Rayon

June: Project Sew My Style

I’ve had this garment of the year long #sewmystyle project done for over a month. I mistakenly made it last month thinking it was May’s project but that was the doomed Pocket Skirt by CaliFaye. This month’s make is way better! It’s the Briar Sweater & Tee by Megan Nielsen. You may have seen that I wore this shirt twice during #mmm17. It’s pretty awesome!


I bought an fantastic rayon knit from Girl Charlee. It’s two shades of blue; electric and navy. It’s soft and really light. Perfect for a summer tee. I chose the full length shirt over the cropped version. As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a cropped kind of girl but I was concerned about the length on the tail of the full length version. I like a good butt flap but an extreme tail might not be cute.


The shirt is super fast and easy. Fast to cut out and just as fast to stitch. All done in one sitting. I normally don’t do that. I have to think different aspects through before I continue on.  Nothing to think through. It’s a t-shirt! Front, back and sleeves. Simplicity at its finest. Check out that stripe matching!


I did have a mishap. I snipped the sleeve! I was trimming out extra fabric on the sleeve hem. The fabric is so light that I didn’t realize I had more than a single layer and SNIP! Crap! I tried to fix it by sewing the little flap I had dangling to cover the hole. Kind of healing itself. That did not wash well at all. I used a bit of cotton fabric the same navy color and put behind the hole and stitched around it. I think this will work so much better.
Nothing else to really say about this one. I enjoy wearing it. The butt flap is a little much. It gets caught on my booty. I would like to try out the cropped version in a sweater. It would look cute for layering.That’s all folks!  Have you made the Briar tee? What are your thoughts?

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.

SkirtWaist

Front with a twin rows of stitching

WaistElastic

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.

SkirtSide

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

SkirtMain

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…

SkirtBoxer

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.

SkirtSideFull

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”.

Giant Man-Eating Flowers

Rayon, the soft, super drapey fabric that for some reason I can’t resist. I can find you blindly in the large remnant bin at Jo-Ann’s. “Oh, this fabric feels nice”. Guess what it is? Rayon. Will I buy it? Yup. Even if it has giant man-eating flowers all over it? Yup! I didn’t even like the floral pattern on this fabric but it was enough to squeeze out a shirt and I paid just over a dollar for it. That’s reason enough to buy it. Did I mention it was rayon and I might slightly have a fetish for it? One pattern I’ve been meaning to get back to was Simone by Victory Patterns. I’ve made it twice now. The first time the bust was a bit tight and the second the armholes were a bit stretchy but that was my own fault in my choice of fabric for bias tape.

The more I looked at my bit of fabric, the more I thought I could squeeze out a dress if I added a plain chunk of another fabric at the bottom for length. I rummaged through my odds and ends I have hidden in a basket. I found yellow piping.  There was quite a length of it so I thought I would give it a go and add it to my dress. The pattern gives an option of this adornment so even though it was my first time using piping I had instructions to guide me through.


I find the bib the most difficult part of this pattern. The little tab, the amount of pleats and the pivot point at the bottom are my painful spots. I started with the back pieces first. *insert big goofy grin here* I added the bit of piping on the main back piece. I used my zipper foot to attach it. The stitching was not close enough to the piping so I had to move the needle over a smidge and do it again. That was the only issue. Dude piping is easy! *new sewing technique unlocked*  If you ever compare my version of Simone to the pattern, I do make the center wider. I want to make sure my bra is covered.


I took my time doing the front. Only because last time I sewed the placket in wrong and it’s a pain to fix. Check out my lovely yellow piping!


Actually, the hardest part was sewing in the small pleats that line the bottom of the bib. Rayon is shifty. When I stitched in a few of the pleats they went at a diagonal instead of north and south. I pulled them out and judged based on its neighboring pleats how it should go back in.


