Posted by: Sewtropolis | July 8, 2018

A Personal Record

I am part of the Ready To Wear Fasters group on Facebook.  If you don’t know what that is – it means I’m ‘fasting’ from buying any clothes for a full year – instead choosing to make all my clothes – and I mean ALL my clothes!   I’m happy to report that 6 months in and I’m still going strong.  This week I made a couple more bras (not showing those), I’m mostly happy with them – I feel like I just can’t get them right, but they’re at least wearable – and more supportive then what I had been wearing.

Last night I made this Xpress tank top from GreenStyleCreations (GSC) based off a recommendation from two other RTW Fasters in the group.

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My running skirt and sports bra are GSC patterns, so this makes 3 for 3 with the pattern company!

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Sewing this tank was so easy – two seams and then hem it.  I found the ITY knit fabric at JoAnn’s and bought a yard of it on impulse.  Good thing – because that’s exactly how much the patterns called for, but I think it will be the last time I buy ITY knit… it’s just way too stretchy and doesn’t hold it’s shape well.

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Anyhoo!  I wore this top today during the ParkRun event and managed a personal record (PR) breaking my old PR by seconds!!  Needless to say, I see more Xpress Tanks in my future!

Sew on!

Nikol

 

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Posted by: Sewtropolis | July 2, 2018

Let’s Talk Business Suits

I made my first business suit this year.  I used Butterick 6142 for the jacket and Simplicity 8056 for the pants.  I usually purchase McCall patterns and know what modifications I need to make to get those patterns to fit correctly.  I made the same modifications on both the Simplicity and Butterick pattern and seemed to get the fit close – but not quite right.

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I did make a muslin of the jacket and decided to go down a size based on the fit of that muslin.  But, the jacket still doesn’t fit quite right in the shoulder area.  I heard on one of my sewing podcast that a lot of people have fitting issues in the shoulder area due to our bad habit of hunching over our computers and phones.  Good to know for future projects!

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I didn’t make a muslin for the pants, but I did make my usual modifications and cut the size I normally wear for McCall patterns… and ended up with pants that are a  size too small.  I can still wear them, but at the end of the day I can’t wait to take them off!  (I’m not one for tight fitting clothes).

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I purchased the fabric for the suit at JoAnn Fabric… the good thing is I didn’t spend a lot on it, so I am considering this outfit my ‘wearable muslin’.  This weekend I’ll be making a trip down to Portland with plans to stop in at a fabric store known for its large selection of fabrics.  I’ll be on the look out for some nice suiting fabric for a fall/winter suit.  Wish me luck!

I wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!

Nikol

 

Posted by: Sewtropolis | June 25, 2018

Starting with the last thing I made…

I tend to go in and out of this blogging thing.  For years I used to keep a journal, and even with that there were times I was more consistent than others.  Now that I’ve challenged myself to sew my clothes for 2018, I thought I would blog my makes as a way to remind myself of what I did and any modifications etc. End of June seems like a good time to start doing that!  HA!!

So, this top isn’t the last thing I made… but it’s the thing I’ve been the most happy with and that’s saying a lot since I’ve been really happy with my makes lately.  (finally!)

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I think this makes me so happy is because it reminds me of my Memorial Day weekend in  Victoria, B.C. with my friend Jennifer.  We had to much fun!

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While in Victoria we did our own walking tour of the downtown area, stopping in to see the Empress Hotel, Totum poles and even walking along the waters edge – before heading out for a whale watching tour.

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Whale watching was amazing!  We saw 3 humpback whales, two adults and one younger.  They bobbed along and once in a while we would see a tail come up out of the water – which was very exciting – but not as exciting as seeing them breach!  (photo taken using my iPhone7+)

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The next day we walked around Buchart Gardens (amazingly beautiful) and visted the China town district.

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And afterwards did a little shopping at Fabric Land where I purchased this beautiful aqua and black  polyester crepe fabric.

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Of course I had no idea what I would make with it, but it was just too pretty to pass up.  I purchased  two meters of it thinking it would be enough to make a top of some sort.

After I got back I decided to make Simplicity 8138,  mainly because I already had the pattern in my stash, and I really wanted to sew something I could wear during the warmer weather we were having at the time.

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I combined view B and view C.  I liked the ties, but not the slit on the sides of view B.  And I liked the flare of view C.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I didn’t have any modifications other than my standard lengthening.  I’ve worn it a couple of times in the past few weeks and each time it reminds me of that weekend in Victoria.  Good times,  Good times.

Till next time!

N

 

Posted by: Sewtropolis | February 9, 2017

Selling Athena

Now that I’ve bought a house it’s time to sell my 1979, 27’ Argosy travel trailer. Athena. 

