Jul 24 2017

Truly Victorian 441 – 1861 Garibaldi Blouse

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Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse

The next item which I made for the Victorian ensemble for the Dickens Fair was the Truly Victorian 441 – 1861 Garibaldi Blouse. This was probably the easiest and most straight forward piece of the ensemble that I made. I was fortunate that Jill had already made hers (technically twice, since she made a muslin that was too big and then had to make a second one that was the correct size). Since I knew her measurements and I knew mine, no muslin was needed. Which was a good thing because at this point, I was getting a bit tight on time and really wasn’t relishing making two of these. That being said, it’s a good pattern and I will definitely make another one.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse collar detail

I used a cream colored cotton sateen from JoAnn’s. It was actually pretty perfect. Easy to work with, soft, natural fiber but looked clean. Sewed up quite nicely.

I had just gotten my new Bernini 770 which has all these fun stitches on it that I decided to take it for a run. I was using an eggplant colored thread since my skirt was eggplant colored. I used the roses on the color and had to go for a simple on down the placket since otherwise it would have been too much.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse pig cuff detail

But on the cuffs and hem, I took the opportunity to use the PIG STITCH. Yes, you read that correctly. THERE IS A PIG STITCH ON MY MACHINE. If I hadn’t already thought this was the world’s awesomest machine, this would have clinched the victory.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse cuff button detail

As mentioned, the skirt and thread were eggplant and I was fortunate to have two lovely eggplant buttons (actually left over from another project that has since been abandoned because it was started so long ago that the fabric and style aren’t even in fashion any more. Sigh.).

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse cuff and collar detail

Here’s how it looks together. I love having the roses on both the cuffs and collar to tie it together.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse pig hem detail

And of course, I needed to hem the shirt. Why not use the straight “ground” of the pig stitch to tack it down and give me another excuse to hide some piggies on my shirt. There is a distinct possibility that I will be using this stitch A LOT.

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Jul 16 2017

Victorian Petticoat based on Truly Victorian free pattern

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Victorian Petticoat front

When you’ve got a hoop skirt, you’ve got to have a petticoat to go on top of it. Otherwise you can see all the hoops through it.

I made my petticoat based off the Truly Victorian Free Petticoat Pattern. They’ve got all the yardage listed there although I ended up buying an entire bolt of muslin because I figured I could always use it for actual muslins but I needed up using most of it.

Victorian Petticoat mess

I couldn’t find fabric with eyelet on one side and I wanted more ruffles so I bought separate pre-ruffled eyelet lace to use on the bottom of the top layer. It turned out to be a decent compromise.

Victorian Petticoat ruffle attachment

Attaching the eyelet ruffles to the bottom of the skirt. I think I bought the whole “bolt” of the ruffle lace which was 10 yards. 

Victorian Petticoat wedge piece

I also had some serious issues with the bottom layer of my skirt. The bottom layer of the pattern isn’t gathered as much as the top layer although I did add a plain fabric ruffle to it as well for extra “poof.” Somehow when I gathered it, it ended up shorter than expected and didn’t quite fit over my hoop skirt. I thought my calculations for the amount of ruffling were good . . . but apparently I was off. So I had to add some wedges in at the sides and back.

Victorian Petticoat wedge piece

I did this by cutting out wedge pieces (here I’m cutting 2 at once) that matched the bottom skirt. I had some leftover as you can see in the picture above (which should have been the first sign that something was wrong :P)

Victorian Petticoat wedge addition

Then I cut a slit into the bottom layer of the skirt at the sides and back and stitched in my wedge along the sides. You can’t see this layer anyways so no harm done as you can see below:

Victorian Petticoat not enough layers

This is the petticoat as the free pattern says to make it. Clearly you can still see the hoops through the top layers. The bottom part has 2 layers as described above so that part was fine. But this was not going to cut it.

Victorian Petticoat

So I added not one, but two extra layers because I was pretty sure one wouldn’t be enough to hide those hoops. And I’m glad I did.

Victorian Petticoat layer seam closeup

Each layer, including the bottom two, was gathered using my serger. This is actually the first time I’ve gathered using my serger and it was pretty cool how well it worked! I will definitely be using this for the next petticoat because I really want a pale pink petticoat next so we’ll have to make another. My understanding is that back in the day ladies would wear 5 or more petticoats as needed to hide the hoops!

