How are you? Safe and sane, hopefully. Things are crazy around here, but we're getting used to our new "normal". Will life ever go back to the way it was? Who knows.
Let's talk about mask making for a second. Whew! What a whirlwind that is, amiright? I've never made hundreds of one item before, until I decided to sew face masks. They were needed everywhere overnight. I've donated them, sold them, made them for friends and family, etc., just like most of us in the sewing community.
Just like many of you, I got tired of sewing masks. Making the same thing over and over takes a toll on you. Mind, body, spirit, and soul.
At some point in the midst of mask making, a new sewing machine was ordered, by magical fairies who love me, presumably. I had my eyes set on this particular one for a couple of years. It wasn't an essential item, but with all the necessary sewing going on, I allowed it.
They sent me the wrong machine at first, and then finally, 2 weeks later the correct machine arrived. Wheeee!! I was so excited.
Although, hesitation and fear kept me from opening it right away. What if I didn't love it? Maybe it was too advanced for me. It is a straight stitch only machine, after all. It sat outside for 24 hours to decontaminate before opening up the box and bringing it inside. Crazy, I know.
Let me start off by saying, WOW! She's a heavy beast!
My new Brother PQ1500SL sewing machine was here and itching to be used. And, holy cow, she exceeded all my expectations and some.
The machine came with a plethora of accessories and I totally nerded out on all of these, of course!
The machine has a large extension table that is dreamy. It came with multiple feet including a whopper of a walking foot.
Threading is as easy as pie. Winding the bobbin is easy as well.
It doesn't have a drop-in bobbin, which I thought would be annoying. However, it's easy to change because there are 3 doors that open up, making it convenient to change during a project.
A fun surprise that was included was a loaded bobbin. I've bought a few new machines in my almost 20 years of sewing, and they've never come with a loaded bobbin! This was exciting for me. It really is the little things.
Or I lost my marbles after making hundreds of masks, and any small thing was pure joy at this point. Who knows!
Once I received my new Brother sewing machine, I got a second mask-making wind. I was so antsy to use it. Give a kid a new toy, of course they want to play with it right away!
Nevermind the stack of things that I started and couldn't finish before the pandemic. I couldn't sew something for myself during a crisis, that just felt wrong to me. So, I made more masks. So many more masks. But, they were made with a big smile because I had a shiny new toy.
I'm a sucker for accessories! Do you love gadgets and get excited to use them? Here's everything it came with.
Can you believe it? It's May, again, already. The months seem to fly by quicker as I age.
You know the drill, #MeMadeMay is all about wearing something you made every day in May. Read my post I wrote from last year if you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about. You pledge to yourself and others to wear your me mades (handmade items). I played along last year and found that I didn't like it. Gasp! I know!
I did not like how it made me feel about my handmade garments. And, not in the way, you might think.
I usually get excited when I wear anything I make. Hair flowers, a purse, dresses, jumpers, rompers or pants, even my bras! I love it when someone asks if I made it and I get to scream "YES!" with a huge smile. It's exciting for me to wear my stuff and show it off.
During 2019's #MeMadeMay, I didn't get excited while getting dressed. It was more of a "have to" feeling. Not gonna lie, I wear something I make almost every day. I always have a flower in my hair- that I've made. My purses are made by me too. Oh and the days I don't leave my house, do not count. LOL
I'm a rebel in a sense I don't like being told what to do. And, the May challenge wasn't fun for me, because I had to wear my garments. Make sense?
Now with everything that is happening, I've been living in cozy clothes almost every day. I like being comfortable when I'm slinging string a.k.a. sewing. I've been sewing every day, so cozy clothes it is!
I feel happier about the challenge this year though because we're all homebound. We don't leave our house unless it's a run to the post office or get groceries. In which, I put actual pants on. Haha
I plan on playing along this year and have a new perspective. I'll be more inclined to wear my fancy dresses just because I can. They might not be the best to sew masks in, but... I'll wear them. It's almost a challenge for me to get dressed in real clothes every day. Amiright? LOL
And heck, if I don't wear a garment I've made, there's always a Me Made mask.
So, will you be participating this year? What do you think about ME MADE MAY? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to follow me on social media as well.
Stay safe and sane,
Face masks. Are you wearing one? Have you made them for friends and family or to donate? I've donated more than I can count. Sent masks to friends and family. And I've made them for my own family. We are now required to wear them when we leave our house.
What a world we are living in right now.
I have made masks using a few different patterns and wanted to share with you, some on my favorites.
They don't require a ton of time or materials.
Mask maker, mask maker, make me a mask. Anyone else singing this song while making these things? Anyone? Please tell me I'm not the only Fiddler on the Roof fan. ;)
This is my Made by Dana pattern that I've hacked. When the pandemic first started, the elastic was gone, sold out, nowhere to be found. So, I improvised. I used FOE, fold over elastic. This is usually used for cloth diapers, headbands for babies and other crafts. I used it to make the full head masks. They are more comfortable to wear all day too. I cut 13" just like Dana says in her pattern. Easy peasy!
This is 50 masks in 4 hours. We (my husband, oldest daughter and I ) made over 50 masks in 4 hours to deliver to his work the next morning. That was a crazy night. Once we found our groove, we worked flawlessly. These were all made with the FOE I was telling you about earlier.
Tiger King was a definite moment in our house. I had to make a face mask to honor his legacy. Free Joe Exotic!!
So, are you ready to make masks or are you burnt out like most of the sewing community? I gifted myself a new sewing machine, so I got a second wind of mask making. Stay tuned for my post on the new machine... she's fabulous!!!
Please share in the comments some mask patterns that have or haven't worked for you. Also, if you have places that are in need of donations, share those too.
Stay safe and healthy!
