Thursday, May 11, 2017

McCalls 7537

I fell in love with this pattern when I saw it's release this spring.  I usually stick with indie patterns but I had to make this one!
I initially wanted to make View C with the contrasting waist panels but I couldn't find the right contrasting fabric to go with this loud Liberty print I bought on sale from Craftsy.  I opted instead for View A with the sleeve caps from C instead of the sleeves.  I still want to do the contrasting waistband option at some point. I can't get it out of my head. I love mixing prints.
The fabric is so busy that you can't see all of the great details like the gathered waistband and gathering at the bust.  Those would be easy to showcase in a solid print.  I made two simple changes: 1) I inserted the zipper all the way up to the top of the left side because I find it impossible to put a dress on when there is an inch of fabric sewn together above the zipper.  2) I sewed up about 2 additional inches from the circle listed in the instructions on the front band because it was so low that it bordered on indecent.  It doesn't lay as flat that way, but I don't think I would feel comfortable wearing it if I had only sewn to the circle as instructed. 
The only design feature that gives me pause is the gathering at the middle back above the waistband.  I think I would like a smoother look back there without the gathering to make it look less bulky. 
The sewing is straightforward.  I barely glanced at the instructions because it's pretty easy to see how it all goes together.  

I think this one is worth a try!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Birkin Flares + Two Colette Violets

I just noticed how long it's been since I blogged.  I had a men's shirt pattern go south on me in February, and then I made three pieces that I decided to blog together instead of separately. 
I'm obsessed with Birkin Flares, and I'm also obsessed with this Cornflower Blue stretch denim Style Maker fabrics.  I'm almost afraid to wear them because I love them so much.  Kind of like when you don't use your fine china.  If I wear a hole in them I will dissolve in a puddle of tears. 
The Birkin pattern is really easy to follow and super easy to fit.  If you are thinking about sewing jeans this is a great pattern to start with.  The fabric is so high quality and the recovery is great.  
The Colette Violet top is one of those patterns that I didn't try when it first came out, and now that I've sewn it up I don't know why I didn't do it a long time ago.

My wardrobe was in need of casual short sleeved tops for spring and the Violet is perfect.  All fabric for the Violet tops was purchased at the locally owned fabric store Sarah's Fabrics in Lawrence, KS
 The main fabric for this one is a Moda lawn and the contrasting collar and bias tape fabric is Alexander Henry quilting cotton.  I love mixing prints and this pattern is a great one for that. 
Please excuse the sideways picture and also excuse my inability to fix it.  I've forgotten which line they are from, but the bodice is a lawn.

Happy sewing!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Birkin Flares

I accomplished something major: I made jeans! Specifically Birkin Flares from Baste+Gather.  I feel so joyful. 
My material is burnt orange corduroy from IndieSew and it's great.  I snatched it up right when it was advertised and have no regrets.  I went rogue for this pattern and didn't make a muslin.  I like the fit. It's right under my belly button and there is negative ease in the hips which means they actually stay up when I walk around.
Everybody says jeans aren't hard, and they actually aren't.  There is a sewalong on the Baste and Gather website that is fabulous and really helped through the challenging bits. 

Close up of the front:
 Close up of the back:
You'll notice that there is something weird going on with the back yoke. The piece didn't look right when I cut it out, but since I didn't make a muslin I just went along with it.  The middle part of it seemed to have too much of a diagonal as compared to the sewalong pictures that seemed to continue up in a straight line from the leg.  I'll have to revisit that next time because the extra fabric makes the yoke wavy. 
I do not plan to wear a shirt tucked in with these and the rest is satisfactory, so I'm OK with that.  Being the opposite of Type A really helps in sewing....

I enjoy topstitching quite a bit.  It makes it all look put together. My sewing machine kept spitting out my needle when I tried to do the narrow row of zigzag on the pockets.  I eventually had to give up on that after doing the best I could. 
I chose to have the front of my pocket lining facing me so I can see the fun burst of color.  Nobody looks inside my pockets!

I highly recommend this pattern if you are a first-timer.  Go for it! You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Moto Chic Jacket #2

I found this pretty turquoise corduroy at my local fabric store (Sarah's Fabrics) and decided to make another SBCC Moto Chic Jacket with it because my first one gets lots of compliments.  This was a hard one to find a matching zipper for, so I substituted circular buttonholes. The Craftsy course Couture Finishing Techniques with Alison Smith helped me with those. 
I felt like I borrowed BeyoncĂ©'s wind machine for these pictures.  The one above is suitable but if I'm being transparent almost all of the others looked like this:
Not okay! I could have waited for another day, but I don't have closure on a project until I've blogged it and I'm itching to move on to something else.

Besides the buttonholes, the only other change I made was to the lining.  The pattern lining doesn't extend to the hem, which leaves some of the innards exposed.  I extended the lining piece with the intention of slip stitching it to the corduroy hem.  I didn't take into account the gathered peplum, and so I had to settle for a free floating lining hem. 
Side view:

Onward to new things!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Colette Wren

I've been made fun of for not owning one single black garment.  But why choose black when you can choose, say, orange? Or a happy little print? Bright colors and prints aren't always appropriate for the occasion though, and that's where this dress comes in.
I needed a dark dress, and I had purchased the Colette Wren pattern awhile back but never got around to it.  I had also picked up this very thick fabric of unknown origin from the discount bin from a nearby Hancocks some months ago, and I decided I would combine the two.
I love the pattern.  I'll be making more because I enjoy the bodice quite a bit.  I also like the fabric well enough, but something happened at the waistband and I think it's a result of the fabric being made of some sort of synthetic something-or-other.  Do you see how it bulges and rides up on my right side at the waistline?  It's so strange!
I have to constantly pull it down for it not to do that.  And who wants to constantly be pulling something down?  I thought the heaviness of the skirt would pull the bodice down, but no.  I tried to press it from the inside, but melted the material and had to stop.  A press cloth didn't even help.  This fabric does not like heat and unfortunately I think heat is what it needs. 
I actually almost threw it in the reject pile because of the waistline, but then I decided I would give it a chance and wear it once.  I think it was reasonably successful, but I'm going to consider this a wearable muslin for this pattern which, again, I really do love.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Actually, the winner is....

Unfortunately after a week I've been unsuccessful in making contact with the original winner. I've drawn again at random and the new winner is Annmarie DeGuire. Annmarie, can you please send your address to me at

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Tunic Bible Winner Is...

The winner chosen at random is:

Tasha October 10, 2016 at 6am
I love your version! I can't wait to make a tunic from this book!

Tasha, please email me at with your address. Congrats and happy sewing!