Simplicity 8393- Yay or nay?

I made a tunic blouse using Simplicity 8393. I used one yard of fabric, which is one winning point for this pattern (yay). Any pattern that calls for just one yard of fabric is always a win! Although I’m not too sure about the collar (nay).  I also had difficulty with the button closure, so I ended up omitting it (nay). Instead of the button closure, I sewed the top all the way up and it made the collar look very high. (nay). If you like high collars, then this blouse will work for you (yay).

I sewed view B which is the tunic version. There is also an option for a regular length blouse, view C. The blouse was easy to see together (Yay). The collar was actually really easy and fun to put together. (Yay)

I think the reason I’m not to excited about this blouse is because of the fabric I chose. I believe that it’s a polyester blend, which was easy for sewing, but I’m not too happy with the print. I bought the fabric on a whim because I visited a mom and pop fabric store, all the fabrics were $5 a yard and I didn’t want to leave empty handed. I bought one yard knowing I can use it for this pattern.

I would try this pattern again, but I will be more conscientious of the print I chose, maybe even opting for a solid color. I will also use view C for the regular length blouse. I’ll try hard to make that button closure work because it looks much better with it, as intended.

Final vote: 4 yays and 3 nays. I’ll give this blouse a try.

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Simplicity 1106 hack

Simplicity 1106 pattern

Hello and happy day to you. I hope you have been getting a lot done with your sewing. I posted in an earlier post that I hacked the Simplicity 1106 pattern but that it wasn’t quite finished. I had put my hacked blouse into the “time out” basket (you know, the basket with all the unfinished projects) where it remained for almost 2 years!

time out basket

My “time out” basket

Well, one Sunday, I decided to tackle that “time out” basket and the Simplicity 1106 hack blouse was the first item on the list. All it needed was a hem at the bottom. The reason it was in a time out to begin with was because the fabric was so difficult to handle. It kept fraying and I had a really difficult time hemming it because it wouldn’t remain in place after I pressed it. I found a magic trick. I used spray starch to hold the hem in place. I was able to hem the bottom in no time. The 1106 pattern includes a peek a boo back:

Simplicity 1106

I hacked the pattern so that I can sew together a blouse with no peek a boo back:

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Ok, ok, this was an easy hack but now I have another style of blouse that I can wear! I haven’t worn it yet but it’s supposed to match with a dark red skirt that’s also currently in the “time out” basket. I’ll get to that someday. Until then, happy sewing!

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Simplicity 8131- My favorite pattern this year

Simplicity 8131 is, by far, my favorite pattern this year. I have made three blouses with this pattern. One of the blouses happens to be my favorite “made by me” item of all time. It’s a pink, polka dot long sleeve blouse with a bow.

Simplicity 8131

Pink and polka dotty bow blouse

Simplicity 8131

At the time that I made it, I was looking to make a blouse with a bow and that’s what Simplicity 8131 is all about. For this pink and polka dotty bow blouse, I chose view F but with the sleeves of view A. I used a crepe de chine fabric that I bought from Fabric.com. I love the pink and I love the polka dots. I love the big bow and how the fabric flows. This pattern and this fabric go perfectly together. I just made it earlier this month and I’ve already worn it three times. That’s how much I like it. The only part I don’t like is how tight I made the elastic on the sleeves. It’s something that I will be cognizant of the next time I sew this pattern.

I also made a yellow blouse using view E with the sleeves of view A. I used a yellow challis fabric that is a bit sheer. I like the skinny bow but I prefer the bigger bow. I haven’t worn this blouse yet because of the sheerness of the fabric.

Simplicity 8131

I also made the sleeveless version which was actually my first attempt at this pattern. I used a crepe de chine fabric. I used view B. I’ve worn it a couple times already with a black short sleeved cardigan and jeans.

Simplicity 8131

The great part about this pattern is the numerous options available to sew. There are 3 sleeves available as well as a sleeveless version. There are three bows available. There is even a close fitting version and a loose fitting version. Basically, the pattern gives you 6 different views but even more options if you change the views around. If you hack the pattern, there is an option to leave the bow out.

This was a fun pattern to sew, mostly because of the bow. The pattern is easy to follow. The blouse is very versatile. I know that I’ll be using this pattern again. I plan to make view E with the short sleeves and without the bow.

