reiny days and mondays


Me Made May 2015

Take two shots, friends!

I’m celebrating my accidental year-long hiatus (you missed me, right?) by participating in Me Made May! Behold the official pledge:

I, Reina of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear 3 handmade garments a week for the duration of May 2015.

Ok, time for excuses. I’m currently second trimestering it up, meaning I can barely squeeze myself into a fraction of my handmade wardrobe, so I don’t have nearly enough to accomplish this without repeating. There WILL be repeats!

There’s also a lot of shoddy pattern ~hacking~ mainly because I just need elastic waist in my life all the time kthnx… so seriously guys, the Sew Sorry, Sew Fat MMM drinking game is going to rule, for sure.

Follow along on instagram (@reinawaterman) because I probably won’t post again until the recap, let’s be honest.

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Denim Hearts Kelly Skirt

Kids Clothes Week starts today! I am gearing up for two projects for Liam this week. True to form, I’m already behind and the fabric is supposed to arrive in the mail today! This is probably wishful thinking, but I’m hoping to have both completed and photographed this week. Wish me luck!

I do have a bit of a backlog of completed projects to share, so here’s another Kelly skirt!


My office is fairly casual so my normal uniform is a cardigan + tank top + pants/skirt. On Fridays we can wear jeans so I specifically made this denim skirt for Fridays. When I finished it though, I was too excited to wait until Friday soooo I’ve worn it on a few non-Friday days! Ooh, rebel!

This fabric is from Jo-Ann’s. I bought two yards, but I really need to measure how much I used because I’ve ended up with quite a bit of excess every time I make the Kelly skirt. I think I probably use about 1.5 yards.

This fabric has 2% spandex which is exactly what I felt the Kelly skirt needed. I find my first two skirts fit a bit loosely when I’m standing but are a bit uncomfortable when I’m sitting. I probably just need to get rid of my gut, but I took the easy way out and altered the pattern instead.

heartskelly4Love these little white buttons!

So first thing was getting a slightly stretchy fabric. I did not interface the waistband because I wanted it to maintain its stretchiness. I also cut the waistband a bit narrower – I think part of my issue with the pattern is the waistband is just too wide for my extremely short torso.


I also cut the skirt pieces narrower but made the pleats a bit smaller. I think the fullness of the skirt is kind of overwhelming on my frame. I’m pretty sure this means that I would really like the Beignet skirt by Colette Patterns but I’ve got other patterns on my to-do list before I can really justify another skirt purchase at the moment!

I added a huge hook and eye closure up top instead of buttons. I just think it’s cute, even though no one is ever going to see it!


The pockets are lined with leftover fabric from our Valentines shirts! I thought it was fitting with the cupid arrows and the hearts.


I lopped off two inches so it would hit just above the knee. This is probably the most flattering skirt length on me, which bonus! is still work-appropriate. I wouldn’t recommend the denim for a corporate job, but it works for me and I’m glad to add a casual but polished skirt to my wardrobe! It works really well for weekends out as well, paired with a t-shirt.

By the way, I am super proud of myself for being able to match up the rows of hearts across the front and sides. I’ve never really worked with fabric that needed matching up like that so I’m pretty much still giving myself pats on the back for that. I know, amateur.

And with that, I think I’ve finally gotten the Kelly skirt to TNT (tried & true) status!

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Photo dump

I’ve been working on tons of little gifts for friends and family so I haven’t had too much to share lately. In fact I’ve made too much in the past three months to sit down and actually photograph them so all I’ve got are a handful of phone photos. Honestly though, I don’t really think of the presents I make as “blog material” so I don’t worry too much about getting them on the blog. I am still proud of them though so I want to mark them down somewhere!

First up is a monster I made for a friend’s son’s 1st birthday. They had a monster theme for the party which was ADORABLE. I made a dozen small (about 8-inch) monsters for the favors, basing their designs on the invitations. I made this big guy (he was about 18 inches) for the birthday boy himself.


Next I made a quick quilt for my nephew’s first birthday. This was originally on my 2013 resewlutions post (oops) but… uh, better late than never, yeah? This baby was super quick to make because I just made 6-inch strips. The only thing that took a while was hand-binding the quilt. I’d never done it before but for some reason I just couldn’t get the binding sewn on by machine without a bunch of twisting and puckers so I eventually ripped it all out and bound it by hand.


