Sewing Vloggers

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Cobalt Bling bag continues.....

I had to figure out a way to do a decent zipper installation on Vogue 8823. I was not going to put a zipper across the top of a a totally completed and lined bag, after the fact. There had to be a better way. I thought about this for the past three days and there were quite a few options considered. This is the winner. The goal here was to install the zipper more easily and at an earlier point in the construction. I think I've got it. Because I am going against pattern directions, I want to document every step for you.

The first change made in the pattern:

The pattern has you turn under the edges of the Bottom piece, shown above. The scalloped edges will then be stitched to the middle painted section. Taking from my heirloom sewing experience I decided to do a "mock" Madeira Hem. I say "mock" because this is not heirloom sewing but the concept is similar to  Madeira Hems the way Martha Pullen teaches. What you do. instead of painstakingly  basting and turning under scalloped edges and hoping for a smooth look, is make a "lining". Cut a second piece of fabric exactly like the bottom band piece. Right sides together, stitch the edges in a half inch seam. Clip inner points and grade and notch the edges. You can see here on the second edge I used my pinkers which did a great job.   Now turn this right side out and go to the ironing board.

Iron the scalloped edges doing a tiny "favor" to the wrong side, like you would on a neckline. You can see here what a much cleaner finish the edge has as opposed to turning and basting. It's easier and quicker too! Now this has to be attached to the middle painted section.

Next is to mark the half inch seam allowance on the middle section of the bag. It also has the scalloped shape.

Now Wonder Tape, a double stick adhesive tape,  is placed in the seam allowance. The paper is pulled off and the bottom leather section can now be placed on the marked line. Press it down with your fingers and head to the machine. No pins! They are not a friend to faux leather.

All placed and ready for topstitching! I put on the edge stitching foot and did a line 6 clicks in from the edge, about an eighth of an inch. Then I lined the blade of the edge stitching foot on top of the just done stitching and stitched again. Here are the results:

Doin' the Happy Dance!

Next this  lower section will be interfaced with fusible fleece. Because ironing can be unpredictable with faux leathers, I am trying to do as little as possible. The fusible fleece will be attached to a piece of muslin that will be an "interlining" to the bag. The same will happen on the top section. Fingers crossed. There is more finagling to do. ....Bunny

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Vogue 8823, the Cobalt Bling bag

 The above pic was taken at 5:30 this morning. I couldn't sleep, grabbed my coffee and started painting, still in my jammies! I couldn't wait to get moving on this project and it did make for a quiet morning meditation. I am making Vogue 8823, a Marcy Tilton bag design. I will be doing View G. Some of the views are incredibly huge but this view really is a simple tote, or at least it was before I got my hands on it. The bottom band will be a faux leather as will the strap and tabs. All sorts of other options  were auditioned. but my artist friend, without knowing my decision , picked the faux leather as well. The rest of the bag will be made from heavy bull denim in an off white. I've painted/stenciled the center panel and the top panel will be just the plain  off white denim. The line drawing  for view G helps explain this a little better.
I won't be following the directions. They have you put in the zipper once the bag is constructed, sides and all. The pattern tells you to do one side at a time, once thee bag is all constructed. I don't know. You would be working on the whole bag under the presser foot while putting in the zipper, very very bulky work and looking very prone to error. The other issue with this design is that the lining is laid on the flat bag before sewing up the sides and zipper. Then you are instructed to sew the sides and corners on the serger, not quite like the lining I envision for this. So I will be making a separately hanging lining that will simply drop in. I'll hand stitch it in around the top if necessary but I am hoping some simple top stitching may do the trick. Fingers crossed here.

Here are my supplies for the artwork and fabrics.

At this point the painting is all done. It was not complicated. I've stencilled a lot of fabric back in the day but this was not quite such an artistic endeavor. All I wanted was to have a design in a saturated cobalt blue and I've achieved that with these paints. They are Americana acrylic paints in "ultramarine blue". The stenciling style I usually use is much more painterly. I like to softly blend and shade various colors with layering. It's a very pretty soft effect but I wasn't going for that look here.This time I wanted bold, saturated color and it was simply a matter of painting on the one color in all the cut out spaces. The firmness of the stencil brush makes sure you get paint into all the nooks and crannies. the stencil has frog tape on it so it stays in place while painting. It really was quite easy.

