Friday, February 27, 2015

February Wrap-Up, Stashbusting

First...the stash. I am both confused and in awe of non-stashers.  I can't do it! I have to BUY ALL THE THINGS!! when I see them! I have very good intentions when I buy too! :)

However, I reach a point where I feel bogged down by it all. Of course, it passes and I buy MORE, but in the meantime, I feel overwhelmed and out of control.

So, I am on a stashbusting expedition (we shall NOT call it fasting!). Rough estimates tell me I have somewhere in the range of 280 yards of fabric. This is not including linings, things I bought with the intention of sewing for someone else (that's all in a separate bucket), things that I've already decided will never become a garment and are sitting for the odd time when I decide to muslin...

I am on a mission to sew up (or donate) a quarter of my stash before buying more fabric. This includes the order that is placed and awaiting shipping arrived on Friday from Fabric Mart (cottons were on sale!) and includes my February sewing. And I have a fabric swap gathering coming up March 15th (if you're local or near local and want to link up; we are planning it all in the Facebook Minne-Sew-ta group!) If you are NOT on FB, shoot me an email (sewcraftychemist --at-- gmail) and I will give you the deets!

My last FM order (for a little while) arrived today. I ordered 1 yard of the paisley shirting to use as accents on my red shirt (plus whatever else...) and got almost 2 1/2 yards! End of bolt special! Yay!

I ordered 2.5 yards of the plum RPL for pants and got 3 yards.

I ordered 2.5 yards of the aqua pique and got 3 yards. Woohoo!

There was also some amazingly soft cotton shirting in cream. Swoon.

But I must not be held back! I was at a conference that was right around the corner from SR Harris. There was NO way I could be that close and not stop in!!!

I picked up several jacket-length YKK zippers, a shorter decorative zipper, straps for a camisole, 24-1" buttons, 2 leather scraps, silk organza for bound buttonholes and 5 yards of 2" stretch lace. ALL for $16! WOOOHOO!!!

Don't worry; I won't be foiled on the meet up either! I will _not_ buy fabric for the stash! I plan to sew DH a shirt for Father's Day and will look for fabric for his shirt (and probably more buttons!)

On to February sewing!

I am currently keeping a Google spreadsheet document with my sewing projects. I am hoping this will make my year end wrap up smoother.

This month I sewed up 15.5 yards

  • Butterick 6183 top in plum ponte - 1.25 yards
  • Batman cape - 2 yards (yes, you read that correctly)
  • Burda 02/2015 top in striped linen/rayon - 1 yard
  • Vogue 8620 jacket in denim/navy poplin - 2.25 yards
  • Infinity scarf in purple/pink/metallic knit - 1 yard (gift for my SD)
  • Butterick 5925 top in ITY - 2 yards (gift for mom)
  • Vogue 8731 top in ITY - 1.5 yards (gift for mom)
  • Simplicity 1623 dress in ponte/jersey - 1.75 yards (gift for mom)
  • Simplicity 2508 coat in berry wool - 2.75 yards (WIP)
So 7.25 yards for me and 8.25 yards as gift sewing.

1 top
1 casual top
1 jacket
1 coat
5 gifts

Favorite: Hands down is the Vogue jacket. I was seriously impressed by how well that jacket went together and with the interesting details that were easy yet made the jacket appear more difficult.

Biggest accomplishment: The sheer fact that I sewed so much for others! 

FAILS: Another miraculous month without a wadder!!

I count fabric as "out" once it's cut. There's pretty much no likelihood of me reusing cut pieces for anything other than scraps (pockets, etc), so it's not "yardage" anymore. The coat is going FAST and I'd originally given myself until March 8th to complete it but it won't take that long.

As stated in my last post about it, I am not tailoring this coat. I just need one like yesterday. Lining is complete and construction is in process

I KNOW you're wondering about that Batman cape... It was spirit week at school and one day was Superheroes. DD went as Batman! I basically used a 2 yard cut of -too lightweight for pants- black suiting fabric, sewed the ends together, hemmed it and added a casing for satin ribbon. I made the bat symbol and belt from felt and the arm bands from black cotton knit and felt. She LOVED it.

She looks like an 8 year old here and I love it :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spring McCall's Are Out!

There are some decent patterns; lots of simpler silhouettes. Lots of 'learn to sew' patterns.

They are here


Like the idea; but I don't need another jumpsuit pattern. I think I have 6; plus Burda mags

Several that may appeal to tweens (no offense if it appeals to you too!). 





