Thursday, September 19, 2019


Well folks, it has been quite a while since I posted. I'm not sure why I am today, except that I just found a cool blog and they hadn't posted in a long time and I thought "how sad", then realized that I had done exactly the same thing!

So here is a post with a picture of my latest project in the works.

This is a locker hooked piece that I plan for a cushion cover (I think, maybe). The three crayons are there because this was for my yearly Spin In's crayon challenge. Everyone randomly picked 3 crayons from a bucket and had to make something with those three colours. You could use as little or as much of each colour as you liked and the three colours had to make up at least 60% of the final item.
I still have to add the blue for the sky but the rest all came out of my stash. I was pretty darn proud of that!

The other big project at the moment is below
That is our new cat Vex and her 3 little surprises.

Vex showed up in the backyard one day and after a while we assumed she had been abandoned. There was never a notice on any of the local FB pages nor were any flyers ever posted. 
We adopted her one night when we had a terrible storm (I couldn't leave her out in that!!!) and then realized about a month later that she was pregnant. Fortunately she only had three but it has been a HUGE learning curve for me and the family as no one has ever done new born kittens in our house. EVER! 
It has been great though and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Now we just have to find homes for them when they are ready. 

I will try and keep posting and maybe catch up on some projects I have done in the past so there is some kind of record out there. 

Until then...ta ta for now!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Prom dress - finished!

Well, I know I teased you all with a post that included the fact that I was making my eldest daughter's prom dress so here it is.

I used McCalls 6893 and some lovely fabric from Fabricland, with some ribbons for the straps.
The blue was a bit of a pain to sew but once I figured out what it needed (to be held taut while sewing) it went well.
There were a number of fittings to get the top correct and I did not add any boning as a) I've never done boning before and b) her bra already had some.
I also didn't do an invisible zipper as that's something else I've never done.

The top has about an inch more coverage than the original as neither my daughter nor I was happy with the amount of clevage showing. There were some adjustments for a full bust but I think I kind of did it backwards (taking in at the top and sides) rather than doing an FBA. Eh, it worked, who cares how! I also shortened the bodice (see previous post) and added that length to the skirt (which was needed) as a precation

Since it did take so much work and the fit is quite lovely now I'm taking the rest of the material used for the skirt muslin (a thrift store sheet that's really nice material)  and making her a white summer dress. Why waste a good fitting, right? I'll be adding pocket to the sundress version because everyone needs pockets!

Here's another picture of C and her beau B. Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Can you be petite and the same time?

It was a holiday weekend recently here and for me that means sewing!
I was working on two seperate projects but both of them led me to that above question.

The fist project is DD1's prom dress. Yes, I get to make her dress and honestly, I'm thrilled. A little scared, but thrilled.
Here's the pattern we're using, McCalls 6893 and here's a picture of the view we're working on.


At the same time I was working on a Tonic T from Skiin Bitch Curvy Chicks for myself.
 Now they are technically a company for petites and at 5'7" I shouldn't fit into that.

In the course of test fitting DDs dress and straight cutting (after comparing to t-shirts I already own)  I discovered that the best fit occured when I took out 3/4 of an inch from DD1s bodice and left my t-shirt alone. Even after knowing that others lengthened the t-shirt by up to 4"s.
(DD is only a wee bit shorter than I - 5'6")

My conclusion - neither of us are "regular" petites but we're probably both "top half petites". This is something that NEVER would have occured to me before but it's pretty hard to ignore and it sure explains why t-shirts can be very long on both of us.

Things that make you go Hmmmm

My next topic - different sizes front and back? LOL


Monday, January 13, 2014

OMG I made leggings!

Hello all, sorry for the radio silence lately. I have some posts partial written but 2013 just didn't seem like "the year of finishing posts" or something. LOL

Today though I have a doozy because I broke out of my comfort zone and made something I never would have thought I would or could! That's right I made leggings!

Now, let me say that I don't usually wear leggings (and never as pants, sorry I'm just too old fashioned and too big for I have a flat tush so they don't have a rear to accentuate lol) but I'm going to Quebec City next month on a field-trip with DD2 so I knew I needed some extra layers.

I was thinking about sweatpants (too bulky) or normal leggings (too thin) and then I came across some fleece lined tights. Now that sounded warm and not too bulky, but my first purchase was terrible. They weren't fleecy at all (which means a soft fuzzy inside to me) and they looked moth eaten when they were on!

My next thought was some fleece lined leggings I saw but I after my first purchase I was hesitant to spend that kind of money.
Then I saw some posts and happy reviews about Cake Patterns Espresso Leggings

and discovered that they were a) available in my size and b) totally customizable!!!  I thought...I have got to give these a try. So I bought the PDF off of the Etsy site and started doing some measuring.

