Friday, August 29, 2014

Best Laid Plans

(Thanks Jess for the blog title!)

Sooooo. I made it! Woot!!

Read about my 5 cohorts here

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Patterns and Plans

warning: photo overload ahead

I'm sure you know that like all the new fall patterns are out - Simplicity, Butterick, New Look, Burda and McCall's. Way too many to fully review!!!

You saw that I snatched up a bunch of new Simplicity patterns; but there's MORE.

From the Butterick Fall lineup (not much to be desired, IMO); I picked up 6100 (tops) and 6104 (jackets)

From New Look; I picked up 6298 and 6301

And from Burda, 6839 and 6878. The Burda envelope patterns were in stock at Hancock and they had the catalog...but the patterns STILL aren't up on the Simplicity website yet! I mean, SERIOUSLY!

In the month of August, I've added a mind-boggling 45 patterns to my pattern stash. oops. 5 of those were free though!!! :-)  And two were picked up for someone else because I was there and in case they replied "YES PLEASE!"; which they did not. It's okay... 

VERY interestingly; 24 of those new additions were Simplicity patterns. I seriously need not another pattern. Not. Another. One.

McCall's were released and were primarily a snoozefest for me. I feel like these 2 are must haves (ignore the statement above about no more patterns, please)

7026. I mean. LOOK at it.

7013. I have to buy this. I have little girls that need cute jackets. No really, I do!

 I like this vest (only views C & D) we'll see.


Plans. Yes, I have made humungous sewing plans for fall. It's not a mini wardrobe or a pac; just things I need in fabrics I like. I am trying to ensure that everything matches at least 2 things that I already have - e.g.; a top needs to match at least 2 pairs of pants. And a pant needs to match at least 2 tops.

I swear the cape is much cuter than this horrid pattern photo. I swear.

Because I want to look cool like her. 

Because this jacket rocks (shortest peplum, no lapels with this fabric)

(charcoal grey, a tan heather, olive)
2 pants in the TNT S2700, 1 in the Vogue. Maybe 2 if my 'wearable muslin' turns out.

 A few woven tops; TNT S2255 in white and a light print (cut out this morning).
Black tie neck shirt and plaid casual shirt.

A few knit tops; S2369 in a light sweater knit. Vogue cowl neck in jersey and S1916 in ITY(?)

Of course, these plans could be changed at anytime because of "Oooh, shiny!" or...

EEEEEEEK! We will see :-)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Finished Item: Simplicity 1803

So I waited and waited to blog the dress and then....I got a stupid migraine and we didn't go to the wedding. Booooo. While I've taken two naps today and feel slightly better; I'm feeling like tomorrow will be a long day.

ANYWAY; I am always chomping at the bit for a reason to wear a dressy dress. When my husband told me about the wedding I knew I'd be making one - 1) Because...duh. I love to sew! and 2) my "wedding guest" dress fits like this:

No good. 

But it's a cute dress!! 

and it gave me the motivation to choose my fabric for the dress I was going to make!

I hemmed and hawed over the pattern. I needed something relatively easy to sew but still interesting. Fitted bodice but gathered or pleated skirt - so I didn't have to worry about fitting top and bottom. I was going to make a woven and a knit dress and choose between the two but I fell in love with Simplicity 1803 and didn't 'need' the knit dress!

I really wanted to make the view with the cutout but saw a few reviews that stated it gaped and again - no time for fitting/fiddling. I didn't chose bodice C because on most of the views that I saw, the points kind of flopped. Maybe if I make that one I'd interface that area so they would stand up. So, I chose bodice B.

I lowered the bust curve of the princess seam and added 3/4" to the bodice as described in this post. And then I sewed that baby up!

In the post referenced above, I realized after I'd made the front uber neat that I was supposed to insert the straps in the front. Oops! Hey!! They called it a "yoke"! BUT I only had to unpick the width of the straps (plus ~1") so it wasn't too bad. Once I got past that, the rest of construction was pretty smooth sailing.

