Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FabricMart Fabricista Challenge Week 4: Lady in Red!

This week we were tasked with creating a RED DRESS! I didn't have a red dress before now, do you??

I knew right away I wanted to try this pattern. I even wanted to quilt the center panels! (Thanks Jess for knocking some sense into my head!).  I had 2 red fabrics in stash; this moleskin and an ITY.

After making several woven garments lately, I went and made some adjustments right away -- I did a 3/4" swayback adjustment, 1/2" narrow shoulder adjustment, and removed 3/8" from the center back grading to nothing at the waistline.

I made up a muslin which looked pretty danged good!

As expected, too tight across the back :-p and a little too much fabric at the armhole (I have it pinned out already), but otherwise pretty good.

I was trucking right along and ended up having to redo the pivot point like 6 times on one piece! The first one went in effortlessly and then the second one was all bad. Same with the back. Put the first one in; then all hell broke loose. BUT I GOT IT!

I quit the dress for the morning, to return later. I swear, no matter how much of a 'jump start' I get on these challenge projects, I ended up sewing like a crazy person on Sunday.

shield your eyes, it is bright!! :)

The only dislike I have is that with the flange sleeve, you finish off the armhole with bias binding - fine. But then they have you topstitch. This looked pretty terrible and I had to rip it out. I should have known better.

I hand sewed the bindings in place and catch stitched the hem by hand too. I am really surprised by how soothing I found this.

Otherwise it is a really well done pattern.  Also, I wish I would have interfaced the flange sleeves. Dang it. Also, I forgot to interface my zipper area. I was really worried, but this fabric handled well and there are no lumps

We had to give the 'story' behind our dresses as well;

My red dress is getting paired with black accessories for a night out. 

My friends and I have a fun night planned; dinner, drinks and a show! We are donning our sassiest well-fitting sheath dresses and hitting the town! 


Unfortunately, Beth of 110 Creations had to withdraw from the contest :/ She had an emergency and needs to, understandably, focus solely on her and her family right now. 

So while there will be no eliminations this round, there will be a winner. So head on over to the Fabric Mart blog and VOTE! (for me I hope!)

A Little More Randomness...And Vogue 8839

You're being inundated with blog posts!!! Sorry :)

THANK YOU to everyone for your kind words; the support is greatly appreciated. I'm going to be away this weekend and I could have just scheduled a couple of posts but, whatever.

First, I finished V8839 a little while ago but don't love it like I thought I would :(  It's too big - I've bought the smaller size range so I can make a medium (wah! I have to cut all 7 pieces out again). AND the fabric is too floppy. I thought this lightweight knit would be perfect but really, it doesn't allow the waterfall front to naturally drape. I have to "arrange" it. Maybe that's in part to it being too large? I don't know.

I HAVE purchased a beefier double sided knit to try again. Love this combo though so we will see how it works out. If I realize I'm not wearing it much, I might give it a new home.

I *like* it, I just don't love it. 

I had to have my daughter take my photos for the contest last night and I caught her just before a nap. So I didn't ask her to photograph this too! :) So poor lit selfie it is!

I'm wearing it over S2255 which is collarless and sleeveless. It does look better over a more substantial shirt:

That shirt is from Christopher & Banks. I picked it up at the thrift store for a couple dollars. Loved the details on it. I was going to wear it today but it was SOOOO wrinkled! haha! I did not have time to iron it.

shoulder princess seams in front and back darts

Grosgrain ribbon sewed to the front

LOOK at those cute buttons!!!

This is the first RTW shirt I've seen with the continuous lap...

I styled this on Lily with the sleeve cuffs peaking out. But that won't happen because these sleeves are too short. I wish they were an inch longer. So I am probably more likely to roll them up.

Neemie posted about wanting a denim skirt and I was going to suggest the one I made; but couldn't remember if it was the Burda or Lekala in denim.

When I made those two skirts, I was put off by the darts in the Lekala pattern. WHY a yoke and darts?? And then I realized that I can remove those darts easy-peasy.

I (as usual) got pretty giddy with myself because it proves I am learning!! The top piece is the Burda pattern; the bottom is the Lekala. If I slice that dart leg (and add some horizontal-ish slashes too), what will happen?? The pattern piece would curve up on the outseam like the Burda one! Silly dart eliminated!

Because I need just a tad bit more mindless sewing; I'll be cutting out M6360 leggings and M6612 tunic today. Fast. Easy. Knits. 

6360--The longest pair, but with no zippers

6612--View A (the model is doing weird things in every photo)

Aaaaaand, tomorrow I'll be posting my red dress! :-) Can't wait to see what everyone came up with!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thoughts and Reflections...And a Finished Item

I had VERY busy weekends since the contest started and inevitably ended up sewing ALL day on Sunday in an effort to get pictures done while it was daylight. This week, I knew we had nothing going on and I got started right away.

