Thursday, December 31, 2015


Gillian at is hosting the Top 5 for 2015.

Top 5 of 2015

Here’s how it works: 
Post on your blog or IG feed about the following topics, and tag them #sewingtop5:
  • Top 5 Hits (favourite or most worn makes)
  • Top 5 Misses (projects that didn’t work out or rarely got worn)
  • Top 5 Non-Sewing Highights (What did you do this year besides sew? These could be big or small accomplishments – anything from “run a marathon” to “get new glasses”!)
  • Top 5 Reflections (Looking back, what can you learn about yourself as a sewist?)
  • Top 5 Goals (What would you like to sew in 2016, or what skills/attitudes would you like to learn?)
Now on with the show - here are my top 5 lists:

Top 5 Hits:

I made a total of 17 garments last year.  Ten of those 17 were hits in my book (which still puts me at only a 59% success rate for last year which is a complete failing grade if I were still in school!). Anyways, here are the top 5 of those ten successful garments.

1. McCalls 6844 Cardigan.  This was so easy to make and I wear it all the time.  I still can't believe it took me so long to make this after seeing all of the wonderful creations and reviews on PatternReview.  I can see a few more of these cardigans in my future.

2. Frankenpattern of Simplicity 1607 (for the top) and New Look 6224 (for the bottom).  This turned out better than I had anticipated.  It's a fun dress created from a cotton purchased at a garage sale.

3. Vogue 8817 - turned into a dress.  I wear this all the time.  Super comfy and it's a knit - Win! Win!

4. Vogue 8979 - This is a great, unusual top.

5. And last but not least, another Frankenpattern.  Butterick 5353 for the top and New Look 6224 for the bottom.  I really like this dress and have plans to make a black one with white piping - I think that would look very striking.

Top 5 Misses:

Out of my 7 misses - here are the worst ones.

1. Vogue 8834 - a Katherine Tilton blouse.  This was a total disaster!

2. Origami Blouse - This was from the Twinkle Sews book by Wenlan Chin.  I had high hopes for this blouse, but it was yet another total disaster!

3. The traffic stopper skirt - Vogue 9031.  I've never worn this and just need to donate it to a charity shop.  Correct that - I just donated it yesterday!

4. Serendipity Studio's Monique Dress was a partial disaster.  I wore this dress only once (maybe twice?) and just didn't like it.  This has since ended up in the UFO pile as I plan to salvage just the skirt portion and make a blue blouse to go with it.  I think it's just too overwhelming with this much print going on in one garment (for me at least).

5. Butterick 5856.  I thought this blouse was fun when I first made it.  Wearing it though, changed my mind.  It was so fiddly (sleeve falling off shoulder, bra strap showing, etc, etc.), that I put it in the donate bin as soon as I got home that day.

Top 5 Non-sewing highlights:

1. My biggest one was the remodeling of our kitchen.  This was a seemingly all-consuming project that took about seven months to complete.  I am sooo happy it is finished and am very happy with the results!!!!

2. Oh - and the laundry room re-do - I guess that counts here too!

3. My tomato plants did really well this year!  Cucumbers - not so good.

4. Managed to stay on schedule with my workout routine - was a good stress reliever with the kitchen project!

5. Won $5,000.00!  Whoop! Whoop! I see some more fabric in my future!!

Top 5 Reflections:

1. Me and ruffles just don't get on which is sad because I understand they are going to be a big item in 2016.  I made two garments (these are my two remaining misses!)  both with ruffles and ended up not liking either one.
Vogue 8596 has already been donated:

And one of my last garments made - Butterick 5917 - I'm sure will end up in the donate pile soon too.

2. I seem to prefer asymmetrical and fitted garments and will concentrate more on those this year.

3. I was happy I participated in Me-Made-May and plan to do so again this year.

4. Surprisingly, I think I am beginning to enjoy hand sewing and making the inside of the garment look as nice as the outside.  It's like you are hiding a pretty little secret every time you wear something that is nicely finished on the inside.

