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Panel Print

November 25, 2015

Yay for long sleeves!


Pattern: BurdaStyle #123 09/2012

This top is surprisingly striking! This top is made from comfortable and easy to wear jersey, and features shoulder yokes in a contrast fabric.

You really don’t need a pattern to make a shirt like this, just chop off the top corner of any tshirt pattern and add seam allowances back in.

Fabric: Printed 4-way stretch knit, lycra blend most likely. I love the combination of flowers and stripes, but I only had 1.5 panels of the repeat so cutting out was tricky. I ended up having to cut off some of the sleeve length because I was dumb and didn’t measure my arm vs. the pattern piece so I’m kindof bummed that I lost some of the flowers on the sleeve. Would have rather had more flowers and less of the thick black stripe at the shoulder.


Design Likes/Dislikes: There really isn’t a whole lot of design here, but the contrast shoulders are obviously the highlight and would be awesome in lots of different color combinations. But like I said above, you could easily do this to any shirt pattern.


Sizing and Fit: I made a size 34, and it is very fitted. That’s fine for my super stretchy fabric, but anything with minimal stretch would not work at all. I think the arm cycles are a little low too.


Changes: I skipped the facings and back neck opening and added bands on the neck, sleeves, and hem. And I cut off about 2-3 inches from the sleeves and hem :'(

For Next Time: Instead of reusing this pattern, I might frankenstein it to my favorite t-shirt pattern B4198.


Shift Dress

November 18, 2015

I’m still slowly trying to find the perfect pattern for my precious Marimekko fabric, and we might have a winner with this one!



Pattern: BurdaStyle Dress 107 09/2012

Striking pattern, large patch pockets, and angular make this shift dress extra special.

Fabric: Wool blend with woven print (the back side of the fabric is the opposite colors so it’s also very pretty). I lovelovelove this fabric and I’m so glad I waited to use it. Originally (multiple years ago) I felt like the only pattern that would suit this well was a fitted dress, but with no stretch and it being really thick fabric I knew I’d never wear it that much because of comfort.


It is itchy though so I lined the whole thing with the leftovers from this dress.

Design Likes/Dislikes: It’s a great shape, the darts in front give enough definition that it doesn’t look like a sack (to me). And it has sleeves! The shoulder seams get pretty bulky with the sleeve dart intersecting at the same point, but my fabric is also pretty thick. I didn’t add any pockets, but that wouldn’t be hard, the patch pockets are even pretty cute.


Sizing and Fit: I made a size 36 and I think it fits pretty well. Next time, however, I will be adding some sort of shaping in the back, probably just taking in the center back seam near the waist.


Changes: I ended up turning up about 3 inches on the sleeves (which removed most of the bell shape I think, I was going to straighten them out at some point anyways) and 5 inches on the hem. I like deep hems. I bagged the lining using this method, so I didn’t have to do any hand stitching.


For Next Time: Take in the center back seam, “unbell” the sleeves and shorten the whole pattern. I’m going to use my Marimekko fabric with this pattern, but probably not for several months.


Millennium Falcon WREATH

November 11, 2015

This is nerd level 10, beware.

BUT OMG I LOVE IT SOOOO MUCH!!!!!  What can be better than decorating with Star Wars?? Just in time for christmas the new movie!

I did not come up with the idea completely by myself, but the inspiration wasn’t technically a wreath so I can take a little credit.  Somewhere, probably just pinterest, I saw a Millennium Falcon mirror that was basically a wreath, but with a mirror in the middle (also much sturdier and detailed looking than what I made).  I started with a particle board wreath template and gray craft foam and just cut the craft foam to the same shape but with overlapping edges:

New and unusual uses for seam allowance guides!

New and unusual uses for seam allowance guides!

Then cut the circle into sections:

MilleniumFalcon (2)

Numbered the sections so they would still fit together later

I did two layers like this to build up a little dimension

I did two layers like this to build up a little dimension

Then I hot glued them onto the wreath template:

MilleniumFalcon (4)

I used paper templates that I just sketched out to make the cockpit and fin shapes:

MilleniumFalcon (5)

mini Millennium Falcon for reference

mini Millennium Falcon for reference

I didn’t take a picture of the back, but I did reinforce the cockpit extension with some strips of cardboard (Popsicle sticks would have been better, but I didn’t have any).

Next I made the ship look more worn and dirty by watering down acrylic paints:

MilleniumFalcon (7)

MilleniumFalcon (8)

And then I added rhinestones to represent colored patches, windows, and lights on the ship:

MilleniumFalcon (9)

This is not the final rhinestone arrangement

MilleniumFalcon (10)

MilleniumFalcon (11)

And finally, because the rhinestones were so shiny, I again used watered down paint to dirty them up as well.

