Friday, June 30, 2006

Simple Top

A top, in time. I whipped this up at the beginning of the month, and I'm just now getting around to posting. It hasn't gotten much wear yet because the weather has been cool, but it's supposed to be a hot weekend, so hopefully I'll get around to wearing it soon too.

It's made from some Joanne's calico with Simplicity 4589 (which seems to be a popular pattern around here).

Too Scared to Alter

Ok I sort of cheated. I was too worried about cutting the fabric and trying to alter it. So I just did a test by basting it up to see how it would look without a zipper and I think it works. Let me get up some courage and maybe I'll alter it...later.


Thursday, June 29, 2006


Hi all,This time,I made the top of 2 types from this book.
I recommend the book if you can understand (or translate) to sew something in Japanese.
However I think if you just see the book, maybe you have good inspiration !!
The design is so cute and they have many stylish pics.
Of course you can sew some camisole and one-piece easily!!

Pattern : no,05&11 from camisole and one-piece
Fabric : liberty print & linen
more pics is here
Happy sewing and knitting !!

I'm Stuck

Well I was going to show my cabo halter when I was finished with it but I'm stuck. I need to make alterations. It says "If there is more than 1 1/2" left along the back raw edges on each side, then take in any extra amount evenly on each of the side seams to get your desired fit." Huh? Does that mean I cut it at the edge where the zipper would be?

Update: Ok lightbulb just went off in my head. Side seams meaning both the front and the back pieces. I couldn't understand because I thought it meant just the back pieces. If I had done that the pieces wouldn't have matched up. That's why I was confused. I GET IT NOW!! DUH!!

**UPDATE**: Ok no lightbulb. I just looked at it again and what I thought would work doesn't. I'm clueless.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Round 2!

It was H.O.T here in Oregon yesterday, 102! Ugh! I couldn't do anything but sew...even that was difficult with the iron going. Same top as before, just lengthened a little with a 2 inch band added to the hem...Denyse Schmidt fabric.

Pink Trees

First Step!!!

Why I ever decided to join a sew a long in June I'll never know! But, I did join, yes I did and I shall not fail! I will complete the top on time! Witness...I have cut out the pattern! I have this weekend at home to sew then we are going camping. I'll have 3 days to complete the top when we get back if I somehow procrastinate enough over the next 5 days. Believe me that is not a total impossibility!!

All done!

I know I'm really early for the "real deadline", but my own deadline was on Thursday (morning, 8am). I finished my jacket some moments ago and not a moment too soon. I love the way it turned out (I can actually fit inside it without too much sagging or it being too small somewhere else), it still needs a bit of ironing, but that's something I can still manage. But I know all of you are hungry for pictures so here comes:

It is taken with flash, but that's ok because the beautiful golden print comes out fine on the fabric. You see, it is past 10pm here and it is bedtime soon... I guess I can finally sleep now that is done and I don't have to go to my friends's wedding naked ;). The pattern is still the Burda 8103, changes I made is the clasp in the front and it is 5cm shorter than it is supposed to be... The pattern is a bit challenging, but I found the instruction adequate. I don't have any formal education in sewing, but I Finland the public school program includes some basic sewing and knitting skills.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Grr... vintage patterns!

Well, I'm not ready to show my finished product, but I do have a "scene of the crime" shot to share. I say crime because I didn't follow the pattern exactly, and I realized something about vintage patterns. Although the pictures look very cool, the cuts and lines aren't necessarily cool to wear today. I don't really like my top very much :( but I keep trying to get inspired by it. I keep thinking, if I just embellish it somehow it will be great. I think my unhappiness with this top is a result of my novice sewing abilities, and a pattern that is not really suited for my figure. Oh well, I shall keep at it, I'm not ready to give up just yet.


The gauzy cotton print was just what I needed for summer...opaque, but cool. Really happy with it. The sleeves aren't as tight as they look, the bodice is just loose. Comfy.

Sew Retro

For those of your who want to exercise more of your sewing muscles, two of our members, Anna and Alissa, have started a fab new sewalong called Sew Retro!

