Sewing Forward While Looking Back at 2018

Last year saw lots of changes for me. I started off really strong with the 52 Week Sewing Challenge but I ended with 21 posts not getting published (I sewed every week within the challenge suggested guideline but just didn’t feel the urge to actually blog or even enter my sewing into the weekly contests). I dealt with depression and anxiety issues, a government move to a different state, getting the kids settled at new schools, setting up completely different IEPs, all while trying some days to keep my head above water.

I am actually quite happy I only missed publishing 21 posts (maybe I will go back and publish them later) but I had a few extra posts as I joined blog tours (17 of them and only a few met the 52 week sewing challenge criteria to count as included posts.)

This year, I will say, is off to a tad bit of a rough start with the government shutdown of 2019 being in it’s 9th day already but this coming year I am endeavoring to still similtaneously work on the 52 Week Sewing Challenge while trying to focus on sewing for me, Joseph and for items needed for the house. I spent a bulk of last year’s challenge sewing for my children, which is fine but I really want to learn new techniques and how to sew for my tall, plus sized body.

I joined an amazing group of women who blog about the glorious curves they have, check out House of Curves for curvy and plus sized sewing hacks, tips and tours. I am super excited because sewing for a good fit is complicated for a body that isn’t in ASTM standards or having patterns being well drafted for plus sized bodies are slim picking. I was tickled to be added to the collaboration and cannot wait to jump in on the tours (though the first will be this month and with the government shut down, I am not sure about participating since having Hubs home with me means it’s hard to get away to sew since he is finding all those small projects we need to complete- he needs to go back to work😂.)

I also was gifted a series of books throughout the year from my loving partner that I am excited about jumping into. Plus my husband encouraged me to take a sewing class with the books’ author Gretchen Hirsch. Unfortunately, it won’t be until September, but can you imagine 3 full days of working in a class of 5 with Gretchen and not a child of mine in sight😱. I am soo excited.

I have to arrive with a completed muslin bodice for individual fitting advice, so now to decide if I want to work on a dress from one of the books I have:

  1. Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 40s and 50s
  2. Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Vintage Techniques
  3. Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book: A Modern Guide to Sewing Fabulous Vintage Style

Or the new book coming out in April

Or if maybe I need one of the new Charmed patterns like the Night and Day Dress with all its amazing options.

Decisions, decisions….

But anyway, I digress. This year I’ll also be working on learning to sew tailored dress shirts for the Hubs so we can make him lovely custom shirts and maybe if there is time, I’ll tackle dress pants!

This year I will also try to participate in the 100 Item Challenge on Facebook. Last year I did complete 100 items but fell way short of posting in the group. I think I posted well for the first 3 months so I am hoping to follow through with posting all 100 this year!

So it’s going to be a fun and busy sewing year. With that said Welcome to Week 1 of the 52 Week Sewing Challenge! First up- organize your sewing space 😱🤦‍♀️

Organizing is not my strong suit😂 but let’s see where this takes us!

I’ll check back in with (maybe a before and) an after progress pic but until then Happy 1st day of the New Year, happy crafting and Make it Sew!

******update here is the completion of my 52 Week Sewing Challenge entry!

Week 28: Sew a Tank Top

Sew a tank top! Challenge Accepted, it was the perfect opportunity to test and sew the new Pickle Toes Patterns Boys Triple Play Tank for my daughter. I am always looking for great patterns that provide modest coverage for the day-to-day wear during the summer time for my youngest. I love there is the option for colorblocking or the option to have a plain front AND that there is also the ability to have 3 different styles of back; full coverage, atheletic, and racerback. There is also a pocket option with 2 different styles. My children both opted for no pockets.

For this version I went bold with bright red cotton lycra from Central TX Fabric which I have mentioned several times in previous posts (she just started doing monthly subscription boxes for this same knit so head over to the group and get in on that action- 3yds solid is just $28).

My son’s version does not have colorblocking but I knew to make the best use of the Dr. Suess fabric, I had to get the colorblocking on. I opted for the athletic back on the tank for Sweet Pea.

It provides that fuller coverage for the tank but I think next time, I’ll opt for the racerback option.

