Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sew Liberated Leggings, Etc.

I made a pair of leggings with my Sew Liberated pattern. These leggings came together very quickly and I was able to sew them in just one sewing session.

They are comfortable and I am sure I will wear them a lot. When I ordered the fabric for these, I wasn’t so sure I was getting exactly what I wanted, and I didn’t get exactly what I was after. I wanted black fabric for them, and the only black stretch double knit (I wanted something sturdy for winter) they had available at fabric.com was a rayon blend. The rayon makes the pants a little more shiny than I like, but that’s ok. I still like ’em.

Also, the next time I make them, I am going to swap the waistband in the pattern for the waistband to my maxi skirt. I love that waistband, and I think it will make the leggings perfect.

I also finished a pair of Sunday pants for Seth last week, using my Oliver + S pattern. I love that pattern.

You know, there are times when I am not so sure about how my stuff turns out. Many times. But today I wore one of my scoop t-shirts paired with one of my cardigans, and my Sew Liberated skinny jeans on the bottom. And I really liked the whole outfit. It was a good moment where I felt satisfied with my work.

Speaking of that cardigan in the picture, today I spent a Ninjago episode sitting next to Ezra, hand sewing the flowers back on the cardigan because they came loose after too many washings. I am learning that part of sewing my own clothes involves mending time, because things like pockets and such just come loose. I am getting better about securing those things really well, but even then sometimes there is no match for what the mighty washer can do to my clothes.

Sew Liberated Simple Skinny Jeans

Last week, I finished a pair of skinny jeans from this Sew Liberated pattern.

I made a test pair first to check the fit and saw that I needed more crotch rise because they sagged off of my bottom when I bent over.

So I added an inch and a half to the top of the front and back pattern pieces (it wasn’t exactly that easy because I had to make sure I didn’t change the size of the front faux pockets, but you know what I mean) and made another test pair. I’m glad I happen to have a couple of stretch denim scraps laying around.

Then I made my actual pair out of some stretch denim from fabric.com. I ordered what I thought was a medium color of gray, but the fabric came looking almost cream.

I like these pants pretty well. I didn’t use rib knit for the waistband like the pattern said to. I just used the same stretch denim I made the body of the pants out of and it worked okay.

These are definitely cheater pants since they don’t have a real fly or a button, but they are pretty comfortable and easy to sew, once the fit is right. This pattern would be great for someone who’s never made pants before, because there is a video tutorial that goes with the pattern.

I couldn’t get any good pictures of these pants. By the time my husband gets home from work it’s dark outside already, and I’m definitely not showered and dressed by the time he leaves in the morning. I get done running just in time for him to pass the kids to me and take off.

But here are the pictures I got.

The back pocket detail.

The front: waistband, faux pockets and faux fly

I am planning on using this pattern again soon to make some leggings. And I might make another pair out of stretch denim too. We’ll see how I feel after wearing this pair around some more.

I am pretty pumped because I got an email today saying I could get that craftsy jeans class I want for half price, so I bought it. Score! I just have to wait until December to get started because I already used all the fabric money we can spare this month!

Shirt From a Scrap

I had a scrap of fabric left over from a dress I made a couple of months ago that I wanted to use up. So I made it into a shirt.

I like the small bit of shirring just below the neckline, and I like the chunky cuffs.

I spent about an hour on the bottom band, which is a little bit insane. But I finally got it just how I wanted it.

Hoodie

I finished a pair of pants for Seth using my Oliver + S pattern again. I used french terry to make these and they turned out really cozy and Seth said he loved them.

I took these pictures of them in a rush before he left for school and thought, we’ll take some better ones when he gets home.

I know you can’t even see the details in the pants or anything in this picture, but at least they’re documented.

He threw himself down on the ground because he said my picture taking was going to make him late for school and he hates being late. I just laughed and took more pictures.

Sadly, I didn’t take any better ones when he got home because the pants met their demise after just one wearing and I was so mad about it that I didn’t bother taking any more.

You see, I have never had to worry about changing my needles around on my serger. I’ve pretty much used size 90/14 needles with a regular point for ALL my fabrics, knit or woven. I’ve never had a problem, even on lightweight knits or heavy denim.

But for some reason, my serger hated this french terry. It couldn’t handle it at all. After breaking three of my usual needles on the stuff, I decided to try some size 100/16 needles I have because I thought that surely those needles would show that french terry who’s boss.

But the 100/16s were too much for the poor fabric and they put tiny holes in it. I only serged one seam with the needles-the back crotch seam-before I could see that they weren’t going to work.

Since the holes were tiny, I topstitched the fabric down on the right side of the pants and thought it would be okay. But it wasn’t ok at all. When he got home, the pants had already almost torn completely through all along that back seam.

