Monday, August 05, 2013

Scoopneck T with Tulip Sleeves (J2806)

I normally love the fit of Jalie tops. I cut this one in a size T but it was too big - the neck was too wide and the chest too large. My daughter has broader shoulders and a larger bust so I gave it to her - she is on the right in the photo

I like the look of the tulip sleeves, but for some reason, the directions were very confusing to me - the diagram wasn't helpful to me. Normally, I love Jalie's instructions but I didn't like this one.

I used the same black bamboo knit I used for twist top shown in the precious post. I will make this top again but in a size S or maybe even R.

We didn't plan on both wearing our black bamboo tops at the same time but it just worked out that way yesterday so I took advantage of the photo op. LOL

Twist Top T (S1613)

I saw a couple versions of this top on PR and thought it was a great way to jazz up a plain black top. The fabric is a bamboo knit; I don't recall the source. The twist part was a little tricky to understand. The pattern instructions and photo are very good, it's just took some time for my brain to wrap around and arrive at the "Ah HA" moment. Photo below shows the top on the left.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Sweetheart Neckline T (J2794)

This is my third version of Jalie 2794. I made this one in size T. I could have added 1/2" at the hips (stupid hips!!) I used some Sophia knit purchased from Vogue Fabrics. LOVE this stuff!! I've heard other people rave about it and they were right. It's so easy to sew on!

Polka Dot skirt (S2451)

This is version 3 of this skirt, Simplicity 2451. Added lining. Shortened by 2". Lot of hand stitching. Fabric is a twill with a nice sheen to it. I think I purchased in NY during PR weekend 2012.

I can wear this shirt to work with either a blouse or more casually with a knit top.

Tie Dye Wrap Top (M6513)

This top is McCalls 6513 made in a lightweight rayon or silk knit, purchased from TexStyles in Austin.

Size and alterations: Cut 2" off length. Size 10 on top, 14 at hips. The crossed sections flopped around when I basted them to the side panels so I had to bring them in a bit tighter. I assume this is due to small bust although the fabric is very lightweight and droopy, which exacerbated the issue, I think.

I like this top ok but I'm not crazy about how low the armhole is. It makes the top look a bit unkempt to me. I probably won't make it again but this will be a nice top for weekend wear.

Linen Pants (V8584)

Usually, I prefer fitted clothes on me and don't tend to wear many loose fitting items (other than sweats that I love to wear around the house.) I feel untidy and slothy (yeah, imaginary word) wearing loose fitting clothes and don't feel like they flatter my figure. 

However, when  I saw Elizabeth's adorable version of Vogue 8584 some time ago, I thought I'd shake up my normal attire and give the casual, loose pants a go, in hopes that I could look as cute as her!

Linen was purchased at Discount Fabrics in San Francisco during PR weekend 2014 (April.)

Size and Alterations:
Started with size 14 based on measurements and my usual hip measurements. Basted together and seemed ok but hard to tell before inserting elastic in waist. Turned out they were too big AND too high. There was too much fabric in the front so rather than taking in side seams, I scooped out about an inch of front seam starting at top of waist, grading to about 1/2" at the crotch and then to the original seam about 2" past crotch into back center seam. The crotch was drooping very low so I cut 2" off top of waistband and moved the foldline down 2". I cut 2" off hem (I'm just under 5'4".)

I used 1" elastic so I made the foldline 1 1'2" - enough for 1/4" stitching above bottom edge and 1/4" stitching from foldline. Rather than do a 1/4" fold on the edge, I serged the edge for less bulk.

I'm not sure I love them but I'm going to give them a chance. 

Sundress (M4444)

I decided three days before our Hilton Head vacation in June that I HAD TO HAVE a sundress to wear. I had a couple patterns in mind but I went with this one because the reviews said it went together like a dream and was very quick. Well, it wasn't all that quick. I was working long days catching up before going away on vacation anyway so I only had early morning before work and late at night. Somehow, I was able to get it all sewn together except for the hand sewing on the bodice band. So I took it with me and finished it one evening right before going out to dinner in it!

This really is a great pattern. The sizing was terrific although I think the bodice is a wee too big for my teeny bust. I would like to make it again and will probably eliminate a little volume in the top.

More details below.

Fabric: Rayon Challis from Vogue Fabric in Chicago during PR Weekend 2011. I don't recall who it was but one of the ladies in our group carried the bolt of this fabric around the store for awhile. I casually stalked her for some time and then just said, "Hey, if you're not going to buy that, hand it over." And she did! LOL
Pattern: McCalls 4444 - The pattern is out of print but looks like it may still be available at Club BMV.
Size: Out of the envelope size 10 for the bodice and graded up to what I am guessing was a 14 at waist and hips (I bought the wrong size grouping and 10 was the largest size.)

Raglan tshirt (M6288)

LOVE this pattern! This is my second version. Version 1 here. I raised the neckline a little higher this time but think it could still be a wee bit higher. It looks crooked but it's not. I'm not sure if it was skewed when I put it on or if the way the trim works makes it look crooked.

