Thursday, April 11, 2019

March Recap and April plans

Hello everyone!

I hope your week is going well!  My kids were home on Spring Break last week, and I did not get as much done as I would liked, lol!  Sometimes the balance of life and family is hard.  I mean, one part of me wants to get a hundred sewing projects done, but another part wants to embrace the days with my kids that I know I will long for later.  

So, while I have a plentiful recap to share with you today, I am making this a "light" planning month because I have a project I am working on at the same time, and I don't think it will leave enough room to squeeze in other things.  I hope to share more about this soon...

Here are all of the garments I completed for March:

I still have to blog the Mccalls skirt, but here is a Sneak Peek as to how it turned out!

I must say that March was fairly productive for me.  I cannot attribute that to anything except being able to find small pockets of time to sew.  My son remarked that I am sewing things more quickly, and he was proud of the quality of my work.  To be honest, I hadn't even thought of that.  I do think I have been working on things that don't require me to second guess the pattern instructions, but I have also enjoyed making patterns that have a video sew along.  Sometimes I just pop on a video because I am too lazy to open up the instructions and actually read them (long days, busy life, tired mind, lol).  But, hey, it has been working!

Out of all the garments I made, I have worn the Mimi G tops the most.  The weather here has still been so unpredictable that I haven't gotten a chance to wear my dresses, but I will! We are finally experiencing temps in the 70s, and I fully plan to enjoy the weather. I think that overall, the Mccalls skirt is my favorite.  It has been so long since I made or even wore a skirt, lol!  To make one that fits so well--who misses RTW???  Not me!

This month I will probably forgo sewing a pattern of my choice.  However, I do plan on attending Project Sew Atlanta this weekend, and if I can get the pieces cut out, I will work on this.  If not, I have a few cardigan patterns already cut out and ready to sew, and I will take those along instead.  I guess you will have to stay tuned to see what I end up doing, lol.

This month the Sew Your View sew along is an Indie choice--the Erin Dress by Style Sew Me. This will be my first time sewing one of her patterns.

I will definitely make the dress version, and I am nervous!!!  It is such a stylish pattern, but not my style, and I am not sure if I will pull off the "look."  But then again, this is the place where creativity reigns!  I do LOVE the ties at the hem...LOVE!  I am working on making this my own, and must say that Crystal's version (@Crystalsewsandstuff) is awesome!!!!  I only hope to make a version as fabulous as hers!

While on Spring break last week I did get a chance to look at my quarterly goals.  This is something new I wanted to do this year to help me stay on track for the year.  Well, I put together a small graph to represent what my January, February, and March looked like:

I made a total of 10 pieces!  That means I am 4 garments past my goal of 2 garments a month.  I am excited to see that, but more than anything, I do believe I have learned so many wonderful things this year already.  

For starters, I am starting to like wovens.  While I lean toward jersey and knit fabric, the world of wovens is really opening up to me.  I love the opportunity to finish off seams beautifully, and the construction details are really nice a lot of times.  I still am apprehensive about fitting wovens, but I usually try on what I am sewing A LOT.  That seems to help a great deal.  So, yeah...wovens!!! Who knew?

Also, the variety of things I am sewing is changing.  I tend to lean heavy on tops and dresses, but as you can see, I got a vest and jacket in there!  For the second quarter, I plan to throw in some pants/shorts/capris in order to add to this mixture.

Overall, I am happy about where I am headed this year!  Everything has assimilated well into my current wardrobe, and I have made pieces I will wear again and again.

I hope your Spring sewing is coming along well, and you are off to a great start too!  I will be back soon with a review of Mccalls 7906.

Stay sew filled!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pattern Pickups from Joanns

Hello everyone!

By the time you are reading this, it will be April!    I have been squeaking in some last minute sewing for the Sew Your View Mccalls 7960 skirt (I'm late I know) and want to get that done before I move into housekeeping items. After that, I plan on posting a recap with all of my finished projects soon.

