October 1, 2016

I finally made all the adjustments to my pattern and cut out the jacket.  I met a few obstacles almost as soon as I started sewing.  I should have thought through the process and planned better.  Instead, I stitched the side-front and the front with the right sides together as indicated in the pattern instructions.  Then I realized that would not work for a true flat felled seam, which I wanted to use on the princess seams in the front and back of the jacket.  So, almost immediately I had to rip out my stitching.  I began again with the wrong sides together and stitched the two pieces together.  I pressed the seam to the side and then I wondered what kind of thread I was going to use to top stitch the flat felled seam.  I used a piece of left over fabric to make a sample to determine which thread to use.  I did not have a plain black top stitch thread in my supplies.  I did find an embroidery thread that was black and tan.  I sewed a sample seam using that thread and did not like it at all.  I decided I would use a plain black embroidery thread since I did not have a black top stitch thread.  After cutting the under seam allowance to about 1/8 inch and wrapping the top seam over the under seam about ¼ inch, I began topstitching the front princess seam of the jacket.  After sewing about three inches, I realized that would not work.  The embroidery thread was shiny and the regular black thread I used to stitch the seam together was a dull black.  The two together in a flat felled seam did not look good!  Again, I started sewing without thinking.  I think I should place a sign on my sewing machine that reads “After turning on machine, turn on brain!”  I decided to just use regular thread because that was all I had in black. 

Another problem I encountered was a slash mark I used to transfer the markings on the pattern to the fabric.  I slashed into the seam to mark where to line up the princess seam at the bust.  I almost slashed too far.  I had to be careful when I rolled the top seam allowance over the under seam allowance to make the flat felled seam.  I think in the future I will use tracing paper and a tracing wheel instead of a slash.  The slash works fine as long as it does not go too deep into the seam allowance.

Also, I now know I cannot sew on black fabric after the sun sets.  I can’t see well enough and as a result I have some very wavy top stitching.  Another lesson learned!

I am about to begin sewing again.  I hope today goes better than yesterday.  I hope your sewing projects are going well.  Remember if you are a member of the Lansing Clippers, our sewing challenge is in one week, Monday, October 10th.  I hope all of you have a project ready for the challenge.



September 26, 2016

I am still working on getting my jacket to fit.  I am in the process of sewing my second mockup.  Hopefully, it will be finished soon.

I took a few days off from sewing and blogging to attend the American Sewing Expo.  I took three classes and did a little shopping.  It was well worth my time and money.  I posted an account of my experiences at the Expo under  "Events and Classes" on this website.  I hope you will read it and give me some feedback on your experiences if you attend the Expo.


Sew Coordinated         January 6, 2016

For years I wanted to sew a wardrobe of coordinated pieces, but instead I kept sewing articles of clothing with whatever piece of fabric that struck my fancy at the time.  Recently, my opportunity came to commit to making that coordinated wardrobe.  I agreed to do a presentation for the Lansing Clippers Chapter of the American Sewing Guild next November.  That presentation will be about taking 2 or 3 patterns and morphing them into a wardrobe consisting of 12 pieces that coordinate into lots of outfits.  In order to be prepared for the November presentation, I must make at least one garment each month.  Now that the commitment is made, I need to get started!  Our Chapter’s theme for 2016 is “Morph and Mending”.  Hence the use of the phrase “…morphing them into a wardrobe…”.

I plan to blog about the process.  I will start with my fabric and pattern selections and move forward, one piece at a time. I am going to try to use as much fabric as I can from my fabric stash.  Anything I can use will lessen the strain on my overstuffed sewing room as well as other stash storage areas!  Along the way I hope to demonstrate some of the techniques I use.  Some of the techniques will probably be making welt pockets, sewing zippers and whatever techniques I encounter as I sew the articles.  I invite you to join me in creating a coordinated wardrobe–one piece at a time.  By the way, if you are a member of the Lansing Clippers, anything you make from this blog will count as part of our current challenge.  Last year each member was challenged to make at least one article from something learned from a presentation at our monthly meetings or from a class sponsored by our ASG chapter.  We are repeating that challenge this year.  That means anything you make from following this blog will be eligible for the prizes at our October 2016 meeting.  The rules will be published in the February 2016 edition of the chapter newsletter.

I will talk about the first garment in my next post.


January 11, 2016                        Black Pants

I chose a piece of black fabric from my stash for these pants, but before I cut them out, I needed to make a few changes to the pattern.  As I indicated in my last post, I did not plan to put the zipper in the back of the pants.  I prefer a fly front zipper, so I needed to prepare the pattern for that before I cut the material.  Also, the pattern did not include pockets and I consider pockets a necessity for pants.  So, I also needed to make a pattern for the pockets.

I started with the changes for the fly front.  Fit for Art has a pattern called “Sporty Details”.  That pattern has pattern pieces and directions to add a fly front, a shaped waistband, curved front pockets, key pocket, back pockets, and belt loops to the Eureka! Pants that Fit pattern.  It is easy to draw the two pieces needed for the fly front, but I had the Sporty Details pattern, so I chose to use the fly extension and the fly guard from that pattern.  Below is a photo of the pants front pattern and a photo of the fly extension.  The next photo shows what the pants front pattern looked like after I placed the fly extension on the pants front and placed the seam allowance of the fly extension directly on top of the center front seamline of the pants.  Then I taped the 2 pieces together.

Next I needed a side pocket pattern.  I could have traced the side seam of the front pants piece from the waist down to the length of the desired pocket opening and then traced the waist from the side seam for the distance of the width of the pocket and then drawn the shape of a pocket.  However, I found it much easier to just take a side pocket piece from a different pants pattern and lay it on the pants front pattern and trace the side seam of the pants onto the pocket piece. 

I pressed the prewashed black fabric and cut out the pants front, back, fly guard, waistband and two pockets.  I also cut two pockets from a black lining fabric from my stash.  From a light weight iron-on interfacing, I cut a waistband and two fly guards. 

I ironed the two fly guard interfacing pieces to the fly extensions on both pants fronts, then basted the two fronts together on the center front seams of the fly extensions.  Using a regular stitch, I stitched from the bottom of the fly extensions down about one and ½ inches on the crotch seam. I clipped the seam allowance at that point.  I pressed the fly extensions open and attached my zipper foot to my machine.  Then following the directions given in the Fit for Art Sporty Details pattern, I inserted the zipper.  The directions are clear and concise and there are illustrations to give you a visual to follow.  “Sporty Details” pattern is available at fitforartpatterns.com.

