Month: July 2016

Tin Man Anniversary

This week is my 10 year wedding anniversary. Tin is the 10 year anniversary present. Sad not so clever title. Hey, I tried! Oddly enough this outfit didn’t start out as an anniversary outfit. The more I thought about making the shirt the more perfect it all seemed. Why?

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Because the shirt is made from the wrap from my wedding dress. I never actually wore the wrap but an unused rectangle of fabric is a prime opportunity for a new sewing project. It deserves new life.

I chose the Colette Sorbetto pattern for my shirt. One because I love the pattern and two because there really isn’t much fabric in a wrap. The fabric is a really stiff satin. There’s not a lot of give to the fabric so I had to be sure to cut a size that would be easy to slide on and off. I did have an issue when I was cutting the fabric. The height of the rectangle wasn’t tall enough unless I wanted a belly shirt. I’m so not a belly shirt kind of girl. There was now a choice to be made. Do I add a band around the bottom or do I create a yoke? I was afraid how big of a border I would need on the bottom and I don’t recall ever creating a yoke so why not?


I measured from the shoulder down the front to where an appropriate place for a seam to be. High enough to land at the bottom of the straps but not right across the bust would be best. I ended up with four pieces instead of the typical two. I sewed my yoke pieces to the bottom pieces first. As I mentioned before, the fabric is very stiff so I topstitched the seam down to sit flat. I did this for both the front and back. I added the bust darts on the front and sewed the twos pieces together.


At this point I decided to try it on. It did not look good. There was a lot of twisting and shifting to get the shirt on and it fit fine but the bust darts and the seam from the yoke was too much.

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I pulled out some of the bust darts and made it shorter. It was alright. I ripped out a bit more of it so the seams were on the side. Visually this helped so much!

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I finished the shirt with self made bias on the neckline, arms and hem.  The shirt was a little long but it looked fine. I tried it on after finishing the skirt and I ended up cutting an additional 2″ off the bottom because it was smashing some of the skirt’s poof.

imageTo go along with my shirt I needed a skirt. I bought several yards of a flamingo colored chiffon from SAS Fabrics. It was in a sale bin and I couldn’t help myself. I decided a skirt with an elastic waist band would be easy enough. I purchased an orange jersey to use as the lining.  I had plenty of wide elastic on hand.

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I cut the chiffon in half since the chiffon was so wide and I wanted a knee length skirt. I stitched the two pieces together to have a full skirt. I hemmed the bottom and fed fishing line through as I stiched. I had seen this done somewhere online to give fabric a curvy hem.

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The hardest part is feeding the elastic, chiffon and jersey through the serger. To prep I gathered the chiffon and pinned my three layers together. Here’s the hard part. Not only having each layer caught in your stitches but also stretching as you sew.  It’s quite a slow process.

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Once your done you have a great twirly, light skirt. Freckles is mesmerized.


All together I have the perfect outfit to go out to dinner and celebrate 10 years with Hubby.

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It’s All in the Jeans

My first go at making Jamie Jeans by Named was a big mix of frustration and nerdiness. I did make them Han Solo inspired after all. My second bout with the pattern went much better because this go round I knew what I was in for. I knew which bits would be fiddly and which pieces I could fly through. I was armed and ready. Color me dangerous!

I bought dark blue stretch denim from SAS Fabrics in Phoenix specifically for a proper denim pair of Jamie Jeans. I put them off for a really long time.  My sewing machine does not handle denim well and I wasn’t ready for a frustrating sewing experience. Sewing is supposed to be fun! Isn’t that why we all do it? I did wash the fabric and promptly cut out the pieces. And there it sat… for months.

Fast forward to the end of June. I was finishing up my Jack of All Trades shirt. Something glitches on my Singer and as Hubby put it, it sounds like I was trying to sew with a nail gun.  I checked out her insides and everything looked fine. I wasn’t sewing through needles or heavy fabric. Both of which I’ve been known to do. I was sewing bias tape in the arms. It stitched fine (she’s been known to skip stitches so fine for her) except for the horrible sound. So I made a decision. It was time to buy a new machine. I’ve been talking about it for at least 6 months and I started casually looking. Now don’t think I’m being hasty and shipping the old girl off and that she’s probably a great machine she just needs serviced. I bought her for about $50 from a Meijer. She not worth servicing and I was due for an upgrade! She will be donated to a Goodwill so if someone else is willing to put in time and money she’s yours.

