Friday, February 22, 2019

M7912 Progress

Hello everyone!

Today I am reminded that February is indeed a short month!  I wanted to post finished photos of my M7912 vest, but I still have a few more steps to work out.  Instead, I thought I would show you my progress so far:

Right off the bat, I really like this pattern!  The shawl collar is so pretty, and I love the look of the pockets and the sleeveless vest option.  Here is a reminder of the line drawing:
The fabric I used provides some weight to the design, and makes the vest seem more jacket-like.  I am not sure of the content, only that there is a basket weave pattern on it.  I got it from a wovens mystery box, and while I originally thought it would marry well with this pattern, I have found some of the areas around the facing and collar to have significant bulkiness in spite of cutting down the seams and grading them.  Perhaps I should have left out the interfacing??

Anyhow, I will use what I have and make it all work!  I am definitely leaping out of my comfort zone with this project.  Within the past year I have been purposely choosing woven garments so that I could get more familiar with them.   Since I have had trouble finding well-fitted woven garments in retail stores in the past, I have stayed away from them in my sewing.  Dare I say I am beginning to grow a little love for woven items?  I mean, I don't think it will surpass my dedication to knit fabric, but I am starting to see a place for all kinds of textiles.  

My plan is to work through the weekend finishing up the hem, and making the tie belt--which I also scraped fabric together to make (whew).  I am hoping it will all work out beautifully and I will be back early next week with photos for you.  

See you soon!

Stay sew filled!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Simplicity 8790

Hello everyone!

Remember this pattern that I fell in love with last month?

Well, today I am here to show you what my version looks like all made up!  I started View A during my January Sew Day, and finished it last week.  Part of the delay was waiting to receive the black drawstring cording I ordered.  Once I had everything together, this one went together quickly.

Here are my plans:

I made a size S with my normal 3/8" forward shoulder adjustment, and 3/4" waist lengthening.  My fabric is a luscious eggplant sweater knit from Boho Fabrics.  

I did make a few adjustments during the cutting/layout phase:
  • I cut the pockets on the crosswise of the fabric to minimize the amount of stretchiness to the pockets.  It worked so well I did not need to stabilize the pockets further.  My sweater knit had lots of stretch in it, so I figured it would help the pockets go on easier.
  • I barely had enough fabric to cut the hood out, so I had to cut it on the crosswise.  Thankfully I can still fit it over my head, but do not try that at home, lol!
  • I am not sure why my sleeves seem to run short with dropped shoulder styles, but that was the same issue with this pattern.  So, I added a cuff to solve the problem, and will note that for future versions.
  • Sewing confession: "I did not pay attention to the cut line for the different views."  I somehow overlooked them and ended up with an extremely long bodice, lol!! It was an easy fix.  I just lined up the pattern and adjusted accordingly, but never making that error would have given me the fabric I needed to properly cut my hood!

The instructions for this pattern were wonderful!!  It is one of those garments that you can cruise along once you get going.  

The casing of the tunic is easily created, and two buttonholes are formed around CF to thread in the drawstring cord.  This was my first time doing a buttonhole in a knit fabric (I have done them loads of times with wovens) so I made sure to interface well, and it came out beautifully.  I can't believe how much I love making buttonholes now!! 

Other than that, this is a great casual look!  And the pockets are my favorite!!! They are so oversized, and neatly constructed into the side seams of the top. I am pleased with the overall result, but won't be rushing to make any more versions for now.  I have already worn this twice, and it wears well.  Perhaps the dress version will be in the future sometime this year. 

So once I completed this project, I began to patiently wait for the Mccall's patterns I ordered on the first week of the month.  Sadly, I am still waiting!!  I got an email that they shipped yesterday, so hopefully they will arrive soon.  This is my first time ordering from the Mccall website, and I am surprised at the transit time.  Does anyone else know if this is the norm?

In the meantime, I also cut out the Ginger Jeans, and began making adjustments on them.  I am a little torn as to how to proceed with them because I don't want to put in a whole lot of work and have them be unwearable.  But, on the other hand, I don't want to make a muslin because I don't have an inexpensive stretch denim I could use to mimic what I want my final product to be.  I think I will just use some stretch denim from my stash that is not beloved just in case the fit isn't what I intended.  Maybe I will order some more denim too, since I know I will be spending time in this area of sewing for a little while.  I expect these to be completed down the line, but I am getting the ball rolling!

The last thing I wanted to tell you all about is this--I just paid for a Bluprint subscription so I could have unlimited access to sewing classes!!!  It was part of my Valentine's gift, and it has been extremely helpful so far.  To balance things out in my budget I let go of Creativebug a couple of months ago.  There are so many great things about Creativebug; however, I found that I wanted to grow/develop more with my garment construction, and there was not a path that would help me effectively pursue that there.  Bluprint (formerly Craftsy) has been a welcome answer!! 

I will be back next week!  My hope is to receive my Mccalls pattern, cut it out, and be finished or nearly finished by Friday.  Here is a sneak peek of the fabric I plan to use:

As always, stay sew-filled! 