 I bought Athena from the original owners and in the 3 years I’ve had her I have replaced all four tires, awning and awning framework, electrical box, converter, water pump, electrical cord, black tank, toilet, shower faucet, kitchen sink faucet, and flooring.  I also added a deadbolt lock to the door for security. 


The trailer has the original stove/oven which still works, A/C unit (which works), furnace (does not work), water heater (works) water tank (no cracks or leaks), and kitchen sink.  The refrigerator with freezer are replacement and electric (work great). 

The trailer pulls like a dream, I’ve hauled it from Minneapolis to Seattle on my own and had no problems whatsoever!  The trailer has an automatic jack and two 8-gallon propane tanks which have been certified within the past 3 years (?). 

I sealed and painted the trailer last summer and after living in it for 6 months (during Seattle’s rainy season) I can tell you this trailer has absolutely no leaks.  The trailer needs someone who enjoys renovating and can fix her up to the gem she is.  Known issues are the plumbing needs to be replaced – I started some of it, but it’s a much larger project than I want to undertake.  

A little about Argosy – They were made by Airstreams for about 5-8 years.  They were the prototypes for the Airstream models – I’m told the Argosy’s had the original wrap windows which were so popular that Airstream added it to their regular line of trailers.  I have the original Argosy and Airstream manual for this trailer which are identical.  

The trailer has a full size bed in the front and two twin beds in the back, though, while I was living in it I removed one of the rear beds to make room for portable closet.  Rear bathroom model which includes full-size shower with bathtub.  

I have enjoyed the heck out of this trailer and now that I am no longer living it it I would like to find something a little smaller and more manageable.

Please contact me if you have questions or need more pictures.

Posted by: Sewtropolis | November 4, 2016

The Oslo Sweater and Possibilities

I’ve been obsessed with finding  patterns by indie clothing designers mainly because I want to see ‘what else’ is out there besides what the big patterns companies are offering.  I stumbled upon Seamwork magazine and fell in love!  They have a great online magazine, and if you subscribe, you get to choose 2 of their free patterns every month.  Sign me up!!!

The first pattern I downloaded was the Oslo sweater pattern.  To be honest once I downloaded it I was not looking forward to printing it off and taping all the sheets of paper together.  So I thought I would take it to Kinkos to see if they could print it off on a larger printer (hoping that it wouldn’t cost a fortune)  and lo and behold they had a printer on the floor – that I could use anytime  – no special skills required … and didn’t cost an arm and a leg!!!  I’m probably way behind the times here, but what a great surprise!!  It opens up a world of e-pattern possibilities for me!!!

For fabric, I chose a gray wool blend sweater knit from Pacific Fabrics – it was a little on the spendy side, but I thought the Oslo would be simple enough that I couldn’t screw it up too bad – so I splurged!

I have absolutely no room in Athena to cut out patterns, so I loaded up 3-4 other patterns that I’ve been meaning to cut out and headed over to the KOA’s day room to use the big tables they have set up.

Side note – they keep the day room locked because the kids like to go in and trash the place.  I had to ask them to unlock it for me and they made it clear that there were to be no kids in the room without their parents.  No sooner did the KOA guy leave when I looked up and there were 3 little heads poking around the corner to see if the room was empty! And then 2 more kids would poke their head in, then 3 more, etc. etc.  A few would walk in to see what I was doing, but for the most part they just hovered like vultures waiting for me to leave.  Ahhh kids!  Gotta love em!

Anyway, back to the Oslo!  I ended up being able to use my serger on the whole thing and because of that it took me about an hour to finish it!   It was SO simple! I’m glad I splurged on the fabric,  it turned out nice enough to wear to work. (which is where I took the pictures – sorry they are so aweful)  Had I bought a cheaper fabric it may have just ended up a ‘weekend wear.’

Next time I make it though I may try to make it a little longer.  I find that it sits right at the widest part of my hips – which is not flattering for me at all!

Another option may be to add patch pockets to the front – and maybe a closure since I kinda like wearing it closed.   I’d have to make it in a heavier weight fabric though if I were to do either of those, but I like this pattern because of all the possibilities – I like possibilities!

I like how the sleeves are done, I can either wear them rolled up, or down if I need them to be a little longer – again possibilities.

So that was one of my sewing project for the week!  I also worked on Athena, I took out one side of the overhead storage in the back, which gives me more room to add a closet!  No more fold lines in all my clothes – Yay!  It has really opened up the back area!  It doesn’t feel so cramped and now I’m thinking once I move out I’ll make that area the lounge area and put in a entertainment center…. the possibilities are endless, and I like possibilities.

 

Posted by: Sewtropolis | October 28, 2016

New Slacks and New Shower Faucet! 

This week I spent a LOT of time fixing up Athena!  After our “storm” last week I discovered that moisture has been making its way into the trailer though a side hatch door.  The storage area accessible by the hatch door is under one of the twin beds in the back   Well, moisture had no where to go except up – into the mattress.  (I discovered it looking for one of  the dogs toys).

