Tag Archives: sewing clothes

Sewing A Cape–October 2020

Patsy wanted a cape. She gets cold in the mornings, and thought it would be fun to snuggle in a “wearable blanket.” So, we finally braved JoAnn’s and she chose this fleece. They were having a sale for $2.99/yard, a wonderful price in my opinion. I got 3 yards, which was a little more than was actually needed. I used McCall’s 7202, view B.

McCall’s patterns were on sale for $1.99 and I got a handful. I have not been able to get any new patterns for a while, mostly because I have not been to the store during any sales, and, in truth, haven’t been going at all. Although I have quite a bit of fabric, and quite a few patterns, I have been frustrated with the fact that the patterns I have either aren’t in Patsy’s size, or don’t fit the size of the fabric pieces I have on hand. I’m hoping I now have some patterns that will work with some pieces I have on hand. I’m hoping to go get some Simplicity ones when they go on sale.

The pattern called for snaps to close the front of the cape. I bought a package of the large snaps called for, and they were $5. For snaps. So, I decided to experiment with some buttons I had on hand to see if they would work. I interfaced the front, and did not have trouble putting buttonholes into the fleece. I do find that these large buttonholes on the fleece are showing a tendency to stretch out already, and I didn’t even cut them as big as I would have on 100% cotton fabric. So we shall see how that works out.

The other change I made was omitting the line of sewing on the sides that would make sleeve-like openings in the cape. She wanted it to just flow.

For around $11 Patsy has a new cape. I told her to wear it and wear it and to not save it for “good.” I figure this one is an experiment, and the price was right! If it wears out quickly, or the buttonholes don’t hold up, I’ll make another one and use the snaps. It took a little longer than I thought it would, mostly because of the buttons and buttonholes and the fact I had not made this pattern before. It would be much quicker another time.

Now that the garden is finished except for the fall and winter veggies, I’m hoping to devote quite a bit of time to sewing. Patsy needs several new things. We went ahead and purchased a few items and I plan to sew a few, and her wardrobe should be back in great condition.

Sewing A Dress-May 15, 2020

I used some of the cotton fabric we purchased for $1.80/yard to make Patsy a dress. She has been wanting a dress that twirls around, with lots of fabric in it. The price was right, so I used yards and yards to make this dress for her.

She chose view B, with the hi-low hemline.

This fabric is very thin, so it drapes well. I don’t think a more sturdy cotton would work very well, but I do think a knit fabric would.

It was raining yesterday, so she decided to wear the dress with a white t-shirt. When it gets really hot, a tank top will do.

Thriving In My thrifty Week–April 19, 2020

Rob’s tomatoes and peppers are looking insanely good! He’s starting to harden them off. It will be a while before it’s time to plant them out, but when it’s time, they will be ready. We are having such an early spring. It won’t be long.

This turned out to be a good week for me to work in the yard and garden. I weeded for hours. Several bags of compost/steer manure were spread in different places. My soil is quite poor in the flowerbeds and the garden always needs ammending.

The new compost bins Rob built are in place against the fence and quite a few buckets of weeds have been put in them already. The old compost bins he made last year have been organized. I moved any un-decomposed weeds from the top of the pile on the right to the left. Now, everyone has been instructed to leave the right hand side completely alone and not add any new scraps or weeds. I am going to remove the nice compost from that side very soon, and spread it over the corner of the garden. The slats come out of the front of the bins, making it easy to shovel the rotted compost out. Then, I will instruct everyone to put new debris in the emptied side, and let the left hand side finish.

Last fall, I dug up a small corner of the garden with an old-fashioned shovel, added a bag on compost/steer manure and planted a few snow peas and beets, along with a few green onion seeds. The beets flopped for the most part, but the snow peas are about to fruit and there are a few green onions. It was a successful experiment. I can’t wait to eat some.

I’m getting a few artichokes. They are quite small, so I fertilized them, the raspberries, the blueberries and the strawberries.

We received one day of much-needed rain. I was so happy to have one day where I didn’t have to lug water out to the garden to hand-water my tediously planted baby onion plants, tiny carrots and beets, and lettuce. It’s been so dry this spring. Later, when the garden is fully, we will run the sprinklers over it all, but the system isn’t set up yet. We have to get the hoses out, set up the sprinklers, etc.

Patsy made another mason bee house. Being Patsy, she painted it purple. The mason bees are working busily in the houses Rob built and put up. They are already filling the straws with mud and new offspring. They are also very busy pollinating all over our yard.

My sister sent over a beautiful hanging pot of flowers.

Rob dropped some baby veggie starts on her doorstep. It’s been difficult to not be able to really see and visit with this particular sister, so we’ve had to be creative with texts, visiting from a wide distance, and phone calls.

