Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sew-a-Palooza Part Two

A few things I intended to include in yesterday's post...but still apply here.

The Midwest is fickle. By the time the 2nd or 3rd week of May rolls around we could be seeing perfect 70 degree weather and if that happens; I want to be ready! I seriously survived last summer with one pair of shorts, a second pair of MOM shorts (my husband hated those shorts!) and a couple of dresses and the plethora of tank tops that I own. We have a very busy next few weekends coming up. So that's what sparked my desire to knock a bunch of stuff out.

I spent the week prepping. This is my preferred (ninja) method when I want to sew a ton. Friday night I sewed two things (save for finishing work) and traced my Burda pattern, assembled my Lekala pattern (cut the paper and did not trace off the assembled paper pattern) and cut out my shorts pattern. I cut all the fashion fabric out except for the denim skirt; I did that Saturday morning.


I WANTED that denim skirt!! Then, I got 'scared' of tackling the Burda and Lekala patterns right away - leave it up to me to choose both to be near-instructionless patterns! LOL! So I decided to do S1430 first. Well...I didn't even use the instructions!! I sewed THREE fly zippers without instructions this weekend! Woohoo!

My shorts expedition starts with Simplicity 1430 with plans to also work up Sewaholic Thurlows (having second thoughts) and Burda 02/2011.

**My 2nd thoughts with regards to Sewaholic is that I am not a pear. Yes, I have a 10" or so difference between waist and hip but I don't have the width at the hip that is generally equated with "pear". I have seen tons of good Thurlows; on thin pears. Kathy who IS a pear and who is also wonderfully curved; sewed the thurlows and wasn't in love. Based on my 2 earlier muslins; I am not either. BUT, I already paid $20+ for the pattern so part of me thinks I'd better try to make it work. AND I think it would be a better option for going through the welt pocket making process.

There's enough room for my thighs! YAY!

Not too shabby

I *always* have those couple of wrinkles between my dart and my butt. I don't know if that means I need to change my dart length or what.

I believe those wrinkles are solely from them being cotton sateen.

This side view shows the importance of photos! They feel GREAT on. But LOOK at that side seam. It is not completely vertical. I literally have a 'greedy butt'! :-) I know how to fix that though!


I decided to skip the pockets since I hadn't muslined this pattern and was using a black sateen that I thought might end up being the death of me (lint. magnet.). Having had success with S2700, I decided to just do flat measurements to see if it would work. I removed 1.5" from CF (!!!) and didn't add any of it to the back.

I chose a size 18 based on the finished hip of 46" and I flat measured the waistband...and once it was all interfaced, "wrapped it around me" and decided it would work. (This is scientific guys).

I ended up taking 7/8" side seams from below the waistband to the hem. I left the waistband SA at 5/8". Construction was ZOOMING right along, my daughter was hanging out in the cave and was asking questions here and there about the process. I generally line my zippers up at the bottom and then cut off the excess from the top. She asked about the excess zipper.

"I leave that there until I sew on the waistband so I don't accidentally pull the zipper pull off"

5 minutes later...no waistband attached...I cut the zipper tape and go and pull the $#($* zipper pull off!

I nearly cried. We both tried in vain to get the thing back on. I did not want to take out the stitching. I did not have another black zipper on hand. In her infinite teenage-wisdom, she said I should take a break. She then made me French toast and kielbasa (sweetest baby ever, you guys!).

After that debacle, I found out that I could reattach it from the bottom. I cut the tape, reattached it and had to handstitch everything in the bottom back in place. WHEW!

I also put the zipper on the "wrong" side. Meh. Works for me. I used some of my polka-dot(!) quilting cotton for the waistband facing. Insides are all serged and I used a 1 1/4" hem.

They aren't perfect but I like them a lot! I don't think I'll tweak the pattern too much. These feel a tiny bit loose but this sateen has some stretch and obviously I plan to use this pattern with non-stretch wovens.

So yep, I love them! Now if only...


Burda 11/2012 reviewed already. Made in this cool knit I picked up from the $2 remnant bin at SR Harris.

Simplicity 2061 again?? already?!!? YES!! In black "lightweight" ponte from FabricMart.

"But wait! Isn't that the same pic as above?!?!" Shhhhh.
There's a weird something happening with the neckband. It's floppy right in the center.

My goof on this pattern? I was cutting the back piece out and had the front close by so I could match stripes. If you feel resistance while cutting, stop immediately! I snipped two holes in my shirt - thankfully in the sleeve hem allowance. Whew!

I mean, who woulda thunk that I'd be salivating over elastic-waisted, tapered ankle-length pants?!?!