Why mention all this? Well new machine (Katherine by Babylock if you’re wondering) means better motor; i.e. denim destroyer! I was ready to create my Jamie Jeans. This was not the first project with the new lady in my life. I made a Sorbetto. I just haven’t blogged it yet. I’ve been having too much fun playing but I’ll try to put the post together later this week.

For me there’s two key items to any good pair of jeans, fit and the top stitching. Both can be frustrating but since I’ve made Jamie Jeans before I knew the fit was not problem and with my new lady and her assortment of feet, the top stitching should be a breeze.

I made a size ten and took 1″ out of the length of the crotch. Normally I take an 1″ off the top of most trouser patterns but I think you’re supposed to take it out middle crotchy area. Dunno. I need a shorter crotch length is what I’m getting at. I widened the calves just a smidge too. You’re supposed to sew with a 1 cm seam allowance but I did most of it with a 5/8″ seam allowance. It’s not much of a difference but enough to make them a bit more snug.


I serged all my edges but did my construction with my sewing machine. I used the blind hem foot and 1/4″ foot for all my top stitching with a 4mm length. Instead of a tack, I did a bit of decorative stitching instead. I love the little front pockets!


Here you can see a bit more top stitching, the cute pocket, and the pain in the ass belt loops. The belt loops were actually the most annoying part of making my jeans. They’re so little and they kept trying to squirm.


I did adjust where the pockets sit on the back. They’re meant to sit about 3/4″ lower but they end up on the back of my thigh. It makes for a sad looking rear. Oh yeah, don’t think that I don’t notice the slightly off top stitching dead center.

You can see in this pic how much I moved the pockets up. It made such a difference. You aren’t supposed to add them at the end but I always do because their placement is so critical to the booty.

I was hesitant about the gold top stitching but I’m glad I did it. You can see it pop on the sides and pocket. Since the pocket is made from two pieces there’s really no space for a design so that’s probably good. I over think that kind of stuff. Not sure why my eyes are shut. Maybe I’m dreaming of a grey pair.

This go round with the Jamie Jeans was far better than the first. I do plan on making more pairs. I really want a grey pair. Hot pink would be pretty awesome too! Proper jeans, check!

Almost forgot. Katherine does the alphabet!

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2nd Blogiversary

Originally I wasn’t going to write an anniversary post. I’m still doing the same thing, I’m trying to get better and I wish I was faster. I think that’s all the typical things you’ll find most sewists would say. Then I thought, I’ve been doing this for 2 years now. What really does the normal person stick to for 2 years? Cutting out soda, trying something new at least once a week, exercising (ack!)? Most of these things people have trouble sticking to. You know why? Because it’s hard to commit to something you don’t like. But I LOVE to sew. I love to create things! All the things! So why am I avoiding celebrating that!?!

Let the celebration commence!

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Best pic I’ve ever posted by the way…

Even though this post is a few weeks late, let’s take a look back over the past year.

Number of posts: 24 That’s pitiful! I swear I’ve been busier than that. Maybe that’s because I’m a tad slow.

Items made: 21 How do I have more posts than makes? That would be Me-Made-May’s weekly round-ups.

New patterns used: 4 I found this number interesting because most of my makes are not repeat patterns (I’m looking at you Sorbetto) it’s self-drafted stuff. Weird right?

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Favorite item: This is almost like choosing your favorite child. I’m going to go with the item that gets the most wear. So not only is it a fav but it’s dead useful. Blackout Sorbetto, you are my fav. Your fabric is great and your plain, black fabric, that doesn’t wrinkle, goes with everything.

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Most hated sew: Hands down that would be Vogue 9001 aka You Dirty Rat. I get so many compliments on the dress and it’s fun to wear (drinking + spinning is fun! weeeee!!!) but you really pissed me off and made me question myself as a sewist. How rude!

