Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Maria Denmark's Kimono Tee other randomness...

So, did you know there is a thread on Pattern Review full of free patterns? HERE

While browsing, I came upon the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono tee pattern. You can download it free, at either Pattern Review or Craftsy. It's a simple tee that is fitted through the shoulders and bust and then more relaxed through the waist and hip. And what do we love most?? It only has two pattern pieces (ok 3 if you add a neck binding), is totally able to be constructed solely on the serger (BONUS!) and uses max, 1 yard of fabric! Wooohoo!

So, I am looking at the measurements and thinking, this is a knit so I don't want tons of ease...maybe 0 ease...and I cut a large. I used some peachy (weird to me) colored knit I got in a free Fabric Mart bundle once. Oh. There are no seam allowances included. Oops...
I constructed it on my serger-- first garment ever!! and used the smallest SA I could get away with...trimming off only 1/8 - 1/4 of an inch.

Kind of snug. I don't know if those are "swayback wrinkles" or slightly too tight wrinkles. It's pulling at the arms, across the back and at the bust. ok...maybe I should redo it with SAs added!! :) This knit fabric was also in the FM bundle but it has more stretch than the peach fabric. I still cut a large, with about 1/2" SA. I still constructed on my serger as well. But it seems a bit big.

I took a 3/8" wedge from CB, adding the length back at the hem. The back fits better but the front looks too big at the neckline. Is it the fabric? Possibly. I'm going to cut one out of fashion fabric and sew it on the sewing machine so I can check the fit before finalizing it. I mean, who in their right mind wants to unpick serger stitches!?!?
This pattern will be great for that "must have" fabric that you can't get a lot of. And because it's so basic, there's tons of options on fabric choices and layering options -- hey, I'm a Minnesotan, layering is in our blood!
In other news, I have been chomping at the bit to sew for the teen. She hemmed and hawed and NOW, now she wants me to sew a back to school top to go with her floral jeans - Yay!
Or so I thought.
This child is 5'7", 120 lbs (max). She is all legs. She has a 35" inseam and a "normal" length shirt is about 20" for her. 20"!!! I think for me it's about 23-24"! I thought *I* had a short torso...sheesh. Her back is broad meaning the back pattern piece needs quite a bit more room than the front. She only has a 1.5" difference between HB and FB. Her arms are ridiculously long. Uhmmm...I'll take my relatively minor issue of shortening shoulder to bust length, "need" for an FBA that I usually cheat on by just cutting a smaller neck/shoulder size and swayback that I simply ignore :-)
She's getting NL 6216 , the long sleeved version, in a olive-y green knit and she asked for M6702 in an off-white linen. But that linen is WRINKLY. So wrinkly. She doesn't like to iron so we'll see...
She's smaller than the smallest size on both of them, so I'll be sewing and then adjusting the finished garment. Should be FUN! ha!


Friday, August 23, 2013

New Butterick Patterns!

Two posts in one day! Eek.

Someone posted the link on pattern review and there are some REALLY nice patterns in this release. Now, there are quite a few that just aren't my taste and ok...I think Katherine Tilton patterns are kinda weird.

LOVES. As in MUST buys. As in I don't care how many patterns I own, these will be purchased.

 Oh. My. Word. This coat is amazing. It is just lovely in every way. I would wear the ish out of this

I mean, for real?! Classic. 
Someone pointed out to me that the Butterick coat is a knockoff of FLOTUS' inauguration coat!!! No wonder I LOVED it when I saw it!

This dress is 2 sizes too big on the model but it's shaped beautifully.

Other great patterns...the wardrobe pattern is nice and that top is exactly what I've had going on in my head and trying to mentally adapt other patterns to

On this pattern, view B is pretty awesome

I'm sure this pattern isn't unique and I can probably find this silhouette in another Big 4 pattern...

Random Sewing Related Thoughts...

I'm all out of sheets for muslins! I need to get more, more, MORE! It is great muslin material. With the two random queen size sheets that I had, I muslined 3.5 pair of pants (once I took them apart using the same backs but cut new fronts). I think I might be able to muslin either this skirt or the bodice of a jacket with what I have left - score!

I re-muslined S2700 and they look amazing! I didn't ask my husband to take pictures because he seemed rather non-plussed at my excitement last night.

***Edited to add muslin pics

When the back is good, all is good. Ok, mostly good.

The side seams show that slight dip backward at the butt and then forward at the full part of the thigh. I suppose I could work a little harder at eliminating the issue but I probably wont' with my swayback...

I don't think that bunching is "real". I think that's due to not having a zipper in place. On the last pair, I completely eliminated the bunching in the muslin but then they became a little bit tight up front.

Also, I am totally making this:

I will find the right fabric (it won't use much) and make a cute (slightly smaller) envelope-style clutch. It'll be a fun date-night bag - utterly useless except for prettiness :)

I bought this book on amazon for 1 cent

I really want a couple of blazers and it has some good information. Sure it was written in the 90s and it's hard to get past some of the pictures :-) but the basic info remains. There's a PR contest in October for a lined jacket. I probably have no chance to win but it'll be nice to go through the process with lots of others.

