Friday, March 16, 2018

Ottobre Georgia Coat

Ottobre 2/2012
#20 Georgia Outerwear Coat
Size 38
Alterations:  Shortened 2 inches below pocket placement line

This is such a great issue of Ottobre for women!  I wish I could remember what this fabric was labeled as, but I remember "suede" was part of the description.  The inside of the fabric definitely has that suede feel and texture, but the outside feels totally different.  It makes such a lovely coat and is very light weight too!  I took all that remained from the bolt and knew that it would be a challenge to make a coat from just shy of the 3 yards I was able to purchase.  However, being 5'1 does have its advantages because I knew I would be shortening my pattern.

Ottobre calls this "super-easy" and perhaps it would have been if I had not decided to take the time to finish all my seams with bias binding.  I took about 3 weeks from pattern tracing to installing the snaps, longer than I usually spend on any sewing project.  I enjoyed taking my time on this one and made sure to stop sewing if I was tired.

I used black cord for the drawstring at the waist, which helped with my limited fabric amount.  I also purchased a package of cord stops. This was not mentioned in the pattern materials, so I'm guessing Ottobre would have you just "tie" them together maybe?  I like having the cord stops so the ends can hang loosely.

I decided to add snaps to the pocket flaps to keep them fastened down, using a total of 18 snaps for this jacket!  I was able to eliminate 1 snap since I removed 2 inches from my length.  These are nice, deep and roomy pockets.

The fabric has a crinkled look to it, so I was particularly careful when ironing so they weren't removed if it could be avoided.

The collar is one large rectangular piece of fabric.  I like how you get a different look depending on whether you snap it up or leave it lying flat around your shoulders.

The instructions never said to cuff the sleeves.  However, they look to be in the photo.  If they aren't cuffed, they are extremely long.  I secured each cuff with tiny stitching at the sleeve seam and at the other side of the cuff.

A hem is used as a casing for self-fabric ties at the very bottom.  You can't see it in the photo, but there is about a 4 inch angled split between the base of the backside pattern pieces where the ties extend. You can barely see the CB seam of the jacket.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, February 16, 2018

Kielo Wrap Dress

Named Kielo Wrap Dress
Size 38

Alterations:  Forward shoulder adjustment, swayback, shortened by 4 inches

I found this beautiful sheer floral at Joann's Fabrics; it was on sale and total cost was $18.  I have always wanted a sheer dress for summer.  Not quite summer yet and although it was 70 yesterday, I stood in 40 degree temps today for these photos.

There isn't anything technical about the construction, but since I chose a sheer fabric knit, I did sew French seams where ever I could.  I played around with scrap fabric trying to figure out the best way to make the neck and armhole hems.  With the fabric being so light, bias binding seemed to weigh the fabric down too much, making it fall forward a bit.  What worked best for me was to cut 3/8 inch strips of knit interfacing for those areas and then hem by turning under 3/8 inch.  I also interfaced both sides of the fabric ties.

My daughter said, "step out so you can see the vent."  Since I shortened the overall length by 4 inches, I had to break that up in 2 places.  I removed 2 inches above the knee and 2 inches below.

I wanted to open the dress so you could see the ties and my daughter said, "you look like a napkin!"  ha ha

I really love this pattern and will definitely be making it again, probably shortening above the knee.

What to do for the under garment?  I ended up tracing a RTW t-shirt I had and made it dress length.  I purchased this mauve viscose spandex fabric from Stylish Fabrics for $3.68 a yard.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Distressed Black Denim Jeans

Jalie 2908

I've made these before a few times for myself and my girls.  Previous versions are hereherehere, and here.  This is my second pair that I have distressed.  Distressing is really a lot of fun!  I used a coarse piece of sandpaper for my distressing.  I learned from my first pair of jeans to be more cautious around corner edges.  I was far too aggressive last time and put a hole in my fabric.  I expected more from my distressing than my achieved results this time.  So much of the dye would wash down the drain every time I cleaned my hands that I just new these would look heavily distressed.  Oh well.  I'm still happy with them though.

Another fun part of jeans making is hammering.  You want to hammer those seams down before top stitching, which makes for easier sewing and consistent stitch lengths.  Hammering also distresses the fabric, so if you don't want that, you should hammer on the wrong side of your fabric.  My husband gave me a block of wood so I would have something to hammer on.  

I used gray top stitching thread.

I did not use rivets.  I really wanted to and have used them before, but this time I bought some nipple rivets.  How do you put those in?!  I failed and managed to bend up several and gave up trying.  I used bar tacks instead.

As before, I made a swayback adjustment to remove the back gap I get.  This time I also shortened 1 inch above the knee and added that inch back in below the knee.

My shirt is the Jalie Dolman top.  I've made so many now that I have lost count.  It is definitely my most favorite casual knit shirt to wear.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jalie 3669 - NICO - Men's Raglan Tee

Size S 
Fabric Type:  Cotton Spandex Gray & Olive

I love this pattern!  If you are like me and trying to sew for a teenage boy, you have all but exhausted sewing with the Big 4 patterns...a long time ago.  Once your son hits about 14, it's pretty much on to men's patterns, hoping they won't be too big.   Problem solved with Jalie's Nico which comes in 27 sizes!  You can sew for the tiniest of tots all the way up to a men's XXL.

Sewing the Nico comes together quite fast and easily.  What slowed me down was deciding what type of hem and thread color choice I wanted.  I have a new Brother CV 3550 which does the top cover stitch you see used on the shirt hem;  I love using a two-color thread combo here.  I also like how it gives it a hint of color to match the sleeve.  

