Sunday, May 19, 2019

FINALLY organized my fabric stash!

I moved almost a year ago. As it goes, I ended up with WAY more to pack than I thought I would, and ended up tossing a ton of fabric into two huge black lawn trash bags.  And there they have sat.

Sigh.  And yet I had piles of fabric EVERYWHERE.

I tend to use my Expedit for in-season fabrics, and keep a bin in my sewing room with "immediate" plans (plans as in, the things I think I'd like to sew but it doesn't necessarily happen!). I started with the loose fabric. I sorted by season - spring/summer vs fall/winter. Some things that might technically be "spring" but I knew I had no intention on sewing this summer.  After that, I put all of the out of season stuff away in bins.
(just realized this photo is blurry-sorry!)

Left: Lining fabrics (I have a different plan for these), lightweight knits, heavier knits
Middle: Heavier knits, specialty fabrics (lace, swimsuit fabric, athleticwear fabric),  (crazy thick sweater knit that I'll put in with my coating fabric since it takes up so much space).
Right: Both have bottom weight fabrics. Mood bag has some fabrics I'm going to take to our next meetup.

Then I sorted the "summer" fabrics and put them on the Expedit

On top is random stuff :) and remnants are rolled up in the basket. 
Thank you to whoever mentioned this on IG! Very smart way to store them. It's easy to see what you have and easy to keep them under control. E.g., for me, if they don't fit in here it's time to purge.

Top Row:
The open cube will be for my lining fabrics. I ordered some 9"x12" thin corrugated sheets and will create "bolts" for them.

Lightweight printed wovens that are more stable (cotton, shirting, etc):

Lightweight solid wovens:

Such an exciting pile /s

Lightweight printed "silky" wovens (challis, poly/poly blend blouseweights):

I didn't get a chance to fold these slippery fabrics nicely. I was over it ;)

Middle Row:

These are sweater and sweater-ish :) knits:

Solid lightweight knits: 
Another exhilarating pile :-p

Printed lightweight knits:

Solid heavier wovens:

3rd Row:
First cube has several cuts of denim

Second has striped bottom weight wovens. I knew I would run out of space for printed wovens and separated the striped fabrics!

Printed bottom weight wovens:

The most exciting - NOT! These are solid neutral wovens.

IDK why I have so much white and cream. NO CLUE. And that grey on top? 
I have another cut that's nearly the same color and is the same crepe suiting.

Bottom row:
The left has some random stuff - batting, polyfill, extra rolls of tracing paper. I plan to buy two bins - one for knit muslin fabric, one for wovens. And there must always be a shelf for a cat :) I'll find something cozy so he can hide in there when he feels.

This took so much longer than I thought it would!!!!!!! There was SO MUCH fabric! There were so many pieces I'd forgotten about! Oh and not pictured is the 7 cuts of silk I've acquired and the summer fabrics that were featured in my last post which will be stored in my sewing room.

Also, over time, I had about 5 or 6 random containers (boxes, bags, bins) full of patterns. They are either patterns that I'd recently sewn or purchased that hadn't made it to the pattern cabinets. 

I have a lot of patterns. BUT! as long as I can store them, I am fine. I will not collect more envelope patterns than can fit in these two cabinets. 

Left cabinet: Small bin on left has men's / kid's patterns, larger bin has Indie patterns including Jalie and Style Arc, and printed but not assembled. 

Top drawer is all Simplicity, bottom drawer is all McCall's. I catalog my patterns on Pattern Review and according to my online catalog I have 174 Simplicity and 212 McCall's. Eesh!

Right cabinet: Magazine collection! <3 The first is (stuffed with) some old Burda mags I was gifted from 2007, 2011 and 2012, a Patrones, and the defunct US Edition. Next is my Ottobre magazines, then my Burda collection. I started subscribing in 2014 and have every issue from Feb 2014 to present. For 2013 I am missing such a random assortment, lol! I don't have April, June, or September. 

Top drawer is Vogue, Sew Simple, and Kwik Sew. Bottom drawer is Butterick, Burda and New Look. 

My next task is to audit the pattern stash. I pulled a ton of patterns to donate but I'm not 100% sure that I deleted them from my pattern catalog. Also, I know, unfortunately(!), that I haven't added everything that I've purchased. 


With all that, I got the Burda 12/2009 tee cut out and adjusted, and the fabric was washed. Hoping I'll get to work on this week.

Me Made May

Last Sunday was Mother's Day here in the states. Hopefully you had a fantastic day. Big hugs if you are without your mom <3

We had brunch at my brother's house (it was delicous!)