I took a peek inside and found this:

How cool is that?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finished Item: Annabelle #3 and Sewing Plans

I won't review the jacket again...I'll just insert pretty pictures :-)

The belt was upstairs. Oops.

I like the contrast so much!

I mean really, zebra pockets...

My buttonhole making has become a work of art! LOL!!! I've finally figured out just the right settings on my machine. Plus the use of fray check. Lovely!
Hopefully all three jackets will fit their intended recipients!

In other sewing news...I've totally changed my mind about what I'm sewing for the mini-wardrobe contest (hey, this is America! I can change my mind!!!).

Last years contest was to sew 4 items and choose a 5th item from your wardrobe (handmade or RTW) and create 6 looks. I assume it'd be the same. It is not. This years contest is 4 items...4 looks.

So I'm making pants (B5908), a button front shirt (5678), a top (?) and...either a jacket (M6711) or a skirt (M5523 view D).

Shirt #1 + Pants
Shirt #2 + Pants
Jacket + Shirt #1 + Pants
Jacket + Shirt #2 + Pants


Shirt #1 + Pants
Shirt #2 + Pants
Shirt #1 + Skirt
Shirt #2 + Skirt

A skirt isn't super practical for me...but I love this skirt. And, because of life, I don't have time to muslin a bunch of stuff. This weekend we're out of town, next weekend we have friends coming to town and it's my husband's birthday, then school starts, then the next weekend it's my daughter's birthday.

So, B5908 is ready to go and B5678 needs a few minor tweaks (but I think I can work those out in the garment). The top will be something I've made before or something simple like a shell that I can't mess up. I will muslin the bodice of the jacket or the skirt, whichever my 4th item turns out to be.

I've also change my color palette (AMERICA!). I'm making pants in a charcoal/black heathered suiting, the button up in a soft purple cotton shirting, the top in a floral print charmeuse and the jacket or skirt will be black.

Lastly, I have 4 other pairs of pants I want to sew. I'm wondering if assembly line style is a good method? 2 B5908 and 2 S2700.

I thought long and hard last night about changes to S2700 to get it "right". I made a quick 'n dirty muslin of S2562 - horrific. Meh. Like, I'm going to give that pattern away. I'll never do what needs to be done to them to make them fit me well.

I'm not going to re-muslin S2700 with my changes. I'm just going to go for it. Those 1" SA give you 8 inches of wiggle room!!!! I'm cutting a 16 average and tweaking where I think tweaking is needed. Wish me luck ;-)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Finished Items: McCall's 6519 and My First Socks!

So, I was working on my Annabelle jackets for the contest, and was having so much fun, and then today, something happened. I was initially worried that I'd get tired of them but when I breezed through #2, I was gung-ho about #3.

I was working on the last jacket and was just not feeling it.

So I pushed it aside and decided to sew something else. And I started working on the already cut M6626 in white gauze. And the gauze was being fussy. So I quit it too.

Enter M6519. An easy-peasy pattern that could give me instant gratification.

I used my quirky patterned fabric that I picked up yesterday from SR Harris and got to work. A couple or so hours later and I have a new top to wear to work tomorrow!

I had to get pics even though it was kind of dark in here :)

I forgot to add a little bit extra for my lady-hips.

With my favorite skinny capris from the Gap

I love my tags!!


I knit my first pair of socks! I finished them! They're awesome! They're fuzzy!!! :-) My daughter will probably confiscate them but I think I'm confident enough to move on to a sock pattern using sock weight yarn but in a simple pattern. I'm thinking I'm going to try a pattern from the "Toe-Up 2 at-a-time" book by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. We'll see!

I totally bombed the ribbing on sock #1 AND the gussets...on #2 they went better. My kitchner stitch is imperfect but I'm proud of myself for tackling it and my color bands don't match! :)

Ravelry project HERE

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fabric Stashing and Finished Item: Annabelle Jacket #2

I've been on a self-imposed fabric fast since a few months ago but I have sucked at not buying fabric. I love to buy fabric. I love to fondle it once I own it. I've had a few online buying fails - too hyper over Fabric Mart sales and in person - too into a pattern/print and not looking at the content. But I have some awesome pieces in my stash and I can't wait to see them sewn up - eventually! :-)

Yesterday my husband asked if I wanted to go to "that fabric place" I like -aka- The Wondrous S.R. Harris. My brain said YES! HELL YES!! But my mouth said, no... Then he said, you don't HAVE to buy everything, you know? (is he crazy or what?!)

