sewmystyle

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.

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.

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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”.

April: Project Sew My Style

I was really looking forward to the next installment for #sewmystyle. This month’s project is the Bridgetown Dress by Sew House 7. I had high hopes because I’m so tickled with the Toaster Sweater. I’ve made three renditions of that pattern. (one, two, three). Probably wouldn’t even guess that last one was a Toaster.

I spent quite a bit of time looking for the perfect fabric. I picked up a floral cotton jersey fabric from Girl Charlee. Originally I wanted a wide stripe fabric but couldn’t find one wide enough. Everything is around 1″ wide and I want about 3-4″. I was even contemplating solid color but I couldn’t decide what color. The floral caught my eye but I feel like it was a last resort. Enough of my whining about my fabric woes and indecisiveness.

I’m glad that Self Assembly Required had finished her dress before I started on mine. I noticed that the sleeve does not sit on the shoulder. Why!?! I just dealt with this issue with the Saunio Cardigan from February’s make. I knew I was going to fix this issue. I just needed to figure out how. As I pieced together the pdf, I realized that the “sleeve” piece was shaped like a football and meant to be folded in half. This really made my decision easy.


I took the football, found the center lengthwise, added 1″ and snipped.  Why add the 1″? This was going to be my hem on the sleeves. I cut this piece in half width wise and taped it to the front and back bodice piece overlapping by the 5/8″ seam allowance. Boo yah! Fixed you, silly sleeve!


Btw, totally not the only change I made. There’s one more that’s even better but you got to keep going to find out.


I was really worried about the whole backless part of the dress. I don’t run around without support for the ladies in public. I also don’t like the idea of my bra being on display. I figured I would make the crossover back, evaluate and the decide what I thought. Totally thought I was lining up the back pieces right and moved onto the skirt. When I went to attach the bodice to the skirt I realized the bodice was too big. I didn’t match up the notches to each other. I matched the notches to the tips of each side. Doh! Fixing that closed the back up more and guess what? It was the right width! Pays to read the instructions.

Onto the skirt. I did grade from a size 8 to 12 on the skirt. The bodice is a straight 8 but my behind needs some breathing room. I’m working with jersey and I knew it would stretch to accommodate but I didn’t want wonky flowers or so much stretch that the fabric becomes see through. Here’s where the best change I made comes into play. I added pockets.


Oh yeah! This dress totally needs them. Quick word of warning: It does add some bulk to the hip area. My fabric isn’t super thick so it didn’t create much of an issue. But guys! POCKETS! I used a pocket pattern piece off a skirt pattern I had. They were ridicuously huge when I attached them. I ended up cutting them down quite a bit. Now they’re perfect.


I couldn’t decide if I wanted to hem the dress at 2″ or 3″. I went with 2.5″ and called it a day.


I did stitch the back pieces together just above my bra so I don’t have a peekaboo situation.


That’s that! My April make is done for #sewmystyle. Who’s a happy girl? Me! I’m so happy I made the changes I did because I hate little annoyances. That purple Saunio Cardigan just drives me crazy. It’s also taught me to trust my instincts. Have you ever made something that you learned a lesson from?

Last note: I’m doing Me-Made-May for the 3rd year now.

I, Jamie of http://www.jamielmac.wordpress.com (IG: Jamie_L_Mac), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear 1 jamie-made garment each day for the duration of May with at least 2 new garments made during the month.

All in the Cards

I can’t stop remaking patterns this year. I’ve made the Toaster Sweater from Sew House 7 three times (one, two, three) and now I’m on my second Saunio Cardigan by Named. Last time I made the pattern, I whined about the shoulder seam being too far down my little bony shoulder. The other annoyance was how far away the sweater sits away from my neck.

When cutting the pattern I added 1″ to the neckline. I shortened the shoulder piece so it wouldn’t droop down my shoulder. I had to extend the sleeve top to make up for all the length I cut off the shoulder. Not sure how much I took off the shoulder and added to the sleeve. I just started hacking like you sometimes do. I did plan on adding 4″ to the bottom of the cardigan but I didn’t have enough for the facings when I got to cutting them. I was about 2″ short. I’ll talk about how I dealt with this in a minute.

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Now that’s a happy shoulder seam. It’s right where it belongs. Moving the seam didn’t take away any of the swing of the cardigan. It’s sill roomy and doesn’t feel constricting at the arms.

Since the facings were short (because of my lack of fabric) and on my first Saunio, I was a little annoyed by all the overlapping fabric in this area. I needed to create a solution. I stitched the edge of the facing bottom to the bottom of the front piece.  This created almost a tube in this area.  It also made a hole where the facing and the front were not connected on the left side of this pic between the bottom of the cardigan and the edge.  I flipped to the inside of the facing and front piece and stitched the seam allowance. This closed up the hole and made it where I didn’t lose length just created a large hem at the bottom.  The only thing encased in there is the seam allowance.  There’s no bulk. I stitched all along the bottom to secure the facing and created my hem.

As I mentioned before, I did add 4″ of length but after my upturn at the bottom it equates to about half of that.  I’m okay with it.  I really like the width from the stitch line to the bottom of the cardigan.  Happy accident.

The bottom hem is 2″.  The one on the sleeve is 5/8″.  Majorly different but worked for each area. On my last one, I know I turned under quite a bit more on the sleeve. I liked where this sleeve hit with the small fold so no point in adding more.

I think this has potential to have a closure at the waist.  What do you think?  Not on this one because I like it as is, but if I do the pattern again.  I like the way the front flap fell when I was playing around with it while taking pictures.  I think a big button or a frog closure could be interesting. Or it could be simple and I can make a belt which a lot of people did when they made this for February’s #sewmystyle. Maybe even work ties into the side seams. That way the belt is always with the sweater.

The original pattern has a slight curve from the neck down to the tip of the sweater front. I decided to straighten out the line on this.  I didn’t really understand why it was curved and a straight line is easier to sew!

Definitely love this one more than the purple one. The purple color is fantastic but I keep looking at those damn shoulder seams.  The fabric for this one is super soft and light enough for the office to keep me warm when they have the a/c turned to arctic. I’m way happier with this pattern now!