Sewing

Bomb Diggity Denim

I’m so disappointed in myself! I was on such a roll with my #2017makenine at the beginning of the year and then things happened and my “let’s do this!” energy has run out of steam. I have three more items to complete. This post will knock one of them off my to-do list. I finally decided to tackle another pair of jeans. My Jamie Jeans came out beautifully last year. That should have encouraged me to complete my Burda jeans but it so didn’t. I have not been in the mood to tackle pants. I think the reason is that I was trying to adjust the fit on a muslin version of the Thurlow pattern and it’s not coming out right. I’ve been focusing all my energy on anything that’s not bottoms.

One day I decided to sit down and at least look at the Burda 7050 pattern. Well that’s all it took. I compared the pattern to my Jamie Jeans pattern to make sure the tooshie would fit properly. I took a bit off here and there. I went ahead and cut the fabric too. I can’t remember if I started sewing the same day or the next before I was off and running. I referred to the instructions very little but there were a few reasons for this.

• I’ve made jeans/pants before

• The Burda instructions were horrid and if you have never made jeans before I would not suggest using a Burda pattern.

• I wanted to try out the industrial style way of putting in a zip fly. I used this tutorial from the Last Stitch. Amazeballs btw…

This was my first go with a Burda pattern. If all the instructions are so sparse, it might be best not to try to tackle unfamiliar articles of clothing. I also did not make a muslin for this pattern. Living the wild life as usual. For some strange reason, I felt the sewing force coursing through me. I am one with the force and the force is with me.


Who can make an awesome pair of jeans out the gate!?! Oh yeah… THIS GIRL! Needless to say I’m happy with how they turned out. There are a few things here and there I would like to change for future versions.


The pockets are a little strange. Checking out my RTW jeans the pocket is fully cotton. This has a denim back with a cotton front. It makes it a little thick in the thigh region. Not a biggie but just an unusual detail.


The flare could start a bit higher up on my leg. I did make the flare the width of the biggest size and adjusted the leg going up. I could handle it being bigger. I also thought I would have more fabric at the bottom to make a big hem. I like the vintage style ones that have about a 2-3” hem at the bottom.


The belt loop pattern piece is too short. There’s no way that a belt could have fit through the little loops it wanted me to make. I recut this piece and made it almost 1 ½ times the length. I over shot by a bit but not much.



The only true complaint I have about this pattern is the waist. I mucked it up a bit. I should have made it smaller but I always worrying about the small thing known as breathing. I thought I had it snug and it was more of just touching my skin. I want a slight squeeze!

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Making jeans takes a lot of time for me. The topstitching has to be perfect. I took my time with each piece. There’s no point to rushing because those mistakes will stare you in the face every day and you won’t want to wear the jeans.


Totally knocked it out of the park with these!  I may be slow as shit but it’s worth it. Here’s a look at my #2017makenine.

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McPattern

Originally was going to name this post MC Pattern for Mac’s Crafts but isn’t McPattern so much better? A little Irish and a little bit awful food chain.

A natural progression in sewing with patterns is creating your own right? I’m starting off quite simple.  A tank top.  Not too difficult. I’ve been seeing the Ogden Cami everywhere.  While I do like it, I wanted something super swingy.  Almost like a circle skirt but a top. I also wanted it to be a razor back. I think I was a tidbit influenced by my love of my Simone dresses/top.

It took me quite a while to draft the pattern.  I started with the Sorbetto by Colette. I know the top fits me well and the bust darts sit right on my body.  I copied the lines around the arm and up to the top of the shoulder. From there it was wild! I created curve after curve trying to find the right point on the front to swing the arc.  I wanted the bottom to end up being straight across.

I did make a quick muslin of the front out of an old t-shirt to check the darts and make sure I didn’t make the front too low/high.  When I decided I was happy I took a deep breath and cut my fabric. I’ve bought something similar before and loved it. It’s from Fabric.com and it’s concerned a workwear fabric. I believe it’s meant to be for a work shirt uniform type deal.  I like it because I don’t need to iron it and it looks great!


I totally went all out with this shirt too.  I did French seams along the sides.  Pain in my ass.  I don’t care what fabric you use, but it looks soooo pretty.


I made a ton of bias tape.  The tape went across the top of the front and back. It also created the straps.  I cut 2” wide strips of fabric for these.  I wanted to make sure they were decently beefy but not too beefy.


I made smaller width tape to go along the bottom of the shirt. Have you ever applied bias tape the French way? It’s easier. I read a post about it somewhere so I thought I would give it a go.  Pretty much you fold the bias tape in half once.  Sew that shit on the edge. Fold it one more time and top stitch around.  That’s it.


I’m super happy with this shirt.  There is one little point in the straps that is a little wonky.  It’s where the strap starts to curve around the front. It’s too much of a curve that it starts to buckle.  You have to look really hard to see it though.  I’m sure it’s an easy adjustment to the pattern.  Move the points out more to create a gentler curve. I’m wondering if the black is helping to hide the mistake.