I was crazy super careful about forming that 'V'. I didn't want any wonkiness. I also decided to just pink that seam instead of serging it. (oh and when taking these pics I realized I never serged the waist seam! hahaha! I will do it when I switch back to white thread in the serger).

Can we stop and behold my invisible zipper?

I mean, srsly. (I crack myself up!)

When I got the dress assembled but before putting the zipper in, I had my husband help me with the final fitting. He may be silly but he is helpful! Him for fitting and DD for photos. My son? Uhmmm...OH! he washes my fabric for me when it comes in! :)

I ended up taking about 1/2" from each side of the bodice, tapering to nothing near the waist seam. I will transfer this adjustment to my pattern.

Let us NOT behold my hand stitching job. I really suck at it! But, the facing is tacked down and it is only on the inside and...

Interestingly enough, I really didn't find the skirt too full at all! I'm starting to wonder if the "too much ease" problem is more an issue for smaller sewers. Because let's face it, if there is less of you, you generally need less ease. I cut a size 16 and that's my "normal" big4 dress size.

To gather the skirt I used 3 rows of basting stitches. 1 row just outside the stitching line in a bright orange (for easy removal) and 2 rows inside. It was STILL really hard to gather all that fabric! But I think the row outside helped and I whined like a baby unpicking those orange stitches. Part of that is that my machine's longest stitch ain't all that long.

Let us also behold my blind hem:

Another skill that I'm really improving on with each time I do it!

Finally, I tried it with a couple of skinny belts and none of them were quite right - white, black and neutral. So I cobbled together a belt from the scraps of fabric I had left.

**Special shot out to FabricMart for sending me 1 yard and 33 inches of fabric on a 1.5 yard order! Woot!! Fabric is Maggie London 100% cotton sateen

In the side and back view I'm wearing the belt. It pretty much disappears but I still think it helps with definition. 

So because I lurve this dress so; I will be making a couple more. I will use this one with the cutout for my LBD and I have a navy w/white polkadots. I mean, it's an awesome dress!

Future adjustments: 
Take a 3/8" wedge from the center front pattern piece (it will lie flatter against my chest then)
Remove some of the length added to the back. I will do a wedge because I need the extra length for the front.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Finished Item: Simplicity 2369

Dress pics and review are coming - promise! I just love it sooo much and think it'll be better served if I take pics on Saturday fully dressed-up. It's such a sweet dress <3

Soooo not like I have any other in progress projects or anything...

I was going to make a knit dress too in case this un-muslined dress didn't work out. S2369 was on the radar and I decided I should make the top first.

This pattern was a PR best of 2010 and now I know why!!

I rough cut the paper pattern on Sunday, ironed it out Monday morning and cut it out Monday afternoon. From cut pattern to hemming was about 2.5 hours. And that was with me having to put it on my dress form thirty-seven times to ensure I was stitching everything correctly. I consider this a quick project!

No swayback adjustment needed!!

There's a little extra fabric at the bottom of the wrap. I could've stretched it out while hemming...I'll pay attention to that next time.

The wrap

Pleats are made then the strap is attached. I -heart- the pleats!

This last pic is kind of washed out but you can see the details a little better. Sorry for the bathroom selfies...I was too excited to wait for "real" pics! :)

I decided to cut a size 16 (14 at the neckline/shoulders/top of the raglan sleeves); the finished bust was 39" and I am 39.5". Because I was leery of it being tight, I used 1/2" seams at the back and sides. I think this was a great idea. It fits very nicely and skims the body.

Construction isn't hard...but I've gotten to a point where I just go forward and yeah...this is one where it makes more sense to follow the directions. I swear I pinned this thing to Lily like a thousand times to ensure I wasn't messing up. I even sewed lots of seams on the sewing machine instead of going straight for the serger! I know! ME! :)

I love the fit. Love. Love. Love. I love the wrap. It is not revealing at all. I left the band "out" because I didn't want to show cleavage. But I like it better folded in (like a facing?) and will do that next time.

I was nervous about the flutter sleeve but it really works! I think it's cute on me.

There are no real dislikes; just that the ties are way too long for the top; but that's a preference and is easily changed. I mean, it's tied in a bow and there's a foot of extra tie!  Oh and it's tunic length. I didn't want a tunic so I shortened the pattern 2 inches.

