Subversive Sewer

{March 20, 2011}   Simplicity 2451


Here’s another skirt…. this one is interesting because I bought this 1 yard remnant 6 years ago. I’ve been waiting for a pattern I liked that only required 1 yard.

Somehow I managed to match up the stripes on the pockets. Totally not planned.

Total cost:  $9


{March 20, 2011}   New Look 6918





Here’s a skirt I cut out months ago. I put off making it for so long because I pretty much only sew knits now because they’re so much easier to fit. Well, I have way too many projects cut out and unsewn, so I just decided it was going to get sewn.

The fabric was some stashed suiting from Joanns.  I’ve moved 3 times since cutting this out, so I lost one of the facing pieces. You can see that I replaced it with hot pink satin, ha!

{August 19, 2010}   I’m back!

Sorry about the long absence.  Life handed me a little bit of the unexpected.  If you’re a regular reader, you know that I’ve been trying to buy one house or another for months.  Well, yet another one didn’t work out, but I took it as a sign to wait till next year and buy in a neighboring county that I like a lot better than the one I live in now.  I’ve also given up some of my available sewing time (weekends) because, after 2 1/2 years of singledom, I met a really great guy.  It’s still pretty new- about 5 weeks- but it’s going surprisingly well.  He lives an hour away, so I’ve been staying at his apartment all weekend while our respective kids are with their other parents.

Now it’s time to show you what I’ve sewn during my absence:

New Look 6969, view D:

Here’s the envelope pic:

I finished this one today, and boy did I need a skirt!  I’m between the 2 sizes in my closet, so not much is fitting right now.  This is cotton twill, which I bought to make a trench coat, but since I still haven’t solved my fitting problems, I decided to use this fabric for stuff I can wear now instead.  (I’m not a stasher.)  Despite my nervousness, putting in an invisible zipper is apparently like riding a bike; you don’t forget how.  I used that Waist-Former waistband interfacing stuff for the first time, and I love the results.  This thing actually looks professional!  I didn’t feel like setting up my camera and the timer, so you get a crappy camera phone in the mirror pic.  🙂  Cost: $9

Next up is Butterick 5495.  I think I picked the wrong fabric.  It sticks out like a maternity top, but I think it’d lay flat just fine if it was a drapier fabric.  I like it enough that I’ll try it again.  Cost: $10   Any ideas on how to salvage this?

And here’s the envelope pic:

Last month, I decided to make another swimsuit!  This one I didn’t morph into something completely different like last time.  This time I used Kwik Sew, 3696:

I’m probably going to wear this this weekend, so if I do, I’ll get a pic of me wearing it, since this isn’t the best pic.  Once again, it was insanely easy to make.  After I finished it and tried it on, I became convinced that the swimwear industry is just one big racket.  This thing cost about $10 to make, people!  And I’m thinking it was about 2 hours to make, start to finish.  And it actually fits me!  I cut a small on top and the bottom was a medium and back to small at the hips, if I remember correctly.  One warning- if you’re busty, the girls are gonna be a focal point when you’re wearing this!!  cost: $15

And the envelope pic:

Finally, here’s a dress I made awhile ago, just never got around to getting a picture of.  This pic is horrible, so hopefully next time I wear this I’ll remember to get a decent picture for you.  This is McCall’s 6118:

Cost: $11.  I also made the zipper flower pin that you can barely see.  Here’s the pattern pic:

Well, that’s it for now!  Not sure what I’ll be making up next.  I ordered several cuts of that rayon/Lycra that was on sale recently at, so I might make something from that.

Well, I cut this skirt months ago, actually sewed it together several weeks ago, so I guess it’s fitting that I’m finally getting a picture of it to show you!

(Sorry.  I am having a bad face day.)  This is McCall’s 5056:

As you can see, the cool thing about this skirt are the godets.  Without them it’d just be a plain, long, a-line skirt.  The godets really give it movement.  I’ve been in love with this skirt since I made it, and I wear it almost every week.  It’s made from rayon challis from Hancock Fabrics.  What a great fabric to work with!  The only bad things are that it wrinkles easily, and cat hair likes to stick to it.

I must’ve screwed up the cutting layout because I had to go back a couple times for more fabric, which is part of the reason it sat around unsewn for as long as it did.  I was also nervous about getting the godets right, but I marked the little circles and just took my time and they’re alright!  Here’s a closeup of one of them (there are 6 total):

My order from The Fabric Fairy was waiting for me when I got home from work today.  They’re in my native Wisconsin, so they get points for that alone, but what’s great about them is that I like just about everything on their website!  They also have $5 flat rate shipping.  Hooray for that!  I remembered to get a pic of what I got:

I nearly crapped my pants when I saw those 2 prints!  The left one is a swimsuit knit with Cinamaroll, one of the Sanrio characters (Hello Kitty’s friend!).  Sofia’s going to love it!!  She is one of the cutest Sanrio characters, and who’da thought I’d find her on a fabric!!  The other 2 fabrics were in the “outlet” section of the site.  The center fabric is from Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers line, which I didn’t realize until it arrived.  Score!  I bought one of her fabrics from FF a year or 2 ago and I just love it!  The site said the print is off, but I can’t tell, so I doubt anyone else will, either!  And the far right one is another knit from the outlet.  It’s got a couple dirty spots, but I’m sure they’ll wash out just fine.  I’m slightly interested in fashion trends, and saw in a magazine (Vogue, maybe?) that b&w striped t-shirts are really hot right now, so this is me being trendy. 🙂

I also got some size tags for the rare occasion I make baby clothes, plus some little tags that say “handmade.”

