Completed! Butterick 6562 (View D) off-the shoulder button-down shirt.

Admittedly, I’m a slow sewer, but this took me about a month to make. It was totally my fault because the shirt wan’t really  difficult. I used a cotton shirting from Joann fabric which was easy to sew with. It took me so long because  I sewed in small sections and took days off  in between and I also started some other projects. I thought the pattern was well-drafted and I graded up from the waist to the hip but that was the only major modification that I made.

I wouldn’t say this is a quick sew project due to the many parts ( ruffles, straps, buttons/buttonholes, plackets, bias binding, etc.), but it wasn’t hard. It may be frustrating for a very new beginner but an experienced beginner could do it. The directions were pretty clear and I didn’t have any trouble figuring anything out.  Once I wore it out, I  did find the straps a tad too long even though I sewed them shorter than the  original pattern piece.  If I had made it one inch shorter and 1/2 and inch closer to the center front I think the fit would be more practical.

Honestly, now that I’ve sewn it up, I realize that this isn’t  even really my style ( am I the only one this happens to?). I don’t even think I’d buy a shirt like this in the store! Ha. How crazy is that?  Anyway, I don’t regret making it because I learned how to make bias time and got better with buttons and buttonholes. I’ve been putting off making buttonholes again for years and have no idea why.   This was my first time making bias tape and it took a few tries, but I got it ( I used this tutorial  and another I can’t seem to find anymore). After tackling my hesitations with buttons, sewing more outfits with buttons on them is definitely in my future. This cotton fabric was such a welcome relief and super breathable and cool on a warm day so that was a plus. The biggest hassle was that the straps kept falling down because they were too loose. Overall, I think this was a pretty solid pattern but there’s no need for me to make it again. I really enjoyed taking my time making this shirt and I feel that the end result was a well-made garment that looks like RTW!

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~Michelle

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Blue Linen -Blend Ikat Skirt (New Look 6436 View B)

I need to fill the gap in my closet with easy separates. I really need more pants, shorts and  casual skirts but I find myself wearing mostly dresses in the summer.  In an effort to address this,  I decided to make an everyday skirt using  New Look 6436, View B.  I’ve had this pattern in my stash forever but was never really moved to make it because it seemed so plain. I was definitely influenced to consider more basic options by overdriveafter30’s   ig page  after seeing all her  bold print elastic waist palazzo pants. 

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This is a multi-pattern with a four views ( pants, a midi/maxi skirt and two shorter shirts, all elastic waist). It was very easy to sew up. I used a linen-blend ikat print from Joann Fabrics. It comes in several colorways and I got two  of them: the white on navy and navy on white. For the shirt I used the white on a navy background although it looks more like cornflower blue than navy to me.

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The most trouble I had -which was my own fault-was the elastic casing. I found the seams to be a bit bulky when I was trying to pull the elastic through and had to take apart some stitching in at least 2 seams in the casing to make the elastic fit and then pull it back together. I think this was due to two things; One, the fabric is kind of bulky and two, I got the bright idea to sew the side seams with french seams because of fraying but  that added more bulk. I  didn’t initially how this would affect the casing. I wrangled with it and made it work by hand stitching those two seams closed. I used a bodkin for the first time to pull the elastic through and I did find it to be helpful except for when it lost grip on the fabric when it got stuck in the bulky seams.

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I also used the technique of stretching and sewing through the elastic after it was inserted to make it stay put- which worked but I stretched my elastic out too much and it was a tad big around the waist when I tried it on. I pinned it a little in the back and kept on moving. I’ll know better next time to measure my elastic smaller than I need knowing that it’ll be stretched out when I try that technique again. I cut a few inches  from the hem, turned it up and used the blind hem foot to create a blind hem.

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I really like this skirt. It’s simple but cute and the best thing about it is the pockets!   It’s versatile and I dressed mine up with red Nine West ankle strap heels  and dressed it down with my Etsy crossbody bag, sunglasses from Ann Taylor and flip flops. I definitely see a few more of these or even the pants or longer skirt version in my future.

