Tag Archives: Labyrinth

Simplicity 1538 (Again!) in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

Simplicity 1538 (Again!) in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

Hey…I bet you guys are going to be super surprised…I made Simplicity 1538!  Again!

Simplicity 1538 Shirt In Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

It’s good to know I finally have a TNT (Tried ‘N True) pattern.

This version is made from Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel in the Peach colorway with pearl snaps from Pintuck & Purl.  Thread, pattern, and interfacing came from Jo-Ann Fabric.

This shirt has the same added length (two inches) that my last one had, but for this version, I also used the pockets and front yoke in View A.  I swapped out my favorite buttons that look like pearl snaps for actual pearl snaps, something I’d never worked with before.

Simplicity 1538

Here are my notes.  This fabric has a very subtle right and wrong side.  It’s actually made up of red and ivory threads, and one side is a little lighter while the other side is a little redder.  I chose the lighter side as my right side.  Either would look great as long as you are consistent (or intentionally inconsistent, I suppose).  It also feels like a lighter weight flannel than the Mammoth Plaid I used for the last shirt, although it’s the same weight according to the Robert Kaufman website.  It also feels a little bit softer to me.  I did prewash and dry my fabric, but it may not be a bad idea to throw this one in twice, just to be safe.  When I finished the shirt, I noticed that the front near the bust is very slightly tighter than I would like.  You can see it in the picture at the top of the post.  It could also have been the addition of the front pockets and yokes or maybe, as Maggie at Pintuck & Purl pointed out, the difference between using pearl snaps and buttons.  Who knows?  It’s not something that will keep me from wearing the shirt, but it’s definitely interesting.

Simplicity 1538 Shirt In Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel


Simplicity 1538 Shirt In Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

During construction, I used flat-felled seams for my arm and side seams.  They definitely aren’t perfect, but I think topstitching and seams like these are just some of those things that take practice.  Overall I tried not to get too picky and only ended up redoing my topstitching in one or two places.

Simplicity 1538 in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

I also tried out the triple stitch on my machine.  I know Lauren of Lladybird has talked about loving that more than using topstitching thread, so I thought I would give it a try.  It really does create a beautiful stitch.

Simplicity 1538 in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

For another interesting detail, I used a coordinating quilting cotton for my cuff and collar stand facings as well as for the undercollar.  I wish I had more of these quilting cotton prints.  I won a few in a giveaway around the time I started to sew, and they coordinate with so many things.  Unfortunately, I don’t even know the company, designer, or line they are from.  Do any of you?

Simplicity 1538 in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel


Simplicity 1538 Shirt In Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

By the time I took this picture, the snow was getting to be a little much, but it gives you the idea.  Below is a clearer picture.

Simplicity 1538 in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

Finally, pearl snaps.

Simplicity 1538 in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

I used size 16 ivory snaps for this project.  I was given the gift of my husband’s grandmother’s sewing things when she passed away, and I found two different kinds of snap setters among the bounty.  One is this blue plastic setter.  I looked around on youTube for a tutorial on how to use it (which was harder to find than I expected), and I gave that a try on some scrap fabric.  I also tried out this metal setter using directions on the back of some vintage snaps.  That was the tool I liked the best, and the instructions were excellent.  I got all of my snaps in without too much trouble with the exception of my first one, which cracked due to insufficient padding underneath it.  Lesson learned on that one!

Simplicity 1538 in Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel

So here’s my shirtmaking question for you.  When you are putting in your cuffs or collar, if you are instructed to pin the facing down from the outside and then topstitch from the right side, catching the outside and the facing in the topstitching, are you successful?  If you are, how do you do it?  I’ve given up and now I just hand-stitch those facings down and then topstitch on the outside because I could never catch the whole facing.  Thanks for any help you can give on that!

That’s it for this shirt!  I have some more Robert Kaufman flannel that I was going to use to make one more, but I’m trying to force myself branch out.  We’ll see what happens!  My latest thought is maybe Simplicity 8014.


  • Ticket to Ride.  Have you ever played this game?  You try to build trains to complete your goals (“tickets”).  The more tickets you complete, the more points you get!  It’s a lot of fun.
  • Grandma’s House Patterns.  I can pass a lot of time looking through all the past and current sewing patterns on this website.  It’s also exciting to threaten to make some of the funnier styles of decades past for friends and family!  😉
  • The Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies from childhood.  As soon as I saw this Labyrinth worm pin from The Foxy Hipster, I knew I wanted it for my growing collection, and one of my friends got it for me for my birthday!
  • Lexi’s.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) there is one both next to where I work and within a relatively short distance of where I live.  The burgers, shakes, and fries are awesome.



