Getting back to my roots…

With Butterick 6494.

Does anyone else remember Jungle January? It was so long ago, but I still miss it sometimes. In fact, the fabric I used for this pattern came from the last swap done for Jungle January that I participated in, and possibly the last one period. I’ve looked at it for years and never had quite the right project for it. Until I found Butterick 6494 for “heavy” knits.

I’m still not 100% sure what this fabric is, it’s sort of like a sweater knit, or maybe it’s a Ponte (I don’t have enough Ponte experience to know for sure), but it sewed up like a dream. I also had a lot of it, which was good, because I cut view B out twice…once with the stretch in the wrong direction, and once with it going the right direction (why do they make a few fabrics with the stretch going only vertically instead of from selvage to selvage?!). πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ Those hiccups aside, the pattern went together perfectly, and was easy to sew except for one part.

The collar.

The collar was the part of the pattern that originally drew me in, because I enjoy making them (not sure what this says about me, but whatevs.) Between the thickness of the fabric and the giant 5/8 seam allowances (which I always leave on during the first run through, just in case I need the extra.) It was a bit of a trick, and I don’t love how the collar turned out because of the bulk, but visually it’s fine. It just feels bulky and I know how bulky it is, so it’s probably all in my head.

So notes for future me (or you, just in case): the bodice is tight. I dislike this feeling, so I let out virtually all of the seam allowances up to a 1/4″–and on princess seams, that’s a lot! If I hadn’t already made some changes and traced it off, I would consider going up a size, but as it is I have plenty of room now and it fits my shoulders nicely. Strangely, for as tight as the bodice is the sleeves are almost too loose even for my big arms. I did snug it up a bit on my forearms, because I had like 3″ of ease flopping around and I wasn’t a fan. The sleeves also were a bit twisty, though I’m not sure if that was a fault of the fabric or me for trying to eek them out of my tiny scrap after cutting it out twice. I also raised the neckline slit, which was recommended by the reviews on PR. Easy to do at the tracing stage, just measure down your front to an amount of skin you’re comfortable with and adjust the lines/markings accordingly.

Overall, I like it, but I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll make multiple times like I had originally hoped. And I definitely don’t think it needs to be made in a heavy knit. An ITY weight jersey should be fine, or at least, that’s what I would try next time. If I try it again, that is.

I tried to reduce the neckline bulk by making the facing out of fusible knit interfacing only. It helped, but still very bulky, and it was exceptionally fiddly.
Closeup of the neckline facing. Super fiddly, (and worse on this than usual, probably because of how beefy this fabric is?) but the results are worth it. I ended up doing some clipping and overlapping on the interfacing to get it wrinkle free and fused flat.
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Last night, I wrapped up a second version of Lekala 4420 minus the sleeves and with some contrast bands and a pocket that I literally traced from my Jalie 2908 jeans pattern. It’s in the wash right now, so we’ll see what happens when it comes out, but no matter what I’m sure it’ll be fine for a summer work shirt, which is another hole in my closet that needs some serious filling. (Let’s put it this way, it’s summer, and the only things in my closet besides a half dozen less crappy t-shirts are the long sleeved shirts/sweaters that I’ve made over the last couple of winters, and that isn’t even an exaggeration.)

After finishing that though, I started doing some cleanup in my disaster zone that I lovingly call a sewing room. I filed away the pattern pieces for the McCall’s maxi I made for the wedding, cut up a bunch of knit scraps into undies, fixed a couple of missing buttons on an old Kwik Sew blouse, sewed down the facing on my velvet Jetson’s dress, and sewed on some patches for my son’s Cub Scout uniform. Sometimes I’m amazed at how much I can get done in a short period of time when I set my mind to it. I think that all took about an hour and a half. And bonus, now I’m not stepping on it or tripping over it!

P.S. on my Making in May challenge, I’ve got two shirts, some bibs and burp rags for my coming-any-day-now niece, and by tomorrow I hope to have some new undies and a t-shirt. Progress is being made, just slower and more crammed into the end of the month than originally planned, HA! Procrastination should be my middle name…or maybe my first! πŸ˜€

So far outside my comfort zone it’s probably on another planet…

I made a dress, and not just any dress, but this dress.


