Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Dress ~ McCall's M6273

Foolishly I decided to finally sew Miss K's Easter dress on Thursday and Friday (needing it for today, Saturday).  I've had M6273 in my stash so I figured I would attempt it.  Miss K picked View C (the pink and white one on the left).

I traced the pattern, pre-washed the fabric, cut and marked it on Thursday and then sewed it all on Friday.  All in a size 8 which Miss K wears in RTW. The dress is fully lined so it is like sewing 2 dresses. We drive a bit of a distance to visit relatives and the dress looked great after the long car ride!

There are a lot of pieces to this dress.  The pattern calls for 2.25 yards in 45" wide for the dress and 1.5 yards in 45" wide for the lining.  You will also need 2.25 yards of 2" flat eyelet trim, a 16" zipper and a hock and eye.  I waited to the last minute to get any supplies - picking all but the lining up on Tuesday night (Hancock's).

Tutti Frutti (2.5 yards) $17.48
Eyelet (2.5 yards) $4.35
16" zipper $1.99
Total without lining: $25.13 ~ the lining I had already at home and I used exactly 1.5 yards and most of the Tutti Frutti and Eyelet. I would say the entire dress cost about $30; this could have been cheaper had I planned ahead and picked up the fabric and notions on sale.

I followed most of the directions up to the hemming.  #19 and 20 I did not hem the ties as suggested because I didn't want the edges showing.  I sewed them right sides together and turned them inside out - like a tube before attaching them.  This worked but they are skinnier than they should be.  I serged the bodice sides after step 22.  I forgot to serge the lining and dress sides as well as the back of the dress before the zipper.  Mostly because I was pressed for time; I went back and pinked what I could.

The zipper is really long and doesn't need to be.  You could get away with only doing the zipper from the skirt gathering up to the neck; maybe a 9" one? or a 7" one?.  It was a real pain to sew on all those gathers!  I used elastic tape for the gathering itself but it was tough.  It felt like I was making 3 feet of fabric fit into 12 inches.  My machine hated attaching the skirt to the bodice with the 2 fabric layers, 2 lining layers, and elastic tape in the middle. I broke 2 needles and bent a lot of pins.  I also was trying to be so careful to keep the bodice straight underneath but ended up sewing into it and had to rip it out and do it over.

When I got to the hemming I was plain burnt out.  I didn't follow the directions really. I serged the bottom of the dress fabric, turned up an inch, pressed and sewed.  I then turned the lining up 1 inch, turned it up again 1 inch into a double fold and sewed it.  Finally I attached the eyelet by laying it on top of the very edge of the lining hem and sewing it on.  Is this right? I don't know but it worked!

We didn't attach the bow because I liked the dress without.  The "drape" on the front waistline didn't really want to drape at all.

Too bad it is so cold still here in Wisconsin so Miss K had to wear leggings and a long sleeve shirt underneath!  This is a cute sleeveless dress but there is way too much work involved for me to do it over again.  We plan on having Miss K wear it to 2 weddings this summer so at least we get some use out of it!

Overall she looks cute in it and the dress looks pretty- it was just more work than I wanted to deal with on our busy Thursday and Friday.  Miss K got lots of compliments at Easter though so maybe it's great? We took the pictures as we were walking out the door this morning (15 minutes late). I wish the weather would turn nice so we can get outdoor pictures again!

I hope you have a good Easter.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Liebster Blog Award ~ What is it? and Thanks for mine!


I was recently nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by black label (thanks Angelique!). At first I wasn't sure what it was.  After some searching I came across some great answers.  In a nutshell, it is basically a blogger's way of saying "You're one of my favorites! Great job."  It is a great way for fellow bloggers to nominate or pat on the back other bloggers that they admire.  I'm pleased that I came to someone's mind and quite honored :-)

So here are 11 questions that Angelique came up with for me to answer.  Next, I get to nominate my own favorite bloggers and they get to answer my own 11 questions I devise.  How exciting!  This is a great way to get to know each other.

