Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Off season sewing with the Adel Top

Hello everyone!

I hope this week finds you well!  .

Today I am showing you my other sewn item for February, the Adele Top by Empty Hanger Patterns.  I have lumped this in with "off-season" sewing because, when I sewed it, the weather was absolutely unkind at the time!  All I could do was think of what an amazing top this would be once the weather got out of the low 30s and into the high 70s.

So, if you are looking for a great summer tank top, here is one you may want to pay attention to:

This was my second pattern testing with Emily, and I was super impressed by all the helpful adaptations she made from the first time I tested.  It left me with little room for critique!  Instead, there was so many things to love!  The pattern was very easy to assemble, and the stitching lines are marked for easy reference in a light gray.  The order of sewing was still included, and the instructions were a breeze to follow.

In this pattern, the highlight of this top is the decorative panel feature located at the center front.  There were SO many possibilities of adding "bling" to this top.  While some options were given, you could really do anything from mixing and matching fabrics, using the same fabric, or adding your own trims or decorative thread applications. 

I wanted to make a couple more tops so that you could get an idea of the versatility, but I admit it...I just didn't get around to it.  However, somewhere in my list of summer sewing, this top will re-emerge for some creative fun.

For my top, I made a size 38.  The fabric is a lovely cotton knit from Hobby Lobby that I got on sale.  It has a T-shirt feel, but drapes well.  I don't buy many fabrics from Hobby Lobby, but they are starting to carry a larger selection of knits, so I will definitely re-visit them for that reason.  My only adjustments were to lengthen by 1" and do a forward shoulder of 1/4."

Here is a close-up of the decorative panel.  I cut out different fabric pieces to see which color would look best, and the darker stripe from the fabric looked the best.  As you can see, the wide stripes run diagonally on the fabric, so it created a bit of a visual twist, but I don't mind it.

Due to the construction of the panel, there is a front and back facing you put in.  I am always concerned with facings that won't stay, and usually don't care for them.  However, the process of understitching and sewing the seam down really helps it all to lay well. Aside from having to remove an additional 3/8" to the shoulder seams, I really love the way this top fits and wears.  It will be great for lounging when the warmer weather hits Georgia again.

Overall, I am glad to have another tank top to add to my arsenal!  I am beginning to feel more confident as we enter the warmer sewing season--you know, the place where tops go sleeveless, skirts are flowy, and shorts have less fabric to fit, lol!!  All kidding aside, none of those things scare me (and they shouldn't scare you either) but I do love how sewing changes this time of year.

If you are interested in Empty Hanger Patterns, you can go check out Emily's wonderful patterns here.  

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Spring Sewing Plans

Hello everyone!

I hope this week finds you well!  I have to start by saying THANK YOU to all the nice comments about my Moneta dresses in my last post.  I always do my best to answer each one via email, and it was nice to know you all loved my dresses about as much as I did.

The weather here in Georgia has been yo-yoing around (one moment low 30s, then high 50s the next), and while I probably could continue sewing from my Fall/Winter plans, I decided this past weekend that I will move onto SPRING items.  The weather was a big influence in making my choice, but to be honest, having clothes to wear is what truly won out.  While I have some Spring items left from last year, there is no way I can get through the season with those garments alone.

So, for the past three weeks, I have been taking the "Design Your Wardrobe" interactive experience (class) from Seamwork patterns.  It happens once a year, and is offered for FREE to Seamwork subscribers.  I admit that I started out taking it to just see if I was on the right track with how I was organizing my capsules, and planning my sewing, BUT I quickly found out there was so much more I could be doing!!!!

My SPRING capsule will be inspired by this Mood board:

 I am excited to bring out some bright, beautiful COLOR!  My color palette (shown in the middle) will be shades of blue and pink, with gray and cream neutrals.  The feeling I want to evoke can be summed up with these three words: Chic, Confident, and Classy.

Here are the line drawings of the patterns I am starting with:

As you can see, I have three choices I am "rolling over" from Fall.  I will re-visit the leftover Fall pieces later this year. Left to right, here are the pieces I chose:

1. Threadcount Tunic 1617

2. Love Notions Oakley Vest

3. Mid-rise Ginger Jeans from Closet Case

4. Laura Top by Rosy Pena Patterns

5. New Look 6378 Kimono

6. Burda Jersey Top

7. Ottobre 2018 Rita Linen Skirt

8. Ottobre 2018 Maureen Sleeveless Top

9. Burda Young Blazer

10. Kalle Tunic from Closet Case

11. Jalie Cocoon Cardigan

WHEW!  Those are a lot of choices!  But I am excited to start something fresh and new.  I already have a lot of fabrics in my stash that coordinate with my color theme, so I have been matching up patterns with fabric I already own. 

