Monday, June 20, 2016


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Earlier this last spring I wanted to make myself a casual shirt or two that were a little fancier than my standard t-shirts.  I started with the Gallery Tunic by Oliver+S.  The pattern can be sewn as either a tunic or a dress with or without the collar.  It is a pretty basic tunic with an A-line shape.

This is my muslin.  I didn't do much to it other than shorten the sleeves.  I did add darts.  Directions are provided in the pattern.

There are no buttons on the placket and there is no yoke on the back.  Instead there is a pleat at the top.  I don't love that.

There is also a weird pleat at the front under the placket.  I don't love that either.  It makes it feel like a maternity top to me.

I'm also not a fan of how the sleeve cuffs were attached.  Instead of having a pleat in the sleeve there is just a gap between the ends of the cuff.  It seems unfinished to me.

The Gallery tunic overall is fine.  It doesn't have much shape, which I guess is the style.  It also doesn't have very many details to make it a little more interesting.  I found the Mila Shirt pattern by Itch to Stitch and it was everything I was looking for.  It has a loose-easy feel to it, but has a little shape to it.  It also has more details like a yoke, pocket, button placket, and button tabs on the sleeves.  I like these extra details.

The first one I made was in cotton poplin.  This is my muslin.  I didn't have to change anything except shorten the shoulder seam of the yoke.

I like the yoke on the back.  I cut it on the bias to create the diagonal stripes of the plaid. There is also a box pleat on the back under the yoke.  I sewed it on backward in the chambray shirt.  It still works.   

After making the plaid shirt I made one from cotton chambray.  

The sleeves could be a little shorter.  Other than that, the fit is fine.  I used my machine's triple-stitch on the top stitching to achieve a thicker-looking tread.  I like how it turned out.

I also like how the cuffs came together.  

Finally, I made a shirt from double gauze.  This is my favorite so far.  It is so soft and comfortable.  It was great in the middle of spring when it was still a little chilly.  If it weren't so g.d. hot already I'd be wearing it still.

I also have some flannel that I had planned to use for a fourth shirt.  Then it warmed up and it seemed pointless to me.  I might make another one in the fall.  We'll see.


Friday, April 29, 2016


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At the beginning of the month I was in a purple mood.  I'm not sure what caused it.  I don't use purple very much for myself but I suddenly had an intense desire to create something using purple.  I think it was my desire to hurry along spring during one of our early-spring cold spells.

While the kids were staying with Grandma and Grandpa I created this little number.  I used the free paper-pieced economy block pattern from Wombat quilts.  The individual blocks are 3" square.  I love the mini blocks and paper-piecing makes them so much easier.  

Soon after my purple-frenzied creation I started noticing purple all over the neighborhood.  Welcome spring!  Even the weeds are pretty this time of year.  The colors of spring are definitely my favorite part of the season.

The kids and I went on a photo safari to take pretty flower pictures.  Enjoy.  

Some sort of Crab Apple

Blue Bell

Creeping Charlie (weed)





Lambs Ear


Unknown bush

Some sort of Crab Apple

Burning Bush

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox


Unknown tree debris

Violets (weed)

Creeping Charlie (weed)

Creeping Charlie (weed)

Unknown Flowering Tree

Unknown Flowering Tree

'Helicopters' from Maple Tree

Now what do I do with this?  My original plan was to make it into a pillow.  Now I'm sort of leaning towards mini quilt.  I saw (somewhere) someone had a whole wall of mini quilts in their sewing room.  I like that idea.  So.... mini-quilt or pillow?

This quilt top came together pretty quickly.  I used a technique I learned from Wombat Quilts and kept the paper on the back of the squares.  It made it so much easier to match seams.

Has spring arrived in you neighborhood?


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Birthday Clothes

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Last month was birthday month at our house.  Both boys celebrated birthdays (2 weeks apart).  It is the only time of the year I get tired of cake.  By the time we've finished eating the first birthday cake its time to make another.  yay!  My birthday is the month before (February) and Husbands is the month after (April) so really its birthday season around here. 

Obviously, the boys needed new outfits to celebrate their days.  It's a bit of a tradition for me.  You can see previous years here, here, here, here, and here.  I usually try to find a theme and this year's was birds.  Birds are their new favorite kinds of animals.

Mini Man's birthday was first.  He turned the big 4.  He is very proud of his age and tells everyone he see, "I'm four.  I know everything"  

Mini Man got a generic bird-print raglan tee.  The print is from the Idle Wild Collection for Riley Blake.  The pattern is from the book Sewing for Boys.  The stripe sleeve is from my stash.  I freezer-paper stenciled a number 4 on the sleeve to indicate the year.

Little Man's birthday followed.  He turned 7 this year.  Holy cow.  How is he 7?  He's like a regular kid, my baby no longer.  

Little Man got an owl-print raglan tee.  He is obsessed with owls.  The print is from the Wonderland Collection for Art Gallery.  The pattern is from the book Sewing for Boys.  I freezer-paper stenciled a seven on his sleeve.

The pants were made using the Aviator Pants pattern by Winter Wear Designs.  This is not the first time I've used this pattern.  This is the first time I've used the contrast triangle and ankle bands.  I love how they turned out.  

The fabric is French Terry.  I used a contrasting color for the triangle at the bottom.  I chose blue for the main fabric (I had a large cut in my stash) and gray for the contrast (scraps in my stash).  The gray is to match the tees.  The ankle and waist bands are gray rib-knit.

I added zippers to the back pockets and a draw-string to the waistband.  I also used the overlock stitch on my sewing machine on seams.  The overlock stitch takes forever, but it was so worth it.  I love the athletic-look it adds.

The kids like the outfits and have been wearing them as often as they can.  Mini Man has already worn a hole in one of the knees in his pants.  Perhaps French Terry wasn't the best choice of fabric.  Next time I'll have to pick something sturdier.