Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sewing For Teens...


Yeah. And then it'll be SILENT again. LOL! Friday was my predecessor's last day. So now it gets real! I am so excited :-D


My daughter's school has contracted with a local photography studio to have every senior take a headshot for the yearbook. I love and hate this; love that every kid will then have a professional photo done...hate that then there's little option for originality. 

(My parents were all O_o over my decision to use one of my photos, wearing a NY Knicks sweatshirt, as my yearbook photo! haha!)

Anyway, she NEEDED a t-shirt dress. And it should be white. And "ooh, here's some white fabric!". And then she got some major side eye from me because uhmm, hello, that's MINE. But of course, she got it...

In case you haven't noticed, I don't do "self drafted", I don't do "tutorials"...I pretty much sew patterns and have that one RTW rub off top that I lurve.

I was perusing the stash and thought, OH! I bet that t-shirt can be made into a dress! So I did some Google'in and found this tutorial: Here


I sewed a size 10 which is customary in Big4 for her. If she liked a more fitted garment she would be an 8 with broad shoulder adjustment...but she likes a looser fit. I sewed 1/2" side seams once I realized this knit isn't that stretchy, again, because she doesn't go for fitted.

The neck binding was absolutely perfect. It was the right length and I like the width and it just went in BAM, no problems! Swoon!

*I bought these labels from a now closed Etsy shop soon after I started sewing. I would often find them shredded in the wash. They are printed on satin ribbon and I'm pretty sure the act of sewing through them was just making them ripe for falling apart. Now, I interface them before using them. Seems to work! I keep making up an order for woven ones but I just can't bite the bullet when these are perfectly usable...Soon!


I was totally going to start on my Burda 6/2015 dress seeing as how I forgot to pickup the PDF pattern I'm testing. Yeah...that's kind of necessary...I pass the UPS store every day and on Friday, RIGHT by it. Didn't even look in that store's direction!

I was a little intimidated by the Burda because it is fitted. And when Burda shows a fitted garment, they mean it. 

I decided my son's shorts would be a good distraction. 

Never tell yourself that something with pockets and welts and a fly front is a "distraction"...

I traced them Friday and spent far more time sewing on Saturday and Sunday than I have in a long time. It felt good too! I like this kind of "no stakes" sewing. I knew that there was a chance he might not like them; especially since before I even started sewing he called the fabric pink. It's red. Chambray. My daughter warned me "quit now". 

I figured getting bogged down in the details of this sew would be "good" :)

1) He was being a total toddler today and I knew I shouldn't have even had him try them on
2) He whined that they would be "way too big. Just LOOK at them!". Yet when I went to take his measurements he said he would do it himself.
3) I think they look fantastic on him and will see if he comes around. Maybe he wants to pick out a nice khaki or navy or something.
4) I might just bop him upside the head...

That's a nice pair of shorts, man!

I was very careful with everything!

Although, that reversed fly front kept messing me up!

I used a crinkle cotton gauze for the pocket bags


I cut into my fabric! I did it!!!

Okay, so welts are not "hard" but requires precision. Precise stitching = a nice welt. Wonky stitching = wonky welt.

This one is better than the other, but do you see right in the center of the bottom how the opening is slightly smaller than the rest of the welt? Yep. That'll mess you up! And my opening is 1/2" but my ends are just under. It is ALL about starting and stopping PRECISELY at the marks. 

I know I'll get better at this. I live for technical stuff. I'm ready to welt pocket everything!

Double stitched  hem (I did 1.5", the pattern called for 2")

Details :)

I love this pocket opening <3

Lastly, I do get some newer sewers asking for details on how I do certain things. 

I am just not a teacher-type. I just DO. And it is often really difficult for me to slow down and really, try to think through what I'm doing in a way that someone else may understand.

And, my mom has always called me her little "bunny rabbit" and funnily, my former coworker (who is 10 years my mom's senior), called me a "bunny" one day when we were training! LOL!

I move fast and the idea of taking photos along the way of things?? Bleh.

HOWEVER(!) I did stop to take this photo of the fly zipper insertion. :)

Some people don't baste. I find basting to be a REQUIREMENT. Even with my wonder tape (helloooooo Wonder tape!).

I line up the edge of the fly *just* on the other side of the zipper teeth. I apply wonder tape to the zipper tape. I sew that side of the zipper. I line the other edge *just* to the left of the zipper tape and topstitch in place (many do not topstitch here but it works best for me). 

I then line the edge of the fly RIGHT over that line of topstitching and baste in place. Then I do my topstitching on the fly side.

It sounds like a lot but it seriously takes me mere minutes to insert a fly zipper now. 

 Until later!


Fabric Mart

I really enjoyed participating last year! It was fun!!!  If you are even thinking about it a little bit, you should submit!

