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Adventures in amateur sewing

2018 Pant


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The 2018 pant: Starting off a difficult year

Pattern: New Look 6058 view DNew Look 6058

It’s always nerve-wracking to finally cut into that fabric that you bought a few years ago and you love so much. I knew when I bought the black textured fabric used for this project that I wanted to make some fancy pants with it, ones that could be worn on a night on the town. I even had a name for them – the New Year’s Eve pant, because it reminded me of an outfit I wore a long time ago on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, I didn’t go out on the town on New Year’s Eve and I also didn’t finish these in time to wear them until well into February. So instead, these have been dubbed the 2018 pants. A still-hopeful name for pants that I at least finished within the year, right?

Unfortunately this year is not what I thought it would be personally. After starting a new job last fall, I thought finally my career was finally taking off after a slow start and some difficulty. But sometimes these things don’t work out, even when you try your hardest at something. At the start of this year I found myself exactly where I didn’t want to be – struggling to find another job. Some years have so many positive memories that you can’t help but look back and smile. This will not be one of those years. However, it’s okay as I feel I will be a stronger person for it in the end.

These pants gave me almost as much anxiety as my newly realized unemployment. Fitting pants is quite difficult with my body type and I knew that I needed to make a muslin to feel things out. I took my measurements and first made sure to adjust the crotch, which tends to hang really low on pants’ patterns for some reason. When I sewed the legs up, I realized these pants were really huge on me and even with the zipper seam allowance it was not going to work. Part of the problem was also that I was ramping up on my half marathon training and losing weight as I made this. I adjusted the pattern before I cut into my material and hoped for the best.

Cutting out pants

The one thing that gave me trouble on my muslin was the zipper. The pattern had me putting in a regular zipper, which I actually haven’t had too much practice on. The directions made no sense and everything I tried just didn’t work right.

Muslin zipper

In total frustration, I actually gave up on these – if I wanted to make them wearable in the future, I could come back to it. And I decided to buy an invisible zipper because I felt that would work better for these pants and at least I could figure out how to sew one in properly.

Invisible zipper

In the end, the zipper worked great for these. The size…not so much. I was still losing weight as I was finishing up my other projects and when I finally came back to this, it still ended up a size too big. This was not the look I was going for. However, I do still think these are pants are wearable and the fabric is something unlike anything I have in my closet. I’m not a fabric expert at all, but it kind of seems like it might be a brocade. However I could be completely wrong as I got it unlabeled at a discount fabric shop.

Brocade fabric

A difficult project for a difficult year, but in the end, I think it will be alright. And hopefully the same goes for the year itself. I’ve faced challenges worse than this before and I know there will be a lot of good things to come in my future.

The 2018 Pant

Plaid fabric


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Summer sleeves…make me feel fine

Pattern: New Look 6104 (view D)New Look 6104

While I was in the middle of trying to finish up my cold weather projects that got away from me last season, I realized I would always be a season behind if I didn’t get working on some summer clothes.  So I dropped everything and whipped up this little shirt, made from fabric I got for $1.99 a yard at Sewfisticated in Framingham, MA.

Plaid fabric

When I bought this, I had a vision of making a sleeveless shirt. This New Look pattern that I had already made a muslin from seemed perfect, especially with the tucks in the front and the collar-less design.

Based on my experience from last time, I cut the neckline a bit smaller to compensate for my small shoulders and cut the bottom part a little fuller.  It could probably use more adjustment next time – with the bottom more flared out and the middle part taken it a bit at the waist.   Continue reading

My First Blouse


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It Seams Complicated: My First Blouse

Pattern: New Look 6104New Look 6104

New Skills Acquired: 

  • French seams
  • Tucks

I’m so proud!  I took one piece of slightly stained discount fabric and made an actual blouse!  With buttons!

As much as I like the end result, I did find this pattern a little difficult to follow.  I think the main problem was it assumed I already had experience making pin tucks and shirt cuffs.  It took some concentration and some interesting maneuvers cutting around a few stains, but in the end I made a pretty nice trial blouse.

Tuck Ever-Exhausting

I decided to make view C because I liked the short sleeves and I didn’t think the ruffles would work with the almost flannel-like material.  The directions on the pattern basically just said to fold the material on the line provided to make the tuck.  I had no idea which way to fold the material or how to make the seam.  Even doing an exhaustive search on youtube confused me, since the videos usually showed using multiple lines for guidance.  Using a practice scrap, I attempted my first tuck.  Annnnddd I folded it the wrong way.  Well I’m glad I practiced.

Tucks are created by basically folding the fabric up on the pattern line, with the wrong sides Continue reading


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Everyday I’m Serger-ing

Pattern: New Look 6816
Gray striped shirt

Yay!  My mom’s serger is out of the shop and ready to go.  So, time to sew some knits!Serger

For those of you that don’t know what a serger is, it looks like this:

A lot of the clothes that you buy are made with a serger, which makes a certain type of stitch that finishes the edge while it sews.  It was perfect for this cotton stretch knit material I bought and used to make this cute little top with kimono sleeves.

At first this looked like a top I could complete in a few hours, but I don’t have a ton of experience with knits and there were a few unforeseen challenges.

The first thing I realized was that I was going to have to match up the stripes.  The back was two separate pieces so it needed to line up, Continue reading