Saturday, October 31, 2015

October makes for K ~ Ottobre and Jalie, etc.

Before October exits and November begins I wanted to document my makes for Miss K this month.  I refer back to my blog posts often when I am making things so it is handy to have all my info here. 

Ottobre 04/2007 #31 ~ “Tunic Top”


Size: I used a size 146 for height and 152 for width. I knew K would not like the belt on this tunic so I left that off.

Construction: I had trouble gathering the waist because of my drapey, thin fabric so I ended up getting few gathers and just shaved the sides off by 1.25 inches each so the bottom of the tunic wasn’t so huge. 


Outcome: I used really expensive custom knit fabric that K “had to have and loved” for the bodice.  After I made this top up she informed me that she hated the sleeve cuffs.  So I sat and unpicked both sleeves, cut new ones, sewed them on, and just hemmed them.  After all this work she tells me the top is too babyish and will not wear it.

Fabric: The custom fabric is normally $25 per yard but I bought and sold some to make my Fat Half $9.79, it is called “Bunny Tea” and was ran by Sweet N’ Charmed; I purchased it in July 2014.  The solid pink is a soft rayon type jersey knit with a heathered look; I purchased it from Fashionfabricsclub in Jan 2015.  I used 1/2 yard, $1.98.  The yellow is ribbing material. We’ll say that small bit cost $0.25.  Total for the now pajama shirt: $12.02

Jalie 3461 ~ Eleanore

Size: Before my troubles with the Eleanore pattern I had already traced and cut out a pair for K.  This girl only wears yoga pants and hates jeans.  I thought I’d give this pattern a try on her.  I used a size “Q” for her but shortened it by 2 inches.  The size falls in her exact measurements.


Construction:  I sewed these after my failure with the pattern and hoped that they would fit.  I sewed them with 1/4” seam as directed, but this left no room for adjustments.  These sew up fast and great.  I loved the instructions.  I had no difficulty with them.  Then I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.


Outcome: K put them on and actually loved them.  They were a tad snug in the rear but overall fit well, if not a little long.  She wore them to school the next day and was happy.  Then I washed them and noticed the seam in the rear had split open.  There is no way I can unpick the top stitching in this corduroy and not ruin the fabric.  So the pants were worn one time and have now met their sad demise.  I will try this pattern again once I pick up some more stretch corduroy; However, I’ll go up one size for her width wise and double stitch the crotch seams.  I will also scoop out the back a bit to make room for her rear.


Fabric: 1 yard of Stretch Corduroy in Dark Teal.  This had great stretch of at least 30%.  I picked this up in August 2013 from Mill End Textiles before they closed shop. It was only $2.99 for the yard. 


Jalie 3352 ~ Dolman Tee

Size: Last week Miss K told me at 5pm that she needed to wear orange the next day to school.  She has no orange shirts.  I went and looked in my stash and wanted to choose the fastest, simplest pattern I could.  I settled on the Jalie Dolman Tee.  I normally go up 2 sizes in Jalie because the fit is snug so I debated and cut an “O” for the shoulders/bust to a “Q” at the waist/hip.  Well, this pattern runs normal sized so I didn’t need to size up. 


Construction:  This went together fast.  There are 3 pieces for my version: the front, the back, and the lower sleeve part. I used my coverstitch for the hems.  K didn’t want the high/low hem going on so I took the low part off the back and used the length of the front all over.  Well, it is short.  It hits her at the just acceptable mark.  I will make this for her again because she loves the style, but will lengthen it by 1-2 inches. 


Outcome: Miss K loved this top. She liked the style and the fabric.  All her friends loved it at school the next day and requested one for themselves.  The next one I make will be smaller in the shoulders though.


