Friday, January 11, 2019

Jacket update

Hello everyone!!

Today I am sharing some of my progress for this month.  

Since my last post, I have been working on my Moto jacket mostly.  I am pleased with the way it is coming along, with only ONE frustration:

This back vent feature is giving me FITS!  Whenever I put the jacket on, the vent pulls out of place.  From what I have researched, I may have a prominent shoulder blade and need to add fabric ease to solve this issue.  I do know that I have broad shoulders, and perhaps that could be what is lending to this issue as well.

I think I am going to enlist my husband to get some accurate measurements of my back area, and compare them to the pattern.  Also, I am going to double check that my pieces were cut correctly, as I have been known to (cough) have an issue with that in the past.  I don't think I did that here, but I am backtracking to make sure I have things done correctly.

I did baste the lining and jacket together, flipped it right side out, and this is what is looks like:

A good press is needed, and once I fix the vent issue, I will properly cut the seam allowances down before turning it right side out again.

I really like the "bones" of this garment, and plan to put in some work this weekend for the l finishing stages.  I am so close...

There is even a fun lining:

Other than this jacket, I did get a chance to pick up the Mccalls 7873 pattern for this month's Sew Your View sewalong.  I am definitely sticking with the theme of texture for this top, and have already pulled some lace, quilted knit, and velvet from my stash.  Nothing has been speaking to me yet, but I am sure I will find a clear vision once I play with these fabrics some more.

Stay sew filled!

Friday, January 4, 2019

January Pattern Picks

Happy New Year!!!

Are you ready to get sewing?!?!?  I am!  

Today I am sharing my pattern picks for the month of January.  To clarify, I will be sewing one pattern that I have chosen myself, and another pattern that is chosen for me as a part of the Sew Your View Monthly Sewalong on Instagram.  Here is the patter I will work on first:

I have admired this pic of a moto jacket for quite some time now.  It didn't take me long to find a pattern that was comparable to the elements found in this inspiration.  It is S8174, Mimi G's moto jacket pattern.

This pattern has been in my stash for YEARS.  You know how good intentions go...somewhere in the back of your mind you hope to one day do one thing or another.  I guess I always knew that I would come to a time when I was ready to dive in.  That time came this past November.  As a part of the Seamwork sewing community, there was a challenge to sew outerwear.  I immediately pulled out this pattern, knowing I could finish it by the deadline.  I mean, I had Mimi G helping me out with a Youtube tutorial! What on earth could go wrong?  Well, even with Mimi G's superb instructions, I found out that this jacket would need a little more time and precision to get right.

So, I started this jacket in November, and will be finishing it this month.  Here is my current progress:

I used a pinwale corduroy in Olive Green from Cali Fabrics.  It was purchased some time ago, and waiting for this project to come along.  I chose it because I was fond of the corduroy Mimi G. used in the pattern photo, and wanted a similar look and feel.  This turned out to be part of what lengthened the process for me.  Since I had never sewn with corduroy before, I did a bit of research before I started.  I made sure to observe the nap direction, and use appropriate needles for the project.

However, nothing prepared me for the bulkiness of the fabric in some places.  My sewing machine was not happy about that at all!!  After taking a breather from this project, I now feel a lot better about it.  I am aiming to get the sleeves and lining attached, and work out some fit issues on the sleeve and back vent.  

So far I am loving the way the zippered pockets look, as well as the details of this piece.  I am just hoping those details don't do me in, lol!  

The second pattern, from the Sew Your View sewalong, is Mccalls 7873:

Since I didn't personally choose this one, I will give you my first impression.  I immediately thought it was cute, and could creatively go in so many directions.  Would I buy this?  I admit that my answer is no. This would not be on my radar unless I saw other amazing versions made from other people first.  As I began brainstorming my direction for this pattern, I decided that the top would be more practical for my wardrobe.  After searching Pinterest, I really started to fall in love with this top made in a sweater knit of some sort.  

I already have a brushed sweater knit that I purchased from Michael Levine's a few months ago.  When it arrived, I decided it wouldn't work well for what I was going to use it for.  I think it may be a contender for this pattern instead.  If not, I am also thinking of a rib knit, or another knit with texture to it--after all, I have been on a warm and cozy kick lately.  I am still not sure what to do about the stripe going diagonally down the front.  I don't know if I have a contrast fabric that would work, or if I should keep everything solid.  I guess I will work out those details once I start this pattern.

Overall, I am excited to see what I will accomplish now that I have decreased my pattern plans down a great deal!  I will check in next week to update you on how things are going!

Stay sew filled!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

End of 2018 Recap

Hello everyone!

As 2018 draws to a close, it is time to examine my reflections for the year.  I started 2018 believing that it would be a learning year for me, and that is exactly what it was!  There are so many things I attempted and won...and there are also things I attempted and lost--for now, lol!  But, overall, I am GRATEFUL for lessons continually learned.

I began with these goals:
  • Sew all of my own clothing (excludes underwear and socks)!!! RTW FAST
  • Draft slopers according to my measurements for bodice and pants.
  • Enter a Patternreview Contest. 
  • Copy RTW styles that I love (a must now that I will be sewing everything I need)
  • Finish at least FOUR of my Craftsy classes 
  • Sew for life events.

Sew my own clothing
Thankfully, I accomplished this goal with flying colors!  Compared to the first time I signed up for the RTW Fast, this time was such a JOY!  I now find myself preferring the things that I sew, and I also smile as more and more of my closet is filled with handmade items--sew filled (to the brim)! This satisfaction is what led me to decide to continue the RTW Fast into 2019!

Of course there were some shortcomings to speak of as well.  I still plan on addressing pants for 2019, and become more proficient in fitting them to my shape.  At the first of the year I was so gung-ho with figuring out pants, and then I lost a lot of steam as I made muslin after muslin.  So, while this will remain on my list moving into next year, but I don't plan on stressing myself out about it.  If I end up in dresses, tunics and leggings for the year, I am ok with that.

Draft slopers for bodice/pants
I did not finish this goal.  I started a pants sloper, but gave up around February.  I have to admit it...I have no desire to work on any more slopers for the New year.  I know all the information you gain from it is worth it; however, it might be a minute before I ever do one.

Enter a Patternreview Contest
I did this!  I entered the Sewing with Stripes contest, and I loved being a part of all the wonderful entries.  I didn't win, but I would definitely participate again.

Copy RTW styles I love
I am not really sure if I accomplished this goal.  I had a lot of inspiration pics from certain garments (Moneta dress,) but they were mostly pattern photos and not RTW garments.  I think I will count it because I still found inspiration that I turned into an actual garment.

Finish FOUR of my Craftsy classes
Did I even finish one?  I will say I heavily browsed the classes I already own, but that is about it.

Sew for life events
This one is still a work in progress.  I must confess, I am so bad at sewing for deadlines.  No matter how much I plan, I still end up short.  That is mostly because I am an overachiever in my head.  I always overshoot and say "of course I can make a jacket in a week," or "yes I can finish a whole outfit in two days!"  In my head I have already met my goal, but when it comes to working it out in real life...much different results!  I realize I should apply a formula where I automatically tack on an additional week to any expected timeline.

Overall, I wasn't as focused on goals as I have been in prior years, but I did stay on track with my #1 goal--sewing all my clothing for the year.

I have deced that 2019 will have me headed in a different direction.  Here are my aspirations for the year:
  • complete a second year of the RTW Fast
  • participate in Sew Your View, hosted by That's Sew Monica
For 2019 I am taking a different approach to my sewing journey based on some of my weaknesses, and the things that do and do not work for me.  For the most part, I will be sewing items that appeal to me, and are needed in my wardrobe.  Howeer I would also like to have a bit of fun too.  There are times I won't try certain styles even though the outcome may be superb.  I tend to embrace my "comfort zone" and stay there.  Though there is nothing wrong with that, this year I would like to try venturing out of that zone a bit.

So, I have decided to begin participating in the Sew Your View group on IG, hosted by That's Sew Monica.  I originally attempted this monthly sew along bck in August, but I had too many things going on, and I never finished the garment.  This year I want to focus on ONE garment a month that I have chosen to sew, and ONE garment a month that is chosen for me (but I can flexibly adapt).  And that will be it.  If I find time to complete more items, I will consider it a fantastic month.  But, my priority will be finishing these two garments first.

I will be working on embracing a simpler process than what I have been doing.  Considering my life and responsibilities (always), an emphasis on less will have to be more.  I really thought that capsule wardrobes would help to guide my seiwng, and introduce better planning, but it wasn't as helpful because I just sew too slowly, lol.  Also, I ended up feeling more overwhelmed by the amount of items I was choosing, and not really knowing how to coordinate it all.

Instead of capsule wardrobes, I will be making sure my sewn item links to what I already posess in my closet in some way.  So instead of the bigger picture of a capsule, I will keep things smaller, and create "looks" instead.  Perhaps a smaller view will help me to develop an overall theme (working backwards a bit).  I will still keep color schemes in mind for the seasons, as there are colors I tend to gravitate to.

That said, I would love to share some of my faves and fails from this year!


I think I am choosing this one because it is a recent completion, but also because I love the versatility of this garment.  Cardigans are usually the workhorse of my wardrobe anyhow, and this one does not disappoint.  I LOVE the nice sized pockets, and the length hits me at just the right place (although if it wouldn't I would adjust it, lol)  It is definitely a TNT that I will use for more versions in the future!


I think I will always be team "Closet Case Patterns!"  Out of everything I have sewn, the Kalle shirt dress with button placket is my most rewarding.  I just enjoyed the whole process of making this one.  The instructions were clear, the fabric was complementary, I learned a lot of shirtmaking techniques, and I love to wear this too!  In fact, I will let you know that I finally purchased the sleeve expansion PDF, so you may see a long-sleeved version before Spring is over!


The Isla dress immediately surfaced to the top as I considered what I wore most in 2018. I just loved this dress for the summertime weather.  The silhouette was perfect for me, and the stripes created such a lovely visual effect!


I truly wanted to love this Butterick garment, but it ended up becoming one I seldom wear.  I think the problem is the length.  It looks cute when I stand still, but once I move around in my daily life, it starts to creep up and twist around.  I have learned that I am not a crossover fan.  Except for a Vogue pattern, I have not had much success with this type of style on my frame.


Dare I bring up this disaster?  My first foray into peplums with a Love Notion pattern was terrible.  It was obviously me, and not the pattern.  I have sewn other items from them that I really liked.  However, this top quickly ended up in the trash.  I am still open to peplums--only I want it to be the right peplum, lol!


Need I say more?  The Moneta dress is one I can pick up and sew without even glancing at the instructions.  It is perfect for so many occasions, and looks great on lots of different body types.  Out of all the patterns I own, this is one I can finish in an evening of sewing and be fully confident it will be fabulous!


I think sewing with my little girl easily rises to the top for this category!  I enjoyed seeing the joy on her face as she progressed from step to step, and ended up with her own beautiful skirt.  I'm sure we will be wearing these next summer as well...until we can collaborate on another sewing adventure (wink, wink).


The Laura Top/Dress from Rosy Pena is one that I did not expect to love as much as I do!  Every time I put on the floral version shown, or my second version in blue, it fits so beautifully.  The neckline lays so smooth, and it a great basic.  I hope to try more patterns from Rosy in 2019.  She has been expanding her line, and there are so many great options!

And that is it for 2018!!

I will be back in the New Year to announce the patterns I will be sewing for January.  

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas!!

"For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
           Isaiah 9:6 NIV