Side shot with my snuggle baby Frankie. I was concerned about my shirt looking a bit maternity-like but it doesn’t billow out too terribly.


There’s a lot of fabric to this shirt. It makes it so light and breezy.


I loved the black one so much I made it in orange too. The fabric weight is different. It’s heavier and has much less drape. It’s is much more voluminous. I think next I’d like to try it in a knit.


Oh and just like a circle skirt.  This bad boy twirls too! Yippee! Angry twirl face. The orange fabric was not having it was well as the black.


Feeling quite accomplished with my first garment pattern. I’ll keep making a lot more of these. It’s an awesome simple wardrobe staple.  Plus it keeps me extra satisfaction knowing I made the pattern.

Retro Knit

One of the deals I made with myself this year is that I need to stash bust more. This shirt plays right into that. I had quite a bit of fabric leftover from my Bridgetown Dress. Which on a side note, I’ve started buying less fabric and defying the envelope suggestions. Anywhere between 1/4 – 1/2 yard less.  I did this on my last two #sewmystyle projects and I lived to tell the tale. Maybe it’ll keep my stash from growing!

What did I make with my scrap fabric? Simplicity 1365 a vintage halter top pattern. I’ve made the pattern once before with a cotton yellow gingham. I didn’t make it as shown which is pretty typical of me with all patterns anymore. I knew I didn’t want a buttoned up back and didn’t have enough for ties to go around the neck. I also did not line the bust because it was completely unnecessary.

I cut the bodice pieces longer because the top is meant to stop at your hips. No crop tops, please and thank you! I negated the area for overlap in the back since I wasn’t going to need the button-up bit. I do have to say the bust pieces are so much easier to put together when you don’t have to line everything. So how do you keep the whole thing up since I wasn’t including the tie-straps?

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I made one long strap. This guy had to go around my neck, under my arms and meet in the back. On top of that, it had to have the right amount of stretch. Too little the whole thing looks stretched out and too much, I’m putting on a show for everyone around town. I believe it was at this point that I realized I had made a mistake.  The back bodice piece was not supposed to have the strap across the stop.  It’s actually supposed to start under the arm.  I wasn’t paying attention to the instructions because I was doing my own thing.  Oh well…

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I did add a bit of clear elastic across the back just to make sure there was a tight stretch there. I didn’t want my bra to pop out randomly. I have a thing about undergarments saying “hello” when they’re meant to be hidden. I get ladies like to wear bras as outer wear but that’s a different situation. The bra is meant to be out on display. Randomly playing peekaboo out the back of my shirt…uhhh no.

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Looks sort of like a a retro swim suit right? Not that I ever go swimming but I can totally see how easy this pattern would be to adjust.

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It was something quick and easy to make with a bit of fabric.  Now it’s time to see what good use I can put the rest of my fabric to.

August Project: #sewmystyle

It’s time for Project: #sewmystyle again.  August’s garment is by Megan Nielsen called Darling Ranges Dress.  Megan Nielsen was on the list earlier in the year for the Briar Tshirt.  That pattern was super easy to put together so I was hoping this dress would be the same.

I picked up a cotton shirting from Jo-Ann’s.  I could not decide on a fabric for this dress.  I shopped and shopped online but ended up going to Jo-Ann’s and deciding that I would not leave without something.  The shirting is a navy blue with swiped on white dots.  The cotton is light but still has enough body that the dress won’t fall flat. I did read over the post by Emily at Self Assembly Required.  If I would have retained it a bit better it would have helped but I’ll get to that in a bit.  She did mention that the sizing was a bit off and I agree.  I cut a size small.  I never do that… also just had a moment of déjà vu.  Have I had this sizing issue recently? I also went with version 1 that has a gathered skirt.  I think the other dress looks like a hospital gown with buttons in the front.  Maybe that’s just me.

As I mentioned I cut a size small.  The top sews up fast and I did sew it in the flat as the pattern suggests.  I really didn’t see why it was a necessary suggestion but hey, who am I? I repeatedly tried the bodice on because I was nervous about the fit of a small but my measurements fit into the finished garment sizes so I was going with it.  I attached the skirt and started to finish off the placket.  That’s when the brain became the blame.  I should have remembered from Emily that she thought the bust darts came up too high.  I tried it on after finishing my plackets and realizing how much space I was losing.  Uh oh! I fit but it was tight.  That does not work! I pulled out a majority of one placket.  I was not going to tear this whole dress apart.  I resewed it about 3-4 times before it became acceptable and I fit appropriately.  After I was sure about the one dart, I ventured to the other.  So much better.  I do want to look at those darts a bit more though before another go at this dress.  They do go too high and I think they eat up too much of the bodice.


It took me a bit to decide on the length of the sleeves.  I thought about hacking off the length and creating short sleeves. I ended up keeping the length to my elbow. I think a tulip sleeve might be a fun alternative for a future version. Do you also notice the back gives me some badonkadonk?


