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Halloween Garden Wreath

October 7, 2017

You know when you see a picture of someone else’s crafting or sculpture and it triggers another idea that’s related but totally different? This is one of those cases.

I saw this pin on pinterest of 1/12 scale flowers with fang mouths in the middle (I’m not going to repost the image because it’s not mine, please click the link to see it), not even sure if it just showed up randomly or what, but it was instantly “I could make a wreath like that!” (I have a whole pin board of ideas for wreaths)…

I wanted mine to have eyes though and, since Halloween starts in August according to the craft supply stores, I was able to find some styrofoam eye balls and spooky flowers. I feel like I’ve seen flowers with eyes before as a Halloween decoration but I’m not sure where.

My new front door! I own this!

I cut off the back half of the eye balls and some of the center petals of the flowers to make them fit better. Then just glued everything in place onto a premade silver twig wreath. The fake flowers all came with leaves on their stems so I stuck some of them into the wreath too. Use all parts of the buffalo, as they say. Actually the spiders aren’t glued in place because they came with clips on the back, so I could potentially move them around more.

I considered trying to add eyelids with clay or something but it sounded more complicated than necessary (and I didn’t want to buy a ton more craft supplies that I’d only use a tiny bit of).

Another successful wreath, if I do say so myself. It’ll probably stay on my front door until Thanksgiving!



Pajama Time

September 6, 2017

Can you believe I didn’t have a plain old pajama sewing pattern before I bought this one? I have a lot of patterns so it seems like something that would just be there for some reason. I was only interested in the pants, but this one seemed to have a lot of good options in case I needed them in the future.

Pattern: M6659, Views F and G. The star wars pair are view F with straight legs, which I made almost immediately after cutting them out last fall (I was in desperate need of more pajama pants) so they have been well worn already. The light blue “winter holiday” pair are view G with tapered legs and are fresh off the sewing machine. I wasn’t sure which view I would like better so I made one of each. I haven’t slept with the holiday pair yet, so my opinion might change, but I think I like the tapered legs better.

Shorts, tapered or straight leg pants have elasticized tie ends.

Click for source

Fabric: Quilting cotton. I LOVE the star wars print, it has ship blue prints on it! The hem band of the star wars pair is white with the star wars logo printed in repeat. The light blue with birds and ornaments will be cute in the winter because it kindof holiday themed.

It started raining as I was taking pictures so some are more grainy than others

Design Likes/Dislikes: There are some nice details included in the pattern like piping around the hem bands if you want it and an elasticated draw string. I actually hate normal and elasticated draw strings though so I just put full elastic in the waist. The height of the waist is also problematic, way too high, landing in an awkward location and being straight across instead of higher in back.

Sizing and Fit: I made the star wars pair first and almost quit when I first tried them on because the waist fit so strange. When the envelope says semi-fitted, they mean it. These are not super baggy, saggy pajama pants. They are meant to be pulled up. Obviously there is lots of ease in them, you can’t just slouch the pants down without the fit feeling really weird. But, it was easy enough to fix by folding the front waist down a few inches more and tapering to nothing extra in the back.

Changes: I folded the waist band down more than called for as described above. The pants were also too long. For the star wars pair I was lazy and instead of adding the full faced hem band on the bottom, I just used one set of the hem pieces as a visible facing basically. So they’re probably an inch too short but who cares they’re pajamas. The holiday pair are tapered so that wouldn’t work, this time I cut 2 inches off the bottom of the hem pieces and they turned out a better length. The holiday pair also have some rick rack in the hem band seam which you can’t really see very well.

For Next Time: I’m not sure I’ll need more pajama pants any time soon but I definitely won’t need a different pattern because these are pretty good.


Why Aren’t There More Sewing Patterns with Long Sleeves

August 26, 2017
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I seem to be in constant need of more long sleeved shirts I can wear to work, its chilly in the office year round (and cooler and wetter than normal outside this year too). But once I started searching for long sleeve shirt patterns that aren’t the traditional button up with collar (basically men’s shirts with darts), I realize how few there really are.

Short sleeve shirts are cute but impractical and the ones I’ve made in the past never get worn no matter how much I like them. Sleeveless shirts will always end up paired with a jacket or cardigan so is it really worth sewing them? Sometimes. I do love my shell tops.

I’m also kindof tired of traditional shirts with buttons and collars and sleeve vents. They’re not comfortable to me and you almost always have to tuck them into pants. Collars in general seem pointless unless it’s a coat, they’re literally just decoration. I hate the pleats that are always on shirt sleeves, they look poofy on me (I also dislike sleeves that are meant to be poofy with gathering or ruffles for the most part). I prefer slim looking sleeves, but they’re more difficult to draft and so end up being few and far between. Not to mention that copying men’s wear is just boring most of the time.

So here is the first collarless, buttonless, long sleeve blouse I searched out and made, and it’s definitely a winner.

Pattern: V9151, View B

Loose-fitting, pullover tunic has stand-up collar and front bands, V-neckline, back pleated into yoke, and narrow hem. A: Short sleeves and stitched hem on sleeves. B, C: Long sleeves. B: Contrast.

Click for source

Fabric: Geometric polyester from Hancock (pre-demise), and some leftover black crinkle cotton. A contrast fabric with more similar characteristics to the poly print would probably have been ideal, but I wanted solid black and I didn’t really feel like buying anything. This crinkle cotton was on hand (and a large enough scrap). It works and the texture difference is nice.

Design Likes/Dislikes: I don’t have any major dislikes with this shirt, which is good because I spent a long time searching out the right type of pattern. I was worried while I was putting the collar together because it didn’t look like the pieces would fit together but they did in the end. The sleeves are just the right amount of looseness, but might be a little long on me, I will consider doing 3/4 sleeves next time.

Sizing and Fit: I made a size S which is supposed to represent sizes 8-10 and I think it fits well. I almost always make a size 10 even though I’m not sure if it has ever corresponded with my measurements on paper. It’s suppose to be loose fitting and there are no closures so you need it to be somewhat loose to get on and off. One major thing to remember is there are no darts, just a tiny bit of ease gathering near the bust, so this shirt might not work well straight out of the envelope for larger chests.

Changes: I shortened the hem by about 2 inches.

For Next Time: Possibly 3/4 sleeves, but I definitely want to make this again


Plain Black, Not Boring

August 9, 2017

Some updates: I passed the Professional Engineer Exam!!! I can’t express how much of a relief is it, I can move on with my life now! And related to moving on with life, we bought a house! Which of course meant packing up and moving my sewing room, hence not posting about any sewing for the last month.

Last year my work place relaxed it’s dress code so we could wear jeans any day of the week (being in a regional office, we usually fudged the rules and wore jeans on Fridays but even that didn’t at the corporate headquarters in KC). That was supposed to be the only change, as in you’re still supposed to look business casual with polos or equivalent, but a lot of the guys have lowered the bar drastically wearing tennis shoes and even “nice” t-shirts. I’m not impressed by that development, but it is nice to wear jeans.

This will be the last time you see this backdrop in my blog pictures!

I tend to wear a ton of sweaters, even in the summer, because the office is usually cold. But I wanted more “dressy” t-shirt options. Something with a nice twist (not literally), but also not too weird or shapeless or casual.

Pattern: V1389, which is unfortunately not for sale except on the resale market because it’s a Donna Karen license

Pullover top has neck and sleeve bands, front extending to side back and stitched hem.

Fabric: Black cotton-lycra jersey (which is my favorite for t-shirts – lots of recovery but not too clingy)

Design Likes/Dislikes: The neck binding needed to be stretched a lot to fit, but this top is meant for super stretchy fabric so it works. Still a little wonky though. I love the side seams, it really makes this top more interesting than a standard t-shirt… even if you can’t really see the seams on this black fabric. Now that I’m looking at the pictures I think the neckline makes it look like I’m slouching… or maybe I’m slouching, hard to tell.

