Sunday, January 29, 2017

Finished: McCall's 6886 and 7476

I posted here about wanting to try Rhonda Buss' cold shoulder mod tutorial on M6886 and I had this cool striped double knit in stash. Black and white stripes = classic!! And the stripe pattern was begging for something figure hugging. Light stripes at bust and hips (because yes please on those areas being accentuated!!) and dark stripes at the waist. And because I am still anti-long sleeves, I went with a shortened length here.

This pattern is cut 14/16/18 - 14 neckline and shoulders, 16 bust and waist, 18 hip. I'd initially used 3/8" seam allowances and went back through and took it in another 3/8" so a total of 1.5" all around. I keep forgetting I get a little swayback puddling in this dress but don't want a CB seam. I will do a cheater adjustment next time.

My stripes matched before I went back to take it in. Oh well.

I plan to use this pattern with mod for the contest; I will use the crew neck though instead of the scoop. Next time I will take just a PINCH from the top of the sleeve. It was slightly loose and I did a hack job when taking it in to pull that sleeve in closer to my arm. And I'll cut the shoulders in a little. Otherwise I really like it and it is a fun dress!

One problem - this fabric is WARM. So it's for winter. For sure. I'm a tiny bit bummed because I ordered a navy/white colorway at the same time and for me, navy/white stripes scream summer. But this fabric will be much too warm in any summertime garment.

Rhonda's instructions include everything so be sure to head over and check it out if you want to make your own! (nayy)

For the vest (which was actually made first!), I had the smaller envelope and went with a size 14. I did a slash and spread because we know I need extra butt room! I also needed more sleeve/arm room and will add there should I make this again. I love it, but not sure how many knit vests with cut-on sleeves I need ;-) I have seen cute versions with the collar but because I am a bit rectangle-y front on I always worry about the possible bathrobe look. So I'm glad I left the collar off.

I prefer it open

I really enjoyed making this. The patch pockets are a nice size, the band/facing went on perfectly ... it just went together well. The buttonhole was a challenge on my machine, even with the area interfaced (both sides).

I discovered I prefer it over sleeveless/short sleeves even though my initial plan was to pair it with long sleeved tops/dresses. I like the length and have worn it twice - with a dress and a skirt that hits just a few inches below the hemline.

If you were thinking about this one I'd definitely say give it a shot!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sudoku Wardrobe Contest

I am SO EXCITED!! about the PR Sudoku wardrobe contest! I had read a bit on various blogs about the concept but the official rules came out Friday.

16 total items; 4 are footwear. That leaves 4 tops, 4 bottoms and 4 "other". The other can be jewelry, scarves/hats/gloves, jackets/cardigans/vests, etc. and at least 10 must be sewn. It's going to be a busy couple of months for me but I may be able to squeak out 10 items. Well 9...the belt is a 'sit in front of the tv and braid leather cord' project.

I'm leaning towards a knit for the print top because everything else is a bit more involved. 2 pairs of jeans, a lined jacket, 2 button front shirts... I've made the jacket, skirt, top, flare jeans before and will likely make my TNT tee, a V-neck M6964 for the print top. The vest is an unknown but I want something interesting and may check through my Burda mags. If I don't come up with something to fit the fabric I have on hand, I'll use S1499 with some modifications.

Row 1:
Printed burnout jersey using M6964
RTW Pleated skirt
White boucle jacket using S1699

I will be making the belt! It's an easy project :)
White cotton twill using Lekala 5871
Navy sateen using S2255

Row 3:
Grey denim with the never released (but given to Birkin testers) Baste & Gather Kendall skinnies
Grey jersey using McCalls 6886 with cold shoulder mod
Olive cotton twill, pattern unknown

Row 4:
I saw a cute necklace made from strips of fabric and combined with prepackaged beading and rings. I may try it if I have time. Otherwise I own a necklace that works here
Green/white gingham using Burda 7136
Light wash denim using Baste & Gather Birkin Flares

This came right on time too! I am awaiting a couple of packages to arrive from some RTW shopping. I got some amazing deals at JCrew and Ann Taylor - the items below cost me under $200 total and I think they are all "me" and will take me into spring nicely.

I'd made this collage and was thinking of how well everything goes together and then I saw the PR post about the contest! WIN!

Ann Taylor: Both sweaters, both turtlenecks, black pants
J. Crew: White shell, pleated skirt, plum pants, printed tee

I think the 2 mini wardrobes will work well together; no not everything piece for piece, but there are definitely some coordination between the two. I've accepted my love of grey, white, black, blue. Those are my neutrals. I can't stop buying them!

