Thursday, June 20, 2013

More rompers...

For the 3rd pair (set?) of rompers I used Burda 9491 using a pink chambray-ish fabric that's got a lot of poly in it so it may not need ironing when it comes out of the dryer.

I used yellow topstitching thread for the top half but ran out before I got to the bottom half.  Gah. Since the nearest fabric store is a 50 min drive away to the next town, I found some yellow cotton thread in my thread stash drawer that matched fairly close so I doubled it up and used it for the rest of the outfit.

Since I didn't have regular thread to match the pink fabric for the buttonholes, in the bucket of embroidery thread for the embroidery machine I found some pink that did match. I like how it turned out so in future, I may use embroidery thread for buttonholes!

However I do not have any yellow buttons. On the weekend we may go to the town that has a fabric store and I can get some then. Meanwhile, yellow pins will have to suffice.

Getting a good photo is such a challenge for me.  The dress form has such a harsh bottom that it distorts the bottom half of the rompers  .... plus the pole sticking up the leg!

Light is an issue too.
Too much, too little, shadows and so on, so I walked around the yard trying to find a good spot.
And someone came to assist.

This is Doris.  Doris Doe.
She has at least one baby from signs on her belly but she's hiding it (them?) in the woods and I haven't spotted her fawns yet. Pun intended.

So Doris, what do you think of my topstitching job on the pockets?

"Not so bad. Maybe you should try using a double needle next time."

How about the pintucks on the top half?

"Yep. Fairly straight.  You know, you could have dabbed some water on the buttonhole marks before you took this picture."

So overall what do you think?

"Hmmm, what do I think?  I think the Deer and Doe patterns everyone is raving about is misnamed.
A doe is a deer.  Heck, I ought to know!"

Everyone has an axe to grind, eh?

Meanwhile I am still trying to get a good photo.  This one has too much shadow.

Size 5.
Notes to self: 1)finish ends of bias strip before setting into sleeve.
                      2) trim away as much as possible inside the waistband.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pleated Playsuit

The other day I got a request for rompers.  Timing couldn't have been better because I had already made a pair of rompers and was itching to try out another pattern.

I found this free pdf pattern from Elegance and Elephants called Pleated Playsuit and whipped it up in no time.

I made size 4/5 using cute summery looking cotton from Dear Stella.
The pattern was easy to follow but yours truly managed to goof up on the pocket.  I didn't cut it out properly, following the solid lines instead of the 4/5 lines. Doh!
Discovering my mistake I adjusted the pocket construction on the inside and no-one will be the wiser.

I added a little bit of pink piping to the pocket even though the instructions allow for self-piping.
I meant to add piping to the leg cuff too but once again I wasn't paying attention and missed that step.

The pleat on the front is a nice detail.  Next time maybe I'll try out several little pleats, or perhaps some pintucks.

When it came to the shoulder straps, I found using Fast Turns (metal tubes for turning fabric) were much easier and skipped the topstitching.

I really enjoyed making this pattern and if it fits, make more of them!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Poppy Geranium

When I saw these dresses here, here, here here, and here made in beautiful Poppy Field fabric I thought, gee, I'd like to make a dress using the same fabric.
However my objective is to try and stay focused and use up my stash.

Well that plan was dashed last week when I just happened to pass by a quilt store with a SALE table out front. One of the bolts on the sale table was the very Poppy Field fabric by Michael Miller I so admired and it was only $5.00 per meter.
It doesn't take much to make me fall off the wagon.

I used the popular Geranium pattern from Made by Rae.
The view I made is very similar to the Oliver + S 'Bubble' dress and 'Roller Skate' dress in terms of the sleeve treatment.

The only change I made to the pattern was on the back skirt opening.
I added a small extension on one skirt back side so that both skirt backs pieces could butt right to the corners of the bodice back thus the centre back seams would lie side by side accommodating the overlap on the bodice back.
Normally, I would cut the back skirt on the fold and slash the top edge adding a placket.  But I didn't have enough fabric to do that.

From scraps of the orange poppy field background, I made piping and added it to the sleeve and neck edges.

I understand this pattern is going to be available in larger sizes.  Right now the Bubble dress and Geranium dress go to size 5.

I am pleased with the results but not sure how it will be received. No matter. I had $5 worth of fun making it.

Size 5.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Fully intending to make some tops to go with the 4 pair of shorts I made last week, S.A.D.D. struck me.
Sewing Attention Deficit Disorder.
My attention shifted from making tops to  making a pattern that happened to be sitting on top of my to-do pile.

