Sunday, June 30, 2019

Kimono Styled Jacket - Palmer Pletsch McCall 7790

McCall 7790 - Designed by Palmer/Pletsch Melissa Watson

This kimono styled jacket/lounge robe was my first project finished at SewCamp.  I totally negated the fabric suggestions on the envelope.  The knit that I used is beefier than what they suggested and it was about 20% stretch in it.

I originally envisioned this as a dress, but that idea quickly went out the window when I realized how high the side slits were.  During the entire time of adjusting the pattern, I never once thought about the length of the side seams.

This pattern is available in two size groupings (XS, S, M) and (L,XL, XXL).  I used size Large with modifications, some of which I think I could skipped.

It does look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope.  Wearing it feels more over-sized than it looks if that makes sense.

The instructions were not confusing or difficult.  There is a better way to attach the hem band to the jacket though.  But I was able to follow the construction instruction and get good results.  Maybe later I'll do a tutorial on an alternative method that I've tried before.

My fabric was purchased at FabricMart Fabric last year during SewCamp.  It is a scuba knit.  What drew me to it was the floral and the bright red.  It speaks happiness.

My pattern alterations:

  • Full bust adjustment - I could have skipped that.  I don't have pictures.  Palmer/Pletsch included instructions on how to do it.
  • Prominent Shoulder Blades - I think I could have skipped that too.
Design Changes:
  • I excluded the lining.  The fabric was heavy enough, and I didn't care about adding one.

Overall, I really like this kimono styled jacket/lounge robe:  the curve of the front band in the neck area; the side slits; the sleeve band; and the style of the hem band. 

I dislike the construction for the hem band and the effect of the FBA.  The FBA created a gigantic dart!  When I make it again, I use Sandra Betzina's dartless FBA pictured below.

I do recommend it to others.  This is a great gift idea that most ladies will enjoy.

Stay Tuned; there is more to come!


Saturday, June 29, 2019

About Last Week - SewCamp

Gaylen and Jay Owners' of the B&B

Some of the lovely ladies at Breakfast

SewCamp was so much fun!  I had an opportunity to see some old friends and make some new ones.  I headed for Philadelphia early Thursday morning.  Andrea picked me up at the airport.  We went to get Philly Steak and fries.  Then off to JoMar for our first fabric shopping experience of the weekend.  After that, we picked up Laquana (of course, we had to bring her a cheese steak too. Lol)


Laquana with her sewing projects

Group after the shopping
Next stop Carriage Corner for our four day Sew Camp!  Within an hour of our arrival, we were all gathered in the sew studio selecting sewing stations and pulling out projects to sew.  On Friday after breakfast, we quickly got into the van and headed to Fabric Mart fabric.  Look at the group fabric haul.
Just a few pieces from my fabric haul.

Over the next few days, we did some serious power sewing.  Everyone enjoying the process and the company of fellow sewists.  There was all kinds of buzzing in the sew studio. We were helping fit each other, doing tutorials, snacking, and talking about the news of the day.  Gaylen and Jay are the best.  Hosting a Sew Camp is a big deal.  The preparing of the accommodations, meals, and sharing a lovely studio is a lot of work.  But Gaylen and Jay never failed to make this the most enjoyable experience.
Me with my sewing projects

On Saturday afternoon a few of us decided to take a walk to the local Quilt shop were they sold high end quilter's cotton and notions.  On the way, we stopped a fudge shop to pick up some treats.  After shopping back to Carriage Corner to continue with our sewing marathon.

Lady in the fudge shop

Fudge Shop

Carolyn kindly did photo shoots for each of us on Sunday and Monday.  Each of us have a series of photos to select from for Instagram and blog posts.  I think she took over 100 pictures of three outfits for me.  Great start for blogging my pattern and sewing project reviews.

Monday afternoon, my kind friend, Andrea, drove me and Laquana back to the airport for our flights home. I love everything about Sew Camp:  the location, the hopping, and the sewing with friends.  I'm looking forward to my next Sew Camp in 2020.

For more Sew Camp stories, check out these posts:

Carolyn, Diary of a Sewing Fantatic
Gaylen, gMarie Sews 
Andrea, Knit-Knac
Laquana, Made by Laquana 

Happy Sewing!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Simplicity Cargo Pants S5102 - A Little Challenge Among Friends

  • Fabric Selected CHECK
  • Pattern View Selected CHECK
  • Friend To Sew The Challenge CHECK
  • More Friends Can Join The Challenge _________________
Rhonda and I liked the Mood inspiration pants so much, we decided to do a little cargo pant challenge.   The pattern that we will use is Simplicity S5102.  It's out of print, but is still selling at some online pattern site.  If you like, you may join us.  Again, this is something that we thought to do for fun.

Our little challenge includes four cargo projects:  three pants and one skirt.  Each Friday (beginning July 5th), we will do a blog post featuring the finished project. The post will include a review of the pattern and the sewing process.   And of course some pictures of the finished project.  
  • Week 1 - Any cargo pants view of Simplicity 5102.
  • Week 2 - Use any cargo pants view and add some detail that you like.  For example, the lower leg zipper up the front of the inspiration pair above.  Really it can be from a inspiration photo or a pair of pants that you already own
  • Week 3 - Another view of the cargo pants.  Again, something special that suits your own personal taste and style.
  • Week 4 - Make a cargo skirt view of Simplicity 5102.
So we will have four weeks of showcasing our cargo projects.  Rhonda and I will also post on Instagram and in some Facebook sewing groups. Those posts will include the #sewcargocrazy and #sewcargo.  Please join us if you like.  It will be fun. 

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Inspiration: Cargo Pants

After returning home from SewCamp, immediately I started to reorganize sewing projects for the summer.  Part of that process is to gather some inspiration for the ideas that I could possibly incorporate in them.

