Pattern Haul!

Ok, so I know you are still waiting on that stupid skirt review.  Its done, honestly, it’s been done for a week now but its confession time…

I don’t really get to wear regular clothes very often.  See, I wear a set of mechanics coveralls to work every day.  Also, I work at midnight so I don’t have much reason to leave the house right now.  That will change when I have class again in January, but for now, I really only have reason to wear it out to dinner with my boyfriend and we have been out of town and are still recuperating.  As soon as I can I will wear it and have him take some pics.  Be warned… He may be the most reluctant photographer on the face of the planet and I will get three pictures out of him before he quits.  What we get is what we get.  Its even worse if he is hangry.  Sadly, I will be out of town again this weekend, so by the time I get another post up, I should have  few things to show you!

In the meantime, I took advantage of the Joann’s pattern sale.  I hit it up on the trifecta of sales day.  Butterick, Mcall’s, and Vogue!  I was specifically looking for a moto jacket pattern that I liked, and it was the only pattern that I didn’t find.  I wanted to trend toward fall, and I really wanted to get things that I have more of an opportunity to wear.  As I explained above, the majority of my clothes get work to run errands in and to go to classes.  I wear a lot of jeans and top combos.  I also love a cute jacket.  I live in Maryland and it is pretty mild in the winter, usually very mild until around January.  Jackets and sweaters are really convenient for getting through  till it gets really cold.  So, this is what I got…

Set # 1

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So, the V8146 pattern really caught my eye, I love that swingy back it has although I could do without the bow.  I looked it up on Pattern Review and it didn’t have a lot of rave reviews.  I think I will have to put a lot of thought into fabric choice and make as many muslins as I need to in order to make it work.  It is too cute to not make it.  Everything else looks pretty easy and shouldn’t be a big deal to whip up.

Set #2

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The top two patterns I chose for a reason.  I don’t always have reasons, but this time I do.  I have pinned a few things to Pinterest that have to do with interesting ways to cut the back yokes to make them really interesting also some fun takes on simple white button downs.  If you ever need to be inspired, try typing couture seam treatments into Pinterest, the rabbit hole is an amazing place to hang out in.

The bottom left B6031 is for underwear from my knit scraps, very boring.  The one on the right is for the t shirt.  I often struggle with finding knit top patterns that suit my need for having wide deep V shapes, that thing looks perfect!  I don’t want any modesty when I go to the grocery store in my t-shirt.  I’m getting older and all I have left to hang onto is the cute produce guy checking me out when I pick out my baby carrots.  I need this, don’t judge me!

Set #3

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I like all of these coats, I want to make every single one of them.  I do not fear making coats.  I will have them!!

Pants

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I almost blew right by these pants patterns because I really didn’t like the tops.  I have seen them before, but I really looked at the line drawings and whoa!!

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Asymmetric zipper?  YES!  Look at the seam lines on the other ones!!!  Can you imagine all of the possibilities with that?  I can, and I am excited about it

So, that’s all for now, I hope that is satisfying enough since I am failing at skirt reviews.  I will succeed in time, just hold on for a little bit longer.

Nikki

 

Fabric and Pattern Haul !

I gotta be totally honest here… It did not occur to me that anyone would even read this blog, not even when I posted a link onto Pattern Review. So, to anyone who did and was disappointed in me, I deserve that.  I did not have my shit together. I still don’t, so if you came back, you must really be dying for something to read! Sadly I don’t have much to show for the past few weeks. I have had to do a lot of travelling, and thus have not had much sewing time. I am working on a skirt, Mcall’s 6706 and will make a post about it when its finished and I can get some pics of me wearing it. Or maybe I just throw it on my dress form and call it a day, haven’t decided yet. In the meantime I will post up some pics of my most recent fabric haul from Fabric Mart and the very recent Joann’s pattern sale. So, I love Fabric Mart, they don’t pay me to love them, they don’t even know who I am, I just like the service they provide. I subscribe to the Julie’s Pics, which means I pay $50.00 a year and I get a coupon a month and a swatch sample booklet and special pricing and first dibs on those samples. They have their own special section and they can sell out really quick! The coupons are a great deal, and I like being able to touch and inspect the fabric I want to buy up close and personal. Fabric Mart gets the majority of my monthly fabric stash cash because of the swatch booklet. If other fabric stores did it, I would have to increase my stash budget! If anyone wants to see an example of some of the swatch packets, I will get a pic up here, just let me know in the comments.  Without further ado, here are the main things I bought…

Golden Raffia Sweater Knit

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Black Chevron Crepe

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White and Gray Stripe Rayon Crepe

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This stuff was 70% off!  It is by far the best thing I bought and it was not part of Julies pics, just a random impulse buy.  It has beautiful drape and is opaque

 

And, since I was already close to the budget busting mark, I threw in a $15.00 mystery 10 yard bundle. They send you a random assortment of fabric remnants that add up to 10 yards. I like to gamble guys… Sometimes it’s a hit and sometimes it’s a miss. This was more of a miss for me, but the last one was great, so you never know. Straight to the muslin bin for these guys.  I didn’t bother to take pics before I dumped it in the bin, but I will do so in the future.

Also I ordered 4 yards of black ponte, nothing special, just a good staple to have around and it was a nice heavyweight for a good price.

I did my usual wash and fold for my new beauties and when I went to put them away, I realized that I had a serious problem of the storage nature.  I seem to have outgrown my fabric storage method. My mom told me to chill out on the fabric buying, but I say, I just need to sew faster and store more efficiently! What do you guys think?  I had been storing half of my fabric in a closet hanging on hangers, the other half was under a table already matched with summer patterns.  But when I went to hang up my new stuff, there was no more hanging space.  So I took it all off of the hangers and folded it up in neat piles in the closet.  I need some storage shelves or cubes or something.  I will figure it out when the new Home Goods store opens here.

Stay tuned for the skirt pattern review, I should be finishing it very soon.

Also, I made my second pair of Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns and I love them, but I cant fit my fat ass into them.  Apparently living out of a suitcase, using a slightly less stretchy fabric, and cutting a smaller size than the last ones led to this disaster.  I finished them off and they will hang in the closet waiting for hemming and hardware until I lose the 15 pounds I put on during the summer.  Its not a big deal, I just really wanted to wear them now.  Ill post the pic of them hanging, patiently waiting for me to fit them again…

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Simplicity 8137 Finished Garment and Review

, the dress is done!  Looks great, I love it.  I had some initial concerns about using a cotton lawn because the drape isn’t good.  But I kinda wanted a floofy look to the bottom.  I got the fabric from Fabric.com.  It’s a Robert Kaufmann print called London Calling.

I did make some changes to the pattern, that I already posted about, like adding some fabric to the front cross over section to raise the neckline a bit.  I also added a lining to the skirt.  This fabric is a little sheer and I like to wear full booty undies so I really didn’t want to have to think about my underwear choices when I throw this on.  The bodice is already lined for this pattern, I thought for the skirt it would look cool to add a layer of white cotton batiste under it.  I didn’t want the lining to be attached, more of a free floating layer under it.  I just cut the same skirt pieces in the lining but a few inches shorter.  I also added two more snaps so I would have some closures on both sides of the wrap instead of just one side.  I narrow hemmed all the raw edges on the skirt and French seamed the skirt panels together.

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Inside Front

 

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Inside back

 

Funny thing about the lining of the back bodice piece… I accidentally forgot to put the darts in and had a hell of a time figuring out why that was the only piece not lining up.  Also, please forgive my wobbly attachment on the lining to the skirt.  I tried to stitch in the ditch, and man it looks great on the outside, but I can acknowledge that the inside could use some work.

This is how it looks on.  Excuse the air dried messy hair.  It was hot and I was in no mood to screw around with a hair dryer.

I think if I go back and make this again, or any of the other views I will try a technique I saw on a YouTube video I saw.  It was Charles Kliebacker showing how to fix gaping on a low cut wrap or V-neck like this one.  I think it would be worth a try.

 

Simplicity 8137 Day 2

So, here’s the thing, you sew your muslin for a few reasons. Fit is the most important, but getting a handle on the construction of something that may be difficult would be another reason. For instance, a wrap maxi dress that has a slightly weird thing going on with the tie wraps would be something you would want to test out on the muslin. You know, so when you go to sew it up you know what you’re doing maybe…

Then you spend all this time cutting out your fabric because of the sheer amount of fabric that needs to be ironed and laid out and cut and marked and so on. You use every bit of that fancy fabric and you feel great when you are finally ready to sew because you know that your fit will be great and you know you took your time when you were cutting and you also know that you know how to put this dress together.

You sit down at your beautiful machine and then you realize you have sewed one of the ties completely wrong and already clipped the seam allowance, you cut out two of four maxi skirt panels with the print upside down, and you don’t have a single bit of extra fabric.

This is the story of my life and every sewing project in it.

This is also why I am known to be a problem solving, resourceful type of lady. Don’t worry, I managed to salvage the tie that I messed up with some very close tolerances for seams and as far as the skirt panels being upside down… Fuck it.

In the wise words of a white water rafting guide I had once, “You just gotta square up and push through.”

Anyway, In case you wanted to see the part I screwed up in the instruction so that you don’t do the same thing I did, here you go.

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Step three is where the mishap went down.

 

Basically what had happened was, I sewed shut the wrong side of the tie, you leave the wide end open and sew up the short side.  I did the opposite and clipped the seam before I turned it right side out.  So when I sewed it on , I barely had enough seam allowance to sew it to the bodice when I needed to.  You live you learn.

Simplicity 8137 Day One

So, coming fresh off a sewing debacle in which I had to remove a pocket to insert a zip on a pair of linen pants, I thought I was due for a sewing win. Since I need a maxi dress in my life, I chose simplicity 8137.

 

I have no idea why I thought a wrap dress would guarantee my success. So far, I have had some truly terrible luck with wrap dresses. They always seem a little bit off where my cleavage is concerned, but whatever, I decided to forge ahead anyway.

I immediately had some regrets when I saw that the only finished measurement provided for the garment was the bust. Normally I would measure the pattern pieces, but there is a princess seam as well as the wrap ties which would all have an effect on the finished measurements so… I guessed.

Normally I would chooses a size 12 when working with the big 4 pattern companies. I base this on Nancy Zieman’s formula in her book Fitting With Confidence . I have had a lot of success with this method. If I go by my upper bust measurement I end up with huge shoulders and armholes. I decided to go with a size 14 for no reason at all, grading out to 16 at the hip. Gotta accommodate the pear!

I sewed up a quick muslin, decided there was too much gaping at the bust, while also being way too low cut. That determination is coming from a person who has absolutely no modesty when it comes to cleavage. Usually I am a more = better type of gal in the at department. However, this kind of low cut could lead to a wardrobe malfunction and that is where I draw the line.

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To rectify the situation I sewed a strip of fabric to the edge of the front pieces one inch wide at the wrap tapering up to zero at the shoulder seams. Looked pretty good, so I will be making a change to my pattern piece and then the cutting of the real fabric can begin.  I decided that the gaping would probably be fixed with snaps, and the weight of the skirt, so I left it alone.  Also, my dress form needs to be adjusted a bit smaller in the torso, not sure where yet.

This is Happening

I have been thinking about writing a blog for a while. So, instead of sitting around and thinking some more, I decided to just do it. I don’t know if anyone will want to read it besides my mom, but it can’t hurt to try. I am an advanced beginner sewist, only just started about a year ago. I have been feeling a need for some community in my life. I work the midnight shift at my job and I live pretty far from the bigger cities, so I really don’t have much of an opportunity to engage in the garment sewing world in real life. I thought blogging could be a way to create my own little community.
Full disclosure, I can’t promise that there won’t be a lot of swearing in this blog, there probably will be. I can’t promise a bunch of pretty pictures as I am still learning how to take good pics on my phone. I can’t promise that my garments always turn out right, in fact they are almost always hiding some sort of disaster that I have had to work around (next post is about a pair of pants with only one side pocket. Why? Find out soon!). You came to the wrong place for perfect tutorials and glowing reviews of every pattern I ever make.
Here is what you will get from this blog:
• Honest reviews of my makes
• A detailed breakdown of where things went wrong, and where they went right
• Terrible pictures of me wearing stuff I made, even if it is a complete disaster, although I reserve the right to not show you mistakes that cause nudity. I think that is a fair deal.
• You may have some laughs
Who knows, this might end up being fun! At a minimum it will be a nice catalogue of shit I made with details so I can show my mom what I’m working on, after all, she is my number one fan. Ok, here we go!