Wednesday Sewing - A Cozy Muslin

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Today I tackled making a muslin of the DKNY knock-off "cozy" cardi-wrap. It's Simplicity 2603.

I used the same white knit as I used for Clara's muslins. The fabric that I want to use is about $15 per meter, so I wanted to be certain this thing fit and I liked it.

Here it is currently:

I think I will like it.

As you can see, it does not yet have sleeves or hems. I was reading through all of the pattern reviews for this pattern over on Pattern Review.com last night and more than one mentioned just how quick and easy this is to make.

At least two mentioned that from opening the pattern to a finished product took just 3 hours. I don't know how fast those people sew or how much room they have for cutting tables and the like in their homes, but this is as far as I could get in 3 hours. The front pattern piece is larger than my folding cardboard cutting board! I cut a small for the fronts and back and I have cut a medium for the sleeves.

I intend to make this out of a light sweater knit and wear this over t-shirts, not over tank tops, so I want the sleeves to be big enough for that. (Many reviews mentioned the sleeves being quite snug.) I also want full length sleeves, but without the goofy sleeve detail included on the pattern, so I had to adjust the pattern piece for the sleeve a little bit.

I forgot to try setting the sleeve in flat and then sewing the side seam and the sleeve seam all together, so I will have to set in my sleeves in the round. Oh well, it's good practice for other garments.

Kreativ Blogger Award!

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Julia (her blog is here), who is one of my very few regular comment-leavers (HOORAY Julia!), has given me the Kreativ Blogger Award. How sweet is that?

The "RULES" of this award are that I am to......
1) tell you seven things that you don't already know about me.
2) I am to name seven other blogs to receive this award.
3)I am to leave a comment on each of the blogs I have nominated letting them know that I have given them an award.
4) I am to thank the blogger who gave me the award.

So... without further ado... **echoing** Seven Things You Don't Know About Me

1. My name. I realized the other day that while I have posted the names of my family members, I have never posted my own. Hello, my name is Sarah.
2. I loathe making phone calls. Specifically to someone's home to ask for something. Business calls are no problem.
3. We have no TV, but I am hooked on two television shows, Project Runway and Glee. Hooray for the internet!
4. I used to have a red plastic Fame lunch box when I was a kid. I loved it. I loved that show, too.
5. I can't manage to raise children and do laundry. I mean I can definitely start laundry, but seeing laundry all the way through from sorting to folding is beyond my multi-tasking capabilities. David does the laundry in our house (and I help... sometimes).
6. I like power tools. (Maybe you knew that already.)
7. My hands and lips are always dry because I don't drink enough water and I can never remember to use my lip balm and lotion.

I may have to wait on giving this award to any other bloggers. Most of the blogs I read have already received this award at least once. I promise to forward the award on to anyone less established that I stumble across.


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And now I finally have photos of the fleece blazer I made!



I saw this jacket in the June issue of Burda, and I knew this would be a great first try at a blazer. (And since I've been wearing the same red fleece jacket for five years now, I thought I could do with a change.) I was right! It's cozy and soft but slightly sophisticated. I love how the back fits. The front looks better when it is open. I think I could make the darts a little snugger next time. And since this is unabashedly polyester, next time I will make a lining for it out of a slick poly knit. Other changes for the next blazer I make: I will use a thinner fabric for the undercollar and take the turn of fabric into account. That completely slipped my mind this time. I will give myself much more hem allowance on both the sleeves and the bodice (?).

The Beautiful Depression

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That's what I would title Ralph Lauren's Spring 2010 collection. I have no idea what anyone else is saying about it because I'm already up too late and only just thought to look.

I love it. I almost always love Ralph Lauren. I want to see someone wear this sheer shirtdress on the red carpet.

45 Minutes Per Day; Sept 21 - Sept 25

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Not much sewn this week, but a significant amount done regardless.

Monday - finished the two practice Backpack Doll Carriers.
Tuesday - hemmed 3 handkerchiefs
Wednesday - made up for lost time: I cut the backpack fabric, the backpack strap filler, and the checkerboard fabric. The rest of the time I spent planning details and figuring the rest of the fabric and notion amounts needed. This was a good use of my time as this kind of thinking takes a bit longer than 45 minutes and requires no interruptions.
Thursday - cut all of the flannel interfacing for both the checkerboards and the backpacks.
Friday - cut new fabric for the backpack straps and began working on the bias binding for the checkerboards.

That's it!

