Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spring Maxi Dress and a Failed Cardi

The other day WI hit 50-something degrees so I thought “Oh, it’s a great day for photos!” and ran outside to take some.  I was a bit too eager because the sunshine, while nice, was not in my favor for good photos plus the ground was soppy, muddy, squishy, and gross.  I’m posting them anyway.

The dress.  Boundless by Patterns for Pirates


I made a sleeved version this time, maxi, and the bodice is lined.  There are also pockets.  I started this dress sometime last fall and just couldn’t get the motivation to finish it.  I love pockets in dresses but sometimes all that extra work has me procrastinating. 


This is a modified Boundless.  I do not like the back being so low so I raised the back neck 3”. I made a 1/2” forward shoulder adjustment. I also felt restricted in my other tank boundless when I walked, so this time I used the skirt from the Made for Mermaids Chloe.  It has much more room at the ankle.

Size used: Large.


Fabric:  Originally I ordered 2 yards of this beautiful Knitpop fabric.  Then I cut the front skirt and realized I needed more fabric, it would not fit with just 2 yards.  I went and ordered another 2 yards just to be sure.  It is the Double Brushed Denim Teal Amber Floral on Poly Spandex; $8.50/yd from Knitpop.  I then had leftover fabric after I cut this dress out so I quick made up a Sweet Tee with the leftovers.  So, I would say this dress used 3 yards.


Thoughts:  It fits well.  I’m glad I added width to the bottom of the skirt, it flows better when I walk.  I love the fabric.  I like the dress a lot, but I’m not in love with it.  Sometime between fall and finishing it I just sort of fell out of love and wanted to just get it done.  Maybe as time goes on I will enjoy it more. 


I like to serge fold over elastic at the waist.  it helps the gathers retain their shape and the FOE is soft so it doesn't irritate my skin the way elastic does.

McCalls 6996 - Failed Cardi

I can’t even tell you when I made this it has been so long ago now.  It was one of those projects I was super excited for, sewed it up right away, and then hated it.  So it sat and sat and I never photographed it or blogged about it.  It lived on my dress form, Betty for many months now. 


I’m not sure if it is because of a bad fabric choice, or the pattern itself.  So many people like this pattern and it looks great on others – so I have to assume it is the fabric.


Size: Large. I made a size L because at that time my bust was 39” (it is 37.5 now); The cardi was too big then and now.  I made view C/D.  I also did a 1/2” forward shoulder adjustment.


The fit unpleasant; too long in the arms, big overall.  The fabric is thicker yoga knit (on it’s own it is so soft and amazing but apparently totally wrong for this cardi).  I’m also unsure of when I got this fabric but I put it in my database Dec 2016.  I used 2 yards “cranberry DBP Yoga blend” from knitpop.



I’ll salvage the yoga knit if I can – hack it up into something else.  I may try this cardi pattern again sometime in a much drapier fabric and in a size M.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

TNT Renfrew and Love Notions Rhapsody Blouse

These are the first makes of the year!  Well, kind of.  These are the first two I can show you, because I’ve been doing a bit of pattern testing.  Plus the Love Notions blouse has been finished a long time now I just never got pictures. Let’s start with the Renfrew.

Sewaholic ~ Renfrew 1201

renfrew blue real main

This is the 7th one I have made.  It is now a TNT (tried and true) pattern for me.  I have my alterations and fit worked out so it is a fast and usually successful sew. I felt like starting the year with something I knew would turn out well;  A confidence boost of sorts.

renfrew blue 1

Here are the other times I’ve made this top:
1. Elephants  2. birds  3. Gray  4. Skater Mashup  5. Sweetheart Mashup 6. Navy Long sleeve
Size: 8 for shoulders and bust, 10 for waist, 12 for hips. This is 2 sizes smaller than my measurements for the shoulders/bust and one size smaller for the waist hips.  I find the Renfrew to fit very well but the pattern runs just 1 or 2 sizes big.   1/2" forward shoulder adjustment

renfrew blue 3

Fabric: 1 yard Aqua floral feathered arrows - Poly Rayon Spandex French Terry -$8.99; purchased in Oct 2017.  I picked this up from So Sew English.  It came snagged, cut weird, and dirty.  The fabric is so pretty, so I was sad.  But I used it anyway.  By the way, this is the third French terry in that order and they were all snagged on both side as well as off grain, super thin, and dirty.  No more ordering from them for me. 

renfrew blue 2

Thoughts: Love it!  I love the fabric print, despite the issues in quality.  It is soft, wears and washes well.  The fit is spot on for me.  I used a lovely wide cover stitch to topstitch the neck and also for the sleeve hems and hem.  I chose not to do cuffs on the sleeves because they bug me and make my arms look chunkier.  I did leave the band on the bottom because I like that part.  It is a bit thicker with the double fabric on the hem band and my shirt stays in place better.  I’m sure I’ll make more of these in the future.

renfrew blue close
renfrew blue neck

Love Notions ~ Rhapsody Blouse

When I saw this pattern come out I just had to have it. 