This is the best picture of the side seam I ended up with, ignore the nose itch

Sizing and Fit: I made my usual size 10. This shirt is very fitted and the sleeves seem to have negative ease. The arm holes might be too high also. But it feels pretty great anyways due to the raglan sleeves and awesome fabric. It doesn’t feel tight at all but it’s obviously riding up so maybe I should have gone a size up. I have gained a bit of weight over the stressful winter, not much but just enough that my favorite pants don’t fit anymore 😦

Changes: None that I can remember.


Skirt from 2015


Wreath of Broken Toys

June 26, 2017

I made a wreath out of broken/dog-chewed toys and toy parts.

This was a pretty straight forward wreath. After I collected a variety of toys (mostly discards from my nephew), I painted a cardboard wreath form black (cut out from old boxes) then started hot gluing stuff together. The only toys that didn’t stay put with the hot glue were some little ninjas made of rubber.


Silver Cowl

June 19, 2017

There’s not a whole lot to say about this one besides it’s a really fast sew. I’m thinking I don’t care much for cowl necklines, they never seem to lay well.

Pattern: BurdaStyle 11/2013 #112

Click for source


Fabric: Slinky, silver, polyester mystery knit from SR Harris. I found it in their defect bin so it was even cheaper than usual, which is saying something because literally everything as SR is half off the list price and I’m pretty sure everything they buy is defective in some way. But that’s why SR is fun, you never know what you’ll find but it will probably be cheap!

Anyways, this fabric was actually very easy to sew, even though it looks slippery. It sheds sparkles everywhere though, hopefully that lessens as it gets washed more. And there are defects in the fabric knit, but you really can’t see them until you look and I didn’t even try to avoid them.

Design Likes/Dislikes: I really like the lining (though I should have made it full length, I had enough fabric. Oh well), it makes for a really clean finish. Burda’s instructions were a little confusing but I figured it out after reading through a couple times. The shoulders are cut in a little, and while I like this look because it instantly makes you look more athletic, it doesn’t pair well with my normal bras. And I’m unlikely to find a different bra just for a shirt. BUT this is sleeveless so I’m also unlikely to wear it without a cardigan or jacket anyways. So it doesn’t matter in the end.

Sizing and Fit: I made a size 34 and I think it fits very well. I think all those ripples on the body are really just because the fabric is so wiggly because it does not feel tight.

Changes: I only cut the lining halfway, so it’s kindof the length of a built in bra. I did that because I was only thinking the lining would be useful to achieve a clean finish on the edges but it really would have been better with a full lining. Self lining by the way. The fabric is just a little see through some times. But it’s not too noticeable.

Inside front

For Next Time: If I ever have a craving for a knit cowl tank, this will definitely be what I use. But I doubt I’ll be making this again anytime soon, just because I have so many other plans.


Holiday Crafting 2016 Edition

June 12, 2017

Only a little bit late showing off my christmas crafting from last year, nothing to worry about.

I had the tree set up for less than 24 hours before this happened…

Two throw pillow covers I made as gifts for my mom-in-law and sister-in-law, for both of these I was trying to use up fabric scraps:

I have no idea if my SIL got the Stranger Things reference but I thought it was hilarious. Even if she didn’t, she loves coffee so it works out.

Back envelope cover and a helper kitten

The kitty’s eyes ended up looking a little demented…

Pieced back envelope

And as per tradition, I made some ornaments. These are made of white baking clay that I rolled out and cut with holiday cookie cutters. Then painted in a minimalist style and tied together with string and ribbon. Some of the painted sections I covered in a varnish to make them shiny if the paint wasn’t inherently shiny.

Cats, always helping

If I was smart I’d start thinking about ornaments for 2017 now…