Can you say, Holy swayback!!?!?!?!? WOW! I didn't realize it was this bad when I made it last time. I need to alter this pattern immediately! Sheesh.

My daughter has given me a list of things she needs made. She wants the Illusion jacket. She actually asked to wear mine! :-) She's so sweet.

But uhmm...I'm a Burda 42 and she's probably a 34. So...yeah.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Tale of Two Skirts: Burda 02/2014 & Lekala 5871

Sew-a-palooza? Oh yeah. It happened.

I made a knit top and pants (both made before), a pair of shorts and 2 skirts. I'll review the shorts and show off the other two in a second post. I also managed during Sew-a-palooza to make 3 dozen cookies, make two Target runs, have lunch with my daughter, take her to SR Harris and cook dinner! I did not go grocery shopping.

Now, if you recall, I was really working on shorts muslins a little while back. Well then I got it in my head that I needed casual skirts. And I needed a pattern with a yoke. I was perusing Lekala and found 5871.

I really liked it! Except I knew I wasn't going to attempt those zippered pockets without proper instructions. And then I knew I wasn't going to do all that dang top-stitching. And that band is cute from the front but the tabs? Meh.

And then, as soon as I paid for it, I realized there was a recent Burda pattern with a yoked back. Dang it!  But then, I had the lightbulb moment to make them BOTH. Score!!
Burda Style 02/2014 #109 is sized for stretch fabrics and intended to be lined. Lined? Nope. Not today.

The Burda pattern was up first. I'd cut a 44 but after realizing how stretchy my denim was, I decided to use that difference between a 42 and 44 as part of my seam allowance and pseudo make the 42. I attempted to read the directions twice and then said forget it...it's a simple shape; I can do this!

The Bad:
  • I was *SO* intent on my zipper not showing that I put it too far on the fly side and now it's lumpy. Boooo. 
  • I didn't add seam allowance to the drafted fly shield so it's a tiny one :)
  • I somehow drafted my waistband too short and had to patch it. You can barely tell though!!!
  • There were crazy storms today and I only have sucky pictures.
The Good:
  • I really like it! 
  • I used a jeans zipper!
  • The shaping from the yoke is awesome!
The Technical:
  • Stretch denim remnant from Mill End Textiles (purchased last year)
  • Jeans zipper from stash ($.97 on clearance from JoAnn!)
  • Size 14 needle for seams, size 16 needle for waistband, buttonhole
  • Gingham scraps for pocket lining
  • Metal button from SR Harris ($.25)
  • Thread from stash
  • Finished length was 23.5" or so...I didn't add any hem allowance and used a 1.5" hem
I actually top stitched the yoke (on either ride of the seam) but it is pretty invisible. It is neat though! Hahaha!

The Lekala skirt was sewn on Sunday in about 3 hours. It went REALLY fast. I tried reading those instructions four times and MEH!!!!! At the last minute, I decided to leave off the pockets. I like pockets but on women's fitted garments they just seem to get in the way. Every time I put on the denim skirt I have to "arrange" the pocket. Hmmph.

It was raining and WINDY and this is the best outside pic

Some of that bunching is due to my (granny) panties. Sorry.

The Bad:
  • Nothing! I kicked butt sewing this skirt!
  • Wait...the darts. I don't like the darts
  • The cut on fly is too narrow. Next time I'll add 1/4" or 3/8" to it
The Good:
  • Fast. Fast. Fast.
  • I did a good job topstitching the darts and ok on the yoke topstitching
  • I made no adjustments and think Lekala did a pretty good job on the drafting.
The Technical:
  • Cotton twill from SR Harris ($3.50/yd!)
  • Zipper from SR Harris ($.50 in stash)
  • Button from stash
  • Thread from stash!! I was so amazed that I had matching thread. Yay for stashing!
  • Since I eliminated the band on the bottom, I added 2" to the length and a 1.25" hem allowance. I ended up making a 1.5" hem.


They're both good patterns!!!  Yay me!
The Burda is sized for stretch wovens so that affects fit.
The Lekala is great for circumferential measurements; but I think adjustments still need to be made. E.g., my "hip" measurement is 44". More of that is attributed to my butt than my "hips". I don't have enough butt room. This is true for the Burda pattern too; but the fabric stretches.

They both lose with their crappy straight waistband that's just folded in half. Booooo.

Those darts on the Lekala have to go. I don't like them. Maybe I can Frankenpattern and use the Lekala front with the Burda back! :)

In the above pics, the Lekala is on bottom, Burda on top. They are VERY similar! The Lekala is only slightly more wide on the outseam than the Burda.

