Albino Deer & Doe Airelle blouse


It was time again to break out the Deer & Doe Airelle pattern again. I really probably should make this one more than once a year just because it works so perfectly into my lifestyle.

This time I used a white stretch cotton lawn for the top.  This is the first time I used a woven with stretch to make my Airelle top with.


As always, I stuck with a sleeveless version; however, this time I used the Sewaholic tutorial (  I followed the recommended adjustments from the tutorial.  But I used the notch on the yoke to determine the shoulder.

I kept with the same size combination as previously used (42 at bust, 44 at waist, and 46 at hips). Just to give me a bit more ease, the side seams were sewn at 3/8th inch instead of the 5/8th inch.


The armhole is finished with hand cut bias tape facing. Before putting in the bias tape, I had tried on the top and the arm area seems to be fitting well.  I went ahead with an “exposed” bias tape and sew it in with quarter-inch seam allowance.  The tape was folded up then the interior was folded to touch the bodice before being pinned back and sewn into place.

A Weekend of T-shirts

So I dedicated the weekend of book club to sewing. I spent the week before tracing out pattern and altering if necessary.  I still haven’t figured out how to wash “washable” marker off of my hands.  After about 3 hand washings of soap and water and a shower the next morning; there was still faint traces of the marker on my hands.

Friday, I eagerly started to cut out the fabric for all patterns. Out of the 6 different items planned, only three were cut out on Friday: Pattern Review Winter street dress, the Sewaholic Renfrew, and the SBCC Tonic Tee 2.  It took two and half hours to get those three cut so I was really ready by then to switch over to starting to sew instead of cutting.  The rest of Friday and Saturday morning, I worked on the Pattern Review Winter Street.  Let’s save the Pattern Review Winter Street dress for another post.


Up first is the Sewaholic Renfrew t-shirt. I actually purchase this as a Craftsy kit.  Several of the KC Pinheads sewing group absolutely adore the Craftsy kits they had purchased.  The fabric included in my Renfrew kit is 2 yards of jersey knit (92% rayon and 8% spandex) which is 58 inches wide.

I chose to use a straight size 14 for my top. With summer coming, I decided to go with view B (the short-sleeved, v neck).  Since I was using a thin stripes, I followed advice from Lucky Lucille and traced out the front and the back twice.  I knew there would be no way that I would be able to pin all those thin stripes together for cutting on the fold.  It was one of those cautious carefully planned cutting out, like the bunny could not be located on the same side of the living room as the fabric lest he messes up the stripe matching.


Saturday afternoon, with the Supersizers Go streaming on Hulu, I started to put together my Renfrew t-shirt. Everything went together fairly easily.  The only piece I had troubles on was the neckband but that was mostly me trying to visualize what was happening there.  About 2 ½ hours later I had a finished t-shirt.

On to the SBCC Tonic Tee 2. My favorite part about the Tonic Tee 2 is the length.  That was the sole reason I picked it over the original Tonic Tee by SBCC.  The Tonic Tee 2 has a length of 26 inches from the highest point of shoulder to hem.  Otherwise, the Tonic Tee is just 24 inches. Two inches are fairly significant and I really like my t-shirts on the longer side.


I made a size Large. Just like when I picked the size for the Sewaholic Renfrew, I laid the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern piece over the pattern to be made.  As a reference, the fabric used for the SBCC Tonic Tee 2 is a 95% rayon/ 5% lycra jersey knit from Fabric-mart.


My Tonic Tee 2 fits well. But my only quibble with the pattern is the neckband piece is sort of thin; which seems to be more of an issue of visual balance on the neckline.  But even though I think the neckband piece is too thin, I don’t think I will make changes to it.  As I am wearing the t-shirt, the neckline of the top lays well against my skin.  A well laying neck line or a thicker neckband is a hard decision; but as I am typing this, a well laying neckline is winning out.


Pattern instructions has you insert the neckband flat before closing up the second shoulder seam. This is done so that it is easier to insert the neckline band.  When I make this t-shirt again, I will probably insert the neckband in the round as I feel I get a cleaner finish with it.

I started my Tonic Tee 2 when I put my dinner in the oven. Then there was an hour break for dinner.  Afterwards, another hour and half work until I had a finished t-shirt.  It was completed even before the Sporting KC game started.

The last t-shirt of the weekend was completely unplanned. While the game was on, I decided I wanted to cut out a second Renfrew top out of the last of the peacock-blue rayon/ lycra jersey.  I used the same as above with no pattern alterations.  I stitched it up on Sunday afternoon.




Liesl + Co Late Lunch Tunic

DSCI0080So moving on from doll clothes for a while, my focus was turned to tops for myself.  I went with the Liesl & Co. late lunch tunic that I had picked up in late November as the starter for getting me back to sewing for myself.  As mentioned earlier, this top was finished before the Liesl & Co gallery tunic.  For both patterns I used a size 12 but could have gotten away with using a 10 instead.  I may see if sewing group agrees with the thought.

