Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Wrap-up and October Plans

This month I sewed:

  • Vogue 8750 skirt (contest)
  • McCall's 6654 skirt
  • McCall's 6844 cardigan
  • Simplicity 2061 pants
  • McCall's 7194 tunic (contest)
  • Burda 9/2017 blouse (WIP)
  • Burda 12/2015 (WIP, contest)

Favorites: The ponte skirt! I've worn it a handful of times already! It's such a great wardrobe addition.

FAILS: No true fails this mont, but, on the V8750 skirt I have to remove the pleather panels. As mentioned, they just collapse against the denim. The S2061 pants are too big in the waist. I need to remove the waistband (WAH!) and take them in. I need to fix the off-lower sleeve on the M7194 tunic from round 2 of the Bee, The Burda blouse isn't a "love" and needs some tweaks before it's finished.

I suppose I can blame some on "rushing" for the contest. ;-)

Accomplishments: I would say sewing for the Bee. Every year since it began, I would look and think, NOPE. Not interested. And each round, I've almost quit. But then I center myself, remember that I HAVE to sew something that I will actually wear, and then I've been able to continue on. So I've really stepped out of my box a bit with the contest and it's been fun!

For this round, after going back and forth and quitting the Bee like 5 times in my head, this coat inspired my entry that I hope to have completed tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

October plans:

I want to sew the coat from 8/2017 Burda for the PR wool coat contest. Our temps are starting to drop (I am wearing my cape or a light jacket in the a.m.) and by the end of the month, a warm snuggly coat will come in handy.

I HAVE to sew my daughter's M7627 first!!!

I also hope to fix my first 2 contest entries and would love to squeeze out these pants from the July Burda. One, that'll get me caught up this year for my challenge and two, I need more casual throw-on pants.

The fit on the Burda blouse isn't my favorite but the silk and the sleeve cuff?!? SWOON!!!!!!

Ahhh....(I purposely used the matte side of the silk for the bands)

So even though I don't love it, I'm excited to finish it. 

Come back in a few days for my Bee entry!!! :-D

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Simplicity 2061 and Some RTW Love

There isn't much to say about S2061 honestly. I've made them a handful of times. I cut a size 18, added 3/4" to the back rise, scooped out 1/4", removed 3/4" from the front and otherwise, they are sewn from the pattern. I am thinking on my black pair I may have slimmed the legs down a little. I was okay with he width but I wore them yesterday and realized they're too big in the waist. They kept slipping down. So I may remove the waistband and slim them down. 

These went together lightening fast. I used my machine to stitch the pleats and the elastic. They were constructed on the serger and the hem zip-zip-zip done on the cover stitch.

I love having a coverstitch!


Before getting the Brother 2340cv, I'd see reference to difficulties in removing the fabric. I was worried! Before mine came I watched tutorials and read blogs and on and on. And then I had some fits and starts trying different methods. So when 2 months passed without me using it, I had to look at tutorials AGAIN. I was having a tough time. You know what I did? I took out the manual. And followed the instructions. And it's easier and simpler and more straightforward than any blog post or YT tutorial on removing the fabric!


You do NOT need to turn your needle tension dials to 0.
You do NOT need to pull forward the threads and all that.
Just do what the book says.

Raise needles to the highest position, lift the presser foot, hold down the thread release on the needles, pull the fabric back, snip the needle threads, keep pulling (gently!), snip the looper thread(s).

Easy peasy.

BTW, the day I took these pics I wore my skirt. I freaking love this skirt! 

Tossed on the cardigan with the pants for a quick photo. I can't wait to pair the cardi + skirt/pants with a bright top (someone needs to put their excessive amounts of now wrinkled laundry away).

I am working on the teal silk blouse from the 9/2017 Burda mag now!

As luck would have it, I ran out of tracing paper with one pattern piece left to go. BLEHHHHH. I use Bifeng paper and Amazon will deliver a new roll post-haste! :-D

Now, you all know I'm not anti-RTW. But I do shop at like, 2 places. I don't like having to try to figure out fit over and over again. I know that at LOFT, I wear a 12 in their Julie (curvy) fit. It's perfect. In their 'straight' fit, I need a 14 and to have the waist taken in. I cannot wear their Marissa. I usually go straight to the Julies but I saw these (straight fit) pants and had that 'sharp intake of breath' moment!!! I do need to get them taken in at the waist, which I don't do alterations (shot out to Tara! haha!) but these are a definite WIN.

