Monday, April 27, 2020

Megan Nielsen Acacia Undies

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well! 

Here in the state of Georgia Governor Kemp has initiated the process to move out of our homes and restart the economy.  As for me and my family, we have kept things much of the same for now.  I am still doing weekly grocery runs, schooling my kids via online, and keeping a low profile.  Thankfully, my husband is still able to work from home, and I do get some blocks of free time to sew.  So, we are hanging in there day by day.  I have even started my own personal "to do" list for things around the house that I never really get to.  I have effectively organized two closets, our laundry room, and a couple of drawers.  More Spring cleaning still needs to happen, but I am glad that I can take my time and do this at a slower pace.  Hopefully when Corona is a distant memory, I will have a tidy home with a complete Spring and Summer wardrobe too!

Today I am here to talk about a pattern I recently tried.  A couple of years ago I downloaded the Megan Nielsen Acacia Undies as a result of signing up with her newsletter.  I never used it, but had it available for the day I would.  Recently, while watching Whitney on TomKat Stitchery, she did a video on this very pattern.  In it she gave a tutorial for three types of finishing for the undergarments.  As soon as I saw the knit bands I knew I was IN.  I have LOADS of scraps from past projects, and I was curious  about whether I could achieve a proper fit with extra junk in the trunk.

This pattern did NOT disappoint!!!

The size Medium was perfect for me! I made the first pair without any modifications, and they still fit better than my own underwear.  For the rest of the undergarments I increased the sides of the back leg opening in order to add a little more butt room.  I now have a pair of undies that fits better than any I have ever bought! Probably the best perk is that this pattern requires very little fabric yardage to make.  My size required 11 inches for the front and back pieces. If you decide to create the knit band, you will require a bit more.

Pattern Specs:
  • Low-rise bikini cut with a beautifully enclosed gusset on the inside.
  • FREE when you join the Megan Nielsen newsletter
  • Only 8 PDF pages to print
  • Use elastic, lingerie elastic, foldover elastic, or knit bands (via TomKat Stitchery)
  • Fabric Used: Double Brushed Poly, Cotton Spandex, Cotton/Rayon Knit, ITY, French Terry 
  • *I really like the way the ones with DBP came out, and I was surprised that the French Terry and Cotton/Rayon Knit lay beautifully once finished.

Spoiler Alert! If you choose knit bands, you create your own for the waist and leg openings.  This is not included in the pattern, but are recommended specs by Tomkat Stitchery (unless you draft your own). The waistband she uses is 85% of your waist measurement x 2.5 inches.  

The leg openings are 85% of the leg opening circumference x 1 inch.  I used 1.25 inches because I found 1 inch to be a tight fit. Please refer to the video tutorial for more info and tips on elastic.  

For future versions, I will continue to use knit bands, however, some lacy or picot-edged ones are in the plans too!  I am so glad I finally printed out this pattern and gave it a go! It is stellar, and will be used for resourceful scrapbusting!

Stay sew filled!


Monday, April 13, 2020

Make Nine #1 Complete!

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a restful Easter holiday.  My family and I enjoyed watching church service online, and still kept some semblance of normal in spite of staying at home.  My husband BBQ'd, and we had an Easter egg hunt for the kids, even though my two oldest have almost outgrown this (13 and 10).  It was still a lot of fun with some of my favorite people!

For today I am here with some off-season sewing!  I have finally completed S2311 (out-of-print), the first of my Make Nine outerwear challenge!

This coat has been in "time-out" since February because I couldn't figure out how to fix the pocket gaping I encountered once I cut into my fashion fabric.  I made a muslin, but did not put pockets in that version because I didn't think it would be an issue.  I finally decided to pick this coat up and see what I could do.  My solution was to let out the back and side seams by 1/4".  This helped some, but the ultimate fix came with hand stitching the pockets toward the front of the jacket.  This made them lay flat, and made me happy.

Handstitched at the front facing seam allowance

Coat Details
Size: 14 with 1/4" grading from waist to hip, 1" length added
Fabric: Jacketing from Fashion Fabrics Club/Denver Fabrics
Lining: Animal Print Dobby Crepe from Fashion Fabrics Club/Denver Fabrics
Interfacing: Easy Knit from Joanns in Black
Shoulder Pads: 1/4" thick from Wawak

The instructions for this pattern were something I was warned about when I read reviews on PR.  Lots of reviewers said that they were difficult to follow, and they were right!  I would say that they were much like following a maze.  You read a few steps, do them, then jump to other numbers.  Do those numbers, then jump to another section.  Depending on the elements you wanted in the coat (Project Runway pattern), you had to adjust accordingly by skipping certain portions.  All in all, it is very confusing.  If this were eliminated, the process would certainly be easier.  However, this is not a hard coat to make.  Once you find the set of instructions you need, it is very doable.

