Tag Archives: Sewaholic

Little elves…

… Would have been desperately welcome.


In the end, I did pull it off. Despite having as much No Time as usual, I made more Xmas presents than I think I ever have before. Four pairs of PJ pants, above.


Two Jalie raglans, one for my husband’s grandmother and one for my cousin

Jalie Raglan Tunic Dress. So hard not to keep this.

A couple of Jalie shrugs, and a Star Wars pillowcase.

Shrug + Pillowcase. Both have been gifted and no better photos were taken.


The only ones I have any energy to cover in depth are the PJ pants. I used some random Kwik Sew patterns for skinny sweats for my very skinny nieces, aiming for extra length and WAY overshooting.

Long enough?


For my own kids, I used the Sewaholic Tofino PJ pants, which I’ve had in stash for an aeon or two.

I cut the size 0 in both cases, because it was easier and the reviews seemed to suggest that Tofino was fairly ro0my (Tyo’s butt size would have put her in a size 2. I think either would have been fine.)

I took advantage of the part where these are pull on pants and DIDN’T grade up to a larger size at the waist (even Tyo, who is much more pear shaped than either Syo or I, would be at least a size larger in the waist.) This means not so much gathering at the waist, I guess, but I think it makes for pretty sleek looking pants. Other than taking off some length in Syo’s version, I MADE NO ALTERATIONS! No raising the rear waist or dropping the front, no round-butt alteration… partly because they’re PJ pants and partly because Sewaholic’s pants-draft is the bomb. Well, for those who are generous in the deriere*. Love it.

They are quite wide-legged pants. I wasn’t going for skinnies, so that was fine, but if you’re looking for sleek PJs this might not be the pattern for you. Personally, I’m in love with the side panel, especially in a contrasting colour. It just makes them so much more special than plain PJ pants.

Tyo's Pair

Tyo’s Pair

The whole PJ-Palooza actually started when this Monster High flannel came in at a REALLY good price. You see, Monster High came out (at least around here) a year or so after Tyo had officially “outgrown” dolls (Yes, Kid MD, I know… kids!) and Tyo was all like “where where those when I was little?” and will totally secretly watch the TV show and stuff if no one is looking. So it just had to be. And Monster High pants for my nieces were a no-brainer as well. I could have just included Syo in the theme, too, but I really wanted something that would bring about that inner squee…

Fairy Tail Logo

I may or may not have mentioned before that she’s all about the Fairy Tail these days.


Seriously, fan-fic-reading-ly obsessed.

Sadly, as far as I can tell, Fairy Tail fabric is non-existant outside prepared items (not to mention virtually impossible to Google since Google assumes you’re good with anything “Fairy Tale”.

However, it does have a fairly stylized and easy-to-trace recognizable logo. And that outer panel on the Tofino pants leg is just begging to be applique’d on. As always when applique’ing I used Steam-A-Seam to stabilize and stick everything together. What can I say—I’m a one-trick pony.

New Sewing Machine has fancy applique stitches!

I had almost enough fortitude to face three appliques—so I opted for the asymmetrical thing and put them all on one leg.

Fairy Tail Applique

Since she declared this the Best Christmas Ever on the basis of these pants (as well as some Fairy Tail jewelry from my brother and some more of the mangas from my Dad), I will deem my efforts successful.

Buttonholes for waist ties

One other cute feature of the Tofinos is the tie in the waistband. Now, the way I consructed it is NOT the way the pattern directs (I was kinda confused about the pattern directions, but I wasn`t reading very closely.) I added about a 5″ length of non-roll elastic between the two halves of the tie, so it’s both adjustable and elastic. The kids seem to be a bit mixed in reaction to this feature—I think they would’ve probably liked a built-in elastic, maybe with the tie as well, but that seemed like a lot of work. We’ll see—it can be modified at any point, after all. This was the fist time I’d done buttonholes (for the ties to run through) using my new sewing machine, and it did them very nicely indeed, although doing buttonholes on a single layer of waistband (plus a bit of interfacing behind that section) is pretty much the ideal conditions, so it doesn’t prove much.


¬†In any case, I’ll call that Christmas Managed. ūüôā

*I do not have a generous derriere at all, but a well-developed swayback mimics some of the bubble-butt issues, namely the unequal lengths in front and back rise and the gaping-above-the-butt issue.



Filed under Sewing

Spring Demands Lace II

I’ve been flicking through my photos for over a week now, and I keep thinking “I can do better!”

But the question, really, is will I do better? Or will that perfect photo-op keep receding into tomorrow, next week, next month?

Sewaholic Gabriola Skirt

Sewaholic Gabriola Skirt

So, in the interest of removing obstacles, to blogging and sewing, here is my sweet and lovely, if not particularly well-photographed, Sewaholic Gabriola skirt.