Warm virtual hugs,
Happy mad March!! And, I say mad because it's nutty out there. Hope you are staying safe and healthy and have enough toilet paper! Ha! Whew, what a world we live in right now, huh? This month has not gone as planned for anyone, I'm sure. We were supposed to leave for a family cruise, but that was cancelled along with school, life, and everything else.
When life gives you lemons....
I'm enjoying the time with my kids instead of having to drop off and pickup from school. We even have enough TP, we luckily bought ours before the crazy hit the fan. LOL
I worked on this Butterick top all week and after trial and error, I finally got the sizing correct and finished it. For the cruise. That was cancelled. Ha!
I wanted to spend more time on the boning portion of this pattern for you guys. Do you search for tutorials before you make something new? It's nice to get a feel for things before getting your head in the game, right? I didn't see any in depth tutorials on how to insert boning. I wanted to spend time on the boning portion with this post. The pattern is pretty easy and straight forward otherwise.
According to the pattern envelope, I needed a size 14. I also made an FBA (full bust adjustment) after my first muslin seemed snug. Well, it ended up being huuuge. No, I couldn't just take in a little at the side seams. This was big enough to fit the movie snacks, popcorn, sodas and my kids!! Face-palm!
But at this point, I accepted the challenge. Game on!
"It's not sewing unless you use your seam ripper."
I unpicked the bodice, lining, and boning casings. I then re-cut to a size 14 minus the FBA. Sewed it up and it was still big. I could fit the snacks only, this time.
So, I unpicked it again and cut a size 12, no FBA. Size 12 fit good enough. I might try a size 10 next time.
After you decide which size you're going with, trace your pattern off. Grade between sizes if needed.
Transfer all the markings onto your pieces, especially the lining pieces. You'll need accurate placement lines to position your boning.
Sew your darts on all the pieces.
Pattern instructions always have you make one thing at a time, but I sew all the darts on the outers and linings at the same time. It makes more sense in my head to do it this way, but you do whatever feels comfortable for you.
After the darts are sewn, place the 2 front pieces together, RST (right sides together) matching notches and dart seams. Sew from the waist up.
Then, grab the front band pieces. Sew together and fold in half, if you haven't already.
You're going to attach this piece to the bodice you just sewed.
Insert your separating zipper. WOW! This was my first time using a separated zipper and boy was it easy. You're making a lapped zip, so be sure to press one seam 1/2" and the other 5/8". The left side laps over the right side, hiding the zipper in true vintage fashion. Follow the pattern directions for the insertion.
Sew the side pieces onto the bodice, matching notches. Sew from the waist up. Easy peasy.
Your top should look the photo below.
Are you ready for Spring? I've been playing (cleaning) in the yard lately. We planted 5 new rose bushes, hydrangeas, and various berry bushes. Ahh, it feels so good to be outdoors after the long winter we've had. The daytime temps in my corner of Southern California are rising and the weather got me thinking about all the outfits and bags I plan to make for summer.
Cue the Laundry day tee dress by Love Notions. The dress comes in a great size range XS-5X. Yay! I snatched up the pattern for $5. What a steal!! I had never heard of this pattern company until I went to the Arizona Sewcial. Boy, I was excited when I went to their website. Give me all the knit patterns. I bought the Sabrina Slims pants pattern as well. Stay tuned for that review.
This post isn't a sewing tutorial so much as it's more of a pattern review. So, here ya go.
This pattern can be made in many variations. I loved the dress version most. I have a few lightweight dresses I constantly reach for during summer. Flouncy and bouncy without zippers or waistbands to contend with. They keep me happy and comfy during the humid months. So, I knew I wanted to make an easy knit dress for Summer.
The pattern lets you choose from long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves, or a tank style. You can make a top or dress, long, short, tunic length-whichever you fancy. Oh, and it has an optional cowl neckline too. Whew! So many options.
I chose the dress length, short sleeves, and the V neckline.
The pattern calls for stretch knit fabric and was a quick project on the serger. Cut to finish took 2 hours, minus the V-neck insertion of doom.
In choosing the V neck, I was surprised as to how confusing that whole ordeal was. I've made a handful of V-neck tops and they've been easy as pie. This one was not. Maybe it was a combo of the fabric and my sewing brain, but I won't follow that insertion again. I had to make it twice and it still isn't centered into the V. Ugh
I printed and cut the full bust front piece. I usually do an FBA on all my dresses and tops, so I thought this was a neat option. However, in trying the dress on, it looked frumpy. Maternity-like if you will. My husband and 2 older kids said it looked frumpy too and I didn't like how I looked in the dress. Frumpy is a four-letter word to me. Ha!
So, I added a cinch belt, cute sweater, matching flats, and jewelry to turn the dress into a casual pinup look. Yay! Almost similar to the Popover dress I made.
I want to print out the regular front piece and see how that fits. I think it might fit a tad better. And, I want to size down next time as well.
Frumpiness aside, it's comfortable and easy to throw on. I see a few of these becoming Summer wardrobe staples. Heck, I might make a nightgown too.
This pattern is perfect for beginners.
Print, cut and tape the PDF pieces together. It has 2 main pieces-a front and back, a neckline piece, and sleeves or armband facings if you choose the tank version. Oh and that cowl piece too.
Sew the shoulder seams, making sure to use clear elastic to support those seams.
Attach the sleeves, easy enough making sure to match the notches.
2 notches for the back, 1 notch for the front of the armscye.
Attach the neckline, hem the sleeves and bottom hem and you're done. So easy!!
So what do you think? Have you ever wanted to make a T-shirt dress?
As always, thanks for hanging out. Please share this post and blog with your friends and family and follow me on Instagram.
Leave a comment below if you plan on making this pattern or have already made it, please.
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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