Thursday, March 19, 2020

Expanding the Waist for Box Pleats without Recalculating!

I love box-pleated skirts. I have always wanted to make one, but was never good with math so I never got it right. That is why I love the Poppy Skirt from Phat Quarters.

I wanted to make Leah a new box pleat skirt, but she didn't fit the measurements. That is not usually a problem.  I knew I could still make the skirt but how to add 4” at the waist without ruining or re-figuring the pleats?  There was no way I could work out the math without giving myself a headache!

I decided to make the skirt version with the elastic waist to give myself some wiggle room (and her too).  I started with the front and instead of cutting the rectangle to size, I added 10” to the width and began marking for the pleats according to the directions starting with the center pleat.  I pleated on each side evenly until I had the width needed according to the front and back waistband measurements with 2” added to each.  I added the seam allowance on each side and cut the excess fabric off.

Next, I added the pockets to the sides. I also added the pocket to the extended width of the back piece and sewed my side seam. I extended the width 5” to each back piece.

Then, I continued pleating until I had the width needed for the one back piece then did the same thing for the other back piece, adding 2” total.  (1” on each back piece plus seam allowance)

This pattern is so well designed that I only had to make very small adjustments to the pleats for them to be even. I finished the pattern according to the instructions for the waistband with elastic.

This Pattern is on sale on Maarch 19, 2020 for Throwback Thursday! Grab it at 

Monday, February 24, 2020

What's a Little Hack Among Friends

     I have really let loose with my creative juices!  I can't believe I have actually hacked a pattern.  I do have to admit Phat Quarters has made it easy.  They are so creative and encouraging. They actually want you to take their patterns that step further and make it your own. 
     For the last Friday of the month of February, the featured patterns are The Rosemary Sweater, The Dakota Tank and Dress, and the Sage shorts.  I have chosen to hack the Rosemary Sweater and combine it with the Dakota Tank and Dress to create a fun spring and summer outfit.
     The Rosemary Sweater already has several looks,  a crop sweater with a several cowl neck views. I wanted to make my granddaughter a Dakota Dress, but knowing her, she will wear it as soon as I make it no matter what the weather.  So why not make her a modified Rosemary sweater that can be worn all spring and summer?
     The first thing was finding the right fabric. I choose a kint lace. Since the Rosemary is double layered-reversible-the lace would cover her arms and give her some protection from the weather and her dad (very conservative) and allow her to wear it to school.

First, I decided to leave off the cowl neck.

Then, I shortened the sleeves.

Finally, I constructed it the same as in the pattern except I sewed the neckline together leaving the opening for turning in the back bodice next to the shoulder seam.

I stay-stitched the opening before I turned the sweater inside out so it wouldn't stretch out of shape.

I completed the sweater according to the directions

It made a beautiful top over the Dakota Dress.  

Even though this was a simple hack, it created a very cute alternative for transitioning into spring.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Adventure of Self-Sewing

I think I stopped sewing for myself about 15 years ago.  I was getting frustrated with available patterns in my size and the need to make so many alterations without understanding what I was doing.

Then I saw this notice on FaceBook, Tester Call for adult patterns. It has changed my life!  The first tester call came from Phat Quarters They wanted to do a basic tee and wanted to include sizes up to 5X.  Now we were cooking, of course, I didn't have any idea what size I wore.  The Eve Layering Tee was perfection!  The pattern included cup sizes also, allowing me to have a custom fit. What I liked the most was the darts! They are great for short people.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Creating Memories Through Up-Cycling

I love to make dresses for my granddaughter!  She always loves what I make, but the best part is she never takes them for granted.  Every dress is like the first dress. 

Recently, she outgrew about ten dresses.  I asked did she want to pass them down, but she got a sad look on her face and said,"but they are my favorites."  She thought maybe I could remake them or something.  A couple of the dresses I made skirts from-very easy just take off the bodice and add a waistband.  The others weren't going to be that simple. 

Along comes Candice Ayala and the CAUpcyclingchallenge2019 Now you have to understand I have never done anything remotely like this before and to be part of a contest?  I was lucky enough to get one of the 24 boxes that enters you for the the grand prizes.

I kept thinking, this would be a chance to push myself out of my rut and create something my granddaughter would cherish forever.

I know I can make beautiful dresses, but to create a dress from other dresses?  Way beyond my comfort zone.  After thinking and having nightmares of failure, I came up with a plan. I gingerly ripped the seams and cut the dresses apart and started the journey.  I used part of a quilting pattern and designed the skirt.  

Next, I  pieced together the main part of the skirt using 4 half-blocks of the quilting.  This was nerve-racking because the piecing had to be precise so it would be long enough for a skirt.  I grafted the skirt without a pattern.

Finally I used the bodice is the Evelyn Pattern from VioletFieldThreads  for a simple but sweet dress.

She absolutely loves her dress.  She says it is the best dress she has ever had.  Of course she says that about all of them, only this time she looks at each fabric and tells me the dress and when she wore it. Wonderful Memories!

The  CAUpcyclingchallenge2019 is sponsored by the following companies: