#FridaySews

Hello!

I wanted to let you know about a fun hashtag over on YouTube. It was created by Jen from Today in Jen’s Sewing Room. She created this fun hashtag for Friday, where sewing vloggers post a video on Fridays talking about their week with sewing and with life. It is a lot of fun and such a great community! I always look forward to Fridays to see what the other sewing vloggers have been up to. I’ve participated a few times already and absolutely love it! Each week, more and more vloggers are joining!

Here is my most recent #fridaysews video!

Be sure to go to YouTube and in the search bar type in: #fridaysews and you’ll be able to see all of the vloggers participating!

I hope you enjoy #fridaysews videos as much as I do!

“You were always kind and caring and so understanding too, And, if help was ever needed Dad it so freely came from you.” — Author Unknown

My First Style Arc Make!!

I honestly do not know what took me this long to sew a Style Arc pattern! I’ve heard people say how beautiful the fit is and how well drafted the patterns are. I guess it took a Black Friday Sale for me to final give in and purchase my very first pattern. This is the Kristy Woven Top Pattern by Style Arc.

When you purchase a PDF pattern from Style Arc, you only receive one size. I picked a size 10 based on my measurements and their measurement chart. I’m really happy with the fit of the size 10.

I used a textured dotted viscose fabric from my local fabric store. This is the very first fabric that I purchased when the fabric shops were allowed to re-open back in June. Unfortunately, right now as I type this, our fabric shops are closed. In fact, one store actually stopped providing the curbside pick up service. I’m not too sure why. But anyways, this fabric will always remind me of how excited I was to go back into a fabric store…it was amazing. I can’t wait to be able to do that again!

This was my very first time sewing a rouleau loop, and I’m pretty sure I sewed the loop to the facing and the back facing to the blouse wrong. But it looks fine. I’m definitely going to be sewing this top again very soon and I will try another way of attaching the loop to the facing and the back facing to the top. I tried to find a pink or purple button, but was unsuccessful, so I used this black button. I think the black button looks beautiful.

Some things to note about this pattern:

  • The pattern instructions are similar to Burda Style – very minimal and maybe 1 photo (of a tricky step). There was a total of 14 instructions for this top.
  • The sleeves have a dart, but the instructions do not instruct you to sew the dart, so don’t forget about the sleeve dart if you do end up sewing this pattern.
  • Pattern does not instruct you to stay-stitch the neck or the arm holes. With this lightweight fabric, I would suggest stay-stitching. I didn’t on this make, but I will for my future makes.
  • On the styled pattern photo – the sleeves look a bit longer. I even lengthened my sleeves by one inch.

Will I make this pattern again? Absolutely, right away actually. I really enjoyed sewing this. The pattern pieces came together beautifully. I haven’t had that happen in a long time! It was simply beautiful the way they all came together. For my next make, I will lengthen the sleeves again (I’m not too sure by how much yet), I will stay-stitch the neck line for sure and I’m even considered doing a double flounce – I will need to see how much fabric I have!

I hope you enjoyed this make as much as I did!

“Dad, you are missed and loved beyond measure. I miss you everyday.” — Me

First Make of 2021!

Happy New Year!

Sapporo Coat | Papercut Patterns

This is my first make of 2021! All of the details can be found on Minerva. I was gifted the outer fabric from Minerva in exchange of a blog post, all opinions are my own. Please head to the Minerva site to read all of the details.

I purchased the PDF pattern and the lining myself. The lining fabric is from Fabricville.

“Christmas isn’t the same without you dad. I love and miss you everyday.” — Me

Pattern Testing | Heidi Dress

I believe one of the best things about sewing is, when you can sew a dress that is absolutely gorgeous, yet very very easy to make!

 

IMG_1590

This is that make!  Easy to make, gorgeous to wear!

The Pattern:

This is the Heidi Dress by AKpatterns.  I was fortunate to pattern test this pattern and it was such an enjoyable experience, everyone in the testing group was very supportive of each other!

At the time of testing, the dress was available in one length, but Athina has made the dress available in 2 different lenghts; a midi and a knee length.

The pattern has 2 views, version 1 has ruffles on the bodice along the princess seams and version 2 does not have ruffles on the bodice.

Heidi_LineDrawings

Both versions have princess seams on the bodice, an elastic in the waist, and a hook and eye closure on the back.

My Tester Version:

For my tester version, I made mine with a fabric called “Linen Look” and the fabric is composed of rayon and nylon.  I purchased it from my local Fabricland.  There are definitely some fabrics that are nicer to look at than to sew with, that’s for sure.

