Wednesday, September 20, 2017

PR Sewing Bee: McCall's 7194

I've made this pattern before; both the cool pointed hem and the regular, straight hem. That was part of my decision making on using this pattern for the contest. Also, it's a knit. I knew I needed a knit!

The contest started Wednesday. I had plans Thursday and Friday I was leaving town for the weekend. So I needed the base pattern to be a quick sew.

For the sleeves, I had an idea based on a top that my daughter purchased recently. But I also knew I didn't have time to order a bunch of grommets and didn't want to pay a premium for them from JA. Speaking of...the grosgrain I used I got from SR Harris for $0.30/yd. But it was 1/2" wide and didn't work well with the 3/4" D-rings. So I went to JA anyway (!) and got 1" D-rings and 1" twill tape. Which I paid $1.99/yd for!!!!! Arrrghhhhhh! Oh, yes, I totally intend to only sew from stash for awhile, but none of the fabric cuts I had would work. Either not enough fabric, too thick for this pattern, fabric that is specifically slated for something else. So my trip to SR Harris also netted me this awesome sweatshirt fabric for $7.50/yd and a 1/4 yd of the lace, which was $10/yd.

Notions: 1" twill tape, 1/2" grosgrain ribbon, D-rings, Faux leather, Elastic!!

Anyway, my inspiration...It was an upper and lower sleeve with grommets and lacing. I really liked it and it was a cute, casual top. So I started thinking of ways to incorporate a lower and upper sleeve. This is what I really wanted to do:

But decided it would really be more appropriate in a lightweight woven.

Then I saw this sweatshirt and I've seen others like it, and decided that I would do something along these lines.

In a rush to get a sleeve done before my trip (so I could be confident I would finish in time), I messed up and made the upper sleeve have a casing - I intended the lower sleeve to essentially, have a drawstring. Oops!

The sleeve was constructed by overlaying the lace on the knit and cutting both at the same time, at elbow length. I then cut out the lace motif using applique scissors, and stitched the lace in place.

I then topstitched the faux leather casing on top, very close to the seam line, and ran a LONG length of the grosgrain through the casing.

For the lower sleeve, I added 3" to the length, and slashed and spread to create a bell shape. I redrew this onto tracing paper and then adding a seam down the center to create the slit. The top 2" or so are stitched and the opening was hemmed with a double turned hem.

I then stitched the faux leather strip - which was intended to be a casing!! - to the sleeve, attaching the D-ring and twill tape as well.

Once I realized, DUH! the opening is huge and floppy without the drawstring, I stitched in elastic 1/2 the length of the opening to draw it in. It turned out really cute! whew!

For the body, I added 3" to the length and added side slits. Existing adjustments to this pattern include a 1.5" bicep adjustment.

Did you spot my mistake? No??
On the right sleeve, the elbow tie is not in line with the slit opening. I realized WAY after the fact, like hours later, that I must have reversed something when cutting so the opening is rotated forward. Oy!
I did not want to take this entire outfit off! I wanted to snuggle in it!!!

Ties un-tied...

We'll see if I make it to round 3! :-p

I also finished my S2061 pants from the grey ponte and will be sewing my September Burda (with the teal silk!!) next. Then I have to sew my daughter's M7627. And then BAM! It'll be October! :-O

Thursday, September 14, 2017

McCall's Fest: 6844 and 6654

As mentioned my ponte came, with an extra 1/2 yard (woot woot!). It's not heavy enough for the Butterick knit blazer though. I've made that pattern a few times. The green one, though I wear it often, is floppy compared to the striped one made from a heavier ponte. I'd prefer a grey that is a bit heavier. So I'm switching gears a little with my mini-wardrobe.

I decided to swap that jacket for M6844. I've made it a half dozen times and really like it when it's made with a nice light to mid-weight ponte (I prefer M6996 for jersey fabrics).

Changes made this time include a pivot and slide FBA and a full bicep adjustment of 1 1/4". This sweater/jacket has such tight sleeves!!!  The first 2 times I made it, I interfaced my band as instructed. Other times I did not. I've hands-down preferred the interfaced collar. I had some very lightweight fusible that I picked up from the $1 section at Fabric Mart. It is really nice. As light as tricot but woven.

top-to-bottom: Fabric only, the interfacing I used, Pellon lightweight fusible

For my newer sewers...if you're unsure, take the time to make a test swatch with your interfacing choices. Takes but a few minutes but the right interfacing makes a huge difference!!

