Category Archives: sewing

Thinking about organizing sewing patterns

My stash of patterns keeps growing.


  • Vogue V8322 (princess-seamed shirts with snaps)
  • Butterick 3030 (raglan-sleeved and dolman-sleeved shirts shirts)
  • Butterick B4815 (vest) – made this, then realized I don’t particularly like wearing vests =)
  • Butterick B4659 (princess-seamed shirt with wide collar) – made this, not happy with the collar
  • Butterick 6085 (shirts)
  • Vogue V2218 (princess-seamed blouses and skirt)


  • Simplicity S2906 (full and slim skirts) – have three skirts using this pattern already ;)
  • Vogue V7881 (instructions for slacks) – working on this, made muslin


  • Vogue V8020 (princess-seamed dresses with full skirts)
  • Simplicity 4097 (wardrober with top, jumper, slacks, and collarless blazer) – made the jumper and the blazer: first time to line an outfit, yay, but the cut is too casual
  • Butterick 5746 (dress fitting shell) – made this and learned more about how I need to alter patterns (eliminate top darts, trim bottom darts ;) )
  • Butterick B5277 (dress with asymmetric collar)


  • Simplicity 3548 (pajama set) – made this with an awesome kitty-printed flannel fabric!
  • Vogue V7837 (nightwear)

Outerwear and sportswear

  • Vogue V8343 (wardrober with asymmetric jacket, skirt, slacks, dress, and top) – made the jacket, liked it
  • Butterick B4610 (blazers with notched collars)
  • McCall’s M4598 (blazers)
  • McCall’s M5764 (capelet)
  • McCall’s M5668 (princess-seamed blazer with roll collar)
  • Vogue V1020 (knit wardrober)

I’d love to have the yardage and notions information on my iPod when I’m at the fabric store, and to have a taggable, browsable, very visual way to navigate through my patterns. I usually take all the envelopes when I go shopping, leaving the pattern tissue and instructions at home, but this results in quite a bit of shuffling around as I try to match fabrics with patterns. And it would be nice to have the patterns on my computer as inspiration instead of just sticking up one or two using magnets on my board…

Oooh, and a way to organize online fabric swatches would be nice, too.

PatternReview has a Pattern Stash and Wishlist. It’s one of their for-pay features, but it doesn’t support the kind of tagging and categorization I want, and I’d like the thumbnails to be a lot bigger, too. Maybe make styleboards using Kaboodle, so I can plan my spring/summer and fall/winter projects? That might be interesting…

Otherwise, tempted to either put static images together in Inkscape or Scribus, or build a pattern and fabric organizing system using Drupal… <laugh>

Just a simple red skirt

My skirt! I’m getting more and more confident about wearing my creations outside the house. <laugh> This is the skirt I wore to work today. It’s a simple straight skirt using the Simplicity 2906 pattern. As I mentioned previously, the wool’s rough, so I used some lining scraps to make a slip. The skirt came together quite nicely, and I could probably make the hemline a little neater next time.

I love the colour of this wool. It’s a rich, deep red with warm undertones, and it’s the same wool I used for my red jacket (Vogue 8343). So nice picking up things like that!

Making some wool skirts

A little too late for winter, I think, but I’ve gotten it into my head to make some pencil skirts from the dark red wool I used for a jacket, and the gray wool that I used for a jumper. I started with the red wool first. It wasn’t as pretty as the gray wool, so I knew I wouldn’t mind it so much if I botched the piece.

I used the Simplicity 2906 pattern for skirts (the second skirt pictured).

Instead of sewing darts, I eased the seams, and then used steam to shrink out the fullness. Result: excellent fit around the back, hooray!

I also sewed in an invisible zipper before doing the rest of the seams, or at least I tried to. Positioning the zipper correctly was an interesting topological exercise! The generic invisible zipper foot didn’t fit my sewing machine, so I sewed the zipper in by hand. It’s relatively inconspicuous, although not as hidden as properly applied zippers on ready-to-wear clothes.

The wool is a little itchy, but I can wear this with a slip. I may even line the other one. (Everything looks better lined anyway. ;)

I’m going to hang this skirt up so that I can hem it tomorrow, and I’ll keep an eye out for something I can make into a slip. Given the warmer weather (hooray!), I may postpone sewing the other wool skirt. If so… Hmm… What would be nice to do next? A full skirt in red/white gingham check? Maybe get started on those Vogue shirt patterns I picked up yesterday? Hmm…

Sewing: Red jacket, V8343

I’m working on a red jacket now. I’ve been meaning to pick up a red jacket, but I’d never found a dark red jacket with clean and simple lines… so now I’m making one. It helped that there was a sale on Vogue sewing patterns, and that I’d stumbled across this deep red wool while W- was picking up fabric for the dining room cushions.

In other news, sketching is so much easier in a vector drawing program where I can edit my mistakes. Thank you, Inkscape!

Sewing: Wool jumper, blazer

(blazer not pictured). This is the jumper I made following Simplicity 4097. I also made a blazer from the pattern. It was my first time working with wool, lining, interfacing, facing sections, and sleeves. My conclusions? Wool was pretty easy to work with, lining made everything look terrific (even if my seams didn’t quite match up), and sleeves were difficult. Mine still pucker a little. But it’s not bad at all, and I’ve worn it outside the house already. Whee!

Sometimes you just have to do it

Last Wednesday, I was definitely not a happily sewing kitty. I was halfway through the blazer I was sewing, and it felt wrong. The darts had bubbless. The sleeve I’d attached was crooked, and when I tried the blazer on, it looked boxy. I tried taking in the side seams, but I had no idea how to do it without making the fabric do weird things. It was frustrating. I was tempted to put that project on hold and switch to making either a cotton mock-up of the same pattern or an easier pattern.

After taking a day’s break from sewing, I revisited the project. I took my time in basting the pieces of cloth together, and then I sewed the sleeves on even though I wasn’t 100% confident yet. And you know what? It actually looks like a proper blazer now. It’s a loose fit and the darts are still somewhat puffy, but it looks somewhat like the illustration, and that makes me happy.

Note to self: next time I’m plagued by self-doubt, it might be worth following the plan all the way through and seeing what happens. =) Sometimes things end up much better than they looked like in the middle.