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!






Saturday, March 30, 2019

New Look 6189

This pattern was released early in my sewing journey. I first attempted the pants in April 2013 and I actually had a somewhat decent out of the envelope fit!

I'd tried to lengthen them but the lower legs were twisting. I have butt wrinkles I didn't know how to resolve, a too-long front crotch and apparently an inability to correctly sew in a belt carrier?? :-p

I did say somewhat decent!

I tried the pattern again later but used a stretch denim and could not make it work. I've had this pattern on the brain for awhile and am glad I finally got back to it!

I used a size 16, added 1" to the back crotch length and extended the crotch curve 1/2". This was a bit of an overcorrection. I'll likely remove some of the addition from the CB seam. I lowered the front 3/4" and did a full inner thigh adjustment (thinking I need a fisheye dart in back...we'll see).

 After finishing them I decided to add a belt. Only mildly weird functionally since they zip on the side ;-p

I like the front notch and kept it but forgot to interface both the waistband AND facing in front so it collapses a bit. 

OMG do you see those facing wrinkles?? Fabric is wool suiting from SR Harris from the clearance section for $8/yd.  I washed and dried it before cutting. I had no issues with shrinkage while pressing anything but interfacing was a nightmare! I tried two different interfacings and in the end had to live with a not-so-great presentation on the inside.

I so love lapped zippers when skirts/pants have side closures and this one turned out really well. The instructions for the zipper installation were great! I have my own way but I followed along and all good! I also kept the length and the cuff. I would add a little more length for future versions. This length is just shy of working well with boots but is fine with heels or flats. 


I like the cuffs more than I expected! I serged the edge and then transferred the fold lines with a tracing wheel and white wax paper. The cuff is tacked at the inseam and side seam.

I can definitely see making these again...I'd probably leave off the front notch...it doesn't add much.

I am now unsure about the NL6123 dress :( I haven't tried it on in awhile and the lining shreds every time I touch it. I'm just going to leave it be until I can hem it and then go from there. I think I may be able to do some hand sewing in spurts soon. I have my V1411 knit pants and B6441 jacket to review and then I'll be caught up for my February sewing projects. 

I have managed to not buy any fabric in March! Woohoo!!!!! I got a bunch of notions from Wawak at the start of the month and I've purchased 20 patterns. 

sigh.

I belong to club BMV and ended up with 7 new McCall's and 3 new Kwik Sew patterns...then the Makerist site was having their $2 sale (which apparently isn't that rare an occurrence?) and I bought a pattern for a jewelry travel case and 7 Kommatia patterns. I had the Ferri bodysuit and Susan cropped denim jacket in my cart a couple weeks ago. I didn't buy them because I knew I wouldn't be sewing any time soon. And then this sale pops up!! And at $2...I paid the same price for all 8 patterns I bought for what those 2 would have cost!

I also got the Cannes and Claire bodysuits, the batwing dress, the long cardigan and the relaxed tee. 

And then I went to JA and picked up 1 new Simplicity (8889), 1 Burda (6330) and 1 New Look (6606). Whew! :)


Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Little Fun...Talking Sewing Machines

Awhile back, before Hancock closed, I tested some Viking machines and Berninas. Awhile later, I tested a Pfaff. I fell hard! I *really* enjoyed sewing on that machine, more than the others, and had my heart set on one some time in the future.

I am often told by well-meaning sewing friends that "I deserve it". Well, it is not a matter of deserving - I have NEVER had an issue with practicing self-care! :-p  Babies are expensive. Then kids are pretty expensive. Then teens are SUPERRRRRRRR expensive. We are in the home stretch!

After the sewing room remodel, we started talking about the Pfaff. I remember my local dealer having an annual sale and went hunting to find out what time of year that occurred. After exchanging some FB messages, I found out the Performance 5.2 has been discontinued! I was so certain that was my next machine!!! And there's no way I'm spending 3-5 times what I've ever spent on a machine without trying/buying in-person and knowing I have support. I had to rethink what machine we were saving toward and decided to put up a little poll on IG.


Now, I am obviously not going to buy a machine solely because people say they like it. We all have specific requirements and our own little quirks about sewing and know that there is no one "right" machine for all. But like everything else, machine reviews are very helpful.

SO many people weighed in - thank you!

