So Sew Natalie » my sewing adventures!

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  • About Natalie

    I am just a regular gal taking a stab at sewing and thought I'd share them on a blog rather than having a photo album on facebook, flickr or just leaving the finished products unseen.

    A few words to describe me would be: type 1 diabetic (20+ years), creative, crafter, newbie hiker, cat whisperer, reader of physical books not online books, music lover, wife.

Yaletown Dress (maternity hack) :: Sewaholic

So September was the Sewaholic Yaletown Dress sew-along and I decided to take part because the Yaletown dress would be PERFECT for maternity! All I needed to do was make it slightly larger and lift the waist up to be empire. Easy!

I picked up some lovely rayon fabric from Spool of Thread and got started with my PDF pattern, thinking I was a total genius and this would be awesome.


…Well it didn’t work out so well:(


There’s nothing seriously wrong with the dress, I just made a few amateur mistakes along the way.

  • I went with a size 14 for the top but that ended up being much too large in the bust; that was a measurement mistake right there I probably should’ve gone with the size 12.
  • I graded from a size 14 to 16 for the skirt; the size 16 ended up being too much fabric in the back and too much drape in the front. I probably could have gone with a size 12 as well and just made it long so it wouldn’t be too short as my belly grew.

I saved the skirt portion to make something else later but overall the dress had to be scrapped. It would be too hard to fix the many mistakes I made but I still have the PDF pattern cut and taped so I can always try again with a size 12 if I can find some cheap fabric to practice on.

I’m disappointed the dress didn’t work out but I’m happy I gave it a shot because it’s made me realize I’m not really a clothing-sewing person. I think I’m better with other sewing items and now that I have a walking foot for my sewing machine, I can tackle more of those projects instead; I’ve already started making wash cloths and burp cloths for baby which will be on the blog next.

I do recommend Sewaholic‘s patterns though, she has some awesome outfits and is a local designer from Vancouver! I think even though I am going to probably stop trying to sew clothing, I’ll still try her cute skirts!

baby to-do list :: baby blankets

I finally got access to my sewing machine and all my stuff so I started working on my baby to-do list!

First up were two blankets, one with minky and one with fleece. I made the minky one around 29″ square and the fleece one is just under 36″ square.

They look okay in the photos, but what you can’t see is my horrible need for a walking foot especially when using fleece! I didn’t quilt these, but I did sew between the bumps on the minky in each corner..if I had a walking foot I might have added some details to the fleece one.


I got the teddy bear fabric at Value Village and scored the cute baby animals during a sale at Fabricland before we knew the gender of the baby (it’s a BOY!). I’m still going to keep everything gender neutral though so if we have a girl next time it’s not an issue haha.


I don’t know how but they both ended up being a bit over-sized on the tops, I couldn’t get them flat..especially the fleece because it was so thick it was hard to move it through with a regular foot. I’m so glad I didn’t try to put batting in the minky blanket, but I may try using the hem seal on the next minky blanket I make to see if that helps. Thankfully baby won’t notice heh.

Since the fleece is so big, it’ll be good for tummy time until the baby is old enough to sleep with it and the minky one is just the right size for swaddling when the baby isn’t a newborn. Both will be nice and warm during the night.:)

Next up is to make some wash cloths, a snuggler and maybe the third minky blanket (but swaddle size).


sewing for baby :: the to-do list

So now that we are having a baby, soon it will be time to make some things for said baby! I might as well sew while I have the time and (some) energy right? haha I have until February so let the countdown begin!


Along with The Snuggler, I plan to make a few other items from the “Simple Sewing For Baby” pattern book I have but below is a list of some other tutorials I’ve found that I can’t wait to make!

  1. Pacifier Clip
  2. 15 Min Diaper Clutch
  3. Gauzey Swaddle Blankets
  4. Baby Sleep Sack
  5. Minky Baby Blanket
  6. Car Seat Canopy
  7. Just Hatched Baby Leggings


And I am sure I’ll find more;)

date night dress :: april rhodes pattern

Oh my it’s been FAR to long! My last entry was the beginning of July and I haven’t been at my sewing table since (I did try to sew at one point, but it was much too hot so I didn’t get far at all.)

For those that don’t know, K and I are expecting our first baby! This has been part of the reason I haven’t blogged or been sewing; it’s too hot out for me to do much and I was exhausted for my first trimester. Now in my second trimester I am slightly less exhausted, but still way to warm, and busy making room for the baby.


I’m hoping to start sewing again once my “sewing room” is no longer holding all the stuff we moved out of the nursery room to sell at the garage sale this weekend or unpack later to store in the “sewing room”.

