Monday, February 25, 2013

Butterick 5211

This lovely striped fabric was lingering in my stash.  I decided to use Butterick 5211 and make myself a fun dress.  Unfortunately, the camera doesn't capture how pretty this fabric really is.  The white stripes are really crisp and the navy and greens really complement each other.

Butterick 5211 is a simple 1 hour pattern.  Version A has a yoke front, Version B is just two pattern pieces and Version C has gathered, puffy sleeves.  I chose Version B.  It's my second time making Version B but I changed the sizing on my second version.  I went down a size and the fit is SO much better than the first (which hasn't been blogged).

I was trying to beat the rain in these photos - as soon as I stepped inside, it started to rain.  So here's my dress and how I wore it to work today.  I love this dress.

This is a poly jersey - it's soft and comfortable. 

I think I did a pretty good job at matching the stripes!

closer shot of the stripes

I tried to cut it so that the wider stripe hit my hip but I didn't quite measure right.  oh well, I'm still happy with it. 

This photo is dark because I was on the back porch - I left the length below my knees.  A friend of mine suggested my skirts and dresses would look better at this length.  I wasn't sure at first but now I see she was right!  
I'm really happy with this dress - it's comfortable and easy - what's not to love? 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Doing something (that should be) easy

Before I begin cutting out the muslin for the Cordova jacket - I'm in the mood to do something easy.

Here's my fabric and my pattern:

I will be making View B - the dress in blue.  I've done it once before but I didn't blog or review it.  I'll blog this one once I'm done

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Simplicity 1699 Jacket - All Done!

My little jacket is all done!!

I used Simplicity 1699 which is a pattern of coordinates.  It includes a jacket, a peplum top, a dress and a pair of pants.  I've only done the jacket so far.  I am so pleased with this jacket.  It was nice to get compliments at work today and that was before they knew I made it. 

I took these photos outside before the sun went away.  I hope they provide a good look at the jacket.  It's a very simple one - the bodice is lined and there are no closures.  You can add trim but I figured with the fabric I chose, it didn't really need it.  I can always add a button and a loop if I want to close it.

This is cotton eyelet fabric from Yellow Bird Fabrics in Utah.  

It's lined with cotton batiste.

(Why do I always look so serious?)  I love how comfortable this jacket is.  I wore this all day at work.

I cut a size 12. I didn't need to do an FBA or anything other than size up for the sleeves.  The 12 sleeves were too tight for my comfort. 
Maybe I should cut on the fold.  Next time I will. 
 If there was one thing I could change - it would be to cut the back piece on the fold.  There was really no reason not to, I was just following instructions.  But overall, I really like it and I think it came out cute.  I will get  a lot of use from this jacket.  I want to make more in a variety of colors.  It's a great summer jacket for the freezing cold office.  I think this one will look great with a red dress or a green dress. 

Once I was done with the muslin and the fit right, sewing the jacket went pretty quickly.

Conclusion:  I love it!  Another item to place in my clothing rotation. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Map Yourself

I would love to do a sewing meetup sometime.  But I no longer live in NYC nor in London nor in Wellington, nor any of those other cool places were people are meeting up to shop and have fun with fabric, swaps and patterns and stuff.  I'm a bit jealous of you all! 

So I mapped myself in Vicki's (Another Sewing Scientist) creative idea to map sewers.   I'm one of the blue dots over Central Florida. 

It's really a cool idea - here's the link Map.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Simplicity 1699 Jacket Muslin - Sleeve Head Adjustment

Wow - thank you guys SO much for your comments on my last post.  I am so grateful for your comments and suggestions. I really enjoy the sewing community - everyone I've "met" is so helpful and encouraging. 

I thought this jacket was going to be easy. Ha!  I've been working on getting rid of the pouf in the shoulder all morning.
So here's what I've done to fix my problem area:
  • I went up a size in the sleeve which worked great.  I have the ease I needed for my upper arms.  I'm going to line the muslin sleeve to make sure the ease is there once the lining is in.  If not, I'll adjust but at least I know what to look for now.
  • I removed over an inch of the sleeve head.  I'll show you in photos what I did.  There are quite a few photos ahead.  
 I used The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, which can be found here

Author: Sarah Veblen 

This is a step by step illustration of how to adjust the sleeve head to fit.  Basically, you fold away the "extra" and pin to fit.  I pinned and basted and tried on a few times to get the right fit.
 Here's a photo of the "extra":
See that piece that I'm holding? That was the extra amount of fabric that caused the "pouf" I didn't like.
I measured the amount I wanted to remove (less the seam allowance).
After this, I went back to my pattern. Knowing that the way the pattern is designed will not work for me in the future, I decided to trace, copy and adjust the pattern.  I learned this tracing method from Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch - link here
To trace my pattern I start with tissue paper.  I use the type that goes into gift bags - I paid 99 cents for a pack of tissue paper.

I then placed a sheet of wax tracing paper on the tissue.  The wax part goes face down.  I purchased this large sheet from Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch.  

Next comes the pattern piece - just lay down on top of the face-down wax paper (creates a sandwich)
Then I used my tracer - Easy!!

The line is faint in the photo above but you can see the pattern traced here.  I put the book right in the middle - the perfect pattern weight!

After tracing, I pinned the pleats in the tissue as seen in the photo above.  It created the sleeve head and curved just like the fabric did.  This made it easy to measure and cut.
That's the extra piece of my fabric cut out (minus the seam allowance).  I pinned it to the tissue and marked the tissue where I needed to cut.
Here's the extra portion cut off.
Here it is sewn onto my jacket. The tiniest pleat is still visible.  It still made the sleeve head jut out a bit but the fit was much better than before.
 I'm not sure if you can tell the difference between the photo above or this one.  Here I removed the pleat and just gathered the sleeve head.  I also shortened the shoulder about a 1/4" and the shoulder now sits perfectly.  I think this is a vast improvement.  

The photo on the left illustrates the sleeve head that was adjusted.  The photo on the right is before the adjustment.

Did I make a difference by cutting off the extra fabric?  Yes, I did.  The bunch of fabric is no longer there and the fit is better.   

(Sorry for the dark photos).

What do you think of the adjustment I made?  Does it make sense the way I made the adjustment?   I think I'm ready to use my eyelet fabric for the jacket now. 

Also, thanks to Chris Lucas - here's a link to more help


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Simplicity 1699 Jacket Muslin

You've got to see all the progress Victoria of Ten Thousand Sewing Hours (who is hosting the fun Fearless February Sew-Along) has made on her Burda 7192 pants pattern!

From the muslin, it looks like the pants are turning out great.  Can't wait to see them finished! 


I spent my Friday night working on my  challenge for Fearless February sewing a muslin of this Simplicity 1699 jacket:
It's a simple lined jacket.  I was surprised when I opened the package to cut out the pieces for the jacket and found there were only 3 pieces.  3!!
There are no zippers, no buttons (uh oh, maybe it wasn't so much of a challenge!)  The pattern does call for a Novelty Braid, which I'm guessing is sort of like adding an embellishment?  It should add a pretty element to my jacket. I'm not sure if I'll do that in black or white or a different color.  I can see this jacket with red or green or blue or yellow.... the color combos are endless!! 

The fabric I have chosen is this pretty black on white eyelet from Yellow Bird Fabrics.  I just have to say, I ordered the fabric over the phone and the customer service was great!! I was very happy with my fabric and the quick shipping.

I worked up the muslin with some kind of cotton fabric I had in my stash.  I think I got it from Joann's when I first started sewing last spring.  Here's my muslin:
I'm not crazy about the way the sleeve poufs at my shoulder.  What do you think about it? It feels a bit too snug around the top of my arms.  Should I size up or just sew a smaller seam? 

Here's a semi side view - I like the way the jacket fits for the most part.  There won't be any closures but there will be some kind of trim around the neck, hem and front opening. 