Victorian Petticoat back

And here’s a back view. I need to fix the tie. It doesn’t quite get tight enough and then the petticoat sags a bit, but should be an easy fix . . . but probably won’t get done until absolutely necessary of course.

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Jul 07 2017

Truly Victorian TV141 Round Cage Crinoline Hoop Skirt

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Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

This post is waaaay over due. This hoop skirt, or crinoline as they are sometimes known, is from the Truly Victorian pattern TV141 – 1858 Round Cage Crinoline. My friend Jill and I made them together last December for the Dickens Fair. We pretty much made it exactly per the pattern so there’s not a whole lot to talk about but I took a bunch of pictures during the construction so here you go.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline materials

Piles of boning and fabric. I usually get my corset making / boning supplies from corsetmaking.com. They sell lots of good costume making stuff in general. I also like GoldStarTool and plan to get a grommet press from there eventually.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline pattern

First step was cutting out the patterns for the kick bag which is a fabric covering for the bottom three hoops that prevents you from accidentally stepping through the hoops and getting caught. I cut those out while Jill cut and marked the grosgrain ribbon at the appropriate places.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline grosgrain

Those both took a while so I ended up sewing the grosgrain later although I think we did get the kick bags done together.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

After the kick bags were done it was time to start adding the boning. Those bottom bones are really quite long. Had to use the real measuring tape for those.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

We forgot to order hoop clips so I used packaging tape to connect the hoop boning together into circles . . . next time I’ll definitely use hoop clips as I can hear it crinkle. It’s not too bad, but I’d prefer the cleaner finish. I’m sure this won’t be my last hoop skirt 🙂

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

Finally, I finished up the top of the kick bag.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline bottom

This was one of the only places I varied from the pattern in that I put the grosgrain strips into the seam of the kick bag before sewing it up rather than after. It gave a cleaner finish. Thanks to Jill for that tip since she hit that spot before me 🙂

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

Next up was putting the boning through the casing. We used ready made casing. I’ve seen other people sew together two layers of grosgrain ribbon. If I were going for a particular look, I might do that, but in this case, the ready made casing was great and much faster!

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline sew up casing

The top two rows have an open area so I had to finish off the ends of the casing with some hand stitching.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline casing close up

The rest of the rows connect so I just sewed those together (after putting the boning together with tape).

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline hoops

A little in progress show before I added the top two rows.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

Finally, I used some 1” wide twill tape for my waist band. I need to get something a little better though. Maybe some webbing since the twill tape kinda rolls up and digs in. I’m sure if I had been wearing a corset it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I wasn’t. Either way, I want something smoother.

So that’s my hoop skirt! It’s got a great shape. I’ve seen a few made with different colors and I’d love to make a more colorful one or at least a darker one for under dark skirts, not that you can really see it once there’s a petticoat over it.

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Jul 04 2017

Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

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Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

Gah, I’ve been so busy doing things that I haven’t had much time to post. There have been plenty of quilts, plenty of bags and plenty of costumes (one of the items was 6! muslins for a dress). But I’ve finally got pictures of them! So here we go . . .

Grace Circle April 2017 Quiltt-3

First up is this quilt for Grace Circle of do. Good Stitches. I’ve posted about them before and it was once again my time to be quilter this past April. I chose to do a Jelly Roll Twist quilt, a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop, with the  variation that the square had to be solid, the strips had to be a print and it had all had to be pink. This was a totally selfish choice so I could use up some of the pink fabric I have leftover from another project that is still in progress.

Grace Circle April 2017 Squares

These were the sample squares I posted. Everyone’s came back differently and I was a little worried, but I love how it all turned out in the end with a super scrappy and happy look!

Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

For the backing, I used some wide back Riley Blake chevrons that I had purchased for another project. I ended up buying a different backing for that project so this was just hanging around. As part of my constant attempt to de-stash I decided to use this because it was pretty dang perfect and I was happy to free up the space. I love the look so I will definitely keep these chevrons in mind for future backings. Would love some in black and white. I was also able to use batting from my stash that was leftover from another project and happened to be the perfect size. Double stash win!

Grace Circle April 2017 Quiltnkgracequilt-5

The binding was also from my stash! Again, purchased for another project that has been hanging out forever and that I’ll probably want to use different binding for by the time I finish it so figured I might as well use this one here. I’m really happy with how everything turned out with this quilt! I’ll be shipping it off to My Very Own Blanket this week.