These are some of the fabrics I pulled!  The top floral one is a Rayon Challis I will use for the Kimono pattern, if I have enough yardage.  Next is a Crepe Snakeskin print, then a Royal blue Sweater Knit I am thinking will suit the Jalie Cocoon Cardigan well.  Below that is a Blue-Green Rayon Challis (my fave) which I am leaning toward using in the Threadcount Tunic or Ottobre Maureen.  Lastly is a Chevron Shirting fabric that I was just ok about when I received it from an online order.  So, I am thinking I will use it for a wearable muslin for the Kalle.

Sometime next month I plan on going fabric shopping at Fine Fabrics, yay!! During that time I will fill in the gaps of my capsule with more pinks, reds, and neutrals.  I am sure I will be sewing this right into Fall, so I am not rushing the process.

My FAVORITE part of my capsule is that I am sewing some "new-to-me" patterns!! The first is the Jalie Cocoon Cardigan! 

Jalie 3353

I have had this pattern for a few years now.  I purchased it with the intent of seeing what all the excitement about Jalie patterns was.  I was re-organizing my sewing closet when I found the pattern filed away on a stack of patterns I hadn't put up yet.  I think it will be the perfect garment for this weather we are having.  I will let you know how it goes!

The next "new-to-me" patterns in my Spring capsule are the Ottobre woman's patterns.  Early this year, I finally subscribed to the womans' magazine!!!!!  I am so glad I did!  The Spring/Summer issue has lots of styles I am interested in making, but I only chose two for now.  I am hoping the designs it me with the same relative ease as the designs I have sewn for my kiddos.  Here are the two designs I chose:

The sleeveless top shown on the left is a definite spring/summer go-to for me!  I like the look of the contrasting yoke and collar.  Also, you cannot tell from the photo, but the back of the hem dips down too, and since that is a running theme with a lot of my Spring items, I knew I wanted to sew this one!

Again, at the left above you can see the linen skirt.  I do have a linen skirt I sewed years ago when I first started sewing.  I really loved the style of it, but didn't wear it as often.  I think this style would get more wear, and help me ease more skirts into my wardrobe again. 

My last "new-to-me" is the Laura Top from Rosy Pena Patterns!  With the launch of  her sewing pattern line, I purchased the Laura sometime last year, and am now ready to make it!  It looks like a easy sew, and again, I love the lower hemline in the back.

Here it is in my folder all printed out and ready to assemble!!

Right now I am working on the Erica wrap dress from Seamwork Patterns:

This will be my first wrap dress once I complete it.  I have most of the bodice assembled, but I think I put the neckline facings on wrong, so I am back-tracking and figuring that part out.  I am having lots of fun working on dresses, so you may be seeing more of those on the blog this year!

And lastly, I am also sewing a shirt for my daughter.  It is an all pink tunic style shirt she can wear over leggings, and she has been asking me everyday when it will be finished, lol!  Next time I will sew it without her knowing and just give it to her!  She doesn't understand her mama's turtle-sewing ways!

I haven't forgotten to show you my Adel tank top from last month, and will do a post on that soon.

Stay sew-filled! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Colette Moneta Review

Hello everyone!

Let me start my telling you a little secret.  Under most circumstances, I am not a dress person.  I don't know if you are shocked by that, but let me tell you why.  You see, I am a stay-at-home mom, and have been for at least 8 years now.  So as I am going about my day with my kids, I often find myself in leggings and a dressy top, or jeans and a casual or dressy top.  I rarely get the unction to put on a dress--even for parent/teacher conferences.

Well, that may change! 

I think I am becoming a dress convert!  After sewing and wearing the Colette Moneta, I am redefining how dresses fit into my wardrobe.  And better yet, I think I even like pockets, lol!!!

For my first Moneta, I decided to use a floral knit print from my stash.  I have had this fabric for years, but believe I bought it at Fabricmart Fabrics.  It is a blend of rayon and spandex (I think?) and drapes in the most beautiful way!  I kept looking at it and trying to figure out what to use it for.  I was all set to sew it into a cardigan when I decided to use it as a wearable muslin for the Moneta.

I am SO GLAD I did!  This dress makes me feel like a lady--a lady who could cleverly hide gum in her pocket for later.  And if you have read my blog for any length of time, you may already know that I am the rare person who doesn't care for pockets.  Ok, ok...I may be changing my tune a bit.

I made a size S, and graded to a M for the skirt.  I thought, according to my measurements, that I would need a little more room in the bodice than a S would afford, but the S worked perfectly.  I sewed View B with the 3/4 sleeves, and think this is a very beginner friendly dress to work on.  I love that there are lots of collar options for the neckline with the expansion pack, and plan to revisit some of those variations later.  I also referred to an amazing Moneta sew-along, which gave helpful hints for seam finishes, as well as further insight on the method used to shirr the skirt.

Shirring the skirt is magical!!!  The method Colette used is to take a piece of clear elastic, baste it to the skirt within the 3/8 SA, while making sure to meet up with predetermined markings along the waistband and elastic tape.  It is genius!  When I first tried it out, I thought it might take a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of it, but I was lucky it didn't.  As long as you apply steady pressure while you stretch the elastic, and hold your fabric as you feed it through, I found it to be very easy.
I wish I could gather everything this way!!!

