Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gray on Gray

This weekend I got to get a little sewing done.  Yay!  First I made the Hot Patterns Fast and Fabulous LaStrada T-Shirt.  Once again, I was wooed by Hot Patterns!  Actually I bought this pattern and the Blouse Back T awhile ago.  Unfortunately, I cut them both right away, and now I wish I would have waited.  This shirt is really big on me.  I think that HP must be cut fairly large in the upper chest/neck area.  I actually tapered out to a larger size at the hip, but there is still a lot of extra room in the upper chest and shoulder area.

In fact, I will not be able to wear this top without a cami or other top underneath.  The armholes are seriously large, and I went up 2" farther than what the pattern recommends!  I would like to make this again, but I think I will have to go down 2 sizes in the neck.

Also, the directions were sparse on this pattern.  For example instead of telling you to start at the curve and sew up to the notch, (the side seam and sleeve are all the same) it just says "Sew the side seam."  A new sewist would not know to stop at the notch.  As it is, the notch is way too low, but I was afraid to go to much higher because it would restrict movement.  Also, it was very confusing to tell how to sew the upper body to the lower body.  The curves are unusual and either there aren't sufficient markings, or I neglected to put them in somehow.    All in all, it is a cute shirt, but it needs to go with different pants.

I absolutely love the fabric that this shirt is made of.  It is a rayon jersey and is super comfortable.  It is very clingy though, and since it is so long in the back, It gets caught on jeans.  This top needs to be worn with slippery pants or leggings.  I guess if you are slim in the hips (which I most definitely am not) then it wouldn't matter what you wore it with.

The pants are Loes Hinse Ascona Pant.  This is the capri.  Interestingly enough, there is a totally different cut on these than the longer version.  She did the same thing when the Cruise pant was in print.  The capri and the longer pant both used different pattern pieces, including a different crotch curve.  Not sure why that is, but I like the way these fit.  I made these pretty much as is (no muslin) but I will tweak them a bit for next time.  I'd love to make these in a linen blend.  I'm really looking for comfortable fabrics that do not wrinkle much for travel.  I was so inspired by some of these pics from the Louise Cutting fashion show, that I want to add some color to my wardrobe this spring. I have some green linen about the same color as the picture on the right, but linen is so wrinkly that it's not great for travel.  I think the Ascona pant would work well, and I have the cowl vest pattern (CLD Light and Shadow) and top shown with it.

I think I'm going to give this top another shot.  I know I will make the pants again - super quick and comfortable.  But the top.  Well, we'll see.  
 I see that Cidell has recently made a couple of the HP Blouse back Ts.  Apparently she is having much more success with Hot Patterns than I am!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Me Made May Day 20 and another Tilton Tee

Last night I could not sleep.  I woke up at 2 and tried reading, but that did not put me back to sleep.  Some things at work were bothering me and I'm not a good sleeper to begin with.  Finally, at 4, I decided to get up and do some sewing.  I had cut out another T earlier in the evening, so I decided to go ahead and make it for work tomorrow.  I had my sweet grand daughter spending the night, so I knew I had to get her up and ready to go down the hill with me no later than 7.  Well, I'm obviously not the fastest sewist in the world because I finished my top at 6:30.
I made a few little changes on this one.

  • First, I lowered the neckline by 3/4" at CF and used the french curve to taper back up to where the neckline meets the sleeve.  This neckline feels much better on me, and I may lower it even a little bit more.  Unless it's a turtleneck, I really don't like high necklines very much. I don't need anything that visually increases the length from neck to bust - the girls are getting lower every year and don't need any emphasis on their new location!!
  • I retraced the front and left out the dart at the CF.  I rotated that to the arm, meaning that I took the 3/8" off where the front meets the sleeve at the neck and tapered it to nothing where the side seam meets the back side seam.  This sounded good in theory and it actually worked!
  • I used a contrast band for the neckline because I think prints need something to break them up
  • This one is a jersey and not an interlock.  I got it from Peggy Sager, but I don't remember the fabric content.  It feels like a rayon/poly/lycra blend.  You can always tell when fabric has lycra in it because when you pull it and let it go, it makes the sound like a rubber band!  That, Ladies, is my scientific method of fabric identification!
  • I used my coverstitch to hem the sleeves and bottom hem.  ( I used steam a seam first to hold them hems in place so they would not slip while I was hemming them. )
I really like this T.  It is more comfortable than the other one (lace always makes me itch) and the jersey drapes much better than interlock.  Interlock is easier to work with, but this was actually a well-behaved jersey.  It didn't roll too much and wasn't horrible to cut.  One tip I use when cutting knits like this is to snip the selvedges every couple of inches to help them lie flat.  It seems that the selvedges always shrink either more or less than the fabric, and then the fabric won't lie flat to cut it out.  Snipping the edges really helps.

