Saturday, April 19, 2014

Simplicity 1801 ~ The Unpick Dress

Whew! I finished it!  I will call this the "unpick dress" because I had to unpick so many stitches.

Simplicity 1801 - View C (the bottom blue one)

My measurements (37-29-44) put me in a size 14 bodice, 16 waist, and 20 hip. However, looking at the handy finished garment measurements I opted for a size 12 bodice, 14 waist, and 18 hip. I was drawn to this pattern because of the waistband.  My waist being the smallest part of me I like to place some emphasis on it instead of my large hips ;-)

 Fabric: A pretty cotton I picked up from Hancock's sometime ago.  I stapled the receipt to the fabric so I know it was 44" wide, 3.75 yards and was $3.20 per yard (orig. $8/yd) or $12.00 total.  The selvage simply states Hancock Fabrics and the receipt lists it as "Patriotic flower."  All stash! Yay!  I was unable to cut both front and back midriff facings and 4 pocket pieces because I ran out of fabric (the pattern called for only 1/8 yard more of fabric but I'd get 1/4 yard more to be safe).  I cut those pieces from white cotton.  I might have squeaked out those pieces had I not been trying to match the medallions - I'm not sure.  I'm almost sorry I matched the midriff band to the bodice so well because it is hard to make out the band.

Instructions: The instructions were great - to be honest.  If you slow down and follow them exactly you will have no problems.  I had to keep stopping myself from skimming because that is when I made errors.  View C does not list pattern piece #5 as needed but this is the neckline facing and clearly is needed as you work through the directions - be sure to have it included.
The waistband facing attachment really got me - only because I couldn't visually grasp which side was meant to be left open (the left side of the dress is open for the zipper). After 2 failed attempts I laughed at my silliness and moved on.  Next time I will just lay the pieces on as they will end up and that will help me know which side to sew.

Before cutting into the fabric I completed these adjustments based on my body:
1/4" high round back
1/4" forward shoulder
1/4" square shoulder
If made again I need to also do a 1/4"-1/2" hollow chest adjustment and a swayback - on the bodice part in back.

I interfaced the zipper area on the wrong side of fabric. I only had a 12" invisible zipper not a 14" but it worked fine.
I stitched the midriff band in the ditch to catch the midriff facing on the backside. I didn't slip stitch this.
After I tried it on the bodice just hung on me and the cute underbust gathers were too low.  I unpicked the front yoke piece and shortened it by an inch. This seemed to help - it also raised the very low neckline to a more reasonable spot.

The bodice still poofs out in the bust area quite a bit so I will need to wear a tank top under this.  I'm not sure if I should attempt a 10 in the bodice or not.  I like the design and would like to try it again in a lighter fabric such as a voile or lawn.  The cotton I used is a bit heavy for the dress. The gathered skirt has quite a bit of fabric and swooshes when I walk.  Overall I like the dress and will get lots of wear out of it this summer. Oh, and the length - I'm 5'7" and I think the length was good. I serged the hem and folded it up 1/2" then coverstitched the hem. I didn't want to double fold and lose that extra 1/2" though.

April Totals:
Stash used: 6 yards
Fabric Out: 15 yards
Fabric In: 2

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 24 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 93 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 77.5 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Friday, April 18, 2014


I've been working on a dress the past couple days - for me! I know, rare huh?

Things have been progressing quite well.  I like how it's coming together and it seems to fit well with minor alterations.  I had hoped to finish it up today; however, running into a few snags has forced me to walk away (just for the day).
bodice front

Day 1: traced pattern, completed alterations to pattern pieces, prewashed fabric.
Day 2: cut fabric (K became sick so I had to stop there- she's been sick all week, ugh)
bodice back

Day 3: sewed bodice.  realized I forgot to cut 2 of midriff front and back (for facings) and forgot to cut top shoulder piece on the bias. No fabric left - must improvise.  I took one of the pocket pieces and cut the shoulder pieces on the bias. Then I cut the midriff and pocket pieces out of white cotton - they won't be seen anyway. 1 disaster averted. Had a wonderful time figuring out which direction the facing went to sew it to leave it open on one side corresponding with the bodice open side. I am terrible with directions.
Day 4: sewed on pocket pieces to skirt portion and R side of skirt. Attempted to sew L side and realized I messed up the pockets on that side. Unpick, unpick, unpick.  There is where I had to walk away. The seam ripper and I are not friends and I feel like we've been spending too much time together.

cute gathering at the shoulders

Perhaps I'll finish it up tomorrow :)
skirt portion - left for another day

I'm loving the gathering details under bust, at the shoulders, and then also on the skirt portion.

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ottobre 04/2012 #29 Pinafore Dress (aka. the jumper)

This has been on my to-do list for a bit now and I'm glad I was able to cross it off said list.  Since K needs bottoms, and this used all stash, it is a major win!

Front                                                               Back

Ottobre 04/2012 #29 labeled as a Pinafore Dress, but I'm thinking it's what American's call a Jumper? Or maybe just midwesterners? or my family in general? lol. I don't know but I don't ever recall "Pinafore" to be in my vocabulary.  Either way it is a great little jumper, though a bit difficult and time consuming to sew.

