Subversive Sewer

{August 16, 2011}   Jalie 3024, part 1

I bought this Jalie knit dress pattern last year for 2 reasons:  1 I love knit dresses, and 2 I’ve had great success with Jalie patterns, along with seemingly everyone else who’s tried them.

I finally got around to making this the other day.  I’ve seen a couple tank style maxi dresses on blogs (Stacy and Erica B in particular) and thought I might like one too.  I have a shorter tank dress that is really flattering, so I set out to make a longer version of it using this pattern as a starting point.  However, my skills are not that great, so I decided to first make an unaltered version for my daughter first.  She needs more clothes anyway.  I added the optional flounce because she’s 7 and 7 year olds love that stuff.

One weird thing about this pattern is that the front and back bodice are the exact same piece, making the front and back of the dress one in the same.  This is perfect for her, because she is always putting her clothes on backwards.  However, I won’t be doing that on mine.  I also realized after making this that the waist inset really needs to be in a contrasting fabric, otherwise it just gets lost.

So, I am in the midst of altering the pattern for my dress, so stay tuned.


{August 16, 2011}   Kwik Sew 3136

I was browsing the Kwik Sew catalog the other day and came across this jean jacket pattern.  I don’t know why, but I suddenly had this urge to make one.  Forget making me one since my fit issues would render it unwearable.  But I’ve got 3 girls who can get plenty of wear out of one, especially since it’s a classic style.  But wouldn’t you know, my local Hancock Fabrics was out of stock.  So, I ended up ordering it from  I had just enough jean buttons in my stash and just enough denim as well, so I justified the $11.50 for the pattern as a means to get rid of some stashed supplies, i.e. otherwise wasted money.

The uninspired line drawing makes it easy to overlook, but as I said before, jean jackets are a classic.  As soon as the pattern arrived, I got to tracing.  This time, I remembered to track the time it took to make it, which I always mean to do when making stuff but always forget.  From start to finish, it took about 10 hours to complete, and I loved almost every minute of it.  Everything but the collar and buttonholes.  My machine seems to enjoy making shitty buttonholes.  And I just suck at collars.  I always make those snips on the upper collar in the wrong spot and it looks like crap.

Hopefully you can click on it to make the photo bigger, so you can see how I barely messed up all that topstitching!  All those little pieces that made up the jacket, boy were they fun to put together.  Maybe someday I’ll figure out my fit issues and make one for myself.

{August 16, 2011}   McCall’s 3417

I made the blouse and pants from this pattern for a 4 year old girl I know.  It was her birthday, and I decided to make her an outfit in an attempt to make her something that fit her proportions, which are not the norm due to her having spina bifida.  The pattern is out of print, so I had to take a picture of it:

I’d made the same plaid dress but with short sleeves for Sofia a couple years ago.  Anyway, I improvised a little.  I made the pants capris because we live in Florida, plus I added a ruffle to the bottom from the cotton print I used to make the top to tie the outfit together.  I don’t have a pic of her wearing it, so here it is lying flat:


{April 26, 2011}   Mccalls 6271


After hours of hard work, I finished the girls’ coordinating Easter dresses!

The pattern is mccalls 6271. I’m writing this on my phone, and I don’t know how to put photos anywhere but at the end. Sorry about that….

The pattern was time consuming but easy to assemble. Lots of gathering involved. I can’t find the receipt, but I believe each dress cost about $12. I bought 3 1/2 yards of each fabric and used each fabric in a different spot on each girl’s dress. And of course, each was made according to the girls’ measurements. The younger two wear a 2 but a larger size lengthwise. If you make this dress, you really need to have the child try on the dress so the back elastic can be adjusted to fit her, otherwise that neck tie is holding the whole dress up.  I should also mention that I made the length in between the 2 views to make it the desired knee length. I ended up shortening the youngest girl’s, which you have to do before attaching the bubble skirt to the self fabric lining. I shortened each the same 2 inches.

The girls loved their dresses, and we got lots of compliments on them.

{February 11, 2011}   Aprons for the kids




Well,  let me get the obvious subject out of the way…  life is much better now.  My boyfriend and i worked out our differences and things are wonderful.  My housing situation is due to improve soon thanks to a more experienced agent, and I’m just happy again in general. I’ve really appreciated your nice comments in my absence.

I havent sewn much lately due to the fact that ive moved 3 times since the house flood in october.   So,  heres what i just finished last nite.

I’m writing this on my phone so you’ll have to excuse the crappy formatting.