I tallied up the responses. If people had multiple machines of the same brand, I only counted that brand once. If they had machines of different brands, I included both. And I only included sewing machines (vs sergers, coverstitches, embroidery "only" machines, etc)

In alpha order:
  • Bernina - 25
  • Brother - 7
  • Husqvarna/Viking - 13
  • Janome - 19
  • Juki - 8
  • Pfaff - 17
  • Singer - 9
  • Other - 7 (there were several but think Kenmore, Elna, etc. There was 1 Babylock) 

I can't say I'm surprised by the brands in the majority.

I had briefly looked at Bernina, Janome and Juki's website after finding out my beloved Pfaff 5.2 may not happen :) Size/weight aren't an issue -- I'm not looking for a travel machine. Super interested "on paper" in the Janome 6700 and the Juki DX7. Still hung up on a Pfaff because IDT!!!!! And I really love the ladies at the Pfaff dealer.

I also looked at a comparison of the 5 series Bernina on their website, but remember LIKING the machine, but not feeling like it was superior to machines with similar features. Because let's be real, the Berninas are very expensive as is the maintenance and additional feet.

Someone recommended the 480 and it looks great! Though the small harp space is a minus but otherwise, it's full of features.


Of course, NONE of this matters until I sit down at these machines and sew on them and make comparisons...but it's fun to dream!!

I live in the Minneapolis suburbs so have lots of options. Within about a 15 minute drive, I have:
Janome/Brother
Pfaff
Viking
Juki
Singer
Bernina

And with most of them there are several around the metro that would be a bit farther, but still an easy drive. 

This is a late 2019 / sometime in 2020 timeline so no immediate decision...but I would like to figure out where about my goal ($$) is.

I'm sure some of you commented on IG but I know a lot of people don't use it. So if you want to play :)

What machine do you have?
What is 1 thing it does REALLY well?
What is 1 thing where it doesn't quite meet expectations?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Wadder: McCall's 7722

Like me, you've probably seen a ton of versions of this pattern in the sewing-sphere. I've had my eye on it for awhile and was SUPER excited to make it.

I had this (affiliate link) very cool animal print (snow leopard?) lightweight sweater knit. But I only had a yard!! When I bought the fabric I intended on replicating an old NL6230 top that I really like but the neckline is too wide and the binding is atrocious :) I wear it ALL the time. And then, I decided M7722 would be perfect! But I only had ONE YARD.

I cut a size 14 and did my normal cheater FBA. I did not have enough fabric for the full upper sleeve. And once I got the pattern pieces cut out and realized how long it was, I decided to shorten it. And I laid everything out and huzzah! I could fit the pattern pieces on the 1yard. I folded the edges in toward the center *just enough* to cut the front and back. After I cut those pieces I was able to fold the remaining yardage in half and cut the sleeves. The sleeve pattern piece is pretty wide as it's gathered on top and bottom...but I made it work!


I did not enjoy making the top with all the gathering. So much gathering!!!!! And while the black wool knit (that I used on B6621) was a good match in stretch and recovery, it was quite a bit thinner. I cut the lower bands double - placed the hemline on the fold of the pattern. I sewed the long edge and then folded it over...like any other sleeve band but just extra long.

I finished and thought it was *SO* cute.

And then I tried it on. Nope, nope, nope. And as mentioned, there are no suggestions needed for "trying to make it work". It doesn't and it isn't deserving of more time and I know I won't wear it as is. Into the donation pile it goes.


The combo of ALL THE VOLUME on top and super slim fitting on the bottom, I just do not like it. 


I tried to. I love the print. I would say it could be about an inch longer...


Soooo yeah, 34DDD + wide sleeves at the exact same level = nooooo thank you. I still think it's a cute pattern and love that it HAS worked for so many. Maybe I'll keep it in the collection in case I ever make it to getting a reduction :-p

I also wanted to quickly review the Evie La Luve Frankie panty. I've never had a huge interest in sewing undies or bras and almost every time I sew a knit I think, "how on earth are people using the same fabric to sew underwear?!?!" Now, maybe I just buy super thin ones?? LOL! But I made a couple pair in cotton/lycra jersey and will probably mostly stick to making lace undies should I continue down this path.


This pattern had really good reviews, looked most similar in cut to my favorite RTW bikini cut briefs, and I liked the variations. Well, while I can see doing a decorative elastic strap on the back, I can't imagine doing it with rings and sliders. Seems like it would be uncomfortable!