Butterick 6241

My version is actually inspired by a fellow PR member though, who made hers out of stretch velvet. I was *thisclose* to buying the same shade of blue so enamored was I. Ultimately I went with purple because it felt more “Christmassy” than the sky blue, but the blue would have been awesome too. In the end, I feel like it makes me look a bit like the mom from The Jetsons, but that’s OK too. πŸ˜‰

I actually didn’t finish this dress in time for Christmas, but I did finish it in time for the Pioneer rep appreciation dinner we had the first part of January. Well, mostly. I’ve actually worn it twice without the neck facing sewn down, but who has the patience for handsewing such things when there is an event to wear the dress to?! Seriously though, I need to get that finished, because it’s a royal PITA when I’m ready to wear it to tuck all that nonsense in.

So yeah, I’ve been sitting on posting this dress for a couple of months because I wanted to finish the quilt and get it posted first. It was meant as a motivator, but you can see how well that worked. Ha!

Quick Review:

  • I chose a metallic metal zipper that was a full 3″ shorter than the one suggested by the pattern. It was either that of have a zipper that clashed/was ugly. If you are making it, try to give yourself enough time to order a zipper if you can’t find exactly what you want locally. Learn from my mistakes people!
  • It feels awfully short. I’m 5’2″ and proportionally leggier. I don’t think it looks too short in the pics, but when I’m wearing it I’m constantly worrying that my butt is hanging out–maybe I need to stick to mullet hems?
  • My pockets don’t hang as pretty on me as they do in the pattern image. This may have been due to a sewing or cutting error, or maybe it’s just the fabric, I’m not sure, but be vewy, vewy, caweful when you cut and sew the pockets, they are a bit fiddly too.

Overall, I would recommend it if you want a dress that’s a bit different than the norm. It’s quick to put together, and the end result is quirky and fun.


OMG I made a shirt!!

OK, laugh if you want, but it’s been the far side of forever since I’ve sewn something for me that other people can actually see, so I’m kind of excited. I decided to retry sewing Butterick 5495 that I had a wadder from a few years back. It’s made of a purple rayon jersey this time because the last one was a flop because of poor fabric choice. This rayon has drape to spare, so it’s perfect for this. But…

So pretty...*sigh*

So pretty…*sigh*

Turns out that I should really just use a damn measuring tape once in a while. Because clearly the size that I think I should be and the size that I currently am? They are *not* one and the same. They are close, but no cigar…whatever the hell that means. Either that or I got a bit too carried away with the fusible knit tape…maybe I should go with that one? Regardless, the blouse *juuuuuuuust* barely fits over the bewbs, (in a sports bra, no less!) and fits rather snugly underneath them. I mean, I’m all for showing off my smallest point and all, but not at the risk of popping my (rather pitiful) handsewn loopy thing wide open. So now I’m at the point where I try to decide if I should hem the sleeves (bottom is already hemmed) and hope that I continue to lose weight? Or just accept that my ribcage is probably not going to be shrinking any time soon (though it is 1″ bigger than it was when I was pregnant???) and probably hem the sleeves and donate it? I dunno. It’s sure cute though.

Also? I need to remember to put Mildred on a diet–her measurements are mine 20 lbs and one baby ago. And I thought this blouse was snug on me!!! I had to wrestle her to get it on!

So after I figure out what to do with this one, I guess I get to make up the undies I cut out of the scraps of this fabric (2 pairs yay!) and then maybe try my hand at making a robe-like thing to keep me warm–I’m thinking about the Lola from Victory Patterns paired up with a sweatshirting I have with owls on it…

Butterick 5497 & Jalie 2794

Hello? Is anyone still here? I’ve been pretty quiet for a while, but I promise that there has been sewing going on around here. In fact, I’ve got two, yes two finished projects! πŸ™‚

Well, I suppose that’s not *quite* true…the Jalie needs a double needle hem job, otherwise they are complete finished. I’ll admit that I was kind of nervous about putting another double needle in my machine though, after having some serious sewing machine drama while trying to hem the Jalie blouse. When I used it on the Butterick one though, I had no problems, so it must have been a slightly bent needle or something. OK, I’m positive that’s what the problem was, even the Jalie’s mesh fabric went like a lamb with the new needle. πŸ™‚

I made a sheer version of the famous Jalie sweetheart tee. I kind of thought that my last one was a bit on the tight side for my comfort–it was OK, but I get a bit paranoid about things pulling over my stomach. This one though is a bit on the loose side. πŸ˜• We’ll have to see what happens when I wash it because *gasp* I didn’t bother to prewash the fabric. I know, I know, I’m such a rebel. I’m planning to wear it with a cream colored cami underneath, but I could probably get a black one too, just to change it up a bit.