One of the renovations I’ve been wanting to do is pulling out one of the beds and adding in more storage – so that is what I did.  I pulled that sucker right out of there and put in a portable closet so I have more room to hang my clothes and one of these days I’ll make it to Ikea or Target to see if I can find a dresser or some other storage unit that is tall enough (counter height) so I can cut out fabric.  Right now if I want to cut out anything I either do it on the floor or go to the ‘TV room’.

Anyway, once I pulled everything out, I had enough energy left over to put in a new shower faucet.  What a FIASCO!!!!!  It took me forever to pull the old faucet out – I swear that thing was welded in!  I ended up having to cut the plastic pipes and reassemble the whole thing with ‘up-to-date’ fixings.  But, four hours and three trips to Home Depot later – I have a new shower faucet and shower head!  BOOM!

So remember when I was telling you how I have been working on using up my fabric stash.  Well, I had this knit fabric that was kinda heavy that I can’t remember what project I had in mind when I bought in.  After weeks of thinking about it I decided to make slacks since I can always use work and weekend slacks.   I used Kwik Sew pattern 3115 which I’ve made plenty of times before – so much so that I’ve already added length and widened the band.  All I had to do was cut and sew.

Turns out that for years I thought this fabric was black when actually it’s a deep dark blue!  Ha!!  I normally wear either black or gray pants (minimalism technique) so adding blue gives me one more option – and it’s a deep enough blue that I won’t have to try and mix and match tops.   

I am really happy with the way these slacks turned out.  I widened the waist band so it sits a little higher on the waist… and work appropriate.  I’m tempted now to find more of this fabric and make another pair… but I have so many OTHER projects I want to get to.  More next week!!!

Nikol

Posted by: Sewtropolis | October 24, 2016

Sewing and Quilting up a Storm!

This week I managed to make quite a few things – because it pretty much rained all week!  Last Friday the weather reports for the weekend said to expect the worse storm in 50 years!  So I went home and battened down all the hatches on Athena, rolled up the awning, made sure the propane tanks were filled… And then waited and hoped that the storm wouldn’t blow all these trailers over like dominoes!

While I waited I made a sleeveless tunic for work.  I’ve been trying to use up fabric that I have had for YEARS including this black with white polka dots-  almost sheer knit fabric.  I had to buy a lining fabric to line it with, because it was just a little too sheer! 

(Once again I ask for forgiveness with the pictures!  I recently took up running again and well – this is how I look afterwards.) 


Because it is fully lined,  I had to alter the pattern to compensate for a full lining instead of just a neck facing.  So basically I made two tunics and sewed them together.

 

I like the asemetrical design, but next time I will make it all the same length so I don’t have to worry about it being ‘off trend’.

By the way- the storm of the century never did show up.  It rained and the wind blew – but it was just another PNW day!

Sunday I rented time on a longarm and started quilting my Gypsy Wife quilt.  After 3 hours of working on it – I am not even half way done. So needless to say I’ll be working on it again this coming weekend.

Gypsy Wife Quilt

Posted by: Sewtropolis | October 14, 2016

Fifty Years and a Jacket

This past week I flew out to Minneapolis to celebrate my 50th birthday with my friends.  I normally don’t care to celebrate my birthdays. Not that I’m against them, but they are a reminder to me that time flies way to fast…. and I’m kind of obsessed with the concept of time.  (don’t get me started).

I wanted to celebrate this birthday because I was in a new city and I wanted to ward off those sad feelings of turning older and not celebrating in some way.  I haven’t met too many people here – so, I flew to Minneapolis where I knew enough people who I knew would celebrate with me.

I stayed with my friend Jennifer and on Saturday Jennifer, her mom, and I spent the day in Stillwater, MN at their Fall Festival (which would not be a big deal were it not for the biggest pumpkin contest!)

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We couldn’t have asked for a better crisp Fall day!  We walked the vendor catwalk -I bought a pillow made with bamboo fibers and let me just say – YES!!   We stopped in at Darn Knit Anyway and had lunch overlooking the St. Croix River. It was such an enjoyable day with two of my favorite people!

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My party was held in a small Irish Pub near my old neighborhood.  The party was small, but my friends who were there laughed and talked and had a good time…. and that’s all I ever want for my friends. I was amazed that friends who had never met – had other friends in common.  Everyone sews or quilts so I guess that makes the connections even easier.

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I want to thank my friend Jennifer for all that she did to make my day so enjoyable!  I love you girlfriend!

Okay, onto what I’ve been working on.  First, let me say, so sorry for the very poor lighting.  I had no way to take pictures of myself outside so I bought a small tripod… and since I received it it’s been raining when I want to go out and take pictures.

Anyway, here is the jacket!

