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Gathered Raglan

April 7, 2014

This was a really quick make.


Pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2013 #127

She needs a bra…

Fabric: Poly-cotton striped jersey

Design Likes/Dislikes: Raglan shirts usually fit around the shoulders better than traditional sleeves, and this is an interesting take on that idea with the gathers. Problem is the gathers make the shirt feel loose around the arm pits compared to the rest of the sleeves. The only other issue is the neck binding is too loose, I should have known to reduce the binding length when it fit around the neckline perfectly. Negative ease is better with knits.



Sizing and Fit: I made a size 34, and overall the fit is really good. The only way to alleviate the loose shoulder feeling would be to reduce the gathers and bring in the neck binding.

I'm not even pulling very hard...

I’m not even pulling very hard…

Changes: None

For Next Time: There are options for a short sleeved top and a dress in the same magazine, and those would be cute, but it’s unlikely that I’ll get around to making them.


A Pledge for May

April 4, 2014

‘I, Molly of Toferet’s Empty Bobbin, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavor to wear at least one me-made garment each day and at least one skirt or dress each week for the duration of May 2014. In addition I will attempt to photograph myself wearing said outfit and use these images as a tool to clean out and regroup my closet.’

It begins again. I’ve had mild success with Me-Made challenges in the past. I have plenty of garments to pick from, but having a constraint instead of just going to my closet to pick anything at all always seems to bog me down by the end of the month. The difference this year is that I work full-time in an office environment now instead of just going to class and lab.

So my pledge hasn’t changed much, and honestly I can’t think of anything better to spice it up. Any ideas? I do really want to get a picture of myself everyday because it helps me figure out if a particular outfit combination works or not. I’d like to start focusing my sewing on things I can wear to work, so hopefully the pictures will help me decide what works, what I need more of, and when I need less of.


Birthday Pennant

March 26, 2014

One of my good friends, Bridget, likes to celebrate her birthday for most of the month of March.  I didn’t even know when her real birth date was for a really long time, just sometime in March.  Being perpetually late to the party, I decided the day of that I’d like to make her a personalized present.  And now a week later, I still need to get it in the mail.


I’ve also been struggling some to find interesting things to embroider that are also useful and don’t take a lot of extra sewing, and now I think I’ve finally hit on it.  I have a pennant for my alma mater decorating my cubical at work and I think it’s pretty neat and semi retro. Not that this is especially useful and it still involves sitting down at the machine… but it’s cute!

School spirit

School spirit

Mid construction

Mid construction

The finished measurements of Bridget’s pennant are about 5.5″ wide and 13.5″ long.  I drew two 6″ x 14″ triangles and after I finished embroidering them, sewed them right sides together using 1/4″ seams.  Next time I’ll probably allow for 1/2″ seams.  I took the opportunity to create a sort of stitch sampler using some of the instructions in Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond.  I’ve been wanting to expand my embroidery horizons, especially as I’ve been reading Julie of Button Button as she stitches a new sampler every month.  Most of these stitches I think you can classify as crewel, but I didn’t use wool thread just regular craft store stuff.

Whipped stem stitch in green and pink running stitch for the B, back stitch to outline the M and seed stitch in two shades of pink filling the M

Whipped stem stitch in green and pink running stitch for the B, back stitch to outline and seed stitch in two shades of pink filling the M

Long and short stitch to fill the C (not the best choice for a curve), buttonhole stitch outlining the D and some haphazard lattis work inside the D

Long and short stitch to fill the C (not the best choice for a curve), buttonhole stitch outlining the  outside and split stitch inside of the D and some haphazard lattice work filling the inside the D

I think the M and D are my favorites.




So much time, so little to do

March 21, 2014

Pedro is visiting this week end so there won’t be much sewing going on besides trying a new dress on her. Just thought I’d share a few bits of info that I like.

I’m pretty sure I need to start knitting again just so I can make this. Fun fact, I taught myself to knit in high school but only ever made simple scarves so I never really got into it. But this is so cool!

click picture for Ravelry link

click picture for Ravelry link

I’m not too impressed with McCall’s latest pattern release in general (straight from the bad part of ’90s style), but these Game of Thrones inspired costumes are actually really awesome (Cersei and Daenerys).

