Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grand Plans-Simplicity 1254

Simplicity  1254

Most of the shawl collar coats I've been seeing this season look like wool bath robes. Which is fine, if that's what floats your boat. But because of that I had kind of skimmed over all shawl collar designs. Until now. Behold! The beauty that is Simplicity 1254 by Leanne Marshall. I'd link you to Simplicity, but apparently they can't be bothered to post their own patterns to their own web page. So to PR, you go!

I still adore my Minoru jacket. In fact, I put it on the other day & my husband said "It's pretty warm out, you won't need your coat." I softly replied, "But I love her," as I tenderly stroked her sleeve...


My Minoru is the perfect casual coat, but I'm going to be needing a dressier wool coat this winter. I bought one 4 years ago at a thrift store and the lining is ripping out and the shoulders are too narrow for me, so it really is (past) time to move on. 

I ordered this pattern from Hancock's earlier this week (for a total of $7, the shipping cost about what it would cost to drive to my not-so-nearby store) and in a moment completely lacking of self control I ordered 3 yards of a "Heathered Purple Wool Flannel".  I was originally just looking for a nice grey, but I couldn't resist the purple in this fabric. Mood also suckered me into buying the lining when it listed it under "Related Products." Don't mind if I do, Mood. That's one stop shopping for you. Wanna see what my coat will look like? Of course you do. 

I'm slightly concerned about this project for a few reasons. One: I've never sewn with wool. Two: This is the most expensive fabric I've ever bought. Three: The pattern was just released so there's no reviews of it yet. Despite those concerns, though, I'm really very exited to get started on it!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Finished! Butterick 6031

Pattern:Butterick 6031, Gertie's slip pattern

Fabric: When Gertie did the sew-along, she offered kits in her etsy shop (which I bought)...I think this is a Micro Jersey.

Notions: Stretch lace, elastic, bow, bra strap sliders & rings

Size sewn: Size 10 with the C cup. Which was a mistake. My measurements indicate a size 12 & 14 in the waist & hips, but since the big 4 are almost always too big, I sewed a straight 10, which fit, but it was SNUG. Instead of giving up on it, I decided to go back & add 2" panels to the side seam, tapering to (more or less) nothing at the bust :) It's a design feature (wink wink). 

Alterations/Design Changes: Just the aforementioned side seam panels, heh.Oh! And I used bra strap elastic on for the back straps instead of stretch lace to achieve a little more stability.

Likes: I love this fabric! The pattern is quick to put together, runs true to size (surprise, surprise!) and is just flat out lovely.

Dislikes: None that I can think of. I was unsure about the darts, but they turned out fine.

Time to Complete: It sewed up pretty fast! with the lace & everything it seems like it would be more fiddly but I was pleasantly surprised by how easily it came together.

New Techniques: Sewing lace!

Total Cost:  The kit cost $31 & I imagine I got the pattern for about $2. I was able to find RTW slips for cheaper, but if they fit in my bust they are too small in the hips. They are also usually made out of inferior fabric without lace. Plus! This is purple! I really like that because it will offer opacity to any dress without showing through white. Something else, tricot fabric would be less expensive but still slippery. I would like to make a nude version with black lace. Rawr!

In Conclusion: Love this pattern! It got me thinking about sewing lingerie again. It was a really straight forward make & a welcome addition to my wardrobe! Gertie recently posted about altering the pattern into a bralette, which I really like.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Finished! Belcarra Blouse

When Tasia gave a sneak peak of the Belcarra with the Gabriola, I was pretty excited. But then the pattern came out & I was really unsure about the wide neckline. With my narrow & sloping shoulders it seemed like a recipe for disaster. Not to mention the fact that I'm not so good with wovens. Where most seamstresses fret over sewing knits; wovens make me nervous.  Anyway, Tasia had the Belcarra PDF on sale for awhile there so I bought it.