For today, I wanted to show you some patterns I picked up at Joann's last pattern sale!!  They had Simplicity for 1.99 and Burda for 2.49, though I think there is also a current sale on Butterick if you are interested.

I usually pay attention to sales on Burda patterns because they do not make it into the circular too often.  I have a love-hate relationship with the pattern instructions, but I am always drawn to their styles so that seems to override my hesitations, lol! 

For the first Burda pattern I had to go to two different stores to find it!  I am not sure if that means it will be popular, or that the first store just didn't have much stock for Burda.  Nevertheless, when I saw this pattern mentioned on the Curvy Sewing Collection a few months ago, I knew this would be a purchase for me:

I love both variations of this top! !  I am always trying to find an interesting play on a basic top, and I would definitely make a ton of these to beef up my spring/summer wardrobe!  Also, I love the cross ties at the neckline of the top on the right.  

My second Burda pattern is the result of a conversation with my husband on the way to Joanns.  I was talking to him about a cargo style pants that I wanted to sew, and asked him what he thought about this pattern:

Yep! He loved it!!  His favorite is version B, which are pants that convert to shorts by the addition of a zipper.  He said it just looked neat, and had a lot of great details.  So, sometime this summer I would love to make us coordinating pants.  The funny thing is, while I need a full butt husband needs a flat butt adjustment, lol!!  I am eager to see how well I could get a pair of pants to fit for him.  

When it comes to Simplicity patterns, I usually end up with a LONG list of faves.  I am learning to cull my choices to ones I will really use, and work with what I have.  So, my first choice was a NECESSARY ONE:

Yes Mimi G!  This jacket is everything to me!  I think I have mentioned it on the blog before, but I cannot wait to sew this one this year!

My next choice just looks like a lot of fun:

The neckline is so pretty, and I love the detailing of the different views.  The sleeveless version is probably my favorite, but I also like the view pictured on the model.  

Lastly, there is one that got away...

I only "wish" I would have gotten this one, so I will have to wait for the next pattern sale, or other versions to pop up online:

These pants had me at the pockets!! I think I ended up leaving it because it reminded me of an out-of-print Simplicity pattern in my stash that was not a pull-on version.  I was trying to be good and make up the other pattern first, but I may end up buying this one too.

Well, there goes my latest pattern haul!  If you got a chance to catch the sale, I would love to know which patterns you chose, or even ones on your radar.  

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Mccalls 7313 Two Ways

Hello everyone!

I meant to check in a few days ago, but I wasn't feeling the best, so I ended up dragging my feet a little on getting blog photos done.  Though I LOVE working with young children, between my toddler class and my own children, I end up taking a lot of Vitamin C to keep healthy.  That, and good old-fashioned handwashing, of course!  Anyhow, I am feeling better and I ready to show you my finished Mccalls 7313 dresses!

Today is another two for one!
Here is the first version:

This is View E in a size 10 graded to 12.  It is made from a recently purchased jersey from Fine Fabrics, and I love it!  Everything about this fabric lends very well to this pattern.  It has nice drape, a bit of weight to it, and is not translucent.  I was able to serge this dress together in about an hour, and I love the cap sleeve--it is my first attempt to get Spring ready!

Another nice feature of this pattern is the hidden elastic at the waist.  You form a casing to insert the elastic, and it adds an ever so slight amount of cinching.  

To finish off the hem, sleeves, and neckline, I decided to use the newest addition to my sewing space--my Juki MCS-1500 Coverstitch machine!  Yes, I have moved into the world of coverstitching, and I am so very glad to do it.  I got my machine around a month ago so that I could achieve more professional-looking hems on the knits I sew.  I unboxed it right away, read a bit of the manual, then set aside a day to watch videos and tinker with threading and using it.

I had researched lots of machines, and as soon as I read that the Juki MCS-1500 was a dupe of the Bernina L220 model, I was intrigued enough to buy one.  So far I have been nothing but pleased with my choice!!  It sews like butter, and though my initial investment to learn the machine was great (three hours), I feel very comfortable using it now, and have even switched out the thread (it's easy).  