My hips measure into the XXL (~43"). I was skeptical though looking at the pattern pieces and cut an XL. I made a muslin and made the following changes to the pattern:

*Added 1/2" to the back pattern piece - yes, this puts the hip measurement into the XXL sizing. BUT, I needed it in back and not in front. Which makes sense with having to do a full butt adjustment on almost everything.
*In that same vein, I added a little more butt coverage in back. I did this as a curved line, with nothing at the side seam and nothing at the crotch seam, I added about 1/2". It worked very well and provides just the right amount of coverage for a round bottom.
*Added 3/8" to the center front tapering to nothing at the side seam. They seemed to dip a bit in the muslin.
*Narrowed the crotch width 3/8" (so 3/4" total!) I swear, every swimsuit pattern I've ever tried has SUPER wide crotch widths and I knew as soon as I traced this one off that it would be too wide.

I made this pair and they are almost *exactly* the same as my fave VS cotton undies.

from my IG stories :)

I used lingerie elastic at the waist and 3/8" swimsuit elastic in the legs (it was what I had on hand!). I made a 2nd pair and was using braided elastic in the legs and way, way too stiff. I will have to rip that out and either just hem the legs on my coverstitch or use some of my newly acquired lingerie elastic.

I bought a bunch of laces so I will try a few more pair. But don't see myself fully on this bandwagon any time soon (after I purchased like 40 yards of lingerie elastics and a whole bunch of lace! LOL!!)

I have spent many, many, many parts of many days trying to re-learn casting on and basic stockinette stitch. Goodness gracious! But I am knitting a swatch now! Woohoo!!!

I can knit about 2 rows then I have to take a break. Hmm, maybe I should make that baby hat a size bigger :-p

Monday, March 11, 2019

Sewing Room Mini Makeover

I have a bunch of posts written as I thought I would be able to take some pics while I was home. But after getting past the pain medicine induced haze, I just looked CRAZY! LOL!!!! So I have no finished garment photos still...but...BUT!!!!  :-p

My husband was planning to move my sewing stuff into the larger bedroom while I was recuperating from surgery. I was thinking about the layout in the new room and realized that 'my' room gets more light than the other bedroom. Also, I was never too jazzed about removing the stuff that I'd hung - I know it isn't a huge deal but it was just 'one of those things'.

When we first moved here I knew the existing table was too big. It's 3' x 6' (technically ~70") and while I LOVE it for many reasons - it's heavy as heck and all 3 machines can easily fit - it is far too large for a room that's just under 10' x 12'.

you can see the end of my cutting table here and how close it is to the sewing table.
I was always squeezing through there.

In the old house, I was using this table while sewing in the basement. When I moved up to the bedroom, I had my serger and coverstitch on a pine desk and was using an IKEA Linnmon/Adils combo for the sewing machine. (*I* didn't find this sturdy enough for my machine. ) So I was resigned to my tight space until we decide to buy a house (plan in 2020/2021!) and I can plan around *MY* room!

I was totally hung up on a long table for the all 3 machines and suddenly remembered that they weren't on one table in the last place...and then I was hung up on finding a sturdy enough table for the serger and coverstitch, but the existing pine desk in the basement is also too long based on this room size/layout i.e., the cutting table really can't go anywhere else without creating a lot of unusable space in the middle of the floor. And then...THEN! I looked over at the (amazing) drafting table that I've been using for the Cricut and realized it would be GREAT for those two machines!

The drafting table can go from standard desk height to 46"

the old pressing area and (huge) matching bookcase to the desk with some notions stored
This was another tight area. The other end of the ironing board is right up by the desk and this end can't even go straight...it was angled out into the room.

This closet is seriously tiny. About 22" deep and ~4 feet wide
There were other notions stored on this shelf

Again, I didn't want to spend too much. I settled on the BRUSALI desk for $80 and the LAIVA bookcase for $20.

AND I freed up horizontal space because of the shelving! Woohoo!
There's a lower shelf tucked further back and I have my old Singer 7258 machine there.

My daughter painted this pic for an art class when she was 16. I love it!
This pic just makes me so happy!! It's so bright and colorful and cheery!!
I finally hung my 2nd cone thread rack and organized my serger thread.

Once I'm sewing again we'll see if I need to make any changes to the set up

I use an empty glass spice jar from Trader Joes to keep bent pins and needles that are bent/broken/dull. When it gets full I just put the top on and dispose of it. 
Easy peasy and well contained!

This bookcase is a seriously great value at $20!! It has 5 shelves and the max load per shelf is 33 lbs. My Cricut is the heaviest thing on it and I believe it's a little over 15 lbs.


I'm using the upper shelf for decoration for now...My cotton threads, a box with some trinkets in it that my daughter bought me, some of my favorite photos from when the kids were small people, my jar of decorative buttons, MY CUBS MUG!!!!, and because knitting will be a part of my life again...a ball of yarn with pretty metal needles.