I sewed each of the pockets made from the pants fabric to each back at the side seam and each of the pockets made from the lining fabric to each front at the side seam.  By doing this the lining will not show.  If the pocket pulls open a bit, only the pants fabric will show.  Once the pants side seams were sewn together, then I sewed around the outside edges of the pockets and then serged that edge.  That gives the pocket a sturdy finish and there will be less chance for a hole in the pocket after lots of wear.

Next I sewed both inner leg seams together and serged them separately so I could press those seams open..  I sewed the crotch seam together from the clip under the zipper up to the back waist.  I clipped the seam again where it began to curve on the center back seam.  I serged the crotch seam together from the clip under the zipper to the clip on the curve of the back seam.  Then I serged the two sides of the back seam individually so I could press that seam open.

I tested the fit of the pants one last time before I attached waistband.  I think I should have trimmed a little off the back of the pants at the waist, but decided instead to attach the waistband and wear the pants a few time to see how they work for me.  I can always make that alteration before I make more pants from this pattern.  I serged the bottom of  each leg and the turned the hem allowance up and did a blind machine hem.  There!  The first of the 12 piece wardrobe is finished.

November 16, 2016        Synopsis of Presentation to Lansing Clippers


At one of our Education & Events Committee meetings, I volunteered to do a program on creating a coordinated wardrobe.  The purpose of the wardrobe would be to create lots of outfits with just a few pieces. I said I would need about a year to do it.  I thought that would be more than enough time because I could sew just one piece each month and easily have it done in a year.  I should have known life does not always go that smoothly.  Life throws curves at all of us where we just don’t feel like sewing or just can’t be home long enough to do it.  I knew I had to come up with a plan that would keep me on track.  That’s when I decided to blog about making the wardrobe.  I got the blog up and running about the middle of January of this year.  So, I was at the start about 2 months behind the schedule of sewing one piece every month.

Before I started to sew, I gave some thought to the colors I would use.  I chose two basic colors and then tried to make sure every other color I used would coordinate with those two basic colors.  Choosing the two colors was difficult but I finally decided to go with black and tan. 

Next, I needed to decide which items to include in the 12 pieces.  I like wearing pants or slacks, but I also enjoy wearing skirts and jeans.  So I chose to include all of them in my wardrobe.  I decided these base pieces or bottom pieces would be the foundation of my wardrobe and everything else would need to coordinate with these pieces. 

For those bottom pieces, I wanted to include pants with a zipper, pants with an elastic waist, a skirt, and a pair of jeans.  That would be four items out of the twelve so I felt that would be enough for the bottom pieces.

Jackets are a necessary part of any wardrobe, so I decided to include two jackets.  I planned to make one black jacket and one tan jacket.  But, things don’t always go according to plan.  I discovered that tan was not a good color for me.  When I held a piece of tan fabric up next to my face, it really washed me out.  So I decided to make a second black jacket and trim it with a black and tan print. 

That left six items yet to include in the wardrobe.  At first, I thought those six would be tops. 

During the time I was trying to sew this wardrobe, I was also taking Bishop Sewing classes.  At one point we were making vests.  When I searched through my fabric stash I found a beige and gray home decorator fabric and decided to use this for my vest.  I discovered this vest looked pretty good with the articles I made for the coordinated wardrobe and decided to add the vest to the mix.  I did not want to increase the number of articles of clothing in the wardrobe, so I substituted the vest for one of the tops.  Now I only needed 5 tops instead of six.

In the next series of Bishop Sewing classes, we made a blouse.  After I completed my blue print blouse, I realized it, too, looked pretty good with the items in my coordinated wardrobe.  So, I included it as one of the five tops I needed.

I still needed 4 more tops, so I sewed 4 long-sleeved knit tops.  Now I had the 12 pieces needed for the coordinated wardrobe.

When you look at the individual pieces, you will see they are nothing special or surprising.  Yes, they have flaws; they are not perfect.  They are just basic pieces of clothing that anyone with a basic sewing knowledge can make.  What makes the wardrobe special for me is how the pieces work together so I can get many different outfits from them the wardrobe.  You may be surprised at the number.  So, let’s get started making outfits.

Let’s take the black pants first.  I can use the pants to make outfits with the tan print top, the blue blouse, the red top, the black top, and the tan top.  That is a total of five outfits with the black pants and tops.

Now let’s add the black jacket.  That looks good with all five tops.  The black and tan print jacket looks good with the red top, the black top, and the tan top.  That is a total of three more outfits.

Let’s see what we can do with the vest.  Because it is a print, I can’t use the blue print blouse or the print knit top, but I can use the red top, the black top, and the tan top.  So we have a total of three more outfits with the vest.

The total number of outfits using the black pants is sixteen.

Now we will try the black skirt.  I can make an outfit using all the same pieces I used with the black pants.  The total number of outfits using the black skirt is sixteen.

Let’s do the outfits with tan pants next.  I can make an outfit using all the same pieces I used the black pants and the black skirts.  So, the total for the tan pants is sixteen.

Now let’s try the black jeans.  Again, I can make an outfit using all the same pieces I used with the black pants, the black skirt, the tan pants, and the jeans.  The total number of outfits with the jeans is sixteen.

If we total all of these, 16 plus 16 plus 16 plus 16, the total number of outfits made from 12 pieces is 64!

The total would have been more if I had not used print fabric for the vest and for one of the jackets.  I could have used prints for any number of the tops if I had stuck with solid colors for the vest and both jackets.  By doing that I would have had 4 additional outfits for each of the four bottom  items.  That would have given me 16 additional outfits.  Had I done that, my total number of outfits would have been 80! 

Now I can add additional items to my wardrobe or even start another 12-piece wardrobe using two completely different colors.   Anytime I add a piece to the wardrobe, I am going to try to make sure I have at least 3 items that will coordinate with the new piece.

If you are interested in trying to make a coordinated wardrobe, but don’t think you have the time to make 12 pieces, try a smaller version.  You could start with a 6-piece wardrobe.  For instance, you could make 2 bottom pieces, 3 tops, and 1 jacket.  After completing those, you could add coordinated items while you were already wearing the first six pieces. 

I was pleased at the October meeting when Roselyn Chaffin showed us her three piece knit outfit and said that was the first three pieces of her 12-piece coordinated wardrobe.  Good for you, Roselyn.  You have a great start on the coordinated wardrobe.  Just be careful with the prints you use and you could have 80 outf

I really enjoyed making this 12-piece coordinated wardrobe and I am grateful to the Education & Events Committee for giving me the opportunity as well as a reason to do it.  I hope some of you will give it a try!

I would like to thank Mary Ann Olson for teaching me to take a few pieces of coordinated clothing and make many outfits from then when we were selling Queensway Clothing many, many years ago.  Thanks, Mary Ann, for inspiring me!

This will be my last post for a few weeks.  During that time I will try to make some improvements to the way this blog operates.  Then, I will return to blog some more about sewing.


