Friday, October 31, 2014

October Wrap-up and Sewvember

Where on earth did this month go!?!

I felt like I 'didn't sew a lot' but with the end of the Fabric Mart contest, I still have impressive yardage out for October. Yay!

This month, I sewed:
  • B6104 jacket in brown wool - 2 yards (WIP)
  • V8932 jacket in black - 1.75 yards contest sewing
  • V9032 pants in stone suiting - 2 yards contest sewing
  • S1364 top in ivory cotton sateen - 1.5 yards contest sewing
  • NL6150 tee in white - 1.5 yards (complete wadder - this fabric was horrific. I thought I'd finally found a decent white tshirt weight knit. Nope. I took it off and threw it in the trash immediately after sewing it.)
  • S2255 top in white gauze - 1.5 yards (WIP)
  • NL6123 dress in blue print ponte - 1.75 yards
  • NL6189 skirt in floral denim - 1.25 yards (for my daughter)
  • RTW copied top in taupe jersey - 1.5 yards 
  • S1687 dress in black poly/cotton blend - 3 yards (for my daughter)
  • V1411 pants in black ponte - 1.5
  • B5789 cardigan in tribal print sweater knit - 2 yards
That's a total of 21.25 yards out. 

B6104 and S2255 were both started while the contest was going and are awaiting finishing. S2255 just needs a new collar and sleeves. I had the collar super nice and realized it was sewn on backwards (interfacing was on the OUTSIDE). HA! B6104 has a long way to go and I'm going to have to just get it sewn. It has a lot of pieces and I am not very far along on it.

3.5 yards in-progress sewing, 4.25 yards sewn for my daughter, 5.25 yards for the contest and 1.5 yards in a wadder is why I feel like I didn't "sew a lot"! But as usual, I totally did. :)

This month's favorite garment has to be the V9032 pants. I have had them in my wardrobe for just over 2 weeks and have worn them like 4 times. They fit so well. I had an inspection at work this week on a burned piece of machinery. I got soot on my pants :-( Here's hoping it comes out in the wash!

(I unceremoniously spent ALL of my FabricMart winnings already. Soooo be looking for a fabric stash post!)

I can't even begin to count yardage in right now. So let's just move right along. I have also added a crap-ton of patterns to the stash both via purchases and via a fellow sewers destash! She was so sweet to send me all these patterns after I picked up a couple Simplicity patterns for her and sending them to Canada. She was going to get rid of these and asked if I wanted them - YEP!


Are you wondering what the heck Sewvember is?! Well, I am all over fun stuff like OWOP (WISH I could've participated this year!), MMM and the like so when I saw Bimble and Pimble's post about "Sevember", I was giddy.

C'mon! You know how much those of us in the sewing community love to share!!! :)

I'm not on Twitter but am on IG (sewcraftychemist) and will post their daily. I wouldn't think of posting on the blog daily! :-p But will post an update every 6 days (which would be 5 posts total). 

Back To Our Regular Programming!


I have read every comment and wholeheartedly agree with you all. I love sewing and as a whole, I love the sewing community!!!! Let's get back at it!


So, I've already written my October wrap-up and was going to post it today, but I have new stuff to show - woohoo!

When I got back in town from my work trip, I knew I needed to get started on my daughter's dress for her Sugar Skull/Dia de los Muertos costume. I couldn't make myself start it. Finally on Sunday evening I decided I had to sew something simple to jumpstart the mojo.

I had been meaning to do another version of my RTW copy top that I made for the FM contest and with 2 pieces and a banded hem, I decided that would work perfectly. I had this AMAZING rayon jersey from Fabric Mart and it was washed and ready to go. I assembled it on the serger and went to do a narrow hem on the neckline (the same as I finished the first one) and all hell broke loose. Suffice it to say that after removing stitches for the fourth time, I had all but given up, "But the fabric feels soooooo nice" I thought to myself, so I decided to bind the neckline. THEN, my sewing machine was happy sewing on it. WHEW. The inside isn't perfect and with all the ripping out I'm sure I stretched the neckline out a bit. I will have to add bra strap carriers - but that's okay. Because of the nightmare, I said, forget that noise, and banded the sleeves too. I *LOVE* it.

The fabric is very silky and luxurious feeling. WINNING.

So then I started her dress. This dress had the right shape and I thought it was SO cute. Why did I not say to myself, "Self, this has too many pattern pieces"

At least I was smart enough to leave off the pockets! This dress has 10 pattern pieces (x2) and pleats. It was Thursday evening and I was struggling to just get it finished. So it wasn't fitted much at all and some finishes leave much to be desired.  

I cut a straight size 12 and ended up doing 7/8" side seams. I used an invisible zipper instead of lapped. I chopped off like 4" from the length and did a top-stitched hem.

It's a little big in the upper body but she loved it. And I think it'll come in handy for her!

The dropped waist and pleats are fantastic! 

She wanted a peter pan collar but I just didn't have time to do so. I ended up bias binding the neckline.

I was off work today and I'm coming down with a cold so I was intent on relaxing today. I chilled for most of the morning and then decided I need to get sewing! :) I got myself too afraid ton start up on V1387 so I decided on 'easy knit project' -- again. Lazy.

Butterick 5789, view D. I sewed a size medium using my brand spanking new sweater knit from FabricMart.

There were instructions for finishing the collar such that you didn't see the stitching but I wasn't bothered by serger stitches so I just -zip- serged it in place. I did have to hem that entire, freaking, thing as a narrow hem. I cannot promise you that it's 5/8" and I cannot promise you that it's completely even...but it's done! :)

I don't like it buttoned though :-( It looks weird on me when it's closed. 

And I'm thinking the waterfall style just isn't for me. Maybe because I'm busty? I don't know, I realize I don't love my Vogue cardi with the waterfall and don't love this one either. 

There was no print matching attempts. Well, there was but I couldn't make it happen with the sizes of the pattern pieces and 2 yards of fabric. It doesn't bother me though. 

My pants are v.2.0 of Vogue 1411! :-D  I have a whole lot of this Maggie London ponte in black. I was smart this time and stocked up on it. It's such a good weight for so many things!

The stitching still looks super cool on all black!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blog Drama?

I follow a boatload of sewing blogs. I am a rabid consumer of all things sewing! I love it!

I am not a regular reader at sewcountrychick because I was a little put-off once by a comment she made regarding 'visible hems'. I have great appreciation for blind hems but somethings are just fine with a top-stitched hem! I felt like..."Aren't we on a high-horse..." about it.

But today...Sigh.

Lots of bloggers are calling GOMI out lately and yep, I've lurked the site. Some stuff is ridiculous, some is funny, some is blunt and direct and borderline mean. I think it's much easier to be put off if you read something about yourself or a blogger friend -- I am way too low on the totem pole to be mentioned there, I'm sure, as they focus mainly on bloggers who are monetized or the uber popular bloggers -- but there is some critical discussion about the sewing community there that you can't really disagree with.

Today, Justine posted an open letter to GOMI of sorts... HERE

I was reading it and I was sort of following along, nodding my head...

My comment (it's long - but y'all know I'm long-winded!)

I was completely and totally there until I read this, “…for all we know it’s a frustrated ex blogger on there, eating potato chips while she types, getting fatter by the minute, in a sexless marriage, spending all day behind the keyboard, on this site. Why is what SHE says so important to everyone? SHE is an anonymous nobody who lashes out under the shield of internet anonymity. But why?” I mean…c’mon. That’s pretty rude. If *nothing* else it reinforces fat = bad and it is generally held that body snark is never okay. People are made how they are made.
And then, “Many of these seamstresses can totally outsew the younger group, yet they might not have the computer skills to put together beautiful looking blogs and photos to draw in new readers. I sense a feeling of resentment from some in this group, …”
Seriously, everyone who blogs doesn’t do so to have a million followers and to be “popular”. So I doubt that “resentment” is real.
My $0.02 cents…
I have been sewing just under 2 years. I was frustrated at first with the ‘old school’ thinkers because I did not, under any circumstances, want to sew a stupid tote bag! (poking fun just a little). I started sewing to sew garments and that’s what I wanted to sew. IMO it doesn’t help to try to tell a newbie to focus on fit because fit is the MOST DIFFICULT PART OF SEWING! A newbie is just very unlikely to execute a garment with perfectly fitting shoulders, zero wrinkles, gorgeous buttonholes and a perfectly even hem.
Sew some things up, have fun, eventually you will start to realize what’s “off” and will start asking questions and getting better at fitting your body. But first and foremost most of us do this as a hobby and so it is something to be enjoyed not fretted over about tiny details (like wonky topstitching). Eventually your skills will begin to improve and you will learn to get neat topstitching, etc. Just keep going.
BUT, I feel all bets are off when you decide you are going to sell a product or service. Seriously. There is no good reason for bad customer service. I do not accept bad customer service from restaurants, department stores, the large chain craft stores…why should I accept poor service from someone because they are part of the SBC and have a pretty blog? I think that’s INSANE.
Obviously anyone can start selling just about anything with the internet as a platform. But the minute you start to sell something you are saying “I stand behind this product/service that I am offering”. You can’t go run and hide in a corner and cry fowl foul when someone critiques your product/service.
And then, I got an email that said:
Well said. But people aren’t fat because they’re made that way
It’s because they eat too much and don’t exercise enough. But yes, that comment was rude, and I should probably not have said that . Just painting a picture of the type of person who most likely hangs out on sites like that all day 
I thought, WOW. Did she really say that to me??
And then I realized she actually posted that on her blog, in response to me. And I don't care what anyone thinks, I don't feel I'm perpetuating it, I feel like this really needs to be called out because Oh My Gosh, who says that? I am seriously disgusted. I think that this line of thinking is far more ridiculous than someone at GOMI calling out a blogger who inserts 22 photos in a post or is on Blog Tour #317.
A portion of Samantha's comment sums things up greatly. 
First of all, there are a great many people in the world with a variety of opinions. Their ideas and thoughts are not made invalid due to their weight, body type, or activity level...People who have an opinion that deviates from yours do not deserve to be dismissed in that manner nor should it be assumed that the opinions of those who may be overweight matter less than those of other body types.