Cute, but not 'needed'


I'm completely over hi-low hems now but really like the short versions. 


Khaliah Ali cute jumpsuit and cardigan pattern!


Yes please!


Culotte pattern #813

Things I'll never do: SEW ALL OF THESE SEAMS! Oh My Gosh!


Why? Why McCall's?! WHYYYYYY?!

This made me hang my head. I thought I might cry. Seriously. 

I WILL be buying 7119 and 7127, I can pass on the rest. 


A little girls version of 6996!!!! HOW AWESOME!!!



Monday, February 23, 2015

Coat Planning / Vogue 8731 & Butterick 5925

I mentioned sewing up some stuff for my mom. For several reasons;

1) she is even cheaper more frugal than *I* am and won't venture into new fabrics much, especially knits (but she loves knit tops/dresses).
2) she's kind of scared of using patterns
3) I am trying (apparently NOT hard enough!) to lose weight to save my poor, arthritic knees and am not into sewing too much for myself right now. I do plan on sewing some stuff that will easily transition a clothing size (like casual jackets, knit tops, a coat) but I hate doing alterations so I'm watching what I make.

Anyway! I made the M6996 cardi for her and decided to whip up a few knit tops/tunics. We are very close in overall measurements. Bust measurement is near identical except I'm a DD cup and she is a B. So I went with loose knits where waist/hip measurement is less important.

I was almost done with the last item but it was 8 p.m. on Sunday which is prettttty near my bedtime :-) So that one should be coming to the blog soon.

Vogue 8731 is a pattern that was gifted to me and I figured the easy style would be a hit with my mom.

This is one of those rare Vogue's where all sizes are in one envelope so I GASP! traced her size off (a Large) because I might fancy one of those tunics for myself!

I used a cream/black polka dot ITY from Fabric Mart. She does wear poly knits without much complaint so I figured it would work.

See? It's kind of cute on me! Except my boobs remove all traces of that cute pleating.

My only complaint is all the stay stitching you're instructed to do. NO Vogue. No. I also set used binding (sewed flat) as they instructed you to use woven(!) bias binding. Sigh. (I will use woven bias binding on heavier knits like ponte, but not something lighter-weight like the suggested rayon-lycra knit).

Next up was a Tilton pattern. I've been wanting to make her some of these and may pick up a few Vogue's later. I was ALSO gifted B5925 (hey, I have awesome sewing buddies!)

Again, I sewed a Large and had a heck of a time finding coordinating fabrics of similar weight in my stash.

I went with 3 ITY's, navy and 'bluebell' from FM and the print from SR Harris. I *really* wanted the body solid but did not have enough fabric. I rather like it though...

I LOVE the neckband/pocket treatment! I am starting to dig the interesting details in the Tilton patterns, even if they seem a bit too kooky at first glance. I am thinking of stealing this for a tunic of my own. I'll probably copy this patterns neckline to my pattern of choice so I don't need to think about drafting the neckband twist. That seems more sensible.

The sleeves on this were LONG. I hemmed them as stated and they were well past my wrist. My mom is 3" shorter than I am. I had already twin-needle hemmed so I just hacked it off and re-hemmed. 

I actually attempted to match the side seam, even with the inset. I think I did alright.

(do you not love that neckband?!?!)


I have ditched my existing coat plan. Sigh. It's too everyday. I want a fun jacket!

I'm not going full on winter coat (I'll save that for this fall). So there'll be no under/inter lining, etc. It'll be wool with a rayon lining. This will work well for those 25-45 ish type days that SHOULD be here soon (it was -9F when I got up today).

I've decided on S2508 (OOP).

I would like the cool coat of the lady in the lower center, but will have to see if I have enough fabric. Otherwise I'll be going with Ms. Pink on the left.

The sleeve ruffles grew on me fast

But this looks interesting and kind of different

While the fit seems to be decent on these PR patterns, I DESPISE the back of the envelope!

I am completely oblivious as to whether or not I have enough fabric because every.single.detail. is given a yardage. But continuous yardage is far more efficient than separate so I'll have to lay the pieces out and see if I can use my hot pink coating or if I will need to use the black/white herringbone.

To be continued...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mini Photo Dump; A Little Sewing

First, a little Target snoop shopping...I love their jackets and think they're reasonably well made but can't do the $35 price tag. Especially since Target puts their clothing on sale so quickly. I'm sure it'll be marked down 30% soon and maybe even 50%...

Perfect piece for spring!