For design elements, I decided to include the belt loops for the back and sides of the coat.  I planned to wear it with a belt, and knew I would want them.  I have another black trench with a similar look, and they were easily removable if they didn't look right.  I am so glad I added them!  It adds to the finished look of the coat, and it still looks nice if I wear the coat untied too.


Here is a look at the shoulder pads.  I catch-stitched them onto the shoulders, not sure if I would like them on my frame, since my shoulders are already so broad.  They worked great! I love the gentle shaping they add, and it really accentuates the seams of the coat.  

This is the completed lining with the front facing attached.  The sleeves are brown because I mistakenly ordered 1 yard of the animal print lining, so I had to make it work with the lining I had in my stash.  Thankfully, this adjustment didn't affect the final result of the coat.  I did, however, forget that I let out the seam in the back, and did not account for that in the lining.  It was already serged, so when I sent to sew the lining and coat shell together, I had to attach another small strip to the edge in order to fit my lining comfortably.  It is not a glaring thing you notice, but I am glad the print is busy, lol!!

Here is my coat just before I stitched up all the layers.  Surprisingly, my machine handled the layers well, and didn't give me fits about it.  The final steps after this are to sew around the perimeter, stopping at the marked dots on the facing.  Then, sew 1/2" below the dots on the bottom of the coat, leaving an opening to turn the coat right side out.  After some handstitching, and optional topstitching (which I definitely did), this coat was complete!

I just love it!!!  This coat pattern was in my stash a LONG time, and I have wanted to make it for a while.  The moment I put it on, my husband looked at me and asked "So, when are you gonna wear it?"

Well, that's the thing with off-season sewing... the satisfaction is not immediate because it is not an item you can wear right away.  However, you can bet that once Fall comes, this coat will be the first thing I look forward to putting on!  Thankfully, we had a mild day in the 60s, so it wasn't too bad to take photos to show you.  

Here it is with my Colette Moneta dress, and boots added for a Fall look:

It has been a slow start on my Make Nine, but I am glad to say I have ONE down, EIGHT to go!!!

Stay sew filled!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

April Plans

Hello everyone!

Thank you to everyone who left a kind comment about my March sewing month!  I really appreciate it, and it warms my heart!  Today I will be sharing my April plans with you.  

About a week ago I decided I would do some spring cleaning, and slowly start attacking all of the places in my home that needed organization.  I started with a small hall closet, worked my way into our back laundry room, and ended up in (of course) my sewing room.  At first I only wanted to make things more orderly, but soon I discovered a stack of "forgotten treasures":

Does anyone remember the US edition of Burdastyle?  I subscribed to it when it first came out, and never made a single thing from it.  Not one thing!  Once I opened the magazines, I could see why.  While there are a lot of patterns, only select ones are included on the pattern insert.  The rest of them are pdfs.  From the pdfs, a few are free, and the rest you must pay for.  Since I didn't download any of the free pdfs, it is too late to receive them on Burda's re-vamped website, unless I buy them.  I guess I am 6 years too late, lol!!!  As I flipped through some of the designs, I got an idea!  Why not make something from one of these!  

I haven't decided on a particular pattern yet, but here is a sample from one of the roundups in the issue.  I am going to start with something easy, and move on from there.  I will be able to get my bearings with how these patterns work again.  Apparently, the seam allowances are included, so that is a plus!  It has been a LONG time since I have sewn anything from Burda magazine, so I am excited to see where this goes.  If you have any experiences with these past issues (they are no longer in print for the US version), please share with me.

Out of the styles I have seen, this tank is at the top of my list.  It has a cute cowl neckline, and doesn't seem to dip too low.  I have a few leftover scraps of fabric that I think will work perfectly as a wearable muslin.   

Now, just to note, I own a lot of Burdastyle magazines....a lot!  However, even though I have a stack of about fifteen to twenty, I am aware of the patterns I own because I have photocopied the line drawings and filed them away with my pattern collection.  I usually browse these from time to time, and pull the necessary magazine pattern sheet to sew.  This next one got away from my system!  It is the Burdastyle from 06/2019, and there are so many ones I noticed in here:

Here are some of my favorites:  

I love this basic tee with a sleeve tie.  Or maybe I am just loving twist and ties lately.  This one is made from a silky fabric, but I would love to try it in a knit.  

 This top here is an absolute love!  I always appreciate a V-neck, and I love the bow feature on the back x 2.  I am pretty sure this one will be traced out for this month.  

So, here are my thoughts.  First I will be finishing my Simplicity coat.  I only have a few more finishing steps to do, and then I will reveal it to you.    For the rest of the month, I will be turning my attention to my newly uncovered Burda treasures, and focusing on making a few nice tops.  If everything works out beautifully, I will also choose from these patterns on my wishlist:

Simplicity 8053--I love the color-blocked version, and have been wanting to try this top since I purchased the pattern.  I would probably leave off the pocket flap detail.  I am not against pockets or flaps.  I usually cut out the pocket pattern, sew it up, then pin it to my shirt so I can make a final decision on it.  Sometimes it looks wonderful, and other times...yes, I leave it off.  