The pants are one of my favorite (well, my only right now) knit pants.  I didn't realize how long I've had these until I looked up the review to check the pattern number.  No wonder they're getting worn - they're 4 years old and I wear them a lot!
They are V1197, a Sandra Betzina pattern - I believe this one is still in print, too.
By the way, I took these pictures after a long day at work, and my outfit still looks good.  Yes, the comfort and beauty of knits!  It was so nice out on the deck, that I just wanted to sit there and blog for a while.  That didn't happen because I had to get ready for a group of ladies to come over for Bible study tonight.  I always look forward to that!

Yes, I have to say that this Marcy Tilton pattern is a keeper!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A new Tee

Time for a new T-shirt.  I'm not much of a T-shirt wearer.  That is, your typical T.  Like you get at a concert.  Or Walmart.  The whole crew neck, straight sides, no shape thing does nothing for me.  I've never liked them and whenever I've gotten one for whatever reason, I usually leave it in a drawer.
However, interesting T shirts I like.  Different shaping, sleeve and neckline variations.  That I like.

At PR weekend, I picked up this pattern from the pattern exchange.  I like Marcy Tilton designs for the most part, and this is just a basic T, but there was something I liked about it.    I've been wanting to make a T shirt with lace sleeves and the other day I found the perfect green interlock at JoAnns.  I've had some green print lace that I haven't known what to do with, so this seemed like a good combo.

I did not want to go overboard on alterations on this thing, so I traced out a 10 and just continued out to a 14 at the underarm and kept it down to the hip.  I did bring in the waist about 1/4".  There was already waist shaping, so I just added a little more.  Also, because I did not want to add a dart, I extended the CF down at the hem about 1" and tapered up at the side.  I made a straight 10 for the back down to the waist, and the went out to a 14 at the hip.

My stretch lace had a little less stretch than I had remembered, so the sleeves were tight.  I reduced the seam allowance to 1/4" on the sleeves and now they are a lot more comfortable.   Another problem I always have with tops is that they are too big in the neck.  If I go down too far in size, they are too tight in the armholes and across the back.  I suppose I have what is called a shallow upper chest.  It does not help that I have a DD bust, so the combination of the two makes fit a little challenging.  What I did was to take a dart at the CF as you can see in the picture below.  What I didn't think of was that since these are raglan sleeves, it would have been easier to take that dart out at the sleeve, and then it would not interfere with the bust sizing.  Next time I will add that CF dart back in and take it out at the front sleeve seam.

Vogue 8636
I did take some out of the neck band to match up with what I did at CF.  I could have taken out even more, since I did not have to stretch my neckband much to make it fit.  This means that the front (and back) of the band were gapping a little bit.  In the pattern they recommend that you take small darts, and that is exactly what I did.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this top.  I want to make another right away in a striped knit I have.  Besides, the lace sleeves are a little airy when it is chilly outside!
stretch lace for sleeves and neckband

darts at neckline under lace

And, for Me Made May?  I was speaking in church today about my trip to Uganda.  Some of you know, I do mission trips to Uganda teaching women how to sew.  I am planning my next trip for September 2015.  I am looking for a few people to go with me.  If you are a Believer, and think you might be interested, please start praying about if this is something God would have you do.  I would love to have some fellow sewists join me!  You can email me for more information at nwinningham at gmail dot com.

So I wore this linen blend dress made from the Japanese book, Basic Black.  The belt and necklace were made by some ladies in Uganda and I love them!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Me Made May Continues

May is a super busy month for any teacher.  But for a teacher who is retiring, it also means "Better get this room cleaned out - stat!"  I do not want to have to go back in after school ends just to clean out all of my stuff!  Of course, there is still Open House (tomorrow night - yikes!), the school carnival, other school events, and all the end of the year testing!  No wonder I haven't had time to post every day on my blog!  I've been pretty good about taking pictures each day of what I've been wearing, but I couldn't tell you what I wore on which day.  So, here's what else I've worn for #mmmay15 this month, in no particular order!