Monday, October 27, 2014

New McCall's Patterns!!!

Truly, genuinely excited about this one!!!  Winter collection


Pretty sassy 7053...

I have a thing for waistcoats 7056

This is SO similar to a sweater I stole from Dougie. This is meant for wools but would make up in a thick knit quite well I'm sure!! 7058

THIS!!! I need this jacket/cardigan. NEED it! 7055

And I need this skirt. Like, really badly please. 7054

I want to like the dresses but I don't. Yet. Someone like Adrienne or Erica will make it and it'll be fabulous. But I LOVE this top. I mean LOOK AT IT!!! 7046

What?? I do need this. I need nightshirts! I have cute fabric in animal print and penguins waiting to become nightshirts!!!

Wait, I take back re: the gowns... 7047 is nice but the fabrics are so disturbing...

Plus SUPER cute tween patterns:

Disclaimer: I despise those ruffled leggings 

Patterns and Planning; Oh My!

I got back in town Friday night, and was without sewing mojo. I'd started a new hat during my 6 hour airport stay and was eager to finish it. I knit a little on Saturday and Sunday morning and realized I really could finish it if I pushed. So I did. Yay!

The pattern is Boardwalk, free on Ravlery.

I made this one before and chose it because I remember it being really fast. I made it up in Paton's classic wool in this deep berry color. 

Sewing plans!

When I planned on making the S2311 coat, the plan was caramel fashion fabric and a 'very berry' pongee lining. Well...the new Simplicity patterns were released and I was all gaga over this Leann Marshall coat and S2311 got shelved. I mean...SWOON

This coat will be main focus for November. I think it is absolutely beautiful. I will be cutting it close, squeezing it from 3 yards but I think I can do it!

My second big focus for November will be my first quilt. I know I said I had no interest in quilting. And people keep telling me I'm going to become addicted (I will try not to!). I really want to make a full-sized quilt for DD when she leaves for college and I have just under 2 years to do so! :) I'm taking it easy this time and making my own jelly roll strips to do a "Jelly Roll Race Quilt" in baby size. It looks easy and fun and I don't have to worry about a pattern. 

The fabric on top is the backing

Lastly, I have a couple of cuts of fabric that want to become blouses. These are the patterns I'm considering.

Simplicity 1253, McCall's 6898
Vogue 1387, In-House Belle Bow blouse

 I may be able to eek out S1253 plus one of the others since it's a simpler style...we will see. The McCalls pattern has 813 pieces and I unfolded it to cut it out and put it right back in the envelope! The Vogue seems really scary and complicated and the In House blouse is a wildcard because of fitting (although they draft for a D cup - YAY!)

As for the rest of October...I will be making a quick & easy knit dress for myself - I'll pass out candy as a witch! And a dress for my daughter for Halloween. So that will definitely consume the rest of the week.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

FabricMart Winnings!! (and a little randomness)

First of all, I would like to point out that I waited an entire 24 hours (24 hours and 6 minutes) before spending any of my gift certificate money AND only spent about half of it! I got fun stuff coming though!

From the red dress challenge I won:

Boucle-type fabric with metallic threads (2)
Orange chiffon (1)
Pink textured (composition unknown) (2)
Poly printed chiffon (1)
A silky poly pring (5.5!)

20 yards! (10 of each color) stretch lace
10 yards of elastic

A plethora. That ruler is very nice.

Winnings from the bundle challenge:

Coated linen (2.5)
Paisley shirting (DREAMY! 3)
Printed linen (2)

This coating is FABULOUS! (4)

A new pattern

Pretty colors of cotton Gutermann thread!

