Quilted journal cover for my bullet journal

bullet-journal-cover

I spend a lot of time on my phone, and it’s time to break the habit. When I heard about the bullet journal, I knew that would be a good first step.

A bullet journal follows a simple pattern. It’s contained in a blank notebook of your choosing. It starts with an index, which lets you track what you are jotting down on your pages (all pages in your journal are numbered). That’s followed by a future log, a monthly overview, and your daily tasks, notes, events and reminders. You create a key to remind yourself of the symbols you are using to track your information. You can find all the details about setting up a bullet journal at bulletjournal.com.

Once I delved more into the bullet journal, I quickly realized it’s an obsession for the doodle conscious. There are blogs, Pinterest boards, Instagram accounts, and youtube videos, all dedicated all designed to inspire you to make your journal your own. they help you create one that is as pretty and organized as you want it to be. I have no interest in spending hours creating pretty headers and pages for my journal. It’s much more utilitarian. I’m just getting started and trying to figure out what works for me. bullet-journal-daily-log

However, I didn’t like the way my bullet journal kept getting crushed in my pocketbook, and I immediately realized this was a great way for me to use my scraps on an easy sewing project. Hence, the quilted bullet journal cover I created below. I used this fantastic tutorial which was very easy to follow. I was pleased as punch when I realized I actually had scraps of the same fabric the author used for her tutorial. I sincerely hope she agrees that imitation is the best form of flattery. I think hers came out much prettier than mine, but I am happy with my results. Now, on to filling out those blank pages!

bullet-journal-cover
A personalized quilted cover for my bullet journal
Advertisements

Davie dress review take 2

Here’s my second attempt at the Sewaholic Davie dress. You can see my first attempt here.

davie-dress-me This cotton jersey was much much easier to work with than the slinky ITY I bought at Joanns. I had no problems with the fabric catching in my machine. It was smooth sailing. However, the lesson I learned from this wearable muslin is to watch my fabric pattern. I like the way the dress came out, but I don’t really like the way the pattern looks with all these seams. it was a good lesson for me to learn about choosing fabric and patterns, and watching out for how many seams a garment has and how the fabric pattern will be affected.

davie-dress-floral

I also had to alter the pattern because the arm holes are absolutely huge. Not only do they hang very low; they also gape so that you can see my bra. After reading a few reviews, and knowing that lifting the shoulder seam worked on my first Davie dress, I made two adjustments: I took half an inch of each shoulder at the top, and a quarter inch under the sleeve.

davie-dress-floral-backI bought a busy check ponte at GirlCharlee, but I think it will be way too loud. And I think the seams will cause an issue for me to really like the dress. So I’m holding off. I think I’ll have to buy a solid ponte somewhere before I splurge on Emma One Sock. I really want to make a color block Davie dress with a dark floral on the front two panels, and black or even plum or gray on the sides. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Free pattern alert: Colette Sorbetto review

Since I am not a very confident sewer, I love finding free patterns. That way I can make mistakes and not feel like I wasted my money. There are a few good free patterns out there. You can find many at this forum post on sewing.patternreview.com. The only one I can vouch for with complete confidence is the Colette Sorbetto. I’ve made it 3 times – each slightly different – and it works every time.

colette-sorbetto

This is one is by far my favorite. I bought this fabric at a local fabric shop – the only independent shop that sells fabric for apparel in my area – for $13.99/yard. I’m not exactly sure what it is. It’s cotton, it has a nice drape with structure, and feels soft. I was so afraid to cut into it. But, this is why you spend more for fabric. It wears well, washes well, and looks great.

So, as usual, I went to Joann’s first and made my first Sorbetto from some cotton lawn. (Picture coming soon.) It came out well. I purchased the dark blue binding you see on this top, and used it on my first top. I had enough leftover to do this binding. I love this top. I made a straight size 8 and it fit to a T. (Just showing you the back of it here so you can see both sides.)

collete-sorbetto-blue-back

You can find a lot of variations on the Sorbetto on the Collete blog. I inverted the pleat on my most recent one, and my own bias binding using this tutorial and a fat quarter. (The first time I made my own bias binding, I used the Colette tutorial and a Clover binding tool. I didn’t like how it came out at all. The tutorial I linked to is very similar, but my binding tape came out better since I really wanted half-inch double fold, not one-quarter single fold.)

colette-sorbetto-inverted-pleat

I’m not crazy about how the pleat puffs out at the bottom. (Picture coming soon.) I’m not sure what I would do to fix that so I don’t know if I’d do it again. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share!

My next free pattern will be the Hemlock T from Grainline studios. It’s only available by signing up for their newsletter. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Davie dress review

This is my first attempt at Sewaholic’s Davie dress. While I’m not sure if it’s a wearable muslin – I haven’t worn it yet – I will definitely be making it again.

davie dress side

The dress is easy to make – if you’re comfortable with knits. I am not. I’m still learning my way around them, and I don’t have a serger. But that isn’t necessary for this dress. All the seams are sewn with a sewing machine, then top stitched so that they lie flat. The dress is flattering, although I think it’s sized at least one or two sizes too big.

Davie dress alterations

I picked a size 10 based on the dress’ finished measurements, but took it in a lot on the sides and at the shoulders and especially under the arm. The dress pieces are sewn together, first the front, then the back, then at the shoulders, which allows you to take it in at the sides if necessary. I liked that. I just retraced the size 8. I’ll let you know how that works out.

The arm holes are quite large and low. I tried to sew clear elastic into the shoulders but must have pulled it too much because the shoulders came out lumpy. I just cut it out – probably cut at least an inch off each shoulder – and sewed them up again. You can see that it didn’t ruin the dress at all – even lifted it up a bit so that there wasn’t as much of a gap in the arm hole.

I used a woven double fold binding tape around the neckline as indicated in the instructions by following this tutorial. Rather than follow the instructions, I used the same binding method for the sleeves. I think it made them stand up a little nicer, rather than be floppy.

Davie dress fabric choices

I bought this purple ITY knit at Joanns. It was relatively inexpensive, and I could tell it was very stretchy, but I thought it would be easier to work with. It was not easy to work with. I used a ball point needle, a stretch stitch and a walking foot, and put gift wrapping tissue under the fabric, but it caught in the machine a lot. I wish I knew why that happens. It was very frustrating and made for a lot of pulls. I don’t like how it looks in the back, which is one reason I may not be wearing this muslin. I think I should have lengthened my stitch. I did lengthen the top stitching stich. I also don’t think I’ll be top stitching in the zig zag stitch. And from now on, I’m using my teflon foot for this type of fabric. It just works better for me than the walking foot.

davie dress back

I just don’t like all the different spots I can see on this solid where the thread jammed or the fabric got sucked into the machine. That’s especially true around the curve on the breast. A pattern review that I read said to carefully snip the seam allowance around the  the curve so the fabric would lay smoother. I think that screwed up my top stitching. It bunched too much for me to feel comfortable wearing it.

Davie dress front showing keyhole

I love the way the keyhole came out and I love the overall look of the top stitching. But be forewarned: all that top stitching takes a lot of time and uses A LOT of thread. I bought a small spool of matching Guttermans thread for this dress and had to go back and get another spool. If you’re going to make this dress, make sure you have a lot of thread!

All in all, I really like the way this dress looks on me, but I feel it could look better. I’m trying it again with this fabric, and just ordered this ponte from girlcharlee.com that was on sale. If I can get good at making this dress, I’m going for the gusto and ordering a ponte from Emily One Sock. I’ll keep you posted on my results!

See my second attempt here.