Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest: Items 1 and 2

So with my hardcore, set in stone plan (ha!), I'm using 4 patterns that I've sewn before and 3 that I'm considering making a muslin for. Initially I thought I should just knock out the 'known to me' patterns first but, later decided to intersperse some of the more labor intensive projects in with the "quick and easy" ones (quick and easy tends to be Famous Last Words).

Since I've decided to devote weekend sewing to the prom dress once the fabrics are procured next week; I know that things like pants and button front shirts are excellent projects for me to work on during the week. I sew those in that '20 minutes at a time' format all the time.

So I did start with 'easy' this week because, Instant Gratification is my middle name.

Simplicity 1916 has been made 2 times before; once in an animal print jersey (which I wear ALL the time) and the other in a lace print ITY. I love this one too but with the lace+black+low cut, not very often.

I really liked this candy-pink ITY much more than I anticipated. And I know I'll really love it come summer when I get my 'glow'!

Again, major props for seeing the skills grow and develop! The first time I made this it took for-evah to figure out that front ruching detail. This time I looked at the instructions and boom! Effortless. I opted to leave the neck binding exposed and to do binding on the sleeve openings as well.

Definitely the sassy vibe I was going for!!!

Next up was S1430 shorts. After the Style Arc Jennifer fail, I had to jump right on these.

I sewed a size 18 with 3/8" seam allowances at the waist only. I kept the original length and 'stole' the side splits from the Style Arc shorts.

I also added welt pockets - yay me! And belt carriers.

I was going to do hook & eyes but decided they would look much better with a button. This is the mate to the button I used on my son's shorts with this same fabric. I can never let him know that we have shorts with the same fabric and everything! :-p

The only issue, I put the zipper down a bit too low. Otherwise I LOVE them!

bias tape to finish the facing

I'm so proud of my welts!!!

I realized after WHY the SA shorts were angled so much at the hem; so that the split could open. Dang it.  It's pretty cool finish though. I will be doing that again. I need some bright green shorts! :)

Look at that bar tack on the bottom carrier - so good! And then the top one misbehaved. But who has time to be removing bar tacks?! Pfft.

The last photo is before I added the carriers. I considered them done and was all OH! I meant to add loops! :) I just love the finishing on these.

I've been too blah for photos. Soon...

As for the remainder of my items:
a) New Look 6373 is in progress
b) Burda 1/2016 pants are basted and too small (the pattern was meant for stretch wovens!)
c) Butterick 6219 skirt
d) Simplicity 1070 top
e) McCall's 6965 shorts
f) McCall's 6884 dress
g) Burda 7136 (also made twice before)
h) Burda 4/2014 jacket (I may do an unlined jacket or a vest or cardigan)

The contest ends on Thursday, 3/31. But I'd totally have to be done before that last weekend to get photos. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Finished: Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts

Alternatively titled: I Should Have Let January End

The PR wardrobe contest begins tomorrow. I set out to muslin the Style Arc shorts thinking I'd complete those first. I was so excited as I've wanted this pattern for awhile.

Let us talk about the pattern a bit.

a) I'm firmly on the "slash pockets are of the devil" train but I've made them with minimal gaping. And live with it because POCKETS! But these are a special kind of evil.

They extend so far down the hip line that if you are curvy in any.way. you're not going to be happy. 

b) That isn't a waistband. That's a waistband facing that's then topstitched down.

I made a pair of waistband-less faced pants for my daughter (from the 11/2015 Burda) and hated the application. I still hate it.

c) Since that is NOT a waistband, you have to start the zipper at a certain point to leave room for the button. I thought it was weird that a 7" zipper fit kind of perfect. Sigh. But by the time I figured this out there was no way I was ripping it all out to lower them. I was fairly sure at that point that I wasn't going to wear them.

d) Most importantly...I missed a BIGGIE. Look at the modeled photo...

They're intended to be worn low, on the hip.

Ah crap. I don't wear low rise pants. I have too much 37 year old, mom of 2 belly fluff to even consider low rise bottoms!

So yeah, in summary, before starting, this isn't a good pattern for me.

Okay, the specifics:

1) My size 16 SA Sandra jeans are too big. As in, I can slip them on and off without unzipping them. The pdf came with 12, 14, 16 and I decided to print the size 14 and after taking flat pattern measurements at waist and hip, was feeling good.

2) Muslined. I have had "this issue" before with muslins. I don't think they're "useless" but I think if you aren't using something very close to the weight, texture, drape, etc of your intended fabric then...the story isn't complete. The muslin was too tight. I opened the side seams and inserted panels.

Standard shortening of the front crotch and based on the back fit (look at the inseams riding up), I decided I needed a full inner thigh adjustment.

I have done a fish eye dart before and thought maybe that would help and pinned it out:

It didn't seem to help much so I thought it must just be the fabric getting hung up on my thick thighs.

