Vintage Simplicity 5251


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From time to time I am given stashes of sewing materials from friends and family. Not to long ago I was given a large box of fabric and some vintage patterns. Mixed in the box of fabric was this pattern, all cut out, waiting for someone to sew it up.

It’s a single size pattern and view 1 was cut out in a similar blue fabric to the pattern envelope. I decided I was going to sew it for some practice using every applicable stitch I could use on my sewing machine. 

After reading the directions, I noticed that finishing the seams was not noted anywhere. Instead of doing French seams, I decided to serge all the pieces. I should have serged pieces as I constructed, because serging everything did add some bulk to areas like the collar and at the facings. But that’s why we practice.

The stitches:

A.   I used this decorative vine stitch on the sleeves, pockets, and down the fronts. It worked great on the sleeves which were only two layers.

Detail of finished cuffed sleeve.

It did not work out so well on the fronts which were two layers with interfacing. It seemed that my machine got a little bogged down in those pieces and the leaves are not evenly spaced.

B. Bar tack (pictured above) is the vertical row of stitches at the pocket edge to help prevent your pockets from ripping or coming loose from the main garment. This is the first time I used this stitch and it will be useful in constructing things like scrub tops. I didn’t get the starting point quite right as the stitches start a little higher than the edge of the pocket. Practice, practice,practice!

C. Blind hem stitch. To finish the hem, instead of whip stitching by hand, I used the blind hem stitch. I have used this stitch before and I have found some applications are better than others. Using this stitch on this garment worked well. The thread I used was pretty close in color and the hem was straight. You can hardly see it from a distance.

D. Automatic button hole stitch. After the initial set up of the special presser foot, this stitch makes bottom holes a breeze. But I measured my hole placement a little too far into the garment. The final step and I mess it up! Thankfully this is just practice. The button holes would have looked a lot better moved to the right. I found the flower buttons that match the fabric perfectly at my local Joann Fabrics. Due to their recessed holes I sewed the buttons on by hand instead of using the button attachment feature my baby lock has.

So now I have a finished house coat that I have no clue what to do with.

Overall this pattern was really easy to put together and to complete. I am not sure if I will have a need to sew another house coat, but maybe they will come back in vogue like everything else seems too.



Sewing the Peek-a-Boo Pouch : A Review


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In my recent wanderings of the internet reading sewing blogs and scrolling through pinterest I found Sewcanshe’s tutorial and free pattern for the Peek-a-Boo Pouch. I was instantly interested in making one. My sewing supplies desperately needed something to organize and carry them. At the moment when my supplies need to leave the house I embarrassingly carry them in a recycled plastic container that once carried jelly boob inserts for a previous sewing commission. Really professional right?

So I printed out the provided pattern (you can find it here with directions–> Peek-a-Boo pouch) and dug through my fabric containers looking for something in my stash to make me something more professional to carry my sewing supplies. I purchased a remnant of a skull print a bit ago that I couldn’t pass up and I had no plans for. It was suggested to re-purpose the plastic bags that curtains or sheets come in. I didn’t have any of those laying around, but I did have clear vinyl that I covered dining room chairs in. I pulled a zipper out of the stash, some interfacing, and grabbed my container of snaps.

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De-potting a makeup palette experiment.


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A little bit ago I made a diy z palette. I had a few things to go in it but I also wanted to try de-potting a makeup palette. I first wanted to attempt this on something I wasn’t very attached to and in this case I had a hand me down just practically jumping off the shelf to be a participant in my experiment.

Do you remember this guy?


The sad remains of the Tarte 2010 Limited Edition Jewelry Box

So my sister cast off this Tarte 2010 Limited Edition Jewelry Box exclusive to Sephora and I grabbed it up. With a little internet research this is what it looked like when she first purchased it.


Surprisingly for it’s age the shadows were still really soft and creamy.


There were only a few shades I was interested in keeping so I cut apart the box. Using a large candle I placed the palette piece I wanted to extract a shadow from over top of the flame to heat up the glue holding the pans in. The plastic got pretty hot to the touch so I figured the pans would be ok to pop out. Using a nail file I tried to wedge them out of the plastic. It didn’t really go well. The pans were very thin and twisted up easily breaking the shadow. And I burned my fingers on the heated up plastic. This is what the shadow looked like after I was done extracting.


Broken shadows

So these can’t just go in to my diy z palette. I am going to have to re-pot these if I am going to keep them. I needed some new supplies if I was going to do this. I had to order empty makeup pans and for good measure I also got a makeup palette and spatula from ebay.


Makeup palette and spatula

I don’t believe I spent more than $10.00 on everything.


