Saturday, May 1, 2021

April Wrap-up and May Sewing Plans

This month, I sewed 6 items for a total of 7 3/4 yards, almost all from stash

I sewed:

  • Burda 6/2018 jacket (WIP) - 1.75 yards
    • striped cotton boucle from Fabric Mart 
    • brass jacket zipper, brass snaps
  • McCall's 7542 top (WADDER) - 1.5 yards
    • cotton shirting in solid pink and black & white stripe from SR Harris and Fabric Mart
    • no notions used due to being a wadder
  • Burda 5/2019 dress (WIP) - 1.5 yards
    • print poly woven 
    • zipper
  • Butterick 5760 skirt (WIP) - 1 yard
    • green wool boucle
    • zipper
  • Burda 5/2020 top - 1 yard
    • chartreuse silk georgette from SR Harris
    • covered button
  • Butterick 5760 skirt  (WIP) - 1 yard
    • navy cotton lace
    • zipper

Favorite: Hard to say since I have multiple WIPs. I'm going to go with the Burda top right now. The color is so pretty and, SILK! 

Fail: The McCall's top and not just because it didn't work out. I liked the idea in theory but it was just too much contrast for me. 

Accomplishment: I didn't go too far out of the box this month. 

I am going to be promo'ing the Paprika Patterns Nautilus swimsuit and popped into SR Harris for swimsuit lining and found a very interesting cotton woven in the designer section. It feels incredible, we'll see how it washes up. I got 3 yards due to it being just 44" wide. I also bought 1 Simplicity pattern and 1 Butterick at recent sales. There are a few McCall's from the new release that I plan to add to stash at the next sale! I am also ready to cull a few more - we will see.

May Plans

Me Made May

I have almost always participated in MMM. I will just pop in my standard message - it is NOT about pictures or "showing off". If you feel some turn it into that well...that's their path. It really is about being encouraged to wear our handmade garments (proudly!). It isn't about making a bunch of new stuff to wear. It isn't about a closet full of handmade garments. It is self-designed and the parameters are up to you. 

As someone who has a lot of handmade garments, I've set various challenges over the years. This year, I am taking it back to the basics. I will plan to wear a handmade garment every day. Appropriate for Covid times, where I've given up on getting dressed most days. 

Other plans

Now that I've created a plethora of WIPs, I will plan to get them finished :)

  • Burda 6/2018 jacket needs lining constructed and bagged
  • Butterick 5760 v1 needs hem finished and v2 is in very early stages
  • Burda 5/2019 dress needs side seams finished, facings sewn, and hems

applique scissors are a MUST for laces - buy some!!!

I'm also planning to stick with this fly by the seat of my pants sewing, for now. I will be swapping out my closet this weekend, so I will have a better idea of what I need for the warmer months, soon. But, it's May in MN which means, wild weather swings e.g., today it is 64 low/81 high...on Tuesday there'll be a low of 39 and high of 57.

I am realizing I really don't need pants :/ I like sewing pants! LOL! I really scored at Ann Taylor and LOFT the last couple of shopping trips (e.g., wool blend trousers for $15.88, casual pants for <$9), so we will see!

For now, I'm thinking that in order to (finally!) finish those WIPs, I'll probably need some breather work in between. 

I'm thinking:

McCall's 7920 for that white fabric I mentioned above. I like the longer version but with 3 yards of 44" fabric, it may not be possible. We will see!! 

McCall's 7465 and Butterick 6621, both TNTs, in a solid color. I really want the Butterick twist-front dress in this navy jersey, I just have to make sure it isn't too heavy for that pattern (I don't want the front to be bulky). Otherwise, I'll use the navy for the McCall's and the Butterick in a taupe-y jersey. 

More later!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Burda 1/2016 + Beginner Sewing Summit

What?! Another Burda make?! :we will pretend not to be surprised: :). I just love that, for the most part, I can trace off my size, make my adjustments, and sew! It is rare that a Burda mag pattern doesn't work out from a fit perspective (it does happen though!), hence their top spot as a fave pattern source of mine.