It's a romper style pattern called Zephyr by Figgy's Patterns. 

I've never made a Figgy's pattern before and I wasn't disappointed.
The instructions clear and easy to understand.
It did take me quite awhile to make it though. Whenever I use a new pattern it always seems to go slowly first time around but after that, I can bang 'em out much more quickly.

Next time around though, I might add maybe a half inch (1.25 cm) to the leg band ties. It might make tying a little easier.

I chose big buttons for the closure because Caitlin is now dressing herself and larger buttons might be easier for her to manipulate.
Next time around I'll only use 2 buttons instead of 3.

The fabric is knit and the green contrast is Kona cotton.

Here's the back of the romper.......

While I was taking these pictures, a Ruby Throated Hummingbird was buzzing right over my head.

You know what I don't get; in the song 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' by Crosby, Stills and Nash, the lyrics are "chestnut brown canary, ruby throated sparrow". Well, those birds don't exist but there are chestnut brown warblers and of course, to wit, ruby throated hummingbirds.

I'm off track again, aren't I.

Okay, so the other reason I made this pattern was my daughter really likes romper patterns and asked if I could make one or two. Maybe three.
So I've made this one and am completely happy with the results.

 I'm sure she'll like this romper too and be 'thrilled to the marrow'!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bubble Shorts: Part 4 of 4

Okay, so now I'm totally engrossed and obsessed with the Bubble Shorts pattern.

I told my husband to plan on making all the meals and look after the dog today. As a reward he could do whatever he wanted, just don't bother me because I'm sewing.
He happily agreed because he knew making a grilled cheese and throwing a ball for Lucy was easier than cutting the lawn -- something he doesn't like to do and it needs to be done.

Off I went to my space............. to Flip The Pattern.......once again.

I've got this pattern down to a science now in terms of the pieces for size 5/6.

Waistband: 14 1/2 (37 cm) X 2 or one long piece 29" (74 cm)
Cuff: 16" (41 cm) X 2
2 fronts, 2 backs and use the 4 side pieces as a template for the pocket (13.5 X 7 on the pattern) or whatever I dream up instead.

Armed with this vital information I made another pair of Bubble Shorts.  This time I chose a light blue 100% unknown fibers fabric. It looks like lightweight denim.

I made pocket as per the pattern instructions only I gathered the bottom edge and spread out the gathers evenly, pinned in place and then stitched down before adding to the rest of the pieces.

For the cuff; I turned under one edge 1/4" then with right sides together I stitched the cuff to the leg opening, pressed and then turned it up placing the 1/4" section neatly over the stitching line.
Then top stitched on the outside.

Like the grey linen shorts I made, I added a full waistband with a facing.
I cut one long waistband piece (29") and one long facing piece (29") in contrasting orange fabric.
Stitching them together I also turned under and pressed the facing edge by 3/8". Then I stitched the ends together. (I think I used a 1/2 seam allowance.)
With right sides together, I stitched the waistband to the top edge of the shorts, flipped over the facing so that the 3/8" pressed edge lay over top the stitching line. Then top stitched on the outside leaving a space to insert the elastic.

For topstitching, I doubled up the thread as opposed to using topstitching thread.  I tried to create a flat felled seam effect.  I guess it's more like a faux felled seam. Oh, and made a faux fly too.

(I just noticed I'm missing one stitch on the bottom of the faux fly. I'll fix that right away.)

They turned out just great and I am very happy with the results.

Here's the backside.

I just love this pattern and enjoyed "flipping" it.

(I think I need to clean the camera lens. Things are looking fuzzy. Maybe I need to get new glasses too because when I looked through the eyepiece, it looked perfectly fine to me!)

Now that I have 4 cute little pairs of shorts on the line, I need to make some tops to go with them! to the sewing room..........

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bubble Shorts: Part 3 of 4

I'm now totally obsessed with the Bubble Shorts pattern.
I go to bed at night thinking about it.
When I wake up in the morning, I think about it.
When I hang out the laundry, I think about it.
Even when I'm listening to the radio hoping my name will be drawn for tickets to see The Stones, I think about it.
Bubble Shorts, Bubble Shorts, Bubble Shorts. 24 hours a day.

The 'Flip This Pattern' has given me a new challenge!

Whenever I get stuck on a pattern or a technique or need an idea or maybe just some inspiration I refer to Oliver + S patterns.
I just love the  O+S Puppet Show shorts pattern which coincidentally looks somewhat like the Bubble Shorts.  So I dug out the pattern and looked it over and got an idea.