I fussed around with the muslin and did some other stuff, and decided to go ahead and sew my cotton sateen from Sawyer Brook (whine). I really loved this color -- it's an olive-y brown -- and I splurged (for *me*) on this fabric at $14.99/yd. I had 1.5 yards with the intention of making a jean-style skirt. And I am a little disappointed to have it used it for these. WAH!

I had to remove ALL of that additional width I added. It wasn't needed. The front looked good...

...and then the back. What.The.Hell.Happened. 

I pinned out excess here, as I would with a FED and it seems like it would've helped. It isn't perfectly pinned but it doesn't look as bad as the unpinned leg (left). 

Once I realized they were supposed to sit lower, I had a ton of extra fabric in the yoke area. On my Sandra jeans I also had to take a hefty horizontal fold out of the yoke. So it isn't surprising.

But no matter on all the fitting because I just don't like the style.

I don't know what made me WANT these so badly! I have always stayed away from bermudas...Because even when I was 40 lbs lighter, I still had thick thighs. 

While I'm relatively straight from waist to thigh, my thighs are really curvy...

And thus I tend to prefer shorts that go *right* to the fullest part (~3.5" inseam) or just past it (the green line) at about 5" inseam.

Eg: My S1430 shorts:

3.5" inseam
And slash pockets that aren't horribly gaping open.

5" inseam

Looking at these photos I realized I never made the shorts again because I couldn't figure out the front. Well, these were made almost 2 years ago (I still wear the denim pair) and NOW I know that I just need to shorten the front crotch! yay! :)

So all that to say...for the contest I'll be switching out the SA Jennifer for S1430, with the longer inseam, and copying the side slit (I like that detail)


Well tomorrow is the start of the contest!! I won't have much if any time to sew the next TWO weekends (I know!), so I think I might knock out a couple of easy projects first. 

I want to make these shorts very good and very detailed (back welts, belt carriers, etc) so I might save them for my day off on President's Day.

Friday, January 29, 2016

January Wrap-Up and Miscellany

My plans for January were:
  • Burda of the month
  • Fabric Mart garment
  • S1374
  • V9155
  • Finish the quilt top
  • Muslin DDs dress
Did not finish the quilt top. Not even close. I have not touched it in like 2 weeks. WAHHHHHHH. I also did not sew another pair of V9155. But I really need new pants that aren't blue, grey or black. Yes, I love those colors as neutrals but I'm over it! When you live in the tundra, your mind leaves winter behind long before spring shows up. So I'm ready to add to my pants wardrobe with a couple of non-neutrals. 

This month I sewed 12.5 yards:
  • Butterick 6066 in a oyster colored crepe suiting - 2 yards (still need to photograph!)
  • Simplicity 1364 in teal ponte - 1 3/8 yards
  • McCall's 7199 in off-white ponte - 2.5
  • Burda 01/2016 #103 in navy cotton lycra knit - 2.5 yards
  • Simplicity 8014 in printed cotton poplin - 2.5 yards
  • McCall's 7194 in off white lace print double knit and solid ponte - 1 5/8 yards
  • I also started (and it will be finished this month...) the muslin for the prom dress. But I bought muslin for that so not counting it as yardage.
Favorite: Probably the Burda dress despite it's shortcomings :) It's just so cute!

FAIL: No huge fails this month; just had super high expectations of M7199 and it fell flat for me.

Accomplishments: Can I have 2?! OF COURSE I CAN! I have to say that exposed zipper in S1364. It really is a thing of beauty. Also, the fit I achieved on the bodice of the S8014 shirtdress made me proud.


February plans of course are to work on my wardrobe for the contest and get started on the prom dress. Still sourcing fabrics, a trip to SR Harris is happening on Sunday!

Speaking of the dress...

I've intentionally not posted the dress I'm copying :)  I have asked for help on specific parts (like choosing fabrics) but I think that I may get information overload otherwise. So I'm just going to take it step by step and I'm sure the finished product will be pretty.

Can I just say that this is the first time I've ever actually purchased muslin!?  

I am absolutely in love with the whole concept now that I've gotten over my fear. DD is not impressed by the dress in muslin form. She also did not understand why I "thought" the hips were too big.

Well, let's see...YOU HAVE THE SKIRT ON OVER JEANS! lol!!!

Tonight I'll get the sleeves attached and the side seams sewn up in the bodice; and maybe even put in the zipper so she can try it on.

What I know so far:
1) I cut a 6 in the Simplicity skirt and a 36 in the Burda bodice. So the bodice is a bit bigger. I've pinched out the front mainly to line up the princess seams of the bodice with the seams on the skirt. I'll fit in on her with this pinched out and make other adjustments as needed. 

2) It's WAY too short! :) It sits about an inch from the floor right now. So we need several inches at least, to get it floor length when hemmed...but she doesn't have shoes yet so I'll have her go ahead and order those before I alter the length of the skirt.

3) As stated the hips are too big but the waist on the skirt was pretty perfect. We'll see how it all goes when the bodice and skirt are attached and the zipper is in.