The white basket holds buttons, the container underneath has my larger buttons, D-rings, hook & eye closures. The colorful bins have snaps, eyelets, grommets, and other bits and bobs.


Before I decided on the re-org, I'd picked up a bunch of these clear shoeboxes from The Container Store (they are like $1.59). Imagine my delight when I measured and realized they'd fit perfectly on the bookcase stacked 3x3! Woohoo!!!

I made labels on the Cricut (affiliate link) using their chalkboard vinyl.
I sized the labels so that I could fit 12 on the 12x12 sheet and they ended up being the *perfect* size for the boxes!

My sewing patterns, Burda mags and fabric stash is in the basement. 
Here is my tiny sewing library :)
I have my Burda tech drawing binder, sewing books, my colored pencil set, Threads mags and my machine manuals and discs. 

I also used the Cricut (affiliate link) to make these bags for the set of feet for my Brother 2340cv!
I got all 6 feet for $120! SCORE!

They came in (heavy) ziplock bags with tiny print and that just wasn't going to work. These bags came 4 to a package at Target and were on clearance or $1.75. Seriously winning here. They could easily fit in the rolling cart here but why when I have this cute basket?!

 Once I'd settled on the desk and bookcase, I was thinking, "what can I use to store my pressing tools near the ironing board?" since I was going to get rid of the large wood bookcase.

I was heading downstairs and LIGHTBULB moment. The IKEA Raskog cart that I bought last summer and never assembled would be absolutely perfect!


Because I abhor having to bend to plug the iron in each time...I had it set up this way at the old place and unsure why it just occurred to me to do so here!


Ham, seam roll, clapper, shoulder press, pressing mitt, spray bottle and bottle to refill the iron
The white clip-on baskets are $.79 and the metal clip-on basket was $5.
The second shelf has interfacing and the basket has other pressing related items.
(the pink bin has small bits of interfacing that I use to support zippers or buttonholes or any area that I decide needs some backing during the construction process)

The bottom shelf holds my Cricut Easy Press so perfectly!!
Also, a ironing mat that I use when doing larger Cricut projects

The cutting area is unchanged but those rails, trays and hooks are also from IKEA

The 3-drawer cart that was underneath the drafting table holds all of my Cricut supplies
Actual tools for the machine, cardstock, vinyl, mats, etc.
The large mats are 12"x24" and so I have them hanging

The other side of the closet is pretty random for now :)
My knitting supplies are in the blue basket (I will not be stashing yarn)
My stash of shoulder pads are in the white basket on the upper shelf.
The next shelf has some quilting cuts and the blue basket my daughter's in-progress-for-2+ years-quilt. Sighhhhhh.
There are some other random craft and sewing supplies and the last shelf has all the stuff I bought when I was going to try my hand at dyeing fabric. Another huge sigh.

Aaaaaand the upper shelf of the closet is still a hot mess of hot mess-ness with respect to my PDF patterns. Eventually :-)


On Saturday we got a rainstorm followed by a snowstorm (ughhhhh). My husband had planned to assemble everything and move things in/out since we'd be stuck inside. After searching high and low for the hammer it dawned on me that one of those kids must have it. Yep. My daughter has our hammer. KIDS!!! We went to buy a hammer (and bought an ax too?? LOL!) in the snowstorm. I told him we could go on Sunday but he decided that my mouth was deceiving and my eyes said I WANT MY ROOOOOOOOMMMMMM. :-p

So we worked on the room most of Sunday and I cannot tell you how many times I've walked in there and just SMILED! I can't wait until I can sew again!!!

My follow up with my doc went great. Everything seems fine for now. I still have about 4-6 weeks of very light lifting (<2 lbs). No gripping/pulling/pushing - I was able to cut a banana one day but tried to slice some bread another day and owwwwww.....I also can't really grab/pinch and reaching is painful. Finally, I can do about 20-30 minutes of stuff before I have to take a break. It does not matter what it is, after that time my hand fatigues. My husband does the laundry and I was putting away my ALREADY FOLDED laundry and had to stop after about 15 minutes. All things in time...

On a positive note - I CAN KNIT! Wooohooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, with limits...and of course, it would help if I remembered how to cast on...but a friend is going to re-teach me :-p Way back when, I could NOT, for anything, learn to cast on with videos or books. I tried at least 6 or 7 times to do it and nope. I need someone to show me. My first project will be a baby hat. My baby cousin is having a little boy next month!