I spent several hours on Saturday working away and then at around 5:15 I saw that my mom had tried to call me several times. When I called her back, she let me know that her mother had passed. I'm okay -- I did not have a relationship with her. Really only my mom and uncle did. But I am deeply saddened for my mom. My parents live in GA, my uncle (mom's only sibling) lives here, and their mother in Chicago. So they faced finding out over the phone and both being many hours away from her. I have a deeper, profound sadness that, even though she was a severely troubled person; she died at home alone, and no one knew. 

My mom was just telling me early Saturday morning that she hadn't heard from her in a week and was worried. She asked a cousin (on my dad's side) to stop by and check on her. And that's when they found out.

My stress level hit the roof because my mom was so sad. So after getting a good cry out and getting lots of hugs from hubby and kids, I went to my next salve - sewing. 

I knew better than to work on my contest project and was looking for an easy thing; which meant a knit. I had this idea for a black & white striped jersey knit top with black sleeves. I knew I didn't want a plan striped tee and started looking through my (ever growing) Burda magazine stash. I decided this tee was perfect with it's crazy asymmetrical-ness.

08/2014 #132

I cut a size 40 neck/shoulders/armhole and a 42 for the rest. After cutting the pattern pieces I realized this was an oversized style. I measured the front and back pattern pieces and the sleeve, and ended up not adding any seam allowances -OR- hem allowances. I used a 3/8" seam on the sleeves and 5/8" through the body. I did a 5/8" narrow hem and 3/4' sleeve hem. If you are tall; you will LOVE this pattern! LOL!

I cannot explain to you how the front drape works. It was definitely a "make it work" moment. There's slashing of your fabric (SCARY!), pleating, and then sewing it back together like a dart. I used the sewing machine for this part with a narrow zig-zag.

(blue is my marks for the pleats...)

After sewing the shoulders and attaching the sleeves, I slipped it on and decided a 5/8" side seam would work. So I did that right on the serger.

Know what's really funny?! I made zero attempts to match the stripes while cutting. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

When I was pinning it I realized it was really close. so I was able to mostly match. Both sides are off right at the underarm but I figured that was less important. The pleated area is a little off too. But a you can image it was HARD matching that side! 

The striped fabric is from FabricMart. It showed up yesterday afternoon while I was sewing my red dress. Along with these:

Pink(!) and Emerald poly boucle, Navy striped ponte, b/w jersey, Sandalwood jersey

The black fabric came from either Hancock or Fabric.com; Not sure. It has a subtle stripe too and is slightly sheer.

The hem is really curvy so a narrow hem was easiest.

Sewing reflections; when I attached the neckband it was beautiful...except on the left side in back. It was wavy and standing away from the body. DRATS! I unpicked the serger stitches (whine) from the left shoulder seam to about 1" on the other side of the center seam of the band. I cut off 1" from the neck binding and seamed it back together, and resewed it. 

I was so proud of myself for not making this out to be a big deal and just DOING it so that I'd be happier with my work.

Lastly, I am watching the Bears v. Packers and HANDSEWING!!! I am doing a catch stitch on my dress by hand. And it's cool. Yes. I said it. Me, who swore off the evils of hand sewing...I am enjoying this more than I thought. (Shout out again to Fashion Sewing Blog -- her tutorials and explanations are just the best for me!)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Finished Item: Vogue 1411

When the last Vogue batch of patterns were released, I was surprised by how many were on my "must have" list.

Vogue 1411 was very near the top!

I thought the seaming was amazing and even though I have two seamed Vogue pants already (hey, I am a collector!), I still had to have them.

I am learning NOT to be afraid of lots of seams! Seaming = shaping and these pants are a near-perfect fit!

I wanted to make the legging - view B. My size has a finished leg width of 13 1/4". View A has a 18 1/2" width. I will probably make view A at some point though as I love this image on the pattern

I always flat pattern measure; it's my way! I decided that size E would work best but holy buckets that would be A LOT of negative ease at the hip. So I ended up cutting all the lower leg pieces in a size E and cut the upper front/back with an E at the crotch and a F at the outseam. I did a pivot and slide at the waist to remove 5/8" on both front and back. The F had a finished waist of 38"; my waist is 34" or so. I don't need 4" of ease on an elastic waist pant!

I stitched these up on my sewing machine, trimmed the seam allowances down by 1/4" and THEN I pressed them open. 

The instructions have you stitch a seam then topstitch. No thanks. I stitched all my seams and then went back and topstitched them with a twin needle. I do like the wider stitching on the above sample though so maybe I'll do that in a lighter fabric.

I ended up doing 1/2" side seams and view B are ankle pants. Just know that. I had to use a 3/4" hem (it calls for 1 1/4") as they were JUST at my ankles unhemmed. But it's okay with the straight version. I would've been a little miffed about that on a boot-cut. orrrr I could make sure I measure the length ;-)

They take a slight dip at CB; will add 1/2" or 3/4" to the back rise.

The seaming is SO COOL!!!! 

The first leg seam meets at both the inseam and sideseam on front and back so make sure you stitch those carefully.

They instructed to add elastic to the lower curve of the crotch seam; I have never seen that and don't know that I'd add it again. It's weird when wearing the pants. I did like the tip about anchoring the elastic at the side seam (I also did this with the twin needle).

