Friday, August 9, 2013

My first men's shirt - Kwik Sew 3484

So I went shopping with my husband for a some clothes for our wedding last week.  We did a City Hall ceremony then out to dinner.  He wears a 2XL and I was suprised by the lack of choices he had to choose from.  He did buy a nice black shirt but it was so low in the armscyes, he felt restricted.  I looked at the shirt and thought, "Shoot, I can make one that fits you!"  I have the same issue with armscye depth accounting for my bust size.  I just usually cut a smaller size through the shoulders than the rest of the shirt.  So, I starting looking for men's shirt patterns.  There are actually quite a few to choose from.  I seriously considered the Colette Negroni, which I may still purchase.  But ended up going with the Kwik Sew 3484.  He prefers a collar without a stand and I don't blame him.  I don't like stand collars on myself either.  I know they look more "finished" but they annoy me.

So I went to Hancock's, bought the pattern along with another one to try later and grabbed some greenish blue linen blend off the sale table to give this a shot.  After washing the fabric 5 times and drying it, including rinsing with vinegar a couple times, it was still rough.  He said go ahead and use it but in my opinion if it's uncomfortable what's the point.  I rooted around in my stash and found a couple pieces of stretch broadcloth in a blue and one in red.  He choose View B in the blue with the red stripe and accents.

I took his measurements and flat measured a shirt he likes and decided on sewing the 2XL everywhere except the shoulds which are an XL.  I think it fits him pretty well.

He swears he likes it!  He kept joking about The Cosby Show episode where Denise makes a shirt for Theo!  Hahaha ;-)  He did take it with him this weekend to wear at his daughter's dance festival.

I enjoyed making it.  The instructions were good.  As usual, I tend to skip around on instructions which always bites me in the backside.  Next time I will be better.  I think a beginner could make this easily!

Great shirt!  It was fun to sew for him and he was very appreciative.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vogue 8870 - Summer Time!

I absolutely LOVE this dress!!!  I have been working on it for a couple weeks despites it's Very Easy status.  Unfortunately I came down with a monster cold just after cutting it out.  Happily though, I now have a part time job outside the house and am sewing more and wearing real clothes!  Yeah!!!  I never realized how much joy I get out sewing, fashion, and wearing pretty things.  LOL

Ok, so this dress is very easy.  I bought a bunch of rayon challis from FabricMart a couple sales ago and I actually bought this fabric for this dress...that never happens.  It's very thin and floaty but not see through, turned out to be a perfect choice.  I think anything stiff at all for this dress would create a shelf look at the hip no matter how thin your hips are.  There is a lot of fabric there to give the blouson look.

The pattern has raglan sleeves, wrapped bodice with facings that actually work nicely, and the high low hem.  I can't honestly say which hem I cut, I think I cut a combination of them accidentally.  This went together very easily.  I decided because of the lightness of fabric that I would do all french seams and I'm very glad I did.  They look so nice and add some stability.

This is a straight Large size.  That was the smallest in the envelope.  The Large pretty much matches my measurements.  I usually go with a smaller size in the shoulders though and could have done that with this.

I did not make any pattern alterations but if and likely when I make this again I will.  I'm always in a quandary on how to fix the fact that I'm short waisted but very full busted.  The length on a bodice is usually ok for me adding in the extra needed for the bust but sometimes it doesn't work quite right.  So, I think I will raise up the shoulders on this next time and add at least an inch, maybe 2 to the bodice.  It hits right at my natural waist, which is unfortunately right below my bust.  I'm not sure you can see in the photos but it's kind of pulling the bodice forward on my shoulders.  It's not the end of the world on this one but I'd like to make it better for the next.

I know the high/low hem is on trend right now but this is a great basic dress and you can always change the hemline.  I'm always looking for cute things to make that look good on me in wovens.

Thanks for remembering me!'s been so long since I've been sewing and blogging but I plan to keep up on it again.  I have another dress sewn already and one on the cutting table for more posts shortly!

Here are a mixture of pictures, some with a belt, some not.  I really like it with the belt.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

McCalls 6700 - Bloom!

I got this fabric in a mystery bundle from FabricMart.  I love me some mystery bundles.  Sometime they are bad...oh so bad, but then you get a gem like this out of nowhere!  This reminds me of the fabric I used for my Colette Macaron.

