Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June Wrap-Up

Gah. I can't get my sewing mojo or my picture taking mojo back. I'm rapidly losing track of made-but-not-reviewed projects. And it is REALLY important to me to review my 'makes'! I like to know what adjustments I made without pulling the thing out. I like to see lengths of skirts/dresses/sleeves...I like to see the fit on me in case I revisit the pattern or am looking at something similar. Bleh.

This month, I sewed 7.5 yards. I sewed:
  • Vogue 1507 top - 3 yards (fussy pattern cutting)
    • floral print cotton woven from SR Harris
    • Hug Snug binding
  • New Look 6614 dress - 2 yards
    • orange linen from (stash)
    • eyelets, clasps
  • Burda Magazine 5/2020 - 2.5 yards (WIP)
    • border print Ankara
    • buttons
Favorite. FAIL. Accomplishment:
I am digging the Vogue top even though the fabric was *just* slightly too heavy. The front and sleeves are double layered. I'm really liking the Burda top so far. I knew the shape (of the not yet reviewed black version!) would be great in an Ankara print. Then, I cut a length from the upper portion with plans to hem it and use it as a head wrap, but it felt a little "Spider Man" with the blue, red and yellow. LOL!

The NL dress is not quite what I imagined. I don't know if it'll be wearable. I did finish it, so we'll see. Could be a fail.

it's been completed since this pic

Also, I stopped tracking purchases. I also stopped updating my sketch book. WAH. Stupid pandemic. Considering the vast majority of my shopping is online, and there was no in-store shopping until late May (when I bought the fabric for the Vogue top from SR Harris), my email shows no pattern or fabric purchases in June.

I've really been pushing myself to learn my knitting machine and have had some successes...

baby blanket using a tuck pattern

initial progress on baby sweater (sleeve is blocked so the ribbing looks nicer!). 
I accidentally dropped the work when I went to do the decreases on the other side

and then, SPLAT. Fell on my face again and again. Now, I'm thinking I damaged some needles/latches on the main bed. I have some on order and will try to replace the ones where my fabric is getting hung up and see if that helps.


Lots of Cricut love this month with Father's Day and graduations! The sign is for my dad, tee and onesie are for my son in law, and the t-shirts for a couple of cousins. 


Plus, I bought these cheap-o containers from Target ($2!) and jazzed them up with some permanent vinyl.

The other 2 larger containers say "dressmaking debacles" and "Crafting is the Best Medicine"

2020 goals

And, we're halfway through the year! 2020 is a total wash in so many ways. blehhhhh.

Sewing related, I'd set few hard goals for the year. I wanted to keep my spending very conservative because I knew that this year would be so unpredictable economically (due to the administration, election year, etc). I set a budget of $250 for fabric (hahaha) and $50 for patterns. I've spent about $385 on fabric and $48 on patterns. Well that ain't half bad! I can see myself making it the rest of the year without adding new patterns but we'll see what happens when the fall releases drop :) I've only purchased 14 patterns this year - that's some kind of record.

And while I blew through my lowly fabric budget, I added 68 yards to the stash and I've sewn 83 yards. So I'm ahead!

Also, I've sewn 60 items and 32 of them have been from stash fabrics (older than 6 months) - a little more than half. I'm going to revise my fabric goal to end the year with 75% of items sewn being from the stash.

I have barely touched this goal list! I made a jumpsuit and made some loungewear. Summer is a bust and I should probably just move into fall sewing soon. I really want to make my husband's blazer this year. We shall see.

Lastly, I was planning a career move this year. At an interview with a major corporation that I would have LOVED to work for (have you ever noticed how many Fortune 500s are headquartered in Minneapolis?! Target, Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, US Bank, United HealthGroup, I could go on!) we were making lighthearted jokes about the slight stock dive. The next week, the world was shutting down around us and they pulled the position. Bleh.

So I'm gearing up to get back in the saddle (there was like, NOTHING on the job boards for awhile there) and figure I may as well start looking elsewhere. So my relocation MAY happen in 2020 if things play out well.

I'm tired and could use a fresh start. I have a brother and sil here, some friends and my fantastic sewing community that would be well missed. But I am also very anxious here and feel so...repressed. It's not healthy :( Current events only exacerbate what's been true since my mid 20s.

Hope you are staying healthy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Repeats: Butterick 6330 and 6621

Dresses and tops are my wardrobe holes right now and I have been on a tear!

I made a couple new dresses before working on the time consuming Vogue 1507 top (post is written, just needs photographs!). When I just NEED to sew or really want to knock a couple things out, I'll use patterns that I've made and loved (like my last post with tops!). 

I don't have pics of B6621 on me but I've already worn it twice since finishing! :-D If you'll recall, I loved this pattern when it came out and promptly sewed 4 versions. I've sewed another last summer and this is my 6th! 

I used the same pattern - a size 14 graded to a 16 at the waist on down, with a 1" full bicep adjustment. On this one, I removed the FBA. 

This rayon jersey is a Fabric Mart buy. I had previously shortened the neckband quite a bit and it was tough going with the wool jersey. I added 1/2" back and it went it fine. I hemmed the tie, overlay, sleeves and hem on the coverstitch. I did an okay job matching stripes (take my word for it!), and sewed the side seams and CB seam at 3/8" from the waist down. 

