Sunday, January 15, 2017

Some Sunday Miscellany

First, I started cutting out the Burda jacket. I still need to get lining, as mentioned, so don't look for it to be finished anytime soon!

Fabric up close. It's a wool blend herringbone with faint blue and green vertical stripes

So far I have the front and back assembled. Usually with projects like this I cut pattern pieces out as I need them - unless I'm worried about a fabric shortage. Then, I lay everything out. I've also cut everything single layer so far. 

Remember in my 2017 post I mentioned wanting a more casual style coat? Here are a couple I saw and really liked. 

I'm not trying to copy either, they're just inspiration...the types of coats that work with a variety of outfits. I think I'm going to use this Burda for my casual coat. I have a plaid coating that could work with the contrast pieces cut on the bias. Especially since I'll probably shorten this a bit.

Because sometimes you just have to treat yourself...I saw this adorable mug that was free with a coffee purchase. So I picked up some salted caramel pods for my Keurig (which, with shipping it was about the same price as just the mug. But "free"! LOL!!)

IDK how long the sale is happening (coffee and mugs are on sale). Code ASMG gets you the mug free.  NAYY!! I just think their travel mugs are cool and I'm always down to try new coffee brands!!

I also took advantage of the BMV sale and free shipping and picked up 2 new patterns. Between my BMV membership, a 10% off coupon code and free shipping I spent under $9 for two patterns. Doesn't really get better than that for Vogue!

Kay Unger 1537. I love the dress and coat separately more than I like them together.

Lia Lia 1531. 
I loved the drama, saw the RTW version and decided I would just jump off the ledge and make it!
You know it's winter so this is an 'in the future' project. 

Lastly, I was online and came across this Alice and Olivia dress from Spring 2017. It made me like the Burda (left) from 12/2016 a whole lot more!!! I would totally give it a waistline but leave the Burda hemline. I DO like it as a maxi but my brain says maxi dress = summer. And again, tundra. Summer doesn't come 'til mid-July! LOL!!!

So this dress will round out my 2016 Burda challenge! 

That led me down a rabbit hole and I really dig the A+O design aesthetic! These looks are what I would LOVE to achieve as causal spring/summer looks. 

So shameless copying because that dress above is $485...the studded jacket below is $1,395. A little bit out of my budget :-p

Other random sewing related things...

Someone had posted on IG about having an issue with neatness on the waistband of their jeans. I don't remember where I read it (it's not *my* tip!) but I did a jeans waistband this way and never looked back!

I assemble the waistband and facing, under stitching and all...then sew the facing to the jeans first, folding the whole assembly to the outside and pressing in place, then topstitching. It's neat inside and out!

Style Arc Sandra jeans - I'd used a dark blue for the bobbin thread.

I think I'm going to use M6886 and Rhonda Buss' sleeve tutorial to make a cold shoulder dress

Photo from Rhonda's blog

That's all, for now! :)

Up next, my review of M7476. I really like this vest and could see using it to make a 'duster' especially to mimic the A+O jacket!

Friday, January 13, 2017

WIP: Burda 11/2007 Jacket

I hope to make this jacket next month; I cannot find the danged lining fabric and will have to pick some up. My budget is really strict this first few months of the year so I'll get some at the end of the month when my 'craft budget' is replenished.

I only had the German copy of this issue and someone kindly emailed me the English directions. These older Burdas are nice with their limited number of patterns! So much easier to trace!


I traced a straight 42, no adjustments and sewed up the bodice.

Shoulders too long (expected)
Too small in the waist (it happens!)
No swayback needed (YAY!)
A little excess fabric in the armhole (BUT the sleeve wasn't attached yet.)

Removed 1/2" from the shoulder (at the seamline, tapering to nothing at the notches)
Took the shoulder up 1/2"

What's THAT wrinkle?
Well, it doesn't really matter because the bicep is too tight. So it feels overall tight and uncomfortable because I can't move my arms.
I put the sleeve in terribly.

Added 1" to the bicep
ONLY removed shoulder length, did not take the shoulder up

YAY! It looks pretty good. 
Wait, where did the sleeve twist come from? It's not there in the un-adjusted sleeve

So was it my adjustment? It's a 2-piece sleeve and I only added to the upper piece. Do I need to adjust the lower piece?

I will add to the waist (It is VERY unlikely that I will wear the jacket buttoned - I work in a casual dress environment. But jackets SHOULD be able to close)
I will add 5/8" to the sleeve length
I'll try to figure out what went wrong with the twisted sleeve. I could have possibly sent it off grain when adjusting. 
The jacket length is perfect. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Finished: McCall's 7538 Dress *AND* Top!

It's luuuuuurve.

If you recall I'd planned on making M6612 in a solid over my vacation. I made the print one and thankfully started looking for another "interesting" knit dress in the stash. Well, I found it!

I scored this heathered knit in one of those pre-cut fabric deals from Fabric Mart. It's a lovely jersey. Nice weight and drape, great recovery and completely opaque.

This photo shows the fabric well. I am normally quite lazy about hemming knit sleeves; I turn up and stitch. Well, I ended up measuring up 1 1/4" while the sleeve was flat, and using the chalk mark I folded up and pressed then turned it under for a double fold. It's so neat! I won't be lazy anymore!!

I cut the pattern with a size 14 neckline and shoulders and a 16 for the rest. I'd posted on IG when I saw that the front and back skirt were the same. I knew I needed an adjustment in back or else my skirt wouldn't be level. Shout out to Ebi of Making the Flame for the suggestion...I like shortcuts and she mentioned adding directly on the fabric. I added 3/4" at the center back grading to nothing about 2/3 of the way to the side seam. Win!

I also did a 1" full bicep adjustment and ended up sewing the side seams at 3/8" after getting the front and backs assembled. I should also note I did not hem the dress.

The front crossover isn't really a crossover after all! So you get the waist definition without any extra bulk. The front bodice is 5 pieces - sewn together to mimic a cross front. Takes a little more time but it works. There are two back views - a 'crossover' and solid. The solid back has one less pattern piece but the lower portion mimics the front.

With the pattern pieces having such interesting shapes I cut everything out, left the pattern piece with the cut fabric and "assembled" the front and back flat on the cutting table before sewing anything together. Also, mind all of your notches! It all goes together just perfectly.

If you look closely here, you'll see the seam cuts right across the lower portion of my bustline. I added 3/4" on the pattern piece on the entire lower front. And then cut out the top! :)

paired with S1322 skirt

All fabric from stash. The black is the burnout jersey I made my Swoon cardigan with. The brown is the wool jersey I made my Jalie pleated cardigan with and the grey was a cut of jersey I had in stash. I had another one that would have been more in line weight-wise with the other two but I wanted this color. I should've chosen the other one! This fabric wasn't fun to hem. Sheesh.

I am really happy with both of these and if you were considering this pattern I say GO FOR IT!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Wait...What about December? And a Self-Induced FAIL!

:) I never did a December wrap-up but did include my December sewing in my year end wrap up.

I sewed a lot during the month! 4 things before my vacation and 5 things during (in December...and I sewed 2 items during vacay in January).

For the month of December I sewed:
  • Simplicity 8014 top in navy poly crepe
  • New Look 6301 top in black ponte (bodice of a dress with band added, to-be-blogged)
  • McCall's 6612 dress x2 in pumpkin sweater knit and black & white print jersey (TBB)
  • McCall's 7251 shirt in checked shirting
  • Simplicity 1322 skirt in grey RPL suiting
  • Butterick 5760 skirt in camel wool
  • Vogue 9032 pants in grey RPL suiting
  • McCall's 7538 dress in plum jersey (TBB)
  • McCall's 7538 top in 3 prints to copy the cover art (TBB)

FAIL: The Vogue pants. More on that in a moment.

Favorite: I can have 2 right? Of course I can! Simplicity 8014 while not perfect is just super, duper gorgeous to me. I love the fit and the tie neck and am planning to make it again and think the pattern is deserving of silk. I won't use those sad facings though. But then there is B5760. Sure it's just a lined skirt, but I want to hug it. I want to carry it around with me in my pocket and admire it...

Accomplishments: While I took my time and did the skirt up right, I am actually always SUPER proud of myself for any sort of pattern "hack" as it just is not my thing. The NL6301 top makes me proud! I wanted a wrap "sweater"...something pullover with a wrap front but no ties. Then I saw this sweater from Anthro and was all I CAN DO THAT!! And so I did! YAY!

So vacation sewing included:
M6612 dress in black/white jersey
S1322 skirt
B5760 skirt
V9032 pants (wadder)
M7358 dress which I then immediately cut the top out. Love this pattern. (January projects)
M7476 vest (January project)

I was going to start on my daughter's pants and had no zipper that matched. Knowing I had just placed an order at Wawak, where regular nylon zippers are about $.25, I couldn't fathom going to JA and paying over $1 (assuming a coupon...I think the regular price is $1.99). So they are waiting until my order arrives.

I found myself home alone on the last day of vacation and what else would one do when they've already done laundry and cleaned house and washed their hair?! (hair washing is a once every 5-7 day deal and it's a "thing"!). So I cut out a pattern!

I wasn't initially planning to use THIS pattern for my knit vest but it works. Again, review to come! (The blog will be busy, busy in the coming weeks with the backlog I have. I've got 4 draft posts already!)

McCall's 7476 (Finished up tonight)

Sooooo about those pants. You know the ones... The pattern I've made 7 times before?

Yeah, that one.

I was rocking and rolling. Did the pockets, inserted a fairly nice fly front even on this spongey RPL...I had the back all assembled and ready to sew the inseams and looked at the back of the pants and went "hmm..." because they looked huge. I started pinning the inseams and there I had an "oh crap!" moment. I did not say 'crap' mind you.

I RAN downstairs where my pattern pieces were sitting in a pile and there I saw it...I'd cut the front pieces from view C (my intended view) with the back pieces from view B.

Here is a previously sewn view C:
Bootcut. Fitted through the hips and thighs. All nicely tapering in and out as needed.

Here is a previously sewn view B:
Trouser cut. Falls from the high hip to the floor. Full leg.

I whined that I would have to take them apart and recut the backs. Luckily, before I undid all that serger stitching and seams I pulled out the back pattern pieces for each view.

The correct piece is on bottom in both shots

Uhmm...yeah. No. Recutting wasn't an option.

I hadn't even looked at these photos above and somehow thought they fit similarly through the hip and butt and I could just reshape the legs:

Previously sewn back over this back

Well I did that with the understanding before hand that I would have to be okay with these being a wadder. I did some cutting and sewing and tweaking and no. No. No. No.

You may want to avert your eyes.

A day or so after the fact I was scrolling through my phone looking for something else and I swear to you I was "what/who is that/this?!" because h-o-r-r-i-f-i-c.

Are you STILL looking!? Fine! :-p

I looked at these photos and pulled those pants right off my body and threw them in the trash.


Up next, review for M7538 dress and top. I totally have photos ready to go on other things but not these but I love them so much AND it's a newer pattern that I'm bumping them to the front for a blog post!

Monday, January 2, 2017

HAPPY 2017!

Yay for a new year!!!

So excited for this turn of the calendar and feeling like it will be a fantastic year. On the sewing front I honestly haven't given a ton of thought to what's next but that's doesn't have to be a big 'thing'.

I have a lot of patterns. I have a lot of space to store patterns. Therefore, I will not stress myself out over the number that I own. I do think I can do a bit of culling. I have patterns in stash that I tried before and basically think are the devil in paper form (Looking at you Burda 6910). Why keep them? And others that I look at and wonder why I bought them as I don't really think they are my style.

I have tried to purchase more thoughtfully and will continue that.

My Burda sub has been renewed. People have commented on the January and February issues being lighter on patterns. The January issue has 21 unique patterns, excluding the kids' costumes. There is no petite pattern and one tall pattern. There was no petite pattern in the December issue either and that one also had about 20ish women's patterns. November had closer to 30 but a lot of the extras were pretty much variations in length. . I think I would rather have fewer patterns with true variations than to have them show the same thing 3-4 times with some small change in detail like color blocking or pockets.

I have one more Ottobre coming and I will decide if I want to renew or not. I may just buy those on a per magazine basis. I almost always like the autumn/winter issue and am a bit meh on the spring/summer.

I love buying fabric! I have a big stash and that's okay with me. But right now it feels out of control and not well contained. I need to cull there too. I have a whole bin that I almost always overlook. I dig through and 'meh' all the choices. And since I rarely muslin, again, Why hang on to it?

I am resolving to spend $500, max, on fabric in 2017. That does NOT include lining or interfacing.

So, $500 on fabric! LOL! I plan to spend less overall this year and that includes sewing. I have tried and just cannot with JoAnn. I will go there in an absolute pinch and for those rare 70% off notions events, but there is no attempt to improve the store and I don't like giving them my money.

**I understand some people have great local stores but I don't. So please, no need to defend your store or why you visit them. (sorry, not sorry).**

I will continue to buy BMV online through my membership. I don't buy a ton of Simplicity patterns anymore, but we will see how that goes when there is something I "must" have. I will continue to buy notions and zippers from Wawak and other online stores.

Lastly I want to start saving for a cover stitch. I sew a ton of knits and I would love one in my arsenal. I also know I want a Pfaff but as you all know I have a college student and a soon to be HS senior and my life is EXPENSIVE right now. So that may be my "In 2018 I'm done *raising* kids" gift to myself. Or a 40th birthday gift. Who knows :)

What do I want to sew? What do I want to achieve?
I have tackled a few pieces of outerwear but since I am such an instant-gratification person I find it hard to start them.  This isn't a sewing issue; it's just my personality so it's much harder to combat!

But I have to 1) because I DO have some longer term/"Bigger" projects I want to sew and 2) I actually can't continue my current output but I need to sew most of the time! Again, I don't mind having a larger wardrobe -  I always have, even when I was strictly RTW. But I have a LOT of clothes right now.

Well...fall/winter. I can still stand some serious work on my summer wardrobe. And spring barely exists here.

1) A blazer. I REALLY WANT THIS!! As mentioned before I have a couple from J.Crew that fit decent but not perfect and I love blazers.

2) MOARRRRR coats. I love outerwear. I've always had a TON of coats.
  • I plan to sew the Closet Case Files Clare relatively soon. 
  • I need another casual coat - I love my Minoru but it is a linen blend and has quite a limited span of time it can be worn here. I need something warmer but just as sporty but not as BIG(!) as my down coat. I *think* I can make the Minoru from a wool. I know some of the areas can get bulky but thinking lighter weight wool + silk lining = warm jacket. We shall see.  
  • Trench coat. I have a RTW that I've owned for forever but it's made from some very lightweight cotton that is so damned wrinkly all the time! ALL THE TIME!!! Plus I have this sweet vintage Simplicity and a buy-the-yard khaki colored fabric I scored from FM so I just have to.

3) I have to finish my daughter's quilt. I feel so bad that I never got it done. I have to see how many blocks I have but I can't make anymore blocks. I can't. I cannot cut up any more tiny squares. (I'm shaking my head rapidly from side to side saying, "no! no! NO!!!!! No more!")

I think I have 11- 14"x14" blocks. If so I'll make a 12th one I have 14 blocks and am unsure if a 3x5 center will work. It may look too disproportioned. If it's okay I'll move forward...if not I'll take it back to 12. and then build up the rest of the quilt with borders. Yes, I still have to cut up and reassemble fabrics but not tiny squares that become triangles and all that. :shudder:

See? No more tiny pieces. No more. I am no longer able.

And there goes my career as a quilter. If my son really wants a quilt he will get a jelly roll race quilt. That was fine. That I can do. My annoyance with that came with the actual quilting. And I have watched so many YouTube vids and read so many blogs but my brain is unable to miter corners.  But I can pay someone to quilt and bind it!

4) Bodice.Sloper.!!! I want to do this. Well, no I don't want to; it doesn't sound fun...but it sounds necessary. 

Grrrr. I didn't lose a ton of weight but I'd lost some in 2015 (~12-15 lbs) and nearly all of my knee pain disappeared. Right around that time I'd found an article in a medical journal that said for people who suffer OA of the knee, every pound of weight loss reduces the force on the knees by 4 lbs. And I was ecstatic that I wasn't suffering constantly. 

Well the weight is back and so is the pain. It hurts a lot. Everyday, no matter the activity, and my scale says I weigh 189 and my rheumatologist wants me to lose 30 lbs. So I need to do it. I won't set a hard/fast number for weight loss. E.g., if I lose like 26 lbs I'm calling it good. Because I don't actually dislike my almost 190 lb body but my knees and hips hurt so it's too much. 

Professionally I'm gunning for some big moves! I have a certification to prep for and I need to get my behind in gear. My exam window is 5/1 - 7/15 and I have a lot of studying to do!

Personally I have a lot to leave behind in 2016 and sure this may sound a little hokey, but I have to let a lot of negativity go. I was a poster on GOMI, and no, it isn't all personal attacks and meanness. But it DOES go there and it's really not nice when it's against someone you consider a friend (hey, our sewing friendships are so important even when we've never met irl!). So I felt complicit in a way, even though I didn't participate in those discussions and defended as I saw fit. So I'm done there. 

Pattern Review. Grr. I almost deleted my account at one point. It's like 2016 was the year of the crazies over there. But I had to remember how much I enjoyed that site when I first learned to sew and to be a participant in a way that works for me. So helpful posts, pattern discussions, writing reviews, etc...and leaving all the crazy making stuff alone.

Wait - I'm not talking about putting on those rose-colored-everything is fine and positive and totally uplifting in the sewing blog community-glasses. I'm talking about not bogging myself down with people and things who are nasty and take up mental space that they certainly don't deserve.

My local sewing group has decided to keep a set date/time for meeting up and then whoever makes it can make it. So I am happy to have that to look forward to now most months. I am truly a home body and if not for my kids I would be holed up in my house a lot. I'm really going to try to be a bit more social in 2017.  Right now it's pretty much automatically a hard no on doing anything during the week after work. Which may sound normal (lol) but I get off work at 4:30 and am usually home 20 minutes later. And yes I go to bed early but I can still get out occasionally and do more socially.

Social Media. I deactivated Facebook back in September, and got back on temporarily last month.  I have deactivated again as I just can't.  And I am *this* close to leaving Instagram. FB owns it now and I dislike the changes they are making. However, I do feel like interacting on IG in the sewing realm has been a bit different than IG as a whole. The problem is that I don't get to live in my sewing bubble anymore because of their stupid algorithms and suggested content. And I dislike the 'liking' of comments on posts. So I am finding myself annoyed/irritated a lot of the time when I'm on there.

Recap of 2017 goals and sewing plans:

1) Buy patterns thoughtfully; cull at some point (early) this year.
2) Continue my Burda challenge (okay fine I didn't mention this but I'm totally doing it again). I will sew a Burda a month from that particular month; but from any year.
3) Consider dropping Ottobre depending on how spring/summer looks
4) Buy fabric thoughtfully. Limit fabric purchases to $500 for the year; excluding lining and interfacing.
5) Sew a fitted, lined blazer
6) Sew 3 new outerwear pieces
7) Finish my daughter's quilt
8) Create a bodice sloper
9) Lose the danged 30 (ish) pounds
10) Be more positive
11) Be more social in real life