A few side items: I participated in my second Me-May-May! You can read all about it in my recap here. I bought a new sewing machine but I’ll talk a bit more about that in my next post. (Shhh… It’s Jamie Jeans by Named)

Goals for the next year: Continue being awesome. Hehe Try some new patterns and techniques. Flat fell seams, Hong Kong seams and all the other weird jazz I hear everyone else talk about.

It’s been a great year in blogging/sewing for me. I’m happy to have the great sewing connections that I have. Fellow bloggers are great, inspiring, talented, and above all encouraging! There’s been so many times I’ve felt defeated and a fellow blogger has said something in a post or directly to me that has helped my sewing mojo. For that, I am thankful! Thanks to all the people that read my little blog. I’m glad you’re sticking it out with me. It’s been an interesting journey and I’m sure there will be many more fascinating ventures for us to go through together.

 

Jack of All Trades

My sewing mojo has been on the fritz lately. I tried making a chiffon skirt, which I’ve made before, and it didn’t turn out well. There will be plenty of ripping, a dash of cussing and finally a glorious skirt will appear at some point.

So what have I been working on? I decided to go with a fail safe to work my confidence back up.  A TNT pattern if you will (Tried N True). Let’s take a step back. Have you ever found yourself envious of someone else’s make? I found myself in those green shoes (Get it? Green with envy? I’m hilarious people!) During Me Made May 16, I saw this little beauty from SewaStraightLine. I thought I could make a version of it but popover style.  I picked up a cotton sateen from Jo-Ann’s designed by the lovely Gertie.

Now is the time for that TNT pattern.  My fav pattern B5526.  I picked version A. I knew I was going to leave off the sleeves and use the collar stand only. Now each version of this pattern has a full button down placket. The easiest thing to do was to figure out the width of the finished placket and add that width to the front bodice piece that is cut on the fold. To make the baby sleeves I extended out the shoulder width by about 3″. The last adjustment that I made was to taper the bodice from the waist to the bust.


For my first partial placket, I relied on the instructions from Indie Sew and their easy placket tutorial. I made my placket 9 1/2″ long.  I think the interfacing that I used may have been a little too stiff because my placket has no give.  I’m hoping this will be fixed by a few good beatings in the washing machine. I felt like being a bit lazy and not adding buttons to my placket. Since it’s short, I figured it wasn’t necessary.


The collar didn’t take me long to add. Not having the actual collar and only the stand really only takes half the time.  Yippee!  There was quite a bit of the neck that needed to be eased into the stand.  I think my placket may have been a bit too wide thus creating more fabric to work in.


I made bias tape to edge the arms from random black fabric I had. I did have to make an adjustment to make sure they fit my massive biceps. I had to drop the arm hole by 5/8″. The bias tape also helped to drop the arm hole a bit more. After trying the shirt on, The arm holes worked fine and if I dropped them anymore my bra would be on display.


I’ve also been working on a pressie for the bestie.


I decided I wanted to design her a tank top. She works as a seamstress and a sewing shirt is pefect for her. I went with a classic tattoo style with a vintage sewing machine. Throw in a few banners and roses and ta-da!


The second item is a little sewing kit. I had a cute little round tin that needed a second life.  I used modge podge which is my second go round with this sticky weird stuff.  I used fabric to cover the lid and bottom portion. I bought a crazy little sewing kit for the tin’s guts. I had little strips of faux leather I was going to put around the edge of the lid and the bottom of the base.  I hated it.  I ripped it off and luckily found a few things in my stash that would work.  I used lace on the base to cover up the sides a bit more.  They were lumpy.  I had a strip of pre-made store bought bias tape that I used around the lid which may have also been lumpy.


I lined the inside with felt and made a little pin cushion on the under side of the lid.  There’s plenty of room on the inside for her to add her own bits and bobbins. Let’s just hope she likes it!

Side Note: I just bought a new sewing machine so hopefully things will be flying out of my sewing room and onto the blog.  New toys to play with are the best.