Thursday, July 30, 2020

Simplicity 8389 Shorts; Contest Sewing

I was going to review the Simplicity dress next but the shorts were finished and I am seriously loving them and so they jumped the review queue!

I did not realize this pattern was 2 years old! I can't believe I've been saying "I'm going to make those" all this time! Eek!

I used my normal size 18 -- don't be tempted to size down because of the ease!! You don't want your pleats pulling and straining. I adjusted the pattern with my fishbowl the same as I did with the SA Clare muslin here

My butt just needs more room!! When I laid the front and back inseam together, the space in between was SO narrow! I wish I'd taken a before pic! 

Back piece:

Minor quibble, the markings for the pocket and front pattern piece don't line up. I did slash and overlap to reduce front length but that didn't affect the placement of the notch. 

Aside from the crotch length adjustment, I didn't make any other changes. Well...I did not have 1 1/4" elastic in stash. I topstitched at 3/8" from the top and used 3/4" elastic. It makes it gather a little differently and next time, I'll be sure to have the right elastic on hand.

I can't believe I waited so long to make this pattern! I actually bought this fabric to sew the other view, the tapered leg. And luckily, I gambled on the fabric being awesome and ordered 4.5 yards. YAY! So I should be able to make the pants and stash the rest for a skirt.

Do you see this blind hem? DO YOU SEE IT!?!? Woot woot!

Paired with my TNT shirt, Burda 7136 in chambray. 

Listen, I LOVE THEM. 

Posting this zoomed in pic to show the fit. The pleats hang so nicely!! And while the protrusion of my butt (hahaha) is still a tad too much compared to the pattern but otherwise, they fall so nicely, no hanging up on the butt, in the inner thigh, none of that!

I have a navy brussels washer linen that I picked up in Nashville from Craft South that I may use for the next version. 

These shorts were my "C" garment for the PR Endless Combinations contest as was the hoodie reviewed here. I also sewed a dress and a top so I have pics ready for my next couple blog posts! Woohoo!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Vogue 1507 Frilly Top

I was so excited to sew up some new summer tops for the challenge and then life got turned upside down.

The previous post was tops all made before June. This was to be my first top for the challenge. I'd eyed it for awhile, Erica Bunker made it and it was just SO cute.
I mean, isn't it SO CUTE?!?! LOL!!

I do wish I had something slightly lighter like a voile. This cotton (weave unknown - picked it up at SR Harris) is about the weight of a lightweight sateen. You definitely want something stable because there's a gazillion yards of narrow hemming. It needs to be able to take a press too. Bonus if the wrong side isn't super discernible from the right side as the wrong side will possibly show in back on the tie, and on the sleeve. 
I've tried it without a bra and it's fine. I happened to be wearing a bralette today that has a very narrow band and straps set kind of far apart. Good to know that this works with the top!

I cut a size 14 with a 16 back yoke and 16 armholes (could have cut a 14 all over). It is loose fitting and I'm glad I didn't size up the body at all. The front/back pattern piece is huge and oddly shaped. Then there is an overlay on top of that. But the way the top is made/styled if it's a little too big, it's still going to be okay. I personally did not have any issues with it staying up on my shoulders when worn and as someone else mentioned, you can tie it and then pull it on over your head quite easily. 
I used 3 yards of fabric because I somewhat fussy cut. It took a lot for me to decide on a front band!

This is the same as above but flipped upside down!

too much "large blue flower next to each other"
I ended up choosing the very first one I cut out because OF COURSE I did!

I did not follow the instructions to stitch at 1/2", press up, trim and turn and stitch again. That's just too much for my hands. I removed my left needle from the serger, lengthened the stitch a bit so it wasn't so condensed, and serged the ends, then turned twice. It's a little wider than intended and a little bulkier in this fabric (so my hems stand away more), but it doesn't take away IMO.

The instructions are otherwise excellent and all pattern markings were there. OH! The only other adjustment I'd make is adding the front band on the overlay. It is wide enough to 'burrito' so that's how I sewed it. Especially if your fabric is lighter weight. 

I started this on a Monday (June 1 actually!) And finished it on a Saturday. And I worked on it a little bit every day. It was labor intensive but it produces a really beautifully finished top. 
beautiful interior finishing

this is so pleasing to look at!

The CF band is fully enclosed, the underlay is sewn with a french seam, the back yoke is finished with french binding (yum), the yoke-to-top seam and armhole is finished with double fold binding. I used Hug Snug.


It is tedious to sew it but it's so beautiful!! I almost went online and bought a bunch more colors til I realized I have a 100yd roll here and it would take me forever to use that. This soft grey is a nice neutral and will work for many things since I'm probably going to be using this all.the.time!

I have a pair of teal pants (a bit more green than these) that looked perfect. Then I scored these during a LOFT clearance sale and they are perfect!. I think it'll look good with white, gray, or dark blue bottoms. 

