Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ottobre 5-2009-2

I made my first pair of adult panties.  I used the Ottobre 5-2009-2 "Simply Basic" panties pattern - sort of.  I planned to make a straight size 48 and ended up mistracing the back and didn't realize it until I cut out the back piece.  Then I could recut the fabric or retrace the pattern.  Since I hadn't made a pair before and I really didn't have any idea of changes I would need, I decided to change the tracing to fit what I had cut and decide whether to make another pair with a correct back or adjust what I made based on how it came out.

The finished pair looks huge.  It is 100% cotton knit that the quilting stores were trying to sell and has a decent amount of stretch, but side-by-side next to a purchased pair of panties it looks twice as big.  I thought there was no way that it was going to fit, but they fit fantastically and I will definitely be making more.

I also traced the camisole top in the same issue and plan to make a matching top, but I haven't yet.

Ottobre 1-2014-21

So the nerdlet has a new favorite outfit.

Yes, indeed, I'm definitely spreading my tacky love of crushed panne.  I finished these about two weeks ago and as soon as they come out of the wash, the nerdlet has them on again, and we usually end up having to peel the leggings off of her as she will slip them back on even after a bath and changing clothes.  She has requested multiple pairs so that she can wear them more.

The pants are Ottobre 1-2014-15 (Green Lines) and is in a size 110 in length and a size 86 in width and are in the last two posts.  The top is Ottobre 1-2014-21 in a straight size 110.  I did the neckline and the hems of the sleeves in thick FOE because it was a perfect match, but I will avoid that in future tops.  I don't have a good picture of the flair at the bottom of this shirt, but it is definitely cute and I made add an inch or two to lengthen it to a true tunic in the next rendition.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pants and Shorts are Easy

Pants and shorts are easy, at least with elastic waists for your little ones that have no curves.  I promised a few people that I would show just how easy it was and while it may have been quite a while since making that promise, here it finally is.

Pants and shorts are basically four pieces, two identical front pieces and two identical back pieces.  You can find quite a few patterns for little ones that are actually two pieces, where one is a right side and one is a left side.  If the side of shorts or pants is a straight line, I will combine them into one piece so that I don't have the extra seam to sew and save a bit of fabric in the process (for that you overlap the pieces so that both pieces meet where the seam allowances are).

Here are the four pieces all right side up.

First, you place one front piece to one back piece and sew the inseam.  In the picture below, the wrong side of the back pieces are on top and only the bottom two pieces have been sewn together.  You will read in a lot of places that you need to sew knits with a zig zag stitch or only serge.  While I have serged these here, I think that a serged or zig zag stitch is only necessary on horizontal seams or the seams that have stretch (so for shorts and pants, really you only need this at the hem and waistband).

Then you take the two pieces you just sewed and place them right sides together so that the two front pieces face each other and the two back pieces also face each other.

Match the sides and sew the inseam.  In the picture the front pieces are on top and the back pieces are facing each other on the bottom.

Then you flip the inseam to the inside and now you have one front piece and one back piece on top, right sides facing together and one of each on bottom.

Sew the side seams down.

Then hem the bottom and finish the waist seam and you are done.

For the waist seam, you can make a casing and thread the elastic through, or what I did here was make an elastic loop the size of my daughter's waist and zig zag it to the edge of the waistband and flip it inside and sew it down, either with a zig zag or coverstitch.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A few more sewn items for the girls

I spend a large portion of last weekend tracing off a bunch of Ottobre patterns for the girls (from the last two children's editions).  This week I have sewn a bit even though I haven't posted along with my finished items.

First version 8 of McCall's 6875.  This is a straight size 4.  When I asked who wanted to model it, the nerdlet gladly volunteered.  Her mood did an about face the moment I pulled out the camera to take pictures.

Next I did a couple of versions of Ottobre 1-2014-13 (Blue Orange) in a double-sided rayon and cotton knit from Jo-Ann's.  This fabric is so soft the girls were all willing to try it out and wear it for me.

 Like the bow?
It's a straight size 110 and as you can see it turned out way, way to big, but I did do a pretty good job of stripe matching.

