New Year and Joining Bra-A-Week Challenge

December-26-yippee-cartoonIt’s so crazy how long it’s been since the last time I blogged. Christmas really messed me up. Just like the prior year, I decided to make handmade gifts for my closest family members. I was hoping to make simple things and have them all done within 1 week but yeah right. It took me up until Christmas day to finish so a couple of people did not receive their gift wrapped. I wanted to show case all of my gift makes but I didn’t get a chance to. I ended up making 6 knitted beanies and 4 girls ponchos. I did not expect exhaustion after they were all finally done. As every year, I regret not making these gifts ahead of time. I realized my planning really sucked. Well, I have a better plan for 2015 and I feel very good about making it happen. I will start early this year and I already have ideas of what to get started on but I will leave it at that because I need some time off from thinking of Christmas gifts.

brasI’ve been working on a few projects since the New Year started and I can’t wait to share them. I hope to have something by next week. Something else I am really excited about is bra making. Emerald Erin from The Sewing Life Adventures of Emerald Erin is starting a bra-a-week challenge and I am totally in. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to start sewing bras and I thought I would make 1 a month minimum but Emerald Erin’s bra-making challenge sounds even better. I hope to become a better sewer and an awesome bra maker too. Can’t wait to share my bra makes.

On another note, this month of January I plan to go back to work which means I’m job hunting. It’s been tough living on just one income and it is time to go back to the workforce and practice my accounting skills. I’m kinda excited about that too because for a long time, I wanted to work as an accountant or bookkeeper. I did have a bookkeeping job before I became pregnant but the hubby and I decided I would be a stay-at-home mom for two years after the baby was born and then go back to work. My baby turned two in October and so it’s time to make some money to help support us. I’m nervous and excited in finding that awesome job. I plan not only to be interviewed but I will also interview employers. I need to find the place that deserves me and they deserve. It would make it such a better world. I will have to manage my hobbies, family and work somehow but I know I can do it. I’ve always loved to multitask. I wish me luck!

 

 

Advertisements

Pattern Review: Girls Poncho Simplicity 1263

Simplicity1263 I’ve been wanting to make a poncho for my girls for a while now. My first encounter to a poncho sewing pattern was at some point in the summer so I was not all ready to make one yet but I wish I would have because then my girls would have had one ready for this cold weather. It doesn’t matter when I had it done, what does matter is that I finally made one and finished it in less than a day. This pattern is an easy-to-sew pattern and it’s true. I would recommend it to a beginner sewer and anyone who needs to make quick gifts for little girls.

I am planning to make these poncho’s for 4 little girls as their Christmas present. I will challenge myself to have all four done within two days and no later. I have so many gifts to make, plus I want to make myself a dress for Christmas. I have so much to do but I really only have 3 days a week to really dedicate time to making these gifts. We’ll see what happens. As far as this pattern goes, the instructions were clear and easy to understand and the images showing the steps are really helpful. I recommend to always read your pattern instructions before you start sewing so you have a clear understanding of what the pattern instructions are asking you to do.

Here are some details:

Pattern: Simplicity 1263, View A (I purchased this pattern at Joann Fabrics when it was on sale).

Fabric: The pattern recommends double faced fleece or fleece, I used Blizzard fleece from Joann Fabrics. 1 yard of the main fabric and 1/2 a yard for the ruffle. The pattern also recommends three 1″ buttons and 7/8 yard of 5/8″ wide fold-over elastic. I did not have 5/8″ wide so I used what I had which is 1″ wide. I think it still worked out fine.

Difficulty Level: Easy (Great for beginner)

Adjustments: None, fits great as is. I used the small size for my 2-year-old. It’s a little loose but I think it fits her great for at least this year.

Would I make this again? Yes, will be making another for my little girl and 4 others for Christmas gifts. My due date is for next Sunday, December 7, 2014 (or at least I hope).

