Category Archives: Self-drafted pattern

Beyond the Seams – Plaid’n’Wrap Skirt

In my Beyond the Seams series I take a look at some of the garments I have produced to answer the question “Whatever happened to..?

Today’s garment is the Plaid’n’Wrap Skirt

Made: September 2010.

Fabric: A plaid with silver lurex threads. I think polyester is a main fabric content, it could be some cotton too. The fabric was bought in an “everybody loves plaid”-frenzy, thus I had to have a plaid skirt, however as time has gone on I’ve come to realise that I am not really a plaid person. Back when I bought the fabric I didn’t pay much attention to quality, today I would never buy this fabric for a skirt (or anything else) as it feels cheap and drapes in a weird way. I must also add that I’m quite proud of my pattern matching on this skirt.

Pattern/Fit: The pattern is self-drafted with the help of my pattern book (it comes with standard blocks and descriptions on how to alter them). Since it is self-drafted the fit is pretty god, but I always add too much ease at the waistline. I wish the overlap would be a bit longer and the length is a bit off. Yes, the length would have been an easy fix, but since I don’t care about the skirt so much in the first place it has never been taken care of.

Styling: I usually styled it in a “schoolgirl” manner with a grandfather cardigan. Looking back it was a quite boring look.


The skirt in its usual styling

Rotation: I wore this quite a bit when I had first made it, but after a while I started feeling less comfortable in it and all issues were so apparent to me every time I wore it and most importantly, it didn’t feel like me.

Verdict: It is wrong in colours, I don’t like the fabric and the length is off. Perhaps I shall try and find another wrap skirt pattern or just leave it be. Now I now that plaid is not for me. With the review on top I think it’ll be a surprise to hear that it still hangs in my wardrobe. It is on its way out and will be slaughtered and sent for textile recycling. Or should I donate it? Perhaps it deserves a new life.


Denna omlottkjol i rutmönster sydde jag hösten 2010. Rutigt är alltid inne tänkte jag och jag lockades av “skolflickestuket”. Men efter ett tag insåg jag att jag inte alls gillar rutigt och att färgerna i just denna är lite för bleka och mesiga för min smak. Ut ur garderoben ska den, doneras eller återvinnas. Synd på en kjol med egenkonstruerat mönster (ur Mönster och konstruktioner för damkläder) och så snygg mönsterpassning. Men bär jag inte ett plagg får jag låta det komma till annan nytta.


Personal Pillow

The kiddo no longer takes naps at pre-school, he now participates in the “story rest” where they lie down and listen to stories. Therefore he needed a pillow. At first we were looking for one off the rack, but I wasn’t pleased with the selection and since sewing one was always in the back of my head, I figured I’d do just that. So, we bought a plain pillow for me to use.

Darn, can’t rotate on the app.

I went to my stash and settled on velour, it cosy and comfortable for the rest. The colours I had was orange and purple, two of the kiddo’s favourite colours (although, he does like almost all colours). The orange, which I had more off became the shell and the purple became the letter G. He is obsessed with letter and particularly G, his letter. I decided to make is as a removable pillowcase so it will be easy to wash.

The kiddo is pleased and carries the pillow around the house. Tomorrow it will move to the pre-school. I am pleased for feeding my sewing addiction, even if it only was a small project.

Wonky Droid Covers


I wanted an instant gratification project today and while the outcome is not perfect it’s good enough – for now anyway. I wanted covers for my phone and tablet so I found some fake leather in my stash and got to sewing. Wonky Droid CoversI started with a phone case which are just two rectangles sewn together and hemmed at the top. Since I have never sewn in leather (real or faux) I didn’t know how it behaved and the case is not completely perfect. Like I said, for now, I don’t mind.

Wonky Droid Covers (1)Moving on to the tablet cover, I folded it over so the bottom is not sewn, just the sides. Also for this I wanted a closure so I made a triangle piece to fold over.

Wonky Droid Covers (2)I added a button, I thought the red went well with the leather, but I, for some reason, only put a button hole in the bottom closure, so it’s hard to close and the button is not seen when the case is closed. Yeah, I’m not very smart sometimes.

Wonky Droid Covers (3)The back of the leather is fleece so my phone and tablet are nice and comfortable while in the cases. (The seam allowances of the clousre were trimmed after this photo was taken).

So, my cases may be a bit wonky, but they do the job. And they are Droid covers, in this household we are Droiders (my phone is Samung, the tablet is ASUS).

Project summary:

Pattern: Self-drafted (traced the gadget and added a bit for seam allowance)
Difficulty: Easy when choosing an easy fabric.

