Sunday, December 29, 2019

Goodbye 2019!

Earlier this month, I visited Kokoon Fashion, a small retailer here in Minneapolis who opens up her warehouse occasionally with fabric for sale. I picked up almost 20 yards and poof goes my ratio for the year! LOL!!!! Okay, I'm still under but I was doing REALLY well! :-p

This year, I sewed 97 3/8 yards of fabric and purchased 95 yards.
I sewed 48 garments for myself (I was surprised by this low number!!) and 2 gifts.
  • I sewed 10 dresses, 7 are still in my wardrobe
    • 5 versions of B6221 (!)
    • NL6123 which was a wadder
    • Burda 04/2019
    • McCall's 7246 which was removed after the reduction
    • Burda 8/2019 which was removed due to just disliking it
    • Burda 09/2018 which was almost a wadder and still needs the armholes bound
I really love B6621! I wear them all and can see this pattern being made up again, soon :) The twist front versions are a little off now because I did do an FBA on them so the v-neck is a little droopy now. 

I was really sad about the M7246. I never got around to reviewing it, the fabric was amazing, but I know I'm not going to undo the neck band to try to make it work.

My FAVE garment from this category is my floral dress from the 4/2019 Burda mag. I love the fit, the fabric, the flounce, the length, everything!
  • I made 15 tops, 8 are still in my wardrobe.
    • Burda 12/2018 a beautiful top that just fit terribly after the reduction!
    • M7722 was a wadder
    • KS3848 was never reviewed. I really should because that pattern was wonky! But I love the tank!!
    • NL6314 in a distressed french terry (LOVE)
    • Burda 12/2009 top which I never fell for as much as I expected
    • NL6560 that I never wore and removed after the reduction
    • B6378 that I enjoyed wearing but was removed after the reduction
    • S1430 that turned out so lovely and is one of my faves
    • Kommatia tee
    • M7218 top that WAHHHH I want to love but the fabric SUCKS. It can't stay
    • V9026 wadder due to pattern+fabric mismatch :(
    • Itch to Stitch capelet that will be reviewed but won't stick around because of the fabric
    • V9111 top to be reviewed
    • NL6644 tee
    • Burda 6990 to be reviewed but I've realized I need to shorten it to make it work
I've always had an issue with the category of tops. It's always a low ratio of success. Of the 15 tops, only 8 or just over half, are staying in my wardrobe. I'm going to say the S1430 top is my favorite from this category. Of the several times I sewed the shorts, I always considered the top but never sewed it. I can definitely see using this pattern more when the weather turns.

  • I made 4 jackets/cardigans this year, 2 will remain in my wardrobe
    • B6641 which was going SO well and then, IDK what happened. It's been a UFO since January/February
    • V9190 which is a sleeper IMO! It doesn't look super interesting on the envelope but I love it
    • V9099 which is *this* close to being done. Oy! Luckily, it's a very lightweight wool and in a color that I think will work for most of the year
    • M6996 cardigan which I need to review for Minerva then I'll be gifting it to my coworker. She tried it on and loved it.
My favorite from this category is totally my blazer but man, that olive V9190 is a runner up, for sure!

  • I made 1 jumpsuit, 2 pair of shorts and 9 pair of pants. The jumpsuit, 1 pair of shorts, 5 pair of pants remain in my wardrobe
    • NL6189
    • V1411 was a wadder due to...something
    • Burda 6659 shorts for lounging
    • Deer & Doe Sirocco jumpsuit that still fits after the reduction! Yay!
    • S1430 shorts were never worn and will be removed. I know now that the crotch on those shorts don't work that well for me
    • NL6459 removed due to fabric :( The pants would grow and grow and growwww throughout the day
    • M7726 was a big 'ole ugly wadder. Ugh. I hated that pattern
    • Style Arc Sandra jeans are seriously just awaiting belt carriers. DOH!
    • Burda 9/2018 WADDER!!!!! Hated this pattern too!
    • NL6644 haven't been worn yet but I am happy with them!
    • V9210 were recently finished and I think they'll come in handy
    • S2700 is recently finished and is an old fave
With garments that were finished late in the year and haven't really been in the rotation, it can be hard to choose a favorite but the unreviewed NL6189 make me so happy when I wear them!
old pic from the summer!
  • I sewed 7 skirts, 5 for sure, and maybe 6 remain
    • V1501 in the beautiful print crepe fabric
    • Burda 6659 denim midi
    • NL6326 hot pink mock wrap
    • Burda 4/2019 in bright green twill
    • NL6418 matches the M6996 mentioned above in the Minerva fabric. I'm not 100% sure about it. Review to come
    • Burda 2/2017 in a beautiful painted tweed
    • NL6418 in faux leather that I am really uncertain about. The good thing, is even with all the work to "press" and topstitch faux leather, it's a quick project. But my pin and try-on session left me wondering if I'll actually wear it. 
The Burda skirt hasn't had a chance yet but I'm going to tie it with V1501! I adore the Vogue skirt and wear it often, but the Burda is so beautiful!!