I absolutely LOVE IT! I love the construction, I love the look, I love everything about it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Baby Shower DIYs and...a little sewing

My next garment for the Endless Combinations contest is a dress from Simplicity 8890. I finished it but isn't my favorite thing. Will review as soon as the sun resurfaces and I can take pics.

Also, I was all set to cut out S8389 for my black shorts and I have the 6-14 size range. FOR PANTS! Eek! I am an 18 on bottom so I'm going to sew an oldie but goodie; Simplicity 1887.

I am thinking of finishing up with a tee, possibly McCalls 6839. An old pattern that I made back in 2015 but I loved the shape and am pretty much considering recreating it (using a b & w stripe again).

oh. my. goodness. Speaking of patterns...

Have you seen that IG Design Group is rebranding the Big4 as "Something Delightful"?

Not cool. At all. What on earth does this name mean? What does it have to do with sewing patterns?!? What does it have to do with the iconic names Butterick, McCall's, Vogue? Ugh.

ANYWAY...I will call the shower a success! Now, because things just have a way of happening...

I woke up that morning, early. I ran to Target to buy some pants (a rayon/linen blend) because it was going to be a SCORCHER; there was a heat advisory in place. I love a dress during the summer but as a member of the Thick Thigh Club, when it's really hot? I don't want any skin-on-skin action happening. Then, I went to Trader Joe's to buy flowers, came home and arranged them quickly, as my husband loaded up the car. 

indirectly related facts:
I am super independent. It's woven into my DNA. My husband is a caregiver. It's just a part of him.
Yes, this is huge spot of give and take for us.

Park that.

While arranging the flowers I was feeling "off". I couldn't put my finger on it but something was off. At one point, I said to him, "I don't know what made me think I could pull this off..." And carried on. I decided I was sad(?) that it was going to be HOT AS HELL and that would 1) affect the guest list and 2) result in a bunch of wasted food (because people really do not eat as much when it's hot).

We arrived at the park shelter (which is amazing and I will reserve it again for something else in the future!) and right away, I see tables with tablecloths on them. Deciding that someone had decided to hang out there on this warm summer day, I marched right up there and (nicely, I swear!) informed them that we had a reservation. But THEY had a reservation. WHAT?

After searching my email I realized, I RESERVED THE SHELTER FOR THE WRONG DAY!

I was gutted. And my brain felt fuzzy. And by then, my brother and sil had arrived (they were going to help with set up while my husband, Mike ran around picking up the food and ice). I started crying and he started freaking out. LOL! No one sees me cry. Like ever. Childbirth? no. Proposal? no. Wedding? no. But get me frustrated enough and the tears will flow.

I had to call my daughter and tell her. Apparently, she cried too! And Mike sprung into action!

The shower was scheduled to start at noon. At 11:15 we arrived at the new site. By 12:03, when the first guests arrived, everything was in place except for the baby pics of the mom and dad. His mom was one of the first to arrive so she took over hanging pics while I ran home to shower. By 12:30 I was back and my brother was back with the food.

You know what? It all worked out! Holding it at the Ice Arena (at the private school where Mike works), meant a place to cool off in the extremely hot weather (the interior of the arena is 50 degrees F!) and a better place to house the food (the vestibule was much closer to room temperature). He got to do what he does. I got to lean on ~everyone~ around me because we were all necessary in making it happen.

Never too old to learn new tricks? :-p

I bought a huge roll of the burlap pennant and used the Cricut to pretty them up. There was one each that said "baby", "eat", and "gifts". I made menu cards for the food and the cupcakes. I made an instruction card for the pin game and measure mommy's belly game, and finally, a little hanging sign welcoming baby Bert. (that's their name regardless of gender!).

We'd visited a local guy for the lovely wood rounds and scored a case of Mason jars cheap. Using burlap ribbon + satin ribbon + twinkle lights, and plenty of flowers, we created the centerpieces. I spent under $50 on flowers (I love TJ!) and collected vases and other glassware from my own stash at home :)

This trio of what is technically tealight holders on the wood round was my favorite!

Lastly, my daughter wanted a skirt with a 2-tiered flounce but not with a maternity panel. Sigh. (tbf I never wore maternity clothes with either pregnancy. YOUTH!) The ad she saw, the woman had just pulled the skirt over her belly so I said FINE. I used the still popular McCall's 6654 knit skirt pattern, in her normal size 12,  at the shortest length, and added a 4" tier and a 6" tier.

I measured the hem and cut out a rectangle. I slashed every inch and spread the shorter layer about 5/8" at each cut and the longer one at 7/8".  After taping it down I traced off the shape, keeping the center on the fold, and added seam allowance to the top. Because my daughter is as fickle with handmades as RTW items, I do enough but don't put too much energy into projects. I cut the flounces with my rotary cutter and left the ponte unhemmed.

I pinned them together and before I knew it, I'd sewn them each to the front and back of the skirt. DOH! I wanted to sew them in the round! So I had to do some unpicking (not fun in ponte with perfectly matched thread!!) but it was fine in the end :)

3 days before the shower, she asked me to make this top for her and I found a bodice in Burda 11/2015 that was a perfect match. She wanted tulle sleeves but there was no time to acquire fabric AND sew the top so I hit the stash. I had this mesh that was a perfect pairing with the ivory ponte. This bodice is meant to be a dress so I lengthened and straightened out the side seam. It was also meant to be lined. The sleeve attaches to the bodice from just above the notch in front to about the same in back. The rest of the sleeve is just hemmed. I did not take into account new finishing without the lining (and the mesh!) and it was Friday afternoon and I just didn't see finishing it if I had to undo a bunch of topstitching (and in places that had already been trimmed back). So, we hit up Forever 21 because of course, her 7 month belly can still fit into a medium top at the juniors store! Oh, to be young! :)

I probably won't be finishing this but the bodice is NICE
 andI plan to make myself a dress from this pattern!

We had a blast, the food was good, the games were fun and they got a ridiculous amount of gifts including ALL of the big things (car seat, stroller, breast pump, crib (they actually got 2 cribs and have to return one!). And an actual ton of Target gift cards which will come in handy. Baby Bert is set!

my top is M6519

I keep telling them that if we know nothing else, we know Bert is going to have a super curly mane :-D Don't let them fool you in their pink shirts; gender is unknown and I'm betting it's a boy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

McCall's 7061; Contest Sewing

I've still been fairly mojo-less. Which is fine! But I enjoy sewing and hate when my mojo wanes. I decided to enter the Pattern Review Endless Combinations contest to get it going again. Endless combinations requires a minimum of 4 garments and each garment has to "go with" (coordinate & be worn with) the previous item. There's no requirement for cohesive among the entire mini wardrobe, just more of a guarantee that you won't create an "orphan". 

I was mostly focused on fabrics I wanted to sew, and on garments secondarily, and lastly, wanted to try to use patterns I'd made before.

I actually started with a dress from Simplicity 8890 (I'm going to finish it but am slightly meh on it! It's awaiting the final bit - the straps). Next up was this slightly cropped hoodie from M7061. I plan to follow the hoodie with a pair of black pull-on shorts (something I DESPERATELY need) and then a tee or Ogden cami.

I'd previously sewn this pattern for my loungewear wardrobe. I made the (CUTE!) tunic and used this version sans hood and bodice band because I didn't have enough fabric. I wanted a fitted hoodie (which is a tough pattern to find!) that just kissed the top of my bottoms (these jeans are high-waist).

I tried on that version and decided where I wanted the hoodie to end on the body. I measured the finished width on the band decided to shorten the top 6" (the band is about 2.5"). 

Same as the initial version, I cut a size medium (additional hip room was irrelevant on this version) and a 1" bicep adjustment. Because of the thickness of this knit, I sewed 3/8" seams on the body and sleeve. I added eyelets and a drawstring on the band, mostly for aesthetic reasons. If you really wanted to draw up the bottom, I'd recommend a channel for the drawstring. 

There were lots of reviews that mentioned how big the hood is. I have a big head. *Every* time I sew something with a slit opening in back and someone mentions "Just sewing that shut", I'm like, NOPE. I'm gonna need that to get it over my dome! LOL!! Well, this hood is HUGE! LOL! I almost switched to the collar (I really love that feature on this pattern), because I don't really *need* the hood, I just wanted it to come up around the neck. But I do like it as is; the crossover is really cool.

This fabric is so cozy that I didn't bother lining it.
It was hemmed on the coverstitch which loved this fabric!

I saw a make on the Russian Burda site where the user had placed her tag on the sleeve hemband and I thought it was super cool. Copied that! :) 

My jeans are ASOS and I absolutely adore them. The inseam gussets are everything!

We have chosen to have a baby shower for my daughter. We are following CDC and State of MN guidelines. While we have no issue wearing masks, it helps that our city has a mask ordinance in place in case anyone is resistant. In addition, we're staying as safe as possible by 1) holding it outdoors in a huge picnic shelter which allows for  2) social distancing 3) keeping it super small (our city also restricts outdoor gatherings to 25 people) 4) keeping it short and 5) nothing is shared (individually servings of food and cupcakes). Grandparents aren't going to be present for obvious reasons and no one attending lives with a grandparent. We've encouraged anyone with possible exposure to bow out. We know it's a risk! So we're taking as many precautions as possible. Let me know if you have other suggestions!

So I've been busy making stuff (helloooooo Cricut!) because I still want it to feel as genuine as possible for her. It's been a rough year for all of us and she has really struggled. She has missed out on a commencement ceremony, her husband can't attend her prenatal visits, among other things.

I'm making a top and skirt for her and then I'll be moving on to the rest of my E.C. items. 

I love a good flounce! Hoping this outfit turns out!


Ooh! I was sucked in by this rayon challis from Fabric Mart - it was Sue's pick one day and I got 6 yards. EEK! But it's so pretty! and vibrant!! 

I also got this poly crepe for a dress. I usually move on to fall sewing in August but I'm not seeing that we'll be back in the office by then so we'll see how it all goes.

Stay safe!