This picture was taken this morning.  I am not a T-shirt kind of girl, and never really have been.  They just don't fit me right and they're not flattering.  But, today was our last testing day, and we have these school spirit Tshirts that say "Turn up the Heat" that we're supposed to wear for testing.  It was a little chilly this morning, so I have on this light weight linen-look jacket.  I think it's an older Simplicity pattern that I recently gave away.  It's an easy to throw on jacket.  I think I made 2 or 3 of these a few years ago.  Still a favorite.  Why did I give away that pattern?  Oh well, there are many jacket patterns out there in my stash that I need to try.
 Oh, and BTW, I love, love, love these shoes.  I will be so sad when they get old and fall apart!

This picture was taken after I got home from work and changed my shirt.  I had bible study here tonight, so I wanted to change and still be comfy.  This is a Cutting Line Designs pattern called Simplify Your Life.
The linen is from my favorite linen source, fabrics-store.com

On right is a New Look top that I made a few summers ago.  Again with the linen.  And the wrinkles.  I do Iron my clothes, but this one was taken at the end of the day.  The pattern is NL A6104.  I like the fit on this one, the pintucks, and the button front.  I really must make this again!  The skirt was self drafted using the book Sew what!  Skirts.  You can't really see it, but I love the orange band at the bottom that was made from a remnant of Amy Butler fabric.  The green in that matches the green in the skirt perfectly.

This dress, for not being one of my favorites, sure gets worn a lot!  The pattern is from the Japanese sewing book Basic Black  I made it again in black and just a few tweaks made the fit much better and the look too.  I like the look of this fabric, but for being linen, it is a bit scratchy.  Obviously, I did NOT get it from my favorite linen supplier (I got it at JoAnns.)  I will probably wear the black one some time next week, so I'll post that too.

Now, this shirt I tried and tried to get a good photograph of it, but I could not capture the beauty of the fabric.  It is a light weight laminated linen.  It looks like it has a gold thread running through it, but you only see it on the right side of the fabric.  I love this shirt, BUT, the fabric is too lightweight for the style and it wrinkles terribly.  This shirt is from an old (2009) Burdastyle magazine.  I'm not sure which issue, but maybe February.  Funny, I remember that it is style #105, but not the month!    Anyway, great basic shirt.  Another one that I should do again.
I think I might have worn this yesterday.  Geez, you'd think I could remember what I wore yesterday!  This is a Loes Hinse skirt. It's the Swing Skirt without the flounce.  I made it from a rayon crinkle fabric and just serged the hem with a bit of a lettuce edge.  Super comfortable and I get lots of compliments on it.
As I got dressed that morning, I realized that I definitely have a shortage of me-made white tops!  I wear white tops a lot, but need to make a lot of them since I only have one that I can think of that I've made!!
OK, this is what I'm probably going to wear tomorrow.  I got all dressed this morning and took my picture before I realized that I had to wear the T shirt so I had to change my outfit.  So, I'm thinking I will probably wear it tomorrow.  The pants are Loes Hinse's newest pant pattern called Ascona.  This shirt is the woven version of the LH Cap Sleeve dress and top pattern.  I will definitely make this again, but I will make it larger in the hips that this one is.  I have another pair of the Asconas in capri length on my cutting table right now.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

I was thrilled that both my son and daughter came up and went to church with us this morning and spent the day up here.  I am that very proud mother of both of them.

They both left around 5, so that gave me a little time to work on my muslin.  I was stressing my brain trying to figure out how to take that dart out of the armscye.  Since it was about an inch, and I was already taking out an inch and a half for FBA, I did not want to rotate that into the side dart.  It just would have been to big.  If I tried to taper it to nothing at CF, it threw the CF line off.  I tried a few different places, but finally ended up taking it out at the CF on the neckline.  I cut it out of another scrap piece of knit  and the fit is much better!  There is still a little bit of gaping at the armhole, but that will disappear when I put binding on the armholes.