5.  It is possible to survive a remodel when working with your spouse!  Who knew!

Top 5 Goals for 2016:

1. Make a pair of jeans.  I just want a bit of bling on the backside - is that too much to ask??!?!?  I have such a hard time finding jeans that fit me properly.  You would have thought by now I would have made my own custom pair!

2. Make my own workout wear.  I can't bring myself to spend $90+ dollars on a pair of workout pants when I know I can make them myself - Just Do It!

3. My September Sew for 30 concept was good, but I failed to execute it properly.  This year, it will be much better!  Social media involvement, posting daily progress, etc.

4. I sewed almost 70 yards from the stash this past year.  Now that our kitchen remodel is completed, I plan to sew alot more this coming year and at least match those 70 yards and maybe a bit more!  I still have a long way to go before I can start planning that trip to New York that the DH promised if I completely sewed my entire stash.  One garment at a time - I'll get there!!

5. Take better pictures. Period.  I'm sure everyone is tired of seeing my closet door in the background!

6.  Ok - I have six here.  Rid myself of those UFO's.  They are starting to take over my room!!!

That's it for me.  I hope this coming year brings everyone strong seams, easy pressing and alot of finished projects!

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vogue 9130 - The last garment of 2015?

I knew when this Marcy Tilton pattern - Vogue 9130 was released that I wanted to make it. Just look at how cute this top is!  

V9130, Misses' Top

However - I wanted to highlight the design lines though because they just don't stand out enough in the garment above - they all sort of just blend together.  See the line drawings below - why wouldn't you want to show off all of those creative curves?

So I decided to use a reversible knit from the stash.  I purchased this knit from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley a few years ago and have been contemplating what to make out of it ever since. When this pattern came along, I thought it would be a good match.  Cutting out the top required a bit of head scratching to make sure my right sides and wrong sides were correct.

I sewed the curved seams on the front and back together wrong sides together and then using wooly nylon thread in the serger, trimmed the seam allowances to 1/4" and here's what the seams look like on the outside of the blouse:

And here's the finished garment - Front View:

Fits well on Elizabeth too:

I was afraid this top might look a little too maternity like for me because of the amount of fabric at the hem, but I think it turned out ok.  It is super comfy to wear too!  Bonus!

There is a small slit on the seamline at the inside wrist area.  This adds a cute touch - and it could be turned up for a different look as well.

Back view on Elizabeth:

All in all, a great, super comfy, easy to wear top.

This will probably be the last garment I can squeeze into 2015 and of course it was a stashbuster as well.

Total stashbustin' yardage for this blouse = 2.5 yards.  Bringing the YTD total up to 68.875 yards!

Happy Sewing everyone!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Oct-ov-ember MAGAM - Butterick 5917 and other stuff.....

Warning - Very Long Post!!

I've been MIA from the blogging world since the end of September, but I have been trying to squeeze in a little sewing amongst the other home projects we've had going - more on those projects later.  I'm going to call this my Oct-ov-ember MAGAM completed!

Here is Butterick 5917 - View C.  I liked this when I first started sewing on it, but now I'm not so sure.  I think the "Fromp-O-Meter" gauge is starting to rise with this one.....

I made a size 12 but probably should have made a size 10 as it's a little big in the bodice and shoulder area.  And I probably should have moved those sleeves in as they look a bit droopy in this picture.

I pattern calls for the ruffles at the neckline, and I added additional ruffles to the waistline - this could be what's making the Fromp-O-Meter gauge start moving in the wrong direction.

It does twirl good though - that's a plus!

Another pic - maybe I'm just standing funny?

Or maybe it's ruffle overload?   And what happened to the sleeve lining - it seems to be pulling funny here on the sleeve hems and there is plenty of lining length included so not sure why it's doing this.

Back view - not so bad...

On to the lining.  The pattern calls for just the bodice and the sleeves to be lined and not the skirt portion.  This seemed a little strange to me so I decided to line the entire garment.

I sewed the bodice together and treated them as one piece and ended up with a serged edge at the zipper that I didn't like so I covered it up with some ribbon.

Close-up of the ribbon - hand stitched along the zipper edge to lining fabric.

The skirt lining was attached after the entire garment was sewn and it was half sewn by machine and half sewn by hand.  I didn't care for how this looked so I covered the edges up with some ribbon again - Voila!  Looks a little more presentable here.