I will let these two pieces dry 24 hours, overnight, and tomorrow will treat them to be permanent. The way I do that is to make a mix of half water and half white vinegar. I soak a cotton press cloth in the vinegar mixture and wring it out. I then Put a towel down on the ironing board, one that I won't mind ruining. On top of the towel will go the two stencilled pieces. Then the vinegar soaked cloth is placed on top. The iron is set to cotton, no steam and pressed until the vinegar cloth is bone dry. Soak the cloth again in the vinegar mixture and iron dry over and over until all sections of the pieces have been treated. I haven't done this with heavily painted saturated color like this so fingers crossed. The technique has worked well on more traditional stenciling I have done. We shall see!
Today is the first warm weather here since last fall. My husband and I worked outside today and it was wonderful. I lasted until my side started to really complain about my gardening activity. I definitely quit at that sign and went back to the sewing cave for the rest of the afternoon. I'll see if I can get a little more gardening and sewing done tomorrow. It is just a sin to stay inside on such a glorious day. Tomorrow I also have to do a "field trip" to take some photos for the digital photography class I am taking. We have homework each week! He's a great teacher and I am learning a lot. I can't wait till we get into analyzing our photos with him and he knows I want to concentrate on macro shots, the better to show details here on the blog. 
You know that skirt I wrote about last week? I do love it. The last time I wore it the waist was huge. What the heck happened? It didn't stretch out as it was all taped to prevent that and well interfaced. I have to take two whole  inches out of the waist now. Luckily I put a seam in the back waistband so it should be pretty easy. But what happened? Well, my BFF figured it out. She said my stomach was swollen from the kitchen island attack and now the swelling is down. Duh,,,,,,,, I guess that's a good sign!............Bunny

Saturday, April 16, 2016

And the Winner is-----------------------------------------

Natalie F.  !!!!!!!

Congratulations, Natalie! Please email me at bukuresep at gmail dot com with your mail info and I will send it out Monday morning. Thanks to you and all the others who responded and thanks for following which for many is quite a few years. Luv you all!......Bunny

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Words

 ...."As I often get my inspiration from RTW I do find it difficult to find styles I like. It seems that when a certain age is reached you must wear voluminous linen tops with irregular hemlines......Anthea"  commenting on Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. Carolyn, of that blog, had a very interesting post on sewing into retirement and after, which you can read  here..............Are you fashion conscious but finding it hard to find fashions/patterns/styles that are age appropriate?  Does being age appropriate even matter? How do you translate the current trends to wearable garments that fit your lifestyle and and what even is "age appropriate"?  Inquiring minds want to know!....Bunny

Wednesday's Words are quotes, pictures and links gleaned from the internet that at times can be provocative, opinionated or even funny. They are not necessarily my personal views but do pertain to being creative, sewing, fashion and more.,,Bunny  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Simplicity 1166

What Simplicity calls a "1950s Vintage" skirt is complete. I am pleased with the results and should get a lot of use out of this for work. I love wearing skirts. I like short skirts, too, and just above the knee is probably my best length. Where I work there is an open staircase that the public  is constantly near or under. It is not a place for shorter skirts, but  since I love skirts I just make them longer if they are planned to be for work wear. And this one's long! Its an inch longer than the last denim skirt as that seems to be a bit more flattering.

Forgive me for not modeling. I plan to make the white blouse on this vintage reproduction pattern and when that is complete I will model the entire outfit. In the meantime here are details to share.


This is made from Kaufman's Essex linen blend which I usually get from, amazon prime and all. It is a yarn dyed fabric made of linen and cotton threads. It appears the white threads are the cotton. In the last post I gave info on matching threads to yarn dyed fabrics. Above you can see how the gray thread is pretty unobtrusive in the topstitching. That is something you want here because of the stitching irregularity that can happen when you use one of the matching thread colors. I'm pleased with the gray and it was perfect for the buttonholes.


This is Simplicity 1166. The pattern is self described as "1950s Vintage" and consists of this skirt, a half circle  with pleats and a shaped waistband that is higher in front. There is also an interesting shirt and a bra top in the pattern as well.

Things I did differently from the pattern: My seams  were all Hong Kong finished. The waistband was attached and the facing had a serged finish. It was then stitched in the ditch from the public side to secure. The pattern has you turn under the facing and ditch stitch from the front. By serging and leaving it "out" bulk is reduced, important at a waistline!  The hem is also serged and topstitched on the very edge of the hem as well as an inch and a half in.  I cut out but forgot to put in the pockets, shame on me! A snap is specified to go at the waistband seamline under the overlap. I used a pants hook instead, It's shining in the second pic below.  It's really needed as the waist is snug and there is a lot of weight in the skirt trying to pull it down. The hook keeps it all in line.