So, that's 29/48 garments or 60%. This doesn't include the 4 garments that were removed post-reduction (which would increase my success rate to almost 69%). 


My goals for this year were:
  • Sew 18 Burda Mag patterns - Err. I sewed 9. But, I did sew less overall so I suppose. What I find more surprising, is that I only sewed from one 2019 issue this year - 2 patterns from the April mag. This doesn't bother me much, because I know how Burda patterns grow on me. 
  • Sew 4 Ottobre patterns - Errrrrr. I sewed ZERO! Eek!! I'm going to have to reconsider this subscription if patterns continue to go unused.
  • Buy fewer patterns overall - FAIL! I purchased 89 patterns this year.
  • Be more mindful with fabric purchases - I feel like I did okay with this. I had that melanoma scare early on in the year and I bought a bunch of random stuff waiting for the results but otherwise, I felt pretty good about most of my fabric purchases.
  • Sew menswear - FAIL. I did not actually do this but I AM working out a muslin for him for a blazer. I also bought the Thread Theory Fulford jeans to attempt for him.
  • Outerwear - I did not sew any outerwear pieces this year.
  • Sew a blazer - yay! Done! Well, I just have some hand sewing to do on the Vogue jacket but it got done! I took the tailoring class at Hello Stitch taught by Beth and SunnyGalStudio.
  • Sew party clothes! -  I sewed a sparkly Sirocco gold jumpsuit, the cute V9111 top and the sparkly V9210 leggings

I also ventured way into pants fitting this year and managed to sew a decent amount even with 2 surgeries. I didn't sew at all in March and April and sewed 2 garments in May. I wish I'd achieved a better ratio on fabric in/out. I wish I'd done much better on pattern acquisitions and I wish I'd done better on overall sewing spending (gahhhhh!). 

I will post my 2020 goals and plans in a separate post!


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Notes on pants fitting...

Hopefully your Christmas was great if you celebrate and if you don't, hopefully you had an awesome day off. And if you worked, hopefully it was calm and quiet :)

A commenter (Chabe!) asked on the NL6644 post if I'd post a pic of my pattern adjustments. I will say, that the addition to the back rise (usually ~1") and back crotch point (usually 3/8" to 1/2") are adjustments I make pretty much every time. Recently, I'd been reading/researching a bit more on pants fit and starting thinking about the idea of back rise vs crotch point additions.

I found a YT video -- which I don't have because I come across SO many bits of info and my brain is like a sponge so I remember the important bit but forget when/where -- where the sewer was discussing putting the fabric where you need it. Now, this is sort of a "duh" moment but I think it's easy to get mixed up on what's needed where. e.g., I spent a lot of time making swayback adjustments (which some are legitimate!) but the issue really is wider hips/large butt. So the fabric can't relax where it needs to and it looks like swayback.

Well, with the crotch fit, I've been adding additional length which yes, it's needed overall and it HAS helped. But that wedge at CB isn't where the majority of my adjustment is needed.

So with the NL6644 pants, I made my normal adjustments and it's okay. Like a lot of my pants patterns come out okay. I did add an adjustment for full front thigh.

lowered front rise, increased front thigh

raised back rise and addition to the crotch point

So, I figured next time, I'll add more for full inner thigh, right?

Then, I had a lightbulb moment. I've been down this path before, theoretically, but never followed through. After studying the pics, I copied my crotch curve and compared it to the pattern.

My front crotch curve fits really well. I did actually compare the stitch line (approximately) to the crotch curve but this is the photo I have. shrug.

And here is where things got super interesting to me...


Initially, I overlapped the front and back piece and it was just (obviously) WAY off. Like I'd have to dip several inches into the pants back. 

Then I compared my round part with the round part of the pattern and a-ha! So my butt also fits the curve of these pants but look at how far my inseam is from the crotch point of the pants!! Now, scroll up and look at my back pic. 

