Cali Fabrics: Modern Denim


B5616 front

Hey, Sewists!  I am blogging over at Cali Fabrics today about my new waxed denim jacket!  This was my first time sewing with waxed denim and I am in love with it.  Read all about over on the Cali Fabrics blog.

Stay tuned to my blog next week.  I am still packing my sewing room and am planning a fabric sample sale.  Details will follow next week on that.


Me Made May Days 25-31

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 25: Monday

Ahhh…Memorial day, a day off of work.  I wore my newest version of McCall’s 6559, which was made way back in March.  This version used exactly 1 yard of a teal ponte that has been in my stash since 2012. It is a little short than I would normally wear though, so next time I will add about 3″ to the hem.  I believe the fabric was from a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart, so I am estimating the cost to be around $1.50.  I will for sure take that cost for a new dress.  I also wore it with my Butterick 5789 vest.  This is the third time I wore this vest this month and I cannot seem to get enough of it.  I originally made it specifically to be worn with this dress though.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 26: Tuesday

This is one of my favorite makes from last year, McCall’s 5974!  This fabric is so bright and fun.  It stands completely on it’s own in my wardrobe.  Nothing I own or have made comes anywhere close to the intensity of these colors.  I did also wear the original wearable muslin version of this dress later in the day as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 27: Wednesday

This was an incredibly hard day.  The Thursday before I learned that my oldest and dearest friends’ mom had passed away after a battle with cancer and Wednesday was her funeral.   I have been friends with this person for 24 years now and know her family pretty well.  Her mom was an amazing women who taught me a lot.  The one that I will always remember from when we were younger was when I asked her why she was wearing sunglasses in the winter because I had always associated sunglasses with being for summer only (I don’t know what to say other than I was a weird kid).  She looked at me and laughed and said “Well the sun is still out now, isn’t it”.  She was like a second mom to me often and I will never forget her.  In preparing to go home for the funeral I grieved by stressing about what to wear and decided I had  to make a new dress and cardigan.  I decided to go with my standard McCall’s 5974 from 1.75 yards of black ponte and Butterick 5789 from 2 yards black baby hacci sweater knit.  Both are newly purchased fabrics this month from Jo-Ann’s.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 28: Thursday

Big surprise, I wore another version of McCall’s 5974!  I think maybe I need to lay off of this pattern for awhile since I have made 8 versions of it.  I don’t know if that will happen though.  It is just such a well fitting and comfortable pattern that it is my go to summer dress.  We’ll see what I make this summer, as I do have a few other patterns picked out.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 29: Friday

For fear only ever wearing M5974 all week, I choose to wear one of the self drafted skirts I made back during the Adoption Dress project.  This skirt has pockets and a slightly gathered contrast ruffle.  I paired it with a white tank top and wide black belt.  Similar to the McCall’s dress I have about 7 different versions of this skirt as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 30: Saturday

Oldies but goodies for today.   Both the top and the shorts are me made pieces from ages ago.  The top is possibly from 2009 and the shorts are from 2012. The shorts  were way too big in 2012 and not so much anymore, so that kind of sucks.  You know all those awesome “You should be sewing” meme’s Leila keeps making, yeah well, I think I need on that says “You should be running”.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day  31: Sunday

And now we have reached the end of another Me Made May.  Today I wore the self drafted skirt I made back in January/February.  I don’t know what it is about this skirt but I just cannot seem to style it.  I feel like I want to wear one of my wide belts with it but I can’t since I made the waistband wide and ruched.  Also, I just have not liked any of the tops I own with it.  None of the colors go well, except black, and no matter which I choose I feel pretty column like in this look.  I appear to have no shape whatsoever.  I really think it needs a belt.  I don’t know if I will wear this again without changing the waistband.  On a side note, I promise that the hem of this skirt is not angled like the picture makes it look.  I was just standing at an awkward angle, which you can’t even tell because I look like a column.  Ughhh!

April Round-up

Another month has come and gone so quickly.  At this time last month I started re-watching Sex and the City, now I am almost finished with it.  I have gone through 94 episodes in one month, only watching while sewing.  Whew!  I think next month I may re-watch Friends. We’ll see.  Now for the real reason for this post, because you know it wasn’t to discuss Carrie and Mr. Big.

