Monday, September 6, 2021

August Wrap-up and September Plans

This month I sewed 3 things for 6 yards:

  • Burda 5/2020 skirt - 1.25 yd (WIP)
    • orange & blue animal print cotton sateen from stash
    • tack buttons
  • McCall's 8042 top - 2 yd
    • magenta clip dot voile
    • bias tape
  • New Look 6651 dress - 2.75 yd
    • navy cotton print voile
    • elastic
    • buttons

I'm not 100% sold on either the top or dress, but am hopeful for the skirt. The shirtdress is very cute but I don't know if it's entirely my style. It is still awaiting buttonholes and buttons. The skirt stalled because I am ALWAYS starting something fitted when I get to my super-bloated part of the month. Durrr.

Other thing of note this month, I finally started the process for my Beatrice! I will be posting an unboxing and summary of the scanning process soon. And once I receive it, I will post about the final product, and will follow up after some time with a review. I'm excited!

Beatrice scanning suit

My husband decided on a fancy birthday celebration and I was on short notice to find something. After a lot of pointless online browsing, I happened to go to Nordstrom Rack to return a pair of shoes and went by the sale rack and HUZZAH! I found a beautiful Vince Camuto off-shoulder dress in a RPL (rayon/poly/lycra) blend in MY size. There was no price tag on it and I took a deep breath and went to check out. It was $44! SCORRRREEEEE. After that, I stopped by TJ Maxx to make another return and found a cute Club Monaco dress in my size and for $49. So I bought both and am keeping both because they're pretttttty.
I was a lot less bloated on the day I wore the dress, LOL!

We had an awesome time!

I also became a Nana again! My daughter and son-in-law welcomed their 2nd baby boy, Fin into the world on August 26. I'm heading to California this week to get all the baby snuggles!

September plans are pretty loose. Here we are a whole week into the month and I'm just now writing an August review. Wah. And when I return from CA, there'll be just barely a week left in the month. I still don't have anything specific I want to work on and will likely focus on finishing my shirtdress and the skirt I started last month.

And I am playing around with some knitting machine techniques because I AM GOING TO KNIT AND FINISH A SWEATER!!!!

ribbing with hand manipulated eyelets (you can see where I messed up! LOL!) and laddering.
At the very top of the ladders, I tried to bring the needles back into work but apparently did that wrong

And I tried my hand at lace again

Isn't this pretty!? The machine does ALL the work, I just have to remember when to do my 2 rows of knit carriage (vs. the lace carriage). My machine has capabilities of a new machine but not the full electronics. So on the actual 940s, the machine will tell you when to knit. On my upgraded 910, I have to pay attention to when to knit. I will probably try something simple like a shawl with lace before diving into a sweater with the technique (like, decreases and increases in LACE?!? eek!)

As always, more later. Fall is my favorite so I'm really hoping my mojo makes a comeback. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Meh - McCall's 8042 Top

Let's start by discussing "negative reviews", shall we? On the one hand, people often say that "No one writes negative reviews." Personally, I often figure out a project isn't worth completing before it's done and I just move on without much fuss. Other times, I keep going because I'm unsure, or because I think that mayyyyybe, I can salvage it. But, sometimes, things just don't work out. 

  • The style itself may not quite work 
  • The fabric might be uncomfortable 
  • The color may be "not quite right"
  • The fit may be off. Even if it fits "fine", it may not be the preferred fit

And sometimes, you just aren't feeling it despite everything "appearing" to be good. And a lot of times, there's a lot of good-natured attempts to reassure. By the time I bring a wadder to the blog and label it as such, it's a done deal. I'm not trying to figure it out (though I do ask sometimes and appreciate the recommendations on things to try!). I've tried it with all the things in my closet that it can be tried with. I've tried whatever sewing-related adjustments I can make to make it work. 

In this case, this top is too fussy. In the few minutes that I've had it on to try it out since finishing, I am constantly adjusting the collar or the ties. I do not do fussy clothing. So, it's a wadder.

I took a trip into SR Harris recently to grab some cotton voile for a dress lining and thought this clip dot voile was really pretty. They had it in white too and I got some of that! The white is much more like what you'd expect a cotton voile to feel like. I'm probably not going to sew a dress from it this summer (how is it almost September already!?) but it'll be fun to have in stash for next year (do not get me started on all the summer things I did not sew).

This fabric behaved like cotton in a burn test but it has quite a bit of drape. And while that makes some elements work well (the flutter sleeve and the gathers created by pulling up the drawstring), it makes the most dominant element (the collar) unworkable. 

