Friday, December 20, 2019

Client Holiday Skirt - Burda 6390

Hi Everyone,

Christmas is just a few days away. With parties, celebrations, and quite a bit of sewing going on in my world, no time for blogging and very little time for Instagraming.  But I just had to post this picture of Alesa, my dear friend's daughter holiday skirt that I made two weeks ago.

Burda 6390 dress pattern is what I used to make it.  I'm not sure if this is a true pattern hack.  I simply used the skirt portion of the dress, added a lining with tulle and a waistband.  That's it!

I simply put it together like any other seven gored skirt with a zipper back and waistband.  To show off the fullness of the skirt, I added a lining that I sewed on two tiers of gathered tulle.  The tulle is between the lining and the skirt.  The front of the waistband is about 3 inches wide tapering to 1.5 inches wide in the back.

She chose this audacious, eye popping, African or Ankara print fabric that she purchased at a local store on west 95th street in the Chicago Beverly area.  This no fuss cotton fabric sewed up quickly and the finished press was nice and crisp.

Alesa received loads of compliments, and she was over-joyed with her "holiday outfit".  After her event, she reminded me that this would not be the last skirt I'd make for her. ;-)

Pattern Ready!

Happiest of Holiday!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Giveaway Winner! "A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing"

And the winner is:

Kitty please provide your email address so that I can forward it on to Sarah and Julie.    Just click on the profile Blogger link on my home page to send me an e-mail.

Thank you everyone for participating in the "A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing" giveaway.  

Happy Sewing!


Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Stylish Guide To Classic Sewing And Giveaway

I'm so excited to be part of the second book released by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr.  Earlier this year Sarah invited to be one of the contributors.    I was delighted to have an opportunity to be one of a select group of fabulous sewists/designers.

The look and feel of "A Stylish Guide To Classic Sewing" sets it apart from other sewing/style related resources.  It is well written and beautifully illustrated.  It's a great resource to help you sew and create a wardrobe to die for.

"A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing" examines 30 garment types that allow you to explore history, styling, sewing tips.  My favorite chapter is the Classic Garment Gallery.  This chapter features over 50 impeccably made garments.  Each photo is labelled with the style and references the page in the book.  This allows easy look up for interested style information.

Also, there is a classic pencil skirt pattern included with detailed instructions on how to make a beautifully tailored modern pencil skirt.  It doesn't stop there.  The resources section lists a plethora of vendors and references to help you fulfill your classic wardrobe dreams.  It's a winner all the way around!

"A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing" is available in paperback or for your Kindle.   If you would like to purchase a copy, it is available on Amazon

To my readers, I am happy to announced a book giveaway!  Please leave a comment with your name and e-mail address by tomorrow, December 8th , for a chance to win your very own copy!  The winner will be announced on my blog the following day.   The book will be shipped from the publisher C&T Publishing.  The winner residing in the USA will receive a hard copy. Those who reside outside of the USA will receive a digital copy. 

Book Release Blog Tour

As part of book release, Sarah has arranged a blog tour with several creators who are featured in the book's gallery.  Please stop by to hear what they have to say about the book.

Dec 2  Lori VanMaanen /    Blog - / Instagram -@girlsinthegarden

Dec 3 Andrea Birkan /  Instagram - @andreabirkan

Dec 4 Anita Morris /  Blog -  / Instagram - @anitabydesign
Dec 5 Karen Helm / Blog - / Instagram - @fiftydresses
Dec 6 Alex Florea / Blog  / Instagram - @sewserendipity

Dec 7 Lucy VanDoorn / Blog - / Instagram - @myloveaffairwithsewing

Dec 7 Cennetta Burwell / Blog  / Instagram - @cennetta_burwell

Dec 8 Manju Nittala / Blog - / Instagram - @sewmanju

Dec 8 Dorcas Ross / Instagram – @lonestarcouture

As alyways, thank you for stopping by my little space is the cyber world.

Now is the time to start creating "A Stylish Wardrobe".

Happy Sewing!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Rhonda's Shirred Wrist Sleeve Hacked Into A Shirred Forearm Sleeve - Notes on a Pattern - M8003 Part II

Happy to post about my little experiment with Rhonda's shirred wrist sleeve.  I decided to hack it into a shirred forearm sleeve.  It turned out beautifully. 

This was so easy to design/hack.  I made a shirred wrist sleeve for another McCall's m6964 knit top a few years ago.  That post is here.

Rhonda give you step by step instructions on how to make the shirring.  It's really up to you on how far you want to go with it.

I will use this sleeve again.  It adds style to a regular ole plain sleeve.  Below is how it looks just hanging.

Here are my tissue patterns for both sleeve designs:  shirred wrist and shirred forearm.  Try it; you'll like it.

shirred wrist sleeve

Shirred Forearm sleeve

Happy Sewing!