Shortening it in the flat pattern stage was a must because holy cow did I just squeak by with my 1.5 yards of fabric! Whew!! The pattern calls for 1 7/8 I believe for the size 16 and it is needed. It was a little dicey there for a minute and one of my sleeves had to be cut single layer to ensure I could fit it in!

Got a pic!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Changing Plans and...More Stash

I had plans to do more work on my red pants this weekend and make a new knit top. But then, DH  "remembered" that we are going to a wedding next Saturday. 

Well of course I CAN'T pass up an opportunity to make a non-casual dress!!!! So I started looking through my options and then chose 2 - a knit and a woven. But I did not have enough fabric.

(**when I don't know what I'm going to make I generally get 2 yards. I think I need to change that to 3 yards.**)

So from the time I took this picture and had intentions on writing this post, I started the dress. For some odd reason, of all the adjustments I need to make; I am bothered by the need to lower the bust curve on princess seams. It's a silly thing to be bothered by; I don't care that I need to cut a 16 or 18. I don't care that I need to adjust for my butt. I don't care that I need a larger waistline...but the dang lowering of the bust point drives me a little crazy. Weird.

I also added 3/4" to the bodice length because these types of dresses tend to be short.

I was in the zone, right? And I made this happen:

I kicked butt on this point! And I beautifully trimmed and clipped and under stitch and pressed.

And then I read  the directions and uh...I was supposed to attach the "yoke" aka the strap between the bodice and facing. 


Wait, not all of it. Only the part that the strap needs to attach to. Gah. So I'll unpick that part and fix it. I plan to get the bodice done tonight, check the fit, and finish up tomorrow.


I bought more patterns. Didn't I *just* say...?? Oh never mind! They were $.99!


There's a small new Simplicity collection (HERE on Pattern Review!)

A few new ones...

I promise I'm done buying fabric for awhile. Wait. Excluding my two upcoming trips to SR Harris! 

When I got home and saw the box I realized that I'd forgotten that I ordered it! ooooops! 

OMGeeeeee the colors are so vibrant on all of these!

Jersey knits. I think the black & white animal print will become a cardigan.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Forcing the Mojo

Can sometimes be dangerous territory. In this case; I need to. I have TOO many things that I need to get started on to wallow in mojo-less land.

Last night I forced myself to sit at the machines and I actually got some stuff done!

DD got her tshirt hemmed and really likes it except it "makes her feel naked". This one...It's floaty and *just* the right length and it has the loose sleeves. All things she asked for...but she wants a black bandeau to wear underneath; but not a tank top because that's too much. Sigh...

I had 1 yard of this fabric and she got a top WITH sleeves from it! I really loved this when I got it so of course she did too; and she took it from me. It's almost a "digital" floral in that it has these horizontal lines through the fabric.

The pattern had bands on the sleeves and bottom but she didn't want those. Now, she is tall but she's all legs. Her torso is "normal" length but she then has a 34" inseam! So this view of the top would probably be WAY short on someone else who is 5'8" but more proportional. I like that it's a 'barely' cropped top and think it really suits her.

I attached the binding flat and used a double needle on the neckline and sleeve/bottom hem. I am now seeing how well raglan sleeves fit her (wide shoulders) and how they don't work for me (narrow shoulders). Sigh...again. :)

My kimono is waiting to be finished.
My red pants are in progress.
Style Arc Issy knit top pattern is traced off and ready to cut (I'd like to wear that this weekend so I'd better get started!!)


I'm going to throw my name in the hat for the Fabric Mart Fabricistas challenge!

I'm "scared" but I think it would be fun if I were to be selected. But I'd totally have time to sew all the things because it'll be football season! LOL! So, fingers crossed!
I FINALLY wore my ponte blazer -aka- the Masters Jacket and swooooooon. I love the color, the fit and the ease of wear. C'MON FALL!!!! 

Excuse the bathroom 'selfie'.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

UPDATED! Finished Items: Simplicity 1696 and Vogue 9026

Ok definitely cuter with a solid.

