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I simply love to be busy and create things, especially my own custom-made garments. Nothing is more fun than answering the question, "Where did you get that?"

Friday, July 17, 2015

Simplicity Top/Tunic

I don't sew a lot of patterns from Simplicity/Burda but when I do, I typically love them. so what is the  problem....???  Not sure, but it's not the pattern, it's awesome!

So many possibilities with this pattern!  

I've had this pattern in my stash for quite a while but the fabric was a newer purchase from Fabric Mart as a Maggy London stretch cotton I found perfect for this top.  It's SO graphic but that's what appealed to me so much.  And, it's a border print so what fun it was to play with the pattern placement.

The only real concern I have with stretch fabrics and border prints is that the stretch in the cross grain and the placement of the pattern on the cross grain could cause the garment to stretch out of shape in the length?  Is this just hogwash?  Anyone have an expert opinion on this?  I have quite a few of these types of fabrics in my stash but just don't know how to use them.

While the overall pattern is super simple, you do have to read the actual instructions in order to pick the right size and bust size to fit properly,.  Trust me on this....I was trying to explain how fitting patterns work to DH and he just didn't get how wonderful these tops/dresses/jackets are that have the built in cup sizing for you.  I do like to study these for patterns that I do need to alter as they have some valuable information on them as far as how to adjust for larger bust lines.

Back to the top!  Sewing is so easy with this one!  There are six pattern pieces and not many steps.  I used interfacing in a medium weight for the facings, traced the front slit onto the interfacing and away I went!  I really wanted to use the border in the design of the top so I ended up creating a center front seam and mirrored the edges of the print there.  I also cut the sleeves with the border in the design as well.

After I finished the entire thing, I decided this top needed a pop of color.  I checked in my stash for some thread/yarn suitable for bobbin work but didn't have anything so I did the next best thing I could muster up and that was couching.  Couching is basically adding embellishment to a garment by stitching another material on top and securing with thread.  I used a feathery decorative stitch and black thread.  The decorative stitching gets lost but it's okay, I still like it!  DD1 is an AVID knitter and mailed me some small scraps of the incredible yards she's used to create her to DIE FOR sweaters and I started playing with those and came up with simply mirroring the lines of the neck. The teal-ish color wasn't enough so I also added the fuchsia.   I love it!

My only alteration to the pattern was to use my typical swayback adjustment and to let the hem out some.  The pattern called for a 1.5 inch hem and I used a 5/8" just because I like the length better.

I LOVE my new top and can see making many more Simplicity patterns in the future!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sewing for all fall(!) McCall's 7084

I love sewing for all seasons, but for some reason, especially fall.  You can still wear less heavy clothing than winter but darker colors and more textures seem to be present in my garments.  I was excited I finally cut into my Robert Kaufman Denim for this dress from McCall's 7084: 

Isn't it darling?  This is truly a pattern you can use any time of the year with the sleeve variations and fabric possibilities.  

I really like this denim I used.  It has a lot of texture with the weave of the fabric and also in the look.  I hope that makes sense.  :)  

I barely had enough to cut this dress out so I had to use a contrast at the front bands and inside collar stand.  

I like how the ditsy floral is peeking out.  That fabric is 100% cotton from my stash.  

I am very happy with the fit of this dress.  The horizontal and vertical lines are all straight and hang well on me.  I did make a FBA at the front princess seams.  

Look at how nice that collar is laying.  I cut the under collar as a second piece that was 1/8" smaller on the three edges so it would roll slightly to the inside.  I think it worked.  I did also pin it to my tailor's ham, steam it, and let dry so it is nicely shaped.  

Since fabric was at such a premium, I ended up cutting the sleeve length about 6 inches shorter than the pattern called for.  This still gave me enough room to turn and cuff them.  

Those cute little buttons are coconut with a carved leaf design in them.  I purchased those from Fashion Sewing Supply.  I think they are perfect for this dress and the casual vibe I was going for.  

Yes, that is a rather goofy look on my face....not sure why!  

Thanks for reading and I do LOVE my new dress!  I can totally see wearing this in the fall/winter with tights, boots, and a jacket or cardigan.  


Thursday, July 9, 2015

StyleArc Michelle Tunic

I am continuing my love affair with StyleArc and this Michelle, or Kaftan suitable for woven fabric, didn't disappoint me!  Is it because of my lovely fabric that I purchased from Emma One Sock? Maybe, or perhaps it's just that I wanted a breezy top for the remainder of summer and this is perfect.

So here's my version:

So, obviously there are some noticeable differences from the line drawings. :)  

The sleeves!  These are straight up from the pattern, just as drafted.  I'm 5'7" and typically with StyleArc, the sleeves are just perfect but not these!  

I knew they would be shorter, and I really like the length, so I'm not disappointed at all.  Just beware if you print this off as a PDF from Etsy, you may need to alter the length.  

Let's look at the neckline for a moment, shall we?  

On the pattern, the neckline is a mere slit.  To get mine to look like the pattern drawing, I redrew it to more of a keyhole using my french curve and a washable fabric marker.  After checking it three or four times, I finally was happy and sewed it.  I like it this way!  

Oh, I have such a goofy smile on my face!  The sleeve cap is very easy to set in.  In fact, if you didn't put the side slits in, you could sew the sleeves in flat and then stitch the side seams.  

One thing the pattern drawing doesn't show is the button and loop closure at the neckline.  I just made a self-fabric loop, sewed it in between the facing and the top so it is nice and neat.  The button, which is square and pearly is from my stash.  

Another alteration I had was to lengthen the body of the tunic by 2 inches.  Had I not done this, it would have been much too short to wear with the white leggings that I love so much!  

