This pullover is for Michaela, my autistic niece. Recently, she saw me sewing quilts for her sister and Lovana. She really, really wanted me to sew her something for Christmas, too. She loves soft, fuzzy things and animal prints, so I knew this piece of fleece would be perfect for her. She dislikes surprises intensely, so I let her choose what she wanted made from it. She choose a pullover “like uncle’s.” He has a couple I made him years ago that he wears while working outside.
I used a pattern that I have had for years. I can see from the envelope that it cost $1.25 at the time I bought it. I have used it many, many times and have really gotten my money’s worth out of it. Thankfully, I had some fabric she liked, a zipper in my stash and some 1/2 inch elastic for the sleeves on hand. I am not doing any extra shopping right now, so was very relieved I had what I needed, especially a zipper that was the right kind that matched. I use the kind with the thick, wide teeth for these pullovers. That kind are usually separating zippers, but I just sew over the bottom and cut off any extra because I don’t need them to separate for this project.
Since she spends Tuesdays and Thursdays here, I used this as an activity. We try to keep her busy. So, one day, she watched as I cut it out. Another time, I had her take the pins out of some of the pattern pieces, then she got a chair and stared at me as I sewed. No pressure there:). I worked on it quite a bit over the weekend while she was not here, and only had to measure the elastic for the sleeves around her wrists and insert it. I did that yesterday, then finished it up. She tried it on. It is enormous on her, even though we cut out her size. Thankfully, she doesn’t care. She will likely layer it with shirts under it anyway.
Tomorrow, I will let her and Patsy wrap it up, because they both love to wrap gifts. Then, she will open it on Christmas and be as happy as a clam.
The fall sewing project to replenish Patsy’s wardrobe continues. I made a nightgown and some shorts from a large piece of flannel I had on hand. In the past, I’ve purchased flannel from JoAnn’s flannel sales, sometimes on the day after Thanksgiving, for low prices and this piece was in my stash.
The nightgown was made from Butterick 5723. The shorts were from Simplicity 2819. These were both patterns I’ve had for a long time. The shorts were made because I had just enough fabric left over and I figured she could always pair them with a t-shirt and wear them to bed, or wear them under the nightgown.
I thought the nightgown was going to be shorter, so I lengthened it. It’s not short! In fact, it reaches between her knees and ankles after I made it longer. So, the shorts will likely not be needed under it after all.
Two things I do on shorts and pants: 1) I add a small piece or ribbon or bias tape to the center back casing. This shows the child at a glance which side is the back, like a tag would. 2) I stretch and sew a line through the center of the casing after I’ve inserted the elastic and made sure it fits the wearer. That keeps the elastic from rolling and twisting inside the casing over time.
If you try this, I’ve found that the elastic needs to be shorter than the actual waist measurement. It seems that the elastic stretches out when I sew that line through it. I usually go around her with the elastic, then take away 3-4 inches and insert that much into the casing. I then have her try the shorts/pants on and make any adjustments needed, sew the hole closed, then do the stretch and stitch down the center of the casing.
On the nightgown, I made a couple of alterations. First, I cut the top according to the pattern, but then gradually widened the sides, starting from under the arms, and by the time I was to the bottom of the skirt edge, added 2-3 inches. That actually added 8-12 inches of width over the hips. She likes her night things loose. I added about 5-6 inches to the length of View C, but left off the ruffle. I also tacked a ribbon bow to the center front so she could easily tell which side is the front. It’s difficult with this style to tell in a hurry.
I also left the sleeves free to flutter at the lower edges, rather than inserting a casing and elastic there. She doesn’t like the elastic on her arms, so I never put it in there for her nighties. Instead, I just narrow-hemmed the edges.
I finished up this cotton top on Friday. It was much easier than the last top I made.
I used Simplicity 8949. I was unable to buy this pattern in her size, so I simply cut everything a little bit larger. It was simple enough and it worked great.
The sleeves looked fuller on the picture for View B. I guess they were fuller than A, but if I do this one again, I’ll cut them even larger as she had hoped for ruffly, fluttery sleeves. I added some lace to the sleeves, though, and she was happy with that.
The alterations I made to the pattern were: I enlarged it. I added lace. I did a little top stitching and then tack stitching to the center front V-part. I did this so it would lay flat and hopefully not rip out as she pulled it off and on. I also put a small zipper in the back as those work for her better than things like loop and button closures. I lengthened it slightly.
I think it will be cool and comfortable when she’s warm, and layer easiy when she’s not. A long time ago, I liked to post projects on Fridays. This qualifies, since I finished it up on Friday! It really wasn’t very hard, folks. I just have been super busy this week, so that’s why it took all week. Hopefully, on Saturday, I will get a longer chunk of sewing time in on the next project.
This top was very economical to sew because I had the fabric on hand for years, and it might even have been some Lovana left behind when she moved out. Even better, the pieces of this pattern fit on the piece of fabric and there was none left over! Since I still have quite a bit of fabric on hand, I’ve been trying to use some of it and have been having trouble matching patterns with the lengths or styles of fabric I have. I got the pattern at JoAnn’s for $1.99, recently. Thread was in my thread bin from projects in the past. The zipper was a loose one in my zipper bin, so it was either torn from another garment at some point, from a yard sale, or given to me over the years. People are very generous when they know you sew and Rob also looks for notions and lace at garage sales and often gets handfuls for very low prices.
It was easy enough that I would make it again in another color. I will, however, wait until I see if she really likes it enough to wear it a lot. It’s all about comfort around here, so we shall see:)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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:)