I wore McCall's 6886 'hacked' into a t-shirt pattern with McCall's 7745 'hacked' to a wrap skirt.

Monday: New Look 6107 top with RTW pants and Butterick 6244 jacket
Tuesday: Simplicity 2369 top with RTW pants
Wednesday: Butterick 5760 skirt with RTW tee
Thursday: McCall's 7465 dress
Friday: No handmade clothes but I did wear my Minoru jacket (I wore the Minoru or B6244 everyday this week!)
Saturday: I spent the whole day in lounge clothes with the sorting job! Wearing Simplicity 8424 leggings and a RTW tee that was embeliished with my Cricut

Friday, May 17, 2019

I received my May/June issue of Sewn! Woohoo!!

My contribution is about my sewing love, Burda magazine :) There's a Q&A and a walk through of how I prepare patterns.  And apparently, there are still some issues available!

You can order the next issue, July/August, HERE. This link will also take you the subscription option (which I just subscribed today!).
Coat is Burda Magazine 10/2012 #113 and sweater is 10/2015 #109

Sewing Update!

I've been having fun with my Cricut Maker, but am soooo itching to sew. I pulled out a bunch of spring/early summer clothes and my TNT B5760 skirts are a little too big. I'm not going full alteration - e.g., removing the waistband and all that. I'm going to take them in through the hips and hopefully that'll carry me for awhile :)

I've also started working on the hem of my poor, 3-month old WIP, Butterick 6641. 

Lastly, a sewing friend let me borrow an old Burda and last night, I traced a pattern! 12/2009 #121 (a henley tee). Pattern #120 uses the same pieces but longer for a tunic (mini dress on me at that length!) and a hood. Adding that to my 'maybe' list for fall, depending on how this tee turns out.

I traced it off last night and added seam allowances, which definitely took longer than normal. I'm going to try to cut the paper pattern out today and the fabric tomorrow. I'm optimistic!

Random Sewing Thoughts:

I have talked a lot about my analytical/logical/problem solving nature + sewing. This meant I caught on to a lot of stuff quickly. Mostly technical (construction) stuff because that's how my mind works.  

I love sewing. And I love the sewing community. And I know y'all mean well but...I'm not a teacher. I get a lot of requests for tutorials and videos and, "you should start a YouTube channel!" I know it's from a warm place! But I literally cannot. I lack the patience, and when things are clear to me, I lack the ability to understand why it isn't clear to you too! [flashback to teachers always trying to get me to be a tutor] And I have no desire to be a sewing figure. I'm selfish! I don't want to spend my sewing time documenting and filming and editing! :-p

I draw a blank when I post something and someone asks if it was "easy". What does that even mean?! Not only is it dependent on the person and their skill level, but also on the desired result. 

I sew a ton of knits. I think a knit tee, like the one proposed above, is SUPER EASY! But others will struggle with the neck binding or getting nice hems. I don't think buttonholes are hard because my machine is a CHAMP at making them. Welt pockets? Eh. The concept isn't very difficult. Good welts? Perfect welts? I break a little sweat every time I sew them because I WANT PERFECT WELTS! 

The other thing I notice often is judging a pattern by rather or not someone had to make adjustments. 


Now, there was a discussion going on on PR about a Grainline pattern. I described my experience with the Scout (shudder) and the Felix (eh). I can't judge a pattern by *my* need to FBA (bust, butt, bicep). Or adjusting for my lack of (protruding) hips. I will openly discuss things that I think are off - the Felix shoulder seam sitting WAY back or the crazy low armholes...the quizzical front crotch curve on the Lander pants...the scary armscye on the Clare coat, for example. 

But otherwise, the adjustments I have to make for *my* body don't really mean anything -- mayyybe if we have very similar bodytypes...e.g., Andrew (SewtoFit) is in much better shape than I am :-p and more hourglass, but I find we make A LOT of the same adjustments. I often check if she's reviewed something before sewing...or similar sizing. Sue (Sue Parrott) and I almost ALWAYS choose the same size for the upper body. I check her blog a lot too.  

But the expectation of sewing a pattern "out of the envelope" should be pretty small IMO. Sure it happens and maybe you're lucky to be spot-on with the block for that pattern. But most of us are adjusting something because most of us sew to have clothing that fit US and a standardized (whatever that means) pattern isn't going to go that far.


If you're a Burda mag subscriber, you've no doubt heard about GLP News folding. Their website has been updated to state that they have found a new North American distributor so fingers crossed. I need my Burda!!! 

In signing up for SEWN, I realized I am not subbed there, Burda, Ottobre and Threads. But it's all such valuable content! And I think my 3 months fabric free (save for my 2 pieces at Craft South) has paid for all of these! LOL!!!

Not sewing related...

I've been on the fence about these DNA tests. I read things. Everything. And I immediately wrote off Ancestry DNA because you are not about to tell me that my DNA is no longer mine once I send it to you. Nope. I really wanted to do 23 and Me but their partnership with GlaxoSmithKline is another big ole NOPE. The only thing worse than BigAg is BigPharma. No. No. NOP!. 

I'm curious less about my genetic makeup - our ongoing joke is that my husband decided I'm 33% African and 67% central American. And now I've decided that I am 84% African and he is only 76% African so we'll see! :-D I am REALLY interested in the family tree part. My dad didn't know HIS dad and carries his stepfather's last name which means we aren't REALLY a part of that family. We found out WAY later that his mom was adopted so that's another biological link missing. So who even knows!!!

Minneapolis is turning into a pool this weekend apparently. I'm hoping to get my fabric sorted and organized in the basement since we'll be inside (yeah, we moved here in June of 2018. Still hasn't happened).

Sunday, May 12, 2019

We're Zooming Through May!

Week 2 of Me Made May wrapped up.

Sunday: Orange M6964 tee with RTW jeans
Monday: V1522 top and V1411 pants
Tuesday: M6519 top, RTW pants an B6141 coat
Wednesday: Top and pants were RTW but I wore my B6141 coat again
Thursday: RTW sweater, NL6189 pants and Burda 10/2012 coat
Friday: Burda 7/2018 tee with RTW jeans and my Minoru jacket
Saturday: Wearing my Baste + Gather Kendall skinny jeans (not available to purchase) and tee (SKI U MAH!)

We went from having a lazy Saturday to cleaning up the patio area. We rent, so not interested in putting TOO much into it, but it was looking pretty shoddy. And I didn't want to go another summer with it full of weeds and half-dead grass. We ended up laying down mulch for most of it and planting some flowers in a small patch.

I'd never pulled weeds!
I don't think I've ever actually used a rake.
I planted flowers!
And today my hamstrings were on fire. LOL!!!!

Have you guys heard about The Beatrice Form? It is a 3D custom form so not an entirely new concept, I know. Ditto Forms is pretty popular too. I don't have either and would sooo love to have one. Biggest differences just reviewing their sites:

  • Beatrice just looks better to me <3
  • I like that the Ditto form scan is done in person vs with an app (and custom suit) for the Beatrice. 
  • I like that the Ditto includes at least part of the legs. So while they both capture the butt, the ditto might (*I'm not sure) be helpful for fitting crotch curves.
  • Beatrice includes a (very nice!) stand, Ditto does not. The Beatrice stand is cast-iron, on castors, and has a foot pedal to easily adjust the height.
  • Ditto will fix an area (singular) if your measurement changes an inch or less, within 1 year of purchase. They will cover EITHER shipping to them or shipping back to you. Beatrice will do a new form for half the cost.
  • Both forms are foam and pinnable. Both include covers - Ditto is jersey and Beatrice is double knit. Ditto offers custom covers for $25.
  • Beatrice costs $1,295, Ditto costs $1,495. I believe the Ditto price includes shipping. 

It's a huge commitment at that price! WHEW! Maybe after I get me new machine...but I am super interested.

My hand is doing a lot better! I am going to start some PT soon though. At our May meetup, I was talking with a couple other sewers who had the surgery and they did not have this much downtime. I know everyone is different, and even my return to work took longer than anything I'd read online (for office workers not doing routine heavy lifting). But using scissors is still difficult for me - like, using scissors for ANYTHING. I've never been huge on using rotary cutters for sewing; I prefer shears. So we'll see. I have a busy couple of weeks ahead but I have my fingers crossed that mayyyyybe I can sew something in June :) I've been browsing the stash and dreaming!

Dress fabrics:
No plans for this diagonal panel print

Striped fabric will become S2446 (Here)

I have definite plans for this floral too! B6621 (Here)

Bottom weights:

Deep orange linen: I'd like to make NL6606 but only have 2.5 yards and it's 44". 
(View A calls for 2 5/8" of 45" fabric so we'll see.)

Khaki cotton twill: A pair of shorts probably use S1430 (Here)

Yellow denim: Style Arc Sandra jean (Here)

Rayon/linen blend: Burnside Bibs


Striped poly woven: No plans but some sort of shirt that will showcase the vertical stripes

Chartreuse silk crepe de chine: NL6560 (I would love to make this asap!)

Striped jersey: a simple henley tee from Burda 12/2009

This 100% rayon suiting was scored from Fabric Mart's $1.99 section.
I bought it in 2015 and never used it. I was going to purge it but...DYE! I ordered this teal (fiber reactive Procion) dye from Dharma Trading and am looking forward to this project! 

swatch of dark teal

I'd like to make a jacket (from M7876 hopefully!) with this fabric. I think the drape would be perfect.
I love the shorter version with the ruffle. Hoping to squeeze this out this summer!!
I love the Deer & Doe Pensee top SO MUCH! I bought this pattern pretty much for the top <3

I bought a blue linen from Craft South to make S8641 and I really want it but also think it's a garment that would work for early fall so I don't mind if it comes later.

I have wanted view A of M7601 since forever! And I have a couple smaller cuts of rayon challis (or even the 2nd cut of that striped poly fabric!!) that might be perfect.
And since I'm dreaming BIG dreams! :) I hope I can get the jumpsuit from B6330 in the mix!

WHEW! Have you started your summer sewing?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

New Patterns!

I posted this month's Pattern Roundup on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog the other day. There were SO many new patterns released, and I did NOT capture them all, so be sure to check back next month! As mentioned there, some of them are already in my stash!!

There were a few Big4 releases that had some decent items but that didn't move me much. Today, at my monthly sewing meetup group, I happened upon new Butterick patterns and WOWZA!!!! I ~love~ this release!

6675 - A wrap dress with some interest...I'm a huge fan of cut-on sleeves for summer dresses and the shape on the skirt is beautiful. Don't eliminate those seams!!

6676 - is very cute though not quite my style. Without the faux-belt or split neck it isn't terribly original, I know. But if you don't have a simple fit & flare already...

6678 - is similar to the V9311 that I *just* picked up. I do like the Vogue version more because, cut on sleeves! :-p I don't care for the sleeves on the Butterick but love the sleeveless versions and the flounce options!

6679 - I am on the fence about this one. I just worry about the FBA to get that top part to fit correctly. There is nothing worse than seams bisecting the bust. But the twist front is SO CUTE and I love all 3 skirt options!

6681 - Lisette patterns have always worked really well for me. I haven't bought too many of her latest designs. This is a bit too boxy for me though I like the denim/chambray version pictured.

6673 - I really like this and it's on the maybe list for me. I do feel like I could probably find this in a Burda mag. 

6685 - I really like this top! I love the cut-on sleeves, rounded hem, and the tie waist. I just bought a very similar Burda envelope pattern though so will pass on this one.

6688 - Is one that's "not quite" there for me. It looks a little too full/boxy for my tastes but I was drawn to the gathers and split-neck.

6687 - I am a sleeve frill kinda lady so I like the idea of this one. But like 6688, it's a bit too boxy and that neckline worries me a bit. It looks very different in the tech drawing vs. on the live model vs. on the artwork.

6690 - I love how well this fits the model! I don't make a lot of raglan items but definitely have some patterns in the stash that have been made before, so this one isn't a must-have for me.

6684 - is right up my alley! Aside from the cut-on sleeves, it is very close to my beloved B6378 which I might love a little more because of the shoulder gathers :)

6689 - I am all for the Tilton "art teacher chic" aesthetic. This one is just a bit too roomy for me, but I love the neckline frill and cool pockets.

There was also a caftan pattern, a retro pattern, and a costume pattern that was on the 'meh' list for me.

What made it to my OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THAT!!!! list? :-D

I have been after "this" pattern for awhile. Button front, princess seams, full skirt (that CB seam is necessary!), scoop neck...I LOVE IT. The pockets and optional neck frill are extras. I really like both lengths too.
The maxi version is kind of giving me life -- Both versions! It's a simple dress but in the right fabric, quite impactful.

I am calling it. I think this will be very popular. It will work for so many body types, can be dressed up or down, has options for colorblocking...

I said I like cut-on sleeves! :) Really love the back yoke with gathers and I like the sleeves on B and C (D less so).
Now, this jumpsuit is designed for wovens. I 'just say no' to woven jumpsuits without closures. No, no, no. I'd make this in a knit though!! I also like the kimono quite a bit. The contrast band is fine for me though I'm not a fan of the contrast sleeve flounce. 

This is pretty much the entire Butterick release, lol! But it's just so good!!!  I think I'm up to ~40 patterns for the year. Doh!!

I didn't make an official MMM pledge...I do wear handmade near daily and as I've said before, I really enjoy being introduced to new patterns, seeing everyone excited about their handmades, and being more conscious of what I'm wearing (or not wearing) and outfit combinations that I like (or don't like).
Day 1 (lower left): Butterick 6464 skirt with RTW tee and blazer
Day 2 (lower right): Burda 7136 shirt with RTW corduroy pants
Day 3 (upper right): Ogden cami with same RTW pants and a denim jacket
Day 4 (upper left): McCall's 7812 top with RTW pants and a denim jacket

Days 1-3 I was in the midst of a migraine and look so out of it! Today is *much* better though post-migraine symptoms are pretty sucky in their own right.

In other news, I registered for Beth's jacket making class this fall at Hello Stitch after stalking her and the store and I am PUMPED! I have made a handful of jackets but have always been way too overwhelmed to do full tailoring (even speed tailoring) and there are some parts of construction that I've still never fully grabbed. Caveat - the recent B6641 Lisette jacket had really great instructions and I learned a lot making it...but it will be nice to have some professional hand-holding. Beth will be using the Closet Case Jasika - I have unfortunately sworn off CC for anything on my upper body. Every one has been a fail for me. But I will be sewing either a Burda magazine pattern or Vogue 9099, the extremely classic Claire Sheaffer blazer:

Are you as geeked over this Butterick release? Are you summer sewing yet? Participating in Me Made May this year?

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Little Roundup...

Remember how I so desperately wanted to cut a bunch of stuff out before surgery? Because I knew I would be able to *sew* long before I'd be able to cut patterns and fabric. But I didn't get a chance to. I was able to sew up some Frankie panties. Took me a few days :) And I have a black pair ready to sew. I really wish I had cut that other Butterick 6621 out! I have an event next week that it'd be perfect for. Bleh. 

These looked better in my head. the colors don't quite work together and the cotton lycra has very little recovery :(

But this pair! <3 I used a 9" lace and aligned the top of the pattern pieces just under the low point of the scallop. I used a scrap of cotton jersey for the liner. I absolutely love these.

This pattern (and I've seen others too) has you burrito the liner for fully encased seams. It's bulky. The first pair I made (grey and white stripes), I thought it would be bulky but proceeded per the instructions. On this pair, I went with "normal" underwear construction and left the front seam loose. I didn't serge it, just cut it with pinking shears. I've worn these several times already :) so that method works just fine.

I was in Nashville for work last week and boy am I ready for some spring weather! 

I sent the family this: 

And they sent me this: 

There was a full-fledged blizzard in Minneapolis wreaking havoc on everything. My flight was delayed -- they actually did not end up canceling it - it was the only flight that went from Nashville to Minneapolis and it was almost midnight before it left (vs my original ~4:30 flight). I ate good.  I took a night tour and learned all about Music City. I hung out downtown -- and I absolutely do not listen to country music but it was pretty awesome anyway! The vibe downtown is fantastic!! And, I bought my first pair of cowboy boots! WOOHOOO!!!!!! 

I do know Luke Bryan. 
I remember when he first got big thinking he was SO cute! LOL!

I can't wait to wear these :-D

Lastly, I visited Craft South. It's a quaint little store but leaned a bit heavy on the cottons for my taste. I did snag a couple cuts of fabric and almost bought yarn (but I am NOT stashing yarn!!) This pretty printed cotton and this super drapey Brussels washer linen. I'm excited to sew that one!! I picked up some buttons (to go with the cotton fabric - for a sleeveless top) and this measuring tape twill tape.

I did a little Cricut project...Our kitchen/break room is being remodeled and it's a good time to update the old, crinkly letters on the bulletin board where informational things are posted. 

I was typing this post and thought, Hmm...I probably should have posted this sooner in case people wanted to snag a copy but...

It's a feature I'm pretttty excited about too! More later!

Tuesday will be 8 weeks from surgery. I have stalled a little (last week I couldn't even hold a pen in my hand) but my doctor wants me to try some other things for a few weeks and see how it goes. The swelling that's been around for over 18 months(!) is *poof* gone! Woohoo! I may end up in PT though...1) because I'm sure it'll help, even if just a little bit and 2) I've met my out of pocket max for the year so ANY and ALL health care costs me $0 until December 31! Oh yeah! :-p

I swear I'm still keeping up with all of you and your blogs! I just do as little repetitive stuff with my hand as possible, which includes typing and phone-scrolling. I have recently become obsessed with the idea of getting a Beatrice dress form (and then CCF reviewed it on her blog). But my sewing machine! And I have to go see the lady here that sells used knitting machines (and gives lessons!). I think I have too many wants!  :)

I am at 22 yards out for the year (well, Jan and Feb) and 28.75 yards in. That's not that bad! But I have purchased 34 patterns. WUT. 20 of those were purchased in March (read: after surgery). I am itching(!) to buy the D&D Sirocco jumpsuit and Pensee dress/top.

Check out the Curvy Sewing Collective blog next week for my new pattern roundup!