Friday, May 10, 2019

Notes on a Pattern - Simplicity 8891

In my last post I mentioned that I had completed several pattern adjustments.  These were done in preparation for my spring and summer projects.  Most are dresses. 

Today I want to talk about one that I am anxious to start sewing. 

Notes on a pattern:  Simplicity 8891

My fabric is lovely, warm beige and ivory Bengal striped stretch polyester twill #325805.  It's still available online. 

This is a cute little dress has buttons down the front, with tucks in the front and back near the waist. Cut-on sleeves with sleeve bands, in-set pockets and a wide belt to complete the look.   It's a good pattern to play around with stripes.  And of course, I chose a striped fabric to make my dress.  The short set is cute too.  I'm thinking of making it as well. 

I didn't make a muslin because there is so much style ease across the bodice.  So I thought I could skip the muslin fitting.  In my opinion, this will be a somewhat relaxed look.

On the front, I made a little FBA.  I probably could have gotten away with not making one.  But I didn't want to take any chances on the hem of the dress not being even due to needed length/width in the bust area.  First I cut off the sleeve to make the FBA.  This adjustment added about 1/2" change in the sleeve/armhole area.  That's more room for a full bust.  There is a slight overlap on the side to eliminate the bust dart.  I'm trying something new hear.  Hopefully, it will work out.  For the shoulder and sleeve seam, I meant to adjust it for a slightly forward shoulder before the picture.  In the next, picture you can see that I added the needed room for my back.

For the back, I made a prominent shoulder blade adjustment.  I don't think I like a dart here.  I'll see if I can ease the 3/4" vs. making the shoulder dart.  To eliminate the extra width in the waist area, I will make deeper tucks.  Next, I made a swayback adjustment at the waistline and added the length of the tuck to the bottom of the back.  There is a center back seam, which is perfect for me.  Both the swayback tuck and the center back seam produce and great fit along the lower back area. 

The front and back lower panels have been adjusted accordingly.  So that the width matches the width of the respective pattern pieces.   So this weekend I plan to make my dress.  More later.

Parting Shot:  My McCall 7254 Jacket/Cardigan.  I added a closure to the front.  It really completes this jacket.  The quilted fabric is warm and can be worn fall and early winter as outwear.

Happy Sewing and Have a great Mother's Day weekend!

Friday, May 3, 2019

April Sewing! - The Machines Were Humming All Month Long

The month of April is over!  I did some "power sewing".  Some quick, some very quick, and some time taking projects.  My DD got a lot of attention this month.  Four garments for her, four for myself, a few pattern adjustments for future projects, and a little practicing on sewing techniques.  Half of what I made has not been posted yet.  It's coming..,

Here's the list:

1 Sequin Bomber jacket - DD
2 Pleated skirts - DD
1 Princess seamed, skirt waist dress - DD
4 Pairs of pants - me

More later..,

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Easter Dress for DD - Simplicity 8015

Its been awhile since I made by DD a dress.  Lately she has been more interested in casual pieces.  So it was a surprise to me when she asked me to make her what we call a "princess dress".  So,I paired Simplicity Project Runway pattern S8015 with Mood's exclusive "The Snail's Bounty Stretch Cotton #MD0107".  The fabric is something a little different from the usual brocade or silk fabrication.

This is a simple dress with princess seams, full skirt, and 3/4 length sleeves, with front and back facings to finished the bodice of the dress.  My preference is to completely line it.  So I did by adding lining to the facings and cutting the skirt lining the same as the skirt. 

The pattern comes in sizes 4 to 20.  I used size 12 with modifications.   My dress did look similar to view D without the contrast. 

My fit changes included a small FBA.  DD has a pigeon chest that is slightly rounded just above the bust area.  I also made square shoulder and swayback adjustments.  Finally, I lengthen the skirt of the dress about two inches.

The construction of the dress was easy and the instructions typical.  Of course, I changed a few things to suit my own taste.  The dress is completely lined except for the sleeves.  I hand picked the zipper and added seed beads.  I thought about adding a few beads to the eye for the snails on the bodice.  But by the time I finished hand stitching the lining to the zipper, waist and hemming the full skirt, I decided to press it and hand it over to the little lady.  It was Easter Eve and she wore this dress to church the very next day.

There are no real dislike about the style or construction of the dress.  No over the top likes either.  What I like is princess seams, which makes fitting a lot easier and a full skirt.  This is a good look for DD.

