Friday, January 31, 2020

What's Going On

Hi everyone,

It's been a minute! Okay, several minutes (weeks) since I last posted.  I've been quiet on the blog this month, but I'm busy working multiple projects with most of my sewing time being sent of my latest coat project. This will be the second year that I chose to make a coat close to Spring instead of in the fall.  Believe it or not, it's a good time to make a coat in preparation for the next fall/winter season.  The excitement of having something new is not lost because it is the end of the season make.  Living in the mid west, I can expect at least two more months of cold weather and will probably get to wear my new coat at least a few times before it's stored in the coat closet. Then when winter comes again, it will be just as nice to have a new made coat to keep me warm.

My new coat is made using a Simplicity Project Runway pattern that I purchased many years ago.  I'm calling it a coat of many pieces.  The version that I'm making requires the use of 21 pattern pieces.  That's a lot!  I'm using a black wool blend from Minerva Crafts online store.  The plan this weekend is to finish my coat.  So stay tune to the reveal and full review.

Another thing that has been keeping me busy is pattern preparation for upcoming projects.  This year, I'll be trying several new jacket and dress patterns.  When I say "new" I mean it will be the first time to make something using them.  I'm continuing my plan to make a variety of jackets/coats to complement my wardrobe.  Additionally, my dress collection is a little anemic, in my mind. ;-).  There are a few I want to make this spring and summer.  Below are a few that I'm currently working on with  potential fabric already to cut and sew.

Mood Fabric #328986

Mood Fabrics #MD0368

So, that's my little sewing update.  Hopefully I'll have another post up before next week.

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Vogue V1275 - The Other View

After making and being happy with the outcome of view B, I was still on the fence about giving view A a try. My apprehension was centered around the ruching and if it would make me look fluffier than I am.  These days I'm focusing more and more on making good choices for flattering styles and colors.

As the years go by, gravity and metabolism try to take over the shape and density of my body.  More than ever exercise and better fashion choices are  of great importance.  I try to always look my best.

So when I decided to go ahead with making view A, my thought was the ruching is center front as oppose to on the sides.  This might work for me.   

This view didn't take as long as view B.  The difference was the careful placement of the trim and the experience of first time sewing a pattern.  The ruching was only a matter of gathering up the front to fit the side front sections.  The elastic wrist, quick and easy:  measure, cut, place, and sew.

My fabric is from Mood. A polyester jersey that is nearly sold out. 

 Mood has other similar fabrics that are equally beautiful. 

I'm happy I decided to give it a try.  Another successful make in the knit top category.  BTW- I've been sewing a lot of knit tops lately. (NOTE: a few more to post from last year.)  I think it's time to make some woven shirts and blouses.

Vogue 1275, View B 2019
Anyway, this is another win for me.  I do recommend both views of Vogue 1275 if this is your style.  So, if you have the pattern give it a try.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

New Look NL6013 Finished Jacket Reveal - Not Just One But Two

Finally, I have some pictures of me wearing my new jacket!  Sometimes it is a challenge coordinating my photo shoots with my DD schedule, But we final got it done!

Here is the link to the first post on New Look NL6013 Jacket Project. 

If you read the title of this post, you'll know that I not only finished the first jacket.  But also made a second one.  All of the adjustments were so labor intensive, I decided to go ahead with making another one.

My second version is made with a stretch woven from Fabric Mart.  I bought this fabric last June while attending Sew Camp.  It is like a beefy scuba knit, heavy enough for a coat.  The stretch is maybe 1 or 2 percent, not a lot.  I love the rich color of it and am very glad I bought it.  This fabric caught my eye after I made my big purchase.

The sewing was easy.  No more major adjustments needed.  For this jacket I decided to make it as designed:  no lining or welt pockets added.  I added another inch to the length of the jacket, making it a total of three inches added.  The original jacket length is more like vest length.  With my board shoulders the shorter length makes me look wider than I am.  And that's not good.  The new length is perfect.

I did make one other change: no shoulder pads.  This fabric has a lot of body and holds it's shape very well.

I didn't have enough fabric for the under lapel.  So I used a Marcy Tilton ponte knit remnant.  I was so happy I kept it.  Turns out it was the perfect weight, lighter than the jacket fabric.  A plus as it reduced the bulk along the neckline. Score!

I'm happy with the outcome of both jackets.  The first has a few tailored features and the feel of the natural fibers is wonderful.  I'm very pleased with how the welt pockets turned out. The second jacket is more slenderizing; the fabric a little stiffer but wear well.

So that's it for New Look 6013 jacket for now.  I'm working out my sewing plans for February, which will include a coat and a skirt so far.

Oh I forgot to mention, sewing for January, 2020:  two jackets, two pull over tops, and one pair of pants.  The pants are a waddler. I'm actually wearing them with the first jacket.  All kinds of issues.  More on the January sewing review later.

Happy Sewing!

Unexpected Gifts

Sometimes it takes me awhile to incorporate my Christmas gifts into my other belongings.  Last week was the second phase of this process.  I'd put all my small bagged treasures in one area of my room to look at and to admire after everything had settle back to normal.

I received three little golden bags, each containing a handcrafted beaded insect.  These treasurers were made by one of my daughter's good friends, Melissa. Her gifts were totally unexpected.

You see Melissa is currently unemployed and has struggled with finding a job.  You would think that this smart cookie, who graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago would have no trouble finding a job.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.

But the lack of money did not stop Melissa from spreading the Christmas cheer.  With seed beads, she delightfully weaved many gifts to give at Christmas time.  I'm one of those lucky recipients.  And I had to share this act of kindness.  So many times, people are sad during the holidays because they are unable to give gifts.  Melissa and others, do found creative ways to make their own.  These gifts are the most priceless.  Simply because they took the time and effort with little resource to found a way to give something special.  I thought it necessary to share this act of kindness. 

I decided to make mine little bugs wearable art.  I'll add some felt and a brooch pin to the underside and proudly wear them on my jacket lapel or on the shoulder.

Anyway, like I said, I just wanted to share this act of kindness by Melissa.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Merlot Crepe Knit Coordinates - Sewing Workhop Pearl Cardigan and S9017 Pants

Today I'd like to share an outfit I made for my book club holiday party (2019).  I wanted to keep it simple. I paired the Mood's Merlot crepe knit with the Sewing Workshop Pearl cardigan and Simplicity S9017 pants.  This is a beefy fluid knit that is perfect for fall and winter apparel.   Before cutting into it, I tossed it into the washer. It came out of the dryer with the same touchable softness, unchanged color, and beautiful recovery.

Jewel tones are my favorite.  The rich hues of purple, red, and green are staple colors in my wardrobe. I'm always on the hunt for these vibrant beauties.  That's why I had to have it.  Too bad, it's no longer available, but there are several gorgeous purple textiles in Mood's warehouse just waiting for you.

The Pearl Cardigan is loose fitting with a front casing and drawstring to ruche, cascading side panels, back waist seam, long sleeves and narrow hems.  The wrong sides of the cardigan will show.  The cardigan can be made up in a variety of fabrics from ponte knit to linen and silk.  All sizes are available in the pattern XS to XXL.  I used a size large with a lot of modifications.

For the most part, it looks like the drawing on the envelope.  From the pattern drawing it is difficult to see the fullest of the collar.  There is quite a bit of fabric that bunches up around the neck. 

The instructions were super easy to follow. Nothing confusing about how to assemble the cardigan.  That was one of the things that I especially liked about it.  My challenges were more with the fit and choosing the appropriate size.

My other likes were the drawstring and the drape.  This was an interesting design element.  You could wear it loosely drawn or as I'm wearing it with lots of ruching.

My dislikes are the huge amount of fabric that bunches up around the back of my neck.  If I make it again, I will definitely reduce the width of that area.  Secondly, the length of the shoulder seams.  Extremely long.  The shoulder seam was about 1.75" too long for me. Thirdly, the size large was like an XXL on me.  This pattern runs BIG.  I had to take it in several inches all the way around.

 My other adjustments:

  • For starter no FBA needed.  Hooray!
  • Added center back seam and back darts.
  • Reduced length of shoulder seams by 1.75"
  • Reduced the side seams by 1.5"
  • Reduced width of the sleeve by 1.5"
All of these reductions gave my cardigan some shape, and now it looks like the picture on the envelope.  Happiness..,

With that being said, next;

The Pants Simplicity S9017

Easy, easy..,

Front, back, and waistband.  These pants sewed up like your typical pull-on pants.  No significant changes other than to lengthen the pants by several inches.  I don't particularly care for cropped pants.  From start to finish, it took me about 2.5 hours to make them, which was a great finish to an outfit that I'd spent more time than I thought I would.

In the end, I was able to wear my new holiday outfit with a smile.  So happy this one did not hit the can!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, January 17, 2020

I Love A Great Twist Top - McCall M7975

Last night I finished  my second project for January, 2020.   It's McCall's M7975 Twist top.  I was inspired to try it after seeing pictures of it made up on Instagram.  I love how it turned out. 

I was able to make it with minimum fit adjustments.  I made view D using size medium with modifications. 

No FBA was needed!  This pattern runs big.  I graded it up just a little bit from the armhole through the bust areas.  I added a center back seam and shorten the length of the neckband about an inch.  Those were the only changes.

My top does look like the view D on the envelope with the exception of the bagginess underarm on the model. 

The twist might seem tricky, but it's not.  Just take your time and follow the steps.  There is nothing to dislike about this top.  I like all of the views.  The sewing is easy.  The instructions typical, with nothing confusing in them. A good fast project.

I love a great print.  My jersey knit comes from New Rainbow Fabrics.  (They have some great knits and special occasion fabrics.)  It has about 40 percent stretch and great recovery.  The print theme is "Star" with stars and fashion play ladies scattered throughout the print in every direction.  The colors are great for me as browns, tans, and purple are in my preferred color palette. 

I'm thinking about making a few more of these.  So I definitely recommend it to all level sewists.  So, that's completes my little review.  I have two more projects to complete this month.  Snow is headed our way this weekend.  I'm staying in to sew, cook, and watch Tyler Perry's new Netflix's movie, "A Fall From Grace."

What are your weekend/sewing plans?  Whatever the plan, have fun! ;-)

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Notes on a Pattern - New Look NL6013 Jacket

New Look 6013

It's time for another "Notes on a Pattern".  I spent last Saturday afternoon/evening working on my first jacket of 2020.  My initial pattern adjustments were made late 2019, and I cut the jacket out the first week of January 2020.  So on Saturday everything was ready to sew.

I became interested in making this jacket last summer when I saw a few projects posted on Instagram.  I've wanted a shawl collar, princess seam jacket for a while.  Jackets are something that I'm lacking in my wardrobe.  This one is a good start to filling the gap.

So, let me start with some basic information about the style of the jacket and pattern information.  This jacket is part of a New Look wardrobe pattern (NL6013).  It is to make an unlined with princess seams, pleated sleeve caps, and a shawl collar.  The closure is one loop at the base of the collar.  It is available in sizes 4 to 16.  I used size 16 with modifications.

The instructions are typical, easy to follow, and no points of confusion that I could see.  My jacket does look like the drawing. But I made a lot of changes to satisfy my own personal taste for construction and sewing techniques.

First, allow me to start with the initial adjustments.  I include this information a lot.  The reason is some of you may need to make similar adjustments and my changes may be helpful to you.    These pattern adjustments are typically the initial adjustments.  Then as I sew, I continue to fit as needed. BTW - I didn't make a muslin. 

So, I begin with some tissue pattern fitting it assess how much more or less circumstance space I'll need.  And to see if the jacket is the right length for me.  Below are two photos with my basic adjustments:

  • FBA 
  • Tucks on the front jacket and the collar at the fullest of the bust.  It helps eliminate gapping along the collar opening.
  • Swayback adjustment.  Both back patterns are adjusted.  
  • Slight Prominent shoulder blade adjustment. Not shown in the pattern adjustment here.  Sorry.
  • Lengthen the entire jacket by 2".  It just needed to be a little longer for me.
  • Not shown.  I lengthen the sleeves by 1.5"
Once I put the body of the jacket together, I continued to fit.  My biggest issue was at the upper and fullest of the bust area.  There was way too much fabric throughout that area.  I tried several times to eliminate the extra with little success.  It wasn't until I ripped out the seam from the upper bust to just below the bust area was I able to get a good fit.  Wish I had done that in the first place.  I literally pinned out the excess with the jacket on one side at a time. Then, I basted the seam to check if the fit was right.  BINGO!  It's a fit!  The other area of  change was the lower back and lower side seam areas.  These changes didn't take much time to adjustment as I often make these changes after the swayback adjustment.

Now onto my other preferred changes for jacket sewing. 

  •  First, lining this style of jacket is a preference.  Secondly, my fabrics dictated the need for a lining.  It's loosely woven and soft.  The lining adds support and stability.  With the lining, the jacket guides on.  Plus, quite a bit of time and effort goes into a well made garment; it's good to make it last.

  • Interfacing the hemlines (not all are shown here), upper back area, and adding sleeve heads for support and stability.

  • Welt pockets.  I change them from mock to real welt pockets.

My fabric is a medium weight tweed wool blend.  That was great to work with.  It's from Mood.  In the online descriptive information, it indicates that it is pre-shrunk.  But I did stream it using the iron on highest steam setting as an added precaution.

I was well pleased once I completed all of the fit adjustments and construction changes. My after thoughts were: 
  • I should have made a muslin.  I spent a lot of time tweaking the fit.
  • Hurry, transfer the changes to the tissue pattern, but leave some room for varied fabric weaves and textures.  Because a tightly woven fabric may require a little more width across the bust and upper back. 
  • My pockets look nice, but the welt could have been an inch longer.

This is the end of this installment of "Notes on a Pattern".  I hope to show you my finished jacket soon.  It needs a hem and a button sewn on.  So, I hope this posts has some helpful information or at least encourage someone to sew a jacket.  It's a great feeling of accomplishment when you are able to complete a wearable, likeable jacket.  I recommend this jacket pattern.  It's cute. ;-)

Happy Sewing!



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