Skip to Content

Micro-Terry Bathrobe

Micro-Terry Bathrobe: I used the Simplicity 3571 pajama pattern very loosely.  It was the closest pattern I had on hand to what I wanted to make, so I really used it as a guide more than a pattern.  I flatlocked all the seams because I wanted to make it reversable.  My reasoning on that was simple-- I'm not sure which side of the micro-terry is the right side!  I'd expect that the soft side to be the one that should be next to the skin, but it's supposed to be moisture-wicking and the soft side doesn't seem like the absorbent one.  Not sure if that'll change after washing.  So anyway, I wanted to be able to wear it either way, so flatlocking was the logical choice.  I added 18 inches onto the bottom of the pattern, since I wanted it to be a robe and not a top.   I used rolled hems on all of the edges.  Then I added fabric loops on the front pieces, and ribbon so that it could be tied closed.  It actually didn't turn out too bad for something so improvised!  I like the kimono sleeves.Micro-Terry Bathrobe I used the Simplicity 3571 pajama pattern very loosely. It was the closest pattern I had on hand to what I wanted to make, so I really used it as a guide more than a pattern. I flatlocked all the seams because I wanted to make it reversable. My reasoning on that was simple-- I'm not sure which side of the micro-terry is the right side! I'd expect that the soft side to be the one that should be next to the skin, but it's supposed to be moisture-wicking and the soft side doesn't seem like the absorbent one. Not sure if that'll change after washing. So anyway, I wanted to be able to wear it either way, so flatlocking was the logical choice. I added 18 inches onto the bottom of the pattern, since I wanted it to be a robe and not a top. I used rolled hems on all of the edges. Then I added fabric loops on the front pieces, and ribbon so that it could be tied closed. It actually didn't turn out too bad for something so improvised! I particularly like the kimono sleeves.
It'll make a nice summer bathrobe.

More Grocery Bags! ..but this time with explanations!

My mom has said she'd like some reusable grocery bags, so I have an excuse to make a few more! And to use that rubbery "techno taffeta" that I've had no idea what to do with. I was surprised at how well the "techno taffeta" went with that iridescent fabric from Joann; these bags fold up much better than any of the others I've made. I've made two in this fabric combination, and I'll probably make a few more, since I still have more of both fabrics and I like the results a lot. I took some pictures of the process, too, since how the folding-in of the outside edges works always seems somewhat hazy in the tutorials I'd read; it took me awhile to figure out how simple it actually was.
Green Reusable Bags: Two more reusable grocery bags.  The outside is some kinda of synthetic iridescent fabric from a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year, and the inside is that rubbery Vera Wang "techno taffeta."  I was surprised at how well the bags made with this combination folded up!  The folded up bag is definitely flatter and more compact than the other fabric combinations I've tried.Green Reusable Bags: Two more reusable grocery bags. The outside is some kinda of synthetic iridescent fabric from a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year, and the inside is that rubbery Vera Wang "techno taffeta." I was surprised at how well the bags made with this combination folded up! The folded up bag is definitely flatter and more compact than the other fabric combinations I've tried.
Grocery Bag Side Fold Outside View: From the outside, the bags look like there must be some sort of accordion thing going, folded in from the middle of the side, right?  Wrong!Grocery Bag Side Fold Outside View: From the outside, the bags look like there must be some sort of accordion thing going, folded in from the middle of the side, right? Wrong!
Reusable Bag Unfinished Inside View: Turned inside out, the outer edges are just folded in towards the middle, lined up with where the pocket comes to on the outside.   From there, I just serge across the bottom with a 5-thread safety stitch.Reusable Bag Unfinished Inside View: Turned inside out, the outer edges are just folded in towards the middle, lined up with where the pocket comes to on the outside. From there, I just serge across the bottom with a 5-thread safety stitch.
Inside Fold Closeup: A closeup of how the sides of the bag are folded in.Inside Fold Closeup: A closeup of how the sides of the bag are folded in.

Green Shantung Medival Gown.. Finished!