Issues with the pattern? The pleats. The pattern has lines marked on the front skirt piece to match and  make pleats. I had one leftover. There was also one pleat marking on the skirt back. Perhaps brighter souls won't have any issue but the pattern is not clear at all, IMO, on how the leftover pleats go together. Finally I figured out that they met at the side seam line. I basted them in and put the skirt on the dress form. That did not work. It made the side seams stick out and didn't fall smoothly at all. I wasn't doing that! So, I manipulated this and that and after a lot of fiddling I pleated the leftover front line to the side seam. That lay fairly smooth. The remaining ease for the back pleat was moved to the center back seam where I did a small inverted box pleat which when I tried it on seemed more flattering anyway. But it took a bit of aggravation to get to that point. You can see how above the seam ends up inside the pleat and folded. At least now it lays smoothly.

If I made this again and I might, I would just go straight to manipulating the pleats like I did in this one. Much of the skirt is on the bias and the skirt hung for a week before hemming. 

The other issue I had was the overlap of the waistband and center front. It seemed pretty meager and was just not enough in my opinion. So when I moved around the pleats I made the overlap bigger as well. I'm glad I did.  Something this pattern does, like jeans do, is that when you have pockets or pleats close to CF and there is that overlapping the pleats can look lopsided like you seen in the technical drawing. I know there is nothing you can do but it bugs me. 


This is a classic skirt design and one that I love. In the summer it will be cool and flow-y. It will work great for my work and I really look forward to making a white shirt from the same pattern to wear with it. I wouldn't say "highly recommend" because the pleat issues could confuse the less experienced or the less patient as they did me. But if you are willing to work through I think you will have a good basic skirt to add to your wardrobe. 

I am not going to start the white shirt immediately. I have the fabric but need to order interfacing and will tonight. In the meantime I want to make a spring/summer bag. I love the big tapestry bag I recently made but the warm weather is coming and making a new bag will be a nice change of pace before settling in with the shirt.  Today I played with some samples for the bag. I am not decided on how this will work out yet but here is one of my samples and I think it will work well for summer.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Cross dyed and yarn dyed fabrics

My latest project, just needing it's hem, is made from the Kaufman fabric below, their "yarn dyed linen blend" that you see here in blue. Mine is black. These fabrics can present a bit of a challenge which I will show in a moment but first a little education. 

There are cross dyed fabrics and yarn dyed fabrics.  From we have the following definition of cross dyed fabrics: " A method of coloring fabrics made from more than one kind of fiber, for example, a wool and cotton blend. Each fiber in a fabric designed for cross-dyeing takes a specific dye in a different color or in variations of a color. A fabric that is cross dyed is more than one color. Cross dyeing is often used to create heather effects (soft, misty coloring), but strongly patterned fabrics can also be achieved, depending on the fibers used in the fabrics."  In other words each fiber takes the dye differently and the fabric blend is dyed after it has been woven. Per the manufacturer, the  green below is cross dyed and "heathery" looking.  

Per and other sources, "When a fabric is yarn dyed, the color is placed in the yarn or threads before weaving."  The linen blend below is yarn dyed with blue threads and white threads. 

photo courtesy

I really like these yarn dyed linen/cotton blends and have used them before several times. They have a soft heathery look and don't wrinkle like 100% linen. They are great for casual wear. They can also be a quite casual look as you see in the red plaid above. Think gingham and you have yarn dyed fabric.  Now for the challenges!

This all over heather effect in the fabric I am using for my skirt is simply the white threads going top to bottom which is called the  "warp". The black threads going left to right are the "weft".  If you look at the picture below you can see the threads and how they differ on the raveling edges, black on the sides, white top and bottom.