So today he asked again so I figured, heck. I'll go pick two "must make" projects and buy fabric for them. Initially, I planned to buy fabric for the Marcy Tilton dress (3 yds) and for a nice, crisp white button front shirt (2 yds). But I went to the knits first (3 aisles, packed ceiling to floor with bolts!) and ended up finding this:

I liked the variation in the stripes and it's black and ivory, not white. I wondered about using it for the Tilton dress but decided I didn't want the bands of stripes doing weird things and that a simpler dress was better for this pattern. Then I did find a stripe for the tilton dress and I was ready to go. 

I got to the cutting table and as I rolled it out, and got to yard #3, there was a HUGE hunk of fabric cut out - about 10" x 10". Uhm, that is NOT a fabric swatch people. I think you can cut a swatch - but think that 4x4 is a bit more appropriate. I was going to buy it anyway, rationalizing that I wasn't going to make it nearly as long as shown on the pattern envelope. But then I found two holes in the fabric :-( So I had to walk away.

But then, I only had 1 piece -- Nooooo! I fondled the wool remnants ($6/yd!!!! I am definitely going there when I'm ready to make a wool suit). Then I found a nice black ponte in the knit remnants. It was just about 2 yards - perfect for a dress or casual jacket - whichever I choose.

So then I decided to browse a little bit more (teeheehee) and found this cool print on this silky type fabric. I'm not sure of the composition - I will do a burn test to check - but it feels great. I know it's not actual silk (it was $3/yd) but it's soft and matte and the print will make an interesting top (using a simple pattern - perhaps another M6519?)

And of course, I rummaged through the zipper bin:

1 invisible, 2 in neutrals (shorter length zippers are 50 cents each!)

So that's 5 yards of fabric and 3 zippers for...just around $20! Woot woot!!! Gotta love that whole no-tax thing too!


Also, Annabelle #2 is finished. I did a few things differently. 
*I sewed the belt loops onto the jacket before bagging the lining so that the thread wouldn't show through
*I made the belt wider so it'd be easier to turn
*I remembered to add my tag to the side seam 
*I used bigger buttons
*I didn't do the contrasting tab 
*I used my newfound trick for buttonholes - fray check on the sewn but uncut hole. BRILLIANT! (I don't remember the blogger who mentioned this (sorry!) but if I find the source again I will link up.)

Size 4T

That ruffle is so cute.

POCKETS!! Everyone should have pockets!!

Also, there is no way in heck I can sew jeans on my machine. Sewing the jacket together at the neckline, I was going through the 2 layers of gathered fabric (the ruffle), the outer fabric and the lining, and it was NOT happy. That's okay...I will probably "gift" myself a Janome next year. The Bernina I'd be interested in is way outside my budget and I'm scared to look at some others!

My plan is to save what would be the equivalent of 3 braces payments and buy myself a new machine...after my braces come off next year. Fingers crossed! :-)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Finished Item: Annabelle Jacket

Jacket #1 is done!! I will be entering all three jackets as one contest entry on Pattern Review.

So, this is my first PDF pattern - yay! It wasn't bad at all (I've also traced off two sizes of the Maria Denmark Kimono tee pattern!).

(Score yours HERE!)

There are only a few pattern pieces to trace off - front, back, sleeve, tabs. The skirt of the jacket are three rectangles that are sewn together and then gathered,  and the belt, collar and belt loops are rectangles as well. You do of course have to cut all the pieces from the fabric AND the lining. Also, there's no layout for the pattern pieces...I just used my judgement and added a grainline. SA are 1/2" throughout.

The instructions are clear and there are pics of each step. However - having gone through the process - there are things I'll do differently for the subsequent jackets.

1) I will construct the outer garment and the lining, each as a whole garment...then bag the lining. I get the assumed simplicity of sewing the same seams on the jacket and lining, but to me it was a tad cumbersome. It makes more sense in my head to sew them separately -- completely. You know what I'm saying...

2) I will add the belt loops to the jacket before lining it. I don't like that my thread comes through the lining. I suppose I could have hand sewn them but really? I don't think so.

3) I will (did) make the belt wider on larger sizes).

What I didn't do on this jacket:

A) Add 4 buttons - it's a TINY jacket. I don't think it needs 4 buttons.

B) Allowed the contrast fabric to show on the tab.

Turning that belt was the worst experience ever - part of the reason the larger ones will get wider belts. Sewing on those tiny sleeves was an experience! :)

I am in love with the finished jacket.

Overexposed - it is a really DEEP purple corduroy.

I mean...really?!? :)

Ruffle collar detail and buttons

Back / Slight gather to the skirt

Fun lining! (I botched the first buttonhole (bottom one). That corduroy was just not fun to try to pick stitches out of so I gave up and moved my button left like...3/32"! LOL!

I'm hoping lining a jacket for me is as easy as this was! 

She'll be ready to hit the town in early fall!

Cost breakdown:
1 yard corduroy (JoAnn): $6.29
1 yard quilting cotton lining (stash): Free
4 buttons (stash-looong ago purchased): Free
Thread (stash - but about 1 spool Gutterman): Free

Sock #2 is underway and looking good!