Yes, I have on two different shoes. I think they are adorable with boots and will wear them both ways through fall, winter and spring (I think they may be too heavy for summer). Just cover half the pic for the effect...LOL!!!

The pants are black with a navy stripe and then a mustard stripe centered over that. The mustard actually lends itself to a variety of combos aside from well...mustard. It works well with bright yellow, and with yellow-toned cream and beige. Of course black and navy but they were also really cute with a chambray shirt. I'm excited! LOL!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

PR Sewing Bee: McCall's 7194

I've made this pattern before; both the cool pointed hem and the regular, straight hem. That was part of my decision making on using this pattern for the contest. Also, it's a knit. I knew I needed a knit!

The contest started Wednesday. I had plans Thursday and Friday I was leaving town for the weekend. So I needed the base pattern to be a quick sew.

For the sleeves, I had an idea based on a top that my daughter purchased recently. But I also knew I didn't have time to order a bunch of grommets and didn't want to pay a premium for them from JA. Speaking of...the grosgrain I used I got from SR Harris for $0.30/yd. But it was 1/2" wide and didn't work well with the 3/4" D-rings. So I went to JA anyway (!) and got 1" D-rings and 1" twill tape. Which I paid $1.99/yd for!!!!! Arrrghhhhhh! Oh, yes, I totally intend to only sew from stash for awhile, but none of the fabric cuts I had would work. Either not enough fabric, too thick for this pattern, fabric that is specifically slated for something else. So my trip to SR Harris also netted me this awesome sweatshirt fabric for $7.50/yd and a 1/4 yd of the lace, which was $10/yd.

Notions: 1" twill tape, 1/2" grosgrain ribbon, D-rings, Faux leather, Elastic!!

Anyway, my inspiration...It was an upper and lower sleeve with grommets and lacing. I really liked it and it was a cute, casual top. So I started thinking of ways to incorporate a lower and upper sleeve. This is what I really wanted to do:

But decided it would really be more appropriate in a lightweight woven.

Then I saw this sweatshirt and I've seen others like it, and decided that I would do something along these lines.

In a rush to get a sleeve done before my trip (so I could be confident I would finish in time), I messed up and made the upper sleeve have a casing - I intended the lower sleeve to essentially, have a drawstring. Oops!

The sleeve was constructed by overlaying the lace on the knit and cutting both at the same time, at elbow length. I then cut out the lace motif using applique scissors, and stitched the lace in place.

I then topstitched the faux leather casing on top, very close to the seam line, and ran a LONG length of the grosgrain through the casing.

For the lower sleeve, I added 3" to the length, and slashed and spread to create a bell shape. I redrew this onto tracing paper and then adding a seam down the center to create the slit. The top 2" or so are stitched and the opening was hemmed with a double turned hem.

I then stitched the faux leather strip - which was intended to be a casing!! - to the sleeve, attaching the D-ring and twill tape as well.

Once I realized, DUH! the opening is huge and floppy without the drawstring, I stitched in elastic 1/2 the length of the opening to draw it in. It turned out really cute! whew!

For the body, I added 3" to the length and added side slits. Existing adjustments to this pattern include a 1.5" bicep adjustment.

Did you spot my mistake? No??
On the right sleeve, the elbow tie is not in line with the slit opening. I realized WAY after the fact, like hours later, that I must have reversed something when cutting so the opening is rotated forward. Oy!
I did not want to take this entire outfit off! I wanted to snuggle in it!!!

Ties un-tied...

We'll see if I make it to round 3! :-p

I also finished my S2061 pants from the grey ponte and will be sewing my September Burda (with the teal silk!!) next. Then I have to sew my daughter's M7627. And then BAM! It'll be October! :-O

Thursday, September 14, 2017

McCall's Fest: 6844 and 6654

As mentioned my ponte came, with an extra 1/2 yard (woot woot!). It's not heavy enough for the Butterick knit blazer though. I've made that pattern a few times. The green one, though I wear it often, is floppy compared to the striped one made from a heavier ponte. I'd prefer a grey that is a bit heavier. So I'm switching gears a little with my mini-wardrobe.

I decided to swap that jacket for M6844. I've made it a half dozen times and really like it when it's made with a nice light to mid-weight ponte (I prefer M6996 for jersey fabrics).

Changes made this time include a pivot and slide FBA and a full bicep adjustment of 1 1/4". This sweater/jacket has such tight sleeves!!!  The first 2 times I made it, I interfaced my band as instructed. Other times I did not. I've hands-down preferred the interfaced collar. I had some very lightweight fusible that I picked up from the $1 section at Fabric Mart. It is really nice. As light as tricot but woven.

top-to-bottom: Fabric only, the interfacing I used, Pellon lightweight fusible

For my newer sewers...if you're unsure, take the time to make a test swatch with your interfacing choices. Takes but a few minutes but the right interfacing makes a huge difference!!

Since this pattern has been made a gazillion times, I'm sure you've heard about how easy and fast it is and how well it goes together so I won't belabor it.

The skirt is M6654, also made lots of times. I'm not sure how many...but it's such a great pattern. The last version I made was about 24" or so and I wanted this one longer. View D had a 28" length which was perfect. I cut the front out, held it up to me and exclaimed, "I LOVE THIS SKIRT!!!". LOL!

I also knew I wanted a slit on the left side but wanted more than just an open side seam. I wanted an opening that was about 1.5"-2". I lined front and back up, measured about 3/4" in and about 7" up from the hem (accounting for the side-seam allowance) and free-handed a slightly curved shape. I cleaned it up with my French curve and cut that out. It is EXACTLY how I envisioned!

I dug out a knee-high boot and it is equally awesome with boots as it is with heels <3 
I forgot to take them back out for a pic.

I went back in the sewing room and found the shaped scrap!

These items are SO VERSATILE!!!

I knew I needed some charcoal grey goodies!! :)

I'm super excited to finish the other two pieces -- the pants from S2061 and I think I may have enough to cut a sleeveless dress. We shall see!!

For now, it's on to Round 2 of the Bee. I made it through! This round is all about the sleeve. Since that is my jam and a recent RTW purchase by my daughter inspired me, I'm going to sew for this round.


Projects are due on the 20th so come back next week to see what I made! :-D

Thursday, September 7, 2017

PR Sewing Bee: Vogue 8750

My ponte is on it's way to me!!

FWIW, I was worried about my fabric selling out...not FM making it right. FM always makes it right should anything go wrong. And things go wrong very infrequently. YAY!

My hand is getting better. Still nowhere near 100%; but better. I realized it feels great in the morning - even if I don't wear any braces or wraps or anything overnight. So I've concluded (haha) that the key really is doing *nothing*. Except it's my right hand and no matter what, doing *nothing* isn't really an option. So I've been doing as little as possible. As close to nothing as I can get.  It's hard y'all.

So, I very slowwwwwwly-blergh worked on my skirt for the PR Sewing Bee. I didn't think I'd finish. And honestly, I doubt I'll continue on; even if I make it past round 1. But we shall see. There always seems to be some type of refashioning element and that just isn't my thing. Plus, my ponte is on the way!

At any rate, here is my pencil skirt and my write-up on my musical inspiration:


When I saw that round 1 was a pencil skirt challenge, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I love them. And then when I saw 'inspired by music', I instantly had my idea!

I am a child of the 80s and 90s and grew up in Chicago (*in* the city, on the south side) and I listen to rap and hip-hop almost exclusively. It was a no brainer on genre! Favorite artist? Jay-Z, hands down. (did you know he has won 17 Grammy's with 50+ noms? He's sold over 55 million albums...He's 2nd only to The Beatles in chart-toppers...and his most recent album went Platinum in 5 days. He's a legend!). 

My favorite Jay album? That was tougher to discern. I went with The Blueprint. The album was released on 9/11, went double platinum, and was his first album to feature Kanye West as producer. (The Old Kanye is definitely one of my Top 10 favorite rappers). 

And THEN I knew which song would be my inspiration - Renegade, a song that featured Eminem. (IMO this is some of Em's best work - ever). Rap has always faced a 'public perception' issue and this record addressed it. 
So I wanted my skirt to reflect the hard, edgy, rebelliousness that is rap music and this song specifically.

I knew I wanted a skirt with seaming and when I was checking through my pattern collection, I saw the lines of this skirt and had a lightbulb moment. I decided on this faux-corset in front, I'd already ordered buckles to incorporate and knew I'd be using an exposed zipper. I love them in the right garments (e.g., casual, sporty, trendy, etc), sue me :shrug: :-p

Her method is neat and her tutorials are always AWESOME!
Bonus? I've made this skirt before. I had used the flounces instead but all other pattern pieces for the straight skirt are the same. WINNING!
The skirt is size 16 front, 18 in back.
I used view B.
I had (A HUGE PILE) of this dark, almost black denim in stash and the Telio perfection-fused faux leather as well.
I ordered the cording from my blessed Amazon (they've got me. when they take over the world, I'm going to be right there, in line. :( LOL!)
Buckles and grommets came from Bagmaker Supply on Etsy (nayy). I love this shop. And they're in Chicago so I get things fast. I ordered on Friday and on Tuesday, my goodies were in my mailbox. That's with Monday being a holiday.

I did manage to put all 8 eyelets in, effortlessly, on my lunch break! Miracle!
I was cutting it very close to the wire and ended up going to the movies Wednesday night. I did NOT have time for this, in hindsight. I sewed a little before I left. Thursday, I went home a little early and my machine would not pick up the bobbin thread. I spent a good 45 minutes fussing with it (yes, yes I could have pulled out the other machine and not gotten completely flustered but that is TOO much like right!)

Then this and that and the other thing went wrong. And then it was after 5 and I had horrible lighting in the house for pics. And then it's that time and I hated every single photo I took.


In the end, I really like the skirt overall. I have to pull out the pleather panels though. That fabric is not an appropriate match for the denim. I will insert denim panels and WILL wear the skirt. It's cool and it's cute!

Friday, September 1, 2017

August Wrap-Up and September Plans

This month I sewed:

McCall's 7627. 

Yay me! LOL!

I do actually have sewing plans for September. It may be wishful thinking, but I have a few holes that now need filling. Not surprising though; basics wear out faster than everything else, right?

 My beloved Fabric Mart has failed me!!!! WAHHHHHH!  I got my order today and the ponte wasn't there. There was a cut of grey suiting with the sticker for the Ponte. And it's gone from their site. I am very, very disappointed. I know they'll refund me and are unlikely to ask me to return the suiting, but I am still left without the 4.5 yards of charcoal Ponte. 

I knew Chris would make it right!!! My ponte is on the way!

...and I have a few things I've been wanting in grey so now is the time! All three are patterns I've made multiple times before, so easy does it on my first full month sewing again.

I suck at sketching. I bought one sketch book before realizing this. AND, it isn't something I enjoy. I was journaling, as I do, and slipped my phone in the book...and realized I could see the tech drawings pretty easily. SCORE!

Anyway, this is what I WAS going to make:

Butterick 5926 made 3 times 
Simplicity 2061 made 4 times
McCall's 6654 made I-don't-know-how-many-times

Nice way to kick off fall, no? I saw this muslin of V9267 on McCall's Facebook and onto the wishlist it went. I would also like to make this in this fun textured suiting with pleather side panels.

I decided to jump into the Pattern Review Sewing Bee because challenge 1 is a pencil skirt (inspired by music). Hopefully I can get a nice jump on it over the long weekend.

Remember I said I bought a ton of fabric? Sigh. (yes, I said that part too!)

I got these Telio ponte knits from Fabric Mart. They feel fantastic! But like a heavy jersey, NOT a ponte. The navy is a different Telio line and it has some heft to it.


I wear the knit houndstooth print skirt from M6654 all.the.time and really liked this print, even though it was a poly/lycra ponte. I also want to sew this sweater from the fall/winter Ottobre and I think it'll pair nicely with this skirt. That's planned next month.

Other knits:

4 prints


solid (a MESS of black cotton jersey!)

I could not decide on the two shades of grey and they are subtly different in color and texture. The 2 yard length (I could have sworn I got 2.5 yards of both...) I plan to make this new New Look dress from. I LOVE THE SLEEVE!!! and that crepe will look gorgeous and in that icy grey will make for a nice not-so-basic basic.

For my daughters M7627:

I honestly have no reason to buy fabric again the rest of the friggin YEAR. SIGGGGHHHHHHH. I just put myself on a serious budget (for life! Not just sewing) and since I know it may be a little while before I'm fully back to normal, I really, really do not need more fabric. I've even unsubscribed to emails!!