-Michelle

 

McCalls 7542

I’ve had this pattern in my stash for a while but fitting woes for 2 dresses got me  down and I needed to sew something that didn’t make me feel so frustrated. I decided I need something super easy. I pulled out this pattern and matched it up against my bodice sloper and made some changes to the dart placement and armhole but other than that it was pretty straightforward. I do think I would like for the neck to be a smidge lower though. The pattern is naturally kind of cropped  but I accidentally cut more than I should’ve  which made  it shorter than I wanted. I decided to wear it out anyway… risky, I know…  I made it using this popular embroidered cotton from Joann Fabrics. The fabric is really thin and I think it probably should have been underlined  but I just wore undergarments that disappeared underneath and I didn’t feel overexposed. I used white bias binding for the neck and sleeves and finished the hem with the serger then stitched it down.  I also serged the back seam and added a 1/2″ peach colored button for a pop of color and used the bias binding as a button loop. You can never have enough white shirts in my opinion. It was an easy make and I love the way it turned out. I would definitely make this again but maybe in another one of the views. Glad to report I got my sewing mojo back!

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Fall/Winter Sewing Plans 2018

Hi! Sooo, I’m still chugging along on this pencil skirt that I’ve been working on for MONTHS off and on. I feel like at this point I’m just making it up as I go along. I got caught up in learning how to line a vented skirt which I’m sure  I did wrong. I lined the vent and skirt before inserting the zipper and waistband and it’s been tricky to work on.  The zipper and waistband are finished now but  they also look a. hot. mess. Well, the  zipper not so much but the waist band is terrible. I tried it on and it was so tight that I split the lining in one area so I know it won’t be wearable. Knowing that makes me not want to finish it but I am making a conscious effort to finish more projects regardless of the outcome so here I am. Continue reading

Vogue 9253 African Print Kimono Dress

Like practically every other sewing blogger out there, I made a version of Vogue 9253.  This turquoise and pink African Cotton Print I picked up in New York wasn’t my original idea for the dress but I wanted to make it before summer was over and decided to start with this fabric.   I didn’t want the  v to be as deep as the original pattern so I heightened it by a few inches and created a facing to finish it.  I forgot the pattern has a seam down the middle skirt and that did throw me for a loop since my fabric kind of needed to be matched due to the print. Things didn’t add up perfectly for the front and back  but I’m working on embracing my sewing imperfections. I could have shortened the back just a tad now that I look at the photos of the back.  At first I thought this dress looked like hospital scrubs on me. It was too long and the sleeves were just not a good fit. I cut off about 4-5 inches from the hem and a few inches from the sleeves and I like it better this way.  I made this dress about 2 months ago and have worn it 3 times. Each time I wear it  I get so many compliments! I do like it and think I would use the bodice again for another dress sans kimono sleeve as  the bodice fit really nicely. I’m not quite sure if I would make another one of these but for now I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.  I paired the outfit with from shoes from Ann Taylor and my Kate Spade bag.

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Reboot

I’ve decided it’s time for my blogging break to be over. I’ve learned so much since my last post almost 2 years ago and it’s so exciting! Honestly, I’ve just been too lazy to post anything and I’ve been sewing at such a slow rate. Also, my computer has been giving me the blues, so there’s that too. Anyway, the only way to get better is to sew, post and get/give feedback so here I am! Thanks for reading!

Butterick 5950 with some type of jersey knit

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Butterick 5950 Back view. No pattern matching happening here…

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Foray into baby clothes with African wax prints.

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Simplicity 1803 with a very thin/sheer cotton from Mood Fabric

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Butterick 5601 View A in White cotton eyelet, lined. Photo credit: JusPose Photography

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Butterick 5901 in White Cotton Eyelet Photo credit: JusPose Photograpy

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First version of Butterick 5950 in some poor quality ponte from Joann Fabrics. After 3 iterations and altering the pattern, this is now my first TnT!

