Tag Archives: oopsie


Desperate piecing

So, remember when I posted how I’d finished cutting out the last bits for Tyo’s bunnyhug and had enough fabric left for her pair of shorts?

Well, as soon as I finished cutting them out, I had a little niggle. What if. What if I messed up one of the pieces? What if I have a serging accident? I just officially used up all but the smallest scraps of my matching fabric, with no hope of replacing any of it.

Well, when I finally started tidying up, guess what I discovered?

One more pattern piece for the bunnyhug, which I hadn’t cut out.

Not only that, the single longest pattern-piece in the entire pattern, the sleeve sides. Of which I need not one, not two, but four copies.

I think there’s a sequence to this, kind of like the stages of grief. Denial—maybe I took the pieces off the pattern and they’re kicking around somehwere? Anger—how could I do this? Oh, I’m so stupid. Bargaining—maybe I can match in some other fabric? What about the scraps from hubs’ coat? no?

Fortunately with sewing, at least, there’s the potential for action, not just acceptance.

I gathered up my largest remaining scraps (most of which weren’t more than 6″ in any given direction.

I roughly, ever so roughly, matched the grain-lines.

And I pieced them together, using the same serge & topstitch methodology I used on Tyo’s shorts.

This was a wild affront to the sewing gods, peeps. If I die in a freak serging accident next week, you’ll know why.

And I cut out not one, not two, but four side-sleeve pieces.


Nothing like a new design feature or two 😉

Pieced sleeve (almost finished)

I’m actually pretty satisfied with how they look. Not exactly intentional, but not exactly unintentional, either. I used some black twill tape to cover over the seam on the top part of the sleeve, which echoes the topstitched ridges in the black nicely, I think. This is the same method I used for Syo’s hoodie here.

For the other sleeve, I decided to add a little pocket just above the top-sleeve seam.

Pocket sleeve

I even *almost* managed to match up that one piecing seam. So close…

So I think it’ll work. But I still don’t recommend it. Now tell me your latest offence against the sewing gods (intentional or otherwise) to make me feel better! 🙂



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Jacket Suckitude

The sleeves on this jacket are driving me nuts! Is it me? Is it the pattern? Is it my punishment from the fickle Sewing Gods for daring to try to make a—ulp—petite pattern?

Part of the problem comes from the shoulder seam, which runs well to the rear of my actual shoulder. Actually, the neck-side of it is perfect. But for some reason it angles backward at the outside. (I had noticed this in the muslin but thought it was due to me distributing the fullness of the sleeve cap poorly. Now I suspect that this is WHY the fullness was all concentrated to the back. Also the shoulder seemed a bit too wide, especially at the front, and I’ve now tightened the curve of the front princess seam a bit. I am dangerously close to the kind of billiard-ball alterations that turned my Lydia Disaster from a well-constructed top that didn’t happen to fit me into something suitable only for my 10-year-old’s scissors. But wool is considerably more forgiving of stitch-ripping than a cotton knit (I’ve now had sleeves basted in at least five separate times, by machine and by hand… I like by hand, it only takes about 2 snips to rip it all out). I’m hoping if I give up on the shoulder seam as a reference and mark my actual shoulder point, I’ll have some better luck. I hope so. I sure love this fabric.

Seriously, though, this is a pain. I have pretty easy-to-fit shoulders. They’re a little broad (not for this pattern though!) and square, but they’re straight and even. No forward-shoulder alterations here. And I’ve set in plenty of sleeves before, even in jackets, with none of these problems.

Man, I wish I had a dress-form.

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I F#%@ed up

Adjustment intended to raise the centre back of my jeans.

So after the last time I made up the Jalie Jeans, I decided the back really was too low and that I should raise it. So I took my pattern and slashed and pivoted to raise one side.

Observe, please, my adjustment.

Those of you who are keener observers than I will realize that the side I expanded is the side seam, not the centre back seam. Therefore it does nothing to the centre back, and plenty to throw off the side seam. Aren’t I brilliant?

I think I’ll be able to make it work by shaving off the top of the yoke, but man… I am severely choked with myself.

On the other hand, by following Debbie Cook’s tutorial step-by-step, I managed to install my first “perfect” fly. I really don’t do well with video tutorials like the Sandra Betzina one, oddly. I think I find it harder to keep my place in the process, or I miss steps as my mind wanders.

Redemption is a perfect fly?

Unfortunately it’s adorned by some of my least-perfect top-stitching, but ah well.

chalk-transferred pattern

I rather like my pocket design. I don’t have any real transfer paper, so I improvised with sidewalk chalk on a sheet of regular paper. It was rather messy, but worked well enough for my simple pattern, and it seems to have all come out. I also experimented with one of my few fancy stitches.

Embroidered pockets---fancy stitch!

I really like this denim, though—it’s both heavy and stretchy and soft, a good combination, I think. Now if only I hadn’t f#$%ed it up!


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Summery black shirt—another whine.

Black halter top... so close!


Well, I was progressing along nicely. Shirring the back took forever (and used up all my black elastic thread). It’s kinda boring, really. Thank goodness for podcasts. And it took three or four different attempts to get the triangle tops put on with the gathers distributed nicely; they’re still not perfect but I think they’ll do. And then I hemmed it and measured the front and put in the buttonholes (why does it always mess up on the very last buttonhole? why?) and started merrily sewing on the buttons and…

My fronts aren’t even.

There is a significant gap where the buttonhole side is longer than the button side.

Back looks pretty good.

WTF? The pattern pieces were identical, I promise you. Were the top parts sewn asymmetrically? Possibly, but not by the inch-inch and a half that they’re off.

No, the culprit in this case is my eyeballed hemming. For some reason when I was ironing the hems I couldn’t find the little hem measurer that I keep downstairs with the iron, so I eyeballed it.

My bad, apparently.

Not un-fixable, but yet another seam to rip out. Maybe I’ll remember to pick up a seam ripper today.


Like my buttons? Unlike my uneven hems?

But the shirt as a whole is looking pretty good, if a little scanty in the bottom-half coverage. I’ll have to think about drafting that downward dip in the front that was there in my original drawing.

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Do YOU see what's wrong?

I would be less ticked if I hadn’t broken my seam ripper last week, and forgotten to get a new one when I picked up thread this morning.


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3m for 99 cents? I'll take it (now what do I do with it?)

Weak, weak, weak. Bad enough I snatched up this huge bit of upholstry fabric at Value Village (it was mis-priced to $0.99—who could resist?) and then splurged on cute ribbons at Michael’s. Then I popped by Fabricland to pick up knit fusible interfacing and discovered the lace and fancy elastic section (apparenly I had been looking the wrong areas). And some other interfacings and a blue knit and the Burda tracing paper. I couldn’t find the Solvy I swear I saw there last time, and I resisted the darker shade of red Kasha lining they now apparently have (where were you last week during the 50% off sale, I ask you?). It’s amazing how all the little things add up, really. But I think I’m set for my next few projects, anyway.

Ribbons and lace and elastic, oh my!

At VV I did also pick up a couple of patterns, a very 70s halter sundress (not exactly what I’ve been envisioning, but I can see it making a nice summery dress, not to mention a top or two) and this cute little A-line kids sundress pattern. Y’know,


as if there weren’t enough things you could do with the Popover Sundress.

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Curse the Fabricland 50% off sale!

Coat Materials: (clockwise from left) fashionf abric, foiled underlining, plain underlining, Kasha lining right side, Kasha lining wrong side

It always strikes right AFTER I’ve spent my (non-existent) fun money. But, this time I bit the bullet. I got the remainder of my coat materials (lining and interlining… even at 50% off, 5m of Kasha lining still adds up). I got a metre each of two different kinds of insulating underlining, one with a fancy silvery side to reflect heat, one which is just plain white. Neither is very thick; they’re not at all drapy, but I think they’ll be fine in the bodice and maybe sleeves. I’m thinking the reflective one for the bodice and maybe the plain white for the sleeves if I think they need it/can take it. And I gave in and got the grey Kasha. They didn’t have black, and I didn’t like the two possible colours, a dull dark blue and a very orangey red, that they did have. I love red, but I like my reds deep and possibly leaning towards maroon. Not orangey. So pale grey it is… though I will probably regret it when it gets incredibly dirty after a few weeks of wear. Anyway—excited to have progress (however expensive) on that front!