  • Empty makeup pans (magnetic ones)
  • Makeup Spatula
  • Small clean bowl
  • Alcohol (I used vodka)

First I covered my work space with paper. Since eye shadows can be heavily pigmented I didn’t want shadow to be potentially everywhere and staining things.

On my freshly covered work space I emptied a broken shadow into my bowl. The spatula came in handy for scraping out any little pieces that hung onto the old mangled pan.


Old mangled pan and fresh new ones waiting to be filled.

Using the spatula I broke up the big chunks of eye shadow until it was a fine powder again. A mortar and pestle would have been so much easier to do this!


Smoosh Smoosh Smoosh

It’s important to break up the shadow before adding the alcohol so you don’t add to much liquid and you want all the pieces to stick back together again. Now don’t get over zealous when adding the alcohol. You want it to be a thick paste. It will go back into the new pan the best that way and you won’t be waiting for days for the shadow to dry out. I added the alcohol to the powder a drop at a time until I had a nice paste. I think over all I added 2-3 drops.


Eye shadow Paste

Using the spatula I then packed the paste into the new pan. I saw online a suggestion of taking a quarter or flat object, covering it in plastic wrap, and then using it to help pack the makeup into the pan. I tried it with a quarter and I don’t really feel it helped me pack the product down or smooth out the surface. I just continued to use both ends of my spatula to pack and smooth.


Packed eye shadow

I set this to the side, cleaned all my supplies and started over again with the shadow. Depending on how much alcohol you add the drying process could be a few hours to quite a long time.

After a bit I got to load up my diy z palette. My re-potted tarte shadows are all lined up in the right corner and I added some of my Ipsy samples and my Strobe Cosmetics eye shadow to my z palette as well.


Getting Organized

I decided while I was looking at my handy work that my z palette would benefit from a mirror. So I took the mirror out of the dissected Tarte Jewelry Box palette and added it in to my z palette with duct tape.


Mirror installed!

Clearly the pans from Tarte were larger than the pans I ordered. So I have a few pans of some of the colors. I also didn’t want to waste extra shadow and I had a few colors that wouldn’t fill up an entire second pan so I added a second color to the pan. I figured this might be nice when traveling to have more shadows in less space. I would just have to make or purchase a smaller z palette to be ready travel.

I don’t think I would do this on a regular basis with my makeup. Maybe if I used up some things in a palette but wanted to keep the rest of the makeup and downsize it’s container. But it is relatively easy to do and now I have some of the supplies necessary to do this again. I do need to figure out a better way to remove pans from palettes to spare my fingers some pain.

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Diamond in the rough….


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For part of my work week I am an official paper pusher. So I need an office appropriate wardrobe as well as fun festive scrubs for my work week. Giving myself an all weather wardrobe for the office has been challenging and more costly than I would have thought. So I have been looking for ways to keep me looking cute and not break the bank at the same time. From time to time I stop buy Gabe’s to see what I can find. If you don’t have a Gabe’s ( technically the store is called Gabriel Brother’s) in your area you are missing out. It is a step above thrift shopping because nothing has been previously owned but you do need to look the clothes over for construction errors, stains, and rips.

On a recent trip I picked up a New York and Company burgundy top with gold threads running through it. It has a tie neck line which isn’t something that I would normally pick up but I thought I would give it a try for $3.99. There were no problems with the material it was made out of or obvious defects so in the cart it went.  I wasn’t expecting to be writing about this top. I could not take before pictures for you because I ran into a problem with the half sleeves. My arms did not fit through the tulip finish on them! The tulip element to them reduces down to about 7″ around, basically the size of my wrist!


The Original Sleeve

Since it had some overlap I decided to not give up on the shirt, but rather removed the tulip cuff with my trusty seam ripper.


Decorative Tulip End Removed

Once it was removed I made sure it was actually long enough to go around my arm.  Thankfully my arm would fit through it once it was spread out further. I pinned where I wanted the new overlap in the tulip to sit and regathered the sleeve. I pinned the cuff back on and headed to my sewing machine. I reattached the cuff with a straight stitch and repeated the process for the other sleeve.


Stitching it back on with my Baby Lock Grace


Finished Sleeve

Once the tulip cuff was back on the shirt and turned right side out, I didn’t like how the sleeve part itself puffed at the cuff. I did some quick top stitching on it to keep the seam allowance in place and to keep the puff at bay.

Now I have a wearable work shirt!20171130_110920-1

I am still not sure I like this collar. On the plus side, I don’t have to think about jewelry with it.

On occasion I happen to come across other shirts like mine, still with tags on it, at the local thrift stores. I guess no one can fit there arms in the sleeves! That makes mine a one of a kind shirt!