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Close up of B 5950

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My most recent make ( March 2015) is Vogue 8787 with sleeveless modification in brown ponte.

I’ve made a short set!

A few weeks ago I attempted a short set/lounge wear from some unidentifiable knit material I had hanging around. It needed to go to make room for the fabulous new eyelet material I just got from fabricmart. Can I tell you that I LURVES it??!! :-).

OK,back to the short set:



Anyhoo, So I used Simplicity  pattern  2317. I thinK I cut the smallest or next to smallest size.   I immediately ran into several problems:

  1. The shorts were entirely too short for my liking so I attempted to make them longer ( they ended up slightly uneven)
  2. The tee, as cut, was too big in the chest area. I guess I thought b/c it was knit, it would conform to my body. It did not.
  3. The crotch is too short! UGGGG.  ( I think the last time I attempted pants or shorts of any kind was in high school and I can see why now.
  4. I had trouble with the elastic waistband. I may or may not have cut the wrong size elastic. Who can tell? Regardless, it could have been  much looser. I followed the pattern measurements and instructions ( albeit loosely) but I can’t figure out if I need to use a different pattern or if it really was my error.

There were more problems but those were the major ones. Even so, I washed them several times, put them in the dryer ( what was I thinking? Now they are even shorter. Oye.) and wore them.  Anyway, I wore them all day a few days ago and as long as I was sitting, everything was comfy but that dern crotch gave me the blues. I’m still glad I made it. It felt good learning new skills. I will definitely attempt this again as I need more comfortable loungewear.

Skills  I learned:

  • How to make a mock fly
  • Sewing a crotch for shorts
  • Working with a different type of knit ( this material unraveled very easy and did not have a ton of give- IDK what type of knit it was).
  • I learned that I should serge all my pieces up front regardless of what type of garment it is. You’ve probably gathered that I did not do this :-/.
  • How to make a racerback tee.

I will probably keep wearing the top even though it’s a little too big. The shorts tho? Err, prolly only as a last resort :-).

Have you made loungewear before?

~M

Pink Peonies Skirt

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I finished this skirt several weeks ago, just didn’t get a chance to photograph it til now. It is my second make of the Full Gathered Skirt Tutorial from Gertie’s Blog.  I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. After wearing it all day, I noticed the waist was still gaping a little at the front similar to how the waist gaped in the first iteration of the skirt (here) but not as bad. This is weird because when I first tried it on, I thought the waistband was just a tad too tight. After being in the skirt all day ( walking, sitting, lounging), I can say that is held up pretty well. It kept me pretty cool in the hot weather. I originally got the fabric from B&J Fabric in NY lat year and I believe its cotton. As far as new skills I learned:

  • I learned to thread my SERGER!  ( All of the rainbow colored thread the machine came with ran out leaving me in complete panic. LOL. Thank you youtube for helping me b/c the DVD tutorial was COMPLETELY useless. Brother, you should be ashamed. Very ashamed).
  • Improved upon my catchsticth for the hem
  • Improvised the pattern with a limited amount of fabric
  • I’m closer to perfecting the invisible zipper
  • I tried a new waistband technique in which encloses the zipper in the waistband at the back. I got the tutorial here. I really like this technique and think it makes the skirt look more professional.
  • I got better with lining up seams
  • My serging got better ( I serged all seams and bottom of the garment)
  • I stitched in the ditch for the waistband.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with myself! Next up is a short set/loungewear that I recently completed. Oh, and I almost forgot- I JUST got my Cambie pattern in the mail and I’m SOOO excited! Stay tuned for more makes 🙂

~M

bright pink peonies.

Currently working on another full gathered skirt. This time I didn’t use the exact measurements Gertie gave. I had some fabric I wanted to use and I did everything I could to make it work. Here’s  a pic of the fabric.  I got it  from B&J Fabrics in NY last summer. Once I’m all done I’ll post the finished version. I feel  a little scared now that the flowers are too bright. ummmm!

0~M