I've done another wardrobe purge - some newer items are in the naughty box (I should bring back "where are they now"!) - and I am getting a clearer vision of what I'd like my style to be. Well when it's not frozen outside. (When it's frozen, my style is "fully covered with no air pockets!) And I have never quit RTW. Ann Taylor, LOFT and J.Crew work for me in general. The only item I'm worried about is the white tunic cause butt room. It's cute so fingers crossed :)

Are you joining in on the PR contest!? I need to print and assemble the Kendall skinny jean pattern and decide on a pattern for the vest.  I had originally typed here that I was waiting till February to buy fabric. I saw a possible contender at Cali fabrics but not enough yardage. Nothing I liked at Mood, FFC, I put 3 yards of denim in my maybe later list at FM, and contacted StyleMaker Fabrics about a nice light colored denim on their site (too light).

And then I woke up today to a 60% off A-D sale at FM! WIN!!!!!!! So I ended up getting my denim for $5.20/yd! I was prepared to try SRH next week but no need.

Until later!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Finished: McCall's 6612

This is an oldie but goodie, now OOP.

I made a wearable muslin of this pattern a couple of years ago and the fabric was pretty nice...but the top was a little too tight. I used it as a pj top to go with the leggings I'd made from a different McCall's.

I never stopped thinking about this pattern and when deciding what to do with my sweater knit from StyleMaker (NAYY), I stumbled across a pattern from the October 2014 Burda magazine. I managed to collect all of 2014...EXCEPT OCTOBER!

I didn't want to pay $6 for just the dress when I am digging the entire issue; I'd rather pay $12 and buy the issue (I've since ordered it). So into the (massive) stash I went! AH! M6612 isn't *as* interesting as the Burda but I was happy to finally revisit it! I liked the first one so much I made another soon after.

Paired with my NL6481 jacket

The pattern is cut with a size 14 neckline and shoulders, 16 through the bust and waist and 18 through the hip.  On the black and white version I added 2" to the length (fabric from Fabric Mart).

This pattern goes together so nicely and the finishing of the neckline is perfect. I chose 3/4 sleeves because they're currently 'my jam' and hemmed with a twin needle.

The cowl facing is caught in the first couple of inches of the side seam. The back neckline is narrow hemmed and then the facing and front are wrapped around, sewn, and trimmed...and it turns out so neat!

I've worn the orange version a couple of times already. Love the color, the fit and the fabric. The black and white jersey is a much lighter weight than the sweater knit and we were in a deep freeze around here so it hasn't made it out of the closet yet. 

It's been 40 degrees F the past few days -- a major heatwave. Maybe Saturday is the day! :)

I still have to get photos of M7476! This weekend for sure. I wore it the other day and it's a cool little vest.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Some Sunday Miscellany

First, I started cutting out the Burda jacket. I still need to get lining, as mentioned, so don't look for it to be finished anytime soon!

Fabric up close. It's a wool blend herringbone with faint blue and green vertical stripes

So far I have the front and back assembled. Usually with projects like this I cut pattern pieces out as I need them - unless I'm worried about a fabric shortage. Then, I lay everything out. I've also cut everything single layer so far. 

Remember in my 2017 post I mentioned wanting a more casual style coat? Here are a couple I saw and really liked. 

I'm not trying to copy either, they're just inspiration...the types of coats that work with a variety of outfits. I think I'm going to use this Burda for my casual coat. I have a plaid coating that could work with the contrast pieces cut on the bias. Especially since I'll probably shorten this a bit.

Because sometimes you just have to treat yourself...I saw this adorable mug that was free with a coffee purchase. So I picked up some salted caramel pods for my Keurig (which, with shipping it was about the same price as just the mug. But "free"! LOL!!)

IDK how long the sale is happening (coffee and mugs are on sale). Code ASMG gets you the mug free.  NAYY!! I just think their travel mugs are cool and I'm always down to try new coffee brands!!

I also took advantage of the BMV sale and free shipping and picked up 2 new patterns. Between my BMV membership, a 10% off coupon code and free shipping I spent under $9 for two patterns. Doesn't really get better than that for Vogue!

Kay Unger 1537. I love the dress and coat separately more than I like them together.

Lia Lia 1531. 
I loved the drama, saw the RTW version and decided I would just jump off the ledge and make it!
You know it's winter so this is an 'in the future' project. 

Lastly, I was online and came across this Alice and Olivia dress from Spring 2017. It made me like the Burda (left) from 12/2016 a whole lot more!!! I would totally give it a waistline but leave the Burda hemline. I DO like it as a maxi but my brain says maxi dress = summer. And again, tundra. Summer doesn't come 'til mid-July! LOL!!!

So this dress will round out my 2016 Burda challenge! 

That led me down a rabbit hole and I really dig the A+O design aesthetic! These looks are what I would LOVE to achieve as causal spring/summer looks. 

So shameless copying because that dress above is $485...the studded jacket below is $1,395. A little bit out of my budget :-p

Other random sewing related things...

Someone had posted on IG about having an issue with neatness on the waistband of their jeans. I don't remember where I read it (it's not *my* tip!) but I did a jeans waistband this way and never looked back!

I assemble the waistband and facing, under stitching and all...then sew the facing to the jeans first, folding the whole assembly to the outside and pressing in place, then topstitching. It's neat inside and out!

Style Arc Sandra jeans - I'd used a dark blue for the bobbin thread.

I think I'm going to use M6886 and Rhonda Buss' sleeve tutorial to make a cold shoulder dress

Photo from Rhonda's blog

That's all, for now! :)

Up next, my review of M7476. I really like this vest and could see using it to make a 'duster' especially to mimic the A+O jacket!

Friday, January 13, 2017

WIP: Burda 11/2007 Jacket

I hope to make this jacket next month; I cannot find the danged lining fabric and will have to pick some up. My budget is really strict this first few months of the year so I'll get some at the end of the month when my 'craft budget' is replenished.

I only had the German copy of this issue and someone kindly emailed me the English directions. These older Burdas are nice with their limited number of patterns! So much easier to trace!


I traced a straight 42, no adjustments and sewed up the bodice.

Shoulders too long (expected)
Too small in the waist (it happens!)
No swayback needed (YAY!)
A little excess fabric in the armhole (BUT the sleeve wasn't attached yet.)

Removed 1/2" from the shoulder (at the seamline, tapering to nothing at the notches)
Took the shoulder up 1/2"

What's THAT wrinkle?
Well, it doesn't really matter because the bicep is too tight. So it feels overall tight and uncomfortable because I can't move my arms.
I put the sleeve in terribly.

Added 1" to the bicep
ONLY removed shoulder length, did not take the shoulder up

YAY! It looks pretty good. 
Wait, where did the sleeve twist come from? It's not there in the un-adjusted sleeve

So was it my adjustment? It's a 2-piece sleeve and I only added to the upper piece. Do I need to adjust the lower piece?

I will add to the waist (It is VERY unlikely that I will wear the jacket buttoned - I work in a casual dress environment. But jackets SHOULD be able to close)
I will add 5/8" to the sleeve length
I'll try to figure out what went wrong with the twisted sleeve. I could have possibly sent it off grain when adjusting. 
The jacket length is perfect. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Finished: McCall's 7538 Dress *AND* Top!

It's luuuuuurve.

If you recall I'd planned on making M6612 in a solid over my vacation. I made the print one and thankfully started looking for another "interesting" knit dress in the stash. Well, I found it!

I scored this heathered knit in one of those pre-cut fabric deals from Fabric Mart. It's a lovely jersey. Nice weight and drape, great recovery and completely opaque.

This photo shows the fabric well. I am normally quite lazy about hemming knit sleeves; I turn up and stitch. Well, I ended up measuring up 1 1/4" while the sleeve was flat, and using the chalk mark I folded up and pressed then turned it under for a double fold. It's so neat! I won't be lazy anymore!!

I cut the pattern with a size 14 neckline and shoulders and a 16 for the rest. I'd posted on IG when I saw that the front and back skirt were the same. I knew I needed an adjustment in back or else my skirt wouldn't be level. Shout out to Ebi of Making the Flame for the suggestion...I like shortcuts and she mentioned adding directly on the fabric. I added 3/4" at the center back grading to nothing about 2/3 of the way to the side seam. Win!

I also did a 1" full bicep adjustment and ended up sewing the side seams at 3/8" after getting the front and backs assembled. I should also note I did not hem the dress.

The front crossover isn't really a crossover after all! So you get the waist definition without any extra bulk. The front bodice is 5 pieces - sewn together to mimic a cross front. Takes a little more time but it works. There are two back views - a 'crossover' and solid. The solid back has one less pattern piece but the lower portion mimics the front.

With the pattern pieces having such interesting shapes I cut everything out, left the pattern piece with the cut fabric and "assembled" the front and back flat on the cutting table before sewing anything together. Also, mind all of your notches! It all goes together just perfectly.

If you look closely here, you'll see the seam cuts right across the lower portion of my bustline. I added 3/4" on the pattern piece on the entire lower front. And then cut out the top! :)

paired with S1322 skirt

All fabric from stash. The black is the burnout jersey I made my Swoon cardigan with. The brown is the wool jersey I made my Jalie pleated cardigan with and the grey was a cut of jersey I had in stash. I had another one that would have been more in line weight-wise with the other two but I wanted this color. I should've chosen the other one! This fabric wasn't fun to hem. Sheesh.

I am really happy with both of these and if you were considering this pattern I say GO FOR IT!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Wait...What about December? And a Self-Induced FAIL!

:) I never did a December wrap-up but did include my December sewing in my year end wrap up.

I sewed a lot during the month! 4 things before my vacation and 5 things during (in December...and I sewed 2 items during vacay in January).

For the month of December I sewed:
  • Simplicity 8014 top in navy poly crepe
  • New Look 6301 top in black ponte (bodice of a dress with band added, to-be-blogged)
  • McCall's 6612 dress x2 in pumpkin sweater knit and black & white print jersey (TBB)
  • McCall's 7251 shirt in checked shirting
  • Simplicity 1322 skirt in grey RPL suiting
  • Butterick 5760 skirt in camel wool
  • Vogue 9032 pants in grey RPL suiting
  • McCall's 7538 dress in plum jersey (TBB)
  • McCall's 7538 top in 3 prints to copy the cover art (TBB)

FAIL: The Vogue pants. More on that in a moment.

Favorite: I can have 2 right? Of course I can! Simplicity 8014 while not perfect is just super, duper gorgeous to me. I love the fit and the tie neck and am planning to make it again and think the pattern is deserving of silk. I won't use those sad facings though. But then there is B5760. Sure it's just a lined skirt, but I want to hug it. I want to carry it around with me in my pocket and admire it...

Accomplishments: While I took my time and did the skirt up right, I am actually always SUPER proud of myself for any sort of pattern "hack" as it just is not my thing. The NL6301 top makes me proud! I wanted a wrap "sweater"...something pullover with a wrap front but no ties. Then I saw this sweater from Anthro and was all I CAN DO THAT!! And so I did! YAY!

So vacation sewing included:
M6612 dress in black/white jersey
S1322 skirt
B5760 skirt
V9032 pants (wadder)
M7358 dress which I then immediately cut the top out. Love this pattern.
M7476 vest (January project)

I was going to start on my daughter's pants and had no zipper that matched. Knowing I had just placed an order at Wawak, where regular nylon zippers are about $.25, I couldn't fathom going to JA and paying over $1 (assuming a coupon...I think the regular price is $1.99). So they are waiting until my order arrives.

I found myself home alone on the last day of vacation and what else would one do when they've already done laundry and cleaned house and washed their hair?! (hair washing is a once every 5-7 day deal and it's a "thing"!). So I cut out a pattern!

I wasn't initially planning to use THIS pattern for my knit vest but it works. Again, review to come! (The blog will be busy, busy in the coming weeks with the backlog I have. I've got 4 draft posts already!)

McCall's 7476 (Finished up tonight)

Sooooo about those pants. You know the ones... The pattern I've made 7 times before?

Yeah, that one.

I was rocking and rolling. Did the pockets, inserted a fairly nice fly front even on this spongey RPL...I had the back all assembled and ready to sew the inseams and looked at the back of the pants and went "hmm..." because they looked huge. I started pinning the inseams and there I had an "oh crap!" moment. I did not say 'crap' mind you.

I RAN downstairs where my pattern pieces were sitting in a pile and there I saw it...I'd cut the front pieces from view C (my intended view) with the back pieces from view B.

Here is a previously sewn view C:
Bootcut. Fitted through the hips and thighs. All nicely tapering in and out as needed.

Here is a previously sewn view B:
Trouser cut. Falls from the high hip to the floor. Full leg.

I whined that I would have to take them apart and recut the backs. Luckily, before I undid all that serger stitching and seams I pulled out the back pattern pieces for each view.

The correct piece is on bottom in both shots

Uhmm...yeah. No. Recutting wasn't an option.

I hadn't even looked at these photos above and somehow thought they fit similarly through the hip and butt and I could just reshape the legs:

Previously sewn back over this back

Well I did that with the understanding before hand that I would have to be okay with these being a wadder. I did some cutting and sewing and tweaking and no. No. No. No.

You may want to avert your eyes.

A day or so after the fact I was scrolling through my phone looking for something else and I swear to you I was "what/who is that/this?!" because h-o-r-r-i-f-i-c.

Are you STILL looking!? Fine! :-p

I looked at these photos and pulled those pants right off my body and threw them in the trash.


Up next, review for M7538 dress and top. I totally have photos ready to go on other things but not these but I love them so much AND it's a newer pattern that I'm bumping them to the front for a blog post!