April makes! 


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It’s time to show off my April makes!  Aside from making a few things for myself I completed 5 commissions.

The first commission completed for the month were some Mickey ears featuring R2D2.

Next I reupholstered two dining room chairs. Unfortunately I didn’t get the best photos of them.

My third commission for the month was a flapper inspired dress for a themed party. I made the pattern myself! I am very happy with how it turned out!

It is such a gorgeous color!  It has sheer gussets at the bottom so it swings nicely. The drop back and the sheer draped panels are my favorite! The panels are decorated with rhinestones at the top.

The rhinestone pieces are actually pairs of earrings I found. I cut the posts off them with a pair of jewelry wire cutters.  I then needed to file the backs a bit to make sure all the post was gone. And lastly, I hand sewed them on. The dress is fully lined and has an invisible zipper at the side.

My fourth commission was a pair of performance shorts inspired by Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad.

These presented and interesting conundrum.  When using the serger, what color thread do I use?  For where the two colors touched I used both red and blue.  In constructing each leg,  I used all red or all blue.  I spent a lot of time switching threads out on my machines.

My final commission was a half circle skirt for an Ariel costume for an elementary school play.

Now on to things I made as trials/for myself!

I​ made Star Wars themed Mickey ears!

I don’t have a real reason to make these for myself, ( aside from they are cute) but I am sure they will come in handy someday.

If it hard to tell in the photos, I embellished the stars on the blue pair with rhinestones so they sparkled and added a Mickey head in black rhinestones on the BB8 pair. I enjoy making these, I hope I am inspired to make some more. Anyone what to send me to Disney? 🙂

From two tanks to one!


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I tried to alter a tank that I purchased from Hot Topic to adjust the fit from a basic rectangle to something that would fit a girl with hips.  My plan A was to slash the back and add a gusset so the bottom would have some drape and be flowy. I tried to add in some black mesh but my technique to deal with two stretch fabrics and a point was all wrong. 

Ugh! Yuck! What a mess!  On to Plan B! Lets cut off the back and adda back I do like! I grabbed a tank from my sister’s donation pile that I thought the back would work well for my project. 

Here they are together. I cut the back of each shirt off at the seams.  I then folded the fronts in half down the center.  I used the donated top as a pattern for cutting the front of the purple shirt so the shoulders were the correct width to join the new back to.

I then sewed the new back to the purple front using my serger.  I didn’t worry about finishing where I cut the new neck and shoulder line on the purple shirt.  It is not going to fray, so I left it raw. 

Here is my “new” shirt ready for the gym or even this summers concerts! 

How do you like my new remake? 

March Makes plus fabric and craft haul!


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I am really excited to share some of my makes this month!  I have been busy! I finished up two projects that I had stashed in a bin that I am embarrassed to admit that were probably started over 5 years ago.  Both projects required my nemesis, the iron!  

The first one was the St. Patty’s Day table runner.  I purchased enough fabric years ago to make a whole set of runners and placemats for my dining room.  I cut everything out and only completed the first table runner.  Luckily I was digging through a project box and came across the pieces and decided that I was going to finish the second runner and repurpose the rest of the fabric as my table is too narrow for runner and placemats.  I reluctantly got out the iron and got to work.  I spray basted the shamrock fabric onto the yellow, pinned on the rick rack, and zig zag stitched all three pieces together.  I then attached thin interfacing to the back piece and sewed both pieces together right sides facing.  I turned it right side out and just hand sewed the opening closed.

The second completed project was the Hello Kitty scrub top.  Again I started this year’s ago and tossed it into a project box when I discovered I made an error that would require me to take it apart.  I completely goofed up the neck line!  So I pulled it all apart.  Reset the neck line and got it all back together.  But I made an error when purchasing the fabric in the first place.  I didn’t buy enough and I didn’t have a pattern.  I was just winging it based off of a purchased scrub top of mine. So it was really short in the length!  I knew I was never going to wear it if I didn’t correct that issue. So that’s when I found the coordinating pink fabric.  I decided I wanted to add in a 6 inch band of pink plus ties in the back. So I cut the top where it would just start at my abdomen. I sewed up some pink ties, sewed together the middle pink section, attached the top and the bottom to it. I had to iron my seams flat as well as some left over material for some pockets. Unfortunately,  I missed the winter weather to wear this print but it is out of my unfinished box! 

I did another t-shirt revamp using two shirts to make a new one. And I made a pair of linen Bermuda shorts with some fabric I purchased a few months ago that I pulled out of the stash. (More on these projects later)

And I made some Mickey ears! I was inspired by a youtube video I came across for some wire ears and I decided to make them with things I had around.  Mickey ears made St. Patty’s Day so much more fun for a friend and I. I also made her some Marie ears to test out for me.

