Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October Wrap-Up and November Plans


I don't want to be that person who focuses on the passage of time but goodness! This year is flying by!

Fall sewing is well underway all around the blogosphere - yay! Those in warm weather climates hold out for as long as they can it seems but then fall (my favorite season!) goodies start popping up and it makes me happy! :-D

This month, the mojo was on pause but I rallied in the end! In the last half of October I sewed 5 yards:
  •  Burda 8/2017 jacket - 2.25 yards
    • navy wool melton with navy acetate lining
    • Buttons (glorious, beautiful buttons!)  
  • Style Arc Mindi skirt - 1.25 yards
    • black stretch cotton twill
    • zippers 
  • Burda 11/2018 top - 1.5 yards
    • black/grey burnout jersey
Favorite: The jacket is exactly as I imagined and I love it! There are parts of the sewing I suppose I could gripe about but...I won't!

"Fail": Not quite but...the Mindi skirt has me a bit on the fence. It's SUPER boxy and the back feels almost A-line while the front is straight. I like it just fine but it isn't what I pictured.

Accomplishments: Nothing really sticks out. Outerwear is always a BIG project but a little bit at a time and then, it's done! Otherwise, I traced, adjusted and sewed my Burda top in one evening and wore it to work the next day! That's always fun :)

Also, I didn't buy any fabric in October!  I was going to pat myself on the back for not having purchased fabric the last 2 months but that isn't entirely true...our local group visited Kokoon Fashion and bought some of the designer's fabric and that was mid September.

November Plans

I feel *really* good about my fall/early winter plan. (by mid January we're going to be in Michelin-Man type layers) I also feel really good that I'll be able to go the rest of the year without buying fabric because I'm so excited about my current plans. We'll see!

Two of these have now been sewn. Next up is the Vogue dress and mock t-neck top (above the Mindi skirt). And then I'm going to make an olive version of the Burda top.

Love this top!
A little further along than this on the skirt - it just needs topstitching on the waistband.

I'll probably save the 'cozier' items - the Simplicity version of the Toaster and the Burda cardigan lower right - for when the mercury drops a bit more. 

I plan on saving the Birkin flares and Burda blazer (middle pic of the toppers) for my long December break. Those projects are perfect for completing by stealing bits of time.

Are you well into your fall sewing plan? Inspired by any of the recent pattern releases?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Sewing Outerwear! Burda 8/2017 Jacket

This post is kind of epic...lots of photos!

Blahhhhh. Not the coat. Me. As mentioned in my prior post, I decided on a slow sewing project for a couple of reasons. And I know that 15 days for a piece of outerwear isn't technically a long felt like forever! LOL! But also felt very low-pressure, which was needed.

I purchased this fabric - wool melton - from Fabric Mart last November in the buy the piece section. I spent $21 for 2.25 yards. When I went to NYC, I saw these buttons at  M&J Trimming and decided they were IT! I spent $3.98 per button and bought 7 (1 extra to have on hand) so they cost more than the main fabric! I got my lining from Metro Textiles.

I traced this pattern in a size 42 and did a 1" FBA and ended up lowering the dior dart too much. Sometimes I notice it and it annoys me...sometimes I don't. I'm sure in the long run I won't care. On Burda tops, I normally trace a size 40 shoulder but stayed with the 42 here because, outerwear. I think it fits fine.

The sleeve measured *ok* but then, I have to always consider the intended design ease - I want to keep with the spirit of the pattern. And since I normally need to add to the bicep I decided to muslin the sleeve to decide on the adjustment.

It was okay -- not tight but I didn't want to struggle when wearing a long sleeves or a sweater underneath. I added 1" which ended up being too much. I took 1/2" out (total) from the back seam. You'll also notice that my sleeve dart is super pointy on the muslin. I ended up having to baste the dart until I got it smooth and then I stitched it and removed the basting stitches.

LOVE the back fit!!!

