Here is my latest look for fall. I made this dress using the VERY EASY VOGUE pattern V9022 and yes, it was very easy.
The pattern does not require buttons or zippers. This may be a bonus for many who fear these notions. It instead calls for a hook and eye closure. I love that there are front pockets incorporated into the pattern that are semi hidden.
The pattern also is made in panels and could be done in different blocks of color. I tried this using a center panel piece in a coordinating fabric. I later ripped the panel out, not caring for the combination, and, instead, made the piece of one fabric.
This dress can easily be made in one day and is flattering on. A simple dress for a simple occassion. I would recommend this Vogue pattern.
Having done a lot of sewing projects lately, I was looking for a better option of disposing of cut threads. My option of choice lately had been to chuck them on the table where they found their way to the floor and left my sewing room in a state of disaster. Yes, I could have opted for a trash can, however, I don’t like the idea of feeling down below the table for the trash, slowing me down. What to do, what to do?
My thread catcher basket is made of scraps of material I had on hand, so it did not cost me anything to make. Well, of course it did, but I didn’t have to purchase any new items for it. Always wonderful to make a project with items from your own stash.
These wonderful baskets could have other uses other than catching threads. Make them in different sizes for different uses. The possibilities are endless.
I decided to make a simple looking shirt pattern from Burda. Being a somewhat experienced sewer, (I’ve been sewing since at least junior high) I did not think I would have any problems with this pattern. Think again!
The back neckline facing was way too short (we’re talking 4 inches too short!). I drafted another one to fit the back neckline, cut it out, attached the interfacing, and sewed in place to the front side facings. All was well.
Moving on to the the sleeves, I found another problem. Come-on Burda! Now the sleeves were too big to fit in the arm holes. No, things could not be stretched or made to fit the hole. I had to rip-out the sleeve stitches and re-sew the seam to make it a smaller diameter, trim, press and it fit. Ok, now everything should be fine.
After putting in the buttonholes, I tried the top on. The neckline looked bad. What! I should have tried this on before I did the buttonholes. Ugh! How on earth was this neckline supposed to be attached!!! It called for cutting two pieces of each neck facing piece. I was supposed to add an extra strip to the neckline otherwise there would be three layers to cut buttonholes through. But it looked horrible on. The neckline wouldn’t lay flat and was ugly. Luckily, the buttonholes did not go through the front shirt piece since the facing was put on in the extended manner. I ripped out the extra facing all around the left side piece with buttonholes, re-cut the side with the buttonholes, fused interfacing to it, re-attached it and watched the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjkUd9m_nMk where a similar neckline is put in without this extra facing piece. Just as I suspected. The extra facing went in the bin.
This was strike three for Burda in my oppinon. I did not toss the project in the bin as I liked the fabric. That’s the only thing that kept me going. “I must save the fabric,” I kept saying to myself. However, I won’t be spending my money on Burda patterns in the future.
Does Burda have a quality control department? Do they test their patterns? There are real pictures of the garments on the package, so they are making the pieces. Are these pieces made with patterns or are the patterns made from these garments? Whoever is drafting the patterns is not making them accurately and the directions are horrible.
There is also no size for the buttons. None that I could see anyway. I would recommend a size 1/2″ or 12mm button.
I finally finished my shirt! It shoud have taken a day. Instead, I honestly have lost count of the number of days spent ripping out seams, creating new pattern pieces, re-sewing, re-ripping, wadding things up, throwing things on the floor, screaming, complaining, etc…
So, would I recommend this pattern? It’s bloody well unlikely! I doubt that I will ever make another Burda pattern again. However, I will wear the shirt, as it did turn out fine with the tweaks I made.
As always, Happy Sewing! (And if it’s not happy, it’s the project, not you.)
Years ago, while vacationing in Las Vegas, I purchased a very comfortable, soft, knit, sleeveless dress with a drawstring waist and front pockets. This was the perfect casual summer dress. A great dress to have for going to the beach or going shopping. Of course, one can never find the exact dress years later, so there is only one thing to be done. Make one.
I hunted on the internet until I finally found a similar (but not exact) dress pattern. It was the Connie Dress Pattern (from the UK Sewmag site https://www.sewmag.co.uk/free-sewing-patterns/connie-dress#) and it was a free printable download. Nice! The only trouble with the download was that I could not get it to resize to the proper dimensions. It was supposed to print out with a test box a certain size. Mine did not and I could not get it to print properly. However, I cut it out anyway in a larger size so that I could account for the wrong dimensions. This worked and the dress fit beautifully.
The pattern was so easy to make and I learned a couple of new techniques that I have a feeling I will incorporate into future patterns that I make. One technique was sewing the neck facing into the neckline. In this pattern, one shoulder seam is sewn together and then the open neck facing is put in place and sewn in. After this, the neck facing and remaining shoulder seam are sewn. Brilliant! No trying to get a circular facing to fit into a circular neck. I absolutely love this method! The other technique I learned was to use bias binding to form a casing inside the garment for the drawstring. Fast and easy.
Why is it that the UK has all the good patterns, merchandise, stores, etc… for sewing and knitting products? I am jealous. Anyway, thank-you for sharing via internet to those of us in the States.
I am a big fan of bib overalls. I also am a fan of corduroy. Put the two together and I have a favorite new addition to my wardrobe.
I found a perfectly cute, to die for pair of corduroy overalls at Free People. I excitedly took them into the fitting room. My bubble was burst when I went to pull up the bib and it was way too short. Ah the problems of being a tall gal. But don’t worry, I got my overalls afterall. I made them myself.
I started with a mauve colored corduroy (about three yards if I remember correctly) and Vogue pattern V1731. From there I made the pants but lengthened them so they were full length instead of capris. I left the front of the pants waistband unfinished. I attached a bib that I drafted to fit the width of the front of the pants. I put elastic in the back of the pants as per the pattern and added straps that crisscrossed in back and were attached with fashion buckles. The nice thing about the elastic is, is that there are no side buttons to worry about.
These overalls made-up quickly. The pattern worked out very well for adding a bib. I plan on making the pattern again, this time linen capris.
I had been storing my bedding/linens in large plastic bins with lids. These were all stacked-up doing a balancing act in a reset in the hall. All was fine until I actually needed something from one of these bins. As luck would have it, the something needed was usually in the bottom bin. So, all the bins had to be taken down from the stack. What a back breaking task! I’d had enough!
This is where it helps to have a handy husband. My husband made shelves and really good shelves at that. Built-ins fit for a queen. (I’m the queen in this fairy tale.) Next came my part. I was through with the bins. I decided to sew lined bags made of linen. These I custom made to the size of the shelves and to the size of the linens going inside them. Some have zippers and some have draw-strings. Some are rectangular, some are barrel shaped which fit large comforters well. All are labeled with the contents with hand embroidery.
Ah, it feels good for the linen closet to be organized at last! And, if we have an earthquake, I don’t have to worry about the bins toppling down.
Tired of bowls banging together? Want to stack your pans but don’t want them scratched? DIY Pan Protectors to the rescue!
I found a Pattern for pan protectors and got to work. This is a fast and easy DIY project. I used scrap material and batting so the project did not cost me any extra money. Gotta love that!
First, I got the pattern template online at: https://sewverycrafty.com/how-to-make-fabric-pot-protectors/ . I cut out the material and batting, piled them together (material pieces with right sides together and batting on top) and stitched all three pieces together being sure to leave an opening for turning. After sewing and turning, I top-stitched the piece and stitched a circle in the center. It was ready to place inside the bowl. I am happy to say that the bowls no longer clanged together. Ah…silence.
I highly recommend these pan protectors. They definetly do the job and look nice as well. I am sure they can be resized (enlarged or reduced) if needing larger or smaller versions.
I was looking to make a portable flatware wrap. I wanted something that would not take up much space and that could easily be thrown into a bag and taken places. I find, when taking flatware to the beach or on a picnic, the flatware never really has a good means of transport. During these Covid times, when ordering take-out to take to a park or beach to eat, it is nice to be able to bring flatware that can actually cut the food without bending. Bringing reusable flatware along is also a good thing to help the environment by not using all that plastic.
I found the pattern at: https://www.bhg.com/crafts/sewing/how-to-make-diy-utensil-wraps/ . I LOVE this pattern SO much! It was incredibly easy to make. I was able to make it from scrap fabric I had around the house. The only item I had to purchase was the twill tape. So this cost me next to nothing to make and went together in very little time. Perfect solution!
The flatware is protected in the wrap and rolls up to a very compact size. I love this wrap! I am planning on making more for family members. These will make wonderful gifts!
My son is going off to college next month. I wanted him to have a little sewing kit to take with him, nothing fancy, just the necessities. However, everything I was finding was too feminine, too large, too expensive, or low quality. What’s a mom to do? DIY!
As a college student being stuffed into a small dorm room with two complete strangers, my son will have zero space. Every item brought has to be thought through and essential. While he did not think a sewing kit was essential, I thought he should have one in case he pops a button, or needs to make a quick repair. Better prepared than not I should think.
I had a small hinged tin that came with tea bags I had bought once. Perfect! It is even smaller than the Altoids tins (which would also work). It measures about 3 inches x 2 1/2 inches x 3/4 inches. Since I did not think he wanted the image that was on the tin, I made an artistic collage on top. Inside this tin, I have stuffed 8 bobbins that I wound with thread in colors to match most of his clothes, various sizes and shapes of buttons, safety pins, needles, and pins. I used the tiny plastic bags that contain buttons on new clothing to contain the bobbins and safety pins to keep them together. I cut a small square of felt to stick the pins and needles through. It turned out incredibly awesome if I do say so myself. Also, by doing it myself, I got to chose exactly what went inside and not have random useless items enclosed. The family concensus was that the DIY sewing kit was a thumbs up.
Other uses for a sewing kit this size would be: tucked inside a handbag, popped inside the glovebox of a car, packed for a vacation, etc…
What is a bodkin? A bodkin is something every seamstress should have in their sewing box. It’s a clever tool (that looks like a large needle without the point) used to pull elastic or drawstring through casings.
I had been attaching a safety pin to elastic and drawstring cording for years to help pull them through casings. While it worked, it was not the best way to go about it. The safety pin is short and hard to grap and pull through and can come undone (which has happened to me more than once) in the middle of the job.
I then came across bodkins and decided to order a set and see how they worked. The pair are different shapes. Pick the bodkin depending on the needs of the project. My set has a very flat, thin bodkin with two holes in different shapes and a thicker, rounded bodkin with one oblong hole.
For me, the magic lies in the amount of metal material there is to hold onto to be able to pull the elastic/drawstring through the casing. It is a much faster and smoother process than my safety pin technique and probably much safer as well. I suggest that the elastic/drawstring be knotted after threading through the bodkin, safety pinned, or stitched with a couple of hand stitches to secure it in place so that it does not come undone in the middle of the casing.
I am glad I came across the bodkin. It has sped-up my time threading materials through casings and made things a bit simplier for me.