Cardiff Cowl

Here is the latest crochet projects.  Both cowls are the Cardiff Cowl from Lion Brand yarn.  The pattern is free.  It is about 4 rows repeated of different double crochet shell stitches.

Version one is what I made for the fall weather that may start coming in.  I used a cotton yarn and either an I or J sized crochet hook instead of an H (I can’t remember which one).  This took at least three tries for me to get it started correctly.  I felt like the lace pattern gets lost a bit in the color changes.


Version two is from Bernat yarn.  I used a size K hook.


There will probably be one more Cardiff cowl because I think my mom would like it.  So it may be a Christmas present from Lala.

Here is the link to the pattern (Cardiff Cowl).

Sew Small Contest Entry- Part 1

Here is the start of my Sew Small contest entry for Pattern Review. This particular blog post is going to cover the doll skirt, hat, and the purse that I chose for the contest.  The second post will cover the top and the pea coat when it is finished.


So let’s start with the purse first. I used the purse from Molly’s pretty clothes which was released by the Pleasant Company in the 1990s. You can get the pattern for free from AG Playthings . I used some of the navy cotton I had left over from the bodice of the dress I am making for my sister’s wedding.


I didn’t follow the instructions for the pattern. I decided to change and do a lined purse especially since I started this right after I had finished up my second purse for the Sew Powerful project. So for the lining I cut two 3.5 inch by 4.5 inch rectangles. I followed what I had done for the lining pieces in the Sew Powerful purse project; sew together with an opening at the bottom to turn through. My lining pieces were probably too big- then should have been about a quarter-inch smaller.


For the strap I folded the ends into the middle then zigzagged stitch down the center.

The skirt is the from Lee & Pearl. It is the slim skirts pattern number 1041. I actually ended up making a denim version and a pencil skirt version. The pencil skirt version is for my entry in Pattern Review’s Sew Small contest. The pattern rating of easy/intermediate is fairly accurate. The intermediate rating is mainly for the denim skirt’s pockets; however, if you have used the Liberty Jane jeans or Lee & Pearl’s Bonjour Paris, the pockets should be fairly easy to construct.


Molly is wearing the denim skirt I am not entering in the contest. I really just made it because it was so cute. I didn’t do all the top stitching since this was mainly for me only. I love that it had the pockets (I really should have put something in the pockets so everyone could see). As always noted, my Molly doll is from around 1993 to 1995. I didn’t do any alterations to the pattern and the skirt fits her very well. I didn’t add the belt loops as I wasn’t sure I really wanted to hand stitch those if my sewing machine didn’t like thick fiddly belt loops.


Now for the burgundy pencil skirt that Rebecca is modeling. I got Rebecca as a Christmas present in 2013 so she is a Mattel made doll. Again there were no pattern alterations. The skirt fits Rebecca fine. Based from what I see on the denim skirt, I don’t think older dolls will need any pattern adjustments. The back waist of the pencil skirt does have two darts for a little bit of shaping.




I hadn’t originally planned on doing a hat for the outfit. But last week when I wasn’t feeling well, I decided to cut out the Lee & Pearl Glengarry hat #2021. It was a lot fewer pieces to cut than the pea coat when I didn’t feel well. Over the weekend I finished up Rebecca’s Glengarry hat. I used the grey wool flannel I had in my stash for the outside and the blue floral quilting cotton for the lining. Since the wool flannel was mid weight I didn’t interface any pieces. I didn’t add any decoration to the outside of the hat since I didn’t have anything at home that would work but there are instructions on how to make a ribbon cockade included in the pattern.


This hat came together in the matter of a couple of hours. It was very easy to sew but not as easy to press the seams with a normal iron. With the small seam allowances, curves, and tight spaces this is hard to iron without burning oneself. In fact so much so that I would not recommend this pattern to a beginner. I feel that one needs great ironing skills to be able to do this pattern.


Don’t get me wrong, I love the hat and the pattern is well drafted. I like that it takes a minimal amount of fabric and I will probably make it again. But I may go and see about buying a smaller iron before I make it again.


Anne St. Clair’s Bra Workshop

So I have several projects done, but I really haven’t made time to get pictures lately.  Right now the stack of projects for pictures includes 2 scarves/cowls, one beaded bracelet, one skirt, one dress (which had been finished for quite a while), and a couple of tops from Maria Denmark.

But instead of working on blogging that pile, I decided to take time to blog about the sewing class I just took over the weekend.  I took the two-day Bra Workshop with Anne St. Clair.  It was two very intense days but the end results were great.

So Friday night was the fitting and lecture.  Beforehand, I had sent the requested measurement to Anne so she was able to pick out one of her fitting bras for me to try on.

The lecture went over part of the bra, how a well fitted bra components should look on the person, and the differences between ready to wear and making your own.

I don’t have any pictures from the actual class.  I was too busy sewing.  Anyways, I left my camera at home.

Saturday was completely dedicated to sewing the bra.  I was given the Queen Elite pattern.  I made a 37 F  in size.  The fit is very good.  I need to readjust the straps to be a bit shorter.  This was made using power bar fabric, tricot, elastics and under wires.  One of the hardest parts was to insert the channeling.  It needs to be stretched as it is going in so that took several tries.


The outside

I have enough fabric to make at least 4 more of the Queen Elite bras.  My only modification will be to add a little bit of batting to the cups.  It is more personal preference but I feel like two pieces of thin fabric is not enough for the cups.


The inside

I am currently working on my entry into Pattern Review’s sew small contest.  I decided to do an outfit for my dolls.  I tried to keep with patterns I haven’t used yet except for the top (that is Simplicity 1086).  My original plan is a purse, top, skirt, and coat.  Last night I cut out the Glengarry hat from Lee & Pearl so that got added too.

As for other fall/ winter sewing plans, I would like to follow along with the McCall’s pattern sew-along for Vogue 1467, Closet Case Files’ Ginger jeans and the Jalie jean pattern that is so popular, the Jasper dress, t-shirts, underwear and maybe Butterick 6018 (that 1912 coat).  I don’t think I am ready yet to tackle the Colette patterns Lady Grey coat.

2015 Sew Powerful Purse Project

DSCI0035 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.

Here is the second purse I made.




My friend Betsy from the KC Pinheads group (a bunch of Kansas City area sewing enthusiasts that get together for lunch and talk sewing) made a couple of purses also for this project.  So here is the picture of all four of the purses together before I mailed them off to Washington last week.


Cute 1950’s- Simplicity 1086


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.


Lindy Petal Skirt

DSCI0012One 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.


Picnic T-shirt dress- Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee



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.