It's hard to tell in the wild print, but the gap is gone at the neck and the majority of the gap is gone at the armholes.  The dart makes the sides lie much smoother and I think the weight of the skirt will pull down the sides enough that everything will hit at just the right place.  I may need to shave a little bit off of the CF, but I will baste the skirt on first and see.  I can see that the side seam is pulling to the front near the waist, so I may need to change the shaping there a bit, as it is not tight in either the front or the back.  Maybe some consistent sit-ups would help change this problem!  The one thing I will need to do is redraw the armhole a little farther toward the arm.  I blended it  in when I took that dart, but I think I may have drawn it too deep.

And THIS is why we make muslins!  I would have been so disappointed if I had used my real fabric and it did not look good!

And, for MMMay, this is one of my favorite skirts.  It is Simplicity 2451.

Making Moneta - fitting quandries

I've really liked the Colette Moneta pattern ever since it came out.  The only thing that held me back from making it was that the bodice is lined.  Although I have a good stash of lining, I never seem to have knit lining and our local JoAnns does not carry any knit lining except for beige swimsuit lining.

So I have the beautiful fabric shown below that I got at Michael Levine during PR weekend.  Unfortunately, I only have 2 yards and this dress takes about 2.5.  Wait - I have some smaller pieces of black knit that I could use to make the bodice!  Wow - I think that will look better anyway.  (Necessity is the mother of invention)

After attending Linda Maynard's Fit and Couture classes at PR weekend, I decided I better make a muslin of the bodice of this dress.  The skirt is pretty full, but I always have issues with the bodice so, I found some old yellow knit and went for it.  I checked the pattern measurements, and I lined up with a small.  I know I ALWAYS have to add length in the front for FB and often have to lower the waist in most dresses with waist seams.  I added 1.5 inches in length to the front and then another 1" in length all the way around.  For the muslin, I just eased in the extra length at the bust so I could see if I needed to add a dart or just leave it eased.

As you can see, other than my fat stomach, there are some problems.  There is pulling at the bust, gaping at the neck and armholes, and obviously, I did not need the extra inch that I added all the way around.  Also, you can't really see it, but the side seam is too far forward.  I know that Peggy Sagers says that circumference is just circumference, and the WE don't have side seams, but I feel I know where my side seam should go, and it's not that far forward!

The first thing I did was to undo the shoulder seam and make the front lie flat.  You can see how far off the front and back are on me in order to make that happen.  I also still had to pin out a little bit at the front neckline.    In order to make this alteration, I would need to redraw the neckline.  I would have matched the front to the back because otherwise the shoulders would be to far out.  I would have also had to redraw the armhole to make it line up.  Instead, I decided to take a big dart in the front, which means basically to shear 3/4" off the CF at the neckline and taper to nothing at the hemline.
 This seemed to work better (and eliminated all that re-drawing).  I still had gaping at the armhole, so I will need to dart out the pattern at that point as well.  I also cut the extra inch off at the bottom.

I am going to make a second muslin of the bodice, because I never know if one change will affect another, so I just need to recut the front.  The back seems OK.  A tiny big of gaping at the armhole, so I will see if the new front affects that before I do anything.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Reality Checks

RC#1 -Saturdays   It's Saturday morning.  There will be no glamour shots for Me Made May 15.  I'm up.  I have coffee.  That's enough.  ( I am wearing a me-made from a bazillion years ago though)  This is the old Textile Studios Marseilles top pattern.  I love this top.  I have only made it a couple of times, but it is super comfortable and although I think it is pretty blah, I get compliments on it a lot.  Heck, my daughter even said she liked it and that's something I don't hear much regarding my clothing choices from her.  *OK, I just read that.  Glamour shots?  Really?  Sorry, you won't be seeing those on this blog - LOL!

RC#2 Flowers. I love flowers.  I think they are beautiful.  I think I'm allergic to them.  :-(
Yesterday my wonderful husband sent me flowers at work.  Since it was Friday, I did not want to leave them in my classroom all weekend, so I put them in my car. Well, after work I had to go to Visalia, go to the pharmacy, pick up my husband (he's been out of town all week), go to JoAnns (99c Simplicity patterns- but I still couldn't get the one I wanted to replace in my size), and go to the copy shop.  After that, we went out to dinner and then to the grocery store.  45 minute drive after all of that.  By the time I got home, I could hardly breathe.  This morning, my eyes are like giant puffballs.  (see picture above)  I'M NOT COMPLAINING - it was so sweet of DH to send flowers.  I just think I can't drive around with them in my car for several hours!

