Monday, January 27, 2020

Some Random Musings

Friday the 24th was my 7-year sewing anniversary!! January 24, 2013 my husband asked if I wanted to get a sewing machine and we hightailed it to JoAnn. I had NO idea what I was doing and chose something that was in the middle of the road price wise. I got the Singer Talent 3321 and was off to the races! :)

Looking at old pics, I realized the first few things I made were RTW ruboffs! This is something I hardly EVER do now because it seems like so much to consider and yet as a rank newbie, I was for it! LOL!
Recently, I sewed NL6150. The last time I sewed the pattern was in 2013, soon after learning to sew. I pulled it out and oh my gosh. Parts of the pattern was cut in a size 14...some parts in a 16. It was so random! I look back and just laugh at myself.

Within 2 months of buying a machine I'd made shorts, fly front pants, button front shirts, a pencil skirt with zipper, knit tops and dresses...I had a fabric and pattern stash too! I'm telling you, I jumped IN!

It's been such a fun and incredible journey and I am happy to have what is, quite frankly, a life-changing skill and hobby.

I finished up Simplicity 8948 this weekend. OH EM GEEEEE. I used a polyester georgette and I am mean mugging everything because I hated each and every second of sewing this top but I love the top so much! Review to come - soon!

I've also recently finished up my Vogue 8772 tie neck shirt. The sleeve fit is *just* a bit off and as I was thinking about that (and my desire for a bodice muslin), I decided to take a little time and draft and muslin a sleeve.

I had my husband take the measurements (so much easier when someone else can do it) and used a tutorial from Threads Magazine to draft it.

When I took a tuck out of the front sleeve, it brought the shoulder line in position and resulting in needing more in back which makes sense, IMO and fits with my recent questioning on whether or not I need a forward shoulder adjustment. I've seen two adjustments for this and one is basically what I did here. Slash and overlap the front which opens the back. True the curve and carry on. This from Threads issue #184. The other has you make a horizontal slash through the cap, shift the sleeve, and true the curve. I'm going to try the Threads fix first.

I'm working on B6183 (more below) and merged my sleeve with the pattern so we'll see how that works out!
If you look closely, you will see a picture on my belt. My husband stuck one of his mini school-pictures on ALL sorts of stuff. LOL!
A couple years ago, I made this coat from Burda 8/2017 (blog post). I wore it this weekend and 1) the belt is a little short. I really cut it close on fabric when I made this and had to piece the facings and the belt.
I'm wondering if I should add a buckle to one end to make it more useful. I did decide to add 4 large snaps and it looks like, 1,000 times better! I am so mad I didn't do this sooner!!Will post pics once I'm done...sewing in 8 snap pieces is a lot of work when you have non-cooperative hands.

Last year, I found a local woman who refurbishes and sells knitting machines. She demoed a Brother Kh965, I fell in love, but that was a bit too far out of my budget. She thinks she has a Kh910 and I'll find out more this week. YAY! But, I've been on a tear for a knitting machine for awhile. I periodically check Craigslist here, in WI, in Chicago, in Atlanta, in Phoenix...places where I have people who can snag it for me. And so far, nothing much that isn't way out of my price range. I also check the shopgoodwill site on a regular basis. I check there for knitting machines and hopes of snagging a Brother PE series embroidery machine for a good price.

When I checked Saturday, this BabyLock Imagine was at $251. It's gone up another $100 so far. The auction ends tonight and I'm curious to see how much it fetches.  It looks to be in excellent condition too.

My next project was going to be my version of the woven hoodie/top from Burda 1/2020 (it's going to be lace!).

I went to SR Harris to see if I could find fabric for the cuffs and picked up a woven remnant, 1 yard for $4. It felt a little heavy and has a very slight sheen. I did a burn test and it behaved mostly like cotton but ALSO had silk properties. I washed it, air dried it and then popped it in the dryer for a few to remove wrinkles and I am thinking I scored a yard of cotton/silk blend twill for $4 y'all!

