Wednesday, December 31, 2014

UPDATE: Style Arc Sandra Muslin

WAIT!!!! I got PR's member of the year for 2014!!!! YAY!!!!

Anyway... :)

I realized I was talking myself out of making these jeans and decided there was absolutely NO reason to be scared of jeans! So I decided that today was the day, and I went for it!

I decided on a size 16 based on the size chart and finished measurements. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not I should try to make adjustments to start but decided I should just muslin the pattern as-is since I've never sewn jeans.

Well, I made ONE adjustment; I knew not to trust those back pocket placement marks! However, after making them up, they need to be brought in closer to the center.

pretty perfect pockets! I have to find the link I use for making perfect pointed pockets...

I used the vertical placement of these jeans as a guide but didn't pay attention to the horizontal placement

Excuse my ragged self! LOL! 

Need to remove a small wedge from CF

The thighs were tight. I need to give myself more thigh room which I assume will eliminate some of those lines (right? RIGHT?!?!)

Did you see the wavy yoke in the above photo? yeah, I need to take a couple tucks out of the yoke.

RTW jeans which are admittedly a little too snug, but the wrinkles from butt to knee are almost non-existent while the back knee wrinkles are present. I've seen these on a lot of RTW and handmade jeans and wonder if it's just a need for extra fabric to sit down.


Following the advice I've received so far (here and on IG!), I did a couple things...

L is completely right that you can't judge the fit completely without a waistband!! So I attached it and still had gaping. I took two 1/2" darts from the waistband and yoke and MUCH better.

Then I played around with the seam allowances.

I let the thighs out a little (this pattern has 1 cm seam allowance so about .39" so there wasn't much extra room). Well they looked even baggier. So then I went and took the sa to 1/2" from crotch to knee and pinned out a fish-eye dart (all changes to left leg only)

So then I let the SA back out to the smaller seam allowance. I kept taking larger fish-eye darts until I realized those remaining under-butt wrinkles  may be due to needing a bit of an extension of the crotch point in back.

So now I'm thinking smaller fish-eye dart (like pic #1) but slightly larger seam allowance for a closer fit on the leg.

What say you?!? :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Finished: McCall's 7093

Hopefully you had a fantastic Christmas (if you celebrate it!). We had a great one!

Airport selfies with mama y papa, and my baby girl too!

I got a Hancock gift card as one of my Christmas gifts and promptly spent it!

I couldn't stop thinking about both tops here and while waiting for my parents to get ready yesterday I cut out 7094 (on the right). I washed up two cuts of rayon challis -well my son did...he washes my fabric often!- and one of them shrank up a lot. The other one, not so much...but neither of them were enough for view D (top image).

So I cut 7093 instead! hahaha!

I decided to use black as a contrast for the pockets and thought it would be cute to have the sleeves be contrasting too.

I'd estimate this pattern took me about 3-3.5 hours to complete.

I sewed a straight size 16. I used 1/2" seams at the front raglans and 5/8" at the back.
I sewed 1/2" side seams and did narrow hems.

There was something funky about the bias binding for the neckline. They had you cut a bias strip and fold it in half, and stitch in place, trim, fold to the inside and top-stitch. No problem. EXCEPT it didn't seem wide enough. I double checked that it was supposed to be sewn with a 5/8" seam allowance and didn't see anything contradicting that. Next time I'll adjust for it.

They have you hem the sleeves and then set them, and I attached them first because, raglans. But the sleeves are kind of fluttery (I can't find the right word!) and hemming them resulted in some wonkiness of the top stitching. I ripped out stitching 3 times and I think as a result, stretched out the fabric.

I am NOT a fan of where the sleeves hit on me. But I know better re: cap sleeves. I don't think it looks bad, just not my favorite. I had my mind on cap sleeves because I didn't have a lot of fabric. When I decided on black contrasts, I could have gone with the longer sleeves - duh.

Also, I think I'll shorten the sleeve dart just a tad next time.

On to the important stuff...the pockets.