In the meantime I guess I should blog my Date Night dress! I bought the pattern a while back from Spool of Thread in paper form and picked up some beautiful cotton silk at Fabricland for 50% off for the dress and a simple black cotton fabric for the slip. One thing I learned from using silk is that..I don’t like working with silk. haha.

date_night_dress_01After fiddling with a muslin version, I ended up having to buy a digital copy (which is kind of better since I can print as I want and not worry about storing a thin paper pattern) to make the final dress.


At the point of starting this dress I had two things in mind; wearing it to both K’s baby sister’s wedding in July along with his best friend’s wedding in August and that I wanted it to be flowy, not clingy. I decided to make the top L and the bottom XL; at the time, we hadn’t found out I was pregnant and making the bottom XL would be perfect for the bump! I did find out shortly after the muslin was done though.

I somehow made some errors with the PDF, whether during the printing set-up process or the paper cutting process; I ended up with an XL neckline on an L top. During the cutting of the fabric I made the mistake of cutting two front pieces instead of a single front and back piece! Not realizing yet I had cut the neck too big and thinking it was L, I thought it would be fine and just add a cute touch with a low back neckline.

I continued with the dress, realized I hated working with silk, and a few weeks later (yes weeks!) got the hemming point of the dress which was pretty painful for the large sleeves when you can’t press silk like you can with other fabric!


I eventually got the dress done, minus the bottom hem, and went to try it on only to find out the two front necklines were WAY to big. It literally fell off my shoulders. GAH! Thanks to help from K, we worked through the issue and solved it by adding pleats in the back (see below); it made the top shoulder seams move back more and it still seems odd to me but it helped. The front neckline is still too large, but as long as I keep an eye on it to adjust, I can keep it looking flat.


With the July wedding only a day away, I literally came home from the family dinner the night before in Abbotsford to finish my dress and slip! Just in the nick of time I finished it for the wedding. Phew!


I wore it for the wedding in July when I was around 10w pregnant and luckily I wasn’t really showing at that point, plus the dress was flowy enough to hide any evidence. We ended up announcing the pregnancy to family the following week and then to everyone else after that.


The wedding in August was just this past weekend and the pregnancy had been announced so I didn’t have to worry about hiding it. I was worried the dress would be too short, but having made both the slip and dress skirt portions in XL, even with a growing bump I was able to get away without needing leggings! It was also flowy enough that my bump wasn’t as obvious as when I wear tank tops or my other dresses; I was worried about those who didn’t know finding out at the wedding as I didn’t want to pull focus from the happy couple.:)(In the end a number of people found out at the wedding reception anyways or hadn’t seen us since we announced but it wasn’t a big deal)


Notes for the next time I make this dress:

  1. No silk fabric.
  2. Double check printing scale and lines cutting to avoid cutting XL neckline.
  4. Give more time to finish the dress than the night before an event (haha).

diy handkerchiefs :: sewing for weddings

My beautiful SIL got married this past weekend and had a wonderful DIY wedding. My contribution to the wedding was handmade handkerchiefs for the ceremony.

I got the idea from Pinterest, of course, to have vintage handkerchiefs for guests to grab on their way into the ceremony. I couldn’t find any, that weren’t ridiculously priced on websites like Etsy, so I decided to make them. The construction is simple: cut a square, fold 1/2 inch on all four sides, iron, fold another 1/2 inch on all four sides, sew straight lines with a 1/4 inch seam.

I tried to find vintage fabric on the cheap for this but couldn’t find enough so I ended up picking up two of the wedding colours in heritage cotton from Fabricland on sale. I got 3 meters of a pale yellow and 2 meters of a coral rose colour, two of the four colours that were found at the wedding.


Because I waited for long, due to being so busy, I actually finished the 75 I made two days before the wedding. I had originally planned to make 100 but didn’t have enough time. K helped me by making the template for me to use, along with helping mark and cut the fabric. I couldn’t have done it without him; he even ironed the hems for me while I was at work two days in a row!

Mikey tried to help, but ended up being in the way; he got kicked out of the sewing sweatshop a few times for trying to eat my sewing pins. haha.


The sewing was definitely the easier part of this project since it’s just a few straight lines, whereas the prep took quite a while. I bought an Ezy-Hem ruler though which made the ironing slightly easier. I ran out of sewing pins so we actually started using paper clips! Office supplies to the rescue;)


They ended up being 7×7 inches, because we miscalculated and made the template 9×9 inches, but they still worked out. I put them in one of my small wooden trunks that I used for photo prints at craft fairs and we set it on a chair at the entrance to the church.