{August 23, 2009}   Simplicity 2698

I think this is my third pleated a-line skirt in my wardrobe, but they’re great at hiding the flab!  This time I used Simplicity 2698: Here’s my version:


Pardon my lack of ironing…. oops!  I got this fabric at Joann’s.  It’s always a treat when you can find decent fabric there now and then.  The skirt has a total of 6 pleats and side pockets, which I don’t usually include in my garments but I thought I’d do something different.


Here’s one of the pockets.  A more diligent sewer would’ve had all the stripes match up, but that’s just not my priority.  Actually, they do match up on the other pocket but that was a happy accident.  You can also see the tab of the invisible zipper, which I’m now using all the time!  I wish I’d gotten over my fear of them sooner.  They really are very easy.

{June 27, 2009}   McCall’s 5430- wrap skirt

I actually made this about 2 weeks ago, but never got around to taking a picture of it!  When I saw this pattern, it reminded me of a skirt I’d made several years ago, pre-Sofia.  It was dark denim with a red tint on the wrong side.  It had red bias tape on it somewhere as well.  I got the idea to make another one, and here it is!


Since I can’t seem to apply bias tape right, I included some contrast by topstitching with bright pink thread.  Here’s the pattern, McCall’s 5430:

Note that it says “1 hour skirt.”  They are so full of it.  It was more like a 3 hour skirt!  Maybe the people at McCall’s were high on caffeine that day and sewing on an industrial, but I had neither of those advantages.  Since I have a hard time with bias seams stretching out, I treated the pockets as appliques and stitched them to the skirt on all sides.  I don’t use pockets anyway.  I just like how they look on this skirt.

I think it’s a good pattern, and I’ll hang onto it in case I ever want another one.  Here’s the review on PR.

{April 18, 2009}   Simplicity 2606


I used some silk dupioni mamafitz gave me a couple years ago when I got to meet her.  I don’t like to have fabric sitting around that long, so I was glad to use it.  This skirt has pleats and an elastic waist.  I don’t know if dupioni and elastic waists mix or not, but the belt covers it.  I have yet to actually try this on, but it looks OK on Saffron.  The pattern itself was very basic.  The only weird thing about it is that they call the casing piece a facing.

{April 11, 2009}   Simplicity 4697

I’ve had this skirt cut out for so long! I can’t even remember how long ago it was, just that it’s been a couple YEARS. My excuse for not sewing it was that it needed a lining. It hit me one day that the white knit mesh lining I’d just bought from was perfect. Well, I cut it and a few weeks later here we are!


I cut 4″ off the bottom and did a serged hem. I left the lining 1″ longer than the skirt fabric. (Is this shot OK, or would a full length one be better? I couldn’t decide.)

I did the whole thing on the serger except for stitching in the ditch to hold the elastic down. I sewed the fabric, lining and elastic all in one pass. Worked very well.

I think it’s good, but the 6 gores really cut up the pattern. I think I’ll hang onto this pattern, though.

{December 17, 2008}   New Simplicity Patterns!!

Well, just yesterday I was lamenting the lack of new patterns.  Someone commented that I should check Simplicity again and what do ya know??

Here are the highlights:

I’ll need to get a closer look at the store, but it looks good so far:

If only they wouldn’t take 10 hours to make!

Quite fond of this:

I like this- and I need basics:

How did they manage to make a preschooler look fat??

You might’ve noticed that I rarely use a pattern more than once.  However, for some reason my last 3 projects were from patterns I’ve used before!

This is New Look 6704:

This is McCall’s 5390, made from some of the Amy Butler fabric I just got:

And this is an outfit for a coworker’s baby (Butterick 4712), who is due to be born today!  Talk about procrastination!

{August 23, 2008}   Not feelin’ it

My first project in a week or 2, and it’s not great. I think the proportions are all off. It’s about knee length, and combined with the fullness I feel like a square dancer. I’m glad I made a muslin instead of using good fabric for this!

It wasn’t that hard to make. However, I found it really bizarre that they want you to put both pleats and gathers at the top of the skirt. It wasn’t easy either- my thread kept breaking when I was gathering over the pleats.

Without further adieu, here’s McCall’s 5631, view A:

Here’s the review on Pattern Review.

{August 4, 2008}   The fabulous Vogue 8426

Check out the seams on this skirt!  It’s genius!!  No darts to be found!

The back is even better!

It took a couple hours and a lot of serging of seam allowances, but I really think it was worth it!  I merged an orphan piece of fabric with an orphan pattern and got a great skirt!  I’m so happy with the way it turned out!  The fabric is something I’ve never heard of- canvas-backed flannel- and I guess I used it wrong side out, but I think it works.

{June 21, 2008}   Another UFO Bites the Dust

This skirt had been in pieces, on a hanger on my bedroom door for months!  I didn’t  have enough fabric for both sides of the self belt so I’d been carrying a little swatch around all this time with the intention of finding a matching solid for the other side of the belt.  Didn’t happen.  Finally, I decided I didn’t need the stinkin’ belt and just made the skirt!  So, I picked up some thread and sewed it over the course of 2 evenings.  It turned out great!

This is McCall’s 5390, view A.  It hits right below the knee, even though it looks long cuz Saffron somehow got short one day and I finally readjusted her after I took this picture.  I got a ton of compliments on this at work and it’s really comfortable!

et cetera