What I have learned from sewing this fabric several times is that you can get surprising results with your topstitching.  In the pic above black thread is used in the right hand side stitches. White thread, which doesn't look it, used in the middle stitches. The white zigzag came out totally gray. This fabric even affects the color of your thread! I stitched several samples and every time the snow white thread look gray on it in zigzag form. The sample shows how the stitches can look irregular and just not good. Those little slubs and nubs of the opposing colors really make an impact.  But if you can figure out the natural compromise between the two colors, like the grey used on the left hand stitches, the stitching will look much better. There is something about using the actual fabric color, here, black or white thread, that has  the opposite fiber peeking out to make things look irregular. By using a "compromise thread", the gray, the  colors blend and make the stitching look smoother. For the record, the far left gray line of stitching is a triple straight stitch, one I like a lot for topstitching. Next, to the right, is a regular straight stitch, and to the right of that is a satin stitch done to the same width and length as the black and white. And let's face it, this is brutally close up. There's not a lot of topstitching in my skirt but there are plenty of buttonholes. After making sample BHs it was clear the gray thread was a better choice.  Also, my machine makes beautiful topstitching on every other fabric. It's just some sort of illusory magic that is happening with this yarn dyed fabric. The lesson here is try to figure out what the  best "compromise" thread would be when stitching these fabrics.

And no discussion of yarn dyed or cross dyed fabrics would be complete without some pictures of iridescent silk dupionies. These are just so luscious. Using strongly contrasting warp and weft colors in a fabric that has a brilliant luster by its very nature makes for one of my favorite fabrics.  This is one of those seductive fabrics I just like to look at and don't even have to use to enjoy. Here are some pics courtesy of Silk Baron. 

Gold and fuchsia threads:

violet and red:

Tangerine and violet:

While I haven't used the iridescent dupionis in a garment I would think a bit of extra care and some samples would definitely be the smart way to get the best stitching needed.   Audition  your thread options instead of just taking a matching color and stitching away. You'll be glad you did!
Remember to sign up for the give away! Here's the page !  GIVEAWAY

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday Word = GIVEAWAY!

Feliz dress from and the book "Swing clothes kids love" 

Over the past year or so I have gotten into Facebook sewing groups. There are so many variations on that theme, too. Some are couture, like Claire Shaeffer and Claire Kennedy's pages. Some are heirloom sewing groups. Some are the PDF crowd. Some are pattern companies.  One is geared to professional dress makers and designers and some even divide up on regional grounds. There are young moms trying to make some extra cash "designing" patterns and selling PDFs. There are newbie sewists craving quality information and so appreciative when finding it. There are even professional pattern makers and designers, the ones with the credentials to be selected to work in the garment industry.  It has been very eye opening and I have met some really amazing people that I didn't find circulating the blogosphere. I've learned A LOT from these sewists. Their experience is across the spectrum but they all add value to the sewing  conversation.  There are definitely hundreds of these groups and probably even thousands. 

Some of what I have learned following sewing groups on FB:

* You can get tuned in to museum shows and runway designs. Certain pages have major access to behind the scenes and it's fun to visit. 

* You definitely get notice of every new pattern, PDF or paper, to  hit the market. There are so many it can be overwhelming at times. 

* Many groups are "closed" and you have to be "let in", aka, "approved" before becoming a member/friend.  One of my favorite groups,  a really productive one with lots of serious convo ,does not allow any "designers" in the group. If you are selling patterns you can't get in. And in case you are wondering it has a very positive vibe and lots of open discussion. 

*New sewists are craving a place to talk about their sewing and patterns without the intrusion of fangirls or the attitude that can sometimes be associated with Pattern Review. Closed FB groups provide that. 

*Most new sewists really want to learn how to get to the next level, zippers, plackets, etc but have very little time to invest with small children in the landscape. I admire their tenacity and still getting out cute garments. I did no machine sewing at all when mine were little. 

* Lots of self taught new sewists have lots of respect for those who have been sewing longer and really appreciate knowledge shared. 

*Younger sewists will frequent blogs but then leave messages on the blog owner's FB page, not the blog. So next time someone says "she hardly gets any comments, how is she so well known?" ---she's getting the feedback and following  on FB. 

* FB is frequented a lot more by new sewists than Bloglovin' or Blogger and many of the sewing forums out there. 

*PDF Designer pages are extremely proprietary. Disloyalty, shown by  critique and legitimate questions is not well tolerated.

* Some pages are just put up to post your garment and wait for the attagirls, not much substance there, but often inspiration from a quick scroll  through. I enjoy these as well and can always count on a quick pik me up with these types of pages. 

*Following sewing pages on FB is definitely worth while. I suggest a variety of pages for the most substantive participation. 

