Kwik Sew 3980: Memee’s Birthday Pajamas

I recently went to visit my grandmother in Texas for her birthday. I love it there! She lives very close to the border. It is nice and warm and while things in St. Louis are still in Winter Mode, Texas plants are blooming away!

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I decided to use my sewing powers for non-selfish reasons, for once, and made her a pair of pajamas. Now my Memee is very particular about her pajamas. These are her requirements.

  1. No cotton. The only pajamas she will wear are slippery nylon which are damn near impossible to find!
  2. No buttons down the front. If you do manage to find the unicorn of pajamas, they have buttons down the front which poke her in the middle of the night.
  3. The tops and bottoms should be matching colors.

Enter the Kwik Sew 3980 Pajama Set version A with some very nice lace details! I have finally found the pattern that will encompass all of those requirements!

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Sew House Seven: Toaster Sweater #1 aka Turtle Sweater

Oh man, all through November and December I had a cough that I could not shake! I have been looking at all the cozy coats and sweaters that people have been making and I decided I needed one of my own. I have had my eye on the Toaster Sweater #1 from Sew House Seven for a while. I finally decided to take the plunge and bought the pattern. It looks like the warmest sweater and it is a little edgy with that neck piece!

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Of course I knew that the model would have a MUCH longer neck than I do, but it’s been so cold I took a chance on it anyway. Let me tell you, this sweater went through about 3 weeks of tweaking and altering to get it to fit! I think it works on me and most importantly it is very warm!

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2017 Sewing Goals

I hope you are looking forward to a new year as much as I am! It’s time to start thinking about my reading and sewing goals for the year. 2 years ago I decided to start using Goodreads.com to keep track of the books I had read for the year. It turns out that it motivated me to “read harder” or really read more books that were not in my normal repertoire. Last year I discovered Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, while rediscovering Barbara Kingsolver, Neil Gaiman, and Lois Lowry. P.S. I am always open to book suggestions, so feel free to share them with me!

On to my 2017 Sewing Goals! Continue reading

Top 5 Hits of 2016

Crafting a Rainbow is on of my favorite blogs to follow! Partially because she takes such beautiful joyful photos of her makes, someday I would like to take an outdoor photo, but I am just so shy. The other reason I love the blog is because she does things like #sewingtop5 of 2016! It is just a good way to reflect on a few of the things you have made for the year! I’m shocked I actually made 13 finished pieces this year so I am going to revisit the hits!

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The Retro “Boogie” Shirt

Someone posted the link to the Retro “Boogie” Shirt on Makerist in the Curvy Sewing Collective Facebook Group and it looked so flattering that I decided I had to give it a try myself! The pattern itself was only $3 US and it came together in about a day. This shirt is so cute that I am sure you will be seeing more of these from me!
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For the first time in quite a while I took pictures of every step. Partially for blogging and partially so that I could look at them later when I want to make this again. The photos in the instructions were somewhat difficult to see, I believe the pattern pieces were missing some crucial notches, and some instructions were lost in translation from German to English. But if I can figure it out I am sure you can too!

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5 of 4 Patterns: Pajama Pants

It’s finally starting to feel like fall in St. Louis. It’s time for over-sized sweaters, warm drinks in big mugs, and flannel pajama pants! Pajama pants are the very first item I learned to sew with a sewing machine. The only class I ever took used Simplicity 1494 which  is not a great pattern. If you have to adjust a lounge pants pattern multiple times so it won’t fit like a circus tent, even after sizing down twice, there is a problem. I think the only review I ever saw of it was 1 star.

I mentioned in my last post that I agreed to teach a beginner sewing class next year and one of the classes will be for pajama pants. I was trying to decide what pattern to recommend for students to purchase when I stumbled across a FREE pajama pants pattern sized xxs-3xl from 5 out of 4 Patterns. I can just direct them to this page to get their own copy. I ran out and bought some stunning flannel cat fabric and whipped them up in a couple of hours. Whee!

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Seamwork Weston Shorts:

I have to admit I have always wanted to try those vintage high-waisted shorts that have been making a comeback for the last few years. I have just always been worried that they will not be flattering. They have darts to bring in the waist, but I don’t really have much of a waist. I kind of end up making it look like I have a waist with whatever I am wearing! But when the Weston Shorts showed up on Seamwork I thought, “Why not?” Also, I can learn how to make darts, use interfacing and sew in a zipper. Plus, it’s summer and I can always use another pair of shorts!

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Note: These are by far the most challenging item I have tried to sew yet. I made it twice as hard by altering the waistline to fit me and messing it up a bit. That said, this is a really long post. If you want to skip down to the end to see what they look like without all the messy altering it won’t hurt my feelings!

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Seamwork Mesa: Turning a Dress into Tee

I have had a subscription to Seamwork Magazine for a few months now but had not made any of the patterns yet! For $6 a month you can download two of their patterns. This will be my first try! I have to say I also love love love Seamwork Radio. The podcast is completely free but it is really well done and I like to listen to it while at work or sewing. So even if you don’t subscribe, yet, give that a look.

So it has been nearing 100 degrees in St. Louis lately and I needed another summery top I can wear to work. I loved the way the top of the Mesa dress looks, but I don’t like the way sheath dresses fit me. I decided to shorten it into a t-shirt to use with a lightweight clearance hatchi sweater fabric in “eggplant.” (Read: Magenta.) It has a 50% stretch so I felt pretty confident that I could alter the dress pattern and pretty easily get a shirt that fits.

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McCall’s M7313: Groom’s Maid Dress in Action

So I finally finished McCall’s 7313 the weekend before the wedding and I love it so much! It fits almost exactly like the empire waist dresses I love from Torrid. I have a feeling you will be seeing this pattern again and again.

As far as instructions go this is like all the big four instructions. They are really basic and don’t have all the lovely tips and tricks I have come to enjoy from some of the indie pattern makers. This dress is assembled in halves. I put together the top first and that process is detailed here. This post is just a quick overview of the skirt(s) and finally the pretty, pretty finished dress! Continue reading

Made with Moxie’s Prefontaine Shorts

I thought I would be clever and start sewing shorts before “shorts season” but by April it was already 80 degrees in St. Louis. We had a mild winter and I judge it that way because I did not get one snow day! As an adult, snow days are even more precious because they are so rare. Plus, I just love snow! Now, back to the sweltering summers. Sigh.Madewithmoxie

But, wait. Look at these babies! Made with Moxie created a pattern for super cute Prefontaine Shorts for Women sizes 0-24! They are available in her Etsy store: That Moxie Girl. If you google image search “Prefontaine Shorts” you can find several bloggers who have made them as fun as they want or as reserved as they want. There are a lot of great ideas out there!

Shorts are not easy for me to find. I have finally figured out that I need a 5″ inseam on my shorts, no more, no less. With a 3″ inseam it look like my crotch is eating my shorts as they ride up my thighs. I also want fun shorts that really make my plain summer t-shirts into an outfit. Most plus-size retailers seem to think that the answer to this is bedazzling. Stop gluing plastic gems to my butt! PLEASE! 

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