I made this top for my daughter actually. But then, I forgot to include it in a package I shipped to her. Boooooo! By the time they came to visit earlier this month, the weather in Long Beach had already turned too warm to get much use from it, and they have a tiiiiny apartment, so I try to only send what is asked.

This is a size 38 front and 40 back (I trace a 40 for myself at the neckine and shoulder and grade out to a 42). The design calls for a silky woven for the back but, no thank you! 

I'm not a huge fan of cotton knit, which is why I used this fabric for her! I do love the design so maybe I'll make it work in my wardrobe. 

The front has 4 diagonal pleats, the upper back has soft gathers, and then these cool sleeves. I'm not versed enough in pattern design to know what all the different elements are called so - forgive me! The sleeve is fairly square and pretty much comes down to about the waist on front and back. It wears a bit like a cut-on sleeve - you have that fold of fabric at the armhole (it has to go somewhere!) - and makes for a comfy sweatshirt. 

It has a sort of bateau neckline and the sleeve and hem are finished with bands. I kept the pattern out to make one for myself but alas... :) 

The band does ride up a bit, but that's because it's basically a size+ too small at the hip - I'll live with it. It's wearable as is, I just get poofy pleats at times. This one will definitely make a reappearance at some point.

I was working on a knock-off of a RTW top I saw - it was pink with blue and white striped statement sleeves. Super cute. I nixed it though, just wasn't feeling the sleeve once I got the first one done. Boooo. 

Not the top but similar concept:

My wool boucle skirt was finished, or so I thought. I tried it on, thought, "WHAT is up with this hem!?" and realized I didn't catch it in all areas while blind hemming by machine. I'll have to do that in the daylight :-p AND I cut another version of my B5760 in a navy lace (excited!).

My Burda 6/2018 jacket stalled (this is why I used to sew linings for jackets first!). I have the shell completed but knew I'd need to make some fitting tweaks so I held off on the lining. Now, I'm being lazy. I'll get back to it!

I pivoted and sewed a silk top from the Burda 5/2020 issue (it's gorgeous!) full review to come!! 

Lastly, I invite you all to participate in the Rebecca Page 2021 Beginner Sewing Summit taking place from Tuesday, May 3rd through Friday, May 7th. 

Over 40 classes are being offered, covering a wide range of topics, and providing 20+ hours of content.

Classes are free to attend live!

If you'd like to rewatch any sessions or if you miss a live session, you can purchase an all access pass for $59. My Link

Yes, I will receive a small commission if you purchase a pass from my link. Otherwise, there is no cost or other obligation involved to view the classes. 

There is no other compensation for instructors - we were asked if we'd like to participate and I thought it'd be a fun way to stretch myself and stay active in the community outside from the "here are 35 pictures of the thing I made with no other info about the garment, the fabric, the pattern, or the process!".  Fine - I'm being cheeky :) 

There is a schedule of classes near the end of the page HERE.

My class airs on Thursday, May 6th

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Burda 6/2018 jacket WIP and more...

I have been planning this jacket for 2 years now! I purchased the fabric, zipper, and snaps in spring of 2019 and have finally gotten around to starting the project.

If you don't know, Burda's zipper recommendations are often for the largest size. So back then, I ordered a 20" zipper. Well, the size 42 takes an 18" zipper! Grr! Wawak to the rescue (plus, I finally purchased a hip curve ruler - they were on sale!). 

Here is where it stands: 

Left and right fronts, and the back, assembled.
Sleeve outseam sewn (still need to sew the side seam)
Sleeve's need to be basted in now that the zipper is in, so I can check fit, then I'll continue on. 

I FINALLY finished my brother's golf club covers. I started with these free templates (HERE), muslined each, and then made some adjustments.  I used my Cricut to cut out the number/letter labels, backed with Wonder Under (though the Cricut Maker can cut fabric without the backing), and topstitched in place. I'd watched a video on YouTube (HERE) by Dormie on how theirs are constructed (and it's EXACTLY how I'd set out to construct mine!), and shared it with him. He really liked the diagonal stripes, so we incorporated that element. 

