After seeing everybody’s top 5 projects, I thought it would be fun to do the same. It always interesting to look back at what you made and see how far you came in a year. Also, it gives you an opportunity to reflect and also provides a snapshot of what you sewed in 2016. So here my 2016 year in review.
The top project is my refashion tank top; this one was surprising as it was just something I quickly made without putting a lot of thought into it. It works do well, it the right length, the right colour and is one of those rare items of clothing that you can just throw on and easily dress it up or down. I wore it well into the fall and even as I write this I’m wearing it under a sweater.
Favourite Thing To Make
My favourite thing to make this year was my black and white stripe dress it was just the right blend of challenging but still doable. The dress was also the first thing I made on my dress form, and I had lots of fun deciding just how the stripes should go.
Just as a disclaimer, this is the worst project that made it to the blog.I made other mistakes that died before they were finished the garment. So my worst project is Sorbetto Shirt it’s too short, and I don’t like how the fabric looks on the shirt
Biggest Lesson I Learnt
This lesson will probably sound common sense to most people but took a while for it to sink in. I have to sew for the life I have while I love dresses most days it is jeans and a t-shirt. And that okay I just have to keep that in mind while sewing. Right now my life is more casual, so it only makes sense to sew casual clothes. So simple but still extremely important that I keep this in mind while sewing.
Biggest Goal For 2017
My biggest thing I would like to learn is pattern making. Not just tracing a pattern off my clothes but drafting a pattern from scratch. An added bonus of pattern making would be that I could offer free patterns on here.
I never really thought much of my sewing projects after they were finished. It is fascinating to look back and see what gets worn the most and which ones get thrown into the back of your closet.
I haven’t been sewing much this month, and when I go a sewing slump like that, though, I always like to ease myself back in with an easy project. Instead of just going on Pinterest and wasting my time there I decided to do a project I already had the idea and supplies. Enter this t-shirt I was planning on dyeing but never did because the dye package was for three shirts but I only had one. I went through my scrap container taking out any white pieces I thought would work. Then I dyed them. It was my first time and went smooth. I could post how to dye something, but the package instruction was excellent. Instead here are the three dyeing mistakes I made and how to avoid them
Wear Sturdy Gloves
The first mistake I made is fairly obvious; instead of gloves, I used a plastic bag. We didn’t have any gloves in the house and to go and buy some seem like a waste of time and money. Well, you could probably guess my bag leak and my hand got dyed along with the clothes. So when you dye, please invest in rubber gloves that you could reuse.(On a related note make sure you wear old clothes when dying; so you won’t accidentally spill dye on them.)
Fabric content and Color
The t-shirt I planned on dyeing was 100% cotton and absorb the dye well. The only issue I have with it is because of the colour it was originally it didn’t get as bright as I wanted it too. My scrap fabric that I threw in absorb the dye differently; some are a beautiful bright colour and others are barely tinted. When you dye something, look at the colour it is now and be realistic about what colours you can get. If you can try to figure out the fabric content is; it a bit disappointing to throw a white thing in and have it come out of a red dye bath a pale pink.
What Colour you Want
There is some variable that will affect the colour of your dyed item; the fabric content and colour and how long it is in the dye bath. So how long do you keep it in the bath? Well, that depends on the colour you want and how bright it would be. None of the items from my red dye bath came out red, they all were various shades of pink. What should I have done differently? Next time I would keep it in longer or do it on the stove. Also, I forgot to take into account items tend to look darker wet than they do dry.
So now you heard my dyeing mistakes I would like to hear yours? Have you ever dyed? Share in the comments below
Do you still remember that time I made a backpack? A few months have passed since then, and I started to notice some more problems with it. On my original post, I mention only two mistakes, sewing the outside pocket and lining on in a messy way. My second issue was making the pocket contrast with the rest of the backpack.Since using it, I have found four things I did wrong, and I thought of ways to fix each one of them.
I Sewed The Outside Pocket On Wrong
My outside pocket is sewed on wrong. In a sense it does work, and there are no raw edges, but it was hard to sew and still doesn’t look the best. Looking at the backpack from the side you can see a thin strip of red against the stripes; thats my lining peeking out. When I sewed my pocket I closed the lining and inserted the zip at the same time; it was hard to sew, and my lining is gathered. I don’t want just to complain I want to show you how to avoid these mistakes, so what would be a better way of sewing the outside pocket?
To avoid the problems I had, first, sew the little dart to make the pocket sit better on your outside fabric. The next step would be to insert the zipper between the lining and the outside pocket. Then topstitch the pocket to make sure the lining won’t get caught in the zipper when you use it. I hate to say this, but I think I would have to give up on having no raw edges. So I would make sure the edges won’t fray, then I would turn the edges under and topstitch the pocket to the front of the backpack.
I Sewed My Grab Handle Behind My Back Straps
This mistake is my pet peeve. It isn’t because of laziness on my part; it’s just not thinking the result, though. You know that haul strap (the grabby handle) on the top of your backpack, it’s perfect for quickly grabbing the bag. I sewed it behind the back straps so you can’t see it 90% of the time which makes it harder to grab. And when you grab it the back straps fall over the front of the backpack.
This mistake is very easy to fix. When sewing the straps onto you backpack to make sure that the haul strap is the between the back strap and the bag when it finished, you want it to be on top when sewing it down. So you would have backpack face up then the back straps and then your handle. You’re then going to sew them on right above the seam line. When you go and finish putting your backpack together; the grabby handle will be on top of the back straps.
I Have A Messy Finished On The Inside
I find this to be my most embarrassing mistake because everyone else has these gorgeous finishes and here I am with my messy finish. This might not seem like a genuine mistake. Ok, Natalie, you might be lazy, but it is a point of pride with me to have good finishes. So I don’t have to worry about this. This might be true and if your good at getting a perfect finish feel free to skip the rest of this section. If you are like me though and want to learn how to do things good and fast, keep reading.
There are a few things that contribute to my messy finish; basted too far away from the edge and skinny bias binding. When I stitched the lining together I though as long as it in my seam allowance it will be okay. It’s not okay it looks bad having multiple lines of stitches. So I would make sure your basting stitches are right on the edge of the fabric. Another issue was skinny bias binding it doesn’t cover much and looks cheap. I may be Dutch, but I still don’t like looking cheap. I would choose a wider bias binding and sew it just above or right on the seam line.
My Backpack Has No Structure
My backpack is made from great fabric that I love the look and feel of, but it lacks something every good backpack should have. Structure. My backpack is very floppy, and unless it is completely stuffed, it looks saggy. If your sewing a backpack try to pick a heavier fabric that an hold it shape. Still wanting to use a thinner fabric, interface it or sew fabric that has the structure in between the outside fabric and lining.
If you’re sewing a backpack makes sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did. I would like to think that because I made these mistakes, I could help others avoid them. Have you ever made any of these mistakes? Or did you make an entirely different mistake that you want others to avoid? I would love to hear your stories.
I’ve started to wear my winter clothes, and I have discovered a few gaps in my wardrobe. One thing I lack in my wardrobe is skirts. I wanted to fix this, so I started to dig through my refashion pile. Until this high waisted a-line skirt caught me eye. I dislike high waisted skirts, but I did like the fabric on this and it was a nice thick stable knit. Since it was such nice thick material, it would make a perfect knit pencil skirt.
I knew I wanted a pencil skirt. And I also wanted pockets. A quick google search gave me this tutorial which I followed. The actual skirt pattern I traced from a knit skirt which I made a year ago copying the pattern from my favourite skirt at the time. Since I knew, I like this skirt pattern I decided to put in the effort and make a paper pattern. I made the pattern and cut out my skirt pieces, I then took my pocket pattern cut them out and used that to cut out the pocket in my skirt. The waistband I just used the original one from the skirt as it was the right length and had the right amount of stretch to it.
The skirt was very easy to sew up it probably took me about the same time to sew it as it did to make the pattern. I assembled the pockets which were super easy. Here I had been avoiding pockets, and they were simple. What a waste of potential pockets, I love pockets and need them in all of my clothes. Anyways, you should try sewing pockets especially on something like a pencil skirt. The rest of the pencil skirt went smooth it was just two side seams and the hem and waistband. The waistband I did end up taking in a bit but once again no real problems there. The hem I just flipped it up and sewed it with a twin needle.
This skirt seems wierd as everything went really smoothly. Usually, when I do a project I think next time lets do this and that different. For every project whether it’s noticeable or not, I could usually think of five things that I would do differently next time. I feel like I should say more, but there nothing else to say. Sew a pencil skirt with pockets you won’t regret it, I promise.
I have mentioned before how seeing other’s sewing fails can be encouraging. It is so easy to portray a perfect life online, so it nice to see people’s life without the editing. I have talked about this before, but I rarely walk the talk. If you been following me, you might have noticed I have been posting less lately. This is partly because my life is busy with going back to school but also because I haven’t been finishing my projects. So this is what I have been working on in the last month.
Sweater Dress Refashion That Is Currently Stuck
It started with a sweater dress refashion. I didn’t have a game plan with this one and just winged it. I like how this is looking, the only problem I have the belt is laying funny. It is hard to stitch pick because of the colouring – I keep missing the stitches and making holes in the fabric. That made me frustrated, so I decided to cut the belt off, but now I will not have enough length without the belt. The belt that I cut off is too small by the time seams allowances will be added, so I am not sure what I am going to do there. This project is currently stuck.
Trench Coat A Work In Progress
I probably would never have started on this project expect I was following along with Fabricista Fashion Challenge and that was one of the challenges. This project is also a refashion; it was originally a giant pair of coveralls. Needless to say, I didn’t finish this project in a week which was the challenge. In fact, it isn’t even looking like a trench, yet now it resembles a blazer. The reason it isn’t finished yet is that it hard, making a coat is on the edges of my skills. I will make this coat it just will take me about a year or so to finish it.
Here I took a break from failing and refashioned a dress to a top. You can check it out here.
FAILED Velour Bomber Jacket
This one was a bad idea all around, and even if I would be able to execute it correctly, it would still look bad. I don’t know why I ever thought this was a good idea. I mean I like bomber jackets, but I picked the wrong fabric. And that wasn’t even everything that was wrong; I couldn’t get this to be a fitted jacket and my cuffs didn’t match. It was a disaster all around I’m embarrassed, even to write about this. It was such a complete and total failure.
I’m still learning, and I don’t have it all figure out. So I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them. So go out there try new things and fail but don’t give up on yourself. Everyone make mistakes.
I woke up this morning with the intention of finishing the sweater dress I was making. While I did work on it for a while, but it wasn’t as easy I was expecting it to be.This was frustrating cause I wanted it done today. (I sound like a toddler there) So I decide to drop this project for a while and started something new. The new project is a super soft red fuzzy sweater dress.
I had a couple of problems with this dress; it was an awkward length, and the neckline was too low.I decide to fix the neckline first. I toyed with the idea of taking it in at the shoulders. (By toyed I mean I sewed it then ripped it all out again.) It just made the shirt hang funny. Since I was having a great day for problem solving, I decided to ignore it and work on the length.
I could see it as a shirt, so I sewed the bottom ribbing up higher. It seems like there should be a better way to describe but I can’t think of it, so here a picture. I do apologise for the bad explanation.
This efficiently shortens the dress to a shirt. Now that I fixed the length all I had to do was the neckline. While trying on the shirt after shortening it, I accidentally put it on backwards. Voila, the neckline is fixed. I like how the old back new front neckline is so straight across. It is quite open in the back and maybe I will add a bow or something later, after wearing it for awhile.
Do to my bad problem solving this morning I got a fuzzy sweater. Did I mention it incredibly cozy I could wear it all winter long and I probably will. Have anybody else made something to avoid another project?
The idea for this top was born when the only sweater knit I had was this pink sparkly fabric, usually that would have meant I would switch fabrics but I’m following along with the Fabricista Fashion Challenge which this week was sweater knits. I love this fabric the problem was making something that wouldn’t be immature. Which in turn led to me thinking of raglan tops which I then made with the sparkly pink fabric
The Pattern I Used
I look for women raglan top pattern online and finally found this great pattern. To keep things simple I just followed the pattern instructions, and it went together really quickly. All the instructions were clear and very easy to follow. I don’t have anything else to say just because it was so easy.
What I Changed
A few things I changed was omitting the sleeves cuff and waistband.I only hemmed them instead. The neckband took me a while to pin and then sew in place but again it was still easy. Another thing I did was taking it in an inch as the pattern only went to small/medium, and I’m smaller than that.
I love this top and foresee it getting a lot of wear this winter. It was so easy to make I would quickly make another. Overall this is a lovely top and worth a try. Also, this pattern is free. So what holding you back? Sew one already.
It is starting to be fall here and I been looking at my winter/fall clothes. Most of my clothes are still good, but I am suffering from a lack of colourful clothing. I didn’t realise this before so it made me change my sewing plans.
Initially, when I started looking at fabrics for sewing fall clothes, I found this excellent grey knit and was going to make a shirt out of it. It would have been a nice shirt. A bit boring and completely unremarkable. When I make my clothes, I do not want to make everyday things that I can easily buy. I decided to ditch the grey shirt and make something more colourful.
I had this fabric for a long time, and though I like it, I never use it. It never seems appropriate. The colour and the fringe bits, as well as the fact it was a woven, made it a hard fabric to use. It always seems to weird to use for clothing. I did anyhow; I need colourful, and this certainly was the best.
Once I had the fabric, I decided what to make with it. I do not need another dress, and it did not seem to appreciate for a skirt. So I though a shirt. I like more shirt more fitted but this was a woven, and I was having a hard time finding a pattern. Then I thought of the sorbetto tank top. Now this was not exactly what I was looking for, but I could eliminate the pleat and add sleeves and then it would be perfect. That exactly what I did.
The stripes are not at all straight so when cutting them out I did not bother to match them. I only picked a spot that I like and started there. For the sleeve, I had found a pattern online.
Assembling My Sorbetto Top
I had printed off my sorbetto tank top a pattern a long time ago and lost the instructions. Being too lazy to print it off again I just assembled how I thought it should go. (Writing that I am surprised at how well it went.) I sewed the shoulder seams and stay stitch the neckline. (I had made up the muslin when I printed off the pattern, and it had that so I did the same.)
Next, I inserted the sleeves; then I sewed one long side seam going up and closing off the sleeves. After that, I just bias bound the neckline following grainline tutorial. It’s not entirely flat, but I didn’t do the clipping and grading which probably cause that problem. Once I was done the neckline I just finished off the seams on the inside and hemmed it. I “hem” it by zigzagging around the bottom and making it fray a bit.
Something I would do differently, I would make it an inch or so longer. With the length, it at I wouldn’t be comfortable putting my hands over my head. Other than that I don’t have any complaints.
I like my crazy colourful sorbetto top. Have you ever made a sorbetto top or do you having any plans for doing so?
Ever since I made myself a backpack last week, I been thinking about bags. It started before I made my backpack and was on Pinterest looking for ideas for bags. Let me tell you there are some pretty awesome bags out there. I wanted to share some of them with you so here are five awesome and free bags pattern.These are just some bags I would like to make one day. I have not made any of them yet.
The first bag is made in a purse style. (Not quite sure if that how you would describe.)
This is not a fancy pattern, which I like. To me, sewing bags is an advanced thing to do, but this pattern makes it seems doable. Some other reason on why I like this bag, it has pockets on the inside which every bag needs. You could also make lots of different looking bags but play with fabric and so. (It seems like there should be a word for that but I cannot think of it.) If you want to make this bag now just click here
Sometimes purse just isn’t big enough to haul everything. That when you get something bigger.
My favourite part about this bag is how practical it is; I could haul books in there or my laptop. It would be the bag I use while travelling. Moreover, it looks good while doing this. It also has a pocket on the inside because that is essential. The straps are nice as it crosses body which will keep your hands free, and it also has a top handle to carry it with in case you get tired of the cross body. After all, a girl has to have options. Practical is not usually pretty, but this bag sure is.Wanting to make it now just click here to get the tutorial.The only problem I have with this bag is it would not be big enough for carrying my books.
I am an avid reader who gets most of her book from the library. This means I need a good book bag, and right now most of my bags are quite ratty.
I want to make this bag it heavy duty and has a pocket. (Can you tell yet how much I like my pockets.) Moreover, it still looks nice. I just really want this bag, it would make such a good library bag. It enormous and it seems like it would be sturdy. This is critical in library bags as books can get heavy in a quick hurry I once broke a handle of a bag after overfilling it with books. If you are someone who has, the same problems click here to get the tutorial.
Another purse, this one is smaller which I like. In general, I prefer my book bags big and my purses small.
I would make this bag just because of how expense and fancy it looks. Also, it would be so handy having three separate compartments. I lose things in my small purse all the time. Or I put way too many things in until when I need something out I have to empty my whole bag. This bag would fix both of their problems. One last thing it a brilliant idea and would make a great small purse.
Despite having a relatively small purse I sometimes find it too be too big. This is when a clutch would come in handy.