It really feels like birthday season right now – we went to two birthday parties for kids in Liam’s daycare class on two consecutive weekends. They were both girls so I made two Geranium dresses. All the fabrics and notions are from Jo-Ann’s. I love both of these!





While writing this post I just remembered I also made a set of cloth napkins for Kev’s cousin’s wedding! I really wish I had taken photos because the colours I picked were so lovely. I sincerely want to keep every set of cloth napkins I make as gifts. Ugh.

I also made some tiny baby pants for a certain friend who is expecting. The baby shower hasn’t happened yet so no pictures yet, sorry! I used Rae’s newborn pants pattern (free!) for the first time. It’s ridic easy but I do highly recommend finishing all the seams since the pants will likely be washed a bunch. I just used my serger.

I have a bunch of projects on deck for myself and for my boys so I should be back soon with some real posts!


Valentines shirts

If you know me or have been a reader for any length of time, you’ll understand why I needed to make Liam a Valentines’ Day shirt. It’s because novelty cotton prints are my life.

We’ve been snowed out a bunch lately – yesterday was a snow day (I am able to do work from home though) and today I decided to leave a bit later to allow for the icy roads to melt some. Of course both days I woke up before 7am anyway. After nearly three years of being a mom, I am simply incapable of sleeping in.

So naturally, this morning I woke up and sewed up a shirt for Liam! I may have been feeling guilty because I made a shirt for myself yesterday (scroll down to see it!) instead of making valentines for his little friends at daycare. (Because of the snow day(s), they’re doing the party on Monday so SCORE, I get the weekend to make valentines!)


I used the Oliver + S Sketchbook pattern that I’ve used a million times.


The fabric is from (where else?) Jo-Ann’s and is probably on sale/will be on sale soon. I believe I paid around $3 a yard a few weeks ago.


I decided to finish the hem and armholes with bias tape. I think it is especially helpful for the curved hem of the Sketchbook – I often have trouble making the hem lie perfectly flat by just folding twice and sewing the them down.


I took a few shortcuts because (a) it’s a novelty shirt, and (b) I was short on time!

1. I didn’t use any interfacing. The shirt seems fine without it: the placket is stiff enough, and the collar is a bit floppy but suits the casual nature of the shirt.

2. I used pearl snaps instead of buttons. I’ve fallen a bit out of love with the snaps since I finally learned how to do button holes, mainly because my snaps pliers are pretty unreliable. I think I ruin 3 snaps for every one I actually get to attach properly. I will probably replace the snaps with real buttons.

3. I didn’t attach the pocket but may do so later!


I cut a 3T and added an inch to the bottom because this boy is getting so tall! I just the let the hem out of those gray pants a couple of weeks ago and I think I have to do it again!


Sorry, you’d think I’d clean up a bit for pictures… but no,  you’d be wrong. But THAT SMILE THO.


Obviously I made myself a shirt with the same fabric. This is the Laurel top, except I redrew the side seams  for some extra ease and added another inch to the hem. Super comfy!


For some reason Liam was happy to pose this morning! Success!

valentinelaurel3Happy Valentines’ Day, friends!


Wedding suit for Liam

kid's clothes week
Here is where I admit that I am a big fat cheater when it comes to Kids’ Clothes Week. I pretty much NEVER sew an hour a day for a week when it comes around. For example, this time I spent roughly 4-5 hours total on the Saturday and Sunday BEFORE Kids’ Clothes Week, and I am totally counting that as my participation for this round. I regret nothing.


(In my defense, I have a full-time job that keeps me out of the house 50 hours a week.)

Anyway, because I’m a totally reasonable person, I decided to make L a suit for a wedding we went to this weekend. Kev was planning on wearing his brown suit soooooo… brown suit it is! I found this polyester suiting fabric at Jo-Ann’s. I know, polyester suit, UGH… but I am pretty sure I would never pay the premium for high quality fabric for toddler formal wear. I just don’t have it in me. This fabric, though, is super staticky and frays like mad. EVERY seam was either french seamed or serged, let me tell you that.


I used the Basic Blazer pattern from Blank Slate Patterns (same as his corduroy blazer from Christmas) and I still love it. My welt pockets turned out MUCH better this time – still not perfect but definitely an improvement. I lined it with this fun poplin from the new Lisette collection for Jo-Ann’s. I feel like it makes the brown suit a little more… toddler-friendly.