More Sew-a-Palooza and SR Harris yumminess coming up! :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Sew-Sessment

Did You Make That posted a cool "Sew-Sessment" and because it is list like and I love lists and things that allow me to talk about sewing...

Here goes! :-)

Top Three Items That I Wear For Home:

Tank tops, knit pants, sweatshirts

Top Three Items That I Wear For Work:

Pants, Tops, Cardigans

Top Three Sewing Talents (go on, show off!):

Technical skills, Willingness to try new things, Apparently I'm a quick sewer

Top Three Sewing Weak Spots (ouch!):

Matching fabric to pattern, Bodice fitting, Finishing

Top Three Sewing Goals:

Welt pockets, outerwear, a lined dress

Top Three People Who Enable Me:

Pattern Review members, Fellow Bloggers, Mimi G group members

Top Three People Who I Enable:

Pattern Review members, Fellow Bloggers, Mimi G group members (hahaha!)

Top Three Reasons I Can't Sew:

Time (work, family), Energy (I get tired early), ADD (I overload sometimes and have to quit. I am also in love with knitting)

Top Three Reasons I Can Sew:

Kids are teens, I am wise enough to make time for myself,  I have my own sewing space

Number One Challenge I Set Myself:

A fitted, lined dress. Because I think I "should" be able to do this.


I sew a lot but then I don't. Gah. I think I sew a lot of easy (for me) things. If you see me post a knit, it took next to no time. Especially sewing in bursts of 20-30 minutes. And especially because I am extremely comfortable constructing on my serger.

I made a sleeveless top and pencil skirt Monday night in between making lasagna. Seriously!!

I actually generate a fair amount of wadders too! But I will chuck a project in a heartbeat; without a second thought! (I have a partially written post about UFOs...to post soon). So if I get a whiff of something not working, I will abandon it.

Lately life has been stressful and while sewing is therapeutic, I don't really attempt complicated things during these times. I go for easy knits. Easy. Easy. Or something I already made. I really want to focus more and make some more complicated things.

Like the Burda jacket! That forced me to slow down and think a lot. I need more challenges like that to up my sewing skills, imo.

I digress :)

Take the sew-sessment and see how you fare!

I cut out 3 projects tonight and have 2 knit garments constructed (in need of hems). This weekend is "sew-a-palooza"!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finished Item: Simplicity 1916

I saw a review for this pattern one day and thought...hmmm why don't I own that?!? I picked it up at the next Simplicity sale. Then upon closer inspection realized it would probably be a bit too "boob-a-licious" for everyday life and didn't think much more about it.

On my last stashing post, Michelle suggested I use the fabric I didn't love as a wearable muslin. Ah. Great idea! May as well use that 1.5 yards of odd jersey to try out this top.

Now, for some reason, I chose the smaller size range (ending in a 14). The 14 has a finished bust of 36" (zero bust ease) and I am about 39". So uhmm...yeah. I thought 3 inches of negative ease would be a bit much! And the pattern pieces are oddly shaped so adding wasn't working in my brain. I decided to use 3/8" seam allowances on the CB and side seams, giving me an extra 1.5" Initially I was going to scrap the CB seam but I'm so glad I didn't. It provides great shaping!

I had to scratch my head and walk away and unpick stitches twice due to that little ruched area meeting the straight area!! And I love the way they have you construct it. Makes finishing CRAZY easy. Also, the sleeve cap really does need to be eased. Even if you set it flat, you need to ease it first.

End result? LOVE. It even makes me like the fabric!

Just look at that shaping!! (and not the stuff in the background!)

Too low cut for work

Difficult but cute! LOL! (the second time around only involved ONE instance of unpicking...)

So I decided I HAD to have it in my lovely red fabric and planned on using the instructions given by Myra here to de-boob-ify it.

But then I was inspired by another fabric that I did not initially love. The ITY lace print also scored from FabricMart.

I decided to make a sleeveless top and skirt. I have a perfect pair of nude peep-toes that will make this a great outfit for a night on the town. BONUS that I can split them up!

Excuse the bad lighting and hence strange coloration of the fabric. This top is SO flattering to me!!! Another time where I have to stop myself from making 10 of the same things :) The skirt is a rectangle with a center back seam (next time I'll cut two pieces and make side seams), courtesy of Mimi G's free tutorial here.

Being very careful with planning, I was able to cut out the top (including neck and armhole bands) and the skirt, from 1.5 yards of fabric. A pretty decent score!

Then I decided to return to my summer sewing plan and after running (!) to grab a few of the new McCall's (with 6961 being highest priority), I came home and immediately cut out the pattern.

