Friday, April 28, 2017

April Wrap-up and Dress-a-Palooza

Vacation sewing is done. I have an insane workload right now and other stuff to get done before we go and I don't want to rush to try to get anything made. I ended up buying a pair of shorts for Disney Theme Park day. Remember those Style Arc bermudas that I didn't like? I may revisit them.

I'm thinking the "success" of shorts is all about where they hit on the leg and I think the SA shorts were too long for me. It's the reason I don't wear capris - they look terrible on me. Crops are okay (IMO that means closer to ankle length than mid-calf)...

I got these roll-cuff bermuda shorts from LOFT and they are AWESOME! I had to stop myself from buying a handful!

April Wrap-up:

In April I sewed:
  • Kwik Sew 4169 dress in a floral ITY
  • Burda 6/2012 #129 dress in navy/white gingham cotton
  • Burda 4/2017 #207 dress in black/white striped jersey
  • McCall's 6654 skirt in printed double knit
  • Burda 10/2015 #109 in the Thakoon sweatshirt fabric with a hint of pleather
  • McCall's 7577 jumpsuit in a print blouseweight woven
  • Vogue 1051 dress in print blouseweight woven
I'll schedule posts over the next week or so for the unblogged items.

Favorites: I have worn the McCall's skirt twice since making it just over 2 weeks ago. I love it! I am SUPER into the weird Vogue dress!

Fail: While the ruched dress didn't work out for me, I don't think it's fully a fail. I will be 'stealing' that scoop neck because it was made for me!  (and yes, I've tried to like this on me but NOPE. But that's okay!! I don't get too bummed about sewing projects gone bad.)

Accomplishments: Knocking off the J.Crew dress! It makes me smile whenever I look at and I just can't wait for summer days! Also, working with the Thakoon print and pleather. I wanted to imitate the original RTW top but it was so hard for me to do weird things with the flowers :)

I am just over halfway through my Fabric budget! Oops! March was rough! LOL!  This month, I bought a couple of staples; a ton of black suiting (it's so nice!), plus a couple of other cuts of suiting, and took my chances on a bundle. It's an okay selection of fabric.

Planning to make overalls; I also bought a 4 yard cut of denim from SR Harris. Now, all of this is stash fabric. Sigh. That wasn't my intent.


May Plans:
For May, I have 3 must haves and then I'll get started on Dress-a-Palooza!
  • Birkin flares in a light-to-mid wash denim
  • Nettie bodysuit in a teal textured knit
  • Swing tees (comparing a Butterick to the Dixie DIY concert tee)
I love dresses. I always have. We barely have warm weather and I am seriously side-eyeing all of my beloved V9032 pants. My slim ankle-length pants are okay but everything else feels like too much.

So I have a plan to make All.The.Dresses! Okay so this is a pretty exhaustive list and if I don't get to them all, I don't get to them all. And there's no specific timeline, just things I want (*which is subject to change at a moment's notice!)


Burda 5/2017
I mean, right? I love everything about this. I hope to find a similar color fabric too!! Now, true to Burda form, this dress requires a stretch woven. They love stretch wovens over at Burda.

Burda 2/2013
I think in the right fabric (not white), this can work as a work dress. The trick would be finding Petersham that wide.

Butterick 6333
This is just so "me".

Vogue 1329

I've always liked this pattern. I'd like to copy the pattern here!

New Look 6067
I don't think the pattern cover does this one justice. I bought this off of eBay after seeing a couple of cute versions. I am thinking view D (red). I can't have ALL sleeveless dresses!

Simplicity 8175

Not a dress but this skirt is so chic and stylish. I will be making this one for sure.

Vogue 1051 as a skirt. That is happening. For sure.


Sewaholic Saltspring

I've wanted this since it came out. And I snagged the paper pattern when someone was selling off stash. I have a beautiful floral rayon challis for it.

Vogue 1501

Okay so Vogue's photo leaves much to be desired. But there are a couple of seriously awesome versions of this one out there. If you leave off the crazy shoulder pads and not use a crazy's a VERY 'effortlessly chic' dress! This may get bumped up as I think it would be awesome for an event I am attending. DONE!

Hey June Charleston

So I'm by and large a Big4/Burda fan and not much from Indie designers entice me...but I really like this dress!! It has 2 skirt options and several sleeve options...but I think I like this view and sleeveless best. It's in the 'play' category as I plan to make it more bodycon in fit but it can obviously be a work dress too! And I may make it with sleeves for work!

Vogue 1531

I have no place to wear this. I don't care! I want to make it.

Well that's it for this epic post of epicness. :-D

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vacation Sewing: McCall's 7577 Romper

I almost referred to it as a 'comeback'...but in all fairness this was completed before the failed striped dress :)

Yet another case of "SQUEEEE! I love that and have to have it!" when this came out. I really want to make the red jumpsuit version too, but knew the sleeveless romper was up first. 

There are already a couple versions out there and I couldn't wait to tackle my own. I wanted those ruffled shorts for sure, and sleeveless of course for vacation.

Don't mind my bad posture on the right...
The bodice is roomy but not at all sloppy.  I like the blousing a lot.

Pattern Description:

Loose fitting pull on romper and jumpsuit have shaped back yoke, sleeve and length variations.

Pattern Sizing:

6-14 and 14-22. I cut my normal Big4 size: 14 neck and shoulder, 16 through the bust and waist, 18 through the hip. On the front of the shorts, I cut the crotch curve at a 16. I didn't make any adjustments on the bodice for the larger back shorts because of the elastic waist.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

I created my own view! :) I made the ruffled romper (modeled) but without sleeves.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes. It's all pretty clear cut, IMO. And the order of everything makes sense.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I don't know the purpose of the puny little pleat in back! I would just gather the back to fit if I made another version.

You can barely find the pleat!

It's tough to get woven jumpsuits with no closure on and off. Make sure you allow the bodice to be nice and roomy.  I can get it on with minimal stress but getting it off is a little bit of an act in acrobatics!

I LOVE IT otherwise! When I first finished it, I was on the fence. I thought it looked too much like a *tiny* dress. But now, I think it's super cute and it fits well and I love the print. SOLD!

I was leaning forward a little and looking down. It doesn't really show that much cleavage!

It is short though! It feels *just* past my butt but I guess it IS a few inches past :)

Fabric Used:

Precut rayon blend fabric from FabricMart. Lace was in the stash (I think it's cotton) but also purchased from FM.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Cut sizing as I needed it as mentioned above. I used premade bias tape -- make your own if you's a little too stiff. But this fabric would NOT press and I wasn't about to stress myself out over it. I couldn't find the plain black cotton I knew I had (which of course, I found it yesterday!) so I used premade.

I normally press seams to the back, but I went to the front so it wouldn't show through the lace.

I do find the elastic waist quite bulky. There is a 1" seam allowance at the waist.  If I make it again I'll just use a 5/8" seam with 3/8" elastic. I won't bother shortening the bodice because a little extra length would be nice!

Added 1" to the back rise - this was JUST barely enough. Jumpsuits/rompers require more crotch depth. The norm for me is to add 1" to the back rise. I could've added a little more. Also, I normally shorten the front rise about 3/4". I cut it smaller and did not shorten it. 

Lastly, I have a tailor's tack where I want to sew a snap. It can fall open depending on how I move. Necessary to get it on and off, but I don't want to be exposing myself!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I would! I want to make the sleeveless jumpsuit!


WINNER! It feels very summery despite the darker fabric and I adore it with these wedges!

Next up...

I had to do some reworking of the sweater I was making with that Thakoon and pleather. It's almost done. And I'm also working on the cool, quirky dress from Vogue 1501 for an event I have before the trip. Which almost got nixed as a dress and left as a skirt when I got to this point...

...But the bodice required a ton of work so it will be a dress...but I think I will be ALSO making it as a skirt using the same fabric! It is a beautifully fitting skirt!!! More on that later!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Burda Challenge 4/2017

Sigh. All good things must come to an end.

I made the Kwik Sew dress, the J.Crew knock-off, I just finished M7577 (review to come-it's hanging up in the pic above!) and figured this knit t-shirt dress from the April issue of Burda would be an easy and quick make.

Back in the summer of 2015 I made a fitted knit dress with ruching from Burda

There are things to love - the underarm gussets - but the ruching down CF and CB, I didn't love.

Why I thought I would get a 'love' from the 4/2017 dress is anyone's guess.

Pattern Description:
Gathers along with the side and back seams let this dress sewn in jersey sit beautifully on the hips. A cutout in back is a sexy peek-a-boo, though it is placed so that a bra can still be worn underneath.

Pattern Sizing:
36-44. I cut my normal Burda size. I use a 40 neckline and shoulder, 42 for the rest, and graded the back skirt to a 44.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were. It is easy to put together. I did end up serging my seams first and gathering them after. I brought the threads to one side and tied them off to secure.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the IDEA of it. The scoop neck is gorgeous and the cutout is cool. I dislike the ruching. I disliked the original length

Fabric Used:
Rayon/poly jersey from Fabric Mart

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1" bicep adjustment straight through the hem, which was just barely enough! Burda and their super skinny sleeves.

Added 1" to sleeve length and it was still hitting at an awkward place so I added sleeve bands.

Cut 4" from the bottom after it was assembled. I don't usually add hem allowance to the straight sized Burda and used a 1.25" hem.

Based on my fabric, I cut the neck binding about an inch shorter than they suggested.

That's my favorite part! The scoop neck is so perfect for me!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
No. It's cute but not for me.

Meh. This one didn't even rate a full-on photo session.

I was on a roll and was excited about this one. It didn't turn out but could be cute for someone else.

It needs to be VERY fitted to get the ruching to sit properly...but then you have on a skintight jersey dress!

Because I can't get this Thakoon piece I scooped from FM off the brain, I'm going to knock out my project with it before moving on to anything else.

Plus faux leather! :-D

Friday, April 14, 2017

Contest Sewing: Burda 6/2012 #129

EEP! Let's start by saying, I love this dress. Everything about it. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
Pattern Review:

Pattern Sizing:
I used various sizing based on my experience sewing Burda magazine patterns. I used 40 neckline and shoulder (front and back), 42 front and 44 back.

Fabric Used:
Kaufmann cotton 1/8" gingham in navy and white from Craftsy and white cotton batiste from Hobby Lobby.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I decided to make the bodice portion about 30" finished and a 10" peplum. I made the lining first to make sure I liked the length (and to check for any other pattern adjustments). 

I added 1.5" when I cut the fashion fabric. I also moved the bust dart point back an inch. Burda bust darts aren't quite right for me. I need to figure it out. I don't think it's just too high or too long, I think it's more the positioning. They kind of go straight from the side seam toward the bust point and I prefer them to be angled upward more.

I cut the belt to finish at about 80" long using two pieces of fabric 5" wide by 40" long. 

For fine fabrics like these, I like to just trim 1/8" from the lining at the neckline and armholes to eliminate the need to understitch. It works very well, especially with lightweight fabrics. 

Using the clean finish method where you leave 3 seams open, I attached the lining and fabric at the neckline and armholes, trimmed and clipped as needed, and pulled the backs through the shoulder seams to turn it right side out. Then inserted the zipper, and sewed the side seams as one starting with the lining, continuing through the armhole, to the fashion fabric. I slipstitched the lining to the zipper by hand. Also, I use a 1" strip of lightweight fusible with invisible zippers.


For the flounce I made a rectangle the width of the pattern pieces and 10" long. I slashed and spread 1.5" between each section. Should I use this method again, I'll do more than 4 sections. I then traced that onto a new sheet of paper and added seam and hem allowances.

I attached the flounce to the skirt with a 3/8" seam and did a 5/8" narrow hem on the bottom of the flounce. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will totally sew this dress again as intended! It's a beautiful silhouette. 

I am so happy that I went for it! I absolutely LOVE everything about this dress. It just screams summer in both style and fabric, the fit is great, and the back v makes me happy!

J.Crew dress: $128
My version: $15.60

*I am wearing a normal bra with this dress. When your bra band sits where it's "supposed to" aka below the shoulder blades, even the deep V is okay! However, it would be really easy to raise that on the pattern piece. Just lay it on paper, move the center back up sufficiently, match the shoulder line and then connect the two points.

I feel fancy!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Vacation Sewing; Kwik Sew 4169 (sort of)

I wanted this pattern when it was first released, but I think KS may have still been being sold at the higher price point. And while I liked it a lot, I didn't like it for $6.99. I snagged it up from one of the many BMV sales and the surplice front + racer back + maxi length had me swooning over it for my upcoming trip.

I'd purchased this cut of tropical print ITY from Fabric Mart towards the end of the summer season. But then switched to fall sewing shortly after it came. Once I got the pattern I knew this pattern plus this fabric would happen.

Except I never checked the fabric recommendations on the pattern. Oops. The maxi length takes 4 yards because the skirt is cut on the bias. Now, there have been times where I've taken a knit bias cut skirt pattern and just used the straight grain, but this pattern has a lot of flare/swing to it in the hem and I really didn't want to mess that up. It really didn't matter though. Once I pulled out the fabric - OY! I had only gotten 2 yards of it! Sheesh. I'd already been contemplating a gathered skirt so this sealed the deal.

A word on gathered skirts - I LIKE THEM! But only when it's a fabric that is light enough / has enough drape that the gathers lie nice and pretty and don't poof. And, not criticizing anyone else, but I just don't have that type of relationship with my body that I feel I always need to cover/camouflage/'fix' things. I have a little belly - so? A gathered skirt is not going to change the fact that I am barely 5'5" and weigh 185 ish pounds! So I wear what I like despite "rules" and if it isn't the most "flattering" (I've come to hate that word). Anyway...onward!! :-p

I mean, does this NOT say, "I'm on vacation!!!"?!

I measured the original skirt length and basically just cut my fabric at the length minus 2 inches. Then, I cut the fabric in half on the fold line. Giving me two panels about 30" wide and 41" long. I serged the sides and ran a basting stitch on each panel, gathered it and then attached it to the bodice. There is 1/4" elastic in the waist and I wish I had used some clear elastic at the shoulders. It's pretty heavy and the skirt does pull the bodice down a bit even with the elastic.

You'll have to take my word that I'll wear a convertible bra :-p 
I wasn't about to change bras to take these pics! LOL!!!!

OMG THE NARROW HEMMING!!! Wahhhhhhh! I hate every moment of hemming that neckline and armholes. Every. Stinking. Moment. It took more time to do just that piece than to cut out and sew the rest of the dress!!!

so much work. so much steam. so many pins.

I serged the bottom and turned up a 5/8" hem.

This is my "press your knits!!" PSA:

The top is after I turned the belt, the bottom is after it's been pressed (with a press cloth). Ahhhh.

Kwik Sew tops/bodices seem to be built for a very, very broad woman. I recall needing to take out oodles of fabric when I made that jacket and it was still way too big. I cut a Medium!! I ended up taking it in under the arm 5/8" on each side. That's a total of 2.5 inches removed. In.sane.  The only other adjustment I made was a 5/8" swayback adjustment. It was perfect.

At any rate, I LOVE THIS DRESS! It's so pretty and vacation-y and girly and flowy and fun!!

Because what's a blog post without silly pics!?

I *love* these sandals! (They're about 2 years old now)

I plan to either travel in it heading to Orlando or coming home - knit dresses = maximum comfort for me!! Or maybe out to dinner one night.

I could see making this again at some point in a stripe to take advantage of those bias-cut skirt seams. I recall making McCall's 7121 and for whatever reason that dress was just awful on me. I'm guessing the surplice front is what makes this one a win.

Up Next - my knock off of a gingham J.Crew dress - both because it is gorgeous and screams summer-- and because of the Bargainsta Fashionista contest on PR.