Rainbows and Dragonflies

Archive for the ‘Crafty’ Category

Ello. Long time no post, I know. LOL Things have been very busy around here lately. I’ve gotten my sewing mojo back and completed a few projects that I’ll be posting. First up is Simplicity 2404.

Simplicity 2404. Source: Simplicity.com

Simplicity 2404. Source: Simplicity.com

I started this dress as part of a little black dress challenge in the “Sewn Up – A Group for Sewists and Would-be Sewists” sewing group on Facebook. The challenge was for the month of February but seeing that it is now July I obviously didn’t complete it in time. LOL

I chose view B with the sleeves of view A. I picked this pattern since it was in the “Amazing Fit” collection and liked the idea of different bust and hip pattern pieces. I decided on a black stretch sateen–which attracts so much lint that I would never use it again–and went on my way. Little did I know that the instructions would give me the biggest headache I’d ever had.

My Simplicity 2404 - Front View

First of all, if I had known the instructions called for basting the dress and putting it together one way, then taking it apart and sewing it another way, I would have just made a muslin and gone from there. Ugh. The dress had so much ease that I had to recut my pattern pieces in a smaller size and still take in the seams.

This was a dress of several firsts. I had never sewn princess seams before and the instructions left me confused for days. Even after asking my group for help, I still didn’t get the seams lined up completely the way I wanted. I was starting to wonder if my pattern pieces were drawn incorrectly. As others have noticed about this pattern, the shoulders extend too far. Adding sleeves, though, seems to make it less noticeable.

My Simplicity 2404 - Back View

And the directions to sew a lapsed zipper after the front and back were already sewn together made the zipper very difficult to get in. I ended up with puckering at the bottom of my zipper. I also sewed set-in sleeves for the very first time. Google searching helped A LOT with that part.

All in all I do like the way the dress fits but I don’t think I will sew this pattern again. There are some other sheaths that I want to try first.

I love pencil skirts and try to keep a few in my closet at all times. They’re very feminine and fit in with my love of retro clothing.  A few weeks ago I found a black ponte knit at the fabric store and knew that I had to make one. Between Mademoiselle Chaos’ and Cotton & Curls’ tutorials I got it done.

Since, I used a knit fabric I omitted darts and just concentrated on 5 measurements: waist, hip and knee circumferences, distance from waist to hip, and distance from waist to hem. I used my French curve to draw the lines connecting all.

Pencil Skirt Sketch

I cut two pieces (front and back) and straight-stitched along the sides with a (roughly) 1/2″ seam. Zig-zagged the top and bottom with a 5/8″ seam. The project went pretty smoothly.

Black Ponte Knit Pencil Skirt

And now for my mistakes:
I’m still learning my lengths and widths on my machine so the zig-zag stitches aren’t even on the hems. Also, I didn’t realize that I didn’t have any black thread. I REALLY wanted to wear my skirt the next day so I used navy thread and hoped for the best. LOL You can’t really tell but I know the colors are off.

I’m excited to make another one. This time I will buy some black thread and I think I’ll add a side zipper. The skirt goes over my hips well without one but tucking in my blouse was difficult.

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I’ve been doing some sewing projects here and there over the last 6 months. I’m slowly but surely learning my machine, the rules and how to break the rules when necessary.

I bought this XL green shirt to wear as a maternity shirt while I was pregnant. I found it recently and decided that it needed a new life.

Oversized green shirt

Voila. I took in the sides and the arms. What I learned: When taking in a garment while wearing it, don’t use stick pins. They hurt and pop out when you take the garment off. LOL

Green shirt alteration

I bought this tank top last year on sale right after the 4th of July. I figured that I would get a jump on this year. Little did I know that I would lose weight and the tank would be too big. I took in the sides and shortened the straps.4th of July tank top alteration

This pencil skirt is the result of following Mimi G’s pencil skirt tutorial. Lesson learned: Make my zigzag stitches wider next time. I popped some stitches while playing with Li’l T.

Skull knit pencil skirt

These next two are also based on a tutorial from Mimi G. They are maxi skirts/dresses. They were really easy to make. Lessons learned: Pay CLOSE attention to the width of the fabric on the bolt, read instructions multiple times and double check my math. The blue floral skirt isn’t as full as the yellow because I got confused while reading the instructions and did my math incorrectly. I actually want to take the blue one apart and use the fabric for something else.

Blue floral maxi skirt/dressYellow maxi skirt/dress

When I saw this Star Wars fabric I HAD to buy it and make some pajama shorts for Li’l T. I used a pair of sweatpants that he already had as a template. Lesson learned: When using another piece of clothing as a template make sure it is a current size and not too small.

Star Wars pajama shorts

This skirt is based off of One Avian Daemon’s Hemless A-line Skirt tutorial. I modified it to add side pockets and to add a little room in the front for my abdomen. Lessons learned: Read and fully understand the instructions before starting. Practice inserting side-seam pockets. Draw the pattern based on the instructions and then modify it for my abdomen. Make sure that I have all of the necessary supplies. If I don’t have what I need don’t make rush decisions to finish up the project. Just wait until I buy more supplies.

Pink circle skirtMy future projects are two blouses and a pair of pants in a houndstooth fabric. I’m intimidated by the blouse pattern, though. I don’t want to end up like Theo from the Cosby show with a lop-sided Gordon Gartrell shirt replica. LOL

Theo in Gordon Gartrell shit

I don’t want to look like this!! LOL

But I shall press on and work through my fears. Wish me luck.

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For Valentine’s Day last month I decided to make a shirt for Li’l T. I know he doesn’t care or know anything about holidays but I love making things for him. Little boy patterns are hard to find but I came across a really cute shirt over at Make It and Love It. A monster holding a heart that says “be mine”? PERFECT! Along the way I learned that I really, REALLY, need to stop putting things off to the last minute. I was up until 1 am working on it. And then got up around 5 to finish it. LOL I also learned that I need a lot of work when it comes to sewing circles. This was my first time doing something like this but I don’t think it came out too bad. I also learned that I should do things early so I can get my model to cooperate before the day of. LOL

For “What I’m Making Monday” I wanted to show off a scarf that I crocheted for the mister. The pattern was found on Ravelry and I used a skein of Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in Charcoal Print. It’s a self striping yarn so I didn’t have to worry about changing yarns.

It’s getting colder now and Li’l T needs an extra layer under his pants. Especially since his pants ride up while I’m carrying him to the car. I used this tutorial from Everything Your Mama Made and More! and within an hour I had a pair of leg warmers (or Baby Legs as they’re called now) for him. Yes, I know the term “leg warmer” conjures up thoughts of 80s girls with bright colored leg warmers over tights. I assure you that was NOT what I was shooting for with him. I specifically picked out some long socks that had a masculine design.

Pinned and ready to be sewn

Toe and heel of sock

Single stitch all the way around

Folded down after zig-zag stitch

Completed leg warmer

Pair of leg warmers

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I just found out about Fun Monday over at Life Is Not Bubble Wrapped. My two craft projects (hat and cape) were a day early but Jill got me thinking about  gifts for the holiday season. I love this time of year but I hate the angst it causes when people are trying to find THE perfect gift for a loved one. Gone are the days of showing your love through gifts. Now we’re buying love with overpriced “must-have” gifts. Every year the gifts gets bigger and bigger for fear of disappointment for not topping what was given before. Or fear of showing others that you’re not financially as well of as you claim to be. Well, this year I’m working on homemade gifts. My family and friends know that I love them and I want them to FEEL that. So, I have 2 weeks and a lot to get done. Wish me luck. 🙂


Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

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