Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Wrap-up and December Plans(?!)

I am so, so ready to bid adieu to 2016 but HOLY COW did this year speed by! Sheesh!!!

I didn't do a good job tracking my November sewing so I'll do my best to recall my efforts this month. Despite not sewing often, I still managed to crank out some goodies.

My plan for my daughter was deflated by her dislike of the dresses I chose. I made the skirts and quit. But she LOVES the skirts so there's that! She wore the plaid one on Thanksgiving.

So this month I sewed:
  • S1322 and NL6418 skirts for my daughter - one wool plaid suiting and one in grey faux suede
  • New Look 6301 dress in floral jersey (to be blogged)
  • Burda 8/2016 dress in blue cotton blend woven
  • Burda 11/2016 skirt in pinstriped RPL suiting (to be blogged)
I adore this skirt. It is very fun and flirty and that is balanced by the more serious black pinstripe. I'm NOT sure it's the "right" shape for my body type but sometimes you just love a thing no matter what.
I'm 11 for 11 on my Burda challenge this year! Woot!! I will likely get this blogged soon.
Also, I delivered the finished cardigan to my friend and she looks amazing in it and the color is perfect and YAY!
I made her strike a pose in the second pic! :)

It's the free cardigan by Swoon patterns. I used an XL through the neckline/shoulders and the sleeve, and a 2X through the body. I did an FBA too but I don't remember how much; but not a large one; maybe 1/2"?? The sleeve length worked for me but they are pretty long on her. However, the sleeves scrunch up a-ok so it works.

I just love it on her!
I am still on a skirt/dress kick. I didn't sew the other dresses from my November plans and am now jonesing for that plum-colored Vogue. I already have a black Swoon cardigan cut out for myself and a black top version of NL6301; and there's black thread in my serger. So you know what THAT means!
I'll get those done, then the Vogue dress and then who knows! I have 11 days off work (12/22 through 1/3) and am excited to claim a good amount of time for sewing. My original wardrobe plan still hangs in my sewing room and I still want some of the things I planned on months ago.
Lastly, I haven't decided yet what I want from December. I kind of love this dress though again, it's probably not "right" for me (but it's CUTE!) and also that cap sleeve means I will HAVE to wear a sweater or jacket with it which seems not cool because why cover up the lovely pleats and ruffles? So I may push this to spring/summer. I do like it though a lot.
I also like this dress but not the sleeve:
I bought a dress from LOFT with that (flutter?) sleeve and it took me awhile to realize I hated it. I love the dress but hate that sleeve. I have big biceps/forearms and I just don't think it works well for me. But look at the lines of this dress!!! Swoon.
LOVE this cape and have a wonderful plaid that would work for it but I have absolutely no reason to make a cape for a MN winter. Again, maybe next spring:
I've been looking for a double knit or sweater knit to make this dress from since the December preview came out in October! I haven't found anything I love.
But I would really, really, really love to make this blazer

I am scared.

Yes! I said it! Hahaha!

1) I've made so many things of varying complexity, but never a 'proper' blazer.
2) It's plus sized and I'm not plus up top and it's Burda plus which I've been told is a different block e.g. the 44 is not just incrementally graded up from a 42 like a 42 is graded up from a 40.

But look at it! ahhhhhhhh.

So >>this person<< is kinda sorta thinking, that I need to just go for it. I will have to *insert huge gasp* make a muslin and see how far off the fit is. I am obviously most worried about neckline/shoulder fit since I'm a 14/40 there and this is a 44 and that's notoriously harder area to fit. But as I often tell people..."What's the worst that could happen?" and "It's just fabric!"



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Finished (Kind of): Burda 08/2016

I probably cursed this project by stealing the fabric I intended for my daughter's dress! :)

I'd taken notice of this dress before and when I pulled the fabric I really fell in love with it! I purchased this from Fabric Mart a few years ago and it was labeled denim. It is not. It's some type of bottom weight that's denim colored. I figured a casual fabric would take this fitted number down a notch and make it work with the casual dress code of my office.