"Sew Retro is a sewing group for those interested in making vintage or retro style clothing. We're not limiting ourselves to only truly vintage patterns and/or fabric, but embracing retro and vintage styles in all forms.

We will be having various sew-alongs but with quite general inclusive themes (ie a Simplicity pattern, a flowered fabric, a 50's pattern, that kind of thing) which members will be able to join in with if they so wish.

We are also hoping to be an open forum for all things related to vintage pattern sewing, such as questions on pattern wording, fitting patterns to your figure, where to find certain fabric, notions, patterns etc as well as showing off your handywork and making us all jealous!"

A question on seams

Do any of you have any good techniques for finishing up the raw edges of the seams for those of us that don't have sergers/overlock machines? I'm planning on sewing a men's shirt this month and I don't want to it to look unprofessional and a mess on the inside. I've heard about sewing a zigzag stitch over the edge of the material. And I've also heard about French seams as well but I'm slightly concerned about bulk. Any thoughts on the professional treatment of seams for those of us who only have a sewing machine?

Finally for me!!

Simplicity #4589, view C using vintage fabric...which I should've known that it was a poly-blend before I scorched my ironing board cover! Oops! Does any one else have the "bowing" problem around the neck and back? Mine seems to bow out even though I've ironed the heck out of it!

I'm already digging into my fabric stash to make more! The pattern was easy and straight forward; no changes were made. I think that next time I might make it a little longer perhaps.


Pink Trees, formerly Pink Rocket

I still haven't made the Rosie the Riveter shirt (still a few weeks till deadline, right?) but I did make another summer blouse. This is Butterick 4467, with quilting cotton from the clearance table.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

time to publish my testtop

I finished my test top a week ago, and is using it gladly....
It is made of an old duvet case from my childhood- early seventies...thats perhaps why the fabric feels so nice on ?
Pattern: An old danish magasine "Alt om håndarbejde"- found in a second hand store.
I think the band sits a little bit wrong and that makes the top to loose in the upper part. I fixed it with a small needle with pearls. But want to ajust the pattern a bit with my next top.


bright ditsy and pink!

Hiya, Louise here of Louise makes stuff, based in London. I ditched the project I had planned on making for sew I knit after a little shopping expedition to John Lewis on Oxford Street where I picked up the fabric above called bright ditsy. I never wear pink, but those little yellow daisys really caught my eye. The fabric is 100% cotton and should be nice and cool for the summer. I am using Simplicity pattern 4123 - the pattern looks very similar to Simplicity 4589 (Alissa's project below). I am making the top with the capped sleeves that hopefully won't make my arms look too chunky. I might put some yellow rick-rack across the front too but I will see what it looks like once it's finished before I decide. The top is well underway and I should finish it before the end of the week. more soon...

Another Blouse Down!

Pattern: Simplicity 4589
Fabric: Heather Ross "Dandelion."

Details here.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Princess Seam Blouse/Shirt

shirt finished front

More photos can be found at my Flickr "Sew? I Knit!" page here.

Fabric: An unlabelled, mixed-fibre, blue and white striped shirting from my grannie. The warp (or is that the weft?) is a synthetic and the weft (warp?) is a natural fibre.
Pattern: From an old issue of "Essentials" magazine. Pattern number E177
Modifications: Well - I modified the front pieces to accomadate my "boobage", turned the 1 piece sleeve into a 2-piece so I could add width at the upper arm without altering the sleeve cap, I ended up using the attatched facing strip as extra frontage becuase it was still too tight on me without it! I cut a new facing crosswise on the fabric. I did the same at the back of the collar and collar stand.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I finished my top. This pattern was super-easy, even for me. My only complaint is that the front gapes open a bit. I may wear it over a stretchy tank.

It turned out like I wanted: a fun, cool, casual summer top. I'm hoping to make some chocolate brown bermudas to wear with it.

