Saturday, November 30, 2019

FAIL: Burda 09/2018 #106

Grrrrrrrr!!!! Wahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

I've been looking for a slim (not skinny) pant pattern and (while working on the dress that's still a WIP), I found this pattern in that same issue.

1) While tracing the pattern, I commented more than once about the leg shaping (slim vs skinny!!). I should have quit then.
2) When I pulled the fabric out it was really wrinkled. I went to iron it and it stuck to the iron / left a residue on my iron! I should have quit then.
3) The fabric has vertical stretch (and no horizontal stretch) which always confuses me. What would one sew that they only need vertical stretch? So I cut on the crossgrain and *just* had enough fabric to do so.
4) I had major issues inserting the inseam zippers for some reason. I should have quit then.

Other issues I had with the pattern is shaping through the inseam and side seam but less shaping through the center seams. I had to tweak the back leg a bit. There were notches on the inseam and side seam but no notches on the center seams. The waistband is just a rectangle. Blergh.

I cut a size 44, took some measurements and made some changes right away to add to the CB length and back crotch extension. I took the side seams in a little through the knee.

My fabric was pretty similar to the magazine fabric in print...

But I've never felt a rayon/spandex fabric that felt like this. It's a gabardine so twill-like...but it felt very plasticky. Meh. 

see where that seam hits?

No real pictures because I was SO annoyed and OVER IT. And there's no saving them because they give me diaper butt AND they are uncomfortable on. So they may look okay, but they are not. 

Oh, I should state that at some point I decided that these could be a (wearable?) muslin for my nice navy ponte but I am NOT using my ponte for this pattern!


I'm overrrrrrr itttttttt with my recent fails. Although I made Vogue 9111 for Thanksgiving and it's cute and awesome so there's that. I'm going to finish up my blazer from the tailoring class this weekend. I want to have it complete to take with me to my sewing meetup next Saturday :)

In other news...when the local sewing group traveled down to Rochester to Ginny's, we found ourselves in a discussion about painful developments with the reproductive system that comes with getting older. It's like I turned 40 and my body said, NOW! I've suffered with ovarian cysts for awhile but those bother me most during ovulation and unless one ruptures (seriously, WORST pain ever), it's not unbearable. I've dealt with small fibroids for awhile and more recently endometriosis. Oy. 

I've been suffering the past few months. Now, I'm obviously not a skinny minny but THIS is definitely not the norm:

Every month for about 2 days, I have this bloating. It is so PAINFUL. And now I'm sure it contributes to my lack of mojo. I'm working with my doc to try to figure out a plan...In the meantime, I'm trying to focus my sewing at the same time and all these fails ain't helping! Grr!

In other non-sewing news, I blew-out my hair last week in preparation for braids and my braider canceled on me. Booooo! So I decided to flat iron it and I've been fussing and whining about slow growth but EEK it grew fast! I've always known the back of my hair literally grows twice as fast and I AM still frustrated by how much longer the back is! :)

Then I had to do a fro comparison pic and Oh! Okay...I suppose it is growing! LOL! 

Hopefully you had an awesome Thanksgiving if you'e in the US....and if not, hopefully you at least had pie! :)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Whining about WIPs

I mentioned before how there's been nothing but fails or quasi-fails lately. I pushed myself to get my Burda dress completed and I can't move in it.

I tried it on multiple times throughout construction and was so confused and disappointed that it felt so snug on my arms after I'd measured and made a 1.25" full bicep adjustment.
And this was with night belly! :-p

It took me awhile but I realized the issue wasn't the bicep width, it was the armhole depth. A quick (but too late) tissue fitting showed the armhole stitching line was just over 1" below my armhole. Grrrr!

A quick check of my PR reviews and blog posts shows the few fitted, woven, sleeved Burda dresses I've made have restricted motion. AH! I need to pay close attention the next time around. As it stands, I am removing the sleeves and going to make this one sleeveless :(

It's fine sleeveless but I wanted sleeves!!

I'm also noticing that the shoulder is a bit long despite using a size 40. Hopefully I can get them undone and bias bound this weekend.

I went for an easy and not critical and QUICK project next. I really liked the Itch to Stitch Cape Cod Capelet when it was released and scooped it up. 

I figured best case, this would work out fine and worst case, it'd be a wearable muslin. It IS winter afterall! 

This fabric is kind of meh. I purchased it awhile ago from SR Harris. I think it's just a *touch* too drapey for this pattern (but feel like a ponte would be too heavy). 

I'm going to finish this one. It looks much better when I hike the CF up a couple inches, so I'll be shortening CF and CB. It's a weird length on me as-is. 

I will also be sewing up the sleeve just a bit more than the pattern indicates. Full review to come!