MilleniumFalcon (13)

MilleniumFalcon (12)

I love it so much, did I say that already? Cause it’s true, this thing is awesome. Definitely my favorite wreath I’ve made so far.  It would take a lot to top how awesome this is.  I gave my last two wreaths to my older sister after having them hang on my door for a while, but this one might have to stay with me a little longer… It’s really season-less after all.


Cross Stitching Takes Forever

November 4, 2015

This seriously took me nearly a year to complete, I have instagram proof.  This is my first time doing cross stitch, which is really just an embroidery stitch.

My first cross stitch, looks like a secret code so far! #whatdelilahdid #craftaholic

A photo posted by Molly Pruess (@mtoferet) on

The only real difference is instead of drawing or transferring lines onto fabric, you use “even weave” fabric that has exactly the same number of threads in each direction per square inch and you count those threads to determine where your next stitch will be.  I don’t think cross stitch would always take a long time, I just decided to pick a large and advanced pattern for my first try.  The only thing that makes it advanced in my mind is the smallness and quantity of stitches, the act of cross stitching is the same no matter what.

ArrowPillow (1)

I should have washed it before sewing it together, the even weave shrank a little. And was impossible to iron for some reason.

But cross stitching is a little different than embroidery because you don’t knot your floss every, instead you thread the loose ends into the backside of the cross stitches and use the tension of the stitches to hold everything in place.  Not sure how secure this would be on something that gets washed often.

ArrowPillow (4)

ArrowPillow (5)

I will probably do more cross stitch mainly because there are tons of cool patterns out there, but it’s kindof annoying that you’re limited in the type of fabric you use. Or if you use regular fabrics (like quilting cotton or felt) you have to have some sort of extra, temporary grid that has to be removed when you finish.  Just seems like a lot of extra work.

ArrowPillow (6)

Anyways, this is the Arrow Cushion pattern by What Delilah Did.  I love her style, she has several really neat books (I bought the christmas book, haven’t used it yet, but its fun just to look at too).  It’s supposed to be made into a 12″ x 18″ pillow case, but when I checked Hancock’s for pillow forms 12″ x 16″ was more common so I made it that size.  There’s enough blank space on the edges to make it smaller without it looking weird.

ArrowPillow (7)

I was worried about loose threads coming out if it ever needed to be washed so I layered some plain muslin on the back and sewed it together as one piece.  The back fabric is a pretty floral, also seen here on the blog.  Since I don’t need a bazillion small pillows at my house, I sent this as a surprise to my aunt in VA and she really enjoys it :)


When In Doubt, Add A Cat

October 26, 2015

Sometimes my sewing process is not very inspired. This shirt, for instance. The fabric had been sitting in my stash for a while, not really sure what to do with it. Obviously it screams traditional shirt, but that’s pretty boring, but even still I couldn’t think of a better way to use it (there probably is a better way, and I still have more I think so maybe I’ll experiment). Eventually I just cut a button up shirt out because I wanted to try Burda’s petite patterns. But, because it was such a boring project, it sat in my queue ready to go for months (possibly a whole year).

Then last month Cindy of Cation Designs announced the Put A Cat On It Sew Along and it just clicked. Have a boring shirt? Add a cat! I’ve been wanting to add embroidery to some of my clothing projects for a long time and this was perfect since the shirt was already cut out (I hate cutting out). My inspiration came from this shirt made by Hiroko Kubota:

Click the image to see more cute cat shirts

I also love this shirt and hope to use it as inspiration at some point also, but for right now modifying the collar shape would have taken longer and I was ready and rearin’ to go.

Pattern: BurdaStyle 6954

From the PR website because apparently Simplicity is stupid with websites (I think we all knew that)

Two blouses, one dress, different styles. A: sleeveless – contrast facings and standing color set fashionable accents. Timelessly classic, dressy variant B. Dress C with short sleeves and tiny ornamental ruffles.

I made view B…


Fabric: Stretch white shirting, probably cotton, with black and silver pinstripes. I made sure to remember to finish all my seams because fabric with metallic threads in is always scratchy.

Design Likes/Dislikes: I like that it’s petite, I’m not super short but I’m a couple inches shorter than what most patterns are drafted for. And I like that it’s a pretty classic shirt style, although that also makes it pretty boring.


Sizing and Fit: I think this is the first time I’ve used a Bruda envelope pattern and you would think the petite sizing would be the same for both magazine and envelope patterns, but I’m not so sure. The shirt feels big in the hips, like the darts should have continued all way to the hem or something. But it feels good everywhere else to me. Well, except the sleeves are pretty wide on my forearm because of the pleats at the cuff, not my favorite. I always roll my sleeves up though. I want to try moving the cuff up to 3/4 length sleeves sometime so I don’t have to bother rolling.



Changes: The only change really was the addition of the cat. This cat is based on my kitten Potato

#putacatonitsewalong #embroideredcatportrait #potatothecat

A photo posted by Molly Pruess (@mtoferet) on

I just traced off a picture of her, but kept the embroidery simple by only using gray floss to match the shirt colors. Because the shirting fabric is stretch, I interfaced the area to be embroidered first and again after finishing to seal in the threads. I used mainly stem stitches and varied the number of floss strands. I’m super proud of how good all the little curves turned out!


Oh I cut the cuffs and button band on the bias so I wouldn’t have to match stripes and then have eye twitches.

For Next Time: Meh, I dunno. I think I’d rather try a different shirt pattern next time. I have more ideas about embellishing shirts though.

And I really did wear this to work last Friday. No one said anything about it though, which is slightly disappointing, but still typical of all the awkward boy engineers I work with.


Senna, not in Vegas

October 21, 2015

We went on vacation to Las Vegas in September (well, I went on vacation.  Mr. Husband was in a conference for 6 days) and I made this dress for the trip but then didn’t end up wearing it! Every night we were just so tired of walking around. Oh well, I wore it for date night recently.  It’s just starting to get chilly so boots and a jacket are required.  This dress is definitely different for me because it’s so tight, thankfully it’s knit so it was still comfortable!

GreenSenna (1)

Pattern: Senna Dress by Lindsay Woodward Patterns

Fabric: Lycra rayon(?) jersey, you never really know what you’re buying at the SR Harris warehouse. I LOVE the color though, hopefully I can squeeze a t-shirt out of the leftovers. It has some serious 4-way stretch.

GreenSenna (2)

Design Likes/Dislikes: The skirt is super tight, the gathers are held in place by elastic up the side seams and the tension across my legs.  It’s definitely not a work dress! I like the combination of tight skirt and loose top though.  The top is ok, but the neckband provided is too short so it constantly looks kindof gathered.  I also got kindof PO’d at the pattern when I was cutting because both neckline variations are on the same bodice piece (that’s fine, lots of patterns do that), but it was not clear enough to me that there was two neckline options.  Like I couldn’t see the crew neck at all (that’s the version I had wanted).  And I don’t like that the front and back bodice are the same.

GreenSenna (4)

GreenSenna (5)

Last complaint is that the waist is not secure on the dress variation, you just sew the top and skirt together, but I feel like it needs elastic because it never stays put. Over all it is a cute dress and I’ll wear it for date nights or other dress up occasions.

It's also very easy for the whole skirt to shift around my body, which I'm pretty sure is why those diagonal lines are in the bodice. That or I stand crooked.

It’s also very easy for the whole skirt to shift around my body, which I’m pretty sure is why those diagonal lines are in the bodice. That or I was standing crooked.

Sizing and Fit: Pretty sure I made a size 4 and it seems to fit correctly.  There’s definitely flexability in which size you pick because the knit has to be so stretchy.

Changes: None

For Next Time: I doubt I’ll be making this again, but if I did I would use a longer neck binding and put something around the waist seam to stabilize it more.

Mr. Husband took pictures again. "OK, give back my phone now"

Mr. Husband took pictures again, he’d getting much better at it by taking about 50 pictures! “OK, give back my phone now”


Being Un-Unsocial

October 17, 2015

So, completely opposite from being unsocial now, I’ve organized a meet up for Twin Cities crafty types!  I’m sure I’ll be super exhausted afterwards and then not feel like meeting up again for another 6 months (because introvert), but sometimes you just need a sewing fix! I blog mostly for that reason, no one to talk to about sewing in real life, but in person talking is needed occasionally.


If you happen to be in the metro area, we’re meeting at the Caribou Coffee at 50th & France in Edina (4999 France Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55410), November 7th at 10am.  This is just an informal gathering to relax and chat all things crafty (knitters, crocheters, crafters of all kinds welcome).  Feel free to bring something for show-and-tell or stash items to swap if you feel like it, not required though.

If you’re in Minnesota or the surrounding area, here’s a link to our facebook group.  It’s a closed group so you have to request an invite, but that’s just so our sewing posts don’t show up in all your non-sewing friends facebook feeds.  It’s not exclusive or anything.

Out-of-towners visiting the Twin Cities should try to contact either me or Nakisha (sorry Nakisha, I’m volunteering you since you have a blog and are well known on PR!) and we could organize a meet-up/fabric shopping for when you’re here!



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