Jalie Eleonore, it’s…complicated

I finally got it together and made up a wearable muslin pair of Eleonores, of which I’m surely the last blogger holdout who hadn’t made them before. Now, there are lots of people who sing the praises of these, and while I don’t hate them, after wearing them for a bit, I’m not sure I love them either.

The pattern itself matched up flawlessly. I’m maybe not the most perfectionist about cutting out fabric–I don’t measure for the grainlines or any of that stuff, but I don’t usually have issues and this was no exception. However, if you have even the slightest hint of a butt, you will need to add to the back side. Sorry. That’s maybe my biggest complaint about the pattern itself.

I wear jeans pretty much every day. I hate belts, but it would seem they are a requirement when you have a booty like mine. I have two kids, I need my clothes to move with me, and I have no patience for having to adjust them all the time. All that to get to this point. These don’t have the staying power needed to make them work for me. The elastic isn’t beefy enough to snap the back waistband back to my skin after wear. I wasn’t convinced by the 1″ elastic, but I went with it because that’s what the pattern said to use and also what I had on hand. I did, however, shorten the elastic in the back by a couple of inches, which is probably the only thing that makes them halfway wearable. The denim itself isn’t bagging out yet, but they are already starting to fall down and it’s only been a couple of hours. I will add some belt loops because I desperately need jeans and these fit as well as anything from RTW, but I really wanted a pair of jeans that didn’t need a belt. That’s why I went with these over the Jalie 2908s, well, that and I thought they would sew up significantly faster. But, because I added pockets, the only thing I saved time on was the fly front.

Has anyone else that has sewn these up actually ended up wearing them on a regular basis? And if you did, did you end up using wider elastic? I want to love these belt free, but right now I’m not sure how to get there. Suggestions welcomed!

Measure twice, cut once…AKA Jalie 2111

I procraftinated on my wedding guest outfit to make my youngest a dress shirt to wear for the same wedding. It was perfectly drafted, everything sewed together nicely, and while I mad a few mistakes–most notably sewing the cuffs together wrong after getting those curves sewn perfectly–the end result is pretty darn cute.



It’s too big. *smh* And it’s all my fault too. You see, I made it based on Scotch’s neck measurement. I know that’s not what you’re supposed to do, but seriously, this kid has a huge head and his neck is in proportion to it. He’s also one of those people whose height is “all torso”, which is the opposite of his brother. So because he’s all torso and has arms proportional to that, I just up and decided to add an extra inch in length the sleeves and the body of the shirt without taking any additional measurements. You can do that sort of thing on pants, just take up the hem and you’re golden. On a shirt, it’s not so easy–especially one with sleeves that have plackets and cuffs. I’m not taking that stuff off to fix it, so he’s just going to have to grow into the shirt…please just don’t let his neck get any bigger when that happens!

Sorry for the grainy tablet picture–I hadn’t used it before and didn’t realize there’s no flash?

The pattern was Jalie 2111, and it appears to be PDF only now. As I said before, it went together perfectly. All the notches lined up perfectly, the edges lined up perfectly, if you need a men/teen/boys/toddler dress shirt–buy it. Seriously. Jalie didn’t steer anybody wrong on this one, and you can’t beat all those sizes in one package (though I’ll admit that tracing it off is an exercise in extreme patience and good eyesight).

At least the project was a scrapbuster–it’s leftovers from this shirt for my husband. I was hoping to get that piece of fabric out of my stash, but unfortunately there’s still a piece that is too big to throw away and not big enough to do much of anything with…I hate it when that happens.


Jalie to the rescue!

When I wasn’t feeling my Barb pants, I decided that I needed a pick-me-up. I realize that I’ve made a few successes lately, but I wanted to keep that going, and honestly, I need shirts more than anything else…except maybe a strapless bra. 😉

So, after K-Line recently posted her gorgeous red version of Jalie 2921, I decided it was high time I pulled my copy out of the stash and sew it up. I’ve had this pattern for years, and never managed to make it. Honestly, I’m not sure why it took me so long! There’s a reason this pattern has a million reviews–it’s easy, fast, and the end result is simple, yet elegant.

I whipped up a muslin for this in record time (literally, a nap time!) out of the scraps from my maxi dress, and I like it so much I plan to wear it. In fact, using scraps worked in my favor this time, because I didn’t have enough to make the straps the full length, but it worked out because the length I ended up with (“S” size, I think), was pretty much perfect. It’s not a perfect fit though, it had some pooling in the back and is a smidge low in the front.

It seemed like a good use of the leftovers. :-)

It seemed like a good use of the leftovers. 🙂

For round two, I raised the neckline 1/2″ (should’ve done a full inch, but I chickened out!), lengthened it by 1″, and added some ease to the hips thinking that would help with the pooling back there. (Spoiler: it didn’t.) Honestly though, I’m not that bothered by these relatively tiny issues, and I’m sure that I’ll wear the real one to death, and probably get a fair amount of wear out of the muslin as well. WIN!

I even just happened to have these buckles in my stash for who-knows-what, and they were perfect for these!