Now that I have gotten that all out there, whew, these are my own personal observations and others may have their own. All in all I think the sewing pages on FB are a lot of fun, and good for a quick sewing buzz. Some impart a lot of knowledge and provide a real service. Others truly inspire and some are just good quick fun. I know you all follow blogs and Instagram, but do you follow FB sewing groups and what are your experiences?

To show my appreciation to all my blog followers and FB sewing friends, I have an awesome book, "Sewing Clothes Kids Love"  to give away. It is in never used perfect condition.  All of the patterns are included and have never come out of their envelope, so factory folded perfect. The designers are European, Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum and therefore seam allowances need to be added. The Feliz pattern was very popular among my heirloom sewing friends.   If you would like to be in the running for this book just leave your name and sentence or two in the comments below. I will take names until   April 15th and sorry, continental US, only. Now I just have to get going on Instagram! ............Bunny

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Words

The story of technology is in fact the story of textiles. From the most ancient times to the present, so too is the story of economic development and global trade. The origins of chemistry lie in the colouring and finishing of cloth. The textile business funded the Italian Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; it left us double-entry bookkeeping and letters of credit, Michelangelo’s David and the Taj Mahal. As much as spices or gold, the quest for fabrics and dyestuffs drew sailors across strange seas. In ways both subtle and obvious, textiles made our world."..........from essay written by Virginia Postrel and found here.  , a very interesting read. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Simplicity 1166, my next skirt

This is my next skirt project. I had a skirt like this at one time and wore it till the seams unravelled, rayon that it was! I love the vertical line of the buttons and this silhouette usually works for me. The back of the skirt is a full a-line so attention to fit is a bit more important than on the last skirt.  Lots of bias drape here. 

The fabric is this cross dyed linen made by Kaufman. It has a black and white thread, nice skirt weight and a lovely drape for the bias.  I've used this fabric before and really liked the final result. 

Unable to find anything with appropriate crispness to make the blouse in the pattern, I asked sewing friends about finding shirting. Mrs. Mole hit the jackpot, suggesting I try Farmhouse Fabrics. Now I know about Farmhouse Fabrics and their wonderful stock geared to the heirloom sewing crowd. I've bought from them before. It never occurred to me to check them out for shirting. Well, they have wonderful shirting and great prices as well. I purchased a white Italian cotton shirting and it is on its way. So the plan is to make the blouse in the above pattern when that arrives. Also on tap is a new spring bag. I'm thinking a basic tote but with some really fun color. 

I hope to get on this as soon as I feel up to it. Happy sewing, everyone!...........Bunny

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Words

"When I was employed by a major pattern company years ago, I learned a very important piece of information that I never forgot.  Pattern companies don't sell patterns; they sell dreams.  75% of patterns purchased never even get opened by the person who purchased them.  Look in your own storage, and tell me I'm not wrong on this... right?" Mimi of Shop the Garment District

Thanks for all the well wishes, prayers, cares and concerns. I am gradually getting ahead of the pain and should be well enough to go back to work Monday. It's been pretty discomforting but I'm managing. The short simple story is that I , who have always had very bad peripheral vision, misjudged and hit the kitchen island with the full force of my body while making an animated conversational point. Yes, I was attacked by a kitchen island and lived to talk about it. You had to be there! It sounds so silly and implausible but wasn't at the time. No dancing on the island or crazy drunkenness, just a bunch of friends laughing and having a good time and good conversation. You just never know! Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers. Now back to sewing! Do you not open 75%  of the patterns you buy?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday Words


"My husband says he has just copyrighted a new word: fabrilanche. It is when a giant pile of fabric falls, endangering lives. He predicts this is how he will die and may be why one of our tiny dogs goes missing in the future."  .........Caroline Gaddy on FB


Sunday evening, while friends were visiting, I had what only could be called a freak accident while we were all hanging around our kitchen island. It's a bit too crazy to even describe. At this point I am out of work for two weeks, in major pain, and have seriously bruised  ribs, spleen (real bad) and lungs. Luckily nothing was punctured despite my having the wind knocked out. I am on "lay down" orders. That and sitting for a while on the edge of chair, nice and straight are about all I can handle right now. Blessedly, my hubby is taking great care of  things. So I don't see much sewing for a while although I sure wish I could take advantage of the time. To everything there is a blogging and sewing will be sparse  till I can move around a bit more comfortably. I should be able to visit you all  while I chair sit, however. 

