Friday, September 4, 2020

August Wrap Up and September Plans

Quiet month, as I expected. I had little motivation because as mentioned in last month's wrap up, it's usually the time I start sewing fall garments and wahhhhhh. 

This month I sewed 3 items and a total of 5 yards.

  • Simplicity 8389 shorts - 1.25 yd
    • Navy brussels washer linen from stash
    • elastic
  • Burda 11/2018 top - 1.25 yd
    • ivory rayon lycra jersey from stash
  • Burda 5/2019 dress - 2.5 yd
    • striped double brushed poly from stash
    • gold cord stops
Fave: I'll go with the dress because it was a vision come to life. That's always fun! :)

FAIL: Not really a fail. The Simplicity short was fantastic in crepe and a bit too stiff in this linen. But, linen will soften with continued wear/washing so hopefully they'll grow on me a bit more.

Accomplishments: I didn't sew up much yardage but it all came from stash! 

I really like this Burda pattern! I could have cut the armhole in a bit since I left it sleeveless. 
Something to keep in mind.

I also finished my second Burda 5/2020 top in the ankara (I'm going to review both, promise!)


I made up a few of the free Aplat masks for us. I had this fun Art Gallery print on hand (that I bought to make a cover for my knitting machine) and the mask doesn't take much fabric so I stole a little corner from my yardage :-D

I was looking for a mask pattern that didn't use elastic around the ears for my husband since he is back in the office full time. The pattern worked great for him as-is (he is 6'2" FYI). I found the original size to be too large on me. I removed 1/4" from top and bottom (technically, it should be taken out of the center). I added elastic to mine because I found the tie a bit fiddly. 

I found myself sweating way more in this fabric than my other style. I don't know if we happened to have uncharacteristically warm days when I tried it out or what but I wanted to rip it off when I got back to the car after grocery shopping. I LOVE the style and how quickly it sews up! Will have to test the comfort again to make sure it wasn't a fluke.


And, I got a new sewing machine! As we know, sewing friends are the best, and she so graciously sent me this Janome Skyline S3. I only managed to unbox it today (I don't test the limits of my hands if I don't have to) but will be setting it up tomorrow!


September Plans:

I finally fixed my jacket from last year's tailoring class! Now, I'm sewing in the lining. I still need to sew the sleeve lining (hem and vent) and sew in the shoulder pads. Then I have to do the front buttonholes (sleeve b-holes are done) and sew on all the buttons. I will finish this blazer because it is really awesome! 

I still need to make the baby blanket on the knitting machine. I just need to settle on a stitch pattern; it should only take a couple hours. 

I'm going to whip up a handful of nursing friendly pj tops for my daughter before heading to CA. 

Hopefully, I'll get to muslin V8890 for my husband. 

I hope to get pics taken over this long weekend for some old stuff. Things I can't photo solo like the ankara top and the black one, and the dress I just finished is bright red (with blue dots) but attempts to photograph it just reads insane brightness. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Another Dress! Burda 5/2019 #104

I'm always talking about something I saw somewhere but rarely remember where. I'm sorry! LOL!

I saw a wrap dress with 2 tiers of ruffles in a vertical stripe and went completely nuts for it. I knew I'd be making one and was drawn to this print. Sure, I was mildly afraid of it looking Big Tent (clownish) but luckily...it's awesome!

So, I now have several dbp dresses. I am still not a huge fan of the fabric but man if the vibrant colors and prints don't draw me in! I definitely can't wear it on my lower half and am not sure how people make pants of this stuff! WHEW! At any rate, it's too warm for the warmest days; it was about 85 when I took the pics and I was hot. I meant to show it with a denim jacket but, HOT. Too hot! It was really cute though when I tried it on :)

This wrap dress from the May 2019 Burda was a great match and just needed a ruffle (I decided against 2 tiers). I cut a size 40 neckline, 42 front and 44 back (after the armholes). It came out a little too big, I probably didn't need to grade to a 44, but it's fine.