My brother and I took a trip to SR Harris where he chose the purples for his hybrid covers and the red/yellow CAUTION-inspired colors for his driver and fairway covers. They are lined with a lightweight Polartec water-resistant fleece. 

I will readily admit that I was *this* close to redoing the dark purple one when I saw that it was kind of lopsided! LOL! I think the intricacies of topstitching that 3 is what stopped me!

I had no clue how work with this nylon fabric and it really stalled progress. Turns out that a Microtex needle and slightly looser tension was the right move. They turned out so nicely!

In other news, I had an impromptu cleaning session in the basement, where fabric and pattern storage is. Over time, I always end up with a bunch of patterns and magazines in the sewing room, after random browsing sessions or intentions on sewing something. Then, they end up in random boxes and what not in the basement. I filed everything away and did a tiny bit of rearranging. And, after putting away some cuts of fabric, I reminded myself that I need not buy ANOTHER YARD OF FABRIC :-p

The file cabinets are standard, short, 2-drawer office-style cabinets. My husband works at a private school and whenever there are pieces of furniture being discarded, he checks with me first. The table I use for my knitting machine, for my serger + coverstitch, the desk that was my sewing table that is now a laundry folding table...and these cabinets are all scored for free!

And that machine is a vintage Kenmore 1503! I intend to get it serviced when I have the space to keep it set up. 

Lastly, I have had the pleasure of seeing and spending time with my baby grandson this past weekend! He is 7 months old now and is SO HAPPY and active! He "talks" constantly, he loves giving kisses, and he's always dancing. He still dislikes socks, has never worn shoes, but doesn't mind clothes now. LOL!

I have to leave the room when they're trying to put him to sleep because, "Nana gets you too hyped!" hahahaha! :-D 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Some reviews! Ha!!

Soooo behind, but what else is new!?

To start, here is the too small M7061 on me:

No material changes from prior versions. I sewed a Medium, cut the sleeves as long as I could (I squeezed this out of 1.25 yards of fabric, even with that enormous hood pattern piece!). 

My pattern has been adjusted for a 1" increase to the bicep. I added eyelets for the drawstring and totally forgot that the hood overlaps quite a bit in front. I reduced the overlap and just eased the excess into the neckline - it's fine! 

I added the front pocket but didn't enjoy trying to fold and stitch this (very!) thick knit so I left the lower edge of the pocket raw and stitched close to the edge. I cut a strip of cotton knit super long, serged it (and had to continue to reduce the width to fit the eyelets!), turned it out and used it as cording. 

This one may end up being handed over to my daughter, we'll see.

Awhile ago I decided I just HAD to have this dress from the plus section of Burda 3/2011 (#139). 
Cute, right?!

The smallest size is a 44, which is fine for the lower half but too big up top. I graded down one size at the neckline and raglans - I would ordinarily use a 40 front neckline but figured it'd be fine. I ended up sewing the raglans and side seams with a slightly larger seam allowance, and adding no hem allowance which is somewhat typical for me with Burda. I skipped the tie-belt.
I really fell for the shoulder details and then, they almost killed me! I made lots of samples and end the end, I used bias tape ironed flat for the shoulder detail and ponte backed with a lightweight cotton knit for the pocket (and neck bands too!). After getting the one side done, I refused to do it on the other side. 

Fabric is from Michael Levine and has been in stash for about a year and a half.

Lastly, I saw this periodic table fabric (Kaufman) and HAD to have it! I snagged a yard of it knowing I wanted to make a bowl cozy (finally!!!) and a mask, at least. 

I used a tutorial by Vanessa at The Crafty Gemini and it was simple and straightforward until I went to turn it! LOL! I left one end open from low to high point, which was a good 2+ inches and WHEW! It was tough. I used a solid navy Kona cotton for the outside. 

It makes me happy! I'm so glad I finally made it!  I don't use the microwave often because nothing beats convection ovens for reheating, but when I do need the microwave, bowl cozy for the win! 

Reminder to use MICROWAVE SAFE cotton batting (much of the cotton batting has scrim in it that can be flammable). I bought Pellon Wrap-n-Zap, used cotton thread, and it's worked out well the couple times I've used it. 