October 7, 2016

Finally, I finished the jacket.  The biggest stumbling block was fitting the pattern.  I am glad I stuck with it and finally got it to fit.  I may make a couple of minor adjustments before using the pattern again.  I think the armscyes need to be a little smaller in the front and back.

I had to rip out two buttonholes.  That is never a fun job!  It is really getting hard for me to see to sew on black.  I misjudged where I started the buttonholes so the only remedy was to use the ripper and start over. 

This is the 12th and last article of clothing for the 12 piece sew coordinated wardrobe.  I thought it was only the 11th piece, but after a count I find it is really the 12th!  Now I can start to prepare my presentation for the Lansing Clippers meeting on November 14.  After I give the presentation I will post a synopsis of it on this blog.  I plan to talk about what I learned from doing the blog and what I hope you will take away from joining me on this journey.  I would enjoy hearing your thoughts about the blog after I post the synopsis.  You may contact me at chickenlittlesews@gmail.com.

I am thinking about what I am going to blog about next.  I plan to take some time to decide that and also to research how to make the blog work more efficiently.  I want to set it up so when you visit the blog, you will see the latest posting first instead of the oldest posting.  I also want to set up archives so it will be easier to refer back to individual postings.  Once these issues are worked out, I will begin to post regularly again. 

Please check back on November 15 to read the synopsis of my presentation to the Lansing Clippers.  Until then, I hope your sewing goes well.


March 24, 2016

I worked on the black jeans today.  I transferred the changes I made to the mockup to the paper pattern.  I also took a pair of jeans that I like and measured the yoke on the back to determine how to draw the yoke for the black jeans.  I made sure to add the seam allowance to the bottom of the yoke.  I also added a seam allowance to the back of the jeans where I cut off for the yoke. 

I used the Fit for Art Sporty Details Pattern to trace the pattern for the back pocket, the key pocket, the fly guard, the fly extension, the side pocket template, the side front template, the pocket lining template, the facing template for pocket lining, and belt loops.  I read the complete instructions for the Sporty Details pattern before I began.

More on the jeans later.


August 29, 2016

I made some changes to the black t-shirt this morning.  I cut off about 2 inches from the bottom and hemmed it again.  I think this change made a big difference in the look of the shirt.  I also shortened the sleeves abut a half inch.  I decided there is nothing I can do to the neckline but leave it the way it is.  I can wear the shirt, but I don't love it!  I tried it on with the black jacket and that improved the look for me.  There is a picture below of the shirt and I took it without the jacket so you can see what it actually looks like.

Well, I have completed eight pieces of the coordinated wardrobe.  I have four to go!  I will make three more tops and one more jacket.

I hope all of the Lansing Clippers are sewing something for the October challenge.  Time is quickly slipping away! 

October 28, 2016

I decided to post an update on how my preparation for the November 14 presentation to the Lansing Clippers Chapter of the ASG is going.   I was happy when I counted the number of outfits I can make from the 12 pieces of the coordinated wardrobe.  It was more than I anticipated.  I will post the exact number when I post the synopsis of the presentation on November 15. 

I discovered when I put the outfits together that I did not like the color of the “tan” elastic waist pants.  The pants were really beige instead of tan, so I am in the process of making pants that actually look more like a true tan color.  I will replace the original “tan” elastic waist pants with the newer tan pants.   Actually, these are the second pair of replacement pants I made.  The first replacement was a great color, but the fabric did not work at all.  The fabric was from my stash and I don’t remember where I purchased it.  When I got ready to cut them out, I discovered the fabric had a lot of stretch, but it stretched in the wrong direction.  The stretch went lengthwise the fabric, not crosswise.  Since I loved the color, I decided to try to make the fabric work.  I folded the fabric crosswise, not with selvedge edges together.  I assumed the stretch would then go across my hips and not lengthwise of the pants.  I sewed the pants together before I realized they were a disaster.  It was a complete waste of time.  They were huge and there was no way to make them fit or ever look right.  The legs were even twisted!  Into the trash they flew!

I purchased more tan fabric from JoAnn Fabrics when I was in Marion, Indiana recently.  I cut the pants out today and have them put together enough to see they will fit.  I still have to add a casing and elastic and hem them.  That should be easy enough! 

It is surprising to me that I am actually looking forward to doing the presentation.  Maybe it is because it will be the culmination of a year of sewing with a specific goal in mind.  Maybe, too, it is because I surprised even myself by achieving my goal of creating a 12-piece coordinated wardrobe in one year and blogging about it at the same time.  I started the blog in January 2016, but I started planning it in November 2015. 


I will continue to work on the jeans and post again soon.  I hope your sewing is going well.


January 30, 2016          Black Skirt Continued

Although the pattern (Simplicity 1919) did not include a lining for the skirt, I decided to add a lining.  I simply cut another skirt from a black lining fabric except I did not cut a flounce.  I extended the back panel to the length of the rest of the skirt.  I sewed the skirt pieces together from the lining fabric and kept the left side open for the zipper.  I dropped the lining into the skirt and, wrong sides together, basted the skirt and lining together at the waistline.

Then I totaled what I added to each of the seams to increase the size of the skirt and added that amount to my waistband pattern and cut 2 bands from that pattern – one for the waistband and one for the facing.  After sewing on the waistband, I sewed the facing to the top of the waistband  right sides together and after pressing I stitched in the ditch from the right side to attach the bottom edge of the facing to the inside of the skirt. 

It was time to sew in the invisible zipper.  I realized I needed to make a decision about what I was going to do with the lining in the zipper area.  I finally decided to rip open the seam I sewed from the bottom of the zipper opening area to the bottom of the skirt.  I basted the lining and skirt together the entire length of the left side and basically treated the lining and the skirt as one piece of fabric on the left side.  The right side of the lining will still hang free.  This may be a fatal error, but I won’t know that until I wear the skirt a few times.  If it is a problem, I will not sew it this way again, obviously!  I hemmed the lining before I basted the skirt and lining pieces together.  I sewed the invisible zipper using the directions given on the Coats and Clark zipper package.  They are excellent directions with great pictures.  Use them!  The only thing I do that is different from the package directions is I stitch the seam together before I insert the zipper but I begin sewing about three inches below the zipper placket.  That works better for me than not stitching any part of the seam before inserting the zipper as the package directions require.  Also, make sure you use an invisible zipper foot and pay attention to whether the directions tell you to use the right or left grove of the foot over the coil.

