Road Trip

We just got back from a long, long road trip to the Midwest.  We were taking my MIL back to her hometown to visit old friends, and we ended up putting over 5,000 miles on the car.  My MIL had a wonderful time and we saw many beautiful places.  I got to visit a huge fabric outlet in Michigan, or was it Minnesota?  I’ll have to look it up.  It’s nice to get back to my sewing room, though.


More Knit Tops

Somehow I have never gotten around to getting the daughters to help me make a duct-tape double of myself, so I have to have Madame Merp model the clothes.  Just another thing to put on the to-do list.  The fabric for these tops also came from the craft thrift store at the same time I bought the royal blue haul.

Simplicity 4180

Simplicity 4180

This knit is very light weight and might have some wool content.  It is almost impossible to photograph, but at least I gave it a try.

DSC00618UPDATE:  Wow, this top turned out to be fantastic on the trip.  It was comfortable, and best of all, I could wash it out at night and it would be totally dry by the next morning.  I still have some of this fabric left so I may just make another one of these tops, but I think I will lower the top level of the insert about one inch.

These tops actually have a much nicer shape in real life and have the same comfort as a baggy T-shirt but look much better.



Today I am working on a mundane pillowcase for a car pillow.  We went shopping for an inexpensive pillow and were shocked at how much bed pillows cost in some stores.  We finally gave up and went to Target and got a nice soft fluffy pillow for about $5 instead of $85.  I am going to make a pillowcase that is much smaller than the pillow which will squish it into a more dense shape.   This whole thing makes my questionable impulse purchase of some blue fabric with giant white letters all over it at the craft thrift store not such a waste, since I am going to use it for pillowcases and maybe a tablecloth.

Earlier this year on a trip to the craft thrift store in Sonoma County, I found a lot of royal blue knit.  It is the kind of knit meant for athletic clothes with a smooth side and a textured side, but I just use it for garments with the smooth side showing.  It is a stable knit and easy to sew.  I don’t know why someone donated over 15 yards of it, but I bought it all for 50 cents a pound.  The main reason was that a few years ago my daughter made me some gorgeous jewelry and I wanted something royal blue that would go with it:

DSC00640First I made one of my standard tops using an old Butterick pattern, 4507.

DSC00630Then I was reading about McCall’s 6844, the much-reviewed cardigan, so decided to give it a try since I obviously had enough fabric.

Fullscreen capture 972014 94820 PMThe reviews said that the sleeves were very narrow, and they weren’t kidding.  The armholes are also very tight if you are using a firm knit.  I added one inch to the biceps and lowered the armholes by 3/4 inch.  Making the biceps measurement larger added to the length of the sleeve cap seam line and reduced the height of the cap, but somehow lowering the armhole the amount I did cancelled out these changes and the sleeve fit in beautifully.

Here's the cardigan worn over the top.

Here’s the cardigan worn over the top.

On a roll now, I cut out one of my favorite knit top patterns (Simplicity 4180 with many changes)


DSC00625The machine is still threaded with the royal blue thread, and I haven’t even used up one 5-yard length of the fabric yet (it is very very wide, too), so I am currently trying to think of even more royal blue things to make.

Father’s Day Shirts

This must be a record for sewing up new fabric that came into the house instead of letting it marinate in the stash for years.  These fabrics were A’s gift to her dad to be made up into shirts by me.  First, the Route 66 Shirt:


DSC00610This shirt was made from the Victoria Jones 210 pattern.  The next shirt used the vintage Simplicity 5029 pattern:



For some reason I had hardly any fabric left after cutting out the blue shirt, so I decided not to try and match the pocket to the print.  Instead, I made the pocket show California, our state, and Wisconsin, the state my husband’s mother comes from.


My husband is really loving all these new shirts, but I am burned out on shirts now and will have to sew other things for awhile.  Actually, I have at least four projects finished that I haven’t photographed yet.  I need to set up Madame Merp, the duct tape dummy, and have a photo shoot.

I got a request in the comments to show more from my grandmother’s Mexican cross stitch book.  Here is the cover:


And a few more pages of designs:




I am still sewing my husband’s shirts and learning a lot in the process.  I’ll have to see if I can get him to model the new ones soon.  In addition to that, I took my TNT cap sleeve T-shirt pattern and am using it to design some woven blouse patterns using some vintage patterns for ideas.  More on that later.

UFO Shirts

Once, years ago (at least 10) I was sewing some shirts for A.  I don’t remember what pattern I was using since I traced it off without putting the number on the pieces, but I still have all the traced pieces.  Time marched on and of the six shirts I cut out, I did sew some of them.  A liked one, but rejected two others since her taste in fabric changed.  Luckily, my sister is the same size so I passed on two finished shirts to her.  I recently pulled out the ziplock bag with three more cut-out shirts waiting patiently to be assembled inside and decided to finish them up.  I called my sister to see if the shirts I gave her years ago still fit, and they do, so I can go ahead and sew up the rest.  Here’s the first one:

DSC00571This is a classic style with collar and stand, curved hemline, and short sleeves.  I have several short lengths of fabric to use up, so maybe I should cut out more of these shirts since both A and my sister are a petite size so the shirt requires very little fabric.  Which means I will be replacing the UFO’s with more UFO’s to work on in the future.

This poor bag sat around unfinished for months and months because of the thickness of fabric layers where the straps are attached to the bag.  My machine wouldn’t handle it so it needed to be stitched by hand with a lot of strength and a hemostat to pull the needle through.  The fact that it is finished is the result of a really good Korean drama I was watching.  I needed something to work on while I was watching the episodes, so now I have a finished object.  In case you are interested, the drama was The Greatest Love (also titled Best Love).



It’s hard to see on this print, but there is a pocket on the outer flap, pockets across the body front and back, and an adjustable strap.


The bag is lined with hot pink sheeting and the pockets are trimmed with bias cut from the print.  It’s been so long since I made this that I can’t remember what kind of interfacing I used, but I think there is a combination of interfacing and batting.

Well, scratch another UFO off the list.  This week I have been altering patterns and cutting out a few tops from my enormous stash of royal blue knit.


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