Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Insert Clever Title Here

I recall having to write in MLA, five-paragraph papers in high school. I would outline my paper with my own comments and reminders of what to type it in brackets. It would look something like this:

[Insert intro here]

[Body Paragraph 1]
[Body Paragraph 2]
[Body Paragraph 2]

[Insert conclusion here]

On one such occasion, I apparently failed to insert a conclusion but clearly marked [Insert conclusion here] in a paper for my English 4 AP class. My teacher asked my friend (who happened to be next to her while she was grading it) if everything was ok with me because I clearly turned in unfinished work. Needless to say, I still received a decent grade since the "meat" of the paper was not in the conclusion per se. :)

This is turning into a rather long intro for this post... being that it's been awhile I wasn't sure how to break the ice but to start off with this story... ;)

All things aside, I can't believe my last post was June 2013! It's been almost of year and man... time does fly. Non-posting does not mean non-making. I will not make any excuses or give reason for the lack of posts nor will I acknowledge any chance of project back-posting (I'm anti-committal that way.). However, I will note that this revive was in part due to prodding and pushing encouraging by Susan of and inspiration from fabulous meet'n'greets of out of town sewing bloggers. It's always fun to be in good company especially with like minded fabric hording, pattern piling, sewing enthuasists! (Thanks again, Susan, for organizing the outings!)

Mikhaela, Dixie, Susan, and me

Mikhaela, Melly, me, Melizza, Sarah, Susan, and Susan (in the blue strips)
*Photos are courtesy of Mikhaela! Thank you!

This year I've also decided to sign up for Me Made May! Over the years I've always watched from the sidelines, and this year I've decided to take the leap to join in on the fun.

 'I, Angela of So Made, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made item each day for the duration of May 2014'.


Monday, June 17, 2013

MADE: Simplicity 9499 PJ Bottoms - UFO Bust

On a little bit of a posting spree, and the projects are in no particular order...

I don't even remember cutting out the fabric, but found the cutout fabric sitting in my workroom closet... at the latest I think it's been 2 years. For awhile, I hadn't sewn anything for my husband so I think it was going to be a project for him... that's probably why it became an UFO...j/k! ;) Since the UFO Busting initiative, I decided I should go ahead and finish it for him. Luckily, keeps your order history so I was able to look it up, and this fabric is from 2006!  In a sense... it's stashbusting and UFO busting!

Simplicity 9499
Sorry... too lazy to move the binder and retake.

Pattern: Simplicity 9499 (not found on
Fabric: gray jersey knit from in 2006 (my 2nd order with them)
Cost: $7 = $4 (fabric at ~$2/yd) + $1 (pattern) + $2 (notions)
What I Love: Easy peasy pattern

I don't remember too many of the details but I believe it's just 2 pattern pieces since that's what I found, the front and the back. I didn't bother to take out the instructions this time around, but did need to pick up elastic at the store. I sewed the side seams first then the inseams, turned one leg out and put it inside the other leg (right sides together) matching up the "u" seam and stitched. After that, I added the elastic at the waist and did a 1 1/2" deep hem with double stitching. I also stitched the elastic down on the side seams so it doesn't get twisted after washing and wear.

Simplicity 9499

I put them on for the pictures and am now wearing them as I write this post... they're super comfy! I may have to keep them for myself..... or just make another pair with pockets for ME! Just a warning, I don't remember what size I cut out but it's pretty wide even for Mr. So's and my big thighs, which I think makes it perfect for lounging around in. :)

MADE: Colette Sorbetto 1.0

On to the details on my Sorbetto from this epiphany post...

Colette Sorbetto v1.0

Pattern: Colette Sorbetto - available free here
Fabric: quilting cotton from SWAP and turquoise cotton from Joann for binding
Cost: ~$3.25 = $1.75 (turquoise cotton) + $1.50 (turquoise thread)
What I Love: the turquoise binding!
  • Added 0.75" back darts
  • Took in about total 1" at the side seams in the waist
  • Need to shorten the bust dart by at least 0.5"
  • Need to lengthen at least an 1"

Colette Sorbetto v1.0

Overall the top turned out ok, but I'm not loving it. The fabric is definitely all wrong for this pattern. It's way too stiff and just flares out at the bottom. I like how the back fits with the darts, but from the side it's not attractive. It also just reminds me of PJs, which could just be because of the print. I did wear it out one day, but I'm not sure if I'll wear it out again... it may just be my at home shirt. Who knows if there'll be another one... there are too many other things I want to make before I make another version.

Colette Sorbetto v1.0
Sorry for all the wrinkles! 


UFO = UnFinished Object

At what point does a project go from "in-progress" to "unfinished object"? I have this basket of items that are in various stages, which I consider to be UFO's.

UFO Pile

This is how I would define it... for me projects become UFO's when they are neglected for awhile and I've just lost the drive to finish it. On the other hand, I also have some in-progress projects that are taking me a little longer to complete just because other more urgent projects come up (i.e. Mother's Day gifts, etc.). These projects to me would not be considered UFO's; however, the likelihood of these eventually becoming UFO's are high.

Miss Lulu announced that she was going to bust her UFO stash and has already posted her first bust here! I'm going to join her in her UFO Busting mission. I also have lots of items that need mending (i.e. hemming, attached buttons, etc.) so in addition to busting my UFO stash I'm going to bust my MEND pile.

I, Angela, have a UFO stash and a MEND pile. I pledge to bust at least one UFO a month and mend three garment each month for at least the next 3 months.

As I write this I've already busted my stash and pile for June! :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

MADE: Simplicity 1873 Dress 1.0

Wanted to make a dress for a particular wedding... there's nothing like creating under pressure. The dress was completed in time... back in April! As you can tell, I have a little bit of a backlog in posting makes... and they're getting posted in no particular order.

I've had my eye on this pattern for quite some time now. I love planning makes, and I always have at least 10 things in queue which are often changing because I get so distracted. Often, I'm not as good as executing the plan as planning it. However, I knew I wanted to make this pattern right away and knew which fabric to use. The fabric is from a fabric sale at a place I learned how to sew from February 2008 but is no longer there. Overall, it came together pretty easily and have one more in the works, but not for myself. :)

Simplicity 1873 v1.0

Pattern: Simplicity 1873 View C
Fabric: embroidered pink twill from stash and nude rayon lining from a local shop, The Common Thread
Cost: not sure... the fabric is too old :P
Love: Simple yet classic design
  • I was going to add the tab with view C, but I simply forgot about them. However, I'm glad I did because now I can wear this fabulous belt with it! The belt is from a couple of a years ago from Anthropologie.
  • Basted the pleats on the skirt, but they still didn't line up properly with the bodice.  Luckily, it's not noticeable!
  • Needs pockets.
  • After taking the pictures, I noticed that back was a smidge long. There is this bulge I didn't notice until I saw the pictures.

Simplicity 1873 v1.0

The invisible zipper was pretty dang good except the very top. I sewed the plastic zipper stop right above the seam allowance so when the lining was flipped over the plastic piece kept it from being a clean zipper application. I'm not sure why I did that... oh well, I just need to remember not to do that. It's not "perfect" at the bodice and skirt... I think it's due to the bulk. I know I know... now I'm just being nit picky! :P

Simplicity 1873 v1.0

Machine blind-stitched hem... please excuse the wrinkly-ness.

Simplicity 1873 v1.0

Lining slip-stitched to waist:

Simplicity 1873 v1.0

Love this dress and have already worn it several times. :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

MADE: Sun Hats Galore: Burda 05-2009-141

For Mother's Day gift, I decided to make sun hats for my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmothers. I originally was going to use Amy Butler's Blue Sky Hat pattern, but did not have it in my stash. One day I was browsing through my Burda magazine archive and noticed this pattern 05-2009-141... it was perfect!

I ended up making five because my first one was an utter failure (more on this later), and I have one more cut out for myself. It might be awhile before I finish mine because I need a break after the first 5.  The 5th hat is not picture, but it's the same fabric as the bottom hat.

Sun Hats!!!

Searched to see if anyone had made it and turns out there were some already made up. Reviews can be found here on Pattern Review. One of the reviews said she just used a serger to make most of the hat. I thought that sounded pretty good and that it would make the process quick so wanted to give it a try. Big mistake for me! I could not get the tension correct even after several attempts. The stitching on the crown could be seen in the right side, and I didn't have enough control to line up the crown pieces easily.

Sun Hats!!!

Also, I realized I cannot serge in the round very well, which resulted in the brim being partially eaten up. :(

Sun Hats!!!

I just didn't have enough control/experience with my serger to actually use as a main method of construction. After that mess, I decided to mostly machine stitching and some hand stitching. I ended up having to buy more fabric because I didn't have enough of the first one to make a second hat, which my mom consequently chose to be her fabric. The results are much better!

Sun Hats!!!
Sun Hats!!!

Pattern:  Burda 05-2009-141
Fabric:  various quilting cottons from Joann
Notions:  fusible woven interfacing
Cost:  no idea... various costs for each of the quilting cotton pieces.
What I loved:  2 pattern pieces!
Notes:  With careful layout, 1 yard of exterior and 1 yard of lining can make two hats.

The Burda directions were ok, but their finished hat's crown seams didn't line up. I pretty much followed Melissa's steps listed in her review here. My detailed steps are listed here for reference.
  1. Trace pattern the two pattern pieces (crown and brim) twice.
  2. Add 1/4" seam allowance to one set of pattern pieces.
  3. Use the pieces with seam allowance to cut out exterior (6 crown pieces and 1 brim) and lining pieces (6 crown pieces and 1 brim).
  4. Use the pattern pieces without seam allowances to cut the fusible interfacing.
  5. Fuse interfacing to exterior pieces.
  6. Stitch exterior crown pieces in pairs.  Press seams.
  7. Stitch two of the pairs together, and then carefully stitch the 3rd pair to the other two while carefully matching the seams.  Press seams.
  8. Repeat for the crown lining.
  9. Stitch the single brim seam for both the exterior and lining.  Press seams.
  10. With right sides together, stitch the exterior and lining brim pieces together at the outer brim.
  11. Flip right sides out and press seams.
  12. Pin exterior crown to both layers of the brim with right sides facing each other and stitch.
  13. Press seam allowance for the crown lining.
  14. Drop crown lining into hat with wrong sides of the crown exterior and lining facing each other.
  15. Pin in place and slip stitch crown lining to brim lining.
  16. Press all seams.
  17. Optional: Topstitch a few rows on the brim beginning at the outer edge.

Sun Hat
More on the dress coming soon~!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

NOTED: Exposed Bias Binding Epiphany

So maybe it's just me, but I didn't realize until just the other day how to easily sew an exposed bias binding. I wish I could say that I came up with it but it was in the instructions for the Colette Sorbetto pattern!

I always thought that you sew the right side of the bias tape to the right side of the fabric. Then fold over the bias and topstitch on the right side while magically catching the backside. Pre-made bias tape is sold where one side is wider just so that it will catch on the backside. However, especially on curved edges it doesn't always catch or I would fold over more of it just to be extra sure that there would be lots of extra tape on the wrong side, which to me was equally as bad and ugly. In other cases I would topstitch with the wrong side up which would not always look pretty on the right side. I would get so frustrated with this... Sometimes I would unpick the stitches and then redo or if it was minor I would just live with it. I wish I had some examples to you of each of these... I may have to go back and look for them.

Well, in the Sorbetto instructions you sew the right side of the bias tape to the wrong side of the fabric. Then you fold it over to the right side and topstitch on the right side. This way you will make sure the bias tape is sewed down properly and neatly. Here is the neckline of my Sorbetto with the bias tape folded over to the front.

Bias Epiphany

Tada! The bias tape is fully stitched down. The wrong side didn't always catch, but that's ok because it was sewed down when it was first attached. There are no places where the tape isn't fully sewn to the garment.

Bias Epiphany

As a creature of habit, I of course went back to the old method on the first armhole. Just to show you an example, I went back to the old method for one of the armholes. The bias tape is fully caught in the stitching because I was sewing carefully and also folded the bias tape over more than I should just to be sure. You can see the extra bias tape below the stitching line on the wrong side.

Bias Epiphany

The second armhole was done the Colette method. Bias Epiphany

The left armhole (old method) has a slightly smaller width of the bias tape visible on the right side compared to the neckline and right armhole. It's more noticeable in person than the picture.

Bias Epiphany

I'm so excited about this and hope that I will remember to use it in the future! Yay!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

MADE: Burda 07-2013-130 Knit Skinny Pants

I've been wanting skinny pants for some time now. I have/had a couple of ready-to-wear jeans, but they just don't fit me well. I have to find something that will fit my hips and thighs, which usually means the waist is too big. I do have two pairs of Clovers that I wear sometimes, but they are not the best fit. Enter knit pants that look like normal skinny pants!

Burda 07-2012-130

Pattern:  Burda 07-2012-130
Fabric:  Ponteroma Knit from Hancock Fabrics in Black
Cost:  $18.18 (fabric 2 yds at $9.09/yd) + magazine
Size:  42 with adjustments
What I Love:  I love that this trouser pattern is for knit, but it's not an elastic waistband! I also love the back yoke and the center back seam on the waistband, which made it much easier to make waist adjustments.
  • 1" seam allowances to help with fitting
    • took out 1" on the front pattern piece
    • had to go back after wearing and take in additional 1.5" at center back
  • 1st fly front zipper application, and it was much easier than I thought except for a couple of snaffus on my part.  I used this video tutorial by Susan Khaljie.
    • Remember to place zipper right side down. It's not mentioned in the video... it might've been self-explanatory, but when it's your first time it's hard to keep track. I made it with right side up, so I had to take it all out after I had already completed the fly front.
    • In this particular video, the fly opens to the right instead of the left like most pants/jeans. I didn't really notice this until way later and wasn't willing to re-do yet again. 
    • On a side note, we went to Half Price Books and found Power Sewing Step-by-Step by Sandra Betzina.  She has a very similar fly front method but also includes the facing. I'll probably reference this book more than video since it's easier to look at each step via picture rahter than pausing the video to work and then going back to push play. Also, Sandra's method has the fly opening to the left. ;)
  • Finished the bottom of the waistband with bias binding just to make it look nicer and more fun!
  • Wanted low rise (measured front and back of some pants to get the correct length) and made adjustments to the pattern.
  • Used hook and eye instead of a button at 1/2" away from the end of the extended waistband... so it's doesn't lay as flat as I would like.  I will probably add a snap at the corner.
  • Little bit of fabric pooling at the back thigh will need to adjust for this.
  • Need to add pockets!
  • Did not do the turn up hem, but did a 2" machine blindstitch hem.
  • Used blindstitch foot to help me stitch in the ditch at the waistband... it was difficult for it to go over the thicker side seams but worked pretty well has a guide.

Here's the line drawing which show the back yoke details:
Burda 07-2012-130

Here some of the line details on the actual pants:
Burda 07-2012-130

My first fly application... I was so proud until the last picture... the zipper is on backwards!
First Fly Front

Fitting pants is definitely not easy! Like I said, I have two pairs of Clovers that do not fit correctly to show for it. I'm not a muslin-ing type either... There are lots of online references on fitting; however, they didn't seem to help me with my particular issues. There are a couple of books I want to look into but haven't made any purchases yet. These fit relatively well. The front fits pretty well with no smiles or frowns other than the little bit of twisting near the knees. The back is actually not too bad except for the extra fabric along the back of the thigh. I need to do a little bit more research to fix that.

I DID have front and back pockets planned for this particular pair of pants.  I was going to put back pockets in the seam of the yoke and back pieces but I ended up putting the first one in backwards.  After that I didn't want to mess with them anymore... plus I would've had to add black facing in case the pockets gaped and showed the bright print. After basting all the seams to get the fit correct and working on these for so long, I didn't want to go back and cut the front pockets out either.  Haha... in the end these don't have pockets because I was just plain lazy, which makes me a little sad. How can you have pants without pockets?!  Oh well... I only have myself to blame.

I will make this pattern again. I already have the fabric pre-washed and ready to go! It's the same beautiful double knit that Susan used to make her beautiful skirt. I will definitely add pockets to this one!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

EATS: Thit Kho - Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly and Eggs

My day job is banking analyst at Whole Foods Market so naturally we talk a lot about food at work. :) One of my co-workers that I am pretty close with is Vietnamese. She, Kim, helps me recreate some wonderful traditional Vietnamese dishes. One of them being thit kho, which is a caramelized braised pork belly and eggs. This adapted from The Ravenous Couple, which can be found here.  Kim advised on a couple of changes and those are included below:

The ingredients:
Thit Kho

Saute the garlic and shallots: Thit Kho

Add the pork belly:
Thit Kho 

Add seasoning:
Thit Kho 

Add the hardboiled eggs and coconut water:
Thit Kho 

Cover and braise for 2 hours:
Thit Kho

Add to a bowl for rice and enjoy!
Thit Kho

2 lbs. pork belly
2 shallots
4 garlic cloves
4c coconut water
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. salt
4 eggs

Serves 4

  1. Hard boil the eggs. (I did 6 instead of 4 because we love eggs!)
  2. Thinly slice shallots and garlic.
  3. Slice pork belly into 1"x2" pieces.
  4. Mix together fish sauce, agave nectar, pepper, and salt.
  5. Saute shallots and garlic in dutch oven.
  6. Add pork belly and sear meat.
  7. Stir in seasoning and saute for a minute or two.
  8. Add coconut water and eggs.
  9. Cover and braise for 2 hours stirring occassionally. 
  10. Eat with rice and veggies.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NAILS: Electric Pink

I did my nails!! My sister in law picked the color out for me. At first I thought it made my nails look too fake but it has definitely grown on me!

Essie Mod Square

Most of the time when I do my nails, the color chips or comes off right away because I'm pretty rough with my hands. This picture is day 2 so not too bad! The nail polish is Mod Square by Essie. It's very PINK... very Barbie! Hehe... and I like! I don't usually do full color with bright colors and instead a colored French tip. I will probably do more full colored nails in the future.

Essie Mod Square