Posts Tagged ‘patterns’

Ottobre Top

This is the “Irene” top from Ottobre Design Magazine’s Autumn/Winter 2010 issue.  

I wore it to work this week and got lots of compliments!  It is a little out of the norm for me in what I usually wear (I tend to be more on the subdued side of things) but I absolutely love this fabric and it’s nice to have something fun and stylish to wear once in a while. 

I have not made many Ottobre patterns (although I do love to look at the pictures and dream!).  They are a little more work intensive than your average pattern.  All the patterns are included full size, but you have to trace them out from this giant sheet with all the patterns printed on it in different colours.  And then you have to add seam allowances to the pattern, because they aren’t included.  It also helps if you’ve made clothing before as there are no diagrams accompanying the directions.  This really scared me at first but I actually surprised myself in being able to figure it all out.   There were many times when I was making this shirt that I wondered – is all this work going to be worth it?     The answer is a big YES!  The top is well-fitted, I didn’t have to make any dart adjustments like I usually do with the big name patterns, and in the one spot where I did make an adjustment, the pattern actually told me to try it on and check for fit!  (I love this because otherwise I would have just plowed right on…..)

I have two other Ottobre patterns cut out waiting to be sewn together and I hope they turn out as well as this one! 


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Learning to Sew With Knits

One of my sewing goals this year is to sew more with knits.  I have made one knit top in my entire sewing career (such that it is) and was firmly under the impression that I really needed a serger to make anything turn out well.

Not so, my friends.  (Although, I still think I might want a serger…)

I read somewhere that you could sew a knit with a regular machine, no problem.  So I did.  I made a pajama top.  And then when that top kept suffering from ripped seams I did some extensive research (hello, Google!) and read that a zigzag stitch is the best one to use when sewing on a regular machine with a stretchy knit.  So back to the machine I went  and zigzagged away,  and so far so good.

So I decided it was time to expand my knit horizons and try to create something that I would wear out in public. (Brave, I know.)

And here is my finished knit masterpiece:

I used this pattern from Burdastyle.com and for $1, it was really a great pattern.  (I do have to mention though, that unless you like piecing together large numbers of 8.5×11 sheets of paper like a giant puzzle it really is worth it to have it printed on a large printer.)  I had a little trouble with stretching at the neckline, but other than that I love this shirt and am definitely going to make more!    There are also lots of great variations of this top posted on the website.  I think next time I will make mine with a higher neckline and then maybe try one as a hoodie?

Anyone else out there sewing with knits?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

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I tucked myself away in the sewing room for as long as I could yesterday (if only cooking and eating didn’t take up so much time I’d have more time to sew!)  Sometimes I think my sewing room is a time warp.  I walked in there around 1:30 and couldn’t believe that it was 5:00 when I walked out.  I also discovered that I was hungry and thirsty once I left the room, but didn’t notice it at all when I was sewing, does this happen to you when you are being creative? 

I started by making this Small Satchel.  It is a Keyka Lou pattern.  It is the first of their patterns that I have tried and I love it.  It was super easy and the instructions were very well written.  I am really happy with the final result. 

I made the two-handle version because I like the way it looks with a bag of this size. 

I liked the pattern so well that I actually cut out 3 more to make right away.  I did, however, have to change it up a bit!   This second bag is made from a pair of corduroy pants.

Try as I might, I could not get the seam lines to be centered on the bag the way that I wanted (the seams on the pants weren’t straight to begin with….grr…)  Do you think it matters?  I was thinking maybe a fabric flower on the right would add a little pizzaz to the bag and help it not look so unbalanced.  Suggestions?

Instead of making the inside pocket from the pattern, I used one of the pants pockets.  I love the way it looks!

While in a recycling mood I decided to make another sweater friend.   I have always loved this grey sweater and thinks it looks great as a pig.  I added the contrasting ears and nose to this one just for something different. 

Oink, Oink!

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Casserole Carrier

I am so blessed to have such wonderful family.  Hubby and I spent thanksgiving with his brother and his wonderful wife.  While the two men spent their days playing video games, we worked on a few sewing projects together.  As I know very few people who sew,  it was really nice to spend time with someone else who shares an interest in sewing and we were both excited with what we were able to accomplish in a week-end. 

This casserole carrier from One Yard Wonders was definitely the star of our efforts:

Didn’t she pick out beautiful fabric?  I can’t believe how well it matches with her casserole dish.

I made a few adjustments to the pattern (of course!)  Her fabric store did not sell wide binding tape so on the inner circle we used the thinner tape with ribbon instead of cording without a problem.  However, I did not want to attempt sewing through several layers of batting and fabric around the whole outside with the narrow binding and hope that it held the weight of the heavy dish.  Instead I just put all the pieces right-sides together and sewed around with a 1/2″ seam.    We turned it right-side out and voila! a beautiful casserole carrier.  I think it looks fine without the extra binding around the outside.  If I make this again I would definitely do the same thing, whether I had the wide binding or not. 

 I must admit that this pattern was a little more complicated than it seemed at first glance.  About halfway into it we were both wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.  But now that I see the finished product, I definitely think I need one for my kitchen, too.  Perseverance pays off!

Can’t you imagine just how wonderful it would feel to bring this to your next pot-luck?

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When I was doing a Google search for something completely different, I discovered this amazing sewing website (don’t you love it when that happens?)

It’s called Pattern Rescue, and it is a place where they collect, complete, trade, and give away vintage sewing patterns. 