{Q1} How long have you been sewing ?
I started sewing long ago in high school.  We were offered home economics as a choice and I thought it would be an easy A.  My mom always sewed our Halloween costumes and things growing up so I had a bit of exposure to it.  My final project was a sunflower sundress.  I did a good job and actually wore it!  After that I sewed here and there up until December-ish of 2011 - I've been sewing heavy since then. 
{Q2} What is your go-to pattern & why ?
I think I am a one-night-stand pattern user.  I tend to use a pattern once and then move on.  There are so many that I want to try and each time I use a pattern I learn something and get better.  If I had to choose one pattern that I love and made many times it would be Simplicity 2377; I've sewn from that pattern 4 times.  I love the tiered look, it's fast and easy to sew, and my daughter loves the fit. Green Sundress, Kitty dress, Easter dress, and my favorite, the Owl dress. 
{Q3} Is there a pattern that scares you but you still willing to give it a go, if so, which one ?
Not too much scares me in the world of patterns.  I'm willing to try anything once.  I do not sew Butterick because I've found their directions stink.  Ottobre had me a bit worried at first because of the tracing of the patterns (there are tons of lines on those sheets!) and then the instructions with no pictures.  I've found that once I get into a pattern my worries dissipate and I just go with it. 
{Q4} Have you ever made something for yourself & then never worn it ? & why ?
Oh yes.  I made this skirt here.  I was so excited about it and loved the fabric.  I didn't like the end result so I have not worn it, ever. *Personal information incoming* I haven't sewn much for myself because I've been on this crazy health roller coaster the last couple years.  Getting my gallbladder removed Feb 2012 was the icing on the cake; I have some pretty severe issues with eating foods - my stomach just refuses a lot of things.  So anyway I've been loosing tons of weight - this makes it hard to sew because my size keeps changing.  However, I've maintained my current weight for the last 5-6 months and hope to sew lots for myself soon!  (I just got a dressform for my birthday too! This should help).
{Q5} BurdaStyle, Ottobre or Patrones magazine – which is your favourite ?
I am in love with Ottobre.  I have to admit I just subscribed in January and just started sewing from them, but I'm hooked!  I haven't tried BurdaStyle yet but I just might.  
{Q6) Do you have allocated time for sewing or do you grab the moment when it presents itself ?
I don't really have allotted time for sewing; I mainly just do it when the moment grabs me. This is usually when I'm feeling up to it.  I like to sew during the day when no one is home, though!
{Q7} Do you stash fabric or buy as & when required ?
Oh I hoard.  I hoard fabric by the masses.  I love it!  I'm obsessed with all the different textiles, prints and patterns.  I like to look at fabric and can imagine it as the finished product so I buy it and there it sits.  I'd love to have my own fabric store so I could admire all the awesome prints but yet not put us in debt! LOL. 
{Q8} Besides sewing, do you have any unrelated hobbies ?
I do!  I am also a World of Warcraft addict.  We are video game junkies in my house, always have been.  My husband and I have been playing World of Warcraft together for the last 7ish years; both my kids have played at some point.  We also enjoy our Wii U and Xbox 360 often.  If I'm not sewing I'm usually on a video game.  
{Q9} If you were given cash (€100, USD100 etc) what is the first thing you would spend it on ?
Fabric.  I'd spend any amount of money I was given on more fabric!
{Q10} What could you simply not live without ?
My husband and kids.  I know it's a corny answer but it's true.  Without them I wouldn't have a purpose.  
{Q11} Tell me one thing I dont know about you!
I just turned 34 and my internal clock is no longer ticking; It's screaming at me.  I would love, love, love to have another baby.  I'm not so sure my body agrees with that (see Q4) but it is one of my goals for the next year or so. (Maybe that was too personal? LOL).  

How about this, I used to be a coupon addict as well.  I spent 2011 getting a lot of things cheap or free. It took me a whole year to realize most of the stuff we don't use and most of the things with coupons are not very healthy - so I dropped the habit and gave a lot of it away to friends and family that needed it. 

Whew!  That was fun!  I hope you all learned a little more about me.  Now here are 11 blogs that I love and follow - they inspire me to sew more! (No particular order).

1. The College Seamstress - Elizabeth you rock!
2. 21 Wale - Joy sews amazing Ottobre - she inspired me to subscribe
3. daniKate designs - Angie is another great sewer, I love to see what she's made
4. Whoopsy - I've followed Kristianna for a long time now!
5. Toferet's Empty Bobbin - I recently started following and love her humor!
6. Hammer & Thread - such cute crafts on this blog!
7. Amanda's Adventures in Sewing - seriously wonderful sewing
8. Queen of the Flies - beautiful dresses and cute children's clothes
9. NanaCompany - awesome stitching!  beautiful fabric choices
10. Made by Meg - recently started following - great sewing!
11. True Bias - a mixture of everything crafty and wonderful

And here are their questions.