Burda 08/2016 #124
Seeing that the skirt went up to size 42, I added 5/8" to the back skirt at the side seam. I really should have added additional side seam allowances as insurance but I added the bare minimum - 3/8"! 

I usually shy away from patterns with a lot of pieces in the mag. I don't mind tracing but tracing and adding SAs to a lot of pieces bogs me down.

This pattern has 12 pieces plus the belt and carriers. Because the fabric was dark, solid and tightly woven, I opted to add SAs directly to the fabric. My chalk liner worked amazingly well with this one! I use my seam gauge and go around, 'connecting the dots' when I cut it out.

The instructions are REALLY weird on this. I posted the below to Instagram because of the sheer ridiculousness of it! LOL!

I've never seen instructions tell you to insert a zipper into the bodice and then attach the skirt AFTER the fact, and then finish sewing the zipper into the skirt. Mind boggling. 

The one thing I questioned that did make sense was the front. I was thinking of it as a traditional facing but it is a faced opening. So you would want to sew the facings before sewing the CF seam. 

Sewing went pretty well with the basic pieces and I was contemplating top-stitching. My thread collection has dwindled and I couldn't find a blue that I loved (the orange was WAY too bright).

I basted the side seams to check for fit and RUH-ROH! It was SNUG. I admit to not flat measuring, which I normally do, but I was still surprised at how tight it was. I went to double check that it didn't call for fabric "with stretch" because Burda loves stretch fabric.

I decided I would add a gusset! I measured and measured and played around with the shape:

I ended up with this:

This did not work out. It gave me more room through the waist/high hip but that isn't actually where I needed it. Once I could comfortably zip the dress, I realized the waist was okay but the actual hip area was too snug causing it to ride up.

excess after adding the gusset

I tried to reshape it, tried splitting it in two, but couldn't get everything connecting well. I ended up removing the gusset and just sewing it up. I only had 3/8" side seams and the fabric was slowly unravelling with all the unpicking. 

So it is just a bit too small. This prompted me to re-measure myself

Sooooo yeah. When I am less fluffy, it will fit fine I'm sure!

I made another huge mistake. Somehow, I did not add seam allowances to the bodice (at the skirt attachment seam). So I keep wanting to yank it down. The positioning of the belt helps, but it's RIGHT under my bust which doesn't look bad, but I guess I'd rather the belt than a visible too-high seam. 

And with all that, I still love the dress LOL! LOVE the overall shape, love the length, love the silhouette, love the belt. Love. Love. Love. Will love it more when I can sit in it and raise my arms ;-)

Size 42 with back skirt graded to ~44
5/8" full bicep adjustment
I added hem allowances (I normally don't) - 1 1/4" 
I don't like this dart Burda adds with princess seams. It never works for me and it seems to small and too short to do much with it. Maybe I can just rotate it into the princess seam??

Facings attached to zipper and tacked at shoulder seams and CF by hand

My hands were bothering me so I didn't touch my machine for a good 5 days or so. I decided I needed to get this one finished, even if it doesn't actually fit right now, and got my belt carriers ready. My machine rewarded me with perfect bar tacks!

Speaking of, Burda always calls for extra wide carriers. Hate them. I cut strips of fabric 1 5/8" wide, serge one end, turn the raw edge in 1/2", turn the serged edge in, and topstitch.

Most of those wrinkles can be ignored because I'm confident they're a result of "I don't fit you"

If you're in the US, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

I won't get much sewing done over the long weekend (it's going to be a busy one for me), but I do plan on eeking out my November Burda garment before the month is over. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Skirts: Simplicity 1322 and New Look 6418

My daughter is very sweet and thoughtful and always appreciative when I sew for her. But she's still a teenager and she's still like me! :)

I've mentioned before that I don't hesitate to cull handmades just as I do RTW. She is the same and she has grown up in the era of fast fashion. I get bored with clothes fast but she gets bored FASTER. Therefore I am totally in the 'do it quick and dirty' camp when I sew for her.

S1322 was cut out Tuesday and finished by Thursday. A very fast sew.

Size 10 for her 34.5" hips (normal for her with Big4). Finished hip is 39.5" for this A-line mock-wrap.
Removed 1" in length from the hem (it's curved so I measured 1" in several spots and 'connected the dots')
Wool fabric that someone sent me from their stash! I can't remember who it was now!

This pattern takes very little fabric! The largest size of this view only needs 1 1/4 yard. And max, for the longest view, is 2 yards. I'd gotten the buckles at a long-ago JA notions sale and had a gray zipper on  hand - stash to the rescue!

I totally want to make view C for myself! ((FOCUS!!))


Very good coverage on the wrap

I just realized this is a bit lopsided. Ah well.

I think it is ADORABLE and totally 'her'. I can see her pairing it with a t-shirt and flannel.

Next up was NL6418 in a gray faux suede. I don't remember where or when I bought it and though the pattern calls for 3/4 yard, I'm pretty sure I used barely over 1/2 yard. It calls for an invisible zipper but I only had a couple on hand that I think I may need soon so I went with a lapped zip on this one too.

The finished length on this one is 16" so I left it as-is.  It is also a size 10. The pocket flaps are decorative but totally add 'something', IMO. I used doubled thread through my needle to topstitch the front and back center seams.

I've had a piece of olive moleskin for a version somewhere between the length of views A and D since the pattern was released. :)

Cut this out Friday morning and sewed it up Friday afternoon / night.

I considered stitching the flaps down but the skirt has already been taken and placed in her suitcase.

I was having some serious issues with the thread when doing the zipper. Lots of thread nests. I resolved it but wasn't going to be redoing the zipper. 

(the thread tails on the darts were tied off and trimmed after this photo)

I tacked down the facing (there's no waistband) at the side seams and center front by stitching in the ditch. I attached it to the zipper by hand.

The size 10 was a little big on her at the waist. Any other skirts I'd use the 10 (for her hips) and take the waist in about an inch. 

Friday night I laid out the Burda sheet and looked at how many pieces I'd need to trace off and their general size/shape (this makes tracing Burda easier, IMO). Saturday I had no energy and didn't start on it. That afternoon we were sitting on the couch and I pulled up the blog post, scrolling down to the sewn versions from the Russian Burda site.

Me: Isn't this dress SO cute?!
Her: Eh. It's okay.
Me: O_o Oh I thought the jumper style was super cute for layering.
Her: It just looks so...I don't know like a toddler.

Well...She IS her mama's child! LOL! There are a couple of pattern designers who release patterns and get prompt eyerolls from me for their 'giant toddler wear'.

Me: Oh...
Her: I mean, it would be cute on some people but I just think it would make me look really young.

Ah. Touche. The summer before starting college someone thought she was in 7th grade. And even now they think she's maybe 15. I can dig it.

Sooooooo. Yeah. Going to make the t-shirts next but after her scrolling through showing me RTW dresses that she liked, I was apparently WAY off base so neither dress will be made. And she's obsessed with velvet.

e.g.velvet pants? no child. I will not. MAYBE when you're home for break! I made a pair of pants of her once and it was a fitting nightmare. So much easier fitting my body to them than hers. Ehhhhhh. NO on the velvet pants.

A velvet dress? That I can do. I'm still thinking Burda and there were a couple styles in February of this year I think that could work if shortened a bunch.

Sigh. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Changing Gears For a Moment

I have *SO MANY THINGS*! that I want to sew :) I blame that on a plethora of awesome patterns that have entered the stash recently. But I've been sewing a lot and I have a lot of clothes. I purged fall/winter and still have a lot. And the one thing I do need to add - pants - I actually don't feel like sewing right now.


I know, right?