Cottons for unselfish sewing: (clockwise from upper left) print poplin, white crinkle voile, pink poplin solid, yellow stripe "seersucker"

I also picked up some lightweight cottons for my unselfish-sewing. Ugh. A pink solid and pink print of cotton poplin (somehow I thought poplin was heavier, but this is what the bolts said), for the one niece, and a nice yellow striped  seersucker-looking thing from the bargain centre for the other (who doesn’t have to live in pink all the time). I would’ve liked a cool, edgier print… maybe little skulls with bows or something—but this was what they had (and lots of other, even more nauseating, prints). The white is a crinkle cotton voile I will use for the hubby’s flowy overshirt.

I resisted the denims staunchly.

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News Flash

Patch pockets for black jeans

My topstitching still sucks.

That is all.

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Oopsie... two new fabrics. But they were cheap!

Well, that didn’t last, did it? I bought two pieces of fabric at Value Village yesterday—about 1.5 m of some fairly heavy ivory knit (that comes in a tube! I’d heard of this but never seen it before), and like 5m (by like 60″ wide… there I go mixing my units) of some red, fairly heavy *something* with a bit of a ribbed weave. Interestingly, the mass of red was not much more expensive than the little bit of knit. The knit will of course go towards my “conquer the fear of knits” sewing (whatever form that will take). The red can be the surcote for my mediaeval dress for that fair later this summer. Man, that will be hot. As in, sweating and sticky… but oh well.

A mediaeval sideless surcoat

Here’s a picture of what kind of garment I’m talking about; it’ll go over a long-sleeved long dress I made last fall.

Incidentally… this fair I’m goingto styles itself a “Medieval Faire”… now, I’m not a huge fan of cutesy mis-spellings, but I can just about handle randomly sticking an E on the end of Fair to seem more “period”… but if you’re going to do that, spell it MEDIAEVAL! WAY cooler.  My $.02 🙂

Considerable progress was made last night on the Danielle—I just need to finish putting in the zipper and hem it. Unfortunately, I was working in the “I should go and clean house/feed children/tend family… in one more minute” mindset, which means I kinda barged ahead without really taking the time and care I would like to see myself take. I think it’ll be okay, but I’m a little disappointed with myself. I also took my lined-sleeveless-article shortcut and opened the shoulder seams so I could turn it, and somehow when I do this the shoulders never go back together quite right. I should probably have spent more time reading up on how to do linings, and less time convincing myself that I can figure anything out on my own. On the other hand, I may actually have it ready to go by Saturday. I’ll take more pictures once I get the zipper finished :).


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Good news and catastrophe averted

Actually, catastrophe identified as due to user error. I had a huge panic (and didn’t get much sewing done) last night when my sewing machine started skipping stitches like crazy.  I thought perhaps it was the slinky lining fabric, so I tried on some cotton. Same deal. Oh, crap, I am thinking, I can’t have my machine die on me! It’s not even three years old, and it’s not like I’ve been sewing on it heavy duty all that time. What could have happened? I twiddled with my tension (no luck), rethreaded, re-loaded my bobbin, wondered sinkingly if my bobbin tension was off… and went to bed with visions of hand sewing my entire lining dancing in my head. I mean, I’m planning on hand-hemming, and I might even hand-pick my zipper… but constructing the ENTIRE lining?

It wasn’t until I woke up this morning that it occurred to me that the needle—which I had pulled out to check the gauge of last night before tackling the lining, just to make sure it wasn’t a denim needle—might not have been put back in right. Alternatively, I should definitely try a new needle since that one was probably getting dull.

Yes, folks, I had managed to not put the needle back in all the way; it was sitting far too low down. New needle, inserted all the way—and I had to catch myself; I almost only put it in partway again—and it’s sewing like a charm. BIG relief.  So my lining is now at least halfway constructed, and this afternoon/evening, barring any new hiccoughs, I will have it installed. I guess I should get to work on the sleeves, too.

The other good news is that  orange-stained white knit. It spent all yesterday afternoon soaking in Oxy-Clean in the tub; after that and two cycles (with more Oxy) in the washing machine, it is now almost completely stain free. And gorgeous, albeit really thin… any shirt will have to be double-layered in the front. Makes me wish my serger were functioning… maybe when I get back after this weekend I will have to take another look at it. Who knows—maybe it’s just the needle.

I should be so lucky.

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