Another CoCo, Another Color…

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Is that a groan I hear? Another CoCo you might say? Though really there shouldn’t be all that much grumbling since I haven’t even blogged about all 4 or 5 I’ve sewn now. The one I haven’t blogged about (yet) and sewed months and months ago now is still my favorite but this one gives it a good run for its money.

I finally did my first (completed) dress version of the CoCo. The purple version [here] was originally supposed to be a dress before I did some very tired/stupid sewing a chopped it MUCH too short and turned it into a cute top. I really did measure before cutting and everything but I didn’t count on the weight of the knit pulling down on the form and making the dress seem longer than it actually was. Regardless here is my new CoCo in an actual dress!!!

Again, the construction is pretty straight forward because Tilly is an absolute CHAMPION at making clear written instructions with coinciding pictures(seriously I would buy literally any pattern that woman puts out). I always have to be aware of the length as a pretty short gal but that’s standard for me.
I went with right above elbow length sleeves and added ties to the sides so I could pull it in a bit and give myself a little shaping. I love a good t-shirt dress(what I was going for) but I’m a tad too curvy for it to be flattering unless it’s either really tight or loose with ties on the sides or well… I guess belted but sometimes even that causes things to bunch awkwardly around my hips.

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I used about two or so yards of a light weight knit fabric from Joanns and some extra polyester green thread I had in my stash. Two funny stories about the thread:

1) I used till the end of my bobbin with only about 4 cm of thread left after finishing one of the whole sides of the dress(it felt like quite a sewing BAMF moment even if it was completely accidental).

2) I totally overestimated how much thread I still had left in that color and ended up having to use a lighter thread for the left half of the dresses side and the bottom hem but oh well-live and learn.

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Either way, I couldn’t be happier with the dress and can’t till fall so that I can layer it with boots, tights and scarves to add fun to a plain dress. Any dress that feels like pajama’s but I can wear out in public is a win in my book 😉

*side note:the hem isn’t crooked but the way I stand must be lol*

I’ll leave you with a photo of me and my fella watching the Eclipse and one of Echo being her usual cute self..

-Happy Sewing

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Whats Love Got To Do With It?

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I’m calling these my What’s Love Got To Do With It Shorts because of the heart pockets…duh. It’s not the most creative of naming but I like it so who cares? haha. I made these when it was much too cold to actually wear them anytime soon because when you get a sewing craving you go for it right?

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Anyways, I got this shorts pattern from Joanns on one of their fabulous pattern sales(the only way I try to buy non indie patterns these days because patterns are expensive). It is McCall’s M6930. I had to wait for nice weather to photograph them because I came across the same problem with my Tilly Arielle skirt where the denim was too dark to photograph well in the house and still show the gold polk-a-dots well which honestly is the very best part!

Okay on to the shorts! the pattern is pretty damn simple. I broke my rule of tracing and not cutting the pattern because I had read lots of reviews on the pattern and read it ran large so I did my measurements and went from there. I cut out the pattern(still a few sizes larger than I wanted and folded down the seam lines to get my size.

Cut and traced the pattern and went from there. I chose to do version A but with version B’s heart pockets because they were just too darn cute to resist. I used the same gold polk a dot denim as previously mentioned and then used some white fabric from my stash that had matching large gold polk a dots to line the heart pockets. Though the lining isn’t visible I love those secret touches of some what matching lining fabric-I think thats what really makes home sewing so special.

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Things I had trouble with: Getting the heart pockets that perfect heart shape but I was very picky and didn’t want the hearts to seem too pointy. Also the inseam on the crotch. I had to adjust that a few times and I’m still not happy with how much fabric is there but the shorts also have full useable pockets in the front(amazing for women’s shorts I know) so I think I’m just not used to having to make space for useable pockets in the front of my garments without a front zipper. I used Singer The Perfect Fit Sewing Reference Library for help/advice on fitting the shorts. I bought 3 different versions of the Singer Reference Library at my local Goodwill and couldn’t be more pleased with the purchase! So helpful!
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Things I Changed: As a petite woman who also loves short shorts I cut quite a lot of length off the shorts but I should have widened the leg holes because once I cuffed up and seamed it also added to the poofing in the front that I mentioned I had trouble with earlier. I think it doesn’t look bad though and gives it a more retro feel to the already high waisted shorts.