I say all this because I didn't respond to the many lovely compliments, great binding suggestions and hair comments yesterday. They were read and all appreciated. Hope to be back at the machine and keyboard soon. Thanks for your loyal following. Don't you just love the Fabrilanche comment?...........Bunny

Monday, March 14, 2016

Simplicity 1484

I love skirts. But skirts mean legs and years of working on my feet during 12 hour shifts have taken their toll. But now there are awesome boots, leggings with flats and even Sally Hansen leg makeup, which I adore, by the way! So I am on a skirt tear. I've ordered some black cross dyed linen for a vintage look pattern but it won't be here until later this week. In the meantime, this stinkin' skirt bug has hit bad.

I pulled out all my bottomweights, opened them up and started measuring. I also pulled out all my skirt patterns. Could I find enough yardage to make the skirt I wanted, once I figured out what that was? It was like haggling at a yard sale, but eventually we had a meeting of the two participants. It would be Simplicity 1464  and the blue denim border  print you see above. I had just enough to make it in a longer length. I think it would be cute in the shorter length but it was the waist I was concerned about and I had thoughts that it could make this project one condemned to the back of the closet.

It's been a while since I've worn a full profile skirt with a waistband. This could be one of those reality moments that hit post meno. Fingers crossed, I proceeded.  That style was one of my favorite and most flattering in younger years as my waist to hip ratio worked well with that look. This pattern says the waistband sits one inch below the natural waist. I didn't want that. I was going to make this sit higher, closer to my natural waist. It needed to be fairly stiff so it wouldn't wrinkle with bending and would keep its crisp look. I would not do the band shown as the border print would add interest.


This fabric was purchased long ago, I think maybe from the now departed Fabric Fix in Manchester, NH. ( tears ). It is 100 cotton denim but very lightweight. It looks just like jean fabric but is the weight of a chambray, so nicer for the skirt.  It has little snowflakey motifs and a border. I like that I had to run the border on the length as I think it's probably a better look for my height. Where the little snowflakey motifs hit near a seam and in one case, the bottom of the lapped zipper, they looked more like unravelling denim. I took out a Tee Juice fabric marker and painted the motif that peeked out of the bottom of the zipper making it look like a poor installation. Worked like a charm!  Sewists need permanent markers nearby for these sorts of moments!  There is no lining, none really needed and the waistband is backed with a medium weight fusible cotton interfacing. It's working well to keep it all upright in the waist. I thought about doing boning but the interfacing has it under control. 


This is Simplicity 1464. It has pants, shorts and  long and short version of this skirt, having bands decorating the lower part of the skirts. There are three box pleats in the front, three of the same in the back and a side lapped zip. It is unlined.  I added 8 1/2 inches to the short version to get the length I wanted. I like that the skirt is curved at the hemline, therefore falling much better than a simple tube. The pattern has shape to the sides, no tube here!


This was really Sewing 101 and would make a great beginner pattern. I did things a bit differently to make sure the waist fit. I sewed the front waistband to the front skirt panel, then did the same for the back  pieces. The notches and seams  matched perfectly. There are only three pieces to this pattern, front and back being the same. This way I was then able to baste the two sides together to check fit. Good thing.....seems I imagined my waist to be much bigger and ended up taking out another inch on each sewn side seam, down from the size six. That was blended down into the hipline and also made the waistline raise, my goal. . This skirt has a really nice hipline curve. 

Seams were all serged before sewing started. They were then machine stitched and pressed open. The waistband facing was the last thing to happen and was serged at the bottom and then ditch stitched on the public side in the waist/skirt seamline. That made the waistband finished and the innards hidden. This has a lapped zipper that I ran to the very top edge, no snaps, tabs or buttons. I do that almost all the time as it gives a cleaner look. The 5/8ths inch hem was serged and topstitched, all very simple.

In conclusion:

This project gave me great pleasure. That is because it was very simple, great fabric, it fit in the end and most of  all went quickly. I don't espouse sewing fast nor do I belong  to the Make It Tonight, Wear it Tomorrow Club. But I really enjoyed starting cold turkey on something at 11.30 in the morning and having it nicely completed at 4:30, the same day.  I can't tell you the last time that has happened for me and I took my time, too. I think my lesson is: let the pattern and fabric talk. Choose a simple design, Don't race and just enjoy the process. And don't always feel you have to change it up, "make it better", embellish it further, or use a couture technique. This is real sewing that anyone can achieve. I like that. Highly recommend this one, a very enjoyable make. ...Bunny

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Grand Godet Top, Vogue 9169

This has been a very productive week! I have finished two projects, a top and a skirt. It was a toss up which one would go first but since I did the last post on the top, let's continue! I will start by saying I LOVE THIS TOP!  It is comfortable and if positive comments were worth money, well, I'd be buying you all lunch!