Michaela was getting very restless, so Rob took her for a drive. They drove around and dropped things on people’s doorsteps (like my sister) and looked for trains. Sadly, they were working on the tracks, so they didn’t see even one, but there’s always another day.

We had the kids over for a “party.” My sister needed to work 2 days this week, from home, and we wanted to take the kids somewhere to give her the peace and quiet she needed. Our house is the only other place they can go right now, since we are back and forth so much, we consider ourselves as one small circle, and our work with them is considered necessary. So, we got out the 2 kiddie pools we own and put water in them. They used any and all water balloons we could find from either house. We ran the yard sprinklers so they could run through them. Rob build a fire in the fire pit and we roasted hot dogs, marshmallows and Peeps our niece, Alissa, brought over. We made ice cream cones and decorated them with M and M’s and gummy bears. They were so tired, they came inside and I put on an educational tv show about wild cats, which they watched as if in a coma, then went home where their dad said they had a great, exhausted evening, and fell into bed. I confess, I fell into bed at 8:30 as well, since we’d had Jake for 2 days and one night. The girls just joined us for the second afternoon. Of course, Alissa just joined us for the fun of it, and to help out. Since I homeschooled her for 3 years, it felt very right to have her over here for the afternoon. I miss her now that she’s getting so grown-up and busy with her adult life.

We needed to get produce, and some other groceries. One day, I went down to Safeway. I took the little handful of Monopoly tickets I had received weeks ago, not really knowing if they were even doing that game any more with how busy the stores were. They were. I was able to get several free items, such as gummy bears, French bread, and extra tickets. Some other people did not want their tickets, and so I brought them home to Patsy. She and Jake worked for quite some time un-wrapping them (bless you people who shared!). They got quite a few free items. I wasn’t sure if we were going to redeem them, but to my chagrin, I found I had forgotten something very important, and Rob had to go back and get it that evening. So, we were able to get them after all. We got a brick of cream cheese, several donuts, a box of pasta, and another handful of tickets.

Rob has done a little shopping here and there, getting things to fix things around the house, things for the yard, a few groceries, etc. I took Lovana shopping, as she doesn’t drive. I’m hoping we are all set up for a couple of weeks again, now. I’d love to go a month, but I will probably not be able to make it that long, due to the fact that I always need produce since Rob is still working hard on maintaining his weight loss.

They called and rescheduled his surgery for June 29. If the virus erupts here, of course they will postpone it again, but we are hopeful, so it’s even more important that he be the correct weight.

I was able to take the scraps from Patsy’s skirt and make a little summer sundress for my little friend, Danait. The pattern was one I’d had for years and the trim was from a garage sale years ago. There was an extremely long piece of it, bought for a very low price, and I’ve used bits of it several times over the years. I was delighted to use some more of it and to finish up the blue print fabric. The entire dress cost less than $4, and I had a lot of fun sewing it. Rob, Michaela and Patsy dropped it on their doorstep, along with a few Easter items, and visited briefly from a safe distance. I was working, but was glad they could take my love.

Sewing–A Skirt For Patsy–April 5, 2020

Last week, I sewed a skirt for Patsy. I’m just now getting around to posting about it. I used Simplicity 1445, a pattern I had in my sewing room, but had never used before. She likes a couple of the other views, too, so I may make them some other time…we’ll see what I get around to! When I find patterns for $1.95 or even 99c, I often buy a handful to use when they aren’t on sale.

I used some very thin cotton fabric for this skirt. A few weeks ago, JoAnn’s had Quilter’s Showcase fabric on sale for only $1.80/yard. Patsy has been wanting a skirt that used a lot of fabric, and at that price, why not? Also, the thin fabric is much better for the flounce, letting it hang and flow nicely. This view took under 4 yards, making the skirt around $8, including elastic.

Rob found a nice slip on Amazon for a low price, and ordered that to go under this skirt, and any other skirts I make from the same fabric for her. I bought more on that day, as the price was right.

The flounce was the most difficult part of the skirt. There was an amazing amount of narrow-hemming to do, and the corners took some fussing to get neat and tidy. But, I just folded, pressed and pinned the entire hem before I sewed it. It took more time to do, but it was worth it because it turned out very nice. The rest of the skirt was easy; it was just a simple skirt with elastic in the top.

Sewing Project: Summer Nightie

This is a summer nightie for Patsy from Simplicity 2819. I modified it in several ways.

First of all, the pants on the pattern fit just fine, once we made sure we had the correct measurements. She made some p.j. pants a couple of weeks ago, using this pattern, and they fit well.

I decided to re-use the pattern and make a summer nightie with some thin cotton I had on hand.

I ran into trouble immediately. I cut the nightie out using the same size as we had used for the pants. The neck opening was barely big enough for her to get over her head when I tested it. It looked small, so I was nervous, and thankfully had her try to pull it over before I went any further. I made sure that worked, and moved on.