Instructions are easy to follow and this is a great intro pattern for someone wanting to start colorblocking but is a bit nervous. It took me approximately 30 minutes to sew the top up, so its also a great nap time sew!

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I think the next one I may also make out of swim material because it would make a great swim top for my kiddo that sometimes doesn’t want to wear a traditional bathing suit!

Week 29: Sew Something Stretchy AND WWD Poolside Blog Tour!

Here we are in the dog days of summer.

That period of time here in Vermont where we spend lots of time at the bowling alley or the pool to cool off since most homes here don’t have AC. It is hot and sticky and the kids are starting to get bored and actually looking forward to school even though there is still a whole month left of the summer break (who’s brilliant idea was it to give my kids soo many weeks off during the summer?)

This week’s challenge fits in perfectly for Sew Something Stretchy because the littlest one needed a swimsuit for the pool, the tween needed some lightweight shorts to wear around the pool. Enter the Poolside Blog tour that allows me to meet all these goals! 

Previously in my  Week 22 Sew a Swimsuit post, I talked about creating a Doc McStuffins swimsuit for the Sweet Pea. If you click back you can read about how I made the adjustments. For the pattern I used the Princess Powersuit from Winter Wear Designs which has the cutest options for ruffles and skirted bottom.

What I really love about Suzanne’s patterns is that they are super easy to follow. I have made several swim suits for Sweet Pea and this pattern is one of the easiest I have ever made! Look how cute that bodice shaped up to be. This pattern has the option with and without ruffles, and with or without the skirt. The trickiest part for me was the binding around the neck, but don’t be scared. The instructions are clear and thorough to help with it. Sizing is 1-14 so I get to make Sweet Pea this suit a bunch in the coming years!

 

After a quick fit check it was time to hit the pool.

 

She loves it and gets comments about how cute it is every time we are at the pool.

Now it was on to my most difficult customer. My tween is attitude all the time. He’s a big boy so he often is too big for kids clothing because of his width but is way too short for mens stuff. And at almost 11, he appears to constantly outgrow stuff. So we opted for making the Aviator Pants into a beachcomber length shorts. This is a great pattern because it is gender neutral, so this pattern will get double duty in our house since it can be used for both the Bear and Pea. Sizing goes from 1-14, and the pattern itself is easy to follow and make adjustments. Baby Bear is at the top of the size range so while it makes me sad he loves them so much but with the style I think it will be very easy to adjust it to get a couple more years out of it for him.

He asked for fun food fabric and for his shorts to have them included but there was just a bit of fabric leftover after he demanded a tank top. Originally I thought I would use the triangle blocking that is included but he didn’t like it and asked for them to be stripes. Based on our muslin he felt they were a tad wider than he wanted for the beachcomber length so we narrowed them just a tad because it was his desire.close up side

My tween is picky about the waistband construction, if you have kiddos with sensory issues sometimes the typical waistband construction can be an issue because there is a bulkiness with sewing first then folding over. I’m going to share how I do my waistband construction since my tween said he thought I should share it.

It’s quite simple, you start with the waistband folded in half lengthwise. In most regular, construction you would sew here along the short side; with this method you will fold the band in half width wise (like my 2nd photos). Serge or sew along the raw edge, you now have the continuous circle of the waistband sewed in half but with only a one seam instead of a folded over bulk seam. Flip one side of your band over and continue with your normal method of attachment.

After making the requisite changes, he finally declared they were the perfect fit and now wants them for post pool and to sleep in. Now if he could just get rid of that attitude….

 

Look at that attitude, lol. Toddlers and Tweens- as the temperature rises so does the attitude. Thanks for joining me on this tour, see you next time!

Pull up a lounge chair and a cold drink, and don’t miss a single stop on the Poolside Blog Tour:

7/16
Jackie Burney for Winter Wear Designs
Meriel of Elli and Nels
7/17
7/18
7/19
Diane of Sewing With D
7/20
Livia of Liviality
Patricia of Sew Far North

 

***this post may contain affiliate links.

Week 24: Sew Something for a Girl

Sew something for a girl, lord, I sew for a little girl ALL THE TIME! Challenge accepted. For this week, I am announcing a pattern test a new release from Sew Bratty Patterns. This diaper cover releases today and makes very cute bummies for kiddos for the summer but also work well for bigger kiddos to cover up under dresses. there are 2 different styles one that is more like a harem short (view A) and a shorter almost bloomer style (view B). These are such a super fast sew, I whipped them up start to finish in less than 20 minutes with a serger.