After the zipper was sewn, I was ready to hem the skirt.  I usually do a blind stitch hem on my machine, but I decided to hand sew the hem.  First I sewed a lace hem tape to the bottom edge of the skirt and started to hem it.  I didn’t like the way the hem looked.  It did not hold the shape well.  Then I remembered I did a presentation for the guild once on using interfacing and I made samples of hems for jackets using different interfacings on different weights of fabric.   I still had those samples, so I took a look at them and decided that was what my skirt needed.  I pulled out my hem stitches and started over.  First I cut a piece of black tricot iron-on interfacing the width of the skirt hem plus another inch.  I ironed the interfacing strip to the skirt placing ½ inch of the interfacing over the hem fold line and the rest covered the hem area on the skirt plus an additional ½ inch overhang.  Now my hem was stabilized and the stitches won’t show on skirt area because I just picked a stitch through the interfacing and the hem, but not the skirt.  The interfacing made a big difference in the look of hem. 

Now I need to prepare my fabric to cut out the next pair of pants.

March 20, 2016

Well, all did not got as planned, but I finished the vest.  I inserted a zipper with a bronze coil.  It was not the correct length, so I had to cut off part of it.  The zipper looks okay, but would look better if I had used the correct length.  Also, I didn't realize when I picked the fabric that it was a pattern in rows.  So, the  pattern isn't exactly diagonal across this bumpy body!  And because of the pattern it is obvious that I cut the front of the vest a little longer and tapered to the side seams.     As any full busted seamstress knows, that was necessary to keep the vest from pulling up in front.  

There are several lessons to be learned from this vest:

1.  Don't use a coil zipper if it has to be shortened on the front of any garment.  I don't like the looks of a cut off coil zipper.  A zipper with teeth works much better if it must be shortened.

2.  Don't choose a fabric with a pattern in rows if you are making a garment with princess seams.

3.  Also, don't choose a pattern in rows if you must cut the front of the garment longer and taper to the side seams.

Although there are problems with this vest, I will probably still wear it.  After all, I don't think I have ever made anything that was perfect and I am much too old to start now!

January 7, 2016

I am going to begin creating my coordinated wardrobe by making pants.  The first step is to choose the pattern.  I am going to use the Eureka! Pants that Fit pattern by Fit for Art Patterns.  I am somewhat familiar with these patterns because the Lansing Clippers hosted a class last summer by Rae Cumbie and Carrie Emerson from this company.  The class was a jacket class so I have not used the pants pattern yet.  However, I was really pleased with the jacket class and the fit of my finished jacket.  So, I am going to give the pants pattern a try!

Fit for Art Patterns had a booth at the American Sewing Expo in Novi in September 2015. I  made an appointment for a pants pattern fitting session with Rae Cumbie while she was there.  She had samples in all sizes.   I tried on the one that Rae picked for me.  The pattern has one front, but three different back pieces for a more accurate fit.  The back piece you use depends on the shape of your derriere.  There is a back for a person with a flat derriere; one for a person with a round derriere; and one for a person with a generous derriere. I believe this really makes a difference when fitting pants. We are all shaped differently.  Rae pinned in the adjustments on the sample pants and then wrote them down for me. 

I traced the pattern onto my pattern paper so I wouldn’t ruin my original pattern.  Then I made the adjustments Rae wrote for me.  I cut that pattern out of muslin to make a mockup as the pattern suggested.  This pattern is so different from the ones from the major pattern companies.  The pattern includes not only the pieces for the pants but a booklet with 24 pages of instructions.  If you read the booklet before you begin, it is like taking a class on pants fitting as well as sewing pants.  There are details on choosing your size and making and fitting the mockup.  There are also details about choosing your style and selecting your fabric.  And, of course, it gives instructions on how to construct your pants. 

Fitting is a process that should not be rushed or ignored.  Yes, you can choose a pattern, cut out the pants, and construct them in a few hours.  But, if they do not fit comfortably and look good, you will not wear them!  Invest your time into getting a good fit and then you can use that one pattern for many pants.  And the next pants you make will go together much quicker after you have tested and adjusted your pattern.

I basted my muslin mockup and tried it on.  It looked good, but I think I need to add a small dart in the back piece and adjust the length of the pants.  After that I am going to have a sewing friend take a look at the mockup with a critical eye before I cut into the pants fabric I chose from my stash. The pattern called for a zipper in the back.  I’m not sure that I will put it there.  I will probably sew a fly front zipper instead. 

My next posting will be about constructing the pants.

June 2,  2016

After almost two months, I am ready to try to sew and blog again.  I think I am back to as nearly normal as possible.

I got the black jeans fitted and cut out, but not without a few problems, of course.  The pattern I used did not have a yoke in the back, but I wanted my jeans to have a yoke so they would look more like purchased ones.  So I measured the size of the yoke on other jeans and applied that to my pattern.  I cut the pattern apart and added 5/8 inch seam allowance to both pieces.  A week or more passed before I got around to cutting the fabric.  I looked at my pattern and thought I had not cut off the yoke, so I did that and basted the jeans together to check the fit again.   You guessed it!  I cut the amount for the yoke off the pattern twice - not once!  So, the 5/8 inch I added for the seam allowance did not help much.  The back jeans were considerably shorter than the front and did not come close to meeting at the waist.  Let's just say there was a lot of uncovered area on my posterior!  Fortunately, I had just enough black denim left to cut the 2 backs of the jeans again.

Earlier I worked on the back pockets.  I was undecided at first about how to decorate the pockets.  I decided I preferred pockets with a little detail, but not something big or something that was attention getting.  I tried to make a loop free handed, but could not make one that looked good.  I have an embroidery machine, but I did not want to take the time to figure that out.   So, I used a simple decorative stitch that is built into my machine and sewed across each pocket horizontally.   Although you can't tell from the picture below, I used a tan thread for the decorative stitch and I will use the same thread to top stitch the seams on the jeans.

​​​Elastic Waist Pants                                                                                                                                         February 6, 2016

For these pants I used the same pattern I used for the black pants - the Eureka! Pants that Fit pattern by Fit for Art Patterns.  The big difference is these have an elastic waist instead of the fly front.  As I told you previously, the pattern comes with an excellent instruction booklet.  I knew there was a section on making elastic waist pants, so I decided to review that before I began.  The instructions suggested to release the darts on the mockup and baste the waist opening closed.  I did that and then tried on the mockup.  I was able to pull the mockup over my hips easily.  I decided it was not necessary to increase the side seams to make the waist bigger.

Next I made the pattern piece for the waistband.  I used the waistband template included with the pattern.  I measured across the back and front pattern pieces at the waistline and subtracted the 5/8 inch for all seams.  To that  figure I added 5/8 inch for the seams at both ends of the waistband.  The total was the measurement I used for the waistband.  I think I will like this band because it should not be bulky.  That is the problem I have with elastic waistbands.  I don't like all the gathers that usually occur around my waist.  Mine is large and bumpy enough without adding extra to it!

