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Adventures in amateur sewing

Gray mid-weight sweater

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Winter is…over


  • McCall’s M6796, View DMcCalls 6796
  • Vogue V8956, View C

Since it is now July, you would think that the fact it’s not winter any more would be obvious to me. It is, but I realized that with all the craziness in the last six months, I forgot to blog about some of my winter projects. I’m particularly proud of both of these garments, and not just because I actually completed them in the season they were intended for, but because they both came out really nice. The sweater I am most proud of, since I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it and was able to wear it quite a bit, even as winter was thawing out a bit.

Gray mid-weight sweaterI am especially proud of the purely decorative buttons on the collar – I definitely chose the right ones for top.

Close up of collar

The lines on this really look as close to perfect as ever. I think this lightweight sweater knit was really the perfect fabric for this project.

This garment got a lot of wear this past season, since it matched a lot of things and was also quite comfortable. Unfortunately, my other winter project did not get quite as much wear as I ended up Vogue V8956finishing it right as I was losing my job. The skirt is not especially uncomfortable, but not something I wanted to wear just bumming around the house.

I usually shy away from straight skirts, since my shape is not very flattering in them, but I decided to give this one a shot since the fabric was definitely not flowy enough for some of the other skirts pictured in this pattern. This is a true wrap-around skirt, with 2 hook and bar clips holding it on the waistband. I ended up adjusting it so that it was a slightly bigger size in the hips than the the waist. Usually I can’t get this to work right, but I think this skirt fits pretty well and I definitely don’t feel any tightness or weird bulges as I might have suspected.

Plaid textured skirt

The fabric was given to me by my aunt when I first started sewing. I had always envisioned a skirt to make with it, but had not gotten around to it until this year. The fabric started shredding the minute I cut into it, so I had to serge all the edges before I even started working with it.

Winter SkirtI definitely do not have a skirt like this and I almost can’t wait for the weather to get cooler so I can finally wear it.

Both of these projects were fast sews and the patterns were very easy to follow. This seems unusual with both of them being Big 4 patterns, but I guess they can get some things right.  Both are recommended for beginners – great wardrobe builders that can give you an outfit in no time.

This week has definitely been the hottest one this year-and looking at these pictures is really making me sweat! I have most of my summer projects cut out – although it’s getting a bit late to have them ready in time for the season. My spring just got away from me and will probably throw my fall off too. Well, I’m not doing too well with my goal of sewing ahead of season, but hopefully I will stay on top of my projects and my blogging in the not too distant future.

Stay cool!

Dog blouse with ties

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Top mistakes: My sporadic sewing


  • Rhapsody Blouse (bishop sleeves) by Love Notions
  • Vogue V8670 (view D)

This year has been pretty crazy for me so far. It started with me losing my job unexpectedly, then moved on to a big move and a new co-habitation situation with my significant other. All of this occurring while I was training hard and accomplishing my major running goals and then finally shifted to me getting a new job and trying to find some normalcy and a regular schedule for my life. With all these changes taking place in a fairly short period of time, I saw my planned and unfinished sewing projects piling up. Whenever I found myself with a pocket of free time, I would try to hurriedly work on these. Unfortunately these rushed blocks of productivity lead to some large, unplanned mistakes.

Doggone it! It’s upside down!Rhapsody blouse

I had the perfect project in mind – a garment I really wanted ready for this spring. It was one of the Rhapsody Blouse options from Love Notions. The fabric I wanted to use was this very soft, almost gauzy, cotton that had this really cute dog print pattern on it. I bought it thinking it would be cute for some kids clothes, but since I don’t have any kids, I decided I liked the material too much to not keep it for myself. I cut the project out in between packing my stuff for my move. I even attempted to make a small amount of bias tape with the leftover fabric I had (it wasn’t much), but that didn’t seem to work right. I’m not sure if the material was too stretchy, but the shape wasn’t right when I tried to use this method.

Trying to make bias tape

Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on here either. This is what happens when you attempt a new trick at the end of a long evening.

This project was actually a quick sew, so one day post move I dusted off my serger and went to work. I worked fast putting all the pieces together. When I put it up on the dummy to see my progress, that is when I noticed it…

Dog Blouse

Such a rookie mistake! I didn’t pay attention when cutting this printed fabric.

I had cut the shirt completely upside down. All the dogs were on their head.

I couldn’t believe I had made such a big mistake, but I was trying too hard to get the blouse cut out before the big move. Since I hadn’t done a project with a real print in awhile, it didn’t even cross my mind to make sure this was right. I was concentrating too hard on making sure I could fit all the pattern pieces and that I had measured the right size for me. Oh well, at this point I was still going to finish the blouse. It would just be a bit quirky.

Sleeves on dog blouse

One good point is that because I chose the elastic sleeves, it tends to hide some imperfections that exist in the sleeve hem.

Luckily the rest of the construction went very well, even making the bias tape, which I was also a bit rusty at. In the end, I had a nice spring blouse…although it was now summer and too hot to wear it. It’s still light enough to wear on a cool summer evening…and there is always next year.

Dog Blouse

What the…buttons?

The next project I attempted was a solid color fabric so there Continue reading