Green Shantung Gown -- Done!: And finally..  It's finished!Green Shantung Gown -- Done!: And finally.. It's finished!I'm sure everyone is sick of all the little fiddly updates about the green shantung medieval gown.. so here it is, finished! Yea, I know it doesn't look much different than the last picture. However, now the top edge of the sleeve lining is sewn in (it was just pinned before,) the raw edges on the inside are serged, the facing is sewn to the main body at the shoulders, and the bottom is hemmed, with horsehair braid sewn into the hem. I didn't end up putting inner sleeves onto it-- if I wear them, they'll be separate. I'm not sure that the maybe-linen I was going to use for the inner sleeves and underdress would work with the grey satin trumpet sleeve lining. I'm happy with it as it is, so any possible coordinated tight-fitting sleeves will be a separate project. The front of the dress isn't quite floor-length. On me, there's maybe an inch or inch and a half between the hem and the floor. I'm considering some kind of trim on the bottom so that it will be floor length, but then again, there are advantages to the hem of your skirt NOT touching the floor. It's wearable as it is, so therefore, it's done, and any future alterations will be alterations rather than finishing touches. I'll wear it with one of the belts I used with my first medieval dress-- probably the wrap one.
Of course, if you look at the enlarged, picture, it still doesn't look right.. but there seems to be nothing I can do about that; there's no way to communicate to the automatic focusing mechanism what the shantung is supposed to look like when it's properly focused. For all I know, the noise on the fabric in the picture is the way the light from the flash reflects off the fabric, and is actually "correct." I guess I'd need a manual camera to find out for sure. Maybe a film camera would feel about it. For that matter, I wonder if places still sell and develop film. Hey mom, can I borrow your manual film camera next time you come down here? (Maybe I should put a wanted ad on craigslist for darkroom equipment. I bet there are people who have darkroom equipment they haven't used in ages, sitting around taking up space.)

Lining for the Sleeves of the Green Medieval Dress

Progress on Green Shantung Medieval Dress, again: I decided to go with the silver-grey satin for the lining of the lower sleeves.Progress on Green Shantung Medieval Dress, again.: I decided to go with the silver-grey satin for the lining of the lower sleeves.I finally settled on the silver-grey satin for the trumpet sleeve lining. The gold could have been very neat, but I thought maybe a bit too eye-popping, and the darker fabrics wouldn't be "enough." The light-colored floral rayon seemed like it was just too much of a contrast. So, silver-grey satin.
I still have to make a few adjustments to the fit, but other than that the only other thing left to do is hem it. I'm thinking of either weighting the hem a bit, or using "horsehair" braid; it definitely doesn't hang right. Just hemming it may help with that somewhat, but I don't think it'll be enough. I'll probably go with the horsehair braid.

I really, really think that cameras should come with a "dupioni/shantung" setting. I think it's a combination of the slubs and the shininess that make it seemingly impossible to get a decent picture; there's always blurriness and noise in the photo. Photos of anything else are fine, but I just can't get shantung to look right. (Shantung is apparently just a type of dupioni. I'd thought that there were technical differences, but apparently shantung is just dupioni made in the Shandong province of China. I don't believe that it actually has to be made there to be called shantung, though.) The automatic focusing must not have any idea how to handle the texture and sheen of dupioni.

More on Green Shantung Medieval Dress

Green Medieval Dress: Progress on Butterick 4827 with trumpet sleeves from McCall's 4491Green Medieval Dress: Progress on Butterick 4827 with trumpet sleeves from McCall's 4491

I've gotten the sleeves onto my green shantung medieval dress. I used the lower sleeves from view D of Mccall's 4491, and the adjusted upper sleeves from Butterick 4571. (The McCall's upper sleeves used underarm gussets, which I didn't really want to do.) I think I may have made the upper arms a bit too long, the lower sleeves start about at the elbow, I think they should probably be up slightly higher. I haven't put in the lining for the lower sleeves yet; they really do need to be lined, they don't look quite right as they are. Since the dress already goes over 5 yards, the sleeve lining doesn't have to be technical stash, but I still haven't decided on a fabric for the lining. I'm not quite sure how much I want the sleeve lining to contrast the main fabric. I have a mustard colored polyester crepe-back satin that could possibly work. Since it's just for the trumpet sleeves, the polyester shouldn't be too hot. But.. I'm not sure. Would something that contrasts less be better? Something darker? Would something with a print look silly? I have that slate-blue rayon with the floral-ish print, and a cream-colored floral rayon. That silver-grey polyester satin might work, too. Or the dark purplish "dress fabric" that seems lining-ish.
I'm thinking I probably will make detachable inner sleeves so I could also have the option of wearing an entirely separate underdress. I'll have to prewash the handkerchief maybe-linen.
My camera doesn't seem to like the shantung. The photos keep turning out grainy, I'm not sure what I could do about that, because it's pretty consistent, and it's not like there's a special setting on the camera for photographing shantung!

Fabric Options: The fabrics I'm considering for the sleeve lining for my green medieval dress.  The piece across the top is the main dress fabric, and the fabric above it is the handkerchief maybe-linen that will probably be the inner sleeves and/or under-dress. From left to right, the others are the mustard Vera Wang crepe-back satin, some kind of a greenish synthetic taffeta from Joann, a purple polyester crepe from a mystery bundle, a polyester "dress fabric" whose color was described as "desert violet," a silver-grey polyester satin, a printed slate-blue floral rayon, and a cream floral-printed rayon jacquard.Fabric Options: The fabrics I'm considering for the sleeve lining for my green medieval dress. The piece across the top is the main dress fabric, and the fabric above it is the handkerchief maybe-linen that will probably be the inner sleeves and/or under-dress. From left to right, the others are the mustard Vera Wang crepe-back satin, some kind of a greenish synthetic taffeta from Joann, a purple polyester crepe from a mystery bundle, a polyester "dress fabric" whose color was described as "desert violet," a silver-grey polyester satin, a printed slate-blue floral rayon, and a cream floral-printed rayon jacquard.

Okeydokey, got up a picture of the sleeve linings I'm currently considering. Anybody have suggestions?

Beginning of Green Silk Butterick 4827 Medieval Dress

Medieval Green Silk Dress StartedMedieval Green Silk Dress Started

When I made Butterick 4827 before, it was a semi-mockup in blue broadcloth, with the intention of eventually doing it in this green silk, too. I quite liked the blue cotton version, and didn't get around to the silk one for awhile.. but I got the dark green shantung last May, so it's stash, and I may as well do it during the stash contest! I only started on it this afternoon, so it's far from finished, but the main body is together, so here's a picture! (the back lacing panel isn't on it yet, no facings, and obviously no sleeves. I'm planning on frankenpatterning in hanging sleeves with attached inner sleeves, like what Aurora did with it. I'll probably use the sleeves from Mccall's 4491 and/or Butterick 4571. The idea of just making a separate underdress out of the handkerchief maybe-linen has occurred to me, but I'll probably just do the attached inner sleeve.

More Reusable Shopping Bags

Two More Bags: Two more reusable grocery bagsTwo More Bags: Two more reusable grocery bags

6 Bags: All six reusable shopping bags I've made so far6 Bags: All six reusable shopping bags I've made so far

I've made two more reusable shopping bags, now bringing the total to six. I rather doubt I'll need any more than six, but I may make a few more anyway; I can always give them away. I've still got some various woven fabrics I picked up at big sales last year without any ideas as to what I'd do with them. Some of them I had vague plans at the time, like the idea that the white-with-black boucle could be a jacket, but a lot of the fabrics I bought early on just aren't nice enough for me to want to use in something that would take a lot of work. Others are pretty, but many of the "great deals" I got early on were from 50% off red-tag sales (like the grey suiting that's the lining for a lot of these bags, or a purple and gold sari brocade that's still in my stash) were pretty polyester... so pretty, but not generally particularly comfortable. So.. bags. Bags bags and more bags.

