Saturday, November 15, 2014

Renfrew, Ottobre, Plantain

**Picture intensive post ahead**

I wear comfortable clothes.  Since most of my day is spent at home, this consists of jeans and a tee.  In the winter I freeze so the tee becomes long-sleeved.  I don't have many to choose from in my closet and one of my favorite makes is pilled beyond belief now, which means I needed to make some more.  I decided to sew up three different patterns and compare them.

My current measurements: 35-28-42. Height is 5'7"

Sewaholic Renfrew 1201:

I have wanted to try the renfrew for awhile now - always being the last to jump on the bandwagon.  I ordered it from Patternreview because their shipping is so fast to me.

Size and adjustments: Shoulders/bust 6, waist 8, hip 12. 1/2" square shoulder adjustment.

Instructions:  Pet peeve, no "front" mark on sleeves. Plus, what is up with #6.  "sew collar pieces wrong sides together" This means that the right side is facing up, but the diagram shows the wrong side facing up. Plus, when I followed the directions sewing W sides together it was clearly wrong. Am I the only one who had issue with this?  Also, I wonder why the collar has to have a top seam anyway, can't it be cut in just one piece? or is the seam to add structure? are they separate to save fabric? I'll test this theory on my next one.
I feel like a ninja!

Fabric: 10 oz. Charcoal Cotton lycra from Purpleseamstress in Oct 2014. 2 yards, $13. Love this fabric.

Fit: Love love love the fit. I can see why everyone loves this pattern.  The cuffs and band are a great idea, though I still like to finish with my coverstitch for hems. The sleeves are a tad tight for me so my next one I will add width there.
I don't like how the neckline with the cowl is out so far on my shoulders.  I can see this line when I wear the cowl and it bugs me. I may try to work out a way to have it less wide here.

Ottobre 05/2013 #1A:

I have sewn this one up a few times now and you all know I love it.  My loose striped version is slowly pilling but I wear it a lot.  My color blocked zig-zag is going strong and gets worn once per week.  My favorite of them all, the blue/gray color blocked is pilled beyond belief.  The blue fabric is poor quality and I am sad I can't wear it. So I wanted to re-make that one with better quality fabric. The tunic version I made I don't wear very much, sadly.

Size and adjustments: Shoulder, bust, waist 40 to 44 at hip.  1/2" Square shoulder adjustment, added 1/2" to outside of shoulder in armhole because shoulders were too narrow.  Separated a yoke from bodice to color block. 1/2" swayback adjustment. Did not add a pocket.

Instructions: Great instructions.  I had no issues with them.

Fabric: 7 oz. Teal Blue Jersey Knit from fashionfabricsclub in Aug 2014. 3/4 yard, $4.13; gray bottom is charcoal gray sweater knit from fashionfabricsclub in Sept 2013. 3/4 yard, $2.96. I wish I had bought more of the gray because it is soft and beefy.

Fit:  Great fit. I think it is a sleek look.  I need to add a wedge to the back and take it out from the front.  The drag lines I'm getting from bust to waist are from my large rear pulling the fabric at the hip.

Deer & Doe Plantain:

I made this up one other time in short sleeve and liked the style.  Plus I had to try those cute patches out on the elbows!

Size and adjustments: 38 shoulder, 40 bust and waist, 44 hip. 1/2" square shoulder adjustment, darted 1/2" out of neckline to armpit because of my hollow chest. I also took in 3/4" to 1" from waist to hip on front piece because front was too big.

Instructions:  The instructions are great. I had no issues with them.  I just purchased a binder attachment for my coverstitch and had a bit of an issue with the knit binding for the neckline wanting to fold wrong. I got it to look ok and left it at that. I added the tiny pocket from the Ottobre pattern because I love tiny pockets and it was a way to incorporate more gray into the top.

Fabric: 10 oz. Royal Blue Cotton Lycra. From the Purpleseamstress in Nov 2014. 2 yards, $13.  This fabric sews up so beautifully and is the perfect weight of not light and not heavy. Gray band and patches are Laguna Stretch Knit Heathered Pepper from  I want to caution. The fabric calls for 2.25 yards and it really needs it.  I wanted the neckband to be in the royal blue but didn't have enough for even that small bit of fabric after squeezing the other pieces out of 2 yards.

Fit: Love it. For a free pattern this sucker fits great!  And these elbow patches make me smile.

** So I recently stumbled upon the Purpleseamstress on facebook, she also has a website. And thought I'd try her knits. They have all gotten glorious reviews.  Well they are worth it!  Not only are the solids cheap ($6.50/yard, cotton lycra) they are also a dream to sew with. Not lightweight, not heavyweight. Just perfect.  And Melinda ships super duper fast.  I recommend her to anyone.  She lists special things on her facebook page each day and you can order both on her website and on her facebook. She also replies to you almost instantly if you contact her via FB.  **  I know good quality knits are hard to come by so I wanted to share. I do not get any sort of payment from telling you this.

Oh, and let's get these tally's back in order here;
Totals for the year to date:
Purchased in Oct and Nov: 41.25 yards (oops, but I was ill and it felt good)
Stash from before this year, sewn this year: 44.75 yards
All Fabric sewn/sold/gave-away in 2014: 182 yards
Fabric purchased in 2014: 195.75 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pants, Pants, Pants. Ottobre 01/2009 #29 Saija Sweatpants

Constant dilemma, Miss K always seems to need pants. Then, when I finally get her caught up on pants she hits a growth spurt!  Plus K refuses to wear jeans; she can't ever find ones that fit her in the store.  So I have no option but to sew her some pants.

I used this pattern last year and I love the look of these pants.  K has outgrown the purple pair, but the navy ones are still going strong. (the other two pants in that post do not fit anymore either).

Ottobre 01/2009 #29 Saija Sweatpants

I made three pairs (in October) and Miss K finally let me get a few pics.

Pair one is an orange cotton velour with aqua ribbing. There is 3" elastic in the ribbing waistband to ensure they stay up.  K wouldn't let me get a picture in them :(  But these fit great.

Pair two is a green cotton velour with no ribbing. I added a bit to the rise and put in 3/4" elastic. I think I like it with the ribbing better but K doesn't mind either way.

The third pair is with blue sweatshirt fleece.  It has a cotton/lycra band on top.  It is a bit snug at first but loosens a bit during the day to be comfortable.  This pair has pockets of jersey by K's request.  I don't like pockets in knit pants because they always seem to want to bunch up or pop out. And these certainly do.
Sorry for the terrible pics. It was 6am and this is all I could get


All three pairs are a straight size 146. They are a tad long and baggy on K now but I wanted to ensure they would make it through this year without K growing out of them!

Orange cotton velour and Green cotton velour both from a facebook group buy in Feb 2014. 1 yard each, $7.40 each.
Blue Sweatshirt Fleece from mill end back in August 2013, 1 yard, $3.50.

Also,yesterday I was able to trace, pre-wash, and cut 3 tops out for me.  A renfrew, a plantain, and one of my favorite Ottobres; all for myself!  I hope to get them sewn this week.

And in my down time I went through all my patterns and magazines and created an excel database of every pattern I wanted to sew. I made separate tabs for myself, K, T, and Mr. Now when I get done with a project I can just look at it and jump to the next!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, November 6, 2014

MegaMan ~ Ottobre 06/2013 #39 and Jalie 3355

Mr. T came up to me and asked for a Halloween costume 7 days before he needed it.  Seven days??? ok, ok. What did he want to be? Megaman.  He wanted the helmet from Amazon (Mega Man Helmet (Standard)) but the rest he wanted made.

Mom got to action.  I had 2 yards of Aqua Cotton Velour, a yard of blue sweatshirt fleece, and a half yard of Royal Blue Jersey Knit in my stash as well as a scrap piece of Red Jersey Knit.  I went and picked up some craft foam from Wal-Mart along with yellow paint.

I used two patterns for the suit.

The top is Ottobre 06/2013 #39 a raglan long sleeve tee. I used size 152 for T who is 12/14 RTW. It fit perfectly.  I used the Aqua Velour for the main part and cut the sleeves at the elbow and sewed blue sweatshirt fleece for the rest of the arm. I had no issues sewing this up and the instructions were great.

The bottoms are Jalie 3355 The sweat pants, I omitted the pockets.  I traced out the underwear parts from front and back of the pattern, winging it. And sewed these in the blue sweatshirt fleece onto the other parts of the pants in the aqua velour.  The underwear part looks a bit funny, but the main idea is there.  I sewed up a size 155 and they were a bit big.  The rise is a tad high, too.

Jalie 3355 - Sweatshirt, sweat pants, hoodie

I then formed the cuff and leg parts out of the foam roll, sewed royal blue jersey in a tube and stretched it over the foam parts. I then glued the royal jersey to the inner parts of the foam.  The blaster I attached a bit of red jersey to the one side of the fabric tube, cobalt to the other, and stretched it over a foam tube I created.  Then I painted the yellow bits on with paint.

All in all it came together, thankfully.  T wore it to his first middle school party and also out trick or treating with the family.  He was so overjoyed when people recognized who he was.

Fabrics:1 yard Blue Sweatshirt Fleece, purchased Aug 2013 from Mill End for $3.95
1/2 yard Laguna Stretch Cotton Jersey Knit Royal, Kaufman, purchased Feb 2014 $3.49
2 yards Aqua Cotton Velour, purchased Feb 2014 from a facebook group $14.80
Craft foam from Walmart $10
Yellow Paint from Walmart $1.50
Helmet from Amazon $22
Red and Blue gloves from Walmart $1
Total Spent on Costume: $56.74

I tried my best. :-)

Miss K went as a Minecraft creeper (easy for me because Mr. T was this last year). I made the pants but the rest we had purchased for T last year.

I hope you all had a great Halloween!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cheetah Girl ~ Ottobre 06/2013 #26

Hello, Hello!  I'm still muddling through here.  3 weeks more until my scope. But, I have been sewing here and there to keep me busy.

Miss K had asked for a Cheetah dress a few months back right before I made her snow leopard dress (which, humorously, the fabric is called blue cheetah).  I ordered both fabrics at the same time.  I didn't want both dresses to look exactly alike so with the Cheetah one I opted for a smooth front with no gathers whereas the blue one has gathers.

Since Miss K LOVES her oranges dress I made in March and it fits her so cute, I pulled that pattern back out and made up the Cheetah dress with the long sleeves.  I lowered the waistline a good 2 inches so it was less empire-waisted.  I also omitted the clear elastic around the waist (K doesn't like it).  And I did it in one solid fabric, not patchwork.  Other than that I stuck to the pattern in a straight size 146.

It turned out lovely. I keep singing a made up song to K when she wears it "cheeeetah, cheeeeetah boniiiita" and she just rolls her eyes at me.  I sewed this up 2-3 weeks ago but K has decided she doesn't like to do pictures anymore so I have to snap them when she is wearing the item to school.

Fabric: Technically it's a Leopard print, but don't tell K.
50% Rayon 47% Polyester 3% Lycra; Tan Leopard Print Jersey Knit from  It is lightweight but not see through.  1.25 yards used.
Total: $6.19

There is elastic in the sleeve bottoms

the fabric has a bit of a faded look to it. 

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~