Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sewaholic Rae Skirt

I wanted a quick and easy sewing project and out came the Sewaholic Rae Skirt. I loved the floral fabric in the kit and just had to get it myself.


All of the necessary materials come in the kit.
  • Stretch twill
  • Thread
  • Elastic
  • Optional: Label and Ribbon
I wouldn't usually make myself something so simple, but I have a hard time finding fabrics in my town. The fabric in the kit is really nice and it's still summer enough for a bright happy skirt.

The floral fabric is a bit on the bulky side. I don't mind this, it just means that the elastic waistband looks a little bulky and too casual for me. So, I just wear it with a belt. I also noticed that Tasia does this in her pictures with the skirt.


When you buy the kit, you get the pdf pattern of the skirt. The pattern is very simple and the instructions are great. It would definitely make a good first project for someone learning to sew.

I made View B, which is the same view that Tasia does with the fabric (above). It just seems to suit the fabric best.

As the pattern instructed, I made the skirt to my hip size (a size 8) and just adjusted the elastic to my waist (which is closer to a size 10). The fabric has a lot of body, so I could have probably gone with a size 6 and still had a lot of flare.

I didn't make any adjustments. The only thing that I did a bit differently was to blindstitch the hem in a quick way. What I did was press the skirt hem up to its final length. I then unfolded it and serged the entire bottom edge. Then, I refolded the fabric and folded it a second time with the serged edge sticking out 1/4". All I had to do after that was blindstitch. I found this a very quick and easy way to have the fabric in the right position for the blindstitch. Here is what it looks like:

Update: I totally forgot! One adjustment I did make was to add in-seam pockets. A simple change, but it makes the skirts a lot more useful.
Overall, I think this is a cute, comfortable skirt, but I'm still not sure it's for me. I think it make my upper half look a bit barrel-ish. It just doesn't quite seem to flatter my shape. Maybe I just need to get a better top to wear it with. Perhaps, I should make a Sewaholic Belcarra top, too.

I really love the fabric and there is enough left over to make some really fun shorts or something. But, that may have to wait until next spring. It's time to start my fall sewing!

PS. That's my veggie garden in the pictures above. I'm pretty happy with how that is going. My tomato plants are taller than me!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Waredrobe Architect Revised pt.4

I'm finally back to my re-do of Colette's Wardrobe Architect series. In this post, I'm going to explore prints and solids (Week 7) and discuss hair and make-up (Week 8).

When I first discussed prints and solids, I was pretty much all over the place. I went through my existing wardrobe and created a mishmash of colours and prints.

I was right to conclude that I like florals and geometric patterns. But, when it actually comes to designing a wardrobe, I should try to include more solids to make it easier for my pieces to work together. So, while I will continue to love some prints (like my favourite robot print chiffon blouse), I need to include more solids in my wardrobe.

To help me do that, I am also going to think of fabric types. Some fabrics are so nice, you want them in a solid, just so the quality of the fabric stands out. Here is what I came up with:

More fabric types that will look good in solid, like the sweater knit and denim.  Mixed with a few fabrics that look good with a print, like the chiffon robots (heart). I think all of these help me with my overall goal of creating something a little more timeless and a little bit 'preppy'. It's already easier to imagine articles of clothing made up of the above examples that will work together.

On to Week 8: Hair, Make-Up, and Beauty. Last time I did this exercise, I actually did a good job putting down what I like and don't like. So, I will just summarize it again, I like a simple look (no make-up).

My hair is finally long enough that I can do a bit more with it if I want. I usually put it in a pony tail, but sometimes I will french braid it. That's it!

Overall, I think my clean, simple approach to beauty works well with the preppy look that I'm using as a guide.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Featherweight Cardigan

Yes! Finally a knitting post after months of nothing. I made myself the Featherweight Cardigan and have been working on it for a long time.

This is a lace weight cardigan with lots of tiny stitches. Also, a few months back, it was found that I had retinal holes in my eyes and that one of my retinas was close to detaching! Apparently, this is something common for people who are extremely near-sighted (like me). I had lasers shot into my eyes to hit the back of my retina and close all the little tears and holes. It was unpleasant and stopped me from doing fine work, like this lace-weight knitting, for a while. I'm all better now and my cardigan is finally done.


Featherweight Cardigan by Knitbot Essentials

This is a nice simple pattern with lace weight yarn. The sweater is knit top down and has raglan sleeves. 

I wanted to pick a nice simple pattern that would work with a variety of outfits. This pattern is very simple and is mostly stockinette stitch. I like challenges to keep me away while knitting and the only challenge with this sweater is all the tiny stitches.

