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 (21 years), creative, crafter, newbie hiker, cat whisperer, reader of physical books not online books, music lover, wife, mama-to-be (2/1/15).

our social fabric :: fabric sale

There is a local non-profit called Our Social Fabric that collects donated fabric and other sewing products then sells them cheaply to fund their awareness programs. I went for the first time on Saturday and while I didn’t really find what I was looking for, I still managed to get a number of things I can use in the future.

They also had a bunch of boxes of scraps for free outside that buyers would look through while waiting for the sale to start at 10am which was cool.

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They charge $25 for a brown paper bag which you can fill with notions and fabric pieces that are separated by colour into green bins; they also have fabric for sale on bolts for $2/m or $5/m and some additional notions/gift bags that are extra. Like I said, cheap prices! A brown bag will get you quite a bit of fabric (depending on the size of the pieces) and notions.

For $40.50 I got:

  • A tan fabric with gold and red leaf outlines, 3+ meters for $12
  • Red fleece and black fleece-like material, 2 meters – brown paper bag
  • Red and gold fabric for pillows, 1 meter – brown paper bag
  • Stretch jersey for a min-skirt, 1 meter – brown paper bag
  • Floral fabric, fat quarter scraps – brown paper bag
  • Three lace fabrics, each 1/2 to 2 meters – brown paper bag
  • Musical notes + piano fabric, 1 meter – brown paper bag
  • Six large black buttons – brown paper bag
  • Two bundles of elastic – brown paper bag
  • Two belt buckles, one silver and one wood – 50cents each
  • Three sets of purse/belt pulls – 50cents each
  • Bag of 10 silver D-rings – $1

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I have an idea of what I’ll do with each piece…minus the lace. We’ll see where that take ends up! I was hoping to get some fabric for the Gabriola skirt sewalong starting Monday or a few other projects I have on my to-do list but it didn’t work out that way. I’ll have to go to the fabric store on payday for those!

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the staple dress

I first discovered the Staple Dress on the Spool of Thread website when looking at the classes they offer; it was cute! I attempted a few times to sign up for the class but either didn’t have the time or the money for the dates offered. I plan to one day attend one of their classes..maybe the beginners quilting?!

staple_dress_aprilrhodes_pattern_fabricI finally decided, after many months of seeing people posting photos of their dresses, to just suck it up and try it out; it seemed like a simple enough pattern. I went down to Spool of Thread, which sells the patterns in-person locally, and picked up both the Staple Dress and Date Night Dress by April Rhodes along with some cute fabric.

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After washing and ironing the fabric then taking a look at the instructions I decided to start working on the Staple Dress. It is an easy pattern so I do recommend it for those trying out making their own clothes; just a few steps and a choice between pockets, no-pockets, regular hem or drop them. They also explain how to mix the sizes if you’re a M on top but another size on the bottom, etc.

I chose pockets with a regular hem because I’m simple like that. haha.

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There is one downside to the pattern and only one… the sizing is a little off in my opinion. I went with the XL because my measurements were between the L and XL sizes which turned out to be a big mistake. Generally I wear a L or XL for clothing, so I thought it would be fine. They warn you that it’s a large pattern, that it will look like a hospital gown, and it will look better once you add a belt/do the shirring/add elastic to the waist but that didn’t really work out for me on my first attempt…

Could be a few things though like measuring myself, the size clothing for stores is made, etc etc.:)

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Even after the shirring, which was a pain, it was still waaaay to large and adding a belt just made it look awkward because of all the extra fabric on the top. At the advice of Spool of Thread on instagram, I basted it down to a size L to see if it would work better; sadly it was still much too large, even with a belt.

I decided I would try again but this time from scratch with the fabric I had originally intended to make the Date Night dress with. It had been suggested to me that based on my instagram photos I might need to go down a size or two from XL. Since basting to size L still didn’t look good I decided to make my next attempt a size M.

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It worked out a lot better than my first attempt although it still looked like a hospital gown with the waist added. I ended up keeping the XL neckline because I’m not a fan of tight collars; I left the arm holes as M though I think going up to L (or in-between both) would be better for me in the future  comfort-wise. I think I would also consider making the lower half a L so a bit more room as I can’t wear leggings without the dress sticking to them awkwardly.

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Don’t you just love the fabric?!

I attempted to add shirring to the dress but as is common with me and elastic thread, I got frustrated and gave up. I picked up some elastic from the sewing store and added it instead but rather than adding it to the same straight line marked the front and back separately. I hate dresses where you put them on and the front elastic rides higher than the back because obviously when you put it on the front section isn’t flat like the back due to boobs.

I’m not a fan of the elastic and don’t find it too comfortable so I may end up taking it out all together as I plan to wear belts anyways but in the meantime it’ll stick around.

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Overall I am happy with how it turned out. The first attempt was very frustrating so I waited about a week before my second attempt but I am glad I tried again. If I make this dress again I will definitely choose a different type of fabric..I went with cotton, because I love cotton; it’s just too stiff for my liking.

