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.

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It’s only taken a year or so…

But I finally finished my quilt! I am contemplating going back over all my white stitches with a black sharpie, but otherwise this quilt is DONE. And OMG, it’s gorgeous!! So incredibly hard to photograph, but gorgeous. The “in progress” pics are here and here, if you’re interested. I don’t remember having any major difficulties, aside from 1) not being sure I loved it and 2) wrangling a queen sized quilt under a standard home sewing machine is a bit of a trick. And the gals at the quilt shop on the far side of town were phenomenal when I went in needing something (and having no idea what that was, TBH), to bind the quilt with, and they showed me how to actually do the binding. So now I’m the proud new owner of a little laminated card that tells me how to sew on a binding, just in case I ever decide to try my hand at another (much smaller!!!) quilt. πŸ˜‰ And yes, the little card was a bit pricey, but I don’t mind at all because the gal took probably half an hour to show me how to assemble the strips, do the mitered corners, and she even cut some of the strips and one edge of my quilt for me! They even gave me a little sample quilt corner that shows what the mitered corner looks like IRL, so I’ll be prepared should I ever want to try again.

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The colors here are fairly accurate, even that teal square in the middle came out pretty close. Also, you’ll notice that two of the blocks look patchworked–they are, I was too cheap to buy more fabric and needed some extra length. So I used some scraps to make 4 more blocks.

All in all, I’m pretty proud of it. It came out exactly as I had hoped, except that it took a lot longer. And to think the part that I procrastinated on the most was the second easiest part…

I can’t leave well enough alone

So…you know how I said in my last post that I was walking away from the birthday dress? I lied. I mean, I meant to walk away from it, but then it was just sitting in my sewing room making me feel guilty…and it continues to do so because it’s taken me FOREVER to get this post up!

So I decided to try my hand at turning it into an empire waist dress and see if that fixed all the issues with it. The short answer is an emphatic NO. I used the pieces from KS3199 to get the length correct on the bodice, which worked quite well, actually, but it let a few more worms out of that can.

  • Firstly, I forgot to take into account that the pockets would need to be lowered. So after I put them in and they were too high, I picked them out and just sewed the side seams shut. I’m lazy, sorry. Plus they just kind of showed through, so probably not a big loss.
  • Secondly, the dress is just too damn big. Everywhere. The proportions were all wrong for me. I love that collar/neckline, and I think I’m going to try to use it again somewhere, but it wasn’t sized for me. And that’s OK, I was pretty sure I’m not plus-sized, but this helped firm that in my mind.
  • Lastly, the skirt. In the magazine, it looks like a fairly slim skirt. In reality, it’s not. It’s actually more of an a-line shape. I don’t feel like a-line/circle-ish skirts are flattering to me. They look good on everyone else, but I honestly feel like a slim straight or pencil skirt is the best silhouette for me. No idea why.

It is finished though. I took care to do a good job on the topstitching and such so that whomever ends up with it will get a lot of wear out of it. I’m planning to donate it to charity as soon as I find some buttons and get the buttonholes sewn. I thought it seemed like a waste for all that work to end up in the trash or made into something else, and if it fit, I think it would be absolutely stunning. So, I’m telling myself there’s going to be someone out there who is going to wear it out on a date or something and look fabulous. πŸ™‚

Never again!

Today I was looking through my fabric stash looking for something (muslin maybe?) and happened upon the fabric that I had used for my son’s quilt backing. That got me to thinking about the quilt itself, which was sitting, unloved and unfinished, on the basement couch under a pile of stuff for Goodwill. So, I thought since I’m doing a UFO roundup that I should probably include that quilt in the challenge.

After ripping the entire binding off, I sat down and started trying to figure out how to do the binding correctly this time and I was reminded of why the project was set aside to begin with. I will never again make a quilt. I’d rather listen to an entire symphony of nails on a chalkboard than make another quilt. Some people seem to think that since I like to sew, obviously I’ll love quilting. That assumption is so far off base it’s probably on another planet…like Neptune, since they decided (I think) that Pluto wasn’t actually a planet. Seriously, I don’t know how people sit through the tedious boredom that comprises cutting itty bitty pieces of fabric and then sewing them back together again, but that’s not the worst part. It’s the quilting itself! Argh! All that finagling, and I only stitched in the ditch on a twin sized quilt! I couldn’t imagine trying to make a Queen or King sized one with all that drunken wandering stitch–stippling, I think it’s called?

So yeah. Never again. And no offense to quilters–ya’ll must have the patience of saints. I don’t know how you do it. I just know that it’s not for me. If I ever try quilting again, it’s not going to be anything bigger than a placemat. And that will probably be a one of a kind…since I don’t forsee myself making 4 of them.

Who knew?

There is sewing going on here, I promise, it’s just that I didn’t realize how tricky picking up a UFO would be. It’s requiring some fitting adjustments that I’ve never had the nerve to tackle before, so it’s slow going. I’m going to try and redraft and then recut the sleeves tomorrow. I’ve got muscular upper arms that are kind of throwing things through a loop. Fortunately, I found a cool resource for doing this that I’m rather excited about, because it’ll possibly give me a bit of a forward shoulder adjustment that will help the shirt hang better as well as fit my upper arms a little less snugly. Ah the internet. You really can find pretty much anything you’d ever need on here. πŸ™‚

On a really happy note, I’m down about 3 more lbs. Progress! Yay! Slow and steady means it’ll stay off, right?

Have a great day! πŸ™‚

UFO Roundup

I cleaned the sewing room a couple days ago, and found some projects that were unfinished. My attention span is probably smaller than that of a a two-year old, so I have a couple. To get them out of my way, I decided that I should go ahead and finish them, so I’m doing a series of roundup posts to help keep me focused and get them finished.

First up: Butterick 5284. I started it a while back, but never got past the stage you see it in on that post. 😳 This is mostly because I had lost a piece somewhere in my messy sewing room, and I happened to find it during the cleanup. Currently, the bodice is sewn together, the sleeves are ease-stitched and ready to be put in as soon as I finish the cuffs.

Second up: Vogue 1152, the designer pattern. It’s been relocated several times to get it out of the way–first the floor of my bedroom, then in various in-the-way places in my sewing room. I doubt it will fit when I get done (I’m certain it’ll be too short), but I imagine that someone else will love it when they see it at Goodwill. Of course, I could be pleasantly surprised that it works out perfectly, it’s happened before…just not usually to me. πŸ˜‰

Third: My designer knockoff. I’ve had the pattern drawn up, I just never cut into the fabric, so it’s technically not a UFO per se.

Lastly: (OMG! There’s actually 4 UFO’s!) Is a Burda pattern that I have traced off and ready to rock, but again, I hadn’t cut into the fabric as yet.

Well, that’s all of them for now, unless I find something else that needs doing that I’m not remembering. πŸ™‚ If you’re part of SG, you can participate on there too. πŸ™‚