The snail fabric has a slight sheen to it.  The name includes stretch, but it really didn't have stretch in it, to me.  Not like a typical stretch woven.  To finish the dress, I used ivory pongee non-static lining from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston.  Both were easy to sew and press.

This is a easy dress to sew.  The seaming makes it easy to fit as well.  The style is basic and  you can mix and match the bodice, skirt and sleeve with other patterns.  I could make it again to get some mileage out of the fit adjustments made.  Will I use it again?  Maybe.  Do I recommend it to others?  Yes.

In conclusion, the little lady is happy.  I was happy to make it for her.  It looks great on her.  That's it, that's all.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, April 29, 2019

First Quarter 2019 - In Review

Late to publication:  I wrote this April 24, 2019.  Posted April 29, 2019  Warning Long Post

We are 24 days into the second quarter of the year.  It's spring and I like many others in the mid-west are relieved that the sun is shining more, the temperatures are warmer, and the days are longer.  All of these signs of spring motivate me to be more productive.  One of the things that I've wanted to start to do is post a quarterly review of my sewing projects.  This is a practice that I used to do when I was working at the university.  It kept me on task with my goals for the year.  It also help me highlight milestones accomplished rather than waiting until the end of the year to review the status of set goals.  In my sewing, this will help me catalog my sewing projects and help me focus on accomplishing more of my annual goals.  So, I'll note garment types, fabric used, and construction techniques practiced in one simple quarterly post.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, some projects never get posted to the blog.  They somehow get lost in the shuffle of my day-to-day routine of thinking about sewing rather than be able to do something sewing related.  So these quarterly posts will if nothing more give mention to ALL makes good, bad, and given away.

So it begins:

January - Wardrobe Building Month:  I wanted to beef up my staples, and I wanted to make comfortable easy to wear knit garments.  My focus was on quick and easy pieces that sewed up really fast, but also had some cute style elements.

  • Simplicity 8643 - Pleated Front t-shirt.  It's a great alternative to a basic t-shirt.  Luckily I was able to make it without doing a FBA.  Fabric Marcy Tilton  2 yards

  • Christine Jonson Funnel Neck Top Travel Trio 2 - Simple, cute, and easy. Fabricmart Fabrics 1.5 yards

  • McCall 7812 Drawstring front top - I wanted a new style.  This pattern fit the bill.  First, I made a "red wearable muslin" that I decided to gift someone.  The second one is perfect. Fabricmart Fabrics 1.5 yards for each.

  • Christine Jonson Center Seam Pullon Pants - I love these pants.  I made a black and a chartreuse pair.  Two pair made using a total of 4 yards from Mood Fabrics

     Not Posted -

  • McCall 7688 - Drawstring knit dress.  I didn't like it on me.  So I'm gifting it to my sister.  Will post later.  Mood Fabrics, 2 yards
  • PaperCut Oh-la-la Leggings.  Sorry, I didn't post these yet.  Later with a new top. Mood Fabrics, 2 yards
February - Another month of easy, quick garments.  I needed some new t-shirt dresses to replace the worn ones.  These dresses took less than three hours to sew.  I also made a quilted jacket.  Something a little different from my usual sewing garments for myself.  This jacket was a UFO, cut and ready to sew over a year ago.  I added a lining for the front, back and sleeves.  February I ended with only three garments made, but each is unique in it's own right.  Be it color, style or fabric texture.

  • Christine Jonson Funnel Neck Top and M7386 skirt - dress hack - This was a simple blending of two easy patterns that produced a cute little black flirty dress.    Fabric Mood Fabrics 3 yards

  • Vogue 1314, my TNT t-shirt dress.  This one I changed up a bit.  Using the pattern lining front and back, I lengthen the dress, added slits to the sides, and finished the look with a thin belt. 2 yards

  • M7254 - Cardigan/Jacket.  This one had been waiting in a box for about two years.  Already cut and ready.  What was I waiting for.  It turned out to be a winner.  Fabric from Mood and Vogue Fabrics about 3 yards

March - For the final month of the quarter, I decided to make two coats.  This coat pattern had been on my to make list for awhile.  The sewing techniques that I'm hoping to major are: welt pockets and attaching the lining to the coat to emulate the techniques seen in ready to wear coat.

  • Burda 6462 - Long belted boyfriend coat.  Special sewing techniques bound buttonholes and fully lined and attached at the hem of the coat.