The remnant was 1 yard plus 12" or so (cut irregularly) and I squeaked this top out of that 1 yard section! I purchased this trim on my first trip to the local designer (Kokoon) warehouse sale and knew I'd use it for B6183 once I found the right fabric. I think this is a match made in heaven!

I posted a video on my IG stories and here are a couple stills (hopefully not too grainy).

trim is hand basted with silk thread. mmmmmm!

I'm pretty much basting the entire bodice together to check for fit before moving on. I'm so excited for this top!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

All in a Day's Work

Our local group was supposed to get together on Saturday for a sew day and then a blizzard struck Friday afternoon into Saturday afternoon so it was canceled.

I'd been so excited for it (I am always excited for our meetups) so I decided I'd still have a sew day. It was cold, it was snowing, the winds were out of control and I wouldn't be going outside anyway. Plus, I'd prepped everything so it was ready to go.

I'd decided that I'd take my serger instead of sewing machine and work on loungewear, and that I'd work around areas that needed a sewing machine or my cover stitch until I was back home. When the storm hit I figured, why change the plan?! So I went for it! :)

I've been meaning to sew M7061 for FORever. It has so many positive reviews and I just kept putting it off. In 2018, I ordered this precut from Fabric Mart (those are seriously some of THE best pieces of fabric I've owned!!). It is Ann Kelle for Kaufman cotton spandex (95%/5%) knit. Can you believe I paid $6.40 for 4 yards?!?! I washed it up awhile ago and just hadn't gotten around to it. Oh, rookie mistake: I didn't notice til I had cut like 60% of my stuff out that I'd forgotten to remove the label. Luckily, I was able to cut around it.



This is one of *those* patterns. 1) It has XS-M in one envelope and L-XXL in another. I needed a medium top and large bottoms and luckily, I'd purchased both sizes. 2) All the views for the top? ALL overlaid. I HATE when they do that! The short, straight seam for A, the longer, curved view C, the dress length view D and curved dress length view B. GRRRR! I end up cutting off at C, saving the longer bits from the dress length views and then folding up for view A.

I've been thinking about fitting more and one (simplistic!) rule I keep reminding myself of is to put the fabric where I need it. My chambray Vogue blouse is done and on that one, I'd added at the side seam for the hip, as I've often done. It's still snug across the butt and sticks out at the hip. My "hip" measurement is larger due to my butt so I added the most fabric where I need it most!

I did a slash and spread in back and added 1" (2 inches total). I also added a wedge at the side seam on front and back of 1" (another 2"). The hip on the medium is 41.5 on that longer view and my hip is 44", so that wasn't going to work.

The sleeve was SOOOO slim!! Eek! I've been using the Singer Sewing book bicep adjustment because it adds less width throughout and doesn't lower the sleeve cap but I needed the extra through the sleeve so I went traditional adjustment and added 1.5".

I cut the front  and took the inseam out to the XXL, tapering to nothing at the notch. This was a bit too much at the inner thigh. I figured I'd take the chance because its loungewear. Also, I ended up removing 5/8" from the CF tapering to nothing at the side seam after sewing the grey shorts.

On the back, my back crotch curve most closely matched the XXL. I added 1" to the inseam to get the back to match. I also smoothed out this inseam line below much more when cutting out the fabric.

I will adjust the CF to remove 5/8" via a wedge. I will remove some of the crotch extension and inseam width. On the back, I will remove some of the inseam width and do a small wedge (I can see the heart pattern on the back pants dipping just a bit).
For this set, I used a cotton knit from JoAnn, one of their Doodle prints. I fell for the unicorn print and didn't research. OY!!! Well, I measured my 2 yard cut because I don't trust JoAnn's cutting (I bought via order pickup). It was 2 yards. Great! I washed and dried it and when I pulled it out, I could tell it was shorter. As I started to lay everything out, I was *just* barely going to squeak out the pieces and remeasured - 1 yard 25 inches. It shrank 9 INCHES! I went to research after the fact and several people complained about shrinkage of 4-5 inches per yard. I hope this doesn't mean I've lost 1/3+ yds off of my 3 yard cut. Grrrr.

