Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lola Dress

 Victory Pattern -- Lola Dress
Size 2

I shortened my Lola pattern by 4 inches at the shorten/lengthen lines.  I compared the pattern to a dress I had previously made and wanted the same length for this dress.  I should have gone with 3 inches instead of 4, because I missed the length I was aiming for.  I used sweatshirt fleece, but I didn't pay attention to the stretch percentage.  Let me just say 10% is probably not enough for this dress.  Well, in a larger size maybe.  Based on my measurements, I am definitely a size 2.  I think it would get out of hand tracing patterns in different sizes based on stretch factor, even though I have thought about it!

I realized my error in stretch when I tried it on.  I had everything sewn except for the ribbing.  What made matters worse is when I sewed the bottom to the top, I had the front bottom sewn to the BACK top.  I even basted it together first and still didn't realize it!  Sadly, I put it on and then realized oh my gosh....I can't get it off!  I was home alone too.  Doesn't help that I'm only 2 weeks out from my surgery.  I thought I might have to cut my way out of it, but thankfully I was able to get it off.  Patience was wearing thin the hotter I got in this sweatshirt fleece too.  I knew I had to get it off one way or another because my husband and children weren't going to be home till much later in the day.

Now that it is sewn on correctly, it is still a little snug to pull on, but not while I am wearing it, so I am happy.  I do like it.  Of course I would like to make it again in a better stretch fabric.

The pockets are so nice and big!

This is a great pattern!  It does take some time to tape it together, but everything matched up well.  I did put a new blade in my serger before sewing this together.  I knew with the bulk and layers of this dress, it would need to be sharp.

The little triangle piece is the reverse of the fabric.  It probably would have looked better if I had kept it right side up since it kind of stands out and almost looks like an opening in the neckline with everything else being so much darker.  Oh well...wearable muslin!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Look 6298

Nothing beats a black & white dress.  I imagine it is almost as nice as the iconic little black dress--something I still need to make myself.

I used New Look 6298, size 10.  I'm really quite pleased with the New Look patterns I have been sewing up. They are affordable and seem to be competing well with other pattern styles.

If you are looking for a quick and easy dress to sew, this is it.  I made it in a few hours from cutting to hemming.  It did require a minor alteration.  Thankfully I tried the dress on before I hemmed the bottom.  I had to take in the arms and side seam allowances, making a nice curve at the waist.  It looked rather sack-like on me.  It doesn't on the pattern envelope, but there is quite a bit of ease in the finished measurements.  It is definitely not boxy.  I just wanted a closer fit.  It was easy enough.  I pinned the dress together on the new seam line I wanted to create, basted it, and tried it on again.  

BIG pockets!  I did shave off a 1/2 inch when I took in the side seams; however, they are so big it doesn't really change the look.

I used "big black houndstooth ponte de roma knit" fabric from Girl Charlee.  For the pockets, I used black scuba knit from Fabric.com.  I like the faux leather look it gives.

The darts at the top of the raglan sleeves are a nice design feature.  The neckband pattern piece is perfect!  I really like when there is a pattern piece for this.  I didn't even have to shorten the length of the dress, which is rare for me.  

There is a seam up the middle back.  You almost can't tell tell until you get to the waist and see how the print gets narrowed.  I actually made a whole pattern piece so I could cut the front out in a single layer of fabric.  I wanted to be able to see that my design print was even on both sides.  I'm happy with my matching.

I just got around to looking at why my coverstitch machine wasn't behaving properly on my last knit project.  I had removed and put back the piece of the machine that makes it easier to do armholes. Well, when I had popped it back into place, it wasn't in there level, so it wasn't letting fabric feed properly.  Geez.  I need to pay more attention to what I am doing.

It was late in the day when taking these pictures, so the lighting wasn't very good.  My photographers, a.k.a. my children, do a great job taking them!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Monday, October 20, 2014

Men to Boys Pants Refashion & Zipper Tutorial

Check out this refashion I made for my son's new pants!  I used our favorite pattern
Ottobre 4/2008 #33 Hi-Hat Pants, Size 140 with added length

You'll see some pics below how I cut out the pattern using a men's size pant.  I was able to keep all the outside leg cargo pockets intact.

I turned up the bottom hem 1 inch and then again another inch, so I can let the length out for growing room.

The only place I had to get resourceful was where the front pocket joined the back yoke (you'll see below how this created an usual angle cutting the pant leg out as one piece).  I couldn't sew a side seam here, so I overlapped the edge and then created a strap to cover the rough edges.  With so much going on in the fabric and pockets, it is barely noticeable.

Pockets all the way down the leg--how cool is that?  My son loves these!

I started with a pair of camo pants, as well as a jacket (not pictured).  A military surplus store is a great place to find a pair unless you know someone willing to part with theirs.  Ebay might be another good source for a used pair.

Cut along both inseam pant legs and lie flat.

I laid my pattern along the outer leg seam, making sure to disregard the seam allowance on my pattern since the front and back pattern pieces are joined together (see below).

You can see how the "seam allowance" is overlapped where the pattern is joined as if one.

Now I have a complete leg piece.  It looks kind of strange how the top portion is cut, but at the moment it does not include the back yoke or the fabric that will be added to create the pocket.  For this pant, I left off the pocket flap since I have plenty of pockets all ready. 