Things I hate: OMG I absolutely HATE the way the shorts close in the back. I will definitely be changing the way it closes when I make this pattern next. the zipper is great no problems there but the piece of waist band that covers the zipper and goes farther to the left and then is closed by the tiniest hook and eye closures(which this is my problem for picking those out). But my goodness they are really difficult to catch and close especially when you are in a tiny bar bathroom and don’t have a lot of turning/reaching room. I consider myself a pretty flexible person and I have a lot of trouble reaching around and catching them so it is without a doubt a huge problem.

Overall, the pattern was fabulous and easy and a great addition to a summer me made wardrobe!!

-Happy Sewing Everyone!

Sewing In A Cinch…

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I Made A Thing!!

I made a project bag because what is the best thing about picking up a new hobby?? All the new fun accessories and books you get to add to your project collection!

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Once I realized that yes I am liking picking up and relearning this whole knitting thing again and after having to run to Joanns/Michaels to pick up different sized knitting needles for projects I promptly decided their had to be another/less expensive way(in the long run) to go around all the needle needing. I did some research and decided that I just HAD to have interchangeable knitting needles. I asked around, did some research, examined my budget and then also used a birthday Amazon gift card and bought myself some interchangeable ChiaoGoo bamboo knitting needles. I have to say so far I LOVE them. The set is beautiful and came with three different cable sets in two different sizes(small and large) the lengths are 14”, 22” and 30”. It also came with a whole bundle of stitch markers and other fabulous things.

Anyways, this is getting off track. The whole point that I was making is that I’m getting into knitting and then had to make a thing-and that thing is a project bag to carry my new shawl I’m knitting in! I found the outside fabric from Michaels and it is by Loops & Threads. It’s a beautiful blue with fun pink and yellowy-green yarn balls. The inside is a baby blue with white polk-a-dot fabric fat quarter square from Joanns.

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It was a pretty simple project. the dimensions folded in half were what I was looking for. I decided not to cut out a separate circular bottom for the bag this time because I didn’t want to add a third color to the mix and wanted to sew and go haha. I stitched it up inside out-leaving one small part of the side open so I could pull it inside out and then folded down the top and stitched down and then pinned the sides inside out and stitched away!

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As you can see from the above pictures I originally had the tie band for the bag that was a cute pink tape measure. I had bought one in pink and blue from Joanns for a dollar each in a haul earlier planning on finding a project for them(and I really thought this was the perfect project!). Sadly though it just was not meant to be because I couldn’t really cinch in the bag while using the tape measure so it had to go.

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I decided to use some extra bias binding I had laying around from previous projects. I had a bit of pink and just enough dark blue. I just folded the ends and stitched them down to create a tab on each end and then stitched down the binding sides with matching threads and then weaved it through the top of the bag.

And there we have it! An easy-peasy cute project bag!!!

 

-Happy Crafting!

Time For Some Coco And I don’t Mean The Beverage Kind…

Say What? Another Coco…well this might be the first coco you’re seeing but it won’t be the last because I actually made three in quick succession. All very different of course 😉

 

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This was the last to make the cut(haha). I’ll in honest, it was totally supposed to have sleeves but I severely underestimated the amount of fabric needed- so sleeveless it became. I still really like it.

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The fabric is a super soft knit from Joanns because that is the only fabric store my town has to boast -which is still better than my last town which only had a Ben Franklins and they only carried quilting fabric(not that I’m complaining THAT much because that is where I found my precious banana fabric haha). Anyways I’m getting off topic…

The details of the last Coco I made but the first I’m blogging about. By the time I made this pattern it was an easy trick. This one literally took me I think two hours at most to make because the pattern was already traced and cut to my size.
DETAILS!!!

