My Latest Sewing Projects

My partner in sewing

I call her Procrastination

Looking at the date on my last sewing project post, it’s almost a year since I’ve written anything new. Not that I’ve haven’t doing any sewing projects, I’ve just been swept away into doing them and not posting.

This means catch up time!!

Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom - Dress E

Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom – Dress E

So I’ve been creating clothes on and off as the year went by.   I’ve tackled a few projects from the Japanese Sewing Book:  Stylish Dress Book: Wear with Freedom.  One of them is the E dress below.   I used a vintage, interesting flowering knit-like print.   It turned out beautiful, but I should have created a muslin as the size was wide and the length was short.  Being 5’7″, I realized I needed to alter these patterns to be longer if the end result was going to be a dress.

Trying to create my own skirt

Trying to create my own skirt via Cal Patch

After a few of those and things not fitting right, I then broke open Cal Patch’s Design It Yourself clothes; the skirt. The skirt was what striked me as something I would wear and something I thought would be simple. So I reread and reread the directions as I swear I was reading a different language.

In the end, i created a wonder skirt, but it didn’t fit. You thought I’d learn my lesson about sewing a test garment first. Nope. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a beautiful piece of clothing that *almost* fits.

I took a hiatus after these and other attempts.   I did alter some pants to create some new shorts for the summer and some fuzzy fleece lounge pants.

Altered Shorts

Altered Shorts

I did try to create some leggings with my own pattern. I found a tut by Cal Patch on how to create the pattern.
I tested a few knits to get the right fit as well as learn how to use my serger.  (Oh, I love my serger!!)    The end result was the pink/grey striped below.

Legging Pattern

Legging Pattern

Pink Grey Striped Leggings

Pink Grey Striped Leggings

The leggings pattern turned out pretty close. I think I still have some issues in the crotch area to work out which is why I then took a create your own slopers class from Burda which also taught me how to alter the pattern to get a perfect fit for my body. It was a great class that helped me create slopers that I’ve lately been using to build my own patterns as well as tweak other patterns to my size.

Where am I going? I’m starting to get the hang of sewing new clothes and feeling confident of changing or modifying patterns and RTW clothes to my liking. More on this soon.

Curtains Dress

Curtains Dress

Curtains Dress

One day I went out for some errands and found myself in a middle of a huge rummage sale.   I think I was looking for kitchen drawer linings when saw the sign about the sale.  Today was the last day and everything was 50% off.

Lately, I’ve been disappointed going to any garage/yard/estate sale.  I wonder if most people donate or sell online.   But anyhoo…

In the midst of this huge rummage sale, I landed in the fabrics.   There were boxes and boxes of fabrics for only $1.50 for few yards.  I got a huge crap load of fabric and one of them was this beautiful green/teal with pink roses fabric.

Now all the fabric was wrapped up in bundles with tape around them, so all you knew was the yardage and the cost.   Well, when I unwrapped this lovely vintage fabric at home, it turned out to be a cut-off homemade curtain.   The fabric wasn’t all one piece either.

Front View

Strike a pose

So I washed the fabric and seamed ripped the two pieces apart as well as undid the hand stitched hem.   I measured out the sizing and went through my sewing books and patterns to find something that would work with the amount of material I had.

Side View

Over the shoulder

I ended up doing Dress R from Stylish Dress book.

I didn’t have enough fabric after I traced out the pattern in my size with the biggest piece of the fabric, but it was close.    To make it happened, I overlapped the two pieces so I had enough fabric for the back piece.

I found some other teal fabric I bought from a garage sale years ago.  Then went off and created the dress.

The dress turned out pretty lovely.   This was the first time I used this pattern from the book.   Since the fabric was a bit heavy weight, I would imagine using a lighter weight would be great for summer wear.  However, in the northwest, all our summer days are not warm.  So soon I shall wear my new dress.



Then something happened.   After I tried it on and took all my pictures, something flew out of my dressform.     A freaking huge, no, gigantic moth flew around my sewing room.   The moth was swirling in circles in an air attack formation.  Did I mention it was huge?

Luckily, my hubby came and saved the day to take it outside..

Man, it was freakin’ huge.  See it on my room curtain.  HUUUUGE! Bleh.

Simply crazy for my serger and a dress to do a jitterbug with excitement.

Oh how I enjoy my serger.   For many moons my serger sat next to my sewing machine with the protect plastic dust cover on it.   I was too nervous to use my serger.   My serger was like a hungry monster that whipped threw thread and fabric like the dickens and there’s no undo or seam ripper that can save the fabric after the serger had a turn.  So it sat there.

After doing some sewing projects on the machine,  I realized, like anyone’s been told before, I was getting the hang of things.  I was certainly not perfect in my sizing, reading patterns, or straight seams, but these mistakes taught me what not to do or what I should do to get results.  So I gathered all my gumption and bought some knits for some test runs.

I attempted some simple designs such as lounge pants and shorts for the hubby.  These practically straight line seems got me comfortable running the serger.   I then tackled a Sew U Sketch dress project.   Pictures, you ask?   Let’s just say it was a learning experience.  Wearable, but meh.  I did learn the importance of when to use the knife.

In these heroic attempts, I got comfortable with my serger.  I have a few more trials to get use to sewing curves and not cutting more fabric than necessary, but I have learned the glory that is a serger.    A serger is great, no, fantastic at finishing seams.   It’s so fast and clean that if I need to finish a seam, I move my seat over to the serger.

Sigh… Serger = smashing!

Now with the that awe inspiring rant, let me get to my jitterbug’n dress.

I’m sure most have read about Japanese sewing books.  Welp, I attempted, for the fourth time, a dress from Stylish Dress: Wear with Freedom.  I’ve already completed three other ones which were all trials to find the right size, but this one I was definitely proud to showcase.

Let me first state that I did a hybrid of the dress patterns.   I took the length of Dress C, but chose the sleeves of Dress D, but didn’t want to bother with all the buttons so I altered the pattern to not have buttons.


Dress C/D

The dress turned out fabulous, but needed some warmth.  In comes the cardigan.


Never leave the house without a cardigan

Next time I might go with the buttons or maybe work the sleeves to sit better.

How did I finish my seams on this lovely gem?   My serger.   Sigh….