We have big bowls but then, it's been a long time of having what amounts to a house full of adults, or at least adult-sized bellies. This is a 9" square, I'll make a 10" next time. 

I finished up my Butterick skirt and have the Burda 5/2019 dress partially sewn. 

I might pivot to starting on a jacket. I have an uncanny knack for starting on very fitted garments right at the worst time of the month where my belly is painfully bloated and I feel horrible. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

March Wrap-up and April Plans

 This month I sewed 4 items for a total of 5 3/4 yards.

I sewed:
  • Burda 1/2019 camisole - 1 yard from stash
    • viscose challis
  • Burda 1/2016 sweatshirt - 2 yards from stash (for my daughter)
    • navy cotton jersey
  • Burda 3/2014 top - 1.5 yards from stash (For a special project)
    • teal cotton lawn
  • McCall's 7061 sweatshirt - 1.25 yards from stash
    • cotton sweatshirt fleece
    • grommets
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: All of my projects came from stash this month!

FAILS: Eh, no real fails. The McCall's sweatshirt is too small. This is my 4th version of this pattern and I did not account for the lack of stretch in these fleece. It's pure comedy trying to put it on. sighhhhhh.

FAVE: Fave has to go to the camisole! It fits so nicely and I just love the pleated upper bodice. 


I did buy fabric this month though-oops! I got a total of 13 yards from Fabric Mart. Mostly dress-weight (4 cuts, 3 yards each), and a heavier crepe for a skirt. I ordered what was shown as the last yard for the skirt but, of course, Fabric Mart sent 1 1/4 yards and now I can expand my options. Woohoo!

For the first quarter of the year, I'm a bit upside down and I really want to improve that ratio over the next few months. 

20 3/8 yards OUT 
22 yards IN

For the month of April, I want to sew and just enjoy the process, rather than worry about utility or practicality. 

I started with my TNT, Butterick 5760, in a green & black boucle. I'm adding an off-center seam to create a split in front, and adding a lining. I did a blind hem by machine and when I went to try it on, I was confused on why the hem was rippling...I discovered that it didn't catch in MANY spots. Grr! Spongey boucle + nighttime = no deal. I'll remove the stitching and have at it again. I can't hem by hand, plus, the stitches sink right into this fabric, and it's wool so a shot of steam makes all the difference in the world. 

I've also traced off this Burda 5/2019 dress and plan to use one of my new fabrics

It's a poly dressweight that's black with gold (hearts), white circles, and some pink accents. 
It is very pretty in person!! 

I REALLY want to sew this green fabric (also from my recent FM purchase) so I can wear it this spring (or "spring" in MN). I want something soft, with gathers or pleats, but no buttons (many of the patterns that are kind of what I have in mind are button front). Still looking for the right pattern. 

In other news, I FINALLY got my Ottobre baby mags I ordered back in January! There was a change in required declarations apparently(?) and the package was returned to Ottobre before being re-sent. So I might make a baby item too!

3/2014 and 4/2014

For my surprise project, I filmed at a local bookstore, Cream & Amber (website and InstaGram). As thanks to the owner, I put together this basket with a plant, a tee that I decorated with vinyl to say, "Just One More Chapter", and sea salt caramels. <3 I also picked up a few books!

As always, more later!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Simplicity 8529 - Colorblocked

I follow a couple of fashion bloggers for inspiration and saw a cute colorblocked sweater in camel and off-white and just LOVED it, but not necessarily those colors. I love black and olive (and blue! but that's another story) and had this piece of olive french terry in my stash. I have no clue where I bought it (I think I bought it at Kokoon, a local retailer who sometimes sells off her fashion fabric). And I only had 1.25 yds. Well, I had several cuts of black french terry (seriously?) on hand and settled on this piece that was a perfect match in weight and drape.

Then came the task of trying to find a pattern. I checked Burda first because, of course I did! But nothing stood out. When I made this Simplicity pattern way back, I wasn't thrilled with the outcome. Looking back, I really liked how it looked on me, it just didn't wear well. I decided it was possibly just a fabric fail and crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The dropped shoulder design was just what I wanted! 

By going with a pattern with a dropped shoulder, I knew I'd only need to adjust the front and back . I traced a line from the top of the shoulder to the armhole, sliced, added seam allowances, and sewed it up. This meant that on the right side, I have olive fabric connecting to the olive sleeve and on the left, black fabric to a black sleeve. PERFECT.

Note to self and other intrepid pattern hackers:
the front seam line should have a slight convex curve to it to remain straight when on the body. It's fine...the pattern fits relaxed enough and the fabric has enough drape that the now concave(!) line doesn't really show. 

I made no material changes from the last version - size medium, shortened 3 inches. 

I did leave the side vent as-is this time (I think I sewed it closed a bit more last time).

It's quite cozy too in this lightweight french terry. I know it's a very specific garment that limits the bottoms I can wear with it, but I'm still pretty happy with it and think I'll get good use out of it. If nothing else, it makes me smile :-)

I'm actually wearing the same pair of jeans here as in the original pic 2+ years ago! :)

I have had very little mojo because, life. And am pretty sure I'm UNABLE to work on my knitting right now. I might work on it for a few minutes this weekend and see how my hand responds. Right now, it's not looking good :( 

I have sewn a couple things - 1 is kind of a secret for now (shhhhh!) and the other is a sweatshirt for my daughter. I have a hoodie in the works for myself but a STRONG desire to sew some real clothes, and a bit of an add to the fabric stash arriving this weekend. 

I sewed these 2 tops for my daughter, my son in law's shirt, some baby stuff, a cardigan/jacket for myself, and literally eve.ry.thing else I've sewn so far in 2021 has been a top. No dresses. No skirts. No pants. I am feeling BLAH!

So I hope to refocus my efforts, in spite of Covid, and start to work on some things that make me happy. Starting with a TNT, Butterick 5760 in a boucle from stash. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Burda 1/2019 #116

I have several Ogden camis and it's such a great pattern but I knew that I wanted something different for this piece of Atelier Brunette viscose challis (colorway is Moonstone). I poked around the pattern collection and the internet quite a bit but, Burda to the rescue (as per usual)! 

I just could not get the color to pick up correctly taking the pics solo with my phone!!

This is a petite pattern but I only needed to adjust the waist because I'm a bit short from shoulder to bust anyway. I used a 40 for the neckline and a 42 for the rest. I'm not wearing a bra here (yay! reduction!!) but I did try it on with a bra. The back was fine (we all know that the band should sit below the shoulder blades, right?) but the front sits low, I'm not sure what the "right" bra would be for this style top.
I ended up shortening the straps about 1.25", topstitching them in back and hand sewing them in front. 

I'm not a purist y'all. I will sew french seams when french seams need to be sewn...I just don't care that much. LOL!!! So serger seams it is. I used a mix of dark grey and blue since I didn’t have a match. 

The pattern is cut on the bias but includes half pattern pieces. Be a good sewer and make full pattern pieces :-p I'm not so I cut one half, mark the center line at top and bottom, flip the pattern piece and cut the other side. 

You can see in the pic above that the bodice lining has a dart...and in the pic below that the main piece has pleats. The bodice and lining are sewn together at the neckline and armhole and then attached as one to the lower bodice. The side seams are sewn, then the back facing folded over. I tacked it down at the side seams by hand. 

I didn't do a *great* job matching the font at the center. If I make it again I'll baste by hand and sew both sides in one pass. Also, I accidentally pressed the pleats the wrong way and they just did not want to go back. WAHHH! We'll see how it goes the first time I wash it.

The upper part here is the back facing and I did a rolled hem on that piece. On the hem, I tried the Banroll method where you use the little comb and stitch and turn and stitch and meh. It's a little more stable than the rolled hem on this delicate fabric but it's cumbersome and I don't know the situation in which I'd say it's preferred. YMMV. 

I'm working on seaming up my sweater...may take me a bit. but it's coming!! 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

February Wrap-up and March Plans

This month I sewed 5 items for a total of 6 3/8 yards.
I sewed:
  • McCall's 6044 shirt for my son in law - 1.5 yards
    • cotton shirting
    • buttons
  • McCall's 6016 shirt for my grandson - 5/8 yard
    • cotton shirting
    • snaps
  • Simplicity 8529 top - 1.25 yards from stash
    • black and olive french terry
  • Burda 6990 top - 1.5 yards
    • teal and tan rayon jersey
  • Burda 8/2016 top - 1.5 yards
    • cotton jersey
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Those shirts for my guys! They turned out really well and I did my best work on them! So excited to see some pics.

Also, I DID NOT BUY ANY FABRIC or PATTERNS IN FEBRUARY! Woohoo!!!! I am still waiting for my Ottobre mags that I ordered 1/25 :( Apparently, they weren't aware of some new USPS rule about declarations of contents. Ugh.

FAILS: Burda 8/2016 is a giant fail. I do not sew cotton jersey (aside from loungewear or leggings) and I need to stick to that. I have never been happy with a finished garment made from a cotton-lycra knit. And I really splurged on this fabric. I won't consider it a total waste though. The pattern pieces are pretty big so I'm thinking I'm going to cut a t-shirt for Bert and maybe a headband for me. 

FAVE: Aside from the shirts, I'd say the S8529 top. I really love the color blocking! 

(I pressed the hem out after this pic! LOL!)

The Burda 6990 may not make an appearance soon so I'm posting it here. I really wanted the teal on top but didn't have enough of the scraps and now I'm not as happy about it. 

Burda 8/2016 was fully finished but this pic shows the blahness that is the neckline. It just does NOT look good on. And I had a couple of people message me on Instagram that their versions didn't turn either. 

And, y'all know me, I move on!

March Plans

I've finished my first project - a bias cut cami from Burda 1/2019 in an Atelier Brunette challis that I picked up from Stonemountain and Daughter. It was a fun make and I think I'd use this pattern again. I'll do a full review!
And I haven't forgotten about my goal of a finished machine knit project each quarter. I am SO intimidated by my lack of knowledge with this craft! EEK! It's so unlike me to be cautious like this but I just feel there's so much I don't know. 

I'm using a pattern that 1)I've tried before (but I used a yarn that was too lightweight and it was too short and too small) and 2) that's actually pretty simple. The front and back are rectangles resulting in a dropped shoulder look and the sleeve is a simple, gradual increase. I'm going to see it through to the end. Even though I knit one panel and it came up 2+" longer than I expected (and I made a swatch!!)

I also need to finish my brother's club covers. I got held up with how to work with the nylon fabric but a microtex needle and slightly longer stitch seems to be the way to go.

I also want to sew this jacket from Burda 6/2018:
I have a few Cricut projects to work on this month as well...

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Burda 1/2018 #119 in POLKA DOTS!

I made this hoodie a few years ago (here). WOW, time flies! I wear it ALL THE TIME and have intended to make a 2nd one for forever. 

I picked up this polka-dot sweatshirt fleece on my trip to Fabric Mart in 2018, so it was long overdue to be sewn up. 

I used a straight size 40, same as last time. I added 1" to the sleeve length and did a slash and spread vertically on the pocket to add an inch. Look at the difference! So much more useful now!

Everything about this pattern is just so perfect to me! I love the shoulder line, the sleeve, the binding, the curved seams, the length, the hood's just AWESOME!!

I didn't have any black bias tape and was going back and forth on adding a pop of color. Ultimately, I decided to just take advantage of the white dots. I actually used an off-white as the white seemed to be too bright. I really love the binding details included on this pattern!!

I went with a black nylon zipper, eyelets for the drawstring, some white cording, and silver cord stops. 

I am coming to like dropped shoulders now that I am less busty. The sleeves are nice and roomy. The have this large pleat at the top and the lower edge is eased into a cuff.

I wear this one all the time too and sometimes there's a little competition between which hoodie will win the day :-p 

This is what I wore to work today but I had a solid cardigan on hand that I swapped out for the 2 interviews I held! hahahaha! No one knew I was sporting leggings and sneakers. I guess there's a silver lining to be found in eternally working from home :-p