Subversive Sewer

{September 27, 2010}   I am really behind on posting

Haven’t felt like blogging much lately.  But here are my latests:

Vogue 8628

They call these clutch bags.  I really should have looked at the bag’s measurements before I blindly assumed that clutch meant you could actually <i>clutch</i> it easily.  This mofo is huge!!  It’s 9×15″!!  This is why there’s a strap added to it.  I needed that just to comfortably carry the bag.  I used my last piece of leather to make it, so I skipped the recommended interfacing.  I think it’s fine without it.  The pattern calls for 2 magnetic zippers, but you only need one.  It’s what holds that tab in place that keeps the bag closed.

No costs on this one since I bought that leather so long ago that I don’t remember how much I paid.  The lining, thread and snap were stash, and the pattern was $4.

Here’s Simplicity 2998 again, now out of print.  My red one got a stain in the wash, but I like this one better because the fabric is thinner.  I like this pattern a lot; too bad it’s out of print.  I tried lining up the stripes to no avail.

Cost: pattern, used before so doesn’t count, thread- stash, fabric: $6

That’s all I have pics of for now.  I did buy a tripod, so once I figure out how to make it go taller, I’ll have some more and better pics to share.


{July 13, 2010}   McCall’s 6091 tote bag

I’m still trying to catch up on my blogging!  Here is a bag I made last week, and I’m so happy with how it turned out.

Here’s the pattern envelope:

Yep, I made the cell phone case a couple weeks ago from the same pattern.  I made this from scraps left over from a skirt I made in 2005, a Union Jack print twill.  The print is so haphazard that I didn’t need to try and match anything up, but it also means it’s hard to see detail in the pic.  I used a stretch poplin for the lining because I only had a yard of it and couldn’t find a top to make from it.  The stretch didn’t work in my favor when attaching it at the top, but oh well.   I didn’t make any changes to the pattern- the size is perfect, and I needed a bag that zipped closed.  I’ve been using it to take stuff to work in.  I really love making bags, partially because there are no fitting issues!

Costs:  pattern, already used it so $0, zipper: stash, fabric: stash, lining: $5.60, D rings and swivel clips: about $5.  Not bad!

{June 23, 2010}   Catching Up

I just haven’t felt like sewing lately.  I certainly have felt like buying fabric and patterns, just not sewing!  This will be a mishmash of stuff to try and catch up.

Today I made a case for my new phone.  McCall’s 6091 had one that matched the dimensions of my phone (Droid) perfectly!

And here’s the pattern:

Look it’s our friend Natasha again!

Overall, it’s a success.  However, I wish I would have remembered to fussy-cut the front to get more of the print.  The flap is not perfectly symmetrical, but not enough to bother me too much.

Changes:  instead of that fleece they always tell you to use on bags that’s a bitch to work with, I decided to use pieces of craft foam cut to fit the front and back only.  The idea is that if I drop it (again), it might cushion the fall.  Let’s hope I don’t have to find out if I’m right!  I also added the clip, attached with grosgrain ribbon.  This way I can clip it to my bag so I don’t have to hunt inside my bag to answer my phone before it goes to voicemail.  The final change was to use regular ol’ cotton for the outside and a twill for the lining, which is opposite of what they instruct.  I had actually bought some home dec weight fabric for this, and I bought the fabric you see here at the same time because I just loved it that much and wanted to get my money’s worth on shipping charges.  After looking at both pieces, I decided the home dec print was too large, so I used this one instead.  I had some hot pink twill that worked perfectly for the lining too.  The home dec print will become a pillow, most likely.

Here’s one of many projects that I’ve done that hadn’t been photographed yet:

This is the Hot Patterns Peachy Beachy Cover-up, a free download from  You may recognize the fabric from this post.  It’s the last of my 4 yards of cotton knit I picked up in Miami.  It’s thin so it works great as a beach cover-up.  I did get to wear it, and it was great.  Just the right length, too!  If I recall, I did not make any changes to the construction.

McCall’s released their Fall 2010 patterns today.  If you haven’t seen them yet, don’t waste your time.  Every last one of them sucks.  Most of them are a rehash of the rest of the bad 80s trends they hadn’t revived yet.