Fabric: The main body is a Fat Half of “Paintstrokes” ITY.  I picked it up from FabricMart in July 2015.  The fat half would be $2.25.  The black is also an ITY I picked up from Hancock's in Sept 2015.  I used 1/4 yard we shall say, $1.60. Total for the shirt: $3.85


Jalie 3355 ~ Sweatpants

Size: I’ve had tons of success with this pattern using the sweatshirt and so I assumed the sweatpants would be great too.  I used Miss K’s measurements and settled on size “Q” after measuring the pattern, too.  I shortened the rise by 1” and the height by 2”. 

Sorry, I have terrible light to take pictures this morning

Construction:  I love the pockets on these pants, they are so cute!  These sew together fairly fast. too.

Outcome: They are huge. Absolutely huge on her, all over.  The width and length and rise overwhelm her.  Miss K and I decided to put them away for next year instead of trying to alter them.


Fabric: 1.5 yards of Berry Pink French Terry, purchased from Fashionfabricsclub July 2015 for $5.93

Bonny Leggings – Made for Mermaids

Size: 12 height, 14 width. 

bonny leggings

Construction: These go together super fast.  I taped the pattern and cut it out, cut out my fabric AND had it sewn in 45 minutes. 

Outcome: K doesn’t like them. She thinks they are “weird” looking and tells me they are too tight.  This fabric stretches 70% widthwise and 50% lengthwise though.

Fabric: Neon Orange Active wear I just purchased form Fashionfabricsclub. These used almost a yard so we will say they cost $3.95

Brazi Bra – Stitch Upon A Time

Size: XS with a size 2 band


Construction: This is pretty simple to make.  Through trial and error I found that Miss K likes the 3” fold over bottom band instead of the 5”.  I also have to shorten the straps by 1.5”

Outcome: She still doesn’t like this fabric and tells me it is sort of tight.  However she did wear it all day to school. 

Fabric: Neon Orange Active wear I just purchased form Fashionfabricsclub. This used a small bit of my yard so we will say it cost $1.00.  It is fully lined with the same fabric.

Midnight Slippers ~ Stitch Upon A Time

Oh, I almost forgot.  I started to make Mr. T these awesome slippers.  I will not finish the other one laying there however because they are too small for him *cry*  They fit Miss K but she won’t wear them because... zombies.

I printed the pattern at 90% and used the biggest size (per his measurements).  I even placed the zombie face right where he looks in the slipper!  The bottoms have slipper grip.  I was too excited to give them to him.  He can’t even squish his little foot in them, lol.  And this was the very last of the walking dead fabric I had.


And there you have it.  Many fails for K and only 1 success and 1 partial success, lol.  She is such a fickle child.

Bring on November!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Burda 12/2009 #121 Henley–Fall Sewing

I’m doing a terrible job this year in the Burda Sewing challenge.  Don’t get me wrong, I love tons of Burda patterns, and I have a ton of magazines; it is just that I seem to reach for other things first and Burda gets put on the back burner.  However, I put this Henley on my Fall Sewing List and am happy I was able to push myself to sew it up. 

henley line drawing

The problem I have with Burda patterns is that the shoulder area does not fit my body right.  They have super high sleeve caps and this never looks right on me.  When I traced this Henley, it was no different.  I knew I should have altered the sleeve cap right then and there but I was too excited lazy and wanted to get to sewing it up. However, After I attached the sleeves and tried the top on before hemming, I knew I would have to unpick all my serging and lower that sleeve cap.  I ended up bringing it down about an inch.  I used Joy’s method (21wale) and it worked great.

Here we have the “before” pic with the terrible sleeve cap and looseness allover
henley bad combine

 I sewed a size 42 in Shoulder/Bust/Waist to a 44 at the hip.  I added a 1/2” square shoulder adjustment like I always do as well as a 1/2” sway back adjustment. 


My fabric is a super drapey, soft rayon jersey.  When I first tried it on, it was big all over, like super big.  I ended up taking in 1/2” at each side seam for a total of 2” from bust to hip.  It is comfortably loose now, not overly loose.  I had to shorten the shirt 1.5 inches on the bottom and sleeve hems – they were so long!