Fabric: Faux leather
Notions: Button,  thread
Estimated price: Fabric 15 SEK (€1.75), button and thread 5 SEK (€0.58). Total: 20 SEK (€2.34)

Project rating:
I really like

Getting some sleep…

For the first month of her life baby E had terrible nights. She was awake for up to two hours and would only go to sleep on either of her parents. We were getting desparate and I turned to the web for ideas, any ideas on how to get her to sleep by herself, even if it still was in our bed. One of the ideas I came across was a babynest.

So, what is a babynest you might ask. In short it’s a padded matress for small babies, made to be snug since that’s how babies like it (it’s not that they have a lot of room in the womb). Another thing one can know about the babynest is that the “official brand” retails them at an incredibly high price, 849 SEK (€100). However, if one can sew…


A babynest seems to be a Swedish thing since I could find many tutorials here, but not many in English. Perhaps my googling skills are dwindling. Anyway, it’s a padded matress with extra padding around, which is drawn in using a drawstring. It creates the baby’s one space, snuggly but the baby still has room to move.

This was quite a quick make, to be fair I didn’t worry too much about seam finishes and polishing. I don’t remember how much the fabric cost (which I needed one metre of), but the stuff I bought was about 100 SEK (€11.71) and I think the fabric could have around80-100 SEK (€9.37 – 11.71). Either way, my babynest is less than 1/4 of the retail price.

Babynest (2) The real verdict, however, lies not in price or quailty but if baby E likes it. The first night I was able to put her down in her new nest after nursing and she fell asleep herself. The second night was not as good, but after a few nights she’s getting used to it and does fall asleep on her own, in her nest, for most part. Success! Although I don’t know if she would have done that either way, but from what I’ve gathered about her, she probably wouldn’t. We’re all getting better sleep now and soon perhaps we can move her, and the babynest, out of our bed and into her bassinette. I can slowly feel my energy returning…

(Yes, I am aware of the fact that sleepless night will be part of our lives for some time to come. But those nights when you can sleep, that’s what you want).

The Megan Skirt

My first sewing project for the fall was a simple and quick project, in fact it took me about an hour to whip up.

The skirt is a gathered skirt in a navy twill, found in the scrap bin, and with a wide elastic in the waist. So, after attaching the waistband there’s just one seam to sew and then the hem. That’s it.

By stretching the elastic as I sewed, the skirt got perfect gathers. I’m willing to bet that this skirt will get a lot of wear in the upcoming fall and winter season.

Project Summary: Pattern: Tutorial from here (if the name of the skirt hasn’t led you on, that link will be a hint as to what I will be working on this fall) Difficulty: Simple. One seam, one hem and attaching an elastic. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Alterations: Mine is longer. Fabric: Navy twill from Stoff och Stil Notions: Wide elastic, thread Price: Fabric 42 SEK (€4.86). Elastic 25 SEK (€2.90),  Thread 1 SEK (€0.12). Total 68 SEK (€7.88).

Project Rating: Last time I was pregnant I lived in two pairs of maternity jeans. This time I want to change things up a bit and this skirt is my first step, and I think some more skirts are in store for me. I can’t wait to try this out when I’m a bit bigger.

(It’s a bit scary since I won’t do my ultrasound scan until late October, until then I can just believe that everything is OK)

Cassette T-shirt in Action

For the kiddo’s second birthday I made him a cassette t-shirt. I never got around to posting about the finished t-shirt, so here it is.

The kiddo at his birthday party opening one of his gifts. I still haven’t mastered jersey, which can be seen in this t-shirt. I’m not very good at finishing, both necklines and hems. For this t-shirt I used a bias cut strip to finish the neckline, which turned out a bit big. For the hems (sleeves and bottom) I haven’t mastered the twin needle, I probably need to practice to find the proper settings on my machine, I usually end up with a “buldge” between the seams. I need practice!

I really like the t-shirt and I have enough of it to make myself a top too. We’ll be matching in cassette t-shirts! (If I get mine done before he outgrows his).

At the moment I don’t get much sewing down, the husbie and I spend our evenings watching Le Tour de France. It is pure torture as it feeds on my France-withdrawl. I love France, it’s such a beautiful country and I want to go there at every given chance (but still wanting to go other places, too). Ah, France…

My husband usually cheer for the one he thinks is the best, I usually cheer for the cutest one. They coincide, but unfortunately Andy Schleck is not competing this year due to being injured. So the tour is just longing for France.

The last gifts

Before Christmas I finished my last homemade gifts. Then I was struck down by the flu and derailed in blogging. I was lucky that I was able to finish my last gifts.

The “big” gift for the kiddo from us was a kitchen. So, it only made sense that he would get an apron too, he loves helping us out when we cook or do the dishes. I used the same fabric as I did for his cousins last year, but only the animal print, there was not enough giraffe print fabric left. I used this tutorial, with the suggested changes.

In stead of tying the bands around the neck, I added a snap for closure. I topstiched all around the edge to get some more stability. Before Christmas the kiddo liked it, now he has otitis, so he hasn’t really payed much attention to his Christmas gift. But they can wait while he heals.

My final gift was yet another grocery bag. Charlie, again. This one is in a cotton jacquard, courtesy of the scrap bin. It was for my aunt and uncle, who really liked it, especially the pouch feature.

Purple Wristlet Pants

I’ve sewn for someone besides myself! The kiddo got some sweatshirt-fabric pants (no I could not find a proper word in English).

As you can see, the purple theme continues. The fabric was a find at the scrap bin, now that I’ve made pants for him I’m going to make myself a lounge sweater to just have at home.

I traced one of his pants for the pattern, finished the waist with a 25 mm elastic and the legs with a blue wristlet. I like the wristlets as they keep the pants in place so that he doesn’t stumble. That way I can make the leg longer and let the pants have a longer life.

And the proud wearer himself. He was either going for the camera or the bib, so I couldn’t have him face the camera. The pants seem comfortable (they’re sweatshirt-fabric) and I really like the colour, it’s so bright.

Project summary:
: Self-drafted, by tracing existing pair of pants.
Difficulty: Simple!

Fabric: Sweatshirt-fabric
Notions: Wristlets, elastic (25 mm), thread
Price: Fabric 15 SEK (€1.64), wristlets 5 SEK (€0.55), elastic + thread 5 SEK (€0.55).
Total: 25 SEK (€2.75)

Project Summary: A very simple pair of children’s pants. The kiddo has been interested in my sewing for a while, particularly when I had him try on the toddler skirts I made for his cousins. So, I figured it was his turn to get something. I love the colour and the pants seem comfortable for him to wear. I don’t ask of anything else for his clothes.

The Librarian Skirt

The first time I saw this fabric in the catalogue I fell in love, I knew I had to have it. I wanted a simple skirt to show off the fabric and for some reason the finished skirt makes me feel like a librarian – hence the name of the skirt.

The pattern is self-drafted with the help of my trustworthy pattern-drafting book. It’s a simple A-line skirt with a waistband and a side zipper.

It looks pretty much the same from the back and the front. Perhaps I need to be aware that I should pull it down in the back.

I’m not 100% happy with the waistband, but it’s OK. I took the time to find a fun button in stead of going for a generic one. The button is nothing special, but I thought it was very pretty and completed the circular theme of the skirt.

Project summary:
Self-drafted from pattern book
Difficulty: Easy. The hardest bit was the zipper.

Fabric: Brushed cotton twill.
Notions: Invisible zipper, button, thread

Project rating: It’s not often I fall in love with a fabric, but with this I did. If my mum was here she’d totally call it a “Helena fabric”. I envisioned the fabric as an A-line skirt and I fulfilled that vision. Another successful project!

Fabric 125 SEK (€14.15), zipper 23 SEK (€2.60), button +  thread 30 SEK (3.40).
Total 178 SEK (€20.15)

A Little of This, a Little of That

I’ve kept myself busy, so here’s a quick review of what I’ve been up to.

Today I whipped up two simple toddler skirts. My two nieces’ 2nd birthdays are coming up (one is my niece, one is husbie’s), so I made them each a skirt. The fabric is a cotton stretch jersey, pistachio with small hearts. The skirt is the simplest kind of skirt; a rectangle with an elastic waist. Let’s hope they like them. I had my son model one of them (the first), mostly to check the size, but he wasn’t very keen on posing in front of the camera. He did run out to the mirror to check himself out, though.

Save for two buttons my pants, now dubbed the Chocolate Pants are finished. They will be featured in an upcoming post. Here’s just a little sneak peak. It looks like twill will be my fall staple, these pants, an almost finished skirt dubbed The Librarian skirt and the skirt I cut today are all in twill.

This little fellow has finally moved in! I won the pincushion back in April at the Sew Weekly, but it was never sent to me (despite my e-mailing the Sew Weekly three times). A few weeks ago the creator, Kalen of Minibytes, contacted me for the address. She had also contacted the Sew Weekly for my address, but without luck. Bad handling of The Sew Weekly (but I still like the blog) and very sweet of Kalen to contact me. The squirrell is already doing his job!

So, a little update of what’s going on. I started my vacation this week and will have three weeks off. My goal is to make two garments for myself. One down, at least one to go. It shouldn’t be too hard, considering the weather we’re having.