Ignoring my dirty entry way (hey, it's still winter!)...My daughter's distressed jeans went into fully ripped at the knees. If you look closely at her right leg you'll see a vertical seam where I repaired them before! I think she's going to have to hang these up soon :) But in the meantime; she got a cool polka-dot patch job.

I was being a total hooligan and had a couple of completed items that needed hemming. My mom's cardigan is one of them. M6996 in an animal print jersey from Fabric Mart. 

We're pretty close in size and I've gifted her 2 of my M6844 cardis so this one should fit just fine. I have some "unselfish sewing" in the works for her to round out my February sewing.

What do you do when your husband asks you to make a blanket for a pending new baby in his extended family...and then tells you the baby is due "this week"?

Fleece! lol!

I took a yard of fleece and the JoAnn "minky" (it's called cuddle dot or something or another). I cut it down to 34" x 52" (FYI Husband: babies grow and still need blankies when they are no longer tiny) and put wrong sides together and bound it with the polka-dot fabric (I am getting major mileage from this cut of cotton!) 

The burp cloths are from the Cloud9 free pattern & tutorial (here). I love this little pattern. You can get 2 'faces' from a fat quarter which makes it really easy! I buy solid white flannel to back mine. I saw a great tip about backing it with terrycloth but that was WAY too thick. 

This cute little set is heading west! On it's way to California :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Finished Vogue 8620

I mentioned before that I was SERIOUSLY eyeing this pattern last year when we had a meetup at Treadle Yard Goods here in the Twin Cities. She had used a deep burgundy fabric and had done the screen printing and it was just FANTASTIC on her.

I have seen the pattern on Ebay and Etsy so it is still around if you're looking for it. Anyway, I posted a "wanted" classified on PR and a very nice sewer offered to gift the pattern to me. YAY! Sewing friends are the best!

I'd purchased two cuts of denim from FabricMart for the jeans contest and washed them both. This one turned out streaky and I noticed the weave looks more like a twill than denim. I decided it would be good for this as I wouldn't be too hurt if it didn't work out.

Well, it worked! :)

I think it looks good open or closed!

I like the slight volume in the lower half. And the back makes me HAPPY! Those wrinkles are kinda not real. It's my topstitching of the facing. I have to redo it. It lay smoothly before I topstitched.

I cut a size 14 and the only adjustment I made was to sew the waist seam at 1/2" instead of 5/8". BUT I forgot this would affect the facing too -oops. I "split the difference" between top and bottom.  Next time I'd lengthen the sleeves a little.

I used denim and navy cotton poplin; both from Fabric Mart.
Zipper is a run of the mill Coates & Clark.
I went with white topstitching and it stands out enough without being overwhelming. I really like it!!!
I added a grosgrain zipper tab in white.

The seaming is so awesome <3

The instructions have you bind the pockets and facing and hem and like, everything.


I used a cream/grey serger blend as I don't mind using serger thread as contrast on the interior. I used double fold bias tape on the bottom and then turned up the hem. 

The in-seam pockets are made by staying the top & bottom, clipping and then doing a narrow hem. There's only one pocket piece that is edge finished and then topstitched to the lower front. Works for me!

How all that comes together on the inside...

After futzing around a bunch trying to match everything; I realized the top mattered the least...I HAD to match that waist seam and the bottom, below the zipper stop. I did some serious hand basting here!

(You can see the streaks in the denim here)

The collar is shaped where it connects to the facing and the jacket but it's otherwise a giant rectangle folded in half.

I have _NO_ interfacing in this jacket and I like it that way.

The zipper goes from about 1 1/4" from the bottom all the way up to the collar.

That collar is pretty awesome too! 
(ooh, you can see where the collar seams are just slightly off. 
But as I said, I was far more concerned with matching the waist and hem!!)

I feel like this jacket packs a lot of punch without being difficult to construct at all.

Wait. You think I just sewed this up right out?!? Pfft!

I was rocking and rolling and then BAM. 
I stitched the front to back, had a heck of a time pressing the seams open, and serged. And then I realized what had gone wrong; I missed the gusset. There is a sleeve gusset and I did not sew it in place. I had already serged my seams!

After unpicking everything (tear-free), I was back in business. The jacket was mostly assembled and then for some reason I was confusing myself entirely over the hem treatment. Like it has happened many other times, I realized what I was supposed to do Friday night as I was in bed. Just HongKong binding (or double fold bias tape), sew the facing, then hem. But I was making it SO complicated.

Then, I wanted to see a sleeve! So I "hurried" and sewed one sleeve. "so cute!".
When I went to sew the second sleeve I stitched, pressed, serged and pulled out the sleeve. And was confused. And turned it again.