For the Bubble Shorts this time around, I used a light grey linen-look fabric that was lightweight but "heavy" on the polyester. They'll be a no-iron pair of shorts.

I decided to make the Bubble Shorts pocket look similar to the Puppet Show shorts using a solid band at the top of the pocket instead of elastic. It was constructed the same way as on the O+S pattern.

The pockets turned out just fine. Big and poofy!

For the cuff, I used a bias strip pattern piece similar to the one in the O+S pattern. It fit and worked perfectly.  However if the fabric was thicker, this technique may not work well at all. This fabric happens to be very thin.

This time around I added a full waistband with a facing as opposed to a waistband facing.

This "flipping" is just too much fun.....

.... I need to make at least one more pair of Bubble Shorts.

Part 4 of 4 tomorrow.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bubble Shorts: Part 2 of 4

Now that I have the Bubble Shorts pattern traced and I have time to sew I can try another version for
Flip This Pattern

Having decided the side pieces made a perfect template to try out different pocket ideas.

For these shorts, I used a dark blue (almost black) chambray and instead of bubble pockets, made pockets that could be tied into a bow.

I drafted  the pocket into a shape that looks like this.

Next, cut a total of 4 pieces, stitching two (RS together) starting at the side of the curve, going all around down to the keyhole and out again to the other side but leaving the long sides and bottom open to turn right side out to press.

Then I basted the bottom of the pocket and spread the gathers evenly across the bottom and stitched in place to the side pieces along the bottom and sides.

Next, I assembled the shorts the same as before stitching the front and back to the sides making a large circle.

 This time around I knew to cut the waistband down to 14 1/2" (37cm) and the cuffs to 16" (40cm).

The shorts turned out perfectly and I just love how the bow-tie pockets turned out. Cute, cute, cute.

I'm having lots of fun "flipping" this pattern. The ideas are coming fast and furious.

So I will make another pair just as soon as I can the housework done.

Part 3 of Bubble Shorts tomorrow.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bubble Shorts: Part 1 of 4

Okay, so the several family members that I have been looking after can now lift again, walk again and aren't throwing up or sneezing all over me. That means I can stay at home and sew! Yay!!

It's been over two months since I fired up the old Husqvarna and to get back in to the swing of things I decided join in on the Flip This Pattern event at Frances and Suzanne.

This month, the challenge is to "flip" the Bubble Shorts pattern by Elegance and Elephants.

So I bought and downloaded the PDF pattern and taped it together right away.
After the pattern was taped together, I could see that the two side pieces (front side and back side) would be a perfect template to play with the bubble pocket.

Tracing out size 5/6 and cutting the pattern using khaki twill, I stitched the two side pieces together.
Instead of cutting the full width of 13 1/2" (34cm) for the bubble pocket, using a contrast fabric I cut a piece 10 1/2"  (27cm) wide. Then followed the instructions on how to fold over the top edge, insert elastic which I cut down to approximately 5" (13cm).

Gathering the bottom edge of the pocket and spreading out the gathers evenly, I pinned it to the bottom edge of the two side pieces as well as pinning the sides of the contrasting pocket up to the elastic section.

Next, I cut a square of the main fabric approximately 6 1/2" X 6 1/2" (17cm X 17 cm), folded it on a diagonal to make a crease...

...then cut off the excess leaving about a 1/2"(1.5 cm) to fold over and topstitch.

Here are the 4 triangular pieces topstitched and ready to stitch on top of the contrast section of the pocket that is pinned to the front and back side pieces.

And here is one pocket section stitched down along the bottom and on the sides.

From that point, I followed the instructions which were basically to sew the front along the centre seam then the same for the back, then attach the sides to the front and back making a large circle of all 8 pieces.  (2 fronts, 2 sides (made up of 2 front sides and 2 back sides) and two back pieces.


But when t came to attaching the leg cuffs and the waistband I found the pieces I cut were far too long even though I followed the cutting instructions perfectly.

No matter.
I cut them down, made them fit and was happy with the results.

They are cute little bubble shorts without a huge bubble pocket.
Maybe I should call them 'burst your bubble shorts?'

I really like this pattern and the instructions were easy to follow.

But I was mystified as to why the waistband and cuff sections were so out of whack. Maybe my absence from sewing made me rusty or my eagerness to get going on a project caused me to do something wrong.
So I decided to make another pair, go slower next time and try something different with this pattern.

Part 2 of Bubble Shorts to follow tomorrow.