Since this pattern has been made a gazillion times, I'm sure you've heard about how easy and fast it is and how well it goes together so I won't belabor it.

The skirt is M6654, also made lots of times. I'm not sure how many...but it's such a great pattern. The last version I made was about 24" or so and I wanted this one longer. View D had a 28" length which was perfect. I cut the front out, held it up to me and exclaimed, "I LOVE THIS SKIRT!!!". LOL!

I also knew I wanted a slit on the left side but wanted more than just an open side seam. I wanted an opening that was about 1.5"-2". I lined front and back up, measured about 3/4" in and about 7" up from the hem (accounting for the side-seam allowance) and free-handed a slightly curved shape. I cleaned it up with my French curve and cut that out. It is EXACTLY how I envisioned!

I dug out a knee-high boot and it is equally awesome with boots as it is with heels <3 
I forgot to take them back out for a pic.

I went back in the sewing room and found the shaped scrap!

These items are SO VERSATILE!!!

I knew I needed some charcoal grey goodies!! :)

I'm super excited to finish the other two pieces -- the pants from S2061 and I think I may have enough to cut a sleeveless dress. We shall see!!

For now, it's on to Round 2 of the Bee. I made it through! This round is all about the sleeve. Since that is my jam and a recent RTW purchase by my daughter inspired me, I'm going to sew for this round.


Projects are due on the 20th so come back next week to see what I made! :-D

Thursday, September 7, 2017

PR Sewing Bee: Vogue 8750

My ponte is on it's way to me!!

FWIW, I was worried about my fabric selling out...not FM making it right. FM always makes it right should anything go wrong. And things go wrong very infrequently. YAY!

My hand is getting better. Still nowhere near 100%; but better. I realized it feels great in the morning - even if I don't wear any braces or wraps or anything overnight. So I've concluded (haha) that the key really is doing *nothing*. Except it's my right hand and no matter what, doing *nothing* isn't really an option. So I've been doing as little as possible. As close to nothing as I can get.  It's hard y'all.

So, I very slowwwwwwly-blergh worked on my skirt for the PR Sewing Bee. I didn't think I'd finish. And honestly, I doubt I'll continue on; even if I make it past round 1. But we shall see. There always seems to be some type of refashioning element and that just isn't my thing. Plus, my ponte is on the way!

At any rate, here is my pencil skirt and my write-up on my musical inspiration:


When I saw that round 1 was a pencil skirt challenge, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I love them. And then when I saw 'inspired by music', I instantly had my idea!

I am a child of the 80s and 90s and grew up in Chicago (*in* the city, on the south side) and I listen to rap and hip-hop almost exclusively. It was a no brainer on genre! Favorite artist? Jay-Z, hands down. (did you know he has won 17 Grammy's with 50+ noms? He's sold over 55 million albums...He's 2nd only to The Beatles in chart-toppers...and his most recent album went Platinum in 5 days. He's a legend!). 

My favorite Jay album? That was tougher to discern. I went with The Blueprint. The album was released on 9/11, went double platinum, and was his first album to feature Kanye West as producer. (The Old Kanye is definitely one of my Top 10 favorite rappers). 

And THEN I knew which song would be my inspiration - Renegade, a song that featured Eminem. (IMO this is some of Em's best work - ever). Rap has always faced a 'public perception' issue and this record addressed it. 
So I wanted my skirt to reflect the hard, edgy, rebelliousness that is rap music and this song specifically.

I knew I wanted a skirt with seaming and when I was checking through my pattern collection, I saw the lines of this skirt and had a lightbulb moment. I decided on this faux-corset in front, I'd already ordered buckles to incorporate and knew I'd be using an exposed zipper. I love them in the right garments (e.g., casual, sporty, trendy, etc), sue me :shrug: :-p

Her method is neat and her tutorials are always AWESOME!
Bonus? I've made this skirt before. I had used the flounces instead but all other pattern pieces for the straight skirt are the same. WINNING!
The skirt is size 16 front, 18 in back.
I used view B.
I had (A HUGE PILE) of this dark, almost black denim in stash and the Telio perfection-fused faux leather as well.
I ordered the cording from my blessed Amazon (they've got me. when they take over the world, I'm going to be right there, in line. :( LOL!)
Buckles and grommets came from Bagmaker Supply on Etsy (nayy). I love this shop. And they're in Chicago so I get things fast. I ordered on Friday and on Tuesday, my goodies were in my mailbox. That's with Monday being a holiday.

