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! 😀

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. 😕 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. 😉

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

Wardrobe planning, if you can call it that

Since my last post, I’ve been doing some poking around through my stash and on the internet to see what options look like they would work best for my time constraints and my fabric stash–I’d like to avoid buying more fabric if possible. I’ve got plenty in my stash already, and some of it has been “marinating” long enough.

I have a fair amount of rayon challis and stretch cotton wovens, so I’m starting by deciding what sorts of patterns work best with those. (Hover over the pictures to see the pattern numbers.)

I’m really smitten with the woven tee and the shirt with the boob flaps. (I’d probably skip the boob flaps on mine though? Depends on how hard it would be to remove them.) I have the JJ Blouse, which is similar to Lekala 4370, but it’s going to take some work to get it to fit me again. The one with the knot intrigues me, but I suspect that the opening below the knot will go clear to my belly button.

In my stash, I have a few Big 4 that might also be appropriate.

I’ve made both S1589 (Love!!) and S1614 (It’s pretty, but meh. I wear it as a nightie sometimes.) 1589 is actually desperately needing to go to the trash, but I haven’t had the heart to toss it yet. Challis is fairly “reversible”, so if I have a big enough piece, I could probably make M6991 (can you believe it’s OOP already?!). And I really love S1373, which might work for one of my stretch wovens that I’ve been hoarding.

So that’s already a lot, and I haven’t even started on my t-shirt selections! I’d like to weed it down to two or three and add a knit tee or two. Anything in particular catching your eye?

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! 🙂

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. 😉

First of the Knockoffs

So after finishing the stuff for the kiddo, I cleaned up my sewing room and started to work on one of the knockoff’s in my post from Thursday. And um, it’s not exactly as I had envisioned. For starters, I tend to carry all my essentials on my person. I keep trying to use a purse, but they’re just so damn inconvenient and in the way, I seriously can’t figure out how other women do it. I hang my phone on my hip with a clip holster, my keys from a belt loop (or sometimes in my pocket if I’m feeling sneaky), and my wallet sits in my back pocket. This shirt though, was WAY too long and so I had to hike it WAY up to get it over my phone clip. Seriously, I’ve seen mini-dresses that are shorter. The other issue was the neckline that is so low it makes Burda seem modest–and adding a neckband didn’t seem to fix that, sadly. I wish I would have taken the time to measure and then shorten the neckband instead of just trusting the pattern, but I didn’t (usually they end up too short to sew in, so I didn’t even think about it) and once it was serged on, I wasn’t about to unpick it. So I went all in and topstitched it so that it would stay semi-flat and just decided to deal.

In fact, this shirt was kind of doomed from the start. I snapped 3 needles, one of them in the first inch of the first seam! My thread kept snagging on the spool (even with a thread net and a cone holder!) and would pull tight enough to either snap the thread or snap the needle, so I ended up throwing the whole cone away. 😦 I’ve tried several methods to get that stupid cone to work for me, and I’m glad to have finally been able to say “enough!” I really thought that the tape over the notch that it kept snagging on was the cure though, it seemed to work for a while, but I must have just been lucky. It’s OK, I’m glad to have finally been fed up enough to just toss it and quit wondering if there’s something else I can try to keep it from snagging. It’s not worth ruining my serger over.

Inspiration

Inspiration

Pink Swirl

Closeups of the details.

As you can see from the details pic, I did make a few changes, as well as changes to get the look I was trying to copy.

  • The original pattern has a gathered or pleated section in the center front. I took this out, but left as much of the volume as I could to achieve the look from the inspiration.
  • The original pattern has a neckline that is simply faced with a thin strip. I needed a bit more coverage, so I made a neckband by doubling the width of the pattern’s neckband facing piece. If only I would have shortened it while I was at it…
  • The pattern was REALLLY long. I hacked off about 5 inches to make it hit just below my hip and added side slits to go over my phone and just because I think it’s kind  of a cute detail.
  • I skipped the twin needle this time and opted to try out what I *think* is the lightning bolt stitch that I hear so much about. I think this turned out OK, it’s not quite as stretchy as the twin needle, but this shirt has enough ease that it won’t matter.

So here is the final result. I think I got pretty close, close enough that I’m happy with it. I’m on the fence about how much it will get worn with the neckline being so big though, any way you dice it my bra is going to show. Hubby thinks it’s cute though, so maybe it’s not as bad as it feels to me.

Pink Swirl2So there it is. What are you working on?