Here is my second version:

Now this fabric is one I purchased from Fabricmart Fabrics roughly a month ago.  It is a double brushed poly and, while I like the dress, it is clingy.  I made this version exactly the same way as my first dress, but you can definitely tell this fabric has much more fluidity to it.  Even though I let out the waist elastic more than the first version, I am still getting some gathering where I have none with the other fabric.  

I think I will probably wear a jacket or cardigan with this version.  It is not an absolute love for me, but I do like the color, and I can always use it with other items I already have.

Overall, this is a wonderful pattern, especially for beginners!! There are SO many different variations to choose from, and  you can mix and match the sleeves and necklines to create the dress you want.  As for me, I am happy to add two dresses to my Spring wardrobe!

Starting this week I will be turning my attention to the Sew Your View Mccalls 7906.  Can you believe I haven't even started it yet?  I hope it is a quick sew, since March is almost over...  I will check back in at the end of the week and let you know how things are going.

Stay sew filled!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Simplicity 8750 Two Ways

Hello everyone!

I hope you are well!

I have to admit I have been under a lot of stress with renovating my kitchen.  There are many decisions to make, and it has been a bit more overwhelming than I thought it would be.  However, there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of stress I am under, and my ability to sew.  The more I feel stressed, the more I sew--for now at least!  

So today I am delighted to show you Simplicity 8750 done in two different views.  I will start with View A, the slouchy turtleneck version:

I knew that I wanted a basic turtleneck done in a neutral color.  Since I already had this gray ponte knit in my stash, this was my selected fabric of choice.  I made a size 12, graded to 14, and added 1" of length for my long torso.  All the pieces are serged, and I love the final result.  It is a great staple that I will be able to mix and match other items with.  

The gathers on the yoke piece create a nice effect, and I think they would be so pretty with different applications like lace or colorblocking like Mimi G's version.  The only thing I didn't like was wearing the turtleneck unfolded.  It took up most of my neck, and wasn't very flattering on me.  If I were to make this again I would decrease the pattern piece size slightly so I could wear it unfolded.  

For the second version, I decided to revisit the V-neck, or View B:

Since I chose a basic fabric for my first version, I thought I would spice it up some with the V-neck.  So this is a jersey print I picked up at Fine Fabrics a few weeks ago while scrambling around there on a busy Saturday.  It is also size 12 graded to 14, with the same adjustments.  Again, I really like the soft gathers on the yoke.  I love this top too, and have already worn it!

For construction, I would like to talk about two things as it relates to this V-neck tee.  The first is the assistance Mimi G gives with creating the V-neck and getting it to lay properly at center front.  I think she does a great job of breaking down the three tips she has so that you can sew the neckband well.  I would add that I found that basting the "V" center seam of the neckband, and aligning it to the basted "V" at the center front of the shirt was SO helpful.  That is what I have done with my Renfrew V-necks in the past, and that helped here as well.

Secondly, have you heard of the clipping method for inserting knit sleeves into tops?  I certainly hadn't, especially since I make it a habit to sew my sleeves in flat.  Well, just for fun, and to learn a new way of doing things, I decided to give this method a try.  Since it came recommended by Mimi G, I figured it was worth attempting.  It is so great!!!  

I have had instances where the sleeve cap is a little higher and less rounded, and that makes it harder to set in flat for me.  With the clipping method, you apply small clips along the garment sleeve edge to create the additional spacing you need to ease the sleeve in.  You can see it explained here (skip to 7:25).  It doesn't take very long since you are only applying the snips in a small area.  I still prefer sewing my sleeves in flat, but will definitely use this method again in knits with a higher sleeve cap.  

As you can see, this pattern is pretty versatile!  You can easily create nice basics, or turn it up another level with a fun print.  

I will be back next week to show you Mccalls 7313!  

Stay sew-filled!