Jalie 2212 nightgown

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I just finished making two muslins of a nightgown for Clara. I used Jalie 2212 to start and then added length and gave it a whirl. As I found out, this pattern was going to take more tweaking.

To begin with the pattern was just too tight even though Clara's measurements are smaller than the smallest size given on the Jalie patterns. It fit in the shoulders, but the armscye was too low and the sleeves pulled funny when she moved. Also, on this pattern, Jalie does not adjust the width of the neckband to be proportional for smaller sizes. So the first muslin looked a bit like a not-quite-mock turtleneck. The neckline was also too tight even though I was using a very stretchy knit.

So, to make up for all of those shortcomings, I made a tuck in the front and back pattern pieces through the armscye, but below the neckline. I just eyeballed it. Then I slashed up the center of the front and back pattern pieces and spread the two apart, making a little dart in the pattern below the armscye. Again, I just eyeballed it. I was going to cut the neckline a little bigger and cut the neckband piece a little smaller, but it occurred to me that I could just take a larger seam allowance and give that a try. Finally, I trimmed off some of the sleeve cap (it is quite high) and then slashed and spread the middle of the sleeve.

All in all it looks pretty good. I accidentally took a larger seam allowance in the sleeves, so they are still quite snug and the neckline still needs to be a bit bigger, so I will need to scoop some out of the pattern and make a slightly longer neckband, but I like the larger seam allowance and in the finished product, I think I will use my twin needle to topstitch around the neck. (Clara also wants a ruffle at the hem.)

Here are the photos!


Muslin 1 and 2
better neckline and fit in arms and wider at hem



Muslin 1 (top) and 2 (bottom)
details of neckline



Adjusted pattern pieces


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Sneak Peek! I am waiting for David (or some other responsible adult) to take some decent photos of me in the fleece blazer I finished last week!


45 Minutes Per Day; Sept 14 - Sept 18

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Life got in the way of sewing this week...

Monday I hemmed three handkerchiefs (Whee!)
Tuesday - nothing
Wednesday - I started but didn't finish two practice backpacks.
Thursday - I finished the straps for the two backpacks (and made 1 jar of grape jam/butter)
Friday - nothing

I tried to get more accomplished today, but things just didn't work out that way.

I did realize that I need written instructions for the backpack carriers, so I spent a little time tonight writing it out and I plan to type it up presently.

Fabric Shopping!!

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Yesterday afternoon a friend and I went fabric shopping. I was looking for fabrics to use on the baby doll backpack carriers and the checkerboards.

Here are the lovelies...

These are for checkerboards. I decided to go with a spin on the traditional colours. (I also ran out of time to pick a second colorway.)


These will be used for backpack carriers. I love the teeny floral with the watercolor floral. The teeny floral reminds me of Raggedy Ann. The argyle and tiny circles are cosy and make me laugh at the same time.

Time to make a test of the backpack carriers and see if I still remember how to do it!

Oh, last night I counted all of the handkerchiefs that I have cut and ready to hem. 41 more. That will take 14 more 45 minute sessions to complete. Totally do-able.

45 Minutes Per Day; Sept 7 - Sept 11

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I almost forgot to post this! Nothing terribly exciting this week...

Monday - hemmed 3 handkerchiefs
Tuesday - hemmed 4 handkerchiefs (ran over time, I think 3 is my limit)
Wednesday - sorted through my Backpack Baby Doll Carrier materials from last year. I have enough on hand to make nine carriers. I have yet to decide how many I hope to make.
I also experimented with the quilt binding on the checkerboard again. I think I have figured out that if I want a 1" border, my binding needs to be 4" wide.
Thursday - hemmed 3 handkerchiefs
Friday - I don't remember (forgot to write it down), but I must have hemmed 3 handkerchiefs

I need to count how many handkerchiefs I have cut and figure out how many sewing sessions those will take...

A Wadder of a Sewing Day

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Bleh. Today's sewing adventures were less than stellar.

David needed the van to take Lucy to preschool, so I rode the bus in the rain to the fabric store to buy another half meter of fabric for Peter's hoodie. I did get some stitching removed from my fleece blazer while I was on the bus, so that was good.

I got home, threw the sweatshirting and a few dark towels and sweatshirts into the wash and then got to work on making button hole tests for my fleece blazer. No good. My machine won't make buttonholes in fleece fabric without serious cajoling. It wouldn't move the fabric at all unless I put a piece of tissue paper or quilting cotton between the fleece and the feed dogs. Even then, though, the results were not consistent and the fabric was very difficult to slice through (I don't have one of those button hole chisels).

