Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Cardigan ~ Burda 04/2010 #117 A

What a long week!  I was super busy with school and things and also was under the weather.  I didn't step foot in my sewing room for days!! It was weird.  Then today, I jumped right back in and whipped up this cardigan.
(I'm really not angry - I have just been very sick all week!)

I really wanted a fall cardigan I can wear over my tanks.  It keeps me warm but also extends the wear of the tank tops.  A month or so ago I was flipping through my Burda 04/2010 and saw #117, bingo!  I just had to settle on some fabric.  I ordered 2 yards of this gray knit from Fashion Fabrics Club to be on the safe side (pattern asks for 1 5/8 yd).
I normally sew a 38 in top and 42 in bottom however I didn't want this cardi to be too tight because it will be going over shirts/tanks. I traced, cut, and sewed a 40 bust and sleeve and blended out to a 42 from waist to hip.  I also did a square shoulder adjustment - which will now be my normal adjustment.

This is the sewing course pattern for this issue.  OMG it is SOOOOO hard to see and trace those red size lines within that red shade pattern! What are they thinking!  After that struggle, everything else was easy.  I read the instructions from Burda and thought "no way!"  I did my own thing.  Shoulders were sewn first and twill tape was used to stabilize them.  Next I set in sleeves and sewed sides/sleeve sides all in one.  *side note* sleeves sure do take up a ton of fabric, don't they?

Then I tried it on and thought it looked short.  I re-read the Burda instructions and realize I forgot to add hem allowance, oops! Ottobre adds this to their patterns and I only add seam allowances.

Damage control consisted of making a 6 inch wide strip of fabric, folding it in half and attaching to the bottom, thus creating a bottom band of 2.5 inches.  Bonus was that I no longer needed to hem the bottom. :-D  The sleeve hems were long enough without the hem allowance so I just flipped them up 3/4" and sewed them with a double needle.  Due to adding  the bottom band, I added 1 extra button.

Using the template I attempted to shape this neck/button band thing. Ugh.  Not easy, nor fun.  I'm sorry but a knit fabric band is not going to hold any shape.  I pinned the important parts (where the curve in the neck was and where the curve at the bust were and shaped it myself to the cardi.  I also interfaced the bottom half of the band where the buttons were going.  I can't believe Burda would not have you interface a knit band where buttons were going!  This attached just fine and I was done.

(these pics make the cardi look brown but I promise, it is gray)

inside view

I tried it on and am happy enough with it.  The only thing that is uncomfortable is the shoulder/arm area.  The shoulder comes out way to far - like it is supposed to hang out over the end of the shoulder and somewhat down your arm?  Also, the armscythe is low - lower than I'm used too so it feel like it is droopy in the armpit.  Because of both of these the shoulder raises when my arms are up as seen below.  This is my only gripe.  I like the rest of it.

fast to sew
not difficult to sew

Shoulder too long out
Armscythe to low
The order of the directions stink!

added band and sleeve hems

cute vintage buttons!

Fabric: used 62" wide x 1.25 yards (pattern calls for 1 5/8 yd) "charcoal grey sweater knit" $4.94; buttons were from my vintage button stash. They are cute little gray fish eye ones.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Monday, September 16, 2013

Third Time's the Charm ~ Ottobre 03/2012 #34 Jungle Stripes Dress

When you have black thread in the serger you take advantage of it.  Today's project was the only other thing I wanted to do in black serger thread for awhile; Miss K certainly does not need any more dresses, but I had to take advantage of the opportunity ~ mainly because I hate taking the time to re-thread the serger!

K picked this pink and black eye-crossing knit at Mill End's big sale the end of August.  $3.99/yard and it was on the remnant table.  I'm pretty sure this was only a 1 yard piece.  She browses the Ottobre magazines with me all the time and has made it clear a few times that she wanted the Jungle Stripes dress seen in the 03/2012 issue only with pink and black; I'd say this was a win.
picture from the Ottobre issue:

line drawing

(Yes, K is wearing brown leggings with a black dress.... sigh. She had a brown striped dress on at school today and this was the only way to get her to model.  I pleaded with her for pictures and told her she could do what she wanted in the pics ~ the little stinker did the best modeling.  She posed for each of these on her own and now won't take the dress off)

I've made this dress two other times:
seen here this summer in a yellow beach dress
and seen here also this summer in pajama form

The dress fits nice, and wears and washes well. K doesn't like the elastic in the arms because she tells me they are too tight - even when loose.  This time I tried with no elastic and I think the sleeves look cute - like flutter sleeves.  K likes them much better this way.

As before I cut a size 146.  I used the serger for all the seams and the double needle for all the hems. I pouted that I had no wonder tape but it sewed up just fine without.

