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.

Fabric changes everything

Just when you think you’ve got the pattern worked out, fabric choice comes along and throws a wrench in the works. I bought the most awesome ITY fabric ever, and then proceeded to waste it by trying to make another racerback tank. Oh, I’ll wear this shirt, but I already know it’s not going to be a favorite. Which is sad, because I thought it would be, since the other one fits so well.

Isn’t that the coolest fabric? I made some panties out of the scraps today too, which I think turned out fairly cute for as big as they are….

Speaking of panties, I did some scrap-bustin’ today! I cut out 6 pairs of panties and got rid of several scraps of fabric in the stash. There was one scrap of purple fabric that I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to be done cutting pieces out of it. I think it made 3 pairs, and it was a 1/2 yard piece that had already been cut into….yeesh! So no, I’m not wearing the same pair of underwear three days in a row, I just happen to have 3 pairs of the same print. I also noticed that I’m a bit rusty at putting on FOE…I had to pick out some stitches to get the fabric sandwiched in there properly. I’m still working on the best setup for “mass producing” these things.

Anyway, I’m not feeling terribly chatty tonight, so I’m gonna call it good. Oh! Karin, if you are reading this, I seem to have lost your email and I couldn’t comment on your blog earlier, but your shirt is fabulous, and I highly recommend the collar with stand tutorial on the behindtheseams blog here on wordpress somewhere….

Ruffle-licious Racerback

OK, for the first time ever, WordPress ate my post. I sure hope it was tasty. 😡 😦 Hopefully this doesn’t become a regular occurrence. So, I’ll do my best to recreate the tasty snack of a post.

So when does a pattern become your own design? At what point could I say that I essentially drafted it myself? Here’s my finished garment, front and back:

But I used View C of this pattern to make it:

My version is a far cry from the original after all the changes I made to it.

  • Added significant FBA
  • Chevroned (is that a word?) the center front
  • Loosened the overall fit
  • Added a bottom band
  • V neckline
  • Racerback
  • Facings made of interfacing using this tutorial for front & back to make a clean finish.

If someone were to ask me where I bought the pattern, what would I tell them? I can’t say “oh it’s just view C of KS 3497”, because it doesn’t even look like that anymore. So anyway, that’s just something I was pondering this morning.

If you decide to work with ruffled fabric, I even have some handy tips for you courtesy of the lovely Janet from Needle Nook Fabrics. I seem to have misplaced the actual sheet she gave me, so I’ll just go by memory and hope that I don’t leave out something important.

  • Do NOT put you ruffle fabric in the dryer–apparently the tumbling action is hard on it.
  • Use WASHABLE SCHOOL GLUE (I had excellent luck with the liquid school glue vs. a glue stick) to glue down each ruffle. Don’t use the “glue-all” type, it’s NOT the same thing!
  • Do NOT iron the fabric after it’s been glued–you’ll have to wash the glue out first (got that from Elmer’s website, I’m taking their word as gospel truth.)
  • Use a cool iron setting, silk or wool is your best bet, but test it on a scrap first, just in case.
  • Soak it when you’re done to get the glue out, then wash it (I’m planning to do gentle cycle inside a sweater bag–I don’t hand wash).
  • I found it was easier to use a rotary cutter instead of scissors, but I wouldn’t buy one just to use it for this one project.

I’m actually planning to do another version in a normal fabric that’s a bit outside my comfort zone color-wise. We’ll see how quickly I get that done, since I have to clean the sewing room first.

I hope ya’ll have a great weekend!

Burda 12/2011 Completed

OK, so I’ve spent nearly an hour trying to catch up on blog posts for everyone, so I was lazy and didn’t comment. Sorry. 😳

But, I wanted to take some time to review this pattern, because I really liked how it turned out, though I would suggest some changes to anyone else making this up. I wore it yesterday for my FIL’s acceptance, and it got lots of compliments. 🙂

Here’s my review:

Pattern Description: Quietly Sensual. Pair an utterly feminine blouse with plunging neckline and black contrasting band with a skirt of delicate silk crepe. Oh it’s “plunging” alright–clear down to your freakin’ belly button!