Notes on a Pattern - McCall M8003

Have you ever been so excited about a pattern so much that you envisioned wearing the finished garment with enormous confidence? Or have you ever worked so hard with resolving a fit issue that in the end still did not meet your standards?  Or have you found it too hard to just give up on making it just right for you?  Well, it happened to me.  AGAIN...,

This time with McCall's M8003.  The process started out as always.  I liked the pattern. I cut it out.  I made my pattern adjustments, so I thought. I cut out the bodysuit (at least that's what we used to call them in the 70's).  I put it together feeling like I'd followed all the steps just right.

Now, It's time to try it on minus the neckband, sleeves, and closure.  Multiple issues...,


Okay, Okay, let me give you some of the basic information about the pattern before I continue.

The Pattern Description from McCall's website.  Close fitting tops, or pullover with snap closing, mock collar or neck band, has length variations. B: Contrast yoke.  Sizes:  6-22 in two size groupings.

I used a ITY polyester/lycra knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  Love this fabric.  I purchased multiple yards in multiple colors.  Anyway, it was perfect for this bodysuit.

The instructions were clear and very easy to follow and so was the construction techniques.

After I examined my top and noted all of the issues, I looked back at the top modeled on the envelope and saw some of the very same issues.  My initial thoughts were, I didn't allow enough for the FBA.  But the model doesn't appear to need an FBA; yet the issue exist for her as well.

My first and most visible problem was the yoke.  I had adjusted it to include a partial FBA.  When I tried it on, it didn't fit across the upper chest.  My initial adjustment is below.

Yoke over the front top to show adjustment for FBA
 So, I ripped out the yoke.  Removed the adjustment from the yoke pattern, then cut another. To guarantee no gapping, I added clear elastic along the hem edge of the yoke before hemming.  That seemed to work.

Below is a picture of the modeled top on the envelop.  Take a look at the hem of the yoke.  So, it might be good  idea to add the elastic to help keep the shape of the yoke.  Again, another solution, may be to to lengthen it.  Maybe that will resolve the issue.

Next, I have vertical drag lines pointing to the shoulder.  My thought was the FBA and not enough length along the torso could be the cause.  Again, the modeled top has the same issue when the arm is in a relaxed state.

On my dress form the bodysuit looks perfect.  But on me a different story. I was talking to my friend, Rhonda, about the fit issues.  She suggested, cutting it off below the waist and then adding a new panty section with a little extra length.  Testing the adjustment to see if that works.  Well, I had already gifted this one to my sister.  She came over, tried it on, and it fit her with no problem. 

Sorry this is not a happy review.  I struggled with this one.  It took me hours to get it to a better state.  And I was still not totally pleased with the results of my efforts.  To complete the adjustment section of this post, my other adjustments are below:  FBA, prominent shoulder blades, and slightly forward shoulder.  No swayback or center back seam added.  It's a bodysuit and will be held close to the body.

I used the Sandra Betzina's FBA (no dart method).

I did make one design change, which I am very pleased. I used Rhonda's shirred wrist design to create a shirred forearm.  It looks great.  That will be the very next post.

I've put a lot of time into the bodysuit already, but I feel like giving it one more try!

Parting Shot:  I was gifted this snap fastener tape over fifteen years ago.  Never knew how I would use it.  So, instead of placing individual snaps on the closure, I used the tape.  Perfect.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Simplicity S8982 - The Great Wardrobe Builder

This Simplicity pattern can be used to build a little mini wardrobe.  For the SewYourView November Challenge, I came away with four new pieces:  three tops and one skirt.  They can be mixed and matched with other pieces I already have.

For now, this raps up my posts on S8982.  It's an easy pattern that you can get a lot of mileage out of.  Out of the four pieces that I made, my favorite is the hacked key hole top made of ITY polyester/lycra jersey.  You'll see this one again.

Anyway, this is more of a pictorial posts.  All of the pattern review notes are in the two previous posts.  Enjoy! More to come later.

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Just A Little Fun with Pattern Hacking - Simplicity S8982

Good morning everyone,

Just for fun, I decided to do a little pattern hacking  on Simplicity S8982.   So for the next top, I decided to add a keyhole. 

To make it, I simply traced my adjusted front pattern of view C.  Then, I determined the size of my keyhole. Transferred that to my copied pattern and cut the shape away.

Next, I cut a facing to finish the area.  The dimensions are:  1.5" by 12".  My length is based on the size of the hole.  Measure it and add a few inches for safety.

Next, fold the facing in half lengthwise and press.  attach the folded facing to the right side of the front.  Then, press and fold to the inside of the front.  Stitch it in place.  Now continue the construction as instructed by the guide sheet.  That's it.  Pretty easy.

BTW- I still plan to post pictures of me wearing the first outfit using this pattern.  It's a Mood post.  So I'm waiting for it to appear on their website first.  Anyway, below is a picture of the third top that I made.