I've had this silk/cotton blend in my stash for a long time. I originally bought it to sew the Pendrell (the muslin proved difficult due to the fabric choice but I feared it was the pattern) and that was 3 years ago. Since then I had decided to stop using black as my "go to" so in the stash it stayed.  But, really, who DOESN'T need a versatile black top, right??

Pattern: Sewaholic Belcarra blouse

Fabric: Silk/Cotton blend from Hart's Fabric. This was a dream to work with. It pressed nicely & has a really nice sheen without being crazy shiny.

Notions: Just thread :)

Size sewn: 8 & it's a bit big (but not big enough to need to take it in). Next time I need to sew a size smaller. (Do you hear that, Jenna?! SEW A SIZE 6!) I never know what size to sew in any pattern because I'm very small boned but I'm also quite curvy.

Alterations/Design Changes: I narrowed the neckline according to the tutorial found on the Sewaholic blog
Likes:  The pintucks are so simple construction-wise, but they really pack a huge punch.  My hubby makes a habit of telling people I made stuff when they compliment me and everyone was like "You sewed these little tucks?!" LOL. I also really appreciated Tasia's little tips within the pattern when it comes to sewing on the cuffs.

Also, this PDF printed out so nice & straight. Tasia was thoughtful enough to have 1" (I think they're an inch) grid marks on the background so it was easy to make sure everything was lined up. I loved that!

Dislikes: Hmm, the pattern doesn't instruct you to stay stitch the neckline & mine stretched out despite incredibly careful handling.  It was stretched out enough that the binding was a tad too short, but not enough that I could actually gather it as a design feature, so there are some wrinkles at the neckline. I also think the neckline as drafted is too wide. But a contributing factor to that is my sloping shoulders. I'm just really glad to be able to  change it...I don't even try wide necklines on in RTW because they always fall off my shoulders!

Time to Complete: Very little! This sewed up so quickly.I could probably make it start to finish in 2 nap times if I needed to :)

New Techniques: Binding the necking. I'd never done that on a woven.

Total Cost: It's been forever since I bought the fabric, but I know it was more spendy that what I usually buy. I'm guessing it was $12-14 a yard. But I'm not counting it because it was eons ago. As in like, one whole child ago :)  And I bought the PDF when it was on sale for like $11. I think this top definitely would have cost way more if it were RTW.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From Wadder to Wearable-Pleated Skirt

I know. A month ago I was all "I'm back! Yay!" And I was. I've been sewing my little heart out. Honestly. I have 3 finished objects. But apparently sewing and blogging about sewing are 2 different things :) So here goes the blogging portion of the program :) I apologize in advance for the abysmal pictures.  Natural light is hard to come by in my house, and a blank wall is even more challenging to find. Also...LOOK! My in laws found a dress form for $25 at yardsale & got it for me! I still need to pad her out but she's pretty handy so far.
I got a little carried away in Photoshop. Just did away with the whole background

I had originally planned on sewing this skirt to wear at our annual convention. Two (three?) months ago. It didn't go well. The fabric I chose (a lightweight home dec) was too stiff for the pattern and it just looked huge & bulbous. So I literally wadded it up & threw it in the corner.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I found a pin of this tutorial & was like "Hey! She used Home Dec fabric for her pleated skirt!" So I dismantled my skirt, pressed it, hacked off a good 8-9 inches from each piece (front & back) to match the dimensions the tutorial gave, and voila! I had planned on cutting a new waistband, but the waistband from the original pattern actually fit!

I stitched the CB pleat closed so it would lay nicely
 Pattern: McCalls 6706, but not really.

Fabric:  Premier Prints Polka Dots Twill

Notions: Thread, 2 hooks & eye, zipper

Size sewn: 10

Alterations/Design Changes: I took in the side seams 8-9" to reduce the overall volume

Likes: The lapped waistband (but that was almost the only thing I kept from the design)

Dislikes: The result was too voluminous for the fabric I chose.

Time to Complete: For.Ev.Er. But not due to the pattern.

New Techniques: Blind hem by machine (which turned out great!) lapped zipper.

Total Cost:  A little under $20.

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