A Really Small Slip and Pantaloons

Many years ago, my Mum bought me a Cabbage Patch Preemie. I was her preemie baby, so she thought it was fitting. However, my poor girl was neglected in my closet. It was time for me to do something for her.

It was time to give her a make-over. The first thing she needed was to have something done with her hair.

preemie with straight hair

As adorable as she is… well, she’s in a family with all curly heads.

It’s amazingly easy to curl doll hair. A little foil  (folded over the end of the hair); a straw (I didn’t have pipe cleaners); I used pin curl clips to hold everything in place; and boiling water. It only took four ‘curlers’ to curl her hair. You can read how to do it here.

curlsCurls!

I didn’t take a photo of her with hair in ‘curlers’ – I wasn’t sure I’d love the results. I still may re-do her ‘do. I’ve since bought pipe cleaners.

I also had some fun making her an outfit, because, as you could see, she had nothing on.

So out came some of my cotton Lycra, and a pattern from Madame Alexander 14″ Girl Victorian Doll Patterns:

ma doll patternsAlthough this outfit is good, I think the next one I’ll try will be an actual Preemie outfit.

I ordered a Cabbage Patch Kids Preemie pattern book a while back now, and when I ordered it, a second book was included – CPK Designer Clothes. Some of the patterns had been cut out in that second book, so it was included for free. I thought that was really nice. Here’s the pattern book I ordered:

cabbage patch patterns

Here’s the pattern book I received for free with my order:

book I have

I’m sure I’ll be able to find some patterns in there and adapt them for my Preemie.

Here’s my Preemie in her new slip and pantaloons. She’s looking so much better, and much more like a member of our family.

Whole outfit

I’m glad she’s not looking neglected anymore. She’s even come out of my closet and has a place on my bookshelf.

Here’s the slip. The pattern for the slip can be shortened to make a camisole, which was really cute too.

Sliip

Here are the pantaloons.

pantaloons

Now for some bigger sewing projects.

Happy creating!

Pedal to the Metal?

I wanted to share another tip with you from my time at the sewing machine store.

How quickly do you sew? We’re not talking can you whip up a bra in an afternoon, or a purse in a day. No. This is about the speed at which you set your machine to sew. Do you see that lever?Machine front

Most machines now have a speed lever, or some way to control and choose how quickly your machine will sew. Mine has a tortoise and hare to help know which is slow and which is fast.

close up

Did you know our sewing machines have been designed to work their best when going mid-speed? That’s when they make the best stitches for us.

I prefer to sew right about that mid-speed setting. However, I’ve always wound my bobbin on high-speed, or when doing a three-step Zigzag. I found out that’s a no-no. Our bobbins will wind better at a mid-range speed, and all our stitches will be formed better at that mid-speed.

Happy creating!

Too Good Not to Share

I just finished watching Beverly Johnson’s newest class Sewing Panties Construction & Fit. I loved it. I watched half the evening I bought it, and the other half the next morning. I can’t wait to try it out now.

In the meantime, Craftsy was so good as to send me a fabulous deal for the class – $14.99. That’s too good not to share. Just click on the photo to get the deal.

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Happy creating!

Organizing My Patterns

Have you heard of ClubBMV? It’s a great club where you buy a yearly membership, and then you can buy patterns from Butterick, McCall’s, Vogue and Kwik Sew – usually at a discount.

ClubBMV-logo

Just last weekend I received an email saying they were having an all-brand sale. Well, of course I had to go look.

There were a few patterns in my wish list I was considering. But as I was looking, I started to wonder which patterns I had already that were similar. I may have known I didn’t have that exact pattern, but did I really want to have two similar patterns. (I’m sure all pattern makers are dreading that thought process!)

It was time to organize my patterns in a way I could simply look and see what I had. My physical patterns are all arranged numerically, and by designer, but that didn’t answer my question quickly. I didn’t want to go through a stack of patterns to see what else I had.

I started with a simple list in Word.

Word list (2)

This is part of my list of Vogue patterns. I did keep this list as it will be easily referenced and updated.

Next, I took this list and opened it in a new Word document. Now it was time to make it more of a quick visual reference.

Sizing for images (2)

I looked up each pattern, copied the artwork for it so I could see it right away, and sized each photo around 3.5 cm. It did take a little time, but it is so worth-while!

patterns with number on page (2)

Here’s a sample of my pages. These are a sampling of my Butterick patterns. I can see quickly what each pattern I have looks like. I love it!