I have a few commissions I need to complete, so thankfully most of these purchases are project related instead of stash building. (For a change) 

First I purchased three different Star Wars Fabrics from Jo-Ann Fabrics to make some Mickey ears. The fabric was $10-$13.00 a yard. I also picked up two McCall’s patterns that were on sale for $1.99 ea. The patterns are just going into the pattern stash.

I also needed some additional ribbon to go along with the fabric for the ears so I also went to Pat Catans and Michaels. The basic solid colored ribbon came from Pat Catans, while the blue sparkly narrower ribbon came from Michaels, then the Star Wars and orange ribbon came from Jo-Anns. Needless to say the Star Wars Robin was the most expensive ribbon.  While in Michaels I also picked up some black gems, cording for some fleece hoods I have started, and some washi tape (because why not).

After looking for ribbon I like for these projects at multiple stores,  does anyone like to purchase ribbon online?  Can anyone recommend a good online store? 

DIY Z-palette : a money saver?


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Normally I am not very interested in make-up, but recently it has been a new obsession. Perhaps it’s because this winter was so gray and cold,  perhaps it’s because I signed up for Ipsy, or perhaps it’s a fad and I will go back to my no make-up ways as fast as this trend for me started.  Who knows.  In the meantime I have accumulated alot of single eye shadows that need a home.  I looked at the z-palette system and did a double take on the price.  Do you know how much more eyeshadow I can buy for that price? I was hoping I could make something like a z palette but cheaper.  So I scoured youtube for some suggestions and decided to try the journal method.  

Here is what I used:

1. Medium sized journal (five below $5.00)

2. Duct tape (five below $3.99)

3. Magnetic sticker sheet (pat catans $4.99 for a pack)

4. Adhesive backed foam sheets (Walmart $6.69 for pack of 40)

5. Exacto knife; ruler; spare elastic head band

Starting with the journal, carefully remove the paper from the binding with the exacto knife.

Then I covered what was left of the binding with a strip of duct tape.

I also did not like the inside color of the journal so I covered the top with a piece of foam to coordinate with the duct tape. Next cane the magnet. The biggest size in the pack fit perfectly in the hollow space on the other side of the journal.  No cutting! 

Next I measured the remaining teal space exposed and cut strips of self sticking foam.
 I then pulled the backing off the steps and stacked them to match the height of the journal pages I cut out.

Unfortunately I had to use some black strips as well because I didn’t have enough purple.  

But here it is all finished! 

I am going to use a extra elastic headband to keep it closed.  

Ok so was this a better deal?  Cost wise,  the large z-palette is $20.00 versus using about $10.00 in supplies and an hour of my time.  So a win there.  My version appears to be a little smaller than the large z-palette.  I also didn’t have to order it online and wait for it. 

I am calling this craft a draw.  I saved some money which was my goal,  but I am not sure I am in love with my end product.  I am considering adding a mirror to the lid. I haven’t really played with it too much,  but maybe I will love it in the end.  

The importance of finishing seams. ……


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When I started sewing for myself on a regular basis I was so excited to finish garments. But seam finishing wasn’t really taken into consideration.  I regret this now. Some of the first things I made for myself were scrub tops. I had just started working full time in my chosen field and surprisingly scrubs are expensive. (IMO) I couldn’t afford to buy fun scrubs,  but what I could do was go to the local Walmart fabric section.  I would buy fun clearance fabric and spend an afternoon making work scrubs. I could have a top for 5 bucks or less!  

However,  using cotton fabric and not finishing off my cut edges is coming back to haunt me.

Everything is fraying! 

Little strings everywhere! 

I did not have a serger back then,  so I should have taken the time to zig zag stitch all my edges,captured them in bias tap, or have done french seams. 

The only thing I have going for me is that I left large seam allowances.  So with a few small seam rips I was able to run my fraying tops through the serger. I finished the seams I opened and my pokemon top will live to see another work day. 

Me Made Christmas 


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Merry Christmas! I have been a busy little elf this year hand making presents. I have been sick for most of December and haven’t quite finished everything I need to. Thankfully we will be celebrating Christmas pretty much through New Years this year.  So I thought I would share something I made for a few of my favorite little humans last Christmas.  They are getting big fast and their first tricycles were on there way. They live were the local bike trail is right over the hill so having the kids in tow on the trail happens regularly. Now with them having their own bikes I thought it would be nice for them to be able to carry their own water and snacks with them as well. Continue reading