Purple Pavement Scarf

Time to share about the crochet projects I have been working on.  February, I picked up a crochet pattern for doll boot cuffs from Pixie Faire website.  The pattern wasn’t too hard and I was able to make one up in a thicker yarn.  Before I made one my dolls could actually wear with boots (since they need thin sock type yarn), I decided to try making a cowl type scarf for myself especially since I hadn’t really crochet before.

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I picked a free pattern out from on-line and went on over to Pattern Review for opinions of others more experienced than me.  I had several better options presented to me and I went ahead and picked out the pavement infinity scarf.  It is made using the double crochet stitch.  The link to the pattern is at the end of the post.

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I think it took me about 3 tries to get the scarf started.  Trial one didn’t look like the video.  Trial 2 seems to be getting wider.  Trial 3 made it until the end.  I used 2 balls of yarn for my scarf and had about 60 inches in length total.  At the end I used some of the left over yarn to sew the ends together.

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For the month of April, I am trying to focus on sewing tops which will be usable for me-made-may.  So this week, I need to get pictures of my Deer & Doe Airelle blouse that I finished the last week.  I just started McCall’s 4785 from 1942 last night.  Lastly, I would like to make Kate & Rose’s Zsálya blouse for me-made may.  Besides the tops, I would like to finish making my mom a pavement infinity scarf too for Mother’s day.

 

Pattern Link:   http://www.fiberfluxblog.com/2012/09/free-crochet-patternpavement-infinity.html

 

Best of PR- Sewaholic Gabriola Skirt

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Sewaholic’s Gabriola skirt has to be the perfect summer skirt.  It is loose for those hot humid summer days when you don’t want anything clinging to you.  Last year, I wore my skirt often even on a day trip down to a couple of wineries in Louisburg.  So it is even picnic appropriate.

Normally, I have the blog post created before posting the pattern review, but since this was for the Best of PR contest, I had to post the review by March 31.

Here is the review (I put the blog only parts in italic):

1.  Why do you think this was voted one of the Best Patterns?

I think the pattern description explains it best: The Gabriola Skirt is flared to create a curvy A-line silhouette, narrowing the waist and elongating the body. Angled panels around the waist flatter the figure and look especially good in striped fabrics. Sew the yoke panels in a contrast fabric, or choose one fabric for the entire skirt. Looks great in printed fabrics as well as solids. A center back zipper makes this skirt easy to construct with a very sophisticated result. Look effortlessly stylish in a long skirt!

2.  Would you have made this pattern if it was NOT voted one of the top patterns of the year?

Actually back in January I thought of making another Gabriola skirt and bought a cotton lawn for it even before I knew this was one of the best patterns of 2014. I decided to use the ITY instead of the cotton lawn since I thought it was too light for a skirt.  The cotton was actually a cotton voile (I am not sure of the exact difference between lawn and voile).  The cotton voile is now being used for three tops which are currently being worked on. 

3.  How did you make your version of this pattern unique?

I guess the fact that I made the pattern in a knit instead of the recommended woven fabrics may make it unique. I also used an elastic waist.

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4.  What size(s) did you make?

Size 12

5.  Did you find the sizing accurate compared to the measurements listed on the pattern?

I think so.  It is hard to tell because of the fabric (see question 6). 

6.  What fabric and trims did you use? What was the source of your fabric and trims?

Raspberry ITY from Fabric-mart. It isn’t on their website anymore. This fabric absolutely hated the rotary cutter. I think I ended up with a skirt slightly smaller than size 12 when finished because it would shift around under the rotary cutter. The yoke pieces were the worst for this and it looked like I had ears on my hips. So after everything was pretty much together, I went back with my design curve and smoothed out the yoke to gentle curves.

I bought 10 yards of the raspberry ITY  because I adored the color and so hopefully I am ready for the cutting battle when I go to use it again. I think it would work well for some leggings.

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7.  Describe how you used the pattern instructions. Did you follow the instructions literally, did you figure out how to assemble on your own, or a combination of instructions plus own experience?

