Thursday, December 2, 2021

Simplicity 9375

I actually finished this in a timely manner! Yay me! You know the's winter in the tundra and I have to get pics when I can. In this case, I work from home on Thursdays and that's an opportunity!

As mentioned in my last post, I got this fabric from Fabric Mart during a recent sale and it is really nice! It was listed as a double knit but I don't think that's true. DKs have knit stitches on both sides, right? At any rate, its a poly/rayon/lycra, washed and dried well, and has nice drape. I saw it on the site and immediately new I'd use it for this skirt pattern. 

I am still carrying my COVID +15 and went up a size bigger. The last skirt I was working on is a UFO because I cut my normal size and it DOES NOT FIT. LOL! I cut an 18 front and 20 back. I was lazy and didn't do a butt adjustment and the skirt tilts just enough to annoy me when I'm looking at it/pics. Grr. 

Otherwise, I really love everything about it. The fabric looks like it could be a wool woven and the plaid makes me happy!! The pattern is very intuitive to assemble. The overlay is reinforced, a small pass-through is hemmed, the exposed edge gets hemmed and the whole thing basted to the front. The smaller piece is treated the same and then looped through the overlap and basted to the upper front. Interestingly, the front is left loose under the overlay -- on the left side the front and back are sewn together but on the right side, the front+overlay+back are sewn together until the break and then just the overlay and back with the front loose. I imagine this is in place of a walking slit? Especially if you're a) using the longer length or b) using a woven fabric. 

I looked at the length for this view (22") and the longer one (28") and was going to add 3". I wish I had! It comes to my knee which is my favorite skirt length, but I think this could have been very impactful just a hair longer (but not midi length). I'm too thick for midi length skirts. I have little waist definition and very shapely legs but they can turn squat with the wrong length. I can pull off midi dresses but have never really liked that length on a skirt. Mini, knee, and just past the knee, or maxi length. 

I inserted a center zip instead of invisible since this tape color was a perfect match. Also, because I was using a knit but treating it like a woven, I used a firmer (not tricot) interfacing on the facing pieces, and added a 1.25" band of interfacing to the upper skirt edge (front and back). I don't want this skirt growing on me throughout the day when worn. And I did an okay job on the plaid matching too! Woohoo!

I did all of the hemming on the coverstitch machine

The fabric is so versatile! It has a pale grey background with black and rust/brown plaid lines. I can really play off both the grey and the rust with pairing it with other wardrobe items. My fave!

I do like this length, but I can also see how 2 more inches would've been better. It sort of turns me into a square. The skirt is about 22" and I have a 45.5" hip so about 22" across the front of my body.
Not a complaint...just an observation. I love my body, the most! LOL!

I adore these boots! 

I'm so close to finishing up the baby sweater! I am going to sew the side seams today and then I'll seam the ribbing by hand, weave in the ends (grr), and by then my new yarn for the matching baby sweaters should be here! 

since taking this pic, the sleeves have been seamed to the sweater

Friday, November 26, 2021

In Progress

Life has been life'ing. I am overwhelmed, over tired, and over stressed. There's just been too much stuff

But, the bright side is, I've gotten back in the sewing room. I'm currently working on this newer Simplicity pattern, S9375, in a plaid double knit I got from FM last month (those shipping discounts will get me every time).

I got a lot done the past 2 days. Yesterday I cut out my pattern pieces, today I cut the fabric, fully assembled the front, the back darts are sewn and it's awaiting a zipper. I will likely finish it this weekend, yay! I still need to sew the zipper, baste the side seams for fit, sew the side seams, and hem. So it may be done tomorrow...maybe Sunday.

Really love this fabric as it looks like it could be a wool/woven but it's a knit! The double knit has some drape but is stable, so I cut my normal size, I'll make any necessary adjustments at the side seams, but I don't want this to fit too snugly either. 

I finished up my knit hat. It's slouchy but I wish I'd added more increases earlier on. All the "slouch" is near the top/tip of the hat. The yarn is really nice though!