Oooh and after finishing I went back and did a twin needle stitch at the waist seam; I really love all this topstitching! :)

I'm loving the pants and these WILL be made in black and/or grey as soon as I get my grubby little hands on a decent ponte! (This knit came from SR Harris warehouse here in Minneapolis).

Oh and a printed pair too! I've been wanting to channel my inner Making the Flame and make some fun, colorful printed leggings. I don't run but I think these would make fantastic running pants too!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fabric Mart Fabricista Challenge: Week 3

I was pretty dang nervous when I got Julie's email about this week's challenge. I have always had a "mmhmm" toward the copying of RTW garments. But I was motivated by the prize for this week. fabric. free fabric.  I actually had INSTANT ideas. There were three options; my Converse One-Star jacket that I wear like crazy, a knit top that I have worn to death, and a jacket that I have loved since I bought it and can no longer fit.

The Converse jacket was choice number 1. But it had rivets and snaps and tons of details that I just couldn't copy, source materials for and sew in a few days. So I dug out the size 6 Jones New York jacket (you all KNOW I am not a 6 and haven't been since...at least since I got married!).

I was pretty excited because I thought this will be a piece of cake! There are princess seams! No lapels! easy, peasy! Famous Last Words.

So I started tracing and got the body traced off. I measured and graded them up to my size

I cut a muslin out of this sad poly fabric

It fit through the body well but the shoulders and armholes were HUGE. HUGE. i started pinching out fabric and what not and (holy crooked facing) then...then I set in the sleeve.
Fail. Fail. Fail. I have never sewn a 2 piece sleeve and it's hard to trace off and yeah. THAT didn't go well. I consulted resources but I just did not know how to fix it.

At this point it was 10 p.m. and I'd put a good 7 hours into this project and I had to throw in the towel or I would have nothing to show!

My husband tried to convince me to copy this Mossimo dress and I like the dress but I just don't need several lined dresses (I have been determined during this contest to sew things that I will actually wear afterwards.). Plus, the fabric that I'd gotten for the jacket from the wool remnant section at SR Harris was actually 100% poly. Booo! The original jacket is 50/50 linen/cotton and it feels pretty dreamy. So fail after fail.

So what do you do?

Plan B.

I wore this outfit to run errands and go to the salon on Saturday. Ironing the top, I saw all the past shine spots from a too-hot iron...the tiny pin-prick holes that have developed...the faded color and decided Plan B should have been Plan A all along.

I love this top.

I love the way it fits. I love the narrow waist and fitted hip. I love how it hugs but isn't tight. I decided I should totally own another (or two) of these so that I can retire this one!

Poor top. 

I used the same stabby pin method (Tech term Dina!) to copy the pattern.

The front is cut on the fold, the back has a seam. I made sure to fold it at center and traced off the front and back pieces. There are several ways to do this but I like the paper on top. This way I create a line with my pin oricks but also by indenting the paper. The curves were finished off with my French curve. 

I took advantage of the copying to shorten it a bit and to make the arms slightly larger near the hem. I also shaped the center back seam a bit so I would have less pooling.

I added 3/8" seam allowances with 5/8" at the neckline so I could do a "turn and stitch" like the original.

My pattern

What's that little triangle you say?

I NEVER cut rectangular pattern pieces. Instead I measure them and then use a ruler/rotary cutter to cut them out for more precision.

The original is rayon lycra knit and has that lovely springiness. I actually have two cuts of rayon lycra that I picked up recently from SR Harris and one is a teal blue. -But- I knew I was going to make Vogue 1411 out of this berry colored ponte and my fabric choice was sealed.

I used this "paint splatters" jersey from Fabric Mart. I picked it up on my last jumbo knit order and it was a perfect match to my pants fabric!!!

That's a happy lady!

LOVE IT!! Dare I say, MORE than the original!!!

Vs. the original:


My jersey doesn't have as good a recovery as the original rayon Lycra knit. 
The wider sleeve hems are nice because I can push it further up my arm now. 

Neckline finished with a twin needle. 

It's a great copy and again, I am so thankful for this contest to attempt something I've not had the guts to do!!! I have actually ordered another cut of fabric to make a solid one. 

I could not WAIT to wear this outfit! I don't know what's up with me and shades of red lately but I'm rollin with it!

I got off work Monday and ran home to pick up my daughter and change into this outfit. I'm at my son's football game here (hey, it's halftime!).
Well, minutes after this, one of the coaches came over and asked me to come with him.


On the last play, my son took a big hit, blacked out, came to(!!) but was dizzy and unstable. Several hours in the ER later, he's okay, the concussion is mild and he's benched for a week minimum or until the symptoms subside. WHEW! I think I sprinted across that field in record time!!

Now, don't tell anyone that I'm also wearing the shirt to work today with tan pants. Heh, I love it!!!!

Voting is open through tomorrow, 25 September!

**Pants are Vogue 1411. I will write a separate post reviewing the pattern.