Thursday, June 26, 2014

Advice Needed

I have been tackling lots of things this week.  I traced and cut muslins for FIVE patterns! five!  (so proud of myself and of my back for holding up!).  I am in the process of re-arranging my sewing room (and K's room), cleaning up the attic, and purging unneeded things around our house.

The first muslin I wanted to tackle was my Thurlow shorts.  I've got them where I'm mostly pleased, but have an issue in the back that I can't seem to fix.  Please help!

(oh, and excuse the striped underwear)

Front view. Looks good - I have one leg higher than the other to test what I like better 
(the right, my left is the winner)

Side view - I know my seam line is tilting toward the front - sigh. I am sure this is due to my protruding upper thighs. But this is something I can live with

Back view I'm happy with - and impressed I got this clear of a picture while twisting!

Herein lies the problem.  Under my butt cheek there is a poof of fabric. See the following pictures

Most of my shorts come in like this to hug the cheek better...

But these fall flat, straight off my butt.  How do I get them to taper in more? I tried a dart on the back leg - no luck.  I tried taking in the side seams more - no luck.  

One last front view
Any advice on how to get rid of that excess fabric without messing up the rest of the short bottoms?  Or am I just being too picky here? Help!  and Thanks in advance :D

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Look 6285 Tank ~ What the?

Do not let the nice looking, nice fitting tank fool you.  It was a lot of work to get here.

Let's rewind to the beginning.  I saw this pattern and thought how cute it would be to have an easy tank pattern with color blocking, and other cute options, that I didn't have to work on myself.  It's sometimes nice to just have the pattern already done and not have to do any of the work myself.  Simple tank - easy sew, right? Ha!
Misses' Knit Tank Tops

K and I re-took our measurements this week, so I'm working with a fresh set of exact measurements for this top. 36-29-42.  My high bust is a 34 and necklines usually don't fit me well so I go off the 34 for the shoulders and neck.  I always look at the suggested size for my measurements as well as the completed measurements.  I'm working with View C, and for this top that put me at 12 for neck/shoulder, 14 for bust and waist, and 16+ for hips.  Before any alterations, I noticed the front armhole on the top contrast to bottom doesn't fit up right - the top is 1/8" off.
before massive alterations

I traced the 12-14-16 and completed a forward shoulder adjustment as well as a square shoulder adjustment.  I also completed a 1/2" swayback adjustment.  I tried on the paper pattern and although it looked a bit low, it all seemed fine.  I cut out my pieces and sewed the shoulders together. That's when I realized this pattern's sizing was WAY off!

I ended up taking off even more than this in the long run (wrong side up is altered, right side up is original)

As you can see in these pictures, the armholes are far down and huge.  The sides are large as well.  I can't believe how loose this tank is because it looks nice and slim on the model on the cover. I was not giving up.  I pinned and redrew lines where it should be.  I took out a total of 8 freaking inches off the sides of this thing from the bust, down to 2 at the waist and 1 at the hip.  I pulled up the shoulder straps to where the armhole would sit correct (this was 2 inches) - but forgot to make the back contrast match the front.  Oh well, you win some you lose some.
(miss K was my unstable photographer, lol)

All these changes meant the neckline binding was reduced by 6 inches and the armholes by 5 inches.  Funny enough, the instructions were written well enough.  The only thing I would change would be to sew on the neck binding before sewing up the sides of the tank - but that is my personal preference.

I would not recommend this pattern to anyone, unless they want a very loose tank.  In the end, I'm happy with my tank and how it fits -now!

The fabric is wonderful to work with. They are both from the Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey Knit Line.  The orange is called just that, and the blue is Tile Turquoise/White.  I used maybe 1/4 yard of the orange and 1/2 of the blue.  It is thin but not too thin, and not see through at all.  I love how soft it is too.  I picked mine up from on March 18th, 2014.  $6.99 for the yard of blue, $5.43 for the yard of orange.

On a side note: I'm beginning to question the swayback adjustment.  When it is completed, the back is higher in the middle than the front and side.  This is sometimes annoying because when I stand you can see the hem is not level, it goes up in the back and my large rear is right there, boom!  Also, when I bend over I risk flashing people.  Sigh.  I think I might try other options like lowering the hem in back and widening it to cover my larger rear to see how that affects the fit of the back.  Does anyone one else have this problem? Any suggestions?