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The pattern is McCalls 7199, I started out making version C with the toggle closure, but when I tried it on for toggle placement, I decided I liked it better without the toggle. The fabric is a sturdy ponte knit which I love, but the front is self facing so having 4 layers (6 if you count the pockets) makes it a little front heavy.  I obviously don’t care – there’s so many other things I like about this jacket: it’s longer in the back and almost covers my bumm, it’s comfortable, it has pockets, and it’s versatile!  I’ll definitely be making this jacket again.

 

Posted by: Sewtropolis | October 7, 2016

Happy Birthday, Miss Grace

It’s been one year since I adopted this sweet girl.  Even though she’s 5 years old – she’s officially one year with me.

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After Leo and I moved to Seattle I felt really bad leaving him in an apartment all by his lonesome self.  Before we left Minnesota my house was full with 2 dogs, 2 kids and cat!  The Fat Cat died, then Skilos died and both kids moved out.  So, I’m sure Leo was lonely after moving here and it broke my heart.  So, I decided to adopt another dog to keep him company – enter Miss Grace.

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I found her on Craig’s list.  Her family had decided that she needed a better life than the one they were giving her.  There were two kids in the family, but they ignored her, she never went to the dog park because, as I was told, she didn’t know what to do – other than bark at all the other dogs.  She was heavy and full of hives, but she was part lab and I thought would be a good companion for Leo.

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After I brought her home Leo decided he wanted NOTHING to do with her – NOT  A  THING!  In fact, for the first few months they fought a LOT.  Mainly over toys, or seats on the couch or if she got to close to anything he was looking at… as long as there was no blood shed I would let them work it out.  Most of the time she got her way.

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Over the past year Grace has come to love dog parks, in fact her favorite thing to do is play with the other dogs – especially the ones who will chase her.  She has lost a lot of weight thanks to our many hiking trips and (almost) daily walks.

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Leo won’t admit it, but my guess is when I’m not around he’ll play with her.  Every once in a while I’ll catch him running beside her and not minding that she’s jumping all over him (in a playful way).

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She’s a completely different dog now than when I first brought her home. The first six months I spent a lot of time second guessing my decision, but these second 6 months she’s really come into her own and found a place in my  heart.

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She is a sweet, sweet girl who loves nothing more than to cuddle up with me at night.  One of these days I’ll get her to completely stop barking at the wind.

This week, I finally finished my quilt.  (it’s quilt and bound and ready to ship)

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You can find it for sale here.

 

Posted by: Sewtropolis | September 30, 2016

A Day With Nothing To Do

Last weekend the stars all aligned in the right order and I actually had 2 days with nothing on my calendar!  Raising my boys those days came few and far between – I’m talking years!  But now it seems they come along every few months and when they do I bask in the glory of a day with nothing to do!

I started my day baking a loaf of Greek Yogurt Banana bread because I had a couple of bananas that were past the point of when I like to eat them and some Greek yogurt (of course)   Then I made a loaf of The Best EVER Chocolate Zucchini bread to use up one of the zucchinis my sister gave me out of her garden.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and let me just say – OMG!! It is SO freaking good!  It has the consistency of cake – I’m sure it’s not good for you at all even with the zucchini, but I don’t care!  I can easily eat the full loaf, which is why I took both loafs to work with me on Monday and shared them with my co-workers.

I also had a gallon bag full of huckleberries my sister had given me a few weeks ago.  I love making jam, so that gallon bag is now 6 jars of jam – some of those jars will become Christmas gifts!  (PSA:  yes, it’s time to start thinking of Christmas especially if you like to make your gifts like I do!)

But the best thing I did this weekend was sew while binging on Longmire!  I love that show and not to give anything away -but one of the main characters (Vic) is now living in a Airstream Argosy motor home!  JUST LIKE ME!!!!  (except I have a Argosy travel trailer – but STILL!!!)  I think it’s becoming a thing!

Back to sewing – I finished my shower curtain!

Really all I had to do was hem all the edges and add grommets.  I don’t know why I procrastinated so long.  My bathroom is starting to look legit.  I think it’s time to renovate!

Anyway, once I was done with the shower curtain I decided make a baby quilt using the left over fabric.  I cut a bajillion 2.5″ squares for this quilt to assemble 49   9-patches.  Once again a quilt I saw on Pinterest was my inspiration.  (I love Pinterest)

I was able to sew this quilt together fairly fast (which seems to be key with me), so next weekend I think I may start another quilt just like it using all my leftover orange and white scraps.

Before you even ask – No, I’m not pregnant and as far as I know, neither are my boys.  I’m learning that not all my quilts have to be queen size.  In fact, it might stand a better chance of getting finished if I make fewer blocks (i.e., crib size).  This quilt will probably end up in my Etsy store once I get it quilted – which is on my list of ‘to-do’s’ this weekend.

Till next week!

Nikol

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