I have had another great stashbusting month with no new fabric purchases!  I used 12.5 yards of stash fabric for April, which brings my year to date fabric total to 48.75 yards.  I have been sewing like mad these past 4 months.  I am on track to have a record sewing year and I am super excited about that.   Sew, what did I make this month?  It was definitely not keeping with the stashbusting theme of vibrant color, that’s for sure.  I really wanted to stay on theme but I have been on this black and white kick that I couldn’t seem to get enough of.

B5153 Starting with this past Sunday I made a new pair of pajama pants using my TNT B5153 pattern.  I went on a work trip to Chicago and decided that I should have new pj pants to wear.  I used 2.75 yards of cotton flannel from Jo-Ann’s that I got on Black Friday in 2013.  Total cost for the fabric: $4.79.  I love the print because it has owls hidden in it.  Look closely and you will find them.

Before that I finished sewing a dress I cut out inMusings of a Seamstress March.  I also made a non-traditional denim jacket, which I posted a sneak peak of on Instagram, and a chiffon kimono cover up.  I have yet to photograph any of those garments or two garments I made way back in February.  It has just been too chilly for me to want to go outside in dresses for a photo shoot.  Luckily it is supposed to be in the 70’s this weekend, so I will make sure to do it and share all my new lovelies with you.

Simplicity 2621

I did also post a picture of cutting out my corset for my renaissance costume.  It and the hoop skirt are cut out and ready to be sewn.  I will post reviews for each once they are completed as part of a series for building this costume.  I have been putting this project off for far to long now, like 3 years too long.  It’s time to take the plunge into the deep end.

The upcoming Stashbusting Sewalong theme for May will be lingerie, hosted by Andrea of Obsessive Creativeness.  We will see how I do with this theme.  Does my corset count?  Also, it is Me Made May.  I am going to participate this year.  I will wear something me made everyday.  I will post daily on Instagram and do a weekly round up here on the blog.

When the hubs is away…

Last weekend the hubs went to Alabama to see one of his friends and I stayed home.  I took this time to do a little selfish sewing and enjoy my alone time.  I ate foods that I love and he hates.  I got caught up on Downton Abbey and started rewatching Sex and the City.   I set my cutting table up in the living room on Friday and cut out fabric for 4 new tops for myself.  On Saturday and Sunday I sewed up those tops.  It was amazing and super productive!  So here are some quick reviews of my makes with links to the full reviews on the PR site.

S2365 view A front S2365 view A front detail

First up Simplicity 2365 in view A.  I used 2 yards of crinkle chiffon from the stash.  I cannot say how long I have had this fabric but I know it is at least 5 years.  I also know it came from Jo-Ann’s, probably their Red Tag section, but I do not know how much I even paid for it.  I also used 7 – 5/8″ red buttons from the button stash.  This top was an unexpected win too.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it is my second favorite top out of the bunch.  I am going to have to revisit this pattern at some point this spring.

S1317 v3 Front S1317 v3 back

My favorite top is Simplicity 1317, view E.  I used 1 1/2 yards of Black Ponte Knit from Fabric Mart and  1 yard of Taupe Ethnic on Black Wool Dobby Hi Multi Chiffon Fabric from Girl Charlee.  Both of these were stash fabrics purchased last year.  This is the third time I have used this pattern and I have plans to make even more versions.  This is a great weekend casual top.  Total fabric cost for this one is $9.65.

S1280 view B ft S1280 view B bk

Then I made Simplicity 1280, view B, out of 1 3/4 yards of Taupe and Black Peachskin from Jo-Ann’s.  This fabric is the only fabric I purchased in February and it was bought specifically for this top, so I am going to count that as a win.  Total fabric cost for this top is $12.23, making it the most expensive of the bunch.  That cost is still not to shabby though.  I am trying to make a more business casual work wardrobe and this top will fit in nicely.