Mood Inspiration Cargo Pants

Way back in May, Mood sent an email newsletter featuring the cutest cargo pants.  Then Rhonda posted it again on Instagram expressing how much she liked them.  She also posted on her blog an inspiration post for our cargo pant challenge.  We talked about doing a possible cargo pants challenge shortly after the Mood email.  I suggested Simplicity 5102.   I made them during the Summer of 2011, pictured above.  I need some new ones. :-)   (BTW- There will be a SewCamp post soon.)

So today, I wanted to feature some so cute cargo pants on my blog.

More to come on ideas and project for new cargo pants.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

I'm Still Here!

This month has been super busy for me.  On the first day, I was able to make two knit tops.  In my mind, I was off to a great start and hoped to post on my blog.  But someway, somehow, I didn't post anything.  I guess I can kinda blame IG for my lack of communication on the ole blog.  I seem to be spending more time on IG and watching YouTube than writing blog posts.

On the June 9th, the Haute Couture Club of Chicago was celebrating another year.  Our June banquet was at the Fortnightly, again.  I love this place and wish we could have it there every year.  At the June banquet we honor the current board of directors and install the new one board.  With the closing of the year, the current President (Rhonda Buss) inspired us with a Dior presentation.  It was wonderful. The imagines from the Dior exhibit were exquisite.  Rhonda's review of the of the exhibit was outstanding.  By the end of her talk, I was thinking about how to incorporate some "Dior" elements into my own creations.  So I'm hoping to do just that in this coming year.

Lowering the Bust Dart

Lowering the Bust Dart 2

Past two weeks, I've spent a lot of my time organizing projects, developing a few tutorials, and making pattern adjustments.  So I have about three "Notes on a Pattern" to post.  In the mist of all of this "sewing preparation" I was also preparing for Sew Camp.

I didn't forget about my own personal challenge of incorporating more neutrals in my wardrobe.  Along with the neutrals, I want I'm adding more greens and reds to my wardrobe.  These colors will soon splash across my blog and IG soon.

Let me not for forget that some of my absenteeism is due to no time to do photography.  Either the lighting in bad, it's raining, or too late in the day to take pictures.  These days I trying to improve upon the display of imagines on my blog and IG. 

Anyway, this concludes my little update.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Vogue 1275 - Fancy Shoulder Knit Top

I must admit that I was a little apprehensive about making this top.  It was on the "to make list" for about three years. The neckline and the trim seemed to be quite intimidating at first look.  To get pass that, I had to simply pulled out the guide sheet and the tissue pattern; then get to working on it. Throughout my sewing adventures, there has been multiple occasions when I thought the construction of something was more than I bargain for. 

I think many sewists shied away from this one because it appears to be more labor intensive than it really is.  I only found four online postings:  two on Pattern Review and two in blog land.  Anyway, I am very pleased with how my version of view B turned out. 

This pattern is designed by Sandra Betzina.  It is described as Misses' top: close-fitting, pullover top has neck binding and optional stitched hem on lower edge.  A:  Ruched front and elastic forms ruched effect on sleeves.  B:  Self-lined sleeves with ruffles.

The sizing is A to J.  I found that in many cases I do not have to do my usual full bust adjustments with Sandra Betzina's patterns.  For starter, I used size E.  But end up doing quite a bit of tweaking during the construction process particularly below the bust area.  At the waist and upper hip areas I stitched somewhere between C and D.  So my sizing was a little all over the place between E and C.5.

My top looked like the drawing as far as style lines and shape of the top.  The princess seaming on my top is more pronounced than in the drawing.  I did change some of the construction techniques and continued to modify the seaming for fit purposes.  The instructions were pretty clear.  There were a few steps that made me pause though.  The first was step 9. I wish the placement lines for the trim were indicated on the tissue pattern. I didn't follow step 6 to mark the line; I just laid the top on a flat surface and carefully pinned the trim in place.  Then I basted it to the shoulder area.  Finally securing it by machine.  The neck binding instructions weren't completely clear.  I didn't really indicate how the finished neckline should appear and it was a little wide for my taste.  So, for that step,  I trimmed off about .75 inch along the long edge of it.  And I trimmed off 1.25 inches of the short edge.   Next I folded it in half, pressed, and attached it to the neckline of the top.  To finish it, I turned the binding to the inside of the top and stitched it down covering the raw edges.  The center front was turned in twice, stitched down, and anchored to the neck binding.  So my binding does not show on the right side the top.

My fabric came from FabricMart Fabrics.  The floral knit is actually a remnant from this dress that I made in July 2018.  Because I only had 1.25 yards left, I used a black jersey for the lining of the sleeves.  Also from FabricMart Fabrics.  I didn't use the ruffle tissue pattern.  I simply purchased some trim that I liked from JoAnn Fabrics, which saved me a little time.

My Likes:
  • Princess seam front - easy for fitting.
  • Bust dart - it eliminated pooling of fabric along the bust area.  
  • The Fancy shoulder trim treatment.  I love it!  This is a nice embellishment.
My Dislikes:
  • No note worthy dislikes.
The only other change that I made was to do a swayback adjustment resulting in a center back seam.  No big deal there.

In conclusion, the construction process was really easy.   It was just a little time consuming with placing the trim.  I preferred my method of attaching the neck binding for this view.  Maybe if I make view A, I'll have exposed neck binding.

This pattern was published in 2011 and it is out of print.  So if you have it, give it a try.

BTW-  I'm still working on my neutrals garments.  This was the last top that I made in May.  And I wanted to get a post up on the blog this weekend.  There are two other tops that I made in May that I will soon post.  One is a neutral, warm beige.

So that's all for now.

Happy Sewing!


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