Saturday, April 28, 2012

Duvet–King Sized–Oh, My Knees!!!

Why? Why are duvets so damn expensive? I made this king-sized duvet out of two flat sheets. Each one was $12 on sale and they are nice sheets too. High thread count and all that.

Here’s the final photos. I was going to write a little tutorial but it was impossible with king-sized sheets. There is just too much fabric to move around to take good pictures. Are you guys interested in a tutorial? I was thinking of making a mini-duvet and taking pictures that way. It’s really easy. The hardest part is wrestling with the giant sheets and all the damn buttonholes. I crawled around for a few hours on hard floors, pinning and measuring and such. Ouch-ka-va. The duvet we had before was brown. It was pretty but I’m tired of winter so I made a purple duvet.


See the little creature? That’s from my son. He told me I have to keep it there so I always think of him. He goes to his dad’s house for two weeks at a time and I think he thinks I’ll forget him.


Just another couple views.


I used brown buttons on mine because I wanted it to coordinate with all the other neutrals and wood in the room.

Whew. I told myself I had to finish that before I could sew anything “fun.” Woooo-hoooo, now I can make something for myself!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


My stash continues to grow at an alarming rate. I need to sew more and buy less! But they gave me a coupon. Doesn’t that make it okay?

I bought a few wovens which I normally don’t do. I also bought some fun suitings.

Cotton Voile in a fun paisley teal. I may use this to make a faux CAbi skirt like this one.
Cotton Voile Paisley Teal/Red/Green/Orange

A cotton lawn. Another border print. I’m very into spring right now. These are not normally colors I would wear.
Cotton Lawn Fancy Stripes Orange/White/Green/Brown

A pretty blue and green rayon woven shirting.
Rayon Blend Burnout Shirting Dots Green/Blue

I can never resist a good charcoal gray knit. I bought the jersey and the 1 x 1 rib knit that matches it.
Modal Blend 1 x 1 Rib Knit Black Charcoal Modal Blend Jersey Knit Black Charcoal


I must really be into spring because I never wear pink. Well, except today because I’m wearing pink and I can imagine this wool suiting as an awesome pencil skirt. All the wool suitings are on sale right now. I also bought this black and cream houndstooth.
Wool Suiting Soft Pink Wool Suiting Houndstooth Black/White


I couldn’t resist this raw silk suiting. It’s also a black and cream weave.
Woven Uptown Raw Silk Suiting Black/Cream


This was my most expensive purchase. It’s an animal print nylon for a new swimsuit. I am going out of the state and to nice warm places several times this summer so Momma needs a new, crazy-print swimsuit! Where do you guys find good swimsuit lining material? I have hooks and all the notions, just very little lining fabric.
Nylon Lycra Swimwear/Activewear Animal Print Black/White

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Burda 05-2012 #113 Stretchy High-Waisted Skirt

I think I’m in love with the May Burda. There are so many cute things in this issue. I think it may also be that it’s spring in Alaska and I really love this time of year. This has no zippers or anything so if you’ve got a waist and hips, use a very stretchy fabric. I used some ITY from The waist is loose on mine because I’ve got ample booty-bottom to get through that hole. I didn’t want to make it fit my waist but then pop seams to get it on.




Some fun chevrons on the one side.


I think the tucks on the side are very flattering.

I decided to make this first pattern because it looked easy and fast and that’s what I’m all about these days. I didn’t really realize how quick and fast it would be. It’s only one pattern piece front and back and no closures of any kind. It’s just a pull-on skirt. The only difficult thing is all those tucks in the side seam. There are six front and back on the same side.


To mark all the tucks, I like to use my tracing paper and tracing wheel. I stick the tracing paper between the layers with inky edges out (that way I can do both sides at the same time) and roll over the lines on the front of the pattern piece. Here you can see the marking lines on the WS of the fabric.


Making sure you actually sew on the correct lines is hard to do sometimes. I usually stick a pin through both layers at the end of the pleat. Then I “pin baste” it and go through the front and back two more times like below. Each time I go through the fabric I can check to make sure my lines really match up.



Then, because this fabric likes to get sucked into the machine, I sew differently than I normally do. I start in the middle, take a few forward stitches, go back to the beginning, and then go forward to the end. At the very end, I take a few backstitches to secure the stitches.



All that works gives you perfect results every time! Or, wait, no it doesn’t it. Maybe my “pin basting” didn’t work after all. Hmmmmm. Look at the bottom two tucks in particular. Yeesh.


I love it. It’s cute and springy. I’ll have to move on to another pattern in this issue. Although, I need to make a duvet for my bed. Where do you guys go for affordable, nice flat sheets? I think I’m going to go for some color in there. Right now, it’s a lot of brown. I need spring!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

CAbi Spring 2012 Part I

I have a friend that has one of those parties so I always go. It’s fun to try on clothing and fun to experiment with new silhouettes. I chose my favorites and thought I’d take a stab at knocking them off. I’m cheap, I’ll admit that and spending $70 on a simple elastic-waist skirt makes me cringe.

I took the CAbi pictures straight from their website.

#1 Bella Skirt $69
I really liked this skirt. Their version is a rayon challis border print. It has really large slash pockets across the hips that you can’t see in the picture. It’s really close to this Burda 05-2010-122 pattern below. The Burda one uses a woven and a side zipper where the CAbi one just uses an elastic waist treatment. Same pockets and everything. I would pair it with a rayon challis like the one below from You cost would be much cheaper than $69!!


