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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

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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…


Perfect Timing V9026

January 8, 2018

It is so so so cold in Minnesota right now. The HIGH temp on New Years Eve (when I took these pictures) was a new LOW record of -6F (-21C). It is not the time to be going outside for anything. So this amazingly warm, fluffy sweatshirt is perfect timing. I need more sweaters and super warm things for the office too, I sit next to the window (which is nice to see the sun every day and I have a great view of downtown Minneapolis from the 12th floor but…) and it is so cold. Pretty sure the temp drops a couple degrees just walking from the neighboring cube to my cube.

Pardon the dolls and clutter, I noticed the light was good in my sewing/toy cave and took advantage for pictures!

As a side note, I think my sewing queue has realigned itself with the season. Five years ago I was always sewing winter things in the summer because I’d make my winter list in the winter and it would take 6 months to get to them. Since I’ve slowed down though, the queue seems to have righted itself. I was so cozy and warm just holding this fabric while I was sewing, in the summer I would have been sweltering and wondering what the hell I was thinking!

Pattern: Vogue 9026, view AFabric: Purple sweatshirt fleece from SR Harris. This stuff is amazing, very thick but light weight, one side is smooth and the other is fleecy.

Design Likes/Dislikes: I’m not sure I have any dislikes! At first I thought the v neck was too low but after wearing is all day Sunday, it’s fine. I’ll still wear a tank underneath just in case though. I love the diagonal seams, there are no seams under the arms. And all the pieces fit together really well, granted this fabric is still pretty stretchy for being so thick.

Sizing and Fit: The sizing is in XS, S, M and L, XL, XXL grouping. I made a medium and it is a little big, but with a sweatshirt that’s kindof the point. Especially with this thick fabric, I didn’t want something form fitting. The sleeves are a little long and the shoulders a little too wide, if I was trying to get a perfect fit. It is boxy, but those diagonal seams would be perfect for making it more curvy if a person wanted to.

Changes: None, I made the whole thing on my regular sewing machine with a zigzag stitch and walking foot. There were a couple places where seams met up that got really thick, but it worked out because this fabric is spongy.

For Next Time: I still have some of this purple fleece leftover, so I’d like to do some color blocking with another color, like shown on the envelope.


Books of 2017

December 29, 2017

Another year, another list of books I’ve read. Sewing round ups always feel a little repetitive and unnecessary since that’s what most of the post on this blog are already about. I do not, however, talk about what books I’m reading.

So, in chronological order:

  • O Pioneers! – Good story, but had a pretty depressing ending which is pretty typical with Willa Cather.
  • The Austere Academy, The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival, The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, The End – The other half of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (I read the first few books last year). These always have lots of action, adventure, and puzzle solving but in the end the story is a bit of a let down. Sure it’s depressing in a dark humor sort of way, as we are constantly warned by the author throughout, but I wish there was a little more resolution for the characters.
  • Heir to the Jedi – This is one of the newer, non-movie, star wars books (all the old books are no longer “cannon” now that Disney owns Star Wars). It’s about Luke’s adventures between episode 4 and 5 and how he starts learning about the force on his own. It was fun but a little predictable, it would be hard not to be predicable because we know what happens in the movies. But it does a nice job building worlds never visited in the movies.
  • Mrs. McGinty’s Dead – This is an Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot mystery that I randomly “acquired” from my mom’s house. It was ok, I guessed the wrong culprit but there were way too many suspects and it all seemed a little silly.
  • Little Women – I’d been reading this off and on for a several years because it’s pretty boring. But it’s a “classic” and I think someone’s making another movie version so now at least I can say I’ve read it.
  • A Man Called Ove – LOVE this book, I read most of it on a couple plane rides and was pretty much crying into my napkin the whole way. It’s basically a grumpy old man story but deep down he’s really a good guy, he’ll just complain about the kids these days the whole way while helping everyone in the neighborhood. It’s so good. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a while.
  • Acorna – We used to listen to audio books checked out from the library on our summer vacation road trips when I was little and I vaguely remember listening to this one. But I could never remember the ending, so I randomly googled “science fiction unicorn girl” and the right thing actually popped up right away! Apparently not many people have written about science fiction unicorn girls… Anyways, it’s a pretty short book. Overall I liked it a lot and bought the second one in the series to read eventually, most of the conflicts in the books were resolved to easily in my opinion, just too many convenient things happened. But that’s ok, it was fun.
  • Hidden Figures – I’m about halfway through this one. It’s really really good, I was worried it would be hard to read (i.e. boring text book) but its got a lot of good stories. I almost can’t believe the author was able to dig up that much detail about these women. However, the reason I’m not done with it is there is just soooo much going on. The author tries to touch on so many women’s lives (and some of them have really similar names) there it’s just information overload. I have a hard time keeping track of who is who. Probably why the movie focused in on only 3 women.

I’m planning on reading more star wars and finishing Hidden Figures soon, and I borrowed Bable-17 from my parents house, so it’ll be another sci-fi packed year in 2018.