If you could imagine forcing that crotch point above to my center mark, it seems like that accounts for those pull lines, right?? At least that's what I think! :) See THIS post from blogger Joyful Expressions on how she added to the back based on a similar back crotch situation.

So, I have a pair of pants to muslin this week, M7982 and will apply my theory to the muslin straight away. Although, the McCall's pattern has a much longer back crotch length than the New Look does, so perhaps a smaller addition. Also, it is much more angular than round, so I will adjust accordingly. 

In the meantime, I cut out my next project, V9201 and compared my "fishbowl" to the pattern.


Caveat #1: It didn't occur til after that this pattern is also less "rounded" in back. But here you can see I added 2" to the back crotch point tapering down through the thigh.

Caveat #2: this pattern is made up in a ponte so that's going to affect fit a bit, especially from a comparison perspective to the woven NL6644.

At any rate, I basted the inseam and side back seam (there's a side panel and no side seams for the upper half of the leg) and made some tweaks after trying to read the wrinkles. So which fit do you think is "best"?
Oh yes, my fabric is sparkly! I got it on the trip to Ginny's in Rochester

A. Sewn as-is. 5/8" seam allowances, no other changes

B. The seam between the white chalk marks (looks like a smudge) was let out to 3/8".

C. The seam between the white chalk marks AND the inseam through the thigh (about 9-10") was let out to 3/8".

D. The inseam was sewn back at 5/8" and the seam between the white marks at 3/4".
I felt D was better than A, B, and C.

E. Which is taken a different day, has the seam between the white marks and the inseam sewn at 3/4" until about mid-thigh. It also has the crotch "scooped" or rather, made more rounded than angular.

The pants will be sewn up and completed with the adjustments shown on E. I think that the 2" added to the crotch point ended up adding just a bit too much to the inner thigh. I have very full inner thighs and this is also an adjustment I've made before but usually much smaller (3/8" or 1/2"). I am wondering about extending the crotch point just a touch more while also tapering the area through the thigh.

I'm excited to try out this extended crotch point on a pair of woven pants! Will plan to document that process as well.

Monday, December 23, 2019

New Look 6644

Why on earth would they put her in those tiny shoes?!

I fell for this pattern SO hard when it was released. Earlier this month at our sewing meetup, a fellow sewer had worked up a muslin of these pants. I tried them on and while they were a size too small, I liked the overall fit and went home THAT day and muslined them! :)

I went through a bunch of fit iterations and it was after I cut everything out that I had a small lightbulb moment regarding crotch length (and distribution!) and shape. I plan to explore that when I muslin M7982 this week. Here is my muslin of NL6644:

The back seems like it could be okay even though some changes are needed but then:
Hahahahaha! Not quite enough space there!

I cut a size 18, and ended up lowering the front rise 3/4" and added 1" to the back. I added 3/8" to the back crotch point tapering down to the notch for additional thigh room.

Now, the adjustments for full inner thigh (look at how my horizontal balance lines are pulling up in the pic above) and pronounced quads are similar. I added 1/4" to the front crotch point and 1/2" to the front inseam tapering to nothing at the notch. 

I think the front adjustment was super successful and I don't know why I never adjusted for my quads before! Doh! Discoveries include, realizing I need a WHOLE lot more length at the back crotch point than anything. 
Paired with iteration number 4 or 5 of Burda 7136

On the top, I cut a size 14, added 1/2" at the lower back for additional hip room and did a 2" full bicep adjustment. I didn't want a ton of blousing so sewed the band at 3/8" and attached it with a 1/2" seam allowance. I ended up cutting 3" off the sleeves and making bands to match the finish on the top. 


Pattern Likes:
The neck binding is well drafted in length but I think it finishes a tad too wide.

I just LOVE the deails on the pants! I like the 2 rows of elastic in the waistband, all the pockets! and the cool details with the stitching and optional trim at the front pocket

Dislikes
IDK why the sleeves are so freaking slim! I mean, 1" addition is standard for me but I added 2" and still sewed a slightly smaller seam allowance through the bicep.

The pocket flap for the back pocket has 3/8" seam allowance. It is the ONLY pattern piece that did! The pocket that it attaches to has a 5/8" allowance. The cargo pocket and it's flap? 5/8". Of course I found myself needing to recut. Grr!

Not really a dislike because I obviously didn't make the other view but I'm not sure about that jogger style in most linen or cotton fabrics (suggested fabrics). I think there should definitely be a little drape if you're going to elasticize those hems.
no pulling from my quads! Woohoo!

