Sunday, June 10, 2018

Christine Haynes Sylvie Dress #3

I haven't had a new dress in quite awhile! Last summer I only made shorts and read a bunch of books so this summer I'm trying to focus on adding new dresses into my wardrobe.  They are so easy to wear in the summer heat and I need more in my rotation.
This is the third time I've made the Christine Haynes Sylvie dress.  Once I find something that works I stick with it! I like the somewhat relaxed fit, gathered skirt and big pockets.  I chose the Cotton + Steel rayon fabric before I decided which pattern to pair it with and the Sylvie came up the winner.
I underlined the bodice with a simple white cotton and lined the skirt with the same.
The pockets and middle panel have piping added to them, although the fabric is so busy you can't really see it.

On to the next dress!







Saturday, May 12, 2018

Boylston Bra

I finally dove in to bra-making and I was surprised to learn it's really not that hard!  The most intimidating part for me was just getting started.  

My initial hesitation was that I didn't know where to begin buying the supplies.  I've sewn enough garments that I can find my way around most patterns and fabrics, but bra-making is so completely new to me that I felt lost by the supplies list.  This led to procrastination.  I would surf the internet to fabrics and then get up and walk away from the computer because I just didn't know what to pick.  

I chose as my first pattern the Boylston Bra by Orange Lingerie.  Thankfully, Tailor Made offers bra kits and I decided to go with one instead of trying to find all of the elastics and fabrics on my own.  That was a great decision and one I would recommend to everyone who is just starting out.  The whole shebang shows up in a bag and you're ready to go.

I also invested in the Craftsy course titled Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit with Beverly Johnson.  That was another great decision.  She patiently walked me through every step of the process and made sewing the pattern seem extra easy.  I liked her so much I bought the next class in her series titled Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace and Beyond.  I noticed that she also offers kits through her store.  

(This is my practice bra so the underwires in the center aren't bartacked down yet.)

When I was midway through I realized that I was sewing with lace which I've not sewn with before.  Not only was I sewing a bra for the first time, but I was sewing with lace for the first time.  If  I had it to do over again I think I might pick a different fabric than lace to start with, although I don't have major regrets there.  

I enjoyed the process of making this and I believe I'll make more in the future.  I think the thing that made it worthwhile to me is it's a completely new skill set for me and therefore felt exciting and challenging.  I love learning new things and I'm sure that's part of the excitement of sewing for others as well.  

If you've considered making a bra, I encourage you to jump right in.  It's really not that hard.  Seriously.  It's NOT that hard.  



Monday, April 2, 2018

Simplicity 8262


I ordered several fabrics from Style Maker Fabrics all at one time several months ago.  I prioritized the other three ahead of this red wool which left me making a lined wool coat in the spring.  I was determined to finish it because I didn't want a UFO which worked out ok because it snowed yesterday and my kids went sledding on Easter.

I like the peplum quite a bit but I'm a little undecided on the double collar.  At first I liked it a lot, but I think it would work better if it wasn't quite so large.  I interfaced both collar pieces as suggested which made it really bulky.  Each collar piece is two pieces sewn together, which accounts for five layers when the collar pieces are sewn to the neckline. I broke three needles just attaching the collar pieces to the neckline. If I had it to do again I would interface just one collar piece instead of two out of the four and I wouldn't interface along the seamline.  
The collar is really bulky in the back and stands up quite high on my neck.  I steamed it a lot and maybe as time passes it will calm down.
The lining is fun.  
I had a major disaster occur on one of my facing buttonholes.  I chose bound buttonholes and for some reason I decided that I wasn't going to add my facing buttonholes until I had already attached the facing to the coat.  It was a horrible idea and I have no idea why I thought it was a wise choice.  The top buttonhole is so close to the neckline that it was terribly awkward sewing it on.  The real problem occurred when I sewed the interfacing to the wrong side of the facing instead of the right side.  The above picture was my best attempt to salvage it by removing the first one I did and sewing it on right which was made harder by the fact that I had already cut into the fabric. It looked hideous so I made a separate buttonhole and hand-stitched it to the facing.  It's not great but it looks better than it did.  
In addition to sewing it on the right side of the garment, in the future I'm going to use fabric instead of interfacing for the facing buttonholes.  The interfacing looks messy to me even if I do it right and I think the fabric will work just as well.  Then I can stitch around the facing buttonhole instead of steaming it to make it adhere.  
My face sums up my feelings about the weather we are having.  I can't even force a smile. 
Please make it stop! 







