The Mrs. Frizzle Dress aka Lekala 4437

Whoa! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I feel like I should apologize, but then, I’ve always been more of a social media lurker than a participant anyway. Plus, there hasn’t been a ton of sewing going on here, until I needed a dress for a wedding we went to a couple of weeks ago. Coincidentally, that’s why I’m here today. πŸ˜‰

I’ve had my eye on Lekala 4437 for quite a while, at least since Hila made hers last winter. Her version is gorgeous and she looks fantastic in it. I’m not sure I pulled it off quite as well, but I really like how it turned out, just the same.

Now you may be wondering how it became the Mrs. Frizzle dress, since I don’t tend to name my clothes. My husband named it. He saw the fabric that I made it in and thought it looked like something Mrs. Frizzle would wear on a trip into space, and it stuck. I’m taking it as a compliment. πŸ˜‰

Galaxy Fabric

What do you think? Does it look like something Mrs. Frizzle would make a dress out of?

The fabric came from a small local store that has a pretty reasonable sized selection of fabric, notions, sewing machines, and the ubiquitous quilting stuff. I went in with absolutely no idea what I was looking for, and within about 5 minutes I spotted this amazing space-themed ponte (ish?) fabric and knew it was going to be mine. So I picked up 2 yards.

BUT.

Then I had to go back and get another yard and a half because my pattern tetris game was so strong I outsmarted myself. I failed to leave enough room for the circle skirts. D’oh! Fortunately, I really like the fabric, because I think I have enough to make a sweatshirt out of it. So, that’s sort of a win, right? And I had the black in my stash already, so that’s definitely a win. πŸ™‚

Aside from overthinking the collar and goofing up on the cutting, this pattern went together like a dream. Not the PDF, mind you, (I’m never printing on legal paper again!), but the pattern sewed up flawlessly. Speaking of knits, I had to take it in by about 5″ because of the ease included (apparently they expect you to make this from a woven?!), and I could have taken it in a smidgen more, but I was worried about the seamlines not matching up if I went any farther. Oh, and I guess I had to redo the sleeves–the late night sewing gremlins got me the night before the wedding. I swear I read the instructions, and what they said made no sense, but I did it anyway. Except it was wrong, so I ripped the sleeves off the next day (the day of the wedding–right before the 3 hour road trip there πŸ™„ ), cut new ones, and sewed them on the way that made the most sense to me. Let’s just say that it didn’t involve the recommended bias tape. πŸ˜‰

So while it sounds like a lot of issues, it really wasn’t too bad and they were mostly my own fault. I managed to sew this thing up in a day, which is pretty fast for me! Bonus, I got quite a few compliments on it at the wedding too, can’t beat that! If you hover, you should be able to see the captions, and as always, click to enlarge!

Well, that’s all for this post, catch you on the flip side!

Advertisements

Making in May Roundup

My calendar tells me that somehow May is over and June has begun. When I was a kid, my parents used to talk about how the time just went by so fast; I thought they were crazy, because as a kid it just seemed to drag. Guess they weren’t so crazy after all–or at least not about that. 😜

My goal was to sew up at least 4 new shirts. I failed, but here is what I did manage to accomplish.

  • Made up burp rags and bibs for my future niece (she’s still “cooking”, thank goodness, although my sister says she is welcome to come anytime–a feeling every pregnant woman can relate to!) I wish I had gotten pictures of the finished versions, but I forgot. I did get pics of the fabrics I used though, so hopefully that’s an acceptable substitute!

    WP_20170502_08_58_48_Pro

    I didn’t use the crescent moon fabric, just the others.

  • A “test” version of Lekala 4562, which has been worn basically as soon as it has come out of the wash every time. The question isn’t “if” I’ll be making another, it’s “how soon?”
  • Another kind of tester version of Lekala 4420, which I don’t like near as much as the first version, and much less than the blue muumuu. I took out the neck pleats and turned them into a bust dart, but I’m not sure it worked quite right. And I really wish I would have narrowed up the shoulders, because it’s got a weird dropped sleeve sleeveless vibe going on. Totally my fault though, because I was planning to put the sleeves from 4562 on it until the absolute last second. However, the pocket I put on it is perfect, and will be replacing the useless flap on the next version of 4562, because pockets are cuter and can be useful for small “treasures” Scotch picks up on our walks.

    WP_20170525_09_01_29_Pro (2)

    It’s also slightly tighter than I’d like, not constrictive, just not quite as loose and flowy as it should be.