I'm not one of those people who actually wants to diminish stash down to a "reasonable" level (me? reasonable?) so it's just the "what am I going to do with that?" stuff that I want to use up. I like to be able to shop from my stash, I don't really find a stash overwhelming (mine certainly isn't as large as some, but I've still heard people mention feeling as though stashes comparable in size to mine were too much) but I want the majority of the fabrics in my stash to be things that I could match up with a pattern in my pattern stash and just sew. I need to use up the "meh" fabric.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Reusable Shopping Bags: A "set" of reusable shopping bagsReusable Shopping Bags: A "set" of reusable shopping bags
I just finished a set of 4 reusable shopping bags, for which I mainly followed the instructions in this Craftster thread. There's actually a Tipnut page that lists a whole bunch (says "45+") different patterns and tutorials for reusable grocery bags. I actually printed out the bag pattern from one of the other pages (not a downloadable pattern-- I just followed their drawing instructions to make the pattern instructions, but did so with Inkscape rather than a pen and paper. I found many of the instructions at other places unclear, though, and the Craftster tutorial seemed to have the clearest directions. I used a 5-thread safety stitch for most of the seams, including the bottom, and didn't do the french seam that they suggested. I'm not totally sure how that would have been accomplished at all, the way the sides fold, it didn't make all that much sense to me how a french seam could have been used. I actually puzzled over how to do it from the inside for awhile, before realizing that from the inside you just fold over each edge once, lengthwise, rather than having the accordion-like fold it looks like it should have. They have pockets on the front that they're supposed to be able to fold into. I made the one on the first bag too small, but the rest of them fold into their pockets pretty well.
Every time I've gone food shopping recently, I've sworn that soon, I'd make some reusable bags. Well here they are! And all of them made from "what am I going to do with that?" fabric from my stash. Each bag uses one and a half yards, three quarters of a yard each for the outside and lining.

My Slipcover is Finished!

Slipcover--  Done!  with pillowsSlipcover-- Done! with pillows

Slipcover  -- Done!Slipcover -- Done!

My couch slipcover is finished, finally! I must admit that despite how large a project this was, one of the most difficult things about it was figuring out when it was finished. I'm still new enough to sewing that most things aren't perfect. Okay, I guess "most things aren't perfect" goes for almost everybody, beginner or not, but I imagine that with more experience more things will be closer to perfect. When I'm using a pattern, the "finished" point is fairly clear-- I'm done when I get to the end of the instructions! When it's clothing, there's also the "alright, I can wear it now" factor. Even if I imagine I might want to make some kind of alteration sometime in the future, clothing is fairly clearly finished when I start wearing it. For the couch, it wasn't so clear. It's been "wearing" the slipcover through the entire process, I've only been taking it off to work on it. I'd put pieces together, drape, pin, take it off, sew, put it back on. And in between working on it, it would be on the couch. Through much of it you wouldn't even have been able to tell clearly that it wasn't done, since the pillows covered up a lot of the not-done parts. My dilemma was the sides of the arms. They're pretty much just draped and hanging down. Towards the beginning, I'd been hoping to give them more of a shape. I'm not sure how much shaping is "expected" on a slipcover. As it is, they're just hanging down to the floor, with a narrow serged rolled hem at the bottom. Since it's between my fabric china cabinet and some shelves, the sides aren't particularly visible or accessible; I don't know if it's always going to be that way. I may, at some point in the future, attempt to add some more shaping to the arms. As it is, however, all of the pieces are sewn together, it's firmly secured around the couch with elastic at the back, the edges all have rolled hems, and there's nothing about it that says "this isn't finished." So, even if sometime in the future I decide that I know how to add better shaping to the sides that would be an alteration of a finished item, rather than the finishing of a UFO. Right now, it's done!
(And besides, I can't try to get poor Piper back off of it for awhile!)

FabricMart Mystery Bundle! February 2011

Febuary 2011 Mystery Bundle: Left to right, 1.25 yards gray wool gauze, 3 yards purple cotton (I think-- it's plant-based, anyway.  Seems like cotton) 2 yards taupe wool gabardine, 2 yards of one of those cotton prints that were on sale recently, and 2 yards stiff, thick-ish black silk (twill?)Febuary 2011 Mystery Bundle: Left to right, 1.25 yards gray wool gauze, 3 yards purple cotton (I think-- it's plant-based, anyway. Seems like cotton.) 2 yards taupe wool gabardine, 2 yards of one of those cotton prints that were on sale recently, and 2 yards stiff, thick-ish black silk (twill?) So I got sucked into the most recent 50% off sale, from which I got a beautiful silk charmeuse and a pink Shetland wool.. And a mystery bundle!

Syndicate content


by Dr. Radut