Friday, February 8, 2019

January Re-cap and Feb. Pattern Picks

Hello everyone!

First of all, thank you for all the lovely comments you left about my Moto jacket in my last post.  It made me smile to read each one!

For today I will be doing a recap of my January items, and introducing you to the patterns I plan on sewing for this month.  Here are my three finished items for January:

I fully admit that I finished my Moto jacket a few days into February, but it is so close that I am including it with the items from January.  Also, that keeps me on track so that I feel like I am starting the month out fresh (mind games, I know, lol).

All three of these garments were a win for me! Believe me, that doesn't always happen, so I am grateful.  Out of the three, I have worn my Renfrew the most.  It has kept me warm with the colder temps we had in January; but now that the weather has been warming up, I am sure the other two pieces will get a lot of wear too.

February Plans
I am very excited about the Sew Your View February pattern:

The description states: "loose-fitting jacket and vest are unlined with dropped shoulder, tie belt with thread carriers, and collar, length, and sleeve variations.

The fabric recommendations are wool coatings, boucle, tweed, and wool blends.  I think I have a fabric in my stash that will work exactly for this!  I am eyeing the vest version:

For the inspiration photo, I found a couple of neutral vest options that I thought would work well.  I want to be able to wear this garment with a lot of things in my closet, even though I can't think of anything to pair with it at the moment.

For my personal sewing choice, I have decided on this one:

View A on the left is just so cute!  I already started it, and hope to be finished soon.

This month I also have quite a few BONUS patterns that I am considering, time permitting.  The first one is tied to the #bhmpatterns challenge.  It is hosted by YT's Myra Lorraine and Natural Dane.  The challenge is to sew a pattern from an African American pattern designer.  I think Mccall 7262 by Khaliah Ali is a wonderful choice!  

It is a sweater coat that I may end up making and wearing later this year (weather depending), but I really like this style a lot! 

My next BONUS pattern is the Ginger Jeans.  I have been back and forth about a pants pattern to start on, because...I NEED PANTS!!  It has been 2 years now and to say that pants are a necessity is an understatement.  I didn't anticipate continuing the RTW Fast for this year, so I am totally unprepared!  As much as I despise printing/taping up a PDF pattern, that is what I will be doing for these.  

Lastly, I also plan on sewing up an Isla dress for one of my best friends.  Since our weather has been unpredictable, I thought it would be nice if it was finished and available for her to wear it when appropriate.  


That's a lot of plans! Thankfully, the bonus items are only when my first two items are finished.  I am ordering the Sew Your View pattern this week, so that I can get started on it quickly. If you have any plans for the month that you would like to share, I would love to know!  I'm still not totally engrossed into Spring sewing, but I am quickly beginning to see that will be soon.

Stay sew filled!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

S8174 Moto Jacket

Hello everyone!

Today I am sharing my finished Moto Jacket with all of you!

I took the weekend to really "dig in" and close this project out.  I was mostly left with handstitching, so I worked on that while watching TV here and there.  Now that I have this complete, I can effectively plan my projects for this month (more about that later).  

So, here is the plan I started with:

I sewed a size 14 in an Olive pinwale corduroy from Cali Fabrics.  I usually sew a 12, but I reasoned that the additional roominess would be beneficial. In hindsight, I think the 12 would have been fine.  The jacket ends up being fitted, but not at all tight.  If you are unsure, a muslin would be a good idea.  

For instructions, I used a combination of Mimi G's accompanying Youtube video, and the written instructions provided with the pattern.  I definitely benefitted from the video, and it made the assembly so much easier.  The only drawback is that some areas of construction were left out.  Also, a small error was seen regarding the epaulet placement for the shoulders.  It made for some confusion, and a beginner sewist may have issues there. 

Thankfully, the written instructions were amazing and very understandable!  It filled in nicely on parts where I was not connecting the dots.  

If you have read any other reviews on it, then you know there are LOTS of pattern pieces.  It is upwards of 20+ pieces that you are cutting out and interfacing.  It doesn't look like that could be true judging from the size and length of the jacket, but it is.  I just took my time on this part and made sure to be thorough with my markings (I am bad at marking my pieces and usually have to go back).  For me, jackets are such a pleasure to sew because I truly relish the process.  

For fitting, I started out with a straight size 14.  However, I let some of the back shoulder out by 1/4" on each side to account for pulling in the shoulders.  I will have to pay attention to that for future jackets, or projects with wovens in general.  I also took about 1/4" out of the upper side seam, and blended to the SA at the waist. This was more for a bit of gentle shaping, though I don't think it is even noticeable.

Constructing the lining was where the fun began! I used a rayon challis from my stash, and it adds just the right amount of liveliness to the jacket!  The light weight of the challis, and the heaviness of the corduroy blended beautifully.  Though my machine struggled on some of the bulkier parts, changing to a denim needle made all the difference.  

As you can see, all of the finishes on the inside are clean and neat.  I originally cut the inside front off-nap, but had just enough fabric to re-cut it and fix it.  If I didn't have the extra fabric I would have left it, but it was a good reminder to watch for the nap direction while cutting out corduroy or other textured fabrics.