Grace Circle April 2017 Quilt

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May 13 2017

Betz White Weekend Duffle Craftsy Class

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Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White

I recently completed the Betz White Weekend Duffle. This pattern is offered as part of her Craftsy class Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel. I won the class for one of the bags I submitted to the Bag of the Month Club competition. I was super excited about it! Thanks, Bag of the Month Club! 😀

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White - inside

I’ll talk about both the bag and the class. First, the bag. The bag is offered in two sizes and I chose to make the smaller size. For the main fabric, I used a quilted cotton that my mom gave me and otherwise I used fabric from my stash. No new fabric was purchased for this bag! I did have to buy hardware though. I’m really making an active effort to use fabric from my stash this year and so far I’ve been doing pretty well!

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White - inside

My favorite part of the bag was how the lining was put in because it pretty much hides most raw edges. In the video, she hand sews three of the base lining edges, but I was able to only hand sew the two short edges and I was pretty happy about that. I suspect she doesn’t recommend machine sewing the other long edge because it’s a bit of work to pull the rest of the bag through (I did it the same way you do the ends of the lining), but doable if you’re determined (as I am).

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White

I like the shape of the bag. It’s got standard pockets and a zip pocket on the inside. I like the handles. I like the detailing although I had to add an extra row of stitching around the edge because 1/8” was still too far and didn’t hold it down well enough. I also like the way the way the zipper is inserted. Goes well with the way the lining is attached.

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White - inside

However, it should be noted that this bag takes a while. There are a lot of steps. None are significantly complicated, but there are a lot of them. Arguably it shows in the quality of the finished product. But for that reason, I don’t think I’m likely to make it again unless I want this shape in particular. I have other similar bag patterns that I would probably try first just because it’s something new. I will probably use many of the techniques I picked up in the class though — which brings me to the class.

The class teaches the basics of making a bag. If you’re relatively new to bag making, it’s a great class. Like almost all Craftsy classes, I watched it on 2X speed. I do this with audiobooks, too, so I think it’s me, not the class. If I had been sewing along with the class, I might have left it on normal speed. My only “complaint” about the class and it’s not really a complaint, more of a preference, is that I wish she had provided a pattern. There’s a list of instructions included in the class materials, but I had to keep referring to the video to see how to do something or what the seam allowance was. Sure, I could have taken notes when I first watched it but I didn’t. And really my M.O. is to watch a class and then go do something. It’s just how I work. I mentioned it in case you’re the same. If you like to sew along with the instructor, then this class is perfect for you! And as I mentioned, even as an experienced bag maker at this point, I picked up some great techniques like the way she adds the lining.

So, there it is, my Weekend Duffel! Not sure what I’ll be using it for. I had planned to use it for a dance bag, but it’s a bit bigger than I expected (I’m terrible at grasping how big something is based on measurements unless I mock it out) so it might get used for something else. But it’s so fun and cheerful that I’m very happy with how it turned out!

Weekend Duffle, pattern by Betz White

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Apr 01 2017

Sew Sweetness Kismet Trinket Box Binding Kit

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Sew Sweetness Kismet Trinket Boxes

I’m am so excited about these little guys! They are the Sew Sweetness Kismet Trinket Boxes.  The left is the large circular one one and the right is the small square one with the height decreased by an additional inch so that it’s only about 3 inches tall. I used some free fat quarters I got from Northcott Fabrics at QuiltCon from their ColorWorks Concepts line. Technically my mom won them, but she gave them to me because they’re more my style than hers (seriously, I’m going to have buy more of these dots). I won a charm pack from Northcott’s Urban Elementz line which I also love but am making something else out of.

Sew Sweetness Kismet Trinket Boxes

Like all of the Sew Sweetness patterns, this one went together really nicely. No fudge measurements or anything like that. I love that her patterns are so reliable. They also go together pretty quickly. Honestly, the part that took me the longest was cutting out all the pieces. There aren’t that many, but you need to cut most of them out of fabric, lining, interfacing and foam stabilizer which just takes some time. And I was also cutting out two boxes worth.

The square one was the one I was excited about, so I made the round one first to practice all the techniques. I was able to make both of these out of just 2 fat quarters! They are perfect for using that fat quarter you love that you’re so afraid to use. They were definitely a little smaller than I expected (yes, she gives final measurements but I’m terrible at really knowing how big it feels until I finish it). They’re in many ways similar to her Crimson and Clover Train Case but simplified.

