Wednesday, 29 July 2015

McCalls 5400, Retro-Inspired Swimwear:)

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints."

Jude 1:3

   Hello all!:) Sewing has taken somewhat of a backseat the past couple of months since we've been busy with packing/moving/unpacking. Thankfully, we're finally settled in and I'm now able to resume making stuff!

      My lovely sister, Rachel, requested a modest, yet stylish,  swimsuit some time ago, so that was first on my list! I made a modified view of McCalls 5400. She lives a few hours away, so I made a wearable muslin with this pretty floral nylon/lycra I've had in my stash for sometime now. She said the suit fit "like a glove", which I was happy to hear since I only had measurements to go by! I've since made her a lilac version, which I will write about once I get photos!:)

Reviewed on here.

    This suit, made by Rey Swimwear, was the inspiration suit Rachel sent me that she liked. I used it as a guide, taking the more prominent features that I thought Rachel would want. Such being: thick halter straps that tied behind the neck, gathered bust & circle skirt.


     This white suit is view E of McCalls 5400. I used the top for my version, modifying the pattern pieces to add a circle skirt and cutting the strap pieces as wide as the middle tie piece to make them a bit thicker.



  I left the circle skirt un-hemmed. I inserted bra cups for a little added oomph!;) The pattern doesn't include instructions to add them, so I just did my own thing, pretty much just tacking them in.

      I wish I had used a thinner lining fabric, as mine caused a bit too much bulkiness and was hard to topstitch in areas. Oh well! Turned out fine I think!



  Modest, yet stylish! Who says it has to be "itsy bitsy"?;) Til next time sewing friends! Hopefully I'll have another post soon!:) I trust everyone is enjoying their summer! xo




Sunday, 31 May 2015

Frozen Fever, DIY skirt & Barbie dress:)

         Hello all!:) Can I just say how much I enjoy Pinterest?! Lots of inspiration and diy projects. My most recent make has been this flat-front elastic waist skirt from Jaime @ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom:) I won't go into depth, as her tutorial is fantastic! Very easy. I spent extra time finishing the seams and making it look not too "homemade" it was made as a gift for a friends daughter. She was having a "Frozen" theme Birthday party so I thought this combination would be fitting!:)

       The front skirt piece is gathered to fit the front waistband. Jaime used a corduroy for the main skirt piece of her tutorial. Since I used a cotton, I interlined the front waistband with another piece of cotton cut on the lengthwise grain. Not sure if it was necessary but thought it would be a good idea to give it a bit more stability. The "Frozen" cotton is from Fabricville:) It was on sale too, yay!

        The back waistband has elastic that forms gathers in the back. For the contrasting bottom band, I used a wine coloured "bottom-weight" fabric which was also on sale! I thought the colour coordinated perfectly, and it was good quality fabric. One of the sales associates was very helpful, she suggested that particular colour and the ric-rac trim. Fabricville is definitely my favourite store!:)

       This skirt was such an easy project and I think it looks rather good if I do say so myself!:) It was nice & low stress!  I'll keep this project in mind for future skirts for my nieces. They love frilly, girly things!;)

With some of the leftover scraps I made a matching dress for Barbie! I thought it would be a cute addition to the gift.

     I used the basic bodice pattern from with a gathered rectangle of fabric (about 12" wide and 6" long). I added a bottom band to her skirt as well. Velcro is used for the back closure.

      I'm sure enjoying sewing for Barbie these days. Stay tuned for more;)



Well, here's the skirt once more. I seem to always be making things last minute, especially around Christmastime! This skirt however, was made over two weeks in advance! Wow, that never happens!

Happy sewing all!:)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Barbie love:)

        Ah Barbie! One of my fondest childhood memories is with my cousin Alicia, as we used to say, "playing Barbies" . She had a lot of cool Barbie stuff, like Coke bottles (my favourite!) and shoes, accessories etc. So much fun! One of my nieces is into Barbies right now, so I thought it would be fun to sew a few dresses for her. I found some simple & free patterns on


      Here is a link to the bodice pattern. Also available is the halter dress pattern. I cut a rectangle of fabric about 12" wide by 6"long and gathered it to fit the the bodice (gather 12" to fit bodice).

I couldn't help but reminisce while making these! I even bought a thrifted Barbie (blonde) to help with the fitting!:) Poor Barbie had a chunk of hair cut off. That also brought back memories of when I cut a piece of gum out of my hair!:) Seems like a lot of kids cut their own hair at some point!

P.S, hot melted margarine (or butter) will take gum out of hair easily!

The brunette Barbie I gave to my niece:)

The floral print I used for my "mermaid" dress:)

I would totally wear dresses like these if they were me-sized!:)

I especially like the peacock print dress!:)

Not the neatest back, but its functional!:)

       All the dresses close with velcro. Don't make the mistake of using sticky-back velcro! Even if it says "sew-in/adhesive velcro", don't try sewing with it! I did and it does not work:( I bought some non-adhesive velcro and that worked great. I later found a tip though, that soaking sticky back velcro in rubbing alcohol for 20 minutes helps to remove the adhesive. I haven't tried it, but I'm going to before buying more velcro.