I did manage to put all 8 eyelets in, effortlessly, on my lunch break! Miracle!
I was cutting it very close to the wire and ended up going to the movies Wednesday night. I did NOT have time for this, in hindsight. I sewed a little before I left. Thursday, I went home a little early and my machine would not pick up the bobbin thread. I spent a good 45 minutes fussing with it (yes, yes I could have pulled out the other machine and not gotten completely flustered but that is TOO much like right!)

Then this and that and the other thing went wrong. And then it was after 5 and I had horrible lighting in the house for pics. And then it's that time and I hated every single photo I took.


In the end, I really like the skirt overall. I have to pull out the pleather panels though. That fabric is not an appropriate match for the denim. I will insert denim panels and WILL wear the skirt. It's cool and it's cute!

Friday, September 1, 2017

August Wrap-Up and September Plans

This month I sewed:

McCall's 7627. 

Yay me! LOL!

I do actually have sewing plans for September. It may be wishful thinking, but I have a few holes that now need filling. Not surprising though; basics wear out faster than everything else, right?

 My beloved Fabric Mart has failed me!!!! WAHHHHHH!  I got my order today and the ponte wasn't there. There was a cut of grey suiting with the sticker for the Ponte. And it's gone from their site. I am very, very disappointed. I know they'll refund me and are unlikely to ask me to return the suiting, but I am still left without the 4.5 yards of charcoal Ponte. 

I knew Chris would make it right!!! My ponte is on the way!

...and I have a few things I've been wanting in grey so now is the time! All three are patterns I've made multiple times before, so easy does it on my first full month sewing again.

I suck at sketching. I bought one sketch book before realizing this. AND, it isn't something I enjoy. I was journaling, as I do, and slipped my phone in the book...and realized I could see the tech drawings pretty easily. SCORE!

Anyway, this is what I WAS going to make:

Butterick 5926 made 3 times 
Simplicity 2061 made 4 times
McCall's 6654 made I-don't-know-how-many-times

Nice way to kick off fall, no? I saw this muslin of V9267 on McCall's Facebook and onto the wishlist it went. I would also like to make this in this fun textured suiting with pleather side panels.

I decided to jump into the Pattern Review Sewing Bee because challenge 1 is a pencil skirt (inspired by music). Hopefully I can get a nice jump on it over the long weekend.

Remember I said I bought a ton of fabric? Sigh. (yes, I said that part too!)

I got these Telio ponte knits from Fabric Mart. They feel fantastic! But like a heavy jersey, NOT a ponte. The navy is a different Telio line and it has some heft to it.


I wear the knit houndstooth print skirt from M6654 all.the.time and really liked this print, even though it was a poly/lycra ponte. I also want to sew this sweater from the fall/winter Ottobre and I think it'll pair nicely with this skirt. That's planned next month.

Other knits:

4 prints


solid (a MESS of black cotton jersey!)

I could not decide on the two shades of grey and they are subtly different in color and texture. The 2 yard length (I could have sworn I got 2.5 yards of both...) I plan to make this new New Look dress from. I LOVE THE SLEEVE!!! and that crepe will look gorgeous and in that icy grey will make for a nice not-so-basic basic.

For my daughters M7627:

I honestly have no reason to buy fabric again the rest of the friggin YEAR. SIGGGGHHHHHHH. I just put myself on a serious budget (for life! Not just sewing) and since I know it may be a little while before I'm fully back to normal, I really, really do not need more fabric. I've even unsubscribed to emails!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I sewed! McCall's 7627


I'd grown quite frustrated, spent a crap-ton on 3 fabric orders (sigh) and decided to tweak things based on how my hand felt. The next day, I was nearly without any pain!

Some movements still hurt and I am still alternating between splint and braces as needed, but I am doing much better and got the go ahead to sew as long as I was not in pain. And the moment I realized my hand was getting a little fatigued; I quit.

