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Tank with Tiny Pocket

November 12, 2014

Even though my last Tiny Pocket Tank (minus the tiny pocket) was a little tight, I still wear it often so I threw caution to the wind and cut out 4 more TPTs at once.  Except this one is still tight even using the correct seam allowance (1/2″ instead of the normal 5/8″), so I think on the next 3 I’ll sew the side seams even smaller… but then I also realized after the fact that I should have trimmed the arm hole seam allowance down when doing the bias binding so that could also factor into the tightness :( dumb. Next time I’ll get it right!  If I hadn’t already cut the other 3 out I would probably have sized up instead (even though that would mean printing and cutting and taping again boo)

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Pattern: Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank

 

Fabric: Black cotton with silver threads bought earlier this year in Seattle.  What. I’m actually using fabric bought in the same calendar year! What is this blasphemy?

Design Likes/Dislikes: Love the swingy loose shape, no fear of feeling constricted… except at the arm holes but we’ve already talked about that. The neckline is bordering on too low though.

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Sizing and Fit: Tight in the bust, see above.

Changes: None, I even used the tiny useless pocket! but instead of hemming the pocket, I cut two out and sewed them right sides together to enclose the seams. I should have finished the side and shoulder seams because the metallic threads are a little itchy, not enough to stop me from wearing it yet.

And here is what happens when you prop your camera up on a box on your bed...

And here is what happens when you prop your camera up on a box on your bed…

Helpful kitten, always.

Helpful kitten, always.

For Next Time: Smaller side seam allowances and trim the arm holes down.

Quick and (mostly) painless.

~Molly

Hipster Lumberjack Party Pirate

November 7, 2014
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HelloHello, as I have been absent gallivanting around the world, some of you may not know me (or gasp, remember me??).  I am Pedro.

As a dedicated hipster, it is my duty to represent my generation in the Halloween festivities.  This year I went as myself, a hipster lumberjack party pirate. Obviously.

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This was the best shot I could get of my pink hair. Molly and I inherited the thick hair gene somewhere down the line so it took a lot of hair chalk to even get it to show this much…

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While wandering around campus late at night I found a brick wrapped like a present, presumably to anchor some nonexistent balloons. So naturally I decided to pose with it.

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The full outfit. I suppose it’s hard to make out, but I’m holding my small plastic parrot in my other hand… you know, because I’m a pirate. Striped leggings and plaid flannel shirt complete the “look”

Ingredients for a successful Pedro costume:

  • Mismatched everything. Striped leggings and pink flannel? You betcha.
  • One or two key elements to solidify the theme. In the pirate case, a jaunty eyepatch and plastic parrot.
  • PARTY! Glow necklaces do the trick nicely.

Thank you thank you, that is all.

–Pedro

Disco Burda

November 1, 2014
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So this dress is a little… different, at least for me.  But in the name of experimentation, I will show you what I’ve made.

This is how I'd "style" this dress if I was going as a 60s-ish go-go dancer for Halloween... but being mostly anti-social I had no reason to dress up this year so I didn't really make a costume

This is how I’d “style” this dress if I was going as a 60s-ish go-go dancer for Halloween… but being mostly anti-social I had no reason to dress up this year so I didn’t really try to make a costume.

Pattern:  Burda Young 7056, view A

Click photo for link to the German Burda site (the Simplicity site is stupid)

No-frill dresses for the confident woman, being the focus. All slightly flared, fitted at the back waist, shoulders left exposed. C with standing collar, B to fit the evening, with feathers at the hem.

I’ve been trying to pick a pattern to use with my precious Marimekko fabric (bought more than two years ago on my honeymoon) and I’m finally getting around to testing this one.  Since I have two different cuts of 2 yards of that fabric I think I will use this pattern, but maybe widen the shoulders out to be more bra friendly.

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Fabric:  Stretch cotton, similar to the weight of quilting cotton, bought a while ago at Denver Fabrics (the physical store, not the website.  They’re not related) in Littleton, CO.  I wish I had noticed it had stretch in it because the Marimekko fabric does not.  I was just trying to get something with a similar weight when I picked this out.  The colors are not my normal thing, it reminds me of the 60s or 70s.

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Design Likes/Dislikes:  First off, when Burda says mini dress, they mean it.  I would not wear this to work, so for the next round I’ll be adding length (hopefully that doesn’t make it look frumpy…).  As is, it’s fine for Halloween or just a weekend summer dress, but it probably won’t get a ton of wear (lets face it, I’m just not a Dress Girl most of the time).  I like the cut of the shoulders, but it doesn’t work with my normal bras so I will widen them for the final dress.