I decided to try out Liesl & Co late lunch tunic. It looked like it had similar styling as the McCall’s 7094 floral blouse I made which has become a favorite.  I like the fitted shoulders then the drape looseness of McCall’s 7094.  The late lunch tunic looked like it has the semi fitted shoulder area with the looseness that I have been wanting lately.  Also, the high low hem doesn’t look too dramatic from the pictures of finished tunics I have seen.  The part that sealed the deal on it being top of the to sew pile was seeing a post on the Olive + S blog that suggested men’s shirting as a potential fabric.  I had some lovely coral pink stretch shirting at home from Maggie London so that should be comparable.

This is the first Liesl + Co pattern I have used. I have use the Lisette Simplicity patterns (Traveler and Marketplace) before.  I like that the digital pattern is printed on a grid.  That gives me more to potential line the pattern up with instead of just triangles or corner circles.  This pattern didn’t go together like the usual PDF patterns I have used.  Instead of taping every piece together by row/ letter, this pattern is put together by pieces.  The numbers are the pattern piece numbers.  So 1 goes to front yoke.  Then the letters are the only ones that get matched.  It is different but does make it a bit easier putting stuff together.


I followed the directions listed in the pattern for the full bust alteration. I really appreciated that the pattern included this.  Instead of the half-inch suggested for C cup, I went with five-eighth inch just for some added looseness.  So just between a C and D.

Afterwards, I taped the front pieces together to check length. For me, this pattern almost came down to my knees.  I was torn on whether or not to shorten the skirt pieces by three inches or less.  I erred on the side of caution and went with two inches.  I figure if I need to, I can take the last from the hem area.  For my alteration, I placed a line at three inches and nine inches from the top of the skirt.  On either side of the two lines I put another set of lines half-inch away.  Then I folded along the original line to take an inch out of each piece (both front and back).


After getting everything together, the length was a little long. I should have went with my initial reaction of 3 inch decrease on length.  So the final inch and quarter came off of the bottom hem of the top.  Actually after taking the pictures, I ended up taking out the hem and cutting another inch off the back hem curving it up to the front.  It seemed too long still.

For the skirt part of my Late Lunch tunic, I used French seams so that the side seams were more “invisible” since the shirt has a shaped hem.


Any future make of this top, I would definitely need to reduce the length of the sleeves. My current make has about an inch and half hem on the sleeves (which is more than pattern recommended five eighth inch hem).  If I keep the deeper hem, I probably should shorten the sleeves about an inch. The other change to make would be to shorten the shaped hem in the back.  It is probably a little more dramatic than I like.

I still need to think on this some, but there seems to be too much fabric at the arms in the bodice. I think this is wearing ease so I can move my arms easily.  It looks like the pictures from the website has the same “issue”.  I am just not sure if it is to the same extent that I see on myself.  This may be another question to take to sewing group to see what they think.

I just finished up another Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono t-shirt.  Then next up is the McCall’s 6844.




Bonnie Beret

DSCI0072I decided to give up on the Belmont boot cuffs. I have been struggling with them for a while now.  The next crochet project that I had materials for was the Bonnie beret from Rachael Oglesby’s book “Crochet Boutique”.


The first try was with the recommended hook size (11.5 mm P hook). After row five, my hat’s diameter was around 9 inches.  The pattern listed 11 inch diameter for the finished hat.  I knew row 6 was the decrease so I decided to rip everything out and try again with a larger hook.


So after getting my 15mm hook out; I tried to make the hat again. I think the larger stitches were confusing me when I started with the larger hook and I messed up several times.  It took about four more tries to get the hat started.  About three of those times I was trying to watch “War and Peace” with Lily James.  Distractions definitely didn’t help me get started.


After getting started in a non-distracted environment, the hat was fairly easy to crochet. There is only nine rows.  After I got started, it probably took about 2 hours on the first hat.  Then I went ahead and made my mom a hat also.  I think I was able to finish her hat in about an hour.

Note, the ruler in the pictures is metric so the tick marks are in centimeters and millimeters.

Liesl & Co Gallery Tunic


So I was just going to start on the Liesl & Co Late Lunch tunic when I did see that the middle of February, they were hosting a sew along for the Gallery tunic. I went ahead and picked up the pattern and searched my fabric stash for fabric.  I was able to find a lovely watercolor floral rayon challis to use (and since I have six yards of it there will probably be another top too).  Then I went along my merry way of putting together the Late lunch tunic (it is just waiting blog photos).

I used the same size I did for the late lunch (size 12). Then I went ahead and shortened the length by three inches.  And I followed the instructions included in the pattern for a full bust alteration (of five eighth of an inch) after I had shortened the pattern.


