Thursday, December 30, 2010

The last project of the year, Simplicity 2734

I made these two sets for my nephew and the little rascal outgrew one of them already! I'm glad I made the one with the animal print bigger and he was wearing it today.

These are basic pjs, I liked that the sizing started at 1/2 year which is what I used for the set that fits(I had shortened the blue set). The pattern asks for knits for the top but I used flannel for both pieces, the neck opening is wide enough that the stretch is not needed. I used packaged bias binding for the neckline.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I should have made the 40

Burda Style August knit pants

I always make a 40 in Burda magazine pants, always; it fits perfectly on the hips and I have to play a bit with the waist measurement. However for this pattern since it was for a knit pant and I wanted to avoid the sausage look at all costs, I made the 42. It is too big, so I have to fix it because I LOVE this pants! And the Sophia knit from Fabric. com is fabulous! I wore this pants all day today and no bagging at the knees! The only bagging is due to the fact that the pants are big on me, but I can fix that and I will. I plan to buy more of this knit in a tan/khaki color or brown and make myself another pair.

Above and below you can see the detail of the zipper on the legs.

Here, while you can see that they are loose on me, I was hoping you could see that they have a nice shape and a very flattering flat finish over the belly.

Did I also tell you that they are extremely comfortable? I also like how the seam below the knees looks (of course it is impossible to see it in my pictures)

After I take them in I will post more pictures without the boots for a better look.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Santa brought

Now to learn how to use it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Trees of Christmas' Past

Among the many things we received from family and friends when we first came to the US was this silver tree with blue ornaments. In there you can also see some paper ornaments my brother and I made. While we didn't think it was the greatest tree in the world, it was the tree we had. Of course these days these trees are all the rage, and this particular tree has been gone a long time (the date is 1977).

I couldn't resist also sharing this picture of my mom and I strolling down the street where we used to live looking very 70s

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate and a wonderful holiday season for everyone.

Feliz Navidad para todos!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reindeer in Sheep's Clothing

I got a call a couple of days ago from my brother, my nephew needs a lamb outfit for the Christmas pageant, so I innocently asked, when do you need this? of course, the answer is Christmas eve. So I promised a hood and he said they could manage the rest. Okay then...I thought the biggest challenge would be finding the fabric and oh yes, I knew I had a Winnie the Pooh pattern I could modify but where was it? After all my kids are now 12 and 16, it has been a while since I used it.

My neighbor, who sews, calls me to chat while I'm searching my boxes looking for the pattern (it was not with the other patterns). She says she thinks she has a pattern that I can use and she starts looking while we talk. She finds it first so we agree I will pick it up on my way to work so that later on that day I can go looking for fabric. I used the pattern for the mouse hood and changed the shape of the ears to better look like a lamb.

I walked into Joann's and walked straight to the furry stuff and what do you know but there was the perfect fabric!

So that is my story and I'm satisfied I fulfilled my aunt/godmother duties pretty well. Of course my children think their cousin's dignity is in peril =)

image from

The title of this post was inspired by one of mine, and my kids, favorite books ever,Sheep in Wolves' Clothing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Knitted gifts

I finished these two hats and delivered them today. The blue is made from a pattern used when I took a class at the Cloverhill Yarn Shop to learn about cables and Fair Isle knitting. I have used it many times since it keeps you entertained with different techniques and makes a pretty cute hat for a baby/toddler. The red and white is The Acorn Hat. I would love to make it with acorn colors but I made it for a girl and I thought it would look better in bright colors. The hats were made with left over worsted and DK weight yarn.

Here is me ready to go out and face below freezing temperatures yesterday. The hat was a gift from my husband a few years ago; it was tricky keeping it on, the wind was wicked strong!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I wore and I have some re-sewing to do

Burda 11-2009 120 (skirt), vest also made by me

Sometimes you need to wear a garment before you can see its faults. The skirt looked pretty good in the hanger but I discovered some surprises after wearing it today.

First what I did right. The double pleat hangs beautifully, I followed Sandra Betzina's advise and I stitched the edges of the pleat on the inside.