Order of assembly:

Sew the back yokes on.
 Attach the pocket and pocket facings to the front leg sections.
 Make my strip to cover the side seam that was overlapped.
 Sew the leg inseams.  
Put one pant leg inside the other and sew the crotch seam, leaving the fly facing open.  
Insert the zipper.
 Make the belt loops.
 Attach the waistband.

I'm not sure why I haven't thought of doing this before; it was pretty easy and not to mention very time saving!  I had these pants done in just a couple of hours.  I cut out the back yoke, waistband, and belt loop strips from the jacket.  If you don't have a jacket, you could also use a coordinating fabric.  I used tan micro twill for the waistband facing.  


Here is a fly-front zipper installation picture tutorial--I followed the instructions included in the Ottobre magazine for this.  Their illustration is very good, but I know sometimes it helps to see an actual project in progress.  By the time I took these pictures, the crotch seam had been sewn and fly shield constructed.

Sew the zipper to the fly shield

Press a narrow edge on the right front opening of the zipper facing 

Place zipper that is attached to fly shield underneath narrow edge and sew

Fold the left front zipper facing under and give it a good press

Now line up your zipper tape with the edge of the fly facing that you just pressed under.  Don't sew through all layers--only the folded under edge.

Like this...

Now prepare for top stitching, keeping fly shield out of the way

I give it another good press with the iron

Draw with chalk a top stitching line--I just free hand this

Finished with the zipper!  Do NOT cut off the top part of the zipper until after your waistband is sewn on.  I have done this...a couple of times.

That's it!

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Burda Top with Leggings

Burda Young 7678
Size 36

paired with Ottobre Sammalikko Leggings
Size 34

 I started out looking through my assortment of legging patterns and was going to trace something new.  Then I got to thinking, "why am I doing that?"  "Use what I already know fits and works well."  Out came my Ottobre Women's Legging Pattern Sammalikko.  I am so glad I chose this pattern...again.  Twice before I used a sweater knit.  This time I chose a Ponte de Roma knit--LOVE!  These are such a quick and easy sew.  I could never tire of these and I need one in every color now!

For my top, I used Burda 7678.  There are two options available--wrap-style top or a slight v-neck top.  I do like how it turned out.  However, I am not thrilled about the neckline, nor how it is sewn together.  The instructions clearly state to stop the shoulder seam 5/8" before the neckline, pressing open, and then stitching the neckband.  That was not fun.  I basted this seam 3 times before I said, "that's enough" and went with what I had.  I'm not the most patient seamstress.  I do like a good project, but this was just a t-shirt, a simple one at that, so it tried my level of patience.  It's not bad.  Next time though, I will definitely reshape the neckline and sew it the way my other t-shirts are assembled.  

I also made a narrower band at the bottom.  I only purchased 2 yards of my knit and this top requires 2 1/4 yards for size 36.  When I make this top again, I will still keep the narrower band though because I think it is a good width for me.  I also added a band at the sleeve hem.  I thought it would be fun to have the stripe going horizontal there.  Truth be told, my coverstitch machine got hungup on the thin fabric and made a mess of the hem, which I then put a whole into when I was ripping out the stitches...again, lack of patience clearly evident now.  It was a creative recovery, which I have found lends itself to some good inspirational tactics.

Fabric purchased from Girl Charlee:

Shitake Brown Heather Gray Half Inch Stripe Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric
Shitake Mushroom Brown Solid Ponte de Roma Fabric

I have to take a bit of a break.  It is surgery time once again for me.  It is time to get these rocks expanders removed from my chest and get implants.  I am also getting my port removed!  It has been in me since February 2012.  It will be nice to sleep comfortable on my side again, something I have been unable to do.  Since my last surgery in May, I have had to sleep in the recliner with pillows to kind of get somewhat on my side.  Sleeping all night on my back gives me a backache, so a bed has been out of the question for now.  I will still require another procedure after this one to finish things up, but I think that is done as outpatient--I hope so.  It has been a long path to follow, but now there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am so happy to be almost finished with the process.  

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wyome Boyfriend Jeans

I made the Wyome Boyfriend Jean!  I had such great results with the Jaime, that I was anxious to give these a try.  I decided to make them in a 36.  I felt like I was a little borderline with a 34, thinking that it was a safe bet to go up a size.  Well, I don't think that was such a good idea.  Why can't I just leave things alone?

from the shirt edge down, the fit looks pretty good.

I'm happy with the back, although I did take a big chunk of fabric out of the CB seam.  I also brought the pockets up.  I could tell from the pattern picture that I probably wouldn't like them that low.  I am happy with the pocket placement.

Side looks pretty good too.  A nice looser fit, which is why I wanted the pattern, but not baggy...yet.

Here is where this fit is a fail for me.  Darn it!  However, going up a size I don't think would account for this HUGE amount of excess fabric for me.  If I make in a 34, how do I compensate for this and what adjustment would I make.  Why is there so much fabric here?

I think a better fit would have been a 34 in the waist and hips and then taper out to a 36 in the legs.

For my buttons, I covered them in denim, which I really like.

Overall, minus my error of making them too big, I really like this pattern.  It is well drafted and goes together pretty quickly.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley