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Simplicity 8529 by Sew House Seven

March 14, 2018

January and most of February was very cold and very snowy and I hope we’re done with it but we’re probably not. So I made a sweater. Behold:

Pattern: S8529 View A. This pattern is basically the same as the Toaster Sweater version 2, also by Sew House Seven. I wish version 1 of the Toaster sweater was included too but I can understand why its not, it’s pretty much a completely different pattern. I might buy it at some point because I think I like it better…

Fabric: Sweater knit from Hancocks. It’s probably a poly blend, but it’s really comfortable and sheds like crazy at the unfinished edges.

Design Likes/Dislikes: I have a like/hate relationship with drop shoulder sleeves. The look good on other people but I don’t like how they look on me. But they seem to be trendy right now so a lot of boxy sweater patterns have them. Interestingly it seems like the original Toaster pattern doesn’t have such droopy sleeves, maybe another point in its favor to try it out.

I like that the collar/cowl is self lined and secured in the seam so it doesn’t flip out, it’s also very cozy. It’s kindof an odd design though because it’s obviously meant to fold a little (like it is on me and the model) but it’s not quite a true cowl so it looks unintentional. My best (male) work friend complimented me on it, unprompted, so it must look good beyond being comfy and warm.

Sizing and Fit: I think I made a size 10. It’s hard to mess up the size on something like this that is nearly a big square.

Changes: I added a seam on the back to conserve fabric and sewed the side vents closed more. They’d go up to my waist otherwise! I wish I’d done a better job hemming because my serger stretched things out a lot, but I tried to fix that as much as possible.

For Next Time: For once I already have this back in the queue with another sweater knit! I’m going to do view C or D, maybe with a contrast binding if I think of it.



A Wreath, A Painting and Some Mending

March 7, 2018

… walk into a bar. Oh, no that’s not right…

Here’s just a few random things going on in the background of my regular garment sewing:

  • I decided I needed a plant painting for my upstairs hallway because a lot of the walls in our house are still pretty bare. Its not quite as “green” as I wanted, I should have done the background in mint instead of light yellow. I’m done painting but I’m going to “frame” it with some strips of wood, just need to buy stain first.

  • Mr. Husband blows out the elbows of his shirts every once in a while. Usually he abandons those shirts to my refashion box, but I guess this purple shirt is a favorite so he actually asked me to fix it. I just pinched it back together and sewed it closed like a dart then reinforced it with some cotton on the inside.

  • For no particular reason I felt like making a wreath with some rope I had on hand (it’s the kind of rope that’s used on cat scratching posts, leftover from the cat scratching post I made… which I guess I never blogged about?). It was fun to make and I think it looks really good, but I actually don’t want to hang it up at my house! Too rustic for my tastes. Its a weird feeling, liking something but not wanting it.

  • And I started another quilt with red and green squares and half square triangles, the colors of our NHL hockey team, the Minnesota Wild. Not sure how big it will be but I’m going to make star shapes, I’m trying not to over analyze it! Right now I have a ton of squares cut out and made one star.

Most of this stuff I post more about on instagram (see preview on the right side bar), if you care for more “real time” updates ha!


Burda Style 08/2014 #132… Kindof

February 21, 2018

So this doesn’t look like the pattern I’m listing in the title… because in the end it isn’t. But it was at one point! This is a refashion of a failed sewing project that was a scrap buster… does that make sense?

Pattern: I started with Burda Style 08/2014 #132, an asymmetrical, drop shoulder t-shirt with some pleats at the waist

But I made some fatal mistakes that resulted in me cutting the top open and modifying the fit with Butterick 4198 and the sleeves with Sewaholic Renfrew.

Fabric: This started as a stash busting project. I somehow have accumulated lots of leftover pieces of jersey from both my projects and my mom’s, but none are large enough to make a whole t-shirt alone. So I mixed  few together. The floral print is the reason I tried to save this project after the initial pattern fail, it’s so soft and drapy! The black is a cotton-lycra, and the gray feels like a poly-lycra that’s slightly heavier than the other 2 fabrics.


Design Likes/Dislikes: I really need to just stay away from drop shoulder tops, I don’t like how they look at all. You really need something super drapy to make them work.

The 2 reasons the Burda pattern was a failure for me is because 1) I thought it looked too long, so I shortened the pattern before cutting into fabric, but the front pattern piece is weird looking with the pleats so it was hard to tell how short to make it… I made it too short. I’m also not a fan of the sideways high-low hem and should have made the effort to straighten it. 2) I accidentally cut the sleeves on the cross grain so there was no stretch at all. Even with all that, I wore it once and hated it.

For reference, here is the first iteration:

So I cut the sides open and the sleeves off. Cut new sleeves from Renfrew and shaped the sides using B4198 and eventually put it back together. Now, I love this top from the waist up, the neckline is perfect and the pleats are very pretty. But the lower half is still kindof odd because the pleats had to be eased into the lower band. I probably should have pleated them again at the bottom. So in the end it’s kindof blouson and I’m not a huge fan. The whole thing kindof pops up too so I have to pull it down a lot. This is probably a weekend only shirt, but at least I finished it.

Sizing and Fit: Burda was originally a size 36, B4198 was size 10, I can’t remember what size I use for the Renfrew.

Changes: see above, so many changes.

For Next Time: I still like the idea of the pleats, and I could probably do a better pattern mashup with B4198 if I did it all on paper first (instead of hacking into a completed t-shirt lol!) but I’m not sure I will. Too many fishes in the sea to bother with this one.


What’s Inside Molly’s Head, February 2018

February 14, 2018

I haven’t done a “link sharing” post in a while, but I always like sharing interesting articles that you might have missed if you’re just reading sewing blogs:

  • What defines you? For most Americans we describe what we do for work first, and I’m definitely guilty of this, but what we do outside of work is just as important. The Cut did a whole series on hobbies.
  • Star Wars Spoilers if you click this link, but I totally agree with the author’s idea that in order for the Last Jedi to be a great movie, you had to read the books first (yes, multiple, there are so many Star Wars books coming out right now it’s impossible to keep up). Not a good marketing plan I think.
  • Protest poems
  • Recipes as we know them were the work of science and industrialization.
  • While we’re on the food topic: what is “processed food”
  • Explaining the Midwest
  • The history of blue jeans has been whitewashed
  • Survey’s keep saying American’s trust in the media is at an all time low, but I don’t really get it. Maybe people have just forgotten how to tell the difference between reliable sources with good writing and gaping plot holes?
  • A lot of people have been quoting Martin Luther King Jr. recently, and in the last year, but I kept hearing the same “hate cannot drive out hate” quote. He had so many that were just as, if not more, powerful so it’s worth rereading some of his work. “Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly”
  • When your dignity and your freedom are on the line, the clothes you can afford shouldn’t stop you from getting a fair trial.
  • We’re still ignoring CTE, just like the NFL wants us to.
  • NPR reported on a really interesting study asking if we can actually have the good life for everyone on the planet while still being sustainable… currently, we’re failing but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn it around.

Hm, that got kindof political and protesty… but that’s the world we live in. If we’re not calling people out, we’re part of the problem. Here’s a cat:


Drape Drape 2 Top #4

February 7, 2018

This is my second time making this pattern from Hisako Sato’s second Drape Drape pattern book. I really like the design, but I still have some issues with the end product, some of which are my fault and some the pattern.

Pattern: Drape Drape 2 Top #4

Fabric: a thin, almost tissue weight, jersey from SR Harris. Pretty sure this is a misprint, like a lot of fabrics at SR, because half the width is printed with a dyed plaid print and the other half is plain white. It is so soft! But this is definitely a summer shirt.

This picture looks blurry, but no that’s just how the fabric is

Design Likes/Dislikes: It’s really fun that this whole top is just one pattern piece, although that makes cutting out more difficult on my table, and as before I like the drape. I raised the neckline about an inch on the pattern but that was not enough by a long shot. Could be that my fabric stretched out but I think the neck just needs to get a ton smaller. I also forgot to use binding and instead just turned the edge over, so I need to make better notes in the pattern of where to bind edges… it might benefit from having bound arm holes too since the more normal shaped sleeve (my left) always stretches out while hemming (this happened on my first version too which makes me think it’s because of the fabric grain).

Sizing and Fit: Same size as last time, Large I believe.

Changes: Raised the neckline, but will have to shrink it considerably more next time. I was constantly messing with it the day I wore this to work (which was a bad idea anyways because it was way too cold).

For Next Time: I’ll probably try this one at least one more time because I think it’s more dressed up than a standard t-shirt, but still comfortable like a t-shirt. Maybe in fabric with a little more weight though.


Windmill Wall Hanging

January 31, 2018

Or “Christmas Presents Part 2: The Finally”…

I made a wall hanging quilt for my mom who likes windmills. She actually gave me the embroidery/quilt pattern about 4 years ago, which you can see in my very first instagram post!

Thanks mom… but probably not in time for your birthday…

A post shared by Molly Pruess (@mtoferet) on

The windmill is about 10″ x 16″ so it took a while to embroider, and about halfway through I decided I didn’t like the extra barbed wire pattern. Once the embroidery was done, I pretty much just winged it sewing strips and squares together until I liked the size. Thankfully I have a lot of blue quilting cotton laying around…

I threw together a backing, and sandwiched it with some batting. Quilting on a regular sewing machine is no joke, super annoying even with a walking foot. Granted I don’t have the best setup for it since my machine is in a desk. I’m really rooting for Mom to get the fancy long arm quilting machine that she wants now that I know how much a pain it is.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t do a great job with the binding, but since it’s just a wall hanging I didn’t care so much. I might review some tutorials before I eventually bind my big blue quilt. But that will be a long time from now since I’m hand quilting it… and the kittens have decided it’s a great bed.

It's going to take a long time, but its already loved by #spotthecat #quilting

A post shared by Molly Pruess (@mtoferet) on


Baseball Pillowcases

January 18, 2018

Or “Christmas Presents Part 1″…

While I like making things for other people, I’ve always felt they should be useful things for that particular person. And, knowing that sewing presents is never quick if you include the planning and cutting phase, I never try to make something for everyone. Thankfully my family “draws names” so I only have a couple people to find gifts for anyways (it’s more like randomize on a spreadsheet, but same idea).

All of that is to say I made some simple pillowcases for my cousin who is a Minnesota Twins fan.

Pillowcases are really easy and fun for using up random 1/2 yards of cute quilting cotton that you bought on a whim (you know you do it too). There are plenty of tutorials on how to make standard sized pillowcases out there so I won’t go into it.

I only made one other present this year, but it was much more involved. Now that “the holidays” are over, you’ll be seeing it soon…