I first sewed a toile, using old bed sheets.  I sewed a straight size 12.

I thought at first that the size 12 was really really good.  I was almost shocked at how well it fit straight off of the pattern.  The only issue I found, it was a little tight underneath the arm while I moved my arm.

IMG_1571

For my final version, I shaved off 0.5cm from the underarm on both pieces (side front and side back bodice pieces).  I was really nervous because I honestly really try to avoid making changes, especially during a test.  Athina had warned me that the bias binding for my underarm may be a little short now due to my alteration.  I ended up cutting my bias binding a little longer just in case and it all worked out perfectly in the end.  I’m really proud of this alteration.  I need to be more brave in my sewing to make these kinds of alterations for future makes.

With making the changes on a bodice with princess seams, I drew out all of the seam lines and matched the pattern pieces along the seam lines and re-drew the underarm to make sure all of the pieces were the same and that I could keep the underarm the same shape and roundness (using a curved ruler).

IMG_1601

The only other issue, or difficulty I encountered during this pattern test, was hemming of the ruffles.  WOW!  I almost gave up.  I had wrote to Athina – apologizing for saying I was testing the ruffle version and I had asked her if it was okay if I just made version 2 without the ruffles for my final.  She said it was no problem.  But….my husband was the one who convinced me not to give up.

Now, I don’t want to discourage you at all.  I’m really happy that I didn’t give up, I mean, just look at my dress!

IMG_1593

In the instructions for the pattern, Athina even states that hemming of the ruffles takes time and patience and it really does!  I literally spent all of a Saturday afternoon hemming the 2 ruffles.  I messed up on the first one that I had to re-cut my fabric.  Hemming the ruffles on the curve, takes a lot of time, patience and a lot of pins.  I had to grab more pins from the stash!

Apparently, if you have a rolled hem foot for your sewing machine, it will make the task that much easier!  I even tried to do a rolled hem by hand, but that didn’t go so well.  That is something I would love to practice in the future – when I’m not on a time crunch.

But, with all that being said, don’t be discouraged….I mean, I didn’t give up and I’m so glad my husband convinced me.  Now, my ruffles aren’t perfect, but with practice, they will be!

IMG_1604

IMG_1617

Will I Make This Dress Again?

Absolutely!  In fact, I’m starting to really think about sewing the patterns that really speak to me a couple more times to get better practice at fit and pattern hacking.

Once I completed the ruffles, my husband suggested I should try a version with the ruffles, but to make the ruffles a little narrower than these ones.  He suggested little short ruffles that barely come off of the shoulder and I thought that was a cute idea.  There is also a Burda Style dress that has lace ruffles and I think that would be gorgeous as well, a dress with coordinating lace ruffles!  I just tried to find the dress on the Burda Style website, but was unsuccessful.  Once I can find a picture, I will update this blog post.

One more alteration I might do for a future make, is to shorten the bodice by 0.5cm – 1cm.  Maybe it’s the fabric choice, or the length of the bodice, but my final version the bodice bubbles over the elastic at the waist.  Looking at the other tester versions, I don’t think that is the way it’s supposed to fit.  Keep in mind that the cotton bed sheets are a little more stiffer than the rayon/nylon that I used.

IMG_1618

I really love this make and I’m just so proud of myself for not giving up and completing the ruffles.  Thank you Athina for allowing me to test your beautiful pattern!

Check out Athina’s website to see all of the tester versions!  You can click here.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my experience testing the Heidi Dress from AKpatterns.  The Heidi Dress is on sale for 10% off the regular price until Sunday August 9, 2020!

“We know you’d be with us today if heaven wasn’t so far away.” — Author Unknown.

 

Where Does Your Creative Inspiration Come From?

Hello Readers,

I’m here today to ask you:  Where does your creative inspiration come from?  Does it come from deep within you, does it come from your friends and family, how about social media, latest pattern releases or even new arrivals at your favorite shop?

The reason I ask this question, is because I want to know for my own self, how much influence does social media (mainly Instagram) really play in my sewing and creative process.  I know for a fact that as of lately, I’ve been spending much more time planning, dreaming and scrolling through and admiring photos of makes rather than actually making anything.

Now, this could be a mix of various factors, I’m not one hundred percent sure.  I know for sure that one factor is our world’s current situation.  I know for some projects there are notions that I need and some of these notions I really need to see in person rather than making an online purchase.  I’ve done curb side pick up with Michaels and it was wonderful.  My local fabric shop however, only has curb side pick up for mask making materials such as broadcloth, elastic and interfacing.  They do not have fashion fabrics for curb side pick up.

I really wonder though, if I spent less time scrolling and more time making – how much stuff would I be making and would the patterns, fabrics (colors and prints) that I sew with change.  Overall, I want to see if my inspiration changes.  In my personal experience, Instagram has a major influence in my sewing, which can be both a positive and a negative and right now, I’m thinking that it is negatively affecting my creative processes.  I have found in my personal experience that Instagram has become a negative space lately that is just draining my creativity flow.

I’m going to try an experiment for myself:

I’m going to use the rest of the summer (and possibly the fall) to really re-discover my love for sewing again without Instagram.  I’m feeling ready to try new things – such as making a bodice sloper and possibly drafting a basic top for myself.  I need to focus on the patterns that I choose and how they fit into my everyday life and work wardrobe.

How will I be doing this?

I will be taking a break from scrolling through Instagram.  However, I do have a couple sewing friends in which I communicate through Instagram.  I will still continue to communicate with my friends on Instagram.  I will no longer spend time scrolling through makes for some time.  In fact, this week, I have slowly reduced my time on Instagram and have made changes to the notifications that I receive.  So far, I have noticed a small change in my fabric choices already!  Ultimately, I want to spend much more time actually sewing, then scrolling!

I will continue to share with you through my blog and my vlog about my sewing makes and what I have been up to in my creative world.

Now, you’re probably asking – well why take the break from Instagram and not my blog or vlog?

The answer to that is, I really thoroughly enjoy writing and chatting about my sewing makes.  Typing up a blog post and editing a video are some added things that I simply love about my sewing journey.  I have also found a balance of reading and viewing other blogs and vlogs.  Right from the start of my blog and vlog, I’ve set aside time to read fellow bloggers blog posts and watch other YouTubers videos and it works well for me.

 

In the mean time, I’ve taken time away from Instagram this week and have made a plan of makes I wish to accomplish during this time.  I believe with this break from Instagram, it will allow me to stay focused on the plan that I set out for myself.  I’m notorious for making plans and then getting side tracked by, you know…..Instagram…….new pattern releases…….new fabric……you name it.

Here is a little sneak peek!

IMG_1523

IMG_1481

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve taken some time away from Instagram this week to really focus on my inspiration, and right now this color palette is really inspiring me to get sewing!  Just a note, not all fabrics are sewn and not all projects are listed (that’s all I could fit on my little board).

Wish me luck on my experiment!  I look forward to reporting back with these completed projects!

Please tell me, where does your sewing/crafting inspiration come from?

“I think of all the laughter, the smiles and all the fun.  My tears have once again begun.  For, although it brings me comfort to walk down memory lane it reminds me how, without you, life has never been the same.”  — Author Unknown

I’m Here!

Hello Everyone,

How have you all been doing?  How have you been handling this virus thing?

This is going to be a chatty post.  I’ve been away for the last couple of months focusing on work, family and sleep.  Not a lot of sewing has been getting done.  Plus, my work is taking over my sewing space to the point where I feel crowded and spend most of my “sewing” time trying to organize my sewing space instead of sewing!  I just don’t know where to put everything!

Have you been participating in any sewing challenges for 2020 yet?  I planned out a sewing module for the #greatmodulesewalongchallenge – but never got around to sewing anything from there.  I hope to share my plans and sew a module…one day.  I usually find myself finishing up a sewing challenge – once the challenge has passed.  Better late than never!

For the last couple of months I’ve been really good at planning out sewing projects and not very good at the sewing part, due to the feeling of being crowded in my sewing space.  I’m thinking with the way the next couple of weeks are shaping out to be, I might be able to finally have my sewing space fully organized without having to feel crowded.  Hopefully!

I have been doing a couple of pattern tests which I’m excited to share with you.

Let’s see, what else have I been up to?  Oh yes….we got a new puppy last month!  She will be 3 months on the 18th of March.  All black German Shepherd puppy!  She keeps us busy and on our toes!

IMG_0865

That’s all for now!  I’ll be back shortly with some more YouTube videos and more blog posts!

Thanks for reading!

“Dad, you would have loved Roxy!”  — Me.

McCalls 7660 Pattern Review

For 2020 I want to be able to provide my readers with more information instead of a “look what I made” type of posts. So for my first informative post of 2020, it will be an in depth review of one of my favorite patterns – McCalls 7660.

M7660_a

On the McCalls site, it says that M7660 is out of print but is still available to purchase as a PDF download. I do not have any experience purchasing any Big 4 patterns through the PDF download option. If you have any experience with this, please let me know in the comments.