Thanks for reading!  


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Jalie's new Eleonore Jean! Oh, it's love!

I wore my brand new jeans from Jalie today and the pattern is the Eleonore and it's love for me!
Jalie Eleonore 3461

This is a new, hot off the press pattern that I scooped up as soon as I saw Cabin Baby


                                                               and Deepika's

versions on SPR...they are SO CUTE!!!

I had to make a pair of my own and here is mine!  

Normally I don't like full-on butt shots, but I wanted you to see how they fit.  The crotch curve is just perfect and the back yoke and pockets are very jean like styling. 

The floral stretch woven is from Hancock's...I had planned on making a summer dress with it but quickly changed my mind...

One very important piece of making this pattern work is to check the amount of stretch in your fabric. Too little and these won't fit, too much and they will be a baggy mess.  Your fabric must be a light or medium weight stretch twill or denim with at least 20% stretch on the cross grain.  Use the guide to check...

Determining your size is rather straight forward.  You need your hip and waist measurements.  I made a straight up size V for a 40" hips and I think the fit is spot on!  I made ZERO alterations to this pattern fit wise and am over the moon about this pattern!

I know it's hard to see the details with the busy print I used but they are pretty much put together like a regular pair of jeans although the fly is an illusion and there is an elastic waistband, not a zipper or button and no belt loops.

The directions for these are VERY GOOD and COMPLETE!  I wanted to follow them exactly and did!  I should get a gold star for that, since I am such a sewing rebel and want to do things my own way!

Sorry about the wrinkles, I wore these all morning and out to lunch.  They aren't pulling at all, so it is simply annoying wrinkles in the fabric.

I LOVE my new Eleonore's and already have another pair waiting to be cut out.  Sewing is fast and simple.  I am predicting this pattern will be a favorite among seamstresses everywhere!  What are you waiting for?  Purchase this pattern and go forth and make pants!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Jalie Dolman, take 2...

Remember my disaster with the crappy-ass fabric from Joann's on my Jalie Dolman top?  If you need a reminder, here it is....I really like the look of the fabric just not the function of how it performed, especially after wearing it only a few hours...it literally started falling apart all over the place despite careful sewing!!!  Argh....but I digress...sorry about that!

Well, I HAD. TO. MAKE. ANOTHER. ONE because the pattern is so amazingly awesome!!!

So, I found two fabrics from my stash, combined them and well, here is what you get:

 Aren't my flowers pretty?  This is the first year the Astible's have done so well and I just love them!  Perfect for the shady part of my side yard where I tend to take quite a few of my photos.

Maybe combining fabrics isn't for you, but I didn't have enough of the print or the stripes, and by themselves those stripes may have caused someone to have a seizure....

The print is from a top that I never liked the fit of and didn't want to take apart and rework. 
How on earth did I think this top fit when I was done with it?  

In a moment of utmost clarity, I simply cut the shirt apart at the seam lines and had a few pieces I thought might work for the total front of this Jalie Dolman top, but....sometimes I am so spatially impaired I can't visualize if a piece of cut fabric is enough, or not...

 Obviously I didn't have a piece big enough to fit the entire front or back so I did the next best idea I had and that was to play around with placement of the print against the bold black/white stripe.  And with so many summer top patterns that focus on the back, I decided to go with that idea...

See what I mean about possibly causing a seizure or migraine?  Not that I don't like stripes, I've made many striped garments but when you talk about black/white stripe it just seems sort of harsh, at least to me anyway and I wanted to do something to break it up.  I also used the print at the neckline and I love how it looks with the stripe.  

The stripe is a ponte from my stash from a disastrous Burda Style magazine top that I hated so much I wondered if it was fair to put in the Goodwill bag.  :)

I do hope someone else will love it, or cut it up to use for a dog/car-washing towel.  (hehe...)

This time I had enough fabric to make the back as long as it is supposed to be and my cover stitch worked beautifully on that hemline!  I start to smile when I think about using that once-thought-of- beast in my sewing room!  

This top is a winner for me and I've already worn it today and felt comfortable and stylish!  That's okay to say about your own makes, right?  

You'll see more versions of this top down the road!!!
Thanks for reading and have you remade any garments that you disliked into a love? 
If so, please share!

Sue :)  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A new dress! Oh, I love it! McCall's7092

Ever work on a garment and think it is special?

Is it the fabric, the quality of the fabric, the pattern?

Or is the perfect convergence of pattern, fit, and fabric?

Either way, I feel like I won life with this dress!

But, let's digress for just a moment...I didn't come up with the perfect pattern for this dress all by myself...

I purchased this DROP DEAD FREAKING GORGEOUS NEOPRENE FABRIC from Gorgeous Fabrics and it is BEYOND Gorgeous!

Ann, from GF, suggested this pattern for the fabric and SHE NAILED IT!  Sorry about so many caps but dang, it's perfect!!!

I used McCall's 7092, made view B as a dress with the length of C and the green contrast knit was from my stash.

I was just a bit worried as I read reviews of this pattern about how thick the bodice gets with all the layers but honestly, sew slowly and you will be just fine.  I used a size 11 Stretch needle, took my time but the entire dress took about three hours to create and I used my cover stitch to hem the sleeves and skirt.  Super easy, great results, all the fitting adjustments are built into the pattern with lines and all you need to do is follow the directions for super-de-duper results!

Also, this isn't a fabric hog like some patterns are.  I purchased two yards and have scraps left that I can't decide if I should keep or not.  When I have a pretty fabric I really love, it is hard for me to part with the scraps!

I love my new dress and can't wait to wear it!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!