Edited to add: I first cut S1696 like, a year ago. From a coral stretch bottomweight.  And then I realized I'd cut them with vertical stretch. I put the pattern away. 

I pulled it back out for the mini wardrobe contest and cut them from a lime stretch twill. And then I realized I'd cut them with vertical stretch. I put the pattern away.

I was ready to burn this pattern and never bother with it again; it was cursed. CURSED!!! :) And then I Erica's and decided I would tackle them!!!


I had a vision of a floral pant with striped top. I do not like these two all. And I'm tired and mildly cranky and I'm just going to copy my PR reviews...mmkay :)

Pattern Description: 
Slim pants have fly front, contoured waist band and front slash pockets. 

Pattern Sizing:
8-16 and 14-22. For SOME odd reason I had the smaller size range. I blame this on my beginning days...I would just grab the pattern from the drawer and run.

I had to have a Tim Gunn "make it work" moment with sizing. THANK you for 1" side seams.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes! The instructions were very good and included all the important stuff like under stitching. I don't think the Amazing Fit pattern fit instructions are completely helpful...but I think the overall instructions are good.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

The pockets, the pocket facing (which is much nicer than just sewing the pocket to the front...I love the leg width, love the curved waistband and love the extension at the back crotch seam.

Fabric Used:
Floral denim from SR Harris. Polka-dot quilting cotton for the pocket bags.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Whew. Hang on to your hat.

Again, I had the size 16 and NEEDED the size 18. The finished hip width was 43" but I had the extra seam allowance to play with. BUT I have apparently gained weight. I basted 1/2" side seams and could barely pull them up.

After much trying on and unpicking and resewing; I ended up with:
5/8" front crotch seam
1/2" back crotch seam
1/2" inseam (I know...but I really, really needed that extra room)
3/8" side seams

I added 1" to the back rise with a wedge and removed 1/2" from the front crotch. I pegged the leg about 1/2" but I don't think it's really necessary with this pattern.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
yes. yes. Yes and yes. This is a really fantastic pattern - especially if you have the right size! 

I have since picked up the bigger size range, added to the back crotch point and did a full thigh adjustment. 

Pair #2 has been red RPL. Cannot wait.

A fantastic pair of slim fit, casual pants. Again...I have to refrain from turning like every eligible fabric into these pants.

These took me quite awhile to sew up, but that's because I wanted to ensure I was doing REALLY good work on them. So they are very neatly sewn and I am super proud of my blind hem!

Pattern Description: 
MISSES' TOP: Semi-fitted, pullover top has neck band variations, side front seams and long sleeves. A and B: sleeve and lower bands. C: collar and stitched hems. FABRICS: Moderate Stretch Knit: Jersey, Cotton Knit, Interlock, Lt.Wt. Sweater Knits.

Pattern Sizing:
XS - XL, I cut a medium.

The medium has a finished bust of 40.5". 
Ask me why I chose a medium? I dunno. I was on a "let's not pay attention to sizing" streak.

That's pretty dang close to my full bust measurement so I should have cut a large.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I did not use them. There's the front, back, sleeve and then the bands. Construction is pretty cut and dry.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
There is blousing around the bottom (you've got to really stretch that bottom band...) but it is somewhat fitted at the bust. That was a little odd for me. 

I really like the sleeves and it fits well through the shoulder.

Fabric Used:
Ponte knit from FabricMart

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I sewed the front to back with 3/8" side seams. I attached the neckband flat and the sleeve and bottom bands in the round. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might sew it again. I'd have to do some kind of FBA on it. 

I tried reallllly hard to match the stripes and the angle just wouldn't allow me to so I "matched" pink to white in an attempt to make it look intentional.

It was a very fast project and it's okay...I tried it on with jeans and still didn't love it. It's currently in the sweater box and maybe it'll make me happier come fall.


In an effort to revive the mojo...and inspired by Erica B's kimono, I went ahead and cut out S1318 and got it almost finished! But no dice...I haven't been in the cave at all today. I know the mojo will return soon. I can wait.

My FIRST rolled hem!!! More on that later.