This weekend I finally got around to cutting out and sewing the pattern I traced out and I am thrilled!

The leggings I made aren't 100% perfect but baby, they are sooooo close (98%?).
I have never had a pattern fit like this on the first test and I can honestly say that the fault is not the pattern it's me and only because I was being extra cautious.
The best news is that they fit my apple shaped front, they don't bag over my flat tush and they don't bunch up ANYWHERE.
They do need a wee bit more room in the front thigh (seems my thighs are like my abdomen - more in the front than the back) and they are a bit long (tall?) in the crotch-waist (which has NEVER happened before but is totally due to me being paranoid about things rarely fitting me there). Totally wearable though and so comfy. These test ones will probably become dog walking leggings for wearing as an under layer with my jeans to keep me warm. I don't need much more than that for walking at night here in the rain-forest of BC.

For Quebec I have some polar tec with lots of stretch (Sewing Cake recommends 5% spandex/lycra)  coming the mail from The Rain Shed. They have been a great place to deal with and I'm in love with them.
 I ordered a couple of samples around Christmas and then just ordered my fabric choices last week. Now normally I would never order material to make something for a trip in less than three weeks (NOT the fastest sewer) but the Espresso pattern is so quick to sew up, I have NO worries that I'm going to be able to get 2 pairs of leggings done in time for January 31st.
As soon as I do I promise to post some pics...just not of me wearing them LOL

**Sewing for Apples addendum - one of the things that I did when I did my measurements for the pattern was to measure and use 2 separate measurements for my waist.
 I took a separate Front Waist and Back Waist measurement and inputted those numbers in rather than just the 1 number.
One of the problems I have as an Apple (carries weight in the front mainly in the abdomen) is that while a pattern may fit my waist it will often "pull" to the front because there is too much material in the back and not enough at the front.
By doing the two measurements I fixed that and my leggings don't skew at all. Yay

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Refashioning my Refashion

In my last post I remade some new knickers but as I mentioned they weren't quite perfect for my apple body shape.
After wearing them for a bit I noticed a little problem and it's one I'm way too familiar with; there isn't quite enough material in the front. They kept slipping down. Now a quick tug brought them back up but that's not really the thing I want to be known for at work or out in public! LOL
My first thought for a solution was just to add another row of the elastic lace at the top.

That worked.....sort of. It added the necessary coverage in the front but added way too much at the back and sides. Not a huge issue but as we all know, most sewers sew because we want more than just adequately fitting clothes - we want clothes that really fit us. Adequate is for off the rack!
What I really needed was what I have now called an FAA. That's a Full Abdomen Adjustment. It's kind of like the familiar FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) but a little... lower. Same theory though; more material needed width wise and height wise, to cover a fuller figure part.
Has anyone else ever done something like that? I'd love to see what other sewers have figured out for the "apple" figure.
Please comment if you know of another blog that's talked about this!

My next attempt at a fix went kind of like this.
Start by marking the center back, center front and sides with pins.

I want about 1/2 or less of the elastic width at the back (I wanted the elastic at my waist and not my hips but I could have left it where it was, no problem. I also thought it would be easier to re-fashion this way rather than going to no increase at center back. I'm not 100% sure what I will decide for the pattern fix. Maybe 2 patterns?!?) - pin elastic 1/2 way down.

I need all the extra elastic width in the front - pin close to the edges.

Find a nice easy slope for a transition from front to back that doesn't leave wrinkles (3/4 of the way down at the sides?) I did this part while I was sewing, no pins. Not the most scientific or precise method, but it worked for me.

Sew and pray and see how it turns out. Hey, not half bad. It looks a little odd but after wearing it for a while it's pretty darn comfortable! Besides, who's going to be looking at my undies anyway?!? Well, except for you all!

Thanks Sew Sassy for having minimums to buy so that I had enough lace left over to make over most of my new panties! (I did not have enough to re-re-fashion the blue ones as I used blue lace on 2 pairs. I may take it off the 2nd pair and use it on the first or I might just make those wear 'around the house day' undies, where no one cares if I have to adjust periodically.)

Next - figure out how to make all these changes onto the paper pattern I made when I had the originals all laid out flat. I could actually end up with a drawer of nice underwear for a change! LOL

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Refashioning underwear.

Well, as you can see, not a lot of posting has gone on in the last year.
There are a couple of reasons for this but probably the main one is that I haven't done a heck of a lot of crafting. There has been a wee bit of sewing and the same of knitting but since I was barely feeling the crafting mojo I had even less blogging mojo going.
I will try and remedy that! I promise.