His pants were the usual Parsley Pants from Made by Rae. I left the pockets off and used flat fell seams on the inseam. I hemmed them with a blind hem by hand.


I’m realized that I totally have enough fabric to make a vest for him too. I bought Simplicity 4762 a few months ago to sew a Christmas present (actually I have a few finishing touches to add to it, oops!) and it was actually really easy so I might make it! Although now that the wedding is done, I’m not sure if he’ll have occasion to wear a three-piece suit while this still fits him. Friends and family, please get married this year!

I bought tan Sperry’s for him to wear but they were too small! When did we discover this? Why, at the hotel fifteen minutes before ceremony, of course. (What respectable mother doesn’t have her child try something on – especially shoes – ahead of time? Just me, probably.)


He ended up wearing his red Converse which, in my opinion, turned out way cuter. He got compliments all day long.

Below is the only shot I got of him standing up in the suit and it is, forgive me, a cell phone shot AND in an elevator.


In case you’re wondering, the bow tie stayed on the entire time. How much longer can I expect this to continue? This is a magical time.


Log carrier for my huntsman

We use a soapstone wood stove as our main heating for most of the cold weather months. It’s super energy efficient… as in, it uses no electricity. We just set our home heating system to kick in if it drops below 60 degrees, which it never does with the wood stove burning, so we save tons of money on our electricity bill. Plus it makes the house smell amazing!

We keep all the wood outside in our driveway, and Kevin requested that I make a log carrier so he can carry several logs inside at a time. I already had two yards of canvas on hand so I whipped this up for him. Christmas present, DONE.


Now he can carry 5-7 logs in at a time so he doesn’t have to make multiple trips to fill up the stove.


Bonus: it folds up and is completely machine washable.

woodcarrier3(I think it’s actually inside out here – I intended for the straps to be on the outside when in use but it doesn’t really matter.)

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Star Wars pajamas

Happy Snow Day, friends! We’re stuck at home with 5 inches of snow. I’m trying to do some work-from-home, Kev is building Liam’s big boy bed (sob), and Liam is mainly trying (and succeeding at) distracting me from work.

I always want to sew something for Liam for special occasions, and I feel like PJs are a perfect Christmas present. (I know I love getting PJs at Christmas, and somehow my family never fails me in that regard. Every year!) So I made Star Wars flannel pajamas for Liam!



This fabric is from Jo-Ann’s. I’ve been eyeing it for years and finally bought two yards!




I didn’t make any changes to my Oliver + S School Days shirt hack except for lengthening the bodice, and I cut a 3T using Rae’s Parsley Pants pattern – boy is getting too tall for his own good!


Not much else to say about these PJs except Kevin said they look like prison pajamas, but he’s evil and mean, so what does he know? Ok, they totally do. But I still love them and I hope Liam does too!

This picture makes me laugh… he’s making the pirate nutcracker ride the reindeer. I think the French nutcracker is helping him up too.


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Happy New Year 2014!

2013 review of items sewn:
For me: 10 (plus a handful of unblogged dresses)
For Liam: 11
For Kevin: 1 (sorry love… but there is 1 more from 2013 that is yet to be blogged!)
For the home: 4
For others: 7 – not counting Christmas presents!!!

Let’s see how I did against my 2013 reSEWlutions, shall we?

