Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Blah, Blah, No FOs, Blah, Blah


When I wrote my last post, I was SO ready to finish up the dress and jacket and get ALL THE SEWING done before surgery.

Last Monday morning I went in for nerve conduction testing / EMG. oh. my. goodness. That was the worst thing I have ever experienced. It was so painful that I burst into tears and was just lying there sobbing, begging the neurologist to stop. It was that bad! I was sore for a few days afterward.

In the mean time, I went in that Wednesday to get the results. Good news - no nerve damage. Yay!!! My orthopedic doctor noticed my "cute new mole" (as I referred to it) and told me to go to dermatology to get it checked out. Luckily, they were able to get me in same day (I think it's because the doctor suggested it vs me just trying to get an appt!) and they are right down the street so I left the orthopedist, got coffee, and went to the dermatologist.

She looked at it and decided immediately that it had to be removed. Then said, "We're going to remove that, it's a superficial scraping, and send it in." I was on the table before I realized "send it in" = "biopsy". She tried to be reassuring but I was already freaked out. The injection of the numbing medicine into my hand was HORRIFIC. More tears (I don't know what is happening to me). I left there with a chunk of skin missing and a whole bunch of questions. When the anesthetic wore off, OH MY GOSH. Wah. Wah. Wah.

Thursday and Friday I was not only in pain from the EMG and the biopsy, but I was worried sick about the results. I bought a whole bunch of random things (this form of dealing with feelings is infinitely better than stuffing my face!)The office called me Saturday afternoon -- mini freak out that THEY ARE CALLING ME ON A SATURDAY! followed up immediate relaxation when the assistant introduced herself. Well they cannot be giving me bad news because the doctor would be on the phone... -- All is well! YAY!

You don't even want to know the level of offensiveness that I was ready to have at me, a brown girl, living in the tundra, who doesn't even LIKE outside and is constantly Vitamin D deficient falling victim to melanoma. Whew.

The biopsy site was feeling a little better on Saturday and I made a pair of Evie La Luve Frankie undies. My first time EVER sewing underwear! But it still hurt and so I didn't do anymore that day or Sunday.
from my IG

My company closes for Presidents' Day and the entire time I've worked here that has been a sew day. But My Hand. Wah. I kid you not, around 4-5 p.m. my hand miraculously felt better - so annoying. I was home alone for the evening and cut out and mostly sewed a pair of pants from NL6189.

My jacket is ready for the lining to be sewn (I decided to follow the instructions and not bag the lining. It'll probably take awhile to finish but that's okay. I'm on the fence about the style. Of course, right?!  I think I understand how to do the vent of the lining/dress on NL6123. And now I have 7 days until surgery! Should definitely be able to wrap up the dress and current pants project. I have suddenly realized I have very few pants that fit and hope to cut out V1411 in an olive green ponte too. We'll see!!

Otherwise, I am optimistic and will do everything the doctor tells me - promise! But I also know that I'm always more affected than the general population. Like my 4 days of arm pain and soreness from the EMG!

With the 3 in-progress projects, the undie pattern and hopefully V1411 to review, there will be some activity here on the blog! I will probably schedule them for about once per week.

Lastly, did you happen to notice I'm a contributor over on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog?? Debbie Cook and I will be alternating the monthly pattern roundups and February was 'my' turn!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Updates on WIPs

I have kept my zipper stash in ziplock baggies, loosely separated by type, and in these plastic baskets I got from Dollar Tree. I have my trims in a basket, elastic in another, and all my interfacing is folded and in ziplock bags.

I went to The Container Store to buy a tote to keep my Indie patterns in so I could free the 4th drawer in my pattern file cabinets.  Checking out, I spotted these clear shoe baskets (whose shoes can fit in these??) and they were only $1.69 plus I had a 15% off coupon...JACKPOT! I should have gotten more but I was just thinking of zipper storage at the time. And now I need MORE!!!! Lol!

They will stack perfectly on my bookshelf!
I may use the Cricut to label them.

Now they're separated by regular zippers, invisible zippers and fashion zippers. 
I need one more for jacket zippers. 

