Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September Wrap-Up and October Plans

It's October Already?

In my August wrap-up, I had a list of 8 things I wanted to make in September. So how did I do? I made 4 of the 8, plus some other things. Because "ooh! Shiny!" :)

Sewaholic Minoru (sewn)
M7244 (sewn)
B5030 (not sewn)
M7254 (not sewn)
M6708 (sewn)
Burda 7136 (switched for B5678)
M6964 (not sewn)
Burda 8/2015 (not sewn)

Most notably left off the September sewing list is Butterick 5030. I love that pattern so much though and WILL make it. It's just that the navy crepe I had planned for it is narrower than I thought and I do not have enough yardage.

This month I sewed 18.75 yards (I don't even know how that happened; and double checked the math twice!):
  • McCall's 6708 cardigan in polka-dot sweater knit with contrast bands - 1.5 yards ( I promise I will review this soon!)
  • McCall's 6886 dress in the same fabric as the M6708 contrast - 1.5 yards
  • McCall's 7244 dress in marsala ponte - 1.5 yards
  • Sewaholic Minoru jacket in tan water repellent linen - 2.5 yards
  • McCall's 6886 dress in black/white striped ponte - 1.75 yards
  • McCall's 6884 dress in teal/navy ITY - 2.25 yards
  • Butterick 5678 shirt in white cotton shirting - 1.75 yards
  • Lekala 5871 skirt in cotton twill - 1 yard
  • New Look 6326 skirt in black ponte - 2.75 yards (TIMES TWO! lol!)
  • Burda 9/2014 muslin in plaid suiting - 2 yards
I really like the look of the crazy Burda pant so far! I wish I could have actually used this fabric for them as I like the subtle pattern. But I can already see the front crotch length is too long and hence these will be a muslin, for sure. 

October plans?

-I will finish this muslin and sew up these pants in black (pants are Burda 9/2014)
-Black cropped Lekala moto jacket (copying a RTW jacket from WHBM)
-Another pair of SA Sandra jeans (in a light khaki-ish twill)
-Burda 8/2015 skirt (I really want this skirt!)

Otherwise, I switched my wardrobe from 'spring/summer' to 'fall/winter' and am currently LOVING it. I love doing this by the way, it feels like I get NEW CLOTHES! vs having everything crammed into the closet year-round.

It's too warm still for 'winter' clothes but I think boot weather has definitely arrived and longer sleeves, ponte dresses and jackets are in.

I know that I still need solid colored tops. I love a good print but living in the midwest, life is about layering and with my collection of cardigans and jackets, solid tops make that easier. So I am thinking I can add to the wardrobe in that area.

I am down just about 10 lbs in the last two months and am noticing baggy pants. Yay but boo! I have 3 pair that I really, really, really need to take in because they just look a bit sad. I probably won't sew many dress pants in the foreseeable future. I'll be wearing all the skirts and all the dresses with all the boots until it gets Minnesota cold. And by then I'm thinking I may be dropping from a size 18 in pants down to a 16. So I am reluctant to cut anymore out.

Oh and all this sewing totally fits in with FESA!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Butterick 5678

I updated my previous post with photos of the newly sewn NL6326 skirt :)

I finished this shirt about a week ago, and washed it to remove all of the marker marks that I'd made while sewing it. And it was wrinkled as heck! So I was just being super lazy and not ironing it.

But it's like the iron touches it and the wrinkles just melt away. Ahhhhh.

Where did I find this glorious fabric you ask? Sawyer Brook! This was my first ever purchase from them; an Italian cotton shirting. It is perfectly white, super crisp and the fibers are soooo smooth. At $16/yard, it is my most expensive per yard to date. But sewing it was so freaking fantastic. Every part of the process, like buttah baby!

Butterick 5678...I would call it a sleeper but it has gotten it's fair share of love in the sewing world. It is now OOP (I don't know WHY!).

I first attempted this blouse in March 2013 (yeah, that was TWO months after I learned to sew! See what kind of shenanigans beginners get into?!?!)

Oh the puckers and the sad collar and...oh my. But I was SO PROUD of myself because holycrapIsewedashirt.

In March 2014 I sewed it again for the PR Fitted Blouse contest and won the beginner category! This one was leaps and bounds better than the first but there were so many fits and so much unpicking and restitching!!!

