Monday, January 21, 2019

Burda 12/2018 & Some Monday Miscellany

I was all prepared to share my trio of Butterick 6621 dresses and then I saw a RTW dress that was simple but had this cute sleeve detail and I had to have it. I looked through my options and B6621 was an excellent choice! So look for the four versions of that one this weekend! :)

RTW dress from LOFT

I did get a chance to have my daughter take pics of my forever project, this blouse from Burda 12/2018:

I fell for the sleeve and the velvet ribbon bow. And I had these two (random?) pieces of ivory poly blouseweight in stash. I have no idea where this fabric came from and why I had it in 2 pieces. After getting the seam allowances added and pattern adjustments made, I laid it out and was *just* able to fit the various pieces onto the fabric. Except I somehow did not realize the collar was cut on the fold. After everything was cut out I was confused why I didn't have "more pieces". LOL! Like, but isn't there a facing? Why did it tell me to cut 2? Wouldn't I need to cut 4??

(side note: THIS is part of the reason the cutting layouts are missed...that and what pieces need interfacing!!)

I was able to find a piece of fabric large enough to cut my collar facings. Whew!

It's totally fine...Do you see my terrible slip stitching?? I have been dealing with insomnia and one day I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and after fighting to get back to sleep for 90 minutes, I just got up and went downstairs. I watched an episode of Law & Order: SVU and sewed this. Obviously I was so not awake! LOL!!!

The sleeve band stitching was done fully awake and turned out better :)

The sleeve really caught my eye. It was the opposite of fun to sew in this shifty poly. The other thing, I did not notice until late in the process that the markings were for size 36 and I was supposed to end the pleats higher for my size 40. Oops.

I ADORE the sleeves!!!!

Btw, I sewed a size 40 with a 1" FBA (slightly too much FBA). I skipped my bicep adjustment and shortened the blouse quite a bit - more on that later.
It was pretty tough to get photos of this. Wah.

The velvet ribbon is black and I <3 it.
 There is a fabric loop in back to hold it in place.

I had purchased velvet ribbon (from JA??) when I decided to make this but it was SO stiff. After Googling, I learned silk velvet ribbon was a thing! I was going to order some on Etsy and remembered that I (luckily) still have a couple of brick & mortar fabric shops here. Called the next morning and Treadle Yard Goods had rayon velvet ribbon - so much nicer! I hopped in my car and drove 15 miles for 1 3/8 yard of ribbon. Oy! I wanted 1 1/2 and when I got there she said, "Oh after the call I thought, I should have measured it..." eesh.

This top = saga.

The shifty fabric. The stiff ribbon. At one point I was doing the rest of the cutting (bands, collar, etc) and thought, "did that rotary cutter just touch me?" and kept on doing what I was doing. A few minutes later I saw blood on my finger. I cleaned and bandaged it and was all, YAY! It didn't get on my fabric! And the next morning:

I used some diluted hydrogen peroxide to remove it (mostly) and figured the rest would come out in the wash with a little stain treatment. 

When I went to set the sleeves I found a spot of blood on the front of the blouse and a smear of blood on the shoulder. Seriously. 

Setting the sleeves I had to redo parts of one sleeve about 4 times.

The facing kept flipping out -- it's 'grown on' in front with a piece that extends and needs to be sewn onto the collar. I decided to understitch that portion:

Tried it on again and, "why is this side of the collar doing funky things??" I had caught SEVERAL inches of the blouse in the understitching. 

I am SO over this top at this point and SO ready for it to be DONE! I have a mini conniption about sewing the buttonholes because of the drama and that was the one part that went FLAWLESSLY! Go figure!
Buttons are off-white shank buttons from stash

Lastly, this thing was ridiculously long! I didn't add hem allowances as I rarely do with Burda. I ended up removing 3 inches and it was another step I was not looking forward to. Lightbulb moment! 

I pressed up the 3", sewed a 1/4" hem and then used my applique scissors to trim away the excess. I then folded it up again and stitched the hem. Worked perfectly.

 I thought I was going to have to put it on timeout after all that but it's soooo cute and I just LOVE it!!

