Saturday, October 18, 2014

Coming in 2nd...

I WON 2ND PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!

GUYS!! I WON 2ND PLACE! hahaha! I am very excited and giddy and all that! I get $100 to spend at FabricMart and a Julie's Picks Membership.  Congrats to Dina on 1st place and Sue on 3rd!

This challenge has been insanely fun. Each week, I had to step out of my comfort zone in some way and boy am I a better sewer now because of it! Extra bonus -- I found new blogs to follow and made new sewing friends!

I've really tackled fitting challenges and learned that muslin-making isn't the devil. I've learned to think outside the box a bit more than I am used to. I've learned to think of fabric in a new way. And I got to sew along with some fantastic sewers. SCORE!

I intended to write this post -and- show my yummy winnings from the Red Dress challenge and Bundle challenge but I haven't gotten the second one yet. So be looking for that post :)

Week 1: Embellishing the Grainline Scout tee

I freaked out because the woven, dartless tee would not be my friend and 'embellish'?!? I don't embellish!!! :) I ended up doing an overlay and exposed zipper. 

Week 2: All about FIT!
This dress had been on my to-do list for awhile. I picked up yummy wool crepe and made a well fitting dress to celebrate my anniversary. New Look 6123

Week 3: Knocking off RTW

Again, OUTSIDE MY ZONE! :) I had tried to trace off a simple tee before and got all frustrated. Yep. Had to do it here. I've since traced off another RTW item and want to copy a pair of cropped pants (probably in the spring). 

Week 4. The LRD (little red dress)

This was a challenge in fit and construction. I was VERY proud of my work here and WON this week! Simplicity 1314.

Week 5: The FabricMart Bundle challenge

I was simultaneously looking forward to and dreading this week. There was some amazing stuff put out last year in the bundle challenge and again, I was really pushed to come up with something cool and wearable from 5 random fabrics! :) And I WON this week too!!! McCall's 6844 cardigan and McCall's 6752 dress.

Week 6: Inspired by Art

I created a sleek, chic look inspired by minimalist architecture. I am in love with this outfit! V8932 jacket, V9032 pants, S1364 top.

Thank you SO much to everyone who voted and who cheered us on. It was minorly stressful in that you get the challenge say on, Thursday and your look is due on Tuesday. And somewhere in there you have to choose what you're sewing, get fabric and notions and pattern together, maybe muslin, sew it up, get photos, write it up, and blog about it. WHEW! BUT IT'S SO FUN!!!!!!!!

You (whoever you are), if you are thinking of it, be sure to throw your hat in the ring next fall! :-D


As soon as I finished this last look, I really cleaned up the cave, put everything in it's place, and declared a break from sewing.

And then I sewed a dress! I wanted a comfy knit dress for my upcoming trip to Chicago and I did one of those super-quick sewing jobs and got it done. I have now been informed that my daughter needs a skirt before I leave ;)

Will blog those in the next couple days along with some unblogged makes.

No sewing til I return in a week. Eep.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

FabricMart Fabricista - FINAL Challenge!!!

The FINAL challenge!!!!! I'm crazy excited to still be in! If you've been following and cheering us on (and voting for me!), I would like to extend a big, huge thank you!

From Julie:
"Throughout time, fashion and art have come hand in hand. You couldn't have one without the other or we would look really boring. This week's challenge I'm asking you to pick an artwork, an art movement, an architectural design, etc. and create a garment or outfit that is reminiscent of what you chose."

I love art. But the artworks and art movements that I love aren't necessarily translatable to wearable clothes for me :) Throughout this challenge I've made sure to create garments that I will really wear. Some of my favorite movements are expressionist and graffiti art. I had some ideas but I knew that I wouldn't be 100% into it (although I may create that bomber jacket inspired by graffiti at some point!).

Way back when, I wanted to become an architect and I still love architecture (To be a smallish city, Minneapolis has some amazing architecture!). My absolute favorite architectural design style is Minimalism. I knew that was the right direction for me to take. 

Where some may see minimalist architecture as stark & cold, I see sleek & clean. To me, minimalism involves a modern yet comfortable vibe; a sophisticated easiness that manages to be both simple and interesting.

Translating that to fashion, I immediately wanted a chic palette of neutrals. I knew I wanted a look that had crisp lines, little adornment and an interesting simplicity.

I decided I had to have a pants/top/jacket combo. I also decided I HAD to sew from stash (Fabrics, zippers, buttons, everything is from stash)! 

The jacket is Vogue 8932. This jacket can be sewn wrong sides together, with seams trimmed for an exposed look or right sides together and top stitched. I didn't want the exposed seams with this stiff fabric but would love to sew it with a boiled wool or quality fleece! Fabric here is my "jacketing fabric" from FabricMart. I bought 3 yards of it for $2.40 and then they had it in the $1 section and I bought 3 more! For a total of $10.20 I have made 3 jackets! S2153 for my daughter and me and now this one. SCORE.

I went for a size 18 based on finished measurements and knowing I wanted to be able to fit it over clothing. It fits so well. The back has such interesting seam lines and I LOVE the shaped hem. 