Previously, I looked in my stash and found some tan fabric, but none of it was the shade I wanted.  So, I purchased more fabric which I really did not want to do.  Even if I live to 100 years of age, I will never be able to use all the fabric that is already in my stash!  The sad part is I was not happy with my new purchase.  It still was not the shade I really wanted.  I decided to take one more look in my stash .  Instead of just trying to look through the stacks without removing them from the shelves under my 8 foot cutting table, I took everything out and reorganized the stacks.  And there it was!  The shade of tan I need for the pants.   I used that and put my newly purchased fabric in one of the stash stacks to age before I use it.  I ventured to the basement recently in search of some fabric from the stash stored down there for a project for my Bishop Sewing class.  That was scary.  I have some really ugly fabric stored down there!  I am beginning to realize that even a gorgeous piece of newly purchased fabric can get ugly if it remains in the stash for too many years.  

I sewed the pants together in the same order as the black pants.  I tried them again on before I attached the waistband.  I got them on okay, but wondered if I should add a little room to make it easier.  I finally decreased the 2 side seams by 1/4 inch, so that gave me an additional 1/2 inch room on each side for a total of an additional 1 inch ease.  That should be plenty.

The pattern booklet suggested using the selvage edge of the fabric for the side of the waistband that is attached to the inside of the waist by stitching in the ditch from the right side of the pants.  Then it is not necessary to clean finish that edge.  I have never done that but decided to try it.  I cut out the waistband using the selvage as suggested.  I attached the waistband according to the directions.  However, I did not have any 1 inch elastic in the house.  I did have 3/4 inch elastic and I have used that in the past for elastic band pants.  So, I used that instead.  Then I stitched very close to the top fold of the waistband.  I believe this stitching will help to keep the elastic from turning over and getting twisted. 

Next I prepared the pants to be hemmed.  I knew the stitching would show if I tried to do a blind hem with my sewing machine because the tan is a light color and also because I am not really good at getting the blind hem foot adjusted just right.  Sue Townsend taught us in the Bishop Sewing class how to do a blind hem on the machine without using a blind hem foot.  She showed us how to manually manipulate the fabric to just the right spot for every stitch, but I am not efficient with this method yet.  So, Chicken Little decided to sew the hem of these pants by hand.  I prepared the pants by adding a light weight iron-on interfacing to the hem area.  I knew if I could put the threaded needle through the turned up hem and then catch just the threads of the interfacing with the needle, the stitches would not show.  That was a good plan, but it didn't work out exactly as I hoped.  Somehow I miscalculated the width of the hem when I cut the strip of interfacing.  My interfacing was just a bit too narrow and I was unable to catch the the interfacing and instead had to insert the needle directly into the pants fabric.  Oh well, nobody should be looking that close at my ankles.​​

Now I am on to the next project.  I will be making black jeans and again I will use the Eureka! Pants that Fit pattern.   Get out your pattern and denim and join me in making your own jeans.  Let's sew together!


March 4, 2016

I am now back to sewing and blogging after two family medical emergencies.  Both my husband and daughter are better now and so, I will be working on the black jeans.

The first thing I discovered when I took a good look at the black denim I chose from my stash was there was not enough to make a pair of jeans.  A quick trip to Lansing resolved that issue.  I bought enough black denim to make the jeans with some to spare.  I do not want to cut into the black denim without knowing the pattern will fit.  I am using the same Fit for Art pattern as I did for the black pants and the tan pants.  However, when making jeans the pattern (Eureka! Pants that Fit) will need to be tweaked a little.  I also have the Fit for Art pattern, Sporty Details, that gives instructions on how to tweak the pants pattern.  After reading the instructions, I lowered the waistline in the front and a little in the back.  Then I tapered the pants at the hips and sides a little.

I decided to use some blue denim from my stash to make a mock-up for the jeans.  I think I will be able to use the mock-up to make a pair of jeans later so the fabric will not be wasted.  I cut just the basic pieces: 2 fronts and 2 backs.  My plan is to baste these pieces together and adjust until the pants fit like jeans.  Then I can adjust the pattern to include the yoke on the back pieces and side cut pockets on the fronts as well as the pocket linings, back pockets, waistband and possibly belt loops.  None of these pieces really matter until I get the fit right!  I basted the pieces together and it did not look bad for the first attempt.  Obviously, the mockup requires a few changes.  I still need to take in the waist and some at the hips.  I find it difficult to try to pin fit myself, so I am going to ask a friend for help when she comes over tonight.  She doesn't know it yet, but I am sure she will help me.  That's what friends do?  Right?  I sure hope so!

Once I have the fitting on the mockup done, I will be ready to cut out the black denim jeans.  Maybe I will get that done tomorrow.  I hope to post some close-up shots of the back pocket details and seam finishes as this project proceeds.  

Are you joining me by making a pair of jeans?  If you are, I hope your fitting goes well.  Just remember to get the fit right before cutting.  Ask a friend to help you!

​​​​​​Sept. 19, 2016

I am working on adjusting a jacket pattern to fit so that I can get a jacket cut out and begin sewing.  I chose McCall’s M5191 this time.  I have watched several of my friends make this pattern or one very similar.  I love the pattern but knew I would have fitting issues.  It is a standard B cup and does not have any additional cup sizes.  I decided to tackle it anyway.  I have become familiar with some of the other alterations I need to make on patterns, so I decided I probably had a good start on making the required changes on this one.  I knew for example I would have to make the forward shoulder alteration as well as the narrow shoulder alteration and lower the bust point.  I am trying not to rush, but instead do each alteration that is required and in the sequence that is required.

I am using knowledge gained from the series of Bishop Sewing Classes taught by Sue Townsend as well as the book, Fit for Real People, by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto.  The book gives a list of the alterations you may need and the order i
n which they should be done.  That really helped me.  I feel like the worst is over.  I lowered the apex and increased the bust.  I believe the other alterations will be made quickly and soon I will be ready to cut the fabric.  I am going to start with a mockup, not the actual fabric I will use for the jacket.  However, I am going to use a fabric of similar weight to the jacket fabric so if the mockup is successful I will have another wearable jacket.  The mockup fabric does not go with the colors of the 12-piece coordinated wardrobe, so even if it is successful it will not be a part of this wardrobe.  But I could
wear it next Spring!

A picture of the pattern envelope follows so you can see what I will be making.  I will be using a solid black fabric and I may use snaps like those from Snap Source instead of buttons, but I haven’t made a final decision on that yet.