Have a pattern that is missing pieces – they will find the pieces for you.  Have old patterns you don’t want anymore – trade them in for something different.  Inherited a huge stash of patterns you won’t use – donate them and leave a tribute to your loved one.

Check it out!  http://www.patternrescue.com/

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My mother’s house is full of boxes of things that were removed from my grandmother’s house after she passed away.  It has been a slow and sad process to go through them all and decide what to keep and what to pass on to someone else. 

Among many of the very ordinary things of daily living there have been a few priceless treasures.

Like my great-grandmother’s recipes. 

As we went through more boxes this summer, a few more of these treasures have found their way into my home. 

Vintage linens.  I think these pillow cases are destined for a quilt. 

A doll pattern.  Ordered from the newspaper in 1948!

A pretty little apron.

I was really excited to find this one – a clothes pin apron! 

But the biggest treasure is definitely this:

A quilt from my great-grandmother’s house.  It is worn, stained, and has a few holes, but I love it anyway. 

Thinking of Gran today, with love.

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I have been pattern testing again.  This time I got to make some super-cute toddler clothes.  Check these out:

Both patterns are from Puking Pastilles.  The first pattern is called “Ankle Biter Pants” (I love that name).  They were quick and easy to make and I love the contrasting fabric at the bottoms.  And it was a good excuse to use this cute dinosaur fabric! 

The second pattern is the Memory Lane Sun Dress.  This one was a little trickier than the pants, but still fun to do and I love the finished dress.  It closes with a pretty button at the back. 

Since I don’t have any kiddos of my own (but oh kids are so fun to sew for!)both of these items have been set aside for the baby shower for mothers-in-need that my friends and I host every year.  I’ll just be happy knowing that they are being put to good use!

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Click here for my May giveaway!

I am so excited to (finally) be able to share with you my top-secret quilt!

It is the Sandcastle Quilt and Baby Beach Ball from Sew Fun patterns. 

Like all of the Sew Fun patterns it was super-easy to follow and filled with little hints and tips to make your project the best it can be.  I always learn something when I test these patterns – I love the way the circles are made on the beach ball, it made it super easy to get a nice round shape!

This was my second attempt at free-motion quilting and I think I am getting the hang of it.  Although I still think I have a lot to learn, I am really pleased with the way it turned out.

I did a kind of meandering design on the sand part of the quilt and then tried to do “waves” on the blue parts. 

I had fun using up some scraps to make the back too!

If you look closely here at the bottom you will see that I am having trouble with the fabric bunching towards the binding.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong – I took it out and did it again and had the same thing happen.  I think I would have to take out the quilting (eek!) and do it again in order to get it to sit right.  I almost did it too, almost took out all that stitching…and then I came to my senses.  (The perfectionism has to end somewhere, right?)   I am sure some little one will love the quilt despite these few lumps.  Hopefully I can get this figured out for the next one!

Overall I am in love with the beachy design and the bright fabrics.  As always, I highly recommend all of the Sew Fun patterns – they really are what the name says they are!  :)    I can’t wait to surprise a lucky mama with this one at the next baby shower! 

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In the past two weeks I have been involved with 3 pattern tests and am happy to say that after spending all day seam-binding the last quilt, I’m done!  The quilt is still top secret at the moment (don’t I sound like the sewing spy?  I’d show it to you, but then I’d have to…ummm….poke you with my sewing needle?  Ok…maybe I’m not really a spy….)  Anyway, although I can’t show you the quilt (yet) I can show you my latest pattern test.   I was very, very lucky to be able to test the Ruby Lou doll pattern from Sew Much Ado

First off, I have to say what an amazing pattern this is!  I have never made a doll before and she made the process extremely easy.  It wasn’t as hard to make a doll as I always thought it would be.  I am so proud of my finished Ruby Lou!

She even has a reversible skirt!

Isn’t she cute?    And…she was made entirely from my grandmother’s fabrics!  I wonder if she knew she had all the making of a doll in her stash?

The PDF pattern for Ruby Lou is already available with a print pattern coming out soon.  There are lots of other fun sewing tutorials on the Sew Much Ado blog too!

Can you believe that this is my 6th pattern test?  I’m beginning to feel like a professional! :)

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Pocket Quilt

Here is one pattern test revealed!  This is the “Pocket Quilt” pattern from Puking Pastilles.    Once again I found her patterns easy to follow and fun to make.

I had so much fun picking out these fabrics.  I had several combinations of colours picked out including girlie pinks, soft-coloured flannels and bright rainbow-coloured solids.  I just love laying out colour combinations and trying to add different fabrics until I find just the right combination.  In the end, these bright somewhat western-themed fabrics made the cut into the final quilt.   The blue rope-patterned fabric  is a remnant of a piece I bought way back when I was teaching preschool and I used it to make a cute cowboy vest for the dress-up corner (I wish I had taken pictures of all the dress-up clothes I made, they were so much fun!).    I love the way it combines with the bandana-patterned red (one of Gran’s fabrics!) and the camping bears and wood grain pieces.  The binding was tricky.  I must have tried almost every piece of fabric I owned before I happened on this brown plaid when I was looking for something else (isn’t that always the way things go?) 

The quilting was done by machine and is all free-motion.  I know it’s not perfect but I think it is some of my best machine quilting yet!   I used the orange thread and the loopy design to mirror the rope pattern on the blue fabric.

And then there is the pocket side!  I used a soft and cosy flannel for the pocket itself.  It’s a very cuddly place to store a favourite stuffie!  (I am thinking I need to make  a horse stuffie to go with this quilt. I think I saw a pattern for one not that long ago on a blog…somewhere….)

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