One alteration I made was to add decreases and then increases at the waist. The original pattern has no shaping and I didn't want a pool of fabric around the small of my back. I think it worked, and the fit is fairly good. 

The sweater is a little bit wide, but I haven't blocked it yet. I might be able to get an even better fit once I block it.


Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in Willow (100% Merino)

This yarn was a pleasure to work with. It has a very soft texture and is super light, yet strong. 

I started the cardigan with the recommended needles as my test swatch showed that was perfect. However, once I started knitting the actual cardigan, my stitches relaxed. To fix this, I just switched to a size down needle (size 5). 

This cardigan used hardly any yarn! I used just over 2 balls and the finished cardigan weighs only about 110 grams! Like it's name, it truly is featherweight.

Now I have a lightweight cardigan that is great for the warmer months. It even looks great with my Burdastyle shorts and my Renfrew top.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sewaholic Renfrew 3

I made a third Sewaholic Renfrew and, as the saying goes, the third time's a charm.

  • Bamboo knit
  • Thread 
  • Stay tape (yes! I actually got to use real stay tape for once!)


Sewaholic Renfrew 

I used my same pattern and fit alterations from Renfrew 2 (ie. fixing the wrinkles above the bust, a swayback adjustment, and widening the sleeves). To make the fit even better, I sewed the side seams at 1/2" instead of 5/8". That did the trick and the top is super comfortable.


I only did one other change in addition to the alterations mentioned above. Instead of using the cuffs, I lengthened the sleeves and did a hem using a twin needle. This gives it a cleaner look, since it would have been hard to get the stripes to look good where the sleeve and cuff meet.

I kept the bottom band, even though the striping is a little off for the same reason. I like how the band adds weight to the bottom and stops the shirt from possibly riding up.

The striped fabric gives a nice classy look. I love how the neckline turned out.

What I Learned

I definitely improved my serger skills. I used the serger to finish all of the major seams and even to apply my stay tape. However, I am still not confident enough to use it to piece together everything. I sew with my sewing machine first and then finish with the serger - less chance for major mistakes.

I also improved my overall skills with sewing knits. The quality of the fabric makes a huge difference. This fabric is very nice and so was a pleasure to sew.

The strips turned out really well, but could have been even better. They made it even more obvious that I could do with a walking foot for my sewing machine. Try as I might, the stripes would not stay lined up along the side seams and such.

Overall, I'm super happy with this top. I think this is going to get worn throughout the year at least once a week.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Mom Dress

I wanted to make something for my sister in addition to the lovely panda bear I made. I decided to draft a wrap dress. Not just any wrap dress, but something that would be easy to nurse in, while being comfortable and flexible in terms of sizing. Thus, the 'One Size Fits Most' Wrap Dress aka. 'The Mom Dress' was born.

  • Navy knit fabric
  • Thread
  • Bias tape (in lieu of stay tape)
  • 1/4" Elastic

My sis looking lovely in her dress


Self-Drafted Wrap Dress

Using some inspiration from couple other patterns (for example, Burdastyle 04/2014 #137), which has the nice shoulder gathers) and some brainstorming, I came of with a faux wrap dress that is very adjustable.

The skirt is two pieces and attached to the back bodice and a front waistband piece.

The front bodice is the wrap part. Each part ends with a tie to secure the front in place. This makes the bodice very adjustable and it makes it easy to use for nursing.

There is an elastic waistband to make the waist easy to fit.

Overall, the dress is stylish, yet very comfortable. And to show that it can fit different sizes, here is me wearing the same dress.

I'm smaller than my sister (mostly in the boob area - lol), but the dress fits me fairly well, too.

I like the dress so much that I might make one for me, as well. Perhaps I should make up a pdf of this pattern for me to share.

It's a great dress for maternity wear or for those whose weight fluctuate. Imagine! A dress that doesn't make you feel crappy if you gain a few inches!

My sister is very happy with the dress and I think the new baby is, too.

What do you think? Would you like a copy of this pattern?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Panda Bear

I made a cute panda bear for my new niece. That's right - I'm now an aunty!

I was able to use some leftover Liberty of London lawn fabric (from my Alma top) and some leftover flannelette in my stash to create cute stuffed bear.

The pattern is the Simple Bear Pattern found here. If I use the pattern again, I would probably make a few same changes (the tops of the front and back legs don't match up, for instance). But, I think it still turned out pretty well.

And here is the little cutey herself. Her parents nicknamed her panda, since she had chubby cheeks when she was born.