I even made K a headband out of the scraps to match her dress.  I folded the knit in half right sides together, serged it and flipped it right sides out - like a tube.  Then I measured K's head and serged the ends.  She never wears things in her hair or on her head but she liked this - saying it wasn't too tight.  A double win for mom today!!!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ottobre 05/2013 #1 Autumn Mood Tunic

When I saw the preview for the magazine this tunic jumped out at me immediately.  I knew it would be the first thing I sewed up when it came in the mail.  I even had fabric jump out and say "I'm for the tunic!"

This is #1 in the Ottobre 05/2013 issue ~ Design B

I measure in the bust at 40cm Ottobre sizing and 44cm in the hips. When I traced this out I traced a 38cm bust and graded out to 42cm at the hips.  I don't like a lot of ease in my clothing.

I performed a square shoulder adjustment which I talked about yesterday with my Washi tank.  Seriously, I'll always do this adjustment.  I've never had things fit this well in the shoulder!  I sloped out 1/2" in the front neck area (also talked about in yesterday's post).  I didn't for the back, thinking it would fit well because it is a knit..... oops.  I should have sloped out 3/4" because I had a huge back-neck-gape issue after I tried it on. At that point I could only add a back neck dart to remedy the issue.  It is not very noticeable.  I added twill tape to the shoulder seams to prevent sagging or stretching out.

I used the instructions as a loose reference because I have sewn many knit tee's now and know the flow.  The instructions do say to hem the sleeves before sewing them together.  I sew my sleeves in flat and then sew the sleeve sides and bodice sides all in one.  I didn't hem the sleeves first - ** listen to the instructions here ** hem the sleeve's first!  Those puppies are so small and tiny that it was very hard to hem them.

The sleeves are really tight too.  Like "hug my arm so tight it almost is uncomfortable" tight.  Do yourself a favor and add 1/4-1/2" to the sleeve sides.

there's that swayback again!

The fabric didn't want to sew nicely for me at all.  It was shifting and moving.  The pockets and binding are from an old polo shirt my mom gave me.  This was the worst fabric!  It was a pique knit.  Too slippery!  I managed.  The pockets gave me the most problems because the pique didn't want to sew smoothly.  I got smart for the second (my right) pocket and used wonder tape to hold it in place and then sew.  It looks way better!

LOVE IT! - love the design
It was a fast sew - took me this afternoon - I started at 11:00 am and was done by 2:30 pm.
It has a nice shape to it

sleeves too tight.

Fabric: "Geometric Print Sweater Knit" 2 yards, $7.99/yd from FabricMart.  This was one of Julie's Picks in the September 2013 mailer. Poly/Lycra 56" wide.  I used my membership coupon so I only paid  $11.48 with shipping.  I only used 1.25 yards so $7.18 total :D yay!

Miss K has already claimed the 3/4 yard plus a chunk of 30" x 18" leftover for herself!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wishy Washi

I love puns.  I'm not sure why but they always make me crack a smile - or get a large, loud laugh out of me.  Today's title is a pun indeed.  Wishy Washi can be taken two ways.  "wishy" as in: I don't know how I feel about this Washi, OR "wishy" because my fabric has dream, believe, wish, etc. written all over it. HA!

On to the review.

I love following Rae's blog over at  She has a great personality and super cute designs.  When I saw the Washi I was in love.  I had to have it.  I purchased this bad boy way back on January 24th this year.  Then it sat.  It sat because it was winter out and I didn't want sleeves, I wanted a tank.  Then in March I took it out and made my first muslin. Yikes.

My measurements put me exactly at a size medium.  I cut and traced. Then it didn't fit. at. all. The medium was clearly way too big.  My upper chest was like a balloon of fabric and the sides puffed out as well.  Then the pattern sat again because I just didn't want to deal with it.  The bust darts were re-worked time and time again.

I picked it up again in May and attempted to do my own modifying, making muslin #2 but it still wouldn't fit right.  At this point I became a hopeless mess.  I didn't want to give up but I was seriously deflated by all the "perfect fitting" Washi's popping up everywhere.

In August I picked up an excellent book (of which I highly recommend and use a lot now).

Seriously cheap and seriously worth a lot more.

I learned more about my body and how to fit it than any other book I've read through, and I've read many. There are no convoluted hard to understand steps in this book.  It is fast, easy, and works. It is a pivot and draw sort of method that my brain understands.  That slash and move crap confuses me.

