Thursday, April 30, 2020

April Wrap-Up and May Plans

How are you holding up out there? So far, I'm doing well. We are all staying healthy, I'm still working full-time, and sewing & crafting up a storm.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work from home in that, I am still collecting a paycheck and my employer understands that health & safety comes first.  But I am so not a work from home full-time person. I would never choose this full time! I could see working from home a day or so per week but not full time! gah!!

I DO like having a few minutes here and there throughout the day for sewing or crafting or exercising or food prep. Makes a huge difference in what I can accomplish each day. NOT that I am one of those people yelling about how productive we need to be during quarantine. I'm just a natural busy body. I've spent the odd day here or there in the bed (like the Saturday I literally stayed in bed til 2:30 p.m.!)

This month, I sewed 6 items for a total of 11.5 yards.

  • Simplicity 2246 dress - 2 yards
    • striped double brushed poly from Fabric Mart - stash
    • buttons, elastic
  • McCall's 6754 dress - 2 yards
    • floral double brushed poly from Fabric Mart
    • elastic
  • McCall's 8028 jumpsuit - 2 yards
    • distressed french terry knit from Fabric Mart - stash
    • elastic
  • Burda Mag 4/2019 jacket - 2.5 yards
    • black cotton twill from Mood
    • buttons, D-rings
  • Burda Mag 5/2020 top - 1.5 yards
    • black cotton (voile? lawn?) - stash
    • buttons
  • Burda Mag 4/2019 top - 1.5 yards
    • white rayon challis - stash

Today, I also worked on some baby gifts but those are all from the remnant bin so I won't count them in the out totals.


Favorite: This was an excellent month. Everything I added is pure perfection (to me)!

Accomplishments: I hacked that McCall's dress into exactly what I wanted! Woot! And I turned that Burda magazine jacket into my perfect vision!

FAILS: None! woohoo! If I had to list something I'd say it was using the distressed knit as the pocket bag on the jumpsuit. It basically renders the pockets useless because my fingers get caught in the darn fabric!

My plans last month:
M7925 dress in a cotton/rayon voile
M6754 dress in a floral knit
S2246 dress (maybe) in a striped knit
Burda 10/2017 or S8843 (I need to look at the shape of the pattern pieces of both) in a black cotton twill as my Q1 outerwear project (slightly behind!)
M8028 jumpsuit in a distressed knit
B5526 shirt in white cotton shirting w/silk organza accents

So close!!! I sewed 4 out of the 6 plus a couple more!

For May, I plan to participate in Me Made May as I have! I pledge to wear something handmade every day.

If you don't follow SoZo or if it's your first time, Me Made May isn't a photo challenge - it's okay if you don't post pics on social media or if you do post, if you only post occasionally! I've also seen lots of people say they don't participate because they "don't have enough" handmade stuff. No! If you want to participate and you have ONE handmade thing, you have enough stuff!! :-D

For May, my sewing plans aren't at all focused! It's usually cooler "spring-like" temps throughout May and June with some warm spikes. Without knowing when we'll be outside again, I'm on the fence about spring vs. summer. I mean, there isn't a TON of difference for me but there are prints and patterns that are decidedly summer. We'll see.

Right now, I *want* a few things:

I saw a navy tee at LOFT that is very similar to the 'hacked' McCall's dress except it's floaty. I will make it a bit fitted.

Also at LOFT was a striped v-neck that is *very* similar to the top I made from Ottobre 2/2018 (except with short/cap sleeves) so I'll be making that.

I plan to make S8389 pants in the amazing black crepe I picked up from Mood.

And I happen to have 2 black & white fabrics that are slated for dresses - a heavy crepe for Burda 2/2017 #114 and a rayon challis for 5/2020 #107.

I like fit and flare! The first pattern has a fabric-hog of a skirt and I don't have enough fabric for that and will do a gathered skirt.

I'm waiting on a PDF Plotting order so I can sew up the Style Arc Clare pant in a navy and white drapey polyester suiting from Fabric Mart.

And I still want M7925 in the cotton/rayon blend voile from Ginny's!

That's about it for now (hahaha!) :-p

Lastly, what is up with the BMV site and lack of sales!? I want some new Buttericks but not for $16...And I won't even begin to comment on that Vogue release. Not. For. Me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Oldies but Goodies! Simplicity 2246 and McCall's 6754

Way back in 2015 I got the idea to sew a knit shirtdress. It was my birthday dress that year and I wore it until it was sad and faded :) 

For the new version, I fell for the fabric even though I'd sworn off double brushed poly. So while I did not enjoy sewing this, I really, REALLY love the dress!!!
It wasn't until I looked at the pics that I realized my bottom button was undone. LOL!!!