B5954 View B front B5954 back

Lastly, we have Butterick 5954 in view B.  I used 2 yards of stashed Grey and Lilac Stripe Ponte from Fabric Mart that I purchased last year.  Total fabric cost of this top is $9.58.   This is my least favorite make.  I love the high low aspect, but the fit is all off.  I made this based off of the finished garment measurements not the size measurements and it is way too big.  I could have easily gone down a size.  There was also way too much flare in the bottom causing it to look like a tent on me.  I took out about 8 1/2″ inches but could use to take out even more.  I plan on taking out all the flare from the center back seam so that it comes straight down and will not fold over on itself like it is doing in the picture.  I really like this fabric and I want to save this garment from being in my top 5 worst for 2015.

All in all I had a great 3 days of sewing.  I may have neglected a few chores around the house but the world did not end because of it.  I so very rarely get so much time by myself so I wanted to take full advantage of it.  In the process I discovered that I really like cutting out multiple projects at once.  I felt like that was a big reason why I was so much more productive.  I tested that theory again this past week by only cutting out two garments and I was able to get both sewn up on Friday.  I am going to try it again this week.  If it continues to work like it has I should be able to use at least 100 yards of stash fabric this year!


Butterick 5145: Part 2

Butterick 5145

When I last left you in mid-November I had taken 1 1/2″ out of the top of the armhole and I was still not sold on my new coat.  Well not being sold on it almost turned this project into a UFO/wadder.  In the end I did finish it even though it took me 3 more weeks to do so.

Butterick 5145

In my state of uneasy about the this I did decide to make some construction changes because I didn’t like the pattern instructions.  The instructions told me to hand sew the sleeve lining into the armhole.  Thanks, but I will pass on that tediousness.  There is a much easier way to do that and still get a similar result.  I machine stitched the sleeve in  and tacked the seam allowances of the shell and the lining together at the top and the underarm.  The red stitching line on the herringbone in the picture above is my underarm tack. Doing this still secures the lining to the shell to prevent bagging in the sleeve.  I will sew all my sleeve linings in this way because it is for sure quicker that hand sewing it in.

Butterick 5145
 I also changed the way I sewed the hem. I stitched the hem face to face at 5/8″ instead of hand stitching it like the instructions said too. Same reason as I did the sleeve, it is just faster.  I did leave an opening big enough to get my hand in and turn the coat right side out at one side seam.  I clipped my corners, trimmed out some of the excess seam allowance, and turned it right side out.

Butterick 5145

I then pulled the waist seams back out and used this same tacking technique as I did on the sleeves.  I tacked it all along the box pleat in the center back.  Again, I did this in the red thread so it would be easier to see in photos.  This will help to prevent the back from bagging as well.

Butterick 5145

From there it was a breeze.  I had 3 buttonholes and buttons on the front of the bodice and two buttons on the tab at the center back. Give it a final good pressing and boom…

Butterick 5145


I will say I am much happier with how this turned out than I was while sewing it.  It is not as loose as I thought it would be, which is good.

Butterick 5145

I love my lining.  You cannot see it well here, but it has a shimmer to it.

A few final thoughts on this coat.  At this time I have no plans to make another version of this.  While it turned out well, I have so many other coat patterns I want to make that this one is probably not going to make and appearance again.  This coat was a great use of stash fabrics though.  Everything, other than the buttons, came from my stash.  I used 2 1/2 yards of herringbone, 3 yards of muslin for the underlining and 3 yards of red shimmer cotton for the lining. That’s 8 1/2 yards out of my stash!  WOOT!

Up next is the Albion for Eric!  I got the underling/muslin cut out last night and am planning on basting it together tonight.

Butterick 5145: A work in progress

I haven’t been doing much sewing these past few weeks sadly.  I have been working some crazy hours, like 60+ hours a week.  Quite frankly, I get home and just want to veg out on the couch and watch a show or two then go to bed.  That is pretty much all I have energy for.  Hopefully it is almost over and I can get back to regular sewing.  I have quite a few garments I am wanting to add to my winter wardrobe too.

Musings of a Seamstress

I have been trying to find time to make myself a new coat though.  I started it a little over week ago.  I really needed another fall coat as the one I made previously only has 3/4 length sleeves and it gets chilly here in Indiana.   I decided to try OOP Butterick 5145 view A.  I really like the clean lines of this pattern.  It is definitely a pattern that calls for a fun fabric.  I picked a black and gray herringbone with gold threads from my stash.  For the lining I picked another stash fabric, a red shimmery woven cotton.