When I cut the pieces, I didn’t realize the fabric wasn’t perfectly lined up so the bottom was all kinds of crazy. Trying to even it up on the floor was not easy! I think this is one of those times I wish I had a dress form. I didn’t have a lot of the black fabric left. I used it on my last Simone too. I was able to squeeze out a band of just over 3″. I wanted to use the piping again and I knew I didn’t have enough. I had to make about 8″ worth. I have yellow bias tape just a shade or two off. If I center it on the back, no one should notice. I do not have the proper cording for the guts, so I used four strands of what cording I do have and twisted it while I sewed it into the tape. The join between the two pieces doesn’t look the best up close but from a normal distance it isn’t noticeable. I can’t even find it in the pic above!


You’ll notice the bottom of the dress has a bit of volume. The black fabric is not as light and floaty as the rayon. It’s ok with me because it is symmetrical on the sides. It gives it nice movement when I swish around. On a side note, when I originally tried my dress on, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and why my arm holes were so big. I forgot to put in the bust darts. I’m a dork.

I feel the dress turned out a little mod. It’s a smidge short but not uncomfortably so. The yellow piping was a nice pop of color.

This dress helps complete one of my #2017makenine. 8 more squares to complete!

(Wo)Man with a Plan

I’ve been trying to go through some fabric that either is part of my stash or leftovers from another project. This top is made from leftovers from my Safari Simone. I knew I had enough left of the animal print to squeak out a shirt. While I’m working on other projects I always start thinking about the next. This one I’ve been thinking up for a while.

I figured I take the animal print and use that as the main bit. Then use the black cotton to make it ringer style. Ring for the collar and end of the sleeves. Lastly, add a stripe from the neck ring to the sleeve rings. The last thought is maybe to add a ring around the hem. Not too hard.  I had two different patterns picked out but I went with the vintage reprint of Simplicity 1692. This pattern was used before on my Granny Chic top. It’s got the different attributes I’m looking for. Tight collar, built in sleeves and relaxed fit. That’s how I make this pattern, which is nothing like what the pattern actually looks like! lol


I had to make my own collar piece because the piece is a rectangle and I wanted the ringer t-shirt look. It was honestly the worst part of the whole construction. I had to copy the curve of the neckline and add in the 1″ width and be aware of the seam allowance. I cut two pieces for the inner and outer collar.

image

The arm stripe and sleeve rings were rectangles. The sleeve rings I made 2 1/2″ wide because I used a 1/4″ seam allowance and folded the piece in half. The arm stripe was 1 1/2″. Each piece was topstitched to help it all lay flat.

image

Since the collar fabric is cotton with no stretch, I had to include the split in the back. The goal is to wear the clothes right?

image

I used two hook and eyes on the collar to keep it shut. I also added a little decorative stitch in hot pink because I can. I figure if I do it on every garment it can be my “tag” instead of buying proper ones. So how roomy is my new shirt?

image

I decided to play airplane to demonstrate.  Weeeee!!! As you can see I didn’t add a ring at the hem. It would have made it too stiff and I liked the floaty feel. The hem is actually high/low but it’s hard to see.

Normally I don’t share what other projects I have going on but I’m compelled to because it kind of gives you an idea what’s normally going on in my sewing room. In other words, chaos!


I have t-shirt bits everywhere because I’m going to start work on a t-shirt quilt. I have a bunch of shirts that I don’t wear anymore and there’s others that I can’t let go. I thought a t-shirt quilt would be interesting to try plus it will be a light bedspread for those super hot months.


I love corduroy. I don’t know when I fell in love but the fabric calls to me. I don’t want to wear it. I want to cut it into little squares and makes bags out of it. I’ve made two so far. This will be my third. I use a string bag everyday on my lunch at work. I toss in my lunch, wallet and a few other items. It let’s me be mobile and I need that because I spend half my lunch walking. The string bags I have are cheap so I’m making my own to withstand daily use.


I’ve been crocheting up a storm. Unfortunately for how much I’ve been crocheting, it doesn’t show. I’m a fast crocheter but crocheting lace is a new one for me. I’m going to use the lace to go around the bottom of a shirt and legs of shorts for a pj set. I’m going to dye the lace with coffee to match the fabric. I’ve tested on a strand and it works really well.

image

So that’s what’s going on in my world. What’s happening in yours? Oh and this is a proper pic of me in my new shirt.

You Dirty Rat

Have you ever worked on a project that has crushed you? You’ve cursed it or has it cursed you? I’ve worked on projects that have pushed me to what I thought was my sewing breaking point. All those past moments pale in comparison to this month’s project.

A pattern that has been on my to-do list for over a year has been Vogue 9001. I’ve been in love with the maxi dress. Big, flowy, girlie and I really can’t resist that comfort that maxi dresses bring. One of the main reasons I’ve been putting this off has been the amount of fabric this guy takes. 6 1/2 yards! To put that in perspective to make a long sleeve button down takes 1 7/8 yds and 3 1/4 yds for a pair of trousers . This dress is massive! I can tell you after cutting it, it’s easy to see all that fabric is hid in the skirt. There’s a pleat in the front and back of the skirt where it dwells until you move and it’s unleashed in a swirl of fabric.


Everything sounds pretty pleasant besides the amount of fabric right? I cut out the pieces for the skirt first and put those together. It was quick and it gets the biggest part of the dress out of the way. I decided that since the bodice is so fitted and it has some unwanted seams (more on that in a moment) I would make a muslin. I very rarely make muslins. I don’t like the additional time and fabric it takes. I used cotton fabric I had no plans for. The bodice was a super large size because according to my measurements I needed to 14. I usually do an 8. The only finished garment measurements were the length of the dress. Pretty disappointed in that.


Here’s the first go. The seam I hate is the one right across the boobs. Why would I want a seam connecting my nipples? The straps have a double strap kind of look and the inner piece that curves into the low neck is quite fiddly but I figure it’ll be okay. I made another muslin of the two front pieces that make the boobie border into one. I drew with chalk on my fabric the big piece and then lined up the lower piece below that taking in consideration the 5/8″ seam allowance.


This is my new piece. Instead of having two pieces, there’s a bust dart to bring to fabric around and accommodate boobage. I was really happy and excited about this easy solution. I cut out the bodice pieces and my replacement pieces. The bodice has a lining and I had some leftover black lining that I cut out too. Things are going well so I sewed up both bodices. Now the moment of truth, sewing them together.

Everything went wrong. The fiddly bit of the strap that goes down into the neckline wouldn’t lay flat no matter what I did. I decided to connect the strap down before trying to sew it to the lining. I cut out the bodice pieces again and sewed the lining to the outter fabric. It was laying a bit more flat. I just needed to trim the excess around the turn from the strap to the neck. As if this bodice couldn’t be making me anymore mad from all the ripping, cutting and fussiness, I cut through the seam! My trimming now became a maiming. I cut an inch hole straight down from the neckline into the bodice. I have enough fabric for one more go. This has to be right or the dress was going to become a skirt rather quickly.


If one dart worked well, why not two? I drafted another new piece. This one incorporates 4 of the original pieces down to 1 and rids me of the fiddly bits. I went very slow and thought out every move as I sewed. I had to take the straps in a bit here and there, cut the arm holes lower and take 1 1/2 – 2″ out of the sides. For something that looks decently easy on paper, became the biggest dirty rat in life.

image
The dress called for 2″ horsehair braid along the bottom. Unfortunately Jo-Ann’s only carries 1″. The pattern calls for 5 1/2 yds. I bought 5 3/4 yds. I ended up being 2-3″ short. No one will ever notice it the 6 yds of skirt swirling around.

The finished product turned out great. My immediate feeling was “meh”. After all that trouble and work I feel that it should have glowed and felt glorious. I think I was more relieved it was finished.  Such an underwhelming feeling.  I started this bodice on May 6 and didn’t finish the dress until May 30. Dirty rat.