4) The Burda bodice actually has 3/4 sleeves so I chopped them off randomly on the pattern; but in actuality it'll be more of a cap sleeve.

5) I must totally love this kid to collapse my dressform down to her size! Sheesh that's a lot of work with all those danged dials! The dress form hips are still bigger than hers...so Lily fills the skirt in a way she doesn't.



I though this was common knowledge but have run into 2 fabric lovers this week who wasn't aware so...public service and all that. ;-)

I scooped up 2 yards of Kaufman lightweight chambray for $17 with shipping. Much better than forcing myself to shop on Fabric.com and to spend $35 to get free shipping. Win. And it's exactly what I was looking for.


I bought new shoes.

I know. I am always buying new shoes. BUT(!), I don't have any black sandals. I know, crazy right? And thinking up my summer wardrobe made me take a peek, and I found a pair that I love for a great price.

They're by Franco Sarto - $20!

The second pair sold out in between my purchasing them, and my order being processed :( 
Isn't that such a cute basic?!? They're Dr. Scholls


The quilt. I swear I'm going to finish it. Swear. And I'd better start my son's right after if his have hopes of being completed by 2018 :-p

Saturday, January 23, 2016

PR Wardrobe Contest & Fabric Mart Blog

I can't NOT participate in the PR Wardrobe contests - it's my favorite!!! :) 

So even though I'm going to have a busy couple of months (the contest runs Feb 1 - Mar 31), I just have to do it. Now, I had already planned to sew a new casual summer wardrobe this year. I have never quite gotten around to it as envisioned...or I end up sewing stuff that can also be worn to work.

I have a lot of work clothes (a lot). So while I'm not saying I won't sew anything for work for spring/summer - I really needed some weekend wear. 

I really want (need) to sew from stash so I'd initially got out fabrics that would work together and chose the patterns after that. And ended up with a plan that I loved. For work! The only thing in my original plan that wasn't also appropriate for work was a pair of shorts and a romper/jumpsuit.

So I revamped the plan to focus on what I want for summer and then had a big ole fabric picking fest last night. (Too tired to sew...son has been sick and I think he's shared with mama). 

There's a good mix here; 4 patterns that I've made before (jumpsuit, dress, sleeveless top, shirt), 2 Burda patterns, and a couple that's been on my radar for awhile (like the McCall's culotte shorts and the Butterick skirt).

**I switched out a Burda blouse for the Simplicity 2255 shirt in chambray

Okay, yes, there's a blazer :) BUT that is really needed and a white blazer makes an excellent topper for work and play (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!).

Simplicity 1070 won't be as cropped as the pattern/image suggests. I will lengthen as needed. And from the reviews out there, McCall's 6965 will need at least 2" added in length.

I'm cutting it very close on McCall's 6884 and the striped/floral fabric. If I have to, I will make the shorter dress (I don't want to though!!!)

The only thing I'll need to shop for is stretch lining for the white jacket (I'm using a cotton lycra twill that has more stretch than I remember) and buttons for it. All other notions will come from stash.

Here are the fabrics (plus solid black for the cropped top and contrast band on the skirt)

Stripe/floral ITY, Navy/white diamond print ITY, Floral print Rayon Challis
Cobalt blue poly crepe  blue chambray, White stretch cotton twill, Pink ITY
Red with white cross threads chambray, Black/white ponte, Bone cotton twill

I'm excited!

Head over to the Fabric Mart blog to see my project this month!!! :) 

I chose Simplicity 8014 (that new shirtdress!) in this bright, whimsical cotton poplin.

(and this is my 400th post! WOW!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

McCall's 7194; Take 2

It's been a month since I sewed the first version! How does time manage to move that fast?!

I really wanted to give view A a shot (and potentially in some yummy wool jersey I've got in stash) and while organizing my fabric on New Year's Day, I came across this remnant from the dress I made my daughter for her senior photos. I realized it had that same *just* off white color as my recent M7199 cardigan and put them in a bin to become a raglan sweatshirt.

But then I decided I needed this 'white' top to be more work appropriate. I was all woe is me because I didn't have enough of the solid for the front, sleeves and cowl, but had plenty of the textured fabric, and had written the project off.

Well, DUH! I can use the textured for the front and back and just do 'contrasting' sleeves and cowl. Sheesh! :)

I still had to adjust for lack of fabric and folded out 2" of the cowl. It doesn't drape as much, but it still works.

I did a cheater FBA by pivoting and sliding because I knew this fabric had very little stretch. I ended up using 1/4"(!) seam allowances.

This fabric hardly stretches so it's snug but not uncomfortable

The lacy fabric is so pretty :)

I whipped this up SO FAST! I had the entire thing constructed on the serger in like 30 minutes. Then another half hour to do the hemming with a twin needle. Gotta love those quick and dirty projects.

Next up I'll be working on DDs dress muslin. I got the Burda bodice all traced off and plan to cut out the paper pattern tonight, cut out the muslin tomorrow, and sew up the muslin Friday/Saturday.

I'm excited! :-)