Sew Powerful started their 2015 purse drive back in July. The drive runs until October 1, 2015 but purses will be accepted after that date. In case you haven’t heard about the Sew Powerful purse drive, you make a purse using the pattern provided for free from the Sew Powerful website and mail it in to the address provided. Ok, that is the case simplified. But it is what happens after you mail in the purse that is the most important. Those purses collected are sent to Lusaka, Zambia. The purses are part of the menstration hygiene management program. The purses get paired with re-usable sanitary pads and distributed to girls needing the supplies. Without these supplies the girls would miss school at those times of the month. A simple purse is able to help a girl get a better education.
Here is the purse I made using 2015’s purse pattern. I made view A (the purse on the pattern cover). I used an olive-green cotton twill and pink quilting cotton. This went together in about 4 evenings (probably about 2 hours each evening).
Being completely honest, there isn’t much difference in the pattern pieces from 2014 to 2015. Main difference is the front flap pocket.
I think the biggest improvement over last year’s pattern was in the instructions. While I was making the 2014’s purse, I felt lost and like the pictures didn’t really give me the detail I needed to follow the instructions. This year I felt that the pictures complemented the instructions and clarified what was meant. I think the greater contrast between pieces and some of the photos were closer up than before. The instructions are also formatted better so that information isn’t lost in the instructions.
Please go check out Sew Powerful. The priority deadline is Thursday October 1, 2015. They will still accept purses after that date.
This is another one of the Keeper Dolly Duds for Simplicity patterns. This is the second one I have used. There are four out I think: one for Civil War era, one at early 1900s (aimed at Samantha and Rebecca dolls), one for the 1940s (Molly dolls), and this one is the newest aimed at the new American Girl doll set in the 1950s (Mary Ellen) debuting at the end of this month.
As always, here is my reminder. My Molly doll is from around 1993-ish so she is a little larger than the current dolls you can buy today. I didn’t make any alterations for size on the patterns and it fits her fine.
The top is view F from the pattern which is a sleeveless button down top (which uses snaps to fasten). I absolutely adore the top. It went together so easily. The arm is finished with a strip of bias (pattern piece is provided). I used thin Velcro that I have for the fasten and left off the buttons and snaps. I also lined the pockets so I wouldn’t have to try to fold under the seam allowance. A quarter-inch is fairly small so lining worked better.
I actually finished the Capri pants last month. Molly had to wait until last week for her top. In the mean time she had her Capri pants on with another top I made. I used an olive-green cotton twill for the pants. There are darts on the front at the waist and elastic in the back of the pants. They went together fairly easily. I didn’t add the tie to the waist as the twill is a bit thick. I didn’t notice that the hem was split so that is why she doesn’t have a split hem in her Capri. I think the next time, I may make a little larger hem but that is personal preference.
One night I decided that I needed a simple easy project. I decided to try out the recently released Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal Skirt. I went ahead and trace out the Lindy petal skirt. I used the size medium at the waist and waistband and graded out to large at the hips.
For this skirt I used scuba knit. Scuba knit is a bit thicker than the recommended fabrics.
The medium was fine at the waist. However, the large was too big at the hips. I brought in the side seams at least 5/8 inch (for 2.5 inches total). So I probably ended up at slightly under the medium in size.
Lindy has an elastic waistband but doesn’t use the casing method for the elastic. I am not fond of the casing method because it always seems like the safety-pin I use unfasten and falls off the elastic or I lose the second end and have to pull it all out and redo it. I am going to call what the Lindy pattern uses as the sandwich method. I felt that the sandwich method was very easy (so much so that I was able to have a nice neat waistband on first try) and produced a nice looking band. I would definitely tell beginners that this is a pattern they should try because of that. Especially since the sandwich method allows you to try the waistband on before adding it to the skirt.
The only thing I didn’t like about the waistband was the tacking it at the sides. I wonder if that was because of the scuba knit though. My fabric was fairly squishy so I think my machine didn’t sew those bar tack stitches as well. I decided to go ahead and zig-zag stitch the bottom of the elastic waistband closed instead. Advice for those who decide to do this, use a smaller width zig-zag. I used the wide stitch I used to put the elastic on the waistband to close it also and that is fairly noticeable.