I was originally going to save my cotton shirting for Burda 7136, which I've made twice. But I am smart (sometimes) and I wore the shirt to work recently to decide how it felt on. It is much more of a casual shirt. I mean, totally work appropriate, but not nearly as fitted as B5678. And then, Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) put a photo of B5678 on Instagram and planted the seed!! :)

My striped shirt had been in time out because someone had gotten a little too fluffy. Well, I have been doing really well the past couple of months and know that some other things are fitting better/looser. I pulled it out and YAY! It fits! It fits well! So I decided my awesome shirting would be better used on this pattern.

I made no pattern changes from last time, though I need a swayback adjustment. I think in 2014 I didn't understand how to true things up after making the adjustment so I just didn't. There is a lot of curvature in those pattern pieces, hence the level of fitted-ness. Obviously now, I think I'd be more equipped to make that adjustment.

Fitting changes
Cut the 14 D-cup with:
1/2" narrow shoulder adjustment
lowered bust point 1"
sewed front princess seams at 1/2"
removed 1/2" from the sleeve cap height (I need to put this back)

Design changes
No topstitching of the princess seams
spaced my buttons 3" apart instead of 3.5" as the pattern has it
Decided placement of buttons based on placing the 1st button at the apex
Used 2 smaller buttons on the cuff

It's weird that the camera is making it look like there's a missing button; there is not!

Still working on perfecting the stitching around the collar stand. I'd even drawn myself a line to follow!

I remember the first time being utterly confused by the continuous lap. Not this time! :)

I'd forgotten to press up the seam allowance on the facing. However, it worked out in my favor.
I pressed the seam allowance into place being sure to *just* cover the stitching line. I then held it in place with Wonder Tape. I am very happy with my top stitching here!

(that squiggly on the floor is a strip of serged striped ponte that Wilson the Cat absolutely LOVES playing with! It makes him crazy! lol! I think it's the b/w contrast)

My buttons for this were totally from the cheapo 5 on the card for $1. 
I just liked the look of them best.

I absolutely adore this combo.

I made B6182 earlier this year. I started it in May and then it was too tight. I thought it was because it was my "special time" and put it aside. A month later it was still too small. When I first went to wear it awhile later, it was too big! SERIOUSLY! So I threw it in a bag.

But I love it so much that I decided to make it work. However, I had unpicked and resewn the waistband like 3 different times that there was no way I was going to do it again. I cheated and just sewed darts! haha! It's cotton so it presses so well and it has a print so it isn't immediately apparent that the darts are there. And it's worth it because I LOVE THIS SKIRT! LOL!!!!!!! 

What do you think about this skirt in a pinwale cord??

Friday, September 25, 2015

(Updated)A Cautionary Tale...


I could not let that little defeat get me down. I got up this morning and made another one! And I will be wearing it next week as we are going to cool down a bit here in the tundra!

I like it best either with very fitted, tucked in tops, or with a top that just hits over the waistband, like my B6183.

Full coverage...the "wrap" is an overlay

The only change I made was to do a 3/4" wedge in back for a 'full butt adjustment'

I've had my eye on this skirt pattern since it was released last fall. In general, New Look works well for me, even though I am into fewer and fewer patterns with each release.

At any rate, I am loving view A and was planning to sew that up. And then I got fixated on the moto jacket and saw a skirt nearly identical to view D, in black ponte, but with more of a yoke than a waistband. So of course I had to have one of my own!

Expecting this to go relatively quickly, I bumped it up in queue. It has a front cut on the fold, the overlay, the back and waistband/facings. It's done up with an invisible zipper (though an exposed zipper could work too!) and has a finished length of 17". 

A little short for me. I added 2" in length to all 3 pattern pieces and added 1/2" to the back at the waist (and copied that to the back waistband). And because it's intended for a woven, I ended up with 3/4" side seams. So, using a knit didn't result in me going down a full size -- FYI! :) For something like this, I always attach the waistband to the individual pieces and then sew the side seams. Much easier to adjust that way (rather than sewing the skirt together and sewing the waistband together and then attaching them).

This was worked on a little bit at a time over a few days. The front overlay is hemmed and then is treated as one with the front pattern piece. I got that done and basted the sides (and took it in a little). I sewed up the side seams and got set on doing the finishing.

That day my daughter wore the black dress I'd made her. From the same fabric. That I was almost certain I'd pretreated.  I normally wash fabric as soon as it comes through the door!

See, I've gotten burned before. I bought a jersey knit and sewed it up and then washed it and HOLY COW! It twisted and the color faded and it was just horrible. And so I adopted the mantra, "better to ruin a cut of fabric than a finished garment." 

My daughter's dress was AT LEAST 3 inches shorter. Maybe 4...I looked over at my skirt and thought to myself "Oh crap..."

I decided I would finish the waistband (attach facing, understitch, stitch in the ditch) and then wash it before hemming. I washed on cold, air dried, being super cautious.

Well the skirt is now 18" unhemmed. It shrank just over 2 inches.


So I think, no biggie. I'll just use hem tape so I don't lose anymore length...


But the waistband is all wrinkly, it shrank in length but surprise! the zipper, of course, didn't shrink! So it's all weird and bubbly. The topstitching on the overlay no longer looks good.

Wah. Wah. Wah.

I see so.many.! people say they don't pretreat knits. Please do. Please. Please. Please! Don't be like me! Don't be sad that you don't have a super cute skirt to wear with black opaque tights and boots today :( 

So this is a wadder but I think the pattern is fantastic, and I will be making it again. Maybe this weekend. Because I really, really want it!

Updated: I went home for lunch so I took pics! Because that's how one does...no? LOL!

On me:

I don't know what's up with the derpy face!

Stupid zipper bubbles :(

17" finished hem - no thank you! I will be making it at my originally intended 19" length

WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the puckers

More pucker fest...

This is not a loss. I love the pattern and know it works for me. I just have to sew it. Again. :sideye:


Beware: Crappy photos ahead!

My mom is such a sweetheart. She is always trying her best to find things that we will like. She has a long history of calling me up before my birthday and asking "What size do you wear?" And for awhile now, that answer is "A 10 on top, 12 on bottom". And then she will get shorts or capris or something in a size 10. Because "that 12 looked so big!". And then I can't get them over my hips...or I can't zip them :)

Or like the super cute knit dress she bought me. In an XL. Because "It was so cute!". I can't wear an XL knit dress...maybe from Forever 21. LOL!

So this year she said "I bought you some jeans!" and I was prepared to be horrified (sorry Ma). Well HOT DOG!

I like these jeans enough to buy another pair! They are bootcut jeans from the J.Lo collection at Kohls. The waistband doesn't gape! My butt fits in them!!! Swoon!!!!

Sidenote: years ago I was so frustrated trying to buy jeans and found that the "urban" jeans fit best; Apple Bottom, Dereon, Coogi...Ah! They are made to accommodate a bigger booty/smaller waist combo a bit better than the average jean. But they were always so gaudy and overly adorned. Not my style at all. So I guess it makes sense that JLo's line is made to accommodate butts!

The regular length is 32.5". Yikes. I had to hem them shorter but luckily, they needed shortening 1.5". I was able to cut off the original hem-- I used my rotary cutter and cut inside, right next to the hem line-- and then I did a double turned 5/8" hem. I LOVE THEM!

I managed to find them on the site and they are a cotton/poly/lycra blend. I normally hate, hate, hate stretch wovens on my lower half. But I'm thinking the poly helps them keep their shape?? I wore them around after altering the length and they didn't seem to grow on me.

And now you may behold crappy bathroom pics because it was too dark in the house this morning. Welcome to fall.

(also, HELLOOOOO vanishing belly!)

Totally going to snag another pair in dark denim!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FabricMart Reader Sew Along and a Quick Departure

The FabricMart Fabricista challenge is in full swing! I decided to sew along this week and create something a tiny bit out of the box for me :)

A PR member posted a color blocked version of M6884 earlier this year and it was so pretty! I've thought about it ever since but wasn't sure I could pull it off.

I knew I wanted to use ITY and had a few 'fall' colors on hand. I was going to go with teal, navy and gray but remembered that I made my last V8805 dress with that combo...and I wanted to save my gray jersey for something else. Going through the piles I found this white slubbed knit that I'd used for my M6841 drapey top. I decided that would work!

I made no changes from last time except to shorten the sleeves and lengthen the ties...and then completely screw it all up.


Somehow I put both ties on the same side. I didn't even realize it until the dress was done. And I was confused.


We have to back up a bit more. I serged the side seams and went to put it on and...huh? Whaaaaa?

It is a mock wrap. I hadn't encased the wrapped fronts into the side seam allowance. After unpicking serger stitches I got that straightened out. And then went to put it on and was all confused about the ties. But there was no.way.on.earth. I was unpicking those seams again. The ties are super long and super stretchy and I figured it wouldn't matter much anyway.

I think I need to go back in through the very upper body and nip it in a tiny bit. Last time I sewed 3/8" seams and so I did the same this time, but I've lost a bit of weight and it just looks baggy right below the armpit.

I didn't really like it and just went lazy and used steam a seam lite to hem it. And then went back and topstitched the hems with the teal thread (which pops really beautifully on the navy!) and took quick photos (I thought my deadline for submitting was Tuesday). After looking at the pics it really grew on me! I look forward to wearing this one this fall!

And because I didn't add length, I will probably always wear it with tights because it feels short.

I hope I win the reader prize!!! From the site:

This week's prize pack will be a copy of Successful Serging by Beth Baumgartel, a pack of 400 quilting pins (which are also suitable for garment sewing!), and two Kwik Sew patterns - #3766 and 4081. 

KS4081 kinda has my name written all over it!

And a departure from current sewing plans...

I tend to browse my favorite store sites for inspiration...and cool cardigans! I came across this cropped moto jacket at White House, Black Market. It's only $40 (marked down from $98), so I *could* just buy it...but I have loads of black ponte and a Lekala pattern!

I might keep the Lekala collar because I think that makes it more versatile with different necklines. And initially I thought I might leave off the sleeve zippers because it's a one-piece sleeve and how could they be in the "right" place? Well, the sleeve is very oddly shaped. I think they've accounted for that so maybe I'll baste it in and see how I like it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sewing Repeats; McCall's 6886 and Lekala 5871

First, thank you, thank you, thank you for all the great feedback on my Minoru! I normally reply to comments but didn't get a chance to stay on top of them.

We had a couple of really rainy days so I've gotten a chance to wear it - yay!

Right at the start of the month I made M6708 and have yet to review it because I couldn't do the buttonholes. I need to get it finished!!! Well, I'd used a contrasting fabric for the bands thanks to great advice from Instagram sewing friends, and then decided to make a simple knit dress from the contrast fabric!

I used M6886, which I made when it first came out in 2013. I didn't like the fabric and sent the dress to my mom, who loves it! So, win!

This went together really fast...

I can't find my selfie remote so poor mirror pics it is...SORRY!

I made no size changes from last time; 14 through the neck/shoulders, 16 through the bust/waist and an 18 hip. 

I did add a neck binding by measuring around subtracting about 20%. My band is 23.25" by 2.5" for the size 14 neck.

I had tried it on with a bunch of sweaters and jackets and was all prepared to take pics today but 1) I can't find my remote! and 2) I don't really feel well. So pictures on Lily!

With denim jacket, emerald B5926, red-orange cardigan, M6708 cardigan

After sewing my Minoru, I decided I wanted to use this striped ponte for another version. 

This fabric is so much thicker that the need for a swayback adjustment is much more evident. 

Initially, I sewed smaller seam allowances but it just looked sad. It is a fitted dress so if you wanted a looser fit, you'd need to remove some of the curvature from the pattern. Otherwise it just looks like you have on a too-big dress. I ended up nipping the hip curve in a little more. 

I used the shorter sleeve length from the pattern; but I ended up shortening it another 3 inches. It hit me at a weird spot.

I added 3" to the length and then hemmed it about 1.25". I did a 1" hem on the sleeves and used the same neck binding measurement as before.

With the same jackets/cardigans:

It really did look cute with the polka-dot cardigan!!!! 

At some other point (the days run together...) I'd worn my khaki Lekala skirt and decided I should have a dark floral denim one for fall.

I could not find a dark floral that I like. I even checked Fabric.com in desperation!!!! Nothing at FabricMart, nothing at Mood, nothing at Hancock, and again out of desperation I checked JoAnn! 

I was cleaning the sewing room and found this cut of fabric that I'd forgotten about. I had 1.25 yards of it so a straight skirt was pretty much the only option for it. I think I initially bought it for shorts.

Lekala 5871

As before, I lengthened the skirt 2 inches because I eliminated the bottom band. I left off the pockets and belt loops this time as well. And I reversed which side was the fly. 

I did a great job matching the "outside" of the yoke to skirt. But didn't account for the darts. DANG IT! :) I still love it though!

Paired with my M7093 wrap top and a denim jacket. I also like it with a white top but otherwise didn't like any light-colored tops with it. Maybe because I'm thinking fall and boots??

I had a really productive sewing days Friday evening and yesterday...but today I am sidelined. When your kids love you too much...you get their cooties!

*all fabric from FabricMart

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sewaholic Minoru <3

I have so much to say!!! I'm computer-less til Wednesday so I'm blogging from my phone. Bleh. I'll do a photo dump then details. 

The hood and collar - I love both. 

LOVE the wide elastic

I hand embroidered a little tag :)

Because you HAVE to have pockets!!

Lined in a soft pink pongee


Fabric, pattern and notions:

I received the pattern free after hosting the vintage contest on PR. The fabric? Also FREE! I won this water resistant linen during the Fabric Mart Fabricista contest last year. 

The lining is a poly cheetah print scored during a Spot the Bolt sale at Hancock. 

The zipper is a C&C and both zipper and elastic were also purchased at Hancock. 

I traced my pattern (which I hate). OMG. Front, back, sleeve, hood, collar, cuffs, band, plus the lining pieces. Gahhhhh. 

One note about the pattern; the print is SO faint. When I muslined the Thurlows I noticed it too. 

I cut a size 14 based on finished measurements. 


I mostly made aesthetic changes. I did shorten the sleeves a little over an inch. They are LONG. 

-I added pockets from M6531
-I only used an interior pocket on the left side and left off the Velcro closure
-I used 1 1/2" elastic in the cuffs vs 2"
-I changed the hood shape a bit (it was kind of pointy)
-I left off the zipper in the collar. My fabric has some body and I knew I would never stuff the hood in 
-I didn't do all the top stitching. The linen has a bit of texture and it wasn't popping much. 
-I removed some width from the hips after the fact 
-I used lining fabric for the hanging loop
-I hand embroidered a tag (which I love!)
-I had 2.5 yards of fabric and ended up having to cut the bands and the inner collar on the cross grain. 
-I interfaced the outer collar

Other thoughts:
Aside from tracing making me sad, the pattern went together rather easily. 

I did read the sew along before starting but didn't need to reference it while sewing. I'm not sure why I was more intimidated by this pattern; I sewed a BURDA coat for goodness sakes! Maybe because everyone's looks SO good that I thought it was hard?

Nope. Not at all. Just a good pattern. 

I contemplated doing an FBA but decided I didn't need it. I will however, remove hip width and give myself more butt room for next time. It's not snug at all but I know I could use more space. 

The gathers make me happy. Eeesh! So awesome! 

Th instructions are fine but I mean, when you have a lined outerwear pattern with 1 full page of directions well...they are terse. Not difficult but some things are combined into a step which can get confusing. But there's a sew along so there's that. Because the hem is top stitched, there's really no reason to slip stitch the sleeve lining to the cuff. So I skipped that noise. 

And oh. My. Gosh. 

I lost or tossed or something...the elastic guide for the sleeve cuff. so I measured and tried on and decided on a length. And then I almost tossed my machine out of the window trying to make it work. Next time I will partially sew the cuff and thread the elastic through. That will be annoying because it's so wide, but better than the fiddling I had to do. 

I was going to do welts but decided a patch pocket with a twist would look great. So I perused the collection for a cool pocket and settled on this one. The actual pattern calls for a gusset around the pocket. I think that's pretty cool and may use it next time. I didn't realize it though until I'd already lined the pockets. I used a pale pink poly pongee for the pocket lining. Since the lining is so much darker I didn't want to risk it peeking out on the sides. 

I really love it. SO MUCH!!!  It sounds like a lot of adjustments or nit picking but really, it's a fantastic pattern and is exactly what I had in mind for a cool weather jacket. 

If you own it, and have made it, I know why you love it. If you haven't made it, do it!! :)