Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I sewed! McCall's 7627


I'd grown quite frustrated, spent a crap-ton on 3 fabric orders (sigh) and decided to tweak things based on how my hand felt. The next day, I was nearly without any pain!

Some movements still hurt and I am still alternating between splint and braces as needed, but I am doing much better and got the go ahead to sew as long as I was not in pain. And the moment I realized my hand was getting a little fatigued; I quit.

So I'm very happy to be sewing again but won't be spitting out garments back to back any time soon :) My next project will be to finish B6141 since there's very little work left to do and no cutting involved (the toughest part). Next, I hope to start tracing some of the Burda patterns I want to sew up from August and September while working on a small mini wardrobe from a cut of charcoal ponte. I've sewn lots of FUN this summer and need some basic, solid colored garments - except skirts. I don't need anymore skirts :(

On to the review...
I was surprised how much I was drawn to the cover photo of this pattern when it was released, and found I loved all but view D, so it was a must buy. I also want to make view C at some point (maybe next spring) and I think I'll make view A in something with more drape like a blouse-weight crepe should I get to it.

Laying out the pattern was a ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS!! The sleeve is HUGE. It is just about a yard long and is cut on the bias.

Because shears bother me but the rotary cutter doesn't (yay!); I cut out as much as could fit on the cutting mat, pinned the sleeve to the fabric and adjusted it to cut the rest. Not fun.  Also, follow the cutting layout. I almost went off on my own and I think I would have run out of fabric if I had. (the sleeves and front are cut single layer)

Constructing the first sleeve took 317 hours. Or at least it felt like it. It was very frustrating. I marked the lines with red transfer paper and it was still very hard to see.

So faint! This is sleeve #2 I immediately went over the lines with yellow chalk

I thread traced by hand initially but had to take that out because the lower line of each tuck needs to be eased and my hand stitches were too loose to do so effectively. I probably stretched it out of shape because on the first sleeve, sewing the tucks was VERY hard. I have all sorts of tucks on the under side that I couldn't be bothered to correct at that point!

The second sleeve went better, as expected, but I had the ENTIRE top done before I went back to that sleeve. I just didn't want to go through with it again! LOL!

I kept staring at the one-sleeved top, wanting it, but not wanting to deal with sleeve #2

Overall thoughts:

-The top has A LOT going on but it somehow works! Pleats, the sleeve, the gathers and cuff, the HUGE tie, the's a lot of look.
-The front and back peplum are cut differently. There's very little bias on the front pieces. 
-It's a true wrap; open on the right side.
-I stitched around the tie-opening.
-LOVE the gathering on the belt. And just love it's big, huge, ridiculousness <3

Don't mind all of my blue markings

-I actually love the gathered sleeve. I thought it was too much initially, but it's cute.
-I slip stitched the bands in place by hand
-I sewed a 14 neckline/shoulder and 16 for the rest. I should have cut a 14 and did an FBA. Why I didn't, I don't know (lazy? eager??). Before adding the sleeves I thought I had gaping at the wrap. Well, I have A LITTLE and could take a tuck there. But then I found this version of the top at Nordstrom, set the first sleeve in, and allowed it to 'drop' off the shoulder as intended. Ah-ha!! that's how it's supposed to fit! (the neckline isn't as open as the Nordstrom's top)

-I didn't do a swayback adjustment. Why? WHYYYY? Booooo me! I actually think the entire bodice is too long. I would shorten it 1/2" all around

You can see that it isn't just swayback...there's just too much fabric, vertically

-Am very MEH on the pleats. I would change the shoulder pleat to gathers (and do an FBA rotated into the gathers). I don't like the waist pleat at all.

Other points:
-The bands are just a little too tight, they catch when I lift my arms. I measured and told myself to sew them with a 3/8" seam allowance but forgot by the time I got back to them.

-I sewed down the facing on the peplum; on the outer wrap portion only. I had to fix it multiple times during try-on. With the stripe and the fullness and the bow; I knew it would not be visible.

-The 16 called for 4 1/4 yards of 60" fabric -OR- 45". I had 4 yards of 55" -ish fabric and have about 1/2 yard left over. BUT the layout is important because of the huge pattern pieces.

-Aside from the awkwardness of sewing the sleeve tucks, it went together effortlessly. All notches and whatnot matched
-Mind your markings for sure!!
-Serge your side seams beforehand for neatness.

Insides are all serged

And of course, my label <3

It does indeed feel like 'I'm wearing 4 yards of fabric as a top', but not like it's too much. It's weird. I think it definitely has to be styled with slim fitting bottoms. Maybe someone with mile-long legs could pull off a wider leg with it. I'm too short for that!

I think it's a fun top for fall and 'for play' and love that I made it in this subtle stripe.

Because giant bows are awesome

All in all, I feel quite fabulous in this top!!!
My daughter saw the in-progress pic, made a fake-cry face, and asked if she can PLEEEEASEEEEE have one in a mustard color. So we shall see. :)

Monday, August 21, 2017


Because sewing friends are the best; people have been reaching out to check on me and it is much appreciated!!

I had a moment of improvement and then back to having issues. I went to see a hand specialist and she was more investigative than my regular orthopedic doc. As a result of her findings, I'm in this figure-8 splint for....dun-dun-duuuuunnnnn...another 6 weeks! aarrgghhhhhhhh!

I have to wear it 24/7 with the exception of showering. Because I still have swelling, I'm still icing/compressing/elevating as needed.

The physical therapist asked what activities I need to focus on returning to. I told him work, cooking, and sewing! e.g., chopping cilantro was actually painful...but TACOS! He said we will get me back to doing what I need to do.

I'm not restricted from using my hand completely; but my pointer and middle move in unison and the ring and pinkie move in unison. No heavy lifting, no gripping for now. Otherwise, I should feel free to do normal things as long as 1) it doesn't cause pain and 2) I'm performing the exercises 3-4 times a day.

I'll go back once per week for 3 weeks. If it is not getting better, she will reassess. If it is improving, I go 3 additional weeks in the splint.


The last time I did my hair I flat ironed it. And the portion that was "new hair" (~3" worth all over), was SO SMOOTH AND SHINY! Ahhhhhh. It was a battle because my coils POP, but I totally prefer my hair straight (I would not be able to routinely straighten my natural hair...can't take the heat). And so I went back to relaxed hair and got a fresh cut. My stylist drives me insane sometimes but she really is fantastic. No more trying new people!

I love the back. Love. Love. Love.
I've got a lot going on right now (good stuff!!) so I'm not totally going crazy yet. :)

Saturday I saw Kendrick Lamar in concert...

This weekend I have friends visiting from out of town. Next weekend is Labor Day. The next weekend my daughter's birthday. The following weekend I'm visiting my son in Phoenix. I'm going to try to sneak a visit in to my parents somewhere in there too.

So while my forced sewing hiatus could be worse :)

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Girl Can Dream...

My hand is doing SO much better. Still splinted (but I switch to my arthritis or CT brace at night as needed). I can do something weird here and there that causes me to be near tears...but I'm not swollen and it doesn't hurt constantly. Progress!

And THANK YOU to everyone for the comments and book suggestions. Somehow I never told myself to use this time to study for my certification. So that's what I've been doing.

Last weekend we had our monthly MinneSEWta meetup and visited the smaller SR Harris location. And I obviously lost my mind :-p I spent more than I intended...on just 3 cuts of fabric...but
1) I last purchased fabric on 6/28, therefore, in my mind, I was totally justified!
2) I've been having that "stash is a bit too full" feeling and decided I'd only buy *special* fabrics (and solid ponte. I am low.)
3) All 3 cuts are 100% of their respective fiber (silk/cotton/wool) which can be a bit more spendy.

This location has a stunning collection of silks right up front and I zeroed in on this charmeuse that is a beautiful color and quite matte with a very slight texture. At $12.50 a yard, I only sprang for 2 yards and then proceeded to scour the pattern collection (including all the Burdas!) for a pattern. I was decided but am still on the fence.

I am leaning heavily toward the In-House Belle...
...sewn previously:

Because I can only imagine how much I'd love that blouse in teal silk considering how much I loved it in a crazy printed cotton voile! :)

But I also like V9204
and B6488
But I don't own either of them...AND I've made the Belle twice so...we shall see!!
I totally salivated over M7627 when it was released and bought it immediately.

And while at SRH decided a soft, striped shirting would be perfect! This top requires 4 yards of fabric! The sleeve is one massive piece, and the "ruffles" are made using tucks. By comparison, this view requires 2 3/4 yards

Then, as I am wont to do, I was browsing the LOFT website and saw this:

Well then! :) My vision is on track! LOL! I actually like the McCall sleeve more and love the peplum. (you will have to pry peplum tops from my cold, lifeless body. Give me the illusion of more hips any day!)

So, I had checked out and was waiting on others as we were going to lunch afterwards. And BEHOLD! (hahaha!) I spotted a red-orange wool fleece bolt in a bin. It called my name...I heard it! It was so soft, and such a rich not-too-red-but-still-quite-vibrant  shade and as it called out my name, I was reminded that I needed 3.5 yards of fabric for the red coat from the August Burda and that I had been looking online for a month for options for it. AND, it was only $12.50/yd. WIN.

And while there were only 3 1/4 yards available, 1) Burda runs long for me and I rarely add hem allowances to unlined items 2) the fabric is 65" wide, I'm sure I'll be fine.

I think I may be okay with escaping shiny new for now...and focusing on getting one of these done...

From the recent Vogue release I really only cared for the Lia Lia coat (1562) and the Betzina rain jacket (1564) but neither of those are really appropriate for me to sew for now. Those would be moreso for spring. Whatever that is. I heard it's a season that some people have!

I also liked the surplice, belted Rachel Comey (1556) on top but am not a fan of the pleated skirt with that bodice.

Simplicity's release certainly captured my eye more, and here are my faves:

I may bump the Clare coat for the coat in the upper left. It has fantastic details!!! The raglan sleeved coat is again, more of a fall/spring piece for MN so maybe another time. The Ashley Nell Tipton coat is plus sized so not really an option (no, I don't want to try to grade it down to fit my size 14 shoulders). The wrap top is a cute layering piece! I really like the skirt in the Mimi G pattern and could see making it but don't know that I could see it in my wardrobe. It's interesting though!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

About Those August Plans...

I went to see my orthopedic doc as I was entering week 4 and still in quite a bit of pain. He said it was still very swollen and was healing slower than he'd like. I'm thinking that I started using it too any rate, he decided 2-3 weeks of complete immobilization should do the trick, and that "by Labor Day", I should be able to resume normal activity.
It's a splint that has been custom-molded to my hand. It IS removable - thankfully!! - so I can shower easily. But aside from that, I will be wearing full-time.

Being the complete hooligan that I am, told a coworker, "I'm going to trim it and free my fingers." She said, "Uhmm...I don't think he WANTS you using your fingers..."
Oh. Fair point...Hahahahahaha!!!!! (I should basically never be left alone.)
So no sewing for me for awhile (pure torture!). But my Kindle will get a workout! Drop some book recommendations in the comments please <3
Until later...