SAM_2517

SAM_2520SAM_2525

I had some trouble getting photos for the finished girls poncho, my little girl did not want to take pictures. Then she became instantly happy when my older daughter gave her the phone to play with. May not be the best pictures but I’m still happy with the outcome.

SAM_2528 SAM_2530

SAM_2531 SAM_2532

Overall, I feel that my sewing performance for this project is an A-. I did make a mistake by using a wider fold-over elastic but I’m still very happy with the results. What would you grade me or better yet, any suggestions on how to improve? Let me know if you would consider making this poncho for any little girl in your life.

 

My Very Own Crossbody Purse

SAM_2504Unbelievably, last weekend I could not decide what to sew. Mainly because I did not have all the materials asked by the patterns I was interested in working on. I have been wanting a crossbody purse for a while now and I finally decided to create my very own from scratch. Saturday I was just lost and by Sunday, I decided to finally brainstorm the style and size I preferred for a purse. I already knew I wanted a small purse to just carry my smaller items for my rushing days and that I wanted the handle long enough so when I’m running after my little girl, it won’t feel likes it’s in the way. So I grabbed my ruler and started measuring and visualizing what it would look like.  The purse without the handles measures 7.5 inches in length and 9 inches wide. The strap including the tabs and square rings is 52 inches long. I had initially drafted the strap to 64 inches long because I wanted to make sure I could change the length after figuring out what looked more comfortable or what I considered appropriate. I didn’t want it too long or too short. I feel that 52 inches is a great strap length and goes very well with the small purse. The purse will fit my wallet, my phone, and anything else that is small and needed on a daily basis. What it does not fit is my Nook, which is ok but maybe I can make another crossbody pattern just big enough to hold my nook or possibly my blogging journal.

SAM_2500 SAM_2506

SAM_2508SAM_2514I did make a few mistakes as I predicted I would. The most obvious mistake I can see is the buttonhole. I really thought a huge button would be a nice touch but now I realize that I should have taken a different approach in placement and how I ended up sewing the hole. Next time I will not sew a buttonhole and instead attach a magnet snap or make a loop for the button. Another mistake that may not be as obvious but still noticeable is the pink zipper. I used a 9 inch zipper and it was a bit too long so I had to shorten the length. Also, next time I will make sure to use a zipper that will better match with the color scheme of the fabric used for the purse. I wanted some sort of pop of color besides the black and white of the outside of the purse so I chose a type of blue-green lining. I think it goes well with the black and white but I admit the pink zipper just isn’t as coordinating as I’d hoped.

SAM_2501This purse was fairly easy to make, I drafted and sewed the purse in less than 1 day. I plan on getting this pattern right and once I do, I will be posting the tutorial on how to draft and sew this crossbody purse. I will be posting the tutorial soon and hopefully some viewers will comment and share their experience sewing this purse. I had my daughter wear it to take a picture of the purse being worn and she really likes the purse. I tend to ask her if she would wears certain things I think are cute and sometimes she says no but this one one she agreed she would wear. We’ll see if she will ask me to make her one too. I will also have to give this pattern a name. Names are always hard for me because I have trouble combining the meaning behind the name. We’ll see how that ends up working. Either way, I’m super excited I had the chance to make my very own purse.

Pattern Review: Semi-Fitted Shorts McCalls 6756

SAM_2497Today has been a great day of sewing because I feel like I actually had time to sew even though most of my day was spent tracing a pattern I plan to work on this coming week. Besides the tracing, I finally finished sewing the shorts. The only thing is I’m not sure whether I want a button or a hook and eye for a closure so I guess I’m still not completely done but to me, it’s done.