The patterns seem to match the show’s costumes pretty well even

Daenerys is my favorite character by far. And honestly, this wouldn’t be too difficult to turn into everyday clothing


The Engineer Embroiders Over Lunch

March 14, 2014

Happy Pi day!

I am so excited about this one! This is probably my all time favorite nerdy engineering saying, and it came from one of my favorite t-shirt. Said t-shirt is slowly shrinking in the wash (oh cotton, why must you tease us so), so I felt the need to continue the awesomeness in another format. Right now this is just a square of fabric, originally I was thinking couch pillow but I’ll have to ponder it some (suggestions are welcome).


And I really did do this during my lunch hour over the last 6ish months, surprisingly no one ever asked what I was doing but they are all dudes (and engineers). And since I made this “pattern” all by myself and am super proud of it, find the pattern here for free! So you too can nerd out with some stability jokes!

All back stitch, my favorite apparently

All back stitch, my favorite apparently

back side, lots of knots

back side, lots of knots

Here’s a sneak peak at an eventual, upcoming embroidery that involves the mysterious Pedro.

Can you guess?

Can you guess?


Shell #6

March 10, 2014

Not much to say about this one since it’s a pattern repeat, NL6808, previously seen here and here, though this is at least the 6th go-around. The fabric is the star on this one, a quilting cotton I got from Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver. You can get away with quilting cotton with this pattern since it’s semi-fitted and doesn’t need any drape. As usual I replaced the facings with bias tape and left off the zipper.


I have one more of these tops cut out in a super awesome, crazy printed linen. Next time I cut out with this pattern I’ll have to do some tissue maintenance, it’s getting pretty beat up!


Simple Datura

March 3, 2014

Deer & Doe is a pattern company that I’ve admired from afar for a while. When they first started the patterns were entirely in French, which wouldn’t have stopped me but it would have slowed me down, but I am sometimes trigger shy when it comes to buying online. I’m much more likely to pick things up in an actual store. Last year when visiting Pedro in Denver, we visited a craft and sewing store called Fancy Tiger Crafts (really awesome place if you’re in the area) and I picked up my first Deer & Doe pattern the Datura Blouse.

The photos are grainy because I took them after wearing this to work, so the sun was already down.

The photos are grainy because I took them after wearing this to work, so the sun was already down.

The word datura wasn’t familiar to me so I looked it up. The interwebs say it’s a stocky, flowering herb with spiney seed pods and trumpet shaped white or purple flowers. Not sure if that’s what the pattern is actually named for but it’s interesting to know, and now I’ll probably always associate the pattern with spikey seed pods and trumpet flowers.

Pattern: Datura Blouse by Deer & Doe

Fabric: Both fabrics are remnants from my stash, and probably previously from my mom’s stash. These are probably both rayon-type blends based on the way they handle and press, the white might be more of a viscose. This is a great pattern for small amount of fabric, so even though my fabrics were from the depths of stashdom, they’ll be going back into the stashdom because I didn’t use them up completely (can’t waste it right?).


Design Likes/Dislikes: I like the style a lot, but it’s not very innovative in this first version I’ve made (plain neckline, no collar). I bought the pattern because I loved the cut out triangles (which I will be making next time). I don’t understand the point of the back buttons though, wouldn’t they hurt when you’re leaning against a hard surface? And they don’t go all the way up the back (to where the top is more fitted) so they’re obviously not needed to get into the top (hence why I left them off). The construction of this top is really awesome and I’m going to try to remember to use it when lining other sleeveless things.

Sizing and Fit: I think I traced a size 36, I didn’t write it down anywhere so I don’t know for sure. But that’s the size I usually use in european patterns, and it fits very well – mostly fitted on top and very swingy and loose on bottom. The neckline gaps just a little but I think that’s more due to the upper fabric not being stable and possibly stretching out.


Changes: Datura has a lot of design options, so it isn’t really a change, but I made the version with a plain neckline and no collar. I omitted the back buttons by just cutting the back piece smaller, it probably would have looked nicer if I’d also cut it on the fold, but oh well.

For Next Time: Triangle cut outs, definitely.



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