The pattern is intended for wovens and I've only used it for knits. I sewed a size 14 and added 1" to the back at the hip and a 1/2" bicep adjustment. I also did a 1/2" narrow shoulder adjustment. The adjustments to the paper patterns are detailed in the blog post linked above. 

Like the former version, I interfaced both collar and facing (it has an all in one collarstand and collar) and both the front band and facing. I used a very lightweight tricot and this helps stabilize tricky areas and the buttonholes/buttons. The buttons are run of the mill JA buttons that I had in stash in a light blue. 

I am not normally on board with fabric belts but I love the stripe! It also looks good with my standard leather belts. Lastly, I decided to add elastic to the sleeves. I serged and turned up 1", hemmed at 7/8" and used 3/4" elastic. After I'd closed everything up and tried the dress on, I realized I used 2 different types of elastic. DOH! LOL! One is rigid and one is very soft/pliable. Do you think I undid it? NOPE! It's fine!

I'm not a huge fan of dusters but I think this works well as one! So, you never know, I just may be a convert! :)
M6754 was purchased the year I started sewing. I made the peplum top and apparently discarded the remainder of the pattern piece that turns the peplum into a dress. Oy!

I knew I could just extend the seams on the peplum to the appropriate length, but I soon decided on a straight skirt and modified NL6530 to fit the McCall's bodice. 

When Fabric Epiphanies posted a "hack" on her blog for a raglan top with gathered sleeves, I had to have one. I do like the popular pattern but just will not pay Indie prices for a pattern that has the same front and back and sleeves cut on the fold. IMO that's lazy drafting and *I* am nowhere near the same at the back of my body vs. the front. SO! Once I realized I had a raglan in stash that I liked (many Burda raglans available but most of the patterns for knits are looser/boxier), I was off!
I used a 14 bodice with the waist graded to match the skirt pattern. I traced a copy of the sleeve, measured it from front to back at the points and divided it equally. I slashed and spread adding about 6" total iirc. I doubled the SA to add a casing at the top and made no changes at the hem. I used 1/2" elastic in the sleeves.

I stitched up the bodice, attached the neckbinding, and stitched up the sleeves. Then, I hemmed the sleeve at the neckline. inserted the elastic (extending the elastic about 1/4" into the seam allowance) and sewed the sleeve to the dress. I also did a tiny zigzag over the elastic. 

I LOVE IT! I may make a top too because I think it's so cute! I love the amount of gathers - not too much, not too little. I will add a hem allowance for the casing to the sleeve hem as it hits at my forearm which allows for less gathering. 

Total win on both dresses! <3 Fabric is from Fabric Mart for both. 

And no post with outside pics is complete without a "what they doing over there?" pic!

Monday, April 20, 2020

McCall's 7976


And I was absolutely fixated on pairing *this* pattern and *this* fabric. I got this piece of crepe on the trip to Ginny's Fabric in Rochester. I'd also like to pat myself on the back for having sewn 4 of the 5 fabrics I bought that day! And the 5th is on tap to be sewn. Woot!

If you recall, a sewing friend had snagged this 1 7/8 yard remnant and then decided last minute not to get it. I happily scooped it up because the colors were just. so. me.
pants are NL6459 that I never reviewed (and are now a touch too small. shhhhh!)

I cut a size medium which is typical for me with Big4 SML patterns. I added 1" to the arm opening and 1" to the back via slash and spread.

The finished bust on the medium is 46" and I'm about 39". I think people see a big number like that and think it must be huge. I think it's important to remember the difference between wearing ease (necessary) and design ease. It's an oversized top, it's meant to be loose fitting...but as you can see, it isn't huge or sloppy or anything like that. So I'd say go with your normal Big4 size for the intended fit.

gah. my posture is atrocious. 
The fabric is light enough to tuck that long back in if I want. 
I'd planned on view D (red) and the medium called for 1 3/4 yards.

of 60" fabric.

DOHHHHHHH! I had 1 7/8 yards of 45"(!) fabric. I was 1/2 yard short and it mattered. It mattered! It has cut on sleeves and that tie front so the front pattern piece was huge.

I ended up having to cut the front tie separately and sew it to the front after the fact. I just folded the pattern piece up, added 3/8" seam allowance on both sides, and sewed. Whew.

THEN, I had to cut the back in 2 pieces so there's a CB seam.

THEN I had to cut the facings slightly off grain to fit them on the scraps I had left. Now, there was always the option of using a different fabric which I considered, but wanted to use the fashion fabric and they're only *slightly* off grain.

And THENNNN lol! when I tried it on, I couldn't figure out why the pleats were made the way they were. Well, there was a shoulder notch and the pleat. I notched the pleats and folded front pleat end to notch instead of pleat-end to pleat-end. DOH! So I had to undo the serger stitching and stitches and resew those and then the fit made sense!

Love, love, love the buttons I ended up using. I originally planned on plain white buttons but the stripe is so dominant (and I managed to match the stripes pretty well even with not having enough fabric!) that I needed something that popped and these gold buttons were it.

Making a forward shoulder adjustment is new to me and I keep forgetting. You can see it rolling back in these pics. Doh!

Lastly, I could have sworn I was told that the fabric was a viscose crepe but I could be wrong. I took pics of all the bolt ends of the fabric I bought but this one was tacked on at the end. This is definitely a poly crepe. Maybe (Mayyyyyybe) a blend but it behaved like poly and I cursed it every single moment. But I love the top (AND THE BUTTONS!) so all is forgiven :-p

I had a mini fashion show and this top worked with bottoms that were:
camel (admittedly kind of boring but with fun shoes - could work)
salmon/peachy color
deep pink
and will work with white


I really like this top and could see making it again - even this view - but with a MUCH shorter length in back. Aside from all of my mishaps, it went together rather easily and is super cute on like, EVERYONE that makes it. 

I've made a couple knit dresses that I will hopefully photograph this week:

S2246 on the left, a "hacked" M6754 on the right. Both in double brushed poly 
(I KNOW! I thought I'd never touch the stuff again but the prints sucked me in!)

And I'm working on a slow-sewing project - Burda 4/2019 #102. An unlined, raglan jacket in a cotton twill from Mood with a few creative touches :)

I'm really excited about this one!  

I've been posting my progress on the jacket on Instagram stories. I keep getting excited at each step and then stop to think about what I have left to do, then remind myself this IS A SLOW SEWING PROJECT! lol!!!!!!

So yeah, I need to press the side seams and attach the sleeves and press and serge and attach the collar and do all that fun stuff and hem it and I have to do the buttonholes (which I fixated on these buttons and my machine can't make buttonholes that large so I'll have to do some work) and sew on the buttons and then I think it'll be done. :)

Hope you are staying sane and safe <3

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Burda 01/2020 Lace Hoodie

note: I woke up the other day to over 100 spam posts. I ended up accidentally deleting all of the comments on my March wrap-up post. Oops! For now, I have altered commenting to require moderation.

So far this year I've sewn from both the January and February issues of Burda magazine and looking ahead to March, April and May, there are things I want to sew from each issue - yay! 

January had a couple things that I liked and I was immediately sold on this woven hooded top.
I knew RIGHT AWAY that I'd be making it from a lace! In the end, I went with black because that would make it more versatile. And I had several yards of this lace leftover from a Hancock clearance sale. It is a metallic animal print lace with a light bit of stretch and I just love it!

I traced the hoodie in a size 40 and did a slash and spread to add a couple inches to the hip (it finishes right at the high hip). 

I also did my normal 1" bicep adjustment. I wish I'd double checked the hood! I have a big head and the hood is too small. 

I know's too small! :-p

I'd used this lace for a dress years ago and knew it would be fine to sew and serge (french seams just don't excite me the way they seem to for many! I'll use them when I must...) but knew that I'd have to use something stable/solid for the cuffs.

I didn't want a double layered hood and decided to bias-bind the hood front opening using some scraps of rayon challis. 

I finished it and got ready to attach the hood and had put it on backward! I cut a NEW hood and NEW bias binding and redid it. Grrr! 

For the continuous lap and cuffs, I used the leftover silk-cotton blend fabric from my B6183 top

why yes, my continuous lap is backwards as it ALWAYS is. I mess that up so often!

When I got to this point, I did my buttonholes and sewed on my buttons. On the inside. Ask me how?! I have no clue! LOL!!!! So I had to remove them and redo them. EESH. 

I spent a lot of time figuring out how I wanted to sew the hem. I wanted to face it but didn't feel like it. I didn't feel like making more bias binding. In the end, I did a double turned hem. Luckily, the hip area is wide enough that there is no strain and the fabric seemed to press well enough. Ah. 

I love it! It's casual-cool goodness!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

March Wrap-up and April Plans

This month I sewed 11 items and a total of 17.5 yards.

  • Burda 7/2019 dress - 2 yards (WADDER)
    • black textured cotton sateen from stash
    • zipper
  • Simplicity 8694 top - 2 yards (for my daughter)
    • pink ponte
    • trim and cording
  • Burda 11/2019 baby sweater - .25 yards (gift)
    • pink ponte
    • zipper
  • McCall's 7975 top - 1.25 yards
    • blue rayon jersey from stash
  • Burda 12/2016 pants - 2 yards
    • navy ponte
    • zipper
  • McCall's 7476 cardigan - 2 yards
    • cream and grey ribbed sweater knit
    • button
  • Simplicity 2245 top - 1.25 yards
    • yellow swiss dot cotton
    • buttons
  • Burda 2/2020 dress - 2 yards
    • black/grey suiting from stash
    • buttons
  • McCall's 7976 top - 1.25 yards
    • poly crepe
    • buttons
  • McCall's 7547 pants - 1.5 yards
    • yellow cotton twill
    • zipper, button
  • Burda 12/2016 pants - 2 yards (WIP)
    • camel wool blend suiting
    • zipper
  • Simplicity 8228 - negligible
    • stretch mesh
Favorite: The Burda pinafore style dress from the 2/2020 issue. I LOVE IT! It turned out so nicely and I cannot wait to wear it!

FAILS: My attempts to fit the Burda 7/2019 raglan dress were for naught. I think fabric was definitely an exacerbating issue but it just didn't work. I have some crepe that I plan to use for another go because I really like the shape of this dress on me!  That Simplicity bra pattern. Meh.

Accomplishments: Perseverance. I tried and tried to make the Burda dress work. That top for my daughter was a NIGHTMARE to make in ponte (intended for lt wt. wovens) but I kept going. I absolutely did not have enough fabric for M7976 AND that fabric was a hot mess to work with and yet...I love the top from it! I had to 'make it work' with the yellow jeans but again - I made it!

AND...I FINALLY FIXED MY BLAZER VENT! I am working through the hand sewing. My hand has been bothering me a lot lately. Likely because I've been sewing so much (e.g., cutting out patterns is a strain)

I didn't make it to starting my husband's blazer so I will push that to fall now. By the time life returns to normal, he won't really need a corduroy blazer.  :(

I will also push the black jacket/cardigan that I planned. It's a wool double knit and will be too warm once we're back to normal activities.

I did not have high expectations of this pattern. I remember when Madalynne first started selling patterns and such and people raved. I often saw 1) bras that did not fit HER well and 2) poorly fit bras on her workshop participants. 

I was willing to take the risk with a $2 pattern. I had some stretch laces in the stash but decided to muslin (of course). I made sure the stretch of my mesh was appropriate. Before cutting the pattern out, I noticed the fit of this version on her on the envelope and again, IT DOESN'T FIT HER!

There was mixed info about the sizing in reviews so I went ahead and followed the pattern instructions for measuring and choosing a size.  Well...I can't show a pic of the bra on me and I had to cut myself out of it once I did manage to wrangle it on. Meh. Moving on!
the upper left was sewn in February...but the rest were garments I sewed in March.

I did some gift sewing:

For this baby sweater, I cut out the letter M on my Cricut and used the tiniest zig-zag to attach it. 
I did a crappy job attaching the lower band but I tried not to let it bother me because I know only a sewer would even begin to notice that it wasn't sewn evenly :)

This month, I bought some fabric from Mood. I've blown through my fabric budget I set for 2020. But since 2020 is just determined to be difficult, I have to be over that "fail". 

I bought the wool suiting that I neeeeeded to copy that LOFT jacket using the blazer from Burda 2/2020 and there was a Rag & Bone sale (and I had a coupon code!) so I got an excellent deal on everything; the wool fabric, and some serious yardage of black crepe. I have had a time trying to find a nice weighty crepe for pants and jumpsuits so I bought 5 yards of it! And 3 yards of the same fabric in an inky blue color. NO REGERTS! :-p

I bought 8 patterns this month. A few of the new McCall's, a few of the new Vogues, a couple older patterns that were on my wishlist, and I bought the Style Arc Clare pattern below. I was on the fence because I felt certain I could find something similar in Burda mag, but I also really like Style Arc's drafting, there was a sale, and with that and the free pattern that's offered monthly, I scored the pants and a skirt for under $6. 
For April, looks like we'll still be indoors. I pulled out my spring clothes and mayyyyy not need more pants. LOL! At least not for spring. I forgot about the awesome deals I scored at Ann Taylor and LOFT last year. I will, however, need some for summer and have a couple pair of breezy pants on the list - the Clare and Simplicity 8389. Those will be pushed a bit (to May perhaps?).

This month, I want to sew:

M7925 dress in a cotton/rayon voile
M6754 dress in a floral knit
S2246 dress (maybe) in a striped knit
Burda 10/2017 or S8843 (I need to look at the shape of the pattern pieces of both) in a black cotton twill as my Q1 outerwear project (slightly behind!)
M8028 jumpsuit in a distressed knit
B5526 shirt in white cotton shirting w/silk organza accents

But I am still in a 'whichever way the wind blows' place. I am working on the camel Burda pants but after 4 in-depth projects I think it's time for something easy!! So I think the knit dresses may jump the line. I will probably sew them back-to-back since my serger and coverstitch thread choices will be the same for both (the background is navy on both).

As always, hope you're staying safe, sane and healthy <3