Sue Warner gave a presentation on altering garments at our September Lansing Clippers meeting.  She did a great job!  She said the main thing to remember when altering garments is to not be afraid to try.  Just look the garment over to see how it is put together and take the alterations one step at a time.  I think it is basically the same thing with altering a pattern before you cut the garment.  Just make sure you know where you need to alter the pattern and take the alterations one step at time in the sequence required.  If you need to make alterations to your patterns, I suggest you start by getting a copy of Fit for Real People or some other fitting instruction book and determine which alterations you need.  There are so many books and videos available now that cover fitting issues.  It is a time consuming process, but so worth it when you complete a garment that fits!

Happy sewing!



August 25, 2016

After thinking things over, I decided I will try to use the black t-shirt I finished but didn’t like.  I am going to try to make three small changes in that top and then maybe I will be able to have a wearable garment.  I will let you know how that turns out and will post a picture after I make the changes.

I am currently working on a jacket for the coordinated wardrobe.  I am using the same pattern I used to make the blue blouse that I posted on July 8th.  The pattern is Simplicity 8053.  Here is a picture of the pattern envelope.





I am making View D.  You can see the fabric I am using at the top of the pattern.  I purchased the print fabric from Fabrications in Richland, Michigan and black denim from JoAnn Fabrics.  I had to make some changes to convert the pattern from a blouse to a jacket.  I started with one size larger than what I used to make the blouse.  I also lowered the armscye  one inch.  I am going to add a 3 inch band at the bottom of the jacket with the print fabric.  The band around the bottom of the sleeves and the back yoke will also be made from the print fabric.

If all goes as planned, I will be able to meet my goal of posting two completed items this month.  How is your sewing going?  Do you have an item completed for the Lansing Clippers’ Sewing Challenge?  October will be here before you know it, so make sure you complete something soon for the challenge!


July 8, 2016

I think I will use a blouse I recently completed in the Bishop Techniques 2 Class as the next item for my coordinated wardrobe.  I purchased the 100 percent blue print cotton fabric for this blouse from County Stitches’ clearance section instead of using some from my stash.  I straightened the fabric before I washed it.  I used Simplicity pattern 8053.  This was a new pattern for me so I made a mock up and Sue Townsend, the Bishop Sewing instructor, checked the fit of the mockup for me.  I made the necessary changes to the pattern and then cut out the blouse from the blue print fabric.

I made several changes to the pattern.  The first was the yoke back.  The pattern called for cutting just one yoke back, but I chose to cut 2 so I could line the yoke.  This is the first time I have used a pattern with a back yoke that was not lined.  I believe the lined yoke looks better and gives stability across the back that the shirt needs. 

The feature I really liked about the pattern was the collar band and collar.  They were combined into just one piece.  That is one of the Bishop techniques.  If the pattern has a separate piece for the collar stand and one for the collar, the Bishop method is to combine the two before cutting.  This step was already done for me in the pattern.

The pattern also included one of those continuous lap pieces to encase the slash in the sleeve opening at the cuff.  That is not my favorite step in sewing a shirt or blouse.  Sue showed us the Bishop technique to use in place of the pattern directions.  That method was quick and easy.  I will probably use this same technique when I make a casual jacket and I may attempt to explain how to do it then.

I made a wider front facing than the one included in the pattern.  The advantage of that is when the front of the shirt is opened and folded back, the wrong side of the fabric does not show.  The wider facing makes for a much cleaner, better looking front opening.

Along with a picture of the shirt, I also tried to show close up pictures of some of the features.

August 2, 2016

The next item I am sewing I for the Sew Coordinated Blog is a T-shirt made from McCall’s M6963.  This is another shirt I had fitted by Janet Dapson from Fabrications during a class for the Lansing Clippers ASG Chapter last year.  It is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern.  The thing I don’t like about the pattern is even though it offers a choice of two necklines, both are draped necklines.  One is lower than the other.  I knew the lower draped neckline would not be a good style for me, so I chose the higher neckline of the two.  There was not enough time in class to complete the T-shirt, so it was just basted together to check for fit.  This T-shirt required bust darts to get it to fit me.  I am not sure why because the other T-shirt I made was also a McCall’s pattern and fit without darts.  I think I actually prefer the other pattern with the band at the neckline instead of the drape. 

The fabric is a soft knit from my stash.  I believe I purchased it from Fabrications some time ago.  This top went together quickly because the pattern had already been fitted for me and was cut out and ready to sew.  The directions for finishing the back neckline and the front draped neckline were easy to follow.  After that it was simply a matter of sewing the shoulder seams, the side seams, and inserting the sleeves. 

Then it was time to hem the garment.  It appeared to be a little longer than I like my shirts, so I cut off about one inch.  Then I added a knit interfacing to the bottom one inch of the shirt and pressed up for the hem.  I still do not feel confident enough to try the cover-stitch on my new Babylock serger.  So I serged the bottom edge and then top stitched the hem.  I just tried on the top to see how it looked.  To be honest, it looks horrible.  It is the perfect example of a style I should never wear. 

I can’t make myself post a picture of me wearing this.  If I get really desperate I might include this as part of the Sew Coordinated Wardrobe, but right now I am not that desperate!  I am going to put this item aside and move on to something else.  I realize I am fast running out of time to complete another six items.  I have 3 months left to sew the

additional items.   This will be doable if I can complete at least 2 items a month. 

I have to go plan what to sew next.  Hopefully, it will be better than the item I just completed.  I hope all the projects you are sewing are successful.  If not, just remember to keep trying.  We learn from our mistakes. 



​​January 24, 2016

I have been thinking about how to proceed with the rest of the 12 articles of clothing for this wardrobe.  I decided to make the pants and skirt first and then proceed to tops and jackets.  The two basic colors I will use for the pants and skirt are tan and black.  Then I can use almost any color that looks good with the tan and black for the tops and jackets.  I think I will stick with the same pattern for 2 more pants.  Still using the Fit for Art Patterns “Eureka, Pants that Fit”, I will probably make pants with an elastic waistband and jeans.  As long as I know the pattern fits me, it will save me time to stick to the same one. 

I need a break from sewing pants, so I decided to work on a skirt next.  I chose Simplicity pattern 1919 to make a straight skirt with a waistband, a side zipper, and a flounce in the back. Again, I chose a black fabric from my stash.  This fabric is softer than the fabric I used for the pants and it has just a little drape so the flounce in the back should lay well.  

     I decided to make a muslin mockup of the skirt because I had not previously used this pattern.  That was a good decision because the size I chose was much too tight and too short for me.  I added 7/8 inch to the front side seams and 5/8 inch to each of the three back panel seams.  Then I added 2 ½ inches to the length of the skirt.  I forgot to add to the length of the back flounce when I cut out the skirt.  Luckily I had lots of fabric so I was able to cut another flounce.  I knew I was bound to forget something with all the changes I had to make to the original pattern to get it to fit me!  I didn’t cut out a waistband.  I decided to baste the skirt together to check the fit before I increase the waistband pattern piece and cut it out.