I look forward to making the Date Night dress and another trip to Spool of Thread for some fabric to make it! They have an awesome selection of fabric and I want it all.

I wore the dress for the first time this past Sunday to E’s baptism at a local church. I paired it with ballet flats (I really need to invest in some wedge heels), one of my handmade photo necklaces, my black belt and a purple cardigan.

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I took a selfie before leaving but got Kyle to take a shot when we got home a few hours later..though I wasn’t looking as prim and proper haha.

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*All photos are copyright Natalie Woods unless otherwise stated. All rights are reserved, no use without prior written permission.

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The DIY Dreamer
Kimberlee Gibson - March 19, 2014 - 2:57 am

Cute dress – really like the fabric. I like to use cotton fabric a lot too but sometimes the drape is not so good for some patterns. The dress looks good on you and great with the belt and with the sweater, too.

Kimberlees Korner - March 19, 2014 - 2:58 am

Cute dress – really like the fabric. I like to use cotton fabric a lot too but sometimes the drape is not so good for some patterns. The dress looks good on you and great with the belt and with the sweater, too.

fabric hoarder :: recent steals » So Sew Natalie - May 22, 2014 - 11:11 am

[…] baby blue, green, yellow, red, etc. I’ve already made one bag using the leftovers from the staple dress I made and some grey vinyl I got. Most of the pieces are large too, which means I can make decent […]

double zipper clutch :: handsewing

So I decided I needed a new wallet. The one I had sewn before was well…just not working out. After a search on Etsy, I found this cute shop with a double zipper clutch; I feel in love. I bought it right away and downloaded the PDF pattern and instructions.

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In the listing the shop owner said “* Some parts need to be hand-stitched.*” but I argue that. Except for the zipper portion, it was all hand-stitching, which something as a beginner I suck at. Had I known there was so much hand-stitching I wouldn’t have spent the money on the pattern and found else.

Yes I probably should’ve known it wouldn’t be a pattern I could do but other than some parts of it being hand-stitched there was no warning of what the skill level to complete it so I thought I could. That is a downside to buying online patterns you can’t preview first – it’s not always straight-forward on what skill level you’ll need in various types of sewing.

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I did alter it a bit by adding a pocket on the side..which I did mess up cuz I didn’t think it through first but I’m glad I have so I can put change in it.:)

They also didn’t say what level of stiffness you want for interfacing; I already had some fairly stiff interfacing so I used that but I definitely would make it with the stiffest stuff at the store. It’s not as solid looking as the one in the listing photo so that’s something to think about next time.

I finished it and love it even though it’s imperfect but I am definitely not happy about having to hand-stitch. It took a lot of time, was a pain in the ass and you need to practice stitching before doing this project in my opinion.

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I will likely sew myself a new wallet soon with the same fabric (luckily I have more!) to replace this. I did buy another one of the shop owner’s patterns and will try it despite the “some parts need to be hand-stitched.” warning. haha. Practice makes perfect?

 

*All photos are copyright Natalie Woods unless otherwise stated. All rights are reserved, no use without prior written permission.

 

the wedding guest :: pleated skirt

This past summer my childhood friend got married over the Canada Day long weekend. After a failed search for a dress that was cotton and nice enough for a wedding I thought “hey, I’ve got a sewing machine I’ll just make a dress!”. So off I went with my hubby to find some fabric, which I did. The dress on the other hand..yeah that never happened.

I went without a pattern in mind which was my first mistake. My second mistake was thinking I could make a full dress using a Buda Style pattern which has little to no instructions.

My follow-up idea was a skirt, but oh no I couldn’t make it using the material I already had..so yup, back to the store I went. I found some nice fabric and got to work making a skirt. Easy right? Nope.

I thought I could just wing it, which I did for the most part but in the end I followed Crafty Cupboard’s pleated skirt tutorial which is the only thing that really saved this brilliant idea of mine.

It turned out pretty well I think though.

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*All photos are copyright Natalie Woods unless otherwise stated. All rights are reserved, no use without prior written permission.

the snuggler :: sewing for baby

This one is my ALL time favourite project to date. I cannot wait until Kyle and I start a family so I can make awesome baby projects like this one; I will have a million of these by the time our first baby comes. Okay..not a million exactly but pretty close. haha.

This pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter’s “Simple Sewing for Baby” and while I was able to find the pattern online for free I ended up buying the book. A downside to online printable patterns is that you have to tape the pieces of paper together to make the pattern and for this project I found it to be too confusing, though there are only a couple pattern pieces. I am happy I got the book as there are a number of cute projects I will definitely use in the future!

I made this for our friends who were having their first baby. At the time we didn’t know the gender but the mom loves horses so when I saw this I thought it would be perfect for their son or daughter (they have a beautiful baby boy). The inside of the snuggler is milky, which is the most amazing fabric in the world; so soft AND washable!

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Overall it was a pretty easy project to complete. A few seams, some velcro and you’re done; I top-stitched the top layer which wasn’t what you were supposed to do but I prefer how it turned out that way.

*All photos are copyright Natalie Woods unless otherwise stated. All rights are reserved, no use without prior written permission.