I still have to finish my 2 denim pieces that have been sewn for forever and I have 2 items cut out - a black wrap sweater using NL6301 and another Swoon cardigan in a black burnout jersey. I'm going to go ahead and add those to the wardrobe. Then I'm going to take a hiatus by sewing a mini-wardrobe for my daughter. This will 1) clear out some fabric 2) keep me sewing without overfilling the closet and 3) stop her whining! :-)

I initially had a New Look dress (6411) subbed for Burda 6853 which I thought she would have loved with zippers at the front of the raglan sleeves. But NL always has ridiculously wide necklines and she is definitely a crew neck kinda girl. I think she'd hate the 'openness' of that neckline even if she liked the dress. I am doing this in a cobalt blue ponte (far right) with black lace overlay as indicated on the pattern. This lace bit is a gamble. I may save this pattern for last.

McCalls 6964 I've made for her 3-4 times. I'll whip up a couple of those -- one with short sleeves and one with 3/4 sleeves (her arms are super long and I don't have that measurement so 3/4 vs long it is!). These will be from the light blue (bamboo!) jersey and gray jersey in the center.

Simplicity 1322 in the plaid wool suiting (2nd from the right).

New Look 6418 in a gray faux suede (2nd from the left). SUPER cute.

And finally this adorable dress from the October Burda (#117). This will be in the denim on the left (ignore the swatch, that's for me to wash with the denim to see how it handles).

If I were 18 I would want this dress!

And some fantastic versions from the Russian Burda:

I think it's so youthful, so fresh, so FUN!

I plan to make the skirts, then tees, then the denim Burda dress (I need to find buttons) and lastly the colorblocked Burda dress.

I'm actually excited! :-D

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Love Olive! Vogue 1465 and Vogue 9210

This was called ivy green by Fabric Mart and I have called it moss here...hey, it's in the family. :)

I knew I wanted to make the pants form V9210 in this color with gold zippers. Thought about it for WEEKS! I had a 2.5 yard cut of fabric and decided I should be able to squeeze a top out as well. Enter V1465. In true FM fashion, my 2.5 yard purchase was much closer to 3 yards and I have a substantial remnant left.

I was surprised that the pants have an actual fly front and zipper - okay fine. Then I was downright astonished that the waistband is interfaced - WHAAAAA?! But really, they work. I LOVE THEM!

Now, you are free to live life as you choose - let's be clear I am not trying to direct anyone's choices - but for *ME* leggings are to be worn under longer tops/tunics/mini dresses/etc.

*I* do not wear leggings as pants. I would never wear these without a top covering my butt. Photos as taken is to allow me to show the fit.

Too much junk-in-the-trunk to just be wearing leggings all willy nilly!

I was REALLY on the fence when I saw the waistband treatment and wondered if these would be "Big4'd" and not fit like leggings. I went with my normal pant size, an 18. I did my normal pant adjustments after measuring rise; adding 1 1/4" to the back rise and removing 5/8" from the front. After sewing, I removed another 3/8" from the front tapering to nothing about halfway to the side.

The front and back are narrow pieces and then there is a side piece. I should have shortened this at the front tapering to nothing at the back. I have a bit of fabric I want to pinch out at the high hip.

I used fusible tricot but honestly can't recall if they suggested that for interfacing or not.

I used 5" brass zippers from Wawak ($.32 each! Love that place!) instead of the recommended 7" zippers. As I was about to insert the zippers I realized they were meant to be centered (meh) and I wanted them exposed. I could not wrap my head around creating the "window" on the seam line. I had to think of it like a welt and I was able to figure it out.

It is not a pocket, there is a piece behind it that's topstitched in place when the zipper is topstitched.



I did have several moments of feeling like ALL THIS WORK FOR LEGGINGS?! but they really were worth it. With a thicker ponte, I think they would be perfect.

(true color)

I like using sew-in snaps instead of buttons on the interior.
I don't like the button pressing against the skin.


I elected to skip all of the topstitching of the seams. My Vogue 1411 pants (I have 3 pair) have routinely popped stitching. I mean they are leggings meant to fit really closely and you're losing some of the stretch by topstitching, right? Eh.

