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I like to follow patterns. I also like to change patterns. And I also like to not follow patterns.
I like math. I like challenges. I like problem solving. I like order. I like lists. I like steps. I like technical writing.
I’m not a graphic designer nor a photographer.
I’ve done some pattern testing, editing, and writing.
With all of that said, I’ve added a Patterns page to my blog. There have been some things my mom and I have figured out how to make without using a pattern. We’ve had people ask us for the pattern and were able to write down our steps. I figured it would be easiest to make them available to anyone who wanted them. They’re by no means professional, but they should get you a finished product. They’re all free and you can download them on Craftsy. The links are on the Patterns page.
“It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference.” Thanks for the line, Macklemore.
If you want to help, here’s the info you need.
In fall of 2015, Mom said she needed a bag to carry her serger in and she was going to make one. I thought that sounded like a good idea, so I said I would make one with her and we planned to do it at the next retreat we were going to be at together in January.
We chose the Carry On Travel Bag from By Annie. I had never made a By Annie bag, but Mom knew people who had and said it was doable. I figured that if I could make The Weekender, then I could do this. We ordered the finishing kits and Soft and Stable from By Annie’s site. To be on the safe side, I measures our sergers and made sure they would fit in the bag. They wouldn’t. Oops! But all we had to do was increase the width by three inches. I went to work on the quilt math and figured out which pieces would need to be cut different and how much more yardage we would need. Once I had that figured out, we needed to buy fabric.
Mom bought her fabric from her local shop. I had fallen in love with the new Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis line. It was supposed to be available before January, so I ordered it. Then I waited for it to ship. I waited some more. I emailed the seller. I waited. I emailed again. Then it was December and I hadn’t had any communication, so I decided to deal with that later and buy other fabric. My friend and I were going to make a trip to Missouri Star before Christmas and I decided I would find fabric there. I ended up buying some Allison Glass fabric and I was super excited about it.
After reading all of the instructions, we were a little intimidated by the quilting that would need to be done with the Soft and Stable. We had never quilted Soft and Stable and it was just a lot of quilting. So we decided to have it long armed, which was the best decision ever. Mom had no problem getting it quilted quickly so I could pick it up while home for Christmas and cut it before the retreat in January. I got it cut the weekend before the retreat. Both of us were a little intimidated by the cutting because of the number of pieces and the fact that we had changed the dimensions of a lot. I double and triple checked everything.
Mom wasn’t able to attend the retreat because we had a sick family member. I wasn’t going to work on the bag without her, so I brought other projects and the bag had to sit until our next retreat at my place in April.
Everything worked out for the retreat in April. Mom was able to attend and we focused our entire weekend on that bag. It worked out really well. We ended up cutting everything correctly!!! Well, Mom had a few pieces that were too wide, but they could be cut down and would have been correct if our webbing had been wider. We also re-cut some stuff because we wanted to use a different fabric for the accent or binding than what the pattern called for. We both had plenty left over to allow that.
The instructions were pretty good. I would say they were better than The Weekender. A few things were frustrating and there were things we didn’t like and would do differently next time (As if there will be a next time. Ha!), but it all totally worked out. We both ended up with gorgeous bags. Mom followed the pattern and used binding to finish the edges. I’ve done a bag like that before and hated it, so I decided to line mine. It worked out great, too. Mom didn’t cover her straps because the webbing she ordered matched her fabric well, but I covered mine like the pattern calls for.
Our main suggestions of things to do differently would be around the lining and seam allowance. I would be nice if when you looked inside the bag, the fabric was consistent. The pattern is written so that it’s not and kind of looks like a jumbled mess. It’s still pretty, but not ideal. The seam allowance throughout the pattern is 1/4″. That’s not appropriate for a bag. It should be at least a half inch. I get that the 1/4″ works well with binding, but it would be better to sew the half inch and cut it down once the binding is attached. We ended up doing that and our bag was a bit smaller, but it would have been a pain to try to keep an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance with all of the bulk.
