Flat felled seams…

Wow!  I didn’t mean to be MIA for so long.  It’s been a crazy first quarter at work – and 15 days of travel in March away from home – have made me a little road weary and missing my family.  Sewing hasn’t made it into the picture, sadly.  But, I’m hoping the spring will change all that!

This week, I took a few days off of work for spring break.  My youngest daughter needed more space/different space in her bedroom. This prompted a three bedroom swap.  Did I mention I took time off work?  To move furniture?  Dressers, desks, beds, cabinets, and yes, sewing machines.

My tiny craft closet was sadly turned over to my eldest this week.  My office and craft room was moved to the youngest’s room.  Which is the smallest room in the house.  Sigh.  I thought it would be terrible.  But, it’s turned out really great!  Bay window with beautiful natural light.  A downsized fabric horde, super organized now.  Yea!  Everyone won.  Even the hubby, who has been spinning vinyl while I sew.  Double bonus!!  And the girls?  Well, they both got rooms of any kids dream.

So, on the sewing front – some exciting news – Meigan from Get My Stich On is moving to my city!  Yea!  Another sewing blogger!  Super excited. 

I also finally got some long awaited sewing time in.  I purchased the new shirt pattern from Sewaholic.  I’ve had a white cotton polka dot fabric in my stash and it was screaming to be a shirt.  The pattern came together very quickly, once all the cutting out was done!  Whew, shirts have A LOT of pieces.  The pattern was great and the instructions are very good.  I made a few modifications – raised the bust darts, omitted the pockets and shortened the sleeves.  In addition to that, I used Grainlines method for collar sewing.  I find the method in the Sewaholic version easier to understand, but doesn’t come out as neatly.  Oh, yeah, I did flat felled seams throughout.  Took a little mental calculations, but it came out beautifully.

WARNING:  DORK ALERT PHITOS BELOW.

   

 

I like it, but I’m likely to take the sides in – I’m a square and Tashia definitely designs for pears.  I may go down a size too.  It feels fine, but looking at the pictures the shirt appears rumply and baggy.  

I gotta say, I am super proud of my sewing on this one.  The finishes are soooo good it could be reversible.  I can tell that my skillz are gettin madder!  Ha.  I crack myself up.

A year in review…

As always, I am running late. I know it’s the end of February and I haven’t posted much through the holidays. But, it’s not like I haven’t been sewing, thinking about sewing or writing blog posts in my mind. I have so many ideas, thoughts I want to share…time has eluded me and I haven’t formalized my fleeting ideas into words. Until, tonight. 

Here we go…

I began this blog a little over a year ago. Wow. It goes by quickly. Fast. Warp speed. I wanted to go a year without buying ready to wear clothing. For the most part, I succeeded! One moment of weakness when I felt fat & uncomfortable in my pants lead to a skirt purchase from Target. I think I bought one skirt, three sweaters, two tank tops, and two pairs of running shorts. Pretty good. Everything else this year was hand made. I accomplished what I wanted to…more sewing, better clothes, and a whole lot of learning!

So.  Where does that leave me for 2015?  Well, let’s talk about that.  At the end of January I culled my closet of all that didn’t work for me.  I was ruthless.  My hand made clothing was spared no mercy.  A lot left my closet.  A LOT!  RTW and hand made.  I took some time to reflect on why my handmade garments didn’t make the cut.  Basically, two reasons:  poor fabric and bad fit.  So, that will be my focus this year.

I am also working through Colette’s wardrobe architect – and really trying to define my style.  I’ve come to realize it’s classic, fitted, conservative with a little flair.  Check out my style board on Pinterest….you get the gist.

More projects and photos to come.  Just wanted you to know I wasn’t gone off the face of the earth!

Ginger and spice and everything nice…

I’ve owed you my Ginger post for a few weeks now. I have made two pairs since purchasing the pattern from Closet Case Patterns. After vacation, I plan on a few more. Best. Pattern. Ever. Swoon. Total love.

Let’s get down to details, shall we? I made the first pair in a lighter weight denim with approximately 4% Lycra. I did not make any adjustments except to shorten the length. I cut a size 6 – and thought it was a little too tight – but my DH thinks the fit is juuuust fine. I did not interface the waist band, which I feel is a mistake. Don’t skip that step if you don’t like the expanding Jean waist.

A picture at the EMP museum in Seattle. My sis was nice enough to play photographer.

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Like my model pose? Seriously, look at my bad ass top stitching! Oh, yeah. I got my hair cut.

My next make was a size 8 with a little heavier denim. I was worried they would be too tight, but I think I will stick with a size 8. On the second pair, I altered the waist band by pinching put three wedges – making more of a curved waist fit. Much better. I also interfaced the waist band.

