Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alma ~ Sewaholic

Ah, a beautiful Alma, all for myself!  I took a break from kid sewing to make a little something for myself.  I actually have 1 thing planned for K this next go around and the rest is all for me! :D  Yes! (I updated my to-do list tab at the top if you are interested in seeing what I have lined up for myself)

Back to the Alma.
I've admired every one of these cute tops that popped up on patternreview.com
I figured I'd give it a go because I'm totally a pear shaped gal and Sewaholic tailors to my shape.

The Alma came in a cute envelope with very nice instructions on white paper.  I liked that I could see the words without resorting to my glasses.  Am I too used to Burda and Ottobre that I forgot how thin the pattern tissue paper is? Holy cow I was so terrified I was going to rip it the whole time I traced it.

The instructions are clearly laid out and only on the back side of the sheet so you think it is fast and easy.  Don't be fooled though!   There are multiple things to do within each step. I was very disappointed in the zipper explanation "sew invisible zipper on left side." Um. ok. new to me and that is all I get?  I resorted to using my "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing" from like 1974 or something.  It was perfect in picture and explanation.  I did have to unpick the zipper two freaking times before getting it right.  Honestly, I didn't know to iron/push over the coils on the darn zipper before sewing it.  It was my first time! but after I tried to zip it to no avail, it was like a light bulb.  Once I knew how the thing worked I understood what I was doing wrong.

It comes with sizes 0-16. My measurements put me exactly at a 10 (shocking that I wasn't in between sizes!).  I cut and sewed an 8 because others on PR were saying it was a little large.   I used 2 yards of 44" wide fabric for View A.  Pattern calls for exactly that. I also used a 12'-14" invisible zipper - it was all wal-mart had and shortened it.  I'm sure I ended up with a 12" zipper in the end.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to use the belt or not.  With the floral fabric the belt gets a bit lost but in this picture below I kind of like it

(my funny stiff pose and the 3 onlooking stuffed animals in the back.  It was washing day for them so they are hanging out on the freezer to air dry - K sleeps with all of them... sigh and 4 mami's *blankets*)


I followed all directions.  I like how things were laid out.  I did change the interfacing/facing though.  I used this cute technique here where you sew the interfacing on to the facing right sides together (fusible side up), and then flip it and then iron it on.  It makes such a nice neat edge!


Also, Step 11, make sure to catch the ends of the sleeve caps in when you first sew the binding on; I also clipped the binding raw edge before flipping it inside after trimming the seam.  Other changes: square shoulder adjustment to front/back bodice as well then as to the facings.  Added 1" in length to the bodices.  Sloped 1/2" out of back bodice and facing because I hate back neck gaping.

(inside view - see nice clean neck facing)

Fabric: 2 yards of a cute floral I have no idea when/where I got it.  I know it's cotton - it is soft but not lawn or voile.  I think it *might* have been a Mill End find for $3.95/yard.

(inside view at sleeves)

Outcome: LOVE IT! So cute.  This is unlike anything in my closet.  I usually wear knits so I like how different it is.  The sleeve caps are a tad restricting but it is manageable. I would like to try it in a cotton with a bit of stretch, maybe even a sateen? I'm thinking cobalt blue with the belt added on too.  I'd also like to try it in a seersucker and/or lawn. Oh the possibilities!

(is there a zipper in there?)  

 (yes there is!)

Changes for next time:
 figure out why there are folds from bust to side of hip.  Maybe too tight on hip? Maybe from swayback pooling in back?
address the swayback - can't ignore it in this shirt.

(address swayback)

(bust to side of hip folds)

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cold Weather = Sweats! Ottobre 04/2011 #33 Longicorn & 01/2009 #29 Saija

Oh Miss K. She never has enough bottoms.  Store ones never fit her right so it's up to Mom to make them.  Sweats are the easiest because they meet K's list: fuzzy, comfortable, easy to move in; They also meet my list: knit so they fit better, easy to sew, fast to sew.

(Top pairs are longicorn, bottom pairs are saija - dark fuzzy velour does not photo well)

I sewed up 4 pairs for K over the course of the last week, two of each pattern.  I will make K some corduroy pants and jeans over the winter but I needed these pants fast.  The cold came just like a light switch flipping on and now K has enough pants to last her all week at school.  Whew!

Let's talk about 04/2011 #33 Longicorn first
I traced, cut and sewed these in a straight 134.  They fit well but are a bit long - cool because they should last her all year and maybe if I'm lucky, next year.

Changes: I eliminated the pockets to save time - I must say, the pockets on these are a bit weird.  I don't really care for that design.  In the future if I make these again with pockets I'll use the normal ones from the next pattern below. On the second pair I lowered the front piece waist by 3/4" in the front tapering to 0" to meet the back side seam.  K liked them much better.  She hates things up by her belly button. For both pairs I didn't use a drawstring or put buttonholes on the waistband.

Pair 1: A teal sweatshirt fleece from Mill End Textiles - 1 yard - $3.95; ribbing is a purple from Fabric.com - only a small bit is used. Maybe 1/4 yard?
Pair 2: A light pink sweatshirt fleece from Mill End Textiles - 1 yard - $3.95; ribbing is a light pink modal that I managed from scraps of a previous bubble skirt of K's that didn't work well.

Instructions: Sorry, I didn't use them.  I can only assume they are easy to understand because they are pants.  Pants are easy to sew. I always sew F & back inseams together first, then crotch seam, then side seams, attach the waistband and cuffs or hem.
(The bottom cuffs sort of get lost as on right. left is when she held the pant leg up)

Conclusion: I like these a lot.  They look nice and the cuff at the bottom keeps K warm.  They will fit in her winter boots nice too.

Ok, now for 01/2009 #29 "Saija" Sweatpants
I traced, cut and sewed these in a straight 134.  When I trace I always put 1a and 1b together before cutting out.  So if you do this also, there are only 4 pieces (with the pocket).  I used a 1/2" seam allowance.
They fit well but are a bit long - cool because they should last her all year and maybe if I'm lucky, next year.

I eliminated the pockets to save time, although I like these ones - they are cute.
I also eliminated the buttonholes in the waistband and did not use petersham ribbon in it.  In the first pair I used 2" elastic within the ribbed waistband and cut about 2 inches off in height. I made a bow and just sewed it down on the front of the pants. In the second pair I eliminated the ribbed waistband, added 1.5" to the top waist of both pattern pieces and sewed in 1" elastic, flipping it over and top-stitching.

(7am surprise photo shoot. lol) 

Pair 1: Navy blue stretch velour.  I actually cut up an old pair of mine from when I was much larger.  They sewed up nice and were my "trial" pair.  I like how they fit although they are a bit long.
Pair 2: An Eggplant purple stretch velour from Fabric.com - 1 yard.

Instructions: Sorry, I didn't use them.  I can only assume they are easy to understand because they are pants.  Pants are easy to sew.  I always sew F & back inseams together first, then crotch seam, then side seams, attach the waistband and cuffs or hem.

Conclusion: I love these.  They are so cute and look very comfy for K.  I'm sure this pattern will become a staple around here.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Minecraft Jacket ~ Ottobre 04/2007 # 38

Mr. T loves Minecraft.  I should say he is obsessed with it.  For those who don't know it is a video game sort of a build/harvest/fight kind of role playing game.  Merchandise for this game is pricey!  T received a Minecraft hoodie from Santa last year to the tune of $70.
(my version of a creeper jacket)

So one day this summer I was flipping through my fall Ottobre's for ideas and T was next to me.  He spotted a "sweat jacket" and asked if I could make it but Minecraft style.  Not wanting to disappoint him I agreed.  And it has taken me this long to fulfill this promise. First off I could not locate any black sweatshirt fleece for the life of me.  Nor could I find lime green.  If anyone knows where I can find some please, please let me know.  I looked on Mood.com, Fabric.com, FabricMart, Fashion Fabric Club, at Hancocks, Joann's and Mill End Textiles. Finally I settled on using fleece.

Can I take a moment to say how much I despise sewing with fleece?  It is thick, the fuzz drives me nuts, everything sticks to it, and is just no fun to sew.  I even broke a needle today with it.  Yeah, yeah you don't have to finish the edges and what not but I don't like it. Sadly I'm sure this coat will not wash well and that sucks.  So I will re-make if and when I find the right colors or decide to use rit to dye some.

Back to the matter at hand.  Ottobre 04/2007 #38 "Sweat jacket".  I sewed the biggest size because I wanted it to fit T more than just this fall; however it is huge on him so I should not have gone that big.  T usually wears a 146 or 152 on top (Size 10US) so I went with the 158cm.

Technically there are 11 pieces to this jacket because the sleeves break into 3 and the welt pocket into two.  At first I was really confused on how to cut the welt pocket because the drawing has a little pencil on it.  For anyone else confused you cut 2 of the whole piece and then fold the little top flap under (keep SA though for the next piece here) and cut 2 of the piece as top folded under.

pretty good. Took me a long time, much cursing and head scratching to do the welt pockets on this coat.  They just seemed so foreign to me in the pictures until I realized what they were showing me exactly.
What the directions don't say is that the collar and hem band are not as long as the coat fabric edges.  You will need to quarter pin them on both and then stretch the collar and hem band when sewing to the coat.  I also had issues with the zipper being too long for the hem band. Pattern stated 23 inches for this size.  I had to go back and re-cut the hem band much wider, like 3 inches wider to = 6 inches when not folded in half!  I think it looks ridiculous and long on T now but I couldn't shorten the separating zipper and I already had the top sewed in.  My only options were to unpick the whole thing out and buy a smaller one or just do as I did and re-do the bottom band. I'm not happy with how long it is so I just may go back and hack the zipper out and re-do it anyway..... Poor T just wants his coat and is so happy with it.

The "creeper" applique was easy as pie.  I have fusible web underneath and then just top-stitched. Here is a picture of a "real" creeper from the video game - looks spot on huh? (creeper is chasing Steve the human)

 And this is what his $70 hoodie looks like

In the end I used 1 yard of each the green and the black fleece.  I ordered both from FashionFabricsClub and shipping took forever because I guess the black went out of stock.  $9.90 for fabric and $1.74 for the zipper = $11.64 total; much better than $70 even if I'm not happy with it.

This is not a difficult sew. It really isn't that time consuming either. I just wish I had the fabric I wanted so it would have turned out better.  I will use this pattern again in the future - perhaps a size smaller and a smaller zipper.  Girl child is asking for one for her now too (she also plays the video game).

I think after looking at these pictures I just will go back and pick out that zipper, eliminate the bottom band, put in a much shorter zipper, and be happy it ends at the black.  That looks like a good length.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Jalie 2805 vs. Ottobre 05/2013 #1A

A face off of two long-sleeve shirt patterns.  Which one is better? Which one wins?
Ottobre 05/2013 out of blue knit stripe. Jalie 2805 out of red knit stripe

For both shirts I went with my measurements.
In Ottobre this meant size 40 for bust, waist, and then 44 for hips
In Jalie this meant "U" for bust, "T" for waist, and then "X" for hips

For both shirts I completed my square shoulder adjustment and sloped 1/2" out of the back neck area.
In Ottobre I forgot to slope 1/2" out of the front neck. doh!
In Jalie I remembered to slope 1/2" out of the front neck. 

For both shirts I sewed them the same way. 
* Twill tape in shoulders. sewed both shoulders first.
* Same gray rib binding for necks attached in the round
* Same gray thread for topstitching
* Sleeves basted in with sewing machine before serging
* Serged all seams
* Reinforced armpit areas by sewing a straight stitch within the serged stitch.
* Sewed sleeve hems before sewing sleeve sides
* Attached sleeve flat and then sewed sleeve side and shirt side all in one.
* Wonder Tape for sleeve and bottom hems.

Ottobre fits looser.  
Neckline is lower and more open. 
Hem is not straight but in a U shape front and back
White Serger thread used
Took almost 2 hours to sew

Jalie fits very snug
Neckline higher
Shaped more - fits nicer over bust, waist, hip
Hem is straight
Black Serger thread used
Took 1.5 hours to sew

Ottobre: 2 yards of shiny turquoise and gray striped knit.  
Lightweight and somewhat see-through.  
Picked up at Hancock just Friday. $13.98 total. 
used almost all of it. 

Jalie: 1.5 yards of a red/gray/black/tan stripe knit
nice medium weight
Picked up at Hancock a bit ago on the $3.95/yard table. $5.93 total
just managed to eek out the pieces. had to tilt the sleeves. used all of it

Ottobre: nice loose fit. 
Sleeves weren't tight this time around
LOVE the tiny pocket!! 

Jalie: nice slim but shapely fit
Higher neckline

neckline really low (and loose but that is my fault)
I don't like the "U" shaped bottom hem.  It was really hard to do with the knit fabric

Tight sleeves!! OMG let my arms breathe!

So there you have it. The winner? There really isn't a clear winner. I do like some things about both and dislike a few things about both too.  I guess it depends on what style I feel like wearing slim, or loose.
And now I have 2 cute long sleeve shirts to hang out in just in time for fall!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, October 3, 2013

L/S Top, Leggings, and Nightgown for K ~ all Ottobre

I managed to pop out a few things for Miss K while I was not feeling well this last week.
Since the weather is turning she is in need of longer leggings.

I went with Ottobre 04/2013 #30  and made 2 pairs in size 146

I don't even know what this Pink Knit is made of but it reminds me of runner's pants.  I have no clue what they are made of but they have minimal stretch.  K loves them.  The material sewed up wonderfully even when I thought it would fight me.  They are really quite long as seen in the above pics.

For the second pair (the bottom blue) I folded out 2 inches to make them shorter. These are out of a very soft and stretchy pointelle knit.  Too soft and stretchy.  K wore them to school this week and when I picked her up they were very baggy and drooped around her ankles.  Cute fabric, Cute pattern: bad together. Sad because I really loved the blue knit and was saving it for cute leggings.

I also made Ottobre 04/2012 #28 "Fancy Mix" Long sleeve T-shirt in size 146.  This was also huge on her.  Maybe she shrunk on me? Lol.  I usually make her the 146 and they fit fine.  Anyway, the fabric again was my enemy.  The cute floral print is slinky but really soft.  It is not good quality.  I picked it up on the remnant table at Mill End Textiles for $3.95 - also the pink rib knit I picked up for the same at the same place.  It is not a good rib knit either.  It stretches all out of shape and doesn't want to sew well.

I put twill tape in the shoulder seams.  Used elastic to gather as the instructions stated.  I made the bottom parts of the sleeves cuffs instead of hemming them.  Thankfully I had my order of WonderTape arrive and could use it on the bottom hem or that would have been wonky as heck.

I really love this cute pattern but it is

  1. too big
  2. wrong fabrics - I need something more stable and less slinky
I will attempt it again sometime soon.  

Finally, I also used some flannel I had sitting out and ready with Ottobre 03/2012 #34
I originally wanted to use a Simplicity pattern but didn't have the yardage. Now this Ottobre pattern is for knits but I knew it had a lot of give in it so I went for it with the woven.  I eliminated the pleats and just used the elastic for the neck to have it all gathered.  I omitted the sleeve elastic because K feels "trapped" in it. 
I love this pattern as evidenced by the 4 times I've now used it! 
  1. Yellow Summer Dress
  2. Pink Thermal Nightgown
  3. Pink and Black Stripe Dress
  4. and now Pink Flannel Nightgown

terrible lighting and you can see what the cable guy did to our outlet.... we have plaster walls

Sometimes my productivity surprises me ;-) even if my attempts are not completely successful. 

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~