They have become a summer staple for us because of the fit and comfort. The pattern releases at $5.00 but is on sale from today through Friday for $3.00.

Here are some images of the View A that I made during testing.

And some of View B.

You know a pattern is a successful one when your child asks for “lots more momma”

Week 22: Sew a Bathing Suit

Here we are one week past the halfway point and it’s time to start thinking about bathing suits since we will spend half the day several days a week enjoying our local public pool!

This post is part 1 of  2 parts that ends during the Poolside Blog Tour hosted by   Winter Wear Designs20180618_050949[1]

So Sweet Pea asked for a Doc McStuffins inspired suit and I knew the Princess Power Suit would make the cutest suit for her and would meet the additional requirement of a tutu on it. This post will focus on how I made the striped bodice insert for the Princess Power Suit to create the striped shirt effect of a Doc McStuffins suit.

Gather your supplies (for this part I am using the white and purple):

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There are a couple of different ways to do this next part. I am going to walk you through how I did it (there may be a better method) and I wish I took more photos so you can really see exactly what I did step by step, but I don’t think its all that confusing. If you have a question feel free to ask. I cut 2 pieces of fabric then cut each into 2 inch strips. Then sewed the 2  inch pieces together alternating the colors when sewing so you have a striped panel. From there you can continue the pattern construction from there.

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If you really want to see Sweet Pea’s suit, come back next week for the second half of this swimsuit!

 

*this post may contain affiliate links

Week 19: Sew a Shirt

This week’s challenge fit handily into sewing another strike off from Kimmy Snabric also part of the Supernatural round. This time I am working with a panel also titled Family business but is on an amazing cushy bamboo lycra. 20180607_0852171.jpg

I was off to figure out what I wanted to make with it. I went with a designer I am very familiar and have had great success with her patterns, Winter Wear Designs Trendy Tank It’s a lovely body skimming top that is flowy and perfect for the Vermont summer (even though its black) because we don’t have an AC up here y’all.

I struggle with finding things for me to sew and love but I absolutely love this tank! I love the coverage on the shoulders and the v-neck as well as the high low hemline option. I did realize I need to work on getting my V better, I am sure its a practice thing but that little pucker isn’t going to bother me enough to make it worth picking the neckband apart-lol.20180607_085223[1]

Since I made this top it ends up making it into my weekly rotation, so I am assuming I probably need to make waaaaayyyyy more.

Week 18: Sew a Purse or Wallet

I love big bags! And this week’s challenge was perfect for using this amazing Supernatural Strike off I got from Kimmy Snabric. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s title is called Family business and ran on bamboo and cotton lycra as well as a luscious stretch woven, which is what I made this bag with.
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I went into the challenge knowing that I wanted to sew a Blue Calla Patterns Hosta bag and even had a different fabric all cut out and partially sewn when this fabric came to me.

Why this bag? Because I had been looking for a big enough bag to carry my camera and a variety of small child gear for when we go on some of our adventures. We often had to carry a bag for the camera and a bag for the tiniest human in our house stuffed with a baby carrier, a few toys, diapers, you get the picture. I felt like this bag could be big enough to house the camera insert and fit the other needs perfectly. (I will be blogging about the camera insert later).

So off I went to cut out a whole new bag. I find the instructions for the pattern clearly written and it was quite fun constructing the bag itself. I will say that my Viking handled the layers like a champ, but since I was using faux leather, I would recommend using your Teflon foot if you have one (or placing tape on the underside of the foot you are using if you don’t) to help with preventing sticking that can happen with it.

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I hated making the strap and I think for my next one I will modify the bag to have a ring toward the bottom center and do a tie strap so I can use it as a backpack too because the size is absolutely perfect!

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