Firstly, when I look at the Big 4 patterns I always always look at the real life model. When I first seen the model for M7660 – it reminded me a lot like McCalls 7800. M7800 is from the 2018 fall line. The sleeves are very similar. Both M7800 and M7660 are out of print but are available for PDF download.

M7800_a

Lets start off with, I absolutely love both patterns and wear them the most in my me-made wardrobe! I’ve made M7800 twice – once in a Woven and once in a knit. To be honest, the woven version is beautiful, however, I found it tight in the armscye with wear. I might chop the dress and make a skirt with the fabric for the spring/summer months.

 

Let’s get back on track with the review of M7660. McCalls 7660 calls for moderate stretch knits such as: sweater knits, ponte and cotton knits. The first version as seen below, I made with a cotton knit from Fabricville (one of my favorite fabrics from Fabricville). It has an amazing stretch and recovery.

IMG_0732

The second version of M7660 I made was using a sweater knit from my local Fabricland. The sweater knit that I used doesn’t have as good of an recovery like the cotton knit that I used before. The sweater knit feels a little larger than the cotton knit.

Both versions I made in a size 14 with a small bust adjustment in view B. However, I did lengthen the sweater knit version. Instead of cutting the pattern at the cutting line for view B, I cut at the view A cutting line.

I’m a huge huge fan of sweaters with cuffs, it’s the most comfortable thing ever….in my own opinion.  M7660 has quite of few options for the neckline, sleeves and hem. You could easily mix and match the options for a unique look.

  • The neck options are: mock turtle neck, v-neck and v-neck with a tie
  • The sleeve options are: cuffed, no cuff or a small bishop sleeve with a cuff.
  • You can lengthen or shorten the sweater to your desired length, you could even make a sweater in a tunic length.

Similar Options:

Now, for the fun part….find patterns with a similar silhouette so that you could recreate this pattern if you wish.

Screen-Shot-2018-09-23-at-9.17.19-PM

First off, I believe The Pixie Tee by Chalk & Notch Patterns is a similar option! I have a plan to make a long sleeve version B, with the tie detail from version A.

 

44392034_362013274536189_2605281257875591118_n(1)

If your looking for a version with a similar neck line, The Nikko Top by True Bias is the way to go. Michele made a beautiful long sleeved Nikko in a beautiful speckled fabric!

 

 

s8947_envelope_front

If you are a fan of the Big 4 patterns, Simplicity 8947 has a similar but different take on the pattern. The Simplicity pattern is for a longer dress/tunic version with very similar sleeve options as well as a hood option.

There you have a few different options if you want to make a sweater similar to M7660 but can’t get a hold of the pattern. I hope you found this style of blog post helpful in your sewing journey!

Thanks for reading!

“I had lost my happiness when I lost you, I am still missing you every day of my life.” — Author Unknown.

Sewing Challenges for 2020

There are a lot of sewing challenges out there and I wanted to compile a list of some of the sewing challenges to participate in for 2020.  The one thing I enjoy about these sewing challenges is that they are flexible and that you do not need to participate every month.  You can pick and choose with ones you want to complete.

I reached out on my Instagram stories and asked my friends which sewing challenges they planned to participate in this year.  While I was compiling my list and looking for more details on some of the challenges, I found this list on Paulette’s website.  I’ll keep the challenges I’ve listed here, but for wayyyy more challenges, I’m going to direct you to Paulette’s blog.

Lets get started:

  1. Sew My Style 2020 – This is an exciting one for me!  Paulette from petitefont.com is hosting it this year and guess what…..I’m going to be a featured blogger for the month of June!  How exciting is that?!  Sew My Style is a year round sewing challenge, offering 2 patterns per month (at a discount) for challengers to sew.
  2. Sew Fancy Pants 2020 – Now, from my understanding this challenge is for the month of January only.  If you’ve been wanting to sew pants….this could be the challenge for you.
  3. Sew Twists and Ties – I believe this challenge is too, offered for the month of January only.  This is where you sew a garment with some sort of twist or a tie.  This sounds like a fun challenge and I do have a McCalls dress pattern that involves a twist detail!  I might try to find the time to participate in this challenge!
  4. Make 9 Challenge – In this challenge, you pick 9 projects – could be anything from sewing, crochet, to knitting or any kind of craft.  You set out 9 projects to complete that year.  I didn’t do so well last year, but I will most likely try it again this year.  They even have a worksheet on the website.  This is a fun and individual challenge to work at your own pace.
  5.  Makers Curate 2020 – I’m not too familiar with this sewing challenge, I tried to look up the hashtag or to see if there is a website.  I believe this sewing activity (I read that it is not a challenge) I think you document your handmade wardrobe for a certain amount of time!?  Please do let me know in the comments if you have more details about this activity.
  6. Sew 20 in 20   In this sewing challenge, you pick 20 meters or 20 yards worth of fabric that you wish to sew in 2020 – a great challenge to reduce that fabric stash!
  7. Sew Your Books –  This sound like a fun one, if you have sewing books with patterns.  This challenge is for the month of January encouraging sewists to sew garments/projects from their sewing books.  I don’t own any books with patterns, but if you…this is a neat sewing challenge!
  8. Sewing Bingo 2020 – This is a fun one that I plan on doing this year.  Similar concept to the Make 9 Challenge, except that instead of picking certain projects (fabrics and patterns) this one has 9 categories in which you could complete your projects.  Maybe one project could potentially fit into 2 categories?!  This one is right up my alley!
  9. The Great Module Sewing Challenge – Hosted by Whitney and Carla are hosting a 6 week sewing challenge where you sew a module.  Sewing 3 tops, 2 bottoms and 1 topper in 6 weeks.  Each week they will provide YouTube videos on their channel to motivate and inspire you.

These are the challenges I’ve found this far, Paulette has basically all of the sewing challenges listed on her blog.  Definitely check it out as I’ve only covered a couple.

Which challenges do you plan on participating in for 2020?

“When you lose a precious member of your family, the love you shared does not die with them.  It lives forever among the shattered pieces of your heart.” — Gillian Roberts

2020 Sewing Goals

5

What do I want to accomplish in 2020? That’s a really good question! I feel like I failed at accomplishing many goals in 2019 as I fell off the wagon near the end of the year. But not all was lost, 2019 was still a very successful year, I just think I failed miserably at the Make 9 Challenge. With that being said, I want to set myself up for more success in 2020.

What will that look like? Well, I have put some time and some thought into it and I really do not want to plan out a full year worth of sewing. As we all know – new fabric, new patterns are always always released throughout the year, which causes me some distractions from my original plans! For 2020, I want to go with the flow and with whatever inspires me at that particular moment.

Of course all of the patterns and fabric that I have from old plans (make 9), will still be in the new plans, except I will work on them when I’m feeling inspired to work on them, rather than feeling forced to work on them.

As for the Make 9 Challenge for 2020, I’m still working on my little plan – once I complete that, I will let you all know. As of right now, I seen the hashtag #sewingbingo2020 and it is very similar to the Make 9 Challenge, except it doesn’t consist of patterns or fabrics – but rather categories in which your makes can fall under. For example, some categories are “repeat”, “solid”, “print” and “more involved”.

79126040_156622415645677_1554875230331088329_n

Completing the #sewingbingo2020 is definitely in my plan!

Next, some of the things that I would like to work towards in 2020 are:

  • continue to focus on my blog and my YouTube channel. Both my blog and channel are things that I very much enjoy doing. I have a larger audience on my YouTube channel in which I thought about putting more effort into that, but have since decided that regardless the number of my audience, I still do enjoy writing out my blog posts. I would however like to be more regular on when my posts and videos are posted.
  • Each month, I’d like to set a goal for 1 project, 1 re-make and 1 mommy and me make!
  • I’d like to reduce the size of my stash.

I want to focus more on being in the moment and sewing with what inspires me rather than feeling forced to make a project because it is on my make 9 list.

What are your sewing goals for 2020?

“Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” — Author Unknown

2019 Non-Sewing Highlights

2019nonhighlights

I have to say, after having experienced 3 losses between December 2017 and December 2018 I wasn’t too sure how 2019 would shape out to be.

To my lovely surprise with my hard work and dedication, it appeared that 2019 was on my side.  At the beginning of 2019 I started back at work casually.  Next, I was able to have the summer off and spend everyday with my daughter in the sun,  going to the park, bike riding, swimming and going for walks.  I thoroughly enjoyed the summer months with her.

At the end of the summer I went for a couple job interviews and was able to get a short, half time term position, which then led into a full year full time position.  How cool is that?!  That is my biggest accomplishment of 2019 and I have been thoroughly enjoying my time and embracing every moment!

I hope that the momentum will continue into 2020.

Would you like to hear a little bonus sewing related highlight from 2019??  I found out that I will be a featured blogger for Sew My Style 2020….how cool is that?!

“Dad, I remember specifically calling you first to tell you about getting my first job.  I badly wished that I could have called you to tell you about this job.  I sure hope that you are watching over from above.” — Me