Saturday, May 30, 2009


I finished these last week, but my little brother came into town to surprise my parents with a visit over Memorial Day weekend so the weekend was instead stuffed with spending as much time with our soldier man as possible. I thought that was the perfect way to celebrate Memorial Day and HOO BOY was it fun to see the surprise on Mom and Dad's faces when they came over!

So here's what I've finished lately. I decided to turn my beloved Jalie 2562 into a T-shirt as well. Being clever, I call it my TNT-Shirt. I've made two so far, here's one out of the same fabric my polo is out of.
From 2009-05-24 Jason's Here!

I love it! The knit is super comfy and the fit is of course perfect. I think it takes me under an hour start to finish on one of these. I did a pink one Saturday morning before Hubby or Brother woke up, start to finish!

Last week I had gotten started on the vest BWOF 05-2009-109. For some reason the May issue isn't in the archives yet on the website, so you'll just have to go off of my finished one. The instructions were of course fabulous because it is the sewing course for May. I left out the piping and side thingies (tabs?) and made some shoulder and waist adjustments for fit- the neckline was gaping really badly. I LOOOOVE it now though! I probably over fit it just a tad on the waist, it fits absolutely perfectly standing, but sitting it's a little bit tight. I think I'd rather just lose a few pounds though than rip apart all that hand stitching holding the lining in place!
From 2009-05-24 Jason's Here!

From 2009-05-24 Jason's Here!

Speaking of lining, there it is! Isn't that cool? This vest/top combo is probably my favorite outfit right now with my white jeans and black loafers (not in the picture because Brudda helped me and isn't well schooled in blog photography...). I think I should put some edge stitching around the armholes to keep the lining from popping out because it doesn't really match anything. We'll see if I get that patient any time soon.

Last night I traced Jacket 107B from this same issue which will be my next project. I'm using black corduroy so I'm keeping the grain lines they recommend. This jacket was from the Madras section and has the two front panels cut on the bias to show off the contrast, I like that. Hopefully it will still look cool in baby wale corduroy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

BWOF 05-2009-114 Summer Dress

I completely forgot to take photos of my Mom's Mother's Day shirt- it turned out great and really looks good on her, but I didn't think to get photos.

In other news though, I did finish BWOF 05-2009-114 which is a great little summer dress! I didn't think twice about it when I flipped past the photo of it because the dress is completely obscured by all sorts of accessories and artsy camera angling. I did like the line drawing though. Ultimately I decided based on yardage though. I had some fabric that I recently found in a box that hasn't been opened since I packed up my college apartment (so it has moved three times with me unopened) and I decided it was about time to make something out of it. This dress fit the yardage bill and voila! Here we are!

From Grillo Originals

The fabric is some kind of cotton batik with a bit of stretch. I'm actually surprised I bought so much of it since I bought it in college, I think I wound up with almost 2 1/2 yards.

Yesterday the weather here was really nice, it was 80 degrees, but today was a bit cooler and I hadn't finished the dress in time to wear it yesterday so today I'm wearing it with a jacket that was given to me and that has never matched anything in my closet- until today! Speak up if you think it still doesn't match anything in my closet. Also- look at my shoes from the above photo- do they really go? Hubby says yes, but I'm not sure how I feel about the cream plus white deal.

From Grillo Originals

The sleeves are rolled up until I can find some matching topstitching thread to move the cuffs up. The sleeves are about 4 inches too long (my arms aren't THAT short). I think I can probably take at least 2 1/2 inches off without the sleeves looking too crazy. Then maybe they'll be sort of fashionably long instead of "Ok little girl, where's your mommy," long.

I'm about to go post a real review on pattern review. So if you want to see it it will be on the widget to the right momentarily. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Toy for Shaya

Another thing I made recently is a toy for my pup. A while ago I went thrift store shopping for some denim to turn into dog toys and came up with a size 24W pair of black jeans. When Simplicity patterns were on sale for $1 each a few weeks ago I picked up this stuffed animal pattern and voila- here's the result.
From Grillo Originals

I really like the pattern (Simplicity 9524). It was super easy with only 2 pattern pieces for this bear (4 fabric pieces.) He took up all 4 thigh panels on the jeans COMPLETELY, there's no way I could've done this with a smaller pair without chopping up the pattern a bit. I stuffed it with fabric scraps so the guts are easier to pick up off of the carpet when Shaya pulls them out. The unintended effect with the scraps is that the bear is incredibly heavy even though I didn't stuff it very full. When Shaya shook it back and forth it threw her off balance, pretty funny! Here she is chewing on it. She loves it. She hasn't even torn him yet, she's just carrying him around the house now. I even caught her sleeping with her head on it like a little pillow. Awwww.
From Grillo Originals

From Grillo Originals

It took me about an hour from tracing it to tossing it to Shaya so this was a perfect quick little project. I think the next baby born in my circle of friends and family is going to get an armload of stuffed animals instead of a quilt. I had a serious thing for stuffed animals ("stuffies" as I called them) when I was little so there's no reason not to continue the love affair by making them for other people's children.


This is the completed polo for my MIL.
From Grillo Originals

I like it a lot. The one thing that I still find irritating is my inability to sew the inside of the placket and the inside of the collar stand neatly. I may just resign myself to hand sewing that in the future. I pinned it SO CAREFULLY I just can't think of anything I could do to make it neater in the future without sewing it meticulously by hand. Speak up if you have a suggestion on that one. You can see in these photos that the outside is really neat and pretty, but the inside is not so good.
From Grillo Originals

From Grillo Originals

And here's the other shirt. I decided that the other fabric would become a t-shirt for my MIL instead of another polo. The only real option I had for the collar is to make it out of stripes (which I think will look funny) or to do it in white- which does not match the feel of the fabric really as the fabric is pretty dark pink and the stripes are silver. So here it is as a tee. I'm glad I decided to do it that way. I still used my beloved Jalie pattern, I just scooped out the neck a tad more and made a band to finish it.

From Grillo Originals

Here's the neck band, I used two stripes width so I could get the band to be just one stripe color, I like how it worked out. The serger thread in there is actually pink, but such a light pink that against all of the pinks in the shirts it looks white- bummer.
From Grillo Originals

And here's the twin needle stitching. I think this is the best job I've done on twin needle stitching so far. There is still a tiny bit of tunneling, but not enough to fuss over! Do you like that my nail polish matches the thread? Ha! I guess I'm in a bit of a pink mood lately.
From Grillo Originals

Next up is my mom's shirt which will be made out of this bamboo fabric. I tried to photograph it, but I can't really do it justice. It's a bit more navy in real life but you can at least see how beautifully it will drape. The stuff is amazing, it's a 100% bamboo knit from the Bamboo Fabric Store and to really show you how great it is, I'd have to let you touch it.

From Grillo Originals

The fabric has a bit more of a story to it. I ordered a sample of it probably two months ago with this in mind and I loved the sample. Now if only I could be as organized and efficient as I want to be, I would've ordered the fabric shortly after getting the sample. That's not what happened. I went to order on Friday and realized that I wouldn't get the fabric in time based on the shipping time- oh no! So I e-mailed them (Friday morning here, lunchtime there) to find out if I could pay for expedited shipping or something to get it by Wednesday (today). Not only did they NOT CHARGE ME AN EXTRA PENNY to get it to me more quickly, I got the fabric on Monday! Woo hoo! I get really excited when I get service like that. I can guarantee I'll be shopping there more. The fabric is delicious and I really love to support businesses that go the extra mile even when they don't have to.

What's the best service you've ever gotten?

Monday, May 4, 2009


I picked up the May BWOF over the weekend- I couldn't wait for it to come out! I've been jonesing for some good dress patterns, and this was just the ticket. This week I need to finish my Mother's Day sewing in addition to my Mother's Day baking, but once all that is done, I barely even know where to start! Here are my immediate plans:

(I apologize for no photos- the Burda website and I are having a little tiff over file types)

Vest 109- this is a plain vest that I've already made a muslin for. I'll be making the real one out of some black twill cotton I have left over from a previous project.

Dress 114- I have some purple cotton with a flowery island feel design in white that's been in super deep stash, I think this is what it wants to be.

Dress 122- I think the photo they have in the magazine is lame. I didn't like this dress at all until I saw the line drawing! I have some blue linen-look cotton that will be the body of the dress, then some white crinkle cotton with little blue roses on it for the sleeves. Since the dress has belt loops I think I'll also do a sash kind of belt with a serged lettuce edge on the ends to go around the waist and tie it all together.

Dress 126- I love this one just how it is! I'm going to go the really imaginative route and make it up exactly how it is shown. I just love it. It will probably be a bit further down on the to-do list though because I'm not sure I have the patience required for all those details at the moment.

Jacket 107- Last but not least, I love this one too. I think I may wind up making it out of some black pinwale corduroy I have hanging around. I'm not sure if I have enough for it and I'm also not sure how much I'll be wearing black pinwale corduroy in the summer, but I tend to get chilly in the evenings since even in the summer the nighttime temps drop quite a bit here in lovely Colorado so I may wear it more than I think. If all else fails, I'll have it for fall.

One more detail. I've planned out my summer wardrobe (there's a first time for everything!) and it centers around having nice white, khaki and black pants. I have the fabric for the black ones and was getting ready to make the white and khaki pants, but I decided to go thrift hunting this weekend. I found two perfect pairs of pants! They were Ann Taylor pants (which fit me like they were made with me in mind), I got both khaki and white. Both pairs are fully lined and were a whopping $3.50 each. I love making my own clothes, but there's no way I could even touch that efficiency! They do need to be hemmed so it's a good thing I'm handy with a sewing machine- but what a find!

Friday, May 1, 2009


I'm making progress on my MIL's polos, good thing since I really need to get them shipped by Monday or so to make the Mother's Day deadline. What a slacker I am! Here are the photos- the collar is now pinned in place and ready to be put on for the solid pink one. I've yet to cut out the other one, but I plan on locking myself in my sewing room all day Saturday to get this done.

From Grillo Originals

I'm really happy with how well the placket came out. It's still not 100% lined up on the inside, but the outside is perfect (in my opinion anyway). I suppose eventually I'll have to resign myself to fact that I should likely be hand basting in place before really stitching this down to get it to look just how I want it.

From Grillo Originals

In other news- I've started teaching very beginning sewing classes as another side hobby. I have a student ("Sewing Protege") in particular that I'm really enjoying working with. T had never been near a sewing machine and was interested in learning a bit about sewing to see if she liked it enough to invest in a machine. For the first lesson she came over and we made a simple dog bed for her pups. She was THRILLED with the outcome and for her second project we made BWOF 04-2009-121. It's the short tunic- which has two dots- and we made it completely underlined. I've got to tell you, T the sewing protege is one smart cookie! We finished the tunic last night in time for her beach vacation and it looked awesome. She is picking things up with lightning speed. She's planning on buying a machine now- I'll go ahead and take that as a testament to my amazing ability to spread the love of sewing (don't burst my bubble here). Anyway, I'm happy that I've been able to introduce her to something that is obviously bringing her a lot of joy and pride and I'm looking forward to showing her everything I know.