Tag Archives: simplicity

When French Seams Go Bad

I’m really in love with my Simplicity 9043 pattern right now. I finished three t-shirts this weekend but I managed to take pictures of only one. The fabric I used was a thick polyester I’ve had on hand for some time. This one turned OK…





You can see on the sleeves that the seams look a little clumsy. I tried to use French seams on the entire shirt, but the fabric is too thick for that. I may try to serge the armholes later when I change the black thread from my serger some day. I’m lazy…


Oh hey, Jersey City!

Simplicity 9043

This Simplicity pattern has a great 20’s shape that I’m drawn to.


The second time I looked at it, I realized I could take the skirt off to make a comfortable top with flattering sleeves.



I’m pretty happy with the result. The sleeves are comfortable and the body is roomy enough without looking awkward.


Part of the success was using this polyester cotton knit that I bought in Wisconsin at a fabric store located on a farm outside my hometown. Pretty elegant looking for country fashion.


Scanning Patterns – Pt. 2


A few months ago, I shared a scanner hack I found on the nets. A few weeks ago, I finally finished modifying a Cannon Lide 90 I bought on ebay using a Dremel saw. Dremel tools are much less powerful than I had hoped. The sawing took almost a half a day and I never did bother with sanding the edges of the plastic  to make them smooth. Anyway, I had some initial trouble with the scanner falling off the track and once I got that back in securely, I was mostly ok – minus the always annoying download of drivers on ancient laptops we have around the house.

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An apron

It’s 2015 and I haven’t done nearly as much sewing as I hoped. I did manage to finish an apron. I’m not very happy with it, though. I enlarged it from a child’s size and the arm holes are too big. I made a single pleat to fix the issue but I’m annoyed that I’ll have to adjust the pattern. I lined the entire apron and added pockets and lace. Things I’d do differently: lengthen it by two inches, decrease the bottom of the arm holes and use a better fabric in conjunction with binding in lieu of lining the apron.


Oh well, it’s an apron after all.


Shirt, Shirt, Apron

I didn’t get as much sewing done as I would have liked this long Thanksgiving weekend. I did manage to start two projects and make a small amount of headway on the western shirt.

IMG_20141130_215034IMG_20141130_215606~2IMG_20141130_215054To right is one of the new projects I started. Actually, I had been working on tracing the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper for a couple of weeks now.

I really love this tracing paper because it’s easy to trace and it’s durable – I can pin it without concern it will rip. I am slowly trying to trace all my vintage patterns, so I don’t have to worry about damaging them when I trace and cut.

When I finished copying the pattern, I decided to cut out the shirt on a remnant gifted to me. It’s such a small remnant, I ran out of fabric for the collar, so I’m going to have some extra seams lines in the back. Oh well. I usually consider my first of any pattern a muslin anyway.

I’m completing the yellow version above. I’m really excited to see what the finished shirt looks like. I tried it on already and I really like the silhouette. I think the boatneck collar will be really pretty.

IMG_20141130_215725~2 IMG_20141130_215244~2 IMG_20141130_215223~2 IMG_20141130_215234~2Then there’s this apron pattern. I enlarged the a-line version on the left. If you look closely you can see this is a girl’s size 6-8, so it needed to be much bigger.

It was my first time slicing a pattern and I think it looks pretty good. It’s a bit loose, but I think it should be loose if you plan to wear it over your clothes. I need to shorten it and add pockets. I may add some other design elements like embroidery, but I haven’t decided yet.

And finally, the western shirt is coming along, although slowly. I find I need to work on short projects when I’m completing something more challenging. I like to be able to take breaks from the more difficult project.

You can see the fabric is the same for both of these projects. I don’t particularly like the color and the quality of the fabric is awful. It’s just some $2 stuff I picked up for muslins, so I guess it fulfills its purpose.


Simplicity 8834: A Tank Top

I started sewing initially because I wanted to alter thrift store finds and create shapes and styles I couldn’t find in ready to wear clothing. I’m happy to say that I finally feel I’ve honed sufficient skills to be able to do this. Of course, I still have a lot to learn, but it is so rewarding to put on a piece of clothing that I feel so comfortable in and know that I made this with my own hands.

Among the pieces I’ve sewn this summer that contributed to that feeling is a tank top I continue to make from a Simplicity pattern (8834). Clearly it’s not a complicated top, but it’s comfortable and I can sew it in three hours.

blue tank 2 blue tank


Although I have this tank top in four or five fabrics, I posted picture of the one I wore the most this summer. It’s made of African wax fabric I bought in Senegal. (Although I wear this tank top a lot, I should point out I made a small mistake in cutting the back so it blouses a bit. I’m certain I’m the only one who notices though. This is also why you only get to see the front.)