Made from a 1 yd remnant from the Haberman booth at ASE last September ($5.) The top is a little too snug for my liking but I'm trying to lose 5 lb - this photo is motivation that I need to get serious!!!

Wool jumper / sheath (M5464)

I finished this back in February but never got around to a photo. I took one today but now that I see the photo, I hate this top with it!!! I've had trouble figuring out what top to wear with it since I finished it, in fact. I didn't feel like redoing the photo so look past the top, please.

This is McCalls 5464, (shown below but oop), view A. Reviews on PR indicate neckline views A&B are too high and C&D are too low. so I lowered it. Other alterations: added 1" broad back adjustment; I used length of View B but ended up cutting 2" off; added a lining; used 2" bias cut lining fabric strips to bind armholes.

I used the same lining as my trench coat shown here:

Red Jeans (J2908)

I've wanted a pair of red jeans for two years. Back in February, I found some nice red stretch denim (color "Lipstick") on Mood's website so I took the plunge. This is my second time with the Jalie jeans pattern (2908), which is designed for stretch denim. First time was a white pair shown here that I made in size V but I've lost some weight since then. I also made and kept a muslin in size T. Turns out, size U works for me now!

I found some crystal like rivets from a seller on eBay that I just LOVE. They were easy to install and have held up over several washings.

I completed these in April and love them.

Mood Twill Projects

A couple people asked in comments and emails what I plan to make with the other twills from Mood. I plan to make a  a lilac / cream sheath dress and a.lilac pencil skirt.

I also plan to make a matching top from a stretch charmeuse I received from Gorgeous Fabric to coordinate with the skirt:


Monday, May 20, 2013

Butterfly sleeve knit top (S1716)

My work uniform tends to be pants or skirt with knit top or blouse so I'm always adding those type items to the wardrobe. I whipped up Simplicity 1716 in no time from one of my PR Weekend San Francisco fabric purchases - a Cotton Rayon from Stone Mountain, approx. 1 yard.
This version is View E, top length.
Size 10 on top, grade to 12 at hips

This is a nice basic and I will likely make again.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wiggle Dress (V1314)

I wanted to make a new dress to wear to  PR Weekend SFO for our group dinner. Everyone seems to really like this Tracy Reese pattern and I had plenty of loud-print knits (as recommended)in my stash from which to choose so I thought what the heck! I wasn't feeling the Vogue lay-down-in-the-office-window-pose so I did my typical hands on hip pose.

Tracy Reese Vogue 1314
Fabric: Stretch jersey ITY Knit 92% poly, 8% lycra; ($2.99 / yd); Beige tricot knit from

Line Art

The pattern is straightforward and the fit is good. I did a 10 on top / 12 on bottom like usual. I read that it was sized a little big but when I did the knit lining, it seemed to fit snugly enough. After finishing, I realized I probably could have taken it in a smidge more. It has a lining but I'm not really sure why. I used some nude knit tricot to line it but it seems like the lining could be omitted.

It's designed to be longer (below the knee) but I didn't like how it looked on me so I lopped off a good 6" and did a 1.5" hem. (I'm not quite 5'4" for comparison). Other reviewers at PR said the sleeves are short. My arms are short and the sleeves fit me perfectly with no alteration so if you have average or long arms, do add length.  The only change I made to construction is to fold the neckband to the outside and topstitched. I like that look better than folding inward.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Barney the Dinosaur Trench Coat (V8884)

Fabric and Notions:
I found this lovely Italian Cotton Twill at Mood Fabrics and thought it would make a great spring trench coat. (By the way, the fabric also comes in lilac and cream and both are on their way to my house now!) Interfacing is Pro-Tailor Deluxe from Fashion Sewing Supply (I don't see it on the website now so maybe Pam doesn't carry it anymore.) Belt buckle is from M&J Trim. Buttons and D rings on sleeves (couldn't find any small black buckles to coordinate with belt buckle) from local Hancock Fabric. Lining is a poly shiny woven from JoAnn fabric. I really loved this print and bought a bunch of it last fall to use for linings. Clashes a bit with the dress though!:

The above photo was taken indoors because it was raining (Oh, the irony) and doesn't do justice to the color. Mood calls it Mulberry but just think Barney the Dinosaur:

Pattern: Vogue 8884, View C
V8884 Line Art
This is a fantastic pattern. Fit is good; instructions were clear. No complaints at all. But this is not a quick project. Not counting the muslin I made, I spent approximately 25 hours cutting, interfacing and constructing. 

Size and Alternations:
I cut a size 12 for top and graded to 14 at waist and hips. For dresses and tops, I normally cut 10 and grade to 12 but I like my coats / jackets to run a little big. I added 3/8" to the back seam (coat and collar) for a broad back adjustment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ruffle Blouse (M5522)

Another blouse for the wardrobe. This pattern was a Best Pattern of 2009 at PR but unfortunately, has been discontinued by McCalls. It can still be seen on their website.