When I tried to baste the flounce to the center back piece of the skirt, I discovered I failed to increase the side seams of the flounce, so I could not use the second flounce piece I cut.  I had to cut the flounce again.  This was the third time I cut this piece!  Good thing I had lots of fabric.  After I basted the side back pieces to the center back with the flounce attached, I realized I had not needed to add the 2 ½ inches to the length of the flounce because I added 2 ½ inches to the length of the center back piece.  So, I had to take the time to cut off the 2 ½ inches I previously added.  

I finally got the skirt basted together only to discover it was just a little too large through the hips.  So I increased the seam allowance at both sides of the skirt by 1/8 of an inch.  This decreased the hip area of the skirt by one-half (1/2) inch. 

Now I thought I was ready to add a lapped zipper and then the waistband.  I decided first it might be a good idea to take a quick look at the pattern guide sheet.  Much to my surprise the guide sheet called for sewing the waistband first before the zipper.  That got my attention!  I knew it was time to really read the directions.  I discovered the waistband was not the kind you sew onto the skirt and then fold over and stitch in the ditch to attach the back of the band to the skirt.  Instead the pattern used a 2 piece waistband (front & back pieces) and a facing.  After the band is attached, the directions call for an invisible zipper that goes to the top of the waistband.  Well, there goes my plan for a lapped zipper!  None of this would have happened if I had read through the guide sheet before beginning or if I had noticed the pattern envelope called for a 7” invisible zipper.

After this comedy of errors, I believe I have more patience than I did when I was younger.  There was a day when after making this many errors on one sewing project, I would simply deposit all the pieces of the skirt and the pattern into the trash can and move to the next project.  But now I will not give up!  Maybe this is just two of the advantages of age – patience and determination.

I was hoping to finish this skirt today and post a picture, but that is not going to happen.  I will work on the skirt and hopefully will be able to post a picture in a few days.   


September 4, 2016

I cut out two t-shirts before I left on a camping trip last Thursday.  I packed one of my sewing machines and a serger in our trailer so I could sew the shirts while camping.  That plan did not work as I had envisioned.  Although I found a little time to sew, things did not go well.  When I pinned the back to the front to try it on to see how it would fit before beginning to sew, I discovered I had cut two fronts for each shirt and no back!  I had a little fabric left from each shirt, so I thought maybe I could just cut a back for each front.  However, there was not enough fabric to do that without a center seam.  So, that is what I did.  I decided to think about the project  a little longer before sewing.  I wanted to see how I could make the back seam look a little less obvious. 

I had a discussion with the others who were camping with us about how to make lemonade out of the two lemons (the 2 shirts with no back pieces).  Several ideas were tossed around.   I think I decided to cut a back yoke for the tan shirt and insert a piping under the seam across the back.  Then I can trim the neckline and bottom of the sleeves with the black piping.  I will wait until I get home to try this.  Then I will decide whether to do the same with the second shirt or try something different.

I hope all of you are having a great Labor Day weekend.  Try to find some time to do a little sewing for yourself!


February 14, 2016

I just wanted to let all of you who follow my blog know, it may be a few more days or even a week before I post anything about making jeans.  My husband had a heart attack Tuesday night, so things have not been anywhere near normal here.  He is home now and is recovering well, so things are heading back to normalcy.  I hope to get back to sewing and blogging soon.

Judy Huhn Sew Coordinated © 2015 | All Rights Reserved

​April 21, 2016

It has been a while since I last posted anything on this blog.  My daughter, Marcia Marie Huhn Rush passed on to her eternal life April 10, 2016.  She has two wonderful children and a wonderful husband.   All of them worked hard to care for her the last 4 ½ years and during that time they led their lives as normally as possible.  They laughed, cried, and loved each other right to the end.   Marcia attended as many of their sports events, church, and  school events  and extended family functions as her health allowed.   Marcia’s faith was strong.   Her last words were “God’s got this!”  She was an inspiration for many including me.  I learned so much from her.  I learned the true meaning of faith, hope, and love.  I also learned a lot about courage, strength, and perseverance.  The last few weeks have been extremely difficult, but I am at the point where I am at peace because I realize she is now pain free and at peace also.  

I will continue to remember Marcia and I am thankful that God allowed us to have her in our lives for 46 wonderful years.   I will think about her as I sew, work in my flower beds, and especially every time I see her daughter, McClane, and her son, Dale.

I believe I will be able to sew and post soon.

Until then,


A sewing blog by Judy Huhn

June 26, 2016

I finally finished the black jeans.  I discovered it is much more difficult and time consuming to start a project and put it away for a period of time and then return to it than it is to start the project and continue sewing some each day until the project is complete.  But sometimes, life doesn’t allow that to happen.  It took extra time for me to reacquaint myself with the pattern and where I was in the process when I got back to sewing the jeans.  However, the jeans are now finished.

For some reason I had trouble with sewing the zipper.  I got it in and it looks okay, but it is certainly not the best zipper I ever installed!  I think I ripped it out about 3 times.  It was as if I started sewing without engaging my brain.  Now that I have called attention to that detail, the zipper will probably be scrutinized when I show the jeans at my presentation to the Lansing Chapter ASG in November.  Oh, well, all of you should know by now my sewing is not perfect, but it is wearable.  After all, not many clothes that you buy are perfectly sewn and most of us continue to buy them anyway. 

I am happy with the back yoke and I am glad I added that feature to the pattern.  I am really happy with the Fit for Art patterns, both the “Eureka! Pants that Fit” and the “Sporty Details”.  This will now be my go to patterns for pants and jeans.  I am considering using the Fit for Art pattern, “Tabula Rasa Jacket”, to make a jacket as part of this wardrobe, but I have not made my final decision yet.

I am pleased with the fit of the jeans, but will probably tweak the pattern a little before making a second pair.  I believe that is what Rae Cumbie from Fit for Art patterns recommends to people who try the pattern for the first time.  The pattern may also need to be tweaked a little depending on the type of fabric you choose for your projec

Now I have to really swing into action.  I still need to make several tops and a couple of jackets.  I hope you are having a wonderful summer that includes sewing for yourself.


July 19, 2016

The next Item of the Sew Coordinated Wardrobe is a long sleeve T shirt.  I used a soft printed knit from my stash and I chose McCall’s M6964 for the pattern.  I have made one other T-shirt from this pattern, so I knew it would fit.  This is the Palmer/Pletsch pattern the Lansing Clippers used last July in the class taught by Janet Dapson from Fabrications in Richland. 