This is Vogue  9169, "Pullover top, has neckband, seam detail variations, and stitched hem" per the pattern description. I did View B with what it calls an "applied upper section".

This is a tricky pattern to alter, obviously.  I cut a size six morphing to ten at the hips. This was directly as a result of flat pattern measuring. That was tricky too but I thought I nailed it. I didn't.  I also did a minor "cheater" FBA, curving out the side seam at bust level. I still could use a tad more fabric on the bust and will do a more traditional FBA next go-round.  I DID NOT petite this pattern as it seemed to be just right when which you can see by no horizontal wrinkles between neck and bust.  Also, the apexes matched. The big fit issue were the hips. Yes, they would meet but I am not a fan of negative ease, just not me. So I added the godet as I showed you in the previous post. Frankly, I am starting to think of myself as the Godet Queen. Heaven only knows how many times you have seen me solve a fitting challenge with a godet. We've done hips, backs, sleeves, underarm to hem, you name it. Doesn't fit? Stick a godet in it! But don't call it a wadder and give up. Worse case, you donate it, but you will have also gained lots of sewing knowledge and experience in the interim. Out of the pulpit!

I also added one inch to the bicep area of the sleeves. I do this now automatically to all my patterns. I know most probably wouldn't alter the sleeves on a knit top, but again, I am not a fan of negative ease. Maybe I've just lurked too much on People of Walmart. The sleeves have been shortened to my preferred 7/8ths length.


The print is an ITY knit from It is thin but not too thin. The stripe fabric is from a maxi skirt purchased at our local thrift shop, St. Vincent de Paul's. I have several knit garments I've purchased recently just to have the fabric. There is a lot of fabric in those maxi skirts!

I backed the hems with Dritz quilt batting tape, a soft but stable tricot fusible tape. For the neckline I used regular fusible tricot interfacing, however. This is because the neck hole really is not that big on this pattern. It goes over my head, certainly not the biggest, just barely. And the ITY is definitely VERY stretchy in all directions. That neckhole really needs to be a bit bigger, or something, so fair warning there.


This was pretty straightforward for a knit top. Since I didn't have to do any petite adjustments or narrowing of the shoulders, I would recommend double checking your measurements in the upper bodice area. I am very narrow there and it fit just right in the size six, which usually requires some alteration for me.

All seams were stitched with a wobble stitch,  a very narrow zigzag of  1.0 length and .5 width. I did another row of stitching one eighth inch away and then trimmed back to the second stitching.

I was not happy with the neck binding.  I matched notches and seams  and the seam that closes the binding ended up in an odd spot. Watch out for that. I also have a question for all you knit experts out there as I certainly don't fit into that group. When you use a pattern piece for a neck binding on a knit pattern, do you cut it smaller? Or does the pattern take that into consideration. The binding was smaller but I felt it could be even more so to lie just a little flatter. I'd appreciate any input. So do you automatically cut back your binding a certain amount, even if it is from a pattern? Thanks for your answers.

I found matching the stripe section to the print section a bit confusing. There is supposed to be a line to match the two on the pattern but all my pieces had was a line for folding up the hem on the top bodice. So what I did was match the raw edge of the stripe with the raw edge of the folded under hem of the print. This put the stripe an inch and a quarter underneath the print. Then I topstitched. I found the topstitching directions/drawings a bit confusing, too. There is no topstitching line on the top bodice so you are on your own to figure out the best place to topstitch and how many rows. It would be hard to make that look really bad but it would be nice to know what the original designer intended.  In the pattern, the sleeves are installed in the round. If I did it again They would be done flat. I also think I would leave a shoulder seam open to insert the binding that way.

In Conclusion:

All in all, I am very happy with my top. It fits quite nicely even if not perfect and I can see myself making this again, It could be fun in a solid with maybe just a binding on the hem edge. There is a lot of opportunity for creativity here.

I have been in a skirt sort of mood lately and am anxiously awaiting some linen purchased on line. In the meantime, I took some denim I've had for some time  and just went with it. I tried a style of skirt that I really wasn't sure would work. I think it did and will have that coming up next. It has been a fruitful week!