If you click on the picture you will see the edgestitching.

I finished the hem with rayon seam binding and I made "the thingy" (don't you love my technical language?) or pseudo crochet cord to keep the lining from rising.

What I did wrong. I'm not sure, this is what I think. The pockets would have benefitted from interfacing which was not recommended, but my wool was very drapey and I should have done it; I believe that is why the pockets are sagging. I will unstitch them and attach then while the skirt is hanging for a better placement. I think I did not transition from waist to hip smoothly on the side I'm showing on the picture so this adds to the wonkiness. I will go back and smooth it out.

I really like this design so I will try to fix it, wish me luck! =)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It's back!

Earlier this week I got to pick up my machine, of course life has interfered and it is still encased and untested.

Since I was in A Fabric Place's vicinity, Margarita, my GPS directed me there. Well I left with the two knits you see, aren't they gorgeous? I could have walked out of there with so much more! Since I have been there, the ownership/management passed directly to Michael and his wife and I could see that they have increased their inventory. I was really looking for some faux fur to make a vest, but the one I like was too white, and while I don't shy from bright prints, white fur was just a bit much for me.

I also found a pattern at Joann's to make pjs for my nephew, there are not many out there for toddlers. I might look through my Burda's also but I believe most of Burda's are for older children (he is 1 1/2 years old and petite). The flannel I found is adorable, but I can't show it to you because my SIL reads my blog!

Here he is, celebrating his 1 1/2

Next post will have a sewing update for sure!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Knitting gifts

while I wait for the sewing machine. Separation anxiety has reached maximum level =(

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More tracing

While I wait for my machine to return I'm continuing with tracing patterns. I finished the knit pants from Burda and Paco's lovely jacket pattern. Even though his pattern comes ready to cut I went ahead and traced the pieces that I think might need alterations. For example, the maximum hip size is 38 and I'm a 40. I also usually have to add length to the bodice so I added 1 inch to the bodice length. I wanted to preserve the pattern for another muslin if the first one is not perfect.

Next I'm working on Butterick 5523. I'm going up a size in the bodice since the pattern has no ease there. I'm using a ponte knit and I don't want this dress tight across my chest.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Separation anxiety

Yesterday I traced the above pattern from Burda Style August. I have wanted knit pants that looked stylish but had the comfort of knit to wear with boots this winter; after seeing this pattern made by Tany I decided to give it a try so I bought from a cut of their Sophia double-knit in black. I'm hoping that the fabric has a nice recovery so that the pants won't bag out at the knees.

If you are wondering at the I left my sewing machine for overdue maintenance. I had to drive 35 min to get to a certified Bernina technician and it will be gone for 7-10 days. I will use my time for doing all the prepwork for the knit pants and Paco's pattern. I keep going back and forth on what fabric to use for the jacket...I'll let you know

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I wanted to share

This week I received the books you see above. They are beautifully illustrated with enchanting words thought of by Elisa Gallego Picard, published in Spain in English and Spanish. Why am I bringing them to your attention? Well I wrote the English translation!!

Take a look at her website to enjoy her art. I am very proud to have collaborated with her.

Esta semana recibí los libros que ven en la foto. Las ilustraciones son bellas y las palabras encantadoras, todo creado por Elisa Gallego Picard. Los libros están publicados en España en Español e Inglés. ¿Por qué se lo digo a mis lectores? Porque yo escribí la traducción al Inglés!!

Visiten su sitio web para que disfruten de su bello arte. Estoy muy orgullosa de haber colaborado con ella.

Just in case, I do not receive any compensation by letting you know or directing you to her site; my only compensation is sharing (and bragging a little!) with you

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Burda skirt

Oops! I neglected to say that this is Burda Style 11-2009 #120

Like most of us I buy RTW to fill certain holes in my wardrobe but one item I refuse to buy is a skirt. Skirts are so easy to make plus I can make them fit my waist AND my hips. Right now I have an olive cotton pencil Patrones skirt that I reach for all the time so I thought I needed to add at least another "go with almost everything skirt".