I topstitched the facing in place but again, didn't go all the way around the waistband.

I thought about it after going inside that it could be helpful to see the length. They are the perfect length on me and I'm 5'5". Take note if you are taller or have long legs.
I initially took photos of V1465 with the pants and hated them together! Mostly because I couldn't find an appropriate cardigan/ jacket to pair with them (someone needs to do laundry, majorly).

I cut V1465 with a size 14 neck/shoulder and 16 for the rest. I need an FBA with small armhole tuck/dart. And a swayback adjustment _OR_ for it to fit a bit more loosely through the hip. Or both. IDK. Will experiment and see! I really like the lines of this top and will totally make it again.

One dislike; the collar is stretched the fit the neckline - fine. But when you fold it over, it is really tough to also stretch the facing part to fit the neckline. I feel like it should be curved/graded to account or that. I ended up slipstitching the facing down by hand, not trusting a machined stitch in the ditch as suggested.

The upper back fits  nicely so the SIZE is correct...I just need some fitting tweaks which I think a slash and spread of the center back piece will get me the room I need. But DEFINITELY need an FBA. Trying this on with cardigans and jackets gave me the idea for my next project, a knock-off of this ModCloth wrap cardigan. It's been cut out already! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October Wrap-Up and November Plans

I've decided to no longer focus on yardage sewn in my wrap-ups.  So...

This month I sewed:
  • Frankenpattern of Burda 03/2013 and Simplicity 2442 in black velvet and black wool/poly blend suiting for my daughter's band gown
  • Burda 10/2016 raglan sweater in a black/white sweater knit
  • McCall's 7430 tunic/dress in charcoal ponte
  • Ottobre 5-2016 sweater in textured double knit for my Fabric Mart project
  • McCall's 7392 denim skirt (still awaiting buttonholes/buttons and belt carriers - it's coming!)
  • New Look 6230 raglan tee using jersey remnants from my Swoon cardigan and S2369 top (it's been completed since this photo)
  • Vogue 1465 turtleneck shell in a moss ponte
  • Vogue 9210 leggings in the same moss ponte
  • Butterick 6244 sweater coat in a heavy double knit
  • Swoon Cardigan in teal sweaterknit (unselfish sewing!)
Just needs hems. Isn't that color lovely!?!

I hope to get photos of the Vogue top and pants this week and finish the denim skirt, the Burda jeans I cut way back when (they too are in need of belt carriers and button/buttonhole), and hem the cardigan.

I was afraid if I didn't make my Clare coat last month it would hit the back burner pretty hard. Sigh. And it doesn't help that I bought a cuter, more streamlined 'puffy' coat last month. I want to make it though! Blergh. Maybe I'll make it this winter, for when we start the downturn from *COLD* to cold. LOL! Although...when the mercury rises above freezing in the spring we pretty much lose our minds!

November: I WANT ALL THE DRESSES!!!!!!

WIP: New Look 6301 (Made twice before)

Which, I saw a wrap sweater on Modcloth that I'm going to use this pattern to replicate by adding a bottom band, no ties, and long sleeves. AND I want it as a top. AND I want a long sleeved version (didn't have enough fabric to add to the sleeve length on this one). So, if you see 4 versions of this pattern this month, don't be shocked! LOL!

Also want:
M7506 in a colorblocked set up
Going for view B with slightly longer sleeves, but not as long as view C. I'm going to use white for the bodice, a large, graphic houndstooth for the skirt and black binding.

M7464 in a colorful boucle with piping

The fabric is such a pretty print that I want it be able to wear it alone but I've never had a dress where the sleeves were lined. I don't know why it seems so weird to me?? Maybe it seems too formal? I'm not sure but my brain is having a hard time processing it.  

V9201 in a plum crepe

The line drawing isn't that inspiring but I saw it made up and fell in love with it. I'm going for view C in a shorter length. I'm all about tie-necks right now (wearing one today!)

And of course I want to finish up the details on the projects from October