I grumbled and swore for a bit and was really fairly stymied by the whole thing, then I thought I might try a bound buttonhole. I got about halfway through and just lost patience. I realized that while I was certain that I could make a decent bound buttonhole, I am just not ready to make three nearly identical bound buttonholes.

I think I'll call around to the local fabric shops and see if anyone has large sew-in snaps.

I did manage to also get my 45 minutes of All-Handmade Sale work in, but even that wasn't very exciting. Some days are like this, I guess.

45 Minutes Per Day; Aug 31 - Sept 4

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I am following Summerset's lead. I have decided to try working on the items that I intend to sell at the All-Handmade Sale for 45 minutes every weekday. If my kids were older (and if I were a more experienced sewist) 30 minutes would work for me, too.

Here's what happened this week:

On Monday and Tuesday, life drama abounded and thus I was only able to sew in my mind.

Wednesday is my big sewing day and I made up for the previous two days. I ironed handkerchief fabric, constructed a checkerboard, quilted it, and attempted to bind it.

Thursday I cut out handkerchiefs and ironed last year's unhemmed handkerchiefs.

Friday I sawed checkers. (I'm fond of power tools.)


Pretty good week. I need to figure out that quilt binding. What I hope to do is have about a half inch of binding on the back and about an inch on the front and mitered corners. I'll give it another go Monday.

A Fabric Lament

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I almost did it. I almost purchased fabric online.

Gorgeous Fabrics has this fabric on sale and I went through all the steps of ordering three yards of it (I'm thinking about a gored full skirt for next summer). Then at the last moment I looked at the total. The amount that I saw listed and thought was my total price was actually just the shipping price! The shipping was going to cost more than the fabric!

I just couldn't do it. Bleh.

Wednesday Sewing; Jalie 2795, part 4

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I accomplished a lot today.

The sewing day began with a quick trip to the local fabric store to pick up some trim for Peter's hoodie. He alerted me yesterday that he would like to have stripes on his jacket. He wanted orange, yellow, and black stripes down the sleeves, so I set out to see what I could find. This is what we settled on:

That's three rows of some sort of polyester braid, that I glued and stitched together and then stitched to his sleeves. (Note the glue stick on the window sill.) I was feeling pretty proud of my work until I began to attach the sleeves to the body pieces. I kept holding out hope until I attached the first collar piece. Somebody forgot to make sure the stripe location was even at the top of the sleeve. Check out the wonky stripes below.


This is not all that terribly noticeable if you are on his level. It is noticeable if you are an adult and happen to be looking down at his shoulders. The stripe looks like it goes diagonally through his neck rather than straight across. I shall have to work hard to resist straightening his shoulders. I am not going to fix it, because picking out the stitching would likely result in wrecking the trim.

In other sewing news, the All-Handmade Sale will be happening again in November and it's time for folks like me to start making plans. This year I intend to make baby doll backpack carriers, handkerchiefs, bookmarks, and maybe checkers sets. I tried my hand at making a checkerboard today out of some leftover quilting cotton. I had sketched out a plan some weeks ago. It went together fairly quickly until I got to the binding part. That's going to require a bit more research.


Not bad for my first attempt at strip piecing and quilting!

Jalie 2795, part 3

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Today I was able to squeeze in a fair bit more sewing on Peter's hoodie.

This morning, I pinned all the main body pieces together. This was no quick process since the hoodie has raglan sleeves and thus requires the sleeves to be pinned in and the sleeves themselves have four pieces each. Here is Peter cautiously trying it on. He got stuck a couple of times, but did try to smile for the camera.


Mostly I was checking for fit around his body and around his arms. I added an extra half inch to the seam allowances on each piece before cutting, just to give me more wiggle room if I needed to let something out. (Jalie adds only quarter inch seam allowances.) The seam allowances sticking out make it difficult to actually see the fit in this photo, but I did let the sides out a bit. I think the rest will fit fine (I will pin fit the hood, when we get to that point), though the sleeves will be a bit long.

This afternoon I sewed the sleeves. Peter helped. He was nervous about guiding the fabric through, but he was excited to press the pedal. We managed several seams and overcast several raw edges together before he lost interest and went to watch our housemate changing the brake pads on his bike.

This evening, I worked on the main body pieces and the pockets. Here is one pocket welt attached to one of the front pieces.



And here are both fronts with the pockets fully assembled. Not too bad for a first try.