So I'm very happy to be sewing again but won't be spitting out garments back to back any time soon :) My next project will be to finish B6141 since there's very little work left to do and no cutting involved (the toughest part). Next, I hope to start tracing some of the Burda patterns I want to sew up from August and September while working on a small mini wardrobe from a cut of charcoal ponte. I've sewn lots of FUN this summer and need some basic, solid colored garments - except skirts. I don't need anymore skirts :(

On to the review...
I was surprised how much I was drawn to the cover photo of this pattern when it was released, and found I loved all but view D, so it was a must buy. I also want to make view C at some point (maybe next spring) and I think I'll make view A in something with more drape like a blouse-weight crepe should I get to it.

Laying out the pattern was a ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS!! The sleeve is HUGE. It is just about a yard long and is cut on the bias.

Because shears bother me but the rotary cutter doesn't (yay!); I cut out as much as could fit on the cutting mat, pinned the sleeve to the fabric and adjusted it to cut the rest. Not fun.  Also, follow the cutting layout. I almost went off on my own and I think I would have run out of fabric if I had. (the sleeves and front are cut single layer)

Constructing the first sleeve took 317 hours. Or at least it felt like it. It was very frustrating. I marked the lines with red transfer paper and it was still very hard to see.

So faint! This is sleeve #2 I immediately went over the lines with yellow chalk

I thread traced by hand initially but had to take that out because the lower line of each tuck needs to be eased and my hand stitches were too loose to do so effectively. I probably stretched it out of shape because on the first sleeve, sewing the tucks was VERY hard. I have all sorts of tucks on the under side that I couldn't be bothered to correct at that point!

The second sleeve went better, as expected, but I had the ENTIRE top done before I went back to that sleeve. I just didn't want to go through with it again! LOL!

I kept staring at the one-sleeved top, wanting it, but not wanting to deal with sleeve #2

Overall thoughts:

-The top has A LOT going on but it somehow works! Pleats, the sleeve, the gathers and cuff, the HUGE tie, the's a lot of look.
-The front and back peplum are cut differently. There's very little bias on the front pieces. 
-It's a true wrap; open on the right side.
-I stitched around the tie-opening.
-LOVE the gathering on the belt. And just love it's big, huge, ridiculousness <3

Don't mind all of my blue markings

-I actually love the gathered sleeve. I thought it was too much initially, but it's cute.
-I slip stitched the bands in place by hand
-I sewed a 14 neckline/shoulder and 16 for the rest. I should have cut a 14 and did an FBA. Why I didn't, I don't know (lazy? eager??). Before adding the sleeves I thought I had gaping at the wrap. Well, I have A LITTLE and could take a tuck there. But then I found this version of the top at Nordstrom, set the first sleeve in, and allowed it to 'drop' off the shoulder as intended. Ah-ha!! that's how it's supposed to fit! (the neckline isn't as open as the Nordstrom's top)

-I didn't do a swayback adjustment. Why? WHYYYY? Booooo me! I actually think the entire bodice is too long. I would shorten it 1/2" all around

You can see that it isn't just swayback...there's just too much fabric, vertically

-Am very MEH on the pleats. I would change the shoulder pleat to gathers (and do an FBA rotated into the gathers). I don't like the waist pleat at all.

Other points:
-The bands are just a little too tight, they catch when I lift my arms. I measured and told myself to sew them with a 3/8" seam allowance but forgot by the time I got back to them.

-I sewed down the facing on the peplum; on the outer wrap portion only. I had to fix it multiple times during try-on. With the stripe and the fullness and the bow; I knew it would not be visible.

-The 16 called for 4 1/4 yards of 60" fabric -OR- 45". I had 4 yards of 55" -ish fabric and have about 1/2 yard left over. BUT the layout is important because of the huge pattern pieces.

-Aside from the awkwardness of sewing the sleeve tucks, it went together effortlessly. All notches and whatnot matched
-Mind your markings for sure!!
-Serge your side seams beforehand for neatness.

Insides are all serged

And of course, my label <3

It does indeed feel like 'I'm wearing 4 yards of fabric as a top', but not like it's too much. It's weird. I think it definitely has to be styled with slim fitting bottoms. Maybe someone with mile-long legs could pull off a wider leg with it. I'm too short for that!

I think it's a fun top for fall and 'for play' and love that I made it in this subtle stripe.

Because giant bows are awesome

All in all, I feel quite fabulous in this top!!!
My daughter saw the in-progress pic, made a fake-cry face, and asked if she can PLEEEEASEEEEE have one in a mustard color. So we shall see. :)