fish 1

Size: Straight size Medium with 1/2” forward shoulder adjustment. My High bust and waist fit into a M. my hips into a L but since this top is flowy I figured there would be room enough for my hips.  
There are lots of different sleeve options for this top.  I chose to do the sleeveless view. The only “hard” part about sewing this was attaching that bias tape to the V-neck part on the front.  It went alright, but was a bit tricky.

fish 2

Fabric: Awesome Aqua Blue Fish print from FabricMart.  It is 100% rayon and so soft with excellent drape.  I grabbed 4 yards of it when it was on sale for $4.80/yard.  This top uses 1 yard (yay for 1 yard wonders!), but also some for the self made bias tape.  I would guess 1.5 yards? 

fish dislike

Thoughts:  I like this top.  I like the pattern.  I usually don’t wear wovens but I can see this being a great top in summer.  When it’s cold I can just throw on a cardi over it and it works great.  What I am not sure about is the armscye.  It is just a bit tight;.  Not all around, but just in the front here where I’m grabbing. Also, there is a bit too much flare in the hip – it shoots out sort of awkwardly where the bottom arrows are. Perhaps next time I will straighten out that flare and make a more casual shift to the hips.  Overall I am very happy with this top and will most likely make another.

fish 4

The pattern is written well.  The instructions are excellent.  Everything is very put together and professional.  There are finished measurements included.   I would highly recommend this pattern. The best part is the no trim pages and layers on the PDF. 

fish 5

fish 6


Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Moving Forward ~ 2018 Plans and Goals

2017 was not a good year for me.  Most of the year I was too sick to sew, too sick to do many things.  I spent a good deal of time shopping for more fabric and patterns.  I purchased a few new machines too (new coverstitch, new to me serger, and new embroidery machine).  Near the end of 2017 I started to feel ok enough that I could be in the sewing room for small bits of time.  However,  I would get so overwhelmed by the amount of fabric I have that I just couldn't sew much of anything!

I know some people have a much larger fabric stash than I do, and some have smaller; however, for me, this amount is just too much.  It dampers my creativity.  So I decided for 2018 I will buy no more fabric.  This is going to be super hard because, OMG look at all the pretty fabric!  Pushing this further, I will be buying no patterns this year either.  2018 is going to be a year of using what I have. Use it, Make it

Another thing that has bothered me is that I tend to get fabric and never want to cut into it.  Fear that I will mess it up and lose that fabric.  No more.  I am going to just go for it and use everything in my stash without fear!  I learned that there will always be fabric I covet. 

Unedited mess of fabric stash below.  those boxes under the coverstitch box are filled with “muslin” fabric – or stuff I wouldn’t use due to color or feel.  I’m curious to see the “after” picture at the end of this year.



Finally, I also want to use my patterns.  I have tons.  I have lots of plans for patterns I already have and I just never get around to sewing them all.  This year I’m going to use them!  I have spreadsheets and lists of patterns I want to make so I’m forcing myself to make them.  Mainly my Burda magazines need to be used.  Of course I have many Jalie and Ottobre to get around to sewing,  some of the Big 4, and also many independent designer patterns.

Here are some pictures of my pattern stash.  They are many more unseen in drawers, the cabinet, and copy shop PDF’s some seen above in the fabric stash shot.



To help me stay on goal, I joined the 2018 RTW Fasters hosted by Goodbye Valentino.  I’m excited that this group will keep me on track.  Most are fasting only from buying RTW.  But there are a few of us who are also fabric/pattern fasting too. 


I think I attempted to stash bust in 2016?  I don’t remember exactly, but 2017 the flood gates opened.
So, I look forward to 2018 being a year of using things, making things, reducing the fabric stash. 

What are you goals for 2018?  Will you be on a pattern/fabric freeze as well? 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Older Makes I Still Love and Wear

Often times we like to focus on the new makes and patterns.  I enjoy looking at past makes, too.  I like to see what worked, what styles looked good, what colors work for me.  It helps me with future makes. 

Here are some of my makes 2015 and before that I still love and wear all the time.

old makes tilign bigger

Dec 2015: P4P Gray/Navy Elephant Relaxed Raglan
Mar 2015: Teal/Gray Bird Renfrew
Nov 2014: Gray Renfrew with Cowl
Dec 2014: Black Elephant Renfrew – one of my fav makes to date
My oldest make I still wear!!  Aug 2013: Jalie 2805 red cheetah t-shirt
Dec 2015: SUAT Merryweather L/S top in gray/black stripe
June 2015: New Look 6470 Gray mottled tank
Oct 2013: Ottobre 05/2013 #1A striped L/S top in teal/gray
Oct 2015: Burda 12/2009 #121 striped henley in navy/gray
May 2015: Jalie 3023 and 3351 Swimsuit in stripes
June 2015: New Look 6470, View B, Cowl tank in black; and New Look 6054, View A, Skirt in teal
Dec 2015: Burda Joggers in Navy 11/2012 #135
Dec 2015: Ottobre 05/2011 #5 Joggers in black and white lace print
July 2015: New Look 6470, View B, Cowl Tank in Gems
July 2015: Simplicity 1068 cheetah print skirt

More makes would have made this list, but my weight fluctuates so some are in storage being too small, or too big now.

What are some of the oldest makes you still love and wear?