 My NL6123 dress is right at the finish line. I've only sewn a lined dress with vent once and had to do some research before finishing. I know I used Colleen G. Lea's vid last time but this time it seemed confusing. Could be that I was just tired. Hopefully I'll get that finished this week.

This is the fabric I bought for my husband's blazer (it feels amazing!). 
It arrived and was much more green than gray.

Behold my terrible in-progress pics :) The side seams were basted here (I ended up letting the hip out a little). 
I'll dish about my dart issue when I review.

The blazer is coming along too. I'm not sure why I chose two labor intensive projects to work on at the same time. DOH!!

The lining is cut and ready to be assembled. I'm not going to bag the lining; I am going to go ahead and hand sew it like the pattern instructs. 

The sleeve vents are constructed like actual vents...but then the buttons are just sewn on through all thickness.


I'm going to go through all this trouble and not go all the way? Pfft.  This jacket, except for the collar style, is *exactly* like one of my J. Crew blazers. front darts, armhole princess seams, where the welts are positioned...I'm using it as reference.

Anyway, I interface a piece of the suiting and make sample buttonholes. Decide the first one was too narrow and the second one was good! In true sewing headache fashion...I have 5 perfect buttonholes and 1 that I don't even know. 


The FIRST buttonhole I made after the sample is like 2/3 the length it needs to be. I have NO idea what happened. Nothing was changed between making the samples and making the buttonholes. nothing was changed from the first buttonhole to any of the others. It's a mystery!!! 

My edges are wavy because I had constructed the vent area before realizing it wasn't real. I'm not sure why the lack of instruction to interface didn't tip me off...but I added interfacing after the fact which means that edge isn't interfaced. Not ideal but, sometimes you do what you gotta do!

I have not been sewing much and it finally dawned on me that my lack of mojo was likely due to  amount of work remaining on these projects. Lined garments are like that...you have the shell and you're excited and then, crap! There's still a TON of work to do! :-p

I will likely not get my husband's blazer done before surgery. It'll be a good fall item! 

I really need pants right now. I am thinking of sewing at least one pair and then cutting out a bunch of stuff and seeing where the wind blows :) 

I think I'm going to make a tops from M7722 and V8597 right away. I need a couple easy projects with these two that are in progress! 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

January Wrap-Up and February Plans

And just like *that*, we're a month into 2019!

This month I sewed 12.75 yards:
*6.5 yards from "new" fabric (acquired within the past 3 months)
*6.25 from "stash" fabric (older than 6 months). ((shot out to Carolyn for the idea to categorize))

I basically sewed Butterick 6621 and uhmm....yeah :)
  • Print jersey - 2 yards
  • Black wool jersey - 2.25 yards
  • Green rayon jersey - 2.25 yards
  • Burgundy ponte - 2 yards 
  • Burda 12/2018 top - 2 yards
    • Ivory poly crepe
    • buttons, velvet ribbon
  • Butterick 6641 blazer - 2 yards (WIP)
    • winter white suiting
    • buttons 
FAVORITE: I really adore all the versions of the dresses I made but the black one literally makes me smile!

FAILS: No actual failed projects thankfully. I am a little frustrated that the ponte dress is a bit snug as I didn't account for the (much!) thicker fabric. My blazer is coming along but the pockets are a little wonky.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Me. Pattern hacking!! I knew what I wanted and worked at it to get it.

This month, I purchased 14.75 yards of fabric and 7 patterns. Doh.

I did not feel bad when I ordered this suiting and boucle. After losing out on my actual Black Watch plaid from Michael Levine, I saw this and thought it was a good compromise. There was a 60% off sale at FM and $24 for the cut was not bad. Then, I saw this boucle. Sold! Total order was 3.5 yards. No problem.

poly/wool blend suiting
100% cotton boucle

But then once the well is opened... :-p

The next Fabric Mart contained a plethora of lining which is NOT included in my totals. I've never counted lining because I buy it when I get a good deal on it and then use it accordingly. As of now, it's still nice and tame and all fits in one 12x12 cube.

Also contained in that order was: 5 cuts of jersey; 3 prints and 2 solids.