I like this clutch it so cute. It would be just big enough to hold my wallet and phone on those doors when I do not feel like taking a purse. Also, you have options; this would be another pattern where mixing different fabrics will give you some different looks. It would also be the perfect size pouch for organising things. If you want one, the pattern is free. And the generous folks at Pink Door Fabrics have given me a 15% discount code to share with my readers. The discount code is NATERJANE and will be valid until the end of September.
Just writing this post has made me want to sew all these bags right now. I am already thinking of how I can use them in my daily life and I did not even make anyone of them yet. Do you feel like making a bag?
I have a great winter backpack that made with leather and some material that reminds me of wool. It took me a while to find this backpack; I looked for a backpack, but nothing appealed until one day I was in a shoe store and saw these man backpacks. I was like those are the backpacks I want, where can I buy them, duh just purchase a men bag.That what I did and am still happy with the purchase. So why am I blabbing about this backpack when it obvious that I didn’t sew it? It was a great winter bag, but it felt odd to use during the summer. I wanted a summer backpack in addition to my winter one.
How I Got The Idea
Despite always wanting a summer backpack I never really look for one. It seemed a bit ridiculous to buy a backpack when you already have a good one. Nothing would have been done except for one day when I was looking for something to sew. I started pulling random fabrics out and found this lovely blue and white striped fabric. It was amazing fabric it just seemed wrong to use it for clothes. So what could I make that wasn’t clothes that I would still use. A backpack of course. And that how I got the idea
Finding A Pattern
Once I had the idea, I started googling backpack patterns. I couldn’t find a pattern I wanted to use so it was decided to make one basing it off the backpack I already had. To make the pattern pieces, I simply measured a piece of the bag and drew it on paper. The pattern was easy to make as most of the pieces of a backpack are rectangles. After making the pattern, I wrote down some instructions. (If I’m making a pattern I always write some instructions because otherwise, I do stupid things, like forgetting to put lace on a lace sweater.)
The Outside Pocket
After the pattern was made and the pieces were cut out. The backpack went together in about two days. I start sewing the backpack with the outside pocket. This was harder then I expect mainly due to the fact I want it lined and with no raw edges showing. To make that happen, I ended up inserting the zipper and at the same time enclosing the lining. (Sorry if it sounds odd that was the least confusing way to put it.) Once my zipper was inserted all I had to do was sew it on. I sewed it to the front by topstitching it down.
Straps And Handle
The next thing I sewed was the straps and handle. They were quite easy to sew, and I attached them to the back piece. To figure out where exactly to attach them, I would pin the straps in place then try it on. I wanted them to withhold a certain amount of abuse, so when attaching them, I kept sewing back and forth.
Putting It All Together
I decided not to bag the lining on the inside for two reasons; I wanted the lining to stay flat against the bag and bagging the lining would be harder. That meant the lining was installed at the same time as the other pieces. I started with sewing on the bottom of the backpack. Before I sewed on the top piece, I inserted the zipper. This meant I had one piece to work with instead of having two that I would have to try to keep the aligned. I pinned the top piece in place, but it didn’t reach the bottom section. I added about 4 inches to the bottom piece on both sides to make it connect. Once I had the extra bottom pieces in place, it was a simple to sew on the top piece.
Finishing The Seams
Yay, I’m done well not quite. The backpack was together, and all I had to do was finish off the seams inside. It took a lot longer than I thought it would. I bias bound the first seam and while I was careful with sewing it on it stilled looked messy. I wanted all the stitching cover and not just raw edges enclosed. So I did the second seam with ribbon. If I were an excellent sewer, I would have taken the first seam bias binding out and redid it. However, I wasn’t sure if a ribbon would look better then the bias binding especially since I had been so careful with that. I sewed the ribbon on making sure to cover all the stitches. The ribbon looks great mostly due to the fact it was wider than the bias binding.
Final Thoughts On My First Backpack
I enjoy making this backpack and have ideas to make more. There some things I would like to do differently next time. I would make sure not to sew on the lining while inserting the top zipper; this will make it look cleaner on the inside and could be easily done. Another thing I would have done differently is made the outside pocket in a contrasting colour or a least make the stripes go a different direction. Right now it’s a bit overwhelming. But enough with all this, I should have done. It was my first backpack, and I’m quite proud of it.
I now have a backpack for summer as well as winter and love them both. Have you ever sewed a backpack?