I love the collar and know why they had you interface the upper and under...but this melton is THICK. I should have used a lighter interfacing or only interfaced one side. The under-collar uses the same piece when really, it should be slightly smaller.

Speaking of the collar...the instructions have you attach a collar stand to each collar piece and then sew those together. The stand almost looked like it didn't fit the collar (there's this flat part on the collar) but you just have to mind your markings. On the stand, I marked in the seam allowance and lined it up with the collar...

And ta-da! Unpicking those stitches was NOT fun though.

I adore the in-seam buttonhole and decided to go with bound buttonholes for the other two. For the windows in the facing, I used the 'interfacing method' where you use interfacing instead of organza and when you turn it to the inside you can fuse it in place. I still stitched around it by machine because I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Makes me happy!!

The shoulder seam on the jacket is forward but I'm not sure why. The facing and lining has the shoulder seam in the normal position. Just a design choice??

The sleeves are new to me...some kind of a raglan / set-in hybrid?? It's 2-piece but you have the dart and it didn't need easing. Weird!

I used a raglan shoulder pad from Wawak

This is the only time I'll ever button that upper button! LOL!!! 

The pockets aren't very usable for me :-/  One, I put them too close to the flaps and two, they sit high up on the body. They can't really be lowered though...if I were making this again for some reason I'd just add welt pockets.

The entire time I was sewing the pocket flaps, I knew that the double layer of melton was too much. After getting them done, I knew there was no way they would attach neatly. So I redid the flaps with lining on the interior. I skipped the topstitching in most places on this jacket. I hand stitched the pockets to the jacket.

Kudos to Burda for their wonderful back lining piece. No finagling to ensure you have ease in back!

When I was ready to do the lining, I pinned the vertical seams of the lining and jacket together and my coat was a bit bigger than my lining. Wahhh! I can only assume that I stretched the wool out a bit during sewing/trying on. I was able to shrink it back with steam for the most part but the front of the lining just was NOT meeting the facing at the bottom. And I had already pinked my lining seams so couldn't let them out. I left it for a couple days and said, screw it. I likely won't ever even notice it.

I cut gussets and finished the area. Shrug.

Then I had it repinned, had sewed the sleeve lining to the sleeves already and was ready to sew the hem. OMG...I forgot the shoulder pads! So I had to go in there and insert them. I sat down to tack the pads in and saw this:


I unpicked the area, resewed it and FINALLY hemmed it. I placed my inseam button and then placed the others by measuring. It was very important that they line up. When I went to button it I realized I didn't leave enough slack on the functioning buttons so I'll need to re-sew them. Wahhhh! :)

But I finished it and I love it!

I've wanted to take photos at this wall since forever. It's the side of the building of the Ace Hardware. They also had a fall display out and a sign welcoming people to take photos!

This coat has been on my to-do list for awhile and I am SO glad I finally got to it! If you're interested in this one, it's the featured pattern and has full instructions and pics.

I have the Style Arc Mindi pattern cut out so that's up next.

Monday, October 15, 2018

I sewed! I sewed!!!

O. M. G.! lol!!

Life is hectic, work is busy, I am tired, Mojo - gone. There's another piece though to my missing mojo! I mentioned in my September wrap-up that I've lost about 15lbs resulting in a lot of things no longer fitting. When I went to put away my summer clothes I separated the things that didn't fit anymore or that I was just tired of or whatever. The things that needed purging got purged! 

I pulled out fall/winter and ended up in a long try-on session as a lot of those things no longer fit either. And I think that contributed to killing my mojo. Another 15lbs and I'll likely be down another size and don't want to invest a lot into things that may not fit sooner rather than later. So I decided to sew a coat! LOL!

I've wanted this jacket from the 8/2017 Burda mag since forever. It was supposed to be one of my projects this spring but it got back-burnered.
Friday, I got home and was going to SEW. I was ready. I went and got the mag, because I knew I'd started tracing it, and could not find the tracings. I looked in a couple of spots where it could have possibly been misplaced and nothing. I was so dejected! I did not want to start over. After whining about it for awhile, I decided to get to work. 

And then I opened the pattern sheets and ta-da! My tracings were neatly folded inside the sheets. WHEW.

I'd traced a BUNCH and added seam allowances!

I used the dryer method to treat my fabric, which I got in a By the Piece deal at Fabric Mart. $21 for 2.5 yards of 100% wool melton!! The buttons I bought for it cost more than that!

Oh wait, after I found the pattern pieces, I couldn't find my fabric! LOL!!! And the fabric and lining had gotten separated. Sheesh!!!!

I opted to do the small parts first and started on the pockets.

Once I got to this point though, I realized there was no way I'd be able to cleanly stitch that flat that's doubled wool. I ended up recutting the flaps with lining vs double fabric. I also decided not to do the topstitching.

And I stitched those pockets by hand! I will topstitch the flap down.
(this was before steaming to set the hand stitches) 

I got the back completely assembled, the fronts adjusted (I moved my dior dart when doing an FBA and don't think I should doesn't look bad but it's just a tad lower than would be most aesthetically pleasing), and the fronts assembled. I also sewed the collar unit and it's ready to attach.

I'm so excited about this!

On Sunday, I woke up to this:

And aside from going out for breakfast and washing a load of clothes, I did almost next to nothing yesterday. Oops! LOL! 

I still need to adjust the sleeves -- full bicep adjustment and lengthen them (they're 7/8 length as designed). I should be able to get the shell completed this week and hopefully the lining over the weekend!

It's starting to cool down quite a bit but, if you live in a cold climate, you have that initial shock when the temps drop...then you adjust. 35 isn't "cold" because we've got another 30-50 degrees to drop in "real" winter! 

So that and the fact that we have some more 40-50 degree days coming and I should get a good amount of usage this fall still...and at the start of spring ("spring") :)

Until later!

Update: WIP Pic! Still so much to do...and I was careful (I thought) and still got shine marks. I Googled suggestions on removal and will try it on a scrap. Fingers crossed. I don't know that I care though because I am loving it! :-D

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

McCall's 7745 Mod

Remember when I used my beautiful floral rayon challis to make the nightmarish M7745?

 I wear this dress grudgingly.
It's pretty. So pretty.
I love the fabric.
I love the skirt.

The bodice was an absolute nightmare. But the skirt!!! :-)

I used the skirt pieces as is and knew I wanted to draft a contoured waistband vs. straight.

I don't know how to draft a waistband.

I traced the waistline of the skirt pieces onto tracing paper, decided on a 'height' and used my French curve to finish the upper part, then added seam allowances. I hadn't even cut it out of fabric before I realized it was strangely sloped at the sides. So I cut it out and then used that as a template to shape it better. I think it came out okay...but it's an exercise I'd actually like to learn to do properly.

The fabric is actually cotton shirting! I fell in love with the plaid pattern and colors and decided way back in April when I ordered it that it would one day become a skirt from this pattern.

I paid a little attention to plaid matching at the side seams and did not think ONCE about the waistband. Oy! But look at that beautiful ruffle!!!!

It was cut size 16 and added a CB seam. I handled the ruffle the same as before; rolled hem on my machine (it works really well!!) and gathered in 3 sections. I sewed it on and had sewn the skirt to itself. For like, 15"! LOL!!!!!!!!! Unpicked it and did it again! But only for a few inches. So after all of THAT unpicking...I made a tiny hole in my fabric. I put some fraycheck on it and kind of folded the skirt on itself where the hole was and put some black interfacing over it. With the print and the can't even tell.

Also, I opted for skinny ties vs wider ones more integrated with the waistband. And I hate making a pass-through hole for the belt in a true wrap. If you look closely in the pic above you'll see my little elastic loop; there's a button on the interior of the waistband.

I had spent so much time on the ruffle and the unpicking and resewing that I opted to do a "clean" waistband facing. I am 100% for serging it and leaving it be. I have no problems with it and it's what I do like 95% of the time. Every now and then I add bias tape. I do like how nicely this looks though!

I have not had time to get pics and this has been finished 2 weeks AND we're in a never-ending cycle of rain and gray skies so I'll have to use the (still, not that good) photo I took the first time I wore it:

LOVE. I'm so glad I didn't set this pattern on fire like I wanted to after making the dress!

In other news, I am mojo-less. It happens. I know it'll come back. This time even reorganizing fabric, flipping through Burda or looking at patterns has triggered the mojo. We'll see...

Monday, October 1, 2018

September Wrap-up and October Plans

Seriously? September is over? Just like that?!?!?

I was feeling pretty blah at the start of the month. I made a lot of things this month; most super easy (knits) and TNT patterns or patterns I've used before. It definitely ups the productivity!

I have lost maybe 15lbs since spring and I don't feel like I look very different...but so many things no longer fit. My wonderfulfantasticamazinglysewn V9032 pants, skirt and dress from that black wool suiting don't fit anymore. I seem to have stabilized at this ~178-180lbs so maybe I'll take them in. I hate, so much. I get to sew new things! But I get sad that some favorites no longer work :( Working with patterns that have been made before helps fill the gaps a bit faster.

This month I sewed 6 things and 10.25 yards:

  • McCall's 7745 skirt hack - 2 yards
    • plaid cotton shirting
    • snap

  • Burda 4/2014 trench skirt hack - 2.25 yards
    • stretch twill
    • buttons, zipper, decorative "ring" (it's a triangle...)

  • Ottobre 5/2017 cardigan -2 yards
    • print jersey
    • cording

  • McCall's 6964 tee - 1 yard
    • slub jersey

  • McCall's 6886 tee hack - 1.25 yards
    • slub jersey

  • Simplicity 2369 dress - 1.75 yards (WIP)
    • print ITY
Favorite: The short sleeved tee. You thought I was going to say the skirt, right? :) I do love it but the tee shirt is just perfection. I have worn it 3 times already and just finished it about a week ago! LOL!!

The McCall's skirt hack is a close runner up. It works out so absolutely perfectly as a skirt. The dress is beautiful but that bodice is t.r.a.s.h.!

Accomplishment: The trench skirt! Maybe it's about time I stop mentioning my dislike/disinterest in 'hacking'. It just depends on how badly I want the thing I want :)

FAILS: I have a version of S2369 that was sewn in 2015 and I absolutely love it. It's from an ITY and I wear it very, very often.

For the current one, the ITY I chose was one of FM designer brands and I liked the fabric and it has an abstract geometric print and I love the color...but am not loving the dress on me. At all. :( I don't mind it with a topper but otherwise it doesn't move me. I'm going to finish it and see if I wear it. Meh.

October plans:
I don't have any?? I have a short list but mentioned not being able to fit a few of my basics. I had to attend a memorial service on Saturday and had to quickly take in my black skirt through the hips. I can't fit my black trousers, can't fit my black dress and just pulled out and washed my fall clothes so we'll see what may need to be replaced.

I'd posted this before; I've sewn the two on the upper left (S2359 from the orange/white ITY and Ottobre 5/2017 from the black/white jersey) and the lower right (M7745 skirt). So far, I'm still working from these fabrics. 

Also, I fussed about my order, they finally sent me a return label, then life happened and I forgot about it. I "found" the box this weekend and now it's too late to return them. So I may incorporate some of those solid crepe and challis fabrics into my plans for blouses as I need a bunch more solid colored tops and dresses. I have a lot of drapey blouses I want. Also, I saw this RTW chambray dress and am thinking about copying it. 

So basically, we'll see which way the wind blows!