Happy Sewing!


Friday, November 22, 2019

Notes on a Pattern - Simplicity 8982

Hi everyone,

It's been ages since I posted and even longer since I posted Notes on a Pattern.  Anyway, today I'd like to give some details on my pattern adjustments, talk about my likes and personal preferences using one of Simplicity's popular patterns for the Fall 2019 season.  It is also the "SewYourView" challenge pattern for November.

Simplicity S8982

Easy to Sew Misses' Dress or two-piece top and skirt. Designed and sized for stretch knits only. Dress is below-knee length with long sleeves. Top has straight or cuffed sleeve options. Pull-on skirt is elasticated at waist. Two length options. (description from the website.)

The pattern is available in two size groupings (6-14 and 14-22), which is pretty good for range of sizes available.  Because the pattern is so simple, you can easily grade it up if needed.

The instructions are pretty typical, no problems with understanding or following them.  I must confess, I didn't look at them until after I made my first top and skirt.  But because I'd wanted to do a Notes post, I decided to read them.  They are easy and all level sewists can follow them.

Looking at the drawing and the modeled view of C and D, the skirt appears to be tapered below the hip.   But the skirt pattern is exactly like the drawing, straight from the hip to hem.  So without any changes, your garment will look like the illustration.

I made a few fit adjustments and as well as personal preference changes.  Being with the top, view C:

  • FBA using Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit.  Her FBA eliminates the bust dart that the standard FBA creates.
  • Reduced the neckband by 1/2".  My first version still does not fit as snug as the modeled version.  For the next version, I reduced it by 1.5".
  • Prominent shoulder blade adjustment (with shoulder dart).
  • Swayback adjustment and slightly forward shoulder adjustment to correct the shoulder seam alignment. 
  • Added a centered back seam for a better fit. 
  • Because of the added width created by the FBA and PSB adjustments, I had to eliminate the added width below the bust by grading down a few sizes.  That is not illustrated here. I only showed the initial adjustments. I typically make that adjustment as I sew.

  • Lengthen the sleeves by 2"
  • Tapered the cuffs for a more attractive look.
  • I also lengthen the top by a few inches.  But this was done on the pattern after this top was made. 
  • Cut my usual size at the waist and tapered below the hip to the hem.  This change also produced a more flatter look and the skirt looks more like the skirt worn by the model. 
This is a good basic pattern that you can get a lot of mileage out of once you've worked out the adjustments.  For that reason, I like it and will use it over and over again.  If you're teaching sewing, it's a good beginner pattern.  Students will come away with a stylish outfit that is very easy to sew.  For me, it's a nice wardrobe builder.  So far, I've made three versions of top, view C, and one of the skirt, view D.   Next week, I will post me wearing my first versions of views C and D.

In the meantime, hears a picture of the outfit on Rochelle (I named my dress form).

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Christine Jonson Travel Trio Three 226 - Shirred Top

I'm still playing catch up with some pattern reviews and recent projects.  Real life, September and October were quite eventful to say the least.  So, I have a bit of a back log of things to blog about.  It almost always feel like I'm "catching up".

Today I'm review Christine Jonson's Travel Trio Three 226 - shirred tee.  Way back in 2012, I thought this was super cute but was concerned that shirred above the bust and how it may look on me.  My suspicions were right.  Not a good look on me.   So I decided to gift my sister.  It's a good look on her.

The tee is not a wader, just not good on me.  So that being said, here is my pattern review.

This tee is part of a mini wardrobe travel wardrobe pattern.  You can get the complete description here.  For the shirred tee, I simply copied the description from the CJ website.

Shirred Turtleneck/Raglan Tee: This top has long raglan sleeves and shirred yoke. It is designed to be close-fitting so that the bodice gathers will stretch tight vertically. The pattern also includes an alternative front pattern piece for a smooth and simple raglan top.  Multi-sized 4-22. I used size 16 only lengthening the sleeves.

My version does look like the drawing as far as style lines.  The striped fabric was a remnant from a dress that I made last year.  It was just enough for the back and sleeves.  The black and striped knit fabrics came from FabricMart Fabrics.

The shirring adds a few minutes more to the amount of time it takes to complete a basic tee.  The instructions were easy, nothing confusing about them.

I really like the shirred yoke.  That's what drew me to the pattern.   The fit of the turtleneck is spot on.  It's snug but not too snug, no drooping, just right.  I'm going to try the other tee view to see if it's a better look for me.  Hopefully, I won't need to gift another to my "happy to receive it" sister. ;-)

I do recommend this pattern to others sewists of all levels.  It's an easy one.  Both tee are perfect for wardrobe building.  The complement of this wardrobe pattern is cute too.  At some point, I will try those views as well.

That's all for now.  Have a great day!

Happy Sewing,


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