The top is made from a grey rayon lycra jersey that's been in stash for a bit. The pants are made from a cotton fabric that I THOUGHT was sateen but now I'm not sure. It's completely opaque but ended up way more lightweight than I remembered it being.

So as much as I love them and would 100% wear pants this color in winter, they are NOT warm enough for any sort of weather that we'll be having any time soon!! It was 40 degrees on Saturday and we were down to sweatshirts because, WARM! And these were still too light. So I get to stare at them until May. Wah. Or maybe I just need a vacation!! :)
I really like the fit on both and will definitely plan to tweak that back fit eventually. 
I'd love a pair of these in white this summer! 

Digging them!!! 

I'm going to 100% recommend this pattern if you were maybe, possibly considering it. Simple pieces that can be super versatile with fabric choice. 


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Sewcation

Blah, blah. Broken record. I need to blog several items. It's winter in the tundra and light is scarce. But I'll be home for days and days and I plan to photograph all the things! and will blog them soon. It's important to me to blog my projects; it isn't just about blog content (especially since I don't review on PR anymore).

I use info from my past projects, even the ones that have been removed from my wardrobe, for so much! There are things that I've gone searching for only to be frustrated that I never blogged them. So even if it ends up being quickie posts that aren't super detailed or posts that combine garments, I like to get a photo of the garment on me and details about the pattern "on paper".

Today marks my annual sewcation since starting this job. We close from Christmas Eve until the day after New Year's Day and I usually bookend some additional time off. So after today, I don't return until the 2nd and I am considering taking the 2nd off and going back on the 3rd. We'll see :)

When I returned to work after the reduction surgery, the weather had changed, and I did a quick run-through to see what would work from my current wardrobe.

Well, now that things are settling, I'm realizing I have to cull a lot more than I thought. I had the realization that I just don't wear stuff that's been FBA'd :) which is, the vast majority of my tops and dresses, for obvious reasons! I was a 34F going in and am a 36C now.

Sidebar:
There was some great info in a group I'm in on why so many see a change in band size afterward. Alls I know is, I tried on a bunch of bras and the 36C felt and looked great (swoon) and so yeah...I have a 34D which would be a "sister size" (a concept I never really agreed with) and it's just...not right. I wear bralettes and wireless bras 100% of the time now but was SUPER surprised that I didn't find a wired bra uncomfortable. I'm about 3 months post-op which, many women feel okay with underwire at this point while many more happily forego it forever :) I think part of the comfort factor also depends on where the anchor scar is placed on the body (if the surgeon went that route).

Anyway! I need tops. And it's cold in the tundra so I need cozy, warm tops. Most of my previous wish list stands and I made a big list of wants, cleaned up the sewing room, pulled all the fabric and patterns, and will move through projects as I see fit.


Now, I do not believe that I am going to sew 8 tops, 2 pair of pants, 2 skirts, a hoodie and knit a headband (oh! And muslin my husband's blazer!!) in 12 days. That requires magic. I possess no magic.

What I CAN say is that my NL6644 top is just in need of sleeve hems and the Burda 2/2017 skirt is ready to cut and sew (wool tweed fabric is prepped and the pattern is adjusted).

I've made Burda 6990 turtleneck sweater, NL6418 skirt and V9210 leggings before though V9210 may need some more tweaks to the back pattern piece and NL6418 skirt will be in faux leather.

V1629 and S8948 tops will require muslins. I plan to use precious fabric for both, really want them, so I will do my best to get them right. M7982 will also, of course, require a muslin.

I can also tell you that I can't sew for long periods of time. I know, right?! I have to take a break after a bit and I hope to work on my knitting in between sewing projects. My fro cannot fit under any of my hats and it's COLD y'all!

Lastly, I will tell you that I feel like I MUST sew:
*husband's blazer muslin
*Burda 2/2017 hand-painted wool tweed skirt (swoon)
*NL6418 black faux leather skirt
*Burda 6990 sweater in a lusciously soft Halston knit
*B5526 shirt in a cotton shirting: white w/thin black stripes
*M7982 because I just WANT these pants! I'm using a dark brown suiting (used HERE)
*M7601 because...WANT! I'm using a diagonal striped poly blouseweight

And all that after whining about needing tops. And, this list might be too ambitious. But, you never know! :-D









Monday, December 9, 2019

Semi Fail: Burda 8/2019 #101


Semi fail because it's technically fine and it's wearable...but it's a dud for me.

I just loved this when the mag was released. I knew I was drawn to the fabric mostly, but thought the dress was cute and would work.

 Meh.

1) I made this in August and it did NOT work pre-reduction but I held onto it because I figured it'd be fine after.

2) I love the fabric! I do not love the fabric in this dress :( I scooped it up from SR Harris. It's a very weight rayon challis (as rayon challis goes) and behaved so well.

I used a size 40 graded to a 42. I skipped the FBA because surgery was coming up. I gathered the elastic to the center as shown in front but not in back. It created a crazy poof of fabric over my butt. I just distributed the elastic easily across back.

The waist casing is made using one of my favorite methods. A separate casing is created and sewn in place, then the elastic is threaded through. I like this so much better than creating a casing from sewing a bodice and skirt together to create a casing.
I hate the sleeves. They're way too long on me and I don't like the "ruffle" created on the other side of the elastic. As a matter of fact, the casing isn't even sewn close because I was thinking about changing the sleeves. I do like the way the casing was constructed here. It's very clean. They have you hem the sleeve edge and fold up at the fold line. Topstitch the edge then 1" (or whatever) away creating the casing. This way the inside is clean and the ruffle edge is clean.

One of the possibilities was shortening the sleeves to break up the print and because, I don't like 'em. But I decided that wasn't going to be enough to tip the scale.


IMPORTANT NOTE: I am 100% not looking for tips/help to make this work. This has been hanging up for 3+ months and tried on and tinkered with and blah blah blah. Sometimes, things look okay but they just do not work for you, for reasons. I haven't worn it and won't because I just don't like it on.

I don't have any interior pics - I just didn't care enough. LOL! And I'm not going to lie to myself and say I'll repurpose the fabric because I'm not unstitching the topstitching from the front gathers or unstitching the casing for the waist elastic and mehhhhhhhh. Perhaps someone else will love it.

Moving on!

My blazer is SOOOOO close! And it's beautiful! And I love it!

 
One shoulder pad is in and basted...
I need to insert the other pad, sew them both in, then stitch the hems. 
Final press and it'll be ready to wear! :-D

I have a pair of pants in the works from NL6644. I went to sewing meetup on Saturday and a fellow sewer brought her muslin. I worked up a muslin of the pants that evening and now I'm about halfway through them. I'm so excited!! They're pink! LOL!

I started the weekend planning to vacuum, wash the quilt & couch blanket and wash my hair. I did none of these things but what did I do!? I went to meetup, went to see Frozen 2 with my daughter (so cute!), went home and worked on my pants muslin. Sunday, went to see Knives Out (so funny!!) and worked on my pants some more. Way, way, way better. Except today my fro is struggling! :-p


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

November Wrap-up and December Plans

I won't drone on and on about the passage of time but...OH EM GEE! lol!

This month I sewed up 10 yards. I sewed:
  • Vogue 9026 top - 1.5 yards (WIP)
    • animal print double knit from Michael Levine (new) 
  • Burda magazine 9/2018 dress - 2.5 yards
    • print poly crepe woven from Ginny's (new)
    • zipper
  • Itch to Stitch Cape Cod Capelet top - 1.5 yards
    • striped sweater knit from SR Harris (stash)
  • Vogue 9111 top - 2.5 yards
    • tonal animal print jersey (stash)
  • Burda magazine 9/2018 pants - 2 yards (FAIL)
    • print rayon/lycra gabardine from Cali Fabrics (stash)
    • zippers
Favorite: I don't really have a favorite this month. I really like the Burda dress but am honestly less jazzed about it with it being sleeveless. The V9111 top isn't anything special but it's also exactly what I thought it would be, so that's great!

FAILS: Those dang-blasted pants! (read previous post for whiny saga) and my wonderful animal print knit did not pair well with the V9026 pattern. I still haven't looked at a fix for that :(

Accomplishments: Low key month here. Nothing special happened!

I also bought 12.5 yards of fabric on the trip to Ginny's.

2019 totals so far:
IN: 78 yards
OUT: 85.5 yards

December Plans:

December is always a bit harder to plan as I have that chunk of time off work. My last day of work is December 20th and I go back January 2nd. I get A LOT of sewing done during this time!

Until then, I'm going to continue to focus on completing some things:
*Burda 9/2018 dress (I just have finish the armholes)
*Vogue 9099 jacket (The lining is ready to sew in. I'm doing it by hand.)


I would realllly like to get a couple pair of knit or elastic waist pants done but I'm not sure it's going to happen. I may switch gears and sew up a couple knit dresses instead.