     Thanks for reading! And thanks Janel, for generously providing the free patterns! I'm sure I'll be using these again in the future:)

Friday, 1 May 2015

First Swimsuit! McCalls 6759:D

Jesus said, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven."

"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

Matthew 10:32-33 & 37-39

"And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

Matthew 11:6

     My first swimsuit!!! Only took me since last summer to finish it! Well, not that I was working on it these past several months (I'm slow, but not that slow!;).  I put it aside last August, simply because it was just too busy with family vacations and such (the *and such* being taking care of Isaac, sewing with a baby is challenging!). Since then, Isaac has come a long way. He's much better sleeping at night and napping during the afternoon. He's also getting better at entertaining himself, so yay, I can sew a bit more:)

        I purchased this tropical print swimsuit fabric at Fabricville last summer. It wasn't at my usual location though. I really wish I had bought more at the time, because I haven't seen it anywhere else since, and I would love to make something else with it. *Sigh*

McCalls 6759

I've always wanted to make myself a swimsuit, and McCalls 6759 looked like a good basic pattern to use! I made view D, which is a simple one-piece.

Love the bright colours!:D

   I deviated a bit in the instructions. I added foam cups to the bra section with the help of my Singer Sewing Library book on sewing activewear & swimwear. I also have the Kwik Sew book on sewing swimwear and activewear, but I prefer the Singer books, as they have a lot of photos showing the construction process.

Seriously! These books are awesome!! 

  Instead of following the pattern instructions to attach the elastic, I did my own thing (zigzagged the elastic on and turned the elastic under and topstitched with a double needle).

 It's definitely worth it to do a bit of research on how to sew swimwear before tackling a pattern.

*Note* I did originally add a full lining but made a rookie mistake and didn't ensure the suit was long enough and used a lining fabric that didn't have any lengthwise stretch! I could barely get it on! I decided to cut out the lining (except for the bust and crotch area), so now it fits comfortably! I also sewed the side seams with an overlock stitch instead of a double-stitched seam as the pattern recommends.

I appreciate the full coverage!:)

My little munchkin is also ready with me to hit the beach (or pool)!

Not bad for 11 1/2 months post-partum!;)

Happy sewing all!:)

Monday, 30 March 2015

Spring-has-sprung Dress;)

  "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,  by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time...

 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed."

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 & 11

     The passage above is taken from the first letter of Paul to the church at Corinth in A.D. 56. As he stated, the Christian faith revolves around the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. And to further quote Paul,

"And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!" 1 Cor 15:17


          A lot of people I notice, make a point of sewing up an "Easter dress". Though we celebrate Easter this upcoming weekend, I didn't make this specifically for the occasion, plus we still have far too much snow to wear heels for the time being!:) Though I've sewn this particular pattern many times in the past, there's "A Best Pattern" contest currently running on and I thought it would be fun to enter.

Side shot. I adore this print!:)

My boy is now 10 months old!

    Vogue 1314 was voted a Best Pattern of 2013. If this dress seems oddly familiar, its because I made one in a similar print, but had yellow & orange flowers (same collection). It was featured in the accompanying P.R. article! I made that one with cap sleeves but I didn't end up liking it as much as I thought I would.

I prefer the longer sleeves. I may make another one in the yellow/orange fabric because I stocked up on it!;)

A side note: Isaac is now 10 months old! I love being a momma!:)

    I attempted to make this version a v-neck to add some interest, but it didn't turn out exactly as I envisioned:/ I would do it differently next time, but nontheless, I think I will get lots of wear out of it.

    I lined the dress (which I recommend, feels much better lined!). I cut the neckline 1/4" less on the lining piece so it would roll slightly inward. I used clear elastic at the neckline as well for added stability since I didn't use the neckband piece.

   I did narrow the skirt slightly to make it more of a "pencil skirt". I think its more flattering that way:)

Daddy says we look like a figure skating couple in this one!:)

A few more photos...:)

"..The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

1 Corinthians 1:18

"For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

1 Corinthians 1:22-24

  This photo shows the adjusted the sleeve pattern piece to remove the sleevecap ease. The overlap is 6/8" or 1.9 cm. The tutorial I originally got this from recommended using a french curve ruler for a more precise alteration, but admitted that she would usually eye-ball the new curve, (which I also did ;) I used a rotary cutter.

The tutorial is found here.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Burda 6910 (i.e Yummy Mummy Dress;)

 "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."

           James 1:22                                                                                                          

    Greetings fellow blog-land sewers! Wow, it's been a long time since my last post (November)! Truth be known, I have done some sewing these past months, mostly for other people though. I figured it was time I made a dress for myself.



     I've had this Burda pattern since back in the summer I believe, and have been dying to make it (View C). I figured it would be one of those "immediate gratification" projects since I wanted a new dress *now*. Wasn't quite as immediate as I had hoped, especially since Isaac is still so little:)

      I've become quite a fan of "Easy" (and "Quick", at least in theory:) labeled patterns and DIY projects.

     The fabric comes from Fabricville and is a polyester/spandex blend which seems to be my fabric of choice. Also seems to be my colour scheme of choice (turquoise/black/brown/blue) considering I have at least three other projects made from similar colours! Haha, I think it's so "me"! I think I have enough fabric left over to make something else, yay!

       This pattern is very reminiscent of my beloved Vogue 1314. I purchased the Burda pattern because it had raglan sleeves instead of set-in sleeves and I figured it would be a lot faster. It was in some respects, but I had to do a bit of tweaking, which I suppose is often the case with new patterns. I cut the smallest size for the lower half and graded up a size for the top. I had to take in the bottom to make it more fitted (otherwise the gathers sagged), which I did by putting the dress on inside out and pinning to fit, taking the dress off carefully, & marking the stitching lines with a washable marker. I used a basting stitch first then an overlock stitch on my regular sewing machine.

      I'm sure I'll make this pattern again, but I will widen/deepen the neckline. I'm not a fan of turning the band under and topstitching as directed by the pattern (Vogue does also). I prefer having the band show. If I would have been more patient. I would have done it with this dress.

       I read the other reviews on and knew I'd have to shorten the neckband, which I did by at least three inches! I don't know how anyone could have gotten a smooth neckline with the length of that neckband pattern piece as it was. I'm very grateful to read other sewers reviews of a pattern before tackling it myself, even if it seems to be a no-brainer! My review on P.R here.

       Next time I make this pattern I think I'm going to make a lining. I have a slip that I can wear with it, but I think that the gathers hold up better with the lining fabric. In a similar dress I made, the lining fabric is smooth & slippery on one side (against my skin) and more matte and a tad rough on the other side (against the fashion fabric).

    A few more photos:)....
Me & my boy:)

      I should mention that I had to shorten the dress a few inches as well (three, I believe) since Burda is designed for 5 ft 6" (I'm 5 ft 2") and I knew I wanted to wear it with high boots (thanks mom for the boots!;) xo

  Bye for now, happy sewing all!:)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Dressing up Disney Style;) with a modified Vogue 1314

       Never too old to dress up, especially if there's a Disney theme involved;) The Little Mermaid is, hand's down, my *favourite* Disney movie ever!! I loved it as a kid. I thought Ariel was so beautiful & I was fascinated with the idea of mermaids. So cool! I actually wanted to make a mermaid costume last year but found out that I was pregnant, so that costume went on hold till this year;) Dan was such a sport to dress up as Eric, my prince charming;) The only part of his costume I made was the red sash (a red rectangle of fabric with 1/4 inch elastic sewn along the sides to gather and seam up the back.

     I just winged it for the most part. Well, I had *some* idea beforehand but, I mostly made it up as I went. I really liked Kim Kardashian's mermaid costume a couple years ago. I just happened to notice a photo in our local paper and thus, inspiration struck;) I used my old standby pattern, Vogue 1314, to create a ruched "tail", cutting it just at the underarms of the pattern and adding a gathered rectangle of light blue fabric for the "fin".


     Here I have the lining and the tail fabric, right sides together, and used an overlock stitch to sew them together.

       Fabric turned right-side-out and pressed. I used a double needle to sew around the top to make sure the lining wasn't going to roll out. I attached the main fabric and lining on the inside, as the original Vogue pattern instructs. I left the lining hang free at the bottom, and didn't bother hemming, as it was a knit (and a costume). I attached the fin to the main fabric only:)

      I purchased this gorgeous sparkly turquoise "tail" spandex at Atlantic Fabrics. It feels very good quality. The "fin" fabric, however, I believe is just a novelty fabric & it was very difficult to work with. I had to create a casing for elastic to gather it, as basting stitches was impossible with the skipped stitches galore!:p The fabric runs easily too & has poor recovery. I was pretty much just drawn to the colour, but I suppose as it was for the fin, I didn't feel the need to inspect it as I did the tail fabric.

Looks like Pacman;)

     For the seashells, I made a pattern by tracing a shell shape (with a dart in the proper position;) on muslin fabric (directly on my body) and "truing it" as best I could & transferred it onto paper. I used a purple spandex that had a matte side and a shimmery side (was marked down due to defect on the shimmery side).

  I used a layer of fleece, left over from Isaac's Flounder costume, to "pad out" the shells slightly:) This is the back. I used the less flashy matte side to show, and simply marked freehand where I thought the lines should have been and stitched over them. Not shown, but you can see more detail in the photo below. I overlapped the shells slightly when I attached them to my costume. I added a strap because, well, strapless wouldn't do!:) I thought halter style would be nice:)

My self-sparkled wedding shoes:)

        If you're familiar with The Little Mermaid,  you'll recall the scene where Ariel comes out of the water in a sparkly purple dress. I thought these shoes would be perfect :) Nice to wear my wedding shoes again!

   Til next year! Thanks for reading:)