-I made fairly large because I really just wanted a comfortable top to drive to Seattle in and long car rides are no fun in restrictive clothing(at least I think so)
-I made it sleeveless and just did a simple seams around the arm holes with no bias binding or anything
-I made the back slightly longer than the front because I plan on wearing it with leggings and boots around town and wanted my butt to be slightly covered haha
-I did make the collar piece but it isn’t very obvious because I made it shorter with no interfacing so it kind of just drapes around my neck

-It’s made with a knit from Joanns that I picked because I LOVED the coloring and wanted to feel like I’m wearing pjs when I’m not(that is how I judge most of my comfy clothing)

As with all of Tillys patterns the instructions were so, so easy with fabulous pictures to explain every step along with all her blog posts you can visit. Also you can look up her patterns on pinterest and see what anyone under the sun has posted to get ideas of different looks and shapes the pattern can take. I followed my usual system of laying out the pattern, checking what the finished measurements would be and tracing it in wax paper. This pattern follows all the things I love/look for: looks nice without a ton of effort getting dressed, feels like pjs and transitions well for any season because I am not the kinda gal to have a seasonal wardrobe.

A Wonder Woman In The Making

 

(I was told I looked like WonderWoman a few times today so I thought I would roll with it haha)

Another wonderful Tilly and the Buttons pattern! This time not from Tilly and the Buttons book but the Arielle pattern from her website-though I actually bought this one through the website Modcloth where she also sells her patterns. I’ve loved this pattern since it was released and was so excited to finally give it a chance.

What I did: like all of Tilly’s patterns the instructions are just fabulous and come in a great little booklet with pictures. I traced the pattern on wax paper as has become my habit and then cut the traced pattern and cut out the fabric from there.It’s my least favorite but most helpful step.Chalked out all my darts and seams a little after. It makes the pattern more manageable to use and it is preferable to preserve the pattern for future use.

What did I use: a fantastic stretch denim with gold metallic polk-a-dots from Joanns along with gold metallic thread, and plastic gold shell buttons that I’ve had for ages from the button bin at Ben Franklins Craft Store.
…What did I try to use? a beautiful white fabric with gold polk-a-dots that I tried to use as the lining in the skirt. I even sewed in the fabric to the skirt before trying it on and realizing the denim had quite a bit of stretch and the lining didn’t-making it so the skirt didn’t fit in the smaller size I had cut for a more form fitted look.

Lessons learned and how I altered the pattern: use a fabric with stretch as a liner! Also do not use metallic thread no matter how pretty it looks and how much it matches the skirt fabric. That S.O.B thread snapped on me constantly no matter how I played with the tension.

I didn’t alter the pattern too much. Shortened it a tad but hell I’m a short gal so that’s standard for me. I also did the decorative gold stitching on the outside(that doesn’t show at all in the pictures well)  which also worked double in keeping the inner edge of the facing down flat.

All in all, I’ve worn the skirt several times now and absolutely love it. I can’t wait to make it in all kinds of different fabrics and in the future lining it with the right kinds of fabric. Maybe a wool with a silk lining next time…

No Pattern Needed I Guess…

This post is about two fun projects I made this last summer that it took me this long to write about. The first is a simple tank top I made with some funky faux silk fabric from Joann’s.

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This tank top took about a half hour to an hour to make and all I did was trace an existing tank top I owned to create my own pattern. I tried to use a looser fitting tank because the faux silk fabric has pretty much no stretch what-so-ever. Then I just used some pink lace that I already had in my fabric stash and isn’t at all visible in my pictures because I wore my hair down in all of them haha. But regardless… for the straps I just measured a different tank top and cut away. Everything stitched up pretty simply and easily. I have it untucked in my pictures but I also love to have it tucked into my high waisted retro style jeans from Modcloth.