For some reason, this blouse took me forever; there are many pieces and lots of gathering and of course, 9 buttonholes / buttons take awhile. I basted the blouse together every step of the way to make sure everything worked perfectly and I must say, I am thrilled with how it turned out. I will definitely use this pattern again. I cut the blouse out before I discovered that I have a broad back so I didn't make that adjustment. Next time, I will add a 1" increase to eliminate the minor pulling at the back. Otherwise, I would make it exactly as I did this time.

Size: I used size 10 on top, including sleeves with the A/B cup; I graded to a 12-14 at waist and hips.
Fabric: Tomato red stretch cotton

After I finished this shirt and modeled it with a black skirt, I realized it looked very similar to my "uniform" when I was a waitress at Ground Round in college. We had to wear red blouses and black skirts and I had a ruffled front blouse. LOL. I hope I don't look like a waitress!

Color Block Copy Cat dress (Vogue 1336)

Early last fall, I saw the dress below in a magazine and wanted to recreate it. Voila!!

In spite of all the color block dress patterns out there, I couldn't find one that I thought would work until Vogue came out with their spring patterns and I saw this Sandra Betzina pattern. Link to Vogue 1336

As you can see in the line drawing, it wasn't exactly what I wanted so I redesigned the bodice and skirt pieces to work. I have very little experience in editing designs so I made a sample first (Sidenote: The ugly colors in the sample can be attributed to online purchases that were not quite what I was expecting!)

Fabric: Ponte knits in cream, taupe and black
Size: I started with size B, which matches my measurements but the pattern runs a bit big so I cut it back to the smallest size A.
Alterations: I didn't want the hem band so I omitted that but added 2" to the length of the dress and did a 2" hem. (I am 5' 3.5" for comparison.)

Overall, I love my knockoff. I wish I had lowered the v more. I actually DID lower it but when I had to adjust the shoulder seam, I accidentally raised it. Oopsie! This dress will be a nice work basic.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Asymmetrical T-shirt (KS3790)

Pattern description: Close fitting tops have asymmetrical front neckline finished with facings, front shoulder inset with gathers, and gathers on left front.Cap sleeve or long sleeve options. (I opted to shorten the long sleeve top rather than use the cap sleeve.)
Size: Seems to be generously sized. I started with a small but scaled it back to the extra small.
Fabric: A light-medium weight stretchy knit. Unknown source.

Link to Pattern

Love this pattern. The horrible photo doesn't show the side scrunching very well but it's a very cute design and I will likely make more.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Ali Lartner Top (KW 3620)

1/4/13 Edited to add another photo.

I keep forgetting to take a photo of this shirt so I'm just gonna post this one taken over Thanksgiving. Doesn't show the black tie at the waist but does anyone notice the perfect matching of stripes (patting myself on the back...)

Several (many?) years ago, I came across a photo of Ali Lartner wearing the cutest little top. It was a white / black plaid and had a little bow just above the waist.

 I found this Kwik Sew pattern (#3620 OOP) and thought I could make it work.

I cut my version out of a black/ivory windowpane plaid flannel during my marathon sewing session almost exactly one year ago.  I began and almost finished sewing it back in February 2012; only the buttonholes remained. I decided to finish it up recently and realized that with a 25 lb weight loss over the last year that it no longer fit. I attempted to take it in but it is still too big across the shoulders and bust.  Oh well, it's comfy and will be a nice stay-at-home top for the chilly winter weekends.

 It looks a lot different than the inspiration top shown below but I still like it!

Black on Black top (M6435)

1/4/13 Edited to add modeled photo:


One can never have too much black but it's nice to add a little interest so this pattern and some stretch lace fit the bill. Most photos are lightened to show detail of the black fabric.

McCalls 6435, View B
Size: I cut a 10 at the top and graded out to a 12 at the waist and hips. 
Fabric: Stretch lace and black slinky knit.

The example on the pattern doesn't appeal to me at all:
But the line drawing gives a better idea of what it could look like:

I used a great technique for finishing that I learned in Joi's workshop at the Novi American Sewing and Design Professionals Expo in September.  Starting with foldover elastic and fusible tape, I bound the neck edge and sleeve edges. Creates a stretchy finish that is neat and professional looking. I fused the tape onto the wrong side of the foldover elastic, right down the middle. Then, I pressed the elastic around the raw edge of the fabric. After a little trial and error, I found that I needed to stretch the foldover elastic slightly as I pressed, to avoid a stretched out sleeve. After pressing, stitch close to the edge (use an edge foot on your machine) to secure the binding. The pressing while stretching was a little fiddly at first, but I got the hang of it and am very happy with the end result. If you use this method, you will need to cut off the seam allowance before binding. I actually did not do that for this because I thought the neckline looked awfully low after I cut it out.

Here are some close ups of the bound sleeves and bound neckline.

I plan to wear with the glimmery skirt from last post but Mark put in a request that I wear this with some jeans and high heels: