Skip to content

Posts from the ‘One Project a Week for a Year’ Category

WEEK 24, something for my boys

This week I made it a big one.  I made three matching outfits for my boys.  That means I made six things!

This was a ton of work!  I traced all three sizes in the shirt and in the pants.  That was a ton of tracing!  I love how the pants turned out!  I mean LOVE.  They have so many fun details I’m hoping they last and that these three don’t tear through them.  I haven’t sewn for them because frankly it’s cheaper to buy kids clothes and they wear them out so fast.

Both patterns are from Burda.  sizes 5, 9 and 10.  The tops are out of knit and the bottoms are out of stretch denim all purchased at Joann Fabrics.  I lengthen both older boys pants by 2 inches and I’m so glad I did.

The patterns were easy to follow and I had no issues.  Knits are always a learning curve getting used to again but even those went well.

The boys like them, and they think they are comfortable.  I think I will make the pants again.  I love how they fit and I like the reinforced knees, hopefully they can stand up to boyhood better than store bought jeans.






Unmentionables! Week 23

Remember this dress?


Vintage Butterick Pattern B6318

When I tried this dress on for the first time, it made me realize I really wanted some more volume on the bottom.  So this week’s project is not as glamorous as some of the others, but it was new to me and I thought it was a practical make to have around if you have vintage dresses or plan to make vintage dresses.  It’s a vintage slip!


Vintage Butterick Pattern B456 View A

I did view A and I took 2 1/2″ off of the bottom so that it wouldn’t show under the vintage dress I made.

The pattern was easy.  I think if I were ever to try it again I’d use my gathering foot.  I wasn’t super picky about the gathering since it’s an undergarment but if I were to do it again I’d like to use the foot and see if I like the result better.  I reclaimed a zipper from a skirt I tore apart so there is a bit of up cycle in this.

This make will likely see a lot of use since I have a vintage pattern buying obsession.  My stash of patterns has a decent size sections of vintage and I’m always willing to add to it.

What’s your favorite vintage pattern?

My first try at shorts, Week 22


I make and wear dresses often and for a good reason.  I like how they fit my bottom half. I’ve never loved wearing shorts.  Sometimes the trends in shorts are not only inappropriate for Victoria Secret models they can not be pulled off by women that have body fat percentages above 15%.  If somebody can see the bottoms of your butt checks out of the bottom of your shorts, they are too short!  My legs are not the part of my figure I’d like to flaunt.  So finding shorts that are fashionable, fit and comfy is like the holy grail of fashion.  This simplicity pattern was my first attempt at shorts and I like how they turned out.  I’m not over the moon about them but I’m satisfied.  Also, I totally messed up the waistline.  It’s supposed to have a tie across the front but I was parenting and watching episodes of criminal minds on my phone while I sewed and missed a step.  The insertion of the elastic into the back of the shorts was difficult and time consuming.  Once I realized my mistake I was finished with the waistband and decided I was going to like it as it turned out.

The elastic should start about two inches closer to the front on both sides in order to place the ties on the front.

The fabric is a grey linen from Joann Fabrics and I’m looking forward to trying shorts again soon.  I added an inch to the length which is becoming a standard practice for me.

This project is also one from my #make9 so I’m excited to get one crossed off!


See you next week!

Week 21, Girl’s Night Out Shirt!


This week is a two for one.  Yes, that’s right, I made two shirts from this pattern.  One of the shirts was 100% from remnants that I picked up from Joann.

The pattern itself was ok.  The instructions are a bit confusing because the there are so many views and they have similar instructions with deviations.  I think they were trying to keep it concise but keeping your place and making sure you were reading instructions for your view was tricky.  I spent a lot of time making sure I was reading the right instruction.  Also, where they wanted you to sew the front slit was ridiculously low.  I had to sew it 2 to 3 inches higher than it called for and as you can it’s plenty low where I sewed it.



View D, Size 14, I added one inch in length

This is the top I made from the scraps I picked up in the rem bin.  I couldn’t add the extra inch of length in due to how little fabric I had to work with.


View D, Size 14, Original Length



Can you imagine this 2 to 3 inches deeper?!?!?  I think it’s plenty low as is.

I would definitely make this pattern again.  I like the style and the different variations.  I think this cut is flattering on me and comfortable.

That’s it!  So what do you think?  Like the keyhole neckline?

Next week I’ll reveal my first attempt at shorts!