Musings of a Seamstress


I did underline all of my shell pieces with muslin to add a little more weight and structure to the fabric. I chose muslin over flannel because I want this to be a fall coat, so I did not want to add as much warmth as the flannel would add.

Musings of a Seamstress


This is the right side of the collar.  I accidentally sewed it in backwards with the wrong side up.  The wrong side is two pieces on the bias.

Musings of a Seamstress


I actually prefer the wrong side because the bias pieces match up perfectly at the center creating an interesting detail.

Musings of a Seamstress

Once I got the sleeves sewn in I decided to check fit.  I am glad I did.  The shoulders hung off of me bad!  Here is the difference in sleeves. My left sleeve is after I took the shoulder in and my right sleeve is before.  I typically have this droopy shoulder problem with most patterns I sew.  Most of the time I let it slide because of the casual style of the garments I sew.  For a coat, though, I could not let it go.  I had to fix it.

Musings of a Seamstress

To fix this I pinned the coat while it was on me for where I needed to take it into.  I marked it once I took it off.  Before I cut off the excess, I stitched the sleeve down.  I wanted to make sure it fit right and I didn’t take too much out.  I ended up taking out 1 1/2″ at the sleeve head and tapered it down to the regular seam allowance.  It does fit significantly better now.

I am not sure if I am sold on this coat just yet though.  Looking at the picture of me in it I think I could have used to go down a size.  It looks very loose in the waist area.  I am hoping that is just because it has no buttons and maybe I had it pinned closed at the wrong spot.  We’ll see.  I still have the lining to sew together and attach to the shell, plus buttons and button holes.  I just need to make the time to do it soon as winter has decided to come early this year.

Motivation Outfit and PJ’s

Butterick 5153

First pajamas!  I made three pairs today.  These two use B5153, my TNT pajama pattern.  The key pattern is a pair of shorts for myself using 1 1/4 yards of stash flannel that I got at Jo-Ann’s last November.  The Bears print is a pair of pants that I have had cut out since November.  I figured if I was making pajamas today I might as well finish a UFO while I was at it.  Yay for getting things out of my overly crowded sewing room.

Now, I did say that I made three pairs today, but I only have a picture of two.  Why?!?  Well the third pair was for Eric and he hijacked them as soon as I was done with them.  He won’t let me take a picture of him in them either.  Booooo!!  At any rate, for the third pair I used pattern B6837 and 2 yards of orange, white, and black plaid from the stash.

I feel like these are very boring sewing makes since they are so easy and there is nothing else to say about them than my fabric usage.  Even with that it is much needed, cake sewing that I am glad to do since it uses up my stash.

Musings of a Seamstress

This is something a little more fun!  I made this way way back at the beginning of April.  I used Butterick 6837 for the top and bottom.  This is one of Gertie’s patterns for Butterick.  I love it!  I really wanted to try cigarette pants, pastels, and vintage styles this spring/summer and this satisfied all three of those. It was very easy to construct.  The only change I made was to add four buttons to the top instead of the two it called for.  Before I get into the details of this outfit I want to share why I am not wearing it.

When I decided to make this I realized that this pattern went up to a size 20, and I normally wear a 22.  Now, I could have just sized the patterns up a bit to make it work for me , but I decided to make it at a size 18.  Crazy, right!?!  Clearly it isn’t going to fit…yet.  I am working to lose 40 lbs total by fall.  So far I have lost 10 lbs and in another 10 lbs this outfit should fit!  I figure if I was down 20 lbs I would feel more comfortable wearing this because of where the top hits. Ten more pounds!  Ten more pounds!  This is definitely motivation to keep going.  I want to wear this outfit!

Musings of a Seamstress

For the top I used 1 1/2 yards of a lilac purple linen from the stash.  I got this fabric in a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart at some point in the last two years but I don’t know exactly when.  I was originally going to give this fabric away because I thought I would never use it.  I am glad I didn’t.  My favorite detail about this top that I didn’t catch from the pattern envelope is the back of the collar.  I love that it dips up and over laps.  It is unique!  The only downside to this top is that because I used linen it is pretty much permanently wrinkled.  Win some, lose some.

