Monday, February 24, 2020

Remakes: B6183 and NL6150

I have intended on returning to Butterick 6183 for awhile. I made a couple versions and wore them until they died or didn't fit anymore. The 3rd version was made with bad fabric.

As mentioned in a prior post, I went to SR Harris to look for black fabric to use for the cuffs of my lace hoodie and found this scrap. I got home and performed a burn test and it was clearly cotton plus something else and I'm fairly certain that something else is silk. I took the completed top with me to a meetup and a couple of people agreed. SCORE! I paid $4 for this remnant and eeked out this top and my hoodie's cuffs. YAY!

I was so excited to get started and then remembered that this pattern had cup sizing and my formerly adjusted pattern wouldn't work anymore. Grrr! LOL!

I cut it out in a 14 B-cup and added width at the back hemline for my butt. I undid my swayback adjustment but now I'm realizing I do need it. The hem is level with the fabric still pooling around the back waist. I also did a 1.5" full bicep adjustment. I ended up basting the whole dang thing (sans sleeves) before sewing it. I'm realizing I need a forward shoulder adjustment, which I rigged up on this version by adjusting the seam allowance (tapering to nothing at the neck). 
I had a tough time getting these sleeves inserted. The fabric wasn't too thrilled to be eased. I redid them a couple of times then gave up.

I did not have enough fabric for facings and didn't have a nice black fabric that would work for bias binding so I used an off white fabric. I understitched it too just to be sure it wouldn't show at all.
The bustline fits so nicely! The zipper was pulled from the enormous stash. I believe I got these from SR Harris many moons ago. The beaded trim was purchased on a trip to Kokoon Fashion last year.

It's such a nice top that just feels special <3

New Look 6150 was one of the first patterns I ever made back in 2013! I just loved those sleeves!  I am 100% into the statement sleeve trend and knew I'd sew this up soon. I found myself with some time and a cut of wool jersey that I'd forgotten about.

I started sewing in January 2013 and sewed this top in February 2013. When I pulled out in 2020, I had a WHAT THE HECK?! moment looking at the pattern pieces. The cut lines were janky! LOL! Some parts were cut at a 14 and some at a 16 but I don't think it was on purpose.

So I cleaned up my cuts and cut it in a size 14 doing a slash and spread to add to the hip. I also ended up sewing the cb seam at 1/4". This wool jersey must not have any lycra because it pretty much does not stretch and is a bit snug across the back. I didn't do a bicep adjustment because the sleeves are pretty large. I figured I'd sew the seam allowance smaller, but didn't need to.
Oh another thing? My neckbinding pattern piece and elastic guide for the sleeve was *poof* gone. A sewing friend got me the measurements but by then I'd guessed on the sleeve elastic. I was a little short :) so they aren't as gathered as they should be I think it's fine though! 
I love the sleeves! I think the pattern doesn't fit me well above the bust. I have to explore this stuff from a new perspective and it's throwing me!

I recently wore a version of B6621 and when I'd rest, I'd notice the fabric fold above the bust. The NL6150 top does the same thing:
pre and post reduction

Totally need to focus on the bodice sloper. Soon...soon!

Also, this version of Nl6150 was cut out in May 2013 and sewn together. Then it sat, waiting for bindings and a hem. Every time I've cleaned out my (small) UFO basket, I've kept this top. At some point, I added the bindings (which really the neckline has a facing, not a binding).

The other day, I pulled it out and hemmed it! So it's finally done almost 7 years later!!! LOL! I've always loved the print and could never get rid of it.

Print up close:

Lastly, I've had 2 knitting lessons so far and it's going great! This second lesson I learned to operate the machine's electronics and made a dishcloth during the lesson. I now have 8 of them! LOL! They measure about 12x16" coming off the machine but it's 100% cotton and will shrink (more length than width).

They are so fun and QUICK to knit! Each one takes about 20 minutes (took 15 with her! lol!).

I was supposed to make 3 more then schedule my next lesson. She gave me 5 different cones of yarn and I have a feeling there's going to be dozens of these things! :-D

Next 2 lessons we will make a sweater for a kid. So exciting!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Simplicity 1945 #BHMDesignerPatterns

I can't believe I haven't blogged in 2 weeks. Winter makes it so tough to get pics!! So today I have some substandard photos :) of an awesome project! :-D

First, here is a smattering of finished, unblogged projects

Burda 1/2020 hoodie

This photo is mid-construction but I finished this Vogue 1674 dress this weekend. 
Too late though for the event I was making it for :(

Simplicity 2061 joggers (may be a wadder)

New Look 6150 top

Vogue 8772 shirt

Simplicity 8948 blouse

Butterick 6183 top



I bought this sweater knit from Michael Levine back in October. After prewashing, I was really excited to use it but didn't have a pattern I was certain about. I'm glad I waited!

At some point, I decided I needed 3 new toppers: a black, a white and one more. I wear a lot of grey AND I made this pattern before and loved it (but in a sweater knit with too-open a weave and it didn't hold up) AND it fit for the #BHMPatternDesigners challenge.