Simplicity 1463--I have already made version A on the model to the far left.  It is a batwing top with cuffs, and it is wonderful!  I told myself I would made quite a few versions for Spring.

Simplicity 8389--I love the pants with the tie top belt!  I need to peruse my stash and see if I have any appropriate fabrics because I really want to make this one!

Well, I hope you enjoyed my plans, and are making some of your own!

Stay sew-filled!




Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March Recap

Hello everyone!

It's Spring Break (at my house)!

I admit that quarantining at home was not the way I imagined this Spring Break would go.  We made plans to finally take a vacation with my mother-in-law who recently retired. However, we quickly had to rearrange those plans--along with others.  Thankfully, there was nothing we had to cancel or be reimbursed for, so the adjustment was mostly mental.  

I am now entering the third week of being home with my kids, and some of the days have started to wear on me.  Surprisingly, it isn't what you are probably thinking.  I don't dread the day to day, or hate our routine.  I find those things comforting, as well as getting to spend more quality time with my children.  The challenge for me is enduring without losing hope.  The more days they add on, the more I wonder when the whole thing will end.  Yes, we are all looking forward to when this ends!!  

My encouragement is taking one day at a time and not getting too far ahead of myself.  God has enough grace in each day He provides, and I truly believe that.  It has also continued to be therapeutic for me to sew, and I would love to share with you the items I made for the month of March:

For March I got a chance to sew for my kids!  I have been looking for opportunities to make things for my family here and there, but I really planned so much for myself that it has been a little more challenging.  This top is called Raw Edge Details from Ottobre Spring 01/2017, and it is my daughter's TNT shirt.  The first time I made it we loved the fit, but found the neckline a little too high. I fixed that by scooping it some, and now it fits her perfectly.  Now anytime I am fabric shopping I will inevitably purchase a yard of her "favorite" design to set aside for this quick and easy tee.

Next up are a pair of pajamas I made for pajama day at school (some weeks ago).  Again I used her TNT Ottobre shirt pattern, and Simplicity jogger pants.  I used this cute print I bought at Hobby Lobby last Spring, and had white ribbing in my stash that matched perfectly.  

For my youngest son I received a request for a button front shirt.  Let me tell you, this little one is full of requests! He wants a jacket, shorts, pants, and basically anything he sees when we flip through my Ottobre back issues.  We landed on this pattern and he just loved it.  I was on a shirt kick so I conceded.  It is called Zebra Run, from the Summer 03/2015 issue, made in a quilting cotton from Hobby Lobby from a few years ago.

This went together quickly, and my only change was to cut 2 pieces of the yoke so it would finish nicer on the inside.  I thought for sure Ottobre would have this feature already but it was left out of this particular pattern.  It is still a wonderful pattern that fits spot on, and a nice beginner level shirt without the yoke lining. It is a little hard to see the pocket, but there is one...and I even worked some magic by lining the print up for this area.  I have such a great appreciation for people who make it look so seamless when they work with printed designs.  It was no easy feat!

Moving on to things I made for myself, M7975 turned out to be a winner!  I so love the twist front once I tacked it and handsewed the front twist.  I am planning another one, possibly in Navy.  

This denim button up from Simplicity is my most favorite of favorite shirts!  I only had finishing details to do for this one, and it worked out much better than I planned.  Can you believe I was ready to throw this shirt out halfway through the sewing process?  I took many mini-breaks from it, and am glad I decided to see it through.  I highly recommend this pattern, though OOP (Simplicity 2311).  It has a nice amount of ease, and the cup sizing enhanced the overall fit.

These Ginger jeans right here!!! All I can say is that sometimes small faux pas lead to big rewards.  They are slightly cropped because I cut them a little too short, but I love the length and like to wear them rolled up a bit.  You might see one more pair of cropped Ginger jeans on the blog, then I think I might be ready to venture out some.  I absolutely love this pattern, though there are other version of jeans/pants that I would like to try to.  So, expect some variation soon.

Lastly, what do you do when you have sewed so much that you need a breather?  You sew a wardrobe staple!  Well, that is what I did!  For my last garment of the month I cut into this gorgeous double brushed floral print from Joann.  When I saw all the colors I knew it would complement my finished wardrobe perfectly.  Also, it is so soft and the colors are so vibrant! On this version I sewed View B, the short sleeve, wider neckband one.  I was not sure about the neckband, but the wider width suits this scoop style nicely.  Kwik Sew 3766 for another win!

Overall that makes 1 pants and 3 tops for me, and 1 pants and 3 tops for my kids. The things I enjoyed most was completing a wardrobe that I really do wear.  I even like going into my closet and choosing the combination that brings me joy--even if I will only be at home.

I hope your sewing for March went wonderful for you!  We will all get through this time together, and life will eventually go back to what it was.  In the meantime, enjoy your craft, enjoy one another, and enjoy this life!

Stay sew filled!