I recently purchased a new Babylock Ovation serger from Country Stitches, so I decided to use that to make the T-shirt.  I have a Pfaff Creative 7874 that I have used for years as well as an Singer 3-thread serger that is even older.  This Babylock is really different for me and I am not comfortable with it yet.  I found it was difficult to cut off 3/8 inches from the 5/8 inch seams to get a ¼ inch serged seam.  So,  I cheated a little.  I marked and cut off ¼ inch from the seam with my scissors and ended up with a 3/8 inch serged seam.  I know the more I use the machine, the easier it will get to find the right spot to serge to get an accurately measured seam. 

I sewed the shoulder seams together and inserted a piece of stay tape as I sewed to keep the shoulders from stretching.  Then I sewed the front and back together at the side seams.  Next I sewed the underarm seams of the sleeves together and then hemmed the bottom of the sleeves.  I folded over the amount for the hem (3/4 inch) and then turned half of that under to form a double layer for the hem.  Then I just used a straight stitch to hem the sleeves.

I attached the neckband to the shirt using the directions in the pattern and then top stitched 1/8 inch from the seam.  Next I inserted the sleeves using the stay stitch plus method. 

I ironed a one inch strip of lightweight, fusible interfacing to the bottom of the shirt to stabilize the hem.  I like the DiniFuse brand from Gail Patrice Design.  I do not yet know how to use the coverstitch on my new serger, so I serged the hem edge and then used a straight stitch to hold the hem in place.  Below is a picture of the finished shirt.

Making a T-shirt is a quick project with either a serger or sewing machine.  Start with tissue fitting a pattern on yourself and then make one with an inexpensive piece of knit fabric.  After you make sure you get the shirt to fit as you like, you can make lots of shirts and add embellishments or details to change the looks of each one.  Happy sewing!

August 28, 2016

I just completed the black jacket with the print fabric accent.  I made so many changes when I was trying to get the mockup to fit that it was difficult to make sure I recorded each change on my pattern.  I hope I recorded them accurately because I intend to use this pattern for my next jacket.  After I thought I made all the changes I was going to make, I cut the pattern out and started to sew.  As I told you earlier, I decided to add a 3 inch band at the bottom of the jacket because View D of Simplicity 8053 is a very short jacket and is just not my style.

I learned a lot from the challenge of fitting this pattern as well as making other design changes to the pattern.  Almost every change I made affected something other than the part I changed!  For example, I widened the front facing because I think the wider facing makes the inside of the jacket look better when it is worn open.  I also lined the yoke back because I believe that adds support to the yoke and also makes the inside of the jacket look better.  I had never seen a pattern with a back yoke before this one that did not call for the yoke to be lined.  Those two changes affected how I would finish the back neckline.  The back neck facing that was included in the pattern did not look right with the lined yoke and was not the same width as the wider front facing.  So at the suggestion of Sue Townsend, I decided to finish the back neckline with a bias strip like I did with the blue print blouse I blogged about earlier.  I will show you a picture of the back neckline at the end of this post.

I lowered the bust on the side front pattern piece before I cut the mockup and that caused another problem I did not anticipate.  It changed the front facing.  When I aligned the curved part of the front facing with the curved part of the front, I had too much fabric at the shoulder and not enough at the bottom of the front.  I believe this was caused by lowering the bust in the princess seam on the side front.  Anyway, I had extra fabric so I recut the front facing so that it would extend to the bottom of the front.  However, I did not take into account how that would affect the band I was adding.  I probably could have extended the facing another three inches so it would have encased the band, but I did not think of that until after I recut the facing and added one to each of the front pieces.  So, I just let the facing end at the bottom of the front and I cut the band six inches wide plus two seam allowances.  I sewed the right side of the band to the right side of the front.  I turned the band to the inside and pressed under 5/8 inch.  Then I hand sewed the band to the inside of the jacket. 

The next problem I encountered as I worked on the jacket was a fitting issue at the armscyes.  Before I sewed the sleeves in the jacket, I tried on the jacket and noticed some extra fabric on the front and back at the armscyes.  I got my courage up and decided to cut some of that fabric away at the armscyes and see if the sleeves would still fit into the openings.  I decided to mark lines on the jacket where I thought I wanted to cut and baste the sleeves in first to see if
they would fit.  I was really surprised when the sleeves went into the armscyes without even using stay stitch plus or a basting thread.  I simply pinned the sleeves to the jacket and they fit right in the armscye.  I realize this is probably an unorthodox method of fitting, but it did work for me. 

There may be more fitting issues I should tackle, but that was enough for me for this time.  If necessary, I may tweak the pattern a little more before making the next jacket.

My next project will be to make the changes on the black T-shirt I made earlier.  I think I can still do that before the end of this month.  That gives me three days to do it!


September 15, 2016

As soon as I could find some time after arriving home from camping, I started working with the tan t-top.  I placed a piece of flat piping (black) in the seam across the bottom of the back yoke.  I then basted the same piping around the neckline and sewed on the neckband.  That did not work.  In fact, it looked horrible!  The piping stood straight out instead of lying down flat to the shirt.  I had to rip off the band and the piping.  Then I chose a small decorative stitch from the built-in stitches on my machine and sewed those around the neckline with black embroidery thread.  Then I sewed the band onto the shirt.  That looked okay – not great, but okay.  I thought maybe I could improve it by adding another row around the neckline just below the band.  Because the neck band was already sewn onto the shirt, the stitches were sewn through the seam allowance which caused them to be a little distorted.  I decided I could live with that. 

Pictures of the front and back of the tan shirt are shown below.






After completing the tan shirt, I started work on the other shirt I cut out while camping.  This was a bluish green shirt that totally defeated me and turned into a comedy of errors.  As I explained earlier, I cut out 2 fronts by mistake.  I tried to cut out a back while I was camping, but when I got home and looked at the shirt, I discovered I cut out a third front.  I still had enough fabric to cut out another back with a seam so I did that.  At least I thought I did that.  Instead, I cut out a fourth front!  There was no fabric left and besides I had enough of that shirt!  I was done. 

I looked in my stash and found a red knit that will look good with both black and tan.  I cut a shirt from that fabric making sure to cut one front and one back.  I made a plain T-top with long sleeves.  The process

went well with no surprises.  A picture of that shirt is below.





I have just two items left to make for the 12-piece coordinated wardrobe.  That is a good thing because I am scheduled to do the presentation on the wardrobe at the Lansing Clippers meeting November 14th.  That gives me about 2 months to finish the items and prepare the presentation. 

I hope you are busy sewing something for yourself.  If you are a member of the Lansing Clippers, remember to bring your challenge item with you to the meeting October 10th so you will qualify for the drawings for the challenge prizes!