Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sometimes I Get Too Excited...

We knew that from my last post though, didn't we?

I finished the Burda dress - LOVE. Need to get photos.
I also finished the Style Arc skirt - Really like. Need to get photos!

But the more I started thinking about fall sewing, I couldn't stop thinking about what I was hoping would be a part of my fall sewing, the plus sized pants from the August issue of Burda.

I really liked them with hem band and without and looked forward to making both views. I was surprised to see a 17" finished hem because they look slimmer...yet on the modeled photos it's obvious they're just barely tapered. 

I was NOT happy when I learned that the side panel is a "drafted" rectangle. I did not have high hopes for that working well when there's butt, hips and thighs to cover. 

I was intrigued by the pocket but right after cutting them I had second thoughts -- Always listen to yourself!

So there were several issues with the pockets:
1) The front pattern piece and pocket piece are NOT curved to create an opening as the drawing suggests. They have straight edges and they connect to the rectangular side piece. So it's a 'regular old' inseam pocket and it doesn't work well.

2) It connects to the rectangular side piece. So no markings. This became an issue when I realized the rectangle was "drafted" to include a self facing. But I lined it up with the top of the front waistband and used the front pattern piece's markings to place the pocket in the side piece. 

3) They are in a weird spot. Here the drawing is accurate. The pocket sits right across the crotch. Just WEIRD!

I really wanted to share a pic but couldn't bring myself to post it. And they have all already been deleted from my phone. The horror. 

They were neatly done though! LOL!

I kicked so much butt matching stripes. Dang it! 

This is the yoke in back

I then ripped out ALL of the pocket stitching and sewed up the seams. I then had another issue with the rectangular side piece. I was looking at the measurements for the pair with the band. Doh! So I had to chop off like 4.5" in length. 

So now they are a bad length for the hem width. I decide I'll just go ahead and add the hem band to this pair and finish stitching up the vertical seams.

I don't love them.

They are *ok*

sorry for the shoe collection! LOL!

I kept this one for the pants but the face I was making in this photo was all sorts of crazy!

I think I will finish them (if I can figure out what Burda wants me to do with the back waistband).  If you look at the photo of the yoke stripe matching you can see that it has an elasticated back waist. But Burda's instructions make NO sense. It's horrible.  

The good:
-This fabric. Swoon. It's a wool blend suiting from FM with a light grey pinstripe on a medium grey. It is really soft but sturdy and presses so well. 

-They are fine. I can incorporate them into my wardrobe so it isn't a total waste.

-They fit very well in front and they are decent in back. I removed 3/4" from the front rise and added 3/4" at the back. I also added 3/8" at the crotch extension in back and scooped the back curve a little. Burda does include the instruction to stretch out the back inseam which really is necessary for a closer fitting pant. I could use a full inner thigh adjustment. I need to make that a part of my regular adjustments! I always forget.

The bad:
-I don't like Burda's random zipper placement choices! LOL! Though there's not a lot of options here...there's an invisible zipper on the left side between the side panel and back piece. Again, it's okay but it's just awkward. 

-I wanted a slim-legged, close fitting pant. Which I am starting to wonder if that's even possible without a bunch of Lycra. So they aren't exactly what I was looking for.

-If I want to make this pair wearable I have to add the hem bands. 17" is too wide for this length. And I don't wear capris so shortening them isn't an option. 

Fall hopes and dreams dashed! :-p

I really wanted a slim-legged, close fitting, fly-front pant. Which I wonder if I should revisit Burda 1/2016 and try to make those work. They have a lot of seaming though which feels more casual to me. They have a side panel but it is shaped and darted, allowing for a nice fit.

A bit tight in the thigh and a bit baggier at the knees than I'd like.

And I feel like, for a slightly tapered pant with a side zipper, that V9155 is a better option:

They fit me pretty well and they have GOOD pockets! :)

I have 3 finished projects to blog and I need to get going on the wedding guest dress. Which, I visited SR Harris and found no knits that I loved for the option 3, fun flirty Burda dress. But I also couldn't stop thinking about Vogue 1447 and as I was leaving the store, I happened upon the lace aisle and nearly gasped at this pewter lace. After I cut my yardage (you do it yourself!), I was waiting to check out and wandered over to the silks. Okay...they cut the silks (and anything over 5 yards). I thought, hmm, this is a pretty color...and when I draped the lace over the silk, two people came over and swooned over the combo. I was SOLD!


I was sold on the idea. The lace was $5/yd and I got 2.5 yards. The silk was $15/yd and is 44" so I'd need, what is for me, a lot of money worth of silk! The store was closing and I chickened out and put the silk back. I got out to my car and wanted to run back in for that fabric! 