I intended to add the hood but didn't have enough fabric for it! I'd already decided I wasn't going to add the hem bands to the bottom and sleeves. 

I finished the neckline with a facing. I cut a band that was 1 1/4" wide, stitched it in place, graded the seams, turned to the inside and topstitched with my coverstitch. I inserted this flat but once I sewed the band on, I sewed the other shoulder seam and then coverstitched it in the round.

The waistband doesn't include any elastic - DO NOT do this unless your fabric has great stretch and recovery!! You can insert as a casing or stitch the elastic in. I first saw this on someone's blog many moons ago and then Kwik Sew 3115 (I think?) included these instructions.

After cutting out the waistband, I traced the fold line in place and zig-zagged the elastic in place on the interior of the waistband. It's the width of my natural waist and light tension was needed to fit it into the waistband length. The hem was finished with the coverstitch. 

The heart shorts were sewn the same way (they were sewn first actually!) and I did include the side slits. waiiiiiittttt!!! The marking for the slits is technically above the crotch level of the shorts! LOL!!!! Yeah, no. 

Anyway, the work to make the slits is extra and unnecessary so I probably won't do it again. It's not anything difficult but the side seams were serged first, hem corners made, side seams stitched, then hemmed. Eh. Not worth it!

I did use 3-thread coverstitching for the first time making the looper threads visible. 

I love it and feel confident using this stitch more often on casual wear!

(messy zigzagging on the side slits)

The pants went together so ridiculously fast. I sewed on the first hem band upside down after looking at it, pinning it, flipping it, pinning it, looking at it again. Oy! LOL! Also, based on the fit of the shorts, I ended up sewing the side seams at 3/4".

I love the fit!!! 

For the top, I was confused on the collar for a minute for some reason! But I just followed the directions and it was fine. 

Before I ever started this, I was drawn to red for the thread selection and the only options that worked as a drawstring in stash were white or red. The red really POPS and I love it.

My machine wasn't loving straight stitching on this fabric but the zigzag turned out well!

After topstitching this in place I hated the puny stitching and went back and did the two horizontal lines of coverstitching. 

For the top, I had enough hip room but still ended sewing a slightly smaller seam allowance through the sleeve until around the elbow and through the bust and waist on the top. I removed the 3rd thread and used a traditional coverstitch to hem the top.
I feel so ridiculously warm and fuzzy over the heart set! It really is a joyful print! And it's warm and soft and snuggly!
I think I sewed a total of 7.5-8 hours making these 5 pieces. Everything had been cut out prior to Saturday.

I purchased a second cut of Doodle fabric to make the onesie from S8502 but I'm hesitant until I see how the grey set wears. And, I still need another hoodie. I have a black and white polka dot sweatshirt knit that I hope to get to sooner rather than later.

What's next? I did not even think about going in the sewing room today! LOL! I think I'll pull out my McCall's 7982 muslin so I can get those sewn, and I need to get back to S8948.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

...More 2020 plans

I've made some great progress on my revised fall plan:

  • Burda 6990 is done (to be reviewed)
  • S8948 is partially cut but I need an appropriate interfacing
  • NL6644 top is done and reviewed
  • B5526 was swapped for Burda 4/2010 and is done and reviewed
  • skipping ahead...
  • NL6418 is a wadder. I cut the 4 panels, sewed them, topstitched them, basted the sides and when I took it off, wadded up the remainder of the faux leather and put it in the trash. It was NOT good. I will review it as an add on to another post as I've made this pattern before.
  • M7982 was muslined and I'm looking forward to sewing them!
  • V9210 ponte leggings are done (to be reviewed)
  • Burda 2/2017 and S2700 are both done. But I did the thing that I do so, so often. I sewed them while I was bloated and now they are SUPER loose. I have to undo some stitching and take them in. Hmmph!!!!!! 
I'll be making a new "remainder of winter" plan because, Oooh SHINY! And, the February Burda mag is giving me LIFE! 

This dress is 100% being sewn in February!!!!!!

I like this top but it has shoulder ruching and side ruching and the tie belt and the sleeve ruffles. Those are all a bit much at once...but the other view is just the top. So I'll probably do something in between. e.g., No ruffles but with the belt

I've never been tempted by a Make Nine but when I saw @learningsewmuch's IG post with broader plans, and I was totally down for that!

Bodice Sloper
It is time for me to create a bodice sloper. It'll make my sewing life so much easier. I plan to use the bodice sloper class from In-House Patterns. 

After attending Sew Camp in 2018, I decided that each year I'd treat myself to a sewing class or "retreat" type activity. Now, Sew Camp is an amazing time!! The accommodations are outstanding (and the food!!) and it really is very reasonably priced. But, I need to watch my spending and just can't swing it with airfare + the camp + remaining expenses. So this class will be my 2020 treat. 

I've made jumpsuits before, of course! I realized I really like them! LOL! I want to make a dressier one for outings, a more casual/weekend wear one and a knit jumpsuit. I do have some patterns in mind: V1645 dressy and B6330 for the knit...but we'll see!

Sew Silk!
I have a small collection of silk cuts now and I just keep looking at them! And I don't know why exactly. It's not like I haven't sewn silky/shifty fabrics. I've made a silk top before (pattern/fit issues but sewing the fabric was fine). I don't know why I'm hoarding them so I plan to sew at least 3 cuts of silk this year.

'Nuff said! I don't have one and need one.

I mentioned this as a goal in my 2020 planning post. I for sure need a dress coat, a more casual coat/jacket, and a trench. 

About 2 years ago I cleared out a lot of ratty loungewear. I then sewed a hoodie, 3 tops, 2 leggings and 2 joggers. I've worn out one pair of bottoms and a top and my mom snagged another top. I don't plan to add a ton and right now, am thinking I want to make the M7061 top and pants and another hoodie (which was on my fall plan). 

Summer Capsule
I mentioned in my 2020 planning post that I've struggled for awhile with my summer wardrobe. I will plan to do this as a SWAP/Capsule when the time comes.

Slip Dress
I can't let it go! I want it!! :) And, this could easily fulfill a slot in my sew silk plan too!

Blazer for him
I have the pattern, fabric, lining, I have his measurements, muslin...I just have to do a bit of research on sewing corduroy and plan to sew this next month. Or at least start it.

Lastly, related to making, I want to knit a sweater! Back in 2014 when I worked on a test knit on a sweater, my hands went kaput. Then I fractured my right hand in 2017. Then I had surgery early 2018. WHEW! I just attempted to start knitting again late last year. I'm not sure when I'll start it but it won't be a goal for the current winter weather :)

Look at all those random holes! LOL!!!!! 
I am impressed with my attempts to do cabling so soon after learning to knit!

For now, I'm considering the Humulus (ravelry link)

or this other top-down, circular yoke pattern from Purl Soho (ravelry link)

Personal 2020 goals and plans?

A new job. I've been with my current org for almost 5 years but it is most certainly time for me to start searching for a new opportunity.

And, I want need to relocate. 2020 is not the year that that will happen; we just have far too much in the air right now, but I need to start researching housing markets and job markets for both of us and plan my escape from here!

I have made vague goals for forever on eating better but I am having a host of issues that I think are predominantly hormonal. I've got new meds for my migraines and supplement suggestions, but I am hoping to also get my diet in line and improve my stress management.

Continue to read more! For 2019, I set a goal to read 12 books and read 16. For 2020 I'm going to set a goal of 20 books.

My daughter got married last year and graduates college this spring. She has also settled on some ghastly number of children they want to have. I jest. Barely. I think she said 6 or 8. IDK, I stopped listening! I know she is super keen on becoming a mom and I've already started saving cozy knit and cotton remnants because, I'LL HAVE TO MAKE BABY CLOTHES!!! My husband side-eyes me. So maybe I don't become a gramma in 2020, but maybe I DO! :-p

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Burda 04/2010 #114

I went down to the basement to look for a pattern and it wasn't there. Well, there were *several* piles of patterns and magazines in various places. A lot of them were recent additions that just hadn't made it into the pattern cabinets. Among them was 3 old Burda mags that I recently acquired. I thumbed through and fell so hard for the April 2010 issue!!

From the SMF blog.
I LOVE so many of the tops and a couple jackets and dresses and - win! I had been waffling on using one of my TNTs: B5678 or Burda 7136 or a different pattern for my striped shirt. I contemplated B5526 because I wanted something casual (e.g. B5678 was out, it's an awesome pattern but very fitted). This pattern checked the boxes! A semi-fitted style with a yoke, stand collar, cuffs, all that.

I have to take the lighting I can get. It is just too dark and cold lately :/
I settled on this striped fabric for my shirt long before I decided on the pattern. Last year after my Fabric Mart visit, I bought a bunch of shirting and I've been thinking about *this* shirt for a long time. 

I cut the pockets, cuffs and collar stand on the cross grain....and these buttons! Eek! The last JA sale on buttons was buy 3, get 3 and I just grabbed these because they were cool.

love this  image of the collar stand! :)

I'd posted a poll on Instagram about using the pattern piece included for the pocket and an oversized rectangular pocket. It was overwhelmingly in favor of the pattern pocket but I just really liked the pop of the oversized pocket!

I traced a size 40 at the neck and shoulder and graded to a 42 through the armhole and body. I added a bit over an inch at the hip (which wasn't enough and I sewed a 3/8" seam allowance through that area. 

I added 1" to the bicep and made no other adjustments.

I set the first sleeve and holy buckets! There was SO MUCH EASE in that cap. The pattern does NOT show a puff or gathered sleeve. But the sleeve was like 4" bigger than the armhole! I ended up removing some of the height off the cap but think I overdid it. I will be sure to adjust the sleeve pattern.  

The other issue was that they gave measurements to "draft" the continuous lap and THAT included seam allowance. The measurements they gave to "draft" the cuff did NOT include seam allowances. WHAT THE HECK BURDA!?!?! 

I took a slightly deeper pleat on the sleeve and sewed the cuff side seams at ~3/8". I attached them to the sleeve with a 3/8" seam allowance and thankfully, Burda drafts a pretty long sleeve. But then, with reducing the sleeve cap a bit too much, they are *just* a tad bit on the short side. Whew. 

I foresee lots and lots of wear with this one! I really like it and I think it'll be super versatile for me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Welcome 2020!

Let me start quickly with my December wrap-up. I ended up getting one more garment in after posting my 2019 wrap up.

This month, I sewed 13 3/8 yards. I found my mojo a bit lacking during my vacation but still managed to sew 6 of the items in my "Sewcation" post!
  • New Look 6644 pants - 2.5 yds
    • pink cotton sateen, buttons, elastic
  • New Look 6644 top - 1 3/8 yds
    • grey rayon jersey
  • Burda 6990 top - 1.75 yds
    • light blue jersey
  • Burda 2/2017 skirt - 1 yd
    • painted cotton dobby, zipper
  • Vogue 9210 - 1.25 yds
    • black shimmer ponte
  • New Look 6418 skirt - 1.5 yd (possible wadder; I'm not sure about this faux leather)
    • black faux leather, zipper
  • Simplicity 2700 pants - 2.5 yds
    • herringbone cotton/linen suiting, zipper, hook & eyes
  • Burda 4/2010 shirt - 1.5 yds
    • striped cotton shirting, buttons
Sewcation results, L to R:
Finished bias binding the armholes of Burda 9/2018 dress
Finished bar tacks on Style Arc Sandra jeans
Sewed Burda 4/2010 shirt
Sewed Burda 2/2017 skirt
Sewed Burda 6990 top
Sewed Vogue 9210 leggings
Sewed Simplicity 2700 pants (not shown because they refuse to dry?!!)
Sewed a muslin for McCall's 7982 (not shown)

Welcome 2020!!

I cannot believe this year has gone by so fast, not to mention this decade! Decennial is such a weird word :)

Life is getting more and more expensive and I need to reassess *everything*. I need to spend much less the next year than I usually do including on sewing expenses. That means patterns, fabrics, notions, all that. And it should be doable because goodness knows I have the stash for it!!

Back in August, Vogue released their fall patterns and I bought like 10. I have yet to sew any of them. Now, that's fine, I don't feel like I must sew every pattern I own. But I do feel like I don't need to rush out and add to the collection. There are at least a couple of these that I'm rethinking after seeing versions made up (like Vogue 1643). 

I purchased A LOT of patterns this year. I. Have. Sewn. 7. SEVEN! (This has been updated. I went purely off of dates in my PR pattern stash but after organizing my patterns and auditing them, there were a bunch that hadn't been entered. My tracking spreadsheet shows 89 but PR shows 125. Let's assume I purchased somewhere around 100!) :)

So I will be watching my pattern buying. I don't feel the need to put a limit on the number of patterns, but I am budgeting $50 for the year on patterns. Since I primarily buy Big4, this shouldn't be as difficult.

I'm going to keep my Burda sub (just renewed for all of 2020) and cancel Ottobre, Threads and SEWN. 

Oy. I have a stash. I don't mind having a stash. I rather enjoy having a stash. I'll never become a per-project-basis type sewer. 

But I have a lot of fabric and it currently feels overwhelming. I don't like to feel overwhelmed. When I finally organized this year (after last summer's move), I got rid of some stuff then but need to cull the stash again and remove things that don't feel like "me". There are pieces that I routinely pick over and so they need to go. 

I am setting a low fabric budget for 2020 of $250. I will only be buying fabric if "needed" for a project. Because, while I have quite a bit that makes me feel like it doesn't belong, there's a ton that I love and want to see made up. So I'll be stash-diving in 2020!

I never include lining and interfacing in "fasting". I will include lining this year as I bought a TON during an awesome FM sale. I will not include interfacing because you need the right stuff for the job. 

I have so much stuff. So many buttons and snaps and hook & eyes and thread and, and, and. I'm going to designate this as an "as needed" category. I will shop the stash first and try to make existing stuff work.

  • I really want to sew some stuff for my husband. I just took his full measurements and plan to sew his corduroy blazer early in the year and hopefully a pair of jeans at some point. 
  • I need more outerwear! I have 4 coat patterns I really want to sew!  The 3 below plus a trench coat. I think I can commit to 1 outerwear piece per quarter with my output. 
center pattern is V1479
  • I need more cold-weather loungewear and want to sew at least 2 long sleeved sweatshirts/tops.
M7061 has been on the radar for forever. I have really cute fabric for it too. 
  • I am still floundering during summers and not feeling put together most days. I am really going to try to assess my style needs during the warm months.
  • Pick up the Burda challenge again. I was going through my binder and reflecting on all the stuff I made. I really loved quite a few things that I ended up sewing because of the challenge!!
  • I will continue blogging. I don't mind IG (though I despise the algorithm) but I just don't find it helpful for sewing as I don't want to interact so passively within the sewing community. Scroll. like. Scroll, Comment. Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. meh. I want to read about the process of sewing a garment! I don't want to have to try to remember who posted what; or have things disappear in stories that I was interested in. Blog content is "google-able". I like that. And, I am 110% an "to each their own" kinda lady but I don't understand the 'blogging is too much work' but will post a series of 8-10 pics and 4 paragraphs on an IG post. HOW is that any less work than blogging?!?! Me thinks it's preferable because it comes with the instant gratification and the instant interaction. But seriously, to each their own.  
So, I don't have a ton of goals for the new year and am hoping for a super chill, relaxed year.