I have a sewing binder full of ideas, and this will now go at the very front of my binder.

Next, I plan to attack organize my PDF patterns…

One last note, Craftsy is having another sale. Any one class for $19.99 USD, and Lisa Lam’s new bag-making class for $14.99 USD. Click on the photos to get these sale prices. Lisa’s class is only on sale today. The Craftsy sale is until tomorrow night at midnight.

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Happy creating!

Ivory and Lavender

I just finished reading Mrs. Weaver’s latest blog post. Oh my! That’s about sums it up.

two bras

Honestly, I thought Lavender and Lace was such a lovely bra. This new color combination and the lace simply push it over the top.

Mrs. Weaver has a new website coming and this kit can be ordered on there. Just look how pretty this is:

kit

Oh, that is so pretty! I want. It’s really simple.

Happy creating!

The Perfect T-Shirt Take Two

I love my Perfect T-shirt.

on bench

The concept behind The Perfect T-Shirt is to make a working muslin and make any adjustments you need to that tee and the pattern at the same time. That’s a really great idea.

I did do that, but there were still a couple of changes I wanted to make before I had my absolutely perfect tee.

The neckline on my first tee fits me the same as any other RTW tee – it gapes a bit. Sizing down would be too small, so it was time to figure out what adjustment needed to be made.

I pulled out a favorite resource.

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The recommendation in this book for a gaping neckline is to adjust the shoulders. Perfect. You can download a sample from the book here.

It was time for my wonderful knit sloper to come out again and compare it to the pattern.* (see the note at the bottom of the post)

shoulder

Do you see how the shoulders aren’t the same? My sloper (on top of the pattern) really shows my shoulders are shorter at the neckline edge than the pattern’s. That difference on the front and back on each side adds up to 1″ more than I need around the neckline.

I also adjusted the hip area on the pattern. I had graded up to a Medium in the hips on my first tee and it gave it a bit of a peplum look. As well, the hips were a bit loose, but a Small wouldn’t give me enough room in the Hips. I was right in-between the two sizes, so I re-drew my cutting line right in-between those two size lines.

Sewing up my Perfect T-shirt was fine. I did do one thing differently than what is recommended in the pattern instructions. One thing they do recommend is to sew the sleeves in before sewing the sides up. I really like that flat constructions style of sewing garments. It makes it easier. Along that same way of thinking, I used knit interfacing on the shirt hem and the sleeve hem and added those to the garment while the pieces were flat too. The instructions say to do that after the garment is all sewn. I did that the first time and let me tell you, this is a lot easier. It might be different if I were using the same products Pamela recommends though.

interfaced hem

The only other little bump on the road to sewing this was I adjusted both shoulders to make the neckline fit better and forgot to adjust the neckline binding. So I had it all cut out and was pinning it, and couldn’t figure out why there was more. I went and checked the pattern again.Still didn’t clue in. Remember that inch I mentioned before? That was exactly how much extra I had. I rolled my eyes when I realized what I had done. It was a small bump. I adjusted the binding and wrote it in my pattern for next time.

note

I wasn’t the only one to write a note on my instructions. I went away for a weekend a while ago and I guess DS1 was bored. I have these little ‘hi’ notes all over. I smile when I find a new one. I just found this one this week.

Here’s my new Perfect T-shirt.

front

I also lengthened the sleeves a bit too. On my next one I plan to play with the sleeves some more.

Side

tee back

I’m loving these cotton/Lycra knits my local fabric store is carrying.

collor

Here’s a close up of the only part of my Perfect tee that really needed changing.

We’ll all have to wait until I have a photographer to see it on me.

* Note:  Suzy Furrer has a wonderful new class on Designing Your Wardrobe Drafting Tops. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this class. With this class and my slopers, I’ll finally be able to make my own tops. I’ve loved using my slopers to see how patterns will fit, but designing my own patterns will take things to the next level. Thank you Suzy and Craftsy! It’s on sale for 50% off right now. Just click on the link.

Happy creating!

Sleep Masks

I love to wear a sleep mask at night. I don’t want to see the light from the phone, or the alarm clock, or the smoke detector.