Q1.  What drew you to sewing?
Q2.  What is is your most favorite thing you've made thus far?
Q3.  How many hours a week do you sew?
Q4.  What is your favorite pattern company to sew from?
Q5.  Who do you like to sew for most?
Q6.  Roughly how much fabric do you have stashed? some, a lot, or I'm buried!
Q7.  What do you like to do besides sewing? Other hobbies?
Q8.  Who inspired you to start sewing or who inspires you now?
Q9.  What made you want to start a sewing blog?
Q10.  What sewing item are you dreaming of getting, regardless of cost?
Q11.  Tell me something about you that most people who read your blog do not know!

Thanks for reading and thanks for participating!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pattern Stash Contest ~ McCall's M6549

I've had this pattern sitting in my stash for some time now.  Miss K grabbed it last year; I think in the Spring. She likes view E (the dress), but that called for quite a bit of yardage.  This cute pattern has options for leggings, dresses, tanks, and a cover-up jacket.

I have been wanting to make the cute tank, View C.  I used a straight size 8 for this tank; Miss K wears a size 8 in RTW.  I did cut and quick sew a muslin of just the bodice to see if it would fit her.

I couldn't decide on the fabric choices at first but then fell on the two you see below.  I love the combination of them together!  The pattern calls for 1 1/8 yards of 45 wide for view C.  It doesn't show the contrast fabric measurements on the envelope but states to look inside for them.... ? This is bizarre to me because when you are at the fabric store you don't want to open the pattern out there to find your yardage. Anyway the contrast needed 1/2 yard plus a 14" zipper and a hook and eye closure.
front view
 back view

FABRIC:  I used Feather N Stitch Bird House Blue 100% cotton for the main parts (see end of post for link to fabric).  I had 1 yard and it's about 44" wide.  This is a one way fabric and I had just enough for my pattern pieces.  For the contrast I used a scrap piece of fabric from my A-Line skirt pockets; I had 28 x 19 left and it worked fine.  I squeezed each piece on and they just barely fit.  For pattern piece #9 I had to turn it vertical to make it fit the second of the 2 pieces; my print was not directional on this fabric so it worked fine.

SEWING:  This is a great pattern to sew.  It is easy to understand and there are no weird "what the heck" moments. I did make the straps 1/2 inch longer before I read the directions that they are adjustable before you sew them in and have included a longer length for just that.  After sewing the straps on the one side I used my pinking shears to trim the seams to 1/4 inch before turning them right side out.

Step 5 is silly in my opinion.  You can leave it out.  It doesn't make sense to baste the edges of the straps only to baste on top of the same spot when attaching them to the bodice.

Step 10 I didn't want to slip stitch the band (I prefer to use the machine and not hand sew). I folded the band in half and sewed it to the tank right sides together.  I then serged the edges, pressed the hem to the band side and it worked fine. See pic below.

I like that there is no hemming or finishing required for the neck and arm holes.  Since the top of the bodice is lined this is done for you.
I also pinked the seams to 1/4 inch when attaching the bodice and lining together.  Clipping the armholes seam allowance is necessary as it likes to pucker if there isn't enough give.
I also didn't slip stitch the tank lining band on the inside.  I pressed the bottom under 1/2 inch and then stitched in the ditch along the front of the tank to catch it in. See both pics below.
inside view of lining attached at bottom band
 outside view of stitch in the ditch

CONCLUSION:  I love this tank! My husband said it was his favorite thing I've made so far; I think it's a winner! I like the pattern and had no real issues.  I would love to sew it again.  I think I may try the halter top, view D next and maybe the heavy yardage view e sometime in the future.  It's a great pattern to add to the wardrobe.

Like the fabric?
They no longer have the bird house fabric but they do have more from the Feather N Stitch line
Feather N Stitch Eggs Blue/Linen Feather N Stitch Eggs Blue

They also no longer have my contrast fabric (Black, White & Currant) but they do have this similar fabric
Sugar Blossom Ditsy Floral Red Sugar Blossom Ditsy Floral Red

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Sew a Zipper Fly

I thought I would show my steps on how I sew a zippered fly. This is for Girl's pants; For boys you simply flip it the opposite way.