 

Inspired

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. 😉

Sewing plan

I need a sewing plan, one that I can stick to. So many basics haven’t fit correctly since Scotch came into my life, so I’ve worn old t-shirts or my JJ blouse (whenever it’s clean and sometimes when it isn’t! 😳 ) pretty much constantly for the last 6 months (the prior 2 I still wore my maternity shirts–don’t judge). I had a pair of Anne Taylor slacks that fit me a couple of years ago that are so big now that they get all wadded up under the belt, so those need replaced. I’m still wearing unmentionables that I sewed before the pregnancy and wore during it, so you can imagine how stretched out those are…

So yeah, my wardrobe is SAD. Heaven help me if I have to dress nice for a couple of days in a row (especially if I’m seeing the same people), because I literally don’t have anything like that anymore.

So here’s my plan for the short (oh who am I kidding?!) term:

  • Slacks. I have several nice fabrics that would be perfect for this in the stash, and I also have several patterns that should work.
  • Unmentionables. Top and bottom–I need them all, but I’m probably only going to sew the bottoms, the tops need more work than I can dedicate in the near future. I’ve got fabrics galore, and a couple of pattern options to choose from.
  • Dressy tees/blouses. Simple, quick, and cute is what I’m going for on this. Again, I have plenty of fabric in my stash to make this work, I just need to get on it.
  • PJ’s for the baby. Scotch is tall and somewhat chubby; RTW baby clothes are short and super chubby…I can buy bigger onesies and they work OK–PJ’s though, the feet need to be snug so they stay put and RTW just isn’t delivering. Plus they’re all so heavy, and Scotch is as hot-blooded as they come.

I’m terrible at sticking to plans, but this time I’m hoping I can do it. Do you stick to a plan? Or do you not even bother with them?

Spring Sewing Swap

I got my sewing swap package in the mail on Tuesday I think, but haven’t been feeling quite up to par, so I haven’t posted it yet. I’m still feeling a bit crappy, but I decided to suck it up and get it on here.

You might remember that Kestrel set up a Spring Sewing Swap a few weeks back, and I signed up for it. My swap partner was Judy of Sew Blessed Maw, and it was neat to peek through her blog and try to figure out what she likes/collects/different hobbies/etc. I felt like a detective ninja or something. 😉 So anyway, she snooped through my blog too, and here’s what I received!

Goodies for me!

Goodies for me!

Closeup of trims

Closeup of trims

The red cat print is a medium cotton, so I’m thinking some sort of bag maybe? The trim in the pink package is sort of a crocheted lace with an upside down ^^^^^ pattern. The green package has little beaded snowflakes on it. And I love the little white cotton trim with the purple accents, will have to think of something super special to use it on because I don’t have very much.

Anyway, sewing swaps are kind of fun, I’m glad I tried it. I don’t know if I’d do them all the time (they’re kind of nerve-wracking!), but a once a year or something could be pretty cool. 🙂 In the meantime, go check out Judy’s blog, she sews up some cute stuff for her grandchildren and her dolls. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Mid-SWAP Roundup

I was looking through and seeing what all items I have for my SWAP so far, and I’m actually a bit embarrassed by the fact that little, if any, of my original SWAP plans are being followed. Funny how that happens, eh?

Currently, I’m adding in my Burda blouse from my FIL’s acceptance (and there’s another slightly different version in the works right now) as well as my two variations of my racerback tanks. Oddly enough, I didn’t like the second version of the tank very much when it was finished, but I actually really like wearing it–it’s super comfortable, sort of like not wearing a shirt at all……or wait–is that a bad thing?! ??? And I’ve worn the ruffled one probably 4 times already too. I think they’ll really get a lot of wear once the weather warms up for good. 🙂

I currently have no “bottoms” for the SWAP, since both of my attempts were fails. I think it’s time to retake my measurements, and sit down and take the time to measure each of the pieces (and triple check my math!) before cutting anything out again. I’m going to stick with the Vogue dress pants for them, though I’m rethinking one of my fabric choices. I have some khaki stuff that I purchased for some pants for the hubby, but it would need to be ironed which doesn’t seem like a good idea for daily wear-type pants. Ya’ll might not know this, but I do try to make his life easier whenever possible. I fail at it most of the time, but the point is I still try. And seriously, making him pants that he has to iron every time he wants to wear them isn’t making his life easier…

So, 3 out of 11 with a month and a half to go before the deadline…..it’ll be tough, but I tend to thrive under pressure for some reason, so maybe it’ll work itself out.