And yes, I am letting my hair go gray, quelle horeur! Truth is I am painfully jealous of my sister's glorious white hair that she has had since she's thirty. If mine can be half as the meantime it's calico head with the silver up front, the natural dark at the back and sides and the faded brown growing out poorly  on top. I will be happy when it is all grown out. But will it be like Sis's with it's thick white coloring?  Only time will tell.....Bunny

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday thoughts..............

....................which should have been Wednesday's Words! Better late than never and I found this commentary, actually a book review, just last night, so here we go........

"........... The French post modernist philosopher, Baudrillard came up with the concept of hyper reality. This states that what is "real" becomes lost in the modern world behind a facade of marketing and style over substance. I would not have much of a problem with (fill in the blank)'s patterns if I felt there was substance in them. What she has done is taken the most basic sort of patterns, and dressed them up with pretty pictures, colours and a marketing facade that lets the consumer feel they are buying into a lifestyle. The patterns themselves are basic "......................thanks to Kaitlyn's Simply Vintage,


The Grand Godet top is completed and has been worn to work only to be greeted with claim (wink). I'll have pics up this weekend and will hopefully be onto the next fun project! Me thinks a skirt!....Bunny

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Another save! Vogue 9169, adding a godet

I am the first to admit that I have ample hips. But you can see an issue on my mannequin who is made to my exact measurements. The underlay sections does not meet the overlay section of this tee pattern, Vogue 9169.  I flat pattern measured and there was ease but I am thinking maybe I did something wrong in that process. I did match notches, etc. In the end, there is just not enough room for my booty. What's a sewist to do? I had some stripe fabric left. BTW  the stripe fabric was a maxi skirt from the thrift shop for 25 cents. Let me tell you, there is a lot of yardage in last summer's maxis and they abound at our local thrift, a great source for fabrics.

After a bit of thought, I figured adding a godet would be the solution. However, the underlay was complete with side seam sewn and the hems in and double topstitched. I was not taking that hem out of a thin knit, either. Here is what I did to add the godet to the the underlay. 

 I cut a section, an arbitrary 10 inches wide, on grain. The sides of the underlay are curved at the hip. I took my hip curve ruler and curved the bottom of the godet. This makes it lay, more or less, at the same level as the finished hem. I don't know any math equation to do this. I just curved it up about an inch higher at the sides than the center. The hem was lined with fusible tricot, slashed to accommodate the curve and pressed up the same width as the hem on the underlay. 

Next, the godet was folded in half, all edges  matching. I used the hip ruler to cut a curve mimicking the side seam of the underlay. The top of the godet would be at my natural waist. 

Right sides together, the godet is pinned to the side seam of the underlay. I simply cut off the original side seam of the underlay to eliminate the stitching. The hem is folded out and the folds of the two hems match. I then sewn from the fold of the hem, not the edge, and up to 5/8ths inch away from the top of the godet. You want the point of the  godet to be free so stop 5/8ths inch short, like you see below.

Once that is pressed  (It will be trimmed after),  it is time to match up the other side of the godet. Simply pin the whole length of the underlay. You will sew from the bottom hem fold, again open, to that same point where you ended on the first side, 5/8th inch short of the end of the godet. 

Then stop,cut your threads, flip that end point of the godet out of the way. Go back under the presser foot and start sewing again from that point to the end of the underlay. This will leave the point free. Check the front and see if any correction needs to be made to have a smooth transition at the point and a tightly sewn point. You can maybe see that my seams are a "wobble" seam, two rows,  stitched a quarter of an inch apart. This was then trimmed back to the second stitch. The "wobble" stitch, an Nancy Zieman term, is a very very narrow zigzag which provides the needed stretch. It works great. Why not used the serger? For one, it's not necessary as this fabric will never ravel. Plus it can show bulk when pressed. Just my choice but many sew all their knits with the serger. That's fine, not critique there. Plus, maneuvering that point could get a little tricky with the knife! 

The hem is now folded into place and the top stitching sewn, match that on the original underlay. Now I can connect it to the overlay section, whew! Now it fits! 


Winter just won't let its grip on us go. This icicles, curving into the house remind me of it's icy tentacles and the way we all feel after the nasty month of February. Please Spring, come!....bunny

Petited and De-Volumized Picasso Pants , #3

  Pardon the weird shadows. I have just finished my third pair of Picasso pants. Yes, I do love them that much. I did a lot of messing aroun...