I used the placket instructions from Jalie 2562.  I was super careful to line up those stripes! I made the inside placket all gray.  I also used 5 “smoke” colored snaps from SnapSource.  I like how they go well with both the navy stripe and the gray stripe.  My shoulders have stay tape to prevent stretching (because I despise how clear elastic feels, it is itchy!). 


Fabric: 2 yards of Navy Gray Stripe Rayon Jersey Knit.  I picked it up May of 2015 from FabricMart for $4.80 total.  Open-mouthed smile  The snaps cost $1.65 for the 5.  Total for the shirt: $6.45!  I have about a Fat Half of this fabric left and it is so soft and luscious.  I may be able to make Miss K something from it.


Another Fall Sewing item checked off the list


Now on to the next!


Brrr.  It's pretty chilly and windy out today.  Sadly my pictures will have to move indoors again.

EDIT: May 21. 2019.  Ok, so I love love love this top but in the 4 years since I've made it I rarely wear it.  Why? Well because the sleeves are huge at the wrist and it bothers me.  Every time I move my arm my sleeve slides up to my elbow and that is frustrating. I've had this beloved top in the "to fix" pile for probably 3 years.  Well today I finally fixed it.  I ripped out that cover-stitching at the sleeve hem and took of TWO full inches (one on each side) tapering to nothing at the elbow.  Then I repressed and rehemmed.  Now I hope to wear it often.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pitiful Pants ~ the epic journey

Let's talk pants.  They are not hard to sew, but time consuming.  They look great when executed right; but they are just so darn hard to fit correctly!!  I have been struggling with finding a good pants pattern for awhile now.  I thought I would share my recent failures learning experiences. 
My main problem is the crotch curve and thighs.  I know, I know, that is like the major part of fitting pants. I have a small waist, very large hips/rear, and saddlebags large thighs. To make things worse, I am very particular in how my pants fit.  I can't even buy RTW jeans because finding a pair to fit these areas is exhausting.  

So here is my recent work on 3 different pants patterns.  I'll give my thoughts on each one.

Kwik Sew 3193: Size L waist, to XL elsewhere.  These are more “trousers” than pants so the fit will be a bit different.  They are higher rise than I like. My fabric has some stretch.
Jalie 3461 Eleanor: I really, really wanted these to work.  This is the look I was going for.  Per my measurements I should go with a  “V” at the waist to an “AA” elsewhere which I did. My fabric was the right stretch, too.  I could barely put these suckers on. Super tight. *Shakes fist at those who had this pattern work “right out of the envelope”*
Ottobre 02/2013 #5/6: My butt looks the saggiest in these.  After seeing these pictures I threw away this muslin and the traced pattern. I will not proceed with these!  Size Waist 44 to 48 elsewhere.  This fabric has some stretch.
Here are the back views: backside collage

Kwik sew: Yikes, my rear crotch curve needs to be let out some and I should scoop a bit more for the rear as it looks like I’m trying to bust out!

Jalie: wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles.  Way too tight.  Do my knees knock together or am I just standing weird?

Ottobre: Saggy butt. Knee, thigh, and under rear issues.

And the front views:
front collage

Kwik Sew: front looks ok, though the tights need some work.

Jalie: Still tight. Front crotch hanging too low causing frown lines.  Pulling across hips. Knee issues.

Ottobre: Not good, but not terrible.  Knee issues, hip/thigh issues.  Weird crotch issue trying to form a camel toe.

And the side views:Side Collage

Kwik Sew: From the side these look ok.  The outer seam is mostly straight, though tilted back on top and forward in front slightly. 

Jalie: Wowza.  My waist to thigh bump looks horrible.  The outer seam is pulling to the back on top.  Wrinkles on the thigh to knee. 