So, I like sweet. I do. I’m good with cute, too. But I may have overdone it a bit with this project. This skirt is so sweet it almost makes my teeth hurt. It’s also a bit fancy, to the point where I kinda wonder where I will wear it, as my summer is surprisingly wedding-less thus far. I’ll have to get back to you on that front. I was going to wear it with a lacey Nettie, but that’s been put on hold while I contemplate a) whether I actually can (will) wear anything high-waisted over something tucked in (even a bodysuit) and b) whether I can figure out the stretch-interaction of two layers of body-suit fabric. (Because so far this is eluding me.) In the meantime, I really like it with my lace-fronted bodice, though, which has largely languished for lack of appropriate bottoms in the two years since I made it. So it’s successful on the front of helping wardrobe orphans.

rear view

rear view

Arguably the scariest part about this project was grading between sizes so that something by Sewaholic would actually fit me. Especially with all those different pieces at the hips. However, it turns out this is really simple, and Caroline even has a post all about it on their Sewalong (which I did not follow in the least, by the way, /sniffle. I’m sure it’s excellent, though.) I needed to go from a size 2 at the hips (rounding up) to a size 6 at the waist (rounding down.) Now if you follow the link, she shows how to grade across both the lace pieces and the upper hip yokes; I did all my grading on the upper hip yoke only, none on the lower lace bits; your mileage may vary. Regardless, it was very simple. I also lengthened the snot out of the pattern—3 cm at the lengthen-shorten here line, and then cutting all the way to the longest size at the bottom. In the end I cut off pretty much all that bottom extra, so I suspect that the 3 cm was more than enough on its own; although, as you can see in the shots with the heels, I could’ve hemmed it longer if I just wanted to wear it with heels. I want to be able to wear it with flats, as experience has shown that heels-only clothing does not get worn around here, so shorter it is.

Matching up the points

Matching up the points

The second-scariest part was matching those lace points at front, back, and sides. Some unpicking was called for, although I allowed myself only one un-pick per point, otherwise madness was a real possibility. As it is, I think the un-picking contributes to a bit of unevenness in the side-seams—probably a wee bit of hand-basting would not have gone awry here. Ah, well.

Waistband construction

Waistband construction

I should perhaps mention that my fabric is a suit-weight, rayon-poly blend with a bit of lycra. I loved the weight and the drape of it—swishy rather than floaty, without being too heavy for summer. I should, however, have stabilized the waist of the skirt pieces a bit more (like, at all). As it is, with handling it grew to the point where I had to take the side-seams in an inch on each side, and the waist was still a bit big for the band, leading to not-enough-overlap in the button area (and a button that is strictly for show.)

Stitching in the ditch

Stitching in the ditch

After hand-picking the zipper (see below) I got lazy and did everything else by machine: stitching in the ditch on the waistband, hem by machine. The ditch-stitch actually turned out not too ugly on the inside! OMG! … and of course I forgot to take a photo. I love the stitch-in-the-ditch attachment for my old Pfaff. It’s not even a whole foot, just a little keel that fits into the regular presser foot, and it is the awesome.

Decorative button, not much overlap on the waistband.

Decorative button, not much overlap on the waistband.

I was going to do a functional button. But there wasn’t enough underlap for it to really look good, and also it was going to be tricky to do a nice buttonhole in my bulky waistband. Speaking of which, you can see here the biggest change I did make to the pattern: instead of doing a simple one-piece fold-over waistband, I added a top seam so I could have the lace overlay only on the outside. I thought it would be bulky and scratchy against the skin on the inside. Though the waistband is still kinda bulky with the seam.

Hand-picked zipper with imperfect fold at the bottom.

Hand-picked zipper with imperfect fold at the bottom.

As I mentioned above, I hand-picked the zipper. It worked pretty well except for that little ripple at the bottom. Fortunately I don’t have to look at it myself. ūüėČ

Machine-stitched hem. Boo, couture fail.

Machine-stitched hem. Boo, couture fail.

The zipper exhausted my couture-juice for this project, so I wimped out¬†and did the hem by machine, using blind-hem technique with the same stitch-in-the-ditch foot, but just using the longest zig-zag the Pfaff can handle since it doesn’t have a proper blind-hem stitch and I was too lazy to swap it out with the White, which does but isn’t nearly so much fun to sew with.



All in all? Fit is good (would’ve been better if my waistband were the intended size and not rather elongated); skirt is pretty. Wearability has yet to be determined.


Filed under Sewing

Spring Demands Lace

Sewaholic Gabriola skirt.

I’ll subtitle this post, Sew Canadian.

It’s long past being interesting complaining about how busy I am. But, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate (like, oh, Avengers grad dress, long-delayed onesie for Syo, and about a half dozen other things I ought to be doing), two more projects threw themselves at me begging to be made. (And yes, I realize talking about them before they’re made is probably a Very Bad Idea.) Tasia’s Gabriola Skirt absolutely struck me dead the second I saw the line-drawing. Full, swishy maxi skirt with contrast bits? UM YES. The only thing that surprises me is that I haven’t made it yet. The part where I’m making myself trace it off is slowing me down. And the bit where it takes 3.5m fabric or more, and I didn’t have enough of anything both swishy and summery, so I had to actually get new fabric. You can imagine the quaking dread that fills my home when I say such things; the children groan and my husband hides his head under a cushion. But Gabriola¬†WILL HAPPEN. I swear it.

Nettie body-suit, by Closet Case Files

I tried a little harder to resist ¬†Nettie. I mean, I haven’t worn leotards since high school. And I don’t tuck stuff in, like, ever. But. But. But.

Somehow the vision of a lacey Nettie to go with my Gabriola just took hold. Or maybe it was the real Nettie’s five million awesome versions. I couldn’t tell you, except there I was, printing and gluing happily a couple of days ago.

And here we are: big dreams, a new serger (which I’ll manage to talk about at some point) and not a lot of time. But May Long’s coming up—I have three whole days off and I plan to use them to the fullest. If I can just get through this week…

Avengers Grad Dress (almost done!!!!)

And finish the Avengers dress.


Filed under Sewing