I have made this before so I didn’t look at the instructions. I did pull out my teal skirt for reference. I used the style of the “unit” construction method from the 1960s. I made the front first, then back and continued finishing up the skirt.

8.  Describe any alterations you made and discuss whether alternations were for fit or for design.

I made a straight size 12. My fabric seemed to not like the rotary cutter and shifted around even with my pattern weights so after I got it together I had to re-shape the yoke part.  I did take 5 inches out in the length of the skirt so it fit me better.  I didn’t take it all at one location.  At the lengthen/ shorten line, I took just one inch then measures so far down and took another inch out and repeated.  It was easier to smooth out the ridges after and didn’t affect the hem width.   

9.  What did you like and what did you dislike about the pattern?

I like the flare and that it is easy to wear.  If it is any help, the skirt did get bunny approval while I was making it.  Lala would sit on it as I was pinning the pieces together. 

10.  Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I really want a version in a print so if the right print came up I would sew it again. I think it is a great summer skirt so I would recommend others to look at it and see if it would work for them.

So since I didn’t know, the blog’s 3rd anniversary was on Monday April 6th.  It is a good thing that Word-press keeps up with that type of stuff because I surely don’t.

 

Best of PR Contest- Deer & Doe Plantain tee

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I went ahead and made the other free t-shirt, Deer & Doe’s Plantain t-shirt, for Pattern Review’s Best Pattern contest.

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I had just enough of the coral stripe rayon jersey knit to make this project with some left over for doll clothes.  I was able to get the stripes to match at the side seams!

I used a size 42 at the bust, shoulders and waist then graded out to the 46 for the hip.  I used the length for the size 46 since I wanted the shirt a bit on the longer side.  I also used the size 46 neckline just to have a higher scoop neckline.  For the dress I made last year, I used the 42 but it is a little low-cut for my taste.  The 46 was a better pick.

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In comparing the two shirts: The ideal t-shirt neckline would be somewhere between the plantain and the kimono.  I like the looser sleeves of the kimono shirt better but I like the length of the plantain sleeve better.  I like the looser fit at the hips of the plantain shirt just because it is a little more relaxed than the kimono t-shirt.  But otherwise both are great t-shirt patterns to have.

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Best of PR Contest- Maria Denmark 101 Kirsten Kimono Tee

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Sewing Pattern Review is having their best pattern contest.  I flipped through the qualifying years.  I knew I should really focus on tops.  2014’s list included 2 t-shirt patterns; Deer & Doe’s plantain and Maria Denmark’s Kirsten Kimono Tee.  Also a plus is that both patterns are free.  I decided to start with the one I haven’t used before the Maria Denmark’s Kirsten Kimono Tee.

I had enough of the Maggy London ITY fabric left over from a yet to be blogged skirt to make this top.  The instructions say it takes 0.9 yards of fabric.

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First thing to note, the pattern does not have seam allowances included.  However, there are seam allowance recommendation in the instructions.  I didn’t have the instructions open as I was tracing so I just used a straight five eighth seam allowance everywhere.  Also the pattern is in metric which I think caused me some conversion problems when I did my neckband.

I used a medium for the bust and waist then graded out to the extra-large for the hips.  After wearing it a bit, I probably could have just graded out to the large for the hip and be fine but the extra room isn’t a bad thing.  I also used the length for the extra-large.  I didn’t want my t-shirt to be too short.

I added clear elastic to the shoulder seams.

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My neckline binding was too long.  I think it was because I didn’t faithful convert metric to inches.  I roughly rounded.  I had to shorten it.  So my neckline was not laying flat and turn out.  I went ahead and stitched the neckline and that also allowed me to add a ribbon piece to mark the back of the shirt.

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Last Blue Floral Doll Dress- Simplicity 1391

DSCI0191This time I tried out Simplicity 1391 for Cecile.  The pattern was designed by Eve Coleman from Keeper Dolly Duds.  This pattern contains three dress views, one jacket, one bonnet, one apron, and a pair of pantaloons.