The Sewcial Sew, The Refashioners 2016, and Me-Made-May 2016 (Whew!)


Hey, friends!  It’s time to get back to some sewing!  A lot has been going on in the sewing arena over here, and I wanted to share some exciting places my blog has been popping up as well as give you a quick progress report.

In May I linked up my jeans post with Allie J.’s blog for her Sewcial Sew:  Basics challenge.

Every month she puts out a challenge, and if you sew something within the month that fits the theme, you can put a link to your blog post on the page.  At the end of the month, she posts a round-up of all the links.  It’s a great way to discover new blogs and it’s really fun to look at everyone’s projects.  As Allie says, the theme is general enough to allow a lot of latitude, but should give you some guidance if you aren’t sure what to sew next.  This was my first time joining in, and I really enjoyed it (plus, Allie said some very kind things about my jeans, so that doesn’t hurt!).  Thanks, Allie!

The June 1st blog post over at the Makery revealed the blogger line-up for this year’s Refashioners 2016 challenge…and guess who’s on the list?  Me!  I’m so honored to be included in this group.

Refashioners 2016

The Refashioners challenge is a chance to take a specific type of garment and refashion it into something entirely new.  Creating clothing in this way is really fun.  It takes a lot of thought to decide how to refashion the item(s) you are working with, but the end results of everyone’s creativity is truly fabulous.  Last year’s theme was men’s dress shirts and I made a lined jacket from four shirts for the competition.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

(You can read about my entry here.)

This year’s theme is jeans.  You can use one pair or you can use ten!  What do you think?  Are you game?  If you want more details, either about the blogger series or the competition that follows, check out Portia’s blog.  There’s plenty of inspiration on my Denim Pinterest board if you need a little help getting started.

For extra reading on the idea of refashioning, you can also find Portia and fellow participant Marilla Walker in this Seamwork article.

Last but not least on the sewing challenge front was Me-Made-May ’16.  I made my pledge to wear at least one me-made article of clothing daily, wear two me-made clothing items in the same day at least once a week, and not to repeat items within a week.  I also decided I wasn’t going to make a big effort to take daily outfit photos this year since that was a lot of work last year.  I took some quick and easy photos here and there for Instagram, but that was it.

Me-Made-May 2016

So how did it go?  I would say it went well.  I decided pretty quickly that I was going to throw the no-repeats-within-a-week restriction out the window.  It wasn’t because I didn’t have enough clothing that I had made, but because sometimes I loved an item so much that I wanted to wear it multiple times in a week.  I was amazed at how much easier it was to do the challenge this year over last year.  A full year’s worth of sewing has really filled a lot of holes in my wardrobe and/or replaced garments that didn’t fit as well and that I didn’t love as much as those I’ve made.  It’s a great feeling to see that accumulation of skill and accomplishment.

While it may seem like I haven’t been doing much actual sewing lately, the opposite is true.  In addition to working on my Refashioners project behind the scenes, I’ve been gearing up to face down one of the (many) areas of sewing that I have yet to successfully master:  swimsuits!  I am deep in the trenches of swimsuit making.

Making bathing suits (year three)

Cut out bathing suits, jeans remnants, and mending are piled everywhere!

I had a whole long section in this post giving you an update on where I’m at with all that, but I decided to cut it and save it for another post.  This one is getting long, so let’s wrap it up with some fun recommendations instead!


  • If you want to try your hand at making a bathing suit, you might like to look at the many suits featured on the Curvy Sewing Collective’s Curvy Swimsuit Sewing Pattern Round-Up.  There were several pattern companies they featured that I wasn’t familiar with.
  • Are you mourning the death of David Bowie?  Do you like puppets of the Jim Henson type?  How about Jennifer Connelly?  If any (or all) of these apply to you, may I humbly recommend a blast from the past?  I put before you the movie The Labyrinth.  I didn’t listen to David Bowie’s music, but I LOVED him in The Labyrinth.  It’s still one of my favorite movies.
  • My favorite book growing up (starting sometime in elementary/middle school) was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  I knew I had finally found the perfect iteration of this story when I saw the edition illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg.  His illustrations capture the essence and feel of the story better than any others I’ve seen.
  • I think I need to start using this method to cook my shrimp.

Do you think it will work on chicken?