Saturday, June 25, 2022

Sewing for Little Ones

When I visited Atlanta earlier this year I went to Fine Fabrics and my 6 year old nephew (technically great-nephew) picked out this BRIGHT lime green ribbed knit and asked me to make him a short set. He wanted a tee with a dinosaur on the front with a crown, and his name on the back. His twin sister also asked for a short set but she didn't have any specifics.

I settled on my Ottobre kids magazines for the patterns. For his, I used 3/2010 patterns 17 and 18. For the shorts, I left off the slash pockets and the faux-fly. Too much fussing in a ribbed knit (I could see it in a sweatshirt fleece though). I did some googling on Ottobre sizing and looking for general measurements for kids clothes and decided on size 116. I ended up cutting the shorts about 2.5" shorter (they were super long!) and I missed that the t-shirt sleeves are finished with bands until I got to the end and had a "hey, what's this piece for?" moment :)

I bought some printable HTV a long time ago but have been afraid to try to use it. It was easy as pie! I just used a Cricut image, printed it onto the HTV and pressed it on. The crown is also a Cricut image with gold HTV. 

For his name, I wanted to use white. I don't know why I keep trying to make fetch happen with this Cricut vinyl. It is trash compared to Siser! It was so difficult to press it, it was lifting while I tried to press it. I was 2 seconds away from ditching it and just cutting another back out. 

I used a spool of regular thread in the looper, in green, and gray thread in the needles and did a reverse coverstitch for the hems. 

For her, I used the 3/2014 issue, patterns 12 and 25. For the top,  I cut a size 110. She's a little smaller than her brother. I used a white cotton knit for the bands and did a twin needle stitch for the hem. 

I took a Cricut image that said "Basketball King" and edited it to remove the letters. She LOVES basketball, so I'm sure she's going to love it. Also, it isn't exactly true that she had no specifications -- she expressly said she did not want her name on it! :)

For the shorts, I could not figure out the bound leg openings! Oy! lol!!! Once it clicked, I realized I had to do a bunch of unpicking and it took me a couple days to get back to it. I used the same white cotton knit and cut the strips at 2" so I could use my larger bias tape maker. It worked out really well. Just recently I saw a RTW short and I think I was supposed to stitch the tape down to the back short piece?? IDK, they're cute. LOL! 

For his, I threaded the elastic through the casing but for hers I stitched it to the wrong side of the waistband/facing (like with yoga pants). I like this finish better and it works well with this narrower waistband. 

I can't wait to see them in their new outfits! I also bought them some new books and a set of walkie-talkies! That was something my kids absolutely LOVED when they were little. They are 17 months apart and were inseparable. I assume the twins will love running around with their walkies :)

I'm working on a sleeveless version of M7834 in a white cotton swiss dot for my birthday dress. Lots to do - buttonholes, miles of gathering and hemming...

I also plan to make Burda 7/2022 #106 for the evening. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

May Wrap-Up and June Plans

I am so late with this, gah. In May I sewed 6 garments for a total of 9.25 yards. This month I sewed:

  • Vogue 1250 top and dress - 2.5 yards 
    • ITY print
    • elastic in the dress
  • McCall's 8174 dress - 1.75 yards
    • rayon modal jersey knit print
    • elastic
  • McCall's 6744 dress - 2 yards
    • ITY print
    • elastic
  • Butterick 6378 top - 1.5 yards
    • yellow silk georgette
  • Burda Magazine 4/2019 skirt - 1.5 yards
    • red cotton lycra twill
    • zipper, D-ring

I am really happy with all 3 of my dresses! I ended up cutting the top too short, so I have to see if it's wearable or not at this length. But I will certainly keep this pattern 'hack' in the roundup. I love the cowl. 

The red skirt is really great! It turned out so well with my mods to increase the size. But the twill is really stretchy with poor recovery. I wore it for the first time and it bagged out a bit. Clothes never last as long when they need to be washed each time.

I didn't get a chance to work on a project for my fitting challenge but will try to get one in for June. I'm having a tough time personally, and lots of required travel coming up, so I may only get 6 or 8 done this year. We'll see.