Sew Sweetness Kismet Trinket Box Binding Kit

And here’s why I was so excited about the square one! I’ve wanted a binding kit for a while now. I needed something that would hold all of my wonder clips, scissors, thread and needles. I was using an old makeup case and it just wasn’t doing it for me, mostly because I wanted something that could stay open while I was binding so I had easy access to put away clips, grab my scissors, get more thread, etc. I also wanted it fully enclosed with a zipper (a feature most other binding kit patterns I’ve seen don’t have) so that stuff wouldn’t fall out since I often take it traveling. But it also needed to have plenty of space for my clips. Modifying the smallest rectangular kismet box to be just a bit shorter was perfect!

For those that are curious, the needle holders are just some black fleece cut to size and topstitched down. I measured the scissor pocket to exactly match my TSA-approved scissors though at some point I’d like some nice embroidery ones since this pair is pretty stiff. I love it and can’t wait to take it with me on my next plane ride!

Sew Sweetness Kismet Trinket Boxes

Like I said, it’s a great pattern. The square one was actually a bit easier than the round due to the straight edges for stopping and starting so if you’re debating which one to try first, I’d go with the square. It’s a value priced pattern at $5 — a great way to start your Sew Sweetness addiction. 🙂 (And no, I’m not paid to say any of this; I’m just a huge fan.)

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Mar 27 2017

New Leaf Folding Totes

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New Leaf Folding Totes folded

I’m terrible about gifts. Well intentioned. But I’m eternally optimistic about how much time I have left until Hanukah/Christmas/birthday/etc. So it’s only natural that I ended up finishing my mom’s holiday gift this February.

I wanted to make her something because while I make plenty of stuff for people, she never seems to get any of it. Well, I guess I’ve made her several aprons, but otherwise, not much. I know she likes using reusable bags when grocery shopping and I love my New Leaf Totes that I made almost 6 years ago and they’ve held up great. Still looking as good as the day I made them (well, assuming they’ve been washed recently). This seemed like a great gift.

New Leaf Folding Totes folded

For the fabric I used a bundle of 1/2 hard cuts of Honeysweet by Fig Tree & Co. that I got about a year and a half ago from someone destashing on Instagram. There were 12 different prints in three colorways. The prints were the quaint but modern style that I knew she’d like (plus, if she didn’t like them, then I’d be happy to have them). I used Kona cotton in bone for the inside lining. Here are the color combos I went with:

New Leaf Folding Totes open

New Leaf Folding Totes open

New Leaf Folding Totes open

The bags went together quite smoothly. The pattern is the New Leaf Folding Totes by Heather Bailey. It’s a great pattern. Well written with very clear instructions and good diagrams. Everything fits like it should. No fudging pieces together. I highly recommend using pinking shears to trim the curved part of the pocket before turning inside out. And overall really recommend the pattern.

One change I made was using 1.25” wide twill for the handles and just overlaying one of the handle pieces (with sides folded under) on it and top stitching. The resulting handle width is the same. I liked the slightly more rustic look the twill gave it to go with the fabrics. It was much faster (turning the handles inside out is one of the only parts I don’t like about this pattern because it takes forever and this also meant no interfacing on the long handles). And I think it may actually be a bit sturdier. I will definitely do this again for this bag pattern in the future.

I didn’t bother making the little tote sash because I was pretty sure my mom would never use it, assuming she even folded the totes back up.

New Leaf Folding Totes folded

She totally loved them and I’m just hoping she does actually use them because she said they’re almost too nice to use for grocery shopping. I tried to reassure her that if she ever messed them up (which would be hard because they’re pretty sturdy), I’d make her new ones. Not sure I convinced her . . . 😛

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Mar 24 2017

Magic Creative Maker Supply Case

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Sew Sweetness Creative Maker Supply Case front 

When the Magic line by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller came out, I totally fell in love with it and pre-ordered a whole bunch (from one of my favorite stores, Hawthorne Threads). One of the ones I ordered was the You Are Magic print which has lots of wonderful happy and inspirational phrases on it. I was looking for the perfect project to highlight those phrases and I’m pretty sure the Sew Sweetness Creative Maker Supply Case is it.

Sew Sweetness Creative Maker Supply Case back

I fussy cut all the pieces so that they centered around the different phrases.

I also made a few changes to the inside. My plan was to use this as a creative toolkit for the plane. My creative toolkit holds my iPad and sketch pad. So I made the pocket on the left just a solid one (no net) so I could slide in the sketch pad and I made the right side an iPad holder.