July Wrap-up and August Plans

Work is going great! But it's so much mental work that I am too drained too sew after work and then weekends are packed with all the things I should've been doing throughout the week! :)

This month I sewed 6.625 yards:

  • Simplicity 2446 dress in animal print jersey - 2 yards
  • Vogue 8805 dress in ponte/double knit - 1.75 yards
  • McCall's 7193 top in magenta poly crepe - 1.5 yards
  • Butterick 6183 top in peach cotton oxford - 1.375 yards (wadder)

Favorite: I really love the magenta top. The color is just amazing on me and the style is very flattering!

Fail: Not quite a fail but...the sleeves on my B6183 made it unwearable. I had to chop them and bias bind the newly made cap sleeve. I also don't love the fabric in this top. I wish I had just done a button front. Boooo!

The B6183 top is a wadder!

Accomplishments: I was very proud of myself for making the S2446 dress work for me. It was technically too small but my adjustments worked out perfectly. And I can't wait to make another one!

Overall a pretty quiet month...for me :)

For August, I have some serious plans! I really want these things so I can't afford to get distracted because I already know my time is no "oooh! SHINY!" :) It's a good thing I didn't go too crazy over the latest pattern releases right?!

1. I've agreed to participate in a pattern test, so that garment will be my first project

2. Burda 5/2015 #122 in cotton pique

It's aqua. 
A little bright, and I intended to make this at the start of summer...but I think I can still get a couple months of wear out of it before winter

3. Burda 6/2015 #121 in rayon jersey

The fit, this print and the rouching should make for a really flattering dress!

4. Vogue 9032 in grey suiting

It's a super-subtle plaid. 

5. Burda 8/2015 #120 in rayon challis

I don't care for the contrast under-layer and the photo they have is blech

6. Butterick 5926 jacket in striped ponte

Navy and White

7. *something* for my son. He said, "please sew me something cool" Awwwww!!!!!!

He mentioned that he's now into "cargo shorts without the cargo pockets"...uhmm, regular shorts?? But he has existed for about 6 years wearing basketball shorts exclusively :)

KS3884 is in progress as we speak!

Using the red cotton chambray I made my last NL6104 from:

4045 was also an option...there's a pants version too if you're looking

7b: if I get a chance, I'd love to make this skirt from Burda 8/2015 with this beautifully print challis

7c. Amber Swoon bag (may get pushed to September)

I stink at bag making thus far. I'm going to try really hard to make this one well!

(All fabric from Fabric Mart...of course...)

I made a super cute t-shirt dress for DD. Will post her dress and his shorts when they're all done! Until later :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Quasi Fails: Finished: Vogue 8805 and WIP: Butterick 6183

Short and sweet...

Why it took me 2+ weeks to finish this dress, I don't know. And when I took these pictures, I wanted to wear it immediately!!

I used a charcoal ponte (FM), teal ponte (FM) and a navy knit from SR Harris. I don't know what to call it. It is lightly textured on the right side and smooth and shiny on the wrong side. 

I lengthened this one a tiny bit compared to the last one:

I like the first one better. Way better. See how not good I am at color blocking on my own!?! Sheesh. I skipped the top stitching on this one too. I just didn't think it made enough impact for the amount of time it takes. Which honestly isn't BAD, but ...

I'll wear it because this dress is so very comfortable, but it isn't love.

I was so excited to get MORE B6183 tops because it really is an awesome pattern (Carolyn at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic has fallen in love with it too). 

I chose this peachy oxford cotton shirting from FM because of the color.

I wasn't familiar with the properties of oxford. Womp. Womp. 

This fabric would have done much better as a casual button front shirt. It wrinkles when you think about thinking about looking at it. Darn it.

I sewed it as before but decided to add an exposed zipper. But then didn't love the white zipper. But then decided, eh, my hair will mostly cover it.

Then I put it on...(Note: I made the first one in ponte and the second one in cotton poplin.)

The sleeves were UNBELIEVABLY tight! Like, I cut them while the shirt was on my body. SHEESH.

So I made bias tape to turn them into cap sleeves. Really, all I need to do is bind the sleeves and neckline and hem it. I need to just get 'er done.

wrinkled as all heck...

I probably need to cut the sleeves a bit more angled.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Random Thoughts (in photos) and a Wee Bit of Sewing

I love this outfit. I need a slim Obi belt; stat.

I love how Erica B. handled this sleeve. 
I think I will use pleats on the sleeve of the August Burda jacket when I make it rather than gathers...

I find it hilarious that Apple Music labeled this "Ratchet Pop"

I had little ones at my house this weekend who were enamored with the sewing room

I'm totally stealing this detail from her PJ top :)

I got new shoes (again?!?! Yes!). I thought they looked a bit "old" in the box but I wore them yesterday and they were supremely comfortable.
The brand is Soft Style; purchased from DSW.

