Friday, February 23, 2018

Vogue 8918 - Even Better the Second Time Around!

I am super duper happy with my second version of Vogue 8918.  This is made from a thicker knit that doesn't have as much stretch as the last version I made. 

When I first started sewing the bust darts, I held it up and thought "uh-oh, I don't think this is going to work", but I kept on sewing. 

And then when the back darts were sewn and I could finally try it on for fitting purposes, I knew it was going to work. 

I couldn't resist using the bright blue serger thread on the inside too!

With my gray tights, blue shoes (which are in the donate pile at the moment - I took them off right after this photo!), and my orange necklace painted with fingernail polish, it's a winner! 

I also managed to squeeze  in a new curtain for the master bath.  There was only one yard of this available at the store and after the additional percentage off for the end of the bolt, plus my coupon, I figured what the heck!  I had some curtain lining fabric in the stash and if this curtain will give a few more years life to our existing bathroom before I finally get fed-up with it and break out the sledgehammer, then I think it was worth it.  

Pretty simple grommet top curtain that gave me all kinds of grief though.  My header was initially 3 layers thick and the grommets kept popping loose.  I tried to cut out the middle layer underneath the grommets, but that didn't work either.  So eventually, I just cut off the double fold and used some tape to finish the top edge.  In  my mind that is just the wrong way to make a curtain header, but hey, it's in the bathroom so I don't really care.  And no, I didn't need an entire yard to make this, but after messing up the top edge, I'm glad I had the extra fabric.

Sneak Peek:

Here's a sneaky peeky at two projects that are almost finished....

Just check out that back seam - how well it lines up.  I can only work on this dress in small time increments.  If you keep starring at the photo, you will know why....

Stashbustin stats:

Vogue 8918 dress = 1.5 yards
Bathroom curtain and lining = 2 yards
Total YTD = 9.25 yards

Remaining yardage to sew to meet my 100 yard goal = 90.75 yards.  Seems a bit daunting at the moment, but I'll get there!

What's next?:

Next up, after finishing the two other dresses above is, yes, another dress!  This will be called my "Electric Butterfly" dress.  Just check out this fabric!

Until my next post - Happy Sewing Everyone!


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Butterick 6377 - Done!

This could be my new fave t-shirt pattern.  With it's asymmetrical hemline, great fit thru the bust and shoulders, and the overall comfy factor, it's a win-win!

You may recall that I started this project with a bunch of leftover scraps from the stash.

After sewing the main body together, it was looking rather plain so I started playing with my printed elastic to try and jazz it up a bit....

It still seemed like it was missing something so it hung on my dressform in it's almost finished state for awhile until I figured out what it needed.

The missing element was a pocket!  Yes indeed - a little pocket to break up that black side and add some more interest to all of those intersecting elastics!

Here's a close-up of the neckline and some of the printed elastic on the shoulder front.

I considered adding a pocket to the back somewhere, but I'm glad a didn't. 

I really like this new top.  After it's first wear to work last week - it still looked good at the end of the day and the knit fabrics retained their shape.  I can see a few more of these in my wardrobe for this year.  Considering this was a scrap project, I think it turned out great!  Now - on with the stashbustin info:

Stashbustin update:

Total yardage for this blouse = 1.75
YTD yardage sewn = 5.75
Remaining yards to reach my 100 yard goal = 94.25

What's next:

Hmmm - I have three things cut out at the moment, another Vogue 1233 dress, another Vogue 8918  dress (in thay crazy blue/gray/orange fabric) and I just cut out a Matilda dress from Megan Nielsen in this cute green/yellow cotton batik with turtles on it:

I am deep into the stash sorting/organizing/documenting project and I will have alot of yardage to sell at this year's sewing garage sale so stay tuned! 

Until next time - Happy sewing everyone!

Friday, January 26, 2018

It's a Sewing Threesome!

Or in other words, my January MAGAM Challenge projects are finished!  As you may recall from my last post, the entrance into the new sewing year was going to be three projects using the same knit fabric.  My plan was to make a dress and two tops. And here they are!  Of course the sun decided to hide behind a cloud when I was taking the dress photos so it looks a bit darker, but I promise, they are all made from the same fabric.

Everything worked out great - after a few alterations.....

Vogue 8918 dress

I cut out a size 12 thru the bust and waist, tapering to a 14 at the hips.  The bust and shoulder area fit ok, but the sleeves, hips and that rounded neckline were giving me grief.

The sleeves looked like they were bat wings or something.  The black I used for the sleeves was VERY stretchy so I'm not sure if it stretched a little out of shape or if Vogue thought my shoulders were really supposed to be that broad.  They stuck out looking like wings right after the slope of my shoulder so I ended up restitching the arm about three times until it looked like something less prone to taking off.   And the sleeve length was just unbelieveable!  I cut off 4 inches in length - and that's before I hemmed the sleeves!  I think the pattern was truly designed for a bat with the very long wingspan!

As for the neckline - I thought the high rounded neckline would look pretty slick, but instead, it was making me gag when I put the dress on.  It was a bit too high for my throats liking so I ended up cutting off about 2.25 inches of it and making a more rounded neckline.  Here's the neckline pinned prior to modification:

Awww - I could now breathe comfortably again!

The hips - well - that was a simple alteration - just took them in about 1/2 and it was good to go.  Maybe I should have just cut out a 12 everywhere instead of taping to a 14 at the hips.

Simplicity 1642 top

I had doubts about the front slit in the top before I cut it out.  Visions of me bending over and seeing my belly button thru the slit kept coming to mind.  But I thought what the heck - if it doesn't work out at least I'll have two other garments made from the same fabric.

I proceeded to sew the garment in hopes that the slit wouldn't be too revealing.  Upon the first try-on sans sleeves, the gaping was starting to sneak in.  So I thought I would first baste on the sleeves and see if that made a difference.  With the sleeves barely hanging on, I tried it on again and found that the gaping was getting a little better and I thought to myself "if I just take in the front and the sleeves about 1/4 around the front armysce, this might solve the problem".  So that's what I did.  I started the extra 1/4 seam allowance at the middle of the overlapped front pieces and tapered to the normal 5/8" seam allowance for a total of about 4.5 inches as shown by the seam gauge below.

Now with my sleeves fitting a little more snug in the front, the gaping was now becoming more of a slit, rather than a vast chasm.  I then thought if I sewed the front sections together for a few inches between the armhole and the bustline, then the gap would have no option but to behave properly and that's exactly what happened!  Yeah!  No more viewing of the belly button!  

The neckline was another story.  I must have stretched it just a little too much when sewing the band on because now it was flipping up funny.  But never fear - that's where the trusty steam iron came in.  I put it on the dress form and steamed that neckline into submission and now it fits great.  Phew!  A garment on the brink of the trashbin had been saved!

My trusty turtleneck pattern

What can I say - I've made this turtleneck so many times that I knew if the other two garments totally bombed, at least I would get a turtleneck out of the deal!  And sure enough - the pattern didn't disappoint.

Stashbustin stats:

Between the three garments, I only had 3.25 yards of the printed knit to use and .75 of the black to use.  So, 3.25 plus .75 equals 4 yards to start off  my 2018 stashbustin' quest!  And now she's off and sewing towards that 100 yard goal again!

What's next?

My Butterick 6377 top is ALMOST finished and I'll be posting it soon.  After that will be the same Vogue dress again as you saw earlier.  Yes - I'm going to give it another try in a different fabric.  This one is sure to make your eyes go crossed - just take a look at this:

I bought that fabulous knit at the local quilting guild's annual sale last year.  I only have 1.5 yards of it, so the sleeves will be 3/4" in length.  I think I'll need some crazy jewelry to go with this too - maybe an orange bracelet?  And, I was thinking of adding an orange zipper to the back - just a short one - maybe from the waistline up?  Or who knows - maybe a full length one!  We'll see what I can find!  

Happy sewing everyone!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Goals for 2018 and my January MAGAM Project(s)!

Hi everyone!  It's now half way thru January and I have been thinking long and hard on my sewing goals for the year and I have quite a few!  I've broken down my goals into 4 different categories:

Garments to tackle:
- Jeans!  Let's face it - my bubble butt-to-waist ratio is impossible to find in RTW jeans and I am constantly dealing with gaposis at the back waist.  Having a decent pair of nice fitting jeans has been on my to-sew list for far too long and it's finally time to tackle a pair, or two, or three.....
- Pants - Same issue as above - These too have been on the to-sew list for the same reason.
- Bras - I am not a fan of bras, period.  I take mine off as soon as I get home - sometimes even on the drive home!  Maybe it's because I have never had a decent fitting bra - one that doesn't feel like a straight jacket or keeps riding up all of the time.  Is that even possible to find?  Maybe a handmade bra will be answer to my lingerie dilemma!
- Sew something reversible - not sure what - but something!
- Start sewing more Burda patterns!  My wardrobe has been in a boring slump lately and I'm finding myself wearing the same things all of the time.  I have previously subscribed to the Burda magazine for years and have a ton of cool patterns just waiting to be traced and cut out.  Time to start looking thru those mags and add some interesting pieces back into the wardrobe!

Using up the stash:
- Continue to sew thru the stash towards my New York shopping trip!  I plan to sew another 100 yards this year.
- Sort thru all of my scraps and get rid of the teenie tiny ones and the ones I don't truly see myself using.
- Sort thru all of my current stash and if I don't love it, it's time for it to move on.  Those lovely pieces will be sold at this year's Sewing Garage sale which is April 28th this year so that gives me approximately 4 months to complete this task.  Add all of the remaining pieces to the "Cora" app.

- As you are aware, I already track how much fabric I sew, but I'd also like to track how much fabric I purchase throughout the year so truly get a grasp of how much fabric I have and just how far away (or near!) that New York trip is.  I believe the Cora app will help me accomplish this - along with my trusty Excel spreadsheet that I currently use to track my sewing progress throughout the year.
- Track how much I'm spending on my hobby - this could be a scary one.....
- Track my pattern usage.  I have alot of the Big 4 patterns and not so many Indie patterns.  I need to give some of those unopened patterns a try!

For fun:
- Redecorate the sewing room this year.  I have two awesome ideas so far!

January MAGAM Project(s)

My January MAGAM is going to be three garments - all pretty simple and all using the same knit fabric.  I purchased this knit at last year's sewing garage sale and there was a total of 3.25 yards and it was 60 inches wide so there was quite alot of yardage to work with!  Here's the knit:

And here are the patterns I'll be using:

For the Vogue 8918 dress - I'll be making View B - the one with the different colored sleeves.  I have a small scrap piece of black knit that I'll be using for the sleeves.  The Simplicity 1642 pattern will be the top - again, using the black knit for the top yoke portion.  And lastly, I'll use the rest of the fabric to make my trusty two-hour turtleneck pattern that I just love!

Update on Butterick 6377

My current project of the Butterick blouse using up multiple scraps has come to a stand still.  After adding the strips of printed elastic to the seamlines, it seems to be missing something on the side with all of the black.  I'm thinking a pocket or something?  It still needs to be hemmed, but I think she'll hang out on the dress form for a few days while I figure out how to add some interest to break up that vast sea of blackness.

Until next time - Happy sewing everyone!


Friday, December 29, 2017

A quick way to lose 10 pounds (on your dress form!) and V1233 - Another fav dress pattern!

I have finally finished Vogue V1233 - a Pamella Roland design and couldn't be happier with it.  I actually made a muslin for this dress to make sure the fit was just right which is where my dress form's extra poundage was causing me problems.

I cut out my usual 12 thru the bust/shoulders/waist and tapered to a 14 at the hips yet when I put the muslin on the dress form - I couldn't get the center fronts to match thru the hipline.  "Well that's odd" I thought.  So I put the muslin on myself and bingo - the center fronts matched all the way down.  Hmmm, I thought - the DH must be right!

I should back up here...  A few years ago, I went to a class to learn how to pad my dressform so it would look exactly like my shape.  In the class we took multiple measurements of ourselves and using batting, you would then "pad" out your dress form until those measurements were the same as your own.  Then you make a flesh colored cover that zips over the form and the extra padding and voila - your dressform looks like you!  Well - as soon as I brought my new body double home from the class, the DH said "Your a## doesn't look like that!" and of course I didn't listen to him.  Bless him!  The muslin though proved him right!

Determined to get the two of us looking the same, I unzipped the cover, and removed about 1/2" layer of padding from the backside from hip to hip (along with a few other small adjustments), put said cover back on and now, NOW, two years later,  it finally looks like me and the muslin fits the dress form too.  I tried to get the DH to compare our bums with a little hand cupping, but he wouldn't do it (Chicken!).  Oh well, I did and they pretty much felt the same to me now.  No wonder my clothes have been running a little on the large side lately!

I did make a few changes to the pattern based on other sewists comments on
  • Fellow sewist's mentioned the front covered placket area seemed to gap when sitting down so I decided to eliminate the placket all together and continue the line of buttons down the front instead.  I prefer the look and continuity of the buttons this way too so that was a win/win for me.  To eliminate the placket, I just cut out the left front facing piece twice and eliminated the right placket piece.  It was super simple!

  • I also eliminated the sleeve.  I figured that small piece they call a sleeve would end up annoying me and seemed to serve no real purpose so I just left it off.  Because of this change, the shoulder line was way too long so I ended up cutting the top of the shoulder seam 1.3 inches shorter and tapering around the entire armhole.  I finished the armhole with bias tape.  

  • The front upper princess seam was taken in 1/8" each side from the bust to the armhole.
  • The back upper princess seam was taken in 1/4" each side from the mid-back point to the armhole.
  • I used size 12 thru the bust and waist and tapered to a size 14 thru the hips.  Here's the muslin after all of the changes:
  • My buttons down the front vary in size by 1mm, starting at the waistline but can you notice?  As they say "If you can't see it from a galloping horse - don't worry about it!".  After all, the buttons on the pockets are smaller than the rest too!

I love the collar on this dress - isn't it fantastic!  

Don't think it can be worn up though - it's just too tall!

I forgot to mention the lining fabric.  It's a cheap polyester print that I purchased at the sewing garage sale too.  It matches quite nicely though!

I can see another one of these dresses in my future - in fact, I have the fabric already selected and ironed.  It's just hanging out on the back of the couch until I can get it cut out.  It's a fabulous cotton that I purchased at Robert Talbott's outlet in Carmel Valley a few years ago.  It has been in the stash patiently waiting for the right pattern to come along and it has finally presented itself!  I actually had the fabric in the "For Sale" pile for last year's garage sale, but took it out at the last minute and thank goodness I did.  I think it will look FABULOUS sewn up into this dress!  Here's a preview of the fabric.  The pattern definitely makes your eyes go crossed when you look at it so I may need to sew this dress in small increments of time to save my eyes!  It was hard to look at just on the ironing board!

Ok, so on with my stashbustin' stats for 2017.  As this is probably my final garment for the year - let's see if I hit the 100 yard mark.....

Yardage for muslin = 2.375
Yardage for dress = 2.75
Yardage for lining = 2.375
Total YTD = 100.66 

Whoo! Hoo!  I barely stitched my way passed 100 yards, but I made it!  Whoo!  Hooo!

So - What's next on the cutting board? 

My next project is going to be a simple one since this dress took me quite a long time to sew.  I'll be using up some scraps to hopefully make a wearable muslin of Butterick 6377.  You may recognize some of the fabrics from The Bristol Dress I made a month or so ago.  I only have small amounts of each fabric left and just couldn't bear to throw them away so I'll see how this combination turns out. 

Until next time - Happy sewing everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Some Christmas Projects

Hi everyone!  It's been a few weeks since I've posted and life has been very busy!  I have managed to squeeze in a few sewing projects for friends and family so I thought I would share them with you.

First up is a sewing wreath I made for our local sewing guild's Christmas party and gift exchange.  I have been saving my old thread spools for a number of years knowing that I would use them for something and finally, I came up with that something idea!  I wrapped the empty spools using quilted Christmas themed scrapbooking paper and then hot glued the spools to the wreath.  It was still looking a bit plain after adding the spools so I thought adding some buttons would spice it up a bit.  Of course I did buttons stacks too.  I think it looks quite cute!  So much so, that I might just make one for myself!  Every sewer needs a wreath for their sewing room door don'tchathink!

Next on the gift list was some napkins for the Christmas party host.  Using some linen I've had in the stash for years, I edged them with red woolly nylon on the serger.  

I made two of the Fat Quarter Gypsy's Pop-Up cans.   Here's what they look like fully open and then flattened.  Do you recognize this fabric?   It was remnants from my ironing board cover.

And lastly I have three Sew Together Bags and a set of potholders.

Here's the total yardage counts for these projects:
- Napkins = 1.5 yards
- Pop up cans (2) = .75 yards
- Sew Together Bags (3) = 3 yards
- Potholders - .5 yards
Total for all of these projects = 5.75 yards

That brings my YTD stashbustin' yardage total up to 93.16 yards.  I'm getting close to the 100 yard line and I think I might hit it!  My Vogue 1233 dress is almost finished - just need to do the hem and the armholes and it's finished. 

Happy Christmas to everyone and I hope Santa fills your stockings with lots of sewing goodies!