  • I managed to get 7(!) pairs of undies stitched up only to stall out when it came time to apply the elastic because I didn’t have enough matching elastics for the job. I’m hoping to finish them soon. It will be nice to not have hol(e)y underwear again, LOL!

In related news, I’ve got a pretty good sized order of stretchy denim and navy twill winging it’s way to me for making up some Jalie Elenore’s and some Burda shorts. I thought at first I’d maybe just try to find some shorts at a thrift store, but all the cute ones I found weren’t in my size and I got tired of digging. Kudos for those of you who have the patience to thrift shop–if the sizes aren’t grouped together, I wear out quickly.

Cleanup!

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˜€

SOLD!

So I wore my blue muu muu yesterday, and it’s seriously amazing to wear.

Flattering? Probably not, though the color of this particular one is perfection.

Low maintenance? HAHAHA NOPE (I’ll be ironing that bitch every time it comes out of the washer. 😦 )

Comfortable? If feeling like you’re wearing nothing at all, whilst still being appropriately covered is comfortable, then WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!! πŸ˜‰

So, I guess while I say that I’m sold on it, I do wish it were in a lower maintenance fabric that still had the same drape and breathe-ability as the challis. Anyone got some suggestions of this miracle for me?

I’m nearing the end of the May deadline, and I’m frantically working on another Lekala frankenpattern. Fingers crossed that it fits when I’m done–it seems like it is going to be a smidge tighter than expected, so some extra hacking may be in order. After that, I think I’m going to make some TNT t-shirts to help fill out my closet, because I can’t keep wearing this πŸ˜› :

93ecb852d37a777a1adde71458133db5

#keepingitclassy πŸ˜† but also #keepingitreal

On the fence

I just finished sewing up a test run of Lekala 4562, and I’m just not quite sure about it. I mean, I think it would get a lot of wear during the summer when I’m working outside and sweating like crazy because it’s loose and flowing, but I was hoping it would be a bit more…flattering. I don’t know. It’s currently running through a load of warm water clothes to see if it looks better once the starch is washed out and it maybe shrinks a bit, because right now it’s a muu-muu. πŸ˜• We’ll see. I’m keeping my fingers crossed because I was hoping to make 2 or 3 actual versions with fabric that doesn’t have holes in it from the prewash. 😑 (Side note: why is it that Jo-Ann has all the cute prints/good selection in challis, but the quality is so hit and miss that it’s hard to buy it there?) In fact, the shirt has a hole right under the bust dart–grrr! I was trying to miss it, but I didn’t technically have enough fabric for the pattern, and even though I marked it with a pin, it must have shifted when I went to cutting. Oh well. For a work shirt I don’t really care.

Notes on the pattern:

  • It has you hem it before you sew up the side seams. This seemed like a weird/scary idea, but it actually worked out perfectly.
  • I’m always impressed at how well Lekala patterns print out on my printer–even when it’s being a brat. The lines match up nearly perfectly every time, and even when I’ve had to fudge it a bit, I’ve never had a problem with pieces not matching up. Knock on wood.
  • The sleeve cap is asymmetrical–it’s subtle, but it’s there, so pay attention and mark your notches accordingly (and put two in the back to make it easier for you!) I think I sewed my sleeves on backwards, they fit, but I’m pretty sure they are backwards.
  • I would have preferred a patch pocket to the weird little flap. That’s an easy change, but I wanted to make it “as-is”, to see if it really was a cute detail that I was sneering at and would end up loving later (tell me I’m not the only one who has this happen?). I remain unconvinced.
  • I didn’t add any length, and I don’t think I needed to for a change. This one is plenty long from the start. I’m not sure if it was a measurement I changed or if something has been updated, but before it seemed like everything I printed was too short. Just keep an eye on it before you cut your fabric, this is super easy to fix on paper, but not with the fabric already cut!
  • I don’t think the sleeve cuffs will stay put in the drapey fabric. Scratch that, I know they won’t. And I’m not sure how to stitch them down so that it’s invisible either. I was thinking blindhem, but it’s the opposite of what my machine does, so…?

Anyway, not sure what else I can say about a super simple woven t-shirt, so I’ll wrap it up. It’s a quick sew, and I’m so desperate for summer shirts that I’ll probably wear it to death even if it doesn’t come out of the washer any better than it went in. Maybe I’ll just take it in a bit…maybe. πŸ˜‰

Have you ever made an unintentional muu-muu? Did you wear it anyway?