It's comfy and I love it!

The previous B6330, blogged here, was sewn and LOVED. I made another one soon after in black but that fabric was bad. It grew and grew and grew. I washed it before hemming and it came out so distorted that I tossed it. 

As with the prior version, I cut a size medium. I added 1" to the back skirt but cutting it 1/2" away from the fold (it uses the same piece for front and back). This does result in an unmatched bodice to skirt but it's knit and there's elastic and mehhhh it's fine. :)

I really, REALLY love the fit. This jersey was a FM precut that I previously made a cardigan from and I love it!
I added the pockets and finished the armholes and neckline with a facing(?). I cut a 1 1/4" strip of fabric, stitched it in place, trimmed and graded the seams, turned it to the inside and coverstitched. The pattern has you just turn in 5/8" and topstitch but that's just hard to do nicely on curved seams. 

Lastly, the pattern doesn't actually include a tie, it's a bow sewn to the front but, no thank you! I cut a 1 1/4" strip and serged it, turned the tube and pressed. I didn't bother trying to sew the ends. 

Fabric Mart had a sale on their Milly odds and ends and I racked up. I took the opportunity to add these cute silver beads to my tie. Swoon. 

This dress, especially, is going to get TONS of wear this summer and into fall. It's begging to be paired with a cute jacket!

In other news...

I've been following this online knitting machine lesson and did a terrible job on this sweater :-p
That mock ribbing IS cool though!! 
The wonky front half was so traumatizing that it took me 2 days to do the other side - it was much better :) The next step was to sew the raglan seams, leaving one open and then rehang the neckline and knit the neckbinding. But then...


The main machine does stockinette and you need a ribber (or garter carriage I think) to make purls. So the mock ribbing above is made by skipping a needle (basically leaving a small float) and ta-da, mock 2x1 rib. But the ribber does REAL ribbing! Woohoo!!

So I'm going to learn to use it and do another practice sweater with actual ribbing. 

The inspector

A set of plates that aid in attaching it to the main bed was missing so I'm waiting on those. I'll clean it up in the meantime (vacuum out the dust, inspect the needles, clean it and oil it) and hopefully I'll have my plates in the next week and can get to practicing. SO exciting. 

The other technique I've been trying to learn is how to knit lace. There's a separate carriage that works in conjunction with the main carriage on the machine that does all the needle selection and transfer of stitches for lace patterns. You can always manipulate stitches manually, but I've got a good selection of built-in lace patterns. 

After trying and trying and trying I FINALLY figured it out!! I do notice some dropped stitches so I'll have to look harder at what's happening during the process (someone pointed out that it looks like a specific needle dropping so I'll watch for that). 

You don't know how many times I've stared at this swatch and smiled!

Monday, June 8, 2020

A Bunch of Tops

I didn't get a chance to update here but put a post on Instagram (here) explaining why I was postponing Faye's Tops That Pop. It took a bit for me to wrap my head around my feelings about everything and ultimately, I don't feel good uplifting brands that are choosing to be silent. So, soon. We will do this soon.

These tops were made pre-challenge.  I've made all of these patterns before so they're getting lumped into this post. 

This fabric is a cotton lycra knit from Girl Charlee. I haven't ordered from there in years because of a bad experience and reading about many others' experiences. 

This fabric felt really nice when I pulled it out of the package - soft and smooth! It was much, much less so after washing. I wore it and washed it again and bleh. It won't last long :(

Size 14 with sleeve hack mentioned here and lengthened it 6" (the top in the pattern is a peplum). I intended to length the sleeves but forgot. 

Next up was another version of the Kommatia tee pattern in this printed cotton knit, also from Girl Charlee. Same pattern adjustments here - size Medium with an extra 2.5" added at the hip. 

When I made this Ottobre tee, I liked the cute print but I joked that it looked like I should be working in the pediatric wing of the hospital. This gives me the same vibes! WAHHHHH. I'm not making any more cotton knit print tees! LOL!!!

On the right, I tried it with a few garments before sewing the neckband and hemming to be sure I should finish it. I do not love it. I love the print, but the garment is meh for me. 
Next up was this top intended to copy a top I saw at LOFT. I made this pattern previously here. I chopped the sleeve but should have cut it a bit shorter. I was aiming for more of an extended shoulder look vs. a short sleeve.

The color is so me, the fabric felt really nice even after washing, but it was HORRIBLY off grain and had a giant hole in it. 
I was not pleased and will not be ordering from them again. 

Lastly, I saw this Jason Wu top during some of my RTW idea gathering time and decided to use the Ogden to copy it. 

I used my normal size 12, chopped off 6" and decided on an 8" ruffle at 2.2x the width.
I used a cotton poplin that was in my donate bin. I hated the top I made with it but I thought it was perfect for this little summer top. 

Also, I really wish I had made the ties like twice as long!!
I hemmed the gazillion miles of ruffle with my rolled hem foot. I've mentioned before that I had lots of trouble making rolled hems until I got my new machine and used the foot that came with it. EFFORTLESS. I think it's the foot design and if you have a rolled hem foot that gives you the blues, try another one! Especially if you have a machine that takes universal feet.

I promise you, rolled hems are absolutely effortless now!