Friday, January 19, 2018

New Look 6530: 6+ Weeks in the Making!

I started writing this post while I was midway through construction on DECEMBER 6TH! It's reading a litttttle differently than back then! LOL!

I was drawn to this pattern immediately! I wanted the view in the forefront and was patiently waiting on the right fabric.

The fabric is Telio Jockey Ponte from Fabric dot com in navy. This fabric is wonderful. It's a rayon/nylon/spandex blend, it has 20% stretch in both directions, it's thick and soft and washed up well. I bought 2 yards, got a TEENY bit over that, and lost a bit (sorry, didn't measure exactly!) in the laundering process. So unless you're a risk taker ;-) prewash this fabric! I feel like the color selection is a little limited. I wish there were more options! 

I hemmed and hawed over the contrast. I had several decent chunks of ponte remnants but only 2 (solids) that I believed were thick enough to pair with this fabric. The cream I used for my daughter's sweatshirt and this. The navy and cream was a little too nautical for me. I love them together but feel weird about wearing navy and white (or cream...) in winter. 

Because I generally suck at colorblocking, I either  copy someone else's combination or google ideas I'm considering. The following pics made me think this may look pretty sophisticated!

I was unsure for a moment but I'm glad I went with it. I think it works! The *color* combo was really pretty. The ponte was far too lightweight to pair with this navy fabric. Then I bought 1/2 yard of coral ponte. I decided to use tricot interfacing to beef it up a little. I'd accidentally interfaced the facing not the fashion fabric side. It was again tough to get a nice smooth band. It sat for weeks. I decided to just finish the skirt and let the top go.

BUT I LIKED THE (*idea* of the) TOP SO MUCH!

In the mean time, I'd made the Burda 1/2018 hoodie. That double knit is very thick like this ponte. Ding. Ding. Ding!

I was over trying to make the curved band work though. I cut the pattern piece straight across, even with the shorter side. The pattern sleeve bands are about 8" before attaching/hemming. I cut an 8" wide band for the top. I laid it out and went to bed.

The next day I came into the sewing room to iron and had that little sharp intake of breath at the combo laid out on the cutting table. YAY!!!!!! This is going to work after all!

I sewed it, hemmed it, tried it on. DEJECTION!  I said, okay, this top is DONE. Luckily, I realized it was just an issue of proportion. I folded the band in half and ah-ha! Much, MUCH better!

So the NEXT day, I cut off 3.5" and hemmed it at 1". WOOOOHOOO!!!!!!! "Now we're cooking with grease", as Papa would say! Whew. Like with the dress, when I go to these lengths to make it work, it's clear it was something I was really loving aside from the issues. So I'm excited that I was able to save it.

The pattern has finished measurements and I did some flat pattern measuring. I used a size 14 neckline and shoulder and graded to a 16. I needed a small FBA, 1" total:

I also did a 1" full bicep adjustment. On the skirt, I used a size 16 front and size 18 back. I didn't make any other adjustments to the skirt but could have added a small wedge to the back for my butt.

***I have found my new TNT knit skirt. This skirt has darts in back. It. Has. Darts!!!! So no pooch of fabric above the butt! Not to mention it's actually my size. I only have M6654 in a size 14 and always have to do some fabric-dependent tweaks to make that work.

I am also ever so grateful to New Look for drafting this with 3/8" seam allowance on the collar and neckline, and the bottom band (the pattern pieces are clearly marked too!). THANK YOU!!! 5/8" seam allowances are, at times, a waste of fabric and harder to sew (e.g. curved seams). 

I primarily constructed this on the sewing machine because the fabric is so thick. I wanted to ensure I had nice, crisp seams. I sewed the shoulder seams, attached the collar and skirt waistband directly on the serger, everything else by machine. Usually, with heavier weight ponte knits, I treat them more like wovens. So I also set the sleeves vs sewing them flat.

 I don't love the 2 together but separately they are both in the 9/10 camp. So I am pleased!

The grey band is *slightly* too small for the top

 When I finished the skirt I immediately thought how well it would pair with my J.Crew gingham Moto jacket! C'mon spring!

I have been awful about replying to comments. SO much going on.  I'll be traveling and have 3 posts scheduled over the next week. I'll be scanning for questions to answer those but likely won't be able to reply to all...though each and every comment is read and appreciated!!

Until later!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

FINALLY!! Burda 6853

I have a new *sleeveless* dress.


You know I must really have liked it otherwise to keep toiling away, right? I would have normally moved on by now.

I removed the sleeves (which had been trimmed/serged!!) and cut a new sleeve, adding 1 1/4" to the bicep. I basted the sleeve itself and it felt fine on my arm. I sewed it with a 1/2" seam allowance and sewed it to the dress.

Fit fine. I could not bend my arms. Decide to cut it off above the elbow. Better, but still not enough range of motion. Considered a cap sleeve; remembered I hate cap sleeves. Got out some bias tape because this was about to head to the nope. no more. pile!!

 Fit my swayback perfectly!

This is a Burda Young pattern and only goes up to a size 42. I cut a 40 neckline and shoulder and 42 for the rest. I did a slash and spread on the side back and lower panel, adding 3/4". I basted and boy was it snug when I tried it on! I ended up cutting gussets that were 1 1/4" finished and that was too much. I cut new gussets(!) that were 3/4" finished - so adding 1 1/2" total. Perfect.

I knew it would be on the short side but that was fine as I also knew it would be paired with tights for the foreseeable future (I can go tight-less in April. I'm kidding. May!). The solid fabric is the same suiting as the blazer, pants and skirt. The print was picked up on a Christmas shopping trip to SR Harris. I bought it to make another B5760 skirt but decided it'd be perfect as the accent fabric for this one.

The contrast on the pattern are actually overlays as it's intended for lace. I cut full pieces and assembled the front, marked the overlay and added 3/8" seam allowance. I then cut away the solid fabric. The back did not have an overlay piece so I created one in the same manner as the front.

I used an invisible zipper and poly pongee as lining. Ah, back to the length...I liked the 'out-of-envelope' length. So it is REALLY short. I used hem tape to maintain as much length as possible. Because I am sewing from stash right now, I went with what I had on hand :) The pattern calls for binding sewn flat over the seams and some type of similar finish on the neckline. Meh. I didn't pay attention to any of that. I used piping at the neckline because I love piping and the bonus was not having to draft facings! (although it's super simple)

Piping | Hem tape | Gusset

This is basically my outfit post for tomorrow because this is exactly how I'll be wearing it! :) With either my black Swoon cardigan or McCall's 6844 as a topper.

SO glad it's done and in my closet, even if I'm a tiny bit sad it had to be sleeveless!

I have all of my loungewear goodies photographed! I will write a couple of posts and schedule them over the next week. I haven't had a lot of free time and will be traveling this week so even less.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Butterick 6031

Yes, I have 712 other things to review but...:)

After finishing my all-black wardrobe I hurriedly changed my serger and coverstitch threads to grey to start working on the hoodie. And then once I realized I had to redo the black sleeves I decided to circle back. I expected the hoodie to take longer (yeah, I know...) but I started it Tuesday evening and finished it Wednesday evening. And when I went searching for the mesh I wanted to use for the hood, I came across this fabric. I bought this in 2015 to make this pattern so I had straps and lace already as well.

But I had black lace and the print is more of a dark blue-grey. So I found a smaller piece of lace in stash that would work.

I read as many reviews as I could and decided to sew a 16C cup (typically I use a 14C but my body is bigger than it was!). I graded the back piece out to an 18 below the waist. I am very happy with the out-of-envelope fit. I need some adjustments but this is totally wearable!

I slept in it last night. Swoon.

Subpar mirror pics because, sleepwear. 

While this lace is also black, it has this white accent which lightens it a bit. The straps are a dark blueish grey.

I changed my top thread to black and duh moment when I attached the 1/8" lace to the cups. 
It's not too noticeable though.

I didn't have any picot elastic that matched so just used the 3/8" suggested, turned and pressed and topstitched with a zigzag.

This photo is to show how it fits on me. It pulls to the back above the lace which also puts the darts towards the side seams. When I pull the side seam where it belongs, the bust dart is in the right space but there's a little too much width in the CF.  I've since added width to the back side seam and narrowed the cf a little. 

On the bust fit, I need a little more length. This is often the case for me with bust fit. I do usually need some extra width but I really need more vertical room. I can't get this by say going up a size - that's going to be too large. Going up to the next cup size isn't the answer either as the D-cup pattern piece always has too much projection. I kind of need a C-cup with FBA.

I added 1/2" to the bust at CF grading to 1/4" and nothing at the side seam.

I made one snafu. Did you see it?? (did you scroll up?)

I was careful not to put a giant flower over the bust...but that is all. And now I have what looks like NOTHING on one side with the super light flowers and then the dark flowers on the other side. 

WAH! It bugged me the entire time. Every time I looked at it I got annoyed with myself. And then I put it on my body! :-D And I LOVE IT!!! 

So then, as sewers do, I cut out another one! Hahahahaha!!!!

I have enough of this lace to do the hem so I'm excited about that! 

This weekend I can get photos of the rest of the loungewear items and the hoodie and get those reviews written! 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

TNT V9032 & Burda 11/2007 #113

It's the 8th version of V9032 - 4 are still in my wardrobe. One pair was ruined with the skirt, 1 pair sprung a hole in the thigh (thick-thighed ladies unite!) and 1 pair is on it's last legs. When the black pair ripped, it was right along the seam line. I patched it up and continued wearing them. And eventually, the fabric ripped completely.

This year I've been way more into slim fit or wide legs and less into the bootcut, so I opted for the fuller leg view of this pattern. Back when I made this view before, I wasn't thrilled with them. Now? I LOVE them. I wear the blue ones all the time but can't wear them during winter as it is a very lightweight suiting. I am happy to get another pair and obviously need a black trouser in the wardrobe!

There is, thankfully, nothing of interest to report on the pants! Yay! I sewed my normal size, an 18, with an adjustment for an additional bit of width in the hip. I haven't gained weight but my body composition has changed. At any rate, I didn't want the pleats to do weird things so I added 3/8" to the back pattern piece from the waist through the hip. I also decided to add the pockets this time which is why I only adjusted the back! I didn't want to adjust the several pieces related to the pockets. LOL! I also adjusted the back waistband/facing piece accordingly.

I stabilized the pockets with a 1/2" strip of lightweight fusible interfacing immediately after cutting. I must get some fusible stay tape soon! For the purposes of this pattern though, the interfacing worked. No pocket gaping!

This fabric pressed so nicely but I was still very careful to baste, baste, baste while I was working on them. And because I didn't want to use chalk on the black pants, I ended up thread tracing my fly template. It's just the pattern piece in suiting fabric double interfaced. I should cut it out of something would be great to have a plastic version! I stitched just inside the basting here:

The pattern has you stretch the back leg with steam. The lower pin marks the notch and I laid it flat, and placed the upper pin where I wanted it to be stretched to. It works really well!

The pattern calls for a 3 1/4 or 3 1/2 inch hem (I can't remember). I hemmed at 2 1/4" -- I'm a high heel wearer.

Because things were just coming together so nice and neat, I decided to use double fold bias on the facing. I also used lining fabric to back the fly shield  (this is actually how it's instructed in the pattern but I'm not sure I've done it before).

Another thing I realized when I actually read the instructions (hahaha), they have you construct the waistband/facing, attach it as a unit and then bind the raw edge. That seems like it would be bulky?? The waistband, facing and back waist of the pants all in double fold binding?? I'm never doing it like that!

I just love the finishing on them!!

I often get this point on my trouser waistbands and it drives me MAD. I had already trimmed and graded and understitched and wasn't about to undo it. It'll be fine but ughhhhhhh. 
I assume I end up tapering the stitching without intending to. This waistband is quite curved.

This jacket - WHEW!!!!!!

I had inserted the collar and it felt so weird on my neck. I then realized that it was NOT a traditional notched collar. I did so much unpicking and basting and stitching to figure out how to insert this collar. Good grief!!! I like the front and how it sits in the lapels but it feels really weird around my neck - still. And it's bunching up. I did a narrow shoulder adjustment based on the muslin I made months ago and it didn't feel weird. BUT I did not insert the collar in the muslin. I have worn the jacket and it did bother me a bit. So we'll see how it goes.

The collar is so cool!! But I definitely have some sort of fit issue around the neckline.
Less evident in the above pic, moreso in the mirror selfie below wearing the skirt.

I sewed a size 42 with a narrow shoulder adjustment, full bicep adjustment, 3/8" added to the side seams of the size 42. I did an FBA as well and I think I should have slightly lowered the bust curve at the princess seams. The length was just perfect. I WANTED the view with pockets but when I thought about re-tracing THE ENTIRE pattern and doing the adjustments again...that was a huge nope.

I made shoulder pads and inserted them but then it felt REALLY weird so I took them out. I did use fleece as sleeve heads and it was a little too bulky so I had to trim them back some.

Someone was kind enough to send me the English instructions (I have the German version of the mag) and I have the "Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets". The pattern instructed me to interface the entire fronts, hemlines (jacket and sleeves) and armholes, and to tape the roll line. All pretty solid stuff! I used the info from the book to bag the lining and it worked well but think I misread the instructions for the back pleat. I have very little pleat happening! LOL!!

But it is quite comfortable to wear aside from the neck pulling/bunching (the sizing is nice).  I'm going to say this just may not be the jacket pattern that can become a TNT but I think I'll get some wear from it.

I forgot about the button until I wore it. I meant to do a buttonhole but forgot...and then remembered again when I took pics! I'll have to do that!!

I don't wear suits to work but I have wanted to make a 3-4 piece "set" since FOREVER!! I finished my Burda dress today and that review will be coming soon.

The shoulder fit issue is evident here

The dress is FANTASTIC but the sleeves are wayyyyyy too tight. I'd added 3/4" bicep adjustment but it obviously wasn't enough. I went back and ripped out the stitching to 3/8" - still not enough.

They've been removed, a new sleeve traced, and they'll be redone.  I think I'm going to do the larger bicep adjustment and if necessary, combine it with a gusset. This dress is too nice to have it become a wadder!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Another year down, another year ahead of us! I cannot believe how quickly time seems to just be flying by. My daughter will be 20 this year, my son will be 18. It doesn't feel like I've been a parent for 20 years but I guess the calendar doesn't lie! :)

Other personal milestones this year include taking (and passing!) a certification exam this month and applying for graduate school in the fall. Also, I have been the same weight for almost all of 2017. I did not lose any weight (well I did when I had the flu but that hardly counts!)  and while it isn't something that is super important to me, I know my knees will benefit! I have absolutely perfect numbers across the board. You name it, it is pretty near perfect - blood pressure, A1C and blood sugar, cholesterol, etc etc. Okay, except Vitamin D because 1) I'm brown 2) I'm a tundra dweller 3) I only spend time outside when it's absolutely necessary! But otherwise I'm in good shape and I'm happy with my body and that makes it HARD to find motivation to do anything differently. But my knees!!

I was so enjoying that fitness bootcamp but I'm certain now that it did not do my damaged hand any favors. Sigh. I'm coming up with a plan! ((And no, my hand is still not fully healed.))

On to sewing!!!!

I have a lot of clothes. Oh my gosh, you're SO shocked and amazed, right?!? :-p

As a tundra dweller, the seasons are more winter/early spring, spring/summer, summer/early fall and fall/winter. Aside from winter, none of the seasons are 'true'. There's some serious bleeding of one into the other. Like, there may be a couple of weeks in summer where it's actually hot enough to NEED sleeveless tops/dresses for work. Spring arrives long after the calendar says so but my desire to shed dark clothing comes much sooner. So I'm always trying to maintain a balance there.

I don't really need much more for the cold season. I have to make this black dress, finishing off my basic work capsule, and then I need to temporarily divert my attention because my closet overflows. I am just ecstatic with my loungewear collection (reviews are coming as soon as I finish the hoodie!!) and now I want some sleepwear items. By the way, these are two different things for me. Since I pretty much dress on the cusp of business casual & business professional, I tend to change clothes as soon as I come home from work. This is where the loungewear comes in for me. And for those days when I'm staying in all day (and binging movies or binging sewing!).

For sleepwear, I would like 2 nightgowns and 2 pair of sleep shorts. I have plenty tees and tanks and can't sleep in pants unless it's REALLY cold. And that hasn't happened yet even with temps at -15 and windchills of -35. I just run too hot to sleep in pants.

I also want the few outerwear pieces I discussed previously - Closet Case Clare in black wool coating, Burda 8/2017 short coat in navy melton and pattern tbd trench coat in a khaki/tan color.

I'm making this view in black with black lining, 'gold' piping(!) and a 'gold' zipper.
This jacket in navy with navy lining. Maybe I'll add red or hot pink piping.
Oh! I need buttons for this!
This vintage Simplicity was on my radar for all of it's trench details. But now, I am not so sure.
1) It's a raglan. I believe that, as much as I love my S2508, I don't care much for raglans and I don't wear it nearly as much as my coats with set-in sleeves
2) It doesn't have much shaping at all; that's done with the belt
3) It doesn't have a collar stand. Easy to say just add it, but there's a reason I have never been interested in any sort of pattern drafting ;)
So as much as the idea of tracing this makes me want to cry...I think this Burda 11/2012 pattern is the one, sans piping. It really has everything I want. If Burda had copy-shop printing I would just buy it and print it!!
I don't mind the angled gunflaps in front but don't really like it in back. That I will change. The other view from the mag has more traditional versions of these pieces and I'll use those:
Again, I'm hoping to make the ever elusive "perfect" summer wardrobe. I'm just not good with sewing up work or casual summer clothes. I am never fully satisfied. I probably need to figure out if it's a case of my vision of 'summer clothes' not matching my reality and adjust. This year I may use RTW pieces as inspiration and do a copy-cat capsule.

To round up...for the first four months of the year I'll be quite focused (the 2018 SWAP may or may not pan out. I don't want to focus on that and the site may be going paid subscription only). Also we KNOW that something 'shiny' will slip in. e.g. the green Burda wrap top was 'shiny' but it was so worth it!

-complete black work wear wardrobe (1 more item-in progress)
-complete loungewear wardrobe (2 more items)
-complete sleepwear wardrobe (4 items)
-complete 3 outerwear items
-complete a replacement pair of Birkin flare jeans
-sew a silk slip in a nude-to-me color (I got some swatches from Mood for this recently!)
-participate in PR Red Carpet contest in March

Now, I have absolutely no need at this moment for anything 'red carpet'. But I think it will be a nice challenge and fun to do. And because I don't need it, less pressure. I'm hoping I can enjoy the process and learn something new along the way! I'm thinking of this pattern from 11/2014:

I think it's gorgeous and have thought about this pattern since that issue was released! I already have 4 yards of charmeuse in a lovely jade color! :-D

2018 Sewing Resolutions:
  • No new fabric prior to May 1 except the silk for the slip.
I have everything in stash for the above projects including lining fabrics. I will need some notions (e.g. tons of buttons for the trench) but my stash is at that slightly overwhelming point right now. And I go in and look for something and come across something else that I completely forgot about! I want to WEAR those pieces not pet them in the stash!!!

  • Very few new patterns
I just culled 70+ patterns from the stash. I will tell you that is slightly less than 10% of my stash (doh!). I can add 18 new patterns to stash this year (about 25% of what I culled). I am getting to the point that a) not many details are new compared to what I have b) I can start to add some design details to existing patterns vs buying new c) my Burda stash is nice and deep (almost 5 years worth of mags).

The new McCall's release did not entice AT ALL. Blergh.

  • Tracking. 
I want to track:
    • What patterns I use e.g., TNT vs used before vs new
    • Success/failure throughout the year vs at year end
    • What I'm wearing. I plan to take a photo-a-day. I will NOT share my daily outfit pics - don't worry! :-p I may do summaries here and there.
    • Fabric in/out. I missed it this year. I didn't think I was really paying as much attention but I suppose I was!
    • Spending; fabrics, notions, other (marking tools, cutting tools, Wonder Tape :p )

  • Burdastyle Magazine:
I am still doing the Burda challenge. I want to challenge myself to sew at least 18 Burda magazine patterns in this year. They may or may not be from the current issue.

  • Sewing Community engagement:
I love the community as a whole. Sewing is a solitary hobby and it is nice to share the love. But for 2018 I have got to stop engaging in these "Big4=bad; Indie=good" debates. It makes me all spazzy and ragey. I honestly don't care if anyone never, ever, ever touches a Big4 pattern. I really don't. Don't like them? Don't sew them!! There are tons of Indie patterns I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole and others I love! But why on earth must the Big4 always(!!!) be denigrated to discuss how much one likes Indies? WHY IS THIS A THING?!

There is a reason that Butterick has been around since 1863, McCall's since 1870, Vogue since 1899 and Simplicity since 1927. I've only been sewing for 5 years and have seen a couple decent Indie companies come and go. Sewaholic was around for less than 7 years and those were solid patterns with great instructions and she had a huge following!

So I'd like it if people stopped pretending like Indie companies are going to wipe Big4 off the map because of their presumed superiority. Can't we just let them coexist?? Can't you primarily sew your Indies and love it while I primarily sew my Big4 and Burdas and love it? That can work, right? We can do that, RIGHT?!?!? :-p

Aside from that specific goal, I want to continue being more positive. I have done so much better with exiting conversations that feel purposeless (yeah, yeah, except for the above! LOL!). I've gotten back to focusing on being encouraging and engaging with the more positive aspects of the community and will continue to do so.

  • Blogging:
I love to blog my sewing and I love to read blogs about sewing. I re-joined Instagram to provide more of an audience to Cricut for my projects but my heart isn't in it thus far. So for the foreseeable future, I'll be here, blogging my projects.

January Sewing Plans:
  • Black Burda 6853 (WIP)
  • Grey Burda 1/2018 hoodie
thoughts on zipper choice?:

  • Black S8424 leggings (I love this legging pattern)
  • Butterick 6247 in cream jersey (official Cricut project)
  • Finish NL6530 skirt (just needs elastic and  hemming)
  • Review the tons of things I've finished!
Happy New Year!!! Let's make 2018 GREAT!