Happy sewing!

Simplicity 1106- A fun, flowery blouse

I’ve worn this blouse a few times already so I think it’s about time that I write a post about it. I actually made this blouse back in 2017. It took me awhile to wear it because it was one of those pieces that really frustrated me. Not because of the pattern but because of the fabric. The fabric I chose was a crepe de chine. I purchased it from Fabric.com.

Although I typically don’t have too much of a hard time sewing with this type of fabric, I did this time and mostly with the sleeves and the hem. The fabric kept unraveling and was very difficult to work with because it called for a narrow hem for both the sleeves and the hem. It was one of those pieces that I had to put on “time out” until I was ready to finish it. I have a time out basket for all my unfinished items and that’s where it ended up for a few months. When I put it in the “time out” basket, all I had left to finish was the hem. Once I was ready, I tackled that narrow hem and I was happy with the end result.

McCalls 1106

What I like about this blouse is the style of the sleeves and the length of the blouse. I especially like the back. It adds a nice little touch.

Simplicity 1106

Look at that back!

I made another blouse by hacking the pattern so it doesn’t have the peek a boo back, but that one has been in the time out basket since 2017. I think it’s time to take it out of time out and tackle that narrow hem at the bottom.

Otherwise, the pattern is easy to follow. For this blouse, I chose view D. I didn’t make a contrasting yoke back and sleeve and instead used the same fabric for the whole blouse. I chose crepe de chine for my fabric but other suggestions include challis, lightweight linen types, silky types, jersey and crepe back satin (for the contrasting pieces).

I also made view B. It didn’t turn out too well and I think this is mostly because of the fabric I chose for the contrasting piece. For the main piece, I used a light brown challis and for the contrasting piece, I used a crepe de chine. The two together did not flow well. I ended up removing the contrasting piece. So now it is in the time out basket. I’ll tackle that blouse again once I find a good matching contrasting piece to go with the light brown challis. Perhaps another lightweight challis fabric.

So all in all, I have made 3 items using this pattern, but only one that I actually wear. I would definitely recommend this pattern especially since there are 4 styles that you can make with one pattern.

Simplicity 1106 pattern

Happy Sewing!!!

Another McCalls 7405

I made another McCalls 7405! This one was for my aunt. She saw the dress that I made and requested that I make one for her. Here is my dress (click the link below for a review of this pattern):

McCall’s M7405 Pattern Review

And here is hers:

I must admit that it took me a couple years to make it. She picked out the fabric and I held onto it for the longest time because I took a break from sewing. This summer, I decided to get back into sewing again. I dusted off my sewing machine and this was my first project this year.

My aunt has worn her dress a few times already. We work in the same office so I got to see her in it. She looked great! She told me that she gets compliments every time she wears it. I am happy to hear that.

I am also happy that it got me back into sewing. I’ve already made a few items so far. My initial goal was to make clothes for work as well as a new outfit each time I have a new fun event coming up. I have done that but my sewing is still trial and error so that plan hasn’t really worked out. I end up not wearing the outfit. But it’s o.k. I am learning and I feel that I am getting better at my sewing skills. I take my time now and I don’t rush. I don’t cut corners and I notice it makes a difference. I’ve also purchased a serger and that makes all the difference! I love having nice, neat seams. I was actually using french seams to finish my seams. In fact, the dress that I made for my aunt has french seams. But I like the overlocked seams from the serger much more. If you don’t have a serger yet, I highly recommend getting one!

Now, back to sewing! Happy Sunday!

Lessons learned using the Butterick B5789 pattern

The Butterick B5789 is a fast and easy pattern with 5 different views for a draped vest or jacket. It can be sewn sleeveless or with long sleeves.

I used the Butterick B5789 pattern to sew a winter jacket. Because I sewed it in the winter of 2018, I had a chance to wear it a few times. I chose view D which has a draped front and long sleeves. The fabric I chose was a heavyweight stretchy cotton. Because it was a heavyweight material, it kept me quite warm. I used a brooch to pin at the top to keep it closed rather than sewing a button. Truth is, I still need to learn how to sew a button and a button hole on a sewing machine.

