Thursday, April 30, 2015

The (SUPER MEGA) April Wrap Up and MMM'15

You guys know I sewed a crap-ton this month...wardrobe contest plus stress relief! I have a temp jo I can start on May 18 which is great. No option of it being permanent though as it would be a step backwards career-wise. But it'll be good for the resume (it's totally easier to get a job WHILE you're employed somewhere!)

To the good stuff...

This month I sewed a whopping 26 3/8 yards! I thought I might hit 30 but no :)

  • Burda 6911 in grey jersey - 1.5
  • McCall's 7121 dress in print ITY - 1.75 (sitting in the UFO box - no reason really!)
  • Burda 08/2014 #108 top in white knit - 1.5
  • New Look 6110 top in blue/white/black striped poly - 1.5
  • McCall's 6839 top in black/white striped jersey - 1
  • McCall's 5523 skirt in taupe suiting - 1.125
  • McCall's 6711 jacket in taupe suiting - 1.625
  • Butterick 5760 skirt in black/white striped suiting - 1
  • McCall's 6969 jumpsuit in chambray - 2.125
  • Vogue 1411 pants in cobalt ponte- 1.75
  • Butterick 5760 skirt in black suiting - 1
  • Style Arc Sandra jeans in dark denim - 1.5
  • Simplicity 1980 top in coral polkadot rayon - 1.5
  • Simplicity 2369 dress in navy/white ITY - 2
  • Butterick 6169 jacket in floral cotton pique - 2 (WIP)
  • Burda 6938 pants in black/white print challis - 1.5 (for my daughter)
  • New look 6373 jumpsuit in print ITY - 2
That last one? Went to Hancock on Thursday to see if the new McCall's was in (the jumpsuit - I know!) Bought it. Cut it. Sewed it. Will probably write it up when I finish the jacket.

3 tops (only 3?! surprising!)
3 skirts
1 dress
2 jumpsuits (LOL!)
2 jackets
2 pants
1 gift

Favorite: This is America so I don't have to choose!!!  I absolutely ADORE the following:

S2369 dress
V1411 pants
B5760 black skirt (it's so perfect. SO!)
NL6110 top

I've worn both V1411 and NL6110 SEVERAL times and wore the black skirt to my interview for the temp job. And the dress is just awesome so...Totally a winning month!

FAILS: The M6711 jacket. I have tried it on a few more times and think it's about 45% that it's too snug and 55% the fabric. I think it could be really cute and -gasp- may try it again. 

Accomplishments: I triumphed against a silky poly fabric! Woohoo!!!

There are two weeks left in the PR Wardrobe Contest. I need to put together a finalized plan from all of the things I've sewn! I really want to add a jacket but am also thinking I could use the dress and jumpsuit as my "sewer's choice" items...but then I lose that effect of layering to create different looks.

Decisions, decisions!


I have TONS of handmade garments. I wear them, all the time. usually exclusive to my RTW clothes. But I still love Me made May!

It is YOUR personal challenge so you can do whatever YOU want! It doesn't matter if you only have 5 handmade items or 50! And you are NOT required to post photos! 

So if you're thinking about it, please join!!!

This year I will be wearing at least 1 handmade item daily with no repeats on the weekend. Pajamas/Lounge clothes will not count.

Like last year, I will be documenting daily on Instagram (sewcraftychemist) and will add composite photos to my newly created page here on the blog, Making My Wardrobe Work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Simplicity 2369 + Unselfish Sewing + My Ramblings...

I've finally reached sewing burnout during my down time! LOL!!! I did a little work on my B6169 jacket yesterday and may finish the lining today, but my 7-months pregnant with twins niece is visiting me today! YAY!

jacket progress

I knew I wanted to make S2369 again, as a dress. Walking past the closet I saw the little care package I had made for my mom and was like, OMG that fabric! THAT FABRIC IS IT!!!!!!

I made zero fit adjustments...with the top I'd sewn smaller seam allowances. This time I used all 5/8" seams and the short sleeves.

I did a serge and fold hem on the sleeves and did a 3/4" double turned hem. On the neckline, I did a 5/8" narrow hem.

Sleeve and neckline 

I did not have a nice buckle in the stash, so I just cut two of the ties out:


Look Ma! No swayback!!!

This dress makes me HAPPY!!! Fabric is OF COURSE from FabricMart...a navy and white ITY that was a dream to sew.

Next up was some printed pants for DD. She'd wanted a pair from Target duplicated

Dear Target: Your print matching here is atrocious...

When I saw this print at FabricMart during a sale on challis I snatched it up. I'd planned on making matching pants for us (Twinsies!!) but I wanted to fight this fabric the entire time and I will not touch it again. Okay, I was thinking I could make a scarf with it...

I cut the waistband on the crossgrain just to not have to deal with attempting more print matching. Gah.

I used Burda 6938, which I used for her shorts before. Size 12, no length adjustments! And DD has a looooonnnnng inseam so keep this in mind.

Lastly, yesterday was the last band concert of the school year. She will be a SENIOR next year! Gah!!! She'll be in 3 bands, playing 2 instruments (baritone and trombone) and will be section leader of one. I was able to get one of her friends to nab a pic of us last night:

I swear it was just yesterday that she was sitting on the kitchen counter gnawing on a chicken leg...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Simplicity 1280: Even When I TRY to Sew Slow...

So let me give you a little insight into the craziness inner workings of SewCraftyChemist...Make a coat? Sure! Jeans? Sounds fun!!! Soft flowy top? FEAR AND TERROR!!!!!!!!

I wanted S1280 so badly. So. So!!! But I was afraid of it. And I would see versions pop up and swoon and think "maybe, one day".

This Saturday the hubster did a Habitat for Humanity thing so he was gone all day. Son was away at a friend's house. Daughter was in bed, sick (she's doing much better now!!). I didn't even have any intentions on sewing anything this weekend but I was bored to death and had finished two books in the past two weeks and am not a huge tv fan. So...

To the cave!

Wait; The layoff occurred April 8. I have sewn 9 things since then. Sheesh. And I had made a point, except for the jeans and maybe a couple of small bits, not to sew in the evenings once everyone was home! Plus there were a couple of days that I didn't sew at all! The speed just happens on it's own you guys!

Anyway, I went to the cave and was determined. I was going to make this top and I was going to make it good!

Step 1) Choose good fabric.

I found this sandwashed rayon at SR Harris during one of the meetups recently. I did not know that sandwashed rayon was a thing.

It is fantastic! Completely opaque, stable enough to not be a headache, yet possessing lots of drape...I need more. more. MORE!

Step 2) Choose the right size.

Ah. S/M/L. Okay, I always take a Medium. Let's go with that. wait. Ah, I had attempted this pattern before! It was already cut out! The polka-dot chiffon that I first tried it with must have instilled extreme fear in me!

Step 3) Adjustments.

Oh, the interwebs. So many notes of "so much ease!" "No adjustments needed!". I didn't even attempt to change the body but knew I'd better look at that sleeve. I ended up adding 1" to the bicep.

Step 4) No rush.

I had no sewing plans all weekend so, so what if this takes me a couple days.  I shall French seam all the seams!!!!

Which I did, except for the sleeve. I found the tutorial on Grainline's site and was gonna do it but...too chicken. I sewed and serged that one.

So with french seams, making my own bias tape, super careful sewing...I still finished this in the course of a few hours on Saturday.

I finished at around 6 p.m. and was rapidly losing daylight. So my pics aren't great.

It looks good on Lily. Lily does not have enormous biceps though.

I just love this :)

SUCH pretty insides!!!

I mentioned well meaning sewing friends. So many people made this in a knit...and then commented on how roomy it was. WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is intended for wovens!!!!  So using a knit is changing things. That's okay but mention that it is intended for wovens but you used a knit! Wah! Wah! Wah!

Ok, I over dramatize...but still. You get what I'm saying, right?

I mentioned adding 1" to the bicep and holy cow it's still snug! so snug! I have to 'arrange' myself into the top when I first put it on, then it's okay. Not sure if I'll make this top again (quite distinctive). I do like the other view but it's gone. It wasn't in the pattern envelope. I misplace pattern pieces often. It's so sad. :/

If I made it again I would add another 1/2" to the bicep, do a slight FBA and worth noting instead of 1/4" elastic I used 1/2" in the hem and 3/8" in the sleeves. I'd probably do the same.

I'm not sure what's next on the cutting table but know I plan to make a floral moto jacket using the Lisette Butterick pattern.

I like both of these for different reasons but having a tough time deciding. Both are cotton; the blue/white is a sateen, the other is a pique. Scale is about the same...

Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

PR Wardrobe Contest: Style Arc Sandra - Take 2

Sorry you have to see me posting so much! :)  I have been sewing a few hours a day which is much better for me than epic sewing sessions. I still love a quick project but these types of items that can be broken down are appealing to me more and more.

Anyhow! I started these Sunday night; cut out some of the smaller pieces and on Monday, really started working on them. By Monday night I had the pockets stitched and ready to assemble, the parts that needed interfacing interfaced, and the belt loops topstitched.

It is worth it to note that I cut the main pieces all single layer (saved the grainline AND my hand!). I had traced this pattern onto freezer paper last time and it is NOT see through. I had a twisted pant leg and didn't want that to happen again. So instead of flipping the pattern piece, I flipped the fabric! I cut a front and back on the right side, flipped the fabric and cut them each on the wrong side.

I saw a handy tip about tracing the pattern piece rather than cutting around it and that helped a ton with accuracy. I used chalk on the face of the fabric and a pink gel pen on the wrong side :)

Tuesday I got the front and back completely assembled and ready to baste together.

the FITS I had topstitching that fly. Holy cow!!!! I thought I was going to cry I had to unpick and re-do so many times. BLEH!!!!!!

I again chickened out on using a jeans zipper and again that freak out was unwarranted; it is completely concealed. Also, this denim is quite light so a normal zipper works fine.

Wednesday, the jeans were completed except for hems, belt loops and button/buttonhole (dang that doesn't sound completed at all!)

I got out my tools (and my husband!) to practice rivets.

That bottom one that is all bent and mangled? Too much hammering!

The other two caught just fine but then I realized the areas where I am placing rivets is NO WHERE near as thick as this stack of denim I practiced on! Maybe half the thickness...maybe. And Mr. SCC couldn't find his Dremel tool or a side cutter to shorten them. So for now, I am rivet-less.

My machine does a MAR-VUH-LUS bar tack! YAY! And again, lighter denim, no problem attaching belt carriers. But the buttonhole. Sigh.

I practiced! The second one was GOOD!

And then I started on my fabric. machine has auto buttonholes and there is a lever that comes down which "tells" the machine how long to make the b-hole. This was right up agains the bulk at the waistband (where it meets the top of the pants), and the feed dogs couldn't feed it.

75 minutes, lots of stitch ripping, lots of sadness later...

I turned the pants so the majority of them were to the right and the top (thinner) part was against the lever. Ah. Problem solved.

Wonky b-hole this time but at least now I know.

Also worth nothing that while I can get a crisp corner on trousers, so far on jeans? fuggedaboutit.

*Denim from SR Harris
*Random stash scraps for pocket bags
*C&C topstitching thread in 'gold' and matching all purpose thread in bobbin
*On pair #1 I did not interface the waistband which was fine. This pair needed the waistband interfaced. So I presume after a wear (hopefully 2) I will need a belt or to wash them to restore the fit.
*Dritz tack button
*14 universal needle for construction (lightweight denim...) and topstitching needle for...topstitching! :)

Oooh and I did pocket "designs"! Okay, it's 3 parallel lines but still!!

I think they look pretty danged good!


Slightly different from pair #1 (on bottom)

I call this photo: Smug Satisfaction

Until next time!!! Oooh and if you have a favorite denim source, please link!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Summer Patterns! Vogue & McCall's

In a crazy turn of events; LOVE Vogue, MEH on McCall's

Really liked 9103 but it reminds me of this Burda from March 2013 that I've wanted to sew

1451, love them both just not together

1446; beautiful but I have no use for it :(

1448, SWOON!

1445; I like this a lot more every time I look at it.

9107; I like it but again, no real use for it.

9108; Like, but won't buy

9112; So interesting!

1452; I like this a lot. I might buy it after seeing it made up

9116; love.

9117; nice basics

1447: Love and already in stash!

1449: there something about this that I like but something else, 
that I can't put my finger on, that I do not love.

1454: no.

1450; she looks so sad.


7167; Yep. Another jumpsuit to add! Love the back of the bodice and the pleated pants

7153: I like this but won't buy it.

7154 is the obvious star of this release!!!

Now for the nightgown dress collection




7155 ;-(


very similar to the OOP 6756

7162 with cup sizing; although us busty ladies know that that neckline is a recipe for disaster

7163; uh-huh.

7170; deepest of sighs.

7168; YAY for another swimsuit pattern! 
Don't know about those tops on me but high waist bottoms are pretty trendy right now.


Another pair of jeans in happening over here! They're in the washer as we speak; ready for hemming, button and rivets!