I was so sad about it. I even felt a little sick to my stomach and I started thinking of all the things that are wrong with the clothes that I sew. But then I remembered something someone said in church recently. He said that he was thankful for imperfections in life, and I felt better thinking about it. All the imperfections in my clothes tell a story of learning and it’s a lot better to think of it that way instead of just thinking that I suck.

And I will never, ever use regular point needles on knit fabrics in my serger again, and especially not heavy duty ones.

Anyway, I also made a hoodie for me this week. I have some fabric I ordered from girlcharlee.com several months ago that I have never used because it has sparkles in it and I didn’t realize that when I bought it. I am not a huge fan of sparkles. But I wanted to use it and I was getting a good vibe about turning it into a hoodie.

I used a pattern from the craftsy class I took by Meg McElwee about 10 months ago. I made one when I took the class, but I didn’t like it very well because it was way too tapered at the bottom for my liking. So this time I took the pattern in a lot. I also lined my hood this time, shortened the sleeves because I hate sleeves that are too long and get in my way, and I added cuffs to the sleeves and banded the hem.

I like how it turned out and I think it’s a good pattern with my alterations. The only other thing is that the hood is really big. I’m not sure why it’s so big, but I didn’t want to try and change it because then I’d have to change the neck opening to make it fit and all of that.

I finished the hoodie just this afternoon, and then I wore it on our family bike ride to eat dinner at Costa Vida. We had the most beautiful weather today and we had to make good use of it because you don’t see many days like today during a November in Idaho!

I love the hood lining.

A Year Of Sewing

A year ago, I pulled my old, junky hand-me-down sewing machine out of the garage and decided I wanted to learn how to use it. At first, I just stared at it in wonder because I didn’t even know how to thread it or wind the bobbin. But I knew I would learn because my desire ran deep.

My very first sewing project looked like this:
and after I finished it I knew I was hooked. What came next were simple things like throw pillows and drawstring bags for my kids. And then I made my first piece of clothing and I was in love.
I didn’t know a year ago just how much sewing would become a part of my life, but there’s no question that it has become a big part of it. I sew nearly every day and it’s a special time for me. I wait until Seth is at school, Owen is napping, and Ezra is having quiet time. And then I sit down and sew and savor every second.
Sewing has taught me to keep trying and has given me confidence that I can do hard things. I wish everything I made came out just how I want it to, but it doesn’t. That’s okay though, because then when something does turn out just right it makes it all the sweeter.
Last week, I finished Ezra’s welt pocket Sunday pants (I gushed about the welt pockets in my last post). They turned out very nice and I was happy about that. I wanted to take some good pictures of him in them when we went to church yesterday, but we never made it to church because Owen had a terrible ear infection and was up all night crying. So I will settle for the pictures I took of him right after I finished sewing them. They’re not great pictures, but I’m not here to impress anyone so it doesn’t matter.
I had to beg him to put them on and let me take pictures of him in them. This face tells you how excited he was about it:
He’s so funny. I got a couple anyway.

I asked him if I could take a picture of his back pockets, and he really stuck those pockets out for me.

I used another Oliver + S pattern for these pants, the Art Museum Trousers. The pants came with a vest pattern too. I don’t know if I’ll ever make the vest because we’re not really into vests, but I think it was definitely worth the money just for the pants pattern. The instructions are more tutorial style and now I know how to make welt pockets and that’s definitely worth $15 to me.
After I finished Ezra’s pants, I made a pair of jeans for me. They didn’t turn out like I had hoped they would turn out. I used a pattern I drafted myself using a craftsy.com class that taught me how to do it. 
The instructor said to cut a flat waistband and then iron a curve into the waistband piece. I’ve made jeans from my pattern before and they’ve turned out pretty well, but this time the fabric I used didn’t really want to curve even though I tried really hard. So when I sit or bend over, the waistband sags down because there’s no curve to it.
Oh well. They’re still wearable. And I consoled myself with the fact that they actually sag way less than any of my store bought jeans.

And you know what? I actually don’t like to draft my own patterns. It stresses me out and that’s the truth. I’m glad for the patterns that Jon and I spent hours making, but I doubt I will ever draft another pattern to sell.
Today I ordered this pattern by Meg McElwee from sewliberated.com. I took a craftsy class from her and it rocked, so I’m hoping this pattern will be good and fit nicely without much work. And it’s a very simple pattern so that’s a bonus!
I’m also planning on buying this pattern for jeans from burdastyle.com because they look awesome. And then I want to buy this craftsy class to get more tips on making jeans. 
Anyway, happy one year sewing anniversary to me!