Ottobre: *shakes head*  Just wrong.  outer seam pulls to rear on top. waist, rear, thigh, knee wrinkles. 
So there you have it.  Pictures speak volumes when fitting.  I will probably continue to tweak the Kwik Sew pattern to get a good trouser pant out of it.  The front side seems very loose on me, but overall the issues are manageable.  I would love to get the Jalie pattern to work but I’m pushing at the very top size on the pattern – which is disheartening!  I wear a size 14 in RTW pants right now and the Jalie pattern goes up to a 22 in women, you would not think I’d be at the edge of the size chart. I may or may not try it in the largest size at a later time.
How do you fit your pants?  Do you tissue fit? Muslin? or sew straight out of the envelope?  If you are pear shaped like me, have you had success with a certain pattern?
~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fabricista Fashion Challenge Final Week!

Here we are at the final round of the Fabricista Fashion Challenge!  This has been a fun, busy, stressful time for me.  I pushed myself to make things that were out of my comfort zone; yet I also made some things that were totally me.  I am happy I was picked to participate, and enjoyed the challenge. 

This final week we were to take an article of clothing in our closet that we do not wear.  We then had to make 2 other pieces to go with this original item. 


A few years ago my Mom gave me this amazing jacket. It is my favorite color and I was so excited. Then it sat in my closet all this time because I felt I never had anything to wear with it. Sure I could have worn it with a pair of jeans and a top, but my closet is full of t-shirts and yoga pants. I currently do not have any jeans that fit me (though I hope to make a pair soon). So this jacket was the perfect item for this last challenge.

9blue - Copy

The pants were the hardest for me to decide upon. I tried 3 different patterns before tracing off a RTW pair that I borrowed from my Mom (thanks Mom!). I had issues with the other patterns in getting the crotch curve and thigh area just right for my pear shape.


They were all close, but not close enough for this last challenge. So after 4 muslins (1 of each pattern, and the RTW trace off), I set off to buy my fabric only to find that the one I had my mind on was not stretchy enough.

13blue - Copy

I’ll admit, I was a bit crushed. However, after some thought, I found this animal print fabric in the Ponte section. I wasn’t sold on it at first but after I sewed the pants and put them on, I am sold now! The fabric is so soft but heavy enough for pants. I am very happy and comfortable in them.

12blue - Copy

I know it is hard to see the details with the print, but there is a mock fly and fake front pockets. I didn’t want the bulk of any pockets in the front. There are pockets in the back as well as a yoke. The waistband has elastic encased and this is a pull on pant. All seams are serged. Topstitching was done with my cover stitch. These are one of the most comfortable pair of pants I own now.

collage final 5
I wanted to make this color block top for awhile now so I was set on making it to work with the jacket. This is a BurdaStyle Pattern (10/2014 #104, #103 is the same but without color blocking). The top is an envelope-type in that the back comes over to the front at the shoulders; it also has a slight cowl. It was time consuming to trace all the pieces, cut each color, and sew them together, but it was worth the trouble. I’ve made this envelope top 3 times before but not in color blocking.  I made a floral muslin; a gray long sleeve, and a blue sleeveless version.


I completed a ½” sway back adjustment, and a 1” full upper arm adjustment. I used a size 38 for the shoulders/high bust, a 40 for the bust/waist and graded out to a 48 for the hips. I was careful to match my seams so that everything would line up on point.

collage 5

I cover stitched each color hem separately before serging the shirt together. I even switched out serger thread in the middle of a seam where the top goes from black to white because I did not want the threads showing to the front side.


I absolutely love this top; it is very much my style. I also love that it pulls the jacket and pants together into an outfit. This is something I can wear that is dressier than my tees and yoga pants, but still very comfortable.

collage 1collage 2collage 3

Fabric for pants: 2.5 yards of Ponte Animal Print from Hancock Fabrics, purchased just for this challenge. $25
Straight sewing time for pants: 2 hours  (does not include tracing, fitting, muslin, or adjusting time)


Fabric for top: 1/4 yard white cotton lycra, a Fat Half blue cotton lycra, and 3/4 yard black cotton lycra.  The total was around $9.10. 
Straight sewing time for top: 2 hours  (does not include tracing, fitting, muslin, or adjusting time; Tracing and adjustment time was almost 3 hours itself!)

Want to see what the other finalists made for the last challenge?  Head on over to FabricMart’s Blog to see and vote for your favorite!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Polo Shirts and Yoga Pants


I started working on these polo shirts back on Sept 14th but then left them to work on other things. Way back in Nov 2013 when I had a wadder of a Polo Dress (Burda pattern) and wanted to revisit it.  The fabric  for the dress was a Lacoste knit with hardly any stretch and the dress had drag lines all over it.  This time I retraced the pattern to a top and sewed up a muslin with red cotton lycra fabric. As you can see from the pictures below, the fit was still terrible.  The placket instructions were equally horrid. 




So I scrapped this red one and went to work on another Polo shirt, same pattern, with more adjustments in a Black Cotton Lycra. I used the instructions from my Reader’s Digest Complete Sewing Guide for the placket; It did not turn out well.  The placket was terrible and the fit was bad.  I didn’t even bother to capture pictures of it.  I gave up on the Burda pattern, I even threw out my traced pattern, but I still wanted a polo shirt. 

I settled on Jalie 2562.  They always have such great instructions.  I cut a size “V” for everything except the hips which I cut to a size “Z”.  I made a 1/2” swayback adjustment, 1/2” square shoulder adjustment, and 1/2” forward shoulder adjustment (all of these are usual for me).

The first go at the pattern I sewed a beautiful placket, all perfect. Then realized I attached it to the BACK!!! omg.  So I lined up the front pattern piece to the back messed up piece of fabric and adjusted the back to be a front - only with a shorter placket, and then cut out a new back.  The placket is tiny on it but I still love it. 


There are a few drag lines still, but I can live with them.  If you can’t see, that is Pac-Man fabric on my collar Open-mouthed smile I used 3 black snaps on this placket.


Fabric: 1.5 yards purchased the day before I sewed it.  Blue Cotton Lycra from Wal-Mart. $8.96 total.  Pac man fabric is a woven from Timeless Treasures, now out of print. The placket and collar are interfaced.


The shirt has a nice collar stand, I’ve popped it up here.


Happy with the fit, I wanted to perfect my placket making skill just a tad more so I cut out and sewed a second polo shirt.  I like this one even more. Still with Jalie 2562, same everything as the blue one.


4 white snaps were used on the placket of this shirt. This placket is the correct size ;-)


Fabric: 1 and 3/8 yard of Black/White Floral Jersey Knit purchased July 2015 from Fashionfabricsclub for $5 total. 97% Cotton, 3% Lycra.  I used scraps of White Cotton Lycra for the placket and collar, both are interfaced as well.



I am satisfied with my placket making to move on to my fall sewing list, my henley is already cut out and waiting to be sewn! 


And those pants I’m wearing?  They are my latest Jalie 3022 Yoga pants.  Size: waist “X” and my hip “BB” – these are each 2 sizes above my real measurements as Jalie runs slim.  I used a bit of the black/white fabric for the band at the waist.  These are such comfortable pants, I spend many days wearing these and my other teal pair.  Sadly, this fabric is not good quality and has pilled after one wash.  So I must re-make these again! Ugh!



These pants do not sew up that fast because there is so much topstitching involved, yet I reach for them all the time so I am pushed to make more.  These were on my Fall Sewing List.

Fabric: 2 yards Black Cotton Lycra, Purchased August 2015 for $13 total.  This fabric is toted to be great quality, medium weight from Girl Charlee.  Sadly they are thin and pill right away, therefore not great quality.  Plus, it took 2 weeks to get to me!  I will no longer buy from there but will return to getting my good cotton lycra from Purpleseamstress who ships to me within 3 days.
Sewing Time for pants: 2 hours