Easy. Peasy. There's no weirdness there; it's very straightforward. The top of the pocket is hemmed and then it's basted onto the inset piece. It's then caught in the seam between the front and inset, and the other side on the side seam. Boom. Done. Pockets! They are meant to have a slight drape to them, but I think that's illustrated in the pattern art.

It has a pretty exaggerated hi-low hem so if you aren't into that, beware. I really like it!!

The print on this fabric is so dreamy and I love it paired with the black. Yes, the challis came from Fabric Mart. :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Productivity...

...or something

I *had* to make an "ugly Christmas sweater" for DD -wait- "WE" were going to do it but only one of us managed to do 98.5% of the work. Typical, right? ;-)

Friday night/Saturday morning, my husband hit the road to pick up the kids (we are a blended family). Four years and I still can't sleep when he's not home. So when he left at 2:30 a.m., I willed myself to go back to sleep, but no dice. I got up and went grocery shopping a little before 5 a.m. It was blissfully quiet outside.


When I got home, I decided to start on my Christmas dress. The fabric is a hot pink and white striped rayon/poly knit from Fabric Mart. The weight is PERFECT for this dress. The stripes though are a little too narrow. It doesn't read as a striped just looks Pepto pink :( 

Review to come.


At about 10, I head out to meet a fellow PR'er at SR Harris. She was in town visiting her in-laws and I am *SO* glad we got to hang out!!!  

Fabric store selfie!

I was determined not to buy a bunch of stuff just because I wanted it. After making some pretty nice knit tops lately, I realized I have precious few solid colored knits. 

I got rayon jersey in eggplant and grey and wool jersey (SWOON!) in navy. 

I picked up striped french terry and real(!) leather to recreate this:

I'd previously shown a different one but the knit I bought from FM was too thin. However the French terry will be PERFECT. I just need to pick up some leather needles for that project.

When I saw that pink/purple ribbing I melted a little on the inside. I have really wanted a bomber jacket and with the new McCall's pattern coming out (I ordered it from BMV yesterday!), I gambled that it would match my cotton suiting fabric.

It does! Yay! It's brighter but the same color. Which is actually perfect because then the ribbed sections will really pop!

So by now it's like 2 p.m., I've been awake for 12 HOURS after sleeping maybe 3.5 hours. The kids and I had our mini-Christmas and then I dropped my daughter off at work.

I was too exhausted to sleep because I knew I had to go BACK out and pick her up later. So I just started doing STUFF. lol!!! A cherry Pepsi helped with the cause!


When I made M6752 for the Fabric Mart contest I really loved the dress but couldn't get past the dazzle knit.

With a crazy black/white/hot pink houndstooth ponte in hand, I set out to recreate it! But the ponte on top is too thick/stiff :/ So now I decide if I want to remove the bodice and make a new one from a lighter fabric or what. 


Sunday morning I pieced together the Style Arc Sandra pattern. It was only like 37 pages but seemed to take forever. Then I realized I was almost out of my favorite tracing paper (no worries, I have a Blick coupon to get more!). I had a big roll of freezer paper though!

By the time I got it assembled and traced off, the sun was setting and jeans muslin yet.


My stepdaughter is 14 but she is really short. She's too big for tween patterns but too small (well, would need a LOT of adjustments that I'm not used to making) for most adult patterns; not to mention I don't have a ton of patterns in the smaller size range. 

I decided that she might really like a M6996 cardigan and an XS should work out with just a little shortening in the bodice and sleeves. It's a cardigan so 'perfect' fit is less important.

In the meantime, (because I had to order a copy of the pattern), we were both wearing RTW scarves that were assembled the same way:
a rectangular piece of fabric, seamed on the short end and then hemmed. I let her go through the stash and I had about 6 fabrics that were light enough for a scarf. She chose this chevron poly from Hancock and within an hour, had a new scarf!

To mimic the rtw scarf, I french seamed the short seam and did a rolled hem on the long ends via machine

And THEN we made smores, watched a movie and I eventually went to bed :-p

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Number 7: 2014 Hits & Misses

I have a giant post analyzing my 2014 makes so that is to come. Boy did I sew a lot this year!!