"fruit puch" cotton/modal jersey
floral poly jersey
Halston dusty blue poly jersey
striped double brushed jersey
ivory & navy poly jersey

Other sewing purchases this month included interfacing (for the current jacket project), thread (50% off sale at JA), another serger cone thread rack (I have been looking for a 2nd one and neither of 'my' JAs have had them in stock. Bonus - it was 40% off), and velvet ribbon and buttons from Treadle. (The ribbon was used on the Burda blouse and the buttons for are for the current jacket.)

Lastly, February plans...

My surgery is scheduled for the end of this month so I'll be sewing, sewing, sewing until then! I have a couple of "spring" knit dresses I want to make and hope to get them done too since I may still be healing when the warmer ("warmer" to a Midwesterner is like...50 degrees!) temps arrive. At worst, I'll have them cut out and ready to sew.

This weekend my sewing group is getting got together to actually sew! We usually just hang out and chat, which is awesome, sewing being the mostly solitary hobby that it is...but I'm so excited for this! IT WAS AWESOME!!

I sewed the sleeves of my blazer (the actual sleeve seams; not setting them) and got the plaid fabric above cut out using NL6123. I have the front and back assembled and ready for the zipper and side seams. The lining is cut out and started.

progress on the blazer

It doesn't look like much on Lilly!
But it's a fitted sheath and the bodice contours really nicely. 

I am hoping to make my husband's blazer before surgery as well! This will depend on how the Bootstrap muslin goes. If there's too much work -aka- a 2nd muslin is required, it'll be saved for the fall.

I gasped audibly when I thought about sewing New Look 6560 with the beautiful green silk I got from Metro Textiles last spring. I rough cut the pattern pieces today at the sewing meet up.

Also, remember this sweater?? My husband accidentally shrank it. I tried to not be too disappointed and thought, well, I'll remake it.

And not too long after, he shrank this top. And I almost cried actual tears. So now, I will be washing the handmades!!!

Anyway, I told that sad, sad tale to say that I'm going to remake V8597 in this blue knit. FM listed it as jersey but it's so soft and feels like a light sweater knit.

(ambitious) February plans:


  • New Look 6123 dress (no flounce; there's a cap sleeve I"ll be using)
  • New Look 6560 top
  • Vogue 8597 top
  • Husband's blazer
  • Cut out and hopefully sew:
    • Butterick 6621 dress 
    • Simplicity 2246 dress 
I've gotten some questions about the sleeve detail on the burgundy dress. I will post a quick how-to soon! 

Well that's it! A little late and a whole lot of words!!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Butterick 6621--Times FOUR!

This is a pretty epic post! Lots of pics too!! :)

I was immediately smitten with this pattern when this collection was released. I could see all of them in my closet and purchased it via Club BMV as soon as there was a sale!
  • Twist Front - yasss.
  • Faux wrap front with slight boatneck - I'll take it!
  • View B was just a bonus with the waist ties.
  • Nice length
  • Center back seam
Such a great pattern!

I cut a size 14 and did a cheater 3/4" FBA. I graded the hip to a size 16 and left the length as is. I curved in the center back through the waist just a tad (~3/8") and did a 1" full bicep adjustment. 

The armhole is raised slightly and extra width added.
This small difference in seam length as a result is just eased into the back.

I did a slash and spread to add a little length to center front as well.

First up was view A, the twist front. I had this cool print jersey from SR Harris. I had 2 yards and the pattern needs 1 5/8. I washed it and woah did it shrink! And it was off grain. By the time I got it ready for cutting I *just* barely squeaked it out and had to take my sleeve length where I could get it :)

The twist front is NOT COMPLICATED. At all. Don't be like me...the only twist fronts I've done previously were Burda patterns and required some thinking! On this view, I serged the center front prior to sewing it together. All other seams were constructed via serger. 

The waist seam is part dart
I just sewed this seam with a zig zag stitch and trimmed it down

Oh! Neck binding - measure your neckline and adjust based on your fabric's stretch and recovery. I had to pull mine out and shorten it several inches.

I like where and how the twist sits and the neckline came out okay. 

I've worn this one already and really like it. I want to sew a solid version AND I just bought a beautiful print to make a version for spring.

Next up was view C. Can you believe I don't own any black dresses? I had this black wool jersey, also from SR Harris. Adore the mock wrap front. A.D.O.R.E! I shortened this neck binding TOO much and it's uneven. Luckily it's black and with the plain front I'll almost for sure wear a necklace every time.

The coverstitch worked flawlessly for this fabric (wool jersey is so fantastic if you're able to wear wool!). This fabric wasn't as stretchy as the jersey from view A and I ended up sewing the side seams at 3/8" and the center back and 5/8" through the upper back, tapering to a 3/8" seam from the waist down. 

The overlay was hemmed before sewing the side seams.
I started my coverstitch on the dress hem at this seam and finished under the overlay.

The ties are gathered a little. 

I've worn this one too and it is another winner!

And THEN...I like the Ruska knot dress. It's so simple but so cool. But I really don't care for anything else in the book which made it impossible for me to shell out for it. I mean, the longer version of the Ruska is cute too but there's not a ton of design there that doesn't exist in my pattern catalog already.

I was trying on the finished view C and, my wool jersey is a little translucent. And I was thinking I'd need a slip...the front is fine because of the overlay.

Lightbulb moment. The front of the Ruska knot dress is just an overlay.

So I took the front and view C and mocked up a front with ties. Made some modifications and cut another front. That one was much closer...in the final version I made some additional changes.

This was the 2nd iteration. 
I realized it would look better with a CF seam and added that in the finished dress.

This fabric is ALSO from SR Harris! It's a lovely pine green (I think!) but it is heftier than the other two knits used. I'd initially made a facing for the tie but the fabric was too thick to be doubled and then tied so I had to rip all of that out. WHEW! Otherwise, no changes from the black version C.

I thought I was done with the pattern! Buuuuttttt, I'd kept it in my little pink basket in the sewing room :)

I regularly peruse retail stores that I like and saw this simple but cute dress at LOFT. 
still debating on tie options! I was in LOFT after this was finished and the ties are a strip of the sweater knit was sewn between the sleeve and cuff...so it was integrated into the sleeve. Drats!

I have a gazillion cuts of shirting and had my mind on this burgundy ponte. Hmm. This fabric is from...SR Harris! Doh! I bought it awhile back to make a dress but didn't get around to it. I was going to save it for pants -- it would have been better used as pants. It's super thick.

When I got ready to baste it, I was sure it would be too small. I ended up sewing 3/8" seams on the back, side seams and the sleeve seams. It's still a little snug through the bust, and I totally need a bit more room to navigate the butt (that's what the wrinkles are...not swayback)...but it does not bother me enough to not wear it! 

I  decided the striped sleeve bits should be 6" long finished and the cuff 3". I had to play around with the flare on the cuff and in the end sliced the rectangle of fabric 6 times and spread them about 1/2" apart. I believe I doubled the initial width at the hem. The split cuffs are again basically a rectangle and I decided to 'cut' in about 1.5" on each side. Worked out well!! The cuffs were basted to the flared sleeve and attached to the main sleeve in the round.

This sat for a few days because I was unsure of how I wanted to finish the neckline. Especially with the heft of this fabric. In the end, I took 2" strip of fabric and attached it. Then under stitched, pressed, topstitched and trimmed back.

And NOW, I really have put the pattern away...for a spell...I totally picked up another copy of this pattern at the most recent JA sale because this will obviously be (already is?!) a TNT.

In other news...

I have to have surgery on my hand.

I'm trying not to be too bummed out. I mean, when I initially fractured my hand, I was out of commission for two months. It may be a little longer than that...it all depends. I will most certainly take it slowwwww. He believes I will regain full use of my hand. He told me that and my response was, "Like a normal person?!?!". He said, "Yes, like a normal person." 
  • I should be able to drive about 1 week after.
  • I can return to work by that time but at best, I'll work half days the second week...at worst I'll take a 2nd week off. I have a straight desk job now so tons of computer work.
  • By about week 4-6 I should "be able to write normally". Sigh. LOL!
  • "Light gripping, pulling and pinching" until ~week 10-12. 
  • I should expect full strength and mobility between 6-12 months. Yeah, I know. I'm pretty sure that's just a cya timeframe.
It isn't scheduled yet but between work commitments -- I have a conference to attend early April and want to be a minimum of 4 weeks out for that -- and fitting into the surgeon's schedule, we'll see. Hoping for late February.

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 Cat...so 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!