I decided to make view B’s dress.  I did not have any coordinating trim in my stash so I left that part off.  The blue floral cotton is a fairly busy print but after my dress was completed I do feel like it is lacking something special that the trim would provide.  The dress is a little plain without the trim.  I think I still have some of the navy linen look fabric that I can use to make her the coordinating jacket.

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I had not tried out any Keeper Dolly Duds pattern before.  Since this was my first and I knew I wanted to put it on Cecile, I did not make any alterations to the pattern.

Interesting items to note about this pattern is the back bodice of the dress has darts.  I haven’t seen that used before.  The other item is the neckline facing.  It was fiddly to sew but give the dress a beautifully clean look on the inside.  I definitely will keep that pattern piece in mind when another doll pattern needs a neckline facing and it isn’t provided (example: coat in Simplicity 4347).

The dress came together easily and the directions were pretty good.  The pattern recommends three-eighth inch buttons which I did not have so I subbed in Velcro instead for the closure.

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In the pictures Cecile is wearing her chemise, hoop skirt and pantalets (all from American Girl) as well as a petticoat that I made for her.  I really like that the dress still fits well over all that stuff.  I think that this dress would also fit my older Kirsten doll well as long as she doesn’t have on too many undergarments.

I still have a tiny bit of the blue floral cotton left.  So the actual last item from this blue floral cotton will be a pair of Janes shoes whenever I get around to making them.

Kit’s jeans- Liberty Jane Boot cut Jeans

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I made this with the left over stretch denim from my Vogue 1247 (Rachel Comey) skirt.  I had added a half-inch total to the pattern (a quarter per piece) since most of my dolls are the older ones.

The pattern went together easily.  I didn’t exactly follow the instructions.  I added the waistband in flat then finished up the back seam.

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So Kit has a baggy bottom on her jeans.  I think this is because of the stretch denim, which did have a lot of stretch to it.  So if you use stretch denim, don’t add any width to the pattern for the older dolls.  I probably should test this pattern with the extra width in a non-stretch denim just to make sure it was fabric choice that caused the baggy bottom.  I know the skinny jeans from Liberty Jane’s jean bundle were tight on my older dolls when made in a non stretch denim.  Adding a half-inch really helped out on that with the non stretch denim.

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Just for reference, the top and hat were from Kit’s school outfit.  I didn’t make either one.  The navy blue coat is from the Simplicity 4347.

 

Bonjour Paris- Lee & Pearl 1033

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So this is the new free pattern for Lee & Pearl’s newsletter mailing list.  For a free pattern, you are getting so many different variations.  The pattern included a top, dress, shorts (cuffed and un-cuffed), and an apron.  I went ahead and made the shorts and the top for my dolls.

The top I made with white rayon challis.  The pattern recommends cotton, so my rayon challis is a little light weight for the pattern.  So I didn’t feel up to fighting both Toby and Lala investigating the iron so I didn’t iron my wrinkly challis before cutting the pattern out.  I really believe that is why the top looks bigger than what the pattern shows.  The pleats at the neckline are the only part that made me stop to re-read the instructions and match what I do to the pictures.  I didn’t top-stitch my pleats down.  Otherwise the top was easy to put together even with the pleats in the sleeves.

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I had a cute blue floral quilting cotton that I thought would be adorable shorts.  First I had to make sure I could get a dress for Cecile then I could cut my shorts out plus I got a bonus pair of shoes too from the fabric.  The shorts do have a pocket, so for the pocket lining I used some of the white quilting cotton I had so it wouldn’t show through.  The shorts went together very quickly.  I think I had them completely sewn in an hour and a half.  So this is the first pattern I have used for shorts/ pants that didn’t use elastic in the waistband.  These shorts close with Velcro.

 

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This pattern is rated at easy/ intermediate for the pleats and curved seams.  That is pretty accurate.  I really like the items I made.  It will definitely be used again later this year as I am working on the doll wardrobe for my dad’s work.