The zippered pockets were one of my favorite features of this jacket.  This was another first time skill for me, so there is some wonkiness that will get better over time.  For the buttons, I got these at Wawak in antique brass.  They are shank buttons that work well for the look.  The buttons were also supposed to adorn the shoulder epaulet, but I didn't like the look after I had sewn them on, so I took them off.  Either I will find another button or leave it as is.  My broad shoulders may not need any more accents anyhow, lol!

I am pretty sure I was able to machine stitch my lining to the sleeve when I made my Kelly Anorak.  However, this pattern has you catchstitch the sleeve hem, and then slipstitch the lining to that sleeve.  It looks so nice when you are done, and I am glad I did it this way.  There is an added sense of pride in my garment knowing I made the effort to finish it well.

Another stitching first for me was the ladder stitch.  Why didn't I know about this before?  It is amazing!  I know that seems like a lot of handstitching, but I was really getting the hang of it by the time I got to this part of the jacket.

A word about the sleeves: for some reason, they were very very long, even for me!  I usually have to add a cuff when I encounter a new-to-me pattern with this issue.  However, I ended up doing a 2" sleeve hem.  There is definitely enough excess to find the right sleeve length for you.

The details on the back of the jacket are really special.  I love the seaming detail, and the carriers.  The back sleeve vents are the only issue I had.  They kept pulling out when I put the jacket on, even when I added some room in the shoulders.  I finally decided to stitch them down. Done!  And it worked like a charm!

You still get the loveliness of the vent, but the undersides don't show!

Overall, my second jacket is in the books, and I cannot explain how good that feels!!!  I planned this jacket years ago--I mean, years!  I bought the materials when the pattern came out, and certainly had a "one day" mentality about finishing it. 

The moment I looked at my finished jacket I was so overcome by what it represented to me.  You see, I am slowly quieting the doubts that have crept up with projects I deemed beyond my scope.  And I am learning that I am far more capable than I sometimes give myself credit for.  

I will not allow doubt to settle itself in my sewing journey.  It will not rob me of garments that could have been made, nor ones that come to fruition.  My jacket is a barrier-breaking, doubt killing machine.  And I love that!!

Stay sew filled!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sew Day with Friends

Hello everyone!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of getting together with a couple of friends for our first Sewing Sewcial of 2019.  It was wonderful, as always!  We usually get together early on a Saturday morning, and sew until early afternoon.  It is about five hours of food, sewing, and fun, and I can't wait until our next sew day in March.  

Today I wanted to share with you some of the things we all made!

This is one of my friends, Keiva.  She just learned to sew last year, and has been making so many wonderful things.  Since she loves Indie patterns, she worked on the Peg legs from P4P.  Her original intention was to batch sew as many of them as possible, but got a little slowed down by the cutting out process.

Still, she created two lovely pairs of leggings--the pink floral ones she has on, and the maroon floral one pictured here:

Both pairs came out lovely, and the fit is so great!  P4P has a contour waistband add-on, and that is the one Keiva used.  I have known her for close to nine years, so it comes as no surprise that she now wears her adorable handmade leggings instead of pajama bottoms.  

This is my neighbor Toni.  She has been sewing for years, and does embroidery, along with other crafts.  For this day, she was making matching tops for her and her youngest daughter to wear.  If you look to the far left, you can see that  the most beautiful sage green floral fabric that she found at Hobby Lobby.  I think it was a design from P4P too.

Here she is with the finished top:

The back has a really nice crossover, and I have no idea why I didn't get a photo of it.  She finished both tops in our sewing time, while chatting and eating too!  She is definitely our speedy seamstress of the bunch!

Speaking of food, we always try to bring in a few things to snack on as we are sewing away.  That day we brought these treats:

Most of the choices are fairly healthy.  There is fruit, iced coffee, granola bars, and the most amazing gluten free sugar cookies by Sweet Loren's (bakeable cookies from the grocery store).  I decided to sit next to the snacks this time, and I promise that slowed down my productivity, lol!

I finished another Sewaholic Renfrew in a blue French terry knit, and I just love it!  I ended up wearing it soon after I made it, and I have officially moved this pattern to "my favorite of all time."  Out of all the views I have made, the cowl neck version hits a homerun.  However, I don't think I have done the short-sleeved version yet, so I will have to make that style this year and let you know if the title still holds.  If you haven't made it, they still sell it here, and on Etsy.

After finishing my top, I got about halfway through Simplicity 8790 that I mentioned a few weeks ago:

You can't see the hood from the photo, but it is the hooded version.  So far I like the direction it is going in!

Also, though I ran out of month, I am thisclose to finishing my Moto jacket!! I admit I was stalled on it for a week or two as I was figuring out what to do on the fit.  However, I finally found a wonderful solution that I am happy with!  

Overall, our sew day gave me the encouragement I needed to find my sewjo again.  

You just can't beat sewing friends!  

Stay sew filled!