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Sizing and Fit:  I made a straight size 10, and had no fitting issues, but usually I don’t have fitting issues.  I’m 5’4″ and I would consider this dress short on me so if you’re taller and don’t like minis, best to just lengthen it right away!

Changes:  None

This is not a dress length meant for bending over!

This is not a dress length meant for bending over!

For Next Time:  Add length and widen shoulders… eventually!  I’ve got a few things in the queue to work through before I’ll get back around to this one, but I will for sure.

~Molly

It’s a T-Shirt, Charlie Brown

October 27, 2014
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When I complained about all the t-shirt patterns in the market right now, I mentioned that even I had succumbed and bought the Renfrew pattern when I already have a t-shirt pattern that I know fits me well.  But the Renfrew has all the extra details and variations I was missing on my Butterick pattern, and I’m way too lazy to draft the changes I want!  Also I too can be a sucker for a shiny new pattern… that came out two years ago.  Hey, have you ever seen me follow the sewing trends? Not so much.

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Pattern:  Sewaholic Renfrew (in my head I always call it Renufrew, no idea why)

The Renfrew Top is a fitted knit top with sleeve and neckline variations. View A has long sleeves and a scoop neckline. View B has short sleeves and a deep V neckline. View C has a dramatic cowl neckline and three-quarter length sleeves. Mix and match any of the sleeves with any of the neckline options for unlimited possibilities!

Fabric:  Polyester blend knit from Hancocks.  Not the best quality (static!) but the print sucked me in, and it does have good stretch and recovery and it warm.  For being black and white, this print seems really loud, and everytime I look down the zigzags remind me of Charlie Brown.

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Design Likes/Dislikes:  This was so fast to sew up, I loved not having to think about how I was going to hem anything.  I think the hem bands are really professional looking.  I chose to make the draped collar version because I wanted to wear this to work, not that there is probably anything wrong with wearing a regular t-shirt collar to work but I just think this looks more interesting and professional.

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Sizing and Fit:  I made a size 4 with no changes, it is a little snug but that is the way it’s intended.  If I was ever going to use a knit with less stretch I would definitely add some width.  The 3 quarter sleeves are the perfect length.

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For Next Time:  I’m definitely going to try the other neck variations.

~Molly

Watch Out, Martha Stewart

October 18, 2014
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Once the glue gun gets warmed up, there’s no stopping me!  I am a crafting ninja.  A spray paint wizard.  Queen of the ribbon!  I’ll have my own crafting empire in no time flat.

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I’m pretty damn proud of myself, if you couldn’t tell.

I have a hard time pinpointing my feelings about holiday decor.  On the one hand Christmas decorating seems so fun, endless possibilities (even if I never seem to get to all my ideas). I lovelove Christmas ornaments (I am not christian though, so Christmas is just about family gatherings and tradition for us).  But decorating for most other holidays seems old lady-ish (Easter decor is kindof sickening, but I hate pastels in general so…).  Halloween can get very kitchy too, but I do like the fall seasonal look a lot.  Spring and summer are my favorite seasons in general, but I don’t like the decorations I’ve seen people come up with for them.

So I decided to throw as much irony into my Halloween/Fall crafting as possible.  Bring on the gaudy!  I’m interested in wreaths in particular right now, they are just simple circles, but there are so many possibilities because you can put whatever you want on them and everyone still knows what they are.  They just seem like a staple of holiday decorating to me.  So I made a gold gourd Halloween wreath of awesomeness!

I found some fake gourds at the craft store that had already been lightly spray painted gold, but I didn’t get enough and there weren’t any left the next time I went.  So I spray painted some orange ones! plus some paper mache skulls!

Not as gold as I thought they should be, but whatever

Not as gold as I thought they should be, but whatever

I got a “wreath frame” to wrap the ribbon around first.  The frame came with bits of wire sticking out all around it so I just used those to secure the ribbon and wove the ribbon in and out of the frame.  I didn’t worry about covering the frame 100% because the gourds would help with that also.

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Nothing fancy

Nothing fancy

Here is the wreath before adding the gourds, doesn't look too bad just like that either!

Here is the wreath before adding the gourds, doesn’t look too bad just like that either!  I used the entire roll of ribbon, I think 25 yards?