It was quite obvious that the hundreds of reviews for this dress on Patternreview were not incorrect!  I believe this is another wardrobe staple, perfect for just about any level of sewer.  I was so elated when this wearable muslin worked out that I decided I was ready to cut into my mustard French Terry knit:

And behold, the results were exactly what I wanted!! In fact, I have another secret to share with you:  I made a shameless copy, lol!!! As soon as I saw Colette's version of the Moneta in yellow, I wanted one too:

My fabric comes from Girl Charlee, and they still have it here.  The fabric is amazingly soft, and feels like butter when you have it on.  I am so happy with how my copycat version came out!  

For construction, I would like to note that I had to make some additional fit tweaks while sewing the French Terry.  Maybe it's just me, but this fabric seemed to grow some.  I took a bit more out of the waist, as well as a little (1/4") out of the armhole seam.  It fit a lot cleaner and less baggy after I did that.  There was also a bit of fidgeting that took place as I sewed the skirt to the bodice, but I just went a little deeper in on the waist seam to ensure I caught all of my fabric appropriately.  Other than that, I wouldn't mind more Moneta versions made out of French Terry, possibly for early Fall.

Here is how I hope to wear my dress soon:

Overall, in case you missed it, I love this pattern!! It is going down as a TNT for me!  

I am so glad I decided to do the RTW fast again!!!  I mean, here it is in March, and I feel really good about how my wardrobe is coming along.  I don't even miss the stores!  Not a bit.  In fact, I am finding that all my ME-MADES are creating an entirely different problem--I need more shoes, lol!

Thankfully, shoe-shopping is allowed for the RTW fast.  I look forward to upping my shoe game so I can easily wear the things I am creating.

I will be back soon with a review on my other garment made in February, the Adele top.  

Stay sew-filled!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Items sewn in February

Hello everyone!

Somehow I blinked and missed most of February!!

I knew it would be a short month, but I admit that I didn't realize it would go by that fast. My whole February plan was to focus on pants, and I have surely done that.  I worked on three different muslins, then finally said "enough!"  Here is the process I started for what I am affectionately naming my Ponte Pants:

Version #1 (camel-colored) ponte knit--I cut this version out "as is" in a size 10, with blending to the hips to a size 12.  The end result?  It could NOT fit over my derriere!!!  No bueno!

So, I debated re-cutting another pair, but decided to add fabric to the seam allowances instead so I could test out a full butt adjustment.  I also scooped the crotch curve, let out the side seams, removed fabric at the center front/center back, and deepened the curve to the front and back.  It all looked ok, but I still needed more room in the back for fabric bunching at the knees.

Version#2 (purple) ponte knit--This was my best fitting version!  I transferred all of my adjustments to this version, and it looked pretty good.  I decided to deepen the curve in the back.  There was still some bunching behind the knee, but it wasn't too bad.

Version #3 (white) ponte knit:  I really thought this would be my last version.  Since Version 2 was pretty good, I just knew this one would hit it out of the park.  Well, I blame my own error.  Somehow when I transferred my adjustments I accounted for the seam allowance incorrectly.  So, they were too small!!!  At this point I was done, and I threw all three muslins in the corner of my sewing room, lol! 

I will definitely dig them out for the month of March, and finish the purple pair so I can move on to cutting into my stretch denim.  I must also note that I saw there is a pocket extension for the front of the Sabrina Slims, so I downloaded it for some added styling in my final version.  Hopefully all the changes I have made so far will give me a good head start, and a fresh perspective for getting them done this month.

Moving on, for the second week of February I took a detour and spent time on some off season sewing.  Empty Hanger Patterns will be releasing a wonderful tank top, and I got the pleasure of trying it out.  It is awesome!!!! I look forward to showing you more of the top soon, but I can already tell you that it is a necessary wardrobe staple for warmer weather that can be dressed up or down.  

After my week of testing, I didn't want to delve into pants, so I looked at my capsule wardrobe plan again, and turned my attention to the Colette Moneta dress.  I liked that it was such a well-received pattern.  I thought this would at least up my odds for success, and to be honest, I just wanted to create another finished garment from my capsule.


It was everything it lived up to be!

So of course I made two versions:

If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen this version in a floral knit blend.  I couldn't wear this dress fast enough after I completed it, I was so smitten with it!  In fact, even though it rained, I still wore it to church!!

For my second version, I jumped straight into using this mustard French Terry knit I originally wanted when planning my capsule.  Most of it went together well, though the knit did wrestle me when it came to attaching the bodice.  I haven't worn this one yet, but I plan to make that happen soon.  

I will plan on doing full reviews for each of these items soon.  I haven't figured out how I want to organize everything since I am starting March with a backlog of unblogged items (haven't done that before), but I do want to share my excitement for the three pieces I finished for February.  Here's hoping that March will be a dream sewing month for all of us!

Stay sew filled!