Friday, June 29, 2018

Mid Year Check-in and Summer Sewing Plans

and June wrap-up...except there's not much to wrap up!

This month I sewed a colorblocked version of NL6301 (approximately 2.5 yards used) and it was a quasi-fail. Drats.
I bought NO fabric!
I bought NO patterns!

Mid Year Check!
  • I've sewn 83 yards this year.
  • I've made 43 items including gifted garments, excluding quilts (2). That sounds like a lot, I know. Accounting for the gifts, donated garments, fails and a UFO, that's down to 30. I had 10 items that were sleepwear or loungewear, down to 20. Those 20 garments are then split about 70/30 between workwear and casual/weekend wear. So an average of 2.5 workwear items per month and 1 casual item...not too crazy :) I don't think? :-p
  • I made 4 gifts; 3 tops for my daughter and 1 for my mom.
one of the garments made for my daughter; Burda 1/2018 hoodie
  • I've donated 3 (well 2 and NL6301 will be donated): M6886 and Burda 2/2018 top

I just did not like the color of the M6886 dress on me. Felt too bland/blah
      The twisty Burda was SO cute. But that ITY was one that felt too "plastic-y"...a pretty print but it didn't feel good on. I definitely plan to sew it again in nicer fabric (ahem, wool jersey to the rescue??).
  • I've had 2 major fails: M7724 and B6551:
I threw this pattern away
  • I have 3 so-so garments, 2 that likely won't survive the next purge:
    • S8601-love the pattern, hate the fabric (poplin shirting, bleh). Will remake with a lower/more open neckline
    • Otto 2/2018 top-again, great pattern but the cotton knit that I used for the top required more room. My boobs are smashed in it and that makes me sad.
    • Otto 2/2015 tee-pattern is okay (I'm not completely sold) but that fabric didn't work. It's now a loungewear tee
2018 Goals/Sew-lutions:
  • I had a goal of 18 Burda patterns for the year and I've sewn 10 so far. YAY!
  • I had a goal of no more than 18 new patterns in stash this year and I've purchased 15. Eeeek! I really want McCall's 7780 and the Burnside bibs so...
  • I had a goal to sew 2 nightgowns and 2 sleep shorts. I fell in love with B6031 and made 4 nightgowns! I wear those and 2 RTW rompers to sleep most nights. I still want a "summer" one since I bought white lace :)
  • I had a goal to sew 3 new outerwear pieces the first 4 months of the year. I have none outerwear (grammatical error intended).
    • The replacement Burda for the CCF Clare is probably a wadder :( I don't like Raglan sleeves. I should have gone with the other coat with set in sleeves. And, it was a bit too big at the time I was working on it and now I've lost about 12 lbs so I don't even know if it's worth trying to save. This weight loss was not on purpose so it is good/not good. Stress sucks and is life ruining.
    • It got too warm for me to sew the navy short Burda coat. The tundra went from 16" of snow on 4/14 to like, 90 degree weather 2 weeks later.
    • My uncooperative hand and finding out I had to move paired with hot, hot weather made the trench coat a no-go. I did get it about 80% traced though so I'll be planning that in the early part of August to be ready for fall. Well the 2.7 weeks of cool-ish weather before winter comes.
  • I had a goal to sew a 4-piece black workwear wardrobe (3 items were made December 2017). I made V9032, B5760 (both TNTs), Burda 6853 and Burda 11/2007 #113. The neckline on the 11/2007 Burda is weird and I've only worn the jacket (finished in January!) once. I always want to shrug/roll my shoulders, fix it while it's on. I don't wear fussy clothes. The other 3 have gotten a workout in the wardrobe! And that wool suiting was really nice so I think I'll have them awhile.
  • I had a goal to complete a loungewear 'wardrobe'. Did that! Love all the pieces I made and wear them OFTEN! My absolute favorite items are the hoodie from the 1/2018 Burda and the joggers from Burda 6659.
  • I had a goal to sew a new pair of Birkin flare jeans. I fouled up the zipper when I made mine and I wear them, but only with untucked/longer shirts. I need(!) a new pair. Soon.
  • I had a goal to sew a nude-for-me slip. I have a black one and a not-nude-for-me nude one. I still want this. Hopefully for fall.
  • I planned to participate in the PR Red Carpet contest in March and did not. And I have not been too into the site lately.
My birthday is coming up (soon!) and I want to sew 2 dresses; one for day and one for night. Day dress is for certain; NL6507. We will see if I get to a party dress or not...but maybe not because my sewing room is NOT setup yet. I'll be using this rayon challis from Fabric Mart.

July is when I start to wind up my summer sewing. I will likely have some stragglers, but I live for fall / early winter (before it's cold, cold) and tend to refocus my sewing once we hit the month of August.  For the rest of summer, I want to sew:

B6330 maxi dress in this double brushed poly from my trip to Fabric Mart.

S8414 dress in this border print cotton lawn from SR Harris if I can make it work...if not it'll be a solid yellow lawn from Idk where it is right now and it doesn't look like I have a pic of it. This dress has been on my wish list since it was released.

Bodice of M7728 for the Jay/Bey OTRII concert in this Ankara wax print from Michael Levine with a paneled maxi-length skirt. Well, that was the plan! Then I thought to use the lower half of M7788 because it's CUTE!! But I hate the bodice on 7788 and how the heck do you get into it?!?! The line drawing without the wrap shows a front zipper in the pants. So the pants zip up but the bodice is a true wrap?? If that's the case, I don't think I can actually combine these two...unless I move to a side zipper.

The back of 7728 on this view is wrong...the zipper does go through the waistband.
All other views show it correctly.

Burda 4/2014 skirt 'hacked' into a trench-style skirt in this cotton twill from Fabric Mart. This fabric is MUCH darker than I remember so this may move lower on the list.

Style Arc Autumn dress or S8014 from this awesome tencel twill from Treadle Yard Goods that is somewhere in hiding. Just trust me that it is awesome, okay??

1366 (l) or S1377 (r). I will :gasp: muslin both because I can see a top from this fabric getting a major workout in the wardrobe and I want it to be *right*. [I'm thinking I need to start muslin-ing all woven tops until I develop a sloper (borrrrrring). Funnily, fitting my lower half - including pants!! - is much, much, much easier.]
1366 is so popular but I'll muslin both. Although looking at the line drawings now, IDK about the band on the 1377. I'll be using this shingle woven fabric from Metro Textiles.

Baste+Gather Birkin Flare jeans in this midwash denim from Fabric Mart.

True Bias Lander pants in this striped denim from Mood. Will most certainly be making a muslin as I've seen so-so reviews on the crotch fit and this fabric was PRICEY.

True Bias Ogden in my beloved Kelly green silk charmeuse from Metro Textiles
I'd like to maybe copy this LOFT tank if I get around to it!

V1586 I have a couple contenders for fabric. I'll likely make it in a b&w print :) and I'll definitely be shortening it.
You may notice that really, aside from the first 3 items, all of these are able to easily transition into fall. I bought an amazing(!) cut of Ralph Lauren cotton twill in the most perfect shade of khaki to make a nice pair of shorts. I may get them cut...or that may be a project for next summer, we'll see how my sewing mojo goes. I expect my sewing to wane a little bit for now, but I'm okay with that.

Today when I got home I did a quick check of the few places I was potentially interested in for photos. Not too bad for 5 p.m. pics! Should be really nice mid-day...will test it out this weekend :)

wearing M6519 top and NL6530 skirt <3

My sewing room is getting closer!! I have to go vertical much moreso than before and need to hang a couple of things (like an IKEA Fintorp rail to get my basket of cutting implements off of my table). I still think I can knock out that New Look dress with the partially put together...yesterday I got home and just wanted to SEW! and couldn't.

How is your year shaping up? Are you on track with sewing plans and goals?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A TNT (or so I thought) Fail: New Look 6301

It happens. Blergh.

This is my 4th version of this pattern. I wear 2 of the 3 all.the.time!! The 3rd is from a ponte and I made it sleeveless and rarely ever wear it. It's a poly ponte so it's fairly warm - too warm for summer. But it's sleeveless so when wearing it in fall/winter I need a cardigan or jacket over it.

ANYWAY!! I've wanted *this* version of this dress for ages (remember FLOTUS in her gorgeous DVF color-blocked wrap dress??) I knew my fabric colors were more muted but I still liked the idea of them together.

And while cutting out I forgot my intention to make the neck binding wider...but even so, the bodice fit is weird! I don't feel like the bodice fits weird on the other versions but perhaps I just can't tell because the others are all prints.

I used this pattern to try to copy this Modcloth sweater and it fit weirdly.

When I took these pics it was 90+ degrees and SUPER humid. I was rushing and never really went back to them until I wore the dress.

Probably a more true representation of the colors...even though the pic is poor quality
(it was 90+ and humid outside!!!!) :)

It fits weirdly!!! It was uncomfortable to wear; I was tugging and pulling and adjusting all day. No deal. The bodice is too long and is weirdly saggy in some places. I thought it may be the fabric? The bodice is Telio Leggero ponte (very lightweight ponte) but so is the binding/ties and they seem stable/pretty nice. The skirt is a more mid-weight rayon/poly/lycra blend ponte. (all fabrics from I really like the color combo though and am going to use the leftover fabric to create a dress. Eventually. From some other pattern.

Maybe I'll work out the issues on NL6301 soon...right now it doesn't seem so TNT. Bleh!

I tried to layout my new sewing room before moving because I wanted this huge desk in there because it's so sturdy and I knew it would hold all of my machines and there'd be no vibrations or shaking or anything. Well this 3' x 6' table is WAY too big for the space. Way. Way. Way. And now how in the heck is going to get out? Where is it going to go? Wahhhhhhh.

I know many swear by IKEA Linnmon table top combos and I've been sewing on a Linnmon/Adlis combo and using a pine desk for my serger and coverstitch. Neither have been ideal. I also know many report greater stability with the Linnmon/Alex combo but I don't want to spend ~$200 on a new set up right now (I'd need some combo of 2 table tops).

So for now I feel stuck with the giant table. I know I won't really know how/if the set up works until I actually get in there and sew but I was kind of disappointed that it did not work as planned. Wah.

This will be the only thing sewn in June BUT we'll also be halfway through 2018 (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!?!?!?!) so I'll be touching bases on my 2018 plans/goals/etc.

Until later!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

McCall's 7745: A Close Call

This pattern almost got the best of me. You've probably seen a whole bunch of versions of this one and they look pretty good too! The bodice on this pattern stinks.

I'm sure it probably works for someone. But eesh.

It has cup sizing and my 'normal' Big4 size is a 14 with FBA. I chose a 14 C-cup and graded the waist to a 16 and I used a size 16 skirt. I lowered the bust dart an inch and was ready to go!


The bodice was HUGE. I took it in through the front raglans, I took it in through the side seams - twice - leaving the waist size in tact. I didn't want to line it because this challis is sort of heavy. I drafted a facing and then I accidentally sewed the front facings reversed. And sewed it to the bodice. And trimmed and graded it. And understitched it. And then I had to unpick it all. So then I decided to use bias tape and should have just made some. I have no issue making bias tape! And I used store bought and I didn't have enough black so I used red because it should be concealed, right? NO! Not in the giant bodice of giant-ness! Wahhhhhh. I'm not going to lie and say I'm going to redo it. LOL! And I don't think the fabric could take being picked out again.

The fabric I LOVE. I bought this quite awhile ago from Fabric Mart. When I find florals on a dark background I have to have it. I picked up 3.5 yards and there was a Burda I was going to use at first but I fell in love with the skirt on this pattern. Without the drafting weirdness, it's already a so-so for me; true wrap (I just said I don't like them!) and it's a raglan. But the skirt! And the fabric!! So I whined and grumbled and whined and grumbled and kept going. I am glad I finished it but may plans of maybe sewing view A? ehhhh. I'll likely use the skirt again though.

I've seen that "wing" on the back sleeve of most versions

This view also shows an issue I have with the neck ruffle. It's super cute in front but around the shoulder and back it looks like clown suit :(  I LOVE THE SKIRT!!!!

I bought another cut of fabric to make the skirt and then the thought of hemming and gathering that ruffle made me think twice. I have two rolled hem feet; one I bought when I bought a collection of feet for my other Singer and one that came with the Quantum Stylist. WORLDS different. I have avoided doing rolled hems because it was always awful. 

The left is the 'good' one and the right is the sucky one.

I did the neckline ruffle with the bad one and it was SO frustrating. It did not go well at all and I don't know if it'll hold.

Lots of areas where it didn't roll under

I switched to the other foot and WOW!!!  The entire (ENTIRE!) length of the skirt ruffle is perfection. Woohoo!! 

The skirt ruffle is 6 pieces. I sewed them all together and hemmed, and to gather I sewed gathering stitches on two sections at a time - 3 total 'groups' to gather.

It's so ruffly! :-D and you can see my red bias tape :-(
But you can see my new shoes! :-D 

The lower back fit without a swayback adjustment
But again with the sleeve wings and if you can't tell, the back neckline sits WAY away from my neck

As mentioned, I lowered the bust dart and it's still super high. And even with taking in the side seams of the bodice, it's weirdly baggy in areas. 

But it's SO pretty! LOL!!!!!

As it goes with sewing...that black & white Burda wrap dress was perfectly fine, fit well, I loved the fabric but just didn't like wearing the dress. This dress gave me FITS! But I am smitten. 

I spent a lot of time on my hair today and then went outside in what must have been 1,000% humidity and now it's completely flat. Booooo! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New Look 6107 & Vogue 9032

I'm not sure how long this pattern has been on my radar but it's been a long time. It's so pretty and feminine but also just a great everyday workwear type of item. I think I was avoiding it because I knew it would work best in something with drape. And drape + fiddly bits = not so fun. But I also knew that my sewing skills should allow me to make this top successfully.
I found this fabric on the trip to Fabric Mart during sew camp. It's rayon but I can't remember if it was challis or crepe. It has some nice weight to it, drapes well and is completely opaque. I bought two 2-yard precuts because I could see using the fabric for a dress in the future.
IMO NL necklines are for the broad-shouldered. I used a size 14, tuck a small tuck on the neckline (~1/4"), did a 1" FBA rotated into the shoulder gathers (it does have front and back vertical darts) and a 1" bicep adjustment. I could use a swayback adjustment as well.
I chose to go ahead with the single layer yoke and just serged the seams. The fabric loops were a pain. Turning the tube was no problem but then I swear I made them all the same length and marked the fabric AND basted them before sewing. They are not even. One or two are too small for the buttons and one is too big. IDK what happened.
My buttons are pretty shell buttons with a shank from Sewing Lounge in St. Paul.  
I love the colors!

Being silly :-p The neckline is so flattering!
Speaking of...way back when, I went to Mexico on vacation. I was determined to lie by the pool and soak up the sun and indeed I did! Without sunscreen! Because I had literally never worn - never OWNED - sunscreen in my life. Well, when I got back home I learned I was sunburnt. All over. My skin peeled and peeled and peeled and thus I learned my lesson.
Us 'melanated' folk have some built in sun protection by virtue of our brown normal day to day outings I do not use sunscreen aside from what is built into whatever personal care products I use (I am annoyed that so many moisturizers are now SPF 1000 (exaggeration but still)...
So when I went to Puerto Rico, I bought sunscreen! I was ready!! And I put it on my arms and shoulders and back and legs and nose and...apparently not my chest. Doh.
It wasn't until I was looking at these pics that I was like HOLY COW! I burned my chest!!! Oops!
Behold the nice flat neckline and soft shoulder gathers <3

Self loops, button band, facings
I wasn't clear on the intersection between the facing and the bias tape so I winged it. Luckily the fabric is well-behaved and was pressed into compliance :)

 I LOVE this top but kind of feel like it's a "cool weather" print, if that makes sense.

Way, way, way back in February I cut out a taupe pair of V9032 (pair #8 or #9). I felt like I needed 'tan' pants. I had them basted and could not zip them, even with the seam allowances at the minimum. I set them aside. When I picked them back up while cleaning/organizing my sewing space, they were too big as basted. Yay! I even had to take the back waist in a bit. I finished them up and happily added them to the wardrobe.

In the meantime, I bought 3 different pairs of tan/taupe pants and returned them all. Now that these are finished I don't find myself reaching for them much.  Kind of like "needing" a classic white button front shirt but I really didn't...

C'est la vie.
still don't like how the fly shield + waistband is finished. Totally need to change it.
I used a sew in snap instead of button for the interior closure.

Look at that waistband intersection! boom! pow!!
I am fairly certain I did a blind hem by machine. The fabric is a rayon/wool blend (Fabric Mart) so it was very easy to press out any possible pricks in the fabric.

I could see myself making this top again...eventually...