Now for the hot glue!

Potato helps me pick the next gourd to glue on...

Potato helps me pick the next gourd to glue on…

Big gourds and skulls go on first

Big gourds and skulls go on first

And the final product!  I could really get into this wreath making business, this first one was such a great success that I’m pretty pumped to start planning my Christmas/Winter wreath.

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Do you decorate for holidays?

~Molly

Sew Bossy: Minnesota via Ireland Edition

October 8, 2014
This box traveled from Minnesota to Ireland and back

This box traveled from Minnesota to Ireland and back

So last year sometime, I emailed Louise (who blogs at a view into my world) about possibly doing a Sew Bossy together.  I’ve always enjoyed Louise’s sewing and writing, and I admire her dedication to being environmentally conscious and participation in triathlons (I am not unhealthy, but I really only enjoy light exercise ;) ).  I wouldn’t say our styles are the same exactly, but neither of us are very girly and I think we try to be more modern instead of “vintage.”  Turns out we also both like taking our sewing slow!  Let me break down the time line of The Most Drawn Out Sew Bossy Ever:

August 2013: Molly contacts Louise about initiating a Sew Bossy

September 2013: The soft date to have mailed packages to each other

July 2014: Louise has nearly finished sewing her dress

September 2014: Molly finishes sewing her jacket

October 2014: Pictures taken and posted online!

Obviously dates don’t really matter and our version of Sew Bossy was very relaxed.  I prefer sewing on my own schedule anyways.  Louise sent me the By Hand London (man does that name irk me) Victoria blazer pattern and some really cool polyester jacquard with a circular pattern woven into it.  She also sent some lining, but I choose to use this dotted lining I had left over from my bridesmaid’s dress because the circles were just too perfect of a match.

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There isn't enough to do much with the extra scrap fabrics Louise sent but they are so much fun to play with (especially that pleated fabric, it bounces!)

There isn’t enough to do much with the extra scrap fabrics Louise sent but they are so much fun to play with (especially that pleated fabric, it bounces!)

Pattern:  Victoria Blazer by By Hand London

"The Victoria is a casual blazer featuring 3/4 length sleeves, a turned up French seamed cuff and side seam pockets, with cropped and sleeveless variations. Designed with a generous amount of ease for a laid back style, this blazer is the perfect throw-it-over-everything wardrobe staple."

“The Victoria is a casual blazer featuring 3/4 length sleeves, a turned up French seamed cuff and side seam pockets, with cropped and sleeveless variations. Designed with a generous amount of ease for a laid back style, this blazer is the perfect throw-it-over-everything wardrobe staple.”

This is the first BHL pattern I’ve tried and I can’t say I’m overly impressed.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like this jacket and I’d consider making it again because it was so easy, but it’s the only pattern from BHL that I like at all.  I feel like BHL is over praised a lot online so I might have been a little sour going in, but when it comes down to it I think the jacket fit is a little funny (it’s a boxy style so they can get away with the strange darts) and I didn’t care for the way the instructions were written.  But I’ll get to all that below.

Spot helping me trace the pattern...

Spot helping me trace the pattern…

When it comes to pattern packaging I think I’m a minimalist or maybe I’m just too used to traditional envelope style packaging.  It just felt like they went overboard on the paper, there are so many bits and pieces and folders and booklets.  I think they put just as much time into designing the packaging as they did that actual pattern.  Yes, presentation is important, but content is more important.

Spot helping me lay out the fabric...

Spot helping me lay out the fabric…

Fabric:  Polyester jacquard and lining.  I love the fabric Louise sent me, I’ve never seen fabric like this and it’s such a cool modern weave.  It has absolutely no give, so setting the sleeves was slow but I got it done with minimal puckering.  FYI, this pattern has very high sleeve caps.

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Spot helping me take photos…

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Spot being angry that I’m not taking her outside… and Potato being a clueless kitten, as usual…

Design Likes/Dislikes:  Lately I’ve been really into the loose top and skinny-ish pants silhouette so I like how comfortable and unfitted this jacket is.  The collar is interesting and not used a lot in sewing patterns, and the split cuffs are a nice touch.  I don’t like that the collar doesn’t have much help turning because there is absolutely no shape to it, it’s just a rectangle, same with the front lapel.  If I remember right the jacket edge is shaped a little, but the lapel is not so it never lays totally flat.  These issue would probably be helped by a more drapy or malleable fabric.

