  I’ve had 3 sewing projects and a scrapbooking project in process this past week–it’s keeping me busy!

This skirt pattern, though.  Wow, I love it.  I went straight to the denim to make this one!


It’s the Delphine Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons: Love at First Stitch (<–affiliate link), and I really want to make this skirt in every color.  This one is made from non-stretch denim that was given to me by someone at church.  


I made a couple very small changes to the pattern: I edited the angle of the waistband to fit my waist better, and I used a quilting cotton as the waistband facing, since two layers of this denim would have been super thick.

I’m planning to make another one of these Delphines for my epic dress project and add a belt (which I’ve already purchased).  I’m really excited! 


P.S. I made my top, too– it’s my space Abrazo tee with circular ruffles added to the sleeves.  


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