Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sewaholic Renfrew

I finally made myself a Sewaholic Renfrew. I love knit tops and I'm starting to feel more comfortable sewing knit fabrics.

[Note: the weird spots are sun spots - it's super sunny out today.]

  • Jersey knit
  • Thread

Sewaholic Renfrew

This pattern is super simple and makes a nice plain t-shirt. I didn't do any adjustments to this top and just sewed a size 6 (about two sizes down from what the size chart says I should be).

I have some fabric pooling at the back, so on my next Renfrew, I'm going to do a swayback adjustment. It looks better when I pinch out about 1" of fabric at the centre.

The top does looks fine without the adjustment. However, since I plan on using this pattern for other things (how about a Renfrew dress?!), I'd like to make it fit a little better.

Similarly, I'd like to fix the wrinkling under the arm. From looking at most other Renfrews out there, this seems common. It is probably because the armhole is too high under the arm. I compared it to a t-shirt I have that fits me and that had an armhole about an 1" lower.

I didn't have any twill tape, so I used bias tap instead. I just cut one of the folds out, so it wouldn't be too thick. So far, it seems to work fine.

I didn't finish the seams. This is really nice jersey that doesn't fray, so why waste the time and tread?

That's it. I hope you like my top!

Friday, May 30, 2014

My Easy T

After making my pants, which took a lot of time and effort, I wanted to make something a little easier. Plus, I need some new nice work shirts. So, I drafted myself a simple shirt with kimono sleeves.


A self-drafted kimono shirt. I followed a tutorial, The Easy Tee, for some help and ideas. This post my Miss P also helped.


  • Stretch jersey from my stash (I bought about 6 yards of it for $10 a while ago).
  • Stretch lace from a second hand 'old lady' blouse (about $4).
  • Thread 

The shirt is nice and comfy. It is loose without sitting like a tent. I wanted to make the sleeve and bust area a little loser, but I was constrained by how wide the lace shirt I was using was.

The lace adds a bit of interest near my face. I think if I make it again, I'll make the lace go a little further down (I forgot to add for seam allowance when I cut the lace where it would meet up with the jersey).

I used the lace shirt hem and sleeve binding. It lengthened the sleeves. It also flares out a bit, which looks a little interesting.

The shirt is soooo comfortable and I think it is also stylish. I'll definitely make more with variations.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Burdastyle 03/2013 #104 Trousers

This latest project was a big one! I wanted to make some simple ankle pants using Burdastyle 03/2013 #104, but it took a lot longer than I thought it would.

  • Cotton Stretch Sateen (with spandex)
  • Thread
  • Interfacing
  • Zipper 
  • Button
  • Bias tape 
All from my stash!


Burdastyle 03/2013 #104

I chose this pattern because it looks rather simple (and it is). What made it super difficult was the fabric I used. There is simply too much stretch in this sateen! Even though I used my regular Burdastyle size (size 40) and the pattern mentions that you can have some stretch, I just had too much.

I spent hours and hours (about 16 hours I figure) trying to get the crotch curve right and trying to get rid of wrinkles. For the most part, I succeeded. But, the wrinkles all come back with wear.

To be honest with how the pants look, all of my pictures are taken after I wore the pants to work for a day.

The front isn't too bad. Just some wrinkles from sitting. 

The back is very wrinkled. After trying to get them to disappear, I decided to just live with them (most RTW pants are wrinkly, too).

[Update: I just remembered that, when first assembling the pants, there wasn't any ease in the back inseam for me to work in (unlike the instructions say to do). It is possible that the stretchiness of the fabric and/or improperly located pattern marks made this happen. This might be why I have extra back wrinkles.]


With this stretch fabric, there was too much ease. I ended up making the seam allowances about 1.5" on the side seams and inside leg seam! It just keeps stretching and stretching!

I added a waistband so the pants would stay on better. With wear, they stretch out even more! The waistband helps keeps the pants in place. As you might tell from the photo above, the waistband also loosens with wear (even though it is interfaced), so I might go back and add twill tape to it.

I also added patch pockets on the back. I'm proud of how they turned out.

Overall, the pants are super comfortable and most people probably don't notice the wrinkles. The wrinkles aren't as obvious when I'm moving around. I've decided to live with them.

While the fabric was a big pain in (and around) my butt, it really is lovely to look at and touch. It has a nice sheen that doesn't come though the pictures.

What I Learned

Sometimes I waste too much time fitting. I think us sewers can get a little obsessed with the little things. My pants crotch looked good after about an hour of fitting and yet, I kept fiddling with it (and maybe made it slightly worse!).

Also, I should probably avoid fabric with so much spandex, unless I use a pattern specifically made for it.

What do you out there think of my pants? Did I horrify you with all of my wrinkles?

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Cooper Bag

I made myself a Colette Cooper bag! This bag went together a lot quicker than the Coopers I made for my brother and brother-in-law.


Colette Patterns Cooper


The materials are all from my stash. You might recognize some of the fabrics. The teal is from my Sewaholic Minoru. The navy is from one of the Coopers. The red-orange is leftover from my Burdastyle shorts. And the cotton floral print I used for lining is some fabric I found at a yard sale for $1 awhile ago.

While searching for hardware for the other Coopers I made, I found a bit of extra pieces, like the bright orange strap with clasps and d-rings, that I kept aside. The zipper also came from the bag I stole the strap from. 


As seen above, I added a little zipper to the pocket on the front of the bag. I also made the bag a blend of the different versions. I added a removable shoulder strap using d-rings.

I also added the straps on the back, so I can attach the bag to my bicycle.

I'm so happy about my bag! I can't wait to use it. Hopefully, it will work with my bicycle.

Trip to Tucson

I'm back! I was visiting Tucson, Arizona. I spent a lovely week there enjoying the sun, cacti, and palm trees (but not all the cars and traffic!).

While I was there, I decided to do some fabric shopping. I had a lot of fun digging through the piles of fabric at SAS Fabrics.

Huge piles of fabric - challenge excepted!

I found quite a few nice knit fabrics there. Here is what I bought:

The five fabrics on the left are lovely jersey fabrics I found at SAS (for only $26US!). The fabric on the very right is a polyester chiffon I found at Hancock Fabrics. I didn't like shopping there as much. There was very little selection and hardly any staff.

Now to figure out what I want to make with it all!