I immediately realized that the back and front were going to be so narrow, and there was no opening, so she was never going to be able to get it on and off with comfort, much less feeling that loose, comfortable feeling we all like to enjoy while sleeping. Instead, it was going to be constricting and tight, and therefore was going to get ripped right away. This is a problem I’ve had before with both nighties and jumpers/dresses when I’ve sewed for some of my other children when they were younger.

I was in trouble, as I was out of pink fabric, so I dug into the drawer and found some white cotton. I split the front piece up the middle, added a panel of white, gathered it all up to fit the yoke piece, and then proceeded. It added several inches of fabric to the front of the nightgown. It made all the difference, and saved the project. Now its looks and comfortable, fits her really well, and looks great. Whew!!!

I have several projects planned for my Covid-19 stay-at-home time. Sewing several items is high on my list. It felt good to get the first one done!

Sewing– Pajama pants for Jake

I spent some time today making up these Pokemon pajama pants for Jake. As soon as I found this remnant at JoAnn’s, I knew it would be perfect for him, if there was only enough! He and his much-older sister love to play the Pokemon game on her phone, and they watch tv shows about Pokemon as well. It’s kind of their special thing, and so he loves the characters. This fabric is normally quite expensive per yard, but the bolt was on sale, and then the remnant price was 1/2 the sale price. It ended up being a good price after all those reductions, so I took a chance and bought it.

This piece was either a yard, or within an inch or two of being a yard. I used it down to the last inch, but it was the length I needed to make him a pair of pants. They are actually pretty big on him, so should last a while. The fabric is very fuzzy and soft and he loves how cuddly it is. It was a bit of a pain to sew, as it wanted to squiggle out from under the needle, but thankfully, I was able to get it to behave for the most part. I think the fabric was probably intended for a blanket, but this worked, too.

These p.j. pants were part of his birthday present, but I waited until he was over here so I could measure the elastic around his waist, and make sure the length was good. That all happened today, and we were both pleased with the result. It took a bit for me to convince him it was pajamas and he couldn’t wear the pants all day. I’m not sure why I bothered. When we went to the store, there was a big boy wearing a full zip-up Pokemon sleeper…….hmmmmm. I think I’ll still let p.j.’s stay home for nighttime at my house:). I guess I’m a little old-fashioned!

There were just two skinny scraps left. So, 2 kitties got scarves. They watched, along with the kitty who didn’t get a scarf, as Patsy tried to teach Jake how to play chess. I’m not sure he’s got chess down, yet, but he seems to enjoy games quite a bit right now and is happy to have someone who will play with him. And, I was glad to get another project checked off my list!

A Little Sewing–New Look–HO182–Nov. 29, 2018


I was very happy to complete a fun sewing project yesterday.  I had a bit of trouble gathering the needed notions, though.  When I got this fabric 1/2 price last Saturday, I didn’t buy thread.  Why would I buy thread?  I have a small bin absolutely full of spools of thread from projects in the past.  But, not this color except for a teeny, tiny bit on a small spool.  Or anything else that was close.  I used the little bit and I sent poor Rob off to JoAnn’s on Monday, but he was unable to get any.  They were still decimated from Black Friday weekend, and most of the blue thread was gone.  The clerks were super busy, and couldn’t help, and since Rob is color blind…..he didn’t feel confident to choose another color instead of the exact color I sent him to get.  (He took a picture of the old spool to get the number from it.).  I got some at Walmart the next day.  Whew.  Then, I went to my bin of zippers to get one–after all, with a small bin of zippers, I never need to buy one, right?  Wrong!  There were no blue ones.  On Tuesday night, I got my zipper.  I bought an extra blue one for the bin:).

In the meanwhile, between running around for these bits and pieces, I sewed the white parts, and what I could with the small amount of thread I had on that little spool.  Yesterday, with the proper notions, I finished the little dress.


I had thought to put the upper layer of white ruffle (view C) on the bottom, but I lost the piece.  Yes.  I did!  Completely.  I pinned it to the white and cut it out, and it’s gone.  Pattern piece, pins, and fabric.  We have all looked for it.  I’m sure it was either accidentally thrown away, or I will find it in a cupboard someday, stuck to a tablecloth or folded towel, or something.  But, for now, our little frozen princess will have to survive without a white ruffle.  After looking for quite a while,  I decided it was time to “Let it Go, !” as the song says. I finished the dress, and am very pleased with how it looks.  I know my little friend will be delighted with it, and I had a good time sewing once I got over the frustration of gathering the parts and pieces.  I’m ready to move on to the next project.  I have several planned for the next few weeks.  After all, it’s almost Christmas:)

Patsy’s Dress


In anticipation of the Homecoming dance, I have been working hard, making Patsy a dress to wear.  It was pretty thought-provoking, as there were lots of alterations to be done.  I finished last week, much to my delight, after several late nights/early morning sessions.  Patsy got to wear her dress last night to the Homecoming Dance at her school.  I got some great pictures of her, and so did Rob.  I know several of you have been asking to see photos of the dress, and I am happy to say I now have some.