  1. Start a blog to keep myself motivated on my projects. – DONE!
  2. Cloth napkins in a pretty fabric – DONE!
  3. Liam’s birthday quilt – DONE!
  4. Quilt for a niece or nephew who is on the way! – FAIL. Said nephew is turning 1 in a couple of months. Oops.
  5. Blazer for LiamDONE!
  6. Try at least one new fabric type – DONE! As much as I still love the variety of designs you can only find in quilting cotton, there are lots of much better apparel fabrics. I’ve sewn with wool, cotton voile, cotton-linen blends, flannel, and corduroy (twice!) this year.
  7. New pillowcases for living room – DONE! (not blogged) I sewed up a bunch of Christmas pillowcases. I probably need non-holiday ones too though.
  8. Bow ties for the husband – FAIL. But I made him pants? Surely that is worth a million bow ties?
  9. Learn how to sew buttonholes! – DONE! A million times and more!
  10. Try sewing a zipper or two. – DONE! (And a zipper fly too!) And I just bought an invisible zipper foot so WATCH OUT!
  11. Finish Christmas pennant banner! – Fail-ish. But not a fail! I was really not feeling the way the banner was coming on and I complained to Kev about it one evening. He said he has a rule about not finishing a book if he’s not enjoying it – there are infinite books he could be reading instead, and would enjoy more. That really helped me get past my obsession with seeing this project through even though I didn’t like it. So that project got scrapped. We hosted a Christmas party and no one was devastated about the lack of a Christmas banner! (I think).
  12. Take better pictures! No more blurry phone pictures! – Done-ish. I got a new camera for my birthday (the Nikon J1) so my pictures have gotten marginally better starting in August. I’m really not a photographer, nor will I ever be, but I think my pictures are good enough to showcase the finished product.
  13. Update this blog with projects I HAVE completed – DONE.

Soooo, not bad! I feel like I really evolved throughout this year as a sewist so I feel much more like I’m on an intermediate level rather than beginner at this point.

Now for my 2014 reSEWlutions! I don’t have quite as many this year because my main goal is: SEW A BUTTLOAD OF CLOTHES. But that’s a bit rude, isn’t it? Also not easily quantifiable – I don’t just want to say “sew 30 items” because then I might feel pressured in December to just sew up a bunch of pants for Liam to meet my quota.

  1. Sew at least 1 more pair of pants for Kev. The man definitely needs them.
  2. Make either a raincoat or winter coat for myself. I’m waffling between the Rainy Days hooded jacket by Amy Butler and the Colette Albion jacket. I’m not sure I can do both this year but we’ll see! I actually already own both patterns; it’s just a matter of WHEN I can get around to them.
  3. Sew more cake for myself! I really need solid/neutral tops and bottoms so I can actually mix and match my wardrobe.
  4. Try out a new-to-me pattern designer.
  5. Dress pants for myself! I may be able to kill two birds with one stone if I use the Thurlow trousers pattern from new-to-me Sewaholic! I never like the way RTW pants fit on me so this would really help my wardrobe.
  6. Participate in at least 1 sew-a-long!
  7. Stay on top of blogging finished projects a bit better… Right now I have about half a dozen items that still need to be photographed and blogged.

Thanks so much for following along, friends! A very happy new year to you all!


Corduroy blazer


Christmas outfits are pretty much done chez Waterman! I made L a corduroy blazer using Blank Slate Pattern’s Basic Blazer.


The corduroy is 16W corduroy from Jo-Ann’s – Biking Red like my uncut corduroy Kelly skirt.


Silver shot cotton lining! I think it makes it look extra festive.


I tried to get a good picture of how shimmery this shot cotton is. It’s nice and light which I think pairs well with the heavier corduroy.


These beautiful little buttons are Jo-Ann’s (what else) – not sure why they’re called tortoise buttons but they’re cute and remind me of Bilbo Baggins. I bet he’d be proud of these buttons.


These are my first welt pockets. They could definitely use more work but my second turned out much better than the first! I’m sorry to say that this one pictured is my second one… but I’m sure I’ll get better with practice! Plus, come on, it’s not like it’s going to fit Liam next year…


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Laurel Top in Rosebed Pomegranate

I’m officially a Laurel convert! I loved the fit of my Laurel dress so much that I had plans for a top immediately after finishing it! I was surprised the top had no closures and, while I should have made a muslin, I decided to just go ahead with it and add a zipper if necessary.


It fits! And it’s really comfortable.

I used bias binding to finish off the neckline, sleeves, and hem and machine stitched them on rather than by hand. It’s not as fancy-looking but I don’t think it really has to be for this top.


This fabric is Rosebed Pomegranate by Juliana Horner for Jo-Ann’s. This line is just so good.

I did lower the bust dart points two inches and I think they’re perfect now.

I almost always use french seams when I sew up the shoulders. Super neat! I rarely have the patience to do that for too many seams though… not when my serger is so handy! I did serge the back seams separately and pressed them flat.


Love this top! I really want to make a few more. I will say that since I started sewing for myself, I’ve made almost exclusively dresses and well… sometimes a girl just needs some separates.