The next project is a bag that I LOVED from Hedgehog Fibers but couldn’t justify spending the money on the bag and shipping because it ships from overseas. mb_transparent_bag_square_web_1

Isn’t it just fabulous??? I loved it. Love Hedgehog Fibers website! And love their yarn. But yarn I cannot make but this bag I knew I could.

 

So what did I do? Went to Joann’s with a coupon of course! I bought a yard of clear, thick gauged vinyl just to be safe. I didn’t use the whole yard and now about half of it is sitting rolled up in the craft area of my garage but I like to be safe then sorry when it comes to sewing. I measured out and planned my whole pattern on paper. Then I traced the pattern onto the vinyl with sharpie and cut it out with scissors.

The trick with sewing with vinyl is to use tape instead of pins to hold the pieces together so it doesn’t move when sewing. The other trick that I found online is to use tape on the bottom of your regular ol’ sewing foot. They sell special ones online but I don’t really think it’s necessary… good old scotch tape is cheaper and does the trick just as well.

So how do you think I did???

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I used colored thread because I liked the visible look with the clear bag but that’s just a style opinion. It also doesn’t have the cool grommets on the Hedgehog Fibers bag but I saved myself like $30 so to me that’s a fair trade haha.

So there was my two “recent” patternless sewing projects! Overall I’d say they were pretty damn successful don’t you think? 🙂

Plaid to Meet You Mimi

Another one from Tilly and the Buttons fabulous book. I decided to expand my skills-or at least try to-and give the Mimi blouse a try. Funny story to go with the name of the pattern…my younger brother used to call me Mimi when we were both younger…if I’m remembering correctly because he couldn’t pronounce Shelby and it just kind of stuck. Of course I hated it because that’s how all nicknames that stick are like. I had forgotten about it completely until I went to write this post actually, funny what the mind dredges up in unexpected times.

As true of all Tilly’s patterns I’ve attempted the directions were very clear and concise with lots of helpful pictures to talk me though all the steps. The top is a loose fitting button up blouse. There is a gathered yoke in the front and the back with pleated sleeves for another nice detailed touch.

What I used: a plaid fabric from Joanns for a nice drape and to give it a fall/winter feel and glass blue vintage buttons from my stash I’ve hoarded for about 7 years.

Things I struggled with: the collar. Especially the interfacing in the back…I accidentally chopped it a bit too short so it kept threatening to stick up in the back. I also had a hard time keeping the gathers on the back yoke even. I had to unpick it twice to straighten things because it drove me crazy otherwise haha.

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Things I would change: I would definitely go down a size because even though it’s meant to be loose fitting I think its too loose. I’m also torn because I would like to say I’d make it a bit longer fit wise but if I wear it tucked into my skirt the length wouldn’t matter anyways.

I loved the pattern though and it was first experience making button holes on my machine. It was also my first time making that kind of collar and it was certainly a learning experience but I can’t wait to make this pattern again in a thinner fabric!!

 

 

#2017MakeNine

This post might be a *tad* bit late…but that’s honestly pretty true to my character. I make timelines and I like to push them. So here is a post I wasn’t even sure I would do because it seemed a little too much like New Years Resolutions which I don’t participate in because I never stick to them.

Plus it is *really* hard to narrow things down to nine projects but I guess it’s not like I can’t make more than nine projects…

So here’s the first two(both patterns I bought at Joanns on sale). I feel like a really good challenge is making pants and I love a good retro look. Plus I have to wear slacks to work if I’m not wearing a dress and if I can make myself feel like I am wearing pjs and work that’s always a win in my book. The Simplicity 8259 is another pattern I’ve had sitting on my shelf waiting to be made and is definitely out of my comfort zone with all the details around the collar and bust.

 

Secondly. lets talk about Tilly and the Buttons. I think she is just fabulous and thats why her patterns make up a third of my MakeNine. Her tutorials are clear and precise with a lot of instructional photos involved in all the steps. Thats why the Zadie dress with knit fabrics makes one of the tops slots, the Bettine because I’ve been wanting to make that style of dress for quite a while now and the Rosa shirt because who doesn’t need a good classic button up.