My Lindy Petal Skirt has been done for about 2 to 3 weeks. I have worn it several times and it does look long. I think next time I should shorten the pattern at least an inch to get the length to hit me at the place it does on the pattern photo. Also, I would just trace out the plain medium for the size.
I needed something to wear to my dad’s work picnic at the end of June. I didn’t have any shorts that still fit. So with the help of the KC Pinheads sewing group, it was decided that the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee as a dress would be perfect.
This time, I shortened the length I added to 8 inches to the bottom of the extra-large tee length. I shortened the neckband to 21.25 inches and used a quarter-inch seam allowance for the neckband. That may be a little too small because the front neckline is a bit more gathered than I think it is supposed to be. Otherwise it is fairly similar to the grey/ navy stripe one I made at the end of May for book club.
Here is my trial at taking pictures with the camera’s timer. They are not as good as the one my dad did above. But I tried especially since 2 seconds is too short but 10 seconds is too long.
I do have other finished items that are just awaiting for photos to be able to share.
One thing that has to be said about the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee is that it is a quick pattern to make even if you alter it.
So Friday night I decided I wanted a new dress to wear to book club (which was on Saturday night for The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood), I needed something that is easy to make. I probably started out a little after 7:30 pm by tracing out the Kirsten Kimono tee and modifying it for a dress. I added 9 inches to the bottom with an ever so slight taper out. I am not even sure if that is noticeable.
The only pre-washed knit was the grey/ navy stripe rayon jersey. If I want lovely matching side seams, it will take more prep time. Before even placing the pattern pieces on there, I sat and pinned each stripe on the fold and edge. Then I placed the pieces on top to cut out.
Shoulder seams were sewn first and reinforced with clear elastic. The side seams required extensive pinning to make sure the stripes were matching on the front and back. By around 10:30 at night I had the hem and arm-scythes completed. The next morning I finished up the neckline. I calculated 21.92 inches on the neckband, but I used a 21.75 inches for the length instead. It was easier to measure out using my cutting mat. The 21.75 inched worked well.
I used the same size combo as before, the medium for the bust and waist and the x-large at the hip area. I was looking at how the dress looked on me one night. It looks like I could pull in each side seam an extra quarter-inch (reduce by one inch total) and still have a fairly relaxed look dress. But I think I will leave it like it is since it did get bunny approval.
Here are some more Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tees. I added pleats to the red/grey/cream floral to bring in the neckline. I didn’t have enough fabric to make the neckband. I thought the neckline stretched out so that is why the pleats. But after wearing the Kirsten Kimono tee I finished last night, I know now it is because there is no neckband.
This week, I went ahead and made another Kirsten Kimono tee for me-made- May rotation. Last night, I didn’t feel like doing the math and cutting out the neckband. So I went ahead and turned under and stitched. As I am wearing it right now, I notice the neckline isn’t laying like it should. I think I will go back and add the neckband tonight.
Back to a vintage pattern for my next top. I picked up McCall 4785 a couple of months ago when I was looking for vintage dress patterns. The pattern is copyrighted 1942. Much to my surprise, the pattern looks like it had never been made. Only part of the front piece was cut out. I picked up the pattern because it looked like a nice everyday sort of blouse, so part of me wonders why it was never made. Was it supposed to be a present and the original seamstress realized it was the wrong size?
I traced out the front and back pattern pieces only. I added to the side seams for the hip area and graded to nothing at the waist. I used the same cotton voile that was used for the Deer & Doe Blouse Airelle (I need to remember to get better pictures of this one) which should work well for the button down blouse. I used some ribbon to hem the top so I was able to keep some length.
I really like the fit of this top. I definitely should put in with the Deer & Doe Airelle blouse as patterns to turn to when in need of a top. Next time I make this I will definitely be adding at least two inches to the length (at the bottom) and I think I may also bring in the side seams a touch too from arm to waist area.
With Me-Made-May coming up, April has been the month of separates. I still have a Deer & Doe Airelle blouse to blog and a Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee done. I am currently working on a new skirt. I am not sure if I have enough for a whole month so I plan on seeing how many days out of the 31 I wear me-made items. The past couple weeks, the average has been 3 days of me-made items.