I sewed a size medium with a 1/4" forward shoulder adjustment and 1" (total) added to the circumference of the sleeve hem. It sits at the widest part of the forearm for me and I remember it being too snug last time. This way, it sits fine but I can also push it up.

Construction is a little weird IMO. The back has a (beautifully shaped!) cb seam and the neckline is finished with a binding strip. I assume this is because the curve is so tight. However, this seam allowance is 3/8" vs 5/8" everywhere else. My sweater knit was pretty thick once tripled (doubled binding plus the back piece). I ended up ripping that out, recutting the binding strip and attaching it, trimming it, and coverstitching it down. This way, I was able to line the front coverstitching up nicely.

The pattern does include instructions for a serger and has you tack the seam allowance down after sewing since the front and back necklines are already finished.

I used a slightly lighter grey with a wider needle width and really like how it turned out! The only other adjustment was to sew the side seams at 3/8" from waist to hem.

I was in leggings today as it was an off day (and failed sew day). paired with a top from Burda 8/2018

I was working on this dress from the 5/2019 Ottobre today and for someone unknown reason, cut it in a 44/46 (44 neckline, 46 everywhere else). This does NOT fit me. As the side seam is gathered, I can't take it in anymore without completely disrupting the lines. Based on *my* experience with Big4 and Burda, this is approximately equal to a Burda 44 & Big4 18.

At this point, the side seams are basted (overlapping fronts serged together), the neckline is finished and the sleeves are cut out (~ 3/4 length). The fabric is a rayon blend double knit from Metro Textiles. 

If you'd like to in-progress dress to finish up, let me know. I posted a video of the dress in my IG stories. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Pattern Review: Itch to Stitch Capelet

There is (yet another) discussion in the sewing community about Indie patterns and quality. I've been burned quite a few times and as such, tend to stick with Big4 and Burda, as you likely know.  But, I can be tempted and sometimes, the design or price will get me :)

I did not think this capelet was anything groundbreaking or especially novel. I'd been meaning to buy M7846 and liked that the ItS had "sleeves".
But, it was on sale and I figured, what the heck! Well, it was on sale via Itch to Stitch but I ended up paying a little more buying it through Pattern Review. I hate being asked to register on a site just to buy a pattern.

The pattern is sized XXS - XL. I have read a couple tester's blogs where the say the final pattern had 2" added to the front. I wonder if the pattern photo is pre-lengthening??

I'm not sure how tall the designer is but I found it super long on me. Fabric choice will also play a part though. Fabric with a lot of drape will hang a bit more than a more rigid fabric and this sweater knit is definitely drapey. I shortened mine 2 inches front and back tapering to nothing a few inches from the raglan seams. I then realized that only the front was changed from the original length. Oops. I should have left the back alone.

Another positive about the pattern itself is that it was layered. I was able to print my size only - a medium - and that always makes tracing off a bit easier. I looked at the instructions to be sure the "sleeves" were created as I thought - and they were. Also, I sewed them up an additional 2 inches (despite not changing the length at the seamline). I will admit to being mildly agitated by the pattern pieces having a foldline, a grainline, and some squiggly line indicating the stretch of fabric. It's unnecessary/overkill IMO. One of my smaller gripes with Indie pattern companies. Sometimes, they seem to do something *just* to be different from the larger, commercial patterns.
Otherwise, construction is just as straightforward as you'd think. Sew the raglan seams, sew the collar seam, attach the collar, hem, stitch in the ditch to create sleeves. Done. Of course, the hemming is the time consuming bit here! I just pressed up the 1/2" hem and sewed it with my coverstitch. I do not like the stitching in the ditch on a drapey knit.
I made a high round back adjustment on my latest make and am thinking this pattern would have benefited . Otherwise, I think the fit is great.

This sweaterknit was picked up a couple (2? 3?) years back at SR Harris. I liked it in store and then every time I went to grab it, it seemed WAY too bright for me. I'm still not 100% sold on the color combo but we will see if it gets wear. I'm working on a pair of slim Burda pants from that ponte I picked up at Ginny's which I think should pair well with this. This post was written awhile ago. I don't care for the fabric and the pattern I thought I'd use for my nice ponte is OUT.
Next time, I'd definitely use something with a touch more body (but not ponte IMO) and will remove a bit of the sleeve flare (slash lines then overlap and true the hem line).

Someone asked in my last post about wearing it with a coat. I'm not certain how that would work out! LOL! This is one of the reasons that I'm not sure I would sew this again. Since I live in a cold climate, there just are few opportunities for cape/capelet type garments. Late fall and early spring which can be like a BLIP on the calendar.

Jumping in on this post with my 3rd pair of Style Arc Sandra jeans. I sewed these in a size 16 because that's what size I used previously. I ended up sewing them with side seams varying between 5/8" and 3/4" instead of the 3/8" (really 10 mm) included in the pattern.

I have no clue where the denim is from :/ but it's decent! A mid to light weight, no spandex, and a nice, deep blue.
my husband can be a prankster!!
And even though I'd previously drafted a contoured waistband, this pair gapes at center back. I had them almost completed so I did the elastic trick...measure the back between belt loops, cut the elastic 2 inches shorter (this is an individual measurement), insert it and stitch it in place through all thickness. Cover the stitching with the belt loops. Luckily, I caught this BEFORE I put the belt loops on so I didn't have to remove/redo bartacks. You can see the elastic in the back in this pic:

There's a lot I like about this pattern and some things that give me pause. I think I'm going to plan to muslin the Workplace Social Claryville jeans in the next month or so.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

January's Epic Wrap-Up and February Plans

This month I sewed 14.25 yards and 10 items. WHEW!

The month started with a plan of adding some new tops to my wardrobe. I cut out S8948, realized I didn't have proper interfacing and the project stalled. I still ended up getting it done in January along with 3 other tops. Woohoo!

Also, I've changed my "from stash" criteria to fabrics that I've owned for 6+ months (vs 3).  Thanks Carolyn!
  • Vogue 8772 top - 3 yards (narrow fabric)
    • chambray cotton twill from Fabric Mart (stash)
    • buttons 
  • McCall's 6886 dress - 1.25 yards
    • mushroom colored rib knit from Stonemountain & Daughter 
    • snaps
  • New Look 6150 top - 1.25 yards
    • deep purple wool jersey from SR Harris (stash)
    • elastic
  • McCall's 7061 x 5 - 6 yards 
    • rainbow hearts cotton knit from Fabric Mart (stash) 
    • top: cording
  • pants and shorts: elastic
    • unicorn cotton knit from JoAnn
    • shorts: elastic
  • Simplicity 8948 top - 1.75 yards
    • black and white print poly georgette from JoAnn (stash)
    • buttons, elastic
  •  Butterick 6183 top - 1 yard
    • silk cotton blend twill from SR Harris
    • zipper, beaded trim, bias tape
Favorites: I just finished the Butterick top and I am crazy about it!!!! But I have to say, this was a very successful month overall.

FAILS: Kinda but not really (yet) was the fabric fail of that Doodle knit from JoAnn. My 2 yards shrank a full 1/4 yard in length during pretreatment and we'll see it how it performs with washing. Also, I made a muslin of V8772 but missed this weird shoulder fit thing. We'll see if it affects wear.

Accomplishments: My biggest accomplishment this month was drafting a custom sleeve pattern! I haven't worked out the possible adjustments needed but I did it! More later!

Otherwise, I didn't step TOO far out of my comfort zone this month but I think I did some good sewing. I did not pay attention to cutting layout when working on V8772 and ended up piecing one of the tie neck pieces after freaking out about it. I added a front placket with snaps to the M6886 TNT. I am super proud of my work on the loungewear from M7061. I was way more patient than ever with B6183. I was using a suiting fabric and adding trim and merging the pattern sleeve with "my" sleeve. It was a fun albeit slow sew (for me!).

I did buy fabric and patterns this month. It happens that a fabric idea I had in mind popped up on FM's site for a steal. I want a pleated trouser with matching top in a coral/orangeish color and scored the Milly cady suiting for $3/yd. I bought 5 yards.  And the Sue's pick that day was a beige/black/white printed rayon challis that is SO. Me. and it was $1.99/yd. I bought 6. That print is the kind of fabric I'd wear as a top or a dress or even a skirt and I wanted more for later. I kick myself often for not buying a gazillion yards of the rayon challis I used on THIS dress when I knew it was love.

So while I sewed a lot, I'm already “upside down” at 22.5 yards IN and 14.25 yards OUT for a total of $85.43. That's the JA Doodle knit, the SR Harris remnant, and a FM order. Totally worth it though.



I bought a Simplicity (8457), a NL(6633), 3 McCall's and 3 Vogues this month. Oy!

February's Plans:

I finally scored a knitting machine!! Woohoo!!!!!!! My first lesson is February 5th and I think we'll meet weekly for like, 4 weeks. So I'll probably spend a good deal of my free time working on the assignments in between lessons. BUT, I do have some sewing planned.

I am doing the Burda challenge this year. The fabric I used for B6183 was a remnant I picked up to use for my January Burda project (DOH) and I jumped into the Butterick top :)
  • Burda 01/2020 hooded top (WIP as of 2/1)
  • Simplicity 8694 and a pair of matching pants for my daughter. Not sure specifically but I'll use a pattern that I've made for her before.
  • I initially planned to sew V8890 for my husband this month but now, KNITTING MACHINE! :-D But I do plan to, if nothing else, get it cut out and prepped. 
  • I am attending the U of MN senior design student fashion show this month and I always plan to wear something handmade. This year, it's on the 15th and we also have 2 other events/functions so I'm going to try to make V1674 to rock that day.