June Totals:
(stash is anything purchased before this year)
Stash used: 3 yards
Fabric Out: 4.5 yards
Fabric In: 24.25

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 31 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 119.5 yards
Fabric in 2014: 129.75 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Burda 10/2009 #145 Girls Skirt

I barely survived camping.  We finally returned home just before the massive storms hit Monday night.  It takes me a few days to decompress.  I'm super introverted and being around that many people just drains me.  But we had fun with family, friends, each other.  We hiked on the bluff and just hung out without electronics.  (Pictures way below).

Last night I was needing a sewing fix, bad.  I hadn't sewn since what seems like forever. I traced out my New Look tank and a skirt for Miss K.  Then today I prewashed and cut the fabric.  This afternoon the kids were busy so I sat down to sew K's skirt quick. I took her measurements today (I do this every 4 months or so because they grow so fast!) and K had a fun time taking my measurements - that girl can get silly. I guess K decided to jump straight from 134 to 146, ugh! Based on her exact measurements I traced and cut the 146.  I even measured the pattern pieces to make sure they would fit over her larger rear.

The directions on these are great.  You get walked through each step nicely.  This is a simpler design, only 3 pieces, so a beginner would have no problem.  K and I both like the kangaroo pocket.  The one thing I didn't like was when I was instructed to baste the raw edge of the waistband before attaching it to the skirt.  I have found that my waistbands do not stretch to fit the skirt if I baste them.  Also, the hem is a big 1.5" and in the front you have 2 layers of pocket and 2 layers of skirt you are flipping up so it gets quite heavy and thick.

I sewed this up in about an hour - it was quick.  The moment of truth?  K went to try it on and it is super big on her, and long.  Just for giggles I tried it on - IT FIT ME! My 42" hip.... hahahaha.  It was very snug but nothing more than a knit pencil skirt would be. Off to the "too big" pile it goes.  She will fit into it eventually and it is such a cute, and quick skirt.

Fabric: the pink is stash sweatshirt fabric from Mill End, 1/2 yard for $1.98.  I previously used this fabric for K's sweatpants here.  The blue and white medallion band is from my soon to be made tank.

In other news... K taught herself to ride her bike a few months ago (her stubbornness and what not) so my mom bought her a bigger bike.  She was so proud of it here

and 2 minutes later took a HUGE digger and fell right onto the handlebars.  She's ok but the battle wounds are nasty!
This guy on her side is turning all shades of purple, green, and yellow now
  her little knee got it too - she's in good spirits and not holding a grudge though

Here are some pictures from our camping trip:

The way up the bluff that we climbed.

The middle of the bluff

Near the top where K and I opted out of going further. I was having a massive anxiety/asthma attack because I'm TERRIFIED of heights, and K was tired.

We had to wait a bit for the boys to return - notice my Burda racer back tank?

Which they did, eventually

My whole body is covered in mosquito bites and it's driving me batty!  Here is one thigh
 and the other - just to show you a small portion of them. It looks like I have measles! ha!

But now I'm off to sew up my tank top.  The rest of this week is pretty open for us and the hubs will be off canoeing all day Sunday (another thing I am terrified of is water with fish in it.  Fish creep me out!) so I will be getting lots of sewing time in.  I hope you are having a great week!

June Totals:
(stash is anything purchased before this year)
Stash used: 3 yards
Fabric Out: 3..75 yards
Fabric In: 24.25

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 31 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 118.75 yards
Fabric in 2014: 129.75 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Friday, June 13, 2014

New Machine!

I have to share my exiting find today, because, well, it never happens to me!
I took the kids grocery shopping, which means the "big city" (50k people, lol) and K wanted to browse at
goodwill. I agreed, though I must say that their prices have gotten outrageous. We never seem to have any good finds there either.  I went through the normal routine - glassware, old sheets for muslin, toys, wood stuff, books, and then furniture/electronics.  I saw out of the corner of my eye this dingy, nasty sewing machine case.

Let me tell you, i'm not afraid to dig open to see what is under that nasty exterior.  Much to my shock and delight I found a 1974/75 Sears Kenmore 19410. What? No way!  And it was in perfect condition! Like new looking.  I quickly snatched it up because another lady was eyeing me sideways.  $19.99 later and she was mine.  Now if it was only green tag day.... Anyway, grocery shopping took forever because I wanted to get home and see exactly what I had.  (we only shop once every 2 weeks so it is a big trip).

I'm happy to report that she is in excellent condition both outside and inside.  All her parts are metal and beautiful looking with minimal dust.  I downloaded her manual from online ($4.99 but worth it), looked her over from head to toe, threaded her up and gave her a whirl. Dreamy. Seriously, sewing on my plastic Brother just doesn't' compare to the solid metal of this one.