I decided to track all of my spending for July. This is awful. 
Maybe I should ignore July...

I picked apart the waistband of those slim fit pants from JC Penney.
I should have taken more photos...
I had to take in a lot, as you can see by my chalk line.

I learned something...they used 1/4" clear elastic on the seam between the waistband and facing. I like that idea. They also sewed that seam with a triple straight stitch, also interesting. And both the waistband -and- facing were interfaced. I'm stealing that too.

The pants fit GREAT at the waist! But there is too much length at CF and I am acutely aware of it. Darn it. Better start perfecting a slim-fit pant pattern...
Also, I forgot to reattach the belt loop at center back  :-(

Lastly, I blogged this via email! So cool!

You can set up a unique email address in settings, write an email and POOF, it's a blog post!
I have mine set to post as a draft because who knows what foolishness might appear here otherwise... 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

RTW...And Burda Mag (PHOTO HEAVY!)

Here I go with my frequent blogging again :-p

I shop for clothes so rarely and hate the inconsistent sizing found out there. So I tend to only buy from 3 places now:

Target (primarily tops, dresses and jackets)
JCPenney (Worthington is still my favorite RTW pant)
NY & Co (I can ONLY buy knit tops here. But their sales make it worth it when I do)

I had no plans today and a 15% off coupon for JCP and really wanted some cropped pants. I found LOTS of awesome things to try on though!

I've been wanting a maxi skirt and at $11 I liked this one enough to buy it. Even though my rectangle shape is so apparent.

I really, really liked the idea of this skirt but not the print, the length, the zipper...I do need to do a colorblocked skirt though. SOON!

I was NOT pleased with the imbalanced zipper tape! GROSS.

True to form; the size 12 pants were too tight in the thighs but fit PERFECTLY in the waist.

I absolutely loved this top. And yep...the Medium fit in the neck/shoulders but too tight across the bust, hangs up on the butt and too tight at the biceps, as seen below.

I got the large in a different colorway (white background). The sleeve bands are STILL too tight.  :/

My friend said "I'm sure there's a technical reason they're 'too small' but I think they look great." :) Drag line city at those big 'ole protruding thighs of mine. No. No. No.

This top reminded me why I love a peplum. Really helps balance my figure. This one was too tight...they didn't have my size AND the fabric was a weird feeling poly knit. No thanks...I'll make my own. I did like the slim Obi belt though!

These pants are a 14. They are about 2" too large in the waist. I'm getting ready to sit down with my seam ripper now.

WHO AM I?!?!

I am voluntarily doing alterations on RTW! :-) But I know I don't have time right now to fit a new pant pattern and I like these a lot.

I probably should have gotten this dress. I liked it but not enough to pay for $24 for it. :) Life of a sewer.

Lastly, I ran across two items that captured my HEART! I will try to recreate them; soon.

I was thinking of the new Vogue (V1465) when I saw this one but L pointed out that S1070 is a closer match because it has the yokes

Where can I get faux leather bias tape?

I saw this as I was walking out the door and gasped. I LOVE it! I got lots of suggestions on IG for recreating it so hopefully this one will come sooner rather than later!


Yesterday, I got my August Burda in the mail and really loved several of the garments. I rarely review Burda as so many bloggers do an awesome job at it already...

I think this is so different and interesting!

I skipped past this in the preview but I kind of love that it's a chiffon "sweatshirt"! I am going to make this! With jersey for the bands

This bias cut skirt is simple but looks so beautiful on the model.

The construction is baffling to me though. The front has a facing but the back has a waistband.

I love e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. about this jacket! The collar, the puffed sleeve, THE POCKETS, all the buttons. It's just beautiful. I will splurge on some wool for this at some point and make it over our long winter.

There were some beautiful plus size patterns too. One day I'm going to work up the nerve to grade down a plus pattern!

A plus sized top with lovely details and shaping! :-O

This little capelet is ridiculously gorgeous to me.

Yes. Okay, this can go into 'shapeless sack' territory but I think it has enough interesting details to be elevated.

Still here?

And then Westmoon (she always has the digs), posted the September preview and I lost it. There are A LOT of fantastic garments in this issue, IMO and so far, these are my faves.

VERY interesting lines in this little jacket/top

Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. 

This is what Saturday's in October in the Midwest were made for. Must have.

Beautiful! And you know I loves me some wraps.

This coat made me SQUEEEEEEEEE!  I will do a length between the two but yeah...

Did you know that if you're in the US, you can get a subscription to the REAL Burda (not that janky US Edition) through GLP News? (nayy) You can also buy individual issues for $10-$13 (I believe), depending on when you catch them in the mailing. 

So that's the end of the epic post of epicness...LOL!