Anyway, this pattern is mccalls 6049, if I remember correctly. Sofia had fun picking out all the fabrics and trims. The other 2 are for my bf’s girls, who are close to Sofia’s age. They really liked them!

{April 27, 2010}   2 Dresses

How is everyone in blogland?  I have a couple completed projects to show you!

First up is the navy knit dress, New Look 6922, that I made a week and a half ago (my 5-garment weekend).

Not sure if you can tell, but this is a disaster on many levels.  First, I apparently temporarily forgot what I’d learned about flat pattern measuring.  There is not enough room in the belly area, so it draws attention there.  Dealbreaker!  There’s also horizontal lines where it’s pulling across the bust… FBA needed there.  So since the fabric can’t skim over that area, I get this weird effect above  the bust.  I’m deciding whether to Goodwill it or hang onto it for summer PJs.  ETA: Costs: pattern: $4, fabric: $6.37

Next up is Simplicity 2377.  Once in a while I make my daughter a dress, which she is mildly interested in and happily wears.  We’d found some Wow Wow Wubbzy! fabric at Walmart before they got rid of their fabric, so we bought a yard and a half with the idea of eventually making it into something.  She didn’t have any ideas (not realistic ones anyway), so I made this dress last weekend.  She wore it to school with tights yesterday:

Cute, huh?  I measured her and was shocked… she’s all over the place, size-wise!  She’s only a 3 in chest, waist and hips, 6 in height, and an 8 (!!!) in the torso!  My mom makes her pajamas with a peasant style top, and I’d always noticed that the tops were really baggy.  Well, this would be why!  I’ve got a tiny supermodel! LOL

I still have to get pics of a couple projects: Jalie yoga pants (wearing them now!), McCall’s long skirt (forgot the number), Kwik Sew 3592, and a Burda wadder top.  Stay tuned!

{March 20, 2010}   Fitting shell and a swimsuit

Well, I’ve been pretty busy this afternoon.  First, I’ll show you the swimsuit I made for Sofia:

This is Kwik Sew 2605.  I cut different sizes for the length and width so it should fit her very well.  She’ll wear it to swimming lessons this week.  It was just as easy as I’ve read about!  This post on Dawn’s blog really inspired me to go ahead and give it a try.  If Sofia likes it, I’ll make more of them.  I also have a suit in mind for myself, but I have to modify a pattern to achieve what I have in mind.

Then there’s this fabric.  I bought it in Miami last month.  I was going to make the maxi dress in my last post, but as you can see, the print is a little weird.  I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a border print or what.  Anyhow, I don’t know what to make with it.  I really wanted to make a maxi dress.  Maybe if it’s wide enough after cutting off that brown (black?) part, I can draft something myself.

Now for the big event.  I finally took on the (boring) task of sewing up the fitting shell.  I took a bunch of pictures, so hopefully one of you nice folks can see something in them that can point me in the right direction.

First, a few observations.  I had to rip out the waist darts, but left a bit of them at the top.  This belly fat is really cramping my style.  There is definitely no ease in this thing.  I could barely move, and the neckline was choking me.  I also don’t see any indication of sloping shoulders.  Maybe this is because I’ve been improving my posture?  Well, here they are.

{March 15, 2010}   New Look 6845

I realized I forgot to show this to you.  I made it a few months ago.

Here’s my daughter in New Look 6845.  I cut a 5 but 6 in length.  WAY big!  The armholes are also really low, leading me to think this is for a jumper only.  I wish they’d state that on the envelope.  The faux belt is in the front only, and it needs to be tacked down so it doesn’t droop.  Overall, not happy with this pattern, but Sofia likes the fabric.

That’s all you’ll see from me for awhile.  I’m sick right now, and my cousin  is coming to live with us from Wisconsin.  So, I’ll be busy for awhile.

I was really flattered when my friend Alicia requested that Sofia be the flower girl in her wedding!  Of course, this meant I got to make the pretty dress!  Alicia chose the pattern and gave me a swatch of fabric to match her dress, and I got to work!

Here is the pattern:

Alicia chose the dress in the photo, view A.  I wasn’t able to find matching ribbon for the bottom, but it still turned out very nicely.  For the first time ever, I hand sewed a hem.  I had to watch a video online to learn how, and though it took forever, it turned out so well.  You can barely see it from the outside.

This is a good, classic dress.  My only complaint is that the bodice runs big.  Sofia is a size 5, but as you can see, it’s a little loose.

021Here is the back:


et cetera