Next up, I think I’ll work on  knit top I cut out a couple weekends ago, and either swimsuits, jeans or underwear.  We’ll see where my mood takes me.

{June 6, 2010}   Thinking Out Loud

I still have to take and post pictures of all the clothes I sewed last weekend, yet I’m already thinking about my next projects.  For some reason I’m drawn to this odd vintage hat on the upper left:

This is Vogue 7464.  I’ve never once had a shred of desire to make a vintage hat.  In fact, I haven’t made a hat of any kind in 5 years.  I actually look really stupid in hats.  If I did make this, I would just display it and never wear it.  It just seems fun to make.

Then there’s this pattern which I own already.  I suddenly have renewed interest in it:

It’s that one on the lower left that’s got me in its grip.  This one is Vogue 8642.  It’s made from faux leather or suede.  I’m finding some good prices on ebay.   The one on the upper left is also really cool.

I also caught myself up to 2009 technology and bought a smartphone today, a Motorola Droid.  I need a case for it, and I just happen to have McCall’s 6091:

That is totally Natasha from America’s Next Top Model, but I digress.  I don’t have any suitable home dec fabric to use so I ordered a 1/2 yard piece on ebay.  I think I should have ordered more fabric to make that tote bag as well.  I need a gym bag, since hell froze over and I’m now working out up to 6 days a week.  Why, you may ask?  Because I got to the point that I was disgusted by what I saw in the mirror.  My body enjoys storing almost all its excess fat in my belly area; not cute.  So you may not see any pants or skirts without elastic waists from me for awhile.  Not unless I made the waistbands easy to take in.

{December 12, 2009}   Made something that fits!

….. it’s a bag.

I’m SO over making something and having it not fit or be the wrong fabric.  I’ve made a conscious decision to focus on making non-clothes for awhile.  Maybe that’ll bring my mojo back.

Here’s what I made today, using stuff from my stash so it was kinda free.

Is this pic too small?  It seems as though medium is too small, but large is too large.

Anyway, this is McCall’s 5599, view C.  I used cotton velveteen left over from last year’s Halloween costume, and lining that’s been around longer than my daughter has.  I used whatever interfacing was around, and the only 4 rings and magnetic snap I had all happened to be gold, so that worked out rather nicely.

Of course, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t screw up something.  I’m sure everybody screws up, but it’s kinda fun to point it out.  When making the loops that hold the rings, I pressed them to that the seam was centered on one side, intending for that side to not show.  Well, I wasn’t thinking too hard about that step and the seam ended up on the public side.

Here’s the pattern:

{January 24, 2009}   First Try at Leather

…and I didn’t do so hot.  In the picture, it doesn’t look so bad.  However, the whole thing is twisted.  It’s hard to explain.  Also, when I topstitched the opening, it just stretched it out.  It’s really bad.

Here it is:


Vogue 8527, view D

Even though it’s a wadder, I’m glad  I got a chance to try sewing leather.  I got a buy 1 get 1 free deal on it from Fabric Mart, so I have another piece just like it.  I’m still deciding what to do with it.

{December 17, 2008}   2008 Recap

A  bunch of blogs I read have ’08 recap posts, so I decided that since I haven’t sewn anything to discuss, I’ll just copy their idea.

The good stuff:

025This really turned out great (except the headband).  It put the store bought ones to shame.  And my favorite little person loved it!

b5242Butterick 5242.  Simple, but it works on my figure.  And I love the fabric.

v1027Vogue 1027.  Love, love, love this dress!  Comfortable, great looking, easy to make.  Love it!

m5390McCall’s 5390.  This is the third one I’ve made.  A great style, and I love Amy Butler fabric!

m5700McCall’s 5700.  The “Anarchy Dress.”  The armholes are way too low, but after I fix it, it’s going to be one of my favorites.

m5747McCall’s 5747.  I love bright colors, can you tell?

s3536d2Simplicity 3536.  I was lukewarm about this pattern, but I had a yard of this leftover and this pattern required just that.  I was pleasantly surprised and wear it all the time.

n6802dNew Look 6802.  And here’s the rest of the fabric! The gathering over the belly is great, because that’s where all my fat is!

010Gorgeous Fabrics made a great decision to stock this fabric, because half the bloggers I read made something from this fabric!