The second blouse is a long sleeved version of 5497. I’ve made the sexy version before, so I knew that a 12 would work fine even without an FBA (though I really should have added an extra inch to the bottom of the upper bodice for more space for the boobies.) It went together surprisingly fast, especially compared to the more risque version, which has a couple of quirks that make it seem to take forever. I did have a couple of notes though, in case someone else plans to make this up in the long sleeve version.

  • The sleeves end at an awkward length–this is unavoidable because of the width of fabric limitations. I think they might call them ‘bracelet’ length, but I call them too short. I hacked off 3″ and did a 1″ hem, and kind of wish I’d have removed an extra inch. So just measure carefully to see how that will work for you before you cut.
  • The end of the sleeves using the 5/8″ seam allowances get pretty snug, and my forearms are like tiny little toothpick arms. So be aware of that if you like to push your sleeves up. (Obviously this will work differently if you have a knit with 4 way stretch, mine didn’t).
  • I read several reviews of this view that weren’t very kind to the pattern. I didn’t have any of those same issues, BUT I used a thin rayon jersey. I wouldn’t recommending using a heavier fabric than that. It doesn’t need to be tissue weight, but it needs to be fairly thin and have excellent drape. It also needs to take well to pressing (mine doesn’t) so that it gets a nice finish.

Overall, this blouse was well out of my comfort zone with the funky sleeves, but honestly? I kind of like them. Though I’m not sure if they do my upper body any favors…hubby likes it though, so I’m going to count it as a success. He’s not a fashionista or anything, but if he’s willing to be seen with me while wearing it, I figure it can’t be too bad. πŸ˜‰

I’ve got my little (sick 😦 ) helper holding the sleeve.

Back view.

I’m not really sure how you wear sleeves like that under a jacket, but I guess I’ll figure that out when I get there. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I suppose I should get back to cleaning up the mess from my son being sick last night. I’ve been trying to get all the sheets/towels/clothes washed after a couple of puking accidents. At least he’s over that now, so all that’s left is the aftermath. Wish me luck!


Christmas Party Dress Success!

Well, I think the new dress was a success. It looked good, and was pretty comfortable to wear….though I remembered while wearing it that the Butterick armhole draft is NOT suited to me. Fortunately, the knit is forgiving enough that it wasn’t too bad, but I definitely will make that change on the next version I make.

I even got an unsolicitation! Her reaction when I told her that I made it myself was pretty cute–I think her jaw may have hit the floor. It led into a nice conversation, and she admitted that she sews the occasional dress for her daughter (or she says she “tries to anyway”) but that she didn’t think she had the skill to sew for herself. I told her that I would be happy to help her learn if she decided to tackle it (not that I’m anywhere NEAR an expert!)…but it would be cool if I inspired her to start doing some stuff for herself, I’d love to have an in-town sewing buddy. πŸ™‚ Hmmmm….now how can I push her to try….. πŸ˜‰

So, enough about that! You guys are here for the show! I had hubby take a few pictures, none of them spectacular, but I think this one will do. So, here ya go! πŸ™‚

Anyway, I think I’ll be taking off all the eye makeup I have on and head for bed. Hope you have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Ohhhhh Yeah….

Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of Yello. πŸ˜‰

This dress might be tedious to mark all the markings and nervewracking to add an FBA to, but holy cripes this thing is gorgeous! It’s a bit snug on my dressform (which is slightly bigger than I am now–woot woot!), but it fits me perfect. πŸ™‚ However, somehow or another I forgot to trace off the facing pieces, so I’ll have to do that and hem it before it’s completely finished. I think I might get to wear it tomorrow after all! Here’s a picture of it on my dressform, I had to lighten the picture up because the fabric is black, but IRL, the details show up surprisingly well.

Look how skinny it makes my dressform!