 And then because I was crazy after finishing the contest, I super-duper cleaned my cave:

And then I made a dress! LOL!!!

I swear when I make the cave spotless I get my mojo back FAST. I knew I wanted a knit version of NL 6123 without the flounce.

This was FAST sewing. Every hem is just turned and topstitched. The zipper is not invisible but it's wearable and comfy!

No adjustments from the purple dress except to add sleeves.

And then, I made DD a skirt using NL 6189

I made a size 6 with centered side zip

I made a mistake and sewed the side panels to the center panel wrong on front AND back. The result is a little puckering but not too noticeable and she likes it so... :)

OH! This floral denim was also a win from the red dress challenge. I got 2 yards and will make a skirt for myself too!

Last up...Because I'm away for a week and can't sew, I brought along a few patterns to cut out and I brought some knitting. I can't knit for long periods for risk of injuring my hand. And I won't knit with fine yarn/small needles. But worsted and a size 7/8/9 is needles?!? And 20-30 minutes max at any given time...and things have been fine. It took 6 days to make this sock but that's okay :) I'll have the second one done probably in a week or so.

 Ooh, really last, I saw this cardigan and want it. Badly. I have some fabric on the way that is a wide stripe like this and I had intentions on making it a cardi. Must score some faux leather to copy this one.

Super. Cute. I think I'll use McCall's 6844. The front of this one has bands like that. And I've made it a million times already so no fit issues. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Coming in 2nd...

I WON 2ND PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!

GUYS!! I WON 2ND PLACE! hahaha! I am very excited and giddy and all that! I get $100 to spend at FabricMart and a Julie's Picks Membership.  Congrats to Dina on 1st place and Sue on 3rd!

This challenge has been insanely fun. Each week, I had to step out of my comfort zone in some way and boy am I a better sewer now because of it! Extra bonus -- I found new blogs to follow and made new sewing friends!

I've really tackled fitting challenges and learned that muslin-making isn't the devil. I've learned to think outside the box a bit more than I am used to. I've learned to think of fabric in a new way. And I got to sew along with some fantastic sewers. SCORE!

I intended to write this post -and- show my yummy winnings from the Red Dress challenge and Bundle challenge but I haven't gotten the second one yet. So be looking for that post :)

Week 1: Embellishing the Grainline Scout tee

I freaked out because the woven, dartless tee would not be my friend and 'embellish'?!? I don't embellish!!! :) I ended up doing an overlay and exposed zipper. 

Week 2: All about FIT!
This dress had been on my to-do list for awhile. I picked up yummy wool crepe and made a well fitting dress to celebrate my anniversary. New Look 6123

Week 3: Knocking off RTW

Again, OUTSIDE MY ZONE! :) I had tried to trace off a simple tee before and got all frustrated. Yep. Had to do it here. I've since traced off another RTW item and want to copy a pair of cropped pants (probably in the spring). 

Week 4. The LRD (little red dress)

This was a challenge in fit and construction. I was VERY proud of my work here and WON this week! Simplicity 1314.

Week 5: The FabricMart Bundle challenge

I was simultaneously looking forward to and dreading this week. There was some amazing stuff put out last year in the bundle challenge and again, I was really pushed to come up with something cool and wearable from 5 random fabrics! :) And I WON this week too!!! McCall's 6844 cardigan and McCall's 6752 dress.

Week 6: Inspired by Art

I created a sleek, chic look inspired by minimalist architecture. I am in love with this outfit! V8932 jacket, V9032 pants, S1364 top.

Thank you SO much to everyone who voted and who cheered us on. It was minorly stressful in that you get the challenge say on, Thursday and your look is due on Tuesday. And somewhere in there you have to choose what you're sewing, get fabric and notions and pattern together, maybe muslin, sew it up, get photos, write it up, and blog about it. WHEW! BUT IT'S SO FUN!!!!!!!!

You (whoever you are), if you are thinking of it, be sure to throw your hat in the ring next fall! :-D


As soon as I finished this last look, I really cleaned up the cave, put everything in it's place, and declared a break from sewing.

And then I sewed a dress! I wanted a comfy knit dress for my upcoming trip to Chicago and I did one of those super-quick sewing jobs and got it done. I have now been informed that my daughter needs a skirt before I leave ;)

Will blog those in the next couple days along with some unblogged makes.

No sewing til I return in a week. Eep.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

FabricMart Fabricista - FINAL Challenge!!!

The FINAL challenge!!!!! I'm crazy excited to still be in! If you've been following and cheering us on (and voting for me!), I would like to extend a big, huge thank you!