I chose little white buttons that would match the dots on the fabric.  They do have a bit of a pearlescent kind of sheen and I think they complement the dress so much better than plain navy or standard white buttons.


I’m not sure how much of a hem the pattern suggested.  I always hem my dresses last and at that point it’s what I want not what the pattern tells me.  I made it a bit shorter than my knee.  This tends to be the typical length I’ve been hemming my dresses at.  See Simone and Sorbetto.  All 3 are the same length.  I go with the old rule of, as long as it’s past my fingertips it’s acceptable.


I wore this dress all day at work and not one wrinkle.  Can you believe that? Especially of a 100% cotton?  I’m amazed and totally delighted! Even with the 100 degree weather, I was still comfortable.  I did add a little belt to enhance the transition from the bodice to the skirt. Is it weird that I love this picture because I have creepy dead eyes?

Very happy with this dress and pattern.  A long bust dart won’t make me dislike this pattern.  Next up is the Yona Wrap Coat by Named Clothing.  I’m looking forward to this one and dreading it all at the same time!

July: Project Sew My Style

This month’s project for #sewmystyle is the Valley Blouse by Cali Faye. The pattern is a billowy, long sleeve peasant blouse.  The pattern calls for a light, airy fabric such as chiffon, swiss dot, silk or my fav, rayon. I bought a mint rayon (who would have guessed) from LA Fabrics. When I hear mint, I think green more than blue but this is definitely more on the blue side.

The sizing of this shirt is strange. I made a small but the sizing dictates that I should make a large. I understand that it needs to be roomy but a large would have been entirely too big and completely unwearable. Be sure to check your measurements properly against the pattern pieces before beginning this project.

I have never completed a shirt like this so I relied heavily on the instructions. The pattern does suggest using French seams since the fabric necessary is so light.  I complied and did so on the side seams and back placket. The rest of the seams I ended up serging because I could not figure out how you’re supposed to French seam using a gathered portion of fabric as the fold over bit.

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One thing that super annoyed me about the instructions was that it kept telling me to “finish the edge”.  I don’t always read pattern instructions but couldn’t it at least give me a suggestion? If I serged the edge, you would see it through the light fabric so what the piss?  The only spot that it looks bad is on the back facing.  I used a zigzag stitch on the edge and a bit of fray check.  That looks like shit.  I left it but did stitch the facing down to the shirt, which you’re not instructed to do but it kept wanting to flip up and I was going to make sure that booger stayed where it belonged!

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The sleeve cuffs are a bit weird. You leave the end at the wrist open so it looks like a regular sleeve and cuff with a button.  I’m used to other patterns where you cut a new slit so it’s on the outside of your wrist.  This one is at the back of mine. I put the button hole stitches through both sides of the overlapping cuff pinning them together.  I knew I could slip my hand in and out so no worries on ever needing to unbutton the little button.  I also stitched the top stitches where the cuff overlapped together because they were trying to angle away from each other.  It bothered me.  No one would ever notice that I did this extra bit of stitching but it made me happy to not see the twist it was trying to achieve.

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The front placket and in the front shirt piece calls for a keyhole.  In every picture I looked at of completed blouses, you can not really see this feature so I said “screw you giant keyhole”.  I really didn’t want to fiddle with the little piece of fabric that was supposed to finish the cut edge.  Squirrelly rayon and a thin fabric pattern piece coming together and me being happy about it? Hell no! I did leave the front plackets split from one another so it created a noticeable keyhole. Ha! I like it and it was worth the effort because you can see it. I also added a little loop of fabric to place my button in rather than add a buttonhole.  Yes, I know that was a fiddly little bit of fabric but it would cause me a lot less grief to add than that giant keyhole.

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My favorite thing about this shirt? The sleeves! They’re large and you can feel the wind catch them as you walk. And yes, I kept flailing my arms about even as I walked because it’s too much fun!

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The blouse definitely walks a thin line of being able to be a dress.  It’s quite long. I folded the hem up a bit more than it tells you. Another fiddly bit is getting the hem to lay flat since it’s a rounded edge. Folding up that much of a fabric onto itself does not go easy.  There’s a small bit (I won’t tell you where) on my hem that has a small pleat in it because of this.  This is why I use bias tape on rounded hems because it will move around the curves appropriately.

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I believe July’s garment is a success.  There’s small things that I would change about it for next time like the neckline seems really open but this shirt is not a style I would normally wear so maybe I’m not used to it.  I have to say when I did wear it out I didn’t fidget with it as much as I imagined I would. The length is a bit too long and I need to figure out a better way to deal with that back facing.  I’m curious to see how other sewists finished it off.

We’re now over halfway through the yearlong sewalong!  You can still check out all the details at Bluebird Fabrics.  Keep your eyes peeled for discounts on the patterns.  It seems that shortly after the month is finished a discount will pop up. As always, you can check out the finished garments from me and other lovely sewists on Instagram using the #sewmystyle hashtag.