Wow, can you even see the garment as messy as the background is?!

I was pretty pleased that I even had the buckles in my stash for who-knows-what-reason. I mean, I remember buying them, but I can’t remember what for. Regardless, they were perfect for this, so thanks Past Self!

I really like the shape of the neckline and the collar, so I’m trying to wrap my brain around how to make this without the ties and center front seam but still have the collar and shapely neckline. Anyone have any suggestions for me?

Until next time!

Knockoff #3 or my dedication astounds even me…

So after finishing my last knockoff, I started to tackle this one:

I originally planned to make this in a cream colored rayon knit, but when I finished my hot pink muslin monstrosity I discovered that I didn’t have nearly enough for this project. Which is probably for the best anyway, because mom+white shirt is sure to equal disaster. So I picked up a slubby tissue knit at the big green J, and hoped for the best.

For once, I had zero issues. Well, I take that back. I struggled with the neck band one night, picking it out and restitching it two or three times and still not “getting it”. But the next morning it all became much clearer, and I got it sewed on the first try–must learn to quit when I’m tired!

Sadly though, this blouse shrunk after washing, so now it’s nearly a belly shirt. And believe me, no one needs/wants to see the belly on this mama. It also got some little holes, so I’ll probably just wear it around the house until the holes get to the point of being really noticeable. Also, it’s got some wrinkles on the sleeves that I’m not too keen on–it’s like the sleeve is twisting, but I’m not sure why.

Regardless, I’m going to pat myself on the back a little bit. I managed to get through three (THREE!!) of my knockoffs! Usually, when I set up some sort of sewing “plan” for myself, it immediately gets dumped in favor of something else (no one tells me what to sew–not even me!). So I’m glad to see that I can stick to a plan, and glad that I have some new shirts to wear, because my closet was getting to be kind of pitiful. I did ultimately change my mind on the last one, I’m not going to make it, or at least not right now. I’m ready to start sewing up stuff for spring/summer, or at least stuff with shorter sleeves.

Here’s to making more plans and sticking to them in the future! 🙂

Knockoff #2, sorta

Wow! Second post in a week, that’s like a record or something, isn’t it? I decided to tackle yet another project from my Inspired post a few couple of months ago. Well….that’s not completely true. I actually jumped right into this one following the first knockoff, but then it needed some reworking, and I wasn’t feeling like doing it, so it just sat, unloved on my dressform. Or at least, the muslin version did. Because I hate to say it, but this one’s not getting a “final” version. I’m calling my muslin wearable and moving on.

This was when I was trying to decide how much angle I wanted–I ultimately chose the steeper one, but wish I would have went even steeper for maximum effect.



I tried to take some pics of it (in the mirror) on me, but it’s too dark and cloudy today for them to be decent, and my dressform matches my body pretty exact anyway…except that I have arms. 😉


Cute, right? Well, it did give me a few fits, so it had better be! I used Jalie 2805 as the base, determined where I thought the slant should be, slashed the pattern, added in my seam allowances and happily cut into some fabrics that were actually remnants from other projects that you can see here and here (those are some seriously old scraps!!). It actually went together really smoothly, right up until I tried it on before hemming it. At that point I realized that somehow, even using the knit stay tape to stabilize before sewing my diagonal seaming it got stretched a bit. And that stretching made for some ugly wrinkly bits near my armpits. So I put it on my dressform and it sat there for a couple of months while I worked up the motivation to take out 4 serged seams. I unpicked it all the other day, retraced the pattern piece, and yesterday using a very unscientific method, I laid the pattern on what I assumed was basically the center front (I’m too lazy to actually mark these things!) and scooped out the armholes and took a smidgen off of the top corner of the side seam. It worked!! So I sewed the sleeves back on, sewed the side seams, and even hemmed it!

I tried something a bit different with the neck opening this time. I pretty much always use knit stay tape (those strips of iron on interfacing), but this time I used it more like a bias binding. I think it gives the look of having a neck band without actually having a neck band (the neckline was pretty much perfect, so I didn’t want to make it smaller/higher). Here’s a closeup of that detail.


To do this you stitch (I serged) the non-fusible side to the right side of the blouse, then *very carefully* press it to the inside for 8 seconds to fuse it. It’s a bit fiddly, but I like the clean finish+stability.


Then I just twin needle hemmed it on the 5/8″ mark on my sewing machine. It looks like there’s a band unless you look *really* closely.


But yes, this is the muslin, it is wearable, and no, I’m not going to make another. Which is probably better anyway, because the design lines are rather distinctive, and I really like the fabric combo. I mean, I did want them to somewhat match when I chose them from the scrap pile, but they really worked better than I thought they might. So even though it took some trial and error (and probably not as bad as I make it sound), I quite like the end result. 🙂 I think it’s fairly similar to the original:


You’ll notice I changed the pattern. And I didn’t have enough fabric to make the one sleeve different.