From Julie:
"Throughout time, fashion and art have come hand in hand. You couldn't have one without the other or we would look really boring. This week's challenge I'm asking you to pick an artwork, an art movement, an architectural design, etc. and create a garment or outfit that is reminiscent of what you chose."

I love art. But the artworks and art movements that I love aren't necessarily translatable to wearable clothes for me :) Throughout this challenge I've made sure to create garments that I will really wear. Some of my favorite movements are expressionist and graffiti art. I had some ideas but I knew that I wouldn't be 100% into it (although I may create that bomber jacket inspired by graffiti at some point!).

Way back when, I wanted to become an architect and I still love architecture (To be a smallish city, Minneapolis has some amazing architecture!). My absolute favorite architectural design style is Minimalism. I knew that was the right direction for me to take. 

Where some may see minimalist architecture as stark & cold, I see sleek & clean. To me, minimalism involves a modern yet comfortable vibe; a sophisticated easiness that manages to be both simple and interesting.

Translating that to fashion, I immediately wanted a chic palette of neutrals. I knew I wanted a look that had crisp lines, little adornment and an interesting simplicity.

I decided I had to have a pants/top/jacket combo. I also decided I HAD to sew from stash (Fabrics, zippers, buttons, everything is from stash)! 

The jacket is Vogue 8932. This jacket can be sewn wrong sides together, with seams trimmed for an exposed look or right sides together and top stitched. I didn't want the exposed seams with this stiff fabric but would love to sew it with a boiled wool or quality fleece! Fabric here is my "jacketing fabric" from FabricMart. I bought 3 yards of it for $2.40 and then they had it in the $1 section and I bought 3 more! For a total of $10.20 I have made 3 jackets! S2153 for my daughter and me and now this one. SCORE.

I went for a size 18 based on finished measurements and knowing I wanted to be able to fit it over clothing. It fits so well. The back has such interesting seam lines and I LOVE the shaped hem. 

Now, someone mentioned that the back pieces don't fit together. Oh, they do, but you have to ease the CRAP out of it! 

While I wouldn't automatically categorize this as an "advanced" project, there are certainly many opportunities for frustration if you're inexperienced. Pivoting is hard, yo. (You have to be a Breaking Bad fan to fully appreciate that 'yo'). The neckline pivot is much nicer (you'll have to take my word for it) but still not perfect. The topstitching is niiiiice. This fabric takes topstitching so well. I wish I had 10 more yards of it for future projects.

The facing is attached wrong sides together and edge stitched. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT!

This jacket was tough to sew but again, I pushed myself and that made me proud!

**The jacket has no closure and really doesn't need one...I'm thinking of making toggles**

Either a single toggle with the gold one or two with the bar-like buttons. I have some faux leather and black cording in the stash. I didn't get a chance to get them done in time for the submission deadline but will post a photo later once I decide!

The top is Simplicity 1364, a Vintage Jiffy pattern. I knew I'd like the bateau neckline on me and am becoming a fan of dropped shoulders. 

After whipping up a quick muslin (I admit it, muslining really doesn't take that long and is valuable), I lowered my bust dart just a tad, took a tuck at the armhole (like 1/4") and added 3/8" to the center back because it couldn't zip! And here there's excess fabric. Eh. 

I feel like the sleeves are a little weird. Like they fit great if you're just going to hold your arms straight down.

Fabric is something I have no clue about. I think I got it from Hancock or JoAnn but I'm not sure. It is pretty stiff and would've made up a better as a dress. But I LIKE it so...that's what counts. I will definitely sew this one again!

The pants...oh the pants!!!! Vogue 9032

I wanted this pattern so bad when it came out. It has butt princess seams!!! I found a similar weight suiting remnant in the stash and sewed up a knee-length muslin (limited by fabric length) and was amazingly surprised at how well they fit.


I needed to make my normal pants adjustment - removed 3/4" from the front rise and add it to the back but no weird excess fabric at the thigh, no crazy bagging at the knees...ahhhhhh. I am making these AGAIN.

What I will do differently next time; fuse a small strip of interfacing to my pockets as soon as I cut them. I think I have saggy pockets because they got stretched during sewing/pressing/etc. And I will add a smidge at the waist. Like 3/8" to the front pattern piece. It's just a tiny bit strained.

What's super interesting about this pattern is the 2.5" hem allowance. I was all WHAT THE WHAT!? But I love that deep hem. It really helps them hang well. I catch-stitched the hem by hand on these and made the insides as nice as I could.

(I always forget to trim my zipper if I do it this way...normally I shorten it from the top)

And my boots. Love <3

Thank you so much to everyone who has been encouraging during this challenge. It has been ridiculously fun!!!

Voting is open Thursday and Friday!