I started with Simplicity 1415.  I did not have the correct size and there were no pattern sales for $1.99, etc. so I altered the pattern I did have.  I purchased some fabric at JoAnn’s, and it was all on sale.

First, I taped the bodice pieces onto some butcher paper.  Then, I did a lot of measurements to both the girl and the pattern, drew the new lines where I wanted them, and then cut out a bodice from some muslin I had in the shop.  I basted this together, made more adjustments for correct fit, and then moved on to cutting out the lace overlay.


As you can see, the lace back dips down to meet the under bodice piece (blue).  To make that match with all the alterations was a bit difficult, but I just kept trying it on her, and making adjustments.  When the lace overlay was fitted correctly, I decided to make a binding from scraps of the lace fabric.  It looked much better than the bias tape that was called for.  The bias tape would have been way too bulky and would have shown through the sheer fabric.  I just cut scraps on the bias, sewed them together, ironed them in half, then sewed the binding on.  I then made the underlay and put the facing on.  This also needed many try-ons to make it fit and to make the seams of the lace on top line up with the seams of the blue underneath.  I also raised the neckline a bit on the blue in front and down a bit in the back to match the lace.  I sewed the skirt on, adjusting the pleats so that the skirt would fit to the bodice.  I also needed to adjust the length of the bodice, taking off a lot of excess fabric in the back, and none in the front….but it finally sat at the waistline as is should.  Then, I got to put in my first ever invisible zipper.  I have to admit, I put it in nicely, got the waist seams to line up after a couple of tries, but ended up having trouble at the very bottom.  So, I just finished the very bottom by hand, and you cannot tell from the outside at all.   I didn’t want to rip any more than I had to, as the dress fabric was so delicate, and I had tried a couple of times before I just changed my method.


To sum the project up:  Cost:  Around $25.

Time Spent:  At least 15 hours, probably more

Times tried on:  At least 20.  She was very patient.

Patsy was very happy with the dress, which makes it all worth it.  We had spent an evening shopping for dresses and could not find one that fit her, we liked, and was affordable.  She will be able to wear this dress again for Christmas Eve church.  Our family always dresses up for that service, a tradition we started years and years ago.  So, while people come in every conceivable outfit to that service, my girls usually wear fancy dresses.  It’s kind of fun for them to have an occasion to wear the fancy ones, I think.  We will try to find a shawl for that occasion, as it will likely be very cold.

I like to sew, and have not make a big project for quite some time.  I am glad to be done, though, as it was very hard for me to find enough mental energy for all that altering–I have to really think to change a pattern as much as I did. It also took quite a bit of time during an already-busy canning season.  I’m hoping to find a little more time to sew her a few more things this fall.  I have fabric in the shop, and she could use some more skirts.  Thankfully, they are easier than this dress was!

Sewing Day–President’s Day, 2018


I decided to use my days off for sewing.  It’s quite a process around here, as everything has to be taken out of the garage, and all parts and pieces have to be found.  So, I took over the table, told people to eat elsewhere, and got busy.  I got started on Saturday afternoon.IMG_6398

I finished up this skirt for Patsy I had started quite some time ago.  Thank goodness it still fits.


I moved on to a pair of pajama pants for Ja’Ana.  This was a piece of fabric I’ve had for years, and I went out to the shop and dug it out since I knew it would be perfect.  I spent quite a bit of time Sunday afternoon cutting it out so the plaid would match.  I haven’t matched plaids for a long time, so it took me a long time.  Success comes from careful cutting with plaids.  I sewed the pants on Monday, and was delighted with how well the plaids matched.   It actually took around the same amount of time to cut them out as it did to sew them!


A nightie for Patsy was the next project.  It went together quickly.

I got another skirt cut out as well, and even got started, but I’ll show that one when I get it done.  It will be a while before I get another chance to sew.

You may notice that I chose projects that were very simple and quick.  I feel great about getting them done, and using some fabric I’ve had for a while.  The girls will really benefit from some new nightwear.  I’m also very happy to have finished the skirt, at long last.

I cleaned up the entire mess, but hopefully put the machines and all parts and pieces in handy places so I can pick them up easily if I do get a chance to sew again before long.  We did a few other fun things on our days off, as well, so I feel pretty good about this weekend.  Good thing….it all starts up as usual tomorrow, bright and early!