I haven’t decided what’s next, I have too many ideas flitting around in my brain and no idea which one to choose. Do you ever have that problem? If I’m going to make one though, I should probably get started on a Christmas dress. As slow as my progress is, I’ll still be hard pressed to get it done in time!

Seasonally appropriate? What’s that?

So I finally sewed up something that wasn’t a wadder. Granted, it’s taken me forever (seriously, over a week!) to sew up a simple loose-fitting blouse that should have only taken a couple of hours, but it’s a finished blouse, so I’ll take it. 🙂

Except! It’s really more suited for summer heat than the current freezing temps. So while it’s exceptionally cute, it’s going to languish in the closet for a few months. Not even my high tolerance for cold is going to let me wear a backless blouse made of some sort of polyester gauze (actual fabric type is unknown, but it came from the big green J, so I’m confident it’s poly). But instead of being “late” for summer, I’m totally claiming it as “early” for next year. I’m so on the ball, eh? 😉

So what is this garment of seasonal inappropriateness, you ask? Why it’s Simplicity 1614, of course! I made up view D in a size 16. I thought about making it in the 18 to match my full bust measurement, but I figured it surely had enough ease to cover and not be too ginormous everywhere else with the 16. And I was right. And since it didn’t have to fit my narrow shoulders, I didn’t need to use the smaller sizes either (I usually need the shoulders of a 10 or a 12). As is, it’s nearly perfect size-wise, or at least it is what I was aiming for. 🙂

Business in the front

Business in the front

For the most part, this was a fairly easy sew. My problems stemmed from using the most fray-tastic, shifty fabric in the history of fray-tastic, shifty fabrics that snagged on everything, including itself! Gah! Seriously, poly charmeuse ain’t got* nothin’ on this stuff! I suppose I should also point out that two other things gave me grief: 1) I’ve never made bias tubes out of such a lightweight fabric before–it looked like a drunk monkey sewed those tubes up! and 2) My bias tape application still needs some practice. This time it was made worse by the fabric choice. 😦 No matter though; it’s cute, and I like it. 🙂 Besides, who can resist this rear view? 😉

Party in the back!! Love me a cute (and possibly tacky) back detail!

Party in the back!! Love me a cute (and possibly tacky) back detail!

And if you’re wondering what happened to the knock-offs, well, one has been sitting in my sewing room in the exact same stage (aka nearly done, but with minor fixes needed) for over a month now. I finally worked up the willpower last night to pick out the side seams and the sleeves so that I can basically recut the front because it got distorted by some seaming. No one needs wrinkles in front of their armpits that look like…well, use your imagination, I’d as soon not get creepy pervs finding me. 😛 Of course, I managed to lose the front pattern piece, so I’ll have to retrace it, which means it may take even more time as I really don’t love tracing…

*Why yes, I did just use the phrase “ain’t got”…my English teachers would all be properly horrified, not to mention reconsidering those A’s they gave me all those years ago. 😉


I’ve been making a Pinterest board for all my casual shirt inspiration, and surprise! It looks like I should be able to make a few of them with patterns I already have with a few minor tweaks. Here’s a few of my picks for the near future (hopefully, they’ll be quick and easy!).

KO1Edit KO2 KO4 KO5

I’m not going for exact replicas, but I think I can get close enough with these to be pretty happy. And since I live in t-shirts, they should fit right in to my wardrobe. Add in a couple of my trusty V8670’s, and I should have a really good start. 🙂

And while I know that many of you are WAYYYY better at this image editing thing than I am, can I just say that I’m super pumped that I managed to make these little collages? They took a freakin’ age, but they’re so useful, no?

Now I need to round up my patterns, inspiration is kind of messy. 😉

Thank you!!

I just wanted to give a shout out of thanks to my readers who helped me the other day. Ya’ll had several great ideas, and ultimately I decided to try out Jalie 2107** for two reasons: 1) I’ve made it before for my hubby–erm sort of, and 2) it was already in my stash. I’m not always known for my frugality, (just ask my husband about my ability to fall in love with the most expensive item in the store!) but sometimes, it’s nice to be able to use what you have on hand. 🙂 Which is kind of funny, since I had completely forgotten I had it until someone mentioned using a Jalie pattern…

So now I just need to call Grandma and have her get that one pesky measurement that I need to get started. Waist to floor–I took the inseam–why does Jalie have to do it different!?!? Argh! Thankfully, she’s a seamstress too, so I know that the measurement won’t be just a wild guess. 😉

** It appears that Jalie 2107 is OOP. I could find the PDF file of the instructions, but couldn’t find it in the OOP section or just by searching the number on the site. 😦 But if you can get your hands on it, the reviews for it are here.

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! 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 😕 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. 😉

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. 🙂

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!


By popular demand…

Modeled slacks! With bonus Christmas shirt action! (Click on any pic for a “slideshow” type thingy with bigger pictures.)

BTW, I never really noticed until today that we really don’t have a lot of color in our house. 😕 I mean, it seemed like we did, but as far as colorful rooms where we have enough space to take pictures, nada. So still not great contrast (sorry, K-Line!), but at least you get to see them on something besides the floor, right?