I also started a sweater for Bert. It's an old pattern, likely from the 80s and a bit generous in sizing I think. I'm going to finish it but I'm also going to try the pattern one size smaller. I have all 4 pieces knit and blocked. Next up is the neckband, then assembly. Since it's a sweater for a little one, I'll seam it on the serger with a 3-thread stitch. Here's a pic of the back with 1 sleeve (I think I may knit the neckband in yellow just in case there are any errors with picking up stitches. They'll be easily hidden!):

I saw a cute colorblocked sweater and wanted to do something similar, but had no "fun" colors in stash. I visited Cindy in Princeton, MN (if you're a machine knitter, you have to visit her shop!) and we found lots of cones of yarn appropriate for my standard gauge machine. I picked up a purple but didn't care for the shade and she said, oh that one's wool. I figured I'd keep that one...there was another wool cone in gray. I got home and that yarn (Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight) retails for $50/lb! SCORE! I paid $1/lb!! My son in law's favorite color is purple so I'll use that one to make him a hat :)

If you're in the US, hopefully you had a great Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Oldies but Goodies

I finished my cardigan! Woohoo!!

As mentioned in my last post, when I got this fabric from Fabric Mart, I knew I wanted to sew it right away, and hunted the stash for a pattern. It's a double knit, gray with a purplish undertone and lurex threads on the right side. It washed up really well! I bought 2 yards and you know FM!! The pattern calls for 1 5/8 yards and I easily have a full yard leftover. So you may see this fabric again.

Look at that fabric! :drool:

I went with an old favorite, McCall's 6844, but knew I had outgrown the size medium, but was not going to fit into a size large. I took my measurements and decided on the following adjustments:

3/8" to the front from about 1.5" below the armpit to the waist, and smoothed the seamline. The narrow shoulder adjustment is from the original pattern adjustments. Probably 1/4 or 3/8". 

1/2" to the back from shoulder blade through the hem, with a wedge at the side seam. Swayback adjustment of 1/2" and added a center back seam. 

The sleeve on this pattern is BANANAS. I think the finished measurement was 13" and I originally added 1.5". I added another 3/4" by adding 3/8" at the side seams. My bicep measured 14.75" I also added 1/2" to the sleeve head height. Due to the fabric, I ended up sewing the seams at 3/8".

I think the adjustments worked out very well! I had a slightly harder time putting in the left sleeve because my gathering stitches weren't moving easily through the fabric, but it won't bother me much.
I tried the loose sleeve on (dur, doesn't work out too well) and it seemed like it might be short so I hemmed it at 5/8" (it has a 1 1/4" hem allowance). Well, I should have hemmed it at 1 1/4"! I will likely just cut off the existing hem and sew a new one at 5/8" vs unpicking the (very well matched!) thread.

I really love it and think the color and iridescence allows it to match with SO many other colors.

Earlier this year, in May, I sewed a couple new dresses from TNT patterns and never blogged them. While I don't care for the twist front dress with the cardigan, the cardigan will work with tan/taupe/natural fabrics. 

Butterick 6621 in taupe jersey from Stylish Fabrics
I wouldn't wear *this* bra with this dress...this is my lazy bra but I just took the advantage of the daylight to take pics

Another TNT, M7465 is one of my favorite patterns ever. 
The front and back skirt uses the same pattern piece but I've created a new back piece to accommodate my behind so that it isn't super tight. 
And these suede Clark pumps are my fave!

Lastly, MY DRESS FORM IS ALMOST READY! Woohoo! This was the first rendering--it's been since tweaked and will be smoother in the final form (e.g., you can see indentations from my bra straps). 

I am so excited!!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

October Wrap-up & November plans

l sewed something this month! Haha! I was going to try to work on this jacket from 6/2018 that I started some time ago but, Oops. It doesn't fit right now. 

But I also ordered fabric this month. FM had discounted shipping and that is so hard for me to resist! LOL!

I really liked the DKNY jersey, found the double knit and swooned, then saw the interlock (V1835) and that plaid rayon shirting was $1.99/yd. I ordered 5 yards with the plan to make some nice, traditional pajamas. But it washed up BEAUTIFULLY and I may use it for a dress, and stash the rest. 
Then, they had their $2, $3, $4 sale soon after and I found some really great pieces of fabric (18.5 yards for $56?! Rayon blend knits, viscose and rayon wovens? SCORE. 

When I washed up the first fabric order, I brought the metallic double knit up and said, I'm about to make a cardigan. I was so excited! I spent so much time Thursday night combing the pattern stash, looking for the right thing. However, my hand was really bothering me. I don't know about you, but cutting the pattern tissue/paper is such a tedious part of the job and for some reason, tests my fine motor skills much more so than cutting the fabric. So I knew I had to choose something I'd made before. 

I don't know how many versions of M6844 I've made over the years (at least 5), but I knew it was it! I made pattern adjustments Friday night and sewed it Saturday and Sunday. I'm really excited about this one. The base is a medium toned grey and the lurex threads allows it to take on the color of so many other colors! Grey, deeper shades of purple, coral, blush, and of course white, off white, black, etc. 

I will get pics this week and get it blogged. YAY!

as of Saturday afternoon, it's since finished

So that's 1 5/8 yards sewn for October! woot woot! 

I'd also like to use another pattern that's been sewn before, the In-House Patterns Belle bow blouse, to do my version if this Tahari top. I like that the Belle has an extended shoulder line. I really loved the cotton voile version I made way back when, I think the print just wasn't a good fit for my wardrobe. I later made a version in white rayon challis that just wasn't right...I don't think I had the skills to work with a solid challis at that time. :)

It's getting cold in the tundra y'all. I saw this simple little "snood" on Lafyette 148's website for $348. WHEW! It is cashmere, but it it's a 14.5" square! It's a tiny square!! So I'm going to decide on a tuck stitch pattern that I like on the machine, and knit one up.  

I had to buy a new coat this weekend so why not make a new scarf? It's not like I own 20 scarves and cowls already...haha!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Wardrobe Planning and Random Thoughts

The mojo is still absent, but I have been trying to figure out if there's anything I want to sew or need to add to my wardrobe. 

There are a couple of patterns that I'm interested in sewing, and I did add to the stash during the recent $.99 Simplicity sale at JoAnn:

New Look 6698, S9385, 9373, 9375, 9376, 9326, 9275, 9372

And while I'm really excited to sew both the skirt in 9375 and a couple of the shrugs in 9372, that still didn't get the sewing mojo going. 

I also sorted through nearly the whole stash because I donated a bunch of fabric (4 plastic Mood bags full!) to our High School theater program. My son would be offended, he says they don't deserve anything> LOL!!!!!

So I couldn't rev the mojo in the normal way, next up was assessing if there were wardrobe holes. I still had all of my summer clothes and shoes out and had to go through the work of pulling out the fall goods. Every time I make the switch, I analyze both sets of clothing. As the spring/summer clothes are going away, I am deciding what to keep, donate, or toss...and the same with the fall/winter clothes coming out of storage. I took note of my favorite garments and realized a color story was happening!

Now, I'm not going to do any color theory or anything because...I know me and I'm just not going to do it :-p But there was a definite pattern. 
  • Black, Navy, Grey, Olive, Camel, White
  • Blush, Wine, Plum
  • Chartreuse, teal, slate blue
  • Black & white stripes and prints
a representative sample

I think I'm going to work mostly within this color palette and see how that works for me! I am also going to try to avoid buying new clothes. I have added several garments, and they all work, but I want to really thoughtfully add to my existing wardrobe. Especially with the schedule I'm maintaining right now. 

Another part of the process is NOT including anything in my closet that I cannot currently fit. I have mentioned before but, I have never really had body image issues and am having a hard time right now. Not necessarily with the weight gain (I've been over 200 lbs before) but with how I feel about my body right now. Blergh. So it's really important not to bring clothing in that's going to hang there and be pointless. 

This orange jacket has been in the wardrobe for awhile - I got it from J. Crew 5 years ago, it's linen, and I love the color. It's clearly too small right now but I think the length is wrong now too! It's funny how trends change and we end up being shaped by them, whether we intend to or not. 

In a nutshell, I would really like:
a deep red pair of pants (maybe ponte for now)
a skirt in one of the deeper shades of red (wine/brick red - it'd be great if I could find leather!!)
a chartreuse cardigan (I have the fabric for this)
a deep magenta shrug (I have the fabric for this)
slim black pants (I bought a pair last year but can't fit them right now)
1 or 2 heavier knit dresses (I have a charcoal ponte in the stash)

On the non-sewing front, I'm coming down from a high of daily grandkid visits for a whole week! Swoon! The kids have some business to tend to but my daughter and the babies were here while my son in law was taking care of some things and I was happy to help out and get alllllll the baby snuggles!

He's almost 2 months old now! 
He was born a little early but I think he's all caught up now :)

And, Nana's house has not been kid-proofed so it was a free-for-all! Just keep him safe! LOL!!!!