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Spot waiting patiently for the front door to open… also, my awesome lining

Sizing and Fit:  The only shaping in the jacket comes from the darts created by the collar seam (which is pretty much impossible to see in my pictures because it’s black fabric).  I can not tell if they’re supposed to be bust darts or not though.  If the jacket hangs loose, the darts seem to sit correctly, pointing down towards the bust, but then the side seams are not at my sides, they swing way out back.  In this position I can’t easily get my hand in the pocket or even find the pocket in the side seam without looking and pulling the jacket around.  If I pull the jacket closed so the side seams are at my sides, the darts don’t work at all.  Again this could be because my fabric is really stiff, but I don’t think that’s the only problem here.  It’s the drafting.

Spot trying to find a way to open the door, Potato trying to find out what Spot is doing (she's follows Spot everywhere) and me trying to find my pocket...

Spot trying to find a way to open the door, Potato trying to find out what Spot is doing (she’s follows Spot everywhere), and me trying to find my pocket…

Pocket located, kitten ignored.

Pocket located, kitten ignored.

The sizing of the pattern otherwise is very good.  The shoulders fit great and are comfortable when I move around.

Changes:  I cut off about 2 inches from the bottom, I just eye balled it.  None of the length options seemed quite right to me.  This causes the pocket bags to be a little scrunched up inside, but not enough to be noticeable and they’re still usable.  I also lined the sleeves by just cutting the sleeve piece out twice and bagged the whole jacket instead of hand sewing like the instructions say.  This is actually way easier than all that french seam business that they suggest doing.  Speaking of the instructions, they seemed weird to me.  The content was passable, but it was so hard to read.  They’re trying to be too conversational which distracts from any actual sewing help they might contain.  I didn’t think the illustrations were too helpful either, they didn’t seem to illustrate the main point of the step they were paired with.

BossyVictoria

Yes, we really named our new kitten Potato, what more do you expect from people that named an all black cat Spot? It started out as a joke because she’s so much chubbier than Spot, but it stuck…

For Next Time:  It won’t be any time soon, but I would like to try this one again, maybe in a more traditional jacket fabric.

Over all this was a really fun project, just challenging enough but still really easy compared to my last jacket.  And swapping fabric and pattern with Louise was exciting :)

~Molly

State Fair and MinneSEWta

September 18, 2014

Two real life events that I wanted to share.  First the Minnesota State Fair was at the end of August and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect!  We ate a lot of (unhealthy) food and walked until it felt like my legs were going to fall off, but it was so much fun.  Mostly I wanted to share pictures from the Arts & Crafts building:

Solid line of people into the distance

Solid line of people into the distance

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The Creative Activities building

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FYI, this is a quilt made of tiny squares

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Weaving demonstration

Weaving demonstration

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Then just last weekend the MinneSEWta group had it’s first meet-up!  I’m not sure the group name sticks since I forget to write it correctly all the time, maybe something more simple like Midwest Stitchers would work better… Anyways the meet-up was super fun!  A lot more people came than I initially expected!  We spent about 2 hours at a coffee shop just talking and a couple people brought vintage patterns to give away, then we headed over to SR Harris fabric warehouse and shopped for fabric I didn’t need.  I’m especially excited that people from outside of MN were able to come, Sheila from Canada and Hillary from Fargo!  If we just kept having meet-ups to socialize I’d be completely happy.  Meeting for cocktails or brew wouldn’t be a bad idea either ;)

These first 3 pictures are shamelessly lifted from the Facebook group

These first 3 pictures are shamelessly lifted from the Facebook group

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Top row: Wendy's daughter Abby (?), Wendy, Hillary, Michelle, Joy, Deborah, and Doreen Bottom row: Tina, Sheila, Me, Nakisha, and Kathy

Top row: Wendy’s daughter Abby (?), Wendy, Hillary, Michelle, Joy, Deborah, and Doreen
Bottom row: Tina, Sheila, Me, Nakisha, and Kathy

I think most people found the group through Pattern Review, I tried to link to as many people as I could but I don’t know everyone’s PR name.

Hillary and Sheila

Hillary and Sheila

Joy, Dorenne, and Nakisha

Joy, Doreen, and Nakisha

And here’s what I took home:

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Some really neat pleated/ribbed poly, southwest printed knit, and purple wool (Nakisha got some of this same fabric)

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~Molly

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