My suggestion is for the zippers. I HATED her zipper finishing method. My mom thought it was kind of cool because it creates a little ridge that is kind of like faux piping, but it’s really hard to make it work on the inside so the seam allowance is completely hidden. I want my bag to look 100% finished and that method did not do that. I did it for a couple of zippers and said screw it for the main zipper and I’m glad I did. It was just weird.
When you are making a serious bag, during the actual bag making, you’re like, “What did I do to myself? Is this worth it?” But once you have a finished product, you’re like, “This is the best thing ever. Totally worth it!” We both felt that way about this bag since it took ALL weekend. It was the only project we both finished, but worth it. And it was great to get to do it together.
Oh…my Blueberry Park fabric arrived in March, so I still could have used it for the bag, but I would have had to get it quilted and cut the pieces out. And then I would have had two sets and I don’t think I could bring myself to make another one any time in the near future.
I thought I would like this shirt, but I’m not sure about it. I think I’m going to remove the hem band and then I’ll like it better. I’m pretty sure that’s what I need to do. The Layer Me Up pattern from Patterns for Pirates is very fitted. I don’t like fitted. So I sized up quite a bit – a medium, I think. The sleeves ended up being too big so I had to take those in, but I’m glad I sized up. This jersey is from LDG Showroom and the patterned fabric is leftover from a Linden I made. I got that fabric from Modern Makers. I whipped this out quickly during the weekend retreat with Amy and Coo.
So I messed up. Haha. Luckily, this fabric was given to me. I made this V-Neck and got to the hem and realized what I did. Can you see it? The cats on the front bodice are upside down. Oops. Haha. Oh, well. It was practice. I really like the V-Neck that I made and I wanted to make a long sleeved one but I didn’t have enough of this fabric, so I decided to make another one with the cool cuff look. Plus, I wanted to try out the other neckline method. So it was worth it, but I’ll only be wearing this around the house. If only I had put the cats upside down on the back…then I could just wear a jacket. But that’s not how it worked out. I also made this during the weekend retreat with Amy and Coo.
I totally love this top! I should have made the smallest size, although I’m wondering if the shoulders would be OK then. I might do some grading. Either way, it’s huge and billowy. I took like two inches off of each side and still could’ve taken more. I’ll wear a belt, though. I love how this came together. It’s the Everyday Elegance pattern from Patterns for Pirates. It finishes so well. It looks so professional. I can’t wait to make more. This one is made with rayon challis.
I also love this, too. It’s the Grandpa Cardigan from Patterns for Pirates. I can’t believe how perfect it looks and how easy it went together. I need to size down to the smallest size in this, too, but I’m OK with baggy. I did take in the arms a bit, but I left the rest. Andrew even said he wanted one of these. I bought the sweater knit for this at Joanns.
It’s been a while since I’ve made a Wiksten tank. I made so many, but I took a break so it was time again. I used my modified pattern and I changed up how the neck band is added. The Wiksten instructions make it more difficult than it needs to be. I copied the Patterns for Pirates neck band method and it worked out perfect. I kept the arm bands the same, though. This was another project I worked on while sewing with Amy and Coo. The picture isn’t the best. I think it’s more flattering in real life than the pictures that I took. The only bad thing about the Wiksten is that it is pretty boxy and I probably could’ve taken this in a little more.
Since I have so many new clothes, #Hashtag needed some, too. This all came from scraps that I had lying around, except the furry one. Amy made that for him. Doesn’t he look cute? The two fleece ones fit the best. I tried to modify one to just have one opening for his arms instead of arm holes, but I’m not 100% pleased with it yet. I need to do some more playing around. I just guessed for this one. The orange one is a sweatshirt fleece that I made a raglan out of. And the Aztec one matches items I’ve made for myself, my sister, my mom, and grandma. We love that fabric. Now #Hashtag is ready for winter, although I’ll probably make a few more for him throughout the winter since he may grow out of these.