The next two are Colette Patterns and I actually already own the Walden coat pattern(which can be for a male or female despite the male model). I envision the Walden as a beautiful pink wool-a very Shelby style coat. The Dahlia I’m imagining in a plaid very much like the dresses in the movie Hidden Figures.

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I just bought Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book and I already own the Butterick B6354 because I like literally all those individual pieces or the set together but with less blue Hawaiian print. The image on the very right is her Faux Sarong Dress which includes a strapless bodice, a pencil skirt and a lot of structuring. The one on the left is the Emerald Faille Party Dress(it is actually emerald in the pictures in the book but of course I love it in pink).

I guess I have a long year of sewing ahead of me…better get busy now 😉

 

Don’t Slip On Me

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This was one of the first dresses I made this last summer and one of my favorites because it is just so silly and ridiculous that I smile every time I put it on. I found the fabric years ago…at least five I want to say(does that make me have hoarder status?). I knew I wanted to save it for a good project but was unsure of what until I came across Tilly’s book.

The Megan dress was the first dress I attempted from the book but decided to omit the sleeves and add bias binding to the arm holes instead. The construction was fairly basic. I just traced the pattern onto wax paper, cut, ironed, and sewed it together following Tilly’s fabulous instructions. I had a bit of trouble with the back zipper but nothing noticeable. The dress is also a tad too short if I bed over not at the knees haha but that’s pretty manageable.

Echo of course had to check out what was going on and sniff my shoe….

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I’ve made this pattern quite a few times and once now as a top for comic con in Portland at the beginning of September.  I just shortened the skirt part of the pattern to create a flared top and retraced the pattern but squared the neckline(well eventually first a tried a v-neck). I found great stormtrooper fabric at Joanns and then just edged everything in red bias binding to give it a more finished look.

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And there we have it my first experiments with Tilly and the Buttons book: Love at First Stitch!!!!

 

Turns Out Scuba Isn’t Just Used For Diving

Confession time: I’m such a sucker for cool patterned fabrics whether they are practical for my project or not. Hence my love affair with scuba knit fabrics. I impulsively bought a few different pattern styles of this really thick, fun fabric and my first experiment with it isn’t exactly blog ready to show because it was kind of a sewing fail that I just won’t give up on(you’ll find a picture below). Partially this fail is because I just totally made up my own pattern for it off of a draft of a corset pattern for my AquaWoman corset.

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(Now I know it looks good on the form but it’s misleading because the fit in the bust is absolutely atrocious).

Now back to the main scheme of things:scuba knit and a successful project. I bought a mismatched plaid scuba knit that I had dreams of a pencil skirt for. I didn’t make use a pattern for it but just followed a youtube video from the blog MADE Everyday on how to sew a pencil skirt in 20 minutes. It was so easy and comprehensive that this is what I made off of my measurements! I even wore it to work the other day! It took less than two hours even with my Netflix distractions haha.

How cool is that fabric?????

And, I luckily had some extra and decided to make some shorts that I won’t be able to wear for months considering how absolutely freezing its been in Oregon lately.

To make the shorts I watched a ton of youtube videos(my sewing knowledge staple) and then decided to go off a pattern I had bought on sale at Joanns ages ago for a WonderWoman costume. I thought it would be practice because I want to make these shorts in actual denim before summer starts.

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It’s a fairly simple pattern. I cut out my size which ended up being too large with how stretchy the scuba knit is(but I predicted that would happen). I zig zag stitched the elastic to the waist and then folded it over and sewed it closed. I also did a much lower waist line because I didn’t want them to be quite so high waisted. Other adjustments were to take in the crotch seam and sides but I think that was also mostly due to the stretchy fabric.

Overall the projects were quite the success!! I can’t wait to wear them both more in the future!!!