Heatwave sewing

I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are, but here it’s been miserable. So I have been spending more time in my sewing loft enjoying the air conditioning.

The first thing I made was Lekala 4119 in a super cheap (and for good reason!) rayon jersey from Walmart. I bought the fabric because I couldn’t resist the perfect shade of red, but the recovery is non-existent. So, it went from shirt to mini-dress over the course of the first day. It’s OK though, because it was more of a test to see how the pattern worked and if I liked it. And I’m glad that I didn’t use a special fabric for it, because it needs some tweaks. On McCall’s 6069, the front drape has a huge lining that just looks better IMO (though it is hotter to wear). This Lekala doesn’t have that, and the drape flips out and you can see the wrong side and your inner stitching (and if you’re like me, a sliver of the black stay tape you applied to the neckline, d’Oh!)

See how long it is if it doesnt fit your hips? The drape looks lovely in this fabric though.

​
For next time, I’d definitely make some changes.

  • Better fabric. Seriously, it has to have some recovery, or it won’t stay snugged up on your hips. And if it won’t stay snugged up on your hips, it’s heavy enough that it will just stretch longer as the day goes on.
  • The armholes on this one seemed REALLY low, but I’m not sure if that was the poor recovery of the fabric and being pulled down or if it is something that actually needs to be addressed.
  • Maybe figure out some sort of facing. I don’t love how big the facing is on that McCall’s, but I don’t like how this one flips out. There needs to be a middle ground, I just don’t know what it is yet. Or maybe I should just do like my RTW drape blouse does and have matching serger thread and simply serge the raw edge and leave it alone.

Anyway, while I’ve worn this version a couple of times, simply because my summer shirt selection is pitiful, I don’t plan to keep wearing it.

Wait! Where did June go?!?!

Since my last post it has been crazy here, and in that whirlwind of activity I have done some sewing, but it’s all boring stuff like pillowcases and pajamas for Scotch and a couple of “neck coolers” because it’s been fucking A HOT around here. Mostly though, I’ve been doing planning–I have a brother in law getting married in early September that I helped with a shower for the bride to be, and then there was a milestone birthday party for Irish and that basically ate up June. And of course, we can’t forget harvest and swim lessons! I always tell people “we’re pretty much home whenever”, but then I look back and that never seems to ring true. It feels like we don’t have anything going on, but when I look back, it feels like we haven’t stopped “going” for….I don’t know, ever. Know what I mean?

Anyway, so when I was at my in-laws on Sunday, they were all bothered about getting hotel rooms reserved in this tiny town where the wedding will be. At first, I was all “pshh”, but then I realized that we’re basically halfway through July and I’m not sure where June went. So it got me to thinking about the fact that I have no idea what to wear to this event. I’ve been told that it’s bad juju or something to wear a black dress to a wedding, so that eliminates my Christmas Dress. I ruined my Easter dress in the wash (*sob*), it might be salvaged for less “dressy” occasions, but… 😦 I have this maxi dress, but it’s kind of itchy to wear for long periods of time (but so pretty!). And that pretty much is all the dresses I own.

Honestly, I don’t even know if I want to wear a dress or not. This isn’t helped by the fact that September on the plains is notoriously unpredictable. It could be blazing hot or windy and chilly. Well, it’s nearly guaranteed to be windy, I suppose. πŸ˜‰ If I do go for a dress though, I waded through Lekala’s website for ideas and came up with these:

Lekala 5962. Not in love with the weird hem, but otherwise it’s OK.

Lekala 5960. Another halter dress. Not totally sold on the color blocking, but I think it could be cute–I struggle with line drawings sometimes.

5463. OK, so I know I’m crazy, but I’m envisioning this with long fringe at the bottom instead of a flounce. #Redneck πŸ˜‰

4451. This one almost feels like the “safe” choice. I just worry about my belly pulling those pleats open unattractively…though, it is supposed to be made to measure, and my little 3D gal is scarily accurate…

4437. This one might be my favorite of this bunch. That neckline is scandalously low for an event with such a religious group of people though. On the other hand, I have a pretty awesome rack that won’t last forever, so maybe should I flaunt it while I still can. πŸ˜‰

I don’t know, at this point nothing is set in stone. I tend to be more comfortable in pants, so maybe I should find a nice blouse pattern instead. I just wasn’t seeing anything that screamed “wedding”. What would you do? Like any of the dresses above? Think I should find a nice blouse and rock some slacks?