Almost, But Not Quite

b48901Butterick 4890.  It looked great, but didn’t fit in the bust at all.

m5752McCall’s 5752.  Wrong fabric!!!  (not stretchy enough)  Someday I’ll learn.

v8489Vogue 8489.  It looks smokin’ hot, but I omitted the zipper but interfaced the contrast bands.  This made it physically impossible to put on.  I just need to get around to making it again.

016Amy Butler’s Kimberly Bag.  All that interfacing and padding was just too much for me to manage.

m5631McCall’s 5631.  Little House on the Prairie on acid.

s2927McCall’s 2927.  It’s just a mess.  I can’t even keep track of the ways it sucked.

m4868McCall’s 4868.  Cute dress, but it was a UFO for so long it no longer fit by the time I finished it.

{September 7, 2008}   Amy Butler Laptop Cover

This is my second Amy Butler pattern, and it went much better than the first one!  This is the new Laptop Cover and mp3 Case pattern, pictured below:

Naturally, I used some of my Amy Butler fabrics that I just bought.  I think this Coriander pattern is my favorite!  Here is the finished cover:

Here it is open:

My laptop is a little bigger than what this pattern was designed for, but she includes instructions for modifying the pattern to fit your laptop.  It was pretty easy, because all I had to do was widen it about an inch.  This pattern uses a yard and a half of canvas, which made this thing pretty bulky to maneuver under the sewing machine.  That canvas also ravels quite a bit, and I should have serged the edges to prevent the mess it made of my sewing area!  This is almost all straight seams so it was easier to sew than the Kimberly bag.  There are just some rounded corners.  Overall, it wasn’t too unpleasant to make, but I have no desire to make another.  I think I might sell the pattern on ebay to recoup some of the money I sunk into this project.

Here’s my Pattern Review.

{September 1, 2008}   Dud

Man, what a waste of several hours and a lot of money in materials!!!  Look at this lopsided mess:

This is Amy Butler’s Kimberly Bag.  I was so excited about it, but this was such a nightmare.  All the interfacing and stabilizer is just too hard to manage.  Too those of you who can do it, I admire your talent!

{May 29, 2008}   New Handbag

Well, I ripped out the strap and did it right, added the lining (Amy Butler print) and it’s done!  It’s only about 2 inches deep, but I still think it’ll be a really useful bag.  It’ll especially be great for outings when I need to hold my daughter’s hand and carry maps, etc. and don’t want to be bothered with a bag.  And the outside pockets (made by accordion-folding a piece of fabric) are super handy!

{May 28, 2008}   Time for a new Bag

I’m one of those people who carries one bag for awhile till I get sick of it, then I make a new one.  My current one is Simplicity 5567 (OOP), which wordpress won’t let me post a picture of.  I’ve had this Vogue pattern for awhile:

I love view A, the one with the diagonal pockets down the front.  I had some bubble gum pink pique that wasn’t enough for the sheath dress I bought it for, but I thought it would be great as a bag.  I’m almost done with it, but this pattern is not without its problems.  The first is the shoulder strap piece.  If you don’t look at the drawings closely enough, you may do what I did and put the 2 strap pieces right sides together and sew down one short end and one long one.  What you’re supposed to do is just sew the one short end, making a long strap.  It would’ve totally helped if they’d put a notch at that end, which would’ve clued me in.  It wasn’t until I held up the bag and noticed how much shorter my strap was than the ones on the envelope that I realized there was a problem.  Of course, I really don’t want to rip the thing apart, though now that I’m writing this I’m thinking it wouldn’t be the nightmare I originally thought it would be.  The top  of the bag itself hits at about the bustline when I have it on my shoulder, and as you can see in the pattern pic, it’s supposed to be much lower.

The other problem may be my fault.   If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d go look at what the seam allowance is supposed to be, but I think it’s not the 1/2″ that I assumed it was.  This might explain why the zippered top piece is much narrower than the gusset that it’s attached to.  Ugh.  I really need to read instructions.  Well, I just trimmed the gusset to match and have a thinner bag.

I just have to finish sewing the lining and it’s all done.  Hopefully that’ll occur tomorrow and then I’ll post a pic of the finished bag.

et cetera