Musings of a Seamstress

 For the cigarette pants I used 2 1/4 yards of floral print stretch twill from the stash.  This also came from a Fabric Mart mystery bundle.  I really really like the mystery bundles!  I remember that when I first pulled this fabric out of the bundle I new I wanted to make some sort of skinny jeans with it and then this pattern came along.  I knew immediately that this was the right fabric for these pants.  I love the pocket detail on these. It was one of the easiest pockets I have ever put in, but to be fair I haven’t really made a lot of pants.

I have never worn anything of this style or even floral printed pants so I have no idea if when I lose the weight this will work for me, but I so want it too.  This outfit is just fun.  One of the things I want to sew more of is pants and fun pants at that.  In the fall I pretty much only wear dark denim jeans and I want to change that this year by wearing more business like attire to work.  I have a few other fabric in my stash that I know I want to use for pants and I just bought the Sewaholic Thurlow Trouser pattern.

I am almost caught up with my blogging. I still have a couple of other projects I need to blog about, including my March of the Shieldmaiden dress.  Pretty sure I won’t blog about that one until I wear it to the ren faire in September though.  For the rest of tonight and tomorrow I will be making a fitting garment or two so that I can recover Broke Down Betty and make her fabulous!  That will be a whole post on it’s own to add to my blogging list.

A Bit of Catching Up

Pardon my absence as of late.  So much has been happening that I have hardly done any sewing let alone plan out a post.  So I thought I would share a bit of an update.

Musings of a Seamstress

First,  I got a new car!!  It is a 2014 Nissan Rogue.  I have been driving it for 3 weeks now and I love it!  Awhile back I said that there were two absolute musts before Eric and I adopt and the biggest was getting a new car.  My previous car was a 1995 2 door sport car with 185,000 miles, not really something you want to drive babies around in.   We were able to finally make this happen and I could not be happier.  This will be the car we drive our babies around in.  That is exciting to think about.

Musings of a Seamstress

The other thing that we have been plugging away on is a bathroom remodel!  Shortly after we moved into our house four years ago we discovered that the downstairs bathtub had a hole in the pipes causing water to pour out to our slab base and slowly leak out onto our tile floor. The only way to fix this was to rip out the entire bathroom to get to the pipes.  We have spent the last three years buying all the things we needed to complete the remodel and we started it almost two months ago.  We have discovered so many crazy things in the process, like there used to be a window in the bathroom that was left in unsecured to the studs and just had siding placed over it with no insulation.  GREAT!  I will be finishing repainting the ceiling this weekend and then we can start installing all the new fixtures. I will definitely have to share pics once it is done because it is quite the transformation.  It will be a bit before we take on any other remodeling projects though.  So much stress!!!

Musings of a Seamstress

If that wasn’t enough stress, my company is also moving from a small town to Indianapolis!  I am so excited about this.  It will be great for the company.  Luckily my commute will stay the same.  Our company has been in this small town for 28 years, so moving the whole company is quite an undertaking.  Do you know how much stuff is accumulated in 28 years?!?!? Whew!  We had a fabric sale, which of course I was all over.  I got quite a few goodies as you can see.  I took home a total of 17 yards of sequins awesomeness.  One of them has already been cut for a new Summer Concert Tee.  I will hopefully get to sew it over this long holiday weekend.

Musings of a Seamstress

One of the other things I acquired was a new to me dress form.  Right now I am calling her Brokedown Betty.  As you can see she has been well used.  She is just about my size so I am planning on padding her out just a little bit and making a new cover for her.  Soon she will be Beautiful Betty.

Musings of a Seamstress

Lastly I did make a new pair of pajamas!  I made them because I took a business trip to Atlanta with my bosses.  We went to a sewing and manufacturing trade show.  It was awesome!  I used 5 yards of flannel from the stash that I got this past Black Friday.  I love these.  The shorts are made with Butterick 5153 and the top is Butterick 6837.  It is the second time I have made this style of top but only the first time I have made it for myself.  I definitely see more of these in my future.

I still have one more outfit to blog about that I made way back in April.  I need to get some good pics of it soon and then I will share it.