When I saw the pattern, I really liked the color and lace detail used for the shorts on the cover of the envelope which is the main reason I purchased this pattern. The instructions are easy to follow which I think is great for a beginner sewer. I wanted the shorts to sit on top of my hips but below my waist and not as short so I made a few adjustments by lowering the waist two inches, widened the hips and lengthened the shorts by two inches. This was my first experience fitting a pattern and I felt that I did pretty good for my first time. Once I tried them on to check the fit, they were good. Somehow the fit changed once I attached the waistband. At that point, I realized the one part that I missed in making the adjustments is the ease. I adjusted the pattern but did not add back in the ease, so there’s the mistake. I was really hoping for a successfully sewed garment and good fit. It did suck finding out I missed one crucial step but at the same time I learned something new about fitting and I had the opportunity to practice what I had learned about fitting.

Here are some of the details:

Pattern: McCall’s M6756, View A

Fabric: Charmeuse

Recommended Fabrics: Scalloped Edge Lace and lining fabric

Difficulty Level: Easy (Great for beginner sewist)

Would I sew this again: Yes, I plan to make at least 2 more for next summer

SAM_2487 SAM_2488 SAM_2489

I did have difficulty sewing on the waistband onto the shorts but overall, I enjoyed the experience of sewing them. I have a better understanding of the construction process and even some of the fitting process. I must admit that I did become very frustrated sewing these which is why it took so long to finish. I was really struggling with sewing the waistband and mainly because of my inexperience with hand sewing. According to the pattern, I had to finish off the waistband by slip stitching the whole thing, which I did but it didn’t look right. Even though I had trouble with it, I kept trying so I kept using my seam ripper until I finally said I needed I break from this project and start the next. And now it’s November and I finally finished them but I will have to wait to wear them until summer. These may not be the perfect sewn shorts but I’m still glad I sewed them and still plan on wearing them next year.

Is there any sewing project that caused you to take a break from it? Did you eventually go back to finish? Or are you the type of person who starts something and will not put it down until it’s finished?

 

Pattern Review: M6084 1 Hour Cardigan

M6084- CardiganI’m super excited to share this review with you because I finished it! Lately, it takes me a lot longer to complete a sewing pattern, even when they are easy so I’m excited to share this one because even though it took me over an hour to finish, I’m happy it didn’t take me over a month. My husband told me I have to be realistic on putting short deadlines for myself since most of my time is spent with my mom. Either way, I’m glad I have started making time when I’m home to sew. I sewed this cardigan for my 11 year old daughter because she has been bugging me for one for a while now plus, maybe she will give me my cardigan back if she has her own. I finished the cardigan last night and she wasn’t so much into taking pictures but I still did.

This cardigan was definitely easy to sew and the instructions were easy to follow. Of course of made mistakes and boy was it hard to remove the stitches. My daughter picked out the fabric for this cardigan and I wish I would have given her alternative choices but then I convinced myself it was time to sew with knits. The fabric is very drapey and I think working both with a drapey and knit fabric was very challenging but I’m glad I didn’t quit and instead I pushed myself to learn through this experience. Sewing the hem was probably the most difficult part for me but I managed through it. Also, I was a bit nervous sewing the sleeves because I haven’t actually sewn sleeves before but they were surprisingly easy. According to the envelope, this cardigan can be made within an hour but it took me a least 10 hours. It might have helped if I tried to dedicate consistent time-frames but it just was not possible.

Here are some details:

Pattern: McCall’s M6084, View C

Fabric Used: I purchased it from Joann Fabrics, but not sure exactly the type of knit. It looks like it has a little bit of stretch and some lace is mixed in with the design of the fabric. Sorry I can’t mention exactly what fabric I used. I will try better next time.

Difficulty Level: Easy (Great for beginner)

Adjustments: I shortened 5 1/4 inches off the length of the front and back piece.

Would I Make Again? Yes, I plan on making one for myself.

SAM_2470 SAM_2474 SAM_2480

I must admit it did not turn out 100% perfect but I’m still proud. I’m not sure if my daughter will wear it anytime soon since it has been so cold but I’m sure she will in the spring/summer. How was your first-time experience sewing with knits? Do you still sew with knits and what do you find that is most difficult when sewing with knits?