I have to go in that direction on Saturday and hope it's still there. I should go early :)

Saturday, July 23, 2016


There was a recent post on Pattern Review where Deepika asked about sewing patterns (har, har) and the seasons. I hadn't really given it a ton of thought before but summer sewing is not high on my radar. I mean, I sew during the summer - of course - but summer is just in the way of fall! :)

I love fall. It has always been my favorite season. I love the cool-to-warm temps (NOT HOT!). I love the smell in the air, the leaves...and I love fall fashion! I am downright gleeful when I can pull my boots out of their hiding places!

As August appears on the horizon, I start thinking about what I want to sew for fall. There's always a mix of 1) what I need (I think I need more fall dresses and jackets) 2) fabrics I want to sew (we all know how inspiring a particular piece can be 3) and patterns I want to sew. This may or not may mimic #1! Sometimes, you just want to sew a pattern, in a fabric, and maybe it isn't a thing that you really "need" at all.

I posted this pic on Instagram after rifling through the stash a bit. Full planning post to come!

In the meantime, there are a few more summer patterns that I "need" to get done. I recently finished up my July Fabric Mart project and knew I had to make another one in a print!

You can read all about this piiiiink linen version of Burda 6732 HERE on the Fabric Mart Blog.

So I ended up ordering some fabric during the FM P-Z sale and have a fun printed challis on the way to me for round 2.

But what to sew NOWWWW?

I wanted to make M7391 in chambray but got all scared of the eyelets. But I've been assured (sewing friends are the best!) that I can do it. So that's on the agenda.

I don't have a ton of fabric so it'll likely be view D shortened to tunic length (length of B/C)

In the meantime, after scaring myself off of the eyelets, I decided I'd make M7388 out of a lovely print rayon challis. But, it's lined! Wahhh! I did not have anything appropriate for the lining so that got put away.
Then I saw a version of Burda 07/2016 #117 on PR without the crazy wrap-around neckstrap and went straight home, traced, cut, and starting sewing the pattern! haha!

Progress as of this morning:

Lastly, I've been wanting to sew this Style Arc Susan skirt since I ran to purchase it last July.

Do you have whiplash yet!? This happens to me sometimes. Especially considering I went a couple of weeks without sewing at all.

I'm sure this is intended for 'swishier' knits but I just couldn't shake the idea of using this floral (lightweight) double knit for the pattern. And I figured, it would just give it a little more body...what's wrong with that?? So I crossed my fingers and charged ahead!

This fabric is, of course, from Fabric Mart. It has some really beautiful shades of blue and purple that I rarely incorporate into my wardrobe. Plus, I decided I couldn't go another moment without a floral skirt :)

I used a size 14 (typically 12 up top, 14 skirts, 16 pants. Which explains why I am always "afraid" of trying a SA dress. Soon) and sewed the side seams at 1/4" instead of 3/8". I used 1/2" elastic (just turned and stitched a casing).

I constructed this completely on the serger, it's SO SWINGY! But it comes like 6" past my knees. I don't understand why it's so long :(

I'm going to have to measure very carefully and "connect all the dots" to trim this down. I tried it on with high wedge sandals and it still looked kind of blah. I can't say that I normally choose midi-length...

I do love this fabric as a skirt though so I'm going to try to make it work! 

I think I'm leaning towards option #3 for the WGD! It's so flirty and fun while still being totally appropriate for a wedding! It's intended for knits so unless I completely bomb out on finding fabric that I love...that's the plan! But I also *love* option #6. If I can find a complimentary lace/eyelet and other fashion fabric?? Which seems like a BIG if...That may win out. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Wedding Guest Dress: A Planning Post

Thanks for all the kind comments on my last post! I replied to most but not all.

And the navy and white skirt has found a new home - yay!!!

This past weekend I traveled to Chicago (my hometown) to attend a bridal shower for one of my cousins. I have 26 first cousins (only 1 is under 18) and 6 adult second cousins on my dad's side. It was fantastic to see (almost!) all of them - I love being part of a big family!

I love Dunkin Donuts coffee...mmmmmm....We don't have DD in the Twin Cities. Darn Minnesotans and their love for bagels.

I visited the brow threaders. Also not too big here yet. A place will pop up here and there on my side of town but they're never any good.

I seriously drove from home to the threading shop. I didn't see anyone. I didn't go to anyone's house. I took 94 straight to get my brows done! Hahaha!

And I wore my striped Burda dress to the shower. I love this dress so much! <3

Now it's time to decide on a dress for the actual wedding!

I had a dress in mind but now that I look back at it, the neckline is way too high.  I know what you may be thinking, "you can change/lower/scoop it".

Meh. My pattern hacking skills involve...oh wait. Nothing. The intricacies of pattern design isn't interesting to me. Sorry. I don't want to learn to draft or drape or any of that. Okay changing a neckline isn't rocket science but still; that aspect of sewing does not excite me in the least. And I have an extensive pattern collection so I knew there would be something that I'd want to make. I think with most anything, fabric choice will make or break the formality of it.

The wedding is in mid-August and while it is inside; it's still likely to be hot and humid as we go through the day. And I decided this weekend that I'd like the skirt to be swishy. Browsing the collection (and Burda!), here are some that interest me:

Option 1: Burda 11/2015. Sweet and simple. Straps are wide enough for a bra, it's simple but in a good way. This is one that definitely can go from 'casual backyard bbq' kind of dress to something more formal depending on fabric.

Option 2: Burda 3/2014. Just gorgeous. The shaping on this one is so pretty. BUT it has sleeves and I'm not sure how removable they are, based on the upper body structure.

Swoon. The other view of this one in the mag is done in a brocade, which is gorgeous. But this one looks like it would move beautifully.

Option 3: Burda 11/2014. I love the neckline and the flippy skirt.

Option 4: From the same issue. I have wanted to make this dress since the first time I saw it! THE CAPELET! Swoooon! But will the capelet be a liability in the August heat?

I was a bridesmaid in an August wedding and we had to wear wraps with our strapless dress inside the church. They were made from the same poly satin as the dress and I swear I was up there melting.

Option 5: Burda 3/2016. I love the seaming, the neckline, the pleats...I just love this dress!

Option 6: Vogue 1447. Like the dress above, this one just captured me. But I have concerns: finding complimentary fabrics (I would definitely like to mimic the cover photo; but not in black) -and- fit. I feel far more confident with the Burda patterns.

Option 7: In-House patterns Sophie dress. I really love this dress and again, it can go day dress to formal dress depending on fabric. And I love the front/back double-v.

In case you're wondering why March and November Burda...March is the wedding issue so there's always formal dresses included. November typically has holiday/party dresses.

So lots to think about and consider. I'm not sure I have anything in the stash that I'd *prefer* to use. And I think I'd love a small scale print over a solid. This may call for a trip to SR Harris! And who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with a fabric and that'll determine which pattern 'wins'?!?

I haven't touched my machines in almost 2 weeks :-O I need to get my Fabric Mart project done (ahem, by Thursday!). And then I'll have just about 3 weeks to get fabric and pattern matched and get this W.G.D (wedding guest dress) SEWN! :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Failed Skirt-a-Palooza: Butterick 6060 but a WINNER in New Look 6301

After my top-a-palooza, I planned on making 2-3 skirts with a more summery flair. When B6060 first came out, I snatched it up, liking both the straight view with the little peplum and the pleated view.

I was so excited to get going on this and decided on classic but summer-fun navy and white colorblocking. I had a cotton twill in navy and a rayon suiting in white (with white poly pongee lining). The weights weren't compatible but the upper skirt is meant to be lined and I thought that would equalize things (newsflash: it didn't).

Also, I didn't think the upper portion looked THAT deep in the tech drawing but the photo is fairly accurate.

I didn't consider how this style would work with my fairly rectangular (when viewed front-on) figure (newsflash: it doesn't). This skirt took a long time to make. Well, to make well.

6 seams on the upper skirt plus the zipper
6 seams on the lining
Pleating the skirt...

I used tailor tacks to mark the pleat points as I knew it was imperative that they be properly marked so that the lower skirt would fit correctly to the upper. I even hand-basted the pleats in place.

Did a great job on my invisible zipper:

Hand sewed the lining to the zipper tape:

There is no facing or waistband. I used strips of interfacing in addition to stay-stitching. If I were to do it again I would add some twill tape or other support at the waist. The skirt pulls down when worn.

Because the twill appears slightly textured, I went ahead and topstitched the hem - it looks fine. 

Hard to photograph the white+navy

I finished it and was SO excited and...MEH.

My daughter told me to "take it off please".

I didn't understand how it went so wrong! LOL!!!

After trying it on a BUNCH more times, I decided it could work if it sat closer to my natural waist. But I'm holding like 4" of fabric in back! It sits way low on my hip which makes me wonder if I didn't manage to stretch out the waist despite being careful - or if the size 16/18 was just too big. (I always do a 16 front and 18 back in skirts).

I like the pleated bottom and thought MAYBE if I removed 2-3" from the height/depth of the top it could work in the future. But...sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And there are WAY more "patterns in the sea".

In the meantime, I have my Ann Taylor Loft white eyelet/lace skirt and I ended up getting the colorful A-line skirt online. YAY! It came today and I absolutely adore it. I think I shall wear it tomorrow! :)

(size 14)

I also really appreciate the details. This is grosgrain used as a facing and zipper shield but it's SUPER soft and pliable. A quick Google search shows that cotton/rayon grosgrain ribbon is a thing! I like the way it's used in this skirt. I can see this becoming a wardrobe fave; even though it's bright and colorful.

I finished the Butterick  skirt on the 3rd and on the 4th of July found myself home alone in the morning while both kids were working. "Oh well, guess I'll sew a dress...", I said.

1) Knit - duh. Easy. Peasy.

2) Something I've made before - duh again! Ain't nobody got time for new patterns + adjustments

3) Easy to handle fabric - See #1

I was somehow drawn to NL6301, even though I said I probably wouldn't make it again. But luckily, I am smart sometimes. I thought about WHY I didn't enjoy the make as much (though I like the dress)...Ponte was not a good fabric to use with this one. It just created too much bulk in areas with pleats and ties and...bleh.

So I reached deep into the stash and came out with this lovely, thick springy poly jersey that I purchased from SR Harris way back in 2013 when I first started sewing. The colors are fun and vibrant and say SUMMER! but can easily transition into early fall. My kinda fabric!

This time, I chose the view with the full skirt. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I did have to cut the skirt out. But that was easy, just a front and back, size 16 for both.

I ALMOST ran out of fabric! I had cut my sleeves early on when I found a good spot for them between the bodice pieces.

But when I went to move them - uh oh! This fabric has a crazy wide selvedge and it's uneven on top of that! So like 1/3 of one of my sleeves was this cream selvedge. I dug around through my scraps and WHEW! Found a piece that could fit the sleeve.

In an effort to fit all the pieces on the fabric on-hand, I ended up turning my neck binding piece on the cross grain. This meant I didn't have the stretch to snug it up against the neckline so it's a little loose. But still - I LOVE THIS DRESS!!

I ended up wearing it on my birthday <3

We were moving non-stop that day so all I got was  a selfie and a cat and boy photobombed pic at the end of the day :)

The sleeves and skirt both got 5/8" double turned hems. I did not need to top-stitch the neck binding. Love. Love. Love.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Top-a-Palooza! Jalie 2921 and Vogue 9056

I own a handful of Jalie patterns and have been meaning to try them. Boy am I glad I finally did! On PR there are 117 reviews and it's owned by 644. And you know that a chunk of that 117 is probably for duplicates (as mine is!).

I read reviews of some of my go-to bloggers to decide what size to go with (e.g. comparing the size they chose for the Jalie to the size they choose for say, Big4 or Burda). I chose the size that was almost an exact match to my upper bust, waist and hip measurement - size Y.

I actually made a muslin(!) and made a few adjustments:
1/4" armhole tuck (typical to have armhole gaping with a full bust)
added 1/2" with cheater FBA
5/8" cheater swayback adjustment (I need to add a CB and do a proper one)
Shortened the top 1.5"

navy, red, ivory print ITY


In a cornflower blue modal jersey

There's still a little extra fabric in back. And I don't care for it tied:

Yay for the burrito method! It's so effortless. 

On this version I topstitched the opening of the tie end that I turned the top through. (On the solid version I hand stitched it closed.)

I did the turn and stitch on the armhole opening - not my favorite. This ITY is beefy so it works okay. On the solid version I cut bands, stitched it, turned and topstitched and trimmed close to the stitching. 

This version got double turned twin-needled hems. The solid version got double turned single stitch.

Lastly, I left the opening on this one to pull the ties through. Meh. I probably won't wear it like that.

I think I have to lay off the blue-based sleeveless tops! :)

A sewing friend sent me a big ole box of patterns awhile ago and V9056 caught my eye. I love peplums. LOVE! And I eagerly cut this one out. Did I read the directions? of course not! This is easy-peasy!!!


View A has raw edges. 

Raw edges on a neckline?!? why!? And a v-neck at that?! UGH! By the time I realized that it was completely assembled. I ended up unpicking 1/4" of the CF seam and doing a binding at 1/4". I just sewed it, turned, topstitched and trimmed the excess. Same for the armholes. I did not mind the raw hem on the peplum.

I cut a size 14 and did a 1/2" FBA and a 5/8" "cheater" swayback adjustment.

It's just okay...It would be much better if the seam was at my natural waist. And those little side panels are completely useless and I don't know why they exist.

It's okay but certainly not love. Good thing is, it was leftover fabric from my Butterick skirt and went together really fast. This one will find a new home.

I did a helluva job on the matching though!

Ahhhhh :)

During this "5-day weekend" I also sewed a wadder of a skirt (boooo!) and a cute dress in a fabric I've had since I first started sewing (yay!). Hopefully I can get some good photos of those soon.