Category Archives: Projects – Sewing

The Blue Knit Dress

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I referenced this dress in my previous post, the thing I preferred to work on. I based it on this ‘Summer Shift Dress’ tutorial.

The tutorial basically instructs you to take a shirt that you like, make a pattern out of that and lengthen and widen to make a dress.

Something not mentioned in the instructions: making a pattern is not as easy as Ms. Barlow makes it seem.

2013-07-28 19.12.31I have a roll of tracing paper (sold as ‘sketch tracing paper’ in some places) and a fine Sharpie which I used to trace the shirt. Then I removed the shirt, and traced the pattern again, until the pieces lined up with straight lines.  I was really happy I’d reviewed  “How to Make a Pattern from an Original Garment” tutorial from Sense and Sensibility Patterns. I kept that article in mind when I was tracing the original shirt.

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It is almost that easy – there are (not counting the hem/trim) two seams. The neckline I lined with blue bias tape, and the hems I made by folding (two creases) and sewing about 2 inches of material. I made a long sleeved version (like the shirt I took it from) from a double knit (more folds) and store bought bias tape. It’s a rather thick, and very comfortable, so It’s my winter dress.


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My Quantum Wardrobe

It doesn’t actually exist unless I’m thinking about/imagining it.1910s coat Pattern

I was going to post earlier in the week but I got a bit distracted. Okay, really distracted. I found Pinterest. I didn’t join Pinterest, but I found that people would post their favorite patterns, and projects. It’s search results, curated and reviewed by humans, with pictures.

I found that there are a lot of free clothing patterns out there to be downloaded from the internet. I now have a new set of clothes, including underwear. Theoretically.

Some of my favorites:

3Hours Past The Edge of the World: Blank Canvas Tee (with “hacks”)

Modern Sewing Pattern’s ‘Satin Bra.‘They also have a boatload of dress patterns (among others), though not all have downloadable .pdfs.

Sew Zo… What do you know?’ s underwear and camisole patterns.

A vintage dress from Neu4bauer, in German and English.

Instructions for drafting and sewing a coat , another  bra and a corset I found on Instructables

Found a ‘Scoodie‘ pattern (scarf+hood…) on Just Tutorials.

I will now admit I joined Burda Style to get my hands on the Kasia Skirt.

I joined Your Style Rocks to get my hands on a hoodie bolero thingy (called ‘Our Own Pretty Ways‘). I regret nothing.

If I do attempt most, or all of these patterns I will have to learn how to draft, which won’t be a bad thing. Either I’ll have a new wardrobe soon or continue to use up my computer’s hard drive.

The image above is from a old pattern, circa 1910. I’d love to make it, but I have to figure out what the markings mean…

EDIT: How could I forget this? Think Liz has a sizable list of free patterns!

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The Dress, Part 1

Ugh. I know this post is late, but I thought I would have this project done by now.  It’s basically done, but It needs decoration.

I made a dress! And a chemise and short stays.

Short Stays and Chemise

Blue Regency DressThe patterns are from Sense and Sensibility Patterns . The patterns were super easy to put together, even for someone of my modest sewing ability. The chemise and the outer  lining is of cotton muslin (muslin in the modern sense), the stays are line with reed boning, and it’s all tied together with ribbon.

The dress is modeled after dresses circa 1810 (according to the website). The pattern had a train, but since I didn’t want to worry about mud and twigs and dog poo, I removed it. The bodice is also lined with muslin. That’s a pillow case over the dress-form, blue on blue doesn’t show up so well.

Since this is only meant as super comfortable costume (though I may start wearing it around town) and I don’t do re-enactments, almost none of it is hand-sewn. Only the cuffs and the button holes in the back:

Hand Sewn Buttonholes Pic

I can’t say I had prior experience with buttonholes.

I have one more piece to make (after I decorate the dress– I’m thinking ribbon applique), a brown Spenser with gold buttons. Oh, and the hat, but I’m not using a pattern for that, just modifying a cheap straw hat.

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Itty Bitty Pincushions

I would really like the title of this post to be some sort of euphemism, but it isn’t.

2012-12-23 20.45.53I made tiny pincushions for some people for Christmas, following these instructions. The method is pretty basic, but the variations are infinite. They can be very simple,  or elaborate.

All the cloth is felt, they are stuffed with 100% wool roving (antibacterial, people tell me) and all the non-embroidery sewing is blanket stitch. They are built around re-purposed plastic bottle caps (like plastic soda bottle size — but I bet it would work with any smallish plastic bottle cap).

The pincushions are: A hawk in flight on a blue background. I basically made the bottle cap covering out of blue felt and appliqued a hawk in flight silhouette on with darker thread. I put a little embroidery at the shoulders and wingtips to give the illusions of feathers.

The two with embroidered diamond are inspired by temari.

The pincushion in the middle is brown bottle cap covering with ‘cushion’ part made from white. I appliqued the dripping icing as strip on the side. The strawberry was a miniature of this tutorial, though I appliqued the green leaves, and it was too small to stuff or add seeds.

The orange is a persimmon — orange felt with appliqued/ sculpted leaves.

The last is the night sky is blue ‘cushion’ with a black cap covering and stars embroidered in french knots and single stitches. The tree silhouettes are cut as part of the side strip.

Most of these I gave away as presents at Christmas, or I would take and post a better picture.

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Sock Bunny!

This is a charming little stuffed animal to make for the person that has everything else. It’s easy and cute. I first saw one when a friend was given one as a birthday gift. I examined it, and figured it wasn’t so hard to make (and it isn’t).

Bunny Materials

Bunny Materials

I also used yarn for the face, but I suppose you could use embroidery thread for the face as well as everything else. You are going to need A lot more wool roving than this to get a nice firm bunny.

  1. Stuff the sock with the wool until you get to the bottom of the ankle. the heel should be filled out as well, and he should be firm and plump.
  2. Sew up the bottom of the ankle where the stuffing ends.
  3. Tie off the neck under the heel by wrapping with thread and pulling tight.
  4. Pin the two sides of the ankle together. Mark out the curve to create the ears and cut out two rounded ear shapes from the ankle portion of the sock.
  5. Sew up the edges of the ears to make them lie flat.

    Blank Bunny, with Labels

    Blank Bunny, with Labels

  6. On the toe of the sock, draw a line down the middle to mark out the division of the legs. Sew down that line and pull tight so that it forms a deep valley. Sew back the same way to make the valley continuous (backstitching). Tie it off.
  7. On either side of the sock, mark out the arms. These will be sewn the same way as the divide of the legs, only they will come in from either side. Make them start somewhere above the legs and at least an inch below the neck (more probably, use your judgment).
  8. For the face, mark out the eyes, nose and mouth with pins (you may have to move them about so don’t draw them).
  9. Secure the yarn or thread low on the neck so that it is covered by the ribbon. Sew up to the nearest eye-marker and sew eyes: mine are two parallel straight stitches and a french knot between them.

    The Face of the Sock Bunny

    The Face of the Sock Bunny

  10. To make the nose and mouth combination, sew two long parallel stitches a ways from each other. When sticking the needle in to secure the bottom parallel stitch, make it exit just below the middle of the top stitch. Loop the needle under the top stitch and pull it down as you pull the stitches tight. Sew under the lower stitch and pull it up by entering the needle somewhere above the point made by the mouth. Exit where you want the second eye.
  11. Make the second eye the same as the first, and exit low on the other side of the neck where you entered (you can probably exit the same way you came in, I just think this is easier).
  12. Tie the ribbon around it’s neck with a bow.

I don’t think I’ve left anything out, so with it’s ribbon, your bunny should look like this:

The Sock Bunny, Finished

The Sock Bunny, Finished

I writing this from memory, so if I have left something out, or you are having trouble, leave a note in the comments section.


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