Inside back                                                     Inside front

There are 6 pattern pieces that make a total of 10 fabric pieces: a front and back piece (not on the fold), 2 pocket pieces, 2 straps, and a front and back facing (on the fold).  I used this super soft 21 wale corduroy that I picked up in August 2013 at mill end textiles for only $2.99/yard. (Why did they have to go out of business!!!!).  It is "Happy Together Floral" by Timeless Treasures. I had 2 yards of it, this project used 1.5 yards of the main fabric and about 1/2 yard for the facings and pockets.  Those are cotton and older stash (oct 2012) leftover from this skirt of mine.  It is called "Cheep Talk" and I love those little birds.

I traced a size 134cm for K height wise as well as from the waist up.  I graded to a 146cm from the waist down. She is an 8/10 top and 10 bottom in RTW.  I held up the paper to K and realized it would be short so we decided to add 1" to the hem.


Things were going smoothly until I reached the pocket.  It was confusing in the directions. I unpicked about 3 times before I just did it how I thought it should be done. I'm adding those steps here for future reference or for anyone else that has trouble with it.

1. Sew pocket to back piece along entire pocket.

 2. Understitch in small area between markings only.

3. Pin front piece to back piece R sides together (with pocket piece out of the way). Sew down from armpit to top of small marking in pocket area as shown. Stop. Then sew from second opening down to hem.  Do not sew in between the small markings.

 4. Fold Front jutting out piece under, press, and mark on front the rectangle to sew. You are top stitching this from the front side on the front piece. Keep back piece and pocket out of the way while sewing this front piece.
 Here is what it looks like from the underside once you are to this point.

 5. Carefully flatten and pin pocket piece to front piece.

6. Flip to the front side and use the pocket pattern piece to trace your outline of the pocket onto the front piece.  You will topstitch this line around to attach the pocket piece to the front piece.
 Here is what it looks like from the inside after you have topstitched (I used the coverstitch)
 And here is what it looks like from the front side after topstitched.  The pocket is now complete.

I would almost prefer to have 2 pocket pieces a side - like the normal pocket "bag" and insert them in the side seam rather than this crazy method.  But I do like the way it made the pocket in the end. After the pocket business the rest was easy, but time consuming.  I actually spent 2 days sewing this up - usually I can finish one of K's items in one go.

Here she is proving me wrong in that she really CAN swing in the jumper.

I love it, it is so cute on her.  You may notice wonder clips on the straps in some of the pictures.  K decided after she had it on that the front was too low so I had to shorten the straps a full 3 inches.  There was no way I'd be able to get it off her, re-sew the buttons, and then get it on her again so I opted for the clips for the pictures.  The straps have now been fixed :-)

No mom, no more pictures!

April Totals:
Stash used: 2 yards
Fabric Out: 11 yards
Fabric In: 2

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 20 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 89 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 77.5 yards
~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sewing Plans for Spring/Summer

As much as I love sewing countless t-shirts for everyone and dresses for Miss K, I realized the other day that I need to be sewing things we NEED. While this isn't as fun as spur of the moment sewing, it is necessary.

I started sewing because I wanted things to fit.  I was tired of the lack of variety in stores too as well as the inappropriate attire for my daughter.  Sometimes sewing saves us money, sometimes it doesn't.  I take it as a bonus when it does.

Spring is slowly approaching and I got the itch to take inventory on our clothes for spring/summer.  Much to my surprise, both kids have more t-shirts than days in the month. Ugh. And sadly, neither child has many shorts to wear.  So I pulled up my Evernote database I finally finished with all my patterns and started searching through what I would and wouldn't like. This post will hopefully remind me of what is needed and keep me on track! Below are some of the ideas to get me going.

Mr. T needs:
shorts, and tanks
03/2013 #38  Deportivos Jersey Shorts  and   03/2013 #37 Monopatin Bermudas
I would like to find a decent jean short, and cargo short pattern for T too
I will also throw in some of these because I love them

Ottobre 06/2011 #37 modified

For tanks I plan on using the pattern from last year, Ottobre 03/2011 #33, modified:

Miss K needs:
03/2012 #33 Grass Green Linen Shorts and I know it's not technically shorts, but this romper from 03/2013 #28
I will also use Jalie 3243 as in the past, and Ottobre 03/2012 #29 Tulip cropped sweatpants, modified to shorts as in the past.

I need:
shorts, tanks, skirts/maxi's
For shorts, I will hopefully try the Thurlows,
and also this Simplicity pattern 3880 (green shorts on bottom)

I'm interested in the below longer skirt on the right from Simplicity 7229

I'm not too decided on the tanks yet, or the maxi's

But that is my spring/summer needs sewing.

How about you? Are you all set for summer? What fun things do you need to sew?

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Recap 2014

March makes include: O+S Hopscotch skirt, Jalie PJ shorts, Ottobre dress, Kwik Sew PJ set, Burda tank, and a Kwik Sew shirt.  There is also a test pattern I sewed in March but I can't share yet ;-)
Everything in March was from stash except the oranges dress.  I call that a successful month!

I hope to focus more on me-made things for the month of April, we will see how that goes ;-)

March Totals:
Stash used: 5 yard
Fabric Out: 24 yards + 11 scrap pounds
Fabric In: 20.5 yards

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 18 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 78 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 75.5 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~