project sew my style

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.

May: Project Sew My Style

It’s time for the latest installment of #sewmystyle.  Heads up guys, Jamie not happy!

This month’s make comes from CaliFaye.  It’s a simple skirt, simply named Pocket Skirt.  It is simple set of 6 rectangles and a 2 large pockets.  Simple right?  Are you starting to see my theme? Sometimes things aren’t as “simple” as they sound.

I knew immediately I wanted to make a grey version of this skirt.  Pretty much straight ripping off the picture on the site.  I figured it would go with a lot of the items I wear already and would be great for work.  I can fill those pockets to the brim when necessary.  I scored my fabric from Jo-Ann’s.  It’s a linen and rayon blend.  It so had me at the word “rayon”.  I’ve noticed when buying fabric that grey seems to be a 1 tone and you’re done kind of thing.  I usually want a darker shade but to no avail.  So much for there being 50 shades of it…

I put the pdf together quite quickly.  As I mentioned, there’s 6 rectangles and 2 of those are 1 pattern piece cut in duplicate.  I always cut the largest size first and then start determining what size I actually need.  With my measurements, it’s smaller on the top grading to larger for my behind. The measurements for this are whacky. I would be a medium in the waist (normal for me) and then a super duper large on the bottom.  Yowza… not normal.  My next thing to do is to look at the finished garment sizes… nope. Not understanding how you end up with those sizes when comparing to the measurements above.  Lastly, when I’m still unsure, I measure the pattern pieces themselves and do a bit of math.  Measure, remove seam allowances…. how the hell is this supposed to fit around anyone’s waist!?!?! I’m making the largest size and then chopping the hell out of it as I go.

Then being a good little sewist, I read the directions. Well sorta… I read the first 3 paragraphs twice didn’t understand, looked the pictures and said “Nope!”.  What the frick is going on here!?! This skirt looks so simple and everything is complicated as hell.  Oh and the kicker.  Totally didn’t notice that the skirt calls for not only elastic at the back (I was super excited about this. Comfy like sweatpants but not actually wearing sweatpants out and about) but it needs a zipper too.  Why oh why would you want to put those two together in a skirt? This seems like over kill.  Well, since I’m going to do whatever I feel like I’m negating that stupid zipper.  All this and I haven’t even cut any fabric. We’re starting off well.

I cut the largest size out. I knew the extra fabric was going to be gathered so when I slipped it on, the whole Weight Watchers “I’ve lost this much weight. Wow!” kind of thing was acceptable.  I put in some thread to gather the fabric.  Linen is a tough fabric and it doesn’t like to gather and by the time I end up gathering all of it, the skirt is going to be extremely poofy and poofy in areas I don’t need poof.  I automatically come with enough poof thank you very much.  Plus, when it was all gathered there was no way that my booty was going to be big enough to hold that up. i.e. I couldn’t get it to gather small enough.

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Front with a twin rows of stitching

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Back with a ridiculous amount of gathering. *sigh*

Long story short. I’ve ripped apart the skirt 4 times. I even had elastic sewed in the band so it didn’t flip and flop on me.  I’ll give myself a hand at this point and I took notes the whole time on how much of the fabric I ended up cutting off the skirt sides. I even made new, longer waistband pieces and hacked at them a bit too.  I’m going to take all that mess and make new pattern pieces. I don’t really know why I’m going to go to all the trouble now that I think about it.  I’m not sure if I’m ever going to make this pattern again.

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But, OH, the pockets!  I love pockets and these are huge!

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All in all the skirt came out okay.  (I think my face tells a different story) I’m not pleasantly surprised like some of my sews go.  It looks really dark and grim, then an amazing something happens and it’s sunshine and rainbows.  Nope. Not here.  I gave myself two evenings to finish this; after work and before my early bedtime.  That should have been ample time.  BUT NO! I had to work on it Saturday morning.  Finished, promptly folded it and put it to the side. Done…

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Doesn’t it look like I have on baggy boxers?  Oh the horror!  I swear my butt is nowhere close to eating the fabric.  It just lays something awful. I’m thinking about ripping it apart again… I obviously didn’t even care to iron the thing.

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Not bad from the front and sides though right? I feel this is my contemplation face. I did take more pics but let’s just not put ourselves through that.

I’m a little worried guys. Another CaliFaye pattern is on the #sewmystyle list.  I think it’s only a few months away.  I’m really hoping to not have the same bad sewing experience.  I sew for fun not because I “have to” and man did this one feel like a “have to”.

January: Project Sew My Style


I announced in my New Years post that I’ve joined in on Project: Sew My Style. You can check out more about the year long sew along at Bluebird Fabrics.  Pretty much what it boils down to is 12 garments, 1 for each month, over the course of 2017.


January’s garment is the Toaster Sweater version 2 from Sew House Seven. The second version has a short funnel neck and split side hem. It’s also meant to be cropped.  I adjusted a few of the features on this sweater. I mixed version 1 and 2. Plus, I added length to the body. I ended up with a crew neck sweater with raglan sleeves.


The fabric I chose came from Girl Charlee (still available if you’re interested). It was my first time buying from them. The fabric is super soft and looks exactly like the pic. I’m sure I’ll buy from them again since I’m over the moon about this purchase. It’s a Hacci Sweater knit. It’s supposedly mid-weight. If it is, I figure light weight is tissue paper thin.


I added 1 1/2″ to the length of the shirt. I didn’t want a cropped sweater. I own a hot pink sweater that is the length this sweater is meant to be. Unfortunately, I just don’t wear it a lot and it’s hot pink! That tells you how much I’m not into the cropped length.  Love me some hot pink…


I have long arms (thanks mom!) so I desperately needed some more sleeve length. I added 4 1/2″. I was using the raglan sleeve pattern piece and it was intended to have a separate piece as a cuff. I didn’t want to create more pieces or break up the print so I opted for the version 2 sleeve finish. I’m a sucker for a raglan sleeve, not that you can really see it with all that print. I ended up drawing my own front and back pieces for the body and a sleeve extender segment to make it all come together.


I like how the bottom corners come together making them neat and tidy. I serged the edges and turned them up 1 1/8″ per the instructions.


The neck band is a rectangle 2 1/2″ wide folded in half. I couldn’t tell you the length. I think I started out at 18″ and kept shortening it until it would stretch a wee bit and lay flat. You’re supposed to topstitch the seams with a twin needle. The fabric is either two light or too open of a weave to hold the stitch right. I only topstitched on the side where the fabric overlapped.


Incredibly happy with the first make for Project: Sew My Style. If you want to check out everyone else, use #sewmystyle in any social media and you’ll find a ton of enthusiastic sewists… sewers…makers! Let’s go with that.

Next month is the Saunio Cardigan from Named. I’m having a bit of a problem finding fabric for this one.

Happy New Years! Blog Review.

Hello and I hope that everyone had a happy and safe New Years. Without further ado, let’s get this review started with my goals from 2016.

  • New Thurlows. I have some silvery denim that would be great for this pattern. Hopefully they hold out better.

This one is done. The pants are holding out way better than my first pair of Thurlows. I’m not 100% happy with the fit though. I’ve got a bit of pooling right under the buns. The pattern did get me 2 pairs of shorts though. I’m going to do another muslin before I make another pair. I have some fabric that’s waiting.

  • Jamie Jeans. I bought some stetch “denim” from Fabric.com especially for these. Then the fabric arrived and it’s so not denim. Oh well, it will be good practice for when I get the real stuff. Plus it’s navy blue so I’m thinking Han Solo pants.

Check this one off too. I made the practice pair Han Solo style just like I wanted. I even stitched the Rebel logo on the pockets. I did make a pair of proper denim Jamie Jeans too. More about those in a bit.

  • Button down for Hubby. I want to make him a gawdy holiday shirt to go with my holiday skirt. It’ll be epic!

This one is complete and I did it with the help of some kittens. Hubby picked out his own fabric and has received countless compliments. I’m sure part of it is because of the fabric and part because it fits so well. He loves his shirt and has worn it multiple times this holiday season.

All my goals met! Super happy with myself. Let’s continue with that positivity and check out my top three hits from last year.

Hit #1

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Jack of All Trades

Loooovvveeee this shirt. I wear it almost once a week. It’s a modified B5526. It was my first time doing a partial placket. It’s so easy to throw on with a pair on jeans. I plan on replicating it with pink/purple gradient fabric.

Hit #2

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Jamie Jeans

I made real and proper jeans! The denim has the perfect amount of stretch and weight. I’d like to make another pair in the new year. I also have another jeans pattern that I’d like to try out too.

Hit #3

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Kitten Holiday Shirt

This shirt is so unique and special it had to make my top three. The fabric itself is adorable. The person I made it for (Hubby) is the best guy ever. Combine the two and you have have the best Jamie-Made shirt. Anytime we would go out to eat or attend an event, he was rocking his kitten shirt. Makes a girl proud!

There were a lot of things this year that I just loved so narrowing it down to three was hard.  Let’s move on to the misses of 2016.

Miss #1

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Purple Persuassion Shorts

I made a couple pairs of Thurlow shorts this year.  This one is on the naughty list because of the fabric.  It has stretch in it, but isn’t resilient enough to snap back and keep its shape throughout the day. Love the color but by mid-afternoon, I have to keep yanking up your saggy bottoms.

Miss #2

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Pillowcase Top

This is a shirt made from my beloved Colette Sorbetto pattern.  How could it be considered a miss? Fabric again.  I have no idea what I did to it. It’s happy, shiny sheen is no longer there. It’s faded and looks like it has dried soap on it. I’ve hand washed it, tenderly babied it’s delicateness and it still looks like crap. It’s in my closet in hopes that I’ll figure out something to do with it.

Miss #3

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Cuckoo for Coconuts

I’m happy to say this one isn’t because of the fabric.  It’s a super soft, vibrant rayon.  You can’t be mad at that! It’s simply the neckline. It’s so wide and slides around my shoulders and lets my bra dance it’s own little peep show. I do wear it but there’s a lot of adjustment throughout the day.

Picking my misses was about as hard as picking my hits. My sewing over the past year has been a lot of happy times and not so many “crap, what am I going to do to salvage this train wreck” moments. Hitting all my goals is amazing. The amount of unselfish sewing has been great but don’t expect that to grow. That small amount was plenty!

So what’s coming up in 2017? What’s my goals?

  • Participate in Project Sew My Style being put on by Alex from Bluebird Fabrics. This is a full year sew-along. I’m putting this out there now: Sorry March, but there’s no leggings in my future so I’m skipping that month.
  • Use my fabric stash. I have enough fabric for 13 projects. Each piece of fabric has a pattern mate already chosen. Just need to sew! The only fabric I’m going to buy is for Sew My Style until I get through my stash.
  • Learn at least one new technique. There’s a lot of techniques out there, flat fell seams, Hong Kong seams, etc. Never thought to try one out and I think it would be good to expand my horizons.
  • Make more dresses. This is a simple one but I think a necessity. I have a lot of separates and I like the easiness of pulling one item out of the closet without a need to match. So it is on my list just to feed into my laziness.

That’s it! It’s been a good year for me sewing wise. I got a new friend, her name is Katherine from Babylock, back in July and her and I get along beautifully. She’s been making my sewing a lot easier and I think she really contributed to the happy sewing.  I look forward to the coming year not only for my sewing but all the great things my fellow bloggers turn out!