The first raglan I sewed for my son, a gray/blue combination, I tried using the top cover stitch around the neckline which ended up looking too thread heavy if that makes since.  It's always a struggle for me combining different color fabrics in a raglan and being happy with one thread color choice over another.  It is either going to blend or contrast.  I think I finally hit on a good balance this time!

I could have sewn up a size smaller, but I like there to be a little room for growth with the assurance he can wear it for a while.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, January 22, 2018

Girls Simplicity for basic Ts and Cardigan

Simplicity 8105
Girls Size 14
Fabric Type:  Rayon Jersey Knit

My daughter desperately needed some basic tops for school.  Try as we might, we just couldn't find anything in the stores that she liked.

This is what, or rather what she did not want, that I had to avoid:

No "V" neck
Not too high of a neckline, nor too low
Not too wide at the bottom hem and no high/low hem

So I chose Simplicity 8105 as my base pattern to work with.

As you can see, view C has a 2 piece back, with the lower piece having gathers.  To eliminate this, I laid the top piece above the bottom, overlapping the would-be-seam allowances and taping together.  I then drew a line from the width of the top edge to the base of the lower bodice piece, removing some of the overall width.  I also made the front and back pieces the same length.

I also lowered the neckline.  I cut the neckband 2 x 21 inches, folded wrong sides together, and stitched it to the wrong side of the neckline.  Then I folded it over the top, enclosing the seam.  This is my preferred neckband method for rayon knits.  My daughter loves it!

Rayon jersey knit has such a nice drape to it.

All the shirt fabrics were purchased from Fashion Fabrics when they were having a sale on their knits.  I purchased 1.25 yards of each color for $3.95 a yard.  Each top cost just under $5 to make!

 Simplicity 8184
Girls Size 16
Fabric Type: Rayon Jersey Knit

My daughter picked out a cardigan style she liked at the mall and said, "can you make this?"
This pattern was basically the same thing but obviously a lot cheaper to recreate.

To stabilize the back neckline, the instructions said to use bias tape.  In lieu of this, I cut a strip of black polyester lining fabric which worked quite well.  All edges are simply turned up and hemmed...painstakingly time consuming for such a simple cardigan LOL.

The two patterns pair nicely together, giving her that basic casual look she wanted.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Reina Shirt

 PAULINE ALICE - Reina Shirt
Size 38
Fabric:  Rayon Challis
Alterations:  Added 1.5 inches to the top bodice and added 1 extra button

I purchased this PDF pattern from Pauline Alice last summer but never got around to sewing it up.  Upon looking at the instructions, I knew this wasn't going to be a fast make for me, so I needed to wait until the mood struck for some fine-detail sewing.  This is View A, long sleeves, with a tie.  I'd also like to mention that Pauline Alice patterns match up beautifully.  This is my second PDF pattern purchase, and just like the first, no issues with lines matching up.

You definitely want a fabric with significant amount of drape.  For a clean finish, I sewed French seams, except at the shoulder sleeve.  That is something I haven't quite figured out how to do yet.

I love the cuffs, which have 4 buttons.  I was very happy to discover that if I unbuttoned the one at the wrist, I could slip the blouse off without unbuttoning any others, including those down the front!

The button loops are fiddly to work with.  I didn't have a tool to turn them since they are so narrowly sewn at a 1/4", but a bobby pin works brilliantly.

1) Trim seam.
2) Cut a notch (fold over about an inch and clip).
3) Slide one arm of your bobby pin through your tube.
4) Put the other arm of your bobby pin in at the notch.

The bodice back is gathered before attaching to the yoke; it's hard to see with the print of my fabric. 

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My Favorites of 2017

Here are my favorite makes for this year!

Jalie ~ 2
Angela Wolf ~ 2
Pauline Alice ~ 1
Burda Young ~ 1

I noticed I haven't blogged as much this year as I have in previous years, but I believe this is a result of more focused sewing for me.  I've tried to approach my sewing with more realistic goals, combining what I want to make with what I will actually wear.  I love to sew, but I'm trying to resist those patterns that are just "eye candy."  I have so many patterns now, and as I look back through them, so many are not exactly my style.  I want a lot of those dresses, but darn it, they aren't exactly the kind of thing I want to be wearing to the grocery store!  I find myself reaching for those comfy leggings or yoga pants (Jalie your yoga pants are the BEST).

I LOVE this dress.  It's a wear-anywhere-kind-of-dress.  It feels comfortable, it's flirty and fun.

This was my first Pauline Alice pattern and I have made it 3 times and there will continue to be more.  With different bodice, skirt, neck, and sleeve options, you can make this pattern over and over and they will all be different.

I'm so proud of this outfit....these jeans!!  I find myself grabbing this top to wear often as well.  The whole outfit is totally my kind of style.

My daughter wanted a Cheetah print bomber jacket.  Ask and you shall receive, especially when you have a mother who sews!  Jalie never disappoints.

This makes the list too since I have made my son 3 and they are in constant weekly rotation.  My son is 16 and he continues to want me to sew for him--I am blessed.

I'm also very excited and proud to announce that I have been selected to be part of a Jalie Promo team!  I look forward to showcasing new Jalie pattern releases on my blog.

If you have been following me throughout the years, you may also know that I am a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at 45.  January 17, 2018, will be my 5th anniversary of having my cancerous tumors removed, followed by 6 months of chemo, several weeks of radiation, as well as an additional treatment of Herceptin for another 12 months.

Thank you for stopping by and continuing to follow my blog.  There are so many amazing sewing blogs out there and I'm thrilled to be one of the ones you visit!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours,