Friday, June 30, 2017

June Wrap Up and Mid-Year Check-In

Is anyone else so confused at how fast June passed? Or how we're already through half of 2017?? Anyone??!

June Wrap Up: This month was epic! :-O
  • McCall's 6519 tops x2 in rayon challis
  • McCall's 7465 dress in magenta rayon jersey
  • McCall's 6996 cardigan in coral poly jersey
  • Vogue 1501 skirt in yellow poly crepe
  • CC Nettie in ivory ponte (possible wadder)
  • Burda top in blush silk (wadder)
  • Burda 2/2017 in denim
  • Sew Simple 1523 (also S1716) in magenta rayon jersey (to be blogged)
  • McCall's 6752 top in print ITY (tbb)
  • Burda 5/2017 in yellow/white polka-dot cotton lawn (tbb)
  • Burda 6/2017 dress in black & white suiting (wip)
New (worn and unblogged!) tops
Favorite(s): Hard to choose a favorite this month! All the non-fails really make me happy for different reasons. The McCall's tops in that they are nice and cool in that challis and easy to wear. The McCall's dress makes me grin. I love the color of the cardigan and Vogue skirt. The denim dress is just so much fun...The Burda tie-front top is adorable! June was a good month! And I swear I'm moving on from tops.

Wait. Not yet. A couple more to go! :-p Definitely want S8385 in white after seeing Erica's version.

Accomplishments: I used grommets for the first time ever and I 'done good'! :-D

Fails: Oh that silk Burda top. Forgetting to add seam allowances was such a bone-headed move. Woe. Is. Me!


Recap of 2017 goals and progress thus far:

1) Buy patterns thoughtfully; cull at some point (early) this year.

Hmmm. I think I've been doing this. Ehhh I just checked. I've purchased 29 patterns so far in 2017. I guess that isn't too bad. An average of 5 per month. I haven't culled yet.

 2) Continue my Burda challenge (okay fine I didn't mention this but I'm totally doing it again). I will sew a Burda a month from that particular month; but from any year.

I scratched this option and wanted to do the traditional challenge. So far, I've sewn from February-May and June is in progress. I have a January project planned so I should be back on track in July.

 3) Consider dropping Ottobre depending on how spring/summer looks

I like the issues I have; yet I've still only sewn 1 thing from all 3. I have not decided on my subscription yet. The sub is relatively cheap and I don't lack in storage space. I know I've just been being lazy. With Big4 and Burda I know what size to use and what adjustments to do. I will have to start from scratch on these things with Ottobre.

 4) Buy fabric thoughtfully. Limit fabric purchases to $500 for the year; excluding lining and interfacing.
hahahahahahaha! Thoughtfully. I wish. More like, I'm pretty sure I NEEEEEED that NOWWWWW. I am hopeless. HOPELESS!!

I've spent $506.65. Oops. That's a lot...109 yards of fabric. And I'm feeling o.v.e.r.w.h.e.l.m.e.d!! by my stash right now. So we will see what the rest of the year brings.

5) Sew a fitted, lined blazer
Not yet though I got a PERFECT black wool suiting from FM to do so. I should do it in August before the temps start to drop.

6) Sew 3 new outerwear pieces
Three? I said that?! Well, I have a jacket (B6141) that is going on year 3 as a UFO and every time I see the photo, I want to finish it and wear it because the metallic cotton faille is just a dream.

Isn't it cute!? And so fall like...

So, I hope to finish this, make the Closet Case Patterns Clare coat(?) and the coat from the 8/2017 Burda (pictured in red). My trench coat dreams will have to wait again. A trench will have a very short period of wear for me, but it will come in handy so I want one (my RTW one is technically too small...I wear it open; I can't button it). But a lightweight wool coat is more appropriate for my spring/fall weather so it keeps getting put on the back burner.

7) Finish my daughter's quilt

Have done zero, zilch, zip, nada on this. I feel like an awful person. It's going to be finished in 2017. IT WILL!
I have 14 of these 14x14 blocks.

I just had an epiphany! (haha!)  I can just make it a lap quilt as it was originally intended to be!

Initially I was making a quilt for her full-sized bed. But that will never, ever happen. So TWO MORE BLOCKS (insert cry face) and then I'll sew 'em together and get it ready to be quilted (BY SOMEONE ELSE!!!). The one quilt I actually completed, a baby-sized jelly roll race quilt, I quilted myself and hated every minute.
I thought it was so pretty when I finished it!
I thought it would ignite a burning desire to quilt! It did not!! But I didn't hate constructing it.
So perhaps only JRR quilts are for me as piecing is awful and tedious??
 8) Create a bodice sloper

Not yet. Though I'm happier with my tops than I've ever been. I still want to do a sloper including a sleeve drafted from scratch (there was a Threads tutorial that I downloaded).

 9) Lose the danged 30 (ish) pounds

I started the year having inched back up near 200 lbs and am solidly 185 now. This is really hard for me not just because weight loss is hard...but I actually really like my body the size that it is! (well, not my arms. My arms are huge and drive me crazy). But knee pain. Blehhhh. I'm going to really try.

10) Be more positive  

A few things were touched on; leaving GOMI -- I did return to the site and there are good discussions at times (and really, more bloggers and PR'ers than you realize also post there. No, really!!) but you can't escape the other stuff and I end up rolling my eyes and logging out. I think the discussions involving pattern companies is fair game; the echo chamber of #IndiesAreTheBest is removed. 

PR is much better for me now than it was. But I believe that's because I keep my use limited. I post and comment on reviews, vote in contests, and avoid a few of the forum areas.

I've deactivated Instagram which I thought would be SO HARD but it wasn't, at all. I actually don't miss it. I think pre-algorithm IG would have been hard to quit but I have not once revisited since deactivating.

FB was deactivated for a long time but 1) my family is spread out and it really is the one place everyone "is". It's easy to say just keep in touch by phone but I have a sibling here, siblings in 2 other states plus their families. Adult nieces and nephews plus extended I was okay with going back at first, which I did this May but am back to limiting my usage. Current events have me in a bad place and it's hard to escape.

11) Be more social in real life

Recently, I had several events I was TOTALLY going to go to! But then they were changed or canceled. The universe is messing with my 'socialize in real life' plans. I'm still trying though. Still trying. Even

Lastly, I'd mentioned some other personal goals. I had to push back my testing date for certification. I will be testing in December now with promotion on the table for April 2018. I'm excited about that.

As much as I do not want to shell out for grad school, I can't shake the itch of wanting to get it done. I have found 2 programs that are accredited and not insanely priced. So perhaps the application process for that will begin in 2017?? Mayyyyybe 2018... Ha!


My tentative July plans:

Turn 38 (well, can't stop that one! :-p )
Sewaholic Saltspring dress
Lakeside PJs
1/2017 Burda athletic pants
7/2017 Burda top
Simplicity 8424 loungewear

Seems like a short list but there are 5 items I plan to sew from that Simplicity pattern (all 3 tops and the 2 leggings with details). Plus, aside from this weekend, I have something going every single weekend this month.

Hopefully the rest of 2017 is nice and calm and quiet.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mega Fail + Quasi Fail

Worse news first.

This top from Burda 7/2013 was on my want list for a long time.

I didn't have a stash fabric in mind and decided to use the blush silk georgette (?? I think it's georgette based on it's hand..."dry", matte, nice drape, semi-sheer until it was doubled) that I'd gotten from SR Harris when I was going to make the wedding guest dress. I was so excited. I practiced my french seams and everything!

I was sewing the lining to the the exterior and it was kind of wonky. In that moment I realized my error.

I have this issue of Burda but I had also purchased this pattern as a download way before getting the magazine. I decided for this simple silhouette, assembling the pdf would be faster. Well having that "paper pattern" messed me all up. I forgot to add seam allowances! I didn't add them ANYWHERE and had done french seams in front, back and sides. I knew there was no way it would fit and decided to finish it anyway. Well, the lack of seam allowances really throws the neckline completely off and it isn't salvageable.

So. So. Sad.

RIP almost pretty blush silk blouse

Quasi fail...I really loved the feel of this ponte when it came. It washed up nicely and the color was just right. I cut out the Nettie, widening the shoulder 1/2". 

I went to try it on and it was INSANELY long. Like several inches. But I really liked the scoop neck so I tried to make it work.

I pinched out the excess and measured. I also did a swayback adjustment at this time. I removed 1" from CB alone and then 2.5" after that from front and back.

And I was okay with this because I took it quite low and the seam would always be concealed by my bottoms. But then I tried it on a couple times...this fabric has terrible recovery.

Wah. Wah. Wah.

We'll see if it hangs around.

eta: The Nettie isn't the bodysuit for me. :(

I have some good news!! I have this cute RTW top that I must've put on a bad hanger and the lacework got a hole in it

It was right at the shoulder and was very noticeable. I was going to consider this a loss but luckily, I came back to it! I got out my embroidery floss and did a patch job on it! Yay!!

From now on, this one will hang on one of the Joy huggable hangers! :-D

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Miscellany: Burda 08/2017

I've stopped doing pattern release posts as I find Big4 are thoroughly discussed on PR and bloggers cover Indie patterns. T. Sedai covers Burda monthly.

But this August Burda.

THIS. AUGUST. BURDA! August-October are almost always my favorite months. April often has some real gems for me too. But this August issue tho... :-p

The first pattern I noticed and decided I NEEDED when the preview came out.
Perfect fall coat. Perfect!!
These two are the same, obviously, but I feel they read differently.
I just love both the top and tunic.
Burda August is synonymous with "Jacket"!
This is gorgeous.
This could be a nice fall coat too. Such pretty details.
I don't need another moto
(I've surprisingly discovered that I like them in theory but don't wear the ones I have)
It's just so pretty.
It has lots of details (tie neck, puff sleeve, cuff, gathers) but they don't overwhelm.
Give me a wrap dress anyday...and I love these tucks and the extra long belt.
This feels very vintage and perhaps a bit too dressed up for my day-to-day.
But is it not BEAUTIFUL!? Sleek. Stylish. Chic. I could go on!
I love Burda for these kinds of super interesting details.
I'd be afraid to sew it though because of their directions. Maybe it isn't as complicated as it looks...
I think this is a plus pattern. I'd love this in a sweaterknit...with booties??! Swoon.
A nice basic pant, but I am feeling the side zip lately.
I want this skirt. I want it in black. I want it with a metal zipper.
But I want this TOOOOOO! Lol!
See the entire preview here (Burda's Russian site is better!). Yes, there are actually other patterns! :) Only a couple though; it's mostly variations of what's here...there were a handful that were not as awe-inducing as these! 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

COLOR! McCalls 6996 and Vogue 1501

Not until I posted the Burda dress did I realize I've been sewing up a storm. I have so much free time on my hands now -- 4 days a week my 17 year old works until 9:30 -- that I've been barely sewing on my weekends and still cranking stuff out. That's how the denim dress came to be; it was supposed to be a slow project after I'd finished up these 2 items! Sigh. LOL!

The yellow crepe. It's BRIGHT. It's soft and spongey but still lightweight...and I was excited to sew up my new fave, V1501, using it.
I kind of love how it looks like culottes because of the front pleat.

Using an exposed zipper is the only change I made from the last time.

I got it all finished (well, mostly...taking these pics, I realized I didn't stitch the facing to the zipper tape!) and tried it on, loved it, spun around...ERRR. I could see clear through the back! The front pleats conceal the lack of opacity but in the back, my entire life was on display!

See how clearly you can see my blue top?

So in these photos I am wearing my RTW slip in "nude" (totally not *MY* nude...:sideeye:). But I don't want to have to wear a slip with a summer skirt :( I could line it I suppose...But still, same issue! Wah, wah, wah. Woe is me.

We shall see.

Because I am obviously hooked on color right now, I decided I needed a bright cardigan and know that M6996 is a winner for me. Dare I say, as a cardigan, I like it more than 6844! I think this pattern works amazingly well with jersey knits/lightweight sweater knits and 6844 with ponte/heavier knits, making it more jacket-like.

Yes, I am wearing a random assortment of colors...but I am often minding my business and then think, "It's Daylight! I should take photos of *that thing* now!"

I used view A, the shorter length, with peplum in back.

I got this 1.5 yard cut in a Fabric Mart bundle. I cut it very close on yardage. Whew. I've made this a few times before, and on this one I ended up sewing ease stitching on the collar seam line, leaving both ends open. After I gathered it, I went back and sewed the remainder of the seam in each direction. This is the cleanest this detail has ever turned out for me!

I also added an extra 1" to the bicep. No other changes though from previous versions (size Medium, narrow shoulder adjustment). The narrow hemming isn't the most fun thing ever, but I love the fit of this cardigan so much, I just suck it up and do it.

Lastly, I got both of these finished, went to hang them up, and noticed a stain on the back of the skirt and a stain on the front of the cardigan!


I treated both and put a load in the washer, including them. The stain on the cardigan came out (it came to me stained, like something (some sort of beverage??) spilled on it). The stain on the skirt did not come out but did fade a little. It is on the wrong side and is a faint purple. I can only see it when I'm looking at it up close.

Next time: 2 fails. Yes, I knew it was coming; I've been too ecstatic lately with my makes :-p

Also, at the time of writing this draft, I mentioned moving on to sewing a few pairs of pajama bottoms (PJ = Loungewear for me). But 1) There are new Simplicity patterns and I want like ev.ery.thing! in this pattern:

2) I have more tops I want to sew! :-P

Obviously the first two are more 'play': NL 6507 and S8385. The last two can be work or play! M6752 and S8337.

We shall see!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Burda Challenge: 2/2017 #110

I'd planned on making the wide-legged pants from February but when I went to look through the mag again I was all OHEMGEE I forgot about this dress!

I was considering making the 6/2017 dress from denim but thought those side inserts on the skirt wouldn't work well with the weight of denim I had and then I thought A+B should = Awesome!

I've never made a dress from denim. I've always felt a little weird about a dress from denim. But so many awesome sewers make denim dresses that look awesome and well, I like awesome dresses so why not?! Whew!

I got this denim from SR Harris and there's a lot of it! I traced the pattern in a size 40 neckline/shoulders and 42 for the rest.

Pattern Description:

Burda's description is weird. It's a shift dress. Fitted through the bust. It's not as A-line as I thought it would be; it is straight from the waist down. And it is short!

Pattern Sizing:

Burda regular 34-42

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

Yes! Although Meg from the Burda blog added grommets and so I wanted grommets! Or eyelets. Or whatever.

I went to JA and was uncertain of the choices. I almost went with the large ones, but I chose these because of the color. They are some new fangled kind that doesn't require interfacing or a second layer of fabric. But I knew I would be facing my dress because of that front V (which, I hate V's when they are cut on the fold. They always end up a little 'soft'). I decided to use the lighter weight fabric vs using the denim.

The second one on the left and the third one on the right are slightly out of line.

My facing doesn't sit perfectly flat at the bottom :/

I'd never done them before and I've been SO SCARED! But I did it! Hopefully everything won't have eyelets/grommets now. lol!

No smug satisfaction today! Just wonderment! :-D

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Burda? I didn't look at them. No real need for the version I made. Now, if you make this, PLEASE BEWARE. Those pattern pieces look *very* rectangular and you should mark either the seam attachment numbers that Burda includes or something.

And then I cut them out in order and pinned them right away so I wouldn't get confused.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

It's so cute! I love the tie front, the mini length, and of course, the pockets.

Fabric Used:

Denim and polka-dot shirting from stash scraps.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I used an exposed zipper. I know people don't like them. Good thing they don't have to wear this dress! Har, har...

I went with what I had in stash and its way longer than the pattern intends. On the tech drawing, the zipper ends right below that first horizontal seam.

I was going to scrap it and do an invisible; but IMO it turned out okay.

I didn't add hem allowances, as per usual with Burda. I used a 1 1/4" hem (5/8" double turned)

<3 I like neatness

I wasn't sure if I was going to like the finished dress and just went with packaged bias tape instead of making some from the polka-dot as I planned.

I could have used an FBA (I swear my b00bs are getting bigger. I haven't gained weight but I've gone from a 34E to 34F. BOOOOO!)

And I always do a 40 armhole but this one isn't fitting so well. I'm not sure if the armhole is too small or if it's the small bust that's making it wrinkle up. (see the 1st photo I posted)

This whole weekend was very overcast and the house was too dark for photos. 

Selfie Stick + Photobomb by Wilson the Cat

 So I went outside! This park is down the street from my house. I figured there would be something I could set my mini tripod up on. 

I don't want to learn photography...blergh...but I know the issue with using the phone is that, when lighting is sub-optimal, you can't focus. Most of the photos were so dark because the camera was focused on the sky.

You can see the bust pulling here, and the shorty-short length!

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

I do like it more than I expected. It's the kind of simple, easy-to-wear thing that's perfect for summer. I probably won't sew it again but I do recommend it if it caught your eye.

The sky was just beautiful <3