I had sewn the lower sleeve inside out. CUE THE TEARS!

After unpicking the sleeve seam and redoing everything I went to press the final product and realized I'd somehow rotated the (same!) sleeve a bit when I re-did it. WHY!?!?!?! So of the cuffs is on the side and one is on the front. My husband says he will unpick the stitches for me. :-) 

Despite those hiccups, I really, really love it! I like the fit and length; I like the style on me so much! I think I can sew another of these. It was pretty cute without the lower sleeve attached and I might explore that once the weather warms up! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Stash Runneth Over

So I'm clearing some stuff out.

I have a listing on PR in the classifieds; here and pics of the patterns on the blog here

Aside from those, I had a lot of patterns gifted to me over the past year or so and obviously will not be selling those. Most are either duplicates of things I have or are too small/too large for me.

Instead I've grouped them into bundles and first commenter for each bundle gets to have it. But you have to take the whole bundle. Please! :) I don't want to ship 20 different envelopes!

Bundle A
B5950 8-16
B5890 6-14
V8319  6-12
V8543 6-12

Bundle B
V1345 One size
V8954 L-XXL
B5954 L-XXL
B5925 L-XXL

Bundle C
S1783  (SKIRT IS CUT IN Sz 18!) 12-20
B5613 (View A/B IS CUT IN Sz 18!)14-22
B4132 20-24
B5223 16-24
V8477 14-22
V8649 16-24


 My current WIP: again, not my coat. WHY? Who knows... :) But it's another jacket and I love jackets and I especially love this one, so far.

Vogue 8620

Hopefully I can finish it tonight and be ready to start my jeans on Sunday for the PR Contest!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

One Top, Two Top: Burda Challenge February + Butterick 6183

Friday after work I stopped at Hancock and sitting behind the register was a McCall's box. I was very nice and sweet and BAM! the cashier opened it up and the new Butterick's were inside, just waiting for me ;-)

I am *supposed* to be sewing a coat for transitioning into spring. The pattern pieces are cut out; I just need to get started on it. But I could not resist B6183! I almost sewed both the top and pants but cropped pants are still a ways away, weatherwise.

It has cup sizing! YAY!!!! So I cut a 14 D cup and did my normal Big4 adjustments; a 1/2" narrow shoulder and a 1/2" swayback (I added a CB seam). Also, princess seams always need to be lowered. I moved these down 1".

There are so many seams! Eesh!

It's meant for wovens but I used ponte just in case because I WANTED it but did not want to muslin it. I think it worked out well.

Wait...The size 14 had a finished sleeve bicep of 13.5". YOWZA. I added 1" by just slashing and spreading. I would lengthen the sleeves a tad next time.

Lastly, I did not use a zipper - it just wasn't the look I wanted with this one, so I used an elastic loop/button closure at the top.

Anyway - I LOVE THIS TOP!!!!!!! I am definitely wearing it tomorrow to work!

The sides are "jutting" out a bit. I will straighten them next time.

(pants are Simplicity 2061)

The bust is VERY fitted. I'm going to give it a shot in the future in a woven but unsure about it being so highly fitted and woven...

Next up, when I was NOT working on my coat, I pulled out the Burda mag for February. Originally, I had planned on a jacket for my project this month. But decided that a coat, a jacket and jeans for one month (and a full social calendar) would be pushing it.

I fell in love with this cropped top when I first saw it and talked myself out of it because hello, cropped. top.!

Uhm yeah. I LOVE it! :)

This is a petite pattern and I went with my normal size 42. I should have done a narrow shoulder adjustment and didn't. It's not too bad though.

Excuse my tank tag!
(pants are V1411

The neckline is pretty high and I prefer it with a necklace

I used a snap!

And polka-dot bias tape!!! :-D

I am seriously in love with this one. Gah!

Ok, if you don't speak "Burda", the instructions on this one aren't THAT bad, but in a nutshell:

1) sew front darts
2) sew shoulder seams
3) hem sleeves
4) sew sleeves (they do need to be eased a bit)
5) hem back opening (or sew it shut; whatev)
6) sew side sleeves

Then sew bias tape at neckline and underarm and hem. I think the most essential part that it may be easy to graze over is that you do yourself a WORLD of good if you hem the sleeve first and sew it in before sewing the side seams.

Fabric is a linen/rayon lightweight suiting from FM and it sewed AMAZINGLY! I'm so glad I still have a yard plus of this stuff left!