1. Constructing the fly shield.  It should look like this:

 Fold it in half, right sides together. Sew only bottom edge. Trim seam and flip so right sides are out. Press. 
 Serge unfinished side. 
 Apply WonderTape to the right edge
Remove WonderTape backing and place Zipper on that edge (You may need to shorten zipper first as I have below). 
 Using zipper foot, sew close to zipper teeth dow the right side.  Keep Zipper pull in teh middle and stop when you reach it. Keep needle in fabric, lift presser foot and pull zipper past foot to the top. Then put  presser foot back down and continue sewing down the right side to the bottom. 
Serge raw edges of both sides of pants. 

 2. Fold seam allowance on narrow edge of zipper placket to wrong side (shown on right, below). Place WonderTape on fly shield over the zipper tape on the right side where you just sewed one side of the zipper in above steps. 
 Put fly shield under folded over zipper placket as seen below.  Align, remove WonderTape backing and stick them together as shown below. Sew on the right side zipper placket from the top down to the bottom of the zipper. 

  Here is where I sew crotch seam from back waistline to bottom of zipper placket.  I double stitch the seams on the crotch to reinforce. 
 3. Now we will WonderTape the left side of the zipper tape on the placket and attach it to the other zipper placket.  We have already serged the raw end of this larger placket and folded it under.  Align it so the crotch lays smooth and use the WonderTape to stick the loose side zipper tape to the other placket.
 Below I have WonderTape on left side of zipper tape and the curved placket is at the way bottom waiting to be laid on top
 Unzip zipper so that the loose tape is stuck to the large placket as seen below.
 Now fold open the placket and sew on the loose zipper tape. 
 4. Top stitching.  I always look to the inside (wrong side) of the zipper shield and plackets and stick a pin in the bottom of the shield.  
 Then I go to the right side and pin my placket down so it stays smooth.  I make a mark where the underneath pin pokes through.  This is where you want to catch the fly shield in your stitching on the top.  You only want to catch the bottom of the fly shield in your stitching. 
 Now I mark out my top-stitching with a quilter's pencil.  Make sure you know where the fly shield will be brought in to the bottom. 
 Unzip zipper (See my sloppy lines on the bottom slope?  I had to reconfigure to make sure I caught all of the placket bottoms into my top-stitching so there would be no holes in the crotch. The top two straighter lines wouldn't cover it so I slopped them down more). 
Pin fly shield out of the way for now. You don't want to stitch it yet. 
Top-stitch the lines you drew. Stop at the bottom where you had the pin come through and are now sewing the fly shield to the bottom.  Unpin the fly shield and lay it nicely into place.  Sew over the bottom of the fly shield when you continue your top-stitching. (See second pic for more detail)
   This is a view at the wrong side.  See the green arrows?  This is where I caught just the bottom of the fly shield in my top-stitching. 
 You now bar-tack the two lines at the bottom.  (I was experimenting with this here, they should not be curved but straight   My bar-tack stitch I haven't quite got right yet.  Next time I will use a short zig-zag stitch back and forth on the two spots).

Here is a view of the completed Zipper Fly!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ottobre 06/2011 #24 Wide-Wale Round Two!

Back on February 15th I traced, cut, and sewed these cute shorts in a size 140 for Miss K.  (She is a size 8 RTW); They ended up being way too snug.  So I walked away from them for a good month.  Sometimes I need to do that when I'm frustrated!

I wanted to try again in a bigger size to see if I liked the shorts or not.  This time I traced and cut a 152 because I had Miss K try on her brother's Harrison shorts I made on February 25th and they fit her with a little room.

I used the same fabric for the shorts because I liked the look of the first pair.  The corduroy was on sale at Hancock for $2 a yard when I picked it up awhile ago.  I had 2 yards so I had enough for the second pair.  I also had just enough of the owl fabric in scraps to pull this off but it was close!  When I was finished I picked out the most amazing purple-pink button from my vintage pail.

After all the work and anticipation I have to say I really don't like the shorts!  The pleated front poofs out and Miss K doesn't like that either.  I love the back and the dart shaping there but the front just isn't our style.  I doubt these will get worn much this summer. So I'm still searching for a great shorts pattern for Miss K.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~