I am half-tempted to insert a zipper into this thing because I’m seeing it getting stretched out of shape over time from pulling over my head, but I’m just not really sure how to add an invisible zip into the side seam with all those bulky tucks/darts. And besides, I’m excited to wear it, so this iteration will probably have to be zipper-less.

Now that I know how to adjust it, I actually see another one of these in a bright color in my future. πŸ˜‰

Glutton for Punishment

Apparently that’s what I am. Well, that, and also incredibly naive. I spent all of my sewing time today trying to wrap my mind around an FBA for that pattern with all those seam lines–and DARTS!!! Did you know there were darts too?!?! Of course you did….I’m always the last to know. So I tried to do it the slash and spread way (a couple different times/ways), but I just wasn’t convinced, and I’ve only got enough fabric to goof up the bodice once and still have some left to fix it. And then, I happened to remember that Shams had mentioned the pivot/slide method from here she’d recently tried. And I thought to myself, “self, this might be exactly what you’re looking for”. So I traced it out with the FBA, but now my brain is tired, my feet hurt, and I’m quitting for the night. I know that it’s sort of like one of those episodes on TV where they tell you to tune in next week, (which I absolutely hate), and I’m sorry, but that’s all I’ve got.

If I manage to successfully FBA this dress, I’m absolutely bumping my skill level up to like semi-advanced or something. πŸ˜‰

Christmas Party Dress

Sheesh…I must still be on holiday break or something. I’m completely not in the swing of things yet. Anyone else in the same predicament?

I bought Butterick 5559 the other day when Hancock’s was having a 99Β’ sale on Butterick patterns.

I’m going to make it in basic black ponte knit that I remembered having in my stash with the intent of making a different dress. I even bought some fancy metallic thread to see if I can give it a bit of sparkle or something to dress it up a bit. I’m hoping it’s a pattern I can have finished tomorrow, since I hope to wear it to an friend’s wedding this coming weekend and don’t know how much time I’ll have after tomorrow. It doesn’t look like it should be too big of a deal, since it’s only like 4 pieces and a few extra seams, but it will take a bit longer because I always trace off my pieces, obviously I “love” making extra work for myself. πŸ™„ It’s also going to be my Christmas party dress, because the party is next weekend and I want to look a little more like a trophy wife than I typically do. I like to think that my husband would appreciate that sort of thing. πŸ˜‰

In other news, I ended up with a crapload of vintage patterns over the weekend. I don’t know who these women who had them before were, but they had excellent taste. And were a reasonable size too (most are size 16 and up). I’m planning to put them on Etsy (or eBay) as soon as I figure out which ones have all their pieces and whatnot. So far the only ones I’ve noticed that are missing pieces are the ones that have pants…’s as though they felt like they had to throw the pants pieces away to prevent temptation or something. ❓ Anyway, if anyone’s interested, I could link to Etsy once I get some of them put up there….maybe I’ll even give a couple away, just for fun. πŸ™‚

Shopping Inspiration

Yesterday I went in to Dillard’s and spotted this dress. It’s a Calvin Klein, size 12 (OMG!!), and I think it fits fairly well, considering my serious body flaws. Warning! Unflattering, crappy cellphone picture!

Too rich for my blood

This dress wasn’t a great shade of red for me. Too orange-y I think. I do better with the blue-ish (or is it purplish?) reds. Regardless, I think it makes me look like I have at least the slightest illusion of a waist, even though I really don’t. I’ve been dying to make a dress like this using Butterick 5559, but wasn’t sure if the style would work or not, and didn’t want to go through the effort only to find that it didn’t suit my figure at all.

Another cute option would be this one: Butterick 5676, which the fabulous Karin made over at SewHereWeGoAgain. Gorgeous, right? I think fabric choice would seriously impact the “dressy” factor of this dress, so I would have to choose carefully to suit the occasion.

I also got quite a haul from yesterday too. Unfortunately, I have a dilemma. The first one is that I got a “freebie”. There’s a half yard of a pretty stretch lace that I didn’t pay for, I should probably send it back. The second is that I ordered the purple colorway of one of my fabrics and got the redΒ  colorway instead. I mean, it’s pretty, and I’d be happy to use it, but I think I’d rather the purple…unfortunately, there’s not much left since it’s on clearance. Hopefully I can catch it in time.

Anyway, my fingers are tired of typing, so I’m calling it quits for now. Hope ya’ll have a lovely weekend!