So I came back to the Washi and drew up a new muslin, #3 if you are counting.  I used a size Small, recommended by Nancy and my measurements.  Then I performed a square shoulder alteration (OMG the difference with this is huge - I'll always do this now).  I also did a full bust adjustment.  Now I know I don't have a large bust and all but my measurements between my high bust and full bust show that I do need the FBA.  I wanted to argue but went with it anyway.  It worked!  Muslin #3 was much better. The only thing to address was the front and back neck gape of a freaking inch! ~ This happens a lot for me.

modified new on bottom, original on top - FBA
and bust dart moved up 3/4" 

square shoulder adjustment of 1/4"

modified new front on left, original on right

modified new back on bottom, original on top

Muslin #4 I used  a slick technique I found here at Phat Chick Designs. I slope or slant out the front and back neck 1/2 inch and the muslin was perfect.  Sigh. of. relief.  The fabric has been washed and dried for this Washi since March.

original on top, I penciled in where I sloped out the front neck gaping

The Washi itself was not hard to sew up at all.  I went with the tunic length and no pockets. I didn't use facings - detest them.  I used self-made bias and the tutorial over at the Grainline Studio website to insert it for the neck and arms. I should have went with the 1/4 but I had already made the bias up and didn't want to trim it at this point.

I also used 1/4" elastic x 3 instead of shirring for the back and used my self-made bias for the casing.
My back measurement from seam to seam of the knit shirt I had on at the time was 17" so I went with 15" for the elastic but after sewing down the ends on each side it was more like 14" long.

The instructions are superb. Rae explains things very well.  The pictures are super helpful too.

(note: for the following pictures: I literally finished the binding facings 3 minutes before I had to get the kids from school.  1 minute was spent throwing make-up on, 1 minute was spent yelling and chasing the dog, and the last minute was spent on pictures. So they may look funny! lol.)

After trying the tunic on it hit right were my thighs are the largest so I didn't think that was a good idea.  Plus I'm a pear shape so I should have went with the front "skirt" in a M instead of a S.  I took off 2.5" in length and put in 1/2" hem by folding up 1/2" and then again 1/2".  I think the length looks much better on me now.

Not much else to say.  The sewing and product are awesome.  It was getting the fit that was so difficult.  I see from my pictures that I have a bit more to work on.  I see some pulling lines around the bust still so I'll go back and see about altering them 1/2" instead of 1/4" for next time.

So in my rush today to finish this, I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.   I dropped things, I burned my hand on the iron, I stabbed myself many times with pins.  The puppy would not leave me be.  The only part good was that my eyelashes turned out looking good today.  Love this mascara! lol.

Oops! The fabric: Riley Blake Flutter Dream Blue 100% cotton, 2 yards. $14.38, from Jan 20th, 2013

 ~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Girl Who Needed Shorts

We all try to prepare for back to school.  We go through clothes, make lists or mental notes on what is needed.  We get things on the list school sends home.  The big day comes when school starts and everyone is excited.

I plan outfits each Sunday for the whole week.  We have one of those shoe things that hang in the closet -

works perfect for organizing kids clothes.  Monday (Labor day) I realized that Miss K doesn't have any shorts that fit for the week of school and she is not wanting to wear a skirt or dress.  Couple all this with the sweltering heat we are getting and the fact that the schools here do not have air conditioning.... recipe for disaster.

All my sewing plans for the week were put on hold to remedy this issue.  In the midst of many doctors appointments, a dentist appointment and homework this week, I sewed shorts.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, shorts.  One pair each day.  K came home and wrinkled her little nose at each one.  She is in a mood lately; very picky about clothing.  2nd grade can be tough I guess.

So here is the lineup of what I think are cute shorts.

1st pair:
Pattern: Jalie 3243 with modified pockets to in-seam. Used "showed facing" view.
Fabric: A cotton sateen floral print with a bit of stretch. Came from my mom who made a sundress that no longer fits.  I cut it up :-)
Cost: Free

2nd pair:
Pattern: Jalie 3243 with modified pockets to in-seam. Used "hidden facing" view.
Fabric: 1 yard very soft 21 wale corduroy from "Kaufman 21 Wale Cool Cords Retro Bloom Flame"; scraps for facing and pockets from "Once Upon a Time Bugs Blue"
Cost: $6.44

3rd pair:
Pattern: Modified from Ottobre 03/2012 #29 (seen below). I traced out a size 146 for K.  I measured down 5 inches for inseam on front and back.

Fabric: A soft, thick knit. I think it is a double knit? Not too sure. We'll stick with mystery knit. It behaved and sewed very nicely.  A fabric I picked up from Hancocks about 2 years ago.
Cost: Unknown

and 4th pair:
Pattern: Same as above, modified Ottobre 03/2012 #29
Fabric: A cotton jersey t-shirt I cut up that no longer fit me.
Cost: Free
The bow is decorative and serves no function. I interfaced and put in buttonholes. Then I attached ribbon to each side of the shorts on the elastic side - this is before I fold the elastic over.  I then flipped the elastic down and sewed as usual.  I made the bow and sewed down the center so it won't come undone.

Hopefully this will tide K over until the heat breaks.

And now back to some me sewing!!!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~