FO2013 :: Aztec Tank (McCall’s 6751)


So I decided to make this easy tank on the spur of the moment.  I was going to meet up with some of my sewing pals for our biweekly S.O.S (Sewing On Saturday/Sunday) gathering and I didn’t want to try to decipher Burda instructions from my cape while chit chatting, eating, drinking wine,  and oh yeah… sewing.  So about an 1.5 hours before our rendezvous time I decided to make this two piece tank top as my S.O.S. project.

The funny part is that this easy peasy top grew legs! First, I couldn’t decide on the size so I did a quick pin fitting which made me add 5/8″ to the length.  Next I picked my fabrics which was a rayon challis (love me some challis) and a chiffon remnant, both of which come from the $2.50 per lb at Michael Levine’s.  I haven’t worked with woven fabric in a long time and never with chiffon.  I took a little too much time deciding on the pattern placement and then discovered I also didn’t have the color thread nor any matching bias tape.

Peacockchic - Mccalls 6751

So with about 30 minutes to go I set about measuring and cutting the requisite bias tape using a method I saw on Pinterest for making bias tape using masking tape as a guide and googling how to piece the pieces together so as to save on fabric.

Photo Aug 11, 8 34 10 PM

Since I didn’t want to bring my serger along that meant french seams which I also have not done in years and had to do a quick recap using my singer sewing guide.  One quick stop at JoAnn’s along the way and I was finally set to sew.

Once I got started it was of course easy as can be but I just find it hilarious that this two piece, super easy pattern became more and more elaborate as I progressed.

CHANGES FOR NEXT TIME: I would maybe add a bust dart (once again complicating a simple pattern and maybe lengthen the strap area on the front piece by about a 1/4″ because if I just shift the tank back by about that much it doesn’t get caught on my shelf booty.

Peacockchic - Mccalls 6751

Pattern Description: MISSES’ TOPS: Loose-fitting, pullover tops have back neckline variations, narrow hem, and optional purchased bias tape to finish neckline and armholes. A: pocket. A and B: bias back. C and D: back longer than front. A, C and D: wrong side shows.Pattern Sizing: ZZ(Large-XLarge-XXLarge).  I cut view D in size Large
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Similar, except I used two different fabricsWere the instructions easy to follow? YesWhat did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Not really

Fabric Used: Rayon Challis and Poly Chiffon

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I used two different fabrics – Rayon Challis for the front and a chiffon for the back.  I also added 5/8″ to the bottom to lengthen the top slightly.  I ended up cut back the armhole by about a 1/4″ and made my own bias tape using the rayon challis

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will probably sew one of the other views but I can highly recommend view D.
Conclusion: Great pattern for the summer


Found this at JoAnn’s


Nearly fainted because I have these on my Pinterest Board

Chadwicks CapeAnthropologie Craftsmanship Capelet

Chadwicks Cape  |  Anthropologie Craftsmanship Capelet

Given, the two inspiration pieces above are wool and the fabric from JoAnn’s is brushed cotton, but I am calling this Kismet.

It only took 6 years

First off, thank you for all the wonderful compliments on my sewing room! I have been gone so long I was genuinely surprised to see it was still on so many peoples blog roll and now swept away with the annual “I have too many blogs to read” cleanup. 

So after writing my last blog post I went on vacation to Oakland where it was foggy and chilly. It was actually good weather for the Bay but it got my fall sewing juices flowing. Given, when I got back to So Cal I was snapped back to reality as soon as I stepped off the plane but the desire to sew fall attire stuck with me.

Enter Burda 08-2007-111 Trench Cape


I have loved this cape for the past 6 years and it is finally coming to life. The tracing has been slow as I am trying some new techniques. I am doing my pattern alterations using the method I learned at ETAC and referencing Fitting and Pattern Alterations.  I am also shrinking seam allowances using Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry that has a great visual reference for what seam allowances should be.  I highly recommend Sewing Secrets if you are a visual learner.  It makes me excited every time I open the book.  