Well, the pattern ran 6-14 and 14-22. Based on the envelope, I chose the smaller size range.

Luckily I didn't tell myself that a 12 would work with 3.5" of ease. Because then, after cutting out the skirted piece, strap, back and getting to the front...I saw this:

There's only two inches of ease. I emailed McCall's and got a pat reply that I'm not supposed to choose pattern size based on finished measurements. Ok fine but which is CORRECT? (Yes, I know I could measure it but...I was annoyed)

The tissue is correct.

So I was all set and ok with doing an FBA but then decided I didn't like what felt like shifting the blame on to me because their pattern envelope was incorrect.

In the end she said they will mail a new pattern but I have to return this one and they will send me a coupon for a free See & Sew pattern to compensate me for postage.

Uhmmm. O_o

What. Ever.

I had plans to make the top in a rayon challis and Burda 6907 (view C) in black.

The pants pattern is cut out. I have plans to sew this weekend. Hoping to get these pants done, a wearable muslin of the shorts from S1430, and some finishing on other projects. (Yours truly managed to run out of BLACK thread and couldn't finish the hems on the top and skirt. Doh!)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunshine Blogger Award + Randomness

The Sunshine/Shine On Award is meant to get to know your fellow bloggers and allow your readers to get to know you a little better with the use of 10 facts about you!

I was awarded the blog by Dorothy of Sewing Fun Things!

The Rules:
  • Include the Logo
  • Link the person who nominated you
  • Write 10 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 10 bloggers
  • Notify the nominees

10 things you might not know about me

  1. I was the cheerleading captain in high school. This is so shameful for my poor, athletic, anti-cheerleading/dance/any activities that are too girly daughter. But I'm peppier than I like to admit so maybe this isn't a surprise :)
  2. I am equally as likely to be listening to hard-core gangster rap as I am bubblegum pop music. I just like music. But not playing music! My mind cannot learn to read music.
  3. Despite being considered "academically gifted", I almost failed 9th grade. Bore-ing. I swear I think I have ADD!
  4. I was about 3 days shy of 21 before I took my first plane ride.
  5. I sleep 8-9 hours per night. I do not play about my sleep.
  6. I have weird food issues. No allergies but so many sensitivities (no beef, no tuna, bbq sauce is spicy). And I dislike "normal" things like ranch dressing (YUCK!), mustard, mayo...I could care less if I never ate pasta again...etc
  7. I think saying I have a sweet tooth would be the understatement of the millennia. I love candy, cookies, cake, pie, cookies :) I seriously have like 12 fillings. It is so sad.
  8. I do not play outside. No thank you. I don't camp or ski or whatever it is that people do outdoors. I can be persuaded to go for a walk on a nice spring/fall day.
  9. Fall is my favorite. It stinks that it lasts for about 13 minutes in Minnesota because I just LOVE fall! I hate summer heat and humidity. Hate. Hate. Hate. So as much as I complain about 6 months of winter, I could not stand to live anywhere where it is hot most of the year.
  10.  I have 3 siblings, 14 nieces and nephews and am soon to be a great aunt.
I Nominate:

Making The Flame

These are all fantastic blogs with FANTASTIC bloggers! Kind, funny, helpful, and they crank out fun to look at garments. So...be sure to check them out!


Because I luuuuurve Randomness...

I have another finished project to show but I think I am going to make a version 2 so I will blog when it's made.

I wore my new pants yesterday with a super bright yellow top purchased from JCPenney many, many moons ago. It is slightly too small. But since it's a style with lots of ease...it worked out okay.

I am done trying to make woven tops for Dougie. Done. Done. Done. I will only make knits. And oversized things. And pants. I am never making her a fitted woven top again. Did I say that already? Hmmph!!!!!

Okay, the pattern called for a 20" zipper. I wanted to use this coral zipper and I didn't have a 20" zipper. LOL! Well, I definitely needed a full zipper.

If you look at her waist in comparison to her shoulders...Geez.

Poor baby was again traumatized trying to get in and out of this top.

So I now need to unpick the zipper and CB seam and use a full zipper. I also need to redo the front of the right sleeve and the back of the left sleeve (a couple of puckers).

I did a 3/4" broad back adjustment (thanks Anne of ClothingEngineer!) which worked tremendously well. I can now understand, after doing it, why it makes a difference in the sleeve/armscye fit.

I am going to skip the facings and just use bias tape on the neckline. I think she might find a top with facings too cumbersome.

**You do not realize the hassle involved talking her into TRYING the peplum. And I think it looks amazingly cute on her and says even more, "Look at my teeny, tiny waist (that is approximately the same size as my mother's thigh)" ;-)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Finished: S2061

***Edited to add the blogger from which I got the inspiration to use this pattern. Even though I'd made view B before, I hadn't looked at view A. But hers were cute so :) Blog Post

I'm not supposed to be sewing yet.