We were on holidays when I first realized how great a sleep mask was. The smoke detector was right over the bed and shining its evil green light in my eyes all night long. I went shopping the next day.

The one I’ve been wearing, well, it was old and falling apart. It was long past time for a new one. I looked around the web and found this pattern.

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This pattern (and the image) are both from PetitBebeCreatioNZ on Craftsy. The photo has a link in it, so you can just click on that and it will take you right to the pattern.

It’s a great pattern with wonderful instructions.

new vs old

What’s left of my old purchased one is shown at the top of the photo. It was literally falling apart – that’s just the inner piece. There was also the back and front that fell off it. Below it is the sleep mask I made using the free pattern. These are pretty much the same size.

However, it’s summer here and the sun is up early and down late. I don’t want any light at all. It was time to supersize my sleep mask. I found another free pattern on So Sew Easy. I found the instructions so thorough from the first pattern that I used them again and didn’t even glance at the other instructions, just the pattern.

Here you can see the new oversized one compared to the old fallen apart one. It’s definitely bigger.

Old vs Newest

Yes! Now we’re talking block out all the light.

For comparison’s sake, here are both of my new ones.

Newest vs new

That is seriously oversized! But I’m happy with it.

Another definite bonus of making my own sleep mask is I can measure how much elastic I need to fit me. The store-bought mask had Velcro to fasten it – and that Velcro caught in my hair all the time until I replaced it. This is good right from the start.

Happy creating!

Craftsy Sale!

Who doesn’t love a sale? I know I do! So I thought I’d share this one with you. Craftsy is having a sale.

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I know I’m going to pick up a class. I’ll let you know what I get.

Happy Creating!

Free Bralette Pattern

I thought I’d share this with everyone right away. So Sew Easy has a free bralette pattern.

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Isn’t that lovely? Just click on the photo and it will take you right to Craftsy to download it for free.

Happy creating!

Baubles & Backgrounds

Do you see my new blog format? I’ve been doing a little work on it in the past week. I’ll share more on that later in the post.

This week I was playing with beads again. It was time for a new Medical ID bracelet for me, and for a friend.

oldMy friend had purchased this bracelet, but as you can see, after wearing it for well over a year, she needed a new one. The coating on the Swarovski pearls had worn off. Now, she wears her bracelet all the time – in the shower, swimming – she doesn’t take it off.

I’ve used Swarovski crystals and pearls in the past and they haven’t done this, but I haven’t put them through all that hard wearing either. I take my bracelet off daily.

The new bracelet I made her is in the above photo as well, but here’s a better photo:

new over oldThe new bracelet is over the old one. It looks much better. Classic design and lines. It’s lovely. I just might need one too.

While I had all my jewelry-making supplies out, I decided to make myself a bracelet. I love turquoise in the summer but didn’t have a Medical ID bracelet in turquoise. I do now.

bracelet

The center three stone beads aren’t turquoise, but are the same stones I’d used in some earrings – dyed Imperial Jasper. The bracelet also has some lovely Sterling silver spacer and feature beads. I’ve been happily wearing it all week. My earrings, below, show you my matchy matchy. I made these last year.

blue earrings

Other than playing with beads, I mentioned I’ve been playing with my blog format. Do you like it? I love it too. It looks so clean and crisp.

Sadly it took more time than I would have liked. I’m not the most technical person, but I’m learning! Just to give you an example I took a full day to redirect the traffic from my old blog site to my new one. After spending time researching, trying something, it not working, more research and more tries… well, I found out I couldn’t do it myself. WordPress had to do that. It was so easy after I pushed a button and paid them a very small and very worthwhile fee! Done.

After redirecting, I spent some time taking photos for my background. I’d found a lovely lace background that I would have had to pay a terrible price to use – way more than real lace cost! Hmm, time to get some lace out.

Here are a few of my attempts before I found just what I wanted:

sparkle ivory over gold

This is a lovely lace, but I wanted more in my background than just lace. The lace background was my original inspiration, but now I wanted more of me in it.

horizontal black white and gold over goldThis is my kind of lace. This is so beautiful, but I found the black a bit distracting as a background when I was trying to read the text. As much as I loved it, I thought a little less just might be better for a background.

photocopyThis one was a lot closer to what I wanted and what I felt represented me. But It wasn’t quite perfect for me yet. For my final background, you can see I kept my pearls and added my thimble. Perfect!

Happy creating!