7 is my favorite number so... :-) In no particular order:

1. Without a doubt, V9032 makes the list! I sewed 3 pair and don't even want to wear other pants in my closet. Sheesh. These definitely pushed S2700 out of it's TNT spot. I really want to make the pleated pair!

2. My "Master's" jacket; aka my Butterick 5926 ponte blazer in kelly green. L.O.V.E. It brightens my day whenever I wear it!!!

3. The Belle bow blouse. I spent months searching for a bow blouse pattern and considered many yet none were quite right. This pattern is just fantastic to me and I love the way it fits! So even though it hasn't been in the wardrobe long - it's a favorite!

4. S2061; These are serious wardrobe staples for me. I like the sweatpants version but not NEARLY as much as the other two. The black pair are my go-to for weekends.

5. S2153: Oh my gosh. I spent a long time wanting to sew this pattern. I love it. I can see several more jackets and vests from this one! I wore the black jacket relentlessly and when the mercury climbed to 50 in mid December I pulled it back out! I LOVE it. And the vest. It is a very proud make for me as going with the contrast was a little out of my normal zone.

6. RTW knock off top. This represents a new-to-me skill (copying RTW) and the fit is so flattering! Not to mention the fabric...swoon! Washes amazingly, does not wrinkle and is soooo soft!

7. I love button front shirts but have never been able to buy them off the rack. I have a 6+ inch difference from full bust to underbust, narrow shoulders, large biceps...yeah, fitting into a rtw shirt was impossible.  I am still head over heels about my S2255 shirts that I made but the Burda 7136 as a 'traditional' shirt is fantastic :)

(wearing V9032 and S2061 with them!) :)

Honorable mention: New Look 6123. Sewn for the Fabric Mart contest, this dress makes me grin whenever I look at it. It was really a great exercise in fitting and I lined it (first fitted, lined dress!) and learned new skills (lining a sleeveless dress, lining a skirt with a vent) AND it was totally my most expensive project yet! :)

What's probably NOT surprising; almost all of these were made multiple times!
V9032; pair #4 is planned for my mini wardrobe
Belle blouse; #2 is planned for my mini wardrobe
S2061; sewn 4 times total
S2153; sewn twice
RTW top; sewn twice
Burda shirt; sewn twice
B5926 WILL be made in a nautical theme in the spring!
NL6123 was made again in ponte.

I love new patterns and trying new things but there's you gotta love knowing (mostly!) that it'll work!

The misses:

As for projects that get completed and then later become fails; I started doing "where are they now" posts (I only did 2 this year; oops!). Because sometimes things get made, they're awesome and then you realize you never, ever reach for them. Otherwise...

Pattern issue:
1. Deer & Doe Plantain tee. I got into the hype AND it was free but this pattern just didn't work for me. I don't like the silhouette of it and there are more tees in the sea. ;-)

2. Burda 6910. IT'S NOT YOU IT'S THE PATTERN!!!!!! Every.single.person(!) mentioned problems with the neckline. Something is wonky about this pattern for sure. Don't want it. It sucks. Ain't gonna waste time trying to redraft the neckline so I tossed it...And won't shed a tear. Buh-bye.

Technical issue:
3. M6844 BUT only certain ones. I have made this cardigan so many times. I came to realize I really only wear the ones with the interfaced collar band. Coincidence? I think NOT! hahahaha!

4. B6104 in brown wool...which was a huge disappointment because I love the red one. But it was riddled with fit problems and has made it's way to someone else to be well-loved, hopefully.

5. V8839 I loved this cardigan. Well, the idea of it. I wore it once and never touched it again. New home. Bye. Bye. :( I keep telling myself that it was just too big and I should try again. But I have this awesome 2 sided knit and I will be SUPER sad if I "waste" it.

6. M7046 I had palpitations when I saw the top from this pattern! Bad fabric. Too small. REALLY should've wait til spring with those flutter sleeves. So I will hopefully attempt it again.

7. Lekala pencil skirt. It may be weird for some people reading but, I have no freakin' clue what to wear with this skirt. I told myself I needed a khaki skirt but nothing seems to look right with it besides black or white. And I never know what shoes to wear. Gah.