Sew Sweetness Creative Maker Supply Case inside

Well, I tried to. I was hoping it would hold it in by the sides and I could leave it in there while I watched, but unfortunately it doesn’t work great. The little sides I made weren’t quite big enough. But they let me put the iPad in without catching it in the zipper.

Overall, I’m really happy with how it came out. I wish I had just put a pocket on the right hand side (next one), but it still works great for my iPad and protects it when traveling.

Sew Sweetness Creative Maker Supply Case inside

The pattern is very well written like all of Sara Lawson’s patterns are. I accidentally forgot to put the padding in the skinny side zipper tab side, but this didn’t make a difference in the overall look. I used a nylon parka zipper because I like the way they zip better and they are heavier duty and the tape is wider. The pieces went together smoothly and overall it was a pretty fast and easy project. Like other Sew Sweetness patterns, there’s always at least one point where I think, “there’s no way this is going to be useable” and then I turn it inside out and like magic (no pun intended) it looks awesome.

At some point, I’ll get some more Magic fabric and make version 2, but until then, I shall enjoy this one. 🙂

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Mar 18 2017

True Bias Hudson Pants Review

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True Bias Hudson Pants front

One of the activities i do when I’m not working is teach sewing classes at work along with some other lovely folks. One of them wanted to test out the Hudson Pants pattern from True Bias so a bunch of us got together to make them. Everybody picked a different fabric and different size so it was a good way to get a lot of opinions at once.

True Bias Hudson Pants front

I went with some purple sweatshirt fabric that I think I’ve had in my stash for probably close to a decade. It felt great to finally use it! Because it had very little stretch, I bumped up 2 sizes. And because the Hudson pants run slim and I prefer my lounge pants a little looser, I bumped up another size. So I measure between a 4/6 and ended up making a 12 and was pretty happy with the very relaxed fit it resulted in. I’d probably make it around an 8 if I had fabric with stretch.

True Bias Hudson Pants pocket

I followed the pattern pretty much exactly. I tend to do things out of order to minimize trips to the sewing machine, serger and iron, but otherwise mostly followed the pattern. I made two changes, one cosmetic and the other for fit. The first was to add a decorative border to the pockets. Really happy with how that turned out. Since I wasn’t using a stretchy fabric anyways, I used some fun squirrel print cotton for the inside of the pockets.

True Bias Hudson Pants cuff

The second was to change the cuffs. Since the pattern was written for stretchy fabric, the cuffs were drafted slightly smaller than the ankle opening. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get them over my ankles and I couldn’t stretch them to gather the ankle of the pants. So I re-drafted them to be as wide as the bottom of the pants and while I was at it I made them a little shorter. I tried on the pants and given my stature, a little shorter would fit me a bit better. They turned out well.

True Bias Hudson Pants side

The only part I’m not thrilled about with these pants is the inner leg seam. I think this has to do more with the serger I used at work. It just doesn’t seam as soft as the serging I did at home. I think it’s partly due to the thread and partly due to the width of the stitch. It’s a narrow overlock and if I had done a wider one like I typically use at home it might not stick out as much and rub my leg. As it is, I still wear them a bunch. Since they’re made out of sweatshirt fabric, they’re nice and warm.

True Bias Hudson Pants back

I’d make them again, probably with a stretchy fabric and maybe something a little trendier that I could use after workouts or dance rehearsals.

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Mar 15 2017

Made by Rae Geranium Dress Review

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Made by Rae Geranium Dress

I have a cousin and a college roommate who both have little girls that are the most adorable tiny humans you’ve ever met. Naturally they needed dresses.

I went looking for an easy dress to get started with and found the Geranium Dress by Made By Rae. I like the simplicity, the different options. Figured it would be good for a first try at tiny dresses.

I made two. One is the above dress with little ruffled sleeves. I added the waist flat piping and did the gathered skirt option. I also double layered the sleeve ruffles because I didn’t want the raw side showing.

Made By Rae Geranium Dress front

The other was the one above with a happy party parade print. I love border prints. I did the pleated option on this and one and added piping. I love the yellow piping on this one although it did make the dress a royal pain in the butt. But I love how it came out. 

Both little girls look wonderful in their dresses and I can’t wait to make them more. I already have a number of other patterns picked out.

Here are the backs:

Made By Rae Geranium Dress front

Made By Rae Geranium Dress back

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