I gotta say, the fly instructions are excellent on this pattern. Similar to Jaile. Overall – I love this pattern!

I also made some Hudson pants from True Bias. So comfy!!! I will make more of these. Like others, I don’t think they are particularly flattering, but let’s face it, who cares? They are still cute and stylish. I wore them to a girl get together recently, and all my girlfriends loved them. Here is a shot at the Chichuly Gardens in Seattle.

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Well, back to my vacation. See you all soon…will leave you with a pic of the exhibit.

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Helllloooo! And Pattern Review Contest

I am a glutton for punishment. Amid all of the other stuff I have going on, I decided to enter the PR contest.

The Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee - Round #1

My first entry was the Maria Denmark Yasmin Skirt. Y’all know how I love that pattern. Love! I didn’t make any changes except to add lining. I did add the pocket, but I gotta say, my gut doesn’t like them (must cut back on beer!).

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BTW, I did make the Ginger Jeans and LOVE them!!! I have two more planned. I haven’t photographed them yet, but here’s a sneak peek!

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I want to give the post the love it deserves for these jeans!!

October – or where has the time gone?

Crap! I can’t believe it’s the middle end of October already. I am still alive, though life and work and kids and school are getting in the way of blogging and sewing. Seriously, I started this post on the 18th. Sigh. Damn kids. Just kidding. Sorry y’all get the short end of the stick in all this balancing.

Ok, let’s start at the top. I am taking a class. Yup. As if I don’t have enough on my plate. And to make it worse, it’s Financial Statement Analysis. WTF, what was I thinking? Dumb ass.

And then, there is my running. Good stuff, except I’m injured. Ugh. There is honestly nothing worse than an injured runner. We are a whiney baby lot. Wah. I can’t run – which sadly means I haven’t seen my running partner in far too long. I miss our running therapy.

Then, the kids. Well, I can’t really say anything too bad about them. Except they are rotten & that is fine by me. Love those rotten things.

Sew, let’s talk sewing. Haha. I have been sewing some. Thought I would catch you up on a recent make.

One of my new faves, a black Coco. This dress is simple and adds a great basic to my wardrobe. I made it in a heavy knit, which means it’s comfy too! What can I say about this pattern that hasn’t already been said? There is a reason why we all have girl-crushes on Tilly. Simple, well drafted patterns that look great. Yeah, it’s a good one.

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I probably should invest in spanx.

And, a little photobomb:

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Yeah, she’s cute like that!

More to come soon – just downloaded the new Ginger pattern from Closet Case Patterns!

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Crazy for Coco Puffs!

Haha! That makes me laugh.

Ok, let’s get down to business. I purchased Tilly’s Coco dress pattern some time ago. But, for whatever reason, it languished in my stash. I also had this awesome ponte stripe knit that I had slated for a jacket. It also languished in my stash. And…that’s where being on a fabric diet gets ya. You get hungry and you just need to sew. Something. Anything. Coco puff anyone?

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My attempt at striking a model pose. Oh, yea, I’m hot. Do you see my quad muscle? Damn!

Seriously though. I absolutely adore this pattern. Simple, cute, and I can imagine it in a lot of different fabrics. In fact, inspiration for my next Coco came via an Armani ad today – I can just see it made up in a lovely black wool blend. I may do a woven fabric hack in the near future.

Let’s talk shop at bit. The pattern goes together quickly. The style lines are very flattering. I did shorten the pattern, but I could probably add the length back in. Pattern matching the stripes was a beyoch. It took for-ev-ah to get the sleeve matched up. But, I think my efforts paid off, if I do say so myself. What can I say, I’m a bad Betty.
And…here’s a better pic.

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Not a very flattering pic. My hubby was the photographer. He’s fired. May need to re-hire my 6yo.

Great Gingham Goodness!

I feel redeemed. My Great Gingham Goodness Archer saved me. I have been stalking gingham shirts on Pinterest. Obsessing about a version for myself. And perfection came together in the form of fabric and an Archer pattern. What can I say? I L-O-V-E this shirt!

However, I cannot lie, the shirt did give me a little heartache. Shall we discuss? I cut this out several weeks ago. Part of my binge and purge weekend. It sat a few weeks and I sewed it up last weekend. I *tried* to match the plaid, but alas, it’s not perfect.

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This fabric was a PITA. I did not like sewing with it – sort of a light weight cotton poly blend. Neither of my machines liked it very much. I redid the collar twice – didn’t like how the collar stand was sitting. That’s the thing about sewing – my perfectionist tendencies get taken out via my seam ripper. I am anal retentive – I would fixate on that collar stand – and we can’t have that, can we?

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I did modify the sleeve. I made it short sleeved. I extended the cuff piece by a few inches and made it flip up. I think it came out pretty cute. You can see I did pleat the sleeve a bit – that was pure laziness as I cut the cuff a smudge too small. What do you do? As Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work.”

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I made my 6 yo play photographer. She wasn’t very helpful. Alas, good help is hard to find these days. I did get a sort of a decent pic out of the bunch. I promptly fired her afterwards.

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The “I Hate You” Dress

This dress has been vexing me. I know it turned out cute, but I hated it the whole time I was making it. Have you ever had a project like that? Argh. So frustrating.

Let me tell you my tale:

On a dark and stormy afternoon (really, it was – VA summer rain showers are no joke), I was trapped in Jo-Ann’s, buying fabric (this was B.D – before diet). I purchased some great light weight denim thinking I would make a pair of trousers. I took it home, pre-washed it, and folded it up and gently placed it on the fabric horde pile. There it waited for two weeks.

Then, inspiration struck in the form of Melissa’s Adler. Omg! So cute. I needed a blue shirt dress in the worst way. I dug out my Simplicity 2246 Lisette dress pattern. I have been meaning to make this up – so I ran with it!

I cut a straight size 12. From there, everything went badly. Inspiration, you cruel mistress.

How do I hate thee, let me count the ways:

1. No boobs = redoing bust darts all over to get a decent fit
2. The hem, carefully measured and pre-ironed, with one of my best invisible hems ever, ended up being about 2″ longer on one side – WTF! I can’t figure it out. Unpick, redo.
3. The right arm is too tight. I’d like to say it’s my perfectly chiseled arms, but let’s face it, it’s flab.
4. Said right arm gathers got caught and folded under – unpick, redo.
5. No buttons in the stash – run to Joann’s, pick buttons, return home. BTW, do you know how hard it is to go into a fabric store while on a fabric diet? Awful!
6. 6 button holes, one off-centered. Unpick, redo.
7. Button holes too far apart, back to Joann’s for 6 more buttons so I don’t have a wardrobe malfunction.
8. 6 more button holes. Two off-centered. $@)”€¥#%!!! Unpick, redo.
9. Finish armhole edges by serging. Crap. Fabric folded under again! $&@@)@)@%%+^!!!!!! Unpick, redo.
10. The back side is a billowy, unfitted shape. Maybe that explains the picture on the envelope. Add belt, call it done.

Yup, it was a dark and stormy night.

PS – Melissa’s Alder really is cute – check it out! I’m going to try again, but this time, with a Grainline pattern!

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I may be smiling, but it’s only because my co-worker volunteered (you know, after I asked) to take my picture. Ha!

Dieting and Binge-ing

Ok. I gotta fess up and come clean. I have a problem. I’m a hoarder. Yup. A fabric hoarder. Gulp. There. I said it.

I know. I know. Every seamstress has a stash. What’s wrong with that? But see, you all are enablers. I see your pretty stashes and jealously long for that print you have squished in between that woven navy and the striped knit. Like I need another piece of fabric. Argh you vixens.

So. Starting today. I am going on a fabric diet. I had my last piece yesterday (yup, bought me piece of yellow gauze – I couldn’t help it). I am going to sew through my stash and try to get my fabric off the floor of my office. I need to lose about 10 lbs in 60 days. No purchasing any fabric for 60 days and I must use up enough fabric so it will fit in my existing storage areas. I realize that 60 days doesn’t sound like a long time, but let’s just start with a reasonable goal.

On binge-ing.

Last weekend, after recovering from some horrible, awful, nasty virus, I got a super burst of energy. What did I do with that energy? Pay attention to my kids? Hang out with my hubs? Clean the house? Go for a run? Nah! I binge sewed! In two days, I made two t-shirts for me, sewed two granny sweaters for my girls, cut out four knit projects, an archer shirt, and a shirt dress. That’s right, I got my sewing on.

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Here are a few of the finished projects:

My oldest has a favorite sweater. She’s been wearing it for two years almost every day. Like a little old lady. It’s too small, but she wears it anyway. In an effort to get her to wear something that is a little less tatty, I traced it off and made her a new one, cut it out, and finished it before she changed out of her PJs. She promptly put it on, and hasn’t taken it off since (she sleeps in it too – oh, yeah, and played tennis in it). Here she is…so cute!

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I also made a simple tissue t-shirt for myself. I used BurdaStyle Chill Dress 11/2013. The armholes are ridiculously big, so I sewed the up at the end.

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Comfy and quick.

60 days to go. Hope I don’t go crazy!

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