After a bit of researching I found that this is a pretty sought after model due to reliability, ease of use, and I guess perfect buttonholes?  Sadly my gal didn't come with any attachments except her zig zag plate and foot.  But you can expect that I've already placed my bid on a few sets on ebay.  Oh, and keep me away from ebay. I've been very bad this last week, buying up a bunch of sewing patterns and books. I'll share when they all come in.

the top and bottom come off easy too as well as this side (they are just as clean inside - can you believe it?)

So I'll be keeping my new machine - forever, and I'll enjoy her as much as I can.  I'll still be using my brother for many things, but I find myself using my regular machine less now that I have the coverstitch and of course my serger.  The brother is very fun and has a ton of options, but it bounces around my table when I sew.  The Kenmore is HEAVY and solid.  It has 9 stitch settings, too!  (Straight, Zigzag, Stretch, buttonhole, blind hem, satin stitching, zipper stitch?, mending/darning, button sewing/bar tacking).

nice big free arm  

Do you have a thing for older machines? Do your thrift stores have machines often? This is only the second time ours did - sewing isn't very big in my area.

This brings my machine count up to 5.
Brother CE8080 - regular
Brother 1034D Serger
Brother 2340CV Coverstitch
Brother XL2600I - for K to learn on
Kenmore 1941 - for fun!

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Sewing Plans ~ MeSewing

I really need to get my act together here.  My sewing room was a mess, my sewing plans were a mess and I don't do well with disorder. I have a spreadsheet for almost everything so why not my sewing plans?  This should keep me in line and help me be more productive.  Half the time I walk into my sewing room and wonder what to sew out of the massive pile of "to do's" - then I get overwhelmed and walk out.

So. Here is what I'd like to sew this summer for myself. Of course there is always room for spur of the moment creativity, but this list will help me when I'm not sure what to do.

Simplicity 3352

View 1 (right side).
Fabric: a lightweight white cotton in stash

Simplicity 3573
  Spring Green Dotted Swiss Lawn
View A (bottom right).
Fabric: I'm thinking a light swiss dot in the greenish color shown

Jalie 3023 and 3351
Tankini / Skirtini Sewing Pattern Cover Jalie 3351 - Swim ShortsItalian Swimwear Print - ML225725 - Grey / Floral / Multi
Tank and swim shorts
Fabric: white bands and this cute swim fabric
Completed finally in 2015 seen here

Sewaholic Cambie
View A (on left)
Fabric: This amazingly awesome cotton lawn by Marc Jacobs

McCall's 6957
ITY Purple/Pink Jersey Knit
View A and C (tank and s/s)
Fabric: not sure yet, I'd like to make the tank dress in an ITY, maybe this?

New Look 6285
New Look 6285  Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey Knit Tile Turquoise/White
View C (on top right)
Fabric: Laguna Cotton Jersey on the bottom half in the medallions, orange solid on top? Bright blue on top?
Completed and seen here

New Look 6470
View B (purple tank in middle right)
Fabric: This fantastic ITY I just purchased :D (made a muslin and completed another test top. Not happy enough to cut into the fantastic fabric yet!)
Completed in 2015 and seen here

Simplicity 3750

View E (the white one in the middle)
I already made this before, and loved it but need to make it with the adjustments:
slightly longer and a bit larger in the bust; also I want to sew the main band down in the front
Fabric: A cotton lawn, probably this one in my stash

Butterick 4800

View C (bottom green)
Fabric: no clue! ha, this sounds like a reoccurring theme here.  some lawn, perhaps this? (in stash)
Nix this. I tried to muslin it and it sucked. :(

McCall's 6964
Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey Knit Amethyst
View A (tank in middle); let's see how the Palmer/Pletsch fits :)
Fabric: This purple cotton jersey in stash

Simplicity 4813
 Stretch Gingham Light Blue/White
View 3 (short sleeve on top)
Fabric: a stretch blue gingham like this

Sewaholic Thurlow

View B
Fabric: this amazing soft brushed flannel twill (in stash) Made and they are too big. Need to try again.

Vogue 1247
Fabric: Organic Cotton Twill in Cool River (in stash)

McCall's 6966

View D (striped one on right)
Fabric: let's use up that failed maxi dress fabric :)  striped rayon jersey

Do you make sewing lists? Do you sew better with one?

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~