Thursday, September 27, 2018

TNT Tees (and a near miss!)

Well...Tees from TNTs?? :)

I have been wearing two sleeveless tees (I don't call them tanks because they really look like a t-shirt in fit but without sleeves!) from American Eagle. I was very surprised by how much I liked the fit of them when I bought them. Scored on clearance and why I got two of them :) Well, they are looking a little worse for wear now, which happens.

My current go-to for t-shirts is McCall's 6964 (I recently purchased the InHouse Jenny and will give it a try soon!). They aren't something I wear a ton (kind of like jeans), but a girl still needs SOME t-shirts! I've made it a few times and when I scored this lightweight , slightly sheer slub knit from KOKOON, a local designer, I knew I was going to make a mini-wardrobe of t-shirts from it.

No adjustments from any other version of this pattern that I've made. I cut a size 14 neckline, 16 for the rest, with a 1" bicep adjustment. I constructed it on the serger and coverstitch except for the neckline; I always sew v-necks via machine so I can get it as close to perfect as possible!

This pattern piece fits the neckline perfectly - just mind your markings!!

Last winter I decided I needed a couple long sleeved tees. I have a heathered gray one that gets a lot of wear in the winter and because Tundra = Layers, I decided I should have a white one! I may need a navy one too... :)

M6886 is cut with a 14 neckline/shoulder, 16 bust and waist, 18 hip. I also did a 1" bicep adjustment.

I used M6886 because I LOVE that super round scoop neck on me. 

I was really amazed by how different the pattern pieces are wrt to the neckline and shoulder! M6886 is really fitted so I used the M6964 to shape the side seams.
Maybe it isn't completely evident here but I feel like M6886 has more pooling in back. The front pattern piece on 6964 was quite a bit wider/straighter than 6886 but the back was slightly slimmer, which I found interesting! 

I like the higher back neckline and that the neckline is less open for the long sleeved tee. I can see creating a new TNT pattern that from this combo.I think removing a bit of the shaping from the back pattern piece side seam may help with some of the pooling. But I will not be adding a CB seam to my t-shirts.
Wanted to show a layered look for fall

The trench is actually a dress. It fit through the body but gaped ridiculously at the armholes...but I think it was like $8!!! so I got it anyway to wear as a vest. SCORE.

The shoes are BP Kari Bow Flats from Nordstrom. I LOVE these shoes but they are sold out now :(  They came in a bunch of colors too! I actually contacted Nordstrom to find out if they would be restocking them! LOL! But they said no. Boooooo!

Love both of these and they will get a lot of wear! The piece of fabric I bought was 4.4 yards. I've made these two and still have 2 full yards and a nice extra chunk. That's going in stash for when I need to replace one of these :)

Excuse my crazy face in the center pic! LOL!!!!! I was trying to snap a pic before work and the clicker didn't seem like it was clicking. But ALL of the pics look like this so... :-)

And Wilson the cat's crazy facial expression...
I had declared this cardigan a wadder. When I finished it, I tried it on with a black top and my favorite teal straight skirt. I thought it looked terrible! I tried it on to take pics because it was going in the donate bag. I like it MUCH more with long/slim fitting garments underneath e.g., jeans, leggings and even liked it with this M7465 dress.

This is Ottobre 5/2017 mentioned in my September planning post. I cut a straight size 42 and did a 1" bicep adjustment. The miles of hemming wasn't the most fun ever but it's a pretty straightforward sew.  I bought this cording to use as a tie instead of self-tie and I really like it. It is too stiff to be tied in a bow though so I'll need to shorten it.

I don't know what I was doing with the tie! LOL!!!

We'll see if I can make it work in the wardrobe!

September turned out SUPER productive. I have a skirt to review, a dress, and a 2-year old UFO! YOWZA!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A long time coming...Burda 4/2014 skirt

I came across this pic last October and decided I needed a trench skirt.

The patterns I found were generally A-line or fuller and I wanted a pencil shape. I've also had this skirt from the 4/2014 issue on the brain since back then.

I decided the silhouette and seaming made for a great starting point for my inspiration skirt.

I used a size 42 front and 44 back. It is VERY high-waisted. Oy! I have a short torso so I removed 1" from the "cummerbund" as Burda calls it. I could have removed another 1/2". I knew I wanted welt pockets and attempted to redraft the pocket bags from these inseam pockets - it didn't go that well! LOL!!! I almost serged off the pocket bags to just leave mock-pockets. I didn't but I have tiny, barely usable pockets.

I freehanded the storm flap. I had intentions on anchoring it in the side seam but totally forgot and sewed up that seam. I had already trimmed and graded and top-stitched an was not about to redo it I just topstitched it in place like you would a pocket flap.

Construction was fairly straightforward once I had my idea down - it's a pencil skirt! I got it basted and tried it on, let it out through the waist and high hip, then realized it was 'that time' and sat it aside. When I came back to it, I went BACK and sewed all the seams at the original 5/8" seam allowance. I did not topstitch the facing in place.

I rarely add hem allowance to Burda patterns and so I skipped it. But I really liked the length of this unhemmed. I was going to do a facing but then...

I was going to make buttonholes (but not cut them), and the first one was terrible but salvageable since I wasn't going to open it. But then I did the second one and it was completely mangled. I thought the skirt was a wadder! At the very end!!!!

Instructions for removing buttonholes is to remove the stitching on back and remove them from the front. But this is a stretch twill and those tiny zigzag stitches (in this textured fabric) were NOT going to go quietly! I did my best, steamed it a bunch and moved my button markings over just a tad to try to cover the mistake. I think I'm okay with it NOW.

So after all that, I folded up a 5/8" hem, topstitched, and considered it done! :)

I went back and forth on whether or not I was going to have functional front buttons for the closure...or if I would sew the front closed and add the zipper in back.  In the end, because it's a pencil, I decided to use a zipper. I didn't want to potentially have gaping along the button-front.

You can see where I did diagonal stitching on the front so the lower fronts could remain free from each other. The front is hemmed and then topstitched down.
If you look closely, you can maybe see the not fully removed buttonholes??

Invisible zipper, bias tape finish to the facing, hand stitched facings to zipper

I really, really, really like it. I remember ordering this 'gingerbread' Thakoon twill from Fabric Mart and when it arrived, I did NOT like it. I think that's part of the reason I waited so long to make the skirt. I couldn't bring myself to buy more fabric for this project and then nearly as soon as I started cutting out, the color really started to grow on me. I am SO happy with it now. Maybe because it feels very 'fall'?? Idk, it works!

The only thing I wish I would have done differently is the width of the belt (not from the pattern dimensions). This fabric is kind of stiff  and it could have been slightly narrower. But I didn't have enough fabric to cut a new belt and had already topstitched this one, and was NOT about to take it apart to cut it down! LOL!!! Not. Happening!!

The outtakes that made me smile :)

IDK why I look so over it! LOL!

I don't know what I was looking at!

Also, I was in these booties for a matter of minutes; I am side eyeing all the fashion bloggers styling outfits with booties. And it's only about 70 degrees in Minneapolis today. Too soon. Too, too soon! :)

I went from being unsure if I would be productive in September to having 5 finished projects already! LOL! I have a couple TNTs and a fail :( coming to the blog this week! 

Until later!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

McCall's 6884

My tracking spreadsheet says I completed this in August. I have no clue...I completely lost my sewing mojo at some point and it hasn't picked up much. I am working on the trench skirt, traced it on 9/8 and it still isn't done!

I've made M6884 a handful of times and after finishing the Vogue top, I decided I needed an easy project. And, I had already decided I needed a few solid dresses that can transition into fall.

I dug into stash and pulled this emerald green jersey that I bought 2 years ago from Fabric Mart. I was going to make V8904 again but realized the fabric was pretty hefty for a jersey and that would make it a poor fit for that pattern. I was going to make M6886 because I've wanted to try that one with the neckline converted to a bateau and I was going to go for it. I'm not sure what made me decide on M6884 instead but I'm glad I did!

This dress is very fitted but the skirt wrap stays closed and for *me*, it's not too much cleavage. Ymmv! The ties are a bit too short and I always lengthen them just based on how much fabric I have so not a specific length.

Something I noticed immediately after finishing this one? The armhole is far too low. This, again, is an issue with patterns that offer a sleeveless AND sleeved view using the same pieces. They can't both work. The armhole needs to be raised for the sleeve version. So that bugs me a little...but it's also funny how your natural senses about fitting starts to develop as time goes on.

My pattern is cut with a size 14 at the neckline and shoulder, 16 for the rest. I did a 3/4" full bicep adjustment. I'd basted the side seams at 3/8" and ended up sewing them at 5/8". I left a raw hem. I forgot that I found this view a bit short. The back length is too long as well, but it doesn't bother me enough to add a CB seam. The belt pulls it in just fine.

I just love this color!! However, even though it's a jersey (vs a ponte), it's still a tad bit too warm for right now. Will be perfect for fall and will be a nice bright spot come winter.

Lastly, the fronts are doubled but the back isn't. I have on these lightweight smoothing shorts and they're really comfy and ensures no body parts potentially show through :-p In the winter, I'd likely wear one of my slips for warmth, smoothing and easy wear against tights.

The trench skirt is really coming along! The waistband facing needs some hand stitching and an interior snap, the belt carriers need to be sewn on, and it needs to be hemmed. I really love the length as is so I'll be making some bias strips to face the hem.

I hope to finish that and the Ottobre cardigan this month.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

September Plans (October Burda Mag!!)

Can I just sew up the October Burda for September?? That's all I need...

Usually, the fall issues are my favorite -- August, September and October. This year I was underwhelmed by August and September but they have redeemed themselves with me with this October issue!!!!

All of my outerwear plans have gone defunct :( But I just love this coat.  

This blouse is really beautiful and I'm assuming it's meant for lightweight wovens because it has a zipper and slits/cuffs. 

This jacket!!! swoon! It is a shorter version of the coat but I'd like it as more of a blazer but without the belt. I will have to muslin this.

The hoodie is cute - yes it's basic, but I like the wider sleeves, side slits and belt. I'd do belt loops on the side or one in the back but this looks so cozy and like a great option for the upcoming arctic weather (it's 68 degrees today in Minneapolis - it is coming. Soon.).

I wasn't as interested in the shirtwaist dress in the other view but this one with the sleeves?!?!? SWOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'll just have one of those right now pleaseandthankyou. 

The turtleneck and the matching dress I LOVE. I always hated t-necks growing up but one day (since I've been sewing), I realized it's because I have such a big head!! Getting them on was a battle! Now I can make more room for my head! Yay! But also, I think these have a zipper. Burda loves zippers in knits for some reason. I can see maybe using a short ~7-9" invisible so you don't have to worry about getting into them. The soft folds of the collar are just lovely.

 This dress is LOVELY. It is right up my alley - the cut on sleeve, the pleated skirt, the soft gathers at the neckline...It's SO beautiful to me! I definitely have a fabric or two in mind for this dress. 

These are the honorable mentions...I like them but they really aren't on the radar. 

I love a sporty skirt. I don't wear sporty skirts though. But it's so cute! 

*I* like pleated pants. I don't have time to worry about whether or not they make me look wider or emphasize my belly or hips (please do! More hips!!!)...I think they are cute and totally rock them. I just don't like waistband-less pants. 

I am a sucker for a classic blazer. This looks just like the silhouette of a RTW jacket I bought recently so I may make it one day. I recently bought V8333 (the Claire Shaeffer blazer) for the jacket itself, but also for the instructions. I am not making anymore Burda jackets without having made one from a pattern with decent directions.  It's too frustrating. Yes, I've made jackets before but the last couple I've made, I haven't been 100% happy with. I just assume, as I've improved, my standards have changed. I think I made B6169 (Lisette moto) several times because the instructions were SO good, even though I'm not a fan of moto jackets. But that style is way different than a traditional blazer with notched collar, vented sleeves, etc. So I'm going to go with the Vogue and hopefully I can then transfer that knowledge.

My September plans focused on fabric first then wardrobe holes. I don't really need any bottoms - though I would like to sew the shimmery light grey suiting up into a pair of pants...just because I don't have any bottoms that color in my wardrobe right now. And I really want this trench skirt I envisioned months ago and should just sew it so I can wear it at least once! :) So I am going to tentatively list my September plans as:

Trench skirt hack using Burda 4/2014 in an almost copper colored cotton twill

Butterick 5951 dress in grey crepe

Ottobre 5/2017 cardigan in a black/white print jersey

Burda October 10/2018 above with the cut-on sleeves-I have to see how much fabric it takes. I have a couple of contenders but am thinking that pleated skirt may use more fabric than I think.

This is random and not very cohesive so the wardrobe contest probably won't happen. Also, I have zero sewing mojo and haven't been in my sewing room in over a week so we'll see.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

August Wrap-up

I am again uncertain how I sewed 9 things (and 14.75 yards) this month when I feel like I had SO many non-sewing days!! I will say that my 2nd weekend of travel didn't happen which is when I got my V1323 shirt sewn. And I did repeat patterns which makes things go by faster...and one item is actually a UFO.
  • McCall's 7728 top - 1 yd (this bodice used less than that I'm sure)
    • Ankara wax fabric and Bemberg lining
    • zipper
  • Simplicity 8446 - 2.5 yds (this skirt may have used more because of cutting on the crossgrain)
    • Ankara wax fabric
    • buttons
  • Baste+Gather Birkin flares - 2.5 yds (uhmm, I never realized this called for stretch denim! My fabric doesn't even have mechanical stretch and they were just way too small as basted. I have not released the side seams yet. Soon)
    • striped denim
    • zipper, button
  • Burda 7/2018 top - 1.25 yards each
    • blue rayon jersey, grey rayon/poly jersey
    • snaps for lingerie straps
  • Burda 8/2018 top - 1 yd each
    • print poly/lycra crepe knit, print ITY knit
  • Vogue 1323 top (plus scarf!) - 2 yards (I'm almost certain I used more than this much fabric but the top consumed 2 yards. I had a near 6-yard cut which is quite unwieldy so I was cutting off smaller chunks to use as I cut pattern pieces out)
    • print rayon crepe challis
    • buttons
  • McCall's 6884 dress - 2 1/4 yards  (this is coming to the blog soon. Where did this come from?! :) I was so annoyed at my lack of solid colored dresses on a few cool days (to pair with cardigans or jackets and needed something NOW because, of course I did. Plus, easy knit project after V1323!)
    • emerald green rayon poly lycra jersey 
Favorite: :jumps up and down: V1323! I love every single bit of that 'make'! Even the wobbly bits!!

FAILS: So far the jeans. Oy. We'll see how that pans out!

Accomplishment: I am very proud of my work on the Vogue top. I am also very proud of working and reworking the sleeveless Burda to get what I want!

Number of things sewn from my "August plans"? 0

-The trench was partially traced and in a bigger size than I would choose now so I abandoned it for now :( It'll be a spring project because I really, really DO want a trench. But feel like, if I didn't get it done in August, it wasn't worth it for fall. After about mid-October most days would be too cool for it.

-I muslined  M7547 but didn't get to them. I will be making them though!

-Burnside bibs - I'm not sure why I didn't get back to these. We'll see if they make it during fall.

I posted my plans for September / the Pattern Review wardrobe contest. And then I got my fabric order from the always-leaves-something-to-be-desired And the striped fabric which was kind of bold and the centerpiece of my mini wardrobe, was wrong. I get that colors can appear different but it appeared as if I received a wholly different colorway of the fabric (I now think they just have a BAD photo and description. One of the other fabrics I ordered also looked extremely different in person).

I sent them an email asking if I received the correct fabric, with this pic:

This is the response I received:

Yeah. Leave the package outside, "for days" possibly, and someone will stroll by eventually to pick it up.

Uhmm, WHAT?! So I did what I do and ended up sending everything back. All of it went back. Ugh. Not to mention before my order even shipped I got the email that an item had sold out, fine. Sent an item number for a similar blush-colored jersey. They responded that I could not choose that item; my replacement had to be equal or lesser value. Confused I went back to the two items...there was a 50 cent difference in price. Good grief. I get that you can't consistently give away the farm, but 50 cent on a $75 order feels unnecessarily nitpicky. Hell, BILL ME for it!

This is why they spent 3 years (I've only been sewing 5.5 years!!) on the banned list. Their customer service SUCKS. Sure they have prices and selection but I'd rather spend my money with Fabric Mart or Cali Fabrics where you get decent fabric at decent prices with good customer service. There are other online sites with great service! I'm not intending to exclude them...just pointing to the more discounted retailers.

I went back to my fall plans to try to rework them for a new wardrobe and it just felt forced. And I vowed to never sew items for a contest just to do it, especially when there are things I genuinely feel I need in my wardrobe right now. So, I will sew, and we will see if I end up with a mini wardrobe in the end.

Normally, I make a list of garment types and then match pattern and fabric. I got inspired by my fabric this time while cleaning up and organizing. So I pulled everything that was speaking to me and we'll see what they become!

pale grey suiting with a shimmery finish - I don't think there's actual lurex in it (Metro Textiles)
light semi-sheer poly woven in navy with grey abstract print (SR Harris)
plaid cotton shirting in black/white/blue (Fabric Mart)
grey silk georgette (SR Harris)

Black & white print woven (Fabric Mart)
green silk charmeuse (SR Harris)
black and grey sweater knit (Fabric Mart)
grey shirting with very thin black stripe (Fashion Fabrics Club)

orange & white ITY (Fabric Mart)
black & white print jersey (Fabric Mart)

If you're in the US enjoy the long holiday weekend! This isn't a sewing weekend for me but that's okay, it'll be a fun one :)

Until later!