#2 Dreamy Draper $98
Is this not Simplicity 2603?? The only difference is that this one has thumbholes and the Simplicity one doesn’t. Would this be great in a drapey fabric like these rayon slub knits? I’ve made a black one out of this same fabric and wear it all the time. I like all three of the colors below although the cream color isn’t a great one for my skin tone.
Rayon Slub Jersey Knit Teal Rayon Slub Jersey Knit RustRayon Slub Jersey Knit Taupe



#3 Epic Tunic $89

This Epic Tunic is very much like this Burda 03-2012-122. There are some major differences though. The CAbi tunic is a dolman sleeve and the Burda pattern is set-in. The Burda pattern is longer, obviously.


I found some gorgeous silk chiffons too! I super-ty, duper-ty love that last black swirl chiffon.
Chiffon Abstract Red/White/Navy Silk Chiffon Scratch Brick/Brown Silk Chiffon Abstract Swirls White/Black/Grey


I have a few more to show you but that’s a lot of searching and linking for one night! I do have a bit of sewing to show you as well. I made something from the May Burda. I think the Burdas from May are my favorites every year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cloacas and poop.

Why do I have these types of conversations in the car? Am I the only one?

Inquisitive Boy: Mom, what’s a cloaca?
Me (in the front of the car): What??
Boy: Clo-aaaaaaaaaaaaay-caaaaaa. What’s a cloaca?
Me: Uh, a cloaca? It’s a combined opening for the reproductive system, the digestive system, and the excretory system. Where did you hear that word?
Boy: So I have a cloaca?
Me: No, chickens have cloacas. They pee, poop, and push eggs out the same hole. You don’t have, well, that.
Twin Things (miraculously quiet up until this point): <snicker, snicker> Pee.
Two-Year Old Chanter: POOP! Poop. Poop. Poop.
Boy: Well, when I go to the bathroom, how do I know my sperm isn’t coming out?
Me (I’m trying to hear over the “Poop” chant): Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Well, uh, that happens when you are older and, well, uh, it feels different. Trust me, you’ll know.
Boy: Mumble, sex, mumble, cocoon, mumble.
Twin Bothers: <sqeeeee, giggle, giggle, giggle>
Me (scared of what’s coming next): What?
Science Boy: Nothing. I was just telling my sisters how humans have sex.
Me (Poop! Poop! Poop! Poop!): Well? How do they have sex?
Boy of Knowledge: Well, they rub together in their mucus bubble and exchange sperm.
Me: siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. You know you’re not an earthworm, right? Right??
Boy: Duh, mom.
Me: siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Burda 02-2011 #116

I finally used my Anna Sui fabric!! Are you finally happy Paulette? I turned it into this springy drawstring dress. I really like it quite a bit. It’s the perfect “throw-on” dress and I often need those in the mornings before school when I have four little lunches to make, a three-mile run to run, shower to take, snarly kindergarten hair to comb, and pig tails to create. I’m really lucky if I leave the house with my own hair combed.  


The only thing I would change if I made it again (and I might) are the arm bands. Next time, I’ll make them thicker. Right now they started out as two inch bias strips folded in half. I’ll make them more like four inch strips, not on the bias. Working with bias-cut fabric when doing something like this is not necessary and they stretched out like crazy. If I was using a heavy fabric, I would make them bias-cut but not if I was using something like this fabric again. They use a gabardine fabric in their model photo. I added no hem allowance and turned up a good two inch hem. I like the proportion better when the shirt is shorter.


Cute shoulder pleats. I made these a little bit deeper than Burda suggested. They sort of stuck out at funny angles when they had less of a pleat.



Here’s the finished grommet on the outside of the garment.



I feel like I spent a good five years of my life turning this little fucking tube and then the little shit breaks. I was very angry. After I said some bad things to the tube, I zigzagged it together again.



Instead of using self-fabric for the casing on the inside, I used a piece of dark gray double knit from my stash. This fabric is too ravel-prone..



I have an industrial snap press that I love. It also installs grommets if you get the correct dies. Here it is before I used the press on it.

Here it is after the press. You can see the lip is curled down and out.


Here is the finished grommet from the RS. You can see I pulled a thread.


I was thinking this would be cute if I color-blocked it. After seeing this photo, I’m not sure. I think it would be dynamite to make it in a solid color and add topstitching to the front and back yoke, hem, and waist casing. I might do that instead. Or, it’s ripe for tone-on-tome embroidery on that skirt.


Did you guys see how much snow has melted in the last week or so!! Wow! I have a deck again!! We had record snowfall this year. As of the 8th of April, we had 133.6 inches of snow this year. Ask me if I’m tired of shoveling. Sheesh.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fabric porn for the ladies, you’re welcome . . .

This fabric has been lingering in my fabric stash for a while. I’ve decided to stop being afraid of it and finally use it. This Anna Sui print was given to my by my beautiful friend, Paulette. She gave this to my last year? Or maybe the year before? I’m not sure what to make out of it. It’s beautiful. I’m pretty sure it’s a cotton.


I’ve had this purple wool houndstooth for a few years now. It’s a large scale print so I’m not sure how to use it. It’s also beautiful.


I have this beautiful gray wool flannel. It’s actually a darker gray than the top photo. I think I have two yards of this.


Ah, yes. Then there is this. It’s a wool/silk/mohair/linen blend. My ex-Mr. bought this for me in Texas when he was there on business. I’m not sure what to do with it. It’s a drape-y wool and it’s a brilliant blue. Have any of you worked with a blend like this before?


I really like KS3760 (do you know why it doesn’t show up on the KS website anymore? I know they are part of the McCalls/Butterick/Vogue Mothership bought them but it doesn’t make sense for them to get rid of patterns like that.

So, I’m trying to think of things for all this beautiful fabric. I’m going to save the blue one for something really special. I want to make another 3760 and I think I’ll use the gray flannel. It’ll be a nice workhouse dress. For the cotton blue/purple dress, I think I’ll make a summery-shift dress. I guess we’ll see.