Colette Macaron

I'm a sucker for panelled prints and I love the bright flowers on the black background.  So I got three panels of this polyester knit.  In all honesty, it's a big rough.  There are some flawed color patches which at first I thought were dirt but they did not come out in the wash.  Hence, a bad dye job or a machine malfunction.  Despite that, I wanted to use this for this dress.

The panels were a bit too narrow for the skirt so my skirt is a little smaller width wise, no biggie.  And to make the bodice, I had to cut everything out in single layer to get it too fit.  I didn't even have enough fabric for the little ties that it's supposed to have.

I thought I would be smart and put clear elastic along the neckline to stabilize it because this was pretty flimsy.  Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as I'd hoped.  If I make this again, I will just leave it alone.

I do really like the gathered shoulder seams and the neck has decent coverage.  I did have to tweak it a bit though but I always do.  I made an 18 in the body and a 16 in the shoulders.  Still working on that extra weight that I've added.  I could have easily made it a size smaller though, it's generous.

I'm actually really happy with this dress.  It's a very nice pattern and I could see myself making it again this summer.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lisette Passport Dress - Simplicity 2209

I've had this in my stash since the pattern came out.  I thought it could be flattering on my shape.  Now that I've made it, I think I was right.  I still have some fit issues and you will see below but it's not horrendous.  The was another test run to see if I wanted to make this out of one of my Liberty of London fabrics.  I think I will wait for something else.

I cut an 18 in the dress with the exception of the shoulders and neckline, which are a 16.  I did not do an FBA, thinking that my full bust measurement was close to the 18 measurements.  I've added weight and my difference between high and full bust, and my waist is not as drastic.  I did shorten the darts points so they didn't land in a weird spot.  In addition, I took darts in the front armcye as it was gaping and I also took a single dart down the center back bodice from the neck down.  I tried two smaller ones but it pulled the shoulders funny.  I'm so narrow in the shoulders that I always have gaping there.  I think it could also be due to my super short waist though as well.  I need to learn better how to shorten a bodice for that issue, yet maintain enough coverage for the front.  In a regular shaped bodice an FBA would help but this is a funky design and I had no clue how to do it.

Despite the tweaking, I am still pulling a bit in the front and there is a big wad of fabric on my back where I should have shortened the bodice.  I was thinking about just taking a horizontal fish eye dart to get rid of it, but I got so sick of messing with it!

I like it, I will wear it.  If I did make it again, I would...gasp...make a real muslin!  I hate muslins but I can't remember everything I tweaked because I did it as I went.  I think this dress has promise but I think for me a simpler bodice that I can do a real FBA would work better.  I love the flared skirt and the neckline is pretty nice too.

I love this fabric.  It was in a mystery bundle from FabricMart.  I'm such a sucker for the mystery bundles!  It is a stretch cotton and I only had shy of 2 yards.  It's bright and fun!  Oh and look what my boyfriend got me yesterday...They match!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vogue 1247 in Liberty of London

Yeah, I finally sewed AND I cut into my Liberty of London fabric!

I've been sewing a bit here and there but just TNT patterns, nothing spectacular or blog worthy.  But this past week, we had our floors done and I was trapped in the basement for a!  So, I took advantage of that and the rainy weather to do some sewing.  I made a skirt and two shirts and I really wanted to blog about the shirts.

I've been meaning to make Vogue 1247 (the top) for quite awhile.  I've made the skirt twice but have been delinquent on the top.  I've seen so many made and they were all cute.

Also, I've had this pattern in mind for one of my Liberty of London fabrics.  I have two I've had for a couple years now and one more recent, albeit not very recent, piece from EmmaOneSock that I bought on ther Clearance Roll End sale.  This one is a more modern funky pattern of matchsticks.  I thought it would go well with this Vogue pattern.  Here it is up close.

But I wanted to try this pattern out and see if I liked it on me first so I made a practice version.  I bought this fabric from FabricMart and it was a bit more than I thought it was worth actually.  Rarely am I unhappy with purchases from them but this one wasn't stellar.  It's a cute pattern but the fabric is cheap and feels and looks more like it would be suited for scrubs than a cotton lawn or voile it was advertised as.  Oh well, can't win them all.  I still love FM!  But nonetheless, it made a great practice shirt.  I wore it today even and expect to wear it often this summer.