The color is GORGEOUS!
I didn't realize the vacuum was there til after I put the tripod away! It was the most accurate color representation so... :)

Not enough hip room

I cut a medium with the hips graded to a large. This is still not enough hip room. I'm not sure why they make these tops straight down from the bust but they are long enough to hit the hip. I raised the front slit by an inch and shortened the pattern 2 inches (through the waist).

Still not enough, LOL!

This way may actually be the most wearable 
(with a tank underneath)

First, the front pattern piece is a disaster. There's a muddled mess of lines for the front slit, stitch lines, fold lines, collar lines, hemming lines, blah, blah, blah and for ALL sizes. MESS! The construction on this thing is bananas. And I don't mean that in a good way. It's just some weird stuff happening. The collar is extended from the front, back, and sleeve pieces. Hemmed at 1/4" and two rows of topstitching to create a casing. 

The sleeve ruffle is hemmed with a narrow hem (No thank you! This is the ideal scenario for a rolled-hem), gathered, and sewn to the raglan. 

But theres this area that is left unfinished. I presume it's for range of motion. The cinching of the collar can change the feel through the armhole/sleeve.

So you're supposed to use bias tape on this little area. OY VEY! Just, foolishness! I inserted the ruffle, serged the whole thing, trimmed 1/8" off the section to be finished with bias tape. I used some pretty floral tape from Bessie Pearl Textiles. 

I wanted to love it (that color!) but, it's been hanging there for 2 weeks and I have had no desire to wear it. Blergh.

My current WIP, NL6551, is working out well. I am not FULLY loving it, but I am not unhappy with it! I love the fabric, the color, the style.

I have the collar partially attached. Once that's done, I have the other sleeve to hem, buttonholes, and buttons. Yay! 

Monday, August 9, 2021

July Wrap up and August Plans

This month, I sewed 2 items and 3.75 yards (from stash). I sewed:

  • Simplicity 8337 top - 1.25 yd
    • emerald green rayon jersey
  • McCall's 6654 dress - 2.5 yd
    • floral diagonal ITY knit
    • elastic

I really love how the dress turned out, it's absolute perfection. 

I was not feeling well (Covid negative!!) and was really a lump for like, 2 weeks. I finally decided to try to sew a little something. I finished up M8042 today in a clip dot woven. I swear it burned like cotton but it's SO drapey. I'm not sure about it yet.

Mid-July I made a quick trip down to Chicago for a cousin's birthday and got to wear my super-duper awesome Vogue 1507 top (blog post). I really love this top. It's such a fantastic, impactful pattern.

We made the big decision to purchase eBikes back in June and FINALLY, they arrived!! I don't care as much about cycling as my husband does. It just isn't my preferred activity or mode of exercise. But the eBike was SO. MUCH. FUN when we rented them. 
FedEx just parked it on the porch and since I was home alone I had to get it in the house solo! These thighs came in handy! LOL!!!

We went with the Rad Runner bikes and mine is the RadRunner 1 step-thru. We were finally able to take a maiden voyage :) a short 5 mile ride, and I'm excited to hit one of the (MANY!) trails soon.

I bought a few new patterns this month too during the Something Delightful Vogue sale. 

I'm not sure what I want to sew next :( I have purchased some new RTW items to tide me over since we've returned to the office this month and I'm a size bigger. I really want a khaki skirt and am thinking of sewing this Burda 4/2019 (blog post) again. We'll see.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

McCall's 6744 Dress

Sure, I have lots of other projects that have long since been finished and remain unblogged. We're not talking about those right now!! :)

I forgot that I had a plan for this fabric when I saw a surplice RTW dress in a floral print, and I was sold. I have sewn this before, many years ago (2013 or 2014) and that really got me excited to make it. I'm all for sewing without cutting out paper patterns.

I posted a joke on Instagram that I was going to throw out every pattern I'd sewn in '13 and '14 because my cutting and adjustments are just horrendous! LOL! I'd made some really weird changes to this pattern and spent a little time bringing it current :)

I cut a size medium, added 1" to the back bodice at the waist and on the back skirt from the waist, tapering to nothing about midway down the thigh. The front neckline is cut as a size small but the rest is a medium. I didn't want the maxi length but knew the shorter length was too short. I decided to add 4" to the shorter length and hemmed at 1". 

The pattern is constructed by sewing the shoulders first and creating a casing for 1/4" elastic. Newbie me tossed(?) the elastic guide but was also smart enough to have noted the elastic length in the instructions. SCORE! I like the soft gathers that it creates, and it really secures the shoulder/sleeve area. If I happen to make this again, I will add some width for my biceps.

This was before I sewed a snap in place in front.

Next up is hemming the front neckline, which was quick and easy with the coverstitch. Then, I sewed the bodice side seams, and hemmed the armholes. I attached the bodice to the skirt with the sewing machine (basting the bodice first!) and serged the seam, creating an elastic casing (I'd sewn the skirt side seams first, via serger). Inserted the elastic, tried it on for length, a quick hem through the coverstitch, final press, and DONE! I started it on Tuesday and finished on Saturday. This slow sewing thing is new to me :-p

The fabric is an ITY from Fabric Mart that has apparently been in stash since 2018! It's a diagonal print which plays really nicely in some areas! It's ALSO a panel print. It totally says that it was a panel (I love my FM purchase history being searchable via my email) and I ordered 2 panels. But, I had THREE! I would not have been able to make the dress with the two 40" panels while paying any sort of attention to the print. So while I didn't fully plan it out, I did make some choices on the front panels and then worked the skirt pieces onto one panel. 


I am a volunteer board member for a local non-profit and this dress was perfect for this year's annual award ceremony. It hit just the right note on a warm, summer afternoon.

My husband has been really fixing up the back patio (we rent a townhome and this is our little personal "slice" of privacy) and the flowers make me smile and my dress blends right in!

Because I am still working on conjuring the mojo, I am going to focus on prepping a few projects for SewCamp or else who knows what I'll be working on! :-p

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Simplicity 8337

 I sewed! :-D I did not sew a birthday outfit (first year since I started sewing that I didn't!) I wore RTW:

I had dinner out with my husband, brother and sister in law, I got lots of fantastic gifts, and I went to the White Sox v. Twins game on the day was a great birthday all around.

Last Saturday, the Twin Cities Sewists group got together for the first time in a long time - it was awesome! We got together at a local lake (the weather was thankfully very mild that day). Talking sewing is always inspiring and I came home and cut out this pattern! 

I'm a very average height, just a bit under 5'6", and removed an inch in length

It's all sizes in one envelope - XXS to XXL - and I cut a size medium. I shortened it an inch at the waist and made no other adjustments. I fully intended to add a bit across the upper back (I've put on some weight there) but I forgot. I was cutting this from scraps and had to play pattern tetris. I laid it out and just forgot to adjust the pattern piece. Womp. Womp.

It's a little tight across the upper back as a result. The puddling is partial due to posture, and a reality of making something without a CB seam.

I also departed from the pattern instructions on finishing - do not use pre-purchased woven bias tape to finish the neckline of this jersey knit top. That is just silliness. I cut a strip of the knit against the grain, at 7/8". The neckline seam allowance is 3/8", so I'm allowing for 1/8" turn of cloth, and 3/8" to finish. I didn't worry about folding the fabric back on itself.

I then turned, pressed, and used a narrow zigzag to secure.  The armholes were supposed to be finished with a double fold binding method and I just folded my binding in half and serged in place.

Wrong side will show, so keep that in mind if you choose something other than a single jersey. I am one that doesn't mind raw edges if the application is right (in this case, be sure to cut the ruffle with a rotary cutter for a neat edge), you can also do a rolled hem if a raw edge bothers you.

I really love the color (I hate that I can't wear the dress made from the fabric here), it's just super baggy in the chest / neckline. I'm so happy I was able to get a wearable (and versatile!) garment from the scraps. Yay, scraps! LOL!

Oooh - I (finally!) ordered a Beatrice dress form! (NAYY) I am SO excited! It'll be awhile before I actually have it in hand, but I plan to document the process throughout. 

They are currently releasing a limited number of forms each month, so that they can keep up with production, and I missed out in May and June. July - scored! 

Step 1: Complete an intake form. There are some basic questions and measurements so that they can send a scanning kit out.

Hopefully we will have a nice, bright day that will allow me to get a good scan (my husband will do it). From there, they verify the scan is good and then the form goes into production. I'm thinking I'm going to spend the extra $250 to get the half scale form - we'll see!


My grandson is 10 months old! he's such a big boy, it's mind-blowing! He just moves around like a big kid now. He's reached the point where he scoots down off of the couch or bed and I'm about ready to send a consultant over to give baby proofing advice! 

He is very active, very determined, AND he's a big kid at 25lbs and he's tall. They're going to have to be quick on their feet! :-D