So to start my latest project (I promise to catch up on previous projects soon) - underwear refashioning!

A while ago, while away from home I popped into my favorite clothing store. I didn't find any regular clothes I wanted to buy but just at the end of my visit (as younger family members were getting tired of being there - parents, you know what I mean!) I spotted a sale on knickers. So, I quickly grabbed the 'special' (5 or 6 for ?$), paid and headed out the door.
Problem was I was assuming that if I wore pants in a size Q (Like I'd really tell anyone what size I wear!) then panties in a size P/Q would be the right size....wrong! They were close and maybe for fancy pants only worn for an hour or two they'd be fine but not for regular everyday wear and as they were cotton....

So they sat, languishing in my underwear drawer too un-comfy to wear regularly and too new to throw out.

I thought I might be able to do a re-fashion on them but never really got around to until - I realized I was going to be traveling with a school group next year and rooming with someone I didn't know and who I just really didn't want to share my slightly ratty (but comfy) knickers with. Eeek!

Eventually I came up with a plan; first take off the top elastic and see if that helps. The real aggravation to the fit was the top elastic biting into my squishy bits. Those bits of mine are squishy but not quite that much!
I tested the fit on one pair after removing the elastic and it was much better but.....not quite good enough to bother with a whole lot of fussing, if you know what I mean, so I left them.
A lot of the time if I leave a project I'm having trouble with and let my sub-conscious work on the problem, it comes up with an idea.
Which it did!
My sub-conscious said; if you're going to take the top elastic off and replace it with elastic lace (which I find much more squishy-bits friendly) then why not take the panties apart at the side seams and add a strip of the lace down the side too, adding some extra to the side seams?

Sub-conscious....what a great idea, let's go try that. So we did and here's how it went and what I learned along the way.

Step 1 and 2 - take off the elastic at the top and take out the side seams so you're left with a flat piece like so.

 Step 3 - pin some elastic lace (purchasable in a WIDE variety of colours [the variety I got]

 and widths for a great price from  Sew Sassy ) to the sides. I used 2 inch wide elastic, Sew Sassy has a lot in that width and more in other sizes.
As you can see I didn't do a hem on the bottom, just did a quick fold-over and assumed the sewing of the side would take care of it. So far it's working.

Now you don't have to pin your lace to the very outer edge of the fabric. If you don't want/need the full width of the elastic feel free to just pin your lace where you need it. You can trim back your side seams later (for fullest see-through) or do a 2nd line of stitches at the edges of the elastic (so it doesn't flop around or fold over on you.). The choice is up to you!

Step 5 - sew the side elastic. I used the magical 3 stitch zig-zag. I LOVE this stitch for sewing anything knit. It flexes with the knit, it's easy to do and I like how it looks. Tie off all your threads and trim the elastic at the top.

Step 6  - pin (if you want, I didn't bother by the 3rd pair) and sew the elastic lace around the top of your underwear. I will admit the I didn't pin, or pre-cut the elastic for this step. I just laid it down and sewed for a bit, then laid more. When I got close to the end I cut it where it gave me enough for a bit of an overlap, then sewed up one side of the overlap, across the overlap at the top and down the other side to the very beginning.

Voila! New to me knickers!

One of the things you may find is that your panty material, if it's a  knit, may try and roll over on you. To combat that I would lay the elastic on the material down from the top and sliiiide it up to the point that I wanted, unrolling the fabric as I went.

As an add on - I did some more modifications based solely on my body shape after I finished. I'm an 'apple'. That means I carry most of my weight in my front which causes some interesting problems in fitting. I will share those modifications in another post later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Silky Pillowcases - done!

Why yes, yes I do post a lot more when I'm on vacation, how nice of you to notice LOL!

Well here we are, two posts in two days. I'm thinking this is probably as close to a miracle as I'm going to get this week ;-) Here they are, two green "silky" pillowcases with Tiana borders.
They aren't perfect but one of the things I've had to learn over the past few years is that perfection and I don't really do well together. I'm not perfect, my sewing isn't perfect but on the other hand I certainly pay more attention to detail than the big clothing/decor corporations and I'm learning to be okay with that.
So ...ta da!

Pretty simple construction just one big rectangle sewn up 1 side, Tiana border attached (with some fancy stitches my machine does) and then sewn up the other side. Both sides were serged since this material frayed like crazy.

There's really nothing special about these except that they're probably one of a kind, fill a need for Little Miss C and they're danged pretty. I guess they are special! Time to wrap them up!