Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vogue 8536 Revisited "Psychedelic"

Hello everyone!  It is mid-week, and I have a stylish tee to show you!  Somewhere in the middle of my jeans making I realized I needed a small respite, so I could at least feel like I was making progress on my Fall sewing goals.  So, I decided to revisit a pattern I sewed earlier this year, Vogue 8536:

My version is similar to the pattern, with a few variations.  I decided to do a 3/4 sleeve in order to make this a great transition piece.  Also, there is no hem slit at the sides.  Other than that, it is the same.  

For fabric, I used an ITY knit from Fabricmart's Julie's Picks club.  This fabric was my attempt at trying something new, and stepping outside of my "box."  Woo hoo!!!  I love this fabric!  In person it has a psychedelic feel.  There is a slight sheen, and it looks so doggone luxurious.  It really makes this basic design pop!

For adjustments, I played around some more (you all know me and the fun I like to have with fit) with the pattern, and ended up with this:

Size 10
Square shoulder: 1/4"
Broad shoulder: 1/4" (Which I really did NOT need)
Forward shoulder: 1/2" (A little too much, but not noticeable)

In all my fit fiddling, I missed out on the fun of doing a swayback adjustment, but that's ok. I used Craftsy's class Custom Fitting for Back, Neck, Shoulders:

 The instructor, Kathleen Cheetham uses a slide and pivot method for most of the adjustments, and really does a great job to getting more in-depth about why certain adjustments are needed.  I have some fitting handbooks, but I was really curious about knowing the "why," so I could figure out the "what."  The last time I made this shirt, it looked great, and I wore it for the Superbowl; however, I kept getting this annoying pulling at my shoulders.  I am happy to report that this shirt does not have that annoyance factor.  When I wear it, I feel pure joy!

As a side note, I wanted to give a little construction details.  Can you believe I got my serger out for this tee????  Yes, I sure did!  I finally realized that I used to finish my projects a bit speedier because I used my serger--A LOT!  And I wasn't at all tentative about using it in the past.  In fact, I got pretty good the more I utilized it.  So, I am getting over my fear!!!  The worse that could happen is a mistake.  And even then I still have options (hint, hint, buy more fabric).  

For the neckline, I had no issues with it coming together.  However, my problem was with my twin needle.  Ugh!  I really do not like twin needles anymore.  I am just hanging in there for a coverstitch machine.  I used a stretch twin needle, loosened my tension (upper I believe), stabilized my seam, and I still got skipped stitches with a little bunching.  Thankfully, this tee is a print so you can't tell, but if this was a solid color, I would have been disappointed.  I read about trying wooly nylon thread in the bobbin, so I am going to try this next.  If you can see, I have left the hem unfinished for now, but I did get a good hem on the sleeves.  I just didn't want to risk skipped stitches on the bottom hem.

So, I bet you aren't surprise to hear me say this about V8536:

It is still a great basic shirt to make!  My only slight critique is the excess ease in the sleeve head, but that is a small issue to overcome.  There is a wrap top option in this pattern that I will probably come back to, but for now I have another top in mind.  However, I am not opposed to making this one over and over--and over again!

Before I go, I have set a deadline for my jeans to be finished by October 1st.  I will update about my jeans again soon.  I have decided to work on tops in conjunction with my jeans.  I am doing it with the hope that I can begin making a real dent in my Fall sewing plan before Fall actually gets here!

My next top choice is:

It will be View A, the top on the model on the bottom.  It has a looser fit, and 3/4 dolman sleeves (a running theme here).  I took a glance inside the pattern, and I think there are only two pattern pieces! Ha!  Usually those are the patterns I have the most trouble with!  Here's hoping for the best!

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hello everyone!

It was pretty quiet for me on the blog front last week, but I plan to make this week more productive. For today, I have the pleasure of participating in the Around the World Blog Hop.

I was nominated by Kyle, from Vacuuming the Lawn. We met through the blogosphere, and had the opportunity to meet in-person in Atlanta a few years ago.  She has much more sewing experience than I do, and I have always admired the garments she has sewn.  I love the embroidered labels she does (so creative), and she seems to have the same fascination with New Look patterns as I do! Thanks for the nomination Kyle!

What are you working on?  What would you like to work on?

If you have been following along with me (thank you) then you know I am working on my first pair of jeans!  I thought they would be finished by now, but alas, I have more work to do.  My projected finish date is October 1st.  I am figuring out that I may have to skip a lot of TV shows in order to accomplish that goal.

I am also working on another stylish tee that I will be posting this week.  My Fall sewing plan is pretty extensive (see right), so I am trying to figure out a way to balance productivity and quality workmanship.

I would really like to work on a little bit of everything!!  Really, my Fall sewing plan encompasses every category of item I would like to sew, so that is taking priority right now.  After that, who knows what I will do?  I am open to sewing a lot more pants, for sure.  I would like to see where that goes.

I can tell you what I DON"T see myself doing, though.  I do not have a desire to sew
bras or coats.  Whenever I see people who have sewn either or these items, my mouth drops open in awe. I respect all the time and hard work they have put into these items.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think my story is what makes me unique.  When I started sewing, it was not for myself.  I had two young children, and really wanted to find a way to create special items for them.  I enjoyed the creative aspect of sewing, and while I sewed various items for myself along the way, my main focus was sewing for my children.  It is only my undertaking of the RTW fast this year (sewing anything I wear) that shifted my focus from kids to me.  That shift has exposed aspects of sewing I never thought about such as proper fit.


Overall, I would say my work is as varied as I am.  Sewing is a great tool I have used in direct relation to where I am in life.  When I had a lot of friends having babies, I used sewing to make cute baby outfits, and even a quilt.  Now I am using sewing to explore fitting my own body, and developing techniques so I can learn, grow, and pass it on.

Why do I write/create what I do?

Because I love it!  I have always loved to write while growing up.  I was an avid reader, and was fascinated by imaginative storybooks by authors such as Roald Dahl.  I loved reading about faraway places, and lands where limits were stretched.  It was only natural, then, for me to blog about my sewing journey.  It just seemed like a natural transition since I enjoyed reading and writing so much. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine people would read my blog, but I was hopeful they would.

Blogging was also a great outlet for me in my early days of having two kids under 3.  It was hectic! Sometimes taking the time to sew during my kids' naps was a challenge, but I still remember the peacefulness that would sweep over me when I did.  It made it all worth it, and helped keep me moving forward as a mom.  Forward, past the sleepless nights, cranky moods, and toddler disobedience.  The feedback and encouragement I received through my blog motivated me in that season of life.

How does my writing/creative process work?

I never anticipated how much work it would be to create a blog!  It is one thing to finish a project.  It is a whole other thing to photograph that project, edit the photos, create a post, and insert the photos.
It can all be a little overwhelming, and I often find that the pressure of getting a new post up can dampen my creative flow.  So, most times, if I know what I will post about, I begin my writing a few days in advance.  I start a preliminary post that has some of the specifics of my project, or what I want to say, and save it for later.  I then pull up my post and add the final touches before I publish it. It works out pretty well to keep me from getting too frustrated.

So the next stop on the Blog Hop is...

Olivia from the Sewing CPA!!  I recently discovered her blog a few months ago, and I am amazed by the wonderful projects she creates.  She has a way of taking a simple pattern, adding a fabulous fabric, and constructing a beautiful garment in the end.

Please look for her post next week, Sept. 22nd.

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Listening to My Inner Sewing Voice

Hello everyone!

I am back in action after my Labor Day weekend away, and glad to be sewing again!  To summarize my weekend, I saw family, had fun, and ate a lot of BBQ!!!!!!  

I started getting back into the swing of things this past Tuesday.  I deconstructed my M5894 Jeans muslin, and tweaked a few adjustments.  After that, I planned to go "full steam ahead" into sewing my jeans, but...a little voice inside me said "Don't do it. Baste your adjusted denim fabric pieces together, and make sure it fits well first."

I'm gonna be honest, I usually hush this little voice away, and regret it later.  But for some good reason (maybe because jeans are a lot of work), I decided to take heed to this warning.  When I basted my adjusted pieces together, this is what I saw:

These jeans are a far cry from my last muslin!!!!!!  In fact, there is too much bagginess and loose fabric throughout, and this just cannot be--for me.

So, even though I have more work to do, I am sooooooooo GRATEFUL I did not begin the true construction for these jeans.  I would have been so disappointed.  I think the biggest difference lies in the fabric I chose.  It only has 3% stretch, but it makes a HUGE difference in sizing.  I have already taken an additional 3/4" from each side, and it has made a nice, notable change.  Also, I can't remember the weight of the denim I ordered, but I know it was not a heavy weight.  It might be an 8 or 9.  Well, these feel very heavy.  That is affecting how they hang on my body.

I can't make any promises (because football games are on all weekend) but, I will be fine-tuning the fit over the next couple of days.  I am even thinking of tapering the legs more to resemble a RTW pair I already have.  It has been a lot of work, but I keep thinking that it will one day be worth it.

Overall, I do like the look of the pants, and the potential I see!  By the way, thank you for all your comments from my last post.  I decided NOT to remove any additional rise amount from my jeans, even though I could sit in them just fine.  I think that was a great decision from all of your feedback, so THANK YOU!

Have a great weekend!

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, August 29, 2014

M5894 Muslin Adjustments

Hello everyone!

It's Friday, and I wanted to share with you how my M5894 muslin adjustments are coming along!  Let me show you an updated photo, and then I will get into what I did.  By the way, these photos are as cleaned up as I could get.  I realize now that I needed a lot more light, and I am too lazy to re-do them.  Next time will be better.  Here goes:

For the front, the main goal from last time, was to decrease the rise.  On the last muslin, I was swimming in fabric, and I had not even attached the waistband yet!  I took out 1.5" (I pinned and sewed the excess out), and with my waistband attached, I am now looking at my pants sitting right at my belly button.  I don't like it, so lower I shall go!  I plan on taking another 5/8" out of the rise, and I think that will be perfect. By pinching out this additional amount on my muslin, I still have what appears to be a nice fit for the front.

My waistband is really the reason it took some time for me to get my muslin adjusted.  M5894 has a straight waistband, and I really wanted one that is more contoured like Angela Wolf recommends, only because it conforms a little more to your waist.  So I ended up taking the waistband from S1696, and adjusting it for his one.  It worked out well, and I will use it for my final product.

Now for the back:

Not too bad, right?  Once I added the waistband, I noticed some gapping, but this can be easily adjusted. I'm sure my swayback/tilted pelvis and large rear end have something to do with this!  Anyhow, I do have a small amount of wrinkling in the back, but I think I scooped the crotch too low.  I will have to re-check my crotch length measurement so I won't over-scoop!!!!!

Overall, the muslin feels comfortable.  I compared the fit to my favorite RTW jeans, and lo' and behold, I have wrinkling under my bottom in those jeans as well.

Soooooo....all things considered, I think I will be cutting into my fabric starting next week!  I'm just going to make some notes about these changes, take a deep breath, and GO!  I can always fine-tune as I go, and my additional fabric came in, so I should have some yardage to fall back on if all my changes don't work out.

In the meantime, I will check back in next week by Wednesday.  We have a long Labor Day ahead, filled with visiting family so I plan on being busy.

Enjoy your weekend, and stay sew-filled!