Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Losing with Lekala

Hello everyone! 

I finally finished Lekala 8004; however, it did not turn out as great as I would have hoped.  The main goal in making this pattern was because it is custom.  You put in four of your measurements, and Lekala sends you the pattern of your choice tailored to fit you.

Well, my shirt looks a lot like the FREE pattern I tried online:

The problem is, it doesn't fit like it!!!

As you can see, I am very much over-exposed in this top.  I played around with it, and realize that pinching another 1-2 cm at the shoulder seams would make the top lay where it is "supposed" to. Also, the sleeves are a little tight, and could use just a bit more ease.  I really didn't think the fit would be this far off, but I guess I have now learned my lesson.

That's not to say that all of the Lekala patterns are like this.  Maybe I just got a dud.  However, custom is custom, and this is NOT custom to my liking.

Overall, this was a fun top to sew.  Had it fit well, I could easily see this style being something I would sew again and again. 

 My hubby suggested I use it as a lingerie top, and I think I am going to follow his advice. 

I am not sure yet what I want to sew next.  I had every intention on sewing the Fuchsia skirt (see right) for myself, but I really don't want another dud.  I think using all of my "favorite fabric" on two wadders might have something to do with it.

Well, no matter, I will pick myself up and try again!!! 

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sewing Room Makeover Complete!

Today is the day I can finally show you my new sewing space!!!!!!

I don't have any BEFORE photos to show you, but I can give you an idea of how it looked--a mess!!  My sewing desk had scraps of fabric and thread thrown all about the place, and there was no order.  The clothes in my closet was also in piles--some on the floor, and some on my portable table.  So most of the photos I am showing you is a combination of organization, mixed with a few touches of my own.

And, here it is:

This is my new side of the closet!  Once I got everything in order, it was amazing how much space I discovered I really had!!

This was what I ended up doing to organize my fabric stash:
One thing I found frustrating when it came to my fabric stash, is the fact that I could never remember what the fiber content was.  In order to provide a solution for this problem, I used label stickers, wrote the appropriate fabric type on it, and affixed it to each piece.

How I organized my knitting materials:
This part was easy.  I had an old wicker basket I had not used in a while.  I took it, laid some fabric from my stash in it, and put all my knitting needles and yarn inside.  I tucked this under my table to the left so it is out of the way until I need to use it.

Notions, notions, notions:
As you can see from above, I used my sewing desk cubbies to store all of my notions.  Before, I had them strewn about, but after labeling the slots and putting everything in its place, it has helped me to see what I have an abundance of, and what I could stand to buy more of.

Here is a shot of my side of the closet.  I use the top shelf for my mini sewing board, iron, batting, fabric fat quarters, and sewing pattern binder.  It all looks so pretty and neat!!

Of course my little one had to sneak in and take a photo too!  

One of my favorite parts of the whole "room" is the wall accent I placed above my fabric stash. I bought these on sale at Hobby Lobby for $10, and it adds an element of whimsy cuteness.  I also hung a little pink photo frame with a piece of fabric in it to keep with the floral theme.  

I also found a great place to put all my sewing materials!  There is a little nook under my sewing desk that has just enough space (while still giving me ample leg room) to fit my growing library.  It is handy because I can pull one out when I need it, and not be far from my sewing machine and serger.

My most daunting task was organizing my patterns.  This is how I decided to do it:

I had a huge binder left over from nursing school, and I decided I could repurpose it as a holder of my sewing patterns.  Now all of my pattern envelopes are stored categorically, each in its own page protector.  I put the pattern instructions and pieces in gallon size ziplock bags, with the outside of the bag labeled with the corresponding pattern number.  Finally, I filed all my plastic bags away in a plastic bin, in numerical order by pattern company.  It is much like the filing system you see at the store, and it has made things much easier for me.  However, I realize I will need to get more plastic bins already, because mine is almost full!!

From start to finish, I think it has taken me about a month to do this project, but I am super pleased with it.  It is such a welcoming space, and I feel more inspired to go in there now.  The best part of this whole makeover is it did not break our budget!  I used items we had around the house, and all the fabric came from my fabric stash.  The only things I bought were the plastic gallon bags for 2.99, and the wall accents for $10.  So for less than $15 I am sooooo, soooo happy with the end result!

By doing this mini-makeover, I have learned that I can take this same thriftiness and transform other areas of our home--and this is exactly what I intend to do!!

PS...My husband will be hanging a full length mirror on the back of our closet door to add the final finishing touch.  That way, I can sew away, and not have to come out for a while if I don't want to!

Stay sew-filled!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wrap-up of the week

Hello all!

I hope everyone is well!  I have so many different things going on right now that I don't know where to start! The great part is that I have a lot of things in progress.  The bad part is, I have nothing to show for it today!  However, be patient, I am planning a few reveals for next week as long as things continue along.  Here is an update on the things I am juggling:

Baby blanket I am knitting
I was close to finishing the first panel of this blanket when I went back to correct a mistake, and somehow got myself into more of a mess.  So, I decided to start over yesterday.  I am glad I did because this panel looks better than what I had in the first place; though I can say I am sad to lose the panel I started with (I was about 85 rows in).  No matter, I am not in a rush to finish this because my sister's baby is not due until April.

Lekala 8004
I thought for sure this shirt would be done in a couple of hours max.  But I must have been away from sewing a little too long!  I am having more issues because I am using a fabric with a lot more slip and stretch than recommended, so I am paying for it.  But, I still believe that this one will come together somehow.  I am also having some issues with the pleats.  I know pleats are easy, but I can't get them to sit right, so I am working on it.  Hopefully I will have some success with this over the weekend.

Sewing Room Makeover
This is almost done!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!  I bought my wall accents today at Hobby Lobby, and picked up a few 99 cent Simplicity patterns for my daughter.  I have been plugging away every weekend (and most nights) to get this room in ship-shape.  I have organized and thrown out clothing, created an easy system for my patterns, hung up my bulletin board, added a few decorative wall hangings, labeled a few things, and I only have a few more finishing touches before the reveal.  Honestly, just cleaning the room up was a big improvement, trust me!

New Project
While browsing Pattern Review last week I came across an entry of an adorable skirt to one of their contests.  Upon reading the review, I discovered that the same skirt was part of a new pattern company called Lolita Patterns, and it was being released as a free download!  I have since downloaded the pattern, and after doing so, found out that there will be a sew-along for the same pattern starting Monday, Feb. 11th.  Since I plan on being finished with my Lekala top by then, and I think I could find some material in my stash, I decided to join along!

Have a great weekend!

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Weight issues, and Lekala patterns

Hi everyone!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about something that has changed for me in the last month--my weight.  I didn't start the New Year with a resolution to lose weight or anything, it just kind of happened. Kind of.  Ok, there was a little work involved on my part.  You see, I have always found time to work out at least 5-6 times a week, and now I have incorporated jogging into that routine.  However, I never really decided to change my eating habits at all.  I figure, if I work out that many days a week, I should be entitled to eat whatever I want.

After I started taking a Health and Wellness class at my local church, though, I decided that I was wrong about my eating habits.  In fact, I don't know how my body was making it through the day because I had so many carbs, sugars, and fats in my diet.  So...while in class they gave us a recommended eating plan, and it did not sound restrictive to me.  I had a whole list of things that I could eat an unlimited amount of, like fruits, veggies, and lean meats. I also had a smaller list of items that, if I decided to eat them, I would have to count toward my calories for the day(of which I only get 250).  I'm not sure if this is similar to Weight Watchers or not, but combined with my working out, I have been able to lose 10 pounds!

Now I feel absolutely great!  I have more energy, and I have gotten rid of my persistent heartburn and headaches!  I am so elated to be finally giving my body the nutrients it needed for a long time.  The best part of it all is that my kids are picking up much healthier eating habits too!

So with all of this weight loss I am curious as to whether or not this will change my sewing habits.  My waist measurements have definitely changed (I know I have gone at least a whole size down in RTW), and so have  my bust measurements (down a bra size, and maybe a cup size?).

The other day while looking at online sewing patterns, I ran across some custom downloadable patterns made by a company called Lekala.  Apparently, you enter four measurements (height, bust, waist, and hips)
into the pattern of your choice, and they will create a custom pattern for you!  Intrigued with this idea, I decided to give it a try--especially since they offer a free pattern on their website, and a lot of their designs are both adorable and affordable.

I am now working on Lekala 8004, a jersey blouse with crossover front.  I have already typed in my measurements, received my pattern via email, printed out my pattern,and cut my fabric.  In total, I think I printed 14 pages for this top.  It wasn't bad at all.  Putting the pattern together took a little more out of me, though.  If this works out, then great.  If not, it will be a good experience in seeing what this company has to offer.

In case you are curious about some of the Lekala designs, here are a few that caught my eye:

And there are more where that came from!  You can check out the 99 cents download collection at Sewing Patterns, or you can see the whole extensive collection at Lekala.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Spring Vogue patterns 2013

Hello everyone!

In case you weren't aware, it is now February!!

We have had another mild winter here in Georgia, and I noticed that our yearly tulips have broken ground and will be greeting us within the next month or so.  Which means, spring is in the air!

I love so many things about spring!  I love the way the old is replaced with the new--new buds of life, and new creations of God's glory.  It is such a hopeful season, with potential lurking just around the corner if you will believe it...

So today I thought I would talk about the potential of the spring Vogue patterns.

Like this one...


All I can say is Donna Karan really understands a woman's body!  This dress accentuates a woman's curves, without being too much.  


My second pick is a love!!  It is a lined dress with a mock wrap and shoulder pleats.  I love the loose fit and this is something that would look great with leggings as well!  My only concern is the elasticized waist.  I guess you could put a belt over it, but I think it looks cute as is.  

Here is the line drawing, so you can see the detailing:

My third pick is a coat.


This would be a great pattern to make in poplin.  Maybe a light turquoise or pale yellow.  I love the detailing and the length, since most of my coats are longer.

The next pattern is a little similiar to V1344, with some variations:

Another loose-fitting dress with drape on the bodice and skirt.  I am sensing a theme here.  It looks like the more loose fit is coming back in style.  I hardly keep up with what is "in" nowadays, but I did take a baby step, and subscribe to In Style magazine in order to find sewing inspiration and follow what is trending.  Do you ever follow the trends when you sew, or do you do your own thing?

I was excited to see some more menswear patterns too...


After I am done sewing items for my kids and myself, I would like to try at least one menswear item this year.  Hey, it could be as simple as a tie (my hubby wears a lot of those)!  I am glad attention is being paid to this area.  Now if only there could be more patterns for young boys...

I hope you found something you enjoyed in the new Spring line from Vogue.  There are more patterns if you are interested in the rest of the line, here.

Stay sew-filled!