But you know...I just had to. I had to!!!!!!!!

I needed an outlet and what's better than sewing? Trust me...I tried other things. I cleaned up the sewing room. I washed some fabrics. I looked through my BurdaStyle magazines. I pet my fabric a little. Sometimes these things cure the itch. This time? Nope. Not at all.

Okay...Something I want that's easy. Quick. Not going to be too much work...

Obviously a knit won. The serger had black thread in it.

The ponte spoke to me. It said, "Pssst. PSST!!!!! I want to become pants!". So who am I to deny?

I was going to go with a leggings-type pattern but I didn't want "tight". I wanted to be able to wear these as "regular" pants not with a tunic.

Then I decided against a more traditional pants pattern (waistband, fly, pockets) because...hello? Wrist. Enter S2061

I made view B last year, here:
I'd only been sewing for like 6 weeks!
I decided this was an extra bonus. The pattern was already cut and I knew they would fit. There were only 3 pattern pieces for view A and I cut them out without incident :)

My only adjustments were to remove 3/4" from CF, lengthen 1.5" and stitch the pleats down a little further. I didn't have 1.5" elastic so I used 1".

Pattern matching? Pfft. For suckas. I had no time for that.

A little tighter in the butt than I originally planned.

Look at my cute pleats!!!!!!

It's LOVE! 

I spent all fall hemming and hawing over printed pants. I thought only "skinny" girls could wear print pants. I am so happy with these. They have the comfy feel of lounge pants but look much nicer. Score!

(they weren't yet hemmed as I was thinking about elasticizing the hem. I'll just do a normal hem)

Shirt is RTW from Target a couple years ago.

This ponte is different from any other I've sewn. It's really fluid. Maybe it has a higher rayon content?? I don't know but I'm a happy camper!

***I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award; gotta gather my 10 "interesting" facts!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


***I have the address of everyone who won the giveaway. I promise I will be sending prizes out this weekend. I have some type of issue with going to the post office!***

It's been 30 days since I bought fabric. Yes, I sound like an addict; I am aware :)

This last purchase was stress induced and I decided to fast after realizing I FORGOT that I even ordered it. I came across the pics in my phone last night. Sad. Sad. Sad. But there are some beauties so I will share! :-)

This stuff feels AMAZING. 

The color is a (purposely?) faded look. I don't love it. But it'll likely become a top. 

I don't like this as much as I thought I would. It'll sit though and maybe speak to me. I'm almost thinking M6886 though (interesting print, simple pattern)

Very pretty

Bought expressly to be a wearable muslin of V1387. If I can make it work I will spring for silk. I have never sewn silk!

The color on this is AMAZINGLY vibrant! I want a kimono tee from this. Cute for layering!

Sweater knit that'll likely sit until fall. 

Bought solely to make a scarf. 

Four of these patterns are for my daughter. E.g. The second copy of the bra top pattern. She wants the bandeau top to wear underneath things. So at $1, no problem! :) also a hidden McCalls sweatshirt pattern, S2414, S1918. I had to repurchase M6927. 

While making my black and white top from it, the iron spewed water all over the pattern tissue. Ouch. Ok...I'll just have to try to keep it perfectly flat until it dries...well the next time I went to reach for the pattern, somehow a fabricmart label got stuck and those labels are STICKY. Just ripped a huge chunk out of the pattern. 

I was going to use the (untouched) C cup pieces and do a small FBA but then...it's $1.40!!! My sanity was worth $1.40 so I bought a new one. 

In the catalog for Simplicity 1426, she has on the black and white polka dot bra top and amazing yellow shorts. The catalog incorrectly lists these as S1887. She's actually wearing view D or E of 1464 and if you look past the dowdy model outfit those inverted pleats (??) are pretty dang cute. 

I'm going to make the shorts as a wearable muslin with a plan to make the pants (in red!!!).

I'm rethinking 1462 because, why does it have so many pieces. Gah. 

My hand has been treated AGAIN and I am resting it so no sewing yet. I need to make my daughter's bandeau top, make my polka dot top, ooh I need to make another pair of work pants, and I want to make my jacket. But I want to make those shorts and I owe two aprons and yeah...

310 plans :) as usual...

This morning I wore my Burda jacket in and the receptionist (who sews), asks in mock disgust, "you made that didn't you? Dammit. You make me look bad!" (as she's been sewing as long as I've been alive!) :)

And yep, the weather is still crappy.