Saturday, February 3, 2018

Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers


My intention for 2018 is to draw up a bodice sloper and create tops, but here I am with another pair of pants.  I can't decide what I think about the Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers, and it has nothing to do with the pattern itself.  The pattern is great, but I swore off cropped pants  years ago because I think they make my legs look really stumpy (technical term right there).  However, I am in search of a pattern to go with the dark teal stretch denim I purchased from Guthrie and Ghani several months ago, and when I saw the Sasha pattern I thought I would test it out to see if it would work.  I'm considering this my wearable muslin, but I'm still undecided on what I think about it! 
I'm absolutely in love with the fabric, which is a stretch denim from Style Maker Fabrics.  So much so that I'm considering buying 20 yards of it so I can have some on hand for the rest of my life. You can dress up this pattern for work with non-denim fabric, or make it more casual with denim.  My top is a Sewaholic Oakridge blouse that I made many moons ago.  Alas, my jacket is RTW from JCrew.  I bought it years ago and will never part with it.  
The welt pockets are a nice touch, although when I study this picture they don't look lined up.  I didn't notice that before! I didn't add belt loops due to laziness.  I'm a veeerrry lazy seamstress lately.  
There are a couple of things I would do differently if I make this pattern again.  First, after topstitching the fly shield, I would serge the straight open edge of the shield so I didn't have to serge it to the fly extension after I assembled the fly.  I accidently serged both sides of the fly extensions instead of just one side like it says in the instructions.  I would do that again so both extensions and the straight edge of the shield are serged prior to being assembled. 
Second, my waistband is a train wreck at the front.   The instructions say to fold the waistband facing back at the corner when you stitch the waistband at the center front.  I did that, but in the future I think I will just do it like I always do, which is to sew the center front without the folded corner and then tuck the facing under to finish.  I think that's just personal preference.  I couldn't pull the folded corner technique off to get the finish I wanted.  
And here's the obligatory shot of the back view.  The model pictures at the pattern launch seemed to be extremely tight in the butt.  My measurements are a 28 waist and 38 hips.  I cut an 8 in the waistband and then graded that out to a 10 in the hips.  I sewed a 5/8 inch seam allowance in the inseam, but only a 1/2 inch seam allowance at the top of the pants (prior to adding the waistband).  When I hit the pocket I gradually moved out to a 5/8 seam allowance for the rest of the leg seam.  The result is a form-fitting pant through the hips but it's not skin-tight.  Also, the fabric is very stretchy with good recovery.  
I think this might be my last pair of pants for awhile.  We will see!


  





Friday, January 19, 2018

Grainline Archer (finally!)



I'm pretty sure that I'm one of the last people in the sewing community to make the Grainline Archer shirt.  This will be a short post because I don't think there's anything that hasn't been covered already!

I've developed a habit of not making a muslin and just winging it.  Had I done one, I would have known that I need to lengthen the sleeves and had an inch or so to the bodice length.  It's wearable as it is, but I would like it better if  both the sleeves and the bodice were longer.


I usually stay away from plaid because I don't want to pattern match.  It intimidates me, but I do think I'm getting better at it.  When I took these pictures I realized that the pattern matching between the sleeves and the bodice is better than I thought it was.

The fabric is flannel from Style Maker Fabrics.

Happy sewing!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Blackwood Cardigan and 3 Birkin Flares

I've been busy sewing but not busy blogging! I'm on a mission to make clothes I need, so once they are finished I throw them on and go on with life instead of pausing to take pictures.
The Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan is going to become a new favorite pattern of mine. I love how it's an open front that sits close to the body.  I am not a fan of boxy cuts, and I chose the shorter version because I don't gravitate to longer cardigans either.
The Blackwood Cardigan is easily a one day project if you're focused. There are minimal pieces to cut, and construction consists of sewing the fronts and back together, putting on the sleeves, putting on the cuffs, sewing the bottom band and sewing the front band.  No closures!
Fabric for the cardigan came from Style Maker Fabrics.  Don't you love the color? The quality is great.  The shirt is the Sewaholic Granville in fabric from Hell Gate fabrics.  
I made three new pairs of Birkin Flares in September and October, which brings my total to 5.  I've blogged the two previous pairs before here and here, so I won't go into details here. I like the fit through the hips and the flare that covers my shoes, so why not have more than one or two pairs?  The above fabric is Ralph Lauren stretch denim from Mood Fabrics.  The following two fabrics are also from Style Maker Fabrics.

It feels good to put together an entire outfit of separates! Happy Halloween! 


Sunday, August 6, 2017

SBCC Gina Shorts & Grainline Maritime Shorts

I inadvertently took most of the summer off from sewing and instead I've read about 16 books so far.  I have no regrets! I did manage to make three pair of shorts: two Maritimes and one Gina short, which is the new pattern from SBCC.  I always wonder how similar patterns compare to each other, so I thought it might be helpful to describe them for you.


The green shorts are the Maritime pattern and the teal shorts are the Gina pattern.  The Maritime shorts have a bit looser or flared fit throughout the leg.

A big difference between the patterns is the dart in the back of the Gina pattern.  The Maritime has no dart, which results in the Gina short having a curvier fit throughout the back than the Maritime.

I think the Maritime short makes your booty look a little flatter while the Gina short makes it look a curvier.  We all want different things!


The Maritime shorts have pocket bags while the Gina pockets are topstitched on with no pocket bags.


I made the Maritime shorts first, and I found the instructions for sewing the fly and zipper extremely easy to follow.  The Gina instructions list the steps in a different order, and since I made the Maritime shorts first the Gina fly instructions felt out of order to me and resulted in what I feel is a less desirable looking fly.  Also, the Gina fly facing is about an inch shorter then the Maritime facing, which exposes the zipper at the bottom. If you are new to sewing pant zippers and fly facings, I would choose the Maritime pattern first.  The Gina doesn't give instructions for finishing your zipper pieces, and you'll want those if you're new.


I also have to be completely transparent and say that I had a lot of energy when I was sewing the Maritime shorts at the beginning of the summer, and was completely lazy when I was sewing the Ginas.  L-A-Z-Y.  I think you can tell by my workmanship but I'm not planning on wearing my pants inside out so it's my secret!

The Gina shorts have a cuff at the bottom while the Maritime shorts are just turned under and stitched.

I like them both for different reasons, and they aren't so similar that you have to choose one over the other.  Both shorts are made with twill from Style Maker fabrics.  I think the fabric is part of the summer sale so hurry over!