I had removed two inches off the sleeve length. After finishing the sleeves are still way too long.  I am still trying to decide what I want to do to fix them.

As for the placket, I did go ahead and hand stitch it closed a couple of inches so it wouldn’t be so low.


As of right now, the Late Lunch tunic and a crocheted hat are awaiting blog pictures. I would like to get the February quilt block done for the murder mystery quilt.  As for future sewing projects, most of the patterns I am considering are tops such as Liesl & Co Cappuccino tunic/ dress, and Style Arc’s May and Kendall tops.  Otherwise, the Pattern Review Winter Street dress, McCall’s 6696 shirt dress, and McCall’s 6844 cardigan are also being considered.  I guess I will decide when I start tracing this weekend.


Ready for School- Felicity’s School Outfit from Pleasant Company


This outfit wasn’t what I originally thought of when I picked the tan/ white quilting cotton out of the remnant bin. I had thought of making a dress for either Cecile, Marie Grace or Kirsten but didn’t know which one.  So I put the fabric up on the shelf next to my dolls to be able to ponder who got the dress.  It was then that I realized the burgundy cotton twill would make a great companion to the quilting cotton and that together they would be perfect for Felicity.  I have been more in the mood for historical sewing instead of more of a modern look so a rummage through the doll patterns yielded Pleasant Company’s Felicity’s pretty clothing.  The collection includes Felicity’s holiday dress, school outfit, couple of caps, underwear and night shift.DSCI0017


As for the skirt, there are a lot of tiny pleats (not in width per say but more in length if I was to guess say around half an inch). I did baste the pleats in but I think in future I would make the starting length longer to make it easier to apply the waist band and iron.

The waistband was probably the biggest “design” change I made. I really didn’t want the double closure at the waistband.  On the first side, I sewed the side seams with basting at the pocket area.  I followed the pattern’s recommendations for the second side.


The jacket pieces went together very well. There is also a lining for the bodice pieces so most of the inside of the jacket is clean finished except for the side seams and the sleeve seams.DSCI0041

My little tip for how I did the sleeve and neck ruffle is that I zig-zag stitched the edge first then turned under twice using the zig-zag width as my guide for turning under. That worked out very well.  I do have a rolled hem sewing machine foot but I have difficulties using it.

The jacket pattern recommends eighth inch wide eyelets. To be honest, I don’t think you can find one of those.  Even if one could, would you be able to find the tool to insert the eyelets with?  Anyways, I ordered eyelets off of an Etsy store that has doll items.  I was able to get quarter-inch eyelets.  Since my eyelets are larger size, I reduced the number of eyelets from five to three.   It was kind of scary inserting them because you cut the slit in the jacket.  So one wrong snip and the project is ruined.  I was lucky enough that I didn’t have any mishaps.

In case it is needed, my sleeve ruffle piece was 12.5 inches long.  The neckline ruffle piece was 20.75 inches long.

Here is the side by side comparison for anyone interested.

felicity school compare

Next project up is Liesl & Co Late lunch tunic.  So there will be a break from doll post for a while.











Kirsten’s Chemise- Pleasant Company’s Kirsten’s Pretty Clothing

DSCI0020I used book club weekend to catch up with some more doll sewing, mainly doll undergarments. I had previously cut out 2 of Kirsten’s chemises from the Pleasant Company’s Kirsten’s Pretty Clothing.  These pattern are of the actual collection that at the time Pleasant Company made for the American Girl dolls.

I was able to put both chemises together in one afternoon (including a break for lunch and tea time because some bunny would be mad if he didn’t get to eat). I think my chemises are from white broadcloth cotton.  I used a little over 1 spool of lace for both (but I added lace at the bottom hem which the pattern doesn’t include).


So as to the pattern. It does go together fairly easily.  I like the neckline lace finish but I do not care for how it is completed.  There are sections on the neckline that should be gathered to recommended lengths stated in the instructions and you are to stitch the gathers in place.  After the gathers, one then applies the lace.  No overall neckline length is stated for the lace piece.  I don’t feel that this gives the most reliable of finishes.  I would much prefer to sew the gathers in place to a piece of bias trim then apply the lace to the top of that.  I understand the recommended method has less bulk and can still yield a clean finish but am still not fond of it.

The recommended closure was a small button and buttonhole. Pattern just says small button.  I decided to use Velcro instead.  For one thing, I know my machine hates doing button holes for small quarter-inch buttons.  Secondly, the quarter-inch buttons are hard for me to close so I would assume a child would have similar difficulties.


As a reminder, my Kirsten doll was purchased somewhere between 1993 to 1995. The chemise does have a loose fit.  For any of the newer Mattel dolls, definitely try on the chemise before finishing it up as those dolls are usually thinner than my older dolls. This chemise would probably be huge on them.  I think the picture below shows the looseness well.



I have made the pantalettes before so be sure to check out this post too if interested: