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The Third Shiny Shirt

February 3, 2016

And here is the shiny shirt I made for myself. I was able to take better pictures in the day time after the gala.


Pattern: McCall’s 6991

View B

Fabric: Silver polyester of some sort, probably meant for Halloween costumes. It presses really well, but it just has too much body for this pattern. I have to rearrange the folds constantly if I don’t want to look like a ball… specifically a disco ball. On the other hand, this will be great if I ever want to dress up as a space alien!



Design Likes/Dislikes: I really like the front wrap thing. The front is all one piece which is then twisted in the center, so you have to use a fabric with a nice front and back side. The twisted front makes a really nice pocket for hiding things too!



Sizing and Fit: This pattern is big, like over sized. I made my usual size 10, but if/when I make this again (because I think it really has potential) I will go down a size. From the line drawing you can kindof see the shoulder seams are meant to slope down, but the model photo does not show that at all. If you try flat pattern measuring on this one, do it at the shoulders and the back width. Measuring the front would be nearly impossible before it’s made.


Gold bias tape!

Gold bias tape!

Changes: None

For Next Time: Size down and use fabric that is much more drapey.


Three Shiny Shirts Go to a Gala

January 30, 2016

My sisters and I threw ourselves a new years gala this year (last year? for the 2015 to 2016 transition. It’s a very confusing time of year) and the theme was SHINY. So I dropped everything (that I was sewing) and made us each a new shiny party shirt. I didn’t get many pictures of Pedro or &andra’s shirts (Our older sister. Not her real name, as you might have guessed) so this review will be pretty quick. I’ll look at my shirt more later.


Please excuse the construction, &andra’s living room was in the process of being renovated by Mr. Brother-In-Law

Pedro’s Shiny Red Shirt: Burda #141 12/2014 in size 48


This such a great pattern. It fits Pedro really well and it’s just so cool. I hope Burda makes it in the smaller size range someday. I used a red poly satin and used my sweet rolled hem presser foot to do the flounce hems.


&andra’s Shiny Bamboo Shirt: New Look 6225 View A in size 16


I don’t sew for &andra very often so I was pretty nervous about the fit, but in the end the shirt fits very well. I narrowed the sleeve and didn’t gather it at the hem, by request. The brocade fabric was a huge pain in the butt though, snagging on everything and surprisingly shifty.

Everyone was happy with their outfits and the gala was tons of fun. Plenty of alcohols were consumed.


Books of 2015

January 8, 2016

Last year I feel like I read a lot more books than I have in a long time, which is surprising to me because I’ve never been a “strong reader.” I guess I’ve improved a lot just because I love reading, even if I didn’t used to be fast. I figured I’d do a round up of the books I finished in 2015 (since this is my blog and I do what I want), in basically the order I finished:

  • In Defense of Food – Really liked this, it makes you think past just eating “healthy” because the scientists are not always right about food.
  • The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay – I devoured this series in about 3 days. Not a new story line in general (there is a classic greek mythology story that is very similar), but fun to read and I like the movies too.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey – Also pretty fun, I love scifi though. Pretty sure if I hadn’t read the book first, the movie wouldn’t have made any sense though.
  • Nimona – Not a typical book, it’s a graphic novel and was originally published online. But it’s really good.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Interesting ideas, but Pedro and I are convinced konmari is a little bit of a sociopath. I started folding my clothes the way she suggests because they fit in my drawers better, but it actually sucked the joy out of doing laundry for me (yes, I like doing laundry because I like organizing my stuff).
  • Vermilion – super fun alternate reality, steampunk, victorian, ghost/monster hunting with talking seals and bears.
  • Boy, Snow, Bird – An unusual take on the Snow White story set on the east coast in the 1950s and surprisingly deals a tiny bit with racial tensions. I love fairy tale remakes.
  • A Wrinkle in Time – It’s a kid book so it was fast to read, but it’s just a good story too. I wish it was longer. I’m going to read the next book in the series, but I think it isn’t the same story, just the same characters.
  • The Martian – SCIENCE! Love this one, it actually made me jumpy and nervous during the dramatic moments. Can’t wait to see the movie.
  • Go Set a Watchman – Meh. Not much plot, just lots of Scout thinking and talking. And really badly written to be honest. I know they were trying to put out the “unedited” version but that’s shit, everything needs a little editing. One character literally flipped from a woman to a man within the same paragraph, as if Harper Lee hadn’t decided about the character yet. The message is good, but the book is boring.
Potato with her favorite snuggle buddy, Walrus

Potato with her favorite snuggle buddy, Walrus

I’ve got a couple books I’d like to read next, but the problem is always deciding which first!


VM Wear

December 2, 2015

I showed my new skirt to Mr. Husband and the first thing he says is it has the same colors as VM Ware product marketing. Thanks? (VM Ware is a virtual server software thingymabob. Mr. Husband works in IT) Before I made my black straight skirt, I went on a hunt in the pattern stash to find good straight skirt options because that’s my favorite skirt shape right now. So I went through my Burda magazines and this is one that I traced off. Its actually very similar to the simplicity pattern used for the black skirt with back princess butt seams and curved waistband.


Pattern: BurdaStyle #125 07/2010

Feel like salsa dancing? You will in this narrow skirt with a wild flounce of ruffles at the hem. It’s all business at the top with a side zip and narrow waistband but has a dramatic finish.

…minus the ruffle things (which look like a pain in the ass to sew).

Fabric: Polyester print from Hancocks. I’m not sure what you’d call this fabric, it’s matte and textured on the right side, then the wrong side is shiny and slick (and snags easily). I like the painted look to the print though.


Design Likes/Dislikes: There are no pockets, not too big a deal for me though since I’d just be wearing this to work. And there’s no slit. It’s not tight, but I tend to take long steps when walking so I do notice the restriction.


Sizing and Fit: I made a size 38. It fits pretty well, the side seams have more curves than I do but that just turns into sitting ease for me. I actually match up better with Burda size 36 overall, but I like going up a size for skirts because I’m short waisted, a size 36 skirt would hit too high on my waist and my butt is where my curves are so 38 always seems to fit better. Besides, you can always take in!


I think I’m standing funny…

Changes: I left off the silly chiffon circles of doom. Seriously, how would you wash a skirt with all those things on it?

For Next Time: Meh, there are more skirts in the sea pattern stash to try out.


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.



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