Monday, September 16, 2019

Hello Stitch Studio Class Review

I have been looking forward to this class ever since the class was held last year! I believe it was last spring and between the trip for SewCamp and a trip to Puerto Rico, I just couldn’t swing it. The *moment* registration opened this time, I was THERE! :)

Plus, neither my husband nor me had ever been to the Bay Area before so we decided to make a long weekend of it. 

My visit started with a trip to Stonemountain & Daughter. It's an adorable shop with a pretty impressive collection of fabrics for its size.

Knit binding in ALLLLL the colors!!! 

JOY! :-P

I lucked up on a 20% off rayon sale and the class included a 20% off coupon (didn't apply to the sale items). I picked up 3 cuts of fabric.

An Atelier Brunette viscose for an Ogden cami (at $25/yd full price I only picked up 1 yard!). 

A rayon challis in a black/grey leopard print. 

A rib knit in this mushroom color. I've wanted a bodycon midi dress with a snap placket for awhile. The weight and color of this fabric should work for fall and spring!

I also picked up a few yards of weft fusible interfacing, lightweight knit fusible interfacing, a grab bag of notions and a "Thanks, I made it!" pin :-D

The class was scheduled for 18 hours total: 4 hours Friday, 7 hours Saturday and Sunday. If you’ve made a tailored jacket or coat before, you know that it is not an <18 hour project! So I didn’t expect to complete the jacket in class and really looked forward to learning new things. 

Hello Stitch also offers longarm quilting services and we all had these adorable handmade nametags.

Now, y’all know how much I like to go fast. I intended to take full advantage of Beth’s jacket making skills and soak up all I could. But...

I am a migraine sufferer. I’ve traveled 3 weekends in a row - 8/30-9/2, 9/7-9/9 and now 9/12-9/16. I’ve had a pretty low-grade headache this entire time and missed most of work on 9/9 due to migraine. When we arrived in San Francisco on Thursday, I was SO OUT OF IT. I was in pain and nauseous but tried to power through. I woke up on Friday feeling horrible and was near tears because I wasn't sure I'd make it to class. Well, I did but boy was it rough going. It did not help that it was near 100 degrees in the Bay area! At one point, I was sure I was going to pass out! When I showed up Saturday feeling mildly better, I was shocked by how little I’d gotten done the day before. 

Day 1 we talked about the patterns - most of the class used the Closet Case Jasika blazer. If you read here regularly, you know I’ve sworn off sewing anything for my upper body from this pattern company. I used V9099, and 2 other sewers used patterns other than the Jasika. We did tissue fitting (some people had made muslins ahead of class) and went off to cut. Also, Beth gifted us all with silk organza press cloths. YAY!

Day 1 I finished with:
Fitted pattern (I cut my pattern pieces out at home)
Completely cut out fashion fabric

Day 2 I arrived with a mild headache but felt much less woozy and nauseous. Yay! This day was all about the welts for me. I got most of my pattern pieces interfaced and got my welt pockets inserted.


The studio has one of those boiler steam irons (there was one at Sew Camp too) and I just have to have one. HAVE TO!!! Fusing everything was a long, hot job, but it makes all the difference in the finished product. 

We had a break for lunch, chatted and got to know each other better, and got some handy demonstrations on marking fabric and getting perfect lapels.

Day 2 I finished with:
Everything but the sleeves interfaced 
Front sewn to side panel
Completed exterior pockets (pocket bags weren’t sewn)
Sewn center back seam
Sewn shoulder seams

This was taken first thing Sunday morning. Everyone's fabric was SO, SO gorgeous.

Day 3 I felt so much better!! I was so ready to go. I knew I needed to fuse interfacing to my sleeves and prep the facing. We'd be sewing the collars/lapels this day.

And then it happened...I accidentally interfaced the right side of one of my sleeves. I ALMOST STARTED CRYING. I was fairly certain I didn't have enough fabric to recut but I just eeked it out. And I triple checked before interfacing :-p

Once I got past that hurdle, I was on my way. The tips and tricks we learned made the class worth it! Everyone's collar and lapels went in and turned out perfectly. Absolutely perfect!

Day 3, we discussed lining insertion and I have become a convert to hand sewing the lining in. I HAVE bagged a lining successfully, but I would prefer the control of hand sewing.  I left with a completed body and sleeves that were ready to sew.

The state of my jacket after the class (once I was back home).
There is a shoulder pad in there and I have the seam allowance tucked under. 
Isn't it awesome?!?! 

We'd made some adjustments to my sleeves -- the finished bicep on the size 14 was 14 3/4" and that is my exact bicep measurement so we added quite a bit.

I basted the seams on my sleeve and tweaked the fit, then basted it into the armhole to ensure I didn't overdo it. I will tell ya, I probably would have never done all this before. I totally will baste a side seam to check fit...but all this tweaking on the sleeve? I'd never have done it. It fits SO WELL! Woot woot!!

I tweaked the vertical sleeve seams a lot so I plan to mark the new seam line, mark the new seam allowance, and trim off any excess...then cut the other sleeve and lining from these "new" pattern pieces.

My plan is to get it finished and ready to sew the lining in and I can work on that once I'm feeling up to it after surgery.

We also had a ton of fun exploring San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkley. 

Visiting my husband's cousin at work

More luck! Skies were nice and clear and we were able to visit The Golden Gate bridge 

I can hold that bridge in my tiny hands! :-D

Sunset at the Golden Gate strait

Visit to Fisherman's Wharf

And then a serious delay out of SFO. I've been up for about 30 hours with a ~2 hour nap on the plane. Eesh!

It was a whirlwind weekend full of fun and sewing and food and I can't wait to do it again! :) 

Monday, September 2, 2019

August Round-up and September Plans

I sewed 6.25 yards this month. Womp womp.

  • McCall's 7726 pants - 2.5 yards
    • printed stretch cotton twill (new)
    • zipper
  • Vogue 9190 - 1.25 yards
    • olive textured double knit (stash)
  • Burda 08/2019 - 2.5 yards
    • print rayon challis (new)
    • elastic, button (new)
Favorite: I am really digging the Vogue cardigan! It just works!

FAIL: Those pants. Gahhhhhhhh.

Accomplishment: Nothing that was a stretch this month...but that's okay.

Wearing V9190

I'm not so sure yet about the dress from the August Burda. I was really drawn to the fabric in the magazine and chose a fabric with a vertical print.

blue, black and white rayon challis from SR Harris

The bust area is a bit "giant box". And I accidentally cut my elastic too small in the waist (more on that later). The elastic is distributed and then scrunched up over the front ~6" (in my size) and same in back, and then stitched in place. So once I realized I'd cut it too small, I knew I wasn't going to unpick the zig-zag stitching that I secured the elastic with. Sighhhh.

I'm up abut 8 lbs from being busy and also lazy (LOL!) so maybe it'll fit a little better later.

I visited my parents this weekend and with so many airlines now gouging customers on thing! I decided I was going to pack light so we could take one suitcase. And then I saw a post by the Itinerant Seamstress

Including the outfit I wore to fly there, I took:

a jean jacket
a black tank, blue tee, my White Sox tee (we went to the entire series this weekend), a floral Ogden cami
denim shorts, black jeggings, floral pants, floral skirt, grey knit skirt
striped t-shirt maxi dress
gold flat sandals, sporty sandals and sneakers
nightgown, tee, pajama shorts

I would have normally packed twice as much stuff! And I wore everything at least once, but did not wear anywhere near all of the combinations I accounted for.

Knit dress
Sox tee + denim shorts
Sox tee + grey skirt
Navy tee + denim shorts
Ogden cami + floral pants
Ogden cami + floral pants (everyone thought it was a jumpsuit!)
Black tank + floral skirt
Black tank + black jeggings
Black tank + denim shorts

Denim jacket wasn't needed outside of travel time.

I feel so confident now for my plan to pack super light for the sewing class!

I am not a dog person but fell in love with my parent's new puppy this weekend!
He is SO cute and so, so fun!

September Plans:
This is a crazy busy month. I will be out of town 9 days (including weekends) in the first half of the month! Exciting stuff but WHEW!!!

I have stuff with family and friends and my jacket making class with Beth (SunnyGal Sewing) at Hello Stitch.

But then...

Later this month I am having a long-championed-for, coveredy-by-insurance, breast reduction! I am excited and nervous and I have second thoughts then I'm in pain and I'm excited then I'm so nervous and then I see all of my shoulder/torso bruising and then I am excited and then I am terrified and I see my 34F's in something fitted and I'm excited again! LOL!

Recovery can be long, it can be tough. I am hoping for the best!

I've done so much research and read so many stories about people's experience with the surgery. It seems as if it can really take awhile for all of the swelling to subside and even longer to 'settle' into your final size. So, sewing should be interesting once I'm back at it.

I plan to use my newfound jacket-making skills to make my husband a corduroy blazer. I also plan to give a go at the Thread Theory Fulford jeans for him.

I will likely sneak in some sewing for myself - for the lower half and maybe some knit toppers...but no worries, I have a few reviews to post still! :-p

Vogue 9190 cardigan
Burda 8/2019 dress
New Look 6459 pants
Simplicity 1430 shorts
McCall's 7246 dress
Burda 4/2019 skirt and dress
New Look 6326 skirt
Butterick 6378 top
Butterick 6621 dress

Lastly, I've partnered with Minerva Crafts and I've got a few meters of this ponte. It's a poly/rayon/lycra blend and it's BEAUTIFUL!!

Watch for this project too!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Simplicity 1430 top and Burda 6769 denim skirt (love!)

EVERY DAY, as the sun starts to set, I think, OH MY GOSH! I COULD HAVE TAKEN BLOG PICS TODAY!

Oy. This skirt is totally like 2 months old and is already beloved.

I made this for the first time in 2016. I ended up distressing the skirt - which I like! - but that made it a "for play" garment only.

Ever since, I've been in neeeed of a denim skirt. My work environment is casual (though I tend towards a more business casual/professional) style) so a denim skirt totally works for work. And then, one day, I came across this vintage pattern on Google:

Oh. My. Word.

Well I DEFINITELY need a midi length denim skirt!!!! :) I eventually settled on this pattern because, why not? I like the fit, I've sewn it before, it just needs some minor tweaking.

-I cut a size 16 front and 18 back, same as before. This just works well when making skirts for my body type.

-On the first version, I used the pockets from my Style Arc Sandra jeans. I couldn't find the pattern piece (sigh) and used the pocket from the Birkin Flares, shaped to match the inspiration skirt.

-I also used the Birkin coin pocket because I don't like the plain square that comes with the pattern.

-I slashed and spread the pattern 6 inches to get the length I wanted. I put on the old skirt and measured from the hemline to wear I wanted the finished skirt to hit.

- I had such a hard time sewing the vent on this pattern the first time around and did some modification that I can't explain to you, I just made it work.

-I added a walking slit in front by removing 3/4" from the CF seam tapering to zero.

I used Taylor Tailor's tutorial. He suggested having a piece of metal (steel specifically perhaps, I don't recall) and I found the PERFECT item. This shelf divider was in an old file cabinet at work and I came across a stack of them when we were putting things back together after a remodel. Paired with my concrete fireplace hearth, putting my rivets in were a BREEZE! I did need scraps as a spacer, and tested 1 rivet out before starting. I just cut some squares, inserted the rivet through all thickness, and then cut around the rivet afterward.

-I topstitched and topstitched some more and some more after that :-p Funny Singer Quantum Stylist 7258, that was like, $180, makes bartacks WAY better than my 9985 that was like, $500! Eesh.

-I have no idea where the denim came from. I have so many random cuts! The rivets and tack button are from Taylor Tailor. 

I'd like to wear this skirt everyday, IJS.

Simplicity 1430 - I've made the shorts from this pattern a couple times (and have an unblogged pair to share!) and I have noticed the top before now...just didn't pay enough attention to it!

It's such a great, simple pattern!

I was looking for a sleeveless top that could be worn solo. I love my Ogden camis and while I'll wear them solo "for play", I would not wear them to work without a cardi or jacket over them. I looked at A LOT of tops and kept coming back to this one.

I could make 10 of these.

I think there are lots of options with the front neckline too to differentiate. Some have left it open (ending the facing with the front of the top), some have left it open and added ties (definitely doing this!). I could see adding a ruffle down the front, eliminating the cutout altogether and having fun with the seaming (e.g. using stripes horizontally and vertically, color-blocking, etc).

front cut-out, neck binding and french binding on the armholes

Whenever I purge clothes, RTW or handmade, I make sure to 'steal' any notions I can from those in the trash pile! :) This button is from something RTW that I purged who knows when!

I really like the fit and will be focused on getting this one to TNT status!! I sewed a size 14 with 3/4" FBA, 5/8" swayback adjustment, and 3/4" added to the back hip via a slash and spread.

side slits 

The fabric is a rayon challis from Cali Fabrics. I used my Best Press to tame it and the pattern (wisely) advises you to blockfuse a piece of fabric before cutting the facings. I used a very lightweight interfacing that I scored for $1/yard from Fabric Mart that IMO is *very* similar to Fashion Sewing Supply's ProSheer Elegance Couture. Such a great deal!!

I've worn this top a few times since finishing it and it wears and washes up well. I love the color scheme. It's very colorful yet muted and that makes it so versatile for me!

I really want to blog both of my projects from the 04/2019 Burda next. My skirt is a little too tight since I finished it. I blame it on Summer Shandy and tacos! :-p We will see...but totally have to photograph the dress because I wear it ALL the time because it is AWESOME and FANTASTIC and I think YOU should sew it TOO! :-D

Friday, August 9, 2019

Calling Uncle on M7726

This pattern is at least a year and half old and I was initially pretty "meh" on it. And every so often, I'd see a pair that I liked. I mostly thought that 1) they were WAY too high-waist for me 2) the back pleats didn't seem to work too well and 3) I hate that extra long front zipper.

I finally added it to my stash this spring and still, went months waffling on it. Then I added it to my summer plans and spent weeks waffling. Then I finally decided to cut them out and right up until the point where I was about to cut them out, I considered bailing.

First, the envelope includes all sizes. I went through the gazillion sheets twice and I had 2 of the same sheet. This pattern sheet had the front pants piece for sizes 16-22 and the pocket piece for sizes 6-14.  So I was missing the front pants piece for sizes 6-14 and pocket piece for 16-22. I was relieved because I felt managing with the smaller pocket piece was doable.

I wish I'd been missing the pants piece because I would have SURELY jumped ship. But nope, I carried on. Sigh.

The pattern pieces were ENORMOUS. I considered the fact that my twill would be too rigid for the style but, I carried on. Sigh.

A 9" zipper was required. Eesh. I carried on. Sigh.

The instructions are HORRIBLE. Now, y'all know me and know that I sew near any and everything and rarely struggle with any sort of construction. It's actually a straightforward design - not complicated - but the instructions are HORRIBLE. I couldn't believe how unclear they made things. Bleh.

Once I got them assembled, I basted the pleats (they are sewn through full thickness of front and facings) and basted the side seams.


Listening to foolishness re: the sad state of America...

Yuck. I hate them. I ended up taking the side seams in another 1" (about 1'4" from the pockets, increasing once I got past the pocket). They did feel a lot better on but I was not happy about the fit, about the fact that they came up to my bustline darn near, and I felt they were not the best use of my wonderful printed twill. I kicked myself for not cutting another pair of NL6459 after finishing the crepe pair.

I pulled out a few pair of flat-front, side-zip pant patterns and I believe I can cut M7745 from the cut pants. I have to take them apart (meh) but I don't want to waste the fabric! I picked it up at Cali Fabrics. I check them out periodically and wonder why I don't shop there more frequently. 1) hate the whole yard requirement 2) I always get bad cuts there. This fabric and the jersey I used for my Kommatia tee was cut terribly. I don't think they'll be in my regular rotation of online retailers -- I find poor cutting to be completely unacceptable* -- but I do like this fabric. 

*I stopped shopping with for over 4 years because they'd routinely send me pieced yardage. I would order 3 and would get a 1yd and 2 yd cut or two 1.5 yd cuts. OY!

Now, I know people tend to mean well but, I am not looking for tips or advice on these. I'm totally okay with everything not being for everybody. I knew this pattern wasn't for me which is why they hadn't made it into my stash before now. And I'm not saying "this pattern is bad" - I am saying "this pattern does not work for me".


I am so annoyed with Simplicity and their crappy website experience. The latest release they show on the site is Early Fall but Fall catalogues are in stores. I  bought NEW patterns from Hobby Lobby!

8992 and 8989 are from the latest release
My other frustration is with the Pattern Review site. I've said it before but, the sole reason I pay for an annual membership there now is because my patterns are catalogued and starting from scratch (with 800 patterns!) does not sound like a fun idea. However, it is taking longer and longer for them to load the new releases onto the site. Now, Deepika explained before that it isn't in her control. She gets them whenever they send them. But, the summer Butterick release came out early May and it was early July before they were on the site! The Vogue's aren't there yet and it's been 2 weeks.

I'm going to start looking into another pattern cataloguing method. My annual membership just renewed in May so I have time to figure out a new system and slowwwwwlllllly :-) migrate my patterns over.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Vogue 1501 and Kommatia Patterns Relaxed Tee

Vogue 1501 is a Rachel Comey design that was pretty popular when it was first released. The dress version is super cool (though I can do without the shoulder pads!) but the skirt!!

When I made the dress, I tried the skirt on mid-way and was sold. I sewed a skirt from the same fabric is the dress immediately after then made a yellow version. When I decided this crepe from Mood needed to become a full skirt, V1501 was the immediate choice. 

This fabric! Swoon! It's a polyester crepe and with a little steam and a clapper, it takes a press pretty decently. To be a poly fabric, it handled very nicely and the print is beautifully vibrant. I would definitely recommend it!

Same as previous versions, I cut a size 18 and skipped the french seaming on the pockets. Be sure to take the time to baste the pleats!! 

And then, I got a bit ahead of myself. I cut the backs out and went right ahead and insert the zipper. Once it was time to add the waistband I had a ruh-roh! moment. 

I improvised and added an extension and a button. It isn't perfect but it works!

Aside from that, everything is finished nicely :-D

Skirt is pictured with the Kommatia patterns relaxed tee. I scored 7 patterns from the Makerist during a $2 sale. Then I had them all printed as copyshop patterns. I measured the tee before I even looked at the size chart and decided on a size medium - the chart confirms.

Then I sewed up a muslin 
The top was riding up on the hips so I sliced the side seams, as seen. On the paper pattern, I did a slash and spread on the front pattern piece and added 1/2"; on the back, 3/4". This is an extra 2.5" in the hip! Oy!  But again, as you can see, if I had gone up a size, that would have resulted in a poor fit everywhere else. 

Fabric is a sandwashed poly/Modal jersey from Cali Fabrics. I almost blew up my fast when I got this fabric and washed it up! Very nice for knit basics!

It does still have a little too much back length even though I did a cheater swayback adjustment and I could use an FBA. But also, it's a tee. I don't get too worked up at times on those types of fit issues on tees/other simple garments.
Things I like - it has a nice silhouette (I forgot to take a pic untucked, but the muslin shows it) and the rolled cuff sleeves are cute (wrong side of fabric will show).

Things I do not like - The excess fabric in the back sleeve. I'm not quite sure what to do to correct it. Also, the neck binding. It's overly complicated. However, Barbara Emodi who blogs at Sewing on the Edge *just* did a tutorial for crossover neckband and it makes SO much sense! I wish I'd seen this first but will definitely do it this way next time. Also, the neckband in the pattern is 1 to 1 but Barbara mentions needing to stretch the back - yes. Do this. Mine sits away from my neck so I'll shorten it through the center back next time. 

I did small zigzag stitching on the sleeve cuffs vs actual bartacks.

I've applied for a board member position with a local non profit organization and wore this outfit for the interview :-D

Oh, and I know you've seen that new Vogue collection. Did you swoon? Not much for you?

I, somehow both shamelessly and shamefully, added 7 to the stash! :-p