Down to the wire Jungle January

I come from a long line of chronically late procrastinators. I learned from the world’s best how to stall, delay, and be more-than-fashionably late. Which is why, on the absolute last day of January 2016 I’m here to share my Jungle January projects with you. 😉

First up is a second Lekala 4042 in *sigh* rayon jersey (I’m so predictable). This shirt has been a long time coming. I think I bought the fabric for it last August, cut out all but the back, ran out of fabric, couldn’t find more, and then finally did, but didn’t have time to cut it out for a while…I’m sure you’ve been there before. It basically went together like the first one, but I got a bit cocky with the neckline since I’d done it before, and that was a big no-no. I fiddled and fussed with it for at least twice as long as the first time, but I finally wrestled it into submission. And I made sure to stabilize both the shoulder seams and the upper chest seams. I highly recommend you do the same, because it made a world of difference in the end. Trust me.

No modeled pics, but you can see how the pattern looks on a body in the previous post. 🙂

Lekala 4420 in rayon challis (seriously, you knew that was coming, right?) was another one that didn’t seem to want to come together. Somehow it ended up being 4″ too big all the way around, even though I put in the same measurements I’ve used before. I also added 3″ of length that the front needed, but the back did not. If I were ever to wear leggings as pants, this would definitely cover my butt, but I’m not a leggings as pants type of gal. Sorry. I left the length alone though…for now. Some other changes:

  • Raised the front neckline–it showed my bra, and while it still does in certain positions, at least it’s not just a given that my bra will show like it was before. If I’d have known, I would have shortened it above the bust before cutting out the fabric, but I didn’t.
  • French seams. No idea why, and sadly I didn’t get a picture of it. But, you’ve all seen them before, so it’s not exactly earthshattering.
  • Lengthened the sleeves 2″. This was just about perfect, though I almost wish I’d have added another 1″. Bracelet length isn’t one I’m used to, so it feels awkward.
  • Pearl snaps, baby. Oh yes, I went there. 😉
  • Instead of bias binding for the neckline, I used a crossgrain strip from my meager scraps that I had left after cutting this out. It has a little bit of give, but my tiny head didn’t need it anyway.
  • This was my first time using a placket like this, so I used Sewaholic’s tutorial. It worked OK, but I couldn’t avoid the puckers completely, so mine are puckery. The busy print covers it though, so I think it’ll be OK.

Overall though, the pattern itself went together flawlessly, notches matched perfectly, etc., etc. And while I seem to have to add length to everything, that’s such an easy fix when you compare it to FBAs and such. And it’s also something that’s easy to spot before you start cutting out fabric.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Saber Toothed Swap Goodies!

I’m probably a bit late on this, but if you were participating in Jungle January this year, Ms. Grievances added a SWAP option to the fun. My SWAP partner was Sarah from MusingsOfASeamstress, and she got me some fantastic stuff!

SaberToothed Swap.jpgThere’s a lovely ocelot print cotton(? It feels sort of like a crisp rayon challis), some delicious smelling lotion, and some cute socks (which I’ve already worn, ha!). Thanks Sarah!

Now to finish up with my blouse testing to cut into my new fabric…. 😉

Jungle January 2015

If you follow sewing blogs at all, you’ve surely heard of Jungle January by now. And it seems that every time I participate I sew up something in a snakeskin print. I guess that even though I have no love for snakes I have a thing for a good snakeskin print. And this year, even though I was aiming for bottomweight zebra for a skirt, I found a gorgeous snakeskin rayon challis in the “red tag” section of J’s for 50% off the red tag price + a discount for it being the end of the bolt–it was destiny!! Guess zebra will have to wait until next year. 😉

I was hypnotized by the pretty, it had to be mine!

I was hypnotized by the pretty, it had to be mine!

I used Simplicity 1598 a Learn to Sew pattern. I decided that this was going to be the year of doing simple things very well. Sometimes I do things kind of sloppy, and I decided that sometimes it’s better to do the simple things with precision and skill vs doing more complex things with mediocrity. Plus, it had a cute back detail and looked like it would be as cool and comfy as one can find for summer.

So you know how I just said “do the simple things very well”? I had apparently forgotten that skill and precision isn’t dependent entirely on the complexity of the garment–sometimes fabric can be the sole challenge. I should have starched the absolute hell out of this challis, but I didn’t, so it was tricky to cut and sew neatly. And sadly, it still didn’t have enough drape to keep this pattern from being a “shent” on me. The back of the envelope said I needed a size 16 so I thought; “this is a learn to sew pattern, I’m going to just cut it like they tell me to, they surely wouldn’t misguide newbies, and then I won’t need to make a muslin…” famous last words, my friend. Famous last words. After I cut down about 6 inches total + still keeping the 5/8″ seam allowance (or more), I think everyone can see that it’s still not exactly “fitted”. I tried to add a french dart, but that’s a no go once your fabric is cut (I’d have had enough to make the “flange” if I had thought to dart it before cutting the sides down though). Ultimately, I wore it around the night after I finished it, and it’s comfy (and cool!) and I think it will be great for summer, if not exactly the most flattering item of clothing I’ve ever owned. And hubby and Irish both say it looks nice. 🙂

Sssssssewaholic Alma for Jungle January!

A little late, but better than never, right? I’ve actually had the blouse done for a week, but was waiting until I got the belt done before taking pictures. To give you an indication of how terribly slow I am at sewing, that little belt? Took me a full hour from pulling the fabric off the shelf to taking pictures. 😳 Tutorial @ Tilly&TheButtons.

Sorry no modeled pics, I had to be my own photographer, and the concept of self-timer completely eludes me.

I want to thank PrettyGrievances for the idea to use up this fabric that’s been marinating in my stash for a couple of years or so. I liked it at the store (obviously), but once I got it home I had no idea what to do with it, until this came along.

Bonus? Not only was this a stashbuster, but this was also one of my resewlutions–I sewed up an indie pattern and it wasn’t a fail! 🙂 I’m not sure what I can say about this pattern that hasn’t been covered by pretty much everyone else in the blogosphere, but if you haven’t tried it, I think it’s a keeper! I’ve got a few kinks I’ll work out on my next version (and there will be a next version very soon!), but overall I was pretty pleased with it “as is”. The only disappointment I had (with the end result, not the pattern) was that the fabric for this one was too “floaty” for the side zipper, IMHO. I’ve had this happen before, but I’ve never seen a zipper that was softer for lightweight drapey fabrics (this one appears to be a poly blend challis). If they exist though, let me know!