The lesson that I learned from this sewing pattern is to follow the directions very carefully regarding what fabric material to use. I used a heavyweight cotton that did not drape very well. The pattern called for a lightweight two way jersey material.

This jacket can also be worn open which showcases it’s draped front. Because I chose a heavyweight stretchy cotton material, it did not look very good worn open. Now I understand why this pattern calls for a two way jersey material. Even though I used a heavyweight material rather than a lightweight material, the end result was not too bad and I was still able to wear it.

Being that I am fairly new at sewing (I’ve only been sewing for 3 years now), the biggest  lesson that I learned from this sewing project is to use the correct fabric for the pattern.  Especially for a beginner, this is important. I’ve learned this lesson many, many times. I sewed many nice dresses using the wrong fabric, which is really unfortunate because I could be wearing those dresses had I chosen the right fabric for the job. I know that learning to sew is all trial and error. Those errors are welcomed because it is helping me learn and grow in sewing.

All in all, this pattern was a simple pattern to use. It was labeled fast and easy and I agree with that. Now that I have learned my lesson on choosing the right fabric, I will plan to sew the sleeveless draped vest for the summer season using a lightweight two way jersey fabric. The sleeveless vest will make a great cover up to wear with a tank top or summer dress.

So fresh and so clean DIY yoga mat cleaner

So fresh and so clean, clean… so fresh and so clean…

I have a great recipe for a homemade DIY yoga mat cleaner. Why spend $10 to $15 on a yoga mat cleaner spray when you can make it yourself? Plus, this fresh and clean recipe contains no chemicals because you use all natural ingredients, such as water, witch hazel and essential oils. Give it a try! It’s so easy to make and so easy to use. It cleans up your mat while making it smell so fresh. Hence, the name… so fresh and so clean DIY yoga mat cleaner!

You can choose any essential oils that you prefer to make this yoga mat cleaner. Make sure that you use 100% pure essential oil. For this recipe, I chose essential oils with antibacterial properties. There are many that you can chose from. According to research, cinnamon essential oil is the most effective of all oils for its antibacterial properties. However, tea tree oil and oregano oil work well too. Other essential oils with antibacterial properties are lemongrass, peppermint, bergamot, lavender, eucalyptus, clove, rosemary and thyme, just to name a few.

For this recipe, I chose three essential oils. I chose tea tree oil mostly for it’s antibacterial properties but also for it’s antiseptic, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. I also used peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is not only an antiseptic and antimicrobial oil but it is also antiviral. I also chose lemongrass oil because it has antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria.

So to break it down, the combination of these three oils provide the following properties:

*antibacterial

*antiseptic

*antifungal

*antimicrobial

*antiviral

A perfect combination for cleaning a dirty yoga mat. Also included in the recipe is witch hazel which is a disinfectant. You will need a spray bottle. This recipe uses 3 parts water to 1 part witch hazel. I used 3 ounces of water to 1 ounce of witch hazel. It also uses about 20 to 25 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Since I used 3 essential oils, I used 7 to 10 drops of each.

Onto the recipe!

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So fresh and so clean DIY yoga mat cleaner

  • 3 ounces of water (distilled water is preferred)
  • 1 ounce of witch hazel
  • 10 drops of tea tree oil
  • 7 drops of lemongrass oil
  • 7 drops of peppermint oil

Mix all of the ingredients into a spray bottle- pour 3 ounces of water into a spray bottle, followed by 1 ounce of witch hazel then add your essential oils. To use, shake the bottle before spraying and spray a good amount over your mat. Use a clean rag to wipe the yoga mat clean. Hang your yoga mat or leave it spread out to dry.

It’s a great idea to clean your yoga mat after each practice. I must confess that I don’t. I practice daily but I don’t clean my mat daily. If anything, I clean my mat at least once or twice per week. I definitely clean it after a really sweaty practice or after practicing at a yoga studio.

In addition, not only does this cleaner leave a fresh and clean scent on my mat, but it also leaves a fresh and clean scent in the air. I love the combination of lemongrass and peppermint oil. It’s so uplifting and delightful.

Try this recipe when cleaning your yoga mat. It’s so easy to put together, does a great job of cleaning your mat and afterwards, leaves your room smelling wonderful.

So fresh and so clean.