Though it isn't going to last since when I sew it smaller the stripes are unlikely to still match and I don't plan on taking the whole thing apart, but just sew down the sides.

The second version of this is the same fabric but with the stripes on top and the diamonds on bottom.  For this one, I just serged off 1 1/2 inches off each side (so 6 inches total), and you can see that it fits a lot better and still has room.

The last piece that I just finished is a pair of ruched leggings.  This is Ottobre 1-2014-15 (Green Lines) and is in a size 110 in length and a size 86 in width.  I made them in a lavender crushed panne.  I love this stuff but I rarely use it because I have been told it is beyond the lines of taste.  That doesn't stop me from using it altogether.  The nerdlet loves her new leggings and has said that she would like them in every color.

This leggings are great for her.  She has never had a pair that has fit her so well.  I'm not sure I'll make a pair in every color, but she'll get at least a few more before I start looking for a non-ruched legging pattern for her.

I actually have a number of the other patterns I traced already cut out and still another pile that needs to have fabric picked for it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Q and I in 1999 (I think).

Saturday, March 8, 2014

McCall's 6875 - Version 7

So while I said that I wasn't going to make any more of these for a while, I ended up making another one and will finish version 8 later.  The nerdlet's friend and neighbor is having a birthday party later today and so I let her pick out fabric for her own dress, and this is the result.

This one is a straight size 5.  I wanted to embellish it a little and considered adding trim around or ruffles to the sleeves, but really the girl it is intended for doesn't wear much embellishment (though she loves dress up clothes) so I decided against it.  In case your wondering, this dress is about 2 1/2 hours to make even with having made it a number of times before.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I'm in the middle and the nerdlet's godmother is on the left and the bear cub's godmother is on the right.  We are at the Texas Renaissance Festival.  I'm not sure what year this is, but I'm guessing 2000 or 2001.  I'm wearing Simplicity 8855 (though I think it's not the shirt I made with the oufit in the picture).  The outfit on the right (other than the jacket) is Simplicity 7756.  The cape may be McCalls 8936, but if it is the picture on the front of mine was different, but I cannot find mine right now to tell you which cape pattern it is exactly.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Orange Curd (and Lime)

At the end of January, I discovered a recipe for microwave lemon curd that was super easy.  After that post, I experimented successfully with lime curd (simply replaced the lemons with limes in the recipe) and not quite as successfully with sugar free versions (Splenda works, but it makes a slightly grainy curd and needs more to sweeten it).

Today, I decided to try the mandarin oranges.  I zested four thoroughly.  Next time I will likely zest a lot more for extra flavor.

I squeeze the juice of a lemon (about 2 tablespoons - between 1/8 and 1/4 cup).

I then squeezed enough oranges to make 1 cup of juice.  I ended up using 12 oranges.

After that I followed the same recipe as my previous post, except I halved the sugar.

And for a bonus, this was what I ended up eating for lunch.  It's definitely not the worst lunch I've had.

Orange curd:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 T fresh lemon juice 
1 cup fresh orange juice
zest from 4-6 lemons 

  • Melt butter in microwave, set aside to cool slightly.
  • Whisk together sugar and eggs in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. (I would use a large bowl so you have room to whisk - my stove top ended up being a mess)
  • Whisk in juice and zest.
  • Finally whisk in the butter.
  • Microwave on 50% power for one minute. Stir. Repeat.
  • Continue microwaving at 100% power in one minute intervals, stirring after each interval until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. The curd will thicken as it cools. (It only took me three times for it to be done).
  • Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove zest.
  • Pour curd into sterile jars and store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Sunday, March 2, 2014

    McCall's 6875 - Versions 5 and 6

    I finished two more versions of McCall's 6875.  These were not as well received as well as the previous version, at least not with the nerdlet.  The nerdlet said that they were nice but not pretty enough for her.

    I then told her that I guess they were for the bear cub and Darth Baby, and the bear cub started giving me big hugs over and over.  Darth Baby has expressed a definite preference for version 6 on the right.

    I still love these dresses and may make some more in the future, but I spent some time tracing off a bunch of Ottobre patterns and hope to make some of those now.