Week 20, Let’s talk about sleeves

Statement sleeves are the current trend so here is my first attempt.  The Vogue Pattern VP931 and I had some great fun constructing this blouse.  I didn’t love my fabric choice, just because the fabric tends to exaggerate the seams.  Although the fabric wasn’t my fav to work with it was great practice and I really love the pattern.  I recommend the pattern and thought it was easy to follow.

Here are some construction pictures.

And here you have the final product.  I love the sleeves.  I’m planning on doing at least one other view from the pattern.

I did an invisible zipper instead of traditional because I prefer them and I added an inch to the length since I’m part amazon woman.

The sleeves were surprisingly not in my way when my little guy interrupted my photo shoot for a cuddle.  So momming is a possibility while sporting the latest fashion.  LOL!

Next week it’s the key hole dress blouses in the reveal!

Jumpsuit it is, week 19!

I posted a pic of three projects and let my Instagram followers vote on what they wanted to see next.  The options were a statement sleeve blouse, a keyhole halter style dressy top or a jumpsuit.  Overwhelmingly, people wanted to see the jumpsuit.  So without further ado, here is that project.


I took view B’s top and put it on view A’s bottom in size 14.  The fabric is a Nicole Miller scuba knit from Joann Fabrics.  The pattern itself was super easy and the project flew together.  I added one inch to the bottom hem and one inch to the crotch length (I’m 5’9″).  This is a great pattern for sewists that have some experience under their belt but are still in the beginning sewing stages.  The jumpsuit just slides up so there’s no buttons or zippers to deal with putting in!

The first time I put it on without the elastic in the waist, I pretty much died laughing on the floor.  It was horrendous.  The fabric choice at that point was a dire disaster.  Once the whole project was assembled I stood back and had to really think about if I liked it.  It’s a really unique piece and isn’t like anything I have or have worn.  It’s beyond comfy.  I’ve never worked with a scuba knit before and I’m sold on the fabric.  It’s comfy, has great structure and is easy to sew on.  Oh and scuba knit doesn’t wrinkle!

I’ve asked several people’s opinions on this one and they hesitate.  I think it’s outside of their comfort zone but I’ve decided I like it and am going to rock it.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next week it’s statement sleeves!  Jump back on next Sunday for that project!  Happy Sewing!

18! And it’s not a dress!

I’m really trying to branch out and get some more pieces made that aren’t dresses.  I walked by this fabric and it needed to be mine.  My first thought was it needed to be a  dress but knowing that I have tons of dresses and need more pieces to wear with jeans I took inspiration from a top made by hiedi_handmadefrenzy on instagam and made it into a casual top.


Burda 6602 View D Size 16 and my messy sewing room 😉

This was my first time using a Burda pattern and this velvety fabric was the worst fabric I’ve ever sewn on as far as ease of sewing on and slippage.  I used tons of pins and went so slow.  I had to rip out my second top stitch because going against the nape of the fabric was not a good plan and all the rest of the top stitching was done with the nape of the fabric and that worked so much better.


I’m happy with the outcome.  I didn’t love the fact that the Burda pattern didn’t have notches.  I like notches and meticulously cut them out.  I felt a little lost without them, but no issues arose from not having them.


I’m going to keep focusing on separates in the weeks to come and try to trend away from dresses.

Week 17 – An experiment gone right

I’m so excited to tell you about this week’s project.

I order clothes from time to time from Wantable and Stitch Fix.  A couple of months ago a box from Wantable showed up with a top that was exactly like McCall’s M7199 View A.  The top/jacket was made of knit and it was cute but the fit wasn’t quite right.  They wanted almost $70 for the top, so for me it was a hard no.

I was walking through JoAnn Fabrics and I came upon this beautiful high end polar fleece that basically screamed, I need to be a coat.  Not being one that can argue with such logic I put it in my cart, but I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of coat it wanted to be.  I looked through patterns but nothing was really meeting the vision until I found this pattern.  The problem of course was that this pattern is drafted and fit to be made out of knits.  Knits and polar fleece aren’t exactly interchangeable so the problem then became, can I make this work?


McCall’s M7199 View A, Size 16 in the body and 22 in the arms

I normally wear a size 14 in all major pattern company patterns.  I decided I’d cut the body in a size 16 and I did a size 22 in the arms, I know that seems nuts.  The pattern didn’t have the arms getting larger by very large increments and I was very afraid it would be too tight in the arms if I wasn’t aggressive with them.  The result is to die for.