Pattern Sizing: 38-46, I made up the 42, which corresponds to approximately a US size 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, if you take my changes into account it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? There were instructions?!? I kid, I kid. No. They suck, as always. But, you’ll be pretty well able to figure it out if you’ve ever made a blouse before.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The style just really tripped my trigger. I love the shape of the band, and I find it to be EXTREMELY flattering to my particular shape (inverted-triangular-apple-ish……oh hell, I don’t know, whatever shape I am!) I also love the tucks–I hated putting them in there–but I love the end result.

I HATE the side zipper. Nothing ruins a floaty fabric quite like a zipper, so I’d recommend putting the zip in the center back next time. I may let out the side seams a smidge and remove the zipper on this version altogether, since I can get the blouse on/off (with some care) without the zipper.

I’m not comfortable with the sheer amount of boobage that would have been on display if I’d have made it as-is. So, to raise the neckline from OMG! to slightly scandalous, I overlapped the portion with the pintucks instead of just meeting them in the middle. I think it looks OK like this, but would probably look weird if you tried to overlap it any farther. I still ended up wearing a cami underneath, but I actually liked the way it looked with a cami under it since the fabric is pretty sheer anyway.

After some head scratching, I figured out the band. You’ll have to read the instructions a couple of times, but you’ll figure it out. TIP: I used wash-away wonder-tape to get that sucker stuck in place to topstitch it down.

Fabric Used: I’ll be honest here. I’m not really sure what this floral fabric is–it’s polyester, and it feels a bit like a textured crepe de chine. It’s surprisingly breathable, and not too bad to wear. The black band is a stretch moleskin, which I did NOT interface because it was already significantly heavier than the floaty floral stuff.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I used the longer layer of sleeves from the 107 dress (which is exactly the same pattern with different sleeves, so this is an easy change) and took all of the ease out them so that they would basically go in flat. I’m not totally sold on the sleeves, they’re kind of froufy for my taste, but I’ll probably get over that in time. Other than that, I raised the neckline as much as I could get away with.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Actually, I’m already scheming to make it again, probably in a blue plaid silk dupioni with the same moleskin for the band. And yes, I’d absolutely recommend it.

Conclusion: You won’t regret making this blouse, the end result is beautiful and feminine. It made my waist look positively TINY, and that is a miracle in itself. 😉

Whatcha think?

Fabric choice fail

Sometimes I really struggle with achieving that perfect harmony of fabric and pattern. Apparently my version of Jalie 2562 with the chiffon knit is one of those that struck a bad chord. Since the polo style didn’t fly, I attempted to salvage it into a v-neck tee, but in order to get rid of the hole where I accidentally snagged the fabric when picking out some of the older stitches I had to cut a vee that was deeper than I’m comfortable with. 😦 Of course, I discovered this after I had already cut the new neckline. A shame really, but what can you do? Oh well, I can still salvage it for lingerie, and it’ll be be cuter for that anyway.

On the upside, I did discover that my alterations for the Jalie polo should work marvelously for a better fabric. 🙂 I nailed the FBA, and I even tried the “easing” method for the bust darts. I was a bit nervous because it looks kind of ugly and wrinkly flat, but it looks pretty normal on. And I forgot to do the swayback alteration. 😳 So I guess it’s still there, but it looks like an easy fix, and I can probably work out how much to remove on my dressform using the shirt I’ve already sewn most of the way up.

So I guess I’ll pick something else out of my plan and see how badly I can mangle it. 😉

SWAP Update

Today I cut out the lining pieces for my first version of Jalie 2562 and I think it’s going to fit pretty well. I’m going to try to add in a small dart at the bustline because the front armscye and back don’t quite meet up after adding in the FBA. I’ve got some puddling in the back, but I can’t decide how to go about fixing it, since it’s an alteration I’ve never done before. Darts? Carving out the waistline on the back pieces? Well, I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out with some input or research. 🙂

I’m hoping to have both of these (and possibly an extra) done by this weekend, so that I can have at least two garments done for the SWAP. I’m starting to think that I’m not going to be able to finish the SWAP, given all the excitement going on here, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Speaking of excitement, most of our stuff is ordered for our bathroom remodel. There’s been a couple changes in the plan to make our budget happier, but that’s OK. 🙂 I’ve gotten cold feet about it and worry that I’m making poor choices, but by the time the stuff gets here I should be over it and ready to rock. Do you ever do that? Start to have serious doubts about yourself when you get ready to take on a big project?

Until next time, may your days be filled with good fortune and humor! 🙂

Lazy Sunday

First off, I wanted to apologize. My rant the other day was not directed specifically at Bernina (though my husband told me that’s how it sounded). I was lamenting the cost of new machines in general, and it was easy to pick on Bernina since they’re easily the most expensive (and a well-known) brand. If it makes you feel better, my Pfaff was overpriced too, and I’ll admit that I paid too much. Well, some days I think them paying me to take it would have been too much. 🙄 😉 I’ve had suggestions of getting a vintage machine, and I have one, maybe I just need to start using it more. After I pony up to get the timing fixed.

I should have my jeans that I started in December(?) finished today and be able to start on my next project. I’m getting to be in dire need of shirt-like garments again. I tried on one of my KS 3593 blouses yesterday and hubby and I both realized that it’s too big. I think my next blouse though will be Vogue 1260 (instead of the Burda JJ for my SWAP):

This was probably one of the first ever patterns where I looked at the line drawing after seeing the uninspiring pattern photo and still said “self, I think you should do this one”. It has two of my favorite features. Princess seams and raglan sleeves. I don’t care for the gathering, but it looks like it should be easy enough to eliminate, so it sounds like a winner to me! Now if I could just figure out what size to make…….

SWAP Item #1

I started on my first item for SWAP today (you are allowed to start two projects before the December 26th start date), a pair of Jalie jeans. I had hopes of finishing them today, but realized that I only had tricot interfacing. 😦 Here’s the topstitching on the pockets, try to ignore my bright orange chalk.

In real life the denim is significantly darker, and the topstitching is closer to a hunter green than this picture would indicate. I really need some cool ideas for topstitching pockets. Mine are so terribly boring. 😦 And my hubby doesn’t like the green thread…at all. I kind of love it though. 😉

So anyway, I’m trying to be strategic about this. Since I’ve been steadily losing weight (who knows if that will continue through the holidays though), I am DESPERATELY in need of new pants/jeans now that belts aren’t quite enough to hold up my way-too-big pants. Since I had listed jeans/slacks on my SWAP, I decided they would be the first things to be made. I’ll probably (hopefully) un-grow them soon enough, but a girl still has to get dressed in the meantime, right?

Hope ya’ll have a great weekend! 🙂

SWAP storyboard-like things

I’m not going to lie to you. I’ll probably never do these again. I mean, sure, it was cool to learn a new technique to add to my technological geekiness, but this was a bit of a hassle. There are still two Burda JJ blouses that I didn’t know what fabric I was going to use, so they don’t have a storyboard yet.

Note: Below is a slideshow, not a picture. I’m not sure if you can speed it up/slow it down or whatever, since I’ve never used it. Hopefully it won’t make this post take an eternity to load.

What do you think? I think the end results will work pretty well together and be a useful addition to my closet. 🙂

SWAP 2012

I’m joining the SWAP 2012 at Stitcher’s Guild, which starts on December 26 and goes through April 30. The plan for this year is to mostly sew TNT’s with an emphasis on wardrobe staples–which coincides neatly with the things that I need anyway. So here’s my plan, I’m working on some little storyboards, so I’ll try to post an update with those later (assuming I can figure out how they work :oops:).

  • Burda JJ Blouse (x2)
  • Jalie 2562 (x2)
  • Jalie 2908 (x2)
  • Trousers (x2, pattern undecided)
  • Simplicity 2451 and 2556 in the same fabric (sort of like a suit)
  • Vogue 8670 (I’m thinking as another sweater, but maybe not.)

As an extra little twist, at least 8 of these garments are going to be made from stash…