I read a ton of reviews and the consensus was that this was a huge shirt and that it could be sized down.  So this version is a straight 14 which is a size or more now than what I should be.  I've put on some weight :-(  It's wearable, most definitely but it's a bit small.  It kind of bunches on my hips.  So for the next version I made a 16 on the body and a 14 on the shoulders which have been my normal sizes.  Technically, my measurements are an 18 these days though but my high bust is still around a 14 or 16.  Also for the next version, I raised the neckline by 3/4 " which I love.  I have a cami on under this, not because it's too low but it gapes so much.  Raising the neckline helped this a lot!
Sorry for the picture quality.  There were taken by a reluctant 11 year old boy while I was interupting his "shows" ugh!

I really love this pattern now.  It's got shape for such a seemingly shapeless style.  OMG and the Liberty of London was a dream to work with!!!  I have two other pieces and my goal is to sew them up this summer as well.  I kept waiting for my size to be perfect, yadda, yadda, yadda, and the bottom line is I want to wear this stuff now!  Cut into that nice fabric!  I know I am now!!!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Feeling Ambitious!

I think taking a break was a good thing.  I'm feeling ambitious and think I want to make myself a new winter coat.  I've enjoyed making coats in the past and am in the mood for something new.

I have a few options I'm considering:

A Cape, New Look 6007.

McCalls 6442, the shorter version with the hood.  However, as I was doing some research on coats for the well endowed, I read that hoods actually maximize your upper half.  I never realized that I guess.  It's quite a bummer because I love hoods.  I know, wear what I like, but I don't want the girls looking bigger.  So I may opt for the collared version instead.  And on another note, the last couple McCalls I have made, I have been very disappointed in the pattern sizing and drafting.

Burdastyle Shearling!  Yes, well I said I was feeling ambitious.  I bought some real shearling from FabricMart when they had a huge sale last year.  I packed it up and moved it cross country.  It is Winter in Montana after all so I am actually leaning towards this coat.  I'd need to buy some cheap faux shearling to practice on first.  I've looked at other coat patterns for shearling and nothing really jumps out.  I found another Burdastyle but it's got a huge open collar and those I have found are not flattering on me at all.  This one looks pretty straightforward.  I need to make sure I have enough to make it though.

Decisions, decisions.....

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simplicity 1716

The dogs coats are boxed up and en route to Michigan.  I'm trying to figure out what to sew next but in the meantime here is a shirt that I sewed up in December.  This was either going to be a love or hate style for me and I actually LOVE it!  I think it actually turns out to be somewhat minimizing on my upper half.  The detail is above the bust so your eye goes up.  I made a muslin out of dollar a yard poly and promptly chucked it when I was done but I found out I liked the design.

This is a yummy Rayon/Lycra knit from my old indie, Fabric Gallery, in Michigan that is no more.  She retired.  I found out she was selling out after I decided to move.  I tell ya, if I had known prior to my move, I might just have bought her store!

I really am loving this pattern!  There will be more of these, in fact, as I'm pondering a new coat to sew, I may make another one of these quickly.  Once you figure out the construction, it's a breeze to make!  I made my muslin wrong but figured it out before the final product.

Off to fondle fabric and stare at patterns to decide what to make next...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dog Coat Sweatshop!

To say the least I've been very frustrated with sewing lately!  Between lifestyle changes and body changes, I have no idea what to sew.  I lay out fabric and patterns, put them all away, do it again, and then never sew anything.  I really wanted to sew though so I offered to make some dog coats for some very worthy dog rescue groups back in Michigan.

One is Dog Aide, which was co founded by my very good friend since high school.  They work as a uniting force for rescue groups in the Detroit area, trying to get everyone to work together instead of against.  They help people be better pet owners, provide food, and help with vet costs.

The other is Detroit Bully Corp, which rescues and rehabilitates mostly bully breed dogs, of which I am a huge fan of.  Love them slobbery bully kisses!  They are wonderful, loving dogs that unfortunately have gotten a bad rap and are a victim of indiscriminate breeding.

I made a couple prototypes and sent them to my friend to try on her big bully breed dog to see if they fit.  I had to modify my original coat design for the big head, big chest dogs.  And now I am making about 15 coats to start with.  I have some ideas for some cute ones down the road but for now I wanted to make a good chunk to send for the groups to use or sell.

I will get back to sewing something for me.  I just don't really go anywhere now.  I work from home, go to the YMCA, and go skiing or play with my dogs.  I need to divest myself of some of this yummy dress fabric and buy more active wear to sew.  Oh well, in the meantime, my sewing area looks like a fleece factory exploded!