It falls right over my hip - there is a little fabric wrinkling at my waist in the back but I couldn't a good photo to show you.  I can update later if I can get someone to take photos for me. 

These photos probably all look the same but I wanted to see what it looked like with my hair down.  I always wear it down and over my shoulders.   

See those wrinkles?  That's just from trying it on for about 1/2 hour.

The shoulder has a pleat in it.  I'm not sure if I like that. 
So that's my muslin.  The only thing I'm not crazy about is that pleat in the shoulder of the sleeve.  I think when I sew the actual jacket, I will sew the seams less than 5/8".  Maybe with a little more room in the sleeve, they won't pouf up like that.  What do you think?  I'm not really sure what the problem is there.

What do you think of the way the jacket fits on me?  This jacket will mostly be worn with sleeveless tops or dresses.  I don't like showing my arms much so this will be perfect for wearing around the office or out with friends.

I would love to hear your thoughts!  I'm going to work on the muslin for the Cordova now.

Happy Sewing!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's finally time for Fearless February

 I'm a little late but I'm finally catching up to the lovely Victoria's Fearless February Sew Along!

Yes! Another sew along! The challenge is to make something that will challenge you.  Okay, at this point in my sewing life ~ almost everything is a challenge.  I've been learning how to alter patterns recently.  This is especially important since I have a multi-size body.  What do I mean by that?  Well, my upper body is usually on the smaller size of a pattern envelope, while my lower body is usually on the larger size of a pattern.  That wouldn't be a big deal if the two sizes I needed were both in the same envelope!  Yup, my booty needs it's own pattern envelope (does that even make sense!!??) 

So that's always a challenge... but I'm learning to deal with it. Learning how to grade to fit my hips has been an eye-opening experience (my hips are that wide?!)   Oops, didn't mean to digress....

Link here to view pattern:
For Fearless February I have chosen to sew a jacket.  I initially wanted to make the Anise by Colette Patterns. See the pretty image?  so nice and I do want it but....

  Well, it never really got cold here because where I live there are mostly palm trees: 
Image of University of Central Florida Arena -

That's not a complaint mind you.  I'm very happy with no snow and a mild winter.  (However, I do love to see the pretty photos of snowy neighborhoods)  But I decided that a wool jacket was not for me.  At least not yet.  Okay, so I was intimidated.  There, I said it.  Even with the awesome companion and all, I was a bit skerrred.

Anyways,  I'm sewing a jacket for Fearless February.  I have two in mind. 
Sewaholic's Cordova and Simplicity 1699:

 Not sure I'll do both in February, but I aim to do at least one of them.  Fabric choices are:
White and black eyelet

For Cordova ~ Aqua Linen

For Cordova ~ Orange/ Coral? Linen

So linen for my Cordova ~ not sure which color yet.  I also have purple but since I want this for spring and summer I think a lighter color would be nice.  I'm leaning towards the aqua.
And for Simplicity 1699 ~ the white and black cotton eyelet.

Do you like the idea of a linen jacket?  What about an eyelet one?  What would your color choice be?  (not limited to colors here)

Wish me luck!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hollyburn Skirt & Wacky Fabric

Do you remember the wacky fabric I posted a while back?  I really wasn't sure about how all the colors and crazy flowers would translate into the Hollyburn Skirt.  Rachel from My Messings hosted a Sew Along and I learned a lot.  I learned how to line a skirt  and how to finish the seams with French Seams and Hong Kong Seams. 

The skirt on the inside ~ I used French Seams to make the inside pretty :) I used cotton batiste to line the skirt.  It is so soft and comfy.
My zipper ~ I should add some top stitching to the waistband
My zipper - it's a little crooked but that's okay - I'm fine with it

 A HUGE Thank You to Rachel for an awesome sew-along!!  I really appreciate the time and effort that went into her posts.  It made the process so much easier for me.
 Enough talking ~ here she is!!:

 So my verdict on the wacky fabric?  I LOVE IT!!!  I really can't wait to wear this skirt. 

And here's what I'm going to wear them with:
My new shoes :) 
Happy Sewing!