Front view - the ribbon "waistline cover up" goes all the way around the dress.

For the sleeve, I just treated them as one piece as well and serged the edges together.

Here's what the sides on the inside look like.  Not the traditional way to line a garment I know!

So - just what have I been doing with my time these past few months?  Well - I can finally say what I've been mentioning in previous posts - the remodeling project we were busy doing.

We decided to update our kitchen.  And when I say "We", I mean the DH and I did ALL.THE.WORK.OURSELVES! (with the exception of the new countertop installation).

The list included:
- Ripping out the old countertops - which I was more than happy to do!
- Installing a new hood.
- Installing a new range.
- Sanding and staining the cabinets and installing new hardware.
- Patching and "pass thru hole in the wall" that lead to the dining room.
- Tiling and grouting the backsplash.
- Painting.
- Installing new light fixtures and undercabinet lighting.
- Etc., etc., etc.  Those of you who have done a kitchen remodel know what I'm talking about.  And let's not even talk about the dust that is generated - I am still finding dust and I've cleaned the house multiple times!

We started on March 13, 2015 and officially finished on November 1, 2015.  I spent countless hours on the weekends sanding and staining cabinets - I don't think my hands will ever be the same, but it was all worth it.  We did take a few camping trips during the summer to get away from the project - as it did become a little overwhelming at times.  But all in all, we are very, very happy with the results and our hard work paid off.

Here are a few before and after pics for you.  

And, as if the kitchen remodel wasn't enough, halfway thru that project I decided that the Master Bedroom needed a bit of updating too - so I painted the wall behind the headboard, purchased a new duvet cover (that didn't fit properly so I had to fix it) and added new artwork.

Of course our chairs didn't match the new color scheme so I reupholstered them.

In this gorgeous chenille purchased from Hancock Fabrics.

Made two new drapes (fully lined with blackout lining - which I had on hand for some reason!)

And made new pillows for the couch!  The pillow fabric was from the stash as well.  

So - as you can see - I have been busy!  Just not busy updating the blog.

Here's the yardage rundown:

Stashbustin' fabrics:
Dress (with lining) - 8 yards
Curtain blackout lining - 10 yards
Pillows for couch - 2 yards
Stashbustin total for these = 20 yards

New purchased fabric (that doesn't count in my stashbustin' total):
Curtain fabric - 10 yards
Chenille for chairs - 5 yards

My previous stashbustin total was 46.375 yards.  Adding another 20 yards brings me to:

66.375 yards for the year!  Whoop! Whoop!

Happy Sewing everyone!  I hope to post alot more in the coming year.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

September MAGAM completed!

My September MAGAM Challenge is completed and I am super happy with it!  This has to be the best fitting dress I think I have ever made!

The top portion of the dress is Butterick 5353, combined with New Look 6224 for the bottom.

The Butterick skirt is more of a straight skirt and I prefer a fuller skirt that twirls better!

 I added piping to the neckline and waistline using some very unconventional supplies.  Trying to use what I had on hand, the fabric is a turquoise lycra that happened to match perfectly.  The inside of the piping is cording used to pull curtains up and down - not sure why I had this in the stash, but it turns out it makes great piping!!

Here's the neckline piping.  The dress is fully lined with a lightweight cotton.  I would normally use a rayon lining, but again, trying to use what I had on hand, the lightweight cotton was a dream to work with.  The two natural fibers worked so well together that I don't think I will ever use rayon again to line a linen garment.

After asking my readers and my local sewing guild their definition of a sewing stash, I've determined that anything you buy that doesn't have a specific purpose/pattern/idea in mind and ends up in the closet is considered part of the stash.  Soooo, based on this new determination that a fabric doesn't need to "age" for awhile before it is considered part of the stash, this garment was too a stashbushin project.

Blue/Green Linen - 2 yards
White cotton lining - 2 yards
Practice muslin fabric - .75 yards
Blue lycra for piping - .25
Total for this garment - 5 yards!

This brings my YTD total to 46.375 yards!!  Whoop!  Whoop!!

Happy sewing everyone!