Pattern: Butterick B4549
Fabric: Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy
100% cotton

Gauzey Camisole

Project Details

Pattern: Newlook 6466
Fabric: 100% cotton gauze

Very simple pattern, no modifications or alterations were needed. The pattern was very simple to follow. Yes, I would make it again.

See more pics at my blog!

Erica B.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

For my next trick

The jury is still waaaaaay out on when I'll dive in but I intend to make the short-sleeved version, as long as those sleeves aren't too capped because cap sleeves make my upper arms look like 20 pounds of sausage stuffed into a burlap sack. If they are too capped, then the long sleeved or sleeveless.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pattern Chosen

At last I've chosen my pattern and fabric for the current project. I'm going to make Vogue 2308, an Anne Klein wrap top in white linen. I'm looking forward to getting started on the actual sewing.

All the tops finished so far look great!

70's flower print top

It was finished last weekend. I made this top for "Wardrobe Refashion 06" as well. It was done in 70's vintage fabrice, pattern from one of my Japanese pattern book called "Female" Summer 2005 issue. It's easy to make and I love the flower print on the fabric. Eventhough the colour is dark and very Autumn, and still I like it. It's very light to wear and easy to match as well.

Kitschy top

Here's the top that I made yesterday:

And here's a back view:


Pattern - sort of self-designed; I based the shape of the top on a princess-seamed dress pattern that I'd used before, and just sort of winged the rest.

Fabric - 1 yd. of "Kitschy Kitchen" printed cotton by Robert Kaufman and 1 yd. turquoise cotton for the lining.

Trim - turquoise grosgrain ribbon by the spool (from Jo-Ann Fabrics).

I'm quite happy with how this turned out. I love the fabric and this is pretty much exactly what I'd envisioned when I bought it. The sash/bow is removable, in case I happen to be in a less girly mood when I'm wearing it.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

More shirts, but not for me...again

My nephew just turned one, these are a late birthday gift for him along with a floor quilt to match. He was born with a teeny, tiny aorta so he had to have open heart surgery; I had made shirts like these to help with the clothing/dressing they're requested because they make great jammies! They close with twill tape on the inside and velcro for the outer flap. Pattern is Simplicity 9782.

Haven't started anything for myself yet!

Pink Rocket (the site change wasn't meant to be yet!)

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's done!

I love this shirt, it's so cute and girly, very me. All I have to say is that I want to make another one!!

Only mod I made was adding elastic on the sleeves to keep them down.

Nicer pictures of me wearing it to come when the weather is nicer and I find a photographer.


Is it a halter or not?

I haven't decided yet. She is almost done and I am leaning to the modified tank version. I think I would wear it more (the girls feel more contained) than a halter. The halter part tends to pull too much on my neck. The perils of a big bust. I was able to omit the zipper in back due to the stretch in the fabric. I can just slip it on over my head. It is just basted for now - I am "living with it" for the weekend before I decide. p.s. it is cold and rainy where I live - not much tank top wearing going on this summer :-( eek! look at that pale skin.

My sockie bag

Well, I kinda washed out in the bag-making category for this sew-along. I got the multitude of pieces cut out and the straps pinned for the Amy Butler Ultimate arts & craft tote. I am still contemplating how to change the pockets to suit my knitting style. But I wanted to show you the bag I made last week to carry a sock knitting project. It was based on Trek's sock bag and My Leetle Bag. Next time I will try to actually read the directions. What the heck, it looks cute and serves its purpose. This is the only Bernina in the world that won't do automatic buttonholes, I believe. I use my Brother for embroidery and buttonholes. When I am really in sewing mode, I have the serger out too. The casing, though done incorrectly, still has two layers, and was not folded over. Must be the heavy cord, from stash, that makes it look that way? That's where I messed up, and had to open the seam to turn the bag right side out.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

simplicity 5057 halter

I finally finished my pattern. I chose Simplicity 5057, pattern D.

A tank top really doesn't take too much fabric, so I used an old vintage pillowcase I'd found thrifting.

It's been a while since I'd worked from a pattern, mostly I deconstruct and reconstruct clothes to my liking, or I just wing it. But I dutifully cut out the pattern.