  • Burda 6462 - Short fur collared boyfriend coat.  This is my favorite of the two.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spring Bling! Blush Baby Sequins Bomber Jacket - M7100

YES, Spring is here.  And I decided to start it off with something sparkly and fun.  I promised my daughter a bomber jacket  (M7100).  To make it special, I chose Mood's Blush Baby Sequins on mesh.  Pink is definitely her color.  This beautiful baby sequins comes in a great selection of vibrant colors.  It sews like a dream.  No need to cut sequins from the seam allowances and no breaking needles. It's worth the cost.  Keeping the bling on ten, I used Mood's Baby Pink Sparkle rib knit trim for the collar, cuffs, and waistband.  All eyes on this beauty.

For a matching skirt, McCall's 7906, view A the perfect choice.  It was also the "Sew Your View" pattern for March, 2019.  I decided to join the challenge making two skirts for my DD.  Candy Blue and Pink mercerized cotton with digitally printed sweets.  Cute. Right?  Anyway,  my DD thinks so. ;-) The second skirt is made of Gray/Blue Purple Floral cotton poplin.

Natural fibers are the best to work with.  No fuss with sewing or pressing.

Details on the constructions:

Jacket - I used between small and medium.  Instructions typical and easy to follow.  I added a lining for body and stability.  When pressing the seams of the sequins, an organza pressing clothe is a must have.  It makes it easy to see the seams while protecting the fabric.

This jacket is a quick sewing project and could be finished in a few hours.  For this first one, it took me some time to find a zipper.  First, trying to find one in Chicago.  You would think I could find a separating pink zipper locally, right?  Finally, I ordered from Wawak.  Playing it safe I ordered two, just in case.  Wawak is a great online source for sewing supplies and my order came within four days of placing it.

Skirts - Easy breezy - I used sized 12 for view -A.  Instructions easy; no problems.  Something that I rarely do is sew the buttons on by machine.  It saved me a little time.

The sewing was fun and fast. I enjoyed the process from start to finish for all three garments.

Our Saturday photo shoots rendered some great shots of my first spring outfit to showcase.  DD and I are tickled pink with how well it turned out.

Til next time.  Happy Sewing!

PS - Andrea has a  Youtube tutorial on how to sew sequin fabric.  Check it out.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Burda Style Boyfriend Coat - Coats in March Part II

Coat number two.  This coat is so for right now.

I'm batting a 100 with my selecting fabrics from Mood.  I've had nothing but success and happiness when I select a textiles and other goodies from Mood.  My coat is made of Mood's Infinity Black and Multi-Color Gray/Black Abstract.  I purchased this about two years ago, but was undecided about what kind of coat to make.  I chose this fabric because of it's unique texture and weave.  I love combining classic styles with interesting fabrics. This one has a lot of body.  It's a looser ropy weave with a slightly rough hand.  When cut, it unravels like a jacquard.  So you need to finish the edges or sew it up quick.  It presses easy and is easy to mold into shape.  If you are so inspired to make a coat, here is a link to some gorgeousness.

The upper collar of my coat is Mood's Faux Black Bear Fur (#312623).  Sorry it's no longer in stock.  But come fall you may be able to see it again at the online store.  It's thick, soft and shiny.  It feels wonderful against my skin.  Here is a link to a variety of Faux Fur. There is so many styles and choices to choose from.

To cut the faux fur, I used a single edge razor blade instead of scissors.  First, I started by trace the pattern onto the wrong side of the fur with tailor chalk.  Then I used the razor to cut out the upper collar.  This method reduces the amount of cut fur.  After sewing the upper and under collars together, I used a straight pin to pick out the fur caught in the stitches.

The lining is Canary/Rose iridescent twill lining.  (#FN26445).  You can't go wrong with Mood's twill lining.  I order it all the time to line coats, dresses, skirts.  You name it.

This is the second coat that I made using Burda Style 6462.  You can find some of the basic pattern details here on my blog.

for this view, I only made a few minor changes:

This pattern is perfect for that desired boyfriend coat that you've been wanting to make.  One of the things that drew me to this pattern was the welt pockets and another opportunity to practice making them.

For the buttonholes, I did two applications per buttonhole to help reduce the chance of fraying.  Then I generously applied Fray Check allowing it to dry over night before cutting the buttonholes open.  It worked like a charm.

I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this beauty.  Starting this spring! ;-)

Happy Sewing!


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