Not super impressive on Lilly but that's okay...I really like it on!

The rest of November, I hope to:
Finish my jeans (just need bar tacks in various places and to attach the belt loops)
Finish my blazer (I keep trying it on and it looks SO good, I want to wear it!)
Finish my dress above
Finish the capelet
Sew one other low-stakes item. I'm thinking either a top from V9111 for Thanksgiving or a new apron. But I don't want to buy fabric so the apron may be out...we'll see. 

I was rummaging through the stash today and am so excited for my 2 weeks off in December because I will be SEWWWWWIIIIINNNNNGGGGGGGGG my behind off. Being non-religious (more agnostic than atheist), I've long since held the belief that Christmas is for children. Mine are young adults. Christmas presents? No. I just paid tuition bills and phone bills and renewed car registration! LOL! :-p And my husband will be working so it will truly be free time for me. 

Hopefully I'll get out of this sewing rut before then.

Oh! And this week made 8-weeks post-op and I'm healing so well! My scars are almost non-existent unless you look closely and I haven't even used any scar treatments. I'm out of the sports bras around-the-clock and sticking to bralettes (ooh! there's an idea! I can try to work up a bralette muslin soon!). I can't begin to imagine feeling comfortable in an underwire but I suppose it'll happen eventually :)

Monday, November 11, 2019

Review of Ginny's Fine Fabrics and Updates

While having lunch on Saturday, we were trying to remember how our MinneSEWta group began. I'm almost certain it began in the Regional Communities section of PR in mid-2014. Some time ago, we settled on getting together the first Saturday of every month. This way, if you can make it, great! If you can't, that's okay too...maybe another month :)

Normally, we hang out and chat about sewing (or not!). Over time, there's sort of a core group that has developed but really, ANYONE is welcome - there's no cliquey thing happening here.

Sometimes we get together and have a sewing day. Sometimes, we take field trips. I'm not sure who came up with the fantastic idea to visit Ginny's but I'm glad they did!

Ginny's (website ) has existed in downtown Rochester, near Mayo, for decades! (check out THIS write up in the Rochester blog) She is truly a gem and if you have the opportunity to stop in - be sure to do so! She knows that store like the back of her hand and when I tell you that the fine fabrics part is accurate?? It is A C C U R A T E! Name it, and you can find it! From $300/yd cashmere coating to $9/yd cotton voile, it's there.

She doesn't sell online but if you call her and let her know what you're looking for, she will swatch fabrics for you. 

Rochester is about 90 miles southeast of me and it was a pleasant drive down Saturday morning. Downtown Rochester is really pretty and had it not been so cold Saturday, I probably would have wandered around a bit.

My stash OVERFLOWS so I took some time on Friday night to come up with a short list of things I could shop for. I did not however, set a budget. BIG mistake :-p Oh, did I mention there was a 20% off sale that day? OY!

Suiting for pants, Ponte for pants, knit for leggings, plaid shirting, "bright red w/print" woven for a dress. So, what did I buy? :-D

Not pictured: Navy ponte for pants - yay! I could not get a photo of the ponte that wasn't washed out and weird but's navy ponte. It's completely opaque, midweight, and drapes really well. I took pics of bolt ends and didn't get the full composition of this one but, it's a Telio ponte and I captured "65% rayon" so it seems like it may be their Jockey ponte. The composition is listed as 65% rayon, 30% nylon, 5% spandex. That sounds in line with how this fabric behaved.

Next up, knit for leggings - yay! I wanted something slightly heavier than a run of the mill cotton lycra knit. I plan on using V9210, which I made before in an inappropriate fabric. It was a ponte that was much too soft/drapey for a legging-style slim pant. This fabric is 85% poly, 10% rayon and 5% lycra and is black with a sparkly finish, but it isn't textured. It has a nice weight to it and is opaque.

There was a silk twill in red with a black abstract print that I totally swooned over. I may buy that fabric in the future. But, I have 8 cuts of silk in stash that has been collected over the past 2 years and until I sew up a couple of those, I'm not allowing myself to buy more silk (blouseweights). And at $38/yd, I knew I'd talk myself out of sewing it.

This 50/50 cotton/rayon voile is SO nice. It drapes amazingly well yet is completely stable. I'm going to make a shirtdress for sure. Initially, I was going to go with a Vogue with pleats but it came out of the dryer slightly more wrinkled than I'd like a pleated skirt to be. I wouldn't want to spend a ton of time ironing it before wearing it. I bought 3 yards and wish I'd gotten more! It feels amazing and was priced at $9/yd. Total steal.

Next up was a crepe that I just couldn't pass up. I love any sort of black background + bright/light print so I was sold. The label said it was poly but the label didn't contain everything (e.g., it says polye). If this is 100% polyester, it's the most amazing polyester I've ever seen. I think it's a blend. THE DRAPE! OMG. It's beautiful. It's already cut out and halfway to being a dress from Burda 9/2018. Like, the entire front of the dress is constructed :-p If I had thought ahead a bit, I'd have gotten 3 yards instead of 2.5. I would have loved to let this fabric sing in something with lots of pleats or gathers, it drapes so well. I was able to find something with a little tie at the neck that's cut on the bias, and the skirt has a center front pleat.

This beautiful piece of fabric! SWOON! Another sewer found it in the remnant area and it is just gorgeous!! Three of us swarmed over there but when Ginny unrolled it, it was only 1 7/8 yard. As we were all checking out, S. had fell in love with a beautiful, bright silk print and it was pricey and she offered up this crepe to me and I JUMPED on it! :-D I just love the colors and I plan to use it for McCall's 7976. I think it's a year-round color/print for me (navy background) and I want a garment that can transition.

So, I was done! I'd gotten fabric for 3 of 5 specific things on my list...and had still stuck with 5 pieces of fabric.

Then I found this 20" piece of power mesh (beige) in the remnant bin for $6. The remnants were half off and so, SCORE! $3 for a hefty piece. I recently bought the Watson bra, no chance to try it out yet, but I wanted something pretty and sheer to make a set. This stretch mesh (I know it's not swiss dot but can't think of what this is called!) was just the ticket. I bought a full yard so that next spring, I can make a pretty top or dress with a sheer yoke :)

Shopping for fabric really recharged the mojo! When the mojo goes, I can't help but try to figure out why. This time, I realized it's because I've had a lot of fails or quasi-fails in a row.

Since sewing my awesome and beautiful blazer (which I'm going to finish SOON) in mid September, and taking way more time off from sewing than I thought I'd need after surgery, I've sewn:

*Cardigan and skirt from Minerva Crafts ponte. The fabric is too thick for the cardigan and I'm not sure the skirt is really my style though it's cute!! And the fabric works with the skirt pattern.

*M7812 yellow top. I love this top. LOVE. But the fabric. Between this and visiting Ginny's, I think I've decided that jersey knits are something I have to buy in person. I got the yellow fabric from Metro Textiles and it just isn't good and the top won't last long.

*Style Arc Sandra Jeans - I stole these pics off my IG stories :) They fit fine, I like this pattern for the most part. I drafted a curved waistband and these are still gaping. Boooo! I'm to do the elastic trick (a strip inserted and stitched down from left back belt loop to right) and otherwise, they're fine, but it was a disappointment.

*Vogue 9026 - GRRRRRRR. I spent a lot of money to get this fabric and this pattern was not what I wanted. There is a view with no band but it uses the same back pattern piece (that wraps around the front) and it has more of a sweatshirt fit than anything. It's huge and billowy in back and for now, it's in the naughty box and I've moved on for now.


Burda 9/2018 #113 WIP:

Friday, November 1, 2019

October Wrap-Up and Fall/Winter Sewing Plans

This month I sewed 6.25 yards.

  • New Look 6418 skirt - 1.25 yards (WIP)
    • Minerva Crafts ponte
    • zipper
  • McCall's 6996 cardigan - 2 yards 
    • Minerva Crafts ponte
  • McCall's 7218 top - 1.5 yards
    • yellow jersey 
  • Style Arc Sandra jeans - 1.5 yards (WIP)
    • Denim from stash
    • zipper, tack button
Favorite: M7218 top. Well, I love this pattern and with my adjustments to the neckline, it works much better than version 1. And, I was unable to undo my FBA and sew it as-is and it fits beautifully!

FAILS: I am not sold on the cardigan. I've made this pattern a couple times before but always in a jersey knit. I think the ponte may have been too thick for it. So far, it's just been hanging out on my dress form.

Accomplishments: I redid the entire neckline on that McCall's top to make it work. That's pretty serious business for me! :) 

I did add 16 yards to the stash. Y'all, I tried so hard. I knew being at home recovering would leave me vulnerable :-D Especially once I realized I couldn't sew because more than a few minutes of any activity was draining. 

There was a rust-orange "leopard" print double knit at Michael Levine and I really wanted it for a tunic (column 2, top #2). The fabric was like $6/yd and for 2 yards, shipping was going to be like $17! But they were also having a sitewide sale. So then I found a shirting that I wanted and a couple of sweater knits that were reasonable (they're nice too!!!). I think my total was around $40. And shipping was going to be another $20! So I walked away. 

THREE DAYS LATER they were still having a sale and that fabric was still there! I figured why spend $60 and get $40 worth of fabric when I could spend $75 and get $75 worth of fabric!?!?! :-p


I got the leopard fabric, the shirting ended up being sold out. I got two modal knits (at $3.60 and $2.70 per yard!!!), a striped jersey, a charcoal double knit and 2 sweater knits. Ahhhh :) I also love that their confirmation emails include thumbnails of the fabric.

Everything washed and dried well! The green and black striped modal is a little Freddy Kruegerish in person LOL! The ribbed sweater knit (white/grey) is BEAUTIFUL!

I'm really planning to keep the stash additions to a minimum going forward. I was so disappointed when they notified me about the stripe. When my order came and I was sorting to prewash, I had already purchased a striped shirting from SR Harris to use for this specific project. Grrr! So it was actually good for me...and I hate when I find fabric that I've *completely* forgotten about. 

Moving on!

I still have a gazillion reviews to write. I posted an update on IG while working on my jeans. I have a lot of hand sewing to work through. 
  1. Finish my mom's quilt binding
  2. Sew my blazer lining
  3. Hem my NL skirt for my Minerva post. Which I mentioned I'll just do a blind stitch by machine to get it finished.
I've made the Style Arc Sandra jeans twice before and they are looking good. I have them basted together but somehow, someway, I always end up making pants during PMS week. I do it over, and over, and over again. So they are snug, but that pattern has 3/8" seam allowances so it's not like I can find more room if I actually did need it. But, I have totally sewn things up during this week only to find them far too big afterwards. Fibroids and cysts make for some impressive monthly bloat!

I. NEED. TOPS!! I was looking through the stash and was so excited about all of the new possibilities. SO many things have been weeded from the closet and as we are deep into the cooler temps, I want more sweater-type tops that can be worn to work. 

Starting with the tops. Left column, down then back up to the second column. 
  • M7601 I've wanted to make this for forever. I plan to use a black and white diagonal striped blouseweight 
  • V1629 LOVE this and plan to make it in a black and white print georgette.
  • M7975 top, unsure of color/print but I'm thinking either a solid or a stripe (vs other print options)
  • NL6644 top in a solid neutral (cream? grey?)
  • B5678 fabric undecided. I just know I need a shirt!
  • V1642 in this cool textured woven I picked up from Metro Textiles
  • V9026 sweater in the rust leopard print
  • Burda 6990 in a soft blue (soft & fuzzy!) Halston knit
  • S9017 (drool) tunic in *hopefully* the same knit from Fabric Mart that I used for this Vogue top.

  • M7979 tunic/minidress (totally plan to pair with leggings/boots) in a black sweater knit
  • NL6298 dress in a plum heathered double knit
  • Burda 10/2018 dress is actually NOT supposed to be here. Doh. But I am not going back to change the collage sooooo, yeah! My 3rd dress is actually Ottobre 5/2019 in a geometric print double knit from Metro Textiles:


  • Burda 06/2018 in a black & off white boucle
  • S8992 cardigan in the grey and white ribbed sweater knit from Michael Levine


  • Birkin Flares in a medium wash denim
  • M7982 in a camel suiting from FM or Metro Textiles
  • And then, 2 pair of trousers chosen from 3 patterns that I used before. 
    • S2700
    • Burda 6432
    • Burda 03/2013

I'm thinking one pair of the Burda magazine pants because they are flat-front and then 1 pair from one of the other patterns. The cut of the Burda seems more my taste right now compared to the wide leg of the Simplicity. But there's some fit stuff I didn't work out in the Burda and the Simplicity fits so well. We'll see.

  • NL6418 skirt in pleather. I will make the lower panels a little shorter, but I've been wanting this skirt for awhile and I'm making it, for sure, this year!
  • Watson bra. I have a few appropriate fabrics/laces for this. It will be months before I'm at my final size and shape and I don't want to spend a ton of money buying bras and bralettes before then. I bought a wireless bra in a 36C and a week later, there was room in the cups. Hopefully I can make a handful to get me through!
  • Also, I own 2 hoodies and no other long sleeved loungewear. I hope to crank out a couple tops for just lounging around. I really do draw a line between whats 'at-home' clothes and what's 'outside' clothes. Shrug. :)
Now, this is more of a wish list than a sewing plan. I'm sure that there may be some "ooh shiny" or possibly amending fabric/pattern know how it goes!

This month, my goals are
  • finish up my 3 big WIPs (quilt, skirt for Minerva, blazer)
  • 2 pair of pants 
  • 2 long-sleeved tops/sweaters/tunics (I'm dying for the leopard one so that, for sure!)
  • 2 Watson bras
I had a big birthday, we had my parents here, and traveled one weekend in July.
We traveled 2 weekends in August
We traveled 3 weekends in September and then I had surgery
I pretty much recovered all of October

IT HAS BEEN SO, SO BUSY!  November is going to feel like such a reprieve!