It wasn't until I tried it on to decide how long the ruffle should be that I realized the front isn't cut on the straight of grain because of the wrap front. DOH! My stripes aren't actually vertical!! I was kind of over it at that point and almost quit the project. But honestly, I like it! The back is vertical and the ruffle is horizontal and the front slightly biased, the ties are on the crossgrain...I love how everything came together.

I had my hair in 2 french braids for the past few days. I took them out and it seems like within moments, I had a fro! LOL!!! One of my favorite hairstyles will always be front up/back down so I'm loving it anyhow! And, I love this dress and want to hug it! But it wasn't without trials because, of course!

I used my serger to do the gathering (you must try it!). My ruffle panels are about 55" wide and 11" long (I wanted a finish length of 10"). I gathered this 4.5+ yards of fabric in like, less than 5 minutes! Ahhhhhh. 

I always read the Burda instructions but it usually reads like gibberish. Usually, if you follow the steps, it ends up making sense. Most of the time, the garment has straightforward enough construction that I just use methods/order that I want. But, this time I didn't follow directions and got to place where I was stuck. 

Ohhhhhhh! That's what they meant! I couldn't figure out why they'd want me to make a separate back band or why the side seams were sewn first. 

Well, so that you don't do what I did, the shoulder casings is why! The side seams are sewn, the armhole, back neckline, and front neckline are all faced and turned inside and topstitched. Then, you sew the shoulders together, press open the seam, and topstitch on either side to form a casing for the shoulder tie. Hemming the neckline and armhole first results in an opening at both neckline and shoulder.  

Because I'd already sewn the shoulder seam, I ended up having the shoulder pulled up a bit because I needed enough seam allowance to make a casing! Because of course I serged it initially, when I removed the serger stitches, I only had 1/4" of seam allowance. I sewed the seam at 1/2" and made 3/8" casings. I also made the ties a bit narrower to account for this. For the neck and armhole binding, I didn't use Burda's measurements mainly because I prefer a narrower topstitch and usually go for 3/8" or 1/2". 

And of course I used more of my Milly cordstops! I love the look!!


I cut 2 pieces from the same section for the ties and flipped them so that one side had pink facing and blue striped under and vice versa on the other. Just another area where I played with the stripes.

You can see here that the shoulder is sitting a little bit back, and I can feel that 1/2" difference when it's on, but it doesn't result in discomfort so I can live with it. 

Lastly, pics in which I accidentally serve face! 


I haven't done anything I set out to do in August but what else is new! :-p I did finish the baby set though! :-D It didn't defeat me!






Friday, August 14, 2020

Burda 7/2019 #101

This tee was the final item in my little Endless Combination 4-piece wardrobe.

I went right up against the deadline (July was a busy month) and I knew I needed something simple and had a couple items that I'd made before that I considered. And in the end, Burda is Burda! Consistent drafting so I know just what I'm getting.

I used this metallic jersey for my Sirocco jumpsuit I made last summer. I had some really large pieces left over because I wanted a "fun tee" eventually. So this was a great amalgamation of pattern and fabric and plans!

I traced the pattern in a size 40 for the front, and for the back neckline and shoulder. Then I graded out to a 42 in the back.

**This is a newly discovered fit "issue" post-reduction. Before, I would sew a size 40 with FBA or sometimes I'd grade up to a 42 through the body. My back is pretty broad but it isn't just the area where one normally makes a "broad back adjustment". The area above my armscye in back is broad AND has become a bit fleshier (hahaha!) over the years. This combo of sizing has been working well and I've done it on a few items.**
My norm for most Burda garments aside from pants and some dresses, is to not add hem allowance. Yes, it would be more accurate to shorten the top at the waist but often, it's fine as-is.

The front and back are cut single layer and on the left side, with the tie, the seam is forward instead of at the shoulder.

The pattern instructs you to sew it up then turn and stitch the neckline and armholes. This is very tough to do well with a 5/8" seam allowance, especially on the tight curve of the armhole.

My changes:
1) I only used 3/8" allowance
2) Sewed the "regular" shoulder, turned in the neckline hem allowance and coverstitched it flat. The seam gets hidden by the tie so it still looks great!
3) Turned in the armhole hem allowance and coverstitched it then sewed up the side seams


It's still really neat and if you look closely, you can see my zigzag stitch to hold down the seam allowance.


There's not much more to it! Aside from sewing the seam on the tie, I constructed this on serger and coverstitch so it was fast too! I hand tacked the band around the perimeter, attaching it to the shirt.
I really love it!

I also sewed a stack of Jalie Clara leggings for my daughter. I used a size S based on her normal waist and hip measurement with the V length. 

They each took about an hour (the shorts a little less) but by the time I was done, I never wanted to see the pattern again! LOL!!

It is a wonderful pattern with the lack of front seam and the gusset and I will make a pair for myself eventually. 


After 12 attempts (literally), I finally understood how to construct the button band. Woohoo! So this little cardigan is now legitimately almost done. One final block (because I have some gathering from attaching the band), and some cute buttons. WHEW!


After attempt #8 or so (LOL!) I made a hat, because I needed a win.


Somehow we're almost halfway through August. I can't even. The only thing I've sewn this month is a second pair of S8389 shorts in linen. I'm trying to get motivated! 



Saturday, August 8, 2020

Simplicity 8890

When I got my July Burda I was smitten with this tent dress





But I didn't have enough of any fabric - it takes 3.5 m so pretty close to 4 yards. I decided that S8890 was similar (it is not) and that it would be a good test on if I liked this style on me. Low risk!



I cut a size 14 which is my normal size for neck/shoulders. I didn't size or grade up for my hips because there's a lot of volume.


I've mentioned this with other patterns, both Big4 and Indie, but in an attempt to make stuff "easier", you often ends up with a cumbersome task.  The front neckline finish is a bias cut piece. The straps are bias cut pieces. And the ties are bias cut pieces. For the straps you're supposed to press up a 3/8" hem on one side which is laborious! After getting annoyed with the first go-round, I folded the strap in half, lightly pressed then folded each end to the center fold. MUCH easier! It would have been even nicer if it were sized to go through a bias tape maker but...whatever!




I like the adjustable straps (it uses rings and sliders and I had some clear ones in stash) but otherwise? Meh. Oh, and I had these cord stops in stash (Milly from Fabric Mart) and I like them! LOL!


The back doesn't stay cinched. There's SO much fabric that I think the ties are expected to do too much work. And the problem with this is, if it loosens, the back is so low that you risk some exposure!
Biggest dislike is the balance (or lack thereof!). This is the back side seam vs. front side seam. The back is very close to being a rectangle; the side seam is almost straight -- out of view is the CB which is cut on the fold -- so you can see the side seam on the back is *slightly* angled. But the front side seam is SHARPLY angled. If you scroll back up a bit, you'll see the result of this in my side view pic. 

I hate it.


The side seams DO match in length...but that weird swingy bit that results in the front? MEHHHHH.

So this is what you get when it's on the body. There is way more fabric in back so it's moreso tilting this way:


Which makes me want to pull it down in front and then you have this:


The paper reflects what it does on the body and it makes it annoying and fiddly to wear. I do not do fiddly clothes!! 

So while it is very swingy and light and summery (and cute layered with a tee!), it likely won't survive in the wardrobe. There is nothing worse for me than needing to constantly adjust my clothes.

AND, I don't even want to sew the Burda now. While it is more balanced, both front and back are essentially rectangles that are then pleated (and it has a CB seam to absorb some of that heaviness), it is way too much fabric in back. There are a handful of reviews on the Russian Burda site that made me change my mind.



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

July Wrap-Up and I Can't Believe It's August Already!

Totally forgot to post this on the 1st and am now fully blahhhhh. Avoiding the news and social media and I just need a breather. I have scheduled posts for the remainder of my PR Endless Combinations contest. Hopefully I'll snap out of it soon.

This year has been incredible. People generally use that word in a positive sense...but the year has truly been beyond belief, impossible to believe. 

But, sometime around 6 weeks from now, I'm going to have A BABY! I mean, a grandbaby...whatever.... :-D We are definitely watching things closely because I am NOT for getting on a plane right now and we may end up road tripping it. We'll see. 

This month I sewed 17.25 yards. I sewed:
  • McCall's 7925 dress - 4 yards (WIP)
    • rayon/cotton blend voile (stash)
    • buttons
  • McCall's 7061 top - 1.75 yards
    • sweatshirt fabric (stash)
    • eyelets/cording
  • Simplicity 8890 dress - 2.25 yards
    • rayon challis (stash)
    • cord stops
    • bra slider/rings
  • Simplicity 8389 shorts - 1.25 yards
    • crepe
    • elastic
    • cording
  • Burda 7/2019 top - 1 yard
    • jersey (stash)
For my daughter:
  • McCall's 6654 skirt - 1.25 yard 
    • ponte (stash)
    • elastic
  • Burda 11/2015 top (from a dress pattern) - 0.5 yard (wadder)
    • ponte and mesh (stash)
  • Jalie Clara leggings x3 - 5.25 yards total
    • black cotton knit, red & blue athletic knit (stash)
    • elastic
I was so excited to finally make M7925 and started cutting it out and for some reason, I started with the rectangles for the ruffles. I needed to cut the sleeves, one piece of the front skirt, and the button band and OUCH! I do not have enough fabric. Well, turns out Ginny's still had it in stock and I was able to have a yard sent to me. YAY! So I will get back to that, soon. 

Favorite: The hoodie was like...perfect and love and swooooooon...then I made the shorts! :) The fabric is pretty amazing and the shorts fit great. I'm going to follow them up with a linen pair.

FAIL: I was so close with my daughter's top but I made a critical error with order of sewing and didn't have enough time to correct course. 

Accomplishment: I was pretty proud of myself for the way that outfit was coming along for her for the shower! And the fit on my shorts are really fantastic! Also, except for the black crepe (purchased in March), everything sewn this month was from stash fabrics! 

But I did buy fabric. It started with the print challis on Fabric Mart and I got 6 yards of it. Plus two other things for a total of 9 yards. I then shopped the Mood sale (20% off the entire site, plus I had a coupon), and I got 2 yards of the cotton voile version of this fabric. I also ordered a few heavier jersey knits for a total of 11 yards. 

For the year, I'm at 88 yards in and 78 yards out (39 from stash!)

I've been spending all my money on machine knitting :-p What do you know...machine knitting supplies proliferate just like sewing supplies! With machine knitting, there's a gadget for EVERYTHING!

I'm almost done with my first completed garment! I have everything blocked and just need to seam it all (not my favorite part).


I tried to attach the sleeve to the armhole on the machine and THAT was a disaster! 
I ended up binding off the stitches and will just mattress stitch it. I was so traumatized :-p

Also, I finally got back to the baby sweater! I went with all one color and didn't add any tuck stitches to keep it simple. This sweater is knit all in one for the body. On the one hand, it's nice to have less to stitch up but on the other hand, the stakes are higher if something goes wrong! I dropped some stitches, spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time getting them picked back up (messily!). WHEW. After stitching it up I'll still need to knit the neckband so I'm not done yet.


I found some super affordable cone yarn from KnitKnack Shop and thankfully, I like all of them!

Plan to use #2, the light yellow, for a blanket.
The others, I can easily see as garments for myself. Score!

And lest we think it's all smooth sailing with the knitting machine, I got myself in a pickle trying to sample something I saw online!

Err, that's not how it's supposed to be! LOL!

August plans...I dunno. Fall is my absolute favorite season including my favorite to sew for. I can't see that I need to sew a bunch of stuff :(  I usually start my fall sewing in August. Like, the low today in Minneapolis was 57 degrees F. Summer isn't done, it'll get hot again, but cooler days will be here SOON. 

I can't believe my Vogue blazer is still sitting and waiting since September! I have made a pledge to finish it in August. And, as much as I love a hand sewn lining, I'm going to have to just bag them because it's so much hand sewing for my sad little hands that I don't know that a lining in future jackets will get done otherwise. I really want to make the Burda 2/2020 blazer and a corduroy blazer for my husband. 

With plans to be away for awhile for the baby, perhaps August and September will be focused primarily on knitting with plans for those jackets. And I NEED a black dress. 

Until later!