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜‰
  • 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.

Lekala 4042

So I’ve been a bit obsessed with Lekala lately, lurking their website, stalking patterns, hoarding my credits for “just the right one”…I might have a problem, but we’ll worry about that later. πŸ˜‰

I first tried their freebie knit pattern a few months ago, and while it technically fit, it wasn’t exactly what I was going for. But honestly, I think it’s just an ugly design and they have some really cute ones on there, so I toughed it out.

Either way it gave me a baseline for their sizing system, and I really like the way their sizing system works, or at least I do now that I understand that Russian women apparently want bare midriffs (and lots ‘o cleavage!) and I don’t. But that’s easy enough to fix. I’ve also heard that they are super skintight, but I didn’t find that to be the case on this pattern.

Construction and Pattern notes:

  • The line drawing for sleeve length is misleading. The short sleeves are short–not elbow length. Either that or the model has teeny-even-for-a-t-rex arms. A seriously easy fix though, and I wanted 3/4 length anyway, so I added around 10″.
  • I’m short, with a proportionally short torso, and even then the pattern was too short for me. At least it was obvious enough that I could tell as I was taping it together–I’d have been a bit upset if I hadn’t noticed until after it was cut! I added 3.5″ of length.
  • There is no way to cut the front pieces to conserve fabric–don’t bother. You will need more fabric than you think to make this, no matter how good you are at pattern tetris. Ask me how I know.
  • Yep. Sucks when that happens.Β Thankfully, I managed to find the last little bit of the fabric hidden away at the store. (They thought they had sold out, but I just happened to spy the last yard and a half a couple of months or so later and snatched it–there may or may not have been maniacal laughter and a victory dance. πŸ˜‰ ) Also thankfully, I had been unwilling to throw the pieces away or recut them into something else and I had been working around them in the sewing room for months. I hope to sew it up soon, but I need to recover from holiday madness first!
  • Lekala is like Kwik Sew and Burda had a baby. The design is deceptively simple and well drafted, but the directions are like 4 terse sentences. You’re on your own. And with the collar, you’ll want a dressform or some way to situate it “just so”, or you’ll sew it together wrong. Or maybe that’s just me. I had to pin baste part of it together before I could stitch the collar pieces together in the back, because I tried it once without and it was not even close to right.

Doing a little bit of Lekala origami. #sewcialist #lekalapatterns blouse 4042.

A post shared by Sew Sarcastic (@sewsarcastic) on

Overall though, I love the end results!

4042 Edited

Note to self: don’t take pictures after supper… πŸ˜‰

Lekala Nightie v2.0

I finished the second Lekala nightie yesterday. I think it turned out pretty cute, if not a bit risque for the average run-of-the-mill sleepwear. I’ll have to remember that next time I make something that I’m not planning to use for seduction of the hubby. πŸ˜‰ Honestly though, I probably won’t make this one again. There are a lot of other variations out there to try, and this one, while cute, is kind of a lot of work for what it is. Though, I may just be being naive, maybe they are all a lot of work for such a flimsy piece of fabric. That might explain the pricetag they are generally accompanied by in the store. Anyway, here’s the pictures for you.

Same measurements, but my dressform looks skinnier....??

 

Lace inset that replaced "bows"

This was made using stretch lace and a jersey remnant from the stash. Based on the price still attached to the jersey remnant, I’d say this nightie cost around $8 to make. I still have enough of the jersey left to make a pair of panties and probably a bra if I want. There’s still quite a lot of the stretch lace left too. I used foldover elastic for the straps, and I think I made them about 1.5″ too long (I couldn’t remember from last time, so I just “winged it”.) I haven’t decided if I’m just going to leave it or if I’m going to fix it, guess I’ll know after I wear it a time or two. πŸ˜‰

In other sewing news, I have traced off, cut out and partially sewn the pockets of some Burda shorts (113 of 7/2009 magazine). I think they are going to be a bit too short for my taste, but I really just wanted to see if they’d fit. I kinda traced them based on the Jalie jeans I made up, so I think they should, barring any sort of major miscalculations (which I’m rather prone to). I really hope they work out, because I’d really like to have some decent fitting shorts to wear around this summer, and they seem like they’ll go together quickly, and next time should go even faster. This version will be out of some sort of khaki-colored stretch twill-esque fabric that I had in the stash from Whoknowswhere.

Well, that’s about all for me. Ya’ll sleep tight now, ya hear?! πŸ™‚