This was a very interesting pattern to assemble and I made some mistakes but even with those I forged forward and my mistakes worked out.  I’m actually really wanting to make it again because how I put the zipper on isn’t right but tearing stitches out on this fabric was near impossible.  The pattern wasn’t drafted or designed for fabric with this kind of structure, but the result of the neck line is amazing.

I’m so glad I went out on a limb and tried this.  It’s so exciting when something surpasses your expectations.

I’ve had several people say, “I want one!”  There are approximately 7-9 hours of labor in this coat from cutting out the pattern to completion.  I think I could whip it up a little faster next time but not by much.

The top stitching is amazing, it fits amazing, and it’s so cozy.  This project is a 10 out of 10 for me.  The best part was figuring out how to assemble the neckline and front.  It was so unique and fun.

Some photos during construction.

And the final product!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

See you next week!

Basic Black Dress – Week 16

I need to move on from making dresses, but I love making dresses.  Is there a 12 step program for dress making addicts?  I’m in love once again with this weeks project and how it came out.  It was not only a joy to make but the finished product has me jumping with joy.  I love it!

This halter was something I’ve never attempted before and I got more experience tailoring because I adjusted the bust seams and skirt side seams to curve to my figure.  I’m always a 14 in the patterns I’ve attempted but I’m beginning to learn that on the bottom for fitted items, I’m pushing a size sixteen through the thighs.

I recycled the lining in this bridesmaid dress and used it for the lining in the skirt.


I didn’t follow the instructions about using interfacing in the top because the fabric I chose already had structure and I lined it with the same fabric.  I assume that the interfacing would be absolutely necessary if you were using silky fabrics or challis type fabrics that lack any structure.

Here’s the midway point on sewing the dress before I added the lining and neckline.


Midway point, tailoring the seams


The first of three attempts to get the zipper right.









The entire top lining is hand sewn in except for three small sections at the neckline.  It took nearly three hours to complete the hand sewing, the Golden Globes kept me entertained as I stitch away and my ten year old delivered a poop emoji bandaid when I finally drew blood from pricking my finger.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 8330, view C, size 14.  The fabric is a black sportswear.  It’s woven but has a decent amount of stretch.  The pattern was easy to follow, no issues but I’d say this isn’t a beginner level project.


Thanks for following along on this journey.  I’m having so much fun and I love the weekly deadline to keep me on track.  Mostly, I’m impressed by how much my construction skills are improving.  See you next week!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Week 15! A Cozy Flannel


Simplicity 8014, View D, Size 14

Next up is this cozy flannel . . .

I was not excited to start this, and I’ve been staring at it cut out for a couple of weeks.  I haven’t done a collar or buttons in so long (the late 90s) I was definitely putting it off.

The other part was matching the plaid, that wasn’t getting me excited either.  This was a rem that I had picked up and I didn’t have a bunch of extra fabric, so I was worried that I’d totally bomb at the matching of plaids.  Being raised by a seamstress you learn that plaids are to meet.  I can’t tell you how many times we were clothes shopping while I was growing up that my mom uttered the phase, “They want $40 for that?  The stripes don’t even line up?!?!”

Clothing shopping is very interesting with a seamstress.  They will ask from time to time, “I wonder how they made that?”  “Oh that stitching is horrible, how can they sell that?”  Plaids and stripes were often topics of conversation and the point was driven home, THEY MUST MATCH UP.  So I braved the three aspects that weren’t lighting my fire this week.  Matching plaids, a collar and 10 button holes.

The fabric was not fun to work with, as a matter of fact I think it’s one of my least favorites ever.  It really shifted diagonally if you weren’t careful.  The pattern itself was easy to follow and I had no issues there.  This view, view D, actually had a casing for the hem, which I haven’t seen before and actually was one of the more difficult parts of this project because of the fabric.  If I could do it over I would have stay stitched the entire hem to start with.

The cuff sleeves were done in a way that was new to me.  The level of excitement I got over how they turned out isn’t normal and proves I’m meant to be a seamstress, no one should get that excited about sleeves.



Here are some early construction images.



And here it is all constructed waiting for the buttons.  I came up with a sewing hack for doing the buttons . . . read about that here.

And now here it is . . .



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I decided I like it better with my black belt.



I’m happy with the result and how all of the challenges turned out.  The collar is great, the buttons are perfect and the plaid, well, I think it’ll meet my mom’s approval!