Now, someone mentioned that the back pieces don't fit together. Oh, they do, but you have to ease the CRAP out of it! 

While I wouldn't automatically categorize this as an "advanced" project, there are certainly many opportunities for frustration if you're inexperienced. Pivoting is hard, yo. (You have to be a Breaking Bad fan to fully appreciate that 'yo'). The neckline pivot is much nicer (you'll have to take my word for it) but still not perfect. The topstitching is niiiiice. This fabric takes topstitching so well. I wish I had 10 more yards of it for future projects.

The facing is attached wrong sides together and edge stitched. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT!

This jacket was tough to sew but again, I pushed myself and that made me proud!

**The jacket has no closure and really doesn't need one...I'm thinking of making toggles**

Either a single toggle with the gold one or two with the bar-like buttons. I have some faux leather and black cording in the stash. I didn't get a chance to get them done in time for the submission deadline but will post a photo later once I decide!

The top is Simplicity 1364, a Vintage Jiffy pattern. I knew I'd like the bateau neckline on me and am becoming a fan of dropped shoulders. 

After whipping up a quick muslin (I admit it, muslining really doesn't take that long and is valuable), I lowered my bust dart just a tad, took a tuck at the armhole (like 1/4") and added 3/8" to the center back because it couldn't zip! And here there's excess fabric. Eh. 

I feel like the sleeves are a little weird. Like they fit great if you're just going to hold your arms straight down.

Fabric is something I have no clue about. I think I got it from Hancock or JoAnn but I'm not sure. It is pretty stiff and would've made up a better as a dress. But I LIKE it so...that's what counts. I will definitely sew this one again!

The pants...oh the pants!!!! Vogue 9032

I wanted this pattern so bad when it came out. It has butt princess seams!!! I found a similar weight suiting remnant in the stash and sewed up a knee-length muslin (limited by fabric length) and was amazingly surprised at how well they fit.


I needed to make my normal pants adjustment - removed 3/4" from the front rise and add it to the back but no weird excess fabric at the thigh, no crazy bagging at the knees...ahhhhhh. I am making these AGAIN.

What I will do differently next time; fuse a small strip of interfacing to my pockets as soon as I cut them. I think I have saggy pockets because they got stretched during sewing/pressing/etc. And I will add a smidge at the waist. Like 3/8" to the front pattern piece. It's just a tiny bit strained.

What's super interesting about this pattern is the 2.5" hem allowance. I was all WHAT THE WHAT!? But I love that deep hem. It really helps them hang well. I catch-stitched the hem by hand on these and made the insides as nice as I could.

(I always forget to trim my zipper if I do it this way...normally I shorten it from the top)

And my boots. Love <3

Thank you so much to everyone who has been encouraging during this challenge. It has been ridiculously fun!!!

Voting is open Thursday and Friday!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having FUN!

Jess (Sometimes Sewist) posted her FESA plans and I hadn't realized mine was posted nearly a month ago. In case you haven't noticed, I love sewing plans. I love talking about sewing plans and reading others' plans. Love.

The 7 categories are:
  • Lower body garments (skirts, pants, leggings, etc)
  • Upper body garments (shirts, tops, cardigans, vests, sweaters)
  • Dresses
  • Underwear 
  • Footwear (socks, slippers, tights??)
  • Pajamas
  • Cold weather wear (coats, hats, mittens, scarves?)
Trying to be realistic here... :) Current plans include:

Simplicity 1282 in winter white pinwale corduroy

Simplicity Misses' Skirt with Length and Trim Variations 1282

A few pairs of V9032 (2 of view C and 1 of view A)

Vogue Patterns Misses' Pants 9032

I have a million tops, jackets and cardigans I want to sew. Being realistic...(SIGH!)
I'm going to sew 3 cardigans and 2 jackets (that's realistic, right?!). And I don't know how many tops.
Except for B5789 (below), they are all patterns I've made before (hopefully that makes it easier!)

I want to sew another of the Vogue cardigans after my too-big attempt #1.I want to sew a black/white/grey animal print M6844 (#7!) and I want to sew a black jacket &finish my brown jacket,

Line Drawing

Tops that I reallllly want: another of my RTW duplicates. Another of the Burda drop-shoulder pleated tee and this Burda 6990 raglan turtle neck

Line Drawing

I'm all dressed out. I wanted to make a ponte dress but not sure I will. I just will not wear all of these dresses that I've made. Well, not in the winter. I wear pants in the winter! But I've made 3; all for the contest. And they're versatile too!

I'm not making underwear or footwear.

I'm going to attempt the Lakeside PJ pattern and want to make Simplicity 2311 for a coat.

Grainline Studio Lakeside Pajamas Downloadable Pattern 37001

Simplicity Misses' & Miss Petite Coats 2311
(The camel version upper left. My wool is close in color, more caramel than camel though)

I also plan to knit (shhhhh!!!!! Don't tell my husband) a hat and fingerless mittens on my week-long Chicago trip next week.

Soooo, 3 pair of pants, a skirt, 2 jackets, 3 cardigans, 3 knit tops, 2 woven tops (one white and one black - exciting, I know), a pair of PJs, a coat and a hat and mittens.