I had to share this pic of Wilson the intrigued by the fireplace...

And I ordered a bunch of swatches from Mood for my husband's sportcoat!
slate blue cotton twill, midnight blue cotton corduroy, taupe cotton corduroy
brushed cotton twill, charcoal cotton twill, blue-gray cotton corduroy

I *really* want it to be corduroy but the brushed twill is my favorite on-screen! We'll see which he likes best when the swatches come. The taupe cord and charcoal twill are my least favorite and based on the on-screen color, that blue-gray may be too teal-ish for him.  

My 1st choice for a pattern is Bootstrap Fashion "Modern Fit 2-button Jacket". I've not had a ton of success with Lekala but the custom pattern is the obvious first choice. It should be a better starting place than a Big4 pattern. (Burda is cut far too slim for him. My lanky son? I have used several Burda patterns for him.) My other option is Vogue 8890 though I'm not 100% sure he'll fit into the size 46. We'll see!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Butterick 6378 & Burda 6432

I first made B6378 last April and am super surprised that it took me this long to get back to it.  I picked up this fabric in December 2017 from SR Harris and always knew I wanted to use it for this pattern. It takes me awhile to get excited to sew sheer, slippery fabrics.

No major changes from the last version:
I used my normal size 14 with the following adjustments:
1" FBA and left the dart (I intended on rotating it into the gathers at the shoulder and forgot)
3/4" full bicep adjustment
Sewed a narrow hem. The pattern hem is 3/4".

Last time I inserted elastic into the sleeve hem. I don't hate it but decided to go in a different direction this time. I gathered the sleeve and made a little cuff.

I used my featherweight black interfacing scored from FabricMart and cut the band to finish at 3/4" and about 10" in circumference.

When I sew slippery fabrics, I cut the facings and take them to the ironing board, reshape with the pattern piece, then fuse the interfacing. Somehow, while inserting my facing (or something), it was INSANELY skewed. I am not exactly sure what happened. 

I ended up serging the excess off of one side and topstitched around the opening. I figure the tie will be covering it at all times.

This was a December project. I finished it about a month ago and I think I've worn it about once per week! I love it!

There have been some great conversations going on about fit while sewing. I think the simplest concept to take from a complicated issue is, we never stop learning about fit! 

I have made many pairs of pants and they've varied in how well they fit, but I learned something HUGE with this pattern.

I cut a size 16 and did a 1 1/4" full butt adjustment, shaped the crotch curve a bit and added a little to the crotch point. The back view was not good when I basted them together. They WERE a little too tight but my primary concern was that I had A TON of wrinkles and pulling. I was unpicking basting stitches and had a lightbulb moment.

I flat pattern measured the thigh and huzzah! It was about 1.5" smaller than my thigh! I opened the inseam from mid-thigh through the crotch and to the other thigh and tried them on. I need way more inner thigh room. 
To get to the point on the right, I took less of a seam allowance on the back leg only, through the thigh:

 I'm excited to give this pattern another try with my ideas on the leg / crotch fit! I have my own method for fly zippers but this pattern had excellent (IMO) instructions! I think this is the best finish I've ever gotten!!

As you may have noticed, I removed the pockets. If you scroll up to that before-and-after, you can see how they were gaping. The messed up thing is, I had used lining fabric for the pockets and had to unpick them to use the fashion fabric, and THEN ended up removing them completely. So annoying!!

Things I did NOT like:
The narrow waistband. HATE. I'm not sure why I didn't change it when I noticed how thin (1" I believe) it finished. 

I usually DIY my belt carriers because I hate when they are too thick (to me). These are a little too wide. 

My own mistake - I bought this fabric from Metro Textiles to make a dress. I should have made a dress. The fabric isn't great as pants. When I wore the pants for the first time, they grew so much throughout the work day that I could almost pull them down over my hips without unbuttoning! I interfaced both he waistband and the waistband facing and it still collapses and is very much affected by body heat. WAH. 

 I am currently working through a Burda blouse that's trying hard to take me out! It's trying to get me!!!! I think(?) I'm almost done with it? Sometime this week :)

I have slowly been cutting Butterick 6641 out (the paper pattern). If I can get this cut out, it'll probably take me the rest of the month to finish it once the other top is done. Had more testing Monday with a follow up to my doc this Friday. Fingers crossed that we find a resolution.


I've loved my (several pair) of Ginghers for years now. The Kai scissors I ordered are SUPER lightweight, has the bent handle, the grips are soft and all 4 fingers can fit in the grip which makes cutting easier. Yay!!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

In-House Patterns New York Mini Skirt

I've expressed my love of In House Patterns before. There are 10 patterns available for sale and I own 8 of them. They are good and the finished measurement chart is outstanding! IHP is a Canadian pattern company founded by Alexandra Morgan, a former pattern maker, designer, technical designer and fit technician in the fashion industry. (this is the kind of Indie pattern co. I can get behind!)

When I decided I wanted an ivory/winter white mini, I remembered this Rayon/acetate/lycra blend suiting I scored at Fabric Mart for $3.75 a yard! It has amazing drape! I took it to the last sewing meetup because I was like, "SOMEONE has to feel how amazing the drape of this fabric is!!!!!" LOL! Y'all know how I am.

It was SO hard to photograph the nearly white skirt.

I cut a size 14 and did a 3/4" full bum adjustment and at the last minute decided to add 1/2" to the side seams. After basting, I removed all of it plus a tiny bit more through the hip and had to take the waist in a couple times and actually think I need to take it in some more. Wah. I didn't trust my own measurements! Like pretty much every pattern company, I need one size smaller than my hips to fit my waist. So I should have cut a 12 graded to a 14. 

I had to enlist my husband for the pics because doing it on my own with the tripod, I got a bright white rectangle and that was IT. lol! It looked photoshopped!

Bathroom Selfies!

Everything went together beautifully, as has the other few patterns I've sewn from the brand. The pattern doesn't include a lining but the yoke is faced and so adding a lining is easy peasy. 

Look at how crisp the waistband is! This fabric was a JOY to work with! I was worried about using a white zipper but the pull blends right in unlike the blinding white zipper tape :)

I sewed the skirt 100% by machine. The zipper lining turned out well. The machine stitched blind hem is okay. I will probably end up sewing it by hand when I am able. It's less awesome than I want it to be.

So, my hand :( Although my most recent MRI wasn't helpful, I realized that the issues I'm having now are carpal tunnel related. I've had it since I was about 19 to varying degrees of severity. I showed him this pic which happened 2 days before I went in and he said that was carpal tunnel related. So we'll see how the EMG test goes next month...I'm going to go back to my old orthopedic doc (sighhhhhhhh so over all this!) since he's treated my CT since like 2004/2005. I've been wearing my brace to bed every night and it helps a ton. Helps me get through the work day at least!

Couldn't move my fingers and they were turning purple!!!

I hemmed my last Butterick 6621 dress on Saturday but haven't been able to cut anything out. I have a Burda blouse ready to sew but also didn't want to be using my hand if I didn't need to. I think I'll get to sew it this weekend, we'll see.

I was pretty committed to not buying fabric for awhile and lo and behold, I saw a fabric similar enough to the black watch plaid I've been stalking (and almost had in my hot little hands but it sold out at Michael Levine before my order got processed). This one was cheaper too! :-p

So hopefully I'll have a lovely little sheath soon! 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

So Close! McCall's 7812

I really like this pattern. It got a bit of flack when it was released but as a peplum lover I was really drawn to view C. I also really liked the deep-but-not-cleavage-baring v-neck.

I sewed a Medium, standard for me. I did a 3/4" FBA rotating the dart into the front since it's ruched. I made my standard 1" full bicep adjustment as well. I've found I don't always need a swayback adjustment if the back has some shaping so I sewed it as is.

It fits very nicely through the back!

The pattern is very straightforward if you follow the directions. Typing this, I almost forgot I nearly had to rip the thing apart. There is a correct order to sewing the front casings and attaching the peplum. If you do it wrong, your drawstring will never make it out of the other end and you may end up cutting an actual hole and darning over it to make it work because attempting to remove stitches in a mesh knit is sadness. At least that's a possibility of what could happen O_o. LOL!!!!

My fabric is a mesh knit from Fabric Mart. For awhile I was amassing these fabrics and then stopped because sewing them can be a real exercise in patience. This one wasn't too bad as it would actually take a press; but it took a lot longer to get the right combo of settings on the sewing machine, serger and coverstitch.

With a dark bra, the mesh isn't too see-through against my skin...
I also tried it with a camisole which works too!

I had to make the coverstitch work to hem that peplum! LOL! 
Once I got the settings right, no problems.

When I finished it, I loved it. Then, wait...

Ah. That neckline is WIDE. Too wide. Like, I'd need another inch to ensure my bra straps would stay covered. Only slightly partly because I need bras with straps set closer to center because I have narrowish, sloping shoulders, but that neckline is wide. The v-neck is amazing though!
This is how it actually fits. 

It's SO perfect otherwise. It makes me sad because I was really wedded to the idea of this pattern+this fabric.

I even made the drawstring from self-fabric! That's commitment! :-p 

I have considered adding some clear elastic through the sleeve portion of the neckline (it's a raglan). We will see because, I just adore this top!! 

ETA: Based on how it functions when it's on, I don't think bra strap holders are the solution. I have put them in garments before! But those garments actually sat on my shoulder anyway. I should mention for the "good" pics, I have my bra straps pulled to the side which is not realistic for wearing the top! They're *this* close to falling off my shoulder --  Look at my left shoulder and you can see how far it's pulled to the side...

I'm not sewing right now -- I did hem my 3rd(!) Butterick 6621 yesterday :) I have a few posts scheduled with the last of November and the rest of December's sewing. I get my MRI results tomorrow...fingers crossed!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Why Hello There, 2019!

Let's get the most important thing out of the way...

I AM TURNING 40 THIS YEAR!!!! Wooooooohoo!!!!!

I remember being so excited for 30 and am just giddy for 40. I am one of those people who say you could not pay me enough money to go back in time. No, I don't wish I were in HS or 20 again or...No. No. No. No Thank You.

I embrace the passage of time and the growth and change that comes with it. Let's get this next decade started!

Personal goals for 2019:

Read More
I came to the realization that I read very few books last year. I don't know how many but probably only 2 or 3 and it made me sad!

I plan to read at least 12 books this year.

Eat Better
I am basically a small child inside :-p If I didn't know better, I'd live on pastries, cake, cookies, other bread items, bacon, potatoes, tacos, nachos and pizza. Yesterday for dinner I made salmon, risotto and green beans. I ate 2 green beans while I was cooking to gauge done-ness and was pretty sure I needn't eat anymore than that. Vegetables, bleh. :-p

I'll probably start making smoothies for breakfast again. I can eat A LOT of veggies in smoothie form! I have a bunch of recipes I used to make that are low in sugar, which tends to be the tricky part with smoothies.

Exercise More
I hate outside. I hardly ever WANT to go outside. There's a short period between the cool, rainy spring weather and the sticky, humid summer weather...(and a little bit in fall too!) where I voluntarily get outside almost daily. And I don't like gyms either...but love yoga and pilates. So I'll plan to start the year doing videos at home and then look at some local places for monthly membership.

Be Present
It's so easy to be bogged down by all of the things constantly demanding our attention. Also, I have started to become frustrated when I realized I've picked up my phone with zero intent or I've navigated to some site or social media again, without realizing it.

Sewing Goals, Plans, etc

My 2018 plans were:
  • 3 outerwear items
    • Navy coat sewn, black coat is a UFO and possibly a wadder, trench coat didn't happen.
  •  Loungewear and Sleepwear
    • DONE! I love all of these items too!
  •  Black workwear wardrobe
    • Done! But the jacket didn't work out (it fit weirdly around the shoulders), the dress and pants are now too big, I've taken the skirt in a couple of times. I also plan on altering the dress.
  • Replace my Birkin Flares
    • I did not get this done. I really have the need for a couple pair of jeans but I have never felt like my hand was up to the task of cutting denim. The ivory skirt I just made took 2 sessions to get it cut out :/
  • A nude-to-me Slip
    • Nope. I did get some swatches from mood but never ordered. Maybe this fall.
  My 2018 goals/resolutions were:
  •  No new fabric before May 1 - FAIL! lol!
    • Well...that was before I knew I was going to SewCamp. I bought almost 90 yards of fabric between NYC and FM and bought a bunch more because I saw fabrics at Fabric Mart that hadn't yet made it to the website, took note of the stock numbers, and ordered all the things when I got home.
  • Buy no more than 18 patterns   - FAIL!!
    • I purchased 30 new patterns this year. I did give away the True Bias Landers; I didn't like the crotch curve and didn't want to bother fiddling with it to make them work.
  • Tracking - Almost!
    • I DID track the patterns I used and realized, using TNTs isn't that important to me yet. Yes, when the mojo is low or I've had a couple fails, I pull out a TNT to break the slump (usually). But I love new patterns. LOVE! LOL! Less than 25% of my 2018 garments were either TNTs -or - used more than once during the year.
    • I did pay attention to success vs. fails along the way but didn't discuss that much.
    • I lost steam on my outfit-a-day pics. 
    • I tracked Fabric in/out totals
    • I tracked sewing spending for the most part. I'm almost certain some purchases were missed, like popping into JA to buy a spool of thread for example.
  • Sew at least 18 Burda mag patterns - Success!
    • I sewed exactly 18. Setting a general goal like this of just making sure I use my mags works better than forcing myself to choose something from each issue. Many, many times, the magazine patterns have to grow on me a bit.
  • Sewing community engagement - Ehhhhhh. LOL!
    • I'm a cranky old lady at heart...I have been making sure I comment on blogs more. I just haven't found the energy to continue writing pattern reviews on PR though. I've tried to be more positive but I had a crappy year.
  • Blogging - I ain't going nowhere! :-p
    • I just can't get the same feel on IG as blogs. 

 My 2019 Goals and Plans!

  • Sew minimum of 18 Burda mag patterns 
  • Sew minimum of 4 Ottobre mag patterns - I have no intention of NOT subscribing so I should use them more. I often stop myself because "I don't know my sizing yet in Ottobre." Well, I'll never know if I don't sew them!
  • BUY FEWER PATTERNS. OY! My son said he's going to open up a pattern store in the basement. Wah! LOL! 
Continue to be more mindful of fabric purchases. I feel like I need to cull my fabric as well. Having a stash is great for me and it isn't necessarily that it's too much (whatever that means!), but it's no longer organized and I KNOW there are pieces that just do not move me anymore...

I need it to fit on my Expedit and in the bins I have for it. I rotate out for fall/winter and spring/summer and the current season needs to fit on the Expedit! The out of season fabric needs to fit in the bins. 

And the bin of fabric that I keep in the sewing room for "upcoming projects" needs to fit in the bin!


Skill Building
  • Sew some menswear! Woohoo! I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me before but I suddenly realized (duh!), *I* can make hubby some jeans and a blazer! He has a hard time buying jeans and I keep telling him he needs a sportcoat. But his proportions are weird! He's 6'2" with EXTRA LONG arms but SUPER narrow shoulders and a small neck comparatively. Seems like it would be easier to sew him one than to find one that fits well or one that is good enough + alterations.
  • Outerwear. Again. Aside from my down coats, my outerwear wardrobe is OLD. I have a few things in mind, yes, including the trench! I so wanted that Burda from April 2018 but I traced it off and didn't make it and now I'd have to trace it AGAIN a size smaller. IDK if that's going to happen :/

I really NEED a dress coat in black or camel or something neutral.
Burda 6845

  • A Blazer. Argh! I've sewn lots of jackets. I didn't get to the Lisette jacket so it's going to happen early this year. 
  • Party Clothes! Okay the SA dress was PARTY dress...but I also need other cute stuff! At least a couple of fun tops and a dress. 

That was a lot of words so I leave you with 1 teaser photo of my new wool jersey Butterick 6621 dress! :-D

Spoiler alert: I love it <3 I will have 3 dresses from this pattern when I review it! :-O