June started out with my awesome vacation to Cabo with friends! I didn't sew anything for the trip but wore a few handmades while I was there, but I'd purchased a few hot-girl 'fits for the trip! 

I purchased the white top while I was in Cabo. It is a really nice cotton gauze!

Since we're halfway through June, I may use a Burda just because I think that's a lower barrier to a good fit :) There is a dress from 5/2019 that I traced awhile back, so I'm ahead of the game there.

I've also made outfits for my twin niece and nephew with fabric they chose from Fine Fabrics in GA. I'll review those next, I used patterns from Ottobre Kids. 

I still need to photograph my red skirt, and M8174. I also feel like a need a white cotton dress. I'm thinking of making a sleeveless version of M7834 (blogged HERE). It's such a great pattern and I got a really nice fit! 

More, later! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2022

McCall's 6744 - Everything Comes Back Around

I first made this patter about 6 months after learning to sew, in 2013. Last summer I revisited it - HERE and, it's just a winner for me! :)

I really love it!

Just like in my most recent version, 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 5/8".  I also shortened the bodice 1" in back and at the side seams, tapering to nothing in the front. On my last version I had some pooling in back, this adjustment corrected that.

A much neater fit through the back!

The fabric is a Fabric Mart find that I planned on making a wrap dress with it due to the print...but I really just, true wraps. I don't know quite why that is. 

I know someone commented that the print was tough on the eyes. I just love the colors so much, and it doesn't do too much "waviness" for me, on screen or in person, though I get that it happens.
I wore it immediately and can see it getting tons and tons of use this summer. Everything about it is perfect to me!! 

My yellow blouse is in time out because that silk crepe de chine refused to be managed. Even with starching it (which has worked well for the poly wovens I've used). 

This is a WIP of version #2 of Burda 4/2019. This pattern is just SO COOL. I worked on it this weekend and just need to stitch down the facings at the zipper. I love how it turned out. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Vogue 1250

This pattern was SUPER popular back in the day! There are 127 reviews on Pattern Review and many, many people made the pattern multiple times. It's a winner. 

I was stuck on how to use Lily to fit a knit pattern. If sewing pants I would choose a size 18 and make crotch adjustments, with skirts I use a 16 front and 18 back. For tops I used to use a 14 neckline but that's not right anymore. Ultimately, I looked at the intended amount of ease and decided to use my normal Big4 sizing choices: 16 top and 18 for the back skirt.  

If you somehow managed to own this pattern but have never sewn it, it has a very interesting construction! There are 2 main pattern pieces - a front with back skirt integrated into the pattern piece and a back bodice piece. There's also a binding for the back neckline. 

I think this construction is pretty standard for cowl necks, but I am always enthralled with how neatly it finishes. There is a pleat that ends right where the cowl begins. I pinned and basted the pleat by hand. When I turned the cowl facing back on the shoulder seam, I hand basted the corner where it intersects with the back neck binding and then ran it through the serger to sew it. It ensures nothing stretches out of shape or shifts. 

For the armhole, I suggest pinning front and back bodice together, stitching for reinforcement at 5/8" about an inch and then clipping. This will allow you to hem that armhole opening neatly. Where it called for "narrow hemming", I just turned up 5/8" and coverstitched.

There were lots of versions of this by the fitting mavens of the sewing blog community and after reading a bunch of posts, I decided I would be fine just cutting the CB seam of the back skirt at an 18. Many cut along the side dart (where the side seam would sit) to add width, but I don't need extra on the front skirt...just the back. 

Here you can see the dart that closes this seam - this is where others added width. 
I just cut the CB seam (left) at the size 18 mark.

the white arrow shows the dart end!

I added 3/8" to the waist on the back bodice piece to match up to the size 18 skirt back and shortened the bodice 1 1/4". Did a 3/8" high round back adjustment, keeping the space created at the neckline (did not sew the dart). I only had 1 5/8" of fabric and the integrated front piece is a hog, so I added a CB seam to the back bodice (no fitting here, just a seam for construction and I added the seam allowance directly to the fabric).

I added 3" to the front cowl tapering to nothing at the point (do this! it helps it sit better!).

Lastly, I decided to do a 5/8" coverstitched hem (instead of the 1 1/4" included) because I liked the length.

The horizontal seam in back sits low and I was worried about it bisecting the body in a weird way. It's fine! I think it's important to get the back length of the bodice right in order for this seam to not feel "wrong" on the body and to avoid pooling. 


The wind was blowing fiercely, but you can see I achieved a nice fit through the waist and lower body. Yay!

I picked this fabric up from SAS Fabrics while I was in Phoenix. I went to take a pic of the finished dress on Lily and was like, what the heck?! (WTH funny vid) I did NOT see this pattern in the fabric. I moved the phone camera and looked at the dress - nope. Put the camera up - pattern. IDK what kind of optical illusion is happening! 

It is off center but I can't be bothered by that because I LOVE THIS DRESS!!! And, I just don't see the pattern when it's on my body - LOL!!!!!!

Alterations Summary:
size 16 with size 18 skirt back
add 3/8" to back bodice waist
shorten bodice 1 1/4"
3/8" high round back, adding neckline width too
2.5" added to cowl at CF
hem at 5/8" instead of 1 1/4"

I also worked up a top version using fabric from the other dress I made over the weekend. I told myself 20" but in retrospect, that doesn't even sound right! arrrgh! 

It will only be able to be worn tucked in because it's just long enough. I got this blue suiting from SR Harris and am going to make another pair of Burda 2/2013 SOON!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

QT in the Sewing Room and a Hot Topic

My parents relocated to Georgia almost 15 years ago, my son and daughter live out of state too. Mother's Day then gets a little difficult for me. And this weekend, my husband had a motorcycle training course that was from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. So I decided it was perfect timing for a sew day. 

On Thursday and Friday, I did some pattern prep and cut out Vogue 1250 and McCall's 8174. I got up early Saturday, really pumped, and started my pattern adjustments. I took a break around noon, went and got lunch, and took a break for awhile once my husband got back. Got back at it and finished up the McCall's dress, then cut out another version of M6744. 

This morning, I was moving quite a bit slower :) I finished M6744. Here are the 3 finished dresses and a top from V1250

top left: SAS fabrics
the others are Fabric Mart

I was ready to cut out my yellow silk for a top from Burda 5/2017, and realized I didn't have enough fabric. Womp. Womp. I always forget silk is typically 45". So I traced off a top version of V1250 since I liked the cowl so much. 

I have plans to make pants from this fabric 
which is why I got so excited about a top from this pattern!

And I was not doing hair and makeup (or bras - sorry, not sorry) while having sew-day so I have quick and dirty shots as each garment was completed.

And I'm ECSTATIC about them all! 

Can we talk about disliking finished garments? People often talk about not seeing enough posts about when things don't work out. But, often, when someone posts something and explains why it's a fail, people jump in to tell them that it isn't. I get the instinct to reassure...but can we just take the sewer's word that it truly is a fail? 

My husband says I react because I am very keen on saying exactly what I mean -- words mean things. If I say, I'm not sure about it or I don't know, but something seems off...that means it might work out if I can figure it out. When I post something and I say, I do not like this. That is exactly, precisely what I mean! LOL! 

I posted the New Look dress and had comments on IG and here on the blog that I was "being hard on myself" / "self-critical". Now, this is not any kind of attack on those posters, again, I get the instinct to jump in with helpful comments. But it was interesting to me that I never once said anything about ME; I said I don't like the dress. Not that I felt bad. Not that I looked bad. Again, nothing negative about myself, but for some reason, that's how it was interpreted (and this happens all the time, it isn't a one-off).

There ARE times when something goes wrong and I'm bummed about it. And, I'm pretty open about that. But I am also 100% okay with sewing projects not working out. I'm not going to force myself to keep something or to wear something that I know I dislike / am uncomfortable in just because I made it! Remember in my last post I mentioned donating those black trousers because honestly, I just don't like them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them...they're a heavier cotton blend, they're slim and ankle length, they fit; but I don't like them. I have lots and lots and lots(!) of clothes. The occasional fail doesn't knock me down, and I don't need those fails cluttering my closet. 

Do you share your fails publicly?