I can do that, right?? :-D

Next week while I'm in Chicago I have TWO dates planned with Gail of gksagenda! Yay me!!! I'm pretty excited to meet her and to grab a few fabric goodies. Just a few. I'm currently paying the most possible school/activity/etc fees for my kids. Toddlers and Teens I tell ya...toddlers and teens. Expensive people!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I won - AGAIN!

I can't believe it!! I absolutely loved how everyone used their bundles. 

I am totally hopping back on the FM bundle bandwagon. I used to order them when I first started sewing. There's definitely some gems in them!

Unfortunately Ann is 'going home' this week. 

Dina, Sue and I are tasked with creating a look inspired by a piece of art, a specific art movement or architecture--this is sure to be a fun and interesting one!

I have been in the cave pretty much all day working away. I had no time to see yesterday - ouch. 

Tune in Thursday to see what we made!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

FabricMart Fabricista Challenge Week 5

Yeah...the bundle challenge.

This is the set of bundles that went out to the 4 remaining contestants

Which would YOU want??! :)

I was the lucky recipient of bundle #1!

  • The top fabric is a really pretty knit but it has faux "sequins" in it. I could still see using it for a flowy maxi skirt (which will not happen anytime soon because it's winter). 
  • The second fabric is...A DAZZLE KNIT! I thought it was just a lightweight poly knit of some kind and then I unfolded it. OY VEY!
  • Fabric #3 is a poly/cotton broadcloth in black
  • Fabric #4 is a light/midweight printed ponte
  • The last piece is a pointelle(?) sweater knit
I was feeling pretty good about my bundle and was almost certain that with a 10 yard bundle we would be required to create 3 pieces to make an outfit. Don't ask me why, but I was CERTAIN. 

And then we got the challenge. I'll tell you more about my saga after the jump.

I knew the grey/white fabric was out because I just couldn't make it "go" with any combo of the others in my head. So I set about creating an outfit from the remaining 4.

I decided on McCall's 6752; a dress that I made unsuccessfully a few months after I started sewing. Remember how I said I pulled out a bunch of UFOs? I realized that dress looked really cute on me but it was too big up top. Back then, I didn't know! I just happily cut a size 14 and sewed it up (and didn't understand the collar directions)...

For this version I cut a size 10 neck/shoulders/arms and graded to a 14 waist. I cut the skirt as a 14 (I had the size that went up to 14). I used the dazzle knit inside out for the bodice and the printed ponte for the skirt.

I chopped 3" off the sleeve length and did not use elastic in the bodice. Hems are finished with a twin needle.

I will be making this dress again!

For the cardigan, I used the sweater knit and the broadcloth. I've made M6844 like 247 times (or you know, like 6). The non-peplum view in white, black, cream and taupe. The peplum view in blue and now this one. 

I shortened the sleeves by a few inches, only cut one collar band and folded it over. I did not interface the band. I cut the ties 24" each and cut the end at a 45 degree angle. I stitched and turned, and sewed the ties into the side seams of the cardigan. The sweater is finished with narrow hems.

I plan on making one with one of those yummy FabricMart animal print pontes I got not too long ago. I think I like the idea of woven ties and not knit.

I'm actually MUCH happier with my look than I thought I would be!! Huzzah!

Sooooo, what's a weekly challenge without a drama saga. Right?!

So you know I had to travel for my grandmother's funeral. When I got the challenge, I seriously knew immediately what I was going to do. I was going for a mod-ish/retro-ish kind of vibe. I cut S1282 view E in the ponte.  I decided to use the broadcloth for the waistband.

I always use a size 16 for my waist. always. But I got ready to insert the zipper and the skirt was about 3" too small at the waist. Like, I don't know what happened. Even at the highest part of my waist, it didn't fit.

I cut panels from the ponte (the skirt has some fullness and you seriously couldn't tell) and extended the waistband and then inserted the zipper. It fit fine. Well, except I did not do a booty adjustment and the hi-low hem was not obvious.

I got home on Sunday and cut out my top. I decided to use B5922, view B. I decided I might add the collar in the black if it looked okay.

I didn't realize it was an overlay (yeah, I can tell now on the line drawing that it's obvious) and I just cut a "yoke" and the underlay of the shirt, adding seam allowance to the yoke. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. Until I put it on.

It was just...wrong on me. I think the neckline is too high and I need some sort of FBA (drag lines and excess fabric at the armscye).

I put the outfit on and got SAD.

Sorry for the weird exposure!

PERFECT sleeves <3
Look at my handy patch job on the waistband!

I knew I needed something else because I was unhappy with this look! 

Now, if you noticed in my submission, there was A LOT of shortening of patterns. BECAUSE I HAD TO USE MY SCRAPS! hahaha!

I had plenty broadcloth, obviously. And enough dazzle knit. I had to really work with the sweater knit and the ponte though! :) Did you notice my CB seam on the skirt? Added out of necessity!

I cut out all the pattern pieces for my new look Sunday night and had to spend all day Monday sewing it up. WHEW!

The Outtake: :)

Head over to the FabricMart blog and VOTE!! 

(for me. please. I want final 3!!! :-p )