Since I plan to make a muslin I am less fearful in branching out and hopefully improving my skills.  In fact, that is the reason I have gone back to making muslins.  Well that and the frustration of things not fitting.  This week I will have the pattern traced, the muslin cut, and start the trial sewing. At least that is the plan anyway.



FO2010: Simplicity 2560

I ended up having to stay home from work today for various “Perfect Storm” style reasons. Nothing bad, but it was funny how things fell into place that led to my joyous reluctant hookey day at work.  To make sure the day did not go unappreciated I did some measurements for pants, some experimental cooking, and am now blogging yet another FO from 2010. Not bad for an unplanned day off.

Pattern: Simplicity 2560

Pattern Description: Misses’ knit cardigans with 5 views

Pattern Sizing: 8-24, I made a size 20 View A

Fabric Used: Grey Ribbed Knit with lots of Lycra

Notions Used: None

Pattern Alterations: Added a hook and eye closure

The Good:

  • This one was yet another quick knit project.  I started and finished all the seams in one knit.  It was the hem that took the longest.  I contemplated leaving it unfinished but ultimately bit the bullet and finished off.  I am happy I did
  • This cardigan is a work horse.  I think I wear it at least 2-3 times a week.  As goldilocks would say…Not too hot, not too cold, juuuuust right 😀

  • I really like the hook and eye closure I added.  Super simple and not necessarily the best aesthetic addition but I like the way it doesn’t flop open and how the top portion defines my waist better.

The Bad:

  • The hem was a bear. All that tiny hem plus the rounded edge was not my favorite part.  I just trudged through and made it to the other side.

  • I originally wanted to make this long sleeve but was not able to eek it out of the fabric I had.  That will be the next version
  • It was so easy I actually volunteered to make someone else one the next time I was cutting the pattern.  This is bad because I have horrible follow through on crafting for others.  Good thing I made no time commitments.  But that does put a bit of a damper on when I actually make this pattern again :worry:

The Ugly:

  • I really love everything about the fabric I used for this cardigan as I think the Lycra has a very bouncy feel and great recovery which adds the perfect element to the drape on the front.  The problem is two fold –  One, I don’t know what type of knit I should be looking for and two,I have no idea where I got it.

FO2010: Simplicity 3503 + McCalls 6070

OMG.  I just realized that I only posted two FOs last year.  Guess the first part of 2011 may be a recap afterall…LOL!!  Maybe by mid 2011 I could actually do a retrospective.  Don’t count on it though.  Onward and Upward for 2011.

Pattern: Simplicity 3503 + McCalls 6070

Pattern Description: Knit dress with choice of bodice (surplice or V neck), backs (full coverage or halter), and skirt length.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22. I cut a size 18

Fabric Used: ITY knit maybe??  I can never tell.  It is nice and slippery so it doesn’t cling at all

Notions Used: Elastic for shoulder gathering

Pattern Alterations: Combined the two patterns ala Amanda at Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing

The Good:

  • I made both of these dresses in about 1-2 nights and that is amazing for my speed of sewing.  The black version was for a wedding and is slightly below the knee and the peacock print was a maxi dress I made the day before Thanksgiving.
  • I love how the two patterns flowed together so easily

  • I also like that the girls were sufficiently covered using the top portion from McCalls 6070

  • I actually used this pattern more than once!! There are very few patterns that get that honor
  • I used up some of my prized peacock print knit.  I had been mulling over the pattern for too long and just decided to cut.  Thank goodness I was greedy smart enough to buy about 4.5 yards because I have more to play with 🙂

The Bad:

  • For the black one I was in a such a hurry that I flipped the midriff band, but no one can tell except me 😀

  • The weight of the long skirt on the peacock maxi dress kinda pulls the dress down more than I would like.  Feels a little droopy because of the material selection.  But the feeling, if not the actual affect, goes away as I continue to wear it and I doubt anyone is really paying attention to that either except me.

The Ugly:

  • That I have missed you guys and was too lazy to blog.  Good thing we are close like that and I can disappear for a while but we pick right back up again like no time has passed 🙂 .  Hope 2011 keeps me on track.


First off, I want to thank all of you still reading my blog and especially those who have commented lately.  I forgot how much I like sharing my experiences with you all and how much I LOVE getting comments.  So thank you.