I love the above skirt, I think it will look fantastic with boots. I have the wool tweed in the hot dryer with towels, trying Pam's method for pre-shrinking that everyone raves about.

Later I will let you see the wool, it is really gorgeous. I bought it at PA Fabric Outlet before it closed in Catonsville, MD.

Hope you have a sewing weekend!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hot Patterns Wrapture Jacket

I have been writing about this jacket for a while, so I wanted to give you a short summary of my experience.

This is an OOP Hot Patterns design, I think it was one of their first. There were errors in the notches and I think what made it worse is that there isn't a good description of the jacket's design and not an accurate illustration. Having said that I received excellent customer service from the owners, who quickly responded to my email and helped me understand how certain pieces were supposed to fit.

I used a very nice cotton twill from Michael's fabrics, part of a bundle. The lining is a very lightweight cotton. The buttons came from my stash and I don't remember where I bought them. For the topstitching I used embroidery floss, using 4 strands together. I did not add shoulder pads, I wanted the jacket to have a soft look. I did add some light tailoring to the collar for a better shape around the neck.

click to enlarge and see machine stitching added for shaping

My jacket is meant to be worn over a tank top or other lightweight tops. The sleeves even though I added extra ease, are still pretty fitted. After the jacket was completed I added some more topstitching, this time around the fronts and all around the hems.

Am I happy with this jacket? I'm thrilled!, the downside? the days are getting cold so this jacket will have to wait until spring to see more action. Yesterday was a beautiful day here so I had the opportunity to have my son take outdoor shots.

If you missed my previous posts and want to know more details I listed the links below.

Hot Patterns Wrapture Jacket firs post
Hot Patterns Wrapture Jacket second post
Hot Patterns Wrapture Jacket third post
Hot Patterns Wrapture Jacket fourth post

So what is next? I found that I need a mid-weight jacket for the cold days that still don't require a winter coat but are too cold for denim jackets and the jacket I just made (ha!). However I think I'll first tackle a simpler project like a dress or skirt. You'll be the first to know!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Last update on jacket, before completion

I am hopefully going to attach the lining and finish the jacket today, depending on how I feel. But I thought I show you that I finished the bound buttonholes, attached the cuffs and collar and constructed the lining.

Next up I'll show you the finished jacket!

A Beautiful Fall Day

The picture of a happy (blurry)dog

I have been feeling cold symptoms for the past couple of days, but on the weekend I was fine and we got to do a beautiful walk. Not much to say just enjoy the colors of the season.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Construction details, Hot Patterns jacket

At this point the jacket back, cuffs and pockets have been constructed and topstitched. Topstitching through the heavy multiple twill layers went slow and made my fingers ache, but I like how it looks so far.

In looking at the pictures I got to check on the stitching of the pocket it looks a little puckery.

I added a back stay to give the dropped shoulder area a little more support, just used a piece of washed muslin.

Next up is the bound buttonholes but I have to decide on buttons first.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Changes, part II

So my son had a great time Saturday. He wore his father's vintage tie and clip and I was proud of how he handled himself.

There was a photo session before they headed out to dinner where the parents could ooh and aahh at the kids.

Here he is with his best friend, they have been since kindergarten.

Here they are at 5,

they are still adorable, don't you think?

Friday, October 22, 2010


For the first time this year, my son who is a high school junior is going to the Homecoming dance. This summer he cut his hair, he became a texting expert, has joined clubs and his social circle has expanded. Wow. Today I need to go buy him a jacket and dress shoes since he outgrew them and then I will probably end up playing chauffeur on Saturday since his friends are going to be taking pictures, going out to dinner and then going to the dance (and believe me I'm glad it will be me doing the driving).

A couple of weeks ago my brother and his family came to visit and I had the inmense pleasure of spending time with my nephew. He is the cutest! Last time I saw him he wasn't walking on his own yet, this time around everyone was exhausted chasing after him...yeap I remember those days.

Let's hear it for the boys!