One thing I'm always meaning to mention...I have PLENTY of failures that never make it out of the gate. It isn't that I don't want to blog those, it's that I generally scrap it and move on before it is even a blip on the sewing radar. Perhaps I'll mention those more frequently.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

FINISHED: IH Kimono Tee & My Jelly Roll Quilt!

The quilt was a huge hit!

I was over the straightline quilting after oh, line 15 or so. I posted on PR and got the "there are no rules!" response and ran with it! LOL!

I mimicked the beginning pattern on the other end and did some random lines in the center. One section is all crazy but hey, that's character!

The endless amounts of bias tape that I made didn't make me happy with it's 1/2" width so I ended up using storebought. It performed fine but I wish it were a deeper shade of pink. No matter, I'm sure it'll be well loved regardless.

OMG! mitered corners are some kind of black magic and I couldn't do it. I ended up doing some kind of overlap and sewing it down and yeah...


Since my wrap dress turned out a little flirtier than I originally planned and since winter is back in Minneapolis (it was 50 last weekend), I was thinking of something FUN I could wear today on my day off to the ortho.

Yesterday I scored a jean jacket at the thrift store. It's a little snug but it has some stretch and it'll be fiiiiine over thin tops and dresses. I decided it would look REALLY cute layered over the kimono tee but I needed some color!

I had this gorgeous Maggie London ITY in the stash (yep, Fabric Mart) and recently bought stretch lace that SURPRISE! was a perfect match!

I forgot to adjust the sleeve opening but remembered to add length! I added 3/4" to front and back. I did a much better job on the vneck this time :)

Worn with the thrifted jacket, black S2061 pants, and brown boots (I like brown and black together when other, brighter colors are thrown into the mix!)


I am ecstatic with my 'new smile' and allllllll the days and weeks were well worth it! :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Revised Staycation Sewing Plans

I had it all planned out, I was going to sew and sew and SEW!! But my parents are coming!!!!

I only get to see them once a year -- maybe twice if I'm lucky -- and they will be here for 4 days over Christmas - YAY ME!!!! I'm not a 'mama's girl' or a 'daddy's girl', I'm just my parents BABY GIRL and I am so happy when they are near. Ahhhhh...

So I decided I need to get some things started sooner. I cut out all of the new-to-me patterns while catching up on Hell's Kitchen with my daughter, and on Friday, I muslined the Vogue top.

Well, this is what really happened:

Self #1: I REALLY need to muslin this?

Self #2: remember all those recent revelations about you and the tops you've sewn...

Self #1: yeah but look at how straightfoward this is...and the finished measurements look good.

Self #2: I don't know... it has that odd construction AND raglan will that work?

Self #1: Meh. It'll probably be fine.

Self #2: But you REALLY love that teal jersey...

Self #1: Ugh. FINE.

So into the knit scrap bin I went!

(sorry for the toilet)

Bleh. LOL!

I don't dislike it, but there isn't enough room, Something funky is happening at the front raglan sleeve (too tight across the bust?) and in the few minutes I had it on I must have adjusted that cowl like 13 times.

I think I would love it a size bigger, with a rayon type knit, and tunic length. So I might make it again.

PLUS, I did not like the idea of it with cardigans. And that made me rethink the tops I chose and how they would layer. Minnesota = layering. Period.

So I changed things up a little bit. And chose a different cardigan with a "collar" and another shell vs. a top with sleeves. I need more solid colored shells anyway.

Same color scheme because I really like it

M6996 in animal print

M6078 in mustard

B5493 in teal

S1945 in the black/gold sweater knit

Belle: Still in white challis

Sandra: Still in denim

V9032: still in black suiting

I am still quilting the quilt. It needs to be complete by Thursday morning. I did NOT quilt on Sunday and instead decided to start the "easy" knit projects.

Well, they went so fast! (YES L! THEY as in multiple! lol!!!!)

I was going to "sew the major seams" of M6996, M6078 and B5493.  And ended up finishing the cardigan and the mustard top. B5493 still needs finishing.

I WILL muslin the Sandras this weekend.

Sneaky peeks, reviews of patterns to come!

here the cardigan is unfinished