Subversive Sewer

{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.


{November 8, 2010}   McCall’s 6245

Well, hopefully this post marks the return of regular sewing and blogging for me.  I’m mostly recovered from October, which will go down in history as my personal hell.  Some of you may find it interesting that I became a Christian, which I had been thinking about for about a year.  I’m glad I did it.

Anyway, here is a knit shrug I made from the new McCall’s 6245, which is part of a fabulous collection of new patterns!

Here’s the envelope pic.  I made view C:

This is a 1-hour project that you can do completely on a serger.  I’m not wild about it, but I’ll keep wearing it.

{January 10, 2010}   McCall’s 5006

Well, I was going to make New Look 6429, a sleeveless dress, but then the weather dipped into the 20s and 30s!  In FLORIDA!  I’m from Wisconsin, so I’m dealing better than some, but I must say that being away from the cold for a few years made me realize how much I hated it!!  I don’t even have a coat anymore!

It was for that reason I decided to make a sweatshirt jacket.  Not quite adequate for the temps, but it’d help.  I couldn’t find a pattern for what I’d envisioned, which forced me to be a little innovative.  I chose McCall’s 5006, which is a lined bolero designed for wovens.  It was on sale, too.    I used view D as a starting point.

There was a dart going to the shoulder seam, plus another going to the hem.  All I did was eliminate the latter dart, skip the lining, and leave the edges unfinished.  I added a fun button I spotted at Joann’s while buying the sweatshirting.  I marked the placement without using the pattern’s markings.  And, what do you know, it turned out!

I was so happy with this pic it’s now my profile pic on Facebook!

A closeup:

I made it a week ago and have been wearing it every day since!

Cost: Fabric: $10.50, button: 75 cents, pattern: 99 cents

{August 29, 2009}   Simplicity 2603

I jumped on the bandwagon and made a cardi-wrap after seeing Christina’s post.  She linked to a DKNY video with a dozen ways to wear it, and I was sold.  I went out and bought the pattern and 2 3/4 yards of matte jersey the next day, and made it later that evening.  It is the easiest thing in the world!  The only tricky part is cutting out- follow the layout!



I didn’t hem the edges because I didn’t want it to look bulky and/or “happy hands at home.”  I did find out after putting it on that the matte jersey I used does not have enough stretch- the sleeves are REALLY tight!    I never remember to use that “pick a knit” chart on the back of the pattern envelope!

{August 24, 2009}   Simplicity 2560

I had a very productive weekend- I made a total of 3 garments, and this is one of them.


And the back:


I decided to make this because I’ve had this piece of sweater knit for a couple of years and I was sick of looking at it all rolled onto a bolt, taking up half a cubby on my shelving unit!  Now it will take up a modest amount of space in my closet, which is much more useful.  I wore this today and I do like it.  However, I’d left the front and lower edge unhemmed and it bothered me when the front edge was visible.  I didn’t want to risk stretching it out, so I’ll either serge it or use the walking foot.  Otherwise, I made it as instructed.  It’s a reallly unique design and very simple to make.

Here’s the pattern envelope.  I made view A, in the upper left corner:

{February 5, 2009}   Vogue 8480: the muslin

I continue to work on Vogue 8480… tonite after work I had some time to myself so I sewed the muslin.  After hearing experts like Ann tell me over and over (yes, she is talking directly to me) to make a muslin first, I finally listened.  Here are some scary pictures of it.  I’m hoping someone who knows about fitting will look at these and tell me if it looks right.  So far I have my usual problem of tightness in the upper arm and underarm when I raise my arms.


{January 26, 2009}   My next 2 projects

I’m currently getting over a wicked cold, and in 2 days I have to go to Jacksonville (5 hours away I think) for a 2-day training.  This all means I won’t have much output, but I am thinking about my projects.

The first is this hilarious pattern that Sofia loves:

This is so much fun for kids!  There are 2 bodies, 3 ears, 3 arms and 6 legs, plus different options for hair and facial features.  It’s a great way to use up scrap fabric and odd notions.  I have a bunch of animal eyes and noses, reasons for buying I don’t remember, and this is how I’m going to use them up.  Sofia had a great time designing her first Wacky Creature last night.  It’s going to take just a few minutes to sew the front to the back, and then stuff it.

Now that it’s starting to warm up again here in Florida, I decided to make a jacket.  I think I own one jacket, but I’ve had it for a while and it’s too long for everyday use (it gets caught in car doors).  I’ve had this pattern since it came out, but I’ve shied away from jackets because of fitting issues.  Here it is:

Erica B‘s review really inspired me to make this.  I plan to use a fabric from Amy Butler’s Nigella collection (a twill).  I’m going to actually do what is widely recommended and make a muslin first!  The big incentive is that Amy Butler fabric is hella expensive and I don’t want to waste it on a wadder.

et cetera