On another note,  last Saturday I attended ETAC (Education of Textile Arts) and had the equivalent of a crafty religious experience.  I have to say that I didn’t know what to expect and when I got there I was a little underwhelmed by what I saw.  I was expecting something along the lines of Stitches West or The International Quilt Festival, but was surprised to find it in a medium sized DoubleTree Hotel (the one that serves the hella good chocolate chip cookies) with some ackwardly arranged classrooms.  However, for what it lacked in flair it made up for in actual educational content.

I attended  Lorraine Henry’s “The ABC’s of Pattern Alterations” first.  What a series of epiphanies!! The class was a 3 hours hands-on workshop where you made alterations for common fit problems using half scale paper patterns.  First, she told us about the proper order of making alterations, then she exposed us to the usual alteration methods and revealed the issues associated with them.  Then, we used the seam method of pattern alterations and it just seemed to click for me. Hallelujah!! I felt like I finally understood and was not intimidated by my necessary alterations.  I felt empowered.  So empowered that I bought the quite expensive second addition of Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration (2nd Edition).

I was lucky enough to find a used copy via Amazon for much less that retail but it was still quite pricey.  Don’t get me wrong, had I not found it used I would have bought it new but I was fortunate to find a deal.

The second class was another of Lorraine’s classes, “The Pants Puzzle Solutions!”.  This was yet another class that enlightened me.  In this class she compared a McCall’s, Butterick, and Burda pants pattern and revealed quite astonishing differences  in the construction of the patterns.  She even compared them to a men’s tailored pant which showed how much less attention to detail is put into a women’s pants pattern verus a men’s.  BTW, Burda seemed to win out in her pants comparison and her body type so it makes me even more eager to try a Burda pants pattern.  She also showed us a great way of outlining our shape using a 40″ curved ruler to compare against pants patterns. Here is mine in all its irregular glory.

I kinda fudged mine as I only has a 20″ flexicurve instead of a 40″ and lord knows I needed the 40″.  But this gives you an idea of what the outcome looks like.  Seems I have a bit of a pooch and a droppy booty…LOL 🙂  Ah well, nothing like denying the obvious self discovery. The best part is that my new book has an alteration for that 😀

I had planned to add another Lorraine class on Sunday, “Fit! measure Like a Master”, but I was trapped by the endless traffic circle created by the Long Beach Marathon maze and spent 30 minutes going in a circles.  Errr….more signs Long Beach!

Anyhoo, next year I plan to get the unlimited class pass because I felt like I could have learned so much more.  The class cost was reasonable and the teachers, Lorraine in particular, were awesome.  One key point made by another of my classmates, who I think was either my age of a few years younger, was how few young people were in attendance.  My count topped out at 4 which was not much in relation to the number of attendees.  It was a shame and I hope to help remedy that next year by spreading the word early amongst my crafty peers…hint hint 😉


Thread Count

Inspired by all the talk of thread over on Sew Mama Sew, I decided it was high time for me to catalog my thread.

This is something I have been wanting to do for a while because I am a stickler for thread color matching for projects,  I hate purchasing duplicate thread colors when it can be avoided, and would like to take advantage of the 50% off thread sales that happen at JoAnn’s now and again without the fear of coming home to find 3 spools of 2900 Maroon already waiting for me.

So I printed out the Coats and Clark Master Color Chart and the Color Conversion Chart, since their numbering scheme changed, and proceeded to adhere snippets of the thread colors I have to the master color chart.

I then slipped in into plastic sleeves that I can write on with a dry erase or wet erase marker to keep track of what colors I need and if I have duplicates somewhere.  I can also bring to JoAnn’s when the 50% sale happens, just in case I want to restock or expand my thread collection.

In other sewing news, I have quite a few almost finished projects.  My kingdom for a hemmer and someone else to do it for me 🙂

I also decided that I am not very good with creating wardrobes in the RTW or the DIY world but I think I might be able to pull off Themes…LOL!!! Hmmm…what should I call this theme?  Maybe I should call it the Manimal Collection because there sure are a lot of animal prints going on in there :grin:!