I ended up getting fed up trying to turn the ribbon ties inside out after sewing them up, so I left them out. I also think that despite cutting the pattern to specifications, the lower back panel should have been longer, so I ended up sewing on a ruffle to compensate.

Overall I think I'd try the pattern again with a few modifications.

Thanks everyone! I love seeing what y'all are sewing!

What a relief!

I, too, misread the deadline. I thought I was not going to make it, since I bought my fabric on June 4th, and have yet to cut it out. Plus, I'm going on vacation next week. Phew!

Just in time!

Today I finished my top (it was ready for several days but I had to add the ribbons). I still got some of this fabric, maybe I'll make a matching bag? ^^

I love all your blouses, it seems like our wardrobes are growing!
Waiting for the new assignment! ^^

I've just read this month's project rules and... I found out I was mistaken! I thought the deadline was 15th June!... But it is 15th July!... So I am not "just in time", but rather "one month before the deadline"!... ^-^
Anyway, I'll be patiently waiting for the next project, wearing my new top from time to time. *^v^*

Since some of you asked about the pattern, here it is: I used a pattern from an old Burda, 3/2004 issue, pattern 118, (I only skipped the sleeves part and used a satin ribbon).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hi there! I'm a new member. My name is Joanne (listed on the sidebar as Joanna W.) and I plan to make New Look pattern #6515, view B (the dark blue one on the bottom. I may make the sleeveless version if it proves to be hard going):

I am an almost-complete sewing newbie. I've only sewed one pattern, a Burda wrap skirt. The cheerful "easy" printed on the pattern is somewhat reassuring but I'm skeptical of zippers. My husband, who has a couple months more sewing experience than I do (and so is the "expert" in our immediate family) claims that zippers aren't too difficult but has a few horror stories about trying to ease sleeves.

I plan to make this out of an abstract Batik-print cotton.

Other than that, I am a sock-knitter, an artist (by hobby), a computer wrangler (by trade) and I would really, really like to learn to sew nice clothes that fit because (like many people) I'm convinced that clothing designers hate me.

This blog is just the kick in the pants I need to get this done, so thank you for providing it to help us newbies along!

New Member

Hi, I'm a new member. My name is Emily, I'm 39 (really!) and I live outside Chicago. I am an artist (quilts) and mom to three young kids, ages 6, 4, and 1.

I have sewn clothes since I was a teenager. I used to make more clothing than I do now, because other projects: quilts, knitting, kids, have taken over. I hope to get back into it, I love to sew.

I made a blouse last month, before the sew-along started, and you can see it on my blog. The one I'm making this month is going to be the same pattern, Burda 2561, only I'm going to make it short sleeved and change the collar.

Here's my fabric and pattern:

I'm listed in the sidebar as doing the Artful Dodger pattern from Hot Patterns, but I liked the way the blouse from this pattern turned out so I changed my mind. To make matters even more confusing, I'm listed incorrectly in the sidebar as "Erica P" instead of "Emily P".

I've been enjoying seeing everything you all are whipping up. Glad to be a part of this group!

I am having the devil of a time trying to get my fabric pleated. I am aiming for a cute Hello Kitty smocked swing top for my daughter. My problem is that I can't seem to get the needles in the right place and so end up with this:

Unpleated material! Not good. Does anyone see what I am doing wrong here? More pictures on my blog. Helpful tips desperately needed!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mission Completed

I have managed to complete my tunic top, I really enjoyed getting the sewing machine going again after a very long break. This pattern was simple to follow and the fit is not too bad. It did need some adjustment to the arm holes which seemd tight for this style of top. I even managed to make the bag which was also included with this pattern, I had enough fabric left over for the bag lining and used fabric from my stash for the outside.

moving along

The bodice portion is finished. I like the fabric, I like the pattern, I am just not sure of the finished product.

Finished (modified) Cabo Halter

Here's my version of the Amy Butler Cabo Halter.

As you can see, I've converted it to a tank top style. I'm really proud of the fact that (for once) I've finished ahead of schedule. I used some silk kimono fabric from my stash. More details about the top are on my blog.

Everyone's tops are coming out great! I hope I have a chance to finish one more before the deadline. :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A bit side tracked

My intention was to make myself something for this group...I've gotten a bit side tracked. You see, my friend's daughter just had a birthday and I hadn't sent anything. I had picked up a vintage pattern on one of my thrifting adventures that was perfect!

The shirt is made from Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy (I'll wait while the quilters pick themselves off the floor...); the front has faux buttons, tucks, and a peter pan collar, the back closes with 3 buttons and loops. I also made shorts to match from corduroy.

Hopefully, before a new theme is posted, I will get a shirt of my own in! I picked up the fabric for it on another one of my thrifts.

xo! Pink Rocket

Here is my summer top -- Butterick 3383 in blue cotton gauze. I think I must have chosen too large a size, because the neckline ended up having a Flashdance off-the-shoulder effect. I solved this by pleating across the front at 2 cm intervals, roughly collarbone to collarbone. The effect is like a peasant blouse, and a little shapelier than the original. I think this will be a cool and pleasant top for summer, and good under jackets in the fall.

The pattern was very easy, and very fast, too. I will make it again -- using a smaller size.

First Shirt Done

I have a few shirts that I want to make during this challenge, this is one that wasn't on the list but snuck in after I found this fabric on Friday!

Image Hosted by

It is from Simplicity 4589, it's the third time I've used this pattern now and I love the shirts I've got out of it. I'm sure it will keep garments appearing in my wardrobe for a while yet!

Anna - finally waking up

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Request for help

I'm making some quick knit tops, and I can't seem to get a good effect on the edgings. I have an ordinary straight stitch machine, and haven't liked the look on the machine -- but hand hemming seems to roll oddly, though I feel that I'm pretty good at it with wovens. Experienced seamstresses, any ideas? Thanks!

Vintage Style

I've made some progress on my top, having sewed together the main pieces of the garment. One thing I've realized with this project: see-through, gauzy fabrics are difficult to work with when you are a novice! After getting this far I realized I needed a sewing handbook, and went out a bought "Teach Yourself Sewing Visually" and it has been extremely helpful, since I am a visual learner. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to start over with this top with the same fabric or new fabric from my stash, or if I'm going to stick it out with this first attempt. Stay tuned...


Friday, June 09, 2006

New addition to my wardrobe

It's finished!

I found the pattern easy and very quick, i finished it today but took the collar off and sewed it on again because i was unhappy with the stitching, it still didn't look good but i decided to leave it as it is, it's mostly hidden anyway. I'll probably make another at some point so i may use some scrap fabric to make a practice collar before i do.
Not bad huh? I love it, i've impressed myself! It turned out better than i expected. Oh, and why do i always have my hands on my hips?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


While shopping my closet recently, I came across this dress. It was a looooong drink of orange...purchased from a thrift store for $3, I realized I had only worn it once. Time for a re - vamp! And just in time for..... Top Month!
Now my little smock top looks juicy with jeans or a little straight black skirt and my gold hippie sandals. What was old is new again! The best fashion bargains can be right in your own closet!

See more pictures and read the tutorial here.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Houston, we have a problem

I finished the projects that needed to be done and put aside the unpacking so I could start my shirt! I read the back of the envelope and...gasp!...I need the bigger size! I swore I picked up the right envelope! If anyone wants a Simplicity 4589 in the size range 6-12 (30.5 to 34 inch bust) email me at pinkrocket dot comcast dot net and I'll mail it to you! Pattern is spoken for! Thank you!

Cabo update

I reached my goal yesterday to get my pattern pieces cut out. There they are. The Cabo pattern calls for 2 1/2 yds of fabric but I could have made do with only 2 yds. My fabric is non-directional though, so that could account for the extra. No worries, I want to make a cute little bag to go with this. Today the sewing machine gets moved to the dining room table. Not long now before actual sewing occurs.