RC #3 - Digital Patterns - I'm a novice when it comes to experience with digital patterns.  I have only taped together 2 or 3.  I have been getting the Seamwork magazine and really like the dress in the new issue.  I decided that instead of taping all of those pieces together, I would just take it to the copy shop and get it printed on one piece of paper.  YIKES!  Even though this is a very basic pattern with very few pattern pieces, it still cost me over $13.00 to get it printed!
I love the Ikat fabric that they used on this dress.  I haven't found just the right fabric for this yet, but at least I have the pattern printed out (I'll be saving that like gold!)

I also recently purchased the Megan Neilsen Cascade Skirt Pattern.   Now, I've already paid $12 for that pattern, if I take that to the copy shop, I'm going to be paying $25 for a skirt pattern that is very similar to a Simplicity pattern that I just bought for 99c!
I'm hoping that some of you with more experience than me in digital patterns can depart some of your great wisdom with me on this issue!  PLEASE!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Me Made May day 7 - #mmmay15

Today I was dressed all wrong.  It's been hot here and the weather report said 85 for today.  It was cold and windy and I froze most of the day.  Fortunately I had a little jacket in my car and I grabbed that at lunch time!  This is what I wore for #mmmay15 today:

Yeah, it's a pretty crappy picture to.  I look like I'm going to fall over backward.  I even adjusted the vertical line on the photo so it wouldn't be so bad!  Oh well.  I don't have a photographer and working with auto shoot at 6:30 a.m. is not the best.

The top is The Sewing Workshop Now and Zen pattern.  This is the Now shirt.  I have made that top twice and I really like it.  This one is lengthened.  The first version was really too short for me.

These crops are from the Japanese sewing book, Simple Modern Sewing.  I really love these pants and will make more of them.  Super comfortable and actually pretty flattering, not that you could tell in this picture!

So, what's up next?  I'm going for the Colette Moneta Dress.  I think I'm going to make the sleeveless version with the bodice in the black knit and the skirt and collar in the print.  Hope I can get to it this weekend.  We have dinner guests on Saturday and family on Sunday for Mother's day.  I guess I'll have to get up early on Saturday and try to squeeze in a few hours!

A little late to the party - #mmmay15

 'I, Nancywin of www.encue.blogspot.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear at least one thing I have made each day for the duration of May 2015'

I started a day late, and I'm posting even later!  I haven't done Me Made May for a while, but I'm glad I stumbled onto it again this year.  It is really making me realize that most of my "me-made" clothes are pretty old!  School has gotten so demanding that it seems like I rarely have time to sew.  And now that I watch my grand daughter a couple of nights a week, that cuts into it even more! (But I love having her, of course)

So, I missed the first day, but here is what I have worn on the other days.

Day 2,   This is an OOP McCalls pattern.  The number is 2646.  I made this shirt years ago from a cotton print that I found in a quilt shop in Maui.  I love the fabric because it has the feel and hand of linen, but does not wrinkle!  I'd like to find more fabric like that (but not Hawaiian print!)

Day 3:  This is one of my favorite knit dress patterns, but not one of my favorite dresses!  The pattern is Loes Hinse New York Dress.  There are two versions in that envelope, but I have never made the woven, long version.

 Day 4:  This little top I made from Simplicity 1806.  I'd like to make it again, but I think I accidentally gave it away.  It has princess seams and fits pretty well.
The skirt is a favorite from 2451.  I'll definitely be making this again because I love that it has pockets!
Day 5:  This is CJ Patterns boatneck top.  I love this top and you'd never know it was in the pattern because the envelope only shows the jacket.  It's in the same envelope as the boyfriend blazer.  I haven't made that, but the pattern is worth it just for the top for me.

Day 6:  This is another Simplicity pattern.  Hmmm.. I've never thought of myself as a big fan of Simplicity patterns, but apparently they are among my favorite things to wear!!
Anyway, this is the Lisette pattern 2209.  I think it is OOP now though.  This is a great dress.  The darts come from the waist up at angles.  I used a stretch woven, so it's super comfortable.

I would have to say that I wear